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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Reviews    Movie, Television and DVD Reviews  ›  Snowpiercer Moderators: Nixon
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  Author    Snowpiercer  (currently 2735 views)
DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: July 14th, 2014, 2:45pm Report to Moderator
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Word of mouth has gotten out about the film and I was looking forward to it. Lots of buzz. Trailers looked good. There was even some rallying behind the film as it hit on a touchy subject of the ups and downs of VOD. I generally agree about VOD in that some films (not all) feel "dumped" there. Also, domestically there won't be a huge marketing push and most theaters will be reluctant to screen such films as they want first run features.

I totally get it. I agree.

What I don't get, however, is the drooling love affair with this picture.

For a VOD film, it is fine. But the boo-hooing about why the film is being "dumped" to VOD is just escaping me. Sorry. Maybe I'm missing something. I saw this on VOD and I thought it was overhyped by film critics and film geeks and/or a good perecentage of my peers.

Visually, the picture looks interesting and different. A lot of milage and creative thought is in production design. I'll give it that. The actors for the most part were okay but Tilda Swinton went over the top you'd think she was a Hunger Games refugee. I thought the aquarium car was cool. The butcher car had menace. While some FX were off, the visuals had some punch.


The story of this film was outright garbage.


First of all, the big premise of the film falls on its ass. If the supertrain is divided into a class system *the shoe" being the poor section...how do the "rich" stay rich? Show me the well-off getting baths, nails done and eating sushi all you want, but if this is the last of humanity, why have a class system at all? Everyone should be on equal ground. I would have accepted one scenerio - a riff on HG Wells Time Machine (Morlocks vs Eloi) where you see where the wafers come from and the next car is the butchers. The majority of the train population is insane and/or getting buzzed on drugs. This is not the case, however, as it is revealed that it was only the poor who cannibalized each other and the other cars produced the waste bars for them to make them dependent and stop. The 'shoe' would also suffer from malnutruion. Punishment for disobience is sticking a arm out into the cold, having it freeze, then breaking it like glass. The guns the security guards have aren't loaded. But the guns in the "good sections of the train are.

When the group led by Chris Evans gets to the school car, an "education" video is showm. How is it that the train can go all around the world on a track bulit after the Ice Age? I guess there is suspension of disbelief, but one FX effect is so off that I wondered if the video was simple propaganda. That makes sense because the "education": is to dehumanize the people in the 'shoe' area. I get it. There's just one basic problem with that.

The children in this car, much less other cars have no interaction with those from The Shoe Car. None of the children were taken from The Shoe car were taken for reeducation but for other purposes. Nobody knows what function the Shoe children really serve except for a few. The reveal of such makes one wonder why not just state this to begin with. I didn't buy the population control explanation at all. But then again, if everyone is insane, I suppose one could say that that's why nothing really made any sense. (and if there was really a Eco-diaster to begin with)

And to me, that's a cop-out. It would have made a better film to me if the revelation was that it was the insane who took over the train and forced the sane to the back, keeping them in line until they broke...

Again, let me be clear. This isn't a bad movie....for VOD. It's worth a viewing. But halfway in, the film just fell apart for me. I didn't mind the ride but MAN is is this overpraised. It's alright, but that's just alright.

What am I missing here?

.


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PrussianMosby
Posted: July 24th, 2014, 8:20pm Report to Moderator
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Hm. Okay.

My review and opinion about this movie sits in the rumors category.
There's a group of people which critics, reviews and all that said something like - it's the new Metropolis or 1984.

That shouldn't be ignored. It's sad there's no discussion about this film on this board. For me, SP is the big game, the huge stuff.

Still, it divides opinions.


No End of Wolves   (9p - psychological horror)

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Heretic
Posted: August 18th, 2014, 6:20pm Report to Moderator
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I thought this was a tremendous movie because it was weird and unabashedly ambitious and unapologetically non-literal and fun.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS FROM HERE ON

The central performances are fantastic -- unsurprisingly, a career best for Evans -- and everyone manages to handle that particularly Korean tone that mixes bizarre black comedy into the least likely moments. Swinton is simultaneously a broad satirical caricature and very necessarily human as she serves as a moral and physical whipping boy throughout the second act.

The plot will probably be guessed by many, from start to end, with the line about six minutes into the film -- "This time, we take the engine." This is, after all, an argument on revolution, and it's not difficult to see how that argument's going to be laid out. What might be more unexpected is the emotional depth that Joon-ho Bong manages to get out of the story in general, and Evans in particular.

Much of the online conversation I've seen around this film has either instantly fallen into arguments of specific political context, which is to miss most of the point -- revolution is both more and less specific than something something Obama Social Security blah -- or complaints about logical gaps, as above, which is probably completely reasonable but also, I think, to miss most of the point. The film is non-literal both in a broad sense, and even from scene to scene -- neither the action sequences, nor the use of space, nor the scene-by-scene plotting, make concrete sense.

