by Shane (The Horror) Hnetka
Welcome to the Halloween edition of Hnetflix. First up: some blood-curdling news.
As previously mentioned in Hnetflix, South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s latest film Snowpiercer is being chopped up and recut by Harvey “Scissorhands” Weinstein. Initially, only star Chris Evans defended the film against Weinstein’s knife. But now, Bong has expressed his anger over the 20 minutes that were cut. Speaking at South Korea’s Busan International Film Festival, Bong warned critics that the version screening at the festival would be their only chance to see a director’s cut.
Privately, Bong is said to be furious. As he should be. Few things are more evil and horrifying than censoring movies.
Speaking of tampering with movies, Woody Allen pulled his latest, Blue Jasmine, from Indian theatres because that country’s laws mandate on-screen anti-smoking warnings whenever someone puffs a cigarette. Yes, smoking is bad, but I don’t think people need to see warnings anytime a fictional character lights up. What’s next, on-screen warnings every time somebody gets decapitated? “Please refrain from beheading the person next to you in the theatre.”
Speaking of Blue Jasmine, it made Quentin Tarantino’s best movies of 2013 list. You know what else made the list? The Lone Ranger. How’s that for horror?
BIG BUDGETS, BIG MONSTERS
The budget for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy is now over half a billion dollars. Jackson has used the cash to stretch J.R.R. Tolkien’s 310-page children’s book almost past the point of profitability. Almost. They will make their money back — and really, $500 million for three movies is pretty good in today’s Hollywood, where a standard blockbuster costs $200 million-plus.
But you have to wonder if Jackson has become as greedy as the dragon Smaug, wanting to add all of Tolkien’s footnotes — including the boring stuff — to his movies.
Speaking of giant monsters (and monster-sized budgets), a trailer for next year’s Godzilla remake leaked onto the interwebs earlier this month. It looks mighty cool (and horrifying), definitely better than the disastrous 1998 version. The roar, the destruction and the poor creature Godzilla presumably beat to death all look impressive.
Still, director Gareth Edwards is new to making big-budget movies. Hopefully this film — which arrives May 14 — won’t end the same ridiculous way his low-budget film Monsters did. Though I can almost visualize it (and it will give me nightmares for decades): Godzilla finds a female Godzilla and they make beautiful Godzilla love overtop a gas station while onlookers gape.