[Guest Film Review] "The Piper" 2016/12/10,
Although the samples are too few to be called a tendency ("Hansel and Gretel" and "Red Shoes" come to mind), South Koreans seem to have found a new source of material for their films, this time from classical European fairy tales. In this case, the source material is "The Piper from Hamelin", a medieval story popularized by the Brothers Grimm,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Woman with a Suitcase" Episode 12 2016/11/20,
No sooner than Geum-joo passes her first exam and is well on her road to being a lawyer than she is given the huge challenge of defending Bok-geo, investigating Min-ah's case, and learning the huge difference between being a brilliant woman behind the scenes and one who stands up in a court room. Although the legal aspect of the show is exciting, it is also somewhat contrived,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Woman with a Suitcase" Episode 13 2016/11/20,
The battle between Golden Tree and Oh Sung escalates to new highs. Hye-joo completely crosses over to the dark side, Bok-geo is convicted, and Geum-joo is forced to choose between her career and safety and defending those she has sworn to protect. More intriguing than Geum-joo this episode is Hye-joo, who has completely fallen off the deep end with the pressures put on her by Oh Sung,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2016.11.04 ~ 2016.11.06 2016/11/07,
"Doctor Strange" and "Luck.Key" capture 83% of the box office pie...
Marvel's "Doctor Strange" retained pole position by attracting another million admissions (58.6%) during its second weekend out in Korea. The film's first weekend saw 1.6 million filmgoers flock to its screens (63%), and with this weekend's take included, the film's totally tally swelled to 3.9 million ($30.4 million). Worldwide, Scott Derrickson's "Doctor Strange" has grossed $325.4 million having been produced for an estimated $165 million,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Woman with a Suitcase" Episode 10 2016/11/06,
This drama is hard to truly understand because on one hand, it celebrates Geum-joo as an independent, fierce, smart woman. On the other, Beok-geo acts like a self-entitled man as he pushes her around every episode - and she likes it. The only times he is nice to her is when she's asleep. Otherwise he's picking on her in a most juvenile fashion. This does not, in any way, support the fact that women deserved to be treated as people and not as objects to be played with. Aside from this, the rest of the episode centers around an overly simplistic chaebol family feud that is not interesting in the least. The one thing that Beok-geo does that redeems him is that he supports Geum-joo as she studies for her test,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Woman with a Suitcase" Episode 9 2016/10/27,
Episode 10 of "Woman with a Suitcase" has been pre-empted because of baseball season so we only get episode 9 this week. However, it's a powerful episode where we see Geum-joo grasping at a second chance in life. The case that landed her in jail and reset her life to be more difficult resurfaces and gives her chances she never thought she'd see again. The first chance she takes is trying to mend the relationship with her sister,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Woman with a Suitcase" Episode 8 2016/10/23,
Episode 8 of "Woman with a Suitcase" bravely tackled a very difficult subject: homosexuality. It treated the character in the episode with respect and touched upon the issue in an honest way. Of course, as a drama on a public station it couldn't challenge societal precepts, but I'm glad that the social commentary was made. The backdrop for the episode was the case of the week, which focused on a murder revolving around the homosexual relationship of a prominent citizen,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Woman with a Suitcase" Episode 7 2016/10/19, "Woman with a Suitcase" is losing it's steam the more it goes along. The root of the problem is the lack of chemistry between the leads and the looseness with which the main intrigue is treated. There is so much potential buried within the premise, but after seven episodes the show still hasn't found its stride. The biggest lack is the relationship between Bok-geo and Geum-joo,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Woman with a Suitcase" Episode 6 2016/10/18,
The Golden Tree legal family is starting to learn to work as a team and the only person who feels removed is Bok-geo. His jealousy over Geum-joo's attentions and his secrecy about his old case have inserted a wall between him and the others. That's okay, though. We got enough wonderful material coursing through the veins of this show to take us a long way. One aspect of the show I am not enjoying, although I do love it for the most part, is the very dominant Bok-geo flirtation with Geum-joo,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Woman with a Suitcase" Episode 5 2016/10/16,
Working in the legal profession has always been important to Geum-joo. She's good at it, and she finds it fulfilling. But events as of late have made her question her work's role in her life and how it fits in. Mix that together with Bok-geo's burgeoning feelings for her and his secrets, and with Seok-woo's likability and we have one entertaining show. Seok-woo has joined Golden Tree and the romantic triangle is starting to heat up,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Luck.Key" 2016/10/15,
