John Hurt, Chris Evans and Jamie Bell in Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer (Radius/The Weinstein Co.)
My top pick of movies to see this week goes to the post-apocalyptic, action sci-fi film, Snowpiercer. Director and writer Bong Joon-ho had previously released Snowpiercer in his home country of South Korea last August and has gained notoriety here in the states with the help of Chris Evans (Captain America), Ed Harris and Tilda Swinton (The Chronicles of Narnia) rounding out a tight cast.
The film takes place in a future where a manufactured Ice Age kills off all life on Earth except for the few surviving passengers on the Snowpiercer, a train that begins a feuding class system as it travels the desolate planet. Curtis (Evans) is selected to lead the less fortunate passengers in a revolt to take over the train’s engine room and abolish the tyrannical ruler in charge, Mason, played by the magnificent Swinton.
Snowpiercer appears to be more than just big explosions, special effects and pretty people in crappy situations (I’m looking at you, Transformers). It insinuates that Joon-ho has something to say about the flaws of class warfare and humans mistreating other humans. So get on board, Snowpiercer opens in select theaters June 27.
Up for a romantic drama revolving around music? Begin Again plays on ex-record label executive Dan (Mark Ruffalo) and his ex-rock star girlfriend, Greta (Keira Knightley), meeting each other after things couldn’t get much worse and igniting a relationship fueled by each other’s love for music.
Much like in his film Once (2006), writer/director John Carney uses music as a device to evolve characters and engage audience members in Begin Again. With a supporting cast of musicians such as Adam Levine, Mos Def and CeeLo Green, it will be interesting how music supervisor Matt Sullivan (Rock of Ages, Dreamgirls) incorporates his compositions into this love-stricken narrative.
Michael Bay is doing it again! The Autobots and Decepticons explode onto the big screen in Transformers: Age of Extinction. In the fourth installment of the franchise, an auto mechanic (played by Mark Wahlberg) comes upon a deactivated Optimus Prime, while a wicked, ancient transformer sets a plan in motion to exterminate humans off the face of the planet.
Are we in for another over-the-top CGI debacle with a lose narrative, overused 360 shots and cliché one liners, or can the entirely fresh cast (Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer) and unveiling of the Dinobots revamp this franchise into another summer blockbuster? If you’re itching for a robot showdown, you can catch the midnight release of Age of Extinction tonight.
What could be more captivating than a fictional story on the big screen, you ask. The real life story of James “Whitey” Bugler is deconstructed in the groundbreaking documentary, Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger. Director Joe Berlinger exposes the insane tale of the man who ran an organized crime ring in Boston for three decades, spent 16 years on the run and was rumored to be an informant for the F.B.I and Justice Department. Catch this surreal Sundance bio/crime documentary in select theaters this Friday.
Also in select theaters: The Breakup Guru; Code Black; Jackpot; La Bare; Nothing Bad Can Happen; They Came Together; Yves Saint Laurent