September 29, 2010

Don't Kid Yourself, 3D Star Wars Is Going To Be Mind Melting

Today it was announced all over the galaxy that all six theatrical Star Wars films are going to be released in 3D, starting in 2012 with "The Phantom Menace." Faster than Lando switching sides on the good guys people around the universe starting complaining about how Lucas is bleeding the franchise dry and how this 3D conversion will ruin the original films.

I'm not down with those people, someone freeze them carbonite.

3D Star Wars movies! Are you serious! This is going to be unreal. George Lucas is one of the father's of modern special effects, you think he's gonna let James Cameron show him up. You know Lucas saw "Avatar" and sat there on his pyramid made out of money/ewoks and said:

Jim......Jim.......You think can best me in mind melting sci-fi. George Lucas is Sci Fi. Wait and see.....

Consider me on the hype land speeder for these conversions. Doesn't matter if the new prequels are bad, either way it's going to look and sound amazing. Cue the popcorn and a's just a tradition.

September 28, 2010

Josh Holloway To Provide One Liners For Mission Impossible 4

"Lost" fans who like to make fun of Tom Cruise find themselves in a bit of a bind today as news just broke (via Hollywood Reporter) that Sawyer himself, aka Josh Holloway will be joining "Mission Impossible 4." The word on the street is that he will be playing an IMF team member.

Let me remind you that IMF stands for Impossible Mission Force. Other members of this impossibly cool group include Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Ving Rhames, and Simon Pegg. No word yet if Freckles, International House of Pancakes, or Doc will be joining the cast.

When The Pentagon Met Iron Man

(Video Comes from Iron Man Fan JFG.)

The relationship between Hollywood and the military is particularly interesting.  Hollywood needs the military to give them clearance to use equipment and the military wants to look good on the big screen. So when Michael Bay wants to use a whole bunch of gear in "Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen" the military says, "Sure Michael, just make sure it all looks shiny on film." Actually the Transformer's sequel used more military equipment than any other movie. This way everyone is happy, the good guys with the big guns torch the robots, and the millions of the people watching the film think "Jeah, the military is a flawless organization that really gets it done. They totally would defend us if the robots attack."

This video I posted above is interesting however, because it features Clark Gregg, who in the Marvel Universe plays S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson, a member of a fictional government organization. For the non-nerds out there, S.H.I.E.L.D runs The Avengers which is a super hero team. Click here for more information on the team and upcoming film. So now we have a fictional character interacting with real private contractors to  convince us that the military has Iron Man technology coming. Interesting, when you think about it, because it shows how the military is using hollywood to craft it's own narrative of it's operations.

If there is one thing that cracks me up about this video, it's that this whole suit doesn't really remind me of Iron Man at all. Rather it reminds me of the suit from "Avatar." You even see it being used in "Avatar" for military personal to perform the tasks described in the video. Does this mean that Stark Technology has made it's way that far into the cinematic future, I doubt it, but it shows that the military certainly likes their comic book movies.

September 27, 2010

True Grit Trailer Will Own You

Looks like The Coen Brothers are back in "No Country For Old Men" territory here. You can almost feel the presence of Anton in this trailer.

The Accidental Hipster Video

Frequent guest bloggers Mesch & Cod made a video.

Powers meets Mexico

Keep your eye on Jody Hill. Last night the show he helped create, "Eastbound & Down" returned for season 2 and it was clear that Hill, and his team of home-run hitters aren't holding anything back. It wasn't just Kenny's new sidekick, new location, or hairstyle, it was the entire mood of the show that really struck out the competition.

Hill is a graduate from the University of North Carolina, which isn't on the radar as a high power film school. Hill's greatest strength is making content that speaks to people who didn't go to a high power film school, any school high . All of his films including "The Foot Fist Way," "Observe & Report," and his HBO series "Eastbound" all feature the american blue collar working man struggling to survive.

And now him and his "Eastbound" team have taken their average American character and put them in Mexico. This "fish out of water" story technique is hilarious and interesting because it allows Hill to explore another culture, all the while keeping his unique perspective on the raw American male. Is America really that different from Mexico? Based off the first episode, not really. People in both countries like to party, play baseball, and make poor moral decisions. However in a great last scene that directly related to the series premiere, both cultures value family values, personified in the show as a family saying grace at dinner.

I can't wait to see where this season goes. Kenny Powers is the funniest character on TV right now. Hill and his creative team are doing excellent work and just hitting home runs. Pack the stands and tune in, this is going to be a fun game.

