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Film Highlights Saturday

Contraband (2012)

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TV3, 9.15pm

The ever watchable Mark Wahlberg (above) is by far the best thing in this handsome but vacuous heist thriller. Essentially a remake of an Icelandic thriller called 'Reykjavic-Rotterdam', 'Contraband' stars Wahlberg as Chris Farraday, a former high-stakes smuggler who's gone straight and settled down with his wife and kids.

But when his flaky brother-in-law winds up heavily in debt to a psychotic New Orleans drug dealer, Chris is forced to come out of retirement and smuggle a stash of forged bank notes from Panama into the US.

Kate Beckinsale plays the unfortunate wife, and Giovanni Ribisi sails wildly over the top as usual playing the trigger-happy villain, but it's Wahlberg's performance that grounds a film which is perfectly watchable but could have been so much better. The Secret of Moonacre (2008)

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RTE Two, 2.35pm

Children's fantasy set in the 1840s and starring Dakota Blue Richards as Maria Merryweather, a London orphan who's sent to live with her eccentric uncle at his country house, Moonacre Manor, where she discovers that she's the last in a long line of celestial princesses. Ioan Gruffudd stars.

Madagascar (2005)

Video of the Day

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BBC1, 5.20pm

After a group of coddled animals attempt to break out of Central Park Zoo in New York, they wind up being transported to the wilds of Madagascar where they find themselves way out of their depth. Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith and Sacha Baron Cohen provide the voices in this enjoyable Dreamworks comedy.

Monsters, Inc. (2001)

5 STARS

RTE One, 6.35pm

Delightful Pixar animation set in an alternate monster city which is powered by the screams of frightened children, who are visited at night by expert 'scarers'. Sully is the best scarer of all, but his status is jeopardised when a little girl follows him back to Monstropolis and runs amok.

Avatar (2009)

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Channel 4, 8.15pm

The most financially successful film of all time, James Cameron's groundbreaking sci-fi adventure stars Sam Worthington as a futuristic, crippled marine who travels to a distant planet where he takes to the dense jungles in a specially developed 'avatar' body. With Sigourney Weaver.

Patriot Games (1992)

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RTE Two, 10pm

Jack Ryan leaps into the breach while on a visit to London and foils an IRA attempt to assassinate a British government minister. But an irate terrorist takes it hard and follows him back to America to get revenge. Harrison Ford and Sean Bean co-star.


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