[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 19 2017/09/27,
The final showstopper for "Criminal Minds" is an appropriate one- it looks like the drama will be closing out on an adaptation of season four episode fifteen, which centers around a copycat killer. Even the Reaper manages to get worked into all of this in a fairly satisfying way, although yikes, I'm still reminded of how the death of Gi-hyeong's wife happened way too early. Which also sums up my overall feelings. My satisfaction is directly related to how much I enjoyed the original elements,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 18 2017/09/21,
Well, this was a fairly distressing storyline, albeit mostly for the intended reason of the profiled crime of serial rape being so monstrous that doing research on it makes me feel a little physically ill. "Criminal Minds" even achieves this effect without having to resort to overly gory imagery. The cold open in the couple's house cuts off before getting too graphic, and the most painful scene in the episode is when we find out how and why one of the victims committed suicide,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 17 2017/09/20, The storyline starts out promisingly enough. The main points everyone initially emphasizes are just logistical ones, like how the serial killer has been sneaking into unoccupied rental properties in the first place. Where everything turns dumb is when we run into a survivor of his crimes. Cruel though it may be to write this, my first main impression of the woman was that...she was just really, really dumb. Who agrees to online sexual encounters in empty places in the middle of nowhere?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 16 2017/09/14,
A very good mystery hook is set up almost immediately- though lacking in any apparently obvious clues, we do know that the murderer has wacky fingers. I like this because usually, random witnesses in crime procedurals have disproportionately photo accurate memory. That the big clue is something explicitly weird and obviously noticeable tic is actually a pretty good clue, and not something a mentally ill murder suspect would necessarily even notice he was doing,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 15 2017/09/13,
So the new case actually has quite a lot going on that's fairly narratively interesting. In the first place, this is really more of a three plot story than one. We've got the investigation team first, obviously. Then there's the terrified parents. And lastly, there are the three girls trapped in the cold room. So simple variety alone keeps the story interesting. Alternately, the episode is a procedural mystery, an emotional drama, and then a horror movie,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 14 2017/09/07,
It's gratifying, if horribly annoying, that the extended conclusion to the Hyeon-joon under suspicion plot ends with that all too American aggressively pro-police ending, justifying my digression last review. There was a conspiracy against Hyeon-joon, and police were involved. Yet somehow, the motives all shake out in such a way that no police officers were actually at fault. They were either tricked, or bullied into the situation by unforeseen unfair circumstances. Also one of them punches the suspect for just being too evil,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 13 2017/09/06,
So the whole hanging plays out, just as disjointedly brutal looking as the last one. That part wasn't so surprising. More amusing was how it only occurred to Gi-hyeong at the last minute that maybe the adoptive parents of the child of serial killers would maybe not want to break that news to him on the night his biological mother is being murdered by the state. Anyway, once that's over with it's on to the next case where apparently Hyeon-joon is a suspect,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 12 2017/08/31,
It bugs me sometimes just how obviously "Criminal Minds" is an adaptation of an American drama. While the death penalty is still a possible legal sentence in South Korea, there's been a moratorium on it for the last twenty years. It's just not a thing that happens, certainly not to the extent that people would have political demonstrations about it. I liked how listless the extras were holding their signs. Even they had no idea how someone could have a strong opinion on the subject,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 11 2017/08/30,
In one of the more interesting flourishes I've seen from "Criminal Minds" to date, the recap brings up previous cases which had psychological profile elements that are relevant to the main case here. I suppose that's one way to to create implied continuity. Even if "Criminal Minds" is not always the best at objective logic, if the internal logic is sound than we can at least get a good grasp on what's going on and correctly make assumptions about certain evidentiary implications and possible character reactions, while still knowing that there are lots of other unknowns out there,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 10 2017/08/24,
As expected, with the red herring revealed it's up to the criminal profiling team to locate the true culprit, who has finally and truly gone off the deep end and is now involving herself in car chases. I remember how a few stories ago I thought there would be a gratuitous car chase and was mildly surprised that didn't happen. And I guess technically this wasn't really a car chase anyway, I just can't get past the ludicrous visual of screaming children handcuffed to their seats in daily traffic and no one noticing,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 9 2017/08/23,
The group dynamic of the kidnapping case this time around is slightly more interesting than usual because the team members have an actual disagreement, and the question of who is correct is left ambiguous. Up until now it's just been, the problem is presented, Gi-kyeong says what they're going to do, and Hyeon-joon comes up with an immediately accepted alternative when Gi-kyeong's initial analysis is deficient. This time, it's an open question whether or not a certain witness should be taken seriously,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 8 2017/08/17,
