DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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


Sunday, March 29, 2020

New Netflix Films: The Platform vs Mark of the Devil

The Platform (18)

Dir. Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

“On those high levels you can eat anything you want, but you don't have anything to wait for. Your mind runs wild…”

Welcome to the future. By the way, what is your favourite food? This is one of the main questions asked when you’re assigned (or volunteer for credit) to be incarcerated in a new high-tech prison. Divided into many vertical levels – those at the top get the pick from a huge banquet of food on a levitating platform that moves slowly downwards. As the platform drops, so does the amount of food left and those in the lower levels get nothing – cannibalism is rampant.

If you imagine Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer crossed with Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise you’ll get some idea of the madness on offer here. Director Urrutia goes full ‘dystopian-nightmare’ staring into the gruesome brutal outworking of our inherent selfishness – be warned it gets very violent.

We join Goreng (Ivan Massagué), whose favourite food is snails, signs up to a term in the prison in order to be granted a qualification, he chooses to bring a book with him. His cell mate Trimagasi (Zorion Eguileor) however, brings in a knife – this might not end well for one of them.
The Platform feels very timely in our current panic buying nightmare world. If we heed the message of each of us just taking our share – then there will be enough for all. But survival is at stake here – can human greed be overcome to send a message back to those in control? This is decent sci-fi fare for those willing to test themselves.

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


(3.5 - Future penal justice through food)

Mark of the Devil (15)

Dir. Diego Cohen

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

“Did you read the incantation?”

Meet Karl (Eivaut Rischen), a man who suffered and supposedly ‘died’ after being possessed by a demon as a child – 30 years later he makes a living as a bad-ass exorcist – apparently packing some demonic superpowers to boot. In Mark of the Devil he has to team up with a junkie priest named Tomás (Eduardo Noriega) when two sisters read aloud from the Necronomicon (yep that book from The Evil Dead and H.P. Lovecraft) – and all sorts of very average devilry ensues.

There is little new in this Mexican horror – the possessed get violent, speaks in ancient tongues, cough up blood etc. It feels like there is a good movie in here trying to get out but alas it all builds up to possibly the lowest budget battle with Satanic forces ever to grace even the small screen.

Horror fans might appreciate some of the creepy cinematic elements but this is one most people can happily avoid.

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


(1.5 - Limited horror thrills)

Click this image for some great dark sci-fi reading !!

– Read what other people are saying about COMPLETE DARKNESS (here)

Monday, March 16, 2020

Matt is a deplorable in The Hunt (review)

The Hunt

Dir. Craig Zobel

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

“Did you see that article? Every year these liberal elites kidnap a bunch of normal folks like us, and hunt us for sport.”

In these trying times when toilet paper seems to be worth more than gold bullion, here’s a refreshing and insanely gory distraction from the madness of real life. The Hunt is a fiendish, funny, clever and
very dark satire that takes the old ‘rich people paying to hunt poor people’ scenario and injects it with some adrenaline.

"a new action hero in the making"

Director Craig ‘Compliance’ Zobel (also from Westworld, Leftovers and American Gods shows) goes all out unleashing the worst of human behaviour. Before you can say ‘oh an adult hunger games’ a group of working-class Americans labelled ‘deplorables’ awake after being drugged and transported to some eastern European wilderness. They find a crate with weapons but rather than fight between themselves they must try and survive being hunted by better armed ‘liberal elites’ who are paying for the chance to shoot those less fortunate than themselves.

The action is intense, extremely violent and well-crafted – there are some deaths here that you may never forget and horror fans craving bloodshed get plenty to feast on. But The Hunt isn’t really a horror movie – it’s a fast-moving action flick that introduces a superb girl-power heroine to turn the tables on the rich scumbags.

"The poor get no voice"

Crystal (Betty Gilpin) is excellent. Imagine a kind of female John McClane - cool, resourcefully deadly, and quick with a wisecrack. She is the deplorables secret weapon and watching her take the fight back to the elites is a total joy to behold.

