[Funcurve Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" 2016/11/19,
To Die For
"Please Come Back, Mister" has an unusual premise about two men who die and are reincarnated to right the wrongs they made before their deaths. The drama tells the story from the deceased's point of view, as opposed to the common way of telling it from the perspective of those who were left behind. Through this drama, I got to experience that death is painful for both the deserted and the deceased,...More
[USA] 14th Annual New York Korean Film Festival begins November 11 2016/11/06, Source,
The 14th Annual New York Korean Film Festival Announces Lineup for November 11th to November 13th, 2016 at the Museum of the Moving Image The Korea Society's New York Korean Film Festival returns to New York City's Museum of the Moving Image on November 11 to 13 for its yearly celebration of the best in Korean cinema.,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Moonlight Palace" 2016/09/24,
Joo-ri (voiced by Kim Seo-young) is a young girl participating in a simple traditional children's play at Changdeok Palace. On the approach of adolescence, Joo-ri is of course mortified by the prospect of her parents coming to watch and embarrass her. Yet paradoxically, Joo-ri also dreams of dancing in the spotlight herself- this is the first of many wonderful animated fantasty sequences from director Kim Hyun-ju-I, and these only increase in prominence as a chance encounter thrusts Joo-ri into the spirit realm, with all the joys and danger that experience entails,...More
Song Joong-ki in first place for 5 months in a row 2016/06/27, Source,
Song Joog-ki is in the lead for brand reputation for 5 months in a row.
According to brand reputation for advertisement models, Song Joong-ki came in 1st, Park Shin-hye 2nd and Taeyeon 3rd.
The Korean Business and Reputation Research Institute measured consumers' brand participation and communication by analyzing 41,004,104 big data of 20 advertisement models from the 24th of May 2016 to 25th of June 2016,...More
Stars on the Stump Don't Guarantee Election Win 2016/04/17, Source,
Actress Shim Eun-ha (left) congratulates her husband Ji Sang-wook at his campaign office in Seoul early Thursday morning. /Yonhap
Candidates who brought a famous wife, child or other relative with them on the stump were not always guaranteed a win in Wednesday's general elections. For some it went well. Actress Shim Eun-ha's husband Ji Sang-wook won his seat for the Saenuri Party in Seoul's Jung district. Shim cast her ballot alongside her husband and stood by him at a party office in central Seoul as the votes were being counted, and he duly thanked her for her support,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 16 Final 2016/04/14,
This is it, the final confrontation, where among other things, the full background behind Gi-tak's death is confirmed. After the rather goofy way Yeong-soo died I have to admit I never really considered the idea that Gi-tak's death was anything more complicated than what it looked like- a high speed chase gone wrong. That notion seemed bolstered by how Gi-tak himself lost interest in searching for his real killer fairly quickly. Yet in the end, Gi-tak is forced to decide whether he's willing to break the revenge rule or not,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 15 2016/04/14,
I find that watching "Please Come Back, Mister" without a sense of context tends to be instructive for getting a feel of the drama. As per the last cliffhanger, there was a big car accident and Yeong-soo, rather than do the sensible thing and go to the hospital, stumbles around through sheer force of will to his intended destination. One might think from that much that there was a serious romance going on between him and Da-hye, rather than the deliberately ambiguous mess we actually ended up with. And then Gi-tak shows up using the cute "dearest spouse" form of personal address,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 14 2016/04/07,
Gi-tak is dangled in front of the fire like a damsel in distress here, and while he's not quite exactly a damsel, the fact that Gi-tak looks like a damsel does make matters somewhat awkward. The sexual tension between him and former gangster buddy Ji-hoon has always been noticeable, and there's some pretty unsettling transgender questions at play here. When you like the woman you like because she reminds you of a guy, and is in fact simply that same guy in a woman's body, does that make you gay?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 13 2016/04/06,
It turns out that Han-na was just trying to see her real dad, Yeong-soo, all along, in typical chidlike uncertainty. The payoff for all that extended running around ends up being more tender scenes as Yeong-soo tries to do right by his family and with a little supernatural help, is able to comfort them somewhat about the fact that he's dead. It's all kind of sweet, actually, albeit somewhat annoying since there's not much left in the way of plot progression,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 12 2016/03/31,
So, it turns out that Hong-nan is not just some random identity that Gi-tak made up to explain how his new female body could know so much about Gi-tak's life. Hong-nan is, in fact, Gi-tak's actual estranged sister from childhood, and by sheer dumb coincidence, it turns out that Da-hye is the real Hong-nan. If you're wondering why this revelation is important, well, keep wondering. All "Please Come Back, Mister" does with this new information is set up a few tender scenes,...More
Lee Honey, "The most wanted" 2016/03/28, Source,
Beauty actress and former Miss Korea Lee Honey became The Most Wanted.
