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Josh Brolin Says That Spike Lee’s Original Three-Hour Cut Of 'Oldboy' Is Better

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by Sergio
November 5, 2013 11:03 AM
10 Comments
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Admittedly there is still a lot of apprehension about Spike Lee’s upcoming remake of Oldboy which will be released through FilmDistrict on Nov. 27.

There’s plenty riding on the film, especially Spike’s reputation. Will this be a return to form for him? He sure didn’t make it easy for himself, and you have to admit he loves a challenge, taking on a remake of Chan-wook Park’s absolutely fantastic, mind bending original film. Can Spike pull it off? I’m crossing my fingers for him.

So I have to confess that it’s a little worrying, when, in a recent L.A. Times interview, Oldboy star Josh Brolin, shared that he's not exactly “enamoredwith the final cut of the film.

Here's the key piece from the interview:

"I do have opinions, but it's better to bite my tongue," [Brolin] said when asked what he thought of the finished film. (The actor says he was more enamored with Lee's earlier three-hour director's cut that was both quieter and filled with more character-centric moments.)

Sounds as if the film we are going to see in theaters (not the 3-hour cut Brolin prefers) was edited to emphasize the action and extreme violence, and focus less on the character study nuances, which the original film has a lot of.

And considering that, according to Imdb.com, the film’s current running time is 104 minutes. The fact that the original cut was three hours obviously means that quite a bit was cut out of the film.

Of course there’s no way that FilmDistrict was going to release a three hour movie, though there’s always the possibly that Spike’s original, longer version could eventually make its way on DVD. But one hopes that the radical cuts don’t hurt the film in any major way.

We’ll have to wait and see.


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10 Comments

  • Ugh | November 6, 2013 6:22 PMReply

    Probably wasn't 3 hours but was more in the range of what "Wolf of Wall Street" is. The 165 minute range. Cutting out an hour of footage that Spike Lee may consider essential to the story certainly could hurt it.

    It will be interesting to see if this is one of those movies that when we look back at the trailer a day after seeing it in theaters we can play a lengthy game of "Spot what & who is not in the movie".

  • Kojak's Wig | November 6, 2013 1:26 AMReply

    Understand industry spin when you read it, people. This is PR "lowering the bar" away from great expectations.

    Add another one to the board for the maker of "Jungle Fever", "She Hate Me", "Red Hook Summer", "Miracle At St. Anna" and soon "Da Blood of Jesus"! Got to give it up for that hustle, at the very least.

  • Sergio | November 6, 2013 7:49 AM

    "Understand industry spin when you read it, people. This is PR "lowering the bar" away from great expectations".

    Yeah O.K. I get it. You want show off like you're an insider.

    And usually what you say is true and that has been suggested that that is what being impiled. That the film isn't good. However advance media screenings for Oldboy are starting this week for the film, almost three weeks before its release, and they rarely would do that if they thought they had a real stinker on their hands. If they did then they would hold up any screenings of it until just few days before it comes out or the day before ot not at all to lessen the advance word of mouth in the media

  • Micah | November 5, 2013 11:50 PMReply

    Josh Brolin standing up for Spike Lee's vision is greatly appreciated. Spike told a story how he felt it needed to be told. Granted the director's cut isn't always the best, you often find it is a much richer story than the one the studio and producers allow to hit the big screen.

  • Donella | November 5, 2013 8:42 PMReply

    I love the cold, bluish tint that matches the bleak storyline.

    It reminds me of Inside Man's greenish atmosphere and emphasis on dirty banking.

    I'm excited about Spike's Old Boy. I believe it will surprise many people and do quite well, although I'll have to get my head around Terrance Blanchard not doing the score.

  • Monique a Williams | November 5, 2013 6:22 PMReply

    I'm glad someone made Spike edit it down. He has a problem with not knowing when to cut. This will probably save the film.

  • Daryl | November 5, 2013 5:28 PMReply

    Spike Lee will deliver. Actors are not directors even through some are, so they look at film a little different than directors. So I wouldn't put too much stock in Josh Brolin opinion. As far as the part about if Spike Lee returning to form I disagree with that assesment, he always been in form. What you should be asking is will the audience ever return to form of liking personal films, creativity and originality. Spike Lee Oldboy will be a top 5 film of the year.

  • Tyler | November 5, 2013 3:21 PMReply

    Also - if the studio forced cuts then the result falls on their shoulders. I wouldn't blame Lee for what we'll inevitably see if they forced him to make cuts he wouldn't have otherwise made.

    That said, not sure what return to form you're talking about. The only movie he's made in the last 10 years or so that isn't any good is She Hate Me (and maybe Miracle at St. Anna).

  • Dankwa Brooks | November 5, 2013 1:08 PMReply

    Exactly what JAYTEEDEE said. My first thoughts was "Actors always say that shit". Even on my low level of filmmaking as a director I've learned that actors always want more screen time to exhibit what they can do or "what's important for the character".

  • JayTeeDee | November 5, 2013 11:29 AMReply

    I don't think that this necessarily means that the movie will be bad. I'm sure that Josh Brolin as an actor is certainly going to like the longer cut that will give him more character moments and screen time to show of his skills. I do hope that both cuts will be released on Blu-Ray though when it comes out to compare.

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