Tuesday, June 13, 2017

262. Baek Hee is Back 백희가 돌아왔다 (2016) Korean

Kang Ye Won, Jin Ji Hee, Kim Sung Oh, Choi Dae Chul, In Gyo Jin, Choi Philip

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: A+

I've been waiting for this to be subbed for forever!  Ever since I heard about it coming.  But, since it was a drama special, it took a little while.  I'm not sure when it actually got subbed, but as soon as I saw that it was, I had to binge watch the whole thing.  It's only 4 episodes, so that is not a huge deal, but I was going to do it no matter what.  Because I love Kim Sung Oh.  So.  Much.

It has kind of a Mama Mia theme, as we have the mom and daughter and then three potential fathers.  The daughter, naturally, decides to figure out which one was her father, since they were all obviously acting so obvious.

It's about that, of course, but it really is about the mother and daughter's relationship.  When it starts out, with the family moving back to the island after so many years, they have a really bad relationship.  The daughter is in full rebellion, and the mom is fed up.  She is also hiding what she considers her dark past, so that she seems refined and proper.  The daughter thinks she is the worst, not knowing that they are really, really similar.  From the streaks in the hair to being little thugs.  The mom even changed her name, going by So Hee, so that when the daughter, Ok Hee, hears all about the legendary Baek Hee, she has no idea it's her mom.

Then she gets annoyed/amused when all the ajhussi in the town start being too nosy and kind to her, and she decides to get the most out of it.  It also is good for her, because she is starved for that kind of fatherly love, that she was never able to have growing up.  But it also helps her to learn more about her mother, now that the past gets revealed.  As if she could hide anything on an island that size.

I loved everything about this show.  From the plot, to the three stooges/fathers, to the lovely 90s past scenes, to the small town island feel.  I especially loved Kim Sung Oh.  He was so attractive in those plaid button ups over the tees with the sleeves rolled up, and his captain hat and aviators, and especially as he was such a cute, protective, nice guy.  Totally my style.

It's short.  It's cute.  It's funny.  It's heartwarming.  It gave me all the feels and I was giggling happily by the end.  Also, my phone is now full of Kim Sung Oh screenshots, so I could die happy now...

260. The King of Romance 如朕親臨 (2016) Taiwanese

Lego Lee, Cindy Lien, Gabriel Lan, Serena Fang, Ricie Fun

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A

This was completely not what I expected.  All of the synopses made it sound way more about reincarnation.  I wouldn't have minded seeing more of that either, but it really didn't need it, since that wasn't really what it was about.  It was about fate, but not in that way, necessarily.  I was surprised how into it I got, considering it seemed pretty typical.  She was the typical try hard candy character, and he was the gruff tsundere.  But I did like the twists they put in to keep it from just being that.  At least they set up the misunderstandings so they were a little bit believable.  He didn't think she was a stalker until it was suggested to him, after lots of awkward encounters.  She only thought he was a pyeontae because of an unfortunate overhearing of a slang term.  Yeah, it was pretty typical, but isn't that why we like it?

I did really like how they both had their careers.  While she was a hard working chef, we also got to see that she had her problems.  Her complacent attitude about her work or anything in life.  She was like the opposite of a perfectionist, where just good enough was good enough.  Almost right, and so on.  For a workaholic like her, that was an interesting combo.  It was like she was obsessed with working, but had lost her ambition and drive for improvement or perfection.

He was overly blunt, which is a typical trait for a male lead, but we also clearly got to see from the beginning that he was wearing a mask.  He was the cool, smart doctor, who said things too harshly, but he was also a softie.  We could tell that he cared about his patients, even when he seemed too gruff with them, as he would continue to take care of them off of work, or after his part was done.  He was an OB/GYN because he loved children and wanted to ensure their healthy and safe delivery into the world.  That's adorable.

I did say it was all about fate.  Gao Bing Bing, our female lead, is the romantic type who believes in reincarnation, and is waiting for her seventh lover, who she has dreams about from her previous lives.  Sometimes a soldier, sometimes and emperor, etc.  Wang Nuo, our male lead, is a doctor who believes in science.  They are first internet gaming friends who happen to be called Romeo and Juliet.  Then when they meet in real life, of course they don't like each other.  She thinks her fated match is her pastry chef teacher, Bruce Li (hahaha).  Wang Nuo thinks she is just annoying, especially since she doesn't take care of herself.  They meet in real life first as he steals her bike parking spot, and then as he is randomly her gynecologist.  Haha, she ran away as soon as he said she needed an internal check up.  Then he becomes her landlord... and so on.

I loved how their relationship grew.  From hating each other, to tolerating, to becoming friends, to falling in love, it was lovely to watch.  Especially as they were always on a different page, but somehow on the same page.  As they said in the show, they were on the same page of fate, or something like that.  Also, I love Lego Lee.  His acting is good.  He is especially good at crying.  He does this little lip tremble that is so good!  Also, he might be one of the only guys to snort up his snot while crying, and I appreciate that.  That's real crying there.  There were also some twists that I jokingly said would happen, then when it really did I shouted "omo, omo, daebak!" really loud because I had headphones on.  A plot twist that suddenly made everything make sense, but made that bitca first love girl go crazy.

The worst part about it was the drama at the end seemed a little forced.  All of the dramatic parts were super dramatic, that is just how most Taiwanese dramas work.  I got sick of that childhood friend/first love girl.  I wished there had been more to the second romance couple.  I don't know why she needed to break up with him just to figure out her feelings, etc.  Little things like that.  Mostly I just loved it, and especially the main couple.  They were cute, especially since they were mostly best friends, but also cute lovers.  His confession though.  Aw!

This is really long... I must have liked it... a lot.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Feast of Dramas: First Look at the Early Summer Lineup 2017

I tend to watch pretty much every drama that is being subbed at the time.  I'm just one of those people.  Usually have at least six going at once.  Lately it's been with my besties Lizabreff and Curdy, which is fun.  I'm a finisher, so I will usually just finish all of them no matter what.  Most of that time it's not too bad either, some better than others.  It's not often that you get a feast of what appears to be the good ones.

It usually happens once a year, at the start of summer vacation.  Normally the good dramas with be scattered around all year, but right as school gets out, I swear they cram as many exciting, good dramas together at once so that we don't even know how we're going to finish all of them.  It happens, rarely, but it's happening to me right now.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

253. Chicago Typewriter 시카고 타자기 (2017) Korean

Yoo Ah In, Im Soo Jung, Go Kyung Pyo, Kwak Si Yang

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A+

Ghost ghostwriters and memories of the past life rolled into a beautiful story about friendship and forgiveness?  Yeah, I liked it.  It was hilarious, sweet, and sad.  Those last two episodes were so cry.  I loved how everyone changed and grew.  It was a rocky start at first because everyone had some much growing to do at first.  But once the ghost came and the bromance began, it was beautiful.  I loved the structure, as we slowly learned what happened in the past as they themselves remembered it.  With puzzle pieces falling into place until we have the full picture, which was also beautiful and tear inducing, and made us all the more in love with Yoo Ah In.  Man, they were all killing it with their acting.  All of them.  Go Kyung Pyo and Im Soo Jung as well.  Flip, they all made me laugh and cry.  I do have to say that it was hard getting used to Yoo Ah In's fade at first.  It wasn't our favorite.  But we sure did like his past hair, even if it was a wig.  It was wonderful and super sexy.

I was actually super impressed with Cordon (Kwak Si Yang) in the end too.  He was just crazy at first, and an annoying interloper in the love line type deal, but then he was really good at being very evil.  He was a good villain, and I was impressed.  The kind of villain you love to hate.

