LOS ANGELES - After back to back years of opening night duds "To Rome with Love" and "I'm So Excited," the Los Angeles Film Festival kicked off its 2014 campaign with a real winner, Joon-ho Bong's "Snowpiercer." Stars Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, Allison Pill, Kang-ho Song, and Ah-sung Ko were on hand as Bong's critically acclaimed post-apocalyptic thriller finally hit U.S. shores. Chris Evans, who is essentially the film's lead, sent a video message from London where he's shooting "Avengers: Age of Ultron" proclaiming how happy he was over the LA premiere.
Like co-star Swinton, Evans has been publicly passionate over his love for "Snowpiercer." He actually mentioned his genuine excitement over a long awaited resolution regarding the movie's American release during our interview for "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" in March. Bong's follow up to his 2009 drama "Mother" was actually released in his native South Korea last August. In fact, "Snowpiercer" has already opened in over 16 major international territories including China, France, Japan, Spain, Germany and Italy (this pundit first caught it while on vacation in Greece in early May). And, with $80 million global already in the bank, there is little pressure on Radius TWC to deliver a monster return stateside.
Why the 10 month delay? The film was originally set to be released by The Weinstein Company proper, but Bong and Harvey Weinstein got into a dispute over the cut and whether it should receive a wide release or not. A compromise was met in February which found Radius handling a platform campaign. Considering Evans just top lined the second highest grossing movie of the year (so far), you'd think Weinstein would want to take their chances on a thriller that has a ton of action and familiar faces (Octavia Spender and Jamie Bell also have major roles). That being said, it's hard to argue that Bong's thriller isn't unconventional and a tough sell as a date movie.
As for LA Film Fest's opening night, it was slightly less star-friendly than in the past. John Cho and Catherine Hardwicke were on hand and Swinton sat in the audience for the entire film, but that was about it. Other notable movies either premiering or screening at the festival this year include "Earth to Echo," "Jersey Boys," "Dear White People," "Love is Strange" and "The Two Faces of January."
The 2014 LA Film Fest runs until June 19 at LA Live.
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
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