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

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Film Review: Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

"It's all in the eyes..."

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (18)
Dir. Chan-wook Park

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Listen carefully. Everyone make mistakes. But if you commit a sin, you have to make atonement for that sin. Atonement, do you know what that means? Big Atonement for big sins. Small Atonement for small sins.” So sayeth Geum-ja Lee (an excellent Yeong-ae Lee) in this concluding part of the ‘Vengeance Trilogy’ from Chan-wook Park.

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is a brutal, compelling and painful film – shot through with beauty and disposable philosophy. It’s not always easy to watch but it’s never less than captivating. The plot goes like this: Geum-ja plans to take revenge against the man responsible for a heinous crime which led to her taking the rap and serving 19 years in prison… And if you ever thought that Prisoner Cell Block H had a handle on a typical female inmate population – Sympathy for Lady Vengeance has a far more eccentric bunch… prostitutes, bank robbers and spies rub more than just shoulders with a chubby lesbian called ‘the witch’ whose sexual demands on the heroine are deeply erm, deep… eweeeuurrgh…

As a parent I was completely sucked in to the ‘this basta*rd must die’ rhetoric – after an especially harrowing scene where the pure evil of the child killing villain is exposed in distressing playback of his child victim’s pleas for mercy (which he used as ransom demands even after he had killed the kids – because he just didn’t like children!?)… But is vengeance the answer? Is it even enough? It certainly makes for good cinema!!

Lady Vengeance is Park exploring his feminine side after the cool Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and the intense Oldboy. And for me it was a dead cert hit (the BBC described it as having: “stylish visuals, surreal fantasy, and shocking violence” i.e. ‘just my cup of tea!!’).

All in all Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is a powerful and satisfying ending to a great trilogy… I can’t wait to see what Park does next!!

Darkmatt Rating: öööö (let he who is without sin cast the first stone…)

Darkmatters: H O ME

Monday, February 27, 2006

National SERENITY Day in the UK

"so good... you simply have to Aim to Misbehave!!"

People of the UK rejoice!! Serenity is released on DVD today and it's great...

Even as you're reading this, I've taken the day off work and am watching the DVD...

Mmmm hhhhaaa - sure beats working!!

Click here to read
My Review of Serenity

There are some great extras- including:

  • deleted scenes (with optional commentary)
  • an introduction and feature commentary by Joss Whedon himself
  • outtakes
  • features on the Firefly and 'The Story of Earth That Was'
  • a Summer Glau slow motion naked wrestling featurette*

    "Inara... I'd buy that for a dollar... always handy to have a 'companion' to hand"

    "People of UK... buy our DVD... it will change you life!"

*not really

"Summer lovin... happens so fast etc etc"

Darkmatters: H O ME

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Film Review: Lucky Number Slevin

"Bruce Willis... doing what he does best..."

Lucky Number Slevin (18)
Dir. Paul McGuigan

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Do you feel lucky? So there I was in New York, I’d gone to stay with my friend Nick because I was having a very bad day but little did I know that almost as soon I arrived, things would get a whole lot worse…
On the plus side I met this cute girl (Lucy Liu), she’s fun and sparkly, good with the witty one-liners and not averse to getting physical. On the down side I was mugged, abducted, forced to kill a mobster’s son, and saddled with the massive gambling debts of my ‘pal’ Nick who was nowhere to be found…
If you can forgive Lucky Number Slevin its stupid title, what you basically have is a tasty case of North By Northwest mixed with Pulp Fiction and blended with Revolver. This is a fun crime con caper with mistaken identity and crunching violence at its core. If you saw the excellent ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ last year you’ll have some idea of what to expect... guns, double crossings, wise cracks and tension.
Sir Ben Kingsley (called ‘The Rabbi’ because, well, he is a Rabbi) and Morgan Freeman (known only as ‘The Boss’) are the heads of two powerful crime syndicates, each vying to be the new King of New York. Once they were on the same team but now it’s war between these two. It all goes back to a drugged racehorse but it ends with an impressive Kansas City Shuffle – if you don’t get me, you just need to go see it.
Josh Hartnett does an okay job as the put upon hero Slevin but star of this show is Bruce Willis who delivers one his coolest ever performances in a role he was born to play – the unstoppable world class assassin Mr. Goodkat. Goodkat is so cool that he deserves his own film spin off film series, after all, how could you not love moustachioed Brucie with a mullet!?
Brit director Paul ‘Gangster No. 1’ McGuigan shows that he can mix slick action with multiple red herrings in a genuinely amusing and gripping film that will make you flinch at the violence but keep you rapt by the fun predicament of its players.
Of course nothing is as it seems but with great dialogue, cleverly misleading flashbacks and a satisfying wrap up – Lucky Number Slevin is the one to put your money on this week.