As murder storylines go, I must admit that insane office worker is among the more socially relevant that "Criminal Minds" could have adapted for a South Korean audience. Really, that particular psychosis is probably far more well-known in that culture than it was in the United States. This, naturally, proves to be the main overall thrust of the episode. It's less about the permanent cast and more about how Ki-tae (played by Jo Han-chul) slowly yet surely lost his marbles,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 7 2017/08/16,
Once again, "Criminal Minds" finds a weird way to mess with the fairly transparent "murder happens right away, team investigates it" format of the American original. This time it's not one, not two, but three completely different storylines one after another without so much as a segue to cue the audience into the fact that gears have shifted. Incidentally, that name drop which started the second section really caught me off guard, because I was struggling trying to remember if we'd ever actually seen that guy before,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 6 2017/08/10,
In contrast to the weird and random gimmicks that have characterized "Criminal Minds" so far, the big case this episode is structured more-or-less the same way the original American program is. The team discovers an active serial killer, and pieces together the clues to try and find the serial killer, emphasis on the criminal profile. A lot of discussion is made about mothers, since the crime in question seems specifically designed to horrify mothers,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 5 2017/08/09,
For reasons that are unclear to me, "Criminal Minds" really wants to be an action cop series. We open up with Hyeon-joon assaulting and letting go of a possible perpetrator in a parking garage. Then there's a whole setpiece that goes through a park, a tunnel, and finally an ubran alley without any pedestrian or automotive presence unless the script specifically calls for it. Gi-hyeong really seems itching for a fight most of the time, even if he's not all that good at fighting,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 4 2017/08/03,
In the latest bizarre misstep, "Criminal Minds" attempts of all things, serious emotional catharsis based on catastrophic fate. This isn't a brand of storytelling I dislike on general principle, it's just, that's the kind of thing you're supposed to do at the end of a series for a proper climax. Doing at the beginning is nonsensical. How in the world is Gi-hyeong's personal life supposed to be relevant to his work if we only have te vaguest idea of who Gi-hyeong is as a person right now?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 3 2017/08/02,
In a bizarre inversion of the previous story, the entire train incident only takes half an episode to resolve. Even stranger, while a big point was made of how Min-yeong (played by Lee Sun-bin) was on the train, she being the last team member, the train incident offers virtually no exposition of Min-yeong's personality or skills. Hyeon-joon actually gets more action than she does, quite literally solving the entire stand-off single-handedly,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 2 2017/07/27,
Unfortunately, Seon-woo ends up being saved by dumb luck. This ends up being a decent predictor for the remainder of "Criminal Minds", which is less about characterization and more about sticking closely to the crime procedural format of the original American drama. Any ambiguity Hyeon-joon previously expressed about criminal profiling is largely glossed over, since by the end he's just a normal uncritical team member,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 1 2017/07/26,
In the opener to "Criminal Minds", we meet Hyeon-joon (played by Lee Joon-gi), and his experience during a very unfortunate terrorist bomb threat. Flash forward a year later, and Hyeon-joon is a normal cop. Then, the special criminal profiling division in South Korean law enforcement takes an interest in Hyeon-joon's case, involving a serial killer. While Gi-hyeong (played by Son Hyun-joo) is the man in charge, Seon-woo (played by Moon Chae-won) is the team member who does the most talking with Hyeon-joon,...More
Top Stars Couple Chemistry in Advertisements 2017/06/26, Source,
Sometimes the couple chemistry we see in the advertisements can be even more impactful in our mind than the ones we see in a drama or a movie. Perhaps it's because of the short moment we see them together, it lingers in our head, wanting to see more of them, but some of the advertisement couples have been famous for their chemistry,...More
[Orion's Drama News] Controversies and Co-Productions 2016/02/27,
Hello everyone and welcome to weekly drama news with yours truly, writer and community manager Orion. In these pieces I will be recapping a few drama-related news of the previous week and speaking about my personal thoughts on them. Come chat with me in the comments and share your own opinion on these items or any news you like,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2016.01.29 ~ 2016.01.31 2016/02/01,
"The Revenant" falls hard as "Kung Fu Panda 3" hits...
DreamWorks Animation's third installment of the "Kung Fu Panda" series of films came to Korean screens last Thursday and dominated proceedings over the weekend. "Kung Fu Panda 3" had a massive 1,364 screens from which to pool and from them captured 63% of the box office pie (1.3 million admissions). The film was made for around $145 million, and worldwide the film has already grossed $116.7 million,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Mood of the Day" 2016/01/23,
Soo-jeong (played by Moon Chae-won) is a working woman in a ten-year relationship. After some rather ineffective communication Seo-jeong heads off by train for a work trip where she meets Jae-hyeon (played by Yoo Yeon-seok), a man who acts friendly and flirty with every woman he meets. Unluckily for Soo-jeong the train is so crowded that changing seats isn't really practical, so she has to just stolidly endure Jae-hyeon's chatty requests for a...one-night-stand,...More
[Interview] Why did Moon Chae-won act normal? 2016/01/19, Source,
She was normal. There was nothing appealing about her but she filled that up with her charm. It's the actresses luck if she can draw attention with a perfect character but making something out of nothing is something every actor or actress should try. This is why Moon Chae-won is more beautiful.
