BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003797Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The Towering Inferno (SE)
DVD disk
06.08.2006 By: Matt Hosack
The Towering Inferno (SE) order
Director:
Irwin Allen, John Guillermin

Actors:
Steve McQueen
Paul Newman
Faye Dunaway

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
One Tiny Spark Becomes A Night Of Blazing Suspense. You are there on the 135th floor, no way down, no way out. THE TOWERING INFERNO blazes on the screen as a brand new skyscraper (one of the first) is burning up floor by floor. It’s up to the building’s architect (Paul Newman) and the coolest fire chief that ever walked the earth (Steve McQueen) to figure out how to stop the fire and save lives. A grandeur film of spectacle and disaster unfolds.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I love disaster movies. These were mainly born out of the 70’s, particularly from the works of the master of disaster Irwin Allen, the man that brought you THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE and LOST IN SPACE (tv show). Allen loved paunch, over-stuffed productions filled with big name stars. My personal favorite is certainly THE TOWERING INFERNO, particularly because of the film’s two main stars – McQueen and Newman. The film was made at a time when people examiners were talking about how unsafe skyscrapers are. Who knew that a film could be on the money, just look at September 11! This film can be a little cheesy but I love how it balances being fun and at the same time serious with its message. INFERNO is jam packed with star power from the likes of William Holden to Robert Wagner most of the characters are interesting enough. The irony of the picture is that O.J. Simpson starts the dang fire!

Yes, THE TOWERING INFERNO has it all. Competent special effects, lots of star power, action, sex, out of control fires, explosions, and even a John Williams soundtrack. It’s just one hell of an enjoyable film. I had always heard that guys everywhere wanted to be a fireman after seeing this movie. It just doesn’t get any cooler than the King of Cool Steve McQueen as a fire Chief acting badass. Plus, Allen’s masterful action sequences add some great tension to the whole affair. Navigating fiery shafts, trying not to get thrown 100 floors down by tons of water, roping on a wire! This film is just great at playing with your imagination and asking that wonderful question, what if.
THE EXTRAS
After being robbed of a decent DVD the first time around, this new addition rewards fans with some marvelous special features –this is what I’m talking about!

Commentary by Film Historian F.X. Feeney >> A+ The commentary by Feeney is highly informative and amusing. Feeney has a lot of knowledge that he expertly relates such as the research into fire codes, the film’s impact, what McQueen was thinking in one seen, and what Newman wanted in another. Great, great stuff.

Scene Specific Commentary by Mike Vezina, Special Effects Director on X3 >> I kind of like scene specific commentary because it tailors to the commentator and the scenes they are familiar with. Mike is pretty low-key but he knows a thing or two and he tells you the kind of work that goes into these specific shots.

Scene Specific Commentary by Branko Racki, Stunt Coordinator On THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW >> These commentaries have an energy that most don’t. These guys are excited about telling you about these scenes. Racki’s cool at telling you about stuff like using fire equipment and stunts. Awesome stuff.

Disc 2 >

AMC Backstory: The Towering Inferno >> 22 min > As usual, AMC’s awesome documentaries go deep into their subjects. Lots of cool information put together with visual flair is what you can expect. You get to see how crazy Allen was from great original footage. Trouble behind the camera, including fights between the film’s stars is also covered. This is a treasure for fans and I’m glad they included it on the disc.

There is a collection of 9 Featurettes, each lasting between 5 and 10 minutes. These cover everything from directing and writing to art and special effects. Short and sweet, each featurette contains vintage/new footage and interviews. Some good stuff.

Vintage Promotional Material >> Fox included it all with Teasers, Trialers, several vintage Featurettes (very cool), and even a NATO Presentation Reel. All of these are worth checking out. I loved the vintage stuff.

Extended and Deleted Scenes >> There was an original longer cut which was shown specially for television, but as Fox explains they are in such bad condition that they left them out of the DVD version. However, you can still view them here. A lot of the elements are in black and white but there’s some fun stuff to see.

American Cinematographer Articles >> I love me some American Cinematographer whenever I chance Borders. This has 3 fully transcribed articles from the magazine which you can read about the film’s cinematography and the challenges therein.

Rounding things out is a host of image Galleries and Storyboard Comparisons.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
It certainly is nice to see a studio put together a grand DVD set for a good film. THE TOWERING INFERNO was in need of one, and Fox answered the call. The film is just as kick ass today as it was in the 70’s and the awesome special effects and Steve McQueen’s mug still hold up today. To have a plethora of well produced special features only adds to the DVD’s value. A must have. I’ll end with a quote from the film, “someday your gonna kill ten-thousand in one of these firetraps, and I'll keep eating smoke and carrying out bodies until someone asks us how to build them.” –Chief O’Hallorhan

Props 2 > Irwin Allen, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, the f.x. guys, and FOX

Final D >> BUY it now or I’ll set your house on fire!

As always, feel free to Voice Your Opinion
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week

More

Taboola