UnionVGF's Movie of the Month Club: New World *Spoilers* (February 2014)

team56th

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What is it about most of the Korean films I watch and the acting? I've talked with Team about this before and I guess I just pick movies with pretty solid casts. New World was no different.

I wouldn't have really thought that New World was familiar if I didn't read it here. There are some similarities but not enough to make me feel that I watched it before.

I really enjoyed the photography in New World. The staging is awesome. How action is covered is how I would wish more action films would shoot, a stationary camera. The big bat and knife war scene was wonderful to look at. The cinematography helped make the scene epic all the way until the elevator door opened.

I left the film wanting more. Along the lines of rankandfile, I felt something was missing. It's almost as if the film could have been longer. I would liked to have seen more of a backstory but I think to really flesh that out it couldn't have been done in a single feature but there wouldn't be enough for another film. It's a conundrum.

I wanted to have more of a backstory because I would liked to have seen how the friendship of Lee and Jeong came to be and how that influenced Jeong's decision to keep the file of Lee hidden and protect him. The epilogue scene showing them buddying around was a nice touch and almost hints a a prequel. I wouldn't mind seeing one. The film just came out and it's received positive feedback. Maybe a prequel will eventually come?
There is a talk to turn this movie into a trilogy, but I haven't followed, not sure.

This movie clearly benefits from great casts. All the three actors are some of the biggest names here. Since I talked enough about the other two lead, Hwang Jeong-min(who played Jeong Chung) has a truly wide range and has played a variety of characters, all with a good success. I consider a ruthless, corrupt detective in The Unjust as his best work yet, but while Chung is a little too over-the-top for my taste, he pulled a pretty good job here as well.

Hence the excessive use of close-up works IMO. Close-ups are used to convey emotions from the slightest change in the face of actors, and all the actors that worked on New World are capable of utilizing it. The quality of mid-sized shots, while few and far between, are also quite effective as far as I remember. I remember some of the bigger and mid-sized shots all bathed in blue, especially ones in the port where the gangs cement their victims in a drum and throw them down into the sea. That was quite a chilling moment.

The cinematographer here is Jeong Jeong-hoon, who is (unsurprisingly) a staple of Park Chan-wook. Yes, he shot the action scenes in Oldboy, and the trace of it is definitely there in climatic action scene of New World. Word is he had this very little spare time when he was shooting Stoker with Park in US, and the director just begged Jeong to shoot some scenes for his film, so he came back to Korea, shot the action scenes and some others for about a week, and then went back to US to continue on Stoker.

Oh, and did I or the synopsis mention, the director is the writer of I Saw The Devil and The Unjust? Guess that would sound interesting to menace-uk-.
 
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Joon

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i thought the epilogue scene was silly. when it came up i was excited because i thought it would show some dramatic moment from the past that showed that the 2 guys (forget their names) had a strong, underlying bond within their relationship and how that blurred the lines between the simple "cop vs bad guy" premise. but nope, the scene was just them getting into a fight. it was so underwhelming that i feel like i had to have missed something?
 

team56th

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i thought the epilogue scene was silly. when it came up i was excited because i thought it would show some dramatic moment from the past that showed that the 2 guys (forget their names) had a strong, underlying bond within their relationship and how that blurred the lines between the simple "cop vs bad guy" premise. but nope, the scene was just them getting into a fight. it was so underwhelming that i feel like i had to have missed something?
I do find that scene really WEAK. The intention must be to explain why Chung saved Jasung when he knew he was a cop, but by that time I was like ugh not another flashback. Flashbacks in this movie are weak. I usually don't like them and in this movie it just hurts the pace. Maybe it's just me, but I think flashback is a cheat. People rely on flashback because they cannot convey characters in the given timeline, especially so in this film.
 

starseeker

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After reading back & for, I realized this thread is about a single movie: new World.

Have not seen, or even heard about this film, but I think American should more often look also for film not made in Hollywood. There are some very good movies, & also, how movies are done outside Hollywood.

The British have their own style & humor, (Just compare Classic British romantic comedy like Love:actually & Notting hill, with the typical Hollywood romantic comedy like friends with Benefit), French, Japanese, Korean, Swedish, Bollywood etc all have their distinct style.
 

menace-uk-

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Suggestion for the next movie: The Fountain. I have seen it several times and still do not get it. I think it would make an excellent discussion topic. Plus, I wouldn't mind watching it again :)
 

team56th

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Suggestion for the next movie: The Fountain. I have seen it several times and still do not get it. I think it would make an excellent discussion topic. Plus, I wouldn't mind watching it again :)
I second The Fountain. Awesome film, we have to do it ... some day. As for March, Plainview seems to have something else in mind... and possibly in me too.
 

