When you step back and survey the different attitudes towards this November’s Oldboy, you might notice that people fall into one of two vastly-different camps: 1) Those who are keeping a shrewd eye on the project to see how Spike Lee’s “Americanization” of the story compares to Chan-wook Park’s Korean version, and 2) Those who are unfamiliar with Park’s modern cult classic and are just trying to make sense of Lee’s freaky-looking mystery/thriller ahead of time.
Oldboy, as Lee acknowledges in the featurette above, originated as a Japanese comic book written by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya before Park released his film adaptation ten years ago. Moreover, the basic story is one that could be told in several different cultural settings: a man winds up being imprisoned in a hotel room for 20 years and is suddenly released by his mysterious captor without explanation – other than being told that he has a few days to determine the reason for his punishment, lest he will suffer even more.
Most of the themes and ideas that Lee and his Oldboy cast discuss in this new video – like what it would really mean to be held accountable for every single thing you do (even the deeds you can barely remember) – were previously explored in depth in Park’s film. As such, it remains to be seen if Lee’s movie can be more than just an (at best) very good restyling of what’s been done before in Park’s film (with its sickening developments and unyielding compassion for even the very flawed and detestable characters).
That said, the Oldboy trailer footage released so far suggests that Lee is back in top moviemaking form here – and with co-producer/screenwriter Mark Protosevich (Thor) said to have drawn from Park’s film, Minegishi and Tsuchiya’s graphic novel, and added some original content of his own, that gives all the more reason to expect that telling this story in a different social context and point in history should yield some fresh insight and subtext. If not that then… well, at least we’ll get Josh Brolin smacking people with a hammer and Samuel L. Jackson’s latest wacky hairdo for entertainment.
Rounding out the supporting cast for Spike Lee’s Oldboy are such people as Elizabeth Olsen (Kill Your Darlings), Sharlto Copley (Elysium), Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos), Hannah Ware (Bones) and Rami Malek (Need for Speed), among others. Be sure and drop us a line, with regard to your own feelings about the film so far.
Oldboy opens in U.S. theaters on November 27th, 2013.
Source: Yahoo! Movies
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