Friday, June 19, 2020

The train's the world, we the humanity.

Almost six years ago, my son and I met my dad in Seattle, where the mission was to spend some time with my sister, Tatianna. She'd been living in the Emerald City for a couple of years, and we were the first contingent to fly out and see her (um, and oddly enough, the last).

Obviously, I made sure the Mariners were in town, so I could take my son to a baseball game (he was turning five and probably couldn't have cared less), because as important as it is to see family (which in my family, it isn't), it's even more important to see a new baseball stadium. We sat in the second row of the King's Court as the Mariners beat the Braves, 4-2.

But not everything came up Milhouse, no, as across the street from our hotel, the Mediterranean Inn, there was a movie theater like, right there, but apparently, it's not cool to go the movies while you're on vacation? I know, I'm just as shocked as you are.

Had I been able to sneak away to the SIFF Cinema Uptown, I'd have caught Snowpiercer theatrically, and been absolutely floored by how awesome it is, er, would have been. Guys, it was 2014, which at this rate, feels like seventy-five years ago, you know, simpler times. This story of oppression in a blistering wasteland created by vast human ignorance would have felt like peak science fiction. Now? Circling a frozen, lifeless planet with the last two hundred people on the planet?

Sign me up. 

Apparently, there's an American thriller series airing on TNT as we speak, but without sports, the television is dead to me, so let's keep this strictly movie. Strictly...six year-old movie.

The short version of what's going on here, is this: after destroying the planet in an effort to quell climate change, all that's left of humanity endlessly ride a powerful trained designed by some reclusive billionaire. The cars are grouped by class, with the hoity-toity folk riding up front, while the lower-class jerks waste away in the muck and the mire of the caboose. And honestly, whatever car you find yourself in, well, it ain't pretty.

Being that I'm way late to the party, where my previous invitation would have politely said I'm here for Captain America, but after Parasite [review], it now demands More Bong Joon Ho, dammit. While Snowpiercer doesn't reach the dizzying heights of last year's Best Picture (a fact that still absolutely amazes me), it still manages to tell an incredibly wicked tale of class warfare. Both films are awash in the uprising of the underdog, but I'd argue that in Snowpiercer, the downtrodden actually prevail. Assuming they don't die, like...four hours later.

What can't be killed, are the Yays and Boos. Oh, you might've thought they were dead, but that was just my lifeless corpse laying next to them, buried under paint cans and moving boxes...

Oh, they also made a Snowpiercer show for Nick, Jr. 
  • Tilda Swinton is absolutely tremendous here. Like, she's always good, but this is bananas. You want to hate Mason, loathe her, but with Swinton kicking so much can't. It's impossible.
  • The actual revolution, even from the outset, is so f--king rad. It's kind of like an old-school side-scroller (Street of Rage, perhaps?), when you're waiting for the screen to advance. Something's coming, and it's probably not good. (but it's actually great)
  • Nam is such a prick, I can't stand it, but he's also the best indifferent ally ever. You can't trust him, but you need him. Oooh, same goes for his daughter, too...
  • I'm not mad about it, but, uh...what the Hell was previously going on in the wall-to-wall hatchet men section of the train?
  • I actually re-watched Edgar's flying body check three times because why wouldn't you?
  • A long tunnel is cool enough, sure. But the fact that it necessitates an epic night vision goggle showdown? *dies*so 
  • Aw, the aquarium car was my favorite. So tranquil, even if just for a second.
  • Okay, when everyone is shooting each other around the bend? That was wild.
  • The poster gives it away, but two things, 1) I had no idea that Ed Harris was in this, and 2) I'm basically blind.
  • Uh, Nam's small bridge battle was insane. It's pretty much the Battle of Thermopylae, but instead of 300 Spartans, it's just one badass Korean dude/cinematic legend.
  • And finally, the ending. Yeah, the CGI is a little...spotty (I was looking for the holiday-themed Coca-Cola bottle it might be holding), but that said, I really dug the message we roll out with. Life finds a way, indeed.
That's going to be the dopest Halloween costume. Ever.
  • The Weinstein Company logo feels like something we should revisit. And eliminate.
  • It makes sense in the end, but the fact that they come for the kids right out of the gate is beyond concerning.
  • (side note: Dear God WHY did they name the kid Timmy? Timmyyyy? Was Buster taken? How about Champ? Johnny?)
  • Shit, that's the last time anybody throws a shoe, huh? Yikes!
  • Wow, they really don't even hide the fact that those protein blocks are f--king nasty...and that's before we find out what's in them. (but, well...where exactly do they keep a steady supply of the, um, ingredient?)
  • Maybe it's a part of combat that I'm unaware of (like all other aspects, frankly), but why are we cutting fish open before the fisticuffs? Tradition, scare tactic...whatever. We're eating jiggly black blocks and you a-holes are dicing fish for show?
  • I was sad enough when original Edgar got it, but when new Edgar suffers a similar end? Crushed.
  • I know that babies taste best. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-yow.
  • So Mason (Tilda) is basically someone we love to hate. But this Claude person? F--k her, 3000.
  • And finally, this has nothing to do with Snowpiercer, but friends, it used to be I couldn't finish movies, now I'm so f--king tired, I can't even start them. I think this one took me four tries, and it's just a tick over two hours. Not great...
The more I think about the fact that I almost (kinda) saw this in Seattle, the more that feels pretty much perfect. A small group of people rising up to overtake an oppressive authority? Uh...pretty sure that's going on in Capitol Hill as we speak. Which if I ever headed back to the Pacific Northwest, that would be pretty f--king cool to see. 

And it's only two miles from the SIFF Uptown theater, you know, if we have the time...


  1. I was just thinking about Bong Joon-Ho today so it's funny to read this. I love Snowpiercer, it was one of my favorites the year it came out.

    And there's nothing wrong with seeing movies on vacation. I've done that more than once...but a Mariners game would be cool too.

    1. I wish I had seen it right when it came out, as Parasite is a pretty tough act to follow, you know?

      Hahahaha....I'm so glad you're with me on that. My wife rolls her eyes when I *jokingly* suggest it, but at this point, she lets me go...alone (which is fine).

      The Mariners game was soooo good!

  2. I love Snowpiercer! I was so surprised by what it ended up being. And Chris and his beard, always a huge plus in my book!

    Plus, I love when scifi type movies reflect the society in a exaggerated way, it's so like.. I don't know, it makes me smile. Which is weird since this also a very fcked up movie. :D

    1. Same same....same. Well, minus the beard thing. Ah, f--k it. SAME.

      Yeah, I found the whole thing so damn clever, I totally dug it. Such a cool idea for a story...

  3. " I had no idea that Ed Harris was in this"

    it's like you don't retain whatever information I give you :P

    1. Well, to my credit, you provide A LOT of information...and I'm a moron, so....

      (actually, I almost forgot about the Ed Harris days...*sigh* dreamy...)

    2. Back when I was young and Westworld was watchable

    3. Ooooh, I remember that time...when WE were young. (I don't know shit about Westworld)