DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Darkmatters Review: It Follows


It Follows (15)

Directed by David Robert Mitchell

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read the newspaper version of this review at: The Bedfordshire Times & Citizen

“Sometimes it can look like someone you love… I think it does that just to hurt you!?”

Meet lovely young 19-year-old Jay (Maika ‘The Guest’ Monroe), she’s scared for her life – and for good reason… Jay has been ‘marked’ after having sex with her new boyfriend Hugh (Jake Weary) and so has attracted the attention of an unstoppable evil force. The killer entity tracks her day and night, taking on various human forms, always slowly walking towards her, wherever she is and the only way she can buy herself time is by ‘passing on’ the curse by sleeping with someone else.

"always look behind you!"

The genuinely scary ‘It Follows’ takes the time honoured horror movie plotline of sexual activity being the catalyst for dreaded retribution and creates a freaky new take on it that will get deep into your psyche and massively creep you out.

Director David Robert Mitchell creates an excellent, slow burning ‘voodoo’ feeling of unease as viewers are presented with the fallout of what happens when a group of teens find their lives destroyed by a force of unnatural evil. The question very much is ‘who will survive and what will be left of them!?’

"some dates don't go to plan"

The cinematography is deliberately low key – with muted colours and everyday locations but in a twisted way you just won’t be able to look away because every person in the shot just might be the ‘follower’. The audience are brought in on the action and allowed to see the evil creature – which is something in the plot that only those marked as targets can do. This makes every scene – some of which are incredibly disconcerting 360 degree pans - into diabolic versions of ‘Where’s Wally’ – you’ll find yourself checking everything human shaped in shot to see if it is the slow walking death bringer…

Jan’s traumatized group include her sister Kelly (Lili Sepe), best friend Yara (Olivia Luccardi) and besotted childhood friend Paul (Keir Gilchrist) – all of whom give good support in their roles.

"nowhere is safe"

As the dread mounts, the climax sees the most unnerving swimming pool scene since Let The Right One In. So It Follows is a highly effective slice of horror that even references many of the ‘slasher’ flicks of the 70s / 80s – note the John Carpenter-alike synths on the soundtrack, which hark back to the heyday straight up horror films.

It Follows will likely leave you looking over your shoulder for some time afterwards.

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

öööö1/2 

(4.5 - Dread has a new form)


Awesomeness öööö – creeping shivery horrifying scenes

Laughs öö – limited fun

Horror öööö – suitably nasty in places

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - save sex for marriage!?


Recommended Hashtags: #AreYouBeingFollowed?

"fear stalks the streets"

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Darkmatters Review: Project Almanac



Project Almanac (12a)

Dir. Dean Israelite

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“Before the world ends, I have to fall in love.”

Time travel is a dangerous thing (I know it’s not an actual thing but go with me here)… If Back to the Future, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Looper, Primer and the like have shown us anything – it’s that messing with the time / space continuum is likely to cause problems…

But that doesn’t stop a bunch of teens building a time machine and taking it out for a spin in this averagely fun science fiction adventure movie (full disclosure- in part produced by Michael Bay!?).

Yep it’s a found footage movie, like we haven’t had enough of those yet…

"obligatory Matrix-alike scene"

So we get nerdy dude / bros David (Jonny Weston), Quinn (Sam Lerner) and Adam (Allen Evangelista) who jump into the world of potential time paradox in order to get rich, get the girl and get some friends… Also along for the ride are the token girls – the gorgeous sister Christina (Virginia Gardner) and hottie love interest (Sofia ‘soon to be in the Ben-Hur remake’ Black-D'Elia).

The plot takes a long ‘time’ to get going – which is frustrating as the whole premise of the film is the time traveling so the laborious build up feels at once dull, forced and even then slightly rushed. Going to ‘live trials’ of a home made time machine which includes component from a Xbox360 after successfully sending a toy car back in time by an hour is reckless any way you look at it!? Don’t these kids remember the failure rates of Microsoft’s gaming machines?

"important time travel scene"

Anyway, the makers of Project Almanac really want this to be a hip cool flick – and try desperately to ape the effortless zeitgeist of the much better Chronicle that was darker and more exciting in every conceivable way.

Things get a bit out of hand after some limited time jumping fun, and the ending feels odd – and there's some cod 'there are no second chances' mumbo jumbo semi-philosophy too...

But if all you're after is a spot of teen sci-fi that requires absolutely no brainpower involved in watching it then this is an ok option (but only if you're too chicken to tackle Primer or Looper)…

"he's behind you..."

