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It's the Booze Talkin': Park Chan-wook = overrated?

02.26.2013by: Ammon Gilbert

Now that weíre finally veering towards the end of February and this week marking the first movies to be released in March, Iím hoping weíre finally out of the slow-movie slump and are ramping up towards bigger and better things in the name of horror. With THE LAST EXORCISM PART II and STOKER coming out this week, things are looking up. Or at least it'll be a month that will have something good to offer (since LAST EXORCISM PART II kind of looks lame). STOKER is the movie that people are really blowing a load over, both critics and fans alike, and Iíll admit the trailers leave a lot to be desired (mostly because Iím still not entirely sure is going on). STOKER looks like it has potential to be freakyÖ and that has nothing to do with director Park Chan-wook.

Half the love that seems to be pouring out over STOKER so far (both by those who have seen it and those who havenít) is that itís from Chan-wook, the same guy who directed THIRST and THE VENGEANCE TRILOGY (which includes OLDBOY, SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE, and LADY VENGEANCE). People seem to love this guy like heís the next messiah in filmmaking, like heís on the same caliber as horror greats like John Carpenter, Wes Craven, and Sam Raimi. Literally no one speaks bad about this dude and it drives me f*cking crazy because Iím the motherf*cker thatís not ashamed to admit that his movies are overrated! There, I said it!

Holy crap, that felt good to get off my chest. I havenít seen all of the manís movies, but I have seen all of the films in the VENGEANCE trilogy and those movies were just OK. They werenít great, there wasnít anything exceptionally awesome about them--they were simply OK little revenge thrillersÖ and thatís about it. OLDBOYÖ everyone, even Spike Lee and Steven Spielberg, is a fife for OLDBOY and I simply canít see it. The story is good, the acting is descent enough, and the movie is just OK (at best), but itís not the masterpiece everyone on the planet makes it out to be. In my horrible opinion, itís no more than other revenge thrillers along the lines of the RANSOM. Yup, that Ron Howard directed Mel Gibson movie did more for me than OLDBOY ever could. And yet, no oneís sucking the cock off every new Howard movie these days, are they?

The same could be said for SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE and LADY VENGEANCEÖ just ok revenge thrillers, and below the majority of epic revenge thrillers that Hollywood likes to puke out every quarter. Give me the remake of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT or I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE before making me sit through Chan-wookís VENGEANCE trilogy again. These movies are just kind of boring to sit throughÖ they feel really long and thereís not enough action or actual revenge to pull me through it. Maybe itís a language barrier thing, maybe Iím an asshole who doesnít like reading his movies (and who canít stand dubbing), but then I think back to all of the foreign subtitled movies I really like and realize this canít be the caseÖ I just donít like what Chan-wook has to offer.

Maybe itís the booze talking, but acclaimed directed Park Chan-wook does absolutely nothing for me. I know Iím in the minority (hell, I could be the only one who feels this way), but OLDBOY and the rest of the VENGEANCE trilogy are overrated, boring, and not worth the hype they receive in the least. I didnít even see THIRST because it was a love story about vampires (i.e., TWILIGHT) and it was from the guy who directed OLDBOY (overrated thriller). So I didnít deem it worthy of my time and passedÖ and I have no desire to ever return and check it out. Why? BecauseÖ you guessed it. Park Chan-wook isn't all he's cracked up to be. With STOKER coming out this week, I likely wonít go see it in theaters, but I probably will catch it on video as it looks crazy and who knows, it could be pretty goodÖ but my hopes arenít all that high that Iíll like it. And honestly, the likelihood that Iíll think this one is overrated is pretty goddamn high too.

Extra Tidbit: I know I'm the odd one out on this one... should I bother revisiting one of these movies in hopes of changing my mind? And if so, which one?



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