Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fo shizzle the Dogg's barking!!!

Professed pimp and criminally convicted talentless rapper Snoop Dogg has offered to solve Britain's growing gang problem if his ban on entering the UK is lifted. The "artist", who is hosting tomorrow's MTV awards in Munich, said "men in white wigs" and "laws from the 1800s" are preventing him from tackling the gang issue. He was cautioned for violent disorder and affray at Heathrow Airport last year but is convinced he is the man to solve the UK gang problem.

"I love my fans in the UK, they're really suffering by not letting me in to deal with the gang situation. I really wanted to be a voice to stop gang members, 'cause they respect me enough to get into a room with me. By not permitting me they're saying they just don't want me to solve this situation. It's not the fans, it's just a few people in white wigs and members of parliament. They got a problem because the judicial law is from the 1800s."

Dogg was banned from the UK in March this year because of his firearms offense and drug convictions. He was arrested and cautioned at Heathrow airport on suspicion of violent disorder and affray in 2006.

While the gang situation in the UK may be quite a security and public order issue, I'm hoping that the Brown-government has something better up their collective sleeves before resorting to the likes of a rap-"music" star becoming the gangland equivalent of a United Nations ambassador? I think my own proposed solution to the issue should at least be considered first. Unfortunately Mr. Brown seems a bit tight-arsed and probably wouldn't justify the expenditure for the explosives and resulting collateral damage to infrastructure. A pity, it would have been glorious...

Source: Yahoo

Man Found Naked With Inflatable Doll in Toilet

Just one of the weird stories I saw on Fox News:

A man was arrested after a government agent allegedly found him in an Iowa office building restroom lying next to an inflatable, anatomically correct doll with his pants down.

Craig S. McCullough, 47, was charged Wednesday with indecent exposure, a misdemeanor. The criminal complaint against McCullough says he was discovered in the public restroom by an agent for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, which is one of the federal agencies that rents space in the Hach office building.

McCullough was arrested, and Cedar Rapids police took him to the Linn County jail. His arraignment was scheduled later Friday, police spokeswoman Cristy Hamblin said. Another agency has an outstanding warrant against McCullough, but the reason for that warrant was not immediately clear, Hamblin said. He was still in jail Friday morning and it wasn't clear if he had an attorney.

McCullough's criminal record includes a 2004 conviction for burglarizing Just For Me bridal boutique. Shortly after the burglary, police officers found McCullough in a nearby alley, carrying a mannequin wearing a bridal dress.

Source: Fox News

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Soldier of Fortune Returning to Active Duty

Most First Person Shooters do not depict intense graphic violence. When someone is shot there is perhaps a texture change where "blood" appears on their clothing. If you're lucky, a pool of blood may appear under a fallen body. Many games today feature impressive rag-doll physics but still simply react in a manner of jerking the "body" around the floor if you deliberately empty the clip of your assault rifle into your slain opponent; it most certainly doesn't react like it would in real life I.e. explode against the wall with blood, flesh, bone and internal organs freed from the confines of the body as you spit white hot leaden death at it. This tame approach taken by most developers has ensured that FPS games are at least released everywhere as very few of them are banned even in the countries with the "stupid" laws like Germany and Australia unlike Manhunt, Postal or Grand Theft Auto.

With the dawn of the new millennium, Raven Software created Soldier of Fortune, ranked #6 in Colonel Creedon's Top 10 Games Of All Time. Its plot may well have paled in comparison to most other games and its graphics were pretty standard for the time but its hook was that the whole game was a gun-porn lovers wet-dream. It was one of the first games (with the like of Counterstrike and Rainbow Six) to take almost all it's arsenal from real world weapons as opposed to the previous efforts of the genre like Doom, Quake and Duke Nukem 3D and it also had GHOUL. From Wikipedia: "The GHOUL engine enables depiction of extreme graphic violence, in which character models are based on body parts that can each independently sustain damage (gore zones). There are 26 zones in total. A shot to the head with a powerful gun will often make the target's head explode, leaving nothing but the bloody stump of the neck remaining; a close-range shot to the stomach with a shotgun will leave an enemy's bowels in a bloody mess, and a shot to the nether regions will cause the victim to clutch his groin in agony for a few seconds before keeling over dead. It is possible to shoot off an enemy's limbs (head, arms, legs) leaving nothing left but a bloody torso." I said. It's #6 in my top 10 games :)

The third installment will be entitled Soldier of Fortune: Pay Back. Disappointingly franchise creator Raven Software isn't making Pay Back, that duty has fallen to an Activision Value studio located in Slovakia. But Raven and a number of other internal Activision studios, including Treyarch and Call of Duty maker Infinity Ward, are said to be contributing some technology and input to the game's development.

