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 29, 2011

Darkmatters Review: Final Destination 5

Final Destination 5 (15)

Dir. Steven Quale

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Y'all just be careful now.”

Death it seems is a sure fire crowd pleaser (as long as the crowd are horror fans) and so after ‘The Final Destination 3D’ hinted at an end to this accident-em-up franchise – the grim reaper is back for more.

You must know the drill by now. Take an assorted group of young people – including at least one babe, one good looking guy, one geek, one ethnic dude and one who’s such a dick that you really want them to die. It’s important that all of the characters be instantly forgettable too. Have the group escape death due to one of them having a premonition about the impending disaster, in this case an impressively rendered bridge collapse. Then spend the rest of the film killing off the group one by one in really gruesome ways – preferably that involve bits of their body flying out towards the audience to make the most of the 3D!

And that’s exactly what Final Destination 5 delivers…

Nicholas D'Agosto takes the lead role of Sam Lawton – a average chap who on the day that he cheats death by foreseeing the coming bridge collapse gets dumped by his hot girlfriend Molly (Emma ‘The Walking Dead’ Bell). Sam’s pal Peter (Miles Fisher) tries to console him but before you can say “you’re all doomed” the group are getting sliced diced and impaled in various nasty ways.

The Final Destination films are masters of taking things that people are often a bit scared of – flying, roller coasters, freeway accidents etc to which part 5 adds laser eye surgery and acupuncture and shows you exactly why you might be freaked our by them… The good news is that the scenes are filmed with a slickness and delight in wrong footing the audience that allows the gallows humour kick in to full effect.

If you’re at all squeamish then this really isn’t the film for you – the makers really push the boat out on some of the deaths, which include the most painful gymnastic dismount in cinematic history…

"stabbing is one of the less inventive exit scenarios"

The audience is actively encouraged to be voyeuristic gore hounds who applaud while being appalled at the crisp HD 3D squishing of eyeballs, bursting of entrails and splattering of bodies.

Of course death will come to us but in Final Destination 5 it comes with a vengeance! Whether you want to witness potential death at the cinema is up to you…

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(2.5 - been there, died that)...

Awesomeness ööö – sickos might find some here

Laughs öö – less fun than part 4

Horror ööö – some very grim scenes

Babes ööö – Emma Bell is hot

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - you can't cheat death...

"Emma Bell is lovely"

Sunday, August 28, 2011

And Darkness Descended on PS3 - sign up for access!!

PlayStation 3 presents:

...and darkness descended

A Punchdrunk adventure inspired by Resistance® 3

Matt Adcock invites you to face your fears...

To celebrate the launch of the third in the Resistance franchise, PlayStation®3 has commissioned immersive theatre specialists, Punchdrunk, to create a unique survival experiment fusing theatre and gaming. The experience will be a UK first, combining inspiration from the US and Japanese traditions of Dark Rides/Walks of Terror. The activity will launch on the 31st August and this ticketed event opens to the public from 1st September to 4th September 2011 at Waterloo Station Arches in London.

Tickets are extremely limited.

The central theme of ‘...and darkness descended’ is that the longer you survive, the more you see. Set in an alternate London location that provides a prequel to the beginning of Resistance 3, participants will form part of the ‘resistance’ whose role it is to send a message to US survivors, who we subsequently meet in the beginning sequences of Resistance 3. Echoing the game's multi-player elements, participant groups will not be able to survive without working together to achieve goals.

Punchdrunk will use ideas and learnings from its previous work - It Felt Like a Kiss (2009) and The Crash of the Elysium (2011) – to create this unique, innovative project. The activity is a marriage of immersive game play with theatrical experience to explore the similarities and differences between the two entertainment genres - both brought together through the medium of fear and survival - a key creative theme within the game.

For a chance to take part in ‘...and darkness descended’ please register for Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th September up until midday on 30th August by emailing accesslive@scee.net stating your preferred date...

