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, August 31, 2009

God of War one and two come to PS3 - oh yes!!

All Heaven Declares - God of War® Collection Announced for PS3

This just in from Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA):
A new and exclusive PlayStation®3 (PS3™) offering for the critically acclaimed God of War® franchise, God of War® Collection. Scheduled for release this holiday season, God of War Collection will feature reworked versions of both God of War® and God of War® II on a single Blu-ray Disc™ at full 1280 x 720 resolution. Both critically acclaimed games, which were originally developed for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, have been remastered with anti-aliased graphics running at 60 frames per second for a smooth gameplay experience on the PS3 system. Additionally, the Blu-ray Disc compilation will bring PlayStation®Network (PSN) trophy support to the franchise for the first time (included for both games).

God of War was:
Set in the dark world of ancient Greek mythology, players take on the role of Kratos, a Spartan warrior. Plagued by the nightmares of his past, the ash covered warrior would do anything to be free of his debt to the Gods and the memories that haunt him. For ten years he has labored for Olympus, now on the verge of losing all hope, the Gods have given him one last task. Destroy Ares, the God of War. Armed with the deadly chained Blades of Chaos, Kratos will have to overcome armies of mythological monsters, legions of undead soldiers, and amazingly dangerous and brutal landscapes.

God of War II was like:
Kratos sits atop his Olympus throne, as the new God of War – far more ruthless than Ares ever was. To end his continued torment, Kratos must journey to the far reaches of the earth and defeat untold horrors and alter that which no mortal, or god has ever changed… his fate. God of War II sets an epic stage for a devastating mythological war to end all wars.

Here's the fun new PS3 adverts they are running in the US?

The Final Destination

The Final Destination 3D (15)

Dir. David R. Ellis - who previously brought you Snakes on a Plane and Final Destination 2

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (watched with a crowd of screaming teens)

ONE WORD SUMMATION: deathfatemirth

If you go down to the NASCAR today you better go in disguise, if you go down to the NASCAR today you’ll never believe your eyes… For every spectator that ever there was will soon be toast for certain because, today’s the day that death himself comes visiting…

So on what should have been a fun-filled day at the races, fresh faced Nick O'Bannon (Bobby Campo) takes his good looking pals to see some NASCAR action but everything changes when he has a horrific premonition. Through a freak sequence of events, multiple race cars crash and shower flaming debris into the stands killing both his friends and a select bunch of random stereotypes (a racist, an attractive all American mom, a good hearted security guard etc). An understandably panicked Nick persuades his super fit girlfriend, Lori (Shantel VanSanten), his friends Janet (Haley Webb) and Hunt (Nick Zano), plus the bunch of doomed stereotypes to leave...escaping seconds before Nick's vision becomes a terrible reality.

So having cheated death, and not having seen Final Destination 1 – 3, the group believe that they have been given a second chance of life, but no, actually they’ve all just volunteered to be bumped off in gruesome, imaginative ways for our viewing pleasure. The Final Destination films only really exist to show us nasty ways to die carried out on the big screen – now in full 3D. Take your pick from various impalings, getting diced by a wire fence, having a very bad time in a carwash or getting minced by escalators etc etc. It feels like the writers have as much fun setting up possible death scenarios as we audience do trying to guess how the next unfortunate is going to buy it.

"maybe taking the stairs would have been safer?"

Director David R. ‘Final Destination 2’ Ellis has form for this bad taste but lots of fun horror / comedy stuff and he embraces the 3D technology whole heartedly. No puncture wound, neck snap or blood splatter is carried out without at least something flying out towards the viewer. I saw at least a couple of people visibly duck or recoil as the special effects appeared to burst right off the screen.

The Final Destination is a pure disposable rollercoaster ride of thrills and spills. If you’ve a hankering to see good looking people meet grisly ends then step right up.

Darkmatters final rating of: ööö 1/2 (3.5 out of 5 – effective deaths in 3D... if that's what you want, that's what you get!)

