Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance & Oldboy

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Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance & Oldboy

Post by Latte Thunder » Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:20 pm

A friend of mine turned me on to Park-Wook Chan last night. He showed me some clips from the two movies in the thread title. I never saw this guy's movie Joint Security Area, but I have it on good authority that it's a great movie.

Both of these movies are revenge flicks. Haven't seen them in their entirety, wondered if anyone else had any thoughts on them.

I just ebayed the extremely cool 2-disc version of Oldboy. If my wife doesn't kill me for spending money I should be saving for our new house, I'll order Sympathy next.
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Post by DylanDog » Thu Aug 12, 2004 5:37 pm

Haven't seen either, but my friend just got done telling me Oldboy was really good the other day. Apparently it's already in development to be remade in Hollywood.
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Post by Chris Slack » Fri Aug 13, 2004 6:12 am

Haven't seen "Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance" but thought "Old Boy" was fucking great! I have heard rumors that a US remake of "Old Boy" is in the works too :(
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Post by I am 138 » Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:46 am

JSA is quite good BUT it's not the cinematic perfection it's made out to be.
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Post by PECKER{*x*}WOOD » Sat Aug 14, 2004 8:57 pm

I saw both JSA and Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance at past Fantasia festivals, and both were in my Top 5 films for those years.

JSA had a big impact the first time I saw it, mostly because the ending worked so well to bring all the plot elements together. Its kind of hard to say if that will happen a second time, but it does standout as a very good film even after the first viewing. One thing I'll say, before watching JSA is to look at the poster, then come back to it after u have seen the film.

Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance is the very good film as well, but it has its problems. Mostly this has to do with the odd mix of black comedy and drama. Thus some parts of the film feel out of place, where as others hit the mark.

Both films are very good, and I would suggest buying both on DVD.

I'd also like to say that anything with Kang-ho Song in the cast, is a film to see. He also plays in my #1 Fantasia film of this year Memories of Murder.


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Post by Latte Thunder » Thu Aug 19, 2004 7:15 pm

Oldboy

Got my DVD in the mail today. True to expectations, it comes in a very cool two disc box. Can't really say why I ordered the one with all the extras for $30 more, since they're all in Korean, but it's a cool package.

The movie is un-fucking-believable. See this movie now! I thought Cartman's plan revealed at the end of the South Park episode, Scott Tenorman Must Die, was a heavy plan. The plot in this movie is as dense as dark matter.

In a nutshell: Oldboy is about Oh Daesu, a fuckaround guy with a wife and daughter. The movie starts in 1988 when Daesu is raising hell, drunk off his ass in a police station. After he's claimed by a friend, Daesu disappears for fifteen years. It turns out that he's being held in a makeshift prison run by shady criminal types. While in, he discovers that he's the prime suspect in the murder of his wife. He spends the rest of his time in prison watching TV, focussing his mind and training his body for the revenge that he has sworn. On the fifteenth anniversary of his imprisonment, he's released and the game begins to find the guy who put him away. The twist is that his captor is constantly leaving clues for Daesu to find. Along the way, he hooks up with a sushi chef and she follows him on his warpath.

The climax results in one of the biggest twists I've ever seen. A marathon of mental torture and mindfucking. Wookpark must have been in a bad mood when he came up with this idea. It's extremely cruel.

Seriously. See this movie.
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Post by Kimberly » Mon Aug 30, 2004 6:01 pm

Originally posted by Latte Thunder
[b]Oldboy
It's extremely cruel.
Seriously. See this movie. [/B]


Extremely cruel is putting it nicely!! Great movie!! I've not seen any of this guy's other films but am looking foward to seeing them now...

I really enjoyed the direction as well as the music used in the film. I did have just a small problem...



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When Daesu at the end is begging Woojin to not tell Mido and starts freaking out (and rightly so) and barking like a dog, etc... I'm sorry but he should of just fucked that dude right up and not licking his shoes like he owes him something. Know what I mean?
He should of tore him a new asshole right then and there!!

Otherwise great flick!!

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Post by Kimberly » Thu Nov 18, 2004 2:45 pm

Latte... thought you'd be interested to know a remake is being planned for a 2006 release

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Post by Latte Thunder » Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:03 pm

I'd heard about that. I'm willing to bet that it'll be softened up for America and lose all the impact that the original has.

I saw a trailer for a new Jet Li movie called Unleashed. It absolutely HAS to be inspired a little bit by Oldboy.
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Post by Kimberly » Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:38 pm

Latte Thunder wrote:I'd heard about that. I'm willing to bet that it'll be softened up for America and lose all the impact that the original has.

