[[image:090512_taken.jpg::right:0]]Here is an action movie for cinema post-Jason Bourne. Arnold, Sly, and Jean-Claude were fine in their day — but how awesome is it that our current action stars include names like Matt Damon, Liam Neeson, Christian Bale? Liam’s performance gives what could be a bog-standard “man tears up criminal underworld to avenge and/or rescue family member” action film some weight. Neeson plays Bryan Mills, an ex-spook who has retired to try and make up for the time he lost with his family while he was out doing secret agent stuff. While it might be too late to reconcile with his wife, Mills’ attempts to connect with his daughter are tender and heartwarming. He reluctantly agrees to sign off on her going overseas to France, and his worst fears are realized when she is kidnapped. Diving back into his old life, his contacts tell him that the people who likely have his daughter are notorious for selling women into sexual slavery. Hearing that, we hope that he was good at his job.
Turns out, he was really good at his job.
Mills’ in France, desperate to find his daughter, willing to tear the entire country down around him to achieve his objective is enthralling. Here is a man who will stop at nothing, who will not hesitate to burn any bridge, exploit any friendship, or break any rule in his quest. It is mesmerizing to watch. Any fan of what Matt Damon achieved in the character of Jason Bourne should not miss Liam Neeson’s darker take on the post-Bond secret agent in Taken.
If your significant other is a Blu-ray collector, this week might be a good one to hide the credit cards. Holy Crap.
Three more Bond movies, six Star Trek movies (with a starburst exclaiming that they feature “Kirk and Spock!”, proving just how much JJ Abrams has reinvigorated the franchise), two of my absolute favorite movies of all-time in the dark comedy Fargo and Sergio Leone’s classic western The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, and quite a bit more.
While you can count me among the fans of the cult classic Donnie Darko (the theatrical cut, not the terrible Director’s Cut), I’m very skeptical of the “sequel”, S. Darko. At least they brought back the same actress to portray Donnie’s younger sister Samantha, Daveigh Chase (who likely scared the crap out of you as Samara in the US version of The Ring).
Speaking of unnecessary franchise extensions, the prequel Underworld: Rise of the Lycans portrays the events that led up to the first two Underworld movies. As these events are explained in the narrative of those movies, this movie is unnecessary in the most literal meaning of the term.
Comedy fans have a lot to choose from, with Big, Major League, Black Sheep,both Wayne’s World movies, There’s Something About Mary, and Without a Paddle all hitting BD this week.
Thanks for reading Add to Queue, GameSpite’s weekly round-up of US Blu-ray release highlights. Sorry, rest of the world; region locks are the industry’s way of saying they still don’t understand the Internet. Don’t you understand, Rachel? She never sleeps. Cover art courtesy of Amazon. Follow Levi Tinney on Twitter, or add him to your PSN or XBL friends list: VsRobot. You can also contact him via e-mail via levivsrobot [at] gmail [dot] com.