[Interview] On Joo-wan, "I like a person who arouses curiosity" 2015/03/11, Source, There's someone who rode the rollercoaster in this year's drama "Punch - Drama". On Joo-wan played investigator Lee Ho-seong who guarded Sin Ha-kyeong (Kim Ah-joong) in the beginning and then later stood in the middle of corruption. He smiles shyly as he says, "I took myself back to the middle. I am realizing more and more that communication is most important no matter what role you are in". Now 12 years into his career, the actor seems like he's still maturing and says he feels like he's caught a lucky break.
Q: Did you predict the success of "Punch - Drama"?
"The grown-ups in my hometown love it. They think it's the best thing that's ever happened to me. I had my trust in the producer and writer",...More
[Spoiler] 'Punch - Drama' Kim Ah-joong consistent in front of love and justice 2014/12/22, Source, Kim Ah-joong has been showing a great performance since she took on the role as Sin Ha-kyeong, who shines with her just and humane aspects in SBS drama, 'Punch – Drama'. Kim Ah-joong looked outstanding keeping her stance consistent with love and justice in the 3rd episode.
The episode showed the previous sweet, romantic relationship between Sin Ha-kyeong and Park Jeong-hwan (Kim Rae-won). In the scene, Sin Ha-kyeong proposed Park Jeong-hwan first, appealing with her confident image as a woman. Her impressive idea that one can be happy only with love and belief without money and fame touched viewers' hearts,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Obsessed": Smoke and Servitude 2014/11/22,
In the spotlight this week: Kim Dae-woo's "Obsessed"...
I prefer the more literal title, "Human Addiction", than the psychotically suggestive: "Obsessed". It allows for the romantic fall of love into tragedy, the latter (while still fitting) is more outwardly aggressive, dangerous and unstable. Set in 1969, Kim Dae-woo's latest steamy classic (remember, this is the erotic creativity than (re)imagined "The Servant") spies Colonel Kim Jin-pyeong (Song Seung-heon) living in a small a military camp; he's a recognised war hero from Vietnam who will soon to be prompted to general and shipped to Seoul,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Idle Mermaid" Episode 10 Final 2014/10/09,
The good news is that the drama ends about as well as expected given the circumstances. The bad news is...well, that's a pretty darning caveat on its own isn't it? There's nothing particularly awful about this episode, it's just that everything is very explicitly rushed. An entire romantic plotline is formed, developed, and resolved over the course of a single montage. Kind of the entire point of having a television romantic comedy is that we actually get to see this stuff unfold.
The drama also never revolves an essential mystery revolving Ha-ni's character- why she isn't more careful about water. I'm just saying, if my legs were going to turn into a tailfin if touched by water under any circumstances, I'd make a point of scoping out every possible situation that could somehow involve water and make sure to avoid them,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Idle Mermaid" Episode 9 2014/10/02,
The real shocker this episode has nothing to do with the story, but rather the production run. Apparently "The Idle Mermaid" is ending next week at a total of ten episodes. And no, this most certainly was not pre-planned. Up until last episode we'd been getting a countdown timer to how many days remain before Ha-ni faces her ultimate fate. That timer is absent this time. I suspect this downsizing of dramas is a corporate decision by tvN, as "Golden Tower" was also abruptly cancelled, with yesterday's episode simply being a clip show review.
All right, that's enough as far as gossip goes. How does this episode do in terms of merit? Well...somewhat ambiguously, to be honest. The retreat continues as the main characters attempt to come up with a new pitch,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Idle Mermaid" Episode 8 2014/09/25,
This episode ends with a major misunderstanding being cleared up. Well, technically two, but the first one is more important and it's essential you know right away that "The Idle Mermaid" isn't going to make its characters wallow in artificial confusion indefinitely. I actually disliked most of the episode because I thought the drama was just running around in circles stirring up conflict arbitrarily through the use of random happenstance,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Idle Mermaid" Episode 7 2014/09/18,
I hope you weren't expecting this episode to have much in the way of plot progress, because there really isn't any. We open up with Ha-ni and Si-kyeong misunderstanding each other because of Jin-ah's scheme, and for the entire runtime this is never cleared up. Technically the storyline reason for this is that Ha-ni has to go visit a special guest star. It's not clear to me whether there was supposed to any storyline significance to this meeting or if it was just killing time for the sake of jokes. All I know is that I didn't laugh.
The writing has gotten sloppy. It's obvious that we're supposed to be transitioning now to making the possibility of a romance between Ha-ni and Hyeon-myeong a serious one, but it's also just as obvious that Hyeon-myeong isn't much of a character in the first place, at least for this kind of storyline,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Idle Mermaid" Episode 6 2014/09/11,
The drama runs into some tonal problems here, as the comedy doesn't really work that well with the story as presented. For the most part "The Idle Mermaid" has been sympathetic to the plight of the unemployed, then we get an opening joke that seems to be poking fun at how lazy jobless bachelors are. This goes down especially bad because even in the same episode those very same issues of self-worth come up again as more progress is made on the permanent employment front.
