DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

You met me at a very strange time in my life...

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Darkmatters Review: Interstellar

Interstellar (12a)

Dir. Christopher Nolan

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.”

In the near future, things are going to get a bit grim for us humans on planet earth… We face an apocalypse of starvation thanks to the combined threats of crop blight and massive dust storms, which are robbing us of renewable agriculture and a viable future.

"day tripping"

Our last chance is to reach to the stars – to find a new planet that can support life and then somehow get us there – it’s a big ask. But step forward widower Cooper (Matthew ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ McConaughey) NASA test pilot and engineer turned farmer who is trying to make a living with his small family.

Cooper lives with his father-in-law Donald (John Lithgow), son Tom (Timothée Chalamet) and young daughter Murphy (Mackenzie Foy) —who he calls "Murph." There is also the possibility that their farmhouse is haunted by a ‘ghost’, which seems to be trying to communicate them somehow through gravitational pull.

Don’t worry too much about the plot though; Director Christopher ‘Inception’ Nolan and his brother Jonathan who co-writes here go large on the sci-fi mind bending metaphysics. Sure there’s Gravity-alike space peril and a pulse pounding race against time but Interstellar goes above (literally) and beyond in all directions.

"He's behind you"

In fact Nolan boldly goes where filmmakers like Ridley Scott, Stanley Kubrick and James Cameron have gone before, bringing his own genius to the final frontier. Aided and abetted by having a ‘stellar’ cast which includes not just great work by McConaughey but also Matt Damon, Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine.

The human elements are core to the story but the real ‘stars’ of the show are the stars themselves, well, stars, planets, space vistas and black hole event horizons. The visuals conjured up here are some of the most impressive ever to hit the big screen – and should be seen at the largest (IMAX if possible) cinema you can find.

Oh and it wouldn’t be right not to mention my favourite character – TARS (voiced by Bill Irwin) - a marine robot who packs lots of handy functions and a gleefully sarcastic humour setting. It is TARS that comes out with lots of the film’s best lines and many references to other sci-fi films including 2001’s HAL 9000.

"great view"

Interstellar really deserves repeated viewings, remember, mankind's next step will be our greatest.

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(5 - In space no-one can hear your jaw drop!)

Awesomeness ööööö – incredible sci-fi epic-ness

Laughs öööö – TARS is a stand up comic genius

Horror öö – mind stretching but not too grim

Babes ööö – Anne Hathaway looks good even with helmet hair

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - are we alone?

Recommended Hashtags: #ItsFullOfStars

"Space Cadet Anne Hathaway"

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Darkmatters Review: Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler (15)

Dir. Dan Gilroy

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Read the Luton News version of this review: The Luton News

“My motto is, 'if you want to win the lottery, you have to make the money to buy a ticket.'"

Hello there, I’m Nightcrawler, Lou (Jake Gyllenhaal) – no not the blue skinned teleporting X-man – but a freelance crime journalist. I’m the guy who gets to crime scenes and films as soon as possible after getting tipped off by my police scanner. If I can tape the gory details with my camcorder there’s a good chance I can sell them on to a TV news station.

"messy work"

Yes my methods are frowned upon by many people – I mean if you’re dying from a car crash or mugging attack, I'm sure the last thing you’ll want to see is my standing over you filming your final moments but everyone loves inside scoops on crimes and accidents don’t they?

At the moment I'm in a bit of a pickle, I hit the mother lode when I got to a home invasion-murder scene before the police. I even managed to capture footage of killers leaving the scene… so my life could be in danger but then again, I possibly might just be a hero here and bag the best ever ‘live crime footage’ into the bargain!?

Nightcrawler is the stunning debut film by Director Dan Gilroy and he has created an impressive pulse pounding terror ride that feels like a cross between American Psycho, Drive and Broadcast News. Gyllenhaal is just incredible in the lead role, a walking overdose of unhinged energy, manic determination and charismatic vigour.

