DVD Review-Attack the Block

In 2001, British writer and director Joe Cornish had a life-altering experience when he was mugged outside his house. He couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if an alien invasion had taken place during the attack, and the savagery of his young assailants had become an asset in fighting the extraterrestrial threat. This idea stayed with him for a decade, until it finally became the basis for his feature film debut, Attack The Block.

In the movie, Cornish replaced himself with a well-spoken, recently graduated nurse named Sam (played by Jodie Whittaker). Sam becomes the victim of a mugging by a gang of youths, led by fifteen-year-old Moses (John Boyega), who later decides to “tool up” and defend their block against invading aliens. The film is a fast-paced, thrilling ride that doesn’t give the audience a chance to catch their breath. The kids initially come across as caricatures, but as the story progresses, they win us over and we find ourselves rooting for them.

While Attack The Block is not a perfect movie, with the aliens resembling something out of 80s Doctor Who and the final scene lacking the emotional impact it aims for, it’s still a fun and enjoyable film. The sight of Moses heroically swinging from a union flag may not have the intended effect on British audiences, but it could play well in an inevitable American remake. If Cornish’s next film is as good as his debut, there’s no doubt he’ll be a powerhouse in Hollywood in the years to come.


Film Review-Super 8

J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg make an impressive team as they bring this thrilling film to life. The storyline is masterfully crafted, leaving you both exhilarated and exhausted, but not in a way that keeps you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next scene. However, if you’re a fan of sci-fi, this film is a must-see.

Set in 1979, the film follows the story of middle-schooler Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney), who has learned to take care of himself since his mother’s death. When Joe and his friend Charles (Riley Griffiths) start making an indie zombie movie for a film festival, they enlist fellow classmate Alice (Elle Fanning) to be their leading lady. As they venture out to a local train station to film a scene, an unexpected train derailment unleashes something terrifying in their small town of Lillian, Ohio. The group continues filming, using the disaster as a backdrop, while they try to figure out what to do next.

What makes this film so captivating is how it’s really about growing up and taking responsibility, with sci-fi elements serving as the backdrop. Like Spielberg’s earlier works in the same genre, the focus is on the kids, not the monster. Writer/director J.J. Abrams has written the characters with enough depth and complexity to make them believable, and the film rewards the audience during the credits with the actual product of their work.

The cast is spot on, with Joel Courtney transforming from a supportive sidekick to a natural leader, while Riley Griffiths captures the manic energy and intensity of a young film director. Elle Fanning’s ethereal presence adds a magical quality to the film. While the adults are mostly one-note characters, this is appropriate for a film seen from a kid’s point of view, and Abrams adds just enough complexity to make them less stereotypical.

This film takes risks, and they pay off in a summer full of predictable sequels. The grounded, coming-of-age story is a refreshing change from typical sci-fi adventures, and the film’s message about the power of friendship and taking responsibility is both heartwarming and inspiring. While waiting for it to come to DVD might be tempting, seeing it on the big screen is an experience not to be missed.


FILM REVIEW-Friends With Benefits

After his critically acclaimed performance in “The Social Network,” Justin Timberlake’s fans were eagerly anticipating seeing him in a role that would push his acting abilities to new heights. Unfortunately, “Friends with Benefits” is not that movie.

However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As a rom-com, the film provides enough laughs and clever nods to the genre’s clichés to satisfy its intended audience.

Timberlake plays Dylan, a blogger from Los Angeles who moves to New York City to work for GQ magazine, with the help of headhunter Jamie (played by Mila Kunis). Both have been burned by past relationships and agree to a casual, no-strings-attached sexual arrangement.

As you might expect from a rom-com, the ending is predictable from the outset, but the movie still manages to deliver some genuinely funny moments. For example, there’s a hilarious joke about an iPad, a drunken rant about Katherine Heigl, and a reference to “Seinfeld.”

The film also benefits from some great cameo performances, particularly Woody Harrelson as GQ’s gay sports editor and Shaun White as a twisted version of himself.

However, the subplot about Dylan’s father’s illness is a bit of a downer and drags down the second half of the movie.

Overall, “Friends with Benefits” is a light and enjoyable movie that delivers enough charm and wit to keep audiences entertained. Although it may not be a groundbreaking role for Timberlake, it’s still a fun movie that’s well worth watching.