Sure the violence is gratuitous but the constant threat of really nasty death keeps the stakes and body count high. The writers do a good job of messing with your expectations and there are some
deliciously paranoid ‘who, if anyone, can trust’ scenes.

The supporting cast have fun in their short-lived roles many with fun names like Vanilla Nice (Sturgill Simpson), Staten Island (Ike Barinholtz) and Yoga Pants (Emma Roberts). And Hilary Swank is great as the big baddie Athena – her one on one fight with Crystal is a classic, set in a well-stocked kitchen.

"Who can you trust?"

The Hunt has angered rightwingers in the States, even Trump himself and the marketing of the film uses the controversy to its benefit. It might be dangerous to venture out to the cinema at the moment but The Hunt is worth the trip if you’re in need of some violent escapism!

"Look out baddies"

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


(5 - Excellent dark action horror fun)

Awesomeness ööööö – Lots of pure class(war) scenes

Laughs ööö – Darkly humourous

Horror öööö – Gets grim in places

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - Shoot your neighbour?

Click this image for darker sci-fi !!

– Read what other people are saying about COMPLETE DARKNESS (here)

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Matt visits the Greenhills - review

Tales from the Greenhills – Tommy Dywer 2 weeks in the summer of ’76

Terry Melia (@FromGreenhills)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

“his mum told my mum he woke up screaming every night for a week afterwards…”

Choose life, choose 1970’s Liverpool, choose a social realist coming of age tale, choose music, hanging out, sex and drugs… Tales from the Greenhills is a killer trip fusing love, violence and friendship into a pure “must read” nostalgia hit.

Meet Tommy Dwyer a young scallywag trying to survive on the mean streets of his urban hometown of Liverpool. It’s 1976 and life dealing Tommy some tough breaks. His working-class family is dysfunctional, money is tight, his best pal is his dog Butch and his girlfriend has left him. Worse still is the lurking danger of gangs roaming the streets, dealing drugs and smashing faces – this is a powerful, raw and compelling trip to a recent past that channels the ‘This is England’ vibe.

"the only reason I'd thought about Liverpool '76 before now...'

Melia writes with a concise and cool narrative style; at times it almost feels like a diary of reminisces. The details feel ‘lived through’ and whilst not political it makes a great insight into how the world was back in the days before the internet, social media etc.

The best stories give you either characters that you care about and / or a world that fascinates and engages you. Tommy’s adventures in the Greenhills blends both these and explores themes of love and loss, growing up, crime and redemption, as well as masculinity, guilt, peer-pressure and morality.
I really enjoyed the pop references, e.g. the reactions to The Exorcist (see opening quote) and some zen-like philosophy picked up on a Welsh camping trip. There is much to enjoy in this novel and I’ll be keen to see what Terry Melia writes next.

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


(5 - ‘Liverpool gets its Trainspotting...)


Click this image for some darker future fiction

Monday, March 02, 2020

Matt feels the Color Out of Space (review)

Color Out Of Space (15)

Dir. Richard Stanley

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“Alpacas – the animal of the future…”

Director Richard ‘Dust Devil’ Stanley is a fascinating guy. After making the superb robo-terror flick Hardware and following up with an excellent supernatural serial killer in Dust Devil he got fired from the troubled H.G. Wells adaptation of The Island of Dr Moreau in 1996. He hasn’t made a film since. But now he’s back and he’s come back strong with a freak0ut sci-fi horror based on a weird short story by H.P. Lovecraft.

"a new kind of car advert?"

Color Out of Space is a cosmic tale of what happens when a meteor lands in the grounds of ex-artist Nathan Gardner (Nic ‘Mandy’ Cage)’s rural alpaca farm. The titular ‘Color’ is slowly unleashed and proves to be an extra-terrestrial organism that spreads madness and violence.

