Wham Bam Pow Ep. 62 - Snowpiercer

Wham Bam Pow
Eliza Skinner

This week Eliza Skinner, one of our very favorite stand-up comedians, joins us as a guest panelist! We talk Wonder Woman news, Eliza shares the movie that made her, and we delve into Snowpiercer. Hope you like perpetually moving trains!

Don't miss Eliza's amazing video, Mary Poppins Quits!

Next week, we will be watching Lucy, which is in theaters now.

Follow us on Twitter! Cameron is @cameronesposito, Rhea is @rheabutcher and Ricky is @rickycarmona. Discuss the show using the hashtag #WhamBamPow!

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Respectfully disagree on one small point

Loved Eliza Skinner's contribution on the show. So funny and smart. I had one quibble with her analysis of Snowpiercer though. She seemed to think that the film was some how propaganda about never trying to change anything because you will only be allowed to change what the rich and powerful want you to change. I think the movie actually is saying that only radical change and total abandonment of the status quo (i.e. blowing up and leaving the train) will lead to any sort of meaningful change. Of course, the ending is a bit vague so there may be no clear "message". I definitely feel where Eliza is coming from though, as the whole film is definitely bleak.

Looking forward to future episodes. Yay movies.

Eliza's analysis seemed off

First, the other writer, Kelly Masterson, is a man so your thoughts that it was somehow sexist to give the director credit are off base. Masterson was hired to write the dialogue and characters speeches, Bong Joon-Ho wrote the storyline and dialogue for the Korean actors. Also, characters were not written for specific sex/race, and Tilda Swinton's character was originally written for John C. Reilly.

I tend to agree with the previous commentor on the morality of the film. A big part of the movie is showing how people of good morality/heart can be manipulate or forced to make choices that despite all intention, might cause more harm then good...and that is what we can't ignore or overlook when promoting change or action (military/goverment/economic changes included). Curtis and those in the back were manipulated just the way the children were being manipulated and only when the absolute truth is revealed is the struggle apparent to Curtin. There are no easy actions which can be taken, and the decision he is faced with is whether to continue as usual, become one of the manipulators, or blow the whole thing up.

As for Eliza's claims it makes no sense to have them on a train, one (alright that she doesn't want to take that plot jump). But perpetual motion is the metaphor, and the theory of perpetual motion is dependent on using the energy generated. The movement of the train keeps the train moving, lights on, heated. But once stopped, there is no restarting the train.

Also, having them on a train allows for the idea that there is no escape and there is no exit but one. Buildings have multiple doors, exits, stairways, hiding places. A train only has one path. The people in the back have never seen the train so there was no way to plan their attack (remember, they say they had 4 seconds to hold four doors open). If the boy hadn't used parkour to kill the guard he would have been trapped just like the rest.

The fish was a ritualistic sacrific (most militaries had/have them).

Bong Joon-Ho's reason for making Ed Harris just Ed Harris was so he wasn't a monster or figure of evil, but a human being capable of neccessary evil...just like Curtis.

Finally, I don't think the bugs are supposed to be terrifying, they are simply a clue that the people at he back are seen as nothing but livestock, until they become part of the industry (as with the man working on the line who says he has to make things manually). Was the reaction over the top? Perhaps, but I don't think we were supposed to be disgusted by them...just realize out of sight out of mind is a common theme of the movie.

Loved Snowpiercer...but no swag?

Ladies & Mr. Spokesman,

I have recently started listening to MaxFun at work since I have something of a solitary job at a consultancy and do my best work when isolated and listening to podcasts. I watched Snowpiercer this week after your recommendation last Friday and really liked it, while the bug bar reveal did, as per your review, come much too early. I plan on listening to your review of Lucy tomorrow (or whenever it comes out) but I really want to get some Wham Bam Pow Swag from the MaxFun store...so design a shirt or a grocery bag or a visor or a baseball cap or boxer shorts or whatever and just take my money. Keep being awesome.

Matt in Chicago