REVIEW- Snowpiercer (a film by Joon Ho Bong)

From the opening montage setting the world in which you will spend the next mind bending 90 minutes, you get that frosty little tingling in the base of your seat that slices it’s way up your spine, crashing through the pan of your skull like a Kelvinesque sliver of ice…

Snowpiercer is a great ride!

Based on the 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, which was just released in the US in 2014, the story has been updated and bit and rendered in a way that sucks you in from the first frames.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a SciFi epic that focused on story and characters instead of glitzy special effects. Don’t get me wrong. Snowpiercer is beautiful; from it’s terrifying vision of a world gone cold to the dark and sometimes shocking interiors of the namesake train. This movie hits you in the guts and yanks them out on the tip of a molecularly sharp fire ax. In short; it forces you to engage your brain as you shit your pants on the rollercoaster.

Without giving too much away, we open with a short flashback on an attempted fix to global warming (oh don’t groan, no preaching. Just a set up) which has backfired sending the entire Earth into a global deep freeze (a la Snowball Earth) for the past 17 years. All life on the planet has died off except for this tiny microcosm; The Snowpiercer. An indestructible, titanium alloy, nuclear powered supertrain a mile long and rocketing around the entire Earth once per year to avoid freezing in place. Crammed onboard are humanity’s (and the planet’s) lucky survivors who managed to obtain a first class ticket or alternately, passage in the back end steerage section. Ripe for a class war to emerge.

Packed in the rear, like cattle, living in squalor and subject to Nazi like fascist military treatment from the “Fronters”, “Those From the Back” plot their coup to overthrow their oppressors and battle their way, car by car, to the “Engine” where they imagine, salvation and God awaits. The notion is clear as all great thought provoking SciFi should be, this is a metaphor about class struggle in the world, between the haves and the have-nots. Those that strive to bind and those that will shed their last drop of blood to break those bonds.

In this case the director has done a brilliant job to mash up the entire world into the a few cars of a speeding train. A horrific vision of all of humanity, represented here and like specimens in a petri dish, we are riveted and helpless to turn away as they bleed and evolve before our eyes…a “Mad Max” Darwinian social experiment with its finger smashed permanently on fast-forward reminiscent of the work of an early William Gibson.

Be warned, this is NOT just a mindless action film. There is a deep and profound theme and mystery entwined in the plot as Curtis (Chris Evans- Captain American), in one of his best performances, leads his group of rag-tag rebels on a hell bent mission to take the engine. And as each car is breeched… as each drop of blood spatters to the deck, new clues and new twists are encountered until final assault when all becomes startlingly clear.

I highly recommend Snowpiercer and hope you get a chance to see it in a theater packed with other people if only to enjoy the sighs and gasps of your fellow travelers in this visionary consensual hallucination. As of this writing it has been slated for only limited viewings in the US.

(Chris Evans, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, Octavia Spencer, Kang-Ho Song, Jamie Bell…)

MP

Mike Palma

Head Scribbler

ScreenPens, Ltd.

Alien – Imgur – You thought you knew everything about Alien

https://imgur.com/a/VWsI3

It’s been the seminal horror/ sci fi mashup film of all time and has stood the test for over 30 something years. Hundreds of films have ripped it off and tried to surpass it but Alien still beat them all. The creepy atmosphere, the "trucker" space jocks, the most frightening and nightmarish antagonistic creature in the last half of the century and the first half of this one.
Here on Imgur you’ll find the some of the backstage and pre production gems that have never been seem before. No more spoilers. Click on the link and ENJOY.

MP

Attention Filmmakers: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon Want to Make Your Dreams Come True with ‘Project Greenlight’

What a great time for burgeoning scribes! Affleck and Damon take a break from saving the world to remember the little guys. Bravo Boys! We eagerly look forward to BOTH the winning film and of course the TV reality expose! I’m flushed like a schoolgirl and using too many !!!!!! Thanks Boys #projectgreenlight

Mike P
Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

Review: Third Person (a film by Paul Haggis)

I had the unique pleasure to attend a small intimate viewing of Paul Haggis’ new film, Third Person, this past Thursday night at the newly renovated Picture House Theater in Pelham NY. A quaint 500 something seat revitalization of a wonderful era past. The perfect place to view this film which works to recreate the thought provoking multi-plot film style of  the 1970’s; Hollywood’s last Golden Age. This is a favorite time of mine when maverick filmmakers like Scorsese, strove to break from the cliche ridden, mind numbing political (and sexual) correctness of the previous eras.

We, the audience, are the titular “Third Person” baring witness to this rich multi-plot narrative (similar to Haggis’ Academy Award winning Crash) which follows three intertwined stories subtly related to each other and which thematically explore the same ground; Infidelity. Infidelity in not just in the pedestrian sexual or marital terms we see in most commercial films but in the deep, gut wrenching, core foundation of all infidelities… The breaking of Human Trust.  The film probes the knife point question: What chance does love have without trust?