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 4 (suitably grim when it comes!)

Style 3 (dying never looked so good)

Babes 4 (Shantel VanSanten is a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model)

Comedy 3.5 (Nice dark humour)

Horror 4 (you'll cringe!)

Spiritual Enlightenment 4 (life you're life as if every moment was your last?)

Darkmatters review of Final Destination 3

"see Miss VanSanten 'doing' Tatu with Mischa Barton soon"

Monday, August 24, 2009

Darkmatters Review: Shorts

Shorts (PG)

Dir. Robert Rodriguez

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Robert ‘ Spy Kids’ Rodriguez is a director who bounces between making violent thrill-ride action flicks like Sin City and Planet Terror – and making fun fantasy kids movies that engage the imagination like Spy Kids and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D.

Shorts is very much of his wacky ‘kids’ stable of films and is a chapter based tale, made up of five ‘shorts’ each telling a segment of the story from various points of view. Hero of the piece is Toe Thompson (Jimmy ‘young Kirk from Star Trek’ Bennett), he’s a loner geek who gets bullied mercilessly by his boss’s daughter Helvetica Black (Jolie Vanier). One day Toe come across a magical rock which can grant wishes and riotous chaos ensues…

There are an ensemble of adults placed like plot holders including – ‘Dr. Noseworthy’ (William H Macy) as a germ obsessed scientist, snarly bad guy ‘Mr Black’ (James Spader) and the awesomely attractive Kat Dennings as Toe’s big sister Stacey.

"not many kids were killed in the making of Shorts"

Shorts jumbles events and times into the wrong order to make the most of its fairly average ‘what if’ scenario of crazy wish fulfillment plot. My two ‘Spy Kids’ enjoyed this madcap romp which sees Rodreguez writing /producing/editing and even FX supervising. My wife wasn’t quite as impressed, somehow managing to fall asleep towards the end!?

"deathmatch - kids versus booger"

Sure – it’s not his best kids film to date but it is inventive and packed with slapstick madness that you simply won’t find anywhere else e.g. a giant boogey monster, a crocodile army and transformer style block robot to name but a few.

Darkmatters final rating of: ööööööö (7 – hyperactive storytelling, crazy special effects and Kat Dennings too!)

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 6 (kooky odd action – don’t drink too much soda before watching…)

Style 8 (wackovision to the max)

Babes 8 (Kat Dennings, mmmmmmmm)

Comedy 7 (lots of fun)

Horror 5 (not too grim)

Spiritual Enlightenment 6 (there’s a moral in there somewhere)

"Kat Dennings - great actress - she's got a lot of front!"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Darkmatters hits half a million readers!

Darkmatters has today tripped the 500,000 visitors counter...

We hope you enjoyed your visit, let us know!!

To celebrate here are some random things Darkmatters like:

"Strange films!"

"Actresses like Emma Watson - surely a superhero movie next for her?"

"PS3 - have you preordered your 'slim' yet?"

"Graphic Novels... wait till you read the graphic novel adaptation of Darkmatters!"

"Babes like the lovely Alexis Bledel"

"Tottenham Hotspur (Top of the Premier League today 23 Aug 2009)"

"Film reviews..."


Darkmatters Review: Inglorious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds (18)

Dir. Quentin Tarantino

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“My name is Lt. Aldo Raine and I need me eight soldiers. We're gonna be dropped into France, dressed as civilians. We're gonna be doing one thing and one thing only... killing Nazis!”

Nazi occupied France is the setting for this blood splattered tale of revenge – told in full riotous energetic ‘Tarantino-Vision.’ There are plots at intertwined here – firstly is that of a young Jewish refugee Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie ‘The Beat That My Heart Skipped’ Laurent) who witnesses her family being exterminated by slimy SS Colonel Hans Landa (a fantastic Christoph Waltz) who is known as the “Jew Hunter”. Several years later Dreyfus is given the chance to avenge her family when the Nazi high command decide to host the premiere of their new war propaganda movie at the cinema she now runs. With the promise of every major Nazi officer in attendance, the screening also becomes the target of a British plan to blow the place up and this brings in the "Basterds", a ruthless group of Jewish-American guerrilla soldiers led by the slightly insane Lt. Aldo Raine.