"Psycho face"

Watching Lou get ever closer to the very crimes he is recording is truly unnerving and when the line between observer and participant begins to be crossed, all bets are off.

The rest of the cast that include Bill Paxton as a rival crime journalist, Riz Ahmed as Lou’s long suffering employee and Rene Russo as the TV broadcaster who buys Lou’s footage are all on top form too.

Nothing can adequately prepare you for the dark heart that throbs throughout this film. Not for the faint of heart, there are disturbing scenes and violence and adult themes throughout but if looking for a powerful thriller that will blow you away, there isn’t anything else out there like this.

"tools of the trade"

I can honestly say that the climactic 20 minutes of Nightcrawler are potentially the tensest I’ve experienced, I left the cinema with sweaty palms and a grin on my face.

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(5 - The City Shines Brightest at Night)

Awesomeness ööööö – scary and compulsive, must see thrills

Laughs öööö – deranged dark humour

Horror öööö – nasty and gory in places

Babes ööö – Russo is still hot

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - the human soul can be a place of darkness

Recommended Hashtags: #NightcrawlerDarker

Russo in her 'iconic' days

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Darkmatters Review: FURY

Fury (15)

Dir. David Ayer

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Read the newspaper version of this review at: The Luton News

“Here's a Bible verse I think about sometimes. Many times. It goes: And I heard the voice of Lord saying: Whom shall I send and who will go for Us? And... I said: Here am I, send me…” 
Boyd ‘Bible’ Swan

It’s April 1945 and the Allies are making their final push into Germany pushing through unprecedented fierce resistance after Hitler declares ‘total war’ where every man, woman and child must fight to the end.

Meet battle-hardened U.S. sergeant Don "Wardaddy" Collier (Brad Pitt) who commands a Sherman tank nicknamed ‘FURY’ with a five-man crew: Boyd ‘Bible’ Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Trini ‘Gordo’ Garcia (Michael Pena), Grady ‘Coon-Ass’ Travis (Jon Bernthal) and fresh to the battle Norman ‘Machine’ Ellison (Logan Lerman).

"tank overcrowding"

The FURY crew are dispatched alongside several other tanks on a deadly mission behind enemy lines to take and hold a key crossroads in order to try and prevent a force of 300 odd SS Nazis breaking the allied supply lines to the front.

Needless to say, things don’t go to plan and before you can say ‘last tank stand’ the heroic FURY crew find themselves impossibly out-numbered and out-gunned on all sides.

Director David ‘End of Watch’ Ayer delivers an epic valour drenched tale that will stand as a classic war movie up there with Saving Private Ryan and A Bridge Too Far. It is bit unnerving though that this director can be responsible for both this staggering master-piece and the truly terrible Arnie vehicle ‘Sabotage’ within a year of each other!?

"light em up"

FURY is an incredible, draining, thrilling and horrifying exposition of a terrible period in our history – viewed authentically through the eyes of the tank crew who we get to know and experience the full force of the emotional rollercoaster of such extreme circumstances.

Brad Pitt is excellent in the lead role, and he is superbly supported by the other four men who he shares the cramped confines of the tank with, each brings their own personality effectively to the screen. This makes us care all the more when the crew are thrown into a desperate fight to the finish.

The battle action is breathtakingly ferocious. The sight of FURY with literally every gun blazing is likely to be one that you will never forget. In fact there are many iconic scenes that elevate this far above any standard military drama.

FURY is a must see tribute to the brave men who fought and died for our freedom.

"Pitt ' furious'"

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4.5 - Ideals are peaceful. History is violent)

Awesomeness ööööö – unforgettable battle scenes and male bonding

Laughs öö – limited mirth

Horror öööö – War is hell

Babes ööö – Alicia von Rittberg makes a yummy Kraut

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - Heroism changes history

Recommended Hashtags: #BattleFURY

"Alicia von Rittberg"

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Darkmatters Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (12a)

Dir. Jonathan Liebesman

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Read the newspaper version of this review in the Biggleswade Chronicle

“Crime, violence and fear have run rampant. Our great city is being destroyed. People want justice restored to this world. People want heroes… But heroes are not born, they're created.”

