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, October 30, 2013

Darkmatters Review: Enders Game

Enders Game (12a)

Dir. Gavin Hood

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“I'll do everything I can to win this war.”

Meet Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) – earth’s potential saviour in our intergalactic war with a nasty alien race called the Formics (also amusingly known as ‘Buggers’ – due their ‘bug like’ appearance)…

Ender is an awesome warrior who is not afraid to break the rules, he’s also a strategic mastermind and an ultimate battle tactician, oh, and he’s all this at only 12 yrs old!?

"alien worlds await..."

It’s 50 years after the insectoid invaders attacked Earth with the intention of stealing our resources and wiping us out. We managed to repel them at great cost – mostly due to the heroics of legendary fighter pilot Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley) and since then have been developing our International Battle Fleet to prepare for the expected follow up invasion.

But it seems that the best, fastest minds on the planet belong no longer to our air force pilots but to our children and so it will be they who control our advanced space weaponry and lead the counter attack on the Formic homeworld. Ender is a brilliant but withdrawn boy, who comes from a troubled family – when his potential for battle is spotted by Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) he’s sent to the International Fleet and attend the legendary Battle School, located in Earth orbit. It’s here that he gets to play increasingly difficult war games in order to prove himself worthy to lead the military into a war that will determine the future of Earth and the human race…

"Hailee Steinfeld = emotional support"

 Enders Game is a quality sci-fi that looks the part thanks to some slick CGI – especially in regards to the spaceships, which are pleasingly realized on the big screen and look amazing when they get into huge scale intergalactic warfare.

Butterfield is excellent in the lead, bringing just the right mixture of tortured innocence and pre-teen angst to a tricky role. Harrison Ford is great too oozing his effortless Han Solo-esq charisma even if Graff is a morally ambivalent character.

"things go 'boom'"

Some of the supporting cast of kids aren’t quite up to the job though and the film sometimes drifts into the realm of melodramatic – but it’s never long before we’re back into a frantic space action scene and things kick into adrenalin pumping battle thrills.

Director Gavin ‘Tsotsi’ Hood shows that he can deliver a winning sci-fi adaptation which like the novel it’s based on will leave you thinking about wider moral issues.

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


(3.5 - decent sci-fi that delivers)...

Awesomeness öööö – when it hits, the sumblime sci-fi works

Laughs öö – limited comedy

Horror öö – not too grim

Babes ö – not really

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö – fight for the greater good?

Monday, October 21, 2013

4 The Players - since 1995 PlayStation

Yes - we're excited about the PS4...

Check the power of the PS4 with this new EXCLUSIVES focus video...

And then thre is this just lovely vid from Sony that shows how we've gamed with them over the years!

PlayStation -

Darkmatters Review: Captain Philips

Captain Philips (12a)

Dir. Paul Greengrass

Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Read the newspaper version of this review over at the Luton News

“Attention Maersk Alabama, you should alert your crew, get your fire hoses ready. Chances are the approaching skiffs are just fishermen.”

Captain Phillips: “They're not here to fish.”

And indeed the Somalis who come visiting the U.S. ship Alabama are not here to fish… Led by Muse (Barkhad Abdi) they are pirates intent on hijacking of the container ship and holding the crew to ransom.

Director Paul Greengrass beings this true tale of 2009's horrific sea based terrorism to nail-biting big screen life.

"You can drop off my Oscar portside"

Captain Philips is a superb exercise in taught edge-of-your-seat thrills, the fact that it is based on real events only serves to make it all the more tense.

Star of the piece is Alabama's commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy Award®-winner Tom Hanks), he’s on the form of his life depicting the brave captain who is prepared to risk everything for his crew.

This is totally Hanks’ film, he brings such a believable, tangible sense of fear to the screen that you’ll be deeply moved and find yourself forgetting that he’s acting. Speaking of which, the actors portraying the Somali pirates weren’t introduced to Hanks until they started filming the pirates taking over the captain's deck. Greengrass said in an interview that he did this intentionally to build up tension between the actors on board the ship and the actors playing the pirates.

The Somali actors are excellent too, even though most of them hadn’t acted before – they bring authentic desperation and danger to the plot, and their motivations are sketched out at the beginning with their fearsome warlord bosses forcing them into their criminal lives.

"hey come by, have a few beers?"

The action ramps up when the U.S. Navy SEALS led by their commander played by Max ‘Pacific Rim’ Martini are called in to try and rescue Philips. It is like seeing a PlayStation game come to life as the snipers desperately try and lock on to the pirates and avoid shooting their hostage.

Along with the action scenes, when Muse and Phillips collide verbally, the sparks really fly, these might both be men at the mercy of forces beyond their control but the sheer battle of wills is awesome to behold.

Captain Philips is very well crafted film, stunning cinematography and acting that must see Hanks up for another Oscar makes this a tense thrill ride that you really need to witness on the big screen!

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


(4.5 - Yo, Ho, Yo, Ho - a pirates life for me, oh wait, it's not so much fun in real life)...

Awesomeness öööö – delivers top dollar thrills

Laughs öö – not a comedy

Horror öö – gets very very tense

Babes ö – nope

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö – be brave

"The advanced shower system was playing up..."

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Darkmatters Review: Machete Kills

Machete Kills (15)

Dir. Robert Rodriguez

Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Read the newspaper version of this review at: Bucks Advertiser & Review

“Machete don’t tweet!”

