[Orion's Drama News] From Rags to Mega-Riches 2016/06/25,
This week I talk KCON New York and HanCinema's attendance there. I also take a look at the super rich, super smart, super talented and all around perfect character of Lee Jong-suk in "W" and what he might mean in terms of how we write and experience fiction and Korean dramas. Before my upcoming drama goodies and personal watch list, I talk Dramaland ladies and introduce upcoming drama "Lady with Class",...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] Stars, Awards and Exports 2016/05/07,
Join me in a week of awards, casting additions and even some new drama announcements. This time around I contemplate the drama race for appeal in the Chinese market, which we all know is becoming a top priority of wannabe-popular series. I also present to you some of our links for the upcoming 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards and take a look at some of the freshly cast or confirmed actors for upcoming dramas,...More
Lee Jong-suk invited to Dior Homme event in Taiwan 2016/04/14, Source, Lee Jong-suk has been invited to an event by the luxury brand Dior Homme and will pay a surprise visit to Taiwan in response to the invitation.
Lee Jong-suk's agency said on April 14th, "Lee Jong-suk has been invited by Dior Homme to represent Korea and will visit Taiwan. After he attended the official events by Dior Homme, he will have a photoshoot for a cover page of a famous fashion magazine in collaboration with Dior Homme. An interview is also included in his schedule on this day",...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
Lee Jong-suk donates 200 million won for unprivileged children 2016/02/08, Source, Lee Jong-suk practiced an act of kind-heartedness. He donated 200 million won (~US$200,000) for children in and outside Korea.
Lee Jong-suk delivered the fund to The Korean Committee for UNICEF on February 8th. The Korean Committee for UNICEF is a subsidiary organization under United Nations (UN) that provides humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries,...More
[Photos] Lee Jong-suk, "Park Bo-geom is appealing", "I like Taek" 2016/01/19, Source, Lee Jong-suk was featured in the star magazine High Cut which is coming out on the 21st. He is dressed in comfortable T-shirts and other casual looks in some pictures and dressy suits in others. He looks as if he popped out of a cartoon as his features and long arms and legs stand out.
Lee Jong-suk talked about his worries as an actor in the following interview. He said, "Looking at my works, I always look like a boy. I wonder how I can be a man. An actor's image comes from the way he looks and I envy those with masculine features",...More
Lee Jong-suk shares selfie from pictorial shooting 2015/11/16, Source,
On November 16th, Lee Jong-suk posted on his Twitter account, "Good morning, everybody. I want to spoil December issue a little bit. Actor Lee Jong-suk is throwing in a selfie for Marie friends, who are waiting for Marie Clair December issue".
In the revealed photo, Lee Jong-suk with a center part hairstyle is looking straight ahead into the camera. His milky skin and clear cut face features are eye-catching,...More
[Funcurve Review] "Pinocchio" 2015/10/31,
"Pinocchio"'s got all the right ingredients for a promising Korean drama: a novel disorder that can naturally create conflicts, a cast of eye-candy actors who can actually act, and a classic revenge theme. At first glance, the drama seems to be centered around answering one key question that we're all dying to know: can someone with Pinocchio Syndrome (telling lies causes hiccups) live normally in a world where deception is common,...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
Lee Jong-suk gets cute with sliver in his foot 2015/05/02, Source,
On May 1st, Lee Jong-suk posted on his personal Instagram, along with a photo of himself, "Haha... I've gone out first time in a while. I should not have. I got a sliver in my foot, boo hoo".
In the shared photo, Lee Jong-suk is surrounded by staffs and trying to take the sliver out. His sleeveless shirt revealed his arm muscles and broad back,...More
Actor Lee Jong-suk stars in Oakley eyewear collection 2015/03/19, Source,
Global eyewear brand, Oakley released their pictorial starring actor Lee Jong-suk. Lee Jong-suk, who gained huge popularity throughout Asia and was crowned one of the four "New Hallyu Kings", embodied his healthy, intense and dandy look in the pictorial. The common denominator in his various photos is the 'strikingly sexy image'"
Korea's first Oakley model, Lee Jong-suk also stressed the need for wearing sunglasses to protect eyes from possible eye diseases,...More
Lee Jong-suk, "Healed through 'Pinocchio'" 2015/03/02, Source, Lee Jong-suk, who has proven himself as an actor equipped with both popularity and acting abilities, stood in front of camera for fashion magazine, "Marie Claire".
After completing all the schedules related to his drama, Lee Jong-suk took part in the pictorial shooting session in Los Angeles, US. In the pictorial, he presents a casual and natural style delivering the relaxed mood of the travel during his break away from work,...More
Who is Yoon Gyoon-sang from "Pinocchio"? 2015/02/03, Source,
He was cold when he looked at the person who drove his father to death and he was warmer than anything when he addressed his little sibling. The only way he could stand out while not having many lines to say was his dark-toned jumpers and meaningful eyes. Still, he stood out. Many people welcomed this new face called Yoon Gyoon-sang.
