The Wednesday Four (04/15/15)

More links!

  • Isabella Karle’s Curious Crystal Method What neighbors in a quiet D.C. suburb might not know is that the silver-haired gardening grandmother next door is perhaps one of the greatest—if largely unknown—scientists of her generation. (Narratively)
  • The Dim Sum Revolution How a brigade of kitchen workers got back what had been stolen from them, and then some. (San Francisco Magazine/Modern Luxury)
  • Furiouser and Furiouser Furious 7, the latest installment of America’s beloved gearhead saga, offers the same excess of thrills and explosive charm as its predecessors. (The Atlantic)

By the time this post goes up we all will have hopefully watched Furious 7 and while the review doesn’t really have spoilers, it might ruin the sheen of the previous movies if you’ve never watched them. I, of course, love them.  And at some point (maybe even before this post goes live) I will write about why I love them.

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Falling in Love with Robots

Notes: There are spoilers for basically everything I mention in here, but if you haven’t watched Big Hero 6, you may want to skip that section, which is toward the end.

In college, we had to do a big senior thesis project and I did mine on what it means to be human — if you’re not actually human. Among other media, I wrote about Blade Runner and Marge Piercy’s novel, He She & It and in both of those novels, there are characters who fall in love with robots (androids/etc) and I find this to be endlessly interesting. I’m not exactly sure why, but I seem drawn to this theme. I’ve written a couple of short stories along these themes and somehow end up reading/watching shows with this same theme.

A year or so (maybe more?) ago I watched a good (though not great) Japanese drama called Q10. Takeru Sato plays a teenager who falls in love with a robot-girl named Q10. I actually really loved the show up until the end (which was really dumb, but if you want to watch it, I recommend the show). I like the idea that in spite of the fact that Q10 isn’t actually human (as in flesh and blood), Takeru Sato’s character still falls in love with her. The same applies to the main character of He She & It (which everyone should read). The novel takes place in a far flung future where Shira falls in love with an android named Yod. But, like most of these stories, the love cannot ever really be. This is also true for Deckard in Blade Runner (the movie — the novel is a different issue).

Loving robots is never easy or acceptable — unless the universe you create makes it so. The friend who recommended Death Note to me also recommended a lovely manga series named Chobits which is about a young man who falls in love with Chi, an android. I really loved this series, so I’m not sure if my review can be unbiased (though is it supposed to be?) because I think that as soon as I knew what the story was about, I was going to like it. While Chobits is about more than just Hideki and Chi’s friendship and eventual relationship, it’s really central to the storyline. Like He She & It, there are two stories within the manga. In Piercy’s novel, Shira’s grandmother  (one of Yod’s creator) is telling Yod the story of the golem of the Warsaw ghetto as a parallel to his existence in Shira’s world. In Chobits, one of Chi’s creators is telling Chi’s story to her in the guise of a children’s book.

I find these parallels compelling for two reasons, one because creators take an interest in their creation — you see this in Blade Runner and, a little bit, at the end of Q10 (when you find out why the robot exists). But also because it gives the androids history and background, perhaps not of their creation, but a history that they can relate to. Yod’s not made of mud and Chi cannot remember her life before Hideki found her, but the stories they’re told define them all the same.

But as much as I love these stories about humans falling in love with robots/androids, it does ruin me for other things. For example, a few weeks ago I watched Big Hero 6 and when I should’ve loved it, I didn’t like it at all. There’s nothing wrong with the movie, not really, but instead I disliked the way the movie treated Baymax at the end of the movie. One of the things talked about in Chobits is the idea that the androids in that world can be reset and there’s character who fell in love with an android and she basically dies. Her husband (they were married), instead of having her reset, decides to treat her like you would a human and allows her to die without coming back. He doesn’t care that she could, in theory, have had all of their shared memories because he’d know she wasn’t the same. Hideki, toward the end of the series, has to decide if he really loves Chi and he has this same through process.

