DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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

Read my novel: Complete Darkness

Listen to the PODCAST I co-host: Hosts in the Shell

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Matt's Hot Movies For 2006

"and lead us into cinematic temptation in 2006..."

Matt's Hot Film Tips for 2006...

Gazing into my magic mirror of future film releases in 2006 I see many things - I see sequels but the bucketload which may or may not be any good, I see a few potential original hits, I see some almost certain turkeys and as part of my ongoing community service here are a few of the films I'm going to be checking out:

"new man of steel on the block"

Superman Returns already generating big-screen buzz, Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor, Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane and Brandon Routh as the man of steel. This one will be big in June!!

The Da Vinci Code , based on Dan Brown's best-seller (which I haven't read yet), could be a hot ticket in May. Ron Howard will be directing Tom Hanks if that helps give you an idea...

Miami Vice has my spider sense tingling because I loved the original TV series and writer-director Michael Mann normally delivers - throw in Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx and bad boy Colin Farrell and we could be talking major fun in July.

Casino Royale , the latest 007 Daniel Craig will get to show us if he can deliver as the new James Bond in November.

X-Men 3 looks like one of my potential 'films of the year' - snick those claws out in anticipation!!

Mission: Impossible III could go either way but I'm hoping it rocks.

Captain Jack Sparrow's return to the screen in July with Keith Richards, Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest will be a winner...

'A Dame to Kill For' - aka - Sin City 2 has to be on your 'must see' list too.

I may be out on my own here but Underworld: Evolution is one I'll be seeing with anticipation.

And whilst Die Hard 4.0 may or may not see the light of day in '06, Bruce Willis will rock in Alpha Dog - mark my words...

"The Alpha Dog... poolside"

Cult wild cards also worth checking if you ask me are:

30 Days of Night (2006)

Bubba Nosferatu (2006)

Clerks 2 (2006)

And for those sickos out there - this will potentially be your film of the year: Hostel

"guaranteed to be grim..."

Reviews and other stuff you might want to read indexed here

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Matt Adcock's Worst Films 2005

"Hey... turkeys to go - at least this one has the potential to be 'tasty' "

So here they are - the famous five films that made me wish I wasn't watching them...

In reverse order then:

Four Brothers
The film makers 'deserve a punishment beating' for making this pile of crap

A Lot Like Love
A lot like a boredom more like

Loses extra points because I was hoping this would be OK

XXX2: The Next Level
'the XXX franchise straps on masses of self-destructive material and takes a running jump off the cliff of watchability'

Without A Paddle
Chewing off your own arm is more enjoyable

But 2005 did have some cool films - here's my Top Ten: Matt Adcock's Top 10 Films 2005

Last year's five worst:
Worst Films of 2004

Reviews and other stuff you might want to read indexed here

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Film Review: Lassie

Lassie (PG)
Dir. Charles Sturridge

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Here girl, good doggie – ah Lassie, the cute collie of yesteryear is back from retirement and back in the UK where the original books were apparently set. So see how she saves an unfortunate fox from a hunt, marvel at her heartbreaking attachment to some pinched faced little northern boy from the poor family (Jonathan Mason) and erm, yawn at the homing pigeon antics of the ‘dog who came home’ as she comes home against the odds again and again.
It feels a bit mean spirited to ‘diss’ Lassie too much but this just isn’t a very good film. And I have a feeling that it was probably at least partly funded by the Yorkshire tourist board as it tries really hard to make the place look gorgeous and with wide sweeping hillside shots through which Lassie runs through in slow doggie motion.
Plot you ask – you’ll wish you hadn’t - basically when ‘heart of gold’ coal miner Sam (John Lynch) has his mine closed and he and his loyal wife Sarah (Samantha Morton) realise that their only saleable asset is their lovable dog, they sell her.
But Lassie isn’t beaten that easily (although dog lovers please note that she does get a quite distressing belt whipping from Gregor ‘Rab C Nesbitt’ Fisher at one point). Another scene that might cause distress is the death of another brave little dog – at the hands of Nicholas 'Rodney' Lyndhurst no less but overall the only thing that’s going to upset anyone about this film is the fact that paid to see it.
The few highlights on offer are a mildly brilliant bumbling turn by Peter O'Toole as the Duke of Rudling, some slapstick farce at the expense of some Scottish dog wardens and a great cameo by Nessie herself in one of the gratuitous landscape shots – this time in Scotland obviously…
But Lassie 2005 feels extremely unnecessary and should only really be considered for use in a ‘child care emergency situations’ and even then the kids probably won’t thank you for it.

