Sunday, July 29, 2007

Favreau knocks it out of the park (just with a trailer)!

Comic-Con, basically a convention for comic-book loving weirdos has just been held in San-Diego. And for the first time, I really wished I had been there. Not to see, The Dark Knight trailer, or to see Zach Quinto and Leonard Nimoy address the Trekkies. No it would be to see the first ever showing of footage from Iron Man.

Jon Favreau himself was on hand with some of the cast to present a short feature. "I think we worked the room really well. The thing is, get on get off… Show them something. Hit them in the face, and then just get out of there" he said in a later interview.

The footage features Stark, his accident, his excape from captivity in the Mk1 armour and ariel acrobatics of the more familiar red & gold design. "We did a mad scramble to get a couple shots going with ILM and they’ve been very cooperative, but if we were relying completely on the CG we wouldn’t have had anything; it would have been a little PowerPoint show and tell. Here we could actually begin to tell a story, because all that stuff… that’s all in camera…" Fav said.

See it for yourself here (please understand this was taken with a camcorder off to the side but you get the idea).

What I do want you all to hear is the cheer. The cheer when Iron Man is revealed. The cheers when he does some fantastic shit on screen. Captain America will never get a cheer like that, he's just not cool enough. Stark comes accross as a complete asshole in this. And it's right, Stark is an asshole, he's real. He's more real than any comic-book character in existence. And he supports the government that protects you. He's a patriot, not a traitor.

Simpsons Movie is fun, but sadly lacking

A fantastic score from Hans Zimmer and nifty new shadows on the animation couldn't change the fact that this was just an extended episode of the TV series. As Homer himself suggested to us before the excellent title sequence: "You're all mugs who've paid good money to sit there and watch something we do on TV for free." I thought it was funny at the time but now I see that Homer was being deeply prophetic.

That said, even though it was an "epic" episode and not the revolutionary extravaganza promised for the last four years, it was still a rather amusing "epic" episode. The laughs didn't not really let up and some of the gags were gems including an appearance from Tom Hanks, a suicidal bomb disposal robot and Fox advertising during the movie. My favourite was the fleet of a thousand Ospreys carrying a dome to encase the pollution-ridden Springfield!

I wasn't as disappointed in this as I was with the Mr. Bean movie. Mr. Bean was, is and will be the funniest thing on Television for all time. But he only works in half-hour doses, any more than two episodes at a time and you want to see something else. They tried something new with Bean by Americanising his adventure and failed miserably- but they tried something new! There was no such effort injected into this film and that's what's really disappointing.

However, this is still The Simpson's, it's fun, watch it on DVD at Christmas.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ***1/2

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Quinto is Spock!

It has been rumoured for some time, but it was just confirmed that Zachary Quinto (Sylar on Heroes / Kaufman on 24: Day 3) is the new Mr. Spock.

I'm very pleased. Quinto is perfect for the role.

I can also tell you that Leonard Nimoy himself will also appear. As who is unknown at this point. Kirk and Bones have yet to be cast.

More soon.


The Iron Gauntlet

Thanks to my old college buddy Declan who sent me a link to this picture of Robert Tony Stark Downey Jnr. with a first look at Iron Man's armoured gauntlet.

Cool eh?

Source: Gizmondo, Declan

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Transformers: The Greatest Movie of the Decade

I had no idea it was going to be this good. Seriously. I mean what did we have? Giant robots that looked vaguely like some plastic toys I had from about '84 to '88 that had a tie-in comic book and cartoon series? Alright- so there was some nostalgic value there much like the upcoming G.I.Joe, I bit. Then Mike Bay comes along, fair enough he's already cemented himself as one of the greatest motion picture directors of of the past 20 years, if not all time. But even I was sceptical, even of the wondrous talent of Bay that he could pull this off. The Island did not achieve the status of The Rock, Armageddon or Con Air and Bad Boys 2 was pale in comparison to it's predecessor so I'll admit that I was beginning to think that Mr. Bay may have started to loose it.

Never in my entire life have I been so wrong.

I said it in the title: Transformers is the Greatest Movie of the Decade, I offer Spider-Man, Mission: Impossible 2, 300, Underworld, Gladiator and The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King as examples of previous movies which I would assume would be contenders for that title (there are others but not many) certainly there are not as many between 2000 and 2007 as there were between 1990 and 1997, but for now Transformers is king.

Michael Bay returns to Armageddon form (he even ingeniously includes a character line "This is better than Armageddon" as the Autobots land on earth). There is more military hardware on show here than Pearl Harbor, Bay runs the camera almost sexually over aircraft, artillery and modern weapons that gave me an instant hard-on. His obligatory silhouetted Black helicopters in slow-motion and his almost homo-erotic framing of a group of military-types walking towards the camera in slo-mo as well made their welcome return. I think there was more military tech-geek-talk in this movie than any of his previous projects a credit to the advisers I posted about earlier.

