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, December 28, 2009

Darkmatters: Top 10 Films of 2009

You know the drill... these are the 10 best films of 2009 as voted for by Matt Adcock...

10. The Hangover

Funniest film of the year for sure - an unexpected bonus!!

Whole plot is summed up in this ace bit of dialogue:

Phil Wenneck: Tracy, it's Phil.
Tracy Garner: Phil, where the hell are you guys?
Phil Wenneck: Listen, we f**ked up. We lost Doug.
Tracy Garner: What? We're getting married in *five hours*.
Phil Wenneck: Yeah... that's not gonna happen.

9. Fish Tank

Great Brit film that captures emotions, aspirations and sexual chemistry - then messes with it all.

Katie Jarvis deserves to be a star!

8. District 9

It all kicks off when Wikus Van De Merwe picks up to examine and fiddle with silver canister and says: "Well, huh, this has got the markings of - so it's definitely alien but it's uh, not a weapon... but I don't trust it, ya know, I don't trust any-a the...arrghhh"
[sprayed in face with the Alien fuel] = a great set up for this intergalactic race relations masterpiece!

7. Slumdog Millionnaire

Poster for once says it all... you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want to win a million!? Boyle is a genius director.

6. Moon

In space, no-one can hear you Whoop when you find an excellent, thought provoking new sci-fi... highly recommended for anyone with a brain and the capacity to enjoy good cinema!

5. Harry Brown

Striking a blow for ageing vigilantes and British films in one hard hitting package... a powerhouse film that strips society to its dark, rotting core (hoodies!?)...

4. Star Trek

Boldly going where we really wanted it to... The final frontier blasts a warp drive trail of fun and adventure that demands a sequel!


More space excitement - this time in jaw dropping 3D. Cameron has made a masterpiece that sets lots of new standards. See it in IMAX if you can!

2. Watchmen

The definitive graphic novel gets a stunning big screen make over. Rorschach FTW!!
This is story telling and visual stimulate taken to a whole new level!

1. Let The Right One In

Just amazing. This film delivers a rare experience – my wife who has yet to watch it all 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...

heck out last year's list here:



Matt's Top 10 Films 2006

Matt's Top 10 Films 2005

Matt's Top 10 Films 2004

Darkmatters Review: Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes (12a)

Dir. Guy Ritchie

Reviewed by Matt Adcock


The names Holmes, Sherlock Holmes… The big screen takes a literary hit in the form of Guy
Ritchie’s new kick-ass new version of Sherlock Holmes. Robert Downey Jr. steps up as the crack detective and delivers a fantastic turn aided in no small part by his friend and partner in sleuthing Dr. Watson (Jude Law – acting better than he has in years!).

Villain of piece is the nefarious Lord Blackwood (Mark ‘Stardust’ Strong), a serial killer with a taste for young women and the black magic. Thwarted by Holmes in a fantastic opening scene, Blackwood proves to be a hard foe to keep down, rising from his tomb to continue his evil plans...

Holmes is a classic literary character from the mind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and many were concerned when it was announced that Guy ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ Ritchie was going to direct this big budget reworking. But Ritchie delivers a rousing detective adventure that races along on a tide of excellent action scenes, witty dialogue and thrilling mystery.

Backed up with some really impressive CGI effects, this Holmes inhabits a living, breathing nineteenth Century London. The centre piece is a half built Tower Bridge above a bustling murky Thames, everything crackles with stylish attention to detail and a pleasing gothic feel which sucks viewers in. This dark and foreboding London provides a suitably classy backdrop for a deadly plot which stretches high into the corridors of power.

Hardcore fans of the novels should be pleased to learn that Ritchie’s Holmes is less pipe and Deerstalker Hat, and more fist fighting dandy whose brilliance at deductive detective work is mirrored by a self doubting, troubled inner character. This feels more like a detective hero we can really root for.

Credit must go to Robert Downey Jr. and Law who have brilliant screen chemistry and whose banter is fantastic to behold. Also on hand for some decent support is the lovely Rachel McAdams as a mischievous thief who has some ‘history’ with Holmes.

"Holmes is up against some very dark arts..."

It’s elementary my dear that with ‘untitled Sherlock Holmes sequel’ listed on both Ritchie and Downey Jr.’s coming soon slate - we can lookl forward to this being the start of a new franchise. Which is good news for movie fans as Sherlock Holmes has never been this much fun before.

Darkmatters final rating of: öööööööö (8 – worth seeing on the big screen for sure!)

