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, June 30, 2013

Darkmatters Review: This Is The End

This Is The End (15)

Dirs. Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“This is no dream! This is really happening!”

What would happen if the Biblical apocalypse hit exactly whilst a bunch of Hollywood actors were in the middle of a crazy drug n alcohol fuelled party?

Would any of them be ‘raptured’ and what about those left to confront the grim end of days after the good souls had been whisked off to heaven? As the title of the film says – This Is The End!?

This is the fun scenario played out by with Jay ‘Tropic Thunder’ Baruchel visiting his best friend Seth ‘Superbad’ Rogen in L.A. Seth want’s Jay to get to know his ‘new’ L.A. pals who include James ‘Spring Breakers’ Franco, Jonah ‘ 21 Jump Street’ Hill, Danny ’30 Minutes or Less’ McBride and Craig ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ Robinson.

"The rapture!?"

I should point out the all the actors in the film play ‘themselves’ in a kind of mockumentory style and it is a blast to see them riffing off each other –breaking the 4th Wall with lines like: “we act so hard but we’re really really not… it’s just acting!?”

So in the face of imminent death and destruction, the actors squabble and generally go to pieces which is highly entertaining watch. As per so many recent movie comedies the dialogue is extremely profane and the comedy often vulgar but the spin of seeing the actors supposedly being ‘themselves’ makes up for the off colour material. Also the plotline is ripped straight from the Bible’s book of Revelation where the moral driven home is ‘treat each other well if you want to be saved’ – so there is much to ponder amoungst the laughs.

The big budget special effects include some gross out gore, massive flaming sink holes and a scary giant demon which prove just some of the trials for the juvenile pals. A highlight that you may have seen in the trailer is when Emma ‘Harry Potter films’ Watson manages to rob the buddies single handedly…

"bad things come for those 'left behind'"

There are a ton of cameos too with people like Michael ‘Scott Pilgrim’ Cera, Paul ‘Anchorman’ Rudd, Christopher ‘Kick Ass’ Mintz-Plasse, Rihanna and a superb against type Channing ‘GI Joe’ Tatum all popping up for their moments of spoofing it up.

This Is The End is a wild, wacky comedy ride that will gross you out, make you laugh out loud and even cause you to contemplate turning to God – not many summer comedies can boast that.

"Don't mess with Hermione!"

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


(4 - Nothing ruins a party like the end of the world!)...

Awesomeness ööö – some

Laughs öööö –  very funny

Horror ööö – bit grim in places

Babes öö – some

Spiritual Enlightenment öö – choose GOD

"Miss Watson - wanted for stealing stuff!"

Monday, June 24, 2013

Darkmatters Review: World War Z

World War Z (15)

Dir. Marc Forster

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (Another version of this review can read at the Buckingham Advertiser)

“Life as we know it will come to an end in 90 days. It’s on us to change that…”

Zombies are hot property this year with the pleasing zom-rom Warm Bodies, undead cop thrills in R.I.P.D and The Returned bringing quality zombie mystery to TV along with the continuingly excellent Walking Dead. But for sheer large scale, big screen undead action we have World War Z.

Based on the novel by Max Brooks, Brad Pitt plays United Nations employee Gerry Lane, who must save humanity virtually single-handed in the face of a pandemic zombie uprising.

"The queue for PlayStation 4 got out of hand"

We’re thrown straight in to a seemingly normal day in Philadelphia – Lane is on a family trip with his wife, Karin (Mirielle ‘Gangster Squad’ Enos), and daughters Constance (Sterling Jerins) and Rachel (Abigail Hargrove). But before you can say ‘this is bit dull’ the Lanes are up to their necks in biting crazed zombies – and the fuse is lit for the rest of the film.

Whilst his family bunks up on a military vessel, Lane is dispatched to globetrot from South Korea to Jerusalem and erm, South Wales in order to track down where the zombie virus originated.

The zombies of World War Z aren’t your general shuffling brain hungry menace – these are twitching, sprinting, gnashing terrors who are attracted to sound and who turn normal people to their undead ranks in just seconds after being bitten.

