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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars don't believe the negative
Okay lets get this out of the way, it was never going to be as good as the original but as a stand alone movie it was very good.

Josh Brolin stole the movie, he was excellent in it. I found his character more of a slime ball and you hated him more. The scenes in which he's in were brilliant.

Forget what everyone is saying, watch it with an open...
Published 2 months ago by keith01

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Restrained Remake Is A Mess But It Is Not Without Merit
Smarmy drunk and vulgar advertising salesman Joe Docette(Josh Brolin) thinks he has gone as low as he can after blowing a business deal in spectacular fashion but he wakes up after a particularly heavy bender to find himself in a room without any means of escape and there he stays for the next twenty years whereupon he is released and vows vengeance upon his captors aided...
Published 4 months ago by Mark Pearce


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Restrained Remake Is A Mess But It Is Not Without Merit, 10 Dec 2013
By 
This review is from: Oldboy [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Smarmy drunk and vulgar advertising salesman Joe Docette(Josh Brolin) thinks he has gone as low as he can after blowing a business deal in spectacular fashion but he wakes up after a particularly heavy bender to find himself in a room without any means of escape and there he stays for the next twenty years whereupon he is released and vows vengeance upon his captors aided by a young reach out program assistant(Elizabeth Olsen)

Those familiar with Park Chan Wook's 2003 korean original(and there are many)might be wondering why bother and after this versions spectacular tanking at the US box office (gross under a million on Thanksgiving!)surely then it must be awful.Well it is and it isn't.

In the plus column Spike Lee adopts a straight forward approach to the material making it easy to follow throughout and while the basic reason for everything remains pretty much the same, Lee eschews Wook's 3rd act one two punch of gore and surrealist fatalism in favour of a more prosaic(visually clever though)tying up of the plot strands and it is never boring thanks in large part to Josh Brolin who is good value as our put upon protagonist.

However the film does suffer from a bunch of ham fisted nods to the original(no, the octopus scene is left well alone save for a brief nod in a resturant scene) and the notorious hammer sequence is not even close to the splendid madness of that sequence in the original. Sharlto Copley as Docette's nemesis is perfectly dreadful.
However the fatal flaw here is that Lee paints himself into a corner from the offset by making Brolin's character so unpleaseant that it is almost impossible to generate enough sympathy towards him which takes some doing considering his predicament whereas in the original Wook generates such a sense of injustice around the persecution of Oh Dae-su(brilliantly essayed by Choi Min-Sik) that you really hope and care that he survives and ultimately wins out against his persecutors.

Striking to look at Sean Bobbit's cinematography gives the film a sheen that will surely please on blu even if it is not able to divert you from the inherent weaknesses when compared to the original.

Turkey. No and fans of OLDBOY (2003) should check it out regardless. I have spent far worse time in the cinema this year on stuff much more highly praised.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfairly dismissed...., 4 April 2014
This review is from: Oldboy [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
An advertising executive is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement, without apparent reason, or explanation.

When he is released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who placed him there, and their rationale, only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment.....

Let's get the housekeeping out of the way first. The original is brilliant, easily one of the best films to be made in the noughties, and one of the most impressive, visceral and disturbing films made. And obviously a remake was inevitable.

The answer to the question 'should the film have been remade?' Is a simple 'no'.

But hey it has, and to be fair, it's not a bad movie at all.

But it was never going to find an audience who would appreciate it really. People who have never heard of the original, probably wouldn't appreciate the dark tones of the film, and the disturbing narrative, and fans of the original, well, let's just say, it wouldn't be cool to like this movie.

Lee has a wonderful eye, and the best thing about this movie, is the camera work, from the faithful re-imagining of the hallway fight, to the flashbacks where both time lines are melded together.

Brolin is as brilliant as expected, and whilst on screen, you are thanking whatever you believe in that the makers didn't cast Will Smith, because this would've have been diluted for the mainstream, and he would have sung a song at the end.

Copley makes a decent villain, but it does take you a while to get over his accent. It's very Dick Van Dyke by way of Don Cheadle in Ocean's 11.

Jackson is good, but seems out of place in this, given very little to do other than dress strangely and swear.

So all in all, its a pretty solid remake, the best remake I've seen in a while. If you don't know the original source material or the 2003 movie, give it a go, it's still pretty visceral stuff, and the twist is gut wrenching.

