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Prime-Time Flicks

August 15, 1993|Kevin Thomas

In Bull Durham (ABC Sunday), the sweet and sexy 1988 comedy set around a rat-poor minor league baseball team, the veteran catcher (Kevin Costner) has the task of smartening up the blazing young pitcher (Tim Robbins).

The 1992 TV movie Till Death Do Us Part (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.), a well-crafted, suspenseful descent into human squalor based on a case of former L.A. prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, stars Arliss Howard as Bugliosi and Treat Williams in a strong portrayal as a suave, icy killer.

Touched by Love (KTLA Monday at 8 p.m.) is an affecting 1980 affliction drama in which a devoted nurse (Deborah Raffin) attempts to break through the silence of a young cerebral palsy victim (Diane Lane).

Although far from perfect, the 1989 Batman (CBS Tuesday at 8 p.m.), with a script not nearly as taut or illuminating as it ought to have been, is pretty entertaining once Jack Nicholson's Joker and Michael Keaton, in the title role, go to it.

As writer-director-star of the crisply diverting 1988 romantic comedy A New Life (KTLA Tuesday at 8 p.m., again Friday at 2:30 a.m.), Alan Alda casts himself as a self-absorbed Wall Street workaholic whose wife (Ann-Margret) has finally had it; the film deals with the couple's attempt to make a fresh start with others.

Ironweed (KTLA Thursday at 8 p.m.), Hector Babenco's eloquent, somber 1987 film of William Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, is too reverent of its source for its own good, yet is worth seeing for the unsparing performances of Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep as a pair of Albany derelicts nearing the end of their tethers in the depths of the Depression.

The 1990 TV movie Anything to Survive (ABC Thursday at 8 p.m.), starring an outstanding Robert Conrad, is a compelling drama about a family stranded on an Alaskan island in the dead of winter.

The bizarre, semi-autobiographical 1984 rock musical Purple Rain (KCOP Thursday at 8 p.m.) has Prince playing (almost) himself in what seems to be a MTV hybrid of "A Star Is Born," "A Hard Day's Night" and "Rebel Without a Cause."

My Stepmother Is an Alien (CBS Saturday at 9 p.m.) is a wild and wacky 1988 romantic comedy, rowdy and brash yet surprisingly tender. Dan Aykroyd is a workaholic scientist who taps into the energy generated by a thunderstorm to send a radar signal that, unknown to him, zaps a planet in another galaxy. Kim Basinger, no less, is dispatched, via flying saucer, to get the planet recharged within 24 hours.

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