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Snowpiercer 
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Post Snowpiercer
Okay, I haven't seen another topic regarding this movie, and James is apparently not going to review it, so here we are.

Apparently everyone likes this movie. I did not. I don't think I've been this far outside the mainstream since Fargo, which I absolutely hated. And just to be clear, I was really excited about seeing this movie. I WANTED to like it.

Spoilers to follow:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Why didn't I like it? Many reasons. To begin, an uneven tone. It's trying to be a grittily realistic take on a dystopian future but it has elements (such as Tilda Swinton's ridiculous character and the "New Year's" celebratory crossing of the bridge during a bloody combat) just took it to a cartoon level. Especially when combined with the over-the-top violence. I realize this is based on a graphic novel, but we have to evaluate this as a movie, and there were so many aspects like that that just didn't work for me.

The Korean technician and his daughter who take them through the gates seemed really out of place. Especially the daughter. Okay, so she's a sensitive, or a psychic, or something. It's something they make a big deal of at the beginning but then completely lose track of, especially when that hitman (or whatever) is coming after them and during . . .

The finale. Holy crap. This guy is an engineer and he's going to blow the train off the tracks in the mountains? Seems like he would try to do it in a more-hospitable place (like, near a lowland city nearer the equator). And if this was his only chance to do it, shouldn't he have held off rather than condemning what's left of humanity to death?

And going with what is above, shouldn't the girl have foreseen the results of the explosion and refused to do it? Although she did seem awfully happy about seeing a polar bear right after having killed hundreds or thousands of people, so maybe she was a sociopath or something.

Also, is there any more of a beat-you-over-the-head symbolism than Chris Evans' character losing his arm at the end while saving the child? I mean, please.


It didn't seem very well paced, either. And these are just a few of the problems I had with it. Why are so many people singing its praises?


Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:00 pm
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
Machiara wrote:
Okay, I haven't seen another topic regarding this movie, and James is apparently not going to review it, so here we are.

Apparently everyone likes this movie. I did not. I don't think I've been this far outside the mainstream since Fargo, which I absolutely hated. And just to be clear, I was really excited about seeing this movie. I WANTED to like it.

Spoilers to follow:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Why didn't I like it? Many reasons. To begin, an uneven tone. It's trying to be a grittily realistic take on a dystopian future but it has elements (such as Tilda Swinton's ridiculous character and the "New Year's" celebratory crossing of the bridge during a bloody combat) just took it to a cartoon level. Especially when combined with the over-the-top violence. I realize this is based on a graphic novel, but we have to evaluate this as a movie, and there were so many aspects like that that just didn't work for me.

The Korean technician and his daughter who take them through the gates seemed really out of place. Especially the daughter. Okay, so she's a sensitive, or a psychic, or something. It's something they make a big deal of at the beginning but then completely lose track of, especially when that hitman (or whatever) is coming after them and during . . .

The finale. Holy crap. This guy is an engineer and he's going to blow the train off the tracks in the mountains? Seems like he would try to do it in a more-hospitable place (like, near a lowland city nearer the equator). And if this was his only chance to do it, shouldn't he have held off rather than condemning what's left of humanity to death?

And going with what is above, shouldn't the girl have foreseen the results of the explosion and refused to do it? Although she did seem awfully happy about seeing a polar bear right after having killed hundreds or thousands of people, so maybe she was a sociopath or something.

Also, is there any more of a beat-you-over-the-head symbolism than Chris Evans' character losing his arm at the end while saving the child? I mean, please.


It didn't seem very well paced, either. And these are just a few of the problems I had with it. Why are so many people singing its praises?


It was playing on a TV in a Santa Monica video store yesterday; VOD? Looked pretty typical for an under the radar, lower budget sci-fi. I'm not gonna lie, I seriously thought this was Berardinelli's 4 star movie the other week when he tweeted that there would be one :lol: . Now it looks as though he may not even review it. To me, Snowpiercer looks overly-nihilistic to the point of almost being a parody of nihilism. Cinematography looks way too drab and colorless.

Do you like any other Coen films more than Fargo?


Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:17 pm
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
Of the ones I've seen, I probably like every other Coen movie more than Fargo. But I particularly enjoyed The Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou?, and True Grit.


Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:38 pm
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
Machiara wrote:
Of the ones I've seen, I probably like every other Coen movie more than Fargo. But I particularly enjoyed The Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou?, and True Grit.


My top 5 Coen Brothers films:

1: Raising Arizona
2: The Big Lebowski
3: Fargo
4: No Country For Old Men
5: Miller's Crossing

As for Snowpiercer, it still has yet to be released anywhere near where I live. Fuckin Transformers and Sex Tape. Need as many screens as possible for them, so no room for Boyhood or Snowpiercer.

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Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:41 pm
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
Well, black humor and mood/tonal shifts are Bong Joon-ho's specialty. It didn't quite work for me with The Host (still liked it though), but completely work for me with this one, maybe because the story is crazy enough to support those sensibilities. Bong is probably the only Korean director that crosses over to Hollywood with his styles all intact, even more so than Park Chan-wook with Stoker.


Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:25 pm
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
I've been interested about seeing this film ever since I had seen a strong recommendation from Chris Stuckmann on his Youtube channel praising this film (I often enjoy his video reviews of films, as he's articulate and clearly very knowledgeable), and was quite disappointed that JB wasn't reviewing this film (and instead reviewing films like Sex Tape).

In fact, I wish JB would review more indie films or foreign films, or films available on VOD through Netflix.


Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:01 am
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
As Peng said, the black, sometimes awkward humor is what Joon-ho Bong has been doing for more than a decade. Certainly some won't like it as a matter of taste, but its his legitimate style and to me, it fit the tone of the film. As pointed out, the themes are a bit trite and more than a bit heavy-handed, but I don't see anyone arguing those as the strengths of the film. Its value is in the visuals and visceral nature of the whole experience.


Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:37 am
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
JB told me in an email that he saw this movie and enjoyed it, but felt it falls into the "weak 3-star" category. I liked it quite a bit more than him. As most of you would expect, I found its themes intriguing; there's more than a little Bioshock influence here with the material involving kids indoctrinated to believe lies and twisted ideas about humanity. Even with that, there's still plenty of room for some great set-pieces. That melee where everything goes dark, the bad guys have night vision, and the good guys counter with torches? Awesome sequence.

The movie has a really bleak view of humanity in general, and seems to be saying that even when there's so few of us left, we can't help but revert to an unfair class system where we excuse it by saying "everyone has their place." Is it subtle? Not really. But it's still fascinating stuff.

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Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:57 am
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
KWRoss wrote:
there's more than a little Bioshock influence here with the material involving kids indoctrinated to believe lies and twisted ideas about humanity. Even with that, there's still plenty of room for some great set-pieces. That melee where everything goes dark, the bad guys have night vision, and the good guys counter with torches? Awesome sequence.


From what I've seen of the book, the Bioshock-type stuff was already in there, so I don't think it was aping it totally, although a similar tone is certainly conveyed. As you said, the set-pieces make the picture. I think I liked the school sequence the best. Aside from the great semi-cameo, the final sequence is the weakest, which is unfortunate, and part of why it's not a transcendent film to me. It's more than just diverting, but it's also not eloquent or essential, and again, it's remembered in snippets, not it totality. I'm not sure how it would play a second time around, but I'm completely glad I saw it and I would still recommend it.


Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:55 am
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
Machiara wrote:
Okay, I haven't seen another topic regarding this movie, and James is apparently not going to review it, so here we are.

Apparently everyone likes this movie. I did not.


Well, here's my opinion: "Wow, Snowpiercer is an awful film. In an effort to combat global warming, scientists release a chemical to block sunlight. However, they overshoot and are plunged into snowball earth, and all life allegedly* is extinct except on an enormous hermetically sealed train that travels around the world endlessly, like the world's largest model train. The tail dwellers are sick of protein bars (although it's better than the cannibalism of the early days), and revolt, deciding to go to the front of the train to talk to the engineer. The whole movie is going from one car to the next, with lots of people shooting people, which doesn't seem a good idea in a train that's supposed to be a closed ecosystem. (Or mostly closed. They do melt snow for water.) The whole thing is remarkably silly. [And a bit of a sham. At the end we see a polar bear. What has it been eating for the last seventeen years?]

No performances stand out. The cars with plants and fish are pretty, but what about the car with sides of beef and plucked chicken? Where do they keep the cattle and hens?"

So I guess you can say I didn't like it either.

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Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:21 pm
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
It requires higher levels of suspension of disbelief, that's for sure. If you can buy into the wacky premise (and I can see how that could be a tough ask), I found a lot to like about it.
My thoughts: http://www.reelviews.net/reelviewsforum ... 85#p151785


Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:49 pm
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
Syd Henderson wrote:
No performances stand out.


Image


Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:28 pm
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
peng wrote:
Syd Henderson wrote:
No performances stand out.


Image


Yeah, cause Tilda Swinton hasn't done anything like that before :roll: .


Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:06 pm
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
Have you seen the movie?


Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:30 pm
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
MGamesCook wrote:
Yeah, cause Tilda Swinton hasn't done anything like that before .


So if you can compare it at all to any other performance, it means that this one isn't good? Is that your logic?


Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:54 pm
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
Shade2 wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Yeah, cause Tilda Swinton hasn't done anything like that before .


So if you can compare it at all to any other performance, it means that this one isn't good? Is that your logic?


You read me right, Shade. Because what I was responding to was the comment (not made by me) that no performances stand out.


Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:41 am
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
MGamesCook wrote:
You read me right, Shade. Because what I was responding to was the comment (not made by me) that no performances stand out.


I think we can safely infer that in this case "stand out" means "good." Neither side was making an eloquent argument on that subject, but your comment (and correct me if I'm wrong) seemed to be critiquing Swinton for returning to the same well, and I didn't feel that that was happening and I also didn't get how that necessarily degraded the performance. If I'm off on understanding you, my bad, homey.


Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:50 am
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
I thought her performance was both over-the-top and cartoonish. But clearly opinions vary, lol. :)


Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:19 pm
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
Machiara wrote:
I thought her performance was both over-the-top and cartoonish. But clearly opinions vary, lol. :)

She played the Effy Trinket-like role pretty well. The somewhat dimwitted functionary who does the bidding of the evil behind the curtains and does what she must to survive; even if that means ordering brutality and teaching herself to ignore the consequences to the very real people in front of her. What's the definition here? Sociopath?


Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:13 pm
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Post Re: Snowpiercer
Shade2 wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
You read me right, Shade. Because what I was responding to was the comment (not made by me) that no performances stand out.


I think we can safely infer that in this case "stand out" means "good." Neither side was making an eloquent argument on that subject, but your comment (and correct me if I'm wrong) seemed to be critiquing Swinton for returning to the same well, and I didn't feel that that was happening and I also didn't get how that necessarily degraded the performance. If I'm off on understanding you, my bad, homey.


I was criticizing her for not being good, which I must admit is unusual for Swinton.

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Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:57 pm
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