The Comic-Book had Buster, and the TV show had Spike so when Shia LeBeouf was cast I wasn't as concerned as others as it was plainly obvious that the producers were following the adventure of young Sam Witwiky which was more in keeping with the source material than just following the military response to the Transformers, not that we had a shortage of that however. LeBeouf had a good part in Constantine and after seeing how good he was in Transformers, I have no problem with his appearance in Indy 4.

Josh Duhamel (Danny in Las Vegas) who reminds me as a sort of cross between Johnny Knoxville and Timothy Olyphant is Captain Lennox, our human "Hero" character who is pivotal in the human's fight against that which they thought impossible. Other juicy parts are dished out to John Voight, Kevin Dunn, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson and even the excellent Glenn (Aaron Pierce in 24) Morshower gets to play a Marine Colonel :) However even though the movie has all these well known names/faces, I'm compelled by some strange force to post only this picture of the aptly named Megan Fox.

But enough about the "fleshlings", what about the giant, transformin' fuckin' robots???! Well if you remember that advertisement for... was it a Citroen?- who gives a shit? You know the one I'm on about with the transforming car. Well the transformations in this film are pretty much like that, but in a larger scale and much faster but with guns and weapons. They don't hold hand-weapons like they did in other incarnations, now the weapons are built in and like pop out of their arms or their arms transform into weapons which makes a lot of sense. Voice acting was top notch with the much hyped appearence of both Peter Cullen - the original voice for Optimus Prime and Hugo Weaving himself as the evil Megatron. Explaining anything else would lessen the impact of what you will see on screen but safe to say that these guys ain't those toys you had as kids. In many ways they're better.

The script was a gem, the perfect pace, balance of humour, action and drama, a credit to writers Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, their faithfulness to the "essence" of Transformers while updating it for the 21st century has filled me with hope for their next effort - Star Trek. Steve The Island Jablonsky, through his magnificent music makes no secret that he's one of Hans Zimmer's trained composers and it's as if he channelled the Prince of Film Music himself to create a rich, multi-textured musical adventure of his own behind the action, yet accompanying it perfectly. The pyrotechnics on show here are pretty much what you'd expect from the director of The Rock, Armageddon, The Island, Bad Boys, Pearl Harbor etc. and it surprises most folk that Bay's budget was only $147m compared with $210m for the woeful X-Men: The Last Stand or even an insane $258m for the piece of shit Spider-Man 3, considering the flawless quality of and the sheer amount of CGI!! It just goes to show what you can do without an A-list actor inflating the budget beyond insanity.

The only possible problem I've scraped from the bottom of the barrel from this movie is that Voight as SECDEF Keller tries to use a mobile in the National Military Command Center. I can guarantee that mobiles are prohibited (even to the likes of me and even the SECDEF) inside such a facility. That aside, the analyst smuggling a memory card out of the NMCC was a bit far-fetched but I'll forgive it as a) it advanced the plot and b) The theft was discovered and an appropriate response was issued.

Finally, if you see only one movie this decade - I order you to go now and witness a true masterwork of motion picture presentation, and join Michael Bay on a virtual roller coaster ride the like of which you have never experienced.


Special Note: Star Wars Revenge of the Sith is deliberatly omitted from the lists that appear here as it's not a film, it's a religion.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

2IGTV Episode 45

In episode 45, we deal with our comments first and then have some news on the Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek and Flash Gordon (right) front. Germany so enraged by cultist Tom Cruise's desire to film in Berlin they give him $6.5m! Zemeckis' Beowulf may be something to see. Guess who wants to remake Bullitt? The Man of Steel's sequel is a go and Alec Baldwin demands you boycott his terrible movie.

Also, Mark reveals why he's so enamoured with the Disney business model and why ditching their substandard direct-to-DVD line could bring the Mouse House crashing down. Also The Colonel mentions Bruce Campbell's new show Burn Notice one too many times.

All this and much more here.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Military was heavilly involved in Transformers

Naturally I'm excited about the Transformers movie which opens here on Friday 27th. After seeing what I've posted below on recently, my mind was at rest that the military aspects at least were being overseen by the military liaison office. You see, Hollywood’s depiction of the U.S. military is often laughably inaccurate to those who wear the uniform, including myself who gets quite irate when I see a military-mistake on screen. This however is not for lack of effort on the part of the military services and the Defense Department. Bay has gathered a lot of respect from people in the military since his geek-like attention to historical detail in Pearl Harbor and it seems like the liaison offices will bend over backwards for him now and not just because he's one of the greatest motion-picture directors ever, but because Bay's movies generate a shitload of dough for military coffers to fund the necessary campaign against terror around the world. Read on:

To achieve maximum accuracy in movies and on television, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and DoD have liaison offices to help guide filmmakers through the process. The services operate independently of each other in this endeavor but share office space on the same floor of a Los Angeles building. The Defense Department’s entertainment media division is run from the Pentagon.

“If we decide to cooperate on a project, we stay with them throughout all the scenes that have military or DoD depictions,” said Army Lt. Col Paul Sinor, a public affairs officer with that service’s Office of the Chief of Public Affairs. This task covers a broad spectrum, from making sure uniforms and equipment are correct to coordinating filming on military bases, said Air Force Capt. Christian Hodge, a project officer with the Air Force Entertainment Liaison Office. Both Sinor and Hodge worked on Transformers, directed by Michael Bay.