The results are a mash up of grisly body-horror and psych-out – shot through with laugh-out-loud humour. Basically, this is a perfect Friday night entertainment. I caught this at the gorgeous old-school London ‘Screen on the Green’ cinema and the crowd lapped it up whooping and cheering at the crazed on screen antics. Only getting a limited cinema run, this is a film to seek out on streaming channels or disc and watch with your favourite tipple in hand.

"Cage mode engaged"

The sinister effects of the space color slowly permeate the farm - mutant flowers spring up, alien insects spawn, blood-like water drips from the taps and a very grotesque tribute to ‘The Thing’ but with alpacas rather than dogs happens in the barn.

Cage leads the line for humanity as only he can. His bug-eyed patented crazed look was made for plots like this. He’s given great support from Joely Richardson who plays his wife and especially Madeleine Arthur as his daughter who thinks pagan rites might ward off the alien color.
Probably not for those of a sensitive disposition, or anyone who really doesn’t like sci-fi weirdness.

I found Color out of Space however to be a stone-cold cult classic that really delivers on the slimy dread. It’s been said that Lovecraft’s tales are pretty much ‘unfillable’ – and this one in particularly as it has descriptions like ‘It was just a colour out of space - a frightful messenger from unformed realms of infinity beyond all nature as we know it’ but Stanley has somehow pulled it off in style.

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


(5 - Full metal freak out)

Awesomeness ööööö – Five star alien invasion

Laughs ööö – Darkly humourous

Horror öööö – Disturbing and icky

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - super weird, don't judge until you've tried it

Click this image for darker sci-fi !!

– Read what other people are saying about COMPLETE DARKNESS (here)

Matt gets Possessed (review) Matt Hunter Book 4


by Peter Laws (@revpeterlaws)

Published by Allison & Busby

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“I thought it was a trick of the Devil. An illusion…”

Demon’s eh? Always causing bother with their horrible head-spinning, blaspheming and swearing coupled with green vomiting hijinks – not really the sort you want possessing you or anyone you know… So, when the UK is hit with an upturn in demonic possession (not actually linked to Brexit) some religious types go mental trying to do DIY casting out these evil demonic entities. But what if the poor folk claiming to be possessed are actually just experiencing mental health issues and are much in need of medical assistance than holy hands?

And where there are confused and mentally unstable individuals, there are often US Pastors looking to cash in – which is very much the case in this brilliantly messed up murder-em-up. Fortunately Possessed sees the return of stoic Professor Matt Hunter (sceptic hero of Peter Laws’ three previous dark crime thrillers) a maverick former minister who lost his faith and helps police investigate religious tinged crimes.

Hunter is called in when a blood-soaked naked man is discovered with the name Baal-Berith carved into his flesh – is this guy an innocent possessed by an ancient evil? Or has he maybe been confused by the ramblings of a deluded local pastor craving more than his local church existence? Whatever the truth it certainly seems like the spirit of blasphemy and murder is out and about as the body-count rises and the media get involved leading to a climactic first live TV ‘mass exorcism’.

I’ve been a fan of the Matt Hunter novels so far but Possessed is absolutely the best yet. Laws has really found his literary groove, his prose flows easily and the plot cracks along with a hard-to-resist page turning pull. It’s not overkill to call this God Tier / next level - 5 star dark crime fiction that will please horror, crime and even religiously open-minded folk (there must be some)…

'Graphic novel version?'

Possessed keeps the tension high and the core ‘is it all in their minds – or might it be real?’ question front and centre. Those who have journeyed with Hunter so far have a real treat on their hands as they will understand the rabbit references and more. Whilst those jumping in at this 4th entry should be able to enjoy it almost as much without the back-reference knowledge.

Refreshing, bold and unforgettable – Possessed is superb, highly recommended reading for those willing to face the darkness!

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


(5 - The power of Christ compels you to read this)...


