DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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

Monday, June 29, 2015

Darkmatters Review: Knock Knock


Knock Knock (18)

Dir. Eli Roth

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Knock, knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“Sex ‘n violence…”

“Sex ‘n violence who?”

“Sex ‘n violence and nail biting tension!”

Meet Evan Webber (Keanu Reeves), he’s a happily married architect who has it all… Nice house, talented wife, two cute kids and decent job. But Evan’s world is about to be turned upside down when two beautiful young girls, arrive on his doorstep late one night, drenched, and in need of using a phone due to their being lost.

"Ah poor lost girls in need of help..?"

Evan’s wife Karen (Ignacia Allamand), has taken the kids away to their beach house and he’s a nice guy so he agrees to help the stranded young women who go by the names ‘Genesis’ (Lorenza Izzo – Director Eli Roth’s wife) and ‘Bel’ (Ana de Armas).

Knock Knock is an unashamedly old-fashioned exploitation flick that jumps in with a seedy seduction scenario, which then sets up a horrific aftermath of escalating repercussions.

"All work an no play make Keanu a dull boy"

Director Eli ‘Hostel’ Roth has form for effectively nasty cinematic tales and Knock Knock cranks up some very uncomfortable ‘what if’ situations both for Evan and the viewers. If you’re easily offended or freaked out this really isn’t the film for you, as it gets pretty full on with steamy sex and grim violence.

Keanu makes for an interestingly tormented protagonist, a man who can’t resist what he refers to as ‘free pizza delivered to his door’ but gets much much more than he bargained for.

"you like my Joker make up?"

The grisly scenario that unfolds certainly builds up some edge-of-your-seat tension that will probably be differently received by males and female viewers. Throw in nifty use of social media for maximum cultural relevance and whilst the premise for the film might look like a sexed up riff on home invasion horrors like Funny Games, there is much to make you think about here.

The sexy / scary duo of Genesis and Bel are potentially iconic new cinematic horror threats – it will be interesting to see if audiences make this viable for a potential sequel. It’s a testament to the skill of the actresses to be able to switch from coy and innocent to brutal and psychotic in seconds.

"let's play a game..."

Knock Knock is a frightening, wild thrill ride – which if you have the stomach for it’s justifiably ‘18 rated’ action will leave you breathless and disturbed in equal measure. Modern horror hasn’t felt this fresh for a while.

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

ööö1/2

(3.5 - Be careful out there
)

Awesomeness öööö – some unforgettable moments

Laughs öö – darkly funny in places

Horror öööö – tense and violent

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - just say 'no'

Recommended Hashtags: #KnockShock

Monday, June 22, 2015

Darkmatters Review: The Reaper


The Reaper 

Dir. Luke Mordue (@morduepictures)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

"Every breath you take... 
                                            leads to me..."

Buckle up for a powerful short film experience - Luke Mordue's The Reaper is a cunning mash up of home invasion horror and thought provoking theological meaning of life contemplation!?

That's a combo I never thought I'd see brought to the screen but Mordue seems to be on a cinematic mission to mess with people's heads and fortunately, he's got a great eye for what makes film watchable - backed up by some good performances by Jamie 'soon to be in Essex Boys: Law of Survival' Hawes as unfortunate home owner Josh and Dana Smit who plays probably the best looking screen representation of The Grim Reaper to date...

"staring death in the face"

The Reaper is a disorientating punch to the guts, starting as a fairly standard burglar-em-up before moving the metaphysical goalposts and becoming a 'Tree of Life'-lite reflection on human existence and the hereafter.

Nice work all round - I'd recommend you check out The Reaper (prepare for some harsh language) but it's worth sticking with it to get the theologically challenging conclusion.

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

öööö 

(4 - tasty, brain frazzling fun)

Watch The Reaper:



"nice promo"





Sunday, June 21, 2015

Darkmatters Review: Mr Holmes


Mr. Holmes (PG)

Dir. Bill Condon

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“I've decided to write the story down; as it was. Get it right, before I die…”

The name’s Holmes, Sherlock Holmes and I’m the greatest detective to have ever lived. This new film tells the tale of my twilight years, a document to the human frame’s mortality, a chance for me to look back on my life. But there is something deeply disturbing me, something I cannot let rest despite being officially retired – I need to find a way to close my one unsolved case, a 50-year old one involving the disappearance of a particularly beautiful but unstable woman…

"at your service..."

My story here (based on the novel ‘A Slight Trick of the Mind’) is set in 1947. That handsome devil Ian McKellen plays me, lovely job he does too, catches my honourable character, my incredible deductive mind and wicked sense of humour, and yes, even my fragility as I realise I’m not quite the man I used to be.

Mr Holmes is an engaging slow-burning cinematic mystery that mixes the fictional biographic details with the heartrending pathos of a great man in decline. Director Bill “Gods and Monsters’ Condon handles the material sensitively and has a strong cast all giving good performances including Laura Linney as Holmes’ stalwart housekeeper Mrs Munro and young Milo Parker as he bright son Roger.

"hey wait up Gandalf!"

There’s little ‘action’ to speak of but there is joy is in watching Holmes trying to piece together the fragments of the case that he failed to solve, all the while trying to stave off the creeping effects of dementia. Roger Allam brings a compassionate air to the doctor treating Holmes – his instruction for Holmes to keep a diary and add dots where he can’t remember details is a device that will stay with you long afterwards.

"mysterious"

Fans of Sherlock are well served with some nice cameos including a superb fiction within fiction matinee show of Sherlock Holmes that has Nicholas Rowe star as the main man. There’s fun too in seeing the outrage Dr. Watson's juicy fictitious portrayals of Holmes’ life provoke in the old man who sets about trying to rectify the situation with his truthful account.


