[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.04.04 ~ 2014.04.06 2014/04/07, "Captain America" strikes again…
After weeks of cycling the crown the Korean box office has finally awarded a second term at the top. Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" stormed onto the scene last weekend and has managed to retain the number one position with over 760K admissions. The film, which recently broke the April ticket tally in the States, now moves onto 2.6M admissions in Korea and has grossed over $303M worldwide. Its nearest rival came in the form of the French-American thriller "3 Days to Kill", directed by Joseph McGinty Nichol (aka "McG") with the story itself by Luc Besson, which managed second place with only 117,175 admissions to its name,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Wrap-up 2014/02/08,
Every once in a while, and thankfully more and more often, a drama will come out which tries a progressive approach to the themes it handles and/or the very formula of Korean drama. In bigger or smaller ways, be it through their plot, their message, their characters or premise, they go for something new, even in the confines of a very limiting industry like the Korean drama one. 'The Prime Minister and I' went all out in being fresh, mature and endearing. Unfortunately and despite all its efforts and virtues, it eventually became a reminder that this industry rarely welcomes deviations and that drama writing is far from a polished art,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 17 Final 2014/02/04,
I've been thinking ever since Na-yeong came back that it seems like the drama's writers aren't doing much with her. It's only this episode that I realized in some sense there's not much for Na-yeong to do. Her brother and his wife are glad to have her back. But an adult sibling doesn't rely on or need a sister as much as a man and his kids need their wife and mother. The question of abandonment is a strong one, and I could see here how the survivors ended up feeling ambivalent.
Mind, it took a bit of squinting to get there. "The Prime Minister and I" doesn't deal much with this issue directly,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 16 2014/02/03,
The drama takes a turn for the somber this time as characters mull over the latest dramatic developments and continue to prevent anyone else from doing anything. Yes, it would appear that "The Prime Minister and I" has received a single episode extension- and while nothing here is really wasted time, it still feels like the narrative is tap dancing around the the main question of what's going to happen with Na-yeong. The drama is very evasive regarding what anyone's long term plans are.
In the short term one thing is quite clear. Kwon Yool wants Da-jeong to stick around,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 15 2014/01/28,
The trouble with having a climax that's about people realizing their revenge schemes were a dumb idea is that...well...there's not really much of an exciting climax. All the potentially exciting dangerous plot stuff is what the bad guys are now trying to cancel, and for the most part they're succeeding. It's honestly kind of comical watching so many cast members working so frantically to prevent anything from happening.
The exception to this is Kwon Yool, who remains blissfully unaware of anything that's going on,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 14 2014/01/27,
The more vengeance related elements of the drama are starting to fizzle out. It really stinks for In-ho to have gone through all this trouble to try and set up this plan, only to find out now at the last minute that it was all for nothing. It's not that anything has actually happened to endanger the schemes or anything. There's just new information that's come up, pretty much out of nowhere, which calls the rationale of everything that's happened on the spy end of the plot into question.
Mind, there are still some unanswered questions. I can buy that Na-yeong survived the accident, but why was everyone so sure she was dead when the body was never found? How has she been getting along this whole time?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 13 2014/01/21,
Strangely, even though the last episode dealt with the aftermath of an assassination attempt, it's this time that we actually see characters reacting with a genuine sense of alarm. Kwon Yool, rather than brushing off Da-Jeong's confession with the brusque casualness so often seen with emotionally closed off men in fiction, actually gives a serious considered response to her statement. And he puts a lot of thought into it too. The entire scene in the theater is a very rough one emotionally,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 12 2014/01/20,
No, the cliffhanger from last time has not completely changed "The Prime Minister and I" into a medical drama where everyone spends their time at the hospital. There wasn't actually a lot of drama on that point even at the time, given that the previews clearly showed Kwon Yool up and walking about. The man's still a little sore from his injury, but for the most part he's able to go about his daily life unimpeded.
So, given all this, what was the point of the attack from a narrative perspective? As of yet it's not clear who attacked Kwon Yool or why. Nor do any of the characters seem to have any idea,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 11 2014/01/14,
The political and romantic edges of the plot brush up against each other here, as we've barely even started out and Kwon Yool makes a statement that appears to be completely at odds with his serenade. I really like the sense of mystery Lee Beom-soo is able to pull off here. His actions are consistently inexplicable to Da-Jeong, to the point she can't really guess why his emotions keep turning around the way they do. Even we in the audience are a little befuddled until the flashback explanation comes up.
