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Prime-Time Flicks

March 28, 1993|KEVIN THOMAS

The 1986 Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.) is a rollicking, allegorical super-space opera in which some humpback whales help save Earth for the future. Directed by Leonard Nimoy with an irresistibly sure touch.

The Journey of Natty Gann (KTLA Monday at 8 p.m., again Saturday at 4 p.m.) is an affecting 1985 Disney picture about a girl (Meredith Salenger) who crosses the country during the depths of the Depression with a wolf.

The Muppets Take Manhattan (KTTV Monday at 8 p.m.)--and how! This 1984 delight finds the Muppet buddies in the Big Apple convinced that Kermit's college variety show should take Manhattan by storm.

Above the Law (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.), the 1988 cop thriller that launched martial-arts star Steven Seagal, is something of a standoff: good in excitingly grimy Chicago atmosphere and terse, hard-bitten energy but veering off into action-movie cuckoo land.

Two Mules for Sister Sara (KTLA Tuesday at 8 p.m., TBS Wednesday at 5:05 p.m.), a 1970 film based on a story by director Budd Boetticher but directed by Don Siegel (from a script by Albert Maltz) is only so-so, despite a promising premise. A tough soldier of fortune (Clint Eastwood) and a possibly phony nun (a surprisingly lackluster Shirley MacLaine) depend upon each other for survival.

It's too bad that so much of the 1985 Target (KTLA Wednesday at 8 p.m.) is a conventional spy-thriller, because at its heart it is an honest father-and-son estrangement that comes to boil when the father (Gene Hackman), a Dallas businessman, resumes secret agentry after 20 years. Matt Dillon plays the son.

Neil ("The Crying Game") Jordan's High Spirits (KTLA Thursday at 8 p.m.) is a misfired 1988 piece of whimsy--at least in the release cut--which finds impoverished nobleman Peter O'Toole converting his ancestral castle into a ghostly theme park. The place is haunted by the 200-year-old spirits of Daryl Hannah and Liam Neeson.

With the 1984 HBO production of The Guardian (KCOP Thursday at 8 p.m.), the veteran writing-producing team of Richard Levinson and William Link came up with a nifty allegory about the dangers of evading responsibility. Ex-military man Louis Gossett Jr., who comes recommended by resident Martin Sheen, beefs up security in an Upper West Side Manhattan apartment house, and then some. Directed by David Greene.

The Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story (KTLA Friday at 8 p.m.), a 1992 TV movie about the short life and tragic death of the Loyola Marymount basketball star, unfortunately does not prove to be the exception to the general rule that the experiences of sports figures almost always make for bad movies.

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