Wednesday, January 31, 2007

2IGTV Episode 34

Mega-long Vista-free podcast. In this episode we don't discuss Vista, but we do talk about 24 this time. We also address the political career of The Governator. What is Eli Stone? We update you on Get Smart casting. Discover who may direct The Hobbit and what Timothy Olyphant's next role is. What's the big deal with WOW? Exhaustive tech-talk on High Definition, Intel and the future of virtual speculators.

It- and much more, is all here.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

If Aliens watch Television....

Scientists have speculated that new radio telescopes may be able to pick up TV transmissions from alien civilisations. Any within 1,000 light years of Earth could be detected by spotting their leaking television signals.

(Left. Dear God let it not be Alf)

One of the first of the new-generation telescopes is the Low Frequency Array being built in the Netherlands. It is equipped to receive radio waves emitted by hydrogen molecules in the early universe.

Although these signals originally had short wavelengths, the expanding universe has stretched them over time. Today they have wavelengths of several metres, which means they fall within the range of TV, radio, and military radar transmissions.

Scientist Dr Abraham Loeb, from Harvard University, said: "By a happy accident, the telescopes will be sensitive to just the kind of radio emission that our civilisation is leaking into space." If ET is producing similar signals, these will be visible as "spikes" in the radio spectrum.

But whether aliens are discovered depends crucially on their stage of development. To pick up TV or radio signals from an alien civilisation, it would have to be about as advanced as our own.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The future of Knights Of The Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

Star Wars video games have usually been some of the better efforts of their respecive genres. X-Wing and Tie-Fighter are beloved space-flight simulators, Battlegrounds and Empire At War are strong Real-Time-Strategy games, The Dark Forces/Jedi Knight series are welcome additions for First Person Shooter fans and many enjoy the MMO Star Wars: Galaxies daily. It was with Knights Of The Old Republic however that something entirely different was created for Star Wars fans- a Dungeons & Dragons style Role-Playing Game set a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

Bioware, veterans of D&D RPG's were tasked with creating Knight Of The Old Republic and they succeeded brilliantly. KOTOR became the hottest property on the X-Box, second only to Halo at the time and did more than considerably well on PC too. It was enevitable after that success that a sequel was announced and was in development by Obsidian.

However only after 12 months were we assured that KOTOR2 would be released albiet on X-Box in the US but that concluded that the game would have to be finished by then. This gave rise to speculation by the gaming press that if it were true and the game did not "slip", then it would be impossible for the sequel to live up to the expectations of the original which had a 3 year development cycle. Their fears were proved correct and once the US X-Box owners had finished the game- there was a lot of bewildered players flooding the internet forums asking questions.

The game got mixed reviews upon release, while overall the game was very good and there were some improvements of the RPG elements which were a staple of the original, there were an unnatural amount of bugs and plot holes left the player with dozens of questions left unanswered. This gave rise to several players delving into the game files on the installation discs in an effort to retreive answers to these questions and to their horror: discovered characters, cutscenes, voice files, plot twists, different endings and even an entire planet which had not appeared in the game.

It was later was revealed that LucasArts demanded that Obsidian complete and rush out the game for the lucrative holiday season in the US in '04. As the game was obviously not complete, Obsidian were forced to delete the planet and characters and snip the endings to the game among many other things.

While Obsidian and LucasArts have fixed many bugs and upgraded the quality of the music score and cut-scenes since the games release, they did not adress the missing content. However, a group of enterprising modders known as Team Bantha were hoping to restore the deleted planet and interaction with Jedi Master Vash but they appear to have failed. Team Gizka however are attempting what is known as The Sith Lords Restoration Project which will apparently attempt to restore the endings and much of the deleted content which didn't make it to the final game. Here's a youtube video of some of what you didn't experience (or experienced differently) in KOTOR2.

While it's planned that it will be completed this year, nothing in the 'mod' community is certain but I will keep you appraised.

An informative Wikipedia resource for KOTOR2 including an exhaustive list of deleted content can be found here.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

US Navy proves Railgun not just for Quake

Once believed to be the invention of video game programmers; the railgun is now a glorious reality as the Navy now has a fully working 8-megajoule electromagnetic mass driver. Normally, new weaponry tends to make defense more expensive. But the US Navy likes to say its new toy "delivers the punch of a missile at bullet prices".

