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Tag: Liam Neeson (1-10 of 15)

Will 'The Equalizer's success pressure Denzel into Neeson Season?

It was a good run, Liam Neeson. The 62-year-old who was Oskar Schindler and Alfred Kinsey spent the last seven years kicking the crap out of much younger bad guys in bone-crushing B-movies, best epitomized by the Taken films. But as of this past weekend, there’s a new sheriff in town. Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington, one of the biggest movie stars of the past 25 years, and almost always, the coolest guy in the room, delivered his 12th No. 1 film, The Equalizer.

Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), The Equalizer is a Neeson-ized adaptation of the 1980s CBS detective drama series that starred Edward Woodward. Washington plays Robert McCall, a former spy/assassin with a sentimental soul who puts his deadly skills back in action when the Russian mob steps on the neck of some of his poor Boston friends. The Equalizer is a Bourne film for your parents’ generation, a taut but straight-ahead thriller where the old guy not only dispatches Russian gangsters with a creative assortment of Home Depot style tools, but offers life-lessons to a younger generation that hangs on his every word of wisdom. The Equalizer grossed more than $34 million in its opening weekend, Washington’s third biggest debut ever, and a sequel is already on the drawing board.

At 59, Washington is just entering his Neeson-season prime, and the man who brought “geri-action”—to quote my colleague Hillary Busis—back in vogue, might suddenly have some serious competition. READ FULL STORY

Liam Neeson, Bono have been working on a movie script for six years

While Liam Neeson has been a United States citizen for the last five years, he hasn’t forgotten his Irish roots. In fact, he’s apparently been exploring the country’s musical history for a project with fellow Irishman Bono.


Liam Neeson pens pro horse-drawn carriage editorial for 'New York Times'

Liam Neeson has expressed his support for New York’s horse-drawn carriages before, but now he’s taken his stance to the New York Times‘ opinion pages in an April 14 editorial.

Horse-drawn carriages have been a constant in Central Park for years, but recently a movement has begun against them for the sake of the horses’ health and safety. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio promised to close the industry in his campaign, and remains committed to the issue. And Neeson isn’t happy about it.


'Saturday Night Live' best host poll: Lena Dunham makes naked ploy for laughs -- VOTE

Lena Dunham’s Saturday Night Live had something for everyone — even her 94-year-old grandmother. There was pixilated nudity, Bible stories, Jon Hamm and Liam Neeson cameos, an obnoxious GPS that didn’t like Dunham’s singing voice, and Liza Minnelli impressions. At the end, Dunham said she wanted to french-kiss the audience, a Benigni-esque declaration of emotion that I don’t doubt for a moment. (After all, her granny was practically a third-base coach back in the day.)

The Girls star wasn’t fazed in the slightest by hosting the show, which isn’t much of a surprise — Dunham doesn’t seem like a shrinking violet. Even skits that didn’t completely work belonged to her. That is, she came with a plan, and/or the writers recognized and appreciated her voice and sense of humor and made an effort to use them. Hit or miss, I so prefer this type of Saturday Night Live sketch to the ones that have little or nothing to do with the host.

Since Dunham’s fame is still rather polarizing, it will be interesting to see how she fares in our best-host poll. Jimmy Fallon might be invincible, but his biggest challenger is shaping up to be a surprise. Jim Parsons debuted in second place with a shaky 22.9 percent of the vote, but it’s Josh Hutcherson, who finished a close third, who is becoming Fallon’s biggest threat. His support nearly doubled, and there seems to be a bloc of voters determined to win him the prize. Melissa McCarthy, who still might rally to chase Fallon, finished a strong fourth, but she’s in danger now of following Drake off the elimination plank. READ FULL STORY

We love you, now change: What other actors are due for a McConaissance?

Matthew McConaughey’s journey from rom-com stud muffin to Oscar-winning actor is officially complete. Six years ago, he starred in Fool’s Gold and Surfer, Dude. At Sunday night’s Oscars, he took home the Best Actor prize for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, the culmination of a string of career-rehabilitating roles that included Magic Mike and Mud. McConaughey was always a popular star, and his frivolous, formulaic romantic comedies likely served as golden handcuffs for several years of his career that left him in a creative rut. Give him credit for recognizing that and then actually doing something about it. “I did consciously say, ‘You know what, I’m going to not work here for awhile and think about what I want to do,'” McConaughey said at Sundance in 2013. “I just said I feel like I’ve done a version of [rom-com and action roles] before. Or I feel like I can do that tomorrow morning. And I think I’ve done enough of that for now, and I want something that I don’t think I can do tomorrow morning. I want something that scares me.”

For almost two years, just as he and his wife were starting their family, McConaughey let the phone keep ringing, and when he’d finally figured things out, he answered it to find an eclectic collection of filmmakers — William Friedkin, Richard Linklater, Lee Daniels, Jeff Nichols — at the other end of the line. “Isn’t that wonderful the way the world works!” McConaughey said. “This is what I’m talking about. [These roles] scare me! Oooo!”

With McConaughey’s transformation as the template, what other Hollywood stars need to step out of their comfort zone? Who needs to take a step back, let the phone ring, and re-energize their creative juices? Click below to see our choices for their own personal McConaissance: READ FULL STORY

Liam Neeson and Jon Stewart (nearly!) come to blows on 'Daily Show' -- VIDEO

Will Liam Neeson’s next project be (Not) Taken: The Horses!?

