Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"It's pointless to resist" - Vader robs a bank!

Patrons and staff at a Chase bank in Setauket, Long Island felt the power of the Force on Thursday last when they were robbed by Lord Darth Vader!

Vader didn't force-choke anyone but he did brandish an automatic pistol which he used in a threatening manner to ward off people laughing at him and demanded cash be placed in his "Yankees" backpack.

Read the full story here with updates here and here, which are laced with so many unsubtle Star Wars references that it actually ruins the effect.

Source: Darth Harrington / Bruce Russell / The Gothamist

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Goodbye Stan

Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, retired Friday at a ceremony at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C.

During the ceremony SECDEF Gates called McChrystal one of America’s greatest warriors and a treasured friend and colleague. “We bid farewell to Stan McChrystal today with pride and sadness,” Gates said. “Pride for his unique record as a man and soldier; sadness that our comrade and his prestigious talents are leaving us.

“Over the past decade, no single American has inflicted more fear and more loss of life on our country’s most vicious and violent enemies than Stan McChrystal,” he said. “Commanding special operation forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, Stan was a pioneer in creating a revolution in warfare that fused intelligence and operations. And when violence in Iraq seemed almost unstoppable in 2006 and 2007, McChrystal and his special operators all but “crushed al-Qaida.”

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said McChrystal is a true warrior and professional, calling him one of the most experienced and successful officers in today’s Army. His career has been unique and amazing, Casey said, noting his various assignments in special warfare units, as well as positions on the Joint Staff and as commander of forces in Afghanistan. “Stan has had a truly remarkable career in both peace and war; He has walked the career path of a warrior, scholar and statesman. I can’t think of no officer who’s had more impact on this country’s battle against extremism,” he said. “For 34 years, Stan McChrystal … his face has been marred by the dust and sweat of combat. He is a warrior … our Army and our nation will deeply miss him.”

McChrystal resigned amid controversy last month after Rolling Stone magazine published a high-profile article in which the general and his aides made disparaging comments about top Obama administration officials.

“This has the potential to be an awkward, or even a sad occasion,” McChrystal said. “With my resignation, I left a mission I feel strongly about. I ended a career I loved that began over 38 years ago, and I left unfulfilled commitments I made to many comrades in the fight.

McChrystal’s service spanned four decades. He assumed command in Afghanistan in June 2009, following then-commander Army Gen. David McKiernan’s resignation. Obama’s order for an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan was based on McChrystal’s assessment of the war there.

As I leave the Army to those with responsibilities to carry on, I’d say service in this business is tough and often dangerous,” McChrystal said. “If I had it to do over again, I’d do some things in my career differently, but not many. I trust in people, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

Source: Defence.gov

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Colonel's Bullets - July 24th 2010

Shooting on the new Conan movie is going strong and should be finished soon if not already. Jason Stargate: Atlantis Mamoa certainly looks more like the artistic depictions of Robert E. Howard's character than Ahnold ever did. If it's any good remains to be seen.

http://www.conan.com/
http://www.conanmovieblog.com/


SyFy's Battlestar Galactica spin-off Caprica will now not return until January 2011.
Battlestar Galactica fans were no strangers to inconvenient lengthy breaks between seasons and halves of seasons; but the difference between BSG and Caprica was that BSG was always worth waiting for, whereas most of Caprica has been shit. I'm now declaring the show dead and won't watch it's return.

http://ie.tv.ign.com/articles/110/1107505p1.html
http://www.syfy.com/caprica/


There will be a third epidode of Robot Chicken Star Wars.
Get ready for a third Star Wars parody episode from the lovable scamps over at Robot Chicken. It's already underway and will feature the additional voices of both Zac Efron and C-3PO himself, Anthony Daniels. "We're telling more of a linear story this time that covers the series from start to finish," said Robot creator/voicer Seth Green. "We wanted to take the Star Wars universe and see if through the eyes of our Robot Chicken: Star Wars Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader, Boba Fett and Gary the Stormtrooper," continued co-creator Matthew Senreich.
Robot Chicken Star Wars Episode III will air on Dec 12th .

http://livefeed.hollywoodreporter.com/2010/07/robot-chicken-readies-third-star-wars-spoof.html

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Don't think of elephants - but do go to INCEPTION

It's pretty straightforward to extract an idea from someones head, but a whole different ballgame to implant an original idea in there in such a way that makes the person think they came up with the idea themselves.

