For, July 4, 2014

The headline refers to "Snowpiercer," a movie set in an apocalyptic world where the warmest weather is apparently icy, a film that's getting a lot of press, despite going up against other major openings this week (all began on Wednesday due to the 4th of July holiday falling on Friday).


"Snowpiercer" (R) is an action film set in a futuristic, post-global-warming-disaster world where the only people alive on the planet travel in a train that circles the globe endlessly and has created its own class system — the poor in the caboose, the rich nearer the engine. Until the former revolt against that latter. Chris Evans stars and there's lots of action, with Ed Harris, Octavia Spencer, Jamie Bell, John Hurt and Tilda Swinton in support. This is the first English-language film by Korean filmmaker Joon-ho Bong, best-known for the first-rate monster movie "The Host" (2006).

"Tammy" (R) is another raunchy comedy starring Melissa McCarthy, though this marks her first solo outing after supporting and co-starring roles. She wrote the film with her husband Ben Falcone, who also makes his directing debut and has a bit part. McCarthy plays the title character, a sad loser who decides to take a road trip but needs her grandmother's car to do it. Grandma (Susan Sarandon) agrees, but only if she can come along. Kathy Bates, Allison Janney, Dan Aykroyd, Mark Duplass, Toni Collette and Sandra Oh lend support.

"Earth to Echo" (PG). From the trailer, I'd call this "E.T Lite." Four school-age friends whose neighborhood is being razed share their last few days together when they begin receiving strange signals pinging their cellphones. Naturally, it's a stranded alien that wants to go home.

"Deliver Us From Evil" (R). A purportedly true story of a New York cop and a renegade priest, an exorcist, who become involved in a murder case only to discover demons are at work. Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn and Joel McHale.

"America" (PG-13) is a semi-documentary, with re-creations of historical events, or rather "what-ifs," such as George Washington being killed during battle and America losing the Revolutionary War. But mainly the film is a platform for ultra-conservative Dinesh D'Souza to bash liberals, especially President Obama.