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In the realm of revenge thrillers, you'd be hard pressed to find more ultra-violent vengeance and psycho thrills than in the creepy story of Oldboy. This Korean import made a pop splash at the Cannes Film Festival and during its limited theatrical run thanks to the imprimatur of Quentin Tarantino, who raved about it and its visionary director, Chan-wook Park, to anyone who would listen. It's easy to see why QT fell in love with the grindhouse attitude, fast-paced action, violent imagery, and icy-black humor, but it's a disservice to think of Oldboy as another Tarantino homage or knockoff. The darkly existential undercurrent in the themes that Oldboy traces over its life-long narrative arc is much more complex and deeply disturbing than anything of its kind. The movie's tagline is, "15 years of imprisonment... 5 days of vengeance." The imprisonee is Oh Dae-Su, an ordinary Joe who is snatched off a Seoul street corner and locked away in a dank, windowless fleabag hotel room for the aforementioned 15 years. Just as abruptly he is released, and thus the five days begin. Why did this happen to Oh Dae-Su? Ah, but that would be telling, and in fact we don't know ourselves until the final wrenching scenes.
Oldboy breaks into a classic three-act saga, the first of which details the hallucinatory period of imprisonment in which Oh Dae-Su wades from mild insanity to outright psychosis in the hands of unseen yet attentive captors. Act 2 is the revenge, when an entirely different tone takes over and Oh Dae-Su moves with single-minded purpose and clarity. It's this section that has gained the most notoriety, primarily for the claw-hammer dentistry scene, the one-man-army tracking shot, and the wriggling octopus that Oh Dae-Su consumes in a sushi bar (he's been dead so long he simply needs life back inside him in any way possible). In act 3, answers finally start to emerge and the sinister atmosphere grows even more profound--not without a healthy dose of extra bloodletting, of course. Oldboy is an undeniably poetic masterpiece of tension, fury, and dynamic craft. Ultimately, its epic cycle of tragedy is of the sort that mankind has been inflicting upon itself for all time. Some of the images may be gruesome, but all converge into a kind of beauty. It's in the telling of this lurid tale that these details become one and the memories of pain ultimately heal. --Ted Fry
After being kidnapped and held a prisoner for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is mysteriously set free with money and new clothes, and searches for his captor.
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Media Type: DVD
Street Release Date: 06/27/2006
Genre: ACTION / ADVENTURE
"Oldboy" is an excellent film. Its violence is startling. Korea has two major film festivals, one is government-sponsored while the Blue Dragon festival has been controversial because it is sponsored by a conservative newspaper -- like the Fox news of Korea -- and has had scandals about vote buying. Despite that controversy, from what I've read, it is highly influential in Korea. This film won three major Blue Dragon creative awards. Park Chan-Wook won as Best Director; Choi Min-Sik won as Best Actor; and Gang Hye-jeong (or Hye-jeong Kang) won as Best Actress. The film also won the Grand Prix Award @ Cannes in 2004.
The story grabs you from the start. We watched the DVD in Korean with English subtitles to hear the powerful original voices of the actors. As Oh Dae-su, Choi Min-sik does a masterful leading performance. His character goes from obnoxious drunk to the driven haggard man who seeks revenge. Both he and Yu Ji-tae again work with director Park Chan-Wook on "Lady Vengeance," with a similar theme, this time with a woman falsely imprisoned. Yu Ji-tae as Lee Woo-Jin is a smooth corporate success. The set designer creates a cold austere penthouse where Lee Woo-Jin showers in a glass stall in his office and has waterways built into the floor. The subplot of his illicit relationship with his sister and his murder of her is chilling. Gang Hye-jeong as Mi-do does a good job of being the unstable caregiver that adopts Oh Dae-su upon his release and falls in love with him. Oh Dae-su's best friend No joo-hwan is played by the paunchy Dae-han Ji and fills the role with believable friendly support.
The images in this film are startling. Oh Dae-su eats an Octopus. (Apparently, Choi Min-sik is a Buddhist and had to do prayers after this scene.) The tongue scene was gruesome & hard to watch. The actor who plays the blond assistant to Lee Woo-Jin also did an excellent job throughout the movie. The cinematography is top rate. From the prison set that looks like an Asian Motel 6 to the penthouse to the outdoor images, "Oldboy" visually impresses the viewer. While I read the usual accolades on the DVD box, I was not expecting such an excellent film. This one is stunning. Bravo! ...more info
- The "story" is really just an excuse...
