Liam Neeson

LEGO Movie Batman

With the release of The LEGO Movie on DVD and Blu-ray this week, we’re taking a look behind the scenes of the movie with the cast and crew. Christopher Miller and Phil Lord lead the commentary, joined by many of the actors in the studio, as well as Elizabeth Banks who phones in her contributions from an undisclosed location. Miller and Lord are riding a wave of cinematic goodwill with two of the biggest openings of 2014 (is a 23 LEGO Jump Street far of?), but they managed to tear themselves away from counting their cash and diving into piles of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck to devote an hour and forty minutes to the cause of pulling the curtain back from the magical world of LEGOLAND.

read more...

Universal Pictures

Liam Neeson‘s been on a bit of an action-star tear since striking gold with 2008′s Taken, but who can blame him? The guy turns 62 years old in a few days, and if he wants to kick ass and take names a few more times before starring in a Grumpy Old Men remake (with Harrison Ford, obviously) more power to him. Of course, he could stand to be a bit pickier with his choices — for every Taken and Non-Stop we also get a Taken 2 and an Unknown – and it’s on that note that we get our first look at the trailer for his latest film. A Walk Among the Tombstones just might be the best entry in Neeson’s late career renaissance. It certainly looks the best anyway, and it’s also based on a source material of genuinely higher quality than the usual script from Luc Besson’s Goofy Action Factory. The film is based on Lawrence Block‘s novel, one of thirteen with the recurring character of Matt Scudder. Neeson plays the ex-cop turned alcoholic private investigator in director Scott Frank‘s film, and the result looks pretty damn fantastic. Check out the first trailer for A Walk Among the Tombstones below.

read more...

Seth MacFarlane in A Million Ways to Die in the West

You might think that Seth MacFarlane would be the perfect guy to make the boldest Western comedy since Blazing Saddles. After 40 years there’s still no topping Mel Brooks there in terms of genre parody, historical satire, sharp political incorrectness as social statement or even the lowbrow humors of slapstick, raunch and gross-out gags. But MacFarlane, who tackles all those areas of comedy in his TV series and movies, doesn’t even come close to being Brooks’ successor with his sophomore directorial effort, A Million Ways to Die in the West. What starts out as a funny guide to the Wild West and, as the title suggests, how dangerous that time and place was, the movie nosedives with a foregrounded rom-com plot, an underdeveloped and unnecessary villain and a retread of jokes recycled from the first few minutes. For an example of that last fault, and this is by far the worst offender, Giovanni Ribisi plays a guy whose girlfriend, played by Sarah Silverman, is a prostitute. She won’t have sex with him, though, because they’re Christians and are waiting for marriage. That’s a fine joke as an introduction to their characters, not terribly original but still played well and to the extreme with Silverman’s trademark smuttiness. But that winds up being their actual narrative arc, their only true purpose in the movie, so the constant bits where she tells him about her day at work and the gags involving what body fluids of her customers are still in her hair for him to find during their […]

read more...

Taken Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace

Contrary to popular belief, not all mega-successful movies get an automatic sequel. Often, a pitched battle rages over the right to add a +1 on the end of whatever movie just made a gazillion dollars worldwide. Take Taken 3. The addition of that “3″ was no cakewalk. At first, Liam Neeson was adamant that the film shouldn’t be made, that a single family would suffer three takings to be completely absurd. “It’s just bad parenting,” Neeson argued. Then, Fox offered him $20M to change his mind. He did. But there was a catch: Neeson’s agreement meant Fox had to implement a strict “No Taking” policy for Taken 3. No daughters would be taken. No wives. Not a single Liam Neeson. Which begs the question: what’s everyone supposed to do instead?

read more...

Jaume Collet-Serra Non-Stop

Some commercial directors are not filmmakers. They may be able to craft a few pretty images, but it’s a different medium. Even Steven Soderbergh once expressed befuddlement at the idea of handing over heaps of money to commercial guns-for-hire to make their first features, and last year alone we saw a few directors disappoint us in that regard. While Non-Stop director Jaume Collet-Serra didn’t set the world on fire with his leap into film, he’s gone on to carve out a strange and successful career for himself. His first film, House of Wax, was a routine teenage horror picture. At the time of its release more people were focused on Paris Hilton’s perfectly fine, non-night-vision performance than Collet-Serra’s glossily moody style, and when you have her running around in her bra, “the direction” isn’t going to dominate the conversation. Still, it’s competently made, especially in its superior first half, but it’s not the movie Collet-Serra wants to be remembered for. “For me, it was a learning experience,” Collet-Serra tells us, explaining what he dreamt for with his first feature. “My hope for House of War was to learn as much as I could and to do a good job for them, to see how it works. As I’ve had the chance to make more movies, I’ve been able to have more control.” House of Wax did decent business, but Collet-Serra wouldn’t have had the chance to make the movie today. “It was a time in Hollywood where they were giving these commercial directors, like myself, the opportunity to do these kind of big horror movies, which […]

read more...

