ANNOUNCEMENTS

20 MOVIES in 1 month challenge: 17/20

Next reviews: 30+ Single on Sale, Okja, Bloody Monday S1, Heroine Shikkaku, The Beauty inside, Terra Formars, Ayashii Kanojo, Secret Message, Vancouver's Asahi, Onmyuji ~The Yin Yang master~, Onmyouji II, Hajimari no uta, Dive to the future, The professor and his beloved equation, The Commitment, Maison Ikkouku 1,2; Very ordinary couple; Rurouni kenshin ~Kyoto inferno~, Attack on titan 1,2; I have to but new shoes; Blackboard 1,3; Beyond the memories; Gangnam blues;

Currently watching: Bloody Monday S2, Karei naru spy, Brilliant Legacy

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Buzzer Beat (2009)


Country: Japan
Genre: basketball, romance,
Format: drama 11 episodes
Cast: Yamashita Tomohisa, Kitagawa Keiko, Kanjiya Shihori, Mizobata Junpei, Aibu Saki, Ito Hideaki, Oomasa Aya, Maya Miki, Kaneko Nobuaki, Nagai Masaru, Aoi Munetaka, Komatsu Ayaka,
Synopsis: Kamiya Naoki is a proffesional basketball player, but under a pressure he is not able to show his real talent. He has plans to marry his girlfriend Natsuki, but because of changes in financial situation and not knowing his real potentials, he always hesitates. Meanwhile there is optimistic Shirakawa Riko, a studied violinist, who cannot get a job as a violinist. Naoki loses his cellphone to a bus, but it is found by Riko. As Riko moves into the same neighbourhood, they become friends, which soon grows into love, but Naoki is still with Natsuki and Naoki's coach has fallen in love with Riko at the first sight when he went to get Naoki's phone from her. 
Rating: 5/5
I love this drama. This is actually my older sister's favorite Japanese drama (I think so... and yes all my siblings have seen at least one Asian drama xD).  She "favorites" it because of Yamashita Tomohisa who played the role of Naoki... and ever since that she names him "Buzzer beat guy!", but I liked it because of a great storyline. It talks about love and work, while showing the progress. There is no hurrying or things uncleared, everything just happens normally.
You can understand it already in first episode that Natsuki (Aibu Saki) is a total b**** and she continues to get even worse. At the same time.. I totally understand her. She did not want those "dreams" and "in future" things. Although Naoki was more than perfect (except that he was too hesitant), she wanted more physical attraction. (That made me think if they even had slept together??). Naoki wanted "Happily ever after", but  Natsuki satisfaction. Their relationship really suffered from lack of sex or any physical thing,
because the kiss in first episode is baaaaad (Not worst, but still bad). Their relationship has gotten to a point where everything is the same every day (even after marring it would stay like it, maybe Natsuki would have had to give up on some more things in her life). All she wanted was some anxiety that would make her heart beat so fast that it feels like exploding, but Naoki.. yeah, he still had his puppy love. That does not mean that I approve cheating (That makes me think about what really is considered as cheating? sex? thinking about someone else than your lover? oke some people consider even kisses as cheating... oke I am going to far from the main point). I just say that I understand Natsuki, but I think that she should have made her point clear to Naoki for a long time ago.   
I continue with Naoki as I already have written some things about him. I think that he was right when he followed his dream and did not give up, maybe he was a little bit to self centric and did not think what Natsuki might think of one or other, even though at first he makes many decisions only because Natsuki (like staying into the same company). Doesn´t the wedding vow say "for richer, for poorer"? I think that marriage is not a thing to play on "Marry me if...!". I think it should be just "Marry me no matter what, no matter when or where, as long as you will stay by my side forever" (Yeah.. I should not read too many wedding vows or start to write one here...)   But I am happy that Naoki was not able to marry her xD (It is not a spoiler or is it??) I cannot help myself so I must write that Yamashita Tomohisa looks damn hot as Naoki. I just checked and it official is my favorite Yamashita Tomohisa drama. I have seen many many dramas from him, but this is definitely the best one.
