DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Darkmatters PS3 ‘Move - Golf Off’

Darkmatters PS3 ‘Move - Golf Off’

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11


Vs

John Daly’s ProStroke Golf (both played with Move Controllers).

Developed by: Tiger Woods – EA Sports, John Daly – OG International

Reviewed by Matt Adcock


As a lifelong fan of Tiger Woods golf games it was with interest that I tried out this year’s newest challenger. Yes it’s time to ‘Grip it and Rip it’ with John Daly in John Daly’s ProStroke Golf – which is the first golf game built from the ground up to use the funky PS3 Move Controller.

So will Mr Woods take this challenge lying down (with or without a glamorous companion) or have EA Sports slapped enough Move features into their already built game to keep the PS3 ‘Move-ers’ happy?

John Daly:

Let’s look at John ‘The Bear’ Daly’s effort first: Featuring the unique and critically acclaimed ProStroke control that allows players to craft and control real golf shots like never before. Sam Torrance and Peter Kessler provide lively commentary across 12 varied and challenging courses, populated with interactive spectators to bring a rich match-day atmosphere to life, well I say ‘rich match-day experience’ but that only applies if you haven’t experience Tiger Wood’s!? Away from the tournaments and exhibitions you can get stuck in to a Challenge Mode offers a series of golfing trials presented by John Daly himself. It is a fun mixture of different disciplines of the game, from putting and approach play to the world famous ‘Long John drive’. Where Daly shines is with the great controls – using the Move controller this is the best / most realistic golf experience in a video game to date. The physics in particular are awesome, you can open or close your shot (to swerve the ball left or right) simply by twisting your wrist slightly – as you would in the real game. It is both immensely impressive and massively challenging too, because as any golfer knows – one really bad shot can screw up your whole round!?

John Daly’s ProStroke Golf is very immediate – you can jump straight in: No levelling up required before a player is allowed to reach their full potential, it’s all about how good you are in real life!?? Sure you can play Daly’s golf with a DualShock 3, but the Move is really the best way to play this title – just be ready to put in a lot of practice!! It can take a while to even unlock the first tournament due to the game mimicking your real golf skills… perhaps that says more about my golfing prowess than I’d like but hey…

Graphically Daly can’t touch Tiger – the courses are nice enough but the crowds, effects and players are far better in the EA alternative. Online options are a bit limited for Daly too but they work if you find someone of a similar level a fascinating match can be had. Sound effects and commentary aren’t all that either – it’s bird noises and chirping insects and that’s it…

So for a highly realistic but pretty no thrills golf experience John Daly is your man.

Tiger Woods:

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 sees the grand master Woods who has had by far the best console golf game for years now – rise to the challenge of John Daly. Woods adds Move support which his functional but not as good as ‘The Bear’s’ but also adds the Ryder Cup and best of all - fun. It is refreshing to see a sports game not get too complicated and concentrate on the silky smooth play mechanics that have served them so well up until now.

Take your pick from the wealth of options - stroke play, match play, skins, long drive competitions as well as Ryder Cup, PGA tour and some wicked skills challenges. Tiger not only looks and sounds better than Daly’s effort but also has some killer online playability like play 12 vs. 12 games and Live Tournaments.

If you’ve played and enjoyed any of Tiger’s games up until this year – get ready for the same classic experience with the expected amount of polish and added ability to build up FedExCup points and role play like experience points to improve your various attributes. There is a new ‘True-Aim’ option too which helps with active swing control and the ‘Focus’ which allows for super accurate putting or an extra few percentage points of power on a drive when used.

Tiger is the choice for non-move owning golf fans or those who value production over realism.

Darkmatters Verdict

Both these games are pretty excellent in their own right – either will satisfy and provide hours of golfing goodness. If you’re looking for a pure Move experience then you should check out John Daly as it will give you a fantastic insight into your own ‘real’ play style.

Final scores: The two titans of virtual golf each deliver good golfing experiences. Tiger is slicker and better looking, Daly rocks the best Move controls by a long drive… the choice is yours…
Tiger Woods – Overall: Darkmatters rating: öööööööö (9 awesome classy birdies out of 10)


John Daly – Overall: Darkmatters rating: öööööööö (9 long drive 'Moves' out of 10)


Of course for massive golf fanatics you probably need to buy both!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Darkmatters Review: RED


RED (12)

Dir. Robert Schwentke

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Welcome to the world of Paul Moses (Bruce Willis) - a retired CIA ‘Black Ops’ agent whose days are now filled with nothing more exciting than the occasional flirty phone call to phone operator Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) about his government pension cheques.