Military involvement with a film project normally begins with script review. All projects must ultimately get DoD approval to move forward. “The first thing we look at in the screenplay is the portrayal of the military to make sure it’s realistic, obviously within the parameters of the script,” Sinor said. “Transformers is obviously science fiction. The Army has never fought giant robots, but if we did, this is probably how we’d do it.”

After reviewing the script, military liaison officers meet with producers or writers to make suggestions about how to ensure the military portrayal is as accurate as possible. “Sometimes the writer or producer really want those suggestions, other times there are creative differences and they want to keep it the way it was originally written,” Hodge said.

Sometimes filmmakers will get permission to film military ships and aircraft as they perform their regular missions. “But more often, the director wants specific shots, so then we go through the process of billing the production company,” he said. For example, aircraft are billed at an hourly rate, and each comes with a different price tag. “We’ve got F-22s that run about $25,000 an hour to T-38s that are about $3,500,” Hodge said. "We make lots of money, but we spend lots of money too.”

Sinor stressed that no expense is ever incurred by the government or taxpayers. Servicemembers who serve as extras are on leave and are paid by the production company, as are crews who fly the aircraft. He also said military participation in films takes a back seat to mission responsibilities. A National Guard unit that was supposed to participate in the filming of Transformers pulled out at the last minute because of a mission requirement, he said.

Another aspect of Sinor’s job is ensuring that actors look and act like the real deal. He took a group of actors from Transformers to Fort Irwin, in the California desert, to get up to speed on how to properly handle a weapon, move across open areas, and clear buildings. “The kinds of things the script called for,” he said. Actor Josh Duhamel, said this was a valuable part of the preparation process. “We wanted to look as realistic as possible and do the military proud. That was our main focus,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for the people in the military.”

Ian Bryce, one of the producers of Transformers, said DoD and the services have been good at providing what the filmmakers need to make the movie work.

“Without the superb military support we’ve gotten on this film, it would be an entirely different-looking film,” Bryce said. “Once you get Pentagon approval, you’ve created a win-win situation. We want to cooperate with the Pentagon to show them off in the most positive light, and the Pentagon likewise wants to give us the resources to be able to do that.”

Hodge agreed and said it’s been great working with both director Bay and producer Bryce. “They’ve been very receptive to a lot of our suggestions,” he said. “They took into consideration several of our suggestions and added some lines to the script to make it more accurate. That’s pretty cool.”


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Prince of Film music scores The Simpsons!

When I saw that they were doing a Simpsons movie a while back the last thought I gave was to the composer of it's score. It's normally something which I would take great interest in depending on the type of movie. An animated comedy farce wouldn't be high on my list of musical expectations like say: Steve Jablonsky's Transformers or John Debney's Iron Man next year, but when I saw who was composing the music for The Simpsons this year, I did take notice.

Academy Award winning composer Hans Zimmer has crafted the music for the first full-length feature based on Matt Groening's successful television series. A soundtrack album to be released on July 24th will feature Zimmer's take on the music from the series. "It's such an iconic part of today's culture," says Zimmer. "And I had to try and express the style of The Simpsons without wearing the audience out with too much attitude!"

On July 31st a special Limited Edition will be made available in a bright pink donut case, complete with multicolored sprinkles, which is supplied in a classic bakery take-out box. The special Limited Edition was created because, according to Zimmer "We wanted to have some fun and really try to do something that would appeal to the fans and be hard to miss in the record store."

Zimmer is no stranger to animated comedy with the scores to Madagascar and Shark Tale under his belt but The Simpsons is an icon of western culture and viewed worldwide so it'll be intresting to see how he improves upon Danny Elfman's opening theme as he did for Lalo Schifrin's Mission: Impossible theme and Barry Gray's Thunderbirds when they went to the big screen.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair

The unrated full version of Quentin Tarantino's violent masterstroke Kill Bill has been screened only a handful of times to incredible reception and is presented uncut and in full color throughout. The two chapters were edited together to make the 3+ hour saga more of a singular experience. Due to certain "problems" with Miramax's parent company, this complete cut of the Kill Bill story was shelved for years and the planned theatrical run was killed. recently added a listing for the long-awaited, re-edited, single-film version. The site lists the DVD release date for Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair as November 6, 2007, leading me to wonder if The Bride might not be back to her bloody ways by Christmas.

Little is known about the exact details of the Whole Bloody Affair, but apparently it's going to include some interesting new reworkings that Tarantino wasn't permitted to do before. The set specifies 4 discs so I'd assume two bonus discs with loads of extras, and some additional and/or alternate material.

Note that this refers to a Region 1 [US] release.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Lets face it, most people are sick to death of "even more than ultra-ultra-realistic" World War II scenarios in computer games. I know I am. Don't get me wrong, everyone should play them to experience what life was like on the Battlefields of WWII and appreciate the daring and heroism of those who preserved the world from evil between '39 and '45, but after several incarnations of Medal Of Honor, Call of Duty and Wolfenstein- I've killed more Nazis then were killed in the actual war - enough already.