Other people who were amazing includes Turtle Ahjussi, or Jo Woo Jin, who played the publisher.  I loved him, and his clothes, and his little fussing tantrums.  He was awesome.  I also loved the best friend, played by Yang Jin Sang.  Shout out to her too.  Really it was just a great cast, with a great story, and a super great love story.  It was tragic and sweet in the past, and just plain adorable and sweet in the present.  And the bromance was the same.  Sad, sweet, adorable.  Check!  Loved it.  It was an addicting, solid, wonderful drama.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Korean Movie Night: Sori: Voice From the Heart 로봇, 소리 (2016) Korean

Lee Sung Min, Shim Eun Kyung, Lee Ha Nui, Lee Hee Joon, Kim Won Hae, Chae Soo Bin

Movie rating: 7/10     Neck score: B

Lizabreff summed it up nicely when she said that if it had been anyone with less acting chops than Lee Sung Min, this movie might not have worked.  It would have been superbly campy and not the sweet tear jerker it was.  Lee Sung Min was amazing as a man who has lost his daughter and doesn't believe she was killed in the subway fire like everyone else keeps telling him.  During his crazy search to find her, he finds a crashed surveillance satellite that can trace calls and phone records.  It also has an attitude.  Shim Eun Kyung did an awesome job with the satellite robot's voice, making it sound very robot AI, but also have such character and personality.

He join forces with the robot and goes in search of his daughter, based on phone records and GPS locations.  Naturally, since this was an NSA surveillance satellite, they don't want it falling in the wrong hands, so we've got some bad English speaking actors.  We also have the NIS and KARI involved too.  Lee Ha Nui is the KARI employee, and she is awesome.  Her English was awesome too.  At first, based on the friction between her and Lee Hee Joon, the NIS agent, we were like "couple?" but then he was just a tool, so we were glad that didn't happen.  Ew.  So, it definitely had an agenda.  It was very anti-surveillance and pro-personal privacy protection.  No one seemed to have a good opinion about the NSA.  The NIS wasn't very favorable either, for that matter.  They definitely made a statement about the issues about privacy in the digital age, as well as corruption based on the power of having the sort of information that would be stored in such a remarkable surveillance satellite.

So it's going to put you through all the emotions.  I described it to my brother as "a tear jerker, but funny" and that is true.  The robot is so sassy, and Lee Sung Min is great and a little crazy.  Ryu Jun Yeol's bit part was funny.  That wig, haha.  Then all the crying parts.  It's good.  But really, it is a silly concept, so it could have been so bad so easily, but it wasn't.  It was a funny tear jerker and it was good.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

257. Queen of Mystery 추리의 여왕 (2017) Korean

Choi Gang Hee, Kwon Sang Woo, Lee Won Keun, Shin Hyun Bin, Kim Hyun Sook

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A

I liked it enough to binge watch it over the weekend, but was left unsatisfied by the ending.  It was like it wanted to be too much, and in the end was rushed and too open ended.  I liked it when it was just two stubborn detectives, one a cop and the other an ahjumma, but when they tried to make it a romance it fell a bit flat.  They definitely had something, but it wasn't the romantic kind of love, so I was glad that they left that as open as the rest of the end.  It was pleading to be at least a 20 episoder, or have a sequal season, but it was neither of those things either.

They had plenty of cases where they built up the characters and developed relationships.  They also hinted at a bigger mystery of what happened to his first love and what happened to her parents, but they didn't really start tying it all together and giving us any information on that until way too late in the show.  The last two episodes were way too rushed and almost felt like a totally different drama.  It made the last episode so draggy, because I knew it was ending, but it was acting like it had 4 more episodes to go.  This made it both draggy and rushed as they crammed all they could in, and then left it open, saying they solved that much of it, but it's not over yet.  Duh duh duhhhhhhh.


I knew they were going to try for a romance, but I kept being conflicted about wanting to.  I saw him liking her, but I thought it would be ridiculous for her to like him back, especially when she was married.  They also didn't do a good enough job making her husband unlikable.  I don't cotton to cheating and having couples get divorced so the OTP can be together, so the only way to make that work would be to have him be a complete evil jerk, or have their marriage be over right at the beginning, before any main couple relationship could start.  They did neither.  The husband was only human and an idiot, and it was clear that he loved her (although he probably loved himself a little more).  He could also just be weak and ambitious.  None of those are quite enough to lead to cheating or a divorce, but maybe a fight and some repenting are in order.  It was ambiguous whether any cheating actually happened, so I could never completely hate him.  That's just my opinion.  I was torn a lot because the main couple does have a good chemistry, but not necessarily romantic.  Friends is fine.  It's almost a bromance.  Although the real bromance is steamier.

I did love Sissy Cute Neck's (I'm sorry, that Phantom nickname will never go away) relationships.  He had a puppy crush on his "teacher" and an awkward bromance with the male lead, who loved to tease him.  It was great.  I loved the couple pajamas parts.

I really think they didn't use the main plot enough.  The second female lead was barely in it.  I would have loved to see more Jang Do Jang, and to know much sooner why our detective was so obsessed with catching him.  So many things could have been better.  It was ok as it was, but ultimately disappointing.

What was not disappointing, because Ahn Kil Kang is never disappointing, was the side characters and secondary romance.  I was hoping that was going to go down from the start.  Yes!  Other than that, it was decently creepy at parts.  I loved the creepy use of that Rose of Sharon song, it did its job well, but as for well written and ending, the drama stalled and putted across the finish line.

Friday, May 26, 2017

251. Tunnel 터널 (2017) Korean

Choi Jin Hyuk, Yoon Hyun Min, Lee Yoo Young, Jo Hee Bong

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A

I usually just like OCN dramas and this was no exception.  It was great.  I loved all the characters.  The bromances between all of our violent crimes team, and especially between our leads (Meat Head/86 and Fish Bangs FTW!).  So good!  I loved the girl who was, besides that one lapse of logic they made her have so she could be vulnerable enough for the plot to move on (it was super stupid), super smart and bad-a.  I loved her relationships with our bromance too.  I loved how suspenseful it was at times, although some of N's scenes made me have to scream in a pillow because we were watching them at midnight and I didn't want to see bad things happening to my secret secret Vixx bias.  (Screaming spoilers into pillow- you cannot hear them).  All of the men were very cool, and attractive.  Love me some Fish Bangs... and Choi Jin Hyuk... and Kang Ki Young... and N.... so many to love!  And it was some of the better police work I have seen in a drama about police in a while.  It was like they actually did stuff, and not just visiting the crime scenes.  They all pulled their own weight and we saw them do stuff.  Although I don't know why they always have to be so obsessed with getting a confession.  Just indict him!  I did have some concerns with some of the things that they decided to just gloss over.  It was a time travel drama, about a cop from 1986 jumping forward to 2017, but they didn't bother much with the typical time travel stuff, like the butterfly effect, etc. because he stayed most of the time in the future, without much changing the past, etc.  I guess if he is from the past that makes more sense, but his return is bound to change things in the future, but they don't really bother much with it.  Everything they did in the drama could be negated, but whatever, we don't have to see that, and the drama was really good so it doesn't matter.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

221. Moonlight Drawn By Clouds 구르미 그린 달빛 (2016) Korean

Park Bo Gum, Kim Yoo Jung, Jung Jin Young, Chae Soo Bin, Kwak Dong Yeon

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A

And yet another tale of Lizabreff and I not finishing a drama right away because of reasons that weren't really reasons.  Once again we were watching too many dramas at once, and we sacrificed this one so we could finish the others.  Of course, like always, we stopped right before it got good again.  It was getting boring and we couldn't handle it.  We weren't ready for all the crap that was inevitably going to happen after episode 12, so we just stopped before 13.  It probably didn't deserve that, since it was by far a better drama than most the other ones we actually finished at the time, which I gave much lower ratings (cough cough Moon Jun Ki ahem Cinderella and the Four Knights cough cough).  I think it was too many sageuks for Lizabreff.  She'll be the first to admit they are not her thing, and as soon as they get slow she struggles.  I think that was partially what happened, plus the other sageuks, and it was just too much.

So, I ended up just finishing it alone, much later.  It took me no time at all too, which makes this whole story pathetic.  In like two or three days I finished the remaining 6 episodes.  Why was that so hard?  I was super into it too.  Nothing was hard to watch, it was all just normal good sageuk.  Not even the bad kind, the normal good kind.  I do have to say that the last episode was not good.  It did not measure up to the quality of the rest of the drama, which is often the case with any given drama.  However, this erred on the side of being too happy and gooey.  No way any of that was possible.  It was like they just threw all reality out the window and made every happy ending fantasy come true.  It was cheesy and bad.  Sorry that I actually wanted Bo Gum to die?  Not because I hate him, I love him. But I thought a tragic ending would have been nice.  It's not like that historical figure didn't die young.  Apparently he did, so what was that ending?  Spoilers, he doesn't die.  Sorry.  I know it was based off of a novel, but not having read it, all I had was the historic context, but I probably should have just left that part alone.  Then the cheesiness could have prevailed.  But I guess it did make an obvious point about what the title was about in the end, tying everything up with a nice big bow, the end, everything is great.

