[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 50 Final 2016/03/22,
Having whetted our appetite for an epic final fight, "Six Flying Dragons" does not disappoint, providing us with a suitably vicious and climactic battle. Then it drags us down by pointing out the obvious- what's the point of being a supremely powerful swordwielder when a single hero can't win a war, or even their own battles? While Sa-gwang is the more obvious failure, Bang-ji's harsh self-assessment is just as accurate. Little wonder so many of the characters here simply retire here. Until "Deep-rooted Tree" anyway,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 49 2016/03/21,
In between real history and "Deep-rooted Tree", there isn't really anywhere "Six Flying Dragons" can go plotwise. We know that for the most part all the main players will live to fight another day. The dramatic tension is instead on how specifically these choices will be made. Bang-won quickly commits to child torture as part of his new regime. Oddly enough this is less jarring than the fact that, with the exception of Boon-yi, he's completely sold out an organization that used to be on his side,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 48 2016/03/15,
The big grotesque irony about the fight between Bang-ji and Muhyul is that it's completely pointless. For that matter so were Yeon-hee's actions which precipitated the struggle. By the time either Bang-ji or Yeon-hee had any inkling that something was going to happen to Do-jeon, they were already too far away to offer any support. This, oddly enough, is Bang-won's central political argument. Now that it's impossible to stop him, won't striking back simply be wasted effort against the greater good?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 47 2016/03/14,
The time has finally arrived- one bloody night, where Bang-won dispatches his most powerful political enemies one by one. And he's only just getting started. Going by the preview the day after is probably going to be even worse. As much as "Six Flying Dragons" has jumped around from making Bang-won seem sympathetic to evil and back to sympathetic again, somehow I just did not feel adequately prepared for the sheer brutal carnage here. The almost manic humor of the situation doesn't help matters,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 46 2016/03/08,
The characters in "Six Flying Dragons" are counting down the days. Bang-won's opportunities to even so much as talk to fellow sympathizers in the government are severely limited, so dates for possible conspiracy have to be fixed and adhered to on a strict schedule. These dates are historical ones, the likes of which can be found in textbooks. That much explains why "Six Flying Dragons" is being specific with the timescale now when normally the exact timing of certain dramatic events has until now been left intentionally vague,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 45 2016/03/07,
The irony in "Six Flying Dragons" has reached a boiling point. By pushing for military solutions, Do-jeon and Seong-gye have betrayed those most basic principles that got them to fight against Goryeo in the first place. While their intentions and long-term goals are certainly much more defendable that those of the early antagonists in "Six Flying Dragons", what good is intent when the potential pitfalls are so catastrophic? Check the climax for an example of how intent is meaningless when everyone is busy brandishing swords in a panicked manner,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 44 2016/03/01,
The rivalry between Bang-won and Do-jeon is stymied by one unfortunate problem- Bang-won and Do-jeon continue to act like this is just an interpersonal rivalry, where the goal is to dishonor and humiliate the other. That's not what's at stake here. Seong-gye has to constantly remind everyone that the entire future fate of Korea hangs on actions in the present day. Bang-won and Do-jeon are trying to win battles rather than the war, which is why one or the other keeps managing to slip away,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 43 2016/02/29,
One timeskip later Bang-won and Muhyul have finished their China adventure. Aside from that cool-looking facial hair what's changed? Not that much really- the perception gap is mainly on our end. Without Bang-won hanging around ordering the murder of anyone who gets in the way, Do-jeon is having more and more trouble looking sympathetic. He's attacking political enemies less because they're doing anything bad and more out of long term concerns that may end up being self-fulfilling prophecies,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 42 2016/02/23,
Joo-che (played by Moon Jong-won) is the provincial ruler of Yan. His birthright is powerful enough that he could conceivably seize control of Ming China, making him the third emperor of the world's largest nation state. In fact, we know from the subtitles that this is exactly what Joo-che does, eventually taking the title of Yongle Emperor, leaving a mixed legacy of effective government coupled with despotic brutality against all enemies be they real or imagined. Remind you of anyone we already know?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 41 2016/02/22,
Bang-won's moral compass has been difficult to defend lately, although I was struck by how in this episode "Six Flying Dragons" rather subtly makes an important point- lately the ancient conspiracy hasn't really done anything all that bad. While these people are obviously not to be trusted overall, so far all Bang-won has done is talk to them in lieu of the fact that he can't talk to Do-jeon. In Bang-won's worldview, honor and respect are what matters and lately he hasn't gotten much of either from his actual or metaphorical father figures,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 40 2016/02/16,
Given how so many of the characters in "Six Flying Dragons" are trying to pull off secret deals on an international scale, it was really only a matter of time before they accidentally ran into each other and alerted their opposites to what was happening. This is bad news for Bang-won's team, because his secret scheme has no official sanction. Do-jeon is, for all his greater ethical values, still working as an agent of the current King of Joseon. Bang-won hasn't even clued in all his brothers to what's going on yet,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 39 2016/02/15,
We already know that Bang-won is willing to do anything to hold on to power, but this episode the other younger dragons struggle to reconcile the increasingly cold and heartless Bang-won of the present day with the young man whose first priority was always justice. Muhyul gets the first crack at that problem, and he barely has time to reminisce about how they just made a deal with former enemies when an ethical conflict comes up. One where Bang-won doesn't even feel the need to pretend like he cares about wanton bloodspill,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 38 2016/02/09,
It's very tempting to just dismiss Bang-won's actions as being those of a crazy person. Unfortunately, what we're really seeing here is the culmination of a very slow burn. From the very beginning of "Six Flying Dragons" Bang-won has thought his way out of tough spots by acting generally impulsive and borderline psychotic. Back when the antagonists were more indisputably evil, this wasn't that big a problem. But here, Bang-won is using military force to subdue non-violent, principled scholars. The effects of this will be mixed at best,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 37 2016/02/08,
Bang-won spent much of the last episode agonizing over his decision to murder Mong-ju. By contrast, here he easily comes to term with the decision- for entirely the wrong reasons. Do-jeon's statement about how Bang-won has made his own unsavory place in the New Joseon plan was not intended as a compliment. Yet the farther away Bang-won gets from the original context, the easier it is for him to convince himself that he's just a guy making touch decisions,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 36 2016/02/02,
Bang-won is no longer at the point where he can reasonably acquiesce to the orders of Do-jeon and Seong-gye. He's not even at the point where he can pretend to acquiesce to the orders of Do-jeon and Seong-gye. As is laid out right in the beginning, everything about the plan to take down Mong-ju came straight from Bang-won. He can't care if anyone hate him or even tries to kill him if what happens at the bridge is going too far, because Bang-won is out of options,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 35 2016/02/01,
One problem with having the story of the founding of Joseon fictionalized with epic swordfights is that every so often we're left wondering why it is that the political leaders can't just rely on their hired muscle to solve every minor inconvenience. This episode tackles that problem by devoting much of the philosophical discussion to the question of why our lead characters fight. They're all in a fairly unnatural situation, really. Normally humans fight to live. In this case, living for the sake of living is not seen as enough,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 34 2016/01/26,