Infinity Ward had two hit "games of the year" with the fantastic Call Of Duty that stole the WWII FPS crown from Medal Of Honor and succeeded in crafting a superior sequel in Call of Duty 2. For some reason which seemed inexplicable at the time - they outsourced Call Of Duty 3 which was a console only game and it failed to impact at all on a tired market. It only became known recently why Infinity Ward had outsourced COD3 - They were busy working on

Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Infinity Ward, has returned to the fourth iteration in the series. Gone, thankfully, is the familiar setting of World War II, replaced with a fictional modern war. That means all of the insane attention to detail paid towards accurately representing WWII weapons and vehicles is now being brought to the high-tech age of the new millennium.

With this announcement, many thought COD4 was going to become tactical, but no. It plays much like previous Call of Duty titles but could possibly yet compete against Ubisoft's Tom Clancy dynasty. Infinity Ward has spent the past two years improving its technology to create a far prettier game and they have created an all-new graphics engine that's impressive in motion. Dynamic lighting effects combined with wind and rain effects create a dramatic look, a physics system allows you to do things like shoot tires off a car or blow it up with a few well-placed shots in the right spot. There's an astounding level of detail in both the environments and the characters. You'll see beams of sunlight breaking in through the cracks, you'll see dust particles in the air and a smoke trail from a rocket launcher. The sun will rise or set during a level with realistic lighting effects so that the transition from dusk to dawn appears natural. There's impressive damage modeling on derelict cars and you can toss a grenade in and blow the doors off. While it may not be quite as jaw-dropping as Crysis, the game looks extremely impressive running on the PC.

As for the characters, each has full self-shadowing and a level of detail never-before-seen in Call of Duty. Get close to a soldier and you can actually read the time on his watch, breathe down his neck and you will see realistic-looking flesh, you might even see them sweat.

What's truly impressive is that all of this works in a frantic environment. The chaos of modern warfare has U.S. Marines (now see why I'm excited) screaming ooh-rah as gunfire echoes through the ruins of a Middle Eastern city. There are explosions left and right, enemies around every corner, helicopters spinning out of control and crashing in a fiery wreck. And all of it happens at 60 frames per second. The screenshots here are exactly what the game looks like.

COD4: Modern Warfare is set in a world where a quartet of evil men threatens global peace. The Four Horsemen, as they are called, must be stopped. To do so, you'll do some globe trotting through Russia and the Eastern Block and also through the Middle East. As is standard in the Call of Duty series, you'll see the war through the eyes of several different soldiers. However, instead of working from one national campaign to the next, the viewpoints will switch around more frequently and be strongly tied to the narrative. COD4 plays out like a TV miniseries with one cohesive story tying the various viewpoints together.

The bulk of your missions will be either as a mustachioed member of the British SAS or as a U.S. Marine. You'll notice a difference between the two well beyond a change in uniform and standard weaponry. The Marines are loud, with AI partners shouting a lot, cursing excessively, and being a bit looser even in the heat of combat (which isn't too realistic considering they're supposed to be Force Recon - but we'll let that slide for now). The SAS tend to be a lot quieter and calmer on missions and, at least outwardly, appear more professional.

The thing that really changes up COD4 is the weaponry and equipment. While World War II may have been the stomping ground of "The Greatest Generation", modern warfare has all the cool gadgets. One such weapon is the Javelin - aim it at a tank and wait for it to lock on. Launch and a rocket fires at a higher arc and comes straight down onto the top of the tank. We will finally have superior Night Vision functionality. In COD4 NV does a bit more as with it on, you can see the UV laser light from your gun -- and anyone else's. You can also see the glint tape on friendly soldiers.

There are a number of huge trends in modern videogames, and two of the biggest are undoubtedly sandbox gameplay and the move towards fully destructible environments. However, Grant Collier, the Studio Head of Infinity Ward says that they're not sold on either trend "everyone right now is demanding sandbox gameplay and total destructibility. We personally don't think that it's that fun, I mean, 'go anywhere! Do anything!' That's just - I think it's a buzzword. Total destructibility can really ruin the gameplay. There's so many spectacular moments that you have when you funnel the action into certain corridors, so I think right now it's a fad, and the fad will pass, we're not going to be bite on in it - we want the game to be fun first, and destructibility comes second." While this seems at odds with any number of next-gen games in development it's refreshing to see Infinity Ward staying focused on what it does best - tight, fast-paced cinematic action.

No one was quite sure what to expect from Call of Duty's move to modern warfare. No one should be worried that Infinity Ward has lost its magic. While the switch to a modern setting changes some aspects of the series, those changes will most certainly be for the better. Modern Warfare lets you feel the rattle of a machinegun in your hands and hear the frenzy of war at a higher fidelity than previous CODs. Over the past few years, Infinity Ward has made a habit of not unveiling its games too far in advance so we won't have too long to wait for Call of Duty 4. The game is due for release in late 2007, and if it's anything like the company's last few games, it should shape up as one of the year's best titles.