Yoon is a beneficiary from the SBS drama "Pinocchio" that ended last month on the 13th. He played Ki Jae-myeong, who killed to prove innocence of his father who was reportedly a criminal. Yoon Gyoon-sang had to become the attacker and the victim and went down a different path from his brother Ki Ha-myeong (Lee Jong-suk),...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 20 2015/01/15,
The last case comes to a lightning fast conclusion- no surprises there, given that all the reporting in "Pinocchio" has been marked by sudden resolutions. Although it does help to underscore just how long it took for the final plot thread to be wrapped up. Still, if the cliffhanger represented excellent use of In-ha, the opening here makes a similar dramatic statement using Dal-po's own character traits. Simultaneously we can see how his confrontation is both revenge for the past as well as poetic justice by giving Ro-sa the chance to resolve matters in a way that doesn't destroy her family,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 18 2015/01/14,
We open up with the conversation between Dal-po and Cha-ok, emphasizing the latter's final sense of emotional frustration at having let herself get embroiled in such corruption. The end of the episode is...more or less the same thing, actually, although relatively little of the middle portions really have much to do with Cha-ok. "Pinocchio" appears to be stalling for time, given that at this point it shouldn't really take much for the storyline to resolve,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 19 2015/01/14,
The creative decision to keep Beom-jo's thought process in the dark is a bit of a questionable one here, since the cliffhanger only has emotional urgency provided you have a big emotional attachment to his character. It's been a common problem lately, "Pinocchio" spreading too much of its characters around and just being overly balanced in their exposure. Admittedly, my estimation of the cliffhanger went up a bit when I realized the significance of using In-ha to deliver the message,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 17 2015/01/08,
In-ha and Beom-ho end up deciding on confronting their parents with the evidence amassed. Beom-ho quickly tires of his ethical discussion, though it remains unclear what moral lesson he actually took from his mother's rationalizations. In-ha, by contrast, learns a significant bit of backstory along with Cha-ok's usual utilitarian arguments. The most interesting character ends up being the one about which we don't actually know very much- Dal-pyeong, In-ha's father,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 16 2015/01/07,
The first portion of the episode starts out with some romantic comedy- not any real discussion of the actual plot at all, just Dal-po and In-ha getting involved in a classic genre set-up designed for humor. Good use is made of the hiccups. Lee Jong-suk and Park Shin-hye really are cute together whenever the script calls for it. The entire bit is really more a scene of extended fanservice than anything else but a little light humor is always welcome. Especially when the situation will inevitably get worse,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 15 2015/01/01,
This episode takes the form of a mostly dry investigative procedural, as the characters take different approaches to uncover the inaccuracies in Cha-ok's reporting. By the end we've mostly arrived in a pretty neat place- the inconsistency has been uncovered. While in the short term this most likely exonerates Chan-soo, more open questions like what actually caused the fire in the first place remain open, and will probably be pursued later on,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 14 2014/12/25,
While I can appreciate the effort "Pinocchio" makes here in trying to expose corporate malfeasance, the current plot hook really only feels tangentially related to plausible journalism. Beom-jo doing a news story about his mother's company is...well, the guy really should have either been recused or not called up for the assignment at all. His very presence on the scene is a pretty harsh indictment of the journalistic integrity of his company,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 13 2014/12/24,
The situation with Chae-ok resolves a bit quicker than I was expecting. Unfortunately. The main interesting plot thread of "Pinocchio" right now is the long term situation regarding revenge via journalism. It's a pretty big step down to go from an actual possible case of ruined journalistic integrity to a rather goofy seasonal plotline regarding a Santa gone bad. And why exactly did In-ha provoke him in the first place anyway?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 12 2014/12/18,
Like the last big news story featured in "Pinocchio", this one is over in the blink of an eye. I don't know why I was expecting Jae-myeong's plan to be something more complicated- what we get instead is astonishingly simple and elegant, and captures the exact sense of narrative cohesion I was looking for. Jae-myeong and Ha-myeong fight back against journalism by turning the power of the press directly against Cha-ok. Now she's the one with a lot to answer for against a basically cruel and hostile audience,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 11 2014/12/17,
The pacing continues to be slow here. We still don't find out what Jae-myeong's plan actually is- mostly to drive up interest for the next episode, where it should be displayed in full, clear detail. For the most part this is just a negotiation- Jae-myeong tries to convince Dal-po that they need to follow through on revenge, however unpleasant the prospect may be. Well, technically he's trying to convince Ha-myeong. Therein lies the conflict. To which name does our character owe more loyalty- Dal-po or Ha-myeong?,...More
"Pinocchio" preview: Lee Jong-suk is officially a reporter 2014/12/15, Source,
Stills were released of Lee Jong-suk in a neat suit while holding a microphone.