A darkness has spread across New York City. The people are scared, and with good cause… An evil supervillian named ‘Shredder’ (Tohoru Masamune) is waging a campaign of fear and intimidation using his army of soldiers called the ‘Foot Clan’.

With even the authorities at a loss as to how to protect the city, four unlikely vigilantes rise from the sewers and begin to take the fight back to Shredder and his minions. These ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ are lab grown superheroes namely Leonardo (voiced by Johnny Knoxville), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), Donatello (Jeremy Howard), and Raphael (Alan Ritchson) led by a ninja sensei rat called Splinter (voiced by Tony Shalhoub).

"spot the odd one out?"

So it’s game on as the Turtles team up with fearless sexy reporter April O'Neil (Megan Fox) and her clueless cameraman Vernon Fenwick (Will Arnett) to try and save the city and unravel Shredder's diabolical plans.

Cue some eye-popping set pieces as the Turtles bring the noise in terms of battles, chases and cracking funnies. The special effects used breathe life into these ‘heroes in a half shell’ are top notch – allowing each to have a personality and kick total ass with their various ninja weapons.

Along the way William Fictner pops up in a fairly preposterous key role which he delivers in the style of a budget Christopher Walken. Fox doesn’t have much to do except wear tight sweaters and bend over for the camera at strategic points – her contribution for female empowerment cannot be underrated. But the Turtles themselves command viewers attention throughout, moving and fighting like lean green reptilian bad asses even if their ‘brotastic’ banter feels a bit fake from time to time.

"Who you gonna call?"

There are already plans afoot for at least two more Turtle films that will continue the series – and bring back more elements of the universe such as Dimension X and Krang… And as this reboot is fast approaching $400million worldwide it, you should expect turtle power to be around for some time.

As someone carrying some nostalgia for the original TMNT movie and cartoon series, I’m please to report that there is enough fun, not too violent violence and pizza fixation to make this new ‘Michael Bay-ed’ version worth checking out.

"The human side of the team"

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(3 - Mean green turtle fun )

Awesomeness ööö – Action packed origin tale with smooth CGI

Laughs ööö – Some well worked laughs

Horror öö – Sanitised violence a go go

Babes ööö – Fox is still smokin hot

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - Heroic hearts beat in many species...

Recommended Hashtags: #TMNTver2

"Classic TMNT artwork"

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Darkmatters Review: The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner (12a)

Dir. Wes Ball

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Read the Newspaper version of this review over at The Leighton Buzzard Observer

“I am sure by now you all must be very confused... angry, frightened. I can only assure you that everything that's happened to you... it was all done for a reason.”

Meet sixteen-year-old Thomas (Dylan ‘The Internship’ O'Brien), he’s your average cute teen – one day in the near future - for unexplained reasons he wakes up in a strange elevator with absolutely no memory of who he is…

The elevator delivers Thomas into a strange green clearing ringed with massive walls that form an intricate maze. This is a place known as ‘The Glade’ and it is led by a charismatic older teen chap named Alby (Aml ‘Kidulthood’ Ameen), who marshals a group of other boys, all stuck in the heart of this ever-changing labyrinth with dreams of escape.

"Ooh - they let a girl in!?"

That’s pretty much all you need to know plot wise – from the opening set up this is a dystopian Hunger Games alike survival challenge based on the Best Selling novel series by James Dashner.
So it’s game on to see who will survive or if any of the rag-tag bunch of boys can actually find an exit? The group include Alby’s 2nd in command Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), ‘maze runners’ Ben (Chris Sheffield) and Minho (Ki Hong Lee) and black sheep of the group Gally (Will ‘We’re The Millers’ Poulter).

The Maze itself has a dark side and no one has ever survived spending a night in its dark confines, which is why the boys have established a workable community in the Glade. Instead they dispatch ‘runners’ to probe and map the labyrinthine maze in the hope of finding a way out. Standing between the guys and any hope of escape though are a group of semi mechanical spider like monsters that are equipped with giant scorpion like stingers who patrol the maze.