How does this relate to Big Hero 6i? Well, at the end of the movie Baymax sacrifices himself to save people’s live, including our main character, Hiro. It was clear that Hiro loved Baymax (who belonged to Hiro’s late, beloved brother) as if he was a real person (as far as a cartoon aimed at kids can go with that theme) and so when Baymax died, I was really, really upset. Even though I knew he probably wasn’t going to stay dead — and he doesn’t. In fact, we see that he passes along his chip full of memories to Hiro so that he doesn’t even die at all. Except to me, I felt cheated. You killed off this character who was an important character and who had developed into something of a person. Why kill him off at all? I know that I read too much into it and I shouldn’t care, but it’s hard not to when there’s this whole genre out there that I adore so much.

That being said, Big Hero 6 isn’t bad and everyone should watch it. I just hated it for very personal reasons.

And, with that, I’ll take any recommendations for people falling in love with robots/androids novels! And maybe one day I’ll finish reading David Levy’s book Love + Sex with Robots.

Movie Review: Furious 7

Note: This is your spoiler warning. I’m probably not going to hold anything back, so if you haven’t seen the movie and want to remain spoiler-free, stop reading now.
Furious 7

I’ve written previously about my love of the Fast and Furious franchise of movies and, with few reservations, the latest offering lives up to my expectations. Actually, it kind of exceeded them. I talked a bit about this on Episode 21 of Pale Blue Geek, but I want to go into a bit more depth.

I read a spoiler-free discussion of Furious 7 before I saw the movie and was aware, maybe to my detriment, that the cinematography was going to be a bit different than the other movies. Unfortunately, this was correct and my only real complaint about the movie was that some of the scenes, especially early on and during a later fight between Vin Diesel and Jason Statham, made me feel a bit ill. Not that they were gross or anything, but the camera work was a bit too much for me. I think that when I watch it again on a TV screen, it will have less of an impact. I am not a fan of the shaky cam at all and while it wasn’t really shaking all that much, there was so much movement that I had to look away a few times. But it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the film, which was nice.

I do have one other complaint, which Amanda mentioned on the podcast. It is, to me, very minor and not even really a complaint. A lot of the dialogue was really cheesy, obviously some of it was cheesy on purpose and this was fine. Some of it was cheesy, possibly not on purpose and this was, well, also okay. I don’t mind giving the dialogue a pass — I do wish it could’ve been better (it should’ve been better, but the dialogue in Tokyo Drift was also very bad, so you know, it could’ve been worse), but I’m willing to forgive the movie it’s dialogue because, come on, it’s a F&F movie and all the important elements were still there.

Which leads us into the meat of this review. Honestly, I only have a few expectations for F&F movies — fast cars, things that make me laugh, explosions and family — lots of family. Furious 7 gave me all of these things — and then some awesomeness on top of that. The plot of the movie is simple enough — at the end of Furious 6 we find out who killed Han in Tokyo Drift, which is how Furious 7 starts. Jason Statham’s character, Deckard Shaw, is seeking revenge for the almost-killing of his little brother (the baddie from Furious 6). He shows up in Hobb’s office (Hobb is played by Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock) and there’s a really nice fight, but what Shaw discovers is Dom (Vin Diesel’s character) and his team. This starts him on a witchhunt to take down the F&F crew.

Bad things happen, Dom goes to Tokyo to bring Han home, we have cameos by the main Tokyo Drift kiddies (now adults, but still looking like the teenagers they were in Tokyo Drift. And then, somewhere along the way, Brian (the late Paul Walker) and Dom end up working for (and with) the government — the agent they work with isn’t Hobbs, he’s laid up in the hospital with his adorable daughter (we also have a nice cameo by Elsa Pataky’s Elena, who is still awesome and I wish she was in the movie more), instead it’s Kurt Russell, who is amusing and his own share of terrible lines.