The writing here is really all over the place and doesn't actually seem to be leading anywhere specific, which makes the humor difficult to properly gauge. In a drama like "Golden Tower",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Idle Mermaid" Episode 5 2014/09/04,
Si-kyeong's complete lack of clear characterization has at this point become a running gag. Pay attention to how he responds to questions or statements this episode. Pretty much every time he regards new information quizzically, like someone has just asked him to solve a mystery. It's genuinely really difficult to tell how much of the ongoing situation the guy understands, even though he's obviously smart enough to be a famous chef,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Idle Mermaid" Episode 4 2014/08/28,
I've been pretty patient about the drama's slow pacing up until now but this episode really pushes the limit. Yes, we do make a fair bit of plot progress by the end. The trouble is that in the meantime an inordinate amount of time is spent on build-ups and deliveries to plot points I honestly don't really care about. Isn't this supposed to be a romantic comedy? Ergo, there should be a lot of romantic bits mixed in with the comedy, especially given this is literally a life-and-death situation?
The most effective humor here turns to be of the platonic irrelevant variety. Try as I might, for example, it's pretty hard to picture Ahn Kil-kang as a mermaid, even when the drama goes to the trouble of showing him in full costume,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Idle Mermaid" Episode 3 2014/08/21,
Apparently the drama is still setting up the premise. Which isn't as strange as it sounds really- it's just that most adaptations of the original story just assume that we all know how everything works. It's actually very much to the credit of "The Idle Mermaid" that the question is posed- what exactly is true love anyway? Yeah we're supposed to know it when we see it, sure. That's really not much help to anyone who has no idea what the experience is like.
The question is resolved mostly convincingly by the end of the episode, mainly through the help of obvious personality changes,...More
[KDrama.com Spotlight] "The Idle Mermaid" - First Impressions 2014/08/15, Source,
TvN has decided to try something new - a new time slot that is. Rather than their usual Monday/Tuesday, Friday/Saturday primetime drama slots, their newest drama "The Idle Mermaid" is airing only once a week on Thursday evenings. Described by TvN as the Korean Little Mermaid, there was some eyebrow raising by drama fans at the rather unorthodox genre. There was even more eyebrow raising when TvN announced that members of Saturday Night Live Korea would also be joining the cast. Add heartthrob actors Song Jae-rim, Jo Bo-ah, and On Joo-wan and drama fans were intrigued,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Idle Mermaid" Episode 2 2014/08/14,
Apparently we're still stuck setting up the premise, although in all fairness this is mostly Ha-ni's fault. Ma-nyeo (played by Ahn Kil-kang) tried to warn her, and explain how exactly the magic worked, but Ha-ni just had to be a dumb impulsive teenager. I do like the Ma-nyeo character here- the sea witch gets a bad wrap in most adaptations. In the original story she just provides a service. "The Idle Mermaid" does an excellent job recognizing the fact that even if Ma-nyeon facilitated Ha-ni's bad decision making, the situation is clearly her fault, not his,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Idle Mermaid" Episode 1 2014/08/07,
The Little Mermaid fairytale was not at all romantic, Disney's protestations notwithstanding. It's a pretty bleak story about how an excessively romantic attitude regarding love is an unrewarding process that will probably backfire horribly and either result in you dying or transformed into a spirit. Yeah, it's a pretty weird story. And "The Idle Mermaid" quickly establishes itself in a similar vein by making it clear right away that our main character is not a good person (or mermaid, whatever), but rather a childish, immature teenage girl,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Obsessed" 2014/05/31,
The part about "Obsessed" that most immediately commands attention is the set design. The military families in this film live in a distinctly American styled backdrop. Everything, from their clothing to their houses to the way they spend their free time, appears determined to mimic the lifestyles of Americans living in that same time period. Couple that with the backdrop of the Vietnam War, and the parallel becomes rather unmistakable.
There is one crucial difference, though,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.05.16 ~ 2014.05.18 2014/05/19, Korean's torn between romance and rampage...
There was an intense tussle at the top over the weekend as the American giant "Godzilla" took on Kim Dae-woo's "Obsessed". While Gareth Edward's monster remake seized the lion's share of the pie (23.8% from 438,487 admissions), it was Kim's third feature that seduced the majority of filmgoers into the cinemas with over 445K tickets sold (23.5%). It was relatively fair game as both films opened their accounts with over 600 screens to pool from, but the local talent teased out a narrow victory over the gargantuan ghost and ultimately put more bums on seats,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Drama Special - Illegal Parking" 2014/05/18,
Jeong-do (played by On Joo-wan) is a man who takes his car very seriously. I've never really understood the appeal of cars as status symbols personally, mostly because it's so easy for them to get cosmetically damaged. Jeong-do goes beyond just worrying about what his car looks like. He has that troubling automobilist tendency to view even an abstract form of disrespect toward his car in a borderline psychotic light.
