Monthly Archives: July 2014


Summary: It’s been 18 years since a failed global-warming experiment froze the earth and killed off most life on the planet. The few remaining humans live on the Snowpiercer, a train on an infinite loop around the globe. For those at the front, it’s a lavish paradise of drugs and sushi in the lap of luxury; for those trapped in the tail section, life is short and cruel.  But change is in the air. Curtis (Chris Evans), desperate to escape the tail of the train, plans an uprising, aided by his mentor Gilliam (John Hurt). What begins as an isolated riot explodes into a mass revolution, an all-or-nothing push to the front of the train, and a war for humanity’s future.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 24th July, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, France, Czech Republic, South Korea

Director: Joon-ho Bong

Screenwriter: Joon-ho Bong, Kelly Masterson, Jacques Lob (graphic novel), Benjamin Legrand (graphic novel), Jean-Marc Rochette (graphic novel)

Cast: Luna Sophia Bar-Cohen (Magdalena), Jamie Bell (Edgar), Ana Braun (Ylfa), Ewan Bremner (Andrew), Tomas Dianiski (Dark Voice (voice)), Chris Evans (Curtis), Ed Harris (Wilford), Adnan Haskovic (Franco the Younger), John Hurt (Gilliam), Vlad Ivanov (Franco the Elder), Emma Levie (Claude), Ah-sung Ko (Yona), Paul Lazar (Paul), Thomas Lemarquis (Egg-head), Steve Park (Fuyu), Luke Pasqualino (Grey), Alison Pill (Teacher), Marcanthonee Reis (Tim),Sean Connor Renwick (Sergio), Robert Russell (Gerald), Kang-ho Song (Namgoong Minsoo), Octavia Spencer (Tanya), Paul Sungtaek (Chan), Tilda Swinton (Mason), Karel Vesely (Andy), Magda Weigertova (Doris), Tyler John Williams (Young Wilford)

Runtime: 126 mins

Classification: MA15+




Adam Ross: You can check out Adam’s Snowpiercer review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #89



Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Snowpiercer review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #89



David Griffiths:

Sometimes being able to read how a film is going to be received by the public is as impossible as trying to show reasons why Taylor Lautner will one day win an Oscar. On paper Snowpiercer should have been a guaranteed box office success. The film is based on a popular graphic novel, director Joon-ho Bong already had a cult following thanks to his film The Host and the cast list contained the likes of Chris Evans, Ed Harris and Tilda Swinton. You would think those points alone would be enough to put bums on seats, but it didn’t and poor Snowpiercer became a box office bomb returning only about $3 million of the $39 million that it cost to make.

To be perfectly honest there is no reason why audiences should have kept away from Snowpiercer, in fact after viewing it you could well be listing this amongst your favourite films of the year as it hits with the force of The Raid and gets a powerful point across at the same time.

Set in the not too distant future Snowpiercer is set on a special train built by billionaire Wilford (Ed Harris), a man who predicted that humanity’s latest idea on ending global warming would result in the new found ice age that promptly occurred. Now we aren’t talking about some small train here, no we are talking about a train that runs on tracks that run right around the world and actually take a year to circumnavigate the planet. The train is not only home to a myriad of humans but also contains things such as its own eco-system to keep everybody alive.

Wilford though is not the kind saviour that it seems he may be. Instead his train also comes complete with its own ‘class system.’ There and he and his politicians including the power insane Mason (Tilda Swinton) then there are the poor souls that call the tail of the train home. Those such as Curtis (Chris Evans), Tanya (Octavia Spencer) and Edgar (Jamie Bell) who are there to do the grunt work and are the victims of many outrageous tortures and heinous crimes including having their children stolen off them.

Wilford and his band of cronies have always been able to put a stamp on any revolution that begins because of how hard it is to make one’s way from one end of the train to the other. But the new uprising masterminded by Gilliam (John Hurt) has two secret weapons, one of the train’s former engineers, the now imprisoned Namgoong Minsoo (Kang-ho Song) and his daughter Yona (Ah-sung Ko) who possess some special powers of her own.

Now in the wrong hands Snowpiercer could have become a slow burn that just saw countless fight after fight as the rebels went from carriage-to-carriage on their journey from the trail to the front of the train. But here the director, Joon-ho Bong, makes sure that never happens. His visual style is creative despite the set being limited to the train and even his action sequences are a little bit different. Yes he may have captured some of the violence of The Raid but at least his battles don’t become repetitive as the film goes on.

Also pushing this film into the excellent side of the spectrum is the screenplay. A script that not only brings in some truly unique characters like the completely bat-shit crazy Mason but offers up enough suspense each time a door opens to have the audience really wondering what is going to happen next. As each door opens it almost feels like a gamer completing one level and heading to the next while playing a game they know absolutely nothing about.