"Luton, UK on a good day"

There are some great stand out scenes of mass zombies overrunning cities and a genuine sense of threat to everyone in the story – except Lane… The biggest problem of World War Z is that Pitt is so much the star here that you never for a moment really think he’s going to die. So whilst he ineptly bumbles around the film's re-shot climactic sequence in a Cardiff World Health Organisation HQ, making noise by dropping cans of product placed Mountain Dew, there isn’t the required tension because – well it’s Brad and he’s obviously going to make to potentially star in any sequel. He is lovely though with his flowing blonde locks.

"Going through hell"

So World War Z’s tinkering with the plot and star focus won’t please fans of the book but it does provide a good-looking big screen zombie-em-up and ranks in the middle of 2013’s summer blockbusters below Man of Steel but well above After Earth.

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


(3.5 - Brad will save us in style!)...

Awesomeness ööö – not tons of action but some good stuff

Laughs ö – not very funny

Horror ööö – some horrorific bits but not really a 'horror' film

Babes öö – shaved headed Daniella Kertesz

Spiritual Enlightenment öö – did we wipe ourselves out?

"my fav poster"

Monday, June 17, 2013

Darkmatters Review: Man of Steel

Man of Steel (12a)

Dir. Zack Snyder

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

What if a film dreamed of becoming something other than what society had intended? What if a filmmaker aspired to something greater? The result would be a fantastic cinematic experience – it could be ‘super’ in every sense… Man of Steel is that film…

"inter galactic saviour"

This big budget, Dark Knight influenced Superman reboot, carries the hopes and dreams of all DC comic book fans on its muscled shoulders. For if this falters, the chances are we will never see a full blown ‘Avengers like’ Justice League film with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash et al...

Warner Brothers have entrusted this super-project to Zack ‘Watchmen’ Snyder, who embraces the well-trodden story of Kal-El / Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) – the good-hearted alien from Krypton who becomes the champion of Earth.

"alien inspiration"

Plot wise Man of Steel plays it safe, mixing reverence for the origin tale and infusing it with a high level of CGI kick-ass action. The enemy here is General Zod (Michael Shannon) and his minions – all criminal refugees from the doomed world of Krypton who have decided to take over Earth. Shannon has a blast as the snarling super-baddie who is every bit the match for our red caped reluctant saviour. Indeed Man of Steel flies highest and delivers most when the battle lines are drawn and the super smack down kicks off.

That isn’t to say that the emotional core of the film isn’t great to witness too – Kevin Costner is on top form as Clark’s adoptive father Jonathan Kent, ably backed up by Diane Lane as his wife Martha. Their real parental love for their other-worldly son is touching and feels strong, it helps anchor the sci-fi epicness and large scale destruction wrought by the duelling super beings – that rivals flicks like Transformers for sheer spectacle.

"and who's army?"

If anything loses out in this new reworking it is the funny bumbling alter ego Clark Kent that Christopher Reeve did so well. Man of Steels Clark is more of a brooding hunky drifter like Wolverine rather than the loveable Mr Bean-esq loser from the 1978 film. The love story elements are pared back too (especially in relation to the overly reflective 2006 Superman Returns).

Man of Steel is the Superman film I’ve been waiting for ever since I used to tuck a red towel into the back of my shirt collar as a 6-year-old. You’ll believe man can fly again and you’ll want to see more!

"baddie Zod"

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


(4.5 - Man of Steel delivers )...

Awesomeness öööö – jaw dropping endorphin rush action

Laughs ö – hardly any mirth

Horror öö – limited horror but some nasty threat

Babes öö – Amy Adams is Louis

Spiritual Enlightenment öööö – heavy Christ imagery

"fan inspired Girl of Steel?"

Friday, June 14, 2013

Darkmatters Review: Byzantuim

Byzantuim (15)

Dir. Neil Jordan

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Byzantium (bih-zan-tee-uhm) was the ancient Greek city on the site that later became Constantinople (modern Istanbul). It was founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 657 BC... But that has nothing much to do with this movie.

This Byzantium is the name of a hotel in this dark fantasy thriller directed by Neil 'A Company of Wolves' Jordan starring Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton and Jonny Lee Miller.

"Bright lights... dark hearts..."

It's an unhappy tale of a mother Clara (Arterton) and daughter Eleanor (Ronan) who are both vampires - living the blood sucking immortal lives of the undead - feeding on the living and always on the run from some nasty big bad boss vampires who don't believe that female vampires should exist...

