Posted by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -

So um.... yeeaaaahhhh.. I just finished watching Oldboy. Spent the last 10 minutes leaning away from the monitor in shock feeling sick as if I just watched Serbian Movie or something, even though all it was was a conversation between two men.

The movie dwelt on this shock scene for so long that it felt it was trying to give the audience time to masturbate to it!

This is my first ever attempt to watch and finish an Asian production and bam, right in the kisser, there it is. I vaguely remember stumbling on Youtube upon a finale of some anime a few years ago, I remember the words "death note" (I could be wrong) and I remember the SAME type of dark stomach-twisting tragic vibe to a tragic end. Is it a mere coincidence or do Japanese productions tend to have this melancholic shocking tragic atmosphere that makes you lament your own life? (I realize Oldboy is Korean but it's based on Japanese material no?)

I will say that until that last confrontation, the movie felt like one big stroke of genius. Everything from the humor to the camera touches to the little foreshadowing details was amazing. Then there's the revelation pictured above and it's just sickening.

Verdict: 8/10. Two points dropped for being too long and sounding funny.

Anyway.. I've always disliked anime because, from what I've seen, it looked and sounded like an unnatural abomination but I kinda dig the fucked up feeling I have right now. I wanna be shocked and disgusted some more by extreme boundary-breaking narrative of incest and malice that will make me gag, I LIKE THE FEELING OF IT. So... I guess what I'm saying here is.... can you... recommend an Asian movie or anime that is filled with ridiculous tragedy like this?

What have I become.

#1 Posted by JasonR86 (9726 posts) -

Oldboy was fucking great. In part because it was so fucking nuts. I loved it.

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#2 Edited by joshthebear (2700 posts) -

Oldboy is amazing and fucked up in the best ways possible.

And that hallway fight scene is still mind blowing to watch.

#3 Posted by i_got_an_F (25 posts) -

Read Oedipus.

#4 Posted by pyromagnestir (4339 posts) -

Lady Vengeance and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, both directed by the same guy who directed Oldboy, should suit your needs. JSA and Thirst were other movies of his and I liked them as well.

Oh, and check out a movie called Mother.

#5 Posted by StarvingGamer (8555 posts) -

Yeah the manga is Japanese, but the movie is drastically different from the source material so all the darkness here is 100% Korean.

A lot of anime is fucking dark. They rarely end on a truly happy note. I'd recommend Berserk. Granted I haven't seen it in over 10 years but I recall it being all sorts of twisted. Perfect Blue is a cool psychological horror movie but I'm not 100% sure it's going to tickle your specific itch. I haven't watched anime in a long ass time, I'll try to review what I've seen and get back to you.

#6 Posted by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -

On another note, I watched The Hunger Games yesterday and I'm really wondering why we fantasize about things that we condemn and have forbidden/ended in the past?

Why does this Korean movie reflect a fantasy of incest? Why does Hunger Games consist of American actors in an American movie based on an American novel who are pretending to be in a futuristic North Korea, fantasizing about a dictator regime that America existed precisely so it can end and later on condemn?

Do we always desire that which we can't have, even if we actively decided not to have it anymore?

#7 Edited by pyromagnestir (4339 posts) -

@officegamer:

Oh, speaking of Hunger Games...

Check out Battle Royale.

#8 Edited by CycloneDE (46 posts) -

Apart from the stuff that was already mentioned I would also recommend "I saw the Devil". Another korean movie that has quite a similiar vibe to Oldboy. I love both of those movies.

#9 Edited by Aegon (5823 posts) -

Apart from the stuff that was already mentioned I would also recommend "I saw the Devil". Another korean movie that has quite a similiar vibe to Oldboy. I love both of those movies.

Also, the Oldboy protagonist is the evil man in I Saw the Devil.

#10 Posted by Kidable (127 posts) -

The amount of broad generalization in OP's post is staggering considering how short the post is too.

But yeah. Oldboy is a masterpiece.

