[Funcurve Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" 2017/02/25,
With a star studded cast boasting the small-screen return of both Kim Woo-bin and Suzy, I was excited to start watching "Uncontrollably Fond". Luckily, I was not disappointed. The drama kept me emotionally invested throughout its run and broke my heart along the way. It follows celebrity Sin Joon-yeong's (Kim Woo-bin) life closely as he learns that he only has a few months to live. Meanwhile his old love, Noh-eul (Suzy), happens to work as a producer on his documentary. Needless to say, their working relationship leads to rekindled romance as well as heart-wrenching scenes of coping with the brutal reality together,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2017.01.13 ~ 2017.01.15 2017/01/16,
Japan's highest-grossing anime retains pole position...
Makoto Shinkai's romantic fantasy "Your Name" is now the highest-grossing Japanese anime in history having recently overtaken Hayao Miyazaki's classic, "Spirited Away" (2001). Shinkai's critical acclaimed masterpiece entered the Korean market January 4 and became the first Japanese anime to enter in pole position in over a decade. During its second weekend out, "Your Name" added another 739,079 admissions (30%) and moved its total tally in Korea now to 2.4 million ($17.2 million). Worldwide, "Your Name" has grossed $290 million, enough to overtake "Spirited Away"'s $289 million,...More
[HanCinema's Digest] Cinema Snippets 2017/01/14,
Korea's "City of Film" gets a serious cash injection, Justin Lowe reviews Jo Eui-seok's "Master", Netflix's first Korean original series will be web comic, and for the first time in over a decade a Japanese anime has topped Korea's charts,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2017.01.06 ~ 2017.01.08 2017/01/09, Japanese anime "Your Name" enters in pole position...
For the first time in over a decade, a Japanese anime has entered at the top of the South Korean box office. Makoto Shinkai's fantasy romance anime "Your Name" (based on Shinkai's own novel of the same name) officially opened on Wednesday after becoming the second-highest grossing anime film in Japan late last year where it banked over $288 million (Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away", the highest-grossing anime, sits on $289 million). From 944 screens, "Your Name" captured 31.3% of the sales (832,040 admissions) to dislodge last weekend's number one, Jo Eui-seok's crime flick "Master",...More
Actor Kim Woo-bin Says Good Roles Come to Those Who Wait 2016/12/24, Source, Kim Woo-bin has returned to the big screen in the crime action flick "Master", which was released on Wednesday. Just six years since his debut, the model-turned-actor is already one of the hottest stars in the showbusiness. To be sure, his heartthrob appeal has helped his career, but Kim has charmed the critics just as much as he does his many fans,...More
[Interview] Seolhyun, "Everyone meets and breaks up", "I'm doing well" 2016/10/20, Source, Seolhyun was chosen as the most wanted model of 2016 along with Kim Woo-bin. Her healthy good looks still appeal to the public. Seolhyun was interviewed suddenly on the 20th at an awards ceremony hosted by the Korean Advertisement Committee.
She's been through a lot this year. Even before the group AOA could start their 'Good Luck' performances, they were criticized for historical awareness and had to stop. Seolhyun also broke up with Zico last September. Still, she seemed fine and she thinks 2016 wasn't all that hard,...More
[HanCinema's Feature] Local Popularity of Independent Korean Films (Part 2) 2016/09/17,
The top two most popular independent Korean films of all time are documentaries. "Old Partner", a 2008 film which dealt with an old rural man and his working cow, nearly hit three million admissions. "My Love, Don't Cross That River", a 2014 film about an elderly couple who have been together for several decades, nearly hit five million admissions. But it's worth noting that documentaries about old rural people do not necessarily always make bank, regardless of how good they are. Consider "With or Without You", about an elderly woman living with a retarded woman who she bought several decades ago for her husband to impregnate with a son after their own sons unexpectedly and tragically died. That one only got close to thirty thousand,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 20 (final) 2016/09/15,
It is an episode of goodbyes as one life comes to an end and others continue on after having loved and learned. The end of this story is the start of others, but the end doesn't mean that its true meaning does not persist. That is what Joon-young means to those he loves and to those who love him. His life was short, but his memory lasts in the hearts of those who cherished him. In that way, the ending of "Uncontrollably Fond" was beautiful. In others, it was rather puzzling,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 19 2016/09/13,
Episode 19 is when we begin to say goodbye to Joon-young. His loved ones are coming to terms with his very near mortality and the results of his campaign to clear Eul's name. The results are an acute attack of moral conscience for many of the characters and a tearful denouement. Joon-young has completed his revenge on Eul's part and starts to sit back to live out his remaining days,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 18 2016/09/06, "Uncontrollably Fond" has pulled out all the stops. Rich people who care nothing for others. Trucks that come out of nowhere to obliterate people. Sad breakups. Tearful confessions. Late stage cancer. You name it; it's on this table. It's an excitedly lead into this last week, but I wish there had be more of the little things. More character development. More subtle play on emotion. Less dramatic camera panning. Fewer wildly used melodramatic elements,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 17 2016/09/01,
Joon-yeong's memory starts falter due to his cancer and he seems to realize his mortality and becomes even bolder in his plans to set everything in Eul's life right. In fact, he becomes downright reckless, revealing dangerous truths, challenging those with terrifying amounts of power. The path he has chosen causes pain to others and himself, and I can't say watching him self-destruct is pleasant in any way, shape, or form,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 16 2016/08/28, "Uncontrollably Fond" is heading into its last two weeks and with that comes revelations for our main characters. Joon-young's cancer is discovered by Eul, but their relationship woes do not dissipate with that knowledge. There are others still in the dark, and even more people battling for power with blades of knowledge and money. The most fully developed character is Eul,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 15 2016/08/24,
The major focus of the drama has been on the push and pull between Joon-young and Eul and that focus detracts greatly from the other supposedly large conflicts floating about. Those conflicts could potentially give rise to interesting explorations of the darker side of humanity so often highlighted in melodrama. Unfortunately, "Uncontrollably Fond" falls short of fulfilling those conflicts.,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 14 2016/08/19,
This episode really touches on the plays of power. Money buys power. Health allows one to wield power. Friendship helps to guide power. Connections manipulate power. These concepts are neither new to the show or to the workings of society, but they are highlighted in ways that force the characters to act. Most of the same ol' shenanigans continue throughout this episode and leave me with little to talk about. Joon-young waffles between living by his standards of guilt, or by the pull of his love for Eul,...More
Korean Star Cancels Fan Meet in China Amid THAAD Spat 2016/08/19, Source,
A fan meet with actress Park Shin-hye scheduled on Sept. 10 in Shanghai has been canceled amid fears of anti-Korean sentiment amid an escalating spat over the stationing in Korea of a U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery.