Darkmatt Rating: öö (Not the dog's bollocks)

Reviews of other stuff you might want to read indexed here

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Treat - Brooks's Mickled Onions

"May contain erm, well your guess is as good as mine!?"

Blatant Product Endorsement: Brooks's Mickled Onions

This came today - a Christmas present from one of my very best friends - Mr Mike Brooks.
The man is obviously a marketing genius!! Just gotta love that packaging...

You know - back in the day, when we were young pups discovering the joys of drinking and stumbling home with a packet of hot chips in one hand and a hot woman in the other - we used to share a mutual appreciation of what we termed 'SERIOUS' pickled onions...

I can confirm that the mind altering, mouth tingling properties of "Brooks's Mickled Onions" brought those memories flooding back like some kind of freaky flashback... But wow - they sure do go well with cheese on toast!!

Cheers m8 - I need to put in a bulk order...

"It's the secret recipe that keeps you guessing - or it might be the pink hat!?"

Reviews and other stuff you might want to read indexed here

Matt Adcock's Top 10 Films 2005

"Christmas - a Happy One you're having I hope? But great disturbance in the force did only just scraping into the top ten make..."

You don't have to agree, but these are the ones that 'did it' for me...

Matt's TOP TEN FILMS 2005

1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
What can I say - a magical experience that's worth treasuring forever!

2. Sin City
Style and substance (the substance being comic book ultra violence) but beautifully done...

3. House of Flying Daggers
Wow, sensory overload, heartbreaking and cool

4. Batman Begins
It's a dark knight out there... The best yet in fact!

5. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
Feel good buddy detective adventure perfection - very funny too

6. Pride & Prejudice
Miss Knightley stuns as the feisty Austen heroine...

7. King Kong
Big and hairy, and that's just his balls... Thy Kingdom Kong

8. The Constant Gardener
Powerful quality drama, very watchable

9. Serenity
Sci Fi tastiness, the Firefly flies again...

10. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Anakin don't do it! Oh, ok then - go Lord Vader go

Matt Adcock's Films Of 2004

Reviews and other stuff you might want to read indexed here

Monday, December 19, 2005

Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine are back (well sort of)...

"Carter USM... they were the best, and here is a wonderful thing - the 'lost' tracks"
The Good, The Bad, The Average and Unique
Carter f The Unstoppable Sex Machine f
"Hang on baby, baby hang on!"

How happy am I? Exfreakinstatically overexcited – because of a new CD but not just any CD, this is Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine - The Good, The Bad, The Average and Unique.

What’s the big deal with this?
Well it’s an emotional thing, a nostalgic thing, a CD that I never thought would ever be made…
Back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s Carter USM were my very favourite band… In a career that spanned 10 years, Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine's achievements included a number one album, decking Philip Schofield live on TV and many hit singles whose lyrics dealt with such unlikely pop themes as child abuse, corrupt landlords and AIDS. Their ferociously entertaining live shows have earned them the most dedicated fan followings in the wonderful world of alternative pop – I was one of those fans…
The memory of Reading Festival ’91 is strong in my mind, Mike (icon) Brooks and I were there, ‘30 Something’ T Shirts worn proudly, loving every minute of it… It was possibly Carter’s finest hour…
Then as Carter finally imploded about ’95, Mike and I found ourselves one evening at an exclusive promo gig held in the big Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street. Carter played a track called ‘Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Everything’ and it rocked, but it was never released…
Until now.
Good, Bad, Average has ‘Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Everything’ on it as well as some other very tasty unreleased songs like the awesome ‘Hounded’, loads of demos, some sound checks and live tracks… In a word it’s CARTER Nirvana!!

I love it and I strongly recommend that you check the ‘Shoppers Paradise’ where you can purchase it for the bargain price of £12…http://www.carterusm.co.uk/

