Furburts Reviews

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Furburts Reviews

Post by Furburt on Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:32 am

I doubt this will be anywhere near as regular as Marters, but I'd like to get back into reviewing things, so here we go,

Furburt Reviews:

I think the main feature of Liam Neeson that makes him so well liked is that everyone secretly wants him to be their father. There's something about his rugged looks and sly charm that has a strong paternal vibe to it. I bring this up because it seems someone was thinking along the same wavelength as me and decided to make a film based on nothing more than Liam Neeson being the perfect father. In a manner of speaking.

The film follows Brian Mills, an ex-CIA operative who hasn't quite learned how to let go yet. He retired to spend more time with his 17 year old daughter, Kim, after years of work-mandated absence, but his ex-wife obfuscates him at every turn. When the opportunity comes up for her to holiday in Paris with her best friend, Brian is initially hesitant, and refuses to allow her to go, but eventually relents simply out of his desire to please her. Brian's initial paranoia turns out to be completely correct, however, and his daughter is pretty much immediately kidnapped by people traffickers. From there, it's just one mans incredibly violent journey to find his child. Most of action takes place in Paris, following Neesons attempt to find his daughter within 96 hours before she's sold as a prostitute and gone forever.

Plotwise, Taken has been done. It's a fairly standard setup for a revenge plot, it's packed to the brim with cliches (An opening scene has Brian give a present to his daughter to her birthday, immediately usurped by the gift of a pony from her rich stepfather) and generally provides little or no surprises for the whole run. If you're the kind of person that needs a certain amount of ambiguity or psychology in a script, you need not apply. It's clear we're supposed to be on the side of Mills throughout the film, although to its credit, there are a few scenes where it's obvious it's deliberately stretching just how much we're prepared to accept Brian doing for his daughter. I won't spoil them, but you'll know them when you see them.

What Taken does have is oodles of brilliantly directed and very brutal fight scenes that have the pacing of a good film fight down to a tee and know just the things to do to make us wince. If you're seeing this film for any reason, it's most likely for the action. They're a bit too reliant on shakeycam, but then again, very little isn't these days, and it's not to a nauseating degree.
What makes the scenes themselves is most definitely the sound design. A good film fight can be totally ruined if the punches sound like punching a wet cabbage, but Taken compliments what's going on on screen perfectly. Get the dull thunk of head against sink right and everyone in the audience will flinch, and the gunshots sound good and loud. What also helps is the simplicity. Brian doesn't know any particularly fancy moves, he just knows what hurts and what to hurt with. His main style appears to be bashing peoples heads off things-fu, which he goes about with gusto.

Liam Neeson himself generally puts in a good show. He's not the best actor in the world, and his Yankee accent slips more often than it sticks, but he's got an undeniable charisma that makes him eat up the screen when he's on it, which he is, for most of the films fairly short running time. Famke Janssen (Whom you may remember as Xenia Onnatop in Goldeneye and Jean Grey in X-men) also does a good job as Mills' ex, managing to keep her character sympathetic despite behaving like an utter bitch for the first part of the film.
Maggie Grace as his daughter puts in a less impressive showing, as she spends a good portion of her screen time screeching like a coked up monkey or blubbing. I have to admit, I'd actually pretty much forgotten about her a while after she left the screen, despite the fact her disappearance is the focal point for the entire film. Not a good sign.
The supporting cast holds their own too. None of them are exactly subtle, but there's a memorable melange of weirdos and scumbags to be found. In fact, there might even be too many for the films running time to take, which means we do switch between villains a bit too abruptly. Granted, we're fully aware of how much they deserve it just by their mere involvement, but I can't help feeling some of the baddies could have been fleshed out more.

Is Taken worth your time, though? I would say yes. The numerous niggles in the plot (Why exactly does everyone in Paris, even Albanian gangsters, speak perfect English? Why isn't anyone concerned with the not exactly pleasant fate of her traveling companion after she's rescued?) won't make themselves apparent until a good while after the film is over, until then you'll be too fixated on the incredible action to care. Taken is a good party film. There's precious little intellectual stimulation to be had, but you know what? That's not a mark against it.
As modern action films go, it's a good example of how to do them right. It has a good running length, a likable, paternal protagonist, utterly hateful antagonists, and the theme of parent rescues child is one that almost everyone can relate to. It's nothing more than a dumb action film, but as dumb action films go, it knows what it's doing.

Well, that's one review down. This was spur of the moment, so I can't vouch for its quality, but I gots to start somewhere.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Furburt on Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:43 am

READ MY REVIEW YOU BASTARDS

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:54 am

No.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:58 am

Okay, I will on one condition. Review The Hangover, and absolutely trash it like you mean it.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Furburt on Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:00 am

Marter wrote:Okay, I will on one condition. Review The Hangover, and absolutely trash it like you mean it.