#11 Edited by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -

@joshthebear said:

that hallway fight scene is still mind blowing to watch.

I laughed so damn hard throughout that scene, it just gave The Matrix Reloaded the finger and threw all the action conventions out the window, turning it into some comedy gold! Dudes getting tired during combat and stuff :D

A lot of anime is fucking dark. They rarely end on a truly happy note.

Why is that? And if that's true, is that why it's so popular? I can't understand why big numbers of people would actively write and direct/watch so much melancholic darkness, it's morbid!

#12 Posted by McGhee (6075 posts) -

Tragedy? Oldboy has a happy ending . . .

#13 Edited by i_got_an_F (25 posts) -

I wouldn't consider it happy.

#14 Edited by planetfunksquad (530 posts) -

@pyromagnestir said:

@officegamer:

Oh, speaking of Hunger Games...

Check out Battle Royale.

Know what they call the Hunger Games in France?

Battle Royale with cheese.

@starvinggamer said:

A lot of anime is fucking dark. They rarely end on a truly happy note.

Why is that? And if that's true, is that why it's so popular? I can't understand why big numbers of people would actively write and direct/watch so much melancholic darkness, it's morbid!

Maybe connected to the high suicide rate as far as Japan goes? I mean it reflects it, not causes it. The other countries, I have no idea.

#15 Posted by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -

@pyromagnestir said:

@officegamer:

Oh, speaking of Hunger Games...

Check out Battle Royale.

Know what they call the Hunger Games in France?

Battle Royale with cheese.

They fuckin' drown 'em in dat shit

#16 Edited by StarvingGamer (8555 posts) -

@officegamer said:
@starvinggamer said:

A lot of anime is fucking dark. They rarely end on a truly happy note.

Why is that? And if that's true, is that why it's so popular? I can't understand why big numbers of people would actively write and direct/watch so much melancholic darkness, it's morbid!

I think it has a lot to do with societal norms, not for darkness and melancholy, but for complaining about shit. In the East, people see something fucked up and say to themselves, "Hm, that was fucked up," and get on with their lives. In the West, people see something fucked up and say to everyone, "Hey, that was fucked up! How dare they put that sort of fucked up stuff on paper/tv/dvd/the internet? I'm writing my congressman! We should start a committee! Does Fox News know about this? Who wants to sign my petition? They're poisoning our children's minds!"

EDIT: If you want to see an anime that isn't dark but is melancholic as fuck, watch Honey and Clover.

#17 Posted by McGhee (6075 posts) -

I wouldn't consider it happy.

Not so happy from the audience perspective, but from the two characters it is happy one. It's fucked up, but they don't know that. lol

#18 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@pyromagnestir said:

@officegamer:

Oh, speaking of Hunger Games...

Check out Battle Royale.

Know what they call the Hunger Games in France?

Battle Royale with cheese.

@officegamer said:
@starvinggamer said:

A lot of anime is fucking dark. They rarely end on a truly happy note.

Why is that? And if that's true, is that why it's so popular? I can't understand why big numbers of people would actively write and direct/watch so much melancholic darkness, it's morbid!

Maybe connected to the high suicide rate as far as Japan goes? I mean it reflects it, not causes it. The other countries, I have no idea.

I wouldn't say that anime "rarely" ends on a happy note, but it does end on melancholic or downer notes much, much more often than American animation (which is to say, almost never). In Japan, animation is a medium that caters to a variety of audiences with diverging tastes, rather than predominantly children (or in the case of Seth MacFarlane, man-children). So it's not like it's common for a series to go down the psychologically dark rabbit hole of Lain or Evangelion; it's just that the endings don't always come wrapped in nice, happy bows.

As for Oldboy, oh damn that is a great movie. That mind-bending twist when you find out what the villain's game and motivation was this whole time is among the best twists in any movie I've seen.

#19 Edited by ShaggE (6699 posts) -

Why is that? And if that's true, is that why it's so popular? I can't understand why big numbers of people would actively write and direct/watch so much melancholic darkness, it's morbid!

