[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 21-22 2017/08/23,
The kidnapping storyline resolved so abruptly there's not actually all that much for "Man Who Dies to Live" to do when it comes to producing a serious climax. Count Said Faid Ali spends a lot of time just hanging out at his daughter's house, being eccentric as always, his presence being tolerated mostly just so that Ji-yeong can get some work done. The comedy is just more of the usual. It's fortunate that "Man Who Dies to Live" is so short, since we're just about at the limit when it comes to twists on Count Said Faid Ali acting like a psycho,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 19-20 2017/08/17,
It's instructive how the other Ji-yeong sort of ruined things for the married Ji-yeong. Upon first meeting the other Ji-yeong, Count Said Faid Ali had assumed that his long lost daughter would be justifiedly resentful at having her father show up at such a late date. Instead, the other Ji-yeong was almost worshipful in his presence. So it is that the married Ji-yeong must now struggle with how Count Said Faid Ali is literally a jerk obsessed with money, but emotionally, can be a kind and caring older man,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 17-18 2017/08/16,
In a radical twist, Count Said Faid Ali's monologue this time indicates that, apparently, he was the villain all along? It's hard to come up with any other explanation for his stating such explicitly selfish motives. Likewise, it's a bit alarming that Ji-yeong, who has only just now realized the full scope of the elaborate conspiracy, almost immediately comes to a horribly cynical conclusion that, absent Count Said Faid Ali's internal monologue, we might have thought was unfair,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 15-16 2017/08/10,
Poor Ho-rim. He's only just gotten out of the ill-advised plan the other Ji-yeong had to get close to Count Said Faid Ali, and is promptly dragged into Count Said Faid Ali's own elaborate plot to confess to the truth to his actual daughter, in an even more convoluted and goofy fashion. I am relieved that Ho-rim has been shown to be so unsympathetic so far. It makes it easy to laugh at his well-deserved suffering by Count Said Faid Ali's hands,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 13-14 2017/08/09,
Once again, "Man Who Dies to Live" surprises me by...completing giving up on its current premise. Ho-rim is too terrified by his wife's entirely justified reaction to her husband being kissed by another woman to consider keeping the charade up any further. This sets off a chain reaction that destroys all existing subplots- although to be fair it was by mutual decision, since the other Ji-yeong had also gotten uncomfortable and Count Said Faid Ali himself was tired of pretending like he didn't know about the whole farce,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 11-12 2017/08/03,
Eun-bi (played by Ko Bi-joo) is the daughter of Ji-yeong and Ho-rim. This, by extension, makes her the granddaughter of Count Said Faid Ali, which makes her yet another useful reference point for Count Said Faid Ali's return to Korea. Count Said Faid Ali lacks family and with it, familiarity. So it's touching to see Eun-bi react with genuine kindness with the (as far as she knows) complete stranger Count Said Faid Ali, especially because it parallels Count Said Faid Ali's own eccentric brand of do-gooding,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 9-10 2017/08/02,
Right away a brief soliloquy makes it clear that yes, Count Said Faid Ali is suspicious about the other Ji-yeong although as is to be expected, his reasoning takes the form of an obscure fairy tale rather than real world standards. Which works, oddly enough. We already know that the other Ji-yeong isn't really motivated by money anyway, so it's not like trying to suss the situation out logically would be of much use,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 7-8 2017/07/27,
So you know that trope, that comes up in dramas where a character is searching for their lost parents/child, where they run into each other by accident and talk about family issues? Yet somehow, the conversation is always just vague enough that they don't make the obvious connections? "Man Who Dies to Live", to my great relief, does not fall into this bad writing trap. The other Ji-yeong quickly realizes she is not Count Said Faid Ali's daughter, and the conflict continues from there,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 5-6 2017/07/26,
We get some much needed "awww" here as the married Ji-yeong and Ho-rim get a cute moment together. Because I mean really, "Man Who Dies to Live" skirts dangerously close to having us straight up root for their divorce. It's comforting to know that Ho-rim does, indeed, have some positive qualities. It's just a shame that in his greedy quest for money and power Ho-rim must tell increasingly bizarre and elaborate lies in order to guarantee Count Said Faid Ali's continued interest in the bank,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 3-4 2017/07/20,
The other Ji-yeong (played by Lee So-yeon) is, at present, the most likely suspect for Count Said Faid Ali's daughter, although this is based on limited information. Count Said Faid Ali's information is filtered through Abdullah Mohammad Waliwala (played by Jasper Cho), and we've been getting hints that he is not to be trusted. It's just that Count Said Faid Ali is too eccentric to notice. Observe his bizarrely complicated plan for eventually meeting his daughter that in the short term just involves spending a lot of time with Ho-rim,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 1-2 2017/07/19,