The chapters build up to the fateful night which sees Raine (Brad Pitt on larger than life form) and his men trying to blow up the cinema unaware that Dreyfus has a similar plan. As news filters through that Hitler himself is planning to attend – the outcome of the whole war could be decided on one evening – obviously Tarantino is playing fast and loose with history here.

All the cast deliver the goods, Diane ‘National Treasure’ Kruger and Mélanie Laurent provide the wartime eye-candy, whilst long term Tarantino pal Eli Roth provides some great comic moments and Michael ‘Eden Lake’ Fassbender is perfect as Brit agent Lt. Archie Hicox.

"revenge on her mind..."

Inglorious Basterds delivers everything we’ve come to expect from the self confessed ‘cine-nerd-lord’ Tarantino – stirring brutal violence, arrogantly overblown dialogue, cool but naïvely over the top scenes staged to perfection. It’s a madcap clash of harrowing evil, laugh out loud dark comedy and simplistic storytelling – and it works a treat.

Sure Tarantino’s war effort is chock full of references (and blatant rip offs) from pretty much every influential Second World War movie you’d care to name, but he only picks the good bits, so Inglorious Basterds ends up being a seismic home run of viewing pleasure.

Darkmatters final rating of: ööööööööö (9 – WWII gets a rip roaring, blood soaked make over

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 8 (nasty, stylish - exactly what you want!)

Style 8 (the Taratino factor is strong in this one...)

Babes 7 (Mélanie Laurent is yummy, - so is Diane Kruger)

Comedy 7 (dark comic moments throughout)

Horror 8 (war is hell...)

Spiritual Enlightenment 5 (The Nazis had it coming!)

"Kruger trying some interesting fashion..."

"Zut alors... Mélanie Laurent!?"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Darkmatters Review: Antichrist

Antichrist (18)

Dir. Lars von Trier

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

You hear the one about the deer, the fox and the crow – creatures in the service of Satan’s Church or ‘Nature’ whose dominion is chaos and whose way is sexual guilt? No? Well if you venture past the extreme hype and reaction of the critics, the cries of horror from the media *cough Daily Mail cough* and the reactionary masses who like to throw stones without actually seeing the film itself… step into the freaky, gorgeously shot, heavily psychoanalytic Antichrist – as a Christian I simply could not pass up the opportunity to see a film with such an intriguing title!?

Before I go on - I feel compelled to reprint what the esteemed (if utterly blinkered)
Christopher Hart, writing for the Daily Mail says:

"You do not need to see Lars von Trier's Antichrist (which is released later this week) to know how revolting it is.

I haven't seen it myself, nor shall I - and I speak as a broad-minded arts critic, strongly libertarian in tendency. But merely reading about Antichrist is stomach-turning, and enough to form a judgment."

If that's true then potentially you'll never need to see another film in your life... just read the reviews and be happy with that!? Anyway, back to the "sick, pretentious trash, fully confirming our jihadist enemies' view of us as a society in the last stages of corruption and decay." Read his whole rant here...

Lars von Trier is the complex Danish director of Dancer in the Dark and Dogville – self proclaimed ‘Greatest film director in the world’… His latest film is a strange emotionally charged dive through the looking-glass into a feminine universe of victimization, guilt and sexual energy, dressed up in the trappings of a body shock horror mixed with slow burning character interaction and deep exploration of trauma.

