Tag Archives: Liam Neeson

Interview: Non-Stop’s Julianne Moore & Liam Neeson

Julianne_Moore_Liam_Neeson_Non-StopHe rescued his daughter from human traffickers in Taken, took on a wolf with broken bottles taped to his knuckles in The Grey and now Liam Neeson is off to play an air marshal responsible for rescuing an airplane full of innocent people from an anonymous terrorist threatening to kill a passenger every 20 minutes.  Is it the woman (Julianne Moore) next to him who makes a stink about having the window seat?  Is it the other air marshal (Anson Mount) aboard?  What about the hothead (Corey Stoll) in coach?  Or perhaps have his own demons just caught up to him and warped his perspective?

With the answer coming our way when Non-Stop hits theaters this weekend, Neeson and Moore took the time to sit down with the New York press contingent to discuss personal in-flight memories, close quarter fight techniques, what to expect if you decide to approach Neeson in an airport with a Star Wars photo to sign, and more.

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Review: The Lego Movie

The_Lego_Movie_PosterIt’s a good thing “The Lego Movie” hadn’t come out in the late 80s or early 90s, otherwise my parents would be broke.

The story focuses on a minifigure named Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt). He’s just your average guy, living life according to the instructions. He does his exercises, drinks his overpriced coffee, indulges in the latest craze, a song called “Everything is Awesome,” and heads off to work. However, little does he know that Lord Business (Will Ferrell) is about to demolish his awesome existence using a super weapon called The Kragel. The Master Builders have been hard at work trying to track down the only item that can shut down The Kragel, The Piece of Resistance, but it’s Emmet who happens to stumble upon it and, according to Vitruvius’ (Morgan Freeman) prophecy, that makes Emmet “The Special,” the only one capable of putting a stop to Lord Business’ plan to end the world.

As someone who grew up with and still has an affinity for Legos, “The Lego Movie” is quite literally a dream come true. Sure it was fun sorting through instructions, putting cars, pirate ships and spaceships together piece by piece and then embarking on an epic adventure using your imagination, but what if there were no big, fat human hands to tarnish that visual? Almost every single movement and action sequence in “The Lego Movie” is just what anyone might create manipulating the toys with their hands, but as though the minifigures are doing it all on their own and it’s downright magical.

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Review: Battleship

Riggins and Landry in the Navy, Peter Berg Does Michael Bay, Transformers-esque, Not Really Battleship; any of those titles are just as fitting if not more so than Battleship.

Back in 2005, after finding a planet similar to Earth, NASA opts to beam a signal to what they dub “Planet G” in an effort to communicate. Also in 2005, Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) is jobless, has to live with his brother, Stone (Alexander Skarsgård), and gets busted for stealing a burrito. On the bright side, he snags a model of a girlfriend, Sam (Brooklyn Decker).

One unconvincing time jump later, Alex is a lieutenant in the Navy alongside his big bro and under the command of Sam’s father, Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson). Alex may have developed into a smart and talented solider, but he’s still got a knack for screwing things up, so after the RIMPAC naval exercises wrap, Alex will likely get the boot. However, before Alex can even get back to shore, something unprecedented happens, aliens attack.

Sure, you’ve got to suspend some disbelief when watching any alien invasion movie, but it’s tough to tell whether or not Battleship even takes itself seriously. The opening sequence detailing this whole Planet G effort is a little on the ridiculous side, but digestible enough to get you on board. Then, the attention switches to Alex who’s drowning his sorrows in booze on his birthday. Things get amusing when Alex meets Sam and his desperation to win her over via a chicken burrito results in a rather comical failed robbery.

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Interview: Wrath of the Titans Director Jonathan Liebesman

It ain’t easy getting work in this industry, especially a film like Wrath of the Titans, but boy did director Jonathan Liebesman take on, well, a monster. While Clash of the Titans went on to make a killing at the box office, $493.2 million worldwide, many moviegoers weren’t particularly happy with the experience. In a way, not only is Liebesman responsible for making his own movie good, but also for making up for the last one a bit.

