[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 16 Final 2017/01/21,
And so "Goblin" ends on a mostly pleasant note. Once Kim Sin went and died without actually dying it was pretty impossible to take any stated conflict in this drama seriously anymore, so the ensuing contortions necessary to get us the happy engaged couple of Kim Sin and Eun-tak don't bother me so much. Even the as-usual railroaded nature of the not-romance between the Grim Reaper and Sunny isn't much of an issue anymore. Nor, for that matter, do I care all that much about the rules regarding magical memory attention being rewritten yet again,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 15 2017/01/21,
So the recap this time is just the Goblin's full death scene from episode thirteen. Admittedly, it looks pretty great. The fading away to light particles was a nice touch, and the acting truly heartfelt. For all the flaws "Goblin" has a complete story, the direction is pretty consistently top-notch. But there are limits to how far the occasional excellent scene can go. Aesthetic excellence notwithstanding, I'm at a bit of a loss as to why "Goblin" is reminding us of Kim Sin's death when he didn't actually die,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 14 2017/01/20,
So even though a really big point has been made about how the Goblin will die if the sword is ever pulled out, apparently by "die" what everyone actually meant was "get sent to icy purgatory for several years". This will end his suffering somehow. The logic of this rather escapes me, since being an immortal God in modern Seoul would seem to be a great deal more enjoyable than wandering the desert, and the Goblin ends up back there anyway except that no one remembers who he is,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 13 2017/01/13,
So apparently the Grim Reaper has been breaking rules this entire time regarding unnecessary memory manipulation, so it's up to the Grim Reaper investigation team to suitably punish him. As it turns out this is all just a thinly veiled excuse to allow the Grim Reaper to fill in the remaining gaps in the flashback story, although at this point we can pretty easily guess what happens. So much blood spilled, for so little apparent purpose. Kind of like how "Goblin" is with ink,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 12 2017/01/07,
In the originally broadcast form on Korean television, this episode of "Goblin" contains a helpful recap explaining the major events from the previous episode. These are some help when it comes to major plot points, like how memories of past lives can be restored by touching a Grim Reaper (?), and also how New Year's Eve festivities have been driving the major emotional events lately. This does admittedly make for a fairly romantic backdrop, limited though it may be when romance is a subordinate concern to plot. Which is once again, all this past life stuff,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 11 2017/01/06,
Watching "Goblin" is a lot like watching a dream. I don't mean that in a good way. I mean that while the transitions make sense on a scene by scene basis, every time I try to step back and figure out what's happening, I get a little lost trying to figure out how and why the characters got to where they are. The Grim Reaper and Sunny have a more intense relationship now that they don't actually know each other (?), and I'm pretty much with Sunny on how weirdly and inexplicably overbearing the Goblin is this episode,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 10 2016/12/31,
The Goblin can live only if Eun-tak dies, and vice-versa. Lest we get too invested in that potential plot hook, "Goblin" instead takes a huge chunk of time explaining the Goblin's back story, from when he was still Kim Sin. Interestingly, these flashbacks have almost nothing to do with Kim Sin directly, the focus instead being placed squarely on other characters whose poor decisions led to the rather unnecessary massacre we saw way back in the first episode,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 9 2016/12/30,
A pivot is attempted here to move "Goblin" from a generally strange comedic drama to a more serious one. The results are mixed. To be honest I sort of forgot that Eun-tak didn't know the Goblin would die if she pulled the sword out. I kind of assumed that Eun-tak knew that taking the sword out would do something serious at least. Then again the characters in "Goblin" are not that competent when it comes to speculating as to the results of their actions,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 8 2016/12/24,
The latest adventure between the Goblin and Eun-tak has resulted in massive property damage and multiple witnesses to obviously impossible superhuman feats. So naturally, the only valid response to this is...a highly elaborate and not terribly convincing cover-up, because the production team doesn't actually care about the worldbuilding except to the extent it can be used to justify wacky special effects. That's "Goblin" for you,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 7 2016/12/23,
So even though Eun-tak can see the sword for some reason she can't touch it, which leaves the plot of "Goblin" at an impasse, save for all the warm fuzzies prompted at the last cliffhanger. Once more the drama presents us with an unfortunate dilemma. Do we act annoyed because all of the magical rules seem to be made up as they go along, or do we allow ourselves to be wrapped up in the inherent prettiness of frozen snowfall?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 6 2016/12/17,
So in what context would a person ever say "Welcome to Quebec"? That's the kind of thing a person might say at the airport, greeting someone who just got into the country. But at a restaurant? And why English rather than French? Although really, I should probably just be grateful that the production team managed to find a foreign actor who could say a simple line without screwing it up somehow,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 5 2016/12/16,
So the absence of names for the lead characters finally becomes an issue. Eun-tak seems to have only just now figured out that "Goblin" is just a nickname she came up with. I'm not sure he even actually is a goblin, come to think of it. Meanwhile Sunny (played by Yoo In-na) is in the awkward position of being the Grim Reaper's love interest yet they can't have even the most rudimentary of conversations. So naturally, their scenes go nowhere, much as Eun-tak's part-time job as Sunny's sole employee at a chronically empty restaurant also go nowhere,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 4 2016/12/10,
