Monday, December 27, 2010

Steam Sale!

Steam, the highly acclaimed digital distribution, DRM, multiplayer and communications platform developed by the Valve Corporation is having a rather impressive sale until January that I'd be remiss in not informing you of.

It's also worth noting that today's "daily deals" [about 18 hours remaining at time of post] include the Obsidian's D&D RPG Neverwinter Nights 2 [including both expansions] for €9.99/$9.99 [regularly €19.99/$19.99] and the original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic [$2.50/€2.50] which introduced gamers to The Old Republic era of the Expanded Universe Star Wars continuity which is due to be revisited in 2011 with Bioware's First MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.

NWN2 is new to Steam but I ran it glitch free on a Core 2 Quad under Vista 32 and a GeForce 8800GTS a couple of years back, so I'd not anticipate many compatibility issues with today's hardware. KOTOR on the other hand is about 7 years old at this point and like many games native to older Windows versions; may require a fair amount of tweaking for it to run smoothly on today's systems. This is a good resource to aid you if you run into issues.

Thanks to The Whitehouse for the heads up.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fav will not direct Iron Man 3!

The news broke last week that Jon Favreau, the acclaimed director of both Iron Man movies will not be back for a third outing. "It's true, I'm directing Magic Kingdom, not Iron Man 3. I've had a great run with Marvel and wish them the best," he tweeted.


Fav informed Marvel/Disney of his decision last week, and since then there has been much speculation as to why. Some suggest it was Fav's pricetag which would conceivably rise to $15m from IM2's $10 together with 15% of the gross which was too much for penny-pinching Marvel. The more likely scenario however is that Fav felt that Marvel were shoehorning too much of the "Marvel Universe" into his movie already feeling by some reports that there was a bit too much "Avengers advertising" in IM2 as it stood and there was little reason to believe it would change in the wake of The Avengers movie.

Fav himself has since said that he opted to work on making Magic Kingdom for Disney rather than helm Iron Man 3 because he wished to "blow people away, which is easier to do with a project that isn't loaded with built-in expectations." I certainly can't fault him for that, I couldn't think how he could top his stellar work thus far and that burden is now lifted from him. Marvel are currently searching for a director to helm Iron Man 3 for it's May 3rd 2013 release date but one hurdle they will have to jump is Robert Downey Jr. himself. His contract stipulates that he must approve of any replacement director.

It's no secret how I feel about the Iron Man movies thus far so this news has me concerned. However since I had no exposure to any of Fav's work before the original Iron Man, and he turned out to be best man for the job; I shall reserve judgement on the director until I see the movie. Unless it's declared to be Brett Ratner at which point I'll blow my head off.

Sources: IGN / AICN / LA Times

The Colonel's Bullets - December 20th 2010

Christian Bale has said that "this will be, I believe, unless Chris says different, this will be the last time I'll playing Batman." Christopher Nolan is currently scouting locations in Asia for The Dark Knight Rises.

Underworld 4 will now be titled Underworld: New Dawn and will be released in 3D, January 2012.

Not content with just being Captain Kirk, Chris Pine is the new Jack Ryan in Moscow, which will be filmed next year. Producer Lorenzo DiBonaventura has assured people they're no re-imagining Ryan, just reinterpreting for modern times and making it more accessible for younger audiences.

Unfazed with the failure of NBC's Undercovers, J.J.Abrams is ditching the spy genre and returning to weird territory to create a new pilot for Fox. Alcatraz is the story of a bunch of prisoners and their guards who went missing in 1980 and reappear in the present day. The show also follows the investigation of the FBI trying to track them down and solve the mystery of their disappearance.

Bond 23 is coming together again after MGM entered a deal with Spyglass Entertainment means that they can pay off money they owe and create movies again. Daniel Craig will return as will composer David Arnold and according to Sam Mendez' ex-wife Kate Winslet - he'll be back too.

Nicolas Cage and director Simon West [The Con Air team] will reunite for Medallion, an action thriller which sees Cage as "a father, a former master thief, who has only a few hours to find his daughter when she is kidnapped and locked in the trunk of a New York medallion taxi cab."

Director Uwe Boll is making a sequel to the abysmal In the Name of the King, A Dungeon Siege Tale. "It's like contemporary, right now big city, and we have Dolph Lundgren basically being a cop or like a fighting coordinator working as this, and one night he gets attacked by ninjas in his house and fell with the ninjas into a vortex back in time," ranted Boll in a recent interview.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

It's no longer a question of "if", but "when"!

Welcome to my nightmare.



The purpose of this movie obviously, is to speculate what would happen if I didn't exist...

...scary huh?

World Invasion: Battle LA coming March 2011

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Remember Pearl Harbor

But just as importantly, remember those who will meet at possibly their final annual conference on Honolulu this week. Of some 60,000 personnel who were on the island on December 7th 1941, only about 3000 remain as part of the official Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and due to their extreme age and the infirmities that come with such longevity, only 100 or so will be able to make the trip to the island this year.

Those that do make it know only full well that it may be the last they see of their comrades and they will meet to discuss the possible end to the organisation for the first time since it was established on this day in 1954.

Gery Porter, 88 formerly of the battleship West Virginia has said that it's obvious that soon enough, they will have run out of members and may pass the assets [a few hundred thousand dollars and memorabilia] to the organisation of the survivor's sons and daughters whom the veterans hope will keep their spirit alive.

While tragic, the Pearl Harbor attack itself inspired countless acts of bravery, some of which were witnessed and recognised by awarding the American servicemen who distinguished themselves: 16 Medals of Honor, 51 Navy Crosses, 53 Silver Stars, four Navy and Marine Corps Medals, one Distinguished Flying Cross, four Distinguished Service Crosses, one Distinguished Service Medal, and three Bronze Stars.

Lieutenant John William Finn, the last living Medal Of Honor recipient from the attack on Pearl Harbor, passed away May 27 earlier this year aged 100. He, his fellow deceased servicemen and the surviving veterans are remembered this day.

