I have a feeling that Mr and Mrs Smith is going to be great fun. The trailer is excellent, Brad and Angelina look like they have real chemistry and I love Doug Liman's films to date (especially Swingers and Go).
See the trailer for yourself by clicking here: Mr and Mrs Smith
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Sunday, May 29, 2005
"Good looking... forever!?"
House of Wax (15)
Dir. Jaume Collet-Serra
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Imagine for a moment regaining consciousness and finding that something is very wrong; you can’t seem to move anything except your eyes. You’re sitting in a big room filled with lots of other people but none of them are moving either – could it be that they, like you, are entombed in a coating of wax awaiting a slow death?
Not necessarily, it could be that you’re actually in a cinema and you’ve just dropped off during the first 45 minutes of House of Wax, which is absolutely bog standard ‘teens about to become psycho fodder’ build up.
Yes in this update / loose remake of the 1953 Vincent Price ‘shocker classic’ some things have changed (we get a much dumber and prettier cast – embodied by Paris ‘One Night In…’ Hilton) but some remain – namely there are still some psychotic nuts who like to take people and cover them in wax…
Is it any good? Well, that completely depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re seeking attractive young people meeting incredibly gruesome deaths for no reason other than stumbling into the wrong town, then House of Wax might well be your cup of tea. If however you’re not into sadistic violence or just looking for a film with a decent plot then you should move a long as there is nothing but grisly ‘killing by numbers’ on offer here. And I’m not kidding about the grisliness – Director Jaume Serra goes all out to depict some of the most gut wrenching death and torture scenes ever in a 15 rated film. You’ll never look at a tube of superglue, a pair of pliers or a waxwork sculpture in the same way again!
To be fair Elisha ‘Girl Next Door’ Cuthbert does try her best and Miss Hilton manages to raise some interest by shedding most of her clothes before dying. But as my esteemed co-critic Matt Landsman noted: “House of Wax was just Texas Chainsaw Massacre with more wax” and he’s got a point.
The killers in House of Wax are unlikely to become horror icons – in fact you could almost imagine them in court claiming that they were just ‘over enthusiastic model makers’ and thanks to the very average U.S. box office for Wax, I don’t imagine we’ll have to suffer a sequel. For an altogether better cinematic experience, may I suggest Sin City which is the very definition of ‘cool’ – more on that next week…
Darkmatt Rating: öö (the sicker you are, the more stars you'll probably give it!)
Reviews of other films and stuff you might want to read indexed here
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Friday, May 27, 2005
"I'm scared Dave and pretty soon - you will be too!!!"
SONY Patent Emotions...
Sony Entertainment is, even while you read this, trying to obtain a patent for a device which will activate specific emotions in the brain. The device will adjust neurons in the brain so people can play games or watch movies whilst having their emotions - fear, adrenaline etc manipulated in order to “maximize” the experience.
Imagine movies and computer games in which you get to smell, taste and perhaps even feel things... That's the tantalising prospect raised by this patent. The technique suggested is (you'll be gald to hear) entirely non-invasive. It describes a device that fires pulses of ultrasound at the head to modify firing patterns in targeted parts of the brain, creating "sensory experiences" ranging from moving images to tastes and sounds. This could give blind or deaf people the chance to see or hear too - or so they claim...
No - I don't want to even think about how this technology might used to enhance the enjoyment of watching certain films cough *One Night In Paris* cough... Do you think they are looking for testers??
Darkmatters: H O M E
Thursday, May 26, 2005
"Dr Quantum versus traditional thought?"
Matt Adcock Meets Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D
What the Bleep Do We Know!? is a documentary film that opened across the UK this week to very mixed reactions. It asks the audience to consider fundamental questions like: What am I doing here? What are thoughts made of? What is reality? It approaches these questions from the arena of Quantum Physics. And because - to quote Stephen Hawkings: “To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit,” I decided to interview one of the main ‘experts’ from the film, Quantum Physicist Fred Alan Wolf.
Fred Alan Wolf is a physicist, writer, and lecturer who earned his Ph.D. in theoretical physics at UCLA in 1963. His work in quantum physics and consciousness is well known through his popular and scientific writing. He is the author of eleven books including ‘Taking the Quantum Leap’.
What The Bleep!? has just become the 3rd largest grossing documentary film ever, why do you think it is proving so popular?
