DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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

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Thursday, December 28, 2023



Top Ten Films 2023 

by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)


10. Barbie 

I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world and it’s more than ‘Kenough’ for me!! This was a cracking fun time delivering on a kooky premise and making an important point for female empowerment in the process. As a Snyder fan - I even enjoyed being called out by the sharp screenplay :) Gosling (can’t wait for him in The Fall Guy in ’24) was exceptional - channeling Kenergy sufficient to become the answer to the world’s renewable energy needs! Robbie was pretty much perfect in the lead, this is a film everyone should see - and it was a delight to see girls standing up and applauding such a rousing manifesto!

9. Oppenheimer 

The other half of ‘Barbenheimer’ was something completely different - but just an incredible, challenging experience to witness. Seeing Oppenheimer and Einstein's 1947 conversation where they express the belief that they had indeed started a chain reaction that would destroy the world is a chilling prophecy that we all live in the shadow of. Visually Oppenheimer is a tour-de-force, and the cast are exceptional. Nolan creates films for the ages and this is a worthy addition to his incredible body of work. If you want to be shaken and to ponder humanity’s capacity for self-destruction then this megaton blast will hit the spot…

8. El Conde 

Possibly the biggest surprise of the year - El Conde ( literally 'The Count') is a Chilean super black comedy horror. I stumbled upon this one day when feeling unwell and director Pablo Larraín cheered my right up with this incredibly unlikely winner. Featuring one of the best Margaret Thatcher cameos ever this satire portrays Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet as a 250-year-old vampire seeking death. But his scheming family are after the Dictator’s wealth and so when an eager vampire-hunting nun turns up - chaos ensues… You’ll laugh out loud, you’ll be a bit freaked out, and if you were around in the ‘80s you’ll believe it might be based on a true story!?


7. Rebel Moon 

Zack Snyder is back - and he’s forged a whole new sci-fi universe!! Visually stunning and rip-roaring fun, When a colony on the edge of the galaxy finds itself threatened by the armies of the tyrannical Darth Vader-alike Regent Balisarius, they dispatch a young woman Kora (not Rey) with a mysterious past to seek out warriors from neighbouring planets to help them take a stand. Rebel Moon is a stunning sci-fi epic that delivers on almost every level - Zack Snyder has crafted a visually spectacular and emotionally engaging story that takes us to an alternate galaxy far, far away. There are plenty of Easter eggs - not least in the homages to Star Wars, but this is the start of something darker, harder and cooler and I can’t wait for the extended Snyder Cut and part 2!!


6. Maestro 

Maestro is a towering and fearless love story chronicling the lifelong relationship between Leonard Bernstein (Exquisitely played by Bradley Cooper - who also directs) and Felicia Montealegre (the always incredible Carey Mulligan). Capturing the genius music creator and the whirlwind that affects everyone caught in his aura. Similar to his last film ‘A Star Is Born’, Cooper shows that he is a master of depicting relationships of the rich and famous, dark underbelly and all. Come for the excellent storytelling, stay for the amazing music and fascinating plot.


5. Dream Scenario 

What would you do if you started showing up in people’s dreams? Cue Nic Cage as Paul Matthews - a forgettable wannabe author and researcher who finds his life turned upside down when millions of strangers suddenly start seeing him in their dreams. But what starts as a quirky oddity that makes him famous, soon gets creepy when his nighttime appearances take a nightmarish turn, he's forced to navigate the consequences of everyone fearing him… This is super creative and genuinely funny idea that works - in large part thanks to Cage who is on stellar form.


4. Sisu 

During the last days of World War II, a solitary prospector - Aatami Korpi - crosses paths with some nasty Nazis on a scorched-earth retreat in northern Finland. When the soldiers decide to steal his gold, they quickly discover they just tangled with no ordinary miner and maximum righteous carnage ensues. Sisu feels like a Mad Max prequel, the level of violence is OTT but the Nazis deserve it all and Jorma Tommila delivers a memorable performance in the lead. Full jaw-dropping, whoop-out-loud comic book action a go-go!