Darkmatt Rating: öööö (more fun than you'd imagine, more violent probably too)

Darkmatters: H O ME

Film Review: Azumi

Azumi (18) 

Dir. Ryuhei Kitamura 

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

What do you get if you take the spirit of Elektra Assassin, the stylised presentation of a cult Chambara film classic and the over the top violence of a Tarrantino movie? 

Throw a stunning actress like Aya Ueto into the mix in the title role (it doesn’t hurt that she is the living embodiment of hot ‘Kasumi’ from the Dead or Alive video game series) mix it up with Manga style set pieces and a delicious assortment of baddies… 

Have it directed by the guy who made the outlandish zombie/yakuza/criminal/time-travelling mini-epic Versus and basically you get the best samurai action film ever made and its name is Azumi!! 

 Azumi is pure ass-kicking entertainment and what it loses in-depth, it makes up for with eye candy, gratuitous violence, and a dark sense of humour. 

As Mark Pollard over at Kung Fu Cinema says: “The story of Azumi is adapted from a manga title of the same name by Yu Koyama. Its a little hard to swallow, but through the course of the film the diminutive title character as played by pop starlet Aya Ueto will cut her way through no less than 200 warriors made up of samurai, ninja, deranged mercenaries, and mobs of Road Warrior-inspired cutthroats. She reaches a gruesome climax with one of most memorable beheadings seen in film.” 

Darkmatt Rating: ööööö (excellent, a must see, female samurai action overload)
"That not a nasty rash... that's the life blood of her last opponent..."
"looks so cute... but deadly with a sword!!" 

BUY MY NOVEL click this pic>>>

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Matt to meet Natalie Portman

"she's gorgeous, has married a Jedi, stripped in Closer and now goes bald (and naked - see below) in V for Vendetta"

Yes - Miss Portman is coming to London to promote her new film V for Vendetta.
I'll be there to ask her some questions and report back on what the film is like.
Other 'talent' at the day will be Stephen Fry, John Hurt and Joel Silver... nice.
Colour me 'excited' - she's a babe and a half!!

"tastefully done... this is going to be a great film!!"

Darkmatters: H O M E

Birthday Bonus... BBC Newsbeat link to B'day Post

"look closely (click this image to see a bigger version) - that's me - the 4th link down..."

Almost fame at last... Much love to the Radio One team!!

Matt's Birthday 35


Matt's Birthday Number 35

"relationship marketing to the max... cheers for the B'day video email from my 'friends' at Guinness!"

So - turned 35 today. Am grateful to the God and the cool people in my life - friends, family, random new contacts and fans who have got in touch via this blog!? - You make it all worth while...

Oh, got some great gifts too...

DVDs including: Lost - series one, Desperate Housewives - series one, R-Point, The Corpse Bride, Intacto and erm, Ninja Terminator

Books: Richard Morgan's Market Forces and Woken Furies, The Pornographer's Diaries etc

Other cool things like CDs, Rioja, Chocolate and Sci-Fi toys... You're never that old I guess...

Birthday film was a Lucky Number Slevin / Sympathy for Lady Vengeance double bill (both excellent - reviews up soon). Wife made me great cooked breakfast, is taking me out for dinner later and lets just say that watching Desperate Housewives whilst recieving special attention from her was something else!?

Anyway - last year I posted links to my 5 favourite recent blog posts and so in order to maintain the tradition here are this year's pick:

Leighton Meester - SURFACE

Altered Carbon

Meeting Ziyi Zhang

Return of Carter USM

My Movie picks for 2006


Last Year's B'day Post

Darkmatters: H O M E

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Game Review: BLACK PS2

"Go in - all guns blazing... it's brilliant fun!!"

BLACK (rated M / 16+)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Described as 'Gun Porn'... EA's new PS2 shooter BLACK pretty much lives up to that moniker.
Your mission: hunt down and kill (by any means necessary - although that mostly means shooting them with an impressive array of guns) the AI scumbags who have turned Veblensk City into a war zone...

So after some hours of play (couldn't resist making this an early Birthday present to myself) I can report these things:
BLACK is better than Halo and Killzone (my previous 'top 2' FPS games) in just about every area of the single player game but unlike those two, there is no multliplayer fun to be had here...

