DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

StarHawk (PS3 Exclusive) Beta



StarHawk (PS3 Exclusive) Beta

Developed / Produced by Santa Monica Studios / Lightbox Interactive

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Step this way gamers to experience intense frenetic combat on foot, in vehicles and in the air… StarHawk is a new type of shooter packing a wonderful gameplay system called "Build & Battle."

If you’ve ever enjoyed shooting stuff online and / or building strategic defenses StarHawk will be your new best friend! I’ve been playing the Beta now for a couple of weeks and it is fast becoming a way of life!! The balance of power is swayed by the tactical advantage of picking from an arsenal of weapons, vehicles, and fortifications, violently delivered from an orbiting drop ship to help turn the tide of battle.

There is a very special feeling engaging in epic 32 player online battles where the maps dynamically change depending completely on each player’s strategy. Working online in a team and playing with friends is the very definition of ‘Awesome’.

In the Beta there are 2 game modes available - Capture the Flag and Team Deathmatch. If you played WarHawk, the basics of running / driving around and fighting aren’t a million miles away – flying has changed a bit due to the fact that the ‘Hawks’ in StarHawk can stomp around as Mechs as well as fly like F11’s. Jetpacks are available from the start too, in fact there’s tons here and the Beta doesn’t even give you everything the full game will...

StarHawk differs from WarHawk mostly though because of the fact that you can ‘build’ stuff – like hangers to launch Hawks from, garages to provide cars, bases which have heavy weaponry in them, sniper towers, walls, turrets and manned gun emplacements – think fast moving RTS game and you’ll get the idea!?. This strategic element brings a whole new way to play to the combat genre – it might sound mad or daunting but it works – and after a couple of games you’ll think Call of Duty is horribly limited because you can’t build stuff to sway the fight.

"dammit this bogey's all over me"

StarHawk is incredibly addictive and hits that sweet ‘one more go’ factor that can lead to whole nights being eaten up before you know what happened. Oh and the full game will have a complete single player campaign too (unlike WarHawk).

"ouch!"

Hats off to the battle hungry dudes at Lightbox and Santa Monica studios – StarHawk is already a fantastic game even in Beta stage… I literally can’t wait for it hit the shops – online battlers need to play this game, Xbox 360 owners should seriously consider getting a PS3 for this (and maybe Twisted Metal) in 2012.

Bring it!!

"If StarHawk was a girl... would probably be Amber Heard!"

Monday, January 30, 2012

Chronicle - first 'must see' film of 2012

Chronicle 

Matt Adcock is excited...

Sometimes a film sneaks up on you and when you see the trailer you think - 'oh yes!' - that film for me this week was Chronicle. I'd seen and loved the trailer (below) but didn't realise quite how close to release it was... So it will be this week's film and with 5 star reviews already hitting with quotes like "For all the blockbusters due out over the spring and summer – many of which cost anywhere north of $100million – Chronicle is the movie they have to beat. It truly is that good." from Den of Geek (check their review here).



Looks like I'm going to have to finally check out THE KILL POINT which was the TV show that Chronicle director Josh Trank made...

Melancholia Review



Melancholia (15)

Dir. Lars Von Trier

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Hold my hand. Close your eyes.”

Lars Von Trier follows up his shocking, hit and miss ‘AntiChrist’ with an epic of human emotion – wrapped in fantasy sci-fi spectacle… The opening is an incredible, mind frazzling collage of slow-motion scenes which perfectly set the apocalyptic tone for the whole film. There are images that will stay with you forever and show the director is at the height of his ‘art’…

Melancholia is a lavish and fascinating dive into the deep waters of emotion and feelings that fluctuate between us. It is peppered with superb lines such as my favourite (working in communications):

“What education is perfect for Public Relations? Why, none at all of course!!”

Newly wed bride Justine (Kirsten Dunst – looking better than ever in a low cut wedding dress) is a force of nature in the lead role. She is ably backed up by the rest of the cast who include her sister, Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her new husband Michael (Alexander Skarsgård). There are key smaller roles also for Kiefer Sutherland (in a refreshing non-action part) as her brother in law who finances the massively expensive wedding reception of the first section. Random sex and strained relationships ensue.

