Attack the Block

This year has brought us back to classic filmmaking from the silent film era with The Artist to the fantasy adventure Hugo, which recalled classic film moments (as The Film Stage rounded up here). The New York Times has even gotten in on the classical score action, drawing on booming horns and frenetic strings to help create horror and unease in their portraits of various actors’ impressions of classic film villains. It is an almost surprising turn in a year that awarded Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s electronic influenced score for The Social Network the Oscar for Original Score and saw electronic duos The Chemical Brothers and Basement Jaxx creating the scores for Hanna and Attack the Block, respectively. Film scoring seemed to be going the way of the electric guitar, swapping out full orchestrations for synthesizers, but as 2011 comes to a close, it seems classic orchestration is not on its way out just yet. Full orchestrations of horns, drums, strings, and wind instruments filled theaters in films like The Artist and Hugo, taking us back to a time when live orchestras would play along with films. Their electronic counterparts tend to turn up the volume (who wasn’t rattled when Reznor and Karen O’s booming “Immigrant Song” in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’s teaser trailer came on screen?) while classical scores are able to gain that same power from the sheer number of instruments called upon and layered together. Both work to draw an emotional reaction out of […]

read more...

This Week in DVD

Welcome back to the biggest edition of This Week In DVD yet! Twenty two titles are covered below, but this isn’t just a matter of quantity. All but one of the releases are worth watching, with a whopping seven of them being solid BUY recommendations. This week’s releases run the gamut from comic book blockbusters (Captain America) to docs on Pearl Jam and Peter Gabriel (Twenty and New Blood) to a controversial black comedy (A Serbian Film) to a Finnish family holiday film (Rare Exports) to a thrilling Hong Kong action flick (Fire of Conscience) to… well, you get the idea. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Ballad of Narayama (UK) A small village in the Japanese mountains is the setting for this rumination on life, death and family that plays like the movie The Tree of Life should have been but with a narrative instead of dinosaurs. Village law dictates you head up the mountain to die at the age of seventy, and as Orin approaches that milestone she rushes around trying to set her children straight to ensure their future. The film is a harsh look at a time and place, and it uses images of animals alongside the characters to highlight our own innate nature. As cruel as it seems though the film ends up being as uplifting an ode to humanity as you could imagine or want. **NOTE – This is a region2 DVD which requires […]

read more...

This Week in Blu-ray

This is the best week of Blu-ray releases of 2011. Mark my words. No seriously, write it into your calendars. Between the breakout geek genre hit of the year, a Blu-ray set 65 million years in the making, a hero we can all believe in, creepy Finnish Santas, some Criterion confusion and Serbians doing terrible, terrible things to each other, this may be the most well-rounded, exciting week of releases we’ve seen in a long time. And it all begins with a must-have Pick of the Week… Attack the Block When Joe Cornish and Edgar Wright got together and decided to make a film about a group of hoodlums who face down an alien invasion, they probably didn’t think of you or me once. They didn’t know that they’d be custom-tailoring a sci-fi comedy for the nerd set that would ignite crowds and become the cult hit of this (and probably a few other years). They couldn’t have known. But they moved forward anyway, with a cast of unknowns and some killer creature designs, creating what could go down as the geek film of 2011. What’s more impressive about this release? Even though I didn’t receive a review copy, I’m making it pick of the week. Usually I’m a big whiney baby, who gets a bunch of review material, only to pick it apart week to week. But this week I’m putting my own money where my mouth is. In a week when competition comes from one of the longest awaited Blu […]

read more...

One of the biggest, most well liked movies of this summer was Joe Cornish’s hoods vs. aliens movie Attack the Block. Well, if you’re talking to only films buffs that is. I don’t think too many regular people ever heard about the movie let alone went to see it. But those of us privy to genre film weirdness totally dug Cornish’s unique yet sort of old school approach to doing an alien invasion/monster movie. Surely there’s got to be a cult of Attack the Block loyalists growing somewhere out there in the land of the Internet, and I bet they’re thirsty for more punk on gorilla dog violence. Well, according to comments that Cornish recently gave IFC, some random day happening an unknowable length of time from now just might be your lucky day! Probably.

read more...

This Week in DVD

Welcome back to another jammed to the gills edition of This Week In DVD! Once again there’s a lot to love hitting shelves today including new movies like Bridesmaids and Bride Flight, TV on DVD releases like Modern Family, Castle, and Happy Endings, a new Bruce Willis movie that never saw the inside of a theater, and even a few re-issues of older movies you may never have heard of before… like the one starring a young Charlie Sheen as a mass murdering punk from the Midwest. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. HitRECord Recollection Volume 1 Joseph Gordon-Levitt is well known and well liked as an actor from TV and films like Third Rock From the Sun and 500 Days of Summer, but he’s interested in more than just a life in front of the camera. HitRECord.org is his web-centered creation that sees projects small and smaller develop from the ground up as collaborative efforts with friends and strangers alike. Everything submitted is up for remix and recreation. One person’s short story can see pictures, animation, voice-overs, a score, and more added by any number of people. It’s an intriguing concept, and while some of the end results have premiered at Sundance and SXSW, this collection is the first retail release. The book itself is very McSweeney’s-ish, which is awesome, and includes a wraparound half-sleeve, creative text and artwork, a CD, and a DVD of short films, videos, and more. […]

read more...

