TV film fare -- week of May 1, 2022
NEW YORK (CNS) -- The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of May 1. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence and sexual situations.
Sunday, May 1, 4:52-7:52 p.m. EDT (AMC) "Shooter" (2007). Satisfying conspiracy thriller that plays like a Tom Clancy "Rambo," with Mark Wahlberg as an ex-Army sniper framed by government bigwig Danny Glover for an attempted presidential assassination that killed a foreign bishop instead. Director Antoine Fuqua, who knows his way around guns 'n' ammo from "Training Day" and "Tears of the Sun," keeps the grimly photographed action brisk and believable, and the plot twists mostly convincing. Some rough and crude language, much military violence with bloodshed, a scene of immolation by napalm, visuals of the aftermath of torture, and a woman in partial states of undress, though no nudity. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Tuesday, May 3, 8-10:15 p.m. EDT (TCM) "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939). Classic piece of Americana in which an idealistic junior senator (James Stewart) stages a one-man filibuster to stop the corrupt machinations of his political mentor (Claude Rains). Director Frank Capra's paean to American democracy has a solid plot, fine acting from a memorable cast, including Jean Arthur and Thomas Mitchell, as well as a lot of heartfelt patriotic sentiment that few will find dated. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II -- adults and adolescents. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.
Friday, May 6, 10:15-midnight EDT (TCM) "Zero Hour!' (1957). Disaster strikes a Canadian airliner when both pilots and many of its 38 passengers are disabled by food poisoning, forcing a troubled World War II veteran fighter pilot (Dana Andrews) to attempt a landing guided by radio instructions from the airline's ace aviator (Sterling Hayden). Directed by Hall Bartlett from Arthur Hailey's story, the situation builds considerable suspense despite all its contrived complications. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.
Saturday, May 7, 11:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m. EDT (Showtime) "Midnight Run" (1988). When an accountant (Charles Grodin) embezzles millions from the mob to give to charity, he finds himself on the run from a blood-thirsty mob kingpin (Dennis Farina), a bulldog FBI agent (Yaphet Kotto) and a Los Angeles bail bondsman (Joe Pantoliano). He is nabbed in New York by an ex-cop-cum-bounty-hunter (Robert De Niro) who attempts to escort him back to L.A. alive to collect $100,000. With humor and some sentiment, director Martin Brest charts the growing camaraderie between this odd couple as they dodge the cops and the crooks on their way to Los Angeles. Much profanity and some comic-book violence and car chases. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Saturday, May 7, 6:17-8 p.m. EDT (Cinemax) "Moonstruck" (1987). Charming romantic comedy set in an Italian-American neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, where a widow (Cher) accepts the proposal of a fastidious bachelor (Danny Aiello) but falls in love with his darkly emotional younger brother (Nicolas Cage). Director Norman Jewison concentrates more on the comedy of character than on incident and the result is pleasantly amusing, emotionally operatic and humanly uplifting. Several restrained scenes implying sex, but the movie's moral perspective is implicit throughout. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.
Saturday, May 7, 8-10:20 p.m. EDT (HBO) "Dear Evan Hansen" (2021). Ben Platt reprises his Broadway role as the angst-ridden teen of the title in director Stephen Chbosky's screen version of the award-winning 2016 musical drama. After the troubled brother (Colton Ryan) of the fellow student for whom the lad yearns (Kaitlyn Dever) takes his own life, a misunderstanding leads the parents of the deceased (Amy Adams and Danny Pino) to believe that their son and he were best friends. Partly to comfort the couple, partly to get closer to their daughter and partly because he longs for a fuller family life than his overworked divorced mother (Julianne Moore) can provide, he goes along with the idea and gradually elaborates on it. Those in search of toe-tapping diversion should look elsewhere since the work of composers and lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul as well as screenwriter Steven Levenson, the author of the show's book, is anything but lighthearted. While cynics may also come away unsatisfied, viewers inclined to plumb the emotional depths explored in this always intense but sometimes awkward and overbearing film should equip themselves with Kleenex. Given the upright nature of the picture's fundamental values and the lesson it teaches about the importance of honesty, parents will probably find it acceptable for older adolescents. Mature themes, including suicide and depression, references to homosexuality, at least one use of profanity, several milder oaths, one rough and a few crude terms. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
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Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.