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

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Darkmatters Review: G.I. Joe Retaliation

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (12a)

Dir. Jon M Chu

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Let's move! The world ain't saving itself!”

Q. How do you go about making a sequel to a big budget but entirely shallow action movie based on a range of plastic figures?

A. Break out a serious amount of heavy duty weaponry, throw in extra swords, ninjas, nanotech machines, buxom females and mix it up with Bruce Willis and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson trying to out macho each other!?

Yes, the unstoppable ‘Hasbro’ toy franchise machine (see Transformers, Battleship and G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra for the billions of dollars made from their film tie-ins to date) blast back onto the big screen with G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

"there's fire coming out of my ears!!"

Director Chu and the writers of Zombieland go for broke with bigger scale action carnage, insane CGI assisted firefights and cartoonish characters or ‘Joes’ who are sworn to protect the good ol USA at any cost.

Everything is machine tooled to excite your inner 12 year old – I know this because whilst I found it all averagely fun and totally stupid, my 12-year-old son proclaimed it to be “The best film I’ve ever, ever, seen!”

"best film ever!?"

Pick of the dim-witted but eye-pooping action set pieces is a cool ninja-em-up battle that sees goodie Joes ‘Snake Eyes’ (Ray Park) and ‘Jinx’ (Elodie Yung) out to kidnap the Cobra master swordsman ‘Storm Shadow’ (Byung-hun Lee – who has possibly the most ripped abs ever to grace the screen) high up in the mountains of Japan. It’s breath-taking stuff that as ninjas clash swords mid death defying leap between peaks which brought yelps of delight and disbelief from the audience in the screening I was in.

"a left over transformer gets used in G.I. Joe 2"

The Rock is brought on board to lead the Joes when they are double-crossed and most of them taken out after an impostor takes over the White House. Johnson is good value and sparks well off the rest of the cast. Bruce Willis does his usual grizzled tough guy smirking and gets to crack a few good one-liners.

Adrianne Palicki is on hand as Joe ‘Jaye’ – the eye candy of the crew as although her whole plot is about her wanting to be taken seriously in the military, her main ‘action’ scenes are ones where she must dress skimpily and use her pneumatic figure to distract men!? Not one for the feminists out there.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is the very definition of a fast food action flick, tasty and enjoyable whilst watching but of no lasting substance or real value.

"pick a Joe"

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

ööö - do you want fries with that?

3 – better than the first one

Awesomeness ööö – it's like action figures come to life!?

Laughs öö – inadvertantly funny throughout

Horror öö  – not too grim at all (considering the bodycount)

Babes ööö – Palicki is a whole lot of woman

Spiritual Enlightenment ö - limted!?

"reporting for duty sir!"

Friday, March 29, 2013

Darkmatters Review: Utopia


Dirs. Marc Munden, Wayne Che Yip & Alex Garcia Lopez

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“There are lots of grades of hurt that we can do to a life and we have the will to inflict them all!”

Fear The Network…

Could a random bunch of graphic novel loving geeks be our last hope in the face of a massive, deadly government conspiracy that will affect every man, woman and child on the planet?

"time to die..."

This is the awesome premise of UTOPIA… A mismatched group of people come into possession of an original manuscript of a cult graphic novel ‘think Alan Moore’s A Disease of Language’ in his most twisted - only a bit darker’. This tome is rumoured to have predicted the worst disasters of the last century and the group soon find themselves targeted by a shadowy and seemingly unstoppable organisation known only as ‘The Network’.

"Where is Jessica Hyde?" - "Where is Jessica Hyde?" This is what stone cold serial killing Arby (Neil ‘Kill List’ Maskell) wants to know – Arby is one of the scariest characters ever brought to the screen. Anyone who crossing his path is pretty much dead be the women, children, old, young – he’s a force of nature with a gun, just without a moral core.

"look at the amazing colour use in scenes..."

