Watch, Play, ReadLooking for some good entertainment this month? Whether it is film, gaming or a good read, The Red Bulletin has got you covered with these tips
Why Liam Neeson is big at the box office right now.
To still cut it as action heroes on the movie screen, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, both 68, have had to plant their tongue in their cheek with the Expendables series. But age isn’t the issue; the biggest action star in the world today is 62, yet shows no signs of wear. Since the 2009 US release of Taken, Liam Neeson has starred in Unknown, The Grey, Taken 2, Non-Stop, A Walk Among The Tombstones and Taken 3 – all commercially and critically successful films in which flexes his muscles and acting chops. (He’s also strong in ensemble action flicks like The A-Team, Clash Of The Titans and Wrath Of The Titans.)
One reason for his success could be that he doesn’t seem that old or come with the baggage of Sly and Arnie, whose fresher-faced back catalogue is still much-loved. It might also be a result of Neeson throwing himself into his work after his wife’s death in 2009. Or it could be a fluke: he said he thought Taken would go straight to DVD. Whatever the reason, Neeson is the winner. His salary for Taken is said to have been around $1m, and he reportedly earned 20 times that for Taken 3, which is out on home entertainment platforms this month. His latest kick-ass-capade, Run All Night, is in cinemas now. Enjoy Neeson in a gun-toting role while you can: he’s given himself two more years before retiring from the ‘geriaction’ subgenre.
Mortal Kombat X: new fight, same fun
Of course it has new characters and a new story (although the story in a beat-em-up never strays too far from providing many, many opportunities for fighting). Of course it’ll look better than the last one. But the point of Mortal Kombat X (you say ‘ex’, not ‘10’) is not to break gaming’s boundaries but to nudge them, while also reminding everyone who has played any of the 20-odd games in the Mortal Kombat series (which debuted in 1992) how much fun it is to play. One neat idea: venerable favourite characters like Raiden, Kano and Sub-Zero are now aged grandmasters. Out for Windows, PS4 and Xbox One in mid-April.
Empire’s back: Classic Star Wars stories revisited
April sees the release of Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Empire Vol. 1, a 440-page reprint of stories from the Marvel comic series. The book picks up the saga post-Episode III, and its highpoint is the emergence of a certain black-clad Sith Lord with father-son issues.
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