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Posts Tagged ‘ Liam Neeson ’

The Equalizer: An Ageing Action Hero And Not Enough ‘Sizzle’

Denzel-Washington-The-Equalizer

A remake of a 80’s TV series The Equalizer is familiar ground for Denzel Washington. The ageing action hero has been saving the world from bad guys since the beginning of his career, and his latest collaboration with director Antoine Fuqua is no different.

Robert McCall (Washington) works at a hardware store by day and sits amongst the crowds of a Hopperesque diner at night. Sticking to a routine is obviously a character trait and some sort of coping mechanism but when McCall meets prostitute Lena (Chloë Grace Moretz) his tightly wound world begins to unwind, and all it takes is 28 seconds. Continue reading

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Film Review – A Walk Among The Tombstones

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Since the late seventies private eye Matthew Scudder has been a big star of the crime novel scene, now, finally, Lawrence Block’s creation has been brought to life by writer/director Scott Frank.

Based on the Block’s tenth novel A Walk Among The Tombstones has a classic film noir feel to it, a distinct touch of retro and good old-fashioned story telling.

The opening scene, set in the early nineties, gives us the back-story: Matthew Scudder (Liam Neeson) is an alcoholic NYC cop who drunkenly stumbles into a shootout that goes terribly awry. Cut to 1999 and Scudder is now an unlicensed private eye who goes to AA meetings and does ‘favours’ in exchange for ‘gifts’. Continue reading

News in Brief – Shocking Pictures Emerge As Lovely Cows Competition Takes Centre Stage

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We’ve all seen the shocking pictures posted online in the last week, of Simon Cowell with his shirt undone. At the London premiere of the new blockbuster, One Direction’s film – in which they learn the hand L trick to tell left and right – Simon certainly showed us more than we needed to see, much like the now eponymous “Slane pics”.

In fact, unbeknownst to the popular press, all eyes were on the Lovely Cows this week, no that’s not a typo. The Lovely Cows competition in Cavan is by far superior to The Rose of Tralee, judging, as it does, the loveliest of cows. How do you judge a lovely cow? NIB hears you ask, on “dairyness” and “femininity”. And there’s you thinking it was just about their pretty faces. Oh no. They’re talented bovines, reciting Irish poems and performing traditional dance, it’s a wonder it isn’t televised. Continue reading

Top Five Irish Actors Taking Centre Stage In The US

Ireland is recognised for the art of storytelling; from folklore, to literature, to music, to acting. For years it has produced remarkable stage and screen actors such as Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson, Michael Fassbender, Colin Farrell and Cillian Murphy to name a few, and now it would seem that there are a number of up-and-coming young male and female actors following their suit and paving their own way with their own distinctive careers. With St. Patrick’s Day not too far away, it is worth taking a look at a few actors making waves across the Atlantic and hoping that this trend only increases as time goes on.

Irish Film And Television Awards - Arrivals

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News in Brief- Paisley Jnr Shot Down Over Racist Jibe As Pyjama Girls Among Celebration Of Iconic Dublin

pjsAt least January is over – only eleven months till Christmas – and with the months end comes the promise of Spring. Better weather, green on the trees and no chance of a pay rise this year for 10% of Irish retail staff. More than 17% surveyed also expect to cut bonuses and overtime as they struggle to meet the costs of overheads and a decrease in consumer demand. Continue reading

News in Brief-Taoiseach Bares All For Playboy As Irish Conker Championships Placed In Doubt

Comeback : Far Cry From Reality

At Shannon Airport security fears have increased after two unlikely anti-war protestors made it on to the runway. Well, almost. Margaretta D’Arcy (78), a playwright and peace campaigner, and Niall Farrell (59), a member of Galway Alliance Against War planned to stage a peaceful protest on the eleventh anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war but were spotted by air traffic control. Mrs D’Arcy also hoped to scatter her husbands ashes on the flight path but was unable to do so before her subsequent arrest. They were apprehended before they reached the runway and were later released without charge. Gardai investigating the breach said they couldn’t find any damage to the perimeter concluding the pensioner and her companion must have ‘scaled the fence’.

Already plans are underway to celebrate next St Patrick’s Day not here in Ireland but in Rio de Janeiro. The famous statue of Christ the Redeemer, which stands guard over the city is to be lit up in green next March 17th after President Michael D Higgins and the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro Orani Joao Tempesta signed an agreement. Perhaps they got the date wrong perhaps they meant April 1st?