Times: 19.00-23.00 3rd and from 14.00-19.00 on Sunday 4th September 2011

Venue: Waterloo Station Arches, Leake Street, SE1 7NN

Further Info: Participants and their guest must be 18 years or older – ID will be requested.
Trainers or running shoes are highly recommended.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Darkmatters Review: The Inbetweeners Movie

The Inbetweeners Movie (15)

Dir. Ben Palmer

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Right ‘bumders’ prepare yourself for the big screen exploits of some UK youths known as The Inbetweeners…

These aren’t rioting / looting chav scumbags either, these are just average young middle England chaps trying to make it through their teen years. Four friends obsessed with girls, trying to be cool, the hope of sex, having a laugh, dealing with embarrassing parents and exploring the finer points of self-pleasuring themselves.

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting the Inbetweeners they are posh nerd Will Mackenzie (Simon Bird), nice but dim Neil Sutherland (Blake Harrison), sex mad wide boy Jay Cartwright (James Buckley) and your average lovelorn teen Simon Cooper (Joe Thomas). So the pals have survived school – the end of which is marked by a superb ‘leavers speech’ by Head of Sixthform Mr Gilbert (Greg Davies) where he tells the kids in no uncertain terms how little he hopes he’ll ever see them again. Be sure to look out for Gilbert again just as the end credits hit as he has a truly unforgettable final cameo!

"The boys soak up the rays - shame Will has a cock burnt onto his back!"

When Simon gets dumped by his girlfriend / love of his life Carli D'Amato (Emily Head) , the boys decide that only a sun and booze filled holiday in Greece will be only way to take his mind off it.

So the scene is set for a cringe-em-up horror story of cheap package holiday fun which sees the boys drinking copious amounts, getting ripped off, dancing very very badly and trying with various amounts of success to hit on females.

The writers (Damon Beesley and Iain Morris) bring some fantastic situations to the table, which put the characters through humiliation beyond the call of duty. Think The Office played entirely with work experience kids or maybe a British version of American Pie directed by Francis Ford Coppola and you’ll have some idea what to expect.

The Inbetweeners Movie works better than expected – delivering plenty of ‘wrong’ laugh out loud material, some of which will have you wincing at the screen. If you’re one of the Daily Mail reading reactionaries who knock The Inbetweeners for being overly crass, crude and juvenile then you really need to get over yourselves and realise that stupid and over the top as this might be – it’s probably the best insight into young male minds ever.

And as Jay says: “You better bring your wellies, because you'll be knee-deep in clunge.”

"The females on the town"

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - every loser wins!?)...

Awesomeness öööö – you may never forget some scenes

Laughs öööö – yes you'll laugh (unless you're dead)

Horror ööö – snorting poo anyone?

Babes öööö – crumpet alert for the 'Pussay Patrol'

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - what happens on holiday, stays on holiday!?

"Laura Haddock - can Will really pull this?"

Friday, August 19, 2011

Battlefield 3 - Superbness in motion

Battlefield 3

Matt Adcock

Looks amazing... see for yourself below:

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Darkmatters Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (12)

Dir Rupert Wyatt

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Imagine a new gene therapy that enabled the brain to repair itself – it could be the cure for Alzheimer's, it could change everything…
Of course there will be some who’ll say that we shouldn’t test new drugs like this on animals but with the potential for such great medical progress – surely monitoring the effect it has on a few apes is a risk worth taking? What’s the worst that could happen?

