DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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

Monday, April 25, 2011

Darkmatters Review: FAST FIVE


Fast Five (12a)


Dir. Justin Lin

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Chances are sooner or later, we are gonna end up behind bars or buried in a ditch somewhere. But not today…”

…Today we go see some stupid, larger than life car crime based action!

Since the original The Fast and The Furious blasted big car race / chase undercover cop thrills onto the big screen ten years ago, it has become the go-to franchise for auto adrenalin.

Now as the title kind of suggests we’re riding for the fifth time with the speed-freak crew of former undercover cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and his main man partner - ex-con Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel). Although if you want to be pedantic about it these two main characters skipped part 3 but hey, they’re back again now after reuniting in 2009’s Fast and Furious.

In case you missed part 4, you should know that since O’Conner and his girlfriend / Toretto’s sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) broke Dom out of custody, they've blown across many borders to elude authorities. Now backed into a corner in Rio de Janeiro, they must pull one last $100 million job in order to finally gain their freedom.

"check the crew"

The pals get an expert team of racers and crime specialists together in order to try and pull off the massive heist. As usual the authorities are hot on their heels and led for sheer fun factor this time by the hard-nosed federal agent Luke Hobbs (The Rock / Dwayne Johnson) who you just know is going to get into a macho fist fight with Diesel at some point. But as well as the cops, the heroic car racing thieves are being hunted by corrupt crime kingpin Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida) who won’t stop until they are all dead.

Fast Five is an improbably exciting and altogether superior sequel which will delight fans of any of the original four films. The action scenes are slick and frankly superb, especially the climax heist which brings possibly the most insane on road action you’re ever likely to see. Also big F & F fans shouldn’t leave until you’ve seen the additional scene that follows the credits – which points to a possible 6th entry…

Director Justin Lin, who has form for these movies having made the last two, is getting better each time. Fast Five shamelessly injects extra crowd pleasing elements such as a kick ass Call of Duty style gunfight to complement the fast and erm, furious driving action.

Car loving ladies and gentlemen, get down to the cinema and start your engines!!

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

(4 - far better than anyone expected!? )...

Awesomeness öööö – fast and furious action a go go

Laughs öö – mildly funny (best not taken at all seriously)

Horror öö – some deaths but not much brutality

Babes öööö – Elsa Pataky and Gal Gadot are v. hot!

Spiritual Enlightenment öö – live fast, die young?

"Elsa Pataky wears the short shorts"

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Patapon 3 (PSP)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock


Ever wanted to lead a tribe of crazy warriors that move only to your beat?

Well if you own a PSP then you're in luck... You might even have had a blast playing Patapon or Patapon 2 - but everything you've experienced up until now has been 'warm up' - Patapon 3 is where the real rythum drumming tribal warfare is at!

Yes just when you thought Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) might be turning all thier attention towards the awesome looking NGP (PSP2), a game like Patapon 3 is released which shows that the current PSP is a handheld still kicking ass.

Yep the gameplay in Patapon 3 is immdiately pick up and playable (even more so than in the last two games) and it is once again invloves getting a tribe of warroirs to march into battle to the rhythm of the divine drums to please their 'Almighty' - you.

It's a beautiful, unique blend of rhythm and strategy gameplay that is ideal for a quick blast, and offers a deep, satisfying growing challenge that will keep you drumming for months to come. For the first time in Patapon history, you (the Almighty) is actually on-screen as a reincarnation of one of three new Superhero Patapon characters, putting you right at the heart of the groove.

Your tribe of followers will start small, consisting of just three supporting members Chin, Kan and Ton who will be hanging on your every drum beat as you command them through the game in time with the Pulse of the Earth. Guide them through more than 80 levels of volcano-scapes, darkened dungeons and twisted labyrinths, picking up new recruits along the way.

"hit em hard!"