There are handful of really good scenes between Dom and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) which culminates in her leaving Dom, but Kurt Russell brings her back — because the team has to go being a heist movie. Their goal? To rescue a hacker, known only by the name Ramsey, and the computer program (think the Machine from Person of Interest), the hacker designed. The heist is pretty awesome and I won’t spoil that for you — but I will spoil the hacker for you. You see, when we (and Roman) think of hackers, we think of pasty white guys with nerdy glasses. But if there’s one thing you can trust about F&F it’s that they love to subvert stereotypes. Our hacker? IS A GIRL. SHE IS A GIRL and it is AMAZING. She’s snarky and brave and badass in her own hackery ways and she is SUPER fantastic. She’s played by British actress Nathalie Emmanuel and I love her SO MUCH.

So,they get Ramsey, but they don’t have the device she created and so they have to go to Abu Dhabi because of course they do. Stuff happens, fights happen (Letty gets to be awesome fighting other ladies YET AGAIN) and cars happen, because this is F&F of course. They get the device, they try to take down Shaw and fail (because of course he’s prepared, he’s not dumb). And it turns out that he’s teamed up with Tony Jaa* (Kiet) and Djimon Hounsou (Mose Jakande) who were Ramsey’s original kidnappers.

So now all the baddies are working together and so the crew decides to go back to the States and fight them on home turf. Drama happens. Things blow up. The good guys win and The Rock has a giant gun and I really wanted him to punch the drone, but he didn’t. And those are all the spoilers for the end of the movie because I have to leave something to the imagination.

That brings us to the very end of the film. Throughout the movie, you almost felt like Paul Walker’s Brian was going to die. That didn’t happen, some people think it would’ve been crass, I wouldn’t have minded. But what does happen is that Mia (Dom’s sister and Brian’s wife) is pregnant with the couple’s second child and they decide to give up racing/etc in favor of raising their family away from the violence of street racing/catching bad guys/etc. Obviously this isn’t the last of the F&F movies to be made, but it is the last for Paul Walker. So, after the lovely beach scene where the three is watching Brian, Mia and little Jack, we get a nice, long look at the faces of the crew. Everyone is really, really sad — because we’re leading into the tribute to the late Paul Walker.

Obviously I was already crying as soon as the beach scene started. It was heartbreaking (I was really upset when Paul Walker died in 2013, I can’t believe it’s been that long). So, at the end of the movie they had Dom drive off and then Brian catches up to him and is like, are you really going to leave without saying goodbye? And I’m sobbing so hard now, because of course I am. And then they drive off and we fade into clips of Brian in the previous movies and MY HEART HURTS, Y’ALL. It hurts. I cry too loud and I don’t care.

If you want to see gifs from the final scene, check out this link sent to me by my lovely dad.

For more on the new director of the movie, check out this link:

  • From Evil to Diesel: “Furious 7” Director James Wan on bringing insidious skills to an action franchise. (Fast Company/Co.Create)

So, what’s my verdict? Even if you haven’t seen any other F&F movies (which you should, if you haven’t), you can go see and totally enjoy Furious 7. It’s a fun ride (ha ha) and while the acting/etc isn’t the best, it’s hard to care about that. The end probably won’t impact you as much as those of us who’ve been watching from the beginning, but that’s okay, too. So, yes, GO SEE IT. What are you waiting for?

Furious 7

Furious 7

*Note about Tony Jaa. He’s Thai martial artist and while the rest of the fight scenes in F&F were enjoyable, his were magnificent. I really need to go watch more stuff with him in it because I really, REALLY loved watching him fight — especially since he spent most of his time fighting Brian (Paul Walker, a student double and/or his brother) who is not nearly as experienced. Imagine me swooning a tiny bit, okay?

The Wednesday Four (04/08/15)

Trying again to do links posts. Maybe this time it’ll work! Hopefully, every week, I’ll share four of the most interesting links I’ve run across. We’ll see how long it lasts. Also, keep your eyes on this blog, I’m going to try to use it more and more. Onto today’s links:

A note about the fourth link. I’m a huge fan of Bong Joon Ho’s flims (the only one most of you might’ve watched is Snowpiercer) but I would recommend any of the films he’s directed (except for Barking Dogs Never Bite, because I haven’t seen it). The Host is (or was) on Netflix, I think Mother might be on it, too. But if you can, I would highly, highly recommend Memories of Murder, it is excellent in every way.

