DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Red Faction Guerrilla- incoming destruction on PS3


"viva la RED FACTION... guerrilla"

Check out the cool trailer for what looks like being one of the most destructive PS3 games to hit this year (ETA 9 June):


"somebody tell the G20"


Have been invited to the closed Beta for this and am looking forward immensely to 'going red'...

Blurb goes: "Set 50 years after the climactic events of the original Red Faction, this third-person open-world action-shooter returns to Mars and once again re-defines the limits of destruction-based game-play."

What with this and the excellent looking Battlefield Bad Company 2 also promising 'more destruction', it sure looks like '09 will be a year when things will go 'boom' - then crumble realistically to the ground... nice one!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Darkmatters review - Knowing



Knowing (15)

Dir. Alex Proyas 'previously of The Crow, Dark City and I Robot'

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Knowing me, knowing you, ah ha!!” sorry, the wife’s just been hitting the Singstar Abba on the PS3 – whilst I got to witness Knowing and report back on its merits.

What would you do if you had a list of every major disaster which had occurred for the last 50 years – and it included some that hadn’t happened yet, one of which might just be the end of the entire world? That’s the premise for Alex Proyas’ stylish apocalyptic sci-fi epic Knowing which bites off a hard to digest slice of disturbing ‘fate or determinism’ theological debate.

Nicolas Cage (looking more like a startled goat with every film he makes) is an unlikely astrophysics professor whose son Caleb (rising child star Chandler ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ Canterbury) is the recipient of the disaster tracking page of numbers.

Things get progressively more freaky as the predicted disasters occur in a flurry of budget trashing large scale set pieces that include a truly horrific subway train crash. Knowing keeps the audience guessing by setting up a string of key questions such as ‘What happened to the odd looking little girl who wrote the doomsday number list itself as part of a school time capsule project?’, ‘Why didn’t she fill in a National Lottery grid or two and live happily ever after?’ or ‘who are those weird, darkly clad mystery men who start following young Caleb around?’ There are lots of ideas here, mix and matching influences from numerous sci-fi classics and the result has polarised critics but for me Knowing delivered a decent slice of nail biting hokum.

I freely confess to being a big fan of Alex ‘The Crow and Dark City’ Proyas, he is a visionary director whose last movie I Robot managed to turn the Asimov’s high brow robo-future nightmare into a decent action flick for Will Smith. Here, even saddled with a rank performance from Cage, there is much to appreciate - not least the impressively bleakly hopeful spiritual elements that elevate this way beyond the like of weaker end of days efforts such as The Happening.

Biblical in its scope and uncompromising in the scenes of devastation Knowing isn’t really light entertainment. But, if you’re looking for something to provoke debate and make you wonder again about our human nature and future destiny you ‘know’ what to choose.

Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: öööööööö (8 -Not Knowingly Underwhelmed)

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 8
Style 8
Babes 6
Comedy 6
Spiritual Enlightenment 9

Not convinced? check out this review of the film over at FANGORIA - best line:

"And the simple fact that it has more on its mind than the usual empty megamovie spectacle is a plus, even if that mind is severely addled. KNOWING is a lot of things—too many things—but dull isn’t one of them.."

Friday, March 27, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Darkmatters review - Lesbian Vampire Killers


Lesbian Vampire Killers (15)


Dir. Phil Claydon


Reviewed by Matt Adcock


- can't be bothered to read the whole review? Here's the one line or ' Twitter' version:


"nice name, fun idea, weak film... Horne and Corden can and should do better. Don't waste your time"


Sucking the will to live from the audiences across the land come the‘new comedy sensation double act’ of Mathew Horne and James Corden also known as lads from Gavin and Stacey.


These are two really funny blokes (just check their BBC3 TV comedy show – my pick is their YPC sketch which has funky Christian songsters singing tunes like ‘Father Please Touch Me Tonight’) - and heaven knows I've been to enough of those!?


But Lesbian Vampire Killers is just a bawdy,depressingly unfunny Brit comedy effort that fails to satisfy on every level.This is a film obviously aimed at those out there who have to spell out the words in The Sun and think that FHM is a bit ‘high brow’ –basically it’s Nuts Magazine the movie. Crass, sexist and dubious at every turn, if you sign up to see this 87 minutes of knuckle scraping soft-core twaddle you’ll get to spend the time in the company of Fletch (Corden) and Jimmy (Horne) who take an ill advise hiking trip to deepest,darkest Norfolk. Jimmy is chronically unlucky in love and is looking toget over being dumped for the seventh time by his flighty girlfriend Judy(Lucy Gaskell). Fletch on the other hand is a walking hard-on, lager inhis veins and puerile banter only ever a heartbeat away from his lips.


