Liam Neeson

The poster art can or could be obtained from the distributor, Paramount Pictures.

Silence

Martin Scorsese has given us some of the greatest films of all time. Each movie he makes feels like a true event. The excitement that builds for each installment in his filmography is unparalleled! I find myself dying in anticipation for The Irishman. Luckily I was given the opportunity to see his newest film, Silence. And clocking in at just a tad less than 3 hours, it is an epic tale, but as always, it is a film that keeps you locked in, until the final frame.

Silence stars Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano and Ciarán Hinds. Directed by the one and only Martin Scorsese it tells the tale of two 17th century Jesuit priests from Portugal who travel to Japan to spread their word and look for a rumored fallen priests who had mentored them. Upon entering the country they learn of the hardships it will take to keep their faith, and set the example for those who a Christians in a time and place where they persecuted for their beliefs.

The story is absolutely incredible, and plays out wonderfully. It is an adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s novel of the same name. It is hard to watch at times to see what these men went through for their faith and their beliefs. But it perfectly paced throughout its two hour and forty one minute runtime. Scorsese has a talent for making this films fly by. You never feel the weight of the film as you are truly engaged to everything playing out on screen.

While Scorsese can be felt throughout the film, it not your average Marty Scorsese film. There’s not De Nero, no Pacino, no DiCaprio. The editing is different, it feels different. Scorsese has said that this film was a passion project of his for over 25 years. He felt he wasn’t ready to make it until now. I couldn’t be happier of the time he took to develop it. The cinematography is absolutely stunning. It is a beautifully shot film. Marty is joined by once again by his Wolf of Wall Street cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto. Who does a phenomenal job bringing this film to life?

Everyone in this film is absolutely incredible. From Yōsuke Kubozuka, all the way up to Andrew Garfield. Kubozuka makes up for the majority of a comedy in the film. The character is well written and performed perfectly. Adam Driver as well is proving while he is a force to be reckoned with. Liam Neeson does an awesome as only Liam Neeson can do. But by the far, the stand out of this film is Andrew Garfield. Garfield turns in his second Oscar caliber performance of the year, and if he does not get nominated for one of his 2016 films it will truly be a travesty.

Honestly Silence is pretty damn enthralling. From its performances, to the story, to the absolutely stunning cinematography. Scorsese has always had such a talent in making films, and his ability to make such epics, that feel like they run so quickly. A departure from his norm, but still a Scorsese feel to it. I’m giving Silence a score of 4.4, and a Jeebus Bonus of .4 for Garfield’s performance. That gives us a Jeebus Score of 4.8! But what say you Jackass Nation? What is your favorite Martin Scorsese film? Are you excited for Silence? Sound off in the comments below! And remember, It Is What It Is!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

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TAK3N a Fugitive

Bryan Mills, the man with a particular set of skills has returned. Taken 3, or TAK3N as it is it is being referred to. Liam Neeson returns along with Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace, and are joined by new comer to the franchise Forest Whitaker. Written and produced once again by Luc Besson, Taken 3 sees Taken 2 director Olivier Megaton back in the director’s chair. I wasn’t a fan of the 2nd installment, feeling it was nothing more than a rehash of the first film. However all the trailers for this 3rd film has had me excited, looking like they were taking the franchise in another direction this go around.

Taken 3 sees ex-government operative Bryan Mills (Neeson) who has a particular set of skills that make him a nightmare to anyone trying to harm his family, accused of the murder of his ex-wife Lenny (Janssen). While on the run from the inspector on the case, Franck Dotzler (Whitaker), Mills looks to find his wife’s true killer, clear his name, and protect his daughter.

I’m not going to lie to you. This film was really missing one thing. Detective Samuel Gerard and if you don’t know who I am talking about, stop reading and go watch The Fugitive. Then you can come back and read this. The film isn’t horrible, it is a lot better then Taken 2 I’ll give it that. It is not rehashing the same old story. It’s rehashing another story. Forest Whitaker is really good as the hardened detective, with two ticks, yes he has two ticks. But the entire film I couldn’t help but want Tommy Lee Jones here. In a time where Hollywood is hot with shared universes, this film could have benefited from Crossing over with The Fugitive/U.S. Marshalls. Yes, I said it.

Ok taking out that this is pretty much a Fugitive remake and could’ve benefited from the crossover let’s just look at it for what it is. The finale of the Taken Trilogy. The action is a little over the top this go around. They kind of went from realistic feel from the first film to a little out of control in the second, to straight up Fast and Furious. There are literally scenes that you watch and think “Yep, no one survives that.” And then a scene later with no explanation here comes Bryan Mills walking down the street on his phone.

