OLIVER Stone's JFK (World, 9.35pm) might have been a complete disaster. It is more than three hours long - World is showing it in two parts, catering to Hong Kong's short attention span - it jettisons all conventional dramatic structure, depends heavily on extended dialogue and ends in defeat for our hero. Yet it is an amazing film-making feat, taking the dry minutiae of every John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theory of the past three decades and turning it into riveting screen material. His story revolves around New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison's unsuccessful 1967 prosecution of businessman Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones) for conspiracy in the murder. Kevin Costner plays Garrison and does so very well. Perhaps this should not be surprising; there are few directors better than Stone for squeezing a performance from people. It is also a measure of Stone's force as a film-maker that the movie struck raw nerves across the political spectrum. Partly as a result of its impact, legislation was introduced into Congress in March 1992, in an attempt to secure the release of FBI, CIA and government files relating to the assassination. JFK is rabble-rousing and muck-raking, but it is also populist cinema at its very best. It is further spiced up by a number of cameos from the likes of Donald Sutherland, Walter Matthau, the late John Candy and Garrison himself (as Earl Warren). STEVEN Spielberg - congratulations to anyone who sat through the whole of the recent tribute to him - was not at his best for Empire of the Sun (Pearl, 9.30pm). Until Schindler's List, this was the most emotionally complex of his films. It works as a story, but fails miserably as a grand canvas in the David Lean tradition. Christian Bale delivers a stunning performance as Jim, the little boy separated from his parents in World War II China. You will also enjoy John Malkovich (In the Line of Fire ) as the Dickensian Fagin-like merchant seaman who reluctantly takes Bale under his wing and teaches him Darwinian laws of survival. But why do the Shanghai city scenes look like they were shot for Vogue? JOHN Thaw and Kevin Whately have been away from Hong Kong television screens for too long. They return in Inspector Morse - Dead of Jericho (STAR Plus, 10pm), which is not a new drama, but a welcome repeat of a minor classic. Morse, invented by Oxford scholar and author Colin Dexter, is an unusual beast for a contemporary detective; one who almost exclusively uses his brain not his brawn to solve crimes. Whately plays Lewis, the sidekick from somewhere up north with the wife we never get to meet. And still we do not know Morse's first name, although we do know that he was voted the sexiest man in Britain. In this episode Morse suspects that a woman who committed suicide might not have committed suicide at all. At home, with Wagner on the stereo, he draws up a list of suspects and starts the process of elimination. The agreeable Lewis, as usual, is always one step behind. HIGHLIGHTS of films on Cable Movie Channel: Art Deco Detective (7am amd 1pm). Ludicrous adventure sees a madman code-named Hyera about to destroy Los Angeles and blame it on Middle Eastern terrorists. Only detective Deco (John Dennis Johnston) can stop him. The Banquet (3pm). Hong Kong comedy with a big-name cast, including Eric Tang, Jackie Cheung and Tony Leung. Ruthless businessman Tsang is trying to steal projects from a Kuwaiti prince, but takes a break from his wheeling and dealing to throw a birthday party for his long-ignored father. Salaam Bombay! (5pm). Disturbing chronicle of a young country boy's experiences among the street hustlers, drug peddlers and prostitutes of Bombay. Fine feature debut for Indian director Mira Nair.