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

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Film Review: Night at the Museum

Night at the Museum (PG)
Dir. Shawn Levy

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

At the Museum of Natural History, something unnatural is occurring… Big time.

I know it sounds far fetched but stay with me here – Shawn Levy has finally made a half decent film!?
Yes the hack director who single headedly murdered the Pink Panther remake serves up a family pleasing CGI heavy treat. Oh and only slightly less amazing is the fact that everything in the Museum featured in New York comes alive and wreaks havoc at night including a T-Rex dinosaur skeleton!
Ben Stiller stars as hapless dad Larry who is having problems holding down employment whilst juggling his child care duties and payments to his ex-wife. He gets the job of night guard at the museum which is run by strict Mr. McPhee (a superb comedy cameo from Ricky ‘The Office / Extras’ Gervais) but little does he know quite what he’s in for… You see there is an ancient Egyptian curse that grants life to every exhibit in the museum – that includes such wild and wacky characters such as Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams for once to be credited for playing in his usual ‘waxwork dummy come to life’ style), Attila the Hun and various creatures great and small.
Pick of the visual effects is the T-Rex which is less terrifying once you realise that it just really wants to play ‘fetch’ with one of its bones. But most fun comes thanks to feuding miniature diorama characters – the Romans Legions led by an excellent Steve Coogan as Octavius versus a whooping cowboy posse led by Jedadiah (Owen Wilson) who wake up to wage war on each other with dangerous glee.
Of course there is an unlikely love interest on hand in the shapely form of Carla ‘Sin City’
Gugino but full marks to the filmmakers for not going too far down a slushy romantic dead end. Night at the Museum is all about manic slapstick fun and it delivers in spades everything from a monkey slapping contest, stampeding wildlife – including a mammoth and a miniature remote control car chase (Wilson referencing his Dukes of Hazzard role).
It probably needs to be seen with an enthusiastic kid or two in tow for maximum enjoyment - both my boys were especially impressed with the notion of riding a T-Rex skeleton and pronounced the film as being “pretty awesome” overall. I found it mildly diverting and couldn’t find much to dislike – so if you haven’t ventured out to a museum for a while, this one should certainly be considered.

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action ööö - madcap

Laughs ööö – enough
Horror öö – a bit tense (if you're 6)
Babes ööö – Carla ‘Sin City’
Gugino is hot - see below

Overall ööö (enjoy with kids but maybe not on your own)

"Gugino in Sin City... but surely that other bloke is my mate John? see next photo..."

"paintball scars from his pre marriage stag day 2006"


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Friday, December 29, 2006

Grindhouse vs Hot fuzz trailer showdown

These two are currently at the top of my MUST SEE in 2007 list...

If you've been unlucky enough not to have come across them yet - check out the posters and trailers below and let me know what you thinks... Hardcore horror action violence or hardcore comic action violence - the choice is yours!!




Film Review: Eragon

Film reviewers are getting younger all the time – this review is by Adcock junior…

Eragon Review
By Luke Adcock (aged 9)

I saw Eragon with my dad and I thought it was brilliant. I think my favourite character was Eragon (played by Edward Speleers) because he is talented with the sword and skilful with the bow. My least favourite character was Durza (Played by Robert Carlyle) although he had some impressive magic. Eragon’s mentor ‘Brom’ (Played by Jeremy Irons) was a bit doubtful in Eragon at first because Eragon got over-confident and didn’t really trust Brom himself. The climax is a huge, deadly battle between the Varden – the good guys and the evil king Galbatorix’s (Played by John Malkovich) out-numbering evil creatures. It was really exciting and fun to watch! Another great part is when during the great battle Durza uses dark magic to create a monster made out of shadow and battles Eragon. The effects of Durza’s death were wicked with sparks flying everywhere. Saphira (Eragon’s dragon voiced by Rachel Weisz) was really cool and it looked real, the scales and everything! She was extremely fast and was very good at flying. She was another of my favourite characters and she looked good. Although Saphira looks cute as a young dragon, she grows to an immense height and length, at least two times Eragon’s height and 3 times his length. One of the main baddies is the shade, Durza, he has a dark poison in his nails that he actually uses to kill one of his own army and he poisons the beautiful Arya, (Played by Sienna Guillory) an elf and princess of Ellesméra. My 3rd favourite character is Murtagh (Played by Garrett Hedlund) because he is fantastic with the bow and the sword, including the fact that he is an overall brilliant fighter. Plus he saves Eragon’s life twice! Although he does look like a dark character with his deep black hair and black eyes, he is actually good. The enemy assassins were freaky especially the ‘Ra’zac’ because its face was crawling with beetles!
My thoughts about Eragon aren’t like many other peoples that I have read because I have only positive comments. I would definitely give Eragon four and a half out of five stars because it is a great thriller and adventure in one. Even though some people thought that it was weak or that it wasn’t that good, I completely disagree because I really enjoyed it. The Overall I think Stefen Fangmeier (The director) has done a fantastic job and I’m reading ‘Eldest’ (The 2nd book after ‘Eragon’) by Christopher Paolini at this moment. I hope they make a film of it one day!