Source: USA Today

Monday, December 06, 2010

Military Speceplane Returns to Earth

Orbital Test Vehicle 1 (OTV-1) returned to Earth on Friday at Vandenberg Air Force Base completing the mission it began in April. The U.S.A.F.'s secret X-37B unmanned spaceplane was launched by an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on April 22.

The U.S.A.F. has declined to admit it carried anything in its cargo bay, but was insistent that the inaugural mission was simply to test craft itself. "We are very pleased that the program completed all the on-orbit objectives for the first mission," Lt. Col. Troy Giese, program manager said in a statement. Only a general description of the mission: guidance testing, navigation, control, thermals and auto operation in orbit, re-entry and landing have made public.

The true purpose of the X-37B and more specific details about the spacecraft have long remained a mystery, though experts speculate it was intended to speed up development of combat-support systems and weapons systems. It was interesting to note that U.N.E.T.I.D.A. officer Colonel "Whopper" Creedon arrived at Vandenberg as OTV-1 landed. He was observed removing a "portable-herd-drive-sized" object from the craft and left with a small convoy of black Humvees.

The X-37B will return to space in 2011 next year.

Source: Fox News / USAF

Friday, December 03, 2010

Wikileaks Fallout: The United Nations

One of the more interesting diplomatic cables leaked over the past few days was a directive from the Department of State, signed by Secretary Clinton which sanctioned U.S. diplomats to obtain through clandestine means, information about senior United Nations officials at UNHQ in New York!

The cable provided the full text of a National Human Intelligence Collection Directive (NHCD) on the United Nations as well as a request for continued DOS reporting of biographic information relating to the United Nations. They also asked for current technical specifications, physical layout, and planned upgrades to telecommunications infrastructure and information systems, networks, and technologies used by top officials and their support staffs.

Naturally the liberal media muppet machine blew this out of proportion as if it was apparently "news" that diplomats obtain information on each other and other countries; something that has been going on since before the word diplomacy was created. The terrorist and founder of Wikileaks, one Julian Assange was interviewed by Time magazine, via Skype from an undisclosed location where he called for the resignation of the Secretary Clinton.

UN officials have expressed dismay, but accept this sort of thing as a fact of life. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon thanked Clinton "for clarifying the matter and for expressing her concern about the difficulties created" when she spoke to him at an international summit in Kazakhstan on Wednesday. Clinton did not formally apologise but neither did Ki-moon make any condemnation and the matter is now considered closed thus defeating Assange's evil agenda.

On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart played a clip of Secretary of State Clinton being asked by a reporter if she was embarrassed by the leaking of these cables, to which Stewart answered: "Where were you in the 90's? The woman is married to this guy [displays a picture of former President Bill Clinton] ...and you think THIS embarrasses her?"

Source: Fox News /AP/Comedy Central
Photograph: Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Poisonous Aliens Poised For Invasion?

NASA announced today that some of their scientists in a controlled research facility at Mono Lake, Calafornia have identified microbes that instead of using Phosphorus to carry energy in cells as is done with most forms of life, have found some that instead use Arsenic. Arsenic in it's natural form is lethal to all life on the planet because it chemically behaves similarly to phosphate but disrupts metabolic pathways.

"The idea of alternative biochemistries for life is common in science fiction," said Carl Pilcher, Director, NASA Astrobiology Institute, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California. "Until now a life form using arsenic as a building block was only theoretical, but now we know such life exists in Mono Lake."

"The definition of life has just expanded," said Ed Weiler, Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington. He alluded to the fact that as efforts are pursued to seek life elsewhere in the solar system, science will have to think in more broad terms, more diversely and be prepared to consider "life as we do not know it."

Colonel "Whopper" Creedon of U.N.E.T.I.D.A. was less then enthusiastic about the news. "Hell-Shit! Are we going to have to fend off extra-terrestrial invaders made of poison now? This changes everything! Suppose you have to go hand-to-hand with one and beat it to death. Hours later you die of organ failure and cellular necrosis? Not me! I'll be going out with a bang and I'll take them all with me," he assured.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wikileaks Fallout: Iran and it's neighbours

Iran's nutjob president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is understood to be so blindingly paranoid about the U.S. that he doesn't even believe the latest diplomatic memos set loose on the world by the terrorist organisation Wikileaks concerning his country.

It is understood according to the leaked diplomatic cables that his excellency King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia repeatedly pleaded with the United States to launch a devastating attack on Iran designed to destroy Tehran's fledgling nuclear programme and crippling their efforts to create nuclear weapons. "Cut off the head of the snake," he urged. Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and Zeid Rifai of Jordan also communicated warnings concerning Iran. Rifai told the U.S. to "bomb Iran, or live with an Iranian bomb," according to the Guardian. Crown prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed of Abu Dhabi insisted Ahmadinejad "is going to take us to war."

But horse-blinker-wearing Ahmadinejad shrugged off the documents as plants designed to destabilise the Middle-East by attempting to create tension and animosity between Iran and neighbouring countries. "We don't give any value to these documents," he said in a news conference. "It's without legal value. Iran and regional states are friends. Such acts of mischief have no impact on relations between nations."

Some U.S. officials suspecting their contents were concerned that the leaked cables could spark Iran into doing something disastrous, especially as many Persian Gulf nations are known to be concerned with Iran's growing influence, military strength and nuclear aspirations. The leaked diplomatic memos could have been the spark leading to all out war in the region.

However Ahmadinejad has asserted that the U.S. leaked the documents as part of a psychological warfare game that "will have no effect. It's so worthless that it isn't worth someone referring to them or wasting time to refer to them," he said.

What Ahmadinejad doesn't know is that Former VP Dick Cheney had been sure that "final solution" plans had been drawn up concerning Iran. These leaked DOD photographs show the former VP in 2007 flanked by senior military advisers being briefed...

