[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Beautiful Gong Shim" Episode 18 2016/07/12,
After far too long, Dan-tae and Joon-soo have finally joined hands as they have always been meant to do. Their short stint at enemies was contrived and ineffective. Their brotherhood is much more powerful when it is in full bloom and in the light of cooperation and friendship. Writer Lee Hee-myeong's strength is found in the sweet, kind, and/or funny interactions between characters. Where that strength wanes is in conflict. Part of the issue centers around the fact that Joon-soo's uncle is, as I've said before, an impotent villain,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "A Perfect Way to Steal a Dog" 2015/01/10,
From a literal perspective, "A Perfect Way to Steal a Dog" is just a kid's heist movie. What's surprising and particularly joyful about the product is the way it works very serious personal and societal issues into this simple concept, creating a complex tapestry that puts most similarly minded adult films to shame. Usually the ragtag band of thieves is just interested in using their ill-gotten cash to buy shiny baubles. By contrast, Ji-so (played by Lee Re) wants a home, so she doesn't have to live in her mom's car like a homeless person,...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-ki) 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 Review] "Splendid But Sad Days" 2014/09/26,
The men and women portrayed in "Splendid but Sad Days" live in complete harmony with the natural world. They're not new age environmentalist hippies, though, far from it. They're old folks who live lifestyles that are too new to be traditional and too antiquated to be modern. The main focus is on a woman who goes fishing everyday in a fairly unremarkable looking boat and then comes home to her cranky husband and their heavily worn outdoors couch,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Rockin' On Heaven's Door" 2013/05/31,
Hospice care is for those hopeless patients who have nothing left to do but wait for their death. Choong-Eui (played by Lee Hong-ki) is a selfish pop star who, as punishment for an ill-advised night out drinking, is forced to finish his probation doing volunteer work for an isolated hospice. Problems come up right away. Choong-Eui is a completely unlikable jerk. He winces, complains, and generally acts as unpleasant as possible to as many people as he can,...More
More Young Singers Migrate to Movies 2012/11/01, Source,
From top, Kim Dong-jun, Kim Jae-joong and Seulong
Idol singers no longer seem satisfied with merely appearing on stage and in TV dramas. Recently, more idol group members are getting involved in moviemaking, with Kim Dong-jun of boy band ZE:A currently receiving the most attention for his supporting role in "A Company Man", which was released on Oct. 11. Viewers have heaped praise on the 20-year-old for his movie debut, posting comments on local movie websites about how he was able to acquit himself well in both action scenes and those that require emotional depth. They say he deserved more on-screen time beyond that of a supporting role,...More
FT Island Holds Fan Meeting in Tokyo 2012/03/26, Source,
The star band FT Island held their official fan meeting entltled "Congratulations!" at Tokyo Dome City Hall in Tokyo for two days from March 19 to 20. The fan meeting was originally scheduled to be held last year in March, but it was postponed due to the great east Japan earthquake.
FT Island sang their new songs live including "Severely" and "Like Birds" that are included in their fourth mini album entitled "Grown Up",...More
Reveling in music, youth, hallyu 2012/02/22, Source,
From left, Song Seung-hyun, Lee Jae-jin-I, Choi Min-hwan, Lee Hong-ki and Choi Jong-hoon-I of FT Island pose at FNC Academy in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul. / Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul
FT Island aims for success outside K-pop comfort zone By Kwaak Je-yup At a studio in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul, only three out of five members of the F.T.Island are waiting; the missing two are at a doctor's being checked up for fatigue, said the manager. Of those present, bassist Lee Jae-jin-I looks at the interviewer with a curious grin but becomes a little alert when their eyes meet. Choi Jong-hoon-I, leader, guitarist and keyboardist, and Lee Hong-ki, vocalist, are enjoying their "time off", jamming on an acoustic guitar and sitting quietly as the hair and make-up crew put on their final touches,...More
FT Island: 'We Were Spurred By CNBLUE While Holding Activities in Japan' 2011/06/14, Source, FT Island has ranked atop the Oricon chart with their mini album entitled " Return ".