Sam Worthington is back as Perseus, who is now a father. With the gods’ power waning, Zeus (Liam Neeson), Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Poseidon (Danny Huston) are unable to maintain control of the Titans and, led by their once banished father Kronos, they threaten humanity yet again. Perseus has no choice, but to leave his son and quaint life as a fisherman behind to go head to head with some of the most vicious monsters of the underworld.

Kronos, Chimeras, Cyclopes, explosions an ever-changing labyrinth, some of the most prominent actors in the business, an extra dimension and more – forget the franchise’s past; Liebesman had his hands full regardless. Now, in honor of Wrath of the Titans’ March 30th release, Liebesman took the time to sit down and run through the entire process from the preparation needed to do 3D right to the steps to making the real world elements blend with those digitally created and much more. Check it all out in the interview below.

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Interview: Wrath of the Titans’ Toby Kebbell

We’ve still got massive monsters, powerful gods and a ton of epic battles, but director Jonathan Liebesman and co. are making big changes with their Clash of the Titans sequel, Wrath of the Titans, and one major step in the right direction is the inclusion of some comedic relief courtesy of Toby Kebbell.

Kebbell steps in as Agenor, the forgotten son of Poseidon and, therefore, Perseus’ (Sam Worthington) cousin. When the mortals stop praying to the gods, they lose their powers, leaving them helpless against the Titans. Now the safety of the world lies in Perseus’ hands, but in order to find the location at which he must start his journey, he needs the self-proclaimed Navigator, Agenor. Along with Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike), they trek through Cyclopes territory and on in an effort to find a way to keep the Titans and Kronos from ravaging the earth.

Sure starring in a major motion picture sounds glamorous, but in Kebbell’s case it involved being covered in mud, wearing tiny costumes in cold weather, having to hit marks perfectly for the sake of visual effects and more. However, as a guy who prefers to be on set even when he’s not called, making Wrath of the Titans was a pleasure for the actor. Read all about his experience in the interview below.

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Review: The Grey

Liam Neeson and director Joe Carnahan are back together again, but this time around, they’re working with material that’s far less fun than The A-Team. But less fun doesn’t make The Grey a bad movie. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Rather than turn The Grey into an utterly unrealistic survival adventure story, we get something far darker and, while it still has those handful of moments that make you think twice, it completely sells the severity of the situation.

Neeson’s Ottway works for a petroleum company in the icy tundra of Alaska. Amidst the other ex-cons, fugitives and “men unfit for mankind,” Ottway’s job is to keep them safe by shooting down invading wolves. When it’s time to return to society, Ottway and a number of his colleagues board a plane to Anchorage. Along the way, turbulent weather takes hold and the plane comes crashing down in the middle of nowhere – actually, in the middle of wolf territory.

The few survivors are thankful to be alive, but soon come to the harsh realization that they’re being hunted. With no food and few supplies, the group has to band together to keep each other safe from the wolves who look to viciously pick them off one-by-one.

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Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Ready to go back to Narnia? Well, you’ll get the opportunity in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – kind of. Yes, the film is part of the beloved series, but the third installment just isn’t up to par in many aspects, so when director Michael Apted takes the action out of Narnia and aboard the Dawn Treader, the world we’ve grown to love is almost entirely absent. However, that’s not to say that there isn’t some fun to be had out to sea.

Lucy and Edmund (Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes) are stuck in Cambridge living with their obnoxious cousin Eustace (Will Poulter) while Susan and Peter (Anna Popplewell and William Moseley) are off on “adventures” in America. With wartime tensions keeping Lucy and Edmund from joining their older siblings, the two are desperate to escape their bleak reality and return to Narnia. Finally the time comes and they’re transported to the magical ship, The Dawn Treader, through a painting, as is Eustace, who isn’t thrilled about going along for the ride.