"Who represents which planet?"

There is something about seeing a planet colliding with earth to the prelude to Richard Wagner's ‘Tristan and Isolde,’ that goes beyond poetic, referencing and imbues a sense of desolation and mood beyond the pop culture popular painting inspirations that many have criticised the film for.

Melancholia is split into two ‘parts’ which have the twin themes of Justine’s manic depressive behaviour and the coming of the a newly discovered planet which may or may not actually fulfil the portending dreams of planetary collusion…

Dunst does trauma well and is aided by a filmmaker whose vision is so strong that it sucks you into his wake kicking and screaming as witnessing doom and gloom never having looked so good. Packed with symbolism the cross over between Justine and Claire as their personas become twisted together (possibly by the gravitation pull of the new planet – named Melancholia) is a trip into the very essence of extinction – both of body and mind. Are we ready for it? Will we lie naked and bathe in the radiance of our undoing as Dunst does? Is there hope or are we tied into the seemingly random dance of death between our planet and another?

Watching the planet Melancholia approaching Earth from Trier’s nihilistic world view is extremely powerful and something which , as a Christian, was deeply thought provoking. Is the director really saying that life isn’t worth living? Melancholia is a great companion piece to view with The Tree of Life which delves into similar metaphysical territory and leaves you with very differing emotions.

Melancholia isn’t a film for anyone looking for a happy ending – this is the end of the world… The question is – how will you deal with it? It looks amazing whatever your thinking on the impending Armageddon – especially in high definition.

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

ööööö

5 – Life ends... in some fine style!

"Kirsten Dunst - lovely"

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Darkmatters Review: The Descendants


The Descendants (15) 

Dir. Alexander Payne

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Here’s a thing – how can a wistful film about the infidelity and death of a beloved wife be uplifting and life affirming in the midst of the massive grief, hurt and suffering of the main character? It takes a very special actor to pull of such a role and luckily for The Descendants, George Clooney brings his ‘A’ game and completely nails the lead as Matt King.

The Descendants is a free wheeling family drama set on the idyllic Hawaiian islands – and the scenery plays a key part to the feel of the film. The pacing is leisurely and laid back, which mirrors the pace of life on the islands and as well as Clooney delivering a potentially career best performance, the rest of the cast are great too.

"Happy families?"


The plot is anything but feel good – this is an intense trip into the conflicting emotions, as Matt and his two daughters Alexandra (the awesome Shailene Woodley) and Scottie (Amara Miller) have to deal with the loss of their wife/mother. On paper it sounds depressing and a hard slog of a watch, so it is an incredible achievement that Director Alexander Payne has crafted an amazing film that balances the depths of misery with a positive energy of life having to go on.

I haven’t seen bereavement and grief handled so well on the big screen for a long time, the King family is one that you will get to appreciate and root for in their time of crisis – and you’ll feel both drained and moved by the time the end credits roll. A little light entertainment is provided in Alexandra’s nice-but-dim boyfriend Sid (Nick Krause) who is used to great comic effect throughout. 

"Just add some cranky grandparents..."

One point though – if you absolutely hate Hawaiian music then The Descendants isn’t the movie for you and it embraces the island soundtrack every bit as much as it relishes in the paradise looks of the place. Clooney's Matt King is a deep character – he shows flaws and regret for all to see and his broken relationships his daughters is as honest and painful as anything committed to screen.

The Descendants takes you to a dark time in the lives of a family already coming apart at the seams, It’s a trip worth taking and one to savour – just don’t expect it to wash over you without your soul being engaged.

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

öööö1/2

4.5 – family values

Awesomeness ööö – everything just 'works'

Laughs ööö – some good funnies (helps make the pain bearable)

Horror ööö – emotional scars possible

Babes ööö – Shailene Woodley is one to watch!

Spiritual Enlightenment öö – l.i.v.e.g.o.e.s.o.n


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mission Impossible: Ending a Movie Franchise that Has Run Its Course

"Bit old for a Hoodie?"

