In the middle of the 21 century a powerful narcotic known as “Lysium” was introduced into the market. Its fast acting affect proved it to be quite popular among partying teens in the 40s. The narcotic was designed to release Euphoria into the mind increasing mental readiness and well being. Having little after effects, this caused it to be popular among Psychiatrists who would prescription the drug to troubled teens.
Many anti-drug officials in the national governments were worried about the popularity of the drug. This caused it to become the most trafficked drug on the black market. At the time, the Black Market was primarily being run by the son of the Russian Prime Minister, Ivan Andronnikov.
Many Lysium supporters have followed suit to allow the drug to become publicly accessible. The largest of this movement taking place in .
French politician Adrien Baptist was meeting with Lysium lobbyists. Baptist soon became the leading politician for Lysium. Gaining wide acceptance within the French government, a bill was proposed but was vetoed, but would later be reconsidered. However, fears arose between Baptist and his lobbyist supporters saying that little money would be gained from such legalization, as the Russian black market had already cornered the market on Lysium. Fearing competition, it was decided to shake down the Russian Black Market by assassinating its leader, Andronnikov’s son.
A meeting was set up between Andronnikov and undercover French police. To which the meeting was broken up by French police helicopters. A shootout issued taking the life of three police officers and Andronnikov. Baptist made the incident public citing it as, “One more step in taking down the black market.”
News of his son’s death shook the Russian Prime Minister to the bone. Fearing a conspiracy within the French government he then began to prepare for possible military action against . He made many public threats towards the French Government for conspiracy to commit war against . These public threats made the European Union very uneasy, fearing of actual military action. Many military leaders met at an undisclosed location to discuss possible scenarios. Of these leaders included that of Britain, America, Germany, and France.
For months threats started to be hurled from both the Russian government and the French government. To prove ’s intent, military bases began to mobilize, tanks being loaded and troops being deployed. It was decided on December 17. Europe and had decided that the only option was to assassinate the Russian Prime Minister.
The following night a strike team of European and American marines were sent to take hold of the Minister’s Mansion to assassinate. The marines had already silently invaded the mansion making their way up to the minister’s bedroom where he slept. However, the strike was immediately called off when a late night message made by the Chinese President, declaring that if any harm come to the Russian Prime Minister that it would result in immediate action by the Chinese Army. The strike force was called back to their choppers but had already sounded the alarm awaking the Prime Minister to the horrors of an invaded compound. The mission was a complete failure. And Andronnikov had declared war on the next morning.
The European Union, in an effort to fix the situation orchestrated a treaty in a neutral location to avoid war all together. Andronnikov reluctantly agreed, and it was decided that the public treaty would be held in of the . On January 15, this would later be known as “The First Fall.”
News of an orchestrated assassination attempt spread throughout the world creating intense hostilities between citizens. Many violent outbreaks and riots occurred around major cities around the world most of which occurred in . One noticeable riot had actually burned down a French Embassy in ; French Ambassadors were ordered out of the country or else face the murderous crowd. Another incident, involving internet hacking of popular websites and networks would make the internet wholly inoperable for over 72 hours. Leaving almost the entire world in near information black out.
Many protesters and mobs gathered outside the meeting building in which the treaty was to take place. Riot police and military were present to ease the mobs. The world’s politicians all showed up for the treaty, everyone was in attendance. And then, at 3:00 pm, became ground zero for an Atomic bomb. This will forever be known as, “The First Fall.” It was at this point that all of Hell had broken loose.
Some of you may know that I make webcomics as a hobby. My one webcomic is called Cast Members Anonymous. But the time between CMA updates have been longer than usual. I know this is nothing out of the ordinary for me, but trust me when I say I haven't been slacking or taking time off. I'm in the middle of some new projects that are pushing and testing my skills as an artist. And because I'm such a perfectionist, it means that these things are moving much slower than ever before. I want this new project to work and work well. Can't say much else, but CMA isn't going anywhere. A new CMA comic will be started soon. But I'm very excited for this new project of mine. Get Hype!
