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

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Killers destroy the O2

"playing to the London fans..."

The Killers - live at the O2 Feb 24th 2009

Reaction by Matt Adcock

As a big Killers fan I've seen them live several times and they always rock but the latest O2 show was again something special...

Along with the amazing 'blow the roof off' Spaceman, Mr Brightside, When You Were Young and All These Things That I've Done etc the playlist included many of my personal favs including: Sweet Talk, Dustland Fairytale, This is Your Life, This River is Wild...

"UFOs spotted over the Killers whilst on stage..."

Genius stuff... Highly recommended!

Previous Darkmatters posts on The Killers




Sunday, February 22, 2009

Darkmatters Film Review - Push

Push (12a)

Dir. Paul McGuigan ‘Lucky Number Slevin, Gangster No.1’

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

I have seen the future; it involves telekinetic powers, stylish visuals and a desperate struggle between good and evil but doesn’t it always? This time however we’re deep in neon throbbing Hong Kong in the company of a 13-year-old ‘Watcher’ Cassie (Dakota ‘Man on Fire’ Fanning) who draws pictures of what is yet to happen. Cassie meets up with ‘Mover’ Nick (Chris ‘Street Kings’ Evans) who can move things with his mind. Together they look to thwart a dastardly scheme by global hero abducting organisation known as ‘Division’ headed by baddie ‘Pusher’ Henry Carver (Djimon Hounsou) who can push suggestions into people’s heads.
Also in the mix is another pusher named Kira – she is the only hero to have survived the Division’s insidious programme to make an army of super powered telepaths and is now on the run.
Push is a superhero thriller that will please fans of TV’s ‘Heroes’ – it plays out with a smart plot, cool action scenes and some lush visuals. Director McGuigan knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat, my son Luke admitted to being seriously impressed (and as he’s nearly a teenager it takes quite a lot to elicit that kind of response nowadays).
The mix of super-humans includes freaky Chinese guys who can kill with their screams – called ‘Bleeders’, people who can create illusions called ‘Shifters’ and bloodhound like ‘Sniffers’ who can track people by the scent they leave on objects. There’s also ‘Stitchers’ who can heal and ‘Wipers’ who can remove memories, it all makes for a vibrant and highly entertaining package. Push also has surprising depth in that it raises some deep questions about predestination, free will and the repercussions of our actions. As Carver tells Cassie at one point: “I don't know why you're even trying. You already know the ending to this story,” superhero films generally follow a tried and tested formula (even the amazing Dark Knight which has now grossed over $1million world-wide).
But Push is a breath of fresh air – encompassed by Cassie’s sassy response of: “We're going to change it.”

I’d recommend this to people who found Twilight too girly or have been cheesed off by mediocre sci-fi efforts like last year’s Jumper, in a gloomy economic downturn, Push is just the sort of exciting escapist nonsense required.

Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: ööööööö (7 - Good)

Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 8, Style 8, Babes 8, Comedy 6, Spiritual Enlightenment 6

Quote: "I don't have to be a Watcher to see where this is going."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Darkmatters Film Review - Slumdog Millionaire (it is written)

Slumdog Millionaire (15)
Director: Danny Boyle (Sunshine, Trainspotting)
Starring: Dev Patel, Irrfan Khan, Madhur Mittal, Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor

Is destiny written?

