This effects-driven miniseries is a 'Keeper'

Having tackled Western fairy tales, producer and special effects wizard Robert Halmi ("Alice in Wonderland") offers a visually dazzling series of American Indian myths and stories in the two-part miniseries "Dreamkeeper" (8 p.m. Sunday, ABC, concludes Monday).

Halmi uses a relatively simple plot as a jumping-off point for his fantastic "Arabian Nights"-like series of tales. Shane (Eddie Spears), a troubled Lakota teen, is enlisted to drive his elderly storyteller grandfather (August Schellenberg) to what may be his last powwow. Along the way, Grandpa lapses into incredible yarns, about a mountainside that turns into a bear, a thunder spirit who takes a mortal woman for his wife, and a white, Texas-born Indian who helps his adopted tribe survive. Each of these stories unfolds with spectacular effects.

If you loved Halmi's earlier works ("Gulliver's Travels," "Don Quixote," etc.), don't dare miss "Dreamkeeper." Unfortunately, some of the stories include the rather stilted dialogue too often associated with the "noble red man," played here with earnest stiffness by young actors. While the moments between Shane and his grandfather consistently ring true, "Dreamkeeper" often sounds like a convention of Keanu Reeves imitators.

  • Fans of the recently canceled cop series "Boomtown" (NBC, today) have three, make that four, reasons to rejoice. The show's narrative quirks and intelligent performances earned critical praise when the series made its debut in 2002, but "Boomtown" never found a sizable audience. In tonight's previously unseen episodes, crooks pose as police (7 p.m.), a shopping mall hostage crisis (8 p.m.), and a murder from the past haunts two former fraternity brothers (9 p.m.). A fourth new episode (9 p.m. Sunday, NBC) stars Virginia Madsen and Howard Hesseman.
  • Nuns, Nazis, the Alps, clothes made out of drapery, singing cuckoo clocks and edelweiss. Yes, it's time for your annual dose of "The Sound of Music" (7 p.m. today, ABC), the 1965 blockbuster starring Julie Andrews. Don't even pretend that you don't know all of the words. Even if some of them are, "yer and yer and yer."

Tonight's other highlights

  • Kevin Kline, Will Smith and Salma Hayek star in the 1999 comedy "Wild, Wild West" (7 p.m., CBS). The film shares a title, and little else, with the classic 1960s TV Western.
  • Adrien Brody won a 2002 Oscar for his role in "The Pianist" (8 p.m., Starz), directed by Roman Polanski.
  • "Trading Spaces" (9 p.m., TLC) glances back at some not-so-welcome makeovers.
  • Denzel Washington directed the 2002 drama "Antwone Fisher" (9 p.m., Cinemax).

Sunday's other highlights

  • Scheduled on "60 Minutes" (6:30 p.m., CBS): Iraq's police; exporting jobs; eminent domain laws.
  • George Lopez is host of "TV Guide: Greatest Moments 2003" (6 p.m., ABC).
  • Bruce Willis stars in the 1988 thriller "Die Hard" (6:30 p.m., Fox).
  • A writer (Renee Zellweger) returns home to care for her cancer-stricken mother (Meryl Streep) in the 2001 drama "One True Thing" (7:30 p.m., CBS).
  • Murder stalks the antiques market on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (8 p.m., NBC).
  • "It's Good to Be" (9 p.m., E!) spotlights the career of Kate Hudson.

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