Labor Day marks the end of summer, and like every other year the online bitching and moaning about how bad of a summer it was at the movies has already begun. Twenty-one rejects got together for our bi-weekly bake sale/FSR office cleaning day, and we got to thinking. That’s just bullshit. Because there were actually some surprisingly solid and entertaining movies that hit theaters over the past four months. From comic book heroes that soared above the competition, to legendary directors who returned with their best work in decades, to R-rated comedies that made us wet ourselves, to prequels that proved going backwards can sometimes be a genius move, this summer offered up plenty of bang for the buck. So we each jotted down our five favorite films of the summer, assigned a point value to each rank (5 pts for 1st, 4 pts for 2nd, etc), and fed the raw data into our Commodore Vic-20 office computer. It finished processing eighteen hours later, and we ended up with the results below. So screw the haters… let’s embrace the movies that made us laugh, gasp, applaud, and sit up and take notice this past summer. Here are FSR’s Favorite Movies of Summer 2011!

read more...

A year ago, John Boyega was a name that nobody knew. And, okay, it’s probably still a name that a lot of people aren’t familiar with. But if the hype he’s been getting from film critics for his starring role in this summer’s Attack the Block is any indication, Boyega won’t be able to enjoy anonymity for very much longer. Attack the Block director Joe Cornish found Boyega performing in a small stage show in London and cast him in his hoods versus aliens monster movie based on that. One to take his work seriously, first-time film actor Boyega then took to studying season 4 of The Wire to get a handle on how to approach playing an urban youth, and brought reality to the character of Moses, in a performance that felt genuine and raw even when there was tons of alien monster insanity going on around it. Suddenly, it looks like the mess of film critics who have been pimping for Attack the Block all summer aren’t the only ones who noticed the work Boyega put in, because THR is reporting that Spike Lee has taken notice of the young actor and cast him as the lead of his HBO dramatic series Da Brick. Da Brick is about a young man from Newark, New Jersey (Brick City) who, upon being released from juvenile detention on his 18thbirthday, must traverse the harsh environment of his hometown and learn what it takes to be a man, with a little bit of […]

read more...

You may have noticed that we here at Film School Rejects took quite the shine to Joe Cornish’s debut feature film Attack the Block. Brian couldn’t praise it enough after its premiere at this year’s SXSW film festival and our resident Brit Simon Gallagher loved up on it in his Cannes coverage. Screen Gems picked it up for a domestic theatrical run and while it opened in 7 top markets a few weeks ago, it expanded to 6 additional markets over the weekend. It’s also now playing in big chain theaters like Regal and AMC which will hopefully encourage the popcorn-chomping masses to give it a shot. I fell in love with this movie at SX and can’t get enough of it. This is a film that deserves to be seen. I had a chance to sit down with writer/director Joe Cornish and star John Boyega to talk about the movie, their respective first outings into film and their inevitable slide into drugs and infamy.

read more...

Attack the Block is high-concept fun, pitting deadly invading aliens against a motley bunch of inner-city Londoners in an all-out war. Writer/director Joe Cornish imbues a simple, straightforward premise with character-driven depth and relentless full-throttle activity, sustaining the adrenaline through the entirety of the picture’s 88 minutes. The film centers on the unlikely intersection of public housing-dwelling waitress Sam (Jodie Whittaker) and some of the wayward youths that live in her building. A gang led by Moses (John Boyega) has its attempted mugging of our heroine interrupted by a squealing, straining fanged alien that crash lands into a car. They kill it, bring its body home to the towering apartment building they call “the block” and are soon forced to team up with Sam to fight off an invasion of these enraged, deadly creatures.

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collection of movie news and interesting links hell-bent on staying up with the times. Therefore, tonight it will feature a slew of Planet of the Apes-related content… Even though everyone is doing one, I’m going to point you in the direction of the Planet of the Apes primer over at IFC, written by the very talented Matt Singer. Why? Because it’s good, it’s mostly words and I found it insightful. Sorry it’s not an infographic.

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It certainly is not a nightly movie news column produced in someone’s mother’s basement. However, it is written by a man with a strict no-pants policy. Now please go forth and enjoy tonight’s news with that in the back of your mind. We begin tonight with Chris Evans, Captain America, and some of his costume from The Avengers. Earlier today, Marvel Studios released a teaser for next summer’s big superhero team-up that also includes the final scene from Captain America: The First Avenger. It’s perhaps the scene you’d expect to lead us forward on this path, but if you haven’t seen Cap, then you might want to skip on down to the rest of tonight’s stories.

read more...

The Reject Report

Some aliens are stupid. Other aliens are crazy. Some aliens are just in love, but we usually don’t see these aliens between May and August. No one wants to see alien love in their Summer blockbusters. They want explosions and people shooting those aliens with well-placed bullets. Which brings us to this weekend, where two films about aliens getting blasted by pesky humans find release. Of course, one is having a much larger opening than the other, and neither of them feature Smurfs. That’s right. I said Smurfs. We’ll talk about them here, too. Enjoy this week’s Reject Report, and if you want loving aliens, come back in November.

