DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Darkmatters Film Picks for 2014



Darkmatters Film Picks for 2014

Matt Adcock is looking forward to seeing these...




THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

Incoming - January 17

Scorsese directs DiCaprio and McConaughey, plus Jonah Hill in this 'based on the memoirs of Jordan Belfont' tale of a Wall Street criminal's hedonistic rise - it looks like American Psycho with added dwarf tossing and a bit less serial killing.



ROBOCOP

Incoming - February 7

Somewhere a crime is being committed - let's hope that it's not this remake set in 2028 Detroit, where the police are losing the war on crime - and are not allowed to use robots like the rest of the world. Cue the evil corp creating a machine cop that has a human heart in Alex Murphy, badly injured policeman rebuilt as a kick ass cyborg cop.


THE BOOK THIEF

Incoming - February 26

I loved the book of this moving tale where a young girl named Liesel is orphaned who is left with foster parents and a love of books. World War II rages and Death / The Grim Reaper (Roger Allam) is narrating the story - hoping the balance between grimness and sentiment is struck well...



300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE

Incoming - March 7

Partying in the shadow of the mighty 300 - this is a prequel which shows how Xerxes set out to conquer the world and brings an epic confrontation between the Persian fleet, led by Eva Green's formidable Artemisia, and the Athenian fleet led by Themistokles.


NEED FOR SPEED

Incoming - March 14

Aaron Paul follows up Breaking Bad as Tobey Marshall who is set up and banged up in prison. Upon release though he takes on a crazy cross-country race as part of his quest for revenge – but with a price on his head it could get very messy! Vroom.



THE ZERO THEOREM

Incoming - March 14

What happens when a computer genius in a Brazil like future is working to solve the Theorem of Life. This is a Terry Gilliam film that includes 'The Church Of Batman The Redeemer' - you have to love this!!


NOAH

Incoming - March 28

Darren Aronofsky directs Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins and Ray Winstone. Things get biblical for Noah (Crowe) and his ark!?



GODZILLA

Incoming - May 16

Monster mayhem on a grand scale beckons as things get radioactive and the world just might not survive!!


X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

Incoming - May 22

Bryan Singer brings the mutant gang back together to battle the robot Sentinels in a world where all mutants are hunted. Professor X (Stewart) and Magneto (McKellen) send Wolverine (Jackman) back in time to his younger self - X-Men meets The Terminator? Game on!!



EDGE OF TOMORROW

Incoming - May 30

One of my favourite directors - Doug Liman - gets to direct Tom Cruise who plays Lt. Col. Bill Cage who is part of the army's future PR department - but getting KIA complecates things and then he finds himself 'replaying' events in a time loop - bring the carnage!



DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Incoming - July 17

More monkey business as humanity has been devastated by a virus and apes, led by baddie Caesar (Serkis) must find a way to either work with the humans or fight to the death!?



GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Incoming - August 1

Excited to see what James 'Super' Gunn can bring to the Marvel cannon. Guardians sees an A-Team like bunch of heroes meet in prison and team up to break out and go after a treasure... Going to be fascinating to see such weird and wonderful comic book material brough to the big screen.


SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR

Incoming - August 29

Another three graphic novel stories bring together Frank Miller's crime-em-up hard boiled characters that include Dwight (Brolin), Ava (Green), Nancy (Alba), Hartigan (Bruce Willis) - who died in the first film!? and Johnny (Gordon-Levitt) all embroiled in dastardly doings - in super stylised black and white style!

THE EQUALIZER

Incoming - October 10

Denzel Washington and Chloe Grace Moretz make this a 'must see' adaptation as Robert McCall (Washington) quits his CIA post and decides to right wrongs in pursuit of redemption. A young prostitute, Teri (Moretz), asks him for help. When he agrees it brings him up against the Russian mafia and brutal fixer.


INTERSTELLAR 

Incoming - November 07

A group of explorers make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage. This will be superb - it's a Chris Nolan film after all!!



THE RAID 2: BERANDAL

Incoming - not confirmed

Gareth Evans follow up his superb original and has hero of pt 1 Rama going into prison to establish an undercover identity in order to try an infiltrate a vicious mob family - things are unlikely to go smoothly so expect copious action and violence!