You join us here tonight on the brink of history being made…
The lights go down and a hushed audience are on the edge of their seats…
Before them an 18-year-old Mumbai slum kid named Jamal (Dev ‘Skins’ Patel) is about to face the winning question on 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?'…
But things don’t always run according to plan, and before you can say ‘police brutality’ Jamal is arrested and tortured – accused of cheating. We get a ringside seat not only at the interrogation but also to a series of fascinating, exciting, heartbreaking flashbacks whereby Jamal explains how he came to know the answers.
This is could have been a schmaltz-fest of sob worth proportions charting the story of a poor, uneducated Indian teenage slumdog beating the odds, winning big and maybe even getting the girl in the process… Rather, I’m delighted to say that in the hands of Danny ‘Sunshine’ Boyle Slumdog Millionaire sparkles, crackles and captivates with a soul pleasing vibrancy. There is enough grit injected to make this a credible and altogether excellent film, worthy of all the high praise that is being directed at it.
The cast are top, Older brother Salim (Madhur Mittal) and absolute stunner love interest Latika (Freida Pinto) are both superb, as is the slimy and detestable host of the game show Prem Kumer (Anil Kapoor).
The interplay between Jamal and Prem is compulsive e.g. as the tension builds to the climax Prem asks him: “So are you ready for the final question for 20 million rupees?”
Jamal replies : “No, but maybe its written, no?”
Just great stuff…
Slumdog looks great and cracks along with a fast pace. You’ll laugh, you’ll smile, you’ll winch and maybe even bite your nails. From the moment you witness brave young Jamal leaping into a pile of crap in order to meet his hero film star, you’ll know that this is something a bit special that exceeds whatever preconceptions you might have.

So, for the win - is Slumdog Millionaire:

A: Excellent

B: Excellent

C: Excellent

Or D: Excellent…

Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: ööööööööö (9 - Superb)
Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 7, Style 8, Babes 8, Comedy 7, Spiritual Enlightenment 8

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Darkmatters Film Review - Cool Runnings 2 – Brits ‘N’ Bobs

Cool Runnings 2 – Brits ‘N’ Bobs (unclassified)

Director: some mad English guys (Jason Absalom and Andy Kent)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Who will survive – and what will be left of them?”

If you’ve seen the fun Disney film Cool Runnings then you’ll know what the basic premise is for this ‘docu-sequel’ which makes excellent use of its near zero budget.

Cool Runnings 2, also known as ‘release the beast’ tells the tale of two fairly ordinary chaps who for reasons known only to themselves (and perhaps the voices in their heads) decide to embark on a ‘crash’ course in bobsleighing and then enter the British Bobsleigh Championships 2007. So if watching people zooming along icy tracks rings your bells – this just might be your film of the year.

But if you don’t like Bobsleighing then you’ll be able to relate with heroic driver Jason Absalom when he says “I don’t know when I’ve experienced this much pain…” after a rough time on the practice runs where he manages to demonstrate admirably that perhaps rocketing down an ice chute in hollowed out toboggan is a not necessarily as easy as it looks on TV…

Even as someone who has never had more than a passing curiosity in anything Winter Olympic I found myself getting drawn in and actually feeling a little tense by the time of the climactic showdown. The genuinely amusing Fast Show and Little Britain homage skits throughout help break up the footage of men in lycra going stupidly fast down a tube.

There is a pumping soundtrack featuring Leftfield, Chemical Brothers and Faithless over the snowy proceedings which helps keep the pace going.

And as the horrific tale of carnage, brutality and courage unfolds, in the glare of the cameras you’ll feel every bump, jolt and friction burn.

As Jason says "I'd always been pretty mesmerised by Bobsleigh ever since I was a small child, considering it by far the coolest event of the Winter Olympics. However, I'd also always viewed it as completely inaccessible to all but professional athletes and the military. Then we discovered Icerush, so off we went! It was an awesome experience and I'm very glad I did it. Live out your "Cool Runnings" fantasy with Icerush!

God, I miss the Kreisel. That was great fun - WEEEEEEeeeeeee!"

Sure this at heart a glorified home video but it does a decent job of capturing the spirit of this adventure… I’ll leave you with words from the original film: “Our Father, who art in Calgary, Bobsled be thy name. Thy kingdom come, gold medals won, on Earth as it is in Turn Seven. With Liberty and Justice for Jamaica and Haile Selassie. Amen.”

Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: öööööö (6 - Good Effort)

Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 6, Style 6, Babes 3, Comedy 6, Spiritual Enlightenment 3


Discover a great degree at degree in accounting

Monday, February 16, 2009

Darkmatters Game Review - KiIllzone 2

Ladies and Gentlemen.

It's almost here...

KILLZONE 2 - the potential shooter game of the year

Prepare to see the PS3 rock hard - read my review

"The inlaws started to bring their guns when visiting..."


