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, August 29, 2005

Film Review: The Dukes of Hazzard

The Dukes of Hazzard (12a)
Dir. Jay Chandrasekhar

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Looking back now it seems that Saturday evenings in the 80’s were a prime time for iconic vehicles – remember that computer aided black car that drove itself, or the black van full of ex military types who righted wrongs? Top of my list though has to be a certain orange 1969 Dodge Charger with the U.S. Confederate flag painted on its roof… Ah yes, running moonshine in the General Lee, getting into mad bar brawls and wearing a teeny tiny pair of denim hot pants, those were crazy days but I’ve mellowed quite a bit since then. And what about that theme song: “Just'a good ol' boys, Never meanin' no harm. Beats all you never saw, Been in trouble with the law, Since the day they was born…”? They don’t make em like that anymore – oh wait, apparently they do actually. It seems that those thrillbillie cousins ‘closer than brothers’ also known as The Dukes of Hazzard are back but the question is - can their outdated good ol’ boy rhetoric cut it on the big screen some 20 years later?
That I’d wager depends on how you feel about three things: multiple car chases, sassy babes in bikinis or hot pants and high brow, intellectual plots that you need to have a PHD in psychology in order to fully understand the subtleties of... Yes Dukes director Jay ‘Broken Lizard’ Chandrasekhar manages to nail the feel of the original TV series in all its dimwitted backwoods glory. So if you didn’t like it then, you probably won’t like it now but for me Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville were fun ‘shoe ins’ as Bo and Luke Duke and country music legend Willie Nelson made an inspired Uncle Jesse. Then there’s Jessica Simpson as Daisy Duke who proves that not being able to act doesn’t stop you being very very watchable when you’re blessed with her ‘dynamic’ physical attributes.
Burt Reynolds also shows up in the baddie role as Boss Hogg and even though he doesn’t have much to do, it’s fun to see him revisiting territory he once owned in films like Smokey and the Bandit.

Readers from LUTON only:
And with a reverberating “Yee Haaa”, like the Duke’s it’s my turn to ride off into the sunset. After four and half years, 243 reviews, or approximately 97,200 words of Herald & Post copy I leave with a fond farewell to all you lovely readers - this is your friendly neighbourhood film reviewer signing off… Let’s be careful out there.

Everybody else:

So rev your engine, set your expectations to ‘dim’ and buckle up for some retro no brain fun. Like its heroes The Dukes of Hazzard is not big or clever and you already know pretty much everything that will happen but there’s just about enough on offer here to please your inner hill billie. Yee Haaa…

Darkmatt Rating: öö (All speed, no limit)

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

"Daisy, I rate your look as 'two thumbs up!'"

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Film Review: It's All About Love

It's All About Love is the story of two lovers (Joaquin Phoenix and Claire Danes) adrift in a near-future world where everything is going awry. The planet is screwed - gravity, weather etc all damaged and people are dying on the streets simply because there's no "love" anywhere anymore...

It’s all about a conspiracy, about threat, about alienation and trust but most of all it’s all about love and this film haunted me for days...

Highly recommended if you want something out of the ordinary!!

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

Monday, August 22, 2005

Film Review: Bewitched

"someone's magically removed the title..."

Bewitched (PG)
Dir. Nora Ephron

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

You what’s great about this big screen romantic comedy remake of the much loved 60’s TV series Bewitched? No? No, I couldn’t spot it either! You can however almost hear the devious film company suits thinking out loud “let’s make a quick buck out of the suckers who used to watch this on TV!”
It’s not very funny, it’s not got any chemistry between the romantic leads (Nicole Kidman is cute, Will Ferrell isn’t) and by the end of the film I guarantee that you’ll walk out of the cinema feeling like you’re under a spell that makes you a bit gutted at having wasted a couple of hours of your life…
But before you completely dismiss an evening in the company of super goof Ferrell and the kooky nose twitching Miss Kidman I must point out that there are a few funny moments on offer. Most of them relate to the fact that just like in the TV show, Kidman’s character is a real life witch who is trying to ‘go straight’ by giving up her magic. The kind of witchcraft on offer here however is all of the ‘snap your fingers and make a brand new VW Beetle appear’ or ‘wind the clock back 5 minutes so you can still order breakfast at a diner’ type. There’s no child sacrifice or naked dancing in graveyards and even the flying on broomsticks is kept to an absolute minimum.
Some merit must also be awarded to this version of Bewitched because it shows the TV show being remade within this remake, which is at least a fairly sweet idea. And even though director Nora Ephron fumbles the star power at her disposal (apart from Michael Caine who steals all his scenes as Nicole’s warlock dad) – you’ll probably crack a smile at some of the lines such as Ferrell reading the test audience reaction feedback on his role: “Darrin is a complete tool, he’s really useless and I don’t mean the character I mean the actor!”
Alas the overriding impression is that everyone concerned might be just trying a bit too hard, apart from the always watchable Kidman, who merrily strides through the film and looks like she’s enjoying it. And she is so darn cute – maybe I’m still slightly under her spell but overall Bewitched just didn’t ‘do it’ for me - and no amount of hexing, magical invocations or nose wiggling are going to change my mind.

