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

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Matt's off for 1/2 term... back 04 June...

"Note to self: Remember this important message"

"Matt and his robot buddy Bender celebrate a week off work"

"Matt's wife took face painting to the next level on holiday..."

Darkmatters: H O M E

Not wild about THE WILD

The Wild (U)
Dir. Steve 'Spaz' Williams

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Je suis koala. Spreken zie koala?” Man, you better hope so if you’re planning an excursion into The Wild this week. That’s because Nigel the koala (voiced by the ever funky Eddie Izzard) is the only reason to venture into this Disney dish of blatant ‘how many tie in cuddly toys can we sell?’ topped off with an unhealthy ‘all you can eat buffet’ of rancid sentimental cheese…
So young lion cub (voiced by Greg Cipes) is accidentally shipped from the New York Zoo to the wilds of Africa… How will this domesticated lion survive when his food isn’t served to him on a plate? Will he find his way home and perhaps most importantly, will his wacky bunch of friends and family including Kiefer Sutherland voicing his dad, James Belushi as an amorous squirrel and the token ‘sensitive’ giraffe manage to raise more than a smile from the stale script?
Stop me if you’re felling some déjà vu here because it does all sound a bit familiar… That’ll be the fact that even though there’s some Lion King left over moments shoehorned in here, this is basically the same storyline, which was done better last year in Madagascar.
You can virtually see the writer’s desperation dripping from the screen – quick we need more wackiness – send in a penguin curling team, now we need some baddies – let’s have William Shatner as a villainous wildebeest who wants to eat a lion? Oh dear, there’s only one person who can save the day…Yes the burden of making any of The Wild watchable ultimately falls not on the first time director who goes by the name Steve 'Spaz' Williams (his words not mine), but on the furry hunched shoulders of Nigel the English koala. Nigel is the star, he deserves a film of his own and his deadpan one liners are so much sharper than anything else on offer that you have to wonder if Eddy Izzard simply adlibbed all of his lines?Yes there are semi amusing moments from a host of throw away ethnic bit part players - Italian alligators, Indian pigeons, Austrian insects and Canadian geese anyone? The younger, less media savvy children out there might be able to look past the slightly creepy ‘can’t see the lips move’ animation style and go home less bored than their parents. But whichever way you look at this film, it’s not going to drive anyone wild!!

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action ö
– none to speak of really
Laughs öö – Nigel does his best but it's an uphill struggle
Horror ö – wildebeest aren't acceptable villians
Babes ö – it's wrong to look at giraffes like that!

Overall öö (weak and cuddly - one of these stars is purely for Nigel!!)

"you'll need the newspaper to clear up the 'droppings'...

Read my Madagascar review


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Matt takes a BRICK to the face

"it's true - you have to see it!"

"stranger and stranger... this is one very cool mystery"

Brick (15)
Dir. Rian Johnson

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Ask any dope rat where the junk's spraying and they'll say they scraped it off that, who scored it off this, who bought it off someone; after four or five connections, the list always ends with the Pin. But I betcha you got every rat in town together and said show your hands if any of 'em actually seen the Pin, we'd get a crowd of full pockets.”

Welcome to the world of BRICK new director on the block Rian Johnson's strange and wonderful fusion of teen angst, neo noir and detective mystery – all wrapped up in an ultra stylish coating of David Lynchian unease.

Emily (Emile de Ravin) is a girl in trouble – too many lovers, too much of a drug problem, in with the wrong crowd – so far so Twin Peaks… So it’s not the biggest surprise when she turns up dead and is found by her brooding ex-boyfriend Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) outside an iconic drainage tunnel…
From then on Brendan his geeko pal ‘The Brain’ (Matt O'Leary) get to work cracking the Da Vinci deep conspiracy behind her death and cross paths with drug lord ‘The Pin’ (Lukas Haas). Mix this up with Nora Zehetner as a surprisingly believable femme fatale and Noah Fleiss as a heavy with attitude and you have an absolute winner. You have got to love the dialogue, it’s a mix of hard boiled detective speak and pure poetry:

“The sun, whose rays are all ablaze With ever-living glory, Does not deny his majesty He scorns to tell a story. He don't exclaim, "I blush for shame, So kindly be indulgent." But, fierce and bold, In a fiery gold, His glories all effulgent. I mean to rule the earth, As he the sky We really know our worth, The sun and I. Observe his flame, That placid dame, The moon's celestial highness There's not a trace Upon her face Of diffidence or shyness She borrows light That, through the night, Mankind may all acclaim her And, truth to tell, She lights up well, So I, for one, don't blame her. Ah, pray make no mistake, we are not shy we're very wide awake.”