Willem Dafoe gets to flash his knob and generally feel the wrath of mentally unhinged femininity after he and his wife lose their child through a tragic accident (a startling prologue shot in black and white, which runs in slow motion and shows the couple engaged in non simulated sex whilst their young boy climbs out of their window and falls to his death). Did the wife (Charlotte Gainsbourg) see the child putting himself in peril but was too engrossed in her orgasm to bother to save him? That’s what it seems to be saying… Is she crazy? Uncaring? Murderous even? Yes this is strong stuff and it is not subtly told. It is engaging and highly thought provoking though.

Nature is actually one of the main characters here, with the aforementioned deer symbolising fertility mixed with death (the clue is her dead young bambi hanging from her vulva): the fox symbolising lucidity and tasked with warning of the rule of chaos - "CHAOS RULES!" he shouts at one point; and then there’s the crow, potentially riffing on the regeneration mythos of The Crow (great film) transfiguring death through decomposition and stubborn clinging to life.

The film unfolds in a series of titled chapters – ‘Grief’ is the first and follows the crushing repercussions of the parents trying (and failing in her case) to come to terms with the grief. Fortunately, or not so actually, the father is a psychotherapist who wants to try his hand at therapy on his wife… Not necessarily a good idea…

This leads to the chapter – ‘Pain’ (Chaos Reigns) where go back to the cabin in the woods where she went to write her thesis on the way that the church has traditionally victimised women – especially those who they deemed overly sexual or powerful (witches?).

The chapters – ‘Despair’ (Gynocide) and – ‘The Three Beggars’ wrap up this veritable freak show in a swirling descent into madness with graphic violence. You’ll squirm, you’ll cringe and possibly like one viewer in the screening I saw this at shout “You’ve got to be F88king joking!” This isn’t a feel good or easy film to watch – most of what you might have heard about the self mutilation and general hardcore grimness is warranted, is it overkill? Is the director simply trying to see how far you can go on screen? Quite possibly…

Perhaps reading The Three Beggars, by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), in full will help your comprehension of the film – so here it is:

"Though to my feathers in the wet,
I have stood here from break of day.
I have not found a thing to eat,
For only rubbish comes my way.
Am I to live on lebeen-lone?'
Muttered the old crane of Gort.
"For all my pains on lebeen-lone?'

King Guaire walked amid his court
The palace-yard and river-side
And there to three old beggars said,
"You that have wandered far and wide
Can ravel out what's in my head.
Do men who least desire get most,
Or get the most who most desire?'
A beggar said, "They get the most
Whom man or devil cannot tire,
And what could make their muscles taut
Unless desire had made them so?'
But Guaire laughed with secret thought,
"If that be true as it seems true,
One of you three is a rich man,
For he shall have a thousand pounds
Who is first asleep, if but he can
Sleep before the third noon sounds."
And thereon, merry as a bird
With his old thoughts, King Guaire went
From river-side and palace-yard
And left them to their argument.
"And if I win,' one beggar said,
'Though I am old I shall persuade
A pretty girl to share my bed';
The second: "I shall learn a trade';
The third: "I'll hurry' to the course
Among the other gentlemen,
And lay it all upon a horse';
The second: "I have thought again:
A farmer has more dignity.'
One to another sighed and cried:
The exorbitant dreams of beggary.
That idleness had borne to pride,
Sang through their teeth from noon to noon;
And when the sccond twilight brought
The frenzy of the beggars' moon
None closed his blood-shot eyes but sought
To keep his fellows from their sleep;
All shouted till their anger grew
And they were whirling in a heap.

They mauled and bit the whole night through;
They mauled and bit till the day shone;
They mauled and bit through all that day
And till another night had gone,
Or if they made a moment's stay
They sat upon their heels to rail,,
And when old Guaire came and stood
Before the three to end this tale,
They were commingling lice and blood
"Time's up,' he cried, and all the three
With blood-shot eyes upon him stared.
"Time's up,' he eried, and all the three
Fell down upon the dust and snored.

