Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Women Who Make Me Watch Dramas Against My Will: Second Leads and "Bitcas" Edition

I am so glad that as I was deciding to do this list, that there were so many wonderful women that I love that I could produce just as many of these lists for the actresses I would watch anything for, as for the actors.  I thought I would start with the ones that I fell in love with as they played the second female leads, the bitcas, if you will.  I love girls who play strong women, who play jerks, or even crazies, and are still so lovable and even the best thing ever.

They have such acting chops that even if I hate their character, I have to also grudgingly like them because they make them so sympathetic and real all the same.  You hate them, but also hate that you hate them because you love them too.  Or you hate that you love them, since they are being so evil... It all comes down to really loving them because they are awesome and play those evil or annoying roles like a boss.  So here are some of my favorite bad girls, who aren't your sweet young things, although they could play them like a boss too, because they are amazing.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Korean Movie Night: The Grand Heist 바람과 함께 사라지다 (2012) Korean

Cha Tae Hyun, Oh Ji Ho, Min Hyo Rin, Lee Chae Young, Sung dong Il, Ko Chang Seok, Shin Jung Geun, Kim Gil Dong, Song Jong Ho, Chun Bo Geun, Kim Hyang Gi

Movie rating: 7/10     Neck score: A

Comedy + Cha Tae Hyun + Heist means it's going to be cheesy, yet great.  It was so campy, but it didn't take itself seriously, and just went with it.  So no, not historically accurate completely, but everything they did was possible with the current technology, such as phosphorous and tunnel digging, etc.  It was like Joseon Ocean's 11, literally.  It was such a formulaic and classic heist movie, from the set up to the introducing of all the specialists, to the drama of them working together and disagreeing, to the gotcha and double gotcha moments.  It was definitely a classic heist movie, which in general I like, even if it is formulaic and predictable.  You all know I would watch anything for Cha Tae Hyun, but him as the brain of the team, the Danny Ocean, while still being comedic was fun.  He was smart and also silly.  Love it.  Oh Ji Ho was naturally the stick-in-the-mud, righteous warrior (named Baek Dong Soo) who is heisting for righteous reasons, but that's fine.  If it means we can see him shirtless and doing martial arts, it's fine.  Very fine.  Then the collection of experts,  who were all very perfect for their roles.  I loved Hyung (Song Jong Ho) as the sneaky master of disguise.  His little smirk was just perfect for it.  The bomb ahjussi was my favorite.  He was practically deaf because, you know, explosions, etc.  They pulled every heisty stereotype with the characters, as the master of disguise was also an expert seducer and the transportation specialist had Mr. T written all over him (so A-Team right there).  They unabashedly whipped out the stereotypes, but it was super fun to watch.  We were just laughing the whole time.  It hit the spot, basically.  We wanted something hilarious, and this one definitely had us laughing like the whole time.  The cast was great, the humor was great, and the kitschy heist tropes were great.  I enjoyed it.  As long as you know what you are getting, it's a good, easy watch.

Monday, October 2, 2017

274. Panda and the Hedgehog 판다양과 고슴도치 (2012) Korean

Lee Dong Hae, Yoon Seung Ah, Choi Jin Hyuk, Yoo So Young

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A+

We started this one because we were in the mood for cheesy and we wanted to look at lots of pretty Dong Hae.  I didn't expect Dong Hae to actually be pretty decent at acting.  Better than some other idols I've watched dramas for.  This was a ridiculous show nevertheless.  The villain was over-the-top bad and I ended up calling him "Rat Saekki" because his was just the worst, and stupid.  I have no idea how he managed to hide from the law for so long, because they were doing so many illegal things, both he and his wife.  They were both the worst.  Really, this show would have sucked completely if it hadn't have been for the bromances.  The girl was annoying enough, with her spacey full of herself ridiculousness, that I didn't really care about the couple.  I just loved Dong Hae with Choi Jin Hyuk and Dong Hae with Halbae.  They were all so adorable.  I know they call him a hedgehog because he's supposed to be spiky on the outside to protect his gooey core, but he was just gooey the whole time.  He was a marshmallow cinnamon bun the whole time.  He barely had any bristly moments at all, and he was an adorable drunk.

Friday, September 29, 2017

275. King is Not Easy 大王不容易 (2017) Chinese

Zhang Yi Jie, Bai Lu, Zhao Yi Qin, Xu Bai Hui

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A+

When I saw the promos for this I was excited, because it looked cute and funny. It looked fluffy.  That it was.  A body swapping Drama with the King of Zhou and his maid, who of course will fall in love.  Classic.

It started off really well.  It was rather refreshing as a body swapping drama.  It was still cheesy, but I really loved it.  I think they both did a great job of being each other, especially when she was still chasing after the hot palace guard in the king’s body, so everyone thought he was gay, and he's more jealous than worried because he's already in like with her even though he's literally only interacted with her while she was in his body.  Haha, imagine seducing your own body, haha.  Somehow it still worked, even though it was cheesy and fluffy and the king looked like a 16 year old. A cute, but scrawny one at that.