The discussion of revolution itself isn't necessarily brilliant, but the allegory's well-designed,  the story execution is appropriately but not overly sentimental, and the focus on sacrifice rather than triumph is excellent. Also excellent is the handling of the engine itself -- both the claim about "all past revolutions," and the eventual question of what it means to reach the engine.


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PrussianMosby
Posted: October 3rd, 2014, 3:48pm Report to Moderator
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My dear screenwriting fellows. I have to apologize from a cinematic pov

Maybe we writers know a thing, some things, about movies, so, maybe even I. Because of that we don't praise a movie, we more of give them time to develop and most important, we don't want to ruin it by raising expectations, raising false expectations. In the end it's a personal thing to like or dislike a flick.

So, in my review, which lies in the rumor section, I was quite passive with regards to my true, well, recognition in case of Snowpiercer.

I never... I never heard and read positive reviewers to go crazy about a movie like they do with Snowpiercer. Never. There's a bunch of people, which didn't like it- and don't get me wrong- I talk about the people who like it; they are partly stunned like those guys:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?.....p;    <<<<NO SPOILERS

I think I was in cinema to watch Lone Ranger when I first saw the trailer, and I really wanted to walk to the production company of Snowpiercer and, don't know, ask them why they are so arrogant to produce such a nonsense. Berlin film fest- well- the critics. I don't give a ...lot on critics, because they often sell average movies as valuable. This time, for me, they saved the patient. "What? That train movie gets recognition... how, why?...) Cinema time.

I was alone in a, don't know, 500 seats cinema (it had less than 50.000 tickets I think in a 80.000.000 country here) and it ran everywhere. Those guys from the video are right. When the credits begun, the names where covered from time to time as if there's somebody walking around like in a pirate copy; I was confused. They showed the title-the title changed, because letters were driving leftwards into the next letter till the title was complete again- For me, that, wasn't understandable for the eye. It was fascinating- at this moment the cheapest, dumbest premise was set free.

The film is not perfect (?maybe?); there was a slow pace in the first 25, which was kind of relaxing to watch, but maybe that could have been done different. Still, it's only a maybe. I also thought if Tilda Swinton's character "maybe" was over the top.

I haven't seen something like that since Shutter Island. And I told nobody, even not my friends to watch Shutter Island with regards to their time and money. I wish, you once see it on a free tv night with nothing to do, expecting to see a disaster. For some people it will happen that way, and that way the movie will be a classic, I'm sure about that.

I hope so much for a nomination next year, though it's almost impossible I think.


No End of Wolves   (9p - psychological horror)


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PrussianMosby  -  October 5th, 2014, 6:45pm
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Dreamscale
Posted: April 24th, 2015, 10:54am Report to Moderator
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Very, very unimpressed in every way imaginable.

Plot and setup is ludicrous.  Pace is super slow and dull.

Bottom line is that I fell asleep in 2 separate viewings, and won't be giving it a 3rd chance.

Grade - D


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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bert
Posted: April 24th, 2015, 1:12pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale
Very, very unimpressed in every way imaginable.


Back to your island, Jeff!  But at least I am starting to sense a trend in your cinematic tastes.

This film -- much like the recently-discussed Babadook -- weaves a tale that exists more as a metaphor than something found in cut-and-dry reality.  If you try to force a real-world template onto it, it will not fit very well.

I found quite a bit to like in this film, although for some reason I found its pieces superior to the whole.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Dreamscale
Posted: April 24th, 2015, 1:26pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert
Back to your island, Jeff!  


I like my island.  


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: April 24th, 2015, 3:14pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert


Back to your island, Jeff!  But at least I am starting to sense a trend in your cinematic tastes.

This film -- much like the recently-discussed Babadook -- weaves a tale that exists more as a metaphor than something found in cut-and-dry reality.  If you try to force a real-world template onto it, it will not fit very well.

I found quite a bit to like in this film, although for some reason I found its pieces superior to the whole.


Bert, you were a born moderator.

Inteligent, thoughtful and crisp with your choice of words. You also have an excellent way of saying you're &@£? Wrong you !!?&@£ ass






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AnthonyCawood
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I like dit for similar reasons to Heretic.

I also admired it for daring to be different, coming from a system that normally churns out retreads.


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Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
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Dreamscale
Posted: April 25th, 2015, 11:35am Report to Moderator
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You guys are hilarious.

Anyone who says this is a great film, is the one who is flat out wrong.  You can like it, love it, just enjoy it, or appreciate the hammer to the head metaphors you all dig so much, but don't tell the few who stand up and call a piece of shit, a piece of shit, that they don't get it and are wrong.

The acting here is near grade school level.  The plot itself is beyond foolish.

I think I better watch Wolf Creek 2 again tonight.  