This doesn't happen right away. That's the whole point of "Drama Special - Illegal Parking"- Jeong-do just continues brooking these silent means of disrespect to his car until he finally looses his mind completely,...More
Obsessed (2014) 2014/05/16, Source, "Obsessed"
Genres: Drama and Romance
Running Time: 132 min.
Directed by: Kim Dae-woo
Starring: Song Seung-heon, Lim Ji-yeon, Jo Yeo-jeong, On Joo-wan
Synopsis: Set in 1969 at the end of the Vietnam War, elite officer and war hero Col. KIM Jin-pyeong is about to get promoted to general. He is a constant subject of jealousy, with the commander for a father-in-law and a beautiful wife. But in truth, his affection for his wife has subsided and he is suffering from post-traumatic disorder from the war. One day, Jin-pyeong encounters Ga-heun, the wife of a captain under him, and falls into a fatal and obsessive love affair that forces him to give up everything he has achieved,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2014/05/03, K-Films Coming Soon:
★★★ "MAD SAD BAD": A 3D omnibus movie about a man who becomes a zombie for no apparent reason and falls in love with a woman. (05/15)
★★★ "Sage Solutions": A documentary by Tae Jun-seek about the responsibility and questionable ethics of the Korean Press. (05/15)
★★★★★ "Obsessed": A Vietnam War hero returns home to praise and promotion but suffers PTSD as a result, affecting his marriage, career, and future. (05/15)
★★★ "Campus S Couple": A one-night stand turns awkward when a couple realise they're in the same college. Things get more complicated on campus when another confesses their childhood love. (05/15)
★★★ "The Groin": Set during the Joseon dynasty, three men who don't believe in love make a bet to woo a married woman known for her chasity. (05/15),...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Five" 2013/11/09,
The title characters in "The Five" aren't nice people. I don't mean they ignore social conventions to get the job done- I mean they're spiteful jerks who only really care about helping themselves and family members they personally know. Once, things might have been different. Certainly Eun-Ah (played by Kim Seon-ah) was once a happy functional person before tragedy wrecked her life. But once those days are gone, they're gone, and she doesn't have much to live for,...More
Busan's Asian Film Market opens at new venue 2011/10/11, Source,
The Busan International Film Festival (BIFF)'s Asian Film Market opened yesterday for the first time in its new venue at the Busan Exhibition Convention Center (BEXCO). The market has reported a 67% increase in sales booths and a 24% increase in participant registration since last year,...More
Kwak Jae-yong to shoot Yang Gui Fei in China 2011/10/07, Source, By KOFIC Staff
Korean director kwak Jae-Yong was present at the 16th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) todaywith Chinese stars Fan Bingbing, Leehom WANG and Korean actor On Joo-wan to announce his next film "Yang Gui Fei". The project is based on the life and love of the famous Tang Dynasty consort who was known as one of the Four Beauties of ancient China.
Kwak announced the film will be a Korea-China co-production. "It's on the scale of a US$15 million budget but preparing it in China, I've found that's not a lot of money. It costs a lot to shoot in China, and there are a lot of locations", he said,...More
On Joo-wan feels bad to leave military after North Korea attack 2010/12/03, Source,
Actor On Joo-wan salutes reporters in front of the Defense Media Agency in Seoul, South Korea after being discharged from the military on December 3, 2010. [Lee Ki-bum/Asia Economic Daily]
Actor On Joo-wan said Friday that he feels bad for being discharged from the military amid heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula after North Korea's shelling of Yeonpyeong island on November 23.
On made the remark today morning after he stepped out from the Ministry of National Defense where he completed South Korea's two-year mandatory military duties,...More
Actor On Joo-wan to be discharged from military on Friday 2010/12/01, Source,
Korean actor On Joo-wan [Yuleum Entertainment]
Korean actor On Joo-wan will be discharged from the military on Friday upon which he will complete South Korea's two-year mandatory military service.
"My time serving at the Ministry of National Defense was unlike any other experience that I have had and my time there was something different and very valuable", On was quoted as saying, adding that he hopes to become a better person and actor after his discharge,...More
Korean stars at shine at Korean military concert 2010/03/12, Source,
(From left) Korean actor Jo In-Seong, TV personality Boom and actor Kim Jae-won salute at a military concert hosted by military broadcasting TV station KFN. [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]
"We all love the Republic of Korea!" It was actor Kim Jae-won who suggested that they all cry out the cringy phrase and TV personality Boom and actor Jo In-Seong complied to the request. To imagine that this quite unlikely mix of celebrities would make such a patriotic remark. But like in Wonderland where abnormal behavior is not regarded as abnormal, here at the concert for military officials hosted by military broadcasting TV station KFN, everything was in harmony and dissolved into one. Even when Tony of H.O.T., Andy of Shinhwa, Jang Su-won and Kim Jae-duc appeared one after another, there was no conflict among the former boy band members,...More
Slated to run from June 8 to 12, the festival -- regarded as the European Emmies -- has been selecting the best of worldwide television programming since 1961, after it was founded by Prince Rainier I,...More
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