Source: IGN, GameSpy

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

New Transformers UK Comic

Now this is surprising. The original Transformers UK couldn't afford the artists and writers to produce new material each week a couple of years before the Marvel title finished and now Titan is bringing out a new book with the former creative team?

On the 18th of January 1992 the final issue (#332) of Marvel UK's greatest comic-book success The Transformers was published. I had collected each issue from #77 (September '86) onwards and was thrilled by the adventures of the "Robots in Disguise" as I played out the comic book adventures with my own Transformers in plastic form each week. What is facinating about the weekly UK version of the Transformers comic book is that it featured reprints of the monthly US book with work from the best of British comic book talent at the time in the form of artists Ron Smith, Staz, Andy Wildman and the greatest of them all Geoff Senior as well as writer extraordinaire Simon Furman. To this day American comic-book collectors pay enormous sums of money for Transformers UK books citing their superiority over their own books - I sold my own collection on lots to them a few years ago for almost a grand. In the Transformers hayday the comic book was the best on the market. However as with all things, times change and the market changed with it. Furman and the artists began to create their work for the US book in the late 80's and the UK book began reprinting the US book which was now being created by the UK team so when the US book ceased publication in '91 it was not long before the material for the US book dried up too.

With the resurgence of popular culture in opening years of the new millennium, both deceased Marvel titles Transformers and G.I.Joe were purchased by independent US publishers Dreamweave and Devil's Due respectively. I allowed both of them to gain their market footing before I "investigated" and I discovered that while G.I.Joe had taken a more adult turn in it's direction and respected (and continued) the rich 20-year continuity created by Larry Hama - the Transformers on the other hand, had "rebooted" and was telling a different version of the events of the G1 Transformers without the same respect for previous work. It was at this point while I was happy to rekindle my association with the Joes, I also vowed to sever all ties with Transformers.

I was perplexed as well as astounded that a new Transformers UK book was being published by Titan and I was delighted to see that one of my favourite artists of all: Geoff Senior (some new work pictured right) would return to do what he did best. Then I remembered my vow and wept, for there are some things that are now, much, much too late for....

Sources: AICN,

Monday, July 09, 2007

Die Hard 4.0, no patch required

I'll admit I was a little apprehensive about seeing this "diluted" Die Hard sequel. There had been many reports in the web that Fox had insisted that Live Free Or Die Hard (or Die Hard 4.0 in the real-world) to make it more audience friendly and that that audience should include thise who were not yet of age to appreciate the artistic beauty of the original antics of John McClane. In other words this sequel would would be geared for a 12PG rating and so could not have the amount of blood or even McClane's catchphrase: "Yippie-Ki-Yay-Mother-Fucker". I was devestated and even threatened not to attend it in the cinema. However once it was released and people started raving about it I said "What the hell" and went anyway.

Boy was I glad I did. It was awesome. Far better than I could have ever predicted and easily one of the best movies of the year. I asked myself how I could have been thinking about not seeing this in the cinema.

Now, the whole plot was ridiculous but that's more than acceptable for an action-movie especially a Die Hard but no one can deny that director Len Wiseman led Bruce and ourselves on a roller coaster ride that not for one second did the action and suspense let up. While Bruce is 52 and counting now he was still able to "do the shit" as well as stars several years younger and I daresay if they don't let the franchise wallow like they did after Die Hard With A Vengeance then he probably has enough for another one.

It wasn't too long ago that I saw an "older" Bruce Willis escort the comedy relief 16 Blocks for the duration of that movie but it was a thriller and a damn good one but this is an action movie. So while the same concept is used it must be executed completely differently. Justin Mac-Guy Long is the escorted here and plays the part of nerdy cybergeek very well. Is a bit more than the normal "Tough-Guy and Brain-Box" formula and adds to the enjoyment of the movie.

Timothy Deadwood Olyphant, while not as colourful as previous Die Hard villains, plays his part adequately as the mastermind behind the cyber-terrorism and I look forward to seeing him as 47 in the Hitman movie later. Maggie Q and even Kevin Smith have memorable supporting roles as well. One notable henchman is District B-13's Cyril Raffaelli who dazzles us with more Parkour- one of the very few useful things to come out of France.

Len Wiseman has returned this movie to the roots of action movie making and opted for a very low use of CGI in favour of traditional shots involving real vehicles, stunts and situations. He has improved on his success with the Underworld movies and I look forward to his next presentation.

Marco Beltrami did a superb job of taking the reigns of the musical score from the late Michael Kamen who scored the previous 3 Die Hards. He adopted some of Kamen's style motifs as he was obviously inspired by them but it's most certainly a Beltrami score and enhances the movie's pace and enjoyment exponentially.

