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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Snowpiercer (2 disc Special Edition) [Blu-ray]

 

(Joon-ho Bong, 2013)

 

 

    

    

Also available, on Blu-ray, in Region 'A' (North America):

    

More Apocalypse-related films on Blu-ray and DVD reviewed (click review buttons to also see

comparisons where applicable) from our article Films From The End of the World:

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: CJ Entertainment

Video: Koch Media (Italy)

 

Disc:

Region: 'B'-locked (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:06:25.250

Disc Size: 33,612,819,827 bytes

Feature Size: 32,839,471,104 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.98 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 10th, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 24 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4321 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4321 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

DUB:

DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 4331 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4331 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
 

Subtitles:

Italian, none

 

Extras:

• Italian trailer (1:32)

Promo (1:03)

TV Spot (0:32)

Blu-ray 2
Scenography - the sets (10:27)
Visual Effects (17:50 English - Italian subtitles)
Birth of Snowpiercer - Behind the Scenes (15:09 Korean with Italian subtitles)
Characters (13:08 Korean, some English with Italian subtitles)
Press Conference (1:11:50 - Korean, some English with Italian subtitles)
Photo gallery (5:20)
Comic Art (54:26 - French with Italian subtitles)
Concept Art (2:13)
Prequel Animation (4:42)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: A post-apocalyptic ice age forces humanity's last survivors aboard a globe-spanning super train. One man (Chris Evans) will risk everything to lead a revolt for control of the engine and the future of the world.

 

 

The Film:

In the mood for allegory? Have a look at Bong Joon-ho’s “Snowpiercer,” which proceeds from a fantastical premise rich with real-world relevance. After a human-engineered planetary catastrophe (trying to arrest the planet’s warming, we accidentally froze it solid), the remaining people are stuck on a train that never stops moving. A few thousand survivors live in railway cars, sorted into a rigid and ruthlessly enforced social order. In the back are huddled masses fed on gelatinous, insect-based black protein bars and kept in line by a combination of propaganda and brute force. Toward the front, the more fortunate enjoy access to schools, nightclubs, fresh food and the reassurance that they deserve everything they have. An unseen, quasi-mythical entrepreneur is in charge, and a group of rebels have decided to challenge his power and the extreme inequality he represents.

Excerpt from the NYTimes located HERE

Snowpiercer feels like a response to that oft-repeated, tricky-to-source leftist refrain that “it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.” The film, based on a French graphic novel and co-written and directed by South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho (making his English-language debut), imagines an end-of-the-world scenario where the scaffolding of capitalism remains perfectly intact, without even actual capitalism bunging up the works.

In 2014, a last-ditch attempt to forestall global warming by releasing a concentrated coolant into the atmosphere backfires, leaving the earth trapped under ice. What few survivors remain rocket around the planet on the Snowpiercer: an enormous locomotive initially developed by an eccentric engineer as a luxury holiday alternative, repurposed post-apocalypse as a “rattling ark,” forever circumnavigating the globe, powered by a perpetual motion engine that’s worshipped like a god.

Excerpt from TheGlobeandMail located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Snowpiercer is a very visual film with plenty of effects and the Blu-ray from Koch Media, out of Italy, looks very solid. The image is quite dark and looks very rich with a pleasing thickness and depth and strong detail in the film's few close-ups. This Blu-ray supports the film's hopeless atmosphere and the effects are impressive.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Koch Media offer an intense DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at a whopping 4321 kbps with plenty of depth and there are some floor rattling effects. The original music by Marco Beltrami (The Hurt Locker, 3:10 to Yuma, In the Electric Mist etc.) is solid and I really appreciated how it was used in the film helping to create tension while supporting the action. There is an equally robust optional Italian DUB and optional Italian subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

NOTE: The text screens are in Italian in this edition and brief Korean dialogue is only translated to Italian.

 

 

Extras :

The feature disc offers an Italian trailer, promo and a TV Spot but there is an entire second Blu-ray of extras. Unfortunately many are not English-friendly. There is a 10-minute piece of the sets used in the film and another focusing on the Visual Effects (17:50 English - Italian subtitles) but Birth of Snowpiercer - a kind of 'behind-the-scenes' has input from the director so it is basically in Korean with Italian subtitles offered. Ditto for Characters but the 1/14 hour Press Conference has some English (again with Italian subtitles.) There is a photo gallery and some other video pieces on visuals - Concept Art and Prequel Animation, but the hour long one is in French (with Italian subtitles.)

 

Blu-ray 2

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Snowpiercer fits my apocalyptic-bent and I've enjoyed most of Joon-ho Bong's films (Mother, Shaking Tokyo, The Host, Memories of Murder). There is definitely something behind this and the inventive aspects are a huge strength. I'll be watching it again. So, I'm happy to have seen it and but the Italian Blu-ray's lack of English-friendly extras probably make it best for residents of that country - but the film still gets a thumbs up and I might seek out a Region 'A' version to compare one day. For the genre it's quite above-average.  

Gary Tooze

October 17th, 2016

 

 

    

    

Also available, on Blu-ray, in Region 'A' (North America):

    

More Apocalypse-related films on Blu-ray and DVD reviewed (click review buttons to also see

comparisons where applicable) from our article Films From The End of the World:


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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