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Snowpiercer Blu-ray Review

Snowpiercer Blu-ray

“Snowpiercer” is one of the best films of 2014.

Based on the French graphic novel of the same name, “Snowpiercer” is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi film set in the aftermath of a global warming experiment that accidentally created a new ice age that wiped out the majority of mankind. The only human survivors are on board a high tech train called the Snowpiercer that is always in motion. The narrative of South Korean director Bong Joon Ho’s film focuses on the tail end section of the train which is comprised of poor people who barely have enough food and water to survive. Tired of being mistreated, the tail section (led by the heroic Curtis) rises up against their oppressors with the goal of venturing to the front of the train to try and change things.

“Snowpiercer” is one of those rare movies that hit all the right notes. From the all too relevant and hard hitting story about the class system, global warming, and rebellion to the exquisite production values of the beautifully designed and decorated train cars that make up the world that the characters inhabit, Bong Joon Ho’s film is nothing if not engrossing. What really makes the movie so rewarding is the fact that it’s surprising. In an age where remakes and sequels rule the multiplexes, it’s entirely refreshing to experience a film that is full of suspense (you’ll constantly be wondering what’s in the next train car), unpredictable moments, messed up reveals, and, yes, even gut churning revelations.

From an acting perspective, you can’t ask for a better cast. Legendary South Korean actor Song Kang-ho (best known for “The Host” and “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) is great as per usual as are the always reliable Ed Harris (won’t spoil who he plays) and John Hurt. The two stand-outs here, however, are Chris Evans (best known as Captain America) and Tilda Swinton (too many credits to list). Evans really gets to flex his acting muscles here with a truly moving performance as the film’s hero. Swinton, on the other hand, seems to be having a blast playing an oddball, conniving train commander. It’s a performance you really have to see to understand.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? Simply put, this visually stunning film looks perfect in hi-def. You only need look at the individual train car sets to see this.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Whether it’s an action heavy scene or a quiet gut wrenching dialogue moment with Chris Evans (you know the one), this track delivers.

Extras:
* Commentary on “Snowpiercer” by film critics Scott Weinberg, Jennifer Yamato, Peter S. Hall, William Goss, James Rocchi and Drew McWeeny. Weinberg hosts this commentary and chats to his colleagues/friends on the phone individually. I admire the fact that this track is different from the norm. Worth a listen (especially if you are a reader of their reviews).
* Concept art galleries.
* A 4 ½ minute CGI animated prologue.
* ‘The Characters”- A 13 minute rundown of the central characters that contains cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage.
* “Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton On Snowpiercer”- The two cast members essentially chat about the script, story, and characters.
* “The Train Brought To Life: Behind The Scenes Of A Special Screening”- Footage of the very neat outdoor Rolling Roadshow screening in Texas. An interview between Tim League and Bong Joon Ho is also included.
* “The Birth of Snowpiercer”- Bong Joon Ho and cast members talk about the graphic novel, the plot and themes, the sets, the visuals, and much more.
* “Transperceneige: From The Blank Page To The Black Screen- A Documentary By Jesus Castro-Ortega”- An in-depth 54 minute French documentary that covers the original graphic novel and the film adaptation. Expect lots of interviews, stories about the graphic novel, archival footage, and behind-the-scenes footage. Far and away the best extra on this set.

Overall Thoughts: “Snowpiercer” is essential viewing.

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October 20, 2014 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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