I have come to the startling realization that the end of days is upon us! It is unquestionable that the Apocalypse is nearing ever closer. You dare disagree? Then read this comic I made, and you too will realize that we are at an end! Repent!
It’s the Summer time, and when I think summer, I think of heat, and when I think heat, I think sand. This makes this the time of sand. See what I did there? Eh? EH?Anyway, we now have a new movie based on a popular video game. Now I know that a video-game-based –movie usually has people cower in fear almost as much as a new family-oriented Jackie Chan flick…
But before you either run away or gather your pitchforks let me say that for a video game based movie it 'aint bad at all. In fact some might say it’s pretty good for what it is.
The movie takes place a long time ago when the Persian Empire ruled from the borders of China to the Mediterranean. However, it’s just before they meet King Leonidas and his 300 so we don’t have any hand-bladed monsters or ninjas…actually there ARE ninjas in this movie; AND it’s produced by the man that did the Pirates movies. Hmm…
We learn the origins of The Prince. Who before he was a prince used to be a street rat named Aladdin, but the name was trademarked, so his name was changed to Dustin…err sorry…Dastan!
Dastan showed he had huge cojones, and the king decided to adopt him, raising him as his third son. Fast forward…eh? 15 years and the Prince have grown up, and has become Jake Gyllahel…Gyllen…Jake-just Jake. He and his two brothers have gathered an army outside a city called Alamut.
The king’s brother and the Prince’s uncle –played by Ben Kingsley, who; is more transparently evil than Jeremy Irons in Dungeons and Dragons. We know he’s evil because he has thick eye liner and the camera is constantly showing his indifferent face in uncomfortable close ups. Also he must be running neck-in-neck with Christopher Lee for most ethnic roles played by pasty white Englishman. But back to the plot.
Kingsley says he has evidence that Alamut is forging weapons for the enemies of Persia, and thus must be invaded in a pre-emptive attack.
So the Persian army goes on the attack and Dastan sneaks in to the side with a small force to open the gate. His comrade suggests they use a ladder to climb the wall but Dastan thinks it would be cooler if they used bows to create a ladder for him to climb. His comrade slaps him across the face saying it’s a stupid plan but Dastan says, “I’m the Prince of Persia I can do what I want!”
So he climbs the wall and opens the gate to allow his brother’s force in to attack. What follows is actually some pretty nice acrobatics by what is either CGI or a stuntman, either way it sure as hell wasn’t Jake. There’s also some sword play but the director was a huge fan of Gears of War so everything is brown and hard to see. Not to mention super fast cuts make it disorienting to see what’s going on. The Persians take over the city and find the princess of Alamut. Even though we never see the king or queen and they are never even mentioned, which makes this princess a queen…but whatever.
The princess is played by Io from Clash of the Titans, who was played by Gemma Arterton, otherwise known as the woman who should have been the Bond girl in Quantum of Solace. Her sole role in her recent movies is to spill exposition for the audience at every point, even long after they stop caring. In fact more than a quarter of her dialogue comprises of pure exposition. Two quarters are her nagging to Dastan. And the last quarter is her spewing cliché lines about destiny.
Anyway it seems that the point of this whole city was to house the fabled Dagger that turns back time. So she sends her best man to take the dagger out of the city. Unfortunately he runs into Dastan. He gets his ass kicked and Dastan takes the dagger as a prize. The Persians storm the tower and the eldest prince takes the princess as his bride. She goes along with it, only so she can try and steal back the dagger from Dastan.
Much celebration is held due to the Persian victory, when –surprise surprise they can’t find any weapons. But people are too busy sipping brewskys to care all that much. Dastan’s older brother hands him a gift to present to the king, a gold robe. The king, overjoyed wears the robe, and says that the eldest brother already has enough hoes. So he hands Gemma over to Dastan, just before the robe starts burning the king alive. Everyone tries taking it off but their hands burn so he dies. I wonder why it starts burning now instead of when it was being placed on the king, but whatever.
