Eagles never take off

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 February, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 February, 1996, 12:00am

THE legal comedy Legal Eagles (World, 9.30pm) is reminiscent of the television series Moonlighting, with Robert Redford and Debra Winger where Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd used to be.

It never quite works, despite a valiant effort by writer and director Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters ) to make Redford look less like a sophisticate and more like the kind of man who locks his keys in his car and walks into lampposts.

Winger, with those big eyes, is a greater success as the flaky lawyer who is so determined to succeed that she once put a dog on the witness stand.

Daryl Hannah, as Winger's even flakier client, is pretty but incredible. Watch out for the scene when she 'performs' a work of modern art. Hannah wrote the performance herself.

There is one aspect of the film on which I can offer no advice; which of the two endings you are likely to see. The commercial television version, at least in the US, had a completely different ending from the theatrical version.

The plot? It involves some priceless paintings and a fire.

THERE is also no plot to speak of in Gremlins 2: The New Batch (Pearl, 9.30pm), just a series of loosely connected comic sketches. There are, however, many in-jokes for movie buffs.

Naked Lunch (Pearl, 1.15am) is one big in-joke and one which viewers who have never taken hard drugs are still trying to understand. All that is carried over from William Burroughs' cult book is the title and lack of narrative coherence.

THERE are three films on STAR Plus, but beware of Under Capricorn (2am), which for some reason beyond the ken of mere mortals is being shown in two parts, with the second at the same time next week.

It's not an especially long film (113 minutes) but STAR has nevertheless decided we are short in the attention span department. Or perhaps its programmers are simply aware that this is not Hitchcock at his best. In two parts Under Capricorn might be easier to digest.

It is - and I mean this in the derogatory sense - a woman's picture, with elements of Rebecca and ample opportunity to contemplate the nastiness of its villain, a cruel husband played by Joseph Cotten.

Ingrid Bergman does a fair impression of a dipsomaniac housewife. It's poor Hitchcock, but it's Hitchcock.

Belles On Their Toes (12 noon) is the sequel to Cheaper by the Dozen, which was shown last week. If you missed it this is the story so far: a poor but upstanding couple have 12 children. Clifton Webb, who played the father in the original, has now left this dimension, but Myrna Loy battles on. Made in 1952 and short but sweet.

They Made Me A Criminal (2pm) is a sepia-toned tribute to the American Way, about a man who thinks he has killed a boxing opponent and flees to the west where he settles on a farm. Another relic - from 1939.

FILMS on Cable Movie Channel: Now You See Love, Now You Don't (5pm). Chow Yun-fatt returns to the city on the rocks from a new life in England so he can court his childhood sweetheart (Teresa Mo). Comedy with a rather unfortunate ending.

Christopher Columbus - The Discovery (7pm). One of two big-budget Columbus pics released in 1992 to coincide with the 500th anniversary of his discovery of the New World. This came off second-best, but the competition wasn't up to much. The other one, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, starred Gerard Depardieu.

Georges Corraface plays the explorer in this version, bringing an infectious smile and notably heavy beard follicles to the role. Marlon Brando has a cameo as Spanish Inquisitor Tomas de Torquemada and Tom Selleck dresses up as King Ferdinand.