Monday, December 31, 2007

2007! The Year In Review

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year and all the best for 2008.

We now remember fondly 2007, A year when:

It was the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars, the iPhone was introduced, Jade Goody became a racist, the Global War on Terror raged on, Scorsese finally got his Oscar, The worst shooting rampage in US history took place at Virginia Tech., The Sopranos ended, Madeline McCann disappeared, Tony Blair stepped down, Millions of Chinese toys are recalled, Owen Wilson gets depressed, Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize, Britney Spears shaved her head but her comeback bombed, Iran continued it’s nuclear defiance, The WGA went ton strike, Hugo Chavez will not be president for life and Benazir Bhutto was assassinated.

In 2007 we also lost Luciano Pavarotti (71), Anna Nicole Smith (39), Boris Yeltsin (76) Paul Tibbets (92), Joe Dolan (68), Evel Knievel (69), Robert Goulet (73), Lois Maxwell (80), Robert Jordan (58), Jane Wyman (90) and Steve Rodgers (90).

My predictions for 2008 are: That Time Travel becomes a reality, Extra-Terrestrials will make contact and Duke Nukem Forever will be released. (Well OK, maybe that last one was a bit far-fetched).

Happy 2008 folks!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to wish all readers a very
Merry
Christmas

to you and yours. I hope you'll all have a wonderful holiday season.

Picture: The Colonel in one of his favourite Christmas games: "Reindeer Hunter".

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Duke Nukem Forever ® NEWS!!!!

Well not news but there's a screenshot (the first since June 2001) and a teaser trailer below. Perhaps something will happen this year? We've only been waiting 10 years :)


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Machine Girl

Ya just gotta love them crazeee Japs!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Splinter Cell: Double Agent - Review

Well this took a while I'll admit (my last preview for this was in August '06). Due to some techn- ical difficulties, Bellerophron was not able to handle SC:DA as it did not have Shader 3.0 technology required by the game's engine. However it was just as well, as upon release it became clear for most gamers that installed it- it was one of the most bugged games of all time. Severe crashes, glitchy graphics, missing textures and impassible puzzles were what you had to look forward to if you were "lucky" enough to actually get the game running. It's only now a year later that many of the problems have been addressed both by Ubisoft and graphics card manufacturers. It's considered a small miracle if you can get the game running in Vista so I installed it on an XP environment on Maxximus, a few patches and driver installs later and I was good to go, I was going to find out was it worth keeping SC:DA on my shelf for a year and if all the research I undertook was going to be rewarded.

First of all, I'm pleased to say that in many ways, SC:DA is much the same as it's predecessors, the original Splinter Cell, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, in so far as you are the now legendary Sam Fisher, the NSA's greatest field operative, once again voiced by one of Canada's greatest exports: Micheal Starship Troopers Ironside himself. Your in mission operational instructions continue to be provided by the inimitable Dennis The Unit Haysbert as Colonel Irving Lambert. It's still a game of stealth where darkness silence are as much your weapons as your assault rifle, pistol and knife, however this time there's a twist: You're working for the bad guys!!!

Well when I say you're working for the bad guys I mean you're a double-agent who works for the bad guys while trying to simultan- eously complete objectives for the NSA, unfortunately these often conflict and you must decide if you should increase your influence with the terrorists so they'll trust you more by completing their heinous objectives or let them down as you covertly complete the NSA's assignments. You're not completely trusted by either side- Sam became a down and out after the death of his daughter and went off the rails which earned him a stay in the state pen so he's not 100% committed to either cause, it's only through your own actions as Sam that he will find redemption or ultimate destruction.

When the game works, it works well. Graphics are as good as the Unreal technology will allow and you find yourself in many different environments that Sam hasn't visited before, this includes Antarctica, where you make your way across the ice, swim and take down bad guys from below and assault an oil tanker, the Caribbean where you make your way through a cruise liner swarming with Mexican coast guard personnel and you rappel down a Shanghai skyscraper as beautiful fireworks ignite the skyline. However the most extraordinary levels were set in war-torn Kinshasa, The Congo where you literally have to discard a lot of the ideas you've learned in this and the previous games as you make your way in broad daylight - yes DAYLIGHT with little or no cover, avoiding or eliminating rebels or government forces who will shoot at a heavily armed Caucasian even if he's trying to steer clear of you.

The game plays very heavily on your own personality and can be somewhat psychol- ogical. Throughout the game there are moments where you much make hard choices that will obviously effect the story's course as they will seriously impact the level of trust you have with either the NSA or the terrorists bout the choices are very clearly open. Do you rescue the civilians? Do you take the sniper shot? Do you shoot your own boss in the head?!!! By the games end it's clear that whatever path you follow- Splinter Cell 5 is going to be quite different from all that have gone before...

Final Verdict: A high tech morality play and a deeply engaging and beautiful game. Fans of the Splinter Cell franchise will not be disappointed and the kind of people who absorb Alias or 24 will lap it up but if you can get your hands on a console version instead of the PC game then I'm forces to suggest those instead due to the hassle that even a PC guru like me had to get the damn thing working, it was this that lowered the score from 5-Stars.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ***1/2

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Darth Maul is Snake Eyes!

Easily the best piece of casting news since Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, it has been confirmed that former British Wushu practitioner Ray Park who brought life to the moves of the evil Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode I and the acrobatics of Toad in the X-Men has been cast as Snake-Eyes, the G.I.Joe team's resident mute ninja commando.

