By Sherrie Li
By Falling James
By Amanda Lewis
By Amy Nicholson
By Amy Nicholson
By Jennifer Swann
By Scott Foundas
By Sherrie Li
Though I know almost nothing about sports and care about them even less (while remaining, I assure you, quite secure in my masculinity) and find the business of television - and I probably should not admit this - scarcely more compelling than a Burpee catalog, I am happy in this bustling half-hour, and drawn mightily to its highly attractive cast. Robert Guillaume, who long was Benson, is here as the world's best boss (next to Homicide's Yaphet Kotto, whose flexibly stern paternalism Guillaume adopts and adapts), along with Peter Krause, up from Cybill, and associate producer Josh Charles, whose nose is made sport of, as co-anchors; Sliders' Sabrina Lloyd as a production assistant; Joshua Molina, in the oddball slot, as another associate producer; and, shining brightly in the center of it all as the show's producer, Felicity Huffman, of The Spanish Prisoner and Showtime's saucy Bedtime. It's a big year on TV for blonds, I might note - Huffman, Faith Ford, Christina Applegate, the recently axed Sue Costello, the Olsen Twins, Bo Derek - though what this says about where we're headed as a people, I'm sure I can't say . . . Or won't.
A Soldier's Sweetheart, a Showtime movie based on a short story by Tim O'Brien about a medic who imports his Cleveland Heights girlfriend into wartime Vietnam, is several things rare for television: quiet, measured, picture-oriented, open-ended, unjudging, unpredictable and profoundly mysterious (qualities, to be sure, of a really good X-Files, but not significantly more common for that). Given the setting, the circumstances and the style, it is fairly evident fairly quickly that before we are turned back into the safety of our ordinary living rooms something . . . bad . . . is going to happen, though exactly what is not evident at all, and what does eventually transpire is too singular, too marvelously strange, to be called tragic.
Directed and adapted by Thomas Michael Donnelly, the film, though on the surface strictly, even unpleasantly, realistic - it includes as convincing a re-creation of a "gaping chest wound" as I hope ever to see again - courts the fabulous: It's a campfire tale, a ballad of dark, persuasive magic in which the forest transforms a curious child into a woodland wraith. Kiefer Sutherland is the still point from which we view the alterations, Skeet Ulrich the soldier whose bright idea undoes him, and Georgina Cates the flame reshaped in the night and the jungle, in the proximity of nothingness. They're all up to the job and, appropriately, lost in it.
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