TV film fare -- week of Feb. 12, 2023
NEW YORK (OSV News) -- The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of Feb. 12. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence, and sexual situations.
Sunday, Feb. 12, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. EST (Lifetime) "The Devil Wears Prada" (2006). Entertaining comedy-drama about an aspiring writer (Anne Hathaway) who takes a job as junior assistant to an imperious editor (a delicious Meryl Streep) at a high-powered fashion magazine, while those around her, including her boyfriend (Adrian Grenier), chide her for losing sight of her real values as she gets caught up in the competitive environment. Director David Frankel's handsomely photographed adaptation of Lauren Weisberger's 2003 best-seller is a fast-moving morality tale with a simple but commendable message about staying true to your ideals and not selling out, with good performances all around, including those of Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci. Admirably light on objectionable content. A couple of implied premarital situations (but no sex scenes), some crass expressions, brief profanity and innuendo, and a couple of uses of the S-word, making this inappropriate for younger adolescents. The OSV News 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.
Monday, Feb. 13, 7-10 p.m. EST (AMC) "The Hunger Games" (2012). Dystopian adventure tracking two teens (Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson) as they participate in the titular event, a televised survival tournament in which youthful combatants from oppressed outlying districts are forced to battle one another until only one remains alive, for the entertainment of their society's decadent urban elite. Director and co-writer Gary Ross's screen version of the first volume in Suzanne Collins' best-selling trilogy of novels is an effective combination of epic spectacle and emotional drama during which humane values are pitted against Darwinian moral chaos. But sensibilities are not spared in the portrayal of the grim contest, so parents need to weigh carefully whether to allow targeted teens to watch. Possibly acceptable for mature adolescents. Considerable, sometimes gory, hand-to-hand and weapons violence and graphic images of bloody wounds. The OSV News 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.
Tuesday, Feb. 14, 9:45-11:30 p.m. EST (TCM) "Hands Across the Table" (1935). Light romantic comedy about a manicurist (Carole Lombard) out to marry for money instead of love, but the rich man's son (Fred MacMurray) she's after proves penniless and is himself seeking a wealthy spouse, while the crippled millionaire (Ralph Bellamy) who truly loves her waits patiently in the wings. Director Mitchell Leisen keeps the frothy plot bubbling with comic wit and slapstick pranks as the cheerfully hard-boiled gold diggers charm each other and the viewer until an agreeably sentimental ending. Romantic complications and situations. The OSV News classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.
Thursday, Feb. 16, 8-11:15 p.m. EST (TCM) "West Side Story" (1961). Rousing Broadway musical, with choreography by Jerome Robbins and music by Leonard Bernstein, is a contemporary, inner-city adaptation of the classic Romeo and Juliet theme, with Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood playing the star-crossed lovers set apart ethnically and by their opposing street gang backgrounds. Directed by Robert Wise, the picture captures the grit of life in the city's lower depths, with glimmers of hope and elements of tragedy in a delicate balance, carried along by song and the dance numbers that pulsate with energy and verve. Some of the social issues, relationships and street language, however, require a mature perspective. The OSV News classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.
Friday, Feb. 17, 5:50-8 p.m. EST (Showtime) "Good Will Hunting" (1997). Feel-good drama about a tough South Boston youth (Matt Damon) with a brilliant mind and deep-seated emotional problems whom an MIT professor (Stellan Skarsgard) wants to rush into a top professional job while a psychologist (Robin Williams) pushes him to deal first with his problems, then decide on his future. Directed by Gus Van Sant, the theme of a wounded psyche being made whole is helped greatly by credible performances from a talented cast, but the story is highly manipulative and the treatment needlessly vulgarized. Stylized violence, an implied sexual relationship, a restrained bedroom scene, sexual jokes, recurring rough language and occasional profanity The OSV News classification of the theatrical version was L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association rating was R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Saturday, Feb. 18, 8-9:35 p.m. EST (Cinemax) "Cellular" (2004). Somewhat satisfying fast-paced thriller about a kidnapped woman (Kim Basinger) whose life -- along with that of her young son -- hangs on the tenuous connection to a stranger's (Chris Evans) cell phone. Giving the old damsel-in-distress formula a wireless twist, director David R. Ellis' slim story about a good Samaritan slacker trying to save a woman he has never met is full of predictable thrills -- including high-octane car chases -- which, taken as a whole, add up to more than the sum of its B-movie parts. Recurring violence, some gore and terror situations, an instance of rough language, a crude gesture and some sexual humor, as well as crass language and profanity. The OSV News 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.
Saturday, Feb. 18, 8-10:32 p.m. EST (A&E) "San Andreas" (2015). An eye-popping, ear-splitting chronicle directed by Brad Peyton of a California earthquake when the eponymous tectonic fault line splits open. A seismology professor (Paul Giamatti) invents a system to predict earthquakes before they happen. It works, and with the help of a television reporter (Archie Panjabi), he sounds the alarm from Los Angeles to San Francisco for everyone to "drop, cover and hold on." Amid the mayhem, a helicopter rescue pilot (Dwayne Johnson) and his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) unite to rescue their daughter (Alexandra Daddario) and her friends (Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Art Parkinson). Meticulously rendered in CGI, the film is often thrilling, sometimes silly and frequently preposterous -- in other words, a typical summer popcorn movie, although not for the young or faint of heart. Relentless, intense but mostly bloodless disaster-related violence and mayhem, occasional crude language. The OSV News 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. - - - John Mulderig is media reviewer for OSV News.