In the pictures, he's reporting the news with a mic that has the logo, YGN. He looks very neat and sophisticated and has successfully turned into a reporter. This contrasts to the time when he was a junior reporter, with his messy hair, going around and collecting news,...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
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 10 2014/12/11,
In terms of narrative structure this episode is mostly identical to the last one. There's little in the way of actual storyline movement except for the sudden surprising revelation at the end. Instead, we have character reactions to an as-yet mostly static situation. Mostly from In-ha, who is not at all happy with what her mother did to Dal-po. Although the question does come to mind- would she be as angry about this if Cha-ok had just destroyed a random family, rather than the one of someone In-ha cares about personally?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 9 2014/12/10,
Jae-myeong is a hero. But you may note that almost none of the characters we see celebrating in the early portions of the episode are happy because a young boy was saved. No, they're happy because this is a huge news story, and the entire incident was caught on camera. Even in positive moments like this "Pinocchio" revels in showing off the darker parts of news journalism. It seems to force people into thinking selfishly, even if normally they're perfectly ethical individuals,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 8 2014/12/04,
The love story in "Pinocchio" is all right. Lee Jong-suk and Park Sin-hye have good chemistry together. I kind of have to remind myself of this sometimes, because the overall story is so tangentially related to the romance that it's easy to forget. To the credit of the production team, the whole scene in the street with all the snow, and the actual argument of what the relationship of the main two characters is? Pretty spectacular looking,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 7 2014/12/03,
Incredibly, after an entire episode of intense investigation, trickery, and hypothesizing, the entire news report that the characters have been battling over is resolved within the course of just a few minutes. Such is the nature of news broadcasting. So much effort put into a short story that may reach a huge population. And yet most of those people probably won't even remember the broadcast in a few days. And as for the ones that will...well...,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 6 2014/11/27,
While Jae-myeong lurks somewhat ominously in the background, for the foreseeable future it looks like the drama's just going to be team In-ha and team Dal-po working against each other to get to the bottom of mysteries. It should be note, of course, that none of our main characters are actually detectives. So even if "Pinocchio" seems to have the appearance of a police procedural, by the end it's quite clear that their motivation is something else entirely. If we do get an explanation of what actually happened in the big scoop this week, that discovery will mostly be incidental,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 5 2014/11/26,
The cliffhanger last episode has forced a split between Dal-po and In-ha. It's a weirdly amicable split though. Yes, In-ha is pretty upset about Dal-po's ruining her dream for no apparent reason, but even then her frustrations are played for comedy rather than tragedy. The implication is that In-ha realizes her condition makes reporting impractical, and if even Dal-po agrees with that statement, then there simply isn't any hope for her dream at all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 4 2014/11/20,
Having thoroughly established what it means to be a bad parent, this time "Pinocchio" works out what it means to be a good parent. Dal-po and In-ha may be adults, but they're still living at home, and this crazy idea of becoming reporters is a bit hard to reconcile with what their fathers expect from them. Or is it? While the turnabout here is technically surprising from the perspective of our leads, in broad perspective it's not all that difficult to see at all. Parents don't exist to be pleased by their children. They're their to help their kids out, and that's exactly what happens here,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 3 2014/11/19,
The theme this episode is how to deal with the shattering of obviously hopeless dreams. The opening doesn't even have any real tension. We know that Dal-po is dreaming, he knows that he's dreaming, but gosh, wouldn't it just be wonderful if the first two episodes were only a mere hallucination? Unfortunately that's simply not how it works. And ultimately it's In-ha that bears the brunt of that, as she convinces herself that Cha-ok really is a loving mother who's been out of contact for justifiable work reasons,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 2 2014/11/13,
Right after snapping back to the quiz show it's straight into another flashback- but don't worry, this one only goes back into recent history and deals exclusively with the adult cast, even if they're all garbed in high school uniforms. Dal-po is a bit of a lazy slob- or so it seems. Frequently this episode we get a good look at the young man's keen deductive mind. The way he's easily able to size up even faraway situations somewhat strains belief- but again, I'm willing to give "Pinocchio" leeway in this department since the contrivance matches up with the greater themes,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 1 2014/11/12,
Dal-po (played by Lee Jong-suk) is doing a TV quiz show in the present day. No, wait, sorry, about a decade ago. As of the first episode we still haven't made it to the actual plot yet. It's all just background, most of which takes place in another flashback, where young Dal-po (played by Nam Da-reum) experiences increasingly extreme melodramatic tragedies. At several points I wondered whether these flashbacks would have gone down better later on in the drama- that's a heck of a way to start a story out, with an extreme emphasis on overwrought desolation,...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 Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 20 (final) 2014/07/13,