As you can expect, everyone blames Dastan for the murder and he runs off, along with the princess. They slip out to safety. Dastan’s about ready to drop her nagging ass, until she tries to steal the dagger, making Dastan accidentally pressing the little red button on the dagger causing him to go just a few seconds in the past. Realizing the true power of what he has.
Now the order of events gets a little confusing, because the rest of the movie feels like it’s happening over the course of a single day, but lots of time passes, possibly months after the death of the king. But after what is apparently a week or so, Dastan and the princess travel to the city where his father will be buried. On their way they take a short cut through some valley which is –of course- forbidden. There they are kidnapped by evil slavers who do the most evil thing imaginable. Ostrich racing! Yes here we meet the comedy relief played by Alfred Molina. Who despite being the comedy relief doesn’t make me want to cut my wrists, as he’s actually pretty funny, without hamming it up too much. He has a black body guard who specializes in throwing weapons. You can almost see the red target forming on his forehead already. Molina realizes that Dastan is the Prince and wants to take him in for the reward money, but the two escape, causing a riot at the ostrich track.
Now that that little distraction is done with. Dastan and the princess finally make it to the city to meet with Kingsley. He schedules a meeting, and tries to explain what had happened, with the dagger as evidence. Fortunately the princess isn’t as rock stupid as Dastan, and swipes the dagger. Dastan notices that Kingsley’s hands are burnt, and it’s revealed that he poisoned the cloak!!!
So the Prince escapes the guards and finds the princess. She was hiding in the middle of nowhere but that doesn’t stop Dastan cuz he’s the Prince of Persia! Dastan inexplicably realizes Kingsley’s plan to steal the dagger to go back in time where he would be king and rule the Persian Empire , and hopefully undo Bloodrayne in the process. Princess says they have to return the dagger to some temple to prevent it being used for evil. And since she’s the guardian of the dagger that means that she will have to give her own life to do so. She says it’s her destiny and the Prince says that “there’s no fate but what we make” and all that other crap. But it’s not long before they are captured…YET AGAIN, by Molina who after the riot has lost everything and has every reason to gut the two right then and there but agrees to help the two because this temple has gold that he can get as a reward.
While the band of heroes do more traveling, Kingsley hires a group of ninjas, because every big movie should have ninjas, to attack them. They ride under the cover of dust devils, and sneak up on the band at night with the use of snakes that have a real knack for flinging through the faces of their victims. It’s actually kinda funny watching this inept band get there asses kicked by flying snakes. But they pose no match for Dastan and the magic dagger.
The band finds the temple ransacked due to the ninjas, and falls into a trap. The ninjas and the Prince’s other brother finds him and attack. Dastan manages to convince his brother that it was a setup, only before the brother gets punked out by another ninja. The fights ends pretty well for the band of heroes, but…get this, the dagger gets stolen AGAIN, this time being taken to the city in the beginning. Apparently the city was built, not only to hold the time dagger but also the Sands of Time itself which is a giant flaming pillar of sand underneath the city. Should the dagger ever be inserted into this thing it would undo the entire world destroying it with sand.
So let me get this straight, we have-what is essentially the detonation device to the entire world, AND the one and only key to this device, all in the same city? Why the hell would they do that? If it was such a danger why wouldn’t they destroy the dagger? Or at the very least hold the dagger in the farthest temple AWAY from the Atomic sand bomb?
Whatever, this review is running too long. The band of heroes reaches the city and the tower where the dagger is held. But the last ninja is guarding it, so they decide to send in the one and only black guy in to kill him and steal the dagger. I’m sure he’ll be fine. The battle involves throwing tons of knives in a room with pillars on the side.
