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

Monday, January 31, 2005

DVD Review: Angel Wars

"Let's go and kick some demon ass!!"

Angel Wars: Guardian Force

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

This the first in a three-part DVD series of animated, supernatural adventure of angels battling fallen spirits – was brought back from a children's workers conference by my wife, so obviously I was deeply sceptical and immediately expected it to suck. There I was with my boys - watching the DVD, waiting for it to be horrible and twee, do gooding Christians failing to comprehend what makes a cool film, poor animation, rubbish contrived plot...

But miraculously, Angel Wars is good and I'm shocked to be saying that it will now sit proudly on my shelf next to my other animated films - Akira, Ghost In The Shell, Blood: The Last Vampire, Patlabor, Wings of Honneamise etc. Wars has effective use of low budget CGI, interesting conceptualisation of angels (some fly on Green Goblin like gliders, others have kind of laser enhanced wings) - the baddies are even half decent - sexy evil demoness, large evil robot warrior - what the hell is going on?? Yes it might be made for boys aged 8 and 12 years old but damn it, I’d venture 30 something comic book fans like to see huge sword wielding demons just as much...

Angel Wars creator Chris Waters explains: “We didn’t make this series to provide escape; we made it to give hope. We want kids to know that they matter, that they can make a difference, that there is a spiritual battle going on every day” – a spiritual battle fought here to the rock music of dc talk, Newsboys…

Darkmatt Rating: öööö (good)

Film Review: Meet the Fockers

"their Focking back for more"

Meet the Fockers (12a)
Dir. Jay Roach

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

So you thought your parents were embarrassing? Yes, whilst my dear mother never misses a chance to tell people amusing anecdotes about me (the one when she found me singing ‘Oh happy day, oh happy day, all we like sheep have gone astray’ in my cot is a particularly painful favourite), I still count myself lucky because, well, I could have been a Focker.
If you’ve seen Meet the Parents and had wondered ‘what sort of people name their son Gaylord ‘Greg’ Focker?’ then get ready because you’re about to find out.

The story picks up after the events of the first film where male nurse Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) managed to convince ex-CIA man Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) to let him into his ‘circle of trust’ and wed his daughter Pam (Teri Polo). Now all that needs to happen before the big day can take place is for the in-laws to meet…

Enter the Fockers - father Focker Bernie (Dustin Hoffman shows he can excel at OTT comedy) and um, mother Focker Roz (a sex mad Barbra Streisand). The Fockers are the polar opposites of the uptight and repressed Byrnes and so the stage is well and truly set for the maximum number of awkward situations, misunderstandings and plays on the word ‘Focker’ you’ll ever see in just under 2hours. Hoffman’s touchy feely humanist Bernie Focker steals all of his scenes, when he’s not canoodling with his free love empowered wife, he’s invading the personal space of repressed Jack Byrnes and it’s just wonderful to watch. Each character gets their moment of glory like when Pam tells her parents that she’s definitely going to be “Pamela Martha Focker!” or little baby Jack’s first word…

Throw into the mix a surgically enhanced lusty housekeeper, plentiful painful slapstick, witty banter and even some interspecies dog / cat experimentation and there it is… It might not be clever and it’s certainly crude but it’s also really funny – and if you liked Meet the Parents, you’ll laugh loud and long at Meet the Fockers (at least I did).

For some reason many critics have panned this film – I have to disagree and with a worldwide gross of $287million and rising it looks like there are a lot of Focker fans out there. If you’re in the mood for a good laugh, I suggest you join them by going to Meet the Fockers for yourself.

Darkmatt Rating: öööö (good fun)

Click here to read interview:
Matt Adcock Meets Dustin Hoffman
Click here to read Matt's other: Film Reviews

"the family weren't sure about De Niro's breakdancing"

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Andy Flannagan vs Linkin Park

"I need to feel the cold of shadows running free"

Food for thought - it's possible to have things but not really 'have' them...
SON is a cool and thought provoking album by talented singer / songwriter Andy Flannagan (best track 'All I Am'), Collision Course however is the new fusion of Linkin Park and Jay-Z (best track 'Numb/Encore'). Today I've been challenged to assess what I'm doing with what I have, am I becoming numbed to the 'power to have joy'?
Man I hope not...

There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is hard on men; A man to whom God gives money, wealth, and honour so that he has all his desires but God does not give him the power to have joy of it, and a stranger takes it.
Ecclesiastes 6: 1-2
I love the concept that you can have everything and yet nothing if you don't appreciate it...

