Wednesday, March 7, 2012

movie review: attack the block.

attack the block
canadian theatrical release date: 29-jul-2011
writer: joe cornish
director: joe cornish
starring: john boyega, alex esmail, leeon jones, franz drameh, simon howard, jodie whittaker

spoiler alert!  this movie rules, and it also features allusions to many famous science fiction authors, including, but not limited to john wyndham, arthur c. clarke, alan moore and douglas adams.
it's a fact.
watch along with us after the jump!  i mean, if you want to.
r/r: i really like the audio at the opening!  a bit of spooky, industrial alien techno beatz.
now it sounds more like a clockwork orange.
j/d: neat sound design at the beginning, leads to kinda cool song. i like synths. but hey, why are they always aliens? hmm?
r/r: oh, but this imagery reminds me of the thing!  but maybe with less crashing.
j/d: behold! a star! shooting through the air! ooh, and fireworks. (why do people in the uk use fireworks? like, for which event?)
r/r: (it's for guy fawkes, i think)

visually enjoyable, i like the colour filters and the fireworks audio/speed
j/d: look ! the metro!
j/d: so, now there's a lady walking out of the metro - quite interesting. the beat gets bitcrushed. goes kinda 80s horror on the melody.
r/r: this woman looks familiar! my guess is she's about to be mugged.  that seems to be 'the implication.'

j/d: some graffiti implies we may be in an unsafe area -
r/r: such neatly organized tags!  the british are our clear superiors. 
j/d: - as do those explosions, which she doesn't mention to mum, who's on the cell. 
j/d: oh no, wild ruffians appear!  they ride by, and now they're stealing things! purses and phones. there's no fucking about here.
r/r: i love this slang!  duckin'!  bummin' us!  etc.!
r/r: this kid (red-brim hat) has a very cute face! 
j/d: a knife appears, and a ring is stolen.  the lady gives her ring up, just slightly before a car is blown up right beside the site of our mugging.
j/d: from here, our muggee 'ghosts' it.
r/r: i like the way you don't really see the alien at first!  nice to keep a bit of visual mystery and...make it seem less ridiculous. 
j/d: there's an alien in the car! ha! it looks like an angry anteater!
"some orang-utan type thing!"
j/d: they think it's a dog, but they're hunting it down, these wild ruffians.
"gonna fuck this thing up!"
they chase it down, and the smartest one tosses a firework into the shack where our poor alien is hiding.
r/r: aww they all run in instead of away!  the green smoky light is pretty wicked too.
j/d: they kill it, and then they're super confused.  it's an alien, they've now decided - welcome to london, motherfucker!
r/r: "that's a alien, bruva, believe it!"
gun pantomimery even in a place with (in my mind) way fewer guns, where buddy pulls a knife in aid of his muggings.
j/d: they're taunting the dead body? it's actually kinda gross. i'm pretty sure the aliens wouldn't be happy… i wonder if this happens often? extraterrestrials murdered by punks in the streets? who knows? i bet they don't alert the authorities.
r/r: wyndham tower!  verrrry nice
j/d: they show wyndham tower - that's some fancy shit.
j/d: our muggee is back. she's distressed and let in by a nice old lady.
r/r: so are these aliens just rocketing down independent of crafts?
r/r: white ladies stick together!  but she must be in shock - turning down offers of tea!
r/r: "could be the third world war out there, you wouldn't know the difference" yaaay hacky foreshadowing
r/r: i find the sight of this woman hilarious, cussing in her crocheted hat.  and awesome/awful racial implications - "they're fucking monsters."
j/d: she called the cops? these dudes killed an alien! and they're dragging it through the streets - who cares?
r/r: hahaha i love them dragging the alien down the street
j/d: they're taking it to ron's!!

