Finnegan On Films: A Mixed Bag Of Movies To Watch On The Box

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Our movie guy, James Finnegan, says there are some interesting and moving films on RTE1, RTE2 and TG4 this Bank Holiday weekend for your perusal…

As usual there is a family film on offer.  Sonic the Hedgehog (Saturday 6.35pm RTE1) is based on the Japanese video game.

Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) is a blue hedgehog who can run a supersonic speed.  He is transported to Earth by his mentor owl from a distant planet.

After a decade of lonely living in Montana, his super speed causes an electromagnetic pulse when playing baseball on his own.  Genius scientist Dr Robotnik (Jim Carrey) is hired to investigate this phenomenon.

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Unfortunately, as is traditional in these matters, Robotnik becomes obsessed with capturing Sonic for his own evil ends.

This is a bit of fun, with Carrey in particular enjoying the opportunity to indulge his manic energy, and has spawned two more sequels, the latest of which will be released next year.

I sometimes wonder what Bob Dylan made of I’m Not There (Saturday 9.30pm TG4) as it is a totally original style of musical biographical film. A caption at the start of the film declares it to be “inspired by the music and the many lives of Bob Dylan”.

Dylan is portrayed by Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett (who won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for this role), Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger (his final film to be released during his lifetime), and Ben Whishaw, showing different aspects of the singers life.

This is the only mention of Dylan in the film apart from song credits, and his only appearance in it is concert footage from 1966 shown during the film’s final moments.

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Schindler’s List (Saturday 9.30 RTE2) is Stephen Spielberg’s heartrending, Oscar winning drama based on the true story of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German businessman who tried to save Polish Jews from the Auschwitz gas chambers by creating jobs for them in his factory

Schindler, together with his accountant Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley) made a list of over a thousand Jews, and both Neeson and Kingsley give flawless performances.

However, Ralph Fiennes is even better as the sadistic Kommandant Amon Goth, one of cinemas most evil villains even more when you remember this is based on actual events.

With one of his most evocative scores, John Williams soundtrack can reduce you to tears, as if the story did not already do that to you.

After the baddie slipped through his fingers in New York, Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman) goes to any length to get international heroin smuggler Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey) in French Connection II (Saturday 11.35pm RTE1).

By chasing Charnier all the way to Marseille, Doyle does not take into account that he is on his opponents home turf, and that Charnier also has a mission of revenge in mind.

This is a tough thriller typical of the mid seventies and directed with great skill and style by John Frankenheimer. Enjoy!

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