Tag Archives: Liam Neeson

Interview: Liam Neeson Talks ‘A Monster Calls’

monster-slice

Over the decades, many actors have secured themselves as cinematic icons. To transcend the film screen and move into audiences’ hearts is no small feat. The hugely diverse Liam Neeson is one such actor and from Schindler’s List to Michael Collins to Star Wars to Taken, this is a man who is no stranger to diversity in terms of picking roles. His latest film is no exception and in A Monster Calls, Neeson takes on the role of a gigantic tree monster (in motion capture), only to help guide a young boy through a very difficult time. Neeson was kind enough to sit down with me and other members of the media in a very special roundtable interview. Here’s how that interview went:

What was it like working in motion capture?

I find it strange, certainly, for the first day. You know, it’s – you act in a, they call it a volume. Why they call it a volume, I have no idea, these computer people. It’s a space. I don’t know if you know the process, but seventy cameras in a circle, and then above you, there’s seventy cameras, and you’re in the middle. You’re acting your scenes, and the good thing is you don’t have to, you know, reset up for his point of view or her point of view, whatever. Everything is covered, you know? And Lewis [MacDougall] was there, and he was off to the side because I was acting to a puppet that size, just to get perspective, but Lewis, he was giving the full one hundred percent every time, and we weren’t able to look at each other obviously.

And yet you still had a great relationship on camera.

You know, that’s always…bit of that, let’s face it. But I’ve done a few movies with kids over the years, and he is very, very special because there was no – I wasn’t aware of him acting at all, and it was quite a revelation, you know. I’ve never experienced that before, actually, ever, from an actor, an actress, or a child.

And at fourteen.

Well, then he was twelve or thirteen. It was over two years ago. I did come away some days thinking, “I’m giving this up. This kid.” But seriously, he was going through like Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the stuff he has to do, emotion-wise, you know? Phenomenal. Really phenomenal.

Was there a sense at any point, being a dad yourself, that you were wanting to protect him? Because he’s going through all of these really difficult, strong, hard emotions.

Yeah, I mean, that’s – I don’t know if you’re a father, but I remember my first one was born and somebody asked, “Has it changed you?” I don’t think – I’ve changed, but I know every time I put on a shirt, I boil a kettle, whatever I do is informed by the fact that I’m a father. So hopefully my acting is informed by the fact that I’m a father of two boys. I don’t do anything deliberately to be a dad with Lewis, for example, acting, but something obviously comes out, you know, in empathy, and it’s very easy to empathize with Lewis and this extraordinary story of this kid. He can’t talk to anybody. At the start of the film, you see him washing dishes and getting the laundry, and you think, this is a kid who’s having to manage by himself and nobody to talk to, really. It’s very sad, especially his mum is dying, and no one is confronting it.

Such a dark film in all the themes that are presented, but you play a tree. What was it like preparing? Was there any preparation for that?

Do you want the bullshit answer?

(laughter)

No!

If we were in Los Angeles, I would say, “Well, I hung out with trees. There’s a famous forest in Ireland, and I laid naked every night.” But no, it was – I’m a big myths and legends fan, and the yew tree is always featured, certainly in Irish literature, fairy tales, and stuff. An ancient tree that is a healing tree, and J.A. Bayona showed me the sculpture bust of what he wanted this creature’s presence to look like. It’s nose was kind of broken in some way, and I thought, oh, that will inform the voice to a certain extent, how it breaths and stuff, if it’s got a busted nose. And Patrick’s book is just, you know, I rate it with the best of Oscar Wilde, his parables, his fairy tales, and certainly the Brothers Grimm. It’s amazing.

How did the novel come to you? Was it your manager?

The usual process. I think it was Bayona’s team wanted me, and my agent calls and says, “I’m sending you this book because they’re doing a movie version,” and I had seen The Orphanage, and I thought he’s quite special, and he works with the Pan’s Labyrinth people, and it’s like, wow, that’s a pretty special film. Multi-textured, you know?

When I heard that you were playing the monster – because my son really enjoyed the book – I thought, of course Liam Neeson would play the monster, because you are a big man, but you are – in every role, you show physical strength, but you also have a softness to you, and that’s what this monster has. It’s a big, overpowering figure but with a softness to it. Is it something that you just are that way and it comes across in all your roles?

