Finnegan On Films: An Early Madonna Movie And An Irish Classic

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A forgotten Madonna vehicle and an Irish classic are among our movie guy, James Finnegan’s recommendations for tonight…

I am delighted to pass onto you a wonderful selection of films for your consideration today, and we are starting not with a good film, but a great one.

Despicable Me (Saturday 6.35 RTE1) is the story of a Super Villain, Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) who has a fiendish plan to steal the Moon.

He is aided not only with an arsenal of war machines and weapons, but also with an army of, quite literally, Minions.

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What gives this film heart though is the fact that there are reasons why Gru is like he is.  So when three little orphan girls come into his life, he himself changes in a totally unexpected manner.

However, it is the Minions who really steal the show, with their Mr Bean like innocence and language.  This is a wonderful film for all the ages.

The second film in the Barrystown trilogy is considered by some to be the best of the series.  In The Snapper (Saturday 9.40pm RTE1), eldest of eight Sharon (Tina Kellegher) discovers she is pregnant.

She has to eventually tell her parents and her father Dessie (Colm Meaney) does not take it well, especially when Sharon will not reveal who is the father.

Directed by Stephen Frears, who has a talent for these close knit community dramas, and based on the book by Roddy Doyle, this is one of the classic Irish films.

The Magnificent Seven (Saturday 9.50pm RTE2) is not the classic Yul Brynner version, but nor is it a remake, although the premise is much the same – seven desperados are volunteered to take on a ruthless industrialist, Bart Brogue (a scenery chewing Peter Sarsgaard) who is terrorising a local village and using its citizens as slave labour.

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Gutsy widow Emma (Haley Bennett) hires Sam Chisom (Denzel Washington) who recruits a rag bad bunch of fellow loners with special talents, played by an eclectic cast including Chris Pike, Ethan Hawke, and Vincent D’Onofrio among others, to protect the town and teach the townsfolk how to fight back.

Desperately Seeking Susan (Saturday 9.50pm TG4) is a throwback to the screwball comedies of the 1940’s and 50’s.

A bored housewife Roberta (Rosanna Arquette) is fascinated by a newspaper ad that seeks the question set in the title of the film.

It turns out that Susan (Madonna) is gallivanting with a mobster who is shortly killed.  As she is a potential witness, the Mob would like her out of the way, but Roberta bumps her head, suffers temporary amnesia, and is mistaken for Susan.

Last, but by no means least, is Cal (12.15am Sunday RTE2) where a former IRA man gets involved with an older woman, but keeps his involvement in her husband’s murder from her.

Starring Helen Mirren as Marcella and John Lynch in the title role, this was a brave, sensitive film when made in the mid eighties.   Enjoy and stay safe!

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