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Oldboy [DVD]
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on 16 May 2014
Hadn't seen this for a while so thought I'd give it a spin as its on Amazon Prime (at time of writing). It's still as brilliantly bonkers as ever and superior to the recent Spike Lee remake.

Choi Min-sik is superb as a man (Oh Dae-su) abducted by an unknown assailant and locked up for 15 years. Unexpectedly released at the end of the 15 years, his sole purpose in life is to find out who locked him up and more importantly, why. To be honest his problems are only just beginning. His search takes many nasty twists and turns and features scenes of (at times) graphic violence.

There's a jet black sense of humour running through the film and it's stylishly directed by Park Chan Wook. Choi Min-sik is excellent in a demanding role as a desperate unhinged man and there's good support elsewhere. The whodunit element keeps things moving and gives the plot some thrust.

For fans of this genre I cant recommend it highly enough. Many more will get a kick out of it as well. Top stuff.
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on 7 April 2008
The story comes from a Japanese comic book of the same name, in which an ordinary family man is suddenly kidnapped and placed in a cell dressed up as a hotel room. Given no explanation for his confinement or the murder of his wife, Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) spends the next 15 years alone, weaving in and out of hallucinatory states with only a television to keep him company.

Old Boy is nothing short of brilliant compelling viewing, suspenseful and ultra-violent - you won't see many films like this one in a lifetime. It not for everyone - it is violent and shocking in its nature and subject matter - but we can't have Bridget Jones in every film - and we don't that either do we!!!
Most negative reviews can't seem to handle the gratuitous violence, but personally feel it is necessary to express what Oh Dae-Su has been through the past 15 years.

The film takes you away on a roller-coaster ride of human emotions, a brilliant plot, and sheer brilliance. The acting is absolutely superb throughout. Min-sik Choi did a great job as Oh Dae-Su and Chan-wook Park's direction was top notch.

All I need to see to sum up this film really is - What a film - see it!
I am so glad I went into this film not knowing it's twists (hence I won't give any of them away here) as it really is fantastic working them out as the film is progressing and I can't help but think the film would be a lesser (albeit still a great one) experience if you know what was going to happen.
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on 23 August 2013
I absolutely loved this movie. The storyline is unusual (well at least for Western viewers) and it twists and turns all over the place. I would never have guessed the ending. In places the movie had a surreal quality to it, reminding me of the art-house films I used to watch at uni. It is quite an old film (about 10 years), but nevertheless I was glued to the screen for the duration. It is quite violent in places but I that doesn't seem out of place or gratuitous. If you like unusual films or are a fan of Korean cinema, give this a go, it's well worth it.
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on 2 February 2018
A very disturbing but amazing film, far better than any of the revenge themed American films that are out nowadays. Also, this is way better than the 2010 remake. Would recommend to any fans of noir, mystery and thriller.
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on 2 October 2014
To be honest I came to look for Oldboy 2013, not realising it was a remake to this one from 2003. After reading the reviews and others online I decided to purchase this version, and I'm glad I did.
You cant really compare this to the modern day version as although they both follow the same plot, the representation is different. Number one difference being that the 2003 version is spoken in Korean with English subtitles, I believe this adds to the enjoyment as you are drawn even more to the story.
As with most things, the Americans got hold of the storyline and did a remake but as they didn't follow the storyline to the tee, they made it their own so that too is worth a watch.
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on 18 November 2013
For those who enjoy adult films with adult themes this is a film I could not recommend highly enough. Some will say it's too disturbing which is fair to say as it can be a bridge too far for people not used to films containing such themes. Some say it's slow and it does deal with character building and information seeking as much as, if not more than, the action scenes, which is not a criticism, I think it's perfect the way it is and I'm a fan of the "slow film" as they allow more tension to be built in my opinion and this doesn't just do it well, it masters it and sets the bar ever so highly for other films wanting to implement a twist at the end. The violence while some parts graphical isn't as graphical as you may expect, a lot of it is done with clever camera use and editing to make you see it mentally rather than visually. It's beautifully shot, I love the use of camera, very stylishly presented. The soundtrack compliments the film so well, I'd go as far as to say it's one of the best I've heard in a film before, the contrast of emotion in the different themes is really appreciated. This is not a film you'd want to see with a family member let me tell you, it's a film you'd probably want to see with a friend, or if your girlfriend/boyfriend didn't mind the nature of the film, but probably a friend/alone. It's a very thought-provoking movie and there are a references throughout that you capture on a second viewing you most definitely won't on the first. A lot of people 'got it' but were confused by a lot of different elements so I would recommend repeat viewings (Don't worry, the film still holds up for repeat viewings, even when you know the end twist.) Overall I give this movie 5 out of 5, and I rarely give films such high ratings, but this left me completely stunned in a good way. I had so much to think through after the credits rolled, I wanted to watch it again straight after, which again is rare. The film has flaws like any film does, but they are so minor when compared to the whole product they are virtually unrecognisable. It may be a modern masterpiece and one of the few films I've seen since 2000 that left me shaking my head in appreciation, such is the quality of this movie.
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on 21 April 2013
This is in my top 10 films if I may say so and my favorite of the Vengeance Trilogy.

Oldboy shows the story of Oh Dae-su, formerly a drunk and womanizer who is kidnapped on his way back to his wife and child to give her a birthday present. With no one knowing where he is life seems to go on while he spends 15 years in a room, a decent one mind you. For 15 years he trains, wonders who done this, why and how he will have his revenge. When he is so close to escaping he is released all of a sudden. During his adventure he meets Mi-do, a sushi chef who takes a liking to him and also finds his friend who was the last to see him.

Just when you think you've got the plot figured it takes a turn and oh my, the twist I would never of seen coming...Ever. You cannot miss this film and you *will not* see the U.S remake. 5/5
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on 4 August 2016
It will screw with your head but you will beg it to do it again!! An intensely twisted movie with an fantastic leading man that pulls you into his world and bombards you with all his wicked ways. definitely one for the stuff of legend!! (forget the remake, it's rubbish - the original with Choi Min Suk is where it's at!!)
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on 25 March 2013
The steelbook, firstly, is lush. The artwork on the smooth front and back is great and when you open it, it has a full shot of a poignant scene in the film. The film itself is brilliant in all aspects and remains to this day, one of my favourites of all time. It's gritty, action packed, suspenseful, horrific and the twists take you by complete surprise. This was one of the films to get me into foreign cinema and how grateful I am it did.

A must for all steelbook collectors and foreign cinema lovers alike.
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on 18 August 2012
i cannot begin to tell you how great this movie is, it's hard to talk about this movie without spoiling it, that's how story driven it is, so i'll keep it brief, it's not so much the story that is complex, it's the characters motivation's which is breathtaking, i'll start with the acting, choi--min sik gives one of the most exhilerating preformances i've ever seen, it's like he was born for it, everyone in this movie is there for a reason, and all of them play their part so well.

the direction and cinematography...just...stunning, it's so stylish yet necsasary, there's no obnoxious camera shots, and the enviroment give's the characters depth.

and finally...the writing, now, if you like characters with complexity and a story with originality, then you will adore this film, there are no plot holes, it's just perfect, don't listen to people who trash the film without reason, and "i just didn't get it" or "it's disturbing" doesn't count as a reasonable explination, you can't hate a movie for not being your typical paitronizing garbage that hollywood make, like i said earlier, you don't have to like it, but you have to respect it, so, if your tired of remakes and sequels, i highly recommend it.
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