While often neglected in the cartoon series, despite never having had a speech bubble (or even a thought bubble) Snake-Eyes is by far the most developed character in the G.I.Joe comic-book universe along with Cobra Commander. Many issues concern his past, the accident which disfigured him and removed his ability to speak, his relationship with Storm Shadow as that character went from friend to foe to friend to foe and back to friend again (I think) and his tumultuous romantic involvement with Scarlett.

Foremost however, is Snake-Eyes one-man-army status as a Ninja with an Uzi and I'm sure that Park's talents will be streached to their limit as Snake-Eyes is the most superior martial artist in the G.I. Joe universe. Now I'd like to see them cast someone like Tony Jaa as Storm Shadow and then we'd have a serious rumble to look forward to :)

Friday, November 30, 2007

20 Bullets for Teen - Part 12 in my "Shoot First, Questions Never" series!

A teenager in Brooklyn died in a hail of 20 bullets fired by police officers who thought he was holding a gun, authorities said Tuesday.

A 911 operator heard the teen yelling that he had a gun, police said. "The circumstances of how it occurred at this point is under investigation and you can rest assured that we will take this very seriously," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Officers received the 911 call from the teen's mother around 7 p.m. Monday, police spokesman Paul Browne said. When officers arrived at the Brooklyn apartment building, they could see the 18-year-old, Khiel Coppin, pacing inside the first-floor apartment. His mother was outside. The teen's mother had attempted to have him hospitalized earlier in the day on grounds of a history of mental illness.

The teen began screaming from a window at his mother and officers before climbing out of the window and heading toward the officers holding a black object in his hand, police said. The officers ordered him to stop, Browne said. When the teen refused and kept approaching them, they opened fire, he said.

Police said it was not immediately known how many of the 20 bullets struck Coppin, who was pronounced dead at a hospital. Investigators later discovered the object the teen was holding was a hairbrush.

The moral once again is: Don't say you have a gun and brandish a dark object at armed police-officers. It was a righteous kill. Case closed.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Beowulf: The Future Of Film-making.

In the future there will be no need of live actors. People will be scanned into the 3D system and talented voice performers will sit comfortably in recording booths performing their roles in front of a big LCD. I've time traveled a couple of times into the future now and both times, in both possible futures; this is reality. One can't stop it, even if you wanted to. Any why would you? Because after seeing the magnificent spectacle that is Beowulf, one cannot doubt that this is the ultimate extension of pure art.

This movie is based on the famous Old English epic poem about a Geatish hero Beowulf who becomes a Danish king. Naturally translated by the legendary Neil Sandman Gaiman and Roger Pulp Fiction Avery for the unique form of film that this would prove to be. There is obviously some liberty taken with certain aspects of the story to make it more acceptable for the Hollywood-loving masses.

Each frame of this movie is compelling. Just knowing that each bead of sweat, strand of straw or lick of flame has a separate algorithm is staggering. One of the things more easily noticeable on movies with live actors acting against a digital character or background is the fact that much of the time you know that all they were doing is talking to a green blob against a green screen. With this technology; the "actor" is right there in the picture because both he and the background are on the same level, there is no timing to get right or post production trickery to correct the actor's performance - everything is there and it's seamless.

The voice acting is extraordinary and many of the characters are actually 3D representation of the actors. Sir Anthony Hopkins has his squint, John Malkovich has his sneer and Angelina Jolie has her... her... everything you can hope for. I think the only liberty they took was with Ray Winstone who's a bit more portly in reality - but such is the advantage of this emerging technology - one can easily correct or enhance a human's shortcomings with little effort.

Robert Zemekis has finally managed to create believable looking characters (unlike Polar Express and Monster House) with the magic that is 3D. He has achieved this in only 7 years after beginning to adopt this technology which is beyond remarkable and inspires no end of confidence in the man to spend his remaining working years achieving true photorealism and infusing 3D characters with the soul they deserve.

I do have a problem with the rating for this movie. There is an abundance of thinly veiled sexual innuendo, the violence and blood was both graphic and abundant and let's face it Angelina is stark fuckin' naked. While these factors are most welcome and secure the final rating for this splendid movie, it should have a greater audience restriction than 12PG. It's as if the censor said: "This is just a boisterous cartoon. Nothing adult here."

Final Verdict: The future of film making is fast becoming a reality. Directors: Why search for a perfect actor if you can create one yourself? See this if you want to see a cracking good fantasy tale of magical beasts, swords and sorcery.

Colonel Creedon Rating: *****

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Podge & Rodge: Irish Cultural Ambassadors

One cannot underestimate the contribution of intellectual giants, Podge & Rodge to Irish society. Beginning only as minor characters on Zig & Zag's children's daytime television show they graduated to becoming the Irish bedtime seanchaithe with their very own tales of lost honour, revenge, betrayal, lust and obligatory masturbation jokes.

In later years they've developed their very own talk show in which I've seen them reduce unsuspecting guests to sniveling wrecks, only finding their match with Brigitte Nielsen who tried to smother them both between her ample cleavage last year. Are they better than the perpetually wooden Pat Kenny? - absolutely.

Here is something from the lads that I'm sure will go down in history with the likes of Silent Night, White Christmas and Mary's Boy Child and truly sums up the evolution of our culture - I give you "There's a Dead Man Up The Chimney".

Thursday, November 22, 2007

UNETIDA warns of danger from new planet!

The United Nations Extra Terrestrial Invasion Defence Agency has been on high alert since a new planet was recently discovered orbiting a sun-like star 41 light years away, making it the first known planetary quintet outside our solar system, according to astronomers.

