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Cliches Run Rampant In Sunday-Night Films

Sat., April 19, 1997

Let’s hope no one has been craving a solid Sunday-night movie from the networks because this weekend promises to disappoint. The offerings are proof that cliches are alive and thriving on the small screen.

ABC brings back the 1989 theatrical crime drama “Tango & Cash” (ABC Sunday at 9). You remember this film: Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell join forces as mismatched partners.

The banter is grating, and the action sequences, specifically the finale, you’ve seen before elsewhere. (Jack Palance steals the show as an evil gunrunner.)

Over on NBC (Sunday at 9) Kellie Martin plays a manic-depressive who falls for a violent car thief (James Marsden) in “On the Edge of Innocence.” They meet at a mental hospital, where the inept staff lets them play with X-Acto knives and razors.

Eventually the art knives are used as weapons. The two escape and are on the run to Mexico.

Martin and Marsden seem quite mismatched. Her character is a straight-A student; his is not that bright and extremely violent. What’s the appeal?

You’ll be searching for a touch of sanity during this movie.

The least fascinating film is CBS’ “Rose Hill” (Sunday at 9). It’s a long, drawn-out Western (and a Hallmark Hall of Fame) about four pickpocketing orphans who discover an abandoned infant.

The boys (Zak Orth, Jeffrey D. Sams, Justin Chambers and Tristan Tait) instantly become responsible. They head west to make a fortune and raise the infant named Mary (played as an adult by Jennifer Garner).

Out West the expected occurs: shootouts, saloon gambling, fevers and rough winters.

By the time Mary returns to New York City to find her biological parents, you will have saddled up and ridden off into the sunset.


“NBA Basketball” NBC Saturday at 5:30: The New York Knicks take on the Chicago Bulls in the Windy City. Live.

“Leaving L.A.,” ABC Saturday at 9: In a gruesome hour from this new series about the highs and lows at the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office, the staff works overtime on a serial-killing case. Also, an unidentifiable man meets his demise in a not-so-sweet vat of chocolate.

“The Simpsons,” FOX Sunday at 8: Mr. Burns faces financial problems, and World Wrestling’s Bret “Hit Man” Hart may be the answer in an episode full of punches.

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