Hyeong-wook (played by Yoo Hae-jin) is a cool, stylish, skilled man whose work is violent in nature and of generally dubious legality. Jae-seong (played by Lee Joon) has very different plans in life- he's chronically out of money, and not doing so hot career-wise either. One random mishap at the bathhouse, though, ends up wildly reversing the fortunes of these men. All of a sudden both have to make sense of a wildly different life situation in "Luck.Key", a remake of the Japanese comedy film Key of Life,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Woman with a Suitcase" Episode 4 2016/10/07, "Woman with a Suitcase" is moving right along. Nothing loses steam as the episodes plow forward. Characters' backgrounds have bits and pieces revealed. Those same characters grow, however painfully. The case of the episode is interesting and full of fun twists and moral dilemmas that everyone tackles in different ways. What a refreshingly mature and fun drama this is. Perhaps the only downside to the drama is Bok-geo's very dominant personality and his penchant for abusing his legal powers over Geum-joo,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Woman with a Suitcase" Episode 3 2016/10/05,
There is something that is so wonderfully introspective and real about "Woman with a Suitcase". It is rooted in the fact that Geum-joo is a delightful human being, a powerhouse paralegal, and confident, but also a little closed off to the opinions of others because she's lost sight of her sense of justice. It is Seok-woo who reminds her of the humanity inherent in the law and Bok-geo who gives her the means with which to practice it. These elements come together to form a great drama. In this episode, Geum-joo is in fine form,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Woman with a Suitcase" Episode 2 2016/10/03, "Woman with a Suitcase" wastes no time in moving past introductions and getting to the heart of the show: the alliances and the battles that Geum-joo has to forge and wage along her long road up. Ma-seok gets more than a few minutes of screen time and we see Geum-joo's telltale smarts and tenacity carry her through her transition back into the real world. After serving a year of jail time, Geum-joo comes back to divorce papers, no home, and no money,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Woman with a Suitcase" Episode 1 2016/10/02, "Woman with a Suitcase" is the story of a woman who has it all: brains, beauty, knowledge, tenacity, and a keen intuition. All she's missing is the society's seal of approval the test results to catapult her into a position of respect. This first episode is her story and how she, her sister, and those around her deal in the very tricky business of the law and the people who seek to manipulate to their will. Kwon Eum-mi (Gapdong) is no stranger to penning procedurals or mystery, and has set up quite the story,...More
[Orion's Drama News] PPL and Amnesiac Chaebols 2016/09/10,
Another week, another batch of news to fill the void in my heart as I wait for my new dramas. Overly dramatic statements aside, this week I consider the difference between good and bad PPL (product placement) through some translated pieces about the type of PPL and its numbers. "Shopping King Louis" has dropped plenty of cute goodies for us and "Woman with a Suitcase" is packing her bags for Dramaland with stills and a teaser,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2016.08.19 ~ 2016.08.21 2016/08/22,
Local literary adaptations take the top spots...
Kim Seong-hoon's action thriller "Tunnel" retained the top spot over the weekend and moved its total admissions count now to over 5 million. "Tunnel", based on So Jae-won's novel of the same name, was released on 10 August and shot to number one during its first weekend out with almost 2 million admissions. The foot traffic has tapered off since last weekend, but Kim's claustrophobic thriller was still able to maintain a clear lead by attracting more than double the stubs of its nearest competitor, another local literary adaptation,...More
Lee Joon opens his first SNS account 2016/08/17, Source, Lee Joon opened his first SNS account in seven years since his debut.
He delivered his first personal greeting online by posting his selfie on his Instagram account on August 17th. In the revealed photo, Lee Joon is holding "Seoul Station" script. We can tell he is happy with the smile stuck at the lifted tips of his hlips,...More
[Guest Film Review] Yeong Sang-ho's "Seoul Station" screening on Fantasia International Film Festival 2016/07/23,
If you are a fan of zombie films (I am btw), you are constantly in search for something in the category that has never been done before. Well, a S. Korean animation with zombies has never been shot before, so here we are.
The story revolves around a zombie break-out that starts among the homeless living in Seoul station. The outbreak soon engulfs the whole city and the government declares a lockout of the whole area. In this chaos, Hae-sun, an ex-prostitute who has just broken up with her boyfriend named Ki-woong, tries to save herself with the help from some homeless, while her boyfriend is searching for her along with her father, Suk-gyu,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Vampire Detective" Episode 12 Final 2016/06/13,
Dawn has arrived for "Vampire Detective" and with it come emotional scenes we were not granted during an entire series. Characters without emotions suddenly find them, characters with emotions overflow with them. Unfortunately, the drama's total lack of character development makes these scenes cheesy. The show also presents a twist related to "Vampire Prosecutor"; the series these creators clearly wish they were working on and the entire fandom of which wishes we were watching,...More
"Vampire Detective" Lee Joon VS Jo Bok-rae 2016/06/13, Source,
The battle between Yoon San (Lee Joon) and Kang Tae-woo (Jo Bok-rae) has started.