`Maybe I shall be lucky yet,
Now they are silent,' said the crane.
`Though to my feathers in the wet
I've stood as I were made of stone
And seen the rubbish run about,
It's certain there are trout somewhere
And maybe I shall take a trout
but I do not seem to care.'

- or not…

Darkmatters final rating of: öööööööö (8 – weird and almost wonderful but very shocking and not for the faint of heart!)

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 6 (you'll hide the scissors… from any women in your life)

Style 8 (supremely stylish horror, a thinking person’s Hostel?)

Babes 6 (Gainsborough is the same age as my wife – but not as hot!)

Comedy 6 (you might laugh but you’ll doubt your sanity soon after)

Horror 9 (deeply unpleasant things await)

Spiritual Enlightenment -9 (like a vacuum for the soul)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Darkmatters Review: Moon

Moon (15)

Dir. Duncan Jones

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Welcome to the Helium 3 solar energy harvesting mining complex on the moon – it’s literally “The last place you'd ever expect to find yourself”…

Moon is an amazing head trip from director Duncan Jones – also known as ‘Zowie Bowie’ yes, son of Major Tom himself David. In the near future earth's energy requirements have been solved thanks to the miracle of Helium 3, basically solar energy absorbed by moon rocks and sitting there waiting for us to mine it and send it back to earth.

Sam Bell (Sam ‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford’ Rockwell), is the lone miner serving his three year shift alone in the Lunar Industries mining complex that is pretty much completely automated. With just a couple of weeks left before he can return home to his foxy wife (Dominique ‘Dark Floors’ McElligott) and his daughter Eve (Kaya ‘Effy from Skins’ Scodelario). Sam’s only company in the moon complex is GERTY a HAL-like computer that has an emoticon – smiley face / sad face screen and larger robot arm… GERTY (voiced to perfection by Kevin Spacey) is programmed to protect and look after Sam, but he begins to suspect that all is not what it seems after things take a drastic turn when he has an accident…

"one small drive for man..."

The Clint ‘former lead singer of PWEI’ Mansell melancholy soundtrack works with some truly inspired visuals to create a captivating mood of pervading pensiveness. This is backed up by a slow burning and understatedly intelligent script that goes more for a build up of hypertension rather than bang-whizz jump from your seat shocks.

The special effects work well too, putting to shame many bigger budget sci-fi efforts, Moon’s closest space based companion film from the last decade for me was the Danny Boyle’s excellent ‘Sunshine’.

I won’t go into any details of the plot as Moon is a film best enjoyed without knowing too much about it… All I will say is that despite the slow pace and lack of traditional ‘action’, Moon still blew me away, there were echoes of one of my favourite sci-fi films Peter Hyams’ ‘Outland’ at times as a countdown to arrival mechanism comes into play…

Sam Rockwell is gives a great performance as a man driven over the edge by forces he cannot contemplate – I urge you check this out as it is certainly one of the top ten best films of 2009!

Darkmatters final rating of: ööööööööö (9 – in space nobody will hear your jaw drop…)

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 6 (just enough and perfect when it happens)

Style 9 (ground control to Major Tom, love the look of your film!)

Babes 6 (there are babes but not in the flesh)

Comedy 6 (limited by some nice comic moments)

Horror 7 (psychological)

Spiritual Enlightenment 8 (would you get on with yourself?)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sony launch the sexy PS3 'Slim'

"Time to trade in that Xbox?"

Darkmatters loves the new PS3

God bless Sony, in the manner of PSOne and PSTwo - they have today announced a new sleeker, smaller PS3... So for less that £250 you can now take home a Blu-ray playing, wifi enabled, 120gb Hard Drive equipped PlayStation 3...

Launches on 04 September, just in time for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, FIFA 10, Final Fantasy XIII, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Tekken 6, and Gran Turismo 5...
"Thinner, quieter - oh and cheaper!"

Buys yours here: PREORDER

"If the PS3 was a woman - she'd no doubt be Darkmatters favourite Amber Heard!"

