The Suspect

RADiUS-TWC

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Blue Ruin Dwight (Macon Blair) is a bit of a loner. He lives in his car, parked on the side of a road near a Delaware beach, and spends his days scrounging for food, collecting cans and reading. A gentle wake-up knock on his car window precedes a disturbing piece of news. The man who killed Dwight’s parents is being released from prison. Single-minded but far from focused, Dwight fills the gas tank, pops the car battery into place and makes a beeline straight into hell. The setup here is economical, and the rest of the film follows suit, but rather than be a negative that simplicity actually elevates the film above its bigger budgeted, higher profile cousins. A Hollywood version of this tale would complicate things with unnecessary subplots, excessive exposition and time spent highlighting just how bad the bad guy and his henchmen really are. Here we stick with Dwight throughout, and the result is one of the most intimate and affecting revenge films in years. My full review. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, making of, deleted scenes, camera test]

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Magnet Releasing

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Big Bad Wolves A young girl is found dead, brutally murdered and grotesquely displayed, and she’s not the first. The police have their suspect, but an over zealous cop crosses the line and the possibly murderous pedophile is set free. The cop decides to act on his own to bring the man to justice, but he’s beat to the punch by the little girl’s grieving, revenge-minded father, and soon the two are working together to get their prisoner to confess to his suspected evil deeds. This wonderfully twisted Israeli thriller is the gorgeously shot and scored follow-up to writers/directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado‘s underseen black comedy Rabies, but while it’s an even darker affair it’s also a more accessible one thanks to its high degree of suspense and strong sense of humor. It plays with convention and tone in fresh ways, keeps viewers on edge as to the truth and closes with a fantastic final shot. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Making of, featurette, trailer]

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review the suspect

Ji Dong-chul (Gong Yoo) is one of 20,000 North Korean defectors trying to build a new life in the South. He works as a driver but otherwise keeps to himself. It’s not that he’s shy, it’s that he’s focused on finding someone. His apartment walls are lined with maps and info, and one of his clients, the chairman of a controversial corporation, has been offering assistance in the search. When the chairman is killed, Ji not only becomes the police department’s prime suspect but also the target of the man behind the assassination. An innocent man, wrongly accused of a crime he didn’t commit, is forced on the run from both the authorities and the real bad guys. The setup of the new Korean action/thriller, The Suspect, won’t win any awards for originality, but the script offers other additions that when combined with the numerous action sequences makes for a mostly compelling movie.

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clip the suspect

South Korea produces a higher consistency of quality action-thrillers than any other country. Fact? Opinion? Either way it’s true to me. The last few years alone have seen a barrage of near-instant classics including The Man From Nowhere, The Chaser, The Yellow Sea, A Company Man, Confession of Murder, Secret Reunion, I Saw the Devil, and more. Their success comes from a combination of attitude and aesthetic with the other common element being some stellar fight/action choreography. The most recent film hoping to join the ranks of the ones above is The Suspect. Director Won Shin-yeon‘s latest comes six years after his solid 2007 thriller, Seven Days, but unlike that one this appears to have a somewhat political bent. The story follows a North Korean defector now living in the South who is forced on the run after he’s accused of a triple murder. All is not as it seems though, and soon some explosive truths come to light. Check out an exclusive clip below featuring the first of The Suspect‘s many fight scenes.

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