The bloody story finds the two vamps end up in a run-down hotel on the English coast but their story begins during the Napoleonic Wars and stretches through time - thanks to some useful flashbacks.

Enter Noel (Daniel Mays) who has just inherited the Byzantium Hotel, a once-thriving inn that has fallen into a sad state of disrepair. Before you can say 'she's only after your blood', Clara has turned The Byzantium into a brothel where she and her young companion can quench their thirst for human blood, make money and keep out of the way of the mean women hating vampires.

"Mount Doom -ish"

Things get a bit complicated when Eleanor falls for local lad Frank (Caleb Landry Jones), a young waiter who has a life threatening disease... Can a mortal and a vampire find a Twilight-ish love?

Also there is the fact that Eleanor is prone to writing her extraordinary life story down and chucking the pages away for anyone to find... And when she writes it up as an essay for a teacher - things go even more pear shaped...

Will the two succubi live in peace or is their destiny to die at the hands / swords of the hunters?

Arterton looks great throughout and gives good sexy vamp - in nice contrast to Ronan who is modest and innocent (despite being a 200 year old vampire who suffered abuse as a child).

The themes of love, eternal life, power and isolation are well worked and overall Byzantuim delivers a thought provoking and engaging watch...

"Even Vampires have to pay the bills"

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


(3.5 - Fangs for the memories!? )

Awesomeness ööö – gets freaky in style

Laughs öö – dark laughter of the bleakest kind

Horror öööö – bloodshed and horror to be found

Babes öööö –  Yes Gemma Arterton

Spiritual Enlightenment ö – limited

"Arterton de-vamped"

Monday, June 10, 2013

Darkmatters Review: After Earth

After Earth (12a)

Dir. M. Night Shyamalan

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (read another version of this review at The Luton News or Milton Keynes Citizen)

“Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.”

We all have a choice... So do you choose to brave the danger and see this big budget sci-fi adventure starring Will Smith without fear, even though it’s getting pretty terrible reviews across the board?

Or do you give in to fear and not see what happens when a megastar actor gets a studio to make a film based on his own short story, when his only real writing credit before was an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?

If you're planning to see After Earth, your expectations should be set to ‘low’ – sure Will Smith is always watchable and the special effects bring an authentically futuristic vibe, but this is no classic and certainly doesn’t challenge Star Trek Into Darkness or Oblivion for the title of 2013’s best sci-fi. In fact I'm more excited right now for Neill 'District 9' Blomkamp's Elysium but hey...

The main problem is that the plot is entirely predictable and only of limited excitement.

"we left... the cinema for a reason?"

On a space mission, young Kitai Raige (Jaden ‘Karate Kid remake’ Smith) and his father Cypher (er, his father Will Smith) crash land on a future Earth, a millennium after we wrecked the planet so badly that we had to leave and find another home.

Cypher is crippled in the crash and their rescue beacon is broken, so Kitai must embark on a perilous journey – everything on Earth has evolved to kill humans, which is a tad unfortunate as there aren’t any left in the ecosystem – to find the spare signal, which is 100km away.

So we have a real life father and son front and centre for most of the film and we’re asked to be worried about whether the boy will survive his quest and save his dad. Hhhmmmm let's take a wild guess...

I won’t drop any plot spoilers but you can probably guess the ending within minutes of the start.

Director M. Night ‘Sixth Sense’ Shyamalan (who could really use a return for form after his various miss-fires) throws various CGI perils at young Jaden, which include some nasty baboons, a mutant eagle-like bird and a very ugly alien predator that can smell fear.

Global warming is rampant, too, meaning that every night the surface of the planet freezes over to provide yet another threat for our budding hero, while at the same time ticking the laboured eco message box.

"pray they don't make a sequel"

After Earth is undeniably an ego-powered star vehicle for the Smith family and it is passable entertainment.

But given the resources involved, there’s no denying that it should have been so much more.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(2.5 - big Willie style is lacking )...

Awesomeness ööö – good in parts

Laughs ö –  not very funny

Horror ööö – ugly alien is scary and likes arranging dead people on trees!?