Let head to Riko. I absolutely loved her attitude!! She was no usual woman. She drank too much, she did not have that certain womanly poise (especially while sleeping). She did not like to wear much make-up or use many skin creams/lotions/etc, she even forgot to wear a bra after waking up in the mornings! Even though she was like that, she still continued to look beautiful and feminine. I think that the thing that most attracts about her, is that she was very friendly, outgoing, did unexpected things and many times was veeeeery touchy... like physically came to close. Her hearing is more than amazing.. I really wonder how she was not a child genius at the first.. With that kind of hearing she would have been a female Mozart! In first episodes it certainly looks like she has feelings for Coach - yeah, love from the first sight?
Which leads us to Coach ( I forgot his name.. even though they repeat it so many times). I think he was an a**, a total jerk. If a woman does not want to be with you, then she just does not! When she says that it is over, then it is over. There were soooooo many times when I just hated him. He really got on my nerves. He should learn some things from Naoki..
The character that was annoying too was Ren, but I enjoyed watching him because I knew that he is a jerk nr. 1 from the start, but he did not even try to look like a good guy. Let's say that he was just honest. In later episodes there is a scene where I like him the most. It is a scene where Naoki and Ren are sharing a room and talking. He is so honest. yeah.. he might be a jerk and playboy, but at least he is not pretending.
There are many cute characters who I enjoyed like Mai, Naoki's little sister and mother, also Shuji and some others from the basketball team. At first Mai seemed weird - she is always wearing the same bun and weirder clothes, but actually Kanjiya Shihori is so charming that her cuteness comes out, which finally made Mai one of my favorite characters. She also has many great lines in her script. She is like the feminine side of Mai-Riko friendship.
All kind of relationships are clearly explained. It shows the trust and co-operation of a team. Tension between team member = tension in the game = baaaaad game. You get the point? that's why it is important to get along with everybody. It reminds me one of the REAL BIG highlight of the drama - BATH SCENES! Hot and well formed bath is the best! (I am talking about the "bath", ne? =P)  I want to maintain the "pure" image of my blog, so all you get are those muscles.
One important thing to write about is dreams vs. love. I liked their decisions in drama and I would have done the same thing. To me always fulfilling my dreams comes first. If my boyfriend would ask me to give up on my dreams, then I would better give up on him. If you truly love someone, then you want the best for her/him. Rather than asking to stay, should ask them to go for the dream. But I believe that there is an opportunity to have both - fulfilling dreams and love at the same time.
The drama has amazing kiss-scenes (wait for 7th episode!!!). Veeery lovey-dovey! Drama has great actors/actresses, who are absolutely beautiful! There are funny scenes, sad ones, lovely scenes etc. It shows the uncertainties of a relationship an how to let go of a person you love. Even though it looks like a sport drama it still is more about love to me. I actually forgot what I wanted to write in addition, but I think that all what is left to say is : WISH YOU GREAT WATCHING as it is an amazing work!
 
