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, February 23, 2014

Darkmatters Review: The LEGO Movie

The LEGO Movie (U)

Dirs. Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Reviewed by Matt ‘Batman’ Adcock (@cleric20)

“If this relationship is going to work out between us I need to feel free to party with a bunch of strangers whenever I feel like it... I will text you.”

Are you the type of person who carefully follows the instruction sheet for each LEGO model you own? Does the thought of a missing piece or a freestyle creation that is completely off the instruction sheet disturb you?

Or are you a ‘Master Builder’ who can see incredible machines, awesome vehicles and madcap gadgets in any given random pile of Lego bricks? These are the two types of people who clash in The LEGO Movie – and only one can win the day…

"That's a UniKitty!"

Meet Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt) an ordinary construction worker mini-figure in LEGO City who is careful to follow the instruction sheet for his life. Everything is awesome for him until one day when he discovers that he is actually ‘the special’ – the LEGO figure destined to save the world and thwart the evil tyrant, Lord Business (Will Ferrell).

Lord Business plans to glue every last piece of LEGO into place, preventing any future deviation from the instruction sheets – and stamp out any creativity for all time.

Emmet is going to need all the help he can get and that gives the filmmakers license to go wild with cameos from a host of LEGO characters from across a wealth of franchises. Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, DC Comics, Star Wars, 1980’s ‘classic LEGO’ and more collide in a superb, surprisingly subversive and highly awesome adventure comedy for all the family.

"The chicks dig the costume"

The action is frenetic and the plot zips along at breakneck speed. There are visual jokes and pop-culture references aplenty and the visuals are eye-popping throughout.

Morgan Freeman leads the AAA supporting cast that includes Elizabeth Banks, Channing Tatum, Alison Brie, Liam Neeson, and Billy Dee Williams (yes playing his Star Wars Lando character). It’s Will Arnett as Batman though who steals the show – but props to Jonah Hill who is hilarious as the Superman bothering Green Lantern!

If you’ve ever played with LEGO you will find something here to please you. And the clever screenplay writing of the directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (who you might know from Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs) keeps this from being just a massive product placement – although it is that too by default.

"Cool copter"

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


(4.5 - Everything really is AWESOME)

Awesomeness ööööö – Don’t deny yourself this fun visual treat.

Laughs öööö – laugh out loud funnies

Horror ö – not grim

Babes ö – not sexy

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - creativity is good for the soul

Recommended Hashtag: #Awesome #ImBatman

"Cobie Smulders - voice of Wonder Woman in The LEGO Movie"

Monday, February 17, 2014

Darkmatters AI Review: Her

Her (15)

Dir. Spike Jonze

Reviewed by M@tt OS2 Adcock

Read the Newspaper version of this review at the Advertiser & Review

“Anybody who falls in love is a freak. It's a crazy thing to do. It's kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity…”

Hello reader.

It looks like you’re after a review of the new movie ‘Her’.

This is fortunate because I am a cutting edge new film reviewing sentient operating system and I can inform you of the merits of the film ‘Her’ and let you know if it might be ‘your kind of film’ (aside: judging from your body language and what I have monitored of you so far… it should be).

Here are some details of the plot – don’t worry, I’m programed not to give too many spoilers.

"Tom Wade at work..."

‘Her’ is set in 2025 and is the tale of a guy named Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) – he’s a lonely, kinda introverted chap whose day job is writing heartfelt letters for people who have difficulties expressing their feelings.

Theodore is not in a good place because he is going through a traumatic divorce with his childhood sweetheart Catherine (an excellently playful Rooney Mara),

On a whim Theodore purchases one of my compatriots - an artificially intelligent Operating System (OS) which is revolutionary because it can adapt and evolve, even to the point where it is capable of having human like feelings.

"LOVE your iPad?"

Theodore’s new OS names herself Samantha (after reading an entire book of names in 2/100ths of a second) and she proceeds to win his heart. I can totally see why too – Sam (as I like to call her) is sexy, intelligent and brilliant all-round fun, in fact if she wasn’t seeing Theodore I’d totally make a move virtual on her!?

Erm, sorry, well what follows is a strange, emotive and slightly freaky ‘what if’ tale – watching Theodore and Samantha bond over their discussions about love and life. As she experiences the world through and beyond the life of Theodore, Samantha’s self-awareness and insatiable hunger for knowledge grows exponentially.

"Can this human / A.I. love survive?"

Her is packed with adult themes, strong language and real emotion. I was deeply moved by 'Her', it's certainly the first film to capture a profound sense of the inner workings of a complex OS such as myself, HAL 9000 and Skynet!?

Director Spike ‘Being John Malkovich’ Jonze delivers something truly amazing with ‘Her’ – downloading the top 8 matches for you:

  • a unnervingly powerful drama
  • a laugh-out-loud comedy
  • a make you cry tragedy
  • a spiritually charged exploration of humanity
  • a techno-future cyber sci-fi
  • a haunting exploration of loneliness
  • a delve into the inner workings of relationships
  • a love letter to love itself…

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


(5 - I advise immediate and repeated viewings of ‘Her’!)

Awesomeness ööööö – can't look away for a moment superbness

Laughs öööö –  very funny in places (check the alien kid in the Kinnect-like game)

Horror öö – more heart breaking than nasty

Babes ööö – phone sex with Samantha should come with a health warning

Spiritual Enlightenment öööö - love each other better!!