Of all the weird unexplained elements in "Goblin", the one I most consistently get hung up on is how director Lee Eung-bok is able to pull off such radical scene transitions without creating any tonal whiplash. One minute the Goblin is calm and cool as usual, unwilling to let on to Eun-tak that he is in the slightest bit surprised by what she does or does not know. The next minute, the Goblin is breathing heavily in front of his mortal enemy, the Grim Reaper, because girls are scary,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 3 2016/12/09,
Upon further consideration I've decided that "Goblin" really is, in fact, mostly just a drama about the Goblin and the Grim Reaper sniping at each other pettily like an old married couple for the rest of eternity. If their eternal life is punishment for some awful misdeed, I would say it is working as intended. Neither the Goblin nor the Grim Reaper have any apparent reason for existing save for to meddle in each other's lives,...More
How to train your Goblin 2016/12/09,
If you want your handsome Goblin to appear right next to you whenever you need him, go ahead and blow the fire off! Oh, and we can even do it in digital way too. Seriously, I thought this concept was so cute and brilliant. For those of you who have not watched "Goblin" yet, here's how it works,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 2 2016/12/03,
And so Eun-tak's magical journey of being the Goblin's bride takes her to the mystical far-off country of...Canada. Specifically, Quebec. That's, uh, that's a new one. Which pretty much marks my reaction to every scene transition in "Goblin"- they all encompass very strange ideas that are neither funny, dramatic, or even especially creative. While watching "Goblin" I frequently ask questions like, why does this drama exist? Who is the intended audience?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 1 2016/12/02,
Kim Sin (played by Gong Yoo) was once a mighty warrior in olden times. Then he made a series of bad decisions and became the "Goblin", a godlike being who occasionally makes friends but more typically just ends up killing bad dudes with the same generally indifferent and impersonal attitude he had toward mowing down enemies in battle. That's a good attitude to have since the first episode is filled with death to a frankly comical extent. The Grim Reaper (played by Lee Dong-wook) evidently has his work cut out for him,...More
Your favorite K-drama stars - Did you know they are best friends IRL? 2016/11/09,
To talk about South Korea's celebrity best friends irl (in real life), we can't forget the famous Song Joong-ki and Lee Kwang-soo duo! Their friendship started as they appeared together in a variety show called Running Man. These same age actors, brand new to the entertainment business, quickly grew very close to each other. Soon, they even acted together in a drama "Nice Guy" as best friends in the show. Since then, their friendship passed the stage of just "best friends", they are more like brothers at this point,...More
[Orion's Drama News] Mellow Airport Flings 2016/09/03,
Autumn is here and its first week is a bit slow on the drama front, but not any less exciting than usual. "Exciting" is not the word I would use for poor Yoo In-na's nasty surprise from her Chinese drama, but I feel we will get many more in the future. "Road to the Airport" is finally giving us goodies to look at and plenty of other upcoming dramas take their first proper step into the spotlight,...More
[Funcurve Review] "One More Happy Ending" 2016/08/27,
One More Happy Cliche
"One More Happy Ending" is your average romantic comedy that presents us with the problems women face in marriage and divorce. Ex-pop stars and girl group members traverse through uncertainties of life while finding their soulmates, saving their marriages, or putting up with forced ones. The story kicks off when our leading lady's classmate makes a re-entry into her life, and bringing with him, her Prince Charming - or so it seemed,...More
China Cancels Events with Korean Stars Amid THAAD Spat 2016/08/05, Source,
China has canceled a major event featuring Korean celebrities scheduled later this year and is scrapping mass company outings to Korea. The move is the latest gambit in an escalating spat over Seoul's decision to deploy a U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery that China believes is intended to keep its military might in check,...More
IU traveling in Europe
2015/08/06, Source, IU shared part of her daily activity during her trip in Europe.
On August 6th, IU posted a photo of herself on her personal Instagram account along with a short caption, "Photo taken by In-na",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 16 2014/10/14,
The mystery is solved in a mostly satisfactory way. Personally, I'd quibble a bit on the issue of exact timing. The main essential element to solving the murders only appeared a few episodes ago with Seong-gyeom's mother. Without her I have a lot of trouble guessing how we were supposed to identify the killer at all, though I can see how Geum-bo managed it. But then there were other reasons why she needed to be held back this long.
The way this drama's been playing it I genuinely thought there was a good chance that Seong-gyeom was going to end up being, if not the murderer, at least sort of involved somehow in a guilty way. But the last few episodes have been kind of weird in that they've pretty much shifted the mystery protagonist viewpoint over to his direction. Well, not really shifted since Sang-hyo has never been much of a lead character in dealing with the mystery in the first place,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 15 2014/10/13,
There's way more focus than usual on murders and murderous backstories here, mostly because the three leads are in absolutely no mood to discuss romance right now. Of the three Seong-gyeom has the best excuse. There's just so, so much going on his mind right now that being cute with Sang-hyo simply can't cut it any more. Relationship drama becomes a lot less fun once actual drama intrudes.