The newfound planet joins another four circling the star 55 Cancri in the constellation Cancer. Although it resides in the star's so-called habitable zone, a place where liquid water and mild temperatures should exist, it is more like Saturn than Earth and therefore not likely to support life.

Still, scientists have not ruled out the possibility of finding an Earth-like planet within the system as technology improves. "It's a system that appears to be packed with planets," said co-discoverer Debra Fischer, an astronomer at San Francisco State University.

"We can now say there are stars like the sun that have many worlds around them," said planetary scientist Jonathan Lunine of the University of Arizona, Tucson, who had no role in the discovery. The latest discovery shows that our solar system is not unique, scientists said.

"When you look up into the night sky and see the twinkling lights of stars, you can imagine with certainty that they have their own complement of planets," said astronomer Geoff Marcy of the University of California, Berkeley, who was part of the research.

UNETIDA Special Operations Director Lt. Colonel Creedon warned not to be so hasty in welcoming the new life-forms which will be inevitably found there or in a similar cluster elsewhere. "Scientists should leave the Big-Boys play with those "things" first, we know what we're doing," he said to press last week. Conspiracy nut jobs went apeshit as The Colonel clearly revealed he knew more than he was saying.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Prayers Answered: The Baroness will be hot!

Earlier in the nonth it was revealed that The Baroness was going to be a major player in the G.I. Joe movie. Naturally I suggested that we pray that "they'll get someone suitably hot to wear her leather". Constance even wrote the actual prayer which you can find here.

I was pleased to discover (and thanks to my former G.I. Joe CO Douglas for another confirmation) that Sienna Miller is the first confirmed cast member and will apparently "play the film's female lead, described as a raven-haired baroness and sexy femme fatale skilled in espionage" according to Variety (from that description I'm guessing Scarlett is being sidelined).

Expect a shedload of similar G.I. Joe casting revelations between now and February.

Source: Variety

Sarah Connor: Ready for some Pump-Action

When one comes across a picture of divine beauty, they should show it to the world...

I know what you're thinking; absolutely gorgeous. A foldover stock Remington 870 12-Gauge pump-action shotgun with a walnut foregrip. This picture makes me want to reach out and caress it lovingly.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles is scheduled to begin in Mid-January on Fox (dunno how the WGA strike effects it) and if the pilot is anything to go by then it should be good provided Fox don't shit-can it because it doesn't get higher ratings than 24.

Monday, November 19, 2007

American Gangster: Take a good snort!

I saw what sometimes looked like a Martin Scorcese movie this weekend, which is weird only because it was directed by Ridley Scott.

I could tell you that it was a masterpiece, an instant classic: but I'd be in error. It wasn't. Was it good? Yes. Had it been a Scorcese movie, it would have been somewhat sub-par like Casino, but it was a Ridley Scott movie who has normally been a hit (Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, G.I.Jane, Black Rain, Blade Runner) or miss (Matchstick Men, Hannibal, Alien, White Squall) director. But this is his first middle-of-the-road movie for me, the first time I'll debate if a Ridley Scott movie is to become part of the war-winning Creedon Collection.

I'm going to start with the negative this time and build it up to it's final rating. What I didn't like about this was that there was nothing supremely original about this whatsoever. We've all seen Afro-American "bad-dudes" in movies, disturbingly graphic scenes of drug abuse, corrupt cops, boyscout cops and even Armand Assante as a bad guy. Scott seemed to draw certain essences from the likes of Scorsese, DePalma and Copolla to craft a thick rick soup but it came up a weaker broth than it could have been with those ingredients, something went wrong ever so slightly and robbed what should have been something from the 21st century to stand among classics like Scarface, Goodfellas, The Godfather.

While quite a long movie, it's a tribute to Scott's talent that there was hardly a dull scenes throughout. I never worry about Denzel Washington in the acting department, he'll never let us down. I think that in a few scenes he was able to switch from Pacino to Pesci with relative ease but his character was expertly crafted as someone who succeeded because he didn't draw attention to himself. Crowe had a harder part in not straying too far from Lumet's Serpico but yet bringing depth to Richie Roberts a Cop charged with taking down the drug-lords, learing to be a lawyer and divorcing his wife all without too much support because of course no one likes a boyscout cop. It's still difficult to day which one of them is going for the Oscar, but if you can't tell, maybe that's good yes?

This movie feels like a 70's movie. The film is graded and washed a bit to evoke that feeling, yet retains the crispness afforded to the modern cinematic technology invented by George Lucas. It's exciting to all the senses visual and aural, the nuances of the police investigation paralleled the the drug importation made for gripping drama that one does not see too often. When the movie does turn violent, which is unfortunately not too often, it's real and brutal. Watch out for a scene where a cop takes out a bad-guy with a lump hammer - I actually felt that through the screen :)

Final Verdict: It's shocking to think even some of this is true. Scott expertly melds the spirit of the classic Drugs/Cops/Mafia movies into a quality tale that will keep you entertained, but it could have been more than the sum of it's parts.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****


Friday, November 16, 2007

Hammerhead Is Down!

I'm rarely moved by episodic television. I think it's very difficult for TV production values to connect with someone like me emotionally. Me, someone who has lost... so many men in the field.

