DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

You met me at a very strange time in my life...

Read my novel: Complete Darkness

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Darkmatters Review: X-Men Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past (12a)

Dir. Bryan Singer

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“There is a new enemy out there: mutants. You need a new weapon for this war…”

Ever had that wish that you could go back in time and correct something that sparked the situation you find yourself in? That’s exactly what Charles Xavier / Professor X (Patrick Stewart) plans when he finds his beloved X-Men heroes being hunted down and exterminated en mass by Sentinels – machines designed to find and adapt to any mutant powered threat and kill it…

Only Logan / Wolverine (Hugh Jackman who still looks super buff) has the regenerative powers to survive being bounced through time to his younger self and so he’s given the task of preventing the Sentinel Programme ever getting going in order to stop the future mutant cull. It’s a delicious plot device because it cleverly allows us to have both sets of X-Men in the same film – those from the original trilogy and the ‘60s set prequel ‘First Class’ from 2011.

Days of Future Past plays delivers on all fronts – effectively being a sequel not only to ‘First Class’ but also the less loved ‘Last Stand’ from 2006. Thanks to the winning team of original X-Men Director Bryan ‘Superman Returns’ Singer and writers Jane ‘Kick Ass’ Goldman and Matthew ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ Vaughn this is the most super mutant fun to hit the screen in years!

"Kitty and Bishop - in action"

So gear up for some breath-taking action scenes – my pick of bunch being an audacious jail break aided by the very cool Quicksilver (Evan Peters) which will have super-fans grinning. But there is also a decent amount of brain power being thrown at this tale which works hard to tie up lose ends from across the X-Men franchise and set up the next in the series (be sure to stay until after the credits for a freaky sneak peek).

Can Wolverine find and unite the young Xavier (James McAvoy) with Magneto (Michael Fassbender) – whilst trying to stop Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique from assassinating dangerous scientist Bolivar Trask (a superb ‘70s tach sporting Peter ‘Game of Thrones’ Dinklage)?

"gonna need more than that to stop a Sentinel"

The against the clock plot builds up a great deal of tension – both in the past as the mission hits all kinds of snags such as prototype Sentinels and Magneto’s evil streak, and in the ‘future’ as the team beaming Wolverine back face being wiped out before he can complete the history revision.

The X-Men are back and demand to be seen!!

"Mmmm shiny prototype Sentinels"

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


(4.5 - X-Men unite in fine style!)

Awesomeness öööö – plenty of excellent X-Action

Laughs öö – occasional funny

Horror öö – fairly tamed nothing too grim

Babes öööö – Lawrence looks good blue!

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - Can history be altered?

Recommended Hashtags: #FantasticFuturePast

"the future is blue..."

"Miss Lawrence!"

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Darkmatters Review: Godzilla

Godzilla (12a)

Dir. Gareth Edwards

Reviewed by Matt ‘Kaiju’ Adcock

Read the newspaper version of this review over at: The Gazette

“You're hiding something out there! And it is going to send us back to the Stone Age! God help us all...”

When will we puny humans learn eh?
Radioactive material (and weapons in particular) are going to cause problems somewhere down the line – be it radiation pollution / sickness, total world-wide nuclear destruction or ‘just’ a massive mutant monster or three…

This new version of Godzilla is big budget and machine tooled to be a huge crowd-pleasing blockbuster but also strives to be faithful to the Toho Co. series of Godzilla films. And for the first hour Brit Director Gareth ‘Monsters’ Edwards delivers the prerequisite build up in fine style – right from the classy scene setting credits – if you’re a fan of monster films you’ll be immediately smiling at the clever fan boy service.

"iconic silhouette"

We get a great prologue where nuclear scientist Joe Brody (Bryan ‘Breaking Bad’ Cranston) faces an unexplainable disaster at a Japanese nuclear power plant where he works – losing a loved one which is an emotional depth charge that ripples throughout the rest of the film.

Fast-forward 15 years and his son Ford (Aaron ‘Kick-Ass’ Taylor-Johnson) is a Lieutenant in the US Navy, still troubled by the earlier events as well as his dad’s inability to stop digging behind official explanations. Elizabeth Olsen is on hand as Ford’s wife – but isn’t tasked with much more than looking good and getting into minor peril.

The star here though are the creatures (yes more than one) who dominate every second that they are on screen – Godzilla himself is resplendent, surely the definitive icon look of the creature for some time to come as the ‘Alpha Predator’. When the monsters go at it in full city wrecking mode it is just jaw dropping to witness and makes up for the slightly forgettable human storylines.

"it's there - somewhere..."

This Godzilla movie is a beast of two halves – slow burn build up which then flips into heavy duty action and whilst the transition between the two is a bit clunky – all you’ll go away thinking about will be the sight of a 350ft force of nature smashing all in it’s path.

Is this a classic – not really, but it is a valiant and respectful reimagining that would be a good starting point for a sequel… Personally I’d be up for a Kind Kong / Godzilla rematch!!

"we might have a problem here..."

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


(3.5 - the 'god' monster is back)

Awesomeness öööö – some memorable monstrous moments

Laughs öö – some mirth

Horror öö – not too grim as monsters go...

