Taken 2 (International Trailer)
By BOP Staff
August 9, 2012
Bruce Hall: A more original title would have been nice; have THAT many people still not heard of the original? But since it looks like they're going to do the same story again only bigger, why risk everything by adding a colon to the title? Still, the original film is a guilty pleasure and whether you want to admit it or not, Luc Besson knows how to write cheesy thrillers you can't look away from. I look forward to another 90 minutes of watching Liam Neeson beat up every able bodied adult male in some exotic foreign country.
Jim Van Nest: I'm with you, Bruce. I loved the way Taken made it perfectly clear that the "hero" was going to win. That way, you didn't have to worry about him. You could just watch him kick ass. I expect the sequel to be more of the same and I, for one, can't wait for it.
Felix Quinonez Jr.: Yeah, yeah Liam Neeson is a badass, I get it. The reason I loved Taken so much was because I was really surprised by how much ass Neeson kicked but I feel like that's been done to death now and the novelty has worn off for me. But I did say the same thing when The Grey came out and I loved that movie. Damn, now I don't know what to do.
David Mumpower: Maggie Grace from Lost is making quite a career out of never being where she should be. She has plane crashes on islands, she gets kidnapped by slavers, she gets kidnapped by space prisoners and now she flees from terrorists in Istanbul. I wonder what her LinkedIn profile says about this. But I digress.
What I particularly like about the marketing for Taken 2 is its exploration of repercussions. Oftentimes in sequels, the first wave of bad guys is forgotten as our heroes move on to the next group of Big Bads. This is something I always believed was commendable of Die Hard with a Vengeance. The motivation of Jeremy Irons' character was plausible once revealed. Taken 2 has been designed from the perspective that no one ever sees a violent situation as justified. To Liam Neeson's character, Bryan Mills, each and every one of his murders in Taken was defensible. To everyone's favorite vaguely Eastern European actor, Rade Šerbedžija, his character views the situation as one rogue American crossing an ocean in order to destroy a lucrative business venture as well as spill the blood of Šerbedžija's men. Taken was personal for Bryan Mills and his daughter, Kim. Taken 2 is personal for Rade Šerbedžija's character, Murad Huxha. If Mills was willing to kill that many people in order to liberate his daughter, imagine what Huxha, presumably a monstrous criminal kingpin, will be willing to do in order to exact vengeance.
I am ecstatic over the quality of this trailer.
Kim Hollis: I agree that the trailer for Taken 2 is pretty damned exciting. I remember thinking the original looked absolutely ludicrous – and it was, in its way, but it was also a thoroughly enjoyable action flick. I love that they’ve figured out the only way to do a sequel to this film – and that is to set people out for vengeance against our hero. I’m totally there on opening night.
Cloud Atlas (Extended First Look)
Edwin Davies: Having read and kind of hated the novel on which the film is based, I think that the visuals look AMAZING but that it's ultimately going to struggle to make sense of its source material, which consisted of six stories told over millennia using a plot structure that could only be described as pyramidal. In the book you get half of one story, followed by half of the next, followed by half of the next etc. (in this metaphor this would represent moving slowly up the side of the "pyramid") until the sixth story which plays out in its entirety (and is the top of the pyramid), at which point you get the second half of each story as you go down the other side, eventually finishing with the ending of the first story. Confusing? Yep. It's a very clever lesson in delayed storytelling and gratification which sort of works in the book, and I say that as someone who really didn't like the overall work, but which would make for an absolutely horrible moviegoing experience. Yet without that structure, I don't know how the film will make any sense whatsoever. This is my incredibly convoluted way of saying that I am really interested in seeing how this film turns out, because I am kind of excited that something so clearly crazy has been given the greenlight from a major studio, and because it promises to be at the very least a visually stunning car crash.
Felix Quinonez Jr.: I can't decide if this looks really pretentious or really awesome...probably a bit of both. Either way I'm very intrigued. I hope this means the Wachowskis are back on their games.
Jim Van Nest: Knowing nothing about nothing with regards to this, it has jumped to the top of my must-see list. First, you can't complain about the cast. It's fantastic. I look forward to Hugh Grant playing a scumbag, I think that could be interesting. And no matter what, Tom Hanks just brings instant credibility to ANY project he's attached to. Can't wait to check this one out.
David Mumpower: At the 2:05 mark of this trailer, these words are posted: “From the creators of The Matrix Trilogy and the director of Run Lola Run”. On a personal level, this could be the most glorious combination of films I have ever seen. If there were no commercial here but instead that phrasing, I would watch this movie on opening day. Run Lola Run’s introduction of the ten second biography is among the most seminal artistic creations in modern cinema. Combining the bullet time kung fu ballet team of the Wachowskis and the genius of Tom Twyker is catnip to me.