Luke's rating: ****1/2 (out of 5)

"I'll take the one on the right please!"

Darkmatters: H O M E

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Film Review: Perfume

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (15)
Dir. Tom Tykwer

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Here’s something worth sniffing out at a cinema this week but only if you’re hankering for a tale of freakish obsession and psychotic murder laced with moral dilemmas and copious nudity… You’ll need to be able to stomach a fiendishly macabre plot, buy into some fantastical notions of sensory manipulation and not flinch from a large scale on-screen orgy which surely pushes the edges of what a 15 rating can show?
Anyway, Tom Tykwer is the man who brings the much loved bestseller by Patrick Suskind to life and he does it with some lavish, stylish direction. The film is aided considerably by having a great cast including veterans like Alan Rickman and Dustin Hoffman but even these are put into the shade by newcomer (and if you’re reading this in Biggleswade – local
boy) Ben Whishaw. It is he that plays central character Jean-Baptiste Grenouille; a man with a unique gift / curse in that he is obsessed with the fleeting world of scent. He has the most amazing sense of smell to the point that he can detect things going on around him from the merest inhalation and it is his ever more desperate attempts to capture the soul essence or life odour of beauty itself that leads to his murderous ways.
You see unfortunately for the gorgeous targets of Grenouille’s affections, the process of capturing their scent involves them being killed, shaved and wrapped in animal fat which is then distilled. Top of the sniff crazy murderer’s target list is flame haired beauty Laura (played with mouth watering sensory vulnerability by Rachel ‘Wendy from Peter Pan’
Hurd-Wood). She is the embodiment of Grenouille’s first dangerous crush which led him to kill (a plum seller played by the equally lovely Karoline Herfurth).
In order to help condense the source material’s provocative rich textures and evocative psychological idiosyncrasies a useful voice over by John Hurt is employed. This allows the filmmakers to inject some of the fine prose from the novel into the proceedings and fill in on useful incidental details.
Perfume was once deemed ‘unfilmable’ by the late great Stanley Kubrick, yet this successful adaptation manages to deliver the thrills, chills, scents and shocks of the novel with aplomb. It’s certainly no stinker, in fact thanks to Whishaw’s powerhouse performance you can almost smell the teen spirit dripping from the screen.

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action ööö - languid but tense

Laughs öö – not many

Horror öööö – nasty in parts

Babes öööö – yes - lots of!!

Overall öööö (sensory compulsion - highly recommended!)

"he's behind you...Karoline Herfurth about to meet her end..."

Darkmatters: H O M E

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Hot films for 2007

"2007 sees Spidey turn to the dark side..."

"an old friend comes to dinner... again"

Film to look out for 2007!
By Matt Adcock

2007 is looking like a sequeltastic bumper year for films – we will get to witness live action Transformers stomping over the scenery and Mr. Bean making his big screen comeback – here are some future films that you might want to look out for.

Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto looks intriguing whilst Will Smith is set to deliver fun and feeling in Pursuit Of Happyness…

Grab a nice Chianti and savour the rise of a monster (Lecter) in Hannibal Rising or prepare to witness the British film of the year from the Shaun of the Dead team comes police action comedy Hot Fuzz!

David Fincher's eagerly awaited crime thriller Zodiac should deliver big thrills and Frank Miller’s 300 looks set to provide large scale comic book based battle heroics on a whole new scale.