The level of scenery destruction is immensly satisfying - and can be used tactically, you can't hide behind a car for long as if it's being turned into Swiss cheese!!

Graphically, BLACK is possibly the best game yet released on the trusty PS2 (and the Xbox version is identical).

The scenarios are wonderful recreations that draw obvious inspiration from the very best gunbattles ever delivered on the big screen...

If you've ever even thought that you might enjoy shooting stuff for fun, you need this game... sign up today: www.black.ea.com

Initial Darkmatt Rating: ööööö (challenging and explosive... BLACK is a nitrous fuelled adrenaline rush of pure gun action)

"If BLACK was a girl... it might be the rather tasty Christina Ricci (who ironically looks very good in black herself)..."

"see how I blow the very floor out from under you scumbags!!"

Darkmatters: H O M E

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Bible on the PSP... righteous!!

"it's the Good Book... and it does make a nice break from GTA: Liberty City Stories"

The righteous types over a
PSP Updates have posted a link to a download of the Bible for use on the PSP!! This is handy for religious types like myself who sometimes stray from the true path - having a quick reference copy of the Bible to hand may well help prevent that!?

Download: [
Bible In Basic English for PSP]

Post about the Bible Game on the PS2


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Film Review: Aeon Flux

Aeon Flux (15)
Dir. Karyn Kusama

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

It’s been said that “stupid is as stupid does…” and unfortunately Aeon Flux is stupid over and above the call of duty.
But does that necessarily mean it isn’t a decent film? Yes, yes it really does.
Director Karyn ‘Girlfight’ Kusama has taken the cool unsettling, future shock MTV Television animated series of the same name and given it a live action lobotomy. The weird plot, which worked in cartoon form, really doesn’t translate at all well and what we end up with is an hour and a half with nothing better to do than stare at Charlize Theron in various figure-hugging spandex outfits. Erm, which of course isn’t the worst way to spend an hour and a half but even after such red hot eye candy you’ll still come out wondering how an action adventure could be so dull.
Set 400 years in the future, it seems that a disease has wiped out the majority of the earth's population and those who are left are holed up in a walled city called Bregna. But something isn’t right in Bregna (and I mean apart from the fact that some of the people have had a new pair of hands grafted onto the bottom of their legs to replace their feet!?). The ruling elite are corrupt and it’s up to special underground agents like Aeon Flux to take the fight to those in power. It seems that everything on offer here has been done in some form before and better somewhere else, it’s like having a major attack of déjà vu. British talent like Jonny Lee Miller’s smirking baddie pop up from time to time but even Pete Postlethwaite’s amusing cameo can’t save this film from its preposterously pretentious set up. Theron does at least try to take it all seriously but the script only calls for little more than her showing off her perfect figure in various gymnastic poses – and occasionally blowing away bad guys.
I guess that if you like watching fine looking ladies in skin-tight cat suits and have the ability to turn off the rational thought areas of your brain, then Aeon Flux might be one of the best films you’re ever likely to see… For the majority of the film going public though, it won’t ever be much more than Theron’s ‘Catwoman’ and anyone who saw Catwoman knows how damning that statement is…

Poster Quote: "the future might be retarded but it sure looks good... "

Darkmatt Rating: ööö (three stars for Miss Theron's outfits only!!)

"Now... where did I put my costume?"


Book Review: Flashman

Flashman (The Flashman Papers Vol. 1, 1839-1842)
By George MacDonald Fraser

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Now I'm not the world's biggest fan of historical warfare novels but when my friend and neighbour Dave suggested that I give this a read I thought 'yeah maybe'.
Then the bugger (no offence Dave) comes round and lends me it so I have no excuse... and torture me in most unpleasant ways if this wasn't a darn good read...

What's is all about? Well - here's the promo blurb which itself is a fun introduction:

"The Flashman papers, which had apparently lain untouched for fifty years, in a tea chest, until they were found in the Ashby saleroom, were carefully wrapped in oilskin covers. From correspondence found in the first packet, it is evident that their original discovery by [Flashman's] relatives in 1915 after the great soldier's death caused considerable consternation; they seem to have been unanimously against publication of their kinsman's autobiography - one can readily understand why - and the only wonder is that the manuscript was not destroyed."