"I’ve become so numb... Can I get a encore? Do you want more? " ...deep huh?

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Darkmatters Fiction: Cleric shows up

by Matt Adcock

‘Our glorious leader, in whom we pledge our trust, the great political instigator who has united the diverse peoples of London2. Only in Marcus Razour have we finally found our true leader – and it is he that will take us to the new dawn of man.’
“Who writes this crap?” said Cleric after reading the latest GOV infovert – “And just when exactly did our political leader start on this messianic ‘I’m going to save the world’ drive? It’s absolute bollocks…”
Cleric’s Social Rating™ blinked “* * * * Pissed Off and Dangerously Anarchistic.”
GIX kick in with a verse: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world…
“Leave it GIX, I’m not in the mood, I thought you’d had your biblical messages of doom wiped anyway?”

As fate would have it, miles across the city president Marcus Razour was thinking about Cleric at that very moment. Deep in the parliament battle fortress, in his luxury GOV office overlooking neoTowerbridge he is in council with his head of security Andious Fal.

“Tell me about this ‘Cleric’, I want to know why he’s being classified as potential terrorist threat?”

“Well sir, he showed up in a general sweep – he’s ex I.F. and then crossed reference as you requested with anyone who has links with the church of the True God, he showed up there again – not a practising believer we believe but his parents were both heavily involved – might explain his freaky name too? And we believe he has a decommissioned Faithbot mk7 with him, you remember the mk7’s I take it?”

“Yes yes, so, I see...”

“Andious, perhaps we might arrange for him to be brought in for an informal interview – I have a strange feeling about him and I don’t like having feelings because they often end in my having to kill lots of people.”

“Yes sir.”

Andious made his way to the elevator, he preferred whenever possible to travel by conventional methods – he was still somewhat dubious about the STREAM technology and only used it when it would look bad not to. Things were moving ahead nicely with the Victim Marker programme and now that there had been a breakthrough with the Dark Matter Collaboration too it seemed that both of Razour’s pet projects were going to succeed. Andious liked to be on the winning team, always had. The feeling of being able to operate above the law, of having unfettered command of the L2 GOV military response units and all security services – even the battle mage commanders reported to him which added to his sense of invulnerability. Razour was the man, there was no point in denying it and whilst he wouldn’t ever want to question his own sexuality – he certainly had uncomfortable feelings for his boss that went some way beyond loyalty.

He didn’t want to think about his love life though – that was the one area that Andious had just never succeeded, he was a damn fool and he knew it. Rachell had been the one, he knew it now – that had been the only relationship that ever had any potential - years ago now, he’d been stupid thinking he could move on by finding another girl. He was still haunted about how they had lost their innocence together…Still having flashbacks of his first time…which couldn’t be normal. He felt sick inside, not then, but now – now when he found himself obsessively tracking her – seeing her happier than she ever had been with him. And these days what good would he be to her anyway? He was so damn impotent he could barely raise a smile. Regret was his solitary companion in the dark these days and it didn’t matter how many under age hookers he took home – he knew that he had blown his chance for ‘lifelong love’ and he just had to get over it somehow.
Marcus watched Andious leave – poor bastard that he was –a shame that the only thing he was useful for was his vicious ‘bully boy’ mentality that went down well with the troops. At least he was loyal and easily controlled which were the key traits Razour favoured. But he was entirely expendable and that suited him just fine. He turned and looked out on the bright lights of the city and sipped his single malt, still thinking about Cleric…

Other extracts from Darkmatters the novel by Matt Adcock:

Film Gunfight

Fear of Death

Friday, January 28, 2005

Matt Adcock Meets Dustin Hoffman

"I'm a very good driver..."

Matt Adcock meets Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Hoffman is a true movie legend, he’s won two Oscars, been nominated for seven more and his diverse roles have included such gems as The Graduate, Tootsie and Rain Man. Now however he’s taken on the challenge of being one of the most embarrassing dads ever to hit the screen in smash hit comedy sequel Meet the Fockers.

In Meet the Fockers you appear to having great fun, did you like your role?

“Bernie is great – he is basically that kind of guy who wouldn’t mind leaving the open while he went to the bathroom on an airplane just so he could continue a conversation with the people that he was talking to. When I played him I just let it all hang out – in fact that’s what the director told me to do.”

How was having Barbra Streisand as your Mrs Focker?

