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, March 30, 2008

Drillbit Taylor - the 'watching bullies getting beaten is fun' review

Drillbit Taylor (12a)

Dir. Steven Brill

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“See that homeless dude showering naked on the beach? That’s you that is, that’s your mum… Now shut up and take your beating, oh and give me your lunch money and mobile phone while you’re at it!?”
Ah school bullies eh? Bane of many a child’s life and a perpetual problem for High School students – especially in this case two pals like Wade (Nate Hartley) who is freakishly skinny and Ryan / T-Dog (Troy Gentile) who is overweight. The two find to their horror on their first day at their new school that it is ruled by psychotic bully Filkins (Alex Frost) – and they soon become his targets after Wade tries to stop him hurting the class wimp Emmit (David Dorfman), known as ‘hobbit’ for his pint size physique. So far, so much like many teen coming of age flicks but Drillbit Taylor is from the stable of comic overlords Judd Apatow / Seth Rogen – those of Superbad and Knocked Up fame. What are they to do except hire a badass bodyguard to protect them?
If the plot seems familiar, that’s because it’s ripped right off from '80s movie My Bodyguard (and in a nice touch there’s even a cameo by Adam Baldwin who was the bodyguard in that flick). But the new Bodyguard on the block is Drillbit (Owen Wilson) and his winning smile manages to convince the boys that he can help them with their bully problem…
The only small problem is that Drillbit is actually a homeless scoundrel looking to rip the innocent young chaps off. Yes he might have military experience but rather than having been dismissed from the Army for ‘acts of unauthorised heroism’, as he claims, he’s really AWOL and broke.
Will he make good on his promise to sort out the evil but slick Filkins or will he do a bunk and leave them in the lurch?
There's lots of fun to be had along the way and my son Luke and his mate (who both start High School in September) thought it was great.
Director 'Without A Paddle' Brill almost redeems himself for his previous crimes against the viewing public with this good natured and genuinely funny romp. There are even some wicked nods to classic films to please devotees such as when Drillbit quotes the immortal lines from Blade Runner: “I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.” trying to pass it off as his real life experience.

DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM (all ratings out of maximum 10):

Endorphin Stimulation: ööööööö (7)
- Wilson is cool, the kids are great!

Tasty Action: ööööööö (7)
- Some crunching fights and lots of mischief

Gratuitous Babeness: ööööö (5)
- Average females

Mind Blight / Boredom: ööööö (5)
- Some slow scenes

Comedic Value: öööööööö (8)
- Lots of funny stuff and refreshingly not too vulgar

Arbitrary final rating: öööööö (6)
- Enjoyable fun all round

Liable to make you:
"want your own personal bodyguard!"

DM Poster Quote:
“violence isn't normally the answer, but sometimes..."

Darkmatters: H O M E
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue - the 'Drivers of the world... start your engines!!' review

" This is living... in the fast lane! You can almost make out the grin on my face!"

Gran Turismo 5: Prologue PS3

Polyphony / Sony

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Warning – this game is seriously addictive…

Have you ever fancied owning and driving a Ferrari or two – maybe one being their F1 racing car? How about an Aston Martin or high spec rally 4wd like a Mitsubishi Lancer or a cool BMW Z4? Hey, why not have them all? You can with Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, the latest in the prestigious line of PlayStation exclusive auto-erotica that takes the super shiny graphical wonderment of everything fast with four wheels and unleashes the might of the PS3 on it in stunning high definition.

The results are astonishing, I can honestly say that I’ve never seen such gorgeous motoring graphical representations and the good news is that GT5p isn’t just a pretty face. The tried and tested (by the millions of people who have bought the first four Gran Turismo games) game play has been kept, tweaked a little to continually add to the realistic handling of the various cars. Each vehicle looks very shiny on the outside but equally impressive in the ‘in car’ view – such as functioning speedometers and odometers, reflecting rear-view mirrors, wing mirrors and real time in-car lighting effects…

Others have tried to emulate the GT formula, good examples are Forza Motorsport 2 or Project Gotham Racing 4 but nice as these are – five minutes into GT5p and you’ll never want to go back. Polyphony have done this whole ‘Prologue’ version of a game before and it gives a delicious taster of what’s to come in the ‘real’ game due next year.
So is GT5p worth the buying now even if it’s not the whole game? In a word ‘yes’!! There are a great selection of cars lovingly created here, each them endowed with some awesome driving dynamics and a fantastic sense of realism. Whether using the trusty SixAxis or a one of the range of steering wheel controllers you get a fantastic sense of control. There are six tracks here include memorable driving courses such as the Suzuka Circuit, the Daytona International Speedway and mean streets of London.