So, it wasn't a bad drama by any means, and I can see why it was so popular, although maybe not agreeing to that whole extent.  It wasn't amazing or anything, just good.  The acting was stellar through out, although I will say that Yoo Jung looks young for her age and Bo Gum looks exactly his age, so no one but Dong Yeon looked 18.  I liked to point out all the age gap romance scenes, which annoyed everyone else, mwahaha.  It does have all those sageuk tropes, with the girl dressed as a guy, but it was fresh in the execution.  At least what she had to go through to be a eunich was interesting.  I loved the bromance the best.  Kim Hyung and the prince were my OTP.  Wah, that scene at the end when Kim Hyung... wah!!!!!!  I liked how the second female lead was nice the whole time and liked Jin Young just all the time, even when he was being annoying.  His ending was super weird and unnecessary, but whatever.  At least he got lots of pretty clothes.  Lots of pretty men in pretty clothes all around!  Yay!

Friday, May 19, 2017

254. Drinking Solo 혼술남녀 (2016) Korean

Ha Seok Jin, Park Ha Sun, Hwang Woo Seul Hye, Min Jin Woong, Kim Won Hae, Gong Myung, Key, Jung Chae Yeon, Kim Dong Young

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A

I started this for Key, straight up.  I had heard good things.  I don't remember why I didn't watch it when it came out.  I remember Lizabreff was really excited for it, but we just never got around to watching it.  Which is weird.  But then I started watching it without her, which is also weird.  But that's what happened.  I was not disappointed.  Ki Bum was the best part of the whole show.  Di ro ri!  I'm pretty sure he's my spirit animal.  I mean, I guess Ha Seok Jin was a bonus... JK, I loved everyone in this whole show.  There was no one that I didn't like, and that was the beauty of it.  It was about people.  Flawed people who are dealing with a lot of crap.  We have the exam school teachers, who all have their own struggles, and the students, who are living under the cloud of the civil service exams and having to study all day every day.  So everyday someone is going to be drinking solo, for some reason, good or bad.  Or Ha Seok Jin will just drink solo every day because he's high quality trash and it's his time of "healing."  The show is basically advocating alcohol, but trying to also promote healthy drinking habits.  Really, I was all about those "high quality" snacks during all those drinking scenes.  They made me so hungry and jealous.  I loved how the characters all developed well and how I cared about everyone's story.  I was shipping everyone, even if I knew they were bound to be alone, because they were the second male lead.  Everyone had their times of being sad, but it usually wasn't stupid, it was realistic.  Only sometimes it was stupid.  Then everyone ended fairly happy, which is also good.  It was a good ending, although the last episode was so long that I am dead tired now because I stayed up too late to finish it.  It was a little slow paced, but there were a lot of loose ends to tie in the last episode.  I felt like they gave all the other characters besides the main couple more time to resolve, but since I loved them all that only seemed slightly weird.  They were trying to leave it open, I know, but it was a bit too open maybe?  I don't know.  It was still good, just too long for after midnight.  This noona is getting too old for that.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Korean Movie Night: Run Off (Take Off 2) 국가대표 2 (2016) Korean

Soo Ae, Oh Dal Su, Oh Yeon Seo, Ha Jae Suk, Kim Seul Gi, Kim Ye Won, Jin Ji Hee, Park So Dam, Cho Jin Woong

Movie rating: 7/10     Neck score: A

If you know me, you know I don't like sports movies.  Even if my favorite sport (to play on my computer) happens to be hockey.  This was one of my favorite sports movies.  Maybe it was because I loved all these actresses, maybe because it was funny and heart breaking, but it did a good job.  It had all the classic underdog tropes, but it handled them well.  A group of misfits are brought together to make a national women's hockey team.  Of course they are given all the crappiest equipment, hand me downs from the guys teams, and the moldy rink, etc.  We have a North Korean defector, a kicked out speed skater, a figure skater, an 8th grader, a field hockey ahjumma, and an office worker.  Naturally, they don't get along at first.  Then there are training montages, them coming together, sticking it to the man and not giving up.  Then there are intense games that are somewhat predictable, but not so bad.  It's realistic, until we get to the drama parts where everyone is panting and hitting walls and we see less of the game and more of their "pain."  Not surprised that they have the only foul play done by the Japanese... yeah... that....  Anyway, it is about sisterhood, friendship, and representing your country, and not about some of the things that sports movies are about.  I love that the only men in it are the coach and the bureaucrats.  And like family and stuff, but there is no romance in it at all, which is the best, because no one needs romance in a sports movie.  That just ruins things.  So this wasn't ruined by that.  It became about families, whether it be the North Korean and her little sister, the coach and his son, or the fact that the team becomes a family.  It was cute and good.  It was also way more hilarious that I thought it was going to be, but considering the cast we shouldn't be surprised (I'm looking at you, Seul Gi!).  It was also much more tender and moving than I thought it would be, so overall, I was pleasantly surprised.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Korean Movie Night: The Beauty Inside 뷰티 인사이드 (2015) Korean

Han Hyo Joo, Park Seo Joon, Juri Ueno, Lee Jin Wook, Lee Dong Wook, Go Ah Sung, Yoo Yeon Seok, Lee Dong Hwi 

Movie rating: 7/10     Neck score: A

It's hard to know who to put down as "starring" in this, besides Han Hyo Joo and Lee Dong Hwi, because there are tons of people who play Woo Jin, our main character, because this is a movie about a man who changes bodies every time he wakes up.  He doesn't just change his face, but who he is completely.  He can become a woman, a child, a grandmother, anyone, every time he wakes up.  So I've listed some of the people who played him during pivotal moments.  I didn't particularly like the actual love story plot as much as I loved the execution of the premise.  It was a very interesting concept in the fact that we never knew what Woo Jin used to look like, so everyone who played Woo Jin was Woo Jin.  So really there was no starring role beside Han Hyo Joo.  It was really good how each of them played him, because they were all him, but also had their own twist.  You could always tell it was Woo Jin, which was fantastic.  I also really liked how it dealt with the trauma it would have on the people around him.  He felt sorry for himself, but then he was forced to look at the effects it had on his mom, his friend, and his girlfriend.  It was very interesting, and also very awkward at times.  It just has some inherently awkward situations, like when he was a girl or a kid, or a grandma.  But I think even the awkwardness was handled well, so it became an interesting story, full of emotions and perspectives.  On the whole, it was good.

248. Radiant Office 자체발광 오피스 (2017) Korean

Go Ah Sung, Ha Seok Jin, Kim Dong Wook, Lee Dong Hwi, Hoya

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A

I don't normally love office dramas this much, because they are usually about chaebols and office politics.  This one has more of a Misaeng vibe to it, however, which means its about the peons instead.  The office workers.  The interns.  Only they were contract workers instead.  Three of them.  They met in the emergency room when they had all tried to kill themselves, each for their own version of "life is so hard it sucks."  Then they all ran from the hospital, since none of them could pay their fees, and since that moment, they are buddies for life.  To the point where they laugh and cry for each other.  They are some of the most adorable friends ever.  I loved how raw and messy all of the relationships.  Even the people you hated were relatable at times.  Ha Seok Jin was great.  He was so awkward.  It was great to see her perception of him change, but also him just change as he realizes that he can change.  It was a super cute romance too.  Very organic and slow building.  It was a cute, normal person romance.  All the romances were.  All the relationships were.  All the people were.  Messy, but lovable.  I loved Bender (Oh Dae Hwan).  He was so annoying, and it was hilarious.  We loved to hate him, but couldn't really hate him, because we loved him.  The embodiment of every annoying, brown-nosing, power trippy sunbae office worker.  He was my favorite, as he usually is, but really I just loved everyone.  Except that Dr. Seo.  He was the worst, and I didn't want him to be redeemed or anything at the end.  Nope.  He was annoying.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Korean Movie Night: Train to Busan 부산행 (2016) Korean

Gong Yoo, Ma Dong Seok, Jung Yu Mi, Kim Su An, Kim Eui Sung, Choi Woo Shik, Ahn So Hee

Movie rating: 8/10     Neck score: A

I watched this one a while ago with my older sister and her husband.  He is a filmmaker and a zombie enthusiast, so I had to.  He actually bought it and watched it before I could even set up the movie night.  He loved it, so some of his opinions will be shared here as well.

