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Pick of the week: A Korean mob thriller that could teach Hollywood a thing or two

Ever since the Hong Kong action-movie boom of the 1980s, the film industries of East Asia have arguably been better at making old-fashioned, hard-boiled crime thrillers than Hollywood has. Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning “The Departed,” after all, was a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong thriller “Infernal Affairs” (albeit an excellent remake with its own spirit and considerable subtlety). While Asian pop cinema remains just off the radar screen of mainstream American culture, it’s a whole lot easier to find than it used to be. This week, Korean writer-director Park Hoon-jung’s byzantine, slick and bloody mob drama “New World” opens theatrically in numerous North American cities, just a few weeks after its smash-hit premiere in Korea.

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