As well as mastering the rhythm, you’ll also need to bring your tactics up to scratch – head to the Hideout where you’ll have to choose the optimal combinations of weapons and skills to send your brave little warriors to battle with. There are 30 bosses to defeat in the quest to save the fallen Patapon that have been turned to stone by evil forces, so your clan will need all your expertise. Different combinations of skills and weapons, and the way you play as a leading Superhero, will create a unique fighting style for your tribe, so no two Patapon clans are ever the same.

Patapon 3 brings online play to the series for the first time ever in Patapon history. Take your own Superhero to the online mode and play the entire game from start to finish as a team of four, or fight battles against up to seven others. You can even form your own online team with other heroes and put your tribe to the test against clans from across the globe.

Come on then 'Almighty' - show em what you've got!!

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


öööö

(4 - bring the drumbeat pain)...

Check out more Patapon goodness over at http://www.patapon-game.com/
If Patapon was a girl it would be the awesome surf chick AnnaSophia Robb:






Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Scream 4 Review and Promo

Scream 4

Dir. Wes Craven

Reviewed for Darkmatters by Matt Adcock
(This post is sponsored by EFD)

"What's your favourite scary movie?"

The Scream franchise slices back onto the big screen ripping up the rule book of horror films - again...

Check this promo to get  a feel for the Scre4m:





The 4th Scream sees Sidney Prescott, returning to her home in Woodsboro whilst promoting her self-help book which has helped her come to terms with the brutal slaughter that has haunted her over the years...

The Scream gang is completed with Sheriff Dewey and Gale Weathers-Riley, who are now married. Oh, and another 'old face' too - that of the bloody murderer 'Ghostface' who is joined by sexy new cast members Jill (Emma Roberts). Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) and Chloe (Kristen Bell).

And before you can say 'carnage' the bodies start to drop as Ghostface goes on another homicidal rampage through the town - playing by a new set of rules for maximum entertainment.

Scream 4 is an excellent sequel and probably the best the follow up to the original - if you're a horror fan then you really need to see this and get up to date with how horror has changed thanks to the writer-director team of Scream creator Kevin Williamson and horror legend Wes Craven!

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


öööö

(4 - your new favourite scary movie? )...
Awesomeness öööö – a joy for horror fans

Laughs ööö – darkly funny

Horror öööö – brutal killings a go go

Babes öööö – babe factor has increased

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö – learn the rules and stick to them!

"Hayden Panettiere ups the heat in Scream 4"

Darkmatters Review: Your Highness

Your Highness (15)


Dir. David Gordon Green

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Legend tells of a fantasy film that wouldst refine cinema viewing forever.

Featuring the mightiest of warriors, the noblest of princess and the comeliest of maidens – together they would overcome impossible odds and treacherous evil to bring truth, justice and peace to the land.


Your Highness is not that film, but it is possibly the funniest slice of fantasy nerd-em-up adventure to hit the screen since Krull or Hawk the Slayer and might even just be the ‘Best. Quest. Ever…’

Director David Gordon Green seems to still be in love with the joys of recreational drugs – following up with last ‘stoner action comedy’ Pineapple Express with what is a very similar format movie just set back in the mists of time. Your Highness boasts such a bawdy, sex obsessed, frankly stupid script that is will either offend the moral pants off you or tickle every dubious funny bone in your body!?

For maximum enjoyment you’ll need to disconnect or pickle your brain before viewing. The screenwriters dredge the comedy barrel whilst spoofing the Lord of the Rings type fantasy films – think ‘Dude Where’s My Sword’ and you’ll have some idea of what to expect.

"Princes to the end..."

The plot such as there is sees co-writer Danny McBride starring as Thadeous – probably the worst Prince ever, a lazy, cowardly fool who is forever in the shadow of his brave, dashing and altogether more heroic elder brother Prince ‘Fabious’ (James Franco). Fabious returns from his latest victory with a new gorgeous fiancé named Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel) but before they can web she is kidnapped by evil warlock Leezar (Justin Theroux).

