Review: Oldboy (UHD Blu-ray)
UHD Blu-ray: Oldboy (2003)
Based on the Japanese manga of the same name, Oldboy tells the story of Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) who is taken from the streets after a drunken night out and finds himself locked up in a sparse single room apartment.
Not knowing who did it, why they did it, or how long he is going to be there, Dae-su watches the television and trains himself to fight as the months slowly turn into years…15 of them to be exact, when he is then released.
And so begins the journey to try and find the answers to his abduction…and all within a 5 day time limit.
Beautifully presented in this UHD release from Arrow Films (their 6th UHD release so far), the night scenes have a clarity of detail that was previously lost in previous releases, while the surround sound had me pausing the film at one point as the ambient effects had me convinced that someone was outside the house!
The widely known ‘one shot fight scene in the corridor’ has never looked or sounded better, bringing to the fore the sheer exhaustion of all involved both in the expressions on their pained faces, as well as the laboured breathing as the fight continues.
Oldboy isn’t just about the violence, though when it happens it is it sure as hell packs a punch (pun fully intended). The twisting narrative, superb performances by the lead actors, assured and fluid direction by Chan-wook Park, and the hypnotic cinematography by Chung-Soon Chung, all combine to create a cinematic experience that lingers long in the mind and is best experienced in this UHD release.
Grain haters will probably bemoan the fine film grain that is present, but picture detail is superb throughout.
Oldboy takes you through a wide range of emotions throughout its twisting narrative, all the while leaving you with a sense of unease as to not only how it all will end, but also as to what is going to happen in the next scene. A thoroughly thought provoking and emotional rollercoaster that you will want to get back on as soon as it ends.
Four commentary tracks and a whole lot more mean that the special features will keep you informed and entertained too.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY CONTENTS:
- Two-disc edition featuring a new restoration of Oldboy on 4K UHD Blu-ray, and the acclaimed making-of documentary Old Days on Blu-ray (Region B Only)
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Erickson
DISC ONE – OLDBOY (4K UHD BLU-RAY)
- Brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative supervised by director Park Chan-wook
- 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
- Original 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 stereo
- Original Korean and English soundtracks
- Music and effects track
- Newly translated, optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
- Newly translated English subtitles for the Korean soundtrack
- Audio commentary with director Park Chan-wook
- Audio commentary with Park Chan-wook and cinematographer Jung Jung-hoon
- Audio commentary with Park Chan-wook, and actors Choi Min-sik, Yu Ji-tae, Kang Hye-jung
- New audio commentary with critic Jasper Sharp and writer Simon Ward
- Out of the Past, new video appreciation by Asian film expert Tony Rayns
- Deleted scenes with optional director commentary
- Behind the scenes featurettes
- Extensive cast and crew interviews
- Trailers and teasers
- Image gallery
DISC TWO – OLD DAYS (BLU-RAY REGION B)
- Old Days: An Oldboy Story, the acclaimed feature-length 2016 documentary about Park Chan-wook’s masterpiece
- Autobiography of Oldboy, a three-and-a-half-hour video diary of the making of Oldboy
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully illustrated booklet featuring new writing by Simon Abrams and archival articles.
Oldboy is released on 25th January 2020 by Arrow Films.