Mong-ju has made himself some rather powerful enemies by attempting to use a legal runaround to (eventually) kill off Do-jeon and eliminate the threat our intrepid dragon poses to the Goryeo regime. For those of you who have trouble keeping track of all the characters- Mong-ju is the respected minister with no particular allegiance to secret societies who is Do-jeon's spiritual and intellectual equal. It's for this reason that his betrayal especially hurts, and why Bang-won is unlikely to ever take an understanding big-picture appraisal,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 33 2016/01/25,
The overall tone of this episode is of waiting. No physical action, but lots of plotting and scheming. What's more, this plotting and scheming is not at the behest of the heroes. People are upset abut Do-jeon taking extra-legal action to deal with the land reform issue. It's ironic yet all too appropriate that they end up working rather narrowly within the confines of the law- and completely manage to blindside Do-jeon as a result,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 32 2016/01/19,
In addition to being heroic, Bang-won also manages to be quite noble. While it's easy enough for us to sit here in the future and question the efficacy of Bang-won's technique, in the immediate term Bang-won is always thinking in terms of self-sacrifice and personal appeal. The irony here is that Bang-won doesn't want to sacrifice himself in such a way that will make future sacrifice impossible. Bang-won can give up on Boon-yi and still live to fight another day. But it really is quite impossible to see how the fight for Joseon can succeed without Bang-won's continued assistance,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 31 2016/01/18,
Bang-won has a bit of a hero complex. Normally when stories portray this as a bad thing, it's in the immediate sense. Like, our would-be hero is so completely dedicated to rescuing people that he completely disregards his own safety in the process, that kind of thing. In Bang-won's case, the problem is shaping up to be long term- our protagonist is so dedicated to saving Korea he can't stand the idea that someone else will do it instead,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 30 2016/01/12,
Sa-gwang (played by Han Ye-ri) is yet another important antagonistic character in "Six Flying Dragons". You know, it bears repeating- this drama has way too many characters to keep track of. It's relatively easy to remember who Sa-gwang is mainly because to date we haven't had any other women swordfighters. But back when Sa-gwang was just Yoon-rang I couldn't even figure out why she was in the story at all. Shoot, I didn't even notice she was being played by Han Ye-ri, who normally works in film,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 29 2016/01/11,
The focus is on adventure here, as lots of problems have been identified with no easy solutions. First off, Boon-yi needs to survive an icy standoff with a man who's main distinguishing characteristics are that he is excellent at fighting, and also he doesn't much care to identify himself. Once that matter is settled, it's on to more traditional action material as the dragons make an effort to hit the new strong point of their antagonists,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 28 2016/01/05,
The heroes start out by raiding a monastery that is actively being used as a place of worship, then we move on to the torture chamber where they're still trying to bloodily squeeze information out of a guy who just isn't talking. The discordance between Do-jeon's philosopher kingdom ruled by justice and wisdom and the actual kingdom that is being ruled by threat of military force is getting wider all the time. Until the current conflict is resolved, though, Do-jeon is limited in options for how to respond peacably,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 27 2016/01/04,
Mong-ju (played by Kim Ee-seong) is the new primary villain of "Six Flying Dragons", and he's a pretty unsatisfying one. It's one thing to fight against guys who want to start unnecessary wars and force peasants into serfdom. But Mong-ju is a scholar- an intellectual of similar mental weight and moral standing to Do-jeon. He's also quite possibly the first person who even understands what Do-jeon's greater plan is. A pity that Mong-ju thinks these goals can still be accomplished within the system,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 26 2015/12/29,
One frustrating fact quickly becomes clear in the aftermath of the massive battle- whoever's bankrolling this operation has enough clout to keep his identity from being discovered. While we don't see too much of the sentiment this episode, it's clear that for the long term the characters, and Bang-won in particular, are going to keep getting sucked into paranoia. There's really not any other way to react when the enemy could quite literally be anyone,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 25 2015/12/28,
The first portion of the episode deals with the political power players sharing information and discussing political philosophy, until Do-jeon finally figures out what we knew from the beginning. Those guys hiding in the back room with axes aren't planning to liven the party up with a logsplitting demonstration. Bang-ji always suspected something strange was going on, but for the wrong reason. It's hard to be excited to break bread with a guy you so desperately want to violently murder,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 24 2015/12/22,
Among Ryeon's more eccentric abilities is face reading. While this probably comes off as kind of gimmicky it's actually the most important thing Ryeon does this episode- once the dragons are able to regroup and pull victory out of nowhere all Ryeon is left with is the knowledge of what he's learned about the major players. As usual, it's going to be a long time before we get much of a payoff on this but what do you want? We're not even at the halfway point yet,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 23 2015/12/21,
Ryeon (played by Jo Hee-bong) is the first villain in "Six Flying Dragons" who we can be sure has long-term staying power. In addition to his colorful exposition in the last episode's cliffhanger, Ryeon effectively manages to spend most of this episode slinking about in the shadows, only revealing enough of his plans to keep the exposition engaging. This gives him quite an advantage over Do-jeon, who acts openly and gives speeches,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 22 2015/12/15,
As expected, the big climactic battle in "Six Flying Dragons" is so ridiculously one-sided that there was barely even any point to showing it. The huge fight scene is mainly just an exercise in letting Seong-gye's soldiers show off just how tough they really are, and how any attempt at resistance is futile. King Woo, for all his aplomb upon entering the scene a few episodes ago, is quickly resigned to give up here because there's just nowhere else to go,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 21 2015/12/14,
Now that Seong-gye has decided to actively and forcefully move against the current Goryeo regime, the main obstacle in his way is...more obstacles. It would appear "Six Flying Dragons" is still decently far away from Seong-gye actually being able to match his ambitions with action, because first the proper political warnings need to be exchanged. And also there's still the whole hostage situation,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 20 2015/12/08,
There's very little in the way of characterization or political plotting this episode as the entire runtime winds down to the single pivotal event that ends up changing the course of Korean history- Seong-gye's decision to finally put his foot down and say "no" to the boss. The weird part is that this decision doesn't even have much to do with the political logistics. Seong-gye's mind ultimately ends up getting changed by the awful weather,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 19 2015/12/07,
King Woo (played by Lee Hyeon-bae) only just now makes his appearance this episode. There's good reason for this- King Woo does not have what anyone could really call serious political talent. Indeed, the only reason King Woo even shows up this episode is because monarchal authority is invoked as part of the new increasingly complicated plan by the antagonists to maintain Goryeo, and with it their iron grip on the kingdom. It naturally does not occur to anyone that guys like King Woo are part of the problem. Except for the heroes of course,...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
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 18 2015/12/01,
