Luc Besson

In the genre of revenge thrillers, neither the French nor the South Americans are slouches. For decades, both cultures have produced countless bloody bonanzas that have been tinted yellow, untethered by conventional decency and piled upon with empty bullet casings. So what happens when two Frenchmen — uber producer Luc Besson and appropriately named action director Olivier Megaton — make a film about a South American killer hell bent on revenge starring Zoe Saldana, one of the most effortlessly sexy people on the planet? Somehow it all goes terrible wrong. It has the tint, the bullet casings and the motive, but Colombiana doesn’t feel so free — it conforms to a PG-13 world, which sort of takes the fun out of the whole experience.

read more...

After getting my hair blown back by all the awesome old man violence in the first Taken, I’ve been following the development of the sequel pretty closely. The idea of making a sequel to a film where a guy’s daughter gets kidnapped is a tricky one. What do you do, have her get kidnapped again? Have somebody else in the family get kidnapped? It’s pretty easy with a concept like this to get into ridiculous, “how does the same thing happen to the same guy twice” territory. But as long as they don’t dwell on the improbabilities and instead just focus on Liam Neeson brutally exacting his vengeance on bad guys, I don’t really mind. When Neeson first started talking about a sequel to Taken, I cheered. When it was announced that the film had found itself a director, I was cautiously optimistic. And now that word has come down the pipe that shooting will start soon, I’m officially getting excited. Producer Luc Besson had a chat with Coming Soon, and revealed that new director Olivier Megaton had been spending some time on a recent trip to LA to begin scouting for the film, that shooting would most likely begin in October, and that the entire cast of the first film would be back for the sequel. Wait. didn’t Liam Neeson kill everyone in the first movie? No, apparently Famke Janssen played his wife and she’ll be returning. I must have missed that while I was concentrating on all the […]

read more...

Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema, the weekly feature with that certain je ne sais quoi. No, wait, je sais afterall! That quoi is the nostril singing aroma of fried foods and stale Funyuns. If that’s what you smell too, then you’re in the right place. With the eyes of the film world on France for the annual wine festival armpit hair growing festival Nazi joke festival Cannes Film Festival, we here at Junkfood Cinema decided to set our sights on that classy nation as well. And by “we” I mean I, and by “decided” I mean your regular host, the Duke of Salisbury, is passed out on the floor again. He says it’s another diabetic coma, but I know he’s just faking it. Besides, we all know that diabetes is just a lie the vegans made up to keep us away from things that taste good. As always, I’ve selected a film of somewhat dubious quality but high entertainment value. I’ll begin by smashing it to bits and then taking the bits and smashing those into smithereens, but then I’ll pick up the broken pieces and lovingly put it back together with wood glue and duct tape. As if that weren’t enough, I’ll provide you with a delicious snack to stuff in your gaping maw, satisfying your cravings for bloodshed and trans-fatty hydrogenated oils. Anyway, France! They love food almost as much as we do, and, thanks in large part to guys like Jean-Pierre Melville and Luc Besson, they love […]

read more...

After last week’s stunning twist, things are about to be kicked into high gear on Nikita. Betrayals, revenge, harsh truths, false deaths, and that’s just the first thirty minutes. Nikita is about to take your brain and play a nice game of bouncy, bounce with it. And before it’s all over, new allegiances will be formed, and old ones will be rebuilt. So go and grab your favorite chair, some popcorn, and about 20 cc’s of Tetrodotoxin and get ready to be blown away by the season finale of Nikita.

read more...

After going through hell and high water to obtain the third black box, Nikita now must save the only man left alive who can crack it before Percy initiates Operation: Sparrow. But while she’s out trying to save the intelligence community, Michael goes in to Division to try and figure out why Alex hasn’t checked in yet. And that’s when the biggest game of cat and mouse is revealed, and someone is going to be forced to accept some harsh truths. But that’s only the start of what is about to become the worst day of everyone’s lives.

read more...

There was something about Taken that audiences just responded to. I don’t know what it was, but I felt it too. For some reason we were all just ready to see Liam Neeson go completely badass and mess some people up. The guy may be in his 50s, but when he told those guys that he had the set of skills necessary to take them out in that trailer, we all believed it. So I went to see the thing, and I sat there, not expecting much, yet inexplicably drawn to the film. For the first 30 minutes I was pretty bored and upset that I had been sucked in by the ad campaign. And then his daughter got taken, and for the rest of the runtime the movie was pure, brutal ass-kickery. And I’m not talking about the flippy, dancy, show-off type ass kicking that we get in most movies these days. Liam Neeson was a bone breaking, tooth and nail, creepy psycho. It was very satisfying to watch, and the movie ended up making a ton of money. So, guess what, bad news for Liam Neeson… somebody in his life is going to be taken again! Can you believe it? Or maybe there will be a twist and this time Neeson will be the one who gets taken. Either way, Taken 2 is looking like it’s going to happen. Neeson seems to be on board, Luc Besson is going to write again, and they’ve found a director. This […]

read more...