Count Said Faid Ali (played by Choi Min-soo) is The Sheik- not literally, but that's the character type he aspires to. Such clichés about the Middle East are more than a little antiquated. It's hard to escape the sheer cartoonishness of Count Said Faid Ali's supervillain palace, complete with sexy women in blasphemous swimsuits that couple headscarves with cleavage. By the end of the sandstorm it's pretty thoroughly established that Count Said Faid Ali is from a pretty weird world,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 24 (final) 2016/06/14,
And with a final episode that was a concoction of everything but the kitchen sink, "Jackpot" comes to and end. The show had a few highlights, but mostly it was messy. The finale emphasized the loneliness of the throne, the fight with politics to do what is best for a nation at large, and a friendship between brothers of different social standing. The buildup to the Musin rebellion was long and arduous, minor characters were left half-developed and our main characters suffered personality changes and strange character trajectories. The most beautiful moment of this final episode, and indeed in quite a few episodes, was the last scene of the brothers meeting in secret, enjoying one another's company and allowing a lonely king to have, if but for a moment, a true friend with whom he can feel a bit less lonely,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 23 2016/06/13,
The Musin rebellion is underway and In-jwa is desperate to make it happen - desperate enough to sacrifice people in order to achieve his endgoal of saving those very same people. King Yeongjo faces the same dilemma. Does he listen to Dae-gil's pleas and trust in the faithfulness of his people and in Dae-gil's master plan or does he use his troops to cut down the rebels and restore peace? In-jwa has, finally, gone off the deep end,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 22 2016/06/07,
The story did jump ahead to focus on the Musin Rebellion and it chooses to skip a lot of what made King Yeongjo such an effective leader, instead painting him as ruthless while Dae-gil is the voice of reason and of the people. The personality change in Yeongjo (formerly Prince Yeoning) is troubling as was Dae-gil's shift from buffoon to cool-headed military leader. He lost most of what made him fun. There is a major time skip in this episode that is not clearly defined by the writer,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 21 2016/06/06,
Episode 21 of "Jackpot" was riddled with action, blood, death, and promises for more of the same. Yeoning learns what a path to the throne is built on: sacrifice and tears. Dae-gil watches his brother suffer as he work to foil In-jwa at every carefully planned junction. While history lives on in this rendition of Yeongjo's life, it really isn't very interesting. The pace of the episode saves it from being overly dull. For the sake of the show it seems as if the timeline of historical events has been crunched into a shorter span of time,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 20 2016/06/01,
This episode of "Jackpot" attempts to delve into the faction wars between Noron and Soron and works with historical rumors to do so. It's actually a very exciting time. Unfortunately, the plotting seems more like classroom gossip than the immense political tug-of-war than it really is. King Sukjong has finally passed and the four years of sickly Gyeongjong's reign begins,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 19 2016/05/31,
The seeds of doubt planted by In-jwa into the minds of the brothers have taken root. Although both young men want to believe in each other, the situations at hand render them unable to fully trust. It is this method by which In-jwa has succeeded time and time again in "Jackpot". I feel like a broken record when it comes to this show,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 18 2016/05/24,
My frustration with show hasn't ceased, but at least it's just about to jump into some action. In-jwa has been incensed and finally takes a decisive course of action. This is welcome as the bonds between characters (save perhaps the brothers), is quite weak. Without any strong bonds between In-jwa and Dam-seo, or Dam-seo and the two brothers who love her, this episode truly fell flat as did her prolonged death scene. Attempts to stir tension remain unsuccessful attempts. At least this show boasts of a stellar cast. The show seems to be aiming to build up towards In-jwa's rebellion, which means we have two major deaths to get through and a King Yeongjo to crown,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 17 2016/05/23,
Yi In-jwa and his nine lives are quite tiresome. The character sticks around beyond all reason. Rather than focus on his ridiculous mechanizations, why can't the show take some real historical happenings and buff them out for this rendition of King Sukjong's and Yeoning's lives? In any case, In-jwa is still here and fluctuating between the maniacal and the serene. Scenes of his omnipotence are punctuated by a few good moments of brotherly love, a death, and some massive political plans that don't feel very massive.