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action öööö – cool, tense and satisfying short bursts
Laughs öö – this ain’t no comedy but has a couple of moments
Horror ööö – some grimness but nothing over the top
Babes öööö – hot women both dead and alive

Overall ööööö (One of my ‘films of the year’ for sure)

"In true 'Laura Palmer' fashion... girlfriend dead, let the investigation begin"

Darkmatters: H O M E

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Matt Adcock meets the Xmen (well Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman)

"Halle Berry is STORM"

"Hugh Jackman is WOLVERINE"

Matt Adcock meets the XMEN (well Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman)

This week I caught up with two of the coolest, sexiest mutants you’re ever likely to meet - Hugh ‘Wolverine’ Jackman and Halle ‘Storm’ Berry. In London to spread the word on Xmen: The Last Stand, this is what they had to say…

Matt: Xmen: The Last Stand contains a serious amount of action and your characters are right in the middle of most of it. How was the experience this time round?

Hugh: “I love playing Wolverine – it is just the best role ever and when I read this script I thought we had the best of the 3 films so far. The essential idea was fantastic it really cuts to the core of what these movies are about.”

Halle: “I really enjoyed having Storm do more in this film. After making the second movie, I remember the day after it opened being accosted by a group of fans who were angry that Storm had fallen into the background - because in the comic-books she was a revered African goddess, a really major character.”

Matt: You both looked like you were enjoying ripping up the scenery – and facing off against the evil ‘Brotherhood of Mutants’ one of whose new members is Vinnie Jones (who you’ve both worked with before in Swordfish).

Halle: “I know all about him, he’s funny.”

Hugh: “On the Swordfish set he had a wolverine punchbag which he hung by a noose from his trailer but I sort of got my own back on this shoot. When we met, he told me he'd made 27 films since we'd made Swordfish. I said I'd made maybe five. ‘Yeah but you got paid more for one of them than I did for all my 27!' he complained. But he took didn’t miss a chance to rub in the ashes result from the cricket so I don’t feel too bad.”

Matt:Nice, and how was it working with a new director on this episode of the Xmen saga?

Hugh: “Brett (Ratner) is smart, he showed me a page where he'd written all the things he liked about the Xmen films so far and the new story outline and on the back he'd written the three things he wanted to change, they were that he wanted to make it funnier, sexier and more emotional. I'm not going to comment on the sexier, but the other things I think he's achieved."

Halle: “I felt great responsibility about having Storm evolve. And I decided that if I came back to the series, I'd make it my responsibility to have Storm satisfy her following. So that's what I discussed with Brett when he came onboard and he agreed.”

Matt: I heard that you both got to do some pretty amazing stunts too?

Hugh: “Well you know my brother in law actually does a lot of my stunts. So when you see ‘me’ flying through the forest at 80mph – that’s him!”

Halle: “I thought this time was going to be easy peasy but you have know idea how nauseas you can get when you’re spinning at the speed of light. In the scene that I have to ‘spin’ into the air I was being turned so fast that stuff starting flying out! I even had a special bucket!”

And with that rather disturbing mental image I have to go. But I must urge you to check out these two Xmen in the new film and the good news for Xfans is that it looks like Hugh will be donning the Wolverine claws again soon for a spin off film.

Review of Xmen: The Last Stand

"Run damnit! Matt might ask us some more questions..."

