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Henry Gale
04-09-2014, 08:00 PM
http://i966.photobucket.com/albums/ae145/ockoala/Movies/spe.jpeg

IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1706620/)

Henry Gale
04-09-2014, 08:35 PM
It's pretty good, but I just can't shake a general feeling of disappointment and lack of connection to it.

Bong's made the sort of film here that really doesn't have a storytelling template to fall back on (outside of some scattered, strained character clichés that don't really feel congruent to the otherwise singular, narrow world presented) or even a logical realism to it that makes any linear sense, and when you spend an entire story with character linearly navigating a train that doesn't follow any definition of understanding outside of the surreal one it provides, all while it doesn't let many of its characters become fully fleshed out until very late revelations and emotional broadstrokes, it just feels a bit mismanaged and something of a missed opportunity.

But when it works, particularly stylistically and mining that quietly dream-like foundation and navigation of the journey for bigger, microcosmic ideas about the nature of humanity, classism, culture and governing bodies, it strongly and assuredly plants its feet as something worth digging into, and something you hope more western audiences seek out. The action is also really prominent after the first act (probably the most marketable and accessible thing about it), and fitfully brutal, but it also seems to just zero in on the handful of characters we're already following, giving very little sense of the overall toll it's taking on the tail section's plight or general numbers.

I just think the film is ultimately going for so much through such a narrow and undefined lens for so much of the time, with characters that mostly don't come together as quickly and compelling as the narrative might hope they would to thrive. So no, I absolutely don't think cutting twenty minutes would've done it any favours. If anything, it might've needed twenty minutes more.

*** / 6.5-ish

Qrazy
04-09-2014, 08:48 PM
Personally I just thought the script was terrible. It's at it's best as a visual pulp thrill ride. The ideas presented are absurd. I agree with many of this imdb commenter's quibbles.

"The only reason I am writing a review right now, is because of how stunned I am at most of the user reviews. While its good that you enjoyed the movie, I am surprised at how most people here are overlooking some of the pretty terrible choices. I will be going through what I thought worked, and what kept me from enjoying the movie. Needless to say; MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD.

The good: I like the plot, for the most part. Although I find the idea of a train being humanity last home extremely weird, it makes for a nice backdrop. The tone of the movie reminds me a lot of The Hunger Games. Chris Evans does pretty good. The wagons themselves have amazing character. The Art Director should be praised the most out of the entire film crew.

The bad: Well, let me sum it up in questions. Questions keeping me from loving this: 1. Why divide the train into classes? This makes no sense. The train ecosystem would function fine with some rules regarding population control.

2. Their great plan is to have a regular uprising to kill off people and keeping the population down? WHAT? See my first point.

3. They used to eat people and babies, but are now disgusted by eating protein bars made by cockroaches? How does that work? And furthermore:

4: WHERE did all those bloody cockroaches come from?

5: If you've invented perpetual motion; why the hell use it in a train? Why not use it to power a generator in a camp, or heat a underground city? The train is death on tracks, with ice regularly blocking the path.

6: Why is everyone on this train ready to kill? Seriously, 90% of EVERYONE is ready to throw down here.

7: People take loosing their limbs SHOCKINGLY well in this movie. Like it's just a flesh wound, really.

8: What the hell happened with that one bad guy who got stabbed through his guts and choked? He just gets up? Why did the korean guy stop his girl from stabbing him? And the korean girl later misses him by 7-8 shots? Furthermore: Tilda Swinton gets a knife through the leg, but walks fine right afterwards.

9: Those weird antics of the characters. The woman in the yellow dress licking her blood off her fingers. Tilda Swinton with her strange comedic performance (although I did like the character, I found it a bit distracting), that incredibly weird Korean couple acting all over the place, things like the masked guy just smiling at Evans when they are sitting down. Sometimes I felt like I was watching Charlie and the chocolate factory.

10: The starved people of the tail takes out an army of axe wielding fighters with night vision? After apparently yelling for help through the entire train, and a kid lighting a torch, and running up to them in no time? Stretching it thin, movie!

11: The soldiers had bullets, but they weren't using them at the ONE PLACE they needed bullets? Are you serious??

12: The shootout between Chris Evans and what I can only assume was Terminator. On opposite sides of the train, probably 1000ft from each other. Sniping with a submachine gun. Through a blizzard. Nice aim there, fellas.

13: Mr. Terminator shooting his comrades all the time. Seriously. What was to be gained from that? He did it several times. Who is this guy??

14: The only way the train can function is to stuff small kids down small holes to keep the engine running? Really? Was the train designed to stuff small kids down there, or did it just appear to be the perfect solution? How convenient.

15: The wagon closest to the engine is the RAVE-CLUB where all the freaks go to party? Incidentally, the elementary school is next to the slaughterhouse.

16: There is no policy on drugs on this finely tuned train? Everyone just goes buck wild with this incredibly potent drug next to the engine room? And furthermore...

17: The drug of choice is basically C4? And it just lies around everywhere - again - next to the engine room?

18: Why not pay attention to what the korean guy is doing to open the doors and then open them themselves instead of having him slow them down?

19: The people with axes putting fish blood on their weapons before fighting? That was random.

