By Bob on November 18, 2009 6:00 AM

OK, did I miss something, or is it just me?  Does anyone else know Liam Neeson is a badass? 

He is in Taken and if it's all right with you, I'll let Liam be my bodyguard any time he can find his 9mm.  I was a late adopter of this film from writer/producer Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, The Transporter) but I'm glad I caught up with it.


Taken is the story of that could be ripped from today's headlines.  You know the ones.  The headlines that scream, "Spoiled Rich Teenagers Abducted by Prostitution Ring in Paris".  Yeah, those headlines.  Because in this 93-minute thriller, that's exactly what happens and with the exception of a slow second act, this movie is a thrill ride.


Neeson plays Bryan Mills, a retired CIA operative who's given up the bright lights and bad cities to be near his only daughter and ex wife.  Mills figures that proximity promotes paternity and he's doing his damndest to get back in his not-so-little girl's life.


This is Hollywood.  A place where cell phone batteries last forever and nobody ever drops a call -- even internationally.


The only problem is that his teenage daughter wants to spend the summer with her BFF in Paris.  Since Neeson knows that creeps are around every corner, he's reluctant to grant permission for her to leave the country (the TSA is funny that way).  He bows to pressure from the Ex and soon daughter and friend are off for a Parisian holiday.  So they think.


Quicker than you can say "stay away from the creepy guy at the airport," daughter and BFF are kidnapped and whisked off to a den of denizens who warehouse them for sale to the highest bidder.  Mills' daughter gets in one fast cell phone call to dad before bouncing into the bowels of Paris.  It's all he needs to trace the call, translate the dialect of the kidnappers and make a threat to track down and kill the kidnappers.


Of course, in real life the daughter's cell battery would be dead because she spent all her time texting and listening to music downloads.  This ain't real life.  This is Hollywood.  A place where cell phone batteries last forever and nobody ever drops a call - even internationally.


Dad hops a plane to not-so-gay Paree.  With the help of his pals back at Langley, or wherever they keep the cool CIA stuff, he heads off on a mission to bring his daughter home.


Cars blow up.  Buildings explode.  Machine guns go rata-tat-tat.  And there are more fights than you'll find in a Jacksboro Highway bar on a Saturday night (note to anyone not familiar with North Texas - that's a HELL of a lot of fights). 


This action-packed rescue drama doesn't have many miscues.  Neeson is a talented actor at the top of his game in this 93-minute rollercoaster ride of a movie.  He's understated, determined and very believable as the dad who just wants to bring his daughter home. 


If you can't tolerate violence of any kind (even cartoon violence) I'd suggest moving on to something else.  If, however, you're looking for an edge-of-your-seat action film with some nice plot twists, then take Taken.  You'll be smitten.


The Boomer Brief recommends Netflix for your movie rentals.  The monthly rental packages start at only $4.99 - and you can cancel at any time.


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Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Playing Favorites

Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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