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, April 27, 2009

Uncharted 2 on PS3 - redefining multiplayer superbness!?

"Your riot shields won't save you..."

Uncharted 2: Amongst Thieves

I'm feeling this - Uncharted was one of my favourite games of last year (the rest of my top 10 in case you wondering: Motorstorm, GTA4, Battlefield Bad Company, Oblivion, Uncharted, Metal Gear Solid 4, Wipeout HD, Heavenly Sword, Fallout 3, Tiger Woods PGA Tour '09)...

The sequel this year is looking like a potential game of the year contender - especially with the new multiplayer modes revealed - just look at these screenshots (borrowed from the excellent sixthaxis).

"The streets of Luton were ablaze..."

"Seems like 'your mum' is an Uncharted 2 player!?"

The deathmatch mode in these screens show 4 vs 4 game modes... Deathmatching, Capture The Treasure - bring it!!

Darkmatters Review - The Uninvited

The Uninvited (15)

Dir. The Guard Brothers

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

The Uninvited is a spook-em-up U.S. remake of the creepy 2003 Korean horror ‘A Tale Of Two Sisters’. Glossy, sexy and blessed with some seriously unnerving moments this is basically a perfect Friday night fright-fest for those who aren’t looking for anything too groundbreaking.

Directing team Charles and Thomas Guard (who called themselves ‘The Guard Brothers’) go for a fairly straightforward ghost story that telling the tale of an evil stepmother vs cute teen stepdaughters. So we have Anna (Emily ‘Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events’ Browning) who returns home to find out that her dubious writer father (David Strathairn) has shacked up with her deceased mother's nurse Rachael (Elizabeth ‘Role Models’ Banks).

Anna and her hot-to-trot sister Alex (Arielle ‘The Grudge 2’ Kebbel), who packs a bitchy teenage attitude and seems to wear a bikini throughout the entire film, become convinced that Rachael did away with their invalid mum. This charge seems to be backed up by the creeping dread that seeps through their New England home, where ghostly children pop up to scare viewers / warn the sisters that they are next on the target list for the chop. Will the girls outwit their blonde Hannibal Lecture like stepmother or will the body count rise by two before the obligatory chilling twist climax?

"if we sit here looking cute - surely no harm can come to us!?"

Did I mention there are some decent jolt-scare moments along the way? Although they are generally telegraphed from a mile away, the audience I saw this with were shrieking and jumping impressively enough. Banks does a great crocodile smile and plays the evil stepmother well, whilst Kebbel and Browning are both good as the nervous siblings. It’s Emily Browning who is the main attraction here - she’s a pouting powerhouse of emotion and I think she’s destined for great things, look out for her in Sucker Punch next year (from the director of 300 and Watchmen).

There’s nothing very wrong here, but as a remake The Uninvited isn’t a patch on the original. If taken on its own merits it has more to offer than many recent horror efforts so it’s worth a look if you’ve got the hankering for some spookiness. However, after seeing a truly superb horror film like ‘Let The Right One In’, The Uninvited seems like an overly workmanlike effort.

Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: öööööö (6 - Dumbed down but watchable)

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 6
Style 7
Babes 8
Comedy 4
Spiritual Enlightenment 2

Not convinced? check out this review of the film over at IGN- best line:"The Uninvited comes incredibly close to greatness, just narrowly missing a diabolically genius Hitchcock-like plot twist by inches, opting for a stale twist instead. But in between that distance is a world of hurt. "

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Darkmatters Review - Gossip Girl Series 2

Gossip Girl Series 2, part 1 (DVD Set)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

"Gossip erm ‘Girl’ here - your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan's elite. And who am I? That's one secret I'll never tell. You know you love me. xoxo, Gossip Girl"
That voice over running is a warning… A warning that you’re about to witness the most addictive (and fastest growing) series on TV. When sent the second series of Gossip Girl to review – I have to confess two things: 1. I have never watched any of series one and didn’t even know anything about the show and 2. I immediately thought ‘this is going to be girly tosh of the highest order’ – then I watched it. Whilst confessing here, I can also say that I fully intended to just watch the first episode and let loose my damning appraisal on the back of that limited exposure. But then I watched it and now after watching the entire first half of series 2 in an eye melting 12 episode-a-thon I’m the show’s biggest fan!