Weirdly, the best possible argument right now for Sang-hyo and Hae-yeong getting back together is their complete lack of ability to meaningfully engage on this front,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 14 2014/10/07,
So Hae-yeong finally seems to be making some significant character development. Unfortunately, this character development basically involves him realizing that he's been a bit of a pig about bullying Sang-hyo into keeping up the whole marriage facade, but the marriage facade itself is the only reason these two ever have any reason to spend time together, so of course she has to talk him into keeping it up just a little while longer,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 13 2014/10/06,
This episode is so heavily wrapped up in the question of Sang-hyo's love triangle it's often difficult to remember that technically there's supposed to be a lot of other stuff going on. The titular hotel itself feels less like an actual important location as it does that place where Sang-hyo goes to work. And also some people died there. Whoever the killer is I rather doubt the revelation will be an impressive one, given how much focus is given to Sang-hyo's wacky comedic antics,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 12 2014/09/30,
While I can understand why Sang-hyo agreed to Hae-yeong's request, this episode really seems to undercut the recent point of "My Secret Hotel", which is that Hae-yeong has lost out because the sincerity of his emotions can't really override the fact that the guy's basically a selfish jerk. The drama continues to provide a somewhat compelling argument that Sang-hyo probably shouldn't end up together with either of the male leads, given that they have such obvious unresolved issues. Also one or both of the might be murderers.
For the sake of Hae-yeong, there is something of an argument to be made here that he and Sang-hyo can actually get along fairly functionally and effectively if they're working for the pursuance of some greater goal,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 11 2014/09/29,
The focus is still almost totally on the romance…or is it? After the apparently sincere and emotionally heartfelt cliffhanger (which this episode wisely opens with), for most of the runtime we actually seem to be right back to the same lukewarm Seong-gyeom that we've seen for most of "My Secret Hotel". On top of everything else he spends a lot of time acting in a very suspicious way, and as of yet there's still no satisfactory explanation as to why.
What particularly makes this feel so odd is that a lot of the episode is actually taken from the perspective of He-yeong. Several scenes take place entirely in his imagination, which begs a lot of questions,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 10 2014/09/23,
This episode is technically just another retread of the love triangle dynamic we've seen throughout the course of most of this drama, but because some definite questions get asked and clear character points are established, this is at least a useful episode for establishing who these characters are right now in the story. Although truth be told it's a pretty simple dynamic- everybody likes Sang-hyo and nobody likes Hae-yeong.
I did almost kind of feel sorry for Hae-yeong this episode. He appears to be at an impasse in regards to his childish behavior,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 9 2014/09/22, Source,
We finally see Seng-gyom demonstrate some clear emotion here. Whether this is because of love or the whole murder thing's just getting totally out of control is hard to tell. That's part of the trouble with "My Secret Hotel" having, by design, such strong tonal whiplash. Whether or not this is all intentional is more difficult to say. Jumping between honeymoons and murder investigations doesn't exactly leave much middle ground for consideration of what just happened.
Part of the trouble, I think, is Soo-ah. When she ran off with the chauffeur I was fully expecting that it would be several episodes before we saw her again, if ever. Her entire relationship with Hae-yeong has been exposed as being, on multiple levels, an elaborate farce,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 8 2014/09/16,
Sadly "My Secret Hotel" does not live up to the insane expectations created by the last episode. It's mostly back to business as usual here, though the script does make frequent references to how utterly nutty the last episode's plot developments were. We've got Sang-hyo frequently asking whether it was all just a dream. I don't generally like when dramas point out their own absurdities like this but in this case it's warranted,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 7 2014/09/15,
There are almost no murder mystery elements at all in "My Secret Hotel" this episode as the romantic tribulations take on full focus. Now, so far the romantic aspects of this drama have not impressed me very much. Mostly it's because they seemed a little overwrought, not to mention mildly creepy in the context of the situation. But this time, "My Secret Hotel" takes all of these various loveliness to their obviously insane conclusions, and I'm still kind of aghast that the drama had the guts to take the story in such a ridiculous direction.
This is full on satire about modern wedding culture and its relationship to romance,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 6 2014/09/02,
The main focus this time is on Sang-hyo's love life, as every other plot point takes a backseat. For a drama that's mostly interesting from an intellectual perspective, this is not a good thing. I can understand why her relationship with Hae-yeong didn't work out, and how it was in a weird place, but that only makes the way everybody acts nostalgic about it here all the more perplexing. There wasn't really that much to be nostalgic about.
This might be a silly thing to admit, I know, but I was actually kind of hoping this drama would show us more of the ins and outs of actual wedding planning. There's been lots of murderous scheming and screwball chases over alleged romantic liasons, even plenty of discussion about the way hotels can be affected by bad public relations,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 5 2014/09/01,
We appear to have solved the mystery of why Hae-yeong is together with Soo-ah. No, it's not because she demonstrates any kind of positive character traits this episode. It's because Hae-yeong clearly enjoys being chased around. This is a bit of a non-intuitive thing to realize here, given that he frequently acts agitated and annoyed every time a woman comes after him, but it becomes rather obvious when Hae-yeong finally gets a moment to himself that he really does kind of get off on being suddenly waylaid by a woman begging him for something.