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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PrussianMosby
Posted: April 25th, 2015, 1:02pm Report to Moderator
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Jeff, your opinion is fine. Why shouldn't it.

I just try to explain what's attractive to the other side, at least to me.

The plot is the world is the train. Some people are kept in the back under inhuman circumstances while others own the best resources this place has to offer.

All that happened because of a failed experiment in order to end the climate change on earth. I heard so much about why the fuck they fled onto this train, and how to maintain the rail and so on...

It is ridiculous but in this case it's a bit of a fantasy Sci Fi like MAD MAX f.e.. where they care a lot for oil and electricity. All's wasted like shit, but shouldn't fresh water be the most important resource, and with fresh water alone earth is paradise; you can till a field and live without all those crazy suckers. No plot then. Nope, Mad Max is not about water primary, more about driving cars in the desert.


If you're willing to actually accept this truly ridiculous premise of the train completely, there's an insane movie you dive in, with the final question if it's worth to rip it all apart rather than to live in injustice. What to make if you win and control the train/world in the end? Between the whole fight for the train, the characters have no real opportunity to think about this big question but with each wagon forward it comes nearer to them and to us. What is the alternative system if they rule the train once and there's truly nothing except for the train?


The political conflict poverty and injustice: Some say we cannot feed the whole world today; it's a necessary of progress, some have to suffer and serve the rich systems; and maybe the poor don't deserve to get more than being exploited; maybe life's just not fair; they've chosen so???

-- Everybody has his or her own answers to poverty. As a human it's important to think about imo.


So, isn't it interesting to play that dilemma out on a fucking train? How can you compress such a complicated theme better than putting us humans into a train? Really.


They made a big sacrifice with setting up a ridiculous premise for this conflict. It was a risky trade they made, which failed with many viewers.

Personally, it's one of my top ten movies ever. I liked the acting, the photography concept from left to right, the sound and all that... could talk a lot more here

With watching it at home again, I noticed this is a big screen movie. The illusion is much stronger to get you on the train, to hear the loudness of this monster train, see how it darts and jolts through frozen earth on and on.

I'm just chatting.

Have a nice weekend, man.


No End of Wolves   (9p - psychological horror)


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PrussianMosby  -  April 25th, 2015, 1:22pm
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Dreamscale
Posted: April 25th, 2015, 9:15pm Report to Moderator
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Right on, brother.  It's always a personal decsion what works and what doesn't.

This has an insanely high Tomato Metter, but also, an isanely low WWBO, compared to budget.

You never know what's going to work and what's going to flop.

As I said, I never got through this all the way, so maybe I missed out, but I did give it a fair shot...twice, and that's all I can do.

Enjoy the weekend.


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colkurtz8
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I liked Bong's previously films "The Host" and "Mother" and while his signature visual flair is on show here I was a little let down by this. Even the grandiose, balletic fight sequence half way through, which is you'd imagine is bread and butter to a Korean filmmaker, was uninspired and poorly executed.

Because the leveling up, video game nature of the film's narrative as they progress through the train, it tended to be a mixed bag. Some "levels" worked better for me than others. For example, I really liked the school compartment.

Other than that, I did like the look of the film and the performances for the most part but I have to agree with Jeff that the allegorical element was quite heavy handed.

An alternative tagline could read: "All aboard the metaphorical express choo choo!"

The ending too was leaden and long winded, too much explaining and preaching.

Saying all that, there is enough in here to make me give it another watch sometime in the future.


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hawkeye
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Quoted from Dreamscale

This has an insanely high Tomato Metter, but also, an isanely low WWBO, compared to budget.

You never know what's going to work and what's going to flop.
Enjoy the weekend.


It made $86 million worldwide. And VOD sales are not included in box office sales, only theater tickets sold.  So I'm guessing it pushed over $100 MM when all is said and done. If the budget were even $20 MM, and expenses (like marketing and distribution) are three times that, then I'm guessing it still made money.

I watched this today on the plane home from New York. Was partly in awe and partly mystified by the story and the acting. Octavia Spencer and Ed Harris were just bizarre. Tilda Swinton, as always, stole the show.  I didn't even recognize Chris Evans. Once you get used to seeing him as Captain America, it's a bit jarring to see him like he was in this movie.

It reminded me a great deal of the epic (turn on your sarcasm meter) Christian Bale movie "Equilibrium".  A little too over the top for its own good, but could be enjoyed in bits and pieces if you didn't take it too seriously.

Gary


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Dreamscale
Posted: July 18th, 2015, 1:38am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from hawkeye
It made $86 million worldwide. And VOD sales are not included in box office sales, only theater tickets sold.  So I'm guessing it pushed over $100 MM when all is said and done. If the budget were even $20 MM, and expenses (like marketing and distribution) are three times that, then I'm guessing it still made money.
Gary


Yes, correct.  $82 Million of that was from outside the NABO.  Budget was around $40 Million.

A flop here in NA, but well received overseas.



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