But just shouting ‘get in’ or ‘phowaar look at that’ can’t make youlike or care about characters who really don’t have anything to offer in terms of emotional empathy.You could call this a homage to the saucier 1970s Hammer-horror exploitations flicks that were all the rage for a while but for the factthat Lesbian Vampire Killers isn’t remotely scary or even very saucy.The plot is limited to the two dim main characters straying into the clutches of centuries old evil ‘queen of the vampires’ Camilla – and finding that they might just be the ones referred to in an ancient prophecy. Could these two losers be the foretold heroes to end the evil curse that turns all the womenfolk of Cragwich into blood craving girl fancying creatures of the night upon their 18th birthday? Take a wild guess...It’s perhaps a little unfair to judge this low budget and witless dross to the genius of similar horror comedies such as Shaun of the Dead but I feel that readers need to be warned because the trailer gives the impression that there might be something worth seeing here.

The scariest thing is that the ending sets up a possible sequel – be afraid - although "Big Gay Werewolf Killers" has a certainly disturbing ring to it...


Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: öööö (4 - drunken lads only need apply)


Darkmatters quick reference guide:
Action 6
Style 5
Babes 7
Comedy 5
Spiritual Enlightenment -2


Not convinced? check out this review of the film over at The Telegraph


their best line:


"Embracing the film’s retro-sleaze quotient wholeheartedly, Corden has his beer-swilling moments in the first half, before he’s consigned to a fate worse than death – digging around endlessly in badly-lit graves with Paul McGann."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Orange 'vision' comes to Darkmatters

ORANGE VISION...

Want to see the new Orange infomercial mini film?

Yeah, me too and so here it is - enjoy (and be sure to come back on the 27th March when new exclusive content will be revealed!?):

Have a click over the excellent - ORANGE FILM SUDIOS too and read why Mr Dresden is so excited:

www.orange.co.uk/orangefilmstudios

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Darkmatters review - Bronson



Bronson (18)

Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn ‘The Pusher trilogy’

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

We go now live to HMP Wakefield, where Charles ‘Britain’s most notorious prisoner’ Bronson himself has recorded a message for those thinking of viewing this biopic of his life: "I'm proud of this film, because if I drop dead tonight, then I live on. I make no bones about it, I really was... a horrible, violent, nasty man. I'm not proud of it, but I'm not ashamed of it either... See you at the Oscars."

Bronson tells the unhappy tale of Charles Bronson (born Michael Gordon Peterson), who is potentially Luton’s most famous prodigal son, still residing at Her Majesty’s pleasure. Director Refn unleashes this ferocious, crunchingly violent drama like a double barrel shotgun blast to the face. Tom Hardy is amazing in the lead performance – capturing the crackling energy of the man who was locked away in 1974 aged only 21, for an armed robbery which saw him get away with the sum total of just £26.18. Once on the inside however it seems that Bronson found his vocation for violent misconduct, if you could get a City & Guilds in ‘wounding with intent’, he’d have bagged his NVQ in no time. The original seven year sentence was repeatedly extended for crimes committed in prison which included hostage-taking, staging rooftop protests and causing untold violent chaos.

The big screen depiction of ‘the man, the myth, the celebrity’, that Bronson has come to be known as largely thanks to the tabloid press, injects some pleasing Clockwork Orange references and a compelling docu-drama style. Bronson is portrayed here as a misunderstood man who has deep principles, but also severe sociopathic tendencies. One minute he’s a laughing and joking showman, the next he fixes the audience with a dead eyed stare of utter menace…

As prison dramas go Bronson is definitely a cut above the average fare, and whilst many will get off on the violent scenes, there is much here to ponder. Is the prison system actually to blame for exacerbating his negative behaviour? Could it be that being institutionalised and then confined to solitary incarceration for the majority of his ‘record breaking’ sentence might have actually given him cause for some additional violent tendencies?

