Tag Archive: Taken


Ugh. “Taken 3” is happening

“Taken” was a good film. “Taken 2” was a bad film. But at least Liam Neeson and director Olivier Megaton saying “Taken 2” was the end of the road, apparently not. The film earned more than $150 million more worldwide than the original. So, Luc Besson’s company is paying Neeson $20 million more to come back for “Taken 3”. One would imagine Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace would also be re-signed. Great. Another unnecessary sequel.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

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He’s kicked some serious butt in “Taken”. “Taken 2”, “The Grey”, “Unknown” and more. Now get ready to see Liam Neeson as…an evil raccoon? Yep he will provide the voice for an evil raccoon for the upcoming animated film “The Nut Job”. From ToonBox, the film also features the voices of Will Arnett , Brendan Fraser, Jeff Dunham, Katherine Heigl, Stephen Lang and Sarah Gadon. That’s a solid voice cast for a film from an unproven company.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

“A Good Day to Die Hard”, which once again stars Bruce Willis, is about to hit theaters. And while “Live Free or Die Hard” was a financial hit, could this installment be in some big trouble? Normally I’d say no. It’s an iconic franchise whose popularity hasn’t waned. And yet, in the wake of Sylvester Stallone’s “Bullet to the Head” and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “The Last Stand” both tanking, one has to wonder: Are audiences fed up with aging action stars?

I know that “The Expendables” and “The Expendables 2” were both successful. But even the sequel, though it earned $85 million, was quite a bit off from the first film. And as Arnold and Sly showed, perhaps action stars who are older making quips about their age are just not the way to go these days. The one exception to this rule seems to be Liam Neeson with hits like “Taken”. But if you think about it, Neeson doesn’t bring up his age in any of his films. And we accept him in his role, I think, because we can see him as an experienced person who has acquired a lot of skills through the years.

This leads me to “A Good Day to Die Hard”. Willis is an action star, there’s no question. But bringing in a younger character usually doesn’t work out in a series. And frankly, Willis is getting up there in age, almost to the point where audiences think, really? He can still do all that? It also doesn’t help that the films are essentially live action cartoons these days. At least “Taken” worked as a believable thriller to a degree. After three straight action film bombs, one has to wonder if the new Die Hard film will suffer a similar fate? With younger action stars like Vin Diesel and the Rock and even Channing Tatum to a degree heating up the screen and comic book films still dominating the box office every year, perhaps the old model of a straight up action flick with a big name just doesn’t sell anymore. People don’t want to see forgettable films like that anymore. They want an experience, something big, bold and grand and with actors that people don’t think should be thinking about social security instead of kicking some butt.

The true test of whether audiences are growing tired of this will be with “A Good Day to Die Hard”. If it fails, or shows some significant signs of fatigue, it could be a big sign that audiences want more than just an aging star cracking age jokes and trying to be like they were in their 30s.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Let’s face it. Before “Taken” came out, how many of us really thought of Liam Neeson as an action star? But director Pierre Morel helped change that, launching a career renaissance for Neeson. Now, he looks to do the same thing for Sean Penn. Penn will play the lead in the film “Prone Gunman” based on a novel of the same name. Here’s the official synopsis:

French hit man Martin Terrier wants to quit the killing-for-francs business and go home to marry his childhood sweetheart. Those in charge want him to assassinate one more person–the Arab sheik Hakim–and, confiscating Terrier’s savings, coerce him to do so. Learning that his assignment is actually a setup that will truly be his final mission, Terrier foils the plot just in time, gets his revenge, gets the girl, and starts a new life in the Ardennes. FinNon. Terrier’s blissful retirement and our happy ending are spoiled by the leftover bullet lodged in his brain and his unsavory new tendency to blabber. His lack of savings forces him to work as a waiter, and his wife, tired of poverty and three-minute coitus, eventually leaves him.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

The last weekend in January sees three R-rated films hit theaters mainly hoping to draw in the young male crowd. Will any succeed?

“Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” stars rising star Jeremy Renner (“The Avengers”, “The Bourne Legacy”) and Gemma Arterton. The film seems like a mix of “Van Helsing”, “Underworld” and “Resident Evil”. Much to my annoyance, the “Resident Evil” films keep spawning more and more (and arguably worse) sequels, so they could be hoping for something similar here. Still, the trailers don’t look all that great, it’ll probably get trashed by critics and frankly, aside from Liam Neeson with “Taken” and “The Grey” there hasn’t been many hits released at the end of January. I don’t think that will change with this one.

Opening weekend: $18-20 million

“Movie 43” stars Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Halle Berry, Leslie Bibb, Kate Bosworth, Gerard Butler, Bobby Cannavale, Common, Kieran Culkin, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, John Hodgman, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Greg Kinnear, Johnny Knoxville, Justin Long, Stephen Merchant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Chris Pratt, Dennis Quaid, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet and Common in a series of shorts. I’m shocked so many great actors and actresses are doing the low-brow humor. And frankly, the studio doesn’t seem to have much confidence in the film since it’s only being released into 2,000 theaters and not screened before critics. Still, it should be the second choice for young males who don’t want some action.

Opening weekend: $13-15 million
“Parker” is based on a popular novel, but don’t let that fool you. They are hoping Jason Statham fans will come out in full force for this one. Also starring Jennifer Lopez, Statham usually gets you in the range of an $8-11 million opening for his films. Expect more of the same here.

Opening weekend: $8-10 million

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Liam Neeson’s “Taken 2” earned a whopping $363.4 million worldwide, after being made for just $45 million. Now, the sequel is hitting digital outlets, including Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, Google Play, iTunes, NOOK Video, PlayStation, VUDU, Xbox Video and YouTube.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Liam Neeson said it wouldn’t. Director Olivier Megaton said it wouldn’t. Apparently, that doesn’t matter as “Taken 2” producer Mark Kamen said

“We didn’t start talking about [Taken 3] until we saw the numbers,” Kamen said. “But then we said, ‘Oh, okay. I think we should do a third one.’ And Fox wants us to do a third one.”

Kamen did say the third film would take a new direction, though one has to wonder what the point of calling it “Taken 3” would be then.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

“Taken 2” easily took the top spot at the box office. The film, starring Liam Neeson, earned more than double the original film made its opening weekend, with an estimated $50 million and is the third highest October opening ever.

“Hotel Transylvania” which features the voice of Adam Sandler, Kevin James and more held up extremely well, earning another $26.3 million, down just 38 percent from last week.

“Pitch Perfect”, starring Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow and more, earned $14.7 million. Adding in last week’s preview showing and this film has already earned back the film’s budget.

Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” failed to find an audience, opening in fifth place with just $11.5 million, well below what “Corpse Bride” opened with.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

X-Men star joins “Prisoners”

“X-Men” star Hugh Jackman is set to join the film “Prisoners”, which will follow the story of a man who has his young daughter kidnapped. When the police can’t find her, he takes matters into his own hands. So…basically “Taken”…again.

The film also stars Melissa Leo. Jackman is also starring in the upcoming “Les Miserables”.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Two actors join “In The Blood”

Gina Carano is looking to become an action movie star. After starring in the Steven Soderbergh film “Haywire” with Channing Tatum and Michael Fassbender, Carano signed on for the action film “In The Blood”, in which she plays a wife who is bent on revenge after her husband disappears in the Caribbean (So, basically “Taken” with a woman). Now, Stephen Lang and Danny Trejo have signed on. Lang (“Avatar”) will play Carano’ father and Trejo will play the villain, setting up what sounds like would be one heck of an entertaining final fight scene.

It sounds entertaining, but the writers, James Robert Johnston and Bennett Yellin, are responsible for “Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead” and director John Stockwell’s credits include “Blue Crush” and “Into the Blue”.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.