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 7 (some nice action set pieces)

Style 8 (classic look and feel)

Babes 6 (eye candy on hand)

Comedy 7 (Law and Downey Jr. are a laugh riot together)

Horror 6 (some nice gothic thrills)

Spiritual Enlightenment 4 (quality intellects win out)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Darkmatters Review: AVATAR

AVATAR (12a)

Dir. James Cameron
Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“You are not in Kansas anymore. You are on Pandora, ladies and gentleman.”

This is the intro given to the new soldier grunts as they arrive for their tour of duty on the planet moon Pandora – a vibrant place teaming with strange alien life… This is a world where the air is un-breathable, the plant life hostile and the alien population wild and savage but it is also the source of a highly valuable mineral. That is why the ruthless RDA Corporation has sent their military might with the mission to potentially evict the native Na’vi aliens by force. The secret weapon of the RDA is their AVATAR programme which allows humans to of control lab grown Na’vi bodies, with a view to establish relations with the aliens and persuade them to move.
Enter wheel-chair bound marine Jake Sully (Sam ‘Terminator Salvation’Worthington) who takes the place of his deceased brother on part in the AVATAR programme. Sully manages to befriend the Na’vi and falls in love with their princess Neytiri (Zoe ‘Star Trek’ Saldana). When it becomes clear that they do not wish to move from their home, Sully becomes caught between the two sides as greedy RDA boss Parker Selfridge lets his bloodthirsty Colonel Quaritch (Stephen ‘Public Enemies’ Lang) unleash his war machine on the Na’vi.
Director James Cameron has created an unsurpassed eye-popping visual feast with AVATAR – reportedly costing over $300million to make. I can guarantee that you’ll never have seen such immersive, impressive, jaw dropping special effects. The world of Pandora is an absolutely stunning creation. This is ‘high definition cinema’ like never before and the spectacle is even more amazing in the 3D screenings which I’d highly recommend choosing. The attention to detail is sumptuous, the imagination behind the alien world and the kick ass human future technology sets new standards in sci-fi excellence. Having ‘Aliens’ veteran Sigourney Weaver on hand as lead scientist Dr. Grace Augustine also adds a lovely subliminal link to Cameron’s previous alien epic.

If you want to pick holes in this technological marvel you might take issue with the ‘off the shelf’ goodies vs baddies coupled with love story plotline. Oh and the Leona Lewis theme song is a bit poor but these are minor grumbles for a film that delivers almost 3 hours of heavy duty entertainment. AVATAR is a ‘must see’ on the big screen – to quote my son James “this is the film of the year”.

Darkmatters final rating / out of 10: ööööööööö (9 – amazing on all levels, very nearly a '10')

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 9 (awesome when it kicks off!)

Style 10 (unbelievably cool)

Babes 8 (would you go 'blue'? - you might be tempted!)

Comedy 6 (some comic touches)
Horror 6 (more tension than anything too horrible)

Spiritual Enlightenment 8 (Are we human - or are we dancer / AVATARs)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Have a very Zavvi Christmas!!

Have a very Zavvi Christmas!!

This festive season entertainment specialist Zavvi.com will make your Christmas shopping even easier as it offers you the best in music, film, games, electronics, books and a host of other categories at the best prices.

In the run up to Christmas 2009 Zavvi.com are offering customers the chance to benefit from further ‘Deals of the Day’ and, with free delivery on all items, offer customers a reliable, low cost and stress-free alternative to the high street.

To see the rest of Zavvi.com’s extensive range of products available, please visit www.zavvi.com

Under £10:

Gifts for Him…

Muse – The Resistance

Fronted by one of the most distinctive voices in modern music, Matt Bellamy, alternative rock giants Muse return with their most orchestral album to date, The Resistance.

Zavvi.com price - £8.95 (RRP £16.99)

Rocky: The Heavyweight Collection

Now, the Best Picture Oscar-winning (1976) original and its equally powerful and action packed successors are presented with their best-ever picture and sound in The Heavyweight Collection. Rocky Balboa is an unlikely winner. At the outset, he's a second-rate boxer whose trainer has given up on him. That all changes when he "goes the distance" with the reigning champ! In the ensuing saga, Rocky battles the toughest of the tough and weathers even harder bouts outside the ring. With its riveting fight sequences and stirring performances, these six films tell the awe inspiring story of one hero's unforgettable journey.

Zavvi.com price - £9.75 (RRP £48.99)

For Crying Out Loud! Jeremy Clarkson

For anyone who's ever been driven to wonder just what is the matter with people these days, "For Crying Out Loud" is the perfect riposte. Surprising, fearless and always laugh-out-loud funny, Clarkson's back and he's got a point.