A few imperfections have prevented this from getting my coveted 5-Star+ rating. Obviously the lack of blood and profanity but there were a few nitpicks that I wasn't pleased with, first and foremost there was the depiction of the U.S. Marine F-35b Lightening II aircraft (which is real but won't be in the field until 2012) and it's pilot who was depicted as a bit of a moron- but I'll let you judge for yourself.
Also, for some reason McClane is constantly being referred to as "Detective" when he's in fact a "Lieutenant". If he had been busted down below Sergeant why whould he have "Lieutenant" clearly visable in his ID. Nevertheless after this movie he'd better be called Captain in Die Hard 5.
While the technology in the movie wasn't as nonsensical as other Hollywood technology in other movies I could mention, I still didn't like the way Justin Long (good guy) was using a Mac (I didn't see a Mac but he had an Apple Cinema display running Linux) and the bad-guy hacker-henchman was on a PC (Saucer Silver Alienware laptop). Did anyone else think the Palm Pilots were a bit old for this high-tech movie?

Final verdict: Fantastic action, liberal use of automacic weaponary, cool stunts, fantastic explosions and Brue Willis' banter. Just want I wanted.

Colonel Creedon Rating: *****

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Gore should get death penalty

No not the bleeding-heart liberal ex-VP muppet who makes "documentaries" about wild insane theories and frightens the planet into thinking "global warming" is real (although the world would be better off without crackpots like him), no I'm talking about Al Gore III, his son who was arrested in California early Wednesday morning for suspicion of possessing marijuana and prescription drugs.

Gore III was allegedly driving a blue faggoty Toyota Prius at speeds over 100 mph when he was pulled over around 02:15 on the San Diego freeway. Smelling marijuana, police searched the car and found almost an ounce of marijuana and prescription drugs Xanax, Valium, Vicodin and Adderall, none of which he has a prescription for.

Gore, 24, was released from a men's jail in Santa Ana after posting $20,000 bail. This is the second time he was arrested on a marijuana possession charge. Police in Montgomery County, Md., pulled over Gore in December 2003 and noticed the smell of pot. Police were also tipped off by the open windows and sunroof despite the freezing temperature.

Gore, who at the time was a Harvard university student, and his two male passengers were charged with a misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana and released. The youngest of Al and Tipper Gore's four children then completed substance abuses classes as a pretrial diversion program, before settling the charges.

Gore was also ticketed for reckless driving by North Carolina police in August 2000, and military police arrested him for drunk driving near a military base in Virginia in September 2002. Gore III now lives in Los Angeles and is an associate publisher of GOOD, a magazine about philanthropy aimed at young people.

I think this shows us what damn liberals think of the law. If more were put to death like this repeat-offender then the world would be a petter place.

Source: Fox News

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Colonel lays Captain America to rest

I stood in the drizzling rain at Arlington National Cemetery yesterday commanding the U.S. Marine Honour Guard, where thousands of grieving patriots solemnly watched as Tony "Iron Man" Stark, Ben "The Thing" Grimm and the other pall bearers carried the casket of Captain America draped with an American flag to his final resting place.

After more than six decades of conflict with evil in the form of Adolf Hitler to the Red Skull, the Avengers leader was assassinated on the steps of a New York federal courthouse. He was there following his refusal to take part in the government's Superhero Registration Act, which would reveal the true identity of all Superheroes.

The Falcon, long time friend of the Captain delivered a eulogy asking superheros old and young to stand up and honor Captain America. I will say now that although he turned traitor to the government of the United States, I must still respect a man who would only take chain mail and a shield into combat instead of an assault rifle and frag grenades.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

G.I.Joe Moving Forward

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (right) has long eyed turning the toy and comic book franchise G.I. Joe into a feature film for Paramount Pictures. He's even talked about casting his Shooter star Mark Wahlberg as Joe team leader Duke. Paramount's pact with Joe toy maker Hasbro recently expired, however Hasbro's reps at the William Morris Agency renewed a deal between the toy manufacturer and Paramount to bring G.I. Joe to the silver screen.

Di Bonaventura will still produce the movie and won't be the first '80s toy line/cartoon that he has adapted to the big screen as his live-action Transformers movie hits theaters next month, of course. But G.I. Joe, which like Transformers originated in plasticine form, has actually been on di Bonaventura's plate even longer than those robots in disguise have been. So why the long wait in seeing a finished G.I. Joe movie?

"Actually, there were two incarnations of [the G.I. Joe script] and we're proceeding down both roads," di Bonaventura recently explained. "You know, there's a lot of misinformation about this. We had pursued originally a take on the project written by David Elliot and Paul Lovett, which was put aside for a period of time. And then a second avenue was taken that included Action Man, and that was being written by Skip Woods."

For those of you who don't know Action Man is a British toy based on the original 12-inch 1960's version of G.I. Joe. The Woods script reportedly combined Action Man and G.I. Joe into a single adventure. Naturally this insane fucked up idea has received a more-than-negative response from fans (me included) and some death threats to Woods.

"Skip Woods' draft came and somehow leaked, which is always unfortunate," says di Bonaventura. "I find it really unfortunate on the part of the writer, the artist, because Skip had literally, from the day he finished his contract to the day that draft came in, seven weeks [to complete it] because of the timeline that was being required by the overall deal. So, it has been judged in some circles, I think, harshly, and I think unfortunately like all creative processes it was just the very beginning of it. And I know that Skip is working hard on his next draft and is going to nail it."