I think it kind of comes across. You know, we all have an aura. Everybody in this room, we all have a different aura, and you know, you can be the best actor or actress, most chameleon-like, but that aura still comes across, I think, that you can never change. Well, I tell a lie. Some people can. Meryl can, for example, but it’s just, I think I have those qualities, and maybe they’re not qualities in some roles, but there’s nothing I can do about it, you know what I mean? And for this, I think it was a nice mix of who I am and my aura with the story, you know?

I’m not a film critic. I write about parenting, and so watching these movies, maybe I reflect on myself and my parenting. But you tell the boy these three tales and are sort of helping him through things. How do you – as a dad, were you more of a father that follow-my-example to teach or how did you teach your boys about life?

It’s an on-going thing, you know? Sometimes, being a parent by the seat of your pants. There’s so many books written about it, but at the end of the day, you have to trust this. We’ve been around – we came down from trees, like 150,000 years. We’re doing something right, and I’ve read all the books, and I’m sure you have too when you know you’re going to be a father for the first time. At the end of the day, you just have to scrap them, you know? So I’m still doing that. Parenting is difficult, especially in today’s age. We’re talking about how the world is changing. We have this buffoon who is going to be the president, and it’s like, what’s happened to America? I’m not trying to divert the conversation. I ended up saying to my publicist, who is about to have her first child, that I’m so glad that I’m not growing up now, you know? My boys are twenty and twenty-one. I’m so glad they’re not three and four. I mean, and Russia interfering with a process they recognize, I mean, what’s happening?

Raising a daughter in this election was not fun.

What age is your daughter?

She is ten, and she was with me when we saw this movie. We had two different reactions.

What did she react to?

Her reaction was, “Well, of course he was always going through all of these things. It’s a part of life.” And for me, I was like crying, sitting next to her, wanting to protect this boy, and here she is, this is a part of life.

So she empathized with what he was going through but realized – as a female too, a mother in years to come hopefully – she recognized that this was kind of okay. I’m sure she reacted emotionally as well, but maybe in front of you, she wanted to be stoic. Lewis’ character Conor does that too, you know? Especially with the monster, he’s like, “I’m not scared of you.” It’s great, it’s a reaction you don’t expect. Kids are always full of surprises.

So Liam, out of all the roles you’ve played over the years, is there a particular favorite?

Michael Collins, I’d have to say. That’s still my favorite. The Grey I’m very proud of too, and Schindler’s List, of course, but Steven made a wonderful film. I wouldn’t have cast me in it, but he made a wonderful film. Michael Collins is still my favorite.

Not Darkman?

Darkman, yeah, for – listen, every movie has a unique experience, sometimes good, sometimes not so good, but I always carry something positive away. Darkman was terrific, working with Sam Raimi.

A fun ride.

It was a fun ride, yeah, sure. Kind of a strange one. (laughter) Hours in the make-up chair, my gosh.

And Sam Raimi has a reputation for torturing his actors.

Yeah, he did a bit of torture, yeah, but he was like a little kid, you know? Always wore a shirt and tie. Respect for his crew and cast.

What do you hope that audiences take away from this film?

I think it’s a wonderfully entertaining film. It’s unusual, and it’s clichéd to say there are life lessons, but there actually are. There’s no absolute solutions to any of the stuff that the monster presents the kid with, these tales. They are on-going, and he’s basically saying that life is complex and human beings are complex. We’re never just black and white, but I certainly when I read the book for the first time, I put it down and I thought. It just kept haunting me in some way, you know, and the script did too, and hopefully the film will with people too. There’s something, I call them refrigerator questions. You come back from the cinema. You’ve seen the movie, and you’re going to the fridge, and you go, “Wait a minute, I don’t understand…” It’s always at the refrigerator.

So, you kind of just said that there was something that you got from every movie, something unique. What would you say it is for this one, the big thing that you took away from the role that is going to make it stick with you?

Well, the motion capture process was a bit intimidating for the first day, and working with Lewis. I mean, this boy is – the gamut of emotions he went through, I’m not even doing it justice. It’s extraordinary, and it wasn’t showing off. It wasn’t acting – well, of course it was acting – but just taking that experience with him and Bayona. The Impossible and certainly The Orphanage, he brings these performances out of these kids that is like Spielberg. I remember thinking Bayona is like Steven, he can just get these performances from these kids. You think of Drew Barrymore in E.T. and god! It’s extraordinary, that performance.