So this is the first instalment of the Flashman Papers and it sees the “fag-roasting rotter” from Tom Brown's Schooldays commence his military career as a reluctant secret agent in Afghanistan. Expelled from Rugby for drunkenness, and none too welcome at home after seducing his father's mistress, the young Flashman embarks on a military career with Lord Cardigan's Hussars. En route to Afghanistan, our hero hones his skills as a soldier, duellist, imposter, coward and amorist (mastering all 97 ways of Hindu love-making during a brief sojourn in Calcutta), before being pressed into reluctant service as a secret agent. His Afghan adventures culminate in a starring role in that great historic disaster, the Retreat from Kabul. He puts so much effort into being the lazy cad that you can't help but feel some sort of affinity for his predicaments…All in all this was a LOT more fun than I expected it to be!

Darkmatt Rating: ööö ("Flash-man, Ahhh Ha, he'll save everyone of us...")

"a random saucy shot of Kate Beckinsale? in a review of a amorous cad? whatever next?"

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Film Review: March of the Penguins

March of the Penguins (u)
Dir. Luc Jacquet

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

In the harshest place on Earth, love finds a way – yes even in Hitchin there was mucho smoocho this St Valentines Day, and my lovely wife even rustled up some mouth watering Strawberry Soufflés… delicious!!
But even as I pause to consider just what a lucky guy I am, my thoughts go out to the thousands of Emperor Penguins (especially the males) and I smile as I take another bite of penguin pie… Mmmm
Actually no penguins were eaten or harmed in the writing of this review… It’s been a long long time but Luton cinema finally got hold of Luc Jacquet's ‘March Of The Penguins’ which has astoundingly become something like the second most successful documentary ever made…
The plot concerns the love-life cycle of the little waddling critters and we follow them as they emerge from their ocean playground and trudge across 70 miles of ice floe to their breeding grounds.
Seems like a bit of a track just for a shag… but hey, it makes great relaxing cinema. I was hoping to see the ‘first-person narration from the perspective of the penguins’ version but we got the ‘third-person narration by Morgan Freeman’ US edition – which is probably nowhere near as avant garde or strange as the original French cut… But damn they are cute.
It’s soppy but it’s sweet and it even has some brief violence as predatory beasts of one sort or another make off with the occasional chick. Nicely done but not really worth all the fuss.

Poster Quote: "so I walk 70 miles and she says she's got a headache!? "

Darkmatt Rating: ööö (chilly willies but warm hearts)

Darkmatters: H O M E

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Film Review: Final Destination 3

Final Destination 3 (15)
Dir. James Wong

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Just when you thought it was safe to ride a roller coaster… And I don’t mean the one in your local park run by pikeys who wouldn’t know the words ‘safety check’ if they were to be spelt out in burning dead bodies across the rest of their ‘travelling fair’…

Yes, Final Destination 3 continues the effective slick, sick, ‘how will the next one die?’ voyeurism of parts 1 & 2. You know the score – babe (Mary Elizabeth Winstead in this case) has a vision of going off the rails and finding out first hand if there is an afterlife via a nasty roller coaster crash… Which I swear might make you think twice before going on one for a while… She gets off and some of her friends do too – then it crashes and death stalks the survivors in gleefully grim ways. Will any of them escape? Will death be back for part 4? Writer / Director James Wong certainly returns to the franchise (he also directed the first Final Destination) and he hasn’t lost his knack for delivering scenes that made members of the audience I saw this with shout things at the screen like “Oh my God that had to hurt!” and “Eewweeuuu – that’s the sickest thing I’ve ever seen” – maybe I shouldn’t have taken my elderly mum with me but I guess you live and learn…

The BBC describes Final Destination 3 as "AN ORGY OF CHEERFUL CARNAGE" but they don’t seem to like it… I guess these films are kind of litmus tests that can help you find out ‘are you sick in the head?’ – Oops looks like I’ve failed this one because I’ve really enjoyed all 3 Final Destinations so far and would certainly go see a part 4 (although it would be scraping the barrel to have the exact same plot again, with just a different accident at the start, again). I had the not too great a pleasure of seeing Urban Legends 3: Bloody Mary on DVD just a couple of days before seeing this and can say for certain that the Final Destination films are far superior to the Urban Legend series. Case in point here is that both part 3’s have a ‘death by sunbed’ scene – and whilst the UL one is slightly unpleasant, the FD is viciously over the top to the point that you can’t quite believe it… and it sweetly jumps from the twin tanning beds to the coffins in a nice bit of scene changing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should go and watch hapless good looking teens dying in bizarre ways for your entertainment – but if you have the hankering for it… Final Destination 3 delivers.

Poster Quote: "Death wants to see you outside"

Darkmatt Rating: ööö (nailguns are not playthings...)