j/d: there's a bunch of phone like exposition, but like, i don't know what they said. shiiit.
r/r: aww, that kid's so cute talking to his mom!  haha, it's pretty humanizing, even in its early moments doing a good job of resisting setting up a dichotomy of easily stereotyped good/evil.  there is so much active resistance in this movie, i can't get over it!
j/d: noone seems alarmed as a group of kids drags an alien corpse through the streets… that is, until they show some girls - who seem to be the real rough asses.
j/d: she "don't want to chlamydia"
r/r: these girls are awesome!
j/d: foreshadowing 'trust, i can do it!' foreshadowing? that one kid's gonna jump
r/r: haha!  if there's a jump off the walkway in act one...
r/r: the repetitive score is starting to piss me off.
j/d: props and mayhem, badass little dudes.
j/d: interesting dub shit going down in the dragging an alien through the street scene.
j/d: shit. wyndham tower again?
r/r: haha, nice change of scene with this white kid listening to gangsta rap at the elevator then hiding his headphones as the other characters approach - fucking suburban white kids who idolize violent black masculinity and respond to actual black people with barely disguised terror!
j/d: har - these kids rough the elevator off of some poor loser.
j/d: description as they walk down the hall, cute… interesting
r/r: whoa, walking down a hallway elicits threats to call the cops.
j/d: and now they're at ron's, checking the alien out.  "maybe there was a party at the zoo and a monkey fucked a fish?:
r/r: it looks a bit cooler now, the alien.  i guess.
j/d: the character design really isn't that good, but hey - it's sorta different. it has fur.
j/d: ha, elevator punk wanted weed.
r/r: hahaha "wanna buy a bit of weed then?"
j/d: what are they going to do with it? they attempt to decipher what to do and smoke a joint!
"call the science guys in the yellow pages" "get a manager" "call simon cowell, aliens got talents!"
r/r: it's really interesting hearing them talk about which paper they can use, which media outlet
to trust - and which governmental branches exist in their country, lol!!
j/d: shiiit, white dude did zoology in fucking uni. just like any good stoner, learning useless shit.
r/r: HAHA "all that shizzle"
white dudes think getting stoned together is getting inducted into a brotherhood
j/d: "let me keep that thing in the weed room"… that seems like trouble.
j/d: ask the boss? who is hi-hatz? well, he's in the weed room!
j/d: hi-hatz likes this track he's blazin' to.
r/r: i loooove that guy's reaction to the "puppet" oh man
j/d: "awww, check it out, he's got a puppet!  you make that in college? you got mad skills for puppets, it looks proper rotten and everythin'!"
j/d: oooh, man - further alien disrespect, throwing glasses on their corpses. what the fuck!  anyway, they're going to be throwing the alien corpse in the weed room for a while, it seems - ooh, and now the puppet maker sells weed for hi-hatz? 'cause it's his block.
r/r: haha, sunglasses on the alien.  what the fuuuuuck.  moses wants really badly to be taken seriously.  i think his new scars will help!
j/d: zoology guy is blazing and watching some NG shit about moths.
"high hats is gonna step you up!"
j/d: moses' fucking scars look bad ass. har
r/r: "them things are PURE coming down!"
j/d: oooh, man, lots of these alien things are smashing up the streets now, as they did the car.
"it's raining golems"
r/r: these kids are really natural in their delivery, but the turn-based nature of the dialogue combined with the direction makes it feel much more scripted, unfortunately.
j/d: i bet at least two die in this silly attempt at street hunting.
r/r: yeah, and then there would be fewer turns, so maybe it will sound better.
r/r: i like this montage of them equipping, and moving in and out of their secret lives (which now have yet another level)
j/d: ha, one guy gets a sword, then goes back for a bigger one, then has to bring his dog with him on command of dad.
r/r: yaaay a dog
"let's go savage some golems!"
j/d: good tunage in this seem too, some nice tunechip stuff.
r/r: such a build-up to moses' house!  i haven't seen such an portentous door since the drawing of the three.
j/d: someone's got a vespa! and the little dudes are chasing…
r/r: lolz, they do like pokemon.  WHY IS EVERYTHING ABOUT POKEMON OH MY COD I DON'T CARE
j/d: oh, shit - they found one. and they're bigger. much, much bigger.
r/r: huh!  this is really neat! 
j/d: they heard noise. the dog ran after, ooh, and that's the dog.
j/d: lol at dude with no contacts in, putting on his specs.
j/d: oooh, cool. glow in the dark teeth! and light up shoes.
r/r: NICE
j/d: "they say aliens?" "that's what i heard man" -probs and mayhem
r/r: triplechase!  i thought british ambulances sounded different than that.  whoa, look at their handcuffs!  i...those things are nice. 
j/d: cops are chasing them for… some reason… and their van can't catch up?
j/d: -shit, they did! moses got picked up and taken down. cuffs slapped on.  oooh, i understand. muggee lady was with the cops.
r/r: CONFLICT!  moses has been apprehended!
j/d: an alien is coming! shishi. there appear to be a few of these things, and they all look badass now. what's up with that?
j/d: funny how moses says nothing, just lets them get him in the van.
j/d: blood = drink.