The black guy kills the ninja but is mortally wounded too, proving once again that black brotha's never can catch a break. He throws the dagger out of the window before he dies, and Dastan takes it to his eldest brother and proves to him that the black cloak wearing eye liner bastard is actually not so good after all. Unfortunately like his last brother, just as he believes Dastan he gets killed by Kingsley and the dagger gets taken again…Y’know this dagger gets passed around so often that I’m starting to think this is an overly epic film rendition of the game “Hot Potato.”
Literally in every scene if someone is holding the dagger it’s going to be in someone else's possession the very next scene.
Kingsley takes it to the Sands of Time, and the Prince and Princess follow a different path across this wooden beam that is surrounded by sand that will give way if so much as a pebble hits it. As you can guess that’s what happens and Dastan falls in an avalanche of sand because we needed an action sequence for the trailer. But he’s fine, and the two encounter Kingsley. Naturally the cave is giving way and the Princess falls down a chasm to her death. The prince and Kingsley have a fight and the Sands of Time are being released destroying the world around them as well as taking them back through time. It’s a heavy CGI scene, and it’s pretty intense. But Dastan manages to take the dagger and the doomsday clock stops, but transports Dastan back to the past right before his father dies. Allowing him enough time to stop what we just spent the last hour and a half watching from happening.
As you can guess, he exposes Kingsley to his eldest brother for the snake that he is, though the brother was planning on killing him anyway because of Species, but whatever. The king lives and the Prince returns the dagger to the princess. Unfortunately the princess doesn’t know how much of an idiot Dastan is so she has a crush on him and they ride off to the sunset and they all live happily ever after.
Ultimately the Prince of Persia despite some plot holes, dialogue that is either lame or too expositive, characters that have little to no chemistry. And some needless slow-mo at times, is an overall enjoyable movie. And for one that is based on a video game it’s worth seeing at least when it comes out on DVD.
As some of you may know I make a webcomic as a hobby. Today - May 26th, 2010 - marks the one year anniversary of that comic. Now to be fair, the comic has existed as a blogspot page for several months before I moved to a more permanent web service. I'm quite proud with how I have progressed as an artist who has continued to improve their technique and skills.
To see the progression, and to see how far we have come, this is the first comic made for the new website.
With an upcoming summer season that is relatively light on pure popcorn action movies (compared to previous years) it's no wonder that Iron Man 2 would be on everyone's radar, not the least of which is due to it's box office smash of a predecessor (which marked the debut of Marvel Studios). The film is a delightful and entertaining ride however, it carries over many of the same problems from the first and even manages to create more problems for the man in the iron suit.
It's 6 months after the first film and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) isn't doing so hot anymore. The US government wants him to hand over the suit out of distrust. The military wants the suit for its weapons, and the very thing that has kept Tony alive (arc welder implanted in his chest) is now ironically killing him by poisoning his blood with Palladium. What's Palladium? I'm not really sure, nor does the movie really explain what it is or why it's only now affecting Tony. Regardless the blood poisoning is one of the largest subplots in the entire movie, with Tony checking his blood periodically throughout and becoming disoriented as his time ticks down.
The lead antagonist is Ivan Vanko/ Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) a physicist whose father dies in the opening scene of the movie. His father apparently worked with Tony's father but was deported to Russia after some disagreements that are very quickly mentioned much too late in the movie. The death is the only motivating factor of Rourke's character but happens far too early for any of the viewers to sympathize with. So while the character feels despair and anguish, the audience feels nothing as they hold no connection.
The other antagonist is Justin Hammer (Rockwell) a weasel of a CEO of a weapons manufacture who is played well but becomes overly annoying throughout the movie, because he never. shuts. the. fuck. up! His one goal is to create power suits identical to Iron Man. He's not very well developed and is your standard cliched businessman whose only out for himself and is incredibly incompetent despite managing a mutli-million dollar corporation.
Tony is brought in to speak to the Senate who strongly request Stark to hand over the Iron Man suit. This is where Rhodes/ Warmachine (Don Cheadle) enters to give his report. Rhodes is played very well, something that made me afraid given the departure of Howard from the first film. Unfortunately he doesn't appear often enough in the movie, and it's a shame.
