Wednesday, March 23, 2011

SXSW 2011 -- Attack the Block

Attack the Block
Dir. Joe Cornish

Synopsis: A funny, frightening action adventure movie that pits a teen gang against an invasion of alien monsters.  It turns a tower block into a sci-fi playground.  It's inner city versus outer space.

That last sentence was what hooked us.  Inner City vs. Outer Space.  What a tagline.  And it's like nothing you have ever seen before.  Joe Cornish was one of the creators of the Adam and Joe show back in the mid 90s, a very puppet driven tv show.  Joe also wrote this movie, and has had it in the works for some time now.  And after hearing him talk about how it came to be, one could easily conclude that the film isn't all fiction.  Joe kind of took the "what if" approach.  What if when I was mugged, an alien invasion occurred in our neighborhood?

This take has always been a good way that I've found to explore options when I'm trying to come up with a screenplay idea. It's a very good practice to get those imaginative juices flowing, and get something, even if it's completely ridiculous, on paper.

Now, I'm not saying this movie is ridiculous.  Strange, yes.

The film also brings an interesting group of sub genres and styles into the mix.  For instance, the film begins with a youth gang of boys that want to own "the block".  The block has a hierarchy of thug looking black drug dealers.  So, when the film seems to be going for that look, upon finding that their block is being invaded, the gang becomes more of a small army that's new mission (rather than harass and steal from their neighbors) is to protect them.  These two typically violent, yet typically very separated in cinema, worlds collide.  And unlike any other SciFi movie I've seen, the sound track is predominantly hip hop music.

The mash-up is very entertaining, and doesn't seem like too much of a stretch.  The kids in the movie are all pretty much picked up off the street, but definitely have a talent for acting.  I'd also like to add, it has an amazing slow motion shot at the end that will put you on the edge of your seat.  Made me happy to see slow motion used like it should be.

Anyway, enough babble, just go see the movie when it's released.  Here's a blurry pic of the Q and A.
(and yeah, that's the executive producer, Edgar Wright 2nd from the right. Kyle, Nate, and I's jaws had to be picked up off the floor when he walked in.)

Run Time: 86 minutes + 3031 = 3117

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