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

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Darkmatters Review: MR 73

MR 73 (18)

Dir. Olivier Marchal

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Welcome to cold dark world of Police Inspector ‘Schneider’ (Daniel Auteiul in another compelling, similar role to his hard boiled detective in the excellent ‘36’ – to which this is a kind of spiritual sequel)… MR 73 is the make of gun known as ‘Manurhin’ - French-manufactured, double-action revolver and it plays a significant part the grim events that unfold in the aftermath an accident which robbed Schneider of his child and left his wife “vegetablized.”
Bad things are happening all round though, a nasty serial killer with a taste for sodomy and bloody bondage is on the loose… Elsewhere a young woman Justine (Olivia Bonamy) who saw her father murdered and her mother raped and murdered as a child by evil incarnate Charles Subra (Phillipe Nahon) finds out that he is likely to be released early.

Schneider makes a great anti-hero, he’s a mess, drinking and doing reckless, dangerous things such as hijacking a bus because it isn’t going past his house… Even his long suffering Captain, Marie Angeli (Catherine Marchal) can’t defend his behaviour and it isn’t long before he loses it with annoyingly smug rival inspector Kovalski (Francis Reanaud).

Everything is shot with a fantastic cinematic eye, MR 73 is a film that grips hard and sucks you in deep. This might be a goodtime movie but it is one that is impossible not to be engaged by. Auteiul is amazing – channeling the spirit of Jacques Mesrine from the other side of the law and looking totally hang dog but totally cool throughout.

The plot builds to a horrifying and disturbing conclusion, the characters smoulder and everything just ‘works’. Although not an action film – there are some cracking chase, fight and death scenes which stay with you in the way some of the best scenes in ‘Se7en’ did.

"Hi honey, I've been a bit delayed on the bus home..."

If you’re looking for a brutal slice of cop thrills, they don’t come any darker, grittier or better. Provided you have a strong stomach, and enjoy subtitled films MR 73 is a ‘must see’…

Darkmatters final rating of: öööööööööö (10 – grim French cops out of 10)

If you're reading this in the US... then you'll be looking for 'Last Deadly Mission' not 'MR 73'... way to rename a film!!

Darkmatters Review: Date Night

Date Night (15)

Dir. Shawn Levy

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Hi honey, let’s go out on a Date Night… We can go eat at that fancy new restaurant, spend some quality time together – who knows where the night might end?

For decent couple the Fosters, Phil (Steve Carrel) and Claire (Tina Fey), the idea is that a date night could bring some excitement back into their relationship which is suffering due to the pressures of work, childcare and supporting their friends. They get far more than they bargained for when they take another couple's reservation at a high rolling restaurant and become the unwitting targets of corrupt cops with a death wish. From that moment Date Night lurches into a pleasing madcap comedy action adventure which is light and fluffy but also very watchable.

Director Shawn ‘Night At The Museum’ Levy’ has lots of fun bringing copious shootouts, car chases and general mayhem – all the while delivering regular laugh out loud moments. Carrel and Fey are both very funny and they bring this film to life, making it much better than it has any right to be with their sharp ad-libbing. They are ably assisted by the likes of Mark Wahlberg as Holbrooke – a black ops specialist who has some handy hardware that might just give the Fosters a fighting chance to survive the night.

All of the supporting cast are quality actually with Ray Liotta hamming it up nicely as a mobster, Mark Ruffalo and Kristen Wiig as a couple going through a break up and even the lovely Leighton ‘Gossip Girl’ Meester as the Foster’s babysitter.

There are a several stand out scenes that you’ll likely remember for some time – pick of the bunch though has to be a strip club where the intrepid couple have to pole dance for a dodgy DA Frank Crenshaw (a suitably slimy William Fichtner). You might never watch Peter Crouch’s robot dance in the same way again!?

Date Night might be inconsequential fluff but it is top quality inconsequential fluff and it should be your first choice for a date movie if looking for something with a good mix of fun and action. It might even bring you closer to your nearest and dearest as it is impossible to miss the heavy handed ‘love is worth fighting for’ message.

"Tina Fey - funny and sexy too!?"


The Fosters run into Mr & Mrs Smith and inadvertently kill them thinking that they are part of the gang trying to get them…

Darkmatters rating: ööööööö7 (7 middle age married couple issues out of 10)

Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 7 / Style 7 / Babes 6 / Comedy 7 / Horror 3 / Spiritual Enlightenment 3

Monday, April 19, 2010

Darkmatters Review: Cemetery Junction

Cemetery Junction (15)

Dir. Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

There comes a time every man’s life when he has to make his mark, decide what he’s going to do with his life and head out into the wider world.

Cemetery Junction is the 1970’s chronicle of three best friends – first up is young Freddie Taylor (Christian Cooke) a decent chap who has dreams of trading in his factory job for the white collar world of insurance sales. Then there’s charismatic rebel without a cause Bruce Pearson (Tom Hughes) who has a nose for trouble and is wasting his life away. Finally is ‘Snork’ (Jack Doolan) – the fat comedian of the bunch who gets lots of the best comedy moments and a running gag about his self designed tattoo which adorns both his chest and his back.