It’s not all bad though. Liam Neeson is fun in this role as he always is. And there are a good amount of twist and turns that do keep you guessing. Maggie Grace is shining star and probably my favorite performance of hers. And like I said Forrest Whitaker is always talented and fun onscreen. It is also nice that this go around we get to see Mills’ crew get more involved. Over the course of the first 2 films you feel as if they are just lackeys but you expect more. And this time you kind of get it.

Over all it is a decent film, and a decent (possible) ending to the franchise. It could have been more effective if they had taken advantage of the scripts likeliness to The Fugitive. I’m giving this one a Jeebus Score of 3.2 out of 6. What say you? Are you looking forward to TAK3N, did you like the first 2? What is your favorite Liam Neeson film? Sound off in the comments below.

The Purge: Anarchy

The annual Purge has commenced. The Purge: Anarchy, the sequel to 2013’s The Purge. This go around James DeMonaco returns to direct a new cast including Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiel Sanchez, Zoe Soul, and Michael K. Williams in Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes’ film. While the first film was wildly perceived as a let down due to its nature of nothing more than a home invasion horror film, this film takes the concept of the Purge to the streets. Which is what the fan base vocally stated in their distaste for the misconception of what the first film as about. SO the question is, do the fans get what they wanted this go around? I’d say, yes, yes they do.

The Purge: Anarchy follows a group of 4 people who are not into the Purge movement but find themselves in the middle of downtown stranded out on the most dangerous and deadly night of the Year. Shane(Gilford) and Liz(Sanchez) a couple whose relationship is in a rocky spot get stranded as their car breaks down on their way to their sisters home. Mother and daughter Eva(Ejogo) and Cali(Soul) find themselves out on the streets after well armed tactical group of Purgers break in and attempt to take them. The 4 get together following a Purger(Grillo) who saves Eva and Cali. Now the 5 must survive the night together, all while their protector has an agenda of his own.

As the first film attempted to be a horror film, this film corrected that mistake and went all out action thriller. The Purge series lends itself to action much better than horror and Anarchy proves that. The focus is now on the thrills and action rather than attempting to scare the audience and it makes the film much more enjoyable. There are so many ways they can now take this franchise in the future. All thanks to genre switch. The film moves from the home invasion to the streets and the characters attempt to make their way through a town with basically a war going on all around them.

The cast is much stronger this go round too. Nothing against Lena Headey, she was awesome in Dredd, just whiny and weak in The Purge. And I’ve never liked Ethan Hawke, Training Day not with standing. But this cast, of, well to me, relative unknowns fits well. They are normal people who attempt to stand up and do what they must in the face adversary and danger. And Grillo, mark my words, is the next Liam Neeson. He is a bonafide action star. Definitely miscast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Don’t get me wrong, Grillo makes for a great Crossbones, but ill be damned if he wouldn’t make for the perfect Punisher. There is one character that is horribly miss cast in Anarchy, Samuel L. Jackson should have been in this movie. When you watch it, you’ll know exactly who I am talking about.

The direction is solid, the story is decent, the cast is great. It is refreshing to see a sequel to a not so good movie that the directors and writers listen to the fan base and give us what we want. The Purge: Anarchy is a fun action thriller. When I scored it, I gave the film a Jeebus Score of 4.0, a Good Time at the Theater.

A Million Ways to Ruin a Movie

I had pretty high hopes up for this one. Family Guy is probably one of my favorite shows on television. Literally. The entire 23 minute laugh constantly. Like non stop. My friends kind of hate me for it. Not to mention, Ted is one of my favorite films. So with Seth MacFarlane set out to follow-up Ted, I was pretty excited. MacFarlane wrote, directed, produced, and stars in A million ways to die in the west. The film also stars Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman, and Liam Neeson. And as my title to this review suggest, it’s not what I was hoping for.

Now don’t get me wrong, that is sounding a little bit harsh. It’s not a terrible film. A million ways to die in the west tells the story of Albert Stark(MacFarlane) as he deals with his girlfriend(Seyfried) breaking up with him, and the million of ways that there are to die in the west. He pretty much hates living in his time. He meets Anna(Theron) whosets up to teach him to be a man and win back his girlfriend. Little does he know Anna is married to the evilest gunslinger in the west, Clinch Leatherwood(Neeson).

What works about the film are the little cameos, with exception of the greatest of them being ruined by the trailers. Which if you haven’t seen, you are lucky. There a lot of jokes that a throw backs to Family Guy, which I found hilarious, no matter how minor they were. As well with Barney Stinson in the film, there are a few ribs to How I Met Your Mother that are definitely going to hit if you are a fan of the show. The rest of the jokes are hit or miss. When they are on they really make you laugh. Charlize Theron is a gem in the film. She stands out like she does in most films, and has a lot of fun with the role. Barney as well is hilarious. It is kind of small roll, but it was still very funny. Giovanni Ribisi and Sarah Silverman are funny together, pointless characters, but still funny.