20: The other wagons are TOTALLY unaffected by the explosion in the first wagons. Wow. They don't really notice until they derail. What a masterfully crafted train.

21: I know it fits with his story, but did Mr. Evans really need to sacrifice his arm to pull that kid out? He could probably stop the machine with something else than a limb and take better care of that child.

22: The people who jumped off the train still haven't been covered up by snow after 15 years in a never-ending blizzard?

Those were some of the things that stopped me from loving this movie. It just got too dumb. There was definitely something here, and I feel this could have become an excellent movie with more thought put into it. It came off extremely unrealistic. And in sci-fi, it's all about fooling the audience into thinking it could have happened. That's the "science" part.

All in all though - probably an entertaining movie if you'e not a nitpicker like me. Thankfully a lot of you aren't :)

EDIT: Someone corrected me in that the couple were korean, and that one of the bad guys never takes a bullet, like I thought he did. Sorry about that, but it still seems far fetched."

Grouchy
05-02-2014, 07:16 PM
Strangely enough, I'm gonna side with Qrazy here. There are several problems with the plausibility of everything that are just way too hard to overcome, even while watching the film. My main gripe is the Ed Harris character which basically comes in at the end... to explain the film! He even says something to the effect of "the train is the world, we're the humanity". I couldn't believe that was actually a line of dialogue.

Still, don't get me wrong, Bong is a great director. But I suspect he found himself a fish out of water in Hollywood, which could explain why this is so ambitious and yet so flawed.

Tilda Swinton for the win.

ledfloyd
05-02-2014, 10:22 PM
Ah, the plausibles.

baby doll
05-13-2014, 10:09 AM
The IMDb comment Qrazy quoted is pretty spot on, but then continuity has never been Bong's strong suit. In other words, it's a Korean movie in English.

Grouchy
05-13-2014, 07:31 PM
The IMDb comment Qrazy quoted is pretty spot on, but then continuity has never been Bong's strong suit. In other words, it's a Korean movie in English.
My problem is with the part that's distinctly un-Korean, the Hollywood dumbing down and literal explaining of an obvious metaphor.

baby doll
05-15-2014, 08:23 AM
My problem is with the part that's distinctly un-Korean, the Hollywood dumbing down and literal explaining of an obvious metaphor.The way I look at it, as the metaphor was already blindingly obvious, there isn't any loss of subtlety in stating it explicitly in the dialogue.

Dukefrukem
05-16-2014, 01:07 PM
Loved this as a dystopian future- and yes the plausible and absurdness of the plot distracts a tiny bit from the enjoyment of the film, but I've seen enough absurdities in film to separate this and enjoy the ride.

baby doll
05-16-2014, 03:05 PM
Loved this as a dystopian future- and yes the plausible and absurdness of the plot distracts a tiny bit from the enjoyment of the film, but I've seen enough absurdities in film to separate this and enjoy the ride.Implausible and absurd is one thing, but this movie keeps rewriting its own rules as it goes along to suit the needs of a particular scene (i.e., the people in the rave club are too stoned to noticed the heroes when the film needs them to be, and then inexplicably turn into a bloodthirsty mob at the climax).

Dukefrukem
05-16-2014, 03:18 PM
To that I say; "Who cares?"- That's a tiny 30 second blip in the movie. Would it have been different if only Franco was the one causing the chaos?

baby doll
05-16-2014, 04:32 PM
To that I say; "Who cares?"- That's a tiny 30 second blip in the movie. Would it have been different if only Franco was the one causing the chaos?That's just one example of many (see the IMDb user quoted by Qrazy above). To be sure, the movie's never boring but it doesn't add up to a whole lot; it's a film of momentary sensations at the expense of sustained storytelling.

Dukefrukem
05-16-2014, 04:43 PM
That's just one example of many (see the IMDb user quoted by Qrazy above). To be sure, the movie's never boring but it doesn't add up to a whole lot; it's a film of momentary sensations at the expense of sustained storytelling.

Just read through it, and yeh, it's a bit.... much. But you need to accept the idea that living on a train is even possible before diving into that kind of detail. It's not, we all know it's not before we even start watching.

Grouchy
05-17-2014, 12:06 AM
That's just one example of many (see the IMDb user quoted by Qrazy above). To be sure, the movie's never boring but it doesn't add up to a whole lot; it's a film of momentary sensations at the expense of sustained storytelling.
Exactly. I've enjoyed films like that... but not this one. It's a disappointment particularly because of how great the director is.

I'll take a bad Bong movie over so many others, though.

baby doll
05-17-2014, 01:05 PM
Just read through it, and yeh, it's a bit.... much. But you need to accept the idea that living on a train is even possible before diving into that kind of detail. It's not, we all know it's not before we even start watching.I'll grant that the basic premise is pretty dumb, but I don't think the execution needed to be quite this sloppy. I mean, either bullets are extinct or they aren't. Make up your freakin' mind.

number8
06-28-2014, 12:23 AM
Still, don't get me wrong, Bong is a great director. But I suspect he found himself a fish out of water in Hollywood, which could explain why this is so ambitious and yet so flawed.


The IMDb comment Qrazy quoted is pretty spot on, but then continuity has never been Bong's strong suit. In other words, it's a Korean movie in English.


