The Lego Movie (2014)

The Lego Movie
Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Writer: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Cast: Chris PrattElizabeth BanksMorgan FreemanLiam Neeson, Will ArnettNick Offerman, Alison BrieCobie Smulders, Jonah HillChanning Tatum, Will FerrellWill Forte, Charlie Day, Dave Franco, Jake Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal

Plot:
Emmet (Chris Pratt) is an ordinary lego worker, spending his days joyfully building things, though he is also a bit lonely. Everything changes though, when he sees Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks), gets identified as the most extraordinary person and involved in the rebellion against Lord Business (Will Ferrell) whose main goal is to have everything in its place, chaos and with it diversity be damned.

The Lego Movie was a whole lot of fun, stitched together from references and meta jokes that nevertheless manage to form a coherent role with a rather surprising end, even if it sometimes runs a bit empty.
lego

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Non-Stop (2014)

Non-Stop
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer: John W. Richardson, Christopher Roach, Ryan Engle
Cast: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy, Corey Stoll, Lupita Nyong’o, Shea Whigham

Plot:
Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) is an air marshal with a host of problems, not the least of which is that he drinks too much. But all of those things take a back seat, when Bill starts receiving text messages mid-air threatening the plane and to kill its passengers if they don’t receive a whole lot of money. And despite Bill’s vigilance and the fact that the plane is flying, people start dying.

Non-Stop suffers from many things but mostly from a plot that doesn’t make a lick of sense and some serious lengths in the second half. At least there is the wonderful female cast.

non-stop

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Chloe (2009)

Chloe
Director: Atom Egoyan
Writer: Erin Cressida Wilson
Remake of: Nathalie…
Cast: Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Max Thieriot, Nina Dobrev

Plot:
Catherine (Julianne Moore) and David (Liam Neeson) have been married for quite a while and they’ve grown rather distant. And then Catherine starts to suspect that David is having an affair. When by chance she meets the young prostitute Chloe (Amanda Seyfried), she asks her to try to seduce David to test his loyalty. Which can’t really end well.

Chloe is a good thriller with interesting dynamics between its main characters, especially Catherine and Chloe. But the ending did not convince me. I just thought that it went a bit over the top.

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The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The Dark Knight Rises
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Based on: Bob Kane‘s comics
Sequel to: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight (1st review, 2nd review)
Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway,   Morgan Freeman, Burn Gorman, Ben Mendelsohn, Matthew Modine, Aidan Gillen, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson

Plot:
Batman (Christian Bale) disappeared after taking the fall for Harvey Dent. But while Gotham City is getting cleaned up by the regular police now – and quite successfully so – a new threat is rising in the form of Bane (Tom Hardy). And when Bruce Wayne himself gets robbed by a Selena Kyle (Anne Hathaway), a cunning cat burglar, he decides that it might be time to come out of the retirement and face the world again.

I had very high expectations for this film (I mean, who hadn’t?) and while the film did not surpass them, it fulfilled them extremely well and was a very good ending to the trilogy.

[SPOILERS]

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Re-Watch: Batman Begins (2005)

Batman Begins
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan
Based on: Bob Kane‘s comics
Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Mark Boone Junior

Plot:
After the death of his parents in a robbery and a foiled attempt to kill their murderer, billionaire Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) leaves the country to search for something else entirely. While his hometown of Gotham City is slowly falling apart and swallowed by crime, Bruce ends up first in a prison, then with the League of Shadows, a mysterious organisation that wants to fight corruption, where he is trained by Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson). But when Bruce finds out about the actual goals of the League, he decides that he’d rather come home to Gotham and fight crime on his own terms – as the Batman.

Batman Begins is a wonderful start to the trilogy, and a film that is not only still enjoyable when you’ve seen the 10th time (or so), but also one that stands the test of time very well.

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The Grey (2011)

The Grey
Director: Joe Carnahan
Writer: Joe Carnahan, Ian Mackenzie Jeffers
Based on: Ian Mackenzie Jeffers’ short story “Ghost Walker”
Cast: Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson, Nonso Anozie, James Badge Dale

Plot:
Ottway (Liam Neeson) works for an oil company as a huntsman – protecting the workers in Alaska from various natural threats like wolves. Unfortunately, one night the company plane crashes and Ottway finds himself stranded with a few other workers in the freezing middle of nothing. As they make their way south, it’s not only the cold and lacking provision that is a problem, though. They are being followed by an especially vicious pack of wolves that picks them off one by one.

