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-   -   Oldboy UE thread part two: The Revenge! (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/international-dvd-talk/400644-oldboy-ue-thread-part-two-revenge.html)

splattii 01-17-05 11:47 AM

I have a friend in Korea who's been sending me updates for Sympathy for Ms Vengence, and the last I heard Starmax has stopped the replacement program as of a few weeks ago.

I'm not sure if this is known, but the UE has poor picture quality anyhow. It was re-mastered without Chan Wook-Park as he was busy filming CUT for the Three Extremes at the time. Chan Wook-Park has since come out and expressed his concern with the picture quality, and admitted that the "dark grainy picture" seen in the original DVD was meant to be as such. Chan Wook-Park himself admitted the other versions are better than the UE. I've seen the UE and the initial DVD, and I saw the film at the Toronto Film Fest. The UE isn't even close. They ruined the picture. It's way too bright.

Anyhow, here's the press release from Starmax;

Starmax has posted a new msg to it's Oldboy website regarding the replacement program. I haven't done a complete translation of this, as I couldn't be arsed (too much drinkin & eating )
But all the important stuff is here!

OLD BOY - UE - Related Information. 2004.12.24

1. The replacement digipak program has ended and the replacements for the damaged digipak's have been sent out. Hopefully you will receive your exchanged product soon.

2. We apologise for people who reported that they had damaged film cell (Kang Hye Jung's), for those 4 who applied to get it exchanged, we apologise that we could not send it out. We will get it ready to send out next week.

3. For people who applied for exchange of digipak after 20th DEC, we will exchange the digipak, but postage will be charged to people who applied after 20th.

4. We recieved lots of love and support from Oldboy mania fans for OLDBOY DVD homepage, unfortunately, it will be closing down on 31st of december 2004. We thank all the fans who have shown interest, and we will see you soon with another movie homepage.

5. We deeply apologise for trouble we have caused to customers, and we hope you have wonderful and prosperous new year. we will come back with new and exciting title. HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Njl 01-17-05 01:15 PM

If this is true it really sucks.
I sent the information originally requested by YesAsia well within the original time limit, and sent it again directly to Starmax (now with pictures) when asked to do so within the new time limit given by YesAsia. I still haven't received anything from Starmax, no email, no new covers.

DrGerbil 01-17-05 02:43 PM


Originally Posted by splattii
I'm not sure if this is known, but the UE has poor picture quality anyhow. It was re-mastered without Chan Wook-Park as he was busy filming CUT for the Three Extremes at the time. Chan Wook-Park has since come out and expressed his concern with the picture quality, and admitted that the "dark grainy picture" seen in the original DVD was meant to be as such. Chan Wook-Park himself admitted the other versions are better than the UE. I've seen the UE and the initial DVD, and I saw the film at the Toronto Film Fest. The UE isn't even close. They ruined the picture. It's way too bright.

You are not getting my UE! :lol:

Shintaro 01-18-05 03:03 AM


Originally Posted by splattii
I have a friend in Korea who's been sending me updates for Sympathy for Ms Vengence, and the last I heard Starmax has stopped the replacement program as of a few weeks ago.

I'm not sure if this is known, but the UE has poor picture quality anyhow. It was re-mastered without Chan Wook-Park as he was busy filming CUT for the Three Extremes at the time. Chan Wook-Park has since come out and expressed his concern with the picture quality, and admitted that the "dark grainy picture" seen in the original DVD was meant to be as such. Chan Wook-Park himself admitted the other versions are better than the UE. I've seen the UE and the initial DVD, and I saw the film at the Toronto Film Fest. The UE isn't even close. They ruined the picture. It's way too bright.

Anyhow, here's the press release from Starmax;

Starmax has posted a new msg to it's Oldboy website regarding the replacement program. I haven't done a complete translation of this, as I couldn't be arsed (too much drinkin & eating )
But all the important stuff is here!

OLD BOY - UE - Related Information. 2004.12.24

1. The replacement digipak program has ended and the replacements for the damaged digipak's have been sent out. Hopefully you will receive your exchanged product soon.

2. We apologise for people who reported that they had damaged film cell (Kang Hye Jung's), for those 4 who applied to get it exchanged, we apologise that we could not send it out. We will get it ready to send out next week.

3. For people who applied for exchange of digipak after 20th DEC, we will exchange the digipak, but postage will be charged to people who applied after 20th.

4. We recieved lots of love and support from Oldboy mania fans for OLDBOY DVD homepage, unfortunately, it will be closing down on 31st of december 2004. We thank all the fans who have shown interest, and we will see you soon with another movie homepage.

5. We deeply apologise for trouble we have caused to customers, and we hope you have wonderful and prosperous new year. we will come back with new and exciting title. HAPPY NEW YEAR.


Damn, taking credit for my work ehh?
I posted that here (check post 66 of this thread) and also on Koreanfilm.org, and I think at KFCC.

ehonauer 01-20-05 01:42 PM

I don't think there's a clear consensus on which is the better transfer. Yes, Chan-Wook Park prefers the darker transfer, but I (and many others) like the brighter UE transfer better.