Yeoning is in a pivotal position right now, learning the inner workings of palace politics, the molasses-like speed of the political machine, and the extent of his own power,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 16 2016/05/17, "Jackpot" should've been slated for sixteen episodes. At this point we're at episode 16 and had the action been condensed into a shorter broadcasting period, perhaps the action would feel, well, more exciting. We have eight episodes to go and it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. There is a bad guy; there are two brothers who have the potential to become deadly enemies; there are sick parents; and there are parents who aren't all dead.
Rather than the multiple stabbings that littered the first third of the drama, this second third of the drama is full of family angst and of the characters discovering their identities,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 15 2016/05/16, "Jackpot" has reached a stasis in ratings at 8.4%. Despite big reveals and a lot of action, these events lack the impact that is necessary to drawn in viewers. Predictability is a double-edged sword. It can heighten anticipation, but it can also deflate said anticipation if it is used too often. In the case of "Jackpot", the story holds no true angst or surprise. Both Yeoning and Dae-gil discovered their relationship with each other while In-jwa continues to have everything go his way,...More
[Spoiler] 'Jackpot' Jang Geun-suk finds out all the secrets about his birth 2016/05/16, Source,
On the episode 15 of SBS' Monday & Tuesday drama, Baek Dae-gil (Jang Geun-suk) found out everything about his biological parents.
Although King Sukjong (Choi Min-soo) used Baek Dae-gil as his hunting dog to catch King Jeong who had plotted a treason in the past and was on his flee hidden by Hwanghae Cutter, Hwanghae Cutter killed himself. Because of this, Baek Dae-gil and Prince Yeongying failed to capture Hwanghae Cutter alive and no one could figure out where King Jeong was,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 14 2016/05/10,
Ratings go down for "Jackpot" as my opinion of it goes up. Isn't it funny how such things work? The brothers triumphed together last episode and this episode brought the expected troubles and downfall. Dae-gil, despite his luck, continues to be trampled upon by the driven In-jwa. Yeoning, despite his good intentions, is dragged down by those who love him. Also, he discovers that Dae-gil is his brother, which adds a dimension to his character and a stronger dynamic to his relationship with Dae-gil. Yeoning sticks to his beliefs, much as he did in real life,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 13 2016/05/10, "Jackpot" came in at 8.7% for episode 13, maintaining it's percentage rating. The show, however, has improved from the hyperactive activity that defined its first few weeks. Now the plot steadily moves forward. It does this by adding characters and their personal intrigues and motivations, and letting the main cast react to them. This is all fine and well, but it does make the drama lose tension. Perhaps the biggest plot points at play now are the fact that the two brothers are now teammates, and that there are three women on Dae-gil's love radar,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 12 2016/05/03, "Jackpot" continues to hold steady in second place as its rating rises to 9.2%. Seol Im returns to add another wheel to the love quadrangle, but her character is rich and and example of a strong woman. Our brothers grow closer in a way that makes me think we're in for heartache in the future - it's too good to be true. Both brothers are rough and tough on the outside, but inwardly respect each other and their mutual goals,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 11 2016/05/02,
It is in this episode, which came in second at 8.9%, that we really see the seeds of history taking root in our characters. Prince Yeoning, who later becomes one of the most favorably looked upon kings in history, begins his epic, lifelong battle against unfair taxation and the mistreatment of the lower class. Dae-gil, the son of Sukbin's who died according to historical documentation, walks towards a common goal with Prince Yeoning although they're coming from opposite sides of life. They are juxtaposed in this episode and begin a partnership that is fun, although changes are that it will be severed later. Yeoning battled the unfair distribution of wealth his entire life, so this episode is only the tip of the iceburg,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 10 2016/04/26,
This episode of "Jackpot" brought it up to 8.9% and into second place. There was some romance, a smidge of character growth, and plenty of revenge. Despite all fo that, I was extremely disinterested in the episode. It was very explanation oriented and lacked the action that defined earlier episodes. I never thought I'd say that. What was solid about this episode was the direction,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 9 2016/04/25, "Jackpot" came in at the bottom of the pack at 8.0%, but the quality of the show is better than it has been. There is plot movement, character development, action, and political happenings that aren't deadly dull. Not to say that the show doesn't have flaws, but the tone has settled alongside the no-longer-erratic pacing. The biggest flaw in the show is that both King Seokjong and In-jwa are nearly omniscient,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 8 2016/04/19,
