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, July 31, 2006

Matt Adcock Meets Colin Farrell

"Hey, Tubbs - out the way this is my interview!"

Matt Adcock Meets Colin Farrell

In a London hotel an undercover bust is going down… I’m packing some heat but trying to act nonchalant, all around me are very dodgy looking people. Actually that’s not the quite case* – I’m just here to talk to Colin Farrell - Irish born Hollywood heart-throb who’s gracing the screens as one of my all time TV idols ‘Det. James 'Sonny' Crockett’ in Miami Vice. Looking for a hit after the hilariously bad Alexander – Colin is in a foul mouthed but fun mood.

Colin, Miami Vice is a long way from Ballykissangel which is where lots of people got their first look at your acting. So, how did you feel about the TV series of Miami Vice – were you a fan?

“Hey I was an 8year old still in shorts so although I enjoyed watching the original series as a kid – I don’t think it influenced me too much – in fact I think CHIPS might have influenced me more!"

Ah yes that motorcycle cop Saturday afternoon spectacular… Anyway, I heard that you got taken on a real drug bust as part of your preparation for your undercover cop role in Miami Vice – how was that?

“We did a lot of work with the undercover cops to get ready and I spent a week with them running through scenarios. I thought I had built up a lot of trust with them. They told me they were going to make a real ‘buy’ – some kilos of cocaine from some Columbians and that I could come along and have a look at a live deal. I remember thinking ‘what if one of them was one of the 15 people who saw ALEXANDER?’ maybe I'll be in trouble…
“But I went along, guns were pulled, the s*** hit the fan – I had an accident in my pants but I did get the real sensation of what it’s like when these things go awry… I found out the next day that it was all a set up!”

How you laughed I bet… But talking of guns, did you get much weapons training for this gun toting role?

“We (i.e. along with Jamie Foxx who plays Tubbs) got a lot of trigger time with live ammo in preparation for the role. By the time we came to shoot we were comfortable with the guns – it had to look like we carried these things all the time.”

Miami Vice was one of my favourite ever TV shows – I even had a cream linen jacket with the sleeves rolled up. Are you nervous about the film doing well?

“I be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. This film has cost a lot of money to make and taken 10 months of my life – so I do have an emotional involvement in it.”

Was it tough dealing with the media attention on set – and what was that about ‘Don’t talk to Colin’ T-shirts being worn?

“It’s not so tough, I mean you know you’re going to get sustained media interest all through your life if you do this job. But yeah, one of the girls – she’s mental – got those T-shirts printed, she’s fired now (kidding).”

And with that he’s gone – off to enjoy the London premier of Miami Vice – potentially my ‘film of the year’.

*There were lots of dodgy looking people – but I realised later that they were just the other film reviewers!!

Darkmatters: H O M E

Posted by Picasa

Film Review: Cars

Cars (PG)
Dir. John Lasseter

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Get your motor runnin’, head out on the highway, lookin’ for adventure and whatever comes our way!! Rev your engine and prepare for some high octane summer entertainment – it might not be eco friendly but Cars is high on MPH (mirth per hour).
Lots of critics have been bashing Pixar for making Cars – but I loved it as much as the excellent Toy Story films or The Incredibles.
The story features a young red racing car name Lightning McQueen. He's a hot rookie racing sensation but his success has gone to his head and he may need some fine tuning under the bonnet in terms of caring about his fellow cars. Fate steps in and dictates that he takes an unexpected detour en route to his major championship showdown and finds that life might actually be about more than winning!?

What’s so good about Cars? Well it brings the coolest, shiniest animation ever seen, I’m talking astonishing attention to detail and stunning visuals all round. Then you have the characters – Lightning (Owen Wilson) is an iconic hero who as one of my sons enthused is ‘cooler than cool’ and destined to sell billions of toy cars… There are some wonderfully slick tributes, jokes and cameos too including one by Jeremy Clarkson which was a stroke of absolutely genius. There’s even a car ‘babe’ in the form of curvy Porsche Sally (voiced by Bonnie Hunt) and both Paul Newman and Larry The Cable Guy put in good work as the ex champ ‘Doc’ and the rusty redneck towtruck ‘Mater’.

