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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

January 14, 1990|KEVIN THOMAS

Cheech Marin's 1987 Born in East L.A. (Channel 5 Sunday at 6 p.m.) is an exuberant comedy, at once satirical and Chaplinesque, in which Marin casts himself as a third-generation American mistakenly deported as an illegal alien.

John Malkovich has his moments in Making Mr. Right (Channel 13 Sunday at 6 p.m.) in a dual role as a very square scientist who replicates himself as an android, capable of being molded into the ideal man for the contemporary woman, but this 1987 Susan Seidelman satire is more miss than hit.

Pair of Aces (CBS Sunday at 8 p.m.), a new TV movie, stars Kris Kristofferson as an upstanding Texas Ranger who reluctantly teams up with footloose safecracker Willie Nelson while trying to catch a serial killer.

Without Her Consent (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.), another new TV movie, stars Melissa Gilbert as a young woman sexually assaulted by a new neighbor (Scott Valentine).

Yet another new TV movie, Jury Duty: The Comedy (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.) finds Bronson Pinchot and Alan Thicke in a tale about clashing jurors trapped when an accountant's trial suddenly turns into a tabloid field day.

Ben Kingsley has the title role in Gandhi (Channel 5 Monday at 8 p.m., completed Tuesday at 8 p.m.), director Richard Attenborough and writer John Briley's compelling, intelligent epic-scale 1982 version of the life of the liberator of India.

Blue Bayou (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie from "L.A. Law" co-creator Terry Louise Fisher, stars Alfre Woodard as an L.A. real estate lawyer who relocates to New Orleans hoping that the presence of her ex-husband (Mario Van Peebles) will straighten out their troubled teen-age son (Keith Williams), but finds herself embroiled in a murder case.

Unspeakable Acts (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.), another new TV movie, stars Jill Clayburgh and Brad Davis as child development experts who contribute to the prosecution of the operator of a day-care center on multiple child-abuse charges. The story is based on a landmark Florida case.

Walter Hill's flashy, dynamic but superficial 1984 Streets of Fire (Channel 11 Tuesday at 8 p.m.), set in what looks to be one of "Blade Runner's" lower rent areas, finds Michael Pare having to rescue his rock singer ex-lover (Diane Lane) from an outlaw biker gang. (Luckily, Amy Madigan is on hand as Pare's tough and sassy sidekick).

Director Ridley Scott brings his usual high style to the 1987 Someone to Watch Over Me (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.), in which Tom Berenger's married cop falls in love with the rich socialite (Mimi Rogers) he's assigned to protect, but he allows the plot to fall apart just when Berenger and Rogers' terrific performances are paying off.

Sydney Pollack's 1981 Absence of Malice (Channel 5 Wednesday at 8 p.m.) offers a stringent look at some dubious contemporary journalistic practices, but a game Sally Field's ambitious reporter is so naive as to defy credibility. She's been duped into placing an innocent Paul Newman at the center of a murder investigation.

Joel and Ethan Coen's Raising Arizona (Channel 11 Wednesday at 8 p.m.) is a hilarious, off-the-wall comedy which finds Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter as a goofy, oddball couple who steal a set of quintuplets.

Sidney Lumet's 1982 The Verdict (Channel 5 Thursday at 8 p.m.) stars an excellent Paul Newman as a Boston attorney on the skids who lands a case never meant for trial.

Without a Trace (Channel 11 Thursday at 8 p.m.) is a tense but finally contrived and improbable story about the kidnaping of a 6-year-old son. Kate Nelligan plays the child's distraught mother.

. . . And Justice for All (Channel 5 Friday at 8 p.m.) is such a shrill, over-the-top indictment of our criminal justice system ills that it self-destructs. Al Pacino stars as an abrasive, idealistic Baltimore lawyer.

David Cronenberg's thoroughly compelling and terrifying 1983 Videodrome (Channel 11 Friday at 8 p.m.) deals with a hotshot Toronto cable-TV proprietor (James Woods) who's on to some unknown individual or group who has discovered that a steady dose of TV violence lowers the viewer's resistance, preparing him or her to receive a signal causing hallucination: it's the old mind-control bit brought joltingly up to date.

The new TV movie Murder in Paradise (NBC Friday at 9 p.m.) stars Kevin Kilner as a former New York detective who helps Honolulu police hunt a killer from his past.

The ratings checks on movies in the TV log are provided by the Tribune TV Log listings service.

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