Darkmatt Rating: öö (One star for the film, one for Nicole... she's worth it!)

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

"Mr Ferrell, I'm going to magically make you go over there and beat the crap out of my ex-husband..."

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Film Review: The Devil's Rejects

"don't fancy yours much..."

The Devil’s Rejects (18)
Dir. Rob Zombie

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

You want to be "cold-slabbed, toe-tagged, and mailed to your mom in a plastic bag?" well The Devil’s Rejects are the people to call… These hillbilly redneck stone cold killers are the sickest of the sick, the scum of the earth, mucho freakos - so far removed from reality that they make The Dukes of Hazzard look like having a wide gene pool.
Let’s get one thing straight from the start… The Devil’s Rejects is not a pleasant film, it’s not even a horror film in the traditional sense of a ‘boogeyman / monster’ – this film is a balls to the wall celebration of all things sadistic, nasty and grim, so don’t wander into this unless you
a. have a high tolerance for on screen violence
and b. have a high tolerance for on screen violence…

The thing is, a movie like this can only really be endured by ‘normal people’ if you completely distance yourself from the material – after all, you’re hopefully not likely to see scenes of torture, wanton humiliation and downright sadistic murder in your average day to day life… So any ‘appreciation’ of The Devil’s Rejects should be based on seeing it as a very dark satire of modern culture and the ‘disposable nature of existence’... Nah, who am I kidding? This is debauched titillation presented entirely from the killers ‘side’ – director Zombie obviously loves his sick creations and he presents the main protagonists = The Firefly Family, first seen in ‘House of 1,000 Corpses’ *which is kind of a prequel to this as just solid folks who have chosen killing and torturing innocent victims as their ‘alternative hobby’…

So – you need to be warned that this is hard core gore, laced with extreme violence and nastiness for no apparent reason but if that’s what you want then – this is possibly the best example of a grindhouse roadmovie ever and yes it delivers a certain visceral thrill but at the cost of ever moral in your body!!

Darkmatt Rating: ööö (sick but slick)

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

Thursday, August 18, 2005

All That Stands Between Light And Darkness Is The Night Watch.

"I spy with my strange orange undead eye..."

Night Watch

Mix The Matrix, Underworld, Star Wars and the The Lord of the Rings trilogy... base the result on a freaky Russian novel (part one of a trilogy) and bring Matt to the boil in anticipation...
Saw the trailer for this last week and it looks just great, weird and wonderful - I'll be going to see it when it hits the UK in November!!

"love that imagery"

see the official site here: http://www2.foxsearchlight.com/nwnd/

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Matt becomes GOD OF WAR

"Matt delivers some righteous vengeance with his massive weapon"

Kneel before the GOD OF WAR

You have to love Sony - not content to bless us with the excellent PSP and tatalise us with the awesome PS3, they are still pumping out AAA titles for the trusty PS2... and God Of War is one of the best games ever made. Greek mythology is fused with a hero who can kick unbelievable amounts of butt - and the result is an unmatched headrush of pure carnage... It isn't for kids (it's 18 rated) but there is nothing on the planet that delivers stress relief on such an unprecedented level!!

Go toe to toe with a Hydra (see below - that's me in her mouth!), take on Minotaurs, Gorgons, Cyclops and pretty much the entire cast of baddies from the legends of Ancient Greece... Much fun it is too with a perfect balance of challenge / achievement which takes satisfying gameplay to a level that my Xbox will probably never get to witness!

"Open up and say 'ARRRGGGHHHH' "

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Film Review: The Island

"roll up, roll up, get your Scarlett clones here!!"

