Category Archives: Random Film Reviews

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Attack The Block

Random Film Review – Attack the Block

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I used to love the Adam and Joe show and just about anything Joe Cornish and Adam Buxton have done since so I had some high expectations for this low budget horror comedy. It got great reviews when it was released back in 2011 but for some reason I just never got round to watching it

It starts off with Jodie Whittaker walking along at night in with some foreboding John Carpenter style music (I started to like it from this point!) when she meets five gang members.

The five characters led by Moses (John Boyega of Star Wars fame) predictably turn out not to be just one dimensional mindless violent ASOB accredited yobs, but actually just bored kids who were just as scared as Jodie when they mugged her.

I said it was a horror comedy, maybe not so much the comedy, it doesn’t have any jokes as such, you just tend to laugh at the characters and their faults. The two younger kids Probs and Mayhem are great, just wanting to be like the bigger badder kids, who they look up to, who are in turn just little twerps to Hi-Hatz who ‘owns this block’.

I hate reviews that just go on and tell you what happens, so I won’t, but I will say one thing about the aliens, they are really, really cool… they don’t look like crazy plastic looking CGI monsters, they look real but with a strange other-worldly look to them. Vantablack AliensThe blackness of them is great, perhaps it was just to a cheap way to avoid spending ££ on CGI but the ‘vantablack‘ gives them a really different look, so you know they aren’t from this world, they are just pure black, no reflection or detail and this contrasts beautifully with their glowing eyes… “I can see it’s eyes”… “I’m not sure those things is eyes!”

We are given some kind of theory of their backstory, thanks to the handy stoner zoologist who happens to hang around in the block but the story isn’t really about them, it’s about the gang of boys and them trying to find a place for themselves in a world where they feel attacked from all sides, whether it be The Feds, Hi-Hatz or ‘big gorilla-wolf motha fuckas things’. Jodie Whittiker plays a great part as Sam, a nurse, a profession well respected by society yet not respected enough to pay her enough to live somewhere other than ‘The Block’ The film shows nicely how society has turned it’s back on the boys but equally doesn’t really give much to Sam either despite the good she does.

There is a real (but perhaps slightly over the top) authenticity about it, Joe (yep I’m just calling him Joe) spent a year researching South London youth culture before writing and it is clearly evident, all of the kids were all virtual newcomers who talk and act in the way they would, not a way built for a risk free, everyone can relate to and understand way, which many other filmmakers would have gone (or told to have gone by the grey film execs) and yet is still followable by even old fuddy-duddys (I’m probably showing my fuddy-duddyness by calling them that….), despite all the slang the use, will get what they are talking about, you might not know all of the words they use but you get them meaning and this gives it a real charm.

In a way it reminds me a bit of a more adult episode of Dr Who (maybe that’s where they got the idea to hire Jodie, you heard it here first) with the low budget, fun and interesting creature side but it certainly doesn’t hold back with the violence and the gore, oh no, there are some pretty brutal flesh cutting scenes but more in the over the top gore style than the really realistic disturbing way.

Overall it’s a great low budget horror which is played through the eyes of young inner city kids, rather than your typical Tom Cruise alien busting hero. It’s fun, action packed, tense funny and does have a bit of depth to it, perhaps if you are a Daily Mail reader you’ll be shocked to see all young inner city kids aren’t knife wilding thugs, but human, kids and heros.

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Random Film Review Calvery

Category:Random Film Reviews


Calvery Review

For once I managed to go and see a film knowing absolutely nothing about it. It seems like every time I go to the cinema I always end up reading reviews and pretty much know the everything that is going to happen, or the trailer basically just shows all of the best and key moments of the film. I think the worst offender of this was Cloverfield, although it was one of the best film trailers I’ve seen, starts off as a party at a swanky apartment in New York, the scene lasts a goof few minutes and introduces you to a few of the characters and is actually quite enjoyable, at this point you think it is a film about young people living in New York. Then suddenly BOOM all the shit starts happening, an earthquake, explosions? Then you see fireballs and a giant bloody monster!

A great ‘twist’ for a trailer and it certainly worked in making me go and see it but I just wonder how good the film would have been if I had not sent he trailer and not known anything about it, it’d be settling down into a nice film about young hipsters, and so the shock of seeing a giant monster is far more effective. Seeing a giant monster in a film called Godzilla VS Megabeast isn’t exactly shocking or surprising, but this would have been.

I’m going off on a tangent here but I do get annoyed when I read film reviews and the critic isn’t good enough at his/her job to review the film without basically outlining the whole plot so you figure out the twists and turns before you even get there.
So in light of this for this film review I’m not going to say ANYTHING about the plot, OK, slight spoiler – I’ll give away that there are no giant Godzilla like beasts in this film. The film is pretty much set out in the first scene and it makes you think about the characters, who they are, and what their strange motivations are. All of them have slightly disturbing streaks to them, but despite this you actually grow to like them all despite knowing one has something really dark to hide. And that’s the beauty of the film, it makes you analyse and get into each of the characters and in some ways sympathise with them.

The Guardian describes this as a ‘terrific dark comedy’ hmmm well er no I wouldn’t go with the dark comedy bit but it certainly is terrific. There are some funny moments but a comedy it ain’t!

Brenden Gleeson is superb and really fits the role of the hardened good priest but the rest of the cast do a great job to making you belive in their slightly twisted characters in particular Aidan Gillen of the Wire fame (I knew I recognised him from somewhere) is the most outwardly strange of them but he pulls it of superbly.

It’s a film that carries you along for the first half an hour and slowly lets the suspense build and build until the ending which is set up from the first scene. Telling you what day it is every day of the film only adds to it, bringing the Sunday of reckoning closer and closer.

I’d thoroughly recommend Calvery.

Calvery Film Review

Brendon Gleeson and Kelly Reilly


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