Likewise the screenplay works because of its obvious metaphor and this is its stance against politics and politicians in general. The class system of the train truly shows that the graphic novel and the film is trying to make a strong point to those people who believe in the oppression that many governments inflict on their people. To the screenplay’s credit it hammers the point home with all the subtly of a hammer yet never once does it get in the way of the film’s plot moving along.

Snowpiercer is also loaded up with acting talent. Tilda Swinton clearly steals the show as she seems to almost lose her own identity playing Mason. Like Helena Bonham-Carter nobody quite plays loopy like Swinton and here she is in her absolute element. She is also well supported by Chris Evans who reminds audiences everywhere that there is more in his acting armour than just playing the clean cut Captain America while Jamie Bell shrugs off all memories of Billy Elliott as he plays the vengeful and quite violent Edgar. It’s just a shame though that some of the stereotypical characters that seep into this film late hold back the acting performances of some of the actors including Ed Harris.

Despite its poor showing at the box office Snowpiercer needs to be credited as one of the better sci-fi films of this year. While the weaker ending does drag it down a little the rest of the film does enough to show that this film is destined to become one of those cult classics that film geeks are constantly telling their friends they have to watch.



Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(4)


IMDB Rating:  Snowpiercer (2013) on IMDb


Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Snowpiercer′: For our full Snowpiercer review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #89.


Donkey Kong

Sony Pictures Entertainment announced today that the studio has brought together an extraordinary number of iconic video game companies, whose classic characters – including PAC-MAN, Donkey Kong, Centipede®, Galaga, Frogger, Q*bert, and Space Invaders – will be featured in the highly-anticipated action comedy Pixels, starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, and Brian Cox, and directed by Chris Columbus.  The film will be released in Australia on May 14, 2015.

In Pixels, when intergalactic aliens misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them, they attack the Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults.  President Will Cooper (James) has to call on his childhood best friend, ’80s video game champion Sam Brenner (Sandler), now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school arcaders (Dinklage and Gad) to defeat the aliens and save the planet.  Monaghan plays the team’s unique weapons specialist.  The action-comedy is directed by Chris Columbus from a story by Tim Herlihy and a screenplay by Tim Herlihy and Timothy Dowling, based on the original short film of the same name by Patrick Jean.  The film is produced by Adam Sandler, Chris Columbus, Mark Radcliffe, and Allen Covert.  Executive Producers are Barry Bernardi, Michael Barnathan, Jack Giarraputo, Heather Parry, Tim Herlihy, Steve Koren, Patrick Jean, Benjamin Darras, Johnny Alves, Matias Boucard, Seth Gordon, and Ben Waisbren.  The film, a Columbia Pictures presentation in association with LStar Capital, is a Happy Madison / 1492 Films production in association with One More Production.

Companies with classic arcade games that are teaming with Sony Pictures on the film include:


  • Atari® Interactive: (Asteroids®, Breakout®, Centipede® and Missile Command®)
  • Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. (Frogger)
  • BANDAI NAMCO Games Inc. (PAC-MAN, Galaga, and Dig Dug)
  • Nintendo (Donkey Kong)
  • Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. (Q*bert)
  • Taito Corporation (Space Invaders)
  • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (Joust, Defender, Robotron and Wizard of Wor)


Commenting on the announcement, the film’s director, Chris Columbus, said, “There would be no way to make the movie without these legendary characters – they are as important to the film as the roles that Adam, Kevin, Michelle, Peter, Josh, and Brian are playing.  It was a real thrill to see everything come together exactly as we envisioned it, and we’re grateful to have all of these fantastic companies on board.”

Producer Allen Covert added, “These classic characters are part of the DNA of the project, so it was critical that we work together to bring them on board.  Fortunately, they were all extremely receptive.  We approached them with a deep love for their characters and a respect for the elements that make them unique and iconic, and we’ve worked with the companies to incorporate those elements into the film.”

At Comic-Con San Diego, from July 24-27, arcaders 13 years of age and older with Comic-Con badges will have the chance to engage with many of these classic original arcade games and try them out again as the studio features a Pixels Electric Dreams Factory arcade at the Hard Rock Hotel, 209 5th Ave., San Diego.

“There’s no better way for the core Comic-Con audience to interact with the movie than to get a hands-on refresher on the games that will be a part of it,” said Dwight Caines, president, Theatrical Marketing for Sony Pictures.