What are you looking forward to??








Darkmatters Review: Anchorman 2 - The Legend Continues


Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (15)

Dir. Adam McKay

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“I’m kind of a big deal!”

In the fickle world of news media – true legends are few and far between but in this dog-eat-dog, ego-centric world, one name stands magnificently aloof at the top of the pile… That man is Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell)!

We catch up with the least PC newsman on the planet who is rocking the co-anchor newscaster role at Channel Four News, alongside his hot wife Veronica (Christina Applegate). But when it is she rather than Ron who is picked for the top nightly news anchor role by the retiring media boss Mack Harken (a superb cameo by Harrison Ford) – Ron is let go.

Having lost both his job and his family, Ron hits rock bottom working through a drunken stupor at a SeaWorld resort but after a failed ‘cry for help’ suicide attempt he's given the chance to rebuild his news career along with his infamous team —Champ Kind (David Koechner) - who has set up a fried chicken franchise where they serve bats ‘chicken of the cave’, Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) who has become a leading cat photographer, and socially inept Brick Tamland (Steve Carell).

"every girl crazy bout a sharp dressed man"

Global News Network (GNN) is the pioneer of 24-hour news – this is set in the early ‘80s after all and whilst given the 2am ‘graveyard’ slot, Ron and team go about creating the dawn of ‘not real news.’ This new format allows Champ's sporting coverage to be quick edits accompanied by his trademark yelp of "Whammy!" while Brick gets to report on weather ‘live on the scene’ and Brian is given journalistic licence to put together pieces about sexy women… Will America embrace this new news?

Anchorman 2 is an absolute blast of sexist, racist, non-PC jokes, many miss the mark but some are so funny that people were crying with laughter in the screening I saw this at. The sheer joy of seeing Ron bumble his way through his new career – doing crack live on air, getting caught up in an ill-advised feud with rival newsman Jack Lime (James Marsden) and finding himself in an even larger, more spectacular hand to hand media battle against the likes of ESPN (represented by Will Smith), CBC News (Jim Carrery) , the BBC (Sacha Baron Cohen) and History Channel (Liam Neeson) to mention just a few.

"Mo-vemberlous!?"

Everything you’d want from a Anchorman film is here – I’m glad to report that the Legend Continues stays classy and is by far the funniest film of 2013!!


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

öööö1/2

(4.5 - Stay Classy Out There)...

Awesomeness öööö – When it hits - it hits hard!

Laughs ööööö – very very funny!

Horror öö – more inapporpriate than horrible

Babes öö – Christina Applegate, Meagan Good and Kristen Wiig

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö – don't stop believing

Recommended Hashtags: #StayClassy #BigDeal #Black

In the spirit of Ron Burgundy - here are the women of Anchorman 2 - who's your favourite:

Applegate ?

Good ?

Wiig ?



Monday, December 23, 2013

Darkmatters Top 10 FIlms Of 2013


The Darkmatters Top Films of 2013


As we gear up for another year of cinematic spectacle in 2014, let’s recap the top 10 movies of 2013…

SO from 10 to 1 here they are... (also read on below for the amazing Tom Wade's alternative top 15!?)


10. Zero Dark Thirty

Kathryn ‘The Hurt Locker’ Bigelow’s heavy duty Homeland-esque take on the hunt for Osama bin Laden. This delivers military grade thrills that make Call of Duty look tame.

Darkmatters Review



9. Cloud Atlas

Everything is connected in this bonkers, beautiful and totally awesome cinematic experience. Three hours of top entertainment that will stir your soul, dazzle your eyes and win your heart.

Darkmatters Review



8. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

“I am fire, I am death!” Witnessing Smaug the dragon on the big screen is something every fantasy fan should do. Middle-Earth has never looked so good.

Darkmatters Review



7. Elysium

The near future wants a word with you in this is smart, gritty sci-fi movie that delivers a compelling action thrill ride and carries a good moral message at heart, too. Big guns are standard.