“Unbelievably this is the first time we’ve worked together but I loved it - there was an openness, especially as the director said to ‘make out all the time – as much as possible!’ I'd say to Barbra, ‘Man, your breasts look great today’. And she loves her breasts... I’d whisper that to her during the scene - I like to do real stuff because I wanted it to be real. I don’t like fake arousal scenes, it has to be real. It might simply be to do with a look. There are five senses, so sometimes it's in a look or in a smell. I love the neck, snuggling into it and smelling that. It’s like prolonged foreplay – that goes on all day – when you can’t wait to get to go to bed together even after being married 20 years. Barbra said I should ‘do whatever I wanted’ and I think what existed between Barbra and I was an affection that was genuine.”

And bouncing off Robert De Niro?

“This is the third time I’ve worked with Bob and it’s always easy and fun to be in a project with him. This time I even managed to get some beautiful blushes out of him! I set out not trying to get to De Niro's character, but to get to Bob himself. I know Bob doesn't like his space being invaded but I said to the director that the first thing I was going to do in the scene where we meet and shake hands, was feel his peck muscles because I know he works out. And then give him a nice kiss on the neck. But I didn't want him to know it was going to happen.”

So are you much like Bernie Focker in real life?

“My family say that what I did on screen in Meet the Fockers is more the way I am at home than in any other film that I've done. I'm a grandfather now and I find that’s great, it broadens what you can do – so putting a large side of myself at home into a role - I’ve never done in a film before, because no one has ever asked me to do that.”

And with that he has to go – but I’d urge you catch him in Meet the Fockers as soon as you can - it’s definitely the funniest film of the year so far.

Click here to read: Matt Adcock's Film Reviews

"D'oh... I'm a father Focker"

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Elektra is "awful" admits Jennifer Garner

"does my bum look big in this little black low cut dress?"

OK, this might be my last post about the Elektra film (at least until the DVD is released) but it's going out on a happier note... It appears that even she doesn't like the film - and thus my faith in her has been slightly restored (although she's such a hottie that even messing up Elektra couldn't remove her completely from my affections or stop me posting regular photos of her)...
Anyway, her ex-boyfriend Michael Vartan has apparently told Us Weekly "I heard (Elektra) was awful. (Jennifer) called me and told me it was awful. She had to do it because of Daredevil. It was in her contract."
It's just a shame that none of the studio execs realised that Elektra sucked ass when there was still time to improve it!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

A bit HARSH Realm

Harsh Realm
Created by Chris ‘X Files’ Carter
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
This is a TV show from back in '99 which has intriguing premise - based on the comics of the same name, Harsh Realm deals with a Matrix like computer simulation of life, but this one is a military devised 'game'. Plucky hero Hobbes (alas not a relation of the one in Calvin and Hobbes) is played by Scott Bairstow (who?) Well, in the Harsh Real World he's just spent 4 months in jail in Washington for second-degree assault and undergone a sexual deviancy evaluation for sleeping with a 12 year old girl but that's another matter entirely.

What interested me most about Harsh Realm is the theology behind it - so along with your standard cheesy semi sci -fi action you get fascinating debates about the nature of reality, the concept of existence and the notion of an afterlife... Because in Harsh Realm, when you die, you immediately disappear - at least it cuts down on funeral bills...
So I'm a couple of episodes in and think it warrants a watch if you're into sci fi stuff - will give it a provisional
Darkmatt Rating: ööö (watchable)
Three almost interesting facts about the show:

Thomas Hobbes (the hero) is named after the philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who believed in predestination and that people are inherently selfish and power-hungry...

The chair Hobbes sits in to enter Harsh Realm has "siege" and "perilous" written on its arms. Of course this is a reference to the legend of King Arthur, and a similar chair that would turn anybody but the bravest person in England into ash if they sat in it...

Harsh Realm met the harsh financially driven reality at Fox TV when it was cancelled after only nine episodes...

“It’s just a game”

This was PWEI - Wise Up! Suckers

"the incredible PWEI"

PWEI - back with a turbo charged, nitrous-fuelled adrenaline overdose, certainly one of the best gigs ever...
Highlights for me included:
  • Wake Up Time To Die,
  • Their Law,
  • There is No Love Between Us Anymore,
  • Wise Up! Suckers!

But there were so many cracking tracks, an awesome poppies stage performance and topped off with some quality new merchandise... I'm still grinning...

Now - how about some new material?

