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 411mania » Movies » Columns

Alternate Takes 01.25.14 - Snowpiercer
Posted by Shawn S. Lealos on 01.25.2014

Welcome to Week 286 of Alternate Takes, my name is Shawn S. Lealos and you have entered my world.

Comic Book Movie Knockout

Here is a look at last week's winners:
The Dark Knight beat Dark Knight Rises, 346-62
X-Men: First Class beat X-Men 2, 208-196
The Avengers beat Batman, 328-92
Iron Man beat Captain America: The First Avenger, 287-126


Let's talk about SNOWPIERCER

Like most of you, I only know what I have read in the news. Unless you live in a small number of countries, you haven't seen the movie (or might have if you found a torrent of it). Either way, it is directed by Joon-no Bong, the man who brought the world the amazingly great monster movie THE HOST (not to be confused with that garbage young adult movie that came out last year).

Anyway, if you have seen the trailers, you know that it stars a ton of American stars, including a bearded and scruffy looking Chris Evans, a very asexual looking Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Alison Pill, Octavia Spencer, and Ed Harris. Basically, it has a wonderful American cast and was released – so far – only in South Korea, France, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietman, Estonia – and later this month in the United Arab Emirates. Japan and Sweden get it next month and Germany in April.

If you haven't seen the trailer, here ya go

Well, you will notice there is one surprising country that has not seen it yet, considering the cast. The big reason that Snowpiercer has not been seen yet is because is because, after Bong sold the American rights to the Weinstein brothers, Harvey Scissor-Hands decided he wanted to re-cut it. The reason he wants to cut it was so, and these are his words, people in places like Oklahoma and Iowa can understand it. As an Oklahoman, Harvey Weinstein can suck it. Bong has been fighting hard for his movie because what Harvey wants to cut out is important character development. Word is Harvey wants to turn Bong's movie into a typical American action movie – story be damned.

Well, I was sent the first English translation of the French Snowpiercer graphic novel that comes out for sale next week. It is labeled as Part 1 and is called Snowpiercer: The Escape, and I will tell you one thing – the movie that is advertised in that trailer is NOT in this book. However, I am pretty sure this movie will be the back story to what led to that graphic novel, hence the "inspired by" part of the title.

Basically, Snowpiercer: The Escape starts off with a man escaping the tail of the Snowpiercer train. He is caught and ends up meeting a woman who leads a group in the middle of the train who are fighting for the rights of all people – the rich on the front of the train and the poor in the back. The two of them are then taken by armed guards to the front of the train to meet the President. Along the way, we get a good look at how the train runs, where the food comes from, how the living conditions differ as we move forward, and more importantly how we got to this point.

Remember in the movie 2012, where the governments of the world knew the end was coming and made arks for the rich and powerful to survive on while the rest of the world was kept in the dark? That is pretty much what we have here, except instead of arks, there is a train that had been invented to run non-stop without needing to ever stop to re-fuel, and was used by the rich and powerful to survive when the world went into a global freeze. Only problem was that some people figured it out and rushed the train to get on. Those people were left in the back, in cattle cars, where they suffered and died.

There was also talk about an uprising from the tail that took the lives of many people, but was actually a massacre by the military forces of the front car people. The word spread that it was all the tail people who did it and they were now feared even by the lesser middle car people. That is exactly what the trailer for Snowpiercer looks like. As far as I can tell from reading this graphic novel, we are getting the uprising the book only hinted at.

That is very cool.

As it is, the Snowpiercer: The Escape graphic novel is a great read and a very entertaining book. It was written by Jacques Lob and illustrated in black and white by Jean-Marc Rochette and I have to give it a solid recommendation. Let's just hope the Weinstein Brothers let us see the movie as the director intended it. The original cut has gotten tremendous reviews across the world. If you want to pick up Snowpiercer: The Escape, it goes on sale next week and is available from Amazon.com.


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