5 Things From ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ That Made Me Laugh

Last night, I was fortunate enough to score passes to a free screening of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ in IMAX! Nothing makes me happier than saving $16 and seeing a heavily anticipated movie for FREE. I don’t think I’m the right person to accurately review this film because I’m not a huge comic person, nor am I a die hard Batman fan. Alas, I will try and do it my own way.

We all know that Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is much grittier, realistic, and serious than the Batman movies of the past, which were more camp and at times, so bad they were hilarious and Nolan’s style isn’t for everyone. There are people out there who wish these films didn’t take themselves so seriously. Thankfully, much like its predecessor, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ does provide a few moments of comedy — maybe not intentionally. If you were around the Internet in the summer of 2008 when TDK came out and were aware of the numerous memes and gifs that popped up as a result of the Bale drama and sheer greatness of the movie, this post is for you.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m not kidding!

 

 

5. That moment when Talia/Miranda suddenly stops talking and closes her eyes and DIES. I love Marion Cotillard and think she’s a great actress, but that was so Drama 101. You know when you’re a little kid and you and your friends play cops and robbers or some other version of an imaginary game in which you get killed? And you and/or your friends always suddenly stop moving/talking to close your eyes and dramatically die? It was exactly like that.

4. The extras in the football field scene doing too much. I’m sure getting to be an extra in TDKR is very, very exciting. And to top it off by being in a crucial scene with Tom Hardy’s Bane describing his plan for Gotham? Terribly exciting. However, I couldn’t help but notice a few extras who were lucky enough to be the focus of their own shots and display “fear” and “confusion.” I’m not going to criticize any of their acting abilities because  it’s not like they’re paid millions to be in this film and most are probably die hard fans who are just happy to take part, but I will admit it was a bit distracting. Some of the expressions I saw made it hard for me to take the scene seriously because I couldn’t help but laugh.

3. Quinn from Dexter playing Quinn from Dexter. During one crucial moment of the film, JGL’s character, Blake attempts to save a school bus filled with orphan boys by negotiating with the cops blocking a bridge leading out of the city. The cop refuses to let any of them cross for fear of the bomb going off. Blake tries to explain that the “orders have changed” and that they had to let people escape. To be honest, I was having trouble paying attention to this scene because “HOLY CRAP THAT’S THE GUY FROM DEXTER!” Quinn has never been one of my favorite characters from the show, and it was hilarious to see him in this film because he was essentially the same character: stubborn, dim-witted, and unwilling to listen. I’m sure surprise!motherfucker Doakes would’ve let them cross.

2. That scene where Alfred explains he burnt Rachel’s letter and Bruce Wayne looks like Kermit (Bale). I don’t even know why this moment made me laugh so hard. I think it was a combination of me looking for things to laugh at and Christian Bale’s expressions. The dialogue was kind of overdramatic (“How dare you….” will always make laugh now) and Bale’s face was looked a lot like Kermit’s for a few minutes. I look forward to the gifs of this scene.

1. “Bururlkjkdfjkgjk” “Thsekljlkmkvejek” or how I could not understand a word Bane said. A few months ago, WB released a scene and the first look at Tom Hardy’s Bane to a few fans. One of the main complaints was how difficult it was to understand Bane because of the mask. As a result, WB and Nolan issued a statement saying they were going to fix Bane’s voice and make it more intelligible. I do think they did make an effort to make his voice clearer, but there were chunks of the movie where I sat their going, “What?! What is he saying?” I’m not sure who is to blame for this, perhaps sound mixing, but I do hope nobody at WB seriously thought Bane’s dialogue was understandable. Sometimes it was a bit high pitched, which worked because I could actually understandable, and sometimes it sounded like rocks rolling in a bag. And couple that voice with Batman’s notorious growl, you get scenes that resembled this:

Overall, I really enjoyed TDKR and I think most people will too. I’ve read a few reviews where people have expressed disappointment and I think that’s to be expected. The Batman franchise is so beloved that there will always be people who won’t be pleased, and TDK was such a huge film, both in terms of hype and profit, that it is difficult to top. I think Nolan did a great job of ending his trilogy and providing plenty of nods to the fans. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is definitely the movie event of the summer.

