Sgt Dan Mills writes a telling personal in Sniper One of story of an ‘exciting’ yet very dangerous tour in Al Amarah, Iraq. From landing in Iraq on the 7th April 2004, a year since the city had fallen and Hussein had been ousted, Sgt Mills from the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and the rest of his battalion were supposed to be there to ‘win hearts and minds’, they were soon fighting one of the hardest and longest battles since World War 2.
It didn’t take long for the whole world to turn against them in Al Amarah, the Moqtadr Al Sadr Brigade’s were definitely against why they were there and with an intelligence mistake Mills and the rest of his platoon stuck their heads into the lions head within the first few hours they were there. They had been told that they will probably not see any action, from then on they realised they’d walked straight into hell on earth.
Sniper One is written in a first person scenario of Mills being the head shed of sniper platoon in Y Company, PWRR. The snipers were lucky to even get the chance to go to Iraq and use their ‘long’s’, the British L96 sniper rifle as the Regiment chose them instead of the Mortar’s. This turned out to be a bad mistake as after the first contact with Dan’s team the Regiment realised they would be needing both sets of equipment… regularly.
IS THERE MUCH ACTION IN SNIPER ONE?
The lads from PWRR were seriously in the thick of it, due to the media clamp down outside of Iraq the people back home do not get to see the harrowing ordeals that the Army had and are going through in Iraq unless you get over to YouTube and put in a few searches for PWRR, Al Amarah. The Regiment wasn’t there to mess about, just like the Para’s and Marines before them they were living in a life or death situtation. If it wasn’t the threat from incoming mortar’s, crazy RPG men or the average Dragunov shooter they were getting taken on in open ground in daily ambushes and skirmishes.
The detail that Dan writes in is tremendous, unlike other books he doesn’t leave much to the imagination, if someone get’s their head blown off he’ll tell you just how the round did it and how much damage it has done. When I was reading the book I couldn’t help but think of all the youtube video’s I had actually watched and quickly realised that it was actually much worse than what those video’s portrayed.
The action in the book ranges from small skirmishes, covert observation posts, overt observation posts and all-out full scale battles with Challenger 2 tanks, Warriors, Snatch Land Rovers and numerous battalions and regiments in support to quash Moqtadr al Sadr’s followers.
I AM HOOKED TO SNIPER ONE
I read the 3 PARA book and was hooked reading that, however in Sniper One and because Sgt Mills writes in a smaller scale with each individual descriptions of his guys on the ground the bravery they showed in the face of the enemy you grow to like them without knowing them. The whole book is so up close and personal that you finally get a vivid account of what actually was going on over there that we, joe public, didn’t get to see. Propaganda is a strong thing and the news (sorry – M.O.D) is at the forefront of controlling the public’s emotions when it comes to letting us know what is going on. Not that joe public would ever have a conceivable chance of changing things but at least we know through reading these books what it is these blokes have been through.
It’s not a walk in the park, it’s not easy, the blokes were battling day in, day out with people who wanted them dead. It’s just lucky that they got there first.
Sniper One is a truly amazing book and definitely worth a read! Now I go to read the last few pages!
If you have managed to view the ‘I Am Legend Trailer‘ you will know that the I Am Legend movie is about a man all by himself in New York City, the sole survivor of a deadly virus which has wiped out the population apart from the odd animal and his dog.
Will Smith plays Robert Neville, a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S Forces and scientist who has been trying to control the virus that could potentially kill of the worlds population. The I Am Legend movie gives an insight into what happens when virus’s are played with not knowing what the full extent of nature playing can take. The movie follows Neville’s movements around the city whilst trying to find a cure, he has been in the city for 3 years just long enough for the emotional and behavioural issues to start taking hold of a man who has been isolated for so long.
Leading up to Christmas you would expect that things in life would be calming down, most people would be finishing up their working week today and setting up for the Christmas festivities next week. However the movie industry is about to land us with a number of movies which are going to be eagerly awaited filling up my movie diary.
I had thought I was going to have some down-time over Christmas and only expecting to be at the cinema once on Boxing Day to see ‘I Am Legend‘ but things never go as planned and the ‘P.S I Love You‘ movie is out on the 4th January 2008. I know it is a girly movie in my movie diary but sometimes us men just have to lump it and get dragged along to these things. I thought ‘Holiday’ was going to be a boring sit down but it was one of my favourite films of the year.
A list of the movies that are coming out in date order to fill your movie diary are below with a little excerpt from the storyline, some I am itching to see and others are going to be an interesting watch to see how they turn out.
P.S. I Love You – 04/01/2008
Hilary Swank plays Holly Kennedy, a young woman who is married to the love of her life, an Irishman called Gerry played by Gerard Butler (Mission Impossible). When Gerry’s passes away due to illness it flattens Holly and she finds that the only person who can bring her round and back out of depression is the person she loved the most, thankfully Gerry had it all planned in advance. I have caught the P.S I Love You trailer and it actually does look pretty good.
CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR – 11/01/2008
I wasn’t sure on this to start off with, I thought it was going to be some kind of quirky Tom Hanks movie which I wouldn’t have thought he was going to be good at however the trailer’s are looking promising.
Tom Hanks plays Charlie Wilson, a Texas Congressman who pours money into Afghanistan to fund the fighters against the Russians. Funny isn’t it really that the same money has now caused the problems we are having today. It will be interesting to see how it fairs with the press.
RAMBO – 28/01/2008
Can anyone actually believe at the age of Stallone that he is still kicking some serious ass in the jungle? I mean come on!? He doesn’t exactly look in the same shape as he has been in compared to recent years. I know I should keep telling myself that it might not be everything I am expecting and that I should definitely be wary but this is Rambo it can’t be any worse than the originals and a good addition to the movie diary. Give me blood, give me gore, give me John Rambo kicking some ass with a big knife and bow and arrow and I will be quite happy to sit there and watch! The Rambo IV trailer can now be viewed online, this one is tamed down compared to the mis-match ones you can find on youtube where the .50 cal obliterates a guys body.
NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS – 08/02/2008
Following up from the first movie, ‘Book of Secrets’ hits the screens in early February. I honestly don’t know much about this movie as yet due to me only seeing the Book of Secrets Trailer once. I did enjoy the first movie and am looking forward to seeing this one.
Filling the Movie Diary
I could go on and on putting together a list to fill your movie diary however I think I might because this a regular type of list, maybe 2 monthly (opinions welcome).
What was meant to be a night out at the movies after a very hard week at work for both Jen and myself turned out to be an absolute nightmare. We had both watched the trailer for ‘We Own The Night‘ and thought it looks good enough to be seen at the cinema. Our day was arranged and we’d booked the tickets for early evening. The parents had been to see the movie the night before and came back with a reply of “we thought it was pretty good!”. So all was well, there was no scare story about how bad it was or how boring.
The first five minutes of being sat in front of we own the night and Jen was twisting asking me if I thought it was any good? This is not a very good sign from Jen especially not after five minutes! It was a slow start for sure but I was looking forward to getting further in to it. 6 minutes into the movie and Eva Mendez was getting a breast out and being touched up by Joaquin Phoenix!!! From Hitch to this, what in the world! There were 13 year old girls sitting behind us who gasped with shock and embarrassment!
What is We Own The Night about?
A family story basically involving Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg as the two sons, Robert Duvall as the Father and Eva Mendez being the girlfriend of Joaquin Phoenix.
Phoenix plays a club manager in we own the night who has disassociated himself from the rest of his family due to Wahlberg and Duvall being cops in the city. Wahlberg and Duvall warn Phoenix of an impending hunt down of a drug lord and the fact that he frequents the club in which Phoenix manages. The cops move in interrogate the drug lord and Wahlberg ends up being shot as revenge. Phoenix takes the fight back to the drug lord by snitching on him and then testifying, in the midst of this Wahlberg recuperates and Duvall is killed.
What didn’t I like about it?
I will start saying everything! There was nothing in my mind that liked this movie for any reason. After seeing a movie based around drugs and writing the ‘American Gangster review’ I was hopefully entering to seeing a well put together movie. What on earth Duvall (Days of Thunder), Phoenix (Gladiator), Wahlberg (Shooter) and Mendez (Hitch) thought they were doing at the time of putting their names to such rubbish I have no idea.
The movie on a whole was badly put together, obviously I am no director but the direction of the movie was just wrong, some of the camera shots were outrageous and the story was just… well rubbish to be honest. Some people walked out half way through, and I’ve not done that myself since Shrek 3 and couldn’t bring myself to do it. I kept thinking to myself “it must get better soon, it must!” but alas it didn’t and I left the cinema distraught at losing around 2 hours of my life which I will be putting on my Christmas list to see if Santa can give it back.
Time for some Wooosaahhhhh
I will be thinking about the next pick for a movie very carefully after we own the night however I believe it is going to be “I Am Legend” with Will Smith. I am yet to get bored of the trailer which I have seen so much of so let’s wait and see!
The Golden Compass movie is great! I know review’s are personal points of view but I don’t believe a word of what James Christopher has said over at the Times Online. Now I have that off my chest, think a mix between the let down that was ‘The Chronicles of Narnia‘ and the box office hit that was the ‘Lord of the Rings Trilogy‘.
Golden Compass The Story
The Golden Compass is set in world where witches, ice bears and animals as your own personal spirit are the norm. Set loosely using our world as a base with Brytain, Norroway and the North Pole it does take you close to a world that you would love to visit. You animal spirit friends are called Daemons however the word couldn’t be further from the truth. The bond that one has with their daemon is very strong, if one hurts so does the other.
Cast and Characters
I don’t usually give a run-down of cast and characters however in Golden Compass there are so many in this movie that need talking about I couldn’t resist. It is like talking about Lord of the Rings all over again.
Lyra is the twelve-year old girl who can read the alethiometer, the young girl who is going to battle through everything to save her best friends and other children from the Gobblers and the Magisterium.
The nasty Mrs Coulter played by Nicole Kidman, she’s sneaky very sneaky and is the lead player in trying to take away the children’s daemons away from them.
Lord Asriel is played by Daniel Craig, he seems like a lone crusader and adventurer and you do not see him for best part of the movie leaving it open for everything else to happen. There is a lot more to see from this character.
Mr Scoresby is an aeronaut. He and his daemon have traveled around the world and is a very knowledgeable character and aids Lyra in her adventure.
Iorek Byrnison is the lead playing ice bear in the movie and has his own in-depth story. A very strong and loyal armoured ice bear who assists and protects Lyra no matter what kind of trouble she is in!
Serafina Pekkala is the Queen of the Witches of Lake Enara. She has been around a long time yet very young to look at. Female yet a true warrior aided with the power of flight. I believe there is a lot more to find out about this character.
John Faa is the King of the Gyptians. Gyptians are nomadic traders and smugglers, they and their brothers from the Netherlands have come together to rescue the abducted children and take the fight to the Gobblers.
After the fred claus let down, I really was looking forward to seeing a decent movie that I could talk about and rate highly, and it was found in The Golden Compass. The movie is an all-round take your kids to, sit down and enjoy movie.
Following on from my movies out at Christmas post I went all out this week and went to see two movies. Elizabeth: The Golden Age on Thursday and Fred Claus on Friday evening.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age, even though I saw it a little bit later than expected was a good movie, one that you could just sit and watch, and more than anything learn from. I did manage to crack a joke and laugh about it myself about England being able to see the making of the spanish armada if they had google maps but it was definitely one of those “you had to be there” jokes.
Another Santa Claus Movie?
Vince Vaughan plays Fred Claus, who has been in his brother’s shadow all of his life not being able to live up to his mother’s expectations and watch Nicholas Claus (Paul Giamatti) getting all the credit for being the best son.
Fred in the present day is a repo-man with no money, a strained relationship and no luck. When a money making scheme goes wrong, Fred rings his brother to get him out of trouble. The deal is done and Fred has to travel to the North Pole to work for Nicholas to get the money he needs by working in the toy factory.
Fred not being a fan of all things Christmas isn’t exactly the man for the job and does not have much of a work ethic and could possibly put Christmas out of action.
This Fred Claus Review is not good
I am sorry everyone but trying to write the review is proving very difficult. In my opinion David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) didn’t do a good job of making a funny movie. I thought Wedding Crashers was a good laugh, but at points of the Fred Claus movie I would have rather tried pulling all of my teeth out.
Even though I am a firm believer that there has only been ONE Christmas movie and that is “Santa Claus The Movie” with Dudley Moore, I did try to enter the cinema with a fresh mind that something could be different. But it wasn’t there was not one thing inspiring about the movie.
Rachel Wiesz played Vince Vaughan’s girlfrind who was an englishwoman living in the States. I am sorry to say but no not all people speak like that in England and it drives me mad that directors and producers keep protraying an englishperson like that!
A Christmas let down…
Yes this is a bit of a rant more than a review but I strongly believe in what I have written, so please god, let The Golden Compass be better.