Metal Gear Profiles-Quiet

Quiet is the main female anti-hero in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. She initially appears as part of XOF’s strike force sent to a hospital in Cyprus to kill Big Boss. She kills the doctor and nurse, before setting her sites on “Ahab”-in fact, Big Boss’s double, Venom Snake. Fortunately, the real Big Boss-“Ishmael” is able to subdue her with lighted ethanol, causing her to get badly burned. She then dives out the window, causing Big Boss to quip: “We gave her a light. She took the short way down.”

After the incident, Quiet is treated with the mysterious “Cover” parasites that cover a lot of the supernatural characters in MGSV. This gives her increased reflexes, the ability to ‘cloak’ herself, super-speed She is also given a strain of the deadly English langauge virus, which in effect, makes her unable to speak english; or else she will infect others (and possibly herself as well). It also gave her the ability-despite her extensive respiratory injuries to breath through her skin in a form of photosynthesis, and also drink water through it as well. She also had the ability to manifest strange markings around her eyes. This allowed her to become an exception sniper as well.

She’s then sent back out into the field by XOF, first eliminating loose ends around the development of Metal Gear Selanthropus, and then she encounters Venom Snake. Venom is able to quickly outmaneuver her and knock her out, but decides to spare her life and bring her to the base.

 

 

This doesn’t sit well with the now extremely paranoid Master miller, although Ocelot is mostly cool with it. Surprisingly, she saves Big Boss and the Peqoud unit helicopter from an XOF jet traveling at mach speed.

 

Although initially put under heavy guard by Miller and constantly kept in the Brig on Mother Base (although she is able to escape any time due to her abilities), she eventually begins to accompany Venom Snake on missions, forming a bond with him, and a bit of an unspoken (literally) romance. Miller however remains suspicious of her true motives.

 

However, she eventually leaves Mother Base so she cannot infect the men, especially after an outbreak of the parasite breaks out on the Quarantine platform due to the manipulation of Huey Emmerich. She’s captured by soviet soldiers, but is able to defeat them easily-and then teams up with Venom Snake against a heavy force of tanks, ATVs and Soviet choppers. Eventually, the two escape and try to find cover during a sandstorm, and evade patrols. However, ironically-Venom Snake is bitten by an poisonous actual Snake. Quiet is forced to speak English to rescue Venom, telling Peqoud their coordinates.

When recovering due thanks to a timely antivenom (heh) Venom Snake awakes to find Quiet has vanished-apart from one casette:

“I did not choose to be Quiet. I wanted to express my feelings to you. If only we shared a common tongue. Vengeance is what drove me to them… The only language left to me, revenge. But the words we shared… No, that was no language at all. That is why… I chose the language of gratitude instead, and go back to silence. I am Quiet… I am… The absence of words.”

Quiet’s fate is left unknown-it’s unclear if she dies of the virus or what becomes of her in later decades.

 

 

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Bond In Review-Die Another Day

As the world entered the 21st century, Bond films were in danger of becoming irrelevant again; as new, somewhat more sophisticated spy dramas were starting to emerge with more elaborate action sequences than the typical Bond film such as Tom Cruises’s Mission Impossible series, and Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne series and non-spy action movies such as the Matrix had set a new standard for kinetic action sequences. In addition, the James Bond tropes were parodied in the Austin Powers films.

With “The World Is Not Enough” a box office success but a critical dud, people were wondering if Bond was still relevant. Eventually, he would be-in 2006’s Casino Royale-but before that happened, there was one more Brosnan Bond to go-and a film that pretty much is the end of the series’s 40-year, if somewhat loose-continuity.

“Die Another Day” attempts to be kind of high-tech and hip, with then relative newcomer Halle Berry (Fresh off her oscar for “Monster’s Ball”) but it doesn’t quite work, especially with Pierce Brosnan now nearly into his 50s and other missteps. I’ll get into those a bit later.

Die Another Day pretty much tries to change things up pretty much right away. Although the music is perhaps the most traditional of Brosnan’s gunbarrels (Which mostly started mid-Bond theme) and of course uses the same stock footage of Brosnan posing from Goldeneye, there’s one very noticeable change. Bond actually shoots a CGI bullet directly into the chamber of the other gun!

We then open with Bond sneaking into North Korea via stealthy surfing with some Asian agents to capture and impersonate a guy trying to use diamonds to buy weapons from a corrupt North Korean, Col.Moon. Bond booby-traps the Diamonds with C4, hoping to take out the Colonel.

