Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Crank: High Voltage

This movie is an incredible drug fuelled violent artform. It's just too fucking out-there that it has defied my attempts to construct a coherent review. A review needs some sort of structure - but I can't create a review structure for a film that has none.

Statham's Chev Chelios character died at the end of Crank, but in the most improbable movie-resurrection since the Sean Connery's Rameriez in Highlander 2, he gets better after a few months - albiet withough his own heart, now replaced with an artificial battery operated one. He now has to find his heart and get it back in his chest before he looses power. Much to the delight of movie audiences however he can use basic science and everyday power supplies to "recharge" himself. - Warning: Actually touching 10,000kV equipment will more than likely kill you in reality, don't try it at home.

One thing I've never seen in a movie before is a stripper's fake breasts being shot through in a hail of gunfire and seeing the liquid silicone flowing out as her chest deflates. Considering that they cast Ling Bai as a stereotypical Asian prostitute, some real porn-stars to play themselves, have gun-wielding strippers and have female lead Amy Smart get wheel-barrowed at a horse track by Chelios in full view of everyone - I'm thinking the move makers don't hold women in much regard so I'm knocking off a star for that, because I think we've evolved from such puerile nonsence [ever so slightly].

The rest of it was Fuckin-A however and filled with some brilliant totally unexpected cameos from David Carridine, Lauren Holly [still hot at 45!], Geri Halliwell [yes Ginger Spice] Corey Haim and an incredibly surreal performance from John DeLancie as a TV anchor.

Colonel Creedon Rating ****

Monday, April 27, 2009

Why is the US still in Iraq? - Here's the answer:

Any god-damn raghead with a pair stones is lying dead in a shallow hole for being stupid enough to resist the unstoppable onslaught of the US of A [yes I do respect a man that'll actually be brave enough to point an AK in my direction - before I "pacify" him with 5.56mm NATO].

Unfortunately with most of those dead, blinded or crippled, all the Iraqi people will have left to take care of them [once Obama pulls out all the troops] are the hajis who were just too chicken-shit to either defend their country in the first place or stand up to Saddam - that's why they're still alive, but it's hardly a solid force to be used to provide law, order and protection to a country.

Time is running out and while some progress has been made, there's still a lot to go. Sadly, the methods used under the Bush administration are a thing of the past - it's all peace and love now, but one Army officer has made the news headlines by taking the kid-gloves off and telling the Iraqi police like it is.

These people respond to being shamed - short of shooting them, this may be a good motivation tool to get them to stop being pussies and cop the fuck on! Sadly he's likely to be severely reprimanded and given a desk job rather than getting a medal and promoted to General - but I'll take him for UNETIDA any day!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Snipers to become even deadlier

EXACTO is the latest word that has been shoehorned into an acronym for the Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance rifle by the good 'ol boys at the Pentagon. This weapon will conceivably be able to fire accurately at far longer distances than are possible now by combating weather with self-guiding bullets.

According to Time. The Pentagon has been working on the .50 caliber EXACTO for about a year already, and its main focus is to overcome climate conditions to stay accurate over a longer range using fin and spin-stabilised projectiles, internal and/or external aero-actuation control methods, projectile guidance technologies and advanced sighting, optical resolution and clarity technologies. Basically, bullets that can adjust to weather conditions in mid-air, either through external control or the abilities of the bullet itself.

Snipers are currently accurate up to about 800m. Beyond that, it's more difficult to reliably hit a target. At 2Km, snipers can probably hit the side of a barn, but a head shot isn't too likely. This rifle could change all of that and would make my life a lot easier in escaping - hey- I'm not getting any younger you know.

Source: The Whitehouse / Gizmodo / Time

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Colonel returns to Television

Unfortunately due to being on a mission. I was unable to alert people to the fact that once again I have appeared on national television on one of John Vaughan's short films.

My previous role in Valour garnered much attention and I regret not having the chance to milk it again in time for the television premiere for Easter Monday, April 13th. However, all is not lost: because from now until May 5th, John Vaughan's My Dad is being streamed on the new RTE Player service and you can watch it right there now!

My Dad is the story of a Ryan a young laddie who writes an essay about his hero who happens to be his father and in doing so discovers that heroes may not be as they seem... It stars Michael Liebman [Omagh] , Dave Duffy [Fair City], Jonathan Ryan [The Tudors] and of course, me!

