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The Equalizer – a movie that desperately tries to spin Denzel Washington’s role as something wholly new and inventive, yet anyone familiar with one of Hollywood’s most established talents will know exactly the kind of performance Washington brings to Robert McCall. In what could essentially be a prequel to Man On Fire, director Antoine Fuqua creates a “different kind of superhero” by remaking a 1980s television series that originally starred Edward Woodward, finding a hero who lets his actions speak louder than words ever could. Denzel is a tight-lipped badass who knows his way around a home improvement store, but The Equalizer sets out to be something more than another action-centric thriller – an achievement that borders success long enough to hold our attention.
While updating the episodic source material, Fuqua does ensure that a subtle 80s vibe is kept in the sense of McCall’s Terminator-esque attitude. Denzel goes »
- Matt Donato
Four reviews for you today including Birdman, John Wick, Citizenfour and Force Majeure while we also dig into that $745 million reported budget for The Hobbit trilogy and discuss the budgets for filmed trilogies over time. We've got a few questions to get to, random asides, a large batch of games and we hope you enjoy! If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add those to the show and respond directly. An alternative to that option is a new way of leaving us »
- Brad Brevet
In an underwhelming reunion, director Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington currently have The Equalizer in theaters. While Washington puts in a great performances, it's just too much of a retread of what we've seen him do in Man on Fire to be truly captivating, though the climax is pretty damn good. So with that film in the past, Fuqua is figuring out what his next project will be. There's always something cooking for Fuqua, and now THR repots he's been lined up to direct an adaptation of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, the true story written by Jeff Hobbs about a young African-American man who left the crime-ridden streets of Newark to attend Yale. Sounds like a rather inspiring tale. More below! While at Yale, Peace studied molecular biochemistry and biophysics and excelled at school, but the troubles from his upbringing continued to plague him until it became fatal. »
- Ethan Anderton
The Equalizer was an espionage television series that aired for four seasons on CBS from fall 1985 to spring 1989. It starred the late English actor Edward Woodward as Robert McCall, a middle-aged retired intelligence officer with a mysterious past who used his skills to help people who were in trouble. The show took elements from popular spy films and private investigator shows and mixed them with gritty realism and violence. Now there’s a new feature film version of The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington as McCall and helmed by Antoine Fuqua, who directed Washington to his Best Actor Oscar for Training Day (2001). But despite the talent involved, The Equalizer ultimately never rises above being a solid but standard action thriller.
- Timothy Monforton
It was a good run, Liam Neeson. The 62-year-old who was Oskar Schindler and Alfred Kinsey spent the last seven years kicking the crap out of much younger bad guys in bone-crushing B-movies, best epitomized by the Taken films. But as of this past weekend, there's a new sheriff in town. Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington, one of the biggest movie stars of the past 25 years, and almost always, the coolest guy in the room, delivered his 12th No. 1 film, The Equalizer. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), The Equalizer is a Neeson-ized adaptation of the 1980s CBS detective drama series that starred Edward Woodward. »
- Jeff Labrecque
The Equalizer, 2014.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua.
A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by – he has to help her.
There’s a scene towards the end of The Equalizer where the stakes should be at their highest. The bad guy is about to kill an innocent man and, right on cue, in walks our hero, Denzel Washington. Water pours down from the sprinkler system overhead, he has a nail gun raised and poised to pull the trigger. The entire scene takes place in slow motion, the thunderous and obnoxious score blasts out, and I believe »
- Gary Collinson
A two-time Academy Award-winner (with a further four nominations under his belt), Washington has achieved just about all there is to achieve in his glittering Hollywood career. Picking out his five best movies is a tricky job, but we've attempted to do it anyway. Read on to find out which Denzel movies we think are the absolute essentials...
Edward Zwick's American Civil War drama starred Washington as Private Silas Trip, a soldier in the first Union Army unit to be made up entirely of African-American men. Washington stole the movie from its leading man Matthew Broderick, and bagged a Supporting Actor Oscar win for his troubles. He was nominated two years prior for playing activist Steve Biko in Cry Freedom, but this was the movie that »
After all, it’s not as if The Equalizer—a 1980s CBS detective drama starring Edward Woodward as a Good Samaritan retired intelligence agent—was a brand that still lured audiences. Antoine Fuqua’s violent action movie with Denzel Washington exists in an entirely different universe, the brutal and vengeful cinematic neighborhood of Charles Bronson, Liam Neeson, and Washington himself. Call it The Equalizer or call it Man on Fire 2—this is a Denzel action film, first and last.
