Sunday, September 30, 2007

Obituary: Lois Maxwell

Actress Lois Maxwell, most known to millions of fans for her role as Second Officer Jane Moneypenny or simply Miss Moneypenny in most of the James Bond movies, has died in Australia aged 80.

"She passed away on 29th September at 11:40 pm," said a spokeswoman for Fremantle Hospital in western Australia. The Canadian-born actress had been living in Australia for several years because her son and his family are based there. She first played the character, with whom the ever-charming 007 constantly flirted, alongside Sean Connery in Dr. No in 1962. She continued to play the role for more than two decades, starring in her final Bond movie, the 1985 A View To A Kill, with Roger Moore.

"She was my lucky token," Moore said today. "People who remember the Bond films with Moneypenny will remember her with great affection. She certainly will be missed by me and I'm sure by millions of fans around the world."

Already an experienced actor before she took on Bond, Maxwell said in 2005 that she accepted the Miss Moneypenny role at a difficult time in her life. "I had a husband who was desperately ill, with two small children and no money, so I called producers I had worked with before and said 'help me,'" she said. Bond director Terence Young offered Maxwell two Bond roles and she chose Moneypenny, insisting that the director not "put my hair in a bun and horn-rimmed glasses on me."

Asked which was her favourite Bond movie, Maxwell nominated On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the only one in which Australian George Lazenby played 007. "I think it's the best film, I mean I think it's an excellent film," she said in the 2005 interview. "Had it not been a Bond film, had it just been a film, it would've been a fabulous film."

Source: Yahoo

3:10 to Yuma: Exploding Horses

This movie's idea is simple: After notorious Arizona outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) is captured, it's up to a handful of locals, including down on his luck rancher Dan Evans (Christian Bale) and bounty hunter Byron McElroy (Peter Fonda), to bring him to justice. Their mission is to transport Wade to the town of Contention where he will be put on the 3:10 train to Yuma prison. While this journey entails a trip through dangerous Apache territory, the greatest threat to the posse comes from the prisoner himself and his murderous henchmen.

Even though the other recent Western Seraphim Falls was rather good, I wasn't enthused too much going to this movie. However if you had told me that there was much death & gunplay with Gatling guns and even an exploding horse, I'd have been first in line.

While a major part of this movie, the action isn't all this is about. There's a deep performance from both leads, Bale and Crowe who at first appear stereotypical good-guy and bad-guy roles but reveal much complex sides to their characters as the movie moves on. In fact by the climax of the film you're left wondering whose side you're rooting for but Cop Land director James Mangold, understands the story’s moral code and it clearly shows. It also lends much to the exceptional supporting cast.

3:10 to Yuma is a thoroughly enjoyable Western with a slightly disappointing ending (but not a strange as Seraphim Falls') but I guess they needed to make it somewhat different from the original - still I don't like this trend, I'd like to go "Wow" at the end as I would with the rest of the movie. Still highly recommended.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Thunder Chickens Deployed

The USMC has finally deployed the first combat squadron of V-22 Ospreys to Iraq.

Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 better known as "The Thunder Chickens" with 10 Ospreys left Monday from New River Air Station aboard the USS Wasp. In April, the Commandant, General Conway said the squadron would deploy to Al-Asad Airfield, the second largest air base in Iraq.

The military plans to eventually operate 458 Ospreys, with 360 for the Marine Corps and the others used by the Navy and Air Force, said Major Eric Dent. Of the negative press and teething problems of the revolutionary aircraft he added "Since it resumed full flight operations more than six years ago, aircrews have logged more than 27,000 safe flight hours."

Lt. Colonel Creedon said of the Thunder Chickens' and the Osprey's deployment "Was there ever any doubt?"

Source: Military.com

Thursday, September 27, 2007

WORLD EXCLUSIVE*: MIKE VOGEL as CAPTAIN JAMES TIBERIUS KIRK! ***UPDATED***

After months of speculation, it may be that that 28-year-old Pennsylvania native Mike Vogel (Poseidon) is the front runner to play James T. Kirk in the 11th Star Trek film.

Paramount had no comment and neither did Vogel's agency, which means it's most likely true. Interestingly Vogel will be seen in the J.J. Abrams produced Untitled Monster Project (Cloverfield or what ever-the-hell-it-is).