That is until one day a ‘wet work’ hit-team is sent to take him out because Moses has been deemed R.E.D. (Retired Extremely Dangerous). But Moses is still a tough nut and after eliminating the hit-team he sets about trying to find out why he’s suddenly been deemed a target and sanctioned for execution…

Director Robert ‘The Time Traveller's Wife’ Schwentke's film takes a fun, ‘A-Team’ style reworking of the DC Comics graphic novel series which details the fight back of this old agent against a corrupt new Vice President. New to the plot – for the film – are additional R.E.D. agents who team up with Moses, there is crazy paranoid Marvin (John Malkovich), raucous cancer victim Joe (Morgan Freeman), and elegant ‘hit-woman’ Victoria (Helen Mirren). It is this stellar cast that lends the film such a great air of quality, fun and kick-ass action. It is a genius reworking and there is something quite special about seeing someone like Helen Mirren operating a heavy mounted machine gun or a ‘Call of Duty’ style sniper rifle.


"call me 'Grandma' again..."

As mentioned the tone is much lighter than recent comic book adaptations – RED is a blast of bullets, quips and outrageous action which isn’t too sadistic or grim. This is potentially the best ever family friendly shoot-em-up which rocks some great set pieces, I saw it with my family and we all came away greatly amused.

If The Expendables opened the door for this timely ‘revenge of the oldies’ tale – the common factor from both films being Bruce Willis and his still winning charisma. There are some great lines such as when Sarah meets Moses and tells him “drugged, kidnapped… not an ideal first date but I’ve had worse” – the romance / action ‘fun’ factor is high, in the same spirit as this year’s Knight and Day.

It’s a bold move to make the United States Vice President (Julian McMahon), the villain of the piece – it seems that the ‘hit list’ Moses finds himself on is part of a big cover up for some bad things that might blot the Presidential candidates record. Also ranged against the elderly heroes is Alexander Dunningpower (Richard Dreyfuss) an arms dealer who is tied into the cover up.

RED is lots of fun and is much like Frank Moses himself - hard on the outside but ‘gooey’ on the inside. Enjoy!!

UNSEEN DELETED SCENE:


Bruce Willis's Moses is hired to track down and kill the remaining Expendables as they have become a liability!!

Darkmatters rating: öööööööö (9 awesome 'old time' action scenes out of 10)

Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 8 / Style 8 / Babes 7 / Comedy 7 / Horror 5 / Spiritual Enlightenment 3

Read the graphic novel and extended movie prequel character graphic novels on you PSP or PS3 - check here




Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Red Princess Blues


Red Princess Blues

Dir. Alex Ferrari

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“A turbo charged mini epic noir – spitting nitrous badass danger and spewing black fumes”

Sometimes less is more and occasionally a short film will pop up and blow you away – in the past I’ve been deeply impressed by short films such as Prey Alone, Batman: Dead End (also known as Batman vs Alien vs Predator) and a short animation called Red Princess Blues – The Book Of Violence.

Now the guy behind Red Princess Blues is back – this time with a stunning 11 minute feature scene that works as both a promo and a very cool viewing experience in its own right. Red Princess Blues tells the tale of a young teenage girl, Zoe (Tabitha Morella) who is lured into a grimy after-hours carnival tent by the sleazy rock n roll carnie Rimo (Richard ‘Black Hawk Down’ Tyson). Rimo is a low-life with trouble on his mind and the gorgeous jailbait Zoe is way out of her depth – is there anyone amongst the rag-tag bunch of carnies in Roscoe’s Freak Show & Carnival to save this poor girl from the very unwelcome advances?

In a word – yes – fortunately for Zoe there is a loner woman drinking at the bar, might she be the legendary ‘Princess’ (Rachel Grant)… If you’ve seen the animated prequel short, you’ll know that there’s one thing that Princess does well – violence!! Cue a kick ass fight sequence – heavy on style and potential – it is very watchable and nicely adrenalin pumping stuff.




Ferrari has a brought his single vision to wonderful, CGI live, backed up with superbly stylish set design that wouldn’t look out of place in the awesome, hyper-real comic book alternate realities of films like Sin City or The Spirit or The Crow.

Red Princess Blues oozes menace and delivers a fantastic thrill ride of pure viewing pleasure. Check the trailer below – and then log on to www.redprincessblues.com and click the link to download the Red Princess Blues app from the iStore and enjoy the full short film on your iPhone/iPad/iPod!?



If Alex Ferrari is looking for a dark future tale to adapt – he’s welcome to Dark Matters (the novel)…

“Let’s play carnival, you sit on my face and I’ll guess how much you weigh.”

Darkmatters rating: ööööööööö (9 awesome violent princesses out of 10)

Darkmatters review of Red Princess Blues Animated – The Book of Violence

Friday, October 22, 2010

PS3 Move already 2.5 million units ahead of Kinect

"The force is strong with the PS3 Move"

PlayStation Move shifts 2.5 Million units in 30 days...

