Walking tall in Grenada

THE flak that flew when Heartbreak Ridge (Pearl, 9.30pm) was released must have surprised its producer/director/actor, Clint Eastwood. Some busybodies actually thought Eastwood was endorsing the US invasion of Grenada with this movie. But Eastwood never really makes movies that dabble in politics. At the heart of this film, no pun intended, is not the invasion but the man, and the man is Tom Highway, a gruff and foul-mouthed marine who is nearing retirement age and wants to go out the way he came in, with his old outfit.

There, he finds he has to train a group of lazy misfits who feel they have been duped by the slick military advertising on television. It is not hard to guess what happens next; he whips them into shape and is then forced to put them to the test when a Marxist government backed by Cuban troops gets bolshy on a small Caribbean island - Grenada.

I HAVE no idea what I was doing on Friday, November 22, 1963 - the day that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot - probably lying on my back having my nappy changed, because I was not yet one-year-old. Yet everyone else has a story to tell.

And since then nearly everyone has had a theory to put forward, if not about his death then about the man himself, who was just as flawed and as fallible as the next man. The Kennedys (Pearl, 10.0am), a British production, continues its long, hard look at why JFK and his siblings turned out the way they did.

Is there anything new to be said? Perhaps not, but at least The Kennedys, a four-part series, takes a new tack, concerning itself less with the nine children of Joseph Kennedy and more with Joseph himself, a man who drove them towards their tragic destiny.

WHEN we last saw Clive James in Japan (Star Plus 8.30pm) he was enjoying the company of three Geisha Girls, who do almost everything except what Geisha Girls are widely believed to do. Beforehand he had done all the things tourists to Tokyo always do:spent the night in a Love Hotel, been served tea by a female robot and got lost for a day or two in a subway station.

In this, the second episode, Mr James is shocked to discover that the inscrutable Japanese are not so inscrutable when it comes to letting their hair down.

ALSO on Star Plus is The Lamp (3.30am), a silly but entertaining horror melodrama of exactly the kind that should be shown at this time of the morning. It begins with dead sailors littered on the deck of a ship in 19th century Texas and continues withthe brutal murder of an old woman in the present day, which in this case was 1986. At the heart of it all are a mysterious bracelet and, right first time around, a lamp.

THE Five Nations Championship rugby match between England and Ireland at Twickenham is live on Prime Sports at 10.30pm followed by a recording of the Wales vs France match from Cardiff at 12 noon. Earlier in the day is the Women's Downhill live from Lillehammer at 6.0pm.

On MTV, squeezed between the usual array of terminally jaunty VJs, is Full Moon, Dirty Hearts, Album Visual (2.0pm), featuring short films from the best of Australia's young film-makers, each set to a song from the INXS album Full Moon, Dirty Hearts.

Most of the films were made in Sydney or Melbourne in September 1993 and have been linked with interview footage with the band, particularly Michael Hutchence, who is a bit of a Hong Kong boy at heart. Hutchence also pops up as guest VJ with John Farriss, also of INXS, at noon on Saturday and 4.0am on Sunday.