Beijing believes the battery is intended to keep its military might in check, and there is talk in China that the Korean Wave has turned into a "Korean Chill",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 13 2016/08/18, "Uncontrollably Fond" has one goal: keep the tension high. Two major secrets are fueling that tension, the truth about Joon-young's health and the truth surrounding his birth. All other tensions stem from that and other similar secrets. Scenes and action wades through problems caused by these secrets while Eul remains a plucky heroine despite Joon-young's treatment of her.
Eul is convinced that Joon-young still loves her, and she would be right,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 12 2016/08/13,
Some secrets find their way to the surface, but rather than bringing relief, they create more tension and send other secrets further into hiding. All four of our romantic leads are experiencing loads of pain in the form of betrayal, heartache, and the physical as they become aware of each other and are forced into very awkward confontations. The intrigue of "Uncontrollably Fond" lies in intricate web of lies and relationships,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 11 2016/08/11,
This episode focused on the mother's: Joon-young's mother and Ji-tae's mother. While the majority of the hour was spent on dredging up the past and repeating mistakes that should've been learned from, we clearly see the motivations behind some characters that remained opaque until now.
Highlighting the weaknesses that have plagued Joon-young's mother's character, this episode finally delved into the reasoning behind her poor treatment of her son,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 10 2016/08/06, "Uncontrollably Fond" is an interesting mix of very beautiful staging and cinematography and a glacial plot pace. The story moves along so slowly that it's difficult to make it through an episode because there is no impetus for curiosity of the events in the show. Part of the lack of forward motion is caused by undeveloped characters, which by episode 10 in a drama, should not happen,...More
China Cancels Events with Korean Stars Amid THAAD Spat 2016/08/05, Source,
China has canceled a major event featuring Korean celebrities scheduled later this year and is scrapping mass company outings to Korea. The move is the latest gambit in an escalating spat over Seoul's decision to deploy a U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery that China believes is intended to keep its military might in check,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 9 2016/08/04,
Plot threads start to twist and knot as underlying relationships between characters are exposed to the audience. Those aware of the dark, painful secrets become typical melodramatic characters who make bad decisions and pine and brood at their misfortune. There is some happiness present as well, which in a Lee Kyeong-hee drama is normally fleeting,...More
Korean Stars Still Thrive in China Despite THHAD Squabble 2016/08/04, Source,
Korean stars are still popular and widely represented in China, even though the official atmosphere is thick with mutual suspicion after Korea decided to deploy a U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Defense battery.
On Wednesday the Beijing Youth Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Youth League, felt moved to deny rumors that programs featuring Korean stars are being canceled on Chinese TV,...More
[Spoiler] 'Uncontrollably Fond' Kim Woo-bin confesses his love to Suzy 2016/07/27, Source, "Uncontrollably Fond" episode aired on July 27th showed Sin Joon-yeong (Kim Woo-bin) opened his heart and started getting closer to No-eul (Suzy).
On this day, the reason why Sin Joon-yeong had been treating No-eul coldly has been revealed. The explanation why Sin Joon-yeong had taken No-eul to the region away from Seoul the other day was revealed. Sin Joon-yeong told to No-eul, who fell asleep next to him, "Honestly, I wanted to take you to an island" and "but I'm going alone. If I'd take you, then I would want to hide you in the island and won't let you go to anyone else. So don't get noticed by me. If you'd show up again in front of my eyes, then I'll just take you away". He had been treating No-eul coldly because he didn't want her to notice his love towards her,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 6 2016/07/21,
Episode 6 was No Eul's episode. It was her turn to discover and reflect instead of recklessly living. Her character up until this point has charged forward, doing anything and everything to earn the money to keep her and her brother afloat. Although she professes love for Ji-tae, it is Joon-yeong who gives her pause and challenges her current lifestyle. As Joon-yeong and No Eul adventure to the ocean to escape the paparazzi, the not-quite-a-couple couple start to learn about each other in the most interesting episode thus far,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 5 2016/07/20,
The somber note that sounded throughout last week's episodes of "Uncontrollably Fond" was little seen in episode 5. Only with Ji-tae, secret chaebol and Daddy Longlegs extraordinaire, did the angst verge momentarily above the surface. What rose to the surface we the re-kindled interest between Joon-yeong and No Eul and the heavy baggage of dating in the limelight. What struck me most about the episode was how normal Joon-yeong appeared and how hard he worked to maintain that guise,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 4 2016/07/15,
The intersections of relationships and individual goals begin to clear up in episode 4 of "Uncontrollably Fond". And, rather than settling down, the personalities of the main leads remain as capricious as ever and are defined situationally. This episode was Kim Woo-bin's, however. Each scene he was in was laced with such intensity. Suzy has also been realistic as No Eul. I mentioned in the last review that Joon-yeong's illness had not been mentioned in a while and this episode addresses that in spades,...More
Suzy's performance so far in "Uncontrollably Fond", infatuated by her beauty 2016/07/14, Source, Suzy is pretty. Comments after comments about Suzy's beauty pile up after the drama. Her beauty was picked out as one of the points to look out for in the drama but that was it. She hasn't done anything to turn the tables on the issues of her performance until now.
