Thursday, September 22, 2016

225. 49 Days 49일 (2011) Korean

Lee Yo Won, Nam Gyu Ri, Jo Hyun Jae, Jung Il Woo, Bae Soo Bin, Seo Ji Hye

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A-

I don't mind tragic endings and crying at an eternally separated OTP, I know Jung Il Woo was going to make me cry from the start, but I don't like being sucker punched in the face by random and unnecessary tragedy, or having a cheap and ridiculous band aid that makes no sense the way that it was randomly thrown in at the end without proper buildup.  Nope, the ending of this show completely ruined it.  Well.... not completely.  I still gave it a 6, which is pretty good for how lame the last episode was.  Why do they always ruin that last episode?  What is worse than the random family crap at the end is how they tried to redeem the bad guys.  Nope, those two were the worst.  I hated them both the whole time because they were vindictive and bat shiz crazy.  They were both just losers who pitied themselves so much that they decided to ruin everyone else's lives, and were both not cool ever.  I hated how much screen they got, and especially at the end.  Lame.  Now, let's talk about what I liked, because I did like most of the show.  Lee Yo Won was amazing.  She played two roles so well, it was beautiful.  You could always clearly tell who she was in an instant, from the way she talked, walked, moved, or even just stood.  She also caught all of the little ticks and mannerisms of Baby's (Nam Gyu Ri) character perfectly, so it was no wonder that Han Kang (Jo Hyun Tae) recognized her.  It wasn't just because it was in the script, it was that good.  I also loved the relationships between all our lead peeps.  Between Ji Hyun (Baby) and the Scheduler (Jung Il Woo), between her and Han Kang, between her and Song Yi Kyung (Lee Yo Won) and also between Han Kang or Jung Il Woo and Song Yi Kyung.  Of course I loved Jung Il Woo as the scheduler.  His parts were always the best parts, because he was less dramatic at first, being a little punk of a scheduler who was constantly being harassed by Baby.  Of course he was also the one who made me cry at the end, but that's because he's good and those parts were beautifully sad (not like the rest of the ending).  I liked the plot, there were lots of good twist and turns through out the story, so right up until the last episode or so this show was great.  Sigh.  I do with that I could have a Jung Il Woo Scheduler ringtone, with his pissy little voice telling me I have a call, or telling people that I can't answer a call.  That would be the best.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Momance: Sometimes the Mom-Drama is actually the best part of the drama

When we think of Kdrama mothers, we usually think of those evil moms, like in Boys Over Flowers or Secret Garden who will stop at nothing to get rid of our heroine by whatever means.  We think of those moms that are just another plot device to tear the couple apart.  Or we might think of the mom drama moms.  The ones who throw a spanner in the works while trying to protect our protagonists, or themselves, or just make everything overly dramatic.  When the drama becomes a battle between the moms or the mom and children for what is best.  Like You're the Best, Lee Soon Shin, which I watched for Jo Jung Suk who was barely in it, which isn't really about Lee Soon Shin but her mothers.  Every single mother in the entire show was annoying and made me want to scream.

Moms are an important part of dramas, because moms are super important in real life.  But what I love and want to celebrate now is those mothers who actually made the dramas better.  Sometimes, they are the best part of the dramas, or at least so enjoyable to watch that they made it better.

216. W 더블유 (2016) Korean

Lee Jong Suk, Han Hyo Joo, Jung Yoo Jin, Kim Tae Hwan, Kim Eui Sung, Lee Si Eon

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A

Interesting premise and even more interesting execution.  Every preview made Lizabreff say: "what!?!" and we could never anticipate fully what would happen next.  It was very nice in how unpredictable it was.  I also liked the creation of the other world.  Like the fact that it was a manhwa world governed by the rules of manhwa, such as the cliffhanger ending to episodes and the rules of the character descriptions and roles, etc.  It was pretty clever in that respect.  But that also meant that the plot and worlds were also very complicated, and since it was a fantasy genre, anything could go.  So we never know what craziness would happen next.  This, however was the very nature of the plot.  Even though the world or story was predetermined, the will of the characters made it so that you couldn't just dictate an arbitrary ending.  The characters had to be satisfied.  The laws of the manhwa had to be satisfied.  It was all very complex and wonderful.  There were also so many good characters and actors to pull it off.  Such as Lee Si Eon as Soo Bong.  He was just amazing, poor little assistant artist.  I was impressed, as always, with Kim Eui Sung.  That man is just a good actor.  His characters were probably the most complex, and he handled them so well.  The crowd favorite would have to be the crazy fanboy hospital professor Mad Dog (Heo Jung Do) who represented all of us every episode as we watched.  He was so perfect.  I would have liked to have seen a Puppy/Yoo Jin love story.  I thought they had more chemistry together than she had with Lee Jong Suk.  Like literally Kang Cheol was never going to see her as more than a friend, but she had chemistry with that Puppy Namja everyone kept calling oppa and hyung, even when he was younger than everyone in real life, haha.  I know some people didn't love the ending.  It was about what I expected.  I'm not sure what else was supposed to happen for the ending to make any sense.  So I thought it was great.  I liked all the twists and complex themes, and of course the love story.  I will watch pretty much anything for Lee Jong Suk, but this show was well worth it.  He was great.  The show was great.  Plus, lots of blood AND lots of cute.  Cool!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ode To My Father 국제시장 (2014) Korean

