DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Darkmatters Review: Drive

Drive (18) 

Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“If I drive for you, you give me a time and a place. I give you a five-minute window, anything happens in that five minutes and I'm yours no matter what. I don't sit in while you're running it down; I don't carry a gun... I drive.”

From the stunning opening scene of a crackling overhead neon LA cityscape, where a robbery is taking place – set to the compulsive dirty synth sounds of 'Nightcall' (Kavinsky Feat. Lovefoxxx)
– you just know that Drive is going to be a very cool film.

And you’d be right!

"Brrrrmmmm!"

Star of the piece is ‘Driver’ (Ryan ‘Half Nelson’ Gosling) a man with no name but an uncanny way with cars. Drive is a powerful, heartbreaking romance shot through with heavy-duty violence and awesome crime-drama-action.

Based on the novel by Jim Sallis, Drive has been adapted for the screen by Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn (who made the excellent brutal Viking-em-up ‘Valhalla Rising’). It is the tale what happens when the ice cool Driver falls for cute girl next door Irene (Carey ‘Never Let Me Go’ Mulligan). Could he find happiness with her and her young son, outside of his links to the criminals who he drives for?

In a word ‘no’ because Irene’s husband, Standard (Oscar Isaac) is released from prison and before you can say “it’ll end in tears” there are beatings, robberies, deaths and double-crosses following thick and fast. Key to the dangerous underbelly of Drive are low rent movie producer Bernie (Albert Brooks), and his unhinged partner Nino (Ron Perlman). Brooks gets one of the best lines in recent times about his hands being ‘a little dirty’.

"What could go wrong?"

Everything works really well, the cast are all on good form – especially Mulligan and Gosling who share looks that will melt the heart of anyone watching. The soundtrack to the movie is amazing too – adding a haunting vibe to the four-wheeled carnage and slow burning romance.

Be warned though that the violence cranks up to an eye-watering level as things go very pear shaped – akin to other cool crime thrillers such as True Romance or Pulp Fiction. But it is an intrinsic part of the plot as Driver ironically might never get to be with Irene because of the violent measures he takes to protect her.

There is action and violence but still at the core a wonderful love story - showcased by the awesome scene where Driver takes Irene and her son on an impromptu excursion to the sounds of ‘A Real Hero’ by College Featuring Electric Youth. The scene is unbelievable...

"Happy times but how long can they last?"

Drive is an immediate cult classic and definitely my film of 2011 – actually it has crashed straight into my top 5 films of all time!

Highly recommended!!

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

ööööö

 (5 - film of 2011 for sure!)...

Awesomeness ööööö – many jaw dropping moments

Laughs öö – not a laugh riot

Horror öööö – gets very gory in places

Babes ööö – Carey Mulligan is gorgeous

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - everyone must make their own moral choices

WATCH the trailer and HEAR the main soundtrack song HERE

"Miss Mulligan is highly desirable"



God of War Collection 2


God of War Collection: Volume 2 (PS3) 

Developed / Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“I am Kratos - a former Captain of Sparta's Army, and once a servant to the God of War, Ares… 


Now I serve the other Olympian Gods and hope to be free of the nightmares that haunt me. 


All I know is death, combat and glory – in High Definition!”

 If you’re a gamer of any sort – you should already know and love the God of War games. Now you lucky people can play the awesome PSP games - God of War: Ghost of Sparta and God of War: Chains of Olympus on your big screen HD TVs via the lovely PS3. Both the games rocked high scores of 9+ out of 10 in their hand held guises – the good news is that the The God of War Collection: Vol 2 brings more than just gorgeous graphics and Dualshock controls to the party.

Kratos is one man slaughter-em-up machine whose anti-hero antics see him taking down the denizens of Olympus, The Underworld and pretty much anything with a heartbeat in between. God of War III was a gaming high point many but the God of War Collection: Volume 2 is a perfect companion that brings two entire games of god bothering carnage. Chains of Olympus is a kind of prequel to the Original GOW and Ghost of Sparta its inbetween God of War and God of War II.

"I'm so hard I laugh at my hand catching fire..."

