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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dynamo - 'My World in Play’

Dynamo stars in a short film to capture ‘My World in Play’

Matt Adcock

Following on from the launch of the PlayStation Vita on 22nd February, two short films by TV award winning magician Dynamo have been released.

Inspired by the ability to play anytime and anywhere, the films give the viewer a glimpse into Dynamo’s magical world where anything is truly possible.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, the first film sees Dynamo putting the PlayStation Vita’s anytime, anywhere functionality to the test, scaling the heights of one of London's most iconic locations -Nelson's column - for a spot of downtime gaming, much to the surprise of his friend!

The second short film captures Dynamo's busy life, always on the move and in demand.   Playing at home on his PlayStation 3 console, Dynamo keeps being interrupted by his management.  Instead of stopping playing, with a touch of Dynamo magic he transforms his PlayStation console into a PlayStation Vita, so he can continue playing on the move.

“I’m a gamer myself and always on the move, so it was great to get a chance to test out the PlayStation Vita and see what I could do with it!” says Dynamo.

The two films by Dynamo follow the release of ‘Our World in Play’ which captured Rizzle Kicks duo Jordan Stephens and Harley Alexander-Sule, each making their separate ways to one of their gigs, putting the PlayStation Vita through its paces along the way.
The hotly-anticipated PlayStation Vita has gaming at its heart; offering users the best possible portable gaming experience, including WiFi and 3G capabilities, PlayStation 3 quality graphics, touch sensitive front screen and back panel, dual analogue sticks and new ways of social interaction with ‘Near’ and ‘Live Area’  functions.

“PlayStation Vita is an incredible device that offers the best possible portable gaming experiences.  Its revolutionary mix of features combined with social connectivity, deliver a platform for gamers to play games in a whole new way and to connect with their friends and the world around them” says Alan Duncan, Marketing Director, Sony PlayStation.

The Dynamo in the short films are hosted here: 

Rumoured to be a big fan of the PSV:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

PS VITA Uncharted and FIFA top charts

Gamers in the UK show they love the VITA...

Matt Adcock

The Game changing PS VITA is here - and in the first week of sales it has moved more than a million units of hardware world-wide. In the UK the top selling games for the launch week were Uncharted and FIFA - both superb on the VITA with Rayman Origins also making the all format top 5 (below).

PS VITA Uncharted and FIFA top the Top 40 
Entertainment Software Chart for Week Ending 25 February 2012



3. UFC UNDISPUTED 3 - PS3 / 360 (THQ)

4. FIFA 12 - PS3 / 360 (ELECTRONIC ARTS)


Other PS VITA games also in the top 40 were WipEout 2048, F1 2011, Virtua Tennis 4, Everybody's Golf and Ridge Racer...

"The VITA - embodied by Alexis Bledel"

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Darkmatters Review: SAFE HOUSE

Safe House (15)

Dir. Daniel Espinosa

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

‘When they tell you “You've done a fine job, Son. We'll take it from here.” That's when you know you're screwed.’

Step up for a high-energy espionage action thriller from director Daniel ‘Tony Scott wannabe’ Espinosa. Safe House sees Denzel Washington star as Tobin Frost - a notorious C.I.A. super spy who went rogue and has been messing things up for the international intelligence community ever since. Frost has got himself mixed up with a lot of very nasty people who want him dead and so turns himself in after being cornered by an army of hit men.

Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), is a young C.I.A. "housekeeper" – frustrated at being paid to watch a largely unused Safe House and hoping for the change to prove himself worthy of a more exciting position… So when Frost is brought to Weston’s Safe House for a spot of ‘persuasive questioning’ or torture by water-boarding as it turns out – you just know that it won’t be long before Weston will be up to his neck in action.

"mean n moody"

Then everything kicks off as a team of tooled up mercs attack the Safe House killing all the C.I.A. operatives and forcing Weston to go on the run with Frost in his custody. Cue exciting car chases, gun battles and fist fights aplenty interspersed with some frankly dull and slightly unnecessary soppy character development as Weston tries to prevent his beloved girlfriend Ana (the very sexy Nora Arnezeder) from becoming a target for his pursuers.

The action scenes are what really impress here – breakneck paced chases mixed with gritty feeling fights – Safe House is a film that will satisfy those who like their gunfights loud, well staged and where characters actually get hurt / killed.