Regardless of who's making Pay Back, it has all the hallmarks of the Soldier of Fortune series. Real-world weaponry, story of international turmoil and intrigue, and of course, an ultra detailed dismemberment model that lets you blow the arms, legs, and heads off of your scores of opponents. The new engine can model the break points on enemies' bodies with greater detail than Raven's old GHOUL system used in Soldier Of Fortune II: Double Helix. A leg, for instance, is now broken up into a foot, ankle, lower leg, and two sections of thigh. Headshots don't just kill an enemy, they cause the head to burst in a fount of blood and cranial matter.

Pay Back's story departs from the 'ol John Mullins saga in so far as you're a soldier of fortune and you and your partner have been contracted to head to the Middle East, retrieve a Chinese government official in possession of sensitive intel, and escort him to safety. But no sooner do you complete this mission than your "partner" turns on you, kills your ward, and sets off a whole string of international incidents. You'll spend the rest of the game fighting through more fictionalised Middle Eastern locations, as well as levels in places like Burma and Russia, as you track down the bad guy (or guys--you know there are always more of them) and try to restore global order. Let's hope somebody is paying you handsomely for going to all this trouble.

Before each mission you can select a primary and secondary weapon, a sidearm, and a grenade type. There will be around 40 guns in the final game, and you can customize them with add-on grips, scopes, grenade launchers, and other gear that you'll unlock more of as you progress through the game's 12 missions.

It has already been given a de facto ban in Australia. I'll obviously be "investigating" this further and I'll let you know how it turns out.

Source: Gamespot.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Resident Evil: Extinction - Exploding Crows!

Based on the popular Capcom video game Biohazard, or in this part of the world: Resident Evil; The Resident Evil movie trilogy started out on a high note with the delectable Milla Jovovich as Alice in a slinky red dress and army boots who teamed up with Michelle Rodriguez kicking zombie ass in a vast underground complex. The second movie Resident Evil: Apocalypse didn't live up to the same standard but was still a great urban-zombie-combat movie which teamed up Milla with Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine.

Written by Paul W.S. Anderson and directed by the much underrated Russell Highlander Mulcahy, Resident Evil: Extinction is a grim horror-thriller that gives exactly what the other two entries did: monsters, gore, and a heavily armed Milla Jovovich with her lithe beauty and limited but enthusiastic action moves, a video-gamer's dream date. In this installment she brandishes dual-Kukri (a Dungeons & Dragon's favourite), and employs her psychic powers to destroy a flock of zombie-crows.

Billed as the the third (and was supposed to be final) part of the video game based trilogy. It departs from it's predecessors only as now our heroine is on the move, a nomad who rides the sands of a perpetual desert that much of the planet has been reduced to. The hot piece of ass Alice teams up with this time is Claire Redfield (played by Ali Larter of Heroes), leader of a ragtag Mad Max-esque bunch of similar nomads in an endless search of food and fuel to keep them ahead of and out of the way of the zombie menace.

Thankfully the zombies are still ridiculously easy to kill, forcing the filmmakers to resort to the kind of creative brutality that merits an R rating. The impalements, beheadings, incinerations, blood feasts and wholesale obliterations that punctuate the movie serve as a reminder what makes life worth living.

As a note for the future: Jeremy Bolt, producer of the Resident Evil franchise said last week that the filmmakers aren't actively working on a fourth installment in the series, but haven't ruled one out either. "We've been very pleased with the third part of the franchise, and it's done so well. Certainly we'd like to look at it, but I wouldn't want to say we were or weren't doing anything at this point. It's too early."

Final Verdict: Better than the last one but the original still holds the crown. Any movie that splatters zombie-brains on a camera lens is going to be fuckin' awesome!

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****1/2

Thursday, October 25, 2007

24 Day 7: Holy Shitballs!!!

Jack Bauer is back in 2008 and he's up against an old friend.

Note: 20th Century Fox are removing these videos from Youtube so you might find this search link useful. Click by "date added" once there to find the latest upload before Fox's lawyers do...

If anyone gets an official Fox video working; post the link in the comments.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Black Sheep: Baaaaah!

Rarely does one find a foreign film with such grace and soul, that will define a genre of drama and deliver a depth of human characterisation not seen since the days of... Aw fuckin' hell you've already seen this big picture of a rabid Zombie-sheep ripping the throat of a Nip and you know I'm taking complete piss.