Matt Adcock

Sony must be pretty please with the number of people 'Move -ing' as it was announced that the PS3 Move controller has shifted over 1 million  in the U.S. and Canada, plus 1.5 million units in Europe (sourced from the L.A. Times), since launch last month.

With the Move launching in Asia this week, it will be interesting to see how well it sells in the run up to Christmas.

Of course the Kinect 'look no controller at all' camera for the Xbox 360 hasn't actually launched yet so being 2.5 million behind is a temporary state of affairs.

The Move's combined sales seems to have exceeded some analysts' expectations:

"It's ahead of what I thought previously," said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities. "I think that they are a lock to sell 3 to 4 million by Dec. 31, and a lock to hit more than 5 million by fiscal year end" on March 31.

With LOVEFiLM being launched on PS3 next month - allowing people to view pretty much any film on demand - it looks like PS3 and Move are going to have a very happy Christmas!?

Check reviews of:

MOVE...

Sports Champions...

Start The Party...

Tumble...

Anticipated Move titles The Fight, Sly Collection etc

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Darkmatters says 'Let Me In' to new trailer

LET ME IN, from the director of Cloverfield. In cinemas Nov 5.

Matt Adcock

"Let Me In" tells a terrifying tale about an alienated 12-year old boy named Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who is viciously bullied by his classmates and neglected by his divorcing parents. Achingly lonely, Owen spends his days plotting revenge on his middle school tormentors and his evenings spying on the other inhabitants of his apartment complex. His only friend is his new neighbor Abby (Chloe Moretz), an eerily self-possessed young girl who lives next door with her silent father (Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins). A frail, troubled child about Owen's age, Abby emerges from her heavily curtained apartment only at night and always barefoot, seemingly immune to the bitter winter elements. Recognizing a fellow outcast, Owen opens up to her and before long, the two have formed a unique bond.





If you like the look of this - be sure to check out the original 'Let The Right One In'

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Darkmatters Review: Despicable Me

Despicable Me (U)


Dir. Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

‘One big unicorn, strong and free, thought he was happy as he could be. Then three little kittens came around and turned his whole life upside down. They made him laugh, they made him cry. He never should have said goodbye. And now he knows he can never part from those three little kittens that changed his heart…’

This is the plot of a children’s book written by despicable super villain ‘Gru’ (Steve Carrell) but it serves as a snapshot of the whole film. Despicable Me is a pleasing new dark comedy animation which has a gooey heart. We get to join Gru as he launches his most evil plan ever – to shrink and steal the moon… but along the way he comes across a trio of adorable orphans – the eldest who acts as their surrogate mother is Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), next is blonde rebel tom boy Edith (Dana Gaier) and finally cute little Agnes (Elsie Fisher). These girls have the power to give him a way to get one up on his nemesis rival villain ‘Vector’ (Jason Segel) – so decides to become their adoptive father.

Think The Incredibles mixed with Lemony Snicket and you’ll have some idea of this tale of rival super villains which packs plenty of humour, action, and heart-warming parenting moments. What more could you want from an animated film?

What’s that you say? 3D technology? You got it – yes Despicable Me rocks out in some lovely 3D which is put to memorable effect in sequences like where Gru takes the girls on a hyper-kinetic roller coaster and the audience get to see it directly from a breath-taking white knuckle the first-person viewpoint. It shames other films that have jumped on the 3D bandwagon without any real rhyme or reason other than to try and sell their weak movies.

So Despicable Me has a fun plot with enough twists and turns, laugh out loud quips and scenes, and very nicely delivered voice acting from the stellar cast – even Russell Brand delivers some memorable lines. But good as the human elements are, they are wildly upstaged by Gru’s ‘minions’ – the tic-tac looking creatures (belwo) who do all the super villain’s dirty work.

"The Jason Statham look-alike contest got fierce"

This year is turning out to be a good one for lovers of animated movies - How to Train Your Dragon was great, Toy Story 3 set a new standard of excellence and even Shrek regained his form. Now you should go get Despicable in a cinema near you as soon as possible!!

UNSEEN DELETED SCENE:


The Despicable Me minions are transported to the planet of Toy Story 3's Aliens who worship the 'claw'... chaos ensues when the cross breeding kicks off!

Darkmatters rating: öööööööö (8 dastardly plans out of 10)

Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 8 / Style 8 / Babes 5 / Comedy 8 / Horror 3 / Spiritual Enlightenment 6

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tis the Season for PS3 Games

"personal shoppers - optional"

5 PlayStation 3 games to add to your Christmas list…

Matt Adcock

Gran Turismo 5 might be delayed (again) and there are tons of excellent looking games hitting the PS3 in the run up to Christmas - Call of Duty Black Ops, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Fallout: New Vegas and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit... For those who have the new MOVE controller you can add SingStar: Dance, TV SuperStars and The Shoot if that's you're kind of thing.