... by Lieutenant Colonel "Whopper" Creedon!


Source: Fox News / CNN /AP

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"We shot a lot of people together" RIP Leslie Nielsen

Canadian actor Leslie Nielsen best known as Sergeant Frank Drebin, Detective Lieutenant Police Squad has died aged 84 near his home in Florida.

At 17 Nielsen trained as an aerial gunner with the Royal Canadian Air Force but was too young to be sent in to WWII. After a stint as a DJ, he attended the Lorne Greene Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto and The Actor's Studio in New York before being cast in The Vagabond King in 1956. His second movie released in the same year is one of the most beloved science fiction movies of all time, Fred M. Wilcox's Forbidden Planet. In Forbidden Planet [a movie that lent quite a few ideas to Star Trek] Nielsen portrayed Commander John J. Adams of the United Planets Cruiser C-57D and made his name as a serious actor here and dozens of movies like The Poseidon Adventure and TV roles including Hawaii 5-0.

The world of comedy was forever changed by Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry Zucker in 1980 when they created Airplane! to spoof Zero Hour and Airport. The visionary directors chose Neilsen as Dr. Rumack who delivered cold dead-pan hilarious dialogue like the iconic answer to "Surely you can't be serious?", which is "I am serious. And don't call me Shirley." [Now #79 in The American Film Institute's "100 Years... 100 Quotes"] . When Abrahams and the Zuckers brought their new brand of comedy to Television in the form of Police Squad! to spoof cop shows like those of Quinn Martin, it was a no-brainer to cast Nielsen as the hapless Frank Drebin. Neilsen reprised his role in the extremely successful The Naked Gun trilogy of movies between 1988 and 1994.

"...and where the hell was I?"

Neilsen never really returned to serious acting, seeming to relish instead in the world of comedy. He appeared in a number of spoof comedies including Spy Hard, Wrongfully Accused and the Scary Movie series none of which were as well received as his previous efforts. He did many commercials in his later years as well as voices for children's shows,. He appeared on celebrity game shows and performed Darrow a one-man theatre show. He was working right up until his death and was due to lend his voice to the animated The Waterman Movie in 2011. His final movie appears to be Bill Corcoran's Stonerville which wrapped recently.

Nielsen appeared in over 100 films and 1,500 television programs over the span of his career, portraying over 220 characters.

Mayor: Now Drebin, I don’t want any trouble like you had on the South Side last year, that’s my policy.
Frank: Well, when I see five weirdos, dressed in togas, stabbing a man in the middle of the park in full view of a hundred people, I shoot the bastards, that’s *my* policy!
Mayor: That was a Shakespeare-In-The-Park production of ‘Julius Caesar,’ you moron! You killed five actors! Good ones!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Irvin Kershner becomes one with the force

The director of what is regarded by sane people as the greatest movie of all time has passed, he was 87. Irvin Kershner was chosen by God himself to take the reins of his Star Wars sequel, The Empire Strikes Back which celebrates it's 30th Anniversary this year. Lucas wanted "Kersh" to bring a unique vision that Lucas had observed in his work on The Eyes Of Laura Mars to instill a sense of deep gravitas that God himself believed he could not accomplish.

A WWII veteran, Kershner's film career began as a teacher of film at USC, progressing to a stills photographer and a director of Television before making his mark on the silver screen with the Roger Corman-produced Stakeout on Dope Street in 1958. Kershner is also noted as the director of Never Say Never Again, the unofficial Bond movie which would be Sean Connery's final appearance on screen as the secret agent. He also directed Robocop 2, which I never, ever want to talk about, as well as episodes of seaQuest DSV.

The next time you watch The Empire Strikes Back, note how much more close up Kershner fills the frame with actors faces, "There's nothing more interesting than the landscape of the human face," he once said. Remember Lucas may have created the characters, envisioned the designs of craft, sets and costumes costumes, and wrote the story - but Empire, it's shots, pacing, drama, tension and revelation is the vision of one Irvin Kershner and we must never forget him.

May the force be with him.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

U.N.E.T.I.D.A denies existence of Mongo

In a press conference Friday afternoon Master Warrant Officer “Chatterbox” Hendrickx, UNETIDA Public Affairs Office, Belgium, assured those present that the exoplanet HIP 13044 b discovered by astronomers recently as being not from our galaxy, was not in fact the planet of Mongo as some had warned.

From popular accounts, it was understood that the activity of a planet appearing in our galaxy from elsewhere was similar activity to that reported of the Planet Mongo popularised in Flash Gordon lore and led to fears that the planet's ruler Emperor Ming The Merciless was on his way to destroy the Earth.

Handrickx stated that mainly the sheer size of the planetary body [1.25x the mass of Jupiter] excluded it from possibly being Mongo as by all known accounts, Mongo is in fact just half the diameter of Earth.

Hendrickx also quipped that the only people who should be fearful of Ming The Merciless were the people of Ireland [in reference to the self-styled Luke "Ming" Flanagan, a Roscommon County Councillor who seeks the legalisation of Cannabis].

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Colonel's Bullets - November 15th 2010

Paramount Pictures

Star Trek 2 has no villain announced yet. Klingons? Khan? but we know it will be characters or a character we already know, now in a "reboot" form. J.J. Still not assigned to direct but movie on track for 29/06/12.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the final part of Bay's Transformers trilogy will bookend the tale in a spectacular fashion blowing $250m in gigantic robots and associated explosions. In this new movie, the Autobots and Decepticons become involved in a perilous space race between the U.S. and Russia.

G.I. Joe 2 is in progress, Stephen Sommers will return to direct while Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, were hired to write the script.

Paramount will not be releasing The Avengers [May 2012] or Iron Man 3 [May, 2013] as Disney, new owners of Marvel have stepped in and said "We want them now, but we'll still let you release Captain America and Thor". Disney/Marvel have also asked writers to pitch scripts for a potential War Machine movie!

