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Joon-ho Bong's Snowpiercer - Chris Evans, Ed Harris, Jamie Bell

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I've been hearing some very good early word on this one.

The cast for Joon-ho Bong's Snowpiercer includes Chris Evans with Ed Harris, Jamie Bell, Alison Pill, John Hurt, Oscar winners Tilda Swinton & Octavia Spencer, Ewen Bremner, Kang-ho Song and Luke Pasqualino as passengers on the train. Joon-ho describes Snow Piercer as a post-apocalyptic movie about a few survivors who end up on a massive train that is divided by economic classes. "With a revolt brewing onboard, the Snow Piercer is a train of Earth's lone survivors that travels around the cold world." The Weinstein Company is planning a "wide summer 2013" release for the movie, but no date has been set yet.

Two more trailers at this link -

http://www.firstshowing.net/2013/watch-first-awesome-trailer-for-joon-ho-bongs-snowpiercer-arrives/

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Twitch loves it:

http://twitchfilm.com/2013/07/review-snowpiercer-fires-on-all-cylinders.html

Following the disappointment of Kim Jee-woon's The Last Stand and the lukewarm reception of Park Chan-wook's meticulous chamber piece Stoker, Bong Joon-ho has created with Snowpiercer the most accomplished overseas work of any Korean filmmaker to-date. While it remains to be seen whether or not mainstream western audiences will embrace Bong's dark and ferocious genre film, in many ways he's already beaten Hollywood at its own game. A tour de force of science fiction, Snowpiercer is a singular and breathtaking cinematic experience.

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In AD 2031: the passengers in the train are the only survivors on Earth....

Anyone seen this? Not sure it's been released here yet. Chris Evans is the lead with Billy Elliot as his sidekick, it's a sort of sci-fi action movie / art house hybrid, like a more action packed Gilliam film (one of the characters is even called Gilliam).

The trailer has Hunger Games vibes but it's more interesting and weird than than that, Tilda Swinton's seems to a have based her character on Margaret Thatcher.

Not sure what was happening with zombie invasion at the end, were they the clubbers high on drugs?

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I really liked it, the first half feels like a decent Hollywood action film, made interesting by some good performances but about half way the tone changes and the slightly surreal Korean/Gilliamness comes in.

It's like cross between Bioshock and the Matrix films.

Lots of nods and influences from Matrix - the red pills, the train being an allegory for hierarchal society & discovering the truth of their reality, Chris Evans as a chosen Neo like character, the meeting with Wilfrid as the 'architect'

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My immediate reaction is that the concept seems a little flawed. Who maintains the track ? Is this explained in the film?

No the track maintenance is never explained. The train runs on some kind of perpetual motion machine and seems to be capable of blasting through obstructions but yeah the track thing is odd.

Edit: They could've just said it was some kind of mag-lev thing that Wilfred invented but they show it as a traditional train that can and does get derailed.

My take is the train is supposed to have that flaw, the self contained regulated eco system was doomed to fail and it took 18 years to do so. The track was another hole in the plan.

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I watched this last night. The first half was really, really good. Quite tense, well paced & brilliantly shot. The second half was awfully slow & drawn out for no real reason, you could cut about 30 minutes out without losing any of the point of the movie.

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Just reading about the saga of Weinstein vs Bong. Apparently old Harv really, really wanted to cut out the...

...baby...

...line from from the monolouge near the end. What a maroon!

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I have a question about this...

I'm considering getting an import of the bluray so I can give this a watch, but, are there portions of the film that aren't English language and will require subtitles? It's just that I haven't seen a version that says it has English subtitles available.

Any advice gratefully received...

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It's certainly an interesting film and well worth a watch. Some of the imagery is astounding, and there are parts of beauty and grimness. You can bet that if anything was going to be cut, it'd be

Evan's speech at the end

. It was certainly as dark as anything I've seen in a while.

I agree though that you could have sliced 15-20 minutes off the film and not lost a great deal. The ending did seem very drawn out and I think the Matrix comparisons are well founded. Maybe I'm getting old but I also found some of the violence quite jarring.

The tunnel sequence was fantastically staged and shot.

Quite hard to believe that the same guy is also Captain America. I thought Evans played it really well, and Tilda Swinton, I'm not even sure what film she thought she was in, but it was certainly a great role.

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I really enjoyed this, especially some of the wacky society behaviours that had developed during the years on the train. Swerved me a couple of times, and I liked the moral ambiguities on display.

Regarding the subs, my... version had no subs, but I thought the scene with lengthy Korean dialogue actually works perfectly without. Body language and a knowledge of previous events makes it abundantly clear what he's talking about. I even thought so far as to commend the film if that scene wasn't supposed to have subs.

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A day later and I'm still thinking about this. Lots of questions that don't really need answering. It's interesting in that there is very little actual backstory to how they all ended up on the train and how they fell into the positions there were in, save for that bit of exposition at the end.

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Swerve is the right word to describe this film. It already presents such a ridiculous, potentially silly premise that it can offer some neat little twists and turns along the way. I think the greatest accomplishment of the film lies in its set design; each carriage of the train is packed with character and represents the living conditions and societal representation extraordinarily well, to the point where a change in colour palette or architecture would genuinely take me aback and my eyes would need to reset. The perfect example of which can be seen around the halfway mark:

After a solid hour spent in squalor and filth to suddenly jump to this colourful botanic garden, then aquarium and sushi parlour, then to the primary classroom, the imagery in itself was striking enough to make me want to momentarily look away from the screen to reset my eyes. It turned what was a greatly enjoyable if somewhat formulaic rise against the oppressive masters story into some gloriously Verhoeven-esque sci-fi. At times you can see the violence is sanitised through strategic camera angles and digitised gore, but the meaning behind them is seriously dark. It's a film where a pregnant teacher get a throwing knife in the throat and Captain America confesses to eating babies for christs sake!

It's backed up by strong performances from a great cast (I'd advise people not to read into the cast list, there are a few that benefit from the element of surprise) and generally it just feels like the kind of pulpy action flick that so rarely gets made nowadays. I tend to find myself getting bored by more artistic ventures within the medium, I instead crave a simple goddamn movie. Well Snowpiercer is a GODDAMN MOVIE.

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They can just edit out the bit where the guy speaks Korean. Instant American remake.

I didn't know Ed Harris was in the film, but when they showed that propaganda film to the kids his iconic bonce gave it away.

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