So the quest is set for the Princes to seek Fabious’ lost bride to be and together face perils such as a pervert ‘wise wizard puppet’, seduction by tribe of bare breasted woman, battle all sorts of enemies including a mutant hand and a Minotaur along the way. The quest is joined by the gorgeous and feisty female warrior Isabel (Natalie Portman) who wears the most iconic metal bikini since Princess Leia and who packs some mad fighting skills.

"Not quite skinny dipping"

The laughs are a bit hit and miss but the cast go about the action with such conviction that it’s hard not to get caught up in the infectious stupidity. Copious fantasy references including Masters of the Universe, Clash of the Titans and Conan, certainly help make up for the weak pot-head and bodily function jokes.
So saddle up brave comedy fantasy seekers and make your quest to view Your Highness…

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


ööö

(3 - the sword in the stoner)...

Awesomeness ööö – almost awesome, a near miss

Laughs öööö – stupid but will make you laugh

Horror öö – minor battle violence n some monsters

Babes öööö – Portman is hot, Deschanel not bad either!

Spiritual Enlightenment ö – unless you count dick jokes!?

- - -
Second opinion - The Telegraph who were less impressed and say: " It makes Mel Brooks’s Robin Hood: Men in Tights look like a masterpiece."


"Natalie Portman - classy actress!"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Darkmatters Review: Tomorrow, When The War Began

Tomorrow, When The War Began (12a)


Director: Stuart Beattie

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

G’day sport, you looking for some bonza Aussie action? Well quit your grinnin and drop your linen cos the dinkum Tomorrow, When The War Began is here to blow your mind.

Yep, the massive selling Australian teenage war novel (part one of a seven book series) has been brought to big screen life. Tomorrow, When The War Began is already a bit of a phenomena in Australia where it broke box office records and became 2010’s biggest grossing film down under.

So what’s it all about? Well take seven ‘average’ teenagers namely – Ellie ‘the heroine’ (Caitlin Stasey), Corrie ‘the best friend’ (Rachel Hurd-Wood), Kevin ‘the cowardly boyfriend’ (Lincoln Lewis Holmes), Homer ‘wild boy’ (Deniz Akdeniz), Fiona ‘hot blonde’ (Phoebe Tonkin), Lee ‘token Asian’ (Chris Pang) and Robyn ‘the religious one’ (Ashleigh Cummings). Pack them off into the bush for a weekend camping trip, only for a dastardly evil invading army to take over their hometown of Wirrawee while they’re gone.

Tomorrow when war began
"teens check out potential target bridge"

And like any rebellious but good hearted teens – as soon as they realise that their families have been taken captive and that the invaders are using deadly force on the peaceful townsfolk – they vow to fight back in a guerilla style.

Cue lots of sneaking about, soul searching and the occasional exciting firefight or car chase. It’s all put together well enough by debut director Stuart ‘the guy who wrote G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra’ Beattie.
This being a film aimed at young adults, I took my 14 year old son Luke with me to give me a teen’s view on the flick. He listed the action scenes, hot babe (Tonkin – who you might know from the mermaid TV show H20) and surprisingly edgy mood as the highlights but was less keen on the “dull” weeping and “boring” long dialogue scenes. Luke’s review score: 7/10 “good but not as good as Battle L.A.”

Phoebe Tonkin sexy bikini
"this was Luke's favourite scene in the film!"
That seems like a fair reaction / summation of Tomorrow, When The War Began which delivers some cool military special effects and works hard to set up the numerous potential sequels which are likely to follow.

As lead character Ellie sums up to her video diary: “We've all had to rewrite the scripts of our lives the last few weeks… it’s been quite a time.”

Worth a look for anyone seeking a mild action hit – as long as you have a high tolerance of cheesy dialogue and ‘Neighbours’ quality acting.


Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
ööö1/2

(3.5 - arm your kids!)...