Here though are some more titles to consider of looking for cool games for that special PS3 owning someone in your life...

1. Prince of Persia: HD trilogy

Three classic PS2 games, all re-engineered in high definition – on one Blu-ray… all for less than £30? Bring it!!

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within

and Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones

Your chance to relive the critically-acclaimed and Prince of Persia trilogy, remixed in high definition graphics and stereoscopic 3D.

2. The Fight (Move)

The most realistic motion controlled fighting game released to date ‘hits’ the PlayStation 3 with the brutal world of illegal underground fighting utilising the PlayStation Move controller and the PlayStation Eye camera. Together these two seamlessly translate the player’s realistic physical actions to those of the character on the screen, allowing the players to fight however they choose. Keep it clean with standard jabs and punches, or fight dirty with headbutts, headlocks and more...

I played this at the PlayStation BetaRooms event and have to admit that it really packs a punch – can’t wait to take this bad boy online!

3. Time Crisis Razing Storm (Move)

Pew, pew… BOOM The PS3 is set to redefine home arcade shooters with the a new ‘Razing Storm’ Time Crisis game which will see you shooting-baddies-up in a massively destructible environment to fight futuristic terrorists and renegade soldiers in a South American country under a bloody revolution as part of a special forces unit called S.C.A.R. (Strategic Combat and Rescue), sent to capture the leader of the rebels, who masterminded an attack on the United States.

Also in this package is Time Crisis 4 - A re-release of the fourth game in the Time Crisis series, the game follows Military Intelligence Official William Rush in a mission to stop terrorists from utilizing biological insect-like weapons and any hidden agendas they may have.

And to round off this stellar package – you also get ‘Deadstorm Pirates’ where you’ll be shooting pirates like you’re Captain Jack Sparrow himself!?

4. Sly Cooper Collection

More brilliant PS2 classics getting the ‘God of War Collection’ treatment – so the Sly Cooper franchise get HD graphics , trophies and silky smooth refined gameplay. Get ready to enjoy:

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racconus

Sly 2: Band of Thieves

and Sly 3: Honour Among Thieves

The games will also have mini-games designed for the PlayStation Move and Sly 3 will also support stereoscopic 3D.

5. The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest (Move)

The Lord of the Rings makes the jump into motion control - Aragorn's Quest let’s players become the legendary Aragorn and embark upon a quest reliving the hero's most valiant battles from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Wielding a sword, shield, bow and spear (through the PS3 Move Controller) players will battle enemies and journey through Middle-earth where they can switch between spear and sword on horseback, taking down evil foes in a truly action-packed gameplay experience. Two-player co-op gameplay featuring Gandalf allows players to work together in the heart of the orc-slaying action.

- of course these are just a few suggestions... And with LittleBigPlanet 2, Killzone 3, Mass Effect 2, MotorStorm Apocalypse and SOCOM 4 all hitting early next year there's lots more to look forward to!

DJ Hero 2 hit King's Cross

"check the blonde 'human stylus'..."
DJ Hero 2


Previewed by Matt Adcock

Next Friday the world will throb to the launch of DJ Hero 2 – as thousands of DJ gamers take to their decks – on PS3s across the globe. Today, to mark the anticipated release the World’s largest turntable was installed at King’s Cross St Pancras International station.

Early morning commuters were provided with a musical treat as they danced their way through the station to some of the world’s biggest tunes. Former DMC world champion and radio 1Xtra mix master specialist DJ Blakey was on the decks whilst members of the public lived-out the fantasy of being a superstar DJ, scratching and mashing up tracks in front of a huge audience.

I got to give one of the plastic decks a spin and was impressed with the new game – the graphics are sharper, the mix of tunes sweeter and the gameplay has been cranked up a notch or two from the fun original.

The good news is that if you have the first game, you can use your existing deck to play DJ Hero2, the cunning buggers at Activision though are releasing a two deck party pack which comes with a mike so you can shout “let me hear you scream!” etc… in your own front room and have people passing in the street turn to stare!?

DJ Hero was a lot of fun, but DJ Hero2 looks to be better in every conceivable way – if you’ve ever wanted to mix, scratch or spin some tunes, mark 22nd October in your calendar and get ready to make some noise!!

Check out the DJ Hero 2 site

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

LOVEFiLM hits the PlayStation®3

PlayStation 3 loves LOVEFiLM

Matt Adcock

Sony Computer Entertainment UK (SCE UK) and LOVEFiLM, everyone’s favourite European film subscription service, today announce a ground-breaking partnership to bring LOVEFiLM to millions of PlayStation®3 (PS3™) users across the UK.

