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OldBoy (Spike Lee, 2013) — The Reviews Thread

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OldBoy (Spike Lee, 2013) — The Reviews Thread

Old 11-17-13, 11:57 AM
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OldBoy (Spike Lee, 2013) — The Reviews Thread

Please continue pre-release discussion here.

Movie:
"OldBoy" (Starring: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Hannah Simone, Sharlto Copley, Michael Imperioli)

Release Date:
11/27/2013

Rating:
R (for strong brutal violence, disturbing images, some graphic sexuality and nudity, and language throughout.)

Running Time:
104min. (1h. 44m.)

Budget:
$30 million (estimated)

IMDb Synopsis:
Spoiler:
An advertising executive is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his punishment, only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment.


IMDb Info and Rating:
4.3 (719 votes as of 11/26/13)

Rotten Tomatoes:
Fresh:20 Rotten:23 (43% as of 11/26/13)

Metacritic:
49 metascore ('Mixed or average reviews' as of 11/26/13)

Trailer:
<object width="720" height="357"><param name="movie" value="http://www.traileraddict.com/emd/76877"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.traileraddict.com/emd/76877" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" wmode="transparent" allowfullscreen="true" width="720" height="357"></embed></object>

Poster Art:


**ATTENTION:

dan30oly, Arpeggi (current status: Banned), Spottedfeather & PenguinJoe please do not enter your "traditional" star review in these threads any longer. Whether intentional or not, it is a troll move to always vote 0 or 1.0 stars, whether you've seen the movie or not, and no longer appreciated in these, somewhat, legitimate reviews threads.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION AND UNDERSTANDING IN THIS MATTER**
Old 11-18-13, 08:06 AM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

Movie looks JUST like Thor.
Old 11-26-13, 07:20 PM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

bump for release...
Old 11-26-13, 07:36 PM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

4.3 on IMDB? And it ain't even out yet? Man, you mention Spike Lee and certain Internet White Guyz go BERSERK.
Old 11-26-13, 08:04 PM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

My friend watched it and didn't like it.
-------------------------------------------------
It can be hard to try and critique a film, when it comes to addressing one that uses the basis of another film that one already loves. It is hard to critique a film at any time really, as it requires a certain amount of consideration that really drags in all of what it going on in one’s life at the time, regardless of whether or not it was intended. The 2003 revenge-thriller Oldboy is a favorite film of mine. I was intrigued by the notion of a remake mainly because of the strong talent that seemed to be standing behind it. Josh Brolin is a capable lead actor, Elizabeth Olsen already had my eye from her breakout work in Martha Marcy May Marlene, and Sharlto Copley has impressed me with his wildly different turns in various films. Having Spike Lee serve as director was the strangest piece of the puzzle, as the story of Oldboy feels like nothing he has tackled before. Unfortunately, the film does not come together in any way that really properly makes a case for why this story needed to be told again.

Brolin stars as Joe Doucett, a businessman who is kidnapped and locked away in solitary confinement for 20 years. He is given no reason as to why and is subjected to the same routine throughout his stay. During his imprisonment, he learns that he has been framed for the murder of his wife and that his daughter is now living with a foster family. Once released, Joe is given the mission to find out the reason for his incarceration and who is responsible, with the added motivation of saving his daughter. It is during this time that he befriends Marie (Elizabeth Olsen), who feels sorry for Joe and wants to help. Her help will be limited though, as Joe has violent revenge on his mind, as he searches for answers.

The premise remains intriguing, but I have seen this film already. It is one thing to criticize a film for being a remake, but it is another to find nothing of interest in the latest version of the same story. That was my problem here. Spike Lee and writer Mark Protosevich did not add anything to really make this story standout. More than that though, the story has been robbed of any real intrigue or style. There are psychological elements that really make the journey of the lead character all the more interesting and intense and this new Oldboy does not capitalize off of that at all. On top of that, it really does feel like a ‘director-for-hire’ job, despite the interesting directorial perspective that someone like Spike Lee could have brought to the film.

It feels like a broad checklist of items was used to deliver on the basic requirements of this film. The plot is very easy to follow. Characters are defined by obvious qualities. Lee puts in some signature Lee camera moments. The various turns in the story may or may not be easy to anticipate, but once they are out in the open, the film is very quick to provide obvious answers as to why everything happened the way it did. That is great for a studio-produced movie that can be deemed acceptable for all, but this is Oldboy, a story that can be incredibly gripping, violent, challenging, and capable of producing very interesting reactions, were an audience given more of a chance to really delve into the psyche of some of these characters.

The film misses this. While there are reports of a 3-hour cut of this film, which could be the answer to my question of how this film messed up so badly, I have to review the film that I watched, which will be the one that most people see. With that in mind, I do not have many kind things to say in regards to how it handles what is a graphic, but engaging story at its core. Does the film deliver on its violence and twisted nature? Sure, there is plenty of graphic imagery and actions taking place to satisfy those seeking something that is most definitely not family-friendly, but the impact remains all on the surface. There is very little to consider when all is said and done, in terms of thinking more about this version of Oldboy. It plays less like a classic Twilight Zone/Hitcockian thriller, with oedipal motifs and a visual eye akin to someone like Brian DePalma, and more like a straight B-movie thriller that does not ask much from the viewer.