This episode gives a very clear sense of why Sang-hyo and Hae-yeong broke up. I don't just mean the flashback, although that's a good demonstration of the basic weirdness of their relationship,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 4 2014/08/26,
Geum-bo has rapidly become my favorite character in this drama. He doesn't bother with any old tired hardboiled detective nonsense. Geum-bo investigates crimes because of his natural curiousity about the greater world. He doesn't even pretend like all of his questions are actually related to the investigation. This also make him a great source of exposition, as we get access to personal character clues that in most mysteries wouldn't get exposed until near the end.
Now, part of this is due to the unusual way "My Secret Hotel" is structured in the first place. Technically it's a mystery, but our main characters are suspects, not investigators. This makes for an odd sort of narrative storytelling where the plot is only really advanced when Geum-bo is on screen, and he's a relatively minor character,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 3 2014/08/25,
...And it's right back to the present, where we're stuck with the aftershock of murder. On first glance the two episode flashback doesn't seem to have accomplished that much. We really don't know all that much about the main characters. This is at least partially by design, since for all we know Sang-hyo and Hae-yeong were responsible for the killing. About the only character we can clear as a suspect right now is Soo-ah, because she's the only person publically upset about the fact that a dead man fell from the ceiling into the wedding reception.
This is why the first two episodes are important, looking in retrospect. Remember how everyone was completely stoic and unreacting in the face of an obviously upset Sang-hyo? They're displaying the exact same lack of emotion now that there's a murder investigation going on,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 2 2014/08/19,
Well, we've finally got a good hook on what's motivating Hae-yeong- petty spite. This episode makes it clear that the guy doesn't even particularly like his girlfriend that much. Soo-ah (played by Lee Young-eun) is the very definition of fun, playful, and happy. And Hae-yeong refuses to notice unless she literally throws it in his face. And even then he just awkwardly turns away. It's obvious that he's only doing this marriage thing to watch Sang-hyo squirm.
"My Secret Hotel" actually comes up with a pretty good justification why the drama started two weeks ahead in the first and went into flashback here,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 1 2014/08/18,
Hae-gyeong (played by Jin I-han) is getting married. But he doesn't seem terribly enthusiastic about it. Sang-hyo (played by Yoo In-na) is a wedding manager who takes the news personally, although in the present day she seems to be all right with what's going on. Also there's a dead body involved all of this somehow. "My Secret Hotel" doesn't appear to be in any hurry to tell us what that's all about.
There's all of the elements necessary here to make "My Secret Hotel"...well...something. Unfortunately having watched the first episode I'm mostly just perplexed as to how many clearly defined concepts could come off so blandly,...More
KCON 2014 Reaches New Heights with over 42,000 in Attendance 2014/08/12, Source,
Los Angeles Was the Center of "All Things Hallyu" This Weekend Mayor Eric Garcetti Toured the Convention and Welcomed KCON's Return to L.A. More than 42,000 fans (over double of last year's numbers) converged in Los Angeles this weekend from across the country and all over the world to attend the third annual KCON (www.kconusa.com), the largest celebration of Korean pop culture. This year's event boasted 30 percent more programming, a new, free and open to the public market place, as well as two nights of concerts featuring the hottest K-pop artists from Korea-B1A4, BTS, CNBLUE, G-Dragon, Girls' Generation, IU, Jung Joon Young, SPICA, TEEN TOP and VIXX. A television special of the concert – M COUNTDOWN 2NIGHTS IN LA – will be shown in the U.S. by Mnet America (www.mnetamerica.com) on air and online on Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 7PM EST/4PM PST and Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 7PM EST/4PM PST,...More
Free Outdoor Market and Live Stage Added To KCON for First Time, as 2014 Convention Continues to Grow 2014/07/25, Source,
KCON 2014 Includes Two Night of K-pop Concerts, Appearances from Top Korean Drama Stars, "League of Legends" Exhibition Match, and the "Taste of KCON"
A Larger Convention with More Panels, Workshops and Special Guests from Across Hallyu Storm Downtown L.A. August 9 and 10
KCON, the largest annual fan celebration of all things Hallyu, announced today that the third annual convention will feature a free marketplace with vendors from around LA and a free outdoor stage. KCON 2014 also revealed its program schedule for this year's two day convention taking place August 9 and 10 in Downtown Los Angeles. Building on last year's highly successful event at the Los Angeles Memorial Arena, KCON 2014 will return with a programming slate double the size and more varied than ever. In addition to two star-studded K-pop concerts (up from one in 2013), special guests and a new program of panels and workshops, KCON 2014 will add a slew of first-time features to the convention.
- A free market and outdoor stage, which will showcase local artists along with vendors from the L.A. area including the "Taste of KCON", serving up some of the best food from K-Town.
- Huge K-Drama stars Yoo In-na, Lee Seung-gi and Lee Seo-jin appearing at KCON as special guests,...More
"Get It Beauty" with Yoo In-na 2014/05/30, Source,
It should come as no surprise that Korea, especially Seoul, is a very fashionable location. With any drama or variety show that a fan watches, there are usually trends or fashion items that he or she wants to emulate. From expensive brand-name clothing, to cutting-edge hairstyles, to enviable nail art, Korean celebrities have perfected the art of looking good 24/7,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You Came From The Stars" Episode 21 Final 2014/02/27,
The drama wastes no time getting right to the essential conflict that defines the final episode- Min-joon's departure, and the emotional turmoil that follows for Song-I. This episode as a whole is very moody and angst-stricken. Basically, all of the emotional thrust is on making a persuasive pitch to the viewer that this drama really is going to end on a sad note, with Min-joon and Song-I permanently separated.