SPOILER review: Why I hated Coach so much was because when Riko said that she has someone other who she likes, then a he should not have dragged her to meet his parents "accidentally" and say that they are "dating in order to marry"! BOO-HOO! I understand that he wanted to tell the best to his parents, but he did not think for a one second about how is Riko feeling. I felt like he was trying to buy her by making her sympathize with him.  
Yay for Naoki to acting like a man!!! He took it like a man when he found out about Natsuki's little thing with Ren. Also I totally think that it was just Natsuki's fault that Naoki was not able to make her heart go pounding. Natsuki was the one who many times said that "ahh.. tonight I am working late etc!". But we all see how it is with Riko! Naoki just ..eem makes a move xD Even my heartbeat was sooo loud when I saw these scenes (There are no real bed scenes between them so do not get your hopes up!).
I must say that Mai and Shuji's love story was actually cuter than others. Shuji was like everything that Mai did not search for, so it really was all new to her too. I like when there are things that characters are not used to. Mostly I loved that Shuji was younger than Mai.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Heartstrings / You've fallen for me (2011)


Country: South-Korea
Genre: school, music, romance, youth, friendship
Format: drama 15 episodes
Cast: Park Shin Hye, Jung Yong Hwa, Kang Min Hyuk, Song Chang Ui, Soo Yi Hyun, Woo Ri, Lee Hyun Jin, Im Se Mi, Jang Seo Won,
Synopsis: Lee Kyu Won (Park Shin Hye) studies traditional Korean music and instruments, major in gayaguem, because her grandfather is one of the most famous pansori tellers (Korean traditional music genre/ story-telling). To live up to grandfathers expectations she cannot listen to any kind of modern nor western classical music. At the same time there is Lee Shin (Jung Yong Hwa) who is the lead guitarist and singer of the university band The Stupid, which makes him the most popular guy in university. A broken promise leads to all kind of big changes in themselves and school, from music duals to big school anniversary musical.
Rating: 4/5
I do not know what to say for a start.. I hopes were higher than it really was. The drama had only 15 episodes, when usually Korean dramas have 16. One special episode aired before 8th episode, because female lead Park Shin Hye was in a car accident, it lead to a big changes in the script and lost of last episode. The first episodes go really slow as about three episodes in a row Lee Shin (Jung Yong Hwa) is really depressed. If you want to get faster to the great part, you may just watch the Special, because that is a short version of first seven episodes, it seemed like it did not lose any important scenes, so I think you will not miss anything.
To me it seemed that the drama gets great since 8th episode, so if you are eager to watch everything (aka all episodes) then do not lose your hope ^^ But there are scenes which has only song and video, but no action, which makes it slow. Drama has a great and big OST too. At first (about for three episodes) there are many side-stories, many many different characters, unexplained thing and it is  hard to follow, but it all becomes clear eventually.
I did not understood how they can fall in love so quickly. Did Lee Shin fell in love with the dance professor just because he saw her crying?? okey the woman was beautiful and talented, but it really does not make sense. Also I did not see since when he began to have feelings for Lee Kyu Won? Beside just hearing a guy sing does not make a girl fall hopelessly in love with guy, which seems to be usual in it. It might seem that director has feelings for Lee Kyu Won, but actually it is all because he sees a potential in her. There are no other emotions than friendship and professional help.
Lee Shin makes a big change in himself, but he stays to say great mean things xD I did not thought that he would be so understanding and caring like he ends up to be, but it was weird how talkactive and honest he was with his father, but I think he just tried to make up those lost years. I did not understand how they were looking similar?? They just had same haircuts..
Lee Kyu Won.. I think she was great when she stood up for herself and was very independent, but many times she seemed so hopeless and crybaby. I have heard that many watchers ask why she is wearing those kind of clothes, but I think it was one thing that made her different from other girls. Beside, she was learning traditional music and lived with her strict grandfather.
I really like to give a credit to make-up artists and stylists. First of all, "the red eyes from too much crying and less sleep" make-up was great (or Jung Yong Hwa suffered from some kind of a eye disease). Only bad thing the make-up artists did was that horrible pink / purple lip-stick. Maybe it would have looked nice, but it did not fitted for lips. It more looked like the lip-stick has already come off of the lips and only some of the color has stayed on them (It happens a lot with lip-sticks when they are on for too long time). (Eating a bilberry gives you the same result if you crush it with your lips xD).  Most of the characters wear stylish clothes ^^
Earnest highlights of the drama are a lot of hand holding scenes and the relationships between characters. I have not seen it in any other drama (okey maybe in "Buzzer beat") that a relationship does not suffer from any misunderstandings and everybody trusts their partners. They all are really supporting and caring.
There were three characters who I absolutely loved: always-eating-happy-cute-dude Yeo Joon Hee and team Hyun Ki Young - Lee Soo Myung. They all were so cool, cute and stupid XD No matter what I do have fallen for one of them xD Yeo Joon Hee was played by Kang Min Hyuk who is a member of C.N.BLUE, that means a band member with Jung Yong Hwa =)
The annoying characters were Han Hee Joo's mother and the second director or a head of the department. They just were annoying no matter how you look at them. Han Hee Joo ends up to be a better person than she looks like. But it surprises me that it had so few annoying characters, just look how many annoying characters "You're beautiful" had!
It is a great drama, if you bare with long scenes and look at the brigth side of it. I think that they would have been able to make it even better, but due to certain curcumstanses they had to do it this way. I hope they get a chance to make a new special episode in future, but I am afraid that it might stay just my hope. (Even better would be youtube specials like "Playful kiss" had, but they have different production companies).


