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[Videos] Teasers Released for the Korean Drama "Breakup Probation, a Week"

Source | 2021/02/22 | Permalink

Teasers released for the Korean drama "Breakup Probation, A Week"...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Color Rush" Episodes 1-4

2021/01/08 | Permalink

Yeon-woo (played by Yoo Jun) is a Mono. I'm still not completely sure what that actually means, but apparently he sees the world largely in grayscale. Yeon-woo's mother was also a Mono, before she died due to some horrible circumstance that will presumably be explained in later episodes but for now is being kept kind of vague. Anyway, when a Mono meets a Probe, they start seeing the world in countless colors simultaneously. And for Yeon-woo, that Probe is Yoo-han (played by Hur Hyun-jun), and also this whole "Color Rush" thing appears to be some kind of metaphor for being gay...More

[HanCinema's Film Review] "Ahn Sangtae Short Film Collection Vol.1"

2020/08/01 | Permalink

The first short of the "Ahn Sangtae Short Film Collection Vol.1" omnibus plays best to Ahn Sang-tae's natural strengths as a comedian. Undercover is about an undercover cop in a violent criminal gag who very stupidly gets his Kakao chat rooms confused and has to hypermasculine his way out of it. That Ahn Sang-tae does not look or act like either a credible cop or gangster only sharpens the absurd contrast of the situation, as his comically aggressive behavior inspires mild confusion but ultimate acceptance from his superiors...More

[HanCinema's Film Review] "Innocence"

2020/07/04 | Permalink

At the start of "Innocence" we're treated to a horrific scene wherein various members of a funeral banquet start vomiting rice wine, having clearly been poisoned. The apparently senile Hwa-ja (played by Bae Jong-ok) is the main obvious culprit, as the woman who prepared the food for the friends of her departed husband. So it is that Hwa-ja's daughter Jeong-in (played by Shin Hye-sun) returns to the outskirts of Daejeon, determined to prove that her mother is innocent...More

[HanCinema's Film Review] "#ALIVE"

2020/06/27 | Permalink

Joon-woo (played by Yoo Ah-in) isat home aloneplaying games onlinewhen his Internet friends start noting in confusion that there's crazy stuff happening on television. Up in his eighth floor apartment, Joon-woo looks down and sees a giant panicked mob. Then he sees some members of the mob inexplicably turn around and start biting each other. Suffice to say, Joon-woo is too spooked to leave his apartment, where he remains for most of the rest of the movie...More

From Schemes to Murder, Women in Drama Are Getting Stronger

Source | 2020/05/31 | Permalink

In every successful drama there is a leading woman. Following Kim Hee-ae, who acted a dramatic wife in the recently ended jTBC drama "The World of the Married", the women in the latest contents of Watcha don't hesitate to kill.

Women are getting stronger. They corner their opponents with all kinds of schemes and even commit murder from the beginning. The process of looking back on why they did so much becomes the basis of the drama's main narrative and story. Obedient and innocent women are no longer seen in most dramas...More

[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Villagers"

2019/10/05 | Permalink

In the opening scene of "The Villagers" we see Gi-cheol (played by Ma Dong-seok) forced into a change of careers for breaking the rules. In one of the movie's more interesting dramatic flourishes, Gi-cheol is not played from that point forward as a renegade. To the contrary, Gi-cheol is surprisingly passive. He does get provoked into investigating a missing persons case because high school studentYoo-jin (played by Kim Sae-ron) has been aggressively putting out flyers. But even then, Gi-cheol is subdued...More

[HanCinema's News] Watcha Play Releases Results of 'Killing Eve' Fantasy Casting

2019/07/11 | Permalink

On July 11th Watcha Play released the results of its Killing Eve fantasy casting event. The BBC spy thriller starring ethnic Korean Sandra Oh in the leading role has been highly acclaimed, and while there are no current plans for a South Korean version, Watcha Play nonetheless was curious who would be the most popular picks for the leading roles...More

[HanCinema's Film Review] "Let Us Meet Now"