The finale was everything that I wanted from "Doctor Stranger", mostly in that it was satisfying. The bad guys got their just deserts, and the lovers ended up together after many trials and tribulations. However, it makes me wish for better things from the rest of the drama that seemed to have taken a long jaunt down the rabbit hole. What was missing from the ending was the build up to it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 19 2014/07/09,
"Doctor Stranger" has become completely erratic in its desperate attempt to remain valid and interesting. This penultimate episode was jumpy and piecemeal. But at the same time, it covered issues that should've been dealt with ages ago. In that way, it was satisfying. Almost all of the issues brewing in "Doctor Stranger" came to a head this episode. First was the relationship between Soo-hyeon and Jae-joon. He's been wrestling with what it means to be a doctor and how to deal with the delicate balance between being a doctor and exacting revenge. His character has been quite bipolar, but in this episode he was as he should've been: torn between guilt, his love for Soo-hyeon, and duty towards his parents. It was well-balanced and satisfying to see him dealing with his issues instead of blanketing them with anger,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 18 2014/07/02,
"Doctor Stranger" is on its last dregs as it heads into the final week of its run. There is a lot of action this episode, but it is anticlimactic as the build towards it has gone on far too long - it should've happened earlier. Much of the fault in this story lies in the planning in that the trajectory changes from week to week and the story has no longevity,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 17 2014/07/02,
Although "Doctor Stranger"'s plot is more convoluted than ever, and the neverending, highly unethical medical competition shows no sign of ending, there was some decent character development that followed thee character's original trajectory. It was especially nice to see Hoon return to the man he was because it makes the writing more consistent and, let's face it, he's much more pleasant this way. What made Hoon such a fascinating character in the beginning was his efforts to overcome the five years he was trapped in the North Korean medical facility performing atrocities on human lives,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 16 2014/06/26,
"Doctor Stranger" is spinning on its wheels again, using the same plot tools over and over. It also relied heavily on a relatively ineffective love triangle this episode and distorted the characters even further. It seems that the characters exist as plot tools and are no longer entities of their own. The crux of the problems in "Doctor Stranger" is the lack of consistency in all elements,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 15 2014/06/24,
"Doctor Stranger" has lost itself along the way. It began strongly. The plot had clear direction and the characters had paths to follow and things to learn. Now the show is having very serious mood swings that result in flip flopping character personalities, inconsistent plot development and an utter brutalization of morality and ethics. While some characters will inevitably have little sense of morality and ethics, for an entire cast of characters (save one) to have no concept of what is right and wrong is barely believable and hardly relatable,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 14 2014/06/18,
That was it? After watching this episode, that's all I can say. After skirting the conspiracy for fourteen episodes, the expectations for its complexity and awesomeness were sizable. All of those expectations were deflated in under two minutes. The biggest disappointment this episode was how the writing of the conspiracy reveal, the character development, and the plot stepping stones was erratic and sloppy,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 13 2014/06/18,
Alliances shift as the overwrought hospital competition (hopefully) comes to an end. Instead of focusing on the competition and hospital politics, the shows turns a querying eye towards the connection between Hoon's past and Jae-joon's past without serving up the reason as to why Hoon is so important to the "master" plan. What the "master" plan is has yet to be revealed. All the show has given us is that Hoon is important in saving the relationship between North and South Korea. That is my biggest quibble with this show,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 12 2014/06/12,
This episode belonged to Han Jae-joon who has been barreling down his path of revenge, ignoring his conscience and the urgings of Soo-hyeon to do what is right. A case that is similar to his own past allows him to see that his single-minded revenge is turning him into Director Oh - a person who creates orphans and doesn't take responsibility for it. A person who considers the hospital's needs over a patient's needs. It's been long in coming, but the influences of Hoon and Soo-hyeon and his own past have come together and pushed Jae-joon towards what he really wants to be: a good doctor,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 11 2014/06/11,
While I personally loved episode 11 of "Doctor Stranger", from a critical standpoint it reeked of inconsistency. What I loved was how cleverly the humor was use, the odd-couple bromance between Dr. Moon and Hoon, the slapstick antics. What puzzled me was the drastic change in tone this episode had compared to the last ten. The focus of the episode was on the humor and the antics that stem from Hoon's devil-may-care attitude and Dr. Moon's negligible sense of morality,...More
[Spoiler] "Doctor Stranger" Lee Jong-suk and Park Hae-jin join hearts 2014/06/10, Source,
On the twelfth episode of "Doctor Stranger", Park Hoon (Lee Jong-suk) and Han Jae-joon (Park Hae-jin) decided to battle again with a patient whose condition worsened due to a medical accident. Park Joon suggested the winner to be the one who saves the patient. However, Oh Joon-gyu (Jeon Gook-hwan) changed the rules around because he was afraid for the truth to come out.