The following is an excerpt from EMPIRE last year because I don't have time to write anything about the movie myself.

Empire:- Lt. Colonel Creedon, this is your second cameo appearance on international screens. What was it like to go to the film set again?

Let's say "supporting actor" this time, they don't give awards for cameos really and my performance almost won the movie an award, but I'll get back to that. The experience of the set? Oh that was amazing, even better than the first time - it really is like a perfectly executed military operation, everyone knows their skills and assigned jobs and they do them. From the director who is like a General all the way down to an extra who'd be the private or dumbass civilian in the crossfire [Laughter]. It's very strange to be in a situation where I'm not the most knowledgeable or professional person present, it's exciting when you have no idea of the plan.

No idea? But didn't you read the script?

Hell no! Only my scenes [Laughter]. No sense in reading too much. Scripts are like books, there's no pictures or diagrams and they're too long. Besides, I wouldn't have wanted to spoil the ending [Laughter].

This time, somewhat bizarrely - you're not playing a member of a military force? How is it possible that you could "be" someone else convincingly?

Well obviously I've been on clandestine operations posing as someone else, but this experience is quite different. It appears I'm more prolific and even more talented then I - nay, than anyone thought possible. Vaughan cast me in the role not actually because of my extraordinary acting talent demonstrated before but instead for much the same way as he cast me if for example, when he wanted an authentic military presence for Valour; he was casting on the basis of what I know – but this time I was cast in the basis of what I don't; namely football. You see football is a daft game, I’ve never really played it properly but seeing a load of lads in shorts kicking an inflated leather sphere between each others legs is a bizarre waste of time. Such feats of athletics and training would be far better served if they joined the armed forces and volunteered to fight ragheads in Afghanistan, but that’s another argument. Now originally the script called for a corrupt referee, who feigned incompetence in return for a brown envelope, but my own "improvisation" on the field, demonstrating a total lack of football knowledge was milked by
Vaughan who changed it so that one of the other players was corrupt instead. A fascinating process.

What accolades have you yourself received for your performance?

Well, I was coached by Jonathan Ryan himself, who explained that the referee must project his instructions and cautions through the use of his whistle. But I really couldn't take his advice because I thought it would make me look somewhat professional and thus negate the true purpose and motivation of my character, and I'm glad I did because I'm so convincingly incompetent - that it's funny. Everyone who watches it laughs - not at me like I'm an idiot but in they way they do at Will Ferell, Jim Carrey or even Adam Sandler [although in his case I don't know why]. It was my comedic performance that was nominated for
"Best Comedy Scene" in The Action On Film Festival in Pasadena, California last year. Sadly I lost to an actual comedy film - Beach Cops and My Dad was left only with the "Best Short" award.

Empire:- As for John Vaughan - What was is like to work for a director whom the Australian film classification board branded “too tough” when rating the film?

There's no such thing as too tough when making a movie, there's only such thing as censors who are complete pussies! Yeah obviously there was a violent scene where we see a man's tongue being cut out but originally Vaughan was speculating on using some quick cuts and editing trickery to convince us that a sheep's tongue the actor would be holding was a real one. It was a good call to instead "imply" the man's tongue being cut out instead as it would have had the short banned in many countries forcing him to remove it and turning the movie into shit because other then my scene it's the best bit really. Vaughan is a wonderful director – but he’s only as good as the people he surrounds himself with. For as long I’m one of those people, he’ll always succeed.

Will we see more Colonel Creedon on screen, would you like to play someone more like yourself perhaps?

Hmmm, I don't know, I don't really want to walk down the road of R. Lee Ermey or Dale Dye yet. While I have the utmost respect for them I don't want to have a public perception of me as a "Movie-Marine." I'd like to juice up a few roles with "Whopperness"; bring my own idiom to a role a bit like Rob Riggle does, he's been on The Daily Show, The Office and in Stepbrothers and while he's not typecast as a military man, he infuses his performances with his own personality and military ethos and they're all the better for it. Most people who watch him don't know he's still a reserve Marine Officer - he's a Major in the USMCR. So maybe I'd follow Riggle's example before I retire then follow Ermey and Dye's footsteps [Laughter].

*Since the time that article was published Major Rob Riggle was promoted to Lt. Colonel, Congratulations Rob.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Return of Red Dwarf

Well Red Dwarf came Back To Earth as I announced previously it would. Should it have? - is open for debate. While it did resurrect feelings of nostalgia for one of the greatest comedy shows on Television, it had the all to familiar Red Dwarf feel but it only had half the punch of the original outings, actually much like the last two seasons of the show.