2019/06/29 | Permalink

In the third part of the "Let Us Meet Now" omnibus Jeong-eun (played by Lee Jung-eun of "Parasite" fame) is an older woman working two jobs to support her even older mother, who is suffering from dementia. The irony of such a story appearing in an omnibus that's ostensibly about North Koreans is dripping. It's little surprise that this story, 'Hello', came from director Boo Ji-young who made the union-driven film drama "Cart" a few years back...More

[HanCinema's News] "Parasite" Has Renewed Interest in Other Bong Joon-ho Films

2019/06/05 | Permalink

In a statement released on June 5th a representative from the online streaming service Watcha Play claimed that in the top five movies requested between June 1st and June 3rd, three films from director Bong Joon-ho have emerged in the top five. "Mother - 2009", "Memories of Murder" and "Snowpiercer" were those movies...More

[HanCinema's Film Review] "Visitors - 2019"

2019/04/06 | Permalink

Soo-hyeon (played by Jung Ho) is a North Korean defector who works in a sparsely populated public library. Life is pretty boring in there, although every so often his boss will pop and complain about some trivial problem. Life takes a turn for the weird when Soo-hyeon starts having serial abstract conversations with other defectors who coincidentally happen to be visiting the library. And then, of course, there's the framing device of Detective Kim (played by Park Gi-ryoong) who's trying to figure out where Soo-hyeon disappeared to, and also the recurring setpiece of the fish in the fishbowl with weird colors...More

[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Whispering"

2018/07/21 | Permalink

A gaggle of idiot high school friends have been worrying about Eun-ha (played by So Ju-yeon) who has been on the emotional outs following the death of her best friend Ji-eun (played by Lee Yoo-mi). So they do what any good friends would do, and take her out to a creepy abandoned amusement park on the outskirts of Ulsan. This culminates in a trip to an old haunted cavern that rather ominously bolted shut at the worst possible moment in the movie's cold open...More

[HanCinema's Film Review] "The End"

2018/06/23 | Permalink

The Korean title of "The End" directly translates as the couple that lives in the forest. By choosing this very generic English title writer/director Jeon Kyu-hwan has made "The End" nearly impossible to search for. Then again the couple that lives in the forest doesn't even show up for over half an hour. The extended cold open is just an unrelated short film about Joo-hee (played by Lee Joo-hee-I) a college student who must resort to increasingly sordid activities in order to make rent...More

[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Vanished"

2018/03/17 | Permalink

The first character we see in "The Vanished" is a security guard at the morgue. He's only vaguely paying attention to the closed circuit television when a sudden blackout turns everything just a little spooky. By the time the police arrive discrete facts are at a minimum. The corpse of recently departed rich corporate bigshot Seol-hee (played by Kim Hee-ae) has mysteriously disappeared. Also her husband professor Jin-han (played by Kim Kang-woo) was applying fake tears at the memorial service...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Drama Stage - The History of Walking Upright"

2017/12/16 | Permalink

Mi-na (played by Kang Mina) is a normal high school student who skatesboards to school every day and has an unacknowledged crush on family friend slash local tennis star Jong-min (played by Byeon Woo-seok), who is her fellow student. Also Mi-na has the superpower to turn invisible twice a day. You would think that's the most important part of her characterization but no, "Drama Stage - The History of Walking Upright" is actually a pretty mundane high school romance with a pretty weird gimmick for no obvious reason...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "While You Were Sleeping - 2017" Episodes 17-18

2017/10/25 | Permalink

Hak-yeong (played by Baek Sung-hyun) is Woo-tak's old friend, who may or may not have murdered a minor celebrity. That question remains ambiguous even if the three main leads have concluded he was not responsible. At least, that would be my interpretation if the drama was not from their point of view. I mean sure, Yoo-beom is a sneak abusing the situation for his own ends but from a non-supernatural perspective he does make perfectly legitimate points about Jae-chan's questionable judgment...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Boy and Girl from the 20th Century" Episodes 7-8

2017/10/17 | Permalink

The opening title of this episode is "Christmas in August", a fairly explicit reference to the classic nineties South Korean film. So instead of thinking about the plot this time, I decided to ask myself- what's the title supposed to mean? It obviously isn't just a random pop culture reference. Viewed by that rubric, as being sort of a mystery, "Boy and Girl From the 20th Century" ends up being quite a bit more watchable, as we're fed several snippets of backstory that eventually culminate in a satisfying explanation...More