Although Jackpot's rating lowered to 8.7%, it's plot has stabilized and become much more cohesive. Save for a few moments, it has ditched the exaggerated antics that defined it in its earliest episodes. There are a lackluster backstories for our characters, especially on the part of Dae-gil's teacher, Kim Che-geon (Ahn Kil-kang). These took a backseat to the huge learning curves that brothers Dae-gil and Yeoning are suffering through. Despite the fact that they walk similar paths, both brothers have distinct strengths and weaknesses based upon personality differences and in the way they were raised,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 7 2016/04/18, "Jackpot" has calmed in its erratic plot flailings and settled into a steadier pace, which was very welcome. It came it a 9.1%, higher than the last episode, but still behind its Monday competitors. The calmer pacing allowed for the actors to step out of the texture and show their abilities, especially Jang Geun-suk. What strengthened the episode was the parallels that it made between the two brothers, both keen and driven, but lacking in the skills to overcome their mutual enemy, Lee In-jwa,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 6 2016/04/12,
Ratings are dropping steadily for "Jackpot". Today's episode clocked in at 8.4% and I can't blame viewers. Besides the beautiful music and solid cast, this drama doesn't have a lot going for it right now. It's what I feared when I saw Writer Kwon at the helm. If you don't know what I mean, I'll explain it to you. "Jackpot" is full of potential,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 5 2016/04/11,
Although there was a strong sense of the ridiculous in "Jackpot"'s fifth episode, there was a touch of realism as well. It could be because of Yeo Jin-goo's spot on acting or a bit of logical writing from Kwon Soon-gyoo. Jang Geun-suk does well with what he is given, but I think we'll see better from him once his character loses the hysterics.
Most of this episode centered around In-jwa physically and emotionally breaking Dae-gil in order to motivate him to change his path in life,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 4 2016/04/05,
Episode 4 of "Jackpot" saw some marked improvement in structure and intrigue, but the ratings don't reflect that. It dropped below "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho"'s 11.3% to a single-digit 9.5%. Perhaps it's the unexpected slapstick humor that threw viewers off. However what grabbed me was the sense of family scattered throughout the hour. Dae-gil and his father and adopted grandfather are a rather silly trio,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jackpot" Episode 2 2016/03/29, "Jackpot" is once again the highest rated of the new shows at 12.2% for episode 2. From the outside, the drama is all glitz and glitter: beautiful choreography, stunning naturescapes, keen camera storytelling. But its insides are messier: jumpy character sketches, repetitive themes, and illogical schemes. These may work themselves out with time as many introductory episodes can lack clarity in the rush to introduce the drama. This drama is going the way of most sageuk, or historical dramas, in that it is focusing on the backstory of the main characters before it delivers the handsome leads in their fullest glory,...More
Korean movie of the week "A Perfect Way to Steal a Dog" 2015/11/19, Source,
Korean movie of the week "A Perfect Way to Steal a Dog" (2014) Directed by Kim Seong-ho With Lee Re, Lee Ji-won-I, Hong Eun-taek, Kim Hye-ja, Choi Min-soo, Kang Hye-jeong,... Synopsis A modern-time fairy tale glowing with wits, reality and heartwarming feelings. Ji-so is a 10-year old living with her mom and a little brother, Ji-seok, in a pizza truck. With her dad out of contact after their pizza truck business went bankrupt and her mom lacking a sense of reality, Ji-so and her friend, Chae-rang, decide to get a house on their own. They naively believe five thousand dollars can buy a house and Ji-so finds a missing dog poster with a five thousand dollar reward. Now, their scheme is to find a rich dog, steal it and then return it back to its owner by pretending to have found it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 21 - Final 2015/01/13,
The final episode changes genres somewhat, as almost the entirity of the runtime takes place in a courtroom. This shouldn't be that surprising, really, given that the characters are all prosecutors, but the shift is a somewhat odd one. Technically the trial is just a rehash of information that we already know. Even the final twist that helps the team take down the bad guys once and for all has been pretty obviously and clearly foreshadowed, though it's never actually stated outright until the final showdown,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 20 2015/01/12,
Almost all of the outstanding questions regarding the past case are clearly answered here, and the explanations we get aren't terribly reassuring. In short, most of the terrible mistakes that resulted in tragedy were in fact well-meaning ones. In fact, on multiple levels the question is raised whether from a legal perspective the crimes were actually even that serious. Not that many people actually made a premeditated effort to commit capital offenses,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "A Perfect Way to Steal a Dog" 2015/01/10,
From a literal perspective, "A Perfect Way to Steal a Dog" is just a kid's heist movie. What's surprising and particularly joyful about the product is the way it works very serious personal and societal issues into this simple concept, creating a complex tapestry that puts most similarly minded adult films to shame. Usually the ragtag band of thieves is just interested in using their ill-gotten cash to buy shiny baubles. By contrast, Ji-so (played by Lee Re) wants a home, so she doesn't have to live in her mom's car like a homeless person,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 19 2015/01/06,