You could claim that Cars may be a little long at almost 2 hours but for someone like me who apparently said ‘car’ before ‘mummy’ – that’s not such a bad thing. OK so my wife did dose gently in the middle stretch but there are plenty of good ol’ moral values and life lessons to soak up in the nitros fuelled fun. And if you don’t get the hairs on the back of your neck standing up during the final grand prix you should probably check for a pulse! Also look out during the end credits for some superb in-jokes.With Cars Pixar prove again that they are still the masters of the animated genre – although I do rather like the look of Monster House and Hoodwinked too. Oh and if you have Sky TV – you can see me talking about new Luc Besson flick Angel A this week on EAT CINEMA channel 199!

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action ööö – racing is cool...
Laughs ööö – cracking in jokes - Pixar style
Horror ö - a 3 yr old near me shouted 'I'm not scared'... I believed them
Babes ööö – take a Porsche for ride?

Overall öööö (I AM SPEED!!)

Darkmatters: H O M E

Posted by Picasa

Matt on EAT CINEMA First Night Bites

"thank you - I'll be here all week!"

There I was watching Luc Besson's new film Angel - A and before I know there's a cool young TV crew and lights and camera and before I could run... action... Yep if you have SKY and can get channel 199 (Eat Cinema) then you can see my funky thoughts on Angel - A on their 'First Night Bites' programme...

And if you don't have that then you can read my review here on Darkmatters very soon!

Peace out...

That link again:

H O M E Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Matt takes a refreshing dip in Mean Creek

Posted by Picasa

Mean Creek 15 (2004)
Dir. Jacob Aaron Estes

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“My name is George... and this... is the inside of mind…” - sigh - ”The inside of my mind has a zillion things... “- sigh - ”The inside of my mind has a zillion things about it but... people that don't see inside of my mind don't know there are a zillion things. Y'know, since know one sees inside my mind no one really knows, but... one day people will know. One day people will know 'cause that's my master plan. To film it all. To document every aspect of the life that is me. And put it in a time capsule in my backyard and so that one day some alien or some highly evolved species will find it and... understand.”

But they won’t of course – they won’t because big fat bullyboy George ‘and his mind of zillion things’ is dead meat. The only things in his mind now are worms and bugs…want to know why? Take a trip to Mean Creek on DVD… it’s a twisted little coming of age tale that is also kinda beautiful and for once it’s acted by kids who can actually act!?

The ‘death in a group of teens’ storyline isn’t exactly original but having said that it’s rarely been brought to the screen with such earnest conviction and downright skill. Beneath the surface, everyone has a secret…and this talent bunch of kids manage to walk the fast blurring line between innocence, guilt and responsibility in a convincingly watchable way.

So we meet Sam (Rory Culkin), he gets beaten up by nasty / misunderstood George (Josh Peck), the overweight school bully. Sam’s older brother Rocky (Trevor Morgan), and his friends Marty (Scott Mechlowicz) and Clyde (Ryan Kelley) decide to teach George a lesson – a lesson in being humiliated… I won’t go into the plot any further but you’ll get the gist from the title that things turn out rather more macabre than anticipated – leading to a hasty round of soul searching and regret in the final act…

Star of the piece for me was young Millie (Carly Schroeder), Sam’s would-be girlfriend, she’s amazingly assured and manages to balance the raging testosterone from the rest of the all male group with a cute brand of blank acceptance mixed with knowing undercurrents. She’ll be major star soon mark my words – Dakota Fanning should be worried as her ‘wide eyed young blonde girl’ acting crown could well be in serious jeopardy!

Mean Creek is film that needs to be seen by teens and parents alike – powerful, intense and lingeringly poignant, I await with interest to see what Estes does next.

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action ööö –
slowburn man
Laughs ööö – wry dark humour but you have to look for it
Horror ööö – tense rather than overly grim
Babes ööö – Schroeder could be a hottie in a few years

Overall öööö (a dark trip worth taking)

