23 October 2016

Train to Busan Movie Review

Title: Train to Busan
AKA: Train for Busan
Genre: Action / Suspense / Thriller / Zombie
Origin: Korea
Release date: July 20, 2016
Cast: Gong Yoo, Jung Yoo Mi, Ma Dong Suk, Choi Woo Sik and Kim Soo Ah.

Seok Woo (Gong Yoo) is a divorcee, working as a fund manager. After getting divorced, he and his ex-wife share custody of their daughter Soo An (Kim Su An). Being a workaholic, Seok Woo usually leaves Soo An with his mother, and rarely has time for his daughter. When Soo An wants to go to Busan to celebrate her birthday at her mothers, Seok Woo has no other choice but go with her as he is afraid to let her take to train alone. At the same time, Seoul is havocked by mass riots, which the NEWS keep repeating.
After arriving on the KTX a woman collapses in front of the train attendant, who while trying to help her gets attacked by the woman, by getting her throat slit. Soon havoc begins on the train as the train attendant, who was presumed dead, gets up and starts attacking other passengers.
The noise wakes up the dazed off Seok Woo, noticing that Soo An is missing from her seat. While going towards the hall he notices people running and screaming, and soon realizes that people who get attacked and die, wake up as zombies. Now the remaining passengers can’t get out as the train runs on full speed, and are headed towards Busan…

I do apologize of the summary looks bleak at the end, I tried not spoil anything.
How on earth do I even explain this movie? I mean I had my fair share of Zombie movies AND TV Shows, but this one left me shocked and amazed. Though there are several moment I could complain about, I‘ve decided not to, because they don’t really ruin your overall experience of the movie. And honestly, I can pretend to know what I would do in those situations, but I bet I would be the first one to die anyways, so I am not going to act like a know-it-all. All actors involved are just perfect for each given role, though some annoyed me occasionally, I didn’t have time to dwell on it, since the pace is out of this world.
So, I recommend this 100%, as this is one of the best Korean movies ever, AND one of the great zombie movies of all time.

☆☆☆☆☆ / 5 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥♥♥ / 5 out of 5 hearts

Another Oh Hae Young Review

Title: Another Oh Hae Young
AKA: Oh Hae Young Again / Another Miss Oh / Misunderstood
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Fantasy
Episodes: 18
Broadcast period: 2016-May to 2016-Jul
Cast: Eric, Seo Hyun Jin and Jun Hye Bin.

Park Do Kyung (Eric) is a popular sound director, famous for his skills and temper. One year ago, he was dumped by his fiancé Oh Hae Young (Jun Hye Bin) on his wedding day: he then finds out that it was overheard that she is about to get married to someone else, and in a drunken frenzy decides to ruin her wedding, by ruining her fiancé.  
Sometime late he starts to see weird things: visions of a girl he had never met before. And as fate has it he bumps into her, and her name happens to be Oh Hae Young (Seo Hyun Jin). One day before her wedding, Oh Hae Young was dumped by her fiancé. Embarrassed by it, she lies to her friends and family that she was the one cancelling it. Even though she gets criticized by everyone, she firmly keeps her story like that and pretends she is okay with it.
At first Do Kyung is intrigued, but when he finds out that the fiancé he ruined was the wrong Oh Hae Young, he tries to avoid her. But fate has different plans as she moves in next door…

The more Korean dramas I watch, the more I realize that they are quite the same. So, I kind of get why it is hard to come up with good drama plots. This drama though has something special about it. Not just the cast, but the entire plot is well thought of. It has a surprising element which doesn’t make it a typical love story: which is the vision part. I know I didn’t explain it much in the summary, but it adds nice flair to the fantasy genre.
Eric has never left me with a bad drama, but this one is probably his best yet. The two female leads are regular, though not bad.
So, to sum up: a great drama with a good plot and good acting.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥♥ / 4 out of 5 hearts

12 October 2016

Love O2O Review

Title: Love O2O
AKA: A Smile is Beautiful, Just One Smile Is Very Alluring
Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy
Episodes: 30
Broadcast Period: Aug-2016 to Sep-2016
Cast: Zheng Shuang, Yang Yang, Mao Xiao Tong, Niu Jun Feng, Zhang He, Zheng Ye Cheng, 

Xiao Nai (Yang Yang) is a gaming expert who, courtesy of his basketball skills, academic excellence, swimming talent and game company presidency, also happens to be the most popular student on campus. When he first comes across the gorgeous computer science major Bei Wei Wei (Zheng Shuang), the infinitely talented wunderkind immediately falls in love. But it’s not Bei’s looks that he notices; it’s the ridiculous mastery with which she is commanding her guild and owning everyone in an online multiplayer game that makes her impossible to forget. Now, Xiao Nai must use his skills both in real life and online to capture the adorable but dorky Bei’s heart. But does their love have the XP to succeed, or will this relationship never level up?

