Review: Snowpiercer

Netflix did a shuffle up their streaming selection recently and one of the new films got my attention, Snowpiercer. I’ve heard a few vaguely positive things about it and the summary was interesting enough that I gave it a shot. That turned out to be a good decision as Snowpiercer is a very good film, so let’s jump into it.

The set up is pretty straightforward. Humanity has recognized the threat that global warming presents and has come up with a solution. The only problem is that the solution worked too well and it’s heralded a new Ice Age. The remnants of humanity still exist on a train with a highly stratified class structure. Our protagonist belongs to the lowest class and seeks to rectify this injustice. The film is a superb example of allegorical science fiction with excellent visuals that I highly recommend.

With me so far? Cool, let’s get into the gritty, spoiler-laced details. If you care about spoilers and are interested in watching this film, I suggest you stop reading this and go watch it. If you don’t care about spoilers or have already seen it, keep reading.


This film is unabashedly leftist in orientation. The conflict is class conflict and revolution. Most of the film is rather self explanatory on this part, there’s little to be said beyond a proletarian revolution. The climax however is what makes it stand out. The introduction of possibility of leaving the system, as well as the inherent corruption of the system gives the film much of its weight. In a lot of ways it’s similar to V for Vendetta, the difference between authoritarianism that is keeping people alive versus anarchism and seemingly certain possibility of extinction. The main difference is that the conflict is far more resonant*.

Another part of the beauty is how simple the allegory is. While there are certainly layers to the film, the main points are fairly simple. This eliminates the distraction of getting tied up in the specifics of the situation and applies a certain degree of universality to the situation. A universality that is rather easy to achieve given it’s commentary on late capitalism.

The characters aren’t exactly the most three dimensional, but there is a certain level of depth that can be appreciated. The only exception to this is the main enemy fighter, whose name I don’t believe is ever actually given in the film, as he acts more as a force of nature to keep conflict happening. A bit of characterization, or at least a name would have been appreciated. Even though at the same time you can argue that he’s meant to symbolize those who fight to preserve the system.

Speaking of conflict, the fight scenes in this film are very entertaining. It uses the setting of the train and humanity’s scarcity to create some interesting set pieces that are well executed. This is about all I can ask for, so no complaints.

The visuals in general are well done. Again, the train creates some novel sights. My one complaint was the two times that seeing something outside of the train was important to the plot: the Revolt of the Seven and the plane at Yekaterina Bridge, you really have to squint in order to see what they’re talking about. While this does tie into the aesthetic, it could’ve have been weakened for clarity. Also, the surrender or die tattoo gag is probably one of my favorite visual gags in recent memory.

The sound is fine. All of the sound effects work like you expect them to and the music didn’t stand out to me. As I normally don’t notice music in films unless it’s either really good or really bad, this is again, fine.

Again, I would highly recommend this film and give it a 4/5 stars. Till next time


*This includes the graphic novel




November Solforge Draftcap

It’s a  Solforge draftcap,let’s jump into it

Pack 1: Overwhelming Force can be powerful, but an Alloyin spell is about the last place I want to start a draft. Mimicleaf is just bad. Byzerak Spitemage is a good way to answer threats or gives you a bit a reach. Lifeblood Dryad is a build around me card  that has a fair amount of pay off if you get it to work. Crypt Conjurrer is underwhelming in draft. Tomb Pillager is fine on its own, has Consistent and offers me the ability to thin out my deck, so I’ll take him.













Pack 2: For better or worse I’m fairly agnostic when it comes to faction pairings, i’d rather just take the most powerful card and not force anything since I’m not really keen on taking a risk like that. So while this pack does offer me the chance to lock down either Uterra or Alloyin I’m not really interested in the cards themselves. Lysian Hydra is a fine pump target, as is Spiritorge Sentinel. Zombie Titan is solid with a minimal drawback. Phalanx Squadron really wants his ability to trigger, otherwise he’s a mediocre creature and triggering that ability is hard. Seal of Tarsus is fine, i’m not a big fan of it and I probably underrate it to be honest but at this point I’d rather take creatures at this point regardless, so Zombie Titian.













Pack 3: Cypien Augmentation is a powerful card, although I think it’s at its best in A/T since you have more ways to cheat through its level 1. Shimmerfang Serpent will kill a lot of things unless they have armor. Tanglesprout is a solid underdrop. Legion Titan is unplayable. Tanglespourt easy.













Pack 4: I could take scatter the seeds and hedge my bets for a go wide plan, Vyric’s Embrace is a fine 1 for 1 removal spell but hte effect is kinda interchangeable. Twinstregth impacts multiple lanes at the cost of being somewhat situation. I take Twinstrength since its the most powerful.












Pack 5: And this is what the dregs of a pack look like. Dissolve is a conditional kill spell, Gloomspire Wurm is just bad. I take the Wurm since I can banish it with Pillager and I’d rather have a bad creature than a possibly unplayable spell.












Pack 6: Ravenous Hydra is terrible, the lack of native regen means that ti’s only good when you’re ahead. Umbruk Lasher is a fine creature without the Allied ability but doesn’t do a ton. Seal of Deepwood is a win condition in it’s own right. Fangwood Bear is also fine. Esperian Steelscale is incredibly fragile for a low payoff. Xithian Crusher is an average level one for an above average level 2 and 3. I just take Seal to lock that down.












Pack 7: Posioncoil can be fairly annoying for the opponent, Overgrown Spineleaf is a fine vanilla creature. Vyric’s Embrace has gone down in my pick order since I already have two spells. Spirit Reaver and Gloomspire Wurm are both varying degrees of bad.I take the Spineleaf.