Neeson stopped by The Daily Show last night. Though the actor was there to talk about his new movie Non-Stop, his chat with Jon Stewart quickly turned to New York City mayor Bill De Blasio’s plan to shut down New York’s horse and carriage industry — a decision Neeson vocally opposes.

“They made the roads in New York,” Neeson explained. “He [de Blasio] won’t even take a meeting with the horse carriage industry. He’s suppose to be representing the New York people, dammit!”

It was clear Stewart disagreed with Neeson’s position. Still, he managed to keep the chat light while Neeson made claims like, “These guys treat these horses like their children.”

By the end of the segment, Neeson jokingly stood up, prepared to settle things by having a fist-fight with Stewart… who quickly cut to commercial. A wise move from someone who’s clearly seen The Grey. Watch the chat below: READ FULL STORY

Robert Downey Jr. tops Forbes' list of highest-paid actors

It pays to be Iron Man.

Between June 2012 and June 2013, Iron Man 3 and Avengers star Robert Downey Jr. netted an estimated $75 million, nabbing him the No. 1 spot on Forbeslist of Hollywood’s Highest-Paid Actors. Unlike the Celebrity 100 List, this one is all about money, something that Downey knows a lot about recently. The Iron Man trilogy has grossed over $2 billion while The Avengers is now the third-highest grossing film ever.

A decade ago, if you had said that Downey would be King of Hollywood, you probably would have been met with laughter. Even though he appeared in some well-regarded projects — even receiving a Golden Globe for Ally McBeal and an Oscar nod for Chaplin — his drug abuse and erratic behavior was well documented and prevented studios from investing too heavily in his projects. He soon cleaned up, bounced back, and reinvented himself with his career-making turns in Iron Man and Tropic Thunder. READ FULL STORY

Predicting the future of the 'Taken' series and its unfortunate family vacations


Liam Neeson’s late-career transformation from Oskar Schindler to Charles Bronson continues with this weekend’s release of Taken 2, in which Neeson’s former CIA operative tries to go on a family vacation to Istanbul and gets kidnapped along with his ex-wife. Not only that, but they’ve been nabbed by relatives of the bad guys Neeson killed in the first movie when his daughter was kidnapped while she was on vacation. Clearly, this family has some awful luck on holiday, and if the sequel’s strong predicted box office showing this weekend is any indication, there may be more to come. Here are a few potential not-so-different directions for the series to go.

Taken 3 – Liam Neeson returns as a man who just wants to take his family on one trip abroad without someone getting kidnapped. This time he takes his wife (they’ve remarried), daughter, and their small cocker spaniel Buttercup to Rio de Janeiro for a week of fun in the sun. But when an international syndicate of dog smugglers snatches Buttercup from their hotel room, it’s up to Neeson to blast his way through the favelas and track down whoever’s responsible. Tagline: “They just stole the wrong man’s best friend.”

Taken 4 a Ride – After a son he never knew he had suddenly appears on his doorstep, Neeson decides he’s taking everyone to Disneyland to celebrate the family’s latest addition. But when the son is abducted by a radical group of Quebec separatists dressed as Disney mascots, it’s up to Neeson to blast his way through the Magic Kingdom and track down whoever’s responsible. Tagline: “The Happiest Place On Earth…to die.”

Taken 5ive - Neeson is hoping to take a nice, quiet trip to Islamabad with his 90-year-old grandmother until his family finally manages to convince him to just stay home already. But when a highly trained faction of the homeowner association interrupts their staycation to kidnap everyone he loves and hide them somewhere else in the house, it’s up to Neeson yet again to blast his way through the living room and track down whoever’s responsible. Tagline: “Home is where the hurt is.”

Of course, Taken 6: Double Take will eventually move the series away from its action thriller roots and toward the comedy genre by casting Neeson as his own twin, who accidentally gets kidnapped in place of his brother. I can’t wait.

Liam Neeson swears on 'SportsCenter'

Liam Neeson’s making the rounds to promote his new movie, Taken 2. So, naturally, he stopped by ESPN’s SportsCenter.

During the broadcast, when Mike Hill informs him that they’re live, Neeson responds, “Oh sh–“. From there the interview, somehow, only gets worse, as Hill peppers the Northern Ireland native with analysis questions about the Jets-49ers game he attended. But it’s all “ancient Arabic” to the movie star, and their repartee devolves to vague praise of the NFL’s athleticism. Enlightened commentary, this is not. Awkward and hilarious, it most certainly is. Watch it below.


What is Liam Neeson's most badass role? -- POLL

Liam Neeson turned 60 this year. In his six decades, he has masqueraded as a bandaged superhero, battled wolves with broken bottles, planned the downfall of a city, released a Kraken and saved his daughter from sex slavery. Say what you will about Neeson, but you can’t deny that he is an absolute badass. This weekend, he will save his daughter all over again in Taken 2 (out Oct. 5). Talk about persistence. In honor of his achievements, we’ve assembled a list of his most badass roles to date, complete with video proof. So get watching, then vote on your favorite below!


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