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Review: “Brave”

I was lucky enough to catch a free screening of “Brave” on Monday and was excited to finally see a Pixar film with a female protagonist. These past few years, Pixar has become the breadwinner in the Disney/Pixar partnership and have put out films that are consistently lauded and top Best Films of the Year lists. However, can you believe up until now they haven’t had a female lead? Even my favorite Pixar film, “Up,” lacks a substantial female character. As a child of the 90s, I grew up watching a lot of the Disney Princess films and while there’s nothing wrong with them (I think most of my friends know how much I love Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, and Mulan), they always ended with the princess finding true love (even though Mulan was a badass and saved the entire country, there just had to be a love story with Shang). I think a lot of people were excited to see what Pixar would do with a female protagonist because the animation studio has always produced innovative films for all ages. Now that I’ve seen “Brave,” I can say that I hope Pixar continues to put out films with more females.

I walked into this movie not knowing much about it, having not seen the trailer, and only vaguely hearing about the controversy surrounding the director debacle, and though I enjoyed it for what it was, I walked out wishing for something more. One of my favorite things about Pixar films is that they cater to both children and adults. Sure, it’s a stunningly animated film with cute characters, but underneath it all a Pixar film manages to present a story with a deeper meaning. Finding Nemo was about the relationship between a father and son. Wall-E was about the dangers the Earth faced if humans continued to live the way they do. Up was about learning to move past the difficulties life presented you with and go on any sort of adventure, big or small. At the heart of it, Brave is about the relationship between a mother and a daughter and how to learn and accept one another.

I don’t want to go too much into the plot because I’d hate to spoil it for anyone, but I do wish that Pixar had done more with the mother/daughter relationship. It felt a bit rushed for me and a part of me wonders if the story would’ve had a different tone had Brenda Chapman stayed on as director. I mean, does a male director really understand the bond between a mother and a daughter? I think that is what bothered me the most throughout the film. Although I thought the animation was stunning at times (particularly the landscape shots), I will admit that my first reaction to seeing Brave ads was that it looked like a DreamWorks film. It lacked a bit of the Pixar charm and I feel awful for saying this because I really want this film to succeed and show Disney/Pixar that female led films are profitable and are worth the time to make them.

Again, I really enjoyed Brave and encourage everyone to see it. It’s very cute and funny and has great animation. I am excited that this generation has a female Disney character to look up to and Merida is a fantastic choice. However, there was just something missing in this film and so I can only say it was good, not great.

“The Artist”!!!

I really should be better about blogging, especially since I now have ample time on my hands, but I just had to make a quick post about The Artist.

Source: The Los Angeles Times

If you haven’t heard of this fantastic movie, it’s not too late to look into it now. The Artist recently won Best Picture (Comedy or Musical) at the Golden Globes and lead Jean Dujardin won for Best Actor. After hearing so much about this film and seeing the various clips in the 2011 film recaps (this one was my favorite: “2011: The Cinescape“), I had to see what everyone was raving about. And unlike most things that are often hyped up and inevitably fail to deliver, The Artist manages to live up to high expectations. I don’t think I say this very often, but this movie is just delightful to watch. If you haven’t heard about the film or watched the trailer by now (which you can do so here), you may be a bit surprised to know it’s a silent film and rarely ever uses sound diegetically. This may take some time getting used to (at least for me because I think I’ve only watched maybe one or two silent films before this), but after a while, you get used to the way the story unfolds. Rather than relying on dialogue, the film conveys the majority the plot through physical acting, and it really speaks to the talent of both Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo, who manage to carry the film without uttering a word.

