Nick’s Picks – September 2, 2015

HITMAN: AGENT 47

Hitman Agent 47

As far as movies adapted from video games go, considering that 99% of the movies made based on a video game have been a big flop, Hitman rebooted sadly falls into that category.

In 2007, a first attempt at adapting the popular video game into a movie was made starring Timothy Olyphant (best known for Justified) failed miserably. In 2015, director Aleksander Bach, mainly a music video director takes on the popular Hitman video game franchise and turns it upside down. Fans of the game will not recognize the story in this film as it forgets to include the most fascinating aspects of the video game… stealth.

Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) best known for Homeland, is a genetically engineered assassin hell bent on finding his creator (no, it’s not Dr. Frankenstein). Agent 47 is hired and works for the Agency (so original) being hunted by less genetically engineered killers than him who work for the ominous Syndicate (even lesser original) to capture or kill him so that their boss can create their own genetic assassins. Plausibility and believability is thrown out the window so that direct Bach can deliver fast and exciting frenetic and wacky action that is nothing more than a car chase commercial. His music videos roots shine through in this feature film.

Agent 47 is given the assignment to find Dr. Liventko (Ciaran Hinds) the man who created the genetically engineered assassin agent program, who is missing, and his daughter Katia (Hanna Ware) who are being hunted by bad guys who want to get their hands on the formula in order to create their own genetically enhanced killers. Agent 47 wants to destroy the info. Arising out of the blue is the American John Smith (Zachary Quinto) (best known for Spock in the rebooted Star Trek franchise) to save Katia, but we don’t know if he is a bad guy or the hero, yet he has amazing skills as well as a fighter and/or killer.

Agent 47 is basically a game of cat and mouse, teasing us with exhilarating car chases, gun play, stunts and explosives, yet it feels so repetitive and copycat of most of the action films we’ve seen this summer or in the past. Hitman: Agent 47 is just a fun movie. It’s not a great movie and you won’t see anything new as far as action or plot, but accept it for the wacky, thrill ride it’s meant to be, don’t overthink it, and you’ll enjoy the ride. I would then suggest that you go home and play the video game… and you’ll find complete satisfaction in the nuances of the stealth and violence, with you pretending to be the hitman. If I want to see a great film about a steely-eyed, cold killing machine, I’d watch The Terminator for the 56th time. Hitman: Agent 47 needs to be genetically engineered with originality and faithfulness to the video game.

Starring: Rupert Friend, Zachary Quinto, Hanna Ware, Thomas Kretschmann
Director: Aleksander Bach
Company: 20th Century Fox
Now Showing: In Theatres
MPAA Rating: R (strong violence, strong language)
Grade: C-

===============DVD Reviews===============================

FREE DVD GIVEAWAY

Texas Rising Wolf Warrior The Bloodlands Hawaii FiveO

We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of Mad Max: Fury Road, The Bloodlands, Wolf Warrior, Walker Texas Ranger 4 Movie Collection, Touched by an Angel: The Spirit of Liberty Moon, Texas Rising or Hawaii Five-O Season 5, it is really easy! All you have to do is send me an email at HoustonMovieGuy@gmail.com. The subject line of the email should read DVD GIVEAWAY. In the body of the email, be sure to put your name, full mailing address and which DVD or Blu-ray you would like. Winners will be selected by random drawing.  Best of luck!

MAD MAX: Fury Road – Warner

Filmmaker George Miller gears up for another post-apocalyptic action adventure with Fury Road, the fourth outing in the Mad Max film series. Charlize Theron stars alongside Tom Hardy (Bronson), with Zoe Kravitz, Adelaide Clemens, and Rosie Huntington Whiteley heading up the supporting cast.

THE BLOOD LANDS – Magnolia

It’s Ed and Sarah’s first night at their new home – a perfect farmhouse in the country. This should be a new beginning away from their stressful city lives. At first it is, but as darkness falls, Ed and Sarah suspect they’re not alone. It suddenly dawns on them; they do not belong there and they’re certainly not welcome.