Then the last four episodes happened when it turned into some kind of an epic all the sudden.  I mean, it did have a draggy part before, when they had to resolve the 2nd couple so the king could actually get her to pay attention to him, despite him still being in her body.  But all the sudden they are fighting wars, and using every trope to fill the holes and tie up ends that didn't need to be tied.  It went full blown W on us, as worlds collided and the craziness continued to escalate.  And then, in the end, it still left us hanging.  All I wanted was a happy ending, which it kind of did, in a super open ended way.  The weird thing was that everything they did was technically possible, but highly improbable.  There were unexplored facets they didn't need to explore, but technically could because it was there, but to do it that way would be bad or at least sloppy writing.  If it was a manga adaptation, they could have done a better job, thats all I have to say.  Really, even the opening credits song was a metaphor for this show. It is fluffy and cute until the last 3o seconds which turns into a funky break down that doesn't seem to fit, much like the last 4 episodes of the show... hmmm, interesting.

So overall I loved it, but I am disappointed that the ending since istead of wrapping it up they opened a bunch of random worm cans and then left us drowning. Ok, fine whatever. I just had to go with the flow and let it happen.  I did still love the main couple, even though he was 16 and she was like 20, at least in appearances.  I also really loved the added dynamics added by the short little modern skits at the end.  I guess they could have given me some hints, since she was a graphic novelist or whatever, but still, if they were going in that direction, just make it longer. Don't surprise us that close to the end.  Nope, nope, nope.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Men Who Make Me Watch Dramas Against My Will: Ahjussi Edition

It's been a while and I've realized that I need revisit this topic of actors who I love so much I watch pretty much anything for them.  I realized that I need to pay homage to the Ahjussi in my life, because as I grow older, the oppas I like are pretty much all really ahjussi.  Am I really that close in age to 40?  Eek!

Yeah, that's the definition I'm going to use for Ahjussi- 40 and up.  Omo, do I love the ahjussi these days.  I find myself way more attracted to them, and able to connect to them, then say, those puppies in the high school dramas.  Yeah, when I do watch the high school dramas I am checking out the teacher actors, like in School 2013 or Sassy Go Go, who have some of the oppas (or donggaps) that I love.  So here is a list of "Ahjussi" actors (some of who are just barely 40) who I would watch anything for, or have watched complete nonsense for, or would just love to see in everything.  Can't they just be in everything so the quality of everything goes up?

Monday, September 25, 2017

Korean Movie Night: The Wailing 곡성 (2016) Korean

Kwak Do Wan, Hwang Jung Min, Chun Woo Hee, Jun Kunimura, Kim Hwan Hee

Movie rating: 8/10      Neck score: B

I've been meaning to watch a real Korean horror film for a while, and my boss, who love horror films recommended this one to me.  It's weird to have Korean films recommended to me when I'm the one who first recommended them to him, but that's cool.  He just likes films in general, so why not.  This one was superbly made.  The pacing is really good, which is interesting because it's a long movie and really slow paced, but at the same time, it builds well.  Well, I don't know how slow paced it can be when it starts off with death and there is plenty of death and carnage along the way.  It's not super jumpy or violent, but it is gruesome.  We mostly see the aftermath of the murders.

It's not really jumpy scary much, more like a suspense that builds up as we watch this ordinary man, a lazy cop in a remote mountain village, try to figure out what is going on as violent murders start happening around the village.  They all have the same things in common.  One family member going crazy and murdering all the rest.  They all have a horrible rash before, and they usually commit suicide after all the murders.  Also, they are very violent and bloody murders.  People start blaming the Japanese stranger, and cite having nightmares after random encounters with him.  The suspense only builds as people closer to our ordinary man begin to be affected, including his daughter.

271. Strongest Deliveryman 최강 배달꾼 (2017) Korean

Go Kyung Pyo, Chae Soo Bin, Kim Sun Ho, Go Won Hee

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A

I'll admit it took me a couple of episodes to get into this, but maybe it's because I had just finished Golden Cross and was still stuck in snarky snarkville.  I didn't like how everyone was being mean to Kang Soo (Go Kyung Pyo) when he was literally the nicest person in the world.  But then they just didn't get it yet, and it wasn't too long before everyone loved him because he was literally the nicest person in the world.  I love the nice guy trend.  It worked really good for this one, especially when it was also a continuation of the fight corruption/evil conglomerates trend.  It seemed to start slow, but I think that was partially because they really wanted all the characters to grow, and I mean all of them.  It started all mixed up, with the two rich people liking the two poor people, or at least clinging to them as they taught them how to be people, but then everyone learned from everyone, and it was great.