Babes öö – Zoë Kravitz a little but limited unless you count Jaden too

Spiritual Enlightenment öö – move along dad

"Daughter of legend Lenny - doing, well drinking - Coke"

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Darkmatters Review: The Purge

The Purge (15)

Dir. James DeMonaco

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Things like this don’t happen in neighbourhoods like ours…”

"They do tonight!?"

Welcome to a tale of crime and punishment, a sort of Hunger Games for adults where in a near future U.S. the government have decreed that each year on one day all crime is permitted for a 12-hour period.

Called ‘The Purge’ this night where there are no laws and no emergency services is a release’ for people to channel their murderous dark sides and attack whoever they want. This means that no one is safe and masked gangs roam the streets killing anyone they come across. So unless you’re rich enough to afford a full home security system like James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) – who has got rich selling such home defence packages – you better hide somewhere or find a weapon to protect yourself with!

"not Jehovah's Witnesses..."

The Purge’s concept is a strong one, if hopefully a little far fetched, and director DeMonaco has a lot of fun putting Sandrin and his family – wife Mary (Lena Headey), young son Charlie (Max Burkholder) and teen daughter Zoey (Adelaide Kane) – through a night of hell. The family think they are safe in their high tech protected luxury home but when Charlie lets a desperate homeless man (Edwin ‘All The Boys Love Mandy Lane’ Hodge) take sanctuary in their walls, it draws attention of a group of masked lunatics led by a chilling, polite and ruthless rich kid psycho (Rhys Wakefield).

The violence, when it comes – and it does – is seriously brutal, potentially pushing the limits of a 15 rated movie. There is some wry social commentary at work here too though which lifts The Purge from just being another nasty low budget effort and adds enough dystopian ‘what would you do’ dilemma to keep you busy discussing it afterwards.

"they will take you..."

Everything is well put together and boosted by some nifty additions such as a first-person feed from a freaky radio controlled unit - a one red-eyed doll on tank tracks built by Charlie. The cast goes about the bloody business with gusto and all are good even if Wakeman steals the show with his icy American Psycho-esq main bad guy.

If you can stand the violent content, then The Purge is a strong dark thriller with an interesting premise and decent scares. The notion of a society with no law – where those who want can attack you without consequence is actually is actually more terrifying than any ghostly efforts you might see this year.

"don't answer the door"

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


(3.5 - Love thy neighbour!? )...

Awesomeness öööö – some freaky, well observed scenes

Laughs öö –  darkly comic at times

Horror öööö – nasty and disturbing

Babes öö – Adelaide Kane is cute

Spiritual Enlightenment öö – A new digital Clockwork Orange?

"Kane is going to be a star"

Saturday, June 01, 2013

The Spiritual version of Iron Man's 'Mark 42' Armour

The 'Mark 42' Armour of God 

Matt Adcock suits up for some random Iron Man 3 Inspired Thinking...

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

When you need a suit of armour - these days there are few cooler than that worn by Tony Stark / Iron Man... And with his 'Mark 42' suit (as modelled in Iron Man 3) it has the ability to fly in separate pieces and attach to your body, piece by piece - controlled via a brain linked chip that allows mental communication with armour.

The parallels with the Biblical 'Armour of God' are many - believers need to reassess their armour and check if they are missing pieces of it and if so be ready to mentally 'call' them so that either the full suit or specific parts can be used as necessary.

"The Mark 42 also allows users to 'share the armour'"

If we see someone in desperate need of an element of the armour of God Christians shouls be ready and willing to share their armour and send elements of it into specific situations to help people. Of course that does mean that we need it to hand in the first place as the time it takes to 'fly' to the person requiring it could make all the difference.

OK so whilst the Mark 42 is a great suit - it is the next evolution of the Iron Man armour - where the power core in the chest is no longer used / needed as a special life-support / power for the suit that the real parallels with the spiritual armour of God come in. Seeing how the armour of God through being born again has a 'power core' in the Holy Spirit - not just in a fusion reactor ring in your chest but flowing through every part of you like Extremis / Nanbot technology... bringing with it all the self healing / power combination required to face the evil one, and every temptation...

This is a fun (original Iron Man suit) take on what I've just been talking about:

Darkmatters review of IRON MAN 3

"DIY Iron Man Mark 42 Armour"

"girl power dress up version"