Read the Darkmatters review of Purged (Matt Hunter book 1)

Read the Darkmatters review of Unleashed (Matt Hunter book 2)

Read the Darkmatters review of Severed (Matt Hunter book 3)

Click this image for some dark sci-fi fiction

Monday, February 17, 2020

Date night with Emma (review)

Emma. (U)

Dir. Autumn de Wilde

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“She always declares that she will never marry. 
Which of course means just nothing at all…”

Brush up your cinematic manners – here’s Jane Austen's much-loved comedy about finding your equal and earning your happy ending - reimagined for our savvier age. “Handsome, clever, and rich” says the tag line and that’s exactly what Emma Woodhouse (Anya ‘The VVitch’ Taylor Joy) is… She’s a restless young high society singleton queen bee without rival, playing matchmaker to all around her but seemingly without thought of her own romantic needs.

Austen’s novel is a glittering satire of social class and a treatise on the pain of growing up, de Wilde’s film version is slick and entertaining adaptation – which does enough to differentiate it from
the Gwyneth Paltrow starring 1996 version. The fairly slight plot sees Emma adventuring through her maze of misguided matches and romantic missteps who include her dearest friend Harriet Smith (Mia ‘Suspiria’ Goth) whose lower station in life means she becomes a bit of plaything for our titular heroine.

'such fun...'

Bill Nighy and Miranda Hart are in hand for additional comic effect – him with a peculiar obsession of catching a chill from drafts, and her with what I like to call ye-olde-Miranda banter. The dashing Mr Knightley (Johnny ‘Beast’ Flynn) who gets to provide a glimpse of cheeky buttocks fulfils the passionate suitor – right under Emma’s nose - think John Hughes movie plot.

There is much to enjoy as the course of true love runs slightly errant through a series of social engagements, balls and afternoon teas. It does change tone at times which can make the film feel like a mashup between a stage musical and a Victorian (or should I say Regency) farce. The cinematic landscapes and gorgeous stately homes are lavishly shot and almost every frame is a marvel to behold which is much credit to the production team who borrow the best elements of the many films and tv
adaptations that have gone before.

'just friends?'

As the main character, Austen’s Emma is a spoiled, headstrong, and self-satisfied meddler but Tayor Joy manages to make her human and even evoke empathy. I have to confess to being a huge Jane Austen fan – I’d read all of her novels even before I got to high school so I’m an easy target for big screen, big-budget adaptations of her work.

Having said that, Emma is a lovely date movie and an all-round winner for some good looking and witty entertainment.

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


(3.5 - Fun and romantic update of a classic)

Awesomeness öööö - Lovely romantic fun

Laughs ööö – Some funnies, was actually hoping for more!?

Horror ö – Very little to disturb apart from social mores

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - Don't play cupid

Click this image for darker romantic comedy!!

– Read what other people are saying about COMPLETE DARKNESS (here)

Monday, February 03, 2020

Beguiled by The Lighthouse (review)

The Lighthouse (15)

Dir. Robert Eggers

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“Hark Triton, hark! Bellow, bid our father the Sea King rise from the depths full foul in his fury…”

Seafarer beware the beguiling light of The Lighthouse – this new tale of sinister goings-on, superstition and madness from Director Rober ‘The VVitch’ Eggers is salty fare.
Telling the tale of two Lighthouse keepers or ‘wickies’ who both have dark secrets. Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson) is a broken former lumberjack, whilst the grizzled experienced keeper Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe) seems to be unnaturally possessive of the upper light chamber... This mismatched duo must man the lighthouse on a strange grey islet off the coast of late-19th-century New England, but all might not be so straight forward as the last assistant wickie killed himself citing influence from bad omens and enchantments.

