Finnegan On Films: Not Quite Excellent, But Bill And Ted Provide Great Fun

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Among this week’s selections at Tralee Omniplex are two films that could not be more different in style and tone, but both deservedly enjoy a faithful and enthusiastic following says our movie guy, James Finnegan…

Woah, Dude! It’s thirty years since Bill and Ted’s last chapter of their ‘Excellent Adventure’ with their ‘Bogus Journey’.

Now they are back to ‘Face the Music’.  Unfortunately, they have yet to write the song that would, as foretold in prophesy, unite mankind.   In fact, Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) now seem to be going through a midlife crisis.

So when an emissary arrives from the future, telling the guys that they have to write their song by 7.17pm i.e. in 77 minutes and 25 seconds, or else reality as we know it will come to an end, they come up with the cunning plan to travel into the future and steal the song from their future selves.

Continued below…


Jumping into their own phone box version of Doctor Who’s TARDIS, and with the help of Jimi Hendrix (DazMann Still), Mozart (Daniel Dorr) and, oh yes, Death (William Sadler) among others, the adventure continues.

Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter in Bill And Ted Face The Music.

Not only do they run into alternative time stream versions of themselves, they must also deal with their grown up daughters Theodora (Samara Weaving) and Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine), who show that the apple did not fall far from either tree.

Directed by Dean Parisot, responsible for the criminally underrated ‘Galaxy Quest’, the two leads are having a ball, and while this is not quite ‘Excellent’, it is a great romp, so ‘Party On, Dudes!’

Downton Abbey.

Big screen adaptations of popular television shows usually make the mistake of trying to be radically different from their small screen versions.  Downton Abbey does not make that error – it is quite simply an episode of the series on a bigger budget and scale, without losing any of its style and grace.

As befits this esteemed institution, the story is centred around a visit to Downton from King George V and Queen Mary during their tour of Yorkshire in 1927.

Naturally this is seen as a great honour, but also brings its unique challenges and disruptions, both upstairs for the Crawley family and downstairs with Downton servants.

It also appears that there are personal difficulties and secrets within the visiting families which are also revealed during the visit.

You will be delighted to know that the wonderful television cast, including Hugh Bonneville (Earl Grantham), Jim Carter (Carson), Penelope Wilton (Lady Merton), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary) and the majestic Maggie Smith (Countess Grantham) are all back and augmented by more of the best of British acting talent.

Ably directed by Michael Engler, who directed a number of the television episodes, and written by Julian Fellows, whose creative imagination conceived the whole Downton world, this is a film to sit back and wallow in. Stay safe and enjoy!

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