[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Villainess" 2017/06/17,
The opening scene of "The Villainess" has the deeply unsettling look of a video game. Specifically, first-person shooters, which require the perfect mix of head shots and anticipation of predictable AI behavior necessary to get through the few dozen mooks that stand between you and the next level. The sense of discomfort is further heightened by how obviously human all the various stuntpeople in this movie are. So for this, and all subsequent action scenes, horrified as I was by the unbroken chain of grotesque violence, my eyes were glued wide open in sheer overwhelming shock,...More
[Orion's Drama News] New Horizons 2017/04/08,
If I were covering celebrity gossip, then this season and all of its dating and wedding news would give me quite a lot of material. Strangers' love life is not what excites me, however, so I bring you news of future Netflix goodness as I contemplate a new type of Korean drama productions at our doorstep. The usual news follow, of course,...More
[Spoiler] "The Perfect Wife" Ko So-young says everything to superior, mother-in-law and husband 2017/03/02, Source,
On the latest episode of the 2TV drama "The Perfect Wife", Sim Jae-bok (Ko So-young) vented out everything that anyone's ever wanted to say to others.
Sim Jae-bok was an outstanding worker but she dropped out of university and was a married woman with two kids. Therefore she couldn't get the permanent position at work. She knew there was nothing she could do about it but she said to her boss, "If you know I've worked hard and know I've done well, then shouldn't you pick me? Did you fire me because I didn't finish university and because I'm married?",...More
[Orion's Drama News] Cable Love and Spunky Housewives 2017/02/11,
Welcome to another round of me rambling your Saturday away and sharing new drama information and media. Today I briefly talk about the concept of cable vs. ground-wave and what I feel is a problematic perception when contemplating it. I also share goodies from "The Perfect Wife", including its first lively teaser, and more drama news,...More
[Funcurve Review] "Madame Antoine" 2016/06/11,
"Madame Antoine"'s quaint charm kept me hooked from the very first episode. We have our heroine, the quaint bohemian-styled cafe owner Ko Hye-rim (Han Ye-seul), who claims that her body is the host of French Queen Marie Antoinette's ghost. She thereby cons people by reading their future; where she lacks in psychic she makes up for it with sharp observations and a great hunch. Our hero, Choi Soo-hyeon (Sung Joon), is a professor who specializes in women's psychology and hails from the famous university of Stanford. Their lives become tangled with each other after Soo-hyeon moves in upstairs from Hye-rim's cafe,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 16 Final 2016/03/12,
At long last "Madame Antoine" reaches the true form of Soo-hyeon's bad psychological attitude. It ends up being about his...dad. Wait, his dad? Have we even seen Soo-hyeon's dad up until now? I can barely even recall the man being discussed, yet now all of a sudden he's the villain upon whom we can safely blame every single problem. Even when a flashback eventually justifies this sentiment, I was caught a little off guard when right in the middle of a meal Soo-hyeon starts unloading following some very slight provocation,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 15 2016/03/11,
Soo-hyeon gets his just desserts as Hye-rim finally (apparently) gives up on him. It's legitimately really hard to feel bad for the leading man here given that he's been begging for this treatment for pretty much the drama's entire run. Ironically enough, his main sympathetic moment here comes courtesy not of Hye-rim, but rather his mother. While it's easy to feel sympathetic to her in the present day, as Soo-hyeon points out, her actions caused some pretty huge psychological issues that can't simply be ignored,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 14 2016/03/05,
Another episode, another lecture on the importance of the experiment, another thinly-veiled revenge scheme that just comes off as psychologically unhealthy. Ironic, given how once upon a time the main high concept of "Madame Antoine" was a pretense toward somewhat serious psychological discussion. The main comfort at this point is that with two episodes left, there isn't really that much more erratic behavior to endure between Hye-rim and Soo-hyeon. Even if the preview hints at things going a tad too far,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 13 2016/03/04,
For all Soo-hyeon's ominous voiceovers, it turns out that he doesn't really know what to do at this point with his hopelessly flawed study. I'm not sure, by the way, why the lynchpin for all this is a very specifically designed video. I always assumed that the clip we saw from the first episode was that woman's own personal spontaneous declaration of love, not the outcome of a very awkward sounding request. Even if Hye-rim wasn't familiar with the previous experiment Soo-hyeon discusses the request in a way that always sounds really suspicious,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 12 2016/02/27,