SPOILER review: I did not see it coming that Sa Rang and Lee Soo Myung ended up together!!! Sorry it is in last episode, but it is sooooooooooo unexpected and it is a spoiler review =P Also in the end Kyu Won's and Lee Shin's story looked like a remake of a remake of a director's and dance professor story. XD the second remake was the musical. The worst scene was the total end of the drama... this kiss scene was more than horrible and it looked very uncomfortable.. Even though Park Shin Hye is my favourite Korean actress, she is just one of the "fish kissing" actresses. I do not understand, they study singing, dancing, acting, but no one teaches them to kiss in a way it would look believable. ( Or does the most people in Asia do "fish kissing" in real life?? O.o) I hope she improves this side of her in future, because if she studies to kiss in the right way, she will definitely continue to be my favorite actress.  Also, because they had to give up on 16th episode, the end came too soon, looked like some parts really were missing.
That  throat disease that Han Hee Joo had, Jung Yong Hwa has had it in real life too and he went under the surgery, but he was able too sing after it well (but I have no idea how long it took to get better again).
I do not understand, why dramas use the sentence "You must like me / I want / hope you will like me / continue to like me /etc" as a love confession from the main male character. It is just wierd and does not sound like a confession. I would not understand that kind of confession ever. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Postman to heaven (2010)


Also known as:  Heaven's Postman
Country: South-Korea
Genre: romance, supernatural, grief
Format: movie
Cast: Hero Jae Joong, Han Hyo Joo, Shin Goo, Kim Chang-Wan, Ju Jin Mo, Lee Du Il, Jung Jae Jin, Baek So Mi, Kim Jae Rok, Kim Ji Young
Synopsis: There is a legend that there is mailbox on a green field and a handsome postman who delivers those letters to heaven. Hana is missing her deceased lover, who was actually married and had a son. When Hana has sent several insulting letters to heaven, Jae Joon, present postman, step in to solve her problem, but in the end the 14 days they shared might all become a dream or an illusion. 
Rating: 5/5
It is a Kitagawa Eriko's work, so many of you already understand what that means. The movie was cooperation between Japan and South-Korea. In addition, the movie was second collaboration between Kitagawa Eriko and Jae Joong.
Cho Hana is full of regret and anger, not only because her ex-lover lied to her but also because he took his family for granted and cheated them. Though she has strong personality that comes off many times as rude and disrespectful, she also has a soft side that makes her a big crybaby. She is rather impulsive and acts based on her emotions. I liked Han Hyu Joo's acting, though she was made to cry and laugh as usually Kitagawa Eriko's female leads do. For a side remark, I have to say that though her ideas to convince people were really good, then on the other side her outfits and explenations of who she is to late people, is rather bad. Seriously, how many nurses are wearing this kind of nurse outfit and a bag.
Hero Jae Joong was good. What I really liked about Jae Joon character was that he was honest, but at the same time he lied so much for other sake. All the movie made me think about which is better: To lie to people, because you think it might give them peace and make them happy or to tell them the truth, even tough you know that it makes them sad? I hate lying, but I do not have the heart to hurt them too, especially because lie has a short legs.
One thing to keep eyes on is that at first Jae Joo wears light colored clothes, but as the movie goes on the clothes get darker and vise versa with Hana's clothes.
About the storyline... I loved it. It is not a usual theme to make a movie about (at least I have not seen it so much). I liked that it showed the unanswered questions of the people left behind. There comes a time, where are questions that cannot be answered. In some way I did not understand how the people were able to believe all the stuff they talked, but more than believing, I think they wanted to see it this way. I might not be sure, but I think that even in the movie Jae Joon says that they will give people the answers they are hoping for. Mostly because there is no-one to ask about the truth.
It might go as slowly as all other Kitagawa Eriko's works and it might not show as much emotions or story line between Jae Joon and Hana, but it is sweet and sad story, plus it was amazing scenes. I at least really enjoyed it.