Men's Health conducted a survey on The Most Wanted Guy and Girl for its 11th Cool Guy Contest. A total of 309 Men's health users and supporters participated in the survey. Lee Honey received 26.5% votes and became the most wanted woman,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 10 2016/03/24,
Da-hye finally directly addresses the creepiness inherent in Yeong-soo's position of trying to constantly hit on a widow. While this doesn't smooth over all the ethical problems involved in Yeong-soo's behavior, I'm grateful that "Please Come Back, Mister" is at least acknowledging the very uncomfortable position in which Da-hye has been put. Some self-awareness can go a long way to making a problematic story seem more harmless and less deserving of over-analysis,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 9 2016/03/23,
Yeong-soo really does not appear to have thought through the ramifications of his trying to romance Da-hye in Hae-joon's body. Da-hye is a grieving widow. It would be a little disconcerting if she was actually into Hae-joon's attempts at sexual harassment. Compared to Hae-joon, Ji-hoon's come-ons are fairly tactful. After all we've seen him do, I never expected Ji-hoon would come out looking like the better man this episode. Naturally, it helps that even if Yeong-soo succeeds, Da-hye would just be heartbroken again since Hae-joon will have to disappear without explanation, lest Yeong-soo break the rules,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 8 2016/03/17,
Yeong-soo and Gi-tak had a pretty successful run last episode in terms of accomplishing their goals. The problem that brings up is, if they've already mostly accomplished what they needed to do, then why are they bothering to stick around in the world of the living? Yeong-soo and Gi-tak will have to go back sooner or later. And until then they're at risk of breaking one of Maya's rules- a penalty which is finally elucidated and which Yeong-soo and Gi-tak will have to struggle to avoid enacting,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 7 2016/03/16,
It turns out that Ji-hoon really is somewhat villainous. At first I was wondering whether "Please Come Back, Mister" was doing the whole thing where the turncoat you know is worse than the explicitly evil bad guys, but no, as it turns out, the explicitly evil bad guys are still pretty explicitly evil. This is somewhat impressive considering how a lot of their villainy is by accident. When it comes to I-yeon's crooked relative by marriage Hyeok (played by Park Min-woo), I doubt we'd even care about his gangster problems except that Gi-tak mnaged to get sucked into that situation somehow,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 6 2016/03/10,
Yeong-soo continues the mission here to harass his wife and co-worker regarding a perceived romantic entanglement between the two. When it comes to Ji-hoon (played by Yoon Park), I can almost be all right with it, because Ji-hoon is definitely up to something suspicious. But Da-hye is a grieving widow working in a department store that may have murdered her husband. Doesn't the woman have enough to deal with? Is this really the time for abusive pep talks? Even bearing in mind that Yeong-soo has friendly moments too they don't cancel out his often terrifying disposition,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 5 2016/03/09,
For their superficially wildly different personalities, Yeong-soo and Gi-tak have one thing in common- they're both prone to jumping to wild outrageous conclusions based on limited evidence. Come to think of it they even acted this way back in the first episode, when they were still alive. It just didn't come off as quite so ridiculous back then because Kim In-kwon looks like a pathetic guy who can be intimidated, and Kim Soo-ro looks like an ultra-masculine man who is not to be trifled with. Rain and Oh Yeon-seo, by contrast, look like they should have some shred of classy dignity,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 4 2016/03/03,
First, the good news. It would appear that the epilogue segments which involve Yeong-soo's Rain doppleganger getting railroaded so as to avoid interference with the main plot will in fact be a recurring feature in "Please Come Back, Mister". There's just something so delightfully sadistic about watching this poor man deal with constant artifically induced crises. Especially since it gives him almost as many excuses to take his shirt off as it does for Yeong-soo,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 2 2016/02/25,
Maya (played by Ra Mi-ran) is the individual in charge of sending dead people back to the world of living temporarily. She's frustrated by how Yeong-soo and Gi-tak have interrupted her planned vacation, and warns these two that the reliving process is a fairly unsatisfying one with many arbitrary rules. Following that Maya nonetheless plops Yeong-soo in the body of Hae-joon (played by Rain), and Gi-tak in the body of Hong-nan (played by Oh Yeon-seo),...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 1 2016/02/24,
Yeong-soo (played by Kim In-kwon) is a nebbish department store manager who belatedly realizes his bad night was in fact much worse than just a drunk blackout. He soon meets up with Gi-tak (played by Kim Soo-ro), an ex-convict turned chef who is now in the same mortal predicament. Together they...flash back to the days right before the opener, because as this is the first episode, "Please Come Back, Mister" has to explain its premise and more importantly, why we as viewers should care,...More
Lee Honey in Rudolph ears 2015/12/23, Source,
Actress Lee Honey took a Christmas picture.
She posted a picture on Instagram saying, "Happy Christmas in my Rudolph ears and Gayageum. I am singing carols in this. Have a warm Christmas!",...More
Lee Honey looks beautiful in grocery market
2015/07/02, Source, Lee Honey has shared a photo of herself shopping at an Indian grocery.
On July 2nd, Lee Honey wrote on her personal Instagram, 'I'm indulged in grocery shopping in Indian mart. Let's try to cook something at home with the ingredients I got from here. Time and efforts are required in cooking as well",...More
Stars' fashion in June 2015/06/30, Source, Stars dressed in their own ways at public events this hot June.
They dressed sexily and boldly in the hot month of June,...More
'Love Challenge' Lee Honey does charity work 2015/06/11, Source, Actress Lee Honey who starred in MBC "Love Challenge" was did everything she can to make the Cambodia a successful trip to help those who need it.