The Dark Knight Rises

is the official title for Nolan's finale to his Batman trilogy and there are currently in excess of a dozen rumours about some 10 different actresses in line for Catwoman or another female villain. While we know there will be no 3D as Nolan hates it, Collider reported it will most likely be shot entirely in IMAX's epic 70mm format.

Roland Emmerich,

who usually tries to destroy the world with ID4, 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow wanted to step away from his over-use of CGI and multi-million dollar insanity to do a "found video" format movie, involving aliens all for about $5m. It's probably not going to happen as Apollo 18, from Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov will also be a "found video" format.

Conan Triumphant

Treacherous rat Jay Leno’s current The Tonight Show hasn't been getting Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show numbers in the 18-49 demographic much to the upset of NBC, and on Monday night Leno was further kicked in the ratings crotch by the premiere of Conan, O' Brien's new TBS show which garnered more than 300% of big-jaw's share of that important range as that's the one advertisers target.

Well done Coco!

Source AICN/ IGN

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Skyline is absolute excrement

I've been involved in a couple of pitches for films now, low budget shorts, purely in a behind the scenes capacity. I've readied storyboards location photographs, financial assessment expenditure reports and I have printed final drafts of scripts on extremely expensive paper and arranged them in a professionally presentable manner for a filmmaker to take in to his first meeting with potential producers/financiers and charm them with his ideas and my hard work.

I can only assume that that is also done, on a much bigger scale obviously, in Hollywood. For the movie I've just seen, I imagine that directors The Brothers Strause [AvP: Requiem] brought in an impressive special effects reel to the executive in Relativity Media who gave the green light to Skyline. The problem is that there is a moment after receiving a perfectly administered blowjob that a man will agree to anything... literally ANYTHING! It was at this moment, [probably because his secretary was still under his desk] that the executive gave the nod to The Brothers Strauss to make their alien invasion movie because no matter how good the effects are, if NOTHING else about this film has been thought of, then you have a lemon, and there has to be an excuse why the executive didn't read the script.

The special effects in this movie are some of the finest I've seen in cinema. No one can say that The Brothers Strause can't do effects work because the stuff on screen here was flawlessly executed and if they hadn't blatantly ripped off every other alien invader design from far better alien invader movies, they might have had something. Speilberg's War of the Worlds, The Matrix Reloaded, Independence Day, District 9 and even the video game Crysis had their designs plundered by the brothers which is very sad considering their talent for CGI. They seem to be excellent at realising the ideas of others, but lack any imagination whatsoever to create something themselves and sadly this exceptional character flaw infected their movie like Ebola.

Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, Donald Faison and David Zayas are the big C-list names that The Brothers Strauss conned into starring in this movie. I'll forgive anyone for not knowing who the fuck they are because I actually had to look up their names. Balfour was Milo the tech with the big nose in 24 in '07. Thompson was Tony's sexy-eyed love interest in NCIS season 4. Faison was Turk on Scrubs and Zayas was last seen as General Garza in The Expendables. I've seen these actors perform their roles admirably before, so I'm going to blame first-time screenwriters Liam O'Donnell and Joshua Cordes [who are both VFX supervisors in The Brothers Strause' company Hydralux] for the most abysmal script and dialog of the year, and the brothers themselves for not learning anything from criticism of AvP:R and continuing to apply their complete ineptitude to directing human beings. They can't do it, they'll never do it because they are so utterly, utterly shit at it.

Balfour and Thompson play a New York couple who visit their extraordinarily shallow friends in a Los Angeles apartment block. After a night of partying and boozing aliens attack and begin sucking up the citizens of L.A. into their ships. Our thoroughly loathsome protagonists are thrust into a situation with which the audience can only meet with apathy because we just don't give a fuck about these unlikable self-centered wankers. They do a lot of talk about an escape on a yacht [naturally they have a yacht] and when they finally do get mobile they're stopped before leaving the car park because The Bothers Strauss want to keep their costs down by only shooting in their own apartment [I'm not joking, the entire movie is set in one of the director's apartments and on his roof]. So then they retreat back inside and barricade themselves in waiting for a rescue because after all, they're not really the kind of people who would go and fight for their lives if they can help it.

If you want to see good alien invasion movie you won't find it here so I suggest your best bet it to wait until next March when Battle: Los Angles comes out. That's a big budget production from Sony pictures with Aaron The Dark Knight Eckhart and Michelle Avatar Rodriguez and will follow a platoon of U.S. Marines and Black Hawk Down style action as opposed to a group of exhaustingly boring assholes running around an apartment complex. But Battle: L.A. has something else going for it: It has special effects done by a couple of the best special effects people in the business, The Brothers Strause!!!! That's right, the brothers have pissed off Sony by releasing Skyline months before Battle: L.A. and not telling Sony that they were working on their own Los Angeles alien invasion movie beforehand. If they weren't VFX geniuses, I'm guessing they'd never find work again.

Final Verdict: Magnificent, flawless and sublime visual effects. But a boring, derivative, stupid and generally unentertaining piece of shit otherwise.

Colonel Creedon Rating: *

Saturday, November 13, 2010

You won't see red in Red

RED: Retired - Extremely Dangerous, a designation used by the Central Intelligence Agency to brand some of their former operatives now receiving their pension. As Meet The Parents thought us, no one really retires 100% from the CIA. Retired operatives more often than not, stockpile weapons, specialist equipment and hoard files to use in “off the books” missions or as “insurance” should their past catch up with them, just like what happens to our protagonists in this fun action-comedy. Bruce Willis plays one such CIA retiree Frank Moses. Yeah, probably a bit too young to play a retiree but as he was a formidable black ops field agent and probably shunned the notion of a desk at Langley or there were probably a few extenuating circumstances which warranted his early retirement. Frank spends his days reading spy novels as they are enjoyed by his pension account representative Sarah [Mary-Louise Parker] whom he likes to talk to on the phone [albeit not about his accounts]. When a South African hit squad destroys his home and fails to kill him, Frank flees to Kansas City to protect Sarah by kidnapping her as their phone activity has put her life at risk as well.