Darkmatters Review



6. Captain Philips

A superb exercise in taut edge-of-your-seat thrills, Tom Hanks is excellent in the lead role and the fact that it is based on real events from the recent past only serves to make it even more tense.

Darkmatters Review


5. 2 Guns

“You're my people and we have a code. You fight for the guy that's fighting next to you."

Meet Robert 'Bobby' Trench (Denzil Washington), an undercover DEA agent and Michael Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) a sharp shooting Navy Special Forces operative. Put them together and let the good times roll as they rob a bank (inadvertently stealing over $40 million of the CIA's cash) and that's when things go really nuts. Action film of the year!

Darkmatters Review



4. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Ron Burgundy is back baby – tearing up the 24hr news desks of the early ‘80s in his own unique style. Wrong, funny and OTT Anchorman is the funniest comedy of the year by miles – approach with caution as you’ll laugh until you cry!

Darkmatters Review


3. Gravity

This incredible ‘survive-em-up’ under the careful direction of Alfonso ‘Children of Men’ Cuarón, is a masterful life and death exercise in eye-popping tension, blessed with jaw-dropping space vistas and the kind of special effects that are so good you forget that they aren’t actually real.

Darkmatters Review


2. Rush

Rush really lives up to its name, covering the exhilarating true story of how two people pushed themselves to the very edge of physical and psychological endurance in their desire to win. You don’t need to be a racing fan to love this movie where can almost smell the 1970s cologne alongside the engine fumes and burning rubber!

Darkmatters Review



1. Man of Steel

What if a film dreamed of becoming something other than what society had intended?
What if a filmmaker aspired to something greater?
The result would be a fantastic cinematic experience – it could be ‘super’ in every sense. Man of Steel is that film…
This big budget Dark Knight- influenced Superman reboot is the film I’ve been waiting for ever since I used to tuck a red towel into the back of my shirt collar as a 6-year-old. Believe!!

Darkmatters Review

Near misses:

Star Trek - Into Darkness: Review
Lincoln: Review
Stoker: Review
Kick Ass 2: Review
You’re Next: Review
Spring Breakers: Review
Iron Man 3: Review

TOM WADE's alternative list...

15.The Hobbit 2
14.Saving Mr Banks
13.Zero Dark Thirty
12.Lincoln
11.Blue Jasmine
10.Stoker
9.Frances Ha
8.Nebraska
7.Mud
6.Room 237
5.Before Midnight
4.Blue is the warmest Colour
3.Gravity
2.Captain Phillips
1.Act of Killing


What will 2014 bring?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Darkmatters Review: The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (12a)

Dir. Peter Jackson

Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Read the Newspaper version of this review at: The Thame Gazette

“Truly songs and tales fall utterly short of your enormity, O Smaug the Stupendous...”

After last year’s fun ‘Unexpected Journey’ the Lord of the Rings prequel bursts back onto the big screen in all its Hobbity goodness for more fantasy geek action with – ‘The Desolation of Smaug.’ And just who is Smaug? Why he is none other than J. R. R. Tolkien’s great dragon (voiced and even motion captured by the excellent Benedict Cumberbatch no less).

If you haven’t seen part one, you may well be a little lost as Director Peter Jackson offers no catch up / recap – rather the hero and titular hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is pressed immediately into action – and this time there is a lot of action!

"behold The Desolation of Smaug"

Middle-Earth has never looked so good, . This is a fully formed world with an incredibly rich history, intricate lore and a host of fantastic characters – and thanks to this being the follow-on film there is no need to waste time setting the scene.

The Hobbit 2 sees Halfling Bilbo - commissioned to be the designated burglar for a company of dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) that are on a mission to reclaim their home but who need an infamous stone which is hidden among the hoard of jewels and gold amassed by the dragon Smaug. A what a dragon he is… Best. Dragon. Ever!!

"dinner time!?"

Along the way the dwarves are hunted by an evil pack of orcs, run fouls of a mean bunch of giant spiders and are captured by the legendary wood elves. These various trials allow for some superb fights, adventures and full on action scenes – which will have your inner fantast nerd flipping out. The scenes of elves – including fan favourite Legolas who makes a welcome cameo – going all out in battle against orcs are some of the most exciting ever!