The twist ending that finally resolves this question permanently...leaves something to desired. It's basically technobabble,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 20 2014/02/26,
It would seem that the consequences of Min-joon coming out as a mysterious entity with superpowers are rather subdued. I can't really fault the drama for taking this path, honestly, because who knows how such an event would play out in real life. Constant media coverage and interviews? Yeah, we'd definitely have that. Which I imagine would make it somewhat difficult for a shady government entity to try to snatch Min-joon up and dissect him or something. Ironically, Jae-kyoung may have actually done Min-joon a favor by exposing him in public, as opposed to a controlled room.
But if the drama doesn't really care that much about the implications of this, eh, I don't either,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 19 2014/02/20,
Just when I had forgotten why "My Love from the Star" has a murder subplot in the first place, this episode comes along to give a reminder. It exists to make Min-joon act in a ridiculous contrived way against whatever stupid transparent scheme Jae-kyoung has come up with this week. And this one really takes the cake- the only apparent purpose of the plan is to do damage to Min-joon. It doesn't actually help Jae-kyoung at all. If anything it makes Jae-kyoung's situation worse. Who the heck makes an announcement like that at a press conference?
Scratch that. What kind of benefits plan are Jae-kyoung's henchmen getting? They're literally fighting a superhero here. It's one thing to try and get ahead in life by committing murder,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 18 2014/02/19,
It's back to comedic misunderstandings and devious secrets for the Min-joon / Song-I loveline. Fortunately this time it's at least understandable why Min-joon is staying mum about the difficulties in his life. This would be a heck of a time to start worrying Song-I with problems neither of them can do much a job solving. Especially given there's only a few episodes left and we still have to wrap up all the previously existing plotlines.
Speaking of which, Hwi-kyeong is still confronting his brother,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 17 2014/02/13,
Well it's back to normal I guess. The apparent romantic development of the last episode is pretty much replaced by the usual zany antics here. I have to admit I'm a bit disappointed. Yeah a crisis point was pretty clearly identified and it's understandable that these two react badly but come on. If it seems like these two lapse back into old habits at the slightest excuse it's difficult to imagine this relationship has much of a long term future. It's all right to go back into comedy staples but at this late stage of the drama we really need to be looking into a better climax,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 16 2014/02/12,
It's all about the romance at this point as "My Love from the Star" moves into the territory of explicit love confessions. Starting now, Song-I and Min-joon are a couple. Not exactly right away, but the interplay they have with each other turns explicitly playful. It's not just a matter of context or only one person being serious / silly at a time. They're on the same wavelength now, and it heightens the contrast of some of the gags.
Note, for example, that it's no longer necessary for them to play games where the first person who makes the confession is the loser,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 15 2014/02/06,
The drama has once again entered a cool-down period. The initial emphasis is on Song-I making a recovery. Also her daddy issues. Which honestly seemed rather light. Partly this may be bad timing. "The Prime Minister and I" just made a point in its final episodes that a long absentee parent is not necessarily welcomed back with open arms unconditionally. So it's rather odd seeing the usually acerbic Song-I just kind of...accept the fact that the first time she has seen her father in years was after a near death experience.
Hwi-kyeong's dilemma is a far more interesting one,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 14 2014/02/05,
Be forewarned- most of this episode is just a flashback. Don't worry, the drama's not screwing around with you or anything. Within the first few minutes it will immediately be clear what happened after Song-I made that jump, and how Min-joon reacted to the news. You'll be waiting until the end, though, to find out what Min-joon is doing in full, which is just as well. The man spends so much time not taking the situation seriously, I really want to enjoy it when he finally snaps,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 13 2014/01/29,
I suppose Song-I's reaction to the fact that Min-joon has superpowers was probably inevitable. Song-I's a loud forceful woman and has consistently been one throughout the entire drama- so of course she's going to try to bully more information out of Min-joon. Give an inch, take an ebb or so they say- although maybe if you give a mouse a cookie would be a more modern reference? The analogy, at least, is probably more relevant.
Bear in mind that for the most part we know exactly as much about Song-I as Min-joon does, given that we were all introduced to the character at the same time. So it comes off as reckless on his part to share anything important with her,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 12 2014/01/23,
I'm beginning to think that Hwi-kyeong is the real main character here. The apparent apathy everyone else has toward the murder subplot makes a lot more sense if we look at it from his perspective. Hwi-kyeong has gotten very suspicious of his brother, yet even as his investigations bring him to more unsettling truths, Hwi-Kyeong is hesitant and reluctant to fight out in the open because, again, this is his brother. It's only slowly dawning on Hwi-Kyeong that he may be the only person in a position to stop the man. Consider the conflict this way- Hwi-kyeong is so bothered about all this he's barely even paying attention to Song-I anymore, whereas before that was his only apparent motivation,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 11 2014/01/22,
The byword for this episode is curiousity. There are lots of questions posed this time that for the most part aren't answered. But then, that's the entire point. It's easy to see how Jae-Kyoung has been able to operate for so long- even though the Lee family still goes to the trouble of having family dinners they seem to react to matters of curiousity and gossip with mild disdain. I guess they just prefer eating in stony silence.
