Almost Human, Oldboy (2013), Oldboy (2003), Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, and Lady Vengeance are all currently available on instant Netflix
Oldboy (2013) – Rated R
“After being unaccountably held captive for years, Joe Doucett is suddenly released. Now, his only mission is to hunt down and punish his captors.”
One Line Review: Watch the original, not this lame remake
Wow, what a misfire. What went wrong?
Oldboy stars Josh Brolin. Brolin was nominated for an Oscar for his role as the angry Dan White in Milk. He was great playing an everyman in over his head in No Country for Old Men, albeit overshadowed by Javier Bardem. He did an uncanny impersonation of Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black 3. Obviously, Brolin is an actor with a lot of talent and able to handle a variety of characters. Why is he so terrible in the first twenty minutes of this film?
Oldboy is directed by twice Oscar-nominated Spike Lee. Clearly, he can direct but in Oldboy, the direction is very by-the-numbers. There is plenty of graphic violence as well as a rape and a threatened rape. Some of this violence is quite comical though I am not sure that it was meant to be. The ending would have been great had the film built in power. Instead the ending is botched.
The original Oldboy is much better. If you don’t mind subtitles then you should go watch that. It is the middle part of Chan-wook Park’s Vengeance Trilogy though only the themes are related. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) is the starter and Lady Vengeance (2005) finishes up the trilogy. All are currently available on instant Netflix.
It is not that Lee’s Oldboy is bad, merely pointless. It says nothing new and everywhere it deviates from the original is a misstep. Elizabeth Olsen is just fine but Samuel L. Jackson is clearly collecting a paycheck (the golfing in the area must have been good) and Sharlto Copley overacts terribly.
Almost Human (2013) – Not rated
“Two years after disappearing in a blinding flash of blue light, a young lumberjack returns to rural Maine and embarks on a murderous rampage.”
Almost Human borrows liberally from a large number of science fiction movies but boils down to “what if we filmed x as if it were an 80s slasher movie”. The x I will leave as a bit of a surprise though it is quickly obvious.
There is plenty wrong with Almost Human but for a low-budget film (with a larger advertising budget), it is entertaining. All of the many gore effects are practical, resulting in several nice setpieces. The acting ranges from okay to not so okay but if you want a low-budget horror movie, Almost Human is worth a look.