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Snowpiercer (Review)


aka 설국열차 aka Seolgugyeolcha
Story by Bong Joon-ho
Screenplay by Bong Joon-ho and Kelly Masterson
Based on Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochette
Directed by Bong Joon-ho

2013 saw three of the best directors of Korea produce English-language films. First was Kim Ji-woon with The Last Stand, an entertaining but forgettable Schwarzenegger comeback vehicle. Next was Park Chan-wook and Stoker, an amazing coming of age story covered in Hitchcock influences. The finale was Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, which would have been an amazing capstone. Unfortunately, history repeated itself in the Weinsteins ruining everything, delaying the film and demanding a bunch of cuts and added narration. After a bunch of arguing, Snowpiercer got a limited run uncut in America, but by that time it had already hit BluRay in several foreign markets.

Having now seen the film, I have no idea exactly what would have been cut, as most of it was essential. Almost the entire film is in English, so this isn’t a case of people that would be turned off by subtitles. The only thing I could think of was to alter the film fundamentally to try to remove some of the class warfare aspects, which would only serve to protect the upper class and ruin the film by eliminating most of the motivation to revolt. The delay probably cost Snowpiercer a huge percentage of its audience, which will in turn be used as more evidence that films like this just don’t work as releases and lead to less good films getting releases. I hate to be pessimistic, but this has happened before and will happen again.
Go Ah-sung Snowpiercer
Shelving this film was all bunk because Snowpiercer is damn amazing. It’s better than Stoker, and Stoker was one of my favorite films from 2013. Not only is it a fun science fiction adventure with a unique premise, but it deals with the struggle of class inequality and revolutions against tyrannical governments. As the world lies frozen due to adverse effects from attempts to combat global warming, the only life left is on the unstoppable train known as Snowpiercer, which travels the world on an endless loop journey once every year. It has now been 16 years since the world froze, and things on the train aren’t very well.
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - June 28, 2014 at 10:13 pm

Categories: Good, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Marvel upcoming film slate to take all your money

Marvel released updated info on their next wave of money printing devices they call movies, which will lead into Avengers 2, the film that will make so much money we’ll have to invent new types of money for it to make! Perhaps they’ll take my Schrutebucks!

First is Iron Man 3 coming out May 3, 2013. Directed by Shane Black, the story seems based on the Extremis arc from the Iron Man comics, though long-mentioned villain the Mandarin will be appearing as well. Footage from Comic-Con showed Ben Kingsley as Mandarin attacking Tony Stark’s home. Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, and Jon Favreau return, along with Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Ashley Hamilton, James Badge Dale, and Avengers star Cobie Smulders. There was buzz a few months ago about “Iron Patriot” armor that just turned out to be repainted War Machine armor.

Next is Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013. Alan Taylor is now attached to direct, and most of the cast is returning. There have been no official villain reveals, though the rumor cloud is that it will be new villains with Loki lurking around doing his Loki thing. Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, and Idris Elba are reprising their roles from the first film. Joshua Dallas can’t reprise Fandral due to tv commitments, but is being replaced by Zachary Levi, who was originally slated to appear in the first Thor.

Captain America: The Winder Soldier is the Captain America sequel whose title might be giving away the plot line. The original story featured the return of Cap’s sidekick Bucky as a brainwashed killer, so we’ll see if that ends up happening. One casting announcement we do have is Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/the Falcon, who was Cap’s sidekick for a long time in the 1970s and one of the first black superheroes. Chris Evans is returning (duh!) but besides being directed Joe and Anthony Russo and a release date of April 4, 2014, we don’t have much more information.

By far the craziest announcement was the confirmation of Guardians of the Galaxy, due on August 1, 2014. This is a different Guardians of the Galaxy team than the one I grew up with: Groot, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Racoon, Gamorra, and Star-Lord. Though I am familiar with Drax and Gamorra from old Adam Warlock titles, the rest are new to me. Basically, Marvel is creating a $200 million film starring a raccoon and a tree fighting aliens, which will then lead into Avengers 2. Sure, I’ll play along!
Promo art for Guardians of the Galaxy:
Guardians of the Galaxy

Finally, there will also be an Ant-Man film, but beyond Edgar Wright showing off test footage, there was no real announcement of anything important about Ant-Man. But one day, there will be an Ant-Man film. And it will be triumph-ANT!

Iron Man 3 title
Thor The Dark World title
Captain America Winter Soldier title
Guardians of the Galaxy title
ant-man title

Pics via AICN

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - July 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Categories: Movie News   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Avengers (Review)

The Avengers

Written by Zak Penn and Joss Whedon
Based on characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Directed by Joss Whedon

ATTENTION: THIS REVIEW HAS SPOILERS for everyone, so don’t read this if you haven’t seen it or care about being spoiled and all that jazz. Because there is really no way to get into the meat of the issue without discussing everything. And just to keep people from getting too upset, I’ll throw everything under the Roll Call so you have to click a button to read it….

Tony Stark / Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) – Genius billionaire playboy philanthropist with a suit of armor and a billion quips. I was concerned his personality would be so large it would loom over the others, but he fits in nicely and has good chemistry with Steve Rogers.
Steve Rogers / Captain America (Chris Evans) – The World War II star-spangled man with the plan, frozen in the ice for 70 years to awaken in modern day. His experience helps turn him into the natural leader of the group
Bruce Banner / The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) – Genius scientist and expert on gamma radiation who is turned into a giant green rage monster due to an experiment gone wrong. Has learned to live with his condition. Then Nick Fury’s team comes calling needing some help…
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) – Norse God of Thunder and resident of Asgard, and brother of Loki. Has learned much about being responsible, but must still prevent his brother from causing problems on Earth.
Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) – Former assassin turned SHIELD agent. Expert at fighting and interrogation, and at having regrets that she wants to atone for.
Clint Barton / Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) – Expert marksman and SHIELD agent, and has the mutant power to have archery bows spontaneously generate in boxes of weapons.
Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) – The dude in charge of SHIELD who keeps popping up during closing credits, and brings together all of the above to deal with Loki and his whole alien invasion scheme. But was bringing together all these people a good idea?
Loki (Tom Hiddleston) – Adoptive brother of Thor and currently preparing to help aliens invade Earth. A crazed egomaniac wh delights in causing discord among the team.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Categories: Bad, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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