Straightaway the immediate important conflict of "Six Flying Dragons" is put to an end with a suitably epic swordfight. But before the swordfight is even over characters have already started discussing the new question- now what? It is, naturally, the villains who are asking this question. While they know who Do-jeon is and the general layout of the team that's been opposing them, until now none of the heroes has felt any reason to bother explaining their reasons,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 17 2015/11/30,
After Bang-won's daring move last episode, there's not really much left to do but hunt In-bang down. Of course, the irony is kind of difficult to ignore. Yes In-bang was pondering treason but so are our heroes. What all of this is meant to establish is that one way or another the Goryeo regime is finished. The rest is little more than elaborate politicking meant to be used for the sake of moral authority. Well, there's that, and also securing the loyalty of the soldiers,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 16 2015/11/24,
In-bang (played by Jeon No-min) is at present the major antagonist of "Six Flying Dragons". I'm never sure which villains to discuss at any given point in this drama, because there's just so many of them. In-bang, though, is such a powerful driving force here that his presence is impossible to ignore. The man just runs roughshod over every possible obstacle to the point that an insanely elaborate scheme is all that's able to even slow the guy down,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 15 2015/11/23,
I've mentioned it before and it bears repeating- the excitement level of any individual scene in "Six Flying Dragons" is directly proportional to how many dragons are present. And the rather glorious opening battle sequence involves all six of them. Granted half of them are just helpless bystanders but even so. Everyone is finally and completely in agreement on what the long-term goal is, and how they're going to accomplish it. Fighting off assassins is just the most stylish way to show this off,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 14 2015/11/17,
Now that the loyalties have more-or-less been clearly cemented, it's time for the "Six Flying Dragons" to get to work. Bang-won is able to prove his usefulness to the group somewhat hilariously by not actually doing much of anything. Any one of Seong-gye's sons could have done what Bang-won agreed to do. It's just that Bang-won is the only nearby enough and willing enough to act as a proxy for marital purposes,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 13 2015/11/17,
The opening portion of this episode clearly establishes that, at least for the moment, Bang-won has managed to learn some badly needed humility. It certainly helps that when explaining himself, Bang-won gives nearly the exact same tearful explanation that Boon-yi has been spreading around. Bang-won is in this to help the common people, and it's mainly his fervor that got him into this mess. But with that common goal, Bang-won's loyalty is unconditional,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 12 2015/11/10,
For all practical intents and purposes Bang-won has become a damsel-in-distress. In this way he indirectly manages to become the impetus for Do-jeon and Seong-gye to finally join forces, creating a rather mixed metaphor. Bang-won is only in this situation at all because of the poor choices that he made. And yet it's quite unclear if or when Do-jeon and Seong-gye would have started cooperating if they had not been united by this common goal,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 10 2015/11/03,
The episode starts out as a standard victory lap, because it seems like everything is going great. At least that's what it seems like from Bang-won's somewhat aloof onlooker status. What Bang-won isn't aware of is that Do-jeon's plans work from very minute calculations, and even unexpected help in the short term can cause major problems in the long term. Do-jeon needs moral authority more than anything else, and Bang-won undermines that,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 9 2015/11/02,
Yeon-hee (played by Jung Yoo-mi) was, at first glance, just Ttang-sae's motivation to become involved in the fight against Goryeo. But since the timeskip, we keep getting brief glimpses of her in a very important role- information mover. "Six Flying Dragons" very correctly recognizes that the women of history were far from helpless. Information is at a premium in an age where messages can easily be intercepted and subverted. That's a pretty big deal considering how everything hinges on the outcome of incredibly complicated plans,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 8 2015/10/27,
Early on this episode an interesting question is posed that ends up saying a lot about the motivation of several of the dragons. Why Seong-gye? Sure, the guy has honor and morality. But to date he's been pretty determined to defend the Goryeo state now matter how obviously terrible it is. Paradoxically, it's actually Seong-gye's sense of submission that makes him an ideal candidate. He has an iron resolve but no personal ambition. Anyone who has ever met Seong-gye has a strong impression of his moral character. Except Bang-won anyway,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 7 2015/10/26,
Incremental progress is made toward the characters finally catching up with the plot. I can't help but find it a little amusing that Do-jeon is the main character actually doing stuff, and yet he's also constantly out of focus because, well, because the younger characters haven't gotten that far yet. But then he's not the only one. Seong-gye finally makes an important appearance having been out of action for so long, and the scene is telling,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 6 2015/10/20,
Yeong-gyoo (played by Min Seong-wook) is Bang-won's bodyguard, and also one of the more underrated characters in "Six Flying Dragons". Sure, the guy's not a dragon. But he has very basic observational skills. Yeong-gyoo's the guy who points out that Bang-won's plans never make any sense, and Bang-won always has to struggle to get Yeong-gyoo to help out. While Bang-won is smart he's frequently lacking in any kind of common sense, as is quickly demonstrated when Bang-won tries to commit to a plan without Yeong-gyoo nearby to offer muscle,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 5 2015/10/19,
For the first time "Six Flying Dragons" feels like it's about six completely different main characters. That's not a good thing- the mood whiplash gets pretty severe as we have to jump from the usual horrific grimness to comic relief, sometimes in the same scene. If anyone's to blame for this it's Muhyul (played by Yoon Gyoon-sang). The guy's too much of a dorky goofball. To some extent this can be charming, but not when the other character in focus is Boon-yi (played by Sin Se-kyeong), and she has to deal firsthand with the death which for Muhyul is just an abstract concept,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 4 2015/10/13,
The ending of the last episode was gloomy, and the denouement we get here is almost enough to make us consider that maybe Bang-won has gone too far. It's at that point that the perspective more fully shifts to Ttang-sae (played by Yoon Chan-yeong), the street urchin with more important parentage than he could have possibly guessed. Ttang-sae is given a brief respite from destiny, but then we see what happens to those who don't fight the Goryeo regime as Bang-won did. They get crushed anyway,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 3 2015/10/12,
The apparent resolution of the political situation at the end of the last episode is quickly revealed to be only a temporary fix. The deranged people still control Goryeo, and predictably react to these setbacks through cruel, mindless, pointless torture. Bang-won doesn't even get to give a meaningful goodbye to his new friends before the characters are once again scattered to the winds. So the future king resolves that, for now, he's going to solve his problems by studying,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 2 2015/10/07,
Do-jeon (played by Kim Myeong-min) is the most politically important of the "Six Flying Dragons". He doesn't become royalty, and without spoiling too much, Do-jeon is in many ways fighting an overall losing battle. But in the immediate sense, his goals are the same as Yi Seong-gye- Do-jeon wants to avoid war. In this conflict, he has to struggle against a political system which favors (poor) long-term strategy over short-term reality,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 1 2015/10/05,
Immediately prior to the Joseon era Korea was kind of a giant hot mess. "Six Flying Dragons" doesn't get into too many details on how or why this happened. All that's known is that General Yi Seong-gye (played by Cheon Ho-jin) is a capable leader who appears to be the target of constant attempted subversion precisely because he is a capable leader, and the people in the palace don't seem to have anything better to do with their time than to gossip about him. The situation is a little absurd, actually- although that's part of the point,...More