The last time I clasped my hands in front of my face and widened my eyes in sheer shock and horror was during the summer of 1994 when I was watching the second season finale of Star Trek Deep Space Nine. A Jem'Hadar warship destroyed the starship Odyssey with a Kamikaze run. It was most unexpected. But at the end of the day, it was just sci-fi and you kinda need something to happen in a season finale right?

However, I admit that I was completely unprepared for the unexpected loss of Sergeant First Class Hector Williams (callsign: Hammerhead) a character on the The Unit, a series with which I can obviously relate to. It came obviously unexpectedly at the end of just the 7th episode of the third series.

In the episode, as The Unit's medic, he patched Sergeant Grey back together on a kitchen table in Beruit. Some Marines showed up to rescue them (ain't that the truth) and The Unit piled into their transport but Hector got a sniper bullet through his neck and went down instantly. What followed (in part two - Episode 8 of the series) was easily one of the finest examples of television ever as each member of The Unit played his part in seeing his friend and colleague begin his journey home to rest forever without anybody knowing what really happened to him.

It serves as a moving tribute to all those who have fallen, but we can never know how.

The Unit will continue but Hector will be missed.

Rest easy soldier.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

2IGTV Episode 52

In our first Mega-Monthly episode we've got so much stuff that we'll never fit it all into this post... ...but we'll try:

Bad news for Brett Ratner fans, good news for sane people. God is assembling Star Wars writers to bring his religion to Television. AT&T attempt daylight robbery. Tara Reid ain't stupid like Hilton and Lohan. A release date is set for Wolverine but Bubba Nosferatu falls off our radar. Turok to returns and both the Green Lantern and Max Payne are coming to Hollywood. Stallone to butcher a sacred franchise and more news on the WGA strike and it's bleak future.

All this and much more, PLUS an announcement you've all been waiting for: we've given into your incessant demands.

Grab it here.

The Colonel On Youtube


The wonderfully creative Cubaboy has digitised RTEs broadcast signal of Valour into a splendid Youtube video available through his blog here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Max Payne making a bullet-time leap to the big screen with guns akimbo!

Yes! Permanently constipated looking video-game film-noir style action hero Max Payne is being developed for the big screen.

From Variety: "Variety reports that Mark Wahlberg is in negotiations to star in 20th Century Fox's adaptation of the popular game about a "cop who is haunted by the tragic loss of his family and has little regard for rules as he investigates a series of mysterious murders." Irishman John Behind Enemy Lines Moore is set to direct, from a script by Beau Thorne."

The original Max Payne game (and it's sequel- Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne) was received well by critics with the PC and Xbox versions both achieving a high score on most gaming sites and magazines. A BBC review said the game "is an atmospheric third-person shooter, clearly inspired by the cinematography of John Woo films and The Matrix, with captivating graphics and edgy, action sequences." and praised the graphics, game play and detail in the game.

The two Max Payne game's narratives played out as a beautifully painted graphic novel with voice overs as opposed to traditional cut scenes. Between these scenes were the game's levels and action sequences which employed a heavy use of what is now known as bullet-time.

A couple of years ago, it was believed that the developers Remedy were working on Max Payne 3 for next-gen systems but later revealed that they were working on a new title: Alan Wake instead. While no official announcement was ever made, the Max Payne franchise is considered dead, or at least dormant.

Max Payne is #5 on Colonel Creedon's Top 10 Games Of All Time list. I guess if we can't have a third game then this movie will have to do us. More news when I have it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

30 Days Of Night: "Glorious use of a tractor-mounted log-cutter!"

30 Days of Night is based another graphic novel of the same name. This one is about a Vampire attack on a small town. It's not a bog-standard Vampire flick/Survival horror story, this is actually frightening, something good 'ol Hollywood hasn't produced in many years. Josh Black Hawk Down Hartnett and Melissa Alias George are the protagonists, who along with a number of townsfolk are trapped in a town in Northern Alaska that experiences a month of perpetual darkness once a year.

Darkness is of course something that Vampires love and these are some of the most vicious Vampires you've ever seen on screen, none of that Buffy/Blade/Underworld silliness here - these are the real-deal. Highly intelligent, evil to the core and possessing an undying thirst for blood and lots of it!

This brings me to the ultimately satisfying level of gore and sheer violence in this movie. It was above my expectations; A pleasant welcome surprise in the form of head-crushing, beheading, dismemberment and glorious use of a tractor- mounted log cutter all contributed the movie's high rating. One particular scene involved a small seven-year-old girl (who had been turned) being on the receiving end of a large axe - magnificent.

Director David Slade abandoned some of the basic rules: not killing children and dogs. He did however present a wonderful Chekhov's gun in the form of a automated trash compactor with giant chomping jaws moving at lightening speed, Heh heh heh! Special mention should go to actor Ben Foster for cementing his "Deranged Psycho" typecasting as previously demonstrated in Hostage and 3:10 to Yuma.

Final Verdict: These Vampires Suck!!! Muahahahaha geddit? THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO!!!

Colonel Creedon Rating: *****


Saturday, November 10, 2007

HAPPY 232nd BIRTHDAY USMC

I visited the deck of the USS Intrepid berthed in New York on November 10th 2004, a part of a holiday with some friends. I met a Marine Staff Sergeant on board who was obviously just visiting himself, showing his gal around. My buddy approached him and requested that he pose with me for this photograph. I think he just wanted to see if the Sergeant would recognise me, I dunno. As we parted company following the photo session, I said "Happy Birthday," much to the confusion of our companions. He smiled "Thank you, God bless you!"

I was asked how I knew it was his birthday? "I feel it's mine too in a way," I answered.

