Friday, December 28, 2012

Goodbye to The Bear, R.I.P. Norman Schwarzkopf 1934 - 2012

I was a captain commanding a Force Recon platoon with the the 13th MEU in August 1990. We were beginning a routine deployment when orders came in diverting us to Southwest Asia. We knew something big was going down. The orders came from CENTCOM commanded by a giant bear of an Army officer, one General H. Norman Schwarzkopf.

Yesterday in Tampa Florida where he had retired, Schwarzkopf died at aged 78 of complications from pneumonia bringing an end to the life of one of the United States most celebrated generals and commander of one of the most successful military campaigns in history.


A New Jersey born Army brat, Schwarzkopf studied in Europe before attending West Point in his father's footsteps, graduating with a degree in engineering in '56. He served two tours in 'Nam, once as a battalion commander and among many other awards he earned three Silver Stars, including one for crawling through a minefield to rescue his wounded troops.

Schwarzkopf stayed in service after Vietnam. During the 70's he attended U.S. Army War College and served on the Army General Staff at the Pentagon. Later he was Deputy Commander of U.S. Forces Alaska and then commanded, 1st Brigade, 9th Infantry. After getting his first star, Brigadier General Schwarzkopf served at PACOM, later Assistant Division Commander (Support) of the 8th Mechanized Division in Germany. 

Major General Schwarzkopf was commander of the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division, at Fort Stewart, Georgia and became Deputy Commander of the Joint Task Force which invaded Grenada in 1983. Lt. General Schwarzkopf commanded I Corps before gaining his fourth star and taking command of CENTCOM in 1988.

General Schwarzkopf capstoned his impressive career as combatant commander of Operation: Desert Storm, a U.S.-led international coalition of 30 nations organized by President George H.W. Bush, that succeeded in driving Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces out of Kuwait in 1991.

Schwarzkopf declined an appointment as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army to instead retire. In his best-selling autobiography, “It Doesn’t Take A Hero”, of his Gulf War role, he said: “I like to say I’m not a hero. I was lucky enough to lead a very successful war.”


Throughout his career Schwarzkopf earned Distinguished Service Medals from The Department of Defense and all branches of the armed forces including 4 from the army, three Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Stars [and Combat 'V'], two Purple Hearts, seven Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Commendation Medals [and Combat 'V'], The U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, Knight Commander of Most Honourable Order of the Bath from the UK and Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour from france.

He is survived by his wife Brenda and children Cynthia, Jessica and Christian.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas


 Merry Christmas to all readers, followers and friends. 
Have a good one.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Corps of Stars

On Saturday the former head of Marine Corps Forces Command, Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic Lieutenant General John "Jay" M. Paxton Jr. of Chester PA. pinned on his fourth star to become the 33rd Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps.

At a ceremony at the Marine Barracks in Washington D.C., Paxton was promoted by Marine Corps Commandant General James F. Amos and replaces 32nd ACMC General Joseph F. "Fighting Joe" Dunford Jr. who has been confirmed as the next Commander of the International Security Assistance Force and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan.

In his remarks Gen. Amos addressed a crowd which included former CMCs James Jones and Alfred Grey and said that the ACMC's job was difficult having had first hand experience of it himself before becoming CMC.

Gen. James F. Amos, CMC and Debbie Paxton, pin on Gen. John M. Paxton Jr., ACMC his current rank of general during a ceremony, Dec. 15. - Photo: Sgt. Dengrier Baez / Marine Corps
Gen. Paxton became the Corps sixth currently serving 4-star general, nearly unprecedented for the service which only got it's first 4-star in 1945 after 170 years of existence. U.S. Code of law normally limits the Corps to two 4-star generals - the CMC and the ACMC. Currently, however there are four other USMC generals currently serving in Joint Assignments which do not count towards this limit: 
- Gen. Dunford, as aforementioned who is awaiting assignment and preparing for his new position as COMISAF/COMUSFOR-A. 
- General John R. Allen, the current COMISAF/COMUSFOR-A and who has been nominated to replace Admiral James G. Stavridis as Supreme Allied Commander Europe [although the nomination is on hold pending the outcome of an Inspector General's investigation of Allen's involvement in the Petraeus affair].
- Lt. General John F. Kelly was promoted to general and took command of U.S. Southern Command in November.
- General James N. "Mad Dog" Mattis is currently Commander, U.S. Central Command but his replacement, Army General Lloyd Austin has been announced and Mattis will have to be appointed elsewhere or retire early next year. Two possibilities under wild speculation are that he could be SACEUR should Gen. Allen's nomination be withdrawn or that he could once again replace David Patraeus [as he did as Commander CENTCOM] as CIA Director.

The bad news is Brasso is now out of stock at Wamart!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

No post title

I am personally deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life in the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut on Friday. My condolences to the families of the victims during what should be the joyous of seasons.

Once again, I am abhorred by the media frenzy which surrounds an event like this. This is exactly what the sick, twisted and mentally disturbed individual who perpetrated this crime wanted so he didn't die a nobody. Sadly the media seems to be all to eager give him the attention he desired.

His name will not be uttered here, nor will his image be published as I wish nothing but for him to experience pain in the fires of hell for all eternity.

Whopper

Argo

During the Iran Hostage crisis of 1979/80, six staff at the U.S. embassy escaped and hid at the Canadian Ambassador’s residence. The White House and the CIA had a number of different ideas to retrieve them from Iran but the extraction mission was given to Tony Mendez who would go into Iran posing as a Hollywood Movie producer doing a location scout for Argo, a middle-eastern themed science-fiction adventure film. The plan was that he would then leave with his “crew”, the Americans holed up at the Canadian embassy.


Unlike Matt Damon or Tom Cruise, Ben Affleck doesn’t have people running into the movie theatre to watch him act anymore but after his success behind the camera with The Town, I’d be one of the people running into said theatre to watch a movie he directed.  As the subject matter was very close to home [intelligence agent creates an elaborate and precarious plot to get the job done] and based on a practically unbelievable true story that only came to light many years after the fact [much as my own will I hope] this was something I was really looking forward to.

I doubt anyone was disappointed. Affleck’s attention to detail in recreating the period was staggering, even down to the old red-background Warner Brothers logo. Knowing what the story was may have prompted an idea that the film would drag a little. However, through Affleck’s superb direction and focusing on the significant events [with a few elements of creative licence near the end] in this dramatic tale meant that the tension was nail-biting from opening to climax. Affleck’s portrayal of Mendez was clinical yet empathic. Alan Arkin as Lester Siegel and John Goodman as John Chambers as were superb and gave the project the air of controlled levity preventing it from descending into farce.  Special mention for the usual stony-faced Victor Garber as Ambassador Taylor who even smiled during one scene.

