The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Screen Gems - 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 88 minutes
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English, French DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English (US), French (Parisian)
Starring: John Boyega, Franz Drameh, Alex Esmail, Nick Frost, Simon Howard, Jumayn Hunter, Leeon Jones, Jodie Whittaker
Directed by: Joe Cornish
Music by: Steven Price
Written by: Joe Cornish
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 25, 2011
"Inner City vs. Outer Space."
From the producers of Shaun of the Dead, ATTACK THE BLOCK is a fast, funny, frightening action adventure movie that pits a teen street gang against an invasion of savage alien monsters. It turns a London housing project into a sci-fi battleground, the low-income apartment complex into a fortress under siege. And it turns a crazy mix of tough street kids into a team of kick ass heroes. It’s inner city versus outer space and it’s going to explode.
My Take:"Attack The Block" sure is a fun ride. Talking the normal big scale alien invasion flick and simplifying things to a limited location. Keeping things simple and fast paced, more concerned with quality, not quantity, "Attack The Block" is set in and around a housing project in London, and we follow a teen gang of hoodlums as they fight off a band of Aliens who fall down to Earth like meteors. We know this is a different type of film when the group we are asked to root on are introduced as they rob a girl on her way home from work.
The film is a billed as a Sci/Fi-Horror-Comedy. Thought I really enjoyed it, I wished it had more scares and more funny scenes. The Alien design sure was some of the best I have seen. The Aliens have a mouth full of glow in the dark teeth that looked menacing as hell, especially in the films mostly dark atmosphere. The films biggest help is also its worst asset-- its small scale and intimate location made it tidy and fun, but we don't get to see the scope of things much beyond the "block", nor do we learn as much as we want. The film is about little English teenage hoods vs. Aliens. Should we expect depth? Be thankful that it's super fun with awesome aliens and was more concerned with doing what it does right, than trying to blow your mind.
Rated R for creature violence, drug content and pervasive language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
"Attack The Block" is another true to source release by Sony Home Entertainment. Set 90% in the darkness, the film doesn't get to show off ultra definition, and things do seem a bit soft. It still is a worthy HD image, just not a top-tier release. Blacks waiver from inky to a shade of gray, and do crush a times. It's over-all a bit of a drab looking film, but set at night in rainy England, shouldn't it look a bit dull? The DTS-HD MA audio is better than the video portion of this release. It is not as aggressive as I expected, but it is elegant. Its LFE was well rounded and never floppy, even with its bassy Hip-Hop soundtrack. Dialogue was in the forefront, though with the heavy English accents, I found caching every word a bit tricky. The track shines with its sound-field placement. Every voice and sound effect comes from where it is on screen, and the effect channels are used with taste. This is most impressive in scenes where things get hectic and aliens are behind you, kids are running around screaming in front of you and the soundtrack is blaring. Thankfully it all works really well.
- Commentary with The Filmmakers and Cast
- (HD) Behind the Block Documentary
- (HD) Creature Creation: Special Effects
- (HD) Meet the Gang
- (HD) Unfilmed Action Sequences
- (HD) That's a rap - Fun with the cast on set
- (HD) Group Dynamics
- (HD) Previews: Columbiana, Retreat, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, Drive
"Attack The Block" is one of the better alien invasion flicks. It's loud, dumb and fun, and it has the confidence to do what it wants and nothing more. Great effects and pacing make this one stand out, as does its cast of characters, the teenage group of hoods from a housing project in England. It's about little English teenage hoods vs. Aliens. Should we expect depth? Be thankful that it's super fun with awesome aliens and was more concerned with doing what it does right, than trying to blow your mind. Fans will love the 3 commentary tracks as well as the hour long documentary "Behind the Block", which was one of the better "making of's" that I have seen. I highly recommend giving this a spin, it's a great popcorn flick!
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-X3 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Denon AVR 4311 Pre/Pro
Sunfire Theater Grand 7201 Amplifier
Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sunfire Cinema Ribbon Trio On-Wall (5.1)
2 Sunfire True Subwoofer EQ Solitaire 10"