On the final episode of "Vampire Detective", Yoon San and vampire Kang Tae-woo are facing each other. Yoon San is a good vampire who can come out in the sun, doesn't need to drink blood and uses blood to come to a conclusion of a case. On the other hand Kang Tae-woo is an evil vampire who wants to use his powers in bad ways,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Vampire Detective" Episode 11 2016/06/05,
If you felt Yo-na has been given too little love as a villain, say hello to a new one, as "Vampire Detective" believes such a twist is a good idea with two episodes left to go. On the bright side, some pieces of the past fall into place and relationships are explained. Much does not make sense, with character and plot inconsistencies being abundant, but at least we are on our way to some closure,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Vampire Detective" Episode 10 2016/05/30,
I would not blame anyone for forgetting that "Vampire Detective" has a main plot, given we only see a few seconds of it in each episode, but it is finally here and so are some explanations about the past. Unfortunately, those explanations feel rushed, as do some important character decisions. Even though it is about eight episodes late, the backstory and character development we did not get for an entire series have been provided,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Vampire Detective" Episode 9 2016/05/23,
This time around, our detective trio tackles another mystery and warns about some of the dangers of being famous on the internet. Episode eight was not perfect, but it was a solid attempt at creating emotional investment and it lacked major plot holes. Episode nine is not only a haphazard attempt at criticizing online broadcasters while being a "light" story, its conclusion sadly makes about as much sense as an octopus wearing a thong,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Vampire Detective" Episode 8 2016/05/16,
Muism (Korean shamanism) is a popular theme in Korean film and television. The clash of tradition and modernism, religion and science and the prominence of scammers conning the desperate make for interesting drama. "Vampire Detective" has its own take on the topic this week and it almost coveys it well. Unfortunately, some of its choices end up sabotaging its own point. Being almost-good is a recurring theme in the drama, but I wish it could cross that line,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Vampire Detective" Episode 7 2016/05/09, "Vampire Detective" finally delivers on the vampire part, but the results are sadly less exciting than they sound. Episode seven attempts to humanize our villainess and reveals her origins to us. San meets an old friend who is very different from what he remembers and our other leads take a break while he works this new case. We also meet an unexpected guest star who reveals an interesting fact about the drama. Any "Vampire Prosecutor" fans here,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Vampire Detective" Episode 6 2016/05/02,
If you enjoy murder mysteries, then welcome to some Cluedo-like fun in episode six of "Vampire Detective", as our team tries to solve a death of the past. The incident is personal to Goo-hyeong and this means we finally get to see him act like a human being instead of a womanizing cardboard cutout. Yo-na is still around, but neither San or we know what she wants. She is sadly falling victim to plot stretching, which will hopefully end soon,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Vampire Detective" Episode 5 2016/04/25,
While the vampire side of things remains benched, we have some welcome forward movement in character development in episode five, sparked by what is probably the most interesting guest character yet. The case itself is very entertaining and nicely presented, giving us plenty of suspects and inviting us to a guessing game. Worry not, Yo-na is still around and she is very eager to have a piece of San, figuratively and very literally so,...More
[Spoiler] "Vampire Detective" Lee Joon's amazing bodyguard act 2016/04/24, Source, Lee Joon impressed his female fans with his outstanding act. He surprised viewers with his ripe act and on the episode on the 24th, he became Goo Jae-yee's bodyguard.