An intresting choice folks. He was good in Poseidon but plenty of room to grow yet. Here is a quick photoshop effort. No news yet on The Shat appearing.


***UPDATE***
Stargate Atlantis' Dr. Beckett (Paul McGillion) could be playing Scotty as he's just been for an audition. Intrestingly McGillion was actually born in Scotland, but lives in Canada where James Doohan was from - wierd eh?

*Is not an exclusive
Source: IESB, IGN, Trektoday, Sci-Fi, Rotten Tomatoes

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Shoot 'Em Up: Eat your carrots!

It's difficult to review this movie because it was just so awesome. The sheer amount of automatic weapons fire from it's opening scene to it's finale put the movies of Woo to shame and thus earned it one of the highest ratings of the year. It's thin on plot and doesn't get bogged down in its conspiracy led story much like a good video game shooter would not be. All you need to know is that Clive Owen is the mysterious Smith, a down and out with fondness for carrots and a dead shot with an array of weapons (including carrots), Monica Bellucci plays a hooker with big lactating jugs and Paul Giamatti is an over the top comedy-relief villain after them both.

Just so you know the audience that this is aimed at: A poster for this was placed in "billboards" in levels of the console game Crackdown and an update for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas. Other marketing ploys included the hilarious http://bulletproofbaby.net/ which brought outcry from "responsible parenting" groups worldwide.

Verdict: I think in all honesty this formulay just may have been a wee bit "over-the-top" for the 5-Star-Plus masterpiece rating but is still one damn fine brainless action movie. One thing's for sure: you'll never pick up a carrot without grinning again.

Colonel Creedon Rating: *****

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Family Guy: Blue Harvest **UPDATED**

Family Guy have done a Star Wars episode!

Everyone knows Blue Harvest was the name God used when creating Return of the Jedi to keep obsessive fans from flocking to the set during production.

The Family Guy season six premiere was shown on Sunday in the US was a retelling of Star Wars Episode IV with characters on the show portraying those in the film.

I prefer American Dad as a series but I was in stitches at this FG episode, I suggest you seek it out now.

**UPDATED**
From AICN:
Sunday night’s Star Wars edition of Family Guy was the series’ highest-rated installment since returning to Fox in 2005, and a parody of The Empire Strikes Back seems likely,” a Fox source tells says.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem

It's quite obvious with the dedication to the R-rating (or 18 Cert) by the Strauss Brothers, the directors of the sequel to the so-so Aliens vs. Predator movie, that any misgivings about this being another "sanitised" battle between the warrior Predators and their lethal fearsome prey, the Aliens are laid to rest.

At least in this movie we'll finally get to see a true Predalien fight (pictured). A Predalien is an Alien borne from a Predator.

Hopefully it will be a more simplistic plot than last time (no sense in screwing up a movie like this with some sort of explanation is there?) as we all know the Predators seed the planet with Aliens and then hunt them. I'm sure most of the time it works out pretty well on other planets but when Earth is involved you have a load of humans (the stupid kind who walk around in dim light without adequate military support) thrown into the mix as well and there's all sorts of screaming, blood and death everywhere.

Well there wasn't enough blood last time round but there's more screaming, blood and death in this fuckin' 2 minute trailer then there was in the original film in it's entirety and this time it looks like there is military support; Hoo-Yah!


It makes me salivate for what's in the movie.

AvP2s IMDB Page and Wikipedia Entry.

Monday, September 24, 2007

1408 - 1406 reasons not to bother

I'm not a horror-movie fan. I never was and I never will be. The people in them tend to be more stupid than the average person to completely unrealistic proportions. Take this Mike Enslin (John Cusack) for instance. A skeptic and author who debunks supernatural occurrences.

After his latest successful book, Enslin receives an anonymous postcard of the Dolphin Hotel in New York City bearing the message "don't enter 1408." Viewing this as a challenge, he attempts to book a reservation in room 1408, but the hotel will not rent him the room. However that won't deter him, after some legal wrangling he arrives at the Dolphin but is pulled aside by the hotel's manager Gerald Olin (Samuel L. Jackson), who warns him that no one has lasted more than an hour in 1408. Olin offers Enslin an upgrade to the penthouse suite, access to documents regarding the deaths in 1408, and an $800 bottle of cognac. Enslin accepts the documents and the cognac but insists on staying in the room. Olin gives him the key, warning him that "It's an EVIL fucking room."