Park Hoon was threatened by Cha Jin-soo (Park Hae-joon) to not perform surgery if he wanted to save Song Jae-hee (Jin Se-yeon). Park Hoon gave up anyway. Han Jae-joon also wanted to give up but he thought about his parents, who passed away due to a medical accident. In the end, Jae-joon put everything on the line to perform surgery,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 10 2014/06/05,
"Doctor Stranger" delivers some answers amongst a whole set of new questions. It's delving deeper into the political conspiracies while the characters become more entrenched in their issues. Jae-joon's tragic past is highlighted and Park Hae-jin is a standout as he brings Jae-joon's tortured soul to life. After Hoon wins the morally dubious surgical competition, the fallout of the losing wrecks havoc on several relationships,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 9 2014/06/04,
As "Doctor Stranger"'s tone grows more unsteady, the characters become more intriguing. Most of that can be attributed to the cast who is, as a whole, absolutely winning. The plot, however, continues to degrade into an utterly confusing mess. There are so many questions floating about that it's hard to keep track of them all. Plot complication is good, but only when there is an adequate amount of resolution. There are so many deceptions and hard-to-follow alliances that the show is getting very confusing,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 8 2014/05/28,
Questionable morality is the name of the game in this episode of "Doctor Stranger". The competition between the two surgical teams has always struck me as wrong, but it is this episode that highlights just how reprehensible it is. It also shows us that Hoon knows what it is to be a good doctor; it is innate in him. Unlike the others, he ignores politics, the competition and all of the red tape to do right by his patients. That makes him a lot of enemies. Hoon's first new enemy is Jae-joon into whom we gained insight this episode,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 7 2014/05/28,
It's time for Park Hoon to take stock of his place in life. This episode forced him to consider his path forward and take a hard look at his past. Up until now, he's skirted issues concerning himself and focused on his search for Jae-hee. Other characters have agendas for Hoon to follow, but whether he chooses to follow is his decision. He's always been a wild card. Hoon is so volatile because of how he grew up,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 6 2014/05/23,
"Doctor Stranger" doesn't fancy giving answers, only questions. Park Hoon's presence at Myung Woo University Hospital is a mattern of concern for nearly everyone, good and bad. However, the ambiguity behind each person's reasoning is yet another mystery. Jae-hee is the predominant mystery. She is clearly working with Jin-soo and "Doctor Stranger" is doing a great job of making her a very dubious character. She's oddly detached from everything as though she is running off of a spoon fed version of her life instead of her own memories. We viewers know her mostly through Hoon's eyes: a smiling, sweet, laughing woman who loved him as desperately as he loved her. She got shot for him,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 5 2014/05/20,
There is a lot about "Doctor Stranger" that requires the viewer to suspend reality and expectations. There is much more that speaks directly to the soul and makes it laugh, cry, and writhe with curiosity. The bulk of that speech is carried by the spot on performances of the cast and how the writing of each character makes them easy to relate to and understand. Now that "Doctor Stranger" has settled around Myung Woo University Hospital and the main characters have had four episodes of introduction, the story is beginning to settle into the real mystery: Jae-hee's presence in the hospital and why she is there in the first place,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 4 2014/05/15,
Jae-hee plays a bigger role this episode while still managing to remain a complete mystery. Hoon, on the other hand, continues to walk his own path, skirting the rules and following the lead of his volatile emotions. However, his walk is given pause in the face of Soo-hyeon's pain. Hoon seems intent on doing whatever it takes to find Jae-hee, including operating on a patient who is in pain and will most likely not make it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 3 2014/05/13,
Park Hoon is a man who does what he wants when he wants to do it. That is, until his conscience in the form of his father's last words begins to nag him. His character is a strange amalgamation of characteristics that range from egotistical to sympathetic. It's as confused as he is after years of struggling. His struggles have finally brought him to Myung Woo University Hospital in Seoul, where we knew he would end up from "Doctor Stranger"'s promotional material,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 2 2014/05/07,
"Doctor Stranger" has a special way of weaving in cinematic, humorous, and moving aspects into one, powerful storyline that is neither choppy nor awkwardly put together. It's an exciting fusion of multiple elements, including a charged political storyline, while still manging to be thoroughly character driven. The first half of the drama runs much like an action flick. Park Hoon is motivated by his father's death and by the need to save his lost love. He is desperate to escape the North Korean government that traps him. During the rigorous chase through Budapest, the show includes medical, romantic, and action scenes into Hoon's long escape,...More
[Photos] Lee Jong-suk can make girls cry 2014/04/14, Source, Actor Lee Jong-suk showed off flawless skin for the food cosmetic brand Skin Food advertisement.
The new ad for Skinfood stars Lee Jong-suk and his shiny complexion, bringing out the image of the product well. His low and soft voice in the ad is enough to weaken the hearts of his female fans and the ad has been a great hit from the moment it was released,...More
Lee Jong-suk's devilish, masculine beauty 2014/03/25, Source, Lee Jong-suk almost revealed his chest through his unzipped jacket, showing only the collar bone and part of his tight chest.
He modeled for an English fashion magazine called "Dazed and Confused" and unlike his usual 'younger man' image, he transformed into a real and sexy man,...More
Kim Soo-hyeon-I, 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-hyeon-I, 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
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.01.24 ~ 2014.01.26 2014/01/27, "Frozen" remains solid at the top but local flicks still dominated...
The Oscar-nominated animation "Frozen" held its form at the top of the pile to secure its second weekend as number one. Despite the string of popular local features Walt Disney's winter wonderland was able to pack on another 1.2 million admissions (36.2%) to advance its total tally now to 3.1 million ($22.2M). However "Miss Granny", "Hot Young Bloods", "When A Man Loves A Woman" (aka "Man In Love"), and Yang Woo-seok's popular drama "The Attorney" all followed in close formation with respectable figures to collectively capture 59.3% of the ticket sales,...More
Hot Young Bloods 2014/01/25, Source,
Genres: Comedy and Romance
Running Time: 121 min.