For the largest part of the movie the viewers are left wondering
why the main charachter got imprisoned. This question is hammered
exuberantly upon us. If this is all the movie is about, is that
question at all interesting? Throughout the movie there are boring
meaningless unoriginal scenes of violence. And after all this
we are presented with an explanation why it all happened. I think at this point the makers of the movie wants us to think "oh, i could never have guessed that... completely brilliant". Well, there are myriads of endings
we would never have guessed. That doesnt make them interesting.
This is just an ad-hoc excuse for the prior scenes of violence.
"Now we have shoved meaningless scenes in your faces for one and a half hour, so we owe you an explanation."
This is actally a very common model for making a poor movie for the masses: First leave the viewers in confusion for no reason. Then in the
end reveal everything so it becomes completely obvious. The ones who havent already forseen the ending might be fooled that the movie is
very coherent and original. "oh it was like that all along... wow... who would have guessed". Really, it is incoherent because the first (and majority) part of the movie has
really nothing to do with anything... it is empty. To insert
such an textual (as opposed to cinematographic) message near the end of the movie is like telling a joke and then immediately explain it.
It destroys the joke, insults the audience and is a proof of failing to tell the joke.
A deep movie will take the risk of losing some viewers, just by being
deep and not by being obvious.
- Don't watch this with your mother!!!
I had no idea what this film was about, but I got it for xmas.. I have a great dvd collection, and I love foreign films.. I was excited to recieve such a present from my uncle... So I decided to sit down with my mom and watch it. Yea, big mistake.. At first we were both enjoying it, at the teeth scene she was screaming.. (pretty funny).. and when remembering the old high school days, I figured out the entire plot.. My mom didnt believe me, so she sat through the whole movie-- hoping that I was wrong.. Sorry mom to dissapoint, its not a disney movie.. Anyways very disturbing movie, that has a great score, suspensful action and more.. But it def isnt for the average joe. At the end my mother said she never wants to watch another movie my uncle gives me again.. lol I read some reviews and people on here overrate the violence factor, but to each his own. I would reccomend to rent first....more info
- Revenge Taken to The Extreme!!!
If you like revenge films, you will not be dissapointed with this one. This is the Craziest movie i have ever seen,especially the ending!!!
This is truely one of the best foreign films i have ever seen.
This is A dvd that you must add to your collection!!!...more info
References to "Oldboy" abound with words such as ultra-violent and gory. And yet, in the end, the gore is psychological rather than physical (though cutting out your own tongue with scissors is an admittedly bloody feat). "Oldboy" is a film entirely in a class of its own, mixing mystery, violence, and a plot that mind-bendingly unravels to a surprising conclusion. "Oldboy" plays well, it looks great, and is satisfying at every level; plot, action, story, and twist. The helping hand lent by the New Zealand Film Unit ensures crisp cine and those jagged, snow-topped Korean hills are as sharply captured as claw-hammer dentistry or the ingestion of a live octopus. Bon Apetit! ...more info
- Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone.
The thing about Oldboy is that it leaves you thinking long after the credits. The next night after seeing it, I ended up dreaming I was trapped in a hotel room, with my hair growing out of control, with the exception being that there was no TV. It certainly makes you think how you would cope in that situation - the only situation similar to that would be prison. But at least in prison you get some luxuries.
The story is based around Oh Dae-Su, who is taken from the streets after a drunken night out, and held prisoner in a hotel-style room, with no way out and nothing but the TV for company. He keeps up with the events of the world through this, and also learns of his wife's death and his young daughter's subsequent adoption. When his hair needs cut, or his room needs cleaned, he's gassed. After 15 years he's released, to a whole new world, and a wallet full of a cash, and a mobile phone.
What happens after that is an absolute whirlwind of emotions and imagery. I won't spoil any of the film for you, but be prepared to concentrate. Unfortunately, the film does lose its momentum part way through, and then it all comes together at the end.
When you think you know exactly what is happening in this film, it takes a sudden twist, and you're left thinking again, and puzzling over it, trying to work out what's happening, and where it's going before it gets there. The film comes to an absolute through-provoking climax, where I was still left wondering what on earth was going on, and it will take a few minutes to work it out. But I did go home babbling about it to my dad (who'd already seen the film) which is normally a good sign.