"Are You Coming?! - City of Angels" hits theaters later this year

Source | 2017/09/09 | Permalink

Added the upcoming Korean movie "Are You Coming?! - City of Angels"'s page to HanCinema database...More

[HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Save Me"

2017/07/29 | Permalink

South Korea was shaken quite badly by last year's political scandal and the absurd nature of its cult element has been widely discussed. It is only a matter of time before Dramaland takes a bigger dive into the dark side of religion after occasionally dipping its toes in it and "Save Me" might take that plunge.


Four young men struggling to get by in their challenging lives reunite with an old acquaintance who asks for their help. The woman and her family are being held captive by a religious cult. The four young men band together in order to save her and expose the cult's true face...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 5-6

2017/06/05 | Permalink

The opening of the fifth episode is an extended replay of the last scene of the fourth episode- and it really is a perfect example of how good editing can turn a borderline unwatchable sequence into a genuinely entertaining one. We get a lot more exposition about why the pawnbroker is a bad dude who got what was coming to him. More importantly, Princess Hyemyeong gets some badly needed positive personality traits. She made the mess here, not as a consequence of her being a fickle psychotic, but out of a genuine concern for justice...More

[HanCinema's Film Review] "My Little Brother"

2017/02/18 | Permalink

Seong-ho (played by Jung Man-sik), Soo-kyeong (played by Lee Yo-won),Joo-mi (played by Esom) and Nak-i (played by Jung Joon-won) are the brothers and sisters of a rural family that spans several decades. They all live in the city now, plying their various trades- Seong-ho is a daycare driver, Soo-kyeong works in journalism, and Joo-mi struggles with various forms of retail work. Nak-i has no profession, being a late-born child, and upon the death of their father the other siblings awkwardly work together to figure out what to do with him...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Sound of Your Heart" Episodes 9-14

2016/11/19 | Permalink

Bong-i (played by Jung So-min) is Seok's soon-to-be-girlfriend and eventual wife. For the ninth and tenth episodes of "The Sound of Your Heart", though, the drama explores their existing relationship and backstory. It should come as little surprise that Seok's memory of their first encounter is...inaccurate. But as usual "The Sound of Your Heart" brilliantly blends subtle clichés with explicit visual gags, resulting in constantly shifting expectations that create some pretty incredible laughs...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Drinking Alone" Episode 13

2016/10/17 | Permalink

At this point "Drinking Alone" is making a deliberate concerted effort to portray its characters in about as negative a light as possible. I can think of no other reason why Jeong-seok starts off his relationship with Ha-na by being a weird control freak, engages in some weird stalking of her, and then the episode concludes as if Jeong-seok has learned a serious life lesson. To most people this is just the bare minimum standard of being a decent partner...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctors" Episode 5

2016/07/04 | Permalink

With this episode "Doctors" takes an unfortunate step towards unwanted perfection- Hye-jeong is super talented, right about everything, andonly ever faces resistance by mean-spirited peoplewho are either outright evil or secretly harbor a romantic crush. We're at the point where Hye-jeong's only conceivable flaw appears to be that she's too awesome. What happened to the bitter jerk from the first episode who engaged in petty shoplifting just for the fun of it?...More

[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Hunt"

2016/07/02 | Permalink

In the rural mountainside an ominous crack of lightning strikes atop a grave marked by a twisted gnarly tree, as eerie whistling sounds portend that the thunder has not revealed a gift from beyond, but a curse. That's the opening scene of "The Hunt" which should, by all rights, have set the stage for a far more satisfying and frightening film, with men driven mad by a lust for wealth engaged in an endless duel. Unfortunately the execution leaves a lot to be desired...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Lucky Romance" Episode 6