San (Lee Joon) and Goo-hyeong (Oh Jeong-se) were asked to take up a case where an actress's life was being threatened. Actress Yoon Seol-ah's (Goo Jae-yee) representative came to see San and Goo-yeong and asked them to protect her. A mad fan named Lee Gi-hyeong from 10 years ago killed 2 people to get her attention. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and had completed his time,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Vampire Detective" Episode 4 2016/04/18,
You know, for being investigators and therefore quick-witted and curious by trade, our team are very slow to address San's condition. I understand initial denial, but his vampirism is starting to feel like a gimmick, when we are one third into this show without it having played a significant role. The episode's plot and some other parts of the main story thankfully progress much faster, however, as our villainess has come out to play,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Vampire Detective" Episode 3 2016/04/11,
Our vampirically fortified team continues to coincidentally land cases related to the vampire underworld and San draws closer to his past. Episode 3 finally gives us a better look at our villain and solves a big question. Why hide the obvious from us? It turns out, our villain is hidden for excitement. Get ready for that feeling, as she might be making her grand entrance in the next episode,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Vampire Detective" Episode 2 2016/04/03,
Tensions rise and dangers multiply as our hero is faced with some frightening changes to his body and perception. "Vampire Detective" is progressing quite steadily, focusing on different cases and going deeper into the main story in the process. Gyeo-wool plants her roots into the team and the ever intriguing relationship between San and Goo-hyeong is looking more and more complex,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Vampire Detective" Episode 1 2016/03/28, "Vampire Detective" starts out with a bang and a bite, as our heroes and villains are introduced, mysteries are opened and relationships established. The series offers a lot of action and crime solving, but there is more than meets the eye to the story and characters involved in it. I have questions, a lot of them and if a series can create enough investment for one to have them, I call that a solid start,...More
[Orion's Drama News] Battle of the OTPs 2016/03/26,
The Monday-Tuesday prime time dramas are approaching and we have casting confirmations, promotional material and more for a lot of works. Busy time for us busy drama fans. I am also happy to introduce some new drama related content I will be handling for the site starting soon. Join me in my ramblings and drop a comment to let me know how your drama week went,...More
[USA and Canada] "The Piper" DVD Release and Giveaway 2016/01/30,
"The visuals look fantastic, with a great splattering of genuine horror and bizarre fantasy". ‐ The Hollywood News ''The Piper" debuts on DVD February 2, 2016 A Non-stop Gruesome Thrill Ride with International Stars Ryoo Seung-ryong and Lee Joon.
DVD giveaway open to US and Canada residents. "The Piper", provides a gruesome retelling of the legendary Brothers Grimm classic of a village plagued by rats and a man who uses his magical flute to lure them out and rid the small town of the grotesque infestation forever,...More
SBS Drama Awards, quality or popularity? 2015/12/03, Source,
Who will be the last one to laugh at the SBS Drama Awards?
SBS maintains its reputation for being one of the most powerful drama broadcasting stations in 2015. It entertained viewers with various dramas and so did actors and actresses with their various transformations,...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
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Drama Special - What is the Ghost Doing?" 2015/07/31,
Cheon-dong (played by Lee Joon) is a man who alternates between thinking the best and thinking the worst of his girlfriend. Moo-rim (played by Cho Soo-hyang) makes a point of constantly agitating for Cheon-dong out of a mix of spite and genuine romantic affection. These two are the perfect portrait of a couple that makes you wonder why they're even together in the first place, since they seem to be more about slapping than kissing. And it's from that backdrop that Moo-rim visits Cheon-dong from the great beyond for a final reques,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.07.10 ~ 2015.07.12 2015/07/13, Kim Hak-soon's "Northern Limit Line" back on song…Kim Hak-soon's war drama "Northern Limit Line" returned to the top of the pile this past weekend after having been dislodged last week by the hard-hitting "Terminator Genisys". Kim's war drama did this by capturing 26% of the box office pie (872 thousand admissions), and so moved its total tally onto 4.6 million ($31 million). Last week's number one, the fifth in the "Terminator" series, fell two places to settle in third with 647 thousand (21%), while second place went to the critically acclaimed new Disney and Pixar feature: "Inside Out" by Pete Docter,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 29 2015/07/03,
The corruption of Jung-ho continues even though it results in losing the people in his life. His continued ignorance of his social situation makes him more pitiable than detestable. While he suffers as his world falls apart, In-sang struggles to acclimate to life away from his father's protective monetary comfort. The episode highlights the differences between those who pluck up the courage and try to change and those who refuse to change out of fear. In-sang chooses a new life situation where he must learn to adapt,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 28 2015/07/01,
Despite the unhappiness at home, Jung-ho continues to play in the political arena using money to buy him power and influence. In his selfish venture for more power, he doesn't that his son has been agonizing over which path he should take: staying in luxury and abiding by his father's law, or living with Beom and Jin-young and working hard to make ends meet. The decisions both men make also legally affect the other characters in the show, but that aspect of the drama is the dullest. Jung-ho plans to overwhelm Beom, Secretary Min, and the rest of the staff with insidiously clever legal proceedings and doesn't think about how his children, especially In-sang, view him or his actions,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 27 2015/06/30,
