Some really short micro reviews (really short writing being something I need to practice, and also just to get these off the “to-do” list before something really special) of two films and a book.
Micro-Review 1: Attack the Block (film)
Attack the Block is, quite intentionally (I believe), the anti-E.T. There is a shot early in the film where the action mirrors the first time Elliot meets E.T. While in E.T. Elliot rolls a ball into a toolshed, and E.T. rolls it back, establishing an equality and trust between them, in Attack the Block young gang members chase an injured alien into a shed – and then kick it to death.
E.T. is concerned with protecting an intelligent, caring alien from an over-reaching, ominous government. Attack the Block is concerned with protecting a community from a vicious, animalistic alien threat while also dealing with a government that either doesn’t care, or is actively hostile to the community’s concerns.
Attack the Block is also exciting, funny and fun, with characters that go through interesting arcs (taking the audience along with them). 4 out of 5 sets of glowing teeth.
Micro-Review 2: Contagion (film)
Contagion has lots of big-name actors. It steps through a (impressively realistic) scenario of what would happen if a virus with the same lethality of the Spanish Flu was active today. It does it rather coldly and methodically, though, and leaves lots of hanging plot threads. What happened to Kate Winslet’s character? Or the character who was being held hostage? Or Jude Law’s scummy alternative medicine blogger? Who knows? Who cares? I guess not the filmmakers. 3 out of 5 people infected.
Micro-Review 3: Mockingjay (book)
Two weeks after reading this book, all I can remember is that Katniss goes to Vault 13 – sorry, District 13 – and then somehow there’s a war? And then there’s a rather implausibly booby-trapped Capital fight sequence? And at the end she kills both presidents, and there’s a smash cut to her with babies and a husband and a good life? Eh, I also remember it being a page-turner, but not as exciting and novel as The Hunger Games. Resolution is hard to do. 3 out of 5 arrows to the eye.