Think ‘The O.C.’ on sexy drugs, with better characters, sexier babes (Leighton Meester and Kristen Bell are nuclear hotties) and the guys aren’t bad either!?
Okay, so following what I’ve been reliably told (by my new Gossip Girl pals) was a devastating finale to Season 1 where Serena Van Der Woodsen (Blake Lively) and Dan Humphrey (Badgley), ended their season long relationship – now things hot up even more.


If you want quality drama, sex partner swapping, scandal and rampantly awkward love triangles played out with teenagers then run, don’t walk to your nearest DVD retailer and grab Season 1 and this stellar follow up first 12 eps of Season 2.

As a parent of a wannabe teenager (he’s 12) I think Gossip Girl has also given be some invaluable insight into drug problems, abandonment, bulimia, self-esteem issues etc. So it’s not all just watching hot young people making out – honestly!?

Here’s some plot tasters - Blair (Meester) returns from her summer trip to Europe with a charming new boyfriend, named James (Patrick Heusinger), and it turns out he’s like a total English Lord!? Meanwhile Serena is still struggling to get over her breakup with Dan takes a liking to a young lifeguard. Meanwhile, Nate gets involved in a steamy relationship with an older woman, named Catherine whom is married.= and Rufus is still on tour with his band… You get the idea.

Gossip Girl is the perfect storm of cute cast, sexy behaviour and serious bitching – wrapped around the lifestyles of the rich and soon to be famous. Highly recommended viewing, just don’t be too surprised if you get utterly addicted – gotta go and track down the latest episodes now!

"Kristen Bell... yummy yes!?"

Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: ööööööööö (9 - trashy and superb in equal measure)

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 6
Style 9
Babes 8
Comedy 7
Spiritual Enlightenment 5

Friday, April 24, 2009

Become The Joker - exclusive to PS3 this Summer

"Both were good, but wait till you see Matt 'being the Joker' online this year!"

"This is what we want... PlayStation Home breaking exclusive news!"

If you're a Batman fan, chances are you'll want to be picking up the excellent looking Arkham Asylum game that hits in a couple of months.

Today some very cool news broke in Home... If you want to 'be' The Joker - you'll have to choose the PlayStation 3 version of the game - I'm sold!!

Arkham Asylum was one of my favourite Batman graphic novels so I can see this game getting lots of play when it releases - see you online (cleric20).

"Why so serious? Oh, you have an Xbox 360?"

Read more about this over at the awesome PS3Attitude

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Darkmatters Review - FEAST

FEAST (18)

Dir. John Gulager

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Remember that Project Greenlight thing where Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Chris Moore helped produce new flicks... Well Feast is from the third season of that project - and it's a gleefully splatter-em-up monster movie.

Feast is rampantly gory and yet also very tongue-in-cheek. It also boasts one of my all time favourite sequences where it introduces each character with cheeky freeze-frame portrait listing out their Name, Occupation, A Fun Fact and a guide to their expected Life Expectancy... see below

"Worth seeing just for these character intros... will certainly borrow this for Darkmatters: The Movie one day!"

Feast's plot is a simple one - a group of strangers find themselves in a middle-of-nowhere bar, a guys stumbles in - 'Hero' (Eric Dane), who tells that there are monsters from hell on their way... There are and the monsters eat most of the cast.
It's played out heavy on the gore and the funnies, think Aliens meets The Evil Dead 2 and you'll get the idea.

Henry Rollins is funny as a motivational speaker prone to spewing self-help platitudes but this is a B-movie through and through - and should only be watched by those looking for a dumb, horror to go with their beer on a Friday night.