I normally dislike true stories as often a directors ego or opinion [or in worse cases a studio’s political agenda] will get in the way of the truth, but I can’t find any evidence of deliberate mischaracterisation or misinterpretation here save for changes required for dramatic licence and to fit the movie into a reasonable run time [sorry Brits, New Zealanders you got the asshole stick due to pacing]. Thanks for being honest and true to the important facts Ben and for giving us this gem.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****1/2

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Skyfall reviewed


Daniel Craig’s stewardship of the mantle of Bond beginning with 2006’s Casino Royale brought with it a sense of realism that was not a staple of the franchise. However despite dropping the laser watch and exploding pen, Bond is probably the best he’s ever been. Audiences have evolved and there is now so many other “spy-gadget” movies like the Mission: Impossible series that people no longer feel there is anything missing from a Bond movie when our hero’s car doesn’t turn into a submarine. Much to our benefit, Skyfall’s creators have chosen to fill the void vacated by the improbable and infused the series with a… dare I say the over-used word ‘gritty’ realism that modern audiences seem to demand now from their action thrillers.


Craig has already made Bond his own and I think despite another long gap in the series due to legal woes, he’s got a couple more 007 outings left before he should be replaced [with Michael Fassbender if I or an equally competent producer is calling the shots]. In Skyfall Dame Judy Dench returns as M, matriarch of MI6 and Ralph Fiennes made an appearance as Mallory. I cannot fault the performances of Naomie Pirates of the Caribbean Harris as Eve, Ben The International Whishaw as an new Q or Javiar Bardem as Silva, the villain of the piece -  although the latter performance in places left me a little uncomfortable. Even the score from Thomas Newman, one of the most unremarkable composers in Hollywood today, was top notch and despite not being up to the standard of David Arnold it sounds good on screen and off.

Skyfall is still unmistakably a James Bond movie but with an alternative focus on the Bond character not seen since George Lazenby’s sublime performance in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. In that movie, Bond was prepared to end his womanising ways and commit himself to marriage, here in Skyfall we are treated to a significant slice of the character’s history before he became the world’s greatest secret agent. Sam Mendez has done an incredible job with the material and has crafted a movie to rival Casino Royale in perfection as well as correcting the flaws of Quantum of Solace. It does seem like he’s not quite finished with what he wants to do so I hope he gets to continue the tale he started.

Final verdict: Bond as good as he has ever been - and more.


Colonel Creedon Rating:  *****

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Did Medvedev drop the ball on UNETIDA protocols?

UNETIDA, the UN sponsored international military organisation tasked with protecting the planet from would-be extraterrestrial aggressors has had it's top counter-intelligence and disinformation specialists working overtime this weekend as Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev revealed seeing top-secret files on extraterrestrials on Earth.


Reports in the associated press reveal that in footage recorded Friday after a TV interview, the former president said that Russian leaders "are given a report of the absolutely secret special service that exercises control over aliens on the territory of our country". Unseen on camera footage, he was heard telling a Ren TV journalist he could not tell “how many of them are among us, because it may cause panic.”

Colonel "Whopper" Creedon, UNETIDA/UNPASID Director of Intelligence said that "a UNETIDA representative meets with high ranking world leaders, explains the situation to them and informs them of their emergency powers granted under UN laws as well as the rare situations where their military command can be superseded by UNETIDA for the good of the planet".

Creedon said UNETIDA will not be giving an official response, but instead has altered press reports to include terms that made the Prime Minister seem "like a goofball" by referencing Barry Sonenfeld's Men In Black movies and making it clear from the wording of the news reports that he was joking.

"It's not too far fetched that the man was joking" said the Colonel "During his presidency he showed that he had a sense of humour. Now if this was stony-face Putin doing the talking we'd be fucked. Royally fucked!"

Source: AP / MSNBC / The Telegraph

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Vampire awakens in Serbia!

Garlic has become the most sought after product in the area of the hamlet of Zarozje in Bajina Basta, Serbia. Apparently the local council advised all villagers to place garlic on their doors and windows and to put a Holy Cross in every room, to ward off the legendary vampire, Sava Savanovic.

Savanovic is understood to have been 'reawakened' after an old watermill in which he was believed to have lived collapsed recently according to news reports. The mill had become a tourist attraction, but was left in disrepair by the family who owned it because they feared disturbing it's undead inhabitant.

Villagers are now terrified that the vampire, one of the country's most feared and most famous, is roaming the countryside looking for fresh blood.

Colonel "Whopper" Creedon, Director of Intelligence for UNETIDA/UNPASID said he was aware of the reports but was confident that it was simply a bid by locals to attract visitors to the impoverished region. He had no comment when asked if an UNPASID Paranormal Eradication Unit had been dispatched to deal with the potential threat.

Villagers who cashed in catering to tourists fascinated by the legend of Savanovic say they now wish they had left the place well alone.

Source: The Telegraph / Daily Mail / AP

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Your access code is invalid

When the head of a major intelligence organisation leaves the fold as it were, the top-tiers of all major security protocols are rewritten so only those in active service know what they are. As you can imagine this takes some time but as more often than not the people are political appointees that may or may not survive complete changes in government - individuals in my line of work know that we have lead time to get things done before the changing of the guard.

When the head of the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States volunteers to resign suddenly however and it can't be confirmed by a reliable or 1st hand knowledge that there was no security breach in a very short window we have to burn the top seven tiers of protocols. The CIA has access only to three of UNPASID's and two of UNETIDA's, but I've always been more conservative when secrets are concerned. After all, the Director of the CIA has access to information beyond what the general public believe. This includes what happened at Roswell in 1947, the true ballistics report on the Kennedy assassination and of course the real Coca-Cola formula, not to mention several things we have a vested interest in keeping buried.

While King David's indiscretions are unlikely to have any ramifications to shared intelligence operations, they have basically had me on site permanently at HQ for the past few weeks supervising the largest UNETIDA/UNPASID security/intelligence protocol overhaul ever. It actually couldn't have come at a better time as our organisation[s] are in a state of transition following decisions made by the UN General Assembly in it's annual sitting recently as it reviewed our tumultuous year. Thankfully we're almost done and normal blog-posting should resume December 2nd.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Friday, November 09, 2012

The Grand Old Party needs to evolve

Come January, President Mitt Romney should have been taken to Area 51* where it would have been revealed to him that it wasn't just the belligerent nations of Earth he should be worried about. But he won't. Mitt Romney will not be the president of the United States next year because he lost the election - it wasn't that President Obama won, regardless of what the media tells you, it was because Mitt Romney lost.