Unfortunately, Bond’s cover is blown by a mole who sends Moon’s henchman Zao his real identify before he successfully completes his mission, and leads to a pretty decent hovercraft fight between himself and Moon, which apparently ends with Moon’s death-but Bond in the hands of North Korean forces, including Moon’s father.

This leads to Bond spending a year and two months(!) in prison, continuously being tortured. Then the controversial Madonna song kicks in with several images of ice, fire, and electricity themed women, similar in some ways to the opening of “View to a Kill” (but with the imagery far more relevant here).

The music-like a lot of Madonna’s work around this time, has sort of a more electronic/dance/techno feel than a real Bond theme. It doesn’t really seem to reference Bond himself here, just the title. It’s got some strange lyrics too (“Sigmund Frued….Analyze this!Analyze this! Analyze this, this this etc.”) It’s worth noting though that the visuals continue to show Bond’s imprisonment and torture through it all, the first time in a Bond film where the story unfolds during the opening credits.

Bond is finally released-initially it’s believed for his execution, but instead it turns out to be a prisoner exchange-for Zao. It’s here we’re also introduced to American NSA agent Falco (Michael Madsen) who doesn’t exactly have a high opinion of Bond (If the Jinx spin-off materialized, or if Brosnan did more Bond films, he reportedly would’ve been in more films)

However, he’s not exactly welcomed back with open arms by MI6-as M believes he’s been leaking secrets, which Bond insists is the work of a mole. Stripped of his licence to kill by M, Bond once again goes rogue (by faking cardiac arrest, and using the defibrillators as weapons!).

In one of the film’s more hilarious scenes, he walks into a Hong Kong hotel and demands his ‘usual suite’ despite not exactly in the best clothes and sporting 14 months worth of beard.

Getting cleaned up and back to his usual standards, he starts to hunt for Zao, following a lead to Cuba. Here Bond meets with sleeper agent Raoul (A bond ally who in appearance and his role, is somewhat similar to Kerim Bey and Columbo from the earlier films, but with considerably less screen time), who gives him some clues as to Zao’s whereabouts-An offshore clinic where questionable plastic surgeries are performed.

At a hotel nearby, he meets Jinx, who debuts in a similar fashion to Honey Ryder’s debut in Dr.No-one of the film’s many callbacks to Bond’s past (This was not only the 20th Bond film, but also the 40th anniversary film as well). After some somewhat embarrassing innuendo, even by Bond standards, and a night spent together, they both separately head to the clinic-but it appears they both the same goal in mind-the capture of Zao.

It seems Zao is undergoing surgery to change his appearance into a British man, as Jinx discovers, while Bond himself confronts Zao. Unfortunately, Zao-only halfway through his surgery-escapes, and Jinx pretty much destroys the clinic, leaving Bond a bit perplexed as to her intentions-but Bond is able to gain a valuable clue-diamonds in Zao’s possession, which belong to the Graves corporation in Iceland-although Bond is quick to notice that the diamonds are very similar to African conflict diamonds.

Bond returns to London to investigate Graves, which leads to the intro of both Graves (Toby Stephens) and his publicist, Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike, in an early role for her). Here we go to the Blades club, where we also meet instructor Verity-Madonna, in a cameo role. She isn’t there long, but of course there’s some goofy innuendo.  Strangely, Madonna doesn’t use the British accent she sometimes uses in interviews, although she’s in a scene that’s set in London, England.

As for Graves, I think he’s actually a fairly decent bad guy, and plays off of Brosnan well. He comes across as a bit petulant and whiny, but I think that’s part of what was intended for the character to be (and a bit of a facade as we find out later). Toby Stephens by the way, is the son of British actress Maggie Smith, of Harry Potter, Downton Abbey and Clash of the Titans fame.

The sword fight scene that follows is actually a pretty decent action scene, and pretty intense and easy to follow, unlike the action scenes in it’s predecessor film, The World Is Not Enough.

Bond being back in London naturally grabs M’s attention, who is also investigating Graves; and finally lets Bond back on his job since he’s “become useful again”.

We then get a sequence with Bond readying his weapon inside MI6, but it turns out that it’s been infiltrated by armed men, Moneypenny is dead, and M is being held hostage! However, it all turns to be a ruse, a VR simulation being used to set up the Q scene. Unfortunately, it’s not the only piece of unbelievable technology we see here.

