[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.05.15 - 2015.05.17 2015/05/18,
"Chronicles of Evil" and "Mad Max" dislodges "The Avengers"...
While Cannes is playing host to the top stars and filmmakers from around the world, the South Korean public came out in droves over the weekend to catch two new features that recently made their way onto the chart. Baek Woon-hak's thriller "Chronicles of Evil" and George Miller's remake of "Mad Max" were the must-see films, and between them the capture over 70% of the box office pie; in the process removing "The Avengers" from its previous privileged position as South Korea's number one,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Enemies In-Law" 2015/05/09,
The plot is typical star-crossed lovers stuff. First, Cheol-soo (played by Hong Jong-hyeon) is the son of two supervillains. Well they're not really supervillains but Dal-sik (played by Sin Jeong-geun) and Yeong-mi (played by Park Eun-hye) have crime-committing abilities so superpowered they might as well be. Luckily "Enemies In-Law" is a comedy, so I don't need to do anything as ridiculous as criticize this movie for featuring a small army of crime dogs- that is, dogs that commit crimes, not dogs that solve crimes,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.05.01 ~ 2015.05.03 2015/05/04, Marvel's might continues while newcomers stake their claim… There was some serious jostling for position going on at the box office this past weekend. Last weekend Marvel's latest "Avengers" film entered the fray and (righteously) dominated proceedings by capturing a mammoth 90% of the box office pie. And while this left little else for the rest of the pack to pounce on, a week later we find a string of new entries trying to make a move on Marvel's monster,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 20 (final) 2014/07/13,
The finale was everything that I wanted from "Doctor Stranger", mostly in that it was satisfying. The bad guys got their just deserts, and the lovers ended up together after many trials and tribulations. However, it makes me wish for better things from the rest of the drama that seemed to have taken a long jaunt down the rabbit hole. What was missing from the ending was the build up to it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 19 2014/07/09,
"Doctor Stranger" has become completely erratic in its desperate attempt to remain valid and interesting. This penultimate episode was jumpy and piecemeal. But at the same time, it covered issues that should've been dealt with ages ago. In that way, it was satisfying. Almost all of the issues brewing in "Doctor Stranger" came to a head this episode. First was the relationship between Soo-hyeon and Jae-joon. He's been wrestling with what it means to be a doctor and how to deal with the delicate balance between being a doctor and exacting revenge. His character has been quite bipolar, but in this episode he was as he should've been: torn between guilt, his love for Soo-hyeon, and duty towards his parents. It was well-balanced and satisfying to see him dealing with his issues instead of blanketing them with anger,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 18 2014/07/02,
"Doctor Stranger" is on its last dregs as it heads into the final week of its run. There is a lot of action this episode, but it is anticlimactic as the build towards it has gone on far too long - it should've happened earlier. Much of the fault in this story lies in the planning in that the trajectory changes from week to week and the story has no longevity,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 17 2014/07/02,
Although "Doctor Stranger"'s plot is more convoluted than ever, and the neverending, highly unethical medical competition shows no sign of ending, there was some decent character development that followed thee character's original trajectory. It was especially nice to see Hoon return to the man he was because it makes the writing more consistent and, let's face it, he's much more pleasant this way. What made Hoon such a fascinating character in the beginning was his efforts to overcome the five years he was trapped in the North Korean medical facility performing atrocities on human lives,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 16 2014/06/26,
"Doctor Stranger" is spinning on its wheels again, using the same plot tools over and over. It also relied heavily on a relatively ineffective love triangle this episode and distorted the characters even further. It seems that the characters exist as plot tools and are no longer entities of their own. The crux of the problems in "Doctor Stranger" is the lack of consistency in all elements,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 15 2014/06/24,
"Doctor Stranger" has lost itself along the way. It began strongly. The plot had clear direction and the characters had paths to follow and things to learn. Now the show is having very serious mood swings that result in flip flopping character personalities, inconsistent plot development and an utter brutalization of morality and ethics. While some characters will inevitably have little sense of morality and ethics, for an entire cast of characters (save one) to have no concept of what is right and wrong is barely believable and hardly relatable,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 14 2014/06/18,
That was it? After watching this episode, that's all I can say. After skirting the conspiracy for fourteen episodes, the expectations for its complexity and awesomeness were sizable. All of those expectations were deflated in under two minutes. The biggest disappointment this episode was how the writing of the conspiracy reveal, the character development, and the plot stepping stones was erratic and sloppy,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 13 2014/06/18,
