The Los Angeles Film Festival (6.11 through 19) will start with Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, two weeks before Radius-TWC opens it theatrically + VOD. I’m generally mistrustful of South Korean directors (i.e., too show-offy…”look at what I can do!”), I usually hate comic-book adaptations, and I’m sick to death of dystopian wasteland movies, especially ones that geeks are into (Snowpiercer was a very hot ticket at the Berlin Film festival). So Snowpiercer has three HE strikes against it going in. Plus I think Runaway Train was a tad over-rated and I don’t really like driving all the way down to L.A. Live along Olympic Boulevard. So make it five. Okay, four and a half.
Costarring starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and Ed Harris, pic is a frozen action thriller about a revolt aboard a monster-sized Snowpiercer train — “the last bastion of humanity in an icy futuristic world after an experiment to combat global warming causes an ice age that kills nearly all life on Earth” blah blah.
“Countless filmmakers have entered into legendary battles with industrial powers about the value of retaining final cut, but few modern examples have generated the media brouhaha surrounding the U.S. release of Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer,” Eric Kohn wrote from the Berlinale last February.
“The Korean director’s adaptation of Jacques Lob‘s comic book, which ran between 1984 and 2000 (but only received an English translation earlier this year) opened in several territories during the last several months while distributor Harvey Weinstein became embroiled in a public spat with Bong over the movie’s alleged two-and-a-half hour running time (though Bong’s completed version is actually 125 minutes).
“It’s easy to root for an artist’s battle to realize his intentions, but Snowpiercer isn’t one of Terrence Malick‘s cosmic visions. A wild, fast-paced action drama loaded with countless mythological ingredients and a massive cast of international stars, Bong’s biggest production to date is also the most broadly appealing in his filmography — at least in theory.
“But after all the hype, does Snowpiercer deliver the goods promised by its uncut edition? That depends on how one chooses to take it in: Unquestionably cluttered and meandering when viewed as a single chunk of storytelling, Snowpiercer nevertheless has the feel of a complex, inspired work in tune with its innovative milieu.”