A flashy demonstration of the futuristic and comparatively inexpensive railgun weapon on January 16th at the Naval Surface Warfare Center had Navy brass smiling. The weapon, which was successfully tested in October at the King George County base, fires nonexplosive projectiles at incredible speeds, using electricity rather than gun powder. The technology could increase the striking range of U.S. Navy ships more than tenfold by the year 2020.

"It's pretty amazing capability, and it went off without a hitch," said Capt. Joseph McGettigan, commander of NSWC Dahlgren Division. "The biggest thing is it's real not just something on the drawing board," he said. "It could go to the field right now. We just want to improve it, to make it better."

The railgun works by sending electric current along parallel rails, creating an electromagnetic force so powerful it can fire a metal projectile at tremendous speed. Because the gun uses electricity and not gunpowder to fire projectiles, it's safer, eliminating the possibility of explosions on ships and vehicles equipped with it. Instead, a powerful pulse generator is used.

The concept is not new. It was born in the 1970s, then promoted two decades ago when President Ronald Reagan proposed the anti-missile "Star Wars" Strategic Defense Initiative.

Sources: Wired,

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sword-Wielding Hero

British police are trying to trace a mysterious samurai sword-wielding vigilante who came to the rescue of two Bobbies when they were being attacked by an armed gang.

The officers had been set upon after they tried to disrupt a burglary at a flat in Laygate, South Shields. A group of men had knocked on the door pretending to be policemen before forcing their way in to ransack the place. The passing plain-clothes officers were alerted when a woman inside started screaming, and went to help.

However, they were outnumbered, and the criminals were armed with a hammer, knives and a metal chain. One of them lunged at a policeman with his knife - but just as he did so, a mysterious do-gooder appeared from nowhere and attacked him with a samurai sword. One of the burglars ran off, but was stopped by the stranger, who hit him on the arm with the sword.
He was arrested, along with another man from the flat, but in true superhero fashion the samurai man disappeared before police could speak to him.

Full Story from Sky News.
Right: The Colonel with his Daywalker sword for "home defence".

Source: Sky News

Monday, January 22, 2007

Stan Winston working on Shellhead's Armour

... according to Jon Favreau himself. Hot on the heels that Gwyneth Paltrow (whom he met on an idie called Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle many years ago) was to become Pepper Potts. Fav revealed that Stan Winston himself was creating Iron Man's armour- how shit-hot is that?

Winston's exhaustive list of previous work includes: The live-action dinosaurs for the Jurassic Park Films, the "Terminator effects" for the whole Terminator trilogy, Johnny Depp's "appendages" in Edward Scissorhands and work on Aliens and the Predator movies.

Jon also told me that "we begin filming in eight weeks", the sets are being built. Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby of Children Of Men are working on the script and Matty Libatique is the DP.

It looks like this is shaping up to be magnificent.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Magnum McConaughey

I've grafted Tom Selleck's moustache onto Matthew McConaughey here because apparently writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber has finished his latest draft for the film and named McConaughey as his choice to play the suave Hawaiian detective Magnum P.I. The same report pegs Steve Zahn as Rick, Tyrese Gibson as TC the chopper pilot, and William H. Macy as Higgins.

Now in this Sahara cast reunion, Macy as Higgins sounds intresting assuming he can act British, but McConaughey will have to shake the Southern drawl. Remember this is all less useful than shit until the studio makes an official statement.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Friday, January 19, 2007

Stargate: The Ark of Truth & Continuum

Fans were left stunned when MGM cancelled Stargate: SG-1 on the basis of comments I made last May that the series had run it's course. I broke the news here that SG-1, the longest running Military Sci-Fi series ever was finishing with Season 10, it's current season. However there was a silver lining delivered with this cloud not too long after: news came that the series would continue as at least two movies.

Naturally at that point nothing was known about what the movies would center around, but I can now tell you that most of the cast already has signed the contracts for the two movies, with the first to begin shooting in April and the second in June. The first will wrap up the story with the Ori and the second one will involve time travel and Ba'al.

MGM's press release states that "Stargate SG-1 cast members Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Claudia Black and Michael Shanks are confirmed to star in both movies. Written and produced by Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, the new movies will feature the latest visual and sound effects, providing viewers with a theatrical movie-going experience." The release didn't state where or when the movies would be airing or if they would be going directly to DVD.

