Attack The Block (2011)

Discussion in 'General' started by baggio, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I'm curious. Do you guys root for the gang members in Assault on Precinct 13, or the vampires in From Dusk Till Dawn?

    Both of those are examples of the "heroes" in the movie being essentially bad guys. Attack the Block was going for the same feel. Start out with some villains, then show some REAL villains, and have the protagonists (the cop in Assault, Harvey Keitel's family in From Dusk, and the woman in Attack the Block) have to team up with some despicable characters for survival. It's a moral dilemma.
     
  2. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    I see what you're driving at. But I don't think we're comparing apples to apples.

    Napoleon Wilson's deeds are unseen and never specifically described--which gives distance that makes it easier to relate to his human side. And most of the other main characters are stock western good guy characters brought up-to-date. There's the honest marshal, a couple damsels in distress, and a weak civilian who's unable to defend himself. Put them all together and you have a band of mostly good guys and a charismatic anti-hero who they can't succeed without.

    From Dusk Till Dawn is a better comparison. The Gecko brothers are definitely bad guys. And both of them commit graphic acts on-screen. But there are still some critical differences. Richie is obviously an unadulterated villain. We see him doing completely reprehensible things that no one could absolve. And Seth also does some terrible things. He kidnaps a woman and menaces her with a gun. But he also shows remorse for the way Richie treats her. And he later displays a good amount of paternal concern for Jacob's daughter during the mobile home trip across the border. To me that makes him different from the thug kids in Attack The Block. They don't express any remorse for what they did to the woman they attacked until they need her help. They need to take shelter in her apartment. And they need her medical skills.

    And Seth is only one of the key players. The other three are a minister and two innocent children. So even if you hate Richie AND Seth 3 of the 5 main characters are still in the traditional good guy mold.

    I won't argue with anyone who thinks that my view of these 3 sets of characters comes down to splitting hairs. But the bottom line for me is that Attack The Block would have been a much more effective film if there were more relatable and sympathetic characters in the main band. I wouldn't make the same argument about Assault On Precinct 13 or From Dusk Till Dawn. Those films offer a better mixture of good guy and bad guy personalities. And it makes them more effective and more interesting. The group slants too far to the thug side in Attack The Block. And it definitely decreased my engagement in the story.
     
  3. Workshed

    Workshed A Barge Person

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    Exactly. Plus, how many films are out there with squeaky-clean teens saving the day? It's tired. I was happy to see teen anti-heroes for once. Attack the Block offered a dynamic take on a stale idea. More films should remind us that children and young adults can be just as complex characters as adults, and we needn't coddle them.
     
  4. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Well, I'll freely admit that the thugs in Attack the Block are nowhere near as interesting, charismatic, or as cool as Napoleon Wilson or the Gecko bros. (Yes, even Richie).

    But I should also say that I really didn't like Attack the Block that much. And that the ONLY thing I found compelling was the fact that the female lead had to team up with the street scum. I liked the contrast of her disgust of them with the need for survival.

    In other words, what you guys are saying was the biggest detraction for you actually was the biggest asset for me.
     
  5. Myron Breck

    Myron Breck Boom Shanka

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    Either way, I found it a disappointing bore. Oh well.
     
  6. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    Saw it on Starz this morning, thought it was kind of tedious. Those of you comparing it to The Monster Squad are insane (no offense).

    Were we supposed to like this annoying group of loser hoodlums? I couldn't wait for the creatures to rip these scumbags apart, and on that front the movie failed to deliver. If it wasn't for the Sam character, I would have probably turned it off before the end.

    *SPOILERS*
    The ending sucked. Here's a better ending.

    The apartment explodes. Moses is hanging from the flag. The flag rips, and Moses falls to his death. Sam approaches his body, and reaches into his pocket. She pulls out his wallet, then takes back the money he stole from her. Then she spits on his corpse and walks away.

    Meanwhile, the crowd starts cheering. "SAM! SAM! SAM! SAM!"
     
  7. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    This ending would be a huge improvement.
     
  8. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

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    I really liked this movie, but I agree the characters aren't the most likeable. I didn't really care whether any of them lived or not, especially Moses.
     
  9. aoiookami

    aoiookami Demon Fetishist

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    Why? Aside from looking at The Monster Squad with rose colored glasses I fail to see how making the comparison makes us 'insane'. At their core they are very similar plots with very similar pacing and tone. Group of kids take it upon themselves to fight back against supernatural threats with a random sprinkling of adults tagging along, some more useful than others, with a general light tone and some humor.
     
  10. Shannafey

    Shannafey Don't Monkey With Me!

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    I've been so busy and out of touch for a while, but there really isn't a need to answer this, since you did such a great job. I guess we're on the same page with all these films!
     
  11. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

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    I think there was a lot more to Monster Squad personally. This movie pretty much starts with an alien crashing down, and then it's a roller coaster ride from that point forward, not too much in character development or story and the characters are much less likeable. Monster Squad has a lot more to it's story and does a better job introducing characters and developing them. And as cool as the aliens look in Attack the Block I would much rather take the monsters in Monster Squad, possibly some of the best designs of the famous monsters. I also think the dialog in Monster Squad is much better with many more quotable lines. You're right though, maybe it is somewhat related to nostalgia, but I don't think Attack the Block compares to Monster Squad or The Goonies for that matter, even though it is a really good film. Attack the Block doesn't have that adventure feel that the mentioned 80s flicks have, it's again more of an action packed survival roller coaster ride.
     
  12. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. When something irritates me as much as the characters in Attack The Block I wonder if I've become an out-of-touch, crotchety old goat. It's good to know I'm not the only one with those types of feelings.
     
  13. aoiookami

    aoiookami Demon Fetishist

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    Absolutely, I agree with everything you posted. They are certainly different in some respects, ATB is much faster paced and has less character development as you explained, I was just saying given the fact they are both light, fun 'kids vs. monsters' movies I don't see how it's an 'insane' comparison.
     
  14. shithead

    shithead Death By Ejaculation

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    I saw this the other night on Starz. I thought it was pretty good, a bit overhyped, though.

    It took me a while to warm up to the main characters, but by the end I gave a little bit of a shit about them. The beginning scene made me want to go all Charles Bronson on their asses, like many of you.
     
  15. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

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    Yeah sorry wasn't exactly disagreeing with you, I can see the comparison story wise, just explaining why I don't think this movie is on the same level as those two 80s classics.

    I could be wrong but I believe that that is what the first poster was saying as well, that it is insane to compare this film to the sheer awesomeness of those 80s classics.

    I do agree that this film is a modern take on those 80s films, for kids who would now find those movies cheesy, this is a movie for those that have grown up with faster paced less character driven films.
     
  16. Workshed

    Workshed A Barge Person

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    Rewatched this last night, completely charmed by it. This time, I watched it with subtitles and had some nice laughs at the UK slang (especially since I just moved here!). The film is wonderfully shot, and some of the repeated gags get better and better (the hapless stoner who keeps running into the group and getting inured, for example).

    Also, I was surprised to realize that the actor who plays Moses is one of the leads in the new Star Wars film! John Boyega!
     
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  17. Mok

    Mok Family is Forever

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    Yeah I thought it was that kid. I'll have to get around to watching this soon!
     

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