Thursday, February 2, 2012

Attack the Block (2011) - February Filmathon Film #2

On the Menu: ATTACK THE BLOCK (2011)

Ingredients: John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Leeon Jones, Simon Howard, Luke Treadaway and Nick Frost. Directed by Joe Cornish. Run time: 88 minutes. Rated: R.

At First Bite: On the back cover of the DVD a reviewer called it "THE GOONIES meets GREMLINS." That's all the reason I needed to watch.

A street gang full of young teens runs rampant in South London. That is, until aliens land in their housing project.

Tough to Swallow: The kids are basically pricks in the beginning, so it's difficult to root for them over the nasty alien creatures.

The British accents might be tough for some to understand, and the street slang (trust, bruv, fam, bare, etc.) won't help. I watched with subtitles, so it wasn't as bad.

A plot point is discovered in the weed room later in the film, but wasn't apparent earlier under the same conditions.

Something to Chew On: Places in the film are named after British sci-fi writers.

The aliens are mostly done with practical effects.

Cornish grew up and lives in South London.

Drameh, who plays Dennis, almost got the lead as Moses. He was also the only member of the gang who had already debuted in film (HEREAFTER, 2010).

Aftertaste: I can't say my expectations were high since I hadn't heard of it until seeing the DVD on the shelf at Blockbuster. The pull quote referencing my favorite film, THE GOONIES, and GREMLINS gave me some hope.

The protagonists aren't as lovable and funny as Mikey, Data, Mouth and Chunk. The creatures are more similar to CRITTERS than GREMLINS. And, the drug use, nasty deaths and language make this flick more suited for adult audiences.

ATTACK THE BLOCK excelled where SUPER 8 failed: creature effects. Practical over CGI is definitely the way to go.

The film is also categorized as a comedy, but doesn't really strive for laughs outside of Frost. Although, the youngest characters, Probs and Mayhem, were funnier.

Overall, I wasn't disappointed. It's an enjoyable sci-fi horror film, bruv.



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