Tag-Archive for » Liam Neeson «

The Lego Movie: A Review

I think pretty much everyone who’s seen this is agreeing. It’s awesome, so awesome, that ‘everything is awesome! Everything is cool when you’re part of a team’ (yes that’s the song lyrics and yes it is stuck in my head and has been since I started watching it).

So you’ve probably gathered that I really enjoyed this film, and I have to admit part of my enjoyement was the awesome comments the kids in the row behind me were making. They were some well informed kids. The recognised the millenium falcon and got excited when they saw it. How could you not be impressed by that!

In terms of the film itself, it was obviously one of those films that wasn’t taking itself too seriously, but like a lot of great kids films, it had a really great message. So many people these days are asked to fit in and just go with the norm, don’t ask questions and allow the person in control to shape your world and feed you propaganda, but this was all about being creative, challenging the norm and believing in yourself. It also made a point of us all having a role to play, even if we don’t think we do. We all have a unique talent and the world needs that talent.

All in all I think the message could have been easy to miss, wrapped up in the light hearted humour but I’m really glad they made it and told the story they told. Also Will Ferrell and Liam Neeson were awesome!

A-Team: A Review

I’ve been reviewing rather a lot of Liam Neeson films lately so I thought I’d dig out some of his older films and re-watch those with the intention to review so here’s the film based on the 80’s TV series.

This is one of those films where you expect a lot of explosions and stuff like that and it really didn’t disappoint. The action starts pretty soon in and continues from there with rarely a dull moment.

The group make a hilarious combo with the institutionalised Murdock pretty much stealing the show for me. He was the perfect combination between genius and insanity and I’ve always had a soft spot for the intelligently crazy variety of character.

This was one of those films that they casted perfectly and it makes me really rather sad that there’s no sequel in the works. Apparently it just didn’t make enough money. I really think it should have done but I guess there might not have been enough of us who remembered how awesome the a-team was originally.

But, as I mentioned earlier I watched this film more for the Liam Neeson than anything else. He’s really taken to his newer action based roles and being slightly older this particular role just totally worked. His voice worked, his facial expressions worked and I could even believe the cigar smoking.

The whole thing just felt so naturally right it had me soothed into the possible reality of this film. I also loved hating our bad guy, especially when I realised it was the same actor as raoul in the film version of phantom of the opera. Something about his snide smile and little chuckle made it so easy to want to wipe the smarmy… well you know what I mean.

I really really want a sequel, with the same bad guy, if I get the choice.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: A Review

This is the third and currently final film being madeĀ  in this series (even though there are seven books).

This time only Lucy and Edmund go to Narnia (along with cousin Eustace) and the elder Pevensie children are in the US with mum and dad, doing something important.

This is also the first time we see that time in Narnia doesn’t correlate at all with time in the real world. Last time a whole year had passed between visits and thousands of years had passed in Narnia. This time it gives an indication that at least six months has passed in the real world (quite possibly more) and only a few years has gone by in Narnia. As a resuly Prince Caspian is back and they’re there to help him on his quest.

As with all the previous films this is another good vs evil story. The bad ‘guy’ is the evil growing way over east beyond all chartered land.

Just like in the previous two, Aslan features less and less, expecting the children to rely on what they’ve learnt before and the tests of their beliefs are for the most part more subtle. At least until right at the end, where the white witch makes, yet another appearance.

Part way through making this film it was sold from one studio to another (something about the cost of all the cg water) and unfortunately it shows. There just isn’t quite the same epic feel to this one, despite the massive quest they’ve gone on and it does seem to be a little ‘lost’ in terms of what they were trying to say with it. I can only assume they are trying to show the white witch fighting against Aslan again but the lack of Aslan doesn’t make as much sense (he only shows up to Lucy once in her dream and right at the end to send everyone home) and the increased amount of time the white witch is there doesn’t make much sense.

I guess it’s a shame because it’s still a wonderful world and Ben is even better as Caspian this time around. He’s less whinny and way more like a Narnian King. I also thought Lucy and Eustace were fantastic but Edmund, the white witch and the general feeling of rushing from one plot point to another in hopes to get it over and done with as quickly as possible let this film down a little. Definitely the weakest of the three so far but still reasonably enjoyable. Unfortunately it probably means they won’t bother with any more of them.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: A Review

I’ve recently aquired the third film in this set so I thought I’d run through all of them so far over the next few weeks (new releases at cinema may be interspersed, depending on how many I get to go see).

This is the first film Hollywood made of the seven book series and the most iconic. It’s the one most people love and remember from the old tv series.

Yes, this is technically a Christian film but it’s also a good story. Every kid wants to suddenly become the hero in a great adventure, but this goes one step better than that. This has a whole set of siblings become heroes and even kings and queens together. As a kid it’s pure magic.

