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stephen129
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Just to clear this up.

SPOILERS

She isnt pregnant, she is afflicted by a condition known as phantom pregnancy.. its a real medical dissorder where a woman believes she is pregnant and therefore develops the symptoms. Im not quite sure how little attention you could pay at to the film to not work that out for yourself. Lee Woojin wanted to commit a sin similar to what he perceived had been commited to him as revenge. As he also says , he was never alone while he was watching oh deusu etc etc.

On a similar note stu, you seem to have a fairly perverse notion of how to compare films. Could you not bring up some western films to help yuour arguement as opposed to going for the most mainstream asian films, I say asian because old boy and ichi and audition are filmed in different countries. Just because they look abit chinese doesnt mean asian films are all comparable.

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not saying anyone is wrong here, but regarding the realism of the plot:

so he could have just found Dae-Su and tried to kill him right after it all happened with his sister. that would make fo a pretty boring film. Likewise in Audition (even though they shouldn't be compared) she could have just gone mental and attacked him when they were holding the audition first of all. Wouldn't make great films. It's a suspension of belief to accept the 15-years-in-prison bit, which I don't have a problem with. And it looks really cool!

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Rumours started that she was pregnant not long after Dae-Su began said she was easy. After listening to the rumours for so long, she begins to believe them herself, and develops an (apparently real) mental condition wherein the mind tricks the body into showing the symptons of pregnancy (morning sickness etc.)

See, i have trouble beliving this - so much so that it confused me somewhat.

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In all fairness i could see the relevence of the Tougue seen because of the rumor - i just can't see why she thought she'd become pregnant - If memory servers we are never told she suffers Morning sickness.

Prehaps if we had seen that scene, and at the end, some letter her brother kept saying how she was never pregnant but it was too late, it would make sence.

I still think its great, but that part of the story needed a re-write.

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My favorite thing about it was that it looked sloppy in the way of a real fight, punches miss, Dae-Su actually gets the shit beat out of him, and people genuinely seem to be in pain. 

That fact it was all one take, with little touches like the way Dae-Su tripped over the bit of wood that someone snapped about a minute earlier in the same take, who then throws the other half of said wood and misses his head by mere inches - I thought it was all either impeccably reharsed or incredibly lucky. 

I can't decided whether they practiced for days on end or just ran with it each time it was filmed, a bit different each time, and used the best one.  Your right the knife probably would've killed him, but then again it's not the most sensible film to begin with is it?

It was said it was on take, but it actually took 3 days to film.

As far as the tongue making her pregnant, shogun2k is right about phantom pregancies, you actually see a lot of women who either because they really want to be pregnant, or really don't want to be pregnant, manage to actually start showing the symptoms of it.

i just can't see why she thought she'd become pregnant - If memory servers we are never told she suffers Morning sickness.

to be fair, we never actually see them having sex either, but it could be said by the fact they are doing in the schoolroom that wasn't the first time they had done it either and only stopped that time because they were caught by oh daesu.

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I watched this last night and, while I did enjoy it, I think saying it's a work of genius is going a bit far.

SPOILERS

A lot of it looked like it was going to be cool (corridor fight) or interesting (finding reason in 5 days) but then disappointed. What I thought was going to be a major part of the film turned out to be 'oh yeah, I remember'. There were a lot of bits that didn't make a huge amount of sense, either, and I managed to guess the twist, unfortunately.

Also, the gory stuff was just pointless - in a different film it could have been enjoyable, but it didn't add anything here (if anything it detracted from the film IMO).

But, yeah, I enjoyed it. Wish I'd rented it rather than bought it, though.

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You're right, recent things like Casshern and Azumi have been pretty shite.

Still Zatoichi was brilliant, and although I do think Old Boy went downhill once he got given the 5 days to find out why he was locked up (I would have preffered a big twisty-turny conspiracy to what we got) I bloody loved it, and I still haven't seen Sympathy for Mr Venegence.

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Also PLEASE check out Memories of Murder and Joint Security Area. people on here seem to equate asian cinema entirely with horrors or sci fi. Korea managed to pull out some fantastic Dramas last year and the year before.

Personally I thought Old Boy was a masterpiece. I have no problem accepting a bit of far fetchedness in my plots. Its a film about a guy whos locked in a room for 15 years for gawds sake.

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I'm not one of these guys to say "you are wrong". Its a masterpiece in MY opinion. if it didnt work for you then fair enough.

