Tag Archive: Liam Neeson


The Grey

The Grey (2012)

Directed by Joe Carnahan

Starring Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, and Dermot Mulroney

 

the-grey-poster

 

In the middle of the Alaska, John Ralph Ottway works at an Oil drilling plant as a protector of the workers from the wild wolves that roam the area. Acting as a sniper he takes down any that get close. Not in a good place personally Ottway doesn’t know what to do with his life but all this changes when the plane home crashes and he, along with several other survivors, must survive the freezing conditions and the wild wolves.

 

The film is a lot more serious and real than I expected and deals with Neeson’s character trying to get through his life. You see flashes to his home life and you know he has some personal issues that he has not dealt with properly. When the plane goes down he jumps right into survival mode knowing that the wolves that he is trained to take out will soon be after them.

Some of the CG on the wolves looks a bit dodgy and they have covered it up well with close up shots that are mostly in the dark of the night. There is a reveal of Ottway’s personal life towards the end which makes earlier points understandable and gives the character real depth.

 

Recommend

This was a very serious film with some gruesome deaths. It was an enjoyable film and went against the Hollywood way of thinking but was not up there with the best and there was less action than I was expecting. Still worth a watch.

TheFriedGold rating – 6/10 – Neeson dances with wolves

 

Film Fact

Bradley Cooper was cast as a much-younger lead character in the lead role, but he was eventually replaced by Neeson.

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Unknown

Unknown (2011)

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra

Starring Liam Neeson, January Jones and Diane Kruger

 

 

Whilst in Germany for a work conference with his wife Martin Harris is involved in a car crash and ends up in a coma. When he wakes he has trouble remembering certain aspects of his life. The parts he does remember lead him back to his wife but things aren’t exactly as he remembers them.

Billed as a film that Taken fans would enjoy this Drama/Thriller is nothing like Taken. It reminded me in places of The Bourne Identity (2002), a man not really knowing who he is and it was based in a foreign city making him more lost than normal. The film is very slow with the only real action being a couple of car chases. Liam Neeson is nothing like his Taken character and is a bit of a limp character. I wasn’t too sure how the film would play out and in the end I didn’t really care for any of the characters.

 

Recommend

Slow, boring and not even the presence of January Jones and Diane Kruger could pick this film up. Don’t bother.

TheFriedGold rating – 2/10 – The tag line of ‘Take your Life back’ couldn’t be more appropriate

 

 

Film Fact

According to his passport, Martin Harris was born on June 7th. This is also the birthday of Liam Neeson.

Taken 2

Taken 2 (2012)

Directed by Olivier Megaton

Starring Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace

 

 

An ex CIA agent, Bryan Mills, is on a little security job in Istanbul and his ex-wife and daughter have come along for a little holiday. The only problem being is that some of the family members of all the people Neeson killed in the first film want revenge. We all know what is going to happen considering it is a sequel and if your family and friends had been killed by some guy you would want pay back too.

We knew that someone was going to be taken so i it just seemed a bit unnecessary in the long telling of the story at the beginning before anything major happened. It also seemed as if there was less killing and cool action scenes involving Neeson and some pretty unbelievable moments including grenades. I know he is getting on a bit now and in some scenes, especially when he was running, it really showed his age.

 

Recommend

The film was fun and enjoyable but just didn’t hold up to the original. Less action and in places just a bit cheesy, especially the end. This is probably a film that you can wait for on rental. You know what is going to happen so there is nothing that can be spoilt for you.

 

TheFriedGold rating – 5/10 (I have changed my rating system to out of 10) – I just didn’t feel ‘taken again’

 

 

 

A special mention goes to Maggie Grace who looked very good in the bikini.

 

 

 

Film Fact

Rumours are that they are thinking of making a Taken 3. Surely there can only be so many times 1 family can have such bad luck. Although we did have 8 series of 24 and we will be getting Die Hard number 5 next year.

 

Battleship (2012)

Directed by Peter Berg

Starring Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Liam Neeson, Rihanna

 

Disappointing tearaway brother Alex Hopper (Kitsch) gets recruited for the US Navy by his Commander brother (Skarsgård) in effort to give him a future. Meanwhile scientists, beaming communications in to space, get a response. Aliens arrive while the Hoppers are taking part in naval war games and only the Hoppers stand in the way of alien domination.

 

Regular readers may remember this post where I said the trailer made Battleship look like a good bit of summer fun. Having missed it in the cinema, I’ve finally sat down to see if I was right. Following the success of the Transformers films – I use success lightly, the first film was fun but the others were intermittent at best – Hasbro has sought to make a board game in to a similar franchise. What could be an enjoyable romp is overlong, dull and definitely not a good summer blockbuster. The CGI (for a VERY recent film) is shoddy – greenscreen backgrounds are all too frequent and all too noticeable and the acting…Neeson phones it in, Kitsch plays his character from Friday Night Lights (directed by Berg, key difference is FNL is good) and the others are wasted. There is a pointless side story with Kitsch’s love interest that does little aside from detracting from the fight on the water. This, thankfully, is the stronger part of the film, featuring a neat way of tying the film to the game and is only missing the eye-to-eye brinksmanship of sitting at home.