I didn't really like Sympathy For Mr Vengence, but Oldboy has more than made up for that. It's a thought provoking and intriguing movie and yes, gives you a reason to watch it again....more info
Park Chanwook's Oldboy is a masterful achievement. A great story and an eqaully impressive film. Great acting, especially from Choi Min-sik. And the ending will blow you away.
This one disc edition features a commentary, and interview with the director himself, deleted scenes, a trailer contest winner, and a photo gallery.
One of the best films of the decade.
Also check out the others in the trilogy:
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
Vengeance Trilogy...more info
- A Meticulously Crafted Masterpiece, Both a Modern Tragedy and a Contemporary Classic...
OLDBOY is the 2nd installment of Park Chan-Wook's vengeance trilogy that is loosely based on the Japanese comic by Tsuchiya Garon and Minegishi Nobuaki. I use the term "loosely" because the plot, characters and almost everything else is completely re-worked for the big screen. I've read that Park saw his film; "Sympathy with Mr. Vengeance" a sort of commercial failure, so he comes back with an effective counter-attack. Oldboy made me re-think the old adage: revenge is best served cold, because this film emits SCORCHING FIRE.
Oh Daesu (Choi Min-Sik) is a man with a wife and child. He is kidnapped and kept in captivity in a small room, fed with dumplings mostly as his main dish, with only a television to keep him company for 15 years. Someone paid an obscene amount of money to incarcerate him indefinitely. Mentally tortured and overcome with a desire for revenge, he plots for escape. One day, he is set free and dumped in the streets, with a suit to wear and left with some money. Daesu meets and hooks up with a young sushi chef; Mido (Hye-Jeong Kang) to look for the man responsible for his incarceration.
"Oldboy" has a lot of visual wallop and visceral punch. Park's stylish direction and the VERY intriguing premise are truly awesome. There are quite a few films that really stayed with me; this film is one of them. I can still clearly remember the great soundtrack, the visually original hallway fight, the tooth-pulling, the live octopus devouring and others. The ingenious style of its direction and the balanced intensity of its execution keep the proceedings grounded. The plot is a bit over-the-top but to the director's credit, it remains balanced and believable.
This film may be considered an ultra-violent dark film by most people but it is actually very tame when it comes to blood and gore. The proceedings are so well executed that the atmosphere emulates violence and darkness. The very set up and sequences of what happens in each shot creates a lot of tension that people will remember it as a very dark and violent film, that it is in fact gorier and bloodier than it actually is. Park has the hand of an artist and is a true visionary to be able to pull off this sensory manipulation. "Oldboy" has a lot of uncompromising twists and turns. You will have to keep in mind that Park's films are usually a character study of its main characters.
Aside from Park's stellar direction and premise, the film draws its strength from its excellent cast. Choi Min-Sik gives a near-stellar performance as the main character. I remember his haircut that looks almost like a mangled lion with a chopped black mane. His portrayal of a BROKEN everyday man is one of the reasons why "Oldboy" has been elevated to "cult status". The film's final image; Choi's joyful but at the same time, infinitely sorrowful SMILE will forever be remembered by its audiences. Ji-Tae Yu plays the villain; Woo-Jin, suave and handsome; with his Bond-like physical attributes and a very elegant charisma. Despite his good looks, Ji-Tae Yu has a very menacing presence and does command attention like a deity, with a "mere" mortal as his plaything.
One VERY minor (so minor) fault the film may have is that the method of which the actual revenge is executed. The hint of hypnotism may require a tiny suspension of disbelief. Everything plays out so well for the antagonist; we are all expected to believe that he is a genius, with an intellect dedicated to the torture and punishment of one man. He has dedicated 2 decades of his life to his vengeance which may be one of the coldest, if not, certainly the most perverse. However, this very minor flaw is forgivable, because the film is so focused and succeeds in immersing us in its sequences that all we consider are the things that it has done PERFECT.
Oldboy explores a moral issue about vengeance; what happens next after you do exact your revenge? If revenge becomes a main focus of your life, what else is there to live for? With Daesu and Lee Woo-Jin, the answer is very different.
OLDBOY is PURE contrasting cinematic genius; it is repulsively ugly but at the same time, it is breathtakingly beautiful. It is gut-wrenching but at the same time it is very delicate. It is cold but indeed emotional. It is mind-bending at times and certainly artistic in its execution. With its flair and style, it is a bunch of contradictions that adheres to coherency.
Park will not only entertain but make you uncomfortable. It does no other film has done: to entertain at the same time analyzes pure emotional pain. It is TERRIFIC!
