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Sister's Slam Dunk (2016)
Dreamer Unnies in All-Women Variety Show
I'm so glad when I saw this show that decided to take the challenge on producing an all-women variety show. And this show also proves that women can do the job. It's such a pity that many still think differently and still cutting women out of shows.
Sister's Slam Dunk S1 welcomes Kim Sook (comedian), Jessi (rapper), La Miran (actress), Tiffany (singer), Min Hyorin (actress) and Hong Jinkyung (?) into the show and they all are very good at this. I laughed so hard watching their interactions with each other.
Kim Sook and La Miran is the same age so they get along really well and took a really good care of their little sisters. Hong Jinkyung has flaws which is why she is the funniest character ever in this show. Hyorin is such a twist because she has that goody two shoes image but it turns out that she's easy going and mumbles a lot. Jessi is very tough girl but she can be funny. Tiffany...I can't really say much about her because she rarely appears on the show (she was busy promoting her solo album at the time).
Together they make up a team of DREAMERS who is on mission to make their dreams come true. Once one member's dream is achieve, they move on the the next and the next until every member has their dream fulfilled. Being a team, they must support each other's dream even if it's not theirs but that's what friends are for right?
In S2, a different casts are brought in with Kim Sook and Hong Jinkyung retain on the show. The show is still funny even with the change of members but honestly, I'm worried this show is gonna end sooner with the concept being stagnant. They did produce girl group in season 1 and they're still doing it this season. If this show is going to go with this concept, it won't survive long. What worries me more is that, if the show fails, people are gonna start saying that shows with women can't survive long. I gotta say that it's not the casts fault, the production team should've come up with a better concept for the show.
I know that the producing girl group on the show has become the most popular episodes so far for Sister's Slam Dunk but there's already a lot of this kind of shows out there. For a show to survive, they should set themselves apart from other show.
Hope they do something different after the girl group episodes.
SNL going to high school
I couldn't not watch this show because it was gaining so much popularity and still going. At first, I was a little upset for the fact that the show is full of men but I gathered later that it was for the best because this show is pretty intense of making jokes out of hurtful topics; crimes that was committed by the members.
To sums it, A Hyung I Know is like SNL in high school setting. All the students are trouble makers. And the celebrity guests supposed to play along with the setting as troublemakers who transferred into that school. There are quizzes on the celebrity guests, the sport games and the impromptu drama.
There are boring episodes but most of them are fun. I personally like the one where Red Velvet makes an appearance and playing the teenage daughters.
Could've Been Beautiful Story
Arang and the Magistrate is a story based on old Korean folklore about Arang, a vengeful spirit that haunts a village after her death. The drama uses the same plots as the original but add romance to spice things up.
Though my expectation was low, this drama turn out to be quite entertaining. Based on its supernatural setting that involves Heaven, Hell and magic, it was able to create interesting storyline. The acting is pretty decent, though I think Shin Minah should dive deeper into her 'sageuk' acting. Her tone and acting is pretty much the same as with modern drama, which at times can be just a little bit emotional cut off. Other than that, she's good.
In the middle of the 20 long episodes, I find myself with frustration because Arang didn't exactly try her hardest with the chance that was bestowed onto her. She's a fun ghost to begin with but then the story take unexpected turn and once again, make her the typical Korean damsel in distress. She caused more troubles than she's solving and of course,luckily, the hero was there to save the day. It could've be more of a solid drama if the writer didn't make Arang such a spoiled princess after showing us how independent she was. Just because she found love doesn't necessarily means she has to be weak and strongly dependent.
Well, don't get me wrong. I love the romance between Arang and the Magistrate but I think at times, it was draggy and unnecessary. While they were actively playing house, they forgets why they get together in the first place. They may forgot their life purpose but I don't. As I keep watching, I wish they would hold their lovey dovey act and get into action. Regretfully, there's no sense of urgency to complete both of their missions even when the clock is ticking real fast.
