Tuesday, June 24, 2008

They're gonna give a woman a fourth star!

SECDEF Robert Gates announced President Bush’s nomination of Lt. Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody US Army, as the commander of Army Materiel Command at Fort Belvoir, Va., which, pending Senate approval, would make her the first woman to be a four-star officer in U.S. history.

Dunwoody, who has served in several command positions since her Army commission in 1975, including her current role as the Army’s deputy chief of staff for logistics, is one of five women now fulfilling three-star flag officer duties. Fifty-seven active-duty women and 47 female reservists wear stars on their shoulders in the armed forces.

General Dunwoody has a bachelor's degree in physical education from the State University of New York at Cortland, a master's degree in logistics management from the Florida Institute of Technology, and a master's degree in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. She is a graduate of the Quartermaster Officer Basic and Advanced Courses and Basic Airborne School. If confirmed by the Senate, Dunwoody would command the teams of soldiers, civilians and contractors responsible for providing materiel readiness and development, new technology, acquisition support and logistics.

Source: John J. Kruzel, American Forces Press Service

Sunday, June 22, 2008

God turns to Broadway?

George Lucas is planning to lend his directorial talents to a Broadway musical with the help of comedienne Whoopi Goldberg, according to reports. Goldberg, who has made a number of appearances on the New York stage, is talking to God's motion picture and visual effects company Industrial Light and Magic about a collaboration on musical Bricktop - Queen of the Night, reports the New York Daily News.

The musical centres around a fabled Parisian cabaret owner Ada 'Bricktop' Smith. A source tells the newspaper, "They're talking about playing with Cubist images and jazz from the (1920's)," adding that Lucas "could do things Broadway has never seen before".

I agree, I've only ever been to one such Broadway show; "The Producers" in 2004 and it was a magnificent experience. Mere mortals such as us cannot even begin to fathom what God himself could bring to such a stage...

Source: IMDB

Friday, June 20, 2008

2IGTV Episode 58

In this later than expected episode: We talk movies, namely the three big summer movies released so far Indy 4, Hulk and Iron Man. We also got the beef on the Battlestar Galactica finale *Spoiler Alert!!!* we discuss the final moments of the episode and we speak about the latest game releases, Mass Effect, Age Of Conan and MGS4.

We also have a ton of news about the latest and upcoming movies like Quantum Of Solace, Anchorman 2, Transformers 2 and Capricorn One, and we bring you news of Tom Cruise and Wesley Snipes.

Plus: Be in with a chance to name the baby of your greatest fan: Bruce Russell!

Get the episode here.
Discuss this episode( and much more) in our forums.
Bruce & Shannon's Baby Naming Rules

Obama did hard drugs and had gay sex in the back of a limo!

That's a headline I read a few weeks ago, the claim of one Larry Sinclair whom, at that time, I considered a deranged nut-job, I didn't even consider it worth a blog post.

However, I was just informed that the aforementioned Mr. Sinclair was arrested on the foot of an out of state warrant after a press conference at the Washington Press Club where he revealed his evidence.

As Larry Johnson of NoQuarter says: "Decide for yourself".

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - August 15th

The 3d animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie is here on August 15th. Written by God, Screenplay by Henry The Tick Gillroy, Steven Troops* Melching and Scott Angel Murphy, Starring Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Daniels as Mace Windu and C3PO, Music by Kevin Wing Commander Kiner.
The film will lead the way for a television series will debut soon afterward in the Autumn on Cartoon Network and TNT.

*(yes that fan- film from 10 years ago)

View The Trailers

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Iron Man First To Cross $300-million Mark

Iron Man has become the golden boy for Marvel Studios, becoming the first picture of the year to cross the $300-million mark at the US box office. The film had grossed $299.3 million through Tuesday and was a sure bet to blow past $300 million on Wednesday or today (Thursday). Three films grossed more than $300 million in 2007: the awful Spider-Man 3 ($336.5 million); the mediocre Shrek the Third ($322.7 million), and the lackluster Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End ($309.4 million); so it looks like Iron Man is breaking the tradition and is going to be the first worthwhile movie to break $300m in a while!