The Fast and The Furious Franchise (or why Sarah loves these movies)

The Fast and The FuriousOver Easter/Passover weekend this year, my dad and I watched four of the seven F&F movies. Why? Well, because we could! Okay, that’s not entirely true. I can’t remember how the topic came up, but what I do know is that I read this link to my dad. It’s basically a girl who (like me) is trying to get her dad to give the F&F franchise a chance, which makes it even more fun that I read it to my dad. It must’ve worked, because on Thursday night (April 2) we sat down and watched The Fast and The Furious aka the first movie.It was really enjoyable, actually! And it’s been so long since I’ve watched all these movies, it was pretty great. But what made it even more fun was that I got to watch them with my dad, who’d never seen them before.

I made the executive decision that we would skip 2 Fast 2 Furious and Tokyo Drift (I’ll return to that one, though) in favor of all the Vin Diesel + Paul Walker movies. Which means we watched 1 and 4-6 and it was GLORIOUS. No, really. IT WAS. I cannot wait for Furious 7 (maybe sometime this week! hopefully!). But, the point at hand is why do I love these movies? You could go read that link above and that would explain a lot of it (most of it), but I want to add something.

You know, a lot of people grew up with the Harry Potter movies, they watched the kids grow up as they themselves did. And, in a way, that’s a tiny bit of how I feel about the F&F movies. Why? Well, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because back in 2001 I was living at home, I’d graduated from undergrad the previous year and didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. And I basically saw all of these movies, most of them in the theater, as they came out. A friend of mine and I have gone to see a bunch of them, too. And every time they mention there’s going to be a new one, I get a little thrill.

When Paul Walker died, it was heartbreaking for me, as a fan (let’s not talk about how hard it hit the cast of the F&F movies), because I’d fallen in love with the found family of the F&F franchise. I liked these characters and their ridiculous and totally unrealistic antics. But at the same time the thing that binds them together — that makes these movies work even though they aren’t grounded in reality, is the whole theme of family — found family as the movies (and that link) explicit show us. The main characters of F&F are diverse in every way and they are all amazing and work together in such a fantastic way that they just make you root for them, even when they’re stealing cars and getting into fights.

Note: Spoilers for all the movies (except 7) in this paragraph. You can skip to the next one.

And so when we lose Letty in four (ignoring that she’s not really dead), it SUCKS. We lose Han in 3, but it doesn’t hurt as much as it will. Why? Because Han’s in 4-6. He’s THERE. He’s alive and he’s amazing. But in six he loses Gisele and that is awful and then we get that scene in the credits, which is “from” Tokyo Drift where we find out who and why Han was killed, it is equally terrible. Because we’ve grown to care for both Han and Gisele. Hey, at least Gisele wasn’t fridged, so we can be thankful of that fact. But it still sucks.

Note: End of spoilers.

I don’t know how they’re going to deal with Paul Walker’s death — I heard that they do a good job (there’s a link in next week’s post that talks a bit about it and maybe I’ll review the movie after I see it) and that’s all I can ask. It’s going to be hard — it was hard watching the first movie, to be honest, knowing that he’s dead. Actually, it was hard watching all of them know that Brian’s not going to be around for the ones after 7. That being said, if 7 is as enjoyable as people seem to think (at least so far) then I want more of them. Fast and Furious 6/Furious 6

I love the F&F franchise and why not? It’s big on everything I love (in an odd way, similar to all those John Woo movies I love: bromance, hijinks and two gun action, with the added bonus of totally awesome ladies). If you think the F&F movies are just dumb, bro-y, car movies, you’re wrong. Sure, they’ve got the scantily clad ladies and the big cars. But they also have ladies who are awesome, a SUPER diverse cast (who are also awesome) and a focus on what’s important — family. What’s not to love?

