Finnegan On Films: A Variety Of Fine Movies To Watch On Saturday

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Our movie guy, James Finnegan, says there is a wonderful combination of  comedy and drama – both real life and imagined – on show for Saturday…

They simply don’t make films like Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines (Saturday 2.05pm RTE2) anymore, not only on this scale, but also with this tone.

Taking place in 1910, British Newspaper Publisher Lord Rawnsley (Robert Morley) invites the world’s best aviators to compete in a race from London to Paris for £10,000.

Every nationality lives up to their imagined stereotype in an adventure of slapstick comedy and mishaps with a cast including Terry Thomas, Stuart Whitman, Sarah Miles, Gert Forbe and Red Skelton among others.

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Directed and Co-written by Ken Annakin, you will recognise the score by Ron Goodwin straight away.

Today’s family film is Smallfoot (Saturday 6.35pm RTE1) and has a nice little twist.

Migo is a friendly Yeti, whose world is turned upside down when he discovers a strange creature – a human! Naturally, no one in his Yeti village believes this crazy story and poor Migo is banished.

With a vocal cast including Channing Tatum, Zendaya, Danny DeVito, has some this has some pleasant tunes, good comedy and a positive message.

Catch Me If You Can (Saturday 7.35pm RTE2) is a Steven Spielberg film that tell the true(ish) story of Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio) who conned his way across America posing as either a doctor, lawyer or pilot, paying for an extravagent lifestyle by using forged cheques.

He is being chased down by FBI Agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) who doggedly tracks him but is usually one step behind.

However there are significant dilemmas and ethical costs to Frank’s lifestyle that mere money cannot cover.

If you ever wondered what a combination of ‘The Towering Inferno’ and ‘Die Hard’ would look like, Skyscraper (Saturday 9.25pm RTE1) gives you a pretty good idea.

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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson plays a former FBI Hostage negotiator, war veteran and security assessor who has to save his family and others from terrorists and a burning skyscraper with only a prosthetic leg and some snappy lines to help.

About Schmidt (Saturday 9.35pm TG4) has a wonderful performance from Jack Nicholson as a shell of a man, who when he retires from his soulless job has nothing to do and all day to do it.

Directed by Alexander Payne, Schmidt gets onto his winnebago not to go on a journey of self discovery, but simply because he has nowhere else to go, particularly when his wife passes away suddenly.

However, when his daughter plans to get married to a man whom Schmidt considers to be the wrong guy, from the wrong family, Nicholson comes into his own.

Two real life political stories to end with with Churchill (Saturday 10.05pm RTE2) set in the days before the Allied invasion of Normandy. Brian Cox plays the title role and is, in my opinion, superior to the Oscar-winning Gary Oldman performance.

Thirteen Days (Saturday 11.15pm RTE1) details the Cuban Missile Crisis from the viewpoint of Presidential aide Kenny O’Donnell (Kevin Costner).

Bruce Greenwood makes an excellent JFK who faces Hawks and Doves in his own White House as well as Russian threats. Enjoy and stay safe.

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