“What seems to have occurred is a recycling of something which began in the 1960s, when a new kind of spirituality began to emerge. People got fed up with the old way of thinking. The audience for What the Bleep!? consists of some of those folks, who are now in their 50s and 60s, and also a lot of young people, who see something very promising in this movie, that are fed up with the old religious ways and teachings, and they see something new here. The idea that quantum physicists are saying these things is for this new audience startling. We always thought that physicists never talked about such things as this, that spirituality and god were out of the equation. That combination of things hit a marketplace that had probably been there but has largely been ignored. I think there is this is a great silent majority interested in spiritual issues.”
Spiritual issues such as: ‘is there a God?’
“It seems to me, depending on how you want to define god (which is by nature indefinable) that there is god – there is no question about it in my mind. I can answer this question in the affirmative because the mind plays such a roll in the way the development of the universe proceeds. If there was no god / no mind consciousness then the question of god would be moot – who would want to know? What difference would it make if there is or isn’t… But if there is a god, then he has to play a role in the universe.”
What are your thoughts on religion?
“Organised religions are bound to occur, it is part of nature to want to organise itself and it’s part of consciousness to define structures. So both the positive and negative of all organisations must manifest. Religion does us a great disservice when it professes to be ‘the answer’ rather than ‘an answer with truth’.”
What would you say is ‘ultimate reality’?
“Everything is relative and human perception is always subject to error or ‘misperception’. Our thinking is never perfect and so it is only the foolish that entertain the idea that they have it ‘right’ and everyone else have it ‘wrong’…”
How did you become involved in What the Bleep!?
“The film-makers William Arntz, Betsy Chasse and Mark Vicente, came to me because they’d read my books and they later asked me if I would be in the movie. At that time they didn’t know they were going to be using actors like Marlee Matlin and Armin Shimerman. That was a side-thought. At the beginning they were going to be doing a documentary about quantum physics. Their ingenuity and imagination put this film together. To me it’s one of the most ingenious films made in the last century. It became a movie, which is a feeling experience for the audience, and that’s what all movies should be.”
What are you working on next?
“I have a number of projects that I’ve put on the back burner, because I’m so busy doing public appearances for What the Bleep? I’ve created a character called Dr Quantum, and I have a new set of audio CDs called ‘Dr Quantum presents a user’s guide to your universe’, and a set in the autumn called ‘Dr Quantum presents a little book of big ideas’. “
Would you say that ‘The Force’ of Star Wars fame is really quantum physics in action?
“To me ‘The Force’ is the quantum fuel of possibilities, the great field that bathes us - the mind of god is another metaphor for it… It’s what Jesus Christ referred to as ‘my Father’s house of many mansions’.“
You mentioned Jesus there – who do you think he was?
“My thoughts are that there probably have been and will continue to be a lot of ‘Jesus types’ arising. The thing is that Christianity has a political interest in maintaining a single one ‘who died for our sins’ – but I believe there are other ways of thinking that we must be open to. I believe that every human being knows something of spiritual value without being told, we can sense it and to be told that there is only one individual who has that quality and that the rest of us don’t is a disservice to the amazing journey we are on called humanity. It’s not so much that I object to Christianity but I think it needs to expand itself.”
Finally, if you were about to die, what would be your last thought?
“Well, the way I see it is that the ‘I’ never dies. Consciousness will always be present and I don’t think that will ever ‘fade away’. I see my job as continual, to repeat again and again to help free people who are chained by their thinking process.”
Thank you for your time
My review of What The Bleep Do We Know!?
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
And so as Star Wars mania slowly subsides over the next few weeks – I think it’s only right that we take a few moments in solemn contemplation and thanksgiving for Slave Girl Leia – and we can only wonder what might have been if Natalie Portman had turned up for Padme duty in her table dancing ‘Closer’ outfit by mistake!?
Above is a small gallery of Leia appreciation – if you have a better Leia photo, please feel free to leave a link in the comment section below…
"Matt's 'repeat play' of the week"
British Sea Power - will blow you away!!
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
you might be as surprised as I was to find out that it rocks!!
If you like this track – then there will be an EP out later this year, in the mean time you can probably find She’s into Star Wars on Itunes, Rhapsody, and Napster…
Monday, May 23, 2005
"Miss Holmes... step this way..."
Sunday, May 22, 2005
"OK, you can have your Ong Bak!!"
Dir. Prachya Pinkaew
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Ok, so you’re a highly trained monk who has studied the ancient way of the Muay Thai Warrior. Your body is a honed killing machine and your mind exercises a great sense of single purpose. So, what exactly would it take to make you flip out and risk your life fighting hundreds of tooled up criminals, several hard as nails prize fighters and some drug enhanced super warriors?
