Friday, October 5, 2012

Our Preview of This Week's New Releases (for Friday, October 5th)

Andrew: Hello readers! It's time again for a preview of this week's new theatrical releases! This week we don't have a large number of wide releases with only Taken 2, the sequel to the 2008 surprise hit action film Taken, and Tim Burton's new animated movie, Frankenweenie, which is coming out in time for Halloween.

There are some limited release films coming out as well such as Butter, The Paperboy and V/H/S but none of those are hitting our neck of the woods. That said, another limited release film that is increasing to more screens this weekend in The Perks of Being a Wallflower and you can read our five-clapboard review of that right here.

So Sarah, with only a couple of films to talk about, let's get down to it and talk intimately about Taken 2. Directed by Olivier Megaton, who directed last year’s fun Zoe Saldana action flick Columbiana and the third entry in the Jason Statham Transporter series, Taken 2 sees the return of Liam Neeson to the role of ex-CIA operative Bryan Mills.

If anyone's been living under a rock the last few years, in the original film Mills' daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), is kidnapped while on vacation in Paris by an Albanian sex trade ring and Mills goes on a rampage through Paris to get here back. In a word, it's awesome.

Sarah, all I'm looking for with this sequel is that it's just a badass. I'm expecting a pretty similar story but if the action is on par with the original, I'll be a happy man. It's written by Luc Besson, the somewhat legendary French filmmaker/writer who wrote the first one, so hopefully it'll be good.

Official Trailer for Taken 2

Sarah: The only difference that I see in this movie is that Maggie Grace has a larger role and has obviously picked up some tips from her badass dad. This one is more of a revenge story against Liam Neeson's Bryan so I will be interested to see how that plays into it.

Will it change the story? I liked the first one. The action was definitely the highlight of the film and I expect nothing less from this one. But I am hoping that there is a little twist in the storyline, just to change things up. I don't know what kind of twist that would be but just a twist.

A: Well I think the twist is that the father of one of the kidnappers that Mills killed in the original has a vendetta against him now and abducts Mills and Kim's mother, Lenore (Famke Janssen), which gives us a different side now in that Kim has to help save her own parents this time. Seems like a pretty big change there.

S: I mean sort-of. They still have to fight the same family to save a person that they love from kidnapping though. I will just be excited to see some good old-fashioned gun slinging. It does make me excited to see this movie more because you actually got to see Liam Neeson on the campus of ESPN this week, promoting the movie. Gotta say, that was pretty cool.

A: I did! He was on campus promoting this movie and I walked right past him in a hallway. The man is HUGE. And he looks great for his age. It was one of the rare times I couldn't help but break into a smile when seeing a celebrity at work.

Before we switch movies here, I want you to share your little anecdote about the first time you saw Taken with a girlfriend of yours and how it scared you/worried you about going on your own trip.

S: Well, it was my sophomore year in college when the movie came out. I watched it with my friend DJ, while my girlfriend Jess watched it with her boyfriend, Joe. This was about two weeks or so before we were about to take our first trip sans parents together to New York City. Now for a couple of Midwest girls, in our minds we fit the bill for any kind of kidnapping. Needless to say, we were a little freaked out when we landed in LaGuardia and had to find a cab to take us into the city to Jess' godmother's apartment. 

All this would have been fine except for the fact that the "cab" driver ended up being more of a car service and somewhere in Queens he stopped to get gas WITH US STILL IN THE CAR. Jess was looking for all potential exits while I was trying to calm her down. We were fine, of course, and now I know that he was just making his meter run long but for a little while there we thought we were about to become our very own Taken movie. I still chuckle about it to this day.

A: As do I, my dear. As do I.

Ok! So like I said earlier, the only other movie that's coming out in wide release is Frankenweenie. Usually we would preview the movie in a column before seeing it, but thankfully I was able to see a sneak preview while Sarah went out on a girl's night, so she interviewed me for our review of it. You can find said review by clicking right here. (This is a good time to mention that we've been introduced to a website where we can get free tickets to preview screenings of tons of movies, so this might be happening a lot more now.)

Still, let's talk about Frankenweenie for a sec, Sarah. You didn't get a chance to see it with me, but what are your thoughts on it purely from the trailers and commercials?

Official Trailer for Frankenweenie

S: I actually don't really care to see this one. i think that it's clever with the whole "Frankenstein/Frankenweenie" thing but that about where my enthusiasm ends. We already saw one stop-action animated film this summer and while it was really pretty cute, they don't really hold a candle to other animated movies that have hit the theatre recently. I think this movie looks so stereotypical Burton that there really won't be any surprises for fans of the director. I'm glad that you saw it and that you got to do so for free, but this is one that I probably won't be seeing until DVD.

A: I'm actually a little surprised by your...not hostility, but more just indifference to this movie is. I don't know why I am, but I am.

Ok! That will just about do it for us with this week's preview. We apologize for the shortness of it, but until the limited release films go wide or come near us we'll try to hold off on previewing it. We'll be seeing Taken 2 tonight so be on the lookout for our review of that being posted by tomorrow, and as always thank you for reading!

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