12 items from 2000
Actor Liam Neeson has kept the leather jacket he almost died in - as it was a special gift from Steven Spielberg. The biker's jacket was cut from his back after a near fatal motorbike accident by emergency staff in the summer (00). Neeson was severely injured in the smash and was cut from his clothes when he arrived in the New York hospital. The hearthrob actor feared he might never walk again after breaking his pelvis when his Harley Davison hit a deer near his New York State home in July. Liam underwent extensive surgery to repair shattered bones in his pelvis and was forced to pull out of collecting his OBE at Buckingham Palace because of his injuries. Neeson, whose mother Kitty and other relatives still live in his Co Antrim home town, was unable to travel home immediately after the accident. Rather than discard the reminder of the horrific incident, the Irish actor has decided to hold on to the jacket. Spielberg and Leeson forged a close relationship on the set of Schindler's List (1993) in which Neeson appeared as Oskar Schindler and was nominated for the Best Actor by the Academy Awards, while Spielberg went on to win Best Director and Best Picture. The pair have kept up their friendship ever since and Neeson keeps his treasured jacket, now in two pieces, in a drawer at home. Neeson says, "It was a very bad accident and I had to have the jacket cut off my body. I still have it at home in the two pieces - I kept it because it was a gift from Steven Spielberg. "But it in a sorry state, cut in two and totally unwearable. I think I will keep it though a lot of people will see it as quite morbid but I'm not in a hurry to throw it away. "I toyed with the idea of donating it to the auction I am organising for UNICEF - Movie Action For Children because I wanted to give something precious - but who's going to want an old jacket in two pieces apart from me?" »
Liam Neeson (photos) became friends with Christopher Reeve (photos) - because of his life-threatening accident. Lucky Neeson admits Reeve, who was paralyzed in 1995, helped him to put his life into perspective after being involved in a motorcycle accident in July. He says, "It was very humbling. It made me thankful for what I had. I listened to him on the telephone with his assisted breathing. And there was me worrying about getting around on crutches. I changed after that... got my head in order." The star also revealed that he was worried about the effect seeing their dad in hospital would have on his young sons. He says, "It was hard for them to see me in hospital. I think it kinda freaked them - all those tubes and machines and bleeps. I told them it was just like 'Star Wars'. Nothing to be afraid of. Luckily, they got distracted by the tube from my willy to a bag. It saved the day." »
Liam Neeson (photos) has collected a host of movie memorabilia to auction off for UNICEF - and it includes his light saber from Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999). Neeson is putting up his script from the movie, complete with "coffee stains and fag ash, " as he tries to raise over $5 million to buy drugs to prevent the HIV virus being passed on to unborn babies in Africa. Neeson says, "This is a cause which really touched me, as I have children of my own and am always worried about their well being. I'm chairing a project called Movie Action for Kids, which will include an auction of movie memorabilia which I have collected from actor friends and stars in the business. "George Lucas (photos)has donated a light saber from Star Wars which is rare as he does not usually sell items from the movie. Julia Roberts (photos) has given a wedding dress from Runaway Bride (1999), Denzel Washington (photos) is giving some boxing gloves from Hurricane, The (1999) (photos), one of Paul Newman's (photos) racing jackets and even a dress from Audrey Hepburn's estate. We are also expecting lots to come in from Michael Jackson (photos) and Elizabeth Taylor (photos) as well as a number of other stars who are still working out what to donate. I will be bidding for an Gary Cooper original contract from the 1940's, which I hope is for High Noon (1952)." »
Liam Neeson is attempting to speed up his recovery from a motorcycle crash by swimming and exercising at his Los Angeles home in a bid to be well for Donna Karan's fashion launch. Liam star cheated death when his bike hit a deer near his home in upstate New York earlier this year. Doctors have repaired his shattered pelvis and leg, and according to his wife Natasha Richardson he is on the mend. And now the actor insists he is "making a full recovery" and hopes to attend the haute couture launch this week. »
Motorbike crash victim Liam Neeson is expected to be back on his feet again by the autumn. The star cheated death when his bike hit a deer near his home in upstate New York. Medics have repaired his shattered pelvis and leg injuries, and according to his wife Natasha Richardson he is on the mend. She says, "Lesser mortals wouldn't have made it. He's going to be fine and make a complete recovery. He's not going to be disfigured, but it was a touch and go situation for a while. It looks like he'll be walking and even working by the autumn." Friends say the accident has brought Liam, Natasha and their two children even closer together. »
Irish superstar Liam Neeson had to be transferred to a specialist hospital in New York after fracturing his pelvis in a motorcycle accident. While his injuries are not life-threatening, the Michael Collins (1996) star's condition is still "quite serious" in intensive care at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. The actor had just signed up for a plum role playing Leonardo DiCaprio's dad in the upcoming Martin Scorsese's movie Gangs of New York, The (2001) when the accident happened. Neeson's publicist Alan Nierob says the actor is expected to make a quick recovery from his injuries. »
Actor Liam Neeson suffered a broken pelvis when his motorcycle collided with a deer near his home in New York state, authorities said Wednesday. The 48-year-old Schindler's List (1993) star, who was riding a Harley, also suffered multiple leg abrasions. According to the star's publicist, he was taken to the hospital where a quick recovery is expected. Herman Staats, the motorist who found him says, "He managed to crawl his way up back to his house right up the road, but I could tell his hips were bothering him." »
Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, and Liam Neeson have taken out a full page ad in the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER - to support the commercial strike in Hollywood. The A-list stars are among the names of high profile actors supporting thousands of actors who are striking against low wages in commercials. The strike followed breakdowns in talks between commercial producers and the SCREEN ACTORS GUILD in which producers demanded changes to the pay structures of actors in television commercials. Producers' proposals argued actors should get paid one fee for appearing in an ad - with no residuals for repeat broadcasts. Other stars lending their high-profile support include Gwyneth Paltrow, Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart. »
Actress Cameron Diaz looks set to star opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Gangs of New York, The (2000). The $80 million-plus Martin Scorsese drama is set to begin shooting in Rome in August. Scorsese is said to be eager to secure Liam Neeson or Pete Postlethwaite to play other roles. The movie is set in 19th century New York during the peak of TAMMANY HALL's political corruption. Diaz will play the lead female role of JENNY, a street-savvy master thief who becomes entangled both professionally and romantically with DiCaprio's gangster character, Amsterdam. »
STAR WARS actor Liam Neeson cannot understand what the fuss is about the hit sci-fi movie series. Ballymena-born Neeson, who plays a JEDI KNIGHT in the prequel Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999), is bored by Star Wars fanatics. He says, "I remember at the premiere in Los Angeles there were all these people with light sabres and masks. You feel like telling them to go and get a life. But I still enjoyed making the movie. " And Neeson says that these days he is enjoying domestic bliss with his wife Natasha Richardson and their two young boys. He adds, "I have a wife who I really, really love, and these two wonderful kids. I'm very happy." »
Actor Liam Neeson turned down the freedom of his Northern Ireland home town yesterday because the controversy the offer had generated between Catholics and Protestants there made it "inappropriate" to accept the honor. The Schindler's List (1993) star, a Catholic, said in a statement that he was proud of his association with the small town of Ballymeena and appreciated the gesture made by the city council to offer him the freedom of the city. But he added, "It would be inappropriate for me to accept in view of the stated opposition of some members (of the city council) and the resultant controversy. " The freedom of his home town, the highest local honor, was offered to the 48-year-old actor earlier this month but it stirred old wounds in the acrimonious conflict between Northern Ireland's Catholic and Protestant communities. »
How does an addled, risk-taking, ready-to-retire DEA agent handle fear when he could die any day? Judging from the sparse turnout at its first public screening in Hollywood at General Cinema's Galaxy, there's not a big public interest in the answer to this question pitched as the miscalculated piffle that is "Gun Shy".
A Hollywood Pictures presentation way shy of achieving its goal -- adult comedy centered on the lampooning of arch criminal and big-league law-enforcement types -- "Gun Shy" is produced by supporting player Sandra Bullock and stars Liam Neeson in a bid to lighten up after his weightier big-screen duties.
Apart from a good line now and then, and a game supporting cast, writer-director Eric Blakeney's debut struggles to keep one's interest in a convoluted plot set in the transportable milieu of high-stakes money laundering. But worse than its numbing roundelay of deals and meetings and specious character development is its relentless moodiness.
Opening with a complex shot that literally swoops in on a frazzled DEA veteran Charlie (Neeson), pantless and talking to himself in an airport bathroom stall, "Gun Shy" has an ongoing text about the lead's nervous bowels. A wreck after an unusually dangerous assignment in which he almost died, Charlie's need to "share" brings a straight-arrow psychiatrist (Michael Mantell) into his life.
Easily lured into a group session, self-absorbed Charlie impresses the half-dozen men who wallow in picky complaints and phobias. Thankfully, in the early going, things move along quickly, but the setup is still dragged out. Indeed, the whole movie becomes a setup for a payoff that doesn't happen.
In brief, Charlie in a delicate undercover role acts as a go-between for a filthy rich Colombian (Jose Zuniga) looking to launder drug money and a disgruntled mob hit man Fulvio (Oliver Platt) with connections to an enthusiastic Wall Street broker (Andy Lauer). The scenario is up to something interesting -- Charlie and Fulvio, like characters in a John Woo movie, are comrades deep down -- but there's some grave miscalculations about what else to throw into the pot.
Bullock shows up as an enema-giving romantic interest for Charlie, berating the agent for "popping pills and shitting in his pants" when he should just chill out. In one gratuitous scene in a men's room, sourpuss sociopath Fulvio shoots a testicle off the other Colombian, Estuvio (Michael DeLorenzo), as they urinate. There's no explanation for the latter's subdued response to this incident -- there are many more scenes following with the three characters together that have little or no tension.
Bordering on the offensive because of its overall artless qualities mixed with glib shock tactics posing as inventive storytelling, "Gun Shy" is ultimately tedious. Late complications include Charlie's boss (Mitch Pileggi) turning out to be a rat and the lead having to slug in public one of his therapy mates (Richard Schiff) who threatens to blow his cover. Bullock's gardening lover unclogs her way into Charlie's bed, and she helps out in the endless finale. Andy Lauer, Mary McCormack and Frank Vincent are relatively successful in supporting roles.
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Director of photography:Tom Richmond
Production designer:Maher Ahmad
Costume designer:Mary Claire Hannan
Fulvio Nesstra:Oliver Platt
Judy Tipp:Sandra Bullock
Fidel Vaillar:Jose Zuniga
Jason Cane:Andy Lauer
Dr. Jeff Bleckner:Michael Mantell
Dexter Helvenshaw:Mitch Pileggi
Gloria Nesstra:Mary McCormack
Running time -- 102 minutes
MPAA rating: R
12 items from 2000
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