It's been a year of intense highs and lows for Liam Neeson. Months before his wife Natasha Richardson tragically died from a skiing accident, Neeson was riding high with the box office hit 'Taken,' which grossed an astonishing $143 million -- easily the actor's biggest smash as lead star.
Also hitting DVD today: 'Underworld: Rise of the Lycans,' the latest installment detailing the unending Werewolf-Vampire Conflict, but this time sans faces of franchise Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman.
Get the full scoop on this week's DVD and Blu-ray releases, plus our recommendations from weeks' past.
What It's About: When his teenage daughter (Maggie Grace) is kidnapped in Paris by sex traffickers, former CIA agent Liam Neeson hops on a plane to kick ass and take names (mostly the former).
It's Kind of Like: 'Ransom' meets 'Trade'
Critical Consensus: Reviewers were decidedly split on this surprise monster hit (it racked up an astonishing $143 million); The film earned a 56% approval rating on RottenTomatoes. Most praised its action hero with dramatic chops, and with one critic hailing it "The best action thriller of 2009 thus far." (For the record, the film was released on January 30, 2009.)
Breakout Star: Co-star Katie Cassidy, who plays friend to Grace, is fast becoming one of Hollywood's most reliable screamers. The actress played scared in the 2006 horror flicks 'When a Stranger Calls' and 'Black Christmas,' and just landed a role in the 2010 remake of 'Nightmare on Elm Street.'
Add to Netflix queue | Buy from Amazon | Watch the trailer
'Underworld: Rise of the Lycans'
What It's About: The Werewolf-Vampire Conflict rages on in this third installment (an origins story), this time sans faces of franchise Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman. Beckinsale-lookalike Rhona Mitra and Tony Blair-lookalike Michael Sheen take over top billing.
Critical Consensus: Reviewers weren't siding with either species; 'Lycans' was only approved by 32 percent of critics. The Best Pull Quote Award goes to Time Out New York's Hank Sartin: "Take our advice: Buy a rubber mallet and strike yourself repeatedly until you start to black out. Same basic feeling."
Special Features? 'Underworld' enthusiasts will likely be the only ones enthused by the disc's three run-of-the-mill making-of featurettes, though we can never get enough of co-star Bill Nighy ('Love Actually').
Add to Netflix queue | Buy from Amazon | Read Rhona Mitra Q&A
Other New Releases This Week:
'The Grudge 3'
New on Blu-ray:
'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly'
'There's Something About Mary'
The Weinstein Company