The film rocks some impressively shot cinematography too, which elevates it from the straight to DVD action efforts starring Steven Seagal etc… Throw into the mix some quality double crossing and paranoia inducing ‘don’t’ trust the system’ messaging and you’ve all the ingredients for a fun action thriller.
"stand down dude"

Whilst Denzel acts Ryan off the screen (they should have gone for Ryan ‘Drive’ Gosling if they wanted a Ryan who can hold his own) the pair do generate some chemistry and are ably supported by quality actors such as Liam Cunningham, Brendan Gleeson, Rubén Blades and Vera Farmiga.

Safe House might not be a classic but it certainly delivers enough to make it worth seeing on the big screen.

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


3.5 – No one is safe

Awesomeness öööö – The car chase scene is pretty epic!

Laughs öö – mildly funny in places

Horror öö – some savage fights but not overly gory

Babes ööö – Nora Arnezeder is yummy!

Spiritual Enlightenment öö – trust no-one

"fun C.I.A. undercover work!?"


Friday, February 24, 2012

PS VITA - Avalanche of games coming!!


Matt Adcock

The PS VITA is now available in the UK - so what games are available and what else is in the 'pipe'?

Here's a list that has been putting together over at IGN... If you know of others do let me know / comment!?


Army Corps of Hell

Asphalt: Injection

Ben 10: Galactic Racing

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II Plus

Dungeon Hunter: Alliance

Dynasty Warriors Next

Escape Plan

F1 2011

FIFA Football

Hot Shots Golf

Hustle Kings

Little Deviants

Lumines:Electronic Symphony

ModNation Racers: Road Trip

Michael Jackson: The Experience

Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus

Plants vs. Zombies

Rayman Origins

Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen

Super Stardust Delta

Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack

The Treasures of Montezuma Blitz


Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

Virtua Tennis 4

WipEout 2048

Reality Fighters

Ridge Racer Vita

Frobisher Says!

MotorStorm RC

Top Darts

Initial impressions of Uncharted, Wipeout 2048 and FIFA Football HERE

MLB 12: The Show

Mortal Kombat

Unit 13

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7


Disgaea 3 Returns

Silent Hill: Book of Memories

Supremacy MMA


Alien Spidey


AR Combat Digi Q

Assassin's Creed

Battlefield of Maidens 2nd

Bioshock Vita


Browser Sangokushi Next

Build 'N Race Extreme

Call of Duty Vita

Cave shooter project [untitled]

Daito Giken Official Pachi-Slot Simulator Series

DJ Max: Technika

Dragon's Crown

Dragon's Racing

Dream Club Zero Portable

Dungeon Defenders

Dust 514

Emergency Escape Adventure: Trust or Betrayal

Falcom Project [untitled]

Final Fantasy Type-0

Final Fantasy X

Fish On

Ginsei Igo

Ginsei Shogi Huun Ryuuko Raiden

Gravity Rush

Great Little War Game

Gyokugen Dasshutsu ADV: Zennin Shiboudes

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA -- PS Vita Version

Hideo Kojima "Fox Engine" Project


Jurassic: The Hunted

Killzone Vita

Let's Try Bass Fishing

LittleBigPlanet Vita

Little Busters! Converted Edition

Lord of Apocalypse

Mad Blocker Adventure

Mahjong Fight Club: Shinsei Zenkoku Taisen


Marvel Pinball

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection

Moe Moe Daisensou Gendaiban ++

Mr. Ink Jet New Kamaitachi no Yoru: Jyuichi-nin-me no Suspect

New King's Story


Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee HD

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD

Orc Attack

Pachi-Para Series

Project N.O.E.L.S.

Pub Games


Pure Chess

Putty Squad

Ragnarok Odyssey

Resistance: Burning Skies

Robot Rescue Revolution

Saikyo Todai Shogi

Sengoku Hime 3rd

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 Golden

Shirotsuku DX

Shoot Many Robots

Smart As (working title)

Sound Shapes

StarDrone Extended

Street Fighter x Tekken


Super Monkey Ball Vita


Tales of Innocence R

Tales of the Heroes: Twin Brave

The Flying Hamster HD

The Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki (Full Voice Version)

The Pinball Arcade

Time Travelers


Urban Trials

Rugby Challenge

Warrior's Lair

Ys Celceta: Sea of Trees

Zone of the Enders HD Collection


- - phew - -

How sexy is the PS VITA to play?

About this sexy:

Thursday, February 23, 2012


PS VITA - The Future For Gamers

Matt Adcock

The PlayStation Vita is now available and is redefining portable gaming with the console’s innovative features, including a crystal sharp 5 inch OLED screen, Dual Analog Sticks, front touch screen and rear touchpad and front and rear cameras.

If you think 'PS3 in your pocket' then you'll be pretty much spot on...