On the show, Lee Honey said, "Sharing is much more meaningful than being helped". She understood the seriousness of domestic violence that Cambodian women went through and said, "I wish the socially weak can find their rights and happiness",...More
Man in his 40s sentenced to one year for defamation and blackmailing against Lee Honey 2015/06/09, Source,
A preacher in his 40s has been sentenced to one year in prison. He twitted defamatory and blackmailing posts 290 times, saying there was no way for him to approach her, while he was fond of her.
On June 9th, Seoul Central District Court said A, 47, was sentenced to one year in prison for violation of Privacy Protection Issues in terms of defamation as well as insult and blackmailing,...More
Lee Honey's low-calorie diet 2015/02/04, Source,
On the February 4th show of SBS TV 'Night of TV Entertainment', they visited Lee Honey on commercial shooting set and interviewed her.
Lee Honey said, "I easily gain weight. So I should keep it in mind all the time to maintain. If I eat as much as my appetite kicks in, then I gain weight right away,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 20 Final 2014/12/27,
Hopefully you enjoy the romance between Han-cheol and Soo-hyeon, because that's what the last episode spends most of the runtime building up. In all fairness, of the myriad half-baked storylines "Modern Farmer" has picked up, this was probably the best one to devote attention to, on account of one of the main characters being involved. Also the whole imminent death thing. That probably should have been more relevant up until now,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 19 2014/12/20,
The exact details of what's happening with Yoo-na and her management company are exposed here. With this information, the story from that angle moves in about as predictable a manner as possible, once again mostly leaving our main characters right where they started. I suppose it's an improvement over the meteor storyline, since there's at least some brief discussion of backstory and also one nice scene where Yoo-na firmly gives Min-gi a piece of her mind,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 18 2014/12/14,
Given that the main characters of "Modern Farmer" have just slipped into major financial difficulties, now doesn't really seem like the best time for these guys to engage in goofball comedy. The entire middle portion here is a plot retread from "Golden Tower", except with substantially higher dramatic stakes. Consequently, what seemed funny in "Golden Tower" just comes off as cruel here, not to mention generally pointless. I really need to note that given all the wiggling they do in the car, it beggars disbelief that they couldn't just open the door and step outside,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 17 2014/12/13,
As I suspected, the Hyeok-sik storyline is done. It is referenced a few times, but mostly all this does is establish the fact that Yoon-hee acted correctly in trying to prevent Hyeon-seok and Min-ho from becoming aware of each other's existence. From an ethical perspective I'm frustrated that the situation is being treated in such black-and-white terms. But from a narrative perspective this turnabout is even worse than that- it firmly establishes that Yoon-hee isn't getting any character growth. A woman who makes a difficult, flawed and albeit correct decision can learn from that experience. A woman who's the martyr in the face of an obvious villain can't,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 16 2014/12/07,
It would appear that the Hyeon-sik conflict has been resolved. I hope I'm wrong about this. But the ending gave me the distinct impression that the purpose of this plot point wasn't to explore the contradictions in Yoon-hee's character so much as it was to provide more fodder for the love triangle. I've never particularly liked the love triangle in "Modern Farmer" and this is one of the reasons for it. Yoon-hee has issues with communication and relationships, and we're not seeing any character growth on this point,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 15 2014/12/06,
Hyeon-sik (played by Lee Jae-woo) is not aware of the fact that he has a son. Moreover, the flashback that details his separation with Yoon-hee clearly establishes that they're both coming from understandable, sympathetic ground. At the time anyway. In the present, Yoon-hee's unwillingness to come clean about the current situation is terribly frustrating. While she's correct in stating it's no one else's business, Yoon-hee really doesn't have the right to withhold information like this. Not considering the way her son's been acting lately, and the fact that Hyeon-sik has once again taken an interest in Yoon-hee apropos of nothing,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 14 2014/11/30,
The plot is mostly filler here. We do get a resolution to the whole musical storyline, but I got the distinct impression that this whole narrative movement was specifically designed to bring one character to the rural township. Not that I'm complaining. The cliffhanger promises that next time we're going to get a clear answer to a mystery that's been dogging this drama since the early episodes, and especially lately given Yoon-hee's weird attitude to male friendships and bonding,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 13 2014/11/29,
The cliffhanger turned out to be a bit misleading- that was an artificial conflict and it looks like pretty much everyone involved knew it too. Once that's settled it's on the new storylines this week. The big event right now, surprisingly enough, actually involves music. This is really the most direct opportunity that the band members have had to use their trained skills in a helpful way. Although initially at least they're mostly just being the ones rude enough to state explicitly what's already obvious to everyone else in the room- that no one in the farm community has any musical ability at all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 12 2014/11/23,
Two new characters arrive on the scene this episode. One knows that she's a bit of an imposition, but is in such a miserable state right now that it just can't be helped. The other knows that she's a bit of an imposition, but doesn't really have the personality type to actually care about any of that stuff. While these two never meet, the parallel is an obvious one. Mostly all of this is just a vehicle for jokes, though,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 11 2014/11/22,
By this point "Modern Farmer" has picked up about a dozen subplots that I can see, and this episode helpfully adds even more. I'm not complaining, exactly, since none of these stories are all that bad. It just gets kind of awkward having the drama so crammed full of plots that some of them get at most one short scene of exposition. We never do find out how Gi-joon got out of the closet. Seemed like a wasted opportunity for a joke, personally,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 10 2014/11/16,