Morbidity is just as entertaining as happier fare, in my opinion. All comes down to what you go into a story for.

#20 Posted by EVO (3941 posts) -

Stop what you're doing right now and watch Riki-Oh.

#22 Edited by Elwoodan (874 posts) -

Riki-Oh the story of Riki is... special... and on netflix (I think), if your more in for the gore I would try Tokyo Gore Police or Machine Girl.

Also, I must be lucky with anime or something, while they may not all have happy, sunny endings I don't think I've seen any that get within a mile of Oldboy's darkness.

#23 Posted by planetfunksquad (530 posts) -
#24 Posted by Hunter5024 (5962 posts) -

How much incest can one forum take? Let's find out.

#25 Posted by Chaser324 (6743 posts) -

Two more Korean film Netflix queue recommendations I haven't seen mentioned:

  • Mother
  • The Good, The Bad, The Weird
Moderator
#26 Edited by Krullban (1062 posts) -

Fantastic movie. First movie I was able to watch all the way through without subtitles and understand everything.

#27 Posted by RollingZeppelin (2107 posts) -
#28 Posted by tourgen (4542 posts) -

Oldboy is amazing and fucked up in the best ways possible.

And that hallway fight scene is still mind blowing to watch.

you said it. that was an awesome scene.

#29 Edited by jillsandwich (760 posts) -

Watching I Saw the Devil was one of the most incredible film experiences of my life. That movie blew my fucking my mind. It never takes the characters in the direction you would expect. Just when you think you know what sort of revenge movie it's trying to be, it shifts.

And main dude from Oldboy plays the "antagonist" of the movie. He's pretty fantastic.

It's on the Netflix. If you dug Oldboy a whole lot, I sincerely doubt you will regret watching it. I can't watch it again though. I tried recently, and it's just...ergh.

It throws WAY dark.

#30 Posted by Ramone (2976 posts) -

If you want more fucked up Asian shit you should watch

  • Audition
  • Breathless
  • The Chaser
#31 Posted by Inkerman (1455 posts) -

@officegamer: One film I highly recommend which hasn't been mentioned yet (although seriously check out Battle Royale and I Saw the Devil, both are amazing) is A Bittersweet Life. It's a Korean film about a gangster, the whole film is simply amazing.

The end isn't dark, but it is very poignant. Sticking with some straight up action there's the Infernal Affairs series. The first is the film The Departed is based on, while the others are a prequel and a sequel.

If you want something romantic, but still fucking amazing then check out Turn Left Turn Right.

#32 Edited by Lorbst (77 posts) -

Ichi the Killer and Tetsuo: The iron man are what got me into gross asian stuff!

#33 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

Old Boy is what Bioshock Infinite's plot should have been, but Levine chickened out.

You all know the part I'm talking about...

#34 Posted by YI_Orange (1172 posts) -

@starvinggamer: The Berserk anime ends at the end of the Golden Age, right? If so, then yeah, holy shit is that all sorts of fucked up.

I have to throw out another vote for I Saw The Devil. That movie is fantastic. I actually enjoyed it more than Oldboy(granted I knew the twist going in)

#35 Edited by uniform (1838 posts) -
#36 Edited by Philedius (204 posts) -

I recommend that you watch these two: Cold Fish and Confessions. Both are excellent in a sick kind of way. Confessions I though was a better movie, and Cold Fish is more gorier, if that's your thing (still a good movie).

EDIT: Also, I recommend watching Happiness for some psychological disturbance, even though it's not asian.

#37 Posted by Barrock (3553 posts) -

Might be my favorite film. What that says about me, I don't know.

#38 Posted by Sinusoidal (1803 posts) -

I cannot recommend "Save the Green Planet" enough. (지구를 지켜라: Jigureul Jikyeora in Korean.) If you thought Oldboy was insane...

#39 Edited by RedCream (694 posts) -

Yeah, Oldboy is one compelling movie indeed. I just thought that the epilogue was a little bit unnecessary as it only serves to give the film some sort of a happy ending.