"Them Rizzle Kicks lads love the VITA - can't blame em!"

The hardware is unprecedented, uncompromising and very very tasty. If you think your smartphone can be any competition to the VITA, you'll soon change your mind when you try it...  The mini analogue sticks are beautiful, highly responsive  and allow for that 'real console' control - even the British Gas guy who came to fix our boiler whilst I was playing VITA wanted a go and after a few minutes with Call of Duty alike UNIT 13 proclaimed "this is the nuts! I'm going to have to trade in my PSP for this now."

It's true though, there is something intrinsically cool about the VITA that speaks to your inner gamer - in the queue I was in on launch morning, I counted at least  4 people trading in Xbox360's and 3  trading 3DS for their new VITAs - I asked the ex-360 guy infront of me why and he confessed that he's always wanted to play an Uncharted game and now he could 'take it anywhere' he just couldn't resist (yeah that and the fact that after trade in the VITA was only £79).

The PS VITA is slick, powerful slab of gaming goodness - and when you play it, if you've ever enjoyed a videogame you'll know, you'll just know that this is something you'll be spending a lot of time playing...

Tweeting, Facebook updating and 'meeting' other players through the excellent 'Near' functionality make the VITA a very handy bit of kit which can keep you socially connected whilst delivering high quality gaming on the go.

The games that are already the stars - with a launch line up better than any I've seen... Including mighty titles such as our pick of the top 3 off the shelf games:

Uncharted: Golden Abyss 

Sleek, epic and brutal adventuring all rolled into one mouth-watering package. The ability to play in bite sized chunks, trade items you find / loot from enemies with other VITA users, notch up trophies and generally be astounded by the cinematic PS3-alike visuals is something every gamer deserves to experience.

"in game footage - stealth action"

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters: öööö1/2 

4.5 – Redefines what's possible on a handheld and rocks very hard

FIFA Football

FIFA has come a long way from the days when it used to be pwned by PES... And the VITA version packs great graphics, smooth gameplay (with added options touch screen passing which can be used to devastatingly deadly effect), online games, tournaments - it's a flippin marvel what they've been able to do with what is for sure the best portable version of football to date. If you're a fan expect to lose many hours of your life to this!?

"even Ars*nal manage to look good in this version"

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

4 – The really beautiful game, in your pocket!!

Wipeout 2048 

Wipeout 2048 is the near future anti-gravity racing prequel to the long running PlayStation franchise... Starting with a great short intro film which shows how in the quest for speed we finally got rid of wheels on our racing machines. So as the new sport isn't fully fledged the races take place in a mixture of city streets and nosebleed inducing vertical tracks which take you above the skyline.

Graphically this is just awesome, but the great news is that it plays superbly too and is probably the most 'pick up and play' version to date. Even Wipeout Noobs will be setting commanding lap times on the international online leaderboards - those with PS3 owning mates can play against them in real time / if you have a PS3 and Wipeout HD, the DLC packs you buy will be able to be used in both games!?

Nothing quite shows off what the VITA can do like this game - for a launch effort it is staggering and definitely my favourite of the WipEout games to date.

"look at those clouds - but not for too long as the action if frantic!"

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters: öööö1/2 

4.5 – Eye burning good looks and user friendly controls = greatest racing on the move ever

All of these can be downloaded from the PlayStation Store or bought on the funky VITA cards...

Full VITA reviews of these games and more will be appearing here after some serious play testing!!

"Radio 1's Chris Moyles and Tim Westwood rock the PS VITA launch"

"It's time for a new breed of handheld gaming!"

Info from the PSVITArooms launch: here 

Review - Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (12a)

Dir. Mark Nevaldine & Brian Taylor

“This thing... There's got no conscience, just hunger. The Rider's gonna come out. And when he does, he'll destroy whoever's got it coming.”

Not much can prepare you for this crazy follow up to 2007's ‘Ghost Rider’ (which wasn’t much cop but made a respectable $237,702,59 worldwide). Nicolas Cage must be as surprised as anyone to get the chance to return as Marvel’s darkest hero - Johnny Blaze – a guy possessed by a flame headed demonic entity called ‘The Rider’.

So Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is a kind of reboot of the franchise, bringing in the hit directors of the Crank movies and looking to bring some more frenetic, darker action to the big screen, this time in really unnecessary 3D.


Plotwise we’re in Eastern Europe where it seems that the devil going under the name Rourke (Ciarán Hinds) is up to no good and trying to trade in his aging body for a younger model. The boy who is the dark lord’s target is his son Danny (Fergus Riordan) whose mother Nadya (Violante Placido) is doing all she can to keep him away from his evil dad.