I was a little bit disappointed that Lee Junki chose this drama as his comeback but maybe he was aiming to distinct himself from typical romance. Regardless, it was a bad choice. For Shin Min ah, I think she holds the beauty for historical drama. She fits right into it. I hope she matures as an actress that can play with sageuk setting.
Overall, I give this story 4/10. It was an interesting folklore but there are so many things that couldn't uphold the weight of a beautiful story it could've been.
The Evil Side of Social Networking Sites
Socialphobia tries to uncover the life in the cyber world and how it correlates with real life. When a condescending remark was tweeted, the internet go berserk and start to rally against the immoral tweet- er. As the hatred blown out of proportion, a group of online community member feel the need to punish the criminal only to put themselves in trouble.
Repeatedly, the message sent in this movie was that normal functioning society members would never understand the life of a keyboard warrior; why they do the things they do, how they end up being a keyboard warrior. To me, keyboard warrior is just an online bully. When the medium like internet exist it makes it easier for bullies to channel their anger and immoral attitude without so much hassle. People don't know who you are and you can simply let them know the other side of you and usually without getting caught in real life.
Basically, I think this movie wants to portray how bad the younger generation has messed up with the existence of social media platform. While the platform was created with good intention, younger generations are prone to evil side it has to offer.
The movie is good enough for me. I wouldn't go as far as saying great because I wasn't heavily impacted by it. I'm well aware of the bad stuff that's going on and so it didn't so much as give me any enlightenment regarding the issue. I wish keyboard warriors would watch this movie and get a good scare out of it.
Infinite Challenge (2005)
We Only Regret The Chances We Didn't Take
Infinity Challenge (IC) has moved past its 10 years running and still remains at the top of all the variety shows that South Korea has ever produced. Any celebrity that appears on the show will be guaranteed mass rise in popularity and any celebrity would think 10 times before rejecting any appearance invitation from IC. That how influential IC is.
The great part about IC is also that they are the donation angels. They try to give back to the community as much as they can. They value a lot of small things that most of us has passed by.
They also create environmental awareness and inspires people to try the impossibles. They did rose a question on Climate Change in The Butterfly Effect episode. They challenged themselves as a model and walked the runway. They became a one day chef at a New York restaurant to advertise South Korean's cuisines. They perform in a major concert every 2 years that has attracted a larger crowd every time. They even performed with Psy at Times Square.They've done many other great things that I can't possibly list here.
True to its name, Infinity Challenge a.k.a Muhan Dojeon has been exploring varieties of challenges through its program. They did what other programs were afraid to try, they can make you laugh and make you cry. They dare to be different and never been afraid to fall. Definitely a must watch.
Never A Normal Day at this Boarding School
The Silenced or it's Korean title translated Gyeongseong High School : The Disappearance of the Girls made me dive into the story right from the start. The story, i believe took place sometime during the Japan colonization in Korea. And the mysterious disappearance of the girls happened in this boarding school.
Joo Ran (Park Bo Young) as the centre point in this whole story shoulders her own weight. I couldn't help but sympathize her for the treatment she received.
A mysterious incident took place one by one and it makes me wonder what's the deal with this shady boarding school who only has a very few students and was built way too deep into the forest. It's easy to lay suspicion as to whom is the one behind the disappearance but the real question is why this has to happened.
I'm just a little bit disappointing near the ends because i was expecting some historical reference to be the reason of the disappearance but surely the story take it's own twist. I've watched too many movies, I started developing an expectation on a certain pattern that a movie with this genre should have.
Not really the ending that I want but it's worthwhile for anyone who loves mystery/thriller/crime movies. Happy watching.
Sorry for this kinda crappy review. I haven't written in a while.
Keu Namjaui Chak 198Jjeuk (2008)
Watching Roommate somehow makes fall in love with Lee Dong Wook all over again. And so I decided to watch this movie whom in the past I couldn't bring myself to for some reason I don't remember.