I don't mind dark films with murky cinematography, but the Oldboy SE just looks like a bad transfer. IIRC, the bright or colorful scenes that are washed out on the SE (the sushi bar and the final scene in snowy forest) don't look naturally washed out - they look like some sort of post-production mucking around was applied that didn't work out so well. I was very happy when Starmax announced the UE/FE would have a new transfer.

Sometime directors are not the best stewards of their own material. Francis Ford Coppola prefers the transfers of Apocalypse Now that are cropped. But unlike Oldboy, we don't have any choice for Apocalypse Now. At least Oldboy was made available in both versions.

Guess I'll have to go back and watch the SE and UE again. Damn.

Romerojpg 01-20-05 05:50 PM

I feel sick at the way this debatical has been handled by StarMax and Yesasia!

I feel really sick I havent got anything yet and sick that my Tin will not be replaced, and very sick that Yesasia messed soo many people about and they may now never get anything all becuase yesasia put up a nice guy attitude and we all thought they were helping us, when in fact they were shafting us!

Yesasia for me is to blame for it for weeks of messing us customers about!

DrGerbil 01-20-05 05:55 PM


Originally Posted by Romerojpg
I feel sick at the way this debatical has been handled by StarMax and Yesasia!

I feel really sick I havent got anything yet and sick that my Tin will not be replaced, and very sick that Yesasia messed soo many people about and they may now never get anything all becuase yesasia put up a nice guy attitude and we all thought they were helping us, when in fact they were shafting us!

Yesasia for me is to blame for it for weeks of messing us customers about!

Did you send them an email to that effect? If not, just give them a link to this thread...

darmok 01-20-05 08:09 PM

i'm also in the same boat -- Yesasia's botched customer service, followed by two emails to Starmax that seemed to have gone nowhere. no replacement digipaks, zippo. this really pisses me off, why closed down the replacement program so soon and penalize us for Yesasia's mistake??

movieking 01-21-05 09:06 AM

Ditto. Nothing from Starmax, no replacement cases, no emails, nothing.

I sent YesAsia a complaint letter, and also sent it to their CEO. I suggest that everyone that has been screwed do the same. Of course, I have not heard anything back yet. If a number of people email to complain, maybe they will.

Romerojpg 01-21-05 11:32 AM

Put it this way I am giving it a little time, and then I am going to email Yesasia with the strongest email possable within the law! I am sick of been shafted! and want compensation.

ehonauer 01-21-05 04:12 PM

After watching both the SE and the UE discs I have to say it's a wash between the two. The differences between them are very subtle, but in some cases they're glaring. Some scenes are rendered better on the SE, and some look better on the UE.

In general, the SE has a greenish tint and softer image, but this is not true for all scenes. When Dae-su and the bum are sitting in front of the aquarium, the green tint is more pronounced and sickly on the UE. The hallway fight scene is actually darker + danker on the UE, and the details are more legible. But some shots are sharper and more colorful on the SE: Daesu grinning at the painting in his room, Mido sitting on the bed with the angel wings on.

The haziness of the SE sometimes works better dramatically. The section with Woojin and his sister in the classroom is sharper on the UE, but the softer image on the SE is more in keeping with the memory-flashback nature of the scene.

However, during the final scenes in the snow, the green tint is overpowering on the SE, while the UE looks more natural. The argument can be made that Chanwook was making a statement by "dirtying" the final snow scenes on the SE. But on the UE, the more natural look lets you see in great detail the footprints in the snow, tying them more closely to the "seventy steps" of the Monster. On the SE, the footprints are barely visible.

The UE also subtitles more of the printed text in the film - for instance, in the first shot of the painting in Daesu's cell, the UE subtitles tell us the painting reads "When you laugh the world laughs with you, when you weep, you weep alone," which is nice to know since that's a reoccuring theme in the film.

Sorry if that's less than helpful. I guess if I had to pick, I'd go with the UE/FE transfer. The image is a lot more detailed and provides a better "depth of field" experience than the flatter image on the SE. By the way, I'm watching this on a 30" widescreen TV with a Toshiba SD-4900 in progressive mode. YMMV.

As far as Starmax and replacements, I do know they are still sending out replacements, but only to people who successfully contacted them before the deadline of December 20th, or the extended YesAsia deadline of January 10th. So if you contact them now and this is the first they're hearing from you, you're probably going to get the "Sorry charlie" message. It sucks if you get stuck with damaged digipacks, but there was plenty of detailed info in this thread on how to make sure you got them. Christ, DrGerbil even offered to give people Gmail accounts to make sure they could send the email. How's that for service!

However if Starmax did hear from you before the deadline, even if they initially denied your request, you should be ok. For example, I received one set of digipacks, then requested additional ones at the end of December because I have more than 1 copy of the UE. They rejected my initial request saying "we already sent a replacement set to you." When I pointed out that the additional ones were for different serial numbers, they agreed to send replacements (this was last week).

Keep in mind that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. If that doesn't translate well from English, it means BE NICE, even if you're aggravated. If you communitcate harshly with Starmax they might ignore you.