"If still hankering for a 'Phat' PS3, be sure to pick up one of these that come with a 'free bible'... it's the Lord's will!"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tottenham new Season, new Hope, new WAGS...

Spurs kicked off the '09 / '10 Premier League with a joyful and unexpected beating of Liverpool!?

You can see the joy on the faces of Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Luka Modric above... on the Liverpool players faces, not so much...

And whatever this Season holds for the Yid Army - there's one league we've already topped:

The Premier League of WAGS

Here's the top 5 as voted by the readers of Zoo magazine (apparently some of them can actually read!?):

1. Spurs (Abbey Clancy, Imogen Thomas, Danielle Lloyd)

2. Arsenal (Melanie Slade)

3. Chelsea (Cheryl Cole, Carly Zucker, Toni Poole)

4. Manchester United (Coleen Rooney, Rebecca Ellison)

5. Liverpool (Alex Curran)

And for those who don't know what the Spurs wifes/girlfriends on this list look like - here's the evidence, now you can judge for yourselves...

Imogen Thomas

Danielle Lloyd

Abbey Clancy

Now you know!?

Darkmatters Review: Aliens in the Attic

Aliens in the Attic (PG)

Dir. John Schultz - who previously brought you When Zachary Beaver Came to Town and Like Mike

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (watched with sons - they loved it)

ONE WORD SUMMATION: aliens+fullbodycontrol=fun

Ever fancied being able to remote control another person? What about a member of your family? That's just one of the innovative ideas Aliens in the Attic brings to the big screen and it leads to the best one on one fight this year... Yes thanks to alien full body control devices that allow a person to be controlled with a PlayStation like joypad, we get a battle royale between Ritchie (annoying boyfriend character controlled by the baddie aliens) and earth's last best hope - granny or ‘Nana Rose Pearson’ controlled by the kids. I guarantee that the sight of a grandma doing flying kicks and ninja fight moves that wouldn't look out of place in a kickboxing movie or game like Tekken on the PS3 will stay with you forever. Alas that’s pretty much the only reason to check out this movie unless you’re following the career of High School Musical's Asley Tinsdale who reprises her bratty teen persona as Sharpay, sorry, Bethany and does an ok job looking cute and vacuous (which must have been a stretch!?).

"did someone say cute and vacuous?"

Overall the movie is average family friendly fun, better than this summer's G-Force but not as good as Transformers 2. The action cracks along at a pleasing pace and at a brief 86mins these little aliens don't outstay their welcome. My two sons enjoyed it more than I did so it looks like the target pre-teen audience will give this the thumbs up, adults accompanying them can just play the fun game of spotting the massive amounts of product placement…

So the fate of the earth rests on the scrawny shoulders of these kids who are a likeable enough average bunch of siblings. Austin Robert Butler is probably the best of them and looks to have some star potential and could be ready to step up as the next Owen Wilson with charisma to spare.

"We're all in this together etc..."

Aliens in the Attic is a perfectly disposable bite sized bit of nonsense, Director John ‘Like Mike’ Schultz proves again that he can churn out watchable kids b-movies in his sleep. If you’ve children or sci-fi nerds who need entertaining then this will do the job, others need not worry as there’s bigger, potentially much better alien fun on the horizon as James Cameron brings Avatar - the most expensive film ever - to the screen later this year.

Darkmatters final rating of: öööööö (6 better than it should have been)

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 6 (would have been 4 but for the excellent nanny fight!)

Style 6 (the aliens aren't as cool as Gremlins)

Babes 8 (Asley Tinsdale is hot)

Comedy 7 (some fun with body control!)

