DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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

Friday, October 02, 2015

Darkmatters Review: The Martian

The Martian (12a)

Dir. Ridley Scott

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

“Hi, I'm Mark Watney and I'm still alive... surprise!?”

Strap yourself in and prepare for a truly ‘out of this world’ quality sci-fi tale that doesn't skimp on the 'sci' and yet manages to still be thrilling, funny and life affirming…

Master Director Ridley Scott delivers an epic big screen adaptation by the best selling novel by Andy Weir. The plot tells the traumatic story of Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) - mistakenly presumed dead and abandoned on Mars by his crewmates. So, stranded and alone on the hostile red planet, Watney must find a way to establish contact with NASA and survive well beyond his meagre rations on a planet with no harvestable resources.

"look, he's right there..."

What follows is a survive-em-up blast that sees Watney’s human spirit and scientific skills stretched to the limit as he grapples with the challenge of surviving whilst millions of miles from safety. Back on earth our top minds including Head of NASA Teddy Sanders (Jeff Daniels) and director of the Mars missions Vincent Kapoor (Chiwetelu Ejiofor) struggle to come up with any sort of feasible contingency plan.

To make matters interesting Watney’s crewmates just might try the most life threateningly daring rescue mission ever committed to screen. As the action unfolds, you’ll be caught up in the high drama as the world comes together to root for Watney's safe return.

"star car"

The film's script incorporates the book’s winningly humorous and genuinely interesting dialogue, it’s this balance of comic relief in the face almost certain death that makes The Martian so much fun to watch. Damon is great in the lead role, his narration is spot on and it’s also harrowing to see his body wasting away as his severe food rationing drains him.

The only minor weakness is for fans of the book’s numerous personal logs by Watney – many which have had to be jettisoned for time constraints – this means that viewers have to work a bit harder to invest enough empathy for the poor guy.

"in space, no-one can hear you swear"

Having said that though, it’s still wonderfully easy to get caught up in this science-based fable, packed with so much technical NASA jargon that you’ll feel like you might have got a bit smarter just from having been exposed to it. The supporting cast are good value too Danny ‘Community’ Glover brings some maverick youthful thinking and Watney’s crewmates who include Jessica ‘Interstellar’ Chastain as steely Captain Lewis and Kate ‘Captive’ Mara as the sexy crew nerd Johanssen, give good emotional core to the events.

Pretty much must see sci-fi fun for all the family (although be advised if taking younger members there are some very high levels of peril and some swear words)...

"Mars hasn't looked this pretty since Britney sang Oops I Did It Again!?"

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


(4.5 - one Martian you should ‘boldly go’ to see… )

Awesomeness öööö – some incredible and unforgettable scenes

Laughs öööö – some strong comedy elements and laugh out loud moments

Horror öö –  gets very tense but not too nasty

Spiritual Enlightenment öööö - human spirit and science #FTW

"Houston, we have a problem"

Friday, September 25, 2015

Matt Adcock meets ‘Captive’ star David Oyelowo

Matt Adcock meets ‘Captive’ star David Oyelowo

As the gripping new crime drama Captive hits the UK, Darkmatters' Matt Adcock (@Cleric20) caught up with the lead star in London... (Read the: Darkmatters Captive review)

M. Why in world where we’re told people are disillusioned with God did you decide to make this film that has a Christian book at its core?

D. Because I don’t necessarily agree with that assessment. Never more has been more of a need for redemption – hope and finding out what God really is: which is Love… The two people in the film are not pursuing God but find that faith, grace and redemption intersect with them in this very dark situation that they find themselves in…

"bad times"

M. In the film there is a line where Brian describes himself as having a ‘demon in him’ – what are your thoughts on that?

D. Well, I’m a producer on the film and it was a line that I wanted in the film even though it was not in the original script. But he said that, it’s in Ashley’s book, he talked about feeling that he felt he had been possessed by a demon.