Suzy takes on the role of Noh Eul, a documentary director. Noh Eul was a bright girl even though her family was wealthy but after her father died of a hit-and-run accident, she does anything for money. Her life changed overnight,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 3 2016/07/13, "Uncontrollably Fond"'s penchant for bookending episodes with dilemma's in the character's present is already a repetitive plot tool. It is attempting to draw parallels between past and present, and work the story in a non linear fashion, but these efforts come off as heavy-handed. The glimpse into the past is welcome, but Joon-yeong's motivations are hard to follow and make the past a messy place to be. The first two episodes indicated that Joon-yeong wanted some sort of revenge on No Eul,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 2 2016/07/07,
The dark past is unveiled, at least partially, in episode number 2 of "Uncontrollably Fond" that sat prettily atop the drama ranks at 12.5%, matching the first episode's rating. No Eul and Joon-yeong in their high school years are those who have not: they lack power, money, and influence, three assets that their opponents have in abundance. A complex web of family relations, payoffs, deals, loans sharks, and emotional agony was woven during No Eul's and Joon-yeong's high school years,...More
Suzy vs IU, two best friends take up challenge to pre-filming production 2016/06/29, Source, Suzy and IU, the two best friends are returning to the small screen through two different dramas produced on the pre-filming system.
As the dramas are produced through the 100% pre-filming system and will be broadcast in Korea and China at the same time, the anticipation has been raised even higher. While the two stars, who experienced acting for the first time for their roles in "Dream High", 2011, will they be able to earn a happy scorecard through the upcoming dramas?,...More
Not a girl any longer, Suzy looks more grown-up 2016/06/24, Source,
Both inocence and sexy, the twenty two year old star, Suzy looks stunning as ever.
Suzy has grabbed the attention with her grown-up looks in her recent pictorial for Bazar fashion magazine. In the pictorial shoot taken in Hawaii, Suzy showed off her healthy beauty under the sizzling sun and in front of the dark blue ocean,...More
"Uncontrollably Fond" VS "W" VS "Incarnation of Jealousy": Hot summer battle 2016/06/06, Source,
It is unpredictable. No one can know which is more superior. The three ground-wave dramas are battling against each other. They say a drama is a writer's art. Three dramas with tight scenarios and the best cast are competing against each other and it's going to be intense.
The greatest drama so far is the KBS 2TV drama "Descendants of the Sun" which ended in April. After that, dramas battled to be the best on the 10% range. "Lucky Romance" has taken its place and is running on top rank but the gap between it and the second ranking drama isn't that much,...More
[Orion's Drama News] Powerhouse Pairings and Another Exclusive 2016/04/02,
Spring is fun, but summer is winking at us and throwing popular pairings at our faces. We are paying attention, summer. Join me as I give you some pretty exciting casting news, more upcoming drama goodies and ramblings. Also, Jasper Cho! No, I cannot actually give him to you, but you could have your question answered by him in our upcoming exclusive interview,...More
The keyword this year is 'romance' 2016/03/31, Source,
The keyword is romance. The three ground-wave broadcasting stations are coming up with romantic comedy and melodramas.
11 out of 17 dramas that are due to be released this year are romantic dramas,...More
Lee Min-ho and Suzy, "We're still together" 2016/02/11, Source, Lee Min-ho and Suzy have been together for about a year now and despite their busy schedules, they still have much affection for each other.
The two officially announced their relationship a year ago and even China was wild about the issue. The couple then went through false news about having broken up around March. They denied it but that didn't stop speculations about them,...More
[USA and Canada] DramaFever Launches New CJ E&M Movie Channel 2016/01/25, Source,
New Feature for DramaFever Premium Subscribers Brings Best Korean Films, On Demand, to Fans in the U.S. and Canada
DramaFever (dramafever.com), the leading online destination for international television shows, movies and concerts, and the leading Asian pop culture producer and distributor CJ E&M have announced the launch of DramaFever's "CJ E&M Movie Channel". Created as part of a previously-announced, multi-year licensing deal between the two companies, the CJ E&M Movie Channel will debut today, with two dozen films immediately available on demand to premium subscribers of DramaFever's OTT digital video network. Fans can access the channel at dramafever.com/movies, and for the first three days,...More
Kim Woo-bin's signing event for fans ends successfully 2015/10/26, Source,
The construction company IS Dongseo held a signing event with their exclusive ad model, actor Kim Woo-bin to promote their new multi residential high rise complex, Cheongna Eileen's Garden in Incheon.
The fan signing event was crowded with the visitors to their presentation homes and Kim Woo-bin's fans who visited the venue to meet him. Kim Woo-bin smiled all throughout the one hour event and made an eye contact with each of his fans exchanging handshakes with the visitors and taking photos with them,...More
[Photos] Kim Woo-bin owns runway in 2016 Spring/Summer fashion show 2015/10/22, Source,
Actor Kim Woo-bin walked runway for 'Be Prepared', 2016 S/S collection by casual brand 'Sewing Boundaries, which took place in Common Ground in Jayang-dong, Seoul on October 22nd.