Yes - LOVEFiLM becomes an official PS3 integrated subscription film service partner which means that LOVEFiLM subscribers will be able to stream the UK’s largest choice of subscription titles directly to their TVs, through their PS3s and open a new world of interactivity with LOVEFiLM.

"Your perfect film delivery box... also plays the best games around!"

The partnership will soon take LOVEFiLM, currently with 1.4 million subscribers and approximately a million billion movies, into PS3’s three million-and-growing UK households. It is the most significant extension to date of LOVEFiLM’s direct-to-TV rollout which began in March when LOVEFiLM launched on SONY BRAVIA Internet Video TVs, Blu-ray players and Blu-ray Home Theatre kits.

LOVEFiLM Chief Executive, Simon Calver, said,

“This is game-changing for LOVEFiLM and transformational for the UK home entertainment market as a whole. PS3 already has a very large installed customer base of all ages, all of whom will soon be able to benefit from our unique combination of instantly available content, streamed through their PS3, as well as DVD, Blu-ray & Games rental by post. To become PS3’s partner for our service is a tremendous endorsement of the value, choice and convenience offered by LOVEFiLM.”

"Coming to a PS3 near you soon - films like Twelve which sees the lovely young Jessica (Emily Meade) hooked on designer drug 'Twelve'... don't do drugs kids!"

The LOVEFiLM service will become available on the XMB (Xross Media Bar) on all internet-connected PS3s, providing most members of LOVEFiLM on subscription packages access to thousands of titles from major studios and independents, streamed instantly to their TV via their PS3, in addition to the rental by post services. Members will be able to scroll through titles on the page, also search through categories including ‘Pick of the Week’, ‘Most Watched’ and ‘Highest Rated’, view ratings and search through the LOVEFiLM instant offering by title, actor and genre. LOVEFiLM will offer any PS3 users who are not already LOVEFiLM subscribers, exclusive incentives to join the service, including free trials.

“We know there is a huge interest within our audience for film, and so the addition of LOVEFiLM to our current range of services is a very natural fit and one which significantly enhances the value proposition of PlayStation 3,” said Ray Maguire, MD of Sony Computer Entertainment UK. “LOVEFiLM has a proven track record of success and innovation in the film distribution field and is a very welcome addition to the PlayStation family that I’m confident PlayStation gamers will embrace enthusiastically.”

About LOVEFiLM

• In a little over 6 years, LOVEFiLM has become a leading European film subscription service, combining the benefits of DVD rental by post and, more recently, watching movies online via the LOVEFiLM Player (on the PC or streamed to the TV). Customers can therefore choose how they want to watch from a selection of over 67,000 titles, including HD/Blu-ray DVDs, video games and digital streaming.


• LOVEFiLM has over 1.4 million members and operates in the UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany


• LOVEFiLM weekly newsletters reach over one million members


• LOVEFiLM was a pioneer in digital film delivery in the UK and has recently launched the LOVEFiLM Player with thousands of digital titles available for members to watch on their TV or PC. The LOVEFiLM Player is available to all users of LOVEFiLM. For those on an Unlimited package the service comes at no extra cost. Premium titles are available to everyone on a pay-per-view basis, and a number of titles are available to all site visitors for free with advertising support


• The LOVEFiLM Player is becoming available through a range of internet-enabled devices - including Sony and Samsung - taking LOVEFiLM directly into members’ living rooms through their TV sets


• LOVEFiLM customers have generated 80 million ratings, 843,000 member reviews and generate around 2 million trailer views per month – information which helps LOVEFiLM to promote the most relevant titles for customers to choose from


• LOVEFiLM also sells DVDs, Blu-ray and video games through the LOVEFiLM shop


• LOVEFiLM is Hitwise’s 2009 Number 1 website based on market share of visits among all UK websites in the Entertainment - Movies industry (ranked 4th in the Shopping and Classifieds - Video and Games industry)


• LOVEFiLM offers a range of rental options in each market with free postage and no late fees. In the UK these include £3.99 a month allowing members to have one DVD at a time (limit of two per month. Does not include online viewing), £5.99 a month for one DVD at a time (limit of three per month plus 2 hours online viewing ), £7.99 for two DVDs at a time (limit of four per month plus 4 hours online viewing), £9.99 a month for one DVD out at a time (Unlimited DVDs by post and online viewing), £12.99 for two at a time (Unlimited DVDs by post and online viewing) and £15.99 gives the option for three DVDs at a time (Unlimited DVDs by post and online viewing). Members on an Unlimited package have access to the LOVEFiLM Player at no extra cost