It’s a weird drama. It’s one of a kind drama. I must say, I did not know what I went for when i started this. I saw it was very popular on SNS, and so I thought why not give it a shot, I was looking for a chinese drama anyway. It had a whole other side, than just being a campus drama. When the description say ’online gaming’, it really is an ONLINE GAMING drama. 40% of the drama took place inside a gaming platform. This fantasy element was new for me, but it didn’t bother me, in the end I came to like it. It was not realistic, but I applaud their intend, I could see they put a hard work in making those scenes, the costumes were formidable, and they were all so beautiful, like a chinese legend story. The actors were all good, but the rising star was definitly Yang Yang. He alone pulled through the chemistry with his leading lady when Zheng Shuan was a little stiff. The drama didn’t have a dramatic plot twist or mean people, but it somehow had it’s own flow and charms. To conclude an enjoyable, sweet, light lovestory. 

☆☆☆ / 3 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥ / 3 out of 5 hearts

05 October 2016

Doctors Crush Review

Title: Doctors Crush
AKA: Doctors
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama, Medical
Episodes: 20
Broadcast Period: Jun-2016 to Aug-2016
Cast: Kim Rae Won, Park Shin Hye, Yoon Kyun Sang, Lee Sung Kyung, Kim Young Ae, Jung Hae Kyun, Han Bo Bae

Yoo Hye Jung (Park Shin Hye) has had a tough childhood and difficult life. She has dealt with the life challenges by becoming emotionally guarded and acting like a tough bully at school. When Hong Ji Hong (Kim Rae Won) meets Hye Jung, he recognizes her intelligence behind her gangster facade. However revenge sets her on a path to become a doctor in a neurosurgery residency at a major hospital. Hye Jung works alongside fellow residents Jung Yoon Do (Yoon Kyun Sang) and Jin Seo Woo (Lee Sung Kyung). But when Seo Woo becomes Hye Jung’s biggest rival both professionally and personally, can Hye Jung overcome yet another major obstacle to her own personal happiness? 

I’m still not quite sure whether to like and recommend this drama, or to dislike it. I don’t wanna sugarcoat it, so i’m just going to put it out there. I loved it at some points, but hated it towards the end. I fell for it’s charm in the beginning, the cute innocent love story, the attractive characters and especially Park Shin Hye. I’m amazed by her development from the childish actress she was in Beautiful You, till the confident her in both Pinocchio and this one. It showed us a different side of Park Shin Hye. The cast was strong and the story was very promising. So what went wrong? Well, first of all they could have made Ji Soos part bigger, I mean a hot delivery guy… Why not :b On a serious note though, the storyline got dragged, every episode had it’s own mini-stories, but the overall background story went so slow, and at times you even forgot it. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but there was too much romantic stuff between the lead couple, you kind of get wearied of it. In the end I started supporting the second lead, because I felt that would be more convincing! The first few episodes were probably the best part of the drama. I kept watching till the end though, because of the character developement in the beginning. The director did a good job with hooking us on the drama till the end, but he leaves you dissapointed! Overall this drama lacks a strong plot. This is not the drama for you if you're hoping for a complex plot.