While the glass-breaking ring and the callbacks to older gadgets (The Thunderball Jetpack, Rosa Klebb’s poison knife shoes and the Octopussy crocodile sub) are pretty cool, we’re then introduced to the Aston Martin Vanquish/”Vanish” which has a nearly flawless cloaking device, making it effectively invisible! Also in this-Cleese’s only full Q scene-we get not one, but two references to Cleese’s Monty Python days-first by Bond mentioning a “flesh wound” (a reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail), and second, Cleese’s legs visibly distort when walking behind the Vanquish, a visual nod to his “Ministry of Silly Walks” sketch.

Bond then heads to Grave’s ice palace and diamond mine in Iceland, at a party to demonstrate a new device called “Icarus”, and also catches up with Jinx again.Here we learn a few things about Graves, that he’s a thrill seeker, an insomniac, and is actually Col.Moon (Although Bond doesn’t fully realize it until later). His diamond mine is in fact, fake-the diamonds he is ‘mining’, as Bond suspected, are in fact just branded African conflict diamonds. He unveils Icarus, a satellite that can focus sunlight-he states for agricultural purposes, but actually his real intent is to use it to destroy the mines among Korea’s demilitarized zones so North Korea can invade South Korea. It’s yet another callback, this time to the Diamond Satellite in Diamonds Are Forever (although unlike that particular satellite and the presence of diamonds in the plot, Icarus doesn’t actually seem to use Diamonds as it’s focus; although the conflict diamonds are probably used to fund it)

  

After a botched attempt at infiltration, Bond spends a night with Frost, who is actually an MI6 agent. However, he makes a bit of an error here, by letting her have his Walther gun for a few seconds….

Jinx’s attempt is a bit more successful, but she ends up being captured, and now we have a Goldfinger reference (although the laser is headed toward her head rather than…umm…lower as was the case with Goldfinger and Bond). There’s also some pretty poor dialogue here, in particular a “Yo momma” joke from Jinx….

Bond sucessfully infiltrates a second time (using two previous gadgets-Goldeneye’s laser watch and the Thunderball rebreather) and finds Jinx, but gets interrupted by the henchman Mr. Kil, and then one laser becomes several. After defeating Mr. Kil thanks to a timely laser from Jinx and freeing her, Bond then confronts Moon/Graves, and of course say the title line.

“So you live to die another day…Colonel.”

Unfortunately for Bond, Graves reveals the mole who botched his earlier mission in the first place-it was Frost all along-and now he’s got no ammo. But he does have the ring, and makes an escape attempt using one of Graves’s extreme sports vehicle, a sort of rocket-sled thing-while also trying to evade Icarus’s concentrated sun beam melting the glacier he’s on.

Unfortunately this also leads to one of the goofiest, fakest looking Bond scenes of all time, with Bond improvising a surfboard from the remains of the sled….yep. While the surfing that opened the film was kind of cool, this is just awful, right up there with Roger Moore in the opening of View To A kill. At least that was done with more practical effects and stuntmen, while this just looks fake, with a clearly CG Bond on CG water and ice.

Thankfully, it’s quickly followed by a pretty awesome car chase between the Aston Martin and Zao’s Jaquar. The car is in fact not invisible for most of the chase, and what’s also interesting is that both cars are armed with gadgets. While villains such as Scaramanga have had gadgets before, this is really the first time Bond and the bad guy have been kind of evenly matched-although Bond finally getting the invisibility back at the end of the chase is a bit of a cheat.

Rescuing Jinx again, Bond and Jinx go to Korea where they sneak aboard Grave’s plane in an attempt to disable Icarus and take out Graves and Frost. Meanwhile, we’re also treated to some Tomorrow Never Dies stock footage, as a missile launch identical to the one from that beginning of the film tries to take out Icarus another way to no avail. It’s one of the rare instances where they use stock footage apart from the gunbarrel and title sequences, but it’s still a bit glaring especially since it was only used two films ago.

There’s an attempt at pathos as Graves is reunited with his father, who is disgusted by what has happened to his son and what he intends to do. However, it’s a bit hard to take the scene seriously, especially with Graves’s goofy exosuit.

While Jinx has a pretty good decent fight with Miranda, Bond takes on Graves, who dies pretty much Goldfinger-style by being sucked out a plane (although then he dies Incredibles style by being sucked into a jet engine)-which in turns shuts down Icarus  (although as was the case with the Diamond Satellite in DAF, it’s still stuck up there in space, just turned off).

The film then kind of ends with Moneypenny using the VR glasses in kind of a goofy joke scene, and then more bad innuendo as Bond and Jinx relax with the Diamonds….