FT Island, who recently released a mini album entitled " Return ", seemed to have revitalized their spiritual energy during their ten-month break. The group members seemed more serious and their every comment during the interview revealed their ambitions. Lee Hong-ki, who abandoned his usually mischievous character, said with a smile, "I tried to become a diligent singer who gives off energy freely on the stage and to become more careful off the stage". FT Island has received impetus from their previous activities at the bottom of the Japanese music industry for the past three years. And the rapid ascension of another Korean band, the group CNBLUE (who belongs to the same agency as FT Island), also served to motivate them. The interview took place right after FT Island's first album in Japan ranked atop the Oricon weekly chart,...More
IU Drops Out Of "Immortal Song 2" 2011/06/07, Source,
Following singer IU's announcement that she would be leaving KBS's new show, "Immortal Song 2", the rumor mill started churning. Many people linked her departure to the fact that she had placed last in the first episode of the show that ranks idol stars in purely their vocal abilities. IU had given an impressive performance of her own rendition of Toy's "Good Person", but failed to move the audience enough to beat any of of the other contestants,...More
Lee Hong-ki From FT Island to Play Title Role in Japanese Drama 2011/04/18, Source, Lee Hong-ki from star boy band FT Island will play the leading role in a Japanese drama for the first time. He will appear in the drama "Muscle Girl", which will air its first episode on April 19 on TBS, along with Japanese actress Ichikawa Yui. In the drama, Lee will play a star Korean actor who comes to Japan to film a joint Korean-and-Japanese movie and to find his missing mother in Japan,...More
Super Junior Heechul wants to go crazier this year 2011/01/06, Source,
Members of "Kind of Psycho yet Charming by the day" [Super Junior's Heechul (Kim Hee-cheol)'s official Twitter]
Boy band Super Junior member Heechul (Kim Hee-cheol) has said he wants to "go crazier" this year on his official Twitter website (http://twitter.com/Heedictator).
The 28-year-old singer uploaded a photo just hours after the new year began, showing him celebrating with the members of his celebrity friend group whose name is translated into 'Kind of Psycho yet Increasingly Charming', known to be composed of,...More
FT Island holds Christmas Concert in Taiwan 2010/12/27, Source,
Rock band FT Island [FNC Music]
FT Island held a Christmas concert in Taiwan which was attended by over 9,000 fans, according to the group's agency FNC Music on Monday.
A press release by FNC announced that FT Island held their latest concert titled "2010 beautiful journey Live in TAIWAN" in TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall in Taipei on December 25,...More
[10ASIA EXCLUSIVE] K-pop idols' Wants & Hopes for 2011: CNBLUE & FTIsland 2010/12/17, Source, [** This will be part of a series of weekly interviews to be published throughout December on what Korea's hottest idol stars want and hope for in the year 2011.]
CNBLUE and FTIsland [FNC Music]
Two of Korea's hottest rock bands, CNBLUE and FTIsland, have several things in common: they are both managed by talenthouse FNC Music, they won their first award on a televised music show in just two weeks into their debut, they are known for their pretty looks and are widely popular throughout Asia. Start with CNBLUE, the four-member idol band composed of Jeong Yong-hwa, Lee Jong-hyun, Lee Jung-shin and Kang Min-hyuk, who in 2009, kicked off their singing career in Japan first. They then received a boost to their debut in Korea when leader and main vocalist Jung starred in popular TV series "You're Beautiful" through which he shot to fame just a couple of months before CNBLUE officially appeared in the local music scene,...More
FT Island promotes 3rd Japanese single over the weekend 2010/11/22, Source, FT Island performs in Japan over the weekend [FNC Music]
Korean rock band FT Island held a promotional event for their third Japanese single "So today"... in Japan over the weekend.
The boys' agency FNC Music revealed in its press release on Monday that over a total 10,000 fans gathered for the two-day live performance held in Osaka and Tokyo, respectively, on November 20 and 21,...More
FT Island lands at No. 6 on Japan's Oricon chart 2010/11/19, Source,
Rock band FT Island [FNC Music]
Korean rock band FT lsland's third single album "So today"... reached sixth place on Japan's Oricon daily chart.
FNC Music, the agency of FT Island, explained through a press release on Friday that the latest achievement with the new album comes as a triumph for FT Island as this was the week that many top class J-pop groups released new albums around the same time,...More
FT Island to hold concert in November 2010/09/24, Source,
Poster for FT Island's live concert [Interpark]
Korean rock band FT Island will hold a live concert in November, according to their agency FNC Music on Friday.