The movie "Mood of the Day" starred Moon Chae-won as Soo-jeong, a conservative woman. Moon Chae-won said, "As part of an audience, I wasn't really a fan of romantic comedies. So even as I'm doing it myself, there are a lot of things I don't know",...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2016.01.15 ~ 2016.01.17 2016/01/18,
"Star Wars" disappears, "The Himalayas" begins its descent, and "The Revenant" rises...
The Oscar-nominated "The Revenant" (starring Leonardo DiCaprio) entered at the top of the Korean box office this past weekend. This gritty and intense thriller arrived last Thursday and topped the weekend chart with 694 thousand admissions (35.2%) from across 966 screens. Critics and fans alike have praised director Alejandro G. Iñárritu's efforts, and the Academy recently confirmed its excellence by nominating it in twelve categories, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor,...More
Lee Min-ho appreciates his fans, accepting Producer's Choice Award at 19th BiFan 2015/07/16, Source,
On July 16th, Lee Min-ho went on the stage to receive Producer's Choice Award at the 19th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, which took place at Bucheon Gymnasium in Wonmi-gu, Bucheon City, Gyeonggi-do.
Producer's Choice is awarded to actors and actresses, who have shown the most active and outstanding performances for the last one year. The recipients are selected jointly by Bifan, Korean Film Producers Association and Producers Guild of Korea. This year's recipients are Lee Min-ho and Moon Chae-won,...More
The uprising of actresses older than their counterpart actor in recent dramas 2015/07/02, Source,
Dramas are full of couples where the female is older than the male. The percentage of this case has grown over the last 2~3 years and it's become a boom lately. This reflects the social change but a lack of 'variety in age range' is also seen as a cause for this.
There are currently 3~4 dramas that have 'older couples'. It's becoming a trend for mini series that represent each broadcasting station,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.02.06-2015.02.08 2015/02/10,
Nostalgic Romcom Rules, while "Ode" crosses 13M...
Box office newcomer "C'est Si Bon" entered the fray last week and captured 29.5% of the pie over the weekend, comfortably claiming the top spot and dislodging last week's winner: "Big Hero 6". Kim Hyun-seok's romantic comedy attracted 534K filmgoers ($3.9M) over 829 screens to outperform Disney's Oscar contender as the South's favourite flick.
Last weekend "Big Hero 6" trumped JK Youn's latest for first, but the musical might of Kim's fifth feature proved too much for Disney's awesome animation,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.01.30 ~ 2015.02.01 2015/02/02, Disney's Oscar delight comes right… Last week Yoo Ha's "Gangnam Blues" entered the fray and scored a narrow victory during a highly competitive weekend. "Gangnam Blues", "Big Hero 6", and JK Youn's "Ode to My Father" were all in the running for gold, but its was Yoo's action noir that the public championed. This weekend, however, saw Walt Disney's "Big Hero 6" gain momentum and claim the week's top spot with over 611K admissions going its way (29%), bumping its total tally in Korea now to 1.7M ($12M). To date, Disney's, Marvel-inspired, Oscar nominee has already banked $484M worldwide, more than double its production budget of around $165M,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.01.23 - 2015.01.25 2015/01/26, Yoo's "Blues" shakes things up…Yoo Ha's action noir "Gangnam Blues" (aka "Gangnam 1970") was the number one player at box office over the weekend, pocketing over $5.5M (27%) and coming out on top in what was the most closely-contested tussle at the top we've seen thus far. The 709K filmgoers Yoo persuade into his caves (830) was narrowly enough to spoil Disney's big animated entrance into the game. "Big Hero 6" was, like Yoo's "Blues", released in Korea last Wednesday, and competed over 822 screens to claimed 662K stubs ($5M - 25%). It was an awesome photo finish that ultimately favoured homemade Han over foreign fantasy, but only just,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Love Forecast" 2015/01/24,
A common tagline for bad romantic comedies reads, can a man and a woman just be friends? Relievingly, "Love Forecast" never gets that obnoxious. Joon-soo (played by Lee Seung-gi) and Hyeon-woo (played by Moon Chae-won) are without a doubt friends. They're the ones who have to help each other out emotionally when their actual romantic relationships implode. The main irony "Love Forecast" goes over is the question of why they're only just friends, when they clearly have better long-term toleration for each other than their actual so-called serious partners,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2015/01/10, K-Films Coming Soon: ★★★★ "Today's Love": An unlikely and delicate romance blooms when a tough weather caster and hopeless romantic cross paths. (01/15) ★★★★★ "Lost Flower: Eo Woo-dong": A love triangle unfolds within Joseon's upper class that exposes the hypocrisy of high society. (01/15) ★★★★ "The Cat Funeral": A broken-up couple reunite for the funeral of their cat and are then confronted with past passions. (01/15) ★★★★★ "Chronicle of a Blood Merchant": A factory worker wants to marry the most beautiful woman in the village but first has to sell his blood as a sign of good health. (01/15) ★★★★★ "Mira Story": A documentary that follows a young woman, Mira, as she heads to Gangjung village to help hand out books to the community. (01/15),...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2014/12/13,