First Love ~ A little crazy thing called love~ (2010)


Country: Thai
Genre:
youth, romance, friendship
Format: movie
Cast: Mario Maurer, Pimchanok Lerwisetpibol, Acharanat Ariyaritwikol, Sudarat Pudtporm, Perawatch Herabutya, Pijitra Siriwerapan, Khachamach Promsaka Na Skolnakorn
Synopsis: Nam is a 14-year-old girl (M1 class), who only does great in English, but other suspects are awful, also she does not look beautiful, might say that she is even ugly. At the beginning of a new school year she fells in love with new 10th grade (M4) student Chone, who is beautiful, athletic, funny and friendly. But the thing is, everyone loves him! In order to get noticed by Chone, Nam starts to work herself up, but it looks like even in the end everyone else but Chone will look at her. 
Rating: 5/5
This is one of my favourites love-movies ever. It is very realistic and down-to-earth story. In the trailer, it says that it is a story of everyone. I think it is true, there are so many things that one person does just to be seen by another person (or to see that special person). I confess, the part of walking by just to see his face - yeah, I have done that several times, but it makes my day ^^ I believe that it is the same to think where you might bump into him or something.  The movie shows those small things and signals which often are not understood by the other party. The possibility of chance is rather small, most times at least one of them knows what is going on. Just like in a movie "the ping-pong balls excuse".
I liked the friendship between Sheen and Nam. It was 120% right for Sheen to get angry at Nam. I think that more than being angry, she felt like Nam has totally forgotten her. This is a common thing what might happen with best friends, when one gets a boyfriend and stops being with other so often, the other feels abandoned. I  believe that many girls have felt it. But then the "abandoned one" should just make it clear to "leaver" that she understand that new friends or boyfriend are important, but she still wants to be part of the other's world like she used to be. (Was it too hard to understand?) I think that if the "leaver" understands how she has acted, she will ask for forgiveness ^^
This movie really shows how Nam grows up to a beautiful woman, both appearance and mentally. Believe it or not, but Pimchanok Lerwisetpibol acted Nam all the time. I actually thought that they changed the actress, but it was just amazing work by make-up artists and stylists. Also you can see their great work in the end of the movie, where Mario Maurer really looks older than before.
The movie has won many many awards and is shown all of the world on film festivals.
It is said that the movie will have two sequels: "First Love ~ The sequel 9 years gone~" and "First Love ~The Proposal~", but there is no official release date yet. So I keep waiting for them! I sooo want to see them.
Like  I said one of the best and realistic love stories I have seen ^^ It made me cry so much, because it is so sweet and reminds own feelings too.

SPOILER review: If you do not understand why Chone did not say anything to Nam about his feelings, then at first he thought that Nam is too young, because they have 3 years difference, so Nam was 14 and Chone 17, he thought that until Top lays his eyes on Nam. After that there is best-friends-compact : you cannot fell in love with the girl who one has dated (it is unsaid contract between girls too - you cannot even watch at the guy who someone crushes on). If Chone would have confessed to Nam then he would have lost his best friend, but there is saying "friends before dates" so I understand him very well. Of course what can be reproached is that he allowed Top to date Nam, but at the same time he had to after he had seen Top's confession.
Sad, but it is all true. Even tough it is true that Nam never said anything about dating Top, but it was pretty dirty of Nam to go everywhere with them, because that kind of acting lead to misunderstandings.
If you did not see at the first sight, then actually Pin was almost in every scene where was Chone (But I think that you watched, like Nam, only Chone XD).

