Review: A Monster Calls (2017)

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JA Bayona directs Patrick Ness’ adaptation of his own much-loved book into a heartwarming tale about a boy, Conor (Lewis MacDougall), and his struggle with grief in the face of his mother’s illness. He’s visited by a monster (motion captured, voiced by Liam Neeson), who emerges from an old yew tree to impart wisdom and frank honesty about the hardships to come. Continue reading “Review: A Monster Calls (2017)”

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Review: Silence (2017)

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Martin Scorsese’s labour of love is an expansive – and frequently monotonous – portrait of faith in the face of persecution and torture. It’s sprawling and contemplative, more or less focused on one priest’s internal conflict as he searches for his mentor (Liam Neeson), who’s rumoured to have apostatised. Andrew Garfield, as capable as he is, never quite seems like the right fit in the lead role, perhaps because he’s outshone early on by Adam Driver. Continue reading “Review: Silence (2017)”

Review: Non-Stop (2014)

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Liam Neeson continues his bizarre transition from Oscar-winner to action star with Non-Stop, a ludicrous, yet undeniably entertaining mile-high thriller that re-teams Neeson with Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra. Bill Marks (Neeson), a Federal Air Marshall with a troubled past, is forced to spring into action when he starts to receive text messages threatening passengers aboard his transatlantic flight from New York to London. Continue reading “Review: Non-Stop (2014)”

Third And Final Trailer For The Dark Knight Rises

Warner Bros. Pictures have released the third and final trailer for The Dark Knight Rises – one that promises a more dramatic, emotionally resonant entry into the latest, inherently murky Batman franchise.

Written and directed once more by the partnership of Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises finds Batman (Christian Bale) hunted by the Police Department after taking the fall for Harvey Dent’s demise. However, Continue reading “Third And Final Trailer For The Dark Knight Rises”

Review: The Grey (2011)

When Joe Carnahan burst onto the scene with the tough and nervy Narc, many were suitably impressed and hoped he would stick to this style for his future efforts. Unfortunately he was lured by Hollywood’s purse-strings, stumbling with Smokin’ Aces and The A-Team. While these still showcased some of his usual stylings, they were far too over-the-top to embrace. This year, he’s back in familiar territory with survival thriller The Grey.

Liam Neeson is Ottway, a hunter working on an oil drilling plant in Alaska, using his rifle to protect the workers from the wolves. After his plane home crashes Continue reading “Review: The Grey (2011)”

Review: Unknown (2011)

Loosely based on Didier van Cauwelaert’s novel Out Of My Head, Unknown is an action-thriller from director Jaume Collet-Serra.

Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) awakens after a car accident in Berlin to discover that his wife (January Jones) suddenly doesn’t recognise him, and another man (Aidan Quinn) has assumed his identity.

Ignored by disbelieving authorities and hunted by mysterious assassins, he finds himself alone, tired and on the run.

Aided by an unlikely ally (Diane Kruger), Martin plunges headlong into a deadly mystery that will force him to question his sanity, his identity, and just how far he’s willing to go to uncover the truth.

In many ways the plotline is reminiscent of many recent thrillers, although not identical. It’s certainly infeasible to call Unknown an original entry into the fickle genre, but the script harbours enough twists and thrills to stop it being labelled a complete failure.

The same, however, can’t be said for the dialogue and delivery, which are both somewhat lacklustre in comparison.

On a positive note, the action scenes are excellently filmed by Collet-Serra, especially the superb car chases through the iconic streets of Berlin – entertaining to watch, but too generic to really matter.

Much of the cinematography remains squarely in the gray-blue territory which, along with the overblown colours used in the flashback scenes, is a choice that sometimes makes the action seem a little bewildering and uninspired for such an intriguing premise.

The acting, although a little exaggerated at times, is adequate enough, with steadfast turns from Kruger and Jones. Neeson, on the other hand, is a disappointment, reducing Martin to a irksome, uninteresting character. His performance here is almost exactly the same as the one he delivered in Taken.

Unknown is a humdrum, implausible and clunky action-thriller, with mediocre performances and direction.