Highest Possible Recommendation! [ 5- Stars]
Recent News: Hollywood will be re-making this film with the director of "Better Luck Tomorrow" at the helm. I was watching MTV when I heard this news; Good or bad? Let's wait and see...
- Old Boy is a great movie!
My Korean girlfriend had told me about this movie, so I ordered it. It is a fantastic movie. Very well made, acted and filmed. The story is amazing with some unique twists. I heard they are going to remake this in America and Speilberg is directing? Why mess with an already great film? Well worth owning. Superfast shipping, product exactly as described....more info
- Best collector's set ever!
I absolutely love the stylization of this film. After purchasing the collector's edition, I sat through the day by day film auto-biography that was 3 1/2 hours long and very good. it was amazing to see all the hard work that was put into the making of the film. it also has a segment of interviews after the movie was shot and a short documentary about taking the film to cannes. on top of all the other extras i didnt mention, it also includes an actual cell from the american subtitled version of the movie and the manga. i would highly recommend this to anyone i know even if they have never seen the film....more info
This movie was awsome... i saw this movie when it first came to the states a few years back..when i ordered it i was hopeing it would come befor the weekend and it did perfict condision ready for the watching.. and i did fall back in love with how well this movie was made and the story..beleave me when i say this is not for kids and carefull watching it with your girlfriend they dont look at you the same after watching it with them....more info
- "I thought I'd lived a simple life. But I've sinned too much."
At the core of Chan-wook Park's "Oldboy" is a revenge plot that is unbelievably twisted. Discovering what that revenge plot is and why it has been perpetrated will perturb even the most hardened viewers of disturbing films.
Dae-su Oh (Min-sik Choi) heads home to deliver a birthday present to his daughter after being bailed out of jail. He is kidnapped on his way home and spends the next fifteen years of his life alone and imprisoned. He has no idea where he is, who has kidnapped him, or why he is being held prisoner. Then one day, Dae-su is freed for no apparent reason. With vengeance burning within him, he immediately embarks on a quest to discover the identity of his former captor.
"Oldboy" is not a film to watch with the family. Rest assured that this is not a warm and fuzzy Disney production. "Oldboy" is a film that takes no prisoners and refuses to adhere to any restrictions on the presentation of its content. Park does a marvelous job of letting the story's revelations unfold slowly in order to keep the tension building. He also infuses "Oldboy" with a visual flair and energy that distinctively sets his film apart from earlier entries in the revenge genre. The performances are stunning with Choi's bravura performance being the stuff of nightmares. Ji-tae Yu as the mysterious Woo-jin Lee and Hye-jeong Kang as the sympathetic Mi-do are also excellent. Check your expectations at the door and fall under the spell of "Oldboy" if you are not the queasy type. You will see things you have never seen before and likely will never want to see again. ...more info
great condition, almost new and the movie blew my mind. but the end is what twisted me....more info
- amazing movie.
Spectacular edition for an amazing movie. Highly recomendable. A gift for lovers of asian's movies....more info
- One of my favorite movies ever.
It is just a great movie. Love it, Love it, Love it. It has an ending that Hollywood would NEVER, NEVER, EVER touch. It is just so unique. Sorry I'm being so vague, I just don't want to spoil it....more info
- One of the best in recent Asian Cinema!
Easily one of the best revenge stories around. And part of the Chan Wook Park Veangeance trilogy -- the most popular of the three in the trilogy and arguably the best (although Lady Vengeance gives it a run for its money).
About a man imprisoned for several years given freedom and little else. He awakens with his life more or less ruined: a wife murdered and a child in foster care... but he's free, at least, right?
What is a man to do after that? A bit of the old ultra... Vengeance, of course. Throughout the movie he does whatever he can to figure out why he was and who imprisoned him -- Full of twists and satisfaction throughout.
If you can stand subtitles and enjoy a good bit of deserved vengeance then I'd say Oldboy is required watching. It's definitely on it's way to becoming a classic in modern cinema....more info
- Oldboy is the best movie I have ever seen.
I don't want to ruin anything, but yes this movie is twisted. However, This movie is the greatest movie I have ever seen, even though it's foreign. Quentin Tarintino cried when he saw this. So cmon, buy it! Bluray ftw!...more info
- Great movie
If you're a type of person who loves it when a movie comes together in the end with a surprising twist this movie is for you.
