Finnegan On Film: A Quartet of Movies To Entertain On Netflix

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Our movie guy, James Finnegan, offers a quirky quartet of cinematic delights for your delectation…

This week’s selection from the Netflix offerings offer a range of genres, but, like all the best films, all look at life from a slightly quirky angle – or maybe that is just me?

In any case, we could do with a laugh at the moment and I hope this quartet will entertain.  Please feel free to make your own suggestions in the comments section.

Midnight Run (1988) is the story of accountant Jonathan “The Duke” Mardukas (Charles Grodin) who has embezzled $15 million from the Mob.

Not a good career move, so he has jumped bail.  Bounty hunter Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro) must bring him back within five days.  It should be an easy job, a ‘Midnight Run’. However, Jack is not the only one after Mardukas.

This is almost a period piece, with smoking, air travel and, it must be said, the occasional colourful metaphor, in widespread use.

De Niro and Grodin playing against type and with a fine supporting cast, this is a little gem of a film.

Now for a real period piece.  Sense and Sensibility (1995) is, of course, based on the Jane Austin novel and has been adapted a number of times over the years for both cinema and television.

This is one of the most accessible versions, thanks in no small part to the Oscar winning script by Emma Thompson, who also plays Elinor Dashwood.

The Dashwood sisters must adapt to changed circumstances.  Their family were landed gentry, but now find themselves in financial difficulties.

Therefore they have to seek their future security through marriage.  Does true love find a way? What do you think?

With the dream cast for this type of film, including Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Hugh Lawrie and Imelda Stanton, this was director Ang Lee’s first Hollywood film.

This next film has been universally popular with children over the years.  Mousehunt (1997) stars Nathan Lane and Lee Evans as Ernie and Lars Smuntz.  They have been left a house in their father’s will which they want to renovate and sell as it has hidden value.

However, one small inventive house mouse is also in residence, and he is going nowhere.  Throw in Christopher Walken as a crazy exterminator, and you have a fine inventive, slapstick comedy that appeals on a number of levels.

The final film in this week’s selection was enormously popular when shown at the Kerry Film Festival a few years ago.

Thunder Road (2018) is a comedy drama that started out as an award winning short, but was developed into a stunning independent film by Jim Cummings, who wrote, directed, starred in, and wrote the soundtrack.

Police Officer Jim Arnaud is finding life hard.  He is going through a divorce, he has a troubled relationship with his daughter, and his eulogy to his mother at her funeral did not go quite as he hoped.

This did not make the national cinema circuit here, so it is great to give this unique film a wider audience. Enjoy and stay safe.

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