Zavvi.com price - £5.00 (RRP £7.99)

  Gifts for Her…

Twilight Double Disc DVD

TWILIGHT, based on the acclaimed novel by Stephenie Meyer, is the highly-anticipated movie of the ultimate forbidden love affair between a vampire and mortal. Boasting a whole host of bright young talent including Robert Pattinson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Kristen Stewart (Into The Wild, What Just Happened) and Cam Gigandet (Never Back Down, The O.C.), the screenplay is written by Melissa Rosenberg (Step Up, The O.C.) and directed by the Award-winning filmmaker Catherine Hardwicke (Lords of Dogtown, Thirteen).

Zavvi.com price £9.95 (RRP £22.99)

Mind Body and Soul: Nutrition Matters Nintendo DS

Nutrition Matters offers users the ability to track their net calorie gains and losses through exercise and dieting. A simple and accessible tracking mechanism monitors both calorific burn through daily activity and food intake through an extensive nutrition database. It's the fun way to stay healthy on the move!

Zavvi.com price - £8.95 (RRP £22.95)

It's Not Me, It's You Lily Allen

The outspoken mockney popstrel Lily Allen's debut album, 'Alright Still', established her as the voice of a new breed of young person, and the long-awaited follow-up 'It's Not Me It's You' is full of similarly zeitgeist-inflected tunes. The first single, 'The Fear', is somewhat heavier in tone than previous singles such as 'LDN' and 'Smile', and sees Allen dealing with notions of modern celebrity, a theme that continually crops up on the album. Allen also confronts political issues on this markedly more adult album than its predecessor, perhaps intentionally preparing a more mature image for the future.

Zavvi.com price £8.95 (RRP £15.29)

You know you want to!!

check these facts...

Zavvi.com offer FREE delivery on all items
- Items are shipped from the Channel Islands offering significant tax
savings e.g.
Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2 for PS3
Play.com Price = £44.99
Amazon Price = £39.70
Zavvi.com Price =  £38.95

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Darkmatters AVATAR Competition

Darkmatters AVATAR Competition

AVATAR takes us to a spectacular world beyond imagination, where a reluctant hero embarks on an epic adventure, ultimately fighting to save the alien world he has learned to call home.

James Cameron, the Oscar-winning director of “Titanic,” first conceived the film 15 years ago, when the means to realize his vision did not exist yet.
Now, after four years of production, AVATAR, a live action film with a new generation of special effects, delivers a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind, where the revolutionary technology invented to make the film disappears into the emotion of the characters and the sweep of the story.

Matt Adcock's full Darkmatters review of AVATAR will be up this weekend but the good people at Fox have provided some fantastic AVATAR kit which you can win (if you live in the UK).

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning a selection from the light up Drinking Glasses, Notepad and Pen, Glowing Shoelaces, USB Mouse Mat which glows and gives you 4 additional USB ports, Glow T-shirts, Messenger Bags, superb world time Clock or wicked Light-up Speakers for i-pod / mp3 or PC use is to answer this:

Question: What is the name of the alien race who are the natives of Pandora?

And for extra credit / better prizes:

Tie Breaker: If you were to control an AVATAR of any species from any sci-fi movie, comic, game or novel -  who / what would you choose and why.

Please email your answers to: darkmatters@another.com by 24th Dec in the following format...


The alien race who are the natives of Pandora are the XXXXXX

Tie Breaker:

I would choose my AVATAR to be XXXXXXXXXX from XXXXXXX because I'd use it to XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Good luck!!

Editor's decision is final.

Darkmatters Review: Where The Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are (PG)

Dir. Spike Jonze

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

ONE WORD SUMMATION: hairytherapy

“Happiness isn't always the best way to be happy…” so sayeth one of the ‘Wild Things’ in the lavish big screen adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s children’s fantasy which has sold almost 20million copies world wide.

This is the bittersweet tales of Max, a nine year old kid whose mischievous antics drive his single mother to her wits end. Max (newcomer Max Records) likes to dress up in a wolf costume and misbehave when he can’t handle what’s going on around him, this is brought to a head when his mum (Catherine Keener) starts giving her attention to new boyfriend (Mark Ruffalo). In frustration Max runs away from home, jumps into a dingy and sails to the land of the Wild Things – as you do… The Wild Things are fearsome-looking monsters, but inside they are insecure and struggling to cope with the unruly behaviour of one of their number called ‘Carol’.

In this fantasy world which doubles as a map of the boy’s troubled mental space - full of inhospitable deserts and eerie forests -Max shows no fear of the rampaging Wild Things (whose actions seem to parallel those of the people in his life). After striking up a relationship with the big furry beasties, Max is soon made their king – and declares that they should start a “wild rumpus". Things begin well enough with mud fights and destruction of property but before long he finds himself lonely and homesick in the presence of the freaky Wild Things.