☆☆☆ / 3 out of 5 stars

♥♥½ / 2½ out of 5 hearts

Bunjis verdict
As a start I have to say this: my rating might be a bit ‘nicer’ than Kamjis, but that is not because I disagree with her. It is because I can bring myself to rate harshly – it is quite hard expecially since I enjoyed a bit of it.
Okay that said, I have to almost totally agree with Kamji. Though I already at the beginning knew this would be one of those dramas: weak. This drama has the thinnest plot every, and the weakest story EVER. I mean 20 episodes of doctors crushing at each other, and a bit of bickering here and there does not make a drama. This drama actually had potential; with some of the most amazing characters written – and with some of the wittiest dialogues ever made (in Korean drama world that is). But that is where it ends. As a medical drama there was a bit too little – or at least not enough – of medicine. Patient story were too short and few if you ask me… even if they were good, there weren’t enough. Then again that is MY opinion.
I enjoyed this drama mostly because of Kim Rae Won and some of the supporting characters – other than that I was bored. Like this drama is generally boring with a few laughs (because of the clever lines) here and there.
So all in all, a drama that will very soon be forgotten, even if it was hyped and had a lot of viewers.

☆☆☆ / 3 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥½ / 3½ out of 5 hearts

04 October 2016

Monster Review

Title: Monster
Genre: Business, Romance, Revenge
Episodes: 50
Broadcast period: 2016-Mar to 2016-Sept
Cast: Kang Ji Hwan, Sung Yu Ri, Park Ki Woong, Jung Bo Suk, Jo Bo Ah, and a whole lot of famous actors and actresses.

Right before turning 18, Lee Guk Cheol (Lee Ki Gwang) lost both his parents, and his eye sight, in a car crash. This left him to be the heir of the biggest company in Korea, but due to greed and conspiracy, Guk Cheol is left without any allies, and his entire heritage is stolen by the man he calls his uncle Byun Il Jae (Jung Bo Suk).
Several years later, now living on the streets, Guk Cheol (Kang Ji Hwan) lives as a beggar with one goal in his mind: to get revenge on the people who killed his family and get his company back. As it happens he meets a woman who offers him help, in return he has to donate his blood with has antidotes to a virus, which he had been injected while young. While trying to infiltrate the company, now known as ‘DoDo Group’, Guk Cheol, now Kang Gi Tan, meets Do Gun Woo (Park Ki Woong) who has a hidden agenda, and Oh Soo Yeon (Sung Yu Ri) whom he finds awfully familiar for some reason.
At the same time Byun Il Jae has an agenda of his own, but little does he know Kang Gi Tan is right in the middle of it…

I cannot believe I finished this! Yes, there are 50 episodes, but this drama is soooo makjang and complicated – like secrets and drama and lies… The only thing missing what a brother-sister-possibility, which by the way I am more than glad didn’t happen. I remember watching the first few episodes feeling excited that it was so simple – fast forward 20 episodes, it’s hell. Like it is SO confusing. When I had write the review/summary I was squeezing my brain to remember the beginning, only to feel as if years had gone by and these characters were from another drama… I think the director went for the miserable feeling, and got a really annoyed Bunji instead, who predicted every outcome at every single episode ending. Especially the ending – which didn’t move me at all. The leads are pretty common – disappointed I Kang Ji Hwan for a second time after Big Man, which was a bore like this one – and the other actors… almost all of them, particularity the lead actress, who annoyed me more and more as every episode went by… but the all kind of did. The only one that grew on me were: Do Shin Young (Jo Bo Ah), the spoilt brat who showed character development, and Moon Tae Gwang (Jung Woong In) the loyal servant of Dodo group until he was fired due to it. I actually loved for their moments – and yes, to see how it ends as well (If I had predicted it well – and I had). And somehow these characters grow on you... I mean 50 episodes!
Besides that, this drama doesn’t really offer much, only the typical chaebol’s fighting their typical fights of power. But I guess that is what Koreans love to watch.
All in all; not something I would recommend to people – maybe to hardcore binge watchers?

☆☆☆ / 3 out of 5 stars

♥♥½ / 2½ out of 5 hearts

Library Wars 2 Movie Review

Title: Library Wars: The Last Mission
AKA: Library Wars 2
Genre: Action, Romance, Thriller
Origin: Japanese
Release date: October 10, 2015
Cast: Okada Junichi, Eikura Nana, Tanaka Kei, Fukushi Sota, Matsuzaka Tori and Kuriyama Chiaki.

