Hello, movieguide.org. I am back.
Well, I did promise to make it a series. I am also running behind on a lot of things, film reviews included. Yes, I will be posting a review of The Social Network as soon as I see it this weekend. In the meantime, I have to dash off one of these. But the more I think about it, the more I think that it is work that needs to be done. I am just imaging the sort of people that would read it and actually be dissuaded from watching an incredible film. Like, for example, Oldboy. Yes, they reviewed it. And it is just as terrible for…well, for one, it gives away the plot twist. But there is more.
I am not going to use too much of a set up – I pretty much did that on my previous one. You will find quotes and my responses to them. So let’s get on with it.
The basic setup of OLDBOY is clever, but the movie often moves much too slowly-This is more me complaining about the statement instead of the writing style, but still…what film were you watching? I have never understood people who complain that a film moves “slowly.” What they are really suggesting is that there are unnecessary scenes or awkward transitions between the acts. I think that should be spelled out. But either way, this is not the case with Oldboy. If we are going by the old Howard Hawks formula (three good scenes, no bad scenes) then Oldboy passes (the octopus eating scene, the prison sequences, and the reveal are the three good scenes). Maybe these scenes didn’t work for you, but some extrapolation is necessary.
WARNING. MAJOR SPOILER ALERT. DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FILM
In fact, the key to the mystery turns out to be incest, and the movie assaults the audience with two graphic scenes of incestuous sex acts-And with this, you must now shut down your website and turn in your badges (or whatever film critics are supposed to have). Seriously, you have given away the ending. I do not know how else to put this. I do not know how to justify this, and it is done several times. I know that your religious beliefs more or less require you to divulge things like this. Yes (you are the one who let the cat out of the bag) this is a central part of the third act. So what? A spoiler warning, you felt, was not called for? I have wracked my brain and cannot think of any scenario in which this is acceptable.
If that weren’t enough to disgust a person, the movie also contains pointless scenes of cruelty and violence that aren’t even cathartic. All of this makes OLDBOY one of the most abhorrent movies of the year-Violence does not have to be cathartic. Did you feel catharsis watching The Passion of the Christ? I suppose you try and say that, because it is not cathartic, the scenes of violence are pointless. But I am a touch confused by this statement. First, aside from two very graphic scenes (one involving a hammer and an amateur dentist) the film does not have many scenes of graphic violence that I can recall. Even if it were not, so what? Is the violence necessary to convey the the themes? Absolutely. Considering the whole thing was something so minor, the violence stands out even more. In fact, it stands out so much that it gives the impression (that you completely fell for) that it is more violent than it really is. Most critics would comment on this phenomenon; you took the roll of a wide eyed viewer and suffered for it.
No wonder so many secular, politically correct movie critics, like Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool, like this movie. (In fact, the movie won an award at the Cannes Film Festival.) -First, it won the Grand Prix (essentially, second place); not exactly a minor thing that you implied with your sentence. Second, the Cannes Film Festival is not judged by film critics, as this sentence implies. Third, actual film critics (not just “secular” ones) like the film because it’s wonderfully paced, features good performances and tight direction, and tries to answer questions about human nature, gossip, and the unknown. It’s sort of like what 1940s film noirs used to do; making people afraid of sex and vengeance. Afraid of sex? You should be all over that. The point is that it is quite successful at what it sets out to do. You may disagree, but never in your entire review do you explain why (aside from SPOILING THE ENDING!!!).
Alright, another review, another opportunity to absolutely fail to be a critic. Shine on you Crazy Diamonds; I am going to write an actual critique.