Oldboy (2003) vs. Oldboy (2013)

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I had so much fun writing my Point Break (1991) vs. Point Break (2015) post that I was dying to do something similar. My chance finally arose when I decided that Oldboy (2003) would be my first Blind Spot movie of the year. I’d heard terrible things about the 2013 remake and since I ended up enjoying the South Korean original so much, it was an easy decision!

You can read my full review of the original Oldboy here, but let me recap my thoughts for you quickly. It was brilliant, it was dark, twisted, uncomfortable at many times, and smart. So smart in fact that one of my very few criticisms would be that I struggled to follow the story at some points, but that’s largely down to my inexperience with foreign movies and having to rely on subtitles.

From what I can gather, Oldboy fans didn’t want a remake. Why mess with a classic? The same question is on many lips with all of the Disney remakes we’re getting this year and I can see where they’re coming from, but I do have a counterpoint. Wouldn’t it be beneficial for an Americanised remake to stir curiosity in moviegoers, enough to make them watch the original?

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So let me cut to the chase. I watched the remake. I really enjoyed it! Was it as good as the original? No – but as a couple of my fellow bloggers told me – a lot of the hate is undeserved.

Spike Lee’s version is very much a reimagining of the original, it’s been adapted for a Western audience. One wouldn’t be wrong in saying it’s also been ‘dumbed down’, but I would say not to the point where the twist becomes less shocking.

There were two noticeable nods to the original that I spotted. The street vendor who sold Joe the rubber duck for his daughter is wearing a pair of angel wings, just like Oh Dae-su wore in the opening to the original. Marie has a tattoo of an octopus on her arm which is a reference to the octopus that Oh Dae-su ate in the original. I love spotting things like this and I wonder if there were more!

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A few things that I want to complain about:
– The ending didn’t have the same impact. It was moving in the remake but horrifying in the original.
– The bad guy in the remake was almost funny in how over the top he was. The bad guy in the original was quiet and chilling.
– The fight scene in the corridor. You know the one I mean. It was just nowhere near as badass!

All in all, you just can’t beat the original. That said, I really don’t think the remake deserves the hate it got. If you’re intrigued by the premise of the movie but don’t have the patience to read your movie, I don’t think you’d be doing a terrible thing by giving the 2013 version a go.

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Review: Kodachrome (2018)

kodachrome-movie-poster-2018-netflixDirector: Mark Raso

Main Cast: Ed Harris, Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Olsen, Bruce Greenwood, Wendy Crewson, Dennis Haysbert, Gethin Anthony, Rob Stewart, Vladimir Jon Cubrt, Al Mukadam

Genre: Drama

Plot: Matt (Sudeikis) is a struggling Record Label executive on the brink of losing his job. When Zoe (Olsen) turns up unexpected to announce she’s his father’s nurse/assistant and that his father is dying, Matt reluctantly agrees to go on a road trip with them both to develop his father’s photos in the last days of Kodachrome.

My Thoughts: If you’ve ever watched a father & son road trip movie, then Kodachrome isn’t going to offer you anything new. However, it’s the cast that makes this still an enjoyable watch. Ed Harris is simply fantastic in everything he’s in, and Jason Sudeikis is proving to the world that he wasn’t put here just for comedy. 2 years ago he was in Colossal (2016) where he chilled me to the bone, and he’s equally excellent here. Elizabeth Olsen seems to be popping up in everything I watch lately and I’m really warming to her.

There’s also a song in the soundtrack that I fell in love with. Have you ever fallen in love with a song within 30 seconds of hearing it? That’s what happened to me. Just like Olsen’s character, I’ve never heard of a band called Live (in fact I assumed they were fictional) but there’s a song by them called Lightning Crashes, and it’s amazing. I just checked to see if it’s on Spotify and it is, and whilst there I also learnt that Live is currently touring with Counting Crows! Not in the UK though…

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What I Loved: Other than that song, I genuinely just enjoyed the performances. With a different cast, this movie would have been a complete bore, and I probably wouldn’t have sat through it all.

What I Didn’t Love: The entire movie is so predictable it hurts. Even the smaller details are predictable. If you honestly don’t know what’s contained in those photos within the first 10 minutes of the movie, then not even I can help you. I explained the basic plot of the movie to my husband and he guessed how the entire movie played out.

Fun Trivia: The lab in question, Dwayne’s Photography, is still in business. They just don’t process Kodachrome anymore.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Kodachrome cartons…I’m afraid they’re pretty much useless now though.

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