"feds got savaged!"
r/r: oh wow, cops are dying right left centre
j/d: holy shit, man. these things are frightening!
j/d: looks like a large firework is thrown at them by the other four kids.  moped guy with a sword is going to kill some stuff for his dog. please no. he is no beatrix kiddo.
r/r: ugh, be a human being, lady, let him out!  wait, that's the opposite of what a human would do.  be nice instead!
r/r: i love how everything like...screams.  every creature in the universe has a scream.  i kind of would prefer if it said "beep boop!"  when it got hurt!  something unexpected!
r/r: i'm glad they grabbed his hat..maybe then he won't get blamed for killing the cops?  wait, there is no chance of that.
j/d: ha! muggee locks herself in the van. but they're driving it! they hit an alien and fuck off, going to meet biggz in a parking garage.
j/d: ooh, it looks like zoo-y's car got smashed by one of those things, and there are popo everywhere, he's gotta go back to ron's.
r/r: haha that guy is so ripped
r/r: blue lights for cops, eh?  that's different.  up here that means snow removal.
j/d: oh, man - head-on collision between high hats and moses in the cop car.
"sorry about the driving, i'm getting lessons for christmas!"
"what are those things?"
"we're thinking aliens"
r/r: okay so this movie is awesome
i am having such a fucking blast right now
j/d: hi-hatz is fucking ready to shoot everyone.  pest is running the movie down for us and hi-hatz doesn't believe it and pulls his gun out… and then the kids bring the bats and knives out. badass.
"big gorilla wolf motherfuckers."
j/d: man, who would work for hi-hatz? he points his gun everywhere and bosses everyone around!!
r/r: aaaaaah fat guy sacrificed booo
j/d: alien kill.. drink!  hi-hatz' mate gets ripped up by a glow in the dark thing, and there goes his neck.
r/r: that was gory!  his throat was like mozzarella in a pizza hut ad!
j/d: hi-hatz shoots it like, 5 times, and it might be dead?
j/d: hi-hatz is angry at moses more now, cause uh… the aliens?
r/r: "aallll that twenty-eight days later shit"  hahaa amazing
j/d: national emergency "all that 28 days later shit"
"i'm shitting myself, but you know what?"
"this is sick"
i like that kid. decent cast.
r/r: i agree!  i like all of them very much!
r/r: i love how the mouths look like eyes. that's a really cool design choice.
j/d: okay, they've hit the streets on mini bikes, and now one of the fuckers is chasing them.
the mouth eyes are cool… i'm beginning to do the alien movie thing and attempt to figure out the climate of the planet these guys are from. they make interesting laser noises.
r/r: that jump was less impressive than i thought it would be.  possibly the lack of slow motion!   but it seems like it happened in act 2, so i uess you can ignore my chekov comment from earlier.
j/d: top of the stairs and the group has broken up… one guy gets cornered, and he makes that jump from earlier! followed immediately by a BGWMF… moses cases on minibike, followed by he of the deceased dog, who wipes out. a pretty intense action running scene unfolds here, and i must say it isn't particularly harmed by the effects or character design, which is neat. one kid throws a mini bike at a BGWMF before they all pile into the lobby of the block, one at a time, pest last.  he gets bitten thru the door by a BGWMF, but bats it in the face something fierce.  he's bleeding, but he should make it, i guess.  
r/r: ah shit, pest's leg!! how's he going to lie to his mum about playing football now?
r/r:  but wait, it ran away after that?
j/d: they force their way into the lady's house, but biggz is missing.
r/r: this is an excellent subversion of our expectations - black and mixed-race gang members force their way into white lady's apartment, then proceed to completely ignore her, because BIG GORILLA WOLF MOTHERFUCKERS
"this is too much madness to explain in one text!"
j/d: she has a guitar, and is threatening them with it… they've deciphered she's a nurse, and are attempting to work out a treaty. she thinks they set the BGWMFs on the cops, but they didn't! she also thinks they're dogs.
r/r: haha the guitar?  that's hardly a weapon.  too bad they didn't run into one of the girls from earlier, who, despite their youth, would probably be handling this situation with a lot more awesome. 