A. Someone looked at you funny and maybe spilt your pint?
B. Your family were brutally murdered?
C. Somebody nicked off with the head of your villages statue?
Basically, it doesn’t matter – Ong-Bak is a film that exists for one reason alone: stunning, crunching fight scenes!!
Hero Ting (Phanom Yeerum or Tony Jaa as he’s being marketed in the West) is the monk in question who takes the task of finding the thieves who steal the head of his villages Buddha. Actually ‘finding and beating the living daylights out of them’ is a more accurate description. If you’re in the mood for to see the best martial arts fights since Bruce Lee strutted his stuff, then Ong-Bak should be the film you seek. Jaa is a sensation, he doesn’t use stunt doubles, computer enhanced effects or even ‘Crouching Tiger’ style wires to make him look good in a fight, he’s the real deal. I’ve never seen a bloke look quite so dangerous, he oozes ‘ability to beat you to a pulp without breaking a sweat’ vibes that guys like Van Damme or Steven Seagal could only ever dream of. In fact, if Ong-Bak doesn’t make you want to find the nearest low life and deliver a ‘Monkey Climbing Heavy Tree’ double knee / elbow smash to the head then I’d ask for your ‘Ong’ back…
The director (Prachya Pinkaew) keeps the tempo up with some genuinely funny chase scenes, a little light love interest and a sidekick comic called ‘Dirty Balls’. He also cheekily courts a collaboration with a more well known director by having messages like “Luc Besson we are waiting for you” and "Hi Spielberg, let's do it together" blatantly written on walls which the action passes.
Ong-Bak is a powerful calling card, alerting the world to the presence of an amazing talent and it would be a crime if Tony Jaa didn’t move up to become Hollywood’s first choice kung fu ass kicker. Now I must go and meditate before practicing my ‘Strangling the Great Elephant’ moves – you can never be too careful!!
Darkmatt Rating: ööö (beating never looked as good as this)
Saturday, May 21, 2005
"read my blog you must..."
As new comes in that 'Revenge of the Sith' has shattered the single day record on Thursday with $50,013,859, eclipsing 'Shrek 2' and 'Spider-Man 2' ... I came across another Star Wars novelty blog (much in the same vein as Lord Vader's which I love).
Yoda it is that also writes a blog and really funny it is!! Read it for your self here: Yoda Blog
Click here to read Darth Vader's Blog!!
Thursday, May 19, 2005
In a galaxy far, far away, well London, the room grows still, a palpable sense of anticipation is almost causing electric Force power to crackle off the walls, I hold my breath and then… in walks George Lucas, the Jedi Master himself. Star Wars has made more than $12.4 billion from box office takings and merchandise, sold over 130 million videos and been responsible for bringing sci fi to the masses like no other film saga. Now the final prequel ‘Revenge of the Sith’ is playing to packed cinemas the world over – I ask him how much pressure did he feel trying to deliver a final Star Wars film that would meet expectations?
Lucas: “Ultimately I had to just try and to make the movie that I started out to make. Fortunately the whole thing was written, the story was done and the style was decided before the first Star Wars film was successful. Of course Star Wars was always designed to be the tragedy of Darth Vader.”
Lucas: “I would say probably Luke. That's where it started and he's a poor farm boy like I was, who went off to fight in the Galactic wars!”
And which episode was your favourite to make?
Lucas: “These films are like my children, so don’t ask me which one I like the best. But the first one is always the toughest one because you don't know what's going on, you're confused, it's up to this poor little baby to teach you how to be a parent, and you have to learn as you go. Everything is a drama, you worry about every little thing and it drives you nuts… Especially when they turn into teenagers! But by the time you get to the last one, it's really a piece of cake, because you've been through it so many times. So the last one is the one that gets spoilt because it’s going away… and the last one was definitely the easiest to make.”
Now Episode III is the done, the Saga is over, do you have a sense of loss?
Lucas: “No, it's more like having your kids go off to college. You know, they still come back when they need money and they'll be there for holidays. And we are doing two TV series’, an animated series about the Clone Wars, which has all the characters in it, but obviously there's not much character arc. And another one will be a live action series featuring minor characters from the saga. So Star Wars is still going to be around. I'm going to go off and do my thing. It will have a life it’s own – through the comic books, novels and games that are out there. I just reserved the theatrical arena for this saga."
What about your next film projects?
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Iain M Banks
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Welcome to 4034 AD.
Reluctant hero 'Fassin Taak', a Slow Seer at the Court of the Nasqueron Dwellers, is about to have a very bad day... Seconded to a military-religious order he’s barely heard of, he has to go on an almost hopeless quest amongst the Dwellers in search of a secret hidden for half a billion years.