Die Another Day has some strengths. It’s got some fantastic action sequences and the first half of the film before Bond goes to Iceland isn’t too bad, and even plays with the Bond formula a bit. However, it’s kind of then overwhelmed by too many obvious references to past Bond films, really cringe-worthy dialogue, and an overload of CG where past Bond films relied on more practical effects and stunts, even for their more outrageous sequences.

It brings an end to the original Bond movie continuity pretty much, as the Craig films-while still paying homage to the past (Most notably with the Aston Martin cars and of course the theme) would pretty much reinvent the mythology with new takes on Bond’s backstory, how he became who he was, and his supporting cast, whereas up to this point although the actors changed, such changes were not really aknowledged in the films (Apart from “This Never happened to the other fella” in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but that’s debatable).

Brosnan I felt was a good Bond, but unfortunately at times was let down by the material. I think perhaps the producers got a bit overconfident and went too far once “Goldeneye” was a success, and sort of went back to the excesses of the Roger Moore era, and this kind of hurt Brosnan. Even though “Die Another Day” was a financial success, the critical reviews were savage, and many agreed it was time for a change to the series.

Doctor who History-The Sonic Screwdriver

Before my series of Doctor Who history resumes around the time the show returns in April, I’m doing a few different WHO articles for a bit. This one’ll focus on the Doctor’s main gadget and multi-purpose tool,  the sonic screwdriver. The sonic uses sound waves to perform a variety of functions, such as opening doors and disabling weapons (although it can sometimes be used as a weapon itself). It can also be used as a scanning device.

The sonic first showed up in Fury From the Deep, a second Doctor story. It also was used in the Dominators and War Games, where it actually does drive screws.

 

The second model appeared in the Third Doctor era, where the sonic gained far more use and a more elaborate shape and function. It’s fitting, since Jon Pertwee’s era is often considered the closest in tone to that other famous British icon with multiple faces, James Bond.

The sonic again appeared in the Tom Baker era, where it was slightly modified and less colorful. Like with Pertwee, the sonic was used quite a bit.

 

In an attempt to make the show more dramatic sci-fi, the sonic was retired for many years, destroyed in the story “The Visitation” The explanation was given that it was too much of a cop-out for the plots.

 

The Sixth Doctor briefly possessed a sonic lance, which pretty was used in only one story, Attack of the Cybermen.

 

The screwdriver reappeared in the TV movie, where it apparently had been rebuilt by the Seventh Doctor, and was used to seal the Master’s ashes. For most of the film it was in the possession of Chang Lee, and not used by the Eighth Doctor until “Night of the Doctor”.

The Sonic returns with the series in 2005, with the Ninth Doctor. The new model is retractable and, like the original, lights up. This would continue to be used by the Tenth Doctor.

 

We also see some other sonic devices around this time-Captain Jack’s sonic blaster:

 

Mrs. Foster’s sonic pen:

 

The Master’s laser screwdriver, which has well, a laser but also Lazarus technology built into it. (Later as Missy she has a similar multi-purpose device, but not really sonic or a screwdriver so I won’t get into that)

and River Song’s sonic screwdriver, which came from the Twelfth Doctor and was used to preserve her soul.

 

 

The sonic becomes badly damaged during the Tenth Doctor’s regeneration, and the Eleventh Doctor soon replaces it with a new, larger model with a green light, gold and ‘claws’.

 

The War Doctor-the incarnation that fought in the time war between the Eighth and Ninth Doctor, has a sonic as well, one that seems to be a sort of transitional model between the Eighth and Ninth Doctor sonics.

 

The Twelfth Doctor lost the green screwdriver when he unexpectedly gave it to the young Davros, where it stayed in the possession of the Dalek creator for centuries apparentally (although it’s unclear how he exactly used it, or if it somehow had some function in the creation of the Daleks). Leaving the screwdriver, he instead utilized a new device-the sonic sunglasses-which, although appearing to be normal sunglasses, they had sonic functions (including an internet browser!)

At the end of his latest trip to Gallifrey, and him forgetting (mostly) about Clara, the Doctor gains a new blue, more crystalline sonic screwdriver. For now, it’s the current model.

 

 

 

Bond In Review: The World Is Not Enough

By 1999, Pierce Brosnan had been established in the role of James Bond with two hits, “Goldeneye” and “Tomorrow Never Dies”. While “Goldeneye” took a look at Bond’s place in a cold-war world, and Tomorrow Never Dies was a somewhat more traditional, action-packed Bond film, the next film, “The World Is Not Enough”-named after Bond’s family motto from “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”-would attempt to form a fusion of the two, with some mixed results.