The lack of punch is mostly due to the fact that Rob Grant, who after leaving the series after season VI [due to wanting more on his tombstone than Red Dwarf], did not return to co-write with Doug Naylor. It seems to be more than obvious now that Grant was more the comedian and Naylor the Sci-Fi enthusiast. Red Dwarf works as a British comedy with Sci-Fi influences but Back to Earth seems like a British Sci-Fi show with comedic influences and I think it suffers for it.

Despite these flaws, I did enjoy it on the level it was presented. Lister, Rimmer and Kryten are nailed 100%. It's as if the Craig Charles, Chris Barrie and Robert Llewelen have been rehearsing for the past 10 years. Danny John Jules does give it his all too, but I think a lot of the Cat worked with the presence of the studio audience - partly due to the fact that Jules is primarily a theatre performer. The story itself perfectly normal for Red Dwarf, in that it is as nonsensical as most of the other scenarios the Dwarf posse have been in and brings our heroes Back to Earth, an Earth however where they are TV Characters in the show Red Dwarf which then begins to spoof Blade Runner! - as I said, perfectly normal.

Apparently ratings for Red Dwarf: Back To Earth were pretty impressive at 2.6m* viewers which is superior to any of the original series and leaving the launch of the much vaunted Torchwood in the dust and became highest-rated commissioned show on a digital network ever. As the show was a test before committing to an additional series, it would seem that if it was just a ratings coup was necessary, than it's a done deal. Personally unless the rumour that Rob Grant may be coaxed to return to write one last series with Doug Naylor I wouldn't be getting too excited.

We'll see.

*This 2.6m is correct at time of posting but does not yet take into account home recordings, which unlike the US, can be calculated and added to ratings within 21 days after broadcast.

Information Sources: reddwarf.co.uk / dave.uktv.co.uk

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NASA will burn in Hell

The American public voted overwhelmingly in favour of designating the latest International Space Station node after the highly esteemed Sir Dr. Stephen T. Colbert D.F.A., whose name beat one of NASA’s own suggestions of Serenity [even after which misguided Joss Whedon fans attempted to inflate] in an online poll. NASA however, announced on Tuesday’s The Colbert Report that they in fact would not be naming the new module after the respected conservative presenter. Instead they have designated the module Tranquillity.

Now, as far as I know, NASA depends heavily on public funding to operate. So, would it not make sense to actually listen to that public when naming the stuff they’re paying for? They used to do so; thousands of Trekkies wrote to NASA in 1976 and based on that campaign the first Space Shuttle Constitution was redesignated Enterprise after the Star Trek starship. This open-minded recognition of the Trekkies’ wishes to see a real space vessel named for their their favourite fictional spacecraft secured lots of goodwill and monetary donations for NASA.

However, after going to the all the trouble, time, and expense of creating a voting mechanism for members of the public to suggest new names and make their choice for the new module, NASA have unceremoniously rammed a rocket booster up the voting public’s ass with a big F**K YOU! and are probably laughing hysterically back at their headquarters. Just because they have named it Tranquillity doesn’t ensure that the public will feel that way about having their choices sucked out of the airlock.

If this is the way NASA treats its supporters then I am not surprised that they can’t afford a new re-usable spacecraft technology like the Space Shuttle which is being dropped in favour of the backward single-use technology of yesteryear. Sir Stephen will have to be content with the ISS astronaut’s treadmill being named Colbert instead or rather C.O.L.B.E.R.T. for "Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill"!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

"Abrams pulled it off" - First Star Trek screenings

* * * NO SPOILERS HERE! * * *

The first people to see Star Trek in Dallas Tx. have the following to say about J.J. Abram's new take on the Star Trek legacy....
"I can't believe how great the new Star Trek movie is. Leaving (it) at just past midnight, I felt alive andinvincible and in a state only truly great movies put me in."

"This hard-core Trekkie enjoyed the film. I'm glad I saw it, and I'll definitely go back to see it a second time. It's a rock-solid 3 out of 4 star movie for me."