“Things are getting better now…
I read it in a junk mail letter how,
I saw it in a magazine,
I heard it on the Indie Scene…
Now you know everything, about everything…”
I can honestly say that I wouldn't be the person I am today if Carter USM hadn't existed... No Carter, no Darkmatters...
And it was the song Shoppers Paradise (a Carter B Side) that cemented my love for them - read these lyrics and hopefully you'll see what I mean...
"Ground floor Shoppers' Paradisehabit-dashery, needles, spoons and knives knuckle-dusters, glass jaws and wooden hearts
Spend your money girls on sprays and lipsticks tested on bunnies, girls, strays and misfits
ozone friendly rape alarmsfor those blinding dates - another summer of hate
It's the top shop for the tired and rundown going up for the final comedown
First and second floors, third and fourth world wars
We've got a free pair of flares with every hip replacement - just take the stairs to the bargain basement
Babies bottles full ot the milk of human 'kind-nestle'
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls - the big shop is open it's a wonderful world
Top floor Shoppers' Paradise we've got a drunk Father Christmas and The Antichrist
We've got nothing of value so there's no V.A.T. we're going S.H.O.P.P.I.N.G.
We take Visa, Access, American Express patched-up, hand-me-down, second to next bestclothes for all ages, mothers and babies
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls the big shop is open it's a wonderful world
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls the big shop is open it's a wonderful world!!
Going down for all the things you missed all the love, peace and happiness that don't exist
We've got enpsychopaedias we've got pic 'n' fix - a government freezer full of benefits
A children's assortment we're bigger than Hamleys
We've got Cabbage Patch orphans from Sylvanian Famllies
Carpets, Iinoleum, holy petroleum, Chemi-kaze killers, little Hitlers and Napoleans
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls - the big shop is open and the world is wonderful..."
Come back CARTER... the world needs you.

What every guy needs for Christmas?

"The wife / babe remote"

Oh I'll be in so much trouble if / when my good wife sees this post but all I can do to try and defend this blatant sexist misogynist male propaganda is, erm, damn it…

How about this cool quote from Desperate Housewives?

" ‘Money can't buy happiness’ is just something we tell poor people to keep them from rioting"

- Gabrielle (Eva Longoria)

It’s a long shot – actually I think my Mrs is a Sony so that JVC remote doesn’t seem to be working…

Oh man, here she comes...

Um, I gotta sign off now, I’m getting ‘that look’ from my better half!!

Reviews and other stuff you might want to read indexed here

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Have a SONY Christmas... The RDR-HX510

"Mmmmmm... I love Christmas and I LOVE my RDR-HX510"

DVD Recorder with Hard Disk Drive = lots of fun!!

You know what? When you work all day and have a family it can put a real strain on your ability to catch all the quality TV you want to... That's when you need a Sony RDR-HX510...

Pause your live TV, record a program and start watching it back while still recording, enjoy picture and sound quality which are awesome.

This little baby may not be 'top of the range' but boy it's a sweetie, very user friendly and tough too (our ParcelForce guy dropped it onto the concrete whilst waiting for my wife to sign for it and it's fine!?)...

Here's some specs:

80GB HDD capacity
DVD+R Doulbe-Layer disc compatible
Precision Cinema Progressive
HQ+ recording for high picture quality
64 x High Speed Dubbing from HDD to DVD
Pause Live TV
Intelligent Chaptering
D-Matrix Noise reduction
Chasing Playback

Check the best prices for them by clicking here:

Reviews and other stuff you might want to read indexed here

Film Review: The Family Stone

"feel the love indeed... or don't bother"

The Family Stone (PG)
Dir. Thomas Bezucha

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid. At Christmas time, we let in light and banish shade… Oh sorry, got distracted there, but if you’re feeling at all Christmassy (as I am) then you may want to give The Family Stone a miss. From the trailer you’d be forgiven for expecting a fun filled festive romp - where uppity, uptight Sarah Jessica Parker gets humiliated by her hunky boyfriend Everett's relatives. In reality what you get is a downer family drama with mild comedy moments that really don’t sit comfortably in the muddle of issues that this film takes on.
It isn’t a completely bad film – you just need to know that you’re getting yourself into a melodramatic melting pot of strained relationships, smug clichéd characters and cheesy romantic tangles. The stunning Rachel ‘Wedding Crashers’ McAdams at least offers something watchable to take your mind off the fairly tedious plot that stumbles along like it’s been on the sauce at the Christmas office party.
Thomas Bezucha directs The Family Stone without any real panache but the cast try their best to save the film by giving their all. Luke Wilson, is great as the worldly wise pothead brother, Claire Danes is lovely as Parker’s less uptight sister and Diane Keaton goes for the emotional jugular with her ‘matriarch who hasn’t got long to live’ mother of the family. But there’s no shaking the whiff of turkey in the air and even though The Family Stone kept my attention, my feelings towards it are steadily growing colder than the snow threatening evening air outside. In fact I can’t see myself ever wanting to watch it again as it really is a disposable chunk of by the numbers bittersweet comedy drama. But, if you’re itching for a big screen issue fest – The Family Stone has more than its fair share: bigotry, homophobia, race and disabled issues are all on the menu of one particularly dark dinner table scene but call me old fashioned that’s not really what I’m looking for in my Christmas movie viewing…As Wilson’s character says at one point: “You have the freak flag, you just don't fly it”, I think that sums up the movie as a whole, its got the guts to tackle divisive issues but it wimps out of really letting rip. The Family Stone is a chewy Christmas humbug but when the loud battle noise of Narnia from the next screen along could be heard over the poignant conversation, I began to feel I was in the wrong screen… Happy Christmas!!

