178 of 229 people found the following review helpful
An unnecessary, sub-par remake.,
This review is from: Oldboy (+Ultraviolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
After begging for money for months and finally (somehow) ending up with a bloated budget of $30,000,000 to remake a film that originally cost $3,000,000, Spike Lee just swindled a whole lot of people to produce a lazy remake that ended up being a total flop at the box office. There really isn't much more to say about Spike Lee's remake of the classic Korean film "Oldboy," other than the fact that it is a pathetic attempt at a cash grab and the completely unnecessary "Americanization" of a modern foreign classic. This film makes light of the dark and haunting story of Oldboy and even makes some parts that should have been dark and gut-wrenching unintentionally funny. The whole film feels like a goofball attempt to remake Oldboy in terms that a western audience would enjoy, seeing as how the original Oldboy was probably too smart for most western audiences in the first place with its subtlety and a visceral, unflinching script.
As much as I enjoy watching Josh Brolin as an actor, he is barely passable in this film. Brolin barely captures Min-Sik Choi's dark performance in the original. The supporting cast, even with phenomenal actors like Sharlto Copley and Sam Jackson, this film felt lifeless, boring, and an insult to Chan-Wook Park.
Skip this garbage, watch the original, and stop giving Spike Lee money.
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Showing 1-10 of 32 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 25, 2014 7:41:21 PM PST
Jared M. Kuntz says:
The sad thing is, people will still give Lee money, kind of like how M. Night keeps getting money.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2014 4:04:32 AM PST
Shadow Hog says:
There was no need for a remake this is a classic amazing movie with a very dark story of revenge that just to the American crap remake.
Posted on Jan 27, 2014 8:00:28 AM PST
Chad Varnadore says:
The sad thing is, too many people online like to remark about films they didn't actually see, or did see, but with a very closed mind, especially where remakes are concerned. Many will even make shallow qualifying statements about how they wanted to like the film, but then indicate they expected disappointment, and by the extreme reverence they ascribe the films predecessor and/or the passion of their distaste for it's copy, it's obvious they really didn't see it with both eyes open, and shouldn't have any merit ascribed their arrogantly bloated opinions. Even "professional" reviewers are guilty of this, people who are supposed to be delivering reviews that are more objective, more experienced, and more studied than the scant trivia anyone can easily dig up (or make up) at imdb.
I have no idea if anyone here is guilty of this, so please don't take my statment as any kind of insinuation. But, the truth is, this movie, like so many remakes, was getting universally trashed online from the moment it was announced. What most critics of remakes don't seem to get is that they aren't directed at the original films fanbase so much as introducing the story to a new generation or a different culture that might not be as keen on reading a film or listening to an awkward, almost silly sounding dub, or as interested in a 30 year old film with actors they've never even heard in the case of remakes of films from the same culture, as, good or bad, who's in it is often as important as the movie itself to younger generations.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2014 12:37:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 27, 2014 12:38:02 PM PST
I agree with you except for one thing; Oldboy didn't need to be reintroduced to a new generation. The film is only ten years old and it has been on Netflix for awhile, but I digress. I didn't put much detail of the film in my review because it's been quite a while since I've seen it and quite honestly I've mostly forgotten about it. I was fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to be in an area where this film was released, and I was hoping that I would enjoy it as much as the original, even though I'm certainly not a fan of Spike Lee or his films.
But in the theater I just sat there trying and trying to get into it but I couldn't. I'm not saying the film was all bad, but in light of its source material it just falls flat. I felt completely unengaged in the story, the characters, or anything really. I guess you could say I'm biased because I really, REALLY don't like Spike Lee, but I love Oldboy. And I'm willing to give any remake a chance, but 9 times out of 10 it just doesn't work, and that's what we have with Oldboy in my honest opinion.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2014 6:22:32 PM PST
9 times out of 10, huh? Well you've one thing correct, we can most certainly say you're biased towards remakes in general. Understandable, though. I too often find something, anything to hate about a movie I've already made my mind up about regardless of it actually turned out.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2014 9:41:51 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 28, 2014 9:42:35 AM PST
A Painter says:
Posted on Jan 31, 2014 9:58:12 AM PST
Robert Goodwin says:
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2014 1:49:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 7, 2014 1:51:00 PM PST
He's a fraud. A money-grubbing elitist who has brainwashed people into thinking that he's one of the greatest filmmakers out there because of Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X. One or two great films and a slew of total garbage films does not a good filmmaker make.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2014 1:50:25 PM PST
Because I wanted to make a point about Lee himself, not just Oldboy.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2014 1:53:44 PM PST
I didn't make up my mind that this was going to be bad from the start. I was genuinely excited to see what this remake would bring, and in light of the original it's just...disappointing.