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Oldboy (2003)

Min-sik Choi , Ji-tae Yu , Chan-wook Park  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (362 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, Dae-han Ji, Dal-su Oh
  • Directors: Chan-wook Park
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Korean (Dolby Digital 6.1 EX), English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Korean
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Tartan Asia Extreme
  • DVD Release Date: August 23, 2005
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (362 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009S2T0M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,734 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Oldboy" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary from director Chan-wook Park and cinematographer Jeong-hun Jeong
  • Interview with director Chan-wook Park
  • Deleted scenes with optional director's commentary
  • "Oldboy"/IFILM.com DVD trailer contest winner
  • Trailers for other Tartan Asia Extreme DVDs

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Oh Dae-su is an ordinary Seoul businessman with a wife and little daughter who, after a drunken night on the town, is abducted and locked up in a strange, private prison. No one will tell him why hes there and who his jailer is and his fury builds to a single-minded focus of revenge. 15 years later, he is unexpectedly freed, given a new suit, a cell-phone and 5 days to discover the mysterious enemy who had him imprisoned. Seeking vengeance on all those involved, he soon finds that his enemys tortures are just beginning.

Amazon.com

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


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
159 of 176 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutally Raw & Brilliantly Inspiring Revenge Film... April 10, 2005
Oldboy has a Shakespearian tone as it depicts the tale of Oh Dae-su (Min-sik Choi), whose name means "he who can get along with people". Oh Dae-su is on his way home after having been arrested for public drunkenness to celebrate his daughters birthday. However, Oh Dae-su never arrives to his home as he is kidnapped and imprisoned in a small room where his only contact with the human world is a television. During the time Oh Dae-su is caged someone murders his wife and he becomes the prime suspect for the murder. The questions that Oh Dae-su unsuccessfully attempts to answer while locked up is why revenge is being taken on him and who is seeking this cruel revenge. After 15 years Oh Dae-su is released from his torturous imprisonment, which leaves him confused and ragingly vengeful.

Chan-wook Park directs a brilliant cinematic experience that is full of well-written conspiring intrigues that will keep the audience in suspense. The suspense is initiated in the opening shot where a man is hanging over the edge of a roof top causing the audience to asks themselves--why is this happening? The suspense continues as new and mysterious clues appears, but apprehension does not leave the audience even after the end of the film as the final line echos in the minds of the audience. Park's vision of revenge in Oldboy often depicts exaggerated violence that is well balanced with story as it is related to the themes of the film. However, this should serve as a warning to squeamish folks as the film is occasionally brutal and bizarre. Furthermore, the cinematography used in Oldboy vividly projects the emotional tone of the cinematic themes and characters. The characters are also superbly performed by an excellent cast, which will help the audience to experience a first class cinematic event.
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Oldboy's Life November 23, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I'm surprised to see that no one else has written about this collector's edition DVD package because it's so cool that it needs to be spoken about in some form or other. It comes in a metal box which is exactly the same dimensions as the box that the HBO series "Band of Brothers" came in. There's that which is already pretty nice but inside is where you find the real treasure. The film comes in a three disc set, each one in an individual slipcase with one of the three main characters in the film on the cover. The presentationof the film is on par with, if not above the quality of the previous Tartan video release in terms of picture and sound. This set has a 6.1 DTS mix which is nice, clear and loud. The picture is very nice as it should be, since this film is beautifully shot. There are plenty of bonus features like commentary and featurettes but the third disc has the best supplementary feature which is a production diary from the entire shoot. I think this is one of the shining examples of a behind the scenes documentary done right as it really shows you what goes in to making a film and how much hard work it can be. It's lengthy, it's detailed and thankfully, it has English subtitles because I don't speak a lick of Korean. Just for this documentary alone, this set is worth picking up.

Finally, you get not only a 35mm film strip encased in a nice cardboard sleeve, you get a miniaturized graphic novel of the original similarly titled Japanese Manga that the film was based off of. If you've seen the special edition of Sin City that came with the Hard Goodbye graphic novel, it's just like that except its printed in reverse and you have to read it from back cover to front like you would with an actual Japanese book!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Korean Brilliance. June 27, 2006
Format:DVD
If you've never got into the whole 'world cinema' thing, then you're missing out on what cinema's best and most unique filmakers have to offer, like South Korean director Park Chan-wook.