You have probably noticed throughout this drama that every so often Dong-chi and Kang Soo get into a big fight with a huge mob of men who appear to be gangsters, although they have somewhat more legitimacy than that. The loose end resolved this episode regards the existence of this large mob. They're not really brought to justice exactly- that much will likely be beyond the scope of "Pride and Prejudice". The main point of this segment is to emphasize that these back room deals are being dealt with in the immediate sense,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 18 2015/01/05,
Technically the story is in an epilogue phase right now. The main culprit has been apprehended. The lingering question is about the unaddressed coincidences. I appreciate that the characters in "Pride and Prejudice" aren't just taking a victory lap, even if that's obviously what Yeol-moo wants to do. The conspiracy to date has already been so outrageously complicated that it's hard to imagine the entire sequence of events could be unraveled so easily and so quickly,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 17 2014/12/23,
And just like that, it's over. There was, in fact, a very good reason why Hee-man spent most of the last episode off camera. While it's gratifying to know that the bad guys aren't the only ones who uses heavy misdirection to manipulate the situation into their favor, at the same time it's a little aggravating realizing that a lot of the confusion in the story lately was in fact the result of screenwriting tricks designed to prevent too much information from becoming too obvious too quickly,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 16 2014/12/22,
It's back to mostly internal soul-searching here, as the team analyzes evidence they already have rather than finding anything new. Oddly enough, even though Hee-man has been a huge factor lately, as well as the entire emotional impetus behind the cliffhanger, he's barely even present in this episode at all. The threat at this point is less the single person who may or may not be the mastermind as it is the gaggle of gangsters molling about,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 15 2014/12/16,
The questions brought up last episode are mostly answered here. Events have clearly been orchestrated in such a way to set up an obvious scapegoat. Technically this revelation is the cliffhanger, but such is the nature of "Pride and Prejudice" that it's much easier to work out what the drama's doing by going backward rather than forward. We've finally confirmed one suspiciously friendly character as being a villain, although this person's overall angle remains entirely unclear,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 14 2014/12/15,
It's another confusing episode- confusing in a good way, I guess, since the modus operandi of "Pride and Prejudice" at this point is to keep us guessing. So, for that matter, do the villains. There are strong indications right from the beginning that they actually do want Dong-chi to succeed, to some limited unknown extent. Help ends up coming from a rather unexpected place right before the situation appears to turn suddenly and harshly lethal,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 13 2014/12/09,
The characters are entering a period of convergence. One villain is explicitly and surprisingly given a face when he has an unexpected encounter with Dong-chi while he's out investigating with Yeol-moo. It's odd to see how in many ways the bad guys are in fact enabling the investigation through their hurried attempts at trying to pull a last-minute cover-up. It makes the lead characters notice activitiy in areas they might not otherwise see,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 12 2014/12/08,
Note the way the characters talk to each other in this drama. It only got serious recently, and it was barely present at the beginning at all, but the only way I can really describe their tone is just hostile politeness. This reaches its most ridiculous point when, right after a huge massive streetfight, a character no one even recognizes shows up and starts speaking in the same measured tone. It's not even really sarcasm, just...a middle ground between open hostility and formality?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 11 2014/12/02,
While I can understand why investigations into the case of Yeol-moo's brother are inconsistent, keeping track of theoretically ongoing investigations is a somewhat more complicated hassle. I like what "Pride and Prejudice" is doing on a thematic level. It's taking a simple case of sexual harassment and relating it to larger, systemic abuses of power rather than some ill-defined notion of patriarchy. All the same it's a little difficult to give that plot thread the full attention it deserves when the drama keeps zig-zagging around romance and parental issues,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 10 2014/12/01,
Enough clues have been put together in regards to the overall mystery that Yeol-moo and Dong-chi are able to make serious progress here. Oddly, they're only really putting together one clue that us viewers have already been aware of for some time. But it's clear from how emotional Yeol-moo gets that this is the difference between theory and practice for them. They might actually be able to find out what happened to her brother. They've been groping about in the dark for so long that it's a shock for them to actually hit something solid,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 9 2014/11/25,