Darkmatters: H O M E

Friday, May 19, 2006





Xmen 3: The Last Stand (12a)

Dir. Brett Ratner
Reviewed by Matt Adcock

I know you’re unhappy, I know it’s hard being different and that nobody understands your pain. But now you don’t have to suffer any longer – we can ‘cure’ you…
And so it begins, the Xmen’s Last Stand, humans have developed a ‘cure’ for the mutant condition and the repercussions are going to tear the world apart.
As Professor X (Patrick Stewart) says: “Since the dawn of existence, there have always been moments when the course of history shifted. Such a turning point is upon us now.”
Is this end for the mutants of the world? I can assure you that it gets rough, there are casualties on both sides but will there be victory?
The free thinking leader of the Brotherhood of mutants, Magneto (Ian McKellen ), sees it this way: “Make no mistake, my brothers, they will draw first blood. They will force their cure upon us. There is only one question you must answer: Who will you stand with?”
That’s the crux of Xmen: The Last Stand – whose side will you choose? It is a credit to the filmmakers that a comic book film can tackle deep set issues like alienation, racism and the rights of individuals in such an accessible way, whilst keeping the butt kicking quotient high enough to please action fanatics.
There has been much speculation about this third and possibly final chapter of the superheroic Xmen. Directors have changed (Bryan Singer from Xmen 1 & 2 left to direct Superman Returns), the script has been gone through several major revision and rumours of reshoots have unnerved some fans. Let me tell you now - Xmen: The Last Stand delivers an incredible continuation / finale that stands toe to toe with the first two films. Director Brett ‘Rush Hour’ Ratner has outdone himself, staying true to the look, feel and spirit of the blockbusting series. Aided in no small part by having most of the stellar cast return and pleasing fans with some funky new mutants too (props to Angel, Beast and Shadow Cat). There is so much to savour, the action is bigger in scale, the effects are more eye popping than ever and the plot zips along without pause for breath. We can only hope that an extended directors cut DVD is one day released.
Xmen: The Last Stand is a joyful power packed thrill ride, which will make X-fans everywhere X-tatic!!

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action öööö - heavyweight comic book slamdunk
Laughs öö - a couple of good jokes
Horror öö - nicely handled not too grim for young fans
Babes öööö - those leather outfits are hot

Overall ööö1/2 (the most fun I've had in the cinema so far this year!)

"The Last Stand?"

Matt Adcock meets Storm and Wolverine

Other Xmen 3 posts / artwork
No more Xmen please - I want to check out: Cameron Diaz and other babes

Darkmatters: H O M E

Film Review: The Da Vinci Code

"is that bad smell me, or the film in general"

The Da Vinci Code (12a)
Dir. Ron Howard

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

I am risking my life here to bring you the truth; a message so shocking that powerful forces are working to prevent it being exposed to the world.
In this last week I have been accosted by monks at King’s Cross, contacted by shadowy organisations and looked at funnily by some of my new work colleagues at the Institute of Leadership and Management – actually that last one might not count…
Anyway I fear that I can’t simply blurt out the message, so instead have tracked down a line from an ancient hidden manuscript which reads: “Brutus quack comic you pompous twit Vinci.” My studies have found that It holds the secret in reverse about this film but can you break the code?*
Anyway – according to Dan ‘sold more books than had hot dinners’ Brown, we are in the middle of a war. One that has been going on forever to protect a secret so powerful that if revealed it would devastate the very foundations of mankind. This fictitious secret unlike the real one I’ve been trying to convey has been causing religious controversy the world over. The thing is – it’s just a story, it’s not real… And if the outburst of unexpected laughter by the audience when they heard the preposterous ‘shock’ announcement at the climax of the film was anything to go by – it looks like this is unlikely to dupe any but the most simple minded of viewers.
Alas director Ron ‘A Beautiful Mind’ Howard has fumbled a potentially explosive experience, turning in almost three hours of mind numbing mumbo jumbo. Tom Hanks is all at sea for once too as icon expert Robert Langdon and even the lovely Audrey Tautou can’t maintain viewing interest. The only people having any fun are Paul Bettany as the nutty ‘hit monk’ assassin Silas and Sir Ian McKellen who goes nicely over the top as the enigmatic Sir Leigh Teabing. In fact you have to wonder if Hank’s hasn’t slipped out of character and is pondering his career when he utters the line: “I'm into something here that I cannot understand.”
Don’t believe the hype - this dose of monk(ey) business just isn’t worth your time or money.