One thing i find in ALL asian cinema, is a lack of understanding of pace. be it anime, Korean Drama, Hong Kong action or Japanese horror. Maybe its just the fundamental difference between eastern and western storytelling sensibilities, but I often find asian movies to have a very slow 2nd act. I think people like Takeshi Miike, Je-Gyu Kang & Hideo Nakata have real difficulties with even pacing.

However, i found the complete opposite was the case with old boy. i was gripped from start to finish. it displays a complete mastery of filmic techniques such as Juxtaposition, non linear editing and Mis en scene to create a completely forboding and uncompromisingly bleak atmosphere. If you found that simply boring then maybe that kind of film making just doesnt appeal to you. But then, you openly love audition, which is of the same ilk, so I'm baffled there.

One thing I do think you are categorically WRONG about is the revenge thriller motif. It IS a revenge story. you just found it dissapointing because you were expecting a Point Blank style merciless heroes revenge. What this movie does so brilliantly is reverse our expectations and in doing so turn the entire genre on its head. It IS a revenge movie, but the person getting the revenge is the last person we wanted to see get it.

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The point of the drunk bit was merely to set the main character up as a bit of a self satisfying prick.

I see where you are coming from and i dnt neccessarily disagree with any of your points.

I dont think there is any great moral to this story, its merely an entertaining romp. What was the overriding moral theme to Kill Bill? Not every movie has to have a stance. besides, the Director has already made his 'moral' movie in JSA. i dont think its trying to 'be' the next anything. This image of 'the new asian extreme movie' is a complete fiction. That is a tag invented by the UK press. I'm sure Eastern film makers are aware of the growing awareness in the West of their product, but the home market is still very much at the forefront of their mind. he wasnt making this movie for 'us', it is sold to the west as an afterthought. I'm sure the Korean cinema goer is completely oblivious to this 'Extreme Asia' label, and doesnt throw his own countries movie output in with Japans or Hong Kongs. its only us that create this label. I'm sure there are 'European Cinema' labels in japan that release Layer cake alongside Brotherhood of the wolf. yet i doubt any UK film maker is consciously trying to be part of the 'European Cult' or whatever.

Now I'm rambling, but hopefully you catch my drift.

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I saw it the other day for the first time. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the "Asian Cinema" which makes it over here seems very samey in look and feel these days.

Maybe its just the type of flick the western distributors are buying?

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I saw it the other day for the first time. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the "Asian Cinema" which makes it over here seems very samey in look and feel these days.

Maybe its just the type of flick the western distributors are buying?

Possibly. There's loads of other stuff that hasn't been released over there, that's actually not too bad. As an example, Memories of Murder, as Kerraig said, is fantastic.

All this 'asian cinema' is a bit patronising, though. It's like not enjoying a couple of American action films and lumping them all together by proclaiming them all boring. It's a huge continent, and there's more to 'em than the occasional kung fu or horror flick.

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I saw it the other day for the first time. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the "Asian Cinema" which makes it over here seems very samey in look and feel these days.

Maybe its just the type of flick the western distributors are buying?

I think the film it feels most 'like' is requiem for a dream. It doesnt feel particularly eastern to me.

Watch Shiri, JSA or Memories of Murder for brilliant eastern thrillers that dont look or feel part of that 'asian' scene. MoM especially, is fantastic.

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JSA is from the guy who did old boy, its an excellent drama about a north korean and south korean borderguard who become best mates through years of having to stare at each other, but at the same time they are sworn enemies. How it never got a western release is beyond me cos its quality is palpable.

memories of Murder is another fantastic drama about small town cops trying to track a sadistic killer, but without any forensic help (its set in the 60's).

korean cinema is so underrated.

Glad you liked Tesis too.

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I very much enjoyed this film. Superb character, brilliantly shot, really standout. It isn't perfect though

(any story that relies on lots of hypnosis-explanations at the end is always a bit weak, and the sudden shift into the past was a bit awkward)

but on the whole, it's definitely a keeper.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I watched Oldboy tonight and thought it was gripping and worthy of all the hype. The twist was absolutely stunning and I am interested in seeing how the Holywood remake replicates this. Overall 8/10. Best piece of 'Asian' cinema I have ever seen.

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I saw it last week and I did think it was good. I was somewhat mislead as to the violence in it though. I had the impression it was going to be pretty shocking in the violence stakes and I also had the impression the hammer would play a bigger part, that he would use it for a longer time through the movie. The hammer fight actually did nothing for me at all. I did like the set up of the fight and the fixed camera perspective, but other than that, it left me cold.

But I did still enjoy the movie.

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