Very little seems to actually be happening at this point in "Pride and Prejudice". I hope you liked the cliffhanger from last time because this episode just restates it. The situation has been thoroughly analyzed in pretty much every way imaginable. The main lingering unanswered questions are how and why, and without even a side investigation for anyone to focus their talents on, the lack of answers here is a bit annoying,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 8 2014/11/24,
This episode is a look at what the investigators do in their off-hours when work is obviously on their mind. For Yeol-moo and Dong-chi this is, unsurprisingly, to go over in minute detail all the information they have regarding what happened to Yeol-moo's brother. Other characters actually let loose a little, and surprisingly enough, it's the ones that are having fun who end up causing the mess that no one's sure what to deal with,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 7 2014/11/17,
I'm appreciating the odd home life of the investigators more and more lately. These characters have a very stressful job, not so much because they're dealing with criminals, but because they're constantly forced to stop and admit that there aren't really any more obvious clues at the moment. Coming from that circumstance, it's really nice to be able to come home and just do normal human interaction stuff for awhile. Talking to a kid, for example, is fun, even if I'm increasingly unsure that the kid should even be there,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 6 2014/11/11,
Last episode's accident takes on immediate focus here, and for a time "Pride and Prejudice" once again does a great job reminding us what the difference is between TV investigators and real one. I'm genuinely not sure I've ever consumed a piece of fiction where one of the good guys accidentally kills a criminal, and this is actually treated like a bad thing. Usually their buddies bend over backwards to say it wasn't their fault, and anybody so impertinent as to suggest the loss of human life is always tragic regardless of circumstance is branded as a naïve do-gooder,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 5 2014/11/10,
We open up with an exploration of Dong-chi's involvement with Yeol-moo's little brother's case. No information is hidden here for the sake of dramatic impact later on, even if the entire set-up to begin with was a fairly fantastic coincidence. Even though we know how the story's going to end, there's quite a bit of tension going on with young Dog-chi. On a basic level, this is the story of his greatest failure, even if at the time he was just a kid with no way to know how to handle this kind of crisis situation,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 4 2014/11/04,
For all the hoopla regarding the technical problems involved in pursuing the current case, the actual mystery resolves with relatively little real difficulties. The clue that ends up bringing everything together ends up being an observation regarding additional evidence that was implied to have existed by some of the CCTV footage, but which the characters haven't investigated because it's a bit of a lateral thinking puzzle. In all fairness given the sheer quantity of CCTV footage on display here it's understandable that no one thought of this sooner,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 3 2014/11/03,
The emphasis this episode is on office politics rather than an actual mystery. I suppose it was inevitable, really. Yeol-moo is still a greenhorn investigator, and what with all the general heroism of the first two episodes, she hasn't really had a chance yet to appreciate the fact that they can't save everyone. What's more, even mostly sympathetic characters can come off quite heartlessly when placed in a situation where they can either go home or follow-up on mostly useless clues,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 2 2014/10/28,
I really admire just how professional all the characters in "Pride and Prejudice" are. Yeol-moo and Dong-chi, rather than trying to keep their past relationship a secret for no good reason, are completely open about the situation. Yes, it's mildly embarrassing, but someone was going to figure it all out sooner or later. This also allows for other characters to have their personalities fleshed out by reacting to this unexpected situation. Typically, this too is done professionally. All around the investigative team is a class act,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 1 2014/10/27,
This drama quite literally wastes no time with introductions. It barely even offers any explanation as to the premise. Dong-chi (played by Choi Jin-hyuk) is an experienced criminal investigator. Yeol-moo (played by Baek Jin-hee) is a rookie criminal investigator who used to date him. OK, all the character relationships are cleared up? Then let's shut up about everyone's personal lives and get right to the mystery!,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Phantom the Submarine" 2013/12/20,
Well this certainly is a Korean movie about a submarine. I don't mean to sound flippant here but that's really all that can be meaningfully written about "Phantom the Submarine". If you've ever seen any movie about a submarine, "Phantom the Submarine" is that same movie. You've got a large cast of characters stuck in horribly cramped quarters, an unsettling mystery about what the submarine's actual mission is, and a mutiny.