Banks is on top form here, and even as the story takes a while to get going, you can sense that it will kick off seriously by the end and fans of all things Sci Fi will not be disappointed!! You get intrigue, friendship, betrayal and AI / alien ponderings all set against an exciting war scenario and one of the best villains ever to grace the pages of a novel – a guy who keeps the head of his arch enemy alive, able to feel pain and auto heal – then uses it as a stress relief punchbag!! He has ‘altered’ his body including his knob so that he can do very unwholesome things with it… and you don’t even want to know about this bloke’s negotiation techniques…
There’s an interesting new concept of religion proposed too – basically that we’re all just playing a ‘Tron’ like game and in order to escape from it, enough people must realise what’s going on so that the balance of the game is upset and the ‘owners’ will pull the plug – setting everyone free.
So – my advice is to persevere through the extensive build up, the complex, turbulent, flamboyant and spectacular narrative, even if it is hard work at times because when the dogs of war slip their leashes – there is much fun to be had!!
Iain M. Banks has created another space opera on a truly epic scale...
Darkmatt Rating: öööö (heavy duty sci fi excellence)
Try some Darkmatters - the novel:
Darkmatters Cleric Artwork
A Brief History Of Darkmatter
Cleric Shows Up
Fear Of Death
Film Scene - gun battle
Test Subject #30022
Cleric Gets Mugged
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Monday, May 16, 2005
"Matt's journey to the Dark Side of the Force is complete..."
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (12a)
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Powerful, is the lure of the dark side…
And so here it is, the final prequel, the culmination of the epic Star Wars saga, so many hopes are resting on this one, so many fears that it might be duff… Can Lucas save the series with a glorious final part of the jigsaw or will it all end in tears and fan-boy recriminations?I have to quickly declare an interest here – I am a Star Wars fan, I confess that I did name my firstborn son Luke with the express intention of being able to put on my best Darth Vader voice and tell him “Luke, I am your father”, so at least you’ll have some idea of how much I love the original trilogy…
Revenge of the Sith picks up the story with the war between the Separatists and the Republic still raging and Chancellor Palpatine having been kidnapped by new kick-ass baddie General Grievous (a robot / alien fusion that hunts Jedi for sport, wheezes like an asthmatic in a pollen storm, fights with four lightsabers and stalks about in a most excellently ‘evil’ way). So Jedi Knights Obi Wan and Anakin Skywalker are sent to save the Chancellor and they get more than they bargained for when they run into an old enemy... From then on we get to see the seduction of Anakin by the dark side of the Force, the destruction of the Jedi and the greatest lightsaber duel of all time – I tell you, cinema just doesn’t get much better than this!!
Lucas has delivered a megaton hit of movie wonder, that completes the saga in grand style and more than makes up for any disappointment the first two prequels generated.Episode III is certainly the darkest yet, and it may be just a little too grim for very young children but having seen it, I’ll be taking my son Luke who’s 8 and if you’re a concerned parent – I’d urge you to trust your feelings.
Of course there are things that some won’t like – much of the acting is still plank wooden or wildly over the top to go along with the stupid dialogue…
But I’ve a feeling that this time even the Vader haters out there will have to get down on bended knee and acknowledge that Revenge of the Sith is potentially the most marvellous, entertaining and all round satisfying film to hit the screens this year…
The Force is very definitely back and it rules!!
LINK eM IF YOU GOT eM:
Matt's Full Review: Revenge Of Sith
My Immediate Reaction and photo with Stormtroopers
Was Jesus A Jedi?
Link to other Star Wars Darkmatters posts inc. Darth Vader's Blog!!
Friday, May 13, 2005
I've seen the film,
played the excellent PS2 game (see above),
bought lots of action figures (love that light up force lightning Emperor),
eaten a couple of Burger King kids meals to get the Millennium Falcon toy
and am seriously considering investing in a metal replica lightsaber (I'm thinking red so I can be a Sith)...
But all of this is inconsequential compared to next Tuesday... Because next Tuesday I'll be meeting George Lucas at a press conference in London!!
And not just the bearded Star Wars creator but also: Rick McCallum, Ian McDiarmid, Hayden Christensen and Anthony Daniels...
Yes, the Emperor himself plus wannabe Vader and C3PO!!
S W E E T ! !
So, what to ask?
After much speculation, Microsoft have finally confirmed that the next-gen Xbox will be called Xbox 360 and that it will reach the US, Europe and Japan before Christmas '05...
But will it be any good?
And more importantly - how will it stack up against the near mythically powerful PS3?