Source: IMDB News

Monday, June 16, 2008

Obituary - Stan Winston

For the last few decades even with CGI replacing many of the traditional effects once undertaken by a team of model-makers, the best directors including Spielberg, Cameron, Burton and Favreau have turned to Stan Winston as his famous "Creature Shop".

Sadly, the life of this great artist has been extinguished many years ahead of his time as news of his death at 62 after a seven-year struggle with multiple myeloma, has just reached me from a loyal reader.

Winston was the the Oscar-winning special-effects wizard responsible for bringing the dinosaurs of the Jurrasic Park to life, terrorised us with the frightening realisation of Cameron's nightmare: The Terminator, gave an Oscar-Winning physical form to the illustrations of H.R. Giger in Aliens and created the iconic form of the Predator (while on a plane with Jim Cameron while working on Aliens) and most recently delighted hard-core comic-book fans with a picture-perfect three dimensional rendition of Adi Granov's design for Iron Man's armour.

His other credits included T2: Judgment Day, A.I. Artificial Intelligence for which he received additional Oscars, Constantine, Pearl Harbor, End Of Days, Small Soldiers and Batman Returns. Winston was also the second special effects artist ever to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He was in the process of transforming his physical makeup and effects studio into the new Winston Effects Group with a team of senior effects supervisors and working on some of Hollywood's most anticipated projects, including Jurassic Park IV, G.I.Joe, Terminator 4: The Future Begins and James Cameron's Avatar.

"The entertainment industry has lost a genius, and I lost one of my best friends with the death Sunday night of Stan Winston," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement. "Stan's work and four Oscars speak for themselves and will live on forever. What will live forever in my heart is the way that Stan loved everyone and treated each of his friends like they were family."

I'm confident that the abilities, vision and spirit of Stan Winston will live on in the VFX masters he has trained and left behind. May he rest in peace; confident of the extraordinary mark he has left on the world.

Click here for a tribute video of Stan Winston's Work on YouTube.

The Incredible Hulk - Full Review

Who can forget Ang Lee's disastrous attempt at bringing one of Marvel's staple characters, The Incredible Hulk to the big screen? I can. Why? Because Louis The Transporter Leterrier has completely eradicated it from my memory with this, to be added with Iron Man, X-Men 2 and Spider-Man 2 as one of the greatest Marvel super hero movies of all time.

Marvel made the right decision in "rebooting" The Incredible Hulk by sweeping away almost all that had been involved in the previous celluloid outing. A new title actor in the form of the excellent Edward Norton, a self confessed fan of The Hulk; was able to lift elements from the comic book and was also able to channel Bill Bixby's performance as a fugitive from the original television show to properly depict the tragedy of Dr. Bruce Banner. I think it also helped that he rewrote most of the script himself which unfortunately has left the future of his involvement with the franchise in doubt. Anne Thompson sums up this debacle here.

The other actors also met or exceeded expectations with the exception of one. As Liv Tyler is hotter than Jennifer Connelly (as well as being a superior actress), she made a better Betty Ross. Betty's father Lieutenant General Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross was depicted by William Hurt, whom I always thought was a bizarre choice for Gen. Ross and it seems like as I was right as he did not exceed the performance of Sam Elliot who played the character in Ang Lee's version, the only superior thing about that awful movie. Tim Roth was at the top of his game once again playing a would-be villain as Emil Blonsky, an officer nearing the end of his usefulness as he saw it, jumps at the chance of becoming a super-soldier to subdue The Hulk menace and turning deliciously evil along the way.

The CGI effects for The Hulk were far more believable this time round with The Hulk having superior facial expression, body movement and poses more consistent with the comic books. Other special effects also included a pair of nifty sonic cannons employed against the green Goliath and of course the final battle sequence where The Hulk and The Abomination go at it were spectacular.

