Escape to the Movies: Oldboy

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It's pretty amusing that most of the comments here are actually about the comment image at the end of the review regarding Spiderman, and not actually about the movie in question. I was only half interested in this anyway. I'm not a huge Spike Lee fan, but it's funny how much credit Bob gives him because his only good movies were some of the one's earlier in his career, and he honestly isn't that iconic, at least not as iconic as Bob makes him out to be. But Spike Lee is one of those directors that Hollywood adores because he is the, "hey, look how progressive we are because we have fully endorsed this afro-centric director and love him for all he is", guy.

Whatever, ill see this version because it has Sharlto Copley, and ill re-watch the original becuase its freakin awesome...
Also WTF? why did they changed the original motivations of the evil guy? and why not do the hammer scene WITH GUNS (gun-fu).... AND GOD DAMN IT, SPIKE LEE.....WHO WAS THE IDIOT THAT ALLOWED THIS!!!??? :(

I loved the original, was incredibly skeptical about this remake, had those reservation confirmed by critics and expected Bob to agree...

...so why watch this weeks episode on the usual Friday release?

I knew Bob would pass comment on the teaser poster (made before today's trailers no doubt) for the Amazing Spider Man 2. Now while the changes do seem "off" in some capacity, I wonder if hypothetically the film does spectacularly with audiences AND critics, even being viewed as on of the best comic book films to date and for a long time following... Bob would still compare it to Shaquille O'Neal's Steel?

Predictable day so far.

Andrew Siribohdi:
Between this and the new Carrie, I'm really dismissive of remakes. There are exceptions, but for the most part, I usually stick with the original.

Yep.

Surprise factor = 0.0000000000000000001

I dont really see the point about these remakes. Are americans that allergic to other cultures?

Nice to see Bob has his mind made up about Amazing Spider-Man 2 already.

Although after the mess that was Spider-Man 3 I'm a bit worried about the number of villains in this upcoming one.

Every word deserved. This movie lacked a lot of the flavour that made the original so memorable. The twist was well-handled and there were bits worth watching but if you commit the sin of making a Sharlto Copley performance bland then you don't deserve to have your movie watched.

daxterx2005:
Soon hollywood will be nothing but remakes of remakes of remakes.
*sigh*

A remake of a remake of a remake is nothing. Hollywood already set the benchmark of stupidity with The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption. It's a sequel of a prequel of a prequel of a sequel of a remake. We have to go deeper!

To be honest, with the notable exception of "Inside Man", I've never been all that impressed by Spike Lee's movies, so this doesn't come as a particular shock. The fact that Lee is a grade-a douchebag doesn't help matters either.

So it's almost a shot for shot remake, sad.

I had a feeling the remake would suck, Oldboy is just one of those films that really didn't need a remake, I mean the original was already a masterpiece, if it isn't broke, don't fix it.

*Looks at comment on Amazing Spiderman 2 and rolls eyes in annoyance* Great, I can't wait to see Bob beat that horse to death violently and repeatedly by constantly reminding us how much he hates both films.

It's a real shame, this. The worst thing is if people see this and then it makes them want to see the original, it will lose a lot of the impact because of the plot twist.

While you actually made a good case for why a remake of this exists, I still have to wonder why a remake of motherclubbin' Oldboy exists at all. I can't imagine it being better, because they'd still have to retrace half the steps just because they gave it the same name, and the first time you do something is the best possible time to get the reaction from it. Doing it again, more or less to the same audience, is just...well...worse.

Jennacide:
In regards to that last stinger image trashing Amazing Spiderman 2, remember Bob, it could be worse. As goofy as they made Green Goblin I in the first Spiderman, Raimi KILLED Venom in the third movie, the single most iconic villian in Spiderman history.

Really? I mean, I'd have said Doc Ock as the serendipitous Spiderman villain, and look how amazing that portrayal was. Goblin(s) and Electro and Rhino and Venom all kind of feel secondary after Doc Ock, at least as far as I can tell.

Huh, seems like I should watch the original then.

That women looks waaaaaaaaaaaaay to skinny to be Wonder Women, I hope she bulks up. I really don't want Wonder Women to turn into freaking Domino.

Wow, the amount of love that the Amazing Spider-Man IP is getting around here is... odd, to put it mildly. Even by superhero movie standards the first was a terribly bland film in all aspects, and the second isn't looking much better. At least Raimi's joints have some flavor to them, no matter how cheesy that flavor is.

