Snowpiercer reviews

User avatar
Precious Doll
Tenured
Posts: 3096
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 2:20 am
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Re: Snowpiercer reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:50 am

On the subject of Harvey I can highly recommend a book which gives a blow by blow account of Harvey and the running of Miramax called 'Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film' by Peter Biskind. Though written in 2004 it is still relevant today.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5068
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: Snowpiercer reviews

Postby anonymous1980 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:20 am

What I find most amusing about this piece of news is that most of the so-called idiots he's trying to appeal to probably won't even see this movie. It's not based on any famous existing property or franchise. It doesn't have any really big stars in it (Chris Evans is Captain America, I know but he's not playing Captain America in this one and I doubt there are a lot of people who will go by his name alone). It also looks kind of bleak. And at the same time, he's going to alienate and disappoint people who WILL see the movie: fans of the genre, fans of the director, film buffs in general who will probably opt to either wait for the Blu-ray or download a pirated copy online.

User avatar
Precious Doll
Tenured
Posts: 3096
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 2:20 am
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Re: Snowpiercer reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:39 pm

Oh well, I'll pass on this until a later time that the full version is released.

I've had it with this type of thing and I won't lay down money from trimmed versions. I have also decided in recent days to boycott as much stuff from Fox as possible. I am not limiting the amount of money I spend related to the Murdoch empire. I'll wait for video for most of the Fox films that I want where I can pay $2.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

Bog
Assistant
Posts: 806
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:39 am
Location: United States

Re: Snowpiercer reviews

Postby Bog » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:06 am

Ugh... just as I was getting really excited for this film. It really is disgusting how this Hollywood bullshit works. First Soderbergh can't find a single studio for his "too gay" film, now Harvey thinks us idiot low lives in the middle of Ohio can't grasp this film at a pretty trim 2 hour run time. Shit, Apatow can't keep his Damn films under 150 minutes and us "idiot Ohioans" eat that up and can't wait for the next...

Holy frustrating...Marco has to feel validated by this depressing news about us Americans and our cinema...

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5068
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: Snowpiercer reviews

Postby anonymous1980 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:24 am

Harvey Weinstein wants 20 minutes cut from the U.S. release.

Apparently character development is way too much for the mid-west.

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6256
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Snowpiercer reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:52 am

And now, Hollywood Reporter -- a tad less enthusiastic, but still quite favorable.

This would seem at minimum a candidate for design, if it's released this year.

Snowpiercer: Film Review
"Snowpiercer"

The Bottom Line

A politically charged, fantastical action thriller, which is both contemplative and entertaining, hammering home points about social injustice of the present day -- but maybe a bit too overtly.

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s first English-language production, an adaptation of a French comic book series starring Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, centers on a revolution in a class-segregated train carrying the last human survivors on Earth after the world is iced over.

All the world’s a train, and all the men and women are merely passengers -- a twist on one of William Shakespeare’s most oft-recited lines could serve well as a summation of director Bong Joon-ho’s latest film. An adaptation of the cult French comic book series Le Transperceneige, Snowpiercer is an epic yet nuanced, contemplative yet entertaining vehicle that uses its titular locomotive as an allegory for human existence as we see it in the here and now.

Boasting a stellar cast that will certainly help open doors to the international market -- with the presence of Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer and Alison Pill to whip up the interest of U.S. filmgoers, and Tilda Swinton and John Hurt to cement the film’s art house credentials -- Snowpiercer sees Bong maintaining his own artistic grip on the proceedings.

Veering away from mainstream narrative tropes -- romance doesn’t even get a look-in during the (male) protagonist’s quest, a departure from the original French bande desinee -- the South Korean director, who is most well known internationally for his monster hit The Host, presents a unique vision of a despairing present channeled through a dystopian future. Expanding beyond the scope of his former films -- servings that taste best when one's frame of reference includes South Korea’s recent history -- Snowpiercer is an ambitious piece with a universally comprehensible theme and accessible aesthetics.

The viewer is basically thrust into the thick of things right from the start, with tensions aboard Snowpiercer -- a perpetually moving convoy carrying Earth's only remaining human inhabitants -- on the verge of boiling over as a result of segregation between the elite, living in comfort in the front carriages, and the impoverished masses huddled in the rear cars -- a “preordained” order designed by the locomotive’s owner, Wilford (Ed Harris).

Seventeen years have passed since the world has frozen over -- a result of an experiment to combat global warming gone very wrong -- and the oppressed masses are plotting to break out from their confinement. The raid on the front cars is led by Curtis (Evans) and the younger Edgar (Jamie Bell), with the bespectacled, one-armed elder Gilliam (Hurt) serving as the sage and conscience of the whole operation.