I bought my PS2 (pre-ordered and picked up on launch day) it has been a trusty companion for almost 5 years with no faults and tons of great games that have eaten many hours of my life. I also have an Xbox but I won it online and have not played it even half as much... This time round I must choose only one next-gen console (or my wife will cut off my balls in my sleep) and 360 does have some very nice features:
512 MB of memory for high definition games
Progressive-scan DVD movie playback out of the box
And it looks like this:
"Xbox 360 - look no wires!"
So... I await the first look at Sony's PS3 which will be unveiled at E3 next week with much interest (and am personally hoping that it doesn't look quite so 'girly' as the 360!!)...
Thursday, May 12, 2005
"Jacob's Ladder for a Playstation generation"
The BIBLE Game
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
The Chronicles of Narnia are shaping up very nicely indeed and having just seen the T R A I L E R for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe I am looking forward to it even more!!
Seeing the mighty Aslan in action is wonderful, the White Witch looks suitably nasty and the forces of good and evil are lining up to be the 'must have' line of figures to collect this Christmas!! Love those mermaids playfully leaping about off the shore near the castle of Cair Paravel!!
If you don't know the story - go and find a copy of the book and read it now!! - it is about four children who whilst staying with a mysterious professor, find the magical land of Narnia – in a wardrobe (as you do). C. S. Lewis created a world on a par with The Lord Of The Rings in terms of sheer fantasy and adventure. It was one of my favourite childhood books and I'm even looking forward to the Stopsley Baptist Church dramatic production that will also launch later this year!!
Enjoy the Sith now, but get ready for an adventure in a wardrobe come December!!
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
TheForce.net has listed my Revenge of the Sith review as part of their story:
England Goes Crazy for Episode III
It's a privilege to be there along side EMPIRE magazine, the BBC and The Times newspapers as one of the English reviewers who are 'going mad' for Episode III. And now IMDB has Darkmatters listed as the 3rd review for SITH... see below...
And I'm already itching to see the film again, which is a very positive sign...
Kudos to my good friend Mike who is making himself a Han Solo outfit in which to go see Episode III... The anticipation is building worldwide and my son Luke is counting the days until his first big screen taste of Star Wars...
Here is a link to a photo of a lightsaber duel between my young Jedi: Revenge of the Sibling
Monday, May 09, 2005
"Star Wars Episode III - putting the Force back on top!"
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Dir. George Lucas
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Powerful, is the lure of the dark side…
And so here it is, the final prequel, the culmination of the epic Star Wars saga, so many hopes are resting on this one, so many fears that it might be as duff as the first two prequels, can Lucas save the series with a glorious final part of the jigsaw or will it all end in tears and fan-boy recriminations?
I have to quickly declare an interest here – I am an unashamed Star Wars fan, I confess that I did name my firstborn son Luke with the express intention of being able to put on my best Darth Vader voice and tell him “Luke, I am your father”, so at least you’ll have some idea of how much I love the original trilogy…
But where to begin? Well this review may contain spoilers – if you’ve kept yourself completely ignorant of the plot (well done) and I will try to find time to post a spoiler free version at some point but don’t hold your breath. Read on with caution unless you laugh in the face of some plot spoilers…
The story picks up as the war between the Separatists and the Republic still rages and Chancellor Palpatine having been kidnapped by new kick ass baddie General Grievous (a robot / alien fusion that hunts Jedi for sport, wheezes like an asthmatic in a pollen storm and stalks about in a most excellently ‘evil’ way – oh and he kick butt too with his four lightsabers!!). Jedi Knights Obi Wan and Anakin Skywalker are sent on a mission to save the Chancellor and find that they must face off against wily Count Dooku too for added fun... From there we get to see the accelerated seduction of Anakin by the dark side of the Force, the destruction of the Jedi and the greatest lightsaber duel of all time – I tell you, cinema just doesn’t get much better than this!!
The truth is that the Force has never been as strong as it is in Episode III, and for me (still in the flush / daze of witnessing it) - Revenge of the Sith is the definitive Star Wars film… Lucas has delivered a megaton hit of movie wonder, that completes the saga in grand style and more than makes up for any disappointment the first two prequels generated.