GT5p takes the series online in a meaningful way too, with up to 16 players battling at full speed in high definition. Offline there is the trusty split screen option which maintains a flawless frame rate for player vs player fun. My only quibble with this game is the lack of crash damage (although that has been promised to be included for the first time in the full game) – but to be honest, when you’re burning around the track trying to set a worldwide leader board best time, crash damage will be the last thing on your mind!!

Arbitrary final rating: ööööööööö (9)
- Quality car based excitment doesn't come much better!

Do not under estimate the power of PlayStation 3...

Moving Wallpaper / Echo Beach: Series 1 - the 'Jonathan Pope for Prime Minister' review

"Donovan looking out for his credibility... must be round here somewhere!?"

Moving Wallpaper / Echo Beach: Complete Series 1 Box Set (15)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Welcome to the future of television… Moving Wallpapers / Echo Beach is a fully contrived marketing man’s dream – take one fairly mundane Cornwall based soap opera (Echo Beach) and then ram raid it by driving a superb, witty and truly funny behind the scenes companion show (Moving Wallpaper).
The result is perhaps the funniest thing to hit ITV in years – neither of the shows are stunning on their own but together they form a symbiotic joyous union that will suck you in and happy slap you till you proclaim it the greatest thing ever.
Of course you don’t have to buy this double bill box set, both of the series are available on their own but if you do that you’d be limiting your pleasure and missing the point.

The humour is amplified only when you watch how the two shows interact… Basically in Moving Wallpaper we get to see the show (Echo Beach) being written – how it evolves and all of the blood, sweat and tears that goes into creating it. Ben Miller plays Jonathan Pope – the guy tasked with making Echo Beach a success and he’s created an amazing, iconic comic character that deserves to be watched. Echo Beach would be nothing without Moving Wallpaper even with Jason Donovan and Martine McCutcheon hamming it up like their lives depend on it.

Moving Wallpaper demonstrate how television satire works at its best, blessed with quality characters such as Raquel Cassidy as a wonderfully nasty TV suit named Nancy and a special mention should also go to Lucy Liemann (who you might recognise from The Bourne Ultimatum). But basically it is Jonathan Pope who steals not just the show but the whole series…

Echo Beach could have existed as just another surf, sun and sex melodrama but it would have probably sunk without a trace. Coupled with Moving Wallpaper however, the series suddenly comes alive and all sorts of fun can had watching the machinations of how the writing team’s efforts pan out in their creations… Basically one group write it, the other live it, but if you look closely there are some parallels between some of the fictional characters and their ‘real’ counterparts.

If you didn’t catch this on TV, treat yourself to the box set – there are some nice extras too and these you can’t get on the single show versions including: Interviews, Deleted Scenes and Outtakes.

DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM (all ratings out of maximum 10):

Arbitrary final rating: öööööööö (8)
- Quality comedy from mediocre soap... genius overall!?

Liable to make you:
"book a holiday in Cornwall"

DM Poster Quote:
“the people of Echo Beach fear Jonathan Pope... their lives are in his hands!"

"the kids of Echo Beach... future stars?"
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 27, 2008

5ive Girls - the 'devil made me do it' review

5ive Girls (15)

Dir. Warren P. Sonoda

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“5 girls vs. 2000 demons. You do the math…” says the tag line for this sensational, hard hitting investigative piece of cinematic – - - erm, nonsense.
So by ‘doing the maths’ I was ready to see each of the five troublesome teens take on 400 demons each in single combat – but it seems it’s not quite as simple as that…

5ive Girls stars the dependable Ron ‘Hell Boy’ Perlman as Father Drake, who runs St Mark’s ‘staunchly over the top Catholic school for naughty girls’ along with hot but ever-so-strict Headmistress Miss Pearce (Amy Lalonde) – she wields a mean long ruler…

The five girls themselves are – in order of tastiness - Alex (Jennifer Miller), Connie (Tasha May), Cecilia (Terra Vnesa), Mara (Jordan Madley) and Leah (Barbara Mamabolo) are each upcoming actresses and acquit themselves well. Plus an honourable mention should go to Krysta Carter who plays Elizabeth, a girl who is taken by the demon baddie right at the start of the flick – which kind of forms a large part of the plot later too.