Hwang Jung Min, Yunjin Kim, Oh Dal Su, Jung Jin Young, Jang Young Nam

Movie rating: 9/10     Neck score: B

Oh. mo.  This movie had me in tears.  It also had me laughing really hard.  It was just all the emotions and feels, so much joy and pain.  It was a very emotional story about a family that was torn apart in the Korean War.  During the Hungnam Evacuation, Deok Soo was in charge of helping his little sister.  While climbing into the boat, his sister gets lost and the father goes back for her.  The boat leaves, leaving the father and sister missing.  Deok Soo then has to be the head of the family, at like 7 years old.  Commence the first round of tears.  Then the movie follows the rest of his life as he takes care of his family and searches for his father and sister, making sacrifice after sacrifice.  It's also full of  beautiful and wonderful moments of life, as he meets his best friend, as they grow up, as he falls in love.  There are plenty of moments that had us laughing so hard.  My personal favorite was the fangirl moment when Yunho suddenly popped up on screen and Lizabreff and I were whispering to each other (since it was a movie theater type experience): "omo, that's Yunho!" and getting all giggly.  We also did little heart hand dances when Ra Mi Ran or Kim Seul Gi were on the screen, because we heart them.  Everyone did such a fantastic job.  Even the people who got the old people make up did a pretty convincing job of acting old and stuff.  It just hit you right in the feels the whole time, whether those feels were happy, sweet, sad, or you know heart wrenching.  Basically we loved it.

223. Just One Smile is Very Alluring (Love 020) 微微一笑很倾城 (2016) Chinese

Yang Yang, Zheng Shuang, Mao Xiaotong, Bai Yu, Ma Chunrui, Zhang He

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A

I was pleasantly surprised with this show.  I didn't have any expectations, I was just bored when I started it, but it had me smiling the whole way through.  It was a ridiculous story about a pair of seemingly perfect people who are just the best having to overcome all of the crap that the lesser humans throw at them because they are petty and not as cool.  That being said, it was nice to see a couple so stalwart that they would not falter at any of the bitca or jerk's slimy tactics.  They were never tricked and there was no noble idiocy.  That was pretty refreshing.  I also liked that even the jerks and bitcas were not 100% losers, but that they all had learning curves.  I especially liked how awkward Wei Wei (Zheng Shuang) was all the time and expressed her inner thoughts, like checking out and feeling hot and bothered about how sexy he was.  I did get too invested in Er Xi's relationship with Cao Guang.  It was like a huge part of the plot, but then they resolved it by only hinting that they were going to get together and not letting them get together.  I liked the main couple, but I wanted more balance with the other peeps in the show too, so that was a little boring to me in spots.  I guess I'm too used to the main couple getting mopey that them being cute the whole time got a little boring.  It still made me smile, I just wanted more resolution for the other characters, so spending so much time at the end for them to plan their wedding when there was no other conflict got boring for me, but it was a really good solid show.  Plus the nerd F4.  All of them so good looking, and all of them so nerdy.  I also really loved how they acted out the game sequences and portrayed the moments when someone would step away from the computer.  As a gamer, I thought those aspects were really well done.  It also gave a good excuse for those sequences to be really cheesy, since they were a blend of real life and video game.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

215. Uncontrollably Fond 함부로 애틋하게 (2016) Korean

Kim Woo Bin, Bae Suzy, Lim Ju Hwan, Lim Ju Eun

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A+

This was a pre-produced drama that was written and edited as if it was a live shoot drama.  If they had all that extra time to produce and edit it, couldn't they tighten up the writing, make the second half decent, and not overuse flashbacks?  No?  Well, I guess not then.  While I'm not wholly unimpressed with this show, it definitely fell short of its potential.  Especially in the writing department.  By the end of this show it was so ridiculously over dramatic about dumb stuff that we just laughed.  I couldn't even cry.  The characters were so flip floppy and all over the place that it made them less sympathetic, and the ridiculous stunts they pulled at the end were hilariously bad.  Couldn't they have come up with something better?  Nope.  However, there were things about this show that consistently impressed me.  The OST was pretty amazing, as was the not OST but overused New Empire song A Little Braver.  It was fun to sing along to.  I was consistently impressed with Kim Woo Bin.  Even though his character was written stupidly, his acting was amazing.  He really acted those sick scenes really well.  I was also impressed with little things like the blood when he ripped his IV out.  Yes, there should be that sort of thing if you are ripping a needle out of your body in such a rash manner.  Little things like that were impressive.  Im Ju Hwan, aka Luscious Locks, had some nice moments, but he ended up being so pathetic.  Sad day.  He acted it well too.  Suzy... did the best she could, but her character was pretty lamely written, which proved to be too much for her acting chops, but she did try, which was good for her.  Crazy Eyes, well Lim Ju Eun did fabulous, but that character was just crazy.  The bad guys were all pretty over the top, and there were lots of annoying or hateful characters.  Then they tried to redeem people way too much at the end, which is  little dumb and made it draggy.  They just had horrible pace and timing, so especially in the second half, the show was just ridiculous.  Oh well.  Woobs was amazing still, even if he character wasn't that likable a times.  I blame the writers and not him.  He was great.