With Further Ado #229: Bullet Train – The Art and Making of the Film – Review

To me, movies are still a big deal. I’m still stinging from that Christmas two years ago when Wonder Woman ’84 “ruined” Christmas. And this summer, seeing Top Gun: Maverick on the big screen was a real treat.

I missed seeing the stylish thriller, Bullet Train, in theaters, but just enjoyed it at home. Wow – what fun it was. (In some ways, it seems like Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt may be the last movie stars.)

This is a stylish adventure movie about several assassins, all doing assassin-y things, on a high-speed train in Japan. And boy is it slick! This tightly woven story is from a Japanese book by Kotaro Isaka, although western audiences can enjoy the translation from Sam Malissa.

And not to derail (get it?) the focus of this week’s column, let me showcase this lovely alternative movie poster by Orlando Arocena. (You can also check it out here.) This artwork is from a site called, AMP, which seems to be respectful of IP. It was founded about a decade ago and claims to be the spiritual home of the alt movie poster movement loved and celebrated by worldwide.

Titan just published a wonderful coffee table book, called Bullet Train: The Art and Making of the Film by Abbie Bernstein. It’s a celebration of the movie. As is often the case, I think I even like the book better than the movie, and I liked the movie a lot!

This stunning volume showcases and breaks down the many characters, plot points, props and action sequences. There is so much packed into this movie, and into this book.

And there’s a lot that sparks the “how did they do that?” internal monologue. The complicated sequences, the sets aboard the train, the action-scenes, the snake (yes, there’s a snake). And Bernstein explores it all with a casual, but serious grace.

Gorgeous photographs, pictures on set, storyboards – this book has it all.

I’d highly recommend the movie. There’s a lot of shooting and killing, so it might not be 100% appropriate for holiday season viewing. But it is a cleverly constructed film created by so many folks who are at the top of their game(s). Likewise, the book is a beauty to behold and anyone who loved the movie deserves one in her or his Christmas Stocking. That is – if they have a really fat stocking. It is a big book!

Bullet Train: The Art and Making of the Film
By Abbie Bernstein
Publisher‏ :‎ Titan Books
Language :‎ English
Hardcover‏ :‎ 156 pages
ISBN-10 ‏:‎ 1789099560