Darkmatters: H O M E

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Film Review: The Break Up

The Break Up (12a)
Dir. Peyton Reed

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

It’s an old story… Boy meets girl, she’s with loser boyfriend. Boy wins her over and they live happily ever after (well, for a couple of years at least). But she starts to complain that he doesn’t help out enough around the house and that he takes her for granted. He secretly pines for a pool table in his lounge, time to play Grand Theft Auto on his PS2 and would rather watch sports highlights on TV rather than take her to the ballet. One day they hit an argument where all the underlying tensions are brought to the surface and she snaps and breaks up with him - then the fun begins.
Or so I thought after seeing the trailer for The Break Up which sold it as a fun romantic comedy and also showed off most of the funny lines. In fact I thought ‘Hey I’ll take my gorgeous wife to see this as an amusing early 12th Wedding Anniversary treat’. Alas The Break Up turned out to be much more of a relationship drama than any sort of feel good comedy, and was actually uncomfortable viewing for someone who doesn’t like witnessing couples arguing and not giving each a chance. Yes, I now know that the clue was in the title all along but like any painful break up, this movie can leave you feeling hollow, empty and wistful for the good bits. Hhhmmm, looks like I may still have got some work to do on the Wedding Anniversary treat front…
Anyway there are some good bits – in fact whenever tour bus guide Gary (the excellent Vince Vaughn) flexes his comic muscles the film comes alive, especially when playing off his comic buddy Johnny O played by Jon Favreau. There are also lots of not so good bits and they can mostly be summed up in two words: Jennifer, Aniston.
Director Peyton ‘Down With Love’ Reed really struggles to mix the funny comedy elements with the bitter fall outs and ends up satisfying nobody. If a romantic comedy or a film to reaffirm you relationship is what you’re after, this shouldn’t be on your ‘to see’ list. However, if you’re in the market for an awkward experience that constantly changes tone and leaves you feeling despondent, then The Break Up will be exactly what you’re looking for!

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action öö –
couple of slapstick moments
Laughs öööö – the few that are hear are good ones!
Horror öööö – depends on how you feel about Jennifer Aniston
Babes ööö – as above

Overall öö1/2 (some fun to be had but it's almost not worth it)

Darkmatters: H O M E

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Love that Modern Toss!!

"genius - but only for those not easily offended!"

Just been watchin a bit of Modern Toss have you? CHANNEL 4 11.00 on a TUESDAY EVE? Course you have... me too... loved it mate... check the official site here where you can buy all kinds of F'''''n stuff...


Mr Tourette, Alan, Fly Talk, Customer Services... Best new comedy show on TV since Nathan Barley?


"surprise celeb endorsement: Elisha Cuthbert!?"*


*based on nothing but a cute pic...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Film Review: District 13

District 13 (15)
Dir. Pierre Morel

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

What is it with Violent French men eh? It seems that in addition to their now world famous skills at head butting Italian football opponents, they can also sometimes be found running up walls…
Welcome to a near future France, where owing to an above average outbreak of lawless behaviour (possibly brought about by their world cup capitulation?) they’ve decided to simply wall off some of the less salubrious suburbs of Paris. This ghettoising policy quickly leads to criminals taking over and flooding the areas with drugs and stupid henchmen. But on these mean streets arises a hero named Leito (played by David Belle - the highly athletic co-inventor of the insane sport known as Parkour, which consists of moving freely in a natural area, i.e. climbing on buildings, leaping up and over whatever is in your way etc….). Leito is an ex-thug with a conscience and we meet him as he’s busy spoiling a drug lord's million euro stash of class A substances which surprisingly doesn’t go down all that well with the slimy crime boss. As luck would have it though at the very same time another hero is arising - Damien (Cyril Raffaelli), an undercover police officer, apprehends a mob lord in a shootout scene that is up there with the all time best…
And so it is that these two heroes are teamed up and given the virtually impossible mission to infiltrate notorious ‘no go area’ District 13, defuse a stolen neutron bomb – preferably rescuing Leito’s cute sister from the crime boss at the same time.
If you think this all sounds like just another excuse for lots of tasty big screen action violence, then you’re completely right. And District 13 really delivers big time on the action – the many fights are crunching affairs, peppered liberally with serious “ooh that’s got to hurt” moments. The stunts on the other hand are just amazing, this is the closest thing to ‘you’ll believe a man can fly’ sans red cape and kiss curl. Raffaelli and Belle redefine the art of being chased – there is pretty much nothing that can get in their way which is highly impressive but should also carry an enforceable ‘don’t try this at home’ warning.
It’s all completely over the top and instantly forgettable, but having said that it’s also much more entertaining than the many subtitled French films.

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action öööö – zut alors - this is the only reason to see the film!
Laughs öö – some laughs but not many
Horror öööö – as in 'arrggghh - I'm injured!'
Babes ööö – Dany Verissimo is a hot French chick...