“Media Betterment announces new controls on media. A bright future for our society a sound upbringing for our children. Eliminate harmful books, media, and thought. Juvenile of fences are down 2.3 percent since the Betterment Act was passed. We must eradicate harmful books and harmful thought. The burning of books is suppression of thought! This country now exists under a reign of terror!” (intro of movie)
The sequel continues after the special. Kasahara Iku (Eikura Nana) has figured out that Dojo Atsushi (Okada Junichi) is the man who saved her favorite book and her first love. Unable to confess her love, she tries not to act different around him; but when one of her coworkers decides to burn some confiscated book she is framed for it, and in order to save Dojos reputation she takes the blame.
On the opposition - the Media Betterment Committee – someone is feeding hate toward the Library Defense Force. While the LDF is out on a mission helping a fellow Library set up a confiscated book drop off, the MBC decides to go all out and remove the task force once and for all…

Compared to the first one I liked this one a bit better, but it was no less to the first one. For some reason when you watch it you don’t think about how absurd the ‘wars’ are, and yet when you have to explain it; you kind of face palm yourself. The movie is so great, and I love that it isn’t a movie about people hating other people, rather it focuses on the issue such a free will and thought. Though there is the usual villain, and the ‘us’ against ‘them’ vibe flowing around. As the climax goes this movie nails it, as even I was pretty shocked when I understood what was happening – so that is quite the achievement.
I absolutely adore the lead couple: the fact that she is taller than him, and that he has to look up to meet her eyes *amazed* And for some reason you don’t really feel the age gap at all… so great acting! To be fair the movie has a lot of thin layer of missing substance, but they actually make up for it by giving the characters such great chemistry and personalities.
So would I recommend this movie? Yes, I would. But I believe people should watch the first one – just to get the entire picture, and be a bit loose on the entire ‘war’ thing.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥♥½ / 4½ out of 5 hearts

03 October 2016

The Wailing Movie Review

Title: The Wailing
AKA: Gokseong
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Origin: Korea
Release date: May 12, 2016
Cast: Kwak Do Won, Hwang Jung Min, Kunimura Jun, Chun Woo Hee and Kim Hwan Hee.

Jong Goo (Kwak Do Won) is small time police officer in the rural village Goksung. He lives there with his wife, mother-in-law and daughter Hyo Jin (Kim Hwan Hee). One morning he gets a phone call about a murder that has happened in that same village, and when arriving at the scene, he is met with the horrific sight of an entire family slaughtered. The killer, the father and head of the family, is sitting shaking and covered in burned spots all around his body. Soon another murder of the same type happens in the village, and it is said to be an outbreak of some sort.
Jong Goo starts hearing rumors around the village, about the ‘Japanese man’ who happened to come to the village when it all started. After checking out his house, Jong Goo and his partner are shocked to find Hyo Jin’s shoe in the house. And when he questions Hyo Jin, he noticed that the once shy and smiley girl is now swearing and threatening to murder everyone. The scared mother-in-law calls in a shaman to cure the daughter, but the paranoid Jong Goo believes the Japanese man has something to do with it and decides to take care of it…

I have a hard time deciding whether I like this movie or not. It has so much Asia in this that it became another one of those movies which I have no idea what happened. I mean it’s not hard to follow, they do keep you in the loop, but I don’t understand it. You would usually get a sense of what the meaning of a 2+ hours long movie is about, but at the end I felt empty. I wasn’t scared or shocked. I was a bit sad, but I have no idea what the movie theme is. Like if it was a scare movie, it was too well written, and if it was moral-type movie, I didn’t catch it. I don’t understand what I was watching. Maybe I am too thick? Considering people were talking so positively about it, I really don’t understand it.
The movie as a general is well-written, well-dialogued, and really beautifully made. The cast was great, and even the twist was good. Besides that, I have nothing. I really felt like a blob.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥ / 3 out of 5 hearts

02 October 2016

Let's Fight Ghost Review

Title: Let’s Fight Ghost
AKA: Bring it on! Ghost
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Romance
Episodes: 16
Broadcast Period: Jul-2016 to Aug-2016
Cast: Ok Taec Yeon, Kim So Hyun, Kwon Yool, Kim Sang Ho, Lee Do Yun, Kang Ki Young, Lee David, Baek Seo Yi

Park Bong Pal (Ok Taec Yeon) has grown up with the ability to see ghosts and uses it to work as an exorcist, banishing weak ghosts, in order to make enough money for an operation. Called to a haunted school he encounters Kim Hyun Ji (Kim So Hyun) a high school student who, because of a traffic accident, became a wandering spirit the day before her college entrance exams. Hyun Ji discovers that Bong Pal holds the secret as to why she is a spirit. In order to be freed from endlessly wandering the earth as a ghost and to ascend to the next life, Hyun Ji convinces Bong Pal to allow her to live with him and the two become ghost fighting partners.