Reaching For The Moon

Summary: Grappling with writer’s block, legendary American poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) travels from New York City to Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s to visit her college friend, Mary (Tracy Middendorf). Hoping to find inspiration on Mary’s sprawling estate, Elizabeth winds up with much more – a tempestuous relationship with Mary’s bohemian partner, architect Lota de Macedo Soares (Glória Pires), that rocks the staid writer to her foundation. Alcoholism, geographical distance and a military coup come between the lovers, but their intimate connection spans decades and forever impacts the life and work of these two extraordinary artists.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 17th July, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Brazil

Director: Bruno Barreto

Screenwriter: Matthew Chapman, Julie Sayres, Carolina Kotscho (original screenplay), Carmen L. Oliveira (novel)

Cast: Marcello Airoldi (Carlos Lacerda), Anna Bella (Kathleen), Tania Costa (Dindinha), Marcio Ehrlich (Jose Eduardo Macedo Soares), Lola Kirke (Margaret Bennett), Tracy Middendorf (Mary), Marianna Mac Niven (Malu), Miranda Otto (Elizabeth Bishop), Sophia Pavonetti (Young Elizabeth Bishop), Gloria Pires (Lota de Macedo Soares), Treat Williams (Robert Lowell)

Runtime: 118 mins

Classification: M




Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Reaching For The Moon review on



David Griffiths:

When a film begins to tell its audience that the film is about one of the most famous poets of all time but they aren’t a poet that you have ever heard of then you realise that there is something strange going on. Unfortunately for new film Reaching For The Moon that is just the start of this film going completely off the rails because this journey is going to be one that confuses both film and literature buffs alike.

The film looks at poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) who decides to head away from New York for a bit during the 1950s and head to Brazil to visit her friend, Mary (Tracy Middendorf). What she certainly didn’t expect to find was that Mary would be dating a woman, Lota de Macedo Soares (Gloria Pires), and that soon she would be finding herself falling for that very woman.

Reaching For The Moon is very quick to point out that Elizabeth Bishop is one of the most important poets to have ever graced this planet. That point is hammered into the audience a lot throughout the film and it’s obviously something that director Bruno Barreto felt that the modern day audience not only needed to know but certainly needed to remember. With that in mind it’s hard to then work out why Barreto has done such a bad job bringing just an important person in world history’s story to the big screen.

Technically though it’s not Barreto’s work that lets down Reaching For The Moon, no all the problems associated with this film come directly from the pens of the team of screenwriters that put this film together… and perhaps a fair bit from the editors. Ironically this is a film about one of the greatest writers of all time but it has one of the poorest screenplays you are ever likely to see this year.

Actually it is probably the work of Barreto and his cinematographer that go some of the way to saving this film and at least making it watchable. When they haven’t gone about the lazy decision of using some fake scenery or a green screen there are some actually pretty attractive shot selections throughout this film, and often due to the poor script the audience is left feeling that it is only the visuals that are moving this story along.

It is sad to see this tale of two strong women flounder so badly but really someone somewhere needed to alert the filmmakers to the fact that there really needed to be a script rewrite done somewhere along the lines. Here the script is bland and make the film end up becoming a real daytime movie style of film rather than the hard hitting character drama that this needed to be. Huge parts of Lota and Elizabeth’s lives seem to be just skimmed over. Moments of jealousy from Mary that should have been at the forefront of this film are treated like small events while the raging political environment around the pair in Brazil is written in such a way that it feels like it was written for fans of Days Of Our Lives. Sadly which some poor form from the screenplay by the time the film reaches the point where some of the characters lives are in the danger the film has petered out so badly that most audience members will have already lost interest in what should have been a gripping film.

Sadly the script also holds back the performances of the cast as well. While Miranda Otto does get a chance to remind us that she can be a great actress and shouldn’t just be remembered for Lord Of The Rings her cast mates really do suffer. Gloria Pires and Tracy Middendorf are never given the grit in their roles that they deserved and as a result their performances barely raise a blip on the screen.

Reaching For The Moon is a valuable reminder of just how about a script still is to a film. With the right screenwriters at the helm Reaching For The Moon could have been a powerful biopic so hard hitting that it warranted Oscar buzz, instead we are left with a film about two powerful women that really doesn’t do credit to their memory. Reaching For The Moon plods along like a television movie rather then ever reaching the heights it should.



Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2)


IMDB Rating:  Reaching for the Moon (2013) on IMDb


Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Reaching For The Moon′: For our full Reaching For The Moon review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #88. You can also read Dave Griffiths’ Reaching For The Moon review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.


The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show

This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Adam, Dave,  Nick and Greg take a look at new release films ‘Words And Pictures’, ‘Venus In Fur,’ ‘Sex Tape,’ ‘The French Minister,’ ‘Reaching For The Moon,’  and ‘Charlie’s Country’. This episode also contains interviews with Cameron Diaz, Jason Segal and Miranda Otto.

Also listen for your chance to win a copy of Nymphomaniac Vol 1 + 2 on DVD thanks to Icon Distribution.

