Chris Pratt Guardians of the Galaxy

With Summer 2014 approaching its conclusion, its time to look back and inventory the blockbuster season. For the last few years, the Summer movie season has been filled with a lot of disappointment. This year, however, a lot of great films hit theaters. My top twelve best movies of Summer 2014 list is comprised of a mix of big Hollywood blockbusters and some smaller independent films which played Sundance and other film festivals earlier in the year. Some of these may have flown under your radar. Which films made my top ten movies of Summer 2014? Hit the jump and find out.
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/Filmcast Ep. 280 – Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer

David, Devindra, and Jeff discuss Bong Joon-Ho’s latest film, Snowpiercer, plus correct some of their past mistakes. Also, David’s stupidity almost prevents the /Filmcast from being recorded, and everyone learns an important life lesson as a result. Be sure to check out Matt Reeves’ remarks on Andy Serkis’ commentsIndiewire’s interview with Harvey Weinstien, and why we waste $162 billion on food each year.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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Japan Building Real Life Snowpiercer Train

Snowpiercer

Bong Joon-ho‘s big screen adaptation of Snowpiercer imagines a massive luxury Cruise train powered by a perpetual-motion engine that travels around the world.  The film is a science fiction story that uses this construct to tell a story of haves and have-nots stuck on a train that has saved them from an ice age that has surely killed most, if not all, of humanity on the planet.

While I was watching the movie, I wondered to myself why hasn’t anyone tried to make a luxury cruise-style train. Sure, I understand a global-connected track is not possible, almost as impossible as a perpetual-motion engine that runs the fictional train. But the idea of a luxury Cruise ship-like train seemed interesting. I can definitely imagine rich people spending loads of money to live in luxury as they watch the countryside pass by them at high speeds. Why have we not seen anything like it created? Is it that comically unpractical?

Well, Japan has announced the development of a new luxury train, called “The Cruise Train” which could be the predecessor of a real life Snowpiercer train. Details and photoa after the jump.

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snowpiercer-poster-header

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,  Read More »

‘Snowpiercer’ – What Did You Think?

Snowpiercer poster header

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 »

Bong Snowpiercer

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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Tilda Swinton Snowpiercer

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 »

Snowpiercer US trailer

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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