WOLF WARRIOR – WellGo USA

An Elite Squad of Mercenaries Just Met Their Deadliest Target. Sergeant Leng Feng (Wu Jing), top marksman of the Chinese Special Forces, is jailed under court martial for disobeying orders. But he’s just the kind of fighter the Wolf Warriors are looking for. Silent. Stealthy. Deadly. The Wolves bring Feng into their pack, honing his skills to a knife’s edge. But another team has Feng on their radar: a group of corrupt blades-for-hire, seeking revenge for the drug lord’s murder.

WALKER TEXAS RANGER: 4 Movie Collection – CBS Paramount

Action superstar Chuck Norris battles bad guys, lowlifes, and evil criminal masterminds in four movie collection from Walker Texas Ranger! A modern-day peace officer with a Wild West sense of resolve, Ranger Cordell Walker (Norris) is ably assisted by fellow Ranger James Trivette (Clarence Gilyard), Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cahill (Sheree J. Wilson), and retired ex-partner CD Parker (Noble Willingham). This tough-minded team attempts to maintain law and order in a tumultuous world. But when the going gets tough…the tough guys get their lights punched out! From drug lords and rogue assassins to escaped cons and troubled teens, join Walker Texas Ranger for these four movies of pulse-pounding, fist-flying action as Walker settles the score with his own personal brand of frontier justice.

TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL: The Spirit of Liberty Moon – CBS Paramount

This episode is very touching and at times hard to watch. The episode centers on a woman who left China after a disturbing event in 1989 who must come to grips with whether or not to return to her homeland or not. Oftentimes struggling with the political and racial climate in China, she must find the courage to stand up for the rights of those being oppressed in her country. A very moving and emotional episode, this is not to be missed.

TEXAS RISING – Lionsgate

In 1836, west of the Mississippi was considered the Wild West and the Texas frontier was viewed as hell on earth. Crushed from the outside by Mexican armadas and attacked from within by ferocious Comanche tribes?no one was safe. But this was a time of bravery, a time to die for what you believed in and a time to stand tall against the cruel rule of the Mexican General Santa Anna (Martinez). The heroic General Sam Houston (Paxton), the rag tag Rangers and the legendary ?Yellow Rose of Texas? lead this story of the human will to win against insurmountable odds. At the end, the Texas flags stood tall and victorious, claiming a piece of history for all eternity.

HAWAII FIVE-O: Season 5 – CBS Paramount

In the 5th season of Hawaii Five-0, McGarrett continues to try to bring closure to his father’s case and closure to his mother’s past, while the state’s brash Five-O unit, who may spar and jest among themselves, remain determined to eliminate the seedy elements from the 50th state.

LOST AFTER DARK – Anchor Bay

Spring Ball, 1984. Adrienne (Kendra Timmins), a straight-A student, joins her quarterback crush Sean (Justin Kelly) and some friends in sneaking out of their high school dance for some unsupervised mayhem. The teens’ party plans hit a snag when they run out of gas on a deserted road. They head out on foot and discover a rundown farmhouse where they hope to find help, but instead find themselves at the mercy of Junior Joad (Mark Wiebe), a cannibal killer from an urban legend. After the brutal murder of one of their friends, the group s quest for help becomes one of survival. Will anyone survive the night?

ALPHA & OMEGA: The Legend of the Saw Tooth Cave – Lionsgate

Brilliant and as cute as can be, the Alpha and Omega team share a suspenseful adventure jam packed with humor, thrills, education and suspense! A true fun-filled time for all those that watch this wonderful program!

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: Season 6 – Warner

The Vampire Diaries continues for a sixth season with delicious drama to sink your teeth into. Last season, after a passionate summer with Damon, Elena headed to Whitmore College with Caroline, not knowing Bonnie sacrificed her life for Jeremy’s. Meanwhile, Stefan and Caroline’s friendship deepened as they stood up to the Travelers, a nomadic witch tribe driven to strip Mystic Falls of magic and cast out its supernatural residents. In the shocking season finale, Damon, fearing he would lose his loved ones on the crumbling Other Side, made a huge sacrifice to bring them all back – with catastrophic and heartbreaking results. Season six follows the characters’ journey back to each other as they explore the duality of good versus evil inside themselves. Michael Malarkey joins the cast as Enzo, an old vampire friend from Damon’s past, and Matt Davis reprises his role as Alaric Saltzman, recently returned from The Other Side.