The  primary story line follows Michael (Liam Neeson)…

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NEW PLAN TO REMAKE REMAKES WHILE THEY’RE BEING REMADE

Now for a smile… All those hard working writers, toiling away in the dark, after their “day jobs” scratching out the one GREAT high concept idea that will totally wow those stone faced producers in your pitch meeting.

Beware… the end is near.

For your enjoyment, a bit of satire from our friends at Studio Exec Blog.

Cheers and Keep Scribblin’

Mike Palma

President, Head Scribbler

ScreenPens, Ltd.

www.screenpens.wordpress.com

Feed: Studio Exec
Posted on: Thursday, May 08, 2014 1:46 AM
Author: Chad Sternburger
Subject: NEW PLAN TO REMAKE REMAKES WHILE THEY’RE BEING REMADE

Private Benjamin

HOLLYWOOD – With originality as popular as ass cancer in Hollywood at the moment, studios have just launched a plan on how to make sure they never have to touch an original idea again: to remake remakes which are already in production.
An insider told Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY about the industry wide plan, known by its code name ‘Double Whammy’:

There are only so many remakes available because of the quickly vanishing seam of old films that were any good. We’re also doing TV shows and toys, games and comic books and films that weren’t particularly good, naturally, but even so sometimes there’s a gap in the schedule and some bullshit like Wolf of Wall Street or 12 Years a Slave slips through.

The plan looks to double the number of films that can be remade by remaking films which are already in the process of being remade:

We got the idea from the Amazing Spider-Man series at Sony. It works like this. Private Benjamin is currently being prepped with Rebel Wilson. Well, we’re going to piggy back the production with a remake of that version but starring Kate Hudson and we’re going to put it out in a year or so after the release. Ditto Point Break. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles already has a prequel in the works.

The Blog-o-sphere has been divided by the news with the Geek-o-verse jizzing while people who like films redrafting suicide notes from 1987, before realizing the awful irony.

Private Benjamin and Point Break will be released in 2015 to be followed in 2016 by The Amazing Private Benjamin and Point Amazing Break. OZmCy5LyiWk

View article…

Screenpens Remains top 50 Twitter Feeds for #Indiefilm

Screenpens remains in the top 50 indiefilm social twitter sites in the world!

Five years and running the amazing success of Indie Film site Screenpens, has defied the odds to maintain its status as one of the top curated sources of information on and about the indie film business.

Thank you to all my follows and supporters. We’ll continue to work to filter and bring you the best information, education and news in the indie film market.

Please feel free to follow this link to the WebFollow Web site and of course sign into your Twitter account to get on the band wagon at https://twitter.com/screenpens

http://wefollow.com/interest/indiefilm

Cheers!

Mike Palma

President, Head Scribbler

ScreenPens, Ltd.

www.screenpens.wordpress.com

NRC 12-36

Semi Finalist – “Screenwriters Expo”,

Semi Finalist – “Blue Cat Screenplays”

Status – Pre Development, 95 Pages

Written by – Mike Palmisciano

Genre: Contained Sci Fi  Action /Thriller

Logline:

A hardened ex-military assassin finds redemption when he rallies a rag-tag mining crew to smash an alien sneak attack at an isolated methane refinery on the surface of Titan.

High Concept /Hook:

“NRC12-36″  is a  moderate budget, contained commercial Sci Fi Action / Thriller with topical political subtext (like District 9 / Oblivion / Elysium) that features a small cast of memorable, diverse characters, great dialogue, limited locations (90% are single location interiors) and built on a thrilling fast paced “alien espionage” story line on domination and exploitation of the worlds resources.  Some concept art and a draft project budget/proposal is available as well. NRC 12-36 is the perfect break out vehicle for a male and female action star.

Synopsis: NRC 12-36

NRC 12-36 Titan GeoSynch Orbit

NRC 12-36 Titan GeoSynch Orbit

On Earth, dwindling fuel supplies have sparked world wide strife. The Western economies square off against third world terror groups.  At NCR 12-36, an isolated, off-world methane refinery, a small contingent of hardy roughnecks (miners) and military personnel exploit Titan’s vast methane fuel resources.  Gideon Stark, a man with a past, tells lies to his daughter. She wants to know the real reason he won’t come home to Earth. The truth is Gideon has much darker issues to resolve before he can ever face his daughter again.

When the largest solar flare in human history strikes unexpectedly and all communications are knocked off line for four days, Gideon discovers that he and the station are cut off from Earth. Unaware of the event scope, the crew looks forward to a temporary shut down. Their dreams of paid vacation evaporate when a scout ship crash lands and Major Harlee Jane, a shadowy military liaison, informs them that a massive terrorist attack has been launched under the disruption of the solar flare.  She’s been ordered to secure the base and take martial control but it’s clear to Gideon that she has a hidden agenda. Soon people begin to act strange and disappear. Gideon concludes an alien terrorist, posing as human, has infiltrated the station with the goal of destroying everyone and everything on the base.  No one knows who’s- who as Gideon rallies the survivors for a last ditch stand to save not only their lives but the lives of every human being on Earth.

Poster Tag:  “Man’s last hope… is a billion miles from home!”

Filmmakers interested in this property please contact Screenpens

-MP