My problem is with the part that's distinctly un-Korean, the Hollywood dumbing down and literal explaining of an obvious metaphor.

You guys seem to be under the impression that this is a Hollywood movie that hired Bong as a director?

It's a Korean production. Bong himself bought the rights to the comic, and wrote the script. It's entirely funded by a Korean studio, worked by a Korean crew, with post-production done in Korea. They just hired English-speaking actors, is all.

number8
06-28-2014, 12:39 AM
Anyway, the movie and the comic are completely different stories, but the comic is more explicit about the construction of the train, that the movie only hinted at with the Alison Pill scene.

For starters, the questions about the class system and the ridiculous idea of using a train as an ark. It's because the train was not built to harbor the last of humanity, but as a self-sustainable luxury train for an extended around the world vacation. But when the climate disaster struck, the government struck a deal with the train company to use a quarter of it, the tail section meant for livestock, to harbor refugees chosen by a lottery. The front of the train is filled with wealthy people who bought a membership to the train already, as well as intellectuals and government officials, etc.

It's also supposed to be extremely long, so I assume the movie didn't show our heroes passing through many of the trains, hence the seemingly bizarre choice of car order. It's been a while since I read it, but IIRC the comic explicitly said that walking from the tail to the nose would take weeks. And they showed that the car right before the engine is a government office, not a rave car (although there's an orgy car next to the government car, 'cause you know, politicians).

Grouchy
06-28-2014, 02:27 PM
I will read this comic eventually. Looks very good.

My feelings about the film still stand. It' interesting but flawed to the bone.

baby doll
06-28-2014, 03:16 PM
You guys seem to be under the impression that this is a Hollywood movie that hired Bong as a director?

It's a Korean production. Bong himself bought the rights to the comic, and wrote the script. It's entirely funded by a Korean studio, worked by a Korean crew, with post-production done in Korea. They just hired English-speaking actors, is all.Like I said, it's a Korean movie in English--hence the wacky shifts in tone with the perky kindergarten teacher suddenly turning into a badass killer at the drop of a hat.

number8
07-02-2014, 12:43 PM
I review this, The Last Stand, Stoker, No Tears for the Dead, and The Berlin File... ALL AT ONCE: http://www.artboiled.com/2014/before-and-beyond-snowpiercer/

Dukefrukem
07-02-2014, 12:59 PM
I review this, The Last Stand, Stoker, No Tears for the Dead, and The Berlin File... ALL AT ONCE: http://www.artboiled.com/2014/before-and-beyond-snowpiercer/

Haha! I had no idea The Uninvited was supposed to be a remake of A Tale of Two Sisters. Also, the The Good, the Bad, and the Weird needs to talked about on MC more. So good. I've seen all of the movies you referenced with the exception of Stoker. And pretty cool factoid that Raimi asked Park to direct Evil Dead.

number8
07-02-2014, 01:13 PM
It's funny. When he turned it down, what he said was something like, "The original is so good. Why would I remake it?"

transmogrifier
07-02-2014, 01:37 PM
I review this, The Last Stand, Stoker, No Tears for the Dead, and The Berlin File... ALL AT ONCE: http://www.artboiled.com/2014/before-and-beyond-snowpiercer/

Good, not good, not good, haven't seen, meh.

Mainstream Korean films have been in a bit of a slump recently. I need to start searching out a few more indie productions.

Grouchy
07-02-2014, 02:54 PM
The obligatory column format makes those reviews kind of hard to read on a computer screen.

Watashi
07-03-2014, 04:15 PM
Yeah, I have to agree with the others. As a self-contained allegory, it's pretty neat, but overall it works better as a great concept rather than a film. There are some amazing scenes, but it's all loosely held together by characters giving monologues of exposition.

eternity
07-03-2014, 09:32 PM
That went from being fun silly to being dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb.

Watashi
07-03-2014, 11:18 PM
My audience busted out in laughter at "babies taste the best"

eternity
07-05-2014, 09:30 PM
My audience busted out in laughter at "babies taste the best"

Same.

number8
07-05-2014, 09:51 PM
Is that not supposed to be a good thing?

Henry Gale
07-05-2014, 10:44 PM
I mean, it's such a desperate, broken and unheard of moment that it doesn't surprise me that's how most people would feel like they have to react to it. It's too absurd to genuinely gasp, and it's too insanely dark to automatically find it anything but funny for the same reason. I'm oddly split down the middle on it, but only because I remember being more surprised that was the choice they made with the character than what the dialogue did or anything Evans conveyed (or failed to) with his performance.

It just kinda reminds me of years ago when me and a couple of friends watched The Host (for the first time) with a girl that had never seen anything Korean-made or had any real idea of what we were going to watch. Only after did she feel so alone in her continued guffawing and spiteful disbelief that once she tried to coax a similar reaction from us (even if we did laugh here and there) and we said we actually thought it was good did she suddenly go, "Wait, was it supposed to be funny?!" as if that was never a nuanced possibility.

Rowland
07-07-2014, 07:36 AM
Not surprisingly, this plays better on the big screen than it did on my monitor, where I already liked it to begin with. I also noticed more plot contrivances, but whatever.