Overall ööö (worth checking for the amazing action but no classic)

"the 'don't play with guns message really wasn't working"

"this crim character looks a LOT like my mate Alan Masters!"

Darkmatters: H O M E

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Suck on this: Thumbsucker (2005)

"Ever felt like you're walking a path that others can't see?"

Thumbsucker (15)
Dir. Mike Mills

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Q. How much pretentious indiemoviewank are we supposed to sit through in the Wake of Donnie Darko et al?
A. A never ending stream (thumb)suckers!!

Actually I’m just playing with ya – Thumbsucker is a joyful little comedy that owes a debt to most recent teen films and yet manages to walk it’s own path. It’s probably not for everyone but this adaptation of a novel by Walter Kirn is nice nough way to be reminded that you’re probably not alone in facing ‘the universal human condition of being less than totally satisfied with yourself’.

So here we have weido loser Justin Cobb (played with floppy haired conviction by Lou Taylor Pucci) - a 17-year-old who still sucks his thumb. This self digit sucking affliction makes him feel like an outcast from his family and peers, but in reality they seem to be far more screwed up than his thumb maligned dentistry… Dad Mike (Vincent D'Onofrio) can’t deal with his long-gone pro football dreams, Mum Audrey (Tilda ‘Narnia will be mine’ Swinton) may or may not be having it off with TV heartthrob Matt Schramm (a willfully cheesy Benjamin Bratt) and it’s possible that only kooky Zen guru orthodontist Dr. Lyman (Keanu ‘dude’ Reeves) can guide him on the true path towards some sort of social acceptance and any chance of ever getting laid!
Also formative in his development is his ‘debate class’ teacher Mr. Geary (Vince ‘serious role for once’ Vaughn), and when Justin substitutes Ritalin for his thumb and becomes a killer debater, confident girl befriender and all round smug asshole you are still kind of rooting for him…

Kelli Garner is the babe of the piece, a fine looking young lady who would be enough to make any man want to stop sucking himself – man she has got some fine assets! – but here she’s a cruel honey, the type that eats up men and spit out their broken hearts…

Thumbsucker is a decent little film – worth a couple of hours of your life… Especially if you’re a bit odd!?

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action ööö – teen angst and semi redemption
Laughs ööö – wry, deadpan humour
Horror ö – move along, there's nothing too grim (apart from one bloody scene where Swinton has to shove her fist up Benjamin Bratt's ass in order to retrieve some life threatening drugs!)
Babes öööö – Kelli Garner, v. v. v. hot!

Overall ööö1/2 (suck it and see)

"sucking thumbs is just the start..."

Darkmatters: H O M E

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Film Review: Superman Returns

Superman Returns (12a)
Dir. Bryan Singer

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Even though you’ve been raised as a human, you’re not one of them. They can be a great people, Kal-El .They wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you... my only son…”
For so many years we have suffered, adrift without our protector, at the mercy of evil in every form - our once bright hope has begun to fade. But in a dark and most desperate hour there may yet be salvation – look, up in the sky, it’s a bird? It’s a plane? No, it’s superman and he’s back to save us all from mediocre summer films!!
How can I put this? Except… WOW!!
Superman Returns is just awesome, Bryan ‘Usual Suspects and Xmen’ Singer has delivered a heart pounding, pulse racing supernova epic. Fully super and yet equally full of real human emotion – so much of which was lacking from Pirates of the Caribbean 2.
Here we see the ‘man of steel’ return to a modern day earth, he’s been away for five long years and things have moved on in his absence. Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) is out of prison and up to no good, Lois Lane has become a mum and is engaged to marry a dashing pilot (James ‘Cyclops’ Marsden) – the world has adapted to not having its number one hero around to save the day. But deep down there is yet a tiny hope that he who is ‘faster than a speeding bullet’ may not have completely abandoned us.
Superman’s return is timely because, as his father Jor-El stated “the human heart is still subject to disastrous deceit.” It seems that the world has been holding its breath and keeping its fingers crossed that he would come back. And for me (who as a boy spent many hours running around with a red towel tucked down the back of my collar ‘saving the day’) Superman Returns is a thing of absolute beauty.
Brandon Routh is perfect as Superman, Kate Bosworth is great as Lois Lane and Kevin Spacey invigorates as worthy nemesis Lex Luthor - making all his fiendish traits sparkle. The action pieces are heavy duty crowd pleasers, the plot will appeal across the board and you simply won’t see better special effects on the big screen this year.
What more can I say?
Love it, live it, believe it… Superman is most definitely back – pray for a sequel!!