"The boys"

To complicate matters further not long after Thomas’s arrival the first ever girl is delivered to the Glade and apparently she recognizes and has some link to Thomas. This girl is named Teresa (upcoming British actress Kaya ‘Moon’ Scodelario), and she brings two syringes filled with a mysterious substance. The ‘Gladers’ find out that these syringes actually carry a cure for the spider monsters (which they call Grievers).

There's much running about, some fighting and teenage angst dialogue in a vaguely Lord of the Flies kinda way. Even with a 'Piggy' substitute in the chubby form of Chuck (Blake Cooper), who lets face it... will be lucky to see the end credits roll...

The Maze Runner delivers some pretty ‘a-maze-ing’ solid teen-friendly future thrills, which are worth checking out and if you like it you’ll be delighted to know that the sequel is already in production.

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(3.5 - like temple run but for real)

Awesomeness ööö – Good action and seemless CGI

Laughs öö – Some lite relief

Horror ööö – The Grievers are bit grim

Babes ööö – Scodelario is lovely

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - Testing survival instincts

Recommended Hashtags: #RUN

"Kaya Scodelario"

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Darkmatters Review: Gone Girl

Gone Girl (18)

Dir. David Fincher

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Read the newspaper version of this review at The Luton News
- other Darkmatters David Fincher Movie reviews: Zodiac (which was quoted by The Guardian),
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

" As you all know, my wife, Amy Elliot Dunn, disappeared three days ago. I had nothing to do with the disappearance of my wife. I have nothing to hide…”

Prepare for a scorching crime thriller that cuts through lies and pretense to the unsavoury secrets at the heart of a very modern marriage. Directed by David ‘Se7en’ Fincher, Gone Girl has been written for the screen by Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the best selling novel and it’s awesomely dark.

"worried partner or killer?"

The plot revolves around Nick Dunne (Ben ‘new Batman’ Affleck) who on the day of his 5th Wedding Anniversary reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund ‘Jack Reacher’ Pike), has gone missing. But things quickly start to look dodgy for Nick as clues come to light that paint him as not just a potential suspect – but the main one.

Under pressure from the police and growing media frenzy, Nick's portrait of a blissful relationship begins to crumble. Soon his deceits and slightly unexpected behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne actually kill his wife?

"she's over there - hiding in the bath!"

Affleck and Pike deliver fascinatingly watchable performances that demand your attention for the whole of the two and half hour running time. The plot (which it would be a crime to spoil for you) jumps back and forth with clever flashbacks and truly unnerving twists; your allegiance will be cleverly manipulated several times before the credits role. There are some strong supporting roles from Neil Patrick Harris as Amy’s deranged, seriously wealthy first boyfriend, the lovely Emily ‘Blurred Lines’ Ratajkowski and Tyler ‘Alex Cross’ Perry as Nick’s hot-shot lawyer.

Fincher is a master filmmaker and Gone Girl is a classy addition to his cannon of work. Everything is meticulously presented, and a superb sense of unease and creeping dread drips from the screen. The 18 rating is due mostly to one incredibly lurid and violent scene which brought gasps of shock from the audience I caught this with, but overall this is such an incredible ‘did-he-do-it-or-not-em-up?’ that even squeamish crime lovers should put this on their ‘must see’ list.

"happier times"

If you’re married, Gone Girl may well make you look at your partner in a very different way… The questions of just ‘how do you know what someone else is thinking, planning, scheming?’ will echo around your head after witnessing this twisted tale.

Are you living with a sociopath?

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(5 - Expertly constructed thrill ride)

Awesomeness ööööö – Gripping and mesmerising

Laughs öö – Couple of funny moments

Horror öööö – 'that scene' will stay with you...

Babes öööö – Rosamund Pike is still lovely plus Emily ‘Blurred Lines’ Ratajkowski

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - Till death us do part?