Download the free demo from the Playstation store...

Look for me when the multiplayer servers go live (cleric20).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Darkmatters Film Review - Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th (18)

Dir. Marcus Nispel 'Pathfinder, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

You don’t have to be superstitious to know that it probably isn’t a good idea to go camping on Friday the 13th near the supposed site of a mass murder. Especially when the deranged killer was never found…
But here we have not just one but two groups of good looking teens who find out to their cost that Camp Crystal Lake is not a fun, safe or long term place to stay.
Director Marcus ‘Pathfinder’ Nispel treats his re-imagining of this definitive tacky ‘80s slasher movie with more love than his overly nasty and generally not as good update of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Seems he’s listened to the feedback of horror loving geeks and has gone overboard to please them here. Friday the 13th 2009 might not be clever and it won’t win any acting accolades (unless they bring in an Oscar for ‘best topless death scene’) but it is choc full of jump moments, ‘ooh that’s got to hurt’ kills and above average production values.
Hockey-mask wearing psychopath Jason Vorhees (Derek Mears) is back on his mission to rid the world of anyone even remotely resembling the young camp counsellors who were busy fornicating while he drowned in the lake. He’s still wielding a sharp machete and packing an unquenchable blood lust, so it’s only going to end in tears for young friends Whitney (Amanda Righetti), Mike (Nick Mennell), Richie (Ben Feldman), Amanda (America Olivio), and Wade (Jonathan Sadowski). In fact they meet various sticky ends before the opening credits have even finished rolling. After this frantic and nail biting start, the film takes it slower when a few weeks later a second bunch of thrill seeking teens arrive to party at the invitation of hateable rich boy Trent (Travis Van Winkle). Will any of Jenna (Danielle Panabaker), Bree (Julianna Guill), Chewie (Aaron Yoo), Chelsea (Willa Ford), Lawrence (Arlen Escarpta), and Nolan (Ryan Hansen) survive? And what about concerned brother / rent a loaner Clay (Jared Padalecki) who is trying to find his missing sister? Don’t hold your breath because Jason has been given licence to go kill crazy – putting to shame rival horror icons such as Michael ‘Halloween’ Myers’ efforts and setting the benchmark for the mooted Nightmare on Elmstreet remake.
The crowd who I saw this with were whooping and yelling as the tension ramped up – Friday the 13th certainly delivers on the cheap thrills. If offended by nudity, bloodshed or teenagers making stupid decisions under pressure, this isn’t going to be the film for you. If however you’re looking for an effective horror shocker, there’s some guy in a hockey mask waiting for you at the cinema.

"looking good won't save you..."

Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: ööööööö (7 - Better than expected)
Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 8, Style 7, Babes 9, Comedy 7, Spiritual Enlightenment 3
+ Slick and sick in equal measure, gratuitous and over the top... exactly what horror fans want basically!?
Intro line: Pamela Voorhees: Did you know a young boy drowned here? His name was Jason, he was my son. And today, is his birthday...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Black Sheep Reviews - highly recommended reading

If you're a movie fan and looking for more than just reviews and occasional ramblings of the Darkmatter variety then I'd urge you to have a look at the rather wonderful 'Black Sheep Reviews' site...

Of course we live in hope that Tom Wade may yet re-enter the reviewing fray one day, but until then it's nice to see another quality writer stepping up to the plate.

Other top film review sites I often read are:




Starving Dog

We love you all!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Darkmatters Film Review - BOLT

Bolt (PG)