Opening with a funky spoof sci-fi trailer for ‘Machete Kills Again … In Space!’ Machete Kills is the follow up to 2010’s crazed slaughter-em-up Machete (which itself began life as a gimmick trailer in the Rodriguez / Tarantino flick Grindhouse).

But now Machete (Danny Trejo) is back and this time the blade-wielding hero is backed up with a much-improved cast headed up by Mel Gibson on top form as a devious villain and the lovely Amber Heard who will soon lead the big screen adaptation of Martin Amis’ London Fields.

"matching black outfits FTW"

Machete Kills packs a slicker, slightly more coherent plot than the original but is just as giddy in tearing up the screen with a wanton blast of over-the-top ultra-violence.

If someone tells you that Machete Kills is a romantic comedy (as I may have said to my wife to see if she would accompany me to check it), do not believe them.

But if you go in to this film expecting a hugely entertaining, sneeringly violent, action adventure comedy – then you’ll come out smiling and hoping that the ‘Machete Kills Again… In Space!’ trailer actually gets converted into a real follow up…

"Amber Heard gets in on the gunplay"

Director Rodriguez unleashes a manic revenge potboiler of fun with such inventive ideas as an assassin named La / El Chameleón who is played by a host of actors including Cuba Gooding Jr., Lady Gaga, and Antonio Banderas – each embodying a deadly new ‘face’. He also has fun with grimy jump cuts, grainy film stock and an ingenious ‘put on your 3D glasses now’ moment when Heard seduces Trejo.

There really is an excess of badass babes too – kind of like Sin City, which was also directed by Rodriguez, including Sartana (Jessica Alba), Desdemona (Sofia Vergara), Luz (Michelle Rodriguez), Cereza (Vanessa Hudgens) and Killjoy (Alexa Vega). You’ll probably never forget the scene where Desdemona straps on a truly insane ‘machinegun bra’ but that isn’t even the pinnacle of the insanity going on here.

"don't mess with these ladies"

Then throw in Charlie Sheen as the President of the USA – using his birth name of Carlos Estevez – and Demian ‘The Heat’ Bichir who almost steals the show as Gibson’s main evil enforcer and stand well back as Machete Kills explodes in all directions.

All-in-all Machete Kills is a master class in Friday night entertainment and if you’ve ever enjoyed an action movie, you owe it to yourself to check this out.

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


(4 - nuts in the best possible way)...

Awesomeness öööö – super crazed

Laughs ööö – some good funnies

Horror ööö – blood and guts in excess

Babes ööööö – overloaded

Spiritual Enlightenment ö – limited

"Alexa Vega - come a long way since Spy Kids"

Monday, October 07, 2013

Darkmatters Review: FILTH

Filth (18)

Dir. Jon S. Baird

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“So Bruce - what made you join the Force?”

“Police oppression, brother.”

“Ah – you wanted to stamp it out from the inside?”

“No, I wanted to be a part of it!!”

Prepare yourself for a seriously messed up, unhinged, sordid and utterly morally destitute tale from the mind of Irvine ‘Trainspotting’ Welsh.

Yes Filth by name and pretty much filthy throughout – this isn’t a film for those adverse to copious swearing, drug use, disturbing psychotic scenes and sexual material... But even though Filth director Jon S. ‘Cass’ Baird takes a running jump over the boundaries of good taste – the film works thanks almost entirely to a powerhouse performance from James McAvoy in the lead role.

"this is not a well man!"

The plot of Filth follows the unhappy Police Sergeant Bruce Robertson (McAvoy), a broken, bitter man whose corrupt heart is eating him away from all sides. Bruce is a bipolar, bigoted junkie who strives to manipulate everyone around him. He’s the ‘wrong arm of the law’ writ large and we get to spend a festive season with him watching him struggle to keep a grip as freaky guilt induced hallucinations crash into his waking hours.

All he wants is to secure the promotion to detective inspector that is in the offing because he thinks that getting the promotion will help him win back his estranged wife and daughter.

"Reservoir Filth?"

Caught up in the maelstrom of Bruce’s self-imploding life are his work colleagues who include promotion rivals such as young gun Ray Lennox (Jamie Bell) and hotshot sexy WPC Amanda Drummond (Imogen Poots). Bruce however works tirelessly against his teammates, right under the nose of the unwitting Chief Inspector Toal (John Sessions).

As Bruce tries to turn his colleagues against one another by stealing their wives and exposing their secrets, he begins to lose himself in a web of deceit that he can no longer control and his sanity starts to slip.

Can anything save Bruce as he careers headlong into a messy moral void? It might not be pleasant subject matter but it is a riveting / revolting ride watching to see if he can keep his grip on reality long enough to disentangle himself from the tidal wave of filth…

"Hot Fuzz?"

Filth is superbly put together, due in no small part to the excellent editing assisted by Luton’s Steve Worsley who also worked on Judge Dredd.

Funny, filthy and harrowing – Filth is a grimy treat for those who can deal with the seedy underbelly of modern life. And as a Christian, I have to say that Filth is a hard watch, but there is a morality lesson to be had from this tale...

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


(4 - OTT and far away the most messed up film you're likely to see this year!)...

Awesomeness öööö – nasty and grim but gripping too

Laughs öööö – very funny but it's such dark humour...

Horror ööö – it's an 18 for good reason!

Babes öö – Imogen Poots leads the female empowerment

Spiritual Enlightenment öö – best served as a cautionary tale!

"Mrs Filth"