TV film fare -- week of March 12
NEW YORK (OSV News) -- The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of March 12. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence and sexual situations.
Sunday, March 12, 9:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. EDT (AMC) "Contagion" (2011). Director Steven Soderbergh reimagines the all-star disaster movie genre with a compelling tale of a deadly virus' uncontrolled march across the planet. A businesswoman (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns from a trip to Hong Kong and drops dead, and soon everyone she encountered along the way meets their maker. It's an unknown virus, and as a pandemic erupts and millions fall, doctors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet) and the World Health Organization (Marion Cotillard) race against time to find the cure. Getting in their way is an enterprising blogger (Jude Law) who cries conspiracy, fomenting unrest in the streets. Disturbing images of dying people, corpses and autopsies, a reference to an adulterous relationship and fleeting rough 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.
Monday, March 13, 6-8 p.m. EDT (TCM) "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" (1964). Everybody sings instead of talks in this romantic French musical about a brief, ecstatic love affair and the mature reflections of the lovers when they meet years later. With music by Michel Legrand and lyrics by director Jacques Demy, the bittersweet story of heedless youth and the pragmatic demands of maturity are lovely but fragile and not to everyone's taste. Subtitles. Mature theme. The OSV News classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.
Thursday, March 16, 8-11:30 p.m. EDT (TCM) "Spartacus" (1960). While two corrupt politicians (Laurence Olivier and Charles Laughton) vie for power in Rome, the enslaved title gladiator (Kirk Douglas) escapes his owner (Peter Ustinov) to lead a great slave revolt that shakes the ancient world. Directed by Stanley Kubrick from Howard Fast's novel, the result is an epic spectacle that re-creates the first century B.C. with flair and vigor, though the personal drama seldom measures up to the historical significance of the period's events. Vivid gladiatorial combat, battlefield violence and veiled sexual innuendo. 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, March 18, 5:56-8 p.m. EDT (Cinemax) "No Country for Old Men" (2007). Spellbinding, richly detailed thriller based on Cormac McCarthy's 2003 novel set in the Texas borderlands as a cold-blooded, psychopathic killer (Javier Bardem) ruthlessly pursues a welder (Josh Brolin) who's taken a suitcase of loot after stumbling across a brutal drug slaying, while a philosophical small-town sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) pursues them both hoping to avert tragedy. Co-directors and writers Joel and Ethan Coen create an atmosphere of almost unbearable quiet tension, with powerful performances by a masterful cast (including Woody Harrelson and Kelly MacDonald), underscored by themes of the struggle between good and evil, the changing ethos of the West, temptation, honor and sacrifice. Strong violence and multiple killings with blood, occasional rough language and profanity, brief partial nudity. 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 18, 8-10:40 p.m. EDT (HBO) "Elvis" (2022). This highly entertaining, turbocharged biography of a music legend is a lavish, over-the-top production with all the creative hallmarks of its flamboyant director, Baz Luhrmann. In rural Mississippi, young Elvis Presley (Chaydon Jay) is transfixed by the musical vibe and suggestive dancing of his African-American neighbors. Years pass, and Presley (Austin Butler) embarks on a musical career, drawing on these styles. A carnival barker, "Colonel" Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), offers to be Elvis' manager with the blessing of his parents (Helen Thomson and Richard Roxburgh). Presley's wife Priscilla (Olivia DeJonge) subsequently tries to protect him from the excesses of success. Suggestive dancing, drug use, implied adultery and several profane and crude oaths. 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.
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John Mulderig is media reviewer for OSV News. Follow him on Twitter @JohnMulderig1.