*Help me I can’t break Matt’s code: Take the last letter of each word in the quote – starting with the last word and work backwards to reveal the hidden secret about the film…

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action öö - lumbering and less tense than picking your nails
Laughs ööö - unintentional but tendium relieving
Horror öö - self mutilation is not big or clever kids
Babes ö - move along, nothing to see here

Overall ö1/2 (nearly three hours of my life wasted)

"one of the audience did this to himself to try and stay awake!"

Darkmatters: H O M E

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mutants Walk Amongst Us...

"Matt practising his invisibility 'power'"


Prepare yourself for the Xmen’s Last Stand, it’s going to get rough, there will be casualties but will there be victory?
Having seen the third part of the X Men’s big screen saga I can report several things:

Some high profile Xmen die.
There’s an almost X sex scene!?
Brett Ratner hasn’t cocked up the series...

Read the review here: Xmen 3 Last Stand

Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 15, 2006

Matt to meet Halle 'Storm' Berry and Hugh 'Wolverine' Jackman!!

Yep, these two Xmen are coming to London this week...

I'll be putting some questions to them and checking out the new film!!

Yes, am excited!

"Halle shows that she's not going commando"

Darkmatters: H O M E

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Film Review: When A Stranger Calls

"Phoning the Samaritans is more fun!"

When A Stranger Calls (15)
Dir. Simon West

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Alas this was not as I first thought a good-natured warning documentary about the dangers of unannounced cold callers selling cleaning products or wanting to talk to you about the afterlife. Oh no this is a flashy and completely vapid remake of the much better ‘babysitter terrorised by crank calling maniac’ from the ‘70s of the same name.
Simon ‘Tomb Raider’ West directs and I don’t care if he was born just down the road in Letchworth, he proves here once again that he can’t deliver a film really worthy of anyone’s time or the obvious money poured into it.
Now I might be going out on a limb, but if you choose to see a horror film, I don’t think it’s too much ask that it at least tries to be scary and / or a bit grim. When A Stranger Calls fails on both counts – even the immortal line when the police tell the babysitter: "we've just traced the call...its coming from inside the house!" brought a resigned ‘Hhmmpphh’ from the audience rather than any yelps of terror. As for grimness, the Stranger starts out promisingly by having previously torn a babysitter and her charges apart with his bare hands. But when he’s finally used up all his prepaid credit on crank calls and has to turn up and do his menacing in person, he is absolutely pathetic. In fact I kind of felt a bit sorry for him (played by Tommy ‘Sin City’ Flanagan – see now you know his name he’s not even so much of a stranger anyway) as his master plan to add another babysitter to his list of kills is thwarted easily by such a young unarmed teenager. Ah well, at least you can play the semi fun game of ‘which minor character will get killed?’ but even this is painfully obvious – see that bitchy blonde friend with ‘kill me’ on her back? Want to hazard a guess yet?
OK so Camilla ‘Jurassic Park 2’ Belle is cute as the babysitter who attracts the stranger’s twisted attentions but she has very little to do except creep nervously along shadowy corridors, occasionally answer the phone and look worried.
Yes the visuals are reasonably slick but they can’t redeem this terminally boring waste of time. You know kids your parents were right when they told you "Just say ‘no’ to strangers"…

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action ö - weak and surprisingly dull
Laughs öö - I do find crank calls funny
Horror öö - way below minimum required for a 'horror film'
Babes ööö - Camilla Belle is pretty cute

Overall öö

"Hey, this is the women's showers..."

Darkmatters: H O M E

Friday, May 12, 2006

New Sony VA1 Desktop... It will soon be mine!!

"say what you like about Apple Macs being sexy... I'm still choosing SONY"

My old (well 3year+) Advent PC is starting to play up so the good Lord told that it's time to go out and buy a new home desktop... And look at this little baby that Sony have thoughtfully just brought out... I was SOLD even before reading it was Blu-Ray compatible!

Here's the blurb:
The amazingly versatile Sony VGC-VA1 combines a PC, Hifi, Television and DVD player into one sleek and unique space saving design.
It features a powerful Intel Pentium D 820 2.8GHz processor, 1024MB RAM and a generous 250GB hard drive for all your music and photos. You can also watch and burn DVDs and CDs with the front loading double layer DVD±RW drive.

