Finnegan On Films: An Easter Parade Of Good Movies On TV This Weekend

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Our movie guy, James Finnegan, has some ‘eggcellent’ (sorry!) films to recommend for this Bank Holiday Weekend…

The Secret Life of Pets (Saturday 6.35pm RTE1) holds a special place in my film loving heart as it was the first film I brought my granddaughter Amy to see in the cinema (mine was The Sound Of Music – yes, I’m that old!).

Max is a Jack Russell who has been top dog with his owner Katie since he was a puppy.  Suddenly, he has to share her affection with Duke, a giant Newfoundland mix rescued from the dog pound.

The two clash and their battle for supremacy end with them homeless, collarless and at the mercies of more street wise animals on the mean streets of New York.

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With a voice cast including Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate and Dana Carvey, this film has resonances of ‘Toy Story’ and has brought forth several litters of sequels.

There are two places you don’t go to for historical accuracy – the Internet and Hollywood.

The Patriot (Saturday 9.15 RTE2) is the story of soldier turned farmer Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson).

He takes up arms again when his son is killed by British forces during the American War of Independence.

Directed by Roland Emmerich, the action scenes are well staged, if occasionally unlikely, and a supporting cast including Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Jason Issacs, Chris Cooper, Rene Auberjonois and Tom Wilkinson helps keep the story rolling along.

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It would not be a Bank Holiday Weekend without a romantic comedy, and one of the best of this genre is Sleepless in Seattle (Saturday 9.55pm TG4).

A widowed father, Sam (Tom Hanks) is not coping well with his wife’s death.  His son, Jonah, is convinced what he really needs is  a new romance in his life.

He arranges for his dad to go on a radio phone-in show, where his touching story moves a reporter, Annie (Meg Ryan) to respond, even though she herself is engaged.

As you can imagine, the road to true love does not run smooth, and Annie returns to her fiancé.  However, Jonah is certain she is perfect for his dad, and he plots to bring them together.

Directed and Co-written by Nora Ephron and with a wonderful supporting cast including Bill Pullman, Rob Reiner, Rosie O’Donnell and Victor Garber, this is a perfect Saturday night film.

There is just space to note two films with different examples of the fantasy adventure.  Nanny McPhee (Easter Monday 4.00pm RTE1) is another widower story, who is struggling to deal with his unruly children until a strange looking nanny appears.

Starring and written by Emma Thompson in the title role and also starring Colin Firth and Angela Lansbury among others, this is a perfect family film.

There is also Field of Dreams (Easter Monday 5.00pm TG4) which is the story of Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner), a baseball fan and Iowa farmer, who hears a voice urging him to build a baseball diamond in his backyard. Enjoy your Easter eggs and stay safe!

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