Oldboy is the director's second film in his revenge trilogy that started off with Sympathy For Mr Vengeance in 2002.

Oldboy starts off with the main character Dae Su Oh drunk and being held in a police station, but is soon bailed by his friend. The credits kick off when he is talking to his daughter in aphone booth telling her he got her a birthday preasent, his friend then talks to his wife on the phone, he calls Dae Su to the phone but is nowhere to be seen, the only thing that is left behind is the bag that he was carrying his daughter's birthday preasent in. This is when we find out he's been kidnapped, and he has no idea why he is being locked up, but while locked up he has a TV in his room that he says is your only friend, clock , and lover, on this TV he finds out that he is a wanted fugitive for killing his wife. He then builds a plan of getting out and get his revenge on the person who did this to him. 15 years later he is free and is given new clothes and a cell phone, the man who did this to him is giving him five days to find out why he was imprisoned for 15 years, so 15 years of being curious wouldn't go to waste.

That is what I can tell you about the plot but don't want to spoil a brilliant twist that will force you to watch it a second time. This film has the energetic directing and storyline of a Quentin Tarrentino film, and has one of the best and possibly the best fight scene of all time. This film might not appeal to everyone but it certainly is a film you must watch before you die. This film is followed by Lady Vengance and is the final film in this revenge trilogy.

A must-have.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars All time favorite amazing movie
My absolute all time favorite movie. The american remake doesn't even come close to this.
Published 15 days ago by DnBrmg89
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice and classic japanese based movie
Nice and classic japanese based movie. Not very appealing but once you watch it, you want more!

If you trust me, this is the movie where every movie lovers should... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Dan
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent seller!
Fast shipping! Amazing movie - disc worked perfectly.
Published 1 month ago by Red Rock Raven
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent twist. Shipper slow.
DVD showed up late, forgotten I ordered it. But the movie has a excellent twist. Disturbing but really good.
Published 2 months ago by Denis Basargin
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Don't waste your time!
Published 2 months ago by Colorado Girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very happy
Published 2 months ago by Joseph E. Bakaitis Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great...
Published 3 months ago by Glen L. Greathouse
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
OK
Published 3 months ago by Kat
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great South Korean Film About Seeking Revenge
Oldboy is a South Korean film about Oh Dae-su, who is locked in a hotel room for 15 years without knowing his captor's motives. Read more
Published 3 months ago by DESERTMAN40
3.0 out of 5 stars Another blind buy I got purely on reputation. It ...
Another blind buy I got purely on reputation. It was okay. Roger Ebert gave it four stars (out of four) and that is crazy.
Published 3 months ago by Luke
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See this before America steals it
You know what would be awesome? If people stoped categorizing America. We all aren't douchebags and it's not like the american audience decided to band together and have this movie remade, no it was the higher ups in hollywood with all the money, and to everyone that is so quick to blame... Read More
Jan 15, 2007 by Nicholas P. Buzalka |  See all 10 posts
The proposed Oldboy remake
I agree. Why can't anyone just leave this movie alone?
And seriously? Will Smith? This isn't a feel good movie you see with your girlfriend! Know your place, Smith and Speilberg!
Apr 5, 2009 by Album |  See all 9 posts
What about this Blu-Ray release?
The bluray of Oldboy is pretty definitive in that it's the only domestic release to date of Chanwook Park's original Korean Region 3 DVD transfer, contrary to the subsequent re-releases and domestic DVD releases. Originally the transfer had a greenish tint with heavy grains, print damage, a... Read More
Aug 3, 2008 by Andrew Kotwicki |  See all 3 posts
Box Set?
I doubt they will... because they released the Oldboy collector's edition... but they're supposed to be remaking the movies... so maybe they'll rerelease the originals in a greater fashion.
There are two sets, that I know of, released in the UK. There is the REALLY BIG set, which I've always... Read More
Aug 19, 2008 by Andrew M. Wolf |  See all 3 posts
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