Planning to watch this with the family? Guess again - let's look at the info from 'Kids In Mind .com' who watch nasty FUBAR films and then describe all the most grim aspects in detail on their website so that squeamish folks can avoid such nastiness e.g.: "A creature pulls an animal skull off its head (it was wearing it as a mask) and we see its many very sharp teeth, and it roars and snaps."

They also count all the Profanity in the film - 67 F-words and its derivatives, 5 sexual references, 36 scatological terms, 13 anatomical terms, 11 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for homosexuals, 1 derogatory term for the physically challenged, name-calling (stupid), 13 religious profanities, 11 religious exclamations.

You have been warned...

"Tuffy (Krista Allen) - is on the menu"

Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: ööööööö (7 - almost classic B-Movie monster carnage overload)

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 7
Style 7
Babes 7
Comedy 6
Spiritual Enlightenment -2

Not convinced? check out this review of the film over at Dr Gore

- best line:"“Feast” is a must see for B-movie fans. It has everything you could want from a monster movie. Monsters? Check. Blood? Lots of it. Dismemberments? Absolutely. Emmanuelle, (Krista Allen), with a shotgun pounding a monsters face in? Heck yeah! The only thing missing from “Feast” is some gratuitous nudity. "

Monday, April 20, 2009

Darkmatters Review - I Love You Man

I Love You Man (15)

Dir. John Hamburg

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Here’s a comedy male bonding experience or ‘bromance’ if you will which tackles the issue of how men find it hard to make friends after a certain age... You know how when you’re six you can just ask any passing boy to come in and jump on your parents bed together and that means you’re pals but that option kind of runs out when you’re through college.

I Love You Man sees wimpy Peter Klaven (Paul ‘Role Models’ Rudd) get engaged to his girlfriend Zooey (Rashida Jones) and then realise that he has no male friends to be in his Wedding party. Cue a series of amusing situations where he tries to meet some new buddies via internet sites, cruising the gym where his gay younger brother works and trying to ingratiate himself with the husbands of his fiancé’s girl friends.

Director John ‘Along Came Polly’ Hamburg gives it a decent go and almost pulls off a Judd Apatow like raucous comedy. But alas I Love You Man runs out of steam and ends up being a forgettable ‘near miss’, too vulgar to be a family friendly flick, not gross out or funny enough to please those who list ‘Knocked Up’ or ‘Superbad’ in their top films. There is a fun cameo from former ‘Hulk’ Lou Ferrigno though which was good value.

So... Just when it looks like Peter is doomed to live with nothing but girls for pals he meets free spirited Sydney Fife’ (Jason ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ Segel) – who looks exactly like my pal Tom. Sydney is a dictionary definition alpha male slacker, who has his own ‘man cave’ complete with rock instruments, beer fridge and several TVs. Here’s a guy who instils some macho home truths into softy Peter like: “Society tells us we're civilized but the truth is we are animals. Sometimes we just have to let it out.”
But this new found injection of testosterone doesn’t play well with Peter’s intended life partner Zooey who isn’t quite ready to embrace the guitar licking of RUSH or accept the uninhibited masculinity that Sydney brings to the party.
Can Peter balance the mates / wife equation or will it all end in tears?

There’s enough here to make it worth seeing but don’t go expecting anything special or memorable. For you guys reading this – why not get into the spirit of this film by telling a mate who you enjoy hanging out with that you love him… Let me know how that goes.

Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: ööööö (5 - average when it should have been really funny)

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 6
Style 5
Babes 5
Comedy 6
Spiritual Enlightenment 5

Not convinced? check out this review of the film over at Hollywood Jesus

- best line:"And so begins what may very well be THE defining film of "Bromedy." Complete with the self-pity inducing "couple montage," a whirlwind of disastrous "first dates," the chance entrance of "the one," the empowering bloom of that relationship, the conflict, the break-up, and the reunion, I Love You, Man couldn't follow the romantic comedy formula any closer. The only difference is that at the center of this platonic comedy are two men."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Darkmatters gone review'n... with a monkey called Frank

Reviewing things is in my blood...