This is one of the most heart filled zombie movies I have seen (I haven't seen that many, but my brother-in-law has, and he said the same thing).  While being gross and violent as all zombie movies must be, it isn't gratuitous violence, it is more about the story and the horror.  And it's plenty intense, because we have little kids and pregnant ladies in the mix, and you just can't help but be more worried about them.  Plus we have the claustrophobic terror of being in the confined space of the train.

The zombies themselves were very interesting, a good mix of body acting, gross make up, and probably some CGI.  But they were really good.  The contortion plus the movements was different and great.  It made it super weird, creepy, and just cool.

One thing that my brother-in-law really liked was the depth to all the characters.  While we had the classic horror film collection of characters, they each had their own depth and were humanized so that we felt things for all of them, even that rich selfish jerk.  We got to see their growth, such as Gong Yoo's character going from worst dad to best dad, or Choi Woo Shik who was too cool/awkward to admit he likes the girl, to becoming a hero to protect her.  Or "dad of the year" Teddy Bear Ma Dong Seok.  He was the best.  Just the very, very best.

Naturally the whole theme was about being united and helping each other and sacrifice.  The only people who survived were ones protected by sacrifice and love.  I would say it was intense over scary, and full of love and emotions.  It also touched on responsibility, and the bitterness of selfishness.

The campiest part was the deer at the beginning.

Korean Movie Night: No Tears for the Dead 우는 남자 (2014) Korean

Jang Dong Gun, Kim Min Hee, Brian Tee, Kim Hee Won, Kim Jun Seong 

Movie rating: 7/10     Neck score: A

I don't know why I keep forgetting that I watch these movies, or at least forgetting to review them.  It must be because it's a one time commitment of like 2ish hours, versus like 16+ hours and weeks of dedication.  But anyway, I do like watching movies too, and so I'll have to just keep remembering all the movies I've watched so I can review them, so you all can decide whether or not to watch them... or just enjoy reading my thoughts if you've already watched them.

So, No Tears for the Dead.  A very bloody action film.  My little brother showed it to my older sister and I, so it was like a different kind of movie night.  It has lots of swears.  It has lots of violence.  It's pretty darn cool.  It also has Byun Yo Han in it for like two seconds.  Just long enough for me to shout his name and get excited before it was over.  Oh.  It's ok, we've got Jang Dong Gun being bad-a.  We're good.

It's about an assassin who starts to question whether he wants to remain as an assassin when his last job goes a little south.  He is ordered to clean up his mess and bump off the wife of the man he just killed as well.  There is a lot of him pretending to follow orders, then not following orders, and former buddies being mad that he's not following orders because now they have to kill him.  So he's got to protect himself while he protects this woman, and all that jazz.  It's pretty compelling.

The bad guys are total d-bags.  I don't want to be violent, but they made me want to be violent because they were mean and gross.  Kind of like how we hated the Ahjussi baddies.  Like their deaths are super justified.  So it has kind of a Die Hard meets Bourne Identity meets Ahjussi vibe to it, and I liked that.  There were lots of conflicting emotions, especially since it was about the conflicting emotions of this poor hardened killer, this assassin who is super good at his job, but just a helpless little boy at heart.  Much tears.  So besides it being super violent and full of subtitle swears and not subtitle swears (in English too, since the bad guys were like Korean American- you've been warned) it was a tear jerker, really.  Very interesting and super cool.  The action was very cool.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

252. Across the Ocean to See You 漂洋过海来看你 (2017) Chinese

Zhu Ya Wen, Wang Li Kun, Ye Qing, Denny Huang, Wang Yan Lin, Gao Yang

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: B

This show gets full marks for a super great OTP, but it has some serious flaws along with it.  Such as how ridiculous some of the makjang was.  I started it because the main dude looked absolutely adorable, and he was.  He's the perfect combo of goofy and manly, comedic and sexy.  I loved watching their relationship develop.  But there were plenty of other relationships in the show that I didn't care so much about... just kidding, only one.  I liked the little brother/little sister relationship, especially since we got to see them grow and mature as well.  Tang Guoguo was absolutely annoying at the start, but was great by the end.  I hated her when she was being immature and chasing after our main guy, Zheng Chu, but loved her when she was being pursued by our main girl, Su Mang's little brother Su Chang.  The couple, or rather love triangle, that I didn't care for the most was the best friend and his harem of sisters.  It caused all the worst parts of the drama... well besides the cancer aunt who was super dubbed.  Cancer is just never cool.  Anyway, this Tang Ming guy was so wishy washy and rebellious that he really caused all these problems.  Can't just tell the bitca no, because he didn't want to hurt her, but really not clearly rejecting someone hurts more in the end, which is kind of where this side plot went.  To the ultimate end, filled with way too much crying and regret.  It was way dramatic and extreme most of the time.  But when he and the right sister were being cute together, it was adorable, but most of the time it was misunderstandings and him being a chicken butt.  Super lame.  Way too much time spent on that love triangle.  Then there is the cancer aunt.  She was so hateful to me at first that I would 10 sec skip passed her scenes.  But by the end, she is literally one of the only people doing anything right, making sure the couple gets back together (after tearing them apart).  It was ridiculous.  Really.  It got super contrived at the end, which is not a far stretch, because the whole basis is contrived, but the relationships were all fairly organic at first, that the little magical wrap up at the end was silly.  Well, the whole last third of the show was people trying to talk them into getting back together before harsh lessons has to do the trick.  How many lives full of regret do you have to see before you make sure you don't have the same regrets, Su Mang and Zheng Chu?  Well, apart from the episodes at the end dedicated to too much drama and crying, I liked this show.  It was the sort that I couldn't stop watching and pretty much turned on every time I had a minute to spare.  That why I could burn through all 44 episodes in like a week and a half.  It was definitely crack.  That main couple gave me all the feels!  Squeals.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Korean Movie Night: Punch 완득이 (2011) Korean

Yoo Ah In, Kim Yoon Seok

Movie rating: 8/10     Neck score: A

This was the perfect time to watch this movie, which I had been meaning to watch for a while, because it helped Curdy get passed her Yoo Ah In thing.  She started out watching Six Flying Dragons with me, but it was too much for her, as she was still too new to dramas for a 50 episode sageuk, and she hated Yoo Ah In as Lee Bang Won.  She was starting to like him in Chicago Typewriter, but now fully loves him, because he is adorable in this movie.  She says his hair helped a lot, since it wasn't that CT fade.

Anyway, Punch is a slice of life, coming of age type movie.  It was very understated at times, and just generally as quirky and awkward as a high schooler with a non-traditional family is.  He has a temper, especially when people insult his hunchback father or stuttering uncle, so he punches people.  He has a tsundere teacher who is looking out for him, even though it looks like he is just using him at times.  He has a neighbor who cusses all the time, especially when they're being loud.

It is just a great little film about a boy reaching that turning point of his life and the things that happened to turn his life.  It's pretty funny, but at a pace where if you are not paying attention you might miss something.  Everything just kind of happens, no matter how weird it is if you actually thing about it, so it seems normal, and then it hits you and you laugh hard.  One of my favorite scenes is just solid cussing for like 2-3 minutes over where a car was parked and slashing tires, you know the petty sort of arguments neighbors get into.  It was hilarious.  Awkward high school romance.  The bluntness of teenagers.  Families and their ups and downs.  It was all good.