For me personally there is a physical, emotional life and a spiritual life and Brian had engaged in a very dark spiritual space to do what he did… He was taken over by something to do what he did – you can’t not have that in the movie.

"no hope?"

M. Could anyone have the capacity to act as Nichols did if pushed?

D. I don’t think everyone has it in them to be a murderer but we all have buttons within us and personalities whereby through nurture maybe nature – we can go to places that are fundamentally the opposite of ‘Godly’. You know ‘sin is sin’ – and I really struggled with playing a murderer.

M. You were scarily convincing can I just say

D. Why thank you, but I could identify (as a father of four) with the notion of being kept away from my children and what that could elicit within me, so there are things that can come along and push you to do things that you probably didn’t know were within you to do.

No one knows how they will react in situations like that but grace is grace and God is God.

"not so scary"

M. Do you think believers invest their time in overtly faith based films or just maybe ‘be’ Christians in wider films?

D. For me, I am not interested in preaching to the choir – I feel that anything that has an overt agenda cannot be good storytelling or art – it should be thought provoking rather than leading you to a clear agenda ridden opinion on the basis of the person who created the art. For me I want to make films that make you look at your life… and are films that even if you don’t come from a place of faith you can watch it and get something from it – even it’s just entertainment value.

"criminal pecks"

M. How much did you have to work out physically for the role?

D. Yeah, that was painful. Brian Nichols was an ex football player so was a big guy and I, as much as possible, especially when you play an actual person, you’ve got to get as much of an assimilation of the real person as possible…

You also want to play on the audience’s prejudices. You have this big black man who kills four people and then takes this diminutive white woman hostage, that does all kinds of things to your prejudices whether you’re black or white. And as a black person I was like ‘Do I really want to play the black guy who goes and murders people?’ but ultimately it was the humanity of the people involved that came out…

So yes it was a lot of time in the gym, a lot of work but my wife was very happy with it!

M. Thank you so much.

If interested in finding out more about the film or accessing useful materials you should visit:

Darkmatters Review: Captive

Captive (12a)

Dir Jerry Jameson

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20) - read: Matt's interview with David Oyelowo 

“I have a demon inside me”

How far do you have to go before you’re considered ‘beyond redemption’? That’s a key question at the heart of Captive, the impressive fact based crime drama based on hostage victim Ashley Smith’s account: Unlikely Angel.

"not your average mealtime"

The plot follows the heart-wrenching impact on two desperate people’s lives when convicted felon Brian Nichols (David ‘Martin Luther King in Selma’ Oyelowo) kidnaps drug addict Ashley Smith (Kate ‘Fantastic Four’ Mara). We get to witness a tense long night of the soul as Nichols holds Smith captive in her home after murdering four people during a frantic escape from the court (where he had just been convicted of rape). As a massive police manhunt rages across the State, Nichols lies low and finds himself interacting with Smith in ways that will potentially change both their lives.

A gritty true crime kidnap-em-up, Captive is at first glance a somewhat unlikely candidate to be a film that carries a heavyweight plug for the power of redemption featuring Christian Pastor Rick Warren’s best-selling book: The Purpose Driven Life. But much like the suitcase McGuffin in Pulp Fiction, Warren’s ‘Christian life motivation tome’ is an interesting element of the plot, which is used sparingly to thought provoking effect.


Director Jameson keeps the action tight and is aided by the powerful interaction of the two leads as they explores issues of including spiritual darkness, desperation and yes redemption but not in an overly saccharine preachy way. Mara is excellent as the twitchy troubled Smith whilst Oyelowo is simply outstanding as the mentally disturbed, psychotic Nichols, who believes that he is fighting a one-man war against his oppression.

Captive provides a strong depiction of two lost souls finding an understanding around their common ground of each having estranged children, which allows their humanity to seep through.

There is strong support from Mimi Rogers as Smith’s aunt who has custody of her daughter and Michael K. Williams as Detective John Chestnut - the lead investigator on the Police task force (who channels the energy of Wesley Snipes at his most dynamic).

