"Sudden Impact."9 p.m. today, Channels 13, 7 and 47.Pretty...


September 16, 1990|By Stephen Hunter

"Sudden Impact."

9 p.m. today, Channels 13, 7 and 47.

Pretty moronic, even by Clint Eastwood standards. In this one, his girlfriend, Sondra Locke, is hunting down the guys who raped her sister some years back. And who are the guys? Oh, you know, the usual cretins who wear T-shirts and baseball hats and hang around cheap bars. Eastwood, attempting to "solve" this crime, simply walks around looking for excuses to unlimber his .44 Magnum automatic and blow people away. Meanwhile, gangsters and the like continue to try to hunt him down; but he always gets the best of them, because, not only is he the star, he's the director of the movie, so even the bullets the bad guys fire are working for him. And when he tells them to miss, they miss! So anyway ... it's all pretext to set up an Eastwood-rapist tag team match at the end. Guess who wins that one?

"Field of Dreams."

9 p.m. Tuesday, Channels 11, 9 and 16.

Lots of people liked this movie, but I wasn't one of them. Essentially, it's an attempt to re-create the magic of the Frank Capra fables into a contemporary setting. It hit one chord very nicely -- the universal human feeling that our parents died before we told them how important they were to us, and when at the end, Kevin Costner "has a catch" with his long-dead father, who has returned to life via the mystery of Universal Pictures, there wasn't a dry eye in the house, except for the two above my nose. To me, the movie didn't really earn the big jolt at the end it was hoping for, being somewhat incoherent in its marshaling of incidents. Basically, Costner is a farmer who, hearing voices one day, tears up a cornfield to build a ball field so that Shoeless Joe Jackson and some other early-days ballplayers can show up to chuck the old apple around. For equally obscure reasons, Costner goes on a quest and brings people to see this miracle, including a cynical author and an ancient doctor. And lo, the ballplayers show up again. It's all mumbo jumbo, as derived from a cult novel by W.P. Kinsella.

"The Hunters."

2 a.m. Tuesday, Channel 54.

Wow, is this ever old. It's so old that Robert Wagner was the dangerous young star. It's set among the F-86 Sabrejet pilots in the Korean War, who went up daily over the Yalu River to do battle with the Chinese MiG-15 pilots, a long-forgotten engagement that was heroic, sexy stuff in the '50s, particularly as the Americans managed to flame their rivals at a 6-1 ratio. This film is derived from an ironic James Salter novel, but all the irony got left on the cutting room floor, and it turned into a rah-rah number for our team. Robert Mitchum is the sleek and deadly jet ace who, alas, falls in love with one of his wingman's wives. When the guy is shot down, Mitchum faces a moral dilemma, and goes down after him. He performs a valiant rescue mission, because his honor is bigger than his libido. It's pretty silly. The aerial sequences, with F-84 Thunderstreaks standing in for the MiGs, however, are first rate and well worth seeing. May Britt and Lee Phillip complete the cast. The movie was directed by '30s crooner Dick Powell.


"Hard to Hold."

12:30 a.m. Thursday, Channel 20.

Once upon a time there was a completely synthetic rock star named Rick Springfield. Couldn't sing a lick, but looked good in earrings. So anyway, in time-honored fashion, Universal decided star him in a completely synthetic movie, starring himself as himself -- or a thin version thereof -- and a prissy young actress named Janet Eilber as his beloved, whom he wooed with zany tactics until at last he warmed through her chill and made her fall in love with him. Then he dumped her and bragged about it to his cronies. No, he didn't. But the movie would have been much better if he did, instead of marrying her and the two of them going off into the sunset to reproduce vacuum clones of their own synthetic selves. Well, the movie was a hopeless bomb, and it doesn't exactly break me up to report that Rick Springfield and Janet Eilber haven't been heard from since.

ON THE COVER: "The 42nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards" will air on Channel 45 tonight from 8 to 11.

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