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Prime-Time Flicks

September 22, 1996|Kevin Thomas

Sweet-natured and unsurprising--about as hard to resist (and as intellectually demanding) as an affectionate puppy, the 1993 Rudy (Fox Sunday at 8 p.m.) is a tale of a guy who never gave up on his dream of suiting up as a football player for Notre Dame benefits from a charming and engaging performance by Sean Astin in the lead role.

With On Deadly Ground (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) Steven Seagal not only makes his directorial debut but also risks combining action with a message, a deadly serious, intelligent protest against the threat to the environment posed by the oil industry. This 1994 release is otherwise lively entertainment for action fans. Seagal plays a rigger for nefarious corners-cutting oil tycoon Michael Caine.

In the 1980 The Final Countdown (KTLA Thursday at 8 p.m.) the aircraft carrier Nimitz zips across 40 years in time to intercept the Japanese war fleet en route to Pearl Harbor. Curiously, the special effects are the weakest aspect of this 1980 release, but it gets by on the cleverness of its story, directed in straightforward fashion by Don Taylor.

No Way Out (KTLA Friday at 8 p.m.) is a none-too-successful 1987 reworking of the evergreen thriller "The Big Clock" (1946) reset in the high places in the federal government and involving a murder cover-up. Starring Kevin Costner.

Barry Levinson's 1982 debut feature Diner (KCET Saturday at 9 p.m.), a fresh and honest recapturing of our past, rescues our memories of the '50s and early '60s from the high gloss that TV has put on them and lets them stand, tender and real. It takes its title from a Fells Point, Baltimore hangout for recent high school grads. With Steve Guttenberg, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon and Daniel Stern.

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