[Funcurve Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" 2015/07/25, Source,
The Scent of Crime
I suppose most people, upon hearing the title of the drama, will not understand how a convincing plot can revolve around a girl who sees smells. However, 'The Girl Who Sees Smells' (a.k.a. Sensory Couple) may have struck gold by weaving this outlandish idiosyncrasy into a crime/mystery series. There are several dimensions to the drama which make it compelling and enjoyable. I'm sure the first question on everybody's minds is, "How exactly do you visualize scents?" The drama does a tasteful job of depicting her ability while tying it in nicely with enigmatic murder cases that can only be solved with her help. Not only that, 'The Girl Who Sees Smells' delivers such a suspenseful narrative, and viewers become so engaged with how the main arc unfolds, that they might just end up forgetting that seeing smells is not very plausible,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" 2015/05/30,
It is difficult to pinpoint what makes some failures easy to forgive in some works and unacceptable in others. How the creators treat their piece and audience plays a big part, because even flaws can be forgiven when something good is delivered by people who do not attempt to mask their weaknesses as strengths. 'The Girl Who Sees Smells' has many problems, but it is also an entertaining show which seems to have a lot of passion put into it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 16 - Final 2015/05/21,
The Jae-hee storyline is finally, definitively resolved by the halfway point. As usual it's loaded with various improbabilities- the ambulance explanation which begs more questions than it does answers. The way the story quickly forgets its own epilogue which stated most of the characters aren't actually police officers anymore. And the fact that Jae-hee is foiled mostly because his superpower of predicting events perfectly has been turned off,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 15 2015/05/20,
And so Jae-hee is down for the count...or is he? Normally I make a point of how proper set-up is important for effective delivery. Here's the problem with this episode's cliffhanger though. The fact that it was obviously foreshadowed only served to make me dread the end of this episode, as well as the next one, because it means that once more "The Girl Who Sees Smells" is going to insist on doing its stupid invincible serial killer shtick right to the end, when Jae-hee is once again foiled less because his opponents are competent and more because the writer turns off Jae-hee's omniscience superpower,...More
Jang Geun-seok opens and Kim Sae-ron closes 2015/05/18, Source, The definition of a family tree is a book that has down the blood and history of a family since the time of our ancestors. In other words, it's what we call those who have walked the same path for a long time. There's a family tree in children actors too. There are some stars looking towards their 30s that used to memorize lines as a child. The first generation of 'child actors and actresses' are Jang Geun-seok and Moon Geun-young.
The first generation that became Hallyu stars,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 14 2015/05/14,
By the end of this episode the evidentiary problem regarding Jae-hee is finally resolved. Thank goodness. Jae-hee's improbable feats of invisibility are by far the worst part of this drama and this episode is no less frustrating in that department. How did he manage to get a full-sized unconscious woman outside of the mall without anyone noticing in the middle of the day? Did he have a secret garage? Of course, I might as well ask why Yeom-mi's brilliant plan was to let herself be caught. I figured she must have a GPS tracker or a weapon or something, because otherwise why not set up an actual trap?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 13 2015/05/13,
Writer Lee Hee-myeong appears to have remembered that the title of the drama is "The Girl Who Sees Smells", so we finally get some more smell-seeing. The whole sequence feels like a flashback to the earlier parts of the drama- we have Cho-rim proving that she has the abilities, and then she solves a simple mystery with them. Which is nice, I guess, except that then it's right back to the same old serial killer antics where the smell-seeing abilities aren't used even though by the end there is a really, really obvious use for them,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 12 2015/05/07,
The cliffhanger last time and the cliffhanger this time are for the most part the exact same cliffhanger. "The Girl Who Sees Smells" is having difficulty justifying its running time at this point. Even under the most charitable interpretation by all rights Jae-hee really should have been caught by now. Moo-gak actually manages to catch Jae-hee committing an explicit crime- at the very least there should be probable cause for a warrant. And a cursory investigation of Jae-hee's cellar would quickly reveal the existence of the books, and then it's game over,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 11 2015/05/06,
The cliffhanger last time and the cliffhanger this time are for the most part the exact same cliffhanger. "The Girl Who Sees Smells" is having difficulty justifying its running time at this point. Even under the most charitable interpretation by all rights Jae-hee really should have been caught by now. Moo-gak actually manages to catch Jae-hee committing an explicit crime- at the very least there should be probable cause for a warrant. And a cursory investigation of Jae-hee's cellar would quickly reveal the existence of the books, and then it's game over,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 10 2015/04/30,
The episode starts out somewhat promising- important facts regarding the mystery of Cho-rim's past are established. Moo-gak and Cho-rim continue to look cute together. And there's even a brief little piece where Cho-rim has to use her powers to apprehend a strange man found in a place he should not be. Unfortunately, this is resolved very quickly and abruptly as we get back to the age-old question of what improbable chain of events Jae-hee will use to impede the investigation this time,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 9 2015/04/29,
Moo-gak and Cho-rim are still cute together. I like how for the entire opening portion of the episode they're holding hands yet are apparently oblivious to this fact. Cho-rim's shocked reaction to Moo-gak's conversational piece later on is equally cute. Unfortunately writ large "The Girl Who Sees Smells" has decided to double down on the serial killer storyline...again. And it's times like this I really wish Moo-gak and Cho-rim could just solve normal mysteries instead. When was the last time we even got to see some smells?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 8 2015/04/23,
The focus this time is more completely on the serial murder investigation- unfortunately. Part of the problem with giving Jae-hee improbably effective crime-committing superpowers is that I start to wonder why he doesn't use them more consistently. The man can take advantage of all sorts of information he stumbles across by accident- yet he can't be bothered to remembered how to stab a person in the vitals? Isn't he a chef? Isn't this, like, the one thing he would have an actual logical reason to know?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 7 2015/04/22,
The format is mostly the same as last episode. Moo-gak and Cho-rim act cute for a moment, then Jae-hee does sneaky criminal stuff, then Moo-gak and Cho-rim get around to solving the current case of the week and finally, we close out with a dramatic cliffhanger wherein essential information relative to the case is discovered. While consistency is nice, "The Girl Who Sees Smells" continues to be consistent in a somewhat annoying inconsistent way,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 6 2015/04/16,
We open up with the resolution of the cliffhanger...well, it wasn't really much of a cliffhanger. Just Cho-rim and Moo-gak sitting in a romantic nighttime visage admiring the cherry blossoms. Or so it would seem. I do appreciate how "The Girl Who Sees Smells" has (probably inadvertently acknowledged) the reality of the weather lately. You think cherry blossom season would involve lots of beautiful flowers falling to the ground but no, this of all times everything has to be really muggy and rainy,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 5 2015/04/15,
Every time I think I've figured out what kind of story "The Girl Who Sees Smells" is trying to tell the script throws me for another loop. At first it just seems like we're doing more character building between Cho-rim and Moo-gak. Then another procedural murder shows up out of nowhere. Then it's a brief break from the procedural murder to get back to having characters examine the backstory in more detail, then we have just enough time left over to explain, in clear detail, how the murder took place,...More