I loved this drama more than I thought I would, it was such a pleasant surprise!
While watching, it kept reminding me of "Oh My Ghost" and "The Master's Sun". However, don't worry, it's not meant in a negative way. It just has the same vibe. Also, so far Tvn's dramas have never disappointed me yet. So, neither has this one. The story went smoothly, and I liked the exorcism aspect of it, stuff like that scares me easily and this were no joke, but somehow they kept a light feeling over the drama, so it became very enjoyable. As for the acting Teac Yeon was solid, convincing and also charming at some points. The fights were really good, enjoyable and even funny. They did a pretty good job on those. The chemistry between the leads were suprisingly okay. Kim So Hyun is starting to make a really good actress, and I’m looking forward to see her next project. All in all, a recommendable drama. 

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥ ½ / 3 ½ out of 5 hearts

Bunjis verdict
First of all, I am being VERY generous of the rating – just FYI.
This drama is cute, though I kind of felt the love story became unnecessary later on – as well as the entire ‘revelation’ about the lead actress: way too typical. When you watch a ghost story drama, you better have a good and firm story EXPECIALLY with love story, but this was like, I don’t know… neither. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the drama, I just was left with yawn at the end – I mean, it WAS predictable.
Taec and Soo Hyun are an odd pair, even though they look okay together, and Taec looks a lot like a college student, I felt Soo Hyun was a bit off – maybe because I keep seeing her as a kid? She is one of those kid actresses that is in almost every drama, and suddenly she becomes an actress with her own drama – and you can’t shake that ‘kid persona’ off her. Well at least I can’t. So the romance was good, but sometimes just off.
Taec is quite good in this, though he is a better actor than this drama gives him credit for/lets him shine.
As a comedy the comic relief was with the two fellas from the supernatural club: they occasionally missed, but when they hit, I laughed quite a bit.
So all in all: a good drama, with a weak plot.

☆☆☆½ / 3½ out 5 stars

♥♥♥½ / 3½ out of 5 hearts

27 September 2016

Five Children Review

Title: Five Children
AKA: Five Enough, Five Kids
Genre: Family, Comedy
Episodes: 54
Broadcast Period: Feb-2016 to Aug-2016
Cast: Ahn Jae Wook, So Yoo Jin, Shim Hyung Tak, Shim Yi Young, Im Soo Hyang, Shin Hye Sun, Sung Hoon, Ahn Woo Yeon, Jang Young, Park hye Sook, Jo Hyun Do, 

When it comes to families, is bigger better? Lee Sang Tae (Ahn Jae Wook) lives with his in-laws and has been raising his two children, Lee Soo (Kim Hyun Soo) and Lee Bin (Kwon Soo Jung), on his own ever since his wife passed away. He works as the marketing team leader for a fashion company. Ahn Mi Jung (So Yoo Jin) also works for the company as an assistant manager. She is raising her three children — Woo Young (Jung Yoon Suk), Woo Ri (Kwak Ji Hye) and Woo Joo (Choi Yoo Ri) — alone for the past three years after her husband had an affair with her friend and left her. But Mi Jung has been telling her kids that their father is just working in the United States over the past three years. As Sang Tae and Mi Jung deal with the daily demands of work, extended family and the needs of their children, life can get a little hectic. 

For 6 month I have been so eager every weekend to tune in and watch the episodes. At first I started it, because I love family dramas, sometimes I feel like they teach us the small things we take for granted. But as the episodes went by, I felt I watched it only for the Sangmin- & Yeontae-Couple (Sung Hoon and Shin Hye Sun). The rest of the cast was alsogreat. Sang Tae's In-laws were annoying and overbearing at times but they were also one of the most interesting characters in the show. All the children were a delight to watch. In fact, the whole time you feel excited about the kids moving in together (one day) and being one big squad of siblings. Nevertheless I did enjoy the rest of the drama very much, it doesn't have any makjang and it's low on excessive melodrama. It's a nice family drama, almost has a slight slice-of-life feel to it. 