Frank’s fun filled journey brings him into conflict with CIA “problem solver” Agent Cooper [the excellent as always Karl Urban] and also comes into contact with fellow CIA retirees, Joe [Morgan Freeman], Marvin [John Malkovich] and Victoria [Helen Mirren], a cast that would probably draw anyone to a movie. But add to those - Richard Dreyfuss, Julian McMahon and even Brian Cox as a former KGB officer with a cameo from 93 year old Ernest Borgnine and you know you have something special. As the whole thing is fairly loose with plot, it’s really up to this suitably impressive cast to make the movie entertaining, and they were well up to the task. Their interaction is flawless especially compared with say The A-Team and The Losers, two movies which have shared a somewhat similar theme this year [elite team betrayed and on the run from government for something they didn’t do] and I think the star studded cast makes this ever so slightly superior to both of them.

German director Robert Schwentke took on a far more ambitious project with Red than the crap he's previously directed such as The Time Traveller's Wife and Flightplan. It's not as violent as it's Warren Ellis comic-book source materiel and has been humoured-up for Hollywood, something that probably doesn't sit well with the fanboys but the movie isn't just for them and it works for me and at the end of the day, it's really only my opinion that matters. Ellis himself remarked that while it was "not the book, but not bad. Funny. Especially when you know the casting. Very tight piece of work."

Final Verdict: A hilarious at times, good natured spy-genre action movie. While not to visceral, action fans won't be disappointed by the amount of automatic weapons fire and seeing Helen Mirren with a heavy machine gun and a sniper rifle, sublime.

Colonel Creedon Rating: *****

Friday, November 12, 2010

Could Y: The Last Man be a TV Show?

I one listened to a young lady explain the premise of Brian K. Vaughan's post-apocalyptic sci-fi tale Y: The Last Man. It started out great, a bloke called Yorik [poor chap] is apparently the sole male survivor of a deadly plague which has wiped out all the other men on the planet leaving the world populated only by females, "I don't see the problem there" I grinned.

After getting slapped, it was explained in greater detail that it wasn't just every man, but every single solitary shred of DNA with a Y chromosome, including those borne by all male mammals on the planet, embryos, fertilized eggs and even sperm [except for Yorick and his pet monkey, also a male] and that this would actually be quite disastrous for mankind as the inability to procreate would plunge society into chaos as humanity would be doomed to extinction. OK, - bummer!

In order to save humanity, Yorick must find a scientist who would need his DNA to begin human cloning, but his journey is somewhat perilous as every woman in the word wants him... ...and not necessarily for the obvious.

A movie of this interesting tale has been mulled over for some time and even progressed as far as director D. J. Caruso and actor Shia LeBeouf to be loosely attached to the project but The Transporter director Louis Leterrier seemingly has it now. Rather then wanting it to be turned into a movie however, Leterrier hopes to make a TV series using the success of The Walking Dead and various Showtime and HBO shows as an example. Considering how much better his Incredible Hulk adaptation was over his Clash of the Titans remake, I'd say he should forget his Greek legends and concentrate on comic books. Then I can forgive him for being french.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Honour those who've served.

Dino De Laurentiis R.I.P.

The great Italian producer of almost 150 movies, Dino De Laurentiis has died aged 91.

De Laurentiis left home in Campania, Italy at age 17 for film school and had produced his first movie before his 20th birthday. After the failure of his Italian movie studio in the 1960's, he moved the the U.S. where he spent the remainder of his life producing movies in Hollywood.

De Laurentiis was often lampooned as he was a tiny man with a loud and husky voice presiding over some of the greatest flops and failures in cinema history while yielding only enough commercial successes to fund even more failures.

He was known for producing some outstanding and memorable movies like Death Wish [1974], Flash Gordon [1980], Conan The Barbarian [1982], Dune [1984], Army of Darkness [1993], Assassins [1995] and U-571 [2000]. However he will be also just as fondly remembered for some monumental failures like the 1976 remake of King Kong, Orca [1977], Raw Deal [1985], Red Sonja [1985] (yes I actually like this movie, but I can objectively acknowledge it as shit), Manhunter [1986], Body Of Evidence [1993], Breakdown [1997], Hannibal [2001] and The Last Legion [2006].

De Laurentiis won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film [La strada] in 1954 and was awarded with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2001 [from Sir Anthony Hopkins whom he addressed as "Tony Baby"]. He is survived by his wife Martha, 5 children and grandchildren.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy 235th Birthday U.S.M.C.

Today's post as always, goes to the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Hey! Who fired that?

A Los Angeles helicopter news crew captured stunning images of a dramatic missile launch off the Californian coast last evening. What has many worried however is that the launch has been classified as "unexplained" by the Pentagon through whom spokespersons for The Missile Defence Agency, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force have denied making any launches.

Earlier, NORAD stated that there was "no threat to the homeland" but The Pentagon's Colonel Dave Lapan has responded that nor he or his superiors are able to concur with that statement at the present time as the military still do not know who launched it and are in fact studying the TV footage in an effort to identify where it came from.

Footage of the projectile was captured in motion approximately 35 miles [56 km] out to sea, west of L.A. and north of Catalina Island. Test missiles or misfirings could come from Vandenberg AFB or Naval Air Station Point Mugu in the region. Another option is that it may have been launched from a ship or submarine.

One theory given by Robert Ellsworth, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, and former deputy SECDEF, was that this was a submarine launch designed to show Asia that the U.S. can flex it's muscles too, but urges people to wait for a definitive answer from the military.