Darkmatt Rating: öö (Stone Cold)

Reviews of other stuff you might want to read indexed here

"Miss McAdams... one reason to see Family Stone"

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Matt gets his GUN (review)

"Nice logo... quality wild west thrills... Yea haa cowboy!!"


Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Man I love this game, it really is a perfect way to release stress after a hard day at work.
Think Grand Theft Wild West and you're in the right area... Ride the range, kills the baddies (and innocents if you're twisted), get 'friendly' with the gold hearted hookers, shoot out the meanest shootouts to grace the PS2 (or BillGatesBox) for some time.

It's like starring in your own episode of Deadwood.

The controls are tight, the graphics are nice and the plot is over the top with maximum gratuitous violence thrown in for good measure. No - this isn't a game for kids but yes if you want a quick time out from your day to day moral law abiding life...

Go get your GUN, you won't regret it!!

Darkmatt Rating: öööö (bang, bang... you're dead sucker!)

Reviews of other stuff you might want to read indexed here

"Hey pal... see that bit of your head flying off there? That's for looking at me funny!"

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Film Review: King Kong

King Kong (12a)

Dir. Peter Jackson

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

"And lo, the beast looked upon the face of beauty. And from that day, he was as one dead..."

And lo, after three hours of awesome, jaw dropping monkey madness, I have to tell you, I was still hungry for more. Yes, prepare yourselves because things are going to get seriously hairy in a cinema near you this week! You may not be surprised that Peter ‘Lord of the Rings’ Jackson’s new version of the classic monster movie King Kong looks the business. 

Kong himself is excellent, pushing the CGI effects envelope to a new level and bringing real character and heart to the screen thanks in no small part to the work done by Andy Serkis. After spending months studying real gorillas, he was motion captured by computer in a similar way to how he ‘acted’ the part of Gollum in Lord of the Rings, and it works a treat.

Everything on offer here is pure quality, Naomi Watts is absolutely ravishing as the blonde who steals the heart of the great hairy backed beast (no, I didn’t mean Peter Jackson but then he did seem quite taken with her when I met them both at the London press conference last week). Actually, the cast as whole work well, and Jack Black proves that he can deliver more than just laughs as the slimy but intrepid filmmaker Carl Denham.

You probably don’t need much of a plot recap – it really doesn’t matter if you’ve already seen King Kong in it’s classic 1933 version and / or the camp 1976 remake – King Kong 2005 is a film you simply must experience on the big screen. Jackson has gone all out to deliver 110% entertainment – you can tangibly feel his love of all things monster related e.g. why have Kong fight a single T Rex when he can be faced with three? Speaking of which, there are stand out scenes both on Skull Island and in the beautifully recreated New York. I guarantee you’ll grimace when faced with the ‘bug valley’ that includes leeches, which make even the carnivorous ones in Lemony Snicket look tame.

And you’ll be a hardhearted person indeed if there’s not a tear in your eye when Kong faces his tragic destiny atop the Empire State Building.

What with the excellent Narnia last week and now King Kong, cinema goers are in for a couple of festive treats. Christmas really has come early for lovers of big scale action adventures…

Darkmatt Rating: öööö (impressive - not ape sh*t)

Reviews of other stuff you might want to read indexed here

"here's looking at you kid..."

Darkmatters: Year One pt 2

2005 has been a good year in the land of Darkmatters - cool films, top concerts and massive progress on my novel... Here's the second half of the year in highlights:
Jun '05
Jul '05
Aug '06
Sep '05
Oct '05
Nov '05

Dec '05
Check Year One part 1 here: Darkmatters

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Space Cadets... one small step for TV viewing

"Ipswich - I always thought it might be the final frontier!!"