Winning an initial skirmish and breaking through the first gates, the revolutionaries are soon joined by Namgoong Minsu (Song Kang-ho, a longtime collaborator with Bong), the solitarily confined security expert who created the train’s inter-carriage protective doors, and his teenage daughter, Yona (Ko Ah-sung, who played the daughter-in-peril opposite Song in The Host). And forward they move, with Curtis' professed aim of subverting the class system by taking over the means of locomotion: “All past revolutions failed because they didn’t take the engine -- now we’ll take the engine,” he says. It’s a politically charged, Marxist-inflected remark that lays the groundwork for Snowpiercer’s gradual exposé of the savage, alienation-spawning modus operandi of modern-day capitalism.

In a conceit that recalls Dante’s journey through the afterlife in his Divine Comedy, Bong sets the Snowpiercer locomotive up as a horizontal journey from Inferno to Paradise, with the protagonists trekking past representations of the unsavory episodes of recent history that we now know well.

In the hellish parts of the train, a shoe is thrown at a loathed figurehead, here personified by Wilford’s spineless lieutenant, Mason (Swinton); scenes depict the poor being fed with (literally) junk -- and loving it; and infrared goggles-wearing soldiers mete out deadly violence upon skimpily armed resisters. Moving further up the train, there are scenes of pseudo-paradise: the affluent knitting, drinking tea, swimming, getting top-notch dental treatment and drinking champagne in a discotheque – all signs of hypocrisy and excess as the train careens forward through icy, barren landscapes.

Bong’s vivid depictions -- aided by Ondrej Nekvasil’s production design, Hong Kyung-pyo’s cinematography and Steve M. Choe’s editing -- are exceptional, adding to a film that is as much about philosophical reflections of an age of social and moral collapse as it is about blockbuster-friendly, CGI-enhanced sequences. (In fact, one of the flaws of this film is the CGI, which does look sub-par in places.)

As it stands, Snowpiercer is still an intellectually and artistically superior vehicle to many of the end-of-days futuristic action thrillers out there. But while the references to real-life atrocities should certainly resonate with international audiences, the overt ways in which Bong hammers his points home actually make the film less powerful than the more layered political allegories of his previous films like Memories of Murder and The Host.

Still, Snowpiercer remains a riveting ride, and Bong is now poised for the foreign breakthrough that has eluded his fellow South Korean directors Kim Jee-won (The Last Stand) and Park Chan-wook (who encouraged Bong to adapt the property and served as a producer on the film). Just like his onscreen gate-cracking alter-ego Nam, Bong has opened doors and revealed a pretty disturbing status quo of a disheveled world, an infernal hell into which humankind has plummeted; the question is whether this species actually deserves to be saved. Adeptly shaped up for the screen, it’s a point that makes Bong’s film deserving of praise.

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6256
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Snowpiercer reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:41 am

Screen International, just as high on it.


Snowpiercer

23 July, 2013 | By Jason Bechervaise

Dir: Bong Joon-ho. South Korea. 2013. 125mins

Further demonstrating why he is arguably one of Korea’s top and most consistent film directors, Bong Joon-ho’s (2006’s The Host) first English language film Snowpiercer, which takes place on a train that circles the earth once it enters an ice age, is an enthralling ride that never runs out of momentum as it cleverly examines the issue of social class in a thoroughly engaging, yet complex manner.

Bong has also assembled the perfect cast with talent spreading across three continents reflecting the global nature of the film and its narrative.

Already pre-sold to a record 167 territories - including English speaking territories where The Weinstein Company own the rights - it allows CJ E&M and its investors to recoup half of the film’s budget of $39.2 million, giving the film a strong start on the international market owing to a strong cast including names such as Chris Evans and John Hurt along with Bong’s strong reputation and the film’s interesting premise.

Prospects, meanwhile, remain strong in Korea despite a somewhat darker tone where Bong Joon-ho’s name as revered filmmaker together with the casting and reunion of local talent Song Kang-ho and Ko Ah-sung (they both featured in Bong Joon-ho’s The Host that amassed over 13 million admissions ($64.6 million) along with the curiosity factor and hype will boost its potential to perform well in Korea when it premieres there on 1st August.

Based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette, the film takes place on a train called ‘Snowpiercer’ that is powered by a perpetual-motion engine, which circles the planet after the earth enters an ice age following a failed experiment to stop global warming. A class system soon evolves on the train with an elite class inhabiting the front of the train led by a mysterious figure called Wilford, while the less privileged reside in the back who are subjected to impoverished living conditions.