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

öö1/2 

(2.5 - Dude I'm in the PAST!)


Awesomeness ööö – brief flashes of coolness

Laughs öö – limited mirth

Horror ö – not very grim at all

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - dude, where's my brain?


Recommended Hashtags: #NicNakAlmanac

"head space out"

INteresting trivia:

The title 'Project Almanac' alludes to the plot of Back to The Future II in which Biff Tannen changes his life for the better by stealing the Gray's Sports Almanac from 2015 and betting on sports outcomes he knew would happen from the 1950s onwards. Similarly, this film focuses on changing the protagonists' lives for the better by changing the past using time travel and putting things back the way they were like Marty and Doc have to in BTTF2.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Darkmatters Review: The Order 1886


The Order: 1886 (18)

Developed by Ready At Dawn

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

Are you ready to join an elite order of knights?

The Order: 1886 puts you in the shoes, tache and swanky armour of ‘Galahad’, a member of titular ‘order’ of knights. Your mission is to join a centuries-old war against a powerful unnatural threat that could change the course of history forever.

Set in a superb alternate / fictionalised Victorian London at the tail end of the 19th century, the story behind The Order: 1886 revolves around a group knights charged with protecting the city and its inhabitants from a menacing breed of half-humans. It’s freaky stuff, certainly not for the faint of heart…

"Lovely guns"

The compelling background story dates back to the 7th century when some humans began evolving differently, with animalistic traits that include super-human strength. These mutants didn’t go down so well with the ‘normal’ folk and fearing the new half-breeds a war broke out in an attempt to destroy them.

Now you’re on the frontline in this steampunk vision of Victorian Britain – boosted by some pretty advanced weaponry. Oh, and a fabled liquid which The Order refer to as 'Blackwater' - it's an elixir that can heal even mortal wounds and prolong life!

"Stunning visuals"

History and myth collide

You control Galahad, one of the most experienced knights of The Order, but this is a crisis that will require detective work and contemplation as well as copious amounts of ass kicking gunplay.

If you played the PS3 classic Heavy Rain you’ll have some idea of how the investigation pans out – there are multiple cut scenes with quick time reaction elements and a certain number of collectables like detailed newspapers, notes and photographs that its worth taking the time to read / study as they really add to the depth of the whole experience.

Then there are the shoot-em-up, run and gun cover sections which are just incredible – they borrow heavily from Gears of War and are an absolute joy to fight through. Taking down tooled up rebels, powerful agents and of course the powerful half-breeds with an impressive array of guns – including ones that harness arc-lightning and others like the thermite rifle which fire incendiary material that can be ignited to rain down fiery death on your enemies.

"It's in the details"

Graphically unmatched

Ready at Dawn need to be applauded for the jaw dropping visuals that are made using full performance capture for characters and scenes that shift together to bring the deep narrative, packed with intrigue, to life.

Only the PS4 could deliver such visuals on a console – there are some scenes that you’ll just want to sit and stare at such as the London views which bustle with airships overhead and general activity on the streets.

"Moustaches not optional"

Backlash by those who do not know better

I’ve read some really negative ‘reviews’ of The Order: 1886 – and I just can’t understand the thinking behind them. All I can imagine is that either there are a lot of so called game reviewers who are incapable of appreciating a game like this (if you’re expecting a simple shooter, you might be gutted that there isn’t more of it I guess). Or these folks are part of the half-breed conspiracy to stop the tale of the heroic Order being enjoyed more widely.

"A new Sony mascot!?"

Everyone should join The Order

Yes it’s not the longest game but this is an experience… If you’ve ever enjoyed a mystery, a gun game or a stunning cinematic visual feast – The Order: 1886 has some of each and the combined package is one that should be regarded as a gaming classic.

I loved The Order and absolutely can’t wait for the potential DLC and Sequel as this feels like it’s the start of something special!

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

ööööö

(5 - stunning visuals and exciting gunplay make for classic gaming)...

"fire at will"







Monday, February 23, 2015

Darkmatters Review: Blackhat


Blackhat (15)

Dir. Michael Mann

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read the newspaper version of this review at The Berkhampsted Gazette

“This isn't about money. This isn't about politics. I can target anyone, anything, anywhere.”

Hackers eh? A very current threat, not content with just irritating disruptors of gaming networks or dodgy thieving from financial institutions but what if they started blowing up nuclear power plants? What happens when hackers become terrorists?

