SNOWPIERCER Review

by     Posted 35 days ago

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Sci-fi can be a harsh mirror.  It doesn’t just expose the human condition.  It can expose our past and present with a serious warning with regards to our future.  Bong Joon ho‘s Snowpiercer is incisive science fiction that cuts into the historical narratives of revolution by keeping a sharp eye on not only class conflict, but how that conflict manifests itself in insidious ways far beyond the living conditions of the haves and have-nots.  Although Snowpiercer is at times brutally dark and pitiless, it also keeps a thrilling pace inside a rich, interesting world filled with compelling characters.  The movie can be a bit blurry around the edges and shaky with its thematic conclusions, but Snowpiecer is a constant force to be reckoned with.

Bong Joon-ho Talks SNOWPIERCER, Casting Chris Evans, Being a “Control Freak”, His Desire to Return to Smaller Budget Movies, and More

by     Posted 38 days ago

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From director Bong Joon-ho and adapted from the French graphic novel “Le Transperceneige,” Snowpiercer tells the story of what happens after Earth has been frozen for 17 years, making the planet uninhabitable, and the few who are still alive are separated by class and now live aboard a train that perpetually circles the world.  When a young leader (Chris Evans) from the slum-like tail section decides to start a riot, his fellow passengers charge toward the engine located at the front of the train, where they seek to gain absolute authority.

At the film’s press day, Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho spoke to Collider in both a 1-on-1 and roundtable interview where he talked about how universal the themes of this film are for audiences, what excited him about bringing this story to the big screen, how much of the graphic novel is in the film, designing the visuals for the train cars, how the use of a gimbal influenced his direction, the experience of shooting his first English language film, why he wanted actor Chris Evans for the lead role, and how close the finished movie is to his original storyboards.  He also talked about how he’s currently writing two scripts from original ideas, and that he’d like to shoot one movie, every two years.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

TOP 5: MALEFICENT, ANT-MAN Director Search, New SNOWPIERCER Trailer, A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST, LEFT BEHIND Trailer Starring Nicolas Cage

by     Posted 62 days ago

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I’m a week late to the game on this one but I’m going to share my thoughts on X-Men: Days of Future Past today nevertheless. While not on par with the excellent X-Men: First Class, I found DOFP to be a worthy follow-up that does an admirable job of bringing continuity to the movie tapestry while mercifully retconning X-Men: The Last Stand out of the discussion almost entirely. Also, for all of the cynicism I threw the film’s way over Quicksilver’s costume design, Evan Peters steals the show during his all too brief screen time. Without giving away too much to those who still haven’t caught the movie, his primary scene is the best that DOFP has to offer and tops Nightcrawler’s attack on the White House in X2 which is not praise that I heap lightly. While not without its flaws (the scenes set in the future are far less compelling than the story playing out in the past), DOFP is still a solid entry in the series that has me looking forward to X-Men: Apocalypse.

All DOFP reflections aside, this week’s Top 5 features our Maleficent interviews and review, Marvel’s ongoing search to find someone/anyone to direct Ant-Man following Edgar Wright‘s departure, the new trailer for Snowpiercer, Matt’s review of A Million Ways to Die in the West and an interview with Seth Macfarlane and Charlize Theron, and Nicolas Cage starring in the first trailer for the new Left Behind film because he can. Keep reading for brief recaps and links for all of the above.

TOP 5: NEIGHBORS, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, First Trailer for GOTHAM, New Live-Action POWER RANGERS Movie, SNOWPIERCER Trailer

by     Posted 83 days ago

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Now available via On Demand and iTunes, and in limited theaters June 6th, is writer/director Ti West‘s The Sacrament. I wrote about my anticipation for the film a few months ago and I finally got the chance to check it out last night. For those unaware, the pic utilizes the found footage conceit to immerse viewers in a story akin to that of the Jonestown Massacre of 1978. West fans will likely note how the found footage approach and the emphasis on psychological terror over more conventional scares set The Sacrament apart from the filmmaker’s previous work. In spite of those differences, it utilizes the same slow burn before all hell breaks loose in the final act approach employed by The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers to great effect. Anchored by fantastic pacing and a mesmerizing performance from Gene Jones as the sect’s leader “Father”, the result is West’s most disturbing and lingering film to date.

In addition to a wholehearted recommendation for The Sacrament, this week’s Top 5 also features our review of and interviews for Neighbors, the new trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the first trailer for Fox’s Gotham, word of a new live-action Power Rangers film, and an excellent red-band trailer for Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer. Discover a brief recap and link to each of the above after the jump.