Kim Woo-bin starred as a main model for the fashion show this day and owned the runway with his exceptional charismatic presence. His walk, the intense look in his eyes and the confident demeanors captivated the entire audience,...More
[BIFF] Stars talk in Haeundae, Busan 2015/10/04, Source,
In Busan, stars appear day and night. More and more stars have participated in this year's Busan International Film Festival which celebrates its 20th this year. How exciting, meeting the stars of movies in real life. The stars in Haeundae have been responding to fans' support in various ways.
The opening was hot. The opening ceremony of BIFF was held on the 1st. Although the weather was rough with gale warnings, fans gathered to see their favorite stars,...More
Actors with 'honey vocal cord' in their 20s/30s 2015/09/14, Source,
'Honey vocal cord' as in sweet voice is an important charming appeal for actors to have.
Attractive voice highlights emotions in acting by delivering them more vividly and makes audience focus more on his acting. The young actors in his 20s and 30s with the sweet voice as well as the charming look are 'perfect guys',...More
Actors' salary this year 2015/09/03, Source,
Curiosity rose for actors' pay after actresses' pay was released last month. We've updated the ranks from highest paid actors to the lowest.
According to studies, the gap between actors and actresses isn't that large. In case of the actors, they are more highly paid as they have a strong fan base all over the world. The prices of actors continuously rise but the actresses fill in the gaps with fashion and beauty advertisements. After actors make it big with dramas, they make more money off extracurricular events such as foreign fan meetings and such so they make extra profits,...More
Kim Woo-bin, Suzy confirmed for new drama, 'Uncontrollably Fond' 2015/08/20, Source, Kim Woo-bin and Suzy have been confirmed for drama 'Uncontrollably Fond' (working title).
'Uncontrollably Fond', which is scheduled to be broadcast in 2016, depicts an ardent love story between a man and a woman, who had to be separated during their childhood due to an ill-fated relationship and encounter again at their workplace, a broadcasting company: one as an extremely bossy superstar and another as a servile producer of documentary programs,...More
More Fashion Models Branch Out 2015/08/20, Source,
Fashion models are increasingly branching out into acting, design and business ventures to expand their potential career arc. Jang Yoon-ju is one of Korea's top models but has constantly pushed beyond her modeling career. She has appeared on TV entertainment shows, released her own songs, and most recently appeared in the film "Veteran", which is on track to becoming a mega hit,...More
Star Focus to hold 'Korea Movie Stars Award' 2015/06/15, Source,
It is anticipated that Korea's top movie stars will show up at one location on June 15th.
To celebrate the start of Star Focus, an official magazine by The Korea Film Actors' Association and MGM Media, publisher of Star Focus, 'Korea Movie Stars Award' will be hold in Grand Ballroom of Conrad Seoul Hotel at 6 PM on June 18th,...More
Kim Woo-bin's high school photo 2015/05/18, Source, Actor Kim Woo-bin appeared on the Cult Two Show and talked about his twenties.
A picture of the actor in his high school days wore glasses and had thinner eyebrows than now. His cheeks are much chubbier,...More
Kim Woo-bin's Flower Smile 2015/05/13, Source,
Actor Kim Woo-bin attended a promotion event for Sieg, 'Sieg 20th anniversary campaign' on May 15th, which took place in Ara Art Center in Insa-dong, Seoul.
Men's suits brand 'Ungrown Man' by Sieg will the campaign from the 13th to 14th. Various pieces inspired by British photographer, Nigel Shafran will be exhibited at the venue,...More
Jeonju Int'l Film Fest Opens 2015/05/01, Source,
The 16th Jeonju International Film Festival kicked off on Thursday for a season of 200 films from 47 countries until May 9. The JIFF is less commercial than the Busan International Film Festival in the fall, and features more independent films,...More
[HanCinema's Digest] Cinema Snippets 2015/04/18, "Twenty" makes it way to America, Fabien presents three new Korean releases for Modern Korean Cinema, CJ Entertainment reaches out to fans on Facebook with new initiative, and reservations for "Avengers: Age of Ultron" start flooding in,...More
Kim Woo-bin writes letter to victim of Sewol 2015/04/15, Source, Actor Kim Woo-bin wrote a letter to a student who was his fan from Danwon High School. The student's friends contacted Kim Woo-bin's company and requested for this in commemoration of their friend who died in the Sewol accident last year.
Kim Woo-bin started off with, "Hello pretty lady. I just got back from a fan meeting and it's thanks to you. The place where you are must be so much prettier than the world you used to be in. Let's meet up after time has passed and take pictures. Thank you for being my fan and we're sorry",...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Twenty" 2015/04/11,
I'm just gonna come out and say it- being twenty really sucked. Goodness knows culture tries to convince us that this was the greatest time of our lives, but the simple reality is that when we were twenty, we had no idea how the world really worked. And yet, we were just barely smart enough to think we had a grasp on what was going on, even if it was obvious that we did not. So it is with Chi-ho (played by Kim Woo-bin), Dong-woo (played by Junho) and Kyeong-jae (played by Kang Ha-neul). They became friends under peculiar circumstances, and these are the circumstances in which their relationships continue to awkwardly exist,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.04.03 ~ 2015.04.05 2015/04/06,
"Fast & Furious" outplays "Twenty" for pole position...
April saw the release of a number of competitive films, five of which entered the fray and featured in this past weekend's top ten. The much-anticipated "Fast & Furious 7" (starring the late Paul Walker alongside Vin Diesel) hit theatres worldwide recently, and Korean audiences welcomed the seventh instalment by raising it up as the country's current number one,...More
Kim Woo-bin, "I want to be in shows in my 40s too, like Cha Seung-won" 2015/03/30, Source, Director Lee Byeong-heon-I and actor Kim Woo-bin have become rising stars of the movie industry right away with "Twenty". They are eager to find the ground which they can layout their talents in and are very active towards their work.