The film doesn »
- Jeff Labrecque
Director: Antoine Fuqua.
Running Time: 128 Minutes.
Synopsis: McCall is a former black ops commando who has faked his death to live a quiet life in Boston. When he comes out of his self-imposed retirement to rescue a young girl, Teri, he finds himself face to face with ultra-violent Russian gangsters. As he serves vengeance against those who brutalize the helpless, McCall’s desire for justice is reawakened. If someone has a problem, the odds are stacked against them, and they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer.
There are a few things that stick in ones mind as we look back at the great 1980s TV series that was The Equalizer. A juddering, memorable theme tune, sweeping vistas of the New York skyline, scenes of reprobates lurking on the subway/ random lifts, and a silhouetted Edward Woodward stood, »
- Paul Heath
“If you’re looking for ransom, I can tell you that I don’t have any money. What I do have, are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.” – Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson), Taken
When Liam Neeson was playing telephone with bad guys in 2008’s Taken, he was not just introducing himself to those who had nixed his daughter’s attempt to stalk U2 guitarist The Edge. He was inaugurating a new action hero archetype built of aged wisdom and burrowed brawn, the middle-aged vigilante assassin. (Vigilante applied here because as “one who undertakes law enforcement without legal authority,” while “assassin” fits to associations of precise violent skills.)
The success of Neeson’s mission as ex-cia guy Mills, that is, the hundreds of millions of dollars Taken took, confirmed the vitality of a middle-aged vigilante assassin, »
- Nick Allen
Written by Richard Wenk
Directed by Antoine Fuqua
While Denzel Washington shares the same name as Edward Woodward’s character from The Equalizer television show, that’s exactly where the similarities end. The word equalizer isn’t even mentioned except for the credits. Further establishing differences between the two McCalls are the digs they occupy. Rather than roll around in a flashy Jaguar, Washington’s McCall takes public transportation and spends his days in anonymity working for Home Depot. He comes home to a fairly bare apartment in a lower-class corner of Boston. Nights when Robert can’t sleep he reads Cervantes in diners. This life is simple and it’s what he promised someone he loved.
His occasional conversation partner at this diner is a young girl named Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz). She walks the streets, serving the interests of an Eastern Bloc crime syndicate. Robert knows, »
- Colin Biggs
After receiving joking acknowledgment in The Wolf of Wall Street last year, awareness of ‘80s TV series The Equalizer is probably now as high as it was ever going to be. It’s hard to imagine any fans of the series clamouring for a film version more than two decades later, and even harder to say whether they’ll approve of Antoine Fuqua’s adaptation, which carries over the names of the series, but little else. A one-man A-Team,the titular Equalizer is Robert McCall, an ex-covert operative with a particular set of skills he uses to atone for a shady past, one hard-luck case at a time.
The original series was set in New York, while the film version has driven a few hours up the I-90 to move the surroundings to Boston. While the change of leading man, from proper Brit Edward Woodward to all-American-ly handsome Denzel Washington, »
- Sam Woolf
Opening at 3,234 theaters, Denzel Washington action movie The Equalizer is going to easily take first place at the box office this weekend. Meanwhile, Laika Animation's The Boxtrolls will battle The Maze Runner for the runner-up spot.The Equalizer is based on the TV show of the same name, which ran for four seasons in the 1980s. It featured a former intelligence agent who uses a unique set of skills to help average people "equalize" the odds against them. The connection to the TV show should generate some curiosity among older moviegoers, though the primary draw here is star Denzel Washington. In the past decade, Denzel has starred in 11 movies which were released in to at least 1,800 theaters; all 11 of those took in north of $20 million on opening weekend. Remarkably, nine of those 11 movies were rated R. Without a doubt, Denzel is currently one of the most bankable stars at the domestic box office. »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For this week’s spotlight piece, I wanted to take a look at pretty much one of the definitions of an A-list actor. He’s Denzel Washington, a two time Academy Award winning thespian and giant in the industry. Washington does more than just act of course, he’s an iconic movie star, there’s no doubt about that. If anyone is right for this sort of a spotlight, it’s him. Washington got his start in TV movies, but on the big screen he made his first mark with Cry Freedom, which also got him nominated for Best Supporting Actor, his first nomination of what would become a half dozen (and counting). That established him as an up and comer, leading to his television role on the show St. Elsewhere, which ran for half a decade. That would open up some major film roles, including Glory, where he received »
- Joey Magidson
If an actor has played the hero or villain in an action film in the last few decades, there’s a good chance he or she walked away from an explosion and looked cool while doing it. There’s no shortage of examples—more than enough for Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island bandmates to make a music video about it—and many actors have pulled off the impressive and unrealistic feat multiple times.
