• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 12:00am

Jack catches cabin fever

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 January, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 January, 1993, 12:00am

WHAT a Friday night: Cartoon beefcake He-Man comes to life in Masters of the Universe on Pearl, while on World Jack Nicholson goes stark, raving mad - again - in The Shining.

Best bet is to turn to STAR Plus which is starting a promising-looking TV series adaptation of James Plunkett's fine book Strumpet City (8 pm).

The city in question is of course Dublin - between the years of 1907 and 1914 - and this seven-part series stars Peter O'Toole as union boss Jim Larkin, Peter Ustinov as Edward VII and Cyril Cusack as a dipso priest.

STANLEY Kubrick's film version of Stephen King's novel The Shining (Pearl 9.45 pm, Original Running Time 142 minutes) is notable if only as the first film to really use Nicholson's crazed eyes to their manic full.

He plays a writer who takes his wife (Shelley Duvall) and child to an isolated Colorado hotel in the dead of winter, where he gets an acute case of cabin fever as soon as he walks in the door.

Strangely enough, despite little giveaways like the manic eyes, grimaces and demoniacal leers, Nicholson's family fail to notice he's a few sandwiches short of a picnic until he's actually running round brandishing a meat-cleaver.

There are some moments when you may find yourself glancing over your shoulder, but basically the characters are too cardboard, Nicholson's lunacy too pat and the whole thing too long to make it a really good thriller.

MASTERS of the Universe (World 9.30 pm, ORT 106 mins) is a bit of a giggle though not camp enough to be a belly laugh.

Dolph Lundgren (Universal Soldier) plays the macho He-Man who comes to earth to find the all-powerful Cosmic Key stolen by his anorexic enemy Skeletor.

A couple of teeny lovebirds are thrown in to add some romance - He-Man's far too squeaky clean to indulge in that sort of nonsense - and to help the stranded aliens return to their outer space home.

SMASH Hits '92 (Pearl, 8.35 pm) is a pop music awards show organised by the British teen music magazine of the same name.

One look at Kylie Minogue doing a Madonna in the promo should be enough to put most people off.

WORLD'S welcome Mandarin Moonlight film series begins with Kuei-mei a Woman (11.45 pm, ORT 119 mins), the tale of the hardships faced by a lonely woman who goes to Taiwan in 1959 and is married unwillingly to a middle-aged man with three children.

Not too many laughs to be had here, but it's strong stuff.

FINALLY, if you've got the stamina to wait up for it, The Lords of Flatbush (Pearl 2.05 am, ORT 88 mins) affords a chance to see Sylvester Stallone before he was big time and Henry Winkler trying out his Fonzie character even before Happy Days was invented. The film was made nearly 20 years ago, and sees these trainee stars, as well as Paul Mace and Perry King, playing a 1950s Flatbush gang.

It's quite a laugh, but should you find your interest waning, try spotting appearances by Ray Sharkey as a student and Armand Assante as a wedding guest.


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