Out for the Count

Teri Fitsell

WE'RE still in the desert when it comes to decent films, but in their absence compensation comes in the shape of several promising programmes about the movies.

Blood Lines: Dracula the Man, the Myth, the Movies (Pearl, 8pm) is a documentary about Francis Ford Coppola's new movie Bram Stoker's Dracula, which should be opening in Hongkong over Chinese New Year.

As the title suggests, the film claims to be faithful to the 1897 novel, which was rather different to the Hollywood version by Bela Lugosi and his more recent clones.

Gary Oldman (Sid and Nancy ) stars as the Vamp, with support from Winona Ryder (Mermaids ), Keanu Reeves (My Own Private Idaho ) and Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs ).

* * * * BRITISH film critic Barry Norman devotes Film 93 (BBC, 7.25pm) to an exclusive interview with top actor and Governor Chris Patten's mate, Kevin Costner.

Costner's career really took off in the mid-80s with films like No Way Out, The Untouchables and Bull Durham.


He went on to co-produce direct and star in multi-Oscar winner Dances With Wolves, and while his current release The Bodyguard - now showing in Hongkong - may not be up to his usual standard, his star still appears in the ascendant.

* * * *ROUGH Guide to the World's Journeys (Pearl, 8.30pm) looks like turning into a winner. Hosts Magenta de Vine and Sankha Guha mix music, interviews and information in this unusual travelogue.

This week they travel across Mexico, from the capital to Yucatan and Cancun, meeting pop stars, healers, hippies and heroes.

Mexico's economy is scrutinised for an explanation for why, in a wealthy country, much of the population lives below the poverty line, and our explorers try a spot of Mexican wrestling.


* * * * ANYONE who's seen Martin Handford's highly successful and infuriating Where's Wally? books can now tune in to the animated version (Pearl, 6pm).

The books consist of a series of highly detailed drawings in which the character of Wally, a nerd dressed in striped jumper, glasses and bobble hat, is hidden.


The TV show achieves something similar through freeze-framing.

* * * * MAC and Me (Pearl, 9.45pm, original running time 93 mins), a paler version of ET , tries every trick in the book to pull at the heart-strings but probably only succeeds with viewers under the age of 12. Begging the question, why put it on at this time of night? A US retro rocket sent to gather rock samples from various planets inadvertently sucks up a family of alien creatures. Back at the lab on Earth, the aliens manage to escape.

All except the youngest who winds up hiding in the back of a car being driven by a widowed mother and her two sons (one in a wheelchair) to their new home. They discover the creature and help it find its ailing family.


Everything's overdone and the film is cynically product conscious - the aliens can only survive by drinking Coca-Cola, and there's a big showdown in a McDonald's.

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