It’s hard to catch the heat of a “out of nowhere” hit film, but Taken was massively successful, and so Liam Neeson has become an action movie star. But if taken worked because of its simplicity, few films he’s done since have captured that magic. Unknown stars Neeson as Dr. Martin Harris, who’s in Germany with his wife Elizabeth (January Jones) when he forgets something back at the airport, and ends up in a car crash with his driver Gina (Diane Kruger). When he wakes up, there’s another Martin Harris (Adian Quinn), and even his wife doesn’t seem to know him. From there the plot thickens. My review of Unknown on Blu-ray follows after the jump.
Jaume Collet-Serra is heating up as a director even though his latest film, Unknown, is a flaccid, unimaginative thriller (his previous film, Orphan, isn’t renown as a great piece of cinema either). Last week we reported that he was attached to helm Harker, a re-imagining of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Now Deadline is reporting that he’s making a deal to direct Red Circle, a remake of the classic 1970 Jean-Pierre Melville heist flick Le Cercle Rouge. This remake is made worse by the fact that Eastern Promises screenwriter Steven Knight is handling the script (Eastern Promises works because of Cronenberg and Mortensen and in spite of the weak screenplay).
Deadline reports that Collet-Serra’s popularity comes from delivering Unknown for $30 million and with international box office potential. Red Circle will be set in Hong Kong, but Collet-Serra hasn’t settled yet on what his next project will be. For those unfamiliar with Le Cercle Rouge, hit the jump for a synopsis.
Taken, for all of its faults (and there were many), at least stumbled upon the fact that Liam Neeson can be a badass action star. Unknown, clearly influenced by Taken and other Euro-trash thrillers, says “Fantastic! Let’s put his ass-kicking persona all the way at the end of the movie and then just have him stumble around for the majority of the runtime!” Rather than offer up a complex mystery built around an unreliable protagonist, Unknown clears up any major misunderstanding by the end of the first act, and then we’re bored stupid by Neeson wandering around as he’s hunted by non-descript bad guys as the clumsy narrative lurches towards an inevitable twist and his transformation to Taken Guy. The film wastes its premise, its mystery, its lead actor, and only at the end does it have the courtesy to become laughably terrible.
Opening this weekend is director Jaume Collet-Serra’s (Orphan) Unknown and it stars Liam Neeson, January Jones, Diane Kruger, Bruno Ganz, Aidan Quinn and Frank Langella. The film is about a man who awakens from a coma (Neeson) to discover that someone has taken on his identity and that no one believes him. With the help of a young woman (Kruger), he sets out to prove who he is. You can watch some clips here.
While I only got to cover the press conference for Unknown, our partners at Omelete landed TV interviews with the cast, so hit the jump to watch their interview with Diane Kruger. She talks about her character, working for Jaume Collet-Serra, Berlin (where the movie takes place), the Superman rumors, and her next movie Farwell, My Queen (she’s going to play Marie Antoinette).
by Jason Barr Posted: February 7th, 2011 at 5:53 pm
It appears Badass Digest‘s heads-up that director Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan) is attached to a reinterpretation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula was right on the money. That reinterpretation, as it were, is titled Harker and has been picked up by Warner Bros. who will develop the project alongside both Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way label and Mad Hatter Entertainment. Harker is penned by the writing team of Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy (New Regency’s upcoming King Arthur film Pendragon) and will purportedly follow Scotland Yard detective Jonathan Harker in his pursuit of Dracula.
In addition to Harker, Collet-Serra also directed the upcoming Liam Neeson-thriller Unknown which Warner Bros. is distributing. Although Shipman and McGreevy’s idea of approaching Stoker’s classic primarily from Harker’s perspective sounds promising, I can’t say I’m a huge fan of either Orphan or Collet-Serra’s House of Wax remake. As such, while intrigued by the premise, I’m tempering my expectations for Harker with the hopes of being pleasantly surprised.
With director Jaume Collet-Serra’s (Orphan) Unknown opening Febrauary 18, Warner Bros. has sent over 5 clips from the film which stars Liam Neeson, January Jones, Diane Kruger, Bruno Ganz, Aidan Quinn and Frank Langella. Here’s the synopsis:
Dr. Martin Harris (Neeson) awakens after a car accident in Berlin to discover that his wife (Jones) suddenly doesn’t recognize him and another man (Quinn) has assumed his identity. Ignored by disbelieving authorities and hunted by mysterious assassins, he finds himself alone, tired, and on the run. Aided by an unlikely ally (Kruger), Martin plunges headlong into a deadly mystery that will force him to question his sanity, his identity, and just how far he’s willing to go to uncover the truth.
Hit the jump to check out the clips:
by Tommy Cook Posted: October 21st, 2010 at 8:28 pm
The “Liam Neeson Beats People Up” film movement continues with Unknown, the trailer to which has just been released by Warner Bros. After taking on slave traders in Taken and scenery in The A-, Team, Neeson now turns his fists towards identity thieves. January Jones (Mad Men), Diane Kruger (Inglorious Basterds), Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon) and Aidan Quinn (In Dreams) also star in the thriller, helmed by Jaume Collet-Serra ( Orphan). Check out the trailer after the jump.
by David Lane Posted: February 10th, 2010 at 6:20 pm
Principal photography has begun on Jaume Collet-Serra’s (Orphan) next project Unknown White Male in Germany. According to Warner Bros., the film will be shot entirely on location, with some filming at Studio Babelsberg, the oldest large-scale studio complex in the world. The film stars Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List, Clash of the Titans), Diane Kruger (Inglorious Basterds), January Jones (Mad Men), Aidan Quinn (The Book of Daniel), Bruno Ganz (The Reader) and Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon). For the synopsis and more on the film, hit the jump:
What would you do if strange things started to happen when you brought home an adopted child? Would you think it was all coincidence, or would you think something was wrong with the girl? Because in director Jaume Collet-Serra’s new film “Orphan”, Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard have different reactions to what’s happening around them. In the film, they play parents who decide to adopt a young girl named Esther after losing their third child. Unfortunately for them, the child has some issues….
So to help promote the film, I sat down with the two stars and they talked about why this genre is so popular, Peter talks about some of his favorite films in the genre, and a lot more. Also, Vera talked about her work in Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air” and Peter talked about his next film, “An Education”. Take a look after the jump:
I love talking to directors. That’s because while actors are great to talk with, director’s are the ones with the real stories. After all, a director is the one who cast the leads and they’re also the ones who decided on the look and feel of whatever movie you’re watching. Ultimately, if you love or hate a movie, it’s the director who deserves the praise or scorn.
And director Jaume Collet-Serra (“House of Wax”) proved my point about talking to directors as he had a lot to say about the look of “Orphan” and why he wanted to make the film. He also talked about the alternate ending that’s going to be on the DVD/Blu-ray, film versus digital, and what he has coming up – it’s another Dark Castle film called “Unknown White Male”. If you’ve been looking forward to “Orphan”, Jaume has a lot to say so take a look:
Opening this Friday is Warner Bros. new thriller “Orphan”. The film was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (“House of Wax”) and it stars Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman, CCH Pounder and Jimmy Bennett. If you aren’t familiar with the film, it’s about an evil orphan that comes to live with Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard’s family….
So to help promote the film, we’ve been provided with six clips and they’re after the jump – along with the full synopsis. Take a look. Also, in the next day or so expect interviews with Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard, director Jaume Collet-Serra, and producers Joel Silver and Susan Downey.