Mission Impossible: Ending a Movie Franchise that Has Run Its Course

Why is it that movies that lead to sequels sometimes never end, even though the artistic and dramatic arc of the storylines are already long since concluded? Don't filmmakers have the artistic integrity to let a story concept go after they have finished two or three, or certainly four treatments of the subject? Apparently not, because the cinema times are such that fear of stepping out trying original concept is so high, that the franchise list keeps going on and on and on, and on...

"Rubbish"

So we get the absurdities of Rocky V, and the recent Rocky Balboa movie, where a totally ancient Sylvester Stallone is expected to be fit enough to take up a street fight with a young fighter in his prime, or is able to fight another in their prime fighter as a nearly 60-year-old man. Didn't they kill off Jigsaw in Saw III? You'd never know it from the four grizzly sequels following his demise. Indeed, the entire James Bond franchise makes no sense, in terms of continuity. Any new agent serving around 1960, even in your 30s at that time, would be in his 80s by 2012.

"Classic"

Speaking of agents, as well produced as the current Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol is, doggone it, Tom Cruise is long in the tooth to be playing the part of the lead agent. He of course is a big star, that will attract people to a theater based on his being mentioned in Oxford cinema listings, but at a certain point and actor is no longer viable or credible in the role. Racquel Welch was perfect as a sex symbol in the 60s, but could she be a Sports Illustrated cover model at this point? I'm afraid to say it, Pam Anderson, but your time at the sexpot is up too, even as a cameo star in gross comedies.

"Pam - how we remember her..."

Don't even get me started about the Final Destination series, which has turned and ugly but once clever concept into a derivative bloodbath. It's The major studios need to know how to give it a rest, and step out encourage to start undoing will be series based on original concepts, not a rehashed formula or reworking of formula. This stance not only for sequels, but for re-visualizations or "re-imagination" of previous series franchises. No, it is not worth rebooting Charlie's Angels, just because you can make Bosley a black man, or one of the girls Asian. Nor should you relaunch the A-team, just because you can get Baracus to curse a lot.

Hollywood, give us something new!

Darkmatters Review Underworld: Awakening




Underworld: Awakening (18)

Dir. Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“ I am a Death Dealer, sworn to destroy those known as the Lycans. Our war has waged for centuries, unseen by human eyes. But all that is about to change... again.”

Underworld: Awakening is the fourth film in the Underworld franchise – the fun, schlocky action packed series where we humans are caught in the crossfire of an ancient battle between vampires and were-wolves (Lycans). This time however, the human contingent are taking the fight back to the fantasy beasties with the aim of wiping them out – except all might not be what it seems and it will fall to one vampire ‘Death Dealer’ to fight her way to the truth.

"bang!"

The Death Dealer in question is the gorgeous Selene (Kate Beckinsale) who after 12 years imprisoned in frozen containment by the humans, bursts back into the war clad in her iconic shiny lycra catsuit, packing her trademark two handguns. Beckinsale looks absolutely amazing - squeezing convincingly back into her skin-tight outfit as if she hadn’t ever skipped the last film Underworld: Rise of the Lycans to take time out to have children.

Underworld: Awakening is a pitch perfect blast of over-the-top action, which sets the bar for impressive the action scenes in 2012. Watching Selene stylishly shoot, stab, punch, kick and snap the necks of all who oppose her is a fantasy action fans dream and man, she looks great kicking ass, oozing danger and sexual overload in a eye-watering combination.

"Selene looking to have quiet word with the Lycans"

Directors Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein do a great job of rocking the implausible plot which sees Selene finding that whilst she’s been frozen, a new hybrid vampire/lycan child named Eve has been genetically created from her and her lover’s DNA. Eve (India Eisley) sees Selene as her ‘mother’ and the two can see things through each other’s eyes. But you don’t really need to worry too much about the plot – it all basically serves to connect a series of intense action set pieces. Many critics have dismissed Awakening but judging from the enthusiastic audience reaction in the screening I caught this in (and the fact that it has made over $25million in it’s opening weekend) there seems to be a real ‘thirst’ for this gothic adventure shot through with Matrix-alike stylistic trappings.



If you’re looking for a fangtastic Friday night action blast – Underworld: Awakening is an adrenalin shot of awesome that will hit the spot.