"you swear too -much-, man"
j/d: man, british people dislike using an article in conjunction with hospital.
r/r: serious!
j/d: a truce has been reached. nurse muggee will totally fix  the kids leg.
j/d: ron and zoo-y are all baked up, and paranoid about the aliens, or possibility thereof. zoo-y doesn't want to see cops, cause he's been caught before….by his dad, and had his allowance cut.
r/r: i love the nature of consequence, the range being presented here (white stoner vs mixed-race gang members)
j/d: "even if it is an alien invasion, they're four foot high, blind, and got kicked to death by a group of kids! what do we have to worry about?"
j/d: pest is getting cleaned up, but he needs more equipment and skill than the newly minted nurse muggee has. she also missed the class on "alien bite wounds."
j/d: lol, they all take turns chatting her up.
j/d: smash at the front door - moses grabs the bat and heads over.  nothing out the peephole… then, BGWMF!!!! how did it know?
r/r: did it know?  that's weird!
j/d: "whatever gangworldwar thing you're involved in leave me out of it"
r/r: hahahahahahhahaha "or drugs or rap music or violence in video games
j/d: more snappy dialogue about video games rap and violence before an alien busts in and moses goes all ninja and puts a sword through the BGWMF, who's a golem and NOT A DOG.
r/r: noice.  moses just parted the alien sea!
j/d: they're super black… like, hard to make out black… the lady takes a run for it, BUT THE LIGHTS ARE GONE!! maybe the aliens are smart, and know how to find what apartment you live in, and work electrical circuitry.
r/r: this 'blackness' ("blacker than my cousin femi") thing is interesting..and it visually is quite striking how dark they are.  but why the lights are shutting out?
j/d: okay, they're rolling somewhere, and she wants to go with. her name is Sam. they all exchange names and Jerome is one of them.
r/r: awwwww jerome likes her!  he's suuuper cute and i like his glasses!
j/d: more nice music in a rolling montage.
r/r: oh, nice music here!
j/d: hi-hatz is meeting up with some other bangers who thinks he should chill out until things cool down. he's pissed and is telling more people what to do! the sides of cars are confusing! now he's telling the new bangers about the 'big gorilla wolf mother fucker' and about how he shot it and it died easy (it didn't?) and he's pumping his track, again - on the way to get the kids back for defending themselves in an alien invasion?
r/r: ahah hi-hatz listening to his own song to get pumped up to kill those kids.  i feel a bit weird about this tho, he picks up 2 guys, one white one black, and the white one gets more screen time, lines, and expresses hesitation about their activities and judgement of hi-hatz.  it feels as though he is acting as an unnecessary arbiter of (unnecessarily racialized) morality.
j/d: wide shots of the building suck.
j/d: sam has a filet knife, not so good.
wait, i guess SO!
j/d: they're going to tina's flat… it's more secure apparently. they're rolling up some stairs, and biggz has finally called them. a BGWMF is outside that thing ready to kill his ass.
r/r: haha oh no!  he's still in the bin, i knew someone was missing and i thought it was purple-hat (biggz)!
j/d: they've called some girls, presumably one of which is tina, who are totally chilling their shit doing nothing and completely unconcerned. they say it's cool for everyone to show up.
j/d: probs and mayhem are back, and they're rough ass kids and umm, he's nine and a half and has a watergun? maybe also a real one? moses tells them to go home and do homework and watch something?
r/r: i think he said 'naruto.'
which apparently this is?  (link)
j/d: this girl wants nothing to do with them when one is bleeding and they've got weapons and this lady, she doesn't even know this lady.
r/r: haha her delivery!  so good!
j/d: apparently the aliens are localized, but the girls doubt the BGWMF… they're saying aliens would be dumb to attack a weak-ass area like here.
r/r: hee! i thought the same thing! (ready or not)
"we're mates now and it's all sweet!"
j/d: oh, shit - there's two of them out the window… how? i'm not sure!