"real fear"

Even as film shot through with spiritual energy you should be prepared for scenes of hard drug use and a truly brutal massacre that isn’t an easy watch.

Captive is an intense and tragic thrill ride that will leave you with much to contemplate.

As a Christian I was worried that this would fall into the risible category of twee faith films that are almost unwatchable due to their combination of low production values and Churchy 'cheese' but Captive deftly avoids those pitfalls and is thus highly recommended.

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


(4 - Faith, Redemption, Survival writ large)

Awesomeness öööö – the fear is tangible

Laughs ö – not a comedy vehicle

Horror ööö –  violent and disturbing in places

Spiritual Enlightenment öööö - redemption is for all

Click this banner to find and download some fantastic additional resources that explore the issues raised in CAPTIVE from @EthosMedia

Monday, September 21, 2015

Darkmatters Review: A Walk In The Woods

A Walk In The Woods (15)

Dir. Ken Kwapis

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read the newspaper version of Matt's review: The Tring Gazette

“Writers don't retire. We either drink ourselves to death or blow our brains out.”

Not just writers but also possible viewers of turgid films too... If you go down to the cinematic woods today, you’ll potentially be in for a new ‘comedy’ adventure based on celebrated travel writer Bill Bryson’s much loved book. A Walk in the Woods is the account of how Bryson (played by Robert Redford), challenged himself to hike the ‘Appalachian Trail’ which is over 2,000 miles of America's most unspoiled countryside from Georgia to Maine.

"I can pass for 44 right?"

I have to admit to not reading the book so can only take the film at on it’s merits and this was without doubt one of the most disappointing cinema experiences of the year.

Joining Bryson on his – was going to say midlife crisis walk as he was 44 when attempting this but as Redford is 79 is changes the dynamic somewhat – is his degenerate pal Steven Katz (Nick Nolte, 74). And whilst Redford might not be the dynamic, charismatic twinkle eyed smoothy he once was, Nolte is walking nightmare, bumbling about dropping F words and generally looking so out of shape that you fear this could turn into a snuff movie at any moment.

"remind me what I'm doing here again?"

It’s like seeing punch drunk former world champions suffering in the ring when it would have been a much more compelling movie (my lovely wife pointed out) if they had cast actors nearer the age of the characters in the book, maybe I’d pick Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper? Star of this show is Emma Thompson who is only on screen for about 8 minutes as Bryson’s left at home wife.

So it’s poor stilted dialogue and unfunny writing every step of the way – with a pervasive ‘haven’t I seen this before’ kind of déjà vu feel. Very few tired clichés are left unused and director Kwapis even manages to alienate the nature fans in the audience by limiting the incredible shots of the actual forest trail and focussing on the conversations and ‘antics’ of the two leads at the many hotels, cafes and erm, laundry breaks.

"most annoying walker ever?"

Redford and Nolte have both been undoubtedly great actors in their time but this feels like an indulgent quick paycheque of a movie for each of them. Ironically the theme of regrets in later life is brought very much front and centre when you consider that this ‘walk’ eats up almost two hours of your life that you are not going to get back.

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


(1.5 - Nolte, Nolte, very very Nolte...

Awesomeness öö – "just a walk in the 'Appalachian' Park Kazansky"

Laughs öö – awkward rather than funny

Horror ö – no pensioners were harmed in the making of this movie (alas)

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - not quite there and back again

Recommended Hashtags: #Hobbled

LINKAGE: A Walk In The Woods

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Darkmatters Review: LEGEND


Dir. Brian Helgeland

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read the newspaper version of Matt's review: Luton News

“They were twins. Reggie was a gangster prince of East End, Ronnie Kray was a one-man mob.”

Welcome back to London in the 1960s, where everyone had a story about the Krays – the larger than life, charismatic but deadly notorious criminals.

Director Brian Helgeland (who wrote the excellently brutal Man On Fire) goes about telling the Kray twin legend with gusto and pulls no punches.

