Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Less than 48 Hours to go! - Why Iron Man is my favourite comic-book hero

I think with the whole Iron Man buzz in the air at the moment, the time is right to publish this, something I began writing when the first rumours of an Iron Man movie were surfacing more than 2 years ago now. Someone asked me who my favourite comic-book character was, it wasn't a quick answer but I had to say that it was Iron Man. Most people expect Batman or even Spider-Man, many would presume someone more 'military' like a G.I.Joe character or The Punisher or those who know who he is; Nick Fury. No, while I've read and enjoyed many of their adventures, Iron Man is my firm-favourite comic book character.

So up until pretty recently most non comic-book oriented folk had little or no idea who Iron Man was. Allow me to explain:

Anthony 'Tony' Stark inherited his fathers arms company after his parents were killed in a motor-vehicle accident. The young Stark founded a cosy little Empire and by the time of the Vietnam War he was supplying the US Military with then state-of-the-art weaponry. He kept a very hands-on approach to his business and even traveled to Vietnam in '68 to advise the military on the use of his weapons systems. Unfortunately during this visit there was a Viet-Cong attack and an unfortunate explosion left a piece of shrapnel dangerously close to his heart. He was captured by the VC and was instructed to create weapons for them instead. Stark designed, built and constructed a metal torso which sent light electrical pulses to his heart to keep it beating. It was cumbersome and he had to wear it for a few hours each day and it had to be recharged after use which took a while. He then had the idea to create an entire suit of armour with the capability to fly and have built in weapon systems. Thankfully the VC generously allowed him to build this under their noses and so he did, and promptly escaped from his captors with one of the most powerful weapons in the world- the Iron Man armour.

Stark founded a multi-million dollar engineering and electronics company Stark International. Stark himself was naturally CEO and he cast Iron Man in the role of his personal bodyguard which was a good cover story as Iron Man obviously made frequent appearances in the vicinity of Stark, especially when he or someone was in trouble. Stark lost his company after falling foul of alcohol, it was bought out by Obidiah Stane a rival manufacturer. Once Stark began the road to recovery he uprooted all he had left and and moved everything lock stock and barrel to the West Coast and settled in California's Silicon Valley. There he founded Stark Enterprises and soon the company had grown 10 times what his previous company was, making Stark one of the richest men in the world.

Stark had very few close relationships with anyone, but one man who stood by him throughout most of his adventures was James "Rhody" Rhodes a US Air Force pilot whom was shot down and interred at the same POW camp where Stark created Iron Man. Stark helped him escape and he has been his personal pilot and general right-hand man ever since. Rhody knows Stark is Iron Man and has worn the armour himself many times especially during a two year period when Stark was addicted to alcohol and in no condition to operate the armour. During times where Stark and Iron Man needed to be in two places at once (or indeed the same place both as Stark and Iron Man), then Rhody was Iron Man. Rhody now wears the War-Machine armour; an ultra-powerful combat suit with more firepower than a US Marine Expeditionary Unit.

No hero would be complete without nemeses; Some of his more difficult foes have included, The Living Laser, Doctor Doom, Titanium Man, The Crimson Dynamo and Fing Fang Foom. Through various circumstances he's also gone up against The Incredible Hulk and S.H.I.E.L.D. Out of all the villains Iron Man has faced over the years however, none have been more dangerous to him than The Mandarin. Of Asian descent this madman held power over 10 magical rings, each with a unique ability that spell doom for Iron Man.

As with most comic-books over the years there has been some retconning, which was used to alter historical facts fit the approximate age of the character in present day. As Tony Stark is perpetually in his mid 30's, he obviously couldn't have been captured during the Vietnam War 40 years ago. Thankfully the US was engaged in another war when Iron Man rebooted a few years ago and it was alluded to that Stark was injured in Afghanistan and captured by Al-Qaeda, facts that Director Jon Favreau has adopted for the movie.

Later, I will recount for you my earliest memories of Iron Man and a brief history of the Comic Book itself and what I've learned from reading it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

IRON MAN - 4 Days to go!

I got an E-mail from Paramount yesterday telling me to go to the Advanced Screenings on Thursday May 1st. It also provided me with a link to which sells tickets for Mahon Point. So it's only 4 days to go now!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

IRON MAN - 7 Days to go!

Director Jon Favreau with Robert Downey Jr. and the rest of the Iron Man cast have been released to the press to spread the gospel of Stark. So if you happen to meet any of them, run away so you don't hear them talking about the movie and have them spoil anything! :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

2IGTV Episode 57

Rick Rolling, MILF Island, Battlestar Galactica's return and Iron Man are discussed. We have reports of Peter Berg making DUNE, Tom Cruise ON drugs and Jason Beghe escaping Scientology. We also speak of Edward Norton vs Marvel and iTunes becoming the bane of Walmart!