 

Overall Battleship isn’t the fun summer blockbuster that I hoped it would be. It takes itself too seriously without being believable (Kitsch runs up the deck of a sinking boat even when vertical. I can accept aliens but on Earth this is just not possible) or enjoyable, not enough time is spent on the water blowing things up – surely a staple of a film about a game where you blow things up – and the story is an overlong muddle. I wouldn’t watch it if I was you, there are better blockbusters out there.

 

If you like this then you might like:

 

If you like this then this isn’t the site for you. But it did remind me of Doom, with one sequence coming straight from the game, much like one sequence here. Watch Doom if you want to see a film requiring no thought, it has The Rock.

 

 

The other 10

Following thefriedgold’s recent post on top 10 films to look out for in the rest of 2012 and the comment of not having Brave (how can Brave not make the top 10? It’s Pixar dammit) on the list, here are the next 10 to look out for. These could go either way in terms of quality, but I think they could be worth a watch.

A Fantastic Fear of Everything

Directed by Crispian Mills

Starring Simon Pegg, Sheridan Smith

Crime author Jack has an overriding fear of being murdered. His big break comes followed swiftly by a bigger breakdown. 

Reason to watch: Pegg.

Release date: 8th June

Ted

Directed by Seth Macfarlane

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis

The creator of Family Guy steps in to the film world with this: a boy has a teddy bear that is alive. What happens if the bear grows up with the boy?

Reason to watch: Lewd humour and the juxtaposition of a child’s toy drinking and smoking. Could be laugh a minute or all the laughs could be below.

Release date: 1st August

Brave

Directed by Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman and Steve Purcell

Starring Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Robbie Coltrane

Merida, an independent young archer, is forced to undo a curse she has brought upon her family.

Reason to watch: Are you kidding? Pixar’s output is second to no-one. Even if you “don’t watch cartoons” I would recommend you see this film – it will change your mind. Plus you get a bound-to-be-excellent short before the main event. See this.

Release date: 17 August

The Watch

Directed by Akiva Schaffer

Starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade

Four friends form a neighbourhood watch to get away from their wives. They are forced in to action when they discover an alien invasion plot.

Reason to watch: Formerly “The Neighbourhood Watch”, The Watch reunites Vince Vaughn with Ben Stiller in a film written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Superbad). Potential for comedy greatness if they are all on song…

Release date: 29 August

Total Recall

Directed by Len Wiseman

Starring: Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale

A factory worker suffers from nightmares. But are they actually nightmares – could they be suppressed memories trying to return and could he be a spy with the power to change the world?

Reason to watch: A remake of the Arnie version, directed by the guy who gave us Die Hard 4.0 (enjoyable action, worthy addition), Colin Farrell headlining, written by the guy who wrote Equilibrium (dsytopian sci-fi). I enjoy a big budget complex sci-fi and if they can get close to the quality of the 1990 version, this could be good. The trailer looks really good. Plus Kate Beckinsale is in it.

Release date: 22 August

Dredd

Directed by Pete Travis

Starring Karl Urban, Lena Heady

No nonsense lawman Judge Dredd teams with young Judge Anderson to track and take down a drug supplying terrorist organisation.

Reason to watch: Forget the Stallone version, self-confessed fan Urban is taking on the helmet and becoming The Law, promising a more faithful interpretation of the 2000AD character.

Release date: 7 September

The Sweeney

Directed by Nick Love

Starring Ray Winstone, Damian Lewis, Hayley Atwell, Ben Drew

To protect the law and their city, virtuoso flying squad cops are forced to break the law.

Reason to watch: An update of the 70’s TV show sees Nick Love and Ray Winstone do what they do best – The Sweeney is a Lahndahn film filled with Geezahs fighting other Geezahs. But this time Love is working with an established property and Danny Dyer is nowhere to be seen so I’m hopeful this Brit-flick, which looks classy in the trailer, is going to be a worthwhile watch.

Release date: 12 September

Looper

Directed by Rian Johnson

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt

Joe is a hitman, killing people sent back from the future. One day his future self is sent back. What does he do?

Reason to watch: We have JGL playing a young Bruce Willis trying to kill him in a time-travel film directed by the man who brought us Brick. Two heavyweight actors and a strong director playing with a mind-bending premise. What more reason do you need?

Release date: 28 September

Taken 2

Directed by Olivier Megaton

Starring Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace

The father of a kidnapper Bryan Mills killed when his daughter was abducted has retaliated by taking something precious to Mills. This has pissed him off and a rampage will begin.

Reason to watch: If you like action films and haven’t seen Taken yet then you have a treat awaiting you. If you have seen Taken then you know exactly what the reason to watch this is: Liam Neeson waging a one man war. Directed by the man with the best name in action films.

Release date: 5 October

Life of Pi

Directed by Ang Lee

Starring Suraj Sharma, Tobey Maguire, Gerard Depardieu

A young boy, Pi, finds himself adrift in a lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a Bengal tiger following a shipwreck.

Reason to watch: I’m a big fan of Ang Lee who has a strong record with adaptations (Sense and Sensibility, Brokeback Mountain) and Life of Pi is based on the highly acclaimed novel of the same name. It’s bound to look good, the story will be strong – much will rest on the performance of newcomer Suraj Sharma as Pi. 

Release date: 21 December

Obviously all dates are subject to change…I’ll try and put trailers in as and when they are released. And I’m sure I’ve left off something good…