Thrilling New Red-Band Trailer for SNOWPIERCER Starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, and Jamie Bell

by     Posted 85 days ago

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After months of international trailers and clips, an official domestic Snowpiercer red-band trailer has been released online.  Directed by Bong Joon-ho (The Host), the story is set in a new ice age caused by a failed experiment to stop global warming that killed virtually all life on the planet.  The sole survivors live on a train called Snowpiercer—powered by a perpetual machine—who struggle with the class system implemented on the train.  This debut U.S. trailer is absolutely fantastic, as it sells both the topical social commentary and the thrilling visuals in equal measure.  While it feels like it’s been forever since we first heard about the film, I’m very much looking forward to finally seeing it in theaters this summer—with Joon-ho’s cut intact, no less.

Hit the jump to watch the new Snowpiercer red-band trailer and click here if you missed the new images that debuted earlier today.  The film stars Chris Evans, John HurtJamie BellEd HarrisAlison PillEwen BremnerOctavia SpencerKang-ho Song, and Ko AsungSnowpiercer opens in theaters on June 27th.

Tilda Swinton Talks Jim Jarmusch’s ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE, Bong Joon-ho’s SNOWPIERCER, the Way She Likes to Work, and More

by     Posted 112 days ago

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With director Jim Jarmusch’s fantastic Only Lovers Left Alive opening this weekend in New York and Los Angeles, I recently landed an exclusive video interview with Tilda Swinton.  In the film, set against the backdrop of Detroit and Tangiers, Swinton and Tom Hiddleston play two vampires who have been in love for centuries.  As you can see in the trailer, Only Lovers Left Alive is loaded with great performances—not only Swinton and Hiddleston, but the rest of the cast including Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Anton Yelchin, and Jeffrey Wright.  If you live in either city, I absolutely recommend seeking it out.  For more on the film, here’s Phil’s glowing review.

During the interview, Swinton talked about how she got involved in the project, how much changed during the making of the film, setting the film in Detroit and Tangiers, the way she likes to work, preparing for a role, Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

SNOWPIERCER to Make Its U.S. Debut June 27th; KILL THE MESSENGER Drops October 10th

by     Posted 148 days ago

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Here are a couple of new release dates:

Snowpiercer, from writer-director Bong Joon-ho, and starring Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt, and Tilda Swinton, will make its U.S. debut on June 27th in limited release.

Kill the Messenger, directed by Michael Cuesta and starring Jeremy Renner, opens October 10th.

Hit the jump for more on both films.

Berlin Film Festival Video Blog: SNOWPIERCER, ’71, BLIND, and THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

by     Posted 168 days ago

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Over the past week, I got to attend the Berlin Film Festival for the first time.  Unlike Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival, which feel like they take over their host cities, Berlin’s film festival feels like an intimate event.  The reason I say this is due to the size of the city.  Berlin is massive.  It sort of feels like the Los Angeles of Germany because of the distance from end to end.  However, in one small area of the city, Potsdamer Platz to be exact, the world comes together to celebrate film.  In those surrounding blocks, you can see the best of world cinema and watch excited fans attempt to catch glimpses of their favorite actors and directors.

While at the Festival, I caught a few fantastic movies like Bong Joon-ho’s SnowpiercerYann Demange’s ’71, Eskil Vogt’s Blind and Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.  The other day, before leaving Berlin, I recorded a video blog about the festival and films with Alex from FirstShowing.  Hit the jump for our thoughts.

Bong Joon-ho’s Cut of SNOWPIERCER Will Remain Intact for the U.S. but Will Receive Limited Release

by     Posted 175 days ago

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The saga of releasing Bong Joon-ho‘s post-apocalyptic action film Snowpiercer has come to a close.  For months, there’s been wrangling behind the scenes between Bong and producer Harvey Weinstein about which cut to release in the U.S. Bong, obviously, wants his cut, which was a huge hit when it was released in his native South Korea last August.  Weinstein wanted twenty minutes removed to put a heavier emphasis on the action.  It started to look like the film would remain stuck on the shelf (Weinstein has been known to do that), but today they’ve come to a reasonable compromise.

Hit the jump for more.  The film stars Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris, Alison Pill, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer, Kang-ho Song, and Ko Asung.

Bong Joon-ho Says His Uncut Version of SNOWPIERCER Tested Higher than The Weinstein Company’s Version

by     Posted 269 days ago

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Over the past several months, there’s been controversy regarding the North American cut of Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer.  The post-apocalyptic action-drama has been a hit in his native South Korea, but The Weinstein Company wants to remove 20-minutes to make the movie more palatable to U.S. audiences.  Bong’s response has ranged from restrained to furious regarding the cuts, but either way, there’s definitely some ongoing conflict behind-the-scenes.  We originally reported that the cuts Harvey Weinstein wanted would play up the action and add opening and closing voiceovers.  Bong has now clarified the nature of the cuts, and why his version may have the edge.

