Spike Lee Oldboy

With almost every film Spike Lee makes, he’s trying something different. From college comedy through racial drama, coming-of-age stories, the historical biopic, murder mystery, Hollywood blockbuster, sequel, war film, and sports movie, he rarely attempts the same genre twice. It’s part of the reason he’s remained influential and relevant for so many years.

His latest film, Oldboy, continues his trend of being unpredictable. Lee directs an American remake of a revered South Korean film (originally by Park Chan-wook) about a man mysteriously imprisoned for 20 years, and the aftermath of his release. It’s Lee’s first remake, which posed some brand-new challenges for the man behind such classics as Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, 25th Hour, and Malcolm X.

We had the distinct pleasure of chatting with Lee about those new challenges, his upcoming Kickstarter feature The Sweet Blood of Jesus, being a film professor at his alma-mater New York University and, of course, New York sports. Oldboy opens November 27, but read the interview below. Read More »

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Insidious Chapter 2 (2)

Briefly: Two franchises just dated their upcoming sequels. First up, The Farrelly BrothersDumb and Dumber To will be released November 14, 2014. It’s the sequel to the hit 1994 film starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. The Farrellys once again write and direct.

Second, Filmdistrict just dated Insidious: Chapter 3 for release April 3, 2015. Yes, another sequel in 2015. While James Wan, who directed the first two films, won’t return, writer Leigh Whannell is again penning this installment. Whannell (above left) wrote the first two films and co-starred in them as well. There’s no word on a director, but the second film pretty obviously set up a story line. [ERC]

Oldboy Umbrella

Though film fans are well-versed in Chan-wook Park’s 2003 film Oldboy, most audiences have no idea what the film is. To 90% of people who go to the movies, it’s nothing more than an ultra-violent, ten-year-old foreign language film with subtitles, if they even know that much about it. At least, that’s what Filmdistrict is thinking will be the case when Spike Lee‘s remake of Oldboy opens November 22. They’re hoping audiences will be as surprised and entertained as we were the first time we saw the original.

Still, everyone involved is well aware film fans can be vocal when reacting to remakes, and no one is a bigger champion of the original than screenwriter Mark Protosevich. The writer of the original Thor and I Am Legend considers himself a massive fan of the original film. And when he first heard about the remake, he was hesitant. Then Will Smith approached him about writing it for director Steven Spielberg. What fan would say “No” to that?

Below, read about Protosevich’s dealings with those two superstars and his justifications for remaking one of the biggest cult classics of all time. Read More »

Josh Brolin Oldboy

To fans, there are certain aspects of Spike Lee‘s Oldboy that have to be consistent with Chan-wook Park’s original. One of those is the hallway scene. In the original, Oh Dae-su wreaks havoc on a bunch of thugs in a hallway with nothing but a hammer. And it’s breathtaking sequence. Having seen trailers for the new film, you know the fight is in there; having seen the entire movie, I’ll say it takes the idea up a level. Literally.

In fact, Josh Brolin, who stars in the film, said the scene was so crucial and physically demanding, his personal physical preparation for just that scene (which is presented in one long take) informed his entire performance. Lee and crew prepped the scene for five weeks and they got it on the seventh take. Read Brolin’s story about the scene below. Read More »

oldboy-trailer-2

I got a press release earlier today that describes the new Spike Lee film, Oldboy, as “a unique reinterpretation of the 2003 Korean film,” with that ’03 movie being the Park Chan-wook effort that turned the director into a globally-popular filmmaker. That’s a slightly new way to position a remake.

We’ve seen so many clips, violent glimpses, and featurettes for the film that a new trailer feels like it is coming in very late. And, in fact, this “new” trailer is basically the red-band one that landed over the summer, with a few changes to make it suitable for all audiences.  A couple bits of explicit violence are gone, as are two or three butt shots. In fact, one butt shot from the original trailer has been digitally altered for this one. Look for it below! Read More »

oldboy-aug-3

Spike Lee‘s remake of Oldboy is quickly approaching, and with it come answers to innumerable questions. Paramount among those questions is “Will American audiences want to see such a brutal, visceral story after eating their Thanksgiving dinners?” Based on this violent clip, it seems like a hard sell.

Josh Brolin stars as Joe Doucett, an unlikeable salesman who is mysteriously imprisoned for twenty years. He’s then just as mysteriously released, and hellbent on finding out who could do such a horrible thing. Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Imperioli are along for the ride.

We’ve seen plenty of images, trailers and much more but this latest video – not a trailer, but not quite a full scene – shows a bit of what Doucett does in captivity for twenty years, and the hammer filled rage he has upon release. Check it out below. Read More »

That Awkward Moment

If you were to cast a dream team of up and coming twenty-something male actors, that list would include the stars of That Awkward Moment. The film, written and directed by Tom Gormican, stars Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller as three young men trying to figure out that “awkward” moment in a relationship where it goes from casual to serious. Imogen Poots and Jessica Lucas are along for the R-rated ride.

It doesn’t hit theaters until January 31, 2014 but a red band trailer has just been released. Check it out below, along with a link to see the rumored Star Wars and Fantastic Four stars do a live Q&A Tuesday evening. Read More »

oldboy-aug-2

As fascinating as Josh Brolin‘s fierce Joe Doucett is, a story as dark and twisted as Oldboy needs a good villain to really tie everything together. So far, FilmDistrict has been playing coy with Joe’s demented tormenter, but that changes today with our first peek at Sharlto Copley as Adrian Pryce.

In addition, the marketing team has also revealed twenty more posters, one for each year of Joe’s captivity. They’re a great way to drive home just how long twenty years is — and a good reminder of how quickly we’re growing old. Has it really been two decades since Lorena Bobbitt chopped off her husband’s dick? Check ‘em all out after the jump.

Read More »

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