Romney is most certainly not to blame however; sure he was uncharismatic and aloof and he had a cult religion but no, the responsibility for his dismal failure is firmly in the hands of the Republican Party. The GOP fielded a candidate that has more experience in practical economic situations than most others in government - yet he lost an election where the economy was really the only issue that anyone voting cared about and worse, lost to a president on whose watch people still feel they are worse off than ever. Four years earlier the party put forward a dignified gentleman, a humble war hero, at a time when America was embroiled in two major conflicts - yet lost to a man with no military experience with the middle name "Hussein".

It's obvious to many that Republican Party has lost it's ability to win presidential elections due its unwillingness to accept the changing demographics of the nation's electorate. It's clear that while fiscal responsibility is something that is most necessary for them to prove, they still have to collectively shed the image of a group of angry white males who want them damn Mexicans off their lawn, don't accept the theory of evolution and remain blind to the fact that humanity may be contributing to a few "issues" with the planet that scientists are warning us about. More importantly however, they have to eliminate their precious deity from their policy making - God did not give the American people their rights - they were given by the forefathers who believed in God and simply wrote that on a scrap of paper over two hundred years ago.

The full extent of Obama's scale-tipping Latino vote is not yet known. However if Republicans retain their strident position on immigration, the percentage of their own Latino vote will drop even further than the drop between those that voted for Bush in '04 and those that supported Romney this week. As you can imagine, asking people to "self deport" themselves probably pissed them off.

Homosexuals are no longer limited to California and areas of New York anymore and now they even serve openly in the military. If Republicans are prepared to not treat them like lepers and allow them the same basic rights to have a family unit regardless of gender, I'm confident that not only would they vote Republican but they may even join the GOP.


Republicans should make efforts to distance themselves from organisations like the misguided idiots of the Tea Party rather than pander to them. They should also denounce individuals who spew hate-speech like Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck, the guys who make Bill O'Reilly sound like a liberal. They are living jokes, fossils of an age that modern politics no longer resides in.

GOP candidates must seek to define themselves in ways that go beyond merely opposing their Democratic "enemies". Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, cynically summed up the situation when he declared that his top priority was in seeing Obama defeated. People running for political office should really have more than one goal and that goal should be something more worthy than thwarting what the majority of voters decided they wanted earlier.

The GOP may also need to recalibrate their position on women's issues such as birth control and Planned Parenthood that are harming it among women and young voters. Women made up 53% of the vote and broke to Obama by a 10-point margin. Candidates with extreme positions on abortion cost the GOP some sure-win Senate seats. Scientifically ignorant and frankly reprehensible statements like Todd Akin's explanation of a females magic-shutdown of her reproductive system after suffering “legitimate rape” and Richard Mourdock's suggestion that "Rape Pregnancies Are God's Gifts" naturally cost them their races, but both were beaten by women and one of them was even a lesbian!

They miraculously still retain the House, but the GOP is licking it's wounds after their failure in the Senate and the presidential races, a failure to move with the times or move so imperceptibly slowly that it looks like they're not moving. I guess we should be thankful they seem to have by now accepted the idea that slavery is inherently wrong. Hopefully after they see the power of the Hispanic, black, female, homosexual and youth demographics in the most recent election they'll begin to understand that unless they evolve away from their archaic creationist, extremist and evangelical views, their grand old white-boys club has about as much chance of achieving national Reagan-like acceptance in 21st century society as the KKK does.


*All the cool stuff is in Area 52, but we naturally don't show politicians that.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Let history never forget the name, Enterprise!

Since the Cuban Missile Crisis there has always been one great lady at the forefront of or in support of the many conflicts of the United States - and her name is Enterprise. The eighth United States naval vessel to bear the name and nicknamed the "Big E" like her predecessor of World War II fame. At 1,123 ft. she is the longest naval vessel in the world. Her 93,284 long tons displacement ranks her as the 11th-heaviest supercarrier, after the 10 carriers of the Nimitz class. Enterprise has a crew of some 5,828 people including the air wing.

 

USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was originally scheduled for decommissioning in 2014 or 2015, depending on the life of her reactors and completion of her replacement, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). Alas the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 slated the ship's retirement for 2013, when she will have served for 51 consecutive years, longer than any other U.S. aircraft carrier.

On Sunday the only ship of her class returned home at Norfolk from her 25th deployment and for the last time under her own power, to a parade of thousands of family members and spectators. Enterprise commander Capt. William Hamilton, said that knowing "that it is the last time Enterprise will be underway through her own power makes our return very sentimental.”

Rear Adm. Ted Carter, commander of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group said “This has not been a victory lap for Enterprise. This has been a full combat operation. It’s been a business as usual kind of deployment.” The world's first nuclear powered aircraft carrier's final voyage was a cruise of more than 80,000 miles in a 238-day deployment to the Persian Gulf where her aircraft flew more than 2,000 sorties in support of OEF in Afghanistan.

The USS Enterprise carrier has had a well known association with Star Trek. It's WWII era namesake appeared as a photograph on the original Starship Enterprise in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, while a gold model of the carrier was set in the wall of the NCC-1701-D's observation lounge. While the USS Ranger had to stand in for her during the filming of StarTrek IV: The Voyage Home, the Enterprise had many Star Trek fans on her crew who even appeared on Star Trek: Enterprise and the vessel even hosted conventions on board.

"We have found the nuclear wessel. And Admiral... it is the *Enterprise*"

The decommissioning of the Enterprise on December 1st will leave the Navy with 10 carriers until the scheduled commissioning of the Gerald R. Ford in 2015. A four year decommission process will begin over the next six months when her equipment to be off-loaded and then will be towed Newport News, Va., to defuel its nuclear reactors before heading to Washington state to be dismantled and have her metal sold for scrap. It is a tragedy that she can not be honoured in a better way.

Source: Military.com / Memory Alpha

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Hail to the chief



“We are an American family and we rise and fall together as one nation and one people. We know in our hearts that in the United States of America the best is yet to come.”

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

U.S. Election Day 2012

Finally after a hopelessly long and relatively uneventful campaign, devoid of the entertainment of so many previous elections, President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney battle it out in polling stations across the United States of America today. The voting which begun first in the Eastern states will bring an end to a hard-fought race that began nearly two years ago and has cost more than $2bn. Both candidates are polling so close, it’s impossible to say who could have the upper hand despite the incumbent Obama holding a hair’s-breadth lead in the crucial swing-states.

The election is decided by a bizarrely confusing to many ‘electoral college’ system. Each state is given a quantity of electoral votes in “rough proportion” to the population. The candidate who attains 270 such votes by prevailing in the state becomes the nations president. Squadrons of elite election and constitutional lawyers have already descended to the critical battleground states, especially Ohio, anticipating the mire of a strong legal battle for the state’s vote not seen since Florida in 2000.