"don't look now but you know I think there might be someone behind us..."

Darkmatters: H O M E

Sienna Miller - talks Casanova

"Mmmm it's Miller time"

Sienna Miller… Casanova Promo Material

It is, says Sienna Miller with a huge smile, a dream job. Working for one of her cinematic heroes on Casanova in Venice and playing a character, Francesca, who is “just fantastic.”

The delightful Miss Miller is unabashed in her enthusiasm. And why not? At 23 she is clearly enjoying herself and proving too, that’s she’s got the talent to match the belief that has been shown in her by some top filmmakers including Lasse Hallstrom on Casanova who says, quite simply: “She’s a film star, make no mistake. And a pleasure to work with.”

So far, Miller has played a small but undoubtedly eye catching role in the British crime movie Layer Cake, opposite Daniel Craig, and won acclaim for her performance as a needy, insecure young American woman who falls prey to the predatory Alfie (Jude Law) in Charles Shyer’s remake of the sixties classic. And if that wasn’t enough, she has also recently made her West End stage debut in As You Like It at the Wyndham Theatre.

But playing the feisty Francesca opposite Heath Ledger in the title role of Casanova has proved to be one of the most vivid experiences of her career so far.

Q: Casanova is a great role. How did you get the part?

A: It’s kind of one of those things. They look everywhere - London and New York and LA and your agent, if they are good, puts you up and you read the script. And it’s the same process for me at the moment where if I read something and I love it, I start begging (laughs).

Q: Are you going to be typecast as the girl who can tame the men?

A: Francesca in Casanova is highly intelligent and keeps her corset tightly shut, which is good for all those people who are saying I have a talent for taking my kit off. (laughs).

Q: What about all the tabloid attention that you have been getting, particularly back in the UK?

A: Don’t get me on to that! (laughs). You have to accept it and you have to be gracious about it but of course I would certainly rather it wasn’t there – be it good or bad. And I know I could have had it a lot worse than I have had it.

Q; What’s it like being on location in Venice?

A: Well, you’re in Venice which is like Disneyland for adults. And you’ve got hordes of people coming in and out. I mean, I would think logistically if you are a producer it has to be your nightmare working here, I think it’s impossible to recreate the light anywhere else.


In praise of Miss Alba's Ass...

"Jessica Alba makes 'Into The Blue' - a must buy DVD!?"

Jessica Alba's Ass Is Smokin...

This interview snippet caught my eye whilst browsing some low brow celeb sites... But I have to admit that I'm starting to like Paul Walker more and more - Running Scared reviewed here - showed he could be cool and now he admits he was smitten with Jessica Alba when they shot Into The Blue last year - and particularly in awe of her fantastic ass.

The heartthrob star told Complex magazine: "Come on, dude, you know what I'm looking at. I couldn't take my eyes off that ass. I'm sorry. She's beautiful.

"And she's such a pain in my ass, too. But that's what I love about her."
He added: "She's the kind of girl you just want to have angry sex with for the rest of your life because it's just that good."

In other related news Jessica was named the Hollywood star most men would like as a girlfriend beating Charlize Theron, Angelina Jolie etc.
What is the world coming to eh?

"Paul tried not to stare but the cameraman couldn't help himself!!"

When I met the 'fantastic' Jessica Alba

Darkmatters: H O M E

Monday, February 13, 2006

Star Wars: Clone Wars Vol 2... The Force Is Still Strong

"one of my favourite images / shots of all time..."

Star Wars: Clone Wars Vols 1 & 2 (PG)

Mini review by Matt Adcock

Star Wars: Clone Wars, the animated micro-series which serves as an action-packed lead-in to Episode III originally aired on Cartoon Network, has won the Emmy award for Outstanding Animated Program for each Vol and is generally responsible for re-igniting my two boys' passion for all things force related...

I am an unashamed Star Wars fan, and I love animation so this really was an easy win for me but the Clone Wars DVDs are great - packed with cool extras (playable Xbox levels of games, trailers and short films like the Lego piece of genius that is 'Revenge of the Brick').

Plot synopsis from IMDB: "Immediately after the events of Star Wars-Episode II: Attack of the Clones, the Clone Wars continue. The Separatists launch masses of Battle Droids while the Republic has an entire arsonal of Clone Troopers to blow them away. Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice Anakin Skywalker are also participating in the fights against Count Dooku and his defiant separaists. Jedi Masters Yoda and Mace Windu, take part in the battle as well. While down on Coruscant, Padme Amidala, Chancellor Palpatine, C-3PO and R2-D2 hope nothing but good for our heroes. Will the Republic emerge triumphant? Will Dooku and his separatists be brought to their knees? And will Anakin truly bring balance to the Force, or will he bring absolutely tyranny?"

