*** Official TAKEN Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Cassy_w, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. Cassy_w

    Cassy_w Second Unit

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    Taken (2008)

    This thing is an R all the way. Overseas audiences love it and have talked about how brutal it is. But it'll be released in a sanitized version over here.

    Oh joy.

    This film stars Liam Neeson as an ex-spy who goees ballistic when his daughter is kidnapped.
     
  2. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    I never mind a movie getting put at PG13 at the cost of just reducing the Fbomb. But some material, even if not gore, warrants the R rating just because of the subject matter and the requirement of the story to be told that way. For example, saving private ryan. Even without the gore, it's a graphic story and has to be told a certain way.
     
  3. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    I'll skip it and wait for an uncut DVD. Such a sad sign of our crappy hollywood system where everything has to be mass marketed to the lowest common demoninator. based on this:


    What makes this sound liek a movie suitable for kids in any way? It sounds pretty hard core, leave the kids at home and let adults go to the movies. There's enough stuff dumbed down (yes Indianna Jones 4, I'm talking about you) that are more approriate for the kids already.

    Then again, we live in a time where "Kung Fu Panda" is being questioned as being appropriate for kids....
     
  4. Cassy_w

    Cassy_w Second Unit

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    It's a hard core story and while there is apparently no nudity, the violence is rough and tough, bloody and the surroundngs just seedy.

    Language in the film is apparently rough here and there, but laced with F bombs.

    I love Liam Neeson, by the way. [​IMG]
     
  5. Ray Chuang

    Ray Chuang Screenwriter

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    I'll almost bet that this movie will make the majority of its money in the USA on DVD because of its uncut status. [​IMG]
     
  6. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    Yes, that was distracting. Even if they made this a few years ago, when Maggie was maybe 23, you'd figure there were plenty of younger actresses to choose from. It's not even that big a part, although she got second billing. Was she just coming off Lost?
     
  7. George_W_K

    George_W_K Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the warning, Cassy. I wanted to see this, but I'll wait for the BD release.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for "Taken". Please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.

    All HTF member film reviews of "Taken" should be posted to the Official Review Thread.

    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


    Crawdaddy
     
  9. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

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    Well, not much discussion here. This flick had the most gratuitous violence than I have seen in awhile. Action fans should like it, but here-in lies the problem for me. The Liam Neeson character Bryan Mills is likely ex CIA, but his skill set argues that he had extensive training with Delta Force or the Seals. Since Neeson is not Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan he doesn't have the coordination to pull off the multiple killings, beatings and torture required of the character. Steven Segal had the skill set, but not the acting chops of Neeson. Given the trade off a younger Segal would have been a better choice.

    To handle the problem of Neeson looking like a geek in fight scenes, the director resorted to the herky jerky documentary camera style. Stuff happens so fast that the viewer is supposed to believe that bad ass Mills is so quick that we can't keep up with him. Filmed without the quick cuts, Neeson would be exposed for his deficient skill sets. One option would be to resort to the slow motion effect - kind of like the scene in Spiderman when Parker gets in a fist fight at school and his scenses have become so advanced that he can see and react as if his surroundings were in slow motion. Yet, this is also a poor choice. The only option that may work is to film in real time, but bake the quick cuts to each strike or kill.

    Mills is able to locate the Albanian gangsters who are running a prostitution and drug ring. He boldly goes into a small room with about six of them. We quickly learn that as he speaks with each of them he is trying to recognize the voice that he heard on the cell phone when his daughter was taken. He finally hears the one voice of the gangster and we expect him to simply file this away and track the guy down later. No, he starts to kick ass and kills or beats each gangster. Way over the top in believeability - and a real stretch for the director to pull off - hense the jerky camera style. A trained killer like Mills would have to consider his attack with a cold unemotional resolve. His heart rate and adrenolin would have to go up, not out of fear, but the need to marshal his resources. He would have to view each Albanian and analyze how he was goingn to kill him. Here is where the director could have used the camer is a different and novel way. From the view of Mills, the camera could look, at each gangster and note some part of his anatomy that Mills was going to attack. When Mills decided to move, the camera would cut to each gangster and watch as he was taken down by Mills. The edititing would be clean and focused as we watched Mills strike a kill shot on each gangster. It could be done in slo-mow, but better to watch each gangster after each killing blow to see him slump or react in surprise as he realized he was going to die.

    Neeson also played the character Mills as a bit of a geek. A CIA guy with this much moxie should hardly be so pitiful around his daughter and ex-wife.
     
