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Okay, this is for anybody who was wondering if they should watch "Taken" and decided to check out the IMDb message boards. Here's the main point: If you're looking for a movie that's all about weird alien stuff and is full of out-there special effects, this may not be for you. Sure, the aliens they showed were pretty cool-looking, but they're not the important part of the movie. The human characters are, particularly the ones in the Keys, Crawford, and Clarke families. Especially Ally. This series was a sneaky way of exposing people to heart-warming family stories. And now that I read that back, I understand why you would need to call it sci-fi for people to watch. I am a female, but I'm not the "chick flick" type. I like stories about the strange and unusual. But the sad thing is that strong and loving families, like the Clarkes, are just that these days. This movie is not about extraterrestrial beings. It's about people and the world we live in... and the world our parents and grandparents lived in. The 20 hours it took for this story to unfold was necessary, because it allowed us to get to know the characters. And once you feel like you really know them, you start to feel what the feel. And isn't that what makes a great movie? I mean, if a movie can make you feel emotions you haven't experienced in awhile, it's worth 20 hours to me. If you want real "sci-fi", I suggest X-Files.
This is a long series, but it kept my interest throughout. There are a few detours from the main plot, but it all contributes. I've seen miniseries that start out really well, then fizzle out at the end, "the Stand" being a good example. This series is rewarding to watch. The acting is good and the plot is consistent. It is not like the X-Files (which I do like), where the explanations never make sense. Taken takes us to a logical conclusion.
I've seen all but the last segment of this mini-series and think it is great. Heather Donahue wonderfully portrays the evil investigator in hot pursuit, free of any scruples. Dakota Fanning is a star as she portrays the series hero, Ally, and narrates the story. The story itself draws on the current belief in Alien abduction, but in fact the real threat of being "taken" comes more from the scientists and military investigators who doggedly pursue their prey without any regard for the humanity of those they come into contact with, including the alien hybrids. Conversely, the alien hybrids have achieved a greater humanity than most of us ever will, culminating in Ally who not only feels intense sensitivity and compassion for people but has the power to act on it in ways impossible for us. Interestly, we identify with the hybrids as the pursued and as a those beings possessing those human qualities that we would most like to possess. That is what the series intended and is similar to "AI" in that regard. The film deals with our current mythology, which like all great and timeless mythologies explores our nature through an examination of the Gods and man and their interactions. Mythology changes though as it adapts to the conflicts human beings face in a particular moment in time. Spielberg is extremely important in that he has chronicled this changing mythology and our changing sense or ourselves beginning with "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" followed by "E.T." "Taken" is far darker, but so are we. It serves the purpose of all great mythology however by providing us the opportunity of self-examination.
One of the best series I've seen in years! Me and my wife saw all 10
episodes in two days (just intended to check out one)! That hasn't
happened in a very long time..
The story just gets hold of you and sometimes gives you goosebumps since it's so good!
My favorite parts are the early episodes but the series really changes, or evolves might be better explanation, so it still manages to glue you to the TV..
I'm a sci-fi fan that loves a good story but doesn't bother on technical or historical details (aka Trekkie's) so this series was top-score for me!
Some people have commented about Taken being another so-called "sappy soap opera" but as they advertised, Taken was supposed to follow the lives of three families; which Bohem did an excellent job portraying. It shows how the aliens and the government effected the families. The tragic view of the Keys family, the uplifting view of the Clarkes and then the compulsive actions of the Crawfords. The beautiful narration of Dakota Fanning, especially at the end of the series. Also, don't forget the incredible cast. Joel Gretsch, Desmond Harrington, Adam Kaufman, Heather Donahue, Matt Frewer and Ryan Hurst and many others. Like Bohem said in the Inside of Taken, he wanted actors that did believe. He got them and in reward it was excellent. Mixing fact and fiction, making a realistic series that leaves us asking questions, whether or not we find the answer.
I was very surprised when I started reading the comments for this feature. Lots of people said it was crap, but apparently people who actually gave it a number thought it to not be so bad at all. I enjoyed this miniseries and was eagerly awaiting the next episode except for Acid Tests. That wasn't such a good episode. I recommend you watch next time they run it.
I first saw taken when it aired on the scifi-channel back in 2002. I was on holiday in NY at the time. From the first episode I was hooked. I could only watch 5 of the 10 episodes at the time, because my holiday was over. I was so depressed when I got home. Then, last year it aired on the BBC and I watched the series for the second time. I recently bought the DVD.Taken tells the story of 4 generations of 3 family's that all have something to do with alien-abductions.But is is not just about that, it also lets you in to their lives and lets you look at how they cope with things.I think the script is just brilliant an the actors are very well-casted. Everyone, go and see the series, I'm sure you'll love it!
