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"Attack The Block" vs. "Captain America" - Which One is Going To Be Better? (Here's A BIg Clue...)

by Sergio
July 8, 2011 1:30 AM
16 Comments
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One of the main reasons why we're constantly talking about Attack The Block (which is opening in selected cities on July 29) is not only because it's an interesting film (well to me it is), but also because Sony/Screen Gems has been advance screening this film A LOT everywhere. I've lost count how many invites I've gotten to see the film, and some in cities I don't even live in.

Since they picked up the film for domestic distribution they're been hyping it, showing it in advance previews to get the word out and develop good word-of-mouth, because they believe they have a real sleeper summer hit on their hands.

On the other hand, there's Paramount's and Marvel's $140 million Captain America opening in thousands of theaters nationwide, and in some countries overseas, on Friday, July 22nd. However I found out yesterday that the studio is not allowing any advance media or public screenings until the Weds night before the film. In order words, no one is allowed to see the film until 36 hours before it opens theatrically.

No matter how you cut it or slice it, that means one thing: it's a stinker and Paramount is trying to limit, as best they can, any bad advance word before the film comes out. However in this age of Twitter (and no I don't tweet or twit or twat or whatever it's called), social networking and instant communications, there's not a whole lot you can do. Word will no doubt get out before the film comes out.

Of course Paramount might show the film in advance to a few, as EFilm Crtic's Erik Childress has famously called them, "quote whores". So-called, alleged "film critics" who are willing to sell their souls and integrity to studios for some pre-packaged, lame review quotes, to be put into ads for the films. But that would be a last "Hail Mary" pass that won't fool anyone except the extremely naive or stupid.

But in a summer so far that has had its share of box office disappointments and under-performers, studios are scrambling to contain the damage as best they can.

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16 Comments

  • Dankwa Brooks | July 11, 2011 2:01 AMReply

    I think they may be limiting the CA film's exposure for leak reasons.

    As far as ATB? I LOVED IT. It was SO MUCH fun. Frankly it was the BEST movie I've seen all summer and I've seen all the big ones Super 8, Hangover 2, Thor and X-Men. It was the best unitl I saw 'Transformers 3' which had way more kickass action (of course), but I don't like Michael Bay as a director so I was surprised.

    @Accidental Visitor
    "I’m going to guess from the perspective of the protagonists, Attack will end up at least being more original than the latest in an endless parade of Marvel flicks."

    As much as I loved ATB it isn't so much original as it injected different characters into a tried and true genre and thus made it cooler and again more fun than the genre has seen in years.

    I gave a longer retort to Tambay's "disappointed" review http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/archives/review_-_attack_the_block_a_genre_mash-up_that_should_have_been_better_than/

  • AccidentalVisitor | July 9, 2011 2:32 AMReply

    Whoops Cleary you wrote "don't get paid" and I wasn't paying attention. Too eager I suppose to sell my services. Ha ha!

  • AccidentalVisitor | July 9, 2011 2:31 AMReply

    {{{ They’re fanboy geeks who studios PR reps get to “troll” the internet looking for any bad advance word for their upcoming big releases which is then reported back to the studio. They don’t get paid for doing this, but get bragging rights to impress their other troll friends }}}

    They get paid? Hell, I may not fit the description but I'm willing to sell out to the studios for a couple of extra bucks here and there. :)

  • Sergio | July 9, 2011 1:53 AMReply

    @Accidental

    AJ is what we call in the business a "troll" (usual description - pasty, overweight, still living in his parents basement surrounded by his collection of Hellboy, X Men and Star Wars collectables and definitely still a virgin)

    They're fanboy geeks who studios PR reps get to "troll" the internet looking for any bad advance word for their upcoming big releases which is then reported back to the studio. They don't get paid for doing this, but get bragging rights to impress their other troll friends

  • AccidentalVisitor | July 9, 2011 1:14 AMReply

    {{{ Attack the Block better than Cap? rrriiiiiiiggghhhhtttttt. Oh if we only didnt live in an era of instant gratification, I’m willing to be surprised when I see the movie. }}}

    With 52 reviews up so far on Rotten Tomatoes "Attack the Block" stands at 90% fresh. Ninety. This does not include countless blogs and websites (those not counted on RT) which have also gone out of their way to praise the movie as well as two audience awards from two different festivals (one of which, the Los Angelese Film Festival, is pretty prestigious). Its doubtful it will fall below 80% on Rotten Tomatoes when all is said and done, especially with big guns like Variety and Hollywood Reporter already having given it glowing reviews. Not only would that be an impressive number but going into this summer I would have bet that Captain America would not reach 80% approval.