The candidates spent Monday frantically campaigning the crucial battleground states including Florida, Iowa, Ohio and Virginia, making final appeals for votes by pushing their supporters to the polls and  convincing the undecided to vote for them. Romney kept up his attack on Obama's record, reciting statistics illustrating the president’s failure to lift the US economy out of the worst downturn since the Great Depression. In turn the president appeared at rallies with celebrities Bruce Springsteen and  Jay-Z, acknowledging peoples frustration with the still-lagging economy but told voters "our work is not done yet… We've come too far to turn back now."

Dana Milbank, writing in the Washington Post, has spotted something "new and unusual about Mr Romney". "In the waning days of the campaign, Romney was uplifting, optimistic and inspirational." According to Sam Stein in the Huffington Post, Monday's late-night rally in Iowa emphasised how President Barack Obama's "business-like" second White House run lacked the "hope narrative" of the first. Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny in the New York Times said Obama's team believed it had rebuilt its coalition of support "just enough to win".

While the change/no change in the POTUS is far less significant than last week’s acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney, I’ll still be providing a forward looking analysis of what either “staying the course” or “under new management” will mean for the world.

Best of luck to both candidates.

Source: BBC / Fox

Monday, November 05, 2012

Sunday, November 04, 2012

UNETIDA: Mexican Volcano UFO not carrying Magma-Men refugees

Mexican media company Televisa this week released footage of an apparent 1km long UFO falling into the mouth of Popocatepetl, an active volcano in Central Mexico, 80 miles from Mexico City. The video, apparently captured on Oct 25th has received much international coverage but has clearly been debunked by amateurs and experts alike.



UNETIDA issued support for this opinion that the video is a computer generated fake and there was no UFO incident. Teniente Coronel "Halcon" Sanchez, UNETIDA Air Operations Director for South America reported that there was no unscheduled aircraft [outside of the usual transponder-less aircraft from Colombia] in his region and no objects of that size which could have made planetfall.

Director of Intelligence for UNETIDA/UNPASID Colonel "Whopper" Creedon also specified that the UFO that was faked was not a spacecraft carrying a race of sentient Magma-Men refugees arriving to live in peace beneath the surface of the planet until humanity is extinct after which they will rise to the surface and develop the planet for themselves. "So don't go looking for them because they don't exist" he said.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Everything’s going to be alright

The Disney Corporation has had very few successful original ideas in the past 20 years. They fail epically when left to their own devices, but when dealing with the established franchises created by the likes of Pixar and Marvel, who both retain a measure of creative control, it’s obvious that great magic can be woven.

Case in point, The Avengers was languishing in limbo for years but it must be acknowledged that it was under Disney’s banner that Marvel were finally able to bring to fruition what everyone hoped The Avengers movie would be – one of the greatest movies in cinema history.

Star Wars may be in a completely different ballpark to anything Disney have dealt with before but that doesn’t mean they can’t handle it. Sure, many people know Buzz Lightyear and can probably name a Marvel superhero [if they're told Batman and Superman are not Marvel superheroes] but Star Wars is bigger than all that - it's arguably as big as Disney itself!

Every living being on the planet knows something about Star Wars. It is not just a lucrative franchise, it is an international phenomenon, a way of life, a religion, and yes - at it's core - a cash cow that will never run dry - it is an empire and one that it's creator and emperor has sought to house somewhere where he believes it will flourish before he relinguishes his crown. As he is infallible, we must abide by his decision.

Disney should put everything they have now into Star Wars [but leave some energy for Marvel sequels and new character-movies, we still want them too] and forget all of the shit they make with Nicholas Cage and any more Pirates of the Caribbean sequels etc. - no one wants to see more of them.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me during this crisis, I have drawn strength from your own positivity and I will bring you all further developments in this wondrous new chapter in the world's history as I have them.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Didn't Disney already try to make Star Wars?

Yes they did, quite recently in fact! And look how that turned out!

  

ARRRRRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!! I'M GOING TO FUCKING KILL SOMEONE!!!!!!!!!!

Disney to aquire Lucasfilm



NOOOOOOOOOOO! THIS IS NOT HAPPENING!!!!!


Disney chief Robert Iger, left, and Star Wars creator George Lucas handle some paperwork.
Photo courtesy The Walt Disney Company
They can't make Episode VII.

This isn't real.

This isn't happening!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Marine stars rise as Army stars fall

President Obama has nominated Marine Gen. John Allen, commander of U.S. Forces and NATO International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan to succeed Navy Adm. Jim Stavridis as the next Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commander of U.S. European Command in the spring. “For more than a year, General Allen has served with distinction … seeing us through a critical period in our military efforts and in Afghanistan’s transition,” the president said in a statement. “I have personally relied on his counsel and am grateful for his devotion to our national security and to the safety of the men and women with whom he serves. Under General Allen’s command, we have made important progress towards our core goal of defeating al Qaida and ensuring they can never return to a sovereign Afghanistan. Working with our Afghan partners and international civilians, the forces under General Allen’s command have moved forward with a transition to Afghan Security Forces, who will take the lead for security across the country next year.”

General Allen [L], SecDef Panetta [C] and General Dunford [R]
The president also nominated a successor for Allen, the current Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Dunford “…is combat-tested. He believes in ISAF, and if confirmed, will be an extraordinary leader of it. … and will lead our forces through key milestones in our effort that will allow us to bring the war to a close responsibly as Afghanistan takes full responsibility for its security.” “Fighting Joe” Dunford led Regimental Combat Team 5 during the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, I MEF at Pendleton and MARCENT before being elevated to the USMC’s #2 officer in 2010. While he has not served a combat tour in Afghanistan, he tracked combat operations while commanding MARCENT and is described by colleagues as intelligent, decisive and someone who can get the job done.

While Allen has been approved by NATO already, both his and Dunford’s nominations must be confirmed by the Senate to take effect. Lieutenant Generals John Paxton, George Flynn and Robert Schmidle are rumoured to be in the running to succeed General Dunford.

In contrast there is less fortunate news reported for some U.S. Army generals this month; General William “Kip” Ward former head of U.S. Africa Command is accused of spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on lavish travel and other expenses according to an Inspector General’s report. The report found that Ward used military vehicles to shuttle his wife on shopping trips and to a spa and billed the government for a refuelling stop overnight in Bermuda, where the couple stayed in a $750 suite. The report detailed lengthy stays at lavish hotels for the 4-Star, his wife and his staff members, and the use of five-vehicle motorcades when he travelled to Washington. It also said Ward and his wife accepted dinner and Broadway show tickets from a government contractor during a trip during which he went backstage to meet actor Denzel Washington. The couple and several staff members also spent two nights at the Waldorf Astoria hotel. Officials have argued that the allegations made against Ward in report were very serious and that senior officers need to be held accountable. Panetta's options regarding Ward are limited however, he can only demote Ward and force him to retire as a three-star lieutenant general costing Ward nearly $30,000 a year in retirement pay.