The FAA didn't issue a license for a commercial launch and NASA also denied any involvement. While U.N.E.T.I.D.A. itself also denied involvement, the French Navy forwarded a communique from the Captain of one of their Triomphant class of ballistic missile submarines signalling that that it had been commandeered by Colonel "Whopper" Creedon and a team of specialists for a "special mission". There has been no contact with the vessel since 23:00 Zulu November 7th.

More at Fox. Watch the CBS video.

Source: FOX, CBS

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Shock-Jock Bugger in Shock Cock Tugger!

Wednesday was one of the greatest days of my life because this story broke:

Prominent Cork-based radio presenter Neil Prendeville was on a flight from London to Cork on the evening of 19 October when he was reported to have exposed himself and started to masturbate. He was sitting with a male passenger on one side and a female on the other. Because he was in a front row seat, the 49-year-old was also facing a pair of air hostesses.

That's right, one of the most worthless bastards on the face of the planet, Neil Prendeville fell of his famous high horse and landed in shit! He has now fallen beneath the level of all the people whom that horse has trampled and shat on during his career, surely a career now that thankfully lies in flaming ruins. This reprehensible, feeble excuse for a human being, a wannabe shock-jock, the scourge of Cork's airwaves for far to long will now be bowing his head in shame for what I hope will be the remainder of his miserable gutless life and can be known now literally as a wanker in the truest sence of the word.

Prenders outside his pulpit on Wellington Rd., from where he used to preach his prattle, talking down to the people of Cork.

The glorious news came to my attention early Wednesday morning that a scandal had emerged involving a drunken "Prenders" allegedly performing a "lewd act" on board an aircraft. I was convinced he had urinated into a sick bag or something but what he allegedly did was music to my ears, because for so long that self-righteous dumbass has been the first person in line to throw stones at people who'd put a foot wrong, no matter what the circumstances, even before he heard their side of the story [assuming he'd even bother listening to it]. Traditionally if he didn't take a side himself, he'd use his show to pit one side against the other, something that backfired on him back in '04 when a member of a feuding family threatened to behead a member of another family on air. When the heat is on, Prenders hid behind the idea that he can't be held responsible for what someone says live on air, but more often than not, he didn't condemn what people say which makes him seem like he accepted and agreed with some of the ignorant scumbags, racists and uneducated morons he entertains on the airwaves.

Allegedly on the night in question, Prenders had been enjoying a day in London as a guest of the Cork Convention Bureau. Cork Lord Mayor Michael O’Connell, Cork county mayor Jim Daly and CCB chairman Seamus Heaney led a delegation to a conference to promote tourism in Cork. Prior to the flight, the boys ate and were entertained at celebrity chef Richard Corrigan’s Bentley’s Restaurant. Prenders apparently gave a speech, hopefully with less of his moaning, patronising and pontificating he spews out on his 96fm radio show. While there, he imbibed alcohol and due to a recurring neck injury also popped some Neurofen Plus painkillers.

Now, according to the man himself, he has no memory of getting to the airport, boarding the plane, whipping it out and pleasuring himself or getting home afterwards and so has conveniently blamed the combination of the alcohol and painkillers for anything he "may have" done. His utterly feeble apology could only be described as flaccid [*chuckle*] as he didn't accept all the blame himself. His words included "any offence that I might have" caused and even tried to turn it into a PSA about the danger of mixing painkillers and alcohol [yeah, most of us read the label, you stupid tit]. Prenders apology was considered by some people to be contrite with his pathetic blubbering and whinging and all, but people seemed to forget that in 2007 he appeared as a doctor in Strength and Honour so maybe those acting classes were brought to the fore? Nevertheless, I doubt it has convinced any but his misguided hard-core listeners.

It's obvious too that the dirty scut did his best to have this kept secret and attempted a cowardly cover up by unleashing his lawyers on the Irish Examiner who politly and fairly asked him to comment before publishing the story. Lawyer Gerald Kean tried to get a court injunction to prevent the newspaper story from seeing print. I'd like to think that the injunction was not granted because the judge involved is one of the many judges Prenders has pissed off during his years-long anti GardaĆ­ and anti-civil service "crusade". This would be irony so delicious, you'd never see it on the menu of that hole "The Boardwalk." Neil's bizarre "apology" also laid claim to the fact that his alleged public indecency was totally out of character and while that much may be true, his attempt at concealing the truth from the public has spoken volumes about his true character.

There are a few questions that I'm confident are on peoples minds at this time:

Who was paying for this gobshite to go on a conference with his local politician friends? If the people of Cork were paying, might I suggest that we'd prefer our money would be spent doing something more constructive - literally, like repairing the quay wall by the Mercy Hospital which remains unrepaired from the devastating weather last year.

Prenders allegedly appears to have had enough manual dexterity to unzip his trousers, remove his langer and begin satisfying himself, but prior to that he was presumably able to walk through security at Heathrow airport unchallenged by the uber-diligent security there [I'm always patted down in Heathrow, but rarely Stanstead], how did this happen? How did this happen!!!!??? It's not like trying to convince a bouncer he wasn't drunk to gain admittance to Gorby's nightclub! He was boarding an international flight! He needed to present identification and remove metal from his person etc. surely the Brits noticed something out of the ordinary if he was drugged up enough to do what he allegedly did later.

My biggest question however was eloquently alluded to by Ralph Riegel in the Independant yesterday "Aer Lingus has refused to comment on why neither GardaĆ­ nor Airport Police were called" to arrest Prenders after he touched down [*snigger*] in Cork and "why?" is a very serious and far-reaching question in this context. In light of the fact that people are arrested nowadays for being mildly boisterous and/or inebriated on aircraft flights, one can only describe the fact that Prenders was not arrested for his sexual misconduct and public indecency upon disembarking as extremely sinister indeed. Answers as to why are something I'm sure there will be quite a few demands for.

Right: Only Sam Jackson will ever get away with handling a snake on a plane.