[HanCinema's Drama First Look] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" 2015/04/11,
Selling an outrageous concept is a very delicate procedure. On one hand, you have to embrace your premise and on the other, you cannot take yourself too seriously or in the wrong way. Outrageous does not mean ridiculous and it is the latter there is less tolerance for. 'The Girl Who Sees Smells' certainly presents an odd world and combines two usually contradicting in tone genres, but its consistency, balance and involvement with what is has to show keep it enjoyable,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 4 2015/04/09,
Well, hm. Several of my assumptions about the last episode have turned out to be incorrect. In the first place Cho-rim really is mad at Moo-gak about what happened at the comedy club- she's just reasonably good at not getting too outrageously angry. I guess I'm just not used to seeing drama heroines exercise self-restraint. Of course, in the real world shame tends to be a better motivator than abuse anyway, which is how the Cho-rim / Moo-gak relationship is able to move forward,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 3 2015/04/08,
It would appear pretty definite at this point that most of the characters are, in fact, just as incompetent as they look. Take Yeom-mi (played by Yoon Jin-seo). She's the one running this criminal investigation, as far as I can tell, because Yeom-mi is the only character professional enough to actually focus on the facts of the case rather than get involved in petty male bickering. Moo-gak does at least get credit for trying to be professional- his main embarassing moment of goofiness is mostly a result of Moo-gak forgetting that interrogation rooms use two-way mirrors,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 2 2015/04/02,
Cho-rim and Moo-gak manage to very quickly make really dumb promises to their immediate superiors at work, and are consequently forced to work together in order to solve their problems. As set-ups go "The Girl Who Sees Smells" is rather oddly convoluted. I'd think these two would be more likely to search for help from actual friends rather than a stranger they only just met yesterday but...OK sure? The story might be convoluted but it's not really contrived, and that would be the much worse sin,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 1 2015/04/01,
Cho-rim (played by Sin Se-kyeong) is a girl who ends up having a very bad day. From the start "The Girl Who Sees Smells" doesn't do a lot to get on my good side. I'm really not a big fan of the whole "master criminal who succeeds mainly by dumb luck and no one paying attention to him" trope, and here it's a pretty essential part of the premise. Granted Cho-rim is just a high school girl, but even four years ago Korea had CCTV and they must have been running at least a couple hundred meters,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Preview] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" 2015/03/28,
From mental illnesses to senses, 'The Girl Who Sees Smells' is here with a premise which is at the very least fresh. Not everything is as sugary as its promotional material, however, and it is very difficult to really get a feel for the actual work due to how its marketing and probable story tone will differ. Even so, there is promise here at the moment,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" 2014/11/29,
Shows about superheroes are not exactly common in Korean drama. When "Blade Man" was announced, it sounded like a very silly premise and one which would likely have very little to offer aside a gimmick and romance. Surprisingly, the series did some things to be envied by others dramas and its freshness was wonderful. That is, until the usual drama problems struck. "Blade Man" is truly odd, but not for the reasons originally assumed,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 18 (final) 2014/11/20, "Blade Man" has ended happily. All issues were resolved. All couples ended up together. Some of these occurrences were satisfying and well-earned. Some were explained away by exposition. The entire episode was jumpy and strangely timed. And yet, as "Blade Man" has always managed to do, the final episode ended on a feel-good note.
At the drama's start, "Blade Man" was quirky, fast-paced, fun, and full of relevant and interesting issues to be solved,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 17 2014/11/17,
The penultimate episode of "Blade Man" is about letting go: letting go of obligation, guilt, false notions of nobility. It deals well with the personal demons of Hong-bin, Se-dong, and Tae-hee, but neglects the mysticism (again) and the issues with Hong-bin's family (again). The neglected elements come from bad road mapping, bad planning. There isn't too much information or too many plot threads in "Blade Man" - they just weren't all woven into the fabric of the drama early enough. Let's get Madam Yoon out of the way,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 16 2014/11/13, "Blade Man" has shifted focus from Hong-bin's trials and tribulations to the ripple effect that Tae-hee's appearance has caused in the lives of everyone in the show. Her death had casted a quiet pall over everyone's lives and that in and of itself was effective motivation for character growth. Bringing her back to life has skewed the plot. Despite the new plot direction, the effect of Tae-hee's appearance has forced changes in some of the characters, most notably Se-dong,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 15 2014/11/05, "Blade Man" is a strange mixture of moving and perplexing. It is the moving aspect that keeps it an engaging show, while the perplexing aspect has me wondering what the writer is thinking. So many plot points are dropped and picked up at random that there is very little consistency in the storyline. What is consistent is the emotional development of Hong-bin, Daddy Joo, and Se-dong. Hong-bin spends most of the episode hunting down Tae-hee, but while he does we see that he really has grown,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 14 2014/11/03,
This episode focused on the return of the supposedly dead ex-girlfriend and her tragic health problems. She pretended to be dead to spare her son, Chang, and Hong-bin from the pain of living with a very sick person. Now that she's been discovered, our cast of characters has to deal with her.
I'm trying not to be too cynical about the very cliche move of bringing back a dead lover (Tae-hee) who made the noble decision to spare her loved ones pain, but it is very difficult,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 13 2014/10/29,
This episode of "Blade Man" was a cross between solid character development and a wretched attempt to include all K-drama tropes into one show. "Blade Man" has a way of creating moments that reach out and pull my heart strings. And then it has ways of banishing those moments instantaneously. Let's start with the bad,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 12 2014/10/28,
I don't know what to make of "Blade Man" anymore. It's focus keeps wavering and it picks up and drops plot threads seemingly at random. What happened to Hong Bin's powers? Why do they not appear for whole episodes at a time? Why do his powers only manifest in part? What is up with Madame Yoon and why does she not feel scarier? All of these questions stem from one core problem: a distinct lack of follow-through,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 11 2014/10/23, "Blade Man" is inconsistent. It can't decide which direction it wants to take with its plot and its tone and its character development. Perhaps it is due to the long periods of ineffective on-camera brooding. Or perhaps it is the constant time skips that gloss over all of the juicy writing points, leaving them to be explained after the fact in a way that feels more like reading a teleprompter than watching drama. However, where "Blade Man" excels is in the little moments of connection between characters, like the beautiful ones between Chang and Hong-bin. After many episodes of Chang longing for his father's attention, he finally asks - and he is obliged,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 10 2014/10/20,
There was so much staring, waiting, and soulful music this episode of "Blade Man" that it should've been a music video rather than an episode of K-drama. So little happened that most of the episode seemed like an attempt to fill the time slot. The lack of action and the abundance of face shots and moody lighting was probably an attempt to create a contemplative mood. But it backfired and made the episode drag instead. There were a few important elements that were explored, but they could've been handled differently,...More
[Spoiler] "Blade Man" Sin Se-kyeong confesses to Lee Dong-wook 2014/10/16, Source, On the episode of the KBS 2TV drama "Blade Man" on the 15th, Joo Hong-bin (Lee Dong-wook) went to Son Se-dong's (Sin Se-kyeong) house.
