“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.


New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…


IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 


IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”


Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).



Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.