Excellent use of flashbacks here, by the way. Evidently Da-jeong has been doing lots of stuff in the Kwon household while we haven't been looking,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 10 2014/01/13,
Has it really been 100 days? I'm asking that literally- I don't really remember how this drama has been keeping track of time. At the beginning there was this kind of confusing thing where we started in the present, then flashed back two months earlier, then somewhere we must have gotten caught back up again but it's hard to tell where exactly. It's a problem with the tone of the storylines, which feel urgent and unresolved so it's hard to figure out a precise timeline.
Fortunately, this kind of stuff really isn't that relevant to appreciating "The Prime Minister and I" as a whole,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 9 2014/01/07,
I guess Kwon Yool must have dismissed most of his bodyguards while we weren't paying attention- it's the only reason I can come up with for how he's able to keep popping up out of nowhere in places where no one is expecting to see him. Not to mention the rather shoddy security at the banquet which opens this episode up. That could have had rather unfortunate political implications. Not to mention career problems- even tabloid reporters know better than to try and play gotcha with world leaders,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 8 2014/01/06,
I have to admit, the romance in this drama can get pretty adorable. The cliffhanger last time honestly strained believability a bit- Kwon Yool was there in time to save her, but nobody in his security crew was? Still, it's hard to get annoyed about a story development that forces Da-Jeong to play the doting wife, and also ends up with such an adorably cute little drawing on the cast.
At its best "The Prime Minister and I" has lots of neat little magical qualities that are somewhat silly but also endearing. Note the scene where Man-Se greets his older brother,...More
[HanCinema's Year in Review] Raine's Top Six Picks of 2013 2014/01/04,
It is the end of another year in K-dramaland and time to look back and count how many hours I spent watching dramas, running my drama blog, and working on drama-related projects. Since I watched twenty-eight 2013 dramas, recapped three and reviewed nine, and delved into past dramas, that would give me a total of,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 7 2013/12/30,
The plot kind of moves forward this episode. By the end of this episode every character has clear motivations. But more importantly, they have clear expectations of each other. This is significant, because even if we don't know exactly why Joon-Ki seems to have it in for Kwol Yool, the fact that other characters believe he should be acting a certain way helps beg the question of why he's pushing so hard with the political machinations. It creates tension without wrecking the mystery.
In more general terms of characterization, we also get to see Kwol Yool in a much needed state of weakness,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 6 2013/12/24,
There's more spy antics this episode, though again they're lacking much punch and excitement. Again, if "The Prime Minister and I" wants to get into this kind of territory, the drama needs to stake out a clear villain, or else the tension doesn't make any sense. I think the writer is trying to play up the motivations as being a mystery to be finally solved, but this really just doesn't work when we need somebody to root for in the meantime.
Fortunately this aspect of the plot is dropped relatively quickly,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 5 2013/12/23,
Now that the wedding is over and done with, Da-Jeong and Kwon Yool are in the thick of their manufactured relationship. Some fun scenes happen at home- most particularly with that ridiculous outfit Da-Jeong keeps wearing around the home. I'll admit it's pretty looking, but what's it even supposed to be? A hanbok? A dress? Some kind of weird fusion houserobe? I was quite relieved when another character straight up asked for her to explain her wardrobe.
Unfortunately, outside of this moment there's relatively little personality clash, making for a rather weak episode that fails to make good use of the strength of its cast,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 4 2013/12/17,
We start out this time with an exploration of public face versus private face. Note how Kwon Yool is extremely rude and pushy to Da-Jeong whenever they're alone together, but whenever there's an audience, he's much better at keeping himself polite and decent. Yet even in these moments he's nowhere near plausible as her lover. The crux of the entire deception lies on the assumption that they're more intimate behind closed doors. Yep, this is definitely a situation that qualifies as comedic irony.
More interestingly, we see this influence reflected in Kwon Yool's children. It's the first clear clue we're given of what kind of values he's instilled in them. Well, the older two anyway,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 3 2013/12/16,
This drama seems to spend an awful lot of time just hanging out in Da-Jeong's imagination. Her ridiculous assumptions about Kwon Yool's intentions toward her just keep getting weirder. It's a nice touch that even outside the context of tabloids, she still thinks about Kwon Yool in headline grabbing terms. Unsurprisingly, Kwon Yool considers her a massive inconvenience in the household. Da-Jeong is a constant reminder that who he actually is as a person is completely divorced from how the public sees him.
