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A double bill of fast-paced action thrillers. In 'Taken' (2008), Liam Neeson stars as Bryan Mills, a former CIA secret agent living in the US, who is obliged to resurrect the skills he learned in his old job after his estranged 17-year-old daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) is kidnapped by sex slave traffickers while travelling with a friend in Europe. In the sequel 'Taken 2' (2012), Murad (Rade Serbedzija), the father of a kidnapper killed by Mills (Neeson) in the first film, makes a bid for retribution by taking Mills and his wife (Famke Janssen) hostage in Istanbul. Now their daughter, Kim (Grace), must swing into action and act swiftly to save her parents.
A double-bill of sci-fi horror. In John Carpenter's 'The Thing' (1982), a research team in the Antarctic, led by R.J. MacReady (Kurt Russell), discovers a spaceship buried beneath the ice, and becomes terrorised by the shape-changing monster that is housed within. In the 2011 prequel, the action is set on a research site in Antarctica three days before the action of the original story, the film focusing on the Norwegian camps that were the initial target of the alien invasion. When they discover an alien spacecraft on the site, science graduate Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and experienced researcher Dr Sander Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen) disagree about how to act. When Dr Halvorson refuses to abandon his research, Kate teams up with tough Vietnam veteran Sam Carter (Joel Edgerton) to pursue the alien intruders by helicopter.
Triple bill of fast-paced thrillers. In 'Taken' (2008) Liam Neeson stars as Bryan, a former CIA secret agent whose life revolves around his 17-year-old daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace). A protective father, Bryan reluctantly agrees that Kim can go travelling in Europe with her friend, Amanda (Katie Cassidy). When Bryan's worst fears are realised and the pair are kidnapped in Paris by sex traffickers, the ex-CIA man has no option but to use his former spy skills to track them down and attempt a rescue. 'Hitman' (2007), based on the computer game of the same name, follows a professional assassin known only as Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant), who finds himself ensnared in a political conspiracy after carrying out a hit. The hunter becomes the hunted as 47 is chased across Eastern Europe by both Interpol and the Russian FSB, while, at the same time, trying to find out who set him up. Unexpectedly, the greatest threat to 47's survival may be the stirrings of his conscience and the alien emotions awakened in him by Nika (Olga Kurylenko), a beautiful woman wrapped up in the conspiracy and, consequently, 47's life. 'Max Payne' (2008), based on the 2001 video game, stars Mark Wahlberg as Max Payne, a New York cop whose family and partner were brutally murdered as part of a far-reaching political conspiracy. Embarking on a very personal and off-the-record investigation to find those responsible for the murders, Max ventures into the underworld and joins forces with assassin Mona Sax (Mila Kunis), who is out to avenge the death of her sister. The unlikely duo soon find themselves faced with some extremely powerful enemies.
Action drama directed by Chris Nahon and starring Amy Johnston, Muriel Hofmann and Jenny Wu. When backpacking American Jane Jones (Johnston) arrives in China, she is greeted by a group of thugs who mug and beat her leaving her battered and bloody. Jane decides to find someone to train her in martial arts so that she can defend herself in the future but also so that she can participate in a tournament that pits women from around the world against one another in order to prove their strength and martial artistry. The cast also includes Jet Tranter, Mayling Ng and Sunny Coelst.
Fast-paced, violent revenge thriller written and produced by Luc Besson. Liam Neeson stars as Bryan Mills, a former CIA secret agent living in the US who is forced to resurrect the skills he learned in his old job after his 17-year-old daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) is kidnapped by Albanian sex slave traffickers while travelling with a friend in Europe. As Bryan consults his former colleagues for advice on the situation, statistics show that the Albanian criminals rarely keep their prisoners alive for more than four days, giving Bryan a tight timeframe in which to save his daughter's life. The cast also includes Famke Janssen, Xander Berkeley and Katie Cassidy.
Predicting the future is serious business for virtually all public and private institutions, for they must often make important decisions based on such predictions. This visionary book explores how institutions from legislatures to corporations might improve their predictions and arrive at better decisions by means of prediction markets, a promising new tool with virtually unlimited potential applications. Michael Abramowicz explains how prediction markets work; why they accurately forecast elections, sports contests, and other events; and how they may even advance the ideals of our system of republican government. He also explores the ways in which prediction markets address common problems related to institutional decision making. Throughout the book the author extends current thinking about prediction markets and offers imaginative proposals for their use in an array of settings and situations.
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