Di Bonaventura compares the criticism of the leaked script to the nitpicking that some of the early Transformers designs were victim to when they first hit the Internet during that film's preproduction stage. "I have a very clear vision on G.I. Joe which is the same that I have on every property that I do that people care about," he says. "You must find a way to be true to it, and you must find a way to evolve it forward. And I think one of the hardest things as a filmmaker… if you go back to Transformers [for example], the designs of Optimus and everything were being very harshly criticized early on. And what you want to have as a creative process is you want a sense of germination, then a sense of evolution, and then a sense of conclusion. It was being judged in the germination stage. It's such a rudimentary place where it was being judged, and we kept saying, 'You know what, guys? No one has seen it. We haven't even seen it. Until ILM gets involved, we won't even know.' And what is rewarding in that case is that by and large people are really loving what was done to the actual physicality of Transformers. And that's what we have to do with G.I. Joe."

Brian Goldner of Hasbro who is an Executive Producer of Transformers (and will be one on G.I. Joe too) gave an interview available here at the premiere of Transformers. In it he promises that there will be an origin story for G.I. Joe and many of the main characters will appear. He says that there are a few issues of the Marvel comic book that people should pay close attention to.

Sources: IGN, ISEB

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

4th of July

In his annual 4th of July speech President Bush defended the U.S. military build up in Iraq in a patriotic speech, saying victory will require "more patience, more courage and more sacrifice. However difficult the fight is in Iraq, we must win it."

"It's a tough fight, but I wouldn't have asked those troops to go into harm's way if the fight was not essential to the security of the United States of America," Bush said of the more than 4-year-old war.

Bush thanked the servicemen and women serving abroad and their families, including children at the event who recited the Pledge of Allegiance with him. He read from a 1777 newspaper article about an Independence Day celebration in Philadelphia where people fired artillery, toasted democracy and watched fireworks that illuminated the sky.

"We're still celebrating, and rightly so," Bush said.

Thankfully this July 4th did not have the same "action" of last year when North Korea test-fired a series of missiles. Instead they're yielding to the might of the U.S. and talking disarmament.

Source: Fox News

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Stranglehold Update

Midway are often asked "So why make a game with John Woo anyhow?" The answer is obvious they say, "because Woo’s the best action filmmaker ever!" And there’s something about his films, especially Hard-Boiled, that make them ideal for receiving the video game treatment. It’s something else entirely to mix a close-up of a frightened goon, a shot of hundred dollar bills exploding in the air, doves fluttering away, and of course Chow Yun Fat leaping through the air, all in slow motion. It’s the little touches of humanity, humor, and completely over-the-top “oh shit” moments that say “hey, this is a John Woo film!”

Woo is best known known for his stylized films that turn gunplay into a ballet of bullets. It's no secret that Stranglehold has been a crown jewel in Midway's plans for next-gen since its first E3 trailer two years ago. Four years after Max Payne 2 soaked up so much of the influence of John Woo's heroic bloodshed masterpieces, the famed film director has attached his name to the interactive sequel to his 1992 classic Hard Boiled and it's almost finished.

As Inspector "Tequila" Yuen (played by Chow Yun-Fat), you are on your own against the gangs of Hong Kong & Chicago. In Hong Kong, his partner on the force is murdered, and in Chicago, two young ladies are abducted; there's a connection there, but it's unclear in the beginning. Tequila must break out every weapon necessary and take out Triad hitmen and tough Chicago mobsters to get to the bottom of it all. Tequila works best alone (with an assault rifle). The story plays out as if it were from a John Woo movie and the action looks like Woo played too much Max Payne. The violence is non-stop, you will blaze a path of violence through hundreds of enemies, while laying waste to just about every object in the environment.

Stranglehold appears to have an exceedingly simple control scheme. All one will need to worry about is shooting and using the action button- this is what you'll use to interact with the environment. If you're near a a rail, a dessert tray, or chandelier, hitting the button lets you use climb aboard for added style points. You'll slide down rails or hop belly first on a dessert tray to deal death to your enemies. If there's no object around, Tequila will leap in whichever direction you press and instantly go into bullet time.

Through the course of his death dealing, Tequila will gain access to four special abilities to complement his arsenal. Health which you will need quite often. Trueshot that gives you a few seconds to aim your gun for a long-distance killshot (including a gurgle-inducing throat shot). The Barrage skill, to go super-apeshit with whatever gun you're wielding in a true show of power. And a Woo staple move where Tequila whips out his pistols and pirouettes with guns blazing- Doves fly from nowhere as everyone dies.

It's impressive to watch the multitude of gameplay videos online and see the level of chaos erupting in every scene. You'll see as many wood splinters as you will bullets whizzing past your head as Inspector Tequila dives over tables and swings from chandeliers. Cover won't last long, as every safe haven quickly degrades under a barrage of enemy bullets. Your best bet to survive these intense moments is to stay on the move.

There are a few select moments where you can't run or cause much destruction at all. These are Standoffs. When these occur, Tequila finds himself surrounded by enemies. The mechanics change and one by one in slow-mo you must target and shoot the enemies around you, dodging their bullets. They're cool little moments that are just as intense as the other frantic scenes of gunplay.

