Arthur's schmaltzy return

Teri Fitsell

VALENTINE'S Day may be over, but World is determined to prolong the romance by continuing its ''PS: I Love You'' movie series. Unfortunately the quality does not continue, as it follows up yesterday's enchanting Cousins, with the dubious sequel to Dudley Moore's 1981 comedy hit Arthur.

It's called Arthur 2: On the Rocks (9.30 pm, Original running time 110 mins), but would have been better named On the Skids, as the cast try desperately to make something of this syrupy tale.

That the film-makers bring back Arthur's sardonic butler (John Gielgud) as a ghost, to get around the problem of his character having died in the original, shows the TV soap mentality at play here.

This time Arthur (Dudley Moore) is broke, his wife (Liza Minnelli) wants a baby and it's all too schmaltzy for words. * * * * BLUE City (Pearl 9.45 pm, ORT 83 mins) is no better, and might even be worse. Judd Nelson plays yet another character whom only a mother could love (why does he keep taking these roles?).

He's a wise-ass kid who goes home to smalltown Florida only to find his father was killed nine months earlier.

Nelson vows to avenge his death and solve the mystery which has local police baffled.

A major dubbing job must have been done on the film since in the original Nelson rarely strays from the F-word. * * * * MORE interesting than both could be STAR Plus's main feature, the second part of Texas Trilogy (8 pm) entitled On Valentine's Day. Thethree-parter started yesterday, but each story, based on the young life of playwright Horton Foote, stands on its own.

The series, set in the first two decades of this century, stars Matthew Broderick (Family Business). In today's episode Elizabeth elopes with a poor man against her family's wishes.

* * * * YEEHAA! Cheers (Pearl 9 pm) is back and at a new time that's far more viewer-friendly than the previous midnight Friday slot.

In this episode Sam (Ted Danson) and Rebecca (Kirstie Alley) continue Operation Make-a-Baby, but have second thoughts because of their lack of love for each other.

* * * * HONGKONG'S political future is the thorny subject at the centre of The Pearl Report (Pearl 7.35 pm). A panel of journalists look behind the posturing and rhetoric to the vested interests of China, Britain, local businessmen and political leaders.

The segment includes the disturbing results of a territory-wide public opinion survey.

There's also a report on the growing number of cases of cervical cancer among young Hongkong women. Medical experts say increased sexual activity may be to blame.

* * * * The Spirit (World 11.35 pm, ORT 78 mins) is a patchy adaptation of William Eisner's comic strip of the same name, about a small-town cop who becomes a masked superhero crime-fighter.

There are some good one-liners, but it becomes impossible to believe that no-one's cottoned on to The Spirit's true identity.

* * * *LEEDS versus Manchester United is the featured game in English Soccer (Pearl 11.50 pm).

And don't forget the continuing live coverage of the Second Test between India and England from Madras (Prime Sports 11.30 am and 2.15 pm).