“Revenge of the Sith is an endorphin rush of pure Star Wars pleasure - you owe it to yourself to see this film at least twice!! Star Wars once again rules the galaxy…”
There are so many beautiful scenes – from the jaw dropping opening space battle where huge spaceships exchange cannon fire like galleons of old whilst hundreds of fighters duel across the starscape, through to the spellbinding one on one battles of Obi Wan vs Anakin and Yoda vs The Emperor – it is all out entertainment. I loved loved loved some of the almost incidental scenes such as R2D2 getting to take down some Super Battledroids, Chewie giving Yoda an impromptu piggyback and the one little Jedi youngling who puts up some serious resistance when the clones try to execute order 66…
Damn, just thinking back over it makes me desperate to see it again and it hasn’t even been 24hrs since I saw it!! Repeated viewing is going to be necessary, especially as there are a multitude of cameos and film links to spot, look out for the Millennium Falcon, Grand Moff Tarkin and Lucas himself to name but a few.
The effects are the best ever committed to the screen. The still obvious ‘fakeness’ of Episodes I & II has been remodelled into a living, breathing galaxy far far away better than before. The fight chorography is savage, exciting and all out thrill inducing – the passion is back and for the first time since Return of the Jedi you will really care what happens to the characters…
The mum of one of my son’s friends asked me to comment on the suitability of Revenge of the Sith for children, and of course it hasn’t got that 12a rating for nothing. It is a dark tale of a good guy giving himself over to evil, of heroes being killed and the baddies winning the day. There are decapitations, legs are sliced off, as are arms, Jedi of all ages get slaughtered and although none of it is very ‘bloody’ – it is grim and quite upsetting in parts. Anakin gets literally reduced to a burnt and dismembered wreck before his famous transformation – and while I for one smiled as his girly locks caught fire – it might freak out sensitive youngsters and / or hairdressers. So my advice is – take your kids but only if you think they can handle it – it’s no scarier than Dr Who and it’s much more exciting!! I’ll be taking young Luke (who’s 8) but I don’t think James (who’s 4) will have the stomach for it on the big screen.
For adult appreciation – there is the whole moral judgement on Anakin’s decision to throw in his lot with the most evil mofo in the galaxy… Just what does it take for a guy to make a life choice like that? The answer (look away now if you don’t want to know) is obvious really – it’s a woman!! Yes, the underlying moral of Revenge of the Sith is ‘women can drive you to do the most insane things’ and Padme / Amidala is the case in point. If poor Anakin had never crossed paths with the minx from Naboo he’d have been the galaxy’s number one Jedi and the Sith would have been owned. You can almost hear Lucas in the background shaking his head and mumbling “Women eh?”
Of course there are things that some won’t like – and much of the acting is still plank wooden or wildly over the top to go along with the stupid dialogue but this is Star Wars and it’s never claimed to be high brow… Some will lament that we don’t get to see Vader do much once he’s suited up – but surely that's what we get in parts 4,5 and 6!!?
But even the Vader haters out there will have to get down on bended knee and acknowledge that Revenge of the Sith is potentially the most marvellous, entertaining and all round satisfying film to hit the screens this year… The Force is very definitely back and it rules!!
On the strength of this I just might call my next child ‘Yoda’...
Sunday, May 08, 2005
"you call this heaven?"
Kingdom of Heaven (15)
Dir. Ridley Scott
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
“Welcome to a new world, a better world than has ever been seen, where you are not what you are born but what you have it in yourself to be. This is a kingdom of consciousness, peace instead of war, love instead of hate. That is what lies at the end of Crusade.”
Sounds good right? Worth fighting for… and Kingdom of Heaven has a serious amount of fighting courtesy of director Ridley ‘Gladiator’ Scott. However, it is only really the battles that make Kingdom of Heaven stand out. And whilst there is something undeniably exciting about seeing heroic warriors taking on masses of enemies, or strategic genius brilliantly implemented on a desperate battlefield, you need something more if you’re aiming to be a truly epic spectacle. When the dust settles here and the dogs of war are safely locked up, things get much too ‘ho hum’, much too quickly for my liking.
The ingredients are all promising - pretty Brit Orlando Bloom, steps up for leading man duties after a string of excellent supporting roles in films like the Lord of the Rings trilogy. And as I mentioned we’re in the hands of Ridley Scott - a master at delivering blood drenched, unbelievably realistic battles. Add to this the beautiful Eva Green as the cracking love interest Sibylla and quality support from top actors including Liam Neeson, Edward Norton and Jeremy Irons… I can’t quite work out why I wasn’t more excited and why my overarching impression of Kingdom of Heaven was ‘nice battles, shame about the rest’…
It probably didn’t help that I saw another film this weekend – a certain ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and that it was such an endorphin overload of tasty Jedi action, it immediately made all thoughts of Kingdom of Heaven disappear like some sort of Phantom Menace. More of that next week.
