Entertainment :: Movies

Oldboy

by Jake Mulligan
Contributor
Wednesday Mar 5, 2014
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Spike Lee did the press rounds when promoting "Oldboy" and spent much of the time insinuating - none too subtly - that the film studio releasing the movie had recut the film against his wishes. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the picture - a faithful remake of a cult Korean film, a revenge yarn about a character who’d been illegally imprisoned for two decades and who’s released without explanation, determined to find the men who did this to him - isn’t exactly reminiscent of the socially-conscious and ecstatically melodramatic director’s past work. After all, this one isn’t even emblazoned with the "A Spike Lee Joint" moniker. No, this is just another "film."

The Blu-ray release doesn’t contain much in the way of extra footage, despite the supposedly massive cuts, however. There’s a few pieces of behind the scenes footage - a "workout video," for example - but none of them runs longer than 3 minutes in length. There’s also 11 minutes of extra footage, though most of it constitutes alternate versions of scenes already in the movie.

There is, however, one extra scene worth watching: An extended version of the "hammer fight," a one-shot long-take following Brolin’s character as he beats down hoards of bad guys, the camera tracking dutifully along as he moves from enemy to enemy. It takes up a couple minutes in the film proper, but the Blu-ray has the full, almost-five-minute long take. Spike goes all Busby Berkeley on the scene, shooting from above as the characters fight each other, at one point, turning their combat into a well-choreographed routine. It may have been cut from this movie, but thankfully it’s on the disc, because the moment - musical in its aesthetics - is the most personal note Spike was able to drop into his "Oldboy" remake.

"Oldboy"
Blu-ray
sonypictures.com
$34.99

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