 

For the film, they got celebrated British drama and documentary filmmaker Michael Apted, well known at this point for “Gorillas In The Mist” “Coal Miner’s daughter” and the “7 up” documentary series. Apted would bring an interesting dramatic touch to this installment.

 

World Is Not Enough begins with what was at the time, the longest of the Bond pre-credits sequences-after a short Spanish sequence-in which we get what I believe is one of the only gunbarrels to open on Bond himself-uncharacteristically in glasses no less-to set up the plot, we get Bond arriving at a briefing only for MI6 to come under attack (killing a friend of M’s, industrialist Robert King), leading to a chase on the Thames that is similar in a few ways to Goldeneye’s tank chase, involving civilians, landmarks and police caught in the chaos. We even get a nod to that scene with Brosnan even straightening his tie!

 

Bond unexpectedly for a pre-credit sequence-mostly fails his mission, as the female villain decides to end her own life by destroying a hot air balloon, an act which injures Bond’s shoulder as he gets it caught in part of the Millennium Dome in order to escape the explosion.

 

This time, the theme of the opening credits is “oil”, and we get a nice title song by Shirley Manson/Garbage. In my opinion, it’s the best of Brosnan’s Bond intro songs, although the film’s mix of it leaves out the important lyric “There’s no point in living if you can’t feel alive”.

 

 

We then go to Scotland, where the funeral is held and where MI6 has set up a temporary HQ. Bond, due to his shoulder injury, gets sidelined, but is eventually cleared when he makes a move on MI6’s Doctor. We also get the last Desmond Llewellyn Q scene (as Desmond died shortly after the film’s premiere), and it’s an apt scene that works in that Q is retiring, and it’s unfortunately timely. It also serves to introduce his replacement played by John Cleese, although Cleese would only stick around for the next film before the Casino Royale reboot. There’s also sort of more of the nice kind of friendly exchange between 007 and Q that we saw in Goldeneye, with Cleese providing more of the insults this time.

Although introduced as a strict boss in Goldeneye, and with not much done with her in Tomorrow Never Dies, we have here Judi Dench’s first chance to really shine as the new M, especially as she was getting a lot of press around this time for her role in “Shakespeare in Love”. Here, Bond wonders if her personal feelings towards her dead friend and his heiress daughter Elektra King (Sophie Marceau) are somehow clouding her judgement, and we see some more of the slightly antagonistic relationship between the two that we saw in Goldeneye (but pretty much absent from TND) which continues in the next film,and which was pretty much the norm for her during the Craig era as well.

Bond figures out that Renard-an anarchist who had kidnapped Elektra a few years back-is beyond King’s death and the attack on MI6, and he’s a man who can feel no pain due to a bullet lodged in his skull that’s slowly killing him. Bond is assigned to be Elektra’s bodyguard and also figure out where Renard is.

Bond and Elektra’s relationship is initially cold at first, and we also get what appears to be a ‘sort of’ reference to Bond’s dead wife Tracy (When Bond dodges the question about losing a loved one, although it could also refer to his parents). After the two go skiing, we get an action sequence in which Bond fights some para-hawks. Unfortunately, this illustrates one of the film’s problems. While Apted is great at directing the film’s dramatic scenes, his action scenes seem kind of clumsy and awkwardly edited, although the music by David Arnold is pretty good.

 

 

Next we get a casino scene and the return of Goldeneye’s Valentin Zukovsky, now a “legitimate” Casino owner and Cavier seller instead of running a shady nightclub. It’s an amusing sequence with Robbie Coltrane playing more of his comedy skills than in Goldeneye, and his character is far less bulldogish than that film, even advising James to relax! Although not quite the same, it’s a fun role, and recalls similar Bond allies such as Kerim Bey and Columbo (and Raoul in the next film).

 

Here we also get some hints that Elektra’s not quite what she appears to be as she somewhat recklessly bets at the table.

 

Bond’s convinced that there’s a mole in Elektra’s organization-and he’s right-as he starts to figure things out, even as he and Elektra become closer together. He’s able to finally track Renard and his men to a nuclear disposal site. In both this scene and a slightly earlier one, Robert Carlyle comes off as kind of scary and sadistic, willing to off his own men to keep Bond away.

 

However, we’re also introduced here to Christmas Jones (Denise Richards) who although not as bad as some of the more helpless Bond girls, doesn’t really make much of an impact, especially with Sophie Marceau’s excellent performance as Elektra. She pretty much just plays the ‘good’ Bond girl with some scientific expertise and that’s it.