September 24, 2010

Have An Artistically Creative and Physically Engaging Weekend

These people seem cool and so are you! (Video from The LA Times Music Blog)

Cred Confessions: 2001

My credibility confessions continue with my screening of 2001 last night. When I say screening it means I watched it on Blu-Ray with my three buddies who have seen at least 10 times each. When I asked if they wanted to watch, one of my friends simply referred to it as "The Masterpiece." And I gotta say, this movie really took my mind, blasted into outer space, than grilled it in a english muffin pizza with extra mozzarella. I'm not sure I have truly recovered.

Now I will say, I did see this film with my Dad when I was really little and I remember thinking "where the hell are the aliens?" Now that I'm older, wiser, and more informed about the nature of space, time, and extra-terrestrials I found myself mesmerized by it. Every camera movement in this film feels revolutionary and every shot feels like a space painting. Any other statement I make about how technically amazing this film is, both now and when it came out, just makes me sound like a rookie.

However what struck me about about it was the overall message about the relationship between men and machines. As we progress further into the future, our dependency on our machines (Droids, Iphones, Ipads, TVs, space-ships) all seem to be developing to a point that is reflected accurately in the film (the year is a little off, but who cares). However it seems that in the film that technology eventually leads us to understanding what it means to be human, and I'm not sure that is the case today. Facebook, twitter, four square, and everything else seems to connect us to each other even more, but at the same time it limits our face to face interaction. So are the machines making us or more less human? I guess we'll have to wait for the monolith to answer that!

September 23, 2010

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 1 Trailer

Would someone please tell Warner Brothers to stop releasing awesome summer flicks in November! Got Dayuuuuuuuum does this look awesome, so much from the book. Dare I say this is now the geek/fanboy/potterphile film to beat this Autumn? Sorry Tron.

September 22, 2010

I'm Still Here (The Rest of Us Are Gone)

This past weekend I caught "I'm Still Here," aka the "Joaquin Phoenix movie" at a matinee and my mind was absolutely shattered to pieces by it.  To use some of my old language, it was a mind melt with extra cheddar maybe even some DJ Steve velveeta. Initially was lukewarm to the film because I couldn't tell if it was authentic or not, so when director Casey Affleck revealed in the New York Times that it was all a spoof, I had to see it right away.

The film opens with footage of a "young Joaquin" jumping off a waterfall into jungle spring in Panama. Right away we know that his is a life that has constantly been on screen. What follows is a bizarre narrative of Phoenix trying to become a serious hip hop musician. But this is not a film about Phoenix's musical ineptitude, it's a film about the negative culture of celebrity and entertainment that is dominating our land.

Early in the film, Phoenix states that he "feels stuck as a character in his own life." Upon hearing this I was reminded by Neal Gabler's classic book Life The Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality. In that book Gabler asserts that the real lives of celebrities are the purest form of entertainment. At one point in the story, Phoenix talks about he feels like a puppet, with everyone else pulling the strings. He then spends the film and spends the film fighting for his self identity against these puppet masters,

When one thinks of a "puppet master" one thinks of a single person pulling the strings on someone's career. This is a very 20th century way of viewing celebrity. Individual celebrity is now shaped by the people, people like you and me, who crave the 24 hour news cycle. Affleck makes a point to show us in every public appearance just how many people have their camera phones out, how many youtube videos people have sharing their opinions, how many news sources cover every second of his life. There is another level in that the talking heads we see in the film include ourselves. Everyone was talking about his famed Letterman appearance when it occurred, not just the internet, we lived this story.

Unlike other fake documentaries like "Borat"(a link to a old school college article) and "Bruno," where Sacha Baron Cohen tricks people and the audience laughs along, there isn't much laughter in this film. As viewers have a personal history with the "character" (I mean who didn't love Gladiator), so seeing a familiar face apparently go off the rails is uncomfortable.  The strange feeling of watching it "fall apart" is enhanced because the character is not some silly Kazak, but a two time Academy Award nominated actor.

Halfway through the film Edward James Olmos shows up and plays the part of Obi Wan Kenobi to Phoenix. Everything Olmos says is beyond deep, but the crux of it is that only in the darkest parts of our lives do we find rebirth. He explains that life is a cycle and a person like a water drop, must evaporate, and be reborn to reclaim his self worth. This is heady stuff and is the only scene in the movie where Phoenix is totally focused on someone's words. He carries this with him as he falls to pieces on his infamous Letterman appearance.