Back OT, I'm not sure what people were expecting with an Oldboy remake. Hollywood seems to have a difficult time in translating culture-centric Asian movies over to an American audience. Don't know why they bother anymore given the abysmal results of remake failures like The Eye, Dark Water, The Ring, and One Missed Call.

Expect death threats to start circulating from a certain Escapist user once the decision to remake Ichi The Killer is made public.

Yeah nah...

At least it can't be worse than Zinda, man that was awful.

I did get to meet Chan Park Wook when Oldboy screened at a local film festival, was going to get him to sign a hammer but chickened out and got him to sign a DVD of Joint Security Area instead.

The original Oldboy has a strange effect of sucking all the colour of the world for at least half an hour after I watch it. I don't know of any other movies that have that sort of effect.

There is an Australian movie called Bad Boy Bubby made in 1993 that is quite similar with a man kept in single room for 33 years with his "MAM" and who escapes after killing them, only to find he becomes a hero in the outside world. Rolf de Heer is very strange and that movie had 33 cinematographers.

Funny The Amazing Spider Man only ruined a couple sub plots and not much else,The Lizard was pretty much correct and over all could have been alot worse.

I like that the whole "there's a valid argument that cultural appropriation exists and is bad" gets slipped in with no further comment. Funny how the Indian remakes of American cultural icons (Captain America, Superman, etc.) are venerated by Bob as being both endearingly over-the-top and creative. Reimagining a work (or a character) in a different cultural setting is no more "appropriation" than when the Japanese make a Spider-Man cartoon.

The same "OMG cultural appropriation" which would damn an Old Boy remake would damn many things in other countries which ape American culture. Or does it not count when an American made it originally? The same "OMG watch the original translated into your native language and be happy because part of the experience is delving into that culture" shouldn't stop when it's American popular culture being remade.

I haven't seen Oldboy but I don't think I can ignore it anymore...the South Korean one I mean. As for The Amazing Spider-Man, I wouldn't say the first ruined The Lizard but only because it took me a couple of seconds to remember who the villain in the first Amazing Spider-Man even was (and that was a movie I saw in theaters, I tend to remember those)

Strain42:
Never saw the original. I was intrigued by the story, but the truth is I'm a very squeamish person, so there's a lot of stuff I can't watch and still hold down my lunch or at the very least start cringing as if spiders are suddenly crawling on me, and I was told Old Boy was probably a movie I should avoid in that regard.

But I do agree with you. I'm always very intrigued by cross-culture remakes (I personally liked A Woman, A Gun, and a Noodle Shop) and an American version of this plot does seem like it could have had a lot more potential than it did just based on the points you made. I mean hell they're in Louisiana, change dumplings to like BBQ or something.

In regards to the Spiderman thing...why does it look like the Rhino went out and got himself a Zoid? I mean I assume the far left one is supposed to be the Rhino.

It's not really that kind of "gross out" really. Spoiler at the bottom...

As far as The Rhino goes, I think the idea was to base it off of the second Rhino who is fairly recent and was more tech based even if he wasn't around long:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhino_(comics)

It's also noteworthy that The Rhino's powers were entirely derived from his costume to begin with as I remember, a costume which was physically bonded to him. He didn't develop his own powers until much later when he was mutated artificially.

Given the tendency towards political correctness it strikes me as likely that they want to modify the character to get away from the anti-eastern (Russian/Soviet Bloc) bent of the character originally, not to mention the question as to how a character is supposed to derive powers from a suit made out of high tech polymers. Not to mention of course that the concept of "powered armor" is becoming increasingly popular with the success of Iron Man.

I can sort of see where they are coming from with the design though.

The odd thing about this though is that if they want to re-do Rhino as someone who has made or can at least use a complicated piece of technology like that, it kind of defeats the point. Part of the gimmick with The Rhino is that he's actually one of the stronger characters in The Marvel Universe, being able to compete with other strong man characters toe to toe pretty effectively (we're talking Thor, The Hulk, etc...), but he's supposed to literally be as dumb as a sack of bricks which means someone like Spider Man who has little chance of being able to win in a straightforward punch out with him can usually wind up outsmarting and outmaneuvering him pretty easily. That level of potential power is also probably why despite his long string of defeats he keeps getting picked up for muscle. Durability-wise he's also not the kind of bad guy a mastermind can typically just kill to make an example of either, he can take hits with the best of them. Still... as I mentioned, the core of the character originally was "a guy who gets his powers from a suit".

