Finnegan On Films: All-Star Casts Delivering Powerful Narratives

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Our movie guy, James Finnegan, looks at some choice movies on the box this week…

You always get a little nervous when the studios decide to remake a classic film.

Certainly the recent trend for remaking animated versions into live action events has been a bit of a mixed bag.

Beauty and the Beast (Saturday 6.35pm  RTE1) is basically the same story as told so charmingly in the 1991 version, augmented by some new songs from the stage musical.

Continued below…


A Prince, transformed into a monster as a punishment, falls in love with a spirited village girl, who ends up holding the key to breaking his curse.  Belle (Emma Watson) finds herself the captive of the Beast (Dan Stevens) in a castle populated by live furniture and kitchen implements.

With a wonderful cast including Luke Evans as the baddie Gaston, Emma Thompson as Mrs Potts, Ewan McGregor (Lumiere) and Ian McKellen as Cogsworth as well as Josh Gad, Stanley Tucci and Ian McKellen, it is easy to see why this version, while being one of the most expensive films ever made, is also the tenth highest grossing film of all time, or should I perhaps say, ‘Tale as old as Time’.

A really interesting film is Bobby (Saturday 9.40pm TG4) written and directed by Emilio Estervez, a fictionalised account of various interweaving stories around the events of June 5th 1968 and the assassination of Robert F Kennedy.

There is a terrific ensemble cast including Harry Belafonte, Laurence Fishburne, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, William H Macy, Martin Sheen (Emilio’s father), Christian Slater and Sharon Stone.

Well worth a watch, particularly in view of recent events concerning the convicted gunman Sirhan Sirhan.

The Blind Side (Saturday 10.15 RTE1) is one of those stories that are so unbelievable, you would think it was Hollywood fiction – but it all happened here in real life.

Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) is a huge homeless teenager, who has little or no social skills or education.

Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw) and Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) take him in and fund his education, helping him to become an American footballer.

Based on the book by Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball and a former classmate of Sean Tuohy, written and directed by John Lee Handcock, this is really Sandra Bullock’s film as she won multiple awards for her performance including the Best Actress Academy Award.

Inside Man (Monday 9.30 TG4) is a really intricate bank heist thriller directed by Spike Lee for those of you who like a good complex storyline.

A NYPD Hostage negotiator, Detective Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington), is dealing with a hostage crisis at a Bank.

However, the bank’s founder Arthur Case (Christopher Plummer) sends in a political fixer Madeleine White (Jodie Foster) to make sure something in his safety deposit box does not end up in the hands of the robbers.

Also starring Clive Owen as Dalton Russell, the criminal mastermind behind the heist, this keeps you guessing until the end. Enjoy and stay safe!

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