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Prime-Time Flicks

March 16, 1997|Kevin Thomas

Woody Harrelson is the only reason to subject yourself to The Cowboy Way (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.), but his breezy, amusing performance simply underlines everything the rest of the 1994 film is not. Cowboy will be recognized by film buffs as a reworking of the tip-top "Coogan's Bluff," directed by Don Siegel and starring an especially laconic Clint Eastwood as an Arizona lawman out of his element on the steamy pavements of New York.

The Color of Money (KTLA Tuesday at 8 p.m.), a 1986 sequel to "The Hustler" picks up Fast Eddie (Paul Newman) 20 years later: He's the exploiter this time, with a new young cueball hotshot (Tom Cruise) under his wing. Both the Richard Price dialogue and the Michael Ballhaus camerawork really smoke, but the pat, cynically upbeat ending is unforgivable. Until then, it's a classy, canny, superheated movie. Directed by Martin Scorsese.

While it's hard to remember any groundswell of demand for yet another trendy, high-gloss movie depicting in graphic detail the grisly doings of a serial killer, someone must have asked for one, or else why would the 1993 Kalifornia (FOX Tuesday at 8 p.m.) be around? David Duchovny, who's writing a book on serial killers, and Michelle Forbes, who's photographing sites of famous mass murders, head for California in a '61 Lincoln with the unsettling Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis.

The Sting (KTLA Friday at 7:30 p.m., TBS Saturday at 9:05 a.m.), that flawlessly created pure entertainment set in the 1930s, stars Robert Redford and Paul Newman as, respectively, an up-and-coming con man and a legendary big-time con man on the skids who zero in on New York racketeer Robert Shaw.

In the 1987 The Untouchables (KCOP Saturday at 7:30 p.m.) director Brian De Palma and writer David Mamet restage the Chicago Prohibiton-era liquor wars as a modern Western; a stripped-down battle between straight-arrow G-Man (Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness) and flamboyant thug (Robert DeNiro as Al Capone); with Oscar-winner Sean Connery's streetwise Chicago-Irish cop.

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