Hammers, Hallway Fights And Mysterious Femme Fatales: Spike Lee's Oldboy Trailer Has It All
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Hammers, Hallway Fights And Mysterious Femme Fatales: Spike Lee's Oldboy Trailer Has It All

By Joanna Robinson | Videos | July 10, 2013 | Comments ()


As any good fan of Park Chan-wook’s 2003 vengeance classic Oldboy, I was skeptical when I heard there would be an American remake. But when it comes to dirty deeds and simmering tension, you could do worse than Spike Lee. In addition, the cast, featuring Josh Brolin as our mysterious prisoner and Elizabeth Olsen as his equally mysterious partner, is top notch. And, hell, the trailer looks fantastic. I think even the snobbiest among us will be satisfied. My only complaint? Needs more tentacles.

P.S. If you could manage to keep any and all discussion spoiler free, that would be most generous to folks who haven’t seen the original. Cheers.

5 Shows After Dark 7/10/13 | Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Qualtinger

    Looks alright, is still pointless.

  • Sydnea

    So I used I work with Josh Brolins niece. I told her about my increasing attraction to her uncle. She told him. And he said he was freakin flattered. Yep. We're in love. Also, one time for Christmas he gave his family all copies of all his movies. Because awesome.

  • I thought that was the Hound in the header photo for a hot minute.

  • Eve

    I'm not going to weight in on the whole remakes vs. original movies debate --although I could say that there are movies that should never be touched while others should be remade (I can't wait for Pet Sematary's remake, for instance).

    But I digress...my original point was actually this: Sharlto. Copley. Naked.


  • Brian Martin

    What is the point of having the painting in his cell say something completely different?.....

  • toblerone

    Meh... I'll stick with the original.

    *I really don't see how the twist at the end will play for the Muricans.

    **Why is Cece are reporter? Did she stop modeling NOO!!!!

  • Christ, someone around here needs to write an "In Defense of Remakes" article post-haste.

  • Mrs. Julien

    From your mouth to the Overlord's ear.

  • Alwyn

    At least the trailer finally came out so it will soon pass, instead of being this looming nightmare.

    (but the trailer was nice. again, mixed emotions.)

  • Alwyn

    As someone who screamed at the heavens in agony upon finding out this would be remade, I feel.....weirdly optimistic? I need to read the manga.

  • BlackRabbit

    The fedora+mask+overcoat look is a bit odd, though I assume it's just an avatar on a phone?

  • zeke_the_pig

    I can't watch the trailer at work, but Lee + Brolin is one of the few combinations that might make this remake relatively easy to swallow for me. I do have a feeling, however, that it'll still prove likely to be more 'live octopus' than 'melted chocolate' on the ease-of-swallow scale.

    Either way, putting aside Remake Snobbery, if it's even half as good as the original then I'm just happy that the folk who haven't had a chance to see that yet may see this, and then see that. And that's good.

  • Lovely Bones

    Indeed. Not to mention that Sharlto Copley is a damn good actor in his own right, and I'm looking forward to him as the equivalent to Lee Woo-Jin. Although I still wish Christian Bale had signed on for that role instead.


    Who knew the Pajibans had such strong opinions on movies!?

    </sarcasm> I saw the original Oldboy while drinking and didn't think much of it. Perhaps I'll watch it one night while sober, and see if my opinion changes. Does one need to strongly identify with "vengeance" to be into this movie? Cuz I don't think of myself as very vengeful...


    Yeah, down-vote that sh*t! I wonder, was it my shocking naïveté or my playful sarcasm that offended?

  • vic

    Quite the opposite, I'd say. Oldboy was the second part of a trilogy of movies that seemed more into the idea that vengeance is a horrific and useless thing.

  • Hammer time!

  • Marc

    I think what most people are trying to say is that we need this remake like we need an emergency root canal.

    Just to hammer the point home.

    I'm just saying it won't match up to the original's emotional core incisor scope.

    Tooth pun.

  • Michelle

    You know, I am a Park Chan-wook fan (although I can do without Cut), but.. I will most likely not see this. Why does this movie need to be remade? It's nearly perfect as is.

  • toblerone

    Because Muricans won't read subtitles.

  • vic

    Well, then you're okay. Park Chan-wook has nothing to do with this remake.

  • Having not seen the original, I assume I should? Or hand in my Pajiba card at the door?

  • googergieger

    Well what is your taste in movies? Or do you just not give an eff?

  • Also, your incandescence in the post above intrigues me.

  • Depends. My movie tastes run catholic in the small-c sense. I like a lot of stuff. I'll watch mainstream with my wife and daughter, and less-viewed fare, including anime, horror, arthouse when I get a weekend to myself.

  • googergieger

    Well I mean some people consider themselves movie nerds but much like music it is just top forty taste. Like the most indie they'll get is the MTV style indie. Juno and what have you. Oldboy is a melodrama. Considered by many a modern masterpiece that was robbed at Cannes because it was too extreme(at the time). It's Korean and subtitled. Revenge flick. I don't know my other comment pretty much covers some of my feelings on it.