'secrets and lies'

Folk tales work when the set-up is simple, but the underbelly is deep, packed with creeping dread, unnatural events and sights and sounds that will unnerve you. The Lighthouse is a brilliant but very odd film, presented in black and white on 35mm – immediately evoking David Lynch’s 1977 cult classic Eraserhead. The similarities don’t end there as both films take the viewer on a sensory assault, where at times you don’t even really know quite what’s going on…

Both Pattinson and Dafoe are incredible – bringing their absolute A-game to the party and making the film crackle with energy arcing between them. There is an initial animosity between them as Winslow disregards stern warnings from Wake about seemingly trivial matters such as the seagulls (who are said to carry the souls of drowned sailors). But they make it work initially until after a confrontation with one of the seabirds the wind turns, and the island is enclosed in a storm.
This is no gentle character study - there are scenes of violence, much rum language and if you’ve ever wanted a see a mermaid’s lady parts then there’s interspecies sex that makes The Shape of Water looks tame.

'beware the siren'

As the two men’s trust breaks down (just what are those tentacles glimpsed in the light chamber?) and the relief fails to turn up, so their tour of duty is extended indefinitely the atmosphere begins to boil as wildly as the tempestuous seas around the island.

“Boredom makes men into villains” Wake declares at one point and as sanity slips away the line between fantasy and reality ruptures with dark consequences.

Available on Netflix soon if you can find in the cinema – this is awesome, crazed viewing.

'a hallowed beam?'

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


(5 - Sensory overload of a most salty kind)

Awesomeness öööö – Both the leads are on God-tier form

Laughs ööö – Dark and dirty humour (lots of farts)

Horror öööö– Dread and unnerving events plus violence

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - In the mouth of madness

Click this image for darkness!!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Encounters With Darkness • Special Guest Matt Adcock

Really enjoyed talking with the excellent Ashley Greathouse
 - we discussed all sort of topics around inspiration, 
darkness, writing and wacky church names that end up as demonic entities...

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Fear the Parasite - review

Parasite (15)

Dir. Bong Joon Ho

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“You know what kind of plan never fails? No plan. No plan at all. You know why? Because life cannot be planned.”

What would you do to provide for your family? If you were poor, out of work and low on options - might you be tempted to take advantage of those who seemingly have everything?
Kim Ki-taek (Song Kang Ho), has lots of problems - his family are down on their luck - living together in a rancid semi-basement, scrounging wifi from his upstairs neighbours and doing menial jobs whilst passers-by urinate into their home from the street.

The family his wife, Chung-sook cynical twentysomething daughter, Ki-jung, and his c son, Ki-woo are fed up until one day fate intervenes in their lives. A lucky break sees a lucrative business proposition open way for an insidious money-making scam. Ki-woo is invited by his college attending pal to take over as the English tutor for the teenage daughter Da-hye (Jung Ziso) of the affluent Park family.

In the South Korean class system - recommendations of workers are far more important that job adverts and so the Kim family begin to integrate themselves into the lives of an upper-class Parks, taking on more and more positions in the lavish household. The only problem in their plan is the housekeeper Moon-gwang (Lee Jung Eun) who knows the secrets of the house and isn’t going to let her position of trust in the family go without a fight. 
What follows is a dark, biting satire on social-economic disparities in South Korean which plays as an edgy comedy-drama that ventures into horror territory towards the end. Director Bong ‘Snow Piercer’ Joon Ho meticulously manipulates viewers with tonal shifts and razor sharply written dialogue.

Will the cunning Kims get the upper hand on the rich Parks? Can the housekeeper protect the family from these ‘parasites’ whilst trying to hold on to her own dark secrets? It’s an absolute blast finding out as the tension amps up to painful levels.

The futuristic house where the majority of the film takes place is almost like a character itself – the layout is used much like in Hereditary to set up some nightmare situations and to keep viewers on their toes.

You’ll laugh, you’ll wince and you might even scream when the crunchingly violent ending plays out. Parasite is likely to stay with you for a long time after the credits roll.

Seek out this masterpiece and prepare for a wild ride.

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


(5 - Stunning dramatic thrill ride)

Awesomeness öööö – Cracking scenes throughout

Laughs ööö – Very amusing stuff

Horror ööö – Does get violent

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - Comfort at what cost?