  10. George_W_K

    George_W_K Screenwriter

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    Ashley,

    I haven't seen this film yet so I can't comment, but did you go see the US PG-13 cut? If so, that might explain some of the quick cuts, but that's just speculation on my part. The international cut has a lot more violence from what I hear so I'm wondering if it's like Daredevil: DC where the fight scene in the bar was a lot more watchable for me. Not sure this would fix all of the flaws you found though. [​IMG]

    Geo
     
  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I finally was able to watch this film today and it was way over-the-top, but I got my monies worth as far as a good action film. No doubt, Liam's character didn't fit what he was able to accomplish single-handedly in this film. He must have killed 30 bad guys during the course of the film, but the film moved quickly for me and kept my interest. Also, I'm looking forward to seeing the R-rated version of it. One more thing, my 2:30 p.m., movie audience was totally into the film and almost every seat was taken during this showing.







    Crawdaddy
     
  12. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Ashley,
    Numerous ex-CIA are recruited from US Special Forces. The CIA's Special Activities Division (or whatever it might be called now) is comprised of their version of Special Forces. So it is entirely possible that an ex-spook could have the necessary skill set.

    Now, regardless of fictional or real backgrounds, even Seagal or Chan wouldn't be lucky enough to kill 6 armed men in a small room. That is why this is a movie. Chan, Li, and Seagal are PERFORMERS. I'll trade some physical skills for Neeson's presence and acting ability. Any day of the week.
     
  13. WadeM

    WadeM Supporting Actor

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    I thought this was a well done action movie. Over the top? Yes. But I like some action movies that way. It was enjoyable and time flew. As someone who complains a lot about shaky-cam and hyper-editing, I have to say that I thought this didn't resort to those tactics. Yes, there were a few quick cuts during the fights--but they were done in a much more competent way than most of the action garbage blockbusters I've seen lately, and you could tell what was going on without it looking like someone's grandma performing. Neeson was very good in his role. Worth my time.
     
  14. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    This was an entertaining film for what it was. It started a bit slow but once he got to Paris it never let up. Plenty of action taking down bad guys. Over-the-top and a little thin storywise. Neeson definitely helped to save this film.

    One thing I thought was bad was how he got captured near the end. I mean, you have this remorseless killing machine with incredible skills in tracking down and killing scumbags, but he is too stupid to check whether there is someone standing outside the room he is leaving and takes one in the conk. I just thought that was stupid after sitting there for 75 minutes watching the guy kicking ass and taking down numbers. It's like he's competent, competent, competent, moronic, competent, competent.

    One thing that I thought was a bit out of the ordinary is when he shoots his former friend's wife. At that point, I thought, "man, he is one cold, vicious asshole".

    On the other hand, I have to give credit to a guy who lives up to his word. [​IMG]

    Edit: It was also funny how all those Audis kept turning up.
     
  15. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    So how many watched this movie for Father's Day? It seems like it'd be the perfect film for the holiday - a high action, heroic daddy fantasy. [​IMG]

    I read MattH.'s BD review and liked that he mentioned Maggie Grace playing younger than the 17 of the character. Her gangly running and bedazzled denim jacket suggested more like 14. And the fact that Grace is 25 makes it even weirder.
     
  16. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I have to admit those parts of the film have me laughing.





    Crawdaddy
     
  17. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    It is pretty funny.

    I wonder if it was originally written as 14 and they had to raise the age for the sake of the ratings board.

    All things considered, Grace does a good job of playing a 14-year old. [​IMG]

    Just try not to watch it with memories of the first few episodes of Lost Season One! [​IMG]
     
  18. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    On the second go round with this film, on BD, I found that her acting actually knocks the film down a bit. Her acting is bad enough to be distracting and you start asking yourself why the guy, father or no father, would go to such ends for such a spoiled, shallow brat.
     
  19. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Yeah, she's immature and privileged but I would not wish that fate on anyone, so on principle alone I can root for Neeson's character giving those guys what they deserve.
     
  20. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to see such a thing happen to anyone, and Neeson's character kicking all kinds of ass on deserving scumbags was understandable. I just think the writer did a relatively poor job in creating a distressed character in which the audience could invest more empathy. The actor playing her part didn't help. The scene in the airport where she was running toward her mother made me laugh, because I couldn't help but wonder if she was suffering from some sort of palsy. She really was overdoing the clumsy teen thing.
     

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