Granted, there are reasons for people to not want to engage in such trivialities,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 10 2014/01/16,
This has to rank among the slowest moving murder plotlines I've ever seen. It needs to be emphasized- nearly every character already has all the information they need about the plotline. The only explanation for their constant hesitation and dithering is...well, because we have wacky subplots to get to. It's apparently now Song-I's goal to get Min-Joon recognition as her manager. There are also various other mishaps involved, as is to be expected in the woman's daily life.
The storyline is cute and comical, sure. But it's also horribly out of joint with the rest of the narrative. I'm not even totally sure why Min-Joon is going along with this,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 9 2014/01/15,
I have to wonder what kind of benefits Jae-Kyoung is offering to his minions. They seem rather nonplussed, not just at having received orders to commit murder, but also at the fact that their plans were foiled by what appears to be a superhero. Personally, that's the moment when I would start thinking that the pay probably isn't worth the risk. Min-Joon could execute all of these people easily if he wanted to. Note how the police are a lot less aggressive, even though they have actual legal authority and less knowledge concerning Min-Joon's true abilities. That's because they have a better sense of tactics and self-preservation. Or maybe it's just the writing- it's not like these characters are explored deeply enough for that to be clear,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 8 2014/01/09,
The disinterest Song-I and Min-Joon exhibit in regards to the murder attempts on her life has gotten rather absurd. Although, I don't know, maybe Song-I actually believes that she checked herself out of the hospital, drove off to a cliff in the middle of nowhere, and that her brakes by sheer coincidence gave out at the exact same time she regains consciousness of what's going on? I mean, it's possible. It just sounds really dumb.
If Song-I was at least under the assumption that this entire event was a dream sequence, her apathy regarding the situation would be somewhat understandable,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 7 2014/01/08,
The drama takes a turn for the repetitive here. I don't necessarily mean in terms of things that we've actually seen, though there is plenty of that. More threats, more danger, more of Min-Joon using his powers in increasingly inefficient, increasingly easy to detect to ways rather than confronting Song-I's looming enemy directly. And Song-I, too, continues to be silly and childish in a way that is really unbecoming to a woman her age,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 6 2014/01/02,
Notwithstanding the crisis point at the last cliffhanger, this episode irons itself out without too much drama or danger. Unfortunately Min-Joon doesn't seem to have learned too much from this experience. I'm sure ice-fishing with his buddy is lots of fun, but when there's a murderer running around with good reason to kill Song-I, waiting until the last minute all the time is probably unwise. Even if the man in question has time-stopping superpowers.
While Min-Joon may not have thought through the situation fully, "My Love from the Star" as a whole is clearly making a point of holding the focus on it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 5 2014/01/01,
Up until now the characters in this drama have been almost entirely reactive. This isn't a complaint- just a sort of odd observation considering who these people are. Min-Joon has superpowers, and could choose to do practically anything- he just doesn't want to. Meanwhile, Song-I is on the top of the world as far as her career goes- yet for most of this episode she's reduced to hiding out in Min-Joon's apartment rather than going out and facing her problems.
Emotionally speaking, we get a picture of just how fragile Song-I is as she lists off a proud accomplishment to Min-Joon, and Min-Joon is later on forced to try and shield her from the worst of how her...well...lack of reaction has created a whole new host of issues,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 4 2013/12/26,
This drama's emphasis on cynicism and negativity is the main interesting hook holding all the action together. This episode runs into a slight problem, though, in that Song-I's general unlikability makes it extremely difficult to sympathize with her when she runs into a problematic situation. Her petty actions to date have been self-destructive, and hurt the people who enable her, but the damage has been relatively easy to contain. Here, someone unrelated to the main plot has been straight up murdered and Song-I is in possession of important information relevant to that event.
For whatever it's worth, the victimized woman was probably not a good person. "My Love from the Star" gets credit for not just pretending like Song-I is a singular bad apple,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 3 2013/12/25,
I'd just like to take a moment to admire Yoo Joon-sang's role here as Section Chief Yoo. Yes, it's a fairly minor role, which for the most part only relates to the characterization of one of the secondary characters. But I just love how delightfully angry he gets! Corporate culture is serious business, and look at this new guy, failing to work himself to death for the amusement of his betters. It's funny stuff, and surprisingly relevant.
Because here's the thing- "My Love from the Star" is clearly trying to make a deliberate theme out of putting unlikable characters into sympathetic situations, which kind of confuses the emotions,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 1 2013/12/18,
Min-Joon (played by Kim Soo-hyun) is an alien who seems to hate just about everything. He's not so gauche as to actually state it outright, but this is clearly someone who has seen all that there is to see of the world and is consequently completely sick of it. I'm going to guess that in his past four hundred years on Earth, Min-Joon has figured out the basics of human emotional facial expressions, and is just choosing not to use them anymore because he's just that indifferent.