Since creation of this blog, I've left this day's main post in the capable hands of the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps in the form of an unedited, unabridged ALMAR (All Marines bulletin). There is a difference today however, the current Commandant General James T. Conway has moved with the times as the Marine Corps has and has created the following video to play as he speaks. Also behold the opening narration from the legendary Sam Elliot speaking the words of Captain John Thomason.

Happy Birthday Marines

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Colonel to appear on Irish National Television

On Monday November 12th as part of RTE2's "Shortscreen" series is the
Worldwide Television Premiere of John Vaughan's VALOUR.
Starring: Dave Duffy, Jonathan Ryan and ... ME!!!

Here is an excerpt from an interview in Empire done in Summer 2006:

Why were you hired for this movie Colonel:

"I'm of the belief that the director wanted some definable air of military authenticity to his production so I was hired to play the part of Private Leahy. I'm far from the cream of Ireland's acting talent boasting only that I went to the same school as Cillian Murphy (Laughter). The script was an absolute Jem, and that's what sold me. It was an honour to be a part of something which told an important fable about morals as well as highlight the unbelievable fighting conditions that these men lived through during "The Great War". They call men like me heroes now for terminating terrorists in Afghanistan and securing food and medical supplies for the starving populace of the Third World but these men that were portrayed in this film should be honoured for simply enduring their environment."

Tell us about Private Leahy, Colonel:

"My own character Private Leahy would hardly be considered a candidate for a medal as the script described him as a collector of enemy loot with an "insufferible smirk" whom had probably "never seen a German in his life" (Laughter). I think the director relished in the delicious irony of casting someone like me in this particular role (Laughter). Nevertheless I envisioned him as a charming young scamp, loved by all in his unit but sadly his innocence was brutally stripped from him as he was raped by the brutal war itself."

Do you think that you were robbed of a Best Supporting Actor nomination?

"Oh no, I don't think it would be correct to class me as a "supporting actor". Due to my own fame, it's more correct to say I make a "cameo appearance" really even though I'm credited. I'd call it akin to Ted Danson in Saving Private Ryan or Sean Connery in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. While I may only appear for 2.2 seconds, 6 minutes and 24 seconds into the film, it gave me ample time to flesh out my role as Leahy. The director gave me several attempts at evoking the pain and anguish that one of these poor souls went through, I won't spoil it as it appears on screen for you but I nailed it on the 4th take and received a standing ovation from the assembled cast and crew present. That is worth more than any award. Well maybe not my Navy Cross (Laughter).

John Vaughan's VALOUR will be shown following the 23:25 News (which follows Podge & Rodge) on RTE2 at approximately 23:55 as part of the Shortscreen series.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Eastern Promises: No "History"

After watching A History Of Violence on 2005, there was no way it wouldn't become part of "The Creedon Collection". While I never bothered with Cronenberg before that (only Scanners peaked my interest many years ago) I thought he was a bit to weird, like David Lynch; but A History... wasn't like that and thankfully neither is Eastern Promises.

Disappointingly though, Eastern Promises is only half as good. Admittadly, I'm not a great fan of movies that are about people on the other side of the law, wheather it glorifies them or not but I will say that this isn't your run-of-the-mill Mafia-type movie. While the story is expertly woven and made for compelling viewing, there just wasn't enough "meat" in it to chew on and it's pace is just too damn slow. While Viggo Mortensen is outstanding, he just doesn't have anyone to spar against dramatically as he did with the great Ed Harris in A History... (Harris actually won the Whopper Award for that particular role!!) Here Viggo plays the driver of a Russian Mafia crime boss in London who befriends a midwife played by the charming but dramatically redundant Naoimi Watts who is searching for infomation on the family of a 14-Year-Old Russian Jane Doe who died at childbirth so she can return the baby to them. The Russian boss is played underwhelmingly by Armin The Power Of One Mueller-Stahl who to be quite frank did much better in his brief role in The Peacemaker than all his screen time here. I will say that Vincent Cassel did his usual best with his part as Stahl's drunkard idiot son but the character was also handled badly and is forgettable.

Now even if it's true to life I found it moronic that an entire cadre of mafia-types hadn't one firearm between them- I don't want to see movies like this without guns it defeats the whole purpose (you can forget about explosions here too). That said there's a couple of well executed (pardon the pun - Ahem!) throat cuts using blades and even a stark naked Viggo is embroiled in a brutal and visceral bath-house brawl which is surprisingly un-homo erotic. Still between this and 300 I've seen far to much male flesh this year, I'm off to watch some lesbian porno now.

Final Verdict: Excellent performance from Viggo but brought down by poorly executed supporting characters. Brilliant knife use but brought down by lack of firearms in a movie that should have had them. Good story but slow and ultimatly failed to accomplish what A History of Violence did.

Colonel Creedon Verdict: ***


Sunday, November 04, 2007

More on G.I.Joe

Stuart Beattie’s script was turned in and Paramount are please with his revisions. Though there may be some polishing up to do, all indications are that the film will be everything that G.I.Joe fans have always wanted.

I have a few tidbits:
Like I said earlier, the Joe team, while still an international team, will be based in the United States.
The Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow story arch (Ninjas!!!!! Fuckin'-A!!) will be a main focal point and the “soul” of the film.
The villains are Destro and The Baroness (let us pray now that they'll get someone suitably hot to wear her leather yes?). Cobra Commander himself will have more of a “Emperor Palpatine”-like character arch. The Joes will be mainly facing a Cobra led by Destro and The Baroness (pictured).

