Snowpiercer [DVD] 
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|Contributor||Bong Joon Ho, Jamie Bell, Ewen Bremner, Tilda Swinton, Song Kang Ho, John Hurt, Octavia Spencer, Chris Evans, Ed Harris See more|
Chris Evans stars in this sci-fi action drama co-written and directed by Bong Joon Ho.Following a failed attempt to halt global warming that sparked a new ice age in 2014, the last humans on Earth circumnavigate the globe aboard the Snowpiercer train.17 years on, with the train rigidly divided by class, the poor inhabitants of the train's tail section, led by Curtis (Evans), decide to rebel and demand better treatment and living conditions.After freeing security expert Namgoong (Song Kang-ho) and his daughter Yona (Ko Asung), the band of rebels make their way to the front of the train in search of its creator, Wilford (Ed Harris).The cast also includes John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell and Octavia Spencer.
- Language : English
- Package Dimensions : 19.2 x 14 x 1.6 cm; 95 Grams
- Director : Bong Joon Ho
- Media Format : PAL
- Actors : Chris Evans, Song Kang Ho, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer
- Studio : Lionsgate Home Entertainment
- ASIN : B087RZ6441
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: 46,848 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- 35,808 in Movies (Movies & TV)
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Apparantly the production company fell out with the director, they wanted him to make a more conventional Hollywood hero movie. And then... that production company was the Weinstein Company and we know what happened to that. It's so unfair that so much talented work from this and other movies got obliterated because of one guy whose name happens to be on the company logo.
Anyway, the movie itself ranged from good, to excellent at times. Some of the camera flourishes were quite stunning. The plot makes very little sense of course, it's just a vehicle (no pun intended) that allows for periodic sequences like levels in a game as the embittered heroes progress through the carriages to the big boss at the front. But it was enjoyable nontheless.
Worth a watch.
We are big Sci-Fi fans, and also admirers of South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho. His 2006 Sci-Fi monster movie ‘The Host’ is hugely enjoyable, his noirish ‘Memories of Murder’(2003) dark and disturbing. OSCAR-winning ‘Parasite’(2019) is clever and shocking. This 2013 film, also a Sci-Fi thriller, is all of these things, and more.
The film is based on a French graphic novel, characterised as ‘post-apocalyptic climate fiction’(!) from 1982, ‘Le Transperceneige’. BASED ON, but not ACTUALLY the same story. Bong himself co-wrote the screenplay, as he usually does with his films. It was his first English-language film. However, the film co-stars Korean actor Song Kang-ho, Bong’s regular leading man, who is also in ‘Memories’, ‘Host’ and ‘Parasite’: Song speaks only Korean in the film, and there are others too. The film is something of a UN event, as it is a Korean-Czech co-production, filmed in Prague, with fabulous-looking location shooting in the Austrian Tyrol. The lead actors are Korean, American and British.
The plot, as re-modelled by Bong, is built around a radical scientific remedy for Global Warming going disastrously awry. The remnants of humanity end up travelling permanently onboard a train, ‘Snowpiercer’, that is a closed eco-system. But on board, not everyone is equal. The story is both interesting and alarming, and the train is a novel idea. However, the overarching concept harks back to several other films involving climate or environmental catastrophes, and dystopian societies: ‘Soylent Green’(1973); ‘Mad Max’(1979); ’The Day After Tomorrow’(2004); ‘The Road’(2009); even the previous year’s ‘Hunger Games’, and Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’, with it’s exploitation of children. And there is a hint too, of the ‘Ship of Fools’ from Plato’s ‘Republic’, which is itself an allegory about the problems of governance. The film clearly draws on ideas from all these, so in that sense, it feels very derivative.
That said, the film looks very good indeed ~ the design of the train is superb. And it is a thrilling, engrossing, story, derivative or not. It is certainly disturbing; it does not portray humanity as very noble or even particularly worthy of survival. Slightly annoyingly, although it explains a number of things, the screenplay never identifies why the inequality amongst the passengers occurred. However, the depiction and the consequences are graphic, horrifying and visceral.
The film is violent, in places shockingly so. ‘Parasite’ is the same, but actually, here it seems right, justified even; Bong’s trademark ‘occasional manic moments’ are less glaringly out of place. The action is non-stop and thunderous, but never without thought. And the performances from the excellent ensemble cast are strong.
Hugely well-received on release, surviving attempts by producer Harvey Weinstein to make sweeping, pointless cuts, this is inventive, thoughtful, scary cinema, a smidgeon under 5 Stars.