The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame

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Oldboy (2003)

Did Quentin Tarantino dirty up the rest of the world's cinema with pulpy, cheesy torture fluff? Oldboy is like Pulp Fiction meets Disney mass entertainment...

It starts off very promising with Dae-Su (Min-Sik Choi) doing a damn funny drunk...then it gets even cooler when it goes psych-surrealistic with Dae-Su mysteriously imprisoned in a curiously decorated room. That all too brief first act reminded me of The Truman Show. I'd give that first 45 minutes a 4/5. But once he's out of his personal prison the reveal of what was going on bored me. I had hoped we'd find out that his prison room was all in his own head, or perhaps he was in a mental ward and had hallucinated the other life. But the revenge, action, torture stuff is crap to me and reminded me of Pulp Fiction. I'm not generally a fan of Korean movies, the ones I see seem like Korea's version of the Hollywood blockbuster, big on action and cheap thrills. I like movies that feed the soul and the mind. I don't care for movies that are the equivalent of deep fried pork rinds.

Certainly a very out of the box nomination for you and I've been looking forward to your reaction. I've only seen it once, and while I love many of the modern and edgy Korean films, I was disappointed in Oldboy. I do look forward to giving it another try as the whole idea of it appeals to me.



It was me who nominated it. At the time I was still learning everyone’s tastes and decided to just nominate films I enjoyed.
I figured many of my recommendations would be mostly missed.
🤷



It was me who nominated it. At the time I was still learning everyone’s tastes and decided to just nominate films I enjoyed.
I figured many of my recommendations would be mostly missed.
🤷
Even still I think it's good for all of us to step out of our comfort zone. That's one of the reasons we are here and participate in these things.



It was me who nominated it. At the time I was still learning everyone’s tastes and decided to just nominate films I enjoyed.
I figured many of my recommendations would be mostly missed.
🤷
I repped you for owning up to choosing that movie



I repped you for owning up to choosing that movie
Ha! You’re too kind.
I have grown to really love South Korean cinema the last year. I really liked Oldboy, but Train to Busan is also a good zombie film that is dripping in social commentary that makes this a rare treat: a horror film with a brain.



Ha! You’re too kind.
I have grown to really love South Korean cinema the last year. I really liked Oldboy, but Train to Busan is also a good zombie film that is dripping in social commentary that makes this a rare treat: a horror film with a brain.
I've seen some S. Korean movies mainly from HoFs, both Edarsenal and Cosmic nominated them before. I forget which HoF, maybe it was the Foreign Language HoF. I liked both, but one much better. Neither though was too graphic. I'm not a fan of overly graphic violence as you can tell



I've seen some S. Korean movies mainly from HoFs, both Edarsenal and Cosmic nominated them before. I forget which HoF, maybe it was the Foreign Language HoF. I liked both, but one much better. Neither though was too graphic. I'm not a fan of overly graphic violence as you can tell
and.... i see you've left best for last

ya, I might as well tell you it was me who gave you Harakiri, since you could probably figure it out anyways (if you kept track of who gave what to you). Hope you enjoy!
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and.... i see you've left best for last

ya, I might as well tell you it was me who gave you Harakiri, since you could probably figure it out anyways (if you kept track of who gave what to you). Hope you enjoy!
Nope, I wouldn't have figured that out. I thought for sure that was Cricket's choice as he's nominated early 60s Japanese films and I've liked them. Well here's hoping I like it.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
A number of my favorite South Korean films are quite violent and Oldboy is one of them so I knew that would be a turnoff for you, Citizen.
Though there are some truly beautiful films as well. One I think you'd enjoy, if I haven't recommended it to you before is Masquerade



Great nom, @ahwell, BTW, I nominated Harakiri aka Seppuku in the Japanese HoF, which came in second place. I think you'll enjoy this Citizen. Not love, but I think there'll be a number of aspects you'll find to your liking.
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Harakiri (Masaki Kobayashi 1962)

I saved one of the best for last! I've seen several early 60s Japanese films set in the Samurai period and I've liked them all, this one is no exception. The lead actor Tatsuya Nakadai gave a commending performance and was able to relay so much emotion just with his eyes and the tone of his voice. I watched a fully restored Criterion Collection copy and wow did it look great! I enjoyed the parable of the forlorn and hopeless ronin, who managed to make a powerful house pay a dear price for what they had done to his son in law.

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I ranked Harakiri #1 in the recent Japanese Hall of Fame. I later tried to watch the remake, Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, but ultimately turned it off and never returned to it.