Directed by: Lee Yeon-woo
Starring: Park Bo-yeong, Lee Jong-suk, Lee Se-yeong, Kim Yeong-kwang
Synopsis: Set in a countryside town in the 1980s, Joong-gil is the biggest heartthrob in his school. Yeong-sook, the girlfriend of the school's toughest bully, has a crush on Joong-gil, but he shows her no interest. One day, a new girl, So-hee moves into town and Joong-gil has a crush on her. Yeong-sook thinks So-hee as her rival and picks a fight with her. Yeong-sook's boyfriend, suspicious of ties between Yeong-sook and Joong-gil, also harasses So-hee to instigate Joong-gil. This forces Joong-gil to stand up for So-hee,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Hot Young Bloods" 2014/01/18,
It's the eighties in rural Chungcheong. These are violent times- remember that there was a tight-fisted dictatorship going on. If any message is clearly imparted to the teen students here, it's that violence is a good way of letting off youthful energy. That's certainly the opinion of Yeong-sook, at any rate. Park Bo-yeong infuses the perpetually angry, mean looking young woman with a sense of brimming rage. She's straight up looking for fights to get into. It would be funny if she wasn't so scary-looking.
Yeong-sook sets her sights on Joong-gil (played by Lee Jong-suk), a young man who has made it his goal to kiss every girl in the class, and has developed all manner of smooth talking and magic fingers to bring out the aura of Casanova that lies in his soul,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound…. 2014/01/18, K-Films Coming Soon:
★★★★★ "When A Man Loves A Woman": A terminally ill low-level thug finds love and hope as he faces the end. (01/22)
★★★★★ "Stray Dogs": A reporter who lives an extreme life stumbles upon a countryside village and unravels the hideous secrets behind it. (01/23)
★★★★ "Miss Granny": A cranky grandmother wakes up to find herself in her younger body, then joins her grandson's band to live young once again.(01/23)
★★★★ "The Dinner": A trouble family, each with their own cross to bear, struggle to survive when further misfortune falls upon them all.(01/23)
★★★★ "Hot Young Bloods": Four country teens get caught up in romance, jealousy, and violence as their love and lust boils over. (01/23),...More
"Hot Young Bloods" showcase 2014/01/14, Source,
The "Hot Young Bloods Showcase" was held on the 9th at Gunguk University at 7PM. This was an invitation to those waiting for the movie to be released to attend and talk about the movie with Park Bo-yeong, Lee Jong-suk, Lee Se-yeong and Kwon Hae-hyo. The numerous media and expecting audiences proved the popularity of the movie.
The Brave Ones opened the ceremony with their hit songs and promotion videos of previews, character cuts and laughter was screened especially. The cast also kept everyone entertained with their hilarious jokes and comments,...More
[HanCinema's Lists] The Top 5 Korean Period Films of All-Time 2014/01/10,
Korean period features are big business that, when done right, really do bring in the big bucks. The past few years, in particular, have yielded some stellar titles that have seriously resonated with local audiences. This trend is set to continue in 2014 as a host of new historical dramas and action flicks are lining up to try and capture the public's imagination by re-framing the past in unique and exciting ways. Some of the historical films to look out for in 2014 include: "KUNDO : Age of the Rampant", "A Touch of Zen", "Pirates", "The Huntresses", and "Battle Of Myeongryang"; but before we usher in these new historical yarns, here's a quick look at the five highest grossing Korean period films of all-time that this year's entries will hope to challenge,...More
[HanCinema's Year in Review] Raine's Top Six Picks of 2013 2014/01/04,
It is the end of another year in K-dramaland and time to look back and count how many hours I spent watching dramas, running my drama blog, and working on drama-related projects. Since I watched twenty-eight 2013 dramas, recapped three and reviewed nine, and delved into past dramas, that would give me a total of,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Garden" 2013/11/16,
When Kim Joo-won wore his Italian hand-made sequined tracksuit, it became an instant hit and buyer favorite. When the cappuccino kiss took place, selcas with foam mustaches flooded the internet. "Secret Garden" is undoubtedly one of the most popular romantic Korean dramas of the last few years and the way in which it cemented itself into pop culture and skyrocketed the careers of many in its cast make it a milestone for the industry,...More
'Superstar K' Singer Shines in Mediocre Sports Movie 2013/11/13, Source, Seo In-guk, who won the inaugural season of the popular audition show "Superstar K", recently made his film debut in "NO-BREATH". The movie focuses on the rivalry between two teenage swimmers as they attempt to set a record in the sport. Although it clearly targets young female moviegoers, critics have blasted the 118-minute film as being hackneyed and dull, more like a soap from the early 90s than a gripping melodrama. However, if the film has one saving grace, it would be Seo's standout performance, suggesting that the budding actor may have a bright future ahead in acting,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2013.11.08 ~ 2013.11.10 2013/11/11,
"Thor: The Dark World" has lit up the top of the Korean box office once again, claiming 655,484 (37%) over 711 screens to advance its total tally now to just over 2 million admissions. Marvel Comic's epic sequel has already grossed $327 million, almost doubling its production budget of $170 million as comic fans, kids, and cinephiles continue to pour in to the theatres to watch Mr. Odinson save the Earth day once again. The highest local flick came in the form of Park Hong-soo's "Commitment", an action drama that tackles Korea's fractured national identity and has Choi Seung-hyeon's character torn between higher powers and those he holds dear. "Commitment" is the Park's debut feature and in it he enlisted the help of director/screenwriting Kim Soo-yeong ("Color of Woman", "Vampire Cop Ricky"). Last week no less than six Korean features found themselves in the top tier, however November's second weekend was less forgiving and forcefully ejected "Days of Wrath", "Hwayi : A Monster Boy", and "Top Star" from proceedings,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "No-Breath" 2013/11/01,
The promotional material for this movie proudly states that "NO-BREATH" is the first Korean film to be made entirely about serious competitive swimming. Actually, I'm not sure any country has made a movie about competitive swimming before, or at least not one I can remember offhand. It seems strange considering the elements are there. Just make it a sports movie like any other sports movie, and add copious camerawork of dashing handsome young men with their sexy chests in full focus.
