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Monster Movie Maker Wangles Huge U.S. Release

2007/06/29 Source

Shim Hyung-rae is about to return with a new science fiction blockbuster "D-War" as in "war of the dragons". Opening in Korea on Aug. 2, the movie will be released in the U.S. on Sept. 14. The whole movie will be revealed in a preview on July 23, with a five-minute segment that is expected to rock viewers with its special effects, including an enormous dragon and a massive, roaring anaconda that smashes up urban Los Angeles.

Although this is the 11th movie Shim has directed since 1992's "Young-gu and Count Dracula", most people still think of him as a comedian. Partly because of the current slump in the Korean movie industry, "D-War" is being touted as the "relief pitcher for Korean cinema" and "the savior of the Chungmuro (Korean Hollywood) in crisis". It is essentially a sci-fi story heavily laden with special effects. Will it be able to satisfy Korean viewers stimulated by Hollywood fare like "Spider-Man 3" and "Transformers"? Korean viewers are actually well known for their sophisticated tastes.

There's no point in building needlessly high expectations, nor decrying the film. Shim Hyung-rae and "D-War" have already scored some important accomplishments. Freestyle, the movie's U.S. distributor, is promising a wide release in 1,500 theaters across America, and is taking care of all necessary costs. That's no small success. Compare that to "Spider-Man 3", which was released in 4,000 theaters, and Korea's biggest hit so far, "The Host", which opened in just 70 theaters. And U.S. viewers are known to enjoy sci-fi flicks with monstrous beasts. As a filmmaker who has found his way through a break in the U.S., not Korea, Shim has much to be proud about.

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