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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Tower Review I Wish It Had Come Out Before Christmas

A theme of avarice of building so high to reach the Heavens is something I'm well acquainted with. I love art based on human desire to construct Towers of Babel. CJ Entertainment constructs it's own drama with misplaced comedy in "The Tower". A huge ensemble cast quickly learns moral lessons as a fire destroys the high rise apartment building they work and live in. This all happens on Christmas Eve too.

The Tower comes is playing now at CGV Cinemas with a wider realese scheduled for Jan 11

I felt this year was missing it's special Christmas movie from a foreign country. Like a wedding cake being left out in the rain this movie is bitter sweet with is Christmas theme. In 2010 we had Rare Exports from Finland. In 2011 it was Saint Nick from the Netherlands. In 2012 it should have been the Die Hard like "The Tower" from Korea. Though it could have had a lot more Christmas spirit it is technically a Christmas movies just like Die Hard.

The Tower has a split personality. It's why I liked it, but it stops it from being a more widely accepted film and this is something CJ Entertainment keeps doing to itself. Then there's these weird judgments with advanced technology that doesn't exist, which adds to the factor of just being surreal. The Tower starts off funny with build up of the huge cast with each of their own reasons of being in the high rise on Christmas Eve. A single Dad working hard and a daughter trying to get him a wife. A young couple about to be married. A poor woman trying to pay for her son going to college. You settle in for this heart warming drama. Then you'll notice your heart is warming from the intense heat of the fire.

Read the whole review

I wonder why one of the groups we're introduced to are firemen with a new rookie. After a tragic accident with helicopters that have snow machines attached to them. Now here's where I'd like to get into the advanced technology that in no way should have existed, but made the movie funny. Helicopters have snow making machines attached to them for Christmas Eve. What? When did does exist? Couldn't it have just been a circling helicopter had to much interference from wind and snow causing it to crash? No, because it wouldn't have been as funny or unrealistic.

Since on the subject of technology in this film I'd like to go over the 3D maps displays that are way to complex for anyone to have. Firemen have a very sophisticated diagram of the towers, there are actually two towers connected by a bridge. This CGI map they have is so sophisticated in can show projected events including what will happen in worst case scenarios. That's quite amazing as I know of nothing that can do that. There's also sophisticated bombs that made no sense to me as to how they were readily available.

The best part of advanced technology might have been the titanium fire doors. This building must be insanely rich to have titanium doors installed in it. I can understand having some sort of strong or resistant material as the fire doors, but titanium? The cost and the idea of having a material stronger than the walls it's embedded in doesn't seem logical. They greatest part is a fireman thinks he can blow up a very thick titanium door with some C4 which would be impossible.

Now let's get into some horrifying deaths. This film loves throwing people, who are on fire, out of the building from very high up. It doesn't stop there. Remember those morals you should learn, you learn them hard in this film. People who decide to selfishly take the elevator get cooked alive. Seeing skin melt and their shoes turn into putty are life long horror images. Never push a pregnant women, especially when your very high up over a glass bridge.

The misplaced comedy doesn't ever go away until the very end, after many people have already died these funny moments come up out of nowhere. A group who keeps praying for Jesus manages to work in some laughs, but those laughs shouldn't be in that part of the movie. The first act has this great oddball sense of humor and that would have been a fine way to go with a lighter tone. 

All the actors did a great job, it's the writing that led them to be happy one minute than dying in the next which actors love to do. The action sequences and explosions are all top notch. The only problem was some weak CGI in some places. I know it saved on costs, but they could have just hired more fire trucks for one scene of them coming down the road. CGI fire trucks almost looked cartoony.

It's not like the Poseidon Adventure or Earthquake in that there is superfluously added advanced technology that didn't need to be there and when hundreds of people died. There was a moment at the end that felt it was kind of remembering 9/11, which made it a little awkward, but I guess that 's how Korean culture accepts what happened.

If it only was available sooner. I did recommend it for Christmas, but it didn't have subtitles yet. The movie is fun at it's Christmas core with plenty of action and thrills to see who survives to keep you and your friends happy.

"Christmas Eve – 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 (KIM Sang-kyung), the manager of the building and single father, is forced to cancel plans with his daughter Hana (CHO Mina) to work the event. His Christmas is saved when Yoon-hee (SON Ye-jin), the food mall manager with a secret crush on Dae-ho, offers to babysit Hana during the party. Meanwhile, Young-ki (SUL Kyung-gu) the legendary fire chief of Yoido Station has finally promised his first holiday date night to his long suffering wife. The party is in full swing with the spectacular sight of two helicopters flying overhead just to spray snow on the partygoers and make everything perfect. When unthinkable disaster strikes, Dae-ho and Young-ki must summon all their strength and courage to save the lives of thousands but at what cost to themselves and their loved ones?"

DVD Screener provided for review purposes