j/d: blah blah blah, exposition, there are problems when there's a moses, but additionally, everyone seems to think the police will just come and arrest the kids and ignore the aliens, which i suppose makes some semblance of sense… now moses has decided that the aliens are a monster bred by the feds to come kill black kids, like guns or drugs which the feds sent to the ends beforehand… pest takes a hit and says 'believe.'
r/r: yooooooo shit just got real and political.  i love it. I LOVE IT.
r/r: oh fuck..are they flying? there a balcony?
r/r: haha it is a toy!  oh no!
j/d: and they're through the window, eating the one dude's helmet… and he's fucking dead! his head might have come off completely, but his helmet definitely popped up and off.
r/r: holyshit that kid is DEAD
less sad about the dog now
r/r: what the fuck kind of cattleprod??
j/d: one of the girls breaks a lamp and then stabs an alien with the pointy sparky side..
r/r: ohhh it's a lamp!
oh, it's a scythe! (link)
j/d: another girl is stabbing one with a figure skate! triple axel, motherfucker!
r/r: these girls are so badass and active!  huge and likely intentional contrast between their agency and sam's white damsel'ness, even as she makes her first kill in this scene. 
j/d: moses goes for a kill shot on the one that murdered bike helmet, but gets his sword stuck in wall… sam saves the day!!
r/r: it really does seem like they're after black boys, eh?  this is really taking it up a level!  i'm stoked!
j/d: whoooa, hi-hatz is tossing his gun up in the little dudes faces looking for moses.
r/r: it's really nice of this movie to remind us that even if there are good bad black people, not to worry, there are still mostly-bad black people (the key being men, not boys!)  golly, i sure do appreciate it!
j/d: fleeing the apartment to go …somewhere…. everybody discusses everyone man for himself-esque mentalities… but then hi-hatz pops out of an elevator and shoots the fuck out of the hallways… and then he thinks he's about the kill everyone, and then an alien runs up on him and a final confrontation occurs in a closed elevator.
r/r: i seriously do not get the lighting in this hallway.  it goes on when white stoner walks down the hall and goes off when black villain walks up it?  what?
j/d: dumpster-biggz leaves a message for someone, hopefully not helmet-headless. he makes a run or it, but the alien gets him.
r/r: was that him calling his mom?
j/d: everyone's running through the stairs again.
j/d: now zoo-y is leaving straight ripped up, singing to himself on the way to the elevator.  high-hatz is not dead somehow, but everyone else in the elevator is.  
"better get the next one, blood."
r/r: "its a big room full of weed.  and it's ron's. and it's good."  haha
j/d: "it's like fort fucking knox up there."
j/d: the two little dudes see like, fifty of the BGMWF scaling the building.
r/r: iiiiii don't want those little dudes to get eaten.
j/d: elevator opens. zoo-y: i am too high for this shit. 
pest: trust.
j/d: pest pops out of the elevator and launches some explosives down the hall way at the aliens.  zoo-y is named brewis. it's lame.
r/r: lol you can keep calling him zoo-y, i don't mind.
r/r: so the thing about the fireworks it's really hard to see.  it's like someone torched the weed room.
j/d: fireworks seem ineffective with aliens. make it hard to see and don't kill things…but now moses has a sparkler, so clearly everything's alright…
j/d: they file down the hallway, moses out front with his sword, jerome down back with his machete, brewis dragging in the back.
j/d: he claims one is behind them and takes off… jerome has broken off from the gang.  something screams and he runs into the wall and drops his knife. he's calling for people and he gets jumped… but maybe not eaten? pest goes back for him.
r/r: no!  not jerome! 
j/d: awww, shit, jerome grabs pest's leg and then gets eaten to shiiiiiiit.
r/r: NO!!
j/d: "they took him! they took jerome!"
j/d: ron opens the door, but there's someone behind him! it's hi-hatz!
"what's going on, moses?" -high hatz
"sorry" -ron.