And some might compare this film to E.T.

I know what you mean. Steven does it, and J.A. does it too. I could see him huddled, and he’s a small little diminutive figure. I could see him huddled when we were doing our motion capture stuff with Lewis. Never once does he talk down to a child. That’s the big mistake. Talk to him as an equal and talking about the emotion he wanted to try and reach, and he would say, “Well, what about – maybe think of this, or what about if you tried it this way or don’t move so much,” or whatever it was, but they were really connected. Directors just don’t – hit the mark, say the line, thank you, go back to your trailer.

I know a lot of actors are very critical, but I read that you weren’t as thrilled with your performance in Schindler’s List as some other people are, with your amazing performance in that movie. Hearing your voice, are you as critical as seeing yourself?

There’s always a level of criticism that’s in tandem with, oh, I didn’t realize the camera was at that angle. I should have, I should have – you know, there’s little acting notes I’ve always given myself. With Schindler’s List, it was a bit more deeper than that because I never felt that I had a handle on – I never felt that there was enough Liam Neeson in that performance. I was doing what Steven wanted, and Steven had an idea that Schindler was Steve Ross, the head of Time-Warner, who I had never met. Steven was trying to help me, sending me tapes of Steve Ross talking and stuff, and then I thought, well, I’ve got two people to play, the Oskar Schindler and this guy Steve Ross. I don’t know what to do, so there’s ninety-five percent of my performance that is Steven. There’s a couple of things I think like, oh, I recognize the actor now doing something, but – and that’s not a criticism, that’s just the way it was twenty-two, twenty-three years ago now. I just felt a wee bit constricted. But we made an extraordinary film.

The Gunman

Within the past decade, the middle-aged action hero has become an increasingly popular entity in movies. Ever since Liam Neeson shot and punched his way to action film fame in 2008’s Taken, the genre has seen an increase in actors over the age of 50. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a curious thing and film audiences are in for another example of this in The Gunman, a lackluster actioner starring a 53-year-old (but still excellent) Sean Penn. It’s a movie that doesn’t offer anything new but features a pretty impressive cast. Sadly though, the actors can’t save this film from mediocrity and that’s a real shame because there was some real potential here.

The Gunman begins in 2006 in the Congo and follows Jim Terrier (Penn), a mercenary sniper who starts the film by assassinating a notable politician. After his kill, he goes into hiding only to be hunted years later by the same company he used to work for. Now Terrier is on a mission to find out exactly why he’s being targeted and along the way, the love of his life Annie (Jasmine Trinca) gets involved and he and her must fight for their very survival. Javier Bardem, Mark Rylance and Ray Winstone all play former colleagues of Terrier’s and Idris Elba plays a shady INTERPOL agent who seems to know the truth behind the attacks on Terrier.

The cast in The Gunman is the film’s greatest asset and while the starpower is particularly strong here, the film as a whole is severely lacking. This is just a formulaic, by-the-numbers mess that doesn’t really go anywhere. Another unfortunate fact is that the director of the picture, Pierre Morel, is partly responsible for injecting new life into the action genre with the first TakenThe Gunman attempts to ride that wave but everything just comes crashing down. While Sean Penn has a unique and rather special presence on film, even he can’t save this movie from the disaster it eventually ends up being.

Now, not to just focus on the negatives (which are many), The Gunman does offer some exotic locales and gorgeous cinematography. A large portion of the film takes place in Barcelona, Spain and this setting actually serves the film rather well. The final sequence even takes place at a bull fight and this is a rather interesting place to have a final showdown.

Based on Jean-Patrick Manchette’s novel The Prone GunmanThe Gunman suffers from a sloppy book-to-film transfer. Having said that, if you want to see a movie that has pretty much nothing to offer other than an all-star cast that give it their all, then give this film a try. Javier Bardem and Idris Elba are both painfully underused and Ray Winstone and Mark Rylance definitely continue to amaze with their fantastic range. The gorgeous Jasmine Trinca also adds a much needed female touch and her character’s relationship with Terrier is both sexy and at times, rather heartbreaking. The Gunman may be a stinker overall but the actors are all on point and do their jobs very well. This is one film that sadly misses its mark.

