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[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Housemaid - 1960"

2014/12/13 | | Permalink

A rather average-looking family discusses the prospect of whether or not they should hire a housemaid. Suddenly, frightening musical chords strike as credited names appear in bloody font. At last, the camera ominously settles over two children playing cat's cradle. The implications are obvious. Indeed, something terrible and horrifying will happen if this family does anything so maddening as to hire a housemaid...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "High School - Love On" Episode 19

2014/12/12 | | Permalink

With this episode "High School - Love On" moves into the final stretch. The opening title spells out in full clarity that we've just about reached the point where Woo-hyeon and Seul-bi will separate, although, as the drama's first scene noted, they are almost certainly going to reunite. Consequently most of the focus here is on tying up the drama's spare plotlines. Which is a problem, because most of these plot points aren't well-defined enough to have coherent resolutions...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 10

2014/12/11 | | Permalink

In terms of narrative structure this episode is mostly identical to the last one. There's little in the way of actual storyline movement except for the sudden surprising revelation at the end. Instead, we have character reactions to an as-yet mostly static situation. Mostly from In-ha, who is not at all happy with what her mother did to Dal-po. Although the question does come to mind- would she be as angry about this if Cha-ok had just destroyed a random family, rather than the one of someone In-ha cares about personally?...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 23

2014/12/11 | | Permalink

This episode marks the beginning of the end. Seon has been trapped between his powerful convictions and the complexity of Joseon politics. Those who wish to retain power will do anything to keep it, which puts Seon at a severe disadvantage when he refuses to do wrong by his people. Throughout the drama, his father, King Yeongjo, has tried to teach him that to live and maintain power is to compromise. Compromise is not what Seon does.

In comparison to the cruel, insane lecher that Crown Prince Sado is historically known to be, this fictionalized Sado is an idealistic hero who eventually will uphold his convictions at the cost of his life...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 9

2014/12/10 | | Permalink

Jae-myeong is a hero. But you may note that almost none of the characters we see celebrating in the early portions of the episode are happy because a young boy was saved. No, they're happy because this is a huge news story, and the entire incident was caught on camera. Even in positive moments like this "Pinocchio" revels in showing off the darker parts of news journalism. It seems to force people into thinking selfishly, even if normally they're perfectly ethical individuals...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 22

2014/12/10 | | Permalink

We're down to the wire. The last two episodes are ahead of us and the crown prince's fate is known. How it will be sealed is what "Secret Door" has to deliver. Seon is a hero in this rendition of Crown Prince Sado; a hero who is fighting forces greater than himself.

Seon has been determined to maintain an academy of brilliant minds comprised of people deemed by the ruling class as traitors, criminals, and too low born to be allowed to study and become government officials...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 13

2014/12/09 | | Permalink

The characters are entering a period of convergence. One villain is explicitly and surprisingly given a face when he has an unexpected encounter with Dong-chi while he's out investigating with Yeol-moo. It's odd to see how in many ways the bad guys are in fact enabling the investigation through their hurried attempts at trying to pull a last-minute cover-up. It makes the lead characters notice activitiy in areas they might not otherwise see...More

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