Sci fi oddness Sunshine from Trainspotting’s Danny Boyle has to worth a look and revenge of the normal people in Straightheads starring Gillian Anderson and Danny Dyer could be a powerful journey too.

Get ready for some serious blockbuster action as Spider-Man 3 swings onto screens closely followed by Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley in Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End – do the words ‘must see’ mean anything to you?

Shrek The Third is one you’ll want to check out, whilst Fantastic Four 2: The Rise Of The Silver Surfer could well be considerably more fantastic than the first one and of course has Jessica Alba returning.


"live free and DIE HARD!!"
More big scale action with Bruce Willis in Die Hard 4 or Live Free Or Die Hard, magical mischief is back in Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix plus what might just be the animated film of the year: The Simpsons Movie comes to town.

Holiday monster hunting in 10,000 BC, teen detectives in Nancy Drew and a trilogy is completed with Matt Damon’s The Bourne Ultimatum.

Take a trip back to Sin City in the aptly titled Sin City 2 or find some higher brow drama from Atonement - Ian McEwan's wartime novel about innocence starring Keira Knightley.

Halloween thrills from the yet another remake – this one of Halloween itself by Rob Zombie or try Stardust a fantasy with a great cast attached including Robert De Niro.

American Gangster sees Ridley Scott directing Denzel Washington, whilst I Am Legend sees Will Smith faces off against vampires in a post-apocalyptic world where he's the last man alive (as you do).

Family animation Bee Movie looks fun – it is the tale of a young bee who has just graduated from college but is disillusioned at his lone career choice of: making honey. And let’s hope that the second National Treasure film starring Nicolas Cage and subtitled: The Book of Secrets is better than the first one!

Hopefully something for everyone…

"Matt's tip for comedy of 2007..."

Check out my films of 2006 here


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Darkmatters Review of 2006

Welcome to a quick snapshot of this blogs' year...

Top 5 ‘most read blogs’ of 2006

Tom Wade
twade link
filmstalker link
Bina 007
bina007 link
2 Minute Movie Reviews
2minreviews link
Fresh Visual freshvisual

Top 5 search terms used to find Darkmatters:

Katrina Bowden (babe!!)

see her here

Leighton Meester (another babe...) see her here

"He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus" (killers' lyric)Check them here

Slave girl Leia (Star Wars babe) see her here

Sony VA1 (techno wonder)cool stuff link

Top 5 movie scenes of 2006

Rocket launcher shoots down passing passenger jet by accident (Severance)

Holly Valance as Christie puts on her bra (DOA: Dead or Alive)

Superman saves falling aeroplane (Superman Returns)

Hockey rink shootout (Running Scared)

The Pale Man awakes (Pan’s Labyrinth)

Top 5 movie babes 2006

Keira Knightley

Leighton Meester

Holly Valance

Kate Beckinsale

Evan Rachel Wood

Top 5 books read in 2006

Haunted: Chuck Palaniuk
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: Susan Clarke
Altered Carbon: Richard Morgan
All Fun and Games Until Someone Loses an Eye: Christopher Brookmyer
The Straw Men: Michael Marshall

Happy Christmas readers!!


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Monday, December 18, 2006

Matt’s Top 10 Films of 2006

Matt’s Top 10 Films of 2006

So another year has filled the big screens with films better (eg Munich), worse (eg Basic Instinct 2) and about exactly what we expected (eg Cars) and I’ve had the privilege of watching most of them then reporting back to you what I thought. If you read this page regularly, you’ll already have some idea as to if we enjoy the same sort of films and whilst you might not agree with me, at least you’ll be forewarned about what to expect…

Here’s my pick of the films released in the UK in 2006:

1. Superman Returns (12a)

“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 films!!How can I sum this film up? Except… WOW!!

2. Miami Vice (15)

“Smooth… That’s how we do it.”Oh yes, here it is – Miami Vice finally on the big screen some 20 years since the TV show changed the viewing habits and dress sense of millions of impressionable males across the world. I should know, I was one of them.
Michael Mann successfully took the classic cheesy TV show, stripped it, remixed it and unleashed it on a new generation. Everything about the new version is harder, darker and more stylish than before. Miami Vice the movie is a deliciously vicious victory of boiled down style over substance. As Tubbs asks at one point: “Do you understand the meaning of the word ‘foreboding’, as in badness is happening right now?” Watch this and you will do…

3. Brick (15)

“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. This is the tale of Emily (Emile de Ravin) a girl in trouble – too many lovers, too much of a drug problem, in with the wrong crowd – so far so Twin Peaks…But Brick is a hip, cool and entirely watchable calling card for some of the hottest new talent around. Prepare to be dazzled.