It seems that ‘The Network’ is an organization that has existed since the Cold War – they are the ‘world police’ behind the so much more than I’m at liberty to say here… Think food chain tampering, bio-weapons, racial purification, bird flu etc. etc. You might want to look at the ingredient list of erm, well, everything you eat!?

And how does the infamous ‘Mr. Rabbit’ fit into all this?

The cult graphic novel called "The Utopia Experiments" is the heart of UTOPIA, but just what are the secrets it holds?

"be careful where you shop..."

In UTOPIA Dennis Kelly has written something absolutely compulsive, terrifying, addictive, brutal and altogether wonderful…Television is in a golden age, with HBO dropping megatons like Game of Thrones but over here the Brits are doing their bit with the likes of Black Mirror and now UTOPIA.

Credit to the whole cast, the cracking production design and a conspiracy plot that will change the way to watch the news or use the Internet for the rest of your live…

For anyone who’s ever enjoyed conspiracy shows like State of Play but mixed with cult classics such as Twin Peaks and zinged up with a Tarantino esq dialogue. As a Christian, it is fascinating to see ‘what ifs’ about global conspiracy because goodness knows there are enough about the Church!? And there are some great moral questions here about whether it’s right to kill some to save many etc…

"the team"

I can’t recommend You’ll want to watch all 6 episodes in one go (as I did) but most of all, you’ll want to find out just ‘Who is Mr Rabbit?’

"UTOPIA - nothing is safe"

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

ööööö - A stone cold classic thriller for our times

5 – it's not paranoia if they're really out to get you!!

"Anna Madeley"

Darkmatters Review: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (15)

Dir. Don Scardino

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

"Welcome to the amazing world of magic."

What happens when magicians lose their magic touch?

Is it better to burn out of fade away?

"The new magical super-hero team!"

Meet ‘The Incredible’ Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and his friend since childhood / partner in magic Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) – they are the most famous magicians in Las Vegas Strip – proffering old school magical illusions but little innovation. Things are going ok (apart from the fact that they are being driven apart by Burt’s ridiculous ego…

Everything changed when a new guerrilla street magician Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) blasts onto the scene with outrageous body mutilation stunts that get him his own TV show and cult following…

Is this the end for Burt and Anton?

"I want you to check my magic balls"

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is a fun film for sure, which will make you laugh out loud as well as tug on your heart-strings because it has a wonderful deeper undertow of emotional variance.

Worth a look for Carell and Carrey fans especially.

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

ööö1/2 - funny business that works well

3.5 – not a classic but good effort

Awesomeness ööö – Carrey rocks some awesome moments

Laughs öööö – yes a comedy that is actually funny

Horror ööö  – don't try this at home

Babes öööö – worth getting wild for Olivia Wilde

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - the power of magic

"Olivia Wilde - brings the looks"

"see my magic fan!?"

"Idiana's magical butt?"

Monday, March 25, 2013

Darkmatters Review: Jack The Giant Slayer

Jack The Giant Slayer (12)

Dir. Bryan Singer

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (also reviews for Luton News, Biggleswade Chronicle, Bedfordshire Citizen etc)

"Fee, fi, fo, fum…ask not whence the thunder comes, for between heaven and earth is a perilous place, home to a fearsome giant race, who hunger to conquer the mortals below, waiting for the seeds of revenge to grow...”

Got that? Yes, here comes another fairytale-em-up with a monstrous budget, heavy-duty special effects and a cool cast.

It’s time to face the threat of some seriously nasty giants who want to grind our bones to make their bread, with X-Men and Superman director Bryan Singer calling the shots.

In this retelling of the classic story, Jack (Nicholas ‘Warm Bodies’ Hoult) is a farm boy in the uncomplicated kingdom of Cloister. King Brahmwell (Ian McShane) rules the lands and life is generally good, but everyone lives with the fear that the giants of their legends might not actually be so mythical.

Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) gets into a spot of bother in a marketplace where Jack happens to be watching a troop of dramatic dwarves led by the excellent Warwick Davis retelling the giants myth in a vaudeville style.

"Royale Princess - wants to be Batman!?"

Jack stands up for the royal hottie and it becomes clear that these two are meant to be together. Alas, he is not of royal blood so can never be her beloved.

This doesn’t stop Jack getting his magic beans moist one rainy night when Isabelle seeks shelter at his farm and before you can say ‘Fee, fi, fo, fum’ a hulking CGI beanstalk has whisked the princess up to the kingdom of a race of giants led by the nasty two-headed Fallon (Bill Nighy).

Cue rescue attempt from a band of knights plus Jack who include the noble Elmont (Ewan McGregor), his man at arms Wicke (Ewan Bremner), and Sir Roderick (Stanley Tucci) who is Isabelle’s shifty betrothed who may have something sinister on his mind.

"Note the 'Gollum' like extra head!?"

The film shifts in to full on adventure mode with a winning mix of humour, derring do and a full scale giant assault which has shades of Lord Of The Rings or Narnia.

I went not expecting much, having been only mildly impressed with the big budget reboots of Snow White or Hansel and Gretel, but came away impressed because Jack The Giant Slayer is a decent family adventure that delivers more fun-per-moment than the recent Oz The Great & Powerful.

So even if you feel let down by other offerings in this genre, this is one fairy tale worth taking a look at on the big screen..

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

ööö1/2 - not the 'Fee Fi Foe Fumble' it could have been

3.5 – to be enjoyed by your inner 12 year old

Awesomeness ööö – battles especially are great

Laughs ööö – reasonably funny

Horror öö  – not too grim

Babes ööö – Eleanor Tomlinson gives good regal

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - believe in myths

"Eleanor Tomlinson - cute smile!"

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Darkmatters Review: StarCraft 2 Heart of the Swarm

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Developed by Blizzard

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

StarCraft II was a kind of big deal for Real-time Strategy Gamers the world over when StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty hit hit back in 2010. This was a major leap forward compared to the original StarCraft – everything was bigger, slicker and more engrossing. So when it was announced that the StarCraft II universe was going to be a trilogy of new games, gamers got excited to see where the series would go next…

Now Blizzard bring us Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm which builds on the great space warfare epic saga with the battling races including the Protoss - technologically advanced species with mental powers / weapons, the Terran - human exiles from Earth and the Zerg - a super-species of assimilated life forms with a hive-mind. These three distinct and powerful races now clash again in this fast-paced real-time strategy expansion.

Heart of the Swarm has a very different feel from Wings of Liberty – especially the single player campaign that tells the tale of Sarah Kerrigan (from the last game) who has become the ‘Queen of Blades’ who can control the Zerg through her thoughts. Hero of Wings of Liberty Jim Raynor is thrown into her path and sets out to free her from the testing lab where she is being held. But before this unlikely alliance can be agreed Dominion forces attack and they are separated again – the Dominion claiming that Raynor has been captured and executed.

"Get your hive mind on this scale!!"

Cue a frantic battle which sees Kerrigan regaining her Zerg form and using the hive army to bring revenege on the Dominion and all who stand in her way. The single player campaign is formed of nice bite sized missions, which are cleverly used to tell the story in chapters which allow for twists and turns to the plot.

If you’re a fan of StarCraft you’ll find yourself hooked in to the story which has gravitas in its own right but also set ups the final part of the trilogy: StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void which is planned.

Of course the single player campaign is only one element because Blizzard are one of the leading online multiplayer creators *cough* World of WarCraft and Diablo *cough* through Battle.net, which is one of the best online platforms to date. StarCraft II already has a vibrant online gaming scene and Heart of the Swarm brings a host of new features and units to the table. This is now pretty much the ultimate competitive real-time strategy online gaming with tightly balanced new units and gameplay mechanics further distinguish each race.

