Foriegn Language Films
vesuvius Wrote:In Scorcese's defense, The Departed is a lot truer to Infernal Affairs than remake Oldboy is to the original one (in terms of the questions it wants to ask people). Both films ask hard questions and make people think, Lee for some reason didn't have it in him to challenge people with his film. But I can't help but feel that if Scorcese directed the Oldboy remake it would be a lot closer to the original and a lot deeper, because he's one of the few 'Hollywood' directors willing to take risks and shock the audience.

Perhaps. But I don't think he could have gotten it financed. There is a very good reason why Lolita has never been remade. And even the original film pulled punches from the book (upping the girl's age from 12 to 16). Certain subjects simply cannot be discussed rationally in this country. Oldboy hit on one of those 3rd rails.

You have feminists who believe that all sex is basically rape, religious people who think all extramarital sex is sin, and a general public that is judgmental and self righteous. Americans don't come to issues with an open mind, and art is no different. If this movie had been properly made here it would have been front page news everywhere. Fox and MSNBC would be screaming from the rafters about how this movie would damage children, and other such nonsense.

Spike is a good film maker. This project was a mistake that was doomed the second it was considered. There are things you can do in film that you can sneak by the political correctness police in the name of art. This ain't one of em.
White Girl Connoisseur

Watched Park's "Sympathy for Mr Vengeance".

It was a good film.


Very dark. The theme of this movie should be "An 'eye for an eye' leaves everyone blind". It's a bloodbath of people trying to one up each other for the deaths caused, whether accidental or intentional. It reinforced my perception of Korea as a bleak and depressing place. My 13 month tour there had me swearing off traveling for life when I was discharged. Korea is a 3rd world shithole with a 1st world economy.

Park is extremely technically sound. I wouldn't have noticed it if it wasn't mentioned in one of his reviews. His cinematography is impeccable. He draws you in with his ability to frame both movement and static images. The Manga and Anime influence is unmistakeable. There are parts in this film where Ryu almost looks animated. It's amazing. When he flies though the air with the bat to kill the first of the organ thieves, that was a pure anime shot reminiscent of Paranoia Agent.

He does things, though, that make his films unpalatable to American audiences. Naked children, violence against women, utter and complete depravity of violence. Regular people just kill and kill without remorse, as though we all have that within us. Regardless of whether you believe that to be true, you can't sell that to Americans and their soft and sensitive sheltered view of the world.

Next up, "Sympathy for Mrs. Vengeance". Stay tuned...
White Girl Connoisseur

Emphasis on accidental or intentional.

It's the definition of a tragedy, a small impulsive mistake leads to disaster and a ton of suffering that could have easily been avoided.


I speak off course of the kid that drowned because the protagonist couldn't hear her.
Sympathy For Lady Vengeance.

Not as good as the other two.

And I'm taking suggestions/recommendations from the peanut gallery. Ya'll got me started on this, so make with the info. No spoilers please.


This is the movie that Spike could have made. It's the only one with a Hollywood style plot line and western style characters. Lady herself is damaged, but essentially good and innocent of the thing that would have made her a real villain.

The "bad guy" was indeed bad and the film's formulaic ending was out of sync with the more dramatic themes and concepts of the previous films. It's not a bad film, it's just not that different from other revenge thrillers we're used to seeing Stateside. He took no risks with this film and for that reason it could have been effectively remade here.

Sadly, the best part of this film is the evil man grabbing his (spying) girlfriend by the pony tail and slamming her like nobody's business over the dinner table, food and all. It was cool but portrayed as abusive, but in real live I've known plenty of girls who love shit like that. No words, no warning, just gets up in the middle of his meal, grabs her by the hair caveman style and has his way. Then they both sit down and resume eating as though he'd walked around the table to hand her the salt.
White Girl Connoisseur

The main theme here was forgiveness, unlike the other 2 vengeance films. She can't forgive herself for everything that happened and even when others do she still allows her self-hatred to consume her.


It's the natural conclusion to the trilogy, the story where the protagonist actually decides not to take her vengeance but lets someone else decide the man's fate. Man 'Oh Dae-su' got WORKED in this film :lol: .
would somebody mind saying how spike lee changed the plot from the original? I don't mind spoilers
joblo800 Wrote:would somebody mind saying how spike lee changed the plot from the original? I don't mind spoilers

I posted it in the spoiler on page 2.
White Girl Connoisseur

bakajin Wrote:Watched this from director of THE HOST

GREAT movie.

Bizarre. That's the word. But then the comic it's based on is even more bizarre, so...


Of the Korean films I've seen there's one thing I've noticed: Korean film makers are OBSESSED with class. Every narrative seems to have some discussion of rich/poor, strong/weak. This movie posits some interesting things about class, but the premise is too far fetched for it to really gain traction. Korean audiences loved it, but then they love abstractions and political rhetoric. Americans tend not to like being preached to, particularly in such a heavy handed and quite frankly unrealistic manner. I agree with the concept that there is a natural order and that people fall into it to some extent, but this was a psychopath manipulating that order in his image. Not bloody likely to ever happen...

...and as soon as I typed that, I remembered that there is such a thing as North Korea and immediately felt like an idiot.
White Girl Connoisseur

Watched Jose' Padilha's "Elite Squad" last night.

Excellent film about Rio's Swat. These guys are more like Rangers or Seals in terms of how they train and operate though. It's more like they're at war with they're own people. The film is nothing short of fascist porn, with any concept of civil liberties seen as aiding the enemy.

Strangely, the cops hate the rich people as much as the poor favela junkies they're blowing away each night. It's a very strange world. I'm in the middle of downloading the sequel, "Enemy Within" and will add more later on that.

For those that don't know, these two movies gave the Brazilian director the opportunity to direct Robocop. While it's a good film in it's own right (surprisingly so, actually) it obviously can't really touch the original. Robocop is a cultural anachronism from a time when we thought crime would take over America. Escape From New York is another one. Those movies just don't work in today's era of pro-authoritarian propaganda police shows and the prison industrial complex.

Today we don't see Big Brother as the bad man who must do bad things. We see NCIS and CSI and we're told, Big Brother is your friend...
White Girl Connoisseur

Elite Squad 2. Very different, although it starts off with the same fascistic tone as the first film

The politics of it all gets discussed. Influence, corruption, conflicts of interest. Also an excellent film from a cinematography point of view. Padilha is very good at creating a sense of violence that is jarring to the viewer, even on a screen as small as my laptop. I imagine on the big screen it's quite a spectacle. Given it's budget (less than $10 million USD) it's a miraculous achievement. Not since Crank have I seen action filmed this well on a budget this small.

Overall I recommend both movies. If anyone's actually been to Rio, I'd love to hear your perspective on how well these movies represent what you've experienced.

Next on my list: City of God. I watched it years ago, but can't remember much.

Thanks again to the guys in this thread who encouraged me to go foreign language. I would have missed out on some great experiences otherwise.
White Girl Connoisseur


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