Anyway, the Crusades are a potentially fascinating era to explore, and Kingdom of Heaven works hard to present an even handed appraisal of the Christian vs Muslim struggle for Jerusalem (when not showing slow motion shots of swords meeting heads)... I have to say though that Bloom failed to generate the levels of leadership charisma required and his ‘stirring’ battle speeches lacked conviction. In the end, Kingdom of Heaven is certainly great to look at but it only really engages when it draws its sword and rushes headlong into the midst of frantic battle.
Darkmatt Rating: ööö (less if you don't like battles!)
"Bring me the film reviewer known as Darkmatt, he's just stolen the plans to our new film: Revenge of the Sith
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Thanks for stopping by, whilst you're reading this - I'm probably already in London watching Revenge of the Sith at a Press Screening!!!!!
Check back for review(s) here on Monday... you know what they say:
"The Dark Side of the Force is the pathway to many abilities
some consider to be,
Friday, May 06, 2005
"watch me use the dark side of the force to shine my helmet"
TWO DAYS... The clock is ticking down to the London press screening of Revenge of the Sith and I'm almost too excited for words...
Everything is prepared - cool Vader shaped tickets have arrived, travel details planned, close pal who appreciates films (and who's a bit of Star Wars non believer invited to share the moment)... Cue lots of opportunity for me to repeatedly say to him "I FIND YOUR LACK OF FAITH DISTURBING!!"
Anyway, whilst surfing the early US reviews I came across some vaguely interesting stuff on a Christian website - here's a couple of extracts:
Martin Luther King, Jr."
"The Force of Star Wars should not be confused with the God of the Bible. Nor should it be confused with faith as it is taught in the Bible. The Force is impersonal, but the God of the Bible is personal / The Force has both a good side and a dark side, but the God of the Bible "…is light, and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5)."
If you like that sort of stuff you can read more of it here: http://www.faithstreams.com/sites/star-wars.htm
And if you were wondering about the title of this post - No, Jesus wasn't a Jedi (He didn't tap into some universal force, he was and some would say still is The Force)... Still, can't help thinking that if He'd had a light sabre it might have made the Passion of the Christ a bit more exciting!?
Look out for my Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith review on this blog early next week (you can choose between SPOILT ROTTEN or UNSPOILT BY PROGRESS versions)...Link to other Star Wars Darkmatters posts inc. Darth Vader's Blog!!
Thursday, May 05, 2005
"Brittany Murphy looking good"
This is the 'one' for me this year - I said last year that this would be my 'film of the year' and nothing I've heard from friends in the US has changed how I feel...
One young lady told me that she was "traumatized" by it, you know that just makes me want to see it even more - is that wrong?
Of course along with the fact that it stars my favourite action hero Bruce Willis and a stellar cast including Elijah Wood, Clive Owen and NickStahl -there are some fine, fine ladies in the cast too: Jessica Alba, Jaime King, Brittany Murphy and a new face that is 'doing it' for me...Alexis Bledel
"Alexis Bledel... mean and moody in Sin City"
"and a more colourful but equally cute shot - she's going to be a star!!"
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
“Let’s go” says Cleric who is in the BHP, it accelerates backwards from the seedy car park, in seconds the front is a mass of flaming impacts form the serious amount of ordinance being unloaded in its direction. Int stumbles from the doorway and manages to put down a couple of the thugs with clean head shots, then she is running towards the road, trying to stay low as some of the gunmen turn their focus to her. Cleric break skids the BHP around on the road, pulls up and opens the passenger door for Int, “Get in” he commands whilst firing off some heavy frag grenades towards the dodgy bar from which more hired goons are emerging every second. The building’s front mushrooms out into the street - a white hot furnace as the highly explosive gas used in the air con coolant system escapes and mingles with the high explosive grenade charges.
“You sure know how to show a girl a good time,” Int breathes as she climbs in, “Let’s get the fuck out of here…”
“Already on it,” says Cleric as the front side shield of the BHP goes down. Cleric kicks the accelerator and the BHP screams away still in a hail of gunfire.
“You OK?” Cleric asks.
“Not bad considering,” Int smiles.
“Don’t get happy people, I have several vehicles coming after us by the look of it,” chips in the BHP.
“Can we outrun them?” asks Int.
“No, they’re pretty wired, I estimate that they will catch us in about 3 minutes.”
The BHP tears through the last of the suburbs and into the dirty countryside.
Cleric swings into the bushes at the side of the road and kills the lights, it gets very dark, very quickly as soon as you leave L2 and while Int’s eyes are adjusting to the gloom Cleric is already at the boot pulling out a couple of sentry AI miniturrets which he sets on either side of the road. Then he fires a couple of time delay mines into the road – he can see the lights of the approaching pursuers. He check the ammo in his assault handgun as Int joins him.