Stargate: The Ark of Truth
As SG-1 searches for an Ancient artifact which they hope can defeat the armies of the Ori, they learn more Ori ships are about to be sent through the supergate to launch a final assault on Earth. Daniel discovers that the artifact, the Ark of Truth, may be in the Ori home galaxy, and SG-1 embarks aboard the Odyssey to find it, and pre-empt the attack. The IOA has a plan of their own and SG-1 ends up in a distant galaxy fighting two powerful enemies.

Stargate: Continuum
While SG-1 attends the execution of Ba'al, the last of the goa'uld system lords, Teal'c and Vala inexplicably disappear into thin air. Carter, Daniel and Mitchell race back to a world where history has been changed: the Stargate program has been erased from the timeline. As they try to convince the authorities what's happened, a fleet of goa'uld motherships arrives in orbit, led by Ba'al, his queen, Katesh, (Vala) and his first prime, Teal'c. SG-1 must find the Stargate and set things right before the world is enslaved by the goa'uld.

That's all I have at the moment, more soon.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Paltrow is Pepper Potts

Jon Favreau has cast none other than Gwyneth Paltrow as Virginia "Pepper" Potts, Tony Stark's executive assistant in Iron Man. Paltrow's only previous foray into this genre was the abysmal Sky Captain and the World Of Tomorrow in which she was tragically cast as Polly Perkins (I'm undoubatly the only one tittering at the fact she's going from Polly Perkins to Pepper Potts).

I was happier with Rachel McAdams whom the original rumour for her appearence broke on 2IGTV and I can't say I'm overly thrilled by the idea of Paltrow but I hope it's just because the mental scarring of Sky Captain hasn't fully healed yet and I'm associating her with that. Still however, she's on equal footing with Robert Downey Jr. and Terrence Howard as she's also been nominated for an Oscar at some point.

Corporal Jason Dunham, Medal Of Honour

On April 14, 2004, in Iraq near the Syrian border, Corporal Jason Dunham from 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, used his helmet and his body to smother an exploding Mills Bomb let loose by a raging insurgent whom he and two other Marines tried to subdue. The explosion dazed and wounded Lance Cpl. William Hampton and Pfc. Kelly Miller. The insurgent stood up after the blast and was immediately killed by Marine small-arms fire.

Dunham lay face down with a shard the size of a dress-shirt button lodged in his head. The hard, molded mesh that was his Kevlar helmet was now scattered yards around into clods and shredded fabric. Dunham never regained consciousness and died eight days later at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, with his mother and father at his bedside.

Dunham’s commanding officers, investigated his actions and nominated him for the Medal of Honor. After two years and seven months making its way to the White House, the nomination had the necessary approval from the president who presented posthumous award of the United States highest military decoration, to Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham of Scio, N.Y. His parents accepted it in a ceremony in the ornate East Room of the White House.

“The public now knows what Jason did,” said his folks. “We still have a loss, but the gift that Jason gave helps us go on.

President Bush said “We remember that the Marine who so freely gave his life was your beloved son. We ask a loving God to comfort you for a loss that can never be replaced, As long as we have Marines like Cpl. Dunham, America will never fear for her liberty.”

Before Dunham, the last Marine actions to earn the medal happened May 8, 1970, in Vietnam, according to Marine Corps History Division records. A Medal of Honor citation details Lance Cpl. Miguel Keith’s machine-gun charge that inspired a platoon facing nearly overwhelming odds: Wounded, Keith ran into “fire-swept terrain.” Wounded again by a grenade, he still attacked, taking out enemies in the forward rush. Keith fought until mortally wounded; his platoon came out on top despite being heavily outnumbered.

The last Marine to receive the Medal of Honor was Maj. Gen. James L. Day, who distinguished himself as a corporal in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. On Jan. 20, 1998, more than half a century later, President Bill Clinton presented the medal to Day, who passed away that year.

(Left: The US Navy & Marine Corps version of the Medal Of Honor)

Since the Long War began, the president has presented one Medal of Honor. On April 4, 2003, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith posthumously earned the medal for organizing a defense that held off a company-sized attack on more than 100 vulnerable coalition soldiers. In the defense, Smith manned a .50 caliber machine gun in an exposed position until he was mortally wounded.