Lee Byeong-heon-I claims his next project might be a historical. He's currently in the final stages of decision making. While B class comedy is his specialty, it is expected that he will come up with some black comedy for the historical as well. Ever since he became a scriptwriter, he's been slowly following up on his idea of a tragic true story. Although the script isn't visible yet, Lee says, "It's something I want to do when my production skills have found a base",...More
Twenty (2014) 2015/03/29, Source, "Twenty"
Genres: Comedy and Drama
Running Time: 115 min.
Directed by: Lee Byeong-heon-I
Starring: Kim Woo-bin, Kang Ha-neul, Junho
Synopsis: Chi-ho, Gyeong-jae and Dong-woo are high school friends. Chi-ho is a player who's only interested in seducing women. Gyeong-jae is a top student who becomes extremely shy when he's in the presence of women. Dong-woo wants to become a cartoonist but struggles with the pressures of reality,...More
2PM Junho, what makes him sexy 2015/02/25, Source, Junho participated in a pictorial shooting session with a fashion magazine recently and delivered exemplary ideas for what makes a guy sexy.
During the pictorial shooting under the concept, 'This man's night', Junho posed against the night lights of Seoul reflected on the window and showed off his masculine sides,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Con Artists" 2015/01/16,
Ji-hyeok (played by Kim Woo-bin) is a master thief, relying on technical skills to steal valuables and replace them with forgeries right under peoples' noses. Inevitably he gets entrapped by President Jo (played by Kim Young-cheol) and is forced to commit a master heist. Emphasis on "inevitably". "The Con Artists" takes its sweet time actually getting Ji-hyeok and President Jo into the same room together. So much time is spent on building the characters up that the actual grand heist itself barely takes a few scenes to completely finish,...More
Kim Woo-bin Reveals His Secret to Acting 2015/01/10, Source,
Actor Kim Woo-bin seems to be basking in his reputation and popularity these days as a hot guy. Even as popular as he is, he says, "I don't know what becoming a celebrity or star would even mean". Kim has established himself as one of the hottest actors, starring in the TV series "The Heirs",...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.01.02 ~ 2015.01.04 2015/01/05, Local drama starts the year out right…
The first week of the new year saw Yoon Je-kyoon's "Ode to My Father" retain pole position, making it three weeks in a row for this touching war drama. The film, which depicts modern Korean history through a story of a Korean War refugee and his fragmented family, easily topped the table with 1.6M admissions (42.2%) and so advanced its total tally now to 7M ($54.4M). It survived the Christmas crowds with cheer, and has managed to carrying itself profitably into the New Year,...More
Domestic Films Dominate Year-End Box Office 2014/12/30, Source,
Three domestic films are leading at the box office here as the year draws to a close.
"Ode to My Father" has drawn 4.28 million viewers as of Sunday, just 12 days after its release, as favorable reviews spread by word of mouth and the controversy over its political disposition increases interest in the film,...More
Hallyu's two face in China? 2014/12/14, Source,
50 million, 120 million and 200 million won per episode; this is the cost of the Korean drama publication rights in China.
The entertainment industry is smiling at the breeze of Hallyu in China. The enormous Chinese market is no doubt an attraction compared to the limited Korean market.
The more Hallyu enters the Chinese market, the dependence on Chinese capital is rising. When the breeze turns into a chilling wind, no one will know how the situation will turn out,...More
Yoo Seung-ho and Lee Je-hoon to come back 2014/07/17, Source,
The Department of DefeNational Servicee clock goes around and around. Some actors in their 20s are done with service and will be coming back soon.
Yoo Seung-ho and Lee Je-hoon who were admitted to National Service in 2012, are almost done. They are currently positioned at the 27 District Recruit Training Center and the Seoul Police PromotioNational Service Unit. Lee Je-hoon gets discharged first on the 24th of this month and Yoo Seung-ho this coming 4th of December,...More
[HanCinema's Hall of Fame Review] "Friends 2": Return to Ruin? 2014/06/14, In the Spotlight this Week:Kwak Gyeong-taek's "Friends 2"...
As the credits rolled on Kwak Gyeong-taek's "Friends 2" I was, perhaps unjustifiably, reminded of a quote by Orson Welles, that "if you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story". Now while Kwak's 2001 blockbuster "Friend" can't be accused of having ended 'happily', the film itself was indeed a great story well told; one that immediately elevated itself into the history books as a modern Korean classic. But it was its story that ended happily, in record-breaking royalties, and proclaimed Kwak as an attuned talent with a flair for character-driven drama and tragedy-but a film that perhaps should've been allowed to rest in piece, not pieces,...More
Kim Woo-bin cancels weekend plans 2014/04/17, Source,
While the whole nation is in deep sadness because of the sunken ship, Kim Woo-bin cancelled his weekend autograph signing event and joined the nation in mourning.
Kim Woo-bin was supposed to have an autograph signing event on the 20th at the High Mart in Jamsil for a brand he's modeling for. However, he judged that it's only right the event be postponed in respect to the tragic event which occurred on the 16th,...More
Kim Woo-bin in "Twenty" 2014/04/09, Source,
Actor Kim Woo-bin is playing the star role of the movie "Twenty" which is a story about three friends who just turned twenty; an age where you can do whatever you want, love whoever you want with opportunities abroad. One of the three lead roles is Kim Woo-bin.
The three boys, Chi-ho, Kyeong-jae and Dong-woo turn twenty and learn to expect, to experience and feel,...More
Kim Soo-hyun, Lee Min-ho, Kim Woo-bin and Lee Jong-suk's shift in generations 2014/02/12, Source,
A shift is quickly occurring amongst Hallyu Stars.