Also some rumblings about Austin Powers 4, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Season 2 and a new Greatest American Hero? And bear witness to Mark rummaging through The Colonel’s DVDs (again).

Epidode 57 Available here. Discuss this episode in our forum!

Street Kings: L.A. Confidential on Viagra!

Keanu Reeves delivers the worst performance of his career in this new Thriller / Crime-Drama from David Ayer. It's really distracting to have the main actor not giving it the best up there on screen, it translates into not giving a flying fuck about the character and hoping that he buys it in some "everybody dies" scenario as in The Departed or something. Can we really blame him or is it the fault of inexperienced director Ayer? Well you be the judge when you see how good Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie (complete with House yank accent) and even Chris Evans are in their respective roles.

It may come as no surprise to anyone watching this movie, that it's written by James Ellroy, the acclaimed novelist behind L.A. Confidential. It may also dawn on people that Mr. Ellroy is a one-trick-pony as there are many elements of his previous works on display here. This time however the corrupt cop genre has been given a boost with some real edgy dialog and fantastic action set-pieces. The latter element there would no doubt be the result of additional screenplay input by the excellent Kurt Wimmer of Equilibrium and Ultraviolet fame. As mentioned, the movie is directed by David Ayer who is more credited as a writer of S.W.A.T., Dark Blue and Training Day which strangely enough ALL heavily feature corrupt cops too! I think even Ayer's choice of composer in Graeme Revell was most likely for his ability to score movies about corrupt cops as he did a good job of adapting some of his previous scores from Assault on Precinct 13 and The Negotiator for this movie.

There is this one part in the movie that I must mention because it should be shocking, but ends up being fucking hilarious. A character gets gunned down by two bad guys with (what look like MK 760) machine guns. About 100 9mm bullets end up lodging in or going through the poor guy, his chest cavity is a gaping hole and he has several wounds in his head, there is little of him left - but in true Hollywood fashion: He's still breathing when his assailants leave. Keanu finds him, bends over and says "Stay With Me!". It's just too funny. It's actually in the trailer below, have a look.

Brian Holcomb of Beyond Hollywood said that "..movies like Street Kings are sitting ducks in a shooting range for film critics who laugh all through the movie only to condemn it for being so damn entertaining." And this is true; Despite it's flaws the movie is most certainly entertaining and enjoyable, even if it does add to a somewhat disheartening portrait of the LAPD, ironically painted by the very people they're sworn to serve and protect.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****

WARNING: RED-BAND Trailer (Scenes of extreme violence)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

G.I.Joe - Scarlett

If G.I. Joe's Scarlett was a blond or a brunette I'd be typing furiously away like some nerdy fanboy on the IMDB complaining that the film-makers were ruining my childhood because they haven't put her in her traditional blue and gold costume (seriously blue and gold on a battlefield?), but no: Scarlett is and always will be a redhead and instead I'll just sit here and dribble like some disgusting pervert.
Click to enlarge
Incidently, she's wearing a Crysis - style nanosuit which amps up her physical abilities a bit. Heh, I can certainly think of one or two... :)

Source: joblo

Monday, April 14, 2008

I want planes with frikkin' laser-beams on their noses!

It may sound like one of those ridiculous requests made by Dr. Evil of his henchmen in the Austin Powers movies, but this is exactly what Colonel "Whopper" Creedon asked for when the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee asked what the Marine needed for the United Nations Extra Terrestrial Defence Agency (UNETIDA) to protect the planet. 5 Years on and Colonel Creedon's request does not sound so ridiculous anymore as the Department of Defense (DOD) has created a prototype of an aircraft furnished with a laser weapon dubbed the Airborne Tactical Laser (ATL), that could potentially annihilate armoured vehicles 15Km away.

Under the program, a chemical oxygen-iodine laser (COIL) is installed on a modified C-130H more commonly known at the "Hercules" transport aircraft, simulating a future AC-130 laser equipped gunship. The ATL will be able to disable, damage and if necessary destroy targets at tactical ranges with little or no collateral damage, supporting battlefield missions and Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT). The laser will be able to place a 10-centimeter-wide beam with enough energy to melt and slice through a metal target from a distance of 15 kilometers.

ATL is expected to produce scalable effects, meaning the weapon operator will be able to select the amplitude and nature of the damage done to a target by choosing a specific aim-point and duration such as, targeting a vehicles fuel tank to destroy it or just it's tire to disable the vehicle but keep the occupants alive.

So far the laser itself has not been tested in flight, but first trials are expected during 2008. One obvious future potential ATL platform could be MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.

