Thursday, November 22, 2007


It was driving me crazy. Timothy Olyphant, who plays Agent 47 in the movie based on the video game, Hitman; I had seen him in something else but could not remember what it was. I wracked my brains the whole movie, but could not pull it out. Thank goodness for the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). Timothy Olyphant played one of the main characters in the HBO original series Deadwood. He played the part of Seth Bullock.

So now that that’s out of the way, what did I think of the movie? Well I never played the game Hitman, but its premise sounded interesting. A group of young orphans raised by a super secret organization to be world class assassins that travel all over the world taking out warlords, weapons dealers, and political figures, all for a price.

The assassins aren’t given names as they are raised, just a number and a bar code tattooed on the back of their bald heads. (I wonder if they will ring up as a can of vegetable soup at the market?)

The movie doesn’t go into detail about their upbringing other than a series of flashes of children in class, learning martial arts, and of course wielding guns. It starts out easy enough with Agent 47 receiving jobs via his talking laptop and carrying out assassinations. Then he gets a job to wipe out the Russian president. Everything goes well, but suddenly there are reports that the president survived the assassination with just a scratch. We know he was really killed so their must be a double. At this point the plot becomes increasingly convoluted and confusing with a series of twists that I just could not follow. People come out of the woodwork to kill Agent 47, including an Interpol agent who has been tracking him for three years, to the Russian FSB, and several of his fellow assassins from his own organization.

He also hooks up with a female named Nika, who seems to know about the cover up of the president’s death. They develop a love-hate relationship which is also confusing because he spurns her advances. It never says, but I suppose it has something to do with “a warrior distracted is a dead warrior.”

Despite the confusing plot, I found myself enjoying the film none-the-less. It of course has the obligatory assassinations, and plenty of fighting and shooting. I also like the character of Agent 47 even if it was a bit two dimensional. Timothy Oylphant (what a last name!) always brings a certain intensity to the roles he plays, and that comes across very well on screen. So if you are a fan of the game HITMAN, a Timothy Olyphant fan, and don’t mind a mind-boggling plot, then pack your heat and head to the theater to check out Hitman!

Friday, November 16, 2007


I did a paper in college on Beowulf. His story is one of my favorite pieces of literature. In my paper, titled, "The Defense of Grendel", I showed how it was really King Hrothgar, his people, and Beowulf that were the true monsters of the land. I got an 'A'.

And that is what I give this movie as well an 'A'. It was fun to see this epic tale brought to life on the big screen!! The computer animation was superb, and visually stunning. But it looks so real I have to wonder why they didn't just film it live action, and CGI the monsters like the Lord of the Rings.

This is a great movie and if you have any interest in this genre, it is a must see. And even though there were a couple of times I thought I was watching Shrek and expected to see the Ginger-Bread man or Puss-in-Boots, don't load up the kids for this one. Despite being computer generated it is plenty gory and the script is rife with sexual innuendo. Otherwise Check out Hollywood's latest hero, Beowulf!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lions for Lambs

A professor and his student, a reporter and a senator, and two soldiers, all performing on three separate stages; a university campus, Washington D.C., and a battlefield in Afghanistan, in the new movie Lions for Lambs.

If nothing else this movie presents the issues the whole world is thinking about everyday and like the websites asks; What do you stand for? Are you apathetic or will you do something to help make a difference?

As I left the theater I was emotionally moved by the three pronged assault to my sensibilities. The thoughts, the emotions, and the re-examination of my beliefs. But as the Hollywood glitz and the dazzling performances, by Streep, Cruise, and Redford wore off, I began to wonder if I had just been exposed to the screen writers own form of propaganda. In the movie Meryl Streep’s character, reporter Janine Roth decides Senator Jasper Irving's story he is pushing on her is pure ‘propaganda’ and is using her to grease the skids for his eventual bid for the White House.

Now I wonder if the film itself is not just a big work of propaganda itself disguised as a geo-political thriller. It’s nothing more than a liberal public service ad. I won’t ruin the ending for you, but how it ends is not the typical triumphant, everybody lives happily ever after, ending that you would expect.

I don’t have a racist bone in my body, but it is no coincidence that the two soldiers are Black and Hispanic, again shoving the immigration, and social issues that our great country is currently dealing with in my face. The film asks; How long will our country remain great? We must have a “win” at all costs, claims Tom Cruise’s character.

Despite this, the film at least makes you think. It makes you look in the proverbial mirror and
ask—What do I stand for? Will I play the XBOX 360 all day while Rome burns or will I get off my ass and make a difference, and for that I applaud the film.

Bottom line is, if you want to go out for a fun night on the town and escape the realities of life for a couple of hours, don’t go see Lions for Lambs. But if you want to have everything you stand for challenged, if you want a film that stirs you heart and makes you think hard about the current direction of your life and our world then you must check out Lions for Lambs. Think about it!