[HanCinema's Film Review] "Read My Lips" + Videos 2014/11/07,
We open up with some extended bad poetry from Karl Marx. Either you're going to find that sentence inherently, weirdly compelling, or you're going to think it sounds really dumb. There's no middle ground here, and that alone is all the information you need to decide whether or not "Read My Lips" is worth watching. This is a film with exactly one joke- nearly every character thinks they're witty and smart, but in reality, they just like hearing themselves talk. And the longer they go on, the more incomprehensible the dialogue gets,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Golden Tower" Episode 10 2014/09/24,
Well, the parody of "Tazza: The Hidden Card" was exactly as advertised. It is indeed a parody of that movie. I don't mean to flippant here but the whole plot trajectory is pretty obvious from the beginning so there's not much to be surprised about. Personally I blame the preview from last time. All there really is to look forward to here is the contortions the cast goes into here pretending to be characters pretending to be tough gamblers who end up running up against actual professional gamblers and inevitably failing.
More surprising territory is entered here with the parody of "My Brilliant Life", which isn't really a direct parody,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Golden Tower" Episode 9 2014/09/17,
I've mentioned before that a lot of what makes "Golden Tower" work so well is the fact that it typically doesn't have much in the way of villains. This episode is a pretty good demonstration of why. For most of the runtime the focus is on the guy with glasses who, for whatever his general reasons, is being a bad person and we're just sort of waiting for him to get his inevitable comeuppance. He works fine as a background character but in full focus the man's just really unpleasant to watch.
"Golden Tower" has always worked best as an ensemble comedy,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Golden Tower" Episode 8 2014/09/10,
Well, Chuseok is over but "Golden Tower" is still using that weird 2/3s of an episode format so I guess we'll just have to get used to it. While the pool table action is still being shot from somewhat frustrating angles, it quickly becomes clear that this excuse for cue stick tomfoolery was really just leading to a heartwarming message about the importance of brotherly love.
No, not that kind of brotherly love. Well, actually, kind of yes. Of the several similarly silly storylines running in this episode of "Golden Tower", two are an obvious humorous juxtaposition, as they deal with the same basic emotional issue from completely opposite poles of sincerity,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Golden Tower" Episode 7 2014/09/03,
Apparently Chuseok is now kind of like Valentine's Day? I know that sounds a little absurd on its face, but think about it. This is a rural district with an obvious deficiency in possible romantic partners, and parents who are pretty insistent that the family legacy continue. Of course love stories are going to take a central part of that, even if it comes off as absurdly melodramatic as in an exhortation from the deathbed.
As usual "Golden Tower" continues to have a good sense of humor about all this. There's actually two deathbed exhortations here, and the second one is even more absurd,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Golden Tower" Episode 6 2014/08/27,
It's back to form here as "Golden Tower" gets back to its more relatable subject matter- problems that could only ever possibly exist in a rural area. It's funny how that works, really. I think it's because the drama's very good at not being pretentious. There always seems to be a new variation on a dumb joke that they haven't done yet and it suckers me in with a new laugh every time. "Golden Tower" is, if nothing else, a great mood reliever.
The focus here is actually less on the farming as it is on school. The troubles the teachers have to go through and the way the community as a whole is able to respond to this. And this ends up tying in with adult illiteracy. Yes that's a thing- what a lot of people in the developed world don't get is that the only reason we all read is because words are literally everywhere,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Golden Tower" Episode 5 2014/08/20,
The preview from the last episode promised a lot more focus on some of the more one-off gimmicky characters here. I imagine this was at least partially done to give the main cast some time to rest, since the more central characters don't make much of an appearance. Unfortunately all of this mainly works to underscore an essential strength of the drama that's missing here- there's just not that much farming.
There are some outrageous antics to be sure, with the usual emphasis on parody, but without the main social thread this episode of "Golden Tower" just isn't particularly engaging,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Golden Tower" Episode 4 2014/08/13,
It turns out that farm life is still boring. I honestly don't care how often "Golden Tower" repeats that joke just as long as it keeps being funny. The setting for the drama continues to be extremely well-suited to the kind of scattershot parody that's become the backbone of the humor. Absent any other circumstance, the imagination of a farmer will get carried away. And so it is that moving into a new, old decrepit home turns out to be a questionable idea,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Golden Tower" Episode 3 2014/08/06,
Well, I certainly wasn't expecting a parody of "You are my Sunshine", but OK, sure. That movie was concerned, after all, with the ill-suited romantic prospects of rural farmers. And it's not like "Golden Tower" is going shot-for-shot on this. It's really more the romantic tropes, situations, and dialogue that reference "You are my Sunshine" than any of the actual plot. Especially since it's pretty clear from the beginning that the situation is too good to be true- they woudn't have hired a guest star if this storyline was actually going to go anywhere,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Golden Tower" Episode 2 2014/07/30,
Part of the trouble with farming these days is that people have an unrealistically romantic view of it. Farming has changed in the last several hundred years. But even then it's difficult work with dubious economic viability. Modern farmers try to take advantage of the former to deal with the latter by acting pretty much the same way they do in this episode- pretending like they're emulating a traditional way of life for the benefit of tourists,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Golden Tower" Episode 1 2014/07/23,
Farming, far from the romantic pursuit it's usually framed as in fiction, tends to be repetitive, boring hard work. In the modern world this isn't really that big a deal. Practically all work is repetitive, boring and hard. The difference is that in most jobs there's a boss to yell at us when we're doing things wrong, to keep us grounded in reality. In "Golden Tower", the farmers that make up the local community are mostly unsupervised. Consequently, when something, anything unusual happens, they go completely bonkers,...More
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