Determined to overthrow Wilford and take control of the train are a number of revolutionaries led by Curtis (Chris Evans) who decide to begin making their perilous and arduous journey to the front of the train to try and end their doomed fate.

Audiences accustomed to Bong’s work may find it darker than usual, but this is natural given the nature of the narrative as it focuses on the inner workings of social class, but much like his previous films, it never ceases to be enjoyable. Bong’s masterstroke at delivering both depth and suspense, as evident in his films such as Memories Or Murder (2003) and Mother (2009), is used to scintillating effect through a well written narrative that exploits the limited space on a train that provides the perfect location for Bong’s sci-fi adventure.

Bong has also assembled the perfect cast with talent spreading across three continents reflecting the global nature of the film and its narrative. Chris Evans is difficult to fault as the young leader, while John Hurt is perfectly cast as the older mentor and spiritual leader. Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Ewen Bremner and Ed Harris, likewise, both deliver their best in the confinements of the train, but it’s Tilda Swinton as the second in command of the train with her thick but attractive Yorkshire accent who manages to rise above this stellar cast through her energetic and eccentric performance.

Song Kang-ho meanwhile along with Ko Ah-sung who both play sizable roles in trying to take control of the train are natural fits never feeling out of place, which further boosts its potential in its home market of South Korea.

Shot in Barrandov studios in the Czech Republic, the film pays homage to the original graphic novel through how it depicts the train itself, but Bong along with his team of visual and set artists from around the globe have constructed a whole new world with his extraordinary use of mise-en-scene, together with superb lighting, sound and authentic CGI.

In a year where three other iconic Korean filmmakers - Kim Jee-woon (The Last Stand), Park Chan-wook (Stoker) - have made their English-language debuts, it’s Snowpiercer that stands out in both the nature of the project. It’s not a Hollywood film, but rather a Korean funded film produced by Park Chan-wook among others, but also in its overall execution, which is in part due to the fact that Bong Joon-ho scripted the film himself along with the help of Kelly Masterson who assisted Bong with the English dialogue.

Given the size, scope and unique nature of the project, this is somewhat unknown territory for a Korean film on both the domestic and international stage, and while it also poses a marketing challenge for international territories in terms of whether to label it as an arthouse film or blockbuster, its prospects at home as well as abroad remain strong owing to a terrific final product.

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6256
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Snowpiercer reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:34 am

Having just seen and liked both Mother and Memories of Murder in the past year, I've been very hopeful about this one. If response is this strong, Weinstein could move it into release for this year.

Variety

Film Review: ‘Snowpiercer’

July 22, 2013 | 12:01AM PT
An enormously ambitious, visually stunning and richly satisfying futuristic epic from the gifted Korean genre director Bong Joon-ho.

Scott Foundas
Chief Film Critic@foundasonfilm

Two decades into a second Ice Age, a few thousand human survivors live out their days aboard a state-of-the-art luxury train in “Snowpiercer,” an enormously ambitious, visually stunning and richly satisfying futuristic epic from the gifted Korean genre director Bong Joon-ho (“The Host,” “Memories of Murder”). A rare high-end sci-fi/fantasy pic made completely outside the studio system, and that even rarer case of an acclaimed foreign helmer working in English with no appreciable loss of his distinctive visual and storytelling style, Bong’s adaptation of French graphic novel “Le Transperceneige” reps a pricey investment ($40 million) for majority producer CJ Entertainment, but seems a downright bargain compared with the cost of forging such pics on Hollywood turf. A heavy marketing blitz combined with Bong and co-star Song Kang-ho’s considerable fan bases will drive strong biz at home (where the pic opens Aug. 1), if less than the whopping $64 million earned by “The Host” in 2006 — until recently, Korea’s all-time box office champ.

Offshore, “Snowpiercer” poses a somewhat trickier marketing challenge, given its hybrid art-movie/blockbuster nature, lack of audience familiarity with the source material, and the untested drawing power of top-billed Chris Evans outside his Captain America suit. But clever positioning along the lines of Sony’s campaign for the much less starry “District 9,” plus an assuredly warm fanboy reception, could just do the trick. The Weinstein Co., which controls the film for all English-speaking territories, has yet to announce a U.S. release date or major festival premiere.

Adapted by Bong and Kelly Masterson (“Before the Devil Knows Your Dead”) from the 1982 graphic novel by authors Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette, “Snowpiercer” has been brought to the screen with the kind of solid narrative craftsmanship, carefully drawn characters and — above all — respect for the audience’s intelligence rarely encountered in high-concept genre cinema except when directors like James Cameron, Christopher Nolan and Guillermo del Toro are at the helm. Indeed, Bong’s film owes something to “Titanic” in its vision of a crowded passenger vessel that functions as an elaborate microcosm of society itself, complete with all the same top-down class distinctions, only here rendered tip to tail. Oh, and ice presents no obstacle for the Snowpiercer; it smashes right through great, arctic blocks of the stuff as it circumnavigates our now-frozen planet on a high-altitude railway.

