Pretty Packaging: Germany Primps OLDBOY, Korean Style

When DVDs started conquering the world, twenty years ago, the then-recently-invented “special edition” started to thrive like never before. One country especially started creating elaborately decorated boxes filled with bling and trinkets. That country was Korea. Well, to be honest, it was Japan, but those sets were wayyyy expensive, and out of most collectors’ affordability range. Korea soon followed suit though, with releases that were gobsmackingly gorgeous yet not back-breakingly exorbitant in pricing.

Korea was actually so good at this, that for years, we collectors coined the term “Korean pimped” to describe an especially attractive set.*

Alas, that was then, this is now. Korea still has nice sets now and then, but they’re no longer the norm. Thankfully, that hasn’t stopped other countries from playing around in that field though! France has always been willing to follow suit, and in this series of articles we’ve recently seen plenty of great German releases (Suspiria anyone?)..

And now, German distributor Alive has released Park Chan-wook’s great thriller OldBoy on Blu-ray, in a regular edition, a steelbook edition… and an Ultimate Edition. And that last one is, for lack of a better term, fully Korean pimped. And, as a nice surprise: it’s English-friendly, sporting English subtitles (even on the 110-minute making-of documentary).

Check it out as here is a gallery of shots. Click on the edge of the pictures to scroll through them, or at the center of each to see a bigger version!

* (I used “primp” in the title instead of “pimp”, as primp is a nicer word, but hey… we all know what I mean, right?)

If you’ve seen the film, you know the boxes used by the antagonist for sending presents. Well, here’s one! It’s shiny, foil embossed, the bow-tie is real, and magnets keep it closed, so I’m getting all nostalgic.

Opening the box reveals a nice stack of contents. Yes, that’s the 200-page manga on top.

All contents removed. You get the film in a digi-book packaging, the Old Days documentary, the first volume of the manga (covering just over the first half of the film’s story), a map with cards, posters and the numbering certificate… nice!

All contents opened and folded out.

Nice artwork on the digi-book.

English-friendly this set may be, but that doesn’t extend to the books of course. The digibook has just over twenty pages in it and has some nice contents, in German.

The digipack holding the Old Days documentary has some nice secret embossing. And the disc has English subs. Damn!

Here’s the first volume of the mange. As said, it’s just over 200 pages, in German, and covers just over half of the film’s story.

This is one damn fine extra to have, and gives a good indication of the changes Park Chan-wook included to create his adaptation.

The (back)end. A stunning edition. Well done, Alive!

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