In stop-motion movies, 'Kong' is still the king

Today's TV

April 04, 1997|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

Some of cinema's finest stop-motion photography is on display on TCM tonight, including the greatest monster movie ever made (and one of the greatest movies, period).

"JAG" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Hamas terrorists take over a hospital wherein an Israeli diplomat is in the midst of a heart transplant. Lucky for him Mac (Catherine Bell, getting the chance to use the Farsi her grandparents taught her) is in the same hospital, for knee surgery. Francesco Quinn, son of Anthony Quinn, plays the head terrorist. CBS.

"Orleans" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- It's so tough to find good help nowadays Vitelli (Charles Durning) orders Luther (Larry Hagman) killed, but the hit man has other ideas. Should be fun, if only to watch Durning and Hagman chew their respective sceneries. CBS.

"Sabrina, The Teenage Witch" (9 p.m.-9: 30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Sabrina's dad pays a visit, with a new girlfriend in tow. And Sabrina's not too keen on the competition. Robby Benson, the one-time teen heartthrob who grew up to voice the Beast in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," shows up as dad. ABC.

"Step By Step" (9: 30 p.m.-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Debby Boone guest stars as a pregnant woman who goes into labor under the mistaken impression that Frank and Jean-Luc (Patrick Duffy and Bronson Pinchot) are doctors. Wonder if she serenades them with "You Light Up My Life"? ABC.

"Crisis Center" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- What's got two shootings, two broken romances, two relatives who are proving to be pains and two characters torn between two lovers? The cliffhanger ending of "Crisis Center," which is so full of unresolved situations it's like an overinflated balloon, ready to explode at the slightest touch. It's a shame this show is so hackneyed, since the cast tries so hard. The show ends its mid-season run tonight, none too soon for those who have been anxiously awaiting the return of "Homicide." NBC.

Cable

"The Truth About Cats and Dogs" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., Cinemax) -- Janeane Garofalo is wonderful as a radio veterinarian whose phone manner is alluring enough to attract the guy of her dreams, but who's convinced her looks will chase him off. So she tells him she looks like her neighbor, a model played by the beautiful Uma Thurman. Of course, the ruse can only last so long, and what happens when these potential loverbirds meet? Hey, it's Hollywood you know what happens. Still, getting there is all the fun, and this film is plenty of fun.

"The Lost World" (9: 30 p.m.-10: 45 p.m.), "King Kong" (10: 45 p.m.-12: 30 a.m.), "Mighty Joe Young" (12: 30 a.m.-2: 15 a.m.) and "Son of Kong" (4 a.m.- 5: 30 a.m., TCM) -- It's amazing what filmmakers can do with little models moved a fraction of an inch between frames. "World," based on a story by Arthur Conan Doyle about a place where dinosaurs still reign, must have had audiences jumping out of their seats in 1925; "Kong," even with Bruce Cabot's wooden acting, is one of Hollywood's most deserving legends (more than six decades have passed, and no one's done it better); "Joe Young" is a charmer about a giant gorilla who saves an orphanage (he's Kong with a heart); and "Son of" is just one big letdown, although the stop-motion stuff is fine.

Pub Date: 4/04/97

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