Also on hand are a renegade monk named Moreau (Idris Elba) who is also trying to save the boy and badass gunslinger Corrigan (Johnny Whitworth) who sides with the devil to try and obtain the boy for him.

Cue a loud, silly, good-looking adventure – shot through with jump cut cinematography and random action sequences. Sure it’s flashy stuff but it doesn’t make much sense or engage very much. The best thing about it is the manic energy of Cage who hasn’t been this mental on camera since his twitch-em-up Wicker Man performance.

There are a couple of memorable scenes including a fun road based vehicle attack / chase and a spiritually charged communion where Johnny Blaze tries to save his cursed soul. Corrigan is briefly bumped up to be a super baddie who can corrupt anything he touches which makes eating tricky as his food crumbles to mouldy dust before it gets to his mouth (apart from an indestructible Twinky).

"If the Twisted Metal film isn't better than Ghost Rider 2 - it will be a crime!"

Spirit of Vengeance really isn’t a classic addition to the superhero cannon and is unlikely to be fondly remembered by many – it’s a quick stupid blast of dark tinged action with a license for Cage to go absolutely nuts in his patented overacting masterclass.

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


2 – Odd and manic doesn't equal great, anyway you look at it!?

Awesomeness öö – Cage is so far OTT it almost rocks

Laughs ööö – the acting is funny

Horror ööö – vaguely demonic goings on aren't pretty

Babes ööö – Violante Placido is hot

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö – redemption theme figures hard

"But maybe never again..."

Monday, February 13, 2012

The UK Gaming Landscape Changes in hours... PSVITA

The PS VITA hits UK on 22.02.12

PlayStation Vita Midnight Opening is TONIGHT!!

The Oxford Street GAME Store will be opening at 00.01 Wednesday, 22nd February to officially launch SONY's new handheld.

Those who brave the London night will be the first to own the PS Vita hours before anyone else, but as an extra bonus, every customer will also receive a £5 PSN voucher code.

But that's not all. SONY will be on hand and are promising a memorable night for all in attendance. VITA buyers will get the chance to go head-to-head with fellow gamers with some special PS Vita challenges, with prizes including GAME PSN vouchers, t-shirts and more...

"Ami Ledger... should be Ami Ledgend!"

There's also an exclusive meet and greet with WipEout 2048 developer Karl Jones, who will be signing copies of this highly-anticipated launch game. Cosplay girl Ami Ledger will also be in attendance for meeting, greeting and signing!

As a special bonus, the first 100 customers in the queue will receive tickets to an EXCLUSIVE after-party at the PS Vita Rooms, located just around the corner on Newman Street.

My world may seem the same as yours...

But it's not!

If the PS VITA was a woman... ?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Darkmatters Review: The Woman In Black

The Woman in Black (12)

Dir. James Watkins

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Beware young Harry Potter fans – the boy who lived now finds himself in much darker territory… Daniel Radcliffe does his best ‘grown up’ face starring as noobie lawyer Arthur Kripps. His life has not been a happy one - his wife died in childbirth and his son is prone to doing sad drawings of them, but things can only pick up right?

Things don’t pick up, in fact they get very creepy and generally a bit grim when Kripps is dispatched to a remote northern village to sort out the paperwork of a deceased widow who has left a huge gothic mansion… The locals aren’t a friendly bunch – as it seems they are haunted by a spectral ghostly ‘Woman in Black’ has been appearing. This woman shaped ghoul is an omen of doom and when she is seen a child dies in the village…

"The Jehovah's Witness got cross at not being let in"

Director James ‘Eden Lake’ Watkins goes for the tried and tested ‘jump scene every 8 minutes’ formula with his adaptation of Susan Hill's best selling horror mystery novel. You really can set your watch by the ‘BOO’ moments as every opportunity to have ghostly images appear in the corner of shot, in mirrors, through grimy windows etc are taken. It’s certainly a decent effort at making you jump, wince and think ‘come on Harry – can’t you just use a spell to sort out this malicious old hag’. The film also walks a fine line of keeping within the crowd friendly 12 certificate (the last time The Woman in Black was made in 1989 it worked with a 15 cert).

Radcliffe does OK in the lead role, but most of the time he just has to look a bit mystified and / or scared. The rest of the cast are decent enough too and the special effects work well. The main ‘haunted house’ is a masterpiece of spook-em-up design and comes with the most sinister selection of evil looking toys ever to be assembled in one place.

"he who shall not be named..."

