Finnegan On Films: Movies On TV And Netflix Worth Checking Out

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With no prospect of films at the Omniplex for a while, our movie guy, James Finnegan, looks at some offerings on Netflix and on TV this week…

First, let me wish you and your family a very happy and memorable New Year.

It is going to be a different type of year again for film viewers, makers and distributors.

As the Omniplex is closed, I am going to give some weekly recommendations for both terrestrial and streamed films that I think you might enjoy.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is on RTE One on Saturday at 6.35pm.  It’s the third big screen incarnation of the Marvel Superhero with Tom Holland in the title role.

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It goes back to the comic origins, showing the struggles Spidey faces trying to balance the problems of High School Life with the responsibilities of his heroic adventures by night.

His opponent in this adventure is in the form of the Vulture played by Michael Keaton in one of the better villain roles in this genre, helped by a very clever back story referring back to previous adventures in this franchise.

It also allows Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) and the Iron Man team to be involved, following Spider-Man’s cameo appearance in Captain America: Civil War, and the mentor relationship is both touching and amusing.

Later, on the same channel at 11.35pm is Bonnie and Clyde.  It tells the tale of Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) and Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway), a pair of bank robbers in the time of the Great Depression.

As with all Hollywood biographical films, it would not be strictly historically accurate.  It is, however, one of the most influential films that ushered in a era of a new cinematic style.

Directed by Arthur Penn, it also stars those great character actors Michael J Pollard, Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for this role.

Meanwhile, over on Netflix is Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the film adaptation of the award winning play by August Wilson.

It is based on a 1927 recording session in Chicago involving an influential blues singer, the afore mentioned Ma Rainey (Viola Davies) as well as the social and artistic conflicts between the participants.

While it occasionally shows its stage origins, this has at least two performances that will feature in award nominations this year, namely Viola Davies and the late Chadwick Boseman as Levee Green, the trumpeter in Ma’s Band who has aspirations for his own musical career.

Also on Netflix, and continuing the music theme, Wild Rose is the story of a single mother of two, just released from prison who dreams of being a Country singer in Nashville, because as she points out, “Johnny Cash was a convicted criminal”.

Held together by the wonderful acting and singing talents of Kerry’s own Jessie Buckley in the title role, this is a little gem of a film.  It is a wonderful combination of ‘Billy Elliot’ and ‘Coalminer’s Daughter’.

Again, there is an excellent supporting cast, notably by Julie Walters and Sophie Okonedo, and excellently directed by Tom Harper, this is well worth a watch.  Stay safe.

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