Perhaps I was a little hard on Soo-hyeon. Like Min-gi, while she seems pretty rough at first, it's pretty clear that the woman's not a monster or anything. Just a little self-absorbed, and understandably so given the very personal threat to her well-being. But oddly enough Soo-hyeon's not especially arrogant. Note the surprise and even gratitude she shows at being helped out by people who have just suffered from her abuse. Soo-hyeon is learning, bit by bit,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 9 2014/11/15,
Apparently Hwa-ran's makeover is permanent, and along with it comes a personality change to something more bright and outgoing. I've heard that a change in personal dress can affect such an alteration, so I'm not too upset at "Modern Farmer" for upsetting continuity like this. It's just I liked her better the way she was before is all. Even in this episode, by far her best moment is leaping around the field at light speed to catch some grasshoppers,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 8 2014/11/09,
The conflict takes two main forms this time. First is the natural crisis arising because Han-cheol rather idiotically decided to help Soo-yeon with her obviously suspicious nighttime skulking about. It's kind of am ambivalent situation. Han-cheol really should just get a clue and take no for an answer, but Soo-yeon is reluctant to push hard on this point because if pretty much any character aside from Han-cheol finds out what she's been doing they're actually going to investigate further,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 7 2014/11/08,
This episode moves into obvious romantic territory, as the number of potential couples is clearly defined as five. I can't remember having ever seen a drama before that had five potential pairings, all given roughly equal weight in terms of storyline presence, but here we are. Far from being crowded, though, "Modern Farmer" actually makes a pretty good go of it because the five romances build on each other with different explorations on attitudes toward love,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 6 2014/11/02,
The writing here initially moves into really, really short sub-plots. Remember the scene in the preview where Min-gi sets up a boxing match between children? There isn't any extended focus on that. He gets the idea, organizes it, and before we've even realized what's happened everybody's back at Yoon-hee's house going over the lessons learned. "Modern Farmer" is so rapid-fire with narrative shifts that this episode feels a lot longer than it really is. The episode also gives the impression that much more has happened than actually did,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 5 2014/11/01,
In an odd shift, this episode starts out with two jokes that aren't really very funny to us watching at home, but are obviously funny to the characters that tell them to each other. This is actually better than it sounds, as it signals a new, effective trend regarding characterization- the guys in the idol band and the actual farmers are starting to relate to each other on a personal level. There's only really one fight this time, and unusually, the slip-up this time was actually a fairly understandable one,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 4 2014/10/26,
There's a bit of a lag in plot this time. The athletic games have been identified as a key sticking point, but the progress characters make toward success there or even a basic understanding of what's going to be happening is pretty limited. This is a training episode with surprisingly little actual training. I suppose this is intended as a set-up for the idols' likely loss- they have nothing going for them but relative youth after all. But the parallel is...hm....,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 3 2014/10/25,
This episode firmly establishes that "Modern Farmer" is firmly entrenched in its own continuity. The whole gag with the deer last episode wasn't just a final one-off joke. It was an event with serious long-term consequences. Goodness that sentence feels ridiculous. Mostly because right after the huge angry lecture we're treated to the deer's wall of fame and why in the world would so many famous people have their photograph taken with this random deer?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 2 2014/10/19,
When last we left off, Min-gi (played by Lee Hong-gi) had finally convinced all the old members of the band to team up on his scheme to get rich by farming. This includes Kang Hyeok (played by Park Min-woo), who quite literally showed up at the last minute. At the beginning of this episode Min-gi is clearly agitated by the presence of this interloper, mostly because he hasn't figured out yet that his terrible plan will require as many helpers as he can find.
If the first episode was vague on this point, the second episode of "Modern Farmer" clears everything up,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 1 2014/10/18,
The drama gets immediately to answering that all-important question- how does a band of idols end up working on a farm of all things? I'd just as soon not ruin the answer to that, since the basic explanation of the premise is by far the best part of the episode. Suffice to say, it has less to do with how these specific idols are bad people as it does wth the entire idol band format in the first place. The story here isn't just a gimmick- "Modern Farmer" actually looks like it has something to say in terms of famous lifestyles,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2014/08/30, K-Films Coming Soon:
★★★★ "My Brilliant Life": A young couple struggle with their son who has Progeria syndrome, a rare genetic defect that causes him to age rapidly. (09/03)
★★★★ "Tazza: The Hidden Card": A skilled player enters the underground gambling world and puts his life at stake.. (09/03)
★★★★★ "Hill of Freedom": A Japanese man arrives in Korea to find his old lover. While he stays at a guesthouse, he encounters various people. (09/04)
★★★★★ "Golden Chariot in the Sky": Ppong-Ddol dreams of joining a band and gets inspired to start neighbourhood band that's in need of money.. (09/04),...More
Lee Honey vs. Son Ye-jin vs. Sin Se-kyeong 2014/08/03, Source,
Tight dresses reveal the sexiness in a three beautiful women to bring out their beauty and feminism. It's not too much exposure, but it emphasizes their body lines and voluptuous beauty. Only the gifted can be confident enough to wear them.
Son Ye-jin recently wore a tight, white leather dress, Lee Honey wore a red one and Sin Se-kyeong revealed one with slight cleavage,...More
Lee Honey becomes a chef for her fans 2014/04/02, Source, Lee Honey turned into a chef for a day.