Now back to Oldboy... I did it this way because the spoiler thing rarely works for me for some reason, but I figured I'd try it again:

SPOILER

I haven't seen the remake yet, but I think we can agree that the Stephen Spielberg/Will Smith version that almost happened a few years back would have been far worse. There's also the unofficial Bollywood remake, which I've heard is godawful. Like, completely wimped out on the plot twist awful.

Talbis:

Magenera:
Wasn't Old Boy the movie based on the Manga Old Boy?

Yes it was. Manga written by Garon Tsuchiya and illustrated by Nobuaki Minegishi, printed in years 1996 - 1998. But for some stupid reason Park Chan-wook's adaptation is far better known, and that's sad, because the manga was better than the movie, even when it got really silly at the end. But everyone likes the 2003 movie, so there's that...

Wat. The first three volumes of the manga were alright, then it degenerated into Goto and Dojima talking... and talking... and talking... and talking some more... And that ending was irredeemably bad.

To be honest, Mecha-Rhino doesn't seem like too bad of an idea. Same can't be said for Hairy Goblin and Blue Electro, though.

Machine Man 1992:
The look on Sam L's face?

Priceless.

I might see this anyway.

I came in just to point out I fucking love Sam Jackson's expression when he say "You might wanna think about what you're doing here". And I'm definitely watching it.

Strain42:
Never saw the original. I was intrigued by the story, but the truth is I'm a very squeamish person, so there's a lot of stuff I can't watch and still hold down my lunch or at the very least start cringing as if spiders are suddenly crawling on me, and I was told Old Boy was probably a movie I should avoid in that regard.

But I do agree with you. I'm always very intrigued by cross-culture remakes (I personally liked A Woman, A Gun, and a Noodle Shop) and an American version of this plot does seem like it could have had a lot more potential than it did just based on the points you made. I mean hell they're in Louisiana, change dumplings to like BBQ or something.

In regards to the Spiderman thing...why does it look like the Rhino went out and got himself a Zoid? I mean I assume the far left one is supposed to be the Rhino.

The original is among my list of favorite movies of all time, but its really not that bad in the gore department. If thats whats stopping you from watching, you shouldn't let that stand in your way of a really good experience.

And octopuss gets eaten alive, a few guys get brutalized with a hammer. But theres nothing in it as horrific as MovieBob's accent, I assure you.

I liked the original, as weird as it was. Too bad this one fell short.

Glad to hear that Bob and most other reviews seem to have come to the consensus that this movie isn't worth bothering with, the original Oldboy is one of my favourite films so I'm glad I didn't waste my time and rage on this and can conserve it for more worthy targets.

Gorrath:

Yoshi4102:
I'm not a big fan of foriegn movies (I don't like missing plot when I get up to grab a drink or something) but when I saw Oldboy on Netflix, it is pretty much fucking perfection! It would make it into my top 10 movies for sure.

When I saw the commercial for this on TV I couldn't help but to roll my eyes when I saw scenes remade verbatim. Seriously... fight scene is the EXACT same thing? Where's the originality? Just make an english dub (oh wait, the one on Netflix was a dub, remake not needed).

I seriously hope the other 2 semi-related movies aren't remade either, but they aren't as good anyways in my opinion. However they are worth watching.

tl;dr Just watch the old one, remake is dumb

If they remake the others from the revenge trilogy, I think my head will implode from anger.

I can love remakes, even remakes of foreign films, but when you have movies that are as steeped in the culture they are created in as the revenge trilogy are, remaking them is almost certain to be worse. Even if you do manage to make a passable version, or even a decent version, what's the point? I consider Old Boy to be damned near perfect, especially it's cinematography (it stands up there with Silence of the Lambs in my opinion) so any remake of it would seem naturally lesser and pointless.

Also, to anyone who has not seen Old Boy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, I highly recommend them. They are gruesome, but the brutality in them comes from a place that feels so genuine that it isn't done for gory kicks.

I'm pretty sure that Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance is being remade :/ As are some other classic films from my younger days like Gremlins and Poltergeist and even Wargames FFS!

er yeah : http://www.slashfilm.com/paradise-now-director-to-remake-sympathy-for-mr-vengeance/

Here's an idea.
Let's make a modern day remake of Ben-Hur.
Let's set it in New York in 2013.
A Ben-Hur movie naturally needs chariot races and Jesus so those need to go in.
This will be a massive blockbuster, just like the original!

Bruce Kilkowski:
I haven't seen the remake yet, but I think we can agree that the Stephen Spielberg/Will Smith version that almost happened a few years back would have been far worse. There's also the unofficial Bollywood remake, which I've heard is godawful. Like, completely wimped out on the plot twist awful.