This New Zealand Horror-Comedy is not only filled with Sheep-love and Sheep-farting gags but also carnivorous rabid zombie-sheep.

The only thing that would have made it better was if the military were called in to quell the sheep uprising, oh and if the sheep could fly that'd have been cool too.

What more is there to say: "Baaaah!"

Colonel Creedon Rating: ***1/2

Monday, October 22, 2007

Neverwinter Nights 2: Betrayer Unmasked Early

In the days of waiting for many years for games (Duke Nukem 4Ever - Yes I am waiting for it, my allegiance to the Duke will never falter) and even Expansion Packs for games (Half Life 2: Episode 1) and watching those tentative release dates slip; it's a bit shocking to get a game in the post before (what I thought was) the release date itself. Normally I'd wait 5 working days after the release date for a game to get it from some warehouse in Germany or wherever to this: the land of the bogs and the little people. So when Neverwinter Nights2: Mask Of The Betrayer showed up on October 4th, a week earlier than expected I was a bit worried that it was either crap or worse: full of bugs.

I need not have worried. Online reviews have been as favourable as an add-on pack would get around the 8.5/10 mark. A check on trusty Wikipedia for MOTB revealed that the release date was brought forward for Europe (it was closer to the 9th October the US date the previous time I checked). While it's indeed nice that we get something first, it caused two problems. When shit like this happens, folk get worried or apprehensive- not good for sales figures, there should have been more publicity. As a registered Atari user and reader of gaming magazines, I was still unaware of the change in release date up to the point where I opened the package. What also bothers me is that to the best of my knowledge- the US fiscal year ends on September 30th so don't all the European sales figures for MOTB get calculated for FY07 now while the US/AU sales figures are under the FY08? If someone could explain why Atari would have done that let me know please.

As for the game itself well, I've given some details previously, and as I've no time to get with it at the moment, I don't really want to learn all that much about it myself before I play it, so I'm not reading any reviews. What I do know is:

Obsidian Entertainment wanted to tie up the loose events of Neverwinter Nights 2 but also wanted to make it a darker and more personal story. The game begins with the player being woken up in a mysterious underground cavern without his Silver Shard but now with a sucking void that should be fatal but isn't. This is what drives the action of the rest of the game. The player is faced with both literally and symbolically filling the hole in their soul.

The game is set in in Rashemen and Thay, two warring countries in the Forgotten Realms' Unapproachable East. Those that recall Minsc and his miniature giant space hamster Boo from Baldur's Gate may recall he's from Rashemen. Adventuring in the Unapproachable East is much less about killing tons of monsters (though there's no shortage of that) than digging through the layers of subterfuge and masks that hide the truth.

Hmmm... OK.. I'll let you know what it's all about once I've completed it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

If dreams come true...

Civilian Overseer forwarded me on this Threat Level article from Basically it follows a quick investigation into the constitutionality of President Bush retaining power during an "emergancy" and diferring the election due to the threat of terrorism.

It seems a bit far fetched... ...or is it? If only there was some way to help my pal and ensure the continued safety of the entire world since he came to power!

Source: Wired, Civvy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dnevnoy dozor (Day Watch): What the fuck?

This mediocre sequel to the extraordinary 2005 Russian fantasy movie Nochnoy Dozor (Night Watch) which earned itself a Whopper Award displays very little of the charm of it's predecessor.

Night Watch was full of visionary ideas many of which put the likes of The Lord Of The Rings and The Matrix to shame, especially in the special effects department: There were sexy babes that transformed into wildcats, lads who could flip artic' trucks with an hand and a murky mosquito-infested parallel world called ''The Gloom'' where evil ruled. For the most part, the sheer spectacle excused the fact that the story was so confusing: something about a guy named Anton caught between light and darkness or something along those lines *shrugs*.

Rather than answer any questions posed by the original, the sequel creates a whole host of new ones and to be perfectly honest, I couldn't follow the fuckin' thing at all. It borrows an idea from The Lord Of The Rings (or every other fantasy tale) and rests the fate of the world on a magical artifact: in this case a piece of chalk that can rewrite history. It also features a comedic inspired male/female body swap which serves no useful purpose whatsoever.

I will say that the Cinematography and Special Effects are outstanding, but other than want to see what Russia can do with a budget there's little else here for anyone. Maybe it's because it's the middle part of a trilogy- a bridge between the beginning and ending or in this case Night and Dusk.

Final verdict: It delivers even more cutting-edge eye candy than it's predecessor but resists all attempts at understanding.