Alliances shift as the overwrought hospital competition (hopefully) comes to an end. Instead of focusing on the competition and hospital politics, the shows turns a querying eye towards the connection between Hoon's past and Jae-joon's past without serving up the reason as to why Hoon is so important to the "master" plan. What the "master" plan is has yet to be revealed. All the show has given us is that Hoon is important in saving the relationship between North and South Korea. That is my biggest quibble with this show,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 12 2014/06/12,
This episode belonged to Han Jae-joon who has been barreling down his path of revenge, ignoring his conscience and the urgings of Soo-hyeon to do what is right. A case that is similar to his own past allows him to see that his single-minded revenge is turning him into Director Oh - a person who creates orphans and doesn't take responsibility for it. A person who considers the hospital's needs over a patient's needs. It's been long in coming, but the influences of Hoon and Soo-hyeon and his own past have come together and pushed Jae-joon towards what he really wants to be: a good doctor,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 11 2014/06/11,
While I personally loved episode 11 of "Doctor Stranger", from a critical standpoint it reeked of inconsistency. What I loved was how cleverly the humor was use, the odd-couple bromance between Dr. Moon and Hoon, the slapstick antics. What puzzled me was the drastic change in tone this episode had compared to the last ten. The focus of the episode was on the humor and the antics that stem from Hoon's devil-may-care attitude and Dr. Moon's negligible sense of morality,...More
[Spoiler] "Doctor Stranger" Lee Jong-suk and Park Hae-jin join hearts 2014/06/10, Source,
On the twelfth episode of "Doctor Stranger", Park Hoon (Lee Jong-suk) and Han Jae-joon (Park Hae-jin) decided to battle again with a patient whose condition worsened due to a medical accident. Park Joon suggested the winner to be the one who saves the patient. However, Oh Joon-gyu (Jeon Gook-hwan) changed the rules around because he was afraid for the truth to come out.
Park Hoon was threatened by Cha Jin-soo (Park Hae-joon) to not perform surgery if he wanted to save Song Jae-hee (Jin Se-yeon). Park Hoon gave up anyway. Han Jae-joon also wanted to give up but he thought about his parents, who passed away due to a medical accident. In the end, Jae-joon put everything on the line to perform surgery,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 10 2014/06/05,
"Doctor Stranger" delivers some answers amongst a whole set of new questions. It's delving deeper into the political conspiracies while the characters become more entrenched in their issues. Jae-joon's tragic past is highlighted and Park Hae-jin is a standout as he brings Jae-joon's tortured soul to life. After Hoon wins the morally dubious surgical competition, the fallout of the losing wrecks havoc on several relationships,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 9 2014/06/04,
As "Doctor Stranger"'s tone grows more unsteady, the characters become more intriguing. Most of that can be attributed to the cast who is, as a whole, absolutely winning. The plot, however, continues to degrade into an utterly confusing mess. There are so many questions floating about that it's hard to keep track of them all. Plot complication is good, but only when there is an adequate amount of resolution. There are so many deceptions and hard-to-follow alliances that the show is getting very confusing,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 8 2014/05/28,
Questionable morality is the name of the game in this episode of "Doctor Stranger". The competition between the two surgical teams has always struck me as wrong, but it is this episode that highlights just how reprehensible it is. It also shows us that Hoon knows what it is to be a good doctor; it is innate in him. Unlike the others, he ignores politics, the competition and all of the red tape to do right by his patients. That makes him a lot of enemies. Hoon's first new enemy is Jae-joon into whom we gained insight this episode,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 7 2014/05/28,
It's time for Park Hoon to take stock of his place in life. This episode forced him to consider his path forward and take a hard look at his past. Up until now, he's skirted issues concerning himself and focused on his search for Jae-hee. Other characters have agendas for Hoon to follow, but whether he chooses to follow is his decision. He's always been a wild card. Hoon is so volatile because of how he grew up,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 6 2014/05/23,
"Doctor Stranger" doesn't fancy giving answers, only questions. Park Hoon's presence at Myung Woo University Hospital is a mattern of concern for nearly everyone, good and bad. However, the ambiguity behind each person's reasoning is yet another mystery. Jae-hee is the predominant mystery. She is clearly working with Jin-soo and "Doctor Stranger" is doing a great job of making her a very dubious character. She's oddly detached from everything as though she is running off of a spoon fed version of her life instead of her own memories. We viewers know her mostly through Hoon's eyes: a smiling, sweet, laughing woman who loved him as desperately as he loved her. She got shot for him,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 5 2014/05/20,
There is a lot about "Doctor Stranger" that requires the viewer to suspend reality and expectations. There is much more that speaks directly to the soul and makes it laugh, cry, and writhe with curiosity. The bulk of that speech is carried by the spot on performances of the cast and how the writing of each character makes them easy to relate to and understand. Now that "Doctor Stranger" has settled around Myung Woo University Hospital and the main characters have had four episodes of introduction, the story is beginning to settle into the real mystery: Jae-hee's presence in the hospital and why she is there in the first place,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 4 2014/05/15,