Hit the jump for more.  Snowpiercer stars Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris, Alison Pill, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer, Kang-ho Song, and Ko Asung.

Director Bong Joon-ho Talks The Weinstein Company’s Forced Cuts to SNOWPIERCER

by     Posted 337 days ago

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A few weeks ago, we reported that U.S. distributor The Weinstein Company was forcing director Bong Joon-ho to trim twenty minutes out of his hit South Korean film, Snowpiercer, to make it more palatable to U.S. audiences.  It was an insult to both to Bong and to us especially since Snowpiercer may be a smart movie (I don’t know, I haven’t seen it), but at the very least, Americans should be able to understand the premise of a train traveling through a frozen, post-apocalyptic wasteland, and there’s a revolution brewing among the poorer passengers.  Nevertheless, Harvey Weinstein wants twenty minutes gone and opening and closing voiceovers.

Bong was recently reached for comment on the forced edits.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

The Weinstein Company Reportedly Wants Director Bong Joon-ho to Cut 20 Minutes from SNOWPIERCER for U.S. Distribution

by     Posted 360 days ago

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I’ve been really looking forward to Bong Joon-ho‘s post-apocalyptic thriller, Snowpiercer, but I guess I’ll have to wait to see his original cut.  Even though the movie is a hit in Bong’s native South Korea, The Weinstein Company is handling distribution in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.  According to if.com.au, “Weinstein is demanding Bong slash the 126-minute running time by 20 minutes for the version to be released in TWC’s territories,” to which Bong responded that the cuts “would eliminate much of the character detail, which would make the film seem more like an action movie. Weinstein is also adding opening and closing voice-overs.”

Hit the jump for more.  The film stars Chris Evans, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer, Ko Asung, and Kang-ho SongSnowpiercer currently doesn’t have a U.S. release date.

New SNOWPIERCER Trailer Highlights Action of the Train and Axe Variety

by     Posted 1 year, 8 days ago

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Give me a futuristic science fiction premise and a stylish director, and I’m a happy moviegoer.  By the looks of it, Bong Joon-ho (The Host) delivers with Snowpiercer—and adds a nice cast to boot: Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Alison Pill, Ed Harris, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer, Kang-ho Song, Ko Asung.

The story is set in a new ice age caused by a failed experiment to stop global warming that killed virtually all life on the planet.  The sole survivors live on a train called Snowpercer—powered by a perpetual machine—who struggle with the class system implemented on the train.  You’ll have to take my word on the story, because the brief 47-second clip—labeled “Final Trailer” in the week leading up to the August 1 release in South Korea—focuses more on speedy train rides through a snowy mountain landscape and Evans axing a few passengers than class politics.  Still looks great.  No word on the U.S. release date yet, so stay tuned.  Watch the trailer after the jump.

New Trailer, Images, and 6 Featurettes for Bong Joon-ho’s SNOWPIERCER Starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Alison Pill, and Jamie Bell

by     Posted 1 year, 27 days ago

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A couple days ago, we got some cool images from Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer, which showcased the film’s setting, a post-apocalyptic train divided into classes.  A new trailer has been released highlighting the revolution the lower classes are bringing against the passengers at the front, and there are also new images and six new featurettes that take us even deeper into the movie.  They provide interviews with the actors, Bong, and the South Korean crew members.  Unfortunately, only the interviews with the English-speaking actors are in English—there are no English subtitles for the Korean speakers.  However, these featurettes are still worth watching, and one of them gives us our first look at Alison Pill, who we hadn’t seen in either posters or passports.  We learn that she plays a teacher in one of the upper classes of the train.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and featurettes.  The film also stars Chris Evans, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Alison Pill, Ed Harris, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer, Kang-ho Song, and Ko AsungSnowpiercer opens in South Korean on August 1st.  No U.S. release date has been announced.

Behind-the-Scenes Footage from Bong Joon-ho’s SNOWPIERCER Starring Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton

by     Posted 1 year, 94 days ago

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Over the last several months, we’ve been getting glimpses of Bong Joon-ho‘s upcoming sci-fi film, Snowpiercer.  Today, the first footage has been released via an international behind-the-scenes featurette.  The story is set in a new ice age caused by a failed experiment to stop global warming that killed virtually all life on the planet.  The sole survivors live on a train called Snowpiercer—powered by a perpetual machine—who struggle with the class system implemented on the train.  The featurette is dubbed in Korean (or at least I assume it’s Korean since Joon-ho is South Korean), but you can still see that there’s going to be some action involved, especially on the part of an axe-wielding Chris Evans.

Hit the jump to check out the footage.  The film also stars John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Alison Pill, Ed Harris, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer, Kang-ho Song, and Ko Asung.

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