Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Prime-Time Flicks

July 25, 1993|Kevin Thomas

Stunning as both entertainment and as an expose of the psychopathic mind, the 1989 Small Sacrifices (KABC Sunday at 9 p.m., concluded Monday at 9 p.m.) is a heartbreaking, transfixing, harrowing thriller that's less whodunit than whydunit as it strips back the layers of a disturbingly bizarre true-life crime. It begins on the night of May 19, 1983, when Diane Downs (Farrah Fawcett) arrives at a Springfield, Ore., hospital with her three critically wounded children, claiming they were shot on the road by a bushy-haired stranger who had demanded her car.

Sam Raimi's 1990 Darkman (KNBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) is one of the few recent movies to capture successfully the graphic look, rhythm and style of the super-hero comic books. This film's protagonist (Liam Neeson), a horribly disfigured scientist, changes his persona at will while tracking down the criminal vermin who destroyed his life.

In the slick, punchy 1990 Downtown (KTTV Monday at 8 p.m.), Anthony Edwards plays a suburban Philadelphia by-the-book rookie transferred to the City of Brotherly Love's roughest precinct, where he's put to the test by truculent loner Forest Whitaker. The stars are terrific, but they're stuck with a baldly calculated script that never allows the film a satisfactory blend of fantasy and reality.

Tremors (KNBC Monday at 9 p.m.), a jocular, good-time 1990 monster film with surprises up its sleeve and a comedy-Western sensibility, stars Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward and features an hilarious acting turn by country singer Reba McIntire.

The 1989 TV movie version of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea (KNBC Tuesday at 8 p.m.) with Anthony Quinn is even less successful than the 1958 film with Spencer Tracy. Quinn is well-cast as an old Cuban fisherman who goes 84 days without a catch, but he cannot rescue a story that sinks, ironically, on shore.

Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (KCOP Thursday at 8 p.m.) is a slam-bang 1985 action-adventure loaded with surprises. Just when you think it's going to be just another bone-cruncher steeped in patriotic paranoia, it sends itself up hilariously. Fred Ward stars as a New York cop turned super-secret intelligence agent; his first assignment has him dealing with a deceptively frail Korean (a tour de force by an unrecognizable Joel Grey).

The 1985 Pee-wee's Big Adventure (KCOP Saturday at 6 p.m.) finds that eternal 8-year-old, created by comedian Paul Reubens, inhabiting the role with an eerily fixed, intense concentration, in a comic odyssey. The focal point is Pee-wee retrieving his stolen bicycle, a triumph of vintage streamline styling.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|