General Ward [L] and Brigadider General Sinclair [R]
Elsewhere, Army Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair, former 82nd Airborne Division's deputy commanding general for support in southern Afghanistan, stands accused of forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct, attempted violation of an order, wrongfully engaging in inappropriate relationships, misusing a government travel charge card, violating general orders by possessing alcohol and pornography while deployed, mistreating subordinates, filing fraudulent claims, engaging in conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, and engaging in conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline. Under military law, he may be able to ask the secretary of the Army for permission to retire rather than face possible court-martial. “Often, leadership elects to punish an officer outside of a court-martial,” said Lt.Col. Victor Hansen, a retired JAG lawyer said, “but the announcement of the charges against Sinclair shows investigators are taking this case seriously.”

Sources: Stars & Stripes / Military.com / Defense.gov

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Looper is loopy


In the 19th century a Danish bloke called Hans Christian Andersen wrote a story about a vain Emperor who hires two weavers that promise him the finest suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is hopelessly stupid. The Emperor cannot see the cloth himself, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing unfit for his position. When the swindlers 'finish' the suit, they mime dressing him and the Emperor marches in procession before his subjects, who play along with the pretense, until a child in the crowd, too young to understand, cries out, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!"

Coming out of the movie I felt a bit like the child pointing at the Emperor, not because I'm too young to understand but because I understand all too clearly that this was nonsense. Heading into the long hyped Looper there's a gigantic poster in the cinema with 5-Star 'outstanding' ratings from UK film magazines Total Film and Empire with the former saying that it's "The best sci-fi movie since Moon. The best time-travel yarn since 12 Monkeys. And one of the best films of 2012." Another quote was "This decade's The Matrix." No, Looper is the most ridiculously over-hyped over-rated movie since Avatar [and lacks the astounding spectacle of revolutionary 3D presentation that makes that movie worth it]. It's as big a let down as Prometheus which promised us so much but delivered so little. Total Film had it slightly wrong with that last one - it isn't this decade's The Matrix [that was Inception], Looper is more like this decade's The Matrix: Revolutions.


In Looper, Joeseph Gordon-Levitt plays Joe, a "Looper" a hitman in Kansas in 2044. He's not a great hitman, all he really has to do is shoot blindfolded individuals who are sent back by the mob from 30 years into the future because they can't dispose of bodies then. It's inevitable that one day you will eventually "close your loop" by executing yourself. One day Joe from the future [Bruce Willis] is sent back, young Joe recognises him and hesitates to shoot so old Joe escapes. Young Joe must give chase because the only way for him to be free to live his life is to kill old Joe. Trust me - this is the part of the movie that actually makes sense and is the part I enjoyed. Both Gordon-Levitt and Willis give wonderful performances, especially Gordon-Levitt's movie-long imitation of Willis' mannerisms which must have been difficult to maintain. In fairness however, we could have done without his distracting make up - if we can believe River Phoenix is young Indy in The Last Crusade then imitation is good enough for an audience.

The rest of the cast are extraordinarily well judged. Jeff The Newsroom Daniels, Piper Covert Affairs Perabo and Tracey Death Proof Thomas also star. Sara [Emily The Adjustment Bureau Blunt] is a farmer taking care of her special telekinetic little boy Cid (although it would be better if he was called Damien). It's actually this extraordinary youngfella Pierce Gagnon who surely can't be 10 years old who steals the show and provides some levity in contrast to his purpose in the movie. Movie patrons blessed with memory however will recognise Garret Dillahunt channelling his Chromartie role from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles as a mob enforcer.


As an action movie is comes across quite well, the chase scenes and stunt work were excellent and the special effects were pretty good for a movie that was made with a paltry [in Hollywood terms] $30m. The design elements of this movie made it feel like some sort of social commentary on the world today. Writer/director Rian Johnson obviously ascribes to the social/economic collapse of the west idea but perhaps it's a design choice that both fits his vision as well as the limitations of his budget. It explains why weapon designs are pretty much 2012's [unlike the daftness of using modern weapons in Total Recall] and why people are driving about in modern vehicles with solar panels. The most bizarre and intriguing notion is reference to The Vagrant Wars which suggest that at some point between now an 2044, hordes of armed vagrants will assist, or perhaps are a result of the economic collapse. Nevertheless, I'm certain it won't keep people awake at night in the same way Star Wars fans speculated on The Clone Wars between 1977 and 2002.

Okay, so what's really wrong with this whole movie and why is it not so great as the misguided critics are shouting from the rooftops? Well it's really the use of science and science-fiction in this movie is what lets it down big time. Basically the concept is sound, tried and tested for years but the execution here is so ludicrous and it blatantly contradicts itself so much and asks so many unanswerable questions that it makes Brannon Braga's most insane Star Trek plots seem perfectly plausible by comparison. I'm not saying that every other example of time-tavel paradox science-fiction is flawless, some if it is far from it, but seriously there was stuff which is created here for the purposes of the story [which is fine] that were blatantly contradicted during the movie [excessively lazy writing].


Sadly I don't think I can cohesively convey all the issues I had with these elements of Looper which 'control' the whole story without spoiling the whole thing which I will not do so I will discuss it in the comments if you so wish - so don't read the comments until you've seen it. Let's lets just say for now that during the course of this grand spectacle of cinema - nothing actually happens. The biggest let down is the ending - I'd honestly have an easier job of being an apologist for the ending of the 2000 Dungeons & Dragons movie or even the ending of the Mass Effect 3 video game this year than I would for this woeful, pointless climax.

Final Verdict: Not without excitement and great performances but devoid of a cohesive plot and contradicts every idea it sets up. The sad truth is that this movie does so much wrong it's distracting from what's right. I regret to tell you that you're better off with the Terminator movies or fuck it even Timecop is better time-travel sci-fi than this.

Colonel Creedon rating:  **1/2

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

No one is killed softly in Killing Them Softly


There is a multitude of alternative timelines that were created where I did not choose to see this movie and I regret not being in one now. I had nothing else scheduled, a special operation I was on call for had been shelved by some nervous politician ahead of election day in November and I had nothing else planned so I went with it. I just looked up the running time for this and there's no way in hell until I see the DVD/BD time counter for this tediously long-drawn out movie, that I will believe it was only 97 mins. This will remain unresolved in my head because trust me, I'll never chose to watch this ever again. 