Channel 4 in the UK is blasting a group of adventurers, ordinary members of the public, off into space to spend five days orbiting the earth. Erm, no - actually it's a massive televised hoax but boy is it good TV!!
As the official blurb goes:
"It's thrilling, it's exciting, and it's totally bogus.
In fact, the cadets will be on a disused military base in Suffolk.
Our group of thrill seekers will experience two weeks of intensive astronaut training believing they are in Star City, near Moscow, and labouring under the illusion that they are part of a real space mission.
After all, who would go to the trouble of dressing Suffolk, up as Russia, and faking a space launch?
To fuel the illusion, the base has been painstakingly decked out in Russian products, down to the very last plug socket.
Their physical training is under the supervision of a genuine former KGB agent.
Hollywood visual effects specialists, Wonderworks, whose credits include The Day After Tomorrow and Apollo 13, have created the space shuttle itself from a NASA blueprint.
Sound effects have been created to simulate the incredible noise generated by blasting off from the earth. Hydraulics and 'air biscuits' will pull, jolt, and vibrate the craft around for authenticity.
When the cadets look out of the cockpit window, they'll see a distant earth, thanks to meticulous visual effects.
Who wouldn't believe?
Watch Space Cadets every night at 9pm and lap up the lie... "
Find out more here: spacecadets

Friday, December 09, 2005

Darkmatters: Year One

It's been a whole year... since Darkmatters the blog kicked off.

Here is a month by month quick guide to the first 6 months - i.e. some quirky stuff you may have missed...

Dec '04

My Worst Films of 2004

Meeting Jim Carrey

Jan '05

PWEI live in Concert

My obsession with Jennifer Garner

Feb '05

Birthday Bonus

Matt meets Samuel L Jackson

Mar '05

Matt joins the Carnivale

Doctor Who comes back

Apr '05

Lovin the PSP

Darkmatters Cleric

May (the force be with you) '05

Slave Girl Leia Tribute

Look out for the equally random selection from June - Dec '05 should I ever get the time to post em...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Hairy Day... KONG, Naomi Watts and Peter Jackson

"Miss Watts... you can kind of see at least a couple of things that KONG liked about her..."

WOW... Saw King Kong today - review will be up by the weekend so check back for that.
What was an excellent bonus to the film (which rocks by the way) - Peter Jackson, Jack Black, Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Adrien Brody were at the press conference afterwards and I'll write up what Jackson and crew had to say when I get a moment!!
The 8th Wonder of the World is certainly worth checking out - and has gatecrashed my top 10 films of 2005... Jackson has followed up Lord of the Rings with another entirely watchable, fun action epic - my dreams tonight will be filled with huge hairy faces and the gorgeous Naomi Watts who looks great in the flesh.

Narnia: The Battle Begins

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – the thinking behind the film.

By Matt Adcock

A battle is about to be unleashed this week, a struggle for the hearts, minds but above all - box office takings. As The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe opens worldwide it is sparking furious debate as many Christians hail it as being almost a ‘Passion of Christ for children’. But while many churches across the globe are busy block booking tickets (I’ve had my invite to Stopsley Baptist Church’s screening), what do the filmmakers think of it all?

It’s no secret that in the U.S. Disney and the Church have had a fairly unhappy relationship over many years with various rumoured boycotts, claims of family value erosion and loudly voiced concern over the morals being portrayed in many of the films produced by Disney. So many were concerned when it was announced that they would be handling the new film version of The Chronicles of Narnia. Was this part of a plot to water down the Christian messages that run through the fantasy children’s books of C.S. Lewis? Would the film be nothing more than a Lord of the Rings meets Harry Potter cash in?

I asked the director Andrew Adamson what his take on the Christian aspect of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was. He said: ““When people are talking about the resurrection allegory and so on, I say ‘you mean like The Matrix?’. People look at me blankly and I say ‘well, there’s Neo, he’s the chosen one, and he dies and comes back and saves the world – there’s an allegory for you’. Obviously CS Lewis was a Christian, but to me spirituality and religion are very personal issues and it’s really up to the audience, or the reader, to interpret it as they wish. I’ve made a movie of the book, and what you got from the book you’ll get from the movie.”