Colonel Creedon Rating: **

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

3YO Pulled over in battery operated car

A motorised candy-apple red Mustang GT toy carried 3-year-old Jordan Will for a brief ride along a busy stretch of highway. Drivers stopped and neighbours chased down the car until a cop could pull over Jordan and his 2-year-old passenger on Sunday.

"Nothing bad happened, so it's kind of cute now when you look at it," said his father, Doug Will. "But at the time, it wasn't cute at all. It was scary. I was really upset."

(Right: Similar Vehicle for illustration)

The Mustang was decked out with all the extras: a rear spoiler, a premium sound system and chrome wheels. The boys drove the tricked-out ride through their Omro, Winsconsin neighbourhood and pulled up to a busy intersection. "He even obeyed the signs, so that was good. He stopped at the red light and got on the cross walk," said neighbour Jaci Bauer.

Doug Will had been searching for the boys when he got the call from a police officer to come get the car. "He just said, 'We went for a ride, daddy,"' Will said. All Jordan can do now is sit in the little car. His father has taken away the keys and removed the battery.

Now, am I the only one disturbed and apalled by this - read the third paragraph again: "a premium sound system"???? WTF??? In a 3 year old's toy? What the fuck was he listening to thumping out of the bass - Barney the freakin' Dinosaur? Big-Bird sings Johnny Cash? Sheeeesh!

Source: Fox News

Monday, October 15, 2007

I Spy With My Little Fly

The Telegraph recently reported that the United States was making insect spy robots and deploying them above liberal hippie anti-war wasters. No government agency has admitted to developing insect-size spy drones but various official and private organisations have admitted that they are trying.

Left: A mechanical fly being developed at Harvard College

The CIA secretly developed a petrol-powered dragonfly drone back in the 1970s but the "insectothopter" was considered a failure as it couldn't handle crosswinds. The CIA refused to discuss its subsequent work but it is known that the Defence Department has been funding research into inserting computer chips into moth pupae to create "cyborg moths" whose flight muscles can be controlled remotely.

Also denying the deployment of the miniscule spy devices is Lieutenant Colonel Creedon of the United Nations Extra-Terrestrial Invasion Defence Agency.

"Nonescence" he said after a meeting in Frankfurt this morning. "Pure science fiction. But hypothetically, if we did have them, they'd have explosive charges and they would be everywhere and there's nothing you could do to stop them. Muahahaha! Hypothetically..."

The full story is here.

Source: The Telegraph

Sunday, October 14, 2007

2IGTV Episode 51


Knight Rider, G-Force, Bionic Woman, Star Trek, Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins, Justice League, Escape From New York, EverQuest, Halo, Manhunt 2, Steven Spielberg and Donald Sutherland.

We also discuss the impending movie and TV industry strikes, Blu-Ray encryption and of course we have the results of our Episode 50 Competition.

Grab it here.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Team America World Pol... oh wait, sorry, this is The Kingdom

You can't not have heard of this Peter (Welcome to the Jungle) Berg directed movie about a terrorist attack on US citizens in Saudi-Arabia and the subsequent investigation and eventual terrorist-massacre by Team Amer... (sorry there I go again) by the FBI.

This was a misfire of epic proportions. Berg was apparently trying to create a poignant and meaningful drama set in the middle-east but that's not what the audience got (thankfully).

I'll explain, Matthew Michael Carnahan's script follows a vengeance-minded FBI forensics agent: Denzel wannabe Jamie Foxx (delivering a Denzel wannabe performance) who breaks ranks with his US superiors and blackmails his way into Saudi with his team of Chris Cooper (recently forgiven for American Beauty), the ever oh-so-hot Jennifer Garner (right) and the mostly redundant Jason Bateman. They investigate a suicide bombing at an American compound in Saudi Arabia with the aid of a sympathetic local cop Colonel Faris Al-Ghazi played by Ashraf Barhom who I believe stole the show and upstaged his American colleagues at every turn.

Berg uses the bible of his producer Michael Mann with regard to characters existentially being defined by their jobs and over-use of over-the-shoulder subjective shots. Unfortunately it is evident that Berg is not Mann as the story's amalgamation of deep character scenes and well-researched information dumps drags along more awkwardly than it should.

While this doesn't sound like a movie to behold, it is in it's third act that the whole mess is elevated from 1.5 to 4.5 stars!!! Viewers will be blown away by an extended action sequence that plays out like a genuinely angry revenge fantasy. I was overjoyed by the true depiction of woggy as he really is; a threat to our way of life that should be exterminated like a rabid dog.

