Monday, August 22, 2011

Mindless entertainment

Steve and I spent an enjoyable couple of hours in other people's air conditioning (a treat in itself) watching a movie I would never, ever have gone to if he hadn't read about it and told me its premise. Which is hilarious. "Attack the Block" posits that aliens mount a swarm attack on one of the few places in England that is actually dangerous: a council block. (For those unfamiliar with the term: a council block is kind of like the worst housing project you've ever avoided walking through, except that it is, literally, a block - a solid cube of crummy apartments.)

The film was low-budget, which meant that instead of admiring their wondrous computer graphics, the filmmakers actually had something resembling a plot - for instance, there turns out to be a reason why the aliens are concentrating their attack on this unpromising site; I won't tell you, because it would give away too much of the story. Yes, there actually is a story. And suitably scary fast-moving aliens composed mostly of black fur and glow-in-the-dark teeth. And an ironically realistic ending that is probably exactly what would happen in modern-day England, where you can get arrested for defending yourself against a subway assault with a pocketknife or shooting a thug who breaks your front door down.

Even for those of you who live north of the Mason-Dixon Line and aren't trying to save electricity by using somebody else's air-conditioning, it's worth the time. It's probably even better if you can understand more than a third of the dialogue (I don't speak council-block English).

Maybe next week we'll go see Cowboys and Aliens.


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