Babes öö – Olsen looks good in scrubs

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - Kaiju render humans redundant

Recommended Hashtags: #Kaiju-bilation

"shock and awe"

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Darkmatters Review: Sabotage

Sabotage (15)

Dir. David Ayer

Reviewed by Matt ‘Breacher’ Adcock (@cleric20)

Read the newspaper version of this review over at the: Buckinghamshire Advertiser & Review

“Scheming on a thing, that's a mirage,
I'm trying to tell you now, it's sabotage…”

Alas there’s not a Beastie Boy to be seen (or even heard) in this limp and stupid ‘action thriller’ that pretty much nails shut Arnie’s lead role action hero credentials coffin. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big Schwarzenegger fan, and grew up loving his cheesy muscled butt kicking roles in Terminator, Commando, original Total Recall etc.

But all good things come to end and if there is any justice in the world, Sabotage should be a juddering halt that sees the 66 year old all at sea as the leader of an elite DEA tactical team John ‘Breacher’ Wharton.

"do the promotional formation"

Director David ‘End of Watch’ Ayer is normally great Cop action thriller maker but Sabotage is by far his weakest effort to date.

Arnie is actually the least of the problems, he might look confused as to quite why he’s even there – which isn’t helped by his most used line being “What the f…?” - but there are a couple of moments when his sheer bulky presence works. The script however is DOA and the rest of the cast look like they might have wandered onto set from another film altogether, seemingly ad-libbing wildly. Chief offender is Terrence Howard who plays Julius ‘Sugar’ Edmonds – his DEA tag should have been Julius ‘Token Black Male’ Edmonds as he only gets few lines and they are all stereotypically rubbish.

"Oh Arnie... time to stop"

The rest of the ill-fated team (it seems that they are being taken down one by one by a psychotic drug cartel after stealing $10 million from them) include the usually OK Sam ‘Avatar’ Worthington as James ‘Monster’ Murray. Then there’s Joe ‘Grinder’ Phillips (Joe Mangeniello), Eddie ‘Neck’ Jordan (Josh Holloway), Max ‘Pyro’ Roberts, ‘Smoke’ Jennings (Mark Schlegel) and Lizzy Murray (Mireille Enos) – all of them look embarrassed to be there – and Enos in particular hams up the screen like her life depends on it.

Sabotage is unnecessarily nasty too in places, which doesn’t sit well with the crass jovial banter tone of most of the dialogue. It also boasts the worst car chase ever committed to screen and one of the limpest of ‘climactic’ showdowns of all time.

Sabotage leaves no loose ends but is the cinematic equivalent of being repeatedly punched in the face by an angry imbecile – avoid if possible.

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


(1.5 - I Can't stand it - I know you planned it...)

Awesomeness öö – not even so bad it's good often enough

Laughs öö – unwittingly funny

Horror ööö – nasty in places

Babes ö – Mireille Enos uglies up which is a shame

Spiritual Enlightenment ö - no saving grace

Recommended Hashtags: #PunchMyFace

"Just this single picture of Sabotage by Beastie Boys is better than the entire movie of the same name"

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Monday, May 05, 2014

Darkmatters Review: Bad Neighbours

Bad Neighbours (15)

Dir. Nicholas Stoller

Reviewed by Matt ‘Delta Psi Beta’ Adcock

Read the Newspaper version of this review over at: The Gazette

“We are a Fraternity, a brotherhood, and we are here to party!!”

Bad Neighbours (or just ‘Neighbors’ as it was originally in the US) is the latest entry in the long line of Frat-house comedies that trace their roots through flicks like Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds, Van Wilder and Old School… The spin this time is ‘what happens when a raucous Fraternity led by the uber-buff Teddy Sanders (Zac ‘High School Musical’ Efron) move in next to 30 something couple with young child?

What happens is all out hilarious and morally dubious comedy warfare on whole new scale. Director Nicholas ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ Stoller is blessed with a talented cast led by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne who play Mac and Kelly Radner – a couple with a new young baby who are trying to cope with parenthood. The last thing this sleep deprived pair need is a loud bunch of college guys moving in next door and partying all night every night.

"mine's this big..."

As well as some of the funniest scenes to hit the big screen for years (you may never forget the ‘airbags’ pranks) – there is a real heart at the core of Bad Neighbours. The issues of adapting to being parents are handled well through a comedy lens and there is a touch of ‘Project X’ about the Frat party finale.

Bad Neighbours certainly isn’t for the easily offended as there is mucho profanity, nudity and general wrongness writ large but it works because the leads are so darn likable.

The film nails the parental insecurity and frustration about how having a child forces you to quit partying / have much chance for spontaneous fun from one side and the fear of having to ‘grow up’ from the college kids side.

"comedy bush moment"

All the cast go about the funny business with gusto as the prank war escalates to insane proportions. Rogen is on great form and has superb chemistry with Byrne and Zac Efron eats up the screen looking incredibly cool. Dave Franco is also superb as Zac’s Vice President – their ‘bromance’ is a good balance to the young couple’s – and both relationships have real heartfelt moments.

If you need a good laugh, Bad Neighbours is by far the funniest film to hit the cinema in 2014 – it's a full on wild, crude hilarious thrill ride!

"shirts are for wimps"

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


(4 - bringing funny back)

Awesomeness öööö – some great set piece laughs

Laughs ööööö – laugh out loud!!

Horror öö – not for sexy squeamish

Babes öö – Halston Sage adds the blonde factor Byrne is lovely too

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - party life might not be all it's cracked up to be?

Recommended Hashtags: #PartyOnDude

"Miss Sage is the campus hottie"