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This Week: Pulling the plug on Taken, Jennifer Aniston cuts deep with Cake, and going back to the future (of 1997) with Escape From New York. ► .Taken 2. was already too much of a good thing, but Taken 3? It.s not hard to see why Liam Neeson is winding down his action movie career . he.s getting too old for this shit. Trying to raise the stakes, they bypass the kidnapping and dump a dead body in his bedroom (alas, his ex-wife) and »
- John Law
Lee Tergesen, Reno Wilson, Laura-Leigh, Margaret Cho and Michael Blackson headline the star-studded, hilarious spoof Tooken, seeking revenge on Digital HD and Video on Demand May 26. A satire based on the popular thriller Taken and its many sequels, the outrageous comedy will also steal some laughs on DVD July 7 from Cinedigm. We have the hilarious trailer and poster for you to check out!
In this spoof film on the Taken action-film franchise, Bryan Mills (Lee Tergesen) is an ex-cia agent now working as a mall security guard. He keeps finding his things are being taken from him-his wife, his dog...his daughter's virginity. With the help of his ex-cia elderly mother, Bryan battles his nemesis BrownFinger (Margaret Cho) to free his family and a pound of dogs in danger of exploding.
Whether you like it or not, the summer movie season is right around the corner! Of course, blockbusters sprout up all throughout the year, with movies like The Divergent Series: Insurgent and Furious 7 setting the box office on fire even before the "official" summer movie season kicks off...But the four-month period between May and August is simply jam-packed with big-budget tentpoles, outlandish comedies and even a few memorable indie dramas. Before you start snatching up tickets to your favorite summer movies, we have a handy guide breaking down all of the major studio blockbusters, and even a few independent flicks that have the potential to break out into the mainstream. Here our the 35 movies you simply can't miss this summer!
1Avengers: Age of Ultron - May 1
Well, I guess it was only a matter of time…
When all you know is to take back what has been taken from you, when does the taking end? Brian Millers is an ex-cia agent who has used his particular set of skills to save his family again and again, but when they return to normal suburban life, old habits die hard. Now his family can’t stand him! But when some evil Albanians take the last thing he loves, his dog, there is hell to pay.
Tooken is set for release digitally on may 26th and on DVD on July 7th, with a cast that includes Lee Tergesen, Margaret Cho, Reno Wilson, Lauren Stamile, Jenny McCarthy, Donnie Wahlberg, Ethan Suplee, »
- Gary Collinson
Filmmaker Pierre Morel ("Taken") will direct the Lifetime drama pilot "The Clan Of The Cave Bear" for Fox 21 TV Studios, Lionsgate TV, Imagine TV and Allison Shearmur Prods. The work is based on the first book of Jean M. Auel's Earth’s Children series.
The story is set more than 25,000 years ago when Neanderthals shared Earth with the first early modern humans and a band of cave dwellers adopt blond and blue-eyed Ayla (Millie Brady) a child of the 'Others'. Linda Woolverton wrote the pilot and is executive producing with Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Allison Shearmur, Francie Calfo and Jean M. Auel.
Meanwhile, "Charlie's Angels" and "Terminator Salvation" director McG has signed on to direct the pilot episode and serve as an executive producer on ABC Family's "Shadowhunters" series. Ed Decter wrote the pilot script and will serve as show runner.
An adaptation of Cassandra Clare's »
- Garth Franklin
Taken helmer Pierre Morel will direct the Lifetime drama pilot The Clan Of The Cave Bear, from Fox 21 TV Studios, Lionsgate TV, Imagine TV and Allison Shearmur Prods. Based on the first book of Jean M. Auel's Earth's Children series, The Clan Of The Cave Bear takes place at a time in prehistory more than 25,000 years ago when Neanderthals shared Earth with the first early modern humans and a band of cave dwellers adopt blond and blue-eyed Ayla (Millie Brady) a child of… »
Cannes – Shaping up as one of the big event TV series to come out of Europe as it ramps up ever more ambitious TV fiction, Rola Bauer’s Germany-based Tandem Productions (“Pillars of the Earth”), a Studiocanal company, is said to be developing epic TV drama “Lionshearts: The Crusade,” linking with the BBC and “24’s” Robert Cochran.
Helmer of the 2008’s first “Taken,” which gave Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp its biggest movie franchise ever, France’s Pierre Morel (“Taken”) is believed to have committed to direct the first two episodes.
Producer and co-creator of Fox’s “24,” Cochran is attached to “Lionshearts,” which turns on the most famous crusade of all, the Third Crusade of 1191-92. English-language and almost certainly a big epic BBC primetime series,
“Lionhearts: The Crusade” looks a firm candidate for a U.S. deal of some sorts. As Tandem prexy Bauer pointed out last month, made over the last 15 years, »
- John Hopewell
John Wick, 2014.
