I’m trying to fit all of my 2011 reviews in before the end of the year, so from now on, I’ll be doubling up on them. On the 8th, you can expect my reviews of Limitless and X-Men: First Class. Check back later for more (including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).
My review of Attack the Block:
The film dazzled me from the start with its impressive editing. Some people might find it annoying that it cuts away from the monster a lot, but I thought it added to the action sequences. It also helps keep the pace fast. Technically, Attack the Block is very interesting. The fog scene in the 19th floor hallway disorients not only “Jerome” but us, as well. Its special effects are great for the budget it had. The decision to make the monsters pitch black (except for their mouths) was genius, as it made them more frightening and enigmatic.
Attack the Block employed some nice “call-backs.” A character claims he can jump a rail, and later he has to jump that rail or be eaten by the monster.
The characters are one of the strongest parts of this movie. Even though I didn’t commit their names to memory until the 45th minute, I cared for them throughout. It shows you their layers, their faults, and their development. Attack the Block is propelled by its characters more than anything else.
It bothered me a little that (and I’m stealing these words from the much more articulate Adam Kempenaar of Filmspotting) we got a triumphant ending, even after so many of these kids died, but I got a sense of community from all that cheering at the end. The community is initially divided, but this incident has brought them together, and I like that the film was able to express that without coming out and saying it.
My review of Hugo:
Imagine a film about the wonder of childhood. Imagine a film that’s a love-letter to cinema. Imagine a film that uses 3D better than any film ever has. Now combine those three films and fill it with great performances and production values. You guessed it… the movie we are talking about is Martin Scorsese’s 2011 film Hugo.
I don’t want to spoil the movie’s main reveal, so I won’t! Instead, I’ll talk about how great it is in vague terms! Going into Hugo, I was worried by the fact that its poster had a giant key in it. “Oh great,” I said. “More obvious symbolism.” Hugo is like a machine: many parts work well together and make it a success. The key, fortunately, played a surprisingly part in the film.
Instead of focusing on cold objects, it focused on warm humans. Hugo is incredibly mature for what’s been dubbed a “children’s film.” I suggest every human being, especially those with a penchant for cinema, see it.
It’s certainly too early to tell, but I would be neither shocked nor outraged should Scorsese take home an Oscar for Best Director next spring.
- Ratings: 3.5/4 for Attack the Block and 4/4 for Hugo