Mind, this is probably a good thing. Kwon Yool is just a really mean guy. It's a nice touch that for all of Da-Jeong's ridiculous fears, Kwon Yool actually ends up threatening her over something much more mundane and ridiculous,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 2 2013/12/10,
The drama's still working on justifying its rather absurd premise. For what it's worth, the escalations are convincing enough I might actually buy this storyline even if it wasn't framed by the knowledge that Kwon Yool and Da-Jeong are eventually moving into a sham marriage. There's just this great sense of mounting disaster as reactions keep piling up to the latest step in the scheme that forces our leads to keep going on with the charade.
We've finally found something that Da-Jeong is actually good at- making up ridiculous yet plausible stories on the spot. So far there isn't anything that could really be pinned down as an inconsistency,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 1 2013/12/09,
As far as tabloid reporters go, Da-Jeong (played by Yoona) is pretty incompetent. The first we see of the woman attempting to do her job, we find that she is using what can best be described as the largest, loudest camera available for a task that requires stealth. Her sense of subtlety is practically non-existent. Da-Jeong doesn't seem to appreciate that working for an outfit with a name as ridiculous as Scandal News means she can't even give out her business card without being mocked. Peers and interviewees both view her with thinly veiled disdain.
Most of the humor in this first episode comes from Yoona's ability to sell Da-Jeong as an optimistic, cheerful, aggressive woman who is aiming her efforts very poorly at living a dream which she should really just give up,...More
Park Shin-hye's growth process 2013/03/17, Source,
"I want to be sexy now"
Actress Park Shin-hye mentioned 'sexy'. The want to be sexy can, in other words, mean the end of landing as a grown up actress. Many younger actresses were highlighted back then but not everyone grew into a real actor or actress. Park Shin-hye was different. She is big enough to lead a romantic comedy drama herself.
We met the actress from tvN drama "Flower Boy Next Door". "I've been acting long but I'm only twenty-four years old". The way she laughed as she said that showed that she was true. However, she's not carelessly bright all the time. She said, "I was able to mature through Go Dok-mi",...More
2012 MAMA To Feature B.o.B. & Adam Lambert 2012/11/21, Source,
Both recognized internationally, pop singer Adam Lambert and hip hop singer-songwriter-producer B.o.B. will both be attending the 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA). According to the Director of MAMA Han Dong-cheol, the entire world will be able to enjoy performances by these two acts at the awards ceremony which will be taking place on November 30th at the Hong Kong Convention And Exhibition Center (HKCEC),...More
Which 'Flower' are you? Orchid 'Han Go-eun' or Sunflower 'Lee Ji-ah' or Rose 'Seo Hyo-rim' ? 2011/12/10,
Are you the type of woman who likes to hide your feelings and pretend to be strong but softhearted inside? Or maybe charming, mature and thoughtful match your personality?
Three ladies from currently airing drama, "Me Too, Flower!", provokes me to invite you discover your flower personality. Flower personality? Yes! If you're not familiar with this term, let me clue you in. Perhaps sometimes you notice when a charming yet smart boy presents a red rose for a girl of his dream, but a yellow or white flower to put on his grandmother grave. Does it ring a bell? That's because conscious or unconsciously, people understand that flower or its colour has different meaning and creates different impression,...More
Weekly star scene 1 2011/02/02, Source,
We've got a great new treat for you guys out there now. We know you've been hungry for the latest in entertainment news here in Korea so every Wednesday is our Weekly Star Scene corner. Hyeon Bin, Gong Li, Yoon Si-yoon updates on these stars and more are all up next. We're joined by Lee Dami here in the studio to tell us more,...More
[2010 10Asia's Awards] Writer & Actor of the Year 2010/12/31, Source, ────── Writer of the Year: Kim Su-hyun ──────
Writer Kim Su-hyun [10Asia]
It is still Kim Su-hyun. Her SBS TV series "Life is Beautiful" may have seen slightly lower ratings than her previous works and the various controversies surrounding the show for the fact that it dealt with homosexuality, one of the hottest issues of debate in Korean society, may have left little space for it to be evaluated properly. But paradoxically, this showed that Kim, who has been a symbol in Korean TV writing history for over 40 years now, is "proof that she, headed into her seventies, still makes dramas that have an actual impact on reality, are controversial, and are 'real'",...More
Who Grabbed the Spotlight in 2010? 2010/12/31, Source,
From left, Kim Yu-na, Lee Chung-yong, Ji So-yun, Jeong Da-rae, and Son Yeon-jae
Sporting events were a big source of energy and pleasure for Koreans this year as young rising athletes shone in major world competitions.