The rest of the cast is rather weak. Seth MacFarlane is not horrible as the lead, but he doesn’t mak you see the character. All you see is Seth MacFarlane, in the west. All you hear, is Brian Griffin. As well, the film has Liam Neeson. Liam Neeson! And yet the character is a waste of his talents. You could have put anyone in the roll, and it wouldn’t have been missing anything. If you have Liam Neeson, use him! He is one of the biggest badasses of all time, why would stick him in such a watered down role? There are also a lot of rehashed jokes. Like I get it, laxative, guy has poo. Ok. But how many more times are comedies going to rely on this joke? Dumb & Dumber hit it strong, let it go now! Also there would be a great set of jokes, then dick joke, then fart joke, then dick joke, then fart joke. It is almost like MacFarlane was feeling lazy, like when he wrote the Cleveland Show. The film also could have benefitted from the magic of the cutting room. If they would have cut out about 30 minutes it would have ran a lot smother. It definitely dragged a bit toward the end.

All in all, A Million Ways to Die in the West is a decent film. It rehashes jokes you’ve seen and heard before, but carries on Family Guy references strong. Seth MacFarlane isn’t horrible, but comes off as a guy wanting to put himself in the starring role of a film and make out with Charlize Theron. I gave the film a Jeebus score of 3. Check out the Matinee. Barely.

Taken Plane

Non Stop, the newest Liam Neeson action flick! Non Stop follows Neeson’s Bill Marks, a Federal Air Marshall on a routine flight that ends up not being so routine. Neeson teams with his Unknown director Jaume Collet-Sera, you remember, he brought us that awesome movie House of Wax? Yeah, so, Non Stop also stars Julianna Moore, Scoot McNairy, Michelle Dockery, and a small appearance by Lupita Nyoug’o.

I know it dounds like I disliked the movie thus far, but I actually didn’t. It is actually a pretty decent film. We start off with a very quick look at Agent Marks’ lifestyle, as a stressed alcoholic that doesn’t seem to really like his job. Then after a quick walk through the airport where we see all of our potential antagonist, seriously you little look at these people and go “Oh its him, no him, no its def him, no him…..” and so on; we finally take off and the who done it begins. Marks begin receiving texts on his secured network and people start dying. Eventually 2 and 2 are put together and we learn who our terrorist is, and it was fun to watch, until the motive. Everyone has a motive, and this is about as far-fetched and off the wall as you can get. You are immediately taken out of the movie, but then action happens and its kind of cool.

The motive isn’t the only weakness in the film. The type cast characters seem to take you out of the film at times, including the knock off John McClain. As well Julianne Moore and Michelle Dockery’s characters are slight inner changeable and pointless at times. As well the action events that happen are pretty unrealistic. It is kind of like a Saw trap in that it all depends on certain luck to move the plot points that happen rather coincidental!

The action is fun when you over look the unrealistic tone and allow yourself to have fun. As well the film will have you on the edge of your seat wondering who is behind the shenanigans, and in what room with candlestick. I scored the film a Jeebus of 3.1, Check out that Matinee!

Everything is Awesome!

A few days late to the party, I have been witness to the awesomeness that is, The Lego Movie. The film stars Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Liam Neeson, and Morgan Freeman. Written and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, The Lego movie tells the tale of the extremely average Emmett(Pratt) who gets thrown into the middle of President Business'(Ferrell) plot to destroy the world. Chaos ensues, and we a treated to a jam-packed story filled with childhood memories!

I am a believer that when it comes to animated films, big names are not needed to voice your characters. However, Chris Pratt, who is becoming quite the Hollywood commodity, and Will Ferrell bring these characters to life and drive this film forward. As well it is fun to see another side of Liam Neeson as he voices Good Cop/Bad Cop. The cameos of Lego characters are many, and none more pleasant than Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as Superman and Green Lantern respectively. The banter and relationship between the two is hilarious. And to top it all off, Morgan Freeman could be reading you the classifieds and it would be one of the most entertaining things you’ve ever seen or heard.

The story has its moments that you feel like there is too much bundled together, however not to the point that it takes you out of the film. The jokes and punch lines come so fast that you almost want to see the movie over and over just to make sure you catch-all the little quips. The plot seems to bear resemblance to The Matrix, and the films prologue shows you that right off the bat. But its a fun story filled with entertainment for the whole family, and by the end, you can feel a heartfelt message that leaves you feeling like you just watched a Toy Story film. Bold words, I know.

All in all, The Lego Movie is a fantastic film that everyone will enjoy, and will have you laughing for hours and singing “Everything is Awesome” for years to come. I gave it an original Jeebus score of 4.5 with a .1 bonus for Superman and Green Lantern, and a .2 bonus for “Everything is awesome” bringing the Jeebus score to a 4.8, Multiple Viewings Required!