THE ORIGINALS: Season 2 – Warner

As Original vampire-werewolf hybrid Klaus Mikaelson returned to the vibrant, supernaturally charged city of New Orleans, he was stunned to learn – along with siblings Elijah and Rebekah – that Hayley, a werewolf, was pregnant with his child, and his vampire protégé, Marcel, whom the Original siblings had thought long dead, was ruling the French Quarter. Soon a bloody war escalated between vampires and witches, the stakes raised by powerful teenage witch Davina, and by Klaus’s bond with Cami, a student with a painful past, and a ruthless pack of wolves seized the opportunity to stage a violent coup. Now, in season two, a new status quo must be adjusted to, as the newly empowered werewolves control the city. Plus, Klaus struggles with weaknesses and Elijah fights to save Hayley – now a hybrid – from a vicious spiral of self-destruction.

THE D TRAIN – Paramount

All his life, Dan Landsman (Jack Black) has never been the cool guy. That’s about to change – if he can convince Oliver Lawless (Marsden), the most popular guy from his high school who’s now the face of a national Banana Boat ad campaign, to show up with him to their class reunion. A man on a mission, Dan travels from Pittsburgh to LA and spins a web of lies to recruit Lawless. But he gets more than he bargains for as the unpredictable Lawless proceeds to take over his home, career, and entire life. Showcasing Jack Black and James Marsden’s most intoxicating performances to date, D TRAIN serves up the question: how far would you go to be popular?

SCORPION: Season 1 – CBS Paramount

When Scorpion is on the case, saving the world is a no-brainer! Elyes Gabel stars as Walter, the eccentric leader of a team of brilliant misfits a psychiatrist with a gambling addition, a mechanical prodigy with anger issues, and a ‘human calculator’ with social anxiety who save the world from problems only a genius could solve. Also in the cast are Robert Patrick as tough-as-nails security agent Cabo Gallo and Katherine McPhee as Paige, a former waitress who translates the ‘normal’ world for the geniuses.

MADAM SECRETARY: Season 1 – CBS Paramount

In the first season of the gripping political thriller Madam Secretary, Dr. Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni) navigates the maze of politics to protect America and affect global issues. When the current Secretary of State is killed in a mysterious airplane accident, the White House turns to Elizabeth to take over the job. As a former CIA analyst, she understands the risks of the world. However, she’s far less prepared for the treachery of politics.

GOOD KILL – Paramount

In the shadowy world of drone warfare, combat unfolds like a video game-only with real lives at stake. After six tours of duty, Air Force pilot Tom Egan (Ethan Hawke) yearns to get back into the cockpit of a real plane, but he now fights theTaliban from an air-conditioned box in the Las Vegas desert. When he and his crew start taking orders directly from the CIA, and the stakes are raised, Egan’s nerves-and his relationship with his wife (Mad Men’s January Jones)-begin to unravel. Revealing the psychological toll drone pilots endure as they are forced to witness the aftermath of their fight against insurgents, Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, Lord of War) directs this riveting insider’s view of 21st-century warfare, in which operatives target enemies from half a world away.

PAW PATROL MEET EVEREST – Nickelodeon

The PAW Patrol rolls out in their new PAW Patroller to save Jake when he gets stranded in the ice fields, but a new pup also pops up to lend a paw–the brave ranger, Everest! Pups and the Big Freeze- When a winter ice storm causes trouble all over Adventure Bay, Mayor Goodway’s car hits an icy patch and gets stuck in the snow. Then, a train engineer can’t break on the icy tracks as it heads for a huge snow drift on the crossing. It’s up to Ryder, Rubble, and Everest to clear out all the snow and ice!

ANNIKA BENGTZON CRIME REPORTER – MHZ

Helena Bergström stars as crime reporter Annika Bengtzon in two feature films which launched Liza Marklund’s bestselling literary character on-screen. Fearless in her search for the truth, journalist Annika Bengtzon won’t take no for an answer from anyone: not from prestigious academicians or drug dealers or from colleagues. Her passion for getting the story brings her into dangerous situations, but also allows her to peer into the heart of every crime. Annika’s not afraid to square off with hardened criminals, but her toughest challenge is trying to balance the job with her tumultuous private life.

