TV film fare -- week of May 7, 2023
(OSV News) -- The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of May 7. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence, and sexual situations.
Sunday, May 7, 2:15-4:45 p.m. EDT (AMC) "Big" (1988). When a lad of 12 (David Moscow) wakes up in a 30-year-old body (Tom Hanks), he rises to the top in a computer toy firm by beguiling his boss (Robert Loggia) and a female executive (Elizabeth Perkins) with his innocence and childlike exuberance. Under Penny Marshall's direction, the body-switching gimmick affords a sweet-natured look at the longings, dreams and nightmares of children and adults. Some profanity and a brief, discreetly filmed sexual situation. The OSV News classification of the theatrical version was A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.
Monday, May 8, 8-10 p.m. EDT (TCM) "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" (1940). Raymond Massey stars as the future president with Ruth Gordon playing Mary Todd in this well-acted drama based on Robert Sherwood's Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Directed by John Cromwell, the movie's emphasis is on the development of Lincoln's character as a backwoodsman-turned-lawyer and his compassionate confrontation with adversity. The OSV News classification of the theatrical version was A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.
Friday, May 12, 1:45-3:30 p.m. EDT (TCM) "The Singing Nun" (1966). Hollywood's tribute to the joyful spirit of a young Dominican nun is colorful, sentimental and lively, though Henry Koster's glossy direction is out of tune with the reality of a basically interior story about the difficulty of secular fame for a member of a religious community. Greer Garson as the mother superior turns in a well-balanced performance while Debbie Reynolds sings prettily, and Agnes Moorehead provides comic relief. There is some pleasant amusement, a little uplift and the music of "Soeur Sourire" is well worth hearing. The OSV News classification of the theatrical version was A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.
Friday, May 12, 9-11:30 p.m. EDT (Showtime) "The Fabelmans" (2022). One problematic subplot aside, this autobiographical drama from director and co-writer Steven Spielberg is an emotionally rich delight. Set in the 1950s and '60s, the movie recounts the childhood and adolescence of a lad (Gabriel LaBelle) whose determination to become a filmmaker is supported by his artistically inclined pianist mother (Michelle Williams) but dismissed as impractical by his dad (Paul Dano), a gifted engineer involved in the development of modern computers. Christian viewers may find a stumbling block in the person of the fellow high school student (Chloe East), for whom the Jewish protagonist eventually falls, since she not only vainly aims to convert him but has a discomfitingly eccentric relationship with Jesus. Additionally, the script's message about following your heart takes on, at moments, a quality of reckless romanticism. But the remainder of the long running time finds vivid characters and sharp writing blended with pitch perfect acting in a thoroughly winning recipe. Some irreverent humor, mature themes, drug use, numerous profanities, about a half-dozen milder oaths, at least one rough term, occasional crude and crass talk. 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, May 13, 8-10:15 p.m. EDT (HBO) "Kingsman: The Secret Service" (2015). James Bond gets younger, hipper competition via this suave but excessively violent adaptation of Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons' 2012 comic book series "The Secret Service." A young hooligan (Taron Egerton) is invited by a spy (Colin Firth) to turn his life around by joining a top-secret independent intelligence agency. The lad's recruitment coincides with the organization's efforts to save the world from a wicked megalomaniac (Samuel L. Jackson) bent on mass slaughter. While it's intended as an amusing send-up of classic espionage movies, director Matthew Vaughn's slick film is marred by an amount of bloodletting that even many adults will likely find repellent. Lost along the way is a positive message for wayward youth about achieving reform by learning to look out for others. Strong gory violence, brief partial female nudity, some sexual innuendo, frequent profane 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.- - - John Mulderig is media reviewer for OSV News. Follow him on Twitter @JohnMulderig1.