Movie Poster for Iron Maiden: Flight 666
Get Flight 666 from Amazon.com

“World Tours” are, anymore, a given for most rock concert tours, at least with any performer big enough to get Platinum records. However, I really don’t think that most people “get” what goes into a concert tour that goes around the world – both in terms of the toll on the performers and the toll on the crew. This leads us to Flight 666, a concert film that follows Iron Maiden’s “Somewhere Back in Time” Concert Tour. What makes this tour different from other tours, aside from the Documentary aspect, is that for the purposes of this tour, the band purchased a Boeing 757 to transport the band, the crew, and all necessary equipment from venue to venue, rather than chartering the plane. Why buy instead of charter? Because the lead singer of the band, Bruce Dickinson, is rated to pilot Boeing 757s. (more…)

Advertisements

Movie Poster for No Country for Old Men
Get No Country for Old Men from Amazon.com

I came in to this movie knowing nothing about Cormac McCarthy. I hadn’t read the book this movie was based on. I hadn’t read The Road, nor had I seen the movie that was adapted from the book. What I did have, however, is knowledge of the Coen Brothers from seeing Fargo and O Brother, Where Art Thou. I can justifiably say that after seeing this movie, I couldn’t see anyone else doing this film. I don’t have this reaction with all films. Sometimes, when watching an film, I can sort of get ideas about how the film might look with another director – how John Carpenter might do the original Friday the 13th instead of Sean S. Cunningham for example. This, though, is a film only the Coen Brothers could do.

The film follows three characters, hunter Llewellyn Moss, sheriff Ed Tom Bell, and hitman Anton Chigurh (rhymes with “Sugar”). While hunting in west Texas, Moss comes across a drug deal that turned into a bloodbath. Among the carnage he finds a satchel carrying 2 Million dollars. Chigurh has been hired by the owner of the money to get it back. Finally, Sheriff Bell finds himself following in the wake of blood left by Chigurh’s passage in search of the money. (more…)

Movie Poster for Live Free or Die Hard
Get "Live Free or Die Hard" from Amazon.com

As someone who intends to become a network security professional, I know a little something about hacking. Not how to penetrate people’s systems or anything like that, but I know about security flaws, I know about ways a possible attacker might come at your system, and I know that the visual for these attacks would be pretty boring. After I learned that the premise of Live Free or Die Hard would involve cyber-crime, I developed a lot of reservations about how this film could turn out. However, after much deliberation, I decided to give the film a watch.

The movie brings back Detective John McClane of the NYPD. Now formally divorced from his wife and estranged from his daughter, he’s ordered to take a computer hacker from New Jersey to Washington DC for questioning related to an attack on the FBI’s computer system, as well as the deaths of several other hackers. After he arrives at the house of the hacker, Matt Farrell (played by Justin Long), some assassins attempt to kill Farrell, ringing alarm bells for McClaine. As John and Matt make their way down to DC, a series of hacker attacks, masterminded by former NSA hacker Thomas Gabriel (played by Timothy Olyphant), bring the US infrastructure to it’s knees. It’s up to McLane and Farrell to stop Gabriel’s plot before millions of lives are lost. (more…)

Punisher: War Zone movie poster.
Get The Punisher: War Zone from Amazon.com

I have a love-hate relationship with Frank Castle. As someone who got into the pulps, especially characters like The Shadow, before he really got into comics, I never really had a problem with a comic book character who killed criminals. Thus, the Punisher appealed to me a little, as the character had a lot in common with characters like The Shadow, in terms of being a grim or mostly silent vigilante who gunned down gangsters. While I recognized that he had to coexist with various Marvel Super Heroes, I’d kind of figured out the sort of “rule of tiers” that the Marvel U operated on, and I figured that Spidey was generally more occupied with the more dangerous super-villains that Frank couldn’t go up against.

The hate part of the relationship comes from the writer whose currently in charge of writing the Punisher in the Marvel Max books-which is when they’re keeping the character at his street-level feel (sort of). I’m referring to Garth Ennis. Garth Ennis writing style feels like he goes for the shock value too often, and he goes for the low brow too often. His writing style also gives me the impression that he hates super heroes. No work shows this better than his run on The Punisher before he went to the Marvel Max version. After the first arc of the Punisher (Welcome Back Frank, which I almost liked), he proceeded to take a dump on every Marvel character he could get away with. He had Frank use Spider-Man as a human shield for The Resurrected Russian when Spidey could have pretty easily taken him. Frank blew Wolverine’s face off and ran him over with a bulldozer. (more…)

The cover art for Justice League: Season 1 on Blu-Ray
Get the Blu-Ray edition of Justice League: Season 1 from Amazon.com

If you’ve been following my reviews on Bureau42, you may know that I enjoy superhero comics, particularly judging by my reviews of DC: The New Frontier and similar works, as well as allusions to superhero comics in other reviews I’ve written. So, I missed Justice League when it first aired on TV. I missed it when it came out on DVD. However, now it’s finally out on Blu-Ray, and I’ve finally seen it. I’m pleased by what I’ve seen. My mind was not blown, but I did enjoy what I saw.

The series does what some of the best Justice League comics runs have done, such as Grant Morrison’s, and kept the league to a tight lineup: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman (II – Diana Prince), The Flash (technically The Flash II as we see Barry Allen’s origin story, but we’re not doing prior incarnations here), Green Lantern (IV – John Stewart), Hawkgirl (I – Shayera Hol) and the Martian Manhunter. (more…)

The Theatrical Movie Poster for "For All Mankind"
Get "For All Mankind" from Amazon.com

The space program has always fascinated me, particularly because my interest in Science Fiction, particularly through series like Star Trek – which in turn lead me to an interest in the space sciences and some terrestrial sciences as well. So, when I heard about a documentary about the space program that I hadn’t seen before, and one that was coming out from the Criterion Collection, I had to check it out.

The Premise:

Using footage from all the Apollo missions (plus a bit of the Gemini missions), the film depicts the journey from Earth to the Moon, to the explorations of the Lunar surface, to finally the trip back home. All of this is accompanied with interview audio from various astronauts in the Apollo program discussing the program, and what it felt like to go to the moon. (more…)

Burn Notice Blu-Ray Cover
Get Burn Notice on Blu-Ray from Amazon.com

So, I’ve previously reviewed the first two seasons of Burn Notice. While I wait for season 3 to come out on DVD, I’m going to get started on another spy themed TV series – one with more of a James Bond (pre-Daniel Craig) theme.

The Premise:

Chuck is in charge of the Nerd Herd (Not-The-Geek-Squad) at a Buy More (a Not-A-Best-Buy-Circuit-City-Or-Comp-USA consumer electronics chain). His old friend-turned-arch-nemesis from College, Bryce Larkin, sends him an E-Mail that ends up uploading the contents of the Intersect, a classified NSA & CIA database (which Larkin has also destroyed) into his brain. Chuck ends up under the tender loving care of a beautiful CIA agent (whose cover is his girlfriend) and a rather nasty NSA agent (who presumably killed Larkin), while both agencies try to get the Intersect out of Chuck’s head, and deal with various international plots in and around LA. (more…)

Get Blazing Saddles (on Blu-Ray) from Amazon.com
Get Blazing Saddles (on Blu-Ray) from Amazon.com

I’m not going to say I’ve watched everything Mel Brooks has ever done, but I’ve watched a fair chunk of it, and I’ve enjoyed what I’d seen. However, I’d never gotten around to watching Blazing Saddles. The film is widely regarded as being Brooks best film, aside from, maybe, Young Frankenstein. So, I’ve watched it, now what did I think about it?

The Premise:

Bart, an African-American man working on the railroad, is saved from execution for assaulting one of the racist over-seers for the railroad, to be appointed by the Eeeeevvvvvviiiiillll Lieutenant Governor Hedley Lamar as the sheriff of the town of Rock Ridge – which Lamar is trying to force out so he can claim the land for himself as the rail-road comes through it, so he can make a fortune. However, Lamar has underestimated Bart, and his new deputy, Jim, aka The Gunslinger Formerly Known As The Waco Kid. (more…)

Get Earth: A Documentary from Amazon.com
Get "Earth: A Documentary" from Amazon.com

Most people have heard about the BBC’s excellent documentary series Planet Earth… which I must admit I haven’t seen yet, but I plan to watch in the future. However, first, I’ve decided to review the BBC’s companion documentary for the series – Earth: A Biography. Is the series a worthy companion, while still being able to stand on it’s own for those who haven’t watched Planet Earth, or does it leave something to desired?

The Premise: The documentary follows Iain Stewart, a geologist from the University of Plymouth in England, as he travels the world explaining various concepts on how Earth works – specifically relating to how we got to the earth we have now, from volcanoes and plate tectonics, to ice and the movement of glaciers, to wind and the atmosphere.

(more…)

I’d like to take a moment to rant a little bit. Recently, I took advantage of the clearance sales at Circuit City to pick up some Blu-Ray movies – specifically, upgrading some of the titles in my collection – Patton, A Bridge Too Far, and Black Hawk Down. Of these movies, only Patton matches the special features of it’s DVD release. The DVD release of Bridge Too Far has commentary by World War II Veterans who participated in Operation Market Garden, as well as documentary material. The Blu-Ray release has the theatrical trailer. That’s it. The Blu-Ray release of Black Hawk down has all of the commentaries from the Special Edition release of the movie (director’s commentary, writer’s commentary, and commentary of people who actually participated in the events depicted in the movie) but none of the other special features exclusive for that release (an episode of Frontline and History Channel documentary on the events as well).

The big selling point of Blu-Ray is that there is more storage on the disks, so you can have more information on the disks, so that which once took two disks now takes only one (for example, Batman Begins Blu-Ray release). So, why the fuck can’t you take all the special features that were on the special edition DVD release of a movie, and put those on the Blu-Ray disk, so we can leave those imbecilic shenanagans behind us! You do that, so that the special features of the Blu-Ray release are equal to or superior to the DVD release, while retaining picture quality, and you will get more people to adopt the format. If people feel that they’re getting more with the existing format, then they won’t switch.

So, stop ripping me and other customers off by scrimping on bonus features!