Final verdict: It is just slightly too much gung-ho American that it really needed to be (I know this is me saying this yes). It started out as a provocative think-piece that miraculously transforms into a jingoistic, squib-happy ass-kicker like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****1/2

Friday, October 12, 2007

Scotty is Pegged, Kirk may be Pined

Chris Pine a former chick-flick actor could be playing Captain Kirk if he accepts as he's apparently been offered the role over the aforementioned Mike Vogel. I think Pine would be a better choice than Vogel as it was Pine who breathed life into Darwin Tremor, one of the Neo-Nazi assassins in the superb slick action movie Smokin' Aces (he's the guy that used his hands to manipulate the mouth on a dead Ben Affleck to have a conversation with him! Shit-Cool!).

In other news John Cho has been cast as Mr. Sulu. He's Asian so he's obviously going to work right? And now also it seems that Paul McGillion won't be the most famous Science Fiction engineer ever.

I'll admit I would never, if given a million guesses have thought of Simon Pegg as Scotty, but he is now. Pegg is one of the funniest men on the planet but even though he was the tech-guy Benji in the magnificent M:I-3, I wouldn't have gone so far as to cast him as Scotty.

Well at least we know that he can do the accent and that's all that really matters. Check this out.

Sources: AICN, Trek Today, Trekmovie, Youtube

Steve Rogers Staying Dead but Captain America Returns

If you thought there was never going to be another "Captain America", then shame on you! You're an idiot.

If you thought that Captain America/Steve Rogers was going to return right-as-rain after I personally buried him a few months ago, then you're in my boat actually, I thought that was going to happen.

No. There's a new Sentinel of Liberty coming; written by Ed Brubaker (who guaranteed Rogers' status of being food for worms forever) and drawn by Alex Ross one of the most talented painters (I will not use the word artist when talking about this man) on the planet (Note to Mark: I keep forgetting to give you back your Kingdom Come - remind me!). Ross has created a new Captain America uniform for the as-yet-unknown character who will take up the mantle.

What excites me is the fact that he'll CARRY A GUN - yes!! Look it's in the picture!!! Jesus Christ he has a big fucking knife too!!! Now that's what I'm tallking 'bout Momma!! Shit I'm dribbling on my shirt! So will the new Cap be a slightly unhinged Republican? A paid up member of the NRA? Let's hope so, I like this development.

Fill details and artwork at Captain America #34 is currently scheduled to arrive in stores on January 16, 2007.

Source: Marvel

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sizemore Gives Interview From Jail

I had previously thought the Tom Sizemore news would have dried up, but apparently he's been giving interviews from prison.

He says this week that he's done with drugs. "I'm not trading my whole life for some powder."

Sizemore is currently serving time in Kern County for violating probation in a drug case after he was arrested in a Bakersfield hotel in May for methamphetamine found in his car. He'll be released in November.

The actor tapped to play the title role in a Colonel Creedon movie was charged with seven drug-related counts, but pleaded no contest to a charge of transporting drugs for personal use. He was sentenced Wednesday to treatment in a drug therapy program.

Sizemore, 45, said getting busted may have been good for him. "God's trying to tell me he doesn't want me using drugs because every time I use them I get caught," he said. He said he understands the punishment could have been worse. "I got another chance, some people might think I don't deserve one, but I'm glad the judge thought so and I mean to make the most of it."

Sunday, October 07, 2007

WAR! Exploding Dog!

War was originally going to be titled Rogue as I previously reported but they changed the name for some reason but not the concept: pitting Jason Statham against Jet Li in a slightly more realistic setting than The One.

In this movie, Statham is the commander of the FBI's Asian Crime Task Force who is determined to get revenge on an infamous skilled assassin Rogue (Li). His efforts are somewhat hampered by a sudden escalation of hostilities between the Chinese Triads and the Japanese Yakuza.

The movie has excellent action-oriented performances from both Statham and Li but I was hoping for a bit more from them considering their recent performances in Crank and Fearless respectively. However as there's no shortage of automatic weapons fire, edged weapon dismemberment and fragmentary explosions; (including a suicide bomber dog!) I can't really fault the movie too much. This is surprisingly the feature film directorial debut of Philip G. Atwell formerly a music video director whom you would not think would be able to craft such very clever production which gives us plenty of gang shootouts, assassinations, motor cycle and car chases, and enough over the top violence for the most hardened of viewers. One blood bath takes place in a Japanese tea house in San Fran's Chinatown where a room full of Yakuza and their kimono clad waitress are reduced to an unnecessary amount of pure dead meat - sublime!

