Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Having had the opportunity to take in a viewing of Oldboy the other night, I must say that I highly recommend checking the movie out.

If you aren't familiar with the film, it's a Korean movie about a man who's imprisoned for 15 years, but doesn't know why. It isn't so much that he's imprisoned (which conjures up an image of a jail cell or whatnot), but he's held against his will for 15 years, and not told anything. Then he is suddenly released and told to figure out why he was detained. Oldboy stars Min-sik Choi, who's turn in Shiri made him a fav of mine, and he's amazing in this role. The movie is worth watching just for his performance; when the story is added to the mix, the movie becomes highly recommended.

I had heard good things about the movie, so I came in with high expectations. I certainly wasn't disappointed, however the movie also wasn't what I was expecting. I think that if you go into Oldboy with an open mind, you'll like it a lot. Amazon's editorial review calls the film ultra-violent, but I didn't think that it was. There's certainly violence (much of which is very good), but I think calling the movie ultra-violent is taking it a bit far. Ain't it Cool calls the movie "a brilliant masterpiece," which I think is taking it a bit far, however I will say the film probably has the best hammer scene I'veseen.

Oldboy is a part of director Chan-Wook Park's "vengeance trilogy," along with Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. I've heard mixed stuff about Mr. Vengeance (leaning toward positive), and I've read the Lady Vengeance is excellent. Next up for me is Mr. Vengeance, with Lady V probably some way off in the future, since I haven't heard anything about a North American release yet.

Check it out!


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