Have been putting my trusty Vaio laptop through the paces writing up a series of eclectic reviews for the rather wonderful 'Frank The Monkey' entertainment site...

So if you've ever wondered how good I thought:

Funky mad PSP game PATAPON 2
(taster - Prepare to kiss you thumb muscles goodbye as the sequel to the highly addictive rhythm button basher ‘Patapon’ marches back onto the PSP with a mass of new features.)

Not so very grisly murder's in Midsomer Murders
(taster - The fictional Midsomer (where I’m told it’s virtually impossible to get life insurance these days due to it having the highest number of murderers per capita anywhere in the world) is on the surface a tranquil, picturesque, English county.)

Power Metal rockers Blind Guardian
(taster - imagine if Queen had all been possessed by Satan and their ball burning anthems were being used to torment virginal nuns…)

or even

Sadistic death game movie Saw V
(taster - Hello reader, I want to play a game. Right now, you are feeling curious, you’re maybe thinking about watching a horror sequel but you don’t know whether to take a risk on part V of a series which started strong and has got progressively weaker each time out.)

were - then click the link and find out!?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Darkmatters Review - Race To Witch Mountain

Race to Witch Mountain (PG)

Dir. Andy Fickman - The Game Plan etc

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Buckle up for a hyperactive boost of alien chase action – Disney style…
Race to Witch Mountain is a pseudo remake / update of the 1970’s Escape to Witch Mountain, the new version is every bit as good and boy it looks great – with big expensive special effects running rampant. The budget people at The Mouse House have really gone for the ‘let’s hit the screen with everything we can’ formula. If you sign up for the trip to Witch Mountain you’ll get flashy flying saucers, an evil intergalactic assassin (not a million miles away from a Terminator) and two cool / cute kids with unearthly powers, oh and lots of pile-em-up car chases.

"The clockwork orange experiments - the junior years"

AnnaSophia ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ Robb and Alexander ‘The Dark Is Rising’ Ludwig are Sara and Seth, two alien youngsters who have crash-landed at Witch Mountain in the U.S. Seems that their own world is dying due to pollution (Hhmm – could there be a moral for us being not so subtly squeezed in here?). Now the chase is on for them to recover a vital piece of evidence which might be the key for them to save their own planet. But in true ET style the Government are keen to apprehend and experiment on our young alien visitors.

"Is Annasophia Robb the new Keira Knightley?"

Who can the little lost extraterrestrials turn to for help? Why – only Jack Bruno (Dwayne ‘once known as The Rock’ Johnson) a loveable rogue taxi driver and handily on the scene UFO boffin Alex Friedman (Carla ‘Watchmen’ Gugino).

The action takes place mostly back and forth between Las Vegas and the Nevada desert – the Government goons chase doggedly, some nasty gangsters try to get in on the action and the alien assassin / bounty-hunter blows up lots of stuff. Nothing makes a great deal of sense but as I said before – it sure does look good.
Unfortunately, director Andy’ The Game Plan’ Fickman manages to fumble the action scenes (of which there are lots due to the film being co-written by Mark Bomback of Die Hard 4.0 fame). That leaves little else to impress although the kids try their best and will both probably go on to better things.

"The US Government apparently wants to 'probe' this young alien - how wrong is that?"

I did find the wry section set at a Sci-fi convention appealed to my inner sci-fi nerd, there’s a great moment when two Star Wars Stormtroopers get into Bruno’s taxi, plus there’s the obligatory Disney dog cameo character that raised a smile but overall Race to Witch Mountain is a fun but forgettable family friendly action flick. And it even sets up a sequel… If you are a movie buff, enjoy graphic design or other aspects of visual communication, pursuing an online bachelor degree can prepare you for the rigors of a career in Hollywood, and maybe you can make movies less forgettable than this one!?

Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: öööööööö (8 -fun while it lasts but won't be remembered)
Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 8
Style 7
Babes 7
Comedy 7
Spiritual Enlightenment 5

Not convinced? check out this review of the film over at The Guardian - best line:

"At one stage, the aliens explain that they are able to cover vast tracts of outer-space by using wormholes as a shortcut. This made me long for my own personal wormhole, right through to the closing credits."