Want some more madness? 
Check out COMPLETE DARKNESS which delivers near future nightmares...

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Matt is a Bad Boy (for life)... Review

Bad Boys for Life (15)

Dir. Adil & Bilall

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“Do you want your legacy to be muscle shirts and body counts?”

The infamous Bad Boys are back in town some 25 years since Bad Boys hit the cinema. Much has changed since then but this 3rd outing is kinda awesome in that it brings the wise-cracking, whiz-bang buddy cop formula up-to-date and makes it feel fresh again for whole new audience.

The 'boys' are back...

Of course, that’s not entirely true, as a huge fan of the original I’m sensing that the record breaking box-office of this threequel is largely due to many other like me who have been waiting to see Mike
(Will Smith) and Marcus (Martin Lawrence) hit the streets again.

What’s different this time? Well, there’s no Michael Bay at the helm so whilst the action still kicks ass, it isn’t quite as hyperkinetic and over-the-top as before. That’s not a criticism but merely a nod to how the two leads have aged and somehow got better with it despite not being as buff as they once were (I can relate).

Bad Boys for Life brings back the winning cocktail of fast cars, hot women, guns – lots of guns, explosions and laugh-out-loud banter – pretty much everything that was great about the other films.
The new Belgian director team of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are known for their streetwise, racially focused crime films and they slot right in here. The plot sees Mike and Marcus forced to contend with growing old and somewhat obsolete.

'multi tasking'

But when Mike is shot by Armando (Jacob Scipio), whose drug kingpin father he killed and whose mother, Isabel (Kate del Castillo), he got imprisoned – the reality of their perilous situation bites them.

Watching middle-aged dudes deal with such trauma and coping in wildly differing ways - Marcus walking away from his life of violence, while Mike seeks brutal revenge for his wounded sense of masculinity - is compelling stuff. Assigned the help of the tech-driven Advanced Miami Metro Operations (AMMO), led by Mike's ex-girlfriend Rita (Paola Nunez) – a new breed of drone wielding police team who are a fun addition to the old-school run and gun style of the Bad Boys.


Can Marcus reclaim his virility by waging a war against the powerful enemies he finds himself up against? Will Marcus keep his faith and vow a peaceful life – when as Mike tells him at one point:
‘God gave you that machine gun’?

It’s a blast to watch them ‘Ride together, die together’ – I’m hoping this isn’t quite the last we see of the iconic duo.

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


(4 - Huge fun backed up with quality action)

Awesomeness öööö – They do what they do best

Laughs öööö – Really funny

Horror ööö – Not too nasty, some violence (obviously)

Spiritual Enlightenment öööö - Friends hold to a creed

Want some more madness? 
Check out COMPLETE DARKNESS which delivers near future nightmares...

Sunday, January 12, 2020

1917 - War is hell but sure looks incredible review

1917 (15)

Dir. Sam Mendes

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“They're walking into a trap. Your orders are to deliver a message calling off tomorrow mornings attack, if you fail, it will be a massacre…”

War is hell – and Sam ‘Skyfall’ Mendes certainly brings the full horror of World War 1 to the big screen in a truly cinematographic feast for the eyes. 1917 tells a tale he was passed on by his grandfather of two young soldiers on a vital mission to deliver a message that could possibly save thousands of allied troops.

What is truly stunning is that this exciting and devastating drama was filmed and edited as if it was one long take, with the camera tracking Lance Corporal’s Blake (Dean-Charles ‘Game of Thrones’ Chapman) and Schofield (George ‘Captain Fantastic’ MacKay), as they undertake a perilous gambit behind enemy lines.

"Full metal panic"

The cinematography is staggering and whilst it is undoubtedly a harrowing tale, there is much to appreciate visually thanks to Roger ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Deakins' work. The mix of fear and adrenaline is visceral viewing as the camera travels a few inches above the dirt advancing with our two leads. Danger is everywhere and life is cheap as every enemy encounter is potentially fatal. 1917 doesn’t play like an action adventure, this is grittier and more savage, and all the more engaging for it.

