The combination of director Joel Schumacher’s eye for mass public appeal and novelist John Grisham’s best-selling sensibility produced The Client (NBC Sunday at 8:30 p.m.). Not particularly nuanced or fine-tuned, the 1994 movie, like its source material, is both gimmicky and involving. It is beefed up by a pair of satisfying star performances by Susan Sarandon asa diamond-in-the-rough lawyer protecting a bratty 11-year-old (Brad Renfro) from the Mafia, and Tommy Lee Jones as the ambitious federal prosecutor who would use the boy to get his mob man.
Part of the considerable appeal of the 1991 Oscar-nominated Bugsy (ABC Sunday at 8:30 p.m.) is the fact that both gangster extraordinaire Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel and Warren Beatty, who plays him, appear to be charmers for whom the ordinary rules of life don’t apply. Beatty, writer James Toback and director Barry Levinson each brought markedly different sensibilities to the project. Overall, the result of their collaboration--though not without its flaws--is a satisfying film that delivers a full measure of stylish entertainment.
Clear and Present Danger (ABC Monday at 8 p.m.) reaffirmed Harrison Ford’s position as the most reliable action star around. This 1994 film is the third and easily the best of the Tom Clancy yarns about CIA analyst Jack Ryan. If “Danger” has a problem, it is that it starts too slowly. But the pleasantly complex story line, set in Washington and Colombia, twists and turns in unexpected ways.
The 1988 Colors (KTLA Friday at 8 p.m.) is an obvious, stereotypical, overly melodramatic old-cop, young-cop baptism-of-fire story given a lot of scalding immediacy by director Dennis Hopper, and an excellect cast (Robert Duvall, Sean Penn, the late Trinidad Silva).
In Witness (KCOP Friday at 8 p.m.) a Philadelphia cop (Harrison Ford) finds refuge while trying to protect a young murder witness and his mother by hiding in the mother’s Amish community--a community apart, which might have sprung from another age. The result is a fairly straightforward, exciting 1985 thriller that director Peter Weir endowed with cross-cultural currents and inner mysteries.