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Prime-Time Flicks

March 27, 1994|Kevin Thomas

Hangin' With the Homeboys (KCAL Sunday at 10 p.m.) is a pure joy, a sweet and funny 1991 take on life in the South Bronx. Written and directed by Joseph B. Vasquez, the film focuses on four young men on a long, hectic Friday night. The result is a contemporary "Marty," timeless in its observations of human nature and charged with high energy and humor. This semi-autobiographical film rings true from start to finish, and shows off Vasquez's considerable storytelling skills.

Well-directed by the late Tony Richardson, the 1982 The Border (KTLA Monday at 8 p.m.) is one of the unjustly neglected pictures of Jack Nicholson's career. It is a compassionate look at the plight of illegal immigrants along the U.S.-Mexican border. Nicholson plays a border patrolman increasingly disaffected with his job of forcing Mexicans back to their side of the Rio Grande.

Out of Africa (KTLA Thursday at 8 p.m., concluding Friday at 8 p.m.), Sydney Pollack's lush 1985 production, centers on Danish aristocrat Karen Blixen, who became a storyteller of the first order under her pen name Isak Dinesen. There's much that's wonderful about the film, set in 1914 Keyna, starting with Meryl Streep's usual impeccable performance as the extraordinarily gifted and complex Dinesen and the film's glorious authentic settings. The focal point of the film--the baroness' romance with the dashing hunter and aviator Denys Finch-Hatten--is seriously weakened by a miscast Robert Redford, who doesn't even attempt a British accent. Still, it's an elegant and intelligent film, enlivened by Streep and by all-too-brief appearances by Klaus Maria Brandauer as her aristocratic husband.

KTLA presents a Saturday night Sally Field double feature: 1984's Places in the Heart (6 p.m.), a deeply felt variation on "Norma Rae," which won Field a second Oscar, and the enjoyable 1981 Back Roads (8 p.m.), which finds Field's hooker crossing paths with Tommy Lee Jones' drifter.

Director Wes Craven is in an unexpectedly sentimental mood with the 1986 Deadly Friend (KCOP Saturday at 6 p.m.), in which a heartsick young man (Matthew Laborteaux) revives his lost love (Kristy Swanson) from the dead.

The 1985 Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird (KCOP at 8 p.m.) is an ingratiating children's film in which the popular "Sesame Street" character winds up in a foster home.

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