Awesomeness ööö – action is good when it comes

Laughs öö – couple of funnies

Horror öö – some violence against families

Babes öööö – Tomkin is hot

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö – even Christians can take up arms to save their country?
- - -

Second opinion - Total Film who say: "The directorial debut of Stuart Beattie (whose screenwriting credits include the Pirates movies and Australia), this is an impressive-looking film, but unfortunately, handsome production design is its main asset."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Darkmatters hearts MOTORSTORM APOCALYPSE!!

MotorStorm PS3

Developed by: Evolution Studios

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (A version of this review is also available at Frank The Monkey!:)

AAHhhhhh my butt is on fire!

Welcome to MotorStorm: Apocalypse, the third PS3 game in the MotorStorm franchise which has been tearing up Sony’s powerhouse machine with a uniquely balls out flavour of racing since it launched. ‘Apocalypse’ brings a new level of insane destruction to the mix – the races this time are not just off road, but off the scale awesome as the urban landscape itself is torn apart by a massive earthquake.

Ah yeah, the earthquake, well that didn’t work out so well for the makers as MotorStorm: Apocalypse was due to be released just when the real world earthquake had just hit Japan. So the game was quite rightly delayed for a few weeks to literally "let the dust settle".

So if you’ve played any of the previous MotorStorm games then you’ll know what to expect racing wise – full throttle arcade thrills, where ramming opponents is actively encouraged and boosting over the winning line on fire is part of the experience. Apocalypse recaptures some of the original’s spunky attitude which had been toned down for the last outing, it is also a darker take on the genre with passers-by and spectators fair game to become road kill if they get in the way!?

Anyway - this video shows you exactly what to expect:



The racing dynamics are tight and highly satisfying, boosted by the addition of some wicked new vehicles including supercars, superbikes, hot hatches, muscle cars and choppers. The urban setting makes a refreshing change from the mud, sand (and ice if you count the PSP ‘Artic Edge’) and the feeling of driving a suped up supercar through a dust cloud of pure destruction as the whole track literally collapses around you is a buzz that no other racing game to date has managed to deliver. It dwarves the efforts of Split / Second which was the closest to it in terms of urban racing / destruction and sets a new benchmark for total hard core arcade racing fun.

The MotorStorm Apocalypse city where the ‘Festival’ of racing takes place gets ravaged in real-time as you race - bridges can buckle and twist, buildings collapse and rifts open up beneath the vehicles as they drive, it’s awesome. You can also tinker with the look of your vehicles this time with vinyls, parts, and modified stat changing ‘perks’. It gives you a good affinity with you vehicles and lets you set them up in the style you want to race – combative, pure speed, defensive etc.

MotorStorm fans know just how important using the boost is – and letting it cool down is a key part of winning races. Driving through water is one way to cool / recharge the boost but here you can also let the air cool you down by performing some crazy big air jumps.
The city (or what’s left of it) is still home to some folks – and they can effect the race by doing things like firing missiles onto the track… This interference adds another element to the races and keeps it unpredictable.
You begin as a ‘Rookie’ and can work your way through ‘Pro’ through to ‘Veteran’ – it doesn’t take too long to progress if you’re any good and there are plenty of achievable trophies to grab along the way.
So the Festival is the main single-player mode and has a storyline which is new to the series – told through fun graphic novel like cut scenes. MotorStorm: Apocalypse – of course keeps and improves on the excellent brutal online multiplayer racing too – complete with Call of Duty alike perks to unlock.

"I feel the need, the need for - oh wait, not that game, this is MOTORSTORM!"

MotorStorm: Apocalypse is a great game which delivers a unique and fun to play racing experience that kicks the ass of any other off road racer on any system. If you like racing games then this is a must buy – don’t deny yourself the sheer excitement that awaits.

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


ööööö

(5 - Awesome shock and awe on wheels)...

If MOTORSTORM APOCALYPSE was a girl it would be recently named by Esquire Magazine 'sexiest woman alive': Katrina Bowden
 
"tipped for big things by Darkmatters in 2007"

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