Friday, November 10, 2017

272. Attention, Love 稍息立正我愛你 (2017) Taiwanese

Joanne Tseng, Prince Chiu, Kuo Shu Yao, Riley Wang

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A+

I both loved and hated this one, because it was cute and fun, and it also drove me nuts.  How many excuses can they give to make a couple clearly in love not be together?  That is basically the plot of the show, a twist on Mischievous Kiss, really.  Two kids who were basically betrothed at birth meet again in high school and fall in love, then anything that could possibly keep them apart keeps them apart.  Like he's running away from his feelings the whole time because it was hard enough for him to just accept her as his best friend and family, so taking it to the next level was too much.  Then everything getting in the way in between, it was pretty unreal.  But most of the characters were so lovable that it was fine wading through all the frustrating "you like each other, why aren't you together yet?" if you just sat back and enjoyed the ride.  Mind you, for me that was difficult to do, but it made it easier.  It also had a trolling habit of making you think things were going to be much more extreme.  Like everything will be ruined next week, or they're going to finally get together, or he's going to be even more of a psychopath, etc.  None of it ever really happened, which was part good and part frustrating.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Women Who Make Me Watch Dramas Against My Will: Goddess Edition

Time for another collection of lovely ladies.  This time I grouped them by the category "Goddess."  You know when your actress just has it all and they are so awesome that this might be the only appropriate way to refer to them?  They are gorgeous, great at acting, and full of personality.  I could probably put all my ladies on this list, but the purpose of these groups was to create decent sized posts.

These are the women who the first thing you think of when trying to describe them is: She's a freaking goddess.  Hashtag woman crush for days.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Korean Movie Night: The Host 괴물 (2006) Korean

Song Kang Ho, Byun Hee Bong, Park Hae Il, Bae Doona, Go Ah Sung

Movie rating: 7/10     Neck score: A

We watched this one because besides being famous, it was the week of Halloween and we wanted to watch a scary movie... this movie is not scary.  I would not count it as horror, more of just a monster movie- a baby on the scale of Gojira (Godzilla), but the same kind.  In fact, when I found out that it was based on a real life event, when a Korean mortician working for the U.S. military dumped a bunch of formaldehyde down the drain and substantially into the Han River.  This turns it, like Gojira , into an anti-American film, as it focuses more on the effects of American involvement and attitude.  It is a political statement, not a horror movie.  I would even say that the real monsters in the movie are not the actual monster, but the U.S. Military and how they handled the situation.  The fact that they spread a mass virus hysteria because one of their soldiers died fighting the monster, while off duty, and that they would willfully turn Korean citizens into lab rats to cover their tracks just reinforces the theory.  Then there is the obvious stab with the thinly veiled reference to Agent Orange, renamed Agent Yellow, as the bio weapon used to combat the creature.

The monster itself is just not scary because this movie is old and I was super underwhelmed at the CGI.  It was meant to look like a giant mutated salamander or some other kind of amphibian, and it actually made me giggle when it first came out and went on a rampage.  But this was 2006, so try not to judge it too harshly.  I feel like the CGI budget was used up on the scenes where the monster would swing on the bridges in the sewers to travel, and climb up the the walls down to the pit where it would spit out it's victims.  It had moments of coolness, but was still an early example of CGI monsters at best... or maybe worst.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Kpop Running Playlist

About a year ago I decided I hated that I sucked at running.  I didn't want running to defeat me.  So I started training for a 5k, and then later a 10k, and then I started slacking so I'm back at the 5k level... but that's ok.  I'm still doing it.  And one of the reasons that I love it now is because I've got a pretty sweet Kpop Running Playlist.  When I'm less motivated to go, I just think of the lovely music I get to listen to, and that helps motivate me.

So does the lovely fall weather that we have right now, and the early summer mornings, and the start of spring... I am a sissy, though, and I don't run outside after Christmas.... It just gets too cold.

Monday, October 23, 2017

276. Manhole 맨홀-이상한 나라의 필 (2017) Korean

Kim Jae Joong, Uee, Jung Hye Sung, Baro, Lee Sang Yi, Kang Hong Suk, Kim Min Ji, Jang Mi Kwan

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A

I had heard so many mixed reviews of this one, I wasn't sure if I wanted to start it.  But for my love of Kitty (and Baro, Uee, and Jung Hye Sung), I started it anyway.  I loved it right away!  I loved the premise, the way that the time travelling rules were set up, and the changes that he made each time, the butterfly effect, and the resetting each time.  Sadly, it got kind of weird.  I think that due to the low ratings, they decided to just throw every weird and dramatic trope in it.  Partially, that was something they could just do as a twist with the butterfly effect twists, and I liked those, but when the fiance went from being a cheater to basically his same character in Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, I think they over did it.  He might be hot, but he got way too much screen time.  I was so done with seeing his crazy face before he went out and beat people for no reason.  Anger management, dude.  I get that it was frustrating to watch a couple that obviously liked each other for 28 years go through a bunch of things because fate was obviously against them.  But that was the beauty of the plot.  It was literally about one man who defied fate.  Then it became about one man who needed to save his girl from the creeper assaulter who is one step away from kidnapping seven brides and locking them up under a junk yard while having bad hair.  Can we please get that guy a not creepy role?  I'm starting to think it's impossible.  Also, I'm not ready to see him at all for a while, because he was so annoying, so a different type of role for him, please?  Before he's ruined for forever?  So yeah, it got a but crazy at the end, but it was still enjoyable, we just made fun of it a little bit more, and moaned every time Mr. Anger Management got too much screen time.  Also, the last episode is soooooo cheesy.  Like cringing all the time.  But the pretty makes up for it.  Ovaries exploding and dying of cute.  It's all good.  No problems.  I really wish it had gotten better ratings, so that maybe it could have stayed true to it's original intent, if that was a thing.  Maybe they had that craziness in mind since the beginning, I don't know.  I do like the whole messing with time and fate thing.  It was interesting.  Still worth watching, especially if you love Kitty (Kim Jae Joong) as much as I do.

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.