That's the central premise of Inception, the latest movie from Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan, and if you can get your head around this fact as well as: time moves 10 times faster in your dream than outside it, you can dream within a dream and a fall will wake you up, then you'll have no problem following the threads and layers of this complex masterpiece of modern cinema.

Leonardo DiCaprio has long shed his teen heartthrob image to become one of the finest actors of his generation and doesn’t disappoint here as the central character Cobb, a specialist in retrieving secrets from peoples minds for hire. He lives in constant guilt over the death of his wife Mal [Marion Public Enemies Cotillard] who invades his dreams as well as the subconscious of those he works with including the excellent Joseph G.I.Joe Gordon-Levitt as Arthur, Eames [Tom Star Trek: Nemesis Hardy], Saito [Ken The Last Samurai Wanatabe] and Ellen X-Men: The Last Stand Page who portrays Ariadne the character through whose own education on the subject, we learn about the dreamscape. Supported by Cillian Murphy, Pete Postlethwaite, Tom Berenger and a now almost obligatory appearence in a Nolan film by Michael Caine, needless to say with such a stellar cast, this movie would be above average even if it was badly directed, shot, scored and written. It’s none of these things however as each of the production elements are the very finest today.

The movie is as twisting and turning as Nolan's other efforts, The Prestige and Mamento, the latter an adaptation of a work by Phillip K. Dick. Dick who wrote stories that became the movies Minority Report, Blade Runner and A Scanner Darkly, to name but a few, certainly is one of Nolan's great influences and it has taken the obvious writing talent of Nolan himself to craft a story that is worthy of Dick's influence rather than being yet another adaptation. This means – just in case you haven’t got the message yet - that you are required to a) have a brain and b) bring it to the cinema with you on this rare occasion. Following the threads and layers of what the characters are experiencing and what they are intending to do requires clarity of thought, concentration and intelligence; sadly elements lacking in most of the younger generation of cinemagoers based on comments I overheard upon exit out of the auditorium.

Nolan knows exactly what he’s doing as proved from the success of his Batman movies and here he navigates us through an amazing journey, the likes of which we have never been on before. Two recognisable tools he uses here are Wally Pfister his traditional director of photography who can shoot with such resonance that you’ll remember the images long after you’ve seen it, just as you have done with The Dark Knight's IMAX sequences. Just as importantly, Nolan enlisted another Batman alumnus, the great Hans Zimmer himself to compose a hauntingly melodic yet viscerally rhythmic score which fits the on screen images like a finely tailored glove and maintains it’s own when listened to outside the celluloid experience.

This is not just a thinky psychological mumbo-jumbo thriller though, it sports some incredible CGI work, possibly more than Nolan has ever used before [he's not a fan of CGI] and it sports some incredible action sequences, including a lesson on “dreaming bigger” when you need a gun and an incredibly unique fight scene with shifting gravitational forces. They do more than break up the complex expositionary dialogue however, they are at the core of this magnificent spectacle and in 10 years time they will be spoken about with the reverence that we now speak of the sequences in The Matrix today.


Final Verdict: Simply outstanding. Everything here is world class. Undoubtedly one of the best movies of the year and will hopefully set the standard for science fiction if not all movies for this decade. More of this please.

Colonel Creedon rating: *****+

Friday, July 23, 2010

Police Woman Kills Hostage Taker! - Part 18 in my "Shoot First, Questions Never" series!

I'll let the video speak for itself...

THE COLONEL'S WARNING:
This video is real, it is not a re-enactment and depicts a young woman being stabbed in the arm by a man who is later shot in the head and killed by a lightening-fast female Chinese cop.

