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.  I 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.