In addition there is also the awesome wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan), who brings his trademarked gravitas to the whole proceedings as he works his magic to try and thwart the larger growing threat of a great dark power – the pay-off of which we will not see until the Lord of The Rings itself.

New characters include the ‘skin-changer’ Beorn (Mikael Persbrandt) who spends his nights as a giant bear, female battle elf Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) – whose role wasn’t in the book and new heroic human Bard (Luke Evans).

"The 2 Guns prequel..."

The Desolation of Smaug is an all out fantasy epic which you need to see on the big screen – here’s looking forward to next year’s finale ‘Battle of the Five Armies’.

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

öööö1/2

(4.5 - I am fire, I am death!!)...

Awesomeness öööö – Elves steal the show but Smaug is magnificent!

Laughs ööö – some good funnies

Horror öö – not too nasty, orcs / spiders are a little scary for youngsters

Babes ööö – Evangeline Lilly makes elf ears sexy

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö – the road goes on forever and ever...



"She looks pretty good without the elf ears too!"



Sunday, December 08, 2013

Darkmatters Review: OLDBOY


Oldboy (18)

Dir. Spike Lee

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Read the newspaper version of this review at the Berkhamsted & Tring Gazette

“Ask not why you were imprisoned. Ask why you were set free…”

If you were imprisoned and isolated for no discernable reason for 20 years you’d likely be very very angry when finally released. Almost as angry as if someone had the cheek to remake one of the more provocative, visceral cult-classic thrillers out there and turn into a scene-by-scene exercise in badly judged tedium.

Just when you thought it was safe to venture back to the cinema in the light of some recent remakes not being rubbish, along comes Spike Lee with potentially the worst film of the year - enough to put the film going willies up you.

"slaughter anyone?"

The original Oldboy in 2003 was a kinetically charged, twisted, revenge-em-up that packed a seriously sick sting in the tail. Directed by Chan-wook Park, who made this year’s excellent Stoker, it delivered a superb Korean cinematic shock to the system. Alas the 2013 US version is equally nasty but lacks any redeeming features despite a cast including Josh ‘No Country for Old Men’ Brolin in the lead, supported by Elizabeth ‘Red Lights’ Olsen, Sharlto ‘District 9’ Copely and the mighty Samuel L. Jackson.

The grim tale features Joe Doucette (Brolin), he’s not a very nice man but before much can happen he is kidnapped and locked in solitary confinement for 20 years. With just a TV for company his days are spent watching crime, keep fit and martial arts shows, eventually spending his energy on working out and honing his body so that should he ever get the chance of revenge he could take it.

"like the box in Seven but bigger"

One day, without explanation, he is released and thus begins an obsessive quest to hunt down whoever imprisoned him. But things aren’t all they seem and as his violent odyssey for answers continues Joe discovers that the real mystery might be just why he was set free.

Most of the scenes from the original are duly recreated even the much discussed and admired comic book-esq thug battle but this is a badly lackluster effort that fails to commit to the manic over the top spirit required to pull off such a mind-bending plot.

Spike Lee is a well-accomplished director so one can only wonder at his thinking here.

Take this as a warning – there should be only one Oldboy and it’s the original – do not fall for the vapid attraction of this rank counterfeit cinematic tripe.

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

ö

(1 - no country for oldboy)...

Awesomeness öö – even the best scenes aren't as good as the original

Laughs ö – not a funny (apart from how stupid it is)

Horror öööö – nasty indeed

Babes öööö – Elizabeth Olsen is very hot

Spiritual Enlightenment ö – limited

Monday, December 02, 2013

Darkmatters: Need For Speed Rivals


Need For Speed Rivals (PS4)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

"I feel the need...

...the need for speed!"

Yes it's the classic Top Gun quote that surely launched this driving series of games that has run across many different platforms with varying results.

Now the Need For Speed hits the PS4 and good news is that this is the definitive version without a doubt.

Welcome to Redview County, a place where the cars are fast and the mountains are alive with the sound of music but with the roar of high powered performance cars. It's a great place to drive, drift, jump and generally live out your motor fantasies in stunning HD visuals - the like of which simply have not been witnessed to date - thanks to DICE’s Frostbite 3 engine.

