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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Night Watchman's Journal" Episode 22

2014/10/14 | | Permalink

And in the end, it looks like everything is going to hinge on a magic oboe. Strangely this is not the most ridiculous plot development to show up in "The Night Watchman's Journal". Really, it's not even close to high-ranking. I was somewhat annoyed that most of our information about the oboe came from a msin character's flashback, making it yet another result of information that's been withheld from the audience for no good reason. But at least it's easy enough to understand why the oboe is important.

Anyway, as far as pre-existing plot threads go, Do-ha has to be rescued. And once again, the closest thing anyone has to a guard in this drama is just a sturdy door...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 16

2014/10/14 | | Permalink

The mystery is solved in a mostly satisfactory way. Personally, I'd quibble a bit on the issue of exact timing. The main essential element to solving the murders only appeared a few episodes ago with Seong-gyeom's mother. Without her I have a lot of trouble guessing how we were supposed to identify the killer at all, though I can see how Geumb- managed it. But then there were other reasons why she needed to be held back this long.

The way this drama's been playing it I genuinely thought there was a good chance that Seong-gyeom was going to end up being, if not the murderer, at least sort of involved somehow in a guilty way. But the last few episodes have been kind of weird in that they've pretty much shifted the mystery protagonist viewpoint over to his direction. Well, not really shifted since Sang-hyo has never been much of a lead character in dealing with the mystery in the first place...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 7

2014/10/14 | | Permalink

This episode of "Secret Door" was slower in pace than previous episodes, mostly because it focused on the sneaky ministers and greedy guards trying to manipulate the prince and the king. It is Seon's passionate drive to uncover the truth and the king's insane need to retain his crown that provides so much of the tension in the show. Those were not as prominent in this episode.

When the king did make an appearance, however, it was completely charged by his obsession with the document that could dethrone him, and his terror at its potential discovery...More

[HanCinema's Busan International Film Festival Movie Review] "Alive" by Park Jung-bum

2014/10/14 | | Permalink

Director Park Jung-bum has an obsession with long, largely static shots that mainly emphasize the distressing monotonous state of life that characterizes the action in "Alive". If you're one of those people that dislike the apparent pointlessness of such dismal recessions, you will absolutely hate this movie. It's a huge exercise insofar as trying the patience of viewer, and a person not obsessed with capturing every individualistic cinematographic detail of melancholy will just sit in frustration waiting for something to actually happen...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Night Watchman's Journal" Episode 21

2014/10/13 | | Permalink

Sadam gains yet another power this episode- the ability to teleport faraway people to other faraway places. I'm assuming that the faraway part is an important part of the skill, since there have been plenty of times up until now where he could have used this power to get nearby people away from him. But really, the man's long term plans are so inscrutable it's impossible to tell whether his long range thinking has any kind of basis in logic.

As for the heroes, well, it's been another mostly unsuccessful day...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 15

2014/10/13 | | Permalink

There's way more focus than usual on murders and murderous backstories here, mostly because the three leads are in absolutely no mood to discuss romance right now. Of the three Seong-gyeom has the best excuse. There's just so, so much going on his mind right now that being cute with Sang-hyo simply can't cut it any more. Relationship drama becomes a lot less fun once actual drama intrudes.

Weirdly, the best possible argument right now for Sang-hyo and Hae-yeong getting back together is their complete lack of ability to meaningfully engage on this front...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Mother's Choice" Episode 2

2014/10/13 | | Permalink

So-yeong has been forced into the choice that makes up the drama's title. She can either do what's right as a woman, and support the victim of a terrible crime, or she can do what's right by her son, which is prevent this incident from ruining his life. So-yeong chooses to do the wrong thing, and while it takes some time for her to face actual repercussions, in the immediate sense, the way she betrays herself as a woman is palpable...More

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