These recent awards have fueled arguments from veterans affairs groups to the effect that with the changing face of war today in comparison to WWII, Korea or Vietnam; the award criteria for medals for valour should be ammended to reflect this change. With more than 3000 dead and thousands more wounded life is still as sacred as it was in previous conflicts and there are now different acts of heroism being performed today that are not recognised. This has apparently sparked discussion by the top-brass in Washington who will be reviewing criteria before 2009.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

2IGTV Episode 33

Angelina Jolie for Tomb Raider III? Ryan Reynolds is The Flash (DC Comics hero) but who will be the new Flash Gordon? Spielberg gives in to Lucas and Ford hops on for Indy 4.
Are you wierd enough to be rolling in money after Christmas? We have the goods on the Apple iPhone and Apple TV. We inform you that the lines have been drawn in the Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD war: winner to be decided soon.
Finally, an in depth discussion on the future of Battlestar Galactica.

Get it all here.

The Whopper Awards 2006 - Part 10 - The Finale

In this last instalment of The Whopper Awards I award "special" Whoppers for productions that should be noted on other merits.

The Most Pants-Wetting Motion Picture Of 2006 was:
Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby
To be honest the comedy offerings this year were abysmal and only a few brought joy. Will Ferell excels at being funny and while this film did not come close to making me as physically sick as Anchorman it was still the best of the year. "Shake & Bake"!

Most Glorified Use Of Automatic Weaponry Of 2006:
Lots of good automatic weapons fire this year, M:I-III, Underworld Evolution and Miami Vice are good candidates but Ultraviolet expends several hundred thousand rounds of ammunition. I mean, there's a chase sequence with two constantly firing helicopter gunships- nothing else came close.

Most Delightful Use Of Edged Weaponry Of 2006:
Dismemberment galore. A sea of red.

Best Martial Arts In A Motion Picture Of 2006:
Huo Yuan Jia (Fearless)
Jet Li is still fast. (I thought he was giving up martial arts movies?)

Best Pyrotechnics For 2006:
X-Men: The Last Stand
One thing that can be said for Brett Ratner: Great explosions.

The Best Gore in a Motion Picture In 2006 was in:
Even I thought the amount here was unnecessary. I thought Saw was bad.

And now, the ones you've really been waiting for: The Worst of the year.

Special Whopper for Most Nonsensical Use Of "Movie" Technology In 2006:
The scanner hooked up to an iPod in Firewall
I mean Jesus Christ- this can't be done like this trust me.

The Worst Performance of 2006
Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns)
I never thought I'd actually want to see Margot Kidder so badly on screen instead.

The Worst Movie Title of 2006
I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer
Yep, it exists and no, I didn't see it, nor do I have any intension to.

And finally, drum roll please:
Even in a year where we had such reprehensible crap as D.O.A., V for Vendetta and Aeon Flux (all movies that have some measure of redemption, and so I may see again) the final Whopper was no contest.

The Biggest Steaming Pile Of Shit of 2006:
was Nacho Libre
Now The Black Dahlia and All The King's Men are exceptionally awful, poorly made and even worse acted considering their calibre of talent on the projects but they still rated one star because, well you can't give less than one star right? Wrong. Jack Black and Jared Hess failed miserably to entertain with Nacho Libre and I declare that unlike the other movies among the worst here, it has no redeeming qualities whatsoever- I even fell asleep watching it. It is truly the most God-awful turgid excrement of the year (And yes I even tried fantasising about the nun, 'cos nuns usually do it for me, but that didn't work either, the film is that off-putting).

Next Whoppers- January 2008!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Whopper Awards 2006 - Part 9

Today we honour the finished work of those professionals who work in a studio's advertising department to produce fantastic trailers for films, tv shows and games which goad you into choosing their production over anything else. The first category is for full trailers (some of which may have been produced in the preceeding year) for productions released in 2006. The second category is for the shorter teaser trailers (which are released before the main trailers) for productions to be released in 2007.

he Nominees For Best Trailer representing a 2006 release:
Superman Returns
Mission Impossible III
Miami Vice
Casino Royale

The fantastic trailer for Superman Returns was successful in that it fooled us all and brought so many unwitting lambs to the slaughter- me included, sob! The winner however goes to the best produced trailer which most represented the production it was advertising, the full trailer for Miami Vice.

The Nominees For Best Teaser Trailer of 2006:
The Simpsons Movie
Hot Fuzz
Spider-Man 3

I've only recently stopped laughing at the Hot Fuzz teasers but the Whopper goes to the Transformers teaser featuring the Beagle was something I had been waiting for for so long, I almost cried with joy.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Whopper Awards 2006 - Part 8

The Nominations For Best Special Effects Of 2006:
X-Men: The Last Stand
Superman Returns

Poseidon wins if only for the fact that it had to be pointed out after watching the movie that the cruise liner wasn't real in the opening shots.