The 20 inch widescreen LCD display features X-Black screen technology for wonderfully bright and crisp images. You'll have access to all free to air channels via the digital TV tuner and you can record up to 4 hours worth of programmes to DVD. It sounds great too with built-in surround sound speakers and a dynamics woofer.

This digital wonder arrives with a remote control, a wireless keyboard and mouse as well as a comprehensive software package.

Thank you Jesus...

Darkmatters: H O M E

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Film Review: Three

"It's more the spear than the look actually"

Three (15)
Dir. Stewart Raffill

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Let's count the reasons to go and see this film..


erm two,

ah, nope there's only two - and they both belong to Kelly Brook!!

Director Stewart 'Mannequin 2: On the Move' Raffill actually does an OK job here in that instead of trying to bother with any real danger, plot or engaging dialogue - he opts for the "wow - just look at Kelly Brook in a bikini will you!!" school of film making... And it's quite effective, topped only by the "oh man, now she's naked!" moments...

That's about it really - you decide if this is what you want to see or not...

Here are some shots of miss Brook to aid you:

"The new paint on ipod proved popular and looked great..."

"Mmmmm she's all there..."

Darkmatters: H O M E

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

PS3 With New Dual Shock Controller

"Diane... I've seen the future and it's PS3 shaped!"

OK - so I'm over excited... PS3, November, must get a grip...

Sony wise up and stick wireless-ness and motion sensing technology into the Dual Shock (see below) - a good move as it's still the best controller out there!

"Kikizo show it off - look closely at that 'new' controller"

"This is PS3 gaming... yes please!"

"Tiger Woods PS3... he's smiling cos he knows it's the best he's ever looked in game form"


Darkmatters: H O M E

Monday, May 08, 2006

Warning Cloud 9 Heatwave Approaching

"Beach volleyball just got hotter... but wasn't it always quite hot?"

This is a warning to the good people of the UK - be careful when you're renting your next DVD as it might soon be Cloud 9 which has been out for a while in the U.S. and contains not only Burt Reynolds but also scenes like this:

"As in the classic speech in Police Academy... I think this slide speaks for itself!"

There you are... warning almost over!?

That cute woman sporting the 'all pink athletic gear'?
That's Marne Patterson... She's 26, just in case you were wondering...

Darkmatters: H O M E

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Film Review Mission: Impossible III

Mission: Impossible III (12a)
Dir. JJ Abrams

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Predictably, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to have your pleasure senses slickly beaten into submission by 2006’s first real heavy-duty action blockbuster.
And I do mean ‘beaten’ because you’ll be reeling as M:I III delivers its payload of top quality action, vertigo inducing stunts and palm sweating suspense over and above the call of duty. Director JJ ‘Lost and Alias’ Abrams proves he can do serious business on the big screen, Tom Cruise carries off his macho duties effortlessly and Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the slimiest, nastiest bad guy to grace the screen in some time.
Foxy babes are on hand too in the shapely forms of Michelle ‘Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang’ Monaghan as Tom’s cute wife / obvious kidnap target and Keri Russell as fellow agent codename ‘Blonde Bit’.
Best of all for me though was a killer performance by home grown funnyman Simon ‘Shaun of the Dead’ Pegg as Benji Dunn - a kind of Q-style computer boffin who saves Tom’s ass – give that man a supporting actor Oscar!! I loved him in Channel 4’s Spaced and absolutely can’t wait to see next year’s Hot Fuzz police comedy.
Anyway, Mission Impossible III manages to pack just enough plot around the outstanding action sequences (if you’re not thrilled by the missile and helicopter attack on a bridge you should check yourself for a pulse) to keep you guessing. I won’t spoil it for you but needless to say that Cruise’s mission does indeed look highly erm, impossible.
What more do you need to know? If you don’t like action films then there’s a tiny chance that you won’t enjoy this, but even then it’s entirely possible that M:I III will convert you.
One of the friends I saw this with told me afterwards that I shouted ‘whoa that’s cool’ at least five times – that’s five times more than in most films. M:I III really does blow away the first two M:I films and should definitely be on you ‘must see’ list, in fact it’s so good that almost made up for my guttedness at Spurs’ failure to hang on to 4th place in the Premiership…
Anyway, this review will self destruct in about 2 years or so when M:I IV will possibly set an even more impressive entry into the series!?…but it’s going to be an almost impossible mission to top this one!