One thing that you'll notice watching the footage is that the environments crumble and collapse after taking too much gunfire. It's part of Midway's tweaks to its altered Unreal 3/Havoc engine hybrid, known as Massive D. But according to those that have sampled the game, Massive D, is a massive hit to the framerate. This is something I'll need to upgrade for.

One thing that Woo is adamant about and mentions in all his interviews, is that Stranglehold be more than a John Woo film that happens to be on the PS3, 360, & PC. Woo is the director of his films, but for Stranglehold they want to put you in the director’s chair. So when you play you get to be John Woo, directing and choreographing the action in the way you want, but of course using his style, and lots of doves.

Stranglehold- Latest Release Date: August 6, 2007

Source: GameSpy, IGN

Monday, July 02, 2007

Bruce Campbell in Burn Notice

The legendary Bruce Campbell stars in USA's new show Burn Notice, a spy-themed series which stars Jeffrey Donovan as a former spy, and Campbell as his colleague Sam.

With Painkiller Jane the only regular show running at the moment I was in danger of not watching enough new television, but along comes Burn Notice!

A Burn Notice is an official statement by one intelligence agency to other agencies, domestic or foreign, that an individual or group is unreliable for any of a variety of reasons. I've issued about a dozen in my career but I digress...

I had just finished watching the box-set of Briscoe County Jr., a television series way ahead of it's time, starring Campbell in the title role. I said to myself that it was a shame that he wasn't on television now, I think he's someone we need on television. Thankfully I didn't have long to wait. Burn Notice premiered to favourable reviews on Thursday night on USA.

The new series is about a discredited and dumped CIA agent Michael Westen, whose life comes crashing down he finds himself down-and-out in Miami. Campbell plays Sam Axe (left), an ex-spy already washed out. In a recent interview Campbell says "He doesn't give a shit. So I'm unshaven and I drink all the time. I'm a smartass. I shack up with rich Miami women because that's how I make money. But I know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy. So I'm usually in that role; I can help him that way."

Other stars include Gabrielle Scent of a Woman Anwar who plays Fiona, a former IRA operative with whom Michael has a past, and Michael's crazy hypocondriac nagging mother played by Sharon (Cagney from Cagney & Lacey) Gless. "It's a bizarre set up for a show" adds Campbell "And it's not a doctor show. It's not a cop show or a lawyer show. And to me, that's very appealing."

Campbell describes the show as played pretty straight but with a lot of gallows humor. "I think that there's a lot there for whoever is looking for an interesting new show. I think this is the one."

After digesting the pilot episode, I will say that I intend to continue to watch Burn Notice, even if it didn't have Campbell. Most are comparing it to The Equalizer but I don't think it's as dark as that, it's more like a cross between MacGyver and The Rockford Files with just a small hint of Alias thrown in. Jeff Donovan (right) is a bit-part vetran of Television since the mid-90's and got his break with the substandard US version of the popular UK crime-drama "Touching Evil", but this will be his first as lead and he pulls off the hard-ass spy-shit very well. Gabrielle Anwar suffering from a not too perfect collagen job (but hey, I'd still do her) has to put on a terrible N.I. accent to play her part which is distracting when you're from this part of the world, but thankfully she'll get rid of it in subsequent episodes in order to blend into Miami. As for Bruce Campbell, well... as I said, "he's someone we need on television" and hopefully he'll be able to stick around the show and handle his directorial responsibilities and Bubba Nosferatu as well.

Find out more on USA's Burn Notice Website.

Source: IGN, Burn Notice Pilot

Sunday, July 01, 2007

2IGTV Episode 44

If you're a fan of Comic-Book movies then you've come to the right place as Mark and I talk about your favourite comic heroes heading for the silver screen from both DC and Marvel comics. In the world of Battlestar Galactica we wonder if there can be a motion picture for the new Galactica? Only with the blessing of Glen A. Larson. We talk Battlestar Galactica: Razor and Galactica reboot creator Ron Moore reveals what he thinks of the idea of a Star Trek reboot.
Lots more TV news this episode for Smallville, Stargate Atlantis, Boston Legal and something called Ice Planet. We also detail a few movies you WILL want to miss in the future.

Get it here.

The Colonel bids farewell to Blair - Doom in Great Britain!

Things are not going well in the United Kingdom at the moment are they?

* South Yorkshire and other areas have been devastated by flooding and there's more to come according to the met-office.

* 3 failed terrorist attacks in the past few days have made the government raise the terror alert to "critical", which means they're expecting more attacks "imminently."

* I will now no longer be able to enjoy a cigar in the ol' British pub when I visit as the Smoking Ban comes into effect for all enclosed public places as of today.

* And the much beloved Prime Minister Tony Blair has been replaced with a mercenary dictator Gordon Brown.

I met with Mr. Blair last week to ask permission for UNETIDA to house a Tesla Cannon inside Big Ben to combat extra-terrestrial threats. Even though he declined, I thanked him his support in the Global War on Terror and for basically being a "yes-man" for the Commander in Chief. If only other world leaders would be so forward-thinking and follow the United States into glory.