Maximum mayhem

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 April, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 April, 1996, 12:00am

When horror writer Stephen King set out to write and direct Maximum Overdrive (Pearl, 9.30 pm), he said he simply wanted to make a junk movie.

He did, but he also made it stupid and boring. Anyone who has the patience to count the number of sensational action sequences, piled on top of one another without a thought for narrative or character, is a better man than I.

Emilio Estevez stars, as one of a number of people menaced by trucks and other mechanical devices that go haywire, for reasons unknown. It's an idiotic premise for an idiotic film.

Fools Of Fortune (Pearl, 2.20 am), on the other hand, is a piece of classically British film-making: restrained, thoughtful and curiously reticent. It follows an Anglo-Irish family caught up in the troubles of the 1920s. Look out for Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, who went on to bigger things in Hollywood.

We must mention L. A. Law (World, 12.50 am) because this is the episode you thought would never arrive - the last one. McKenzie retires and is given a cake. Members of the audience all get a gold watch.

When the J. League was launched in Japan everyone thought it would last no longer than your average bowl of instant noodles. Not only has it lasted, but it has grown, with support increasing not only among men, but to almost knicker-wetting proportions among women.

J. League Weekly Special (World, 10.45 pm) is the first of a series of weekly roundups of the game, as played by teams such as Kashima Antlers, Shimizu S-Pulse and Yomiuri.

The J. League has tempted some fading but still exciting stars of the Western game. England's Gary Linekar enjoyed two years there, but in the end was defeated by age - the poor lad is in his 30s - and a bad toe. Italian Daniele Massaro, formerly of AC Milan, will join S-Pulse in time for the J. League's second stage, which begins in August.

More bleary eyes among male office workers tomorrow morning, with Liverpool vs Newcastle United (Jade, 2.50 am) kicking off at 3 am Hong Kong time. Newcastle need to win, but have been suffering from a bad case of the wobbly-knees of late.

Liverpool have only an outside chance of winning the championship, but are nevertheless in fine fettle, having reached the FA Cup Final, the precocious Robbie Fowler apparently unable to go near the ball without it finding its way into the back of the net. Newcastle have their fair share of firepower in the shape of Les Ferdinand and the temperamental Colombian Faustino Asprilla.

Films on Cable Movie Channel: The Hunting List (9 pm). Standard Hong Kong cop drama with a weak story about a lone cop who sets out to bring drug-smugglers to justice. Starring Ray Lui and Paul Chin. Directed by Chu Yin-ping in 1994.

Burnt By The Sun (1 am). The year is 1936 and Sergei Kotov (played by director Nikita Mikhalkov) is an ageing hero whose eyes are closed to the present-day tyranny of Josef Stalin. All of this is about to change with the arrival of his wife's ex-lover, who is employed by Stalin's government police.

This provocative, moving meditation on the political realities of life in Stalinist Russia deservedly earned a Best Foreign Film Academy Award. Sergei's daughter, Nadia, who has a key role in the story, is played by Mikhalkov's real-life daughter, Nadia.