Finnegan On Films: Good Films To Compete With Eurovision Drama

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Our movie guy, James Finnegan says there are not so many films on television today — working no doubt on the principal that the Eurovision Song Contest will provide enough drama, comedy, makeup and special effects to fill our needs — however, there are still a few cinematic specials to seek out…

Shrek 2 (Saturday 4.25 RTE2) is one of those rare instances where the sequel is considered better than the original.

Now married and returned from their their honeymoon, Shrek (Mike Myers) is introduced by Fiona (Cameron Diaz) to her family.

Clashes with the In-Laws are almost a cliché, and unfortunately Shrek and Fiona’s father (John Cleese) get off on the wrong foot.

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As well as the return of Donkey (Eddie Murphy), the cast has a number of top quality additions, such as the aforementioned Cleese, The Queen (Julie Andrews), an adorable cat assassin, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), a Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders) and Prince Charming (Rupert Everett).

Watch out in particular for the action sequences that show up some non-animation movies for quality and film references.

Based on a comic book series Kingsman: The Secret Service (Saturday 9pm RTE2) is Directed and Written by Matthew Vaughan, with the script duties being shared with Jane Goldman.

“Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton) is a teenager going down the wrong path, when he is taken under the wing of his dead fathers’ colleague, Harry Hart (Colin Firth) who just happens to work for a secret spy organisation.

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After an appropriate training and update program, Eggsy joins the fight against a Bond style Baddie Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), a wealthy eco-terrorist who wants to weaponise climate change, with only his street smarts and an impressive array of gadgets supplied by Merlyn (Mark Strong.

Platoon (Saturday 9.20pm TG4),  is a film based on the experiences of writer and director Oliver Stone’s personal Vietnam experiences that does not glorify in any way the realities of modern combat, especially in that particular campaign.

The film is seen and narrated though Chris (Charlie Sheen) based on Stone. We meet a battle scarred veteran sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger), Elias (William Defoe) who uses drugs to escape the situation and a stunning cast of supporting talent including Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon, John C. McGlinley, Johnny Depp and Tony Todd.

It shows the actuality of a jungle war, where friend and foe are hard to either distinguish or identify.  However, it also continues the theme of Vietnam incurring into American Life.  We still await the more accurate film showing the reverse.

There is just time to mention Dancing at Lughnasa (Saturday 11.55pm RTE1). Based on the play by Brian Friel, this tells of the dark secrets kept within families set in 1930’s Ireland.

Starring Meryl Streep, Michael Gambon, Kathy Burke and Catherine McCormack, and directed by Pat O’Connor this film is a sad story with wonderfully atmospheric cinematography and excellent acting performances all round.  Enjoy and stay safe!

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