Director Spike ‘Being John Malkovich’ Jonze has come a long way from the days he was making cool cult music videos such as the Beastie Boys’
‘Sabotage’. Where the Wild Things Are is a bold and brilliant movie that takes the rich imagination of the book and brings it to eye popping life. The deeper levels of correlation between Max’s real world and his ‘wild’ imagination is nicely handled – as is Max’s emotional journey back to his family.

Where the Wild Things Are is a wonderful outpouring of fantasy, don’t go expecting anything more than a extended play / therapy session – the plot of the book was only a few pages long. But it’s a trip worth taking whatever age you are, it’s time to connect to your inner wild thing!

Darkmatters final rating / out of 10: öööööööö (8 – get in touch with your inner 'thing')

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 7 (simple and sparring)

Style 8 (fantastical - really captured and built on the book)

Babes 3 (no, move along these hairy freaks are not hot)

Comedy 6 (some nicely observed humour - "that was my favourite arm" = best line!)

Horror 7 (scary for kids, the 'things' are weird looking!)

Spiritual Enlightenment 7 (there's one in all of us... let it out!!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Darkmatters Review: PlayStation Video Store

PlayStation Video Store - Tis the Season to give the gift of movies (to yourself)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

As Christmas holidays approach and film lovers plan their viewing over the festive break – there are more options than ever… If you’re a gamer as well as a film fan though, Sony have delivered a tasty new way to feed your cinematic cravings - The PlayStation Video Store.

Check out the Darkmatters launch coverage here


The PlayStation Video Store brings slick downloadable films to rent and /or purchase on your sexy black box of tricks. There is an impressive selection of films on offer too from the leading film studios such as Paramount, 20th Century Fox, MGM and Sony Pictures.


It’s very easy to use too – a simple new icon has appeared in the PlayStation Store – the first choice place for free game demos, downloadable games, themes and trailers plus a host of other content.

Clicking on the video icon flips you over to the shelves of the Video Store – there are folders themed to genres plus handy things like ‘special offers’ where you’ll find things like two for one offers. The icon layout of the movies is nice and clear, there is also the ace feature of being able to preview a film with a swift trailer viewing option.

I was impressed with both the ease of use and the genuinely wide range of films on offer. If you want the latest blockbusters like Watchmen, Terminator Salvation etc they’re here but mingling into the mix are some weirder and more wonderful choices too – especially some cracking Manga Anime films such as the head spinning ‘Dead Leaves’. You can transfer content over to a PSP if you want to take it on the road too.

Prices are keen from £2.49 for a normal definition rental and various ranging HD options too. You can download and keep for around £10 which seems fair too, the ‘instant on’ attraction of having a nice little library on your hard drive is appealing.

Two things you’re going to want in order to make the most of the PlayStation Video Store are a decent internet connection and good sized hard drive. I downloaded X-men Origins: Wolverine to watch with my sons and it took about an hour and a bit so if you plan to watch a film in the evening, maybe start downloading while you have dinner would work?

I’ll be using the store regularly from now on and I’d urge you to check it out too!

Darkmatters final rating / out of 10: ööööööööö (9 – PS3 + PSN + PSP - they only do  everything)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Darkmatters / PS3Attitude Review: PixelJunk Shooter

Step this way for the Darkmatters (Matt Adcock) review of PixelJunk Shooter

PixelJunk titles have become synonymous with ‘quality and eccentricity’. This time your mission is to fly a spacecraft into a series of challenging cave and canyons blasting enemies and solving puzzles along the way. Armed to the teeth with lasers and missiles, you can also find ways to use the indigenous lava and water to your destructive purpose.

The question on all our lips; is this the best PixelJunk game yet?

That link again for PS3 shooter hungry readers:  PixelJunk Shooter

Monday, December 07, 2009

Darkmatters Review: Planet 51

Planet 51 (U)

Dir. Jorge Blanco & Javier Abad

Reviewed by Matt Adcock


Space, the final frontier… We humans have long suspected that there might be life out there in the cosmos but nobody could have suspected quite what would happen when we ‘make contact’ for the first time.

"look into my eyes are say 'arrgghhhh!'

Prepare to blast off into a new galaxy of fun with the pleasing family friendly CGI comedy adventure Planet 51. The writers of Shrek have gone to town bringing a loving homage to just about every major science fiction film you can name – complete with de rigueur '50s Americana. The twist here is that it is the aliens who are the ones living out their normal lives when all American Earthling, Charles T. Baker (Dwayne ‘The Rock’
Johnson), crash lands in the middle of their cosy suburbia.