Liam Neeson in NON-STOP

You’d think, at a certain point, people would stop messing with Liam Neeson. Kidnap his daughter? He will kill you all. Mess with his memory? He will kill you all. Abduct his wife? He will kill you all. Glue his parents into place? He will ki-well he won’t be happy about it anyway. But no, the bad guys refuse to catch a clue, and now the fools are at it again. Bill Marks (Neeson) is an Irish-born U.S. Air Marshal having a really bad day. He’s drinking heavily, arguing with his boss, and heading out on a trans-Atlantic flight to London. Oh, and he hates to fly. Things worsen when an anonymous text hits his phone threatening to kill someone on-board the plane unless $150 million is wired into a specified account. Ever the professional, Marks sets out to find the culprit by any means necessary. Non-Stop is closer to Taken than it is to Unknown on the sliding scale of Neeson ass-kickery flicks, meaning it’s miles ahead of the brain-dead Taken 2, and that’s great news for fans of fun, quotable action-thrillers.

read more...

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:

read more...

The LEGO Movie

All you need is some state-of-the-art computer programs and a guardian of the galaxy to make your own LEGO Movie in the comfort of your own home. Also, official licensing helps. No, it’s not stop-motion, but the CGI is still stunningly impressive considering the restrictions. Namely that everything in the world had to be made from LEGOs, rain and bubbles included. Plus, if they were going the stop-motion route, it would have taken 46 years to produce. Give or take. This how-to video is fluffy, but it’s a fun look at Chris Pratt and Liam Neeson recording what the little plastic people say, the pre-viz computer models and a song that should become your new personal anthem.

read more...

Can Seth MacFarlane carry a film to which he lends more than just his voice? Where his whole personage appears onscreen, rather than just his voice? We won’t find out for a few months, but this first trailer for his A Million Ways to Die in the West plays it very safe. Just in case MacFarlane’s charisma doesn’t extend beyond his voice, that damn talking bear still shows up for a few seconds. It’s just long enough to make a hand sex joke and then beat a hasty retreat. The millions upon millions of bros who saw Ted can rest easy. But unlike Ted, where MacFarlane more or less transplanted his Family Guy shtick into a bear-shaped package and called it a day, A Million Ways to Die calls upon the funnyman to venture outside his usual crass voice-acting turf. Here, he neither sounds nor acts like any of his staple cartoon character personas; instead, he’s Albert, a meek and unassuming sheep farmer in the old West. Albert shies away from a gunfight and loses his girlfriend  in the process. Yet when a new love (Charlize Theron) comes along, Albert sheds his cowardly exterior and begins learning the ways of the manly-man cowboy- that is, until her husband (Liam Neeson) rides into town, vowing revenge.

read more...

jeditruth-1

One of my favorite movie series of all time is the Star Wars films. Yes, even the prequels. I’m sure whatever happens with the upcoming sequels, they will make the list, too. I’m an shameless fanboy when it comes to this series, and I can forgive a lot – from Greedo shooting first to Jar Jar Binks. Since I was a child, seeing the original Star Wars at the tender age of five, I have loved the series. My youthful mind always wished I could be a Jedi Knight myself. Now, I know that’s impossible because I certainly don’t have nearly enough midi-chlorians in my blood for that. In fact, it was a relief for me to learn this plot patch when I saw The Phantom Menace because by watching the original trilogy as a child, it seemed so easy to train to be a Jedi Knight. Going back and watching that original trilogy again, it got me thinking: Just how long does it take to complete Jedi Knight training?

read more...

Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson being cast in an action movie is not what you’d call surprising news. Yet it’s news nonetheless – as per The Hollywood Reporter, Johnson will be starring in Seal Team 666, likely as one of a team of Navy SEALS who exterminate otherworldly threats, Men in Black-style. Naturally, they happen upon an evil far powerful than they’ve ever experienced before, have to save the world from certain destruction, and so on and so forth. The premise comes from a similarly-titled book by Weston Ochse, while Johnson’s Hercules screenwriter Evan Spiliotopoulos will be handling screenplay duties. Seal Team 666 seems almost impossibly predetermined to be quickly forgotten; another biceps-and-bazookas romp with a few dashes of CGI demon thrown in for good measure. Perhaps it’s the lingering taste of R.I.P.D. in the public’s mouth. Perhaps it’s that the Dwayne Johnson/demonic influence combo was tried once before in 2005′s Doom, which ended up in the same landfill as all our other discarded video game adaptations. There is, however, a silver lining- Seal Team 666 may not provide anything drastically new or different (although it just might, for all we know), but its mere presence may secure Johnson as the action star this decade truly needs.

read more...

