COLD EYES – Excellent South Korean ActionThriller

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One of the top South Korean movies at the box office 2013 is a cool, slick, tense action thriller remake of the Hong Kong film Eye in the Sky (2007), directed by Yau Nai-Hoi (Johnny To’s longtime co-screenwriter.)

Loved the cinematography. Non stop camera movement. But very lyrical. Only shaky cam when it’s waranted. Lots of nice little character touches. Pretty much zero personal character story though which makes it mostly for genre lovers. But it moves. Very fun. And it stars a young woman who’s sensitive, caring, professional, and kicks ass. A combination rarely seen in American films.

It was co-directed by renown cinematographer, Kim Byung-seo, and Cho Ui-seok who directed the highly regarded The World of Silence (2006).

I found this film by reading the excellent film blog – http://www.koreanfilm.org/index.html from ex-pat Darcy Paquet where I check in from time to time to see what’s happening in South Korean Film. The blog has turned me on to dozens of great films including Lee Chang-dong’s OASIS (2002) –  one of my favorite movies of all time.  Here’s his write up on it: http://www.koreanfilm.org/kfilm02.html#oasis

The film played at TIFF last year to huge acclaim.  Here’s link to festival write up: http://tiff.net/filmsandschedules/festival/2013/coldeyes

In the photo below – you see the stone cold psychotic and calculating baddy played by Jung Woo-sung who heads up a brutal robbery team and the heroin of the story, the rookie recruit on a surveillance team played by Han Hyo-joo. What I loved about the bad guy was that he was being persecuted by his own crime organization. He was just a cog in the machine.

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And here’s the top ten box office in South Korea for 2013 where I find it interesting that only 2 U.S. films made it to the list:

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