Actors Kim Soo-hyun, Lee Min-ho, Kim Woo-bin and Lee Jong-suk are the four top Hallyu actors and they have been evolving at a rapid rate. They are leading the shift in generation from the primary Hallyu generation, which would be Bae Yong-joon and others. These new Hallyu stars have been expanding their fan population like LTE, which make them global stars because of their limitless boundaries between international and domestic fans.
A person in the media claims, "Unlike the Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo generation, the newer Hallyu stars have been appealing to the world with a more friendly approach in various works. They have been able to expand their fan base with real time VOD and development of technology and the Internet, as well as SNS services",...More
Kim Woo-bin rides a bike 2014/01/20, Source, Kim Woo-bin shot a collection for the lifestyle magazine Leon Korea.
His picture was splashed on the cover of the magazine with Italian model and actor Girolamo Panzetta who is also known as Leon,...More
Kim Woo-bin Enjoys Breakthrough Year in Hit Soaps, Movie 2013/12/25, Source, Kim Woo-bin has had a stellar year, starring in two hit TV series and the highly anticipated film "Friends 2". He said his height -- he is 187cm -- and strong "samurai" eyebrows give him an edgier look that may have helped catapult him to fame. "I think I kept getting cast as rebellious characters this year thanks to my looks", he said, smiling,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 20 Final 2013/12/12,
I don't think I've ever been this frustrated by a happy ending before. A certain amount of schmaltz and contrivance is appropriate to get a story to end on a positive note, sure. But nearly every single conflict solved here quite literally appeared only one episode ago. And even in those cases where there was a bit more foreshadowing, we're talking extremely brief glimpses from several episodes ago.
The most annoying part about is that Kim Tan, our alleged main character, barely has anything to do with any of this. Yes, as usual, the scenes about the love story between him and Eun-Sang predominate,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 19 2013/12/11,
There's lot of cuteness here as we get a bright cheery look at Kim Tan's birthday party, where all his friends have shown up and are having a gay old time taking pictures and doing basic teen stuff. Even the abrupt ending of Kim Tan confronting his father with Eun-Sang in tow is pretty fun. When the drama loses its pretensions and just lets its teen characters act like real teenagers, it can be fairly successful as light entertainment.
However, the more of this cute stuff that we see, the more the question comes up of how appropriate it is for the only apparent conflict in this drama to be deflated so close to the end,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 18 2013/12/05,
It would seem that the immense effort tha previous episode made to convince the viewer that yes, the Kim Tan / Eun-Sang separation really is serious this time, was actually just an elaborate trick so that the drama could do the same plot, again, without it feeling too repetitive. I have to admit that it worked- there simply isn't enough time left at this point for "The Heirs" to try and stir up drama by separating them again. And I did have that brief optimism, for one episode.
But that's pretty much entirely gone now. This episode is immensely exhausting in the way it just keeps going on and on about the Kim Tan / Eun-Sang connection, wringing its hands about awful the situation is, until finally we get to a climatic moment where they finally resolve to do something to finish off the drama's issues once and for all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 17 2013/12/04,
Most of the episode's runtime is dedicated to searching and pining about Eun-Sang. Surprisingly, it doesn't actually take that long for anyone to find her. The main conflict ends up being, all right, provided that we know where Eun-Sang is, then what? The barriers preventing her from getting together with Kim Tan are, as has been thoroughly noted, a lot more dense and problematic than just her staying in a different physical location.
Unfortunately there isn't really much going on here in the way of attacking those barriers. Personally, I have no big stake in Kim Tan and Eun-Sang getting back together soon, or even at all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 16 2013/11/28,
While the romantic storyline in this drama is fairly repetitive, I have to give it credit for managing to pull a fast one. Eun-Sang has been doing the pouty face thing for so long it genuinely didn't even occur to me that there was something more to it this time. In one sense, the episode really just repeats its own plot all over again- but thanks to the changed context and the way Kim Tan is typically the focus character, the ending manages to sneak in very effectively.
The corporate intrigue plotline manages to sputter out with comically little fanfare. We get a clear sense that, in the end, the balance of power really is pretty horribly one-sided,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 15 2013/11/27,
I really don't like Kim Woo-bin's new haircut. The one he had before was really slick and sharp- it showed off the rough, smart edges of Yeong-Do, and the way it played off of his eyebrows was just great. But this new haircut is almost exactly the same as Lee Min-ho's, and while that kind of hair works for members of the Kim family, it lacks the sneaky smugness that the character of Yeong-Do really needs. It's also slightly confusing having so many unrelated cast members with similarproblems. In a me-looking hair.
Anyway, aside from the hair, there's some still some good stuff here. The episode starts out the same place we left off at the party, and we almost immediately delve into a hilarious bit of tit-for-tat,...More
"The Heirs" napping
The cast of "The Heirs" are struggling with sleep.
Images of the cast trying to make most of their 5 minutes of shut eye to re-energize themselves, were revealed on the 26th of November,...More
"The Heirs" Lee Min-ho's gluttony 2013/11/24, Source, Lee Min-ho awed people with his gluttony as Kim Tan from the SBS drama "The Heirs" who was trying to resolve all misunderstandings and conflicts.
