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Korean disaster movie The Tower gets a thrilling trailer

01.11.2013

South Korea has been the creative center for film since the beginning of the 2000s, outshining the more prominent Japanese film industry. If I go back and list my favorite movies from the past two decades, there are more Korean movies than any country outside of the US. They have embraced pretty much every genre that Hollywood used to depend on, including the disaster epic.

Since 9/11, making a movie about a skyscraper in the throes of destruction has not seemed like a very good idea. Sure, movies like TRANSFORMERS and THE AVENGERS display the widespread destruction of buildings and urban areas, but it is not the same as a movie like THE TOWERING INFERNO, where the action is centered on a single building and the poor denizens stuck inside.

THE TOWER, from director Kim Ji-hoon, is exactly the type of disaster movie I wish we still had in America. It has a big cast, amazing special effects, and multiple scenes that make you cringe with anticipation. And I got all that from just this trailer. Imagine what the entire movie has in store!

Plot: Christmas Day—At Tower Sky, the ultra-luxurious landmark building complex, a "White Christmas" party is held to dazzle its equally high-end tenants and VIP guests. Dae-ho, the manager of the building and single father, is forced to cancel his plans with his daughter Ha-na on Christmas day to work the event. The party is in full swing with two helicopters spraying snow on the partygoers below, when suddenly, one of the helicopters crashes into the building and sets it ablaze. Young-ki is a legendary firefighter, throwing himself into the burning building to save the lives of strangers. Together, Young-ki and Dae-ho must fight to save the lives of everyone around them, but only one can survive, while the other makes the ultimate sacrifice.

Yes, it is a formula movie and yes it is derivative of dozens of other films, but you cannot tell me THE TOWER doesn't look like a fun thrill ride. This is the type of movie we all expect from Roland Emmerich, just not shitty like THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW or 2012.

THE TOWER stars Sol Kyung-gu, Kim Sang-kyung and Son Ye-jin. It opened in South Korea on Christmas Day 2012 to the second highest opening day ticket sales in that country's history. There is no North American release date yet, but you can expect it will eventually hit Blu-ray.

Extra Tidbit: Director Kim Ji-hoon cites THE TOWERING INFERNO as a direct influence on this movie.
Source: YouTube

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4:22AM on 01/12/2013

THE TOWER is playing in Los Angeles

at CGV Cinemas on Western Ave., logically, right in the heart of Koreatown.
I just caught a late-night screening of it. Pretty good, though yes, it does have its cliches, and it's a bit uneven. The comedy as a bit too wacky for a disaster film as strong as this. But it played well with the Koreans in the audience, so I'll write it off to bad translation and/or cultural interpretations. Interestingly, its almost as remniscent of Christmas movies as it is disaster movies. The beginning had parts
at CGV Cinemas on Western Ave., logically, right in the heart of Koreatown.
I just caught a late-night screening of it. Pretty good, though yes, it does have its cliches, and it's a bit uneven. The comedy as a bit too wacky for a disaster film as strong as this. But it played well with the Koreans in the audience, so I'll write it off to bad translation and/or cultural interpretations. Interestingly, its almost as remniscent of Christmas movies as it is disaster movies. The beginning had parts that reminded me of "Love Actually," "Die Hard," and even "Tower Heist" as much as "Towering Inferno."
If you're in the LA area, its very much worth a go. The theater is gorgeous and clean, and at $12.50 for a nighttime showing, it's a fun film.
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11:35PM on 01/11/2013

After watching it...

Well, now that I've seen the film, I can say that it's really good. I hadn't watched the trailer until just now because I didn't want to spoil anything. It's a very well-edited trailer. There's a humor element that crops up in the film every so often that doesn't work as well as one would hope, and there are some elements ripped straight from previous disaster-type movies, but on the whole it comes together really well. I'll say that the special effects are fairly impressive. It earns a solid
Well, now that I've seen the film, I can say that it's really good. I hadn't watched the trailer until just now because I didn't want to spoil anything. It's a very well-edited trailer. There's a humor element that crops up in the film every so often that doesn't work as well as one would hope, and there are some elements ripped straight from previous disaster-type movies, but on the whole it comes together really well. I'll say that the special effects are fairly impressive. It earns a solid recommendation from me. 3.5/5
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8:50PM on 01/11/2013
This actually looks really suspenseful.
This actually looks really suspenseful.
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8:03PM on 01/11/2013
Wonder why we don't get any of these types of movies these days? Apart from the resurgence in the mid-90's and Poseidon in 2006, there hasn't been any of these "accident disaster" flicks. This looks pretty ace, could easily give Hollywood a run for their money.
Wonder why we don't get any of these types of movies these days? Apart from the resurgence in the mid-90's and Poseidon in 2006, there hasn't been any of these "accident disaster" flicks. This looks pretty ace, could easily give Hollywood a run for their money.
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+2
5:24PM on 01/11/2013
Looks great.... and I am sure the inevitable American remake won't.
Looks great.... and I am sure the inevitable American remake won't.
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4:58PM on 01/11/2013

I'm gonna go see it today!

There's a theater here in Hawaii that's good about playing foreign movies in addition to the mainstream stuff, and they've started playing The Tower today. It's really the best part about living on this island.
There's a theater here in Hawaii that's good about playing foreign movies in addition to the mainstream stuff, and they've started playing The Tower today. It's really the best part about living on this island.
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4:19PM on 01/11/2013

Irwin Allen would be proud!

This looks to be the kind of movie that Roland Emmerich thinks he makes.

A spectacular trailer. South Korea is churning out some of the best films (especially in the Thriller genre) in recent years.
This looks to be the kind of movie that Roland Emmerich thinks he makes.

A spectacular trailer. South Korea is churning out some of the best films (especially in the Thriller genre) in recent years.
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4:06PM on 01/11/2013

Oh man....

Son Ye-Jin has been a favorite of mine for years.... Such a beauty and incredibly talented.
Son Ye-Jin has been a favorite of mine for years.... Such a beauty and incredibly talented.
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3:48PM on 01/11/2013
It does look like an Irwin Allen film updated with better effects.
They really should mention or show that the fire is caused by an accident as opposed to an attack to relieve a 9/11 aura.
It does look like an Irwin Allen film updated with better effects.
They really should mention or show that the fire is caused by an accident as opposed to an attack to relieve a 9/11 aura.
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+4
3:08PM on 01/11/2013
I got chills watching that
I got chills watching that
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2:52PM on 01/11/2013
Yeah pretty much a remake of The Towering Inferno but must admit it does look good.
Yeah pretty much a remake of The Towering Inferno but must admit it does look good.
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