“Attack the Block” Plots Out A Pre-Release U.S. Invasion On June 15th

“Attack the Block” Plots Out A Pre-Release U.S. Invasion On June 15th (photo)

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It was only last fall when I wrote about “the wonderful afterlife” of Edgar Wright‘s “Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World,” which wasted no time in mobilizing its rabid fan base after a disappointing theatrical release with a series of midnight screenings featuring special guests to quickly cement its legacy not as a box office misfire, but as the cult classic it likely was always intended to be. However, it seems that experience has very much informed the rollout of “Attack the Block,” the directorial debut of Wright’s frequent writing partner Joe Cornish (“The Adventures of Tintin”), since if you haven’t heard from this site or others is an equally special film that has been building word-of-mouth ever since it made its triumphant debut at SXSW in March.

Now, the film has a release date of July 29th, which nearly guarantees it to be the summer’s most original action film — in his review of the film, Matt Singer called it “a film that combines visceral excitement with cerebral smarts — that’s the film geek holy grail” as it centers on a group of young British street toughs forced to take up arms against an invasion of aliens. But many audiences have already had the chance to see it or will have before it’s released into multiplexes across the country.

AttacktheBlock2_06112011.jpgWhile tickets were just made available for its most public screening after its SXSW play, a gala screening at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 22nd, “Attack the Block” has been in heavy rotation in Hollywood for months, winning over plenty of celebrity admirers and picking up plenty of self-appointed “Blockheads” on Twitter who have taken to using one of the film’s catchphrases “Trust” as a hashtag. The response not only influenced Screen Gems to pick up the film, but led to one mass free screening of the film in 25 cities on May 25th that has since begat another this Tuesday, June 15th in 14 North American cities (some of which are not sold out yet, as you can see here).

Add to this the open advocacy of Aint It Cool News‘ Harry Knowles and Badass Digest‘s Devin Faraci on Twitter (with the hashtag #attackthealamo) to get an early screening at Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse, which they did — it will be part of the June 15th screenings, leading to similar campaigns in Boston and New York to show at the Brattle and Sunshine, respectively, and it appears that “Attack the Block” will have many more fans before the film’s trailer even shows up in U.S. theaters.

However, the question remains whether or not the film will have exhausted its target audience without ever collecting from them at the box office, a fear that no doubt lingers with the film’s distributor as much as the early one that the characters’ heavy British accents might need subtitles to appease American audiences. Both may prove to be unfounded, but there’s something slightly funny about the fact that many of these early screenings have been called “fan appreciation screenings” when the audience has yet to see the film to know whether they’re fans or not. Still, it’s the kind of reverse engineering that may be required to make “Attack the Block” a hit and if it does, it’ll be thanks to a pre-release marketing campaign strategy that’s all too rare these days — actually showing the film instead of endlessly teasing it.

Will you want to see “Attack the Block” in theaters when it’s released on July 29th? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook.

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar


IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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