Percy is losing it after being thwarted by Nikita more times than he can count. So he’s decided to re-evaluate his Black Box storage system. Michael is sent to a small town in the middle of nowhere to check up on the Guardian assigned there and report if there are any complications. Of course that means our sexy ass kicker is three steps ahead, but what she finds is far from what she expects. And while Nikita is taking a trip to enjoy the cold, Alex decides to make a decision that will not only affect her life, but the lives of everyone around her. And before it’s all over, someone won’t be going home under their own power.

read more...

Now that Alex is fully aware of Michael’s dedication to the ongoing mission code named “Take Down Division,” it’s time to put into motion events that will allow her to escape the stranglehold of the rogue government agency once and for all. But before she has the chance, a monkey wrench is thrown into the mix when Jaden is captured by the target. Alex has to make a choice. Does she escape with her life and freedom intact? Or does she take a page out of the Nikita playbook and save the person who’s been out to get her since day one?

read more...

Michael and Nikita are just hanging out… Or rather laying in bed together… In their underwear… Very, very tight underwear… Anyway, at that moment Owen drops in for a surprise visit. And that’s when he informs Nikita that he’s finally found the second of Percy’s Black Boxes. Nikita and Owen are now on a mission to retrieve, and hopefully destroy another one of Percy’s insurance policies. But things take a turn for the worse when she discovers a dark truth about Owen and his lifestyle. Things also heat up for Alex at Division when Amanda becomes suspicious of some claims Jaden’s made against her.

read more...

Culture Warrior

This editorial features some spoilers for Hanna and Kick-Ass. Consider yourself warned. In preparation for this post I ran a quick Internet search on child assassins and found this video from New York Magazine. While I wasn’t promised a video exclusively on child assassins here, and instead got something that explores the notion of child killers at large, this video conflates two categories of child killers that I think deserve remarkably different types of consideration. The great majority of killings performed by children in this video are from horror movies. From Rosemary’s Baby to The Omen to The Brood to Firestarter to the other Omen and beyond, the child/killer is an exhaustively repeated horror trope to the point of cliche (and is often confused with the simple overlapping category of “scary children,” like in The Shining and The Sixth Sense). But every so often a child-killer horror film comes along that works in line with the formula (The Children, anyone? Bueller? Okay, how about Let Me In?), reminding us why child killers still have the capacity to be engrossing and entertaining even if they’ve lost the ability to be outright horrifying: because they play on our society’s veneration of childhood innocence, replacing the ignorant bliss of childhood with benevolent, malicious intent to do harm to the much taller individuals that surround them. But child assassins are quite different from the overall category of child killers. And while two recent films in two subsequent spring movie seasons that feature child assassins, […]

read more...

When we last left our resident ass kicker a month ago, Alex was informing her that she wanted out of the spy game and Michael was holding a shotgun to Nikita’s face. Well luckily we pick up right where we left off and Michael gives Nikita an ultimatum… find the man that killed his wife and daughter for him or he’ll expose Alex to Division. Clearly there is no choice. Now Nikita must team up with an old enemy in order to gain the trust of a new ally, while saving the one she already has.

read more...

At the tail end of last year it was announced that following the success of Nikita on The CW, networks were looking to create new television series’ around Luc Besson film properties. The first of these announcements came in the form of the possibility of a series based on The Transporter. It looks like that wish is going to be coming true because according to Deadline, Cinemax will be putting the series into production, with Luc Besson serving as Executive Producer and a twelve episode commitment. According to Deadline, the series will follow the same structure as the films: “Operating in a seedy underworld of dangerous criminals and desperate players, Frank Martin can always be counted on to get the job done — discreetly. He has three rules: Never change the deal, no names and never open the package.” There is no word, nor is there likely to be, on whether Jason Statham will have any involvement in the series. The series is set to begin production this summer in Europe and Canada with a budget of $48 million. This works out to $4 million an episode, which will hopefully be more than enough to get a proper TV adaptation of the franchise.

read more...