She hosted "Cooking Class" for her fans on the 2nd and introduced some of her healthy recipes and cooked for them. The pictures show her washing her hands, dressed in a white blouse with an apron. She had a serious discussion about cooking with Uncle Paul and concentrated on her cooking,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 20 2013/07/30,
The way this drama has been playing around with convoluted schemes, emotional manipulation, and arrogant taunts, I was sure that the final execution of I-Soo's plan had to be something amazing. In the last episode of "Shark", we instead find out that apparently the only thing required to take down Sang-Deuk and his empire was a well-executed police search. To add insult to injury, this is a search that should have been conducted ten episodes ago- why the police are only bothering just now is completely unclear.
Additionally, most of the essential villainy in this episode is performed by a man who's been a non-entity throughout the drama's run. The only evil thing I can remember him doing was when he almost killed that one guy, but then didn't,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 19 2013/07/29,
Rather than building up the action ends up dying a bit in the final stretch. "Shark" is clearly trying to manipulate its audience with one last plot twist gambit, but it comes off as underwhelming compared to the flurry of bombshells released in the last few episodes. It's strange how, now that everything's almost finished, the emotion behind the performances is actually lower than it was before. While this should be the part of the story where everything starts sinking into despair, everyone just seems kind of used to it now.
"Shark"'s other strengths are still strong as usual. Lighting cues take an interesting turnabout,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 18 2013/07/23,
This episode continues dropping bombshells just like the last one did. This time around the surprises are a little more surprising, though still predictable. What makes the contrast work this time is that we're now dealing with the emotions of characters with more agency in the overall plot. I-Soo is hit with every horrible truth that could possibly damage him. Once all of this has soaked in, his next course of action becomes unmistakable.
The relevance of Hae-Woo to the main storyline has always been a bit dubious, so I was impressed with how well-integrated her motivation is with what we're going to see as the final conflict,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 17 2013/07/22,
This episode starts out with a rather dubious exchange of threats. Something I've really come to love about "Shark" is the way that everyone is intrinsically skeptical without being paranoid. Major betrayals are revealed this episode, but it's not the shock of the revelation that's interesting. The viewers have known these moments were coming for quite some time now. Rather it's how the characters react when they've been placed with these final ultimatums.
These reactions run a wide gamut in this episode and the contrast between how different characters take the information differently is striking,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 16 2013/07/16,
The thrilling segments of this drama have been so intense that I'm actually glad that the story slows down a bit here. I-Soo is able to take a well-deserved rest. Even though the entire kidnapping subplot was his own fault (and he's forgiven for it just a bit too easily), I-Soo is completely on edge and needs time to transition back into his standard predator form. Although whether he'll ever be that cold again is an open question, after his encounter with Hae-Woo.
"Shark" has been treading a fine line in regards to the romance between I-Soo and Hae-Woo. On the one side, it seems like the show wants them to get together,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 15 2013/07/15,
For the first time we see I-Soo in genuine internal conflict. There's no serious problem with his current revenge scheme. But it's painfully clear that, as much as he doesn't want to admit it, there are matters more important to him than just revenge. He jeopardizes contacts, relationships, and secrets in this episode all in a desperate bid to save the last, clearest link he still has to his old life.
While I'm generally loathe of damsels-in-distress, "Shark" handles it fairly well here, somewhat ironically, by making this whole conflict about the man. Because the entire situation is I-Soo's fault,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 14 2013/07/09,
The walls of trust are quickly disintegrating. They've never really been in good shape, but I think it's finally starting to hit Jo Sang-Deuk that most of the "respect" people give him is either out of a combination of obligaton and fear. He's so desperate to avoid admitting this, though, that instead more pits are being dug that are only going to make his final comeuppance all he worse and longstanding.
This should make for enjoyable drama, but unfortunately I-Soo is still a lot more human than he's willing to admit, and we're right there with him on those same worries,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 13 2013/07/08, "Shark" has gotten to be quite busy. So much happens in this episode that as I try to sit down and take stock of it in my head, I'm amazed that this drama doesn't feel more rushed. Nearly every character either does something physically intense and dangerous, or suffers a severe blow to their emotional well-being. The ones who aren't are still heavily affected by the story, as everyone is in palpable danger just from being tangentially involved in a confict that's about to go from investigation to war.
To date, everything has gone according to plan for I-Soo. Having achieved crucial information at the end of the last episode, he now bides his time waiting for the moment to unleash its maximum damage on his hapless prey,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 12 2013/07/02,
It would seem that I wrote too soon about Joon-Yeong's apparent hesitance. The events of this episode and the last have apparently done a lot to stoke his latent hostility, but where this is heading is still wonderfully unclear. He still has serious trouble opening up to Hae-Woo about what's making him so upset. I realize, again, that this isn't because they have a bad relationship but rather that their connection to each other is based so much on the good times. And those times are going to be out of the picture for the foreseeable future.