Having admitted my (extreme) bias, I have no idea what I just watched. Cloud Atlas feels like a novel interpretation of Ken Grimwood’s ideas from Replay, my favorite book ever written. Tom Hanks and Halle Berry appear to be star-crossed lovers who desperately attempt to learn from all their mistakes in hopes that one day they will be together once and for all. Replay has some romantic elements to it but Cloud Atlas seems to be taking those ideas to a logical extreme. This too would be ample reason for me to want to watch the movie. Combined with the above, Cloud Atlas becomes one of my most anticipated features currently on the release schedule. And I have not even touched upon the visuals, which appear every bit as spectacular as we have come to expect from the Wachowskis.
Reagen Sulewski: I think my major trepidation about this film after seeing the trailer is that I don't know if I'm going to be watching one big film or six small ones. Especially considering that there's two or maybe three different visions here, I wonder how you can make this coherent, even without having read the book. I have a soft spot for grand noble failures, however, so even if it's a giant mess, it'll be worth watching I assume.
Kim Hollis: I’m pretty much the polar opposite of Edwin, because I think Cloud Atlas is the best book I’ve read in about a decade. I kind of hate that so much of the story is revealed both in his remarks about the trailer and in the preview itself, because I do believe that seeing the book unfold (and the way it unfolds) is an experience that cannot be duplicated. When I heard that David Mitchell’s book would be adapted to film by the Wachowskis, I was very dubious. Honestly, I didn’t think there was any director who would be able to successfully translate the novel to the big screen. But this trailer is epic. I’m encouraged. I still fear it won’t work, but I admire them for giving it a shot. Now, who’s up for Infinite Jest: The Movie?
Bruce Hall: I have to say that for a movie I wasn't really expecting much from any way, I'm at least intrigued. It doesn't look as cheap as I thought it would, the premise seems appropriate, Lena Headey is quite capable of playing formidable, and I'm not sure what I think of the helmet. I don't care what the fanboys say, you need a hell of an actor if you're gonna take him seriously with a can on his head the whole movie. Peter Weller did it, but he's a better actor than Karl Urban (although Karl's got the way more kick ass name). For better or worse, Dr. McCoy is your new Judge Dredd. The jury is out, but I'll give it a chance.
Now, I'm just trying to picture DeForest Kelley in the hat.
Felix Quinonez Jr. : Too much talking...not enough ass kicking! Just kidding but at first I thought I was watching the wrong trailer. It certainly wasn't the tone I was expecting but as soon as Dredd shows up things get back on track. I always thought Judge Dredd could be a great movie but I don't think the execution was quite right with the Stallone version. Although I personally like it (HE IS THE LAW) I can see why a lot of people hated it. Ooh, I just had an idea for my next Guilty Pleasures column. That being said, I think this looks better. Urban looks great in the role and the helmet doesn't bother me at all. The action looks to have been done very well and the special effects seem like they will be cool. I like the girl in the sidekick role way better than Rob Schneider so I'll check it out.
Edwin Davies: The first couple of seconds of this trailer, specifically the combination of Mega City One skyline and the opening notes of that La Roux remix, comprise my favorite moment from a trailer in quite some time. There's just something about that kind of spooky, sad music and the enormity of the city that works for me. Beyond that, there isn't a huge amount in the trailer that I found to be all that impressive, other than how much it resembles The Raid: Redemption, but with Judge Dredd. I'm interested to see how it turns out since I think the trailer does a good job of establishing the world and the premise, but apart from the reveal of Mega City One there aren't any moments in the trailer that really wowed me.
David Mumpower: I must admit that the Dredd trailer doesn't do a lot for me. This may be the lingering distaste for the original coming into play, though. This sort of dystopian drug culture has been done to death. While I love Karl Urban, he is unrecognizable in the helmet so his presence in the trailer is insignificant. I presume this will not be the case with the movie yet this is the reason why I have always questioned the idea of a Halo movie. It is difficult to overcome that sort of anonymity to develop a rooting interest or emotional investment in a protagonist. The only aspect of Dredd's ads that I enjoy is the grizzled female drug lord. Simply by casting a woman rather than a run of the mill banger wanna-be, Dredd sets itself apart in this regard. I will be curious to see how much violence will be permitted from the male judge against the female antagonist. This is a rare event for a big budget action movie.
Reagen Sulewski: This sort of feels like a sequel more than a film that's trying a reboot, which may or may not be a bad thing - I think we're all sick of origin stories, aren't we? But it's also kind of a weird choice to keep the action so contained after building this great big world, like a reverse Die Hard set in Blade Runner world, only we barely get to see any of it. By casting Urban, they're already keeping expectations low, and it would be hard to throw under the Stallone version quality-wise, but I again have to wonder why this film exists at all.
Kim Hollis: I like Karl Urban. That might be the only nice thing I can say about this trailer, honestly. It's grim and the acting seems terribly wooden. I never saw the original film, either, though.