"The police force in NFS are well funded!"

There is a sheer visceral thrill to take an Aston Martin or Ferrari out on the open roads and stretches of motorway but beware the constant threat of the pursuit cops who are just looking to bust your ass. Of course the joy here is that you can also sign up to be a copper and take down racers by ramming them into submission.

Channelling the spirit of BURNOUT there are some very 'ohh that's got to hurt' insane speed crashes and also exciting oh-so-close you can smell the fumes near misses.

Every corner has a new challenge for you, be it a jump record to try and break or a speed camera through which to burn and set a fastest time... All the game play is tied together by the rather clever 'Autolog' which allows you to compare stats with pals, choose new opponents or just browse through the wealth of options on offer.

"speed blur standard"

The attention to detail is lovely - blasting through forests will throw a wave of leaves up in your wake but even small things like a rain shower will glisten off the road and the gleaming bodywork of your vehicle and looks so good you will likely find yourself just staring in wonder at the graphics.

So hats off to Ghost Games’ debut which brings much of the good stuff from Criterion’s last couple of NRS games. The role play bits of upgrading is here too thanks to 'Speed Points' or SP which you gain for completing races and more - and banking it before getting busted. The fear of getting caught when you're sitting on a decent haul of SP adds a great edge to playing as a racer.

Cops don't lose their SP's though so it does feel like a safer option - but it's still immensely satisfying to 'bust' racers (especially when they are actual players as opposed to AI targets). So don't be shy - jump online and enjoy some PvP play in style.

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

öööö1/2

(4.5 - racing on the PS4 is an adrenalin overload of fun!)...

"vrooom"




Sunday, December 01, 2013

Darkmatters Review: RESOGUN



RESOGUN - PS4 (exclusive)

Developed by Housemarque

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (Cleric20 on PSN / @cleric20)

 ‘save the last humans’ 

The PS4 has landed - and it's lovely...

And consoles are only as good as the games - so leading the charge (for free with your PS+ trial or subscription) is a unique, visceral, fast-paced shoot-em-up...

RESOGUN does things on screen that constantly makes you go 'ooh that's cool' showing why it was made exclusively for the PS4 - the sheer amount of detail and special effects on screen as you unleash an array of devastating weaponry including lasers, missiles, bombs and a real WMD - called 'overdrive' is just jaw-dropping.

"blue light surround optional"

Gameplay-wise your mission is to blast hordes of alien enemies that come from all sides whilst trying to rescue the last humans. It is the perfectly judged 'twitch' dual stick shooter gaming that make RESOGUN an immediately easy to pick up and play and yet incredibly addictive with a killer 'just one more go' factor.

Sure you won't have the same 'size' of game as AAA titles such as Assassin's Creed, COD, Battle Field 4, Killzone Shadowfall as there isn't a single player 'campaign' beyond blasting your way through the various levels (there are only 6 at the moment but more are on the way in DLC form). But it really doesn't matter as this is a game all about honing your high score and comparing it with your friends / the world-wide leader boards.

I am old enough to remember the original arcade game 'Defender' - I really enjoyed it but was never good enough to really get much value for my 10p (it was a long time ago)... RESOGUN however comes with a nice introductory 'rookie' setting which enables you to jump ahead and play as if you're a Matrix bending Neo straight from the off.

"frantic stuff"

Manoverability is your ally in RESOGUN, your fighter craft is quipped with a nifty boost option that give off an explosive shockwave when exhausted - there is a great satisfaction in pulling off a perfectly timed boost which ends in the midst of a group of enemies who are torn apart by your blast wave...

There is much to admire about this game which comes from the makers of the sublime Super Stardust HD on PS3 - the next generation has begun in fine style and shoot-em-up fans will be very happy to find RESOGUN on the PS4. Just be warned that it's very addictive - so much so that you might well find yourself playing it on remote play on a PSVITA if you have to let anyone else use the TV!!

"things you make go 'boom' in style"


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

ööööö

(5 - shoot-em-up perfection has landed)...


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