☆☆☆☆/4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥½/ 3½ out of 5 hearts

38 Task Force Review

Title: 38 Task Force
AKA: Police Unit 38, Squad 38
Genre: Crime, Comedy
Episodes: 16
Broadcast Period: Jun-2016 to Aug-2016
Cast: Ma Dong Suk, Seo In Guk, Choi Soo Young, Song Ok Sook, Go Kyu Pil, Lee Sun Bin, Oh Man Suk, 

While the working class faithfully pays its taxes, the wealthiest elite uses elaborate schemes to get out of paying their fair share of taxes. Righteous Baek Sung Il (Ma Dong Seok) is a civil service employee who works as the Division 3 Chief at the National Tax Service who becomes fed up with the wealthiest citizens circumventing Article 38, which governs tax payments. Under pressure from his bosses to increase his division’s delinquent tax collections, Baek Sung Il tries to go after the largest tax evader in the country, Ma Jin Seok (Oh Dae Hwan), a shady Gangnam businessman. But when Sung Il and his faithful subordinate Chun Sung Hee (Choi Soo Young) are humiliated by Jin Seok and faced with possible disciplinary action, Sung Il realizes that he needs help going after the corrupt businessman. He accepts the help of professional scammer Yang Jung Do (Seo In Guk) to beat Jin Seok at his own game. Jung Do assembles his own team of professional thieves — voice phishing expert Jang Hak Joo (Heo Jae Ho), the computer expert Jung Ja Wang (Ko Kyu Pil), beautiful hustler Jo Mi Joo (Lee Sun Bin) known, ruthless businesswoman Noh Bang Sil (Song Ok Sook) and her daughter, Choi Ji Yeon (Kim Joo Ri). 

This really was a delightfully good drama. As expected from an OCN drama, the story, all the characters in the gang were thought through and executed to the smallest detail. The comedy was on point! It’s a one of a kind story, not the regular thief criminal, cat and mouse hunt, but a well-thought scheme that showcases the real thiefes in the real world. If you're tired of the gooey romance and the common love triangles, and you want something more substantial go for it because this deserves all the praises it can get. Ma Dong Seok and Seo In Gook. DO i need say more? the characters in the drama are played so well, you start believing in them. They take you on a roller coaster ride and they do it well!!
I would have given it a full rating, but somehow after the 16th episode you feel that there could have been more, I think it would have been interesting to get to know more about the characters' personal histories. Anyway, it gets: 

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥♥ / 4 out of 5 hearts

Bunjis verdict
This drama has 3 of my favorite things in modern day Korean dramas: Ma Dong Suk, Seo In Guk and Soo Young. That said it also had one of my least favorite things: swindling or conning.
I get that conning corrupt and lying people is awesome, but I rather have almost any other crime rather than that. I really dislike this theme, and I really dislike that there only was one major plot in the entire drama. I get that it's suppose to help you understand the drama easier, but what I thought was another subplot – or hoping it was, was actually just another addition to the main plot, making it too slow for me. Also I don't understand why Sooyoung's character was even in the drama – why use a famous/well known actress for a character with less than 20 lines pr. episode (20 might also be too much). The bromance was good, just not well thought off. But with two great actors even a badly written bromance looks great on a screen.
As the general audience goes, this will probably fall to your liking – I personally just preferred/expected more of the writers.
All in all, a good drama though a bit lacking if you ask me.

☆☆☆½ / 3½ out of 5 stars

♥♥♥ / 3 out of 5 hearts

14 September 2016

Beautiful Gong Shim Review

Title: Beautiful Gong Shim
AKA: Beast’s Beauty, Pretty Ugly
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Episodes: 20
Broadcast Period: May-2016 to Jul-2016
Cast: Nam Goong Min, Bang Minah, On Joo Wan, Seo Hyo Rim, Oh Hyun Kyung, Woo Hyeon, Jung Hye Sun, Kyeon Mi Ri,

Gong Shim (Bang Minah) always feels over-shadowed by her older sister Gong Mi (Seo Hyo Rim) due to the way the people around her treat the siblings. The beautiful Gong Mi, who works at a top-notch law firm, becomes the breadwinner of the family, while Gong Shim, considered to be ugly and awkward, is jobless. Gong Shim had to use all of her money to rent a room on the roof top of the rented-house her family is living in, as her previous bedroom is being used as Gong Mi's walk-in closet. Having a plan to gather money for moving to Italy to pursue her dream of becoming an artist, Gong Shim decides to rent her rooftop room. This is when she meets Ahn Dan Tae (Nam Goong Min), a lawyer who works voluntarily for those in need, despite his delinquent personality. After much misunderstanding, Dan Tae finally moves in to the rooftop room and he becomes friendly with the son of a wealthy family, Joon Soo (On Joo Wan), through helping him out. 