4. Casino Royale (12a)

James Bond: “Vodka-martini please.” Bartender: “Would that be shaken or stirred?” James Bond: “Does it look like I give a damn?”
Yes Britain’s smoothest export was back in cinemas this year, blonder, tougher and steelier eyed than you might have expected but he’s lost none of his macho charm, sophisticate charisma or woman killing eye for a foxy minx. In a nutshell, Casino Royale is Bond getting to do what he does best – getting the girl, killing the baddies and saving the entire planet. Director Martin Campbell (who also made Goldeneye) easily trumps his earlier Bond effort with this grittier, darker and altogether more satisfying tale of the super spy’s first major mission. It’s true what might have heard… Blondes do it better…

5. Hoodwinked (PG)

“It's true, I'm not like other grannies.”
Have you ever wondered if your dear sweet granny might actually be living a double life? Perhaps behind the cup cakes, jumpers and general mild mannered exterior – maybe she’s known as ‘Triple G’ and into extreme sports and danger? No, me either, but it’s a great ‘what if’ and it works brilliantly in Hoodwinked – a fun animated comedy for all the family. Think Little Red Riding Hood crossed with ‘The Usual Suspects’ and then mix it with lots of laugh out loud humour – top stuff.

6. Little Miss Sunshine (15)

“Losers are people who are so afraid of not winning, they don't even try.”
This cool film which is getting major Golden Globe buzz managed to capture the ridiculousness of life's tragedies and show them up in a one seriously humorous and genuinely moving road trip. Highlighting both ugly underbelly of Americana - with their weirdly creepy beauty pageants and stuff, through to the love and empowerment of having a family (however dysfunctional it might be). Double directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris take the viewer on a journey which will lodge in your unconsciousness and make you smile at inopportune moments. For once you should believe the hype – this is a must see movie.

7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (12a)

“One word love; curiosity. You long for freedom. You long to do what you want to do because you want it. To act on selfish impulse. You want to see what it's like. One day you wont be able to resist…”
The global box office phenomena of the year and direct follow up to 2003’s surprise pirate action blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean, sees eccentric Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has been press ganged back into service. Add dashing Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and gorgeous Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), mix up with stunning special effects and a great sense of fun and enjoy! 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.

8. The Departed (18)

“When I was your age, they would say you could become cops or criminals. What I'm saying is this: When you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference?”Welcome to the mean streets of Boston, a city ruled by terror where even the police are struggling to make any sort of dent in the all pervasive operation of psychotic mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). The Departed is a balls-to-the-wall confident and clever thriller, engaging and disturbing in equal measures and a benchmark by which all US cop thrillers will be judged against for some time to come.

9. United 93 (15)

“We have to do something; they are not going to land this plane.”
Unflinchingly powerful in its depiction of what might have happened on the 3rd plane high jacked on 9/11. United 93 is a film scripted, photographed and edited to make it feel like you’re actually there. This is a truly terrifying drama, made all the more nightmarish because it is based on real events. It’s impossible to watch United 93 and not be moved. This is no popcorn thrill ride, this is everybody’s worst nightmare played out with respect – a real tribute to the bravery of people faced with an impossible situation.

10. Severance (18)

“I've left Gordon's foot on the coach... sorry mate.”
Welcome to another bloody office outing… Literally. Severance is pretty much the ultimate slasher/action/comedy film. Think ‘Shaun of the Dead’ but swap the zombies for evil gun and machete toting nutjobs and you’ll be in the right zone. Whilst certainly not for the squeamish it will have you laughing out loud one moment and genuinely scared the next. This is without doubt the most dysfunctional, delightful and potentially brain damaging cinematic experience of 2006 – altogether a superior quality British film you simply must not miss...!!

And so that's my top 10 for this year - of course there were other great films and if I had a top 11 a certain Mr Borat would be in there too!