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action öööö – You will believe man can fly...
Laughs ööö – Top comic in jokes and references
Horror öö – Nothing too grim
Babes ööö – Lois Lane has never been foxier!

Overall öööööö (Repeat viewings essential - long live superman!!)

"The world has been waiting... but now he's back!!"

Darkmatters: H O M E

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

“Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me…”

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
By Susanna Clarke

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Welcome to a world of wonderful imagination – magic in all it’s forms and fascinating storytelling…
Crumbs – where to begin? Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is an amazing book. An all consuming read that will enlighten you in many things, entertain you with it’s trickery and generally please readers looking for a meaty novel to eat up their hours.

Clarke’s novel employs some fun olde English spelling which adds a distinct feel to the measured pace and quality anecdotes. The extensive use of footnotes is a wonder to behold, and one that I will be ripping off completely in Darkmatters – it really is a great way to add asides and additional details without breaking up narrative passages.

Highly recommend this to all whole enjoy fantasy – here’s the official blurb from jonathanStrange.com which for once is spot on and accurate:
“Centuries ago, when magic still existed in England, the greatest magician of them all was the Raven King. A human child brought up by fairies, the Raven King blended fairy wisdom and human reason to create English magic. Now, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, he is barely more than a legend, and England, with its mad King and its dashing poets, no longer believes in practical magic.
Then the reclusive Mr Norrell of Hurtfew Abbey appears and causes the statues of York Cathedral to speak and move. News spreads of the return of magic to England and, persuaded that he must help the government in the war against Napoleon, Mr Norrell goes to London. There he meets a brilliant young magician and takes him as a pupil. Jonathan Strange is charming, rich and arrogant. Together, they dazzle the country with their feats.
But the partnership soon turns to rivalry. Mr Norrell has never conquered his lifelong habits of secrecy, while Strange will always be attracted to the wildest, most perilous magic. He becomes fascinated by the shadowy figure of the Raven King, and his heedless pursuit of long-forgotten magic threatens, not only his partnership with Norrell, but everything that he holds dear.
Elegant, witty and utterly compelling, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell creates a past world of great mystery and beauty that will hold the reader in thrall until the last page.”

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action ööö – Enough to keep you entertained
Laughs ööö – Wry humour throughout
Horror ööö – Nicely macabre in places
Babes ö – Not that sort of book really but some cool romance

Overall öööö1/2 (gorgeous and highly recommended!)

Magic to the big screen!?
Apparently New Line Cinema has hired Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons) to adapt the bestselling British fantasy novel Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell for the big screen. Based on author Susanna Clarke's critically acclaimed debut novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell tells the story of two feuding magicians who attempt to restore English magic in the age of Napoleon and combines the dark mythological fantasy of J.R.R. Tolkien with the social comedy of Jane Austen. “Christopher's immense wit and intelligence make him ideally suited to adapt this brilliant, rich novel,” said New Line's Executive VP Production Mark Ordesky, who is overseeing the project.

Here’s a taster of from Chapter 8 of the book:

SOMEONE WAS STANDING in the middle of the
room: a tall, handsome person with pale,
perfect skin and an immense amount of hair,
as pale and shining as thistle-down.His cold,
blue eyes glittered and he had long dark eye-brows,
which terminated in an upward flourish. He was dressed
exactly like any other gentleman, except that his coat was
of the brightest green imaginable – the colour of leaves in
early summer.
“O Lar!” began Mr Norrell in a quavering voice. “O
Lar! Magnum opus est mihi tuo auxilio. Haec virgo
mortua est et familia eius eam vitae instauratam vult.”
Mr Norrell pointed to the figure on the bed.
At the sight of Miss Wintertowne the gentleman
with the thistle-down hair suddenly became very excited.
He spread wide his hands in a gesture of surprized
delight and began to speak Latin very rapidly. Mr
Norrell, who was more accustomed to seeing Latin
written down or printed in books, found that he could
not follow the language when it was spoken so fast,
though he did recognise a few words here and there,
words such as “formosa” and “venusta” which are
descriptive of feminine beauty.
Mr Norrell waited until the gentleman’s rapture had
subsided and then he directed the gentleman’s attention
to the mirror above the mantelpiece. A vision appeared of
Miss Wintertowne walking along a narrow rocky path,
through a mountainous and gloomy landscape. “Ecce
mortua inter terram et caelum!” declared Mr Norrell.
“Scito igitur, O Lar, me ad hanc magnam operam te
vocare voluisse quia...”
“Yes, yes!” cried the gentleman suddenly breaking
into English. “You elected to summon me because my
genius for magic exceeds that of all the rest of my race.
Because I have been the servant and confidential friend
of Thomas Godbless, Ralph Stokesey, Martin Pale and of
the Raven King. Because I am valorous, chivalrous,
generous and as handsome as the day is long! That is all
quite understood! It would have been madness to
summon anyone else! We both know who I am. The
question is: who in the world are you?”
“I?” said Mr Norrell, startled. “I am the greatest
magician of the Age!”
The gentleman raised one perfect eye-brow as if to
say he was surprized to hear it. He walked around Mr
Norrell slowly, considering him from every angle. Then,
most disconcerting of all, he plucked Mr Norrell’s wig
from his head and looked underneath, as if Mr Norrell
were a cooking pot on the fire and he wished to know
what was for dinner.
“I ... I am the man who is destined to restore magic
to England!” stammered Mr Norrell, grabbing back his
wig and replacing it, slightly askew, upon his head.
“Well, obviously you are that!” said
the gentleman.

"Clarke comtemplates how to follow up such a great first novel"

Darkmatters: H O M E

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

"does the second 'Pirates of the Caribbean' sink or swim?"

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (12a)
Dir. Gore Verbinski

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

There is a legend which will seal the fate of many seafarers and cinema goers alike this summer. A fearful tale of damnation and blood debts, filled with hideous monsters from the deepest depths and supernatural captains commanding cursed crews of miscreants. The legend is enough strike terror into the heart of all who witness it, everyone that is but for one man…Captain Jack Sparrow, and that’s because he’s the star….
Yes following 2003’s surprise pirate action blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean, eccentric Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has been press ganged back into service along with the dashing Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and gorgeous Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley). Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest picks up right after the first film with Swann all dressed up ready to marry Will Turner. Needless to say, things go pear shaped before the titles have had the chance to stop rolling and another rip roaring high adventure takes sail.
This time there is a real anticipation and a burden upon the filmmakers to deliver a sequel worthy of the original. The question pirates fans the world over are asking is – can Dead Man’s Chest recapture the sense of fun, spectacle and full scale nautical misadventure that made the original so good?
In a word ‘almost’ – this sequel is a bloated addition to the series and serves as the middle of a planned trilogy (part three was shot back to back with this – like The Matrix Reloaded / Revolutions). In places it is every bit as wonderful as part one but you cannot help feeling that there has almost been too much money and not enough innovation thrown at the screen. The good stuff includes the return of Depp’s loveably dubious Captain Sparrow who again steals the show effortlessly. Bill Nighy’s freakish Davy Jones who is part man – mostly squid is a marvel to behold too and the special effects are all rather lovely. High praise must also go to the delicious Keira Knightley (who I found to be just as fun, sexy and down to earth as you might wish for when I met her) and she gets to kick some serious pirate butt this time.
Fans of the original will certainly find much to enjoy here but those who have somehow managed not to see part one yet really should make the effort before tackling this chapter.

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action ööö – Set piece a thon ahoy!!
Laughs ööö – Some great one liners
Horror ööö – Surprsingly grim in places
Babes öööö – Keira Keira Keira!

Overall öööö (if you liked the first... but then I liked Matrix Reloaded!?)

"when all else fails... fun away!!"

Keira Knightley interview

Darkmatters: H O M E

Matt Adcock Meets Keira Knightley


Matt Adcock Meets Keira Knightley

It’s a sweltering July day and I’m struggling to keep my cool. Suddenly it gets even hotter as in sweeps the woman voted FHM magazine’s ‘Sexiest Woman in the World 2006’ and she looks absolutely stunning in a wicked little black dress. Starring again as feisty heroine Elizabeth Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – Keira Knightley is obviously delighted that she’s had the chance to bring the character back:

“I’ve never made a sequel before and what’s nice about this movie is that the characters have evolved. Elizabeth becomes a woman on a mission this time and there are some nice undertones to her relationship with Will (Orlando Bloom), as well as to Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp)… which grows to into something very interesting!”