Jae-hee plays a bigger role this episode while still managing to remain a complete mystery. Hoon, on the other hand, continues to walk his own path, skirting the rules and following the lead of his volatile emotions. However, his walk is given pause in the face of Soo-hyeon's pain. Hoon seems intent on doing whatever it takes to find Jae-hee, including operating on a patient who is in pain and will most likely not make it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 3 2014/05/13,
Park Hoon is a man who does what he wants when he wants to do it. That is, until his conscience in the form of his father's last words begins to nag him. His character is a strange amalgamation of characteristics that range from egotistical to sympathetic. It's as confused as he is after years of struggling. His struggles have finally brought him to Myung Woo University Hospital in Seoul, where we knew he would end up from "Doctor Stranger"'s promotional material,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 2 2014/05/07,
"Doctor Stranger" has a special way of weaving in cinematic, humorous, and moving aspects into one, powerful storyline that is neither choppy nor awkwardly put together. It's an exciting fusion of multiple elements, including a charged political storyline, while still manging to be thoroughly character driven. The first half of the drama runs much like an action flick. Park Hoon is motivated by his father's death and by the need to save his lost love. He is desperate to escape the North Korean government that traps him. During the rigorous chase through Budapest, the show includes medical, romantic, and action scenes into Hoon's long escape,...More
[HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Inspiring Generation" 2014/01/25,
After the success of 'Bridal Mask' in 2012 and given heroic tales are always loved by people, it was only a matter of time before the idea of making a period epic with another popular celebrity was realized. While only comparable to 'Bridal Mask' for being in the same era and for the production value, so far, "Inspiring Generation" is definitely shaping up into a grand epic story of its own, presented in a fine and impressive manner,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bridal Mask" 2013/01/26,
As popular as masked heroes with secret identities are in popular culture, there's surprisingly little real analysis of how this psychically affects the person wearing the mask. Try to imagine yourself treating a person that you genuinely love in a completely different, possibly even violent antagonistic way, solely because you're wearing a mask. Even if you could stomach that kind of lie and deceit, how do you think that would make your loved one feel? What if you discovered that a person who you love was antagonizing you under an assumed identity? Would the reason even matter? Would that make the betrayal any less painful?,...More
Jin Se-yeon on Becoming Famous Overnight 2012/11/10, Source,
It's been only two years since she started acting, but 19-year-old actress Jin Se-yeon has been a favorite choice for leading roles in three TV dramas so far this year. "I think I still have a lot of growing up to do, but I've had to play mature characters who must endure many trials and tribulations, including extreme solitude", Jin said while laughing. She was spotted by a talent agent back in 2007 when she was just a middle school senior and trained for about two months to perform as part of an all-girl dance group,...More
[Spoiler] "Five Fingers" Hong Woo-jin dies 2012/10/14, Source,
Hong Da-mi (Jin Se-yeon) and Song Nam-joo (Jeon Mi-seon) couldn't be any happier that he was slowly recovering. Kim Jeong-wook (Jeon No-min) who is Woo-jin's superior, told them to go home and get some rest while he stayed at the hospital.
They headed home saying they were going to get Woo-jin's things. Kim Jeong-wook left his seat to take a walk with his assistant and in the meantime, someone came into the room and he was someone under the orders of Chae Yeong-rang (Chae Si-ra),...More
"Bridal Mask" rates 18% 2012/08/01, Source,
KBS 2TV drama "Bridal Mask" rated the highest score yet as the other dramas were cancelled due to the Olympics 2012 broadcasts.
According to AGB Nielsen Media Research on the 2nd, "Bridal Mask" on the 1st of August rated 18.0%. This breaks the record of 16.8% on the 19th last month,...More
Joo Won and Jin Se-hyeon's "Bridal Mask" not aired 2012/07/26, Source,
The soccer game between Korea and mexico for the Olympics caused all the programs during that time schedule to be cancelled.
KBS 2TV drama "Bridal Mask" was cancelled. The episode on the 25th ended with Mok-dan realizing Bridal Mask was Lee Kang-to (Joo Won). There was big disappointment in the cancellation as there were many who were curious as to what happened next,...More
"Bridal Mask" resumes a week after bus accident 2012/04/23, Source,
"The Equator Man" sequel drama "Bridal Mask" on the KBS 2TV resumed filming a week after the bus falling accident.
TV Report reported that the shoot resumed on the 24th at Paju, Kyeonggido. A staff claimed, "Along with the grieving for the one who passed away, we thought it was only right that we resume shooting and create a great drama",...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Korean Weekend Box Office (2011.06.10~2011.06.12) 2011/06/13, Korean Weekend Box Office (2011.06-10~2011.06.12)
Off the back of a long weekend in Korea, "Kung fu Panda 2" remains this week's number one film with a total of a whopping 4,057,286 admissions. Dreamwork's film attracted just fewer than 500,000 excited moviegoers this past weekend as Koreans celebrated Memorial Day last Monday and headed to the cinemas.,...More
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