"oh come all ye faithful"

"can you dig it? - hell yeah"

Other related links:

PWEI This Is The Hour ,

PWEI Strike Back ,

Carter Shirt Wearing in The Guardian,

Review of London gig in The Guardian,

Matt Adcock's FILM REVIEWS man...

Monday, January 24, 2005

PWEI - This is the hour...

The PWEI (Pop Will Eat Itself) Reformation tour rolls into London today, for two nights at the Shepherd's Bush Empire...
I'll be there tomorrow night and my old pal Lee has reported back from one of the Birmingham gigs that the poppies are indeed rocking harder than ever AND the news on the merchandise front is also good...
e.g. see below for the new PWEI hat!

Going to be a day "long remembered" as the Dark Lord of Sith might say...

That's great but I'd rather read your: Film Reviews

PSP overtakes Nintendo DS for market share...

image from ign.com

Hot on the heels of my 'game of 2004' - Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
comes the news that the makers are hard at work on a new PSP game...

Makai Wars - your guess is as good as mine as to what it's all about but I've a feeling it will be
And I read over at Media Create today that the PSP took 30.64% of last week's Japanese hardware sales, higher than the Nintendo DS on 25.39%... interesting, if you're watching the Sony vs Nintendo battle for handheld domination.

That's great but I'd rather read your: Film Reviews

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Film Review: White Noise

"that noise you hear... it's the sound of sucking"

White Noise (15)
Dir. Geoffrey Sax

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Did you know that apparently the voices of the dead are all around you – and all it takes to receive an ‘overtly threatening message’ from the other side is to leave your TV or radio un-tuned… Yes if White Noise is to be believed, (and it appears to want to be – despite being directed by the bloke who used to make the Cannon & Ball TV show), then the dead are queuing up to send spooky messages through the dubious paranormal theory of EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) – it seems people are still dying to get on TV…
Anyway, this is the mildly creepy story about an architect, Jonathan Rivers (Michael ‘best Batman – at least until Christian Bale came along’ Keaton) sees him lose his wife and then get mobile phone calls, television messages and visions of her from the other side. It’s probably not the worst ghost film you’ll ever see (actually it might be if you don't get out much), it doesn’t scare enough though and although Keaton is good, you can’t help feeling that this really is a poor man’s Sixth Sense wannabe. Yes, some nasty ghosties turn up and there’s a serial killer subplot – of course – but White Noise is not a ‘must see’ film by any stretch of the imagination, in fact as my friend Mike pointed out "It Sucks!!"
And the whole “if you open a channel – those who want to ‘damage’ will come” argument could just as well relate to having a publicly accessible blog…

oh, wait a minute…

Darkmatt Rating: ö (rubbish)

Click here to read more of Matt Adcock's: Film Reviews

"Busted's TV show was very poor quality..."

This link is to a blog that explores EVP!!

Film Review: Ray

Ray (15)
Dir. Taylor Hackford

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Baby, when I walk out that door, I walk out alone in the dark,” these are the emotive words of Ray Charles – a man who overcame the odds to blow the world away with his sheer musical talent. Now his life explodes onto the big screen in an emotional biopic covering his rise from a desperate childhood to become one of the most successful musical entertainers the world has ever witnessed. When he said “I'm trying to do something ain't nobody ever done in music and business,” he wasn’t kidding and amazingly, the only thing more extraordinary than his music was the man behind it.
There is a lot of buzz about Jamie ‘Collateral’ Foxx’s Golden Globe award winning performance of the late great Ray Charles – and for once it’s all justified. Foxx is stunning, delivering an acting tour de force that should have Mr Charles smiling from beyond the grave at just how well his life has been recreated here. It’s quite a life too – I guess you don’t get to be survived by 12 children, 21 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren without having a significant interest in the opposite sex. And that’s another credit to the film – it doesn’t whitewash over the fact that Charles was actually a philandering junkie who spent years addicted to heroin and couldn’t walk past an attractive woman without cheating on his wife… Be that as it may, what shines out though is that of all his selfish vices he was mostly a slave to the music that welled up from inside him and just couldn’t be contained. Misunderstood by many, Charles had his music branded “blasphemous” because he dared fuse traditional Gospel with R&B, he was also resented by the friends who helped get him going and yet he easily discarded as he outgrew them. Director Taylor Hackford intersperses his life story with some powerful flashbacks of Charles’s awful childhood, the untimely death of his younger brother and the loss of his sight. Strong stuff.
Ray might be a deep vein thrombosis baiting 152 minutes long but I was hooked from the beginning and found that the time flew by (Foxx really is that watchable – which bodes well for next year’s Miami Vice film where he will be ‘Tubbs’).
So, you might not like blues, jazz or R&B but you’d be a fool to miss this inspiring and unforgettable true story of human triumph.

