Finnegan On Films: Escapism At Its Finest On TV This Weekend

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Our movie guy, James Finnegan, picks some entertaining flicks on the small screen over the weekend…

There is no shortage of quality films from a variety of genres available this week on RTE and TG4, although there are some unfortunate clashes of showing times.

My first selection is one brought to my attention by my granddaughters, Amy (9) and Ava (4), and I am delighted to pass their, and my, recommendation onto you.

Moana (RTE 1 Saturday 6.35pm) is a charming Disney animated story. A Polynesian Princess, the aforementioned Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), must journey out across the ocean to reunite a mystical item with the goddess Te Fiti, in an attempt to purge a blight from her island home.

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She seeks the aid and assistance of Maui, a legendary demigod, voiced by Dwayne Johnson.  Unfortunately, the actuality does not always live up to the legend.  Definitely one for the Disney Princess in your life.

Bridget Jones’s Diary (RTE 1 Saturday 9.40pm) is almost a dictionary definition of a Saturday Night Rom Com, and is a wonderfully entertaining story of a single woman with New Year Resolutions to change all aspects of her life in love, career and life style.

All she has to do is deal with her parents, her infatuation with her boss (Hugh Grant) and her feelings for an straight-laced lawyer (Colin Firth), as well as change her smoking and drinking habits.

Fortunately Bridget, played with great brio by Renee Zellweger, chronicles her thoughts in her diary.  Truly, the course of true love, or lust, has rarely been so funny.

Leaving Certificate exams might have been a little different if Shakespeare had actually written “Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter”.

In the grips of writer’s block, and being chased by creditors seeking to close down the theatre, Shakespeare in Love (TG4 Saturday 9.50pm) is a fictional take on perceived struggles of the famous Elizabethan playwright and is a glorious costume romp.

It has great fun with familiar quotes and characters, real and imagined, of the life of the Bard, and garnered numerous Academy Awards for Best Film, Actress (Gwyneth Paltrow), Supporting Actress (Judi Dench), Original Screenplay (Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman).

Others in the cast include Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth (again!), Simon Callow and especially Joseph Fiennes playing a blinder as Shakespeare.

Escape to Victory (RTE2 Sunday 2.05pm) can be either considered to be so bad, it’s good or a cult classic.  Allied Prisoners of War are forced to take on a German team in a propaganda football game.  However, the POW’s intend to use the opportunity to escape.

Starring Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone, Max von Sydow, and perhaps more bizarrely, Pele, Bobby Moore, Osvaldo Ardiles, Mike Summerbee and most of the Ipswich Town team of the early 1980s, this is a delightful appetizer before the European Championship starting later this week.

The Omniplex reopens on Monday, and there are a multitude of films awaiting the multiplexes around the country.  The cinema experience has been badly missed, and we wish everyone a safe return.

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