Oldboy is Almost Human

Almost Human, Oldboy (2013), Oldboy (2003), Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, and Lady Vengeance are all currently available on instant Netflix

Oldboy

 

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

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.

 

Netflix Streaming Releases for the Week of 6/24/14

Another week, another set of choices on instant Netflix

Action/Adventure: Cybergeddon

A Smile Like Yours

Comedy: A Smile Like Yours, Age of Summerhood, Eating Out, Eating Out: Drama Camp, Eating Out: The Open Weekend, Eating Out: All You Can Eat, American Virgins, The Right Kind of Wrong

Documentary: American Courtesans, Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train a Comin’, Occupy Love, Twilight in Volterra, We Cause Scenes, Who the F**k is Arthur Fogel?, Bettie Page Reveals All

Jane Eyre

Drama: Jane Eyre (2011), Jimmy P., Rag Tag

Foreign: 2 Autumns 3 Winters, Ankhon Dekhi, Madras Cafe, Gold, Mis Peores Amigos

Horror: Almost Human

Littlest Pet Shop

Television: Mixology, The Birthday Boys, and new episodes of Littlest Pet Shop, Real Husbands of Hollywood, Wilfred, Heartland, Doc Martin, and Copper

Thriller: Oldboy (2013), Grand Piano

New Netflix Streaming Releases for JUNE

The usual assortment of catalog titles. Highlights include the first five Jesse Stone movies, the third season of Sherlock, and the Vengeance trilogy (Oldboy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Lady Vengeance).

Action: Apocalypse Now, Apocalypse Now Redux, Black Mama White Mama, Bucktown, Clear and Present Danger, The Man from Snowy River, Mission Impossible III, Puncture Wounds, The Replacement Killers, The Reunion, We Were Soldiers

Anime: Pokemon the Movie:Kyurem vs. The Sword

Classic: El Dorado, Five Easy Pieces, Julia

Comedy: 1941, Barbershop, Better Than Chocolate, Bingo, Born Romantic, Bringing Up Bobby, Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams, Coffee and Cigarettes, Cousin Bette, Duplex, Funny Lady, I.Q., Ishtar, Loser, Major League, My Baby’s Daddy, Picture Perfect, Redemption of a Dog, The Stepford Wives (2004), Todd Oliver: Funny Dog, Trailer Park Boys: Live, Trailer Park Boys: Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys, Wayne’s World

Documentary: Brave Miss World, American Mormon, Barbershop Punk, The Beautiful Game, Doin’ It in the Park, E-Mail Order Bride, The Good Son, Hitler’s Secret Attack on America, I Escaped a Cult, Magic Camp, Nanking, The Paw Project, Sex for Sale: American Escort, Unlocking Sherlock, Vlast (Power)

Drama: Between Us, Cold Mountain, Dance with Me, The Escape Artist, Eyes of an Angel, First Knight, Fool for Love, Hammett, Lonely Hearts, One from the Heart, The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story, Reign Over Me, A River Runs Through It, Swept Away, Tetro, That Cold Day in the Park, Two Girls and a Guy, Waking Life, Who Did I Marry?, Wild Style

Faith: 17 Miracles, Escape, Left Behind: The Movie, Left Behind II: Tribulation Force, Left Behind: World at War

Family: The Adventures of Milo & Otis, The Blue Elephant, Born Free, Harriet the Spy, Popeye, Rudy, Short Circuit 2

Fantasy & Science Fiction: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, At the Earth’s Core, Ever After: A Cinderella Story, Johnny Mnemonic, Scorcher

Oldboy

Foreign: Apenas o Fim, The Chorus, D-Day, Iron Monkey, Lady Vengeance, Oldboy, Ring of Curse, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, The Triplets of Belleville

Horror: Barricade, Blood & Chocolate, The Bride, Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh, Carrie (1976), The Craft, Gothic, Lord of Illusions, Night of the Creeps, The Returned, Silent House

Sherlock

Television: Auction Hunters, Drugs Inc., Horrid Henry, Ink Master, Inside Combat Rescue, Little Princess, Noddy in Toyland, Street Football, When Aliens Attack, and new episodes of Guess with Jess and Sherlock

Stone Cold

Thriller: I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise, Jesse Stone: Night Passage, Jesse Stone: No Remorse, Jesse Stone: Stone Cold, Jesse Stone: Thin Ice, The Mean Season, Smilla’s Sense of Snow