On the thirteenth episode of "The Heirs" Kim Tan revealed to his fiancé Rachel Yoo (Kim Ji-won) and her family that he was the son of a concubine and was driven out of the house my his father Kim Nam-yoon (Jeong Dong-hwan) without a penny. He went to his brother Kim Won's (Choi Jin-hyuk) house. He pretended to be bright and cheerful and started eating as he said, "I was hit by father. He didn't say anything when I packed but just chased me out without any money. Is it because I'm the son of a concubine? I feel pretty sad",...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Friends 2" 2013/11/22,
The film opens with up with a bit from the original "Friend". As if the title weren't enough, "Friends 2" makes a point of insisting that it is part of a legacy. But this isn't some sort of happy triumphant return to the silver screen for a storied franchise. "Friends 2" seems utterly determined to remind its audience that if there was any hope or sense of recovery from the end of the first movie, this is information that has long since fallen by the wayside. It's especially unknown for the new generation of gangsters who appear here.
This is the main problem with the film as a whole, though, is that it spends so much time in flashback providing context for everything that there's little in the present day storyline to grab onto,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 14 2013/11/21,
The ostentatious displays by our lead characters have managed to get really nauseating. I knew when I started watching "The Heirs" that this was going to be a drama about the extremely rich and well-connected. What I liked about the early episodes was that there was this clear indication that being rich and well-connected is not necessarily a good thing for a person with lousy emotional attachments. The picturesque cityscape of beautiful Los Angeles was consistently tempered by the dark side of life there,...More
Kim Woo-bin Shapes Up as Hot New Heartthrob 2013/11/21, Source, Kim Woo-bin is emerging as one of the hottest actors this year as his presence is being keenly felt both on TV and at the box office. In the SBS drama "The Heirs", he is making a strong impression on viewers with his depiction of a charming but rebellious hotel chain heir. He has found a way into female viewers' hearts with his acting skill as he conveys the character's feelings of loneliness, longing, and unrequited love,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 13 2013/11/20,
It's pretty inescapable at this point that, if one were to describe the things that Kim Tan does to a neutral observer, he would come off as a really awful person. Technically speaking I don't think he actually breaks into the apartment, but the very fact that he takes Eun-Sang there alone against her usual resistance, coupled with his subsequent actions, make it difficult to play any of this off in a sympathetic light. Granted, he acted the same back in Los Angeles- but that was when I thought these were characater flaws he was going to overcome,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 12 2013/11/14,
The mixed metaphors this drama is putting out are starting to give me a headache. We're still doing the whole will-they-or-won't they thing with Kim Tan and Eun-Sang, and on a literal level, the drama seems to be making the statement that they should totally be together. We didn't even get a single episode of full separation out of the cliffhanger from last time and already we're back to teary romantic stuff.
But let's pivot around and look at the main subplot this episode, where big bro Kim Won ends up getting in trouble with their dad Nam-Yoon about a situation that is, in many ways, almost identical to the relationship between Kim Tan and Eun-Sang,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 11 2013/11/13,
Yeong-Do has finally shown what he can offer Eun-Sang in terms of a romantic partner. Hatred and spite toward fellow human beings. That probably doesn't sound like a good thing- but the argument he makes is surprisingly persuasive. Eun-Sang has, for pretty much the entire series, been living in fear of constant disaster and has had to act in a placating way to try and avert it. But these attempts always fail and this episode is no exception to that rule.
As if inspired to prove Yeong-Do wrong, for example, Eun-Sang tries to head off Kim Tan's latest romantic advances by being more affectionate and kind in her rebuff this time around,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2013/11/09, K-Films Coming Soon:
★★★★★ "Friends 2": A young gangster unknowingly befriends his father's killer but starts to suspect the connection.(11/14)
★★★★ "Dead End": A shamed producer heads out to film ginseng diggers but gets more than he bargained for.(11/14)
★★★ "Ingtoogi": After getting humiliated online, Tae-goo learns to fight in order to get revenge in the real world. (11/14)
★★ "Black Gospel": Korea's only gospel choir heads to Harlem to see if they have what it takes. (11/14)
★★★★ "Red Vacance Black Wedding 2": An obsessed creep refuses to take a hint when his love interest turns him down. (11/14)
★★★★ "The Five": A woman goes to extreme measures to enact revenge against her family's killer. (11/14)
★★★ "Beautiful Child": A story about a Korean missionary who charges through the rupture of natives and white people. (11/14)
★★★ "Kid Cast Away 2013": A young girl gets stranded on a South Pacific Island with her dog, but the two are not alone for long. (11/14),...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 10 2013/11/07,
It suddenly hit me this episode that "The Heirs" is a drama, not about ambitious young adults, but high school students. This would seem obvious, given how much of the action lately takes place at a high school. The trappings of wealth, however, consistently give the misleading impression that these characters have clearly defined goals and a coherent narrative trajectory. In reality, they're impulsive, selfish, and resentful.
Kim Tan, for example, is now explicitly trying to manipulate EunSang emotionally in very childish ways,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 9 2013/11/06,
I'm pretty sure "The Heirs" is trying to make some sort of statement about traditional masculine gender roles in a courtship context, but I'll be darned if I have any idea what. The imagery this time around is too inescapable. This episode Eun-Sang receives come-ons, not just from leading men Kim Tan and Yeong-Do, but extras. And there's a strong frustration underscoring her reactions to these events that emphasizes the importance of diplomacy in her responses- she'll only go as far as she can without risking damage to her long-term prospects.
What makes this especially nuanced and difficult is that it's explicitly confirmed this episode that she does like Kim Tan,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 8 2013/10/31,
Up until now I wasn't completely convinced that Yeong-Do's intentions toward Eun-Sang were romantic ones. This episode lays that doubt to rest, but not in the way I was expecting. It's extremely clear that Yeong-Do's aggressive cornering behavior bares a lot of similarity to when Kim Tan does the exact same thing, and Kim Tan's motives have never been in doubt. Especially since he helpfully engages in similar behavior this time around,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 7 2013/10/30,
The adults in this drama are pretty easy to spook. On multiple occasions in the Kim household we see characters panic just because some unfamiliar person shows up. Never mind that in both cases, the unfamiliar person has every possible reason to be in the house. It says quite a bit about their quilty consciences that even in their own extremely safe homes they panic at the thought of the unexpected happening.
