Thursday, 8 September 2011

Attack the Block

Joe Cornish couldn’t predict the riots.

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this. It is dark, but in a light hearted way, both visually and in terms of the story line. Some small gems of particularly good humour. The aliens were presented in a non- stereotype and quite interesting/clever way. You really get a feel for the street city scene, which enhanced the experience and made it enjoyable with a few moments of pure humour. This film was well made, dark, funny, jumpy, and gripping. Overall a fast paced experience that will keep at you at the edge of your seat and fully entertained for the duration. Definitely work seeing - go and see it. Good job cornballs!”

Not sure about the gripping part but dark, funny and jumpy are words I would use, not to sure about cornballs?

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“There are many great films and with an IMDb rating of 7.5, there was a real expectation this could have been one. It isn't. It is poor in every respect. It is not imaginative, humorous, tense, clever or interesting. The acting is amateurish and forced, the script is boring, the music poor, the pace slow and the action unexciting and old fashioned. It is something of a surprise to learn some of the people involved were also involved with the excellent Shaun of the Dead. Despite a desire to walk out part way through, there was always the hope the film would improve or at least have a great ending. It didn't. There are many other IMDb reviews including many from critics who have praised the film highly so I must be missing something but I wish I had been forewarned not to expect much.”

Why would you have been forewarned after all those good reviews? Lots of opinion no points, sad but true.

What I thought:
I find it interesting that I watched this film after the London riots; I live in Croydon and have no sympathy for the morons who wreaked havoc on our town centre. I won’t go down into that big debate as all I’m here to do is review the film, but when our heroes are the same “youths” that burned down landmarks and looted shops I thought it would be hard to route for them. It’s a basic idea but a very good one, Aliens land in London and a gang of hoodies have to take them on. The idea apparently came to Joe Cornish after he was mugged; he asked the question why are these kids doing these things, what if they were called upon to do the right thing?

Of course using Aliens to explore this again is a good idea, an almost faceless creature more comparable to primates than humanoid are excellent cannon fodder when trying to route for the wrong crowd. Of course a lot of the sympathy your supposed to feel for them is based upon living conditions, parenting etc (The latter if your interested is what I think is the main problem), but only one character really gets explored in that what way. Leaving the rest to baffle you with “street talk”, get their funny but obvious one liners and of course fight.

Ok so the street talk isn’t really that bad, even if you haven’t heard some of the things they say it doesn’t take a genius to work it out, the one liners however have been ruined by an awfully constructed trailer which reveals all the biggest laughs. The fighting however I think saves this film hugely, from digging out their “blades” to using fireworks and kerosene filled water pistols it’s ingenious and very entertaining to watch.

Of course it all comes back to whether you’re routing for these kids or not, it’s essential to the success of its entertainment. Personally I found the kids annoying and felt indifferent when they were in trouble but like I’ve said before, maybe that’s because I’ve seen the burnt buildings and looted shops. That aside though Attack the Block is a sure footed approach to the big time for Joe Cornish, with some great camera work getting the best out of a grim setting. Joe Cornish may not be the next John Carpenter but he’s on his way.

Available on DVD and Blu Ray 19th September
Running Time: 88 mins
Cert: 15

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"Films are Loved, Films are hated. I'm here to help you decide where you stand..." I also do web work including a good knowledge of HTML, ASP, using the adobe web package and a strong understanding of SEO, Google Analytics.