Figure skating star Kim Yu-na secured her leading status in February by winning the gold medal in the Vancouver Winter Olympics with the highest score ever by a female figure skater at 228.56 points. AP spoke of "a women's figure skating performance that likely will be remembered as one of the best of all time",...More
Koreans who shine in 2010 2010/12/27, Source, Politics
In the June 2 local elections, Kim Moon-soo of the ruling Grand National Party was reelected as governor of Gyeonggi Province, defeating Rhyu Si-min, the opposition's unified candidate and a close confidant of the late former President Roh Moo-hyun.
Since then, Kim, with the image of a hard-working administrator, has enjoyed solid support in his province, emerging as a potential candidate for the next presidency.
As governor, he has pushed for an ambitious project to build an underground high-speed train, the GTX, short for Great Train Express. The express train, once completed by 2017, will link satellite cities and the capital, running up to 200 kilometers per hour,...More
The 18th Korean Culture Entertainment Awards 2010/12/16, Source, The 18th Korean Culture Entertainment Awards took place at the International Convention Hall in Seoul's 63 Building on December 15th. The awards show first started in 1992, aiming to improve the quality of Korean culture and art and to further advance Korea's cultural content.
The following is a list of this year's winners!,...More
Korean Food – Centered TV Drama – "Bread, Love and Dreams" 2010/11/26, Source,
Just in time for Thanksgiving, a food-centered television drama from Korea!
"King of Baking, Kim Tak-gu" also known as "Bread, Love and Dreams" is a story of how a determined young man, Kim Tak-gu, manages to become the best baker in Korea. Throughout the 30 episodes of the Korean food-centered TV drama, he faces many trials on his journey, spanning the 1970s to the 1990s, beginning with his mother's past, through his childhood, and his adulthood, successes and challenges,...More
[INTERVIEW] Actor Yoon Si-yoon - Part 1 2010/10/08, Source,
Actor Yoon Si-yoon [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
He debuted last year through MBC's smash hit sitcom "High Kick Through The Roof", the sequel to director Kim Byung-wook's popular family series from 2006. He then landed the leading role in KBS TV series "Bread, Love and Dreams", which averaged viewership ratings of 36 percent and breached the 50 percent mark on its finale episode. With just two acting roles, Yoon Si-yoon went from a noname newcomer to a star. 10Asia sat down with the 24-year-old actor to talk about his past, present and future. 10: I understand that you're doing interview after interview after "Bread, Love and Dreams" ended its run. This must be the first time you're experiencing such a thing. Yoon: It is. This is already my fourth today. And I still have a similar number left (to do),...More
[INTERVIEW] Actor Yoon Si-yoon - Part 2 2010/10/08, Source,
Actor Yoon Si-yoon [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]10: Is that why then? Some people make those around them feel uncomfortable while they're working hard but that's doesn't seem like what Tak-goo was like.Yoon Si-yoon: He's someone that's just happy to do what he does. I never had to act the emotion of him being nervous when he gets results. He just did what he did, he got the results, and 'wow, I'm done', is what it was for him. And he only feels happiness because he enjoyed the process of what he did. The reason he smiled and jumped about after the competition wasn't because he won but because he could make bread out of boiled barley that the child who helped him gave him. That's why Tak-goo isn't a hero. He's just a kid who likes normalities,...More
[INTERVIEW] Actor Yoon Si-yoon - Part 3 2010/10/08, Source,
Actor Yoon Si-yoon [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
10: But you sometimes play your roles with an appeal of a main character at star level.Yoon Si-yoon: I think roles are about harmonizing. And I actually still don't know that well so I'm telling you based on the fact that I think my senior actors are the answer. Everything needs to harmonize. I sometimes need to let go of what's my own. Of course I could raise ratings by having me stand out in a certain way. But when a drama's over, I think there's nothing worse than when all people remember is the main character, if after a movie you say 'Oh, it was a Yoon Si-yoon film'. That means that person is a celebrity not an actor. I could have gotten into shape by working out and showing a more sophisticated Tak-goo but that's not him. Harmonizing with other is who Tak-goo is. Of all the fine array of actors who appeared in our drama, not once did one of them try to stand out. I need to learn that. There are so many people out there who try much harder than I do, yet walk to places because they can't make enough money even for transportation. I'm being rude to them if I obsess over acting that makes me look cool,...More