Yes it all looks great (if not massively better than the last entry) but the new units and cut scenes rock impressive graphics and depending on the horsepower of your PC or Mac there are lots of visual effects and flourishes to enjoy.

"Queen of Blades!?"

Another winning feature is the full map-making and scripting tools to give players incredible freedom in customizing and personalizing their gameplay experience.

There is so much here to make Heart of the Swarm a ‘must buy’ for any RTS game fans – don’t see it as a cash in extension, no, rather embrace your inner Zerg and enjoy a massively polished new chapter of one of the best games out there!

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

ööööö –  serious RTS space warfare perfection

 5 – Heavy duty fun, especially online!

"does my hive look big in this skin-tight outfit?"

"arrghh - she's real!?"

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Darkmatters Review: Welcome To The Punch

Welcome To The Punch (15)

Dir. Eran Creevy

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“When you take him down… you take him down hard!”

Britain steps up to the world cinematic stage with this gorgeously shot, stunningly crafted crime tale that very firmly puts style over substance, and delivers a Heat-esq almost epic.

From the very first scene of London by night, you’re in for a jaw dropping high definition visual overload, the like of which has simply not been seen on screen – everything sparkles in a cold, crisp brilliance – and when the camera soars through the city streets, watching a heist getaway and ensuing chase sequence – you can feel every cinematic bone fibre of your body reacting to witnessing something a bit special.

"Don't call me Tumnus!"

James ‘The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe’ McAvoy ditches his Narnia and brings his Sweeney as maverick but good cop Max. Max has a score to settle with criminal big-wig Sternwood (Mark Strong) who shot him in the leg during a high-stakes heist. But fate sees Max given the chance to potentially bring Sternwood down after his son is shot and is being treated in a London hospital. Will Sternwood bite on the bait of trying to free his son from a soft target location and might there be a bigger, nastier conspiracy going on behind the scenes?

The story about Max’s obsession with Sternwood is pure British Heat but alas Creevy hasn’t quite got the intricate plot and strong dialogue that Michael Mann had – so whilst Welcome To The Punch rocks visually and packs some great action, it doesn’t resonate at a level to make it a classic. I’m not dissing Brit director Creevy though as he deserves credit for pulling off such an accomplished film on a medium budget through some very high production values and a decent bunch of actors – all of which makes you feel like this could have been something really special if the dialogue and character development was better.

"not happy families"

The emotional pull / love interest is a weak point in Andrea Riseborough as Sarah, Max’s partner who isn’t given enough to do except ask dim questions that help fill in exposition about the gun-running / political plotline. Welcome To The Punch certainly references from the best with films like Infernal Affairs, Heat and last year’s Sweeney remake all prominent. This is a new breed of British crime thriller which moves the genre on from the ‘Guy Ritchie’ / Essex Boys years.

There are some really great scenes on offer though, my picks have to be the opening heist, a great nightclub shootout and an absolutely unforgettable living room nerve shredding stand off that all goes very wrong.

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

ööö1/2 - Heavy duty style, watchable lite-thrills

3.5 – Welcome To The Punch is definitely worth a look!

Awesomeness ööö – some great moments

Laughs öö – not very funny

Horror öö  – not too grim either

Babes öö – not much eye candy

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - punch your inner revenge temptation

"Andrea Riseborough"

Friday, March 15, 2013

God of War: Ascension - REVIEW

God of War: Ascension (PS3)

Developed by Sony Santa Monica

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Before he was a God, He was a Man…”

The ultimate bad-ass videogame character Kratos is back in God of War: Ascension to redefine the entire Hack N' Slash Action game genre!

Praise the Lord for PlayStation 3 which does deliver the most wonderful exclusive games and GOW:A is a stunning prequel to the popular God of War video game series.

