Home Viewing Roundup for Nov. 13, 2023
(OSV News) The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies available now for streaming or scheduled for broadcast on network or cable television during the week of Nov. 26, as well as notes on TV programming for the same week. Televised films may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence and sexual situations while the programs listed have not been reviewed and therefore are not necessarily recommended by OSV News.
"Insidious: The Red Door" (2023; Netflix)
A decade after being hypnotized to erase the memories of the paranormal trauma they had suffered in this franchise's 2011 kick-off, a father (Patrick Wilson, who also directed) and his now college-age son (Ty Simpkins) find that such artificially induced forgetfulness is not a permanent solution since their persistent demonic tormentors have returned and are trying to drag them back into the weird realm of spiritual captivity in which they had once both been trapped. A feebly conveyed theme of family reconciliation fails to lend weight or interest to Wilson's first outing at the helm nor are the frights very effective. The meandering plot includes scenes set in a freewheeling frat house that become the occasion for some distasteful bedroom humor while the various ghouls and living corpses the student encounters have a nasty habit of projectile vomiting black goo. Occult material, gruesome images, sexual jokes and references, at least one use of profanity, a couple of milder oaths, a single rough term, numerous crude expressions. The OSV News classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG-13 parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
"Top Gun: Maverick" (2022; Amazon Prime)
In this rousing sequel to the 1986 blockbuster, directed by Joseph Kosinski, the first film's protagonist, a Navy fighter pilot (Tom Cruise), is ordered by his superiors (Val Kilmer and Jon Hamm) to tread unfamiliar territory by becoming an instructor to a new generation of trainee aviators. As he tries to build a team and complete a dangerous mission, he butts heads with one of his charges, the son (Miles Teller) of a deceased comrade whose death continues to haunt the flyboy-turned-teacher. He's also distracted by the reappearance of an old flame (Jennifer Connelly). The upshot is inspiring entertainment on a grand scale, with dazzling aerial acrobatics, a stirring musical score, first-rate acting and the occasional heart-tugging interlude. Possibly acceptable for mature adolescents. Intense action sequences, implied nonmarital sexual activity, fleeting profane and crude language. The OSV News classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Sunday, Nov. 26, 5-6:30 a.m. EST (EWTN) "Holy Mass on the Solemnity of Christ the King." Live broadcast from Rome's St. Peter's Basilica as Pope Francis celebrates the Eucharistic liturgy for the Feast of Christ the King. The Mass will re-air 7-8:30 p.m. EST (TV-G general audience).
Sunday, Nov. 26, 3:30-6 p.m. EST (TCM) "Auntie Mame" (1958). Uneven but never uninteresting comedy adapted from Dennis Patrick's play about an orphan's upbringing by an outrageously eccentric aunt (Rosalind Russell) who loses a fortune in the Depression, then gains another when she loses her husband (Forrest Tucker) in the Alps. Directed by Morton DaCosta, the result is stagy and overlong, but nothing distracts from Russell's delightfully exuberant performance as a self-centered extrovert whose loving concern for her nephew overcomes her wacky sense of propriety. Comic treatment of serious subjects, including an unwed pregnancy. The OSV News classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.
Monday, Nov. 27, 6:05-8:10 p.m. EST (Showtime) "Southpaw" (2015). Visceral boxing drama about a champion (Jake Gyllenhaal) with a masochistic yet effective fighting style who is humbled by personal tragedy and then tries to redeem his life and career with the help of a no-nonsense trainer (Forest Whitaker). During the first third of the movie, director Antoine Fuqua does a masterful job of making the brutal allure of boxing as palpable as the bond between the pugilist and his devoted wife (Rachel McAdams). Grittily realistic camerawork and tremendous acting by Gyllenhaal and McAdams contribute to an atmosphere that's simultaneously lurid and heartfelt, before the story takes an implausibly rapid turn into melodrama. Because boxing is an inherently violent sport, the story is inescapably, though not completely, problematic on a moral level. Much bloody prizefighting violence, a scene of gunplay, a suicide theme, brief preliminaries to marital lovemaking, partial male nudity, pervasive rough, crude and crass language. 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.
Tuesday, Nov. 28, 6:45-8 p.m. EST (TCM) "Tarzan and the Mermaids" (1948). Exotic adventure directed by Robert Florey in which Johnny Weissmuller makes his 12th and final appearance as Tarzan, this time rescuing a woman (Linda Christian) from the high priest (George Zucco) of a bogus god worshiped by her island people until the Ape Man reveals their "god" is only a greedy mortal after their pearls. Stylized violence. The OSV News classification of the theatrical version was A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association. (Final film in a marathon of 10 Tarzan movies beginning with "Tarzan Escapes" (1936), 6-7:30 a.m. EST.)
Wednesday, Nov. 29, 8-9 p.m. EST (EWTN) "EWTN Live." On this episode of the weekly program, series host Jesuit Father Mitch Pacwa welcomes renowned biblical scholar Professor Scott Hahn (TV-G general audience).
Friday, Dec. 1, 10:04-11:04 p.m. EST (History) "The Unbelievable With Dan Aykroyd." Premiere of a new series examining some of history's most unlikely events. This episode, titled "Strange Places," explores the so-called Lake Michigan Triangle as well as other locations.
Saturday, Dec. 2, 6:21-8 p.m. EST (Cinemax) "Greta" (2018). A naive waitress (Chloe Grace Moretz), still mourning the recent death of her mother, finds a lost handbag on a New York City subway train and, on returning it, discovers that its owner is a lonely French-accented widow (Isabelle Huppert). The two quickly bond, but all is not, of course, what it seems in director and co-writer Neil Jordan's psychological thriller, which also features Maika Monroe as the server's savvier roommate. Moretz and Huppert create sufficient dynamism to elevate the implausible proceedings into a guilty pleasure, and Jordan holds back any bloodletting until a single sequence that's all the more shocking for the restraint that has preceded it. Gothic fun for grown-ups. Momentary but intense gory violence, a few gruesome images, references to a lesbian relationship, about a half-dozen uses of profanity, several crude and crass terms. 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 X (formerly Twitter) @JohnMulderig1.