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Prime-Time Flicks

September 14, 1997|Kevin Thomas

True Lies (FOX Sunday at 7 p.m.), James Cameron's 1994 $100-million production, considerably ups the ante for action films with snazzy sequences: a horse and motorcycle chase through a hotel, Harrier jets hovering near skyscrapers, to name just two. It's partly a romantic spoof of action films in general and James Bond spy-thrillers in particular, with both Cameron and star Arnold Schwarzenegger pleasantly adept at kidding the superhuman image they've worked so hard to build up. Despite all this, there is a strain of crudeness and mean-spirited humiliation, especially toward women, that runs through the film like a nasty virus.

The 1991 Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (CBS Tuesday at 8 p.m.) is an enjoyable mishmash, directed with much energy and good nature by Kevin Reynolds and starring a likable but all-too-American Kevin Costner (who's upstaged by Alan Rickman's deliciously evil Sheriff of Nottingham).

With Clint Eastwood starring as a veteran Secret Service agent in Wolfgang Petersen's crisply entertaining 1993 In the Line of Fire (FOX Tuesday at 8 p.m.), the star is well-matched by an Oscar-nominated John Malkovich as an implacable assassin sworn to drop the President.

Although this 1992 hit finally can't resist the siren call of its own sentimentality, A League of Their Own (CBS Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.) is blessed with a creative team, including Tom Hanks and Geena Davis. They both know how to make the most of the film's concept: the exploits of the wartime All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

In Downtown (KTLA Thursday at 8 p.m.), Anthony Edwards plays a suburban Philadelphia by-the-book rookie transferred to the City of Brotherly Love's roughest precinct, where he's put to the test by truculent loner Forest Whitaker. The stars are terrific, but they're stuck with a baldly calculated script that never allows the 1990 film a satisfactory blend of fantasy and reality.

Jagged Edge (KCOP Friday at 8 p.m.) may vanish from memory like an old grocery list, but while you're in it you are caught. Shocked, intrigued, confused, unnerved and finally snapped right back in your seat with fright, you're held all the way with the 1985 hit. It's a roller-coaster ride in San Fransisco's playgrounds of the privileged in which attorney Glenn Close defends Jeff Bridges, accused of murdering his newspaper-heiress wife.

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