MARIA WERN: Episodes 8 & 9 – MHZ

Eva Röse returns as police inspector Maria Wern in two new movies based on the bestselling crime novels by Swedish author Anna Jansson. After the death of her husband, Maria moves to the picturesque Swedish island of Gotland with her two children to start over. While struggling to raise two children on her own and still mourning her husband’s death, Maria manages to sustain her female perspective and approach to life in a harsh and male-dominated environment. She constantly encounters rage, death and evil but remains determined to endure what sometimes feels like an unwinnable battle.

THE CHURCHMEN – MHZ

In this intense hit drama The Churchmen, five young candidates for the priesthood arrive at Paris’ Capuchin Seminary to begin their training. They come from wildly different backgrounds – Jose, a murderer just released from prison, Yann from an idyllic upbringing in Brittany, Guillaume from a dysfunctional family, Raphael from the stratosphere of privilege, and Emmanuel, on the run from a secret he can’t even admit to himself. As they prepare to take their vows, each will see their commitment to the cross tested and whether they can withstand temptations from outside the seminary walls and from their own hidden passions. They also have to find their way through an aging institution fraught with its own weaknesses, where the discord between seminary head Father Fromenger and the ambitious Bishop Roman reaches all the way to the Vatican and could rock the strongest faith.

KABOUL KITCHEN: Season 1

Kabul, Afghanistan, 2005. George Bush is President of the United States, Jacques Chirac, President of France, and Jacky, master of his own little domain, “Kabul Kitchen.” It’s loud, it’s boozy, it’s free-spirited and it’s the only place where the expats, journalists and miltiary big-wigs can enjoy a swimming pool in the heart of the Afghan Muslim capital. Jacky’s raking in the money with the perfect gig until one single event changes everything. In walks Sophie, someone Jacky hasn’t seen for 20 years. She’s a humanitarian aid worker and she’s… his daughter. To his dismay, she’s also come to stay. They’re polar opposites – she’s all about the people and he’s all about the money. Then things start to get even more complicated: hostage taking, CIA pressure, betrayals, blackmail. Being the ultimate businessman, Jacky keeps his cool, negotiating and finessing his way out of trouble. He’s the cat that always lands on his feet, ready for the next opportunity.

I AM DALE EARNHARDT – Spike

With in-depth and insightful interviews with some of the biggest names in the sport, unforgettable highlights from Earnhardt’s greatest moments on the racetrack, and rare footage of Earnhardt’s life off the track, I Am Dale Earnhardt is an up-close-and-personal look at the man behind the iconic mustache.

THE SUMMER HOUSE – Artsploitation

The architect and head of the family Markus Larsen secretly lives out his bisexual tendencies while his wife Christine and their 11-year-old daughter Elisabeth drown in unbearable loneliness. When Markus gets to know the 12-year-old son of a colleague, he feels an immediate affection for the boy. Slowly, Markus begins to approach Johannes and creates an intimacy of which he increasingly loses control. While his wife and daughter are damagingly affected by their symbiotic relationship, Johannes is playing his own secret game which, in the end, leads to disaster for every family member.

CHICAGO FIRE: Season 3 – Universal

From Primetime Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf comes the red-hot third season of Chicago Fire. Though many of the firefighters still grieve over the loss of one of their own in a brutal explosion, they are faced with new challenges: a determined arsonist, the complications of staff romance and tension inside the house with shocking results. Watch the passion and conflicts flare amongst the brave men and women of Firehouse 51 in Season Three of Chicago Fire, presented back-to-back and uninterrupted for maximum impact!

CHICAGO P.D.: Season 2 – Universal

From Primetime Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf and the team behind Chicago Fire, comes Season Two of the gritty drama Chicago P.D. Follow Sergeant Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) and his team of detectives, including former military man Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) and Erin Lindsay (Sophia Bush), in their battles against the Windy City’s most ruthless criminals. Turf wars, a brutal home invasion, a violent heroin operation and a massive drug cartel are part of the 23 action-filled episodes. Enjoy them all back-to-back and uninterrupted.

I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS – Universal

Blythe Danner stars as a widow who’s settled into her life and her age, until a series of events propels her into a renewed engagement with the people and the world around her.

All synopsis used with permission

Posted under: Home Entertainment