2016/06/09 | Permalink

The major first part of this episode is, as usual, dedicated to Bonnie trying to avoid the plot. I don't mean her literal objective of trying to have sex with a virgin tiger, but rather Bonnie's general unwillingness to engage with Soo-ho. To be fair, Bonnie has been pretty tight-lipped with everyone about her rather puzzling motivation. Luckily for us Soo-ho is able to piece together Bonnie's plans without her knowing, and this really sets the story in motion once he finally meets up with Bonnie and attempts to set her straight...More

[HanCinema's Film Review] "For Your Youth"

2016/05/28 | Permalink

In this modern era where everyone records everything, no matter how obviously irrelevant or ill-defined in purpose, it was perhaps inevitable that a documentary like "For Your Youth" would appear that explicitly acknowledges it has no reason to exist. We start out with the pitch- just document the lives of these four musicians, who appear to have been chosen at random. And from there they just proceed to do...nothing. A trip to Jeju Island is cobbled together largely in the belief that something interesting might happen somewhere else. Support from the Jeju Film Commission may have also been an enticement...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jing Bi-rok" Episode 50 Final

2015/08/02 | Permalink

The final epilogue to "Jing Bi-rok" is an extended speech made by Seong-ryong, not directed to anyone in particular except the viewer, where he exhorts us to continue the struggle. It's a fitting epilogue to a drama that doesn't really end. Yes, the war ends- with a final battle the Japanese threat to the Korean peninsula is eliminated once and for all. But anyone who's been paying attention so far knows that "Jing Bi-rok" was never about the war- it was about the dysfunction that made the war possible. And that dysfunction yet remains...More

[HanCinema's Actor Spotlight] Park Hee-soon + DVD Giveaway

2015/06/20 | Permalink

Actors vary a lot in their talent, skills, types of performances, popularity and even function in the industry their career develops in. There are many who might not be familiar or very familiar to foreign fans and especially drama fans, but whose work has been significant. They have helped the film and drama industries maintain a certain quality through their individual artistic efforts and choices. Park Hee-soon is such an actor...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Make a Woman Cry" Episode 9

2015/05/16 | Permalink

...And once more, it's back to the rich family. There's something terribly frustrating about a drama that insists on only being interesting half the time. The main issue is that most of these people just come off like jerks. Which isn't necessarily bad. Deok-in is definitely a pushy, bossy jerk. But she never comes off that badly because we can see the emotional heart underlying Deok-in's motivation. That's mostly gone any time the action shifts to the big house...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 10

2015/04/30 | Permalink

The episode starts out somewhat promising- important facts regarding the mystery of Cho-rim's past are established. Moo-gak and Cho-rim continue to look cute together. And there's even a brief little piece where Cho-rim has to use her powers to apprehend a strange man found in a place he should not be. Unfortunately, this is resolved very quickly and abruptly as we get back to the age-old question of what improbable chain of events Jae-hee will use to impede the investigation this time...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 11

2015/03/23 | Permalink

After a shockingly violent cliffhanger where a furious Ji-sang physically accosts Jae-wook, this hard-hitting action is followed up by...their going into Jae-wook's office to discuss the finer points of ethics in regards to using terminally ill human test subjects for dangerous experimental treatment. This is why you have trouble making friends Ji-sang. That really should have been your first reaction. Although admittedly the cliffhanger probablywould not have been quite so exciting...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 7

2015/03/09 | Permalink

We finally find out why Jae-wook has spent the entire drama playing practical jokes on Ji-sang instead of doing something more purposeful- whatever Jae-wook needs from Ji-sang, it requires that the younger vampire at least be alive in one form or another. This plot point could have happened in the third episode and we would not have lost anything of signifiance. I know that to some extent I should really be grateful that "Blood" finally has an actual point but it is way, way too late for the drama to still be establishing basic facts regarding the premise...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 16

2015/03/01 | Permalink

The storyline is mostly simplified here. We have the core of the family unit generally arguing about the extent of Joon-hee's betrayal, and this is for a time interrupted by the marriage considerations of Dong-joo. While the advantage of this more streamlined storytelling is that it's fairly easy to figure out what's going on, it does lead into another rather awkward problem. I genuinely just really don't care...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 13

