Ex-covert operative Bryan Mills’ reconciliation with his ex-wife is tragically cut short when she is brutally murdered. Consumed with rage, and framed for the crime, he goes on the run to evade the relentless pursuit of the CIA, FBI and the police. For one last time, Mills must use his “particular set of skills,” to track down the real killers, exact his unique brand of justice, and protect the only thing that matters to him now – his daughter.

I would never try to claim that Taken 2 was a good movie, but I was one of the few people who wasn’t completely disappointed by it. I mean, come on, any sequel to a flash-in-the-pan success like Taken was bound to be pretty stupid, and really, as long as Liam Neeson kicks some ass in it and someone gets “taken,” it lives up to my expectations for a Taken follow-up. But now we have Taken 3, or Tak3n, in which no one gets “taken,” but Neeson continues to kick ass. So that’s really only 50% of the requirements for a Taken film – not a good sign. But an even worse sign is the January release date.

Tak3n comes out January 9, 2015.

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Before They Were Stars: James Hong in a Crest Toothpaste Commercial

One of my all-time favourite character actors is James Hong, whose career stretches all the way back to the 1950s. Hong is probably best known for his roles as Lo Pan in Big Trouble in Little China and the weird maitre’d in the “Chinese Restaurant” episode of Seinfeld (“Cartwright!”), but he has built up one of the largest filmographies of all time with nearly 400 film, television and video game credits to his name and even at age 85, Hong has shown no signs of slowing down. Since the guy has done pretty much everything, it probably comes as no surprise that he once did a commercial for Crest Toothpaste during the 1960s. Incidentally, the little girl playing his daughter in this ad is Rosalind Chao, who went on to have a pretty successful career herself.

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Last Link of the Day: GoPro Under Train

Whoever thought of this is some kinda crazy genius.

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Yidlife Crisis – Great Debates

I got forwarded this yesterday and was hit by a bizarre combination of bagel debate, Montreal beauty…and Yiddish. Yidlife Crisis is a new web series that’s the brain child of Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion, and involves two friends taking on various discussions entirely in Yiddish. I laughed, and I hope you will too.

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Let’s make a comeback

I’m getting more and more excited for Birdman the closer we get to its release date. This film just looks so bizarre, and there’s something enticing about seeing Michael Keaton in a wacky lead role again. The cast is great, the story is strange and compelling, and I keep hearing these rumours that it was shot in one continuous take. I’m not sure I believe it, but the camera work in these trailers could actually support the rumour…I dunno, I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Let’s make a comeback.

Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance comes out October 17, 2014.

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Tonight’s ingredient is…

Kotaku describes Battle Chef Brigade, a new game that hit Kickstarter recent, as Iron Chef as made into a video game by Studio Ghibli, and man, I think that description is spot-on. This looks like a hell of a lot of fun, as Battle Chef Brigade looks like it combines elements of sidescrolling brawlers, fighting games and puzzle-y combo games to create the experience of hunting animals in order to create delicious dishes that will be judged by a rogue’s gallery of unusual characters. In other words, it looks awesome, so head on over to Kickstarter to help fund it!

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Before They Were Stars: Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz on “The Equalizer”

This past weekend, Denzel Washington’s screen adaptation of The Equalizer was the #1 film at the box office. The original 1980s television series was notable for having a lot of famous people guest star on it before they were famous (such as Steve Buscemi, whose appearance was briefly showcased in the background of a scene in The Wolf of Wall Street), but the most unusual example of this has to be Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz of the Beastie Boys. In 1985, the 18-year old Ad-Rock made a rare acting appearance in an Equalizer episode, playing a teenager who gets mixed up with drug dealers. If you look closely, you can also see the future Bill S. Preston, Esq. himself, Alex Winter, playing one of the dealers.

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Last Link of the Day: 3D Print, Not 3D Printing

Man, this is just too cool. And there is absolutely no way anybody would use this for porn.

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Wastelander Panda

I don’t quite know what to make of Wastelander Panda: Exile. It’s a post-apocalyptic webseries with some decent production values, but the main character is, as the title implies, a panda. And by a panda, I mean a guy wearing a panda head. Now, I’d be totally on board with this, except the series takes itself quite seriously, and that causes some dissonance whenever I see that fake-fur-covered panda head. Maybe I’m just too cynical? Personally, I think this would work way better as a comic series.

Keep up to speed with Wastelander Panda: Exile by clicking here. And here’s the first episode!

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The earth will belong to you

If you listen to our podcast (and you really should, because nerds talking about movies are always entertaining, especially when it’s us), you already know about my enthusiasm for Jupiter Ascending, the new film from the Wachowskis. If you don’t listen to the podcast, here’s a quick recap: at the beginning of the year, I listed Jupiter Ascending as one of my most anticipated films of 2014 because it looks totally batshit insane. Channing Tatum is a kung fu space elf bounty hunter with rocket boots who works for Sean Bean – and you just know he’s going to die. Mila Kunis is the queen of the universe, and the vibrating guy from Les Miserables is going to send an army of gargoyles and Gundam Wings to kill her. Because it looks so incredibly wacky, I started a countdown to the film’s July release date. But then the film got delayed until early next year, and the marketing disappeared for a few months. And now you’re up to speed – we have a new trailer! And it has CROP CIRCLES IN IT. I just can’t wait to see this. Even if it’s a trainwreck, it’s going to be a glorious one. The worst-case scenario here is that the film turns out to be boring. But again, it has Channing Tatum in rocket boots. I don’t think boredom is even an option.

Jupiter Ascending comes out February 6, 2015.

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