To listen to the show you can download it for free from our Podcast Channel – Listen/Download here

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Summary: Survivors of the simian plague trigger an all-out war between humanity and Caesar’s growing forces.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 10rd July, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Matt Reeves

Screenwriter: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Pierre Boulle (novel)

Cast: Kirk Acevedo (Carver), Lombardo Boyar (Terry), Jason Clarke (Malcolm), Jon Eyez (Foster), Judy Greer (Cornelia), Toby Kebbell (Koba), Richard King (Stone), Karin Konoval (Maurice), Scott Lang (Luca), Enrique Murciano (Kemp), Douglas Murray (Maurice), Terry Notary (Rocket), Keir O’Donnell (Finney), Gary Oldman (Dreyfus), Kevin Rankin (McVeigh), Lee Ross (Grey), Keri Russell (Ellie), Andy Serkis (Caesar), Larramie Doc Shaw (Ash), Jocko Sims (Werner), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Alexander), Nick Thurston (Blue Eyes)

Runtime: 130 mins

Classification: M




Adam Ross: You can check out Adam’s Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #87



Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes review on



Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #87



David Griffiths:

When you scan over the list of blockbusters due in the cinemas in 2014 Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is probably one that most would skim over. The first film in this re-booted franchise, Rise of The Planet Of The Apes, was a good film but never seemed to quite gain the traction that its producers obviously hoped that it would. But it only takes watching Dawn of The Planet Of The Apes for a few minutes to see that there is something pretty special about this film.

Set a decade after the events of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Caesar (Andy Serkis) leads a group of genetically evolved apes as they have formed a colony of their own on the outskirts of the old San Francisco.

With most humans eradicated by the virus that spread right around the world the Apes now feel completly safe, but they feeling is eroded when a group of humans including Malcolm (Jason Clarke), Ellie (Keri Russell) and Alexander (Kodi Smit-McPhee) venture into the colony in a bid to restore electricity to San Francisco.

Their arrival causes the Apes to wonder about the true intentions of the human leader Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) and makes Koba (Toby Kebbell) decide that it is time to question Caesar’s authority due to his closeness to humans.

Surprisingly early on Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes seems to go against everything that Hollywood wants from a film these days. It’s been long known that American cinema audience have an aversion to subtitles yet here we are with a mega-blockbuster film that opens with discussions between a group of apes which of course have to be portrayed to the audience with only the use of subtitles. It almost seems eerie to be watching these scenes with no humans in sight, but boy as a film lover I loved it.

It almost seems like director Matt Reeves (who has brought as genre classics such as Cloverfield and Let Me In in the past) wants the audience to side with the Apes from Day One, a surprise move but one that is pulled off with absolute brilliance. The fact that it seems that the screenwriters have worked harder on giving characterisation to apes such as Caesar, Koba and Blue Eyes (Nick Thurston) rather than to any of the human characters only seems to push this point any further.

In fact that is the biggest weakness of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, the lack of characterisation for most of the human characters. One Ape snarls at one point “humans are all the same, how can you tell them apart?” and sadly that is also the case when it comes to the audience trying to separate the human characters portrayed in the film. Some work has been done giving the character of Malcolm some characterisation, he’s caring and lost his wife amid the mayhem a decade earlier but that is about all the audience is told. His son, Alexander and girlfriend Ellie and treated in the same way by the screenplay while Gary Oldman’s Dreyfus almost becomes your stereotypical clichéd bad guy.

As a film Dawn Of The Planet OF The Apes works best when the relationships between the Apes and Humans is first beginning and then tested. This brings an element of suspense and drama to the film and that point the film remains a ‘thinking persons’ film, but that quickly evaporates when the guns come out and the last quarter of this film becomes dangerously close to becoming just another shoot-at-each-other action film. It even has its own sky-high battle on a building site which almost seems to be mandatory in the modern day action film. To be honest it almost feels like this is a film that has been directed in two parts.

Still the early parts of this film is what makes the film so memorable and it also becomes a visual delight for any film fan that likes good CGI. For the most part Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is a visual delight, the Apes themselves look eerily realistic, as does their colony, although it does seem like some dodgy last minute CGI work was done especially in some scenes that involve the Apes swinging on the remains of the Golden Gate Bridge. Still that is a very little gripe to have when you consider how good other parts of this look – it seems to even go a step further than anything even Peter Jackson has even done.

This is a film where CGI is the big winner. Often CGI generated characters are hard for the audience to develop feelings for, but here it seems that the audience ends up loving Caesar and co but struggling to identify with some dangerously underwritten human characters. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes does have some weak moments but for the most part it keeps afloat the tradition of most of 2014’s blockbusters being fairly decent films.



Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(4)


IMDB Rating:  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) on IMDb


Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes′: For our full Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #87. You can also read Dave Griffiths’ Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.