This is indeed the case – the explicit Christ like analogy of when traitorous Edmund’s life is saved by the sacrifice of the messiah lion Aslan has not gone unnoticed in the media. This week whilst The Guardian rated the film a maximum 5 stars it also ran a scathing opinion piece by Polly Toynbee on the film in which she claims that “Of all the elements of Christianity, the most repugnant is the notion of the Christ who took our sins upon himself and sacrificed his body in agony to save our souls. Did we ask him to? Poor child Edmund, to blame for everything, must bear the full weight of a guilt only Christians know how to inflict…”

But Adamson is keen that people enjoy the film without bring such entrenched opinions to the cinema: “I read the books before I even knew what allegory meant, and I enjoyed them purely as an adventure," he says. "That's how the film should be able to be enjoyed, too."

C. S. Lewis certainly left a lot of the tale to the imagination in his stories, I wondered if this made the adaptation process easier or harder?
Adamson: “It was really kind of a blessing and a curse. It was definitely great to be able to draw upon the imagination that I had since reading the story at eight years old and being able to bring that imagination to the screen. At the same time this book has been read by probably 100 million people, and they all have their own interpretation, their own images of it.”
And whatever you think of the film, it certainly stirs the imagination, rouses the heart and makes you hungry for more. If the Chronicles of Narnia continue their path to the big screen (plans are underway for Prince Caspian to be the next Narnia movie if Wardrobe is a commercial success) the debate around the ‘Christian – ness’ of the material may well become a regular debate...

Read my review of: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe Review

"98, 99, 100... coming... ready or not - film of the year 2005!!"

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (PG)
Dir. Andrew Adamson

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

What if that old wardrobe you’ve in your spare room was actually the doorway to an incredible ‘other world’… A place where the animals could talk, fantastical creatures like centaurs, fawns and griffins existed and it soon became apparent that you were destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy to rid the land from an all consuming evil?
Sounds like the stuff of epic fantasy legend and the good news is that whilst you might not find such a doorway in any of your household furniture – from today the only door you’ll need to enter this world is that of your nearest cinema…

Yes, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is an enchanting, exciting, gorgeous envisioning of the much loved book by C.S. Lewis. I must confess that I once ‘trod the boards’ in a low budget version of this tale as the goat legged, fawn Mr. Tumnus. And I was worried that a big budget, live action / CGI retelling of the story would not be able to deliver the one thing that cinema at its very best can conjure – pure wonderment. Well, may I be turned to stone by an evil white witch for my fleeting doubts, Andrew ‘Shrek 1 &2’ Adamson has pulled it off, and in very special style – this is my film of 2005 by a giant lions’ leap.

You want quality family filmmaking that touches your very soul? Fancy some rousing battle scenes that play out like Lord of Rings but with more heart? How about perfect casting of ‘evil herself’ or Jadis the White Witch as she likes to be called in Tilda Swinton? It’s all here… The majestic lion Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson) truly is the most impressive virtually created creature ever and even though it pains me, I have to admit that James McAvoy’s Tumnus is pretty much perfect. Other highlights are Mr and Mrs Beaver (Ray Winstone and Dawn French) who bring some Shrek style fun to the story, bonus scenes not found in the book and production values that demonstrate quality and a real love for the subject matter in every frame of footage.
The four ‘Pevensie’ siblings - Peter (William Moseley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), and Lucy (Georgie Henley) – are all good in the children’s roles too.

This is the only truly ‘must see’ film of the year, you owe it to yourself to visit Narnia as soon as you can!!

Darkmatt Rating: öööööö (my film of 2005!!)

Click this: First impressions including some cool photos

or this:
earlier post about chronicles of narnia inc trailer link

or maybe even my: harry potter goblet of fire review

Reviews of other films and stuff you might want to read indexed here

Film Review: DOOM

"Doom by name... and doomed by nature"

"The Doom test screening really wasn't going down well!!"

Doom (15)
Dir. Andrzej Bartkowiak

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Pop quiz pal:

“You’ve got a hair triggered gun to your head...
A bus full of young nuns is on a freeway and there’s a nuclear bomb on their bus.
Up ahead is a ‘children of courage’ rally where hundreds of brave little kids have gathered to be honoured.
The timer on the bomb on the buss full of nuns is set to go off just as the bus gets to the centre of the children’s rally.

- Think fast

You’re in a movie theatre which the buss will pass in just one minute, the trailers have played (Narnia, King Kong, Underworld 2 etc) and now Doom the movie is about to start – you have to make a choice, you’ve only got time to do one thing, will you leap onto the bus and try to defuse the bomb, knowing that it’s an impossible task and will mean your certain – albeit heroic - death, or will you kick back and watch the movie?”