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

öööö

4 – Death dealing is back and looking better than ever

Awesomeness öööö – jaw dropping action, eye popping costumes

Laughs öö – occasional hammy lines raise smiles

Horror öööö  – earns the 18 certificate with some brutal kills

Babes öööö – Selene is super watchable in rubber / leather outfit

Spiritual Enlightenment öö – won't tear your soul apart

For the trailer and more images click here

"India Eisley - co-star"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Darkmatters Review: Shark Night 3D


Shark Night 3D (15)

Dir. David R. Ellis

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Just when you thought is was safe to go back in the cool clear blu(ray) water… along comes a trashy Jaws rip-off which apes the success of the fun horror chomp-em-up Piranha 3D…

"ready for my close up!"

So first things first – Shark Night 3D might have sharks and be in 3D - as long as you’ve got a 3D TV, but most of it isn’t at night. But then I guess Shark mild afternoon doesn’t really have the same ring to it.

Directed David Ellis who has form for nastily offing teens from both Final Destination 2 and The Final Destination gives it a fair go bringing in not just big toothy sharks but also monsters of the human kind who are in league with them!?

"it's behind you!?"

The shark bait is an obligatory selection of hot looking college kids led by the foxy blonde bikini wearer Sara Palski (Sara Paxton) and her entourage including horny dudes, like repressed Nick (Dustin Milligan) and eye candy girls like Beth (Katherine McPhee). You can play horror bingo all the way through – stupid decisions, gratuitous posing and general dimness ‘I’ll take this mortally wounded pal across shark-infested waters on a waterski – what could possibly go wrong?’

The Louisiana setting works well and gives the film a slightly gothic edge – one that is helped no end by the film's human villains, a gruesome twosome of dodgy but cute Dennis (Chris Carmack) and his oddball hillbilly pal Carl (Jimmy Lee Jr.), who packs a set of sharpened teeth which could rival the sharks!?
"the girls - only picked for their brains"

The CGI shark are actually pretty cool, backed up with some nice robot efforts too but they are criminally under used. They do get some fun moments such as jumping out of the water to munch on passing teens and smashing through protective cages etc. but there was scope for more fish action...

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

ööö

3 (pure trash schlock of the fun kind)

"miss Paxton minus the sharks"

Friday, January 20, 2012

UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING DAY


Underworld: Awakening hits the UK

Matt Adcock

Yep it's the potential movie event of 2012!?

"remember Selene from Underworld?"

Underworld: Awakening brings a stunning new dimension to the epic battle between Vampires and Lycans, as the first film in the franchise to shoot in 3D. Kate Beckinsale, star of the first two films, returns in her lead role as the vampire warrior-ess Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.

"still shooting by the looks of things"

Can it really be 9 years since the first film? And more importantly - can the 4th entry in the series be any good?

Here's a snippet of an early review:

 "As a fan of the franchise, Underworld: Awakening feels like the movie I've been waiting for ever since the first one was released in 2003. Beckinsale has never been better, the story and action finally blends together a bit more smoothly, and incorporating humans into the Vampire/Lycan war breathes a new life into the series." thehorrorchick (read the full review here: Dread Central).

"say goodbye"

Full Darkmatters review this weekend...

Link to: Kate Beckinsale in a 'who has the best cinematic catsuit' stand off!?

Link to Darkmatters review of  UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Adele - bigger than Call of Duty (in 2011)

"headshot"

Darkmatters marvels at just how large Adele is... 

With 2 entries in the annual 'best selling' list and the overall number 1 position - Adele can be crowned as 'queen of sales 2011'... Nothing could compete with her, even the mighty Modern Warfare 3 met its match!?

