Tag Archives: Liam Neeson

Don’t Brick Yourself – The Lego Movie Trailer Is Here

I am a huge fan of Lego. It doesn’t matter what form – the bricks themselves, Lego board games, Lego video games, Lego keychain flashlight, Lego thumbdrive… I’m a fan of it all. So it should come as no surprise that when the Lego Movie was announced, I was beside myself with excitement. Now? Well now I’m so giddy I can barely type because The Lego Movie has a trailer and it is awesome!

If a Lego movie itself wasn’t awesome enough, the voices behind the characters are certainly a group that demands attention. Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Nick Offerman, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Allison Brie, Will Arnett, and a man who is having a pretty good run here lately, Chris Pratt as the main character Emmett.

My first reaction was “love the inclusion of the DC Comics characters” because unlike some people (pretty much every other GB staffer – I am alone on my Lego love island), I adore the Lego games especially the Batman versions. After watching the trailer a couple of times, the best part of this movie is the stop motion type of animation they’ve used that is, I’d imagine, an homage to the thousands of fan made videos through the years using stop motion. They could have easily gone with a “smoother” looking animation but it’s nice to see a nod to the Lego fans like that.

Sadly, we have awhile to wait as the movie isn’t set for release until 2014, but I’m sure there will be plenty more trailers and images put out before then and you best believe I’ll be at the ready waiting to bring them to you!

Will Arnett as Batman The Lego Movie

Chris Pratt as Emmett The Lego Movie

Wonder Woman The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie poster

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Grizzly Review: Taken 2

Taken 2 is exactly what one should expect. It’s a simple action movie that defies logic and reasoning, but shows the gravitas of newly minted action star Liam Neeson as he dominates the screen with scowls and promises to take out anyone that crosses him or his family. This would be a great and fun movie – if we hadn’t seen it four years ago. Now it just comes off like another episode to an action television show and we’re just wondering what shenanigans the Mills family can get out of this time.

It’s now two years after the events of the first movie, where Bryan Mills (Neeson) is making efforts to be more involved in his daughter Kim’s life (Maggie Grace). His ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) has separated from her previous husband and ever the observant one, Mills offers them a trip to Istanbul, Turkey to get their minds off of things and bond as a family.

However, there are some pissed off people in Eastern Europe that want some revenge, led by Murad (the always stereotyped Eastern European baddie Rade Serbedzija). You see kids, his son was the one that was electrocuted at the hands of Mills in the last movie and Murad thought that was a bit of a dick move. So he comes up with the plan: you take my family, I’m going go after yours. Obviously, if your son is selling sex slaves and kidnapping daughters, it’s really a circle of going after people’s families. It’s the vicious cycle people!

Let’s start with the positives. Liam Neeson is a badass. He always brings a dimension of depth to his projects where he can harness his scowling and anger and make it seem like he’s always on a mission. It could be saving his daughter, teaching her to parallel park, or buying a gallon of milk – believe me, he’s going to do it and kick ass while finishing the task. He could have easily of collected his paycheck on this movie, but knowing the movie centers on his emotion (or lack of), he carries the movie on his back in order to keep us interested in what’s happening next. Unfortunately, the film’s script and action betray him throughout this 90 minute mess.

The rest of the cast is serviceable, but it doesn’t allow anyone to shine outside of what the one-note characters are in the script. I will say that Maggie Grace is better in this movie than the last. I only say that because she’s my age, and in the last one, she played it way too young and it was distracting. Granted, she’s taking a driving test (which I guess comes in handy later) in the beginning of this movie, but at least she doesn’t make it too cute and is more subtle in her delivery. Janssen is fine but again, the character does not allow her for much to work with other than be frightened and bleed. This is supposed to just be a fast action movie dammit, we ain’t got time to bleed!

Here’s the main problem with the movie: it’s boring and outdated. The action is shot with a Bourne-like style of shaky cam, but the cuts are too frequent where we don’t even see the action and choreography. It’s the same exact story too, only it defies even more logic than the previous one. At least the last one was a slow burn into the conclusion. This is just plain action sequences on the screen, get from point A to point B. The timeline is so quick that instead of getting the feeling of non-stop action, you end up questioning why this is happening at all. Kim is instructed by Bryan to find him using grenades to track distance and rescue him. Why would a father who stopped at nothing to keep his daughter safe, and a few years later after that traumatic event, go ahead and tell his daughter to put her own life into danger by going straight into the fray?