Talbis:

Magenera:
Wasn't Old Boy the movie based on the Manga Old Boy?

Yes it was. Manga written by Garon Tsuchiya and illustrated by Nobuaki Minegishi, printed in years 1996 - 1998. But for some stupid reason Park Chan-wook's adaptation is far better known, and that's sad, because the manga was better than the movie, even when it got really silly at the end. But everyone likes the 2003 movie, so there's that...

Wat. The first three volumes of the manga were alright, then it degenerated into Goto and Dojima talking... and talking... and talking... and talking some more... And that ending was irredeemably bad.

Talking? Seriously? In a psychological thriller, solely based on character interaction, conversations are not only needed but an integral part of the story. As for the ending of the manga... The very fact that the reason for this whole complicated and detailed revenge was so insignificant, only proves how big of a psycho Dojima really is. Imagine what he would be capable to do to someone who'd really piss him off. To be honest, most mangas get more weirder as volume numbers grow...

I don't get how you found a movie that is basically an uninspired remake to be boring if the original was not boring. It can't be any worse if it's just a whitewashed clone.

Talbis:

Bruce Kilkowski:
I haven't seen the remake yet, but I think we can agree that the Stephen Spielberg/Will Smith version that almost happened a few years back would have been far worse. There's also the unofficial Bollywood remake, which I've heard is godawful. Like, completely wimped out on the plot twist awful.

Talbis:

Yes it was. Manga written by Garon Tsuchiya and illustrated by Nobuaki Minegishi, printed in years 1996 - 1998. But for some stupid reason Park Chan-wook's adaptation is far better known, and that's sad, because the manga was better than the movie, even when it got really silly at the end. But everyone likes the 2003 movie, so there's that...

Wat. The first three volumes of the manga were alright, then it degenerated into Goto and Dojima talking... and talking... and talking... and talking some more... And that ending was irredeemably bad.

Talking? Seriously? In a psychological thriller, solely based on character interaction, conversations are not only needed but an integral part of the story. As for the ending of the manga... The very fact that the reason for this whole complicated and detailed revenge was so insignificant, only proves how big of a psycho Dojima really is. Imagine what he would be capable to do to someone who'd really piss him off. To be honest, most mangas get more weirder as volume numbers grow...

Fair enough about the conversation thing. i just felt like most of them could have been streamlined and shifted over to actual plot progression, instead of them sitting in a bar or on a boat not accomplishing much. And I wasn't referring to the motivation, which I was fine with. I meant the huge, dangling plot thread of Eri's hypnosis that was left completely unresolved and left the manga on a completely unnecessary cliffhanger ending.

Bruce Kilkowski:

Talbis:

Bruce Kilkowski:
I haven't seen the remake yet, but I think we can agree that the Stephen Spielberg/Will Smith version that almost happened a few years back would have been far worse. There's also the unofficial Bollywood remake, which I've heard is godawful. Like, completely wimped out on the plot twist awful.

Wat. The first three volumes of the manga were alright, then it degenerated into Goto and Dojima talking... and talking... and talking... and talking some more... And that ending was irredeemably bad.

Talking? Seriously? In a psychological thriller, solely based on character interaction, conversations are not only needed but an integral part of the story. As for the ending of the manga... The very fact that the reason for this whole complicated and detailed revenge was so insignificant, only proves how big of a psycho Dojima really is. Imagine what he would be capable to do to someone who'd really piss him off. To be honest, most mangas get more weirder as volume numbers grow...

Fair enough about the conversation thing. i just felt like most of them could have been streamlined and shifted over to actual plot progression, instead of them sitting in a bar or on a boat not accomplishing much. And I wasn't referring to the motivation, which I was fine with. I meant the huge, dangling plot thread of Eri's hypnosis that was left completely unresolved and left the manga on a completely unnecessary cliffhanger ending.

In my opinion all the talking Goto and Dojima did was important to show the tension between them. It was like a game of chess where all the significant words had to be hidden in the sea of casual conversation. Also it did show Goto's stoic nature and Dojima's predatory instincts. Like like in westerns, they were looking at each other for a long while before drawing their guns. As to Eri and her ending... I didn't really care all that much. It didn't bother Goto, I didn't change anything really. I was happy about the ending, but hey, it's just my opinion, in the long run it doesn't really matter what I think. Still I find manga to be better than the 2003 adaptation.

For those of you who haven't seen Oldboy yet, the original, it's now on Netflix.

Also, I can see why the movie has become such a icon, but I didn't particularly like it.

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