The Nominees For Best DVD Release of 2006:
Police Squad
American Dad Vol.1
Sledge Hammer! Season 2
Red Dwarf VIII

Normally this award would be given to special- edition- directors extended- uncut versions of major motion pictures but there wasn't anything of note this year. Insted I enjoyed the offerings of television in DVD form including the Whopper winner: classic comedy Police Squad- a fantastic effort from Paramount which blended some quality special features with a great DVD transfer of the pre- Naked Gun adventures of Sgt. Frank Drebin, Detective Lieutenant of Police Squad.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Whopper Awards 2006 - Part 7

The Nominees for Best Cinematography of 2006:
Dion Beebe (Miami Vice)
Robert Elswit (Syriana)
Emmanuel Lubezki (Children Of Men)
Tom Stern (Flags Of Our Fathers)

From the first shot to the last Miami Vice was an extraordinary film to look it, due in no small part to the excellent photographic direction of one Dion Beebe. The selection of coloured filters, camera angles the way the camera swept over the shiny cars and fast boats even during scenes shot in dim light were extraordinary. Watch his ultimate achievement- the photography involved in the final car-door-as-a-shield-shootout.

The Nominees For Best Score of 2006:
John Powell (X-Men: The Last Stand)
David Arnold (Casino Royale)
Hans Zimmer (Pirates Of The Carribean: Dead Man's Chest)
John Ottman (Superman Returns)

There is a remarkable trend in movies that sometimes even the worst of films can have the best music. My own collection of film scores have work from countless crap and most forgettable films like First Knight, National Treasure, Robocop 3, Sky Captain and the World Of Tomorrow, Spy Kids, The Devil's Own and even Waterworld. With the exception of the most excellent Casino Royale the remaining nominations this year follow the trend and are for scores of movies which were otherwise a total let down (to me if not the Box-office). I'm delighted to reveal that Hans Zimmer has retained the Whopper award which he co-recieved last year with James Newton Howard. Zimmer wrote the themes for the original Pirates Of The Carribean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl but due to prior contracts he was unable to score the film instead giving it to perhaps his most able current collaborator and student Klaus Badelt. For the sequel however Zimmer was able to take the helm and score the entire film giving us the best score of the year (if nothing unique).

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Whopper Awards 2006 - Part 6

The Nominees For Best Director of 2006:
J.J. Abrams (Mission: Impossible III)
Michael Mann (Miami Vice)
Martin Scorsese (The Departed)
Steven Speilberg (Munich)

As Mike Bay had no film this year the decision of best director was somewhat difficult. J.J. Abrams proves he's at the top of his game with M:I III, Mike Mann resurrected Crockett and Tubbs for the big screen and made it work in the 21st century and Martin Scorcese brought a solid cast for his tale of the Irish mafia vs the law in Boston. However this year, forgiven for the turgid shit that was War Of The Worlds; Steven Speilberg deserves the award for his perfectly crafted vision of the story of what happened after Black September, the murder of the Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics.

The Nominees For Best Writing of 2006:
Zach Helm (Stranger than Fiction)
William Monaghan (The Departed)
Richard Linklater (A Scanner Darkly)
Russell Gewirtz (Inside Man)

Story and dialogue I'll admit aren't the main reasons I watch movies. If I was to rate what element of production is least interesting in it would probably be writing. No one ever remembers who writes a film, no one upon finding out that a film is being made asks "who's writing that?". The only recognition a writer gets is if something says: "from the writer of Such and Such". A book needs writing but a movie just needs producing, direction, acting, special effects, score and a poster. However some movies are better than others if they have all these things but are also well written. The Nominees here are just 4 examples from this year's productions. Zach Helm is a writer whose name may be forgotten once you read the next award but nontheless the winner of this years Whopper for crafting a unique, slightly-surreal mixture of comedy and tragedy with Stranger Than Fiction.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Whopper Awards 2006 - Part 5

The Nominees For Best Television Show of 2006:
Battlestar Galactica
The Unit

David Mamet's CBS series, The Unit pipped Sci-Fi's Stargate: Atlantis to the post for Whopper nominations this year and while CBS' NCIS continues to deliver, it's under stiff competition from newcomer Heroes at NBC. Sci-Fi's Battlestar Galactica however retains the Whopper award for Best TV Show for the 2nd year running.

