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Prime-Time Flicks

December 08, 1996|Kevin Thomas

If you didn't see the original high-grossing "Home Alone," don't worry: The zealous 1992 sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (Fox Sunday at 7 p.m.), again starring Macauley Culkin, is an attempt to almost exactly duplicate it. The result, unfortunately, plays like an over-elaborate parody of the first film, reminding us why we liked it without duplicating its appeal.

As good an actor as Wesley Snipes is, he still isn't good enough to save Passenger 57 (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.), a standard-issue 1992 hijacking thriller. Though it is refreshing to see an actor of color as a straight-up action hero, even the kick Snipes' performance imparts can't stop this film from dutifully going where its predecessors have gone before.

The 1985 Santa Claus (KTLA Sunday at 8 p.m.) is pleasant if standard holiday fare in which Santa (David Huddleston) and an elf (Dudley Moore) battle with John Lithgow's greedy toy manufacturer.

Through a wilderness of snow and ice blasts a brakeless train, roaring ahead out of control, on which two escaped convicts and a frightened employee enact a timeless dance of death and freedom. Runaway Train (KTLA Thursday at 8 p.m.) taut from first shot to last--which Andrei Konchalovsky has directed from a script originally planned and written by Akira Kurosawa.

With the 1991 Paradise (KTLA Friday at 8 p.m.) Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith will surprise even their fans with the realistic and sensitive performances they give as Ben and Lily Reed, a troubled couple grappling with an unspoken pain that is tearing their marriage apart. "Paradise's" protagonist is a 10-year-old Willard Young (Elijah Wood), an unhappy boy sent off by his pregnant mother to spend his summer vacation with her oldest friend Lily in the small Southern town of Paradise.

Network (KCET Saturday at 11 p.m.) returns with its all-out assault on the evils of commercial television. At the symbolic center of this savage satire is the late Peter Finch as the elder statesman of TV newscasters who has been fired and who announces that he's going to blow his brains out on camera.

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