About six weeks in, and the report card for Summer 2011 isn't doing too badly: one instant near-classic in Paul Feig's "Bridesmaids," J.J. Abrams' mostly well-received "Super 8," a thoroughly decent animated sequel in "Kung-Fu Panda 2," two superhero entries that landed somewhere between better than expected ("Thor") and much better than expected ("X-Men: First Class") and a beguiling new Terrence Malick picture, plus a pair of excellent indies in the shape of "Beginners" and "Submarine." Sure there have been stinkers, like "The Hangover Part II" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," but overall the success rate is much higher than in the last few summers.
Fingers crossed, there's more good stuff on the way: our hopes are still high for "Horrible Bosses," "Captain America," "Friends With Benefits" and "Cowboys & Aliens" among others. But news has arrived that another film is setting its hat down in the summer, and it's one that we already know is brilliant: Screen Gems have announced that "Attack the Block," the low-budget alien invasion film that took SXSW and the U.K. by storm a few months ago, will begin its roll-out with a limited release on July 29th.
In case you've been living under a rock, the film marks the directorial debut of British comedian-turned-filmmaker Joe Cornish, who is Edgar Wright's writing partner on the upcoming "The Adventures of Tintin" and Marvel's "Ant-Man." The film tracks a group of South London kids from a council estate who, after mugging a neighbor, witness the crash-landing of an alien creature. They swiftly dispatch the invader, but it's only the start of a long long night, once that will see many casualties before it's over.
You can get the full lowdown from our SXSW review, but this writer can personally assure you that the film is exceptional, an immaculately executed homage to John Carpenter and '80s Spielberg, with a cast full of future stars, a killer score by Basement Jaxx, and more thrills-per-minute than films that cost fifty times as much. And it's got a social conscience as well! Watch the trailer again below for good measure.
Anyway, good news all round, and hopefully the marketing muscle of Screen Gems won't falter now that they have, you know, an actual good movie to release. The one open question is whether the film's urban slang, which some festival crowds have found problematic, has been softened with subtitles or dubbing, but we're sure we'll find out sooner rather than later. "Attack the Block" will go into limited release on July 29th and we strongly urge you to check it out then, so that the film can go as wide as possible as soon as possible. [Box Office Mojo]