Bio engineer Will Rodman (James ‘new Spiderman’ Franco) is the scientist who created the potential wonder drug ALZ-112. His first ape trial goes wrong but he takes Caesar the child of his brain boosted lab monkey home and raises him in his home. Caesar (played by an amazingly effective motion-captured Andy Serkis) is the most empathetic character in the film – so when he is put in a nasty ape sanctuary and abused it pulls at the heartstrings. In fact I was still rooting for him when he’d managed to assemble of like-minded apes and was battling the authorities.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes as the name suggests is the prequel to Planet of the Apes, not necessarily the Tim Burton effort either. Taking Franklin J. Schaffner's 1968 sci-fi classic as the starting point – director Rupert Wyatt ditches the original’s blatant racism metaphor and goes for a more action thriller build up. The cast which includes John Lithgow as Will’s Alzheimer's afflicted father do all they can but it is the monkey business that you’ll go home talking about.

It’s very well done too – the special effects are eye poppingly impressive and the action scenes rousing. The apes are going down well in the States where this has just become the fourth biggest August film opening ever.

"They may take our bananas - but they'll never take our FREEDOM!"

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a great fun film – it delivers big time on entertainment and stands out amongst the glut of action flicks hitting this screen this summer by being the only one I really can’t wait to see follow made for.

Here we are then, human, top of the food chain (at least until the sequel) and what have we achieved? Well, on the strength of this - it looks like it might not be too long before the apes get their act together enough to make an exciting film about their own destruction and then pay money to watch it. But hey, until then let’s revel in the fact that we beat them to it!

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - quality monkey business that needs to be seen)...

Awesomeness öööö – very cool human / ape interaction

Laughs öö – not a laugh riot but a few funnies

Horror ööö – things get a bit hairy

Babes öö – average female mate possibilities

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - maybe we should keep the intelligence to ourselves?

"Freida Pinto - scientifically approved great legs!"

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Darkmatters Review: SUPER 8

Super 8 (12)

Dir. J.J. Abrams

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

How about a major homage to blockbuster science fiction films of Steven Spielberg which, proves that when imitating greatness, a little of the magic can rub off on a new generation.

With Super 8, J.J. ‘Star Trek’ Abrams takes us back to the idyllic summer of 1979 where a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness a catastrophic train crash while making a fun amateur super 8 movie.

The thing is – the crash was not an accident and something very nasty has escaped from the wreckage. Cue unusual disappearances and inexplicable events beginning to take place across the town, as the local populace get involved in some serious close encounters…

The cool cast of kids taking the lead - featuring the star crossed crush of average teen Joe (newcomer Joel Courtney) son of the local deputy sheriff and Alice (the beguilingly talented Elle ‘Somewhere’ Fanning) daughter of the local bad boy, the stage is set for some heart warming sci-fi thrills. Joe and Alice's chaste romance feels natural and evokes the feel captured by last year’s Let Me In. These are kids who it is fun just to be around.

"teen romance from different sides of the tracks"

Think Goonies mixed with Close Encounters of the Third Kind and, throw in some great references to films from across the genres and you’ve got the winning recipe for a new breed of classic.

With Spielberg producing it is no surprise to have the heart strings tugged. The set up of young Joe, struggling to come to terms with being left in the custody of his busy dad Jack (Kyle Chandler) after his mother dies, provides the emotional backdrop to the alien monster-em-up action.

The tension is expertly built up at first when the creature is kept mostly unseen – one particular scene of a gas station being attacked shot from behind a big rotating advertisement is a work of cinematic genius.

The alien is revealed before the end and whilst it is nicely realised with good CGi work, it doesn’t quite stand out as a creature that will be remembered as a cinematic icon.

Super 8 is great, not too nasty so that it can be enjoyed by a wide audience and packing plenty of fun alongside the tension and action scenes.

Oh and don’t leave before the credits either as you get to witness the whole of the kids’ super 8 zombie movie which will send you home with a big smile on your face.

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4.5 - Strong future classic vibe here)...

Awesomeness öööö – plenty of very cool stuff on offer

Laughs ööö – some real joy inspiring moments

Horror öö – a few grim bits but nothing too bad

Babes ööö – Fanning is likely to turn out ok

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - don't presume evil (even in aliens who eat you)

"Elle Fanning is in fashion - in Marie Claire last month"