Darkmatt Rating: öööö (good)

Click here to read Matt's other: Film Reviews

"damn it woman, my nuts are trapped in the keyboard"

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Sleeping Beauty - Little Britain Style

"don't fancy yours much"
Grandma 'A' took the family to see Sleeping Beauty - as an après Christmas "treat" ...
This version of the enchanting tale had Princess Aurora (Lucy Sinclair) cursed by the Wicked Fairy Carabosse (Toyah Willcox) - who interrupts the Princess’ christening and declares that the beautiful baby will one day prick her finger blah blah and only the kiss of a prince (Jack Ryder) can awake her...
So far, so average but the cast went for it with serious vigour - and it kind of worked better than it had any right to mostly because Dave Lee (far left in photo above) played his 'Dame' choc full of Little 'I'm a Lady' Britain references - unusual fun for a cold Saturday afternoon.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Bruce Willis in Hostage Situation...

Bruce Willis... I love that guy (in a non sexual, macho kind of way),
he's delivered some of my very favourite films:






/ big grin spreads across Matt's face just thinking about those films and now it looks like 2005 will be 'Brucetastic' because not only will he own SIN CITY but HOSTAGE looks pleasingly action packed too - plus DIE HARD 4 has popped up on the horizon - now we're talking...

Some favourite Bruce Willis quotes - can you name the films?

"I am insane, and you are my insanity."

"Yeah, that's what your wife said."

"Just needed to do a couple of things. I needed to help someone. I think I did. And I needed to tell you something. You were never second, ever."

"How's my driving? 1-800-I'm-gonna-f**kin'-die!"

"Take this under advisement, jerkweed."

"Honey, since I left you, this has been without a doubt the single weirdest f**king day of my life."

"You should never do anything like this. You know that, right?"

- I could go on all day...

Matt Adcock Meets Will Smith

Just sorting some files and found this... my first 'Hollywood Star' interview back from August '04...
Slightly star struck and still buzzing from having just watched iRobot for the first time (of many) here it is...

Matt Adcock Meets Will Smith

It’s not everyday that you get to interview a Hollywood star like Will Smith, and possibly even less likely that you find you have something absolutely in common. In the flesh he is every bit as cool, sexy, funny and full of energy as I’d imagined, so, obviously we’re very much alike (OK, so at least we both cite Star Wars as our favourite sci fi film). And Will is a big sci fi fan as he explains “I love it, as a kid growing up, science fiction was my genre. I loved the imagination of science fiction. I think at heart, I'm really an idealist and there's nowhere for me in entertainment that you can really stretch the bounds of human possibility more than science fiction. I just love it. Star Wars was almost spiritual to me, when I make films – my aim is make people get the feeling I got when I first saw Star Wars”. That must explain his fondness for roles in films like Independence Day and Men in Black and now I ROBOT which has certainly come the closest of any Will Smith film to giving me that illusive ‘Star Wars’ feeling…

Talking of Star Wars, Will was keen to point out that he does like robots really – especially R2 D2 who he describes as the one that the “chicks dig”, but that “you can forget that C3PO guy”. In I ROBOT you see, Smith plays a ‘robo-phobic’ detective who hates the robots that have been integrated into our society. He explained about shooting the robot scenes. “We used a process on this film that was similar to the process they used for Golem on Lord of the Rings. Alan Tyduck played Sonny who is the main robot and they've used all of his facial expressions, they've used his body language, and they've used his voice. So, there's a real human quality to the robots that are really fun for me, but I think will be chilling for people watching the movie. It's scary, icky, kind of human-y!” (Laughs)

One reason a lot of women may want to check out I ROBOT is the controversy around the shower scene…
“The nakedness was important,” Will says, “that wasn’t gratuitous, it was ‘deep character nakedness’ because my character has a condition called ‘Survivor's Guilt’ – he survived a crash and is deeply paranoid. That’s why I didn’t have the door shut or the shower curtain across… in case somebody tried to attack me!”

Err OK then, so how would he describe I ROBOT overall? “This movie is a wonderful, blend of genres and it's smart when it's supposed to be smart, it's funny when it's supposed to be funny. The special effects are incredible but it doesn't depend on the special effects. I ROBOT, is what I think will be the future of action movies in that it's a character driven story, where the action sequences and explosions are extra.” Finally – now that his wifeJada Pinkett-Smith is also staring in blockbusters – how does that work out at home? ”Hey, she beat me last year. She beat me last year with The Matrix sequels. She has a good shot at me this year with Collateral – it’s ridiculous!! Collateral is really, really good. It's just fun for us. We both know that our priorities don't lie in this business. We just have a little fun with it, and extra enjoyment of the time we spend together. It gives us something else to talk about. It's definitely not an issue.”

Click here to read: Matt Adcock's Film Reviews

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Elektra - Rob Bowman Interview

So, Elektra wasn't the great film it could have been (Matt's Review) and it wasn't a patch on the (graphic novel), but there are some interesting things to be learnt from a recent interview with the director - Rob Bowman:

Did you want to make an even darker film?
The film is not as severe as in the comics, because that would be X rated. I’m making a PG-13. As a matter of fact, the director's cut was rated R. I knew I was making an R-rated movie, and that I would just have to edit to soften some of the moments. The good thing is that the studio will get their PG-13, but the DVD will be an R. I'll put all the hard-edged stuff back in.

Elektra's costume is very similar to the books – was that important?
Absolutely. We didn’t do it verbatim from the comics, because she looks like a hooker, but we definitely wanted to be as close to that as we could. I approached the costume from a personality point of view. I think that Elektra, while making the costume, wouldn’t have made it about vanity. It’s about the ability to move. But she’s also brash, and highly confident. And she does look really hot. (Laughs).

Obviously you’ve got Typhoid Mary in the movie, who uses her power through kissing. Are you aiming for an MTV best kiss award?
(laughs) We hired this gorgeous woman, and she kisses Elektra halfway through the movie and nearly kills her. So you’ve got Jennifer Garner being kissed by Natassia Malthe in slow motion for about thirty seconds. (Laughs) None of the men who’ve seen the movie have a problem with it!

The set must have had lots of visitors that day.
Surprisingly, we had quite a few! (Laughs) I don’t know, it’s kind of a weird way to kill somebody, and the combination of being poisonous and beautiful is interesting. The fact that the Hand use poison and whispers as your means of murder just seemed cool to me.

How many takes did you do with the kiss, by the way?
There are 7 angles of it, and to do each angle right you’ve got to do it 3 to 5 times. I would say that Natasha and Jennifer kissed, pretty much for a day.

That's dedication to the craft. I’m sure the DVD will have multi angle shots.
It’ll be longer… But both Jennifer and Natasha were very respectful, and their oral hygiene was very high that day. They just were two professionals. It was just another take. But it is quite beautiful.

For those who haven't seen the film, Typhoid Mary is played by Natassia Malthe - who looks like this...

"Hey Jennifer - any time you're ready for a rematch!?"

Alone In The Dark

Uwe Boll - two words that can strike fear into the heart of those who love movies...
This guy directed the ultra loud and dumber than you could possibly imagine 'House Of The Dead' videogame adaptation which is ranked in the bottom 30 movies of all time over at IMDB.
Now he turns his attention to a new movie based on a game... Alone in the Dark

"um, it's behind you"

Alone in the Dark is still perhaps considered by many gamers to be the grandfather of action/adventure games. When it was released in 1993 - I spent many student nights huddled round the PC with friends, fighting monsters and solving puzzles when we quite possibly should have been studying for our marketing degrees.

Let's hope that the movie manages to capture at least some of the games spooky atmosphere...

"no Jehovah's Witnesses are getting in here!"

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Film Review (DVD): The Hitcher 2: I've Been Waiting

The Hitcher 2: I've Been Waiting
Dir. Louis Morneau

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Ah The Hitcher back in 1986 eh?
Rutger Hauer in one of his 2 best roles ever, (the other being Blade Runner of course - can he add a third with his Sin City bit part this year?), anyway - there he was, all blonde hair, chilling eyes, charismatic smile and brutal violence. What could be better than a sequel in which C. Thomas Howell reprises his role from the original (Jim Halsey - the young guy who got terrorised by the Hitcher)? Not The Hitcher 2 alas, Hauer obviously couldn't be bothered to come back, so we get Jake 'Starship Troopers' Busey trying to fill the Hitcher's mean boots. I was fully ready and prepared to hate this low budget follow up which isn't a patch on the first film but found myself kind of enjoying in a masochistic way...
There are some competent moments, a nice explosion here and there, and Busey tries his best to be Hauer. Kari Wuhrer (she was Special Agent Tanya Adams from Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2) steps up as a plucky but crap action heroine and the plot is pretty much like the first film.
Is it worth seeing?
Only if you're an undemanding fan of the original or you just like duff sequels...
Darkmatt Rating: öö (poor)

"Kari Wuhrer... you probably would, but you might not want her covering you ass in a fight"

"hey you can almost see my career from the back seat..."