    In the end Captain America will make a billion more dollars than Attack, but one would have to have wet dreams for superhero films to think it is impossible that a smart, clever sci fi yarn with a small budget could not be abetter film than one more bloated, pointless, been-there-done-that super hero spectacle. I'm going to guess from the perspective of the protagonists, Attack will end up at least being more original than the latest in an endless parade of Marvel flicks.

  • AJ | July 8, 2011 6:51 AMReply

    You're just making some wild leaps, in my opinion. Captain America must be a bad film because nobody gets to see it early. When it's pointed out that a major, syndicated critic mentioned going to see it today, why, it's only because his every opinion is bought and sold. (And despite being one of the bigger critics in the country, he's not even bought and sold with exclusive interviews or lavish set visits, but with a mere press junket. Wow.) This is all based on the word of film blogger Erik Childress, who I had to look up on Rotten Tomatoes, finding he agreed with the majority opinion on a film 71% of the time, while Moore agreed 74% of the time. A 3% difference between the honest critic and the corrupt one? (More damning is that they both liked "Larry Crowne", in my opinion.)

  • Sergio | July 8, 2011 6:07 AMReply

    And in case you'll wondering YES I have been invited to press junkets and NO I have NEVER accepted

  • Sergio | July 8, 2011 6:04 AMReply

    No it goes straight back to what I said in my piece:

    "Of course Paramount might show the film in advance to a few, as EFilm Critic’s Erik Childress has famously called them, “quote whores”. So-called, alleged “film critics” who are willing to sell their souls and integrity to studios for some pre-packaged, lame review quote"

    Moore is a whore. You want to consider him a real film critic go right ahead, but in reality he's nothing but a straight up trick.

    As for Green Lantern did he interview anybody from the film or was he flown to some city to see it in advance on a press junket? NO. Just like all those so-called film critics who were flown to Moscow for the advance screening of Transformers 3. How many you think actually give that film a negative review? Like NONE of them or else no more free trips to exotic cities to see a movie on a studio's dime.

  • AJ | July 8, 2011 5:26 AMReply

    "he’s interviewing the lead actor Monday at a press junket. So they have to show it to him."

    So everyone at the press junket gets to see the film early then? Doesn't that go against your "nobody gets to see it early" thesis?

    "Which means, of course, that he’s going to “whore out” and give the film a positive review or else no more free lunch interviews with movie stars."

    Odd that he panned "Green Lantern" then. Someone should have told the studio he was so easy to sway.

  • Sergio | July 8, 2011 5:06 AMReply

    And furthermore according to Moore himself the only reason why he's seeing the film is because he's interviewing the lead actor Monday at a press junket. So they have to show it to him. Which means, of course, that he's going to "whore out" and give the film a positive review or else no more free lunch interviews with movie stars. If he wasn't doing the interview he would be seeing it like 99% of other media people - the 36 hours before. Goes right back to what I said in my piece.

  • Sergio | July 8, 2011 4:57 AMReply

    And Moore was named in 2009 as a "whore to watch" by Childress

    And also according to Childress:

    "No one in Florida wants to challenge his authority down there. The only reason he sees stuff early is because he talks his way into distributor screenings and stuff for theater owners that they do down there."

  • AJ | July 8, 2011 4:34 AMReply

    Oh yeah, and to address the "quote whore" bit, Roger Moore is on the "Top Critic" list at Rotten Tomatoes. He's not a publicity man or an entertainment reporter instead of a film critic.

  • AJ | July 8, 2011 4:01 AMReply

    If absolutely no advanced screenings are being done for Captain America, it's odd that Roger Moore of the Orlando Sentinel just posted that he's watching the film this very morning in advance of interviews he's doing with the cast next week.

  • Josh | July 8, 2011 3:17 AMReply

    Attack the Block better than Cap? rrriiiiiiiggghhhhtttttt. Oh if we only didnt live in an era of instant gratification, I'm willing to be surprised when I see the movie.

  • Donnie Leapheart | July 8, 2011 3:00 AMReply

    Yes you have been talking about this film a lot (a whole lot)...but my expectations are just the same as when I first saw the trailer for this: A slightly more serious version of "Mac and Me" in a south London without the extended McDonalds dance scenes. LOL J/K

    As for Captain America, I wouldn't count it out so soon...Remember these are the days of piracy and bootlegging, maybe they're being overly cautious with this one getting "leaked" since its one of Marvel's oldest characters with a large fan base. Its happened before. The trailer certainly looked better than that Green Lantern movie that just came out...

    Having said that, my expectations for both films are about on par with each other.

  • VichusSmith | July 8, 2011 2:45 AMReply

    I would like to believe that this is not true, but giving a press screening late could mean that. But isn't it that if they give NO advance screening that the film's going to be bad?

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