Basically it’s all a big rip off of other teens with powers movies like The Craft except that this one doesn’t take itself too seriously and ends up being much cooler and more fun than many of its bigger budget predecessors.

The 2000 demons of the tag line are handily rolled into one i.e. Legion – yep, the one who Jesus cast out into a herd of swine in the Gospel of Matthew (and who popped up again in Exorcist III) seems he’s still getting film work at least. As a Christian I am always interested to see how the forces of good and evil are depicted on screen, especially when their biblical characters (however minor) like Legion.

Writer director Warren P. Sonoda has lots of fun with his exploitative set up… Virgin Catholic schoolgirls fighting evil – each blessed with a special power (kind of a supernatural spin on X Men). What’s not to love?

5ive Girls is totally trashy horror that presses enough right buttons to make it worth a look if you like the idea of watching chicks battling a serious evil demonic force that posses all… Probably not one to watch with your mum!

DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM (all ratings out of maximum 10):

Endorphin Stimulation: ööööööö (7)
- Much better than expected, cracks along a pace

Tasty Action: ööööööö (7)
- All bets are off as to who will survive this shocker

Gratuitous Babeness: öööööööö (8)
- Five for the price of one… actually there are at least 7 attractive females here

Mind Blight / Boredom: ööööö (5)
- The low budget shows but doesn’t completely gimp the film thanks to smart scripting

Comedic Value: ööööö (5)
- Sporadically funny moments

Arbitrary final rating: öööööö (6)
- A decent effort by a director who might be worth tracking

Liable to make you:
"Say your prayers before going near any schools"

DM Poster Quote:
“5ive Girls want to play with you, especially your head!"

"see, I wasn't kidding about the Headmistress and her ruler of punishment"

Darkmatters: H O M E
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Horton Hears A Who COMPETITION

"look at this cool Horton stuff... it could be yours!!"

Horton Hears A Who Competition

So the lovely people at Fox have given Darkmatters some top quality Horton swag including:

'listening devices' - all the better to hear a Who with!

'Dr Seuss bed socks' - great for this chilly weather!

'Ipod / PSP speakers (star prize)'

T shirt, kids bathrobe, backpack, cap, grow your own Who kit and game packs...

So all you have to do to be in with the chance of bagging some of this cool stuff is:

1. Answer this question - 'How many children does the Mayor of Whoville have?'


2. Tell me what you'd do if you found out that we were actually just a existing on a tiny spec in a much bigger world...

Email entries to: darkmatters@another.com

First come... first to bag prizes, UK only, Editor's decision is final...

Read Matt's review of Horton Hears A Who here:
Posted by Picasa

27 Dresses - the 'chick flick alert' review

27 Dresses (12a)

Dir. Anne Fletcher

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Viewer caution advised: You need to know what you’re getting into here…

This film is so far into ‘chick flick’ territory that they might not even let you in to see 27 Dresses unless you are either female or have a date on your arm.

So step up likely love interest Jane (the lovely Katherine ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Heigl) – she’s a total babe, yet somehow has managed to become a perpetual bridesmaid and never the bride. She even has the 27 variously hideous dresses from the title to prove it. Jane you see spends all her time, apart from obviously when helping to arrange the weddings of / being a bridesmaid for her many friends, endlessly swooning over her boss (Ed Burns). However it seems he just can’t see that the woman of his dreams is right under his nose…
Oh wait a minute – who’s this? Why if it isn’t Jane’s hot younger sister Tess (Malin ‘soon to be Silk Spectre II in next year’s Watchmen’ Akerman) let’s hope she doesn’t take a fancy to Jane’s boss too because that might make things difficult…

Ooops, spoke too soon…

Okay, now all we need is a hunky loveable rogue to turn up and handily be Jane’s Mr Right – even though she’ll obviously spend most of the movie denying that she likes him, ah yes, James Marsden, you’ll do nicely.

Now inject the predictable proceedings with a decent script, some real chemistry between the lead roles and some very funny scenes… bring to boil over various misunderstandings and sisterly bitchiness and voila - potentially the best chick flick of the year and absolute safe bet for a date movie.