I saw a trailer for a new Jet Li movie called Unleashed. It absolutely HAS to be inspired a little bit by Oldboy.



Haven't seen the trailer for that one yet...


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I was talking about this with my hubby and we were both wondering if they were going to leave in or change the whole incest thing... because that's essentially what the whole movie comes down to. Aparently it's being done by Universal... I'm just really curious to see how this one's going to turn out :/

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Post by DylanDog » Thu Feb 10, 2005 2:38 pm

Saw this one recently too and it sort of left me disappointed at the end as well, even though on the whole I enjoyed watching it. It was just one of those situations where I could see the end coming from miles away. I had forgotten this thread though and forgot it was a revenge film so at first I had no idea what was happening and was hoping it was something really bizarre and unusual. Something almost otherworldly. Revenge just wasn't what I was hoping for.



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Regarding the remake, I would think they would absolutely have to change the ending at least. This one had, if not a pro-incest feel to the end, it sure didn't seem like an anti-incest feel. And I just don't think that is gonna fly in this country. I can see them leaving the incest part of the plot in, but would be surprised if they didn't make the Oh Daesu character off himself or something. I just don't see him walking off into the sunset with his daughter, hypnotized or not.
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Post by Kimberly » Sat Mar 12, 2005 5:52 pm

Just watched it again last night...

And even though you know the ending and what's coming it's still a very engaging film to watch...

Got Joint Security Area coming... looking foward to that one...
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Post by Latte Thunder » Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:29 am

Joint Security Area is a tear jerker. When everything is made clear in the end, it made me want to cry. Sad story. There's a surprising amount of spoken english dialog in it, too.
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Post by DylanDog » Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:55 pm

Speaking of tear jerkers, my favorite movie I've seen so far this year is the HK romantic-comedy "My Left Eye Sees Ghosts". I absolutely loved it. Just didn't mention it before because, well, it's not horror nor is it really mainstream so there didn't seem to be a place for it. Beautiful movie though. And just watched the director's other film "Love On A Diet" the other night, which was also good, but not as good as MLESG. Lot's of it is in Japanese too. Seems to be lots of multi-language movies about these days, doesn't there?
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Post by Latte Thunder » Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:53 pm

Most Asian comedies fly right over my head. With the exception of the Stephen Chow stuff, I just can't get into them. I saw a trailer for Love On A Diet on some Shaolin Soccer bootleg I had and I thought it looked completely retarded, but like I said, I just can't grasp HK comedies.
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Post by DylanDog » Tue Mar 15, 2005 4:03 pm

Love on a Diet was basically an unremarkable, but enjoyable comedy. A good time killer, but nothing to get too excited about. Which is odd because after I saw My Left Eye Sees Ghosts, all the reviews I read said Love On A Diet was better. Imo, it's not even close and MLESG is much, MUCH better. Another HK comedy that I liked much more than I thought I would was Hong Kong Spice Gals, an amusing little film about teenage prostitutes.

I just added Shaolin Soccer to my netflix queue since it apparently comes with the original version. That's a big reason I never saw it before. I wasn't willing to spend on an import dvd and didn't want to see it cut in the theatre.
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Post by llapman » Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:11 am

I have to say that all 3 flicks from this man are THE SHIT! Oldboy has to be one of the best flicks I have seen in years. The ending is so freaking unbelievable, that if you haven't seen it you must. Hopefully he will come back to Seattle and premiere Sympathy For Lady Vengeance (not a joke). Got to meet him several years back at The Seattle International Film Festival, and he pretty cool, but he was bummed that people in Korea were turned off by Sympathy's bleakness.

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Post by Remo D » Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:07 pm

Well, OLDBOY just made a surprise appearance at our local arthouse. And I'd avoided this thread just to keep away from the spoilers. Glad I did.

Staggered the hell home anyway.

And the remake? I don't even want to think about it.
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Post by Latte Thunder » Sun May 01, 2005 7:28 pm

The hallway fight, Remo! What did you think of that?

I am still floored when I rewatch it.

All that just to get to the elevator!
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Post by Remo D » Sun May 01, 2005 10:48 pm

The hallway fight, eh? Loved the way he started off by checking blood types and making sure his torture victim was escorted to safety first...

Okay--terrific fight scene. But I was distracted throughout the entire sequence, and I was wondering if it was simply because I was getting the big-screen picture.