• LOVEFiLM also offers a range of video games rental options in the UK market to support gaming across XBox 360, Xbox, PS3, PS2, Wii and DS. These include £5.99 a month for one disc at a time (limit of three per month. Does not include online viewing), £9.99 a month for two discs at a time (limit of three per month plus 4 hours online viewing), £14.99 a month for two discs at a time (Unlimited discs by post and online viewing) and £18.99 for three discs at a time (Unlimited discs by post and online viewing), all with free postage and no late fees


• LOVEFiLM UK awards include: British Video Association's award for the UK's Best Rental Service in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, won the fast-growing media company Media Momentum award in 2005, 2007 and 2008, UK technology – Innovation & Growth award for Mediatech Impact of the Year 2008, Home Entertainment Week awards for Rentailer of the Year 2007 and 2008, the 2008 Fast Growth Business Award for Retail/Leisure business of the Year, featured in The Sunday Times top 100 fastest growing private technology companies in 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007, awarded 3rd place in The Sunday Times top 100 private equity-backed companies with the fastest-growing profits in 2010, a finalist in the National Customer Service Awards 2008, finalist in the Retail Week awards 2009, awarded 5th place in the Deloitte Fast 50 UK 2009, awarded 22nd place in the Deloitte Fast 500 EMEA fastest growing public and private technology companies and named Company Of The Year at the Growing Business Awards 2009


• The group currently works with major partners in the UK including Tesco, easy Group, CD Wow, Guardian News Media, Odeon and Vue Cinemas, some of whom offer a fully white-labeled online DVD rental service


About Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), based in London, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and sales of PlayStation®3, PlayStation®2, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) and PlayStation®Network software and hardware in 99 territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania. SCEE also develops, publishes, markets and distributes entertainment software for these formats, and manages the third party licensing programs for the formats in these territories. Since the launch of PlayStation 3 in November 2006, over 38 million units have been sold globally and continue to be sold at a record level. Maintaining its position as one of the most successful consumer electronic products in history, PlayStation 2 has sold over 146.1 million systems worldwide. Since its launch at the end of 2004, over 62.7 million PSPs have been sold globally, highlighting the importance of the portable entertainment market. With the huge increase in interest and accessibility of network applications and network gaming, over 54 million accounts have registered to PlayStation Network, the free-to-access interactive environment, and over 1.1 billion items have been downloaded.


More information about PlayStation products can be found at www.playstation.com .
PlayStation, the PlayStation logo are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Darkmatters Review: Wall Street Money Never Sleeps


Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps


Dir. Oliver Stone

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Someone reminded me I once said "Greed is good". Now it seems it's legal.”

This week we welcome back to the big screen the world’s favourite ‘80s financial scumbag Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas). Last seen dastardly taking Charlie Sheen’s profit-hungry apprentice for every penny he could and getting sent down to serve some white collar incarceration as a warning to all for those seduced by turning a quick buck through insider trading in the original Wall Street.

Now Gekko is released back onto Wall Street and his shark-like nature for a financial killing has not been dulled. Emerging back into a very different global economy to the one he left his path is crossed by a new hot shot young Wall Street trader named Jake Moore (Shia ‘Transformers’ LaBeouf) who is dating, and plans to marry, Gekko's daughter, liberal website editor Winnie (Carey ‘Public Enemies’ Mulligan).

It isn’t long before the young gun Jake is under the spell of the mighty but fallen corporate raider Gekko and planning a scam to rock the financial community and to find out who was responsible for the death of his mentor.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps could be seen as a needless rehash of the first film but thanks to the quality cast and some genuine affection for the old renegade Gekko (who for me is the financial equivalent of Hannibal Lecter). Unless you’ve been directly involved in the short-selling and subprime mortgage market collapse, you will probably be more interested in the human nature aspects of tale. It all cooks up nicely enough interest to hold your attention and make you care what happens – even if you can probably see the plot twists coming a mile away – everything looks good and will probably encourage a few impressionable wannabes to try for a career in the financial markets.

Jake is an idealistic crusader, trying to secure funding for a green fusion-energy company, whilst fending off his sponging mother (Susan Sarandon). You can almost hear Gekko licking his lips in anticipation of taking down his potential son-in-law who is unaware that his fiancé is sitting on a cool $100 million of her dad’s cash.

**Spoiler Alert** Unfortunately this sequel goes for a very unsatisfying ending – making it all sweetly sorted in a cloyingly sentimental ‘feel food’ cop out, which would have been infinitely better if left in the dark place that the plot takes the viewer to. **Spoiler Ends**

If you enjoyed the original Wall Street, then ‘Money Never Sleeps’ is worth checking – just don’t stake too much of your cash on it delivering everything you want it too!?


