Thriller

Hun Jang – Ui-hyeong-je AKA Secret Reunion (2010)

Synopsis:
A North Korean killer known as “Shadow” is sent to assassinate an important dissident who found refuge in Seoul. He is helped by two sleeping agents: Son Tae-soon as look-out, and Song Ji-won, an elite fighter. The North Koreans have not counted with Lee Han-gyoo, from the South Korean National Intelligence Service, who has been tracking them and closes in with his men. Han-gyoo has not counted with the North Koreans’ skill and ruthlessness. True to his reputation, “Shadow” disappears. Ji-won manages to escape, but cannot return to his country, where he is suspected to be a traitor, nor defect, for this means certain death for his wife and daughter who remained in North Korea. Discredited, Han-gyoo is fired from the NIS. Several years later, Ji-won and Han-gyoo meet unexpectedly, and pick up their confrontation — but not quite from where they left it off. Read More »

Harry Lachman – Dead Men Tell (1941)

Just as elderly Miss Nodbury is ready to leave on a treasure hunt for a family fortune she is scared to death by the ghost of a pirate ancestor. Charlie Chan investigates the rest of the clan.

A treasure map in four pieces, the ghost of a hanged pirate, a talking parrot, and a shipful of red herrings complicate Charlie’s search for a murderer on board a treasure cruise. Read More »

Robert Benton – The Late Show (1977)

Plot Synopsis
Even though he barely makes enough money to cover his expenses and finds divorce cases (his bread and butter) unsavory, aging detective Ira Wells (Art Carney) is determined to stay active and to retain some amount of self-respect. When his partner Harry Regan (Howard Duff) is killed while on assignment, Ira agrees to take on his current case, although he can’t see how it has anything to do with his friend’s murder, which he is anxious to solve. In order to survive, by solving the case of his client’s missing cat, and solving the murder of his friend, Ira winds up accepting a lot of help from his client Margo (Lily Tomlin). By the end of the film, it looks like an offbeat romance, or perhaps a new business partnership, is blooming. Read More »

Anthony Mann & Laurence Harvey – A Dandy in Aspic (1968)

In West Berlin at the height of the Cold War, British spy Eberlin (Laurence Harvey) is tasked with the dangerous assignment of finding and assassinating the treacherous KGB agent Krasnevin, who has killed many undercover British agents. He’s given a new partner, Gatiss (Tom Courtenay), to help eliminate the deadly Russian. What neither his bosses nor his partner know, however, is that Eberlin himself is Krasnevin, a double agent whose secret identity his Moscow bosses don’t want compromised. Read More »

Karel Kachyna – Ucho AKA The Ear (1970)

Quote:
Karel Kachyna’s 1970 The Ear is a harrowing tale that interweaves marital discord and surveillance paranoia. With its portrait of a government functionary who spends a sleepless night wondering if he’ll be arrested before daybreak, it’s no wonder that The Ear had to wait until 1989 for its Czech premiere; the wonder is that it was made at all. The latter, at least, can be explained by the fact that Kachyna’s long-time collaborator, scenarist Jan Procházka, was a government official of some standing – which accounts, no doubt, for The Ear’s insider perspective, playing as it does with the couple’s knowledge of which rooms in their comfortable house are likely bugged and which aren’t. Read More »

Jean-Claude Lord – Visiting Hours (1982)

Synopsis:
Deborah Ballin is a controversial middle-aged TV journalist, who is campaigning on air on behalf of a battered woman who murdered her abusive husband, claiming justifiable defense against the so-called victim. But her outspoken views championing women’s rights incense one of the studio’s cleaning staff, closet homicidal psycho (and misogynist) Colt Hawker whose deep seated despising all all things female occurred from seeing his Mother throwing boiling oil in the face of his abusive Father when he was a small child (and who’s M.O. is to photograph victims he stabs as they’re spasming to death). Read More »

Jim O’Connolly – Berserk (1967)

Monica Rivers is the owner and ringmaster of a traveling circus, and she’ll stop at nothing to draw bigger audiences. When a series of mysterious murders begins to occur and some of her performers die gruesomely, her profits soar. She hires high-wire walker Frank Hawkins, impressed by the handsome and muscular young man. They begin an affair which arouses her previous lover Durando’s jealousy. When Durando is found dead shortly afterward, the other performers begin to take alarm, as a mysterious killer is obviously loose in their midst. Read More »