The Fortress (Namhansanseong)

The Fortress (Namhansanseong) Korea (2017) Dir. Hwang Dong-hyuk   Politicians hide themselves away They only started the war Why should they go out to fight? They leave that role to the poor Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler might have written these incisive lyrics in 1970 for the classic track War Pigs but as this impressively … Continue reading The Fortress (Namhansanseong)

The Classified File (Geukbisusa)

The Classified File (Geukbisusa) Korea (2015) Dir. Kwak Kyung-taek Another film “based on true events”, this Korean kidnapping drama from Kwak Kyung-taek takes a slightly different route in setting out to redress the balance of credit and not focusing solely on the investigation. A bold move but one which becomes clearer in the final act. … Continue reading The Classified File (Geukbisusa)

Veteran (Beterang)

Veteran (Beterang) Korea (2015) Dir. Ryoo Seung-Wan Who would want to be on the police force in Korea? Not only do you often end up beaten within an inch of your life on a regular basis but also your superiors try to thwart your every move while well-connected criminals are able to bribe and manipulate … Continue reading Veteran (Beterang)

Man On High Heels (Hai-hil)

Man On High Heels (Hai-hil) Korea (2014) Dir. Jang Jin The translated title is a little clumsy but it does signpost what the subject matter is of this Korean crime thriller, although maybe not as explicitly as you may think. The big question is whether the issue at hand is treated with sensitivity considering the … Continue reading Man On High Heels (Hai-hil)

Kundo: Age Of The Rampant (Kundo: min-ran-eui si-dae)

Kundo: Age Of The Rampant (Kundo: min-ran-eui si-dae) Korea (2014) Dir. Yun Jong-bin It may be an act of laziness to describe this Korean martial arts period drama blockbuster as “Robin Hood meets Seven Samurai in 19th century Korea” but it is an accurate description of Yun Jong-Bin’s follow up to his hugely successful Nameless … Continue reading Kundo: Age Of The Rampant (Kundo: min-ran-eui si-dae)

The Attorney (Byeon-ho-in)

The Attorney (Byeon-ho-in) Korea (2013) Dir. Yang Woo-seok We’ve all seen those American films were the kid least likely proclaims to his class to much merriment and derision that he wants to be the President when he grows up. In South Korea a man of humble beginnings did indeed do just that having made his … Continue reading The Attorney (Byeon-ho-in)

The Quiz Show Scandal (Kwijeu Wang)

The Quiz Show Scandal (Kwijeu Wang) Korea (2010) Dir. Jin Jang Fate has a funny way of bringing people together and is equally capricious in how it breaks them apart. One night on the Gangbyeon Expressway, an young woman (Go Eun-mi) is suddenly hit by a car, before being bounced onto the bonnet of the … Continue reading The Quiz Show Scandal (Kwijeu Wang)