New rating system (out of 5):

Action ööööö - some of the best ever
Laughs ööö - a few quality moments thanks mostly to Simon Pegg
Horror öö1/2 - fairly brutal beatings for a 12a
Babes ööö - you'd want to be given resuscitation from M Monaghan!

Overall öööö

"Who's laughing now IceMan? Ha ha ha ha ha, oh sorry wrong film"

miiission impossible 3 photos and trailer

Darkmatters: H O M E

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Family Guy on the PSP!!

"Devon Aoki wears a snake to celebrate the fact that Family Guy is coming to consoles"

Family Guy Game

Just as I sit down to watch Family Guy Season 4 on DVD, I read news that it is also being made into a game - an action title for Xbox, PS2 and PSP.

As Games Radar say: "Developed by High Voltage, the game features three of the show's cast as playable characters, each with their own story and objectives. Gamers will be able to control fat necked father Peter Griffin as he attempts to stop Mr Belvedere (an '80s sitcom character) from taking over the world; as baby Stewie, battling his equally evil brother Bertram; and as the canine Brian trying to escape imprisonment. From the screenshots provided the game seems to share the same crisp animation and scattergun cultural references as the show, but we'll have to wait to see if it works as a game."

Here's a screenshot, fingers crossed that they do this well...

"Die die die, kill kill... have a little nap. World conquest Baby Stewie style!"

Click to see more Devon Aoki in DOA Dead or Alive Movie

Darkmatters: H O ME

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Calvin and Hobbes - best ever comic strip!!

"Calvin and Hobbes just sum up life... explore it!! It's waiting!"

Impossible but Wonderful

I love being a dad, it's hard to put into words the delight, pure joy and absolute adrenalin buzz that having a strong father / son relationship brings. I guess I was lucky, I had a great father who would always make time for me and now, years after he has died it's some of those little things that we used to do - that stick in my mind...

I love my two sons, they are everything that is good in life and I want to be an amazing dad, so that I can help them grow into the men that they are destined to be - knowing that their dad loves 'em and will always have their backs.

And this links to Calvin and Hobbes how? you ask...

Well my eldest son Luke (Skywalker) Adcock has got good taste in comic strips and has really gotten into Calvin and Hobbes. Tonight we read some of my favourite ones (Stupendous Man -see below, Snow Sculptures etc etc) and one of the greatest things about C&H is that it covers so many poignant seasons of life...

"absolute genius - click it to read it bigger"

But our C&H collection of paperback books is beginning to fall apart from repeated reads... And surfin the net to see what 'long lasting' Calvin and Hobbes books are available I found these:

"thou shalt not covert thy neighbour's COMPLETE CALVIN AND HOBBES... but it yourself!"
Wow... that'll hit the spot - over 1,400 pages, every C&H comic strip ever published... Colour too, oh yes, there is a God!!
Read lots of Calvin and Hobbes here: http://www.rabittooth.com/calvin.htm
Darkmatters: H O ME

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Matt Brings Eternal Sunshine To His Wife...

What scenes appear where'er I turn my view? The dear ideas, where I fly, pursue, Rise in the grove, before the altar rise, Stain all my soul, and wanton in my eyes.

How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! The world forgetting, by the world forgot. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd...

To dream once more I close my willing eyes; Ye soft illusions, dear deceits, arise!

Selected exerts from Alexander Pope’s Eloisa to Abelard

"cheap B&B's in Skegness are liable to disappear in the night!"

Watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind snuggled up with my lovely wife last night... It was her first time, and I'm glad to say that she loved it!!

Great film - and best Kirsten Dunst scene ever (you know the one)...