Liam Neeson has carved out a comfy little niche for himself doing a million Taken-style action movies, one after another. His streak continues with Non-Stop, which combines an old standard – Neeson growling threats into a cell phone – with an airplane-fresh twist. Neeson plays an air marshal doing his regular duty on a regular flight. But when he receives this text message: “give me $150 million or I kill a passenger every 20 minutes,” Neeson is forced to put his intimidation-via-cell-phone skills to the test in hunting down the killer and rescuing his fellow air travelers. Despite its shameless ambitions to be Die Hard on a plane, Non-Stop promises at least two fun twists. First is that Neeson’s cell phone usage is limited to text messaging, meaning that his big Taken-style outburst will probably be a strongly worded text punctuated with the scowliest emoticons known to man. And second is how Non-Stop teases its killer’s mysterious methods. How exactly does one kill people in secret on a crowded plane? Time-lapse poison capsules? Nanotechnology? Stabbing someone really fast while everyone’s backs are turned? We won’t know until Neeson cracks the case, but judging from this trailer, it looks like Julianne Moore‘s character might be involved. She’s got shifty eyes – never a good sign. Check out the trailer for Non-Stop below (courtesy of iTunes) along with a poster and a few new images from the film.

read more...

The Nut Job

There’s a universal truth for all people, and it’s that everyone loves seeing animals do human things. No matter who you are or what films you like, if a dog suddenly morphs into a dog who can dunk, you’re watching. That’s why this trailer for The Nut Job, a movie about squirrels setting up a heist on a nut store, is indicative of a film that’s about to do very well in theaters. Just look at those tiny thieves. Look at them. Will Arnett voices Surly, a squirrel who discovers that he and his band of rodent pals can survive the winter a lot easier if they just rob their local nut store, rather than gathering nuts like a bunch of shmucks. But their plans are constantly sabotaged by a villain raccoon, voiced by Liam Neeson. This animal gang’s mission sounds a lot more plausible (in the grand scheme of talking animal super intelligence) than the one set forth by the turkeys in Free Birds; robbing a store might be easier to pull off than time travel. Which is not to say that this is somehow more highbrow than the turkey film. The kids are going to love this one. Surly and his rat pal dance to dubstep when they discover the nut store. There’s a “fire in the hole” fart joke AND an explosion. The trailer doesn’t give a good estimate, but I’m working under the assumption that the movie makes approximately six nuts-related jokes per 10 minutes. Brendan […]

read more...

Though Ed Harris is a performer who most people would recognize at this point, he’s still not exactly what one thinks of when they think of a “movie star.” While he’s not exactly a “that guy” character actor who constantly shows up playing small roles, he’s not quite a leading man either. He’s more likely to show up in a movie as the guy behind the guy, just one step behind the hero, or even as the villain, someone who’s probably just as essential to a story as the hero but doesn’t get nearly as much of the credit when box office receipts and reviews start rolling in. Harris is more often than not the highlight of every film he appears in, and he has the chiseled looks and piercing eyes of a leading man, but for some reason he’s never quite broken through to that next level of Hollywood where he’s gotten the opportunity to get the big, showy roles and anchor the big, expensive films. Whether that’s because casting agents think that he’s lacking some sort of intangible quality that makes one a star or just that Harris himself prefers to make a living and build a career doing smaller, often more interesting work isn’t clear. But what is clear is that he’s been one of the best actors working regularly over the last few decades, he’s always a welcome name to see pop up on any casting list, and we now have reason to celebrate, as there’s […]

read more...

