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Prime-Time Flicks

March 09, 1997|Kevin Thomas

Although its "Mission: Impossible" plot is awfully familiar, the 1992 good-spirited caper Sneakers (ABC Sunday at 8:30 p.m.) succeeds on the basis of the playfulness of its script and the casual charm of its star performances. Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, Dan Aykroyd, River Phoenix and David Strathairn play renegade masters of high-tech derring-do who have to outwit the bad guys and get the golden gizmo. Clever, likable and savvy enough not to take itself too seriously.

Intersection (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.) A dithering 1994 romantic drama about a self-absorbed dolt of a husband (Richard Gere) going through yet another midlife crisis, unable to choose between two stunning women (Sharon Stone, Lolita Davidovich) who throw themselves at him and inexplicably put up with his whiny indecisiveness.

Moonstruck (KTLA Tuesday at 8 p.m.), one of the juiciest romantic comedies of the '80s, is the film that provided Cher a role that let her comic sensibilities out for a romp as a young widow whose dull life suddenly shifts 180 degrees under the spell of an extraordinarily full moon. Written by John Patrick Shanley and featuring Nicolas Cage, Danny Aiello, and Olympia Dukakis as Cher's knowing mother.

Blue Chips (FOX Tuesday at 8 p.m.) stars Nick Nolte as a university basketball coach on the verge of his first losing season after winning two championships and eight conference titles. The 1994 film is about how the valiant, by-the-book Nolte, in an effort to recruit three blue-chip high school phenoms to save his job, crosses the line into corruption. At its best, though, "Blue Chips" is really about the wiggy, muscle-twitch world of high-pressure college athletics. The movie is best around the edges, when it's jamming and anecdotal.

In the 1990 Dances with Wolves (KTLA Thursday at 8 p.m., completed Friday at 8 p.m.) Kevin Costner has made a clear-eyed vision of the South Dakota frontier that is irresistible. The story of a Union officer who becomes assimilated within a tribe of Sioux, it has all the elements of an epic, but because it's more concerned with character than spectacle its epic quality becomes engaging, never self-congratulatory. Beautiful, memorable and full of humor.

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