"this isn't going to end well for someone"

Based on the biography ‘The Profession Of Violence: The Rise And Fall Of The Kray Twins’, Legend tells the bruising tale of the boys – flitting over their starting out in the local boxing club and jumping into the action from the ‘60s when they were well onto the path of their seemingly unstoppable ascent to become the most fear gangland bosses London had ever seen.

Tom Hardy who plays both Ronnie and Reggie is just incredible in the dual lead roles, capturing the easy charm / scary violence that was the core characteristics which set the brothers apart. The CGI used to allow Hardy to interact with himself is incredible, there is even a crunching Reg vs Ron fight that is flawlessly choreographed and shot.

"power play"

We get a voice over from Reggie’s sweetheart Frances Shea (Emily 'Sucker Punch' Browning) which helps show just how captivating the sway of the Krays was – and allows the viewer to witness the degenerating corruption of the human spirit that violently maintained power instils. Browning is fine but can’t help but feel like a weak link up against Hardy’s astonishing powerhouse performances.

The vicarious thrill that arrives in the wake of the immaculately attired Krays is like playing a 1960’s version of Grand Theft Auto as high-octane robberies, beatings, banter, murder and torture go hand in hand with flash cars and luxury lifestyle… There is also a surprising amount of dark humour flowing through the script which adds to the high overall entertainment value of the film.


Legend can’t help but glamorise the bad guy clique but manages to keep the threat and danger levels high and then also wades in with a heavy duty ‘crime doesn’t really pay in the long term’ message.

There are some nice supporting roles too - Taron 'Kingsman' Egerton catches the eye as Teddy - Ron's constant 'assistant' and Christopher Eccleston plays the straight cop on the trail of the Krays with steely conviction.

"they're behind you!"

Sharper and more fun than The Krays from 1990, although with a title like Legend it is probably a fair bit less accurate - this is a potentially iconic crime classic.

The Kray twins would very much like to make your re-acquaintance at the nearest cinema, don’t keep them waiting…

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


(4 - No sign of Tom Cruise in tights or any unicorns...)

Awesomeness öööö – strong biopic action

Laughs ööö – Brutal fun and criminally enjoyable

Horror ööö –  nasty brief violence in places

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - family can undo you

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Darkmatters Review: American Ultra

American Ultra (15)

Dir. Nima Nourizadeh (@nimanourizadeh)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“Something very weird is happening to me: I keep killing people! There's a chance I may be... a robot!”

I am a highly trained special agent – able to tackle any threat with little more than the objects around me. In my hands a dustpan becomes a means of decapitation, a spoon a potent murder weapon and a frying pan - a bullet deflecting trick shot bullet guidance device. But I’m not active like Borne or Bond, my name is Mike Howell (played here by Jesse Eisenberg), and I am a stoner convenience-store clerk. Life for me is a series of meaningless days, frequent panic attacks (which stop me from travelling) with the only high points thanks to my awesome girlfriend, Phoebe (Kristen Stewart).

"drug deal goes wrong"

Life goes on, I buy drugs from my dealer Rose (John Leguizamo) in order to get through the day but everything changes when a kill squad of heavily armed assassins come to take me out. Seems the boss at CIA has decided to wipe out all unused operatives and I’m on the hit list.

Director Nima ‘Project X’ Nourizadeh brings his ‘A’ game with American Ultra – an action comedy indie and thanks to screenwriter Max ‘Chronicle’ Landis, the film crackles with enough dark comedy alongside the crunchingly violent action.

Eisenberg is superb in the lead – wielding his winning geekiness and loveable charm even whilst cutting a swathe through the ranks of killers ranged against him. Stewart is a decent foil and proves to be surprisingly adept at helping Mike fight to survive.

"coffee man"

The romantic core of the film works well too – the running joke of Mike looking for the right moment to propose to Phoebe adds a feel good element which helps offset the genuinely jarring violence. Mike is a fun unwitting hero – a lethal slacker who’d rather be writing his graphic novel about an astronaut monkey than fighting off goons.