Yes The Woman in Black is absolutely chock full of horror movie genre clichés but they are thrown at the screen with such force that you can happily suspend your disbelief and lap up the screaming banshee wails, the terrified yelps and the whimpering that will be coming at you in ‘surround sound’ – mostly from the various young Harry Potter fans who have never witnessed a real horror movie before!?

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


3 – Darkness and creepiness by the book

Awesomeness ööö – Potter 2.0

Laughs ö – not funny

Horror ööö – some mildly ghastly bits

Babes ö – not really

Spiritual Enlightenment öö – some spirits are not to be trusted!?

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Darkmatters Review: Chronicle

Chronicle (12)

Dir. Josh Trank

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Telekinesis: The ability to move, lift, vibrate (that's my favourite), spin, bend, break or impact objects through the direct influence of mental power or other non-physical means."

You want to see some ‘direct influence’? Go and see Chronicle, this is a pitch perfect tale of three high school kids who acquire telekinetic superpowers from a strange possibly alien artefact. So what are these young guys going to do with the power to move things, fly and attack people just with their minds?

At first the three lead characters – troubled Andrew (Dane DeHaan), his nice-but-dim cousin Matt (Alex Russell), and slick Steve (Michael B. Jordan) — go out and have fun with their powers. Pranking shoppers, pulling off jaw-dropping talent show routines, checking out girls’ underwear, playing football in the clouds (a truly grin inducing sequence) – you know, just the average lads kind of stuff. But before you can say ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ at least one of the group is exploring his dark side which sets up the most thrilling super-heroic battle climax to grace the big screen in years.
"Super powered snacking"

Chronicle is a great film, it deconstructs the standard super hero genre in a similar way to the excellent Kick Ass or Super did and manages to play it both for laughs and packs a darker undercurrent. My teenage son loved it and proclaimed it to be ‘awesome’ which is high praise for a relatively low ($15m) budget film.

Some might not like the idea of Chronicle being a ‘found footage’ flick – most of the shots are taken from the hand held camera Andrew carries around with him. It works though and adds a fun element of effectively capturing the changing moods of the characters. First time director Trank uses the hand held cinematic device to good effect, especially when Andrew causes the camera to float using his powers. There is also some social commentary on the very reasons people choose to record what they do.
"you'll believe nerds can fly"

Chronicle is a refreshing blast of teen angst channelled through super-powered urban destruction – this is a ‘must see’ film for anyone who enjoys superhero flicks and it even leaves the door open for what would be a welcome follow up.

"cheap forks don't even puncture the flesh"

Chronicle will rock you and leave you breathless – highly recommended viewing.

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


5 – Dark, unsettling and brilliant!!

Awesomeness ööööö – some fantastic scenes you'll never forget

Laughs ööö – laugh out loud in places (boys will be boys)

Horror ööö – grim moments for a 12

Babes öö – not really babetastic

Spiritual Enlightenment öö – revenge = right?

Darkmatters Review: Man On A Ledge

Man On A Ledge (12)

Dir. Asger Leth

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

So there’s a man right – we’ll call him Nick (Sam Worthington looking for all the world like a B-movie version of Mel Gibson). Nick is a good guy, an ex-cop who is on the run as a fugitive because he was set up by an evil property magnate - David Englander (a eye wateringly OTT Ed Harris).

And then there’s this ledge right… No, not a ‘legend’ like Ryan Gosling in Drive but an actual ledge as in the thin decorative element that runs around the edge of a Manhattan hotel.

Put the man and the ledge together – throw in a sexy police psychiatrist named Lydia (Elizabeth Banks), an even sexier thief named Angie (Genesis Rodriguez) – and watch the ensuing negotiation thriller unfold.
"sexy thief"

"sexy cop"

Man on a Ledge isn’t a terrible film but it is an entirely disposable one.

I saw this in a double bill with Chronicle and of the two there is only one that I really remember all that much about… and it wasn’t the one with the ledge in it. So if you have some time to kill and fancy seeing an innocent man using every cliché in the book to try and clear his name – Man on a Ledge could be just for you. And if the ledge doesn’t get a best supporting actor nod it will only prove that the Academy always overlook talented by non-sentient props (as proved by Alec Baldwin in 2003 for ‘The Cooler’).

Be sure to look out for the potential sequel – 'Man Not On A Ledge Anymore'!

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


3 – fear the ledge (or don't bother)

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Friday, February 03, 2012

The Wholly Family

Terry Gilliam's new short film masterpiece The Wholly Family - can be viewed here on Darkmatters for a low price...