The cast is fine. Joe is supposed to be a tortured soul who is both filled with regret and violent rage. Brolin fits the bill of who this type of person is, but is only able to convey so much, given the bluntness of his actions and what the film allows him to do. Elizabeth Olsen is a very uncomplicated character, given what is required of her, but she does what she can. Sharlto Copley could have been the most interesting character in this film, but is shortsighted by how much material the film grants him. That is the thing about this film, in general, it was not very interesting.

Oldboy does not even look very interesting. It is Spike Lee, so you can assume the location is New York, but it really does not matter. There are a couple pieces of imagery that are reoccurring, but it does not amount to much. The action filmmaking on display gives you the sense that Lee has not dealt with this before and he is trying his best to make it look accomplished. There is simply an empty film here. It is devoid of any flavor, like my title suggests.

Is this version of Oldboy terrible? Not necessarily, but it falls in line with being a film that feels unnecessary. There is less a semblance of a film that really needed to be made and more of the product of what it looks like when a property is assembled by a director taking a job in an effort to have the funding for his next, more personal project. I do not fault anyone for trying, but I am disappointed with the poor, uninteresting results.

http://whysoblu.com/oldboy-movie-review/
Old 11-26-13, 10:32 PM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

Is that your review or your friend's?
Old 11-26-13, 10:39 PM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by dsa_shea View Post
Is that your review or your friend's?
Friend's.
Old 11-26-13, 10:54 PM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

I don't see how this remake would work. It's a very niche film, and the original is on Netflix, also those of use who saw the original it's been about a decade.
Old 11-26-13, 11:20 PM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

I dunno, this remake reminds of the Infernal Affairs/The Departed remake. Changed just enough to Americanize it, but keep the same plot intact as well as a few memorable visuals. I don't have high hopes for it, but I'm curious enough to see it.
Old 11-27-13, 07:12 AM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

No plans to see it. At first I was intrigued but totally lost interest.
Old 11-27-13, 10:50 AM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

I saw the ads on tv and didn't understand what was going on.

Pass.
Old 11-27-13, 10:53 AM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

Love Brolin. Like a lot of Lee's stuff.

This looks like pure mule shit.
Old 11-27-13, 11:04 AM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

I'm really iffy on this just cuz of what Brolin has said. Dunno if it'll get released that way though.
Old 11-27-13, 11:13 AM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

And for those that do want to see it - good luck with that, it's opening in only 500 theaters.
Old 11-27-13, 11:23 AM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

Like... That's the only way it'll get released?
Old 11-27-13, 11:30 AM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

With good word-of-mouth and larger-than-expected BO, it'll get released in more theaters. I can understand being somewhat timid on a wide release.
Old 11-27-13, 11:35 AM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

I feel like this film will be extremely polarizing. Those who are not familiar with the original will probably like it, but those who really love Park Chan-wook's film may have a hard time with Lee's version. It does have a lot of callbacks to the original, but it feels like a different film at its core. Also, I got a The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo vibe from it as well.

Here's my full review.
Old 11-27-13, 12:00 PM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
Like... That's the only way it'll get released?
For now. Box office dictates whether or not it gets a wider release. I think it's already been written off as a loss.
Old 11-27-13, 01:01 PM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

Fuck. Really want to see that 3 hour cut.
Old 11-27-13, 02:17 PM
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It's at my local AMC in the heart of the suburbs right now.
Old 11-27-13, 06:21 PM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

probably gonna see this Saturday if I get my work done. Kinda looking forward to it.
Old 11-27-13, 08:26 PM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
My friend watched it and didn't like it.
-------------------------------------------------
It can be hard to try and critique a film ...
It can be difficult to use proper grammar as well.

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
Unfortunately, the film does not come together in any way that really properly makes a case for why this story needed to be told again.
Here is the presented argument for remaking Oldboy:

Pitchman: This is an edgy story about revenge and redemption which has a very loyal fanbase. With the built in audience, it is a sure winner.

Studio: No.

Pitchman: We can get Spike Lee to bring a contemporary perspective to the story and add elements of social commentary.

Studio: No.

Pitchman: We can simply take everything that was already done and redo it in English!

Studio: OK. Release it during the holidays so families can go see it.
Old 11-27-13, 09:46 PM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

It can be difficult to use proper grammar as well.
I don't understand that. I was trying to separate my comment from the article I posted but didn't want to bold the entire thing, so I used the line to divide his commentary. Did I miss something?
Old 11-27-13, 10:18 PM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

Muddled character motivations got the short-shift in this American remake of the Korean original "Oldboy". As-is, the film's lean with mostly plot-driven footage, though there is a longer 3-hour cut that fleshes out the characters more, and I probably would have like to have seen that version because this theatrical version is just mundane in execution, and Josh Brolin doesn't seem like a good fit for the lead character. It's just a dour viewing experience, with the energy level piping up when Samuel L. Jackson is on the screen for a bit. Elizabeth Olsen does what she can, but her character is written head-scratchingly so.

I give it 2 stars, or a grade of C.
Old 11-27-13, 11:19 PM
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Re: OldBoy (Lee, 2013) The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
I don't understand that. I was trying to separate my comment from the article I posted but didn't want to bold the entire thing, so I used the line to divide his commentary. Did I miss something?
Sorry Blu!

I meant the grammar in the article -- not yours. I suppose I should have clarified that.

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