Recommended Hashtags: #TrustYourPartner?

"what is she actually thinking?"

"Emily ‘Blurred Lines’ Ratajkowski's former 'acting'"

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Darkmatters Review: The Guest

The Guest (15)

Dir. Adam Wingard

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Be careful who you let in…”

Adam ‘You're Next’ Wingard reanimates the spirit of the 80's with this slick action/horror thriller that sees impossibly sexy David (Dan Stevens of 'Downton Abbey' fame) as a mysterious ex-war hero who calls at the family home of his friend who was killed in combat.

But this David might not be who he is claiming and before you can say ‘don’t trust him’ pretty soon people connected to the family are dying… Yes, The Guest (written by Simon Barrett) is an engaging mix of John Carpenter alike cheap thrills, mixed with some truly kick ass action, all held together by the superbly charismatic Stevens who seems to really relish letting rip in a very different role here.

"friend or foe?"

What makes this much better than similar ‘stranger danger’ flicks is that it gleefully fuses multiple genres – revenge-em-up, psycho thriller, Arnie-eque shooter and even Captain America style super solider adventure – just one with some serious trust issues.

The set pieces are excellent offering up crunching violence, OTT titillation and some very funny moments, all set to a cool ‘Drive’ like synth soundtrack. This is the sort of movie that made BlockBuster (RIP) so successful in the VHS heyday.

"do you want fries with that?"

The rest of the cast provides admirable cannon fodder for David to chew through. Up and coming newcomers Maika Monroe and Brendan Meyer even steal some of their scenes as the children of David’s adoptive family. Lance Reddick pops up as a shadowy secret service operative towards the end on a mission to try and take David down –which sets up a nice climactic showdown.

My friend Tom who I saw this with was smitten with a serious man crush on Stevens, whose perfectly groomed stubble and twinkly blue eyes put him very much in the Ryan Gosling mold of leading men.

"this shot is for Tom"

The Guest is the perfect combination of old-school and cutting edge which delivers a wicked fun night out.

Everything cracks along at an enjoyable pace, and the plot builds its twist up well even if it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The writer / director team of Barrett and Wingard are worth keeping a eye on – having made a superb full on horror with You’re Next and a creepy satisfying thriller with The Guest, I’m already anticipating what they might serve up next.

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - Be our guest!!)

Awesomeness ööööö – crunching 80's action horror a go go

Laughs öö – amusing in parts

Horror ööö – gets a little nasty

Babes öööö – Maika Monroe

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - Trust issues can be justified

Recommended Hashtags: #TastyGuest

"Maika Monroe is going to be a star!"

Darkmatters Review: A Private Man

A Private Man 

Dirs. Paul Wade, Simon Wade

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Prepare for a trip to the edge...

What happens when loner repairman (Matthew 'Waking the Dead' Jure) lets his voyeuristic tendencies get the better of him?

Well, how about creeping madness, obsession and potential danger?

Yes - dark things are afoot (or are they?) when a seemingly innocuous elderly tenant (Paul 'Hot Fuzz' Freeman) moves into the building... Just what is in the big stage box he brings in - and even more worryingly - why has he put three locks on one of the internal door, behind which are half glimpsed movements and utter darkness?

Part David Lynch-esque nightmare, part Hitchcock-alike slow burn tension nail biter, A Private Man is a quality nerve jangling viewing experience that went down very well at the select advance screening in Hitchin.

The Wade brothers (Paul and Simon) have created a stylish, slick and disturbing new short film that firmly puts them on the map as film-makers to watch.

Everything about A Private Man just works, the cinematography is tight and often startling - creative angles and clever shots are used to eerie effect. And speaking of 'eerie' the minimal dialogue and unnerving soundscape combine to instil a creeping dread. Think a condensed mash up of feeling that were evoked by a mixture of Eraser Head, The Double and the excellent 'Freeze Frame' which showed us Lee Evans' psycho side in 2004.

A Private Man is shot through with moments of humour, some interesting moral questions and a chilling climax that will stay with you.