But the main news is that Beattie has enlisted one of the staple groups of characters from the G.I. Joe comics and cartoons…the Dreadnoks. These mercenaries lead by the mysterious Zartan (and his brother and sister Zarana and Zandar) will be the hired muscle that Cobra will use in its day to day operations. Zartan is known for his martial arts ability as well as his mastery of disguise. Additionally, through genetic manipulation, Zartan is able to change the color of his skin to blend in with his surroundings. This is certainly more plausable than a fully uniformed Terrorist orginisation wreaking havoc upon the world I'm sure you'll agree.

No news on casting yet but I've heard George Clooney and Sam Worthington's named being bandied about. I'm sure we'll know all before filming starts February 13th 2008 for a 2009 release date for the $170m movie.

Source: ISEB, Variety

Friday, November 02, 2007

"The Man Who Won the War" passes.

On the morning of August 6th 1945, Colonel Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr. entered history by killing tens of thousands of Japanese in a single stroke; Piloting a B-29 bomber named after his mother, he dropped the deadliest weapon invented on Hiroshima.

Right: Tibbets (center) with his crew of the Enola Gay.

In the years that followed Tibbets was confounded by peoples perceptions that he was in some way disturbed by what he had done. He heard may urban legends about himself being on the verge of suicide, attending mental institutions and drinking himself silly each night since his "horrific act". In reality he had been promoted to Brigadier General and was commanding the National Crisis Center at the Pentagon before his retirement in 1966. Tibbets died at age 92 at his Columbus home after a two-month decline caused by a variety of health problems.

In 1976, he was criticised for re-enacting the bombing during an appearance at a Harlingen, Texas, air show. As he flew a B-29 Superfortress over the show, a bomb set off on the runway below created a mushroom cloud.

Former U.S. Sen. John Glenn, a former Marine fighter pilot, said people who criticised Tibbets for piloting the plane that dropped the bomb failed to recognize that an allied invasion of Japan, which the bomb helped avert, would have resulted in the deaths of several million people. "It wasn't his decision. It was a presidential decision, and he was an officer that carried out his duty," Glenn said. "It's a horrible weapon, but war is pretty horrible, too."

"I'm not proud that I killed 80,000 people, but I'm proud that I was able to start with nothing, plan it and have it work as perfectly as it did," Tibbets said once. "You've got to take stock and assess the situation at that time. We were at war. You use anything at your disposal. I sleep clearly every night."

"I think it's a disgrace that I never hear the word "hero" in conjunction with this man" said Lt. Colonel Creedon of UNETIDA. "I hope when the time comes to destroy a planet to prevent a war, there'll be people like Paul Tibbets who'll obey without conscience or question and perform their sworn duty. Amen."

Source: Yahoo News

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fo shizzle the Dogg's barking!!!

Professed pimp and criminally convicted talentless rapper Snoop Dogg has offered to solve Britain's growing gang problem if his ban on entering the UK is lifted. The "artist", who is hosting tomorrow's MTV awards in Munich, said "men in white wigs" and "laws from the 1800s" are preventing him from tackling the gang issue. He was cautioned for violent disorder and affray at Heathrow Airport last year but is convinced he is the man to solve the UK gang problem.

"I love my fans in the UK, they're really suffering by not letting me in to deal with the gang situation. I really wanted to be a voice to stop gang members, 'cause they respect me enough to get into a room with me. By not permitting me they're saying they just don't want me to solve this situation. It's not the fans, it's just a few people in white wigs and members of parliament. They got a problem because the judicial law is from the 1800s."

Dogg was banned from the UK in March this year because of his firearms offense and drug convictions. He was arrested and cautioned at Heathrow airport on suspicion of violent disorder and affray in 2006.

While the gang situation in the UK may be quite a security and public order issue, I'm hoping that the Brown-government has something better up their collective sleeves before resorting to the likes of a rap-"music" star becoming the gangland equivalent of a United Nations ambassador? I think my own proposed solution to the issue should at least be considered first. Unfortunately Mr. Brown seems a bit tight-arsed and probably wouldn't justify the expenditure for the explosives and resulting collateral damage to infrastructure. A pity, it would have been glorious...

Source: Yahoo

Man Found Naked With Inflatable Doll in Toilet

Just one of the weird stories I saw on Fox News:

A man was arrested after a government agent allegedly found him in an Iowa office building restroom lying next to an inflatable, anatomically correct doll with his pants down.

Craig S. McCullough, 47, was charged Wednesday with indecent exposure, a misdemeanor. The criminal complaint against McCullough says he was discovered in the public restroom by an agent for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, which is one of the federal agencies that rents space in the Hach office building.

McCullough was arrested, and Cedar Rapids police took him to the Linn County jail. His arraignment was scheduled later Friday, police spokeswoman Cristy Hamblin said. Another agency has an outstanding warrant against McCullough, but the reason for that warrant was not immediately clear, Hamblin said. He was still in jail Friday morning and it wasn't clear if he had an attorney.

McCullough's criminal record includes a 2004 conviction for burglarizing Just For Me bridal boutique. Shortly after the burglary, police officers found McCullough in a nearby alley, carrying a mannequin wearing a bridal dress.