Ezee E
07-08-2014, 05:36 AM
Loved it all. The whole journey is something that seems pretty traditional in story-telling, yet seems more original than anything in Sci-Fi in years. Never knowing what's behind a door, the potential for violence at any second, and the slow reveal of the world instead of force-feeding it in the first five minutes made this intriguing from beginning to end.

Sycophant
07-08-2014, 05:53 AM
This is something like the reason I see movies.

baby doll
07-08-2014, 02:48 PM
Loved it all. The whole journey is something that seems pretty traditional in story-telling, yet seems more original than anything in Sci-Fi in years. Never knowing what's behind a door, the potential for violence at any second, and the slow reveal of the world instead of force-feeding it in the first five minutes made this intriguing from beginning to end.I would say the fact that literally anything could be behind the next door (and immediately forgotten once the characters move on to the next car), that premises introduced early on are arbitrarily reversed later in the film, and that another round of violence might erupt at any second (the violence in this movie has the mechanical regularity of sex in a porno) is what makes this such a shambling mess of a movie, a mishmash of off-the-shelf elements (a bit of Terry Gilliam here, a touch of the Wachowskis there) that never cohere and which gets progressively less interesting as it goes on.

eternity
07-08-2014, 09:23 PM
This is one of those movies that you can rationalize as being great or terrible simply on what you want to will yourself to think. Writing a review for this was a messy affair. If I wanted to say anything good, I started to rave. If I wanted to rag on it, I could have spent a thousand words just on why it's horrible. I decided to spare myself the anguish and say that I admire the film's moxie.

Bosco B Thug
07-12-2014, 07:59 AM
The implausibilities are built into the thing (the film itself is an implausible blockbuster/polemic hybrid). It's pretty much all Gilliam although it shuffles about awkwardly pretending to be your everyday summer action blockbuster (the faceless and off-putting opening 30 minutes attest to that, plus Jamie Bell's egregious Artful Dodger sidekick character). Bong succumbs more than a little to the Hollywood movie fantasy (seen, for instance, in how he introduces each character as if THIS IS A MAJOR HOLLYWOOD/KOREAN ACTOR WOW MAINSTREAM). Nevertheless, I thought this was prime sci-fi storytelling and it is geared for cult classic status. Bong zeroes in on the avalanche of ironies of class and civil warfare, bringing it into focus at crucial points that are surely being labeled "tonally inconsistent" somewhere.

dreamdead
07-12-2014, 11:01 AM
Enjoyable enough, though not the masterpiece I've hoped for. After the first five or so minutes, which is more arch than is needed (see Bosco's comment about Bell's character), Bong's film settles into a marvelous first hour. The sudden bouts of humor, the way that Swinton is utilized, even Evans's monotonous intensity work.

Once Swinton is eliminated, the film's pleasure slows down. Part of this is intentional, since Evans's group starts suffering more and more losses. But the energy that propelled it forward starts working against it. And I don't know if wandering away from a train that's laden with food makes for a better ending than scrounging near the carts since they'll continue to provide for whatever survivors are left.

Evans's breakdown in the front also feels like more of a contrivance to build out the finale. It doesn't seem like he should prioritize a discussion with Harris over simply eliminating him and then thinking about the ramifications. The twist with Hurt and Harris makes sense and doesn't feel odd, but Evans's numbed response to it is a bit much. That's the biggest weakness of the film, which slows down the pacing of the film to all but a halt.

Still enjoyable, but I think Edge of Tomorrow might legitimately be a better film of this genre.

Irish
07-12-2014, 12:55 PM
Wow. Talk about blowing a lead. I was enjoying all of it -- the violence, the comedy, the surreal sets. I was absolutely willing to buy into the silly premise and just see where it went.

Then Ed Harris shows up. And the entire movie very quickly turned to complete shit. I went from thinking, "Wow this is like Escape from New York meets Willy Wonka in hell" to impatiently waiting for it to just be over.

Also, dumb idea?

I really wanted Willem -- the Ed Harris character -- not to exist. I mean, I thought they'd get to the front of the train and discover that the thing had been running on autopilot for the last 17 years, that nobody was in control, and their entire culture, society, etc, was due to humanity's need for castes and the end result of bureaucratic habit. This could have tied in with that leadership dialogue between Curtis and the old man. He's not ready to be a leader, and discovers, whelp, nobody's actually in charge anyway.

Even if that idea is trite, man, I woulda liked it over Harris' bullshit talking villain

Supremely disappointing. I love Bong & I've been waiting forever to see this.

Bosco B Thug
07-13-2014, 12:47 AM
Evans's breakdown in the front also feels like more of a contrivance to build out the finale. It doesn't seem like he should prioritize a discussion with Harris over simply eliminating him and then thinking about the ramifications. The twist with Hurt and Harris makes sense and doesn't feel odd, but Evans's numbed response to it is a bit much. That's the biggest weakness of the film, which slows down the pacing of the film to all but a halt. Yeah, I did think that some tongue-cutting was supposed to happen. But the film somewhat confidently depicts Evans from the beginning as not the best or most natural leader.

I personally didn't detect a slip with the climax, apart from the general cliche of the Oz figure and a somewhat transparent performance. I was far and away from buying the logic of the film's chosen twist, but as a further bit of social absurdity, I was affected and not snickering at the theme-spouting about the necessity of conflict (horrifying btw).


