Cross The Streams With Attack The Block, Plus One, And VHS Tapes Galore

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Ah, January. The month where making it out to theaters is a challenge due to all the polar vortecies creating ice dragons all over the place. But that’s okay, since the majority of January releases are films that studios are ashamed of, and you don’t want to spend your money on that crap anyway. Renny Harlin’s The Legend of Hercules is a fine example. So don’t even bother going anywhere. Just stay home and warm your mitts with some of this week’s Cross the Streams recommendations.

attack-the-blockAttack the Block (Crackle)
If you haven’t heard of Joe Cornish’s directorial debut, Attack the Block, it’s probably because the film got next to no promotion in the U.S. and followed a favorable SXSW debut with a tiny release, despite being one of the best sci-fi films of 2011. Remember I Am Number 4 or Battle: Los Angeles? Those got way bigger releases and both of them sucked enough shit to officially count as colonic treatments. Attack the Block took the alien invasion thriller to the urban side of London. Gangs of young street toughs — and occasionally Nick Frost — make people’s lives a living hell and take on an infestation of toothy black space creatures in manners both tense and amusing. Don’t let another day go by without checking this one out, but hold on to your purses and wallets.


Attack The Block Director Making A Movie About War Robots And Jet Packs

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One of the best movies of 2011 was a small sci-fi movie about an alien invasion in a South London housing project. Attack The Block showed how good a small budgeted alien invasion movie could be with the right story, characters and director at the center of it.

British director Joe Cornish did marvels with a small budget of $13 million for Attack The Block and went on to co-write Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tin-Tin. He later collaborated with director Edgar Wright on his comic book adaptation of Ant-Man. Last month, Cornish signed on to also write and direct a film version of Neal Stephenson’s cyberpunk novel Snow Crash for Paramount. Cornish is a busy man and now THR is now reporting, his new project will be an adaptation of Royden Lepp’s graphic novel Rust for 20th Century Fox.

Rust is set on a prairie land after a brutal war. The Taylor family work tirelessly to rebuild as their oldest son Roman struggles to keep the farm above water. When one day, a jet-packed stranger named Jet Jones, while on the run from a giant decommissioned war robot, crashes through their barn. Roman believes Jet Jones is the key to the farm’s survival but his family believes otherwise.

Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada, We Bought a Zoo) adapted the script for Rust and will be the film’s producer, along with Simon Kinberg, who produced X-Men: First Class for 20th Century Fox. This seems like a strange team of collaborators but based on Joe Cornish’s track record, the project is in good hands.


The Best Sci-Fi Movies Of 2011

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While legitimate science fiction has all but vanished from television, it lives on in movie theaters as dozens of science fiction films continue to be released every year. Almost every Hollywood blockbuster contains at least a sci-fi element or two, but for this list I’ve stuck with the films that are truly a part of the genre. If you love science fiction make sure you didn’t miss any of these 2011 films. These were the best sci-fi movies of 2011.

1. Attack the Block
Attack the Block is so good it’s one of two movies on this list that made my best films of 2011 list over on Cinema Blend. Here’s why. This little indie movie from writer/director Joe Cornish takes the worn out alien invasion genre and injects new life. In large part it’s because, though it has plenty of it, his film is about more than reveling in man on alien violence. Attack the Block goes its own way by creating characters who don’t fit any of the usual stereotyped molds. Instead our heroes are a bunch of teenage thugs, completely unlikable idiots who only become worth rooting for after they’ve been changed by their experience. Attack the Block is content to let you hate everyone in it when the movie begins, certain you’ll love the kinds of people they’re starting to become by the time the movie ends. 

Attack the Block manages to come up with something new in a genre that hasn’t even been trying. From creature design to story structure to its completely unflinching take on some pretty scary alien violence, it succeeds. A violent, gory, action movie which also comments on the lives of frightened people living in a crummy apartment complex full of absent parents and pre-teen drug dealers? What’s not to love? Cornish’s sci-fi movie is a grand mix of alien entertainment and subtle social commentary. It’s relevant without being preachy, violent without being gratuitous, and action packed without skimping on character. Attack the Block is proof that you don’t need a big Hollywood effects budget to do science fiction right.


The 8 Best Sci-Fi Ideas In 2011 Movies

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Science fiction, unlike any other genre is about more than just characters or even good storytelling. Whether those ideas resulted in thought-provoking discourse, unimaginable creatures, or simply really cool gadgets we think it’s worth remembering the best of them. These are the 8 best science fiction ideas captured on film in 2011.

WARNING! The following article contains significant spoilers for some 2011 movies. If you don’t want to know, don’t go any further.

Blind, Hairy Aliens With Glowing Teeth
Blacker than midnight and without eyes of any kind, the aliens in Attack the Block look more like a hairy hole in the fabric of space than an actual creature, at least until they open their mouths. Thanks to the neon colors flowing through their innards, the extraterrestrials’ vicious looking fangs glow when they open their maw and go in for the kill. It’s a clever creature design, a great example of limited budget forcing filmmakers to think outside the box. It’s especially noteworthy in a year where so many big budget alien movies seemed to have run out of ways to make aliens look interesting. The best JJ Abrams’ mega-budgeted Super 8 could come up with was a giant spider and the less said about the generic outer space creatures in Battle: LA the better. Attack the Block deserves a lot of credit for creating creatures we’ve never seen before and then doing something cool with them.


The 4 Most Unfairly Overlooked Sci-Fi Movies Of 2011

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Next week we’ll put together our best science fiction of 2011 list, but before we do that, it seems worthwhile to stop and take a look back at a few movies you might have missed. Maybe they never got a wide release in your area, maybe you were scared away by bad reviews, maybe you simply never got around to seeing them. But here are four really good science fiction films which we think more people should have seen, even if they didn’t.

Attack the Block
Box Office: Never cracked top 30 / $1 mil domestic

This low-budget indie got a lot of buzz coming out of the SXSW film festival in the spring, but when it finally showed up in theaters no one really talked about it. The fact that it was only in limited release probably prevented a lot of you from catching it, but the film did show up on your television through On Demand, which means it was at least available in some form to most potential viewers. It’s a shame then, that more of you didn’t see it because it’s not just good for a low-budget indie, it’s flat out good. There’s no need to grade Attack the Block on a budget curve.

The story’s pretty simple. Aliens attack and the only thing in their way is a group of inner-city London kids with a propensity for violence. What makes it different is the way none of the film’s human characters fit the usual stereotyped molds. And unlike a lot of other alien invasions this year, aliens aren’t used just because they don’t have the balls to show people fighting humans. There’s an actual sci-fi story going on here, set to the blazing beat of the perfect soundtrack. Attack the Block is unflinching in its violence, no character is safe, and it has something to say. Science fiction is always at its best when used to comment on modern problems, and Attack the Block does that brilliantly by delivering a thrilling action movie with unusual characters and freaky aliens unlike any you’ve ever seen.

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Attack The Block Review: 5 Reasons It’s The Best Sci-Fi Movie Of 2011

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Attack the BlockBy now you’ve at least heard of Attack the Block. Critics have been praising it since its debut at SXSW back in March and the film even had a limited theatrical release. Unfortunately that theatrical release was so limited that, odds are even if you were interested in seeing it, you couldn’t.

This week Attack the Block arrives on DVD and Video On Demand, and for most of the world this will be your one and only way to enjoy indie director Joe Cornish’s awesome alien invasion debut. It needs support from people like you and me, so I’m here to make one last plea for it: See Attack the Block. It lives up to the hype and, unless John Carter wows in a couple of months, it’s going to end up as the best science fiction movie of 2012. Here are five reasons why it’s worth your time…