This show is gearing towards the ending. It spirals inwards on itself, making the same plot moves over and over again. Jung-ho is selfish and hurts everyone around him. In-sang has several battles raging within him: his loyalty to his family, his greed over his inheritance, and his love for Beom. Beom is struggling with her pride and battling Jung-ho's incredible arrogance and power. That said, the curtain lifts a bit on Jung-ho's backdoor dealings and how he has maintained his wealth,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 26 2015/06/25,
The inability to adapt and change has cost Jung-ho what he needs most: people. One by one they leave him because of his severe superiority complex. What is sad is not that Jung-ho acutely feels the loss of his people, but that he feels offended by what he views as their desertion. Jung-ho's arrogance stands out in relief against a backdrop of disgruntled employees and family members,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 25 2015/06/21,
"Heard It Through the Grapevine" is going through puberty much too late. It is episode twenty-five out of thirty and only now do Beom and In-sang start having major problems. These problems are only a point of intrigue rather than an integral part of the plot motion. The groundwork had been laid for issues to manifest much sooner between them. What annoys me most is that their fight is merely a tool to make the story last until the end of the drama's run. All the character development that I'd been hoping for in Beom and In-sang bursts forth from the emotional flood gates,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 24 2015/06/18,
The young couple has weathered the storm that is In-sang's parents together. Together they are strong and their sense or morality gives them a sturdy backbone. Jung-ho and Yeon-hee understand that together, In-sang and Beom cannot be swayed, so they work to rip them asunder. The bait that is dangled before In-sang is his substantial inheritance,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 22 2015/06/14,
This is the episode of the underpaid and overworked hired help. Until recent episodes they have mostly made commentary on Jung-ho's and Yeon-hee's lives and decisions. Now they finally stand up for their rights as human beings and it throws the rich folk into a tizzy. Unfortunately that tizzy gets taken out on Beom. The new pressure on Beom allow her to prove her mettle,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 21 2015/06/13,
As much as Je-hoon and Yeon-hee loved Beom before is as much as they find her worthless now. They turned into rabid animals as soon as Beom fell out of their favor. Their ability to flip flop is terrifying and not only do In-sang and Beom fear them, but so do the overworked, manipulated contracted workers. Je-hoon and Yeon-hee's marriage is built on pride and money,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 19 2015/06/12,
Despite the fact that Jung-ho and Yeon-hee display incredibly childish behavior, the people around them continue to cater to their every whim. It is a result of the fact that they have money and power born of inheritance and enough cunning to maintain it. Against these unfair circumstances do In-sang and Beom find themselves waging war. Those around them hold unique opinions as to whether or not they should even try to battle the power that be,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through Grapevine" Episode 18 2015/06/11,
The children turn out to be the most conscious human beings and citizens while the parents act like spoiled children. It's an interesting dichotomy because while the children are intelligent and have good intentions, the immature parents have the wisdom of age. It is a delicate battle that In-sang and Beom fight to win control over their stifling lives. In-sang and Beom meticulously research the shady undertakings of Jung-ho's professional life,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 17 2015/06/07,
This episode was chock full of the kind of plot material I've been waiting sixteen episodes for. Hypocrisy is exposed and Beom and In-sang finally begin to take measures to rid themselves of the foolishness brought upon them by Jung-ho. There were a couple of powerful, long awaited moments on the parts of In-sang and Beom,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 15 2015/05/26,
There is a broader goal in "Heard It Through the Grapevine", but it keeps getting lost in the episodic format of the show. The meshing of Beom's world and In-sang's world causes friction and change, which is quite interesting. Unfortunately the show has turned back to Jung-ho and Yeon-hee's childish antics. If they don't get their way they have a temper tantrum. Not all of the show was about Jung-ho and Yeon-hee's insecurities and obsession with status,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 13 2015/05/11,
This episode further explored Jung-ho and Yeon-hee's plan to separate Beom from her family. Her family is feeling the social pressure, especially Beom's sister Noo-ri. Relationships in the upper crust of society are complicated and neither Noo-ri nor her parents and uncle are ready to tackle them. The most obvious change in the family is that Noo-ri is pushing herself to equal Beom,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 12 2015/05/08,
Jung-ho and Yeon-hee have begun their assault on Beom's family - they plan to morph them into a socially acceptable unit of society with monetary bribes. It places a distinct wedge between Beom and her family. In fact, the staff begins to call her a miniature Yeon-hee. Beom is working so hard to please that she has begun to absorb the attitude of her in-laws,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 11 2015/05/04,