In terms of those particular goals, "No Breath" accomplishes what it set out to do. The very attractive, largely male cast are able to pump out a passable coming-of-age story as two rivals duke it out to become Korea's greatest swimmer,...More
NO-BREATH 2013/11/01, Source, "NO-BREATH"
Genres: Drama and Sports
Running Time: 118 min.
Directed by: Cho Yong-sun
Starring: Lee Jong-suk, Seo In-guk, Kwon Yoo-ri
Synopsis: Won-il used to be a promising swimmer like his championship swimmer father. After his father's death from a swim competition, where he was doing his specialty called "no breathing", his mother also passes away. Losing hopes, he quits swimming for good and lives like there is no tomorrow with his easy-going attitude. When he is being dropped out of school, his father's longtime friend Jae-seok drags him to get into a physical education high school to start swimming again. There he meets his long-ago rival Woo-sang, who was always overshadowed by Won-il. His return is unwelcomed by Woo-Sang but Won-il does not care. Then there is Jae-seok's daughter, Jeong-eun who captures both Won-il and Woo-sang's hearts and reignites the rivalry between the two,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "I Hear Your Voice" 2013/10/12,
While the theme of the 2013 summer and autumn dramas has been ghosts ('Master's Sun', 'Who Are You - 2013' and 'Cheo Yong: The Paranormal Detective' coming not-so-soon), "I Hear Your Voice" went for a different kind of power. The male lead, Park Soo Ha, has the power to read people's minds. After his father was murdered when he was a child, Soo Ha grew up wanting to repay a big debt to the woman who saved his own life. This woman struggling with her own lack of dreams and loss of faith in people, Jang Hye Seong, is the female lead. Their story unfolds as they are trying to escape a danger from the past while becoming closer and also influencing and being influenced by events and other characters along the way,...More
'The Face Reader' Exploits Changing Trends to Race up Film Charts 2013/09/23, Source,
Director Han Jae-rim's "The Face Reader" is fast establishing itself as the nation's next box-office hit. The movie, which revolves around a power struggle in the Chosun Dynasty, attracted over six million viewers by Sunday, within just 12 days of its release. Pundits say that part of its success can be attributed to its all-star cast, and part to the way in which it has grasped the changing trends of the market in terms of target viewers and themes. It already ranks as the third-fastest Korean movie to attract this many viewers after "The Host" and "The Thieves", both of which subsequently went on to break the 10-million mark. The former sold 13.01 million tickets and the latter 12.98 million,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Face Reader" 2013/09/08,
This movie contains surprisingly little content about how face reading actually works. Our hero, the slovenly Nae-Kyung (played by Song Kang-ho) is basically a wizard. Aside from one late scene, where the exact topography of a person's face becomes extremely relevant, Nae-Kyung's abilities are indistinguishable from magic. I can believe that people existed (or even exist today) who have the ability to tell murderers by sight. The simple existence of such a character isn't interesting. What would be interesting is an exploration of why or how they do these things,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2013/09/07, K-Films Coming Soon:
★★★★★ "Our Sunhi": A young filmmaker returns to her old school in the hopes to get a letter of recommendation from her past professor. (09/12)
★★★★★ "The Face Reader": The most skilful face reader in the Joseon dynasty gets pulled from his life of seclusion and soon finds himself in the middle of a political power struggle for the crown. (09/11),...More
Lee Jong-suk pleases fans with picture of abs 2013/08/07, Source, Lee Jong-suk is currently residing in the Philippines for the movie "NO-BREATH" after "I Hear Your Voice". He posted on the 7th and said, "Are you all well? The weather's nice, the views nice but why do I want to go home? I want to see my mother. I am so tired. I need to listen to "Cheer Up" by Girls' Generation".
Lee Jong-suk is wearing a swimsuit in the picture with a 'V' on his hand. Another thing that catches the eye is the fact that he has a firm ab. Fans say, "Too revealing!", "My eyes have been cleansed", "So fair and muscular" and more,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "R2B: Return to Base": Come Rain, Come Shine? 2012/12/15,
Film: "R2B: Return to Base" (R2B: 리턴투베이스)Director: Kim Dong-weonStars:Rain, Sin Se-kyeong, Yoo Joon-sang, Kim Sung-soo, Lee Ha-na & Lee Jong-sukReview Score: 3 / 5
Also Try: "The Red Scarf", "71-Into the Fire" or "Taegukgi"
Shin Sang-ok's 1964 film "The Red Muffler" was the first film to be released nationally in Japan and, prior to its release there, it was also shown at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival in Taipei. It was this acclaimed classic, this "expertly-filmed motion picture", that inspired Kim Dong-weon's 2012 action drama "R2B: Return to Base". The film was made with $10,000,000 and Time magazine's 2011 'most influential person' and Korean superstar Rain. However, it also had the unfortunate luck of being released alongside Choi Dong-hoon's record breaking "The Thieves", as well as the historical comedy "The Grand Heist" (which itself brought in close to 5 million admissions)-it lasted three weeks before it fell off the radar.