Also, send your emails to Starmax from a real email provider (AOL, AT&T, Gmail) not a free one (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc). Emails from free providers don't get delivered to Starmax. If you can figure out how to send the subject line in Korean (see earlier in this thread for detailed directions), that helps. Your message can be in English. Good luck!

royalwithcheese 01-21-05 06:38 PM

nice update reply dude, thanks! however, sometimes vinegar works ;) (i think, from what i read, it SEEMS like they're sending me replacements...)

Njl 01-24-05 04:39 PM

Very happy to say I received my replacements from Starmax today, originaly ordered from YesAsia, and re-sent the info asked for to Starmax within the extended time limit.

darmok 01-24-05 05:54 PM

hey, i just got my replacements today, too! this was after my second chase letter (with the very-specific subject line mentioned a few pages back), as the postage is dated 1/19/05. so for those who didn't get theirs yet, send those second emails!

btw, the thin slipcover they included with the replacements that serves as sort of an inner lining for the tin is pretty cool...fits really snug inside the tin. surprised they went thru the extra effort of designing/manufacturing it...nice touch!

royalwithcheese 01-24-05 09:10 PM

can someone do me a favor? can someone order a copy of oldboy using a credit card, and then i'll pay them back using paypal? the problem is, i don't have a credit card to use, just my paypal account which uses money straight from my bank account. if you can help me out, email me at [email protected]. thanks a bunch!

DrGerbil 01-24-05 09:26 PM


Originally Posted by royalwithcheese
can someone do me a favor? can someone order a copy of oldboy using a credit card, and then i'll pay them back using paypal? the problem is, i don't have a credit card to use, just my paypal account which uses money straight from my bank account. if you can help me out, email me at [email protected]. thanks a bunch!

Yes... for a tidy fee and payment in advance. :)

BTW, your handle is strange.. are you making reference to the line from Pulp Fiction? If so, it should be Royale, not royal. :p

jomalley2001 01-24-05 09:32 PM

happy camper
 
I got my Ultimate Edition from the DVDdetective. I wrote a nicely worded email to Starmax on 12/31 and I received my digipaks today. I couldn't be happier (considering the circumstances).

Fandango 01-25-05 03:19 AM


Originally Posted by royalwithcheese
can someone do me a favor? can someone order a copy of oldboy using a credit card, and then i'll pay them back using paypal? the problem is, i don't have a credit card to use, just my paypal account which uses money straight from my bank account. if you can help me out, email me at [email protected]. thanks a bunch!

Yesasia takes paypal but they are probably out of the UE if that's what you are looking for.

Forgot to include that I received my digipaks from Starmax today as well after sending emails to yesasia and then directly to Starmax.

BuddhaWake 01-25-05 05:40 AM

has anyone who ordered from koreandvds.com gotten anything? When I emailed them they said they had forwarded my info to starmax. any ideas?

royalwithcheese 01-25-05 08:51 AM


Originally Posted by DrGerbil
Yes... for a tidy fee and payment in advance. :)

BTW, your handle is strange.. are you making reference to the line from Pulp Fiction? If so, it should be Royale, not royal. :p

i'd totally be willing to pay a fee and advance payment...and it SHOULD be royalE, but the board doesn't allow that many characters :p

ehonauer 01-25-05 01:18 PM


Originally Posted by BuddhaWake
has anyone who ordered from koreandvds.com gotten anything? When I emailed them they said they had forwarded my info to starmax. any ideas?

I would definitely try sending a message directly to Starmax. At worst it might expedite your digipacks going out, at best it might be the difference between getting them and not. I didn't get too many answers out of Korean DVDs so I contacted Starmax directly and they responded.

movieking 01-27-05 07:58 AM

I have yet to get any response for YesAsia (after two letters) and StarMax (after one letters), and still no replacement cases.

I am not a happy camper.

darmok 01-27-05 11:44 AM

movieking, try a second letter to Starmax, and forget dealing with Yesasia on this. do mention that the problem was initially handled by Yesasia, though.

Lokise 01-27-05 12:22 PM


Originally Posted by BuddhaWake
has anyone who ordered from koreandvds.com gotten anything? When I emailed them they said they had forwarded my info to starmax. any ideas?

Well this is the craziest thing. Not only did I get 2 replacement cases today from KoreanDVDs....but I hadn't even e-mailed a request for them! One of my original cases had a few scuff marks, but I must admit it didn't bother me enough to go through the hoops that others have been describing here. But lo and behold, KoreanDVDs must be blanket-mailing every of their purchases these replacements. So keep an eye out for them. Mind was shipped from "EStop."

And, in case anyone had doubts before this about KoreanDVDs...a HUGE thumbs up for them for taking the initiative here.

uvalaw2005 01-27-05 05:22 PM

Here's another crazy thing. I just received replacement digipaks in the mail from Starmax.... for the SECOND time. I sent two emails back in December, because the first had an English message line. I guess they got both, and didn't mind that both included the same serial number.

Long story short: I have an extra set of perfect replacement digipaks, plus the protective cardboard insert to prevent future damage. If anyone is interested, send me an email: [email protected]


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