The Artist is a great tribute to film and that golden era of Hollywood, when films relied on the charm of its leading actors and actresses and not so much on special effects or the hottest trend in young adult fiction. Like many have mentioned before, Michel Hazanavicus definitely should be recognized for creating a film that attempts to recreate that lost magic in 2012. I’m not an expert at all in film and truthfully, I’ve only taken one film history class, but I was able to spot a few homages to the movies of yesteryear (besides, of course the whole fact that it’s a silent film!), so that was a bit exciting. I’d also like to mention that the soundtrack is wonderful and it’s all on Spotify so you have no excuse not to check it out! Really, what is a silent film, without great music?

So long story short: Do yourself a favor and check out The Artist. It is absolutely lovely.

ALSO! I decided that I might try one of those film challenges and whilst searching for one, I found the “250 Films” challenge (seriously, there’s now way I can do the 365 Films…a movie a day?! I can’t even get myself to snap a picture once a day…). I’m going to try this one out because it sounds doable and I’m always up for challenging myself (really I have no excuse…I have nothing going on). Anyway, here’s that challenge!

“250 Films” from here
50 Favorite Movies
Your top 50 movies, you’ll rewatch this year.

50 New Movies
Movies you’ve never watched before.

50 Pre-codes
Pre-code films are early sound-era classics, most of them are last a little longer than an hour.

50 Silents
50 Silent movies, every movie fan should at least have some knowledge in early films.

50 Foreign Movies
Foreign cinema is often left aside by film fans, it’s time to bring it back.

Adding The Artist to New Movies. 🙂

Review: Contagion

Kate Winslet. Gwyneth Paltrow. Laurence Fishburne. Matt Damon. Marion Cotillard. Jude Law. These are a few of the famous faces in Contagion, a film by Steven Soderbergh. The film details the spread of an unknown virus and the resulting events. Before the screening my friends and I attended, we wondered why this film was being release in September, usually a month reserved for lackluster films. Afterwards, I realized why this movie was opening in the beginning of September and not in November/December.

Unfortunately, with all that A-list talent, the film fails to effectively use its impressive cast. Each star has an important role in the story. Winslet is a pandemic specialist sent to Minnesota by the Center of Disease Control to figure out why and how the disease is spreading in the state. Paltrow is the first known victim and Damon is her husband who happens to be immune. Fisburne is impressive as the head (?) of the CDC. Cotillard plays a worker from the World Health Organization who travels to Hong Kong to figure out how the pandemic began. Law plays a radical blogger who preachers the usage of a homeopathic solution. One of the more frustrating things about this movie was the fact that there was TOO much going on. It was incredibly jumpy, using “Day 1/2/3” labels in a sort of documentary style to creative a narrative. There was almost no interaction amongst the listed actors, and the film would cut to the various locations where the characters were located and as a result, the films jumps from story to story. Most of these stories are never fully resolved and annoyingly, left open to “interpretation.”

I don’t usually mind open ended stories because they can make the audience think and generate discussion, but in the case of Contagion the films jumps into a lot of stories, but doesn’t do anything with them. It’s as though the filmmakers thought it would be a great idea to introduce a certain plot element to make the movie exciting or interesting, but didn’t know how it would fit within the context of a film about disease. For example, someone is kidnapped and forced to stay there into a village is healed. Okay, cool, but what happens then? How does this character react? Does this change her in anyway? Rather than exploring the various issues that result from a pandemic – fear, rioting, anger, death- the film presents these situations in a almost superficial way, in that it fails to dig deeper. Out of fear of contracting the disease, people stop working and begin looting, which the film seems to say is in our human nature, that it’s inevitable that we will resort to a “survival of the fittest”/”all for one” mentality when we are in danger. Although that may be true (I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened), the film doesn’t explain what the consequences of this is. So people start looting…great, then what? How is this resolved? What does the country do to recover from the chaos created by the desperate citizen, by the blogger, by CDC?

I was incredibly underwhelmed by this film. I had foolishly thought that film with so many great actors had to be good, but it seems like all of them needed a little extra money or wanted to hang out together on set. The film offers nothing but a sad attempt at trying to find out what happens when a small series of events affect an almost too interconnected world. You’d probably be better off watching a Dateline or History Channel special on the actual pandemics that have happened in the past, I know I definitely was thinking that throughout this movie.

