Joan Allen

Liam Neeson Taken 2

The new act in Liam Neeson’s career that began with 2008’s Taken has made it hard to remember that he was in stuff like Kinsey just a couple years before that. It turns out, Liam Neeson killing lots of people is exactly what the movie-going public needs this time of year, after a long winter and irritating award-season political sniping. Now Kevin Costner is getting in on the act, with 3 Days To Kill, from EuropaCorp, the company behind Taken and such other notable titles as the Transporter series. It remains to be seen whether Costner’s effort will meet with Neeson-like glorious success or falter like EuropaCorp’s John Travolta (From Paris With Love) and Zoe Saldana (Colombiana) vehicles. Until then, let’s consider 11 actors we’d like to see go the Neeson route:

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Joan Allen

Looks like yet another Stephen King adaptation is on its way (this one joins the in-production Carrie, the still-up-for-grabs The Dark Tower, that apparent two-film It adaptation, the long-rumored The Stand remake, and maybe even an Under the Dome series and a few Rose Madder films, just for fun) to theaters, but this one is a much less well-known property that has a far more homegrown sense of terror to it than some of those old King classics. THR reports that Joan Allen will star in A Good Marriage, which King has adapted from his own novella. Peter Askin (Trumbo, Searching for Certainty) will direct the film, which comes from King’s 2010 short story collection “Full Dark, No Stars.” Shockingly, it’s not really a story about a good marriage.

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The announcement that the Bourne franchise would continue without Matt Damon was met with skepticism by many, including myself, for several reasons. The most relevant? Matt Damon played Jason Bourne. How could the franchise continue without him and his character but still call itself a Bourne film? Would another actor step into his shoes a la James Bond, or would it simply be another case of an agent with amnesia going rogue? The answer turned out to be neither, and instead, rather ingeniously, The Bourne Legacy is a parallel story that begins during the third act chaos of The Bourne Ultimatum. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is a top agent who finds himself caught up in the Bourne fallout when the agency attempts to cover their tracks by terminating his co-workers. He’s forced to go on the run alongside an agency scientist (Rachel Weisz) while trying to out maneuver new a executive-level baddie played by Edward Norton. Some familiar faces from the first three films crop up along the way to flesh out the connective tissues between films, but this is really an introduction to a brand new character… and possibly a brand new trilogy of films. Check out the trailer below, and tell me your not at least a little excited to see this.

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The Bourne Legacy is not only one of the most highly-anticipated films of the summer, it’s a unique chance to revisit the blockbuster franchise with a different star at the helm. Meanwhile, co-writer/director Tony Gilroy, one of the key creative voices behind the original trilogy, is preserving the series’ lore while giving its events a broader and more epic context. As the film’s trailer observes, “Jason Bourne was just the tip of the iceberg,” and Gilroy’s insights about the direction he took the franchise in, for the first time as both writer and director, suggest that this expansive view of the world of Bourne was part of his plan all along. But as if embodying the director’s perspective, Jeremy Renner’s character Aaron Cross isn’t an unknown entering a larger world, but an experienced agent who knows exactly who he is and what he’s meant to do. Speaking to the Academy Award nominated filmmaker recently, Gilroy talked about reviving the franchise via The Bourne Legacy, revealing how he paid tribute to longtime fans even as he looked to a broader horizon, and the organic approach he and cinematographer Robert Elswit approached the picture with.

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Over Under - Large

Today is Valentine’s Day, and a big part of what that entails is time spent thinking about the one you adore. And, for me, it means thinking about romantic movies. So what has happened is I’ve found myself reflecting a lot on my current mancrush Ryan Gosling, what films he’s done that explore the concepts of love and romance, and how I feel about each of them. And surprise, surprise, a column idea sprung forth. Today I’ll be looking at The Notebook, a film that a lot of people respond to very strongly, a film that most every girl you know loves, and a film that’s an instant panty dropper when thrown into casual conversations with hormonal coeds. Also, I’ll be looking at Lars and the Real Girl, a movie that’s well regarded among the people that have seen it, but that was too strange for many moviegoers to take a chance on, or for any mainstream award shows to champion. And also, it’s a movie that can mean instant death if you try to explain it to a girl in a bar.

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“There was never just one.” Well, that’s a nifty way to explain why Matt Damon isn’t in the latest installment of the Jason Bourne franchise, The Bourne Legacy. Damon’s out, and Jeremy Renner is in as another victim and/or participant in shady Project Treadstone. This first stylized trailer (complete with Inception-esque “brannngsss” and “brrahhhhmmms”) introduces us to Renner’s character – a bruiser from Reno who is on the run after showing some impressive stuff to all those government heavies who’ve gone through this already with Jason Bourne. Don’t you think Joan Allen‘s Pam Landy is just exhausted by now? Join the program and check out the trailer for The Bourne Legacy after the break.

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Seeing as it wasn’t able to bring back series star Matt Damon, the fourth film in the Bourne series is going to have to work hard to get people to accept its existence and not picket theaters. I mean, people can get pretty emotional about their Matt Damon. When it was announced that he wouldn’t be returning, the prevailing sentiment was that a fourth movie wouldn’t make sense, and that making one would be a cynical way to grub money from an unsuspecting public by exploiting the series’ name. But the producers have done everything they can to make The Bourne Legacy look like it fits in with its older brothers. First, they signed Tony Gilroy to write and direct. Seeing as he wrote the first three Bourne films as well, that should lend a nice bit of continuity to a fourth. Then they went and signed Jeremy Renner to star as the new lead character, who will decidedly not be Jason Bourne. That’s gotta take a lot of the sting out of the Damon departure. Renner is a fast rising star and pretty much the new Matt Damon anyways. Now a third step has been taken to legitimize the project, Variety is reporting that Gilroy is bringing some of the characters from the first films back, firmly setting this story in that same world.

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I am a long time Michael Mann fan, even Miami Vice I would mark down as a misunderstood masterpiece. But Mann is not only one of the greatest filmmakers working today, he also knows good television. Whether it be the original Miami Vice series or the hit seventies series Vega$, Mann always had a knack for the small screen. Unfortunately, after the not so great Robbery Homicide Division in ’02, Mann sort of stepped away from television and went back to film full time. That is until Luck came along. And here is the first look at the new HBO series: Series creator David Milch described the pilot as “A bunch of intersecting lives in the world of horse racing.” With a cast boasting the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz, Nick Nolte and Joan Allen, along with Mann directing the pilot, I would say that Luck won’t need much of itself to succeed.

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For 36 days straight, we’ll be exploring the famous  36 Dramatic Situations by presenting a film that exemplifies each one. From family killing family to prisoners in need of asylum, we brush off the 19th century list in order to remember that it’s still incredibly relevant today. Whether you’re seeking a degree in Literature, love movies, or just love seeing things explode, our feature should have something for everyone. If it doesn’t, please don’t sully our good name with false accusations of sexual impropriety. Part 2 of the 36-part series takes a look at “Erroneous Judgment” with The Contender.

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Jason Statham in Death Race

This movie is like much of Anderson’s films… a big steaming pile of crap, but still a lot of fun to watch.

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The third title in a series is like middle age for movies. By now audiences know what to expect.

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Compared with its standard DVD counterpart, the HD version is a must have. It does not include a cornucopia of special features, but what it does have is plenty interesting enough.

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In spite of, or because of, the flashbacks to the very legal water boarding that I undertook, I found even more reason to love this movie now that it’s on DVD.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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