Plainview

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I do find that scene really WEAK. The intention must be to explain why Chung saved Jasung when he knew he was a cop, but by that time I was like ugh not another flashback. Flashbacks in this movie are weak. I usually don't like them and in this movie it just hurts the pace. Maybe it's just me, but I think flashback is a cheat. People rely on flashback because they cannot convey characters in the given timeline, especially so in this film.
I liked the scene but I do think it was tacked on. I think it was tacked on as a precursor to a possible prequel? I'm not sure about Korean cinema but are they used to after credit scenes? If not, maybe this was their attempt at doing something like that but before the credits?
 

team56th

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I liked the scene but I do think it was tacked on. I think it was tacked on as a precursor to a possible prequel? I'm not sure about Korean cinema but are they used to after credit scenes? If not, maybe this was their attempt at doing something like that but before the credits?
Franchise is something that Hollywood does well and only Hollywood does, I found that scene to be quite uncommon for Korean cinema. But with talks about possible trilogy, the director might have had prequel in mind. Bearing what people liked about the film in mind (relationships between Jasung and Chung), if there is the next one, it will be a prequel rather than sequel.
 

Plainview

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Franchise is something that Hollywood does well and only Hollywood does, I found that scene to be quite uncommon for Korean cinema. But with talks about possible trilogy, the director might have had prequel in mind. Bearing what people liked about the film in mind (relationships between Jasung and Chung), if there is the next one, it will be a prequel rather than sequel.
I'm definitely most interested in their relationship. That was the best part of the movie.
 

team56th

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I'm definitely most interested in their relationship. That was the best part of the movie.
Homosexual connotations aside, why Chung spared Jasung is a solid mystery. I would prefer not to get a clear answer through prequel though. Like I don't want to be explained about Space Jockeys in Prometheus.
 

Plainview

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Homosexual connotations aside, why Chung spared Jasung is a solid mystery. I would prefer not to get a clear answer through prequel though. Like I don't want to be explained about Space Jockeys in Prometheus.
I don't want it to be one specific moment where Chung became indebted to Jasung. A building friendship, or love, as the backdrop to the rising through the ranks would be awesome.

On an aside, It's been about a year since I've watched Memories of Murder. I need to see it again. Then Mother.

And where the f#ck is my Snowpiercer?

Woohooooo!!!!!

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Chris-Evans-Snowpiercer-Have-Trimmed-Its-U-Release-41555.html

If you have been paying attention to German media today (and if you haven’t, why the hell not?), you already know that Bong Joon-ho’s anticipated Snowpiercer began screening for critics at the Berlin International Film Festival. And while European audiences get their first look at the latest from the controversial director of The Host and Mother, U.S. audiences get a bit of good news about the version that they are eventually going to get to see back in the States.

Bong’s film is a post-apocalyptic thriller set in a world that’s about to plunge into an ice age thanks to decisions human made which have drastically screwed with nature’s balance. Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt and Ko Asung star in the story of the last remaining human survivors riding on the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe via a perpetual-motion engine. As one might expect would happen in such a unique scenario, classes begin to divide, creating tension and chaos in a claustrophic location that can’t handle such stress.

There has been additional stress tied to the post-production of the film, though. The director and Harvey Weinstein – who will distribute the film via The Weinstein Company – disagreed over the length and pace of the final cut. Bong submitted a cut that ran roughly 2 and a half hours. Weinstein wanted it trimmed for U.S. consumption. American fans of Bong’s previous films were furious, demanding to see the director’s complete vision. Today, they have won out.

Deadline reports that the dispute between Bong and Weistein "has been resolved," and that the uncut version of Snowpiercer will open in the U.S. after all. Instead of the film getting a wide release as planned however – a move made possible no doubt to the presence of the bankable Evans in a non-Marvel role – it will receive a platform release. "I am told the picture is not being dumped," Mike Fleming writes for the site, which is the best news Bong’s fans could have hoped for at this stage.

Meanwhile, several U.S. critics were able to see the uncut Snowpiercer in Berlin, but only Alex Billington of First Showing has posted a reaction, stating:

Cannot wait for rest of the world to experience Snowpiercer. Uncut. There's nothing that should be pulled out, it's near perfection as is.

— Alex Billington (@firstshowing) February 7, 2014

He must not know about the conflict resolution happening back here in the States. So, celebrate, film fans. We won a significant battle today. Support Snowpiercer when it reaches a theater near you, and producers might think twice about asking directors to go back and trim the work they want their viewers to see.​
 
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team56th

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Oct 20, 2013
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I don't want it to be one specific moment where Chung became indebted to Jasung. A building friendship, or love, as the backdrop to the rising through the ranks would be awesome.

On an aside, It's been about a year since I've watched Memories of Murder. I need to see it again. Then Mother.

And where the f#ck is my Snowpiercer?

Woohooooo!!!!!