Horror 4 (tame)

Spiritual Enlightenment 4 (free will - is it a myth?)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Darkmatters Review: Orphan



Dir. Jaume Collet-Serra 

Reviewed by Matt @Cleric20 Adcock (watched with friend Ian and lots of screaming teens) 

See that prim little girl over there, the one with the dark eyes who looks like she might be wise beyond her years? She wants to play with you and your family… But there’s something wrong with Esther (a chilling Isabelle Fuhrman), she has a terrible secret, oh and she’s s psychopathic murdering spawn of hell too. Orphan is powerhouse new horror thriller from Jaume ‘House Of Wax’ Collet-Serra. It’s the story of troubled couple Kate (a brilliant Vera Farmiga) and John (goofy Peter Sarsgaard) who adopt young Esther to try and compensate for losing one of their biological children. Needless to say that things don’t work out so well, as the body count starts to ride almost as soon as the family has sprung Esther from the orphanage.

"pre-teen death bringer..." 

 Fuhrman is a fantastic as Esther, genuinely creepy even when trying to convince her new folks that she’s a polite, mature little girl and utterly demonic when she’s goes ape. Orphan is refreshing in that it doesn’t pull its punches. Director Collet-Serra is a sick puppy and doesn’t let the ‘15’ rating get in the way of graphic death and seriously disturbing content. This really isn’t a film for the faint of heart and as the friend I saw it with (who works for Social Services) said “this is going to put a lot of people off adopting!”

"look into my eyes..." 

 If you’re looking for a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, wrong foot you at crucial moments and bounce along at a decent pace, this is the movie for you. The script is sharp and mixes some pitch black humour into the escalating horror with lines like “Oh, look, Little Bo Peep text me - she wants her outfit back” from one of Esther’s school classmates. The look she gets by way of reply is pure malice. Orphan is almost up there with ‘Let The Right One In’ for 2009 ‘s top-quality horror efforts – go and see Esther at your peril! 

Darkmatters rating: öööööööö (8 – effective horror thrill ride) 

Darkmatters quick reference guide: 

Action 7 (nicely paced, Orphan grips like a vice... actually you'll probably not like the vice scene...) Style 7 (production values are higher than for most B-Movie horrors in this ilk) 
Comedy 6 (some very dark laughs) 
Horror 8 (heavy duty for a 15) 
 Spiritual Enlightenment 5 ('don't kill me mommy'...)

"see - not quite so bad in real life!?" 

EXTRA CONTENT: Read an interview with young miss Fuhrman here 

>>> Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

Click below to find out in my dark sci-fi novel...


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Darkmatters Review: Let The Right One In


Let The Right One In (15) 'Låt den rätte komma in' 

Dir. Tomas Alfredson 

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

Sometimes a film comes along – out of nowhere and speaks to your very core… 

That is one of the reasons that I love being a film reviewer, yes there are lots of rubbish flicks that have to be seen but once in a while you find something special… Let The Right One In is a masterpiece. It’s freaky, it’s heartbreaking and grim – but it also has a beating heart of unrequited happiness and innocent joy that transcends the macabre events therein. I saw this back in April on the big screen and have been itching to see it again. Since then I have read the original novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist who also adapted it into the film. The book is excellent too, but darker and full or incidental detail that whist making for a rich reading experience has been wisely exorcised here. 

For example, in the novel Eli’s "father", Hakan (played with hound-dog perfection by Per Ragnar), was a paedophile… whereas in the film we’re never fully informed of his motives or inner thoughts – and the back story as to how Eli became a vampire is caustically grim too. Film viewers are allowed the luxury of wondering ‘what if’ instead and it works. 

But once you’ve experienced the film, reading the book adds layers to the characters and situations, which may highlight just how far they miss the point in the American remake next year.

"It's tough being 12..." 

Director Alfredson has superbly crafted a film that goes beyond mere entertainment and becomes an experience much greater than the sum of its parts. Watching this movie, you are tapping into a force that can short-circuit you and rewire your emotions. Let The Right One In is the film that Twilight wishes it could have been. 