On top of that there’s some great messages. Often what appears amazing (the White Queen’s offer) isn’t really and sometimes we have to be brave, even when we don’t want to be.

I also really loved the bit where Susan and Lucy walk with Aslan, when he’s on the way to see the White Queen. There’s something very humble and sweet about Aslan wanting the company then. It’s a beautiful moment in the film. As is the bit where the Professor tells Susan and Peter off for not believing Lucy about Narnia existing.

I really feel the makers did a really good job of capturing all the little details in the books too. The varied creatures were amazing and the beavers were adorable. All those little things help to bring a film alive and they really did with this one.

This is one of those films that is great to re-watch as well. I think I may even do a marathon of all three that have been made so far.

Taken 2: A Review

More Liam Neeson!

And yes that does pretty much sum up this film. Liam Neeson, looking fantastically bad-ass and lots of people trying to get to him because they want revenge.

To be fair the plot really lacks but Liam does a good job with what he’s been given. His action is top notch and there’s some really funny moments in his over-protectiveness of his daughter. Normally that kind of thing is ott in films but this being the sequel to taken where his daughter was taken by traffickers (In case you hadn’t worked that part out yet) you can see why he’s doing it and I thought it made things even funnier.

It also had the one thing almost all action films need, a car chase! with a bit of a cute twist. Liam wasn’t driving! Which actually ended up being even better.

My favourite bit has to be how they ended up entering the American Embassy. I really won’t say more than that because I don’t want to spoil anything for those who’ve not seen it. I also really really loved how Neeson and his daughter worked out where he was so she could get to him. Fantastic piece of science! I actually learnt something from watching a film.

The biggest downside to this film was the lack of focus on trafficking. I saw the first one because of that focus because even though it was exaggerated in places I thought it was amazing that a film was putting such a horrible crime in the lime light for people to be faced with it.

Mostly the film was about Neeson getting to beat up even more of the bad criminals in lots of interesting ways. I even think the ending message of the film was meant to be Neeson doesn’t need a gun to kill you, he can just kill you! I mean, how many actors do you know who can pull of this —> and look cool doing it? There really aren’t many! ( I can’t actually think of any but feel free to prove me wrong)

So I’m glad I watched this film. I do like action so no dissapointments there, I just wish they had written a more trafficking related plot. There are rumours of a third one so maybe Neeson can actually go save something other than himself and his family and finish taking out the trafficking cartel he’s already mauled a few times and rescue some innocents along they way?

Taken: A Review

Anti-trafficking is a cause that’s very close to my heart. I gave half the rights to Innocent Hearts to a local charity that helps with the aftercare of trafficking victims as well as providing support for any child who’s gone through trauma. So you can imagine my excitment at finding out there was a hollywood film, with one of my favourite actors in, all about trafficking.

The premise is that Liam Neeson’s daughter is going to europe on holiday and while she’s there she gets taken by some traffickers. Just as she’s taken she manages to phone her father. He then goes after the people who’ve abducted her, killing msot of them along the way.

Now don’t get me wrong, in terms of action films this is a pretty good movie and it’s also really really awesome that there’s a major hollywood film that has trafficking in it, which for the most part was accurately portrayed.

My biggest problem with this film was him leaving lots of girls behind and not helping them all. It was gut wrenching to watch as he killed trafficker after trafficker but left all the girls locked in their rooms/chained to beds, except for one who has his daughter’s jacket. The annoying thing is I totally understand why he did this. He had to get to his daughter incredibly quickly, before they could do anything to her, which meant moving on and not taking the time to rescue anyone else. Let’s face it, what parent wouldn’t do exactly the same. But right at the end when he rescues his daughter there are two other girls on that ship. I’d have liked it if he had rescued those two as well, or it had at least shown us them being helped off the boat or something like that. It wouldn’t have needed much.

Back to the movie as a movie though, I have to say I really liked it, the more I watch Liam Neeson, the more I like him and it was only watching this film that I realised why his voice was so amazingly familiar in a very comforting way. He’s Aslan! Well his voice was the voice of Aslan in the Narnia films. Either way that made me very satisfied as I half imagined a ferocious lion in his place as he went hunting for his daughter and it may have added to the idea of the film in a very interestingly spectacular way. I will definitely be adding Liam Neeson to my list of favourite actors thanks to this film.

I felt the action was a little Bourne like at times though I think Neeson had a bit more of a mean streak in him. Normally the levels of violence in a film like this would make me feel a bit more queasy and I’d have probably looked away more but he was beating up traffickers (and sorta torturing them) and I have to admit I felt a small amount of satisfaction at that. Maybe I’m not as compassionate and merciful as I thought I was.

Either way I liked the film and I have seen the sequel as well now. I’ll review that soon.