Perhaps I'm wrong--but I got the impression that the blade sticking out of Dae-Sun's back was computer generated? It just seemed to have that CGI look to it: that it didn't keep up with his body movements one hundred percent. Now again, I could be mistaken--but for some reason, once I was hit with that impression, I couldn't shake it--I figured that the original "real" prop blade simply refused to stay in place during all the action. Luckily, it didn't prevent me from enjoying the sequence or getting clobbered by the remainder of the film--I didn't think of it once after the scene ended and I'm only remembering it now because of the question.

Oh, and as for impact moments? How 'bout when someone (no true spoilers) discovered that there was something slightly wrong with his ear?
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Post by Latte Thunder » Sat May 07, 2005 11:30 am

I just watched Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance and while I didn't like it nearly as much as Old Boy or Joint Security Area, I did think it was a good movie. It seemed like the experiment leading up to his masterpiece. Sympathy is just as lyrical as Old Boy, but not nearly as polished. It does have all the Chan Wook Park signatures, though.

There's some very clever storytelling going on there.

Also, I saw the trailer for Wook Park's next movie, Kind Ms. Jaa (but everyone calls it Sympathy For Lady Vengeance) and it's looking pretty good. Supposedly, this closes out Wook Park's Revenge Cycle.
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Post by Kimberly » Sat Jun 18, 2005 5:15 pm

Remo D wrote:Well, OLDBOY just made a surprise appearance at our local arthouse.


Same here and it's even better seeing it in a theater...

One thing (after watching it all these times) that's bothering me...


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When Dae-su is given the number for is "daughter" in Stokholm... ?! Then later Woo-jin commenting later on how he raised her... just has me a bit confoozled...
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Post by Latte Thunder » Sun Jun 19, 2005 9:39 am

I was wondering that myself, Kim. I can't come up with any reasonable answer other than that it's a plot hole.

What I'd like to know is why everyone asks Daesu why he talks strange. I understand that it has something to do with his isolation, probably having not spoken to anyone for fifteen years has to do something to your grip on language. What I would like to know is what, specifically, is so odd about his speech. I don't understand a word of Korean so I can't even begin to imagine.

This opens in a week here and I'm organizing a big posse of people to pack the house that it's playing at. Most of the same crew attending our Land of the Dead multiplex takeover will be attending Oldboy.
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Post by Latte Thunder » Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:39 pm

I watched Sympathy For Lady Vengeance last week and I've had ample time to think it through.

Huge movie, on par with Wook Park's previous movies, not quite as good as Oldboy, though.

The basic premise is this: Lee Geum Ja is sent to prison for the kidnapping and murder of a five year old boy. The problem is that she didn't commit the crime and took the fall for Mr. Baek, a kidnergarten teacher that she is living with. However, as naive as she is, the moment she goes into prison, she begins plotting her revenge in a really strange fashion, by recruiting the help of her fellow inmates by being extraordinarily kind to them. Upon her release, she sets her plan into motion, but the rules of the game change when Mr. Baek's true nature is revealed.

It's as visually trippy as Oldboy, maybe even more so. The photography is excellent and the storytelling is done in a very novel unraveling as it's farthest thing from a linear narrative. Choi Min Sik, who plays Oh Daesu in Oldboy plays Mr. Baek and turns in a brief but extremely chilling performance as the face of genuine evil. Unfortunately, the involving plot of the previous two revenge movies isn't here. This one never pulls you in and makes you feel the plight of the protagonist at all. You can understand where she's coming from, but her behavior prior to the murder, during her sentence and after her release are all so vastly different from one another and not one of them is particularly pleasant. Min Sik's character is the villainous motherfucker of the whole affair, but he really doesn't even show up until half way through the movie. Prior to his appearance, he's only hinted at.

By no means did it suck, but the story just didn't have the punch that Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy had. It's actually quite good and features a moment that nearly shocked me to tears. I haven't been so rattled by a stretch of footage ever. Even if it wasn't quite up to standard, this director has a solid understanding of making a visceral movie.
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Post by Kimberly » Sat Jan 28, 2006 9:54 pm

Look at what we're going to see tomorrow night... Sound familiar?

Sunday January 29th
ZINDA
For fourteen years of his life, Balajeet Roy (Sanjay Dutt) was imprisoned without knowing what his crime was nor where he was. One day, he is suddenly set free and has four days to find out why he was imprisoned and why he was kept alive. So begins his quest for answers and revenge.
2006 Color 2 hours long Not Rated
This film is in Hindi with English Subtitles. Playing at Noon, 3, 6, & 9PM.

http://www.zindathefilm.com/#
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