IF you haven't yet made plans to go out, get on that din wa. The TV choice comprises old sport, the usual sitcoms, and a couple of formula prime-time movies. Time to get a life. SILVER screen star Barbara Stanwyck gave one of her best performances in 1937 in the film Stella Dallas, playing a mother who sacrifices all for her daughter. Fast-forward 53 years, and Bette Midler tries and fails to do the same in the updated version Stella (Pearl 9.50pm, original running time 109 mins). Set in the 70s, Midler repeats the role of mum with a bad dress sense, who gives up her daughter for the latter's social advancement. Director John Erman seems to have missed the subtleties of the first and Midler's larger-than-life performance overwhelms rather than complements those of her co-stars. THIS sounds familiar: grouchy veteran cop vows revenge when his partner is killed, but has to break-in new sidekick who's a wet-behind-the-ears novice wanting to do everything by the book. Could be the storyline from any number of buddy cop movies. In this case it's The Rookie (World 9.30pm, ORT 121 mins), a formula Clint Eastwood vehicle which he also directed. He's the cigar-chewing veteran, while Charlie Sheen (Major League ) is the green boy. Raul Julia and Sonia Braga (who both starred in Kiss of the Spiderwoman ) play the baddies - the latter specialising in an interesting line in bondage. Otherwise it's the usual three Cs - cops, cars and corpses. BETTER than both main movies is the low-budget war film 84 Charlie Mopic (Pearl 1am, ORT 95 mins). Patrick Duncan wrote and directed this account of life on the front line in Vietnam as seen through the eyes of a combat cameraman assigned to film a specialreconnaissance unit on a dangerous mission. Sterling performances from a cast of unknowns. IF you're looking for something a little different on the music front, check out MTV Alternative Nation (MTV, 11 pm). The show features the latest bands as well as alternative and mainstream videos not usually seen on the channel. A chance to see tomorrow's big rock acts today. EVERYONE has seen Bertolucci's award-winning movie The Last Emperor . Now's your chance to see it all again from the female angle in, wait for it, The Last Empress (World 12.45am), which was also made in 1987. It examines the fates of the three women who lived in the Forbidden City with deposed Emperor Pu Yi. For a time, they were the most privileged women in feudal China, but all were ill-fated: Empress Wan Rong went mad; concubine Wen Xiu was expelled and pilloried; and concubine Tan Yuling met a senseless death.