Bottom line: Wait till this movie is on DVD, more specifically wait until this movie is offered at Redbox where you can rent it for a $1. Or better yet, when it’s playing on the plane. It’s not terrible, but it doesn’t do anything for the viewer. Also, Jude Law’s fake snaggle tooth was incredibly distracting.

Concert/Festival Pet Peeves

This past weekend I attended the 4th annual Outside Lands in my very own hometown of San Francisco! This was my third time attending, but my first time obtaining actual tickets. In the past, I’ve volunteered to get in and snuck in (shhhhh….), but I was fortunate to win tickets from one of the many contests I entered. The line-up was insanely good this year, so I was determined to attend this year’s festival.

Winning the 3 day passes! I almost screamed in the office!

However, because I didn’t pay ANYTHING for my tickets, I didn’t feel the need to convince myself that I was having THE BEST TIME EVER! Rather, I could look at everything in an objective manner. That’s not to say that I tried to pick apart every single thing at Outside Lands, but I did note a few things that kind of reinforced my belief that I will never pay $200 for Outside Lands. The ticket price alone is a major turn-off, especially for a poor student like me who isn’t bringing in any income at the moment, but I’ve tried to compile a list of some of the things that bothered me and put me off on paying major bucks to attend a festival.

1. TALL PEOPLE LOVE TO STAND RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.

I’m short. I’ve been the same height since the 6th grade. This doesn’t bode well for me at concerts where the majority of the crowd is taller than me. I’ve been going to shows since I was 14/15 and I can still remember how the girl at the Rooney show rested her armpit on my shoulder. Yes, I have suffered because of my height. Regardless, I still attend shows because they’re fun and I know that I should probably aim to be in the front to get a decent view.

Anyway, back to OSL. So there I was standing and enjoying my decent view of the Sutro Stage right before The Joy Formidable’s set. Right after the band finished soundchecking, this girl walks directly in front of me! All of a sudden, my view of the stage is completely obliterated by her head! My perfect view of the stage was now ruined by a head of blonde hair. Sadly, this was not the first instance in which my view was ruined by a person’s head or back.

After Ok Go’s set on Saturday, I came up with the “brilliant” idea to have my friends move out of the middle of the pit towards the barricade dividing the audience in half. I thought our view would be decent there and we’d at least have the barricade. Unfortunately about 50 other people had the same idea, so about half the people around us pushed forward while the other half pushed alongside us. It failed obviously. I ended up behind this 6 foot old guy and my arm squished between his back and this other girl. At first there was a average height man in front of me so I could at least see the stage if I stood on my tiptoes. Things got worse, though, when the old guy in front me asked the average height man to switch places with his son. Suddenly, a GIANT in a blue hoodie was standing directly in front of me. And if you’ve ever been to a concert, you may be aware of how close people are packed in. I was, essentially, pushed up against him, practically grinding against him. Not by choice! The girl behind me was also complaining about not seeing anything so she decided that she could see better by pushing against me, which pushed me against the giant. It was an awkward, sexy sandwich. Yep.

I could rest my arm on his butt

"What acceptance looks like"

2. PEOPLE WHO BRING THEIR DSLRS INTO THE CROWD/PIT

I’m not going to lie, I’d love to have a DSLR. I’d love to have the ability to take great pictures and just look like I actually know what I’m doing with a camera; having that giant camera slung around your neck definitely adds to that illusion. However, I completely dislike seeing people bring their fancy cameras into the crowd. There’s a reason why most venues stop you from bringing in large cameras. THEY BLOCK EVERYONE’S VIEW OF THE STAGE. Not to mention the fact that sticking your expensive camera up in the air where people may crowdsurf isn’t the smartest idea.

So there I was, enjoying Phantogram’s set on Friday when this girl appeared next to me cradling a fancy DSLR camera. She seemed to be really enjoying the music so I didn’t mind her presence…that is until I saw her lifting her large camera to take photos and thus, completely blocking my view.