This is the seventh God of War game and it brings serious vengeance in the form of muscle bound Kratos who is understandably miffed at the death of his wife and child… Seems he was tricked by Ares into murdering the only people he ever loved… Now you get to wreak bloodshed on an unprecedented level and none will stand before you – not even other PS3 players. Yes tGod of War: Ascension brings eight-player online multiplayer to the series and it’s absolutely wonderful!!

Ascension packs plenty of new gameplay mechanics to the single-player campaign including a refined ‘prompt-free’ button input system which makes the ‘minigame’ sections a whole lot better.

"Big guy in the back wants a word with you..."

I was a little dubious about the multiplayer section (the single player is every bit as slick and satisfying as God of War III – which was epic itself - totally epic). COD style building up your character through XP, trying and upgrading different weapons, armour, magical powers is freakin awesome and totally addictive!!

You get to align yourself to Zeus, Ares, Poseidon, or Hades and earn their favour to unlock new customization options for your multiplayer gladiator. It is the very definition of just want to get one more level / weapon / upgrade / magical item etc…

Packing delicious combat mechanics including a new ‘rage bar’, nicely balanced weapon selection – grapple is superbly refined too

Graphics are jaw dropping as is the accepted norm for this series and it really shows that the PS3 is still king of the current generation! The soundtrack is probably the best GOW game yet and for the dedicated single player fans you can replay the plot with a new game ‘plus’ option.

"Mmmmm - tempting"

If you’ve ever enjoyed a videogame – especially if you like Call of Duty online play (just with big-ass swords rather than guns) – this is a must buy… Kratos deserves your worship.

Oh and by investing in this – you get early access to the amazing look ‘The Last of Us’ thrown in for free!?

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

ööööö –  stunning and impressive, a superb package on every level

 5 – This is a god you need in your videogame life!! 

I. AM. KRATOS... well, sort of...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Kick Ass 2: Trailer

KICK ASS 2 - Anticipation...  trailer...

Matt Adcock is excited!?

Darkmatters Caution - this US trailer below is very bad ass and has naughty words in it...

Still Kick Ass 2 might be the best film of 2013 though!?

"Dark Matt... The next Kick Ass?"

"alternative Hit Girl outfit?"

Darkmatters: God of War Ascension vs Carl Froch



Sony Computer Entertainment UK (SCE UK) casts Super Middleweight IBF world champion boxer Carl Froch, as the iconic lead character Kratos to launch God of War: Ascension™, the newest instalment of the multi-million selling God of War® franchise, exclusively for PlayStation®3 (PS3®).


In the build-up to the ‘Warriors’ Call’ sell-out super middleweight unification world title fight, Froch vs Kessler live on Sky Box Office (May 25th), PlayStation fan Carl Froch trains as a God of War, drawing inspiration from Kratos’ payback story in his own battle for revenge. Mikkel Kessler is the Danish boxer who inflicted the first defeat of Froch’s career in a tightly fought boxing classic.

As momentum gathers pace ahead of the boxing showdown and the launch of God of War: Ascension™, Carl Froch offers insight into the similarities between a modern day fighting icon and the mythical lead character of God of War, Kratos. Carl Froch demonstrates his pre-fight training regime and what it takes to become a God of War, discussing his own ascension from the very same venue where he rose through the ranks and trained as a junior, Phoenix ABC Gym, Nottingham.

“I’m a big PlayStation fan, so the opportunity to be made up as Kratos ahead of my rematch with Kessler was too good to pass up,” said Carl Froch. “We’re both warriors in our own right, although on May 25th, I’ll show everyone I am the real God of War.”

Developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios’ (SCE WWS) Santa Monica Studio, God of War: Ascension™ is a prequel that will show Kratos' emotional path of redemption whilst detailing the rise of his rage to break free from Ares' bond. Epic cinematic storytelling, visceral battles, and blockbuster moments will all be present. Various enhancements to the best-selling gameplay will include a revamped combat system and a brand new online multiplayer mode that combines the brutal gameplay and large-scale battles that God of War is known for, to create a competitive experience like never before.

