Thursday, August 9, 2012

American Film Institute Salute to Clint Eastwood, The (1996) (TV)

Tribute to Clint Eastwood, the 24th recipient of the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award.

The American Film Institute Salute to Clint Eastwood (1996) (TV)
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Jim Carrey, Rene Russo, Don Rickles, Steven Spielberg, Warren Beatty, Pierce Brosnan, Nicolas Cage, Faye Dunaway, Francesca Eastwood, Ed Harris, Dustin Hoffman, Quincy Jones, Dylan McDermott, Jack Nicholson

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Legend of the Beverly Hillbillies, The (1993) (TV)

Hosted by Mac Davis, this "mockumentary" features the original cast members appearing in character, with many of the show's guest stars recalling their experiences with the Clampetts.

The Legend of the Beverly Hillbillies (1993) (TV)
Cast: Hoyt Axton, Max Baer Jr., Ray Charles, Mac Davis, Donna Douglas, Buddy Ebsen, G. Gordon Liddy, Reba McEntire

Alien Autopsy: (Fact or Fiction?) (1995) (TV)

This provacative FOX Network "prime time" television special investigates the purported "Alien Autopsy" footage that was allegedly filmed by the United States military after the legendary UFO crash near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.
Alien Autopsy: (Fact or Fiction?) (1995) (TV)
Host: Jonathan Frakes

Space: Last Frontier or Lost Frontier? (1994) (TV)

TV Review : A Journey Into Past and Future of 'Space'
July 14, 1994|RAY LOYND

Outer space.

Remember how those words captivated and intrigued us in the '50s and '60s?

Now, 25 years to the week after Neil A. Armstrong walked on the moon and "took one small step for man," the luster is off NASA and the space program. The moon seems much farther away than it did when Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent 22 hours scooping up moon rocks.

"CBS Reports," anchored by co-writer Connie Chung, tonight takes us on a 25th anniversary space journey, assessing the extraordinary history and cloudy future of the U.S. space program in "Space: Last Frontier or Lost Frontier?"

Interviews and archival footage catch what Chung calls the "singular joy" of the early pioneer space days, when the whole nation was enthralled. Walter Cronkite, who broadcast the July 20, 1969, moon landing, puts the thrill of that day best: "It's as if you could have stood on the dock and waved goodby to Columbus."

But as the program documents, Vietnam and a host of other events gradually took the bloom off the space lily.

We live once again NASA's self-made failures, notably the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger and recent disappointments like the malfunctioning Hubble telescope, designed to peer into the fantastic edges of the cosmos (although, in a conspicuous achievement, Hubble was surgically repaired in space).

Ultimately, the production gives space flight a divided report card. The glory days are over and skeptics on the show carry more bite, particularly given budget deficits and the sky-high price of world leadership in space. But, as someone remarks, "We can be on Mars 25 years from now. If we are able to do it--let's do it!"

"Space: Last Frontier or Lost Frontier?" airs at 10 tonight on CBS (Channels 2 and 8).
Space: Last Frontier or Lost Frontier? (1994) (TV)
Host: Connie Chung

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Victory & Valor: Special Olympics World Games (1991) (TV)

August 13, 1991|RICK DU BROW

TV or not TV. . . .

ABOUT TIME: TV is finally opening its doors to enlightened portrayals of the mentally retarded and disabled.

The recent drama series "Equal Justice" was a notable example. So is "Life Goes On," which stars Chris Burke, who has Down's syndrome.

Thus, the timing of Thursday's two-hour ABC broadcast, "Victory and Valor: A Special Olympics All-Star Celebration"--built around the joyous competition of mentally retarded athletes from more than 100 nations--couldn't be more appropriate.

"This Olympics has been an important part of my life," Burke says in the show, which is not really a sports program at all, but a celebration of the spirit. Yes, there's a star-studded opening ceremony in a colorful, Olympics-style extravaganza before 60,000 fans at the Minneapolis Metrodome last month. But the special tries to avoid this single dimension by focusing in part on the individual tales of four competitors, including a young Navajo man from Arizona and a boy from Nepal, following them from their homes before the Games right through the weeklong Olympics.

Singer Bob Seger, who, like the other participating stars, worked for free, went to Nepal, as did the show, which also taped sequences in Greece, home of the Olympics.

Burke, clearly moved in his appearances, is a past competitor in the Special Olympics, having won a medal for broad jumping.

In the new age of TV, with Larry Drake playing retarded office worker Benny Stulwicz in "L.A. Law" and Marlee Matlin portraying a hearing-impaired prosecutor in the fall series "Reasonable Doubts," the approach of ABC's Thursday special adds to the healthy trend.

It is decidedly upbeat, feel-good TV, blending the stars, the sports events and the mini-documentaries of the athletes, which include some hilarious passages--especially about a "unified" softball team of retarded and non-retarded players from Connecticut.