"i was gonna make you, now i'm gonna dead you"' -again, hi hatz
j/d: there are like, 20 BGWMFs behind hi-hatz in the window. they break through and eat him, stripping the flesh from his face and skull as he looks confused.
r/r: yeah...hi-hatz' death scene was a pretty ridiculous visual...stopped there from being any real emotional payoff, though maybe that was intended.
j/d: the boys chill out in the weed room with the alien, which they 'shouldn't have chased after and merced' they should have gone home and played FIFA… anyway, the alien is mouldy already?
r/r: oh snap, the corpse!  it's doing a gremlin cocoon!
j/d: there's further drama about the mugging and how that happened and how shitty that was.
j/d: pest takes his hat off and gets chattier… asking sam about her bf - and how he's not taking care of her tonite… but the bf is in ghana, volunteering with the red cross.
r/r: "you're going out with an african man?"
"no, he's helping children.  he volunteers with the red cross."
"oh is he?  why can't he help the children in britain?  not exotic enough, is it?  no getting a nice suntan." 
that was AMAZING
j/d: holy shit, the aliens glow in the UV light? like project runway… ooh, shit! it's a pheromone… and it was on moses' jacket…
and if the BGWMFs looked anything like this, i'd have been far too transfixed for fight or flight. (link)
j/d: apparently the first one they killed was a female?
r/r: i'm drunk
j/d: theres some really dicey science fiction science explanation here that deals with beetles, bees, solar winds and pheromones and ends in questions about getting moses naked and why that would happen.
r/r: ah yes, with the moths and everything.  nice to see in such a short film, few seconds are wasted. 
j/d: zoo-y also gives pest some papers, which makes him pretty happy and distracts everyone from trying to get moses' clothes off.
j/d: moses decides to get the BGWMFs to chase him somewhere using the newfound pheromone so he can blow them all up.  his penance for bringing them into the block.
r/r:  digging the redemption arc.
r/r: probs and mayhem are adorable.
j/d: "noone is ever gonna call you mayhem if you keep acting like a pussy!" -drink
r/r: is there pee in there?  i bet it's pee.
r/r: aww, purple-hat biggz!
j/d: probs and mayhem use gas and fireworks to save dude in the dumpster.
r/r: whoa, now i -really- hope it isn't pee.
j/d: "any time, man, any time man. we don't give a fuck!' and then the cops are there! and then probs and mayhem are stuck in the dumpster, hiding from the cops.
r/r: fucking cops!  those are two children with a water gun as far as you can see!
j/d: the ring goes back, and now sam doesn't hate moses any more.
r/r: the return of the ring is a really nice moment
r/r: nick frost is pretty good background humour in this here movie!
j/d: here we go
j/d: sam has no pheromones, so she's sneaking out, right past the non caring BGWGMFFSWSLS (Big Gorilla Wolf Mother Fuckers Who Sound Like Synths)
r/r: jodie whittaker (sam) = emily mortimer + julianna margulies.
j/d: awww, moses exposition, sam is in his home, and he's got what i suppose we're to deem a sad life? okay, that whole scene was pretty sad, i guess.
r/r: he really doesn't look older than fifteen, sam.  like, at all.  excellent demonstration of how this demonization of youths - ESPECIALLY youths of colour also translates to an inability to see children -as- children, and as human beings.
j/d: -she's going to blow up his flat it seems. she's  turned all the gas on and shut all the windows.
j/d: "moses vs. the monsters.  kill them!  kill all them things!"
r/r: he's wearing the corpse like a backpack?  that is so badass!
j/d: all right, moses is wearing the dead alien lady and has a sword.  pest shoots up the apartment and we get a cool slo-mo techno ninja alien death rave.
r/r: best scene and summation so far!
j/d: moses is in the apartment and drops the dead one to the floor, around which most of them congregate, he pauses by the window to shoot his firecracker into the gassy alien fury, but in a moment all stoners know well, his lighter falters. it does eventually work, blowing up everything and sending him out the window.
j/d: don't worry though! he's grabbed a british flag!
j/d: at this point, cops get in and start arresting everyone, seeming like dicks.
r/r: ah, copmonsters.
r/r: moses' face when the elevator door opened kind of broke my heart
j/d: pest is telling everyone moses has saved the world from alien invasion, and i suppose this is true.
j/d: muggee decides to change her story and says they defended her, and huh, the cops still don't care. so, i guess everyone starts chanting moses for whaever reason… cause like, he killed an innocent alien, and then all of its alien friends, but like, it's cool, 'cause fuck aliens.
r/r: damn...what an interesting and cool ending.

our verdict?
...pretty much a movie!

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