This takes on depressing dimensions when taken in the context of Kim Won. Kim Tan wants to reconcile with his big brother so badly it hurts- I'm impressed at the little bro's tenacity,...More
Kim Woo-bin's expressions calendar 2013/10/27, Source,
Actor Kim Woo-bin put on many realistic faces for the expressions calendar with clothing brand 'Buckaroo' which he is currently modeling for.
Exclusive 'Buckaroo' model Kim Woo-bin shot the calendar with various faces everyone goes through the week wearing the new Arctic Down Jumper,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 6 2013/10/24,
Now that Kim Tan and Yeong-Do have finally met, and presumably we're going to get into an actual plotline instead of just metaphors, it occurs to me that the narrative structure of "The Heirs" isn't particularly strong. I'm not totally sure what any of these characters want, how they're going to get it, and what, to them, will constitute a happy ending. The drama being difficult to predict is normally a high point, but there needs to be some sort of baseline,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 5 2013/10/23,
This drama has a really weird take on romance that I'm still not totally sure how to compartmentalize. Multiple new romantic subplots manage to pop out of nowhere, and we even get a moment to remember that, hey, technically, the parents of the two crabbiest heirs are in a romantic subplot, too. It's just not something that comes up that much because for the most part this drama is, appropriately enough, about "The Heirs",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 4 2013/10/17,
It turns out that, almost as soon as she gets back to Korea, Eun-Sang discovers that her life is once again ruined thanks to money. At this point it seems like Eun-Sang getting put through the ringer on this should be getting tiring- but I find it works really well with the overall theme of the drama being the impossibility of escape. Having to live in the house and be an apprentice maid is the ultimate indignity for Eun-Sang. Fortunately, it's also literally the ultimate indignity, as once she's adjusted the bad stuff finally stops happening,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 3 2013/10/16,
Ah, the American road trip. A long, boring drive into the middle of nowhere that quickly loses its novelty. Meeting up with people who probably don't actually want to see you. That empty feeling inside realizing an entire day was wasted on a pointless sentimental gesture. Vast open space of poorly maintained roads, easy accidents, and no cell phone reception to call for help. Truly a feature of the culture worth idolizing.
I have no idea how much of the metaphors "The Heirs" is using are intentional, but I'm just plain astonished at how striking they are. This entire episode is a wake-up call to Kim Tan that he is not, in fact, as cool as he thinks he is,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 2 2013/10/10,
Eun-Sang (played by Park Shin-hye) sticks out in this drama as being the token teenager of a lower economic class. Kim Tan spends a lot of time deliberately needling her about her various peculiar attitudes, and this is all played for laughs. It's obvious to us, the audience, that this is a romantic drama where these two are supposed to get together, so it's funny. But "The Heirs" takes the bold, discomforting step of showing us why Eun-Sang's excessively non-confrontational attitude is probably the correct one.
There's even a line here that explicitly spells it out, when Eun-Sang mentions she wants this trip to have at least one (rather pitiful) positive memory. Kim Tan doesn't get this at all- he's been having lots of fun,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 1 2013/10/09,
This drama starts out highlighting a rather ambivalent attitude toward the United States. On the the one hand, this is the country of awesome surfing, gorgeous scenery, and a crazy party atmosphere. On the other hand, the very name America appears to be synonymous with exploitative interaction between the sexes for ill-advised financial reasons. And this appears to be true for both the richer and poorer members of the cast.
I was not expecting "The Heirs" to take such an ambivalent attitude to Korean-American cultural interactions. But I have to admit- I'm really enjoying the creative direction. Cha Eun-Seok (played by Yoon Jin-seo) has a very interesting role here as the older sister who escapes conservative Korean society,...More
Scandalous world of showbiz 2013/10/01, Source,
Rumors of celebrity relationships have been added day after day. On Wednesday, two models, Kim Woo-bin and Yoo Ji-an, were reported as a couple while Thursday saw two more romantic rumors -- idol star Choi Seol-ri of the girl group FX and singer Choi Ja of Dynamic Duo, and Soyeon of the popular girl group Tiara and singer Oh Jong-hyeok. Friday added one more couple of idol star L of the boy group Infinite and an ordinary woman.
Though Choi Seol-ri (19) and Choi Ja (33) denied their romantic relationships, many netizens believe they are a couple based on pictures of them posted on the Internet in which they walk hand in hand. Because of the 14-year age gap, a netizen commented, Choi Ja is a true winner! Another netizen said, Choi Seol-ri used to say that she adores a man like a father. The father-like man must have been Choi Ja,...More
Ji Sung VS Kwon Sang-woo VS Lee Min-ho 2013/09/25, Source,
A new battle has begun between the three broadcasting companies now that Chuseok is over. Fierce new dramas take over Wednesday and Thursday nights with different genres.
The first drama to be mentioned is the KBs 2TV drama "Secrets".
"Secrets" was pre-sold to Japan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and other Asian countries even before it was shown in Korea and it tells the story of a man who falls in love with the woman who kills his lover,...More
"School 2013" 200% realistic 2012/11/22, Source,
KBS 2TV "School 2013" digs through the lives of high school students who are tainted with lack of communication, lack of affection and suppressed ranking in the small community of a school.
The characterized students of Seung Ri High School are going to share common ground by openly revealing the current status of the schools in reality,...More
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