I don't really want to give away too much but this movie is a little similar to Se7en. The beginning and the middle of the movie might not seem to make sense or seem like its dragging but the ending you will definitely tie up all loose ends and leave you shocked. ...more info
This movie was not what I expected. It kept you guessing til the end. It wasn't my cup of tea but if you like gore you'll enjoy it....more info
- Powerful, poetic violence
Easily the best of the director's "Vengeance" trilogy. While all three films give us memorable characters and poweful emotions, OLDBOY carries us through a cohesive and thrilling story, including a great ending. A dark, fantastic puzzle....more info
- Graphic violence detracts from great acting
It is a solid mystery with a stellar cast and excellent acting, but I just couldn't warm up to the underlying theme of visceral violence, self-mutilation, and, most disturbing of all, incest. If you are open to controversial topics, then I'd recommend this movie. If not, this may leave bad taste in your mouth. ...more info
- Oldboy Review
What can I say? For the first half of the movie I was lost. It was only at the last 30 minutes the movie caught my interest. It was not the worst film I have seen but it certainy was not for me. ...more info
- A Nice Surprise
I wasn't really sure sure what to expect from this since I hadn't seen anything from Chan-wook Park, but having been so disappointed by American movies lately and so impressed by foreign films of late I gave this a try and was very impressed by it.
Twisted love story to the nth degree.
Pretty much every other review and the film synopsis will tell you the plot so I don't need to rehash that but I will say that the acting was fantastic and the plot twist was unexpected and disturbing. It's certainly not a film for people who like lighthearted themes as this will likely not be the movie for you. It stuck with me for a while and I loved that about it. I just rented Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance and am looking for to seeing if it will meet my expectations!...more info
- Brutal and Brilliant
This film is not for the faint of heart. And even for those who think they can handle it...man oh man. It's brutal, violent, gory, messy, messed-up...and absolutely brilliant. Dont let the subtitles scare you, this is a Korean masterpiece....more info
- Truly a masterpiece
Having seen all of Park Chan-Wook's Revenge Trilogy, I can honestly say that Oldboy is the best of the three. I was luke-warm towards Mr. Vengeance, but I loved Lady Vengeance. It seemed to take what was done in Mr. Vengeance and add so much more depth of plot and image to it. But Oldboy stands alone. It is a masterpiece.
Why? First, you will rarely experience a movie so violent, and yet so full of true beauty. The shots in this film are just phenomenal. The movement, and the framing of each character, the motifs that recur and deal an emotional sting whenever they arrive, the graceful ballet of Oh Dae-su's battles, it is all magnificent. Forget Tarantino; this film reaches to the heights of Welles, Fellini, Coppola, etc. I am not kidding in the least. It is that good.
This film is worth anything you pay for it, but the boxset is remarkable. There are excellent documentaries taking you through the process of filming, as well as the first volume of the Oldboy comic (similar to Sin City's special edition...and this box won't fall apart on you).
Lady Vengeance was a brilliant follow-up to Oldboy, but I can only hope Park Chan-Wook is able to again reach the cinematic brilliance - the interplay between the cinematography, the movement of the camera, the absolutely superb acting and imagery, the saliency of the colors, etc. - that is Oldboy. Buy this film....more info
- "I have commmited an unforgivable sin..."
You know how effective a film is if after it's over and you're in bed trying to go to sleep, that the film in question refuses to leave your mind for a second and you cannot stop thinking about it. "Oldboy" is such a film, and to deny the fact that it captures raw and brutal emotion within it would be a disservice. Whether you love the movie or despise it, you cannot argue with the fact that it will at some point hit a nerve.
"Oldboy" tells the tale of Oh Dae-su, who at first sight is just a drunken babbling mess who gives no one any ounce of respect, not even the cops who have arrested him for his drunken and disorderly conduct. He sings, calls them hideous swear words and sees no wrongdoing on his part. After he leaves the station, he is abducted by unknown captors. He is imprisoned in a strange and isolated room... for 15 years. For those 15 years, he nearly loses his mind and wonders what misdeeds of his past has brought him to this horror. After 15 years, he is released without any explanation or answers. Oh Dae-su vows that he will find the truth and get revenge on anyone responsible for his imprisonment. In fact, the whole point is that the captor is planning on Oh finding out the truth, as that is the whole point of his game. Blood will be shed and devastating revelations will make their presence felt.
