Hoya stands alone 2017/09/12, Source,
Infinite's Hoya is currently standing alone. He finished his contract with Woolim Entertainment and is now on the lookout for a new company,...More
Hoya leaves Infinite 2017/08/30, Source,
Infinite's Hoya decided not to renew his contract after seven years with the group. He posted a handwritten letter on his Instagram on the 30th, saying, "I am sorry to have worried everyone with this sudden news,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 39-40 2017/07/03,
The final two episodes of "Strong Family" are surprisingly anticlimactic. This is appropriate, considering the only problems the titular family has ever dealt with are fairly small in scale, and thus necessitate similarly small scale solutions. The closest we get to a real setpiece is the bit where Choon-seop is trapped in the wardrobe. And in that case, the unnecessary drama is entirely what everyone realizes that they should be trying to avoid,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 37-38 2017/06/26,
We're nearly to the end of "Strong Family" and the main remaining conflict is over...open office space arrangements. You know, that's one of those things corporate likes to do to try and affect change is to modify the office culture somehow. I got uncomfortable just looking at those new digs. I mean really, imagine being one of the people having to sit in the middle of those tables. It would feel like someone is always looking over your shoulder. Which I imagine is a feature, not a bug, in the system,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 35-36 2017/06/19,
The climax to episode thirty six is a school concert that I had mostly forgotten was even a plot point until it pops up, and which as usual just goes into the usual father-daughter bonding. More than the catharsis I actually somewhat perversely liked the general low quality of the performance. It's about the level of musical talent that would be expected from normal high school students, which is quite a contrast to the usual overly high production values that tend to accompany such storylines,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 33-34 2017/06/12,
Contrary to my previous expectations, it doesn't look like "Strong Family" is building up to any particularly strong climaxes at the workplace or anywhere else. Cheon-il is obsessed with telekinesis in episode thirty three and basketball comic books in episode thirty four. While I do admit the simple visuals of these scenes are pretty good (Park Hyuk-kwon always has great facial expressions really), without the proper build-up of tension, "Strong Family" currently looks to end about as anticlimactically as it began,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 31-32 2017/06/05,
The plot is very fractured over these two episodes. We get a lot of brief jokes that seem like they're going to lead to broader themes, although they stop almost as soon as they start. The closest we get is the bookend of episode thirty-two, which I admittedly thought was pretty funny because of course Cheon-il's dream world looks like a high school theater stage set. If you haven't had dreams like that, I don't know what to tell you,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 29-30 2017/05/29,
The romantic subplots in "Strong Family" are really good in how they relate to each other. We have Ik-hee going through the adolescent awkwardness of a teen romance where no one knows what they're doing, Jeong-min being generally giddy about a relationship that will most likely end in marriage (because of her age), and then Miss Jo contemplating a late lifetime romance. Incidentally, Choon-seop (played by Nam Kyung-eup) is my favorite love interest of the bunch. The man really rocks his late fifties facial hair,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 27-28 2017/05/22,
Cheon-il is having one of those days, as what first seems like a sneaky ploy by an adorable child to get spending money soon morphs into an elaborate conspiracy that leads to police involvement. And then disengagement, because Ra-yeon somewhat sensibly decides that this is not the kind of problem that the government should be involved in unless absolutely necessary. That's the main joke in episode twenty-seven, is just the brief glimpses we get of the temporarily altered family dynamic,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 25-26 2017/05/15,
Romantic appearances are the main element at play in these two episodes of "Strong Family". First in the twenty-fifth episode we Ra-yeon ponder that all-important question- are you living with the person that you love? Then in the twenty-sixth episode we get the somewhat ominous implications of what happens when the answer to that question is no. And with that, another implication that these questions are constantly asked on a regular basis and never really go away,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 23-24 2017/05/08,
The South Korean Presidential Election is today, you might have heard. I bring this up because the twenty-third episode of "Strong Family" is an obvious nod to this fact, as the lead characters engage in the kind of political campaign that people who don't know anything about politics come up with. Which is to say, that rather than talk about why they want power, Cheon-il and Ra-yeon simply come up with elaborate tactics that fail to convince anyone that they even understand what the position they're campaigning for even does,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 21-22 2017/05/01,
Cheon-il has just about completely disappeared from his formerly prominent position as main character. Yes, the center of the twenty-first episode does revolve around a questionable decision on his part. Overall, though, Cheon-il doesn't even really get any particularly noteworthy scenes. The main standout involves his own boss Seok-moon panicking over the prospect of spending a disproportionate amount of time waiting in sheer boredom,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 19-20 2017/04/24,
