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Prime-Time Flicks

August 01, 1993|Kevin Thomas

Problem Child (NBC Sunday at 7 p.m.), a surprise 1990 hit, full of mean gags, grotesque violence and dopey stereotypes, is about an infernally destructive tot (Michael Oliver) and his sappy adoptive father (John Ritter). It suggests "Dennis the Menace" gone psycho.

Letting go in love and marriage is the looming lesson dramatized in the 1992 TV movie In Sickness and in Health (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.). Lesley Ann Warren provides a heroic portrayal of a wheelchair-bound wife suffering from multiple sclerosis, whose husband (Tom Skerritt) is having an affair with her caretaker (Marg Helgenberger).

The fifth and most likely last of the "Dirty Harry" movies, the 1988 The Dead Pool (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.) finds Clint Eastwood's Harry once again descending into another back-lit cesspool of urban slime, slam-banging cars, quiche-eating liberals and .44-magnum sexuality--and emerging bitterly, squintingly , triumphant. The film itself, with its stylized story line and almost styleless direction, sometimes resembles a juggling act with sledgehammers, as once again Harry tackles a gruesome welter of serial killings.

Born to Run (KTTV Monday at 8 p.m.), a new Fox TV movie, stars Richard Grieco as a street racer who learns that his brother is involved with organized crime.

Rich Men, Single Women (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.) is a routine 1990 TV movie update of "How to Marry a Millionaire," starring Suzanne Somers, Heather Locklear and Deborah Adair.

In the rebroadcast of The Disappearance of Nora (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.), Veronica Hammel plays an amnesia victim who struggles to piece her life together as she is haunted by visions of a murder she may have witnessed--or committed. Also starring Dennis Farina and Stephen Collins.

The 1991 Problem Child 2 (NBC Tuesday at 8 p.m.) is even louder, dumber, more preposterous, unfunny and pointless than the first.

Robin Williams stars in the frenetically unfunny and charmless 1986 Club Paradise (KCOP Friday at 8 p.m.) as a disability-pensioned Chicago fireman who takes over a dilapidated Caribbean island resort.

Bullitt (KCOP Saturday at 6 p.m.) is the classic, taut 1968 action film starring Steve McQueen as a San Francisco police detective assigned to guard a criminal witness.

Alligator II: The Mutation (ABC Saturday at 8 p.m.) is a disastrous 1991 sequel in which another giant alligator menaces another city. Nowhere near the 1980 original, a witty monster genre sendup written by John Sayles.

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