By my count, you’ll have 271 chances a day to see “Transformers: Age of Extinction” throughout the valley this weekend.
But you’ll only have five opportunities each day, all of them at AMC Town Square, to take in “Snowpiercer,” the best action movie so far this summer.
(For the record, I’m not labeling “X-Men: Days of Future Past” an action movie. And as much as I enjoyed “Edge of Tomorrow,” it got a little garbled at the end.)
Co-written and directed by Bong Joon-ho (“The Host”), “Snowpiercer” takes place in 2031, 17 years after an attempt to reverse global warming led to a new ice age. The few survivors live aboard a perpetually moving train that winds its way around the globe, making one revolution each year. Venture outside the train’s walls and you’ll freeze solid.
Those in the front section live a life of opulence while those in the tail section survive by eating “protein blocks” in squalor, where they’re watched over by armed guards and eke out an existence like mole people, rarely seeing the sun.
After nearly two decades of this, the tailies finally mount a resistance and begin storming toward the front of the train.
For a South Korean movie filmed in the Czech Republic, “Snowpiercer” is blessed with a remarkably talented cast, led by Chris “Captain America” Evans, Ed Harris, John Hurt and Oscar winners Tilda Swinton and Octavia Spencer.
Basing his movie on the French graphic novel “Transperceneige,” Bong has created a train that many onboard refer to as a miracle. Each of its cars opens up like a present to moviegoers, from the prison car to the aquarium car with its own sushi bar.
The most fun, though, comes from the schoolhouse car, overseen by “The Newsroom’s” Alison Pill, where the children worship the train’s inventor — Mr. Wilford, The Divine Keeper of the Sacred Engine — with cultlike zeal. “What happens if the engine stops?” they sing. “We all freeze and die!”
From having the rebels and a black-clad, axe-wielding security force take a break from their carnage to celebrate the dawning of a new year to Swinton’s voice-of-authority character who feels like she escaped from a Wes Anderson remake of “The Hunger Games,” “Snowpiercer” is bonkers in the absolute best way possible.