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Darkmatters Review - The Boat That Rocked

The Boat That Rocked (15)

Dir. Richard Curtis

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

All those wishing to travel aboard the latest feel good vessel helmed by Richard ‘Love Actually’ Curtis should make their way to the nearest cinema now. The Boat That Rocked plots a romantic comedy course through the choppy waters of the late sixties when rock music was deemed unhealthy by the repressive Establishment and the British public had to tune in to ‘pirate’ stations to hear filth like The Rolling Stones.

Blessed with a stellar cast including the always excellent Philip Seymour Hoffman as uber DJ ‘The Count’, Rhys Ifans as super cool (and purple wearing) legend of the airwaves ‘Gavin’ and Bill Nighy as captain of the dubious ship Rock Radio ‘Quentin’. These loveable scallywags are ably supported by comic genius Nick ‘Hot Fuzz’ Frost as literally larger than life ‘Dave’ and Tom Wisdom as the leather trouser wearing sex god ‘Midnight Mark’.

Into this sleazy melting pot of sex, drugs and rock n roll on the ocean waves is thrown virginal youngster Carl (a nicely awkward performance from Tom Sturridge) – he sent onboard after being expelled from school by his swinging mother because one of the men on the boat might just be his father…

Arrayed against the pop loving, sea faring miscreants are the forces of law and order embodied by government minister Dormandy (a tightly wound Kenneth Branagh) and his right hand ‘hit’man who rejoices in the name of ‘Twatt’ (an effectively odious turn from Jack Davenport). Can the powers that be shut down the pirates and win the hearts and minds back of the 23million people who tune in the raucous musical banter? The resulting battle of wits is the main dramatic element of the film which is otherwise a two hour series of set pieces set to the funkiest ‘60s tunes (which music lovers may enjoy even more with their eyes shut). The soundtrack is excellent – The Kinks, The Who, Hendrix, Cream, The Beach Boys… even if you weren’t around to appreciate these at the time there will be many who can discover some cracking tracks (handily available on double disk film soundtrack CD).

As the forces of grey and boring close in on the naughty pirates, the film veers into a pseudo dramatic Titanic-esq homage, will the rogue ‘heroes’ meet a watery grave by the end credits? There is the real danger that all hands will be lost as Curtis ramps up the schmaltz and goes for the sentiment jugular but if you’re able to just appreciate this boat for the mildly funny moments it delivers you’ll go home smiling.

Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: ööööööö (7 - funky but schmaltzy)

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 5
Style 7
Babes 7
Comedy 7
Spiritual Enlightenment 4

Not convinced? check out this review of the film over at PictureNose or DEN OF GEEK - best line:

"Remember the 1960s? No? What do you mean you weren't born? What do you mean you were a toddler? Oh, well, Richard Curtis' latest film might still be for you, if you don't mind gulping down a boatload of second-hand nostalgia with your comedy film experience."

If you liked The Boat That Rocked you migh want to check out:

The RunAways

"Dakota Fanning rocks out in The RunAways"

Friday, April 03, 2009

Emily Browning - Babetastic in Sucker Punch

"Emily on release in the UK April '09 - Uninvited"

Emily Browning is a fast rising actress who wowed audiences is Lemony Snicket a couple of years ago... http://darkmatt.blogspot.com/2004/12/emily-browning-and-co-stars.html

This month she'll be back on the big screen in The Uninvited which looks okay - better news is you can see her in the absolutely babelicious cast of Sucker Punch... see them here

"Emily Browning is going to be BIG"

Sucker Punch is Zack Snyder's follow up to the excellent Watchmen - raising pulses in 2011.

Here's miss Browning looking very very good:


"Yep - she's a hottie"

"next to be seen in what's being called 'Alice in Wonderland' with machine guns!?"

"check the blonde look"

"brings the pain"

"girls in underware - that's pants!?"

Check out Darkmatter top ten film babes 2008 ...