Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

MOVIES OF THE WEEK

January 03, 1988|Kevin Thomas

Flight of the Navigator (ABC Sunday at 7 p.m.), a pleasant Disney family film well-directed by Randal Kleiser, stars Joey Kramer as a Fort Lauderdale 12-year-old who's whisked off into what seems a brief adventure in outer space only to discover upon his return that eight years have passed.

It took 14 years for David Carradine to complete Americana (Channel 9 Sunday at 8 p.m.), but the effort was worth it. Loosely based on Henry Morton Robinson's "The Perfect Round," it is a mesmerizing poetic fable that cuts to the core of the eternal contradictions--that tug between the impulse to create and the impulse to destroy--within the American psyche so painfully revealed in the Vietnam War.

The 1982 An Officer and a Gentleman (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) is a slick, entertaining, old-fashioned heart-tugger about a couple of a naval-aviation cadets (Richard Gere, David Keith) who become involved with some townies (Debra Winger, Lisa Blount) while attending the rigorous Officer Candidate School in Puget Sound. Louis Gossett Jr. walked off with an Oscar for his portrayal of a super-tough drill instructor.

Once Upon a Texas Train (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie comedy-Western written and directed by Burt Kennedy, a veteran of the genre, stars Willie Nelson, Richard Widmark and Angie Dickinson.

Ann Jillian (on the cover) plays herself in The Ann Jillian Story (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie which dramatizes her battle against breast cancer.

City Heat (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.) teams Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds, but the result isn't nearly as much fun as it ought to have been. The problem isn't with the stars, who play off each other beautifully, but that they're trapped in a silly, gratuitously violent period gangster comedy. Caught in the middle is Jane Alexander, who seems too smart and too grown up for the shenanigans that engulf her.

Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate, perhaps the most controversial Hollywood film of the decade and the one that toppled United Artists, airs on Channel 5 Tuesday at 7 p.m. in its 2 1/2-hour theatrical version, which is far more satisfying than its original three-hour, 40-minute version. In any event, it is a stunning landmark film that has been reappraised with increasing favor since its 1981 release. As in Cimino's Vietnam saga, "The Deer Hunter," the central theme is the betrayal of the American Dream for the common man by those in power. Once again, too, Cimino is able to confront an ugly national tragedy--in this instance, an 1890 Wyoming range war--and carry us through it to express a profound love of this country. Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken and Isabelle Huppert star in this epic.

John Landis' Into the Night (Channel 5 Wednesday and Saturday at 8 p.m.) is an immensely enjoyable and knowing comic film noir in which insomniac Jeff Goldblum winds up in a high adventure with gorgeous Michelle Pfeiffer. The film is highlighted by imaginative use of L.A. locales and types and by guest appearances by a slew of top Hollywood directors.

All That Jazz (Channel 13 Wednesday at 8 p.m.) can only seem more poignant, now that Bob Fosse, who predicted his own untimely demise in this sleek, highly autobiographical musical about an intense, womanizing Broadway director-choreographer, has died.

The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (Channel 11 Wednesday at 8 p.m.) is an appealing, bittersweet backwoods saga laced with plenty of country and Western music. Dennis Quaid plays an aspiring, hard-living singer-composer kept from completely going off the rails by his feisty 16-year-old sister-manager Kristy McNichol.

Smokey and the Bandit (Channel 5 Thursday at 8 p.m.) is the kind of movie to watch when you can't sleep but are too tired to think. Burt Reynolds and Jerry Reed play the wheeling and dealing good ol' boys who try to do 800 miles to Galveston and back in order to win a huge bet. Jackie Gleason is the short-fused backwoods sheriff intent on spoiling their fun. Sally Field is Reynolds' leading lady.

The Sting II (ABC Thursday at 9 p.m.) can be an amiable and relaxing diversion if you ask nothing more of it--and if you're able to put the original out of your mind. To expect another "Sting" is to be stung for sure. Wisely, it's not actually a sequel. It's New York, 1940, and Mac Davis and Jackie Gleason are the con men and with the help of Teri Garr they're zeroing in on oafish Brooklyn nightclub operator Karl Malden. (A word of warning: the con is so elaborate it's still fairly confusing at the finish.)

Cool Hand Luke, that solid but often antic prison film with Paul Newman and an Oscar-winning George Kennedy, airs on Channel 5 Friday at 8 p.m., and Young Winston, a handsomely produced account of Winston Churchill's early years, airs on Channel 28 Saturday at 10 p.m.

Selected evening cable fare: Crimes of the Heart (Showtime Sunday at 8); Manhunter (Movie Channel Sunday at 9); Rain (A&E Monday at 6 and 10); The Trip to Bountiful (SelecTV Monday at 7); MacArthur's Children (Bravo Monday at 8); State Fair (1945) (Disney Channel Monday at 9); The Ploughman's Lunch (A&E Tuesday at 6); Fingers (Lifetime Tuesday at 6); Bed and Board (Bravo Tuesday at 8:30); The Gypsy Moths (WTBS Tuesday at 9); My Brilliant Career (Lifetime Wednesday at 6); Wild Strawberries (Z Wednesday at 7:30); The Best of Times (HBO Wednesday at 8); Murder on the Orient Express (WTBS Wednesday at 9:30); Charley Varrick (WTBS Thursday at 7); Two English Girls (Bravo Thursday at 8); Apocalypse Now (Cinemax Thursday at 9); Fever Pitch (Z Friday at 7); Julia (Bravo Friday at 8); The Mosquito Coast (Z Friday at 9); Carny (WGN Friday at 9:30); Gung Ho (SelecTV Saturday at 7); The Last Detail (Cinemax Saturday at 8); Little Shop of Horrors (HBO Saturday at 8); Aliens (Z Saturday at 8).

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|