"R2B: Return to Base" is, if anything, a great spectacle. There are incredibly gorgeous jet fighter scenes that seem to mirror the complexity and intensity of the stories told by some of the WWII veterans on the History channel; its star, Rain, is involved in a number of retro-style music montages as well as an angry/passionate topless locker-room brawl; and there is a love story in there somewhere that keeps you from feeling cheated. It's high-speed entertainment that catches the eye and quickens the pulse, but does little for the genre in Korea and even less for Rain's filmography,...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
Baek Sang Awards 3 : last years winners compete again 2012/04/25, Source,
While the 48th Baek Sang Arts Awards is about to open once again, historical dramas look like they are on a roll. The competition between the 3 ground wave companies for the grand prize is also something else of interest.
For the one year of movies and TV programs from the three companies, the Baek Sang Arts Awards will be awarding 13 categories in total, including drama, entertainment, education and popularity awards as well,...More
K-celebrities now VCR1 2011/12/29, Source,
We go wherever the stars go! Here's the hottest entertainment news of the week! Let's go!
Let's start with singer Kim Tae-woo, who heard wedding bells chime on Tuesday!
Kim Tae-woo is one of Korea's top vocals, effortlessly gliding through songs of different genres,...More
Rain, manly, he could go to Air Force 2011/04/06, Source, Rain (Jeong Ji-hoon) spoke about his feelings about his movie "Soar into the Sun" (directed by Kim Dong-weon).
On the 6th, Rain put up some pictures and wrote on his Twitter, "I enjoy filming. Fighter planes! I can't express the impression but I feel it's going to be the best Air Force movie...^^. I am excited. I introduce the F15. I will show you the set any chance I get. See you again!",...More
Rain and Sin Se-kyeong "Soar into the Sun" extreme casting 2011/02/28, Source,
Movie "Soar into the Sun" is thing of the issue with its powerful lead and supporting cast.
This movie is an air action blockbuster about the Korean Air Force pilots and their risky missions to resolve the volatile situations at the Korean Peninsula. The megaphone is in the hands of director Kim Dong-weon and this will be the first time in Korea for pilots to be the subject matter and first time for air battle scenes.,...More
Actor Lee Jong-suk's Song Picks 2011/01/07, Source,
Actor Lee Jong-suk [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]
"I went to a restaurant yesterday and there was a lady who called me by my name and gave me a free drink. It was unbelievable!" Lee Jong-suk is a rookie actor from SBS TV series "Secret Garden" who is still not used to people recognizing him on the streets. Despite making short appearances in the show, he has made a strong impression playing the dirt-poor musician Sun who is so broke that he will sing at bars and work on fishing boats but harbors a pride strong enough to jeer right into the face of Hallyu star Oska (played by Yoon Sang-hyun) about how his music "stinks". He confessed that in reality however, he is so shy that he was close to an outcast among the drama team until actor Yoon started speaking to him first. Nonetheless this shy boy who breaks into an occasional smile, proved himself quite charming in his interview with 10Asia,...More
"Secret Garden" Hyeon Bin, Ha Ji-won speak on switching bodies - Part 1 2010/12/09, Source,
From left, actor Yoon Sang-hyeon, Ha Ji-won and Hyeon Bin take part in a press conference for SBS TV series "Secret Garden" held at the Maiim Vision Village in the Gyeonggi Province of South Korea on December 8, 2010. [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
What does Kim Ju-won (Hyeon Bin) think of his kissing scene with Oscar (Yoon Sang-hyeon)? Of the phrases said by Kim Ju-won who has been swaying the hearts of female viewers on weekend evenings, which made Gil La-im's (Ha Ji-won) heart flutter the most? How will Oscar deal with the romantic relationship he develops with Sun (Lee Jong-suk)? Like Kim's tracksuit did, SBS TV series "Secret Garden" is a show that arouses all sorts of curiosities and interest in its viewers. Of course, it is not easy to get a busy CEO, an A-class stunt woman and a Hallyu star together. So that may be why the press conference for the show with the three main actors, held at the Maiim Vision Village in the Gyeonggi Province, the so-called "Secret Garden", was relatively short,...More
[INTERVIEW] Actor Lee Jong-suk 2010/12/07, Source,
Actor Lee Jong-suk [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]
My name isLee Jong-suk. I was born on September 14, 1989. I am originally from Yongin and I began to live on my own in Seoul since high school after entering a performing arts school. I am the eldest of two sons and one daughter. My brother is two years younger than me and my sister is four years younger. It is really funny when I think about how we used to fight slapping each other's heads. (laugh) I'm very shy. I couldn't even raise my hand to do presentations in school. I'm usually the one who calls people up or visits them when I become close with someone. I am really close with a senior, who is preparing to become a singer, from my high school and we usually eat out a lot near my house. Who pays? I always pay for us two. (laugh),...More
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