Okay when Sam Jackson invades your personal space, stares you in the face and says "It's an EVIL fucking room," you should leave the hotel and never come back. But as I said, horror-movie characters are immensely stupid and Enslin goes into 1408 and experiences all sorts of supposedly spooky shit. Note the use of "supposedly". While the SFX are rather good, there's most disappointingly almost no blood or gore. This is a "psychological horror" a genre of movie so banal it would drive you to sleep (which I probably would have if it was later in the evening and the cinema sound wasn't so loud).

Verdict: The director isn't too competent, Cusack is nowhere near his performances in Con Air or Grosse Pointe Blank, so practically the only good thing in this movie is Sam Jackson who is unfortunately only on screen for a few minutes. Without him (and the good SFX) I'd have classed this is a waste of time and money.

Colonel Creedon Rating: *1/2

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The cold vacuum of space just got a hell of a lot hotter

I was waiting for final confirmation before posting this: All Major Hollywood publications are reporting that Zoe Saldana will indeed play Uhura in the upcoming Star Trek feature film.

(Left: Artists impression of what Saldana could look like in Star Trek)

The Hollywood Reporter stated that Saldana was in final negotiations for the role originated by Nichelle Nichols in J.J. Abrams' upcoming movie. On the original series, Uhura was the Enterprise's chief communications officer, though since the new film is reportedly a prequel, it is not yet known what her role will be.

Saldana, who had a role in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, will also star in James Cameron's upcoming science fiction drama Avatar.

Star Trek is scheduled to be released on Christmas Day in 2008. The roles of Spock (Leonard Nimoy & Zachary Quinto) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) have already been cast; no word yet on who will play Kirk.

It makes this Youtube clip taken from The Terminal where Saldana plays a Trekkie deeply prophetic:

Sources: All major entertainment networks.

Breach - Chris Cooper forgiven

Breach is a dark drama based on the story of Eric O'Neill, an young FBI operative working under Robert Hanssen, an agent convicted of spying for the Soviet Union then Russia for 15 years.

The story follows O'Neill, hoping that his surveillance work on counter terrorism will earn him a promotion to agent when he is given a special assignment to undercover as a clerk and monitor Robert Hanssen, a senior agent whom he is told is suspected of being a sexual deviant. At first, Hanssen insists on a strict formality between them but as time goes by he opens up to the young man and becomes quite involved with his personal life. O'Neill has a growing respect for Hanssen and can fond no evidence of a secret double life.

Breach is directed by Billy Ray (writer of the excellent screenplay of Hart's War) and stars Chris Cooper as Hanssen and Ryan Phillippe as O'Neill. Phillippe has come a long way since his idiotic "teen" roles, not as far as DiCaprio has come in recent years but when I saw Phillippe as "Doc" Bradley in Flags of our Fathers I was hoping he wouldn't go back to his old ways and from his performance in this movie it seems that he won't. The true excellence in this movie however is from Chris Cooper who is thoroughally convincing as Hanssen a man of seemingly political and religious zealotry whom yet has ideals that are the complete converse of his beliefs. His performance is so magnificent that I must "forgive" him for playing an unrealistic homosexual Marine Colonel Fitts in American Beauty. Other cast members include Laura Linney, Gary Cole and the great Dennis Haysbert.

I believe this movie is a case study in ultimate deception and shows what happens when so much trust is put on the shoulders of one man. It can be somewhat slow moving at times but the payoff is worth it.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Wild Geese Fly Again

One of my favourite movies, the 1978 The Wild Geese will be remade by Gianni Nunnari's Hollywood Gang Prods., the same outfit behind 300 and the in-development Frank Miller graphic novel-to-film Ronin.

Rupert Sanders will direct. Warner Bros. may be the studio behind the project. Euan Lloyd and Craig J. Flores will serve as exec producers.

The original film starred Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Roger Moore and Hardy Kr├╝ger as British mercenaries who are hired to liberate an incarcerated African ruler Julius Limbani. Things get hairy for the mercs once they're in the bush.

