Hey everyone and thanks for visiting my blog! I’ve really had an interest in creating a blog over the past few months but I don’t think I’m very good at articulating the random crap that happens in my life (and quite frankly I doubt many people would really care). So I knew I needed to focus on something that I enjoyed but could also get the readers to give their two cents on and since I’ve always loved movies I figured that would be my topic. The format of this blog will probably change somewhat over the next few months, assuming people read it. For now it will just be random movie reviews, whatever I happen to get on Netflix or go see in the theaters. In the future, though, I may put polls up to see what people would like me to review. I’m totally open for any suggestions you all may have and please feel free to comment on reviews or start up discussions about how you felt about the movie. Well, here we go…..

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


You'd look like that if you were locked up for 15 years too

‘Oldboy’ starts out with a man named Oh Dae-su being locked up for drunk and disorderly conduct.  Eventually, he is bailed out by his friend who then decides to use a payphone to call Oh Dae-su’s wife and daughter, whose birthday he is missing because he was in jail.  While at the payphone, Oh Dae-su is kidnapped and locked in a small room with only a bathroom, bed, and tv for 15 years.  He is fed fried dumplings for every meal and every so often is gassed, only to wake up and find his room has been cleaned, his clothes changed, and he’s been given a haircut.  As his years of confinement add up, Oh Dae-su’s desire for revenge against those responsible grows.  He begins training in his room, mostly by punching the walls, and starts carving into the walls in an attempt to dig his way out.  Eventually, and for seemingly no reason, Oh Dae-su is set free and given a wallet full of cash and cell phone.  He eventually meets a sushi chef name Mido and receives a call from the man who captured him giving him 5 days to determine why he was captured.  Mido brings him to her house, after a weird scene in which Oh Dae-su eats a live squid and then passes out, and begins forming a relationship with him.  This sets in motion the crazy revenge tale that is ‘Oldboy’.

The description above only covers about the first 45 minutes or so of the movie.  But to continue describing it would risk giving away some of the plot twists that make this movie memorable.  One thing I really liked about this movie is that, despite the somewhat unrealistic plot in parts, it is actually a very believable movie.  What I mean by that is the characters and the reactions seem like things that would happen in real life.  The extreme joy Oh Dae-su feels when he is released and sees his first person in 15 years, despite the fact the man is trying to jump from a building, is believable.  Oh Dae-su looks as if he is going to kiss the man, but manages to hold it back.  When he gets in fights he, and the people he’s fighting, actually get tired, almost to the point of not being able to fight.  Is it a little bit of a stretch that he fought 10 people at one time?  Maybe, but it shows how desperately he wants to get revenge on the people who did this to him, so much that he could take on 10 people while he has a knife in his back.  He wants to be able to trust someone but any little thing can set him off, especially if he thinks you were involved in his capture.  He’s extremely violent at times, but his situation and state of mind call for it.  Everything he goes through seems completely logical, he’s been locked up to the point of madness for 15 years and his quick, unpredictable, change in emotions reflects that.

The only real negative thing I have to say about this movie is that the dubbing is pretty bad.  I would much rather watch a foreign movie with subtitles than have to sit there and listen to someone do an interpretation of the film.  But, unfortunately, Netflix didn’t give me the option to watch it with subtitles (at least I don’t think so).

This is one of those movies where everything comes together at the end.  You find out why Oh Dae-su was imprisoned.  You find out if Oh Dae-su got his revenge.  You also find out a few more things that I won’t give away but they add a nice twist to story.  If you’ve got Netflix, watch this movie instantly and see what you think and let me know.

Score: 8 out of 10


  1. Nolan, I'm glad you liked the film as much as I did. I think an 8 is about right. I thought one of the best scenes was one you described, with the long shot of him fighting all of those guys in the hallway. Really cool. I agree with you that overall the reactions and emotions are pretty lifelike. I also really liked the music. The song where Mido is on the subway really gets to me. I don't know why, but I really like it. Did you see the ending coming?

  2. Totally didn't see the ending coming, I liked how the tables got turned though. Think he was able to forget in the end, or did he still know who mido was?