[INTERVIEW] Actor Joo Won 2010/09/29, Source,
Korean actor Joo Won [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]
My name isJoo Won. My given name is Moon Joon-won. My father came up the name Joo Won for me after I made it into college. It means 'what the Lord wants and what I should do for the Lord'. I was born in Seoul on September 30, 1987 but I currently reside in Yong-in. My family is composed of my parents and my brother who is five years older than me. My brother and I are the type of siblings that if we don't talk outside of the house you wouldn't think we were related. One can say that my brother is a 'real man' because he is well-built and has a tough personality, whereas I am thinner and the soft type,...More
Writer Kang Eun-kyeong: 'Yoon Si-yoon Is Miraculous Actor' 2010/09/17, Source,
The writer of the KBS 2TV drama "Bread, Love, and Dreams", Kang Eun-kyeong, highly praised the actor Yoon Si-yoon, who performed the protagonist of the drama, by saying, "Yoon Si-yoon is a miraculous actor. Thanks to his powerful acting, viewers loved the drama and cheered for the drama's success".
At an interview with a reporter held on September 14, she said, "I think that the actor Yoon Si-yoon's sincere acting might be transferred to the viewers, which helps to record the high viewer ratings. Thanks to his sincere and heart-warming acting, viewers could feel like cheering for him while watching the drama",...More
Park Sang-myeon "I Am Glad for Success of 'Bread, Love, and Dreams'" 2010/09/09, Source,
Actor Park Sang-myeon, who plays the captain named In Mok in the KBS drama "Bread, Love, and Dreams", said, "At first, I was agonized about playing the character In Mok. He is a quiet and decent person in the drama, and so I thought that I had to act totally differently from my real personality. But now I think that I made a very good decision" (laugh).
Park has been receiving the spotlight lately by presenting decent acting in the KBS 2TV drama "Bread, Love, and Dreams" as a naively honest head chef of the Palbong bakery whose name is Yang In Mok,...More
South Korea continues to tune into World Cup 2010/06/21, Source,
Official logo of 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa [Official website of 2010 FIFA World Cup]
World Cup fever continued to dominate South Korea's TV charts last week with four of the most-watched 10 shows in the country from the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa including South Korea's second group match watched by over half of the country,...More
[INTERVIEW] Actor Yoon Si-yoon of "High Kick Through The Roof" 2010/03/18, Source,
Actor Yoon Si-yoon [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
Maybe it is possible to do things right the first time. Actor Yoon Si-yoon, who first met viewers through MBC sitcom "High Kick Through The Roof", has become very popular with his realistic portrayal of "student Joon-hyuk" experiencing first love. The actor says that he -- currently adored by all age groups ranging from the young female fans who get excited at the sight of him to the mothers who adore him like a son -- is "grateful" for the attention. But this actor, who believes the way to repay his fans' love is by not being easy on himself, is still thirsty to learn more about acting. He is someone who thinks more about how to take his next step in the right direction correctly rather than quickly,...More
Yoo Jae-seok wins grand prize at MBC Entertainment Awards 2009/12/30, Source,
Korean variety show host Yoo Jae-seok [Asia Economic Daily]
Korean entertainment show host Yoo Jae-seok won the grand prize at the MBC Entertainment Awards held last night. Yoo won the year's top honor at the awards, held yesterday at Seoul's MBC Open Hall, for the first time since last winning the same title in 2006. This is his fifth win overall at MBC's annual event. His rival Kang Ho-dong, who won the title at KBS Entertainment Awards on Saturday, did not win any awards at MBC but reportedly congratulated Yoo on his big win of the night.,...More
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