"Wow this is like Escape from New York meets Willy Wonka in hell" That is spot on (even though you quickly began to hate it!). This is bound for the same earnest cult status as 80s Carpenter. Better, thankfully, than those other two Carpenter revival attempts I not too long ago watched (The Raid and Dredd).

Irish
07-13-2014, 01:37 AM
That is spot on (even though you quickly began to hate it!). This is bound for the same earnest cult status as 80s Carpenter. Better, thankfully, than those other two Carpenter revival attempts I not too long ago watched (The Raid and Dredd).

Yeah, wow, I dunno. Cult status is tough to predict. I don't think this one will make it (God help me because every time I think and write about this movie, my brain insists on making train puns. I'm holding it off, for now).

Carpenter maintained a certain energy throughout his early films. Snowpiercer really doesn't. All the insane creative spontaneity I expect out of Asian cinema is front loaded here. After the first hour, the bottom drops out and it becomes something like a bad Sylvester Stallone film-- dependent on violence to keep going, except the action isn't interesting in an of itself. So we get inane scenes like the steam room bit, with a talking villain hanging around to tell us what we already know.

When I think of cult movies, the obvious ones like Rocky Horror and Repo Man, they're absurd and crazy and limitless all the way through. Snowpiercer loses the courage of its convictions at about the half way point, and even watching it the first time you can almost spot the exact moment where that happens.

Rowland
07-13-2014, 08:57 PM
A different perspective about how to think about what this film does that sets is apart (lifted from a Letterboxd review (http://letterboxd.com/patrickripoll/film/snowpiercer/)):

"THINGS THAT SNOWPIERCER DOES THAT HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTER MOVIES ARE USUALLY TOO AFRAID OR LAZY TO DO

1. Have action scenes that are shot different ways depending on the emotion behind them. Some scenes feel like riots, some feel like battles in an epic war movie, some have a sloppy desperation, etc.

2. Make important choices regarding color palate. The first time you see the color yellow in this movie it's an amazing moment.

3. Acknowledge that people smoke, lots of people smoke, and they fucking love it, which means there is an audience connection to it which means it can be part of great character moments if you aren't afraid to just have cigarettes in a fucking movie.

4. Explore it's themes dramatically, as opposed to giving lip-service to them in between inane action.

5. Allow major characters to die without a long scene following showing how sad the other characters are about it. Just trusting the audience that the moment will register as major.

6. Allow it's conflicted main character to have a legitimately dark past, as opposed to a "dark past" which usually amounts to nothing more than an honest mistake they won't stop beating themselves up for.

7. Implying important character motivations as opposed to spelling it out. In fact, someone speaks a line that implies their true motivation early on that is meant to directly conflict with how someone else spells out their motivation at the end of the film, and it's never rehashed. The character has just internalized it, and Bong Joon-Ho just expects you to have done the same. Which is very vague but I don't want to spoil anything.

8. CHARACTER ACTRESSES! CHARACTER ACTRESSES! ACTRESSES WHO ARE NOT THE ROMANTIC FOIL FOR THE HERO NOR A FEMME FATALE. JESUS CHRIST TILDA SWINTON IS AMAZING IN THIS AND THERE ARE TONS OF OTHER WOMEN WHO ARE ALSO AMAZING ACTRESSES WHO ARE NOT BEING UTILIZED IN THIS WAY BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO PLAY SOME FUCKING DUDE'S WIFE.

9. Realizing there's really no excuse for not having a racially diverse cast.

10. Truly ambiguous ending. What happens next is ambiguous and how the audience is "supposed to feel" is ambiguous."

Dukefrukem
07-13-2014, 09:00 PM
I just got done watching Sabotage where the lead character smokes a cigar in every other scene.

Irish
07-13-2014, 09:40 PM
THINGS THAT SNOWPIERCER DOES THAT HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTER MOVIES ARE USUALLY TOO AFRAID OR LAZY TO DO

This is a good list and well considered. I agree with most of it. But most of your points are also true of Asian action films in general. The stuff you're a talking about is packed into every other Hong Kong action flick made from the mid 80s through the mid 90s, and a lot of Korean films in the last ten years. My suspicion is that Snowpiercer plays the freshest to people who haven't seen much out of the East.

I think people (ie, "critics" on twitter) overpraise this movie the in the same way they overpraised The Raid.

Watashi
07-13-2014, 09:45 PM
I don't think the ending is ambiguous at all.

They are the only two human survivors left on Earth in the freezing cold with no food out in the middle of nowhere with a hungry polar staring them down. Seems pretty clear where the ending is heading.

Rowland
07-14-2014, 06:40 AM
I think people (ie, "critics" on twitter) overpraise this movie the in the same way they overpraised The Raid.I don't know, lots of serious and smart critics love it. Some don't. And so it is.

baby doll
07-14-2014, 04:17 PM
A BUNCH OF REASONS BY SNOWPIERCER IS MODERATELY BETTER THAN A LOT OF MOVIES THAT SUCK, OH AND IT HAS CHICKS AND YELLOW PEOPLE TOO, SO SUCK ON THAT WHITE MALE HEGEMONY AND GIVE ME SOME SMOKES BECAUSE ONLY PUSSIES DON'T SMOKEJust because you put lipstick on a hog doesn't mean I should take it out to dinner and fuck it.

number8
07-14-2014, 06:52 PM
I think people (ie, "critics" on twitter) overpraise this movie the in the same way they overpraised The Raid.