K-Films Coming Soon:
★★★★ "Ode to My Father": A wartime drama the depicts the lives of citizens living from the Korean War to the present day. (12/17)
★★★ "Change Zoororing Showcase": The Zoororing Investigators have to save the animals when they mysterious go missing from the peaceful village of Arumdrissy. (12/18)
★★★★ "Awaiting": A heartfelt tale about a woman who waits years for her man to return. (12/18)
★★★ "A Rented Room In Heaven": A romantic drama that involves sensual consolation for two young adults. (12/18)
★★★ "Ensemble": A documentary about a group of talented and passion musicians and their collective love for classical music. (12/18),...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Pororo, The Snow Fairy Village Adventure" and "Awaiting" 2014/12/05,
This holiday season marks the release of two unusually short films in Korean theaters. Both are worth your time, albeit for very different reasons. First up is "Pororo, The Snow Fairy Village Adventure". As the titles implies, the lovable penguin goes off with his friends to a snow fairy village to have an adventure. Yes, this is obviously a cartoon intended for children. If you're one of those humorless folks who hates anything not intended to directly please superior adult brains only just skip the next couple of paragraphs,...More
[HanCinema's Hall of Fame] "Arrow, The Ultimate Weapon" 2013/11/02, In the Spotlight this Week: "Arrow, The Ultimate Weapon" by Kim Han-min
Finding historical shards embedded in modern myths makes for compelling cinema, those nuggety kernels of truth that somehow make the illusion of the dream that much more Real. In "Arrow, The Ultimate Weapon", director Kim Han-min's fourth world in his filmic multiverse, we are teleported back to a troubled time in Korea's history; specifically, the Second Manchu Invasion (1636 – 1637) where the Kingdom of Joseon was under heavy military and political pressures from their tiresome Qing neighbours. Many period yarns are prone to taking liberties (creative archeologically shortcuts) when conceptualising and producing stories attempting to navigate historical truths; comparatively, however, "Arrow" is the most popular recent addition to the genre that was able to successfully conceptualise the era without changing the course of history. Historically accurate or not, one piece of archival evidence that will be clear to future gravediggers is that this unearthed gem was a massive success (7.4 million admissions) that became the highest grossing Korean film of 2011 AD. And would have been top overall if it wasn't for Bay's epic third instalment (7.7 million) in the "Transformer" series,...More
Moon Chae-won Scores Another Hit with Medical Drama 2013/10/25, Source, Moon Chae-won has become a familiar face among many Korean households after playing the role of a pediatrician in the recently ended KBS drama "Good Doctor". In the show, she helps train an autistic resident at the hospital and eventually falls in love with him. Moon has been lucky to star in a number of popular soaps and films, including "The Princess' Man" (2011). Her latest drama also garnered the highest viewer ratings of its time slot, with an average of 17.9 percent. Rather than pointing to her uncanny ability to pick out winning scripts, she said the secret of her success is that she has been blessed to work with good people,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 20 (Final) 2013/10/08,
I really like the music in this drama. It primes the viewer well to anticipate certain emotions, and this time around that emotion was vague melancholy. What at first seems to be a problem that will necessitate a serious climactic surgery just ends up giving way to more discussion of feelings, as characters state out their various emotional positions for the last time.
The continuation and sort of resolution to the relationship between Shi-on and Yoon-seo is sweet and endearing. The conflict they face is a bit of a last minute one, but then that's the point and central irony,...More
"Good Doctor" Moon Chae-won 2013/10/08, Source, Moon Chae-won sent out a message to her fans now that the drama is over. She talked about her character and the drama as if she still felt it was real.