It started out as the most funny drama I’ve seen in a long time. Every week I would laugh so much it felt like watching a variety. One of the factors to the comedy were the wig, the first few episodes was fun but it did test my patience watching the female lead with a wig. The wig annoyed me a lot like it almost gets to my nerve every time the wig is mentioned or have to focus on Gong Shim. Sure it made the whole situation fun, It just didn’t suit her. The leads did a splendid job, especielly Minah, she really surprised me. In the beginning I wasn’t sure what to expect, and was a little hesitant. I wondered why they had her as a lead, but just after the first episode I was convinced she was the perfect fit for that character. Then there was Nam Goong Min as Ahn Dan Tae, super goof-ball that makes him stand out of all the k-dramas over the years. Their onscreen chemistry with all their sparring hair pulling and banter was nice and easy to watch, a surprisingly good couple. As I started saying, it was a really funny drama, but somehow down the road it got super serious, and lost all the elements that made it stand out. As many other k-dramas, this started out as a fast growing drama, but hit a wall in the middle, and couldn’t pick up the pace again. So yeah, very dissappointed, but at least I enjoyed the main couple till the end. 

☆☆☆ / 3 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥/ 3 out of 5 hearts

13 September 2016

Winter Sonata Review

Title: Winter Sonata
AKA: Winter Ballad / Winter Love Song / Endless Love 2
Genre: Drama, Romance
Episodes: 20
Broadcast period: 2002-Jan to 2002-Mar
Cast: Bae Yong Jun, Choi Ji Woo, Park Yong Ha and Park Sol Mi.

Jung Yoo Jin (Choi Ji Woo) is somewhat a dense yet smart girl. She lives life quite happily by being a member of the school’s radio broadcast as a host, and having a decent reputation in school. Her best friend Kim Sang Hyuk (Park Yong Ha) is also a co-host with her. Her life becomes even better when Kang Jun Sang (Bae Yong Jun) arrives, and she finds herself attracted to him. Jun Sang on the other hand has an interest in Sang Hyuks childhood and father at first, but soon falls for Yoo Jin and the two start dating. Everything changes when one night Jun Sang meets an accident and dies as a follow. This devastates Yoo Jin and makes the once happy girl, lose her smile.
Several years later Yoo Jin is engaged to Sang Hyuk, but is not completely over Jun Sang, even though she won’t say it out loud. On the day of her engagement party, she sees someone looking exactly like Jun Sang and starts running after him, but is unable to catch or find him. This results in her coming to the party too late, and leaves as strain on the relationship between her and Sang Hyuk.
A few days later, she meets the look-a-like whose name is Lee Min Hyung (Bae Yong Jun), and as fate will have it the two are unable to stay from one another…

There are several reasons I started this drama, but the main reason is that it is a classic in that everyone has either watched or heard of. I found out about this long time ago, but even then it was ‘an oldie’, so I never took the liberty to actually watch it. Though I enjoy old classics, I never felt compelled to watch this. So when I did start it was because I really wanted to watch a good ‘oldie’. I think I do understand the hype, 14 years ago: it has what most dramas didn’t have then; a decent storyline. Though amnesia, first love and all the typical clichés are involved, it wasn’t as clichés then – so I didn’t really mind it.
I know Ji Woo from other dramas, but this is my first time seeing ‘the legendary’ Bae Yong Jun. To be fair, he does look like a 90s romantic hero, but I found his acting mediocre – maybe because I am used to a bit more modern acting? I don’t know; only that I wasn’t all impressed.
So is it recommendable? If you are a drama lover like myself, and you like the old and cliché-kind of dramas – this is a most definite pick.