If 27 Dresses was a girl, it would be a cheerleader with a big heart – one that looks good and is always going to do the right thing in the end. If you’re a fan of romantic comedys then you’ll have seen much of this film before, only maybe not quite as slickly put together or credibly acted. Everything is present and correct from the sisters fighting for the same guy, to the dark horse newspaper columnist who Jane should be falling for (not me alas).

You don’t need to be a detective to spot how it will end but here the journey is enjoyable enough to certainly warrant a viewing – it even got the thumbs up from my Mrs and she knows a thing or two about rom-coms!

"the crazy girl on girl action... never really gets going if I'm honest"

DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM (all ratings out of maximum 10):

Endorphin Stimulation: öööööö (6)
- Watching attractive women isn't too hard work

Tasty Action: ööööö (5)
- Limited to some chasing about and drunken song scene

Gratuitous Babeness: ööööööö (7)
- Heigl is hot, Akerman isn't bad either!

Mind Blight / Boredom: ööööö (5)
- Soppy yes, but not too dull

Comedic Value: öööööööö (8)
- Yep it's funnier than you might expect... when Heigl is being interviewed and says "Oh yeah, I'm a real good caulker" and the reporter says dead pan into his recorder "likes caulk (pronounced 'cock')"... damn well it made me laugh...

Arbitrary final rating: öööööö (6)
- This is one chick flick worth taking up the aisle

Liable to make you:
"try and pull a bridesmaid"

DM Poster Quote:
“she done it 27 times for her pals..."

"see - told you Heigl was hot!"

Darkmatters: H O M E
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Cottage - review

The Cottage (18)

Dir. Paul Andrew Williams

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Every once in a while a film catches you unawares with its powerhouse performances and gritty directional style – a film like London To Brighton (2006) which introduced hot new director Paul Andrew Williams to the cinema going public.

Now he’s back with a very different offering, gone are the gangsters and under age hookers, in come erm, okay, well more gangsters but also a seriously demented and highly psychopathic farmer who takes his moral compass from The Hills Have Eyes.
The Cottage you see is a full on manic horror crime comedy that channels the spirit of winning Brit horror comedy flicks Shaun of the Dead and Severance and manages to serve up a fresh and exciting retooling of the madman slasher genre.

So, take one minor criminal named David (an on form Andy Serkis), add his nancy boy softy brother Peter (Reece Shearsmith) and have them kidnap the hot but foul mouthed and hard as nails Tracey (Jennifer Ellison - see below).

"Miss Ellison getting her skates on but not much else!"

To begin with it’s Serkis that seems to be the bad guy albeit with his heart in the right place, he bickers with his simpering screwup of a brother (who manages to let his foxy hot captive break his nose)… Before you can say “where the hell is this surreal twisted crime comedy going?” you’re suddenly knee deep in decapitated corpses, mutilation and gore – backed up with comedy elements such as best ever man stepping on a rake scene since well perhaps only ever equalled by Sideshow Bob in The Simpsons!?

"still need convincing that Ellison is cute?"

Shearsmith has form thanks to his League Of Gentlemen days and he goes about the slapstick and seriously nasty business with gusto. Director Williams manages to keep you laughing along even though you’ll be wincing at the over the top ultra violence that befalls most of the cast…

DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM (all ratings out of maximum 10):

Endorphin Stimulation: ööööööö (7)
- Crazy fun action but only if you can stomach serious gore

Tasty Action: ööööööö (7)
- Plenty of well crafted chasing and murderising

Gratuitous Babeness: öööööööö (8)
- Ellison really is hot bit of fluff!

Mind Blight / Boredom: öööö (4)
- Moves along too quickly to get dullComedic

Value: öööööööö (8)
- Sick senses of humour will find much to enjoy!!

Arbitrary final rating: öööööööö (8)
- A nailbomb of comedy carnage

Liable to make you:
"Cancel that farm holiday you’ve booked"

DM Poster Quote:
“Ohh arrr my lover – you be on my land… you’ll never leave!!"

"a mile wide smile - say cheese!"

Here’s one of my esteemed reviewer colleagues who seems to not have ‘got’ The Cottage:


But here’s one who did!!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Orphanage / El Orfanato - review

The Orphanage / El Orfanato (15)

Dir. Juan Antonio Bayona

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

See the poor orphan children playing, see their happy smiles – they seem content in their childish game, see one of them towards the back with a sack on his head whose making strange grunting noises and picking up a knife… Gird you loins people for this highly charged Spanish chiller that will mess with you head and leave you spouting goose-bumps for days.