The appeal of the last movie was a father who would stop at nothing to keep his baby girl safe, and this just flies in the face of that. Again, I’m normally not one to use logic in trying to enjoy an action movie but if it’s the overriding ideal of the movie franchise, to ignore it just shows this movie isn’t meant to provide the same intrinsic impact the previous film had on the audience.

At the end of the movie, there were people clapping when the credits stopped rolling. I said out loud to anyone that could hear me to stop clapping. The movie doesn’t deserve the applause for the laziness that was just shown. I kept waiting for something to carry the same spark the last movie had, but it never happened. Most of all, it just wasn’t fun at all. I honestly felt I was watching a mediocre CBS weekly show where we find out what shenanigans the Mills family got into this week. I wonder what illogical mess they will get into the next movie…

1.5/5 Grizzlies

‘Taken 2’ International Trailer – First his daughter, now his wife!

Well we have a treat for you today. Taken 2 finally has a trailer and it is looking just as good as the first film. This international trailer is fantastic and I cannot wait until its October 5, 2012 release. Please enjoy.

Stop taking members of his family! It will be his mum in Taken 3, although I would watch anything with Liam Neeson in. So what we are getting from this trailer is that taken 2 is going to be business as usual, with great action scenes and on the phone warnings to his daughter/ threats to the kidnappers (to become endless meme’s).

<<< Crossed phone line? Or, Plot to Taken 3?

Plot

Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, a retired CIA operative who decimated an Albanian slave-trading ring to rescue his kidnapped daughter. A year later, on a trip to Istanbul, Mills gets a surprise visit from his daughter, Kim, and his wife, Lenore. The happy reunion turns sour when Lenore is taken by gangsters serving Murad, father of one of the fallen Albanian criminals. With his wife held hostage and Kim on the run, Mills must once again use his lethal skills to track down his wife and eliminate all who stand in his way.

We also have some great still photos to check out below.

So finally, what’s the verdict? Do you love the trailer? Can you not wait for Taken 2? Or is the idea of a second ruin the first? That last one is stupid because everyone loves the idea of Taken 2.

Grizzly Review: Battleship

When bloggers first got word of a film based on the popular game “Battleship”, an eruption of laughter seated deeply within the orifices of the blogosphere was cast out into the sky. There were storms and hurricanes and tsunamis; people around the world were affected by the tragedy. I’ll admit that I participated in the royal beheading regarding the mere idea of this film. Coupled with the awful first trailer and I was set to avoid this film at all costs.

Just the idea of a film based on a simplistic board game is enough to make any critic gag with disgust. But, you know, time goes on, the laughter dies down, and things change. So when I finally got around to seeing Battleship, I was fresh off the disappointment of The Avengers, so pretty much anything this film had to offer couldn’t be more of a let down than that. Within Battleship‘s first ten minutes, I was engaged, I was cracking up, and I was ready to go along for the ride, promptly leaving my brain at the door.

Battleship follows Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch), a slacker who lives on the couch of his brother, Commander Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgard) of the US Navy. After a tazer filled run in with the law, Stone leads his brother down a new direction. Fast forward seven years, Alex is now referred to as Lieutenant Alex Hopper of the United States Navy. In a serious relationship with his beautiful girlfriend, Sam (Brooklyn Decker), Alex plans to ask her father, Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson), for her hand in marriage. But Hopper will find out that surviving Sam’s father will be the least of his problems.

During an annual Naval war game, five extra terrestrial air crafts crash into the ocean, startling the fleet of ships currently occupying those waters. Hopper goes to identify the ships, bringing along trigger-happy Petty Officer Cora “Weps” Raikes (Rihanna) and Chief Petty Officer Walter “The Beast” Lynch (John Tui). Hopper touches the ship which turns it back on, causing it to lift itself out of the water and into the air. Further startled by this, the sailors back on the destroyer ships proceed to attack the unidentifiable spaceship that seems to be posing a threat. What ensues is a battle for the safety of Earth that will forever change the world.

Back on land, Sam, who works as a physical therapist for injured veterans, is taking a hike with her newest patient, a legless officer who is still adjusting to his condition. Up there, they run into Cal Zapata (Hamish Linklater), a scientist who worked with NASA to send out signals to an extrasolar planet with conditions similar to the Earth. Back when the signal was first sent out in 2005, Zapata claimed that the arrival of another life-form would be akin to Christopher Columbus and the Indians, only we would be the Indians.