Source: Fox News

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Soldier of Fortune Returning to Active Duty

Most First Person Shooters do not depict intense graphic violence. When someone is shot there is perhaps a texture change where "blood" appears on their clothing. If you're lucky, a pool of blood may appear under a fallen body. Many games today feature impressive rag-doll physics but still simply react in a manner of jerking the "body" around the floor if you deliberately empty the clip of your assault rifle into your slain opponent; it most certainly doesn't react like it would in real life I.e. explode against the wall with blood, flesh, bone and internal organs freed from the confines of the body as you spit white hot leaden death at it. This tame approach taken by most developers has ensured that FPS games are at least released everywhere as very few of them are banned even in the countries with the "stupid" laws like Germany and Australia unlike Manhunt, Postal or Grand Theft Auto.

With the dawn of the new millennium, Raven Software created Soldier of Fortune, ranked #6 in Colonel Creedon's Top 10 Games Of All Time. Its plot may well have paled in comparison to most other games and its graphics were pretty standard for the time but its hook was that the whole game was a gun-porn lovers wet-dream. It was one of the first games (with the like of Counterstrike and Rainbow Six) to take almost all it's arsenal from real world weapons as opposed to the previous efforts of the genre like Doom, Quake and Duke Nukem 3D and it also had GHOUL. From Wikipedia: "The GHOUL engine enables depiction of extreme graphic violence, in which character models are based on body parts that can each independently sustain damage (gore zones). There are 26 zones in total. A shot to the head with a powerful gun will often make the target's head explode, leaving nothing but the bloody stump of the neck remaining; a close-range shot to the stomach with a shotgun will leave an enemy's bowels in a bloody mess, and a shot to the nether regions will cause the victim to clutch his groin in agony for a few seconds before keeling over dead. It is possible to shoot off an enemy's limbs (head, arms, legs) leaving nothing left but a bloody torso."

...as I said. It's #6 in my top 10 games :)


The third installment will be entitled Soldier of Fortune: Pay Back. Disappointingly franchise creator Raven Software isn't making Pay Back, that duty has fallen to an Activision Value studio located in Slovakia. But Raven and a number of other internal Activision studios, including Treyarch and Call of Duty maker Infinity Ward, are said to be contributing some technology and input to the game's development.

Regardless of who's making Pay Back, it has all the hallmarks of the Soldier of Fortune series. Real-world weaponry, story of international turmoil and intrigue, and of course, an ultra detailed dismemberment model that lets you blow the arms, legs, and heads off of your scores of opponents. The new engine can model the break points on enemies' bodies with greater detail than Raven's old GHOUL system used in Soldier Of Fortune II: Double Helix. A leg, for instance, is now broken up into a foot, ankle, lower leg, and two sections of thigh. Headshots don't just kill an enemy, they cause the head to burst in a fount of blood and cranial matter.

Pay Back's story departs from the 'ol John Mullins saga in so far as you're a soldier of fortune and you and your partner have been contracted to head to the Middle East, retrieve a Chinese government official in possession of sensitive intel, and escort him to safety. But no sooner do you complete this mission than your "partner" turns on you, kills your ward, and sets off a whole string of international incidents. You'll spend the rest of the game fighting through more fictionalised Middle Eastern locations, as well as levels in places like Burma and Russia, as you track down the bad guy (or guys--you know there are always more of them) and try to restore global order. Let's hope somebody is paying you handsomely for going to all this trouble.

Before each mission you can select a primary and secondary weapon, a sidearm, and a grenade type. There will be around 40 guns in the final game, and you can customize them with add-on grips, scopes, grenade launchers, and other gear that you'll unlock more of as you progress through the game's 12 missions.

It has already been given a de facto ban in Australia. I'll obviously be "investigating" this further and I'll let you know how it turns out.

Source: Gamespot.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Resident Evil: Extinction - Exploding Crows!

Based on the popular Capcom video game Biohazard, or in this part of the world: Resident Evil; The Resident Evil movie trilogy started out on a high note with the delectable Milla Jovovich as Alice in a slinky red dress and army boots who teamed up with Michelle Rodriguez kicking zombie ass in a vast underground complex. The second movie Resident Evil: Apocalypse didn't live up to the same standard but was still a great urban-zombie-combat movie which teamed up Milla with Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine.

Written by Paul W.S. Anderson and directed by the much underrated Russell Highlander Mulcahy, Resident Evil: Extinction is a grim horror-thriller that gives exactly what the other two entries did: monsters, gore, and a heavily armed Milla Jovovich with her lithe beauty and limited but enthusiastic action moves, a video-gamer's dream date. In this installment she brandishes dual-Kukri (a Dungeons & Dragon's favourite), and employs her psychic powers to destroy a flock of zombie-crows.

Billed as the the third (and was supposed to be final) part of the video game based trilogy. It departs from it's predecessors only as now our heroine is on the move, a nomad who rides the sands of a perpetual desert that much of the planet has been reduced to. The hot piece of ass Alice teams up with this time is Claire Redfield (played by Ali Larter of Heroes), leader of a ragtag Mad Max-esque bunch of similar nomads in an endless search of food and fuel to keep them ahead of and out of the way of the zombie menace.

Thankfully the zombies are still ridiculously easy to kill, forcing the filmmakers to resort to the kind of creative brutality that merits an R rating. The impalements, beheadings, incinerations, blood feasts and wholesale obliterations that punctuate the movie serve as a reminder what makes life worth living.

As a note for the future: Jeremy Bolt, producer of the Resident Evil franchise said last week that the filmmakers aren't actively working on a fourth installment in the series, but haven't ruled one out either. "We've been very pleased with the third part of the franchise, and it's done so well. Certainly we'd like to look at it, but I wouldn't want to say we were or weren't doing anything at this point. It's too early."

