Home Viewing Roundup for April 29, 2024

NEW YORK (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 May 12, 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.

Streaming Now:

"The Holdovers" (2023; Amazon Prime)

Moving comedy-tinged drama set at a New England boarding school during the Christmas vacation of 1970-71. Director Alexander Payne's emotionally pitch-perfect film focuses on the interaction of three individuals stranded on campus over the holidays: a mean-spirited and universally disliked history teacher (Paul Giamatti), a promising but troubled and mildly rebellious student (Dominic Sessa) and the academy's bereaved head cook (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) whose son was recently killed in the Vietnam War. Warm in tone and rich in insight, screenwriter David Hemingson's script delves into the personal complexities lying below the surface and charts the formation of an unlikely but firm friendship among the central trio. Striking performances from the principals, especially Giamatti, also help to make this intimate production a memorable experience for viewers. Glimpses of pornography, drug use, more than a dozen profanities, a few milder oaths, frequent rough and crude talk, an obscene gesture. The OSV News classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

"Teen Titans Go! To the Movies" (2018; Hulu)

Witty animated comedy in which a youthful version of Batman's sidekick Robin (voice of Scott Menville) and the ensemble of crime fighters (voices of Greg Cipes, Khary Payton, Tara Strong and Hynden Walch) he leads set out to join other superheroes who have had movies made about them. They acquire the evil nemesis (voice of Will Arnett) considered essential to this quest and convince a Hollywood director (voice of Kristen Bell) to feature them. But Robin's ego and the silliness of his pals get in the way, leading to a breakup of the group. This big-screen adaptation of the Cartoon Network TV series hilariously harpoons a wide range of pop-culture targets in a manner that will amuse grownups, while kids will be diverted by its vivid imagery. As helmed by Aaron Horvath and Peter Rida Michail, and scripted by Horvath and Michael Jelenic, the snappy proceedings carry good messages about friendship, teamwork and the dangers of selfishness. But some parents may not appreciate the potty jokes or a final line of dialogue encouraging youngsters to ask about the birds and bees. Occasional scatological and anatomical humor, a single vague reference to reproduction. The OSV News classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

"You've Got Mail" (1998; Netflix)

Breezy romantic comedy in which two rival Manhattan booksellers (Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan) trade barbs while unaware that they are falling in love with each other through anonymous e-mail messages. Director Nora Ephron turns in a romantic trifle made enjoyable by the winning chemistry between its appealing stars. Implied affairs and an instance of profanity. The OSV News classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

Looking Ahead:

Sunday, May 12, noon-1:30 p.m. EDT (EWTN) "Solemn Mass of the Ascension." Washington Auxiliary Bishop Evelio Menjivar is scheduled to serve as the celebrant and homilist at this Eucharistic liturgy, broadcast from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (TV-G – general audience).

Monday, May 13, 5-8 a.m. EDT (EWTN) "Holy Mass in Honor of Our Lady of Fatima." Mass and the blessing of the sick from the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, followed by the familiar "Adeus" farewell wave of white handkerchiefs. The program will re-air 3-6 p.m. EDT (TV-G – general audience).

Wednesday, May 15, 8-9 p.m. EDT (PBS) "Saving the Animals of Ukraine." This episode of the series "Nature" looks at how Ukrainian citizens are coming together to rescue animals imperiled by the Russian invasion of their homeland.

Thursday, May 16, 8-10 p.m. EDT (TCM) "The Mortal Storm" (1940). Effective melodrama showing how Hitler's coming to power in 1933 Germany destroys the family of a Jewish university professor (Frank Morgan) who winds up in a concentration camp while his daughter (Margaret Sullavan) gets help from an anti-Nazi student (James Stewart) in trying to cross the border to safety in Austria. Directed by Frank Borzage, the sentimental story line tugs at the heart over the family's tribulations while evoking scorn for those (like Robert Young) who join the Nazi Party, then grow troubled by its excesses. Stylized violence and racist oppression. The OSV News classification of the theatrical version was A-II -- adults and adolescents. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.

Friday, May 17, 9-10:30 p.m. EDT (PBS) "Audra McDonald at the London Palladium." Award-winning actress and singer Audra McDonald performs a repertoire of classic Broadway songs, accompanied by the 40-piece London Musical Theatre Orchestra. A "Great Performances" presentation.

Saturday, May 18, 6-9 p.m. EDT (AMC) "National Treasure" (2004). Unevenly entertaining action adventure about a fortune hunter (Nicolas Cage), who steals the Declaration of Independence, which he believes holds the key to unlocking a 200-year-old mystery surrounding a fabled treasure hidden by America's Founding Fathers. Combining Indiana Jones-inspired action sequences with "Da Vinci Code" intrigues involving secret societies like the Freemasons, director Jon Turteltaub has crafted a fun but forgettable popcorn film. Recurring action violence and some frightening images. 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. (Followed by the sequel "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" (2007) 9 p.m.-midnight EDT)

Saturday, May 18, 8-10:15 p.m. EDT (HBO) “The Iron Claw” (2023). This fact-based cautionary tale, written and directed by Sean Durkin, follows the rise and fall of an all-American family of professional wrestlers. Its patriarch (Holt McCallany), a one-time champion, builds an empire around his four strapping sons (Zac Efron, Harris Dickinson, Stanley Simons and Jeremy Allen White). Domineering and relentless, he pounds them into submission, while his God-fearing wife (Maura Tierney) refuses to intervene. But Efron's character's perceptive wife (Lily James) eventually shows him a way out. While the film showcases every one of the Seven Deadly Sins in excess, there are important lessons on offer for thick-skinned grown-ups, from the over-glorification of sports heroes to the consequences of greed, envy and pride. Mature themes, including suicide, implied premarital sex and masturbation, brief rear male nudity in a nonsexual context, drug use, at least one profanity, a few rough terms. 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.- - - John Mulderig is media reviewer for OSV News. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) @JohnMulderig1.