I'm seeing the opposite? People on Twitter, Reddit, and the usual fanboy blogs seem to be largely underwhelmed by it. Compared to the 94% on Tomatometer. More established pubs like Grantland, Salon, Slate, NY Times, AV Club, etc are the ones championing the hell out of it.

Irish
07-14-2014, 08:47 PM
I'm seeing the opposite? People on Twitter, Reddit, and the usual fanboy blogs seem to be largely underwhelmed by it.

Really? What blogs are you reading?

"... an exhausting, exhilarating, meaningful trip" (http://thedissolve.com/reviews/885-snowpiercer/) -- Keith Phipps , The Dissolve

"... A good movie containing some greatness" (http://badassdigest.com/2014/02/10/snowpiercer-review/) -- David Ehrlich, Bad Ass Digest

Snowpiercer is bold and brilliant sci-fi filmmaking (http://www.hitfix.com/motion-captured/review-snowpiercer-is-a-bold-and-brilliant-science-fiction-vision) -- Drew McWeeney, HitFix

Ambitious, gritty sci-fi Snowpiercer is a masterpiece (http://www.firstshowing.net/2014/berlinale-2014-ambitious-gritty-sci-fi-snowpiercer-is-a-masterpiece/) -- Alex Billington, FirstShowing.net


Compared to the 94% on Tomatometer. More established pubs like Grantland, Salon, Slate, NY Times, AV Club, etc are the ones championing the hell out of it.

You don't get to 94% without smaller outlets writing a positive review.

Of 124 reviews on RT, only 33 are from "top critics". Less than a third. Of those, only about 20 are from recognizable media brands. The rest are, more or less, blogs.

Stay Puft
08-05-2014, 06:04 AM
Yeah, it runs out of steam in the latter half. Yeah, it's pretty dumb. (Spoilers follow.)

Some of the items in the imdb review Qrazy posted are bizarre, though. Like, asking why the seven escapees haven't been buried in snow yet when there is another scene (Nam watching for the airplane below the bridge) spelling out that the planet is warming and the snow is melting. Or the complaint about the bullets, which is actually consistent with the film's logic if we take the Ed Harris speech as truth (the rebellion is planned and bullets are a scarce resource, so there is no need to use them until Evans presents a real problem that has to be fixed). That doesn't stop Snowpiercer from being dumb or poorly written, but it does make that imdb reviewer appear inattentive and unfair. Also, there are certain film contrivances I am willing to grant, e.g. the length of the train (wide shots show that this is an incredibly long train, and I'm fine accepting that the film is simply going to skip e.g. Evans and crew walking through various first class living quarters or whatever).

It's a fun movie, I enjoyed watching it, but it's a little disappointing that this is what I waited five years for Bong to produce. I'll never forget how he was so excited about this project that it was the only thing he wanted to talk about when he was presenting Mother at TIFF back in '09. That was pretty funny. Curious to see where he goes from here.

Pop Trash
08-05-2014, 06:32 AM
I would hardly call The Dissolve a "fanboy blog." Outside of web annexes for print publications like Film Comment and Sight & Sound, it's one of the best film sites around.

Irish
08-05-2014, 07:16 AM
Eh, The Dissolve's tone may be different & the writing more assured, but the focus is very much the same as those others. (Unless, ya know, Sight and Sound and Film Comment have started publishing articles about Disney's live-action Jungle Book remake.)

Anyway, that doesn't detract from the point I made.

Peng
08-05-2014, 12:15 PM
It's in the news section, isn't it? Their actual articles that are not reporting movie news are pretty well-balanced, I think.

It depends on the reviewer too. Actually having a hard time imagining Scott Tobias or Mike D'Angelo as fanboy-type.

Irish
08-05-2014, 12:50 PM
Huh? It's all the same editorial. Same site. Same writers. (Matt Singer wrote the Jungle Book news item, for instance).

What they're doing isn't fundamentally different than what BAD or HitFix does: Covering AAA, mainstream, American movies.

Pop Trash
08-06-2014, 12:14 AM
Huh? It's all the same editorial. Same site. Same writers. (Matt Singer wrote the Jungle Book news item, for instance).

What they're doing isn't fundamentally different than what BAD or HitFix does: Covering AAA, mainstream, American movies.

They cover everything and have different features like "movie of the week" or "forgotbusters" or whatever. It's meant to be for movies what Pitchfork is for music which is to give you news items, reviews, lists, whatever. If it's cinematic, The Dissolve will cover it.

Irish
08-06-2014, 02:11 PM
If it's cinematic, The Dissolve will cover it.

Riiiiiight. And how is that fundamentally different from a site like HitFix? Other than tone, I mean.

PS: Here's another good one, also written by Matt Singer-- http://thedissolve.com/news/2895-op-ed-thanos-hasnt-starred-in-a-movie-yet-and-im-a/

Dukefrukem
08-06-2014, 02:41 PM
Riiiiiight. And how is that fundamentally different from a site like HitFix? Other than tone, I mean.