I watched this in 2014 so it's not exactly impressive as I supposed it would've in 2008.
But the story is pretty beautiful for me. Not too much hassle or heart- wrenching drama involved. It was straightforward and easy to enjoy.
I think everyone has a hurtful past that they keep holding on to and fail to realize what's going on in their surrounding. This movie is sort of a wake up call for those who still live for the past.
There's 'present' for us all if we could just let go of the past.
Mildly Interesting if You Are A Fan of the Members
I don't remember exactly how i come to watch this show. New shows aren't normally appealing to me but here goes the thoughts i have on the show.
This show runs the story of a 'family' makes up of 11 celebrities from different fields; actors, singers,athletes, comedian. Some of these people are lonely people who live alone and some are looking forward to make friends and spend time with someone else other than their family. With differences in background and motives, they came together to make up this big family.
The show has no destination such as other variety show that offers end result. This show is about the journey itself.
It's entertaining but boring for the most parts. Just like in cremea's review, the sudden disappearance of casts does make it less and less interesting. As a fan of Lee Dong Wook, it bothers me that he leaves the house so often.heehee.
The first season approached a sentimental and rather slow pacing life story. They learn to open up to each other and becomes even closer. There's a lot of heartbroken moments and tears to share.
The second season is more entertaining for me because of the new casts who are well-spoken and are more daring to be themselves. Rather than sharing deeper thoughts like the first season, this season approach the fun sides of being together.
Both seasons have different charms and i like them both.
Overall, this show is mildly entertaining if you are a fan of the family members.
Leonning maen (2010)
The Rush of Adrenaline on Action Variety Show
No need to hide the fact that a lot variety shows have evolved since Infinity Challenge (Muhan Dojeon). And to be honest I do think Running Man was inspired by it. The chasing game, action-blockbuster style was first done on Infinity Challenge but of course, Running Man bring their own creativity to the table.
The show started out with 7 Running Men but added Song Ji-hyo as the 8th but then Song Joong-ki left and so it's still 7 members till this date.
This show is certainly a must watch. It dwells in humorous psychological battle and then comes the physical war and in between you've got romance/bromance and family.
The show also offers themed-episode to match the current trending movie or drama. They've also pay tribute to all-time favorite movies which makes me find myself reminisce.
The solid performance from the Nation's MC, Yoo Jae-suk has brought the show to a new level in variety world. Kim Jong Kook is certainly a tough guy on the outside but vulnerable on the inside. Haha with vast variety experiences has no problem standing proud with his wits. Ji Suk Jin first attempt at outdoor variety show does have it flaws but he's done great given his age. Newcomers Lee Kwang-soo, Kang Gary and Song Ji-hyo are not afraid to go all out and give their everything to entertain the viewers.
I know that Running Man started out with determination making their own flavor and style but recently I find most episodes a bit repetitive and lost it poise. Members' characters has become stagnant. Since everyone is now doing more jobs (thanks to Running Man popularity), it feels like they don't try to make improvement in this show. I know it's not easy to make people laugh but I wish something more and new on other departments; action, romance.
I give a 9 because there's still room for improvement. I hope Running Man will survive just like IC and continue to save me from my weekly distress.
A Wonderful 40 Episodes Journey
When I became hooked with Korean variety show, I came across this show where all the casts except for the two MCs are girls. Rarely in such setting would I find this interesting because girls especially k-pop idols are pretty limited in what they can or cannot show on broadcast. If you're familiar with k-pop idols, you know that they have to adhere to certain policies to protect their image, which in return would put the humor on monotone.
But luckily Heroes done a great job at casting these girls who have different and somewhat distinct personalities. Though they struggle at first to fit in, they eventually become close friends. In a way, it's almost like watching LOST; you threw a bunch of people with different stories and personalities and see how they survive.
The show ground is to battle the girls on popularity ranking while also making effort to promote these celebrities to the crowd.