Pack 8: Tanglesprout is still a good underdrop. Nyrali Ambusher is a fine aggressive card. Brambleaxe Warrior is a nice way to get some reach. Xithian Host is pretty bad. I take the Ambusher since it levels betters.













Pack 9: Batterhide has Consistent and isn’t terrible on his own. Tarsian Pact is too low on the numbers and  lacks targets. Crushter isn’t as good as the power o a Consistent card.













Pack 10: Glowhive Siren has a lackluster level 1 for a perfectly solid 2 and 3 and some incidental lifegain. Spiritbloom Dryad is a bad underdrop with bad art. I take the Siren.













Pack 11: Dissolve looks even worse here as I’m further in the draft and have no poison. Ghastly Renewal is too low impact. Lysian Hydra is still fine. Nightgaunt isn’t as good as he used to be and really needs pump now in order to shine whereas it used to be that playing him by himself could be a problem. Catacomb Spider is also too low impact. I’m still nt interested in Vyric’s Embrace. I have a Seal o deepwood and Twinstrength, I’m taking the Nightgaunt easy.













Pack 12: Spring Dryad can be incredibly powerful, but it needs the right support, which I have none of yet and there’s o guarantee any will show up. Nyrali Ooze blocks twice if nothing else. Umbruk Lasher, Ravenous Hydra and Scatter the seeds haven’t changed value for me. I take Ooze to hedge my bets.













Pack 13: Savage Oath is a good finisher and hits mot of my creatures. I don’t really want a 2nd Siren. Brightskull Phantasm is fine on his own and if the ability ever triggers then it’s pure upside. I take Phantasm but it’s close between him and Crusher













Pack 14: Gemhide Sprout basically doesn’t do anything. Dryad is the most powerful card but that’s not saying a ton here.













Pack 15: Deepmoss Raptor has the second largest level 2 in the game o the top of my head and a fine level 3. The best argument for Spider is that I can banish him with Pillager but that doesn’t strike me as a winning plan when I can just take a better card.













Pack 16: This is not a Dr. Frankenbaum deck. My opinion of Siren, Titan and Ambusher haven’t changed because of my drat picks. Graveborn Glutton is an awesome source of inevitability. Duskspire Zombie does combo with Seal of Deepwood but I already have two creatures that do that and the card isn’t that great on it’s own. i take Glutton.












Pack 17: Chistlehearth Archer is a nice answer to mobility. This is not a Spirit Wanderer deck so Ruthless Wanderer is out. Seal of Tarsus is reasonable, since it’s not like I’m overflowing with spells. Still not interested in a Duskspire Zombie. Umbraglim Mantis is a lot like Phantams but with a sightly worse body. I take Seal cause I need an answer to things like Seal of Deepwood or other massive threats.












Pack 18:  Chistlehearth Hunter is solid but I can’t take advantage of him unless I”m already ahead. I take Mantis and I’m pretty happy with it.













Pack 19: 2nd Twinstrength seems better than 2nd raptor as Spirit Torrent is terrible.













Pack 20: Dryad’s Boon has never really impressed me. It’s hard to get a big enough gain on your creature to pay off in my experience. I take hte Hunter since it’s a creature.













Pack 21: Sorrow Harvester does not belong in this deck, Organ Harvester is a good way to just kill problematic cards, few strings attached. Venomous Netherscale is solid. I don’t want a 2nd Hunter. I take organ Harvester.













Pack 22; Xithian Direhound has the most impact since it usually ends up being a 2 for 1 in your favor and you get to shrink your deck. Mending Spring is unplayable and my opinions on the other cards stand although I would like to pick up a Brambleaxe Warrior, just not at the cost of a Direhound.













Pack 23: Spiritleash is good but I only have an Ooze to use with it. Branchweaver Druid impacts multiple lanes and makes the hunter better, easy pick.













Pack 24: Xithian Rotfiend is a big threat with a reasonable drawback. Ether Hounds is really only good in a go wide strategy.













Pack 25: Catacomb Spider is less terrible.













Pack 26: Weirwood Ranger is fine, he’s basically the new Grove Huntress. Byzerak Frostmaiden seems rather underwhelming without mobility. I’d take a second Rotfiend over a second Ambusher. Xrath is fine but with only two zombies his value is somewhat diminished. Shimmerfang doesn’t seem as good as the other cards. I take Rotfiend.













Pack 27: While the creatures are all fine, I’m inclined to go with the Spiritcleave so I have another way to deal with problems.













Pack 28: Again,these creatures aren’t great so I take Spiritleash since Im short on spells and i’ts just the most powerful card anyway.













Pack 29: All of these cards are terrible, Legion Titan slightly less so.













Pack 30: Spiritleash gets the edge cause it seems like it’ll be more useful than a second raptor.













Well that was a draft. i almost definitely made mistakes here. This is probably one of hte more skill testing drafts I’ve done given how much it was around the margins. I can’t say I’m all that happy with how it turned out, but that’s Limited for you.

Round 1 was against an Alloyin/Tempys deck that was just solid. 0-1

Round 2 was against  an Alloyin/Tempys deck that bricked in PL3. 1-1

Round 3 was against a Nekrium/Uterra deck that had a Broodqueen and curved out perfectly and ran me over. 1-2

Round 4 was against a a Nekrium/Uterra deck and I had terrible draws. 1-3.

Well that went about as well as expected. Till next time.