Monday, September 24, 2012

About That 'OldBoy' Remake [VIDEO]

Blog Post #11

In a June 12, 2012 interview with GQ magazine
GQ: You're working on a MJ doc now though, right? 
Spike Lee: What I'm doing now is a documentary on the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson's Bad album. I'm also doing another documentary on Brazil called Go Brazil Go. I'm going to be directing Mike Tyson on Broadway later, it's a one man show. And then we got, God willing, Oldboy [an American remake of the popular 2003 South Korean manga film of the same name] coming up in the fall... 
GQ: What's up with that? 
Spike Lee: Waiting for the green light. Josh Brolin...My man from District 9, Sharlto Copley. 
GQ: What's stopping it though? People want to see this. 
Spike Lee: You know they're still trying to get the numbers straight, but I think it's going to happen. 
GQ: It's good to see you're optimistic about it. 
Spike Lee: Yeah. If you add all the things up we're rolling now.

"Oldboy" is a remake of Chan-wook Park's 2003 South Korean film, which became a cult classic because of its inventive plot and action sequences. The new film directed by Spike Lee, stars Josh Brolin as an advertising executive who gets kidnapped and imprisoned for 20 years without explanation. Upon release, he searches for meaning behind his confinement.

I’ve been reading about this OldBoy remake for over a year now, (since July 2011) and it finally seems like it’s coming together. I first sought out and saw the original 2003 film. (Read my review here )

The lead was soon announced as Josh Brolin, but it took a while longer to find the two other key roles of the antagonist and the woman in the middle. Now it is being reported that all three have been attached to the project. Sharlto Copley (District 9) has been signed as the antagonist and Elizabeth Olsen as the woman in the middle. Since I have seen the original OldBoy and even though this American remake will definitely be different, I can see where this casting fits.


Josh Brolin

JOSH BROLIN (The protagonist)
Has been great in a lot of films and I was more than pleased to hear he was signed as the lead.

Elizabeth Olsen

ELIZABETH OLSEN (The woman in the middle)
I had not seen her in anything until recently and this is what I said
Sharlto Copley

SHARLTO COPLEY (The antagonist)
I’ve only seen him in one thing District 9 and while I didn’t really care for the picture that much I thought he was good in it and a good actor. I wouldn’t mind seeing what he does with the role.

Samuel L. Jackson

SAMUEL L. JACKSON (Pivotal player)
Was recently announced as playing a pivotal role in the remake, and IT IS pivotal.


People who read my posts online are not surprised to know I’m a big Spike Lee fan. I think he is an accomplished filmmaker in style and technique. I think he will do a great job on this remake.

Here is the official synopsis for the film:
OLDBOY follows the story of an advertising executive (Josh Brolin) who is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement without any indication of his captor’s motive.  When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his bizarre and torturous punishment only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment. His quest for revenge leads him into an ill-fated relationship with a young social worker (Elizabeth Olsen) and ultimately to an illusive man (Sharlto Copley) who allegedly holds the key to his salvation.

When the U.S. remake was announced “fan boys” went crazy. The “original is a classic”, “shouldn’t be remade” and so forth. When Spike Lee was announced as the director it didn’t lessen the outcry.

Let me say this, I recently just rewatched Spike Lee’s 2006 film Inside Man and it is easily one of his best. Any yahoo who doesn't think Spike will do a good job on Oldboy need to watch that film and realize the error of their ways.

A lot of those same “fan boys” also didn’t think Spike could accomplish the action facets of the story. First of all the original 2003 film didn’t have that many action scenes besides the famous hallway scene. Any action scenes will I’m sure be done with the assistance of something you know called a STUNT COORDINATOR. Mr. Lee is more than capable of handling the rest of the filmmaking techniques.

The official Louisiana state government film production site states:
Mandate Pictures’ feature film Oldboy will shoot October 1, 2012 to November 16, 2012 in New Orleans.

That start date is more than likely now. Spike has been tweeting that he’s already in New Orleans for Pre-Production on Oldboy and it was recently announced (September 7th) that the film was picked up for US distribution which means even more reason for Mandate Pictures to move forward.

In the end it’s all speculation, but everything I’m reading so far sounds good especially the great cast. We won’t know what the film is going to be until it’s released. I think we all need to reserve judgment until then.

