Movie of the Month/LAMBcast #68: Oldboy

by Dylan · May 16, 2011 · LAMBcast, MOTM, Podcasts · 10 Comments

The voters in our last MOTM poll overwhelmingly selected Oldboy as this month’s film, and it’s not hard to see why. Chan-wook Park’s genre-spanning 2003 film shockingly was not an instant classic, but has become more than a cult icon in the eight years since its release, climbing the IMDb Top 250 (it currently sits at #97) and, more importantly, becoming more and more known as one of the quintessential Asian films of the new century.

For those unfamiliar with it, the plot synopsis from IMDb:

“An average man is kidnapped and imprisoned in a shabby cell for 15 years without explanation. He then is released, equipped with money, a cellphone and expensive clothes. As he strives to explain his imprisonment and get his revenge, Oh Dae-Su soon finds out that his kidnapper has a greater plan for him and is set onto a path of pain and suffering in an attempt to uncover the motive of his mysterious tormentor.”

First up, the links! Thanks to all of the LAMBs that sent in their posts for this edition of the MOTM. Be sure to check out the varied opinions on this controversial film:

* 1001plus
* Blog Cabins
* Bonjour Tristesse
* Can’t Explain
* Cinema Sights
* Cut the Crap Movie Reviews
* Dan the Man’s Movie Reviews
* Film Forager
* Furious Cinema
* Japan Cinema
* A Life In Equinox
* Reverie in Words
* Surrender to the Void

It’s also time to vote on next month’s movie. I’ve included many of the choices from last month, but swapped a few out to keep it interesting. You have one week to vote.

As we do every month, the LAMBcast is tied into the MOTM. We had a jam-packed show with six participants for our MOTM-theme, with Nick, Jason, Kai, Jess, Univarn and Dylan on board. Bonus: there’s a SHOCKER of an announcement given by a couple of the participants. You won’t believe it when you hear it!

Also on tap:

* (An epic) Rants of the Week
* Trailer Talk: Conan the Barbarian
* Last LAMB Standing

If you’re interested, you too can be a LAMBcaster – we love new blood! For more information on the LAMBcast, check out the topic at the LAMB Forums. Music provided royalty-free by Kevin MacLeod’s Incompetech website. Big thanks to Kevin for providing this service. The LAMBcast loves feedback, too. Either here in the comments section or to or to our Facebook page. Also, we’re on iTunes, and would still love a review, even if it’s a bad one.

Thanks for listening!

Archived here:Β

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10 Responses to Movie of the Month/LAMBcast #68: Oldboy

  1. JapanCinema says:

    Oldboy is the best movie of all time. And i’ve seen alot of Asian films. To that girl on the podcast, its a crime to watch the dub. Rewatch it. Great work guys.

  2. JapanCinema says:

    Hmm my first comment i was halfway through the podcast, now that i finished I have to say you guys misunderstood many points of the film. I wish I would have been apart of this podcast to explain it better to your audience. Ah well.

  3. Jess says:

    @JapanCinema – I am proud to be “that girl on the podcast” and I will watch the subtitled one as soon as I can.

  4. Japan Cinema says:

    Admittedly, I don’t listed to the podcasts enough to be familiarized with everyone, however I am a huge fan of LAMB, fletch, and the crew. With that said, I was just overly excited you guys put the spotlight on an Asian film. Excuse my tone in my last comment πŸ™‚ Jess let me know how you like it, it’ll be like watching a new movie.

  5. Fletch says:

    @ Japan Cinema – I’m curious – care to give us an (some) example of something misunderstood? I’d like to hear, and I surely don’t doubt you’re right.

    Thankfully, I saw the subtitled one first. But I went back to review the film and, alas, only dubbing available. Which, I have to say, added a bit of fun to the re-watch (even though I hate dubbing).

  6. JapanCinema says:

    Well, I think you guys missed the reason why the film is so amazing and you guys questioned why Oh Dae Su didn’t just kill the guy at the end. The reason why the film is so insane is that the villian was so patient and exact with his revenge.

    He wanted Oh Dae Su to fall in love with his sister and then destroy his world the exact way that he did to him. In fact, the villian made it his lifes work to exact this revenge. He murdered his wife and every day he went to bed he knew he was one day closer to getting his revenge. He waited 15 years for his daughter to grow up to do this. Everyday he bathed Oh Dae Su, fed him, cleaned his room, basically he sheltered him and watched over his daughter…for 15 years!! As soon as his daughter was old enough for him to believably fall in love with her, he set him free so things would play out.

    The reason why Oh Dae Su didn’t kill him at the end and we see the villian shoot himself in the elevator was to illustrate the point that the only reason why he even bothered to live after losing his sister was to take revenge on Oh Dae Su. After his revenge was finished, there wasn’t anything left to live for, which he was complicit. Not to mention the revenge was so mind bending, Oh Dae Su couldn’t grasp the reality of the situation. It’s also sort of a battle of wills….at one point Oh-Daesu will do anything to kill the other guy, and then suddenly at the end Oh-Daesu has to beg the other guy for mercy. I could go on and on, but that is the gist. Oldboy is still an acquired taste.

  7. Fletch and Nick – Congrats! (I won’t say more as I want people to listen πŸ™‚ ).

    On Oldboy, glad to see JapanCinema’s take above in addition to your own. It’s definitely a movie I not only love, but makes you think like few films do.

    Your Conan discussion drove me a little crazy. You all spoke about the film in terms of the Ahnuld version, but the whole property is based on a great series of books. Conan on page is very clever as well as strong and hot-tempered. Different stories see him as everything from a warrior to a barbarian to a thief to a king. There’s a lot of material and characters to mined and the Conan movie was a superficial look at that world at best. I have my doubts about the upcoming film, but it’s a property worth revisiting.

  8. Joel Burman says:

    Come on The Thing feels so obvious on the spotlight for next months film! Where are all the Master and Commander fans when you need em? That would be a great discussion!

  9. Fletch says:

    @ Japan Cinema – I can kind of buy the “it was mind-bending, and thus Oh Dae Su couldn’t grasp the reality,” but only slightly. It seems like it’s more convenient and meaningful if the villain shoots himself, but I don’t necessarily think that’s how it would really play out. Oh Dae Su had 15 years to think about that day, and instead he freaks out?

    I’m really not knocking the flick too much, these are just points to debate. It’s powerful either way.

    @ 100 Years – Thanks a bunch (though – minor edit – it’s Dylan and Kai).

    Sorry about the Conan stuff. I certainly didn’t have jack to contribute to that portion of the conversation. πŸ™‚

    @ Joel – Just curious, why is The Thing an obvious choice? I could go for any of these, really.

  10. Sorry about that Kai!

    As to the obviousness of The Thing, I just voted for Big Trouble so it’s not entirely obvious to us all πŸ˜‰

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