  • Sounds like my kind of thing. With wife and daughter away for Winter school hols next week, I shall go looking.

  • Idle Primate

    that was way too much trailer. I keep meaning to see the original and never seem to get around to it

  • googergieger

    Anyways, this looks like a camp version of the original that misses the point entirely. Original Oldboy is the story of two victims. One an accidental one and the other born out of necessity. Two mirror images that end up feeling each others pain entirely by the time it is all said and done. One kept young forever by his revenge, the other ravaged by it. It's an epic. A powerful punch to the gut that stays with you the moment you allow yourself to be taken for the ride. Jaw gaping. Breath held. Not blinking. Perfection personified to a tee. You can not remake that. Much more you can't lie about basing it off the very weak manga and then come out with a trailer that essentially shows you are leaning on the original film almost exclusively, except you are camping it up, and again missing the point entirely. Eff you Spike Lee! Eff you Brolin! And eff anyone that actually thinks this looks any sort of good or redeemable!

  • opiejuankenopie

    Just to play advocate for an un-named third party: A lot of people were similarly incensed when the Coens remade True Grit. I myself was wary but optimistic. Having seen both, I slightly prefer the remake. But that doesn't diminish the original.
    That being said, I don't think this version will touch the original, but we'll probably get a nice Blu Ray out of the deal.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I didn't think the remake of True Grit quite worked. Not in comparison to the original, but on its own merits, it seemed like all the pieces were there but is somehow didn't coalesce into what it could have been. Magnificent style and performances but somehow lacking in the substance to make it truly memorable.

  • googergieger

    Not about diminishing the original, remakes of foreign films promote a lazy culture that make it that much harder for foreign films to succeed out of their small market. Much more the majority of them are shite enough to put people off the idea entirely, which makes them pass on the original movie all together.

  • Your anger is beautiful

  • googergieger

    In this case it has more to do with my love of the original film than anger.

  • There are certain movies that really don't need to be remade.

  • toblerone


  • TCH

    Have an upvote on me. Some times remakes can do wonders for films i.e. The Thing and Scarface. I agree that Oldboy is not one of those films.

  • When something is so good, so well done--so utterly perfect as is--anything else will only be imitation. And in this case, not flattery. Anyone who is curious about the story should just watch the original.

  • TCH

    I agree. I think what is happening with remakes is not that audiences want everything repackaged. Or that American audiences don't have the patience for subtitles. Rather I think studios have become averse to taking risks on new IP. Why this is happening I have no idea.

  • If he doesn't wind up sawing that dog in half, it'll be hard to match the oomph of the original.

  • Shit, I just saw the spoilers thing... My bad.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    If you've got a Disqus account, as it appears you do, you can edit your comment, dude.

  • googergieger

    You seriously just made this post to troll me didn't you?

  • Mrs. Julien

    Like you need help with that...

  • googergieger

    Yes, I would need help getting trolled. Thanks for that.

  • forza_rossi

    I hope this doesnt ruin the original for me.

  • I don't get that. Doesn't the original exist as it was regardless of the quality of this movie? Admittedly it's not a great comparison, but people were saying the same about The Karate Kid when Will Smith remade it with his son, but it's not like they went and destroyed all the copies of the original. In fact, the only way this could really ruin the original is if it's better, right?

  • Brian Martin

    That partiular remake should've been retitled "The Kung Fu Kid"....you know cuz, "racism".

  • phase10

    THIS.To.Every.Comment...About remakes ruining the original.

  • TCH

    Remakes do not necessarily destroy the original. They do however waste capital and talent on projects that have already been done. I am happy to Josh Brolin and Spike Lee working on a film, I just do not think they can add much to Old Boy that isn't already there.

  • Just think of all the capital and talent wasted on revisiting Shakespeare all these years. Which is not to say that RoboCop is Romeo and Juliet, but why should one get a free pass to be re-interpereted while the other is locked in place forever because it had the misfortune of being committed to film first instead of the stage? I get it that Oldboy occupies rarified air as a near perfect movie for some, but while some might argue that Otis Redding's rendition of "Try a Little Tenderness" is a perfect song, that doesn't mean I don't enjoy listening to The Commitments version of it from time to time.

  • TCH

    I think the difference is that Shakespeare has been around for hundreds of years and still remains relevant and remembered. The problem with Robocop is that was not broken to begin with and neither is Oldboy. I believe remakes can be a good thing. However lately it seems like they are being undertaken due to either laziness or lack of courage within the various studios and producers in Hollywood.

  • Fair enough. I won't argue that the current onslaught of remakes are especially worthy or needed, I just disagree with the notion that there are certain properties that are above being remade at all.

  • TCH

    I agree, I believe that remakes are ok. Just look at The Thing. However remakes as of late seem to be going a bit overboard.

  • TCH

    Double post bonus!

  • TCH

    I agree, I believe remakes are ok. Just look at The Thing. I just think that the more recent remakes are a bit overboard.

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