It also deals with a lot of good topics like the economic state of disabled people, immigration and immigrant workers, multicultural relationships, families, schools and university exams, neighborhoods, lots of things like that.  It did it in a non-preachy way, just a down to earth way that made you actually pay attention.  It really liked it.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

249. Bring It On, Ghost 싸우자 귀신아 (2016) Korean

Ok Taecyeon, Kim So Hyun, Kwon Yul, Kim Sang Ho, Kang Ki Young, David Lee

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A

An appropriate blend of creepy and cute.  The acting wasn't the best... ahem ahem Taecyeon ahem ahem... but that didn't hurt the show too much.  The best acting was of course the villains and side peeps.  I loved the GhostNet who became Soondae Soup boys.  Ki Young and David Lee were just the best.  I think every screenshot I got while watching was Ki Young, except for that Shim Hyung Tak cameo.  Anyways.  I did like the build up of figuring out the plot.  At first Creepy Doll Face (Kwan Yul) is just a creepy Cat Killer (his new nickname), but then he starts to become even creepier as we figure out that he doesn't just kill cats, but people too... and more people than we thought.  He's just killing people all over the place, making ghosts everywhere... or killing ghosts everywhere.

The basic root of the plot, that tied everyone together was a little weak in my opinion, but not enough to ruin everything.  It explained things... okay, but whatever.  I wanted the ghost girl to stay bad-a the whole time, but sadly she had to have her time as a damsel in distress.  But that's the good part about the horror/action romantic comedies.  Instead of getting mopey, we have life and death situations to add the drama, so it thankfully never got lame.  Even the amnesia episodes weren't too bad.  They made more sense than most amnesia episodes.  It wasn't unwarranted amnesia, it was somewhat justifiable amnesia, if that is a thing.

Last thing, there is no way we would believe that Kim So Hyun was a year older than Taecyeon.  I understand the part about her becoming a ghost in high school, so they need a young looking person, but there is no way we'd believe she was any older than high school.  The age gap wasn't great.  Not as bad as some, since he could look college aged, but still.  Eek!  As much as I hate to admit to praising Creepy Doll Face Cat Killer, he did a good job being creepy as foretold.  Obviously Kim Sang Ho was the best actor in this, but he also did a good job.  Reluctant claps.  The last episode was super drawn out.  They solved the ghost crime part too soon, so all that was left was bringing everything back to where it started, with Soondae Soup, and as much as I love those boys (literally my favorite part of the show) it made for a really boring last episode.  That's ok, overall this show was cute and creepy, so what more do you want?

A Perfect Match: The Perfect Combo of Tropes and Twists... I love Taiwanese Dramas

It's been a while since I've watched a Taiwanese Drama.  I've been focusing more on the Korean and Chinese lately, not by design, that's just how it happened.  But I was wanting to watch something fluffy and romantic, and I saw this one with Chris Wu.  I hadn't seen his as the lead yet (again, that's just how it worked out), so I thought I'd give it a try.

I stopped in the middle of the first episode.  I forgot how campy Taiwanese Dramas are.  But then, for some reason, I felt I needed to give it another try.  Five minutes later I was hooked.  I had forgotten how quickly Taiwanese Dramas give you the good stuff.  They don't mess around with romantic comedies.  They start with a bang.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Korean Movie Night: Because I Love You 사랑하기 때문에 (2017) Korean

Cha Tae Hyun, Kim Yoo Jung, Seo Hyun Jin 

Movie rating: 7/10     Neck score: B

Despite how generic the name of this movie is (I kept forgetting it's name because there are a million titles that sound similar) this is a different sort of movie.  It's comedic with a lot of heart, but also has some twist and stuff that I wasn't expecting.

Cha Tae Hyun gets into an accident and dies... or at least wakes up in not his body.  He doesn't remember who he is, but he knows he's not a high school girl.  He meets another high school girl, who he is able to explain the situation to, and who soon becomes his best friend to help him figure out what is going on.  And it doesn't stop with the high school girl.  He jumps around to a police detective, a old grandma, and a high school teacher.  Each time he has to help them with their situation, and play cupid.  In turn, he is able to slowly remember who he is and what he needs to do to stop this body jumping.

This is great because not only do we have Cha Tae Hyun acting like all these different people as he is in their bodies, we have them, acting like he is in their bodies, and they all do a great job.

It was fluffy and cute, but also interesting, with some of the twists that I wasn't expecting.  I loved how it became a growth process for everyone.  He helped them, but they also helped him to grow as well, and to fulfill his own wishes.  It has a lot to do with being selfless and love.  It was cute and I do recommend it.  It made me laugh, cry, and all the good emotion stuffs.

Monday, April 17, 2017

246. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon 힘쎈여자 도봉순 (2017) Korean

Park Bo Young, Park Hyung Sik, Ji Soo

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A+++

For having one of the best OTPs of all time, this show wasn't actually that good.  In fact, it was all over the place.  We were constantly saying things like: "why is this plot still a thing?" And "why hasn't anyone caught this creeper?"  It was all very asynchronous with the light, bubbly cute romantic line, and then super dark creepy crime plot.  They didn't really coincide either, it was like watching 5 different dramas all rolled into one.  But that OTP was seriously too cute.  I loved that he loved absolutely everything about her, and it showed so much on his face.  He adored her, and we could all tell.  That was the greatest part of the show, the adorable love story.  The rest, with the bumbling gangsters, ridiculous high schoolers, and parents with marital problems, can just go away.  Especially that blue beard creeper.  Nobody needs that.  The ending was super drawn out and cheesy.  Like too cheesy. There was also a lot of plot devices that they threw in and then just dropped because they existed only for that moment, like Min Hyuk saying he wanted to be a criminal when he was a kid.  You can't just say something like that and then forget about it.  Like, what?  So many plot holes, a bad guy who was just way too smart and powerful, the typical stupid cops, and an evil family who just magically disappears after their part of the plot ends, #didntevencometothewedding.  Yeah, the writing was just so bad, but the chemistry of the leads was so good that we didn't care.  Bong Bong and Min Min forever!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Korean Movie Night: Going by the Book 바르게 살자 (2007) Korean

Jung Jae Young, Son Byung Ho, Uhm Soo Jung, Lee Young Eun, Ko Chang Seok

Movie rating: 7/10      Neck score: A

We've started consistently watching a movie every weekend, which is good, because there are so many good ones to see.  I wish I could be just as consistent in remembering to post a review of them.  It's less of a time commitment, so I guess I forget that much faster.

This is one that one of my friends (the one who recommended Hero to me) has been trying to get us to see for forever.  So we had a Korean night, we out to eat and then watched this.  It is, indeed, hilarious.  It has such subtle humor too.  It is about a detective who was demoted to a traffic cop, who is known for causing problems by being to literal.  He follows the book to the letter.  He even gave his new chief a speeding ticket the first time he met him.  That literal.  He's so earnest and dry about it too.  It's just like, of course I have to, that's what I'm supposed to do, etc.

So there are some bank robbers who are notorious and not caught yet.  To prepare the city, the new chief decides to hold a realistic training scenario.  He decides that this former detective traffic cop is the perfect person to play the role of the bank robber.  I don't know if he wanted him to be that perfect, but what happened was perfectly hilarious.