Really loving this view of her arm

She didn’t do it too often, thankfully, but it was still annoying. I remember reading this article from my Alternative Press magazine from 2003 (yes I used to read that magazine) in which they asked photographers for their tips. One that kept popping up in my mind throughout the weekend was, basically, “Get to the show early if you’re going to take photos…no one likes having to deal with the photographer carrying a bunch of gear and blocking the view.”

Not to say that the photographers in the front weren’t annoying as well. I was loving Foster the People’s set when I suddenly noticed a giant DSLR camera bobbing up and down in front.

Really.....really?

It was funny, but definitely distracting. I couldn’t focus on the music because all I could see was a camera moving around near the band’s faces.

3. DUMB SECURITY POLICIES

One of the other things that bugged over the course of the weekend was the policy that you couldn’t bring in open containers, including refillable water bottles. I understand the goal of this rule is to prevent people from smuggling in alcohol and other “substances” (LOL) but it seemed stupid, considering the fact that this festival preached green tactics and such. They encouraged festival goers to bring in re-useable bottles, but then we all had to empty them at security check? Luckily, I realized that I could just pour out a few drops of my water and security wouldn’t notice. Honestly, though it was, as I overheard one girl complain, “…a complete waste…”

4.WHY DOES EVERYONE DRESS THE SAME?!

I live in the Sunset, which is fairly close to Golden Gate Park, so I think I’m pretty good at being able to differentiate the Sunset locals from out-of-towners. Since OSL began four years ago, Irving Street, typically filled with Asians, senior citizens, and mothers, get overrun with, for lack of a better word, hipsters. Usually, people who look like Tumblr threw up on them.

It gets worse once you’re inside where you may be stuck in a sea of people who are all sporting the same sunglasses (Ray-Bans or knock-offs) and headbands. I looked around and I could count at least 10 girls near me wearing headbands and many more (guys and girls) wearing identical sunglasses. I’m not quite sure what it is about festivals, but people come out in droves wearing their best faux/”hipster” garb.

I’m not gonna front though, I wore my AA blue hoodie just like thousands of other people and some guy ran up to me and said, “Nice hoodie!” and then I realized he was wearing the same thing.

5. CROWDSURFING

Luckily, this was not as ubiquitous at OSL as it is at emo/punk shows (Warped Tour, I’m looking at you), but it definitely happened during the Arctic Monkeys set on Saturday. My friends and I were, once again, packed in and practically grinding against one another and various strangers when we could feel a strong push behind us. All of a sudden, there was a body above our heads and because none of us are strong enough (or care enough) to carry another human beings above us, he felt directly in front/top of us. The guy also happened to be the guy who pushed past us earlier, claiming he had to “find his friend”, so he somehow made his way behind us and tried to crowdsurf back to the front. Great.

The crowd for Arctic Monkeys

I’ve never crowdsurfed, nor do I want to. I’m scared of heights as it is and to have to trust other people to successfully carry me around makes me want to die. I suppose I can see how it’s fun, especially when the mood and music are right, but my God is it annoying when you expect ME to carry your bony (or not so bony) bod to the front of the stage. Plus, it’s never fun getting kicked in the head.

Still, one of the best things I saw this weekend came courtesy of a crowdsurfer. A girl also standing near the crowd dividing barricade decided that she would partake in the fun and had her friend lift her up. Her “Yeaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!” scream announced to those of us around her that she would be crowdsurfing, so immediately hands went up to try to carry her across. Unfortunately for her, a security guard right on the other side of the barricade also heard her and grabbed her ankle and began pulling her back towards the barricade. The result was a tug-of-war between security guard and audience members, with the girl as the rope. It was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in awhile and taught me that if I ever wanted to crowdsurf, doing it right near the barricade and security guards isn’t the best idea.