The only way to ensure that alien reinforcements don’t make it to Earth is to destroy the satellite where the first signal was sent out. They have until 8:43 AM the following morning to do so, and if they fail, there could be upward of 500,000 UFOs invading Earth and all of its inhabitants.

From its first minute, Battleship differentiates itself from other similarly plotted films with its engaging characters, rather ingenious script, and breathtaking direction by cult filmmaker Peter Berg. Most people know Berg for his “blockbusters with brains” approach to big-budget filmmaking, and let me assure in saying that Battleship is no exception. Despite the shit-blows-up approach to the preview, the film has a lot more to say than one would originally think.

Berg’s decidedly anti-war film is actually a twist on an overly patriotic genre that shoves the importance of the military down the throat of its viewers. Instead, Berg forces the viewers to question the actions of the “invaders” of Earth. When analyzed from another perspective, one could make the argument that they were actually the good guys. The first major point to be made is that we, the humans, invited them, the aliens. We got a response, and what do we do? Attack.

Secondly, why do you think the aliens landed in the ocean in the first place? They could have just as easily landed on actual Earth and saved themselves a trip to land. I theorize that it’s because they didn’t want to harm any of the humans living on Earth. The simplistic weaponry used by the aliens is, in fact, not weaponry at all; it’s mining equipment. Yeah, I said it, mining equipment. It’s explained in the film that there’s only one periodic element that they can recognize which was in their fuel. So why mining equipment?

Well, for starters, they probably only had enough fuel to get themselves to Earth, but not back home. I don’t know if you know, but intergalactic space travel probably eats up a lot of gasoline. The mining equipment was so the aliens could mine out the element used in their gasoline so that they could get home. Am I making sense yet? Also, not to spoil anything, but during the battle scenes, the aliens have quite the moral complex, only attacking anything or anyone that poses an immediate threat to their safety. Misinterpreted as an attack, it was actually the humans that took the first shot.

At face value, Battleship is a mindless action movie that does nothing but aesthetically please anything that comes its way. But viewers who are willing to put in the effort will find a Peter Berg-ified blockbuster that has something to say. Furthermore, in the “cool stuff taht goes boom” department, the film delivers. I can guarantee you that Battleship is the only film that has an 80-year-old man that says, “Let’s drop some lead on these motherf***ers!”. But with that, the film never loses its sense of humanity. For that, Battleship is enjoyable on almost every level. From the gorgeous visuals to the engaging subtext, Battleship is the year’s first, and hopefully not last, intellectual action film.

4/5 Bears

Movie Trailer #2 – Wrath of the Titans

Clash of the Titans was a decent enough movie. I went into the theater to see it, knowing to only expect a dumb action movie, and I was well satisfied by it upon leaving. It wasn’t a movie that got better the second time you watch, but you just have to take it for what it was. The next installment entitled Wrath of the Titans looks to outdo it’s predecessor in every way. Even though we saw Medusa and the Kraken in Clash, now we get to see the titans whom the Gods imprisoned as they are breaking free to wreak havoc on the world, and Perseus seems to be the only one who can stop them. He’ll fight a hydra, the cyclops, a minotaur and many other mythological beasts in this one and the action throughout the trailer looks pretty phenomenal compared to the first one.

Much of the cast returns including Sam Worthington (now with more hair!), Liam Neeson as Zeus and Ralph Fiennes as Hades. I’ve noticed in the trailers that Hades has lost his raspy voice which so vexed me in the first one. Did they hear complaints about this or is it just the fact in the movie that Hades is growing stronger through everyone’s mistrust and dissent? Among those returning are also a few new faces to grace the Titans scene. The obviously beautiful and terribly underutilized Rosamund Pike will play warrior Queen Andromeda  and Billy Nighy takes a turn at Godhood as Hephaestus.

 

The movie promises at least to be entertaining due to the crazy amount of action and visuals shown in all of the trailers up to this point. But do we really just want another dumb, action popcorn flick out of the filmmakers? The first movie was entertaining but lacked the heart and soul of a movie you care to watch more than once. I’m hoping they do a little better job with story and character development in this movie rather than waste time with 3D conversion and constant mindless action.