"Star Trek accomplishes far more than I ever thought it would or could. This is on par with the Star Wars trilogy in terms of the big screen entertainment and sheer imagination on display. "

"People are going to really dig this movie. If you're ahardcore Trekkie you should dig the freshening up (but not disregard,understand) of the classic continuity. If you're a casual fan likemyself then you'll be drawn in deeper and excited to see what's next.And if you're new to the concept or have generally not been interestedin Star Trek... well, give it a shot."
I guess people are pretty happy then?
Source: AICN

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Whoppers - The Original Malted Milk Balls

1990 was a dark year, we all know the sheer madness that occurred when Mars Inc. took the strong athletically sounding Marathon chocolate bar and named it Snickers [after a beloved horse of the Mars family]. Apparently Mars had the idea of doing some rebranding to consolidate their product names into one as opposed to having different ones in the US than from Europe. They did this reprehensible thing to the Marathon and then seemed to have stopped [until 1998 when they changed Opal Fruits to Starburst - but that's another rant].

Although thankfully they've not changed the names of the other two staple chocolate bars; there's a good reason for this. The Yanks have a Milky Way bar, but so do we - but they're two different bars. The US Milky Way bar has a layer of caramel on top of the nougat which is what we call a Mars bar. A Milky Way bar here is a 3 Musketeers bar in the US. So while they could probably take our beloved Milky Way and call it a 3 Musketeers; they'd still have the disaster of getting people to accept a Mars bar being called a Milky Way, a disaster I might add that would make the current economic crisis seem like a minor accounting problem.

Anyway, while up to now I loathed this kind of rebranding, [I've accepted it now but don't you wish G.I.Joe was still Action Force?] on my recent unofficial tour of Washington D.C. I discovered one product in the US that I was damning wasn't owned by Mars Inc. and therefore cannot eclipse the product name here. The Hershey company - best known for their absolutely horrid tasting chocolate [if on it's own as a bar or in the form of a Hershey's Kiss] apparently markets what people in this part of the world call Malteasers as Whoppers - The Original Malted Milk Balls.

I'm serious - WHOPPERS!!!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Who needs carrots? Shoot Nazis for the same effect!

According to this report from News.com.au; video games are "good for eyes" and shooting games go further by improving contrast sensitivity. Contrast sensitivity is the ability to notice tiny changes in shades of grey against a uniform background, and is critical to everyday activities such as night driving and reading. It often degrades with age.

"Normally, improving contrast sensitivity means getting glasses or eye surgery - somehow changing the optics of the eye," said Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester in New York, whose study appears in the journal Nature Neuroscience. "But we've found that action video games train the brain to process the existing visual information more efficiently, and the improvements last for months after game play stopped."

For the study, the team divided 22 students into two groups. One group played the action games Call of Duty 2 and Unreal Tournament 2004. A second group played The Sims 2, a game they said does not require as much hand-eye coordination. The two groups played 50 hours of their assigned games over the course of nine weeks. At the end of the training, the action game players showed an average of 43 per cent improvement in their ability to discern close shades of gray, while the Sims players showed none.

Professor Bavelier found very practised action gamers became 58 per cent better at perceiving fine differences in contrast. "When people play action games, they're changing the brain's pathway responsible for visual processing. These games push the human visual system to the limits and the brain adapts to it," she said in a statement.

She said the findings revealed a previously undiscovered adaptability in the brain and show that action video-game training may be a useful complement to eye-correction techniques and could open the way to new therapies. The positive effects can remain for months and even up to years after training.

I recall the last eye exam I had. The optician asked me to read the last line. I recall smiling confidently, almost arrogantly to her and replying: "Printed in Italy." I had always suspected my above-perfect vision was due to liking carrots, now I know it's because of Half-Life :)

Source: News.com.au / Gamespy /Couriermail.com.au

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Oh Wonderful France!

I'd just like to take this opportunity to say how much I absolutely adore France and it's native French people. The planet is truly blessed by having the great nation of France beneath it's skies. The cream of the French has to be the delightful people from Paris. They must be the warmest, most friendly people on the planet, luckily residing in the cleanest, safest most modern and progressive city in the world. Oh, how I long to skip down the Champs-Élysées to eat croissants and drink Café au lait while admiring the talented mimes and taking in some joyously gay street theater. My greatest wish is that I could speak fluent French, don a black beret and poloneck and debate the meaning of life with some of the most intelligent and articulate philosophers in the world. A dream of mine has always been to... Ah enough of this shit - yes I was too busy to write anything else for the day that's in it.