A PR official from FNC told 10Asia over the phone that the boys will be performing for two nights at the AX Hall located in Gwangjang district on November 6 and 7,...More
FT Island reveals teaser video for comeback 2010/08/23, Source,
Cover of FT Island's 2nd mini-album "beautiful journey" [FNC Music]
Five-member Korean rock band FT Island has revealed a teaser video for the title track from their upcoming album, according to their agency FNC Music on Monday.
FNC announced in a press release that earlier in the day, a clip for "Love, love, love" from their second mini-album "beautiful journey" was released on various online music sites and on their official website,...More
FT Island unveils teaser video and cover for new album 2010/08/18, Source,
Cover of FT Island's 2nd mini-album "beautiful journey" [FNC Music]
Korean rock band FT Island unveiled a teaser video and cover for their new mini-album today, according to the band's agency FNC Music on Wednesday.
A press release from FNC announced that the group, who will be returning to the local music scene after a year, will be releasing their second mini-album titled "beautiful journey" on August 25,...More
FT Island kicks off Japan tour in Tokyo 2010/07/19, Source,
Korean rock band FT Island performing at their concert held in Tokyo, Japan on July 16, 2010. [FNC Music]
Korean rock band FT Island has kicked off their five-city concert tour in Japan, according to their agency FNC Music on Monday.
FNC said in a press release that the five-member band performed in front of some 3,000 fans in Tokyo on Friday, as the first show of their live tour titled "Zepp Tour 2010-Hands UP",...More
FT Island and CNBLUE's records top Taiwan music charts 2010/06/22, Source,
Korean rock bands FT Island (top) and CNBLUE (below) [FNC Music]
Korean rock bands FT Island and CNBLUE have topped the weekly music charts of Taiwan during the week of June 11 to 17, according to their agency FNC Music on Tuesday.
A press release from FNC stated that FT Island's latest single "Flower Rock" positioned itself at No. 1 and CNBLUE's "BlueLove" came in second place on Taiwan's G-Music and Five Music weekly charts, respectively,...More
FT Island bows into Japan's Oricon weekly chart at No. 4 2010/05/25, Source,
The cover of FT Island's Japanese album "Flower Rock" [FNC Music]
Korean rock band FT Island has placed fourth on Japan's prestigious Oricon weekly album chart, according to their agency FNC Music on Tuesday.
The group's Japanese debut album "Flower Rock" had entered the daily music chart at No. 3 as soon as it was released on May 19 and held onto the position for two consecutive days,...More
FT Island holds live concert in Japan over the weekend 2010/05/24, Source,
Korean band FT Island [FNC Music]
Korean rock band FT Island held a live concert event in Japan over the weekend, according to their agency FNC Music on Monday.
FNC announced in a press release that the group performed live in front of a total 5,000 fans in Osaka on May 22 and in Tokyo the following day to celebrate the release of their Japanese debut album "Flower Rock",...More
Jang Geun-seok attracts thousands to Taiwan fan meeting 2010/03/09, Source,
Singer-Actor Jang Geun-seok at his fan meeting in Taiwan [Y-TREE Media]
Korean actor Jang Geun-seok kicked off his first-ever overseas fan meeting over the weekend, attracting some 2,500 fans to the Taiwanese city of Taipei, according to his agency Y-TREE Media on Tuesday.
Fans from Taiwan, Korea and Japan turned up to see the 22-year-old star at the sold-out '2010 JangKeunSuk Asia tour in Taipei' held Sunday at the National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.,...More
Jang Seo-hee wins grand prize at SBS Drama Awards 2010/01/04, Source,
Korean actress Jang Seo-hee at SBS Drama Awards [SBS]
Korean actress Jang Seo-hee won the grand prize at the SBS Drama Awards, held at SBS' Open Hall on December 31.
Jang was awarded the top honor for her role in "Temptation of Wife", which was one of the most-watched and most controversial dramas of the year for its sensational storyline.
"I didn't want to cry. I wanted to be cool about receiving [the award]".. said Jang in her acceptance speech. "I thought I wouldn't be able to win this because of the genre. I would like to thank writer Kim Soon-ok... I was in a slump for three years but she helped me make a comeback".,...More
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