Is that a spoiler? It takes some time for the mutiny to actually happen, and come to think of it I'm still not totally sure who was supposed to be mutinying against who there, since it's never totally clear what the original mission even was or whether even the characters themselves have any real idea what's going on,...More
Director of 'Hourglass' commits suicide 2013/07/23, Source,
By Kim Tong-hyung Kim Jong-hak, a drama director whose 1995 miniseries "Sandglass" was a groundbreaking moment in Korean television, was found dead at a boarding house Tuesday in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, in an apparent suicide. He was 62. Kim was investigated by police in May on suspicions of embezzlement after the cast and crew of the SBS series "Faith" filed a complaint against him over unpaid wages. He had denied any wrongdoing"",...More
Watch Korean retro gangster films online 2011/06/06, Source, Choi Min-soo in the 1995 film "The Terrorist"
By Yun Suh-young
The Korean Film Archive is showing nine Korean gangster movies for free online (www.kmdb.or.kr/vod) until the end of June.
The video-on-demand service, which began June 1, introduces Korean gangster movies that represent different time periods in Korean history from the 1960s to the 1990s,...More
Kim Soo-hyun cast as male lead in upcoming KBS drama 2010/11/01, Source,
Korean actor Kim Soo-hyun [KEYEAST]
Korean actor Kim Soo-hyun has been cast as the male lead for upcoming KBS musical TV series "Dream High", a collaboration between Korea's top entertainment firms KEYEAST and JYP Entertainment (JYPE).
A press release from KEYEAST on Monday announced that Kim will be playing the role of Song Sam-dong in the show, a guy who dreamed of owning his own farm but later decides to go a performing arts school after falling head over heels in love with Go Hae-mi,...More
[INTERVIEW] Actor Won Bin - Part 1 2010/08/04, Source, Won Bin [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
10: I heard that when you debuted, you had wanted to become an actor after watching Choi Min-soo starrer "Terrorist". "The Man From Nowhere" also revolves around the action sequences of one man. How did it feel?Won Bin: For me, "Terrorist" was the greatest movie at the time. I dreamt of becoming an actor after watching that film. The time I spent working on "The Man From Nowhere" was a lot of fun for me. It was a new genre for me and I liked it even more because my character communicated with a child. 10: You must've been excited. (laugh)Won Bin: It was fun. Many people worried that I might get hurts since there was so much action in it but I like moving around and sweating. I felt like I was playing a game doing the action scenes. I hadn't done this sort of action movie before so it was tough physically but it was new so it felt like I was learning something,...More
Won Bin: 'I Dreamed of Becoming Actor After Watching Action Movie' 2010/08/04, Source,
The movie "The Man From Nowhere", which will be released on August 4, is a very violent movie with realistic action scenes. The fight scene in which Tae Sik, who is the former member of a special forces unit, devastates a criminal organization that kidnapped a neighbor girl contains violent scenes such as splattered blood and broken bones, but the scene is also filled with resolute and well-made action sequences.
An interviewer met actor Won Bin, who has been "reborn" as an action hero, at a café located in Samcheong-dong, Jongno on August 2. He had previously filmed battle scenes in the movie "Taegukgi" and he had carried a gun when he filmed the movie "Guns and talks", but he mentioned that this is the first time for him to film a legitimate action movie,...More
"Road No. 1" sold to Japan before release in Korea 2010/04/16, Source,
MBC's war drama "Road No. 1" has been purchased by a Japanese media group ahead of its premiere in Korea, according to Logos Films on Friday.
"Road No. 1", set during the Korean War, was attained by Hakuhodo Media Partners, one of the largest media and content business companies in Japan, although only 60 percent of the drama has been shot.
An associate from Hakuhodo is said to have explained that it purchased "Road No. 1" because the series was based on a gripping storyline, a strong script and enthusiastic performances by its actors including Hallyu star So Ji-sub,...More
[INTERVIEW] Actor Kim Soo-hyun 2010/01/12, Source, Interview with the actor who appeared in SBS TV series "Father's House" and played the actor Go Soo's younger part in SBS TV series "Will It Snow for Christmas??"