 

During this scene, Bond starts to get more clues that Elektra isn’t quite who she appears to be, as Renard seems to know about his injuries and her motto.

 

Renard escapes with a nuke, and Bond tries to confront Elektra about the real connection between her and Renard, but unfortunately they’re called away as Renard appears to threaten her oil pipeline with a nuke. Here we learn Elektra’s true intentions-that she actually did kill her father with Renard’s help, and she kidnaps M. Bond, in a meanwhile, figures out that the nuke isn’t in the pipeline (just a smaller explosive) and fakes his death so he could figure out more of what she’s up to.

Turns out her plan is to destroy the pipeline near Istanbul, leaving her with a monopoly on her own Oil pipeline. Here we see her interact with Renard, in some interesting scenes which actually have Renard be sort of more uncertain about himself, with her actually being the main diabolical mastermind. She’s actually the main Bond villain! We also see her face off against M, but fortunately M’s resourcefulness-and a locator chip Bond gave her in a previous scene-help 007 to locate her, and Elektra’s base of operations.

Bond tries to figure out what Valentin knows (although he helped with parts of her plan, she was unaware of her true insanity and endgame) and we do get a fairly exciting, if once again, confusingly edited action sequence with some dodgy CG at Valentin’s cavier factory. We also get some car action, but like “Goldeneye” the car is kind of wasted. This time literally. The highlight of this scene is David Arnold’s score, which has a rousing version of the Bond theme along with his action cues.

We then go to Istanbul, and the final confrontation where Bond is captured, and there’s a tense sequence where Bond is put on the ‘rack’ and it’s a sort of weird torture/seduction scene as she monologues her plan.

When Bond finally escapes due to Valentin’s timely-but fatal-intervention, we get a scene where Bond rescues M and finally confronts Elektra, who has pretty much gone full barking mad, thinking Bond would hesitate to kill her, and we get one of the best Brosnan Bond lines ever, if not one of the best Bond lines ever- “I never miss!”

 

 

Then it’s the final submarine fight, which once again is kind of a confusing mess, unfortunately. Although the final fight between Bond and Renard is pretty decent.

The film then ends with one of the Bond in a compromising romantic position ending, one of the most infamous for reasons I’d rather not write here.

 

Overall, “World Is Not Enough” is a flawed Bond film, one that has some really great dramatic scenes, one of David Arnold’s best Bond scores,and an interesting concept for the villain-as well as more screen time and an active role in the plot for Judi Dench’s M-but it is let down by some poor casting choices (Denise Richards) and the action directing not being the best (when it’s a must in a Bond film).

It’s interesting also that certain elements of the film-an attack on MI6, Bond being badly injured, M having a large role in the plot, particularly the role of the villain-bear quite a few similarities to 2012’s Skyfall, the 50th anniversary film with Daniel Craig. But I’ll cross that bridge a few reviews later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metal Gear the Movie: Who should play Snake?

Lately, during the press junket for Kong: Skull Island, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has confirmed that the Metal Gear Solid movie project is still developing. Although we’ve heard similar reports in the past, sometimes long-delayed film projects can still see the light of day, especially if there’s a renewed interest. Konami’s Castlevania series is going into production as an animated series for Netflix, so although their development on games is currently stalled, they seem to be expanding their properties into other media.

It’s unknown exactly how the movie could play out, since Metal Gear is a fairly complex story. Will it start in the days of the cold war, telling the story of Big Boss from the prequel story of Metal Gear Solid III, Peace Walker and  Ground Zeroes/Phantom Pain? Or will it begin-as the actual game series does-with the later day adventures of Solid Snake, his clone son, and the namesake of the “Solid” series? Will it dwelve into the complex lore of the series, or simply deal with a special forces soldier sent to take out a walking nuclear tank (the story in it’s barest form)?

Casting Solid Snake pretty much takes care of the other “Snake” characters as well-Big Boss (naturally), Liquid and Solidus the other clones (With some makeup changes of course) and Venom, the body double. The only hero it really doesn’t is Metal Gear Solid II’s protagonist Raiden of course, but that’s simply casting another person.

Of course, in the past Snake’s likeness has been based on at least three actors, reflected in the box art: Michael Biehn (The Terminator, Aliens)

 

 

Kurt Russel (Escape from New York)-including the character name, Snake:

Mel Gibson (Lethal Weapon)

and for Big Boss, Sean Connery!

