THE British Lions' rugby test series in New Zealand begins today, with the visitors hoping to avenge the 4-0 humiliation they suffered at the hands of the All Blacks in 1983. Gavin Hastings will lead the Lions into action (cue British tabloid headlines with allusions to 1066) in the first of three tests, all of which are being broadcast live in Hongkong (Prime Sports 10.30am). The Lions, who have been in New Zealand since May 20, have played six games against regional sides, winning five and losing one, but managing to injure half the team in the process. THE day's top movie by far is Giuseppe Tornatore's 10-hanky tribute to childhood and his home town movie house, Cinema Paradiso (World 9.35pm, original running time 155 mins). Most of the film is a flashback to the young life during World War II of now famous movie director Salvatore di Vitto. As a child, ''Toto'' lives in a Sicilian village dividing his time between the church, where he was an inept altar boy, and the villagecinema, where the gruffly kind Alfredo (Philippe Noiret) is the magical projectionist. This is the pre-TV era, when cinema is the centre of village life - despite the local priest's indignant censoring of all kissing scenes from the films. Much of Cinema Paradiso's appeal is that it comprises parts from everyone's childhood and adolescence - from falling asleep in church, spending the milk money on other things, through snogging in the back row, to encounters with those odd characters whomake up village life. Add to that Ennio Morricone's beautiful music, probably the cutest rascal (Salvatore Cascio) in the history of cinema playing Toto as a child, and the moving final scene, and you have a movie worthy of the copious tears you'll no doubt shed. TEARS should be shed over Pearl's alternative, The Bonfire of the Vanities (9.30pm, ORT 125 mins), but for altogether different feelings. This is a complete abortion of Tom Wolfe's great book, and it's one the author himself disowned. Wolfe's darkly humorous book was an ironic study of the inhabitants of that ethnic pressure cooker New York. Movie director Brian de Palma has removed all traces of subtlety and wit, and what remains is a heavy-handed, not to mention racist, ''comedy''. Tom Hanks is sadly miscast as Wall Street yuppie Sherman McCoy, a wheeler-dealer whose life begins to crumble when he and his mistress (Melanie Griffith) are involved in a hit and run accident. Bruce Willis plays Peter Fallow (a drunken British hack in the book), a journo who rises on McCoy's fall from grace. FATHER Goose (STAR Plus 2.30pm, ORT 116 mins) was Cary Grant's penultimate film and one of his worst, which makes it a strange choice to kick-off a five-movie tribute to him. Grant, plays an irascible beachcomber who's tricked into becoming a military observer on a South Pacific island during WWII.