There is obvious sequel setups with Tim Blake Nelson's character Samuel Sterns getting a dollop of Banner's irradiated blood into a gash on his forehead. And of course the obvious appearance of Doc Sampson played by Ty Burrell. Unfortunately the scene with Captain America was cut, but Leterrier says it will appear on the Internet soon and also be part of the 70 minutes of cut footage available on the future DVD release, but don't worry there's a serious nod to The Avengers before the credits roll.

Sadly there are a few glaring errors in an otherwise perfect presentation that prevent my full enjoyment of this movie and cost it a higher rating. As usual they revolve around the depiction of the military forces. I'm even going to ignore the tactical flaws Ross made with sending a team to tranquillise a 20 foot monster or his gross miscalculation of Blonsky's potential. The movie takes place in a "present day" setting. This is proven by the relatively new Norton 360 software on Betty Ross' PC. With this in mind we must note that the Army personnel were wearing the old woodland camo pattern BDUs and not the now-standard ACU pattern. Emil Blonsky is clearly described as a Royal Marine Officer who is on loan to them, however when he is being debriefed he's clearly seen in a US Army Class A uniform with US army badges (albeit with grossly incorrect insignia). The nail in the coffin for these errors had to be General Ross' uniform; I've played poker, smoked cigars and sat through dozes of briefings and budget meetings with top Army brass to know when there's something seriously wrong with an Army uniform and I've illustrated the errors here.

Final Verdict: Another great Marvel Comics Superhero Movie which may take a while to recover an audience from it's abysmal predecessor but paints a bright possible future for itself and other Marvel movies. Let us hope the Punisher: War Zone can do half as good at Christmas.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****1/2

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull - Full Review

I think it's good that Hollywood is running out of truly original ideas. In the not so distant future we won't have any original movies, we'll just have book, video-game, toy and comic adaptations for the big screen and remakes of existing movies (even black and white ones) using modern technology and fresh faces. We'll also have at least 20 sequels per movie if the franchise can support it like it has with James Bond. Of course you must have an extraordinary gap between different versions of the same movie for it to be sucessful say 20 years minimum, but a sequel should be in cinemas at most 4 years after it's predecessor. However, recently there's been a trend in Hollywood to create a fourth outing to a classic trilogy far in excess of that four years- Die Hard 4.0 was released last summer, 12 years after Die Hard: With A Vengeance and was one of the best action movies of the year. Sly Stallone resurrected John Rambo 20 years later for a fourth outing and God, Spielberg and Ford have got together to bring us a fourth Indiana Jones adventure.

I will say out of the three latest outings for these aged franchises, Indiana Jones is probably the weakest in terms of the original formula which made it a success. John McClane was still a wisecracking punchbag 12 years later and Rambo was still singlehandedly taking on entire armies 20 years later, but almost 20 years after we say him riding into the sunset, poor 'ol Indiana Jones was old, really, really old, and he needed a lot of help to get through a CGI infested Amazonian jungle.

As a result of Ford's age, this did not feel like a true Indiana Jones movie, it had to be set in the 1950's and unfortunately, that was some of the problem - because I missed the Nazi's too much. There was a lot of quaint references to the original trilogy in the form of name dropping-and photographs, it felt like Spielberg was attempting to remind us that this was in Indy movie with a rich cinematic history.

The McGuffin (as Lucas is so fond of calling it), The Crystal Skull is about as mysterious as Arthur C. Clarke would have made it sound and I wasn't impressed by it's origins in the end. In fact the whole end was seriously flawed. I don't think that that level of science fiction had any place in Indiana Jones as the franchise's previous success was based on religious mysticism.

I know it sounds like this is getting a slating, but these were my only issues with the movie and I'll not dwell on them anymore. The rest of the movie is fantastic. It's rich in the dialog and sense of adventure that is the staple of the genre. The chase sequences out-do anything that was done before namely due to the awesome leaps Lucas himself has pioneered, transforming modern cinema with convincing CGI and special effects over the years.