Mr Holmes is a quality piece of filmmaking that will give you much to ponder – if you’re looking for an engaging mystery, then it’s elementary that this should be on your ‘to see list’.

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

ööö1/2

(3.5 - After a lifetime of detective work, there's one mystery left to solve: his own
)

Awesomeness ööö – more deductions than action

Laughs öö – some fun but not a comedy!?

Horror öö –  creeping loss of self is scary

Spiritual Enlightenment öööö - great minds carry great responsibility

Recommended Hashtags: #Elementary

"classy production!"

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Darkmatters Review: Jurassic World


Jurassic World (12a)

Dir. Colin Trevorrow

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“You just went and made a new dinosaur? Probably not a good idea…”

Can it really be twenty-two years since the events of Jurassic Park, which saw Isla Nublar become an all-you-can-eat human buffet for genetically reborn dinosaurs?

It is and yet it seems that we really haven’t learnt any lessons as the infamous park has been reopened as a fully functioning dinosaur stocked ‘Jurassic World’.

"open up and say 'arrghghgh'"

Thousands of people now flock to marvel at the dino-attractions but in order to add an additional ‘wow factor’ the scientists have created a new, cooler, bigger monster – the Indominus Rex. Before you can say ‘are you sure you want to make a creature that is smarter, stronger and more vicious than any other on the planet?’ it’s already escaped and is putting it’s various animal DNA boosts to work by killing everything that it meets.

The main human potential on the menu are likeable young brothers, Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins), who have been sent off on their own to enjoy the Jurassic World – because their aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), is the park operations manager.

"feeding time"

When things go ‘ape’ (or should I say ‘dino’?) in the park, it’s fortunate for everyone that Indiana Jones-alike Grady (Chris Pratt), is on hand to try and save the day. That’s all you need to know really, oh that and the fact that the action scenes are bigger, the dinosaurs look and move better than ever and there are some superb Easter Eggs for those who have watched the original Jurassic Park.

Jurassic World is a great fun thrill ride that brings sustained threat and some quite nasty deaths along with scares, which might be a bit too much for younger viewers. The effects are jaw droppingly impressive, and the new big bad guy Indominus Rex is an iconic creature (a huge improvement on Jurassic Park III’s Spinosaurus ).

"Aliens refs abound"

There are some really nice nods to other classic monster franchises such as Predator, Aliens, Godzilla etc. Chris Pratt is excellent and his sizzling charisma helps propel the action along much like he did with Guardians of the Galaxy. Bryce Dallas Howard is also decent as the female lead – who manages to be more than just a love interest and the kids are nice enough for you to actually not want them to get eaten for once.

"Velociraptor fun"

Monster sized fun-packed cinematic thrills don’t come much better!

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

öööö1/2

(4.5 - 
Indominus amounts of excitement!)

Awesomeness ööööö – tasty dino-action

Laughs ööö – some fun

Horror öö –  deaths n dino-violence

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - 65million years of waiting breeds resentment

Recommended Hashtags: #RUN

"Chris Pratt - would make a great Drake in Uncharted film!?"

Read version of this review with added 'thinking material' over at: CVM

Monday, June 08, 2015

Darkmatters Review: SPY


SPY (15)

Dir. Paul Feig

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“We need someone to find the bomb without being detected but it can't be any of you. We need someone invisible...”

Action comedy SPY sees the CIA in a bit of sticky situation… The Agency must track down a rogue nuclear weapon and their top agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law) has accidently killed baddie Tihomir Boyanov (Raad Rawi) who was the only person in the world who knew where it is…

"New Bond?"

To make matters worse the identities of Fine and all the top CIA agents have been blown by Boyanov’s daughter, Rayna (Rose Byrne) and she just might be the last chance to find the nuke.

This is the James Bond-esque plot for SPY but as well as ramping up some slick espionage thrills, director Paul ‘Bridesmaids’ Feig blows the doors off with a riot of laughs that make this a real feel good flick.

"Crimes a go go"

Key to the laughs is leading lady Melissa McCarthy who lets rip as unassuming analyst Susan Cooper who is give her big chance to go undercover to attempt to find Rayna, locate the nuclear weapon and save the day.

Susan might not look fit enough for field action, and indeed her unflattering undercover identities such as cat loving spinster don’t help – but she’s actually a loaded weapon who will do anything to crack the mission.

"CIA's finest"

Not letting a lack of field experience or having a highly stung fellow analyst Nancy (Miranda Hart) as a best friend, hold her back, Cooper cracks skulls and funnies in a blur of effective big screen mayhem. Supported along the way by a superb cast that includes a brilliantly sleazy Peter Serafinowicz as Aldo and an OTT scene stealing Jason Statham as indestructible and foul-mouthed Agent Rick Ford.

The action is crunching and apes Bond in a Kingsman: The Secret Service kinda way, but the real joy here are the funnies which will have you laughing out loud until you can’t breathe or think straight.

"smooth"

Fieg knows how to get the best out of McCarthy and she in turn delivers over and above – even if you weren’t a fan up to now, she owns this film and you’ll be a hard-nosed scrooge indeed to not be amused here.

Sure it’s sweary and at times the jokes will offend, but SPY is also genuinely funny and exciting.

This is a spy-em-up treat for all those who have ever wanted to see Miss Moneypenny outshine Bond himself.


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


öööö 

(4 - I SPY an action comedy treat!!
)

Awesomeness öööö – tasty action and crazy funnies

Laughs öööö – very funny stuff

Horror öö –  slapstick violence

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - underdogs can shine

Recommended Hashtags: #ISpyEspionage

"glam baddie"


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