There are moments when "Madame Antoine" actually manages to be pleasant enough to be passable romantic comedy material. Ji-ho's obsessing over Yoo-rim is absolutely adorable, and the sheer absurdity of the visuals over their meeting in the cafe was a delight in and of itself. But time and again we're dragged back into reality and I'm forced to remember that the actual lead characters go through these horribly dramatic mood swings over the most trivial topics,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 11 2016/02/26,
There's a great scene this episode where Ji-ho, apparently having changed his borderline autistic mind about which women he can like, attempts to start again with Yoo-rim. But Yoo-rim just gets angry at him. Why? Beause Ji-ho is borderline autistic and has been disregarding her feelings for pretty much the entire drama up until now. Yoo-rim behaves like any normal, sensible person would when faced with an obviously manipulative suitor. And that makes me wonder- why can't Hye-rim act like that? Are she and Soo-hyeon really going to go back and forth on who's really lying for the entire drama?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 10 2016/02/20,
Having finally obtained concrete information on Soo-hyeon's experiment, Hye-rim has to decide whether to attack quickly or slowly. Once she's made that decision, we're then treated to more of the usual doubting about whether Soo-hyeon is really that bad a guy or if there are some emotional truths mixed in with all the logical lies. This leads up to a cliffhanger where Hye-rim is surprised to learn information I thought she already knew, the next follow-up stage being more wackiness,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 9 2016/02/19,
It's hard to take Hye-rim and Soo-hyeon's lovey dovey scenes all that seriously considering that Soo-hyeon is still conducting his mostly unscientific experiment. Why he's even bothering with that pretense at that point isn't clear- I'm pretty sure that for all the problems uncovered so far, taking an MRI test at the subject's demand seems pretty useless. This much is especially true considering that Hye-rim obviously has the ability to manipulate the results for whatever arbitrary outcome she wants,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 8 2016/02/13,
Soo-hyeon's insistence on rationalizing all of his actions in context of the experiment is seeming less like anything resembling a pretense of science and more a weird psychological fixation. He gives Hye-rim a major passionate kiss, and when she finallys recovers enough of her senses to fight him off, right away Soo-hyeon is back in defensive mode. That means more lying, mixed in with barely enough truth to be persuasive in the face of of Hye-rim's immediate inquisition,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 7 2016/02/12,
Extended focus on the somewhat shaky premise of "Madame Antoine" has forced me to admit that Soo-hyeon's obsession with the experiment is a tad nonsensical, and the more he explains his reasons the less coherent the story's overall thrust sounds. Soo-hyeon's reasons for continuing the experiment simply aren't all that persuasive, and I find myself wondering why "Madame Antoine" even bothers with that angle when the production is obviously a classically styled romantic comedy,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 6 2016/02/06,
Yoo-rim (played by Hwang Seung-eon) is Hye-rim's younger sister and I'm spotlighting her this time because she's the main character who tries to do something different this episode by being sneaky like a normal person instead of a psychic / psychological genius. It's lucky for her that Ji-ho is so fantastically ignorant he'll entertain any ridiculous proposal she comes up with just for the sake of science. Personally I suspect someone put pressure on the production team to work more kisses into the story somehow,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 5 2016/02/05, Sung Joon is really good in the lead role here. Note how it's always (mostly) easy to tell whether or not Soo-hyeon is actually being sincere, and the main times there's ambiguity is when Soo-hyeon himself isn't totally sure what's going on. The only times Soo-hyeon is able to get Hye-rim's guard down is when he's making mistakes. His increasingly complicated lies just come off as increasingly suspicious. Besides, the premise of Soo-hyeon's experiment doesn't even make sense,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 4 2016/01/30,
Most romantic comedies sublimate sexual tension into some kind of other non-gendered competition. "Madame Antoine" does the exact opposite. Soo-hyeon intentionally courts Hye-rim in the most weirdly unnecessary confrontational way possible. While Soo-hyeon is in theory running a scientific experiment, he interprets any intermediate results of the experiment very personally. As much as Soo-hyeon thinks in terms of petty revenge, he's really looking at a much more terrifying prospect- the notion that he is not the smartest man in the room,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 3 2016/01/29,