The team seems straight out of "The Bad News Bears." After they get slaughtered in their first game, 18-4, the coach observes: "I wouldn't count us out." After they lose again, he notes: "This game was probably the worst we played." One of the retarded players has the solution: "Base hits, base hits."

Viewers who enjoy the spectacle of an Olympics will see the usual rituals--the running of the torch, the opening parade of the athletes and the accompanying entertainment. And there are a few eye-openers, including the 68-year-old man who is the oldest Special Olympian.

"Some people think this is a telethon," says executive producer Bobby Shriver. "Well, it's not. It's a show. No one's going to feel sorry for anybody. You don't have to be delicate. It's like 'Animal House' sometimes. And we treat this like the Super Bowl."

Adds director Steve Binder: "We tried to capture the entire week and see it through the eyes of the Special Olympians, not just the stars."

The lineup of stars is imposing, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Warren Beatty, Jon Bon Jovi, Gerardo, Prince, Kirstie Alley, Fred Savage, Don Johnson, Melanie Griffith, Florence Griffith Joyner, Debbie Gibson, Patti Austin, Frank Gifford, Wayne Gretzky, Richard Dean Anderson, Randy Travis, Bob Saget and Herb Alpert.

But the real stars, of course--an antidote to the age of overpaid professional jocks--are the young athletes from around the world having a great time. And Burke, as a former Special Olympian, bridges the world of the stars and athletes. Says one person connected with the production: "He was such a hero to these kids."

Victory & Valor: Special Olympics World Games (1991) (TV)
Host: Frank Gifford

Monday, August 6, 2012

Inside 'NYPD Blue': A Decade on the Job (2002) (TV)

A behind the scenes look celebrating NYPD Blue's 10th year on the air as shown through clips and interviews of cast and crew past and present.

Inside 'NYPD Blue': A Decade on the Job (2002) (TV)
Host: Joe Mantegna

Friday, August 3, 2012

In A New Light (1993) (TV)

Patti Austin, Pat Benatar, Clint Black, Michael Callen, Melissa Etheridge, Elton John and Silk are among the artists who perform against a haunting background of names embroidered on the AIDS Memorial Quilt, commemorating men, women and children who have died of the disease.

In words and graphics, information is given without equivocation and underscored through repetition: how a condom is used, how it can prevent transmission of HIV, what bodily fluids transmit it, where vulnerable mucous membranes are located, ways you cannot get the virus. Abstinence is stressed; in the absence of abstinence, "safer sex," not "safe sex," is the operative term.

Entertainment and statistics are interspersed with memorable segments spotlighting people working in AIDS education and/or living with HIV and AIDS.

A few of the stars who speak their piece and urge viewers to call for information are Hollywood's leading AIDS spokeswoman Elizabeth Taylor, Chad Lowe, Judith Light, Rosie Perez and Luke Perry ("I've been tested three times").

Memorable comic moments and candor are provided by Lily Tomlin as Ernestine, answering questions on an AIDS hot line.

Worth tuning into? You bet your life.

In A New Light (1993) (TV)
Cast: Patti Austin, Pat Benatar, Clint Black, Michael Callen, Melissa Etheridge, Elton John, Silk, Elizabeth Taylor, Chad Lowe, Judith Light, Rosie Perez, Luke Perry

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Echo of Thunder, The (1998) TV Movie

The Echo of Thunder is an Australian family drama movie, released for television in 1998. It is based on the novel Thunderwith by Australian children's author Libby Hathorn. It was aired on CBS in the United States as a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation.

The story of a man who lives with his second wife and three kids on an Australian farm in the Wallingat Forest NSW. He learns about the fatal illness of his first wife which leaves his eldest daughter, Lara, alone in the world. Lara seeks solace with a mysterious dog she names Thunderwith that appears from time to time on the property. The story concentrates on the relationship between mother Gladwyn and stepdaughter, as Lara is slowly accepted into the family.

The movie was shot in Mount Beauty, Victoria and directed by Simon Wincer. Hallmark Channel produced the movie and the story undertook several changes for example the four Ritchie children became only three on the set. Judy Davis, who played the mother Gladwyn was nominated for an Emmy for her performance.

The Echo of Thunder (1998) TV Movie
Cast: Judy Davis, Jamey Sheridan, Lauren Hewett, Chelsea Yates, Michael Caton, Emily Browning, Jamie Croft

For All Time (2000) TV Movie

This made-for-TV fantasy was based on Rod Serling's "A Stop at Willoughby," a 1960 episode of Serling's classic anthology series Twilight Zone. The story begins in the year 2000, with advertising executive Charles Lattimer (Mark Harmon) escaping his hectic professional life and increasingly dissatisfying marriage to wife Kristen (Catherine Hicks) by obsessively tinkering with his elaborate model-train set. Through the aid of a magic stopwatch, Charles boards a real train and is whisked back to 1896, where he inaugurates a romance with attractive widow Laura Brown (Mary McDonnell). Traversing back and forth through the years, Charles ultimately finds that he will never truly be happy until he chooses between the "real" world and the world fashioned by his nostalgic imagination. Filmed in Alberta, For All Time made its CBS network debut on October 18, 2000. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