Cheon-il is a good guy. One of the big riddles of "Strong Family" is that most of the time, Cheon-il has no idea how or why he is being a good guy. Sometimes the expectation game is not his fault- as is seen with the opening conflict, sometimes the more obviously beloved behavior of other people is what makes Ra-yeon start to overthink things. Elsewhere, Cheon-il's determination to see the worst of life is his biggest weakness. Poor Cheon-il. He just doesn't know how to read a room,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 17-18 2017/04/17,
For the first time, Cheon-il uses his tracksuit for its intended purpose- as workout clothes, in anticipation of the big company athletic competition which he ends up taking far, far too aggressively. I was a little disappointed that Cheon-il's training montage is just general athletics. It would have made for a much funnier overall joke if Cheon-il had been taking mixed martial arts lessons and his performance on the field was a result of his mis-applying those skills in the wrong context,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 15-16 2017/04/10,
The two main conflicts this time are, for episode fifteen, the question of how to best spend vacation time, and for episode sixteen, the question of how to deal with incrementally chaotic financial situations. As is usually the case for "Strong Family", the conflicts are defined by their relatively minor scope. These are the sorts of issues normal families have to deal with on a regular basis, so the problems are quite easy to discuss,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 13-14 2017/04/03,
A lot of the story in "Strong Family" is very low key. I know that the central plot of the thirteenth episode was Ra-yeon trying and inevitably becoming frustrated with her attempts to fit in to a more high class mom clique. I also know that the central plot of the fourteenth episode was Cheon-il's rather creepy fixation with the person who lives upstairs and generally irritates Ra-yeon with constant cigarette smoke. Beyond that, though, what we have are a lot of very small plots with frustratingly little development,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 11-12 2017/03/27,
After a couple of fairly strong episodes last week about lost dreams and obsessing over the teenage daughter's boyfriend, "Strong Family" is on weaker footing here with a storyline about annoying relatives refusing to leave the house because they're too busy gambling and annoying interns not knowing when to be quiet and stop pestering the regular employees. Or I don't know, maybe it's just me that thinks this is weaker ground, since I've never had to deal with those specific problems personally,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 9-10 2017/03/20,
One factor of "Strong Family" that I rather like is the way it takes on people's imaginations. See, we are limited by personal experience. So when Ra-yeon runs across an old friend by chance, she starts thinking about bygone dreams from past years. Such dreams are inevitably painted in a fairly fantastical light. We're inclined to think of acting in terms of the polished final product we see on screen, not the rather monotonous and perfection focused process that goes into it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 7-8 2017/03/13,
I've been coming to accept that "Strong Family" is rather hopelessly mundane. It's just a story about an idiot dad who's always trying to desperately to be cool and failing, in various degrees. But it's because Cheon-il is always making that effort that he's an easy guy to root for. It's also still reasonably amusing how Cheon-il does occassionally manage to solve problems by accident, or says stuff so stupid that it wraps all the way around to being funny again,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 5-6 2017/03/06,
Baek-il (played by Bae Yoo-ram) is Cheon-il's brother, who around the house wears a matching, and equally ridiculous looking blue tracksuit to match Cheon-il's red one. Don't get too used to him though. Baek-il is an obvious temporary guest star, there to remind us about the importance of having dreams, even unambitious ones, in your early thirties. Which does thematically tie into the overall idea of "Strong Family", which is that you can extraordinary simply by being extremely ordinary,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 3-4 2017/02/27,
The direction in "Strong Family" is fairly unusual for a situation comedy. Observe how the camerawork is always in close quarters. We're always getting a clear look a the expressions of the various characters, yet never a clear overall glance of the rooms that they're in. The lack of emphasis on set design is odd considering the production team keeps reminding us that there's a fourth wall- by having characters talk directly at us,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 1-2 2017/02/20,
Late night situation comedies are apparently all the rage these days, which is where "Strong Family" comes from. It's a fairly standard set-up. There's the dad, Cheol-il (played by Park Hyuk-kwon). He had ambition once, but now sits around the house in a goofy red tracksuit on his days off. There's the mom, Ra-yeon (played by Park Sun-young), who struggles to feel pretty in an ugly world. There's the daughter, Ik-hee (played by Kim Ji-min) who desperately wishes she was special. And that's what they all fight against. The encroaching dread of normalcy,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Mask" Episode 6 2015/07/05,
There was a lot of development in episode 6 of "Mask". It was all for the better. We got to see inside the hearts of many of the characters and that shaped all the elements that had the potential to be overly dramatic into effective plot moments. The most important aspect of the episode was that we got to see past the veils of many of the characters,...More
[Spoiler] 'Mask' Yeon Jung-hoon has been monitoring the couple's private life
On the 6th episode of SBS Wednesday & Thursday drama, "Mask", it showed how Min Seok-hoon (Yeon Jung-hoon) had been monitoring the private life of Choi Min-woo (Joo Ji-hoon) and Byeon Jisook (Seo Eun-ha played by Soo Ae) couple.