 

While the Japanese voice actor for Snake is Akio Otsuka, Snake has two primary English voice actors in the English versions of the games: Actor and writer,David Hayter, who voiced Solid Snake and Big Boss in most of the games.

However he was replaced by “24” “Designated Survivor” and “Lost Boys” actor Kiefer Sutherland for Metal Gear Solid V, playing the dual roles of Big Boss and Venom Snake. He also provided motion capture for the role.

While these two are already established as the voice of the role, it’s unlikely either would be hired for a movie.

 

Hugh Jackman, star of the X-men films as Wolverine (and also his solo films) has long been one of the fan favorites for the role of Snake. His ability to mix a gritty, worn-out character with a badass nature, as well as humor, could work well for the role of Snake.

 

Christian Bale-best known for his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy-has also been mentioned in connection with the role.

The two of course appeared in the film the Prestige together (directed by Nolan), which ironically also featured the much-referenced David Bowie:

 

Sean Bean (Goldeneye, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones) has also been linked to the role, but at nearly 60 he’s a bit old for the role (Unless he plays the old Snake from Metal Gear Solid IV)

 

 

Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road, Inception, Dark Knight Rises) also could be a possibility.

Lost actor Josh Holloway also might be a good fit.

 

Although this post is mostly about casting Snake, an important female lead is important too. Meryl Silverburgh is the main one in the Solid games featuring Solid Snake (Although Rose, Mei Ling and especially Naomi Hunter are important too, but not really action leads).

 

For Meryl I think the choice is kind of obvious:

Although I’m not the biggest fan of Scarlet’s acting, she sort of fits the badass female warrior thing. Although I suppose Milo Jovivich could do it too, but she’s kind of got her own video game movie franchise already.

 

 

 

Star Wars: What’s the third spin-off?

Since 2012 Disney has owned the rights to Lucasfilm’s Star Wars franchise, and have pretty much dedicated themselves, since the release of “The Force Awakens” in 2015, to releasing at least one Star Wars film per year, similar to their pattern with Marvel Studios (although now Marvel studios is moving much faster with the films since their initially slower roll-out). In addition to finally releasing the sequel trilogy of films, Disney also has started working on “Spin-off” films. While not necessarily 100% new in Star Wars-there were two TV movies featuring the Ewoks in the 80’s, and the pilot of the CG-animated “Clone Wars” was released in theaters in 2008, these films are intended to be more ambitious.

The first two spin-offs are already underway-of course, there’s the recently released “Rogue One” which dealt with the theft of the Death Star plans:

 

….and the upcoming Han Solo film which will tell of the younger years of the Smuggler hero…. (as well as his friends Chewbacca and Lando)

 

However, Disney has largely remained silent on what the third spin-off will feature. Will it follow the trend and be sort of a prequel like Rogue One and Han (although set much closer to the films than the prequel trilogy), or will it deal with something else entirely?

Here’s some speculation-shared by others on the internet-about what exactly this mysterious spinoff will feature.

Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi

A lot of people are fairly interested in a film featuring the time when Obi-Wan was a hermit living on Tatooine, protecting Luke and hiding from the Empire and his former student, Darth Vader. While this might sound a bit boring, there’s a possibility Obi-Wan could get into scrapes on Tatooine that could provide some sort of story-perhaps a showdown with Jabba the Hutt? Or maybe a mission that, for some reason, takes him temporarily off Tatooine. By the time of the OT, Obi-Wan’s certainly a more seasoned Tatooine citizen, well-aware of the dangers of Tusken Raiders and Mos Eisley spaceport, while in the PT he only spent a brief time there. Ewan Mcgregor has expressed some interest in playing Obi-Wan again (Indeed he did a small voice-over as Obi’s force ghost in “The Force Awakens”, a role that some feel that-although one of the highlights of the prequel trilogy-was let down by George Lucas’s directing and writing.

 

Yoda

Yoda is of course the old Jedi Master who was pretty much one of the leaders of the Jedi during the Clone Wars-and later of course trained Luke, but he was already a Jedi by the time of the prequels. It could be interesting to see his younger years, how he became a master himself. Such a film might be a bit effects-heavy though due to Yoda’s nature, and I imagine a whole movie revolving around him would be quite difficult to write giving how he tends to talk in backwards sentences.