Here's the official entertainment chart for 2011

2011 ENTERTAINMENT - TOP 10

 1 - 21 - Adele - 3,924,985 - Album
 2 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - 2,814,609 - Game
 3 - Harry Potter &The Deathly Hallows – Part 1 - 2,532,551 - Video
 4 - FIFA 12 - 2,193,302 - Game
 5 - Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 - 2,147,606 - Video
 6 - The Inbetweeners Movie - 2,074,652 - Video
 7 - The King’s Speech - 1,882,175 - Video
 8 - Christmas - Michael Buble - 1,349,195 - Album
 9 - Doo-Wops & Hooligans - Bruno Mars - 1,264,763 - Album
 10 - 19 - Adele - 1,264,273 - Album

Full top 40 chart can be found HERE

"next year look out for the Adele being a playable character in COD Black Ops 2"

Monday, January 16, 2012

Darkmatters Review: War Horse


War Horse (12a)

Dir. Steven Spielberg

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Hello horse fans, you join us for the first marathon World War One big screen steeplechase - the going is good to firm but bogged down with far too many soggy areas…

Soft-hearted billionaire director Spielberg turns this children’s novel / hit play into a long-winded film and leisurely crafts a lavish but oddly pedestrian ode to possibly the bravest equine beastie ever.

Spielberg's film are mostly viewed as cinematic phenomena but War Horse is a bit of a hard sell after it has been worked up with plenty of sentimentality by the likes of Richard ‘Four Weddings’ Curtis. Yes the cinematography is gorgeous and there are a couple of exciting scenes including a stunning Calvary charge thanks to the WWI setting but my son (who’d read the book and was keen to see the film) actually fell asleep about half way through!?

"let slip the erm, horses of war?"

So why is War Horse slightly lame rather than the epic thoroughbred it could (should?) have been? It’s certainly not the fault of the lead horse ‘Joey’ – you’d be hard pressed to find a nobler looking or engaging horse – if they gave Oscars to animals he’s be a dead cert to bag it... Nor really can the blame for the dramatic flatness be totally shouldered by the competent cast. What is missing here is the ability of the film to actually connect and make you care more than mildly about anything you’re witnessing.

Joey’s odyssey from humble farm beginnings through to messianic wartime icon certainly had the potential to send shivers down the viewers spines and grab their imaginations, so it’s hard to explain quite why the overall reaction isn’t better. I found the best scene to be the no-man's-land sequence where a British and a German soldier work together to free Joey from his barbed wire / near death predicament. It really stands out because it feels less ‘forced’ than the most of the other scenes. Eventually the clunky plot limps along to the very Hollywood conclusion, which leaves those audience members who are still awake with a lump in their throats and probably a newfound desire to buy a pony.

This War Horse should have been a cinematic thoroughbred but it falls short in a blub of sentimentality. Overall it’s decent enough but not a classic, maybe Spielberg’s forthcoming Robopocalypse will deliver more?

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

ööö

3 (lovely looking horsey droppings)

Awesomeness ööö – Cavalry charge is the definition of awesome
Laughs öö – Not very funny
Horror öö – Moments of grimness but mostly bland
Babes ö – Horsey women aren't my cup of tea
Spiritual Enlightenment öö - A boy, a horse, an implausible plotline... Ahhh...

"nowhere is safe from foot sniffing horses"

Darkmatters Review: Colombiana



Colombiana (15)

Dir. Olivier Megaton

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

There’s something undeniably cool about having a smokin hot female assassin be an unstoppable killing machine – and Zoe Saldana delivers a great performance in the lead role of Cataleya, a female with a killer body and vengeance on her mind. We meet Cataleya back when she’s just nine, bad men come to her house and kill her parents – she flees and manages to get to the U.S. Embassy where she is given a passport in exchange for a memory card that which holds the data which the baddies want.

The action then jumps from Colombia to Chicago when Cataleya has grown up and honed her skills to become a walking death dealer. approaches Her ‘hits’ are very nicely staged – from getting herself locked up in the same cellblock as a target through to literally sending a baddie to ‘sleep with the fishes’ – this girl rocks some slick assassin moves and leaves a lipstick drawn picture of an Amazonian orchid (also called Cataleya) on the target’s chests.

"how to make an entrance!?"

Of course it isn’t long before her under cover operations draw unwanted attention and she has to move to the end game of finally getting revenge for her parents deaths. Cue corrupt CIA and dogged policeman tracking her down for different reasons plus mob cartel heavies coming and wiping out even her extended family – just we’re fully on her side when she dispatches them in the climactic assault on the big bosses lair.