Time’s up…

Sorry, anyone still watching the movie made the wrong choice: DOOM is the nastiest, most life negating, intense neural torture released in 2005. The word ‘turkey’ in no way does justice to just how bad this film is. DOOM is an affront to your human rights to be entertained in a movie theatre… Everything about it is major league shoddy, it really is a stinker of epic proportions. And it pains me to say this because I loved the games DOOM 3 especially, and generally an a big fan of sci fi action no matter how stupid it is…

The only good thing about DOOM is the gorgeous Rosamund Pike who plays a sexy researcher ‘Samantha Grimm’. Grimm by name and grim by nature – she’s on Mars finding out if the 10% of the human genome is still unmapped might be the genetic blueprint for the soul. The best scene of the film is of Dr Grimm walking along a corridor – check the photo below (not from the film but of miss Pike) and you’ll notice that she can certainly ‘stand out’ when she wants to…

"great dress and 'firm' proof that she's all there!"

Anyway, my life force has been so drained by sitting through DOOM that I can hardly bring myself to go on. Needless really to say that ‘The Rock’ is rubbish, the effects budget is wasted, every scene is dull, and the good name (of the game on which the film is based) is lost forever.
All I can hope is that it’s not too late and that you read this before subjecting yourself to a fate worse than death.

Hey – it’s not too late to catch that bus!!
"Rosamund Pike - too good to be in this awful movie, please don't let her career be 'doomed'"
Darkmatt Rating: ö (a one way ticket to hell for your entertainment senses)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

100,000th visitor to Darkmatters will get bonus...

"this is what the bottom of this blog looked like this morning..."

Almost a year in the realm of Darkmatters

So it's almost a whole year since I started this blogging thing. And whilst I'm preparing a special little 'review of the year' for the anniversary (09 Dec) the question is – can I hit 100,000 'unique' visitors? by that date?

It’s a nice round number – and yes - I know that ‘real’ websites and pro-blogs get more than 100k hits in a matter of minutes, it still amazes me that so many folks would find there way here to this slightly ‘off the beaten track’ blog of film reviews, strange fiction, cool games, hot females and spiritual ponderings…

And here’s a fun thing – if you are the 100,000th visitor I’d be prepared to offer you the chance to post your own entry on Darkmatters – it could be a film review, some blatant self promotion (a photo of yourself if you’re a foxy babe!?) – whatever… All you need to do is prove that you’re the 100,000th visitor by hitting the ‘print screen’ button on your keyboard and pasting it into an email to me (cleric@another.com) and we’ll take it from there…
If you're almost the 100,000th visitor, you should probably email in anyway as there's a high chance that the 'actual' person may not have read this post and that would give you the chance to 'nick' their opportunity...

"let us pray for the souls of those who have visited Darkmatters... we will remember them"

Reviews and other stuff you might want to read indexed here

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Is the bible sexist?

"see below as Matt tries to justify 'tasteful' photos like this on his blog..."

Is the bible sexist or is it just me?

One of Matt's occasional blog ponderings prompted by a conversation...

Being a Christian film reviewer can be hard, on the one hand you have the whole Old Testament which depicts pretty much a totally patriarchal society.
By modern value systems, you’d have to call it a ‘sexist’ way of life.
I guess at least they didn’t have blogs back then - where they could post pictures of impossibly gorgeous women on for no other reason than the blog owner found them ‘pleasing to the eye’… As above...

Is it so wrong? Does that make me a sexist git? I mean some of those ‘great’ servants of God had like King David certainly had time for the ladies (his eight wives, in case you were wondering were: Michal, a daughter of King Saul. Ahinoam of Jezreel. Abigail, previously wife of Nabal. Then Maachah, Haggith, Avital, Eglah and Bathsheba.)

Obviously I’m happily married and hope to grow old with one and only stunning supermodel wife but I seek a healthy spiritual balance… Especially because I am fascinated with films and reviewing them for a hobby means that I do get to see so many gorgeous females on screen… Is window shopping wrong, especially when you have no intention to buy?
Anyway, back to the topic at hand, some guy today told me that the Bible is not sexist overall because it records all kinds of sin; slavery and bondage and the failures of its greatest heroes (like David again for his adultery with Bathsheba, and his subsequent murder of her husband to try and get away with it), yet it also gives us the answer and the cure for sin. You know redemption through Christ... and all that.
I’d have to add that the New Testament where Jesus gets to put his views across it is much more empowering to both sexes. So go and debate it for yourself…

And in an almost connected conclusion I’ll just recommend a click over to my friend Tom’s blog:
http://tomwade.blogspot.com/ where his write up of ‘In Her Shoes’ includes the poignant line: “Cameron Diaz walking around with hardly any clothes on for the whole film – hang on – suddenly this movie doesn’t seem that bad at all…”

Here endeth the lesson – I’m off to watch Bullet Boy.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Xbox 360 vs Sony PS3 - whatever turns you on

"choose your weapon"

Xbox 360 vs Sony PS3

So the Xbox 360 launches in the UK this week (I've played a demo unit and it is "nice enough" but not critically not quite nice enough to make me want one - yet)...