Here the ‘Black Hat’ (someone who hacks into computer networks with malicious intent) is causing worldwide panic by causing a Chinese power station to explode, and following it up by monkeying with Wall Street stock commodities… Who can the authorities turn to in order to tackle this cyber threat? Why not bust another master hacker out of jail to fight fire with fire? And it just so happens that hunky Nick Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth) is serving time for a masterpiece of hacking – so he is set free by Chinese Captain Chen Dawai, and tasked to find whoever is responsible for the attacks.

"nobody brings gunfights like Mann"

Also on the case are Chen’s sister Lien (Wei Tang) FBI Agent Carol Barrett (Viola Davis) – from then on the game is afoot as the team go up against the baddie Black Hat Sadak (Yorick van Wageningen) and his private army led by Elias Kassar (a nicely dangerous turn from Ritchie Coster).

Blackhat ticks many of the usual Mann checkboxes – crunching gunfights, unnecessary shots of speedboats, great looking cityscapes at night, but it doesn’t quite ignite to the point of ‘awesome’.

It’s really hard to make people looking at laptops and saying out loud what they’re doing exciting and it is this dynamic coupled with a sometimes plodding depiction of the investigative process that keeps this as a good but not great thriller.

"code porn"

Hemsworth is always watchable and his chemistry with love interest Tang is engaging, what is lacking though is sufficient threat from the bad guys. In a world of master criminals looking to do dastardly crimes, Sadak (whose character is like a dark Harry Knowles from ‘Aint’ It Cool’) comes up short on overall evilness.

So Blackhat might be slightly ‘old hat’ in places but it still delivers enough slick action and tension to keep those looking for a cyber thrilling night out entertained. This won’t be remembered as a classic up there with the like of Mann’s ‘Heat’ but it’s quite something when a director can have a bit of an off day and still make a better film than most of his contemporaries.

"Fifty shades of style"


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

ööö1/2 

(3.5 - We are no longer in control)

Awesomeness öööö – one iconic gunfight is the most memorable scene

Laughs öö – not much fun

Horror öö – slightly nasty but not too much

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - hackers are jerks?


Recommended Hashtags: #NoLongerInControl


Resogun – Defenders DLC



Resogun (PS4) – Defenders DLC

Developed by HouseMarque (read review of original Resogun / Dead Nation)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

It’s rare that superb games are made even better by studios releasing extra modes via DLC – but Resogun is the gold standard for this and developers HouseMarque should be applauded…

When the PlayStation 4 launched, the best game immediately available was the incredible shoot-'em-up Resogun, and now the game has been expanded – first last year’s ‘Heroes’ pack brought the addictive ‘Survivor’ and the randomly awesome ‘Demolition’ modes, both of which are great fun.

There was the also the excellent local co-op and ‘design your own ships’ options, that were more than enough to reignite interest in the game.

"Protect (and serve)"

Now ‘Defenders’ arrives and blows the whole game wide open again with two brand new modes – first up is ‘Protector’ which takes the original lovely blast-em-up and makes you fight through a never ending assault of aliens who are after the ‘last’ humans. You only have one life and there are a wealth of new upgrades to help you save the humanoids (yes there are now multiple type including Scarecrows, Uncle Sams and more).

The tempo is notched up for not just the action but also the boosts such as ‘Overdrive’ ‘Super Boost’ and ‘Added carriage capacity’… You can play this mode over and over wanting to improve your score, especially when you compare your best against your PSN friends list (or find out where you rank globally!?).

Protector would have been great on its own but there is also ‘Commando’ which takes you out of your spaceship and puts you on the ground with a big gun – fighting to defend your home from falling meteors, and nasty aliens threats. This mode won’t ever replace the slick spaceship combat but it is a very tasty little spin on the formula and is worth your time. Especially as your Commando makes Schwarzenegger-alike exclamations, that will please any ‘80s action film fan!

"Going Commando"

Finally there are ‘Challenges’ too – both of a progression system where you now level up by collecting xp which you get from playing through and completing feats – e.g. save certain amount of humans on certain levels. It’s enough to make you focus on certain elements of your gameplay in order to tick off a feat…

Also there is now a weekly challenge which sets a certain rule e.g. can only move to the right, or have to use a certain craft (love the fact that one is the Super Stardust ship!?

Resogun is a game that it’s a joy to return to and HouseMarque have made it even better with all these additional modes… DLC done right!!

"Things can get a bit frantic"

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

ööööö

(5 - videogaming perfection just got better!)...