☆☆☆½ / 3½ out of 5 stars

/ 3 out of 5 hearts

07 September 2016

Beautiful Mind Review

Title: Beautiful Mind
AKA: Dr. Frankenstein
Genre: Medical, Thriller, Romance
Episodes: 14
Broadcast period: 2016-Jun to 2016-Aug
Cast: Jang Hyuk, Park So Dam, Yoon Hyun Min, Heo Joon Ho and Park Se Young.

This drama tells about Lee Young Oh (Jang Hyuk); a genius neurosurgeon with a brain injury to his frontal lobe, making him unable to show or feel sympathy and empathy. As a very young boy his father had intensively taught him how to read facial expressions, as he was afraid his son would be labeled a psychopath due to people with the same condition being known as either sociopaths or psychopaths. This results in Young Oh being able to hide his real nature even from his girlfriend Kim Min Jae (Park Se Young) and his fellow co-workers.
Everything changes when he's one day involved in a range of deaths at the hospital, with patients dying with no reasonable cause. This leads to policewoman Gye Jin Sung (Park So Dam) suspecting Young Oh after being involved with one of the patients right before they went to surgery. Soon after everything around him starts to crumble as the people he thought he had trusted, suddenly work against him...

Okay, so I am aware this drama isn't as famous as many other Korean medical dramas, but compared to all other medical drama I have watched, this is probably one of my favorite. You might find this one to serious and quite confusing, but I enjoyed it a lot. I am not a fan of Jang Hyuk, but I really didn't mind him here. Sometimes I would think his acting was off, but it didn't bother me at all. Maybe because of the storyline or the dialogues, but it was quite good to be fair. Park So Dam I am seeing for the first time, and I loved her. I think she made me a fan. There was something tomboyish yet very feminine about her – like a young and less experienced Gong Hyo Jin. And I am a huge GHJ fan :)
Besides that, I found the pace great, like it made me tune in every single week, and I was always excited for the next episode. But on the other hand I understand why people would dislike it – as the subject is something not everyone is fond of. Also the idiot who cut this 2 episode short should die. Seriously. There was WAY too much happening in the last 2 episodes - because it was cut.
To sum up: a great drama, but not for everyone's taste.

☆☆☆½ / 3½ out of 5 stars

♥♥♥♥ / 4 out of 5 hearts

99.9 Review

Title: 99.9
AKA: Criminal Lawyers
Genre: Legal, Drama
Episodes: 10
Broadcast period: 2016-Apr to 2016-Jun
Theme song: Daylight by Arashi
Cast: Matsumoto Jun, Kagawa Teruyuki, Eikura Nana and Kishibe Ittoku.

In Japan the conviction rate is 99,9% which means when someone is prosecuted the chance for being exonerated is only 0,1%, so if you are innocent your chances are very low. This drama follows a special team of lawyers and paralegals challenge the system by taking on the cases of 0,1% to find the truth.
Miyamoto Hiroto (Matsumoto Jun) is a lawyer who lives for finding the truths behind cases that includes investigating himself. Though he has zero interest in money, he has a high sense of honesty.
When he offered a job in the special unit he declines at first, but after some time he agrees as his curiosity for cases increases. Partnered with him and also an ambitious man is Sada Atsuhiro (Kagawa Teruyuki) who hates the idea of honesty, and prefers to work FOR the clients so that they can win – different than Miyamoto who refuses to lie no matter the reason. The two are forced to lead the team, but soon find a common goal and try to win the 0,1% cases...

Another Arashi drama! I simply love their dramas since they are probably some of the best Japanese idol actors out there, good enough to lose the 'idol' and just be seen as actors. Matsumoto has had a couple of good ones, and to be honest I was afraid he'd do a romance again (not that he's bad at it, just way too typical), so you can imagine my surprise when I saw him in a drama with no romance. It is also one of the few where the focus is mainly on the sub-stories of the drama, and doesn't really have a main storyline that fills the plot. This makes it easy to follow even if it is quite heavy with the law and legal talk going around.
Besides that, the general drama is not really one of my favorite. It is interesting, but not something you watch to follow every single week, and it doesn't keep you on edge – not that it is necessary for it – but it makes it pretty slow paced while watching.
All in an okay drama to watch, but not a drama that keeps you on edge.

☆☆☆½ / 3½ out of 5 stars

♥♥♥ / 3 out of 5 hearts