Here are a couple of links to articles about the new systems - looks like the usual new release 'bugs' are hitting the 360 with some machines 'turning themselves off' or 'freezing mid game':
X Box 360 Glitches

Latest from Sony seems to be that they will present PS3 At CES Jan 2006:
CES 2006

My favourite computer games story from the web today is this one taken from:

The Family Media Guide has
issued their "2005's TOP 10 ULTRA-VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES".

Although no doubt intended as a warning to adults buying presents for little gamers, it's possibly more likely to be used as a check list for naughty kids...

Check these:

GTA: San Andreas - "murder, theft, and destruction on every imaginable level"

Narc - "the ability to kick enemies' heads off"

50 Cent: Bulletproof - "loots the bodies of victims to buy new 50 Cent recordings and music videos"

Condemned: Criminal Origins - "a new level of detail to various injuries"

True Crime: New York City - "plant evidence on civilians and shake them down to earn extra money"

and for those sick bunnies out there - Resident Evil 4 - "During the first minutes of play, it's possible to find the corpse of a woman pinned up on a wall - by a pitchfork through her face."

As Games Asylum's own Jake Rukin says: "Most of those make the games sound more appealing than any review ever could. And indeed better than they actually are. Great job!"

You have been warned!!

So are you lovin your new 360 or waiting for the godlike PS3... let me know... or read my first thoughts on Narnia

Reviews and other stuff you might want to read indexed here

Film Review: Transporter 2

Transporter 2 (15)
Dir. Louis Leterrier

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Have a good life. What’s left of it…”
If you like your action movies slick, polished and impossibly fun – the film choice of the moment should be Transporter 2. For maximum enjoyment you should try not to think, at all, and on no account expect anything believable to happen, this is a film that is going to be remembered as the loudest, stupidest, most over the top, action overdose of 2005.

I found myself loving it.

Jason Statham’s heroic Frank ‘the transporter’ Martin can dodge bullets, survive improbable falls, take on 20 men in unarmed combat and drive his bulletproof Audi with more swagger than Jose Mourinho will ever have.
Here Frank’s up against a slimy villain called Gianni (Alessandro Gassman), who takes his job very seriously and whose chief hitman is named Lola - a supermodel with a clothing aversion (the hard bodied Kate Natua). I tried to find out a bit more about miss Natua and her online biography reads: ‘She started modelling at 15.’ As there wasn’t any more I can only guess it might one day continue ‘and hasn’t stopped since…’ but if you’ve ever had a hankering to see a gorgeous blonde kickboxing in her designer lingerie then Transporter 2 should be on your recommended viewing list.

Now I’m not trying to be sexist here but one might call Transporter 2 a ‘boys’ film – only inasmuch as it really loves its cars, is fetishistic regarding its handguns and deliver bouts of crunching violence ever few minutes without fail – many of which feature the half dressed Lola. If you’re a woman reading this and thinking ‘but Matt - I love cars, handguns and crunching violence’ then my apologies – you’re my kind of girl - but you get the idea.
The less you know about the plot the better (it’s wafer thin) but be assured that the car chases are up there with Bad Boys or Blues Brothers, the dialogue is dumb but quotable and the production values put Transporter 2 very much in the big league of action films.

Luc Besson (who produces and co-writes) makes a potent team with director Louis ‘Unleashed’ Leterrier. The Transporter films look set to continue delivering enjoyably daft, high end thrills for those who find James Bond that bit too high brow and complex.

Anyway, I did see another film this week – something about a Lion, a Witch and a Wardrobe - a sure fire contender for film of 2005 but more of that next week!!

Darkmatt Rating: ööö (stupid, violent and sexist action?... yes please!!)

Reviews of other films and stuff you might want to read indexed here

" 'Dirty' Lola had ruined another pair of stockings killing the cop for his jacket "