- Jonathon Dornbush
Readers of a certain vintage might remember The Equalizer, the 80s television series starring Edward Woodward, but it’s unlikely they’ll remember it being quite as action-packed and brutal as Antoine Fuqua’s full-blooded film adaptation.
Denzel Washington replaces Woodward as Robert McCall, a Diy store worker with a chequered past. Living alone in his modest Boston apartment, McCall barely sleeps and spends the greater proportion of his nights at a 24-hour diner, reading classic literature, arranging the condiments in neat rows and quietly brooding away the hours before dawn.
One of the diner’s few other patrons is Elena, a young prostitute played by Chloe Grace Moretz. When she’s viciously beaten up by her Russian pimp, Slavi (David Meunier), McCall leaps to her defence, using a »
The film, an adaptation of the 1980s television series of the same name, reunites Washington with his Training Day director, Antoine Fuqua. It follows Robert McCall, a seemingly normal, quiet man who works at a home improvement store by day. At night, he reads the books his wife never got to before she died, and sits, drinking tea at a local diner. Chloë Grace Moretz, who plays a young woman named Teri, befriends McCall at the diner over the course of many nights.
But this isn't just two lonely people talking about "The Old Man and the Sea." McCall is an ex-special ops agent, and Teri is a Russian prostitute who's about to get in a whole lot of trouble.
Here are five things »
- Sasha James
The basic premise of the '80s TV series "The Equalizer" was just generic enough to survive on CBS in that decade of bland, and in making the jump to the big-screen, it appears to have survived with all of that bland firmly intact. While I personally didn't care for much of anything about the film, I don't think it's ineptly made or awful so much as just forgettable. It's a teflon film. It slid right off my brain pan just as soon as it made it in through the rods and cones, and even trying to summon up specific scenes or gags a few days later, I can already feel it slipping away. Part of the problem is just plain familiarity with the tropes of the film. Denzel Washington plays Denzel Washington, essentially. This isn't a character the same way Creasy in "Man On Fire" was a character. It's »
- Drew McWeeny
Denzel Washington balances the scales of justice — and challenges Liam Neeson for a slice of the middle-aged action-hero pie — in “The Equalizer,” an ultraviolent update of the 1985-89 CBS drama series that featured Edward Woodward as a former government agent turned pro-bono avenging angel. But in making the leap from small screen to large, and from pre-Giuliani New York to post-recession Boston, director Antoine Fuqua and writer Richard Wenk (“16 Blocks”) have also traded the series’ elemental underdog appeal for. Ponderously overlong and not even half as much fun as it should have been, “The Equalizer” still gets a lot of mileage out of Washington’s unassailable star presence, which should translate to solid if not spectacular returns upon the pic’s Sept. 26 release.
Although he shares a character name and skill set with his TV predecessor, Washington’s Robert McCall is otherwise, literally and figuratively, an Equalizer of a different »
- Scott Foundas
Tonight in Toronto, Denzel Washington and his Training Day director Antoine Fuqua will launch a new franchise, The Equalizer, a drama loosely based on the TV series. Thankfully for fans of Washington’s action work, the film is a closer spiritual cousin to Man On Fire, with Washington playing a righteous character who is merciless on the bad guys. Here, Fuqua, who is also mounting a Magnificent Seven remake with Washington for MGM, discusses the star’s everyman appeal and what makes him capable of so many indelible performances.
Deadline: Watching The Equalizer made me feel like I’d gotten the Man On Fire sequel I never thought possible when John Creasy died after killing every kidnapper in Mexico. The spirit of the movie courses through The Equalizer. What is it about Denzel Washington killing bad guys that makes it feel like Christmas morning?
Fuqua: [Laughs]. I just think it’s »
- Mike Fleming Jr
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