He takes this advice and descends on the panamian jungle to visit his "father." It is here among the lush forest and waterfalls that he truly finds peace. Away from the cameras, away from the people, away from technology he wades through the waters where the film began until he is submerged, disappeared from the culture of reality TV narratives, camera plagues, and TMZ.

And now we face the real question. If he has succeeded in destroying his image, are we witnessing his rebirth? Check out this picture of him sneaking into the Venice Premiere of the film. Well first off, he'll be on Letterman tonight, and make no mistake, everything is riding on this appearance.  He has emerged victorious over the puppet masters and now he need to tell us what he really is. Is he an asshole? A genius actor? A stupid actor? A rapper? A son? A brother? A friend? A two time academy award nominee? What is he? Who is he?

He is himself and we're just the puppet masters. Are we still us?

September 21, 2010

Foreign Film Alert: El Rey De La Montana

I like to imagine real life hyper intense situations that I would never ever want to be in. These include but are not limited to what would happen if the planet became froze over, if every electronic device on the planet stopped working, or I had to go without watching Bad Boys 2 every two months. The Spanish film "El Rey De La Montana" is an excellent film about a hyper intense situation. It's short, terrifying, and smart and deserves your viewing if you are into this type of movie.

The story is simple, Quim, the guy running on the left is traveling in through the mountainous region north of Madrid. Out of nowhere his car is shot at by unseen snipers and he and another woman whom previously robbed him in a gas station bathroom quickie (hey, those Spaniards love to get down) must try to escape. Most of the film focuses on them running through the countryside as they evade the shooters.

However in the third act the film shifts and the narrative shifts to the assailants. This shift is marked by a drastically different style of directing which clearly has a lot to say about the current state of media, in particular, video games. Director  Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, smartly resists turning these final scenes into standard thriller fodder and instead goes for the emotional impact. Translation, this film never becomes some cliched "Hunter becomes the hunted" Hollywood business.

This film came out about 2 years ago, but I didn't hear about until recently when it appeared in this LA TIMES article. I really enjoyed the film and I recommend it to anybody who's looking for a tense thriller, particularly a foreign one so you can act sophisticated next time you're buddies are getting jazzed up about "The Town." Wait a minute, I think I just spilled my secrets. Que Lastima.

September 20, 2010

Get Motivated With The Trailer For "The First Grader"

My brother is a principal, my Mom is a professor, and one day hope to travel to Africa. This film which I never heard of until I saw this trailer on THE PLAYLIST looks like a hit for everyone.

September 19, 2010

Massing Out With "The Town"

"Mass" is an abbreviation for Massachusetts, which is the greatest states in the country. However "Mass" is also an adjective. If someone is "massy" then they have an accent, are dedicated to the sox, think Tom Brady is the Messiah, and really hate the Yankees. If men are massy than they classified as "Mass-holes" if women are well, I'm not sure what you call them. It should be said that "mass" can also be a verb, as in "massing" out, meaning slamming Busch Lights and talking about how terrible the Pats corner backs are. So now that "massy" is an established adjective I can say that "The Town" is one of the "massiest" movies ever made.

Here you have tough talking boston guys, wearing sox and bruins gear, talking about stealing money while seated at Dunkin Donuts. Oh yeah, don't forget about thick accents. The central plot involves Charlestown native and thief supreme Doug MacRay's (Affleck) attempt to go straight when he falls for a witness to one of his robberies. Of course his buddies, his father, and the evil local florist (a superb Pete Postlethwaite) are trying to keep him there.

By now most people know that the film is also directed by Affleck. The last film he directed was "Gone Baby Gone" and I personally prefer that film over his new bank robbery extravaganza. "The Town" is a very well made thriller, something hard to find on the multiplex, but it lacks the emotional knockout punch of "Gone Baby Gone." Affleck knows what he is doing with the camera, the action scenes are tense and very well shot, but as an Academy Award winning screenwriter, his slips a little bit with the script. There are no twists or surprises, it's very straight forward and very safe. To use a "massy" analogy, it's a like going to sox game where the sox win, but no one goes deep over the monstah.

Speaking of Fenway, the fact that Affleck has the finale take place there is downright bold and proves he is really coming into his own. Forget the "Gigli" jokes and the references to his previous roles. The guy is a very capable old school director who is loaded with talent. A recent Newsweek article compares to him to Clint Eastwood, and they're right. Affleck is a solid actor who has become an amazing director. He's just like Clint, just way more Massy.