Manny

Boxing is a sport that often brings out the very best in athletes. It is a controlled battle between two individuals where a coveted title is concerned and the moniker “champion” is bestowed on the victor. Filipino fighting sensation Manny Pacquiao has made headlines for his pound-for-pound progression, his fierce fists, and last but certainly least, his immense heart. The new documentary Manny takes an in-depth look into the famed boxer’s life from his humble upbringing to this worldwide celebrity. It is a film that shines a light on a talented man who basically rose from rags to riches.

The story of Pacquiao starts in the Philippines where we are shown images of his village where he was born and spent his childhood. He came from a poor family, living in hut in the woods. By the time he was 16-years-old, he began participating in boxing matches. At 5’6 and weighing under 100 pounds, Pacquiao wasn’t exactly a hulking brute but he did however have a quickness about him and a ferocity seen only in champions. In Manny, we see how the boxing legend transformed his life and his family’s by punching his way to the top. He has earned significant celebrity and his talents have even extended to local politics, having been elected to the Philippine House of Representatives at the age of 32.

Documentaries can sometimes be dull and uninteresting but Manny is far from boring. The film moves at a brisk pace, much like Pacquiao’s fighting style. Archival footage and photographs show the man’s life in vivid detail and various celebrity interviews from the likes of Mark Whalberg and Jeremy Piven only serve to enhance the quality of the film as well as showing off Pacquiao’s universal appeal. Liam Neeson also offers his unique voice to the narration of Manny and as always, it is very much welcome indeed. These swanky elements make the film stand out among other documentaries and fans of the boxer and of interesting documentaries in general should give this one a look.

Manny was directed by two very competent men. Those men are veteran filmmaker Leon Gast (When We Were Kings, Smash His Camera) and newcomer Ryan Moore. Their film tells a great story, a story of someone who beat the odds and really made something of himself. The passion and dedication these two directors poured into their film is extraordinary and quite honestly, truly refreshing. Underdog stories almost always score well with audiences and Manny is no exception. Even if you aren’t a fan of the popular boxer, you will find his tale to be quite fascinating.

Hollywood boxing pictures are all pretty much the same in terms of formula and that basic story skeleton is seen here in Manny. Though it’s a documentary, this film feels like larger than life epic. Pacquiao’s journey is documented excellently and the editing brings all of the archival footage, interviews, and music together brilliantly, giving audiences an entertaining and illuminating look at one of boxing history’s greatest contenders.

Saving My Tomorrow

The main purpose of a documentary is a two-pronged one: to educate, as well as to entertain. If a documentary can pull off both of those missions, then that documentary has fulfilled its purpose. The new HBO doc Saving My Tomorrow is a powerful statement about the Earth and protecting the environment at all costs. Told through song, art, and the voices of deeply passionate children, the film delivers an extremely important message in a way that is fun, easy to digest, and suitable for the entire family.

Told in a lighthearted manner and edited beautifully by Tom Patterson (Cropsey, Elaine Stritch at Liberty), Saving My Tomorrow showcases young voices, kids who are knowledgeable about the world and very talented in their own right. Since they are the future, it is only fitting that they be showcased and express themselves in regards to the environment. From activists to musicians, from many corners of the globe, these kids voice their concerns and in some cases, actually do something about fixing the environment. They are extraordinary and in many cases, more proactive than adults. Their stories and goals are truly inspirational and this film highlights that excellently.

In addition to original art and music from the young stars of tomorrow, a number of notable celebrities lent their voices in reading various geo-friendly pieces. These celebrities include Alan Cumming, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, Susan Sarandon, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jeffrey Wright, Pharrell Williams, among others. There are also special musical performances by Lennon & Maisy, Ziggy Marley, Elizabeth Mitchell, Jason Mraz, Willie Nelson, Karen O, Pete Seeger, They Might Be Giants, and Dan Zanes. With famous individuals backing up the kids in their mission of saving the planet, Saving My Tomorrow really soars and delivers its message quite effectively.

In an interesting move, HBO has partnered up with the American Museum of Natural History to bring this film to life and with one of the world’s leading scientific institutions participating, audiences are in for a film that presents the facts straightforwardly and invites open discussion. HBO is also doing its part by having a section on its website where people can access resources and find out just how they can help. Overall, Saving My Tomorrow is a bold exercise in welcoming people who care to stand up and actually do something for their environment.