Actor Kim Soo-hyeon-I [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
My name isKim Soo-hyun. Some people are curious to know why I didn't make a stage name since my name is the same as that of the great scenarist Kim Su-hyun...... What would be good? Kim Soo-gyum? Kim... Carley? Hahahaha. I was born on February 16, 1988. I major in acting at Joongang University. I'm an only child but a brusque son at home. I still do call out for my mom though when I get startled. My first part-time job was at a fastfood restaurant when I was in high school. But I got fired in the first three days because I couldn't get there on time after school. I still got paid for those three days though and how I was happy when I saw the money wired into my account. I heard that you're supposed to buy a pair of socks for your parents when you get paid for the first time so that's what I did... My mom never wore them though. I think I should've bought her socks with lace on it instead. I once learned how to do mountain climbing. It was back when I was in high school and I used to climb boulders and even took part in competitions. I didn't win because I fell during the second course...... But I've also learned how to scuba dive. I put in an effort to learn sports that aren't usually easy to learn.,...More
The tiger may well be Korea's most beloved animal throughout its history. The country was once dubbed the "nation of tigers" as it has mountainous areas that provi,...More
[FOCUS] 10 Awards - Top 10 Entertainment News of 2009 2009/12/30, Source, Top 10 News of 2009
Two former presidents and a king passed away. One wrong remark during an entertainment show took the entire country by storm. Such unbelievably enormous incidents were played out in unbelievable directions during 2009. Thus, the top ten news of 2009 selected by <10 Asia> may seem like the ten most incredulous news of the year. But one could say that what these ten news stories have in common is that they carry the flow of Korea's pop culture. Can you really believe that all these things happened within a span of one year?
News 1. Actress Jang Ja-yeon commits suicide
Actress Jang Ja-yeon [KBS]
On March 7, one little known actress wrote in her suicide note, "I am a weak, powerless actress. I want to be free from this pain" and killed herself. It was actress Jang Ja-yeon, who was appearing in KBS TV series "Boys over Flowers" at the time. The suicide note, which was 12 pages long on A4-sized paper, explained that she had been physically abused by her agency, forced to drink and provide sexual services. It also listed names of high-ranking executives in the industry, including a head of media company, television drama director and owners of business companies. People started calling the note "The Jang Ja-yeon List". The incident brought to surface how badly aspiring actresses and female celebrities in general have been violated and the ugly power of the media. But due to slow, passive investigation by the Korean authorities, the truth never came to light. Of all people who were under investigation, only two people involved in the incident -- former head of Jang's agency and former manager who exposed Jang's suicide notes -- were indicted and the suspects whose names were listed in the documents were all cleared of charges and let go. Was the death of Jang Ja-yeon a suicide or a homicide?,...More
Many say the Korean wave, or hallyu, is dwindling. Some say the fault is on promotion, while others argue about quality. For former entertainment reporter and now professor Hong Sung-kyu, it is the overall mindset that is preventing the wave from moving further. ,...More
[ChanMi's movie news] Choi Min-soo to Hollywood! 2009/05/06, Source, Choi Min-soo has left for Hollywood!
He has been living in solitude since last April and last March he has left for America!
He has been casted for the new Hollywood action film, "Serpent Rising"!
Choi has left without informing a lot of his friends for this strong character as an agent.
Is is also known that he didn't even have an audition for this role for this casting.
Last February when he was given this role, he had said that it was not the time, however with a persuasive call from Hollywood staff, he has been handpicked as the Asian movie star!
Let's await for this new role and film!,...More
Do celebrities come from a special family, where all of their siblings are talented as well? Fans who wonder have had the chance to get a glimpse of some celebrities' family members through various programs. More are coming soon.
The long awaited drama, "Taewangsasingi" (The Four Guardian Gods of the King, "The Legend"), starring hallyu icon Bae Yong-joon, finally met its audience on television Monday. A "Taewangsasingi Special" was,...More
Lee Mi-yeon: Still in Love With Acting 2007/01/20, Source, "Acting has produced the biggest energy and the greatest pain in my life. I can't promise you that I'm going to be an actress for the rest of my life. When I fall out of love with acting, I'll quit im,...More
Was Ji Kang-hun, an escaped convict in the late 1980s, a hero or merely a criminal? The upcoming local film Holiday poses this question in its fictionalized account about the controversial figure who is ofte,...More
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