Finnegan On Films: Gender Wars, An Acting Masterclass And Dinosaurs

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Our movie guy, James Finnegan, says there’s a mixed bag of films on the box tonight…

When a plot against a prominent Middle Eastern politician is uncovered, David Pollock (Gregory Peck), a Professor of Ancient Hieroglyphics at Oxford University, is recruited to help expose the scheme, as can only happen in the movies, namely Arabesque (Saturday 3.10pm RTE1).

There is information hidden in a hieroglyphic code, hence calling in the esteemed professor, who must also contend with a mysterious man, Beshraavi (Alan Badden), whose beautiful lover Yasmin (Sophia Loren) seems willing to help Pollock…but is she really on his side?

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Directed by Stanley Donen, it’s very similar in tone and style to his previous film, Charade, which was reviewed and shown in this slot last week, so you know what to expect.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Saturday 6.35pm RTE1) is the fifth in the Jurassic Park series, and the prequel to the current cinema offering.

Much as I love seeing dinosaurs roaming the earth, this film’s dino bones don’t quite fit together.  The genetically enhanced creatures have been left alone on their island, but they are facing extinction again when a volcano threatens to erupt.

The new Jurassic team of Claire Dearing (Byrce Dallas Howard) and Owen Grady (Chris Pine) are reunited to save the dinosaurs, but they uncover a sinister plot (is there another kind?) by the moneymen in suits to use the creatures for their own profits.

There are some entertaining set pieces, especially if you have ever wondered what a combination of creepy gothic house and hungry stalking dino would look like, this is your lucky film.

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As we approach Wimbledon fortnight, Battle of the Sexes (Saturday 9.55pm RTE1) is a tale of a curious time, but still has resonances today as the debate about equality in major sports prize money continues.

Former Men’s Tennis Champion Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) challenges current Women’s Tennis Champion. Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) in a bizzare challenge match to prove which is the superior sport.

As you might remember, the match develops into a media circus, but the film tells the story of how the two main players have their own challenges as King comes to terms with her sexuality and Riggs has to deal with his gambling addiction.

I would have loved to have been in room when the idea for The Hours (Saturday 10.05pm TG4) was pitched, because it focuses on three women of different generations whose lives are interconnected by the 1925 novel “Mrs Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf.

Starring Nicole Kidman (in an Oscar winning performance) as Virginia Woolf, struggling with depression in 1920’s England while trying to finish her novel, it also stars Meryl Streep as Clarissa who is arranging an award party for her AIDS stricken friend in 2001 and  Julianne Moore as Laura, a pregnant mother in an unhappy marriage in 1950’s California.

Directed by Stephen Daldry from a screenplay by David Hare, the supporting cast includes Ed Harris, Toni Colette, Jeff Daniels, Alison Janney and John C Reilly. Enjoy and stay safe!

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