The first two episodes have aired on HBO already, with four more parts to air on Earth Day. From endangered animals to climate change, Saving My Tomorrow is a documentary event that should be seen by everyone. Basically, if you care about the world and want to see it stay around for a while longer, see this film and absorb its important message. Director/producer Amy Schatz (Goodnight Moon & Other Sleepytime Tales, An Apology to Elephants) has put together a superb collection of original art and various scenes in which museum tour guides and scientists educate young minds and fill their heads with thoughts of doing what’s right. Families, especially, should see Saving My Tomorrow because it really is a film important to us all.

Viktor

Revenge thrillers have become so overdone and so formulaic that they barely hold water these days. Ever since Liam Neeson decided to fight back against his daughter’s captors in 2008’s immensely popular Taken, audiences have been thirsting for similar action fare ever since. The concept of a middle-aged man kicking ass seems to be a very appealing premise for many moviegoers and studios seem to be capitalizing on this phenomenon more and more. Famed French actor Gerard Depardieu has joined this bandwagon with the latest action-thriller Viktor and the results are lukewarm at best.

When his son is murdered in Moscow, former art thief Victor Lambert (Depardieu) takes it upon himself to find those responsible and bring them to “justice”. In his vigilante-like mission, Lambert is joined by his sexy Russian lover Alexandra (Elizabeth Hurley) and ex-partner-in-crime and choreographer Souliman (Eli Danker). Soon, bullets fly and car crashes ensue, with Lambert causing most of it. In his bloody quest, the body count rises and property damage costs throughout Moscow skyrocket.

There is nothing new in Viktor. It is a completely by-the-numbers and very predictable vehicle for the aging Depardieu, who seems a little bored in the titular role. There are scenes of violence scattered throughout, including a pretty uncomfortable torture scene. These harsh sequences are softened by the tender romance developed by Lambert and Alexandra. It’s actually really nice to see Elizabeth Hurley acting again even if her role could have been pulled off by basically any other beautiful actress. Her role of Alexanadra, compliments Lambert very well and you can actually believe that these two are a couple.

Though Viktor may not be a perfect film, there is one aspect of it that makes it stand out and that feature is the location. Viktor was filmed entirely in Russia and that fact does nothing but help the film since its story takes place in Moscow. The location basically serves as a character itself with strong personality and wide appeal. When viewing this film, one will feel transported to Russia and that’s a wonderful feeling. When a film takes you to another land in an almost seamless fashion, well that’s a great thing.

With so many films like Viktor out there captivating audiences, people won’t mind another. This is a movie made for the masses and not for critics or lovers of art cinema. Viktor is a popcorn actioner with widespread appeal. It doesn’t contain a deep heartfelt message and the performances will not leave you feeling breathless. Gerard Depardieu is an intriguing actor and he’s provided some decent performances in the past. Unfortunately, Viktor is a mindless revenge film that relies heavily on violence and sensory stimulation. The only saving grace is the Russian location which is shot exceptionally well. Writer/director Phillipe Martinez (Harsh Times, Wake of Death) and cinematographer Jean-Francois Hensgens (District 13: Ultimatum, Our Children) should be commended for their exquisite visual styles which only help Viktor. Sadly, these two individuals seem to be the only members of the production who actually did work. Everyone else, including Depardieu seems to be on autopilot.

A Walk Among the Tombstones

When one thinks of Liam Neeson, one thinks of revenge-fueled action cinema. Since 2008, the rugged actor has firmly cemented himself as the aging master of hand-to-hand combat and an expert at handling firearms. Taken was the film which got the ball rolling and that ball continues to roll with the Irish actor’s latest action/thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones. The film is more or less, your standard Neeson fare but with a few twists that keep things interesting. The body count isn’t too high as the film tends to focus more on story and the somewhat interesting mystery. Nevertheless, it is an average popcorn picture which will be sure to entertain even those who aren’t the biggest supporters of Neeson.

The film takes place in 1999 and follows Matthew Scudder (Neeson), a former New York police officer turned private investigator. He is summoned by a drug leader (Dan Stevens), whose wife has been kidnapped. Scudder’s particular skills are called on to handle the case and the deeper he gets into the case, the darker things become. Along the way, he gets help from T.J. (Brian “Astro” Bradley) a juvenile from the streets with a knack for technology and a desire to become a private eye, himself.