Brad Pitt plays Jackie a mob hit man sent in to investigate the robbery of an underground card-came run by Markie [Ray Goodfellas Liotta]. The robbery was masterminded by Johnny [Vincent The Sopranos Curatola] and carried out by Frankie and Russell [Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn]. Johnny's plan was to frame Markie for robbing his own game because Markie had actually robbed his own game some years back. Jackie's solution is to kill everyone involved but can't kill Johnny because he knows him (and that gets messy) so he gets Micky [James Gandolfini] to fly in to take care of that part. Let's just say things don't go as planned.

Andrew Dominik is a writer/director who has made a couple of movies that I don't know anything about since 2000. It's obvious he idolises both Scorsese and Tarantino but based on this shit he has none of their talent, wit or judgement. He shoved what must have been a 500 page rambling shooting script into the face of such screen gems as Pitt, Gandofini, Liotta and Richard Stepbrothers Jenkins and must have directed them to "say this as if you're just making it up on the spot". Bloody hell, the talking heads, the monologues and anecdotes were fucking endless.

The woefully few action sequences I woke up for were brutal and violent [especially a drive by shooting] earning this movie a star. The other star going to Liotta and Pitt's performances alone as the others were either under utilised [Sam Shepard is worth more than 40 seconds dumb ass] or over exposed [yes that's Gandofini playing yet another jaded gangster again].

The story was good if a little comedy-caper-ish but it worked. Sadly what I found was really the worst part of this was the endless social commentary in the background. Every TV or radio in the movie played select speeches/debates being delivered by presidential candidates Obama and McCain. It's obvious that Dominik had something to say about... politics? banking? corporations? something... but veiling it behind a simplistic mobster story was absolutely the wrong way to do it because it went completely over my head. If you want to be clever Andrew, you have to be clever, and you're not, so try again in another six or seven years.

Final Verdict: Good shootings, but far too much yapping. Good actors but mediocre performances. Good plot but incomprehensible message.

Colonel Creedon Rating: **

Monday, October 08, 2012

Naked Assailant [18] Blown Away on College Campus - Part 20 in my "Shoot First, Questions Never" series!

A University of Alabama Campus police officer shot and killed a naked student early on Saturday morning. The officer had left the police station to investigate a loud banging noise on his window at 01:23 CT when he was confronted by a muscular, nude man who was "acting erratically".

Gilbert Thomas Collar [18], of Wetumpka, Alabama, repeatedly rushed and verbally challenged the officer in a fighting stance. The officer drew his weapon and ordered Collar to halt as he retreated from him in repeated attempts to diffuse the situation. However, Collar continued to press toward the officer in a threatening manner - the college freshman weighed 135lbs and was 5' 7" with a wrestler's build. He knelt for a moment, rose again, and chased the officer who continued to retreat away from the building. After continuously rushing at the officer in a threatening manner and ignoring the repeated commands to stop, the officer discharged his weapon striking "the chest of the assailant," according to a statement from the school. "The individual fell to the ground, but he got up once more and continued to challenge the officer further before collapsing and expiring."

In the Gulf Coast city of Mobile, the student's mother Bonnie said she could not understand how a six-year varsity wrestler and good-natured teenager could have died under such strange and sad circumstances. "He was wearing no clothes and he was obviously not in his right mind," she said. "No one said that he had attacked anybody, and obviously he was not armed. He was completely naked." One of his friends Chris Estes wrote: "Gil was a very 'chill' guy, mellow and easy going... I've never seen aggression in him, especially not towards a cop."

The District Attorney's Office will conduct an external investigation, and the Mobile County Sheriff's Department will assist. The police officer involved in the shooting has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of internal and external reviews.

Verdict: Not as sure about this as I was last time. Collar was not wielding a weapon [nor could he have had one concealed]. When someone is rushing you like that the easiest solution is to use their own momentum against them. Was the cop alone in the station? Could he not retreated inside the building until backup arrived? Need more details to pass judgement right now.

Source: CNN / Fox

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Crikey The Sweeney is the dogs bollocks!

Unlike the success that a TV cop show like Miami Vice enjoyed for years here and in the UK, I'm pretty sure that few people in the U.S. have ever heard of, let alone seen The Sweeney. You're forgiven, like Vice, it's a great for it's time but awful for today. It was a hard-hitting British cop show from the mid 1970's that starred John Inspector Morse Thaw as Jack Regan and Dennis Minder Waterman as George Carter; members of the elite "flying squad" [a police unit that operates with no district boundaries] otherwise known as The Sweeney [rhyming slang calls the flying squad 'Sweeney Todd']. The series featured a plethora of famous guest stars in it's 3 year run including John Hellboy Hurt, Joss Lethal Weapon 2 Ackland, Brian Flash Gordon Blessed, John Lord of the Rings Rhys-Davies, Julian The Empire Strikes Back Glover and even Maureen The Pianist Lipman.

If you've seen The Sweeney series, you'll be pleased to learn that this re imagining is pretty much like the re-imagining of Miami Vice [a movie that has my favourite mouth shot] insofar as only the names of the characters bear any resemblance to the original. Ray The Departed Winstone [who also had a minor villain role in the original series] took up the mantle of DI Regan while Ben Drew [rapper Plan B] took the role of DC Carter. Damien Homeland Lewis had the role of their ever suffering boss Detective Chief Inspector Frank Haskins.


The movie opens with the flying squad coming down hard [with baseball bats] on a warehouse  robbery in progress. Following their success, albeit with a tremendous amount of collateral damage, the team celebrate. Regan buys off a snout (informant) [the incomparable Alan Snatch Ford] with some of the gold that "went missing" from the warehouse. Internal Investigations officer DCI Ivan Lewis [Steven Underworld: Rise of the Lycans Mackintosh] however mounts an inquiry into the actions of Regan and the squad although it's revealed he has more of a personal vendetta because he knows Regan has been shagging [having sexual relations with] his wife DC Nancy Lewis [Hayley Captain America: The First Avenger Atwell]. Regan doesn't have time to worry about that because he gets a tip-off about a planned robbery on a bank, while a jewellery store robbery leaves £200k of jewellery in the hands of a dangerous criminal, and one otherwise innocent civilian dead.

British crime drama plots are excessively detailed, researched and sometimes convoluted to the point of boredom or distraction and I think The Sweeney's certainly falls into this trap if you happen to concentrate too hard on it. So it may be best not to. Thankfully the action is fast and furious, interrogations are brutal and there's a lot of "excessive force" used, enough to be honest, to distract you from said plot. There's probably a few things you can't suspend disbelief for however and one was the grotesquely ridiculous 'relationship' between a picturesque beauty like Atwell [29] and Ray Winstone [55] who has the physique of Oliver Reed before his death. People were either cringing or snickering in disbelief at their love scene.