Hot new director Bayona has teamed up with the masterful Guillermo ‘Harry Potter and Pan’s Labyrinth’ del Toro to set a new standard in haunted-house spookers. I was blown away by The Orphanage, it is a wonderful, beautiful and wholly haunting experience which packs the best 'jump out of your skin' moment of any film ever... but having said that, this isn’t a hardcore horror film, rather a slow burning exercise in tension that not so much raises the hairs on the back of your neck so much as to pluck them right out and pour ice down your spine for good measure!

"sack facemasks - not very good for a kids' self esteem..."

So the plot sees Laura (Belén Rueda) one of the orphans we see at the beginning who abides in a big mansion in Spain returning many years later to buy house with her husband, Carlos (Fernando Cayo). She wants to raise her adopted child Simón (Roger Príncep) along with some other special needs kids but thanks to malevolent forces lurking within the house – things don’t go according to plan. Before you can say “whatever happened to that nutcase child in the sack mask?” the scary little blighter has turned up and attacked Laura. And to make matters worse HIV positive Simón goes missing (he won’t last more than few weeks without his drugs).

Throw into the mix the freaky lunatic ex-orphanage worker Benigna (Montserrat Carulla), who is seriously heebee jeebee inducing and has a thing for hiding out in your shed!? Things progress in a leisurely pace but the tense atmosphere grips with an iron claw around you heart and does not let go. Many films are referenced, none more so than The Others and The Sixth Sense but The Orphanage brings plenty of new elements too and it’s effect is truly unique.

What more can I say, The Orphanage is near instant classic which should be seen by anyone looking for a serious meditation in loss, longing and regret – mixed in with the creepiest big old house plot for years.

DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM (all ratings out of maximum 10):

Endorphin Stimulation: öööööööö (8)
- Your mind will be twisting itself inside out

Tasty Action: öööööö (6)
- Sparingly used serious fight scenes pack the punch of a shotgun to the face

Gratuitous Babeness: ööööö (5)
- Rueda is nice for a 37 year old

Mind Blight / Boredom: öööö (4)
- Slow burning but not dull...

Comedic Value: öööö (4)
- Limited comdey value here

Arbitrary final rating: ööööööööö (9)
- This spicy Spanish chilled dish will get in your head and run rampage!

Liable to make you:
"Run from any odd looking children or nannies you meet!"

DM Poster Quote:
“Nothing can prepare you for a night in the orphanage..."

"the holiday video footage made the children look a bit 'odd'"

Darkmatters: H O M E
Posted by Picasa

Horton Hears a Who! - reviewho

Horton Hears a Who! (U)

Dir. Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino

Reviewho by Matt Adcock

A new (if somewhat unlikely) cinematic hero has emerged – charged with the power to defend a whole planet from destruction. He’s big, he’s grey and he’s very dependable is his middle name – most people just know him as Horton however. If you’re a fan of Dr Seuss then you’ll likely already know Horton from his book adventures ‘Horton Hatches the Egg’ or this fun tale ‘Horton Hears a Who!’

And so it is that on the fifteenth of May in the Jungle of Nool, in the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool. He was splashing...enjoying the jungle's great joys...When Horton the elephant heard a small noise. The noise turns out to be coming from a small speck of dust – a speck inhabited by a population of erm, what rhymes with dust? Oh, nevermind, I’ll leave the ryhming to Dr Seuss and the quality filmmaking to Blue Sky Studios – makers of the engaging Ice Age flicks and now this Seusstastic big screen outing.

Jim Carrey (who has Suess form having been The Grinch) lends his voice to Horton and manages to bring just enough of his madcap energy to the role. Also on hand is fellow wackyman Steve Carrell as there mayor of Who-Ville, the town on the speck that Horton finds. Too small to be seen, the only chance of survival for the Whos is their unlikely ally Horton whose enormous ears pick up their noise and prompts him to believe in their existence.

The tiny town of Who-Ville is in danger however from a mean spirited kangaroo (Carol Burnett) who says that it’s crazy to believe in anything that you can’t actually see, hhmmm, I have some friends of that opinion. Anyway, she employs the dastardly Vlad Vladikoff (Will Arnett) – an eagle with villianous interntions backed up by an army of madcap monkeys to take out the speck and cage Horton for his wacky notions.