I loved how serious everyone was taking it.  He planned it out so thoroughly, and we get to see how it goes in his head, versus how he stages it in real life (with signs that say "dead" or "tied up") so it gets a bit psychological and hypothetical.  The level of dedication in planning is just genius.  The bank employees and patrons are so dedicated to playing along for the sake of the training that some super great conversations about what is hypothetically happening, and whether or not he could have been stopped at certain points happen.  The hostages become his team in creating the perfect execution of this scenario, its all just too funny, and very matter-of-fact humor.  It's a good one.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

245. Tomorrow With You 내일 그대와 (2017) Korean

Shin Min Ah, Lee Je Hoon, Kim Ye Won, Jo Han Chul

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A

Curdy hated watching this one.  It was too frustrating for her, and the bad guy creeped her out a bit.  It was really interesting to watch it with the three of us together, because we all had different levels of tolerance for what was going on.  Some days Lizabreff would really want to watch it while Curdy was super not ready for it, other days they would both be like, "not that one, not today," when I was like "lets get caught up!"  But yeah, that reveals a lot that we fell behind on this one.  It was the sacrificial lamb in the quest to catching up to what we missed when we went to Dallas.  It was our lowest priority to catching up, so we waited a bit.  We didn't even need to be so meh about it, it never got a bad as we thought it would.  The last four episodes were actually some of the best, it was the middle that kind of sagged.  They would just fall into the trap of the same mistakes over and over in the middle.  "Don't go on the subway any more." "I'll do what I want." "You don't care about me!"  "When did I say that?  Don't you trust me?  This is for us!"  and so on.  There was a lot of lying, but what do you expect from a time travel drama?  The show made up for it with a cute OTP, when they were not having problems.  Which was also good because they seemed more real that way.  It was like a snap shot into a real newly wed couple with all the issues of making two personalities work, just add the time travelling drama, and it's just about right.  That meant it was frustrating, in a good way?  Still hard to watch at times though, but when it was cute, boy was it cute.  I really shipped that couple, which is probably why their troubles were so frustrating.  I tended to be more chill about it than, say, Curdy, who just struggled the whole way through, or Lizabreff who was on and off struggling (mostly liking it).  That's not to say I didn't have days when I just wanted to watch, say, Chief Kim instead.  That's ok.  It was actually a pretty decently done drama, with a great OTP, and an even greater side couple (Ki Doong!  You are the best!  We love you!).  I was satisfied with the end, which is impressive alone.  Most dramas are ruined by the ending, but this one was actually saved.  It liked it.  It definitely is not a drama to be taken lightly.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

247. Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花 (2017) Chinese

Yang Mi, Mark Chao, Vin Zhang

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A++

The biggest problem with me waiting until this was finished to watch it was that I saw every spoiler under the sun before I watched it.  In fact that is what made me want to watch it, but then it made me way too impatient while watching it.  I had to suffer through all the Su Jin crap while waiting for the cute stuff I knew was coming, because I had basically seen all the cute scenes.  Well, it didn't hurt it that much.  This show is literally crack.  I would be so frustrated with it, but I couldn't stop watching it.  I even stayed up way too late for the first time in a while (I've had lots of self-control lately) to watch more episodes.  I loved it, but also hated it at times.  I think if I lived in that world, I would be from Qing Qiu, because I absolutely hated most of the peeps from the Nine Heavens, like the Heavenly Lord, Su Jin (naturally), and even Ye Hua's parents.  They were just super dumb and drama.  However, one of my favorite characters in the whole show was the Star Lord.  Total favorite.  PS, his voice is sexy.  Also the Third Prince, he was pretty great too.

This show was very, very dramatic.  It was full of crappy things happening to our main couple.  That was especially infuriating when we just loved the main couple and wanted them to be happy and cute without all that Su Jin crap, etc.  But I also loved all the other couples, but their stories weren't quite as satisfying as the main OTP.  I kind of wish they had been.  I got kind of invested in some of them.  (Ghost Princess and Sixteenth!)  I have to give props to Mark Chao, because he was really good at being both Ye Hua and Mo Yuan, who were pretty similar, but still very different characters, and you could distinctly tell that.  Props to him in general, because he made everyone fall in love with him with his awesomeness.  Plus, every time he wore those robes with open neck/deep v.  Mmmmmmmm.  I absolutely loved Bai Qian.  She was a female lead worth loving.  She had a nasty temper, was apathetic, and loved passionately.  She also was super bad-a, especially when pissed off and getting revenge.  I thing Yang Mi did a great job, especially with the different versions of herself, mortal and immortal, or just when someone had stolen her face.  Claps for her.

With all the crap that happened in this, there were plenty of satisfying moments.  They made it all worth it.  I don't know if it REALLY deserves a 7, 6 might be more appropriate, but in sheer terms of addictiveness, it does, so I have to give it to it.  I loved watching the show, even when I hated what was going on.  The last few episodes were slow, but the cuteness of the finale made up for that.  We're good.

My Spring Break with SHINee World V in Dallas

I had a wonderful vacation a week or so ago, from which I am still recovering (work is hard!).  It was spring break, so I got Friday off work, and that just coincided perfectly with me being able to go to SHINee World V in Dallas (without having to take any work off!)  I was super stoked because 1. I love SHINee, and 2. it was going to be Curdy's first Kpop concert ever.

You all might remember Curdy being previously being referred to as my non-kdrama/kpop loving roommie/friend, but that has since changed.  She has converted to the right side/dark side/good side, and has taken the plunge into a much better world.  She has since become obsessed with it, like the rest of us had years ago.  Her current favorites are Super Junior and obsessing over Hyungsik.  We've taught her well.

So when I figured out that my paid vacation was the same day as the SHINee concert, I went to Lizabreff and Curdy and said: "Let's do this!"  So we did.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

244. Chief Kim 김과장 (2017) Korean

Namgoong Min, Nam Sang Mi, Lee Joon Ho, Jung Hye Seong, Kim Won Hae

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: A

So funny!  This was a solid, hilarious drama!  One of the best comedies I have seen in a long time.  It didn't need a traditional love triangle/OTP thing, because it was perfect just as it was.  The bromances were the best.  The bromance was the OTP.  The hint of side romances were cute and a plus, but not necessary.  It was about two not so great guys, who are basically two sides of the same coin- as in brilliant but especially brilliant at annoying people, who are both disillusioned with society.  One becomes an accountant, because numbers don't lie like people, to con his way into enough money to go to Denmark.  The other is a prosecutor who decides to use his legal skills for evil in the corporate world.  Then they meet at the same company, and proceed to have a hate relationship, which is just hilarious to watch as it progresses (into a bromance, shhhhh).  All of the characters are great.  Well, some of the baddies are just annoying, but of the main characters, they are great.  Everyone on the accounting team, the prosecutor team, and so on is the best!  And there is so much character growth.  Obviously the too not so perfect, flawed leads had the most growth, all around and in their relationships, but even side characters like Mantis (my Mantis!) had lots of growth.  I ended up loving people I never thought I would have in the first few episodes.  I haven't belly laughed so hard in quite a while.  It was beautiful.  Namgoong Min was made for comedy, and this role was made for him.  Chief Kim was so over the top wonderful!  Junho did such a good job of being lovable and hateful.  I loved how he became "Glutton" because he was always eating.  He really was always eating, it was crazy.  Papa Johns is taking over!  Look out, Subway!  I loved how it was hilarious, but it also had depth in topic.  It had some meaningful issues, and handled them good, as well as funny.  I really just loved this one so much!  Don't let Namgoong Min's hair deter you, it works perfectly in the show, and fits his tacky kkangpae style.  This show is gold.  Watch it.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

241. Defendant 피고인 (2017) Korean

Ji Sung, Uhm Ki Joon, Kwan Yuri, Oh Chang Suk, Uhm Hyun Kyung

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: A

Woah.  What can I say besides "this show was amazing?"  I loved it so much.  It's mosaic structure at the beginning was great, as we flashed between the past and present and Ji Sung not being able to remember anything.  He was amazing.  I also loved Grumpy Cat.  Well, I loved to hate Grumpy Cat in this, while also just loving him.  He is just so good at what he does.  He plays such well rounded villains.  Even when they really aren't well rounded individuals.  Seriously though, how did he make me feel for him and despise him at the same time.  He was a horrible, psychopathic evil dude, who also just wanted to be loved.  To be normal.  To have everything he was always denied (from his perspective).  How did he make me cry at one moment and then rage scream the next?  Darn it, Grumpy Cat!  I love you, man!  Then we have a huge cast of just the best and worst people ever.  It was always fun to see how the best people in this show were the people in prison.  I loved the cellmate bromance between all 6 of those men.  They were the best.  There were so many good twists and turns in this show.  It always kept me excited.  Then, when I thought I couldn't handle another episode with another truck of doom, or another perjury ruining everything, they twisted the normal tropes and made me laugh.  Optimus Cheol Sik for the win!  It had the right amount of drama, intensity, tears, and humor.  Just the way I like it.  I felt all the emotions.  It had a stellar cast, mostly.  Even the less good peeps were passable.  Loved that it was not about romance, although I would have been fine with the brother-in-law and lawyer hooking up.  I loved the one side couple that did happen, but that is a story for those that see it.  Once again, it was amazing, and I loved it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Like for Likes (2016) Korean