Episode 11 was strong than those of the past because something actually happened. And by "something", I mean that Jung-ho and Yeon-hee didn't just sit around plotting to take over the futures of In-sang and Beom. They set their plans into motion and the hired help quietly fights their corruption behind the scenes. Things happened! The major theme of the episode was class and how it divides In-sang's family from Beom's,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 7 2015/04/20,
Jung-ho and Yeon-hee become more ridiculous in this episode. They are the center of the show with their immaturity and, dare I say, idiocy. This episode displays that their manicured appearance most definitely belies the children beneath. As of late, Jung-ho has become obsessed with losing hair,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 6 2015/04/09,
"Heard It Through the Grapevine" seems to be, on the surface, a story about young love, teenage pregnancy, normal troubles with in-laws and socio-economic differences. In reality, it is about Jung-ho and Yeon-hee, the infantile, yet incredibly wealthy and socially influential parents of In-sang. It is about their inability to adjust to situations outside the status quo. The couple treats In-sang and his new wife, Beom, like dolls playing at being a family,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 5 2015/04/06,
"Heard It Through the Grapevine" is really a tale of two woefully clueless socialites who are blasted by a huge social dilemma and handle it terribly. Yeon-hee and Jung-ho do not know how to deal with In-sang's out-of-wedlock baby or his marriage to a common woman. This episode is the start of their attempt to conform the young couple to their standards and their ignorance in how to treat their family as humans rather than as a social concept. What makes this show so effective is not just the acting, but the music that accompanies the moments that most horrify Jung-ho and Yeon-hee,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 4 2015/04/02,
"Heard It Through the Grapevine" feels like it is a ball of energy ready to explode - but it never does. In-sang's parents are a riot as caricatures of the rich and spoiled while In-sang and Beom are a rather perfect couple. Beom's family feels the most real and they are who ground this drama with their normalcy. Beom's family hasn't been in the foreground as much as In-sang's has, but they finally stepped up to bat and give In-sang and Beom the stability that they need,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 3 2015/03/25,
What "Heard It Through the Grapevine" does well is slice-of-life storytelling without becoming too trite. If the show continues this path of development, it will be difficult to make any larger changes without a tonal shift. For now, though, it's quite a wonderful way to exploit the satirical elements that have been soundly nestled throughout the show. In-sang's parents, Joon-ho and Yeon-hee, are the victims of this drama's satirical elements,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 2 2015/03/09,
"Heard It Through the Grapevine" has taken The Miracle of birth and used it masterfully to achieve multiple ends. It captures the agony of childbirth, the wonder of new life, the tumultuous emotions new parents feel, the social terror In-sang's parents feel, and also manages to capture the irony of the fact that In-sang's parents are unhappy during one of the most wonderful moments of their son's life. In-sang's parents are rich in wealth and social status, and yet they are unhappy at the birth of their grandson,...More
Another scandal surrounding "We Just Got Married" 2015/02/10, Source, It seemed all calm when suddenly MBC TV show "We Just Got Married" caused another fuss, unwelcome to both the viewers and the cast. The thin line between imaginary and real life presented by the show has finally snapped. Despite the fact that Oh Yeon-seo went through hell in 2013 with Lee Jang-woo while she was on the show with Lee Joon, it's happened again and the sincerity of the show is being questioned.
Yoo-ra from Girl's Day and Song Jae-rim, Hong Jong-hyun and Kim So-eun, After School member Nana and Son Ho-joon have all been mentioned as people involved in the scandals. Hong Jong-hyun put out a statement right away and moved on. However, Kim So-eun was spotted with Son Ho-joon and had to go back and forth impreciseness and denial. When the media wouldn't live it down, producer Seon Hye-yoon stepped forward and said, "I have checked with her in person that they are just friends". Kim So-eun's management only then came forward to say, "They are just friends",...More
Tiny-G's Dohee refuses to work 2015/02/09, Source, Apparently Dohee from Tiny-G is refusing to work.
A source claimed, "Dohee has changed her mind about singing after debuting as an actress. She's refusing to do anything with her team and it seems like she's set on leaving the team",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Mister Baek" 2015/01/24,
Prime time dramas have a hard task to perform. They need a genre like any story, but they also need to be profitable. With a system where failure to reach a certain quota of success has immediate effects on the fate of a show, taking risks with it is not something many are willing to do. 'Mister Baek' had a lot of potential and heart, but trying to cling on to progress without a solid focus sullied it,...More
Park Yoo-chun, a good example of idol actors, affirmed by critics 2014/11/28, Source, Park Yoo-chun proves himself as a new sought-after actor in Korean movie industry sweeping new male actor awards presented by critics. It is unprecedented an idol who turned an actor receives such awards.
He received the award for New Best Male Actor in the 15th Busan Movie Critics Award by Busan Movie critics association on the 27th. The association is well known for being strict in selecting the award winners based on the artistic value of the movie and the actor's actual acting quality than the box office ranking,...More
[HanCinema's Idol Actors] Hyung Sik and Lee Joon 2014/07/12, Hyung Sik
Park Hyung-sik (Hyung Sik) is an idol who strives to excel. Best known for his work as a member of the boy group ZE:A - Children of Empire, he has dabbled in different performance arts such as musicals and the television scene of South Korea. The projects he chooses to take part in are varied and many, each providing unique challenges to the young talent.