Every week, 12 girls will be divided into two teams; the popular team and the not-so popular team. The placement was based on votes cast by netizen/citizen of So. Korea. At first, it's kind of worrying to see these girls have to face the truth about how they appear to public but on the upside, they have the way of making their way up if they know where they are now. And thus, they are given missions to complete.
It's such a fun time watching them learning something new, depend on each other and making memories.
Overall, it was truly a remarkable experience watching this show. Such a pity that it only lasted 40 episodes.
Let me begin with - Had it not been for Ha Jung Woo directorial debut, I probably wouldn't watch this movie.
A few minutes into the movie, I feel a little bit uncomfortable with the increasing ridiculous characters who board the plane. As this goes on, I couldn't fathom what kind of movie this is, or what kind of philosophical art Ha Jung-woo is bringing to the big screen.
20 minutes into the movie, I'm still concerned on how this movie will wrap up. I hope that I will just sit still and enjoy the ride but it's kinda impossible to do. The mockery or should I say comedy satire keeps popping up and as I'm about to get up from my sit, I started feeling addictive to the jokes. Not that I burst with laughter, not even a smirk but that continuous engaging scenes keep me on my sit.
I gotta tell you, as much as I want to hate, this movie was STRANGELY ADDICTIVE. The same vibe I had when I watch This is the End. Only, of course, this is done the Korean style.
In a way, I think this movie does live up to it's title; be it Roller Coaster or Fasten Your Seatbelt.
So, well done. I think you've done a pretty good job with this, Ha Jung Woo-ssi. I'll be waiting for the next one with Ha Ji-won. I'm sure she's so excited that her dream is finally coming true.
Vampire Prosecutor (2011)
A Taste of Asian Vampire
When I watch the casts' interview on TV promoting their drama, I was a little bit skeptical. I mean, really, how could I not? With Twilight movie franchises, Vampire Diaries and The Originals are currently dominating the world.
What made tempt to watch this is because I've run out of K-drama to watch. Such a pitiful excuse.
So, what started as let just watch this because I don't have anything else to watch turn into a binge-watching show time. I finish the 2 seasons in 2 days.
What fair Vampire Prosecutor from other vampire storyline is that it is Asian-flavored. Instead of diving into a whole lot of historical existence, the story go its own way.
Since every episode deal with a different case, the story managed to be different every time. They threw in dramatic-thriller, romance and comedy along the way.
I have to conclude this with 7 because I want too see more romance or bromance. Also wish to see their acting gets better.
I Summon You, Gold! (2013)
Great Start with 'Why Are You Doing This to Me' Ending
I'm just as excited as any other Yeon Jung-hoon fan was to see this drama. It's 50 episodes long family drama and so I've been warned to carefully decide if I want to start such a long journey. For YJH, I think I would.
It started out pretty clichéd, which was expected of many family dramas I've watched. But the reason to stick to the first episode is because for the first time I feel YJH is to be pity.
He played a character named Park Hyun-soo, the eldest son of the family but was looked down by his family. The reason being is that his mother was kicked out of the house for allegedly having an affair with another man. Other reason would be that he couldn't control his strong-headed wife, Yoona (Han Ji-hye). Yoona hated Hyun-soo for marrying her without love and just for money. Their several confrontations finally lead to Yoona leaving the house.
Hyun-soo knows that if he ever divorce Yoona, it means that he will lose whatever respect left that his father has for him. While desperate to get Yoona back, Hyun-soo met a woman with uncanny resemblance to his wife. That's when he concocted a plan to hire that woman (Mong-hee also played by Han Ji-hye) as his wife.
The drama started fairly well with enough revenge plot, money-craving heirs and in-laws troubles. But with all the family dramas out there, I Summon You Gold doesn't have anything new to add. The only addition is the identical-twin characters and that's not even very original.
There are times when I was speechless at the turn of conversations and events. I could laugh because I'm not sure if it was meant to be a joke.