The characters and acting were top notch. It was great to see Karen Allen (for whom the years have been very, very kind) return as Marian Ravenwood and sill as feisty as she was in Raiders. The newcomer, Mutt Williams played by Shia LeBeuf was not a character I feared since LeBeuf's excellent performance in the greatest movie of the decade - Transformers and was a welcome addition to the cast. The remainder of the ensemble, Ray Winstone, John Hurt and Cate Blanchett obviously had some serious fun playing roles vastly different from the norm, and it showed in the quality of their performances.

The Indiana Jones movies would be bland affairs were it not for the quality of their music. Star Wars composer, Maestro John Williams has achieved one of the crowning moments of his career by updating the music for Indiana Jones, but as he did with the recent Star Wars prequel trilogy, retained all the elements of what made the scores unique, yet familiar to fans of the franchise.

Unlike the Star Wars prequels, A fourth Indy was not a necessity for God to make but don't tell me you didn't think "Hell Yeah!" once Indy cracked his whip. You can't help but being impressed by the work of God.

Final Verdict: Despite being a bit loo long in coming with seriously flawed ending, it has secured a place in my DVD collection, surpassed the weakest of the original trilogy, The Temple Of Doom for sheer entertainment value and will no doubt be a highlight of the summer movie experience.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****1/2

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Damaged Europe

"Fear is my ally, it attracts the fearful"
- Darth Maul

The forces of darkness were triumphant as was revealed Friday as the Treaty Of Lisbon votes were counted and the misguided fanatical opponents to it were successful. While it's fair to say most people in the country were in favour of the treaty, they were so complacent that it was going to be a YES majority, that half the country didn't bother to go out and vote. The left-wing wasters naturally had the opposite view- that they needed each and every one for their misguided cause to go out and vote. After the Shinners and their commie friends stooped so low as to generate false and negative propaganda such as: a reversal of the country's stand on abortion, the end of our neutrality and mandatory conscription into a European army and injecting babies with microchips etc., it's not inconceivable that the leading no campaigners had a little help from some of their "old friends" to offer some "extra persuasion" to people who voted close to the Northern border.

All Ireland can do now is sit and wait for the inevitable backlash, and pray that it survives...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lisbon: Time to vote!

Tomorrow, June 12th, all across Ireland people will vote on a referendum to ratify the Treaty Of Lisbon. There are two strong camps, those that desire the treaty to be ratified, the "Yes" camp and those that do not wish the treaty to be ratified, the "No" camp. At time of writing the latest opinion polls while quite close, have the majority in favour of "Yes".

The Yes campaigners, mainly the duly elected government of the country, plus in a rare agreement, both of the major opposition government parties are also in favour of the treaty. They believe that the institutional question on Europe needs to be finalised so that EU and member state resources can be directed at more urgent and pressing issues, such as climate change, terrorism, migration, international crime and most importantly the world economy. They also contest that rejection of the Treaty would greatly sideline Ireland's influence in the EU decision making process and its ability to shape future policy whereas before and with the passing of the Treaty, Ireland would be able to maintain it's ability to "punch above it's weight". As Ireland had a major role in the creation of the original provisions during it's Presidency of the EU in 2004, it would be a shame for the citizens of the country not to stand behind the influence that Irish government officials and diplomats brought to the original table. Their campaign, while accused of being lacking in concise information for the people has been fair and just and trusts the people to make the right choice.

The No campaigners, made up of the left-over political dregs of the nation, former terrorists, socialists, Marxists and other assorted waster leftists believe that the people of Ireland should hold the EU to ransom, to be paid with yet another revision of the treaty to selfishly favour Ireland with no thought to the consequences, loss of credibility on the world stage or the astronomical cost involved. Their campaign has hinged on creating fear among the people by removing from context, elements of the treaty, misquoting them and claiming for example: that the EU can change our taxation laws or revoke Ireland's neutrality on a whim which is pure fantasy.

Unfortunately, as a serving military officer, I cannot make specific statements which may be construed as direct instructions on which way to vote in a constitutional referendum, but hopefully I have simplified the decision for you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The true battle for the White House is on!