Viewer Discretion Advised.



Source: Military.com

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Don't dread Dredd

There's rumours abound that Karl Urban will be the next Judge Dredd. A script review appeared online recently and doen't sound too bad at all. The Sylvester Stallone one wasn't a masterpiece but still good enjoyable fun. I'm hoping this one won't be so "harmless" and that Urban isn't so egotistical about his face being in a movie than Sly [Judge Dredd must never appear without his helmet covering his face]. The new $50m 3D filmed Dredd will be written by Alex 28 Days Later Garland and directed by Pete Vantage Point Travis.

Source: IGN, AICN

The Colonel's Bullets - July 22nd 2010

The Fall Guy Reboot! - Sweet Lucas, Hollywood is really hell-bent on ressurecting dead franchises. Dreamworks are on the case of The Fall Guy, a once-beloved 80's TV show about a Hollywood stuntman who was also a bounty hunter played by Lee Majors.

I pedict this will fail because the only thing good I remember about this show is the theme music and Heather Thomas, neither of which can be replaced once you've sampled the originals.

Do you want to know more?

[This previously appeared as a sidebar bullet but has been reproduced as a blog post for testing]

"The Colonel's Bullets" reloaded

It has been suggested that I move my "bullets" (which traditionally appear in the left sidebar) into main blog posts where such postings can more easily be seen and of course commented upon. I will also most likely include more than one bullet in each post where appropriate.

The left sidebar will display notable U.S. General and Flag officer appointments above the Department of Defense news widget now that it works.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

PREDATORS - a true sequel!

When your studio has already made one of the most beloved sci-fi classics of all time and followed it up with a somewhat mediocre sequel - then over a decade later - joined their monster with an even more terrifying monster for two movies that didn’t hit the mark at the box-office; I’m sure that the right thing to do in order to keep the franchise alive is to make a new movie based on the elements of what made the original so great?

And that’s a good thing, because when you strip away the layers upon layers of homage [or rip off] from Predators, the original ideas here wouldn’t have supported it’s weight – the weight of something this frikkin' cool! It has an air of familiarity despite having the concept turned on it's head. The Pred's aren't coming to our world this time, they've grabbed some of us to bring to theirs, but it's still a jungle and the humans are still seemingly hopelessly outmatched and that's what makes it good - it's survival horror but with heavy weapons, an exploration of man's ultimate strengths, wits and fears!

The characters here are a far more diverse group then we've ever seen before. A mix of exceptional killers both criminals and professionals but all are different and unique in their own special way. They’re presumably abducted from Earth and sent to one of the Predators’ hunting planets, where they’re parachute dropped and fully armed with their own specialist weapons with which to provide their abductors with suitable sport. At first they must overcome their own considerable differences and learn to work as closely as a team as possible rather than give into their more base instincts to kill each other outright; literally a world apart from Major “Dutch” Shaffer and his close knit Spec Ops team of hard-core soldiers who would [and did] die for each other.

Adrien Brody [right] put on 25 pounds of muscle to prepare himself for the role of Royce, the central character who adopts the mantle of leader as he's a former U.S. military officer and thus the only type of person capable of doing that despite being an amoral asshole [but the best of us are ;)]. The strange group also consists of such equally heavily armed individuals as Spetsnaz soldier, Nikolai, (Oleg Taktarov), a Mexican Los Zetas drug cartel enforcer, Cuchillo, (Danny Trejo), and an IDF black ops sniper, Isabelle, (Alice Braga). They encounter more people dropped from the sky, including a RUF officer, Mombasa, (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), who is fighting with a Death Row inmate, Stans, (Walton Goggins). A silent Yakuza assassin, Hanzo, (Louis Ozawa Changchien) and an American doctor, Edwin (Topher Grace) round out the group. They discover that all of them have no idea of how they got to the jungle and deciding that they should all stick together [helped by the fact that they all inexplicably speak English], they venture in one direction to find possible aid.