I've heard of Nick Love's vigilante movie Outlaw back in 2007 around the time of it's release but The Sweeney is the first of his movies that I've seen. So based on this I think he did a bloody fine job of it all. The man created a quintessentially British, thoroughly enjoyable action crime drama with a budget of £3m which in technical terms is low budget. Both the car chases and foot pursuits are up there with Ronin and Heat and keep you glued fast to the action. Kudos to the director, editor and the DP for such a lavishly shot movie that you don't often see coming from the UK. Dynamic and noteworthy Scottish composer Lorne Ironclad Balfe, one of Hans Zimmer's Remote Control music monkeys provided what I must label as one of the finest scores of the year.

Final Verdict: Despite an overarching plot and a few writing miss-steps, The Sweeney features excellent lead performances in a thoroughly entertaining movie that bears little or no resemblance to it's progenitor. Now, shut it you slags, an' go watch it!

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****1/2

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Japan has nothing to worry about

 

The first ever Chinese Aircraft Carrier formally entered service this week, underscoring the nation’s ambitions to be a leading Asian naval power. While the Laoning lacks aircraft and won’t be combat ready for the foreseeable future, the Defence Ministry’s long expected announcement said that the carrier’s commissioning significantly boosted the navy's combat capabilities and its ability to cooperate in responding to natural disasters and other non-traditional threats. A statement said: "It has important significance in effectively safeguarding national sovereignty, security, and development benefits, and advancing world peace and common development."

China has been the only member of the permanent five nations of the UN Security Council not to have an aircraft carrier in service until the launch of the Liaoning. It is understood that the Chinese had a serious case of NPE 'Naval Penis Envy' considering that the U.S. has always maintained an Asian presence with at least one of their 11 gigantic aircraft carriers. In addition, UNETIDA the UN body that is responsible for protecting the planet from Extra Terrestrial threats oft cited China’s deficiency in naval air power as a issue for the defence of Asia in its annual regional defence reports.


President Hu Jintao, presided over the Liaoning’s commissioning ceremony on Tuesday morning at the ship's home port of Dalian, along with Premier Wen Jiabao and top generals and admirals. Hu called on the crew to complete all remaining tasks according to the highest standard. The carrier's political importance was highlighted in Premier Wen's remarks to the ceremony, in which he said it would "arouse national pride and patriotic passion."

The vessel is actually the former Soviet navy's unfinished Varyag, towed from Ukraine in 1998 minus its engines, weaponry and navigation systems. Following years of refurbishment at Dalian it began trial runs in 2011 to test the ship's propulsion, communications and navigation. Launching and recovering aircraft at sea however will be its greatest operational obstacle ahead of the years required to build the proper aircraft, train pilots and to develop a carrier battle group. Ambitiously the Liaoning has also been portrayed as a kind of test platform for the future development of up to five Chinese designed and built carriers.

Source: Fox News

Saturday, September 29, 2012

No need to dread Dredd


Unlike the Total Recall remake, this Dredd is not a re-imagining of the 1995 Judge Dredd movie but of the 2000AD comic book source material. Sadly for a lot of people, Sylvester Stallone as Judge Dredd in Danny Cannon’s exceptionally flawed but thoroughly entertaining adaptation of the iconic British comic-book anti-hero is all they know of the character. While the look of the 1995 production was very crisp and it’s comic book origins were clearly obvious in everything from the design of Mega-City One itself to the costumes because they remained faithful to the artistic depiction; Stallone however, slammed a black mark against it by removing Dredd’s helmet about 20 minutes in, irking all fans everywhere. As much as I enjoyed it for a popcorn movie, I was not very upset when I discovered my copy of it succumbed to the otherwise dreaded DVD rot!

A new Judge Dredd movie concept had been bandied about for a while, once it was clear that there’d by no sequel to Cannon/Stallone’s effort. Eventually details emerged which cast Karl Doom/Star Trek Urban as the futuristic lawman but interestingly in a low-budget independent British production to be shot in South Africa. This intrigued everyone of course; people want Dredd on screen more than most other comic book characters - but surely not without the detailed neon and grime filled futuristic setting of Mega City One enabled only by several hundred million dollars today? If we had to lose that then there would have to be a story of such exceptional quality, strong characters and/or excessive violence for us to ignore the low budget shortcomings. Did we get that? No, but close. I do think we got was a thematically superior movie that certainly sated the lust for violence all true Dredd fans have.

 

The plot to this movie is exceedingly simple: street judge veteran Judge Dredd and his new psychic 'mutie' young rookie partner Anderson [Olivia Thirlby] are sent to investigate a triple-homicide in the lovely sounding 'Peach Tree' block, a 200-floor tower filled with normal everyday citizens and naturally a generous helping of depraved scum and villainy. After arresting a suspect, the block's criminal overlord Ma-Ma initiates a lock down of the building until the judges are captured or killed prompting everyone in the building with a weapon to hunt them down. The judges, without much hope of rescue must play a game of cat and mouse survival to obtain their freedom. 

Urban delivers a near-perfect representation of Dredd from the comic books. His voice is pretty much what can be expected, Urban's own variation of Eastwood much in the same vein as Bale did Batman. He managed to make "I'm the law" a more character defining statement than Stallone's "I am the Law" which, while is the more correct phrase, was delivered as a laughable punchline in comparison to Urban's gravitas. Urban was emphatic about keeping Dredd's helmet on and fans will be pleased to know that it's never taken off. This lead the actor to have the unenviable task of acting the entire movie with just his mouth and vocal inflections. The fact that Dredd has never been one for smiling, laughing or positive emotion for that matter - meant that Urban had pretty much to portray the character with a half dozen different types of scowl.

 

Dredd also starred Lena Game of Thrones Heady who delivers a terrific performance as the criminal master-mind Ma-Ma, a former prostitute who was disfigured by her pimp before she killed him and took control of her own empire. Thirlby who has been doing movies I've only vaguely heard of since 2006 was a great Cassandra Anderson, eager to prove herself to her mentor Dredd. Doctor Who and Holby City's Rakie Ayola turns in a cameo as a Chief Judge

Alex 28 Days Later Garland began writing Dredd in 2006, over two years before the movie's announcement. Pete Vantage Point Travis who is also well regarded as the director of the acclaimed 1994 TV movie Omagh, took the helm of Dredd and brought a very different style to the project that one would have expected. His work on Endgame in South Africa in 2008 obviously prompted him to perceive a new vision for MC1 which he has now brought to the screen. Design wise however I must level my most major criticism with this movie. Mega City One unfortunately did not seem all that "mega". I knew that due to the small budget we'd not see anything close to a faithful representation of MC1 from the strip but it is such a central core element of Dredd that I feel that there is something huge missing from the movie. I don't think an orchestral score would have fit this at all, so no Alan Silvestri, but felt Paul Leonard Limitless Morgan's choice of representing the score with industrialised sequencing was poor.