September 17, 2010

Boston Movies (That Aren't The Departed)

In honor of the "The Town" opening today around the nation, I've decided to take a look back at some of the more under-appreciated "Boston" films  of the past. Now keep in mind in my mind "The Departed" is a pretty much perfect "Boston" film but here are some that may have missed the "T" to the big time.

WITH HONORS (1994) - If you can get past the wild plaid outfits and ridiculous hair in the the poster, this is a pretty cool movie about the education and life at Harvard. Basically the Harvard people let a homeless guy live with them and he teaches them about life, love, and the pursuit of scarves. Good Times.
Celtic Pride - Yeah, I know this movie isn't the greatest film ever made, and it's not even that good, but I will say I like it better than "Fever Pitch." It has a sweet spot in my heart cause I saw it at my 10 year birthday party and I really like the Celtics (I still have a Antoine Walker jersey). I like it cause the plot of kidnapping a player so your struggling Boston team can win has crossed the mind of a many a Boston fan during the dark ages. Bizarre note, the film was written by comedy titan Judd Apatow.

Blown Away (1994) - Not only is this explosive action goodness, but it stars three academy award winning actors. Tommy Lee Jones, Jeff Bridges, and Forest Whitaker all now have that Academy hardware and graced the screen in this bad boy. How explosive is a movie called "Blown Away"? When the ship blows up in this film, the actual stunt blew out 8,000 windows in East Boston!

Gone Baby Gone (2007) - I include this movie on the list because I'm often shocked by how many of my peers have not seen it. Directed by Ben Affleck, this is a really strong movie with a powerful ending. For all you that haven't seen it, check it out. Ed Harris and Morgan Freeman are doing serious acting work in this film and the ending, damn, that ending, really gets ya.

Stay tuned for my review of the "The Town" which should be dropping any time next week.

September 16, 2010

My Dream Last Night Was The Greatest Since My "Blade" Dream Of 2002

Last night I had a dream which rivals every other dream anyone else has ever had. I'm not talking about metaphorical dreams of the future, I'm talking about wild out of control Sigmund Freud mind exploding dreams with a Michael Bay twist. So anyway onto this epic dream. As you probably know, most of my dreams are heavily influenced by movies, and last night's was no exception, so I've included some footnotes for ya.

The whole thing was basically a modified version of the battle from The Lord Of The Rings featured above. Basically I was in the field with all my friends and family suited up in badass medieval armor. When I say all, I mean ALL.  Everyone person fighting on the good guys team was a recognizable face from my life. My family, my pals, old professors, random people I've met at parties and talked about LOST with, they were all taking care of business.

Business was defending some type of fort from an invading army of orc looking demons from the mountains. Because it was movie inspired, the bad dudes were using the oliphant attack, but they also had ghosts on their side as well as ferocious beasts. The bad guys would carry in these circus carts into battle open em up and these tigers would come out to fight (Gladiator) Luckily we had beasts too, I rode in battle on the back of a giraffe carrying a lightsaber (Star Wars) and a kitchen knife (Not Sure), yeah weird combo I know. I ended up confronting and turning Charlize Theron to the good side (North Country)

The best part of this whole affair that was it ended with the good guys winning, no abrupt finale like most dreams do but also I woke up on time to get to work, even though my alarm wasn't set. Not sure what caused this dream, I watched LOTR a month ago, I've been playing a lot of Halo, and I've been trying to scheme a way to convince my friend Mesch, of Mesch and Cod (funny guys check out their site here) to watch Star Wars. Maybe it was those things. Either way....epic!

September 15, 2010

Would You Want James Cameron Being Earth's Ambassador To Aliens?

Take a good look at the man on the left (It's James Cameron by the way). Upon first glance, what is your first impression? Nice Guy? Evil Mastermind? Goateed Mesiah? Whatever comes to mind, I hope it's a positive, because it's probably the first human face that the aliens are going to see.

According to The Australian (Via the excellent Playlist Blog) James Cameron is going down to the bottom of the Mariana Trench to "see what's down there" and also gather some footage that he can later add some Na'Vi too when gets around to shooting Avatar 2. Just to put things in perspective about the trench, it is named after the islands near by, not the spaghetti sauce, is about 6.8 miles deep or about 74.3 football fields or 4,233 Biebers, aka Justin Biebers, the new standard of measurement for screaming teenage girls. Now that we established how literally and metaphorically deep the trench is, let's dive into just what the hell Cameron could be looking for down there. I mean you don't just go down to the bottom of the world for a movie, right?

