Posted on Tuesday, November 10th, 2015 by Angie Han
Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer turned out to be one of the best films of 2014, but you may recall that its path to U.S. cinemas was a rocky one. The Weinstein Co. picked it up and then tried to chop it up against the director’s wishes. Bong finally emerged victorious — the cut that ultimately got released was the one he wanted — but only after lots of public disagreement and controversy.
Fortunately, Bong’s next effort should have a much easier time making it to American audiences intact. Netflix has just signed on to finance Bong’s Okja to the tune of $50 million. Brad Pitt‘s Plan B is also on board to co-produce. As we reported last month, the star-studded cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton, and Bill Nighy. Get more details on the Netflix Okja news after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 by Angie Han
Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho pulled together an all-star lineup for his first English-language film, Snowpiercer, and got some of the most memorable performances of the year out of them. No surprise, then, that heavyweight talents are eagerly lining up to join his new film Okja. Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Kelly Macdonald, and Bill Nighy are looking to board the multilingual monster pic, joining Tilda Swinton.
Read more about the Jake Gyllenhaal Okja casting after the jump. Read More »
Sometimes the wrong news gets traction. The story that Harvey Weinstein wanted to cut a big chunk from Snowpiercer got a lot of attention, and for good reason. The story made people angry; it’s the sort of thing that really lodges in memory.
We covered the follow-up, reporting that the film would be released uncut in the US. But we didn’t cover it insistently enough. The news of the uncut release isn’t what stuck in the minds of many people. Perhaps Harvey Weinstein has a too-reliable reputation for slicing up films. I’ve talked to many people, in person, on FaceBook, and via Twitter, who assume they should avoid the theatrical release of Snowpiercer. There’s still an assumption that audiences will see a truncated version of the movie.
So this is an attempt to make the situation as clear as possible. There is only one cut of Snowpiercer. That cut is the original and preferred cut overseen by the director, Bong Joon-ho. The same film that played in South Korea and other countries is what you’ll see in US theaters. The movie played on eight US screens last weekend, and opens in many more this week. Read More »
A great sci-fi movie opens this weekend, and it isn’t Transformers. Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer is finally out in the US. The film is in limited release, but it is the original cut. That’s right — Harvey Weinstein relented from his notion of drastically trimming the movie. So we don’t have to live with a version of this social breakdown allegory that is shorn of twenty minutes, and stitched back together with voiceover.
Chis Evans stars in the film as one of a small group that makes up the last of the human population on Earth. These people are all confined to a train that protects the people from sub-arctic conditions outside. Within the little bubble of the train’s society, the remaining civilization has broken down into two factions. The underclass resides at the rear of the train, subsisting on gelatinous processed food cubes and living in squalor. The upper class enjoys outright luxury in the forward cars. Their well-to-do-ness is not relative to the ugly conditions at the back; it looks more like a first-class ticket on the Orient Express.
Tensions come to a head as Evans leads a violent rush from back to front, and a huge cast plays into the action. Song Kang-ho, Go Ah-sung, Jamie Bell, Ewen Bremner, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, and Ed Harris all have roles. The action is top-notch, the characters are exaggerated to just the right degree, and Bong’s directorial hand is calm and authoritative. Hopefully you’ll be able to get out to see Snowpiercer this weekend; tell us what you thought of the film below. Read More »
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After some protracted disagreements with the Weinstein Company, Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer will finally hit theaters this weekend in the form that Bong intended. I’ve been a huge fan of Bong Joon-Ho since I saw Memories of Murder on DVD years ago. I find that he’s able to deftly balance wildly divergent tones in his films, from the zany to the serious, from the fantastical to the relatable.
While I had a few issues with Snowpiercer’s script (particularly some of its third-act exposition), it’s a singular film that’s like nothing else out in theaters right now. If you are lucky enough to have this film playing in a theater near you, definitely check it out.
I had the chance to chat with Bong Joon-Ho when he was here in Seattle hosting a Q&A for the film. We spoke through a translator and discussed the use of violence in Snowpiercer, his script-writing process with Kelly Masterson, and his struggles to get final cut. This interview has been edited for length and clarity, and to eliminate spoilers.
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This week, audiences in the US finally get to see Bong Joon-ho‘s post-apocalyptic sci-fi film Snowpiercer. It is a terrific movie — an intense tale of social strife with a spectacular cast and a real aesthetic vision. (It also has some of the best action scenes in a film so far this year.)
Even with all the great stuff Snowpiercer has going for it, one asset really stands out. Tilda Swinton can be relied upon to give an attention-getting performance in just about anything. Here, she throws herself into the material, putting some dental appliances to good use and spitting out dialogue with a conviction that could wither just about any onlooker. But not Chris Evans; in this clip, Swinton’s speech only angers him, and makes him more determined to act. Watch below. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, May 29th, 2014 by Angie Han
After playing squeaky-clean Captain America in The Winter Soldier, Chris Evans gets to play a much grittier sort of hero in Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer. Some of that grit is literal — Evans’ Curtis looks like he hasn’t had a shower in a good long while — but mostly, it’s spiritual.
The dark thriller is set in an Earth that’s been ravished by a new ice age. The only humans left are the inhabitants of the Snowpiercer, a train that endlessly circles the globe. Inside, however, there’s trouble brewing. The lower classes in the back of the train, led by Curtis, are plotting an uprising against the rich folks in the front. Watch the new Snowpiercer U.S. trailer after the jump.
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Bong-Joon Ho‘s film Snowpiercer is finally on the verge of being released in the US, and in its original cut, to boot. To announce that imminent release, The Weinstein Company has released a new Snowpiercer red-band trailer. And it’s a good time for the promo, as the film’s star, Chris Evans, is riding high on the success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. If there was ever a time to put out an explicit look at this film in which the remnants of humanity break down into class warfare aboard a train that keeps them all alive, it’s now. Read More »
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Posted on Thursday, March 6th, 2014 by Angie Han
Last month, we finally learned which version of Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer we’d be seeing in theaters. Now we also know when we’re going to see it. The Weinstein Co. have set a summer 2014 release date for the chilly sci-fi actioner, which had its world premiere in South Korea last summer. Hit the jump for more details on the rollout.
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Posted on Friday, February 7th, 2014 by Angie Han
The exhausting back-and-forth between Bong Joon-ho and The Weinstein Company over the final U.S. / U.K. cut of Snowpiercer has finally come to an end. Bong’s acclaimed sci-fi thriller will come to the States in its full, uncut glory, just as the director had wanted. The catch? It’s now getting a limited release instead of a wide one. Hit the jump for more details on the truce.
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