But I didn't mind the Hangover! I thought it was a standard enough Apatow style comedy saved by a likable and distinct cast!

Your patronage is not worth my lies.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:03 am

Fine. wait 3 weeks for my review of it.

I think it is my least favourite movie.

And yes, I'm definitely ready for almost everyone to disagree with me.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Furburt on Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:12 am

It's stupid and unoriginal, but I laughed, so it's good.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:16 am

My review came to 1215 words, all of which are filled with hatred. But none of them profane, although earlier drafts may or may not have been.

Should be interested when I post it. But I'll need to space it out well. People were pissed with the Team America review, and will soon be so again with the There Will Be Blood review. So I need to only do one of these things every couple of weeks, or I'll draw too much hatred.

Because I care about what random internet dwellers think.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Furburt on Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:24 am

A fair strategy. Too much negative opinions and you've 'lost it', apparently.

Anyway, I look forward to it. I'm not attached enough to the film to defend it and I enjoy reading angry reviews.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by PayJ on Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:28 am

I would read but the layout of this website is fucked on my netbook.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:19 pm

That was a fun read!

I think general consensus is that it isn't a particularly revolutionary film but Liam Neeson makes a stellar performance throughout.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Furburt on Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:21 pm

Essentially, yes. Nothing new, but fun.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:24 pm

Got any plans for another review?

I'd like to request My Baby's Daddy. I fucking love that film. Came on at 2 in the morning on BBC 2 last night and I could not stop laughing.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by reg42 on Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:27 pm

A mighty review, one which has got me writing my own one as we speak.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:30 pm

That's funny, I too had an urge to review. Had to supress it with some gangsta rap...

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by reg42 on Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:08 am

I wrote a 1200 word review on the spur of the moment, and I'm still not finished! Though it's 1AM so I'll pick it up tomorrow.

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Rollin' fatties, smokin' blunts/Who smokes the blunts/We smoke the blunts/Rollin' blunts and smokin...

Oh, let me get a nickle bag

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Furburt on Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:21 am

Ooh, what of? Or is it a surprise?

@Wiggles: Sorry, I don't think I'll be doing requests. I need to ease back into this gradually by just doing films that I know well. I'll get to requests in time.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by reg42 on Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:28 am

It is surprise. Prepare to be surprised!

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:37 am

Aha! Thats alright.

BUT I AM THE FIRST IN THE QUEUE FOR WHEN YOU DO REQUESTS!

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:40 am

Jokes! Review whatever the hell you want!

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:58 pm

I SHALL START MY OWN REVIEW THREAD, AND IT WILL ROCK THE EARTH WITH ITS GREATNESS

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Furburt on Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:49 pm

I WILL UPDATE THIS AT SOME POINT

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:53 pm

I BELIEVE YOU

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Furburt on Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:11 pm

I haven't actually properly watched any movies since then, shockingly. I just don't seem to be focused these days.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:19 pm

You haven't properly watched a movie in almost one month?

Now I feel bad about how many I have watched...

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:25 pm

Oh, also, you should watch The Doom Generation if you haven't already. Seems like it would be right up your alley.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Furburt on Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:37 pm

Actually, I lie, I did watch Michael Clayton a few days ago. That's it though.

And I shall check it out!

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Furburt on Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:04 am

Properly watched a film for the first time in a while, A Bridge Too Far, about Operation Market Garden. Might do proper review later, for the moment, short summary.

Would be average war film if not for genuinely artistic direction by Richard Attenborough and superb performances by gigantic ensemble cast. Battle scenes excellent. Bit long. Could have focused more on individual characters, although gets massive brownie points by being one of the few films to depict the Polish fighting for the allies. Overall, jolly good show.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Furburt on Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:12 am

Started that review, and now I can't fucking stop! I've already written 2000 words and I'm far from done. I'll have to edit it down though. Still, quite pleased, 2000 words in half an hour is more than I've done in years.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Furburt on Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:21 am

I'm going to actually properly start writing reviews again in order to build up a few for a portfolio for my next college course. I pretty much have to do it now.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:49 am

Doeeet

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by GrinningManiac on Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:19 pm

YAAAY

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Furburt on Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:21 pm

Still haven't gotten around to doing any. Might do Sherlock Holmes, just watched that.

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:44 pm

Furb let's do a review together

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by Furburt on Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:12 pm

I probably liked it more than you and I haven't seen the first. Well, I liked the direction, it was sharp, and Downey Jr was fun as always, but did they really have to totally compromise Sherlock Holmes into a raving madman to do it?

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Re: Furburts Reviews

Post by GrinningManiac on Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:51 pm

Watch Sherlock instead

Bajillion times better

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