Lee Mi Yeon, Choi Ji Woo, Kim Joo Hyeok, Yoo Ah In, Kang Ha Neul, Esom

Movie rating: 7/10      Neck score: A

This movie was so cute.  It was full of feels.  I love how interconnected the three love stories were without them actually being that connected.  I loved all three couples, although naturally some more than others.  My favorite couple was actually the Choi Ji Woo/Kim Joo Hyeok couple, because their romance was just the cutest and funniest.  I also just love Choi Ji Woo, she's the cutest and bestest.  I also fell in love with that ahjussi.  I'm kind of love the ahjussis lately.  Mmmm.  Kang Han Neul and Esom were also cute.  Let's me honest, Kang Ha Neul probably gave us the most feels.  He made us almost (or just really, if you're Lizabreff) cry.  He also had the most difficult role as he played a deaf songwriter.  So his story was just a little more heart wrenching from the start.  He rocked it btw.  Yoo Ah In did a great job of being an adorable butt.  Funny and annoying at the same time.  It was a great noona romance between him and Lee Mi Yeon.  She was also great.  So really, this was just a cute show.  Not earth shattering or amazing, just great at what it is, a romantic comedy full of cute and funny characters and the perfect, cheesy resolutions that romcoms crave.  I loved it.

C'est si Bon (2015) Korean

Jung Woo, Kim Yoon Seok, Han Hyo Joo, Kim Hee Ae, Jin Goo, Jang Hyun Sung, Kang Han Neul, Jo Bok Rae

Movie rating: 7/10     Neck score: A

I liked this mostly for the music rather than the plot.  The plot was simple and pretty typical.  A young singer falls for the wrong girl and has a hard time.  But boy was the music beautiful!  Those honey voices!  Sigh!  It was just great.  It was also a good snap shot into the past, a little history of music and culture in the 70s.  It is a story about the fictional third member of the duo Twin Folio and how he came to be a member and then not debut with them.  Jung Woo was perfect for that awkward, country boy role.  There were lots of good moments, lots of funny moments, and yes some meh moments too.  Ultimately the music won me over, but the plot was not that compelling to me.  That being said, the music and flavor is enough to have me recommend it, as is the acting and singing.  Just don't expect something deep.  It's more just an enjoyable snap of the past, in the 1970s folk music craze.

Monday, March 20, 2017

242. Introverted Boss 내성적인 보스 (2017) Korean

Yeon Woo Jin, Park Hye Soo, Yoon Park, Kong Seung Yeon

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A

Disappointing.  This had such a lovely premise,  I loved the first two episodes, but the whole misunderstanding about him and thinking he was a psycho was just going on for too long.  It was too relatable as an introvert, so it was frustrating as heck by the end of episode 4.  Then they were doing so poorly that they were forced to rewrite.  This saved the frustration at the moment, but actually ruined it in the long run by giving us crappy writing that didn't make sense.  It ruined the good things as well as getting rid of the bad things that we hated.  It made it much less believable, because it made the introverted transformation sloppy  It also had a lot more of those stereotypes.  It also ruined the ending, because it made it seem out of place, since it looks like they shoved everything they meant to do with it in the last two episodes. It was still enjoyable, because of Muffin (our new name for Yeon Woo Jin) and how adorable he was, but we had to roll our eyes and make fun of it because of how ridiculous it got.  They also had to redeem everyone at the end, which really cheapened it a lot and kind of trivialized some of the problems that people had.  Another good character who saved the show was Beautiful Beautiful Man (Heo Jung Min).  He is good in everything he's in.  He is gold.  I love my Beautiful Beautiful Man!  He and Muffin have such a cute bromance too.  Yes!  So I'm sad and disappointed at how it turned out, because it had potential, but it was a bit off right from the start, so that sucked and it just became cheesy and typical.  Oh well.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

243. Missing Nine 미씽나인 (2017) Korean

Jung Kyung Ho, Baek Jin Hee, Oh Jung Se, Choi Tae Joon, Lee Sun Bin

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A

Oh.... um... yeah... where to start?  Well, I liked the start of this, because it was crazy.  The whole time they were on the island it was good.  I liked the earlier mosaic of flashbacks to the island and her lost memory.  I was even fine with it turning into a murder horror flick, but then everything changed.  The first half was nerve wracking.  It was so life or death that it made us anxious to watch it.  Like, Curdy was constantly having to calm herself down afterwards.  Then, once they were all back in Seoul it became a typical lame melodrama where the now all powerful murderer has a all powerful gangster backing and everything sucks all the time.  It was like the writers gave up, because the longer the Seoul drama went on, the less it made sense.  It became unbearable during the last two episodes, where nothing was making sense and the writers unleashed a new wave of shiz to ruin our lives.  The worst part about it was that everything we loved was pushed to the back and then by the end completely ignored.  I just wanted our OTP's relation to be solidified, as in, I wanted them to kiss.  PLEASE!  LET THEM KISS!!!  They never did!  WAE!!!!!!!  The most sexy scene we got was her calling him Oppa.  I wanted more on Ji Ah and Ki Joon's relationship.  I wanted it to still be about the survivors, but instead it became about all powerful Tae Ho getting all the powerful people's trust when he was a murderer.  So ridiculous.  Then the writers gave up and wrapped it up in the lamest way possible, trying to redeem people?  No.  Trying to use the power of bromance?  NO.  Then it ended in what should have been a drug trip dream, but it was just a... well drug trip reality?  What was that ending?  I was so confused!  What was going on?  Why didn't they let them kiss!?!  Why is Tae Ho there?  Why are they painting like crap?  why is this the end?  Why didn't they kiss?  Why did they end it like this?  Why did they waste 8 hours of my life?  WHY DIDN'T THEY KISS!?!  Ahem.... yeah.  The ending sucked.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

232. Laurel Tree Tailors 월계수 양복점 신사들 (2016) Korean

Lee Dong Gun, Jo Yoon Hee, Cha In Pyo, Oh Hyun Kyung, Ra Mi Ran, Choi Won Young, Shin Goo, Kim Young Ae, Hyun Woo

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A

50 episode family dramas are not everyone's cup of tea, but they are starting to be mine.  You have to pick a good one of course.  One that has something that grips you enough to make you want to stick around for 50 episodes.  This one might just have been 4 hot men in suits.  No, it wasn't just because all of these 4 male leads in this were super attractive and people I love, it was for the characters themselves.  Every single couple was cute for the most part, which meant that I was shipping everyone.  Even the villains were not that villainous.  Yes, that means the show was cheesy and moralistic and everyone got redeemed to a point at the end, but it also means that this is a show where people learn and grow, and I loved the journey.  It was downright weird to see flashbacks to the start when everyone was a young idiot or disliked each other, or had misunderstandings, etc., because by the end they had all matured and it was wonderful.  Now I had to talk myself into watching this, because it was 50 episodes.  I love Lee Dong Gun and I love Ra Mi Ran.  Then Choi Won Young tipped the scales for me.  He is my ahjussi actor, one of the ones that I love the most, so I just had too.  Then I was not disappointed.  He was a rock star (literally) who then became a trot star so his honey voice was responsible for most of the OST, which I cannot complain about.  We also saw him start off as a selfish has been full of pride to becoming the most humble family man.  We saw push overs becoming pillars of strength, and we saw people becoming family and having a family.  It was basically adorable.  I think I cried during every wedding scene (literally did during my ahjussi's wedding.  The sunshine couple- so cute!  The cheesy couple (the OTP, Dong Jin and Yeon Sil)- too adorable!  I loved how all the families felt real.  My favorite family might have been the antagonist's family, Dong Jin's ex-wife and her step family.  I know that mom was my favorite.  I loved Hyo Won and Hyo Sang's brother/sister teasing.  I loved Hyo Sang even though he was a little poo butt with an inferiority complex.  I did tend to hate the ex-wife and ex-girls friends who were the bitcas of the show, as well as the fake husband, who was a crazy liar gangster, but even they had their redeeming qualities.  Yes, the show was long.  Yes, it had it's fair share of makjang (you guys know that I actually like that stuff), but it was cute, and it game me the feels.  Now, I'm going to go listen to Susanna's Handkerchief for the umpteenth time.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Chiseled Jawlines: A Neck's Best Friend

You all know I like necks.  If you don't know that, then just look at the blog title, haha.  But you know what makes a neck look better?  A nice jawline.  It is something that can cut through the horror of the turtleneck and brings out the glorious lines of the neck so well.  They're like best friends, really.  They compliment each other so well.

