I don’t know about you, but 2003’s Oldboy was usually the first Korean film that genre fans in the USA experienced. When Tartan Films, the distribution company with its film rights, flooded the market with their Asia Extreme films, Oldboy was one of the most popular if not one of the most notorious. From its extreme violence, its bizarre story, its over vengeful villain, and his wacky revenge, the film feels as far away from mainstream as a movie could be. And yet, unlike other well done yet mean spirited films, the director, Chan-wook Park, seems to be a critical darling not much unlike another extreme film maker from France, Gaspar Noé.
After Oldboy’s fantastic reviews and strong growth as a cult film, American production companies scrambled to get the film rights. At times folks like Will Smith and Steven Spielberg were linked to the project. As was Christian Bale. But in 2011, Spike Lee was linked to the project and Josh Brolin was to star. Then November, 2013, an English language remake was released to mixed reviews. Oddly the film was even dismissed in some interviews by the star and the director. But the thing is, is the film really just another mediocre English language remake or did it receive an unwarranted fate?
Dark Discussions discusses the two films including the various plot points, the major set pieces, the differences between the films, and reasons that may have made this new 2013 remake simply fade away at the box office. Just like 2013’s Evil Dead and Carrie, Oldboy’s remake has brought a lot of talk both pro and con about remakes of classics never mind in general. Get ready to hear your hosts opinions on this cult film and their take on the new interpretation.