His opposite number here is Song-I (played by Jun Ji-hyun) a woman who...you know, it's actually not as easy to pin her down,...More
For Actress Yoo In-na, 'Wobbles' Are Just Part of Finding the Way 2013/06/07, Source,
For actress Yoo In-na, spending two hours each evening swapping stories with listeners as the host of a prime-time radio show, "Volume Up" on KBS 2FM, is nothing but fun. "I like reading books out loud and listening to people's stories", she said of the program, which now has the highest listener ratings for the 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. time slot across both AM and FM bandwidths,...More
Yoo In-na's pictures from school 2013/02/27, Source,
Actress Yoo In-na's pictures of when she was a student were posted online recently.
Previously, Yoo starred in KBS 2TV "Moonlight Prince" and said, "The teacher adored me in school and I was bullied by friends for that. I had longer hair because I was preparing to become an actress and the teacher had a special attention for me". Then, next came the pictures,...More
YG Artists Chip In To Open Children 2013/02/22, Source,
YG Entertainment artists do more than entertain, they give back to the community as well. Members of the agency chipped in to help out in opening a children's rehabilitation hospital,...More
Ji Hyeon-woo dispatched to Wonju 2012/10/10, Source, Ji Hyeon-woo who joined National Service in August has been dispatched to Wonju in Kangwon-do.
Ji was given basic military training for 4 weeks before being dispatched. A picture of the troop was revealed and attention has been focused on the base that he's been put in,...More
Ji Hyeon-woo and Yoo In-na are in a relationship 2012/06/18, Source,
Actress Yoo In-na (30) opened her heart to actor Ji Hyeon-woo's (28) love confession. While she didn't show a response to his public love request, she accepted it and enjoyed a late-night date with her younger boyfriend in the end.
Ten days after the love propose on the 17th, Ji and Yoo were seen together in a park in Bundang, Kyeonggido. It seems their love from the tvN drama "Queen In-hyeon's Man" came true in real life. Their date was as sweet and romantic as the movie. They walked the park in front of her house, hand in hand. They made eye contact and laughed like people in love,...More
'Love Fiction' rises above all hype 2012/03/02, Source, Ha Jung-woo, left photo, shines as the lovesick writer Goo Joo-wol. Best-known for his ruthless killer roles, Ha proves his versatility in Jeon Gye-soo's genre-bending film "Love Fiction", currently in theaters nationwide.
The marketing drive for "Love Fiction" was systematic and fierce. Backed by four of today's hottest stars in the credits and inflating for more than a month, the hype was ripe. And it was effective, attracting more than 450,000 moviegoers in two days, since its release Wednesday,...More
A Review of "The Greatest Love" 2011/12/24, Source, Gong Hyo-jin Continues To AmazeNOTE: The following review contains spoilers. I've tried to limit them to those that are the least revealing, but they may still prove upsetting to some readers. You have been warned. My Korean drama obsession continues to grow, with good reason. My latest online joy is "The Greatest Love". At first, I wasn't sure I was going to like this drama. Between the ludicrous vanity of Dokko Jin and the amateurish, cheesy sound and visual effects used in the humor elements, I was initially put off and fully ready to write a scathing review expressing my disappointment. Once I got past these too-broad strokes, however, I found the characters themselves seem well-formed and memorable and the script to be a work of surprising depth and meaning,...More
"The Greatest Love" behind cuts 2011/05/29, Source,
# Fresh laughter
Who said Goo Ae-jeong was unlikable? Gong Hyo-jin is Goo Ae-jeong who is a former member of girl group National Girl's and is now a downhill star. She is a bright and innocent character full of laughter like candy.
# Goo Ae-jeong's humiliation in frog outfit Top star Dok Go-jin and Goo Ae-jeong in a frog outfit meet in the corridors. The face of Goo Ae-jeong who doesn't know what to do and Dok Go-jin's face without a care in the world is well contrasted,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Korean Weekend Box Office (2011.03.25-2011.03.27) 2011/03/28,
Korean Weekend Box Office (2011.03.25~2011.03.27)
Tom Hooper's "The King's Speech" creeps up to the top spot with 173,231 admissions. The critically acclaimed film stars Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. It's the story of King George VI's as he overcomes personal obstacles to fulfill his duty of taking up the throne of England.,...More
[Photo N] Yoon Eun-hye in Burberry, looking exotic 2011/03/24, Source,
Coming back to screens in 5 years after "The Legend of Seven Cutters", Yoon Eun-hye said, "I have never officially learnt acting, I think self-studying is the best".
With release of her movie "My Black Mini Dress" (directed by Heo In-moo/ produced by Tori Pictures) coming up, she had an interview with News N and when she was asked if she had acting lessons, she replied, "I am studying by myself without the help of others. I think that is the best for me".,...More
'My Black Mini Dress' becomes fashion victim 2011/03/17,
From left, actresses Yoon Eun-hye, Park Han-byul, Cha Ye-ryun and Yoo In-na appear in a scene from the chick flick "My Black Mini Dress". / Courtesy of CJ E&M
By Lee Hyo-won
The little black dress is a coveted fashion item that befits any occasion, from dates to funerals. A new chick flick named after the garment makes a point of saying this - amid 107 minutes of catfights and whatnot - only to become a fashion victim of sorts. Was it really necessary to kill a supporting character for a funeral scene to prove it?,...More
[Interview] Yoon Eun-hye "I cried because of my acting issue" 2011/03/09, Source,
"I have never thought I was good at acting. I know I got here through luck. I know I'm not everything but won't I improve if I try my best?
