Picks and Pans Review: Asteroid

updated 02/17/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/17/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST

NBC (Sun.-Mon., Feb. 16-17, 9 p.m. ET)

B-

Two asteroids are headed straight for Earth in this 2-part, 4-hour miniseries. You will instantly want to know: How are the special effects? Not bad, not great, judging from my preview tape, which was not the final edit. The asteroids are large, anthracite lumps that somersault through space with a loud whish. Their fragments explode into flame upon entering our atmosphere. Also: A dam is shattered, and Kansas City, Mo., is washed away. Fun!

In the first and by far more entertaining half, astronomer Annabella Sciorra (Jungle Fever) and Michael Biehn (The Terminator), a federal emergency official, anticipate and try to avoid calamity. The second half is devoted to rescue efforts—standard disaster-movie stuff, thinly written and acted by a dusty, bloodied cast of extras. I kept wishing Shelley Winters would climb out of a crater in all her volcanic glory.

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