4 items from 2013
It’s remake time again, as the 2007 Milkyway outing “Eye in the Sky” from director Yau Nai Hoi and producers Johnnie To and Tsui Siu Ming gets a Korean makeover in “Cold Eyes”. The film was directed by duo Jo Eui Seok (“The World of Silence”) and Kim Byung Seo (a noted cinematographer who recently worked on the likes of “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Hindsight”), and stars Sol Kyung Gu (“Public Enemy”), Jung Woo Sung (“Reign of Assassins”), and Han Hyo Ju (“Masquerade”) in the roles originally played by Simon Yam, Tony Leung Ka Fai and Kate Tsui. Pulling in more than five million admissions at the local box office, the film was one of the biggest Korean hits of 2013, and also proved popular with the critics, Han Hyo Ju winning Best Actress at the Blue Dragon Awards – all of which is no mean feat for a remake. The film kicks »
- James Mudge
Review by Scott Clark of Cinehouse
One of the most accomplished and stand-out features at Toronto International Film festival this year is the slick, fierce, and ingenious Korean thriller Cold Eyes.
A bank robbery and the induction of a fresh faced operative to a shadowy police surveillance team, I’m a sucker for a concise, fast-paced opening and Cold Eyes has a great one in the vein of Heat and The Dark Knight… Actually Cold Eyes emulates a hundred films like these in its consistently thrilling flow of events, its use of characters who are at the top of their game, and its beautifully shot sprawling urban space. The film flits from point to point pulling at the quickly unravelling thread of a ensemble of »
Cold Eyes, 2013.
A high-tech police surveillance team makes a fatal mistake while pursing a vicious criminal organization.
A young woman (Ha Yoon-joo) is in a subway car following a middle-aged man (Kyung-gu Sol). The pursuit leads to a coffee shop where the pursued literally turns the table on the pursuer; turns out that she is unknowingly part of a high-tech police surveillance team recruitment exercise. The storyline is intercut with another chronicling the gradual execution of a bank heist which ends with a series of police cruisers crashing into a truck purposely placed in their way.
The unpredictable rookie with a nervous tick gets mentored by the chief of the surveillance team whose rough and cantankerous demeanour disguises a brilliant and compassionate man. As for the mastermind (Woo-sung Jung) of the bank »
Since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon hit big back in 2000 and unexpectedly crossed over into the mainstream thanks to director Ang Lee’s artful approach, the Wuxia sub genre of Asian action flicks has been in kind of a funk.
Director Zhang Yimou brought it further into the public consciousness with his visually stunning films Hero and House of Flying Daggers. Now it seems that every Wuxia movie that comes along now has one eye on the art-house rather than both eyes on entertainment. Reign of Assassins redresses the balance somewhat because it’s the most fun Wuxia movie for a long time.
We learn in an animated beginning that the body of Buddhist kung fu master Bodhi is said to grant whoever possesses it ultimate power and since his death it has been fought over by several different gangs, schools and groups of assassins. We then meet young and deadly »
- Chris Holt
4 items from 2013
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