Based on Lawrence Block’s novel of the same name, A Walk Among the Tombstones is a tense crime thriller with shady characters, unique action sequences and a decent amount of violence. It is a film with familiar aspects but with a different take. Neeson is in fine form here and he anchors the film excellently. He has officially made a name for himself in the action film genre and his numerous forays in violent revenge movies are now commonplace and to be expected by audiences the world over.

As for the other actors in the film, young Brian “Astro” Bradley gives a memorable and fearless performance as T.J., a street tough who gets sucked into Scudder’s violent world. Together he and Neeson form a strong bond and partnership that is actually believable. Bradley holds his own in the film and his future as an actor seems very bright. The remainder of the film’s cast is an assortment of standard Hollywood B-listers and their work in A Walk Among the Tombstones is likely to be easily forgotten. Even the kidnappers seem like clones of Kevin Spacey’s character in Se7en. Because of their over-the-top and cliché performances, they rise no higher than that of simple mediocrity.

There is an unfortunate balance of pros and cons in A Walk Among the Tombstones. Liam Neeson is the film’s saving grace but the kidnapping story has been done many times before and better in the past. The action sequences seem a bit forced and at times, ridiculous. Writer-director Scott Frank (The Wolverine, Minority Report)’s screenplay is dull and missing a spark. He shot the film well but that doesn’t really make up for the lame dialogue he’s given the actors. I’m sure Frank meant well when adapting Lawrence Block’s novel and the film is a adequate effort. It just falls somewhat short and sadly, even Neeson couldn’t save this standard thriller film.

A Walk Among the Tombstones will be released theatrically on September 19th, 2014

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Image

In his seemingly never-ending quest to provide meaty satire and goofing on many things in real life, Seth MacFarlane knows no bounds. With his mega-popular Family Guy and 2012’s Ted, he certainly knows how to generate laughs. His latest film, in which he wrote, directed, and starred,A Million Ways to Die in the West, is no different. The film continues his farcical tradition and manages to squeeze as much humor, adventure, and romance out of its 116-minute runtime. With an all-star cast and an even more hilarious array of cameos, West may not be an Oscar contender but it’s definitely worthy of a viewing if you’re in the mood for a good chuckle.

Taking place in Arizona circa 1882, West focuses on Albert Stark (MacFarlane), a cynical sheepherder who is very out of place. He is petrified of getting killed at any moment in the extremely dangerous Wild West. To make matters worse, his beautiful girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried) has just dumped him. With his confidence at an all-time low, he eventually decides to win her back by dueling her new boyfriend (Neil Patrick Harris). To complicate things even further, a group of bandits, led by a deliciously evil Liam Neeson, ride into town and start causing trouble. Albert gets way in over his head when he soon starts developing feelings for the bandit leader’s wife (Charlize Theron). 

With a busy plot and a who’s who of a cast, West is the very definition of a guilty pleasure. The jokes are ridiculous, the performances, over-the-top. Even the music is overbearing and absurd, not to mention the very silly dream sequences and musical numbers. With West, MacFarlane has ventured into a genre that we haven’t really seen in recent times. The Western is full of satiric opportunity and MacFarlane has taken advantage of that.

The writing is decent, with joke after joke fired in almost rapid succession. There are some dead spots with the plot and not all of the jokes hit their mark but that’s okay; the pros definitely outweigh the cons in West. The cast is by far the film’s best feature. MacFarlane leads the cast and does well in a live-action role. His romance with Theron is really sweet and natural, one of the more serious and believable aspects of the film. Neeson is terrific in a villainous role. Giovanni Ribisi and Sarah Silverman are very amusing as a timid gentleman and a prostitute couple who think they should marry before having sex. NPH is also pretty funny in a sleazy role he seems to be echoing from How I Met Your Mother, only this time set in the Wild West with a gentleman’s moustache.

West is a film where you know exactly what you’re getting the second you begin watching it. MacFarlane has made a film here that has definite replay value, with fun performances and the occasional gross-out gag. Tedis a little bit better than thi,s but West still holds its own. MacFarlane is probably the strongest current source of comedy; if he continues to make movies likeWest, then we are in very capable hands.

A Million Ways to Die in the West will be released theatrically on May 30th.