I-Soo's scheming continues at the proper pace. It's interesting to watch him deal with similar inner personal turmoil only to shrug it off a lot more easily,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 11 2013/07/01,
The Jo Family patriarchs have started taking definite action to defend themselves. This tells us little about who they are that we don't already know. Sang-Deuk's top priority is trying to keep his empire intact- which most definitely includes keeping his granddaughter's love. He'll go to any lengths to preserve this, whether it be via criminality or crocodile tears. Ee-Seon is still basically an adult child, who storms and temper tamptrums until daddy gives him unconditional instructions that are not to be disobeyed.
I get the feeling that their comeuppance is being delayed for maximum impact. I-Soo mostly just sits and waits this episode, while doing his best to make clear he's unfazed by Sang-Deuk's theatrical techniques,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 10 2013/06/25, "Shark" gets a major jolt this episode with a shocking development: something actually happens. Quite a few things actually- there's deliberate confrontations, investigations yield definite results, and measures are taken to silence anyone who gets in the way. This is the first time since the early episodes that there's the stalking, predatory behavior we would expect from a drama called "Shark", and it really comes together quite well.
The episode starts out with Hae-Woo facing I-Soo and demanding an explanation. Seeing their actors play off of with each other, when they both know exactly what the current situation is, is immensely satisfying,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 9 2013/06/24,
Brooding gives way to tension as the main characters of "Shark" start the process of probing each other to find out exactly how much everyone knows. There's a constant sense of tension in the air- surprisingly, though, this episode really isn't all that much more exciting than the last one. However much the director tries to dress it up, for the most part everyone's just standing around asking misdirective questions. It gets a bit monotonous after awhile.
All this investigating does get us to an important point. By the end of this episode, nearly every character is aware of the existence of the other characters, and has some sort of easily described countenance and relationship with them,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 8 2013/06/18,
Crushed by the revelation of the last episode, Hae-Woo spends this episode largely in a sad, nostalgic reverie for bygone days. Akin to I-Soo's usual brooding...well, I can't think of a way to finish that sentence. The trouble with "Shark" is that it really doesn't seem to know when to stop doing stuff. Reviewing the series so far, it seems like all I-Soo does is brood. I'm pretty much out of comments about the brooding. We get why they're doing this- but the extent of the brooding is, by now, completely out of proportion with the stuff worth brooding about.
All the interesting, emotionally tense character-driven action sequences have been in the first few episodes of the show,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 7 2013/06/17,
Jae-Woo finally makes a sobering and disturbing realization, explaining her stilted slow walk at the beginning of this episode. This episode again decides to play the last scene first, and let the rest be build-up. It's an ambitious method of narrative storytelling- but neither here, nor in "Shark"s other attempts, have I really felt very moved by it. It sums up a lot of what this show is- a lot of style with questionable substance. It's consistently just interesting enough that the deliberate, complex shooting doesn't come off as pretentious,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 6 2013/06/11,
This drama's performance has been so uneven lately that I really wasn't sure whether the last episode's cliffhanger was going to go somewhere interesting or stupid. Luckily, it's the former, as we soon discover that the plot is actually quite a bit larger in scale than we had been led to believe. Whoever's backing I-Soo clearly does not trust him, and this association also leaves I-Soo with other enemies who are quite a bit more proactive than the eventual direct target of his revenge.
Even the investigation storyline gets a bit of a boost here, because for once it's actually addressing an inconsistency that was pretty obvious the first time we saw it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 5 2013/06/10,
The episode starts out fairly strong as get another glimpse of the relationship dynamic between I-Soo and Hae-Woo. The camerawork and music combine to create an atmosphere that's both melodious and creepy. I actually felt a little bewildered, trying to figure out the meaning of the scenes in the woods. But I think this was probably the point. Their relationship is, at this point, still difficult to define.
There's another great treat when I-Soo unexpectedly joins Hae-Woo's family for a very upper crust outdoor lunch,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 4 2013/06/04, "Shark" has fallen into the trap of retreading its own territory. Given that it's only the fourth episode, one would think there's not that much territory to retread. And yet, repeatedly, this episode goes out of its way to remind the viewer of facts that we had already been shown, could reasonably have guessed, or could have been better left to our imagination. Instead, a lot of facts are explicitly laid out in a fairly dull manner.
This wasn't what I was expecting after the rather shocking conclusion to the last episode, but we open up fairly quickly with an explicit surveilling of the crime scene,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 3 2013/06/03,
Han I-Soo quickly proves that he's every bit the threatening predator we've seen in the subtler parts of his personality. There are two major thematic elements of the episode. First, I-Soo wastes no time in figuring out exactly what happened to his father, though both he (and the audience) still aren't fully clear on why, exactly, this happened. The how is still all too clear.
The second major point are the implicit threats. Really, nearly everyone in this drama is pretty good about showing hostile body language while still being respectful speech-wise,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 2 2013/05/28,
Today "Shark" decides to take a sharp focus on fatherhood. In the flashback sequence of the story there are three men who are best defined by their paternal relationships. Han Yeong-Man (played by Jeong In-gi), the father of I-Soo, does quite a bit to demonstrate his decency not just as a human being, but also in that he confides a great deal to his son I-Soo. Whatever his past failures may have been, Yeong-Man keeps trying, and it's easy to see how he's earned such loyalty from his son,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 1 2013/05/27,
In the very first scene of this drama, lead character Han I-Soo (played by Kim Nam-gil) expresses his personal sentiments about sharks. There's an ominous air about his description- certainly, "Shark" attempts to open up to its audience by establishing that unpleasant people will do unpleasant things, and there will be reaction to that. But who, exactly, Han I-Soo is and how he came to form these opinions about sharks turns out to be a lot less direct than that,...More
[Movie Review] "I Am A King" 2012/08/09, Source,
"I Am a King" is a movie based on the fairytale "The King and The Beggar" about a king and a beggar who look the same, switching places. "I Am a King" was released on the 8th and is the Chosun version of the "The King and The Beggar".
