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Watching the Action on the Latest Sports Videos


With the Wimbledon finals this weekend, baseball's All-Star Game up at bat on Tuesday night and the 1996 Summer Olympics just around the corner, it's a perfect time to look at the sporting life on video.

If you always wanted to play tennis like Pete Sampras or Andre Agassi, the three-volume "Pro Tennis Clinic" (Acorn Media, $40 each, $100 for the set) features lessons from the coaches who have trained the greats. Dr. Allen Fox discusses "Pro Secrets of Match Play"; Dr. James Loeher talks about "Pro Secrets of Mental Toughness" and Pat Etchberry shows the "Pro Secrets of Cross-Training." John McEnroe introduces each video. To order call (800) 999-0212.

Seattle Mariners slugger Ken Griffey Jr. is the subject of "Ken Griffey Jr: Adventures in Baseball" (ABC Video, $20), a breezy, low-key video featuring interviews with Griffey and his family as well as batting tips. To order call (800) 250-2841, Ext. 113.

Don't look for any great insights in "Dream Team '96 Goes for the Gold" (CBS/Fox, $15), a slick, glossy fanzine profile of this year's Olympic basketball team. To order call (888) 8GET-NBA.

Due for release July 16 is the "The Official 1996 NBA Finals Video" (NBA Video, $20), featuring highlights from last month's Chicago Bulls-Seattle SuperSonics championship series, plus exclusive interviews with players and coaches. To order call (888) 8GET-NBA.

If you love golf, you'll want to check out "Greg Norman's Better Golf" (CBS/Fox, $80), a three-volume set that features the easy-going winner of 76 tournaments and his teaching pro Butch Harmon discussing and demonstrating the secrets behind Norman's powerful swing. The set also includes an instructional guide that works hand-in-hand with the videos, an audiocassette, golf skill cards and a reference handbook. To order call (888) 788-GREG, Ext. 40.

A bad back is the No. 1 injury suffered by golfers. But relief is on the way in the form of the informative "Good Golf for Bad Backs" (ProMed, $25). The tape provides medical insights and instruction on swing modifications, as well as a daily stretch and exercise program. To order call (800) 245-9154.

And for boxing fans, there's MPI Home Video's compelling documentaries ($20 each) on Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Jack Johnson and Mike Tyson.

Western Roundup: New Tuesday from Columbia TriStar are seven westerns ($15 each): "J.W. Coop," "The Desperadoes," "Good Day for a Hanging," "Comanche Station," "A Man Called Sledge," "Gunman's Walk" and "The Texican."

Hey There: Rosemary Clooney is in fine voice and good humor in the pleasant documentary-concert "Rosemary Clooney's Semi-Centennial" (A&E, $20). Tony Bennett, Michael Feinstein, daughter-in-law Debby Boone and nephew George also appear. Clooney's brother Nick narrates. To order call (800) 423-1212.

Foreign Affairs: Coming Tuesday from Kino on Video are two offbeat foreign comedies ($60 each). Jean-Chretien Sibertin Blanc stars in "Augustin," as a man who works part time at a Paris insurance company so he can pursue an acting career. Also included is the charming Oscar-winning French short "Omnibus."

Maurizio Nichetti, Italian director of "The Icicle Thief," stars in and directed the clever, slapstick, Walter Mitty-esque comedy "Stephano Quantestorte."

Killers Bs: Arriving Tuesday: Jonathan Silverman plays--guess what?--a single guy in the undistinguished romantic comedy "At First Sight" (Vidmark). Michael Madsen stars as a hired killer in "Man With a Gun" (Evergreen), a turgid film noir featuring Jennifer Tilly as a shrill shrew and her soft-spoken, cat-loving twin.

Former "Baywatch" babe Nicole Eggert stars in the trite "RoboCop" clone "The Demolitionist" (A-Pix), as a dead cop who is biogenetically enhanced and transformed into a soldier of justice. Richard Grieco also stars.

Jeremy Piven ("Ellen") is a brilliant Oxford scientist torn between his wife (Kelli Williams) and a girlfriend (Liza Walker) in the ho-hum "Wavelength" (Paramount).

Coming Next Week: Brad Pitt won the Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for his performance in Terry Gilliam's "12 Monkeys" (MCA/Universal). Bruce Willis and Madeleine Stowe star.

Anthony Hopkins and Joan Allen star in Oliver Stone's "Nixon" (Hollywood). Stone also hosts 20 minutes of previously unseen footage, including a spooky scene between Nixon (Hopkins) and CIA head Richard Helms (Sam Waterston).

Gong Li stars in Zhang Zimou's gangster epic "Shanghai Triad" (Columbia TriStar).

Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin star in the thriller "The Juror" (Columbia TriStar). . . . Also new: "Widow's Kiss" (HBO); "Mr. and Mrs. Loving" (Evergreen); "Catwalk" (Arrow); "Lucky Luke" (A-Pix); "Rattled" (MCA/Universal).

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