At the time of allegedly jerking off, the plane was taking off and Prenders was facing two air hostesses who were facing his front row seat. Alas they were powerless to intervene as they too had to be belted in until the aircraft had reached cruising altitude. Prenders was flanked at either side by the aforementioned Seamus Heaney. "I personally saw nothing, so I cannot comment" he said later, apparently a man bereft of peripheral vision. Poor Niamh Hennessy, business reporter for the Irish Examiner was on his opposite side but the poor girl allegedly got to see far more than even her window seat allowed. Were it not for this girl being a reporter the general public my still be in the dark about Neil's alleged vile actions.

Had this been anyone else, actor, rock-star even politician, we'd have all thought it was a great joke and chances are they'd be able to eventually continue with their careers albeit with the occasional joke about it, shit happens. But it's different with Prenders because he has always assumed the moral high ground and spoken down to people from it, that's his thing. He would be the one who would call the person a filthy animal and show no sympathy whatsoever and would do everything in his power to see that what would be an insignificant molehill be turned into Mount Everest itself. Therefore he has lost the one thing that made him who he is. How can he return to a job where he preaches his opinion knowing that he has lost all credibility? His many arguments could now be deflated as easily as a child's balloon with the words "..you're just a tosser Neil!" and everyone would know it's true now.

This tale is far from over. Prenders has been hiding out in the Wicklow home of Gerald Kean and spent Friday in The Castleknock Hotel giving tightly controlled interviews to the downmarket Sunday tabloid press. No guesses needed as to what he's doing for stress relief.

Sources: The Irish Examiner / The Irish Independant / 96fm / The Journal / The Belfast Telegraph / The Herald

Saturday, October 30, 2010

U.N.E.T.I.D.A. "lost no capability"

The Atlantic reported earlier in the week that last Saturday morning, at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming an engineering fault took 50 ICBMs [almost 10% of the U.S. nuclear missile capability] offline. Originally said to be a power failure [unlikely due to redundant power supplies, auxiliary generators and even temporary battery power] it was later corrected to a fault with old communication cabling deep within the underground complex.

According to people briefed on what happened, a squadron of ICBMs controlled by the 90th Missile Wing suddenly dropped down into what's known as "LF Down" status, meaning that the missile operators in their bunkers could no longer communicate with the missiles themselves. LF Down status also means that various security protocols built into the missile delivery system, like intrusion alarms and warhead separation alarms, were offline.

Commanders at the AFB sent warning notices to the country's two other nuclear missile command centers, as well as the to the NMCC at the Pentagon. At that point, they did not know what was causing the failure, and they did not know whether other missile systems were experiencing similar symptoms.

Engineers noted that hardware failures had triggered a similar cascading failure 12 years ago at Minot AFB in North Dakota and Malmstrom AFB in Montana. That piece of hardware is the prime suspect. An Air Force spokesperson, Christy Nolta, said the failure lasted less than an hour. "There was a temporary interruption and the missiles themselves were always protected by multiple, redundant, safety, security and command and control features. At no time was there any danger to the public," she said. Another military official said the failure triggered an emergency inspection protocol, and sentries were dispatched to verify in person that all of the missiles were safe and properly protected.

Some reports suggest that the missiles were rendered inoperable by UAOs like the ones that former Air Force missile officers describe as interfering with missile systems in the past as they stated to the National Press Club recently:



Brigadier General “Ballista” Jackson, U.N.E.T.I.D.A. Missile Defence Commander [Northern] also answered media questions during the week. "UNETIDA is confident that at no time were we not able to strike against extra-terrestrial aggressors in orbit or implement our scorched earth policy on the ground as a result of the fault. We are satisfied that U.S. Global Strike Command has an efficient infrastructure in place that enable us to protect the planet should it be required."

While UNETIDA has no ICBMs of its own, emergency powers to launch and control the weapons are intended to be granted to them by the heads of state of China, France, the Russian Federation, the U.K. and the U.S.A. should the need arise.

Source: Eamonn / The Atlantic / FOX News

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Stars barred

When Congress returns from it's pre-election break on Nov. 15th, a deep freeze will settle over the confirmation process for flag and general officer promotions and assignments as Sen. Jim Webb [D-Va.] a key lawmaker, uses senatorial privilege to place a hold on the nominations. Usually these holds are done in secret and are of a short duration but Webb, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s personnel subcommittee, mailed the Defense Department on Monday and issued a public statement announcing what he is doing.

Webb is fighting to try to save the Virginia-based U.S. Joint Forces Command from the closure and subsequent loss of 3000 jobs announced by Defense Secretary Robert Gates as a budget-cutting measure but has had difficultly wrestling information from the military to help make its case and will now put a hold on all nominations until the Pentagon answers questions he first posed two months ago.

The information he is seeking is a historical comparison of the size of the defense and service staffs and the size of staffs at combatant commands, which he believes will show that growth in Pentagon-based staff has been far greater than growth in places like the Joint Forces Command.

Webb served five years in the Pentagon, including time as Navy secretary and as the assistant defense secretary for reserve affairs, said he doesn’t understand what is taking so long. “This failure to respond to a request for basic information that should be readily available is indicative of the lack of cooperation that has characterized the proposal to close the U.S. Joint Forces Command,” he said in a statement. “The lack of transparency and consultation stand in stark contrast to how decisions traditionally are made.”

Senate approval is required for appointments above O-6 after being nominated by The President.

Source: Marine Corps Times

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Town, a nice place to see but a bad place to be.

Ben Affleck is certainly not anywhere near my favourite actors list, so when it was suggested that I go to see his latest movie I initially said no, but only because I’d not heard of it and I presumed it was his usual turgid shit. You know the kind; something along the lines of him falling in love with Sandra Bullock or someone playing someone dying of a rare disease but she showed him how to embrace his humanity or something equally “entertaining”. Then it was explained that Affleck was a bank robber along with the excellent Jeremy The Hurt Locker Renner and they’d be taking part in Heat-style shootouts with cops during their bank raids. Then later, I discovered that Affleck had actually directed it and while not my cup of tea, his work on Gone Baby Gone seemed to have been well received. These revelations coupled with a viewing of the trailer successfully changed my mind and the resulting viewing of The Town has forever altered my perception of Ben Affleck, perhaps not as an actor but as a competent and more than adequate dramatic director.

