All posts by John Withee

The Giver (2014)

The Giver (2014)

The Giver

Director: Phillip Noyce

Writer: Michael Mitnick

Recommended: Yes

We enter a brave new world in which war, even violence, has been completely eliminated. Perfect equality has been established. Scarcity, non-existent. Capitalism: poof! Abundance is plentiful, transportation is green, and as for global warming, we’ve got climate control. Sounds pretty great, right?

Wrong. Between killing babies who don’t fit the standard post-birth and euthanizing the old, the citizens of the Community live out a machine-like predetermined existence. As if having their emotions and sex drives biologically neutered through self-injected, mandated chemicals wasn’t bad enough, their place in the workforce is chosen for them by the elders, and they can’t even experience colors or music.
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Snowpiercer (2013)



Director: Joon-Ho Bong

Writer: Joon-Ho Bong

Recommended: yes.

Bechdel test: fail.

Trigger Warnings (for the film, not the review): cannibalism, violence, child abduction/labor.

Premise: In the near future, governments across the world decide to dump chemicals into the atmosphere to stop global warming, inadvertently freezing and killing everything and everyone on earth, except for an (un)lucky few who manage to board a train that travels around the entire world once a year. The film takes place about 18 years later.

When I went to see this movie, I had no idea what it was, but when it quickly became clear it was about class war in a dystopian future, it had my attention until the final scene. The poor masses, huddled in the back few carts of the train, led by a man named Curtis, have to travel and fight their way up to the front to confront Wilford, the owner and conductor of the train and the rest of humanity. I would chalk this one up next to V for Vendetta and The Hunger Games in terms of theme.
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