By Paul Byrne

Plenty of movies to choose from on the TV this weekend, including for the young ‘uns, the deceptively sparkly ‘Happy Feet’ (PG), a computer-animated artic extravaganza that gradually goes Kubrick bleak. Anyone under 10 will have a stutter by the closing credits.

You can catch it Saturday, RTÉ One at 5.30pm, with a 35-minute break at 6pm for the news. Amen.


Earlier in the afternoon – at 1.15pm on RTÉ One, to be precise – is perhaps the weekend’s sweetest film, the classic comedy ‘Seven Brides For Seven Brothers’ (1954/G/), an 1860s backwoodsman sparking marriage fever amongst his six brothers when he brings home a bride. Yowsa.

In fact, Saturday’s a good day to just stay in and watch movies with the curious Francis Ford Coppola Irish-set musical mess ‘Finian’s Rainbow’ (1968/G/) – on RTÉ Two at 3.30pm –  being led by Fred Astaire; J.J. Abrams doing the monster mash with the initially promising ‘Cloverfield’ (15A) and Nicholas Hoult suffering some growing pains in Swaziland in Richard E. Grant’s semi-autobiographical ‘Wah-Wah’ (15A) on RTÉ One late, at 1.20am.

The one to avoid is Friday’s ‘Random Hearts’ (PG), the film that made Julia Ormond the nobody she is today.

Yet another week with too many films being released, Hugh Jackman leading the way with the Transformers-meets-Rocky family film ‘Real Steel’ (12A/***) – currently at no.1 in the US.

Getting all sentimental and considerably drippy is ‘Dolphin Tale’ (G/**), a true-life account of how the rescuing of an injured dolphin united a community. A big, big hit in the US, where family value films are becoming big business. I blame the Tea Party.

Also out is a so-so remake of the so-so 1984 teen classic ‘Footloose’ (12A/**); Colm Meaney as a man reduced to living in his car in the one-note Irish drama ‘Parked’ (15A/**); Orlando Bloom and Milla Jovovich trying to be the baddies in the hilariously bad ‘Three Musketeers 3D’ (12A/*); the sweet Brit coming-of-age tale ‘Albatross’ (15A/***); documentary maker Morgan Freeman going product placement crazy with ‘Pom Wonderful Presensts: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold’ (12A/***), and the American crime drama ‘Texas Killing Fields’ (16), a film so wonderful that the London distributor, Entertainment, didn’t even bother screening it in Ireland.

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