 3. Killers of the Flower Moon 

Films don’t come much more impressive than this American epic Western crime drama film directed and produced by Martin Scorsese, he also co-wrote based on the 2017 non-fiction book by David Grann. Packed with some of the best actors around - Leonardo DiCaprio plays Ernest Burkhart, who along with De Niro and a fantastic turn by Lily Gladstone bring some incredibly watchable 3+ hours of riveting crime-em-up drama.

 2. Saltburn 

Full metal intoxication and fixation/obsession writ large - deviously delivered by Emerald ‘Promising Young Woman’ Fennell. The plot sees poor working-class Oliver (Barry Keoghan) taken under the posh wing of Felix, a rich student, who invites him over to his estate, Saltburn for the summer. When a series of horrifying events engulf Felix's family - things really might not be all they seem. This is a dreamy, twisted fever-inducing mystery, that will drop shocks and laughs in equal measure. Take a visit to Saltburn, you might come away changed!?


1. Infinity Pool 

Following up on his excellent Possessor Uncut Brandon Cronenberg brings a new horror trip that absolutely blew me away. Gruesome and daring, mind-bending and challenging - Infinity Pool is machine tooled to excite, disgust, and titillate, all at once… Not for the faint of heart or narrow of mind - not much can prepare you for a dip in this freaky, scary, and brilliant flick - Mia Goth is utterly fantastic in an iconic role and Infinity Pool is a guaranteed cult classic for the ages.

Read my review of INFINITY POOL

Honourable mentions: Spiderman - Across The Spiderverse, Mission Impossible - Dead Reckoning, Godzilla minus 1, Thanksgiving, Bottoms, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, The Killer, The Royal Hotel, Totally Killer, Gran Turismo, Guardians of the Galaxy 3, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. 

>>> Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

Click below to find out in my dark sci-fi novel...


Sunday, December 03, 2023

There must be Angels playing with my heart - ANGELS review




Rachel Churcher (@Rachel_Churcher) 


Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

‘My blood runs cold, My memory has just been sold, My Angel in the centerfold’ sang the J. Giles Band in 1981 – I was reminded of that song when I read Angels.


Billed as “The LGBTQ+ YA story you've been waiting for: friendship, identity, attraction, disasters ... and finding your wings.”


Angels are a fascinating part of legend. Humans have recorded accounts of angels living among us for as long as we can remember – from those of biblical fame such as Gabriel in the New Testament and the Angel of Death in the Old, these are beings ‘shaped in the image of God’ – a little higher than us mortals and usually packing at least one pair of wings.


In Rachel Churcher’s new angel-em-up, they don't have powers, but they do have wings, wings which they tend to keep to themselves until one breaks ranks and becomes a famous model ‘Kane’ and from then on, all bets are off.

Meet 16-year-old Mel Abbott – your usual off-the-pegged young woman, she well remembers the day she saw Kane's taboo-shattering billboard. A beautiful model showing his wings on Oxford Street, on a photo as tall as a building.

She’s understandably in love with this Adonis, her bedroom filled with posters of his chiseled abs and eagle’s wings – so she’s overwhelmed when she gets the chance to meet him in the heavenly flesh. Alas, it’s not too much of a spoiler to say things don’t get well and a chain of events is set in motion that will have major consequences. Can she find a way to free herself from his shadow, and what will her future hold?

Angels is a pretty standard coming-of-age story, it’s a celebration of friendship and desire, heartbreak and identity. I try not to read many young adult novels as I generally like my fiction a bit darker and fiercer but for an interesting premise, I’ll give them a go. 


It's an easy read, Churcher writes in a nice, relaxed manner and explores themes of friendship, identity, attraction, and finding one's place in the world. 


If this all sounds like your bag, or a decent Christmas present for the YA reader in your life then grab a copy and connect with your inner 16-year-old girl!, and find your wings along the way.

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


(3.5 - Angelic coming-of-age heartbreaker

>>> Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

Click banner below to find out in my dark sci-fi novel 

(now becoming a comic too)...