The train and the track are both the inventions of Wilford, a billionaire industrialist dismissed as a crank in his day but now having the last laugh, his unseen, Oz-like presence looming large over the denizens of the Snowpiercer and inspiring a fanatical degree of devotion in his fascistic minions (led by Tilda Swinton’s hilariously grotesque Mason, with pudding-thick Yorkshire accent and upper bridge work that speaks especially ill of British dental care). We begin in the caboose, where the great, soot-faced, Dickensian masses jostle for space and rumors of incipient class revolt stir the air. It isn’t the first time the have-nots have attempted to take control of the train, but previous efforts failed because no one managed to make it all the way to the engine room. This time, things will be different, promises Curtis (Evans), the revolution’s semi-reluctant instigator, though it’s clear to see he has the makings of a sturdy prole hero.

For a while, cryptic messages have been arriving concealed in the gelatinous protein bars that serve as the stomach-churning staple of the “back of the train” diet, convincing Curtis and his wise, disabled mentor, Gilliam (John Hurt), that someone at the front of the train is spurring them on. One such message encourages them to free a Korean security expert, Namgoong Minsu (Song), from custody in the train’s prison car. But Minsu, wonderfully and inventively played by Song as an ornery, bedraggled self-preservationist, drives a hard bargain. He agrees to help only if his imprisoned daughter (Ko Asung, who also played Song’s plucky daughter in “The Host”) can tag along — and if each of them is rewarded with a fix of the hallucinogenic drug kronole for every door they manage to open. (The character, who speaks only in Korean, is able to communicate with the others via a two-way, voice-activated translation machine.)

Thus, armed with a few homemade weapons, Curtis and his band of ragtag revolutionaries (including Jamie Bell as Curtis’ loyal adjutant and Octavia Spencer as a mother searching for her missing child) begin their journey forward. At which point “Snowpiercer” sheds the close-quarters claustrophobia of the first half (which nods to such classic cinematic railway fare as “The Narrow Margin” and “Runaway Train”) in favor of a more expansive vision.

Built on gimbals on a series of interconnected soundstages at Prague’s Barrandov Studios, the train itself is a triumph of visual imagination for Bong and production designer Ondrej Nekvasil (“The Illusionist”), with each successive car revealing a new, surprising facet of this eerie, self-sustaining ecosystem: one a lush greenhouse, another a giant aquarium, yet another a Disney-on-acid classroom presided over by a creepily cheerful schoolmarm (Alison Pill). Gradually, color and light enter the heretofore monochrome frames, along with our first real glimpses of the outside world and its infinite permafrost. The further forward the rebels travel, the more decadent the surroundings get, until we arrive at the very front of the train and its blithe one-percenters, who seem to have been deposited direct from New Year’s Eve at the Overlook Hotel (a connection made explicit by Al Bowlly singing “Midnight the Stars and You” on pic’s soundtrack).

Along the way, various impediments arrive, mostly in the form of Wilford’s sizable personal militia, whose first major standoff with Curtis and company is a brilliantly staged rumble that coincides with the train’s passage through an extended tunnel, shrouding the combatants in near-total darkness. Like most of the key actions scenes, it’s executed in moodier, more impressionistic fashion than the whiplash-inducing likes of “Man of Steel” and “The Avengers.” Making a particularly menacing impression as one of Wilford and Mason’s head henchmen, without ever uttering a single word of dialogue, is Romanian thesp Vlad Ivanov (best known for playing the abortionist Mr. Bebe in “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”).

Throughout, Bong gets away with much that he almost surely would have had to curtail if working at an American studio. For starters, the pic’s pacing is more measured than most of its type, but never slack, with lots of time taken out for nuanced, character-building scenes that increase our level of emotional involvement. Important backstories are deployed only gradually, constantly shifting our sense of who the characters are and what motivates them. (As in “The Host,” too, all bets are off on who dies and who gets to live.) By the end, the film reveals itself as a surprisingly thoughtful contemplation of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man, and whether mankind is worth trying to save at all. Somber stuff, to be sure, but not without flashes of hope, and a steady infusion of Bong’s dark, quirky humor.

Among the generally impeccable craft contributions — including composer Marco Beltrami’s excitingly big, brassy original score — only the fully CGI exterior shots of the Snowpiercer itself disappoint, with an overly animated feel that lacks the texture and verisimilitude of the best modern vfx work.


Return to “2013”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest