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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Angie’s Most Anticipated Films of 2014

Michael Fassbender as Magneto in X-Men Days of Future Past

2013′s given us all it has to offer at this point, but 2014 is just around the corner with a whole new slate of promising films. The movies I’m most looking forward to are all over the map, running the gamut from provocative arthouse flicks to big-budget superhero movies. After the jump, check out the ten titles that have me giddy with anticipation for the next twelve months.

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Snowpiercer

For the past four months, we’ve been getting worrisome reports about what U.S. distributor The Weinstein Co. is doing to Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer. The Weinsteins wanted to chop up the movie, despite great reviews from Korea and France, because they were afraid that “audiences in Iowa and Oklahoma” wouldn’t get it. While the director initially assured press that the cuts were “pretty soft,” he’s since become more vocal about his displeasure.

Today, the most detailed report yet reveals a bit more about the behind-the-scenes struggle between the director and the distributor. Among other things, the Weinsteins blocked the film from playing on the fall festival circuit, and suggested to Bong that he add bookending voiceovers penned by Neil Gaiman. Hit the jump for the latest on this battle.

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Briefly: We have no idea when we’ll see Bong Joon-ho‘s film Snowpiercer in the US, or what form the film will be in when we do get the chance. But now English readers will have a chance to dig into the original version of the story.

The French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, written by Jacques Lob and Benjamin Legrand, and illustrated by Jean-Marc Rochette, provided the inspiration for the film, but the book has not ever been published in an English translation. That changes early next year, when a two-volume translation will arrive from Titan Comics. Volume 1: The Escape is set to street on Jan. 29, 2014, and Volume 2: The Explorers will be available on Feb. 25, 2014. Presumably there will be a one-volume collection down the line, likely with a few extra bits, but for now we know only of these two volumes.

Check out a page of art below. Read More »

Snowpiercer_st_02

Not only do American audiences not know when we’ll get to see Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer, we don’t even know what form it’ll be in when we do. Back in August, word got out that U.S. distributor The Weinstein Company was cutting 20 minutes out of the film. Bong initially seemed pretty chill about the whole thing, but then other reports indicated that he was actually quite furious in private.

As of now, the struggle between Bong and the Weinsteins over the final cut is “still going on,” according to the director. And the director is willing to fight for his vision, claiming that his version has actually fared better with test audiences in the States than the Weinsteins’ shorter cut did. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

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Poster for Snowpiercer

When it was first reported that The Weinstein Company planned to cut roughtly 20 minutes out of Bong Joon-ho‘s South Korean blockbuster Snowpiercer, the director seemed pretty sanguine about the whole affair. He was said to be working with Harvey Scissorhands to get the edits done, even though he point of the cuts was reportedly to trim character moments and turn the movie into more of a straight-ahead action movie, not unlike the changes that were made to Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster for it’s own US debut.

Turns out that the director might not be so happy with the idea of the edits. After a recent screening of the film at the Busan Film Festival, Bong said there wouldn’t be another chance for American, British, and Australian viewers to see the director’s cut. Publicly, he’s been relatively supportive, but privately he’s said to be “furious” with the changes.  Read More »

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South Korean director Bong Joon-ho has, by many accounts, created a heck of a film in Snowpiercer, which tells the story of class warfare and revolution on a train that speeds the last remnants of humanity through a snowy post-apocalyptic landscape. Chris Evans leads a cast that also features  John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Alison Pill, Ed Harris, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer, Kang-ho Song and Ko Asung. The film broke box-office records in South Korea when released earlier this year, and is now rolling out to other countries.

So when will we see Snowpiercer in the US? Good question. The Weinstein Company owns distribution rights, and has yet to set a date. Another question might be when we’ll see the original international cut, which has been shortened for the US release — that one really remains up in the air.

For the time being we’ll have to be content with trailers from around the world. The latest comes from France, and it’s a terrific look at the film. Check it out below. Read More »

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Cinephiles were up in arms when word got out that The Weinstein Co. was planning a new cut of Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer for the American audience, lest those Midwestern dimwits get confused by the story of a rebellion moving from one end of the train to another. The decision came across as an unnecessary affront to both the audience and the filmmaker, and left a bad taste in our mouths.

Now the director himself has weighed in with his thoughts on the new edit — or at least, his publicity-friendly thoughts on the new edit. He sounds pretty calm about it, though it’s quite possible he’s just being diplomatic to avoid controversy. Hit the jump to read his comments.

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