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Darkmatters Review: Fifty Shades of Grey


Fifty Shades of Grey (18)

Dir. Sam Taylor-Johnson

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read the newspaper version of this review at: The Biggleswade Chronicle

“You're here because I'm incapable of leaving you alone.”

The worldwide mass selling, morally vapid cultural phenomenon about a messed up abusive relationship, makes the jump from ropey novel to money spinning movie.

The plot follows young literature student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson), who gets to interview über successful businessman Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan).

"no product placement was harmed in the making of this film"

She’s attracted to him, he’s besotted with her – but rather than follow a traditional romance timeline there are some rather nasty complications to this potential relationship. Grey you see isn’t looking for a romantic partner, he wants a woman to control, to hurt and punish sexually in his own ‘red’ torture playroom.

Steele is rightly perturbed by Grey’s behavior - he basically starts to stalk her from their first encounter and is quite willing to whisk her off in his helicopter, or show her his impressive car collection, but he won’t go on a normal date with her. His sinister coldness reinforces her reluctance to sign the freaky ‘sexual relations’ contract that sets out exactly what he can do her.

Why is he such a creepy sadist? – well he says he was a submissive in his teenage years to an older woman dominatrix. This child abusive wrongness has left him incapable of having a regular
relationship.

"feel the contrived passion"

Anastasia though is a woman with her own mind – and one who is wary of this unusual set up. Doesn’t stop her getting to experience some grim situations though after requesting Grey to show her how bad it might get if he were allowed to punish her…

*caution spoiler* I was pleased to see Steele challenge Grey about his nasty requests and make a stand at the end despite her attraction to him *end spoiler*.

Director Taylor-Johnson I guess deserves some credit for managing to turn the terrible source material into even such an average film. But Fifty Shades of Grey is mostly vacuous production values over substance, boasting little more than multiple sex scenes and a number one single from Ellie Goulding on the soundtrack.

"what colour pencil shall I use?"

Sorely lacking though are decent performances, Johnson does an acceptable job (mostly biting her bottom lip) but Dornan is totally wooden, playing every scene with the same permafrown – looking for all the world like he’s just stubbed his toe.

You know if you want a much better cinematic tortured billionaire - you should go with Bruce Wayne, he's got issues too but he uses his money to fight crime rather than abuse women.

This is not a good film by any criteria, alas that hasn’t stopped it already ‘dominating’ box office records – come on people you don’t have to ‘submit’ to this drivel.

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

öö

(2 - just say 'no' to messed up billionaires)...

Awesomeness öö – the cars, helicopter and glider scenes are quite cool

Laughs öö – not funny, or even 'fun'

Horror öööö – horrible manipulation and abusive 'punishment'

Spiritual Enlightenment -öööö – no redeeming features

Hashtag: #FiftyShadesIsViewerAbuse

"Gratuitous topless scene"

As a Christian I've been interested in seeing the 'religious' reaction to this film - my review is written for secular press but if you want to get some review / reactions written explicitly for religious audiences I can recommend:

Christian Today (Martin Saunders)
&
Christianity (Jamie Cutteridge)


Sunday, February 08, 2015

Darkmatters Review: Jupiter Ascending


Jupiter Ascending (12a)

Dir. The Wachowskis

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read the newspaper version of this review over at: Bedfordshire Times & Citizen

“It can be difficult for people from underdeveloped worlds to hear that their planet is not the only inhabited planet.”

Dear earthling reader – you probably don’t realise this but your whole existence is due to wealthy aliens who are ‘farming’ us in order to use our bodies as the ingredients for a valuable life bestowing elixir. Bad times…

"behold the Torvill & Dean of sci-fi"

But wait, who is this plucky (gorgeous) young lady who it turns out actually has just inherited the earth and might try to save us? Why, only Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), who thinks she’s just a poor Russian immigrant who cleans toilets and lives with her deeply annoying relatives. Under threat from her evil galactic co-heirs (Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, and Tuppence Middleton), their private armies, bounty hunters and devious schemes which include trying to marry her!? – only one half man / half dog hero can save the day, step forward Caine Wise (Channing Tatum).

So the grand space opera plot is set but from here Jupiter Ascending implodes with utter stupidity, self-indulgent, groan worthy narrative, pointless and rather boring ‘action’ scenes and some of the worst acting ever put on screen.

"Nice effects - shame about the film"

This film is an absolute stinker, it pains me to say that as I really love The Matrix which shares the same writers / directors and can appreciate even the cheesiest sci-fi, much of which is unfairly derided by film critics. But I’m not being a hypocrite here; Jupiter Ascending is a colossal waste of talent, special effects budget and viewer’s time.