An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.
Since that fateful day when Keanu Reeves fired his gun in the air and yelled “aaaarrrrgggh” he’s become a regular in the action genre. He dipped his toes with Point Break. He experienced box office and pop culture success with Speed, before ending the century as Neo in The Matrix, arguably the most significant action movie of the last 20 years in terms of cult-following, pop culture reference and blue printing future action films (even if The Matrix pilfered from more sources, than films in turn have since aped The Matrix).
Whilst Reeves has often been dismissed as someone lacking in acting range, »
- Gary Collinson
We at Thn collectively love Keanu Reeves and have been immensely excited about his return this year in John Wick. Thn have been lucky enough to have already seen it and we can tell you that it is all kinds of awesome. Our review is finally live so why not have a butcher’s at it once you’ve finished this feature.
John Wick was so brilliant that it has awoken my long-forgotten admiration for Mr Reeves and compelled me to revisit his extensive back catalogue immediately. The man has made some brilliant movies over the years as well as the odd turkey. The interesting thing about a Keanu Reeves turkey though is that somehow you still enjoy it. For example, Johnny Menmonic and Chain Reaction are some of the silliest films – Mnemonic has a mind-reading dolphin for Pete’s sake – and yet we’re still completely charmed by Reeves and his old Ted persona. »
- Kat Smith
Running Time: 101 minutes
Synopsis: John Wick (Reeves) is a retired hit man who finds himself drawn back into the dangerous world of organised crime after the local mob boss’ son Iosef (Allen) breaks into his home and murders his dog, a gift left to him from his recently deceased wife.
In recent weeks we at Thn have been taking a walk down the memory lane of Keanu Reeves’ career in our series Keanu Classics. The series has looked at past victories Bill & Ted, My Own Private Idaho, Point Break, Speed and The Matrix. Since The Matrix though it’s all been a little quiet on the Keanu front. He popped up in Christmas 2013 release 47 Ronin briefly and then vanished again. All that is about to change this »
- Kat Smith
Taken created a genre of action films starring older male protagonists. Why are they all men? Because in movies, women still aren’t allowed to take vengeance on behalf of others – they have to be victimised first
At this point, the thing that Pierre Morel, Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen created with Taken, and what Liam Neeson gave his shovel-shaped Gaelic face to, has become its own genre. Call it whatever you’d like – dadsploitation, old-man vengeance and on-screen midlife crisis come to mind – but with Neeson having expanded beyond the Taken films into similarly pitched affairs like Non-Stop and Run All Night, and other ageing male movie stars like Kevin Costner (3 Days to Kill) and Sean Penn (The Gunman) trying to out-Neeson the man himself, this is more than just a franchise of films. It’s a trend, and as long as these movies keep costing next to nothing and keep making money, »
- Kevin Lincoln
★★☆☆☆ With The Gunman (2015), Sean Penn becomes the latest inductee into that club slowly being filled by older gentlemen with a particular set of skills. Pierre Morel was a key figure in the meteoric rise of the 'geriaction' genre with his explosive Taken (2008), not only launching Liam Neeson's own brand of ass-kicking but transforming the subgenre from camp silliness to exploitation gold. It's now seven years later and a raft of imitators have tried their hands with varying success, while the Taken series has itself suffered from diminishing returns. If this latest staid entry into the canon is anything to go by, few lessons have been learned in recent times. »
- CineVue UK
Liam Neeson's latest action flick, Run All Night, may have struggled at the box office, but earlier this year, Taken 3 proved that he still has pulling power. Never mind the fact that Taken 3 is a film best forgotten about. Quickly.
Neeson has now added another action film to his slate though, a submarine flick by the name of Narco Sub. This was a film that the late Tony Scott was once going to direct (Ridley Scott is one of the producers, alongside Simon Kinberg), and it's also a project that both Doug Liman and Antoine Fuqua came close to making.
The casualties this winter were staggering. Will Smith (Focus), Channing Tatum (Jupiter Ascending), Chris Hemsworth (Blackhat) and Sean Penn (The Gunman) crashed and burned in flashy vehicles designed to trade on their star power. Even Liam Neeson, so reliable in the Taken franchise, stumbled with the knockoff Run All Night. At the same time, February’s Fifty Shades of Grey and its $560 million gross minted two new stars in Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. Or did it? Such is the tricky nature of star power these days: Actors toplining a movie that grosses hundreds of millions aren’t necessarily worth much
- THR Staff
After making his mark on HBO’s Game of Thrones, Brian Kirk has taken the reins on 20th Century Fox’s long-gestating thriller Narco Sub, which is eyeing action star Liam Neeson to take on the lead role.
