REVIEW: Snowpiercer (2013)

snowpiercer elenasquareeyesSet in a future where the world is in a new ice age and all life on the planet has died except the lucky few who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe. On the train a class system emerges where people like Mason (Tilda Swinton) control the train and those at the tail end struggle to survive.

Snowpiercer is a phenomenal film. That might sound like a bit of an over-exaggeration but it’s really not. It does a great job building this desolate world and the class system on the train that you can believe in and accept all the characters and their motives. Curtis (Chris Evans) becomes the sort of leader of the people from the tail end of the train, he is the one who puts their plans into action and makes the tough choices. You learn more about him as the film progresses and really his journey through the train is a much a physical one as a mental one.

You could say there’s some typical characters for the genre, there’s the wise old man (John Hurt), Curtis’ right-hand man (Jamie Bell), the tough mother figure (Octavia Spencer) and the silent genius (Kang-ho Song) but through brilliant performances and an interesting script, they become more fleshed out and compelling.

The action sequences in Snowpiercer are gripping and well shot. The fights are all in such a confined space that it sometimes gets claustrophobic and the violence really is brutal. The cinematography is also worth a mention, the way colour is used at various points of the film is interesting and it really is like another character in the film.

The film does a great job at showing that actions have consequences and people will die. It may be a sci-fi film but it has a great social commentary amongst the action and the dialogue and chemistry between the characters is one of the highlights of the film.

Snowpiercer is an amazing film that everyone should watch and it’s really one of those films that work even better if you go into it knowing as little as possible. 5/5.

O is for Octavia Spencer

octaviaspencerOctavia Spencer is so cool. I’ve seen quite a few of her films and I want to see so many more.

She made an amazing Minny Jackson in The Help (2011), she was brave and strong and sassy and she was such a great friend to Celia (Jessica Chastain). I think The Help was the first film I saw Octavia Spencer in to be honest.

I think my favourite performance from Octavia Spencer as in Fruitvale Station (2013) as Wanda, the mother of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan). Fruitvale Station is a great film that is seriously emotional and Spencer’s performance as a grieving mother is just heart-breaking.

Octavia Spencer is also in Snowpiercer (2013), a dystopian film with an amazing cast that STILL HASN’T GOT A UK RELEASE DATE!!! Not even just a DVD release date! I’m not one for illegally watching stuff online or downloading things but I’ve been wanting to watch Snowpiercer for two years now so I may have to compromise this once soon.

Also she’s going to play God in a film adaptation of The Shack by William P. Young! Who doesn’t want to see Octavia Spencer as God?!

I is for: Illegally Watching Films

As a film fan I don’t like watching films online illegally. Well I say that, I often find myself being OK with it in some cases but not in others.

Let me explain – nowadays you can find pretty decent copies of films online even when they’re still in the cinema (how people do this I have no idea) but I don’t like and refuse to watch a film online that is currently in the cinema. If I want to see it, and have the money to spare (which I do when it comes to films) I will go to the cinema to see it. At my local cinema there’s ways to have cheaper cinema trips – Orange Wednesday 2-4-1 codes, on Mondays you get 20% off with a club card, on Tuesdays all tickets cost just £5.50, and they sometimes even give you 2-4-1 tickets themselves that you have a month to use – and as someone who has gone to the cinema 17 times since the start of 2014, I’m definitely going to use that ticket within the month.


Snowpiercer – Is the whole English speaking world too stupid for a Korean movie?

Snowpiercer is South Korean film set in a dystopian future where the world’s survivors live on a train that is continuously circling the globe.

The fact that this is a Korean film didn’t impact my thought of “this sounds like a good film, wouldn’t mind seeing that.” I haven’t watched many Korean films at all; probably my only exposure to them was at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival where Pluto was one of my favourites. To be honest what first made me aware of the film was the cast list which includes some of my favourite actors such as Jaime Bell and John Hurt. Then reading that it was a dystopian film that wasn’t based on a YA novel made me even more interested (not that YA dystopian novels are bad, just that it’s nice to have some original ideas not based of books now and then.)

I don’t know when Snopiercer is going to be released in the UK but if or when it gets a theatrical release it’s going to be thanks to The Weinstein Company. However how thankful should I be? Snowpiercer has gained great reviews in Korea where it’s currently breaking box office records. Harvey Weinstein wants to cut around twenty minutes from the film so it’ll be more accessible for cinema-goers in America, namely those from Iowa and Oklahoma. Snowpierecer is 126 minutes long to start with, while that is two hours it is not the longest film ever and reviewers so far believe that none of those 126 minutes are wasted.

As a Brit and a film lover I don’t see why I and the rest of the English speaking world have to have a chopped up film just because of potential viewers in the American mid-west. No offence to the people of Oklahoma and Iowa, but are they really Snowpiercer’s target demographic? Sure jokes are made about “dumb hicks” but are they really likely to be the ones who spend money to see Snowpiercer in the cinema when there’s the latest superhero blockbuster available instead?

I just feel that it’s unfair that the whole English speaking world have to have a shortened film and therefore a film which is not as rich in character development and world building just because of a group of people that Weinstein is effectively saying are too stupid for Snowpiercer.

Apparently the UK is fighting Weinstein’s decision and I hope we get the full 126 minute movie. But for now I’m just shaking my head a la John Hannah in The Mummy.

For more info check out twitchfilm.