"Darkmatters Review On Friday"

“The bar is set quite high for this franchise as each God of War title succeeds in being better than the last,” said Todd Papy, Game Director, God of War: Ascension. “But, unlike previous releases, we’re providing a deeper look into Kratos’ tormented past and psyche that fans have not seen before. Combined with refined gameplay, jaw-dropping visuals, and a fresh twist on competitive gaming with our new online multiplayer mode, I guarantee that God of War: Ascension will give fans what they have been eagerly waiting for, and much more.”

For the first time ever in a God of War game, players can compete in online or offline multiplayer battles that combine the fierce combat and scale of the franchise with a unique gameplay experience. Built off of the heart and soul of the single-player campaign, this brand new option can include up to eight players and offers a variety of different multiplayer modes along with customisable avatar warriors, armour and weapon types.

Set in the realm of Greek mythology, God of War: Ascension is an epic adventure that allows players to take on the climatic role of the ex-Spartan warrior, Kratos, as he finds a way to break the blood oath that binds him to the god, Ares. Six months after being tricked into killing his wife and child, a younger Kratos is sentenced to a life of madness with the Furies, caged in a Titan sized prison for the living damned. Fighting insanity, his will is tested to the limit as he seeks to break his bond and gain the clarity to seek revenge on Ares for his part in the death of his family. Armed with double-chained blades, Kratos must take on mythology’s darkest creatures while solving intricate puzzles throughout his merciless quest for redemption.

"Previous God of War Cosplay looks bit tame compared to Froch"

Josh Walker, UK product manager for God of War: Ascension added, “Kratos is a hero, like Carl Froch who rises again and answers the warrior’s call. We couldn’t think of a better fighter to affiliate with our epic action-adventure game.”

God of War: Ascension offers an epic single-player story mode, as well as a deep, innovative multi-player experience. Further information about the game can be found at www.GodofWar.com. For media assets, please visit www.scee-press.com.

About Sony Computer Entertainment Europe:

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), based in London, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and sales of PlayStation®2 (PS2®) computer entertainment system, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system, PlayStation®3 (PS3®) computer entertainment system, PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita) portable entertainment system, and PlayStation®Network software and hardware in 109 territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania. SCEE has revolutionised home entertainment since they launched PlayStation® in 1994. PS2® further enhances the PlayStation® legacy as the core of home networked entertainment. PSP® is a handheld entertainment system that allows users to enjoy 3D games with high-quality full-motion video and high-fidelity stereo audio. PS3® is an advanced computer system, incorporating the powerful Cell Broadband Engine and RSX processors. PS Vita is an ultimate portable entertainment system that offers a revolutionary combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context. SCEE also delivers the PlayStation® experience to open operating systems through PlayStation®Mobile, a cross device platform. SCEE also develops, publishes, markets and distributes entertainment software for these formats, and manages the third party licensing programs for the formats in these territories.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Darkmatters Review: Oz The Great and Powerful

Oz The Great and Powerful (PG)

Dir. Sam Rami

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“I don't want to be a good man... I want to be a great one.”

Ever wondered just how the Wizard of Oz got to Oz and became their wizard?

What about how and why the Wicked Witch of the West turned bad (or green for that matter)?

Sheesh, obviously you’ve not seen Wicked the musical, that’s ok, perhaps you’re just not into musical theatre and show tunes… but fear not – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures have thought about this and made Oz The Great and Powerful to be the definitive prequel to The Wizard of Oz.

Director Sam ‘Spiderman’ Rami goes all out to deliver a visually lavish telling of how young Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is whisked from Kansas to the Land of Oz via first class tornado express.

"living dolls and talking / flying monkeys"

No sooner has Diggs crash landed in Oz – wonderfully depicted by the film changing form black and white to full eye-popping colour - when he meets the sexy Theodora (Mila Kunis), who falls for him and lets him know that he arrival has been foretold.