Overall, The Town seemed like a very ambitious project for him, but I’ll be the first to say this stint as a director has produced results I’d have previously reserved for Roger Donaldson or Dominic Sena. His action scenes, while not Micheal Mann by any means, were still perfectly judged, choreographed, lit and shot and it’s not every director, even every action-movie director that can pull that off so flawlessly with such little experience. Affleck did fall into the trap of making himself the star which is not a conceit, but a judgement of what he can do and foreknowledge of the project and it frankly is probably a better idea for an actor without extensive directing experience to do. In the hope that Affleck’s directing career is as least as successful as Sly Stallone’s; eventually Affleck could direct something and allow a superior actor to take some of the limelight as Stallone did with Jason Statham in the sublime masterpiece of action - The Expendables.

While he never brings anything more then the acting chops of a mildly retarded Keanu Reeves to the front of the camera, Affleck's judgement behind it made up for his woeful acting. He added in a pretty good cast to round off this entertaining movie. These included the aforementioned Jeremy Renner who did a brilliant take on the slightly psychotic friend-since-childhood who Affleck is indebted to. Mad Men’s John Hamm as a slightly assholeish and a-bit-incompetent FBI Agent that of course helps “glorify” the nefarious actions of the thieves to some extent. Rebecca The Prestige Hall played the panicked bank manager in a role that sadly lost touch with reality partway through the movie. Rounding out the cast were Chris Cooper and Pete Postlethwaite both looking seriously haggard since I last laid eyes on them and make you hope there’s serious make-up involved in their current appearance.

The story wasn’t too revolutionary. A new take on the bank robbers who have outwitted and escaped the cops who know who committed the crime and have no evidence to convict so are just waiting for a screw up. What makes this different is that our protagonist falls for the assistant manager of a bank they rob and is prepared to leave his life of crime, his family of thieves and neer-do-wells to go build a life with her instead, after one last job of course.

Final Verdict: Affleck is well on the way to becoming an accomplished director and his effort here is remarkable enough that he should consider focusing on it from now on. The movie is quite entertaining if not in any way spectacular. Very realistic shootouts but they're too few and the fluff between them is at times too yawnworthy to warrant a higher rating. A step in the right direction and certainly worth a look.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ***1/2

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Colonel's Bullets - October 25th 2010

Mel Gibson cut from Hangover 2

Mel Gibson's tattoo artist cameo role in the sequel to comedy hit The Hangover was cut and recast with Liam Neeson after the stars and crew protested to the director and producers.

Gibson is in the middle of a bitter custody dispute with singer OksanaGrigorieva. Voice messages in which he threatened her were made public this summer, and she has accused him of hitting her while she was holding their infant daughter. In light of this the crew and cast led by Zach Galifianakis were adamant that it would hurt the movie to include Gibson.

A source close to Gibson was outraged that the same folks who had no problem resuscitating the career of convicted rapist Mike Tyson couldn't stomach doing the same for Gibson. "It's such hypocrisy. They cast a convicted rapist but 86'd Mel," Gibson's pal told TMZ.

Jean Claude Van Damme's Heart Attack

On Wednesday, Jean Claude TimeCop/Universal Soldier Van Damme was reported to have had a heart attack. Twitchfilm.net reported that the Belgian star was admitted to hospital in New Orleans after suffering a mild heart attack.

Van Damme responded on his own Facebook page: "Hours ago, I read a rumor online about me suffering heart attack!!," he wrote. "Please, do not believe all what you read from rumors on any unofficial JCVD sites. Jean-Claude Van Damme is 100% healthy, training well for taking the fight and sending his fans & friends much love."

TwitchFilm later said its original information came off a Van Damme fan discussion board.

Simon MacCorkindale R.I.P.

Simon MacCorkindale, star of Falcon Crest, Holby City but perhaps best known as Dr. Jonathan Chase in the short lived Manimal died October 14th from cancer at age 58.

After a career in theatre, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, MacCorkindale starred in a variety of films and serials, including Quatermass, Death on the Nile, The Sword and the Sorcerer and Jaws 3-D. Through the rest of 80s and early 1990s, he starred in several television shows and also directed and produced numerous stage and TV productions including Relic Hunter and Queen of Swords. In 2002 he joined the cast of the BBC medical drama Casualty as Harry Harper, remaining in the role for six years.

He lived on and ran an Arabian stud-farm on Exmoor with his wife, British actress Susan George whom he met in 1977 and married in secret in Fiji in October 1984. They had no children.

Randy Quaid and wife officially loose their minds

Independance Day actor Randy Quaid and his wife Evi are seeking asylum in Canada, claiming they are being persecuted in the US. The couple were arrested in Vancouver on Thursday on US warrants related to vandalism charges, issued last week after they missed a court appearance. "We feel our lives are in danger," Evi Quaid told an immigration adjudicator. Their lawyer showed the media a handwritten statement, in which the Quaids said they were "requesting asylum from Hollywood 'star whackers'."

Last month the Quaids were charged by US police with illegal occupation of their former home in Santa Barbara, California to which they caused more than $5,000 in damage. When they failed to show up in court to answer those charges last Monday, a warrant was issued for their arrest. The Quaids have been released from custody in Canada and are expected to attend a hearing later in the next week.

At Friday's immigration hearing, Evi Quaid alleged that a number of her husband's actor friends - among them Heath Ledger and David Carradine - had been killed in recent years. "Randy has known eight close friends murdered in odd, strange manners," she said in what the Reuters news agency called a "rambling" presentation. "We feel that we're next."

Sources: CBC / Fox / BBC / Twitchfilm / TMZ