The book might take barely 10 minutes to read but the film doesn’t outstay it’s welcome and manages to pack in something for everyone – even an anime action scene in which Horton shows us his heroic side.

To compliment a quality Easter entertainment package as well as seeing Horton, can I also recommend a vibrant new musical retelling of the Gospel story in Godspell, which you can catch at Stopsley Baptist Church in Luton (Fri – Sunday)?

DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM (all ratings out of maximum 10):

Endorphin Stimulation: öööööööö (8)
- Fun and thoughtful, lots to savour here

Tasty Action: ööööööö (7)
- Slapstick danger and a superb stapler accident!

Gratuitous Babeness: öö (2)
- No animated hotties here

Mind Blight / Boredom: ööö (3)
- Short and sharp

Comedic Value: öööööööö (8)
- Some good belly laughs

Arbitrary final rating: öööööööö (8)
- Seuss is done proud - shout it out loud!

Liable to make you:
"investigate every dust speck you come across for sentient lifeforms"

DM Poster Quote:
“A person is a person no matter how small - a film can be great Seuss'll have in thrall"

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Vantage Point - review

Vantage Point (12a)

Dir. Pete Travis

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

They say that you can’t believe everything you see and that is certainly the case with Vantage Point, a thriller movie that plays fast and loose with your senses. In fact I found it very hard to believe pretty much anything presented in this slick but vacuous tale where the shooting of the US present is drip fed to viewers through the ‘vantage points’ of the several different characters.
We get to see the same 15 or so minutes over and over again, each time with some new details added - it sounds like an interesting idea but in practice the gimmick becomes tired very quickly.
Main protagonist is world-weary secret service agent (Dennis Quaid – the poor man’s Harrison Ford), who is unlucky enough to be on active presidential protection duty for the first time since taking a bullet for the world leader barely a year before. Then there’s a hard-nosed TV producer (Sigourney Weaver) who witnesses events through the cameras she has covering the world anti-terrorism summit where the assassination occurs. Another point of view comes from horse’s mouth so as to speak as President Ashton (William Hurt) presents his version of events. Of course all is not what it seems and it unfortunately falls to the least convincing of the viewpoints to tenuously tie it all together – step up Oscar winner Forest Whitaker. Quite what Whitaker thinks he’s doing here is anybody’s guess – he plays a camcorder happy tourist who dashes about the place handily filming everything with a demented look of incomprehension etched on his face.
There are some decent scenes including an impressive car chase and brutal lone gunman assault on the presidential guard, but they are interspersed with so much dull re-treading of the same situation that it’s hard to recommend this as anything other than a flawed attempt to try something a little bit different.
Oh and back to Whitaker – there are scenes where he has to run randomly from key event to key event but without being unkind, he’s not really built for anything more athletic than eating burgers and people in the audience were laughing out loud at his confused sweaty antics.
Amazingly, Vantage Point isn’t the worst film on offer at the moment – that dubious honour goes to Diary of the Dead which sets a new all time low for zombie flicks and that’s really saying something!

DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM (all ratings out of maximum 10):

Endorphin Stimulation: ööööö (5)

- Works in fits and starts but doesn't really deliver

Tasty Action: ööööööö (7)
- Some genuinely cool action scenes (but not enough!!)

Gratuitous Babeness: ööööö (5)
- Cute Spanish baddie!?

Mind Blight / Boredom: ööööööö (7)
- There will be boredom...

Comedic Value: öööööö (6)
- There are a couple of insanely funny scenes (unintentionally of course)

Arbitrary final rating: ööööö (5)
- There's more than one way to look at this but none of them are going to make it better film

Liable to make you:
"Think that Forest Whitaker is a bit of a cock"

DM Poster Quote:
“You might want to see this from the Vantage Point of your sofa (on DVD)"

Second Opinion from Tom Wade (who I had the errr, 'pleasure' of witnessing this with): http://tomwade.blogspot.com/2008/03/wheres-my-vantage-point.html

Darkmatters: H O M E
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Somnambulist - review

The Somnambulist

By Jonathan Barnes

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Be warned. This book has no literary value whatsoever. It is a lurid piece of nonsense, convoluted, implausible, peopled by unconvincing characters, written in drearily pedestrian prose, frequently ridiculous and wilfully bizarre…”

How can you not fall in love with a book that not only opens with this but also uses it as the sales blurb on the back cover?