#40 Posted by PolygonSlayer (432 posts) -

Oldboy is actually my all time favorite movie :) Freaking love it!

#41 Posted by StrikeALight (1114 posts) -

I loved the Vengeance trilogy, but I have always found Sympathy for Mr Vengeance (Park's prior work) to be the strongest. His latest (Stoker) is meant to be a bit of a clunker, though. Actually, I might re-watch JSA this evening, in lieu of all the recent funny business in North Korea.

Visitor Q is the strangest Takeshi Miike I have seen. It also takes the biscuit for being one of the most bizzaro Japanese films in my collection.

#42 Edited by StrikeALight (1114 posts) -

@uniform said:

Aside from the other two films in the Vengeance trilogy, there's quite a few that you may enjoy if Oldboy piqued your interest in this type of Korean cinema.

This is probably my favourite foreign film. I make a habit of watching it at least once a year.

That ending....so perfect.

#43 Posted by probablytuna (3822 posts) -

I watched Oldboy a month or so ago and having finished Bioshock Infinite I saw some similarities between the two though thankfully there wasn't a romance going on with Booker and Elizabeth.

#44 Posted by Sayishere (1840 posts) -

Literally one of my favorite films of all time. I like it on many levels, the twist (the obvious choice) the cinematography, the ending was bitter sweet since its happy but also fucking sad at the same time. I loved the original premise of the film (guy gets imprisoned for no good reason then let out) . Hollywood remake! i wonder how that will turn out lol.

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#45 Edited by planetfunksquad (530 posts) -

Visitor Q is the strangest Takeshi Miike I have seen. It also takes the biscuit for being one of the most bizzaro Japanese films in my collection.

I havent seen Visitor Q but I have a hard time believing Miike made a film weirder than Gozu.

#46 Edited by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -

@pyromagnestir said:

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

I have always found Sympathy for Mr Vengeance

I'm watching this right now and I'm just uncomfortable watching a grown man sleep half naked in the same bed by his half naked sister's side, and give her a bath washing her thighs and shoulders.. I realize she's ill but god damn this trilogy is making me uncomfortable, too much intimacy between brothers and sisters, the fucked up kind.

#47 Edited by StrikeALight (1114 posts) -

@planetfunksquad said:

@strikealight said:

Visitor Q is the strangest Takeshi Miike I have seen. It also takes the biscuit for being one of the most bizzaro Japanese films in my collection.

I havent seen Visitor Q but I have a hard time believing Miike made a film weirder than Gozu.

Well, no doubt Gozu is pretty weird (and long) but Visitor Q goes quite a bit further with some of its themes.

@officegamer said:

@pyromagnestir said:

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

@strikealight said:

I have always found Sympathy for Mr Vengeance

I'm watching this right now and I'm just uncomfortable watching a grown man sleep half naked in the same bed by his half naked sister's side, and give her a bath washing her thighs and shoulders.. I realize she's ill but god damn this trilogy is making me uncomfortable, too much intimacy between brothers and sisters, the fucked up kind.

Yeah, I found it a little unsettling, but it I would imagine the sense of intimacy wouldn't factor so much due to her terminal illness. There were quite a few cultural shocks in this movie that made me think 'WTF', though.

#48 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@officegamer: Watch Infernal Affairs, it's the movie The Departed was inspired (ripped off by) and Sleeping Dogs as well. It's in my top 5 movies ever.

#49 Posted by zFUBARz (637 posts) -

It's been mentioned several times but yeah Korean cinema does two things, super over the top romance, and shit so dark and brutal it'll make you feel bad for a week. I think it's all from the war, the nostalgia and sappy romance of US films during the Korean war era continued, and the brutality of the civil war, brother against brother carried on as well. You won't find quite the same mix from any other culture so consistently.

And yeah, finish up the Vengeance trilogy, they're good stuff, and toss in The Host for some good cheesey monster madness.