"Oldboy" is a film unlike any I have ever seen. Rarely have I ever seen a movie so dark, brutal and unrelenting--and yet be so beautiful at the same time. You really do feel emotionally invested. This is not a simple shoot-em-up revenge thriller. It is something beyond that. It poses questions and investigates the darker side of being human. Not once did I feel myself losing interest. The movie is superbly directed and acted. There is a phenomenal fight scene where it's done in one complete shot, and without it being loud or flashy. I also have to add that this film has one of the best and most haunting music scores since "Requiem for a Dream."
Be warned, this isn't for everybody. It is a dark movie and it does not let you off easy. While it's not non-stop action and the movie focuses more on story and character, the violent scenes are really brutal. You can watch it with an English dubbed track, but I encourage you to watch it with subtitles and see it in its original language. Nowadays the English dubs do not do the films justice, as they change words and phrases around to make it seem more in sync with lip movement from the actors. The Blu-Ray version of the film includes 2 disks. There are some nice behind-the-scenes featurettes.
"Oldboy" is a film that will leave its mark on you, no matter what your final judgment on the movie may be. It takes "revenge" to a whole new and unexpected level and you'll have no idea where it's all leading to until the very end. It's not for everybody, but if you're looking for something that's dark, intense, challenging and beautiful, give it a try. You'll never look at revenge thrillers in the same way ever again. Most likely, no other revenge thrillers will ever come close. - Michael Crane...more info
- Watch THIS Movie!
Excellent film. The 1st time I watched this movie it was dubbed and with subtitles (which was a little distracting). You do NOT want to be distracted when watching this movie. Every detail is important to the plot. I think that you will enjoy this movie....more info
- Stepping Out of Reality Into Reel Reality
Twice a year I travel down to New Jersey for a film convention that guest hosts
television / film actors...directors / producers / distributors. Tartan Videos always
has 'The Exhibitor Table' of Extreme Asian Videos. These people hand out
lots of free promo catalogs / trailer dvds / posters that you just have to have if
you're a jaded traveler of the film underworld. That's where I first came across
'OLD BOY'. It was only an advance promo reel; but, the footage on that reel was
just incredible! Old Boy - the main character of the film - is in one of the most
vicious fight sequences that I've ever seen on film. Wow ! Just had to have that
film. Bought the only promo the dealer had. That was two years ago.
Never thought any film could surpass it's intensity until I found the 'Ultimate Collector's
Edition' of Old Boy on Amazon. There's everything you could ever want in this
compilation ! YOU GET VOLUME ONE OF THE BOOK that inspired the series.
You get to live on the streets of Japan with the film crew for the four months that they
shot the film. ...cast interviews.....deleted scenes...the premiere at Cannes !
-It's packaged in a tin box that feels real heavy in your hand-
you'd think this would cost over one dollars with all of the time and quality put into it
- nope -
for less then thirty dollars
this is definitely the film to have in your collection !
- OLD BOY -
- This left me speechless and unable to watch any other movie for quite some time
At the denouement of this film, I believe I had just seen the only film that had left me speechless EVER. I couldn't watch another movie for quite some time afterwards. I don't even know if I could watch it a second time, which is meant as a compliment...it might take me a few years to get over watching the incredible ending.
I frown on thinking that Hollywood might 'steal' this film (remake)...it is WAY too intense for Hollywood.
I consider myself a rather jaded movie watcher; I've been able to watch movies other people have considered unwatchable, but this really is in a special category. I couldn't ever imagine seeing anything like this on the big screen...it would be *way* too much for me....more info
- what a joke...
this is a sick and disgusting movie that just took great ideas from other movies and mashed it up and added the "shock" factor. Really? I mean is this what movies are coming to? don't waste your time on this....
its really sickening that a movie like this is even being made... really it is.
I kept waiting for a redeeming moment like waking up from a bad dream-- only reason I kept watching. I wasn't waiting for a "good" ending because that's not always what makes a movie, or even a fairy tale ending. But when the end hit I was actually mad, strangely enough. I never get irritated from movies? but to have however many hours sucked out of my life only to be suckered in by good cinematography was really irritating.