The Nominees for Best Video Game Of 2006:
Call Of Duty 2
Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach
SiN Episodes: Emergence

I'm far more selective about what games I play nowadays, and this lot are the four I've played this year. Call Of Duty 2 is a worthy sequel to the exceptional original and kicks the Medal Of Honor franchise on is arse. F.E.A.R. and SiN Episodes are near future FPSs each with exceptional graphics, good plot (for FPSs anyway) and their own unique gimmicks but like COD2 they don't bring much evolution to their respective genres. DDO: Stormreach, despite it's numerous technical faults, was easily the best gaming experience I've had in a long time. Joining some of my friends online and leading them (as the mighty Paladin Karadon) into battle, killing hordes of Kobolds in the name of justice was exhilarating. A pity time would not allow me to continue on and become a king or somesuch...

*Note on Video Game Whopper Award criteria: I will now make nominations based on games released within the Fiscal Year of the awards as opposed to the calander year. This is because video game marketing is geared towards a Christmas release and thus does not allow enough time to evaluate. The Fiscal Year of one year begins on Oct 1st of the preceeding calender year, so FY '06 began on October 1st 2005.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Whopper Awards 2006 - Part 4

I've split the best picture categories between Drama and Action this year as one type of movie can't be compared to the other.

The Nominees For Best Dramatic Motion Picture of 2006:
Children Of Men
The Departed
Flags Of Our Fathers
Miami Vice

Martin Scorsese’s The Departed easily wins this award hands down. Easily one of the best movies to come out of Hollywood this century. A top notch ensamble cast with Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Mark Walberg, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin and anything that makes you want to watch Leo DiCaprio on screen has to be good.

The Nominees For Best Action Movie of 2006:
Casino Royale
Mission Impossible III
Underworld Evolution

Snakes On A Plane was next to this four but the winner this year is Crank. It’s like going to the movies and ending up on a rollercoaster. Crank puts Jason Statham in the position of a retiring assassin who has been poisoned and must use his remaining time to exact revenge and if possible find a cure. It’s an explosive, gun-toting, car-chasing thrill ride. Should be used as an example for first-time directors everywhere.

More awards next week.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Whopper Awards 2006 - Part 3

Today it's the turn of the supporting performers whom without, a production would be nothing.

The Nominees For Best Supporting Actor:
Michael Caine (Children Of Men)
Willem DaFoe (Inside Man)
Robert Downey Jr. (A Scanner Darkly)
Michael Hogan (Battlestar Galactica)

While Sir Michael Caine should be mentioned as he delivers the best rendition of the old “Pull my finger” gag in Children Of Men, the winner is Michael Hogan who gave the performance of his life in the current season of Battlestar Galactica as Colonel Saul Tigh who looses his eye, his wife and his very dignity after galvanising the resistance movement against the “Toaster”’s occupation of New Caprica before returning to the drunken state he’s grown all too used to. Magnificent work.

The Nominees For Best Supporting Actress:
Valeria Golino (36)
Michelle Monaghan (Mission: Impossible III)
Scarlett Johansson (The Prestige)
Pauley Perrette (NCIS)

The winner is Michelle Monaghan a Whopper winner last year who shines again, albeit in a different category. This year in Mission Impossible III, she convinced us that she could do much more than look good by portraying Julia, Ethan Hunt’s feisty fiancée whom we assume will convince him to leave the spy business for good and pave way for a superior actor for the Mission Impossible franchise :)

Next up: Best Movies...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

President Ford laid to rest.

The 38th President of The United States of America, Gerald R. Ford was remembered on Tuesday for what he didn't have — pretensions, a scheming agenda, a great golf game and the small-town authenticity he brought to the presidency.

The state funeral moved from Washington to Grand Rapids, Ford's final homecoming. The marching band from the University of Michigan, where he played football, greeted the White House jet carrying his casket, members of his family and others in the funeral party.

An elaborate service at the Washington National Cathedral unfolded in the spirit of one of its musical selections — "Fanfare for the Common Man" — as powerful people celebrated the modesty and humility of a leader propelled to the presidency by the Watergate crisis that drove his predecessor Richard Nixon from office.