The bad guys are led by vicious but pitiable Yates (Topher ‘Predators’ Grace) whose team includes the seemingly unstoppable ‘Laugher’ (Walter ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Goggins) who has more than a little of Batman’s Joker vibe to him.


Also on hand are Tony ‘Arrested Development’ Hale, Connie Britton and Bill Pullman all offering good support.

American Ultra is a cool, adrenalin fuelled romp, which offers a great alternative to more mainstream action films. This is a cinematic hit you should definitely accept, man.

"don't mess with the clerk"

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


(4.5 - Everyone's getting smoked)

Awesomeness ööööö – superb action, backed up with fun

Laughs öööö – really funny

Horror ööö –  some crunching violence

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - love is like, important man

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Darkmatters Review: Hitman Agent 47

Hitman: Agent 47

Dir. Aleksander Bach

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“We determine who we are by what we do.”

Oh dear. The super stylish and unstoppable assassination machine Agent 47 is back – which if it were on a PS4 would be a good thing, on the big screen, not so much. This is the second big-screen adaptation of the kill-em-up Hitman game series and the bad news is that it just isn’t as good as the fun but forgettable first effort from 2007. (Darkmatters Review)

"The car is the star..."

In Hitman: Agent 47, the bald bad ass elite assassin is up against a small army of easily disposed shock troopers led by John Smith (Zachary ‘Spock from Star Trek’ Quinto). Smith is a terrible bad guy, coming across as a sort of Doofus low rent cross between a terminator and Jason Borne. In pretty much every scene he spouts stupid expository dialogue in case I presume anyone had fallen asleep or has been checking their phone waiting for the next action scene.

"Stick to Spock yeah?"

Ok so the look and feel is slick and all the requisite Hitman iconography is in place – including barcode on back of head, the dual .45 hand guns, blood red tie, cool gadgets etc and 47’s female team mate when Katia (Hannah Ware) looks the part. Alas however Hitman: Agent 47 is a complete exercise of style over substance, and not just substance but acting, coherent plot or any emotional involvement.

This film makes the new Fantastic Four (Darkmatters Review) feel deep and meaningful and although there are some reasonably tasty action scenes, it isn’t enough to lift the staleness that clings to every moment when someone isn’t getting shot or Agent 47 isn’t burning rubber in his flash red Audi RS7.

"Agent 47 tries to tackle the film critics"

The blah blah plot is about a mega-corporation that plans to unlock the secret of Agent 47's past to create an army of killers whose powers surpass even his own… Will they succeed or might Agent 47 somehow win out?

If you’re a huge fan of the Hitman games and you can overlook the basic acting on display then at least there are a few impressively choreographed set pieces – but debut director Bach is all about the making things look cool, at the expense of everything else.

"Furious eyes"

It even attempts to set up a sequel with a semi cliff hanging ending, I’d be surprised if it makes enough cash to warrant that though...

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


(2.5 - Not a big ‘hit’ – man...

Awesomeness ööö – moments of tasty action but not enough

Laughs öö – only the bad acting

Horror ööö – mildly grim in places

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - humans don't need upgrades

Recommended Hashtags: #HitMe


Hitman The Game

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Darkmatters Review: Inside Out

Inside Out (U)

Dirs. Pete Docter & Ronnie Del Carmen

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“Crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life's problems.”

You ever wonder what’s going on inside people’s heads, even your own? Well the dream weavers at Pixar have blown the doors off the inner workings of the psyche with Inside Out. And it turns out that how we react to things is down to a group of emotions who control our responses.

"The Team"

This bunch of living ‘emotions’ are: the ultra positive Joy (Amy Poehler), the perma nervous Fear (Bill Hader), the always Hulk angry Anger (Lewis Black), the too cool for anything Disgust (Mindy Kaling), and negative black hole of Sadness (Phyllis Smith).