a 5 year old with a camera and some glue could have made a better movie... I agree that anyone can just copy paste great angles and colors and orchestrate complete trash--exactly what this was. Good composition + Stabbing people - any sort of good plot = good movie?... nope. ...more info
- Brilliant master work from Park Chan-Wook
Based on Garon Tsuchiya's manga, Oldboy is about Oh Dae-su, an ordinary salaryman type, who is held at a police station for being drunk. Afterwards, he is kidnapped, locked up in a hotel-like room without windows, gassed repeatedly so the room is cleaned and so he can get a haircut and clean clothes, and kept there for 15 years. "If they had told me then that it would be fifteen years, would it have been easier to endure....or harder?" His only contact to the outside world is the TV. "It's both a clock and a calendar. It's your school, your home, your church, your friend... and your lover
It's after being let out and into "life in a bigger prison" that Oh Dae-su's quest really begins. Who imprisoned him and why? He is given a cell-phone and a wallet full of money by a scraggly bum, then goes to a sushi restaurant where he meets Mido, a beautiful young woman who takes pity on him and takes him back to her place when he collapses. It also appears he has been hypnotized during his imprisonment--but why? His nemesis, a man later identified as Lee Woo-Jin, is quite the mastermind. When they first confront each other, Lee gives him five days to find out the truth, or he will kill Mido. If Oh Dae-su wins, Lee promises to kill himself.
Through clues of finding out which Chinese restaurant provided him with the same potstickers he ate for 15 years, he finds Mr. Park, the owner of the hotel where he was imprisoned. It is here that two memorable scenes occur, one a tooth torture scene where he extracts Mr. Park's teeth out with a hammer, all set to Vivaldi's "Winter" section of the Four Seasons. Using such music in such a scene adds a bit of humor in it. He then takes on a handful of Park's thugs armed only with a hammer, his fists, and keeps on fighting even though a knife is plunged into his back. The sardonic smile on his face when he encounters an elevator full of thugs is priceless. Guess what happens to them?
The theme of revenge and Lee Woo-jin's attitude, "Whether it is a grain of sand or a rock, in water they both sink alike" implies that no sin is too small for revenge. He later tells Oh Dae-su, "Seeking revenge is the best cure for someone who has been hurt. Try it. ... Once again, revenge is good for your health." But to quote Hamlet, aye, there's the rub. "But what happens after you've had your revenge? I bet that hidden pain probably emerges again." The whole point is that this isn't about Oh Dae-Su's revenge on Lee Woo-Jin, but vice-versa. As someone who holds grudges easily, I can easily relate to what Lee says.
Oh Dae-Su's introspection in seeing who it was he had offended reveals that every life is far from perfect. "Study your whole lifetime," he is told by Lee. But he also realizes that his imprisonment has changed him, as he figures Mido wouldn't like him the way he was before imprisonment. But there is hope for redemption, as seen in the scene with snow, symbolizing a clean new start.
This was actually the second film I'd seen with Choi Min-sik, the first being Shiri, but so far, this is his master performance, a creditable and credible performance as Oh Dae-Su. He later appears as the villainous Mr. Baek in Lady Vengeance. Yu Ji-Tae scores well as the devilish but weak Lee Woo-Jin, and has a cameo in LV. Ditto for Kang Hye-jeong as the cute-as-a-button Mido. She is a TV reporter in LV. And Oh Dal-Su (Mr. Park) plays the bakery owner Mr. Chang in LV.
The movie's score is another triumph. Whether it is the upbeat techno beat of the opening shot of Oh Dae-su grabbing onto the suicidal man's tie, the haunting quiet ambience during Oh's fight with Han in Lee Wu-Jin's penthouse, the Godfather-like waltz that is Lee Woo-Jin's theme, and Mido's sad theme with clarinet and strings, the music team scored a big triumph.
This is hailed as the best in Park Chan-Wook's trilogy in story-telling, film-making, acting, and techniques. One of the best films I've seen in awhile.
- This is a good movie!?
This movie is what really got me into the Asian cinema scene, because it's so damn good. Too bad there aren't many other movies like it. It is also really hard to explain why this movie is so good too. Don't get me wrong; Oldboy is sick. I don't really want to get into that without spoiling the film. Let's put it this way; any unsettling thing you have read or heard about this movie is probably true. Just trust me. It is super sick...and I would not have it any other way! Let me remind everybody that this movie is not for everyone. I have very very very particular tastes in everything and what I like is probably not for most people. This being at the top of my list. If you want something different and are bored with the cookie cutter Hollywood trash that spews out every month, see this movie. I recommend this edition if you can find it cheap. I'm not into special features that much, but if you are , by all means buy this one. It has two whole discs loaded with commentary, deleted scenes, making of, ect. Whats really cool is it comes with the first volume of the manga, which is a pretty good read.
