Movie Reviews – Taken and New In Town

I saw two movies on Sunday – a friend and I went to see “Taken” and then I hung around and saw “New In Town” afterwards.  I didn’t feel well most of the weekend – something has been trying to get me down and I spent all day Saturday in bed!  I finally felt better on Sunday and just had to get out of the house!  So, the movies were an obvious option of choice for me!  It might not have been such a good idea, because here I am at 3:00 am – up writing my reviews because I got sick again after I got home from the movies and have been up off and on all night!  So — because it is easier to breathe sitting up, here are my reviews:

taken_poster First was “Taken”…  When I started seeing the previews for this movie, I knew it would be intense and it was!  I wondered, though, about their decision to put Liam Neeson in the lead role of Brian Mills  — I really like Neeson and find he brings incredible definition to any role he plays, but I wondered if his calm, quiet manner would put a damper on the role.  I couldn’t have been more wrong!  His style and presence made it perfect!  The role called for someone who could believably portray someone who was trained to stay very calm and focused despite the situation, risks, and cost – he knew what he had to do and had the skills to get it done!  Neeson portrayed the character beautifully!  

The story was this:  Liam portrayed Brian Mills, a retired government operative – a “preventer” as he called it – someone who prevented bad things from happening.  His job kept him away from his family much of the time, so he is estranged from his wife and 17 year old daughter (Kim).  His wife is now married to a very rich businessman.  Brian retired and moved to where they are living to work on building a relationship with Kim.  Against his wishes and very serious concerns, he gives his permission for Kim to go on a vacation to Paris with a 19 year old girl friend, Amanda, to visit museums and stay with some of Amanda’s adult cousins.  He soon finds out that the plans are to actually start in Paris and then follow the rock band U2 across Europe to attend all their concert tour dates!!!  The ex-wife and step father were aware of the plan – “all the kids are doing it”!  Brian is even more concerned for the safety of the two young girls traveling abroad alone!  The day they arrive, they start right out doing stupid things – a cute guy starts a conversation with them at the airport and offers to share a cab with them.  When he drops them at the home of her cousins, Amanda even tells him that they have the whole big apartment all to themselves (apparently, the cousins are not going to be there after all) and which one it is – she makes plans for him to pick them up later for a party at his home!  He, of course, then gets on the phone and tells his colleagues about two young American girls traveling alone.  When she doesn’t call Brian to say they arrived, as promised, he calls her and during their conversation she looks out a window across a courtyard into the other part of the apartment and sees her friend being abducted!  She tells her Dad that there are people in the apt and they have Amanda.  He puts the phone on a recording device and asks her questions about what she sees and tells her to go into another room and get under the bed.  He warns her that they WILL take her, but the next few seconds are very important — he tells her to leave the phone laying on the floor under the bed and to yell out everything she sees – hair color, eye color, heights, scars, anything and promises her he will come get her!  They do take her and he jumps into action — he uploads the recording to some friends who analyze it and tell him that the kidnappers are a mob from Albania that abduct young women traveling overseas and sell them into slavery and prostitution and that generally there is only about a 96 hour window between a slight chance of finding her and never finding her……The rest of the movie is him going through Paris like a steamroller leaving a path of destruction and dead bodies all over the place looking for his daughter — the mob is smart, but he’s smarter!  My friend and I both thought this movie was very good – very intense – with lots of action and an interesting story line.  The hour and a half went by quickly as we were kept on the edge of our seats watching the events unfold.  I give this movie a A- and highly recommend it for all action flick fans!!!

newintown_poster1The next movie I saw was “New In Town”.  This has been tagged as “Legally Blonde meets Sweet Home Alabama” — well, sorta, I guess, but not really!  Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr star in this fun and funny Romantic Comedy — Renee is Lucy Hill, an executive in the Miami headquarters of a big corporation.  The corporate office decides to take one of their small manufacturing plants in rural Minnesota and automate it and practically gut it.  Lucy is assigned to go there and make the automations and cut headcount by at least 50% as quickly as possible.  As soon as she gets there, the workers think she’s a joke and make it their business to make her life miserable!  She doesn’t help matters with her “high and mighty, I’m not gonna get personally involved with anyone, I’m just here to do a job” attitude!  The only person that seems to be hell-bent on being friends with her is her secretary, who thinks she can convert her and bring out her good side!  Harry Connick Jr is Ted Mitchell, the head of the local union.  An instant love/hate chemistry sparks between them from day one!  During a series of hysterical interactions, she DOES become personally involved with the people and the town and she takes on the corporate offices in an effort to save the plant!   This movie is funny and entertaining – wait until you see the rest of the scene from the previews that shows her in insulated coveralls with a stuck zipper – the previews (for once) don’t show the funniest part of the scene and it is hysterical!!!  I thought it was cute and a typical romantic comedy – Zellweger and Connick do a good job in their roles and the rest of the supporting cast are a hoot, as well.  Was it one that will go down as one of the better romantic comedies – probably not – there isn’t anything really standout special about it – but it is enjoyable!  I do recommend it for romantic comedy fans – it’ll give you your money’s worth of entertainment.  I rate it a B+…very good, but not great! 

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