TV film fare -- week of Feb. 26
NEW YORK (OSV News) -- The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of Feb 26. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence, and sexual situations.
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 6:30-9 p.m. EST (AMC) "Rocky III" (1982). Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) trains his former opponent (Sylvester Stallone) so that he can hold on to his title against a snarling and vicious challenger (Mr. T.). Also written and directed by Stallone, it may not be a knockout but it is good, solid entertainment. The carnage in the ring, though of briefer duration than previously, is still very intense. The OSV News 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. (Followed by the sequel "Rocky IV" (1985) 9-11 p.m. EST)
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 8-9:45 p.m. EST (TCM) "The Palm Beach Story" (1942). Daffy romantic comedy in which a wife (Claudette Colbert) tries to help her penniless inventor husband (Joel McCrea) by leaving him for a millionaire (Rudy Vallee) who has a marriage-minded sister (Mary Astor), but the husband's only concern is getting his wife back. Written and directed by Preston Sturges, the comic premise sets up a wacky variety of witty confusions and funny incidental characters, but the empty-headed, conniving wife adds a sour note to the otherwise entirely frivolous proceedings. Comic treatment of marriage. The OSV News classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.
Thursday, March 2, 5:30-8 p.m. EST (TCM) "In Cold Blood" (1967). Meaningful screen version of Truman Capote's nonfiction novel about the senseless 1959 slaying of a Kansas family and the apprehension and hanging of their killers (Robert Blake and Scott Wilson). Director Robert Brooks takes a semi-documentary approach in re-creating these events with shattering realism but with compassion and a notable lack of sensationalism. The film also explores the backgrounds and the motivations of the two criminals as well as scrutinizes the practice of capital punishment. Strong stuff but the experience is thought-provoking. The OSV News 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, March 4, 8-9:51 p.m. EST (Cinemax) "Lakeview Terrace" (2008). Tensely absorbing racial drama about mixed-race newlyweds (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington) who move into a Southern California house next to a slyly threatening Los Angeles police officer (Samuel L. Jackson in top form) who deeply resents their union and proceeds to menace them. Director Neil LaBute slowly builds the suspense, but what starts as a fairly subtle psychological drama -- with some interesting observations on racism and stereotypes -- eventually morphs into a standard thriller. Rough and crude language, some profanity, moderate violence, murder, nongraphic sexuality, vulgar sexual allusions, birth control and drug references. 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. Follow him on Twitter @JohnMulderig1.