CW7 was dispersed to cool the earth from global warming but runaway cooling has frozen the earth. In 2031, the only survivors live on board the train Snowpiercer traveling around the globe.
A class system develops with the front cars being the rich and powerful. Minister Mason (Tilda Swinton) is the spokesman and Wilford (Ed Harris) is the mysterious creator of the train. Curtis (Chris Evans) leads the revolt with Gilliam (John Hurt), Edgar (Jamie Bell) and Tanya (Octavia Spencer). They free Namgoong Minsoo who designed the locks. As they advance, each car holds a new surprising world.
This is something different and it’s great. The international cast is great with Tilda Swinton really eating up the screen. Chris Evans does solid work. Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer and Kang-ho Song all do good work. Alison Pill has a fun section. The idea of a perpetual train is so outlandish but this movie makes it acceptable.
I love all the different train cars that I almost want it to never end. The second half does have some minor questions. Like why does Namgoong have to blow up that particular door? Couldn’t he just blow out one of the windows? The last act wraps up a few too many things. All these are very minor and the movie’s great vision exceeds any of these problems.
Nine is an animated film produced by Tim Burton in 2009. Even though Burton only helped produce this movie it has his fingerprints all over it. The style of this film is very Burton but in a good way. In my opinion this is one of his best pictures regardless of his limited involvement. It has an intriguing premise (though a bit tired), has great character, and has great animation and a stellar atmosphere.
The film follows a living rag doll named 9 (Elijah Wood) that wakes-up to a world ravaged by a war between humans and machines. He encounters several other living rag dolls named 1, 2 5, 6, 8, and 7 (Jennifer Connelly). They’re the last living beings on Earth besides the machines. Now these rag dolls find themselves in a battle with the remaining machines.
The premise of a post-apocalyptic world where machines have destroyed mankind due to a war is nothing new, but they manage to tell this story in a unique way. I haven’t seen a story revolving around a group of living rag dolls before that wasn’t a comedy. There are no humans present at all aside from flashbacks and exposition videos.
Despite this the characters are so enjoyable that it doesn’t matter that there are no humans. Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay should take note of this when doing Transformers. You don’t always need a human element to be invested in a story like this. I liked or, at least, identified with all the characters. Even with 1, the prick, of the group, I could see where he was coming from. There is a twist at the end that is a bit iffy but I didn’t mind it that much. This is just a world where things like that can happen.
As I said earlier the animation is spectacular. The 3D animation is some of the best I’ve seen and feels necessary. I usually like 2D animation more but in this case I can’t see this movie working in 2D as well. The voice acting is great as well. Elijah Wood does an amazing job as 9. Until I looked this up online I did not know he did the voice of 9. He really disappeared in the role which is good and doesn’t feel distracting.
Overall, I think 9 is one of the best films Burton has been involved with. I don’t care what people say, I like this film just as much (if not more) as Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s an amazing animated film for all ages. It’s not like most 3D animated films out there. It has a dark atmosphere and some scenes can be intense, but I think this movie is definitely suitable for kids and adults can enjoy it as well.
4th: 12 Monkeys
An intriguing portrait of a dystopian future, an insane meditation on madness & an interesting take on the idea of time travel, reality & memories, Twelve Monkeys must’ve been one of the most creative examples of science-fiction filmmaking when it was released but looking back now, it doesn’t feel as impressive anymore despite the innumerable twists & turns it has to offer.
The story of Twelve Monkeys presents a future in which almost all of humanity has been annihilated by a deadly virus which has forced the remaining survivors to live beneath the surface. The plot concerns a convict who’s sent back in time to collect more data on the man- made virus, which seems to be connected to a mysterious organization called The Army of the Twelve Monkeys.
Directed by Terry Gilliam, the film has a strangely unnerving atmosphere looming over it from start to finish which is further helped by its eccentric set pieces, clever use of camera angles & unconventional editing which tries to engage the viewers with its constantly shifting tones & twists. And its background score is no slouch either for it further enhances its moody ambiance.
Coming to the performances, the cast of Twelve Monkeys stars Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt & Madeleine Stowe, and all three of them are crazily good in their given roles. Willis chips in strongly as the convict who’s sent back in time, Pitt is completely deranged in his role but is also the most impressive of the three, and Stowe’s character is able to hold on to her sanity for the most part.
On an overall scale, Twelve Monkeys is full of intricate themes, ideas & homages that’s presented in a manner not everyone is going to enjoy. It does play with the viewers’ minds & is a bold piece of filmmaking but its acting also comes off as exaggerated on many occasions, its romance subplot feels unnecessary, the entire production appears somewhat dated & for me, it also failed to live up to its legacy. Multiple viewings advised.