 

There are glaringly obvious similarities between this movie and this year's earlier video-game-like killing fest The Raid. While The Raid may have been released first, development and principal photography of Dredd predates it. There's also no doubt that The Raid was a woefully disappointing mess at least to people who know what they're talking about, while Dredd has actual character development, a plot, real acting, cohesive direction and has Gatling guns.

Final Verdict: Extremely violent and faithful take on a day in the life of Judge Dredd.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

No quarter for a quartered man - Part 19 in my "Shoot First, Questions Never" series!

After a hiatus of over two years since the ultra-controversial Part 18 I've finally found a story to top it!

On Saturday, Houston police officer Matthew Jacob Marin shot and killed Brian Claunch, an aggressive pen-wielding wheelchair-bound one-armed, one-legged man in a group home.
 
Police said the double amputee [left] threatened a police officer and belligerently brandished a metal object about. While in his wheelchair, Claunch confronted and cornered the officer and made threats. He came "within inches to a foot" of the officer and did not follow instructions to calm down and remain still. When Claunch produced a metal object and began to make stabbing motions at the officer, Officer Marin, the officer's partner discharged his weapon and fatally shot the suspect.
 
At the time, the officer did not know what the metal object was that the man was waving, a police spokesperson said. The object was later revealed to be a ballpoint pen.
 
The officers had been called to the home after a caretaker there called and reported that Claunch was causing a disturbance. He had a history of mental illness, several previous drug-related convictions and he lost a leg above the knee and all of one arm when he was hit by a train. "He sometimes would go off a bit, but you just ignore it," group home owner John Garcia told the press.
 
Officer Marin, is a five-year veteran of the department. In 2009 he also fatally shot a suspect when he came upon a man stabbing his neighbour to death at an apartment complex and opened fire when the suspect refused to drop the knife.
 
Verdict: Righteous Kill! While a lot of them are jolly folk and have mentally accepted their disability, I've encountered plenty of 'disgruntled' wheelchair users who think they have some sense of 'entitlement' to a walkway by crashing into your ankles or worse - those that don't thank you for accommodating them by stepping out of the way, opening doors etc. I was raised to excuse myself out of pity for these "poor unfortunates" even if I'm not actually in the wrong - and believe me: I'm NEVER in the wrong. Naturally my true never-realised desire has been to put a nine-mil slug through their heads as they wheel away so I'm glad I can live vicariously through the actions of Matt "Trigger-happy" Marin

Thank you officer, I hope the FBI investigation is quickly brushed over and you're back on streets soon.

Source: FOX News

Sunday, September 23, 2012

UNETIDA: "We shot nothing down"

Colonel "Whopper" Creedon, Deputy Director for Intelligence UNETIDA/UNPASID gave a statement to the press on Saturday citing that on Friday September 21st, "a calibration test of Annihilator Five one of our secret orbital defence platforms may have accidentally initiated a misfire."

"This is not uncommon," offered Creedon. "However we assure you that during all calibration, the weapons are facing away from the planet and the moon. We can safely say that we shot nothing down, no satellite, space junk or space craft."

Creedon continued, "Concerning the recent media reports in the news media about a 'Yellow and orange ball'; we are quite sure this was just old space junk in a slowly decaying orbit that was just then finally coming to a planet fall. It's pure coincidence that this just happened at the same time as our calibration."

Creedon offered no explanation to reports of a flotilla of UNETIDA naval assets leaving port from HMNB Clyde under the command of Captain "Harpoon" Dutton, KBE seen heading out to sea in the direction of the 'trail of light' seen on Friday.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Let us re-imagine - Total Recall

I about as much wanted to see this remade as I did another of Paul Verhoeven’s movies - Robocop, but for different reasons. Robocop is the singular greatest movie of all time and it should never be remade because nothing can be better than it period. Total Recall [1990] on the other hand is a guilty pleasure of sheer nonsense that entertains more because it’s indeed so daft it’s great and why try to do better than it as Phillip K. Dick’s original story was just as daft?



Colin Farell is our brain-fucked hero this time around and seems like a sad and pathetic character which keeps him more in line with Dick’s source material. He works at a factory in London making robot soldiers without questioning the need for millions of them like a good little boy. However he lives in Australia and instead of the nightmare that is today’s air travel he has a comfy “Fall” a sort of vertical bullet train that takes him from London [part of the United Federation of Britain] to The Colony which seems to be the entire Australian continent. These are also the only inhabited regions of the planet, the others having fallen to the ravages of nuclear war during the century. Fed up with the nature of his boring and predictable existence he goes to Rekall to have a more exciting memory implanted but unbeknown to him he already has exciting memories – those of his real life – or is it?

Underworld’s Len Wiseman does a terrific casting job with the ladies by adding his wife Kate Bekinsale as well as Jessica Biel who are suitably distracting from the many holes in this hokey plot. On the other hand Brian Cranston with a ridiculous hairpiece is easily the hammiest I’ve ever seen him as the UFB Chancellor Cohaagen who wears his body armour over his suit and leads from the front, literally. I also question Bill Nighy as the master rebel genius, whose appearance was foreshadowed throughout the whole movie to the point where the audience was "huh?" when he appeared. I must also mention Harry Gregson-Williams superb score that hopefully will lead him on to impress us all with a bit more varied set of projects now that his career with Tony Scott is sadly over.

While the design of the movies set pieces are quite extraordinary, a sight to behold, sadly the movie’s physics are even more laughable than your average sy-fy channel movie. Even when you try to fathom what could possibly survive long enough to build the Fall’s ‘track’ that close to the Earth’s flaming core [let alone drill thousands of kilometers from both ends and assuming that the different tectonic places the exit points are situated would never move again!] you would assume that knowing that halfway through the journey you experience weightlessness and a subsequent complete gravity reversal - wouldn’t it be prudent to wear magnetic boots or at least adhere yourself to a solid surface? Sorry I love sci-fi but that treats people like idiots.

Final Verdict: This new 2012 version while deeply flawed, still is almost as entertaining as it’s progenitor. It’s a convincing chase movie with dazzling special effects, daring stunts and solid performances from it’s leads. However it lacked the charm and the wit which made the original, while dated now, what it was. Total Recall 2012 will be forgotten in 20 years but even then we will still be saying “Get your ass to Mars!”

Colonel Creedon Rating: ***