Byeon Jisook felt guilty because she had ignored her younger brother, Byeon Ji-hyeok (Hoya) when the two had encountered. When Byeon Jisook was looking into her wardrobe, she felt ashamed of herself all of sudden, She said, "I'm not sure if I deserve all these clothes". Choi Min-woo, who misunderstood the relationship of the two, exploded in jealousy and he made a mess with all of the clothes out of the wardrobe,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "GROW: Infinite's Real Youth Life" 2014/12/26,
In 2013, Infinite went on a grand world tour. And I guess because these guys are pretty much on camera all the time, apparently there was enough random backstage footage lying around that director Kim Jin-soo-II was able to splice together a full documentary, complete with interviews from the band members. Collected in a large number of mostly unrelated vignettes, "GROW: Infinite's Real Youth Life" tells the story of what Infinite is like when they're not performing,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2014/11/29, K-Films Coming Soon:★★★ "Highway Stars": A documentary that follows the world's first Buddhist jazz band, the "Udambara", during the 1970s. (12/04)
★★★ "Five Eagle Brothers": A comedy about five brothers in the village of Duksoori who are famous for their sibling rivalry. (12/04)
★★★★ "Seasons Romance": A chapterized drama that depicts the lives of men, woman, and then their romantic synthesis. (12/04)
★★★★ "My Sister": A music student visiting his sister in Seoul finds her dead. It looks like suicide, but the more he and the detective dig, the more shocking and heartbreaking her death becomes. (12/04)
★★★ "GROW: Infinite's Real Youth Life": The K-pop group "Infinite" share their experiences on tour, as well as the things they've kept bottled up during their rise to fame. (12/04)
★★★ "The Hospice": A chilling documentary that reveals how the patients, their family, and staff members of a hospice handle death and the void it creates. (12/04),...More
[Video] First Annual DramaFever Awards Winners Announced 2013/04/26, Source,
Award recipients thank fans for their support exclusively on DramaFever NEW YORK, NY [April 26, 2013] - DramaFever announced the winners of its first annual DramaFever Awards today, highlighting the best of Korean drama in 2012. Fans cast over 550,000 votes for their favorite nominees in categories ranging from Drama of the Year to Best Bromance,...More
[Guest Review] "Answer Me 1997" 2012/12/30, Source,
This review I present to you as a long-promised work I promised my friend, King of Beer. He told me time and time again that this show was pure k-drama gold. After watching it not once, but three times, I set myself to writing this review. It's rather massive because, well, he were right.
"Answer Me 1997" is amazing,...More
'SUPERSTAR K' RETURNS TO AMERICA SEEKING OUT THE WORLD'S BEST SINGERS FOR $500,000 COMPETITION 2012/05/31, Source, Los Angeles auditions to take place on June 9; New York auditions June 10Season Four will air LIVE on Mnet America for the first timeNEW YORK – May 30, 2012 –Mnet (www.mnetamerica.com), the first and leading national, 24/7 English-language television network in the U.S. for all things Asian cool, has announced the ultra popular singing competition show, SUPERSTAR K(SSK)will again hold auditions in America for their upcoming fourth season. The show will scour the earth for the best talent to bring back to Korea to compete for the chance to win 500,000,000 Korean Won or approximately 500,000 US Dollars along with an opportunity to perform at the Mnet Asian Music Awards and many more prizes,...More
INFINITE - New Hallyu Idols 2011/10/29, Source,
Lot and lot of new groups are being called "new Hallyu" or "the future of Hallyu", but only time will tell which ones can actually make it. I was hesitant to write about any of them, not too sure if I write about a craze that will not live long. But the group I am going to introduce today has few distinctive traits that set them apart from others. This may become their undoing, but at the same time this may be their strongest asset.
The group consists of 7 members: Kim Seonggyu, Jang Dongwu, Nam Wuhyeon, Lee Howon (Hoya), Lee Seongyeol, Kim Myeongsu (L), and Lee Seongjong. They are managed by Woollim Entertainment, the same label of Epic High and Nell. Yes, I guess, that would be the first trait that sets them apart. Neither of those groups is typical Kpop, although Epic High is highly (nomen-omen) popular,...More
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