Finnegan On Films: A ‘Natural’ Selection And Clint In Top Form

Posted by


Our movie guy, James Finnegan says there is a somewhat more limited selection of television films after a Bank Holiday weekend, but there are a few interesting star vehicles available this week…

The Natural (Saturday RTE One 2.10pm) is a somewhat whimsical tale of a middle aged Baseball player, Roy Hobbs, played by Robert Redford.

He helps bring an unsuccessful 1930’s baseball team back to the top of the league, aided by a bat fashioned from a tree hit by lightning.

It is a ‘Field of Dreams’ kind of film, with a story of romance, redemption and nostalgia with the American Dream being to the forefront.

Continued below…


Although it goes a little overboard with the sentimentality, it has an excellent cast including Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger and Barbara Hershey.

One for a quiet weekend viewing, and there may be a final tug of the heart strings right at the end that might leave something in your eye.

There are two other very watchable films later in the week that are showing, a little frustratingly, at the same time, but that’s I suppose why they inventing the record button.

3.10 To Yuma (Friday TG4 9.05pm) is a remake of a rather good 1957 Glen Ford Western.

A rancher and Civil War veteran, Dan Evans (Christian Bale) sees an opportunity to settle some financial debts, as well as earning his son’s respect.

All he has to do is escort a notorious, and charismatic, outlaw, Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) to a train taking him to Yuma prison. However, the criminal has colleagues lying in wait.

The strength in this film is the interplay between the two leads.  It is also influenced by the classic westerns such as High Noon without quite hitting that level.

However, it is an enjoyable story with Crowe in particular getting the opportunity to deliver some typical bad guy lines with a twinkle in his eye.

In The Line Of Fire (Friday RTE2 10.00pm) is a very entertaining Clint Eastwood thriller yarn.

Eastwood plays Frank Horrigan, a veteran US Secret Service agent who was on President Kennedy’s service detail, but is tormented by his failure to project his charge in 1963 at Dallas.

Now he is a pawn in the warped battle of wits where a CIA-trained assassin, Mitch Leary (John Malkovich), is out to assassinate the current US President.  Horrigan gets himself reassigned to the Presidential Service Detail, determined not to lose again.

Again, this is a story based on the similarities between the two antagonists, rather than the differences.

Ably supported by excellent character acting talent including Rene Russo, Gary Cole and John Mahoney, and tightly directed by Wolfgang Petersen, this is an engaging thriller all the way to the end. Enjoy and stay safe!

Comments are closed.