NBC is solidifying its Monday lineup for mid-season.
The network has ordered three more episodes of time travel drama Timeless; set the series premiere date for Taken (the prequel series to the Taken films), and the return date for the next cycle of The Voice.
Taken will premiere on February 27th – following the cycle premiere of The Voice. For more, read on.
On this week’s episode of GeekScholars Movie News, the crew kicks off the show with a conversation surrounding the announcement that a film adaptation of Tetris is in the works. The GeekScholars discuss how a viable movie can be made from this property and what the implications for future brands receiving film adaptations.
Hit the jump for more headlines and preview reviews! (or hit play to listen above)
The Movie that makes me scared to go to Paris on my Birthday, Taken hits the streets next week – May 12th. When a former spy’s, Liam Neeson, estranged daughter is kidnapped in France, he sets out to find her at any cost. Relying on his special skills, he tracks down the ruthless gang that abducted her and launches a one-man war to bring them to justice and rescue his daughter. I loved this movie when I saw it in the theaters, should be even better on the Blu-ray. The Taken Extended Cut Blu-ray Disc (BD) is presented in widescreen format (2.40:01) with English 5.1 Dolby Digital Sound and Spanish/French Dolby Surround with English, French and Spanish subtitles. Loaded with action, suspense and excitement at every turn, the Taken Blu-ray Disc and DVD reveal an intense two-disc extended cut of the film with Digital Copy for portable media players. Additional bonus features include audio commentaries by the director, writer and cinematographers, exclusive behind-the-scenes “making of” featurette and action packed side-by-side comparisons. Taken will be available to own on Blu-ray Disc for $39.99 U.S. / $49.99 Canada, on two-disc DVD for $34.98 U.S. / $45.98 Canada, and on standard DVD for $29.98 U.S. / $43.48 Canada. Bonus features include:
A retired spy’s daughter is kidnapped to be sold as a sex slave [the slightly skeevey part]. The ex-spy hunts the men who kidnapped her. As premises go, this one is simple, direct and a bit odd to find in a PG-13 film – but we are talking about a Luc Besson production, so maybe it’s not really a surprise.
What is a surprise is that Taken, co-written by Besson [Leon, The Professional and The Fifth Element] and Robert Mark Kamen [The Karate Kid, The Transporter], and directed by Pierre Morel [District B13], is better than the premise suggests. This mostly because it takes a bit of time to establish that our protagonist, Bryan Mills [Liam Neeson] has retired because he wants to reconnect with his daughter, Kim [Maggie Grace]. We believe him because we see how disappointed he is when her mother, Lenore [Famke Janssen] and step-father, Stuart [Xander Berkley] upstage him at her birthday party [he brings her an expensive karaoke machine, but Stuart gives her a horse].
When she and her mother persuade him to sign a waiver allowing Kim to go to Paris, his warnings of danger fall on deaf ears and – sure enough – she and her friend are kidnapped. Then comes the phone conversation we saw in the trailer – followed by Mills taking action. Although Neeson is not a small guy, he does a good job of making himself seem ordinary as he begins tracking down the kidnappers, but once he swings into action, he becomes a force of nature.
Morel keeps the action up front and his pacing builds as Mills works himself up the chain of command – starting with the spotter who set up Kim and her friend. The usual ingredients of a Besson production are here – fights, chases, explosions – but because we buy into Mills as a father, there is a little more gravity, a little more at stake than usual.
Taken is entertaining but, ultimately, reliant on one performance. If you buy Neeson as Mills, then you’ll enjoy the movie. If not, you won’t. I did.