"Thank you for watching and loving "Good Doctor". I am grateful that I was able to deliver the first feelings I felt when I looked at the synopsis till the end. I wanted to make a happy-virus and healthy drama. I hope "Good Doctor" was a drama that woke up your purity and innocence as well as your warmth. I hope our characters did that to you",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 19 2013/10/07,
The central romantic subplot in "Good Doctor" for the most part reaches its conclusion this episode as Shi-on and Yoon-seo become a couple. It's all very cute stuff- I really appreciate the music in this drama which does a lot for setting and highlighting the mood. It accentuates the extended culmination of this relationship in a way that really works well with the build-up we've been seeing throughout the drama's entire run.
I like that the drama chooses to have all of this happen right now, rather than at the very end of the last episode, because it's genuinely interesting stuff mulling over exactly what kind of a couple Shi-on and Yoon-seo are supposed to be- what they would do when they're together, how they would express affection,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 18 2013/10/01,
It occurs to me that even though "Good Doctor" is quite explicitly a medical drama, and most of its cliffhangers end on medical emergencies of some sort, the doctors in this show spend relatively little time actually doing medical stuff. Important surgeries are usually done within a few minutes, and there's rarely ever any kind of fallout or long-term implications. Do-han's stab wound was glossed over when it first happened- and even now that it's become a plot point again the problem is resolved almost as quickly,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 17 2013/09/30,
Shi-on has for the most part given up on directly approaching Yoon-seo about his feelings at this point, since he already confessed and now she has to do something. Yoon-seo, like a good romantic lead, tries to probe him, but since Shi-on keeps interpreting her actions on the surface level he doesn't give her the emotional reactions she's hoping for. And it's fun watching her fail. It's a neat subversion on typical romantic comedy dynamics that they don't work simply because the target doesn't know what they are.
The episode as a whole does lots of comic relief along these lines. It's incredibly goofy and dumb and yet still fun and cheerful,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 16 2013/09/24,
It turns out the dramatic severity of the last episode's cliffhanger was completely out of line with its influence on the actual storyline. The entire situation is resolved almost instantaneously with no fallout whatsoever. It's pretty disappointing- goofy as that entire plotline was it did have the potential to go somewhere interesting. I guess I should be thankful it doesn't turn into something stupid, at least.
There are more cute moments scattered throughout this episode, and the various plotlines move at a reasonably balanced pace, in line with the general plot,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 15 2013/09/23,
This drama's always been about Shi-on's character development, but this is the first episode we get where his actual behavior takes significantly larger strides toward confidence. He doesn't cower anymore, or at least doesn't do so as much. In his social interactions, Shi-on seems to have made up his mind what he's going to say, and that he's going to say it regardless of how it may make him look socially. Because, let's face it, he's always going to be the autistic guy, but better to actually at least state his opinions, since they are important ones.
I really like the sheer bluntness in the way Shi-on speaks. Most of the time he just makes dumb matter-of-fact statements,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 14 2013/09/17,
The medical crisis that came up at the end of the last ciffhanger is resolved a little more quickly than I would have liked. "Good Doctor" has good material when it's working with actual conflicts of doctors being put into difficult situations and being forced to perform with whatever abilities or limited skills, so this plot development, while interesting, resolves itself a bit quickly. I'd like to see more along these lines.
A larger focus is taken this episode as to the question of Shi-on and the interactions his filial relationship. We find out what happened to his mother and, I have to admit, I can see why that experience would turn Shi-on off on the whole concept of parents altogether,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 13 2013/09/16,
The drama dips back into emotional territory again. This time, however, it actually makes sense that Shi-on is the only character who's engaging with it, what with the problem being his family. And it might be more appropriate to write that he's not engaging with it- there's hints this episode that Shi-on's amnesia, rather than just being typical Korean drama trauma, is actually a deliberate act of will on the part of his autistic personality to protect himself from pain.
It's easy to see why he would want to do that, even outside of the justification he gives to Yoon-seo. Shi-on's work this episode is substandard, and Do-han notices it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 12 2013/09/10,
Some great interpersonal dynamics come up this episode. It's actually been foreshadowed for awhile that the relationship between Shi-on and Do-han would be moving in this direction- it's just been overshadowed by the very poor patient-of-the-week plots and Shi-on's zig-zagging autism symptoms. Still, a pleasant surprise is a pleasant surprise, and watching and considering these character interactions is a genuine treat.
With Shi-on, we finally get back to the idea that he is a person who needs somebody to help take care of him. Not just one person- everybody needs to help look out for Shi-on, because it is just way too easy for him to mess things up and offend people, even when he's acting as basically inoffensive as possible,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 11 2013/09/09,
I think it's safe to write at this point that "Good Doctor" has completely squandered its chance to be a series that makes an intelligent, meaningful statement about autism. Try as I might I can't detect any sort of consistency in Shi-on's behavior that can meaningfully be applied to a real world person. One moment he's smoothing practical strangers over with meaningful words, and the next he's compeltely shy and nervous in front of colleagues he's met before.