I think those are all the pet peeves I can think of right now. There are more, but most of those come with attending any type of concert, so I usually just brush them off. Overall, Outside Lands was a ton of fun and definitely a highlight of my summer. Thanks again to EggDrop app for giving me free tickets and to all of my friends who went with me. I can’t wait till next year and depending on the line-up, maybe I’ll pay for tickets. Maybe. 🙂

The Joy Formidable

Phantogram

Foster the People

Hanging back for MGMT

Best Coast

Chocolands at night!

The Vaccines

Ok Go's Damian coming into the crowd!

Arctic Monkeys

The sun came out on Saturday!

So many people...

The Black Keys

Muse

Girl Talk

Intel Cube!

!!!

People everywhere!!!

The Decembrists

Arcade Fire

Review: Horrible Bosses

If you’re an Arrested Development fan like me, then you have been waiting for what seems like forever for the movie. At this point, I won’t believe it until I’m sitting in the theater with a bag of kettle corn. For now, AD fans can get their share of Michael Bluth by watching Horrible Bosses starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis.

Bateman stars as Nick, a variation of his Arrested Development character, who is determined to get a promotion at work, but must first deal with his boss, played by Kevin Spacey. Spacey’s character is, to put it bluntly, an asshole. He tricks Nick into drinking at 8am in the morning and threatens to fire another employee until Nick admits to being a whole TWO minutes late. Much like the character of Michael Bluth, Nick is, for the most part, the “straight man” throughout the film. Most of the characters around him have their own outrageous and hilarious moments, whereas Bateman’s reactions to everything are where the hilarity of his scenes derives from. It’s in this way I continually saw Michael Bluth on screen, instead of Nick. Some may point this as a negative and a sign that Bateman is only good as one character, but as a fan of AD I loved it. The scene in which Nick loses his coveted promotion reminded me of the scene in which Michael loses the promotion to his mother Lucille. Quite simply, Jason Bateman’s portrayal of Nick was the closest to seeing Michael Bluth on the big screen as AD fans are going to get, for now at least.

Nick’s two friends, Dale, played by Charlie Day (my soulmate tbh), and Kurt, played by Jason Sudeikis are also having trouble at the workplace. Dale is working as a dental assistant and must deal with a boss who constantly sexually harasses him. Jennifer Aniston takes a break from the romantic comedy genre and takes her turn as a woman determined to make her employee as uncomfortable as possible. Due being on the list of Registered Sex Offenders (don’t worry, the reason is actually hilarious), Dale has no choice but to suffer everyday as his boss blackmails and pursues him in the worst way possible. Kurt, on the other hand, begins the movie with a boss who loves him and views him as a surrogate son. His biological son, Bobby, played by Collin Farrell, is a slacker who is also a coke addict. Kurt’s original boss dies within the first 15 minutes, leaving the Pellitt company in the unqualified hands of Bobby.

From there the story starts rolling as the three leads begin to plot the murders of the three bosses. It’s a very funny movie, filled with quotables and hilarious moments. Sudeikis and Day are particularly good in their roles, while Bateman continues to deliver gif-worthy reactions and expressions. Spacey and Aniston were great in their roles, but I do wish there was more screen time devoted towards Farrell. Kurt constantly stated that his boss was a coke head and there were scenes in which he, uh, engaged in unprofessional activity at the workplace, but the audience never really gets the chance to develop a reason to hate Bobby. We watched Julia and Harken torment Dale and Nick, respectively, so we definitely began rooting for their demise. If the movie had had more scenes featuring Bobby and reasons as to why he was so “horrible” the film would have felt complete.

Still, the three leads are absolutely great and have amazing chemistry. If I wasn’t such a huge “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” fan, I would definitely ask for more movies or tv shows featuring the trio. Jamie Foxx is also great in his role as a – SPOILER!!! – “murder consultant” and the scenes where the guys meet him for the first time and the last time are too funny. The reference to one of my favorite high school books, “Snow Falling on Cedars” almost killed me.