For a far superior tale of 'death in the dust' track down Dust Devil,
this classy little number from 1992 is hard to find these days but
I have fond memories of it!!

SpongeBob SquarePants vs Tsunami

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie hits the UK on the 11 February.
But Unicef have a charity premier in the West End on the 6 February!
How can you not want to see a film that has an all action sponge as the main character, dialogue that includes:
"My pants are on fire!... My underwear is on fire!... I'M ON FIRE!"
and a cameo by David Hasselhoff himself!!?

Think I might have to check this one not least
'because it's in such a good cause'
(tsunami relief)

"ever get the feeling we're being watched?"

Superb Tunnel Vision

These photos are just excellent - they make me think of celestial tunnels and souls going 'into the light'.

Of course they're actually shots taken from a moving vehicle by the soon to be legendary artist Rachel Warwick...

Very cool - click here to see more of her stuff: Rachwarwick Deviantart

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Elektra: How she'd probably like to be remembered

Lest we forget...
Elektra was once a thing of joy, wonder and tasty violent action...
Maybe she'll get another chance, but I don't think we should hold our breath...

Click here to see a cool online exhibition of Elektra Assassin

Film Review (DVD): Life as a House

"Extra cheese on your burger son?"

Life as a House
Dir. Irwin Winkler

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Now don’t get me wrong, weepy movies are not generally my ‘cup of tea’ but Life as a House floored me like sledgehammer to the face. On the surface this is another one of those ‘life affirming’ tales where this guy (Kevin Kline) gets cancer and spends his last few months rebuilding his relationship with his estranged and F.U.B.A.R. son (Hayden Christensen)…

What set this apart for me was the fact that my dad (John Adcock) died of cancer over ten years ago – and he never got the chance to see if I’d outgrow the teenage stupidity that I was exhibiting so much of… He was a fantastic father who always had time for me, made me feel like the centre of the universe and sweated blood to provide for us. Now, all I can do is be the best dad I can for my boys and hope that they’ll love me as much I loved him…

Anyway, the film is about love, hurt, hope and reconciliation – as much as it is about a guy building the house he’s always dreamt of. Kline is just excellent and for once I didn’t hate Hayden ‘Vader Wannabe’ Christensen either, which was a plus. Jena Malone is also extremely cute (how can you not love that girl – she gets to jump into the shower with Christensen and kiss his dad “just to see what it’s like”)…
The story is well directed and Kline really nailed the depiction of a father who is losing everything but determined to go out having done all he could to help his family.

Yes it’s cheesier than a triple cheeseburger with extra cheese – but somehow it works and I really enjoyed it…

Darkmatt Rating: öööö (good)

Click here for Matt Adcock's: Film Review Index

Monday, January 17, 2005

Think he got the point...

This x-ray from a news story about some guy who accidentally shot a 6inch nail into his head (through his tooth!) and didn’t realise it for 6 days brought back memories of the time I managed to impale my head on a similar sized nail…
Must be a couple of years ago now – I was in the loft and lent forward in the dark, only to find that I’d banged my head on a beam… A bean with a rusty nail pointing out of it, which was now sticking into my head!!
How we laughed at casualty as the nurse had to give me various shots and then used a special kind of glue to seal the wound – thanks too to Alan Masters (the kind of friend you need when you do unfortunate things like this) who took me to hospital. Don’t think it’s affected me too badly… but you never know I guess!!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Jennifer Garner: Great Looking But Wasted

Jennifer Garner... certainly has the looks to make a perfect Elektra,
alas - the film makers just didn't do it justice...

see my review Elektra

P.S. It looks like some female readers disagree - see comment below

Jennifer Garner makes me happy

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

Elektra Is "Awful" Admits Garner

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Film Review: Elektra

"look me in the eye and tell me you liked the film"

