I suffer through an annual end of the year meltdown. As we get closer and closer to the close of the year, I get more and more concerned that I won’t have enough films to fill out my top ten. Now how sad would that be? Fortunately, this is merely a bad habit I’ve gotten myself into and not only did I come up with a nice selection after running through everything I’ve seen in 2011, but I had a pretty tough time narrowing the list down to just ten.
Per usual, my goal as a critic is to find the happy medium between my growing film studies background and simply being able to sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Over the past year, being enrolled in Columbia University’s Film MFA program has undoubtedly affected my reviews, but focusing on a film’s entertainment value is still a top priority with filmmaking quality a close second and that’s as evident as ever in my list of the top ten films of 2011.
Click here to check out the list.
Miss out on catching Attack the Block in theaters this summer? That’s a shame, but you’re in luck because the DVD and Blu-ray are on the way. In honor of the October 25th release, writer-director Joe Cornish hit New York Comic Con to raise some Block pride.
The film features a young thug named Moses (John Boyega) and his gang, all of whom are out to earn a quick buck on the streets of South London. In the middle of a mugging, something crash lands nearby, taking the boys’ attention off their victim and enticing them to investigate. What they find is out of this world – literally. Moses has a first encounter and rather than report his finding to the authorities, he takes it upon himself, with the help of his buddies, to beat the thing to death. If only he knew there were many more where that came from.
On top of being an incredibly innovative spin on the alien invasion genre, Attack the Block is simply an extraordinary achievement for Cornish as this is his first directing venture. A seasoned screenwriter, Cornish opted to wait until he amassed enough know-how to get behind the lens and apparently the plan worked because Attack the Block is not to be missed.
Check out everything Cornish had to say about developing the concept, working with his cinematographer, designing his aliens and more in the video interview below. Oh, and Cornish gets extra credit for literally directing this interview and setting up the perfect frame.
Click here to watch the interview.
Cue cheesy movie trailer narrator voice! What happens when an alien race goes head-to-head with a group of boys from the block? Get ready for the ultimate in summer movie season mayhem, as you’re about to experience an epic adventure with guns, creatures from deep space and lots of blood. In all seriousness, <I>Attack the Block</I> is what every mega budget studio film should strive to be. Rather than use and abuse familiar concepts and trying to spice them up with flashy CGI, <I>Attack the Block</I> maintains an alien invasion’s entertainment value while infusing it with novel characters, refreshingly designed creatures and an abundance of laughs, resulting in an exceptionally innovative and entertaining experience.
After a long day at work, Sam (Jodie Whittaker) heads home in the dark of night. Before she can reach her South London block, she comes face-to-face with Moses (John Boyega) and his crew. In the midst of snatching all of her valuables, the boys are distracted by a mysterious object making an explosive crash landing on top of a nearby car. Sam bolts, but Moses and his friends investigate and uncover the most out-of-this-world thing imaginable, an alien.
After beating their discovery to death, the boys head home to the block to show off the corpse to Ron (Nick Frost) and his boss, Hi-Hatz (Jumayn Hunter), the area’s top drug dealer. While gloating, they catch site of another alien crash landing and head out to go two for two. However, this visitor isn’t an easy kill like the first and, before they know it, their block is crawling with bear-like black beasts with glowing teeth.
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