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TV film fare -- week of Jan. 20, 2019


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NEW YORK (CNS) -- The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of Jan. 20. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence, and sexual situations.

Sunday, Jan. 20, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. EST (AMC) "Double Jeopardy" (1999). Sleek thriller in which a probation officer (Tommy Lee Jones) chases a parolee (Ashley Judd) across country to prevent her from murdering the two-timing husband (Bruce Greenwood) who framed her. Director Bruce Beresford's straightforward fugitive story maintains suspense without relying single-mindedly on the expected revenge motive. Some violence, a shadowy sexual encounter and intermittent profanity and rough language. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

Sunday, Jan. 20, 5:30-8 p.m. EST (TCM) "The Remains of the Day" (1993). Having utterly sacrificed his personal life in the service of an English lord (James Fox) who ended up as a disgraced Nazi sympathizer, an aging British butler (Anthony Hopkins) journeys to the West of England in 1958, hoping to rehire and possibly risk romance with the spirited housekeeper (Emma Thompson) whose love he dutifully spurned decades earlier. James Ivory meticulously directs a splendid portrait of personal tragedy as a selfless man sadly comes to realize that, in his unquestioned devotion to his master, he has missed out on the all the best things in life. A few emotional confrontations. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

Sunday, Jan. 20, 8-10:01 p.m. EST (A&E) "Men in Black" (1997). Zany sci-fi comedy in which a brassy New York City cop (Will Smith) is recruited by a taciturn government agent (Tommy Lee Jones) who monitors extraterrestrial activity in the city to prevent a ferocious alien in human disguise from destroying Earth. Director Barry Sonnenfeld's apt pairing of Smith and Jones mixes understated hip humor with witty creature puppetry and amusing special effects. Some cartoon-like comic violence and a few instances of profanity. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Monday, Jan. 21, 8-11:04 p.m. EST (A&E) "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 and fleeting partial nudity. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture association of America rating was PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Thursday, Jan. 24, 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. EST (AMC) "Gravity" (2013). This thrilling lost-in-space adventure -- directed by Alfonso Cuaron, who co-wrote the screenplay with his son Jonas -- offers up dazzling cinematography and top-notch performances. High above Earth, a Russian missile launched against a spy satellite causes a chain reaction, destroying the Space Shuttle and marooning its only surviving crewmates (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney). What ensues is "E.T." in reverse, as our plucky humans -- who were at work repairing the Hubble Space Telescope when disaster struck -- search for a way to go home. Amid the mayhem, the film has another, deeper story to tell, as the nearness of death provokes reflections on mortality and the afterlife. These meditations are used as stepping stones toward a resolution that viewers of faith will find both satisfying and refreshingly pro-life. Possibly acceptable for mature adolescents. Scenes of intense peril and horror, brief gore, at least one use of profanity, a few crude expressions. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Saturday, Jan. 26, 4:30-7 p.m. EST (Showtime) "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (2005). Captivating live-action fantasy adventure based on C.S. Lewis' beloved children's classic set in World War II-era England about four siblings (Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley and Anna Popplewell), who, having been evacuated from London to the home of an eccentric professor (Jim Broadbent), stumble through a magical wardrobe into the enchanted realm of Narnia, where they help the wise and noble lion Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson) defeat the evil White Witch (Tilda Swinton), who holds the land under an icy spell of eternal winter. Seeded with Christian symbolism and subtext, director Andrew Adamson's faithful adaptation balances spectacle with storytelling while exploring themes of good and evil to capture the childlike wonder that underscores Lewis' tale. Some battlefield violence, intense scenes of child peril and menace, and several frightening sequences. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

Saturday, Jan. 26, 10-11:50 p.m. EST (Cinemax) "The Usual Suspects" (1995). Gritty crime tale told in flashback to a hard-nosed cop (Chazz Palminteri) by the surviving member (Kevin Spacey) of a motley band of thieves (including Gabriel Byrne and Stephen Baldwin) who pull off a heist with far-reaching consequences. Director Bryan Singer builds a moody story of shifting identities and diabolical deceit from a bewildering plot and taut ensemble performances. Recurring stylized violence and much rough language. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

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