Bottom Line: If you’re a fan of Arrested Development or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia , go see this movie ASAP. Jason Bateman and Charlie Day essentially play their tv characters on the big screen and it’s comedy heaven. Jason Sudeikis, who I’ve always enjoyed on SNL, is also very funny. You don’t want to be the last one to get all of the quotes and jokes that are sure to spread into everyday culture so be sure to see what might be the funniest movie of the summer.

FOR MY AD/IASIP FANS! VARIOUS REFERENCES TO AD/IASIP??? SPOILERS AHEAD!
– already mentioned lost promotion scene (AD)
– Dale making chicken noises (AD)
– Dale asking if Danny DeVito was in a movie (IASIP)
– Dale and Nick accidentally snorting coke (IASIP)
– Dale being called a “hamster” (IASIP – CHARLIE WAS CALLED A MUNCHKIN)
– Dale’s freak-out at being locked out of the car was very Charlie like! (IASIP)

These are the ones I could think of off the top of my head and I may be reaching, but who cares! Let me know if you can think of some more!

Review : Attack the Block

A British import is creating a lot of buzz this summer. No I’m not talking about that British goddess Cheryl Cole, sadly (“Fight for this Love” is my jam). It’s a little film about aliens attacking a South London, or “Soufh Lawndun,” apartment building, better known as a “block,” and the gang of kids who try to survive and fight against the aliens.

I first heard about Attack the Block on Twitter after various movie sites started claiming that the film was one of the best of the year. A few clicks on Google and IMDB led me to the trailer and information stating that it was written and directed by Joe Cornish (!), starred Nick Frost (!!!), and produced by Edgar Wright (!!!!!!). Seeing those names was enough to get me excited. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see a release date for the US so the only way I could see it was through one of the preview screenings put on my various websites. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t the only one who was curious about Attack the Block and missed out on watching it the first time due to being late and the screening filling up. I finally saw it two weeks ago and was not disappointed.

The film starts right off with our gang of South London kids terrorizing and mugging a young woman named Sam. The gang’s success is cut short, though, by an alien crashing down from the sky. Moses, the gang’s leader, decides to investigate and soon receives his first alien attack. Fueled by anger and embarrassment, Moses stomps off and successfully kills the alien. This puts the story into motion as our gang tries to fight against the aliens on their own, grabbing whatever weapons they have lying at home – baseball bats, swords, and fireworks. Along the way, we meet Brewis and Ron, the former a young man whose quest for weed escalates into an eventual “I’m too high for this” adventure and the latter, your “friendly, neighborhood weed man” who wants just wants to tend to his, um, herbs. I’m going to stop there because I don’t want to give too much away as the movie is a short, snappy 88 minutes.

I really enjoyed this film, not just because it involved some of my favorite Brits (I don’t know how they’re marketing this in Europe/UK/wherever, but here in America they seem to be pushing that “FROM THE PRODUCERS OF ‘SHAUN OF THE DEAD’ AND ‘HOT FUZZ'” thing a lot), but because it didn’t try to be anything other than what it claims to be. I went in expecting a film about some kids trying to stop alien attacks and that’s what I got. It went straight into the action and wrapped things up quite nicely. The cast is great and I loved that it was a bunch of real teenage kids. Often times, movies employ actors who are clearly a good 10 years older than 15/16/17 and it can really take the viewer out of the film. Attack the Block introduces us to some very talented kids who do a great job in their first film. John Boyega, who plays Moses, is a great lead and I would not be surprised if he continues to work in films. Really though, all of the kids are charming and I went from disliking them for mugging Sam to cheering for them whenever they managed to escape potential attacks. I also panicked whenever they were close to danger. As a fellow glasses-wearer, I particularly felt for Jerome in his scene; being vision impaired is no fun.

Bottom Line: Attack the Block is lots of fun and a perfect summer movie. Joe Cornish manages to answer the question of “What would happen if aliens suddenly landed in the inner city?” with humor, fright, and heart. Although the teens seem like the kids you would want to avoid on your walk back from work, you will eventually find yourself cheering for them. Go see this movie when it hits theaters on July 29, bruv.