TV film fare -- week of March 5,2023
(OSV News) -- The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of March 5. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence, and sexual situations.
Sunday, March 5, 6-8:45 p.m. EST (AMC) "The Mummy" (1999). Spirited horror adventure set in 1920s Egypt where a treasure-hunting Yank (Brendan Fraser) and an archaeological librarian (Rachel Weisz) inadvertently revive a 3,000-year-old mummy (Arnold Vosloo) whose evil powers of destruction seemingly know no bounds. Writer-director Stephen Sommers stuffs the lavishly shot action movie with spooky special effects and a comical tone that generally adds up to rousing, old-fashioned entertainment. Recurring stylized violence, fleeting partial nudity. 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. (Followed by the sequels "The Mummy Returns" (2001), 8:45-11:45 p.m. EST, and "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" (2008), 11:45 p.m.-2:15 a.m. EST)
Tuesday, March 7, 8-10:15 p.m. EST (TCM) "A Man for All Seasons" (1966). Engrossing drama of the last seven years in the life of Thomas More, Henry VIII's chancellor, who met a martyr's death rather than compromise his conscience during a period of religious turmoil. Robert Bolt's script is masterfully directed by Fred Zinnemann, with a standout performance by Paul Scofield in the title role, among other notable performances from a uniformly fine cast. The historical dramatization achieves an authentic human dimension that makes its 16th-century events more accessible and its issues more universal. Profoundly entertaining but heavy going for children. The OSV News classification of the theatrical version was A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association rating was G -- general audiences. All ages admitted.
Wednesday, March 8, 8-10 p.m. EST (TCM) "The French Connection" (1971). Tough, unorthodox New York detective Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman) and his partner (Roy Scheider) track down a massive heroin cache in this tense, exciting, very violent look at the darker side of law enforcement. Director William Friedkin makes excellent use of New York City locations in giving his fast-paced story the grimy look of reality and the acting of the leads is first-rate. The violent action and language are in the context of a sobering, perhaps shocking, portrayal of the kill-or-be-killed undercover world of cops and dope dealers. 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, March 11, 6:35-9 p.m. EST (Showtime) "Everything Everywhere All at Once" (2022). Surreal fantasy in which a harried Chinese American laundromat owner (Michelle Yeoh) discovers that there are innumerable parallel universes, each of which contains a different version of herself. Traveling among these worlds under the guidance of an iteration of her sweet-natured husband (Ke Huy Quan), she battles a cosmic villain who takes the shape of her grown daughter (Stephanie Hsu). As the protagonist uses her wild experiences to work through her feelings about her spouse and her offspring as well as her sense of unfulfilled potential, co-writers and directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert blend comedy and drama while promoting mostly sound values. Yet their narrative outlook is more in line with the Absurdist stripe of Existentialist philosophy than Christian faith and the inclusion of a duo of lesbian relationships makes the film inappropriate for young people. Much violence, some of it gory, mature themes, including homosexuality, strong sexual imagery, a same-sex kiss, about a dozen mild oaths, several uses each of rough and crude language. 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 11, 8-9:46 p.m. EST (Cinemax) "Bringing Down the House" (2003). Passable comedy in which a dull tax attorney (Steve Martin) mistakenly gets involved with a boisterous escaped con (Queen Latifah) who coaches him on how to win back his estranged wife (Jean Smart) and kids while insisting he can get her exonerated. Director Adam Shankman milks exaggerated racial stereotypes for occasional laughs but goes to extremes with an unnecessarily vicious catfight. Some comically intended violence, sexual situations, crass references, brief recreational drug use, an instance of 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.- - - John Mulderig is media reviewer for OSV News. Follow him on Twitter @JohnMulderig1.