2015/02/14 | Permalink

Near the beginning of this episode, we almost have anice scene where the older family members have fun with their great grandchild. Then abruptly halfway through the tone completely changes to one of the very stark serious storylines again. I feel like this is what watching "Family Outing" is like writ large. Frequently it almost comes close to being somewhat enjoyable, then it's an abrupt jump away to one of the other myriad storylines, usually one of the overly serious ones...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Birth of a Beauty" Episode 21

2015/01/11 | Permalink

Unfortunately "Birth of a Beauty" can't quite escape the poor turn the writing took several episodes ago. When Tae-hee makes a boneheaded move in the middle of the episode, it's genuinely difficult to tell whether he's actually being an idiot or whether Tae-hee's simply behaving like an idiot in order to make a larger more complicated work. Part of this is by deliberate design to maintain dramatic tension, but the difference between these two explanations is so significant that it's enough to risk making this a genuinely bad final episode...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "High School - Love On" Episode 15

2014/11/07 | Permalink

Cliffhanger of the last episode notwithstanding, we do not, in fact, open up with a confrontation here. Apparently Seul-bi's presence alone is enough impetus to get Woo-hyeon to compromise with his mother. It's not exactly the kind of progress that Ji-hye was hoping for, but anything that gets Woo-hyeon to willingly spend time in her presence is a win for the older woman. Their relationship here thaws somewhat- not a whole lot, but "High School - Love On" has never been particularly interested in doing anything in a hurry...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Night Watchman's Journal" Episode 13

2014/09/15 | Permalink

The early part of this episode doesn't even bother focusing on the heroes at all. It's just Sadam's wacky schemes and all the other villainous or semi-villainous characters are trailing behind in his wake, either impotently watching him do spooky evil stuff or impotently fuming about the fact that they can't stop him from doing spooky evil stuff. For quite some time it certainly seems that the writers have decided they don't actually have anything interesting for the heroes to do so, well, let's focus on the characters with actual motivation.

Then something amazing happens...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "God's Quiz Season 4" Episode 7

2014/06/29 | Permalink

The drama is slowly gaining confidence in regards to the broader personal vendetta storyline. After the opening establishes the unsettling demise of the victim, we get right into Jin-woo and Kyeong-hee discussing personal matters (mostly just the kid Jin-woo' been hanging out with). This then tumbles right into a dangerous confrontation with that guy who looks really rugged and mean...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Inspiring Generation"

2014/04/12 | Permalink

When "Inspiring Generation" started and the adult cast finally kicked in after its opening flashback, everything was looking wonderful. It looked like KBS had another potential 'Bridal Mask' in its hands; an epic story with epic battles. Good cast of both popular and seasoned actors, lovely visuals and sound, great choreography and interesting characters. It was doing great. Sadly, the Korean drama industry has a habit of destroying potential, which is what happened to this series...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 20

2014/02/26 | Permalink

It would seem that the consequences of Min-joon coming out as a mysterious entity with superpowers are rather subdued. I can't really fault the drama for taking this path, honestly, because who knows how such an event would play out in real life. Constant media coverage and interviews? Yeah, we'd definitely have that. Which I imagine would make it somewhat difficult for a shady government entity to try to snatch Min-joon up and dissect him or something. Ironically, Jae-kyoung may have actually done Min-joon a favor by exposing him in public, as opposed to a controlled room.

But if the drama doesn't really care that much about the implications of this, eh, I don't either...More

[HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Cheo Yong: The Paranormal Detective"

2014/02/22 | Permalink

'Cheo Yong: The Paranormal Detective ' was by far a smooth production. Having been delayed and with news of its exact release date uncertain for quite some time, there were worries over the final result. With the series having started its run on February 9th and three episodes already out, viewers can now be the judge of whether or not the delay was worth it. The fact that this drama has some key differences to OCN's usual slick and stylish offerings is what will make or break the deal for viewers, depending on what it is they like about these types of series...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Full Sun" Episode 2

2014/02/18 | Permalink

Se-ro (played by Yoon Kye-sang) finds himself in an awkward position. The guy just wants to have another talk with his dad Do-joon (played by Lee Dae-yeon), but ends up finding some guy clearly being held prisoner against his will for reasons not particularly clear. The frustration in this moment is palpable. Se-ro is angry on multiple levels- mostly just for the clear slight against himself, finding that his father is engaged in unnecessary criminal enterprises.