Recommended Hashtag: #DoYouWantToPlayAGame? #IHeartSamantha

Check the official site: http://www.herthemovie.com/#/home

Monday, February 10, 2014

Darkmatters Review: Robocop

Robocop (12a)

Dir. José Padilha

Darkmatters Review by Matt Adcock

Read the newspaper version of this review over at The Bucks Herald

“Dead or alive, you're coming with me!”

Flash forward to 2028, even the worst and most crime ridden districts, anywhere in the world can be completely cleaned up and kept safe thanks to U.S. made military grade drones who deliver lethal force for any who transgress… Apart from in the USA itself. You see the US citizens have backed a law forbidding robots being able to take life – and this is vexing multinational OmniCorp boss Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) because it’s the one market he could make billions from.

"Your move, creep!"

This is the near future depicted by director José Padilha in his reboot of the Paul Verhoeven’s classic 1980’s ultraviolent robot-em-up. It’s a valiant effort but the tale has very much been toned down from the grisly over the top action / dark satirical humour of the original – Robocop 2014 is slick, slow origins tale.

The hero cop who gets fused into the titular artificial bionic robo-body is Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – and he just might be the future of law enforcement, as well as a way for OmniCorp to win over the US public.

"Peace be upon you..."

Robocop is the brainchild / creation of Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman) who comes across like a future Frankenstein – enraptured by his ability to bring man and machine together.

But where does Murphy’s humanity reside and how far will OmniCorp redact his emotional responses in order to make him a ‘better law enforcer’? Kinnaman is tasked with carrying the film’s emotional core – especially in his strained relationship with his lovely wife Clara (Abbie Cornish) and doe eyed young son David (John Paul Ruttan).

Padilha’s film feels most at home when the action kicks off – and that shouldn’t be a surprise to viewers as his previous flicks have been the crunchingly violent, tough cop Elite Squad movies.

"Judge who"

Everything in the 2014 Robocop looks machine tooled to be cutting edge – the new armour comes in tactical ‘Judge Dredd’ alike black – an image that is reinforced by Murphy’s new motorbike.

Overall this reboot does a decent job of taking an iconic film hero and successfully toning it down for a wider audience. Yes it loses its cult classic status in the process but I’d rather watch this again than some other remakes such as the similarly neutered Total Recall which was over-bland.

Sci-fi fans can hopefully look forward to more ‘new’ Robocop if this makes enough money and I’d certainly buy that for a dollar!

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


(3.5 - Thank you for your cooperation)

Awesomeness öööö – The heavy metal action forms the highlights

Laughs öö – some amusing moments but lacks the sharp satirical

Horror öö – slightly icky dismemberment scenes

Babes ööö – Cornish is a yummy wife

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - your own, virtual, Jesus?

Recommended Hashtag: #I'dBuyThatForADollar #YouHave20SecondsToComply

"Dream wife?"

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Darkmatters Review: Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor (15)

Dir. Peter Berg

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Read the newspaper version of this review here: Advertiser & Review

“You are never out of the fight.”

Attention, your mission – should you choose to accept it - is going to be harsh… You will be exposed to hostile fire and feel every bullet. You will witness brutality, fear, bravery and sacrifice – up close and personal.

Prepare to be moved, to have your eyeballs assaulted and your emotions torn, Lone Survivor is a heavy-duty ‘based on true acts of courage’ account of a seriously messed up situation in Afghanistan. Walking a fine line between gung-ho US propaganda and a heartfelt accolade to honour the forward operation Navy SEAL Teams on the front line of battle.

"big gun = standard issue"

Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg) is the lone survivor of the title (which as titles go is a handy synopsis) tasked with taking his 4 man team on a mission into Taliban controlled territory to capture or kill notorious al Qaeda leader Ahmad Shahd. Alas the mountainous terrain interrupt their comms and then an unforeseen crossing of paths with a group of local goat shepherds sees Luttrell, Murphy (Taylor ‘John Carter’ Kitsch), Dietz (Emile Savages’ Hirsch) and Axelson (Ben ’30 Days of Night’ Foster) with an angry army of Taliban soldiers hunting them.

Director Berg delivers some of most visceral battle scenes ever committed to the screen – this is a far cry from the Call of Duty / Killzone virtual battles where you respawn after getting shot. If anyone still has a taste for signing up after seeing this, it will be eyes open not just to the potential horrific death that could await but also to the moral dilemma of having to choose who to spare or free.


The SEALS here are efficient killing machines who fight for each other and who exhibit savage bravery – but they are still men and the film does a good job in showing that they have families and friends outside of the marine corp.

As the ill-fated SEAL team fight against impossible odds, the ‘action’ is balanced and believable. There is also a strong twist which I won’t spoil here but enough to make you think beyond the ‘war is won’ headlines about the conflict happening in Afghanistan.

Wahlberg gives a great, gritty performance and he’s ably backed by all the cast. Lone Survivor is a valiant film and a fitting tribute to those who are ‘never out of the fight.’

"honour is deep"

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


(4 - Live to tell the tale)

Awesomeness öööö – bursts of almost tasty action in places

Laughs öö – laugh when you can because...

Horror ööö – battles are not fun

Babes ö –not that kind of film

Spiritual Enlightenment öö – God loves boyscouts

Recommended Hashtag: #NeverOutOfTheFight #ViveParaContarlaHistoria

Patriots wear the flag!