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gekidan Engimono: Car radio ga owareba (2006)


Country: Japan
Genre: life, romance, car licence, surreal
Format: part of Gekidan Engimono series, 4 episode mini-drama
Cast: Kato Shigeaki, Kaneko Sayaka, Hiyama Yutaka, Hasebe Hitomi, Nagae Hidekazu, Mitsuishi Ken,
Synopsis: Ueno goes to a small city near Tokyo to get driving licence fast. He has made a promise to her girlfriend, who is seriously ill, that he will take her to drive out. But beside studing he must live under the same roof with other car school students, who are really unique and weird, while the rumor of the ghost haunting the house spreads out.    
Rating: 5/5
This is my favorite Gekidan Engimono ever. It is surreal like all the others, but it has most of the storyline.This is also the last Gekidan Engimono stroy. Actually before I watched it, I waited for months. The deal was that I was making my licenses and I was derrifeid to fail in it, so I made sure not to freak out before exam and decided to watch it after getting my licences. If you ask if I made it, then think - in the end I watched it, so yes, I made my theory exam for 100%. So that much of the before-review stuff ^^
I did not expected that much of it, so it surprised me. I loved Ueno's character and I think that Kato Shigeaki acted it well. At least I saw that he really really loved her girlfriend. Why there are so few man like he??
I actually find that weird that there are such kind of car schools, were you will stay until the end of the school, in this drama 3 weeks. Do you really have to leave everything (work etc.) to go to car school?? I had to take theory classes for 2 months (twice a week + some first aid lessons at the evenings about 2-3 hours each time) and then 40x25 minutes of driving lessons, but from this drama it feels like they have to learn theory by themselves and then just take driving lessons and final exam. I do not know how it really works in Japan, but I know that my licences work in Japan for a 1 year after entering.
Baba was definitely the weirdest one. His english was funny, but he was so foul-mouthed, so do not watch it with small kids. Aya was okey, but her story was so sad in the end. No matter how you look at her, she does not seem to be 17 years old!!!! You even cannot make licences at that age (I do not think there a those child-licences in Japan)
But what was most surprising for me was the instructor - he looked like the man who supervised my final driving exam O.o (but my supervisor was not Asian...). Even the way he acted was similar xD the difference was that my supervisor was veeeeeeery punctal and marked everything down, not like that instructor who forgot to give stamps for lesson o.O I wonder what face would I have doen when I had done exams after watching it xD I think I would have laughed so hard that I would have failed the exam with first 5 minutes. I do not know what to say about other characters, because they all were really different and weird!!! Beside the drama is soo short.

SPOILER review: I actually do not want to put it under the spoiler review as it is something veeeeeeery important in real life too : DO NOT TALK WITH YOUR MOBILEPHONE WHEN YOU ARE  DRIVING!!!!!!!!!! (even when you have hands-free, you're mind is still occupied, in the end it is not your hands that are driving. But it is everyones own decision, but please do not expose a danger to other people!)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Playful Kiss (2010)


Also known as: Mischievous Kiss, Naughty kiss
Country: South-Korea
Genre: romance, comedy
Format: drama 16 episodes + 7 Youtube specials
Cast: Kim Hyun Joong, Jung So Min, Lee Tae Sung, Lee Si Young, Jung Hye Young, Oh Kyung Soo, Choi Won Hong, Kang Nam Gil, Hong Yoon Hwa, Yoon Seung Ah, Bye Bye Sea, Abigail Alderete 
Synopsis: Oh Ha Ni is a clumsy and very lousy student, but she is in love with the perfect genius Baek Seung Jo. After receiving Oh Ha Ni's love letter, Baek Seung Jo says that he does not like stupid girls while humiliating her in front of the whole school. When Oh Ha Ni's house collapses in a minor earth-quake, she and her father start to live with father's old friend, who turns out to be Baek Seong Jo's father.
Rating: 4/5
After watching it for a first time, I gave 5