Hye-rim, being a generally observant woman, has little trouble cutting to the center of Soo-hyeon's scheme. Unfortunately, while Hye-rim is able to identify Soo-hyeon as the source of all the weird stuff that happened last episode, she's genuinely at a loss as to why Soo-hyeon would engage in such bizarre activities. What's more, because Seung-chan (played by Jinwoon) and Ji-ho (played by Lee Joo-hyung) are somewhat more naturalistic in their approach, Hye-rim is completely incapable of grasping the big picture,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 2 2016/01/23,
It would seem that Soo-hyeon has made it his mission to teach Hye-rim a lesson. Not in the literally helpful way of better explaining psychology, but in the metaphorical sense of humiliating her. Soo-hyeon isn't just evil- he's petty evil, and his weirdly obsessive attitude is creepy, simplistic, and most gallingly of all, anti-scientific. Experiments, even obviously unethical ones, work best with subjects who don't know what's happening to them. For a laywoman, Hye-rim is actually pretty knowledgable,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 1 2016/01/22,
Soo-hyeon (played by Sung Joon) is a psychologist with an appallingly bad attitude. His scientific experiments are highly unethical, and to what end? So he can prove that love isn't real. Enter Hye-rim (played by Han Ye-seul), a fortuneteller who rather transparently uses cold reads to scam anyone who walks into her parlor. Yet Hye-rim is consistently able to make her patrons feel good about themselves- a fact which Soo-hyeon finds offensive, since the whole point of psychology is to make people appreciate their own depressed miserable existence,...More
SBS Drama Awards, quality or popularity? 2015/12/03, Source,
Who will be the last one to laugh at the SBS Drama Awards?
SBS maintains its reputation for being one of the most powerful drama broadcasting stations in 2015. It entertained viewers with various dramas and so did actors and actresses with their various transformations,...More
UEE, "I want to try a movie" 2015/08/04, Source, Singer and actress UEE says she wants to be in a movie next.
A finishing interview for the SBS drama "High Society" was held on the 3rd and she said, "I haven't done a movie yet. I would like to be in a movie even if it was a small role",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 20 Final 2015/03/26,
The marriage ceremony at the beginning of this episode is an obvious symbolic representation of how Seo-jin and Robin will inevitably merge- it's the spiritual idea of two people becoming one. This notion has been alluded to a lot in the script lately, and it's here that "Hyde, Jekyll and I" finally pulls this idea off. There's only really fireworks in the literal sense. The main important aspect of the presentation here is subtlety,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 19 2015/03/25,
The tone this episode moves toward deathbed melodrama of all things. It's not exactly unprecedented. "Hyde, Jekyll and I" has been pretty consistent about treating Robin as if he is his own person, and not just an extension of Seo-jin's personality. And even if Robin himself is willing to accept that premise, that doesn't make the oncoming reality of his own "death" any less painful to bear. Nor does it make matters easier for Ha-na,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 18 2015/03/19,
Up until this episode, the tacit understanding has been that Seo-jin is the real person and Robin is the interloper. But Ha-na's declaration flips all of that on its head- now everybody thinks that Seo-jin is just a facade put on the for sake of the family corporation, and that Robin is the real dominant personality. It's a turn of events that would have driven Seo-jin insane at the start of "Hyde, Jekyll and I". But bizarrely enough, here, he actually seems kind of happy about it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 17 2015/03/18,
Seo-jin has made a major psychological breakthrough in terms of realizing his own general unhappiness, and how this directly relates to the way he's been acting like a jerk to everyone. Here's the problem. Seo-jin is the son of a jerk chaebol, who continues to be a jerk chaebol. While the other characters are happy that Seo-jin is doing better, no one particularly likes the man that much. In one particularly pathetic scene Seo-jin has to kill time at home, with little else to reflect upon save for the fact that his only real friend is in jail,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 16 2015/03/12,
So...last episode was the big climactic psychological brawl between Seo-jin and Tae-joo. Now that that's been resolved, what is this drama about exactly? To be entirely honest, I was kind of expecting this to be the last episode where everything just sort of wraps up, having forgotten that "Hyde, Jekyll and I" is in fact a twenty episode drama. In that light, it would seem we're heading into extended wrap-up mode,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 15 2015/03/11,
The emphasis here is less on physical danger than it is on mental gymnastics. To date, Tae-joo has always been able to backpeddle his way out of failures because he was always watching from some secret compartment somewhere. Here, he has to directly negotiate with Seo-jin over the terms which will decide who was truly at fault for what happened at the kidnapping so long again. And the dramatic impetus ends up hinging on one question that to date hasn't really been addressed- why does Tae-joo even care in the first place?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 14 2015/03/05,
