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Prime-Time Flicks

May 26, 1996|Kevin Thomas

In the 1994 TV movie David's Mother (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.) Mom (a withering, caustic Kirstie Alley) delivers a stream of snappy one-liners in order to conceal her guilt and self-sacrifice over her autistic son. Trouble is, her rapier shield drives all her loved ones away, including a husband, a shop-happy sister and a sensitive new boyfriend. Too much of the mother's pain is buried under Alley's arch patter and her defense structures. You tend to observe the hurt more than feel it, to the detriment of the film's impact.

Undercover Blues (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.), an overbroad, underdone 1993 comedy-thriller, stars Dennis Quaid and Kathleen Turner as Jeff and Jane Blue, a lovable maverick CIA agent and his wife. Together in thrill-a-minute New Orleans the Blues wage lighthearted, wise-cracking battles against female terrorists and street scum.

Midway (KTLA Monday at 8 p.m.) is a conventional but solid World War II picture with a large lineup of familiar faces headed by Charlton Heston and Toshiro Mifune. Its principal strength is that it keeps the battle lines of the momentous air-sea battle between the Japanese and the American fleets both straight and suspenseful in the viewer's mind.

Richard Crenna's popular TV movie detective Frank Janek returns in Forget Me Not (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.), a so-so mystery thriller, conducting a serial murder investigation and an affair.

Sharon Gless makes the 1994 TV movie, Separated by Murder (CBS Wednesday at 9 p.m.), an "inspired by true events" whodunit featuring an evil twin more intriguing than most in the genre. She carries this tale with her bravura performances of twins, one a florid, nasty type, the other a sweet, demure schoolteacher.

Director John Avildsen and screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen's collaborate in the 1992 The Power of One (KCOP Saturday at 8 p.m.) the result is sure to be a film that refuses to worry about plausibility and doesn't know the meaning of the word shameless. The subject is South Africa and apartheid as seen through white eyes. The stars are Morgan Freeman, Armin Mueller-Stahl and Stephen Dorff, and the result not so much a suspension of disbelief as a total demolishment of it.

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