The other two witches of Oz are Evanora (Rachel Weisz) who might be hiding her true nature and Glinda (Michelle Williams), neither or which are convinced that Diggs is the great wizard everyone's been expecting.

In order to ascend to be king of Oz, Diggs must slay the wicked witch and free the land from her evil but he’s a reluctant hero. Is he up to this quest?

The film works well given the limitations of being a prequel where we know the main characters will survive to meet Dorothy and the rest. This yellow brick road is a super-highway of stunning CGI and nicely added new characters such as a charming China Girl voiced by Joey King (soon to be seen in White House Down).

"which witch is which?"

Rami brings some good jump moments, enough implied threat and sufficient soul searching in the hero to win the audience over. I saw this my two sons, my wife and my elderly mother – all of whom enjoyed it which shows that Disney still know how to create films ‘for all the family’!?

Overall Oz The Great and Powerful is actually a pretty ‘wizard’ effort, and its blessed with some even prettier witches… If you’re a Wizard of Oz fan, this is essential viewing and if you’re not a fan (yet) this is a great intro.

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

öööö - click those heels and make a wish!

4 – Disney do the Oz mythos proud

Awesomeness ööö – razzle dazzle ahoy

Laughs ööö – some funny bits

Horror öö  – not too grim, might unsettle youngsters in places

Babes ööö – Kunis, Weisz and Williams are all cute

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - find your inner courage to do what's right

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Darkmatters Review: Parker

Parker (15)

Dir. Taylor Hackford

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

"I don't steal from anyone who can't afford it, and I don't hurt anyone who doesn't deserve it."

In the aftermath of daring funfare heist that sees a crew making off with over $1 million, Parker (Jason Statham) who led the raid but isn't part of the gang is asked to front his share of the loot to buy in to another bigger job. He's not up for it do get shot and left for dead...

Big mistake by the criminals - because Parker doesn't like being shot and left for dead!

From then on we have a fairly traditional crime drama revenger which see Parker track the gang to their next heist target in Palm Beach - so he pretends to be a big shot Texan looking to buy a home there and crosses his path with sassy / annoybing Real Estate woman Leslie Rogers (Jennifer Lopez).

"Howdy partner"

Parker as a movie takes a bullet to the head as soon as J-Lo stumbles on the scene, she's an unnecessary addition which brings nothing to the party except her curves - which director Hackford (the 'ford' is silent') at least makes her get out in a fully gratuitous scene where Statham forces her to stip down to her undies and who him her ass 'to prove she's not wearing a wire' absolutely ahem...

Somewhere in Parker there is a half decent crime movie and if there was a directors cut that removed all of J-Lo's scenes it would certainly be a whole lot better. Statham is the new Bruce Willis and is watchable as always, the violence is crunching and there are a couple of exciting showdowns (a great and brutal knife fight in the hotel being the pick of the bunch) but overall this is limp B-movie no-brain easy viewing.

"J-Lo hits a new low"

What is perhaps saddest about Parker is that it was made 'In memory of Donald E. Westlake' who wrote the original character in several books and died in 2008. Westlake wouldn't let filmmakers use Parker's name in film he didn't think lived up to his novels - so we've had John Boorman's Point Blank, where Lee Marvin as "Walker" - John Flynn's The Outfit, with Robert Duvall as "Macklin" - and even Brian Helgeland's Payback, which had Gibson as "Porker" - sorry "Porter"!? That sound you can hear? That's Westlake spinning in his grave at Parker finally being used in what has to be weakest effort based his books to date...

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

öö - alas poor Parker, he deserved better

2 – Statham is always good but he can't save this mess

Awesomeness ööö – some nice scenes but not enough

Laughs öö – couple of LOLs

Horror ööö – some serious violence which feels at odds to rest of plot

Babes öö – sorry J-Lo your time has passed but Emma Booth looks good - as below

Spiritual Enlightenment ö - honour your intentions?