Fortunately the more obnoxious parts of the story have been removed. The atrocious patients-of-the-week that have made this drama painful to watch finally leave the hospital,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 10 2013/09/03,
The drama seems to have forgotten most of what it's been doing the last several episodes, which is fine by me, since those episodes were just painful to watch. Shi-on is now back to being a man of fairly limited abilities. And yes, he is still solving problems with words- but not emotional ones. Just simple logical statements about the environment which he can observe and comment on.
These moments work a lot better than his amateur psychologist bit. In the first place, it ties into his original characterization as being a poor communicator,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 9 2013/09/02,
The last cliffhanger was solved about the way I was expecting. Shi-on, a man who I keep reminding myself is supposed to be autistic, resolves the problem by using his words. Not only that, his words succeed where everyone else's words fail. Autistic people are not good at using words. They are not good at guessing how other people react emotionally, and normally tend to avoid trying.
I'm not trying to bring real-world expertise into this review when I write that,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 8 2013/08/27,
Apparently this drama is about the power of love. This makes almost no sense- if there's anything autistic people have difficulty doing, it's expressing love in a way that neuro-typicals understand. This is probably the single most popularly well-known fact about autistics- their parents really stress out from the lack of apparent attachment, and this gulf between what they were expecting and the reality of their children is very emotionally painful.
It doesn't make much sense just in the context of the drama, either. From the very beginning, it was Shi-on's analytical skills that were supposed to make him ideal for the profession,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 7 2013/08/26,
There's lots of genuine, good emotional performances this episode as Shi-on is forced into leaving the hospital. His position as a doctor and as a person is put under scrutiny as characters attempt to make the argument that the hospital is better off with him, in spite of Shi-on's apparent screw-ups. Particular point seems to be made of the fact that it's only the administrators who particularly seem to want him to go.
Unfortunately, none of this can reverse the horribly contrived nature of this entire plot in the first place,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 6 2013/08/20,
There's plenty of cuteness this episode as Shi-on tries to negotiate with an adorable wolf boy about accepting medical care. Joo Won is still doing a superb job at his portrayal- it's noteworthy how, even though he's the only person the wolf boy has actually physically hurt, Shi-on still isn't scared. He just doesn't process the emotion the same way that the other docotrs do. That, coupled with his willingness to look completely ridiculous in front of other professionals, adds a very useful dimension to his character.
Unfortunately this storyline takes a very contrived turn by the time we get to the cliffhanger, one that's both annoying and feels rather pointless,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 5 2013/08/19,
The drama takes a very focused turn this episode. A lot of the story so far has been about fallout from reckless doctor decisions, but this is the first time we're actually forced to watch the situation play out in the long term with little to no distraction. And it's Yoon-seo that goes through the wringer here- certainly appropriate since autistic spectrum Shi-on can't internalize the degree of the screw up quite as well.
It's effective stuff- as I mentioned in my last review, the problem with "Good Doctor"'s plots so far is that they've been too exotic and there's no baseline,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 4 2013/08/13,
The drama does a better job engaging the audience this episode, though in a bit of a roundabout way. The previous political and mortal crises are largely done away with as two new conflicts emerge. "Good Doctor" is still trying too hard to arouse interest in the audience through extreme situations, but at least this time there's a thematic relevance that's actually appropriate to the basic storyline of Shi-on adjusting to be a doctor.
One crisis, for example, is the first one to genuinely raise the question of whether Shi-on belongs in the hospital. So far the indistinct mob calling for his dismissal has been overreacting- it's a pity they hadn't been more subdued before, because this is a far more appropriate time for righteous outrage,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 3 2013/08/12,
The drama isn't exactly exciting me at this point. All the appropriate pieces are here to make something, I'm just not at all sure what. This episode's ongoing crisis of the baby on life support feels curiously mundane, as if it's just a general breather from the political conflicts which, likewise, feel more like genre staples than they do something that's thematically relevant. So our characters have gotten mixed up in selfless, selfish alliances. That's interesting, I guess, but not terribly memorable.
What continues to be more interesting are Shi-on's motivations and life lessons. He is, at least partially, wrapped up in the visage of the naive newbie who doesn't understand the bureaucracy behind medicine,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 2 2013/08/06,
Cliffhangers normally have a pretty cynical bend to them, and the first episode of "Good Doctor" was no exception, with Shi-on awkwardly standing over Yoon-seo's bed, brushing his teeth while she wakes up. Corny as this set up is, we quickly get another excellent glimpse into Shi-on's character. Even though Yoon-seo is normally the focused victim in the context, Shi-on is obviously at a complete loss as to what he's supposed to be doing.
