Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Seok-hun Kim, Sang-min Park, Doona Bae, Oh-jung Kwon, Ju-bong Gi
Director: Baek Woon-Hak
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
A detective tries to thwart a terrorist using the subway to threaten a city. Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure Rating: R Release Date: 5-OCT-2004 Media Type: DVD
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Take the A Train
Edward Lee | 05/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Let's get something straight right from the get-go: TUBE isn't SHIRI ... nor does it try to be. While Woon-Hak Baek is the genius behind both of these films, he's created two entirely different vehicles ... both with their own unique narratives ... and one shouldn't enter into the TUBE expecting the political firestorm that was SHIRI.However, what one can expect is a great action movie that tries to hard to be something more than a great action movie.The premise is simple: T (Sang-Min Park) takes control of a crowded subway train, loading it with explosives so that the authorities risk detonation if they try to stop it. However, Detective Jay -- vengefully hunting the terrorist who killed his fiance -- manages to board the train, and he spends the bulk of the film trying to outsmart (and, when necessary, outfight) someone he's always been one step behind.So, yes, the film can clearly be compared to SPEED as well as DIE HARD, to a lesser extent, but what those films lacked in depth of character Woon-hak Baek goes to great lengths to create here. However, when the film slows down to focus on character, it slows down too much. Too many secondary characters are given a backstory (or a B plotline) that weighs down the narrative with some unnecessary emotional baggage (in SHIRI, Baek focused on principally three characters, hence the greater success). Inevitable choices still have to be made, so the emotional depth ends up being thrown in for the sake of ... well ... being thrown in, and the end result is a bit of a mess.Character elements aside, however, TUBE moves along briskly as a convincing action vehicle with some solid special effects.While the disc is slim on extras (there is a music video and a "making of" featurette that's far more promotional than it is informative), TUBE is still worth entering for the sheer thrill of the ride."
Watch Out John Woo - Woon-Hak Baek's "Tube" Rocks!
Sheldon A. Wiebe | Calgary, AB, Canada | 04/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Korean auteur, Woon-Hak Baek made a splash in North American a few years ago with "Shiri" - a political thriller that grabbed the viewer and would not let go.With "Tube," he does it again. Think "Speed" - but on a train, and with a bad guy who has a genuinely good reason for being as bent and vicious as he is."Tube" is orchestrated almost like a piece of classical music: the opening five minutes is a violent set piece that introduces the villain, the hero and the female lead [who is not *quite* a romantic lead]. Then, the first act brings together the various characters and sets up the situation - much like the first act of a symphony introduces themes and develops them.The second act finds hero, villain and not-quite-romantic female lead in the midst of the situation, and the third act resolves one situation, to discover that there are contingencies in place.In the final act/coda, the final resolution is made and a brief tag underscores the bittersweetness of the final victory.Baek's direction is elegant, calling to mind the balletic qualities of Sam Peckinpah and John Woo [though without the extravagant use of slo mo].Seok-Hoon Kim's Jay is the unorthodox cop we all love, but with a tragic twist that moves beyond what we're used to. Doo-Na Bae, "Kay is the not-quite-romantic female lead - a real woman - not one of those exquisite creatures that Hollywood tries to pass of as one [and though she's not beautiful, she has a very powerful, charismatic presence]. Sang-Min Park plays renegade covert ops agent "T" as a vicious, evil thug who wasn't ever supposed to wind up that way.Between the touching emotional moments and the amazing action sequences [one filmed in the real Kimpo Airport, and another filmed in a real train station], there's plenty to keep the viewer on the edge of his seat - and the unexpected climax shows Hollywood how it *should* be done.Only "Tube's" length keeps it from being a five-star film - it could have stood to have five or six minutes trimmed. Still, it's a remarkable piece of work.With both "Tube" and "Shiri" to his credit, it's clear that Woon-Hak Baek, who wrote and directed both films, is a force to be reckoned with. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what he does next.Also worth mentioning are the "Making Of" featurette, which is better than expected, the trailer [which captures the feel of the actual film better than most Hollywood trailers] and the music video for the end credits theme song."
It will "surprise" you
Edward Lee | 06/19/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This has to be the worse Korean movie I've seen....ever. It's complete with laughable attempts at drama, characters you don't care for, and....(fill in with whatever you don't like). The action scenes are a joke. The director of Shiri wasn't known for action, as you can easily seen from both of these films. The "action" is choppy and just plain stinks. It needs to take ques from Hong Kong.
***Spoiler ahead***: please, please, someone tell me why would a commuter train go right into a nuclear power plant???? I can't believe I wasted money watching this. It's not all bad, the score is quite good, and the running time is under 2 hours. Plus it's a 1-disc feature, so disposal is very easy.And no, it's not from Hollywood, because Hollywood at least wouldn't make such pathetic attempts at adding depth into this."
Timothy R. Holm | British Columbia, Canada | 04/24/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Woon-Hak Baek did NOT direct OR write "Shiri". "Tube" is his first and only film. The DVD cover for the R1 release of "Tube" from Columbia is therefore confusing, because it is misleading.
Otherwise though, this is a high-action movie that is worth at least a rental. Bae Du-na is wonderful as usual. However, there are many much better films coming out of South Korea these days that deserve more attention. Unfortunately, US companies seem to be mainly interested in action movies. Too bad."