Upon arriving, they’re reunited with Caspian (Ben Barnes), now King Caspian, and briefed on the situation. Innocent people are being sacrificed to a mysterious green fog that has the power to make your darkest thoughts a reality. In order to defeat it, they must collect the seven swords of the Lords of Telmar and place them on Aslan’s table. The trouble is, these swords are scattered across various islands, each of which poses a new threat.

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Interview: The Next Three Days Writer-Director Paul Haggis

Life is good for Paul Haggis. Not only does he have two Oscars sitting pretty on his shelf, but he’s got three other nominations in the bag and his career continues to flourish. Ever since his shift from TV to film Haggis has almost only delivered critically acclaimed work. First was Million Dollar Baby and then Crash followed by The Last KissCasino RoyaleIn the Valley of ElahQuantum of Solace and now The Next Three Days.

The film stars Russell Crowe as John Brennan, an English teacher who’s separated from his beloved wife (Elizabeth Banks) when she’s arrested for murder. Convinced she’s innocent, John devotes himself to getting her out. However, what starts out as a lawful venture turns into a daring plot to defy the system and help her escape.

The Next Three Days isn’t your typical thriller. It does offer a fair amount of action, but it’s really a character driven drama more than anything and that’s exactly what Haggis intended it to be. While promoting the film for its November 19th release, Haggis sat down to tell us all the details from developing his script from the original film, Pour Elle, to locking down locations, working with Crowe and Banks and much more. He even took the time to address the never ending Crash saga. Check out all of that and much more in the interview below.

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Review: The Next Three Days

It’s one thing to walk into a drama and get a little action, but when you opt to check out a thriller that winds up being more of a drama, it’s a bit too difficult to adjust. Making it harder to appreciate a drama with a thrilling twist is a lengthy presentation. There’s a lot that works inThe Next Three Days, if only director Paul Haggis had paid more attention to keeping a proper pace, perhaps that drama would have created more suspense and risen to the level of the film’s more exhilarating moments. Instead we’re left with something that isn’t quite dramatic or thrilling and doesn’t strike a chord as much as it could have.

Life is good for the Brennan family, but when Lara (Elizabeth Banks) is dragged out of her house by police officers as her young son looks on, they’re existence becomes anything but ideal. John (Russell Crowe) misses Lara terribly and Luke (Ty Simpkins) refuses to even look at his mother when they go to visit. Lara claims she didn’t commit the crime, but the evidence against her is overwhelming. John soon realizes there is no way to get Lara out of prison – legally.

The central plot of The Next Three Days is beautifully simple; a man’s wife is wrongly accused of a crime and the only way they can be a family again is by breaking her out. The problem is, it takes an awfully long time to get there. The opening sequence is fantastic. We get a very brief, but telling dinner scene during which Lara has a harsh yet amusing argument with her sister-in-law followed by a typical morning in the Brennan household. Unfortunately, breakfast doesn’t last long and a barrage of officers demolishes the serene setting. After Lara’s taken away, that’s about it in terms of action for quite a while.

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Review: After.Life

Everyone wonders what happens when you die. The fact that nobody knows the answer turns the concept of passing on into an everlasting goldmine of opportunity for the film industry. You can revisit the subject over and over and always come up with something new.After.Life certainly proposes a novel scenario, but bogs it down with cliche filmmaking techniques so much, you’ll be hoping we all just die and go to heaven; end of story.

Christina Ricci plays Anna, a somewhat happy teacher in a somewhat happy relationship. Her boyfriend Paul (Justin Long) is kind, caring and, most importantly, ready to propose. Upon sitting down to indulge in a special dinner, Paul spills the news that he’s been offered a better job at an out-of-town firm. Before he gets the chance to invite Anna along and pop the question, she storms out into, well, a storm. Slick roads and a flood of tears turns into a car accident landing Anna in the morgue.

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