Posted on Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 by David Chen
Spike Lee’s Oldboy is a curiosity to be sure, a remake of a bizarre, twisted, gruesome Korean thriller. Most people thought Lee’s film was pretty terrible, and while I don’t have too many positive things to say about it, I did find it fascinating to compare the decisions that Lee made with those that Park Chan-wook made in his 2003 cult classic version of the story.
After the jump, you’ll find five reasons why I thought Lee’s version is inferior to Park Chan-Wook’s version. And please share your own opinions on the two films in the comments. Assume SPOILERS lie within the comments and the video. For more on the making of Oldboy, see Germain’s interview with Spike Lee and writer Mark Protosevich.
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Sometimes we’ll post concept art for posters, and sometimes that art gets pulled, or doesn’t get used in favor of more bland compositions. People always wonder why, and while the answer is often complicated we’re rarely flush with all the details.
Here’s a case where we now know a lot, thanks to the artist in question. You may remember that early this year poster designs for Spike Lee‘s Oldboy hit the internet. They were great — very striking, very violent, and very strange. They were pulled, and the official art was, in the end, a lot more tame.
Here’s where it gets messy. The artist, Juan Luis Garcia, claims that he was never paid for his work. So why is Garcia writing to Spike Lee? Because this week, Lee posted some of Garcia’s designs — the ones he was never paid for — to his own FaceBook page, with a note on each saying “C 2013 Spike Lee.” Read More »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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Has the experience of making Oldboy led Spike Lee to consider a different sort of film project than he tended towards in the past? He’s now in early talks for a film that wouldn’t have ever seemed like a Spike Lee movie before.
In late 2011, Justin Timberlake signed to star in Spinning Gold, which will tell the story of Casablanca Records founder Neil Bogart. The man helped launch the careers of Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, and Gladys Knight, and the label was known for disco and funk, thanks to Donna Summer, The Village People, and Parliament. But Casablanca was also the home of Kiss, and released all the band’s records from their first until the death of Bogart in 1982.
Now Lee is starting to make a deal to direct the film. Read More »