Tag Archive: oldboy


A few weeks ago I posted on Twitter (sarcastically) that in around twenty years time a reboot of Harry Potter would be made and Daniel Radcliffe would be limited to a cameo as one of the Hogwarts’ ghosts. And ever since I posted that tweet it seems like Warner Bros. and JK Rowling are doing their best to prove me right.

 

Everyone knows why Hollywood is obsessed with reboots and sequels: because they make money. A whole host of films have been rebooted recently including Clash of the Titans, Total Recall, Evil Dead and there are more in the pipeline: Oldboy, Robocop and Fantastic Four to name just a few. One of the biggest money making franchises ever was the Harry Potter series, and rightly so because it was a perfect franchise that managed to ignite the imaginations of audiences worldwide in a way that I haven’t seen matched in any way, shape or form. Anything branded under the Harry Potter umbrella is guaranteed success commercially, which makes expanding that universe ever so appealing to all the movie bigwigs.

Harry Potter’s story finished back in 2011 and already there are plans to milk the franchise dry for every penny it can possibly produce. That began with the announcement that JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be the spark that sets up a new series of films set in the wizarding world. And is it just me that thinks that is a horrible idea considering the book was released to raise money for the charity Comic Relief and the benefits of the film will more than likely be lining the pockets of Warner Bros. executives? But anyway, who has been asking for an adaptation of that book? I can barely remember the number of times I’ve heard people express their longing to see Newt Scamander on the big screen.. oh actually I can. Zero. This is probably the most obvious money making decision in the history of film making.

And that may not be the only Harry Potter spin-off in the works at Warner Bros. as news that they have trademarked Quidditch Through the Ages and Tales of Beedle the Bard has been announced. When quidditch first appeared in the Harry Potter films it was a revelation and the sequences of the game are fantastic, one of the highlights of the series but this is yet another money making scheme by expanding a universe that nobody has any interest in. The only thing Harry Potter fans want is to see another Harry Potter film, i.e. a film with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson playing Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

 

So how long can Warner Bros. appease fans with their explicit commercially led ventures and have no regard for the opinions of fans? My guess is not long (of course I could be wrong but lets see shall we). Soon Warner Bros. will be receiving millions of please for a new Harry Potter film and what will they do then? They will realise the amount of money they can make by remaking all eight of the films adapted from JK Rowling’s books and that reboot will be ultimately greenlit.

Even the most die hard fans of Harry and his friends had just come to accept that there would never be more adventures told of the boy wizard and that would be absolutely fine. But now this reignites the flames of desperation and it won’t be soon before Daniel Radcliffe is thrown out of the series and replaced with another eleven year old boy with a lightning bolt on his forehead and broken glasses abridge his nose.

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UK Release Date: 6th December 2013

Stars: Spike Lee (director), Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Lance Reddick, Michael Imperioli, Max Casella.

Plot: An advertising executive is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his punishment, only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment.

Remakes happen. In the past few years of cinema it’s very hard to find a film that is not a remake or a sequel or an adaptation of something. But there are some things that should be left alone. And you can’t help but think that this Korean CLASSIC should have been left alone. But apparently it needed to be remade for an audience that can not be bothered with subtitles.

Saying that though, the material seems to be in very strong hands. The trailer looks fantastic, heightening expectations and building anticipation. The cast that has been brought together is pretty strong and Spike Lee clearly knows what he is doing. There are a lot of things in the trailer that fans of the original will be glad are still here: the hammer scene, the video-game-esque fight scene.

However, the most worrying thing for me is the content change. One of the best parts of the Korean Oldboy was the theme of incest. But of course that has to be dropped because an American audience couldn’t possible be confronted with such a taboo theme in the mainstream of pop culture. This means that elements do have to be shifted somewhat largely from the original and it does become more about the revenge rather than the relationships between characters. Hopefully Oldboy does not become just a generic action film (albeit a brilliant one) but I long for it to remain as a wonderful piece of cinema, like the Korean version.

Sharlto Copley is a man who clearly loves film. When he was growing up he wanted to become an actor and now that dream has been realised. But before that, Copley started up his own production company Vasbyt Films LLC and became South Africa’s youngest television producer at the age of 25. At age 22 Copley first met a 16 year old Neill Blomkamp (a name you’ll be hearing a lot in the coming paragraphs and years) and Blomkamp began working at Copley’s production company in return for the use of the computers at the company for Blomkamp to furthur his passion of 3D animation and design.

Over ten years after this meeting Sharlto Copley made his acting debut in short film Alive in Joburg about a close encounter of the third kind in Johannesburg. Copley also produced the six minute film which was directed by Neil Blomkamp. In 2009 Copley made his feature film acting debut, again directed by Blomkamp, in science fiction masterpiece and Oscar nominated film District 9, an adaptation of Alive in Joburg. You can read my review of District 9 here, but one thing I didn’t mention in the review was just how good Copley’s performance is. This was the first time he had acted in a full length feature but he looks right at home in front of the camera, his performance is excpetional and he is nothing but loveable in his role. The change and development his character goes through is unbelievable and the emotion that Copley is able to bring to the role is just wonderful. I think this is one of my favourite performances of recent years.

This performance and the success of District 9 allowed Copley to make another of his dreams come true. Thanks to his performance he was noticed by the Hollywood executives and cast in the film remake of one of Copley’s favourite television shows, The A-Team. Now, the cast looks pretty good on paper with the likes of Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper among the names and token eye-candy-in-summer-blockbuster Jessica Biel included, and there were some good action scenes that made it a fun popcorn movie but there was nothing to it. However, Copley’s performance as “Howling Mad” Murdock was the shining light of brilliance among the film and he even gained praise from Dwight Schultz, the man who made the character famous in the TV series.

Having tried his hand at action and science fiction it seems clear which one he enjoyed the most as a look at his upcoming films will tell you that Sharlto Copley is sure to become one of science fiction’s greatest ever actors. His next film is Europa Report about a crew of international astronauts sent on a mission to Jupiter’s fourth moon. Another upcoming film is the intriguing Open Grave which will see Copley try his hand at horror: Copley’s character wakes up in a pit of dead bodies with no memory and must try to find the serial killer or decide whether he himself is actually the killer.

After this Copley is set to team up with old friend Blomkamp for Elysium, another science fiction film, however not connected to the earlier District 9. There is a lot of anticipation and expectation surrounding Elysium because it is Blomkamp’s follow up project and it also features Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and William Fichtner among the cast. Copley’s role in Elysium is set to be completely different from District 9 as he plays a bad-ass and vile South African mercenary: his versatility is set to be tested.

With roles in the Oldboy remake and the retelling of Sleeping Beauty in Maleficent alongside Angelina Jolie Copley’s career looks to be a path that is very well chosen. All we are going to see over the coming years is just how good and how versatile Copley is. Such a talented actor, he already has a cult fan base but he is deserving of even more!