Both of the games look fantastic in HD but you can certainly see the evolution from Chains to Sparta in just about every area. Graphics and gameplay have been polished so it’s really worth working through Chains before tackling Sparta – as you’ll appreciate the refinements made.

Controlling Kratos is like taking an adrenalin overdose – macho battling, goddess seducing, monster slaughtering… all in eye popping HD. The quality of the conversions from PSP to PS3 is amazing and bodes incredibly well for the new PS Vita which legend tells will be able to transfer your game from the HD home console to the HD handheld…

Some of the boss battles redefine the word ‘epic’ in ways that have no equal in any game out there – if you want a dead cert rush – choose God of War Collection: Volume 2 and feed your inner warrior. It’s a non stop thrill ride which demands to be played.

Action gaming really doesn’t get much better than this and I’m delighted that Sony are keep the quality control dialled up to max for their iconic God of War series. Here’s to whatever may come next!!

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

ööööö

(5 - Kratos deserves his upgrade to PS3)...

 Check out the official site


Saturday, September 24, 2011

DRIVE - Darkmatters Film of 2011

DRIVE (18)

Matt Adcock's film of 2011...



Think I have a new Favourite Film!! Am stunned and completely blown away by DRIVE...

See it, love it, download the awesome soundtrack, see it again - this is without doubt my FILM OF 2011!! (Not for the faint of heart but totally compelling, exciting, heart-breaking and thrilling)!?

Watch the trailer here:

 

Films just don't come much more intense, brutal, exciting and expertly crafted - think 'TRUE ROMANCE' crossed with 'BULLIT' - Nicolas Winding Refn (who made Pusher and Valhalla Rising) is a director to rival any!!

You really need to listen to this track from the soundtrack to get a feel for the awesomeness that DRIVE delivers...



 The car chases set new benchmarks but are far from the stars of the show -Ryan Gosling has created a new cinematic icon with his role of Driver (stunt driver by day, wheelman by night) and Carey Mulligan is superb as the girl next door who steals his heart (but is married to a criminal)...

"DRIVE - a romance with real emotion"


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Darkmatters Review: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy



Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (15)

Dir. Tomas Alfredson

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

This is a priority communication – clearance to read rated ‘TOP SECRET’ - message reads: “We have a rotten apple, at the very top of British intelligence”.

Trying to re-imagine John le Carré best selling novel into a single feature film is a tough ask, especially in the light of the classic 1979 TV adaptation in which Alec Guinness gave one of his best ever performances as the enigmatic hero ‘George Smiley’.

But Tomas ‘Let The Right One In’ Alfredson does a brilliant job – aided and abetted by a powerhouse performance from Gary Oldman in the lead role. The labyrinthine plot packs many twists, false leads and moments of danger as the British Secret Service codename ‘Circus’ tries to root out the traitor who has managed to infiltrate their upper echelons. ‘Control’ (John Hurt) has assigned codenames to the few select people who the mole could be including Tinker, Tailor and Soldier… But which of them is the ‘Spy’?

The 2011 film is a classy and fantastically acted high brow mystery which will please those looking for a thriller that requires you pay attention. The 1970’s are recreated beautifully in all their drab glory and credit must be given to the filmmakers for their attention to detail. And the cast which includes Colin Firth, Tom Hardy and Mark Strong sees them all deliver excellent performances which scream ‘Oscar nominations’!?

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is brutally hard hitting in places and certainly earns its 15 certificate with brains being blown out and one scene where a spy has been on the wrong end of some angry Russian interrogators – and ends up wrapped in his own entrails is enough to give anyone nightmares. But despite the moments of shocking violence the main tone is one of creeping dread and paranoia that is very effective. Oldman is amazing as George Smiley, letting his facial ticks and gestures convey masses and handling the lead role with admirable restraint.


It is certainly refreshing to see a big screen film that doesn’t spoon-feed the audience as if we’re a bunch of backward simpletons. Just be aware that you can’t afford to dose off as even the scenes where it is predominantly dialogue require watchers to take notice not just of what is said but how and in what context.

If you’ve never read the book or seen the sublime TV series then the film is a great introduction to the shady world of counter-espionage and a scary reminder of Cold War times.

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

öööö

(4 - The enemy is within!)...