UNSEEN DELETED SCENE:

Gordon Gekko has his conciousness transferred into a virtual world in a 'Tron' style simulation - his avatar form has to battle random financial irregularities in the system from the insider!?
Darkmatters rating: ööööööö (7 financial takeovers out of 10)

Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 5 / Style 6 / Babes 6 / Comedy 5 / Horror 3 / Spiritual Enlightenment 2


Things that made me happier than watching Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps this week:
 
1. Finding out that Darkmatters is quoted on the front cover of this DVD...


2. That people love Kick-Ass so much that they dress up as the characters - like this 'Hit Girl'...



Friday, October 08, 2010

Darkmatters Review: Bad Lieutenant Port of Call New Orleans

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Review (18)


Director: Werner Herzog

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Drugs, sex, violence… Terrence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage) loves em all because he’s bad – a wrong un, a dodgy geezer who thinks nothing of killing, extorting and forcing sexual favours from whoever he pleases, oh, and he’s a cop.

Yes, the ‘Bad Lieutenant’ in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is a very very bad cop. He’s not Dixon of Dot Green, that’s for sure… So our hero rogue detective goes ape in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina blowing second shockwave of drug addicted fury through New Orleans.

Eva Mendes stars as Frankie Donnenfeld - the high class hooker / love of his life for whom McDonagh will do pretty much anything. She makes an interesting foil to Cage’s over-the-top-and-then-a-bit-more-over-the-top with her drug craving but more moderate existence.

Director Werner ‘Rescue Dawn’ Herzog drives the movie over the edge of sanity at a million miles an hour and the engine is Cage's central performance that is mesmerising.

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans's script might be fairly run of the mill bad cop on a self-destructive whirlwind but Cage succeeds in giving Terence McDonagh a heart and even in making you root for him despite his wrongness. Seeing him rescuing a prisoner from certain death at the beginning (and moaning about ruining his expensive underpants as in the process) sets up his credentials as guy with some goodness left in him.



So when you see the Bad Lieutenant promoted to Captain whilst still hopelessly addicted to cocaine and painkillers – most of which he steals from police property repository you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

The film goes nicely surreal at points too with superb ‘iguana and alligator’ POV camerawork as McDonagh starts seeing things and freaking out. E.g. after a bad guy is shot he shouts: “Shoot him again.” When asked “What for?” he says: “His soul is still dancing.” and sure enough we see the man’s soul dancing manically whilst McDonagh laughs hysterically. I found it all very very pleasing and was surprised to be loving every moment.

The DVD extras include some cast and crew interviews, but pick of the bunch is a very unique and interesting ‘making of’ documentary that tracks the shooting of the film and highlights some rather wacky elements of production.

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is on the streets now and is necessary viewing for anyone who likes their cop thrills, dark, funny and freaky. Make your next port of call New Orleans!!

Darkmatters rating: öööööööö (8 criminal actions out of 10)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Darkmatters Review: Takers


Takers (12)

Dir. John Luessenhop

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“We're takers, gents. That's what we do for a living. We take. “

It seems as society breaks down, people will look for ways to ‘take’ from the system, to get rich quick and walk away to live the dream… Takers is a film that follows a quality ensemble cast doing their action movie / heist-em-up thing. Matt Dillion stars as Jack Welles, a do right cop on the trail of a slick bunch of robbers – he’s on a mission to take them down and is closing in despite his partner Eddie Hatcher (Jay Hernandez) having some major issues.

The bad guys, well, I say bad guys but the robbers here are actually a mixture of criminals – some a lot worse than others - who range from the ‘nice guy’ Gordon Jennings (Idris ‘The Losers’ Elba) through to loose cannon ‘nasty guy’ Ghost (Tip T.I. Harris) who has just been released from prison.

If this feels a little familiar – chances are that you might have seen (or read my review of) The Town which opened in the UK last week. The two films share a lot of common ground, the bad news for Takers though is that where The Town delivered a massively engaging experience – punctuated with stunning shootouts and a real sense of danger, Takers stumbles around trying to make you care for a wealth of bit part characters and succeeds only in making you wish you were watching The Town again.

"I think we're 'takers-ing' the piss out of the audience!"

Think elements of the crime classic Heat crossed with an FHM men’s lifestyle feature entitled ‘Crime does pay’ as the robbers who also include John Rahway (Paul Walker), A.J. (Hayden Christensen), and brothers Jake (Michael Ealy) and Jesse Attica (Chris Brown) revel in the proceeds of another successfully heist and get ready to disappear for a year off to enjoy their lives of luxury. Things go awry when Ghost turns up with a possible easy $12 million hit from an armored car. The only problem is that some very nasty Russian hoods also have designs on the same target…

You can probably imagine the rest as the crew fall out, the ‘easy’ job goes fatally wrong and the cops close in. It all sounds pretty exciting and to be fair there is an ok shoot-out towards the end but because director Luessenhop has fudged all the character development you never really know who to root for / or care who makes it to the end credits. For cinematic crime thrills in 2010 – you should certainly visit The Town before taking a trip to see Takers.