Go see the movies. Don’t be ashamed. You should love them as much as I do. They’ve got something for everyone. I promise. Also, where else can you see Vin Diesel and The Rock sharing the same screen and being bromancey? No where else. It’s worth it, just for the two of them (The Rock shows up in Fast Five). Go forth and enjoy!

The Thursday Ten

As was the case last week, many of these are depressing. But there are a couple of not-quite-so-depressing ones, plus some nice bonus links. One of the links I’d originally suggested if you only read one article, read that one, but after reading some more (especially the Why I Stayed and the Afghan Girls articles), I feel like there are several y’all should read.

  • How Police Caught The Cop Who Allegedly Sexually Abused 8 Black Women: Prosecutors say Officer Daniel Holtzclaw made a mistake after a series of sexual assaults on black women in Oklahoma City — he profiled the wrong woman. His family says he’s a victim of “solicited testimony” from women who have “personal motives” to lie. BuzzFeed News reports from the Oklahoma County courtroom where, Wednesday, prosecutors described a pattern of sexual harassment and assault. (Buzzfeed)
  • DATAcide: The Total Annihilation of Life as We Know It (Adbusters) Note: This is possibly one of the best I’ve ever read. Exquisite. Though probably, as my sister agreed, because it sounds like something William Gibson would’ve written.
  • How “Empire Records” Became The Unlikely Film Of A Generation: Engineered to be the teen-movie equivalent of the mid-’90s alt-rock zeitgeist, Empire Records flopped in the theaters, only to become a cult classic a generation later. For the first time, the people who made the movie talk about how it came together, why it bombed, and how it found its second life. (Buzzfeed) Note: I am one of those in betweeners who loved this movie. It was everything I didn’t know I wanted. And, to this day, my sister and friends of mine will quote this movie to each other. It’s that good to us.
  • The Afghan Girls Who Live as Boys:  In a society that demands sons at almost any cost, some families are cutting their daughters’ hair short and giving them male names. (The Atlantic)
  • “Son, Men Don’t Get Raped” Sexual assault is alarmingly common in the U.S. military, and more than half of the victims are men. According to the Pentagon, thirty-eight military men are sexually assaulted every single day. These are the stories you never hear—because the culprits almost always go free, the survivors rarely speak, and no one in the military or Congress has done enough to stop it (GQ) Note: Trigger warnings for sexual assault and graphic descriptions of rape. 

Today’s bonus links are animals and books!

  • Scientists uncover five new species of ‘toupee’ monkeys in the Amazon: While saki monkeys may be characterized by floppy mops of hair that resemble the worst of human toupees, these acrobatic, tree-dwelling primates are essential for dispersing seeds across the vast Amazon landscape as they primarily dine on fruit. After long being neglected by both scientists and conservationists, a massive research effort by one intrepid researcher has revealed the full-scale of saki monkey diversity, uncovering five new species. (Mongabay)
  • New 96-Page Murakami Work Coming in December: Haruki Murakami’s next book, “The Strange Library,” sounds surreal and experimental even for an author whose work features talking cats, giant frogs and malicious miniature people. (New York Times) Note: I am buying this. I need to own this. I need to own all Murakami, tbh.

Movie Review: Snowpiercer

Warning: vague spoilers for the movie, though the links at the end have far more spoilers than my mini-review.

A few weekends ago, H and I went to see a movie I’d been waiting to see for a long time (as in, the earliest mention of it in my email was April of 2013, so I’ve been waiting over a year): Snowpiercer. I love science fiction films and I’d watched director Bong Joon Ho’s classic Memories of Murder (highly recommended, by the way) and loved it. Plus, a dystopian movie starring Chris Evans, Jamie Bell and Tilda Swinton? I needed this movie. Little did I know that it would be a year and three months before I could see it.