I expected this movie to be awesome: I expected Liam Neeson to punch wolves and be a hard-ass and generally, I just wanted a mindless action flick. Unfortunately what I got instead was a meditation on how a man is supposed to die and it was so. incredibly. boring.

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Battleship (2012)

Battleship
Director: Peter Berg
Writer: Erich Hoeber, Jon Hoeber
Based on: the game
Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Liam Neeson, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, Peter MacNicol, Hamish Linklater, Tadanobu Asano

Plot:
Alex (Taylor Kitsch) and his brother Stone (Alexander Skarsgard) are like night and day. Stone is in the navy, responsible and earnest, while Alex is perpetually drunk, chasing women and in trouble. But after a particularly bad incident during which Alex meets Samantha (Brooklyn Decker), he tries to get his life in order and joins the navy as well. A while later Samantha pushes him to ask her father, Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson), for her hand, just as a huge naval war game exercise is about to begin. But then aliens hit the earth right in the middle of the exercise and Alex finds himself not only fighting for his maybe-father-in-law’s recognition, but for the earth itself.

I expected so much of Battleship. I thought it was going to be one of the most entertaining movies of the year. And it does deliver – in everything but the action scenes. But since they comprise most of the film, the whole thing starts to drag a bit.

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Wrath of the Titans (2012)

Wrath of the Titans
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Writer: Dan Mazeau, David Johnson
Sequel to: Clash of the Titans
Cast: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy, Édgar Ramírez, Toby Kebbell, Danny Huston

Plot:
People are stopping to believe in or pray to the gods, which weakens them considerably. Zeus (Liam Neeson) tries his best to avoid that, even asking his son Perseus (Sam Worthington) for help, who now leads the life of a quiet fisherman and doesn’t want to hear about it. But when Ares (Édgar Ramírez) and Hades (Ralph Fiennes) betray Zeus and Poseidon (Danny Huston) and capture Zeus, Perseus sets out ot save his father – and the world with the help of Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) and Poseidon’s son Agenor (Toby Kebbell).

Much like the first film, Wrath of the Titans is a movie of the “plot? What plot?” variety. But the special effects are still great, the cast mostly has fun and the dialogues are cringe-worthingly awesome. There are also more daddy issues to ridicule in this one film than in all of the Nolan movies put together, which is quite an achievement. It’s entertaining.

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Unknown (2011)

Unknown is the newest film by Jaume Collet-Serra, starring Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn, Bruno Ganz, Karl Markovics and Frank Langella.

Plot:
Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) travels with his wife Elizabeth (January Jones) to Germany to attend a conference. While Elizabeth checks into the hotel, Martin ends up in a car accident. Cab driver Gina (Diane Kruger) saves his life, but Martin ends up in the hospital in a coma. When he wakes up after four days, he barely remembers anything. Slowly his memories return, but when Martin tries to find Elizabeth it is only to find himself replaced with another Martin Harris (Aidan Quinn) and Elizabeth not knowing him.

Unknown is exactly what it promises to be: a rather mindless action flick with a convoluted story and very mixed performances. It entertains, but not much more. Nothing less, either.

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the third Narnia movie based on the books by C. S. Lewis [here’y my review of Prince Caspian, and here of the books]. It was directed by Michael Apted and stars Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Ben Barnes, Will Poulter, Simon Pegg, Liam Neeson and Tilda Swinton.

Plot:
Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund (Skandar Keynes) return to Narnia with their annoying cousin Eustace (Will Poulter) by way of a painting of an ocean that suddenly comes to life. Luckily, Caspian (Ben Barnes) pulls them out of the water and together they search for seven missing knights, soon discovering a much bigger threat.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is wonderful to look at, though the 3D wasn’t necessary. Unfortunately, it’s the first time in the movies that – as in the books –  the religion completely takes over and ruins the whole thing.

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