More elaborate than the original but just...
More elaborate than the original but just as shrewdly put together, James Cameron’s 1991 blockbuster Terminator 2: Judgment Day (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.) cleverly combines the most successful elements of its predecessor with a number of new twists to produce one hell of a wild ride. And would you believe a kinder, gentler Terminator? Arnold Schwarzenegger again stars; Edward Furlong plays the son of Linda Hamilton.
Good-natured but insightful fun, Fred Schepisi’s smart and sassy 1992 Mr. Baseball (KTTV Monday at 8 p.m.) is more culture-clash comedy than baseball flick. Tom Selleck, never better, plays a veteran New York Yankees hitter who finds himself traded off to a Japanese team.
With most of its effects derived not from Alfred Hitchcock but his imitators, Final Analysis (NBC Monday at 8:30 p.m.) is a misfired 1992 thriller starring Richard Gere as a psychiatrist treating disturbed patient Uma Thurman. Gere ends up passionately and ludicrously enmeshed with her older sister (Kim Basinger).
Although the original was hilarious, this 1991 sequel, The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear (CBS Wednesday at 8 p.m.), finds the filmmakers beating a dead horse into the ground, with only the opening credits good for a chuckle. Leslie Nielsen is back, this time to save the country from vested interests trying to block a new energy policy.
Top Gun (KCOP Thursday at 8 p.m.) is that wildly popular 1986 movie, a male-bonding adventure that’s both mind-boggling and vacuous. Allegedly based on the Navy’s crack fighter-pilot program at San Diego’s Miramar Naval Base, it sucks us into a high-tech world of multimillion-dollar aircraft and hell bent-for-leather flyboys. Tom Cruise stars with Kelly McGillis (look for Meg Ryan and Val Kilmer’s minor but key performances).
Nothing anyone human does in the rather conventional 1991 smoke opera Backdraft (NBC Friday at 8 p.m.) can hold a candle to the eye-popping pyrotechnics. Kurt Russell and William Baldwin are brawling hothead firefighter brothers; with Robert De Niro, Donald Sutherland, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Scott Glenn and Rebecca DeMornay.
Lawrence Kasdan’s enjoyable but elusive 1985 Western Silverado (KCOP Saturday at 8 p.m.) is affectionate and caring of the form but a little bit too cooled out to be truly satisfying. It tells of four very different men (Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner and Danny Glover) who join forces to go after the bad guys.
Short on style and pace but strong in conviction and performances, the 1990 A Thousand Pieces of Gold (KCET Saturday at 9 p.m.) tells of a young Chinese woman (Rosalind Chao) who ends up the “property” of a fellow countryman in an Oregon gold-mining village, circa 1880.