But they only find DEATH!!! - yes that's a spoiler sure, but only if you're a complete cretin. Predators sticks so rigidly to the formula of the original, it leaves not only little to surprise but presents total predictability as long as several minutes before the event - and I mean total. Story aside, thankfully the scope of the acting on behalf of the players is above standard for the subject matter, there is a genuine sense of "what the fuck am I doing here?" that lasts a lenghty time and the characters discuss their predicament at length with perhaps a little too much dialog at times. There is little comic relief [sadly no genre-defining pussy-jokes] which is a blessing since it's not right that this group of people should be endeared to us in this fashion. But that could be considered a problem as well as we don't feel the loss of any of this cast as we did Blain, Mac or Billy more than 20 years ago.

Iron Man 2 composer John Debney wrote to Predator composer Alan Silvestri as Producer Robert Rodriguez and Director Nimr√≥d Antal wanted Debney to use Silvestri’s Predator themes in Predators. Silvestri never got back to Debney much to his disappointment but Debney went ahead and recreated as much of Silvestri’s score as possible and thus it adds to the sheer adrenaline rush of the whole experience. Musically, Predators is a winner right up to the end credits where Little Richard’s "Long Tall Sally" has been grossly misplaced over the titles. While it was certainly fitting in a blacked out CIA chopper with a group of intence yet jovial Special Operators in Guatamala in ’87; is has absolutely no place here whatsoever.

The movie's flaws sadly hamstrings it from attaining anywhere near the status of the original. Having said that, few movies will ever top just how awesome Predator is [everyone reading this blog has seen Predator at least once so you know how awesome it is]. It's easily in the top 10 movies of the 80’s and in the top 50 movies of all time. I’m officially declaring Predators better than Predator 2, which despite having it’s moments, never captured the essence of the original [I actually gave my DVD away to someone]. Predators succeeds here in spades because it’s basically the first movie with a dose of weak crack, you'll get a high while watching it but that high won't last as long as the original's.

Final Verdict: Despite the unendearing characters, lack of plot and its bizarre predictibility; we have some incredible action sequences, superb acting and enough "essence" from the original transfused into this to make a solid cinematic experience. This is the true sequel we should have got much earlier, but better late than never. Bring on the sequels...

Colonel Creedon rating: ****

Monday, July 12, 2010

PRIME GETS HIS TRAILER

Finally all is well in the world :)

Source: AICN

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Day Wonder Woman "Died"!

I don't have too much interest in DC Comics characters outside the Batman franchise with a minor smattering of Superman and a brief encounter with The Flash TV show in the '90's [before I found out John Wesley Shipp's "secret"]. Outside of Batman I own exactly zero DC superhero comics and have only read a few of my friends ones. Now while it is fair to say it was Erin Grey on Buck Rogers that first awakened levels of "excitement" in my pre-adolescent mind, but I'd offer it was Lynda Carter in her iconic Wonder Woman garb that made me understand it was going to be great to be a man.

But as iconic as it may be, it seems that modern politically correct assholes have crept into the upper echelon's of DC comics, or worse: Communists have! I present here Wonder Woman's "new" costume [right].

As you can see it's a travesty. Most of her upper torso is now covered, visible cleavage is reduced but worst of all: Wonder Woman is now wearing pants! What the FUCK????!!!! - but just when you thout it couldn't get any worse: - look - they're not made from white stars on blue material - that's right. They've taken her stars away, they've reduced the red and all the white is gone altogether in a swift almost vulgar Fuck-You to American patriotism!

Artist and DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee, who undertook the redesign, admitted in a blog post on the DC website that changing the classic costume was incredibly challenging and there have been allusions to the fact that this needed to be done for the forthcoming 2013 Wonder Woman movie, but that's no excuse - movie continuity is always separate from comic book canon so have your shitty unpatriotic Wonder Woman in your movie but leave an American icon as recognisable as Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty the fuck alone!

More at Fox or Pete Bradshaw at The Guardian