Dir. Byron Howard and Chris Williams

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

How awesome is your dog?
Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) is a pretty awesome mutt by anyone’s standards – the brave and invincible, laser eyed star of his own TV show. Bolt might look cute but he’s all hero, willing to fight any enemy, risk any danger and face any peril to save his owner Penny (voiced by Miley ‘Disney tweenie singing sensation’ Cyrus).
This new 3D CGI animated adventure is the first release by Disney Animation Studios since they nabbed John ‘Toy Story’ Lasseter from Pixar. It certainly starts strongly with an impressive extended action sequence where Bolt battles the forces of the evil Dr Calico (a nicely sinister Malcolm McDowell). Trouble starts however when Bolt finds his way off the TV set which has been his life – the poor little guy really thinks he has superpowers because the TV producers keep him away from the real world. But believing that Penny has been kidnapped Bolt suddenly finds himself completely unprepared for realities such as not being able to leap from moving trains or head butt oncoming vehicles without taking so much as a scratch.
Facing up to the fact that he's just a normal dog is painful but he teams up with a streetwise alley cat named Mittens (Susie Essman) and a scene stealing hamster named Rhino (Mark Walton). This being Disney we are force fed the obligatory moralising sentiment that anyone can be hero even if they don’t have superpowers. And true to form young Bolt and his pals overcome a series of comical adversity in order to save Penny and find happiness. There are many fun minor characters thrown into the fairly predictable story – my pick of the bunch being a group of wise guy pigeons who try to pitch their plot ideas for a Bolt episode to him en route.
First time directing team Howard and Williams do a good enough job but opt to play it safe where a ‘true’ Pixar film might have taken more risks. It all looks sparkly and the 3D effects work well. There are some smart lines and enough pratfalls to keep the youngsters entertained even if adults might find it a bit tame overall.
My son James (8) said: “I thought that it was a great film, the action scenes at the beginning were brilliant even though it got a bit slow in parts. My favourite character was Bolt the super dog, I hope they make a Bolt 2. I’d give this 4 out of 5.”

Thanks son - I'm gonna give it an Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: öööööö (6 - Decent)

Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 7, Style 7, Babes 4, Comedy 7, Spiritual Enlightenment 6

+ Is it a bird, is it a plane? No... it's dog!?

Best lines: Bolt: "Stay back! If I stare at the lock really hard, it'll burst into flames and melt."Mittens: "Now I'm concerned on a number of levels."

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Darkmatters Film Review - Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (12a)

Dir. Peter Sollett (Raising Victor Vargas)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Listen up hipsters the "movement" has gone mainstream.

Your clique has been blown open by Peter Sollett in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist which shines the full glare of Hollywood on the 'oh-so-cool' culture of Manhattan's indie music kids. And for old timers like me it is a refreshing info burst of cool that wraps a charming love story around a wafer thin plot about obscure bands and wannabe rockers.Michael ' Juno and Superbad' Cera is Nick, the only straight member of gay indie band rejoicing in the name 'The Jerk Offs'. He's still smarting from being dumped by his dream woman Tris (Alexis 'Havoc' Dziena) when his well meaning band mates attempt to set him up with the super hip and generally lovely Norah (Kat 'Charlie Bartlett' Dennings). One thing conveniently leads to another and the night becomes a romantic odyssey of will they won't they get together as the newbie potential couple hunt down their favourite underground band 'Fluffy' who are doing a secret gig somewhere in town. Comic relief is provided by Nick's band mates Thom (Aaron Yoo), Dev (Rafi Gavron) and Lothario (Jonathan B. Wright) whose attempt to give Norah's drunken party girl pal Caroline a ride home only for her to think she's being kidnapped and go AWOL. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist could have been a vacuous waste of time and effort but he two leads have good chemistry, the supporting cast do their job well and the depiction of the musical subculture of kids who are only interested in knowing about the next cool band feels authentic. It also makes up for the fairly predictable plot by having some zinging dialogue - my pick being when the befuddled Caroline happens upon a religious show, phones Norah and says "I found Jesus!" Norah replies "what?" and Caroline continues "Jesus! He's much taller in person..."

So can real love be found by a compatibility forged in the heat of mix CDs and late night hangouts?

Take a ride with Nick and Norah - it's a fun way to find out!

Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating: öööööööö (8 - Very Good)

Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 7, Style 8, Babes 8, Comedy 7, Spiritual Enlightenment 6

+ Quirky enough and cool too - charming and fun, a strong look at youth culture...

Best line: "You're two penises short of a Shania Twain reimagination band!"

Where did Kat Dennings get to in my 'top ten movie babes of '08'?
Find out here: http://darkmatt.blogspot.com/2009/01/top-movie-babes-2008.html