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that brings together all the most interesting stories and articles from around the web. It’s also fully immersed in Comic-Con week. Thus, another night of leading with an image of cosplay brilliance and advice from Comic-Con veterans. In our continued effort to get you ready to attack Comic-Con this week right alongside our own hit squad, here is another guide full of useful tips. Movies.com has put together a list of 10 Things Everyone Should Do at Least Once During Comic-Con, including one of my personal favorite things, “buy something new in Artist Alley.” Just remember that Twilight isn’t the only thing happening at SDCC, support those artists.

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a powerful nightly look at the highs and lows of the seedy underbelly of the film industry. Usually stuff that involves references to Michael Bay, videos starring plastic figurines and swooning over Monty Python. All of these things are represented in tonight’s very special entry… Believe. That’s what the audiences at the Los Angeles Film Festival did this weekend, as they elected Attack the Block as their Audience Award Winner. The aliens v. hoodlums flick continues to gain steam, even outside the more comfortable genre audiences it’s faced thus far. Winning at SXSW, where the fan base is there in force, is one thing. Winning at LAFF is another big step toward finding mainstream success.

read more...

After this summer, expect all your nerdy friends to endlessly say, “Believe, Bruv!” Enjoy that quote while it lasts, because I’m sure many are going to run it into the ground soon.. so, obviously by the title of this news piece, I already have a hand in not doing that awesome line justice. Couldn’t be more proud. Anyway, the hoods vs. the aliens adventure film has been screening across all over the country since SXSW, and for good reason. Attack the Block is a film that’s going to live or die by word-of-mouth. If the buzz stays as positive as it currently is Screen Gems may end up with a little success on their hands. They’ve set a July 29th release date which is an already a jam packed weekend. With the already sure to be hits Cowboys and Aliens, The Smurfs, and (the supposedly excellent) Crazy, Stupid, Love, Attack the Block will have a lot of competition. Hopefully Joe Cornish‘s truly awesome film debut finds a broad enough audience to appreciate his genre meshing exercise in comedic badassery. Source: Box Office Mojo

read more...

This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we talk with Louder Than a Bomb director Greg Jacobs and get an update on how Cannes is shaping up from Simon Gallagher. Plus, Eric D. Snider from Film.com and our very own Matt Patches enter the squared circle of our Movie News Pop Quiz. Then, we spend less than 15 minutes defining art. Take that, thousands of years of philosophy. We get the job done here at Reject Radio, so kick off you shoes and stay awhile. Listen Here: Download This Episode

read more...

Attack the Block has of course already screened in America, at SXSW, and FSR already have a review live, thanks to Brian Salisbury and let’s be honest, no matter what I write here, I’m not likely to meet the mastery of that particular article. But then, I wouldn’t want to, and I honestly feel as strongly about the excellent British film as Brian does, so I thought I’d use this opportunity to review the film slightly differently, in order that my article can stand as more of a companion piece to Brian’s. And there’s the also the small matter of me being British as well, which will no doubt mean what I’m about to write will be full of patriotic bluster and lashings of jingoistic pride, what what.

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the movie blogosphere’s diversity action plan. Because too many movie blogs just regurgitate press releases, post POV videos of street luge or bring you the same 25 stories that everyone else already has. We take those 25 stories, smash them together, wipe away the blood and mix ‘em with the best links we can find in a nightly tradition known to its friends as Movie News After Dark… For those Hobbit fans who aren’t completely sold on Peter Jackson doing the thing in 3D, see the above picture. If Gandalf approves, how can the world disagree?

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a sad Doctor Who fan tonight, that’s for sure. With the premiere of a new season less than a week away, tragedy has struck. We must press on, but we must also remember fondly Elisabeth Sladen. There will also be a slew of interesting news, but first, some sadness… Elisabeth Sladen — best known as Sarah Jane Smith of Doctor Who fame — has passed away this week at the age of 63. For those who are not familiar with her work, she was one of the most famous companions in the long history of Who. She was the show’s heart and soul for a time, and reprised the character many times over the course of 38 years. That’s one hell of a run. She will be missed.

read more...

The most entertaining film from this year’s SXSW film fest has finally found a US distributor. I say “finally” because someone should have picked it up the moment the closing credits started rolling on opening night. But hey, better late than never… Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block is about an alien invasion of sorts in London’s tough, inner-city neighborhoods. Pitch black creatures are eating their way through town, but there are no military units or police heroes to fight back the horde here so instead that task falls to a group of teen thugs. These are right pricks here, make no mistake, but by the film’s end they may just steal your heart. (But I’d check to make sure you still have your wallet and watch just in case.) Brian Salisbury’s excellent review of the movie is here, Sony’s press release is below, and thanks to BadassDigest for the heads up about this fantastic news.

read more...
  PREVIOUS PAGE
NEXT PAGE  
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3