The police in this drama really aren't very competent. I haven't felt it necessary to discuss that aspect so far since there's so much else going on, but it's kind of unavoidable here. Tae-joo inexplicably manages to make a getaway and further his psychological schemes even longer. Which is unfortunate. While the whole Tae-soo story arc has certainly been interesting it definitely drags here, making me wish "Hyde, Jekyll and I" had at least one other meaningfully built up subplot,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 13 2015/03/04,
Tae-joo's decision to use Hee-ae as bait last episode was a pretty clear admission that he was willing to bet everything on his current psychological theory. As a result, his current attempts at backpedaling this episode just come off as kind of pathetic. Hee-ae barely even tries to argue with him this time. If Tae-joo isn't willing to accept Robin's decision as evidence that Seo-jin is seriously psychologically damaged, it's clear that nothing will ever get through to the man,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 12 2015/02/26,
While the psychological element was interesting in the initial introduction, in this follow-up episode the concept kind of drags. We're really just looking at the exact same character exploration as last time- Tae-joo schemes and rationalizes to himself about the best way to get revenge on Seo-jin. I rather suspect this is the real reason he's kept Hee-ae around for so long. Tae-joo has to argue this point with her if only to convince himself that he's still on the right track,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 11 2015/02/25,
Tae-joo has progressed from physical deathtraps to mental ones. It's an intriguing change of pace actually. Tae-joo has, just like us, witnessed Seo-jin going through undeniable character development. But Tae-joo is unwilling to admit that Seo-jin's mental state may be complicated somehow- so he instead comes up with rather elaborate logical justifications by which Seo-jin can still be the bad guy. And therefore, Tae-joo can still have his just revenge. No wonder Hee-ae looks so panicked. There's two mental patients at risk of relapsing here- three if you count Robin,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 10 2015/02/19,
This episode's surprisingly drawn out considering almost the entire runtime is just dedicated to Tae-joo's deranged revenge scheme. Sung Joon puts in a pretty good performance here. The man might be crazy, but he's crazy in an extremely logical way, and it's fun watching him stare at Seo-jin and Robin with just a kind of perplexed expression. Even though Tae-joo's desire for revenge is no less than it was before, at this point he's at least curious enough to see how this all plays out,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 9 2015/02/18,
Now that Tae-joo has been outed as the true villain, "Hyde, Jekyll and I" has become substantially more cohesive. In the first place I've finally figured out what Seung-yeon and all the other corporate blokes are supposed to represent- not actual villains, but mild patsies. Their concerns about proper company management are in fact mostly reasonable. The Seo-jin / Robin conflict, and the inability of daddy Myeong-han to appropriately resolve it, are what's created the power struggle,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 8 2015/02/12,
The mystery inexplicably becomes the most interesting part of the drama this episode. The answers we thought were so clearly delineated at the cliffhanger quickly become complicated by a glaring inconsistency in the suspect's story. "Hyde, Jekyll and I" manages to take story cues from "Doctor Frost" of all places, and quickly proves that it was the latter drama's execution of the elements that fell flat. As it turns out, subtle psychological manipulation can actually be quite the persuasive red herring,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 7 2015/02/11,
So now Seo-jin's motivation is to...help the circus out? I guess that works. It has very little to do with anything he's done so far but whatever. At least he has a goal now. Too bad the other characters still hate the circus for some reason. I mean, geez, you let just one gorilla out on a murderous rampage, and all of a sudden nobody wants to honor their contracts! Likewise, while it's nice to see some actual villains, it's also way too easy to see things from their point of view,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 6 2015/02/05,
...For whatever reason, I was expecting the cliffhanger of the last episode to have more impact on Seo-jin than on Ha-na. Seo-jin doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who receives that kind of compliment very often. And from Ha-na's perspective she's already practically dating Robin. Isn't liking a guy kind of a precondition to dating him? This really shouldn't come off as some sort of big revelation, and I'm rather confused as to why every character here insists on treating it as such,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 5 2015/02/04,