The title will center on “a notorious Ecuadorian drug lord who forces a disgraced American naval officer to navigate a cocaine-packed submarine past the U.S. Coast Guard,” TheWrap reports.
Though Kirk has already signed on, Neeson is by no means a done deal, sources report. Producers Ridley Scott and Simon Kinberg, who have been with the David Guggenheim-scripted project since its early days, both agree that Neeson is the man for the job, and now they’re moving to lock him in. The project may have to move fast to catch him, however. The veteran actor, whose Oscar-nominated performance in Schindler’s List seemed to guarantee him a long career »
- Isaac Feldberg
After joining the Navy in Peter Berg's action adaptation of the board game Battleship, it looks like Liam Neeson is getting back in uniform again (kind of). The Wrap reports the Taken and Run All Night star is being eye to lead Narco Sub, a drug-trafficking thriller that was once going to be directed by the late Tony Scott before his tragic death in 2012. Since then, filmmakers like Doug Liman and Antoine Fuqua have flirted with the project, but none of them have stuck with it. And now it will be "Game of Thrones" helmer Brian Kirk directing the film for 20th Century Fox and producers Ridley Scott and Simon Kinberg. The story follows a notorious Ecuadorian drug lord who forces a disgraced American naval officer to navigate a cocaine-packed submarine past the U.S. Coast Guard. the title refers to the custom-made ocean-going self-propelled submersible vessel built by drug traffickers to smuggle drugs, »
- Ethan Anderton
The Flickering Myth Podcast grabs some guns…
On today’s episode of the Flickering Myth Podcast, Luke Owen, Scott Davis and Rohan Morbey sit down to give their thoughts on Sean Penn’s attempt at “doing a Liam Neeson” with The Gunman, from the director of Taken. The trilogy also discuss the idea of having older action stars and whether this fad is over before its started in the wake of The Gunman bombing at the box office.
You can subscribe to the Flickering Myth Podcast via iTunes, update your RSS feed or listen via Sitcher or using the player below…
And don’t forget to check out past episodes via the Flickering Myth Pocast website or use the player below:
- Luke Owen
With Young Adult fiction making good bank at the box office, it should be no surprise that the dystopian Divergent movies are moving along well with a first-place finish for The Divergent Series: Insurgent and an estimated $54 million to start the weekend right, even if critics are lambasting it. It is not getting as much flak as The Gunman; debuting in fourth with an estimated $5 million, the Sean Penn led action film may be brought to the theaters by the makers of Taken, but it is doing nowhere near the business of the Liam Neeson franchise, and its lack of reported budget is very telling.
Cinderella may not be first this time around, but a second-place estimate of $34.5 million is not looking shabby for the Kenneth Branagh-directed fairy tale, doing good box office here and abroad. Run All Night, on the other hand, with a second weekend estimate of $5.1 million, »
- Seth Paul
It's hard to feel sorry for Sean Penn, but after "The Gunman," which he starred in and produced, got whacked this weekend by "The Divergent Series: Insurgent," maybe a little sympathy is in order. Then again, maybe he's just one more aging male movie star this winter -- after Will Smith, Vince Vaughn, and Liam Neeson -- who's run up against the hard fact that girls and young women are the driving forces behind the box office so far in 2015.
"Insurgent's" success should have been a surprise to no one. It opened with an estimated $54.0 million, only about $600,000 less than the original "Divergent" opened with on this same weekend a year ago. Since the first film, "Insurgent" stars Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and Miles Teller have become bigger draws. Plus, the new movie has a 3D ticket surcharge that the first one didn't. Even if it didn't reach the »
- Gary Susman
Ever since the release of Taken in 2009, it seems that older actors are trying to jump on board the action train. Sean Penn’s The Gunman is the next stop, but his first attempt has not been overly successful.
Opening to very middling reviews (the film currently holds 14% on Rotten Tomatoes and 39 on Metacritic), The Gunman has opened to just $5 million domestically with no word yet on how it did internationally. The reported budget for the film is $40 million, so this is undoubtedly unfortunate news for the various production companies who financed the movie.
See Also: Movie Review – The Gunman (2015)
This puts The Gunman on par with other 2015 box office flops Mortdecai, Blackhat, Unfinished Business and Hot Tub Time Machine 2 and is a fraction of what 3 Days to Kill made last year on its opening weekend – perhaps showing that the popularity of this subgenre has started to fall already. »
- Luke Owen
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