Poster Quote: “tempting... the way of the force is, watch it again, must you...”

Darkmatt Rating: öööö (The force is strong in this one)

"How far over the top should be go with the clone's guns? All the way!!"

Darkmatters: H O M E

Sunday, February 12, 2006

X Men 3: The Last Stand - new artwork

"tasty new X Men 3: The Last Stand artwork"

More Xmen 3 artwork

Darkmatters: H O M E

Film Review: Chicken Little

Chicken Little (U)
Dir. Mark Dindal

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

It is my duty to warn you of an Avian Infection at your local cinema… No, fortunately not the deadly A (H5N1) virus or any sort of ‘bird flu’, this outbreak is of ugly little chickens and other assorted oddball farmyard characters. You can easily tell if you’ve been subjected the ‘Chicken Little’ infection, the symptoms are – mild amusement followed by a vague sense of disappointment, and a nagging feeling that you could have had more fun staying home and watching Shrek again on DVD.
Chicken Little I’m afraid is the very definition of a disposable movie and will not be remembered as one of Disney’s finest hours – even if it is their first fully computer animated film without the help of the mighty Pixar. Director Mark ‘Emperor’s New Groove’ Dindal does a serviceable job but it’s feather weight ‘by the numbers’ entertainment which you’ll have forgotten long before this year’s stampede of other animated ‘animal adventures’ charge the multiplexes.
Based on the story of that little chicken who cried wolf when he thought the sky was falling, it’s now a year later and he’s still trying to live down the embarrassment of his wild goose chasing antics. The fowl plot is a hodgepodge of War of the Worlds, Animal Farm and erm, actually there isn’t really very much plot at all. Chicken Little’s voice acting talent is average with no real A list stars, the visuals are functional but lack flair and the clever references to other films and culture that Shrek etc have done so well are obvious by their omission. The one exception that made me smile was when a runaway giant ball rolls into the local cinema which happens to be showing Raiders of the Lost Ark – at the exact scene where Indy is running away from the giant booby trap ball… But I wasn’t completely surprised when I noticed that although my two boys seemed quite entertained, my wife had fallen asleep by halfway through.
Chicken Little isn’t a bad film, it’s just a bit too limited and uninspired. As a fan of most of the recent animated features – I was hoping for more. Still not long to wait for Ice Age 2: The Meltdown or Over the Hedge (with Bruce Willis voicing a raccoon) both of which look much more finger licking good than this.
You might still feel like Chicken Tonight, but unless you’re very young or extremely easily pleased I’m afraid that Chicken Little has a whiff of cold turkey.

Poster Quote: “how do you like it... boiled or fried?”

Darkmatt Rating: öö (the sky is falling... on Disney!?)

"nice marketing campaign... shame about the film!"

Darkmatters: H O M E

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Film Review: Hangman's Curse

"ooh spooky... but not that spooky"

Hangman's Curse (15)
Dir. Rafal Zielinski

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

If there’s something strange, in the neighbourhood, who you gonna call? Well if you’re a devout Christian then you might call ‘The Veritas Project’ rather than your regular Ghostbusters because these guys are a Holy Living family who travel around in a high tech RV solving crimes that ‘might have a demonic element to them’…

Yes, the cheesy novel "The Veritas Project: Hangman's Curse" by prolific but not altogether talented author Frank Peretti got made into a movie back in ’03. I missed it then but decided that it might be worth checking out after getting into Surface and realising the cute lead actress Leighton Meester plays the godsquad daughter. But is there really a curse? Has the ghost of a bullied kid come back to wreak death on today’s mean jocks, or is something more human but equally sinister going on? And most importantly - where's Scooby-Doo?