Tatum looks awkward throughout – not helped by having to wear ridiculous elf like ears which look like left overs from The Lord of the Rings. Kunis must be up for some kind of award for being a good looking but totally vacant central character (come on Oscars this should be a thing!).

Sean Bean pops up as gun-slinging pal of Caine - Stinger, but gets relegated to standing by watching and cheering – even though he has the same kick ass battle angel mech armour as the hero. It’s the waste of such tasty tech that really irks, jump cutting what should be superb battle scenes into indiscernible flashing ‘what the hell is actually going on’ background noise is unforgivable.

"future bathing = holding hands"

Not even a cameo scene with Terry Gilliam - which whole scene actually feels transplanted in from one of his madcap movies) can make me recommend Jupiter Ascending.

The Wachowskis need to take a long hard look at themselves and try to find where their Matrix magic has gone before making any more movies – viewers should meanwhile give Jupiter Ascending a swerve.

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

ö1/2

(1.5 - In space no-one can hear you yawn)...

Awesomeness öö – nice battle armour, but wasted action throughout

Laughs ööö – inadvertently funny

Horror öö – scarily uncool

Spiritual Enlightenment ö – dispiriting stuff

Hashtag: #JupiterASScending

"nice battle armour!"

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Darkmatters Review: Big Hero 6



Big Hero 6 (PG)

Dir. Don Hall & Chris Williams

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

"We didn't set out to be superheroes. But sometimes life doesn't go the way you planned. The good thing is, my brother wanted to help a lot of people and that's what we're going to do. Who are we? ...BIG HERO 6!"

"bad guy time..."

Massive fun is the order of the day from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the team behind "Frozen" and "Wreck-It Ralph," comes "Big Hero 6"...

I've been wondering for a while what Disney were going to do on the animation front with their tons of Marvel characters that they paid $4bn (£2.5bn) for - well Big Hero 6 is here to show what... Like the awesome Guardians of the Galaxy did last year in love action, Disney pluck the fairly obscure teen super team Big Hero 6 and create an action-packed comedy-adventure that is an absolute joy to behold.

"everyday street life - Baymax style"

We join young robo battling teen nerd Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) who suffers a family loss - yes in time honoured superhero origin tale codex - then decides to try and get revenge with the help of Baymax, a loveable inflatable covered robo-helper.

"better than Frozen, on par with Wreck-it Ralph"

Hiro and Baymax charge into danger, and are soon backed up by their friends who include adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago (Jamie Chung), neatnik Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.), chemistry whiz Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) and fanboy Fred (TJ Miller).

Big Hero 6 is a great movie for all ages - the hero team are likeable and the threat built up well but not so much as to be too scary for younger kids. Where the film really soars though is in the sheer exhilaration of seeing Hiro and Baymax in action.

This is Baymax's film - he's a new animation icon which I have no doubt Disney will make a lot of cash from in terms of merchandise... Have seen some pretty cool Baymax t-shirts out there already...


Overall I highly recommend Big Hero 6 - sure it might borrow some manga inspired elements from the fun but mostly forgotten Astro Boy but this just such highly entertaining comic book hi-jinks it should be on your 'must see' list.

Plus do stay for a superb after credit scene where Fred accidentally opens a secret door in his family mansion and finds superhero gear inside. His father, a retired superhero (Stan Lee no less), arrives stating that they have a lot to talk about as they embrace...

Also there is an awesome Fallout Boy track 'Immortals' which goes down a storm both in the film and over the lovely end credits too...


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

öööö

(4 - Hello. I am Baymax, your personal healthcare companion.)...

Awesomeness öööö – the action scenes are some of the best super scenes ever

Laughs öööö – excellently funny

Horror ö – not very grim

Spiritual Enlightenment öö – stand for what's right

Hashtag: #RoboHealthcareFTW


Monday, February 02, 2015

Darkmatters hearts FIGHT CLUB

If you are reading this then this warning is for you.

Every word you read of this is useless fine print is another second off your life.

Don't you have other things to do?

Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments?

Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all who claim it?

Do you read everything you're supposed to read?

Do you think everything you're supposed to think?

Buy what you're told you should want?

Get out of your apartment.

Meet a member of the opposite sex.

Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation.

Quit your job.

Start a fight.

Prove you're alive.

If you don't claim your humanity you will become a statistic.