Iron Man Extended Look

Today in life imitating art news, Robert Downey Jr. is one step closer to becoming an actual genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist. Forbes has released their annual list of Hollywood’s Highest-Paid Actors, and the Iron Man star comes in at a firm number one, having made $75m between June 2012 and June 2013. There is no contesting that Downey Jr. is box office gold. He has starred in six films that have all grossed over $500m, and The Avengers and Iron Man 3 both earned over $1b during their runs. The Avengers, the third-highest grossing movie of all time, featured Downey Jr. once more in his beloved Tony Stark role – and it’s easy to argue that he stole many a scene throughout the blockbuster.

read more...

news_taken2

To be fair, they’ll probably pay him with one giant paycheck instead of three because Hollywood accounting is nothing if not efficient, but according to Deadline Hollywood, Fox is paying Liam Neeson $20M to return for Taken 3. So this is going to happen. Taken 2 writer Robert Mark Kamen and franchise mastermind Luc Besson are already working on the script, but there’s no director yet, and Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen haven’t signed on yet either. Obviously, Neeson was the linchpin, but even if he hadn’t agreed to be in it, it’s not hard to imagine them Tokyo Drifting into a third movie without Bryan Mills (who has incredibly bad luck with kidnappings). Lucas Black probably has a set of skills, too. I have no issue with there being a third entry — no logical problem with yet another abduction under Mills’ nose, no concern for more mindless action, no fear for diminishing returns. My only real question is when they’ll mash this up with Schindler’s List. The people are demanding it, Fox. Why won’t you listen?

read more...

Jim Carrey

What is Casting Couch? It’s all part of a very simple process. Movie execs do the casting, the trades get the casting announcements, and then we put all of the news in one handy place. Today trios of big actors have been added to both Kung-Fu Panda 3 and Beware the Night. Jim Carrey’s casting in the upcoming comedy Ricky Stanicky has been a long time coming. According to Deadline, he’s been looking at this Black List script about a group of friends who have blamed everything they do wrong on a made up acquaintance named “Ricky Stanicky” their entire lives for about a year, and only just recently has decided to sign on to star. The deciding factor seems to be the fact that Steve Oedekerk has also come on board the project to direct, and Carrey already has experience working with him on Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. Remember, Oedekerk directed that scene where Carrey was birthed from a rhino’s ass? Classic. It looks like we can begin readying ourselves for some more high concept comedy.

read more...

Horrible Bosses

What is Casting Couch? It’s here to help you keep abreast of which projects are appearing on your favorite actors’ upcoming calendars. Today we have news about who the latest talent to play Liam Neeson’s kid in a movie where Liam Neeson kills people is going to be. Hint: he’s part man, part machine, all cop. Despite the fact that the 2011 comedy Horrible Bosses took a talented ensemble of actors and generally failed to do anything funny with them, it’s looking like enough people paid to watch it that it’s going to be getting a sequel. THR is reporting that all three of its stars, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis, have signed on to appear in a second go around. And, in addition to that, Jamie Foxx is said to be likely to return as the trio’s murder consultant—and there even might be room for Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey’s characters to return in cameo roles. Horrible Bosses writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein have returned to pen the sequel, and Seth Gordon will return to direct. This would all sound like an incredible amount of fan-service, if I had ever met anyone who was a fan of Horrible Bosses. Oh well, maybe this one will be better?

read more...

Keri Russell

What is Casting Couch? Casting news, all in a list. Yesterday we asked the question of who would be playing the egotistical front man in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s next film, Birdman. Today we already have our answer, and it happens to be a familiar face. The casting for Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes seems to be coming along nicely. Not only does he have Andy Serkis coming back from the first film to play the ape leader, Caesar, but he’s also been picking up some talented folk to round out the human side of the equation as well. Recently he’s signed Jason Clarke, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Gary Oldman, and now Variety is reporting that you can also add Dark Skies star Keri Russell to the list. Reeves and Russell have worked together before, as he was the co-creator of J.J. Abrams television drama Felicity, which was her first big break. Their’s is a pairing that’s worked well in the past, so long as Russell has kept a healthy head of springy locks, so let’s hope that Apes doesn’t call for Caesar to take any of the human characters prisoner and give them haircuts. One shaved head could ruin the momentum of the whole franchise.

read more...

Hugh Laurie

What is Casting Couch? Today it’s mostly concerned with the comings and goings of British actors, but we also let Lea Seydoux slip in there because she’s wonderful. So far the only things we know about Brad Bird’s super-secretive upcoming film, Tomorrowland, are that George Clooney is going to be starring as a character who may or may not be Walt Disney and, though the film is said to be in the vein of Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, it may or may not have something to do with aliens. That’s not a lot to go on. But now we at least know that the film’s story is going to involve a villain of some sort, because Heat Vision is reporting that Hugh Laurie is currently in negotiations to join this film as the bad guy. So, what do you imagine that means? Is Laurie playing an alien? A rival theme park owner? Are any of the things we think we know about this movie actually correct at all?

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3