Joo Hong-bin couldn't go in and was just wandering outside. Son Se-dong appeared just then and said, "Why do you run away from me? I can't stand it. Are you afraid that I might be clingy? How can I? I can't stand not seeing you. I miss you. How can I make someone whom I love so much so miserable? So don't run away and shake my hand",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 9 2014/10/13, "Blade Man" is more about the changes in Hong-bin than it is about the relationship between him and Se-dong. While Hong-bin is an intriguing character, the show really needs to round itself out to be fully cohesive. It's currently jumpier than a Mexican jumping bean and just as spastic. Fun, but spastic.
Hong-bin is the primary pusher in "Blade Man",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 8 2014/10/12,
The focus of "Blade Man" seems to center around Hong-bin's focus. He is mostly concerned with Se-dong and the drama most often shows his interactions with her. Only when his attention is forced from his obsessive crush does "Blade Man" focus on another aspect of Hong-bin's life: his family. This episode focused on revealing the home life Hong-bin grew up in,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 7 2014/10/06, "Blade Man" is at its best when it works on human relationships and at its weakest when it tries to integrate story elements and politics. The relationship between Hong-bin and Se-dong, and Hong-bin and his family is strong and relatable. Madame Yoon and her personal agenda is wearying and unengaging. The stark contrast in the show's strengths and weaknesses mirrors the abrupt changes between scenes, which is surprising as the transitions between scenes were so strong in the earliest episodes.
The strongest part of today's episode was the solid connection between Hong-bin and Se-dong,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 6 2014/09/30,
It's time for Hong-bin to actively pursue the mystery behind his blackouts and it's about time. If the strange transformations went unexplained very much longer it would have damaged the strength of the plot. Luckily, Hong-bin is intelligent and his secretary is bad at keeping secrets. Hong-bin's horrified reaction to discovering that he transforms when he's angry is quite understandable,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 5 2014/09/29, "Blade Man" is still cute as ever, but this episode came to almost a complete standstill in terms of plot development. Some background on Hong-bin and Tae-hee's relationship as well as on Hong-bin's selfish, conniving father made its way to the fore, but it was surrounded by fluff and a good bit of overacting.
The point of all the fluff was most definitely to bring Hong-bin and Se-dong closer, to use her kindness as the instigator for change in the gruff, literally prickly man,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 4 2014/09/24, "Blade Man" is settling into a groove that balancing plot development with the show's love of long emotional beats and reveals. Hong-bin's anger-fueled blades are as much of a mystery to him as they are to the viewers. This episode sheds a bit more light on them as Hong-bin becomes more and more fascinated with Se-dong, her fierce attitude, and her ability to make everyone around her smile. The most engaging part of "Blade Man" is the relationship between Hong-bin, Se-dong, and Chang,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 3 2014/09/19, "Blade Man" continues to be highly entertaining, very touching, and full of juicy character stuffs. Heroine Se-dong does not disappoint with her spunk and vulnerability that is guided by good sense and intelligence. Not-quite-hero Hong-bin has shown the smallest of changes in reaction to Se-dong's strength and his backstory is compelling. Little Chang is hard not to love, and the side characters are quirky and fun. What makes "Blade Man" stand out is the wonderful trappings: cleverly scored music, creative scene transitions, and pointed camera storytelling,...More
Digital Video Network DramaFever Celebrates Fifth Anniversary with Exclusive Fall Premieres 2014/09/19, Source,
Hefty Line-up of the Hottest New Asian Series Includes Romance, High School and Period Dramas – Made Available for the First Time in the U.S. with English Subtitles and within 24 Hours of their International TV Premieres
DramaFever (www.dramafever.com), the top online video destination for international TV series and movies, today announced a fall lineup that includes four exclusive premieres along with a large crop of other highly anticipated Asian drama series. All will premiere on DramaFever within 24 hours of the original international airings, and with professional subtitles,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 2 2014/09/15, "Blade Man" is a show that takes the normal set-up elements of K-drama and morphs them into something new. The unexpected child is not just a silent motivator, but a full-fledged character who inspires plot movement. The female lead isn't just an airhead with no power. She has intelligence and drive. The male lead is both completely unlikeable and entirely pitiable. On top of these are the beautiful camera styling by the director.
I find "Blade Man" a delightful surprise because its promotional material made it seem like "just another" K-drama with nothing innovational,...More
"Blade Man", Lee Dong-wook comes back in spite 2014/09/03, Source, Lee Dong-wook plays Joo Hong-bin in the new KBS 2TV drama "Blade Man". Lee Dong-wook has a persistent concern for the audacious, sensitive and inconsiderate Joo Hong-bin. Furthermore, he is always the one to encourage the exhausted staff and co-stars on set. He's performed a scene where he was drenched in water hanging from a wire for several hours without a stand-in.
A source says, "Lee Dong-wook takes full responsibility for the role. He is going to shine in that drama",...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2014/08/30, K-Films Coming Soon:
★★★★ "My Brilliant Life": A young couple struggle with their son who has Progeria syndrome, a rare genetic defect that causes him to age rapidly. (09/03)
★★★★ "Tazza: The Hidden Card": A skilled player enters the underground gambling world and puts his life at stake.. (09/03)
★★★★★ "Hill of Freedom": A Japanese man arrives in Korea to find his old lover. While he stays at a guesthouse, he encounters various people. (09/04)
★★★★★ "Golden Chariot in the Sky": Ppong-Ddol dreams of joining a band and gets inspired to start neighbourhood band that's in need of money.. (09/04),...More
Lee Honey vs. Son Ye-jin vs. Sin Se-kyeong 2014/08/03, Source,
Tight dresses reveal the sexiness in a three beautiful women to bring out their beauty and feminism. It's not too much exposure, but it emphasizes their body lines and voluptuous beauty. Only the gifted can be confident enough to wear them.
Son Ye-jin recently wore a tight, white leather dress, Lee Honey wore a red one and Sin Se-kyeong revealed one with slight cleavage,...More
[Spoiler] Fashion King: Episode 13 Recap 2013/05/10, Source,
Episode 12 dropped 0.4% to 9.4%.