"In President Ford, the world saw the best of America and America found a man whose character and leadership would bring calm and healing to one of the most divisive moments in our nation's history," President Bush said in his eulogy.

Marine Lieutenant Colonel "Whopper" Creedon said, "I'm always saddened by the loss of a President, well the Republican ones anyway".

The Whopper Awards 2006 - Part 2

Today it's the turn of the best actresses.

The Nominees for Best Actress In A Dramatic Role:
Claire-Hope Ashitey (Children Of Men)
Maggie Gyllenhaal (Stranger Than Fiction)
Mary McCormack (Right At Your Door)
Anna Mouglalis (Romanzo criminale)

The winner is Mary McCormack who delivers an excellent and thoroughly convincing performance as Lexi, a woman stranded outside her home as the victim of a terrorist dirty bomb in Los Angles in the thriller Right At Your Door.

The Nominees For Best Actress For Just Being Hot:
Kate Bekinsale (Underworld: Evolution)
Milla Jovovich (Ultraviolet)
Kristanna Loken (Bloodrayne)
Jill Wagner (Blade: The Series)

This was probably the toughest decision to make overall. I had to drop the likes of Eva Green Charlize Theron and Keira Knightly from the nominations to get the final four. The winner however is Kate Bekinsale who sets the screen alight once more in the sequel to Underworld as Selene with her P99's and her body-hugging leather which clings to every supple curv... erm, well you get the idea.

Tomorrow, the supporting cast...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Whopper Awards 2006 - Part 1

You've all waited a year for these. Now the wait is over. Here begins the 2nd Annual Whopper Awards for the productions of 2006. I've made some refinements to the categories since last year, but time constraints mean I will need to spread them out until Thursday Jan 11th at the earliest.

Now without further ado:

The Nominees for Best Actor In A Dramatic Role:
Eric Bana (Munich)
Will Ferell - (Stranger Than Fiction)
Kiefer Sutherland (24)
Bruce Willis (16 Blocks)

And the winner is: Will Ferell who proves he’s not just an idiot-funnyman in Stranger Than Fiction, an extraordinary film in which he expertly plays Harold Crick a man who can hear a narrator’s voice in his head who tells him he’s going to die – and I thought I was the only one who suffered from that :) While I hope that Ferell continues in his comedy endevours, it’s nice to know that that he can out-act the best of them elsewhere.

The Nominees for Best Actor In An Action Role:
David Belle (District B13)
Daniel Craig (Casino Royale)
Samuel L. Jackson (Snakes On A Plane)
Jason Stratham (Crank)

Being French doesn’t disclude free-runner David Belle from a nomination, but I doubt anyone will argue with the winner: Daniel Craig who reigns suprememe over Sam Jackson or 2005’s Whopper Jason Stratham. Craig re-invented Bond and made him his own- he’s nothing like anyone you’ve ever seen as a 007 before, sometimes even to the point where you are questioning if you’re actually watching Bond at all. He's come a long way since his appearences in Young Indiana Jones, I hope he keeps it up.

Tomorrow: The Best Actresses...

Monday, January 01, 2007

2006! The Year In Review

We now say farewell to 2006. A year where we discovered....

that Dutch cartoons could possibly start World War III, Iran and North Korea don't want to play nice with the rest of the world, Dick Cheney shoots his lawyer (accidentally?), Pope Benedict and Mike Richards "come out" as racists, The Brits get medieval on terrorist ass - ban Cherry Coke on airlines, The Zidane headbutt, with no Rings, Harry Pothead or Star Wars- Pirates storms the box office, John Kerry insinuates that all US Servicemen are retarded imbiciles, Russia still in the assassination game, Democrats take control and Rumsfeld resigns.

We lost: James Brown, Mickey Spillane, Joe Rosenthal, Basil Poledouris, Peter Boyle, Charlie Haughey, Steve Irwin, Shirley Walker, Aaron Spelling, Jack Palance, Jack Warden, Gerald Ford, Chris Penn and in the Global War On Terror- 246 good Marines.

But what about all the good things in 2006: Top of the Pops finally ends, Slobodan Milošević is found dead in his cell, the world is given the Wii, Saddam Hussein is executed, common users generate more internet content than ever before, a new Bond, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is righteously killed, we get Heroes, Robert Altman dies and best of all: France doesn't win the World Cup.

Now: prepare for the 1st major event of 2007: the 2nd Annual Whopper Awards!