I guess I'm not as cool as I thought, I was pleasantly surprised..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars don't believe the negative, 11 Feb 2014
This review is from: Oldboy [DVD] (DVD)
Okay lets get this out of the way, it was never going to be as good as the original but as a stand alone movie it was very good.

Josh Brolin stole the movie, he was excellent in it. I found his character more of a slime ball and you hated him more. The scenes in which he's in were brilliant.

Forget what everyone is saying, watch it with an open mind, which i did and enjoy a very under rated movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SQUEEZE AND RELEASE, 20 Feb 2014
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Oldboy [DVD] (DVD)
Joe (Josh Brolin) is an ad man and not a nice person. He is a womanizer, bully , lousy husband or ex-husband, and a lousy father to his 3 year old daughter. One night Joe wakes up imprisoned in a room. He has a TV and discovers his ex-wife was raped and killed as his DNA is all over the place. Joe was framed, but remains imprisoned by Samuel L. Jackson.

Weirdly Joe is set free and engages in a cat and mouse game of life and death. He meets Marie (Elizabeth Olsen) who aids him on his quest.

This is an oddly conceived film, reminding me of parts of superior films. The audience attempts to figure out what is happening and are given no clues. We find out when Joe finds out. The climax was anti-climatic and Joe's response was overly dramatic and out of character.

Okay quirky rental

Parental Guide: F-bomb, sex, nudity (Elizabeth Olsen)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TWIST ON A TWIST, 10 Mar 2014
This review is from: Oldboy [DVD] (DVD)
As most of you reading this review will already know, OLDBOY - both versions - is essentially a story about a thoroughly unpleasant chap - in this case, drunken and vulgar advertising salesman Joe Doucett, played by Josh Brolin - who is kidnapped and locked in a room for twenty years (fifteen in the original movie) and then released only to find himself still under the control of his captor yet left free to take his revenge against said - if he can. And that's all I'm willing to say as a plot summary because for those of you who are unfamiliar with both movies - OLDBOY is one of those motion pictures where it's essential that you know as little about the plot as is humanly possible before viewing. It really is, trust me.

Well... from the moment it was announced that there was going to be a Hollywood remake of the beloved Korean original, to be directed by Spike Lee no-less, the pretentious movie pseuds had their knives out, sharpened and ready for its slaughter. "An American remake will never be as good as the original." "What's the point of remaking a classic?" "English language remakes are never as good as the originals." and a whole lot more they bleated. I hate pretentious movie pseuds. I really, really do; and when talking about OLDBOY'S Western fan base - that would be 99.8% of them.

This version of OLDBOY crashed and burned at the box office for one reason and one reason only. The pretentious movie pseuds went to see it, liked it; but purely to stay hip, trendy and in with the Emperor's new clothes crowd, completely refused to give it any good word of mouth.

Basically, there's nothing of any significance wrong with this film that couldn't also be found in the original. Spike Lee has simply streamlined the original story, done away with the existential rambling and drunken mumbling that was a particular sin of the lead character in the Korean version; along with the plot cul de sacs that one would probably have to be Korean to appreciate - and given us a more accessible film that everyone can enjoy and appreciate; which is something the pretentious movie pseuds passionately hate!

Is this version better than the original? That's a matter of personal opinion and taste. Personally, I prefer the original but not by much more than a hair's breadth. I really enjoyed this Spike Lee twist on a classic twisted tale and I'd be quite happy to have both versions in my DVD/BLURAY collection. Please, watch both versions and make your own mind up. Don't let the pretentious movie pseuds do that for you. Their Emperor ain't got no clothes on!
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3.0 out of 5 stars I don't know what to say!, 17 April 2014
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This review is from: Oldboy (Amazon Instant Video)
If you have seen the Korean original of this film you will know the ending. If you are watching this for the first time I would say it's a story about a mans train wreck of a life that comes crashing down around him in a sudden and very frightening way. After years of humiliation at the hands of unseen tormentors he evolves and sets out to find his tormentor. What happens in between is violent, very violent. The end of this film is the most shocking part of it and it left me with my title I don't know what to say!
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5.0 out of 5 stars So, so bad it's good., 8 April 2014
By 
Mr. B. Calverley (Lancaster) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Oldboy [DVD] (DVD)
Do you remember that episode of Chucklevision where Barry Chuckle held someone hostage for 20 years as part of a grim revenge plot?