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Chris-Evans-Snowpiercer-Have-Trimmed-Its-U-Release-41555.html

If you have been paying attention to German media today (and if you haven’t, why the hell not?), you already know that Bong Joon-ho’s anticipated Snowpiercer began screening for critics at the Berlin International Film Festival. And while European audiences get their first look at the latest from the controversial director of The Host and Mother, U.S. audiences get a bit of good news about the version that they are eventually going to get to see back in the States.

Bong’s film is a post-apocalyptic thriller set in a world that’s about to plunge into an ice age thanks to decisions human made which have drastically screwed with nature’s balance. Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt and Ko Asung star in the story of the last remaining human survivors riding on the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe via a perpetual-motion engine. As one might expect would happen in such a unique scenario, classes begin to divide, creating tension and chaos in a claustrophic location that can’t handle such stress.

There has been additional stress tied to the post-production of the film, though. The director and Harvey Weinstein – who will distribute the film via The Weinstein Company – disagreed over the length and pace of the final cut. Bong submitted a cut that ran roughly 2 and a half hours. Weinstein wanted it trimmed for U.S. consumption. American fans of Bong’s previous films were furious, demanding to see the director’s complete vision. Today, they have won out.

Deadline reports that the dispute between Bong and Weistein "has been resolved," and that the uncut version of Snowpiercer will open in the U.S. after all. Instead of the film getting a wide release as planned however – a move made possible no doubt to the presence of the bankable Evans in a non-Marvel role – it will receive a platform release. "I am told the picture is not being dumped," Mike Fleming writes for the site, which is the best news Bong’s fans could have hoped for at this stage.

Meanwhile, several U.S. critics were able to see the uncut Snowpiercer in Berlin, but only Alex Billington of First Showing has posted a reaction, stating:

Cannot wait for rest of the world to experience Snowpiercer. Uncut. There's nothing that should be pulled out, it's near perfection as is.

— Alex Billington (@firstshowing) February 7, 2014

He must not know about the conflict resolution happening back here in the States. So, celebrate, film fans. We won a significant battle today. Support Snowpiercer when it reaches a theater near you, and producers might think twice about asking directors to go back and trim the work they want their viewers to see.​
Geez, f***ing Weinstein trying to derail a film for no reason yet again. Fortunately the film already got its budget back, I guess that is why they settled with uncut and limited. Wouldn't say the movie is perfect, but it is like Apocalypse Now except that it's post-apocalyptic. Those who enjoyed Bong's previous films will definitely enjoy it.
 

Joon

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Geez, f***ing Weinstein trying to derail a film for no reason yet again. Fortunately the film already got its budget back, I guess that is why they settled with uncut and limited. Wouldn't say the movie is perfect, but it is like Apocalypse Now except that it's post-apocalyptic. Those who enjoyed Bong's previous films will definitely enjoy it.
i liked mother and the host (yet to see memories) and thought snowpiercers was poor. the themes were forced to an overbearing extent and there was no [good] humour to relive it. it's an action movie more than anything, and i think a cut version would leave the film better off.
 

team56th

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i liked mother and the host (yet to see memories) and thought snowpiercers was poor. the themes were forced to an overbearing extent and there was no [good] humour to relive it. it's an action movie more than anything, and i think a cut version would leave the film better off.
Snowpiercer is far from perfect. It's very inconsistent, hence comparison to Apocalypse Now. I kinda know where you think the movie can be cut, for there are parts that severely drag the film, and apparently Weinstein wanted to cut those dragging sequences. But I'm not sure if the movie will work with it, when the movie's purpose is to show the apocalyptic world to the audience. That said I keep hearing that Snowpiercer had an overbearing theme, but IMO that term is more for The Host than Snowpiercer. Characters here are too over-the-top and extreme to be taken seriously. Main conflict of the movie is clearly a class conflict, but that's where the direct link to real world stops. I see it as a great genre film that asks a very abstract question.

BTW where and when did you watch the film?
 
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Joon

the clouds
Sep 11, 2013
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Snowpiercer is far from perfect. It's very inconsistent, hence comparison to Apocalypse Now. I kinda know where you think the movie can be cut, for there are parts that severely drag the film, and apparently Weinstein wanted to cut those dragging sequences. But I'm not sure if the movie will work with it, when the movie's purpose is to show the apocalyptic world to the audience. That said I keep hearing that Snowpiercer had an overbearing theme, but IMO that term is more for The Host than Snowpiercer. Characters here are too over-the-top and extreme to be taken seriously. Main conflict of the movie is clearly a class conflict, but that's where the direct link to real world stops. I see it as a great genre film that asks a very abstract question.

BTW where and when did you watch the film?
it is a film with a large societal theme (such as inequality and how it materialises), but it blatantly has no trust with the strength of that matter alone and so attempts to sweeten the deal with action and bog-standard personal drama, and to me, if such vast themes are going to actually be addressed (which clearly was the intent to some degree), this doesn't seem like a good way to deliver them.

i watched it in thailand when i there on holiday, about a month or two ago. had no idea what the film was except for seeing the poster with the director's on it