I dare you to watch this trailer for AROUND THE BLOCK

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Let’s not get violent around the shrubbery here: you probably won’t need to watch this trailer for new Australian drama Around the Block, because you’ve already seen most of this movie. It’s the old “inspirational teacher stuck with a class of impoverished, lost cause misfits” schtick that we’ve seen churned out so many times in the past before, that I’m sure there’s a production assembly line behind all of them. That’s not to say that this sub-genre doesn’t have the potential for some real moving subject matter, but unfortunately these types of movies tend to not have a script so much as a checklist of cliches to run through.

And that, surprisingly, seems to be the case with Around the Block as well. I say “surprisingly”, because first-time filmmaker Sarah Spillane actually won a local Australian award for her screenplay. And yet, this trailer makes the execution of said screenplay appear to be entirely by the numbers.

Sure there are few deviations from the norm, like there’s no catchy Coolio theme song, and star Christina Ricci’s character seems to be dealing with her own personal love life issues (her character is supposed to be engaged to a man, but glimpsed in a steamy hook-up with a hot lady), but like I said at the start of this story, I’m fairly sure you’ve seen this movie before.

Christina Ricci stars as an American teacher who takes a troubled inner-city Sydney youth under her wing, in this gritty, unflinching yet inspirational debut feature by Australian director Sarah Spillane. Sarah Spillane’s screenplay for Around the Block won an Australian Directors Guild Award before it even went into production, and her original script provides the foundation for this remarkably strong directorial debut. Energetic, fearless, and informed by Spillane’s personal experiences, the film takes an uncompromising look at the lives of a teacher and a student struggling to find themselves in the gritty streets of Redfern, an inner suburb of Sydney that’s home to the “block” of the film’s title.

Around the Block also stars Jack Thompson, Damian Walshe-Howling, Daniel Henshall and Hunter Page-Lochard. The film is scheduled for release sometime later in the year.

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Last Updated: July 15, 2014

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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