And then there's the gunshot. Once more it's not at all clear what's going on with the storyline here...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Miss Korea" Episode 16

2014/02/18 | Permalink

When watching for enjoyment, the criticism a show must weather is much less harsh that of a critic watching for quality of the different elements that comprise a good drama. "Miss Korea" is a show that is best in the watching. It has many issues that reach a large number of people, but it doesn't follow through well on any of them.

The big issues in this show (the IMF crisis, the industry of the beauty pageant, re-establishing a broken relationship, family, the institute of familyhood) are fantastic, juicy issues that people love to watch unfold...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Drama Special - White Christmas"

2014/02/15 | Permalink

Casting a certain type of people in a work is a very important creative, but also marketing decision. When Korean drama is the medium, casting young pretty people tends to pique the interest of a certain type of fans. Those more into heavier entertainment could avoid a series like 'Drama Special - White Christmas' due to its main casting and those looking for said pretty people might sign up with entirely different focus and expectations. In this case, both would be wrong, as this drama special is definitely not light, neither is its most interesting element the looks of its very young and easy on the eyes cast. 'Drama Special - White Christmas' does what very few dramas attempt. It tries to look inwards, into its characters and people in general...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Who Are You - 2013"

2014/01/04 | Permalink

Home to series like 'Queen In-hyun's Man', 'Flower Boy Next Door', 'Answer Me 1994' and many more, cable network tvN has been offering some very popular and quality productions for a while now. While not as popular and admittedly not as good as some of tvN's biggest hits, we also got 'Who Are You - 2013', a series by director Jo Hyeon-tak ('Harvest Villa', 'Daemul - Big Thing') and writer Moon Ji-yeong ("Style", 'I Love Italy')...More

CJ Entertainment Proudly Presents "A Werewolf Boy"

2013/07/23 | Permalink

Some Instincts Can Never Be Tamed ... Is It Possible He Continues to Wait for Her?

Romantic Fantasy Comes to Life on DVD Aug. 13th

Sometimes love can wait a lifetime in the romantic fantasy "A Werewolf Boy", captivating DVD Aug. 13 from CJ Entertainment America.  

An unexpected phone call summons an elderly woman, who has lost interest in life, back to Korea and the remote cottage in the countryside where she spent a tumultuous time in her youth. Memories overwhelm Suni (Park Bo-young) of a feral and mute orphan (Song Joong-ki) who the family took in ... only to discover that he was a creature never meant to exist...More

Kim Tae-hee, "I was happy for 5 months"

Source | 2013/06/25 | Permalink

Kim Tae-hee posted on her Me Today on the 25th, "The last scene finished just now and I was happy for the five months that I was with Ok-jeong. The last episode won't be watchable without tears. I am grateful to all those who watched the drama until now".

The picture she posted along with it was of her practicing her lines for the final shoot. Even though she's so engrossed in the script her beauty still remains and so is her passion for her work...More

Korean singer Psy's song takes Time and iTunes by storm

Source | 2012/08/18 | Permalink

The rap song Gangnam Style and the accompanying music video by Korean rapper Psy have now grabbed the attention of Time Magazine, which discussed the song on the Internet edition of the U.S. weekly this week...More

Time Magazine Takes Note of Psy's 'Weird and Wonderful' Hit Song

Source | 2012/08/17 | Permalink


Psy's "Gangnam Style" has captured the attention of Time magazine. The Internet edition of the U.S. weekly introduced the song on Wednesday in an article titled "WATCH: PSY's 'Gangnam Style' Is the Best Invisible Horse-Riding Rap Video You'll See All Week".

"You may not know his name, but according to the YouTube stats, some 28 million of you have watched the video for his highly addictive song, 'Gangnam Style' in the month since it was uploaded", it wrote...More

The Sad State of American Literacy and Elocution

Source | 2012/03/17 | Permalink

Recently, American internet TV provider Hulu added the Korean drama "The Greatest Love" to their collection of offerings. They even have the official subtitles provided by MBC. Normally, this would be cause for great celebration. But sadly, this is not the case.

