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Prime-Time Flicks

November 26, 1995|Kevin Thomas

Although everything that money can buy was bought, a blank check can't guarantee everything, even in Hollywood, which keeps the 1993 mega-hit Jurassic Park (NBC Sunday at 8:30 p.m.) from being not much more than an effective parlor trick. Based on Michael Crichton's futuristic novel of catastrophe in a theme park stocked with dinosaurs from the Jurassic Age, it doesn't disappoint in the uncanny creation of the beasts. Some six kinds of dinosaurs come to life with a verisimilitude that is humbling and which also blends seamlessly with the film's blander human characters. With the exception of Richard Attenborough, energetic and fun as the park's entrepreneur, the others, including Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum, are unengaging and simplistic. The children (Ariana Richards and Joseph Mazzello) are convincingly terrified, however.

Groundhog Day (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.), a 1993 fairy tale, may not be the funniest collaboration between Bill Murray and director Harold Ramis, but this gentle effort is easilythe most endearing film of both men's careers thus far. Murray stars as a Pittsburgh TV weatherman who is so self-involved that he's convinced he doesn't just report the weather, he creates it. He hates nothing more than having to journey to rural Punxsutawney once a year toparticipate in the unsophisticated shadow shenanigans. Danny Rubin, who wrote the script with Ramis, wonders what would happen if this guy discovered he would be forced to relive Groundhog Day, not just once a year, but day after day, ad infinitum. With Andie MacDowell.

Intelligent, complex and engrossing, Presumed Innocent (CBS Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.), the 1990 film of the Scott Turow novel, works from a fascinating hypothesis: A respected Midwestern prosecuting attorney (Harrison Ford) suddenly gets a reverse view when he becomes a suspect in the lurid sex murder of a colleague (Greta Scacchi) with whom he had a torrid affair. Bonnie Bedelia plays Ford's wife.

A film that lives on warmly in our collective memory, the 1947 Miracle on 34th Street (ABC Saturday at 9 p.m.) has Edmund Gwenn playing a Macy's Santa who believes he really is Kris Kringle, and Natalie Wood is the little girl who wants him to prove it. Unfortunately, it's being aired in a colorized version.

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