Thursday, April 7, 2011


aka Oldeboi
Chan-wook Park, South Korea, 2003 (8.7*)
I normally prefer films that are visually creative and not such a clear plotline that you know the result half an hour in (ie, Rocky and Star Wars). This very innovative and extremely watchable crime film is actually a sequel to Park's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (and followed by Lady Vengeance, to complete a trilogy), but it stands alone so you needn't see the first film, which isn't nearly the classic of this one.

One might say this is an Asian updating of The Count of Monte Cristo, about a man, Oh Dai-Su, played by Min-sik Choi (winner of a few acting awards), unfairly imprisoned, in this case for 15 years. When he finds his freedom, then sets out to find those responsible and if possible, wreak a little personal vengeance. However, this story has enough surprises and twists to remain unpredictable and entertaining throughout.

Though not for the squeamish (it has some torture and sexuality), it's one of those rare finds that you'll be thinking about long after viewing, and one that will make you want to tell your friends 'hey, check this one out', if you don't mind subtitles.

One of the best Korean films ever, Oldboy is ranked #99 on the IMDB top 250, with an 8.4 rating (but a lesser 74 from Metacritics). Winner of 17 awards out of 27 nominations, most for director Chan-wook Park.

Quote: What I am isn't important; WHY is important.


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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