We are also introduced to Natalie Rushman/ Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative who assists Tony and Pepper Potts. She doesn't do a whole lot or have much purpose other than to look sexy and be a bad ass.
Despite Tony's blood poisoning he still finds time to go on vacation where he participates in a Formula 1 race in Monaco. This is where he is attacked by Whiplash who nonchalantly walks onto the race track without so much as a harsh word from security.
I could question how his harness emits heat so harsh that it burns off his shirt and yet leaves his skin completely unscathed but I'm too busy looking at his impressive collection of tattoos.
The fight between Whiplash and Iron Man is well done and intense, but it ends quickly, making Whiplash come off as less of a threat than he is presented as in the trailer. A fact that will return at the end of the movie.
Vanko is arrested but is broken out by Rockwell's character who wishes to use him to help build is robot army for the military. Vanko agrees but instead alters the suits to be as unmanned drones.
Tony, knowing that his death is around the corner becomes deeply inebriated at his own birthday party while wearing the suit. He becomes dangerous, leaving Cheadle no choice but to steal the older Iron Man suit from the first movie to take Tony down.
With Tony defeated and the old suit stolen by Rhodes (to be converted to the Warmachine suit). It's up to Nick Fury (Sam L. Jackson) to get Stark back into shape. This is when Fury leaves a hint as to how Tony can fix his current crises regarding the blood poisoning.
From here on, the movie gets weird, from what I can tell Stark is inspired by a model city made by his father which gives Tony the idea to create a completely different element that can sustain and heal him from the Palladium poisoning. How he does this is never made clear, just that he builds a large arc reactor that emits a red beam onto a piece of metal to create the perfect example of Deus-Ex-Machina. It's triangular in shape and looks like this.
Confused? Don't worry, we all are.
At the end of the movie Hammer presents the new robots made by Vanko. He shows the four different groups of robots for the military: Army, Navy, Air force, and Marines. Once again, the Coast Guard gets the shaft when it comes to importance in movies.
There is a reason why the Pentagon has five sides, y'know?
At the head of this presentation, Warmachine appears in his fully upgraded weapons system, complete with a mini gun, which in no way compensates for anything! However, Vanko takes control of the drones and attacks Iron Man controlling Warmachine as well. This leads to an exciting game of follow the leader as the drones give chase to Iron Man all over the city. At the same time Black Widow infiltrates the Lab for Hammer Industries to get Vanko. She does this by flailing her legs around as much as possible and kicking so much ass that all the men in the theater may have shifted in their seats wishing they had a tube sock.
Unfortunately Vanko has escaped and has commandeered a special suit for himself to fight Iron Man and Warmachine. Once the two had finish off the drones, they fight off the new upgraded Rourke.
Now if you thought the final battle in the first Iron Man was anti-climactic then you'll be surprised that this battle is nothing like that.
It is far more anti-climactic as the battle lasts for only a minute. and doesn't even give Rourke a fair send off, only ripping off the end to Predator, with the bad guy laughing manically to boot.
With Vanko dead, and Hammer arrested, Warmachine blasts off, saying that he will return and Stark meets with Fury to discuss his role in the Avengers. I find this whole Avengers thing maddening, why all the build up for something we know nothing about and is completely un-proven. There's not even a trailer and yet Marvel keeps shoveling it into all of their movies. It already ruined the ending to The Incredible Hulk and now it's taking control of entire subplots in this movie. I'm just saying that setting yourself up like this is only going to make the fall so much bigger if it fails. You don't need to do this to advertise something that is barely in pre-production. I fear that Marvel is grossly overestimating the success and popularity of an Avengers movie, and I hope they don't get too crazy leading up to the release.
But anyway, Iron Man 2, it's an enjoyable movie and despite it's missteps with it's subplots and character development, I recommend it to anyone who enjoys some good action. But it's not as creative or entertaining as the first film but that's more of a staple of Iron Man himself than the movie. Super hero origin stories are always more interesting than the heroes themselves' most of the time at least. Iron Man 2 is no different, but you'll at least come out entertained.