I really love Joo Won's performance in these scenes, because he very much acts like a man who's had to deal with these awkward encounters his whole life,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 1 2013/08/05,
This drama starts out rather gloomily. Bullying, horrible injures, and death are a constant presence. The more significant factor, though, quickly turns out to be Shi-on (played by Joo Won). Even as a young child, Shi-on seems incredibly detached from the world around him. There's an emotional distance between him and all these trauamtic events that's puzzling, and to a certain extent inexplicable.
To other characters, anyway. It's obvious to us in the audience, who live in more enlightened times, that Si-on is on the autistic spectrum,...More
Moon Chae-won's daily life pictures 2012/11/21, Source, Moon Chae-won's self cams were posted online recently.
Various pictures show Moon in glasses with no make up or of her natural self right in front of her house. She also seems to be on vacation in some and enjoying the basking sun,...More
KOFFIA 2012 Film Line-up Revealed! 2012/07/20, Source,
The 3rd Korean Film Festival in Australia, KOFFIA, is pleased to announce its film line-up for 2012.
KOFFIA will showcase 20 of the best and latest Korean feature films as well as a few past classics, in a diverse program that will allow audiences to discover their connection to Korean cinema and culture. Audiences will once again be treated to a feast of Korean festivities taking place at Dendy Opera Quays in Sydney and ACMI Cinemas Federation Square in Melbourne. While for the first time selected titles will also screen at Tribal Theatre in Brisbane, as August and September sees 16 days of screenings across the Australian east coast,...More
Moon Chae-won's see-through dress 2012/04/05, Source,
Actress Moon Chae-won wore a black see-through dress and showed off a pose like Barbie.
She posted a picture of herself wearing a black see-through dress on her Me Today homepage on April 2nd. In the picture was Moon Chae-won wearing a transparent long dress with a matching fur jacket,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Arrow, The Ultimate Weapon" 2011/12/17, Kim Han-min's "Arrow, The Ultimate Weapon" quickly became Korea's most successful film of 2011, marching up the ranks to eventually bank 7,459,974 admissions. Since its release in September, Kim's historical action flick has been showered with local awards spanning all major categories. However once you get some of the stardust and glare out of your eyes, the film's success can be pinned down to its ability to be, quite simply, great entertainment,...More
2011 Korea Best Dresser Award Takes Place in Seoul Welcome back 2011/12/16, Source, On Monday Korea's most prestigious fashion awards ceremony, the Korea Best Dresser Swan Awards, took place in Seoul. The event, which was attended by hundreds of people including fashion and business gurus, celebrities, and other distinguished guests,bestowed fashion awards to nominees in different categories.
And we now have Arirang News reporter Yang Ji-woo joining us in the studio to talk about the glamorous awards ceremony and its fashion performances,...More
Moon Chae-won: 'I Will Show My New Appearance in New Year' 2011/12/09, Source,
This year's rising star Moon Chae-won (25) appeared on a talk show program on News Y, which is the news channel produced by Yonhap News, to express her feelings about this year's huge achievement and new year's plan, and she said, "I appeared in two historical dramas this year, but I will try more to present my modern appearances next year".
Moon Chae-won garnered two rookie actress awards at the Grand Bell Awards and Blue Dragon Awards with her appearance in the movie "Arrow, The Ultimate Weapon", and she gained great popularity with her appearance in KBS's melodrama about tragic love entitled "The Princess' Man". Those two works were both historical dramas, and Moon has obtained many male viewers' love by being selected as the most beautiful woman in a Hanbok,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Highest Grossing Korean Films of 2011 2011/11/26, Highest Grossing Korean Films of 2011
2011 has produced a range of successful Korean films that have captured the public's imagination, tugged at their heartstrings, caused a few laughs, and asked some serious questions. Although the year is not quite done, the big films of the year have largely had their say at the box office. This week I wanted to take a look at the top domestic films of 2011 and see just what type of films captured the public's interest in 2011,...More
Moon Chae-won: 'Impressions of 'The Princess' Man' Still Lingers in My Mind' 2011/10/25, Source,
Actress Moon Chae-won, who had played the female protagonist -- the daughter of Soo Yang Dae Goon named Lee Se Ryung -- in the KBS drama "The Princess' Man" that recently finished airing, said, "I personally liked the happy ending of the drama even though I also thought it must have had a strong impact with a tragic ending. People tend to expect vicarious satisfaction from watching a drama (laugh). I was very much satisfied with the idea that I could deliver a message of hope to the viewers". She had obtained love after experiencing many troubles and difficulties in the drama, and her happiness seemed to have revived again. Moon Chae-won (25) was highly praised by the viewers for her excellent acting in "The Princess' Man" by playing the character who falls in tragic love with the son of Kim Jong Seo named Seung Yoo (Park Si-hoo) in the drama,...More
The Front Line top winner at Korea's Grand Bell Awards 2011/10/19, Source, By KOFIC Staff
"The Front Line" won Best Film at the 48th Grand Bell Awards on Monday, Oct. 17. In addition to this top award, director JANG Hun's Korean War drama snapped up a total of four awards - Best Planning LEE Woo-jung, Best Lighting for KIM Jae-min and Best Cinematography for KIM Wu-hyeong.