UNSEEN DELETED SCENE:

The crew from The Town are challenged to a 'heist-off' by the 'Takers' see review next week...

Darkmatters rating: ööööö (5 stiff lifestyle montages out of 10)

Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 7 / Style 6 / Babes 6 / Comedy 5 / Horror 3 / Spiritual Enlightenment 2

Things that made me happier than watching Takers this week:

1. Seeing Hayden Panettiere in I Love You Beth Cooper...


2. Beating Mafia II on 'hard' on the PS3...


3. Getting my film reviews added to The Hemel Hempstead Gazette...

"Front page billing... on the Hemel Express too"


Friday, October 01, 2010

Darkmatters Review: Dead Rising 2

Dead Rising 2 (18) PS3


Developed by Capcom

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth… Except this time the dead are in for a bit of a beating, and that’s after being made to star in a new TV game show!?

Dead Rising was a well-received Xbox exclusive but for the sequel the PS3 has been drafted in to up the ante for a slaughter-em-up of epic proportions!

Dead Rising 2 takes you to a near future Vegas-ish place called ‘Fortune City’ and you play Chuck Greene – a regular guy who will do anything it takees to protect his young daughter who has been bitten by a zombie but not yet turned… After losing his wife to the zombie scum, now Chuck has to fight his way through a freaky Running Man style game show - called ‘Terror is Reality’ for the prize money. This he will use to purchase medicine for his daughter who requires regular injections of the drug Zombrex which will prevent her from joining the undead plague. Now as zombies break loose and overrun the city, Chuck must survive for 72 hours before the military arrives to clean up.

But don’t worry too much about the plot – basically it is just a backdrop for some serious violence as Chuck has to battle the zombies with, well, anything he can find actually!? Find a baseball bat (which works ok as a brain beater anyway) but mix it with a box of nails and create a new much more ‘kill-friendly’ tool of spiky death!? Your imagination will be well served when it comes to creating weapons – go nuts with some power drills and a steel bucket to make a DIY brain masher or tape some chain saws onto a canoe paddle for some double ended chopping!? There are lots of combos to find and they are supplemented with some nice guns and other stand-alone tools of destruction. The good news is that as well as being lots of fun, building and using custom weapons gives you extra experience points which allow for new fight moves etc to be unlocked. Sweet!
"That's one good looking zombie!?"

It might not be a complete GTA style sandbox but you don’t have to follow the main plot too carefully either, Capcom in their infinite wisdom have given gamers freedom to just kill, run around finding and building mad zombies killing weapons, and still get back and save your daughter in time for another play-through…

Dead Rising 2 is choc full of black humour and sexism, which makes death-bringing to one and all a huge amount of fun! Sure it’s sick and very playable – it is also meant to be played through several times – so just kick back and enjoy it to begin, not worrying too much about trying to save all the side mission folk – you’ll be much more effective when you come back beefed up!!

Multiplayer drop-in co-op is a blast too and feels great when you and a pal are fighting off hordes of zombies back to back… There is also a multiplayer mode too where you can friends can play ‘Terror is Reality’ for money and prizes which you can use in the main game.

Overall if you’re in the market for a madcap does of over the top zombie carnage insanity – forget Left 4 Dead, Dead Rising 2 is the game to go for!!

Darkmatters rating: ööööööööö (9 rampaging zombie deaths out of 10)

Buy the 'Zombrex Collectors Edition' HERE

Enjoy the madness over at: http://www.tapeitordie.com/agecheck?destination=home

EA Sports brings the pain to PS3 with MMA

EA Sports brings the pain to PS3 with MMA

Matt Adcock

The roots of modern mixed martial arts can be traced back to various mixed style contests that took place throughout Europe, Japan and the Pacific Rim during the early 1900s. The combat sport of Vale Tudo that had developed in Brazil from the 1920s was brought to the United states by the Gracie family in 1993 with the founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Professional MMA events had also been held in Japan by Shooto starting back in 1989. In due course the more dangerous Vale Tudo style bouts of the early UFC's were made safer with the implementation of additional rules, leading to the popular regulated form of MMA seen today. Now EA SPORTS MMA brings the authenticity of the world’s most intense combat sport home like never before.


Choose from the world’s top fighters or climb the ranks of the worldwide circuit with your created prodigy to become the ultimate MMA champion.

Travel the globe and learn a multitude of fighting techniques and skills from masters in each discipline.

Select from various weight classes, rule sets, and take on all challengers in multiple cage types or a ring. The challenge continues online with the most robust offering for any MMA videogame, including the ability to create and share custom fighters, prize fights, and more.

Are you ready? Let’s get it on!

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