Through chance Baker lands in the garden of average alien teenage Lem (Justin Long) who has his mind on nothing more than trying to get the girl of his dreams Neera (Jessica Biel). Rather than turning our lost astronaut hero over to the xenophobic authorities led by baddie General Crawl (Gary Oldman), Lem becomes an unwitting partner in helping Baker get back to his spaceship and return to earth. Cue danger, fun misadventure and lots of laughs as the dynamic duo work through scenes from classics such as E.T. only with the roles reversed. Planet 51 cracks along at a good rate of knots, my son picked this for his birthday movie and he and his pals laughed loud and long. The biggest reaction came to the gently ‘risqué’ line when the aliens accidentally see Baker naked and quip “That’s a strange place to have an antennae!”

The animation and effects from this new Ilion Animation Studios are excellent – almost up to what we’ve come to expect from the leading teams at Dreamworks and Pixar. There is a funky soundtrack which really brings the aliens stuck in the ‘50s setting to life and lots of referencing of genre classics – look out for my favourite which is the little dogs that wee acid… much like a certain famous much less friendly alien.

I’d actually pay to see a spin off from this starring Baker’s K9 alike (and blatant WALL-E rip off)  ‘Rover’ who steals every scene he’s in. Throw mad scientist Professor Kipple (a fun turn from John Cleese) who has a penchant for extracting brains and you’re in for a good time whatever age or species you are.

Click here to check out the PS3 game of Planet 51 reviewed at the excellent PSAttitude - seems you might be better off sticking with Little Big Planet!?

Darkmatters final rating / out of 10: ööööööö (7 – right stuff, wrong planet, worth a watch)

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 7 (cracks along in a pleasing slapstick way)

Style 7 (nice animated style, can compete with the big boys)

Babes 4 (Jessica Biel is a hottie but the green skin will only appeal to serious 'Kirk' wannabes)

Comedy 7 (plenty of mirth)

Horror 3 (not scaryl)

Spiritual Enlightenment 2 (it's life but not as we know it Jim)

Friday, December 04, 2009

Darkmatters 'highly anticipating' AVATAR

AVATAR hits world wide in two weeks and counting...

Update by: Matt Adcock

Prepare yourself...

The potential 'film of the year' James Cameron's AVATAR has us (well at least me) tingling with anticipation. Will check the review embargo on review with the good people at Fox... Check back to read it soon.

This weekend will be playing through the PS3 game of the movie [review soon].

Everything is in place for this to gatecrash the Darkmatters Top 10 Films of 2009 [coming soon].

In the mean time here's some cool promo AVATAR shots and wallpapers - enjoy!

"In Space no-one can hear you scream 'That's so cool!'"

"Avatar - packs more firepower than a dozen Halos"

"Look into my computer generated eyes..."

"Getting in on - Na'vi style... A blue movie?"

"Loving those gunships - very Apocalypse Now"

"Book your tickets now"

Are you excited about AVATAR?

You should be...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Darkmatters - Franks for the Reviews

It's a busy time of year - lots of DVD and Blu-ray product hitting the shops...

But which are worthy of your hard earned cash?

This is when you need reviews...  reviews from Matt Adcock and so that's what I've been doing for my lovely friendly monkey pals over at: Frank The Monkey

Here are the latest picks:

Russell Brand – Scandalous

Love him or hate him Russell Brand is a crowd divider. New DVD Scandalous sees him using stand to address the larger than life recent events – in particular the aftermath of his hosting a turbulent MTV Music Awards and the massive public backlash following the infamous Sachs-gate ‘indiscretion’.

Click for full review 


‘Blandslam’ might have been a better title as this film limps along to the almost pleasing finale.

If you have a dream
and if that dream is to make it as a band…
welcome to Bandslam

Click for full review 

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - The Seriously Ultimate Edition

It’s 1974 and the world is lovely place… What could be nicer than a quiet summer drive through rural Texas with a few of your buddies? See the sights, meet a few locals, end up beside yourself – erm literally...

Click for full review 

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs – Diamond Edition

Come with me into a twisted world where a hot young princess is sent into the woods by her evil stepmother with a huntsman – who has been hired to kill her...

It’s true when they say “they don’t make em like the used to.”

Click for full review 


Rubbernecking has never been so good as in ITV’s excellent 5 part mini series which takes a massive car accident as the linking factor in the lives (and deaths) of a mixed bunch of characters. 

Click for full review  



It’s slick and mildly saucy, the women look good and act badly...