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SNOWPIERCER

           

For Hicksflicks.com, Oct. 17, 2014

Of all the whackadoodle sci-fi movies I've seen — and that covers a lot of territory — few have been quite as bonkers as "Snowpiercer" (R for violence and language), which lands on Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday (Oct. 21).

Released in art houses over the summer, this global-warming cautionary tale has the last inhabitants of a frozen-over Earth traveling the globe in a train that never stops. And to be forceful with the metaphor, the "haves" live in luxury at the front of the train while the brutalized "have-nots" do the dirty work and live in squalor at the back of the train.

Once the setup is understood, the plot is pretty simple: The "have-nots" revolt and start forcing their way to the front of the train, though they aren't quite sure what they'll do once they get there.

"Snowpiercer" is directed and co-written with panache by Bong Joon-ho, whose gripping Korean movies "Host" and "Mother" were well received around the world, helping the level of interest in this film to rise.

          

Octavia Spencer, Tilda Swinton, far left; Chris Evans, center: 'Snowpiercer'

And he's managed to gather an interesting cast, led by "Captain America" himself, Chris Evans, who becomes the de facto head of the group, leading them to glory or maybe to death.

Going with him are Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer and John Hurt, with Tilda Swinton and Ed Harris representing the bad guys who are running things.

         

Obviously, this is not a film for everyone, and it is brutal in places. But Bong Joon-ho is a filmmaker to watch and with "Snowpiercer" he has delivered yet another odd but engaging piece of entertainment.