For All Time (2000) TV Movie
Cast: Mark Harmon, David Lereaney, Mary McDonnell, Catherine Hicks, Philip Casnoff, Bill Cobbs

Shaggy Dog, The (1994) TV Movie

In this television remake of Disney's zany feature, a teenager under a magic spell keeps turning into a sheepdog, much to his father's chagrin. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
The Shaggy Dog (1994) TV Movie
Cast: Ed Begley Jr., Sharon Lawrence, Jon Polito, James Cromwell, Jeremy Sisto, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Bobby Slayton, Rick Ducommun, Scott Weinger

Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole (1972) TV Movie

In her final acting appearance, Susan Hayward is ironically cast as a research doctor who can no longer face up to the notion of dealing with death on a daily basis. Recently widowed, Dr. Maggie Cole is on the verge of giving up her job and going into seclusion. She is shaken back to reality by crusty but lovable "street doctor" Lou Grazzo (Darren McGavin), who coerces Maggie into accepting a job at a Chicago slum clinic. At first adjusting admirably to her new surroundings, Maggie undergoes a devastating assault to her emotions when she befriends a teenaged leukemia patient. Written by real-life M.D. Sandor Stern and originally telecast by ABC on September 27, 1972, Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole was supposed to have been the pilot for a weekly series, but plans for this project were abandoned after the death of star Susan Hayward. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole (1972) TV Movie
Cast: Susan Hayward, Darren McGavin, Michael Constantine, Michele Nichols, Dane Clark, Beverly Garland, Jeanette Nolan, Richard Anderson, Richard Carlyle

Season of Giants, A (1991) TV Movie

A Season of Giants succeeds more in ambition than in execution. This 195-minute TV movie proposes that a great professional rivalry existed between Renaissance geniuses Michelangelo (Mark Frankel) and Leonardo da Vinci (John Glover). While the Florentine and Roman scenery is authentic, certain elements of the story cause the viewer to doubt its credibility. For starters, both Michelangelo and Da Vinci weather several years' time without either aging or changing their clothes; also, the "creative process" is minimized, with both artists going from inspiration to final product in what seems to be a matter of hours (maybe Michelangelo used a roller on the Sistine Chapel). A Season of Giants was originally shown in two parts over the TNT Cable service, with a surprising paucity of advertising fanfare. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

A Season of Giants (1991) TV Movie
Cast: F. Murray Abraham, Vittorio Amandola, Steven Berkoff, Mark Frankel, John Glover

TV Guide: Truth Behind the Rumors (2001) (TV)

The stars from "Growing Pains" and "Dynasty" reveal behind the scenes secrets and controversies that occurred while shooting their respective shows. This is considered the third in the series from TV Guide.

TV Guide: Truth Behind the Rumors (2001) (TV)
Cast: Alan Thicke, Joanna Kerns, Kirk Cameron, Jeremy Miller, Tracey Gold, Joan Collins, John Forsythe, Linda Evans

Deliver Them from Evil: The Taking of Alta View (1992) TV Movie

This made-for-TV film was based on a real-life, nail-biting hostage situation. The incident began when a deranged gunman, disgruntled for a variety of reasons, burst into the maternity ward at the Alta View Hospital in Sandy, Utah. Holding mothers, babies and nurses captive, the gunman clearly intended to kill as many people as possible before he himself was subdued by the police. Harry Hamlin, light-years away from LA Law, plays the psychotic intruder, while Terri Garr co-stars as the maternity nurse who struggles to act as the voice of reason. Filmed on location in Salt Lake City, Deliver Them From Evil premiered April 28, 1992. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Deliver Them from Evil: The Taking of Alta View (1992) TV Movie
Cast: Harry Hamlin, Teri Garr, Terry O'Quinn, Gary Frank, Joycelyn O'Brien, Georgia Emelin, Keith Coulouris, Britt Sady, Michael Flynn

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

35th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards (2000) (TV)

Live coverage of the 35th annual Academy of Country Music Awards presentation from the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, California. Hosted by Dolly Parton.

35th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards (2000) (TV)
Cast: Dolly Parton, George Strait, Alan Jackson, George Jones, Asleep At The Wheel, Billy Gilman, Patty Loveless, Martina McBride, Naomi Judd, Wynonna Judd, Lonestar, Gary Allan, Chad Brock, Brad Paisley, Jo Dee Messina, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Hank Williams Jr., Jessica Andrews, Julie Reeves, Shalie Tenison, Chely Wright, Sawyer Brown, Collin Raye, Toby Keith, Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, Montgomery Gentry, SHeDAISY, Yankee Gray