"It has it all: great characters, action, plot twists and revenge," Sanders said. "We are making a tough film, taking ex-British soldiers from the murky London underworld to the battlefields in Africa."

I just hope they keep the same script:
Col. Faulkner: I'm dry when I work.
Matheson: Yes, so I've heard.
Col. Faulkner: There's a separate clause in my contract that says my liver is to be buried separately with honors.
Matheson: I'm not a very humorous man.
Col. Faulkner: So I've noticed.

Source: Variety

Monday, September 17, 2007

2IGTV Episode 49

Once we get through the mailbag we have news on Dr.Who, Battlestar Galactica and Bionic Woman. We reveal details of the Transfomers DVDs and discuss NBCs migration from Apple to Amazon. We'll have a Kane and Lynch movie sooner than expected as well as Punisher: War Zone. We have news on Thor, the Justice League and a sequel to one of the greatest Disney adventures of all time.

It (and much more) is all here.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Project: MAXXIMUS is complete

Well it wasn't quick but it was painless. I have successfully constructed Maxximus and amazingly it works! It functions quiet and cool under a full load which were my main issues with its predecessor Bellerophron. The only issue is that system temperature is a high at 42°C when idle but strangely it doesn't rise much under strain.

Tested so far with Super-Pi, Prime95, Benchmarked Half-Life 2: Episode 1 @ 1920x1200 with 8xAA & 8xAF at 61FPS and I've played some Medal Of Honor: Airborne and the World in Conflict Demo without issue.

As you see from the photo it gives off a blue glow from both the front and the back which is a bit daft but not as bad as some other cases available. Unfortunately the only way of disabling the glow is also disabling the fans which would no doubt cause some flames.

I must also share this picture below of Maxximus' screen, an LG 24" HD monitor displaying my first 1080p download, the new IRON MAN trailer (now available in all flavours here) certainly worth a 200Mb download.

Full specifications for Maxximus can be found at VerTecX21.com.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Project: MAXXIMUS

As mentioned in 2IGTV Episode 35 I think it was, it's time for me to upgrade. As you can see from my list of pre-ordered games on the bottom of the right hand sidebar there is only now an incentive to upgrade as opposed to then. Stranglehold, Blacksite, Crisis and some others that have caught my attention will be winging their way to me to experience them on MAXXIMUS.

Maxximus is currently under construction (see picture) and will include features of an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU, 2Gb PC6400 Corsair RAM, an XFX 640Mb GeForce 8800GTS GPU and 2x 500Gb (1Tb) Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM SATA2 drives, output to an LG 24" 1920x1200 HD LCD.

Provided of course I can find my magnetic screwdriver.

And if it doesn't explode when I turn it on first :D

Expect a comprehensive update to the somewhat neglected VerTecX21 in due course.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

G.I.J.O.E. - Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity

Yes that's right. I have good news and bad news. The good news is that it looks like Action Man is out and it'll be just the G.I.Joes. The bad news is that they've shoehorned the acronym G.I.J.O.E to fit the mouthful Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity.

Variety offered this new description of the Joes "G.I. Joe is now a Brussels-based outfit that stands for Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity, an international co-ed force of operatives who use hi-tech equipment to battle Cobra, an evil organization headed by a double-crossing Scottish arms dealer. The property is closer in tone to X-Men and James Bond than a war film."

(Pic right-) Flint was one of my favourites. A pity Bruce Campbell is too old to play him now, he'd have been perfect.

Does this mean Destro is the bad-guy not Cobra Commander? Dunno, but it seems that Paramount and Hasbro don't need the Americanised G.I.Joe- they'll have what is basically Action Force with the name G.I.J.O.E. It could be worse - it could have Action Man. Thank heaven for small miracles. This time in the form of Stuart Battie, the new writer.

It appears Battie, whose previous credits include Collateral and 30 Days of Night will be starting from scratch and might be setting the Joe team in the near future around a major military conflict but will stay away from any recent real world terrorist events. It is expected to be ready in four to six weeks. Following that: Pre-production to start by November and production to start early next year.

Hell I'll take anything so long as there's no Action Man!