I suffered through the battle between the director and Harvey Weinstein. He wanted to cut 20 minutes out of the film (as he did with The Grandmaster, which didn’t suffer as much as it could’ve, though I still knew what was cut). And when you see the movie, you wonder what he could’ve cut and what kind of movie that would’ve been. And then you’re grateful that we’ll never know. Eventually Weinstein relented, doing the film a disservice by giving it a limited release (NY and LA) and then a wider release (larger cities/art houses) before allowing it to be VOD and in 300+ theaters. I’m just happy it made it here at all, to be frank.

Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer

Yes, I could’ve downloaded it illegally. And, on numerous occasions, I debated buying it on DVD (either the Hong Kong or Korean editions, but came with the needed English subtitles). But I really just wanted it to come out on DVD. Then I saw it was coming out the weekend H and I were going to Chicago — perfect! Except it wasn’t playing in Chicago. And then I found out it was going to be at The State in Ann Arbor (where H and I had previously seen A Touch of Sin, another amazing movie and also highly recommended). I asked and she agreed to go. But then, lo and behold, Snowpiercer got a wider release.

Instead of driving an hour (give or take) to sit in uncomfortable seats, we got to see it in a theater in the mall between our homes. It was worth the wait (I shouldn’t’ve have had to wait, but that’s a different story). Snowpiercer is loosely based on a French graphic novel (two volumes, one of which I own and haven’t read yet — on purpose) of the same name (Le Transperceneige in French). It’s the story of a train. In a post-apocalyptic world (of our own making), the train must circle the globe in order to keep the people on board alive. At least that’s what we’re meant to believe.

Bong Joon Ho makes us believe a lot of things and that’s part of what makes Snowpiercer so good. It’s what he doesn’t tell us that makes Snowpiercer a great movie. I’ve heard it been called a lot of things, many negative: overly violent, unsettling, disturbing, upsetting and akin to a horror film. It was none of these things to me (or H, really). Perhaps it’s because we’ve seen so many movies that are all of those things. Or maybe it’s because I’ve read so much dystopia that I forgot other genres exist. Or maybe we just went into the movie knowing what we were getting into. Regardless, the movie is those things to other people, just not to me (or H).

Our story follows Chris Evans’ character as our reluctant hero. He has secrets, all of our characters have secrets — hell, the train itself has secrets. This movie is about secrets — but it’s more than that. It is, of course, a movie about class, an examination of our society (the 99% at the back of the train and the 1% at the front of the train). And it’s not without flaws, but even the best movies are flawed.

Yes, there is violence. This is not a fluffly dystopia or a kids movie. Yes, it’s scary if you’re not used to this type of thing (which I’m assuming most of the US movie going public isn’t). There are upsetting, unsettling and disturbing things in the movie. But it’s all worth it because Snowpiercer is the kind of action movie Hollywood thinks we don’t deserve. They want us to believe that it’s too good for us, too smart for us. But it’s not. We’re all smart enough to understand the movie; on one or all of the many levels. And that’s why you need to go see it. It’s okay to cover your eyes if it gets bad (though it’s got nothing on The Raid and The Raid 2, which are two of the most violent movies I’ve ever seen, but really good, though I can only recommend them with caveats). But you should see it, even if it’s only on the small screen (though, like the new Godzilla movie, Snowpiercer is best seen in the theater).

And now that I’ve said my piece, here are a ton of links about the movie.

“Snowpiercer” Should Have Been The Breakout Blockbuster Of The Summer:  Bong Joon-ho’s dystopian masterpiece ought to be the film that everyone’s talking about this summer, just like Spielberg’s Jaws in 1975. So what went wrong? Warning: Spoilers for Snowpiercer ahead. (Buzzfeed)

26 Reasons “Snowpiercer” Is The Best Movie You’ve Never Seen: In pictures/gifts and with some spoilers. (Buzzfeed)

The Snowpiercearound: The Grantland staff is currently a little obsessed with Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, a should-be U.S. blockbuster currently relegated to VOD and a handful of theaters across the country. (It’s already made more than $80 million internationally, so no need to worry about it.) It’s a weird, thoroughly entertaining piece of sci-fi action, that left us with more to chew on than a freshly milled batch of protein blocks.  WARNING: BIG SPOILERS AHEAD. If you haven’t seen the movie, go watch it right now, then come back here and climb aboard our hurtling apocalypse train. (Grantland)