I have seen the original Korean version of this film a couple of times but it's not a film I hold as sacred and untouchable so I came to this American remake with an open mind. Do I think this film is good? No. Really no. It's terrible. Before I watched this film I considered Leprechaun in the Hood the worst film I had ever seen, a film about a murderous leprechaun speaking in rhyme and being more than a little bit racist, but Oldboy reaches new levels of terribleness.

The original Korean film is bonkers. It's shocking, it's grim but my god it's insane. It makes no real sense but if you can commit to it's premise you'll get some... I'm not sure enjoyment is the right word here but you'll get something out of it. This remake takes the basics from the original , makes a few changes but it doesn't quite succeed and capturing the spirit of the Korean version.

So what's it about? Well Josh Brolin plays a douchebag salesman that gets locked in a room for 20 years, goes a bit loopy, gets let out and then has to solve the mystery of who and why he was trapped for so long. He's joined by an interesting cast of characters Elizabeth Olsen is good as the female lead and Samuel L. Jackson gets to drop a few "mother fudgers" and wear bizarre outfits. But the real star of this film is villain. A performance so jaw dropping it deserves a paragraph of its very own.

Words can't really do this performance justice. I loved Sharlto Copley as Howling Mad Murdock in The A Team and before Oldboy I hadn't seen him in anything else so I really had no idea what to expect here. First of all what is that accent? Imagine if Dick Van Dyke had been cast in Downton Abbey as a 12 year old posh girl and you might just be able to imagine what we're dealing here. He also looks like a Madame Tussauds waxwork of one of the Chuckle Brothers. He had me in tears of laughter when he explains to Josh Brolin why he doesn't like him. He manages to make a popular swear word beginning with "F" sound like the funniest word in the English language

I came to this film expecting it to be a tame, watered down version of the original and for most of the running time that's exactly what it is but it's also so much more. This is a film that takes itself far too seriously and fully commits to what is a completely ridiculous premise which adds something to this film that makes it worth watching. I believe this film will one day be considered the Citizen Kane of bad films. If you pay full price for this film and sit down expecting a masterpiece of modern cinema you will likely be disappointed but if you can borrow it off a friend or stream it on one of those legal streaming site things they have these days and just want to be entertained by nonsense for a couple of hours you will enjoy this!

Why do I give this film five stars? Because they are the five stars of mediocrity!

If you're coming to this film with serious expectations I'd rate this 2 or maybe 2 and a half stars. There are a few genuinely good things here. Josh Brolin gives an impressive performance and looks like someone who's been locked in a room on his own for 20 years. Samuel L. Jackson is always awesome and Elizabeth Olsen is the best Olsen I've ever seen in a film. The ending is still quite effective especially if you haven't seen the original. If you only watch films for adult content then Oldboy offers violence, bad language and even a spot of nudity there's something for everyone over the age of 18. But all in all you're probably better off sticking with the original.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stop remaking great movies, 24 Jan 2014
By 
T. Jones (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Oldboy [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
When a movie is rubbish then by all means do it better, but in my opinion 99% of remakes are terrible. This is nowhere near as stylish as the original. I can only assume its remade in English for lazy Americans who can't be bothered to read subtitles. Shame.
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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No need for a new boy!, 10 Dec 2013
This review is from: Oldboy [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
This Remake has been in development for 10 years and we get a half decent attempt by Spike Lee.

Where this falls on it's face is Spike lee goes to tell us a strait forward story no added social metaphors or much originality which the original had.

We have no Octopus eating, No Ants, No teeth Removal, No Hand removal, and as much as I like Sharlto Copley in District 9 he is terrible in this he looks like Derren Brown in this with the voice of Kenneth Williams (Carry on)it does not work as the original bad guy was played strait not like this cartoon version.

With all this the famous corridor hammer scene has been replaced with a car park level fight which does look good but feels to much like a Xbox/PS3 fighting game.

The plus's Josh Brolin, Samuel L Jackson and Elizabeth Olson are superb in this movie however Sam jackson not being in it enough and his torture scene being a welcomed edition to the movie but I still wanted the teeth and hand removal. The sequence of Brolin's imprisonment I liked regardless the korean version is superior and The ending has much new originality in it that sparked more interest in the movie but I still do not get why the bad guys family secret its bothering me as they should have just left as it was and the need for hypnotising is getting more apparent as I think about it.

Hope you liked it more then I did not a oscar winner but not bad for a take away movie.

The Ever Green Boys
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Oldboy [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Oldboy [Blu-ray] [Region Free] by Spike Lee (Blu-ray - 2014)
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