Elektra (12A)
Dir. Rob Bowman

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Her name is Elektra; she moves without sound, kills without mercy and looks absolutely fantastic whilst doing it!! Unfortunately her film is sloppy, tame and unremittingly average – and the question has to be asked, “How has this been allowed to happen?”
Elektra: Assassin, the original comic book by Frank Miller with artwork by Bill Sienkiewicz is my all time favourite graphic novel. Elektra the film does not live up to the amazing source material - at all... She has been laid low by the idiots of Hollywood who seem to work on the principle: “why bother making an awesome, clever, explosive action film when we can churn out any old rubbish?”
Elektra of the comic is brutal, cool, efficient, sexy and rock hard. Whereas Elektra in the film is still admittedly sexy but also sweet, emotional and often unforgivably wimpy... I lay a lot of blame at the festering feet of director Rob Bowman - he is the master of taking potentially explosive material (dragons vs humans in Reign of Fire / a hot babe ‘death dealing ninja’ in Elektra) and working his ‘average magic’ on it until the film comes out looking like an identikit 12 year old boy’s dream...
So the bad guys - The Order of the Hand, your average ninja collective, are looking for average bloke Mark Miller (Goran Visnjic) and his annoying but average daughter Abby (Kirsten Prout). At the same time Elektra is paid $2 million to kill the same father and daughter but for some reason ends up fighting to protect them. The limited ‘action’ is weak, the tone and style are vapid throughout, the baddies are just laughable and the script sucks – think Catwoman and unfortunately your not too far off. Even then I could let all this go if it was just some new and doomed to fail action franchise - but NOT when the Elektra source material deserved so much better.
Yes the sight of Jennifer Garner in her "so tight I couldn't wear underwear underneath" outfit is a thing of beauty that you won’t forget in hurry, but the film is utterly soulless. The highlight for me was the full on kiss between baddie Typhoid Mary (model Natassia Malthe), who goes about giving her foes a ‘kiss of death’, and Elektra. But nothing can really save this from struggling to even hold a candle to the much-maligned 2003 comic book effort ‘Daredevil’, which featured Elektra in a cameo role…

Darkmatt Rating: öö (poor) - but worth watching because Garner is so hot!!

Read other film reviews by Matt Adcock:click here

"The Elektra workout video - great for the stomach..."

Film Review: Team America: World Police

"You can run but you can't hide..."

Team America: World Police (15)
Dir. Trey Parker

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

When freedom hangs by a thread, who are you going to call to put the "F" back into it? Team America: World Police, that’s who…
Here in the UK – Team America arrived in January 2005 and it is without doubt the crudest, funniest and most violent puppet movie I’ve seen. Filmed in what creator Matt Stone referred to as "supercrappymation" – Team America is a Thunderbirds riff from the makers of South Park and just a dubious as that sounds!
Nothing is sacred here but some things get a harder beating than others – liberals, terrorists and Hollywood actors come in for an especially rough ride. Take Matt Damon (who Parker and Stone have admitted is really a "pretty cool guy"), he was going to be portrayed as ‘intelligent and articulate’, but when they saw his puppet, they noted that it made him "look retarded" and decided to portray him as such. His only lines in the film are to blurt out “Matt Damon” in a retarded manner but even that’s generous compared to the send up of Kim Jong Il who gets a whole song to ponder why he’s “so rornery, so ronery and sadry arone…”
There are other musical interludes – my favourite being ‘Pearl Harbor Sucked’ which is so funny I present the lyrics here (sourced from IMDB.com):

“I miss you more than Michael Bay missed the mark,
When he made Pearl Harbor.
I miss you more then that movie missed the point,
And that's an awful lot girl.
And now, now you've gone away,
And all I'm trying to say is
Pearl Harbor sucked and I miss you.
I need you like Ben Affleck needs acting school,
He was terrible in that film.
I need you like Cuba Gooding needed a bigger part,
He's way better then Ben Affleck.
And now all I can think about is your smile,
and that sh*tty movie too,
Pearl Harbor sucked and I miss you.
Why does Michael Bay get to keep on making movies?
I guess Pearl Harbor sucked, Just a little bit more then I miss you.”

It certainly isn’t for the easily offended (or children) but if you like South Park and have a crude sense of humour then Team America delivers a laugh out loud experience. I guess America had it coming!

Darkmatt Rating: ööö (Watchable)

Read other film reviews by Matt Adcock:click here

"Acting has never been this wooden"