Archives for posts with tag: Famke Janssen

Grade D+

Manny’s Movie Musings: a rich amusement park entrepreneur (played by Geoffrey Rush) and his wife invite people to join them for a night of “fun” inside the “House On Haunted Hill,” which has a bloody and sinister past.  Any guest who stays the whole night will be given a check for $1 million dollars.  Before the guests can agree to the terms, steel shutters unexpectedly lock everybody in.  Rush’s games and ulterior motives will initiate events that he hopes will benefit him; but the evil within the building has other ideas.   My most memorable, movie moment of “House On Haunted Hill” is the scene that shows the escaped, criminally insane patients killing the asylum staff.  This movie is a mildly entertaining — if you are high on booze — and mostly silly piece of Hollywood crap that concentrates on style instead of substance.  Oh, and the shenanigans are too many to count, but here is one: the evil is locked up by a brick wall, but it can go through floors and ceilings once it escapes.  Yup, cocaine and pain killers flows freely in the entertainment business.   It explains a lot of crappy movies, doesn’t it?

— M

In “Taken,” his daughter (Maggie Grace) went missing.  In “Taken 2,” his daughter and wife (Famke Janssen) went missing.  In “Taken 3,” his wife goes missing.   If “Taken 4” gets made, what will be missing…the audience?  This series is getting old, and so is Liam Neeson, the star of the “Taken” movies.  Don’t get me wrong, I like older characters — I have more common with them since I’m no Spring chicken myself.  But Neeson — despite the fancy, quick editing during his fight scenes — sometimes looks slow and tired (and I’m not talking about fight scenes when his character is injured).

Okay, here’s the quickie of the story: Janssen is killed and Neeson is framed for the murder.  Neeson goes on the run, beating the hell out of the LAPD and causing dozens of car crashes as he solves the puzzle of who killed his ex-wife and why.  The audience is sent on a wild ride (made more wild with the overuse of fast cutting and a camera so shaky I wondered if the cameraman had Parkinson’s Disease) as we get closer to the end and the truth, which thankfully had some decent plot twists to keep the movie from becoming too predictable.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Taken 3” is **SPOILER ALERT** the scene near the end when Neeson has proven his innocence and he is having a conversation with Forest Whitaker, who plays a cop in charge of Janssen’s murder investigation.  Whitaker lets Neeson go but asks that he doesn’t leave the city in case he has further questions.  Are you kidding!  Neeson put a lot of cops in the hospital, directly caused high speed car chases that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage and probably dozens injured if not dead — I know he’s a white guy, but come on!  I’m calling shenanigans!

Overall, “Taken 3” is worthy of taking 109 minutes of your time.  For those who have seen the first two movies, you may as well finish the trilogy; Liam Neeson is a likeable actor who plays a likeable character; the movie moves fast and has lots of action to keep you awake; and there is a big gunfight where a bad guy has a big gun but no pants.

— M


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