The film is about North and South Korean soldiers battling over a small patch of mountainous terrain and the complicated relationships that grow between them. The Front Line is also the Republic of Korea's entry to the Academy Awards Foreign Language Film nominations,...More
[BIFF Everything] Han Hyo-joo has autograph session in front of an elevator 2011/10/09, Source,
-- Jang Dong-gun and Joe Odagiri had drinks at a street vendor stall on October 6th. After the opening ceremony of BIFF, the "My Way" duo sat down at a street stall and tipped soju glasses into their mouths all night. Bodyguards surrounded the vendor street.
-- Han Hyo-joo had an off-schedule autograph session. She was surrounded by 20 or so Japanese fans on October 7th, at the Grand Hotel lobby elevator. Her bodyguards tried to stop them but she gave them her autograph and held their hands. She experienced the popularity that sold out all the tickets for "Always" within seven seconds of its release,...More
Hallyu stars behind the scenes seen at BIFF 2011/10/09, Source,
The night in Busan was heated up this year again. Movie fans and crowds gathered here and there in Busan catching up and enjoying themselves. The stars were no exception and many were spotted with drinks in their hands all over the city.
"My Way"'s Jang Dong-gun, Joe Odagiri and director Kang Je-gyu found the street vendor area after the opening ceremony on October 6th. The three drank soju all night and talked endlessly. Fans and citizens who were surprised by the bodyguards that appeared out of nowhere, were surprised again by Jang Dong-gun and Joe Odagiri,...More
Moon Chae-won Reveals Alluring Charms 2011/09/10, Source,
The powerful emotions that emanate from her tender, fragile face are part of what gives 25-year-old actress Moon Chae-won that highly desirable yet difficult to categorize element which, in showbusiness, is more precious than gold: star quality.
Recently, Moon has become hugely popular for her portrayal of a doomed lover in the KBS2 TV drama, "The Princess' Man",...More
Weekly star scene 2011/09/08, Source, : It's time for Weekly Star Scene, where we bring you the week's five hottest stories from the Korean Entertainment industry!
: Hold onto your seats, because we have our very own Dami here in the studio with us. Hello Dami!
[Reporter : ] : Hi Sean and 건영~!
: What do you have for us today[Reporter : ] : Well, we get updates about stars' everyday activities all the time, and do you guys happen to where the paparazzi find their information,...More
Park Si-hoo: 'I Feel Sad while playing Kim Seung Yoo' 2011/09/07, Source,
Actor Park Si-hoo will transform into a man bent on revenge in the KBS drama "The Princess' Man".
Park Si-hoo (33), who has caught viewers' attention by presenting enthusiastic acting that seems to break one of the barriers that has kept him back so far, said, "I have to express my feelings too much in the drama, so I usually become totally exhausted after filming. Once filming begins, I usually fall into a trance and I do not know how I am acting until I watch the drama later on TV". Thanks to passionate acting by the protagonists, the drama is rising in popularity, recording twenty percent viewer ratings on September 1,...More
'Arrow' aims for new horizons 2011/08/04, Source,
Actor Park Hae-il appears in a scene from Kim Han-min's epic archery action film "Arrow, The Ultimate Weapon". / Courtesy of Lotte Entertainment
By Lee Hyo-won
Finally, a film that ties enduring soul-searching themes with exhilarating action and dashes of tasteful comedy, all set in a familiar yet exotic backdrop.
"Arrow, The Ultimate Weapon", a well-directed and craftily edited "kill all with a single arrow" period piece, could have consulted a better VFX supervisor. Still, it offers thrilling, multi-textured entertainment that makes modern snipers seem boring. Strong box office sales are highly probable along with ancillary potential overseas as distribution rights have been sold to 13 countries,...More
Son Ye-jin Celebrates Birthday With Fans 2011/01/24, Source, Actress Son Ye-jin rang in her 29th birthday with 100 of her fans from all over the world. We're talking from Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Australia, and America, just to name a few. They all gathered on January 23rd-- although Son's birthday is on January 11th -- at the Musical House in Yaksu-dong of Seoul,...More
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