REVIEW: Snowpiercer

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Snowpiercer
Directed by: Bong Joon-Ho
Written by: Bong Joon-Ho and Kelly Masterson (screenplay), Jacques Lob, Jean-Marc Rochette and Benjamin Legrand (graphic novel)
Starring: Chris Evans, Song Kang-Ho, Octavia Spencer and Tilda Swinton

In Snowpiercer, Bong Joon-Ho and his production crew do something that is incredibly important in sci-fi films: they’ve mapped out a vision of their world down to every minute detail.  This is where, for the most part, other recent films that attempt to show the horrors of tomorrow go wrong.  Divergent and The Hunger Games films are competently made and their action sequences are sometimes thrillingly executed, but their generic, uninspired dystopias are almost interchangeable when arrows and bullets aren’t flying.

Snowpiercer is by no means a perfect film, but it is a transporting one.  Its success is in its environment, in its imagining of a  train that appears to be all that is left of civilization after an attempt to thwart global warming ended up freezing Earth and killing off nearly everything.  Here a person’s value in society is, for the most part, measured by how close they are to the engine. (Spoilers ahead) Someone at the tail of the train can have their arm frozen off for protesting when their child is dragged away for work, while those in the front eat sushi and have access to a train car that is a huge night club.

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REVIEW: The Adventures of Tintin

The Adventures of Tintin
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish (screenplay), Hergé (comic)
Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig and Nick Frost

Steven Spielberg is back in rollicking good form after his three-year break following the unfortunate fourth Indiana Jones escapade with the jaw-dropping animated epic The Adventures of Tintin.  It comes as somewhat of a surprise that Spielberg aims a directorial rebound with motion-capture animation, and yet while you look at the gorgeously rendered surfaces and the extraordinarily lifelike human characters, it appears he has achieved his goal.

Like Martin Scorsese did with Hugo, Spielberg utilizes the latest 3D technology to adapt a family-friendly story of a young boy solving mysteries while at the same time paying homage to the art he loves so much.  Tintin is less a tribute to filmmakers past than it is to this directors’ past adventures, though, which is egotistical but nontheless pays off.

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