So the Veritas Project (veritas being the Latin word for truth) are made up of Nate Springfield (David ‘looks like a rough Patrick Swayze’ Keith) takes a job at the school as a janitor, while mum Sarah (Mel Harris) runs the investigation from behind the scenes. Twins Elisha and Elijah Springfield (Leighton Meester and Douglas Smith) get to join the student body to investigate from a student’s perspective…

As a believer I often find it hard to watch Christian made films or even read Christian authored fiction because most of it is so poor… Call me a heretic but I’ll take a gruesome but decently directed, acted and plotted movie, which is blessed with a reasonable effects budget any day over a ‘religious backed stinker’ – think Left Behind etc…

I noted before seeing this that The Naked Critic had described Peretti’s offering thus:

“I don't want to turn this into an attack on Peretti. I'm sure he's a very sweet, kind man. He's just directly responsible for unleashing a movie that made my eyes and ears hurt. We're not talking "So bad it's good," here...we're talking crimes-against-humanity bad. Spawn-of-Satan bad. Love-child-of-Judas-Iscariot-and-Pontius-Pilate-bad. Mel-Gibson's-ego bad. It's never a good sign when a "Christian" movie makes me pray to Jesus to make it stop. But hey, at least it got me praying, right?”

Alas he’s kind of on the money.
Hangman’s Curse has only one thing for it and it isn’t the lack of sex, violence, bad language or genuine scares that only a Christian backed ‘horror’ project could possibly have…

No it’s that cute Leighton Meester – yes she’s hot even when struggling to keep a straight face delivering dialogue like when hunky jock Blake asks her:
“Do you believe in the hereafter?”
She replies: “Most definitely.”
And he goes for the kill: “Good. Then you must know what I'm here after.”
She retorts: “And you know you’re not going to get it.”

So this might be worth a look for mentally deficient Christian young people – if only as a warning of how geeky and unconnected to real world they are in danger of becoming. But whilst it gets a couple of stars for trying hard (and casting Meester) – this isn’t going to win many fans or any souls for Christ in the near future.

Poster Quote: “she’s young and hot but she’s only after your soul”

Darkmatt Rating: öö (they ain’t scared o no ghost – and neither will you be)

"you can't help but smile - at the cheesy effects"

"Miss Meester doing an 'Eve' with the naughty snake? Nope, not in this film!"

Leighton Meester -making Surface a must see!

Darkmatters: H O M E

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Surface - UK ITV2 Time / Day Change

"There's something in the water alright!?"

Surface - how do I love thee, let me count the ways...
It's definitely the best thing on TV at the moment - huge sea monsters, compelling characters and mystery, plus the occasional uber babe (Leighton Meester et al) in swimsuits... What's not to love?
Now I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad omen but ITV2 has moved the time / day that they screen Surface in the UK - new time is TUESDAY'S 8pm.
That's tonight... nice!

"Leslea Fisher... another cute reason to see Surface... even with French subtitles!?"

Surface comes to the UK
Leighton Meester -making Surface a must see!
Darkmatters: H O M E

Monday, February 06, 2006

M:i:III Mission Impossible 3 trailer lights my fire...

"every Scientologist for himself!! run Tom run!"

"Mr Cruise, when I throw the grenade I'd like you to make an emergency stop..."

"anybody says this looks like a scene out of Mr & Mrs Smith 2 - shoot them!!"

See the trailer for M:I:III by clicking this link

Darkmatters: H O M E

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Film Review: Zathura

"In the future, Jehovah's Witnesses didn't take kindly to having the door closed in their faces..."

Zathura: A Space Adventure (PG)
Dir. Jon Favreau

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Before you go Kentucky Disney Fry yourself some ‘Chicken Little’, I’ll let you know if that’s as tasty an option as it sounds next week, how about a premium slice of family space adventure in Zathura?
What we have here is a new adventure from the wacky world of Jumanji – you know – where board games ‘come alive’ in a way that not even a drunken bout of Twister ever could… Basically Zathura is Jumanji in space, two young boys find an antique looking board game, and before you can say ‘where’s Robin Williams this time?’ the whole house has warped into hyperdrive and the only way home is the finish the game. Whilst in space ‘no-one can hear you scream’, but they can sense your heat, especially if they are Zorgons – lizardmen who eat meat and don’t take kindly to anything non-Zorgon existing. So it’s not long until Walter (Josh Hutcherson) and younger brother Danny (Jonah Bobo), have to stave off a full-scale alien attack, survive a living room specific meteor shower and try to come to terms with their parents' divorce. Also along for the ride is their reluctant babysitting older sister Lisa (Kristen ‘Panic Room’ Stewart) but as she spends most of the time cryogenically frozen in her nightwear she isn’t a great deal of help.
Director Jon ‘Elf’ Favreau mixes up just enough action, explosions and berserk robots to make a trip to Zathura a viable Saturday afternoon’s entertainment. It’s scary enough in places to stop any young budding astronauts you take with you dismissing it as blatant sentimental moralising but it does carry important messages about being nice to your siblings etc.
Everyone on screen looks like they’re having a fun time making the film and you can just about forgive the over acting youngsters because they are ably supported by actors like Tim Robbins (the boy’s dad) an Dax Shepard as a jet packed astronaut they pick up along the way.
The special effects are well done, the Zorgons are suitably nasty and the space scenes of the house boldly going where no house has gone before are quite beautiful.
My son Luke (who is almost 9) came out impressed – using words like ‘wicked’, ‘cool’ and ‘exciting’ to explain to his younger brother what it was like. I’d echo that as it appealed to my inner sci fi geek, remember, the force will be with you etc…

