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#039 Park Chan-wook: Oldboy vs. Stoker

Download MP3 In today's episode Nate and Austin compare Park Chan-wook's best and worst rated films, Oldboy (2003) and Stoker (2013), respectively. Nate fanboy's over the sound design in Stoker, Austin thinks the film was incredibly okay, and they both agree that Oldboy was beyond messed up. Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (2003) and Torn Curtain (1966), his best and worst rated films.
Also check out this interview with Park Chan-wook where he answers questions about Oldboy:

Stoker Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: After India's father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.
  • Ratings: IMDb 6.8 | RT 59% C / 60% A
  • Released: 2013
  • Director: Chan-wook Park (Lady Vengeance, Thirst)
  • Writer(s): Wentworth Miller
  • Cinematographer: Chung-hoon Chung (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Lady Vengeance)
  • Notable actors: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, David Alford, Matthew Goode, Phyllis Somerville, Lucas Till, Alden Ehrenriech, Jacki Weaver, Dermot Mulroney, Ralph Brown
  • Budget: $12 million
  • Box office: $12.1 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Wentworth Miller has also penned "Uncle Charlie", a prequel to Stoker.
    • While she was eager to work with director Chan-wook Park, Nicole Kidman originally turned down her part because she wished to spend time with her kids and husband. However, director Park was so eager to have her play the part of Evelyn that he chose to place the setting in Nashville, near her residence. The house used in the film is placed five minutes from Kidman's home, which allowed her to begin filming just a week after she wrapped The Paperboy (2012).
    • Matthew Goode's boyhood crush was his co-star in this film, Nicole Kidman: "I had this vision of myself when I was 7 years old watching Nicole when she was, like, 14 or 15 in BMX Bandits, one of her earliest films. And I was like, "If you told that 7-year-old that he would be locking lips with that actress on the screen, he would never have believed it."
    • According to Nicole Kidman, her co-star Mia Wasikowska was always reading between takes, including the works of Anton Chekhov, David Mamet and Tennessee Williams.
    • This is the first script written by Wentworth Miller.
    • Colin Firth, James Franco, Joel Edgerton, and Michael Fassbender were considered for the role of Uncle Charlie. Firth was actually cast, but he dropped out and was replaced by Matthew Goode.

Oldboy Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.
  • Ratings: IMDb 8.4 | RT 80% C / 94% A
  • Released: 2003
  • Director: Chan-wook Park (Lady Vengeance, Thirst)
  • Writer(s): Garon Tsuchiya (story), Nobuaki Minegishi (comic), Chan-wook Park and Chun-hyeong Lim and Jo-yun Hwang (screenplay)
  • Cinematographer: Chung-hoon Chung (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Lady Vengeance)
  • Notable actors: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, Dal-su Oh, Byeong-ok Kim, Seung-shin Lee, Jin-seo Yoon
  • Budget: $3 million
  • Box office: $15 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Four live octopodes were eaten for the scene with Dae-su in the sushi bar, a scene which provoked some controversy abroad. Eating live octopus in Korea is commonplace although it is usually sliced first. When the film won the Grand Prix at Cannes, the director thanked the octopodes along with the cast and crew.
    • The line on the painting of Dae Su's cell reads "Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone." These are the first lines of Ella Wheeler Wilcox's famous poem, "Solitude".
    • Scenes at the police station with drunken and disorderly Dae-su Oh were the very last scenes the director scheduled to film. Min-sik Choi (Dae-su Oh) ad-libbed most of these "drunken" scenes, including the scene of him playing with toy wings that he bought for his daughter. He also ad-libbed many of his lines during the penthouse scene, including the anthem of his school.
    • When talking about sleeping gas used by Russian special forces, Oh Dae-su refers to 2002 Moscow 'Nord-ost' theater hostage crisis.
    • Min-sik Choi trained for six weeks and lost twenty pounds to get in shape for the role of Dae-su, and did most of his own stunt work.
    • Min-sik Choi is a Buddhist and had to pray after eating the octopi.
    • This is the second one of director Chan-wook Park's "Revenge Trilogy". The first is Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002). The third is Lady Vengeance (2005). Incidentally, the very first speaking character in this film, who commits suicide with his dog and whose story we never hear, is played by Kwang-rok Oh. In the first of the revenge trilogy he played an anarchist who appears at the very end of the film. He is the only credited character who appears in both movies.
    • In the quiet scenes of the movie, the shots usually last about 10-15 seconds. In the action scenes, however (aside from the one-take corridor fight), the tempo of the shots change, making it usually 2-6 seconds.

  Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down - Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0  

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