Matthew Jure is superb in the lead, his expressive face was made to be bathed in the bluish nano-ray light. It is a joy to witness his illicit interest in the various tenants and the he sucks the viewers in to want him to risk everything to try and find out what veteran actor Freeman is hiding.

Highly recommended, this is one to seek out.

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - a 'must see' short film)

Recommended Hashtags: #WhatsBehindTheDoor

Link: A Private Man on IMDB

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Darkmatters Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy (12a)

Dir. James Gunn

Reviewed by Matt ‘Star-Lord’ Adcock

“I come from Earth, a planet of outlaws. My name is Peter Quill. There's one other name you may know me by. ‘Star-Lord’.”

Prepare to be blown away by the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’!! Yes Marvel Comics’ new fantasy sci-fi feel good summer smash hits the screen from relative obscurity to go toe-to-toe with The Avengers as the best super hero team the world has ever seen…

"meet the team!"

The Guardians are: Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), an eccentric wisecracking maverick with more than little ‘Han Solo’ about him, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), is a walking female weapon with slinky looks, green skin and a host of deadly martial arts skills. The team’s comedy double act are bounty hunting genetically enhance raccoon Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and his muscle Groot (Vin Diesel) who is in fact a walking sentient tree. Finally there’s Drax (WCW’s Dave Batista) who is a violent rogue looking to avenge the death of his family.

Director James ‘Super’ Gunn should be applauded for taking a risk on this lesser known and slightly outlandish comic book tale. He delivers over and above the expectations – confidently using a huge budget and quality actors like Glen Close and Benicio Del Toro in cameo roles.

"wanted - at a cinema near you!"

The action is crunching and satisfying but not overly gruesome, the special effects are jaw dropping (especially in IMAX 3D) and the script crackles with well-observed humour (the Kevin Bacon references are especially hilarious if you’re of an age to remember his Footloose days). There is excellent chemistry between the characters that all seem to be having a great time delivering the sci-fi action film of the year.

The plot revolves around an ‘Infinity Stone’ - a source of unstoppable power – which is craved by evil alien warlord Ronan (Lee Pace) who plans to wipe the central planet of cosmos. He’s in league with major league Marvel baddie Thanos (Josh Brolin) – who popped up in the after credit scene of The Avengers / which also paves the way for a possible superhero team up of epic proportions…

"Nice spaceship"

But back to Guardians, this is just an insanely fun and highly entertaining two-hours which every comic book fan on the planet needs to see. It’s really rare that a film lives up to the hype but Guardians of the Galaxy sets new standards for superhero-em-up adventures – and is destined for immediate cult-classic status.

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(5 - Don’t deny yourself this incredible cinematic super treat!)

Awesomeness ööööö – some many jaw-dropping moments

Laughs öööö – very funny, very well judged

Horror öö – not too nasty

Babes öööö – green girlfriend anyone?

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - some things are worth fighting for

Recommended Hashtags: #You'reWelcome

"so scoundrels like you come here often?"

"Karen Gillan - gives good baldy baddie"

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Darkmatters Review: The Purge Anarchy

The Purge: Anarchy (15)

Dir. James DeMonaco

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

"Traffic is building rapidly downtown…we advise you to get off the streets as quickly as possible. It'll soon be a war out there."

Imagine 2023 - crime is almost non-existent, homelessness and unemployment are below 5% and people value their very lives… This is the near future of The Purge: Anarchy, where thanks to an annual 12 hour period of sanctioned lawlessness – the poor are preyed upon, the defenceless are wiped out and the psychotic get to unleash and sate their bloodlust.

"your purge mates..."

The barbaric Purge initiative was introduced by the ruling party called ‘The New Founding Fathers’ – and despite the sheer utterly immorality of authorising mass murder, it seems to be getting results. But there are some who are planning to fight back and before the end of the night things may well be rather different.