Captain "Harpoon" Dutton KBE, Commander of UNETIDA Naval Tactical Support (CUNTS) is quoted as saying "I'll need some of these!"

Defense Update has more information here.

Source: Sith Apologist, Daily Telegraph, Defense Update

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Replicating Rapid-prototyper could destroy us all!

I got an E-mail from a colleague of mine who often keeps an eye out for threats to our way of life, being aware as I am, of the inherent dangers of "the future".

Now I don't want to come across as a doomsayer, but this seemingly innocent piece of technology on the left, could pave the way for the total destruction of the human race.

Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) was in it's infancy when I was in college but never did I think that it could have evolved into this monster: - a machine that can replicate itself!

Fair enough, it can only replicate about 25% of it's total parts, but that's only 75% away from total replication. It's obvious it's designers are not aware of similar alien technology or the potential for it to be used by a suprcomputer to replicate war machines to annihilate humanity.

Mark my words: This will all end in tears and once again I'll have to don a flak-jacket and shoot my way out of another mess created by people with a lack of true vision!

Source: Eamo

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Chuck Heston Dead at 84

The legendary Charlton "Chuck" Heston, one of the greatest screen actors or all time, has died at 84.

A former US Army Air Force Radio Gunner, Heston was known for his chiseled jaw, broad shoulders, resonating voice and the iconic historical roles he played; among them: Moses, El Cid, John the Baptist, Michelangelo, Marc Antony, Cardinal Richelieu and Henry VIII. His greatest role however was that of Ben Hur. He is also known for his portrayal of the tycoon Jason Colby in a spin off from Dynasty, the narrator for Michael Bay's Armageddon and as Colonel George Taylor in Planet Of The Apes.

The actor was an excellent leader off the silver screen too. He served as president of the Screen Actors Guild and chairman of the American Film Institute. In later years he grew more conservative, campaigned for conservative candidates and in '98, Heston was elected president of the National Rifle Association, for which he had posed for ads holding a rifle. He delivered a well-deserved jab at the adulterous then-President Clinton, saying, "America doesn't trust you with our 21-year-old daughters, and we sure, Lord, don't trust you with our guns."

(Left): "From my cold dead hand"

In 2003 President Bush awarded Heston the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. "The largeness of character that comes across the screen has also been seen throughout his life," Bush said at the time. In late years, Heston drew as much publicity for his crusades as for his performances. In addition to his NRA work, he campaigned for Republican presidential and congressional candidates and against affirmative action.

At a Time Warner stockholders meeting, he castigated the company for releasing an Ice-T album that purportedly encouraged cop killing. Heston wrote in "In the Arena" that he was proud of what he did "though now I'll surely never be offered another film by Warners, nor get a good review in Time. On the other hand, I doubt I'll get a traffic ticket very soon."

Heston's family said in a statement. "No one could ask for a fuller life than his. No man could have given more to his family, to his profession, and to his country."

Source: Mark

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Listen To The Children

... it's their country too.

I'm a little jealous of this kid. He's got more badges than I did at his age.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Dark Day for Ireland

It is with a tear filled eye that I regretfully announce that our great leader Bertie Ahern will be stepping down as Taoiseach, Prime Minister of Ireland.

Bertie, almost a living saint, has had to duck and dodge a barrage of personal attacks on him and his finances over many months. And like a true hero he had decided to fall on his sword, to protect his party, the government and our nation from the treasonous actions of the opposition.

In a general election last year, the people of Ireland spoke up in a solid voice that they didn't mind who gave him money or what the hell he does with it as long as he would continue to lead our nation as he had done in the previous decade.

However, ignoring the voice of the people they claim to represent, the traitors in opposition government continued to put a negative spin on the origins of some small amounts (to politicians) of cash that poor Bertie had away for a rainy day. This constant aggressive assault on a national hero, the greatest leader since C.J. Haughey eroded his famous "Teflon" coating and destroyed his political will.

But Bertie will have the last laugh, as someone said to me, "he'll rise from the ashes in some alternate form" (maybe even President Bertie?) but one thing is for sure: His place in history is secure as a bringer of peace to Northern Ireland and much more, whereas Enda Kenny and Eamonn Gillmore's most valuable contributions to history will only be their photographs beside the Oxford Dictionary terms "Smarmy Little Fucker" and "Semi-retarded Gobshite" respectively.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Creedon endorses Obama

Too long has America lived under the tyranny and oppression of war-mongering Republican rule. What is there to show for it? A Never ending war and a failing economy? The time for change is now! Do what Wesley Snipes did in Passenger 57 - Bet on Black!!!

(The black dude in the photo with the war-hero above not the not the stupid ugly bitch you've seen on the TV)