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Prime-Time Flicks

December 01, 1996|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. 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.

Paul Mazursky's 1991 comedy-drama Scenes from a Mall (KTLA Tuesday at 8 p.m.) stars Woody Allen and Bette Midler as a successful L.A. couple whose marriage busts up during a shopping spree in the Beverly Center. The comic premise of L.A. as a mall is highly promising, but the film never takes off. The incidental jokes make it almost worth seeing.

Don Siegel's Coogan's Bluff (KTLA Thursday at 8 p.m.) is one of Clint Eastwood's best, in which he plays a taciturn, randy, wry Arizona lawman named Coogan, sent to New York to bring back a fugitive killer (Don Stroud), who leads him on a merry chase around Manhattan, ending up at to the Cloisters.

The light comic wit of the 1990 Quick Change (KCOP Saturday at 8 p.m.) has a lovely premise: a trio of disillusioned New Yorkers, a city planner (Bill Murray), his sweetheart (Geena Davis) and Murray's goofy, longtime friend and liability (Randy Quaid), execute a brilliantly clever bank holdup, exiting with $1 million. Now all they have to do to be home free is to get out of New York, an urban obstacle course of unmarked streets and wayward subway entrances.

The Romantic Englishwoman (KCET Saturday at 11 p.m.), an ironical 1975 Joseph Losey drama, from a Thomas Wiseman novel and a Wiseman-Tom Stoppard script, is a mean-tongued, clear-eyed vivisection of a successful novelist's extramarital triangle; it's as if "Design for Living" were spitting sulphur. Losey keeps it intellectual and detached; the urbanity is a balm over the characters' nasty self-absorption.

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