The release of this film is timely given that Bronson’s latest parole hearing was scheduled to take place last week. He might have missed the Oscars this year but there’s no way of knowing what sort of spectacle he could cause there next year if he does get released!
Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: öööööööö (8 - Strong stuff)
Darkmatters quick reference guide:
Action 7,
Style 8,
Babes 6,
Comedy 7,
Spiritual Enlightenment 6
check out this good review of the film over at TWITCH
they came up with the ultimate sign off line:
"Now if only they can get the real Charlie Bronson to do a commentary track on the DVD"

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Darkmatters review - Watchmen



Watchmen (18)

Dir. Zack Snyder ‘300, Dawn of the Dead’

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Rorschach's Journal: March 8th 2009: I find myself in the future – somehow a film has been made depicting the incredible events that occurred back in 1985 when this city was afraid of me. It had reason to, I had seen its true face. The streets were extended gutters and the gutters were full of blood. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder foamed up about their waists and all the whores and politicians looked up and shouted 'Save us!'

And I whispered

'no'.




Welcome to the end of the Superhero movie as we know it. Zack ‘300’ Snyder has brought the once deemed ‘un-filmable’ landmark graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons to the big screen and nothing will ever be quite the same.

Watchmen is a nuclear powered behemoth of thought provoking superhero action, breathtaking visual flair and gut churning violence. I was prepared for bitter disappointment because the original comic boasts such a deep vein of rich intermingled sub plots, fantastical imagery and mind bending intellectual concepts – how could it be possibly be effectively captured in just under three hours of screen time? But to my delight and amazement Watchmen delivers on the big screen better than I dared hope. The sheer dedication and flawless attention to the source material is admirable, the vivid way that the original pages have literally ‘come to life’ in jaw dropping high resolution makes this a bona fide visual masterpiece.

For those seeking wham bang no brain action, this isn’t going to be for you because whilst there are some excellent action scenes, this is film that requires brainpower for maximum appreciation. Watchmen is a truly adult themed thriller, set in an alternative 1985 where Richard Nixon has won a third term as president and the Cold War has taken the world to brink of nuclear Armageddon.

After an excellent scene setting credit sequence we witness the murder of The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a mercenary / hero with dubious morals and a taste for carnage. His death sets one time colleague Rorschach, a masked vigilante (superb turn from Jackie Earle Haley) on the trial of whoever might be looking to execute masked heroes.
Writer Alan Moore said: "I suppose I was just thinking, 'That'd be a good way to start a comic book: have a famous super-hero found dead.' As the mystery unravelled, we would be led deeper and deeper into the real heart of this super-hero's world, and show a reality that was very different to the general public image of the super-hero."

The complex tale includes back story elements of the other ‘Watchmen’ including the only ‘actual’ superhero Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), a naked, glowing blue skinned powerful being created in a science-lab accident. Manhattan is a walking talking weapon of mass destruction – used by Nixon to win the Vietnam War almost single handedly, but whose humanity seems to be retreating. Then there’s Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson) once Rorschach’s partner, a tech genius who sports a Batman like array of gadgets and wears an owl caped outfit.
Ozymandias (Matthew Goode) on the other hand is Earth's smartest man, who also boosts amazing reflexes and Silk Spectre II (Malin ’27 Dresses’ Akerman) who wears a mean skimpy latex outfit.



You’ll need to pay attention to keep up with the twisting plot elements as the storyline delights in pulling the rug from under the viewer. Don’t go expecting a simple spoon fed structure or a traditional blockbuster ending – we’re in serious end of the world territory here.

Some of the original graphic novel has obviously had to be cut – there will be a soon to be released DVD animated companion of the Tales of the Black Freighter pirate story within the story sub fiction. And we can only hope that there will be additional scenes restored for the rumoured Director’s cut Blu-Ray too.

Then there’s also a Watchmen downloadable PSN game (which from the demo I’ve played allows you to beat the living daylights out of convicts as either Nite Owl or Rorschach) and some tasty free Watchmen items in Home to nab. But most importantly to get the most from the movie, I can only really recommend that you swot up on the original graphic novel. It is the must read authoritative Old Testament without which we might never have had The Dark Knight’s New Testament…

Highly recommended, an intelligent choice for those who can handle extreme violence, superhero sex and challenging thinking. Repeated viewing essential.




Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: ööööööööö (9 - Excellent)

Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 9, Style 9, Babes 8, Comedy 7, Spiritual Enlightenment 8

Friday, March 06, 2009

Darkmatters Film Review - Franklyn




Franklyn (15)

Dir. Gerald McMorrow

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Welcome to ‘Meanwhile City’ a dark place where reality hasn't got a prayer… This is a tasty, intelligent, strange and disturbing noir thriller that messes with you head and works a contrived build up to one climactic scene where the path of single bullet will decide the fate of four lost souls.
Brit director McMorrow does a decent job with some weird and wonderful characters intermingling their stories, none more cool than masked assassin Jonathan Preest (Ryan Philip) who looks like a spookier Rorschach…
Lots of the fun can be had trying to work out how the freaky faith obsessed sprawling gothic steampunk megacity called ‘Meanwhile’ fits in with our own existence in present-day London. Or why sexy but seriously unhinged student Amelia (Eva Green) is filming herself in various suicide bids? Also there’s the riddle of how and why Esser’s (Bernard Hill) son disappeared, is he dead, is someone else, has he gone mad? And then there’s the cleaner… WTF?? That cleaner had my friend John and I scratching our heads long after the credits had rolled and most of the other plot strands had be resolved.
Anyway, the main storyline sees jilted young Milo (Sam Riley) who is struggling to get his act back together whilst also obsessing about Sally (Eva Green) – his childhood crush... His best man is worried about him, as is his mental mother.
There are some genius comedy moments mixed in with the gloomy main plotlines. My pick of the bunch is when Preest is asked his religion, “What’s yours?” he replies only to be told: "I'm a Seventh-Day Manicurist…" genius!
Franklyn is flawed but it channels enough good ideas from other movies, some deft nods of the head to classic sci-fi movies and still brings plenty of new creative stuff to the table to make it worth checking out.
You’ll need to think about it though and preferably have decent IQ to really enjoy it. As Sally tells Milo at one point: “life's too much of an adventure as it is, without making anything else up.” Doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy made up nonsense like this…

Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: öööööööö (8 - Good stuff)

Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 7, Style 8, Babes 7, Comedy 7, Spiritual Enlightenment 8


"Eva Green - crazy but fit!"

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Darkmatters Review - Gran Torino



Gran Torino (15)

Dir. Clint Eastwood 'Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River'

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Do you feel lucky? Huh? Go ahead…make my day. Nobody does iconic banter like Clint Eastwood and now here he is at almost eighty still cracking quotable lines like “Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn't have f**ked with? That's me.”
Gran Torino sees Eastwood direct himself in the role of Walt Kowalski, an all American antihero (at heart) battling gangs, immigrants and the well meaning attentions from his local priest. Kowalski is a bitter widower carrying masses of guilt from his time in the Korean War, he can’t relate to his spoilt grown up children and can’t stand the way that his formerly white neighbourhood is being taken over by ‘gooks’.
This is a guy who is wound so tightly that you just know that he will snap before the end credits – what isn’t apparent is the form his unleashing of frustration will take. When Walt catches his new neighbour Thao (a rough and ready turn from the young Bee Vang) attempting to steal his beloved '72 Gran Torino, things take an unexpected turn and neither of their lives will be the same.
Acting wise Clint takes centre stage and burns the screen with his formidable presence, the supporting cast do their best including a memorable turn from Christopher Carley as the rookie priest who is seeking to help him work through his issues. As well as the deeper life questions, there are laugh out loud moments aplenty when John Carroll Lynch pops up as the local barber with whom Walt has a monthly hair cut / mutual abuse session.
You probably won’t see a less politically correct movie this year, every other line is going to be offensive to someone – but Kowalski is more than just Alf Garnett with a rifle. Gran Turino has real heart and emotional depth, packing a compelling mix of violence, comedy and heart breaking drama.
The tension builds well up to a climactic showdown – where the former Dirty Harry takes on the gang that is wrecking the lives of Thao’s family and threatening to derail his future. As a director and actor Eastwood takes us on a powerful journey that stays just the right side of schmaltz. If he makes no more movies after this he’ll have signed off in fine style.

Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: ööööööööö (9 - Excellent)

Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 8, Style 8, Babes 6, Comedy 7, Spiritual Enlightenment 8

Quote: "I'll blow a hole in your face then go inside and sleep like a baby. "

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