In the accounts of history, the movie grew from the fact that general Chungnyeong before he became King Sejong, read books until his butt was sore and was a timid and weak character who didn't like to go outside. This movie talks about the three months that wasn't recorded down in history after general Chungnyeong was installed as prince until he rose to the throne,...More
Kim Myeong-min's "Deranged" extends screening in North America 2012/07/31, Source,
Korean blockbuster movie "Deranged" (directed by Park Jwong-woo) has been doing well in North American box office since its release on 27 July. In an exclusive update from CJ Entertainment America on 31 July, it was confirmed that most of the theaters will extend the screening to another week! So if you havent't seen the movie yet, check it out at a theater near you!,...More
CJ ENTERTAINMENT Brings Sci-fi Thriller DERANGED to North America 2012/07/13, Source,
Korean box office hit to release on July 27, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CA (July 12, 2012) – CJ Entertainment brings the highly anticipated science fiction thriller "Deranged" to North America on July 27, 2012. Upon its release in South Korea, "Deranged" quickly beat out Hollywood blockbuster Amazing Spiderman in the box office and sold more than 1.3 million tickets in 4 days.
There must be something in the water.
Just before dawn, skeletal bodies surface on the Han River in Seoul, Korea,...More
Miss Korea contestants pick Lee Honey as role model 2012/06/20, Source,
By Grace Kim An overwhelming majority of contestants in the 2012 Miss Korea pageant have voted Lee Honey, 29, better known as Honey Lee in Western media, as their role model, according to a beauty website. Forty out of 55 contestants replied they want to be like Lee Honey in a survey conducted by Beauty Hankook, affiliated with Hankook Ilbo. They regard her as an "alpha woman" who has intelligence combined with beauty, the most important factor in winning the pageant according to 30 respondents,...More
"Deranged" premieres sooner than expected 2012/06/06, Source,
Looks like we are going to see "Deranged" very soon! CJ Entertainment, the production company of the disaster-horror movie confirmed that "Deranged" will premiere in South Korean cinemas on 5 July. The new date is one week ahead of its original release date of 12 July, which was earlier confirmed by Ozone Film. The advanced release will also avoid the clash with Hollywood movies "The Amazing Spiderman" and "Cabin in the Woods" due to hit theaters on 12 July.,...More
A first glimpse at "Deranged" 2012/05/23, Source,
Be prepared for a big disaster this summer.
CJ Entertainment has released the teaser trailer of Korea's first ever viral-disaster movie, "Deranged", which opens in South Korean theaters nationwide on 12 July. Official synopsis follows after the video,...More
"Yeongasi" is "Deranged" 2012/04/27, Source,
"Yeongasi", the summer movie offering of CJ Entertainment and Ozone Films Co., Ltd. finally gets its official international title - "Deranged". By definition, "derange" relates to insanity, craziness or psychological disturbance.
The title "Deranged" describes the mental state of a victim of the strange and rapidly spreading infection. The disease, which is transmitted by mutated parasitic horsehair worms called "yeongasi", is caused by a virus that takes control of the human brain,...More
Celebrities Pitch in to Back Candidates in General Election 2012/04/03, Source,
Actress Lee Young-ae (second right) and her husband pose with Saenuri Party's candidate Chung Jin-suk (second left) on his campaign site.
As the April 11 general elections approaches, celebrities are rolling up their sleeves to support their favorite candidates. Candidates with connections in showbusiness say they are receiving a huge boost in their campaigns.
Actress Lee Young-ae and her husband appeared at a political campaign rally for Chung Jin-suk, a former senior secretary for political affairs at Cheong Wa Dae. Lee and her husband are friends of Chung, who is running on the ruling Saenuri Party's ticket,...More
Stars spice up campaigns 2012/04/03, Source,
From top left: Lee Young-ae, Song Il-gook, Choi Myeong-gil Chung Mong-joon of the ruling Saenuri Party, right, the incumbent representative for Seoul's Dongjak B constituency who is standing again in the April 11 parliamentary elections, greets citizens on their way to work with his nephew Chung Dae-sun and his wife Noh Hyun-jung, a former KBS anchor, in front of Joongang University Hospital, Monday. / Yonhap
By Park Si-soo
Several candidates are running a star-studded campaign in the lead-up to the April 11 National Assembly elections. This is made possible due to their personal ties with movie stars, TV presenters and beauty contest winners, triggering a sense of jealousy among their rivals,...More
Ancient Royal Court Performance Delights Parisians 2011/12/02, Source,
Models wearing traditional Korean royal gowns pose on the catwalk at a show celebrating Korea-France Week in Paris on Tuesday. /Yonhap
Parisians were offered a glimpse into the royal culture of the Chosun Dynasty (1392-1910) as part of Korea-France Week at the InterContinental Hotel Paris on Tuesday night (local time).