Han Ji-hye was obviously doing her best and was awarded Top Excellence award at MBC Drama Award but I could feel that YJH was not so comfortable with his character near the end. Glad he did win an award though for the bad script he had to went through.
Overall, I gave it a 4. All on all, it's not an easy thing to produce a drama with 50 episodes. I gave the rating for effort and for the actors that stick to it till the end.
Just Another Great Kidnapping Movie
If you have seen a lot of kidnapping movies (The Man from Nowhere, Mercy, Taken), Montage is just about the same.
BUT, the story is well-presented and answers all the questions. It kind of refreshing to have such a clear ending.
The story tells us how a mother of a lost child is dealing with her lost and never lose hope to look for justice. And also the detective who's having a hard time accepting the fact that the criminal slipped of his hand.
Eom Jeong-hwa and Kim Sang-kyung performance were unquestionably good. Eom had played the same role before and so did Kim.
Overall, I give a 9 because it's been a while since I saw a kidnapping movie and I'm glad that it doesn't make me stop midway and start thinking "Where have I seen this before?".
Totally worth your time.
O! Beu-ra-deo-seu (2003)
Love It, Hate It...That's Family
Having quite a fun time watching this movie.
I have watch the City of Uprising Sun where Lee Jung Jae was bullied by Lee Beom-soo and now this movie came after wards with the roles reversed.
This story look into the journey of two brothers trying to connect after the death of their father; both don't share the same mother. Sang-woo (Lee Jung-jae) is the older brother and having to look after his younger brother, Bong-ku (Lee Beom-soo) who suffer from a disease where he's aging fast (sorry, can't recalled the medical term).
They love-hate relationship is touching and funny at the same time. Both actors really shine with their acting.
The story has just enough plot to make interesting and a little twist to wrap the whole story. The premise is mainly family and how much you hate them is how much you love them.
Eeo siti (2007)
Air City Couldn't Really Fly
Easy to say that I'm not much of action-flick fan but I'll give this one a try because of Jung-jae Lee and Ji-woo Choi.
It has garnered much attention in So. Korea before it's official release and one of the most anticipated drama of the year.
The story took us to the daily behind the scene work of airport personnel. The struggle they have to face while making sure the passengers are safe.
The starting was fine for me and I'm willing to sit through and give it a chance to make up until the end of the pilot episode. And I was kind of disappointed. I barely watch the next episodes and couldn't find a reason strong enough to continue.
Though, of course, I don't really know much about acting and I can only say it from a viewer's perspective. Jung-jae Lee acting has always leave an impression. Ji-woo Choi acting was pretty much the same as in Winter Sonata. I was hoping to see a different side of her. Jin-wook Lee role was quite good but I wish he would have more facial expression.
Overall, I give it a 7 for effort done on researching the real issues dealing with airport security but nonetheless, a drama should be dramatic at some point. And that's what this drama lack.
High Expectation Ruined It
This drama has an incredible line up of actors which is why I think created a high expectation from viewers. Plus, the director is the same one who directed Coffee Prince.
Given Coffee Prince was such a hit, I was expecting Triple to be about the same or much better.
Min Hyo Rin, even though was rookie at the time, gave an impressive performance as Lee Haru,a strong-hearted girl who dreams to become a figure skater. She was really adorable being a girl who fall in love with Shin Hwal, her (ex) step-brother.
Shin Hwal played by Lee Jung Jae is undeniably perfect. To be honest, his acting has saved most of the story and script.
Other actors, had played their roles real well, in my opinion but Hana Lee's role as estranged wife of Shin Hwal has unfortunately drain my energy while watching. Her character is so lifeless even with all the problems she had going.
Couldn't help but make the comparison between Triple and Coffee Prince. My take is that there's too many depressing moments and not much breather in between. Coffee Prince on the other hand, take one problem at a time and give viewers a time to smile before the next tears.
Overall, I gave it an 8 because the acting performance was sort of brilliant and the story was not totally hopeless.