I mean it's not like Avatar 2 will need a "shot on the bottom of the ocean" tagline to make money, it's the sequel to the biggest film ever, people are gonna see it. Naw, I think Cameron is going down there to find some creatures that have never been seen before. Depending on how you feel about the guy he'll come back with some far out peaceful Pandora fishies or he'll get eaten alive by a Megalodon shark ( see below), which Steve Alten (He's a writer by the way, a fiction writer) thinks lies at the bottom of the pit. Either way, if he's coming back with anything, it's a bigger ego.

Which leads me to this brief next point. Once Cameron conquers the Oceans, there is only one place else to go : SPACE. And if you think NASA is going to stop him, you're wrong. No one is going to stop him, he's going to space and he's going to meet the aliens before any of us. I just hope they like Avatar better than the Hurt Locker otherwise there is going to be hell to pay.

September 14, 2010

UPDATE Happy Halo Reach Day

Last week I posted my exclusive sneak peek at the blockbuster video game HALO REACH and now there are no more exclusives because the game has been unleashed on the masses. My cousin Phil Bond reports that the Army was at his Best Buy passing out chips and salsa to the fans that were streaming into the store.  Not sure what I make of that. Either way, enjoy the very sweet live action Halo short above.

Renowed blogger Jay Judah tipped me off the video below....then he jetpacked away

September 13, 2010

Entourage Bests True Blood In Finale

I've been savoring "True Blood" all season. It was violent, trashy, sexy, full of supernatural creatures, and ridiculous southerners (aka rednecks). "Entourage" on the other hand was full of boring plots about Hollywood characters that I didn't really care about, but watched just because it was part of thislalife. But all that changed last night. "True Blood" was drenched in boring sangre and "Entourage" was high on drama.

"Entourage" has been on the air for seven years and with each season the show becomes more and more light weight. Oh no, Vince is losing money! It's OK he's still in a mansion surrounded by supermodels. E is having woman troubles, it's ok, Sloane is still in every other episode. There just was nothing at stake besides money. Until tonight. The season finale saw Vince's life implode in a drug binge. It was an intense urgent episde, and topped off by Ari's marriage melting down. This was well written drama and Adrian Grenier (Vince), Jeremy Piven (Ari), and Kevin Dillon (Drama) all delivered the acting goods. For once an episode ended with my friends not being like

"Entourage is so lame brah.....but Vince is the man dude"

"True Blood" on the other hand has been delivering the thrills for three seasons. This season saw vampires fighting werewolves, vampires ripping out people's spines, viking kings seeking vengeance, werepanthers (yes that is a werewolf panther) and some highly memorable characters (including my main man Franklin). Yet somehow all the momentum peaked in the second to last episode, leaving nothing but a blood drained body for a finale. Compared to last year's meat sacrifice showdown, there was no impending sense of closure, just lots of talking and Sookie being exceptionally unreasonable.

It's almost as if HBO gave us a weak finale for "True Blood" just so we're hungry for next weeks "Boardwalk Empire" which looks beyond awesome. See the trailer below.

September 9, 2010

What Exactly Is "Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters"

It is not a secret that Hollywood loves reboots. After "Batman Begins" set the world afire in 2005, Hollywood set forth to "reboot" the mega franchises. Bond, The Karate Kid, Star Trek, and the Hulk all have been re-launched. And now Hollywood has sight their sights on another legendary group of heroes - "Hansel & Gretel."

You read that right, those siblings that love candy architecture and baking witches are being rebooted. But this is not some PIXAR film, this is an ultra-violent hardcore action frenzy where Hansel & Gretel are grown up badasses who travel the land slaying witches while cussing up a storm. Directed by "Dead Snow" creator Tommy Wirkola, the script finds Hansel & Gretel taking care of business against a supremely evil witch and her minions. They use shotguns, crossbows, fists, and giant steam powered motorcycles with grappling hooks to do the deed. Yeah it's pretty crazy.

Today two interesting pieces of casting news broke regarding the titular characters. The first is that Hansel would be played by Jeremy Renner. Man, does Renner love action or does he love ACTION. Ever since he re-invented the American action star in "The Hurt Locker" the guy is only starring as a tough guy badass in his films. The line up includes the upcoming "The Town," "The Avengers," and "Mission Impossible 4." And with Hansel & Gretel his action streak continues, and I couldn't be more jazzed.