This follows up last year’s The Purge taking the story to the streets rather than staying in the confines of a household – and the payoff is a wilder, nastier kinetic night of madness. We get to experience the macabre events through the eyes of a small bunch of people who find themselves on the streets and vulnerable due to various reasons.

"not a nice night for a walk"

Eva (Carmen Ejogo) is a poor waitress, trying to look after her sick father Rico (John Beasley) and teenage daughter Cali (Zoe Soul). Meanwhile Shane (Zach Gilford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez) are an average couple on the verge of breaking up when their car breaks down leaving them stranded miles from their home, being tracked by a masked group of weapon toting thugs.
Finally meet Leo (Frank Grillo), he’s a man driven to violence who is packing a small arsenal and who seems to be on a mission of his own.

When this random group cross paths, all their lives will change as the Purge night is one that few trapped outside survive. Step forward for murder, mayhem and tension on a whole new scale. Oh and throw in the fact that the government may actually have their own kill teams on the streets targeting poor districts and you get a Hunger Games element to the mix.

"somebody call Mad Max?"

Writer / Director James DeMonaco certainly builds on the mythos he created with the original film and expands the twisted concept in all directions. Taking the carnage outside gives the heightened sense of ‘what would you do?’ especially as not everyone will potentially get to meet a tooled up hero such as Leo (who pretty much steals the whole movie with his Mad Max-esq lead role).

There are likely to be more Purges to come…

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - Recommended for sickos!)

Awesomeness öööö – exciting and tense moments aplenty

Laughs öö – dark humour present but not much

Horror ööö – nasty in places

Babes öö – limited

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - inner bloodlust (nature or nuture?)

Recommended Hashtags: #AnAmericanTradition

"The NFFA are watching"

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Darkmatters Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (12a)

Dir. Matt Reeves

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Read the newspaper version of this review over at: The Hemel Gazette

“Apes, together, strong!”

Sci-Fi classics really aren’t what they used to be… Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the latest to get the Hollywood re-envisioning as a follow up to the excellent 'Rise of the Planet of Apes.'

Director Matt ‘Let Me In’ Reeves brings his AAA game to this sequel, which sees the story pick up ten years after lab boosted intelligent simians slipped the shackles of their human oppressors and escaped in the woodlands near San Francisco.

"we come in peace..."

Whilst the super-monkeys led by Caesar (Andy Serkis) were building an impressive treetop homestead, we humans have been having a bad time of it… Simian flu has wiped out many of us and those who survived have turned to a lawless ramble fighting over dwindling resources. So 'Dawn' takes us into an ape-pocalyptic future where the balance of power has shifted – and details what happens when the human remnant of San Francisco accidentally run into monkey territory – cue a knife edge potential for all out ape / human war…

The first thing that hits you when watching ‘Dawn’ is that the CGI effects have moved on to a whole new level. These monkeys are absolutely works of art – the real craftsmanship on display that uses painstaking motion-capture is something you really have to see on the biggest screen you can find. And I’m not a fan of 3D movies generally, but this one works a treat, giving impressive depth to the visuals and never trying the ‘oh watch out it’s coming out the screen’ cheap shots.

"last chance to be pals"

‘Dawn’ pulls you in to the horribly escalating conflict, then delivers a full on visceral showdown – where the victor is uncertain and the battle footage deeply unsettling. There is a beating heart of emotion that makes you really relate to characters on both sides of the conflict. I’d never have thought I’d be moved watching two apes interact…

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a master-class on how to recreate a film series, improving on every single element of the source material. We can finally put the memory of Tim Burton’s messy attempt away and revel in what is a new simian master race of sci-fi entertainment.

The acting, special effects and storytelling result in an astonishing cinematic achievement.

"horses on the apes side..."

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4.5 - Superior monkey business all round!)

Awesomeness öööö – some many jaw-dropping moments

Laughs ööö – funny where you want it

Horror ööö – gritty conflict

Babes öö – hairy girlfriend anyone?

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - apes longing for souls?

Recommended Hashtags: #LastChanceForPeace

"Keri Russell - a survivor"

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