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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
PHOTOGRAPHY

SNOWPIERCER

Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS: 126 minutes, audio commentary, documentary, featurettes, art concept galleries, digital copy

VIDEO: 1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO: English and Korean 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English, English SDH

 

STUDIO: Anchor Bay Entertainment/ Starz/ Radius TWC/ The Weinstein Company/ CJ Entertainment

RELEASE DATE: 10-21-2014

SNOWPIERCER is a sci-fi movie I have wanted to see for a long time after I saw the first trailer and read about the fight over final cut between the director and the Weinstein Company (the Weinsteins are notorious for recutting some of the foreign films for the US audiences back in the days when they ran Miramax).   It is a sci-fi action parable that moves along like a speeding train and serves as an allegory about class struggle that many of us can relate to.  The class allegory of the fight between the poor (in the rear end of the train) and the rich (at the front of train) is a timeless issue and struggle (no matter what century you are in).   

 

SNOWPIERCER takes place in the near future as the survivors of humanity are traveling the frozen Earth on a self contained train called Snowpiercer.  Chris Evans leads the latest revolt of the rear passengers as they first must break out a Korean security expert and open all the doors to the front to get control of the Eternal Engine which powers Snowpiercer.  Tilda Swinton is one of the rich upper class leaders from the front who make it sound like the poor passengers in the back shouldn’t be so ungrateful and accept the generosity of the great benefactor who controls the train.   Evans makes his way up front from car to car with each car being very different (one car is a school car, another is a aquarium/ sushi bar car, and yet another is a dance club car).   The class system between the back and front of the trains has lead to numerous revolts which have all been put down.   Chris Evans is the reluctant leader with unexpected surprises along the way as he makes his journey to the Eternal Engine.   

 

I do think the movie is worth a repeat viewing and that I have to read the three graphic novels that the movie is based on.   Also if Snowpiercer is your first Bong Joon Ho movie, you should go check out THE HOST and MOTHER which both are highly recommended.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

DISC 1 has an audio commentary hosted by Scott Weinberg as he and other critics discuss the themes of the movie and the future of movie distribution.  They talk about armchair criticism and those types of critics should just make their own movies.   The commentary also focuses on the new distribution methods used for SNOWPIERCER as they focused on VOD methods while it was in theaters.   They gloss over the fact the Bong Joon HO had a war with the Weinstein Company over final cut where I think the Weinsteins only gave in to public reaction over backing the director’s cut.

 

DISC 2-

TRANSPERCENEIGE: FROM THE BLANK PAGE TO THE BLACK SCREEN (54 minutes)-  Jesus Castro-Ortega directs this documentary about the journey from SNOWPIERCER from comic book to being made into a movie.   The 30 year journey follows it through the point-of-view of comic book artist Jean-Marc Rochette and scriptwriter Benjamin Legrand as they thank people for illegally publishing the graphic novel in South Korea which brought it to the attention of director Bong Joon Ho.   Old interviews and photos of the writer of the deceased writer of the graphic novel are included along with the involvement of Rochette in the making of the film as he visits the set and gets involved in the promotional tour of the movie.

 

THE BIRTH OF SNOWPIERCER- a promotional featurette on the making of the movie that has interviews with the cast and director Bong Joon Ho

THE CHARACTERS- a look at the characters of SNOWPIERCER

ANIMATED PROLOGUE- a flash animation prequel to the movie

CHRIS EVANS AND TILDA SWINTON ON SNOWPIERCER- under five minutes of interviews as they talk about their characters and the movie

ROLLING ROADSHOW PRESENTS BONG JOON HO’S SNOWPIERCER- a behind-the-scenes look at what Alamo Drafthouse Cinema did to bring SNOWPIERCER to Texas with a themed train ride, an outdoor screening, and an interview with director Bong Joon Ho

 

Two Art Concept Galleries- Train Concepts and Rochette Paintings

 

The only things missing from this set are trailers for SNOWPIERCER and a digital HD copy of the film.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  SNOWPIERCER is a fantastic sci-fi parable which acts as a great allegory about class struggle.   It has a great selection of extras even though I wish they went further and included the theatrical trailers and a digital copy for the film.  It is one of the best films of the year.

 

This review is 10-26-2014 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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