Read the whole poem here: http://quotations.about.com/b/a/080763.htm

Monday, May 01, 2006

Matt Does The London Anime All Nighter

The prophecy spoke of 5 men who would rise to unique and dubious challenge:
Matt, Matt, Mike, Alan and Dan were their names… (The names have not been changed to protect the innocent).
This is the tale of that fateful night – 29 April 2006 – things have not been the same since…

London – Anime ‘all nighter’ of Sci Fi London 5
Reviewed by Matt Adcock

The venue:

"8 hours - 4 films - more Sci Fi geeks than you could possibly imagine"

Apart from the badly managed waiting for the first film to roll, this was a cool night. We met up with a panicked Landsman (first to arrive) who was beginning to think we’d stitched him up by abandoning him to a nerdfest of epic proportions – everywhere you looked a living embodiment of ‘Comic Book Guy’ from The Simpsons was discussing the finer points of Deep Space 9 or Jedi Religious coding… and the gentle ‘hum’ of large man body odour stalked the corridors.

Other bonus things were that newly released Rogue Trooper was freeplaying on the PS2’s and Xboxs, freebie DVDs, posters, copies of 2000AD and other assorted sci fi ness were dispensed – then it began after a fun heckling session. Where the director of the festival proudly told us that he’d secured the Japanese print of FFVII – not the badly dubbed U.S. version. To which Mike shouted out “but I can’t read!!” – it set the tone nicely!

First up was…

(Japan 2004, Dir: Mamoru Oshii, 100mins, Colour)

A classic sequel to a classic film. Innocence is a film of extraordinary beauty, a hauntingly meditative reflection on the nature of humanity and the artificial.
This was a crowd pleaser even if it did take a bit of following…

When machines learn to feel, who decides what is human?
In the stunning opening sequence of Mamoru Oshi's follow-up to his acclaimed anime Ghost in the Shell, we fly over a glowing, futuristic cityscape before descending into its labyrinthine streets. Here, hero cyborg Special Agent Batou (Akio Ohtsuka) pursues a murderous gynoid (a robotic sex doll - seeing as you asked) into a narrow alleyway. In an explosive confrontation, the doll attacks him, then self-destructs - and it all looks absolutely breath takingly beautiful.
So many scenes in Ghost in the Shell 2 could be framed and hung on the wall as acclaimed works of art - I can honestly say that I've never been quite as entranced by a film's looks... ever. You really should seek this film out, if only to witness the five minute 'parade' scene' (the sequence took a year to create), and is a tapestry of ornately decorated dragons, glowering demons, giant elephants and lion dancers. Beneath this massive cutting edge CGI spectacle scurry the hand-drawn figures of human spectators, dwarfed by the parade's Byzantine grandeur. The scene is utterly otherworldly, a space that is alive and yet nearly devoid of human presence as the hailstorms of confetti blend in the shadowy, inky reflections on the windscreens and windows of cars moving through future Tokyo (now a lawless city of sun-scratching spires, complete with a gothic cathedral that appears built out of old computer parts). And don't get me started on the villain’s lair, it is a Tudor manor constructed entirely of stained glass, where people, birds, and even fire are frozen in time.
Many films have looked at the increasingly blurred distinction between human, and machine. Innocence, takes this further and adds animals into the mix - a helicopter looks and sounds like a wasp, an airplane flaps its mechanical wings like a bird, and a submarine 'swims' through the deep with like a giant dolphin. Obvious references to Blade Runner and a host of sci fi specialities abound but there are also quotes from the bible, Milton, Confucius... There’s as much here to entertain your mind as your eyes. Plus some kick ass shoot-outs and a convoluted mystery… Highly recommended!
The initial free Red Bulls washed down some dodgy Nicotinamide / Ginseng tablets, things were getting a bit trippy and we were only one film in…

Darkmatt Rating: öööö1/2 (hard sci fi eye candy)

Then it all got a bit weirder as Karas screened:

"Destruction rarely looked so good... but what the hell was it all about?"

(Japan/USA 2006, Dir: Keiichi Satou ,80mins, Colour)

Karas, (The Crow) is best described as Batman with a Samurai Sword or a Cyber-punk version of The Crow. Set in Tokyo, populated by both humans and ghostly beings, Karas is the city's guardian. Tokyo is thrown into disarray as a former Karas named Eko attempts to seize power. Yurine, an entity representing the will of the people, stands in Eko's way with her newly risen Karas. Essentially, the new Karas runs from place to place battling the various monsters who are out to test his skill. Character development doesn’t happen so it’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on. Some of the artistry is confusing and overloaded, possibly intentionally, but very distracting none the less.Now two Karas emerge to destroy all the demons or all humanity. Which Karas will prevail? You might not know what the hell is going on from the opening to the end but it’s still an interesting battle freakout piece of anime…
WTF? was the standard response, it felt like our brains had been removed and given a serious full colour kick in…

Darkmatt Rating: ööö

Dazed and confused were prepared for the main event… FFVII: Advent Children...