There is more than one dimension upon which "Taken" must be judged.
It's a movie, a TV mini-series, a large collection of "theatrical
moments," it's somewhat of a social/political commentary, it's a diary
for all the old (and young) hippies, and it's a "message" flick about
possible new frontiers, etc. It's all of those things at once. It
performs differently on all of those dimensions.
Without boring the reader with my opinions regarding each dimension, permit me to summarize by merely saying that yes, it is great in places, it works very well in others. It is a bit "TV-y" and trite on a small few. Also, the ending smacked of a corporate-marketing mentality. It almost said, "Stay tuned for a thin and overly drawn-out clunker of a TV series and/or series of never-as-good-as-the-original and frustratingly exploitative and hideous sequels." I really hope I'm not right about that--- but sadly, I fear that I am.
Overall, though, "Taken" it is a very good thing. Watch it, dig it, enjoy it! Oh--- and what's the deal with the little girl who played Allie? Dakota Fanning was her name? Wow! She was cute and perky, all right. But dang--- she went WAY beyond cute clear through to amazing. What a major find that little actor is! Think about it--- the producers needed a kid who could embody a cosmic wisdom that transcended all the earthly adults, AND still have the "little kid" vulnerability and cuteness of a real child. Fanning was a marvel at accomplishing all of those things at once.
I've been a SciFi fan all my life. Nevertheless I watched many of the effect driven shows, in the end its always the story that is important to me. Good if the effects are credible, but too many shows or movies have nothing really interesting besides the effects. I watch Taken for about the third time now. I really like that it is not just about good guys killing bad aliens. There are not effects all over the place, just where they are needed. The story is kind of like a theory that tries to make a probable explanation for all the abduction and flying saucer stories, crop circles or ancient astronauts we often hear about, a very entertaining way how all the mystery could be connected. And its told by using the history of several generations of three families and the consequences the aliens have on them. Some reviewers wrote to find Taken boring, and I can understand that from the view of someone looking just for action and effects. Taken is so much more then that.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Quoting Allie "Some people say..." it was great, and some people say it
was terrible. I'll try to be objective: It is not great and it is not
The story is clearly divided into 2 parts: The first 5 episodes go through 5 decades jumping over years. You see a child character and in the next episode that character is already an adult. The last 5 episodes go in present time and each one takes one day or two. This means a VERY drastic pace change for the audience. It felt like going in your car at 120 and suddenly going at 30. The first half starts VERY interesting but it grows boring and when it's almost dead the story jumps to the second half where outstanding things start to happen. This is basically because each half is based on a single character. The first half is based on Owen Crawford (Joel Gretsch), the army officer who starts the UFO investigation in Roswell. The second half is based on Allison "Allie" Clarke (Dakota Fanning), the great granddaughter of the only alien survivor of that Roswell crash. These 2 cornerstones are obvious because they were the most developed characters and both actors were IMPRESSIVE.
Why the first half turns boring? Because Owen Crawford disappears. When it happens the story becomes weak and you pray for something to fill that empty space. Sadly, from that moment, it takes about 2 more episodes for Allie to show up and restore the energy... Why to depend on these 2 characters only? The others were not developed too much. There were a couple of good performances: Ryan Hurst, Anton Yelchin and Desmond Harrington; but the other actors, especially Heather Donahue, were just forgettable.
Even while the most awesome events happen in the second half, at the expense of Allie, awesome events doesn't mean interesting story. The first half is more mysterious and twisted, even scary; while the second half has too much padding. Also there were many implausible things. For example, we are supposed to believe the Crawfords is a family of not only ambitious people but also killers! 3 generations of killers? There is an episode about a hostage situation and someone got shot, then the armed guy is NOT arrested and everything goes as if nothing had happened. Those are just 2 examples.
But all the flaws are compensated with other things, especially with the aforementioned Joel Gretsch and Dakota Fanning. There are SEVERAL touching moments you will love. There are some profound messages. There are GREAT special effects and all the hard work with wardrobe and setting of the past years is outstanding. Also they made a really neat job aging characters. However, in some cases the casting was terrible for the child/adult switch: Physically, Mary Crawford adult is not a single bit similar to the child she was, and the same goes for other characters.
The ending could have been A LOT better too. As a matter of fact, the last episode is the weakest. All in all I am not disappointed and I recommend this series. Even though the story drags on sometimes you will be hooked, and you will probably forgive the flaws as I did. Taken is entertaining and certainly better than many other movies or TV series out there. If you like drama and sci-fi mixed together there is no doubt this one is for you.
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