Okay so a strange thing has been happening to me lately, nothing major. But it seems that either the planets are aligned or some serious freakin' coincidences have occurred. But for the past couple of weeks I have, to put it bluntly, unintentionally predicted the future!
I'm sure we've all had instances where this has happened. A single stray thought crosses your mind for only a moment and then quickly discarded, only to be reminded of that thought again from another party shortly after. This has happened to be before, quite frequently back in high school. When my friends and I would talk about random stuff from video games to movies to TV shows. We would jump to topics so quickly and randomly that you would need to write it all down in order to know how one topic segued into another. What would often happen is I would bring up a scene from a TV show, likely The Simpsons at that time, into the conversation.
"Hey that reminds me of that time where Homer did this..."
And then we would segue into another topic.
Well, often times, that very episode of which I just mentioned would appear on TV within the week! And Fox rarely pushes advertisement for The Simpsons because it's already so popular so there's no real need, especially when they are reruns. So it was highly unlikely that I saw a commercial which could have put it in my mind subconsciously.
But after I left for college such things stopped happening all together. Until now, we're not talking about TV now, we're talking about some really weird things.
One thing that happened two weeks ago, I was thinking to myself that I should go give blood. I used to give blood back in high school, and I've always wanted to go back and do it again. Well the very next morning, I'll say that again, the very next morning, I get a call from the American Red Cross asking me if I was interested in giving blood. I was shocked, they haven't called me in years. I took this as a sign, maybe God was saying, "Yo dude you totally should!" So I go and gave blood. End of story.
Well just now, I went to bed, lights off, computer off. I was trying to get some sleep, listenig to podcasts and music on my iPod as I normally do, when the most peculiar thought creeped into my head. "I wonder when my GoDaddy domain name will come up for renewal?"
I got the domain name for my webcomic, but have never used it. There's a two year long ownership of GoDaddy domains, in which you will be asked to renew it. I have forgotten about that domain since I first bought it.
But for no real reason, I got up from the bed and turned on my computer and opened up my email, where sure enough I had just gotten an email from GoDaddy about renewing my domain. wow. Minutes after I had thought of it, I get an email? And I check my email all the time, many times a day. So my inbox was empty when I went to bed.
What the hell is going on? Have you guys had strange instances where something has happened after you thought of it, but had no reason to think of it in the first place?
Welcome to the first of what will be – God willing – many more blogs in a series I like to call, “My God, what have I done?” Where I will document the silly and non typical things I do surrounding my interactive entertainment routine. So without further adieu, let’s begin with the first one.
WANT TO PLAY A GAME? PLAY ITS PREDECESSORS!
Ever wanted to play a game that was a sequel in a series? Ever been told to play the first ones that way you can catch up on the story? How many of you actually do just that? Well with the exception of Mass Effect I hadn’t. Not for Assassins Creed 2, or Uncharted 2. But from what people have said about this game it is imperative to play the first games in the series before diving into the latest adventure.
That game being Metal Gear Solid 4.
Now I’ve never been a real fan of the series, having never played them, with the exception of barely trying out Metal Gear Solid 2. However I never finished the first level on the ship. Don’t really know why I gave up. Maybe it had something to do with the controls or how I was fighting an army of assault rifles with my teeny silenced pistol.
Other than that I only knew of the games from its infamous story. So it made a heck of a lot of sense to play the first games that way I would not be lost in a when I would eventually venture into part 4. But why start now? Why do I have the urge to play part 4? I have absolutely no idea, maybe I’m realizing that I’m missing out on such a beloved series. And this is my chance to atone for my sins?
But what I do know is that if I want to play the game I have little choice than to play the first three games. So I went out and bought the Essential collection. Just so I can prepare myself for the conclusion.
Considering how long it takes me to complete games in their entirety I can expect myself to begin playing MGS4 at or around when the Cubs win the World Series.