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
UK Big Screen Premier
(Japan 2004, Dir: Tetsuya Nomura & Takeshi Nozue, 101mins, Colour)

Copious cups of coffee helped wash down the free Purbeck’s Chilli Red Ice Cream – so wrong it’s almost right, but only as long as you follow it up with a hit of Honeycomb Hash flavour to put out the fire!
Anyway, two years after the events in "Final Fantasy VII", a disease called 'Seikon-Shoukougun', or 'Geostigma', is spreading through the planet. This disease is believed to have been caused by the body fighting off foreign material that invaded the body two years earlier, at the end of "Final Fantasy VII". Guilt-ridden and haunted by his past, ex-SOLDIER Cloud Strife has decided to live a secluded, solitary life away from his friends while maintaining "Strife's Delivery Service", whose headquarters is located in Tifa Lockheart's bar, the Seventh Heaven. Tifa's bar serves as an orphanage for children stricken with Geostigma. Here, Tifa keeps an eye on Barret's six-year-old daughter, Marlene, while Barret searches the planet for an alternative energy source to the Planet's energy, Mako. One day, Cloud receives a phone call from the former Shinra, Inc. president, Rufus, asking him for protection from a mysterious man named Kadaj. Kadaj, in the meantime, along with his brothers Loz and Yazoo, are searching for their "mother", and seem to believe that Cloud knows where to find her. Meanwhile, Vincent Valentine has been wandering the planet gathering information on Kadaj's scheme, and Cloud and his friends must come together again to fight these new enemies.

This wasn’t the “big gay leather prettyboy cockfest” that formed Mike’s initial reaction and that reflected that fact that if you haven’t played the game – you may struggle to invest in the film and as such despite it’s technical achievement… you might think it weak and choc overblown with sentiment. Mike went on to complain that FFVII “made Bambi look like a hardcore snuff movie”…And I have to admit that whilst I enjoyed it, I would have liked to have seen some CGI blood splashing over the screen at points.

Visually though FFVII: AC is the best example of what CGI can deliver to cinema that I’ve ever witnessed. In a word: AWESOME and a treat to see it on the big screen!

Darkmatt Rating: öööö

Some men simply can’t take a whole night of Manga insanity and thus it was that Dan snuck away like Judas in the garden of Gethesemane but without returning with a bunch of soldiers and crucifying us…

or Kumo no mukô, yakusoku no basho as I like to call it...
(Japan 2004, Dir: Makoto Shinkai, 91mins, Colour)

This was the killer – dawn was breaking and we’d been caffeine-ated up to and beyond the eyeballs - Beyond the Clouds, we were in The Promised Place… But in an alternative reality, the end of World War II saw Japan split into separate states; the Union and the Alliance. Two science students, Takuya and Hiroki, spend their time building a jet that will take them to a mysterious tower that appeared on an island on the Union side of the border. The story focuses on three children with a dream, Sayuri, Takuya, and Hiroki, of flying to a huge tower on the horizon with a mysterious purpose not disclosed to the general public.
Did you get that? A massive, mysterious tower… Going right into the sky!!
Reactions were generally positive to this one even though to quote Mike “it wasn’t the violent action and f**kfest” he was hoping for… as mentioned Dan had left before this one but he did text me that he was regretting that choice because it was raining and the tubes weren’t running yet… That just shows that you have to be hard core if want the reward… or something?
Final Red Bulls were being downed now, Mike was on hand to spray any of us who began to fade into unconsciousness with his nifty but shocking ‘cold water spray’ – man that really perked you up!!

Darkmatt Rating: öö1/2

Finally after 8 hours of brain frying visuals we emerged blinking into the Sunday morning London drizzle. Mike went on his way back south and Alan n Matt n I took in an impromptu McBreakfast once we’d made it back to that sunny place we like to call Hitchin….

So it was over but yet it will live in the memory until next year!?

Peace out


Darkmatters: H O ME