TV film fare -- week of July 24, 2022
NEW YORK (CNS) -- The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of July 24. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence and sexual situations.
Sunday, July 24, noon-2:30 p.m. EDT (Showtime) "Minority Report" (2002). Engrossing murder mystery set in 2054, when future crimes can be detected before they are committed, in which a "precrime" police detective (Tom Cruise), one who investigates crimes before they happen, is accused of an imminent murder and, in attempting to prove his innocence, discovers a flaw in the system. Seeped in futuristic atmospherics, director Steven Spielberg's film combines thrilling action sequences with a thought-provoking narrative which confronts the issue of personal freedom versus national safety as well as the value of each human life. Recurring stylized sci-fi violence, brief substance abuse, fleeting sexual situations, occasional profanity and an instance of rough language. 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.
Sunday, July 24, 1-3:30 p.m. EDT (A&E) "Edge of Tomorrow" (2014). This intriguing sci-fi action epic, set against the background of a devastating worldwide invasion by murderous aliens, finds a combat-averse Army officer (Tom Cruise) paying for his confrontation with a powerful superior (Brendan Gleeson) by being summarily reduced to the ranks and placed in the front line of a D-Day-like attack designed to liberate continental Europe from its extraterrestrial occupiers. Though the vast operation quickly becomes a rout, the unwilling warrior's seemingly fatal encounter with the enemy results, not in death, but in his being caught up in a time warp within which he's forced to live out the day preceding the doomed assault over and over again. He eventually makes contact with a skilled Special Forces operative (Emily Blunt) whose earlier experience of the same phenomenon enabled her to achieve a high-profile but temporary victory over the intruders, and together they try to use the anomaly to reverse humanity's fading fortunes. Despite repeated scenes of battlefield chaos, director Doug Liman's satisfying adaptation of Hiroshi Sakurazaka's teen-targeted novel "All You Need Is Kill" mostly shields viewers from gore, while the leads are too distracted by their military mission to express their mutual attraction in any but the most restrained of ways. Only some salty barracks talk bars a youthful audience. Pervasive action violence with minimal blood, a couple of uses of profanity, about a half-dozen crude and twice as many crass terms, a bit of sexual humor. 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.
Monday, July 25, 6-9 p.m. EDT (AMC) "The Fugitive" (1993). Having escaped while being transported to the state pen, a Chicago surgeon (Harrison Ford) convicted of murdering his wife must evade the ever-tightening net of a relentless U.S. marshal (Tommy Lee Jones) while desperately tracking down the one-armed man (Andreas Katsulas) who actually killed her. Director Andrew Davis knits together a strong narrative, crackerjack performances and taut editing for a fine thriller not dependent on constant, glorified mayhem for mounting suspense. Brief, sporadic violence. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Thursday, July 28, 8-10 p.m. EDT (TCM) "Mysterious Island" (1961). Escaping a Confederate prison in an observation balloon, five men (led by Michael Craig and Gary Merrill) wind up on a Pacific island where they encounter giant-sized animals, a shipwrecked Englishwoman (Joan Greenwood) and her niece, pirates, an erupting volcano and the helping hand of Captain Nemo (Herbert Lom). Director Cy Enfield's sequel to Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues under the Sea" is a rousing adventure tale with intriguing plot twists and imaginative special effects by Ray Harryhausen but the ending flags. Despite the usual stylized violence and menace, the result is exciting family fare with an anti-war message. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.
Saturday, July 30, 2-4 p.m. EDT (TCM) "The Prisoner of Zenda" (1952). Color remake of the 1937 version has Stewart Granger in the dual role as the Englishman who saves a look-a-like European crown prince from a ruthless usurper (James Mason), then loses his heart to the king's intended bride (Deborah Kerr). Director Richard Thorpe's turn-of-the-century costume romance has plenty of regal spectacle. But the bittersweet love story is somewhat stilted, and Mason nearly steals the show as the nasty plotter whose downfall in the big action finish is entirely satisfying. Some stylized violence and romantic complications. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.
Saturday, July 30, 8-10:05 p.m. EDT (HBO) "Godzilla" (2014). Grandiose special effects, the showcasing of strong family bonds and a few religious undertones compensate for an over-elaborate back-story and uneven tone in director Gareth Edwards' monster movie. Fifteen years after his mother (Juliette Binoche) was killed in a disaster at a Japanese nuclear power plant, an American Navy officer (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is still trying to convince his grieving dad (Bryan Cranston) to accept the official explanation for the catastrophe and stop obsessively pursuing his own wild theories about it. But an encounter with two scientists (Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins) working in the quarantine zone that surrounds the site of the cataclysm reveals that Dad has been on to something all along. Mayhem ensues for a number of cities, including the seaman's hometown of San Francisco where his wife (Elizabeth Olsen) and young son (Carson Bolde) come under threat. The legendary lizard of the title is only one of the outsized creatures rampaging the globe in this latest take on a sci-fi scenario that dates back to Ishiro Honda's 1954 original. But at least the human toll they exact is portrayed in a stylized, bloodless way. Pervasive action violence with minimal gore, brief marital sensuality, a few uses of profanity and of crude language. 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.