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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | December 7, 1994
The odds against it happening are very high, but tonight TV provides a sort of holiday miracle: two watchable Christmas specials on the same night. One is from 1965 -- and that's the newer one. The other, seen for the first time since it was performed live on the DuMont network, is from 1951.* "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (8-8:30 p.m., Channel 11) -- Vince Guaraldi's jazz score is terrific. Linus' lecture about the true meaning of Christmas is right on the money -- and right about the money, too. Then there's the Snoopy dance, seen in animated form for the first time -- and that scrawny Christmas tree, which Charlie Brown identifies with for all the right reasons.
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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | August 10, 1994
CBS has some "Good Advice" on tap tonight, and so do I. Mine is to skip "Good Advice" and watch HBO's comedies instead -- especially "The Larry Sanders Show," on which Sharon Stone is a guest star.* "Good Advice" (8:30-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- This show ought to be called "Lethargy Inc." Who cares? CBS.* "Models Inc." (9-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- William Katt, as Paul, begins to get even more involved in the murder case, and with some of the suspects, in tonight's episode. The writers have yet to ignite any sparks on this show, but at least they're beginning to make the effort to create some entertaining friction.
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By Stephen Hunter VIDEO It's a troll, Vern | September 5, 1992
MOVIESDafoe delivers"Light Sleeper" is either a return to form or an imitation of form. It's hard to say which. Written and directed by Paul Schrader, it seems to be another version of Schrader's revered "Taxi Driver." Still, it has some mesmerizing power. Willem Dafoe plays a drug delivery boy who, at 40, begins to wonder what's next for him. Schrader's feel for New York night life is convincing, as is Dafoe's almost childlike performance. R. ** 1/2 . Jim Varney may never be confused with either Francois Truffaut or Frances Ford Coppola or even Francis the Talking Mule, but his flubber-faced impersonation of all-around moron and good guy Ernest P. Worrell deserves some kind of recognition.
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By Michael Hill and Michael Hill,Evening Sun Staff | January 10, 1991
Remember all that stuff about how Farrah Fawcett had become such a good actress?Well, what it really meant was that in the right role, usually that of a victim, supported by a good director, in a movie setting where she had the freedom to do several takes, the former "Charlie's Angel" could surprise you and pull off a believable character.It didn't mean that she has the wherewithal to do the toughest sort of acting, comedy, filmed live before an audience. The incontrovertible evidence is "Good Sports," a CBS sitcom that premieres tonight at 9:30 on Channel 11 (WBAL)
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March 3, 2000
A breezy yet diamond-hard humor runs through "What Planet Are You From?," a bawdy, brainy sex comedy geared toward smart people with a sophomoric streak. At its goofiest and gaggiest, this fish-out-of-water yarn, about a space alien who finds true love while trying to take over the world, will remind viewers of Mel Brooks. At its crudest, it recalls "There's Something About Mary." But at its wisest -- and it is surprisingly wise, in the end -- "What Planet Are You From?" evokes fond memories of director Mike Nichols and his former partner, Elaine May, who together shed a wry, cleansing light on the human condition by way of gently lethal satire.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | September 10, 2000
Think of it as a giant pep rally on the eve of the big game. Only this year, there's no big game. Traditionally, the Emmy Awards telecast announced the start of network premiere week and the new fall season. The television industry understood synergy before synergy was cool. But this year, for the first time in network history, there is no premiere week, and the new fall series won't start arriving until October after the summer Olympics have run their course on NBC. The fall season is still flying well below most viewers' radar despite the networks' endless on-air promotion.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | April 27, 2001
Once again, the giant Hollywood star machine has labored mightily and coughed up a mouse - or at best, Warren Beatty in a polar bear suit. He's cute in the suit, like a baggy-pants version of the polar bears in the yuletide Coca-Cola commercials. He should have played the whole picture that way. For Beatty doesn't have a naturally engaging comic spirit. He didn't in those duds everyone has forgotten, like "The Fortune," or in the one no one will forget, "Ishtar," or even in his fading-from-memory hit, "Heaven Can Wait."
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | July 19, 1995
If this really is the so-called summer doldrums, how come the smartest and funniest sitcom on television starts a new season tonight?Because that sitcom, "The Larry Sanders Show," is on HBO, and the premium cable channel does not march to the networks' beat of starting new seasons in the fall. As long as HBO has products like tonight's episode of "The Larry Sanders Show" -- titled "Roseanne's Return" -- it can start its season any time it wants. The viewers will come.For those not familiar with the celebrated sitcom, which starts its fourth season, it stars Garry Shandling as late-night talk-show host Larry Sanders in a perfectly wicked spoof of talk shows, celebrity, television, show business and a culture that has become mesmerized by the visual images manufactured for our small screens.
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By From Sun news services | November 29, 2008
One Bond about another: He's 'marvelous' as 007 Roger Moore told reporters in Hong Kong on Thursday that Daniel Craig is "marvelous" as James Bond because he brings a fresh dimension to the character. Moore, 81, who starred in seven Bond films in the 1970s and the 1980s, said Craig's performances in Steven Spielberg's 2005 political thriller Munich and Sylvia in 2003 helped shape a new Bond. Moore, speaking at an event in Hong Kong to promote his autobiography My Word Is My Bond, said he had yet to see Craig in Quantum of Solace.
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By Steve McKerrow | June 6, 1991
ON THE WEEKEND WATCH:MORE DEAD SHOWS -- Into the summer rerun season, the networks are offering what will perhaps be last-chance viewings of series from the long list of canceled fare. Just tonight, for example, ABC (Channel 13) has moved "Gabriel's Fire" to 9 o'clock (although star James Earl Jones is coming back in the fall as the same character in a new show, "Bird and Katt"). And CBS (Channel 11) has two returns, the mid-season replacement about a Cajun cop, "Broken Badges" at 9, and Edward Woodward's rather likable "Over My Dead Body" at 10. Note also that CBS on Sunday (10 p.m.)
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