I'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [IMDB American remake link] [Netflix link] [Facebook link] Based on a Japanese manga, Carolyn & I watched this Korean movie for a 2nd time in 720p high-definition, introducing it to Shannon & Christian who hadn’t really heard of it. It is rated 8.3/10 on IMDB, putting it in the IMDB Top 250 as the 116th greatest movie of all time. “15 years of imprisonment, 5 days of vengeance.”

LIMERICK REVIEW: There once was a drunk named Oh Dae-su
who was abducted without knowing by who. Imprisoned for way too long
without knowing what he did wrong…
Revenge really sucks when it’s directed at you.

HAIKU REVIEW, WITH A MAJOR SPOILER THAT WOULD RUIN THE MOVIE: Revenge surprises
its unexpected victims.
[spoiler:highlight with mouse to read–>] Don’t fuck your sister.

PEOPLE: Directed by Chan-wook Park. Starring Min-sik Choi as Dae-su Oh, Ji-tae Yu as Woo-jin Lee, and Hye-jeong Kang as Mi-do. Rumour has it that Steven Spielberg and Will Smith will be teaming up to do the American remake. Ugh. Although I often like remakes, I think in this case they would be hard-pressed to duplicate the same theatrical experience in an American culture. The movie’s foreign origins helped keep up the mystique and craziness of the whole endeavor. As some have said in the IMDB forums — we’d rather see David Lynch do the remake.

QUIRKS: The 2nd movie in Chan-wook Park’s “Revenge Trilogy”. (Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Sympathy For Lady Vengeance.) I’ve heard of Lady Vengeance and wanted to watch it for some time. Some time after writing this review, I finally watched Lady Vengeance and gave it a 5/5 and a 10/10 — even higher than this movie. But most people prefer this one.

Basically, a man spontaneously imprisoned in solitary confinement for 15 years without knowing why has a mere 5 days to find his captor — or his new love[r] will be murdered.

VISUALS: The cinematography and general flow of the movie is quite good. There are some intense scenes — such as the [real] live squid that is [really] eaten alive. I actually saw that scene years before I’d seen the movie, by downloading a torrent called “squid make good food” from MiniNova. It consisted of 15 files of people eating live squid.

There is also a fight-scene that reminded Carolyn & I of the famous internet stick-figure fight scene(s) that went around a few years ago.

There is some graphic dental torture, some sex, some hallucinations. Some incredibly painful and intense scenes — especially at the end, when a character humiliates himself and, well… Wouldn’t want to spoil it :) Apparently only 7 people die on screen in the movie… It actually seems to be much higher than that when watching.

MORALS: People who do bad things don’t like it when you tell others what they did.

BAD STUFF: It can be a bit confusing, as its best to watch it subtitled. Missing a few key lines of dialog could really leave you wondering what is going on. And the “mystery” becomes more and more obvious as Oh Dae-su comes closer and closer to figuring it out. Some unfortunate people knew it right away. The truth is hinted at from the start. By the 90% point, the truth is simply spoken aloud so that anyone who still hasn’t figured it out knows. If you figure it out early, you might get anxious for the main character to figure it out. Other than that, I don’t really find anything bad with this. It’s a damn good movie. So there’s really not much “bad stuff” at all.

CONCLUSION: 5/5 stars on Netflix, 8/10 on IMDB.

RECOMMENDATION: This is a great movie for anyone who loves an intense revenge movie, or a mystery movie. This is not a detective mystery, but there is a crime that is being solved. See this, but make sure to watch it subbed, not dubbed. Voices and inflection are very important with Asian movies. If this was French or Spanish I’d watch it in English, as those languages aren’t as “foreign” to me. But Asian inflections are very foreign to me, and need to be watched with the original audio so as to not lose that aspect.

SIMILAR MOVIES: The other 2 movies in Chan-wook Park’s revenge trilogy share a lot of qualities with this movie.

MOVIE QUOTE: “Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone.”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Christian loved it. Benj really liked it. Carolyn liked it. A bunch of people still have it in their Netflix queue…. I sent a Netflix note about this movie when I first watched it in 2006.

Mood: annoyed at electric bills

Music: Atari Teenage Riot – Anarchy 999