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Prime-Time Flicks

May 12, 1996|Kevin Thomas

The 1993 Mrs. Doubtfire (KTTV Sunday at 7 p.m.) is safe and sane entertainment. All the characters are nice and all the situations unadventurous. Robin Williams takes on a role born in high-concept heaven. He's a divorced dad and unemployed voice-over actor who disguises himself as a grandmotherly British housekeeper to spend more time with the children he loves. Sally Field plays his ex-wife.

A Few Good Men (NBC Sunday at 8 p.m.) is a brisk and familiar 1992 courtroom drama, as pleasant to watch as it is predictable. It's centered around a trial in a military courtroom and would like you to think about such weighty topics as the misuse of power and a young man's struggle to find himself. But its true reason for being is to give Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson the kind of juicy roles they do best.

Sleepless in Seattle (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.), writer-director Nora Ephron's terrifically popular 1993 release, is a real charmer, a romantic comedy about a long-distance relationship. Tom Hanks stars as Sam, an insomniac Seattle widower-architect, and Meg Ryan as Annie, a Baltimore journalist--not only live in different cities on different coasts, they don't even know each other. Thanks to Sam's tug-at-our-hearts son, Jonah, (Ross Malinger), they connect through a national call-in radio show.

What's Love Got to Do With It? (KTTV Thursday at 8 p.m.) is a high-energy mix of spectacular music, vigorous acting and cliched situations. The biggest assets in the film are the exceptional actors who play Tina and Ike. Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne bring to this film the ability to deepen characters in ways that are not in the script.

As good an actor as Wesley Snipes is, he can't save Passenger 57 (ABC Thursday at 9 p.m.), a standard-issue 1992 hijacking thriller, which dutifully goes where its predecessors have gone before.

In the 1988 Stand and Deliver (KCOP Saturday at 8 p.m.) Edward James Olmos gives a commanding performance as Jaime Escalante, the inspirational teacher who produced a string of calculus prodigies in a Latino-area East L.A. high school.

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