I recently re-watched Queen In Hyun's Man with my peeps (now that Curdy has finally fully succumbed to the Kdrama), where the second male lead's jawline is a wonder.  This caused us to start talking about how jawlines are hot and make necks better, which of course led me to start collecting peeps who represent this wonderful feature so nicely.  So here are some jawlines to appreciate.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Flower Boy Bromance: Nicknames of Hwarang

Hwarang was a beautifully ridiculous show full of beautiful men.  It wasn't the worst fusion sageuk that I've seen, but it definitely wasn't great.  It was enjoyable, but only when it was being what it was, a bunch of flower boys being typical boys.  It was also full of gratuitousness, like the frequent, unnecessary shower scenes.

#Blessings.  But it was good when it was not taking itself serious, because there was no way that I was taking it serious, so when it got serious, it was lame.  Boring really.  But maybe not Nightwatchman bad.  At least it wasn't a supernatural/fantasy sageuk.  But as silly as it was, it spurred us to creating a bunch of nicknames for the collection of cast members.

240. Hwarang 화랑 (2016) Korean

Park Seo Joon, Go Ara, Park Hyung Sik, Sung Dong Il, Choi Min Ho, Do Ji Han, Cho Yoon Woo, Kim Tae Hyung

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A+

If you just appreciate this for what it is, a bunch of flower boys being boys, it was good.  But then they got too draggy and serious, like normal, and it was... less good.  Like, when it was building the bromances and having needless shower scenes it was good, but then there was way too much of the evil queen, her crazy daughter, and evil politicians being evil.  It got in the way of the bromances and the romance.  They seriously didn't give this couple enough cute times.  There was way too much drama interrupting it.  Then they tried to surprise us with the ending, which was impossible, so they had to make us thing everyone was stupid, throwing bromance away, etc. and it was super draggy until the very end.  So that was lame.  But one thing it did do good was the death scenes.  Everyone who died in this (yes people died) made me almost cry.  They were also pretty gross with the blood coming out of the mouth and stuff.  As for acting, I thought everyone was decently good.  I didn't cringe or anything with anyone, and some people were pretty awesome.  We all fell in love with Park Seo Joon all over again.  We just couldn't help it, he's got so much charisma.  So, it was good for the pretty men, funny at the beginning, and then fizzled out like most dramas, so pretty typical.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

239. Legend of the Blue Sea 푸른 바다의 전설 (2016) Korean

Jun Ji Hyun, Lee Min Ho, Sung Dong Il, Lee Hee Joon, Shin Won Ho

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A

Why did I start this one?  Not for Lee Min Ho (obviously).  I do like Jun Ji Hyun, but not for her either.  It was because of Jo Jung Suk's cameo.  Also, Sung Dong Il was the bad guy.  Because of those two alone, I endured the rest of this.  Actually, it was much better than I thought it was going to be.  I actually really loved it up until the last half of it.  I liked the premise with fate repeating itself and flashing back and forth from their past lives to their current lives, etc.  So when the show was about the mermaid, I loved it.  When Sung Dong Il was the main bad guy, I loved it.  He is just an amazing actor who could take a psychopath and make him sympathetic.  Then the makjang took over with the evil mom and "hyung" (who totally looked younger than Lee Min Ho) and I actually forgot that she was a mermaid.  Now if the whole thing were about that makjang and not about the mermaid, I would have been fine with it, I like good (haha, I mean bad) makjang.  But when makjang takes over a different genre, then it becomes a problem.  I really forgot she was a mermaid (it wasn't important any more at that part) and I forgot he was a conman.  I always struggle with Lee Min Ho the most when he's being sad and serious (or mopey).  He is fine acting like a conman, and they were an adorable couple, but every time he cried I am not moved.  I just can't believe it.  He's not a good crier I guess.  I would be like "oh no, Lee Min Ho is sad now" and proceed to check the latest Twitter updates.  They wrapped up all the makjang really fast, as they realized that it was out of place, so our villain didn't even get the ending he deserved.  He was too cool to be wrapped up in that sloppy manner.  Sad day.  The last episode was really boring and drawn out.  Whatever.  So by the end of it I wasn't even paying attention that much and was playing Go Stop while watching.  So, while it probably started out a 7 or an 8, by the end it was probably a 5 or a 6.  Jo Jung Suk was a 10.  He outshone everyone in the scenes he was in.  I was like "who is that squid next to him?" when he was interacting with Lee Min Ho.  He was just too charismatic.  Overall everyone was great and the show was good, it just had the sloppy writing in the second half curse, like most dramas do.  I did wish that Tae Ho (aka my Shin Boo) had more screen time.  He makes good faces.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

237. Goblin: the Great and Lonely God 쓸쓸하고 찬란하神-도깨비 (2016) Korean

Gong Yoo, Kim Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook, Yoo In Na, Yook Sung Jae

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A

As always with this writer, this show was as watchable a all get out, but of course wasn't actually a great drama.  It was just a good enough drama.  I usually like her characters, and this was no exception.  The characters were the best part.  Especially the grim reaper and the bromance between the reaper and the dokkaebi.  I have never been obsessed with Lee Dong Wook before.  I've always liked him ok, but I've never like fallen in love with him.  Until now.  He was literally the best.  The worst part of this show was probably how they really didn't give the Reaper and Sunny (Yoo In Ah) enough screen time.  We were always shouting out and chanting for more Reaper and Sunny.  I loved that couple to the point of wishing they would date in real life (or at least being happy if they did) and that is saying something because wishing that sort of thing is rather silly.  I at least want a drama starring those two, because seriously good chemistry and interactions.  Of course Gong Yoo was also good, and sexy.  I didn't hate Kim Go Eun's character like I though I would, but I did wish she wasn't a high school student all the time.  That kept me from loving the main couple.  I liked them, but didn't love them, because icky.  So the real worst part of this show was that it was mopey from like episode 1.  There was so much moping.  It got old really fast, but then they would have wonderful bromance scenes, or Secretary Kim (aka Turtle, aka Jo Woo Jin).  Also the dream team- reaper, dokkaebi, and Duk Hwa.  Really most of the relationships were just great.  So it was super watchable and fun, as long as you could make it through all the pretty moping and pretty (and ugly) crying.  Definitely a win for Lee Dong Wook, the depressive diva reaper, and petty childish dokkaebi Gong Yoo.  They really sold the whole show... especially the reaper.

235. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo 역도요정 김복주- (2016) Korean

Lee Sung Kyung, Nam Joo Hyuk, Kyung Soo Jin, Lee Jae Yoon

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A-

I went into this show with low expectations, because it frankly looked stupid.  I loved it.  Not necessarily for the plot, although that was different enough to be cool.  What I loved was all the characters.  The Bok Joon Hyung couple might have been the cutest couple ever.  They were honest and cute, and they just didn't hide things and were super real.  They are both little spaz cakes, adorable ones.  I loved all their friends, I loved their families.  Everything was just delightful.  The only annoying part was those rhythm gymnasts who were overly bitca. At some parts I was annoyed that the 2nd female lead had too much screen time, that was too mopey and dramatic, but I even ended up liking her in the end.  It was just super fun the whole time.  We would get excited and call it Uri Bok Joo and look forward to it all week.  I just loved how ridiculous and fun everyone was.  Nam Joo Hyuk was a spastic ball of energy, he was so random and goofy that I loved him, bouncing off the walls.  He was the best.  Lee Sung Kyung was awesome and full of swag.  I liked all the other couples, the hyung and friend, the samcheon's romance, it was all cute and fun.  I can't say much against it, it was fun and great.