“We’ll take them here then?” she asks as she reloads her double-barrelled semi AI automatic…“We haven’t got a choice,” Cleric replies and drops to a crouch, pulling Int down with him as he detonates the mines right under the first couple of cars which rocket into the air tracing burning arcs of flaming death.
Other extracts from Darkmatters the novel by Matt Adcock:
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
"your going down pal"
Dir. Burr Steers
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
No – not some kind of BJ documentary about someone named Igby but rather a kind of modern Catcher in the Rye style tale in a New York environment. This is a fun film – as long as you like your films tragic and full of dark humour. Igby (played by Kieran Culkin) is a young man with a truly awful family. Nazi-ish golden boy older brother (Ryan Phillippe), mental father (Bill Pullman) who set his sons an example by losing the plot and getting locked away in an asylum, scary socialite mum (Susan Sarandon) does things like sit on the maid’s head when she’s stressed… Yes this is wacky film on every level. Jeff Goldblum is on top form as D.H. – Igby’s godfather who’s banging foxy young nymph Rachel played by Amanda Peet. The other babe here is Sookie (Claire Danes) – and whilst Igby gets to bed both of them in the course of the film, this is anything but a romance.
The dialogue is just great though – many of the lines will stick with you for some time, like when Igby’s older brother tells him “I think if Gandhi had to spend a prolonged amount of time with you, he'd end up beating the shit out of you, too.”
And in turn - Igby’s made up story about his brother. “He was ten-speeding a gazillion miles per hour through Central Park. You know, racing with all the other young Turks. When, all of a sudden he caught a glimpse of himself in the handlebar mirror and became so... aroused by it that he burst his Speedo shorts and got caught in the gears and threw him right on his face. Splatter.”
Igby has a line for everyone – from his answer to: “Why aren't you in school now?”… he replies: “ Sheer ingenuity!”, through his assorted attempts to hit on the women – “Uh yeah, I guess eleven is a bit young, but you sound older on the phone” etc…
It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I was sold out on this kind of ‘long dark tea time of the teenage soul’
Darkmatt Rating: öööö (laughter in the dark)
Monday, May 02, 2005
"a Kevin Smith film for all the family?"
Dir. Kevin Smith
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Darkmatt Rating: ööö (fun - especially if you're a parent)
Sunday, May 01, 2005
"Oh Cube, that's a big one..."
XXX2: The Next Level (12a) or if you live in the US... XXX2 State of the Union
Dir. Lee Tamahori
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
When the world needs saving from megalomaniacs, warmongers or dastardly political enemies, there’s only one super spy who can save the day – unfortunately James Bond isn’t available at the moment… So, here’s an American alternative, special agent XXX, low on sophistication, high on stupidity and packing a serious number of weapons. They say “Stupid is, as stupid does” and this film is a prime example…XXX2 is the chubbier, less likeable and even more retarded follow up to 2002’s all action XXX ‘extreme movie sensation’.
It appears that when bald, bad-ass, Vin Diesel turned up to reprise his role as the ‘anti Bond’, director Lee Tamahori told him to” XXX off” so they could get podgy rapper turned actor Ice Cube in as the new bigger (as in fatter), badder (as in “at acting”) XXX. Quite why anyone thought this would be a good idea is hard to fathom, you might not like Diesel but at least he looked mean and tough enough to be a super agent. Cube looks like a confused and constipated Care Bear with an unconvincing snarl on his chubby chops throughout. I’ve seen my mum look meaner – in fact I think my dear old mum would have been a much better choice to be the new XXX even though she retired a few years ago.
Anyway, big dumb XXX2 is given the job of saving the US President from an internal coup being planned by Willem Dafoe (as Gen. George Octavius Deckert - think Green Goblin without the funky costume). Along the way we get to witness Cube eating a lots of junk food, spouting lots of junk dialogue and blow a lot of stuff up. When the highlight of a film is a tank battle which takes place on board an aircraft carrier you know that any visages of subtlety have long ago been reported AWOL.
Samuel L Jackson is on hand to try and add some much need credibility but even he is forced to give up and look on in bemusement, along with the audience, as the XXX franchise straps on masses of self-destructive material and takes a running jump off the cliff of watchability.
Of course there will be those out there who enjoy XXX2, but then I’m told there are people out there who play banjos, torture animals and marry their sisters – and it’s very possible that these two groups seriously overlap…
"meet my wife and my sister... here she is!"
Darkmatt Rating: ö (get's worse the more you think about it)
Reviews of other films and stuff you might want to read indexed here