PS: Here's another good one, also written by Matt Singer-- http://thedissolve.com/news/2895-op-ed-thanos-hasnt-starred-in-a-movie-yet-and-im-a/

That's a great write up, but the stand alone movies need these generic bad guys otherwise the movies would have no conclusion. Each one would have a TO BE CONTINUED tacked on to the end of it. (Maybe that's what they need to start doing?) But to the articles point, the villains in Star Wars had greater success in 2 movies than Thanos has had in 10.

Irish
08-06-2014, 03:34 PM
That's a great write up, but the stand alone movies need these generic bad guys otherwise the movies would have no conclusion.

That's a great point, one which nobody is really talking about. (Also another pet peeve: The shaggy ending to GOTG. Do we really need every damn thing to be a lead in to a sequel?)


But to the articles point, the villains in Star Wars had greater success in 2 movies than Thanos has had in 10.

Star Wars was more heavily plotted than a lot of Marvel stuff, though. It was also a better story, because there were reversals and the character's goals change over the course of a single film. Marvel's formula is too rigid for that to happen.

Pop Trash
08-06-2014, 04:52 PM
Riiiiiight. And how is that fundamentally different from a site like HitFix? Other than tone, I mean.


You really think HitFix is the same as Dissolve? I mean Dissolve's front page currently has not one, but two articles about The Double Life of Veronique and one article about The Man Who Fell to Earth. HitFlix currently has an article about "Country's Night to Rock" on ABC and "Ranking of Female Roles in Marvel." It's like an entertainment ClickHole.

Irish
08-06-2014, 06:40 PM
You really think HitFix is the same as Dissolve? I mean Dissolve's front page currently has not one, but two articles about The Double Life of Veronique and one article about The Man Who Fell to Earth. HitFlix currently has an article about "Country's Night to Rock" on ABC and "Ranking of Female Roles in Marvel." It's like an entertainment ClickHole.

Essentially, yes. Veronique is their "Movie of the Week." It's one of their regular columns. If you scan through the history of sites like HitFix or BAD, you'll see that they tried something similar, and quickly discovered that posts about old movies do not bring page views.

The Dissolve benefits from corporate sponsorship so they're not a beholden to clicks or publicists. But the bulk of their content isn't dissimilar to every other movie site out there. (News from the trades, twitter, or Instagram. Reviews of major American releases, etc).

It's just not as noticeable because they've got a small staff and don't churn bullshit news articles the way HitFix does. But I expect that'll change the second Pitchfork runs out of patience.

Dead & Messed Up
08-06-2014, 11:32 PM
I loved this movie for an hour and a half and kinda like the last half-hour, which is arguably the most thematically loaded section and also the one most devoted to characters talking-talking-talking. There's so much that Bong Joon-Ho accomplish through visuals and overall conceit that having a villain monologue about orderly societies feels redundant, almost tacky...

Showing a child literally trapped in the gears of a great engine says everything the movie could ever hope to say.

But yeah, a mostly honorable and aggressively exciting sci-fi melodrama that at times matches the patchwork cheer of The Host, which similarly twisted together social commentary, kooky comic beats, and unexpected emotions.

Dead & Messed Up
11-04-2014, 05:35 AM
Rewatched it on Netflix. Better than I remember. The ending feels smoother. A couple of beats feel confusing - I don't remember what provokes the Korean girl to try and open the floor in the engine room. Is she looking for another panel? Also, that gesturing that Swinton does...

...and Harris does. Both seem to be doing the same thing, and I briefly thought the implication was that they were stuck in the engine too, like the kids we see at the end, and their gesture is a muscle-memory thing, a task they had to do over and over when stuck inside. But that doesn't jive with the time frame, or with the fact that Wilfred created the train. I suppose as a benediction or something, it makes sense, but it's weird that it's precise and consistent (and almost involuntary) between those two.

The fish makes more sense to me now, working as both a symbol of the violence needed to sustain balance (with the aquarium as an analogue for the whole train) and as a symbol of Curtis himself, a "big fish" that needs to be taken down. Along with the obvious no-fucks-given intimidation of showing the tail folks the death of an animal they don't even know still exists.

That kind of unspoken symbology reminds me of my favorite thing about Noah, seeing new symbols like the serpent's skin and the fruit of knowledge as a pulsing heart. It's fun to see these things take up space and leave room open for interpretation. Not to bag on other directors I like, but compare that kind of stuff to the rat at the end of The Departed and the well in The Dark Knight Rises (Nolan just couldn't help showing a flashback to the well from Begins, which diminishes the pleasure of us making that connection ourselves).

Stay Puft
11-05-2014, 02:34 AM
A couple of beats feel confusing - I don't remember what provokes the Korean girl to try and open the floor in the engine room.

She's clairvoyant. She knows the kid is under there.

The hand gesture thing did seem unclear; I also took it as a benediction. Just something symbolic they do in their sermons since they basically worship the engine. It's something that did feel like a storytelling gimmick first and foremost, though, since it's an obvious "clue" for something that gets explained at the end of the film.

Yxklyx
11-06-2014, 03:33 PM
I loved the underlying premise but it lacks in execution - mostly in the writing department. Mostly concur with Qrazy's thoughts. Nay.