It’s easy to see why 1917 took home two Golden Globes as it is without a doubt a technical masterpiece, giving us another glimpse at the horror and brutality of war – shot through with the cost of service and sacrifice. What the troops had to endure in the trenches is grimly writ large, even the other soldiers are a mix of shell-shocked and dispirited. The battle set pieces feel scarily realistic, this film will keep you on the edge of your seat to the heart-breaking conclusion.

"Brothers in arms"

The cast are excellent, including quality support from the likes of Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Strong who bring gravitas to their small but key parts. The two leads are superbly believable in their desperate mission that will push them beyond what most could endure.
Mendes demonstrates a rare gift for being able to demonstrate how bravery is not a substitute for vulnerability but rather the ability to overcome fear and push forward anyway.

1917 might just be one of the best war movies of all time and an incredible piece of filmmaking that should be witnessed on the largest screen you can find.

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


(5 - Stunning vision of hell through a new lense)

Awesomeness ööööö – Powerful and heart-pounding throughout

Laughs öö – Darkly funny in places

Horror öööö – Nasty injuries throughout, plus death and peril

Spiritual Enlightenment öööö - Honour in mission

Want some more madness? 
Check out COMPLETE DARKNESS which delivers near future nightmares...

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Achtung Jojo Rabbit Review

Jojo Rabbit (12a)

Dir. Taika Waititi

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“You're not a Nazi, Jojo. You're a ten-year-old kid who likes dressing up in a funny uniform…”

World War II really wasn’t a laughing matter but Taika ‘Hunt For The Wilderpeople’ Waititi somehow manages to deliver a superbly funny WW2 satire that tells the tale of lonely Hitler Youth enthusiast Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis). Jojo lives with his wildly independent single mother (Scarlett Johansson) in Germany as the end of the war approaches – and he is aghast to find out his mum is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic.

"if you're Nazi and you know it - jump"

Jojo has a secret, an idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler himself no less (played by Waititi) – who stokes the young lad’s ideological indoctrination.

This comic Nazi-em-up might sound like being in poor taste but it goes full-throttle hilarious from the off and you’ll be caught up in the infectious madness before you know it. The premise is liable to make viewers uncomfortable as it makes fun of the horrific fascism, but the clever writing is spot on and makes lots of really good points about the horror of war.

"fabulous to the end"

Jojo earns his ‘Rabbit’ nickname due his unwillingness to kill a captured rabbit in front of his Hitler Youth troop. His gentle nature exposed gives an insight into how he is caught up in something that he can’t fully understand. The relationship between Roman Griffin Davis and Thomasin McKenzie is what gives the film such resonance. Real warmth and chemistry from their polar opposite positions leads to many wonderful comedic scenes. Johansson is great too and her ‘live free’ mentality is core to the message that we should all try to act on the right side of humanity – whatever the cost.

"wartime pals"

Waititi’s comic opus has echoes of Wes Anderson, Mel Brooks and Charlie Chaplin but also creates something entirely new and brilliant. His dedication to this project (he wrote and directed – as well as starring) is backed up by some superb cinematography and a great soundtrack.

"dinner banter"

All the cast go about the madness with gusto and quality supporting roles from Rockwell and Rebel Wilson are hilariously over the top. Special mention should go to newcomer Archie Yates who plays Jojo’s pal Yorkie as he gets some movie stealing scenes in his determination to be a good little Nazi.

Jojo Rabbit feels like a very timely film shining an important light on such a horrific time in human history and finding heartfelt humour in it.

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


(5 - Best Nazi-em-up ever!)

Awesomeness ööööö – Audacious and brilliant scenes abound

Laughs ööööö – Really funny, will break you!

Horror ööö – Some grimness

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - Where would you stand?

Want some more madness? 
Check out COMPLETE DARKNESS which delivers near future nightmares...

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