Disappointingly, very little of this episode actually takes place inside the house, as most of the runtime is dedicated to Ha-na and Robin going out on dates. In a sort of counter-intuitive way, "Hyde, Jekyll and I" is mainly managing to explain why these kinds of cute romantic moments really need better context in order to function correctly. Seo-jin is the only character involved in any actual plot, and his main motivation is just to avoid contact with Robin,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 4 2015/01/29,
Seo-jin still hasn't learned his lesson. Once again the man tries to solve his problems by fiddling around with contract negotiations. To be entirely honest I'm sick of all the contract discussions, so I'm hoping the end of the episode honestly foreshadows that Seo-jin is going try to find another way to deal with Ha-na. There's just something terribly annoying about this drama having something as interesting as a circus only for us to never actually to get watch a circus performance,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 3 2015/01/28,
All right, I'm on to this drama. Ha-na exists less as a character with her own distinctly designed motivations as she does a plot device intended to provoke Seo-jin's conflict with Robin. In terms of spectacle Ha-na is also important because two people are necessary to have bright colorful escapades around an abandoned amusement park. There's an awful lot of stuntwork here for a drama that's allegedly supposed to function largely as a romantic comedy,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 2 2015/01/22,
Why did it have to be a criminal invesigation? I'd just as soon pretend the entire final sequence of the first episode didn't happen, but that's pretty much impossible when "Hyde, Jekyll and I" is outright insisting on turning the invasion and attack into a serious plot point. Much is made of the missing cameras, but what about the missing people? No one saw this guy come in? There wasn't a guard? How do we go from a completely filled lecture hall in the middle of the day to absolutely nothing?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 1 2015/01/21,
While watching the first episode of "Hyde, Jekyll and I", mentally I frequently found myself wondering how exactly this drama was pitched. It's less a coherent product than a bunch of apparently random fashionable tropes. Hyun Bin is in it, so let's use a concept vaguely similar to "Secret Garden". Product placement is popular, so let's set it at an amusement park. Dramas about mental illness are in vogue, that's good. Also "Mr. Go" is on retainer, so either we put him on screen somewhere or he'll just be a drain on the budget,...More
Sung Dong-il in New Zealand 2013/10/27, Source, Sung Dong-il left to New Zealand for the making of the MBC TV show "Dad, Where Are You Going?" What will happen to his part in the tvN drama "Answer Me 1994"?
Apparently, his scenes have already been taken care of and filming has been done to a point where it's not a big problem,...More
Suzy and Sung Joon in a scandal 2013/10/16, Source,
Miss A Suzy and actor Sung Joon must've done something to make this such a big deal. SBS "TV News At Night" reported on the two people's actions the other night.
A witness and reporter interviewed with "TV News At Night" and claimed he saw them on the streets one night and they were seen having a good time at a pub somewhere,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Horror Stories 2" 2013/06/14,
In "Horror Stories 2" we're treated to a small collection of horror movies. They don't really have anything to do with each other, thematically or otherwise. There's not much point getting attached to any of the characters, since relatively few of them survive beyond their original thirty-minute runtimes. And even the ones that do we never see them again. So, all that's left is to judge this movie as the sum of its parts.
The first story, The Cliff, brings horror to a rather mundane level as two friends run into trouble on a mountain. The prominent use of a Snickers bar is troublesome,...More
Kim Seong-min hugs a woman in "Can We Get Married?" 2012/10/08, Source,
Actor Kim Seong-min was seen hugging a woman.
Kim Seong-min has started making the new JTBC drama "Can We Can Married?". His role is a play boy plastic surgeon names Do-hyeon. In a recent shoot, he shot a scene where he met his girlfriend without his wife knowing. This scene was where she came all the way to his hospital and tried to win his heart over. Kim Seong-min seemed thrilled at the fact that this was his first drama in 2 years,...More
'Lie to Me': new spin on rom-coms? 2011/05/08, Source, Kang Ji-hwan, left, and Yoon Eun-hye pose for a photo at a press conference for the new TV drama "Lie to Me" at the SBS headquarters in Mok-dong on May 3. The romantic comedy will premiere Monday to compete with other love stories showing on the small screen. / Yonhap
By Kwon Mee-yoo
May sees an influx of romantic comedies decorate the small screen, and "Lie to Me" throws its hat into the ring as it premieres tonight on SBS,...More
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