The start of his career found him in cameos, but his first dive into serious acting was in 'Drama Special - Sirius'. Like many idol actors, the role was the younger version of the adult main lead. However, this role required him to play twin brothers with opposite personalities, troubled pasts, and a severely strained relationship. Hyung Sik's acting was piercing and heartfelt. Each character he played was a distinct and clear person, which is no easy feat even for the most seasoned of actors,...More
[HanCinema's Idol Actors] An Introduction to Idol Actors 2014/06/07,
For most involved fans of Korean pop music (K-Pop) and Korean dramas (K-Drama), it is common knowledge that these two were and still are the biggest forces behind the 'Korean Wave' or 'Hallyu'. With K-Pop making the start in the 1990s and dramas taking off around the early 2000s, they soon became a two-member powerhouse of cultural exports for South Korea.
Due to that power, and in a an effort to enhance their marketability, these two industries often collaborate. Kpop artists and other musical artists being featured in the soundtracks for dramas is common practice, but another form of that collaboration is the casting of idols in series. In a business sense, this is good for both parties. Musical artists get to promote their image and music to drama audiences and dramas get a boost in popularity and can sell better abroad, where these artists and K-Pop in general have a big fanbase,...More
[HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Gabdong - The Serial Killer" 2014/05/03,
Being in keeping with both the male angst and suspense thriller theme of this drama spring, 'Gabdong - The Serial Killer' is now leaving the introduction phase. Here to bring a more twisted and character-driven look into the genre, 'Gabdong - The Serial Killer' so far manages to be very different in its approach to storytelling and how it handles its plot and characters. But while this approach is still working like a charm, it is more riddled with traps than a more traditional one, so it remains to be seen whether or not it works all the way through,...More
Acting idols: Si Wan vs. Lee Joon 2014/04/30, Source,
The number of acting idols is increasing. Doesn't matter main role or not, there isn't a drama or movie without one. There have been negative reviews about them getting in the way of rookie actor and actresses. They're easily brought into the cast because of their fame as singers. However, these idols have proven to be much better prepared than imagined and therefore, people's views about them are changing.
- ZE:A's Si Wan, 10 million audiences,...More
MBLAQ's Lee Joon Sheds Boy Band Image for Tough Guy Role 2013/11/02, Source,
While expanding his career in acting, Lee Joon took a huge gamble by making his acting debut in "Rough Play". The movie, which was released last week and tells the story of an actor's rise to stardom, has created much buzz for violent sex scenes and bad language. Lee had to tread carefully to portray the character in a sympathetic way. Getting it wrong could damage his image and reputation as an idol star, while getting it right could, at best, earn him praise for taking on such a provocative role,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Rough Play" 2013/10/25,
Oh Yeong (played by Lee Joon) is a bit, well, deranged. He has a tendency to take his acting just a little too far, turning characters that are just supposed to be sort of violent and creepy into ones that are really violent and creepy. One thing can be said for sure about the man- he certainly isn't boring, and it's understandable how Oh Yeong gets sucked into the world of stardom as a gleeful co-conspirator.
What makes "Rough Play" work is how, on a very basic level, Oh Yeong simply isn't particularly likable,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2013/10/19, K-Films Coming Soon:
★★★★ "Blood and Ties": A daughter starts to question her father's involvement in a series of killings that devastated their family. (10/24)
★★★★★ "Rough Play": An upcoming movie star gets absorbed into the corrupt underworld of fame and fortune. (10/24)
★★★★ "Koala": Three young adults pool their efforts to try and keep their new burger business alive. (10/24),...More
Lee Joon's confessions, Understanding VS Thoughtless 2013/01/23, Source, MBLAQLee Joon's post on his fan café is bringing about many responses.
Under the name of Lee Joon, he posted on the 23rd, "Am I a robot? Who am I doing this for..? I've had it to here and I have a mind of my own. Has anyone apologized truly? I feel bad for tricking someone obviously and I can't lie when it's clear because I am a human",...More
Oh Yeon-seo is cute in earmuffs 2012/12/10, Source,
Actress Oh Yeon-seo took a picture with cute earmuffs and posted it on her Me Today saying, "Good night everyone and be careful not to catch a cold".