Awesomeness öööö – smiley kicks ass without trying

Laughs öö – a few 'smileys' to be had

Horror öööö – nasty in parts

Babes ööö – Amanda Fairbank-Hynes !


Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - trust no-one...

"Amanda Fairbank-Hynes would brighten up any office"

Friday, September 16, 2011

Are you 'MOVE -ING' yet?


"The PS3's Move Controller... Suitable for self defence!?"


80+ Games Using PS3 Move Control Option

Matt Adcock
There are currently 83 games available or being made for the PS3 that can be controlled with the funky 'MOVE' controllers... From shooters such as Killzone 3, Resistance 3 and the upcoming Bioshock Infinite through the sport sims of Tiger Woods, Sports Champions and Virtua Tennis 4 on to party / dance games like Singstar Dance, Start the Party and TV Superstars - there are lots to keep you leaping about in front of your TV - and that's without the cool 'unique' experiences such as Flight Control HD, Heavy Rain, LIttleBigPlanet 2 and Child of Eden. Seems that actress Christina Ricci is a fan too - check these shots of her playing some PS3 Move games below:



Sunday, September 11, 2011



Jane Eyre (PG)

Dir. Cary Fukunaga

Reviewed by Matt Adcock


 “A wanderer's repose or a sinner's reformation should never depend on a fellow-creature. Men and women die; philosophers falter in their wisdom, and Christians in goodness: if any one you know has suffered and erred, let him look higher than his equals for strength to amend, and solace to heal.”
 Jane Eyre, Chapter 20 

It seems that Hollywood just can’t stop remaking classics – with variable success – but this new rendition of Charlotte Brontë’s gothic tale of love and heartbreak is a cut above any of the 20+ versions that have gone before.

For those not blessed enough to have read the book, Jane Eyre is the story of 19-year-old Jane (Mia ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Wasikowska). Her ‘tale of woe’ is that of having been brought up an unloved orphan (young Jane is played by the excellent Amelia Clarkson) in a seriously severe boarding school where no child is spared the rod and not all survive. Upon release Jane finds what she thinks is happiness working as a Governess for a handsome and imposing aristocrat Edward Rochester (Michael ‘Fish Tank’ Fassbender), but he hides a terrible secret that could wreck both their lives.

"beware the woods at night..."

Is there any way in which the poor Miss Eyre can find love and acceptance in the arms of her employer or are they doomed to unrequited affection? The course of true love certainly doesn’t run smooth and along the way Jane must grapple with the unwanted amorous attentions of sappy young clergyman St John (Jamie Bell) who means to take her to India as his missionary bride. There are also mysterious noises in the night, sinister tales of a woman who walks the house after dark who passes through walls and many a windswept moor to be negotiated.

The cinematography of director Cary ‘Sin Nombre’ is excellent throughout – the film builds up delicious undercurrents of menace and makes effective use of the staples of the gothic novel: dark storms, large daunting houses, suspected peril and deep, smouldering looks passed between characters. In a cinema year that has been low on high-brow quality romances Jane Eyre is a welcome visual and emotional cinematic ravishing of the soul.

For those seeking altogether superior film viewing (and/ or a cracking thinking person’s date flick) then this should be witnessed on the big screen if at all possible.

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

öööö1/2

 (4.5 - Out gothics Twilight for quality dark love story)...

Awesomeness ööö – smoulders nicely

Laughs öö – some wry wit in evidence

Horror öö – some jumps and menace

Babes ööö – Wasikowska plays plain Jane well

 Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - true love can cost you everything

"Wasikowska - not such a plain Jane perhaps"

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Darkmatters Review: RESISTANCE 3


Resistance 3 (18) PS3 Exclusive

Developed by Insomniac Games

Reviewed by Matt Adcock


Ah August, 1957… I still remember that fateful time…. It was yesterday…

America was lost to the Chimeran scum, we humans had been toasted on the battlefield, enslaved and even converted into freakish monsters – monsters who existed to hunt and kill the last humans left alive.

