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Hollywood’s loyal opposition | by maryann johanson

Oldboy trailer: because people don’t want to read subtitles

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I have not seen the original South Korean film, and I doubt I’ll have time to now before I see this one. So I have no pony in this race. But even though I grudgingly accept the reason that studios keep remaking foreign films (ready-made marketing + no need to “read” the movie), I don’t get why someone like Spike Lee would be involved. Whatever you think of his films, you can’t say he’s ever been a hack. He’s always gone his own way and spoken with his own voice. So why the hell is he covering someone else’s vision?

This question will remain even if the movie is amazing.

US/Canada release date: Nov 27 2013 | UK release date: Dec 6 2013
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  • Robert McCoy

    Oldboy is one of the best films made in this millennium. It has such a great ending that watching the remake first will lessen the impact of the original. A movie experience lost forever.

  • RogerBW

    I’ve seen the original, and while I’m not as enthusiastic as Robert I think it’s a very good film (not always to my taste, but it’s not meant to be).

    I’m not entirely convinced by the ready-made marketing thing, though. Is there really a community of people who are thinking “I’ve heard about this film, and it sounds really great, but I don’t like subtitles or dubbing so I’ll wait until it’s remade with pretty Americans”? Even more so when, as is often the case, the remake is given a new title.

    My theory is that remakes happen for the same financial reasons as sequels and TV and boardgame adaptations: it’s a property that’s already known to have commercial value, rather than something original and thus risky.

  • Danielm80

    Well, the heavy marketing for The Ring convinced me to go out and rent Ringu.

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