In closing, this movie is awesome...if you are sick in the head (which I think we all have to admit we are). Not for the squeamish one bit...more info
- TRULY SHOCKING
Incredible. Shocking. Heart-wrenching. Bloody. Violent. Amazing. This movie is a rollercoaster ride from beginning to end. This is definitely a "revenge" movie on all fronts.
During the movie the hunter becomes the hunted. There are surprise twists and turns that are truly shocking. This is actually a movie within a movie and it will definitely surprise the hell out of the first time viewer.
This is not a movie for those who have weak stomaches. There is such strong violence and gore -- yet it is essential to the movies plot and various sub-plots. THIS IS NOT A MOVIE FOR CHILDREN.
I gave OLDBOY 5 stars. There is so much going on in the movie and it is all tied together so neatly at the end that it just amazed me. The acting is great, the storyline is great. It is an intense action movie that will absolutely thrill any one who enjoys revenge movies....more info
- Wow, mother of all twists...
What can I say, as disturbing as it is, an awesome movie none the less. I love live-action Far-Eastern movies. This movie not only fits right in that gap but also lands one of the sickest twists I have ever seen in a movie to top it. Hollywood cannot even come close. You don't believe me, watch it....more info
- Rent dont buy.
Interesting and unique story but it falls short of all the hype. I wont do a plot synopsis for this film due to a tight plotline, it would only spoil the ride for you. Although you wont guess how this will end it wont satisfy you like "the usual suspects" did. Most will not find pleasure in re watching this,save your $20 and rent this. Also, not for the kiddies. Nuff said....more info
- Oldboy - Crime Drama, Thriller, Horror - Whatever Category, This Movie Is Great
Oldboy is a movie that defies classification. This movie could easily be sliced and diced into three or four genres and be in the upper echelon of any of them. In fact, even writing a review of this movie is a challenge. Basic plot synopses will not give you a sense of how original and well made this movie is. This is the rare gem; you can either watch it simply for enjoyment, or peel back the layers like an onion and study each one.
There are a few warnings however. This film is not for the squeamish. After lulling you in with some slow segments, the movie can turn very violent and gruesome in an instant. The film also touches upon some controversial topics, so it is not for the judgmental or the easily offended. An important aspect to remember when watching this movie is that many of the social norms of Korean culture, and Asian culture in general, are so different from our own that it may be hard for some people to understand why characters make the choices they do. If you are open-minded and study the film carefully, there is a lot of depth and meaning in that too.
The movie really occurs in several unique sections that are tied together at the end. The basic formula has been described as a "revenge thriller" but the story changes in such a way to make that category inadequate.
Dae-Su (Min-Sik Choi) is an unfortunate man who gets drunk and kidnapped. He is held captive in a cheap motel room for a very long time, with no real understanding of who is holding him or why. All attempts to escape or find out why he is there result in nothing.
The story then takes a turn as Dae su is released under mysterious circumstances. He vows revenge against his captors.
Dae Su seems to have a loose grip on reality after years of captivity and we see him slip further into madness as he seeks his tormentors. As we follow his search for his captors and his difficult integration back into society, small clues start to emerge about Dae Su's past and who might have been behind his imprisonment. There is more than just one twist to the story, and each plot element adds a new layer.
He befriends a woman in a sushi bar and they develop a quick relationship. As all the plot elements collide, we see that nobody in the story is exactly who we think they are.
The end results in a very thought-provoking dilemma which questions the fundamental nature of many of life's basic human relationships. Love, hate, revenge; they are all put under the microscope in this movie.
The film is shot beautifully and has many beautiful scenes. Colors and shadows are used to create and foreshadow emotion.
The DVD extras include standard fare, such as interviews, deleted scenes, trailers and a commentary track.
This movie is a must-see if you enjoy psychological horror, as long as you can set aside your squeamishness. If you like psychological drama, horror, or thrillers this may be the best movie you've seen recently in any of those categories. Watch it with an open mind and avoid plot spoilers. Once you've seen it, you'll probably want to see it again.
- I wish I could give it zero stars
This film is sick. I couldn't watch it when he was eating a live aquatic animal (I think it was a baby octopus?); I thought it was cruel and barbaric. I immediately stopped watching it and felt nothing but disgust and contempt. Avoid this film by all means.
I also read some of the other reviews, and apparently, the main character goes on to do disgusting things to other human beings as well. At least those scenes weren't "real," but still, why would anyone want to watch nothing but endless violence and misery?...more info
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