The destruction of the Brazilian rain forests...
The destruction of the Brazilian rain forests has become such a key symbol of ecological waste that there seems something forced about the premise in the 1992 Medicine Man (KTLA Tuesday at 8 p.m.): The threatened forests may conceal a cure for cancer. Sean Connery looking like a cross between the Ginger Man and Tarzan, is fun as a pharmaceutical hermit, Lorraine Bracco is a little shrieky as his partner-antagonist, and director John McTiernan makes the jungle and trees look gorgeous. But he’s more at home with high-tech thrillers (“Die Hard”) than the mix of message and melodrama required here.
Death Warrant (KTLA Friday at 8 p.m.) is a shrewd, stylish and cohesive 1990 hard-action picture in which martial arts star Jean-Claude Van Damme plays a cop who goes undercover to investigate a series of murders in a prison.
Despite a misleading action-thriller title and campaign, Boiling Point (KCOP Saturday at 8 p.m.) is a superior film noir, originally titled “Money Men,” and directed stylishlyby James B. Harris. Wesley Snipes stars as a Treasury agent in pursuit of an increasingly desperate ex-con, a funny-money specialist played beautifully by Dennis Hopper. The ensemble cast includes Lolita Davidovich, Viggo Petersen, Valerie Perrine and Jonathan Banks.
Stanley Kubrick’s landmark allegory 2001: A Space Odyssey (KCET Saturday at 9 p.m.), for all its stupendous visuals and challenge to the intellect, becomes abstract to the point of evasiveness at the finish. Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood are cast as human astronauts bound for Jupiter in search of human intelligence when they become locked in mortal combat with Hal, their rebellious computer. (Kubrick wrote the film with Arthur C. Clarke, who has helpfully explained that upon entering Jupiter’s orbit Dullea enters another dimension, dies and is reborn, tracing man’s ascent from ape to angel.)
What keeps things interesting in Internal Affairs (KTLA Saturday at 11:30 p.m.), a nervous, shallow 1990 cop thriller are its two leads: Richard Gere, as a sexy bad cop and Andy Garcia as an internal affairs investigator so obsessed with Gere he begins to take on his personality. Despite missed opportunities, “Internal Affairs” (plus “Pretty Woman”) re-established Gere at the box office, and also gave William Baldwin exposure as a misguided partner to Gere’s villainy.