This is the 1980’s tale of young Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) a pale, virtually albino, blonde skinny twelve year old who wears clothes that only his mother could think look ok. Oskar is a bully magnet and his school life is hell thanks to scumbag in the making Conny (Patrik Rydmark) and his gang. 

One night Oskar meets a strange girl called Eli (Lina Leandersson), she’s all big eyes and out of place mannerisms, plus she doesn’t seem to feel the cold or know what a Rubik’s Cube is. But an unlikely deep friendship is forged and when on another occasion Eli notices that Oskar has been hurt by the bullies, she tells him he should “hit back” and that if it gets too much that “she can help”… The film’s title comes from a song by Morrissey “Let the right one slip in” which includes the very apt line “And when at last it does, I’d say you were within your rights to bite the right one and say ‘What kept you so long?’”
“I’m twelve. But I’ve been twelve for a long time... and you don't want to mess with me...” 

This film delivers a rare experience – my wife called it ‘quite the strangest thing she’d ever seen’.

Movies like this are set apart from the run-of-the-mill - you don't just watch Let The Right One In, you feel it too...

Darkmatters final rating of: öööööööööö (10 – this is a rare treat for those who can handle it!) 

Darkmatters quick reference guide: 

Action 7 (hits hard when it comes, sparingly used 'less is more') 

Style 9 (the bleakness drips from the screen) 

Comedy 6 (dark dark humour to be found) 

Horror 8 (blood is integral to the plot) 

Spiritual Enlightenment 8 (friendship knows no bounds)

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Darkmatters Review: G-Force

G-Force (PG)

Dir. Hoyt Yeatman

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (watched with my kids on a rainy afternoon)
ONE WORD SUMMATION: Rodentinfestation

Your attention please, there has been an outbreak of dangerously cute rodents in this area… We are tracking this multicell cluster storm of furballs as they approach your retinas in flash bang 3D. Be aware that although G-Force is a Disney-ish tale of super-intelligent critters who have been turned into spies to try and nail an criminal mastermind (Bill Nighy) – it’s also a Jerry Bruckheimer production, so buckle up for explosions and action all the way.

Despite sounding on paper like the worst idea for a film since ‘I spit on your grave 2: I sneeze on your grave and I’ve got Swine flu’ G-Force is actually mildly watchable, even if you hate guinea pigs. So we have the G-Force unit of hairy little blighters led by the amusingly named ‘Darwin’ (Sam Rockwell), Juarez (Penelope Cruz) and Blaster (Tracy Morgan) plus a freaky looking mole called Speckles (Nicolas Cage).

It seems that the world is in peril from ‘Clusterstorm’ a devious plan to use consumer electronics products to wipe out mankind by bringing them to life in Transformer style. The money scene for me was when a coffee machine tripped into evil robot and had to be taken down by the furry heroes – giving Darwin the chance for the best line of the film “Yippee-ki-yay, coffee maker!" – got to love a Die Hard reference even if none of the young kids in the audience have seen it…

The Black Eyed Peas must be willing to let anybody use their material – so we get several of their most recent tracks including the rather good ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’, alas the only feeling that you’ll have lingering after seeing G-Force is that ‘Damn, I’ve just wasted two hours of my life’…

Apparently the makers rendered 271,955,886,586 photorealistic hairs to make this film and the boss baddie (a giant robot) had 78,000 geometric pieces and 16,400,000 polygons – which I’m told is even more than they put in Transformers… Seems like a lot of effort for a very average return.

"I’m already expecting the pitter patter of tin y feet in a furry sequel soon… "

Darkmatters final rating of: ööööö (5 – mind numbing but good looking!)

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 7 (you probably won’t see many films where the FBI chase guinea pigs!)

Style 6 (high definition hairs all over the place)

Babes 3 (too much body hair for my tastes…)

Comedy 6 (some laughs to be had)

Horror 6 (the fly character is a bit icky)

Spiritual Enlightenment 5 (don’t trust short sighted rodents)