The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Specials

Christmas TV specials, limited series and movies are bigger than ever these days from now until the New Year, you’ll be able to find some festive yule-tide programming every night of the week. From the traditional viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, the different versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to baking shows and live music specials, we’ve got them all listed on the new Christmas TV Specials page. (Since not all of the networks list their specials early, this list will be updated throughout the coming weeks, so check back often for new additions!)

Taken 2 - a Happier Violent Movie

Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) and his daughter Kim (Maggie
Grace) are in trouble once again.
Photo: Europa Corp.


It’s hard to believe that it has been four years since Liam Neeson uttered the words, “I don’t know who you are, but if you don’t let my daughter go, I will find you. I will kill you,” but it has. In “Taken,” Neeson played a retired CIA agent who traveled abroad to rescue his daughter who was kidnapped on her trip to Paris. As if once was not enough in “Taken 2,” Neeson returns  to play a retired CIA agent who travels abroad to rescue his daughter  and ex-wife, who were kidnapped on their trip to Istanbul. Has this family not learned anything in the last four years?

Actually, “Taken 2” takes place a little over a year after the first story. Bryan Mills (Neeson) is the target this time around. He is being tracked down by the families of the men he killed in the first movie. His daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) is trying to get her driver’s license and has boyfriend that Bryan doesn’t know about. Her mother and his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) is going through a rough patch in her current marriage. In hopes of getting closer to both of them, Bryan invites them to join him overseas when his job there is done. Word gets out to the bad guys change their focus to Kim and Lenore.

This chapter is strong enough to stand up on its own. If you didn’t see the first movie, you shouldn’t have a hard time following the story. For a movie that is set in the present day, it is a little strange to hear dialogue that sounds like it comes from an old swashbuckler:

Bryan Mills: “If I kill you, your other sons will come and seek revenge.”
Murad (bad guy): “They will.”
Bryan Mills: “Then I will kill them too.”

While both flicks are violent and full of action, this second one is actually quite lighter in tone. In fact, the initial set up of the second one is almost too happy. One big difference this time around is that Bryan has to rely on the help of his daughter in order to save Lenore. Without spilling any spoilers, let’s just say that all ends up happy and a not so subtle hint that a second sequel may be on the way. It isn’t Shakespeare nor is it “Father of the Bride,” but it makes for a pretty enjoyable hour and a half.

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