Poster Quote: “more fun than a barrel of Robin Williams' - in space!!”

Darkmatt Rating: ööö (good space fun and games for all the family)

"the boys soon realised that their sister was giving them the 'cold shoulder'"

Darkmatters: H O M E

Matt's Life is sponsored by Sony...

Call me a Sony 'fanboy' if you will but I've had nothing but pleasure from the many Sony products that make my life better (TV, DVD recorder, camera, PS2, photo printer etc)...

Here's my current top 3:

1. The PSP - man I love this shiny little piece of gaming / media viewing / mp3 listening joy...

"You know, the black one is very nice but just look at that ceramic white one!!
And it's my B'day in a couple of weeks!?"

2. The Sony Ericsson P990... Name is on the waiting list, come on guys we need a confirmed UK launch date!

"Mmmmm the 'complete' phone experience! I'll be watching
Spurs score via 3G on this baby as soon as it arrives"

Read about how cool it is at: www.mobilegazette.com

3. My Sony Vaio laptop (17" extra black screen is a joy for DVD playback)

"Novel writing is a pleasure on this baby (PC gaming isn't bad either!?)"

So, roll on PS3 - I may never be rich, but at least I'll be happy in my Sony gadget filled existence...


DVD HDD Recorder: Sony rdrhx510

Sony PS3 vs Xbox 360

Sony want to mess with your brain

Darkmatters: H O M E

Film Review: The Ice Harvest

The Ice Harvest (15)
Dir. Harold Ramis

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Ho ho ho, here’s an exert from Charlie Arglist’s (John Cusack) Christmas letter:

“Dear Santa, this year whilst I haven’t been a very good boy, could you please still see to that I get away with the $2million that I stolen from my mob employer?
Yours Charlie ‘loveable hero’ of The Ice Harvest.
Oh and if you could help me survive the vicious schemes of my ‘partner in crime’ Vic (Billy Bob Thornton) and femme fatale Renata (Connie Nielsen) that would be a bonus!”

Yes this is a festive season comic thriller that cracks along ticking all the boxes to make it worth seeing but is never in danger of making it onto anyone’s ‘top 10 film of the year’ list. Except maybe Adrian Summerson who I saw this with… He confessed that he wasn’t getting to see many films so it could creep in by sheer lack of competition!?

Cusack is great (as always), driven by a fatalistic belief that "It is futile to regret. You do one thing, you do another…So what?" – The set up is a good one: can the partners escape with the loot, who will double cross who, will the dopey cop rumble them, will anyone manage to get the girl etc etc.

Ramis directs it all with a sense of style which reminded me of Fargo and although there is very little ‘new’ brought to the table in The Ice Harvest, I’d not hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for some watchable thriller thrills – laced with a very black comic streak.

Poster Quote: “the Ice Man cometh, then he steals $2million and legs it… ”

Darkmatt Rating: ööö (solid stylish and entertaining but no classic)

"faraway, so close... not so easy when your foot is knifed to the floor!?"

Darkmatters: H O M E

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Adcocks bag HARD-Fi tickets

"see you in May"

I love HARD-Fi and so does my hot foxy wife... So it was with much excitement that she called me to let me know she had managed to get us tickets to see HARD-Fi at Brixton Academy in May. NICE.

Altogether now:
"Oh, I've been working all week I'm tired, I've been working all week and I'm... Just living for the weekend!!
Hey hey, I've got some money I just got paid, I got some money and I can't wait -at 6 o'clock, I'm out of here...
Out there tonight is the night of my life got my name on.
Run down the street adidas on my feet I'm on fire.

Working all the time, work is such a bind
Got some money to spend, living for the weekend
When it gets too much, I live for the rush
Got some money to spend, living for the weekend

Oh man, I've been working all week I'm shot,
I've been working all week for what?
Just living for the weekend..."

Buy the album why don't you - it's excellent!!