It would have been an awesome opportunity for other aging actors to hop into the role and turn it into a Bond-like revolving door of men trying to rescue their daughters, but Liam Neeson has worked out a deal to star in Taken 2. It’s good news all around, and it’s difficult to see this sequel being anything more (or less) than the same airtight action of the last with a straight line toward the murderizing of bad guys. Plus, there’s nothing that says Luc Besson can’t start a series of films with all the 60+ actors of our time crushing skulls and saving daughters. Think about it, Besson. C’est Parfait.

read more...

This seems calamitous, but Liam Neeson may not be able to reprise his role as the father with a very deadly set of skills (unless you count Unknown as a de facto sequel to Taken). Deadline Aransas Pass is reporting that Luc Besson wants to make a sequel happen this year, but Neeson wants to take some time off from a grueling schedule. If he does, and if Besson wants to push anyway, they’ll need to find another actor for the job. This sounds awful, but there is a silver lining. Imagine if this random scheduling problem launches a series of movies about aging, highly skilled bad asses trying to get their duck-running daughter back. What if Taken 2 was Gary Oldman kicking ass and chewing bubble gum, followed by Clint Eastwood in Taken 3 and Harrison Ford in Taken 4. Colin Firth, Tom Hanks, Jason Isaacs, Bruce Willis, Robert De Niro, Russell Crowe, Geoffrey Rush. That’s right. I said it. Geoffrey Rush. Put guns in all of their hands and set them loose on baddies of all different stripes. Then top it all off with Helen Mirren playing a mother with a particular set of skills, and you’ve got thirteen of the most stream-lined action flicks of the past four decades. But, yeah. Losing Neeson would be pretty bad news.

read more...

Immediately following her arrival back to Division thanks to Michael, Amanda puts Alex under an “enhanced interrogation” using what amounts to truth serum. But Amanda hits a road block when she realizes that Alex’s mind has built defense mechanisms to protect her from such intrusions. Now it’s up to Alex, and Alex alone to save herself from what could lead to a “cancellation” of her services to Division. Nikita also tracks down a counterfeiter to try to help Alex and hopefully save her from herself while Michael begins an investigation of his own into Alex’s mysterious behavior.

read more...

Another day, another mission and another counter mission for Alex. But things take an unexpected and horrifying turn for the worst while Alex is in the field when an individual from her dark and twisted past shows up out of the blue leading our favorite Division double agent into a fight for her life. Now it’s up to not only Nikita, but also Michael to get her out of this ultimate test of survival. But that plan may just go up in smoke along with Alex before all is said and done.

read more...

Things are about to take an interesting turn for Nikita when her latest mission doesn’t put her on a war path against Division, but rather one that will save American lives. A terrorist group is days away from smuggling a dirty bomb into the US, and it’s up to Nikita to bring them down with the help of her trusted CIA side kick, Ryan. Alex will also deal with some issues of her own when she tries to get closer to her neighbor, but a wedge is thrown into that plan when Michael shows up to snap her back into the reality of her cover.

read more...

When Alex is sent on her first mission as a Division agent to help in the assassination of a foreign prince, she and Nikita devise a plan to make it implode. But things go awry when the mission does a complete one eighty thanks to some not so useful intelligence. Now it’s up to Nikita to save the prince while avoiding detection from all the Division goons on the premises. All while trying to maintain Alex’s cover. And before all is said and done, at least one person will develop suspicion of a certain Division agent.

read more...

It’s been a while, but after her recent take down of the “mole” within Division, Alex has been promoted to full time agent status. But things aren’t so easy as she has trouble adapting to her new life of “freedom” courtesy of Division. And things become even more complicated thanks to the new neighbor from across the hall. Nikita will also mount a new mission to help in her quest to take down the rogue agency. Enlisting the help of her CIA partner Ryan, the two set out to stop Division from utilizing their brand new kill chips that that they’ve begun implanting within their agents.

read more...

Alex’s graduation day has arrived and her mission is simple, kill a drug king pin for Division. But Nikita senses trouble because Alex has never killed anyone before. But that’s only the beginning of her problems. Division has found the shell program that’s allowed Nikita and her mole to communicate. Now it’s a race against the clock between Nikita and Division to find the mole, and Alex is caught in the cross-fire of it all. It all comes down to a final, heart pounding showdown that one person will not be returning from.

read more...
  PREVIOUS PAGE
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.
SXSW 2014
Game of Thrones reviews
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