As a big fan of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell which I stumbled upon by chance and was blown away by (my review here http://darkmatt.blogspot.com/2006/07/jonathan-strange-mr-norrell.html) – I was surprised to be equally taken by this lower brow but higher energy and vividly grotesque murder mystery. Which I again came across in Waterstones and just had to buy on the spot.

The hero is Edward Moon - a conjuror and amateur detective who hangs around with the titular Somnambulist, a giant bald mute who drinks only milk and who communicates using a chalkboard. Oh and it seems that the Somnambulist is impervious to physical harm – as in Moon’s stage who he survives being run through with swords without any obvious ill effects.

This novel is as promised in the blurb an absolute lurid delight, escapism at its finest, nonsense for sure but packed with a weird and wonderful cast of characters such as a crazed cult leader, a mix and match shady government Directorate run by a tragic albino and a scarred operative who likes Chinamen a little too much… Then there’s Cribb – a guy who lives his life backwards through time and my pick of this motley crew – a pair of unstoppable demonic killers who appear and act like two public schoolboys… who say things like "Murder sir? I say. What larks."

The Somnambulist is a detective novel, but it’s also a suspense thriller / pulp fiction tale of horror, one thing is for sure – it’s a great debut and an inspiration to us working on our first novels!

Can’t wait now to read his next book The Domino Men conspiracy theory you've ever heard about the royal family and the true story about where the power of Number 10 really lies. Apparently there’s a treat for Somnambulist fans as a certain couple of characters are kept within a chalk circle in a cellar beneath Downing Street…

Overall öööö1/2 (4.5/5 all is not as it seems - this is no sleepwalk!)
Posted by Picasa

Unreal Tournament III - PS3 - review

Unreal Tournament III – PS3

Epic games

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Prepare yourself for the fastest, most brutal online combat you’ve ever witnessed. Be ready to cry with joy if you’ve ever enjoyed games like Gears of War or Call of Duty 4… Nothing can really prepare you for Unreal Tournament III not on a PC, but on the PS3… “This is living” as the advert says and boy they aren’t kidding!

If you like shooting stuff (especially other players) with some of the finest and most well balanced weaponry ever conceived – Unreal Tournament III is liable to make you wet your pants. You don’t even need to have played any of the previous Unreal games as this comes as a stand alone story but in reality (or unreality) it’s just a training ground for the real (or should I say ‘unreal’) meat of the game. Unreal Tournament III is a born and bred – best of breed online shooter, it lives for the glory of the death-match, it licks it’s lips at carnage around capturing an enemy flag and it gets hard thinking about seriously large firepower packing vehicles.

Playing your way through the stunningly gorgeous single player levels gives you ample opportunity to find your way around, try out different weapons and stop occasionally to take in the amazing scenery. The A.I bots that you’ll be up against are fast, clever and they make smart choices – whether that be working as a team to flush you out or just play dead in order to lure you into a trap, It’s compulsive stuff and addictive too. Be prepared to face some of the most compelling ‘just one more go’ urges you’ve ever encountered.

But everything that comes on the Blu-Ray disc is just the beginning because Unreal Tournament III has another ace up its muscle bound sleeve – mods… Yes for the fist time on a console the makers have provided the gaming community with an ‘unreal’ play set with witch to create new levels (you’ll need the PC version to make your own levels, weapons or gameplay altering dynamics). So this is a game limited only by the hardcore geekiness of modders the world over and as soon as you’ve downloaded the mod created freeze gun, or played the utterly joyful level made completely of destructible Lego – you’ll never look back.



Lego Unreal living!!

The future might be violent, bleak and brutal but it’s also never looked or played quite as sharp – and now on the PS3, the reason has become clear (as Roxette might once have said) ‘it’s almost Unreal’!!

Overall ööööö (5/5 superb and infinite... buy it now!!)

My PSN gamertag is 'Cleric20' - come and find me online!!

"You remind me of my wife in the morning!"

"Big tanks are the shizzle..."

If you present day warfare instead (which is just as good) try COD4: http://darkmatt.blogspot.com/2008/01/call-of-duty-4-modern-warfare-review.html

If you prefer chopping enemies up with a sword... may I suggest you pick a Heavenly Sword: Matt's Heavenly Sword (review)

Posted by Picasa