"Jagshemash! Matt - how could you leave me out?"

Click here for the previous top 10's:

Matt's Top 10 Films 2005

Matt's Top 10 Films 2004

and look out for my 'Matt's Movie Awards 2006' coming soon which will feature catagories including -
Top 5 Hottest Movie Babes '06
Best Scene involving a ground to air missile in a Movie etc

Darkmatters: H O M E

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Film Review: Deja Vu

Déjà Vu (12a)
Dir. Tony Scott

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Greetings, I’m writing this review in the future – you don’t have to believe me but I’m also watching you from exactly four days and seven hours ahead of your ‘current’ time.
Yep, I know how crazy this sounds but stop for a second and consider – what if it’s true?
Oh yes, the film… Well, if you’re at all familiar with the work of director Tony ‘Top Gun / Man on Fire’ Scott you’ll know what to expect in terms of slick heavyweight action, adrenaline soaked plotlines and excitably frenetic camera work. In Déjà Vu you get all of that usual Scott stuff and a bonus bonkers time travel plot device thrown in to shake up the well worn action formula.
Denzel Washington is on cracking form here as US special agent Doug Carlin – a guy who gets things done, a guy who will not stop until he’s saved the day, a guy who looks impossibly cool taking off his sunglasses in slow motion. You know the type. You’ve already seen him doing this before…
Déjà Vu takes you to a place where the US Government can monitor the past in a constantly running ‘signal’ which broadcasts what happened exactly four days ago. It’s technology that makes Google Maps look rubbish – this thing can zoom in, see through walls and track individuals at the flick of a joystick (think PlayStation 3 on steroids). One scene has the team of nerdy scientists (led by Val Kilmer) using the machine to track a gorgeous female played by Paula Patton as she struts around in her underwear and takes a shower. And it’s just as well that they can because a deranged terrorist has just blown up a ferry killing hundreds of innocent men, women and children and this babe is linked to the attack. As luck would have it Washington gets the chance to use the super time bending device to go back and try to thwart the bomber but not before falling for the smokin hot Patton whose life he may also be able to save. It might not completely stack up in the quantum physics time travel theory department but it does make for cracking viewing. For a decent dose of action choose Déjà Vu.
In fact I think you may already have?

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action öööö - quality, breathless and genuinely exciting
Laughs öö – not a chucklefest but it doesn't need to be
Horror ööö – satisfyingly grim for a 12a!
Babes öööö – Paula Patton is hot!!!

Overall öööö (if you like action movies - you need to see this film!)

"OK now can you show me the 'full frontal' shower cam?"

Darkmatters: H O M E

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Friday, December 15, 2006

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New shot from Pirates of the Caribbean 3

"yo ho ho and a couple of new outfits..."

Saw this today and thought I'd share it with you - see it and another new shot over at:

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End should be a fun ending to the trilogy / potential taster for more?

Earlier DM Pirates links here include:

Dead Man's Chest review

Matt Adcock meets Keira Knightley

Darkmatters: H O M E
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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War: Dark Crusade

With apologies to My Chemical Romance

“Welcome To The Dark Crusade…”

When I was,

a young Eldar,
My father,

took me into the city
To see a marching band.

He said,
"Son when you grow up,

would you be the saviour of the broken,
The beaten and the damned?"

He said
"Will you defeat them,

the Space Marines,
The Orks and all the non believers,
the plans that they have made?

Because one day I’ll leave you,

to lead you in the summer,
To join the Dark Crusade..."

Dawn Of War (Warhammer 40,000) – is an awesome game, and whilst it not be the deepest RTS on the market – it is unmatched for sheer fun… The Dark Crusade expansion really ups the anti with it’s RISK like battle map clash of the 7 species – especially, I haven’t played with myself this much since before Command & Conquer went online (and just as I was getting into Company of Heroes too).

If you like war games and own a decent PC – Dawn of War & The Dark Crusade expansion should be top of Christmas list (and if you already have them I might see you online soon as my Eldar brethren burn your bases to the ground and trample on your fallen warriors)…

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

öööö1/2 (Highly Recommended!!)

"Dark Crusade is as sexy to play with as Holly Marie Coombs..."

Darkmatters: H O M E

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