Yes, don’t want to spoil it for anyone but I felt it had echoes of Han and Leia from Star Wars for me. So was it weird picking up the character again?

“What was weird was trying to give her continuality from the Elizabeth Swann I played when I was 17. We took her off in a more ‘grungy’ direction this time and made her grow up too.”

And you get to do some more sword action this time – like taking on a hoard of mutant pirates… did you enjoy that?

“It was great! I wanted to do as much action as possible, because it gets boring watching someone else doing all your moves otherwise. Apparently the audience really liked the action side of Elizabeth from the first film – that was what little girls especially responded to. So they decided to take her off on that vibe and I had a personal fight trainer which was good but fighting in 35degree heat isn’t fun.”

What about acting with a massive computer generated sea monster?

“I just spent the entire time pretending that it was tentacles everywhere, and the director was running around going, 'I'm a tentacle, I'm a tentacle.' It takes a little bit of an imagination; I had no idea what it was going to look like.”

And how did you keep a straight face acting opposite Johnny Depp in his full on Captain Sparrow mode?

“Basically you just had to ignore him and not look at him. He was nice though and didn’t put you off too much. The crew though were standing around with tears running down their faces because they were desperately trying to keep it in. I think there will be lots of material for outtakes on a ‘gag reel’ because everyone was wetting themselves.”

And with that she’s gone, and I’m left wondering why I didn’t get to ask her anything more meaningful. But picking my jaw up off the floor, all I can do is hope that I maybe get to meet her again when she returns for the final part of the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy next year?

"No Keira , for the last time - your bum does not look big in that dress..."

"Keira keeps cool at the Dead Man's Chest London premier"

Earlier post about Keira - great photos!

Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Darkmatters: H O M E

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Film Review: Reeker

Reeker (15)
Dir. Dave Payne

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Air pollution warning: This week, just as the bitter stench of our World Cup defeat begins to clear, along comes something even fouler to replace it… “Evil is in the air” reads the poster line for Reeker and they’re really not kidding.
The idea of a ‘bad smell’ as a horror film villain is surely a curious one, but in a genre where we’ve been subjected to such vast and eclectic mix of psychos, monsters and general unpleasant types, I wasn’t immediately convinced that it would work. Somehow though Reeker manages to do a fairly decent scare job and turns out not to be the complete stinker that the title might imply.
The plot is the old tried and tested teens break down in the middle of nowhere and are preyed upon one by one classic – straight off the shelf of ‘horror movies for idiots’. The cast are your average bunch of good looking up and coming actors – looking to get noticed by dying in spectacular ways on screen. In fact the whole feel is of a B-Movie homage just with better than average special effects and some seriously diabolic convention mangling in-jokes. This time last year I was ripping House of Wax to pieces for relying on the same recycled ideas, so why aren’t I tearing Reeker to pieces too? The fact is that this movie tries really hard to please its audience, rather than looking to just make a quick buck from suckers who like a mid summer horror thrill. The characters are developed to the point where you almost care what happens to them, an effective eerie atmosphere is achieved through small ‘blink and you’ll miss them’ moments and the special effects used to show the ‘killer stink’ on screen work well. The tension is built up nicely right from the full on start, which boasts the dubious honour of having the best roadkill scene ever committed to film… If you’re a Bambi fan you’d be well advised to keep you eyes tight shut until the openings credit roll or you might be traumatized for weeks.
It is obvious that director Dave Payne reveres classic horror films and is keen to make Reeker in their image, whilst also adding some fun new elements of his own. So if you’re in the mood for some grizzly carnage rather than swashbuckling pirates or dull code conspiracies – follow your nose and check out Reeker.

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action ööö – Nicely paced
Laughs ööö – Very dark humour at work here
Horror öööö – Inventive deaths and real tension
Babes öööö – Arielle Kebbel, in tiny briefs... ouch!

Overall ööö1/2 (grim n stinky but not in a bad way)

"beautiful scenery masks some unpleasant, and smelly, dangers..."

"Arielle Kebbel... yes she struts around in her underware in Reeker in case you were wondering..."