If you don't recall my previous coverage of the movie, it's the one set on a train in a new ice age and which features Chris Evans, Song Kang-Ho, John Hurt, Jaime Bell, Tilda Swinton, Alison Pill, Ed Harris and many more actors worth your attention.
So. Bad news. I don't know why Harvey Weinstein does it but sometimes I wonder if he's just playing up to his image. For his next bit of self-parody, "Harvey Scissorhands" has decided to have 20 minutes hacked out of the film before releasing it in the west.
Tony Rayns, who is practically Harvey Weinstein's exact opposite in terms of love and respect for Asian cinema, was talking to Inside Film and said:
TWC people have told Bong that their aim is to make sure the film 'will be understood by audiences in Iowa … and Oklahoma… Leaving aside the issue of what Weinstein thinks of its audience, it seems to say the least anomalous that the rest of the English-speaking world has to be dragged down to the presumed level of American mid-west hicks.
So there's something Rayns and Weinstein have in common – an arrogant disdain for American mid-westerners.
The tragic near-inevitability is now that The Weinstein Company will throw the theatrical release of Snowpiercer under the train – ahem – and then try to sell a "director's cut" on DVD and Blu-ray. I'm convinced this will be their trick.
And so, at this point, it looks like the best action will be to import the film from Korea. Unless, of course, Weinstein has somehow forced something into the contracts preventing the Korean release from being English-friendly. Perhaps the Australian release, which has nothing to do with Weinstein will be our back up – though there's no date set as yet.
In any case, I hope film fans around the world don't settle for a compromised version, and also take this opportunity to hit Weinstein's wallet by buying from other distributors.
I'll keep you up to date on the Korean disc. And when it's available for order, I'll point out ways to easily import it for much the price you'd pay for a typical US new release.