I've long wondered when the use of texting shorthand, chat room slang, MS Word spell-checking, and Ebonics would so infect entertainment production as to render TV unwatchable. The beginning of that time, it seems, is now. Having enjoyed the high quality of subtitles for the series both here on Viki and on DramaFever, I had high expectations for MBC's "offical" subs for "The Greatest Love"...More

Viewer Review - Too Beautiful To Lie

Source | 2011/11/05 | Permalink

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Some things to know about my review:

- My reviews are subjective and my opinions based on my own general likes and dislikes, unclouded by obsessions.

- They usually don't have major or ending spoilers, but if they do, they will come with a warning.

- If I like a movie enough to write about it, I write a lot about it. My reviews are huge.

- I don't take myself too seriously so my reviews reflect that. It's light reading. A lot of it, but light.

"Too Beautiful To Lie" begins by introducing the heroine of the story, Ju Yeong Ju. She is in prison for fraud and is up for parole. A parole she manages to get granted by totally deceiving the committee with her great "Drama Queen" acting skills. She is on her way to her sister's wedding when she meets Choi Hee Cheol on the train, after an awkward (mostly for him) situation...More

[DVD Review] 'The Butcher:' Movie-Making is Butchery

Source | 2010/01/11 | Permalink

The ultra-violent film may be a sick joke on filmmaking
Kyu Hyun Kim (qhyunkim)
"The Butcher", directed by Kim Jin-won-I, is an ultra-low-budget horror film that almost entirely takes place in an abandoned pigsty, with the cast consisting of seven people. The main victims, a husband and wife couple, are about to be killed off due to troubles involving private loan. Unfortunately for them, the hired killers are a three-man movie production team, complete with a "lead actor" wearing a pig's head mask (a la "Motel Hell") and chugging an electric chainsaw. And they are having trouble coming up with the ways to "creatively" maim, mutilate and ever so slowly kill their victims...

One of the controversial "midnight screening" entries for the 2007 Pucheon Film Festival, "The Butcher" is a straight-forward torture porn, the kind of film that will never become a subject of conversation in a polite company. There are zero character developments, acting is amateurish, and the production is alarmingly threadbare, although the gory makeup effects are technically accomplished, given what appears to be the $250 production budget. As for the visuals, director Kim and DP Lee Sang-hyun have come up with a moderately ingenious idea-- strapping a portable HD video camera to each victim's head. More than a little goofy, this setup allows some interesting cross-cutting between the main victim's frantic footage and one shot through the "director's" hand-held camcorder. It does get a bit headache-induci...More

Overacting in dramas '3 people, 3 colors'... "Thoughtless vs comic vs princess"

Source | 2008/07/17 | Permalink

Lately, the overacting of pretty actresses is watchable. Those who have kept one image are showing change.

As melodramatic acting is different with each actor's color, overacting is the same. The peculiarity comes out according to the actor's individuality and role. If the actor adds his or her own creation, everyone produces a different kind of acting. In other words, their own overacting is perfected.

There are three big actresses who are receiving acclaim for their overacting in 2008. Song Yoon-ah, who acts imprudent in SBS "On Air", Lee Soo-kyung, who overdoes comical acting in MBC "The Lawyers of The Great Republic Korea", and Kim Jung-hwa, who overacts as a princess in "When It's at Night".

Song Yoon-ah Imprudence
Song Yoon-ah showed something 180 degrees different from what she always has through SBS ...More

[Film Review] 'Comrades in Dreams'

Source | 2008/01/25 | Permalink

German documentary shows images of a North Korean 'comrade projectionist'

Jan Creutzenberg (RhusHeesen)

It is the movie directors who shoot the pictures, but it is the projectionists who show them. They are the ones who give the films to the audience -- and thus secure an audience, a community of moviegoers. "Comrades in Dreams" shows us some of them, each one belonging to a very distinct culture of cinema.