The one thing that these pals have in common is being trapped in the titular backwater of Cemetery Junction, where life is slow and options for excitement are limited to fighting, drinking and painting boobs and cocks on advertising posters.

Directors Gervais and Merchant effectively channel their patented bittersweet comedy drama of ‘The Office’ and ‘Extras’ into this film which mixes laugh out loud comedy with pleasing swirls of darker emotion. And unlike Gervais’ poor ‘Invention of Lying’, where viewers really didn’t like or care about the characters, Cemetery Junction sucks you in to the life and love issues faced by the three pals.
The directors pop up in cameo roles, Gervais as working class father of the main character who gets to rant some Daily Mail special bigotry and Merchant who might only be on screen for a minute but who still manages to deliver a killer comic sound bite.

Plot wise the film doesn’t do anything very different from many of other coming of age tales but the time flies by in an energetic good natured whirl backed up by a kicking ‘70s soundtrack. Ralph Fiennes delivers a quality turn as a Cemetery Junction boy who did good but lost his soul in the process. Will Freddy follow in his footsteps or might he find Fiennes’ daughter (the lovely Felicity Jones) a more attractive escape route?

Anyone who had first hand experience of the 1970s will find lots to enjoy from the excellent attention to detail which as a ‘70s child I found resonated strongly. Cemetery Junction is a film with lots of heart, it delivers a good night out and will make you laugh, think and appreciate life – what more could you ask for?

"young love in effect"


Gervais’s character gets into a verbal sparring match with Snork over who is the chubbiest...

Darkmatters rating: öööööööö (8 teenage kicks out of 10)

Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 6 / Style 7 / Babes 7 / Comedy 7 / Horror 3 / Spiritual Enlightenment 3

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Darkmatters Review: Whip It

Whip It (12a)

Dir. Drew Barrymore

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Are you ready for a wild and wacky mixture of mini-skirted, fishnet clad roller skating babes who glory in names like ‘Jabba the Slut’ and ‘Bloody Holly’? Then step right this way for Whip It, Drew Barymore’s directorial debut that fuses teen comedy romance with brutal Roller Derby action. Whip It is the coming of age tale of feisty young Bliss (Ellen ‘Juno’ Page) your average 17-year-old with dreams of escaping from her controlling mother (Marcia Gay Harden) who is determined for her to be a beauty pageant queen.

In this odd hybrid sports drama – adapted from the book 'Derby Girl' by it's author and ex-roller derby player Shauna Cross. Bliss becomes ‘Babe Ruthless’ the unlikely newbie star player of the ‘Hurl Scouts’ a rag tag bunch of skaters whose only claim to fame is not winning anything. With speedy little Bliss in their team the Scouts somehow manage to get to the championship play offs where they face fierce rival outfit led by ‘Iron Maven’ (Juliette Lewis).

Along the way her best friend and co-waitress Pash (Alia Shawkat) shares Bliss’s joys and pains as she meets her first love Oliver (Landon Pigg) - lead singer of an so-so Indie rock band.

There are some laughs to be had, mostly from the witty Roller Derby announcer ‘Hot Tub' Johnny Rocket (Jimmy Fallon) who steals the show when he takes to the ring. But the main Roller Derby ‘action’ is poor, mostly due to it being painfully obvious that most of the actresses aren’t actually very good skaters.

What few stand out moments there are come mainly from Bliss’s father Earl (Danial ‘Home Alone’ Stern) who is brilliant in his attempts to connect with his disaffected daughter. There is also a kooky underwater love scene which at least tries to put a different slant on teen snogging. But these are minor elements worthy of what is overall a disjointed and pretty average effort.

The ho-hum climatic big beauty pageant clashing with the big playoff game is a clichéd device that has been used too many times before for us to really care.

"skirts? who needs skirts anyway?"

Overall Whip It is harmless enough fun but because it has to pull its punches in order to cater for the obvious tweenie girl ‘wannabe rebel’ target audience it turns out a bit duller than it might have.


Ellen Page goes ape in the final Roller Derby and plays it Rollerball style complete with spike studded gloves and a chainsaw...

Darkmatters rating: öööööö (6 awkward teenage moments out of 10)

Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 6 / Style 7 / Babes 7 / Comedy 6 / Horror 5 / Spiritual Enlightenment 3

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Kick Ass does music videos too...

Kick Ass fans should check this out...

The Cast Of 'Kick-Ass' Take On The Soft Pack

In this Mean Video, directed by Kashy Khaledi, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Clark Duke bust out their super powers for a rockin' high school food fight set to the tune of The Soft Pack's 'Answer To Yourself.'

Nice video, ok song...

You really should have seen KICK-ASS by now - if you haven't, check the review here

and in other news...