Directors Pete ‘Up’ Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen have a great time showing the interplay of the emotions as they struggle with the reactory impulses of dealing with what life has to throw at 11-year-old Riley (Kaitlyn Dias). We get a potted life-so-far update and then are thrown into the trauma, excitement and stress of young Riley having to move towns, schools and houses due to her dad getting a new job.

"family time"

The thing is – every experience Riley has be it positive or negative is stored in her mind as memories - depicted here as translucent orbs of varying colour e.g. blue = sad, yellow = joyful etc. The childhood Riley has lived has been a pretty joyful one and there are banks of glowing golden orbs to show for it, backed up by some core memories that are her personality anchors. These include family, friendship, hockey and madcap-ness…

Disaster strikes the Riley’s pre-teen existences when a core memory accident transports both Joy and Sadness out of the control room and into the wider expanse of Riley's brain. Leaving the inadequate B team of Anger, Fear and Disgust at the helm – which is a superb analogy for the onset of ‘teenage’ behaviour…


It would be wrong to go through too much more of the engaging and genuinely moving plot – but rest assured the heroic battle of Joy and Sadness's quest through Riley's mind is inventive and fun to watch. Side characters such as Riley's fast fading imaginary friend BingBong (Richard Kind) who has a dream rocket powered by songs are well used devices. The creativity at work by the Pixar team such as having a ‘Train of Thought’ depicted as an actual train that moves through Riley’s brain is superb. My favourite area was the dream production factory which is shown as a TV like studio where the dreams are scripted and acted out when Riley goes to sleep.

Inside Out is a great film which will move and engage you – even if the slightly trite ‘Joy and Sadness are just as important as each other’ messaging is laid on thick.

"treasure your memories"

This is pretty much a must see for anyone in possession of a brain – and I’m sure viewing Inside Out will help stock up some golden globes of joyful memories for you’re memory vault!

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


(4.5 - Those voices in your head... They're real!)

Awesomeness ö ö ö ö – inventive, creative head trip!

Laughs ö ö ö  – some good funnies

Horror ö  –  one slightly sinister clown scene

Spiritual Enlightenment ö ö ö ö - strong emotional core requires balance

LINKAGE: Disney Official Page

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Darkmatters Review: The Bad Education Movie

The Bad Education Movie (15)

Dir. Elliot Hegarty (@eltel88)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“Pain is temporary… being an absolute bad-ass lasts forever!”

Brace yourselves for this summer’s most wildly inappropriate comedy. The Bad Education Movie is this year’s Inbetweeners – as British comedian Jack Whitehall takes the hit TV series to the big screen.

"look our Cornwall"

If you’ve seen Bad Education the show, you’ll know the deal - Alfie Wickers (Whitehall), possibly the most inept teacher ever, takes his class of misfits on a school trip nobody will ever forget.

Before the opening credits have even rolled Wickers can be seen causing serious affront to Hasidic Jews in Amsterdam (his crepe spiked with magic mushrooms by his class). He absconds with a waxwork of Anne Frank from her museum and takes her to an inopportune new resting place in a canal after a failed E.T. bike flight stunt.

"do not feed the teacher"

Yes The Bad Education Movie is quite offensive and puerile – meting out lewd schoolboy humour with numerous sex references – but it is (much like the TV show) also extremely funny when it works.

We re-join Wickers and Class K who include inappropriately sexy Chantelle (Nikki Runeckles) sporting t-shirts like ‘pupil with benefits’, Jing (Kae Alexander) the brainy one, Joe (Ethan Lawrence) the large kid with gentle nature, hard nut Mitchell (Charlie Wernham), the fabulously camp Stephen (Layton Williams) plus wheelchair user "Rem Dogg" (Jack Binstead) as their GCSE results approach.

"ain't no party like a Cornish pub party"

One last field trip is planned and with Las Vegas turned down on budgetary reasons Cornwall is the new destination. Cornwall will very likely never be the same again…

Whitehall is totally at home as Wickers and it’s joyfully winch inducing to see him readily humiliated at every turn – his testicles could actually get best supporting actor nods they are on screen so often. Comic misadventure is the order of the day despite Joe’s officious mum (Joanna Scanlan) inviting herself along bringing wearable tech to record any slip-ups by Alfie.