She is wearing a hooded shirt and putting out her lips at the camera. She is wearing an earmuff seems big enough to cover the whole of her head,...More
Who are MBLAQ? 2012/06/26, Source,
By Rachel Lee MBLAQ stands for Music Boys Live in Absolute Quality and are known for hits such as "Oh Yeah", "Y" and "Mona Lisa". The five-member K-pop boy band was formed by internationally acclaimed entertainer Rain under J. Tune Entertainment in 2009. Its members are leader/vocalist Seungho, 24, main vocalist G.O., 24, rapper and vocalist Cheondung, 21, vocalist Lee Joon, 24, and rapper Mir, 21,...More
See MBLAQ in action 2012/06/26, Source,
K-pop group MBLAQ
By Kwaak Je-yup It is easy to be cynical about K-pop's influence unless you have seen it in action. The story of five-member boy band MBLAQ is testament to this phenomenon. Thanks to the power of YouTube, curious music fans in countries such as Brazil and Italy can hear the music and see the performances. Soon they make their own online bulletin boards to discuss what they have seen. They may even try to learn Korean to understand the lyrics and even put up subtitles for others,...More
K-celebrities now 2 2012/02/29, Source, Seungho, Lee Joon, G.O, Cheondung, and Mir together represent one of Korea's favorite idol groups, MBLAQ.
[SOV] [Interview : ] "Hello Arirang Today viewers! We're MBLAQ".
MBLAQ has prepared a special fan meeting to thank their fans for their undying support. Arirang Today joined in the fun.
MBLAQ's official fan club, "A+", was one of the driving forces behind MBLAQ's astonishing success after their debut in 2009.
[SOV] [Interview : ] "They sing and dance well! They're really talented",...More
MBLAQ to hold first live concert in Singapore 2010/12/03, Source,
Boy band MBLAQ [J.Tune Camp]
Five-member boy band MBLAQ will hold their first live concert in Singapore on Saturday.
According to the group's agency J. Tune Entertainment on Friday, MBLAQ will take part in the Mnet Ultimate Live in Asia (MULA) Concert where they will perform not only as a group but stage solo performances as well,...More
MBLAQ's Mir sees "armpits and feet" in a woman 2010/07/08, Source,
Korean boy band MBLAQ [Asia Economic Daily]
Korean singer Mir of idol group MBLAQ has revealed his unique taste in women, saying the armpits and feet are the physical aspects he takes into consideration in choosing a woman.
The pop idol made the remark during the group's guest appearance on popular radio show "Choi Hwa-jeong's Power Time", which aired Tuesday on SBS Power FM, where they opened up about their ideal type of woman,...More
Eight K-pop idols to host Mnet music show 2010/02/17, Source,
Idol group 2PM member Nichkhun [10Asia]
Eight Korean pop idols -- namely Nichkhun, Junho, Chansung (of 2PM), Jo Kwon, Jinwoon (2AM), Kang Min-hyuk (C.N.Blue), Lee Joon and G.O (MBLAQ) -- have been selected to host cable music channel Mnet's weekly music show starting Thursday.
Mnet explained yesterday that the popular idol group members -- newly nicknamed "MCD GUYZ" -- will team into groups of three or fours and take turns co-hosting popular music show "M countdown" each week.,...More
[FOCUS] 10 Awards - Top 10 Entertainment News of 2009 2009/12/30, Source, Top 10 News of 2009
Two former presidents and a king passed away. One wrong remark during an entertainment show took the entire country by storm. Such unbelievably enormous incidents were played out in unbelievable directions during 2009. Thus, the top ten news of 2009 selected by <10 Asia> may seem like the ten most incredulous news of the year. But one could say that what these ten news stories have in common is that they carry the flow of Korea's pop culture. Can you really believe that all these things happened within a span of one year?
News 1. Actress Jang Ja-yeon commits suicide
Actress Jang Ja-yeon [KBS]
On March 7, one little known actress wrote in her suicide note, "I am a weak, powerless actress. I want to be free from this pain" and killed herself. It was actress Jang Ja-yeon, who was appearing in KBS TV series "Boys over Flowers" at the time. The suicide note, which was 12 pages long on A4-sized paper, explained that she had been physically abused by her agency, forced to drink and provide sexual services. It also listed names of high-ranking executives in the industry, including a head of media company, television drama director and owners of business companies. People started calling the note "The Jang Ja-yeon List". The incident brought to surface how badly aspiring actresses and female celebrities in general have been violated and the ugly power of the media. But due to slow, passive investigation by the Korean authorities, the truth never came to light. Of all people who were under investigation, only two people involved in the incident -- former head of Jang's agency and former manager who exposed Jang's suicide notes -- were indicted and the suspects whose names were listed in the documents were all cleared of charges and let go. Was the death of Jang Ja-yeon a suicide or a homicide?,...More
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