Once I heard there was going to be a twist greater than anything that Shyamalan could've pulled off at the end of this movie, I set all the details to "go dark"; a total blackout. I didn't want to know anything else about this movie and it paid off, as unlike some other brilliant movies this year- the climax of this one will blow you away physically and emotionally- well that's if you can get emotionally vested in characters from an action movie that is.

Final verdict: Sometimes awful dialog and restrained acting couldn't take away the adrenalin rush from this superb action flick, but I was expecting something a bit more from these two.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****1/2

Saturday, October 06, 2007

General Pace Retires, Admiral Mullen Sworn In

“We have an enemy who has declared war on us. We are in a war. They want to stop us from living the way we want to live our lives." Marine Corps General Peter Pace said during his sun-splashed retirement ceremony Monday on the parade field at Fort Myer, Virginia. “We will prevail, there’s no doubt about that.”

Gen. Pace, who ends a 40-year career that began as a rifle platoon leader in the Vietnam War and ended as the first Marine to be CJCS, addressed a standing-room-only crowd that included President Bush, Vice President Cheney, SECDEF Robert Gates, Gates’ predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, the service secretaries and the JCS.

Pace deliberately blurred the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, although it is the Iraq war that appears to provoke the most national anger and most of the calls for the withdrawal of troops. His comments aimed at acknowledging both that anger and what officials have said is the fragile depth of the nation’s ground forces, which are wearing thin from the strain of fighting the two wars — a situation that some critics say has significantly weakened the military’s ability to respond elsewhere around the world if called upon.

The officer sworn in Monday to replace Pace, US Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, expressed a similar desire to rebuild during his own remarks. “I’m ... eager to work closely with our service chiefs, our combatant commanders, as together we develop and execute a strategy to support our national interests in the Middle East; we reset, reconstitute and revitalize our armed forces, especially our ground forces; and we properly balance our risks around the globe,” Mullen said. “The fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan will one day end. We must be ready for who and what comes after.”

Getting to such a point, Pace said, will require thoughtful dialogue, not partisan bickering. While he didn’t mention Congress, the fights over war funding and calls for immediate withdrawal from Iraq that have marked the past year on Capitol Hill were clearly on his mind as he spoke his parting speech "What worries me is that in some instances right now we have individuals who are more interested in making somebody else look bad than they are in finding the right solution,” he said. “They are more interested in letting their personal venom come forward instead of talking about how do we get from where we are to where we need to be.”

Adm. Mullen said “We owe it to the American people and to all of you, our men and women in uniform and your families, to provide you with clear direction,” after being sworn in, as members of every branch of the armed services looked on. With honor guards and a flyover by fighter jets, it was a day of high ceremony for Mullen and the chairman he replaced, Gen. Pace.

Mullen was SECDEF Robert Gates’ choice to replace Pace, who had been vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs when the Iraq invasion was launched in 2003. Gates said he decided to replace rather than reappoint Pace because he feared the escalating debate over the Iraq war, particularly between the president and a frustrated Congress, would have triggered a bitter confirmation process that could have undermined the country.

A Marine still occupies the second biggest chair in the armed forces, the Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Of Staff is now General James E. Cartwright formerly Commander, United States Strategic Command.

Source: Marine Corps Times

Friday, October 05, 2007

7307 Takei

George Takei Gets His Own Asteroid!

Star Trek (and now Heroes) star George Takei has been honored with his very own asteroid. A huge rock floating around between Mars and Jupiter has been renamed 7307 Takei.

"I am now a heavenly body. The honor came out of the clear, blue sky - just like an asteroid," he said.

The asteroid, which was discovered by two Japanese astronomers in 1994, was formerly known as 1994 GT9. The renaming has been approved by officials at the International Astronomical Union's Committee On Small Body Nomenclature.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Down in Africa - Far Cry 2

With Uwe Boll post-producing his movie-version of Far Cry, and Crytek, the original Far Cry developers are putting the finishing touches to Crysis; It's now time to see who or how the Far Cry will continue as a video game - Thankfully Ubisoft are crying far again, only this time; In Africa.

In 2004, Ubisoft shook up the PC first-person shooter genre when it released Far Cry. The game's dazzling visuals earned it high critical praise. The accolades translated into income, with the game selling nearly 425,000 copies in the US alone. Far Cry's success launched a whole franchise for Ubisoft, with Far Cry Instincts hitting the Xbox in 2005, its expansion/semi-sequel Far Cry Instincts Evolution the following year, Far Cry Instincts Predator arriving in 2006, and Far Cry Vengeance tackling the Wii last December.