Here's some useful info I found too:

How many errors does your computer have?
Your PC crashes for no apparent reason. You keep receiving error messages and don't know why. Your PC runs much slower than when you first bought it. Are you frustrated by your computer's bad performance? Do you really want an instant solution?
Problems with the Windows Registry are a common cause of Windows crashes and error messages. Registry problems can occur for many reasons, including references left behind after uninstalling; incorrect removal of software; missing or corrupt hardware drivers; or orphaned start-up programs. This will significantly increase the Registry size and slow down your computer, because Windows will need more time to load, search, and read data from the Registry.
Before you start looking for a new computer, try running a Digeus Registry Cleaner on your system to repair the backbone of your machine. Computers perform best when they receive regular and professional maintenance.
This award winning software starts by conducting a deep scan of your registry, checking for file extension errors and other registry conflicts. With Digeus Registry Cleaner you'll see immediate increases in performance and decreases in system conflicts.
Here is the list of the most commonly reported computer problems:
  Slow Boot up
  Longer Machine Response Time
  Unexpected System Crashes
  BSOD (Blue Screen of Death)
  Unresponsive System
  Slower Internet Browser Response
  Slow Start Up of Your Favorite Software

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Darkmatters Review: Clash of the Titans

Clash of the Titans (12a)

Dir. Louis Leterrier

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Welcome to new re-take on ancient Greece, a place where mythological beasties run rampant and neither god, nor man is free from a truckload of CGI special effects being poured over them at any time…

Director Louis ‘The Incredible Hulk’ Leterrier brings this flashy update of Desmond Davis's 1981 fantasy epic to the screen in unnecessary and unconvincing 3D. I saw the original as a boy and was blown away by the incredible (for their time) effects of Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion creatures. This time I was less impressed although having said that my youngest son James really enjoyed it so perhaps you just need to be the a kid to get the most from this tale of swords, sandals and massive legendary monsters?

So it seems that Father of the gods Zeus (Liam Neeson, in a sparkly suit of armour) has a beef with his evil brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes, traveling around in a dark cloud) when the citizens of Argos stop praying to him and his godly pals. Hades gets licence to unleash his pet super-weapon ‘the Kraken’ to destroy the whining humans or make the shoppers, sorry inhabitants, of Argos turn back to the gods. The only get out clause is if the people sacrifice their hottie princess, Andromeda (Alexa Davalos).

Things certainly look bleak for us mortals but fortunately we have young demigod Perseus (Sam ‘AVATAR’ Worthington) on hand – he embarks on a mission to find a way to kill the Kraken and save the princess. This quest sees Perseus come up against CGI obstacles such as giant scorpions, a Darth Maul alike apprentice to Hades and Medusa the gorgon who is queen of the visual effects.

So the plot is of the simple, go here, kill baddies, get back and kill the big baddie variety but it is simply a backdrop to upon which Leterrier stages his set pieces. The special effects vary from the sublime snake headed Medusa through to the ropey bat demons and less than impressive climactic Kraken. As I mentioned the 3D version here feels like it was tacked on at the last moment and doesn’t add anything to the film.

Worthington does an ok job in the lead role while the gods ham up their parts like they’re immortal souls depend on out camping each other. Hot Brit actress Gemma Arterton is gives good support as ‘Io’ but there is little here to recommend it beyond being some lightweight mythological eye candy.


Darkmatters rating: öööööö (6 camp Greek gods out of 10)

Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 7 / Style 7 / Babes 6 / Comedy 5 / Horror 6 / Spiritual Enlightenment 2

want to catch up on the original - on Blu-Ray? click below...

Friday, April 02, 2010

Darkmatters Review: Bunny and the Bull

Bunny and the Bull (15)

Dir. Paul King

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Much has been written about the art of bullfighting, but I can sum it up in one sentence: get out of the way of the bull, you idiot! Otherwise he will rip open your anus like it was a cheap Velcro wallet...”

Thus is the wisdom from this heartbreaking road movie from writer / director Paul King (The Mighty Boosh), which takes place mostly in the head of poor Stephen Turnbull (Edward Hogg)… and features a climactic showdown between Bunny and a Bull.

Stephen hasn’t left the house for months due to a traumatic event that happened a year before – more on that in a minute. Stephen’s best friend Bunny (Simon Farnaby) is a free living spirit, a man who can’t resist a challenge, a foxy female, or the chance to gamble… Bunny’s idea to liven up their existence – and help Stephen move on from being dumped into the ‘lets just be friends zone’ by the love of his life Melanie (Madeleine Worrall) – is to take a Euro road trip.

Things get nicely out of hand as the pair of pals encounter all sorts of colourful characters and find themselves in all sorts of weird and wonderful situations. If you like ‘The Mighty Boosh’ – you’ll be prepared for their surreal flights of imagination and crazy / silly fantasy ponderings. Bunny and the Bull delivers an amazing, poignant, head trip that deals in love, life and the universe.

Central to the plot is love interest waitress Eloisa (Verónica Echegui) who becomes Stephen’s infatuation and Bunny’s plaything – the love triangle storyline works really well – managing to be really funny and equally unsettling. Channeling Monty Python, David Lynch and Gilliam all at the same time, this is a welcome and highly refreshing new entry into the British film cannon. I can only recommend that you take this trip with Bunny and the Bull as soon as you can!!

Darkmatters rating: ööööööööö (9 freaky Bunny Bulls out of 10)

why not buy Bunny and the Bull here?

"Stephen and the Bunny"

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