Kurosawa Fan
11-07-2014, 05:16 PM
This was a mess, and not a good mess. The writing is poor, the story far too sentimental and corny, and the whole film seemed to lack a cohesiveness. It felt like a collection of interesting ideas cobbled together in poor fashion. Really disappointing.

Mara
11-07-2014, 10:44 PM
Maybe my expectations were too high, but I found this a disappointment. It wasn't horrible, but the individual elements that were effective didn't fit together well at all.

Dead & Messed Up
11-08-2014, 05:16 PM
This forum. God. I feel like Smarf on "Too Many Cooks."

Fezzik
12-22-2014, 05:28 PM
Just watched this and like most here, I was digging on it for a while, then it became a rather large mess.

The "Willy Wonka in Hell" thing was something I thought of almost immediately during the Ed Harris speech. I didn't like the third act at all.

One question, though, that I haven't seen answered anywhere:

How did the Polar Bear survive? I mean, yeah, I know they're better adapted for ultra cold weather, but didn't the ENTIRE Earth freeze? Shouldn't everything be dead? I know the snow is melting now but it wasn't always that way.

Dukefrukem
12-22-2014, 06:23 PM
[read this post as if you were watching John Stewart, in other words, take it as non-malicious]

Really? That's the one question you have after watching this movie? A question that is irrelevant to the plot?

Fezzik
12-22-2014, 09:06 PM
[read this post as if you were watching John Stewart, in other words, take it as non-malicious]

Really? That's the one question you have after watching this movie? A question that is irrelevant to the plot?

:lol:

Well, I did say I had a question that hadn't been asked...

Believe me, I had a LOT of questions...most had already been asked is all ;)

number8
12-23-2014, 04:30 PM
It's meant to be open to interpretation, but Bong has said that he intended for it to be ironic optimism. The idea being that while the human race busy themselves warring over class systems on the train, they don't even notice that life never stopped out in nature. It's a sneaky environmental film, which is why he made it so that an avalanche, not a man-made bomb, that dealt the final blow to the train.

Ezee E
12-24-2014, 04:41 AM
It's meant to be open to interpretation, but Bong has said that he intended for it to be ironic optimism. The idea being that while the human race busy themselves warring over class systems on the train, they don't even notice that life never stopped out in nature. It's a sneaky environmental film, which is why he made it so that an avalanche, not a man-made bomb, that dealt the final blow to the train.

The polar bears killed the last humans anyway.

transmogrifier
12-24-2014, 04:55 AM
This film is officially underrated on here. Shame on you, MC. Shame on you.

MadMan
01-12-2015, 11:58 AM
But the avalanche was caused by the bomb...oh nevermind.

Great entertaining and powerful film but I wasn't a fan of the ending. That could change on a second viewing. Chris Evans showed he can do more than play Captain America but I already knew that having seen Scott Pilgrim.

KK2.0
09-08-2015, 07:28 PM
This just opened in theaters here in Brazil out of nowhere and terribly late, I've been keeping this on my "to watch" list for a long time and was not disappointed, it has that b-movie cult status written all over it and I haven't felt that in a long time. Judging from the little I knew, my expectations were in for a regular action movie and was taken by surprise with the weird fairy tale-like story, wrapped in a brutal asian style actioner with an even more surprising parade of A list hollywood faces. Yeah, I knew very little about it besides starring Evans and being directed by Bong 'the host' dude.

Not to say the film isn't without flaws but the good easily outweights the bad for me, there's a madness and imagination in this that grabbed me by the balls, from Tilda's delightfully bizarre character to the excellent use of it's narrow sets, at least the first two thirds were a trip, and reading through that list of nitpicks from the IMDB guy sounds like he didn't actually paid attention to the movie or was just being a douche Did he actually needs an explanation about the cockroaches? bitch please... A few seconds of lazy thinking would bring the conclusion that these are the animals most likely to survive and the easiest kind to breed and harvest inside a place like that

That said I agree the sniper shootout scene was probably the dumbest bit in the movie and it could be cut off without much of a loss, and that the last act kinda sucked the energy out of the movie, mostly because nearly all the characters we grew to like die along the way, no problem with Ed Harris being the Wizard of Oz, but maybe that bit dragged a bit too long.

And a genuine nitpick: where the kid found a fur coat about his size? there were midget ravers I didn't noticed? lol

Need to watch more Bong films ASAP, should have done that earlier since I love The Host.

Pop Trash
09-19-2015, 06:36 AM
I would hardly call The Dissolve a "fanboy blog." Outside of web annexes for print publications like Film Comment and Sight & Sound, it's one of the best film sites around.

Rest in Peace The Dissolve. I blame Irish. That danny boy leprechaun mick has to ruin everything.*



*just teasing Irish. Love you. But seriously The Dissolve was the shit.

Yxklyx
10-28-2015, 02:00 PM
If Terry Gilliam had directed/written this in his prime it would have been his best film.

Milky Joe
09-08-2016, 05:40 AM
brilliant fuckin' film

Russ
09-10-2016, 09:28 PM
"Know your place. Keep your place. Be a shoe."

Dukefrukem
07-21-2019, 12:39 AM
Didn't feel like making a new thread.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lFMpmwn_hQ

Ezee E
07-21-2019, 05:02 AM
Looks like the movie, but I like the casting of Connoly.