Unfortunately, Far Cry's success also led to some unwelcome developments for Ubisoft. Just months after the game's release, its German developer, Crytek, formed a "strategic partnership" with Ubi rival and part-owner Electronic Arts. The first project to emerge from that deal is the PC shooter Crysis, heralded as the most important game for the PC with visuals surpassing all Next-Gen consoles.

While disconcerting, the EA/Crytek deal didn't stop Ubisoft from buying the Far Cry IP last year and they recently announced its Montreal studio is developing the first proper sequel to Far Cry, imaginatively titled Far Cry 2 (well they are French). "Far Cry marked the beginning of a new era for shooters. An era of gorgeous graphics and of advanced artificial intelligence," said Tony Key, Ubisoft's vice president of marketing, in a statement. "We are confident that Far Cry 2 will have the same impact again on the FPS genre landscape."

Obviously created for the PC, it's not a sequel in so far as Jack Carver isn't there. Neither are there Trigens or tropical island. Instead, you're on the sprawling plains of the African Savannah, and enemies are angry humans and hungry wildlife. Far Cry as you knew it is dead: long live Far Cry 2.

According to Louis-Pierre Pharand, Far Cry 2's producer "Our research with consumers showed that there was more interest in the earlier parts of Far Cry - the highly realistic parts where you were raiding mercenary encampments using planning, infiltration and then explosive action to win the fight. Many people seemed to feel the game suffered a bit with the introduction of the Trigens, and the fantastical story that they brought with them."

The different focus is clear. There are no nanosuits in Far Cry 2, and no mutant, alien or magical powers. "Neither the player nor the enemy have any 'powers' other than those that any individual human can summon up in extreme circumstances," says Pharand. "The game takes place in two fully open worlds that are five kilometers on a side, with the second world 'unlocking' roughly one-third of the way through the game," he explains. "This gives a playable area of 50 square kilometers, through which the player is allowed to freely travel at any time. The story's also non-linear, dynamic and procedurally assembled using a simple drama-management engine to populate the story with key characters and facilitate the convergence of the story toward major climactic events."

The story charges you with killing a man who's allegedly responsible for selling arms to both sides of a conflict in a failed state. As you go, you'll become embroiled in other stories and conflicts, while you either accept missions provided by the game's principal factions, or play both sides against the middle to further your own selfish ends. The idea is to create a world in which you can plough your own furrow while the story shapes itself to enhance the drama of your actions. "Ultimately," says Pharand, "while several major climaxes will take place for all players, the characters involved in those events, the locations where those events occur and ultimately what they mean, is up to the player."

Far Cry wouldn't be Far Cry without a heavy dose of jungle. While you will be crawling on your belly through the forest, it's not all-consuming like before. The canopy opens up and there are large expanses of open ground where there's hardly a piece of bark in sight. "It was an absolute requirement that Far Cry 2 maintain the exoticism of the original game," explains Pharand. "The African savanna was a natural choice because there are several different kinds of plain in Africa. The grasslands are only one, and allow long draw distances, off-road vehicle pursuits and long-range shooting and sniping.

"Savannah woodlands, on the other hand, actually come to approximate the levels of density you saw in the jungles of the original Far Cry, but in some ways it can feel like urban fighting with small but dense clusters of trees behaving like small buildings. Of course, you can't typically shoot through buildings, while if you think the enemy is on the other side of a stand of trees you can hose it down with a light machine gun to find out."

Ubisoft are hoping that the game will satisfy those looking for the originals jungle combat, while still allowing the series to cover new styles of play. Yet large outdoor expanses feel empty unless you have the people and wildlife to inhabit them, which is where the game becomes yet more ambitious. "Our AI is needs-driven, and the main needs are Rest, Duty and Social," explains Pharand. "Scattered all around the world are what we call SmartTerrain Points - locations where NPCs can perform actions that fulfil those needs. For example, a Sleep point will fulfill the Rest need as long as the NPC is sleeping." As an example: Gazelles will trek to watering holes each morning, drinking water before heading out to eat and sleep in the plains in the afternoon. Enemy patrols, meanwhile, will converge upon their base-camps at night, which means that the experience of raiding a camp at night or during the day will be drastically different. Planning your assault is now about more than just spotting your enemies. It's about choosing your moment, too.

Pharand isn't worried about Crysis. "From what we know Far Cry 2 and Crysis are virtually incomparable, which is great. We expect PC gamers will be more than happy to have two incredible titles to play instead of only one." And I certainly will. Just so long as they can pull this off. Expect it Spring 2008 (for the moment).

