Does anyone remember when Liam Neeson was the cuddly single dad in Love Actually? Or playing Oscar Schindler? Now he seems to spend most of his time gruffly threatening people down phones.
This career reinvention as a badass has proved so popular that the Taken franchise is returning for a third instalment – intelligently stylised as TAK3N (get it?). For the third (and hopefully final) time, Neeson’s Bryan Mills will channel his ‘particular set of skills’ into killing people who threaten his family in a variety of exotic locations.
Whiplash Fri 16 Jan
Generally ahead of the Academy Awards each year, there are a few categories where the winner is already a foregone conclusion.
Pixar will usually win best Animated Feature, Daniel Day Lewis will usually win Best Actor. This year’s smart money says that JK Simmons will win Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the tyrannical jazz tutor Terrence Fletcher in Damien Chazelle’s music drama – Whiplash. The plot follows Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller), a jazz drummer accepted into a prestigious music school where he encounters Fletcher. Andrew quickly spirals into obsession as he is pushed by his ruthless teacher to both the limits of his ability and sanity.
A Most Violent Year Fri 23 Jan
The title of A Most Violent Year refers to its setting of 1981 New York – one of the statistically most crime-ridden years in the city’s history. The plot follows the life of an immigrant and his family as they attempt to capitalise on the American Dream amongst the violence, crime and corruption of the day.
This is director JC Chandor’s third and most mainstream film, having previously work in – and achieved success – in independent films. The cast features big name talent like Albert Brooks and Jessica Chastain, as well as the increasingly acclaimed Oscar Isaac who starred in Inside Llewyn Davis and will act in Star Wars Episode VIII.
Considering PT Anderson’s last two films were The Master and There Will Be Blood it’s fair to say he’s earned his reputation as one of the most talented directors working today. However he’s taken on a big task in adapting Thomas Pynchon’s novel Inherent Vice to the big screen. It’s the first ever adaptation of Pynchon’s work, due to the difficulties in adapting Pynchon’s complex style to the screen.
Set in the 1970 LA, its best described as a psychedelic infused noir-comedy. Think The Big Sleep crossed with Cheech and Chong. If that rather unique genre doesn’t interest you enough maybe the ensemble cast of Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Benicio del Toro, Reese Witherspoon and more will.