It is with uncharacteristic glee that I watched Hilary Clinton make her exit speech at the weekend, thanking all the misguided foo... er, campaigners that helped her almost destroy the entire Democratic bid for the White House.

At some point in the future I'm sure a historian will analyse the Democrats "wisdom" in allowing the offspring of a Muslim Afro-American and God-Almighty, a woman who is married to an adulterous pervert who disgraced the very office she seeks to represent them in their Presidential bid and duke it out for so long, damaging the reputation of the party perhaps irrevocably.

But we must look forward now and it'll soon be time for the two lads to pick their running mates, the person to join them on the ticket as the Vice President of the United States. It's not going to be an easy choice for either candidate.

In a perfect world McCain could have Mike Huckabee, but he is perhaps too conservative for all the swing voters that flocked to McCain after being sickend by the deplorable Democratic "war". McCain would loose a lot of the southern state votes if he puts Mitt Romney up there, and there is the issue of his wacky religion that most couldn't stomach. Perhaps I think someone liked by all like Condi Rice would be ideal in his case?

A lot of people seem to think that Billary is an ideal choice for Obama but analysts don't think so and believe that even though Clinton is now "endorsing" Obama and much of her exit speech centered on supporting the Democratic party to elect Obama, that the divisions that have been created are still too great. He'd probably be better off in attracting her voters by backing people like Governors Rendell or Strickland as they were strong Clinton supporters.
Governors have an edge over other contenders as they have actually run governments, while Obama and McCain, both senators, lack executive experience. I'll comment again when I know more...

Monday, June 09, 2008

Farina not a Terrorist!

Holy Crap! I just read there that Dennis Farina has been charged with three misdemeanours following his arrest at L.A.X. last month after a loaded gun was found in his briefcase as he attempted to board a plane.

Left: Farina as Lt.Col. Anderson in Saving Private Ryan

He was charged with carrying a concealed weapon following the discovery of the .22 caliber, semi-automatic pistol. Authorities later discovered the gun was also unregistered. It was announced on Wednesday that Farina will escape felony charges and he has now been officially charged with three misdemeanours. If convicted on all three counts he could face two and a half years in prison and a $3,000 (£1,500) fine!

Another fucking actor to be imprisoned!!! First the great Tom Sizemore for slapping some broad up and using a Whizzinator to fake a drugs test; then poor Wesley Snipes gets banged up for neglecting a few dollars in tax, hardly hardened criminals there folks. As for Farina, it's not like he shot anyone with the gun or he's a secretly a rag-head terrorist - he's Dennis Fuckin' Farina, a 64 year-old ex-cop and now an actor who's typecast as gangsters or cops, OK he forgot that the gun was in the case, hell I'm half his age and I forget shit too, and OK he forgot to actually register the gun, shit happens!

This has got to stop! Now I'm all for zero-tolerance on crime and if Farina was a civilian I believe he should have been spread-eagled and pistol-whipped on the spot once the discovery of the gun was made; but actors who have had great roles on screen or made great films and TV should not be incarcerated for such petty crimes. I occasionally play fantasy casting with my friends including Mark sometimes during 2IGTV, but at this rate we'll have to add "if he's not too old when he gets out of prison" to everyone, sheesh!

Friday, June 06, 2008

D-Day - Never Forget

"You will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.... The free men of the world are marching together to victory. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory. Good luck, and let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking."

~ General Dwight D. Eisenhower

(Quote from a speech delivered while giving the D-Day order on June 6, 1944.)

Whopper's Return

As promised, I have returned from holiday. I had a wonderful and relaxing time not too far away as you can see by the lush green in the photo (assuming you don't recognise this famous Irish landmark). I rarely see the need to visit a foreign land when there is so much magnificence only "down the road", and good weather has the habit of transforming Ireland from storm-tossed nightmarish landscape into a wondrous paradise in a matter of seconds.

I am well rested and now ready to resume the duties I have sworn to undertake as well as returning here to update you on all the more interesting happenings on the planet (and beyond). Please bear with me a few days to cover everything.