Yoon Eun-hye was careful yet feisty at an interview in a café in Seoul, with the movie "My Black Mini Dress" coming soon on the 24th.
She seemed as though if there were no problems with it being published, she would talk honestly about everything for hours. This was evidence that she had been heart-aching because of the tag that followed her around saying she was a singer turned actress. She said she was hurt most my bad comments and articles as bad as they are,...More
[KoreaToday] Smartphones democratize cinema 2011/02/23, Source,
Director Lee Joon-ik poses for his iPhone camera at Lotte Cinema Konkuk University, Seoul, Monday. The cineaste met with The Korea Times to speak about chairing the jury for the Olleh Lotte Smartphone Film Festival, the country's first event inviting non-filmmakers to submit short films shot with cellular phones. / Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul
Filmmaking in the palm of your hand
By Lee Hyo-won
On Saturday, the Park brothers, Park Chan-wook and Park Chan-kyong, picked up the Golden Bear at the Berlinale for a 30-minute movie shot with an iPhone 4. On Monday, a local film festival handed out prizes to 14-year-olds for their smartphone creations. On Tuesday, the Jeonju International Film Festival announced that it will release a new selection for cell phone-produced works,...More
"Secret Garden" Hyun Bin, Ha Ji-won speak on switching bodies - Part 1 2010/12/09, Source,
From left, actor Yoon Sang-hyun, Ha Ji-won and Hyun Bin take part in a press conference for SBS TV series "Secret Garden" held at the Maiim Vision Village in the Gyeonggi Province of South Korea on December 8, 2010. [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
What does Kim Ju-won (Hyun Bin) think of his kissing scene with Oscar (Yoon Sang-hyun)? Of the phrases said by Kim Ju-won who has been swaying the hearts of female viewers on weekend evenings, which made Gil La-im's (Ha Ji-won) heart flutter the most? How will Oscar deal with the romantic relationship he develops with Sun (Lee Jong-suk)? Like Kim's tracksuit did, SBS TV series "Secret Garden" is a show that arouses all sorts of curiosities and interest in its viewers. Of course, it is not easy to get a busy CEO, an A-class stunt woman and a Hallyu star together. So that may be why the press conference for the show with the three main actors, held at the Maiim Vision Village in the Gyeonggi Province, the so-called "Secret Garden", was relatively short,...More
[ChanMi's drama news] UEE, first time as a main character! 2010/08/03, Source,
Singer UEE will be the main character in the drama "Buddy Buddy" however, this drama is not being aired!
The drama had been a hot issue for the fans it also costarred Lee Yong-woo and even received praise through the press meeting.
But, 6 months after this, the drama had not been aired, yet.
The still cuts have been released and the 20 episode mini series is being awaited for.,...More
On the set of SBS variety segment "Hero Girls" 2010/07/09, Source,
From left, TV personality No Hong-chul, veteran singer No Sa-yeon, comedienne Shin Bong-sun, TV personality Jung Ka-eun, actress Hong Soo-ah, girl group Kara member Nicole, girl group After School member Kahi, girl group Brown Eyed Girls member Narsha, solo female artist IU, girl group T-ara member Jiyeon and comedian Lee Hwi-jae take part in a shoot for a new SBS variety show tentatively titled "Hero Girls" at a sports center in Songdo of the city of Incheon, South Korea on July 6, 2010. [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
"Hero Girls"[tentative title] - We should have learned how to play rugby
"Everyone! Which singer are you expecting to see?" the show's emcee No Hong-chul asked Korea's national women's rugby team with an air of triumph, as if he has a joker up his sleeve as a hidden card,...More
[INTERVIEW] "High Kick Through The Roof" Actress Yoo In-na 2010/03/19, Source,
"I was chosen? Thank you so much", is was what Yoo In-na said after receiving news she was selected as our next interviewee. The public have started to become curious about her, not just because of her role in MBC sitcom "High Kick Through The Roof", but because they are curious to find out more about this actress whose popularity has been increasing. She had been in training under her agency YG Entertainment for over a year to make her acting debut at the not-so-young age of 27 so we asked her the recent change in her life means to her.
Actress Yoo In-na [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
10: Your popularity right now is uncomparably high from when you first made your debut. Do you get treated differently for that? Boy band 2AM said their meals have changed since reaching No.1 on music programs,...More
[ChanMi's star news] 'Pink Wings' support needy families 2010/02/16, Source,
The fashion magazine, "VOGUE GIRL" is celebrating its 8th year through the 'Pink Wings' campaign to aid the first daughters raising the family.
'Pink Wings' campaign wishes to be the helpers through the photoshoot that will be sold and profits given to the girls who are helping raise the family. This limited edition campaign will a,...More
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