The other interesting casting nugget here is that Gretel would be played by Noomi Rapace. Now you might now her by her other name - Lisbeth Salander, aka "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo." I have seen "Dragon Tattoo" and Noomi really can bring it with the intensity, so I like the idea of her as a witch slayer. Still this would be an interesting first role to introduce her to a huge mainstream audience. Perhaps we are witnessing the birth of a brand new female action star?

Either way the project is shaping up to be a pretty damn wild. Oh, did I mention that Will Ferrell's company is producing?

September 6, 2010

2 Years Into THISLALIFE And I Still Haven't Met Arnold

Still Going Strong

Today marks the 2 year anniversary of It seems like yesterday, I was jobless, addicted to GTA IV and looking for a way to maintain my writing skills and searching an outlet to embed action movie clips on the internet. Now, I have a job and I'm still embedding videos and brainstorming ways I could meet Arnold. I want to take this next centered paragraph to do one thing


Thanks to all the people who've been reading, whether it's my parents, my friends, my co-workers, and those special people all around the globe who have stumbled upon my mad ramblings. Also thanks to all my friends that link to me on my twitter account and blow my writings up on other internet mediums. It's been a real treat and I assure you, that like Arnold, I have no plans of stopping.

Writing this site, I call it a site cause I have a domain name, is always a blast. It's particularly interesting to look it at as some type of a time capsule. So let's take a look back at some of my favorite posts.

Big Stars Small Dogs - This post is like the perfect storm of the internet. It's about Hollywood and Doggies, people are still reading and commenting on it to this day. I think it was the inclusion of this giant dog/horse/wolf/ewok thing that really pushed it over the edge

The 24 Points About 24 - A true pleasure and writing test week after week, or should I say hour after hour. Man I will miss this show.

TPG's Lost Compass - A good friend and avid reader in NYC encouraged me to write this piece each week. My only regret is that I didn't start earlier.

Quantum of Solace - I'm including this because I'm totally wrong in the post. It shows that my love of movies and hype sometimes is very poorly misplaced. Is Quantum of Solace as good as The Dark Knight? Helllllll nah! But I thought it would be when the first trailer came out. 

Meteor Shower - One of my rare serious introspective posts. A true pleasure to write.

The Nick & Norah - This is one where I tried to explain to my bros why I liked this chick flick. Not sure if we worked.

I hope that you all had a favorite post, feel free to leave it it the comments section below.

Happy Labor Day Weekend

This comes straight from the source, Mesch & Cod, legends in their own prospective kingdoms and occasional contributors to

September 1, 2010

Exclusive: Halo Reach Sneak Peek

Last night I had the privilege to sit down and play the upcoming xbox 360 mega-release "Halo:Reach" for about four hours. How I managed to do this is beyond me, but let's just say it involved secret pass codes, lasers, and disguised doors. Either way I got my hands on the most anticipated video game of the year and let's just say I was blown away. When this thing drops on September 14th, I will probably be playing until my hands go numb. It's very familiar but also incredibly new and wildly fun. So let's check out three things that really set it apart.

1. Custom Load Outs - Sure people know about these from the Beta, but I can't exaggerate how wild they make the multiplayer experience. You have people flying around on jetpacks, which creates a whole new wealth of possibilities. Thislalife readers will know that I really love jetpacks so having one that controls so easily in a game is a true gift. Also there is a hologram mode that creates a running copy of your character to distract other players. You will not believe how often you get fooled by this. Yes, it is exactly like that scene in Totall Recall

Sorry, I had to include the Total Recall song

2. Size of the Maps - The maps that I played on were not just enormous, they were tall. What does tall mean in a video game? Tall means that at one point I was on a structure looking down at ant Spartans, now there is not insect armor in the game, but I was so high up they looked so miniscule. This and the jet-packs lead to a whole new dimension of Halo Combat. It used to be the combat was rooted to the ground, side for an occasional banshee attack, but now each base has really really high points which just makes things crazier.

3. The Falcon - You see that helicopter ship thing in the background? That's called a Falcon and boy is it fun. Think of it like a warthog in the air. There is one driver in the front who controls it, on the side are two turrets where players can sit. When a player gets in the gunner position it goes into a Modern Warfare esque chopper gunner, first person view. I was playing with my buddy racking up points with this thing, I can only imagine what it's like with two gunners. By far this was my favorite thing about REACH.

All in all, this game is the real deal folks. Going back to Halo 3 after playing this is going to be tough, luckily I only have to wait about 2 weeks!