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5.0 out of 5 stars Old Boy
We really enjoyed this DVD. Great acting and always a bonus when Samuel L Jackson's in a film! Brilliant twist and action!
Published 2 months ago by Terez

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfairly dismissed....
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...
Published 3 months ago by Mr. Corey S. Newcombe


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfairly dismissed...., 4 April 2014
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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19 of 21 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
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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
2.0 out of 5 stars Total travesty, 2 May 2014
By 
J. Morris "Josh" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Old boy is a Hollywood remake of the Korean original (Oldboy) and stars Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex) as Joe Doucett, an alcoholic advertising ad-man pretty much universally hated by colleagues, his ex-wife and clients alike. After losing a deal, Joe gets horrendously drunk and awakens in a motel room - except there is no phone, no escape and worst of all, no explanation. He spends the next twenty years locked in this plush cell, wracking his brains to work out who could have done this to him and why. Then he is suddenly and inexplicably released; will he ever find the man who is responsible for locking him up?

There are subtle nods to the original - the octopus in the fish-tank at the restaurant for instance; but the fact that this version acknowledges those parts and then doesn't choose to replicate them is a bit of a cop-out in my opinion. Why reference them as if in an acknowledgement of the superiority of the original? Instead we have overblown CGI violence replacing the subtlety and despair of the story. This adds nothing to the narrative and actually detracts from the power of the script. Whilst Spike Lee's direction and cinematography is good and Josh Brolin's portrayal of a man possessed is fantastic, the alteration of the story in this film is highly questionable.

I would have enjoyed a faithful remake far more rather than the ham-fisted inclusion of the English-accented sneering cartoon-villain 'The Stranger' (played by Sharlo Copley - Elysium). For one, we know he went to school in America, but then moved to Luxembourg, so why is his accent so upper-class English? Samuel L. Jackson (Fury) plays the prison overseer and has a hugely over-played role which doesn't add anything except to justify his fee to the studio. I just don't understand why they had to take a film that is already critically acclaimed, remake it, call it the very same name and then haphazardly change the plot for the worse. In fact it's actually become a fusion of two films- Oldboy & Fury - I can only speculate that Samuel L. Jackson had something to suggest as he was already in Fury (a.k.a The Samaritan) that has exactly the same twist but was far superior in its execution.

In conclusion, I am sorry to continually compare this to the original but if you haven't seen it and watched this with fresh eyes, you would come away thinking it was an extremely mediocre action film. If you've seen the original, don't watch this as it will only serve to frustrate you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brolin is good, 15 Jun 2014
This review is from: Oldboy (DVD)
Never seen the original and i know everyone hated this remake but its ok. Seems rushed in parts. Brolin is excellant and often underated. Jackson plays his usual character. The end leaves a bad taste in your mouth and im sure it wouldnt in the original so much
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An insult to the original, 14 Jun 2014
This review is from: Oldboy (DVD)
If you expect a remake, or a at least a glimpse of intended dark tale that was the original.. this is not for you. I'm inclined to say that not even helped by an existing and rather original story (albeit dark and perverted) this falls far short of the mark of a decent watch. Maybe I've been spoilt by watching the original early 2000's film, leaving an uncomfortable yet intriguing sense of quality filmmaking; I'll leave that to anyone else to decide..... My advice, skip this film.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Film of two halves - 5/5 then 1/5 = 3 stars, 8 July 2014
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really rather disappointed, the disjointed seemingly rushed ending in my view destroying what could have become a somewhat cultish 4 star effort
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3.0 out of 5 stars Revenge, 6 July 2014
By 
Mr. R. W. Graham (Lincoln, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Oldboy [DVD] (DVD)
Advertising executive Joe is kidnapped and held without reason or explanation in a small room. He is released 20 years later again without reason and is determined to find the people responsible. Director Spike Lee's remake of the Korean classic thriller Oldboy is well done and fairly tense with excellent performances from Josh Brolin in the lead and Samuel L Jackson with fine support from Elizabeth Olsen but is a fairly pointless remake feeling like it's being made for people who don't like subtitles. Brutal and not for the squeemish and fairly faithfull to the original but not in the same shocking league as the original.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not the original but pretty good nonetheless, 16 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Oldboy [DVD] (DVD)
Lets deal with the elephant in the room first - this is a remake of the film Oldboy (2003) directed by Park Chan-wood. The original is brilliant and is a better film than this version in every way so if you're only going to watch one version and you're not averse to subtitles, watch that instead.

However, having said all that, I was still pleasantly surprised by this version. On its own terms I thought it was a good film. Solidly directed by Spike Lee and boasting a quality cast, all on good form, it's more than worth a watch.

The set up is simple but fantastic - a man is abducted, locked up for 20 years and then released. He has no idea who imprisoned him or why and now we follow him as he seeks answers to these questions. It turns into a rather violent quest, quite graphic in places and the tale takes some good twists and turns. It's likely to keep you guessing up until the disturbing outcome. Good stuff and underrated in my opinion.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The view from drunkenmovieramblings.co.uk, 12 May 2014
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This review is from: Oldboy [DVD] (DVD)
Spike Lee does a remake of the 'classic' South Korean flick from 10 years ago, the critics all turn their pompous noses up at it, ignore them.

If you don't know the story, here goes, some fella gets kidnapped and imprisoned for 20 years, he is then released and contacted by his kidnappers with a proposition, "who am I and why did I do it?"

Josh Brolin stars as he (literally) cracks heads with his trusty hammer, he doesn't eat a live Octopus like in the original but does get jiggy with Elizabeth Olsen, the dirty old (lucky) bugger.

Mega violent, all rather silly, but very entertaining with an evil killer twist
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3.0 out of 5 stars It was alright, 30 April 2014
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This review is from: Oldboy (Amazon Instant Video)
It was alright, a little slow in places, the fight scenes were well done, it never quite reaches the level of the original but it was watchable!
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Oldboy [Blu-ray] [2013] [US Import]
Oldboy [Blu-ray] [2013] [US Import] by Josh Brolin (Blu-ray - 2014)
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