Uli Gaulke, a German film-maker and projectionist himself, shot a moving documentary on four continents: Anup Jagdale continues a family tradition touring India with a mobile movie-tent; Penny Tefertiller runs a local cinema in Big Piney, Wyoming, a village contradicting its name; three young men -- Lassane, Luc and Zakaria -- try hard to fill their rented open-air theatre in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso; and "comrade projectionist" Han Yong-Sil is responsible for showing films in the communal cultural center of Chongsan-Ri, a town located in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). All of the protagonists as well as their various stories and anecdotes are interesting and touching; however, in this review I will focus on the segments depicting North Korea.

One early scene shows -- as a film in a film -- a winged horse revolving around itself, the unfamiliar symbol of the North Korean production company Choson Younghwa, followed by brief scenes from a propaganda-romance by the name of "Uri Mat" (Our Flavour): A young girl does not want to marry the reputable Kim'chi-researcher her parents have chosen for her, but when she meets him in the end she falls in love and accepts the tradition. This is the stuff dreams are made of in the world's most remote country.

Han Yong-Sil is a model citizen living in a model village. Chongsan-Ri is a legendary place to the Juche ideology: It was here that Kim Il-Sung during one of his countless "on-the-spot-guidances" developed the main principles for the party and state cadres' working style: the so-called "Method of Chongsan-ri"....More

French moviegoers get rare glimpse at life in reclusive North Korea

Source | 2008/01/10 | Permalink

The plot is predictable, the acting is maudlin and the ideology is spread on thick, but "The Schoolgirl's Diary" has something most B-movies don't, according to Associated Press.

The first North Korean film ever distributed commercially in the West, it provides a rare, if sugarcoated, glimpse at daily life in one of the world's most secretive and repressive nations.

"The Schoolgirl's Diary" ("Han nyeohaksaengeui ilgi", in Korean) is the story of a rebellious high schooler who questions her parents' values. Soo Ryun rails against her absentee father, a scientist who puts the good of the nation before th...More

'D-War' released in U.S. amid biting reviews

Source | 2007/09/17 | Permalink

At least director Shim Hyung-rae got the numbers right. He predicted that his monster flick "D-War" would be released in some 2,000 theaters in the United States, and it secured 2,225 screens when it made its formal debut on the weekend.

The box-office revenue was reportedly $1.5 million, or about 1.4 billion won, on Friday alone, a solid performance that was roughly in line with the lofty expectations following the movie's tremendous success here in Korea.

What Shim failed to predict was the harshness of reviews by American movie critics. It was not a total surprise because Shim's flick had already suffere...More

'Secret Sunshine' Steals Limelight in Cannes

Source | 2007/05/27 | Permalink

By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Staff Reporter

Korean actress Jeon Do-yeon is reaping critical acclaim from foreign critics, for her role in "Secret Sunshine" (Miryang) which was screened at the prestigious 60th Cannes Film Festival.

Since it was screened last week, "Secret Sunshine" has emerged as one of the leading contenders for the top prize, the Palme d'Or. Winners will be announced when the event ends on Sunday evening in France.

A New York Times article heaped praises on the film directed by Lee Chang-dong, a former culture minister.

Jeon was singled out for her depiction of a young widow who moves to her late husband's hometown. The article said Jeon gave one of the strongest female performances in the festival, hinting she may even win the best female performanc...More

[MOVIE REVIEW]'Almost Love' mixes romantic comedy with melodrama

Source | 2006/03/23 | Permalink

Good romantic comedies usually stick to the golden rule: Don't stray too far toward other genres, especially trite melodramas. "Almost Love" (Cheongchun manhwa) is by and large a watchable romantic comedy, but it does not obey the rule - at its own risk.

Director Lee Han, who solidified his reputation as a young and promising Korean filmmaker with his debut work "Lover's Concerto", (2002), was given almost irresistible casting: top-stars Kwon Sang-woo and Kim Han-neul.

Kwon and Kim showcased fine acting skills in their previous hit "My Tutor Friend (2003). So it is natural to expect that their new couple acting will be fun and thrilling. Months ahead of the release of the movie, a tantalizing rumor flared up that they were secretly dating, despite their strong denials. It boosted the publicity for the film, which is good for director Lee...More