The Island (12a)

Dir. Michael Bay

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Congratulations, You Have Been Chosen, The Island Awaits YOU!!
It’s billed as a place of pure bliss – wonderful sunshine, breathtaking scenery and full of beautiful people – kind of exactly like Luton really… Only there is one small catch to all this – The Island might not be real, it might just be a big corporate lie to cover up something far more sinister…
So here is Michael ‘high octane action’ Bay’s $100million follow up to Bad Boys 2 and for the first time he’s flying solo without his usual producer Jerry ‘likes to blow stuff up in slow motion’ Bruckheimer. Does this mean that The Island is a more thoughtful, deep character study, which forsakes over the top action for lots of meaningful dialogue?
In a word “no”… The Island is every bit as stupid and gung ho as Bay’s other films like Armageddon or Pearl Harbour but at least it’s based on an interesting idea: In the near future you‘ll be able to buy your own clone which, should you ever need a new liver or perhaps a kidney or two, will be butchered so that you can enjoy ‘genetically identical’ spare parts. This is all well and good if you’re the buyer, not quite such a rosy prospect if you’re the clone in question… The plot sees clone Lincoln Six-Echo (Ewan Mcgregor) find out a bit too much about his future as an involuntary body part donor and go on the run with super foxylicious clone Jordan Two Delta (played by Scarlett Johansson). Cue some impressive car chases, gunfights and more running than in the London marathon as the clonesome twosome try to find their real ‘sponsors’ and blow the lid on the illegal clone community being run and manufactured by the nefarious Dr. Merrick (rent a Brit baddie Sean Bean).
When not crashing sexy futuristic cars or finding ever more unlikely ways to escape from the highly trained mercenary task force who are trying to terminate them, the clones find time to discover the joys of male / female interaction and generally learn a few things about the real world. At one point Lincoln Six-Echo evens gets to ask “Who is "God"?” to which helpful real world tech engineer McCord (Steve Buscemi) tells him: “You know when you really want something, you close your eyes and wish for it really hard? God is the guy that ignores you.” I was wishing really hard that The Island would be a great summer blockbuster, alas it’s just a another mindless piece of lightweight sci-fi action.

Darkmatt Rating: ööö (Cars, guns, clones and um... oh hey, that's enough to be going on with)
"Helicopter vs cool car... if this photo makes you horny, then you'll enjoy The Island"

Friday, August 12, 2005

Long-View Rock Letchworth...

"FURTHER - The awesome new single from Long-View"

Long-View in David's Music...

It's not everyday that you find a superb new indie rock band... And even rarer that you walk into your local indie music shop and find them playing a live set - right there in front of you!!
But that is what happened this week - on Monday 08 August Manchester band Long-View released a stunning single 'Further' and on that day I bought their excellent album 'Mercury'... Then after checking their cool website I see that they are listed to be playing in a shop which is 10 minutes away from my house...
And so I go to the shop...
And behind the 'New Pop/Rock' section of David's Music, Letchworth...

Surely that's not Long-View?

yes!! it bloody well is LONG-VIEW and they are rocking out with 5 tracks including one from their as yet unreleased new album...
And they are superb live... Forget the cramped area, the heat, the slightly bemused customers who did not expect to find one of England's hottest new bands in their local shop...
They also seem to be decent blokes - cheers for the signed 7" guys and nice to hear that at least one of them appreciated PWEI...
All in all a bit of a special experience and I can't recommend their single FURTHER enough - buy it now!!
Then get the album because it's a killer...

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

"Matt's holiday reading '05"

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
J.K. Rowling

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

OK - I'll admit I'm not the biggest Harry Potter fan in the world but I have read them all so far and even though I thought that Order of the Phoenix was dull and vapid, I picked up Half Blood Prince for a no brainer holiday read (in sunny Spain on the gorgeous coastline south of Barcelona, seeing as you asked)...
Is it any good? Yeah - maybe the sun, sea and wine helped but I really got into this one. Harry as a teen is fun, the sheer amount of snogging makes for a change and finally Rowling has the guts to off a major character - if you don't want to know who it is stop reading now -


And who is the half blood prince?

Snape (who actually kills Dumbledor)...

It's a fun breezy read, with a couple of mildly exciting bits and less dull sections despite its length (over 600 pages). I do kind of wish that there was an 'adult' version where the teens weren't quite so prim and proper as to be less believable and the action was more graphic but I guess those are just two of the reasons that I'm writing Darkmatters - which is coming along nicely (and you'll hopefully soon be able to see the exclusive 'teaser trailer' for that has been filmed and is being edited even as I post this...)

Yes I'll be reading the next HP book, and I am looking forward to the Goblet of Fire film too (link)...

Darkmatt Rating: ööö (second best of the series so far)

Try some Darkmatters - my forthcoming novel:
Darkmatters Cleric Artwork
A Brief History Of Darkmatter
Cleric Shows Up
Fear Of Death
Film Scene - gun battle
Test Subject #30022
Cleric Gets Mugged