Final Verdict: Better than the last one but the original still holds the crown. Any movie that splatters zombie-brains on a camera lens is going to be fuckin' awesome!

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****1/2

Thursday, October 25, 2007

24 Day 7: Holy Shitballs!!!

Jack Bauer is back in 2008 and he's up against an old friend.




Note: 20th Century Fox are removing these videos from Youtube so you might find this search link useful. Click by "date added" once there to find the latest upload before Fox's lawyers do...

If anyone gets an official Fox video working; post the link in the comments.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Black Sheep: Baaaaah!

Rarely does one find a foreign film with such grace and soul, that will define a genre of drama and deliver a depth of human characterisation not seen since the days of... Aw fuckin' hell you've already seen this big picture of a rabid Zombie-sheep ripping the throat of a Nip and you know I'm taking complete piss.

This New Zealand Horror-Comedy is not only filled with Sheep-love and Sheep-farting gags but also carnivorous rabid zombie-sheep.

The only thing that would have made it better was if the military were called in to quell the sheep uprising, oh and if the sheep could fly that'd have been cool too.

What more is there to say: "Baaaah!"

Colonel Creedon Rating: ***1/2

Monday, October 22, 2007

Neverwinter Nights 2: Betrayer Unmasked Early

In the days of waiting for many years for games (Duke Nukem 4Ever - Yes I am waiting for it, my allegiance to the Duke will never falter) and even Expansion Packs for games (Half Life 2: Episode 1) and watching those tentative release dates slip; it's a bit shocking to get a game in the post before (what I thought was) the release date itself. Normally I'd wait 5 working days after the release date for a game to get it from some warehouse in Germany or wherever to this: the land of the bogs and the little people. So when Neverwinter Nights2: Mask Of The Betrayer showed up on October 4th, a week earlier than expected I was a bit worried that it was either crap or worse: full of bugs.

I need not have worried. Online reviews have been as favourable as an add-on pack would get around the 8.5/10 mark. A check on trusty Wikipedia for MOTB revealed that the release date was brought forward for Europe (it was closer to the 9th October the US date the previous time I checked). While it's indeed nice that we get something first, it caused two problems. When shit like this happens, folk get worried or apprehensive- not good for sales figures, there should have been more publicity. As a registered Atari user and reader of gaming magazines, I was still unaware of the change in release date up to the point where I opened the package. What also bothers me is that to the best of my knowledge- the US fiscal year ends on September 30th so don't all the European sales figures for MOTB get calculated for FY07 now while the US/AU sales figures are under the FY08? If someone could explain why Atari would have done that let me know please.

As for the game itself well, I've given some details previously, and as I've no time to get with it at the moment, I don't really want to learn all that much about it myself before I play it, so I'm not reading any reviews. What I do know is:

Obsidian Entertainment wanted to tie up the loose events of Neverwinter Nights 2 but also wanted to make it a darker and more personal story. The game begins with the player being woken up in a mysterious underground cavern without his Silver Shard but now with a sucking void that should be fatal but isn't. This is what drives the action of the rest of the game. The player is faced with both literally and symbolically filling the hole in their soul.

The game is set in in Rashemen and Thay, two warring countries in the Forgotten Realms' Unapproachable East. Those that recall Minsc and his miniature giant space hamster Boo from Baldur's Gate may recall he's from Rashemen. Adventuring in the Unapproachable East is much less about killing tons of monsters (though there's no shortage of that) than digging through the layers of subterfuge and masks that hide the truth.

Hmmm... OK.. I'll let you know what it's all about once I've completed it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

If dreams come true...

Civilian Overseer forwarded me on this Threat Level article from Wired.com. Basically it follows a quick investigation into the constitutionality of President Bush retaining power during an "emergancy" and diferring the election due to the threat of terrorism.

It seems a bit far fetched... ...or is it? If only there was some way to help my pal and ensure the continued safety of the entire world since he came to power!

Source: Wired, Civvy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dnevnoy dozor (Day Watch): What the fuck?

This mediocre sequel to the extraordinary 2005 Russian fantasy movie Nochnoy Dozor (Night Watch) which earned itself a Whopper Award displays very little of the charm of it's predecessor.

Night Watch was full of visionary ideas many of which put the likes of The Lord Of The Rings and The Matrix to shame, especially in the special effects department: There were sexy babes that transformed into wildcats, lads who could flip artic' trucks with an hand and a murky mosquito-infested parallel world called ''The Gloom'' where evil ruled. For the most part, the sheer spectacle excused the fact that the story was so confusing: something about a guy named Anton caught between light and darkness or something along those lines *shrugs*.

Rather than answer any questions posed by the original, the sequel creates a whole host of new ones and to be perfectly honest, I couldn't follow the fuckin' thing at all. It borrows an idea from The Lord Of The Rings (or every other fantasy tale) and rests the fate of the world on a magical artifact: in this case a piece of chalk that can rewrite history. It also features a comedic inspired male/female body swap which serves no useful purpose whatsoever.

I will say that the Cinematography and Special Effects are outstanding, but other than want to see what Russia can do with a budget there's little else here for anyone. Maybe it's because it's the middle part of a trilogy- a bridge between the beginning and ending or in this case Night and Dusk.

Final verdict: It delivers even more cutting-edge eye candy than it's predecessor but resists all attempts at understanding.

Colonel Creedon Rating: **