A Chosun royal wedding ceremony was reenacted with the iconic images of Notre Dame and Montmartre in the background. Based on relevant records from the Oegyujanggak royal archives, the reenactment included the queen's installation, her official entrance into the palace, and the first night of wedding celebrations. The archives were returned to Korea this April, some 145 years after France looted them in a botched invasion,...More
Miss Korea Chong leaves for Miss Universe 2011/08/15, Source, Chong So-ra, the winner of 2010 Miss Korea, poses for a photo at Incheon International Airport, Monday, before leaving for Brazil to attend the 2011 Miss Universe. / Korea Times
By Kwon Mee-yoo
2010 Miss Korea winner Chong So-ra left Seoul Monday to compete in the 2011 Miss Universe beauty pageant, which will be held at Credicard Hall, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sept. 12,...More
Korean Cooking Drama – Pasta - Chefs' Love & Passion at La Sfera 2010/12/20, Source, "Pasta" is a 16 episode Korean cooking drama that draws love and passion among young and attractive chefs. The cooking drama focuses on a young woman, Seo yoo Kyung, who aspires to become an elite chef at the Italian restaurant 'La Sfera'.
Seo Yoo Kyung (Kong Hyo-jin) works at the 'La Sfera' for three years as a third ranked chef assistant. On the day she finally gets to become an Assistant Pasta, the head Chef Totti leaves and new chef Choi Hyun Wook (Lee Seon-gyoon) comes in,...More
[REVIEW] MBC TV series "Pasta" 2010/02/10, Source,
Actors Lee Seon-gyoon (left) and Kong Hyo-jin in a scene from "Pasta" [MBC]
By Wee Geun-woo
Like many television dramas about working professionals, MBC TV series "Pasta", which features an Italian food chef, is ultimately about romance in the kitchen. Even though the uptight chef Hyun-wook (played by Lee Seon-gyoon) proclaims, "There will be no women in my kitchen", he will make Yu-kyung (Kong Hyo-jin) fall for him by becoming her mentor in times of crisis and Yu-kyung will not hesitate to express her emotions to him. What makes their predictable story interesting is that the kitchen -- where the two play mind games with each other -- is not just a physical setting for the show but also where their public and social relationships exist. So to describe the show accurately, "Pasta" is a story which talks about the difficulties of handling romance in the kitchen.,...More
[REVIEW] MBC TV series "Pasta" 2010/01/28, Source,
A scene from MBC TV series "Pasta" [MBC]
"Pasta" - Episode 8, MBC TV (Mon/Tue, 10 PM) Although "Pasta" is a story about romance in the kitchen, it tries to do more than just cook up romance. There are many, various conflicts surrounding the restaurant, characters Choi Hyun-wook (played by Lee Seoun-gyoon) and Oh Se-young (played by Lee Honey) and Korea-educated versus Italy-educated cooks. Choi Hyun-wook runs when Oh Se-young enters the kitchen and the Korean clan is determined to beat the Italian clan. And it is throughout such series of events that each character in the kitchen, those who were not noticeable before, start to become more visible to the viewer. While "Pasta" might not be an eye-catching masterpiece, it has plenty of stories surrounding its two main characters Choi Hyun-wook -- who is a combination of dictator and tyrant with a black sense of humor -- and Seo Yu-kyung (played by Kong Hyo-jin) -- who is both depressing enough and sensible enough compared to the typical cheerful and spirited heroines in romantic dramas -- while offering solid visuals and music as well.,...More
Lee Seon-gyoon says not pressured by new image in "Pasta" 2009/12/29, Source,
From left, MBC TV series main cast Lee Seon-gyoon and Kong Hyo-jin pose during a press conference at the Marvelous convention hall in Seoul, South Korean on December 28, 2009. [MBC] Briefly put, MBC TV series "Pasta" which premieres January 4, is about 'dating in the kitchen'. The romance between a boss who is divinely talented yet uses vulgar language while being disdainful to everyone and an employee who does not succumb to her boss' abusive treatment but rather bears with it to later succeed in both love and work, has been portrayed more than several times in various films and dramas. But the bar is raised higher when that story is depicted by actor Lee Seon-gyoon, famous for playing mild-natured characters and actress Kong Hyo-jin who usually plays unique characters. A press conference was held on Monday attended by Lee who broke free from his past image by revealing his own style of acting in film "Paju" this year and Kong who has been expanding on her realm of acting through films such as "Blush and Crush' and "Sisters on the Road". Q: You've played a lot of characters with gentle personalities up till now. Weren't you pressured by having to change your image 180 degrees in "Pasta"?Lee Seon-gyoon (Lee): I actually hadn't been pressured about having to change my image but I started thinking that maybe I should try something different because so many people started saying the same thing. The role Choi Hyun-wook that I played had a character different from the roles I had taken on in the past so I can't say that I wasn't worried or pressured but I believe that an actor expands on his realm of acting by taking on roles he is not used to, so it feels as if I'm taking on a good challenge. That's why I'm always screaming with happiness on set these days. (laugh),...More
Which will it be _ teenage love and friendship, or the real, yet humorous lives of ruthless lawyers? Television fans will now have the chance to explore the two different worlds with the new dramas "Friends, Our Story" on MBC and,...More
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