New Poster


A Cool Black collage of the three principles of Oldboy from pictures posted by Spike Lee online.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Spike Lee's Michael Jackson documentary on ABC Thanksgiving Night

Spike Lee attends the 69th Venice Film Festival at the Palazzo del Casino in Venice, Italy.
Spike Lee Revisits Michael Jackson's Career for 'BAD 25' Documentary
'He became a prisoner of his fame,' says director

By Karen Bliss, Rolling Stone
September 17, 2012 6:15 PM ET

At the outset of BAD 25 – the documentary film celebrating the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson**'s Bad album – director Spike Lee quickly dispenses with talk of the pop superstar's personal struggles, diving right into the artistic perfectionism that drove him to achieve his career milestones. "Hopefully, that's what this documentary is about – it's gonna have people return to focusing on the music, his art, which I feel is his legacy, in addition to his children," Lee, dressed in a white BAD 25 T-shirt, told reporters at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the movie had its North American premiere over the weekend, after debuting in Venice 25 years to the day since Bad's release.

To piece together the making of Jackson's landmark LP, Lee unearthed archival footage from studio sessions and music video shoots and conducted interviews with Jackson's many collaborators, including Quincy Jones, Martin Scorsese, Stevie Wonder** and Sheryl Crow, and stars who were inspired by his music, from Kanye West and Mariah Carey to Questlove and Justin Bieber.

The film, which will get a television premiere on ABC on November 22nd, [Thanksgiving Night] follows the making of Bad track by track; though it can feel clinical at times, it also revels in cool details, like the origin of Jackson's gravity-defying lean in "Smooth Criminal" and his famous expression, "Shamon!" Then, abruptly, Lee shifts to Jackson's death in the summer of 2009, collecting reactions from his interview subjects, many of whom choke back tears and break down. "Those were all real, raw emotions that were displayed," said Lee.

One of the most impactful statements in the documentary comes from music journalist Danyel Smith. "We should all be ashamed," she says. "The way that I interpret that," said Lee, "is that Michael should be with us. He should be here."

On Tuesday, (Today, September 18th)  Jackson's estate and Epic/Legacy Recordings will release a BAD 25 CD/DVD deluxe package, with three discs' worth of remastered versions of the LP's original tracks plus bonus material, including previously unreleased songs ("Price of Fame," "Song Groove (A/K/A Abortion Papers"), the first release of Jackson's 1998 Wembley Stadium concert on DVD, and remixes by EDM artists Nero and Afrojack.

"Listen to the song 'Price of Fame,' which he wrote specifically about the situation," said Lee, holding a copy of the release. "How can you get privacy when you're the most recognizable person on the planet?"

"Did you see the disguises he had?" Lee added with a laugh, referring to a moment in the film that shows photographs of Jackson wearing intricate facial disguises. "He had to do that. He couldn't go anywhere in the world without there being a riot. Man, I wouldn't wish that on anybody. He became a prisoner of his fame. I mean, I'm not rewriting Michael's titles, but [the song] could've been [called] 'Prisoner of Fame,' instead of 'Price of Fame.'"

More on the  BAD 25 CD/DVD deluxe package 

Product Description (from

This Deluxe 25th Anniversary Edition includes three CDs, two collectible booklets, and features the first ever authorized DVD release of a concert from the record breaking BAD tour.

DVD - Michael Jackson's legendary July 16, 1988 concert at Wembley Stadium in London. This DVD is not a compilation of performances, but rather one complete show, exactly as Michael performed it for Prince Charles, Princess Diana and the 72,000 fans who were in the audience for that night's sold out show. The DVD was sourced from Michael Jackson's personal VHS copy of the performance as shown on the JumboTrons during the concert. This footage was only recently unearthed and is the only known copy of the show to exist. The visuals have been restored and the audio quality enhanced so that fans can share in the excitement of that famous night.

CD1 - The original re-mastered album.

CD2 - A CD containing previously unreleased material recorded in Michael's personal studio at Hayvenhurst. This material includes early demo versions of songs from the album as well as demos for songs not included on the final album. All of this material is being released as it was recorded during the BAD sessions. Nothing has been added or changed. In addition, this CD also includes new remixes from internationally renowned DJ/producers.

CD3 - A CD showcasing the audio from the sound truck recordings of the July 16th Wembley performance. The first-ever live Michael Jackson CD to be released, this is the only concert from the BAD Tour known to exist on multitracks.

This magnificent 3 CD/1 DVD box also includes two extensive booklets with yet unseen photos from the recording sessions, video sets and the concert tour, the original BAD cover art, a two-sided poster and more.

Read more at Amazon here

Friday, September 7, 2012

Spike Lee on CNN August 2012 [VIDEO]

In August 2012 to help promote his newest film Red Hook Summer, Spike Lee did an interview with CNN. Below is the 6 ½ minute video where he talks about being a "student of cinema".


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