Sentinel Joseph Capelli had given up fighting the alien fiends after his dishonorable discharge from the army but now when his wife and son are threatened he must draw together the remnants of humanity left in the aftermath of the brutal Chimeran invasion. And try to form a new Resistance…

Insomniac Games’ are pretty darn tasty when it comes to working on the PS3 – Resistance 3 is their fifth-generation engine and it really shows. The graphics sparkle, the controls are immediately second nature and the levels to fight through are living, breathing masterpieces of cunning design. Resistance 3 is so full of win that it beats the living daylights out of the first two games. Everything has been refined, improved and machine tooled to give you a hair-raising, spine tingling blast-em-up par excellence!?

You get to ‘be’ Capelli as he fights for survival, packing new (and returning but now upgradeable) weapons, each is a joy to wield from the meaty human staples of magnums, shotguns, machine guns, rifles and snipers through to the energy bolt firing, see and shoot through walls alien weaponry. And if you think it’s fun using the lovely spread of weaponry in single player campaign (which can be co-oped) – just wait till you go up against your mates in multiplayer deathmatch with them!!

So yes, Resistance 3 is undoubtedly the best in the series to date, and it redeems the slightly less fun Resistance 2 which failed to cement the games as classics – if you only ever play one Resistance game, 3 is the magic number! I’m not kidding when I say that Resistance 3 is up there with Killzone 3 and Gears of War 3… This is a good year for ‘3’ games with Uncharted 3 and Mass Effect 3 still to come!

It’s not like there is a shortage of first-person shooters out there either (and with Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 arriving soon – more quality ‘3’ games) it looks like this is a golden era for making virtual warfare.

"Wow - what big teeth you have..."

I was lucky enough to face the Chrimera in person at the ‘And Darkness Descends’ live action prequel event in London – which was a great way to set up the plot of Resistance 3. But even if you’ve never played a Resistance game before and didn’t get to the ‘darkness’ event – R3 is so welcoming that you’ll feel like you’ve jumped straight into a brand franchise – and it will be one of your very favourites!!

And for those who like their shoot-em-up in 3D, Resistance 3 is an absolute beast in that it really gives Killzone 3 a run for it’s money in terms of how slick and immersive it feels. Yes it also packs the option to use the nifty PS3 Move Gun attachment too – so for those who like to pull a real trigger rather than a controller button – step right up!


Resistance 3 is an awesome game, anyone who likes to shoot stuff (especially sci-fi fans) will find hours of pleasure here. Don’t deny yourself a slice of superb fun – everything about Resistance 3 is pure class, the PS3 is kicking all sort of ass this year!!

"essential kit!"


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

ööööö

(5 - PS3 keeps the good times coming!!)...

Check out the official site

Monday, September 05, 2011

Darkmatters Review: Kill List



KILL LIST (18)

Dir. Ben Wheatley

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“They are bad people – They should suffer.”

What if there are malign, crazed occult forces at work behinds the scenes of our society?
Wouldn’t it be unnerving if they employed hit-men to take out people they deemed worthy of death – on a ‘Kill List’?

Step into the world of ex-squaddie Jay (Neil Maskell) he’s suffering from some sort of post traumatic stress disorder and although he and his pal Gal (Michael Smiley) are assassins for hire, he hasn’t been able to kill anyone for at least 8 months.

The film start as Gal and his odd girlfriend Fiona (Emma ‘PhoneShop’ Fryer) have dinner with Jay and Swedish his ex-military Mrs Shel (MyAnna ‘The Descent’ Burning). Things are not good with Jay and Shel – the meal is so naturalistic and charged with ill feeling that is one of the most painful domestic scenes ever committed to film.

Anyway, Gal gets Jay to agree to take on a lucrative hit – to wipe out 3 people on a kill list for some sinister old geezer who writes his contracts in blood. The film works through escalating ‘hits’ buoyed by the believable and likeable buddy banter of the two leads. There is a classic scene where the two have an alteration with a group of guitar happy Christians in a hotel restaurant – which alludes to a spiritual battle taking place behind the scenes - and certainly adds an extra element to the film which many will probably gloss straight over.