It's the same stuff over and over. It's saving grace is some mystical power that catches the attention and the heart and invests you. Perhaps it's the hot men. Perhaps it's the need to figure this hot mess of a drama out. I'm not sure,...More
[Spoiler] Fashion King: Episode 12 Recap 2013/05/10, Source,
Episode 11 eeked up a tad to 9.8%. It's negligable. As is my love for this show at the moment. This recap was really hard to start. I just didn't want to do it. The show is so confusing. But then it sucks me in. Then I get annoyed. Then I squee. Help. I need therapy to watch it,...More
[Spoiler] Fashion King: Episode 11 2013/03/09, Source,
Episode 10 dropped a percentage point to 9.6%. I can't really blame viewers. This show is suffering from severe multiple personality disorder. So this website is called "Raine's Dichotomy". I think my emotions this episode really embody that. Brain versus heart. I was dreading writing this recap because I really didn't think I knew what to write besides exactly what happened. My brain was completely appalled. My heart was moved,...More
Fashion King: Episode 10 Recap 2013/03/08, Source,
Episode 9 came in at 10.6%. This show is really bobbing and weaving in ratings, just like the plot and the character development. After this episode, I have no idea what will happen. This episode was all about Ga-young for me. Sin Se-kyeong seriously stepped up her game,...More
[Spoiler] "Fashion King": Episode 9 Recap 2013/03/06, Source,
Ratings rose according to AGB Neilsen from 9.0% to 9.7% for Episode 8. I bet it has to do with the OTP finally getting some screen time together and showing a bit of chemistry.. This is the episode where Young-gul and Ga-young's romance could've started. But a few monkey wrenches get thrown in. I'm sure we will have a whole mess of misunderstandings caused by secrets and lack of communication starting next episode. As for this one, I should hate Jae-hyuk. I really should. And I should think Young-gul's jealousy is stupid because he doesn't say anything to Ga-young. Should. But these boys are too cute. An-na is pathetic. Ga-young needs to step up and affect change herself instead of riding the tide,...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
Sin Se-kyeong transforms into a goddess 2012/12/12, Source,
Actress Sin Se-kyeong became an elegant goddess in an ad for Nature Republic's collaboration in which she designed some of the products herself.
Despite the cold weather at the end of November, she wore a thin chiffon dress in white and appeared as a goddess,...More
Sin Se-kyeong in a pure white dress 2012/11/21, Source, Sin Se-kyeong was seen recently on her Me Today in the post saying, "I am doing a commercial! It's embarrassing to be holding a picture I drew".
She is sitting on a chair in a pure white dress. She's not revealed in any way but is still very voluptuous,...More
[Video] Sin Se-kyeong Aims to Smash Stereotypes with New Movie 'R2B' 2012/08/25, Source,
"R2B: Return to Base" is not attracting hordes of moviegoers at the local box office, even though it was initially expected to draw a great deal of interest as it is Korea's first action film set in the air and contains thrilling scenes of fighter jets in action. The movie, which focuses on a combat flying unit on a rescue mission, features state-of-the-art fighter jets such as the F-15K and TA-50 flying at altitudes of around 10,000 m, as well as zipping through downtown Seoul,...More
[Spoiler] [Raine's Recaps] Fashion King: Episode 6 Recap 2012/08/17, Source,
Episode 5 rose in ratings, 10.1%. Now that the plotline is settling in, I think the ratings will be a bit better. I'm not sure about them rising yet.
Thanks for all the support for these recaps everyone! This episode, however, drove me a little bonkers. I want to take out both men, or lock them in cages so they can do no more harm and can be used only for me to look at,...More
Art and Culture 2012/08/17, Source,
It's finally Friday and of course we are here with our Michelle Kim, who brings us some fun arts and culture events we can enjoy this weekend. Hello Michelle [Reporter : ] Hello Conn-young So what do you have for us today,...More
[Video] CJ Entertainment Takes Flight with "R2B: Return to Base"! 2012/08/13, Source,
Action epic comes to North America on August 24, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CA (August 13, 2012) - CJ Entertainment America brings the aerial action thriller "R2B: Return to Base" to North American theatres on August 24, 2012. Inspired by the 1963 South Korean film, Red Scarf by legendary director Shin Sang-ok, "R2B: Return to Base" is set in modern-day Seoul and features top stars Rain ("Ninja Assassin"), Sin Se-kyeong, and Yoo Joon-sang.
They have 7 minutes to pull off the most critical airborne mission in history.
South Korean elite Air Force pilot Tae-hun is kicked out of his flying team and demoted into a combat unit after a cocky and dangerous air show demonstration. On the first day of his transfer to F15K, he has a run-in with Cheol-hui, the unit's leader. Tae-hun's rebellious swagger and Cheol-hui's buttoned down discipline come into conflict almost immediately,...More
[Spoiler] [Raine's Recaps] Fashion King: Episode 4 Recap 2012/07/14, Source,
by: Raine At the ratings are back up at 9.2% for episode 3. I'm not sure if it's cause Love Rain has caused such a negative commotion or what. Perhaps having Yoo Ah-in naked in every episode contributes a point percentage point per ab appearance? This episode was still wild and crazy plot-wise but we've come to expect that and I think I might stop commenting on that...maybe. That kiss was hot and we got to see Yu-ri's acting chops and how they get the foursome back to Korea...sort of,...More
[Spoiler] [Raine's Recaps] Fashion King: Episode 3 Recap 2012/07/13, Source,
by: Raine Last weeks ratings dropped from 10% for episode 1 to 8.9% for episode 2 and it's really not hard to see why. I think I'm probably one of the only people enjoying myself. Why? It's THAT ridiculous. I'm trying to figure out what's going on and when I can't, I just make fun of it and wait for "Rooftop Prince" on Wednesday! This week was a bit better than last week but it's still setting up background. Yoo Ah-in is carrying the show on his very sexy, often nekkid, shoulders,...More
Bill to ban alcohol ads by young celebrities 2012/06/29, Source,
Figure skater Kim Yu-na appears in a local beer advertisement. / Korea Times file
By Kim Rahn Figure skater Kim Yu-na and CL of girl group 2NE1 may not appear in beer commercials anymore, because a lawmaker plans to present a bill banning athletes and entertainers aged-under 25 appearing in alcoholic drink ads. The move is aimed at putting the brakes on alcoholic marketing that targets youngsters. Rep. Lee Elisa of the ruling Saenuri Party, a sports star-turned-lawmaker, said Thursday she has decide to propose a revision to the National Health Promotion Law to prevent TV ads for alcoholic beverages having athletes and entertainers under that age as models,...More
[Spoiler] [Raine's Recaps] Fashion King: Episode 2 2012/06/25, Source,
This episode takes the crazy amalgamation of loan sharks, replica fashion, impoverished heroines, chaebol second leads, evil mothers and one ups it. It was sort of all over the place. We have too many different elements floating around that I'm not sure where they came from. But I do know one thing - EVERYTHING is connected. How they will manage to do it in a believable fashion, I do not know. Or maybe they won't.
That said, it was entertaining. Yoo Ah-in was hysterical/heart-breaking. Kwon Yoo-ri finally made her appearance, albeit briefly. She was pretty good actually! *thumbs up* Ga-young's character got WAY more interesting and I'm falling in love with actor Lee Je-hoon. Waiter, bring me one of those,...More
[Raine's Recap] Fashion King: Episode 1 2012/06/21, Source,
So it wasn't really what I expected it to be although it was predictable. I can say that it was a fun opener after the first fifteen minutes. They certainly laid down quite a few tropes. But you know what, that's cool. Just don't throw the other half of the book at us later.
CJ Entertainment America to release Korean Movie on DVDs and Blu-rays in the USA 2012/06/08,
If the last time you checked, Korean filmmaking was all about horror ... It may be time to check again! While pan-Asian filmmakers still know how to produce a superior scarefest (and do!), American movie-goers – and critics – are also taking note of the regions' dramas, romantic fare, comedies and music.