Mattie McGrath TD for Tipperary South has described Enda Kenny as; “a playboy on the front page of Time magazine” in a speech about the Fiscal Responsibility Bill and Government kite-flying (they do love it don’t they!). Except that’s not quite what he told the Dáil; “The most sickening thing last week was to see the Taoiseach on the front page of Playboy magazine.” Quite.

Bleeding canker is ruining our conkers! Fears are growing conkers may be of short supply at the 13th annual Irish Conker Championships in Kilkenny after the tree disease, bleeding canker, has blighted horse-chestnut trees. Organisers are tasked with collecting 30,000 conkers in order to select 500 that meet competition standards but face being understocked this year. Susan Murphy, chairperson of the Irish Conker Championships has asked anybody with their own stock to donate to the cause.

‘Taken 2, the action movie sequel starring Liam Neeson and based on the kidnap of himself and his ex wife has only recently been released but already plans are underway for the sixty year old Irish actor to return in ‘Taken 3’. Now that’s just careless but nonetheless “He will find you, he will ….” …. you know the score at this stage.

Taken 2

“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have any money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”

We first met man-of-his-word Bryan Mills (played by our own Liam Neeson) back in 2008 when kidnap drama Taken surpassed all expectation – Neeson himself said he thought the film would go “straight to video” – and became the unexpected hit of the year and now, four years later, the retired CIA officer is back and at his knife wielding, gun toting, bullet proof vest wearing best. Well what do you expect when a movie made for a mere $25 million goes on to rake in over $225 million? A sequel was inevitable folks. If the above quote set the tone for and told us all we needed to know about the first film it actually does the same again, well, sort of. Only this time the tables have turned and it’s the baddies who are throwing around the threats. Taken 2 is all about revenge you see. In the original Mills not only killed but tortured his daughter Kim’s (played by Lost alum, Maggie Grace) captors and now the fathers and brothers of the dead are back and demanding retribution.

This time around the action has shifted from Paris to Istanbul where having just completed a security job for one very rich Sheikh retired CIA officer Mills has invited his daughter and now not-so-estranged wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) to join him for a mini vacation he hopes will make for some good old fashioned family bonding. Whereas it was Kim who was “taken” in the original movie it is now Lenore and Bryan’s turn to be abducted. Certainly, the film opens quite promisingly showing Mills instructing his now miraculously more capable daughter (who can forget just how hapless the poor girl was in the original?) Kim on how to locate him and Lenore using only a map, a shoelace oh and a bunch of grenades – Funny he won’t allow her to indulge in any heavy petting but scaling rooftops and throwing grenades is a-ok with the overprotective father. Sadly from here on the movie takes a turn for the worse. Much much worse.

What we the audience loved about Taken was its ruthlessness. Here we got to follow around a man on a mission who tore around Europe destroying anyone and anything that dared get in his way. And, lets be honest here, the vicious nature of the film gave us a thrill, a thrill which has very unfortunately been “taken” (pun intended) from the sequel. In order to maximise Taken 2’s audience producers opted for a 12A rating in place of the uncut originals 18 which was undoubtedly a smart money making move especially when you consider just how many suckers will spring for the uncut DVD version you just know they’re going to release. As a result, however, moviegoers had to sit through a remarkably watered down and dull action movie jam packed with too fast action sequences and incredibly shaky camera work both of which it seems were partially intended to tone down the violence and make the film suitable for twelve year olds but which ultimately made for surprisingly confusing and humdrum fights and car chases. In fact it was so hard for audience members to work out just what was going on that instead of understanding that one of the very bland baddies had just been impaled on a steel rod many were left with the impression that he had died after suffering a single blow to the face. And no, I’m not exaggerating the editing actually was that confusing!

Ever the professional, a now 61 year old Liam Neeson clearly gave the role just as much as he did Oskar Schindler. As such he remains as convincing as ever as the soft spoken but tough as nails ass kicking father willing to do whatever it takes to protect his family, however, no matter how sorry I am to say it even his potential is wasted here. It’s just so disappointing to see a movie like Taken 2 that has so much promise sell out and ultimately sacrifice everything viewers ever loved about the original simply to make more money. Perhaps I’m being overly harsh here. I know you guys, like me, are curious and I guess if you’re taking a trip to the cinema with the sole intention of indulging in two hours worth of mindless escapism while you crunch popcorn and munch gummy bears Taken 2 really isn’t that bad but for the diehards amongst you I say save your pennies and opt to see this one on Bargain Wednesday.

Warning; The door has been left wide open for Taken 3. Yes, really! Irresponsible really considering Neeson may just have to opt for steroids and a thirty year old Maggie Grace will be forced to pump her face full of botox in order to continue playing his virginal daughter who is just dying to get her drivers license!

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