Finnegan On Films: Family Fun, Comedy And Historical Drama On The Box

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Our movie guy, James Finnegan, has some suggestions for your viewing pleasure this evening…

AS has been said many times, there is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to sequels, but I’m delighted to say that Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation (Saturday 6.35pm RTE1) still has some bite in it.

In this animated tale, Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) may be a vampire, but he still has feelings.   Alas, his wife has been dispatched by the traditional angry mob.

His daughter tries to cheer him up by booking him and his friends, Frankenstein (Kevin James), Wayne the Werewolf (Steve Buscemi), Murray the Mummy (Keegan Michael Key), Griffin the Invisible Man (David Spade) and Vlad (Mel Brooks) on a cruise to the Bermuda Triangle.

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Dracula falls for the ship’s Captain Erika (Kathryn Hahn), but she has a secret – she is the great granddaughter of the legendary Vampire Hunter, Abraham Van Helsing!  Mwah Hah Mah!!!

Mary Queen of Scots (Saturday 9.00pm RTE2) is, of course, based on historical facts some of which have been changed for dramatic purpose.

Mary returns to Scotland after the death of her French husband in 1561.  Her Cousin, Elizabeth, rules England, but there are religious differences, Catholic Mary against Protestant Elizabeth, as well as political, namely which cousin has the greater claim to the English Crown.

Surrounded by duplicitous courtiers, each vying for personal advancement, Mary’s eventual attempt to overthrow Elizabeth finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before her problems come to a head.

Directed by Josie Rourke and starring Saoirse Ronan as Mary and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth, this is a rattling good story well told and, I believe, fares well in comparison with the Glenda Jackson/Vanessa Redgrave of the early seventies.

It also stars David Tennant, Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn, Guy Pearce and Adrian Lester among others.

Just for the record, Mary and Elizabeth never actually met, but why let the facts get in the way of a good story.

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In Meet the Parents (Saturday 9.25pm RTE1), male nurse Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) wants to wait before proposing to his girlfriend (Teri Polo) until he has met her parents.

Unfortunately the prospective future father in law Jack (Robert De Niro) turns out to be not only controlling and strict, but a former CIA agent who likes to keep his skills honed.

Suffice to say that the course of true love is not allowed to run smooth, with every effort Greg makes doomed to catastrophic failure, not helped by an extraordinarily well trained cat.  Not quite “Something about Mary”, but it has that kind of vibe.

In The Parole Officer (Saturday 10.40pm TG4), an unassuming probation officer (Steve Coogan) needs the help of his former clients help to clear his name when his is framed for murder, after finding evidence of high level corruption.  However, the only way to do it is to rob a bank!

Also starring Om Puri, Steven Waddington, Ben Miller, Emma Williams and Lena Headey, this has the feel of an Ealing Comedy, but with a somewhat broader and more basic sense of humour.

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