SKILLED acting from all three leads and taut direction from Phillip Noyce effectively disguise a few OTT plot faults and make Australian thriller Dead Calm (World, 9.30pm, ORT 96 mins) a real nail-biter. Sam Neill, who's on the brink of mega-stardom with his role in this summer's record-breaker Jurassic Park, plays seasoned sailor and husband to Nicole Kidman, star of Far and Away and Mrs Tom Cruise. After the death of their child, the couple try to recover by cruising alone on their yacht. The calm is shattered when they rescue a young man (Billy Zane) from a stricken ship, who claims the rest of the crew have been wiped out through food poisoning. Neill investigates and Zane, who's proving a serious psycho, attempts to leggit with Kidman,yacht, dog and all. Zane makes a terrifying madman, but it's Kidman's transition from dependent young wife to resourceful fighter that steals the show. MEL Gibson's legion of admirers will be happy with the alternative Air America (Pearl, 9.30pm, Ort 112 mins), in which he struts his stuff as a CIA pilot smuggling aid, guns etc in Laos at the start of the Vietnam war. This is a poor man's Good Morning Vietnam, with Gibson playing his usual slightly zany loner, Roberty Downey Jr (Chaplin ) as his young conscience and a big 60s soundtrack. Trouble is the holes in the plot are bigger than those shot in the planes. WHOOPDEEDO, instead of investigating what's going on in the territory, Eye on Hongkong this week rejoices in the new handle Eye on Miss Hongkong (Pearl, 6.55) and spends an hour looking into the beauty pageant won by Hoyan Mok on June 6. There'll be highlights from the contest, interviews with contestants and comments from two of the judges, pop star/actress Anita Mui and Major-General Guy Watkins of the RHKJC. VETERAN rocker Neil Young gets back to basics in Unplugged (MTV, 2am). The 47-year-old has been in the music business for 25 years and is still ''doing what I want to do'' according to the words from one song on his latest album Harvest Moon. STILL on MTV, Roadhog (2.30am), is a special presentation of MTV News which looks at life on the road with the Harley Davidson set, who've carved a niche in American pop culture - not to mention Hongkong, which boasts its own branch of the HOGS. Actor Sam Eliot reveals that today's Harley riders have come a long way from the ruthless Hell's Angels of the 70s.