G&A is now working with CJ Entertainment America, the U.S. arm of Asia's premier entertainment company and Korea's #1 filmmaker and distributor, CJ Entertainment & Media (CJ E&M). Since 1995, CJ E&M has provided original, award-winning content; is a prominent investor in entertainment co-ventures with such U.S. companies as 1492 Pictures, DreamWorks and IMAX; and has been a key force in popularizing Korean and Pan-Asian cinema around the world,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Hindsight" 2012/03/03, Lee Hyeon-seung's return to filmmaking took the form of the rather limp and indulgent "Hindsight", a less than enthralling piece that lead actor Song Kang-ho will surely wish to forget along with Hyeon-seung himself. The film failed to create a buzz at the 16th Busan International Film Festival; in fact it was harshly slammed. The local box office figures mirrored that same stiff response as Hyeon-seung's soporific characters wander meaninglessly through the film's dreamy, but jarring inconsistent, visuals,...More
Behind the Scenes of TV Extras 2012/02/27, Source,
Korea, apparently, has one the most notorious men in the world.
[Interview : Kim Yeong-sik, Impersonator of Kim Jong-il] "I'm Kim Yeong-sik, the Kim Jong-il look-alike".
This man features the puffy hair, large glasses, commanding gestures, and the Mao suit of the late Noth Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
[Interview : Kim Yeong-sik, Impersonator of Kim Jong-il] "I realized that curling my hair made me look a lot like Kim Jong-il, so that's when I started to impersonate him more seriously".
Since his debut in 1995 in the movie "Mugoonghwa-Korean National Flower", he's been featured in various TV dramas and films as North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il. He's even made an appearance in a Middle Eastern chocolate commercial and various Japanese TV shows,...More
10th NEW YORK KOREAN FILM FESTIVAL (NYKFF) @ BAM Rose Cinema 2012/02/08, Source, Friday, February 24 - Sunday, February 26
The Korea Society presents the 10th New York Korean Film Festival with new releases showcasing the popular and prolific in Korean film. In cooperation with partners BAM Cinématek and CJ Entertainment, this 10th festival features blockbusters, cutting-edge action, drama, and comedy at BAM Rose Cinema.
New York Korean Film Festival will present the following films,...More
South Korean Box Office in 2011 2012/01/14, Source, Korean cinema expert Darcy Paquet looks back at the results of 2011's box office with some unexpected hits and misses, the rise of independent features, and how audiences confirmed they value story over spectacle.
Although the number crunchers in Hollywood estimate that US theatrical admissions sank to their lowest level since 1995, things were not so gloomy in Korea. With an estimated 160 million tickets sold (more precise figures will become available at a later date), it appears that Korea has approached or broken the modern-day record for admissions. In 2010, total admissions stopped at 146.8 million. In monetary terms, 2011 was certainly the best year ever, given the 3D surcharge and rising average ticket prices. Americans may be growing tired of the theatrical movie-going experience, but young Koreans still crowd the multiplexes,...More
K-celebrities now VCR1 2012/01/05, Source,
On December 21st, Lee Hyori had a fan signing in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul.
[Interview : Lee Hyori, Singer] "I created a calendar to promote the adoption of stray dogs, so please spread the word. I really hope that we can help many of them this winter". Lee Hyori took a moment to meet her fans and to promote her new calendar,...More
'Deep-rooted Tree' writers thank King Sejong 2011/12/26, Source, Park Sang-yeon, left, and Kim Yong-hyeon are the writers of "Deep-rooted Tree", an epic drama revolving around the creation of "Hangeul" by King Sejong. / Yonhap
By Noh Hyun-gi
A peaceful era is the ultimate goal of governance but that could require some hellish work on the part of the ruler, especially when the work also involves creating "Hangeul" or Korean alphabet.
"Deep-rooted Tree", a 24-episode drama that recently concluded on SBS, grippingly depicted the struggles of King Sejong (1397-1450) in the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910). Based on a two-part historical novel of the same name, the drama drew ratings of over 20 percent,...More
Rain gets preview of military life in new film 2011/10/10, Source,
BUSAN - Rain will be entering the military to complete his mandatory two-year service for Korean men this week, but the mega pop star says he has already had an intense preview of army life through his upcoming air force movie.
"I experienced seven months of life in the barracks while shooting the movie", said the 29-year-old Friday about "Soar into the Sun". "It was painful not being able to eat whenever I wanted". The press junket for the film, which is slated for theater release in 2012, marked one of his last public appearances,...More
Actors help 'Hindsight' keep focus 2011/08/25,
Actors Song Kang-ho, left, and Sin Se-kyeong appear in a scene from "Hindsight", the latest film by Lee Hyeon-seung. / Courtesy of CJ E&M Pictures
By Lee Hyo-won
In the 1990s, Lee Hyeon-seung shot to stardom with the visually lush "Blue In You" (1992) and became a household name with another striking film, "Il Mare" (2000), which went on to become the first local flick to be remade in Hollywood (into "The Lake House", a 2006 piece starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock).
"Hindsight" takes the director's art-school pedigree to new heights, by featuring even more breathtaking, color-coded visuals set to signature soundtracks from his previous two films,...More
Sin Se-kyeong "The Korean Olivia Hussey" 2011/08/03, Source,
Actress Sin Se-kyeong displayed pure innocence through an ad for the jewelry brand Stonehenge, reminiscing Olivia Hussey.
Sin Se-kyeong wore a costume looking like a ballerina from The Swan Lake, her eyes looking far ahead, her feminine neck line and collarbone balancing well enough to create an air of elegance.,...More
PiFan opens with a splash 2011/07/18, Source,
"Hobo With a Shotgun"
By Lee Hyo-won
BUCHEON, Gyeonggi Province - The 15th Puchon (Bucheon) International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) kicked off Thursday with a flurry of activity and pageantry. Though wet weather continued throughout the opening weekend, the monsoon rains did little to dampen the festive mood.
The cinema showcase opened with an Indian documentary "Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told", by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Jeff Zimbalist. Some 2,000 fans and VIPs gathered for the opening ceremony, which took place at the indoor Bucheon Arena, a new and larger venue than in previous years,...More
[20 Korean Films to Look Out for Second Half of 2011] "Soar into the Sun" 2011/07/16, Source, Flying the Sky with Rain
"Soar into the Sun"
Directed by Kim Dong-weon
By NA Won-jung
The film's story is related to the original "Red Muffler", directed by the legendary Korean director SHIN Sang-ok in 1964. The original film used the Korean War as its background, dealing with the passion and the love of F-86 Saver jet fighter pilots, and bringing in the most audiences in Seoul at the time and won countless domestic film awards in the process. The new version of Red Muffler reflects the changes in time and deals with the pilots of the new F-15K fighters, yet it still brings the nostalgia from 47 years ago,...More
[15th Pifan] "Black VS White" beauty stars 2011/07/14, Source,
The trend was black and white. The colors were simple and flat and not striking. The colors were contrasted to the red carpet and emphasized more on the beauty of the female stars.
The 15th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival took place in Puchon on the 14th at 6PM. Those female stars who attended this event wore dresses well suited to their personal characters.,...More