As a Christian I'm always interested in depictions of spiritual powers and their effect on us - be that the delusion of cults, the supernatural power of evil or (and never normally very well captured) the majestic all powerful nature of God (see TREE OF LIFE for best recent reflection on this). Kill List might not be your first choice for a spiritual film but it definitely packs a loaded element of supernatural disturbance...

"goodbye..."

Before you write Kill List off as a oddball quirky Brit gangster flick, you should know that if you let it, it will get under your skin and eat its way out from the inside! There is the growing palpable sense of unease that I haven’t experienced as deeply since the excellent voodoo dread feel of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And yes horror fans Kill List morphs into a full-blooded horror film at the end, which left the audience I saw this with - in shocked, stunned silence with a super grim sucker punch ending.

The occult elements of the film aren’t worked as satisfyingly as might have been – indeed one of the mates I saw this with was left cold by the whole low budget, exposition less natural feel. But for those willing to embrace shocking violence, forgive slightly lumpy plot transitions and seek enjoyment in a weird and darkly funny British horror – Kill List marks itself out as a heavyweight viewing experience.

Think The Wicker Man (original), mixed with House of the Devil and Dead Man’s Shoes, set in a recession era modern day Britain and you have something altogether more interesting than most sugar coated supposed horror recent efforts.

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

öööö

(4 - Turbo charged and spewing black fumes)...

Awesomeness öööö – some very heavy duty scenes

Laughs öö – a few dark chuckles to be had

Horror ööööö – some of this is beyond grim

Babes ööö – MyAnna Burning gives good blonde

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - brutal and stark warped spirituality

"Oi son, your misses is a nutter..."

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Resistance 3 comes to life - And Darkness Descends


"Dare you enter?"

And Darkness Descended... 
- A live action adventure experience based on the new PS3 game Resistance 3!? 

Experienced by Matt Adcock

"that's the smile of a survivor!"


Sony are pretty cool when it comes to game launches and so for the third in the Resistance Franchise, PlayStation 3 have commissioned immersive theatre specialists, Punchdrunk to create a unique survival experiment fusing theatre and gaming.

So you get to 'be' one of the last humans alive, stumbling through a mutant creature infested film set that is designed to freak even the hardiest gamer out... It's one thing when facing alien creatures and mutated humans on a screen (with a virtual gun to keep them at bay) - it's another thing entirely when you have to try and sneak through a hellish medical lab filled with wailing wounded, in the dark, stalked by alien creatures, with no weaponry of any sort.

I had to quote Frost from Aliens: "What the hell are we supposed to use man? Harsh language?" but even harsh language (or screaming very loudly which seemed to be the tactic employed by the females in our group) didn't work on our flesh hungry foes...

We weren't allowed to take pictures 'in' the adventure either but I did manage to do a quick sketch (below):


"imagine this but darker..."


The Waterloo Station Arches, are where the 'And Darkness Descended..." experience is hosted and  Playstation / Punchdrunk have done a great job in putting you actually into the prequel to the Resistance 3 game. 

Our plucky group's mission was to get a code to some US survivors - the rules were simple, if you get touched by an enemy - you're out of the game (which sounds fine until you see a friendly marine being dragged off into the darkness by one of the enemy creatures)... 



"Playing the game with a nice glass of red wine was for those who made it out..."


Things went a little nuts after we somehow managed to unlock an abandoned computer terminal and send our code message. We'd already 'lost' some of our group and so when a nearby door was broken open silhouetted in the red light was a freak-show alien - we few survivors ran for out lives - see below (where a helpful Sony PR guy took our photo):

"the men made it out - led by the fastest / most cowardly green cardigan man, the women... 
ah well, they're probably tastier for the aliens to snack on anyway!?"


If you're brave enough to want to try this experience, you can - find out if there are any placed left for Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th September by emailing accesslive@scee.net stating your preferred date...

Times: 19.00-23.00 3rd and from 14.00-19.00 on Sunday 4th September 2011

Venue: Waterloo Station Arches, Leake Street, SE1 7NN 

18 years, ID may be required. Trainers or running shoes are highly recommended.

MORE INFO: 

www.facebook.com/playstationaccess

"They're everywhere - this pic taken on the Northern Line"


FULL DARKMATTERS REVIEW OF RESISTANCE 3 COMING SOON!

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