"nice Hot Fuzz swan reference / action"

Things get completely out of hand after a tattoo mix up sees Wickers inadvertent involvement in a terrorist plot leading to an epic climax involving riot police, Interpol, angry tooled up Cornishmen and a fencing duel.

Director Hegarty manages to make a decent fist of it aided by cameos from Harry Enfield, Mathew Horne and Iain ‘Game of Thrones’ Glen but as a film its no classic. Taken however as an extended episode of the show The Bad Education Movie is a hilarious send off for the gang. And as Chantelle tells Wickers: “You taught us things we weren’t never not going to learn nowhere else!”

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


(4 - Best. School. Trip. Ever!?)

Awesomeness ö ö ö ö – comedy mayhem that will make you laugh out loud

Laughs ö ö ö ö ö  – bangers

Horror ö ö –  male nudity and comedy violence ahoy

Spiritual Enlightenment ö ö - limited but some anti bullying messages in there

LINKAGE: Bad Education Quotes

Monday, August 17, 2015

Darkmatters Review: The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (12a)

Dir. Guy Ritchie (@realguyritchie)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read the Newspaper version of this review over at: The Luton News

“For a special agent, you're not having a very special day, are you?”

Who do you turn to when a rogue nuclear warhead looks like falling in to the wrong hands? Bond? Borne? Maybe but when it’s the ‘60s and Austin Powers is nowhere to be found you’ll want to try Napoleon Solo (Henry ‘Man of Steel’ Cavill), the man from: United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.

"delivers big time on the cool"

With his big screen makeover of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Guy Ritchie takes a break from his Sherlock Holmes films and delivers a slick, stylish and hugely enjoyable take on the spy genre. Everything about this production sizzles with cool – largely thanks to the perfect casting of the smooth U.S. thief turned spy in Cavill and his unwilling KGB operative partner Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer). The way these two bounce off each other is splendid to behold.

"everybody be cool"

And whilst this might be described as a rip-roaring ‘boys own’ adventure – the women of the piece are great too. Alicia Vikander follows up her superb lead in Ex Machina with a movie stealing turn as Gabby Teller, a woman whose father is a Nazi scientist working for the U.S. government but now missing. Plus there’s an impressive shapely baddie at work in the form of Elizabeth Debicki who you might have spotted in The Great Gatsby.

"this saving the world stuff can be tough"

The plot cracks along without sagging, aided by a sparkling script that holds a good balance of being genuinely funny but never letting the spy antics lose their menacing edge. It is entirely refreshing to see a film that packs credible peril, action and even the obligatory ‘hero gets tortured’ scenes without being overly nasty or foul mouthed (which is quite something when remembering Ritchie’s early work such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’)!

"retro car chase a go go"

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is a film that you can watch with your parents and you teens and it should please across the board. The action set pieces are handled brilliantly. There’s a joy in seeing the archaic 1960’s cars, weapons and out-dated tech bringing such pulse pounding thrills – great for those who remember that time and for a new generation.

"Bond who?"

Throw dodgy uncle Rudi (Sylvester Groth) and proper English Spymaster Waverly ( Hugh Grant – really not having to stretch his skills) and you’ve all the ingredients for a feel good spy-em-up of the highest order.

Here’s hoping that the well set up sequel gets made soon!

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


(4 - Saving the world never goes out of style)

Awesomeness ö ö ö ö – slick action and smooth dialogue

Laughs ö ö ö  – brings some good mirth

Horror ö ö –  mostly wide age suitability, occasional violence

Spiritual Enlightenment ö ö ö - smooth skills can append moral vacuum

"beautiful baddie"


Twiter: @ManFromUNCLE

Facebook: facebook.com/manfromuncleUK

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