9 items from 2014
Showing the vitality of Liam Neeson carrying a gun and a broken heart, Non-Stop recently gave the new action hero one of his biggest box office weekends so far. Involving an air marshal using a particular set of skills to hunt and kill someone threatening his plane (to paraphrase Taken), the film may seem like a generic Neeson actioner. But while his character might be a composite of previous roles, the anxiety he tackles within this film is fresh. Considering its box office success (and my mother’s intense experience in watching the movie), Non-Stop works efficiently as a thriller in 2014 because it provides viewers with imagery of in-flight chaos not seen since before 9/11. It is also the indication of a natural progression for how Hollywood films are »
- Nick Allen
Fasten your seatbelts, please, it's Shakes on a Plane time, as alcoholic air marshal Liam Neeson tries to figure out who's sending him threatening texts before passengers start getting killed at the rate of one every 20 minutes – probably by him. With it's simple set-up and "everyone's a suspect" plot, Non-Stop promises enjoyably meat-headed thrills, with Neeson doing what he now does best – looking haggard and punching people really hard, often in confined spaces, while worrying about his daughter. Meanwhile Julianne Moore decides to sit back and enjoy the flight as the only-marginally-mysterious next-seater whose flirty/probing conversation marks her variously as friend and foe, often both. It's risible nonsense, blessed with plot holes that make the fractures in the fuselage seem insignificant, and not a patch on Wes Craven's Red Eye (or indeed Robert Schwentke »
- Mark Kermode
Is the airplane becoming the modern equivalent of the snowed-in country house? Apparently so, as Liam Neeson manages a fuselage full of trouble in this enjoyable silly thriller
Liam Neeson is the grizzled ex-cop turned air marshal on an ordinary flight from New York to London, secretly packing a badge, a gun and a whole mess of personal demons that might yet be exorcised by an act of redemptive heroism. Out of the blue, in mid-flight, he gets a chilling anonymous message on his special air‑marshal instant-message device. Every 20 minutes, a passenger on his plane is going to be killed, unless $150m is paid into a certain numbered account. Liam's bloodshot eyes flicker tensely around the plane – which one of this cross-section of humanity is sending the messages? »
- Peter Bradshaw
Review Ryan Lambie 27 Feb 2014 - 10:19
Whether it’s rescuing kidnapped daughters in Paris or punching wolves in the middle of nowhere, screenwriters have been diligently coming up with new reasons for Liam Neeson to clench his fists in a succession of action movies and thrillers. Along with Jason Statham, Neeson’s become a true 21st century action hero, in the sense that he assumes different names in each film, but really, we all know he’s good old Liam Neeson.
In Non-Stop, he plays Bill Marks, a depressive United States air marshal who drinks and smokes a lot. During a routine overnight flight from New York to London, he begins to receive a series of menacing texts from an anonymous passenger. “Are you ready to do your duty?” asks one. Another »
This airplane thriller never threatens to make sense as Neeson carries it to a denouement worthy of a murderous Miss Marple
The last flight Neeson was on crash-landed in the Alaskan tundra, where his fellow passengers were picked off, one by one, by a pack of ravenous grey wolves. The year before that, in Unknown, Neeson landed at Berlin Tagel Airport for a biotechnology summit only to have someone steal his wife, his identity and all respect for German traffic codes. And before that we had Taken, in which Neeson had his daughter kidnapped at Charles de Gaulle Airport by Albanian slave traffickers. Neeson and foreigners don't mix. Neeson and airports don't mix. But Neeson and foreign airports is really asking for trouble. »
- Tom Shone
Now that the mad rush by every major studio to schedule their buzziest projects in the summer of 2015 appears to have subsided, savvy execs are beginning to look further forward to book slots in 2016. Yesterday, we brought you news that Warner Bros. had slotted romantic comedy How to Be Single for that year’s Valentine’s Day weekend, and now Sony is getting in on the action by handing their children’s book series adaptation Goosebumps a spring release date of March 23, 2016.
Currently, the Rob Letterman-helmed film, inspired by R.L. Stine’s massively popular Ya horror anthology series, has the weekend all to itself, though it will probably face stiff competition from two holdovers: Summit’s already-scheduled Divergent sequel Allegiant and DreamWorks’ ambitious Mumbai Musical. Putting Goosebumps so close to both films indicates that Sony has a large amount of confidence in the film’s ability to overcome the pair, »
- Isaac Feldberg
What do you get when you cross chemical waste with beavers? The answer is the horror-comedy Zombeavers – and Hollywood’s latest viral phenomenon. The trailer for this film about (you guessed it!) zombified beavers has racked up almost 2 million views since it debuted a couple of weeks back. “It’s cool to get the validation,” says first-time director Jordan Rubin, who co-penned the film with regular writing partners Al and Jon Kaplan. “Once something starts getting up in the hits it’s interesting to see how people go, ‘Oh, we might have something here.”
So what was the “Eureka!” moment, »
- Clark Collis
The European Film Market will be showing hundreds of films this year, throughout the month of February. One of the horror titles in appearance is the hilariously titled Zombeavers. This film crosses a plague with these vicious aquatic mammals. From the producers of American Pie and Red Eye (Chris Bender, J.C. Spink), a trailer is available for Zombeavers. The clip shows the usual college kids on a quiet retreat. However, something very unusual is waiting for them in the waters - Zombeavers! Drinking games and skinny dipping is replaced with terror and bloodshed. Watch at your own peril (and try not to laugh). Epic Pictures is handling sales for the film. And, distribution is sure to be found soon as Zombeavers blends comedy and horror in an effective manner. Release Date: Tba. Director: Jordan Rubin. Cast: Bill Burr, Cortney Palm, Hutch Dano, Jake Weary, Lexi Atkins, Peter Gilroy and Rachel Melvin. »
- email@example.com (Michael Allen)
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 16 Jan 2014 - 06:20
Another 25 unsung greats come under the spotlight, as we provide our pick of the underappreciated films of 2005...
It's underappreciated films time again, and this week, we delve deep into the year 2005 - a collection of months dominated by the likes of Star Wars: Episode III, another Harry Potter, Steven Spielberg's War Of The Worlds, Peter Jackson's King Kong, and CG family movie Madagascar.
It was also the year Pierce Brosnan formally bowed out of his role as James Bond, and Martin Scorsese's The Aviator was hyped to win the director his first Oscar, but didn't. Still, the contents of this list received nothing like the acclaim of The Aviator, nor the financial pickings of a Star Wars or Harry Potter. As ever, we've focused on 25 films which we think deserve a bit more love.
So with apologies to »
9 items from 2014
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