Source: Gamespot,

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Hopefully not a Far Cry from the game

Uwe Boll, one of the most hated non-French people in the world apparently bought the rights to the Far Cry movie before the game was created. He has spent the last couple of months months since completing Postal filming the adventures of Jack Carver.

Those of you who have known the (mis)fortune of experiencing an Uwe Boll film know that while it is possible to create a movie from a video-game, the results are often quite different to what you'd expect. Most video games hare built on a wafer-thin plot, something that Boll appears to like and he has turned House of the Dead, Bloodrayne (****)(and he's just made a sequel), Alone In The Dark (**), Dungeon Siege and Postal into movies and is filming a sequel to Alone In The Dark right now. Far Cry is another of his movies and that's currently in post production.

The movie will hopefully follow the plot of the PC version of the game (with some degree of expansion - but hopefully not the attempted level of expansion that Boll did for Alone in the Dark and avoid the stupid "animalistic powers" angle that Carver was given in the Far Cry console versions). Jack Carver (Til Schweiger) is a retired Special Forces Officer who now is transport for hire, by people and cargo. On one particular trip Jack ferries a photographer 'Val' (Emmanuelle Vaugier) who wants to photograph old Japanese WW2 bases on some of the Micronesian islands. He goes through hell when his boat is attacked and destroyed by an unknown party while Val is away. Surviving by the skin of his teeth, he must now find her and uncover what is truly happening on these dark and mysterious islands.

Schweiger and Vaugier will be joined by the legendary Udo Kier (above left) as Dr. Krieger, the giant German bodybuilder Ralf Moeller and Craig Fairbrass who always plays a bad guy. I'll admit, I'm not expecting much, but I'll certainly watch it. I'll let you know...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

God talks Star Wars on TV

George Lucas has given some more details about his upcoming Star Wars television series.

God reiterated the the animated series, The Clone Wars, will take place between Episodes II and III and feature many of the characters central to those movies, including Yoda, Anakin and Obi Wan Kenobi. The live action series will take place between episodes III and IV, a period of time after the Empire has taken over. Though he still won't talk about the characters the show will center on, as Lucas puts it, "It's like Episode IV in that the Emperor and Darth Vader are heard about — people talk about them — but you never see them because it doesn't take place where they actually are. There are stormtroopers and all that, but there are no Jedis. It's different, but I think it's very exciting because I get to explore a part of that universe that I haven't been able to explore."

God is taking an unusual route for his TV series, something few filmmakers or TV producers are able to do. There are currently no networks involved and Lucas is self-financing the production while Lucasfilm produces a number of episodes and they will then turn around and try and sell them. God said they have produced 40 of a planned 100 episodes of the animated series already. As for the live action show, he said "we'll do it just the same way that we're doing the animated series, which is we usually write a whole year first, and then we'll start shooting, and then we'll shoot the whole year and then once we've got something, we'll see where we can put it. We're going to do a hundred of them, too." He also said that they plan on beginning the writing of the live action series next month.

Lucas hopes to have the animated series on the air "about a year from now." As for where it will live, he said "Right now, we don't know. It's out there to people, and people are talking about it, but so far, everybody's got the same conundrums — "How do we program it? Where does it live? Where can we put something like this?" You know, it has to go after 9 o'clock and it can't be on a kiddie channel."

Usually a network will commission a pilot, then pick that up and give an order of 13 episodes and go from there. Asked if he was afraid that he was putting the cart before the horse by producing so many episodes before getting any kind of commitment from a network, Lucas said "I have enough confidence that this is good, and I'll make it really good, so I'm not too worried about that part of it. And if worse comes to worse, I'll end up with a lot of library product."

The full TV Guide interview with God here.

Sources: TVGuide, IGN

Monday, October 01, 2007

2IGTV Episode 50!!!

Prepare yourself for the 2IGTV 50th Episode Extravaganza!!! Well actually it's pretty much a normal episide, just with a milestone number, nothing to get more excited about than normal.

In addition to our mailbag, we talk about Heath Ledger, James Spader, Rose McGowan, Mike Bay and even Chris Crocker. On TV we mention Family Guy's tribute to Star Wars and some news for Battlestar Galactica fans. In Movies we have The Dark Knight, Thor, Iron Man, Magneto and Southland Tales.

To celebrate our 50th Episode and the release of John Woo's Stranglehold game - you have a chance of winning The Colonel's very own copy of Woo's magnum opus: "Hard Boiled" (Region Free in Chineese with English Subs).

What the fuck are you waiting for? Grab it now!