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Invasion: It looks like Spidy 3 is NOT the worst movie of the year

I know I'm a week behind in my movie reviews, but I don't think this one will matter. It's for Nicole Kidman's new movie The Invasion which also stars Daniel Craig, based quite loosely on the sci-fi classic; The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. Oh, and it's complete rubbish.

I think to comprehend how bad this movie is, you must understand something of it's haphazard development. In early '04, Warner Bros. had someone write a remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. A year later, Oliver Hirschbiegel was attached as director. Production began in October with Nicole Kidman (receiving a salary of close to $17 million) in the lead with Daniel Craig. The film had retained the original title Invasion of the Body Snatchers but was shortened due to the different concept created by the writer.

Instead of any Visual Effects (more than necessary for an Extra Terrestrial Invasion movie these days), the director tried to compensate by shooting from weird camera angles and in claustrophobic spaces with the intention of increasing tension. Warners eventually decided that they were somewhat unhappy with the original story's results on screen and hired The Wachowski brothers to rewrite the film (yes The Matrix Revolutions, V-For Vendetta Wachowski's). Later Warners hired James McTeigue to perform re-shoots that would cost $10 million. After 13 months of inactivity, re-shoots took place in January 2007 to increase action scenes and supposedly add a twist ending. During the re-shoot, Kidman was involved in an accident, while in a Jaguar that was being towed by a stunt driver and was taken to a hospital briefly. She had broken several ribs, but she was able to get back to work soon after being hospitalised.

Right Daniel Craig examines his paycheck for the movie and thinks "They may not have hired a real writer but at least they hired a production accountant".

It's all on screen folks. No special effects, ridiculous nonsensical scene transitions, cuts in the middle of scenes, continuity blunders, obvious scenes shot by different directors and Daniel Craig sees this and just "phones in" his performance with the look of "just give me my money and I'm off to be James Bond".

Just to give you an example of the complete lack of thought in this film (and this example doesn't detract from the non-existent plot if any of you are reading this and still intend going); In one scene Kidman is talking to her Ex-husband (Jeremy Northam) and having an argument about visitation rights for their son, obviously in Kidman's sole custody. She is so adamant that he will not see their son - she hangs up the phone at one stage. Three scenes later following only a quick conversation about it with Daniel Craig where he simply says: "He's his Dad", she's ready to hand over the child to the Ex-hubby (who's already infected with the virus naturally) which is sure to be an attempt to get the audience to react in a pantomime fashion "No, don't do it you silly twat!" But to be honest even though this was only 13 minutes into the film, I already couldn't give a shit.

Final word: This movie has nothing going for it whatsoever. Kidman's career should be over now for choosing to appear in this. It's a colossal pile of shit. It's as if someone urinated onto celluloid and handed it to the distributer. Microsoft has more quality control than is evident here. To make matters even worse: it's also little more than bleeding-heart liberal propaganda.

Colonel Creedon Rating: No Stars. Not even a half.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

2IGTV Episode 48

A spanner has been thrown into the works of the HD format wars. Mark has the details. Learn about Windows 7, 64bit computing and Second Life. Yes I said Second Life.

In the world of movies we have word on The Day The Earth Stood Still, Dallas, Star Trek XI, Bubba Nosferatu and the JLA movie.

On the small screen we have some info on the Battlestar Galactica: Razor DVD release, 30Rock, South Park, The Prisoner, Painkiller Jane, 24, and a yet another new Bruckheimer show.

We also discuss poor Owen Wilson and we have some interesting news about the greatest British comic book character of all time DAN DARE.

Download it now.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Giant Alien Arachnids Invade Texas

Sith Apologist sent in this link to a story from the Telegraph about a Giant spider web (right) at Lake Tawakoni State Park, TX.

The article reports that experts suspect it's the work of "social cobweb spiders" working together.

Bullshit!

It's obviously the work of Giant Alien Arachnids. UNETIDA has been tracking the progress of several unidentified Extra-Terrestrial craft that have been making overt recon passes over the planet in the past few months.

Four hours ago. Lake Tawakoni locals spotted an impressive military convoy approach the administration centre of the state park. It is now confirmed that they were UNETIDA, called in to deal with the crisis and have just set up a command post at the parks conference centre.

Lt. Colonel Creedon, (above) the agency's commander on site is reported to have said "Well get those damn bugs, we'll kill 'em all!"