Oliver Megaton (love his surname) brings the requisite frantic pace and jump cut style of filming, taking every chance to show off Saldana’s perfect butt in HD. This is a trashy, flashy movie that won’t change your world but will entertain greatly.

Colombiana delivers a good time of high-octane thrills and spills. It’s not quite up there with Leon in terms of Besson’s efforts but is a lot of violent escapist fun.

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

ööö1/2 

3.5 - sexy and deadly (great combination)

"Zoe Saldana... window dressing!?"

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Darkmatters Review: The Iron Lady


The Iron Lady (12)

Dir. Phyllida Lloyd

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

This isn’t actually an ambitious sequel to animated sci-fi flick The Iron Giant, no this is an equally far fetched tale of how a female life form somehow assimilated the position of utmost political power in the UK.

Yes, whatever your political alliance, the name ‘Margaret Thatcher’ will undoubtedly resonate deep feelings within anyone who lived through her reign of terror from 4 May 1979 – 28 November 1990. Played incredibly here by Meryl Streep – who must surely by up for serious award nominations for this role – the film depicts the titular ‘Iron Lady’ in her confused and unstable elderly years. As she struggles to come to terms with the loss of her husband Denis (Jim Broadbent), with whom she still talks and interacts even though he’s no more than a figment of her imagination. This gives the filmmakers the plot device to run through a highlight reel of Thatcher’s ‘greatest hits’ – jumping between the high profile elements of her time in power including the miners strike, the Falklands war and the poll tax riots.

The most interesting areas are the quick dip into the early years of how young Margaret managed to blast her way through the many barriers of gender and class to make her way into the male-dominated world. The film is also touching in the love story of her and Denis and the price she had to pay for her single minded pursuit of power.

"We are the champions..."

Unfortunately, the overall film is lumpy, schmaltzy and liable to test your viewing endurance even with Streep’s powerhouse performance. Yes Thatcher is and was an extraordinary and complex woman but The Iron Lady leads viewers very firmly (and mostly overly sympathetically) through her career.

Supporting cast such as Olivia Colman, who plays Maggie’s daughter Carol do well with their limited screen time and the special effects that bring about the aging process as scarily effective (possibly overly so as there are not many people who want to spend cash to stare at strange wrinkled synthetic elderly make up effects for almost two hours).

The Iron Lady really might be Streep’s finest-ever performance, but it unfortunately just isn’t enough to make up for the pedestrian filmmaking and propaganda-ish spoon-feeding of very selected highlights.

Tory boys and their ladies may lap up the blue rinse flashbacks with a “rah rah” and a wave of their ‘I heart Maggie’ flags. Fans of quality films however are likely to be unconvinced and unimpressed by this docile effort – Streep’s performance deserves to be in a much better film!


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

öö1/2

2.5 – weak overall but merit for Streep's Iron grip!

Awesomeness öö – nothing a but a good time for the Tory Right

Laughs öö – not meant to be funny but sometimes it is

Horror öö – if wrinkles freak you out then be afraid

Babes ö – not happening

Spiritual Enlightenment öö – blues for the soul

Trailer:


Second Opinion:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/jan/08/the-iron-lady-review

Friday, January 06, 2012

PS VITA - Sumioni: Demon Arts

Kick Some Demon Butt / Stop To Admire The Beautiful Artwork 

Matt Adcock

"unleash the ink god!"

It's not every day that you come across a side-scrolling action videogame that looks like an interactive work of art...

But thanks to Sumioni: Demon Arts on the PS VITA, developed by Acquire in Japan and XSeed Games outside - this piece of digital 'art' looks ass kicking fun... where ink is your weapon!?

I love the touch screen battle commands - displayed in the videos below, this will be one I'll be picking up as soon as it launches!!



Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

"No boobies were harmed in the making of this poster"

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (18)

Dir. David Fincher

Reviewed for Darkmatters by Matt Adcock

“Rape, torture, fire, animals, religion. Am I missing anything?” Mikael Blomkvist

Welcome to the dark, lurid world of Stieg Larson’s multi-million selling novel – wonderfully reworked here in English by master director David ‘Social Network’ Fincher. Sure it’s only been a few years since the original Swedish language film brought the iconic titular ‘Girl’ to the big screen but this new riff on the material is something rather awesome, something that reaches into your soul and squeezes it so tightly that time flies past in a whirl of deception and intrigue.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo packs in the nastiness - serial killing, Nazis, incest, rape and violent retribution, yes it’s trashy and base but Fincher manages to elevate the overall experience to one that leaves you breathless and highly engaged. The second the cool opening credits roll – to the disturbing strains of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross's soundtrack – through to the semi cliff-hanging finish (there are two more books / films in this series), this is a cinematic experience unlike any other.

Daniel Craig is excellent in the central role of disgraced hotshot journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, who gets more than he bargained for when hired to investigate the unsolved disappearance of a girl from her home on an odd little family owned Swedish island. Could the case be linked to the work of a serial ritualistic murderer whose sadistic killing spree has spanned generations?

"Fee, fi, fo, fum, I smell the blood of a Nazi scum!?"

By far the star of the show though is Lisbeth Salander (an incredible performance by Rooney ‘The Social Network’ Mara), a socially challenged twenty-something super hacker and ward of the state. She who wears the dragon tattoo is the pivotal character who undergoes extreme sexual abuse, humiliation and degradation at the hands of her perverted legal guardian. Her subsequent revenge is eye-wateringly savage but completely understandable – and is designed to empower females everywhere.

The build up of the investigation is more clearly laid out in this version too although the list of suspects from the Vanger family on the island is short and it’s not a major surprise when source of the evil is found.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is meticulously shot film and creates a truly dynamic chilly atmosphere which veritably leaks from the screen into your subconscious.

Highly recommended for those who like their mysteries shot through with pitch-black undercurrents. Come on Sony, get parts 2 and 3 made soon!


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

öööö1/2

4.5 – breath in those smouldering lurid thrills

Awesomeness öööö – kicks in hard in places (that other films cannot reach)

Laughs öö – dark mirth in places

Horror öööö – oohh that's nasty in places

Babes ööö – stars the only Rooney I fancy (see below)

Spiritual Enlightenment öö – not so much unless you want to investigate the theology of revenge?


Trailer:


Second opinion: Tom Wade's Review on CultureSlap

"Rooney shoots and scores (looking more normal here)"

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Darkmatters - Billion Dollar Films

"$2.7 billion - that's a lot of love for the blue people..."

Top 10 Films Ever (box office)

Matt Adcock

2011 saw 3 new entries into the Top Ten Biggest Grossing Films of ALL TIME...

That means that now 10 movies have pulled in over a billion dollars at box office - here's the list:

1. Avatar (2009) $2,781,505,847
Darkmatters Review

2. Titanic (1997) $1,835,300,000
Review

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) $1,327,655,619
Darkmatters Review

4. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) $1,119,102,868
Review

5. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) $1,114,558,779
Darkmatters Review

6. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) $1,065,896,541
Darkmatters Review

7. Toy Story 3 (2010) $1,062,984,497
Darkmatters Review

8. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) $1,041,963,875
Darkmatters Review

9. Alice in Wonderland (2010) $1,023,285,206
Darkmatters Review

10. The Dark Knight (2008) $1,001,921,825
Darkmatters Review

Not exactly what we at Darkmatters would call the 'best films of all time' except maybe Dark Knight (and in Tom Wade's case Transformers 3)... but amazing that Titanic from 1997 hasn't been bettered by anything other than Avatar - will Hobbit, Avengers or Dark Knight Rises (new Catwoman below) crash this party?




Darkmatters Game Picks for 2012


2012 - Looking Good for Games!!

Matt Adcock picks his top Games for 2012

Yes Grand Theft Auto V is the game that I'm (and most of the gaming world) most looking forward to this year... but I'm also very excited to play Bioshock Infinite, Mass Effect 3 and the obligatory upgrades of Fifa and Call of Duty (especially on PS Vita).

But here are some videos that might help you get in the mood for some gorgeous looking gaming experiences in 2012...

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

wipEout 2048

Dust 514

Escape Plan

StarHawk

Twisted Metal

The Last Guardian

The Last of Us

Tweet this...