‘Snowpiercer’ – What Did You Think?

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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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snowpiercer red band trailer

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 »

‘Snowpiercer’ U.S. Release Set for Summer 2014

Snowpiercer US release date

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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/Filmcast Ep. 259 – The Lego Movie

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Dave and Devindra get excited about the forthcoming Preacher adaptation, praise the gut-wrenching Broken Circle Breakdown, and remember the amazing Philip Seymour Hoffman. Angie Han joins us for this episode. Be sure to check out Dave’s close-ups video essay and his essay about interpreting Synecdoche, New York.

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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Snowpiercer_st_02

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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Snowpiercer

After several months, the battle between Bong Joon-ho and The Weinstein Company over the U.S. release of Snowpiercer remains unresolved. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess when Stateside audiences will finally get to see the film, or what shape it’ll be in when it gets there. But folks in other countries have been luckier, and today we have a new trailer from Japan that shows a bit of new footage. Check it out after the jump.

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Russ’ Most Anticipated Films of 2014

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2013 was an amazing year for movies. There are still a couple big films from late in the year that I haven’t yet seen (my second cross-country move in the span of a year, left me scrambling to stay current for the year’s final quarter) and yet I’ve still got a list of favorite 2013 films that includes more than fifteen movies. With any luck I can spend the next evenings catching the couple last big ones to get that “best of ’13” list out the door.

In the meantime, as many are I’m looking forward to 2014. The next year is absolutely packed-out for blockbusters, but there’s a lot of (potentially) good stuff to enjoy in 2014. Below is my own attempt to organize the coming year in movies, based on what we know right now.

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