You have been warned... Tyler





Sunday, February 01, 2015

Darkmatters Review: Oliver's Army


Oliver’s Army

By Solomon Hughes

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

‘Oliver’s Army is here to stay,
Oliver’s Army are on their way,
And I would rather be anywhere else than here today …’
Elvis Costello

Here’s a promising debut thriller – that takes a non-compromising look at the murky situation that exists around the awarding of military contracts to private companies in places like Iraq.

Author Hughes who writes for journals including Private Eye seemingly brings his work home with him and writes from what he knows as his ‘hero' - parliamentary researcher Danny Patten, spends his time finding and leaking stories about official wrong doings to various media titles.

Patten however gets in over his head when he starts to unpack the dodgy contractual negotiations and blatantly wrong violent actions of privatized ‘mercenary’ companies who are making money from Western governments.

Oliver’s Army certainly goes a bit deep into the level of detail about government policymaking and the day-to-day work of those tasked with researching for MPs. To be honest there were some sections that left me yawning but the sheer ballsy wider story kept me going with the threat of violence.

It is an unsettling read due to the very believable points made about the wholesale corruption and misappropriation of funds that we all know is probably going on but don’t like to think about too much!?

Hughes will probably spit but I somehow found myself somewhat rooting for the baddie of the piece = a former Army Major named Oliver Fitzwilliam (hence the title I’m guessing) who is trying to score a big payday by landing his frankly useless and corrupt merc group called Frontier Tactical Services a big Government contract.

Whilst more at home but somewhat incompetent in the field, it turns out that Oliver is the very ‘Mr Bean’ of mercenaries and his inept crew are comic in their attempts to menace those in the know in London.

Oliver’s Army is a fun read overall – worth a look for those who are fans of conspiracy-em-up fiction such as Christopher Brookmyre. I’ll leave the last word to one of the ‘fictional’ mercs in the novel:

“Hey look, in case you hadn’t noticed, killing people for money is kind of what we do.”


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

ööö

(3 - Can of worm opening makes of fun read)...


Buy the e-book of Oliver’s Army: here



Darkmatters Review: Inherent Vice


Inherent Vice (15)

Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“If it's a quiet night out at the beach and your ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire- developer boyfriend, and his wife, and her boyfriend, and a plot to kidnap the billionaire and throw him in a loony bin...

Maybe you should just look the other way.”


"best of enemies"

Welcome to an insanely over the top thrill ride trip that takes Thomas Pynchon’s head spin of a novel and writes it larger than life on the big screen thanks to the full creative genius of director Paul Thomas ‘The Master’ Anderson. For those interested - Inherent vice is defined as ‘the tendency in objects to deteriorate because of the fundamental instability of the components of which they are made...” That doesn’t apply to here though because this cinematic Inherent Vice a supremely crafted, compellingly acted and altogether mind bendingly brilliant oddball adventure.

Meet Private Detective Larry ‘Doc’ Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix), who finds himself in all sorts of trouble when his sexy ex-girlfriend Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston), shows up looking for his help.

"ex girlfriends can be trouble"

Seems that there’s some shady goings on with her boyfriend Mickey Wolfmann (Eric Roberts), who might be in danger of being kidnapped in a plot by his wife Sloane Wolfman (Serena Scott Thomas) and her lover Riggs Warbling (Andrew Simpson)…

It all goes downhill from there as Doc investigates he becomes aware of an evil underworld organisation called the ‘Golden Fang’ / crosses paths with Aryan Brotherhood / Black Power gangs, hit men, lawyers, hookers and Lt. Detective Christian F. ‘Bigfoot’ Bjornsen (a career best turn from Josh Brolin).

"some freaky situations await"

Whilst the plot might befuddle (it’s up there with Hunter S Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in terms of psychedelic craziness), the dark humour brings quality laughs and they do come thick and fast.

Inherent Vice is a unique cinematic experience, the narrative bounces around all over the place, yet Phoenix holds it all together and is just stunning in the lead role. The relationship between Bigfoot and Doc is just awesome – an uneasy alliance between hard-boiled cop and dope-loving free spirit is memorably iconic.

Shot through with pathos, sexy drug fueled madness and the occasional flash of violence, Inherent Vice is director Anderson at the top of his game and it stands as a groovy piece of cinema that you’ll want to see as soon as possible, man.

"it's like a religious experience man"


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

öööö

(4 - It's a cool Golden Thang man)...

Awesomeness öööö – set pieces you'll go nuts over

Laughs öööö – memorably funny

Horror öö – mildly disturbing in places

Spiritual Enlightenment öö – open you mind yeah!?

Hashtag: #StonerEmUp











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