Snowpiercer review: Train ride through Bong Joon-Ho’s icy apocalypse is one ticket worth buying  (Sydney Morning Herald)

In ‘Snowpiercer,’ A Never-Ending Train Ride And A Society Badly Off Track: The movie itself is uniquely international: Snowpiercer is based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette. It’s directed by a Korean auteur and stars Hollywood A-listers including Tilda Swinton and Ed Harris. The movie opened in South Korea last summer. Since then it has played all over the world, and certain Americans have been wildly impatient for Snowpiercer to open here. (NPR)

The Satisfying Chill Of The Audacious ‘Snowpiercer‘: Idea-heavy science fiction hasn’t exactly been burning up the box office lately with films like Edge of Tomorrow and Transcendence. Snowpiercer‘s limited release isn’t going to do much to change that, but this is exactly the sort of ambitious, audacious and uncompromising filmmaking that deserves to be seen. (NPR)

Sci-fi movie Snowpiercer is one of the most political films of the year: So long as the system exists as it is, those who seek to change it are doomed to become chewed up by it. You can say you want to do something about income inequality, but the only thing that will really change it, in Bong’s view, is exploding the order as it exists and embarking upon something new entirely, even if that something new leads to certain death.  (VOX)

Snowpiercer: Snowpiercer succeeds where last year’s Elysium fell short. Projecting the problems of today into a science-fiction tomorrow, it also ties them to a compelling story that keeps shifting under its characters’ feet. (The Dissolve)

Snowpiercer: A Bleak Allegory About Climate Change and Income Inequality—Set on a Train!: Snowpiercer is its own strange, special thing, a movie that seems to have been sent back to us from some distant alternate future where grandiose summer action movies can also be lovingly crafted, thematically ambitious works of art. Let’s keep pushing ahead, one train car at a time, until we get there. (Slate)

 SNOWPIERCER Movie Review: An Incendiary Masterpiece: Bong Joon-Ho’s English-language debut is an exciting, inventive and brilliant masterwork of agitprop scifi. (Badass Digest)

In ‘Snowpiercer,’ bureaucracy is the real monster: But while Bong Joon-ho’s movie is certainly political, in that it is concerned with policy decisions and their outcomes as well as power and bureaucracy, I am not sure that it is in any way straightforwardly progressive. Rather, it draws ideas from many traditions and current controversies. If there is a real enemy here, it is the mindless worship of a preexisting order. (Washington Post)

 Train in Vain: How ‘Snowpiercer’ Became the Summer’s Coolest Movie: South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s sci-fi epic fought its way to American screens — and beats Hollywood blockbusters at their own adrenaline-rush game  (Rolling Stone)

Hurtling along in Bong Joon-ho’s train movie ‘Snowpiercer’: But the real engineer is Bong, and though there are bumps along the way, he knows how to drive this train. (LA Times)

‘Snowpiercer’ director Bong Joon-ho conducts the sci-fi train his way: With “Snowpiercer” Bong has continued his genre cross-pollinations, making a politically minded action movie that deals with real-world issues in a fantastic setting on a scale that is both personal and epic. (LA Times)

Why “Snowpiercer” Director Bong Joon-Ho Should Be Your New Favorite Filmmaker: Chris Evans’ new movie is the English-language debut of Korean director Bong Joon-ho. But it’s worth braving subtitles for the the filmmaker’s earlier work too. (Buzzfeed)

Chris Evans Proves He’s More Than Captain America In “Snowpiercer”:  The superhero franchise star shows off his dramatic chops in a dystopian story about humanity’s desperate attempts to survive a sudden ice age. (Buzzfeed) Note: Less about Evans than I expected, but an interesting read.

Go see the movie. Please go see the movie. We need more films like it.