 

Boba Fett

The bounty hunter is of course one of the most iconic OT characters, although one with a small amount of screen time and dialogue. Part of his backstory-that he was a clone of the bounty hunter Jango Fett, something he shares in common with the Clones from the Clone Wars (although he is not as enhanced as they are)-is revealed in “Attack of the Clones”, and he took up his father’s profession and a similar armor to embark on a similar career, some of which is brought up in the Clone Wars TV series. Some people are hoping that this will be the third spin-off, but arguably Boba was most effective wearing the mask, and with little backstory, and for an entire film to focus on that, surely some of him being unmasked-and the AOTC backstory brought up-would have to be addressed. Perhaps he’ll appear in the upcoming Han Solo film as well, but we’ll wait and see.

 

Darth Vader

Now, technically we’ve already had three Darth Vader films which flesh out his backstory-the prequel trilogy, but there’s still a little bit that can be elaborated on, such as his early years helping the Empire ‘hunt down’ the rest of the Jedi Knights after Order 66. Certainly, his brief appearances in Rogue One were considered the highlight of those films. However, while I’m sure Vader will have some role in future spinoffs, I’m not sure how much further they can take his story.

Emperor Palpatine

Although he’s of course the ‘true’ villain of the franchise, Palpatine’s origins before the Phantom Menace-when his evil plan to control the galaxy are already underway-remain shrouded in mystery, except that he was once apprenticed to Darth Plageuis  and then killed him. A novel, “Darth Plagueis”-revealed more of his backstory, but that novel is now no longer canon. Could Palpatine have been, like Anakin, sort of good and then corrupted? How did he meet and train Darth Maul, or corrupt Count Dooku or Darth Plagueis? Not necessarily a great idea-the political machinations of the Prequels many thought were boring (although Palpatine himself is considered a highlight), but just kind of throwing this one out there.

The Old Republic

Since the 90’s, there’s been a fascination with the ‘ancient’ Star Wars universe-the time when both the Jedi and the Sith were at their peak and locked in a series of wars, and the Republic was otherwise flourishing. This subject, in addition to some comic series, also became the focus of the “Knights of the Old Republic” game series (Worked on in part by the company Bioware, which would later work on the “Mass Effect” series using some of the tools learned from KOTOR), as well as the still-running MMORG, The Old Republic. Many fans are really hoping that this type of story could be made into a movie, although with some modifications to fit in with the new timeline.

Poe Dameron

 

Why not someone from the new Trilogy? Although Rey’s pretty much the lead, and Finn seems pretty much the co-lead, Poe Dameron was sort of a distant third, and kind of vanished for most of the middle of the film. Nevertheless, the character’s backstory and character have been heavily fleshed out by Marvel comics in both the Shattered Empire and his own titled series, and seems like he’d be the most “spin-off ready” characters, depending on how the sequels utilize him. After all, we’re getting a Han Solo movie, and he was one of the main characters of the OT.

 

Films which inspired Metal Gear-Jurassic Park

On the surface, they don’t seem too much alike (and there’s not too much I can really write about it anyway-this one’s going to be a bit short). One, about a cloned Dinosaur theme park, that is sabotaged during a inspection visit, leaving the experts evaluating the island and the park’s staff at the mercy of escaped Dinosaurs, and the other, a multi-generational saga of espionage, stealth, and big nuclear robots. Well, on that last one….

The Metal Gear “Rex” from the first “Solid game”. derives from Tyrannosaurus Rex in it’s design and function, and while Tyrannosaurs are hardly unique to “Jurassic Park” in fiction, one of the novels did mention that Otacon was, in fact, inspired by the Jurassic Park version of the Dinosaur, in creating Metal Gear REX.

While Previous Metal Gears possessed a more pod-based cockpit, REX has a somewhat more promiment, reptilian ‘head’, showing some clear Dinosaur influence. Although not sentient, it does have a ‘roar’ that sounds a bit like the one from the T-rex in the movie.

While not a Jurassic Park reference in itself, it’s older cousin Sehalanthropus also uses the species name of an extinct animal.

A “Flesh and Blood” Rex would also appear in the Extra ops of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, as part of a crossover with the Capcom “Monster Hunter” games.

While of course they’re not quite Dinosaurs, Metal Gear Solid also utilizes advanced cloning techniques not present in today’s science, or in yesterday’s science for that matter, with the clones of Big Boss-Liquid and Solid-and also the enemy soldiers of the first game, the Genome Army, who are enhanced by genere therapy, using the same Big Boss cells. In fact, Solid Snake refers to them as a sort of “Dinosaur theme park.”

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Naomi Campbell:His body was burned severely, but it was possible to restore his DNA profile from just a single strand of his hair.

Solid Snake: Aw heck;it’s like some kind of dinosaur theme park, and you’re gonna put those genes into soldiers ?