20 Years Later


The Princess Bride cast reunion photo via EW.


The Live-Action Trailer for Halo 3:ODST


IGN has released the rocking live-action trailer for the video game Halo 3: ODST. The commercial shows snapshots in the life of an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper, beginning with him as child witnessing a funeral and ending with him as scarred soldier mourning a fallen comrade. The brief war scenes against the Covenant are fast-paced and well done, with an Omaha-beach-landing-introduction to the battle and tense encounter with a Covenant Brute. The ODST may be an impassive, well trained instrument of war but he is no Master Chief and the clip makes it clear that the new game will emphasize a different kind of hero.

Given this trailer, it’s no surprise that many are again asking questions about the Halo film project and why exactly it failed. Video games¬† have never translated well to celluloid, but the Haloverse has more depth than you would expect (fleshed out in some of the novels). And the central war with the Covenant, too, is no worse an impetus for story-telling than that of many other sci-fi outings. However, Neill Blomkamp, who was once signed on to direct the Halo film (and then went on to helm the spectacular District 9) pointed out that one of project’s hurdles was the game’s main protagonist. Master Chief worked well in the video game but did not hold much weight, dramatically, because of his faceless nature.

Rumours about the project have continued to surface (a script by Stuart Beattie adapting The Fall of Reach is the last I heard) but at the moment the rights to the production are with Microsoft and it will be interesting to see if they take the positive reaction to this trailer as cause to revisit its status.

The game launches on the 22nd of this month.

Worlds Collide: the Hitchens v Wilson documentary teaser


Who would have thought that gangster rap would make the perfect soundtrack to presuppositional apologetics? This teaser showcases the documentary, Collision, to be released on DVD next month. Directed by Darren Doane, the film follows the debate tour of New Atheist author Christopher Hitchens and pastor Douglas Wilson. Both are sharp commentators. Both wield their humour with acerbic edge¬† (say what you will about Hitchen’s bluster and lack of philosophical roots, he is still a witty and often entertaining writer). So an exchange between them is likely to be a fascinating subject for a documentary.

Debates are already a spectacle in and of themselves, with enormous drama and emotional investment (some may even argue that that is all they are). But this kind of film has the ability to take us even further into the drama. With slick cuts and its unique visual style, the film brings a whole new dimension to the event and to the argument that was the focus for the tour (“Is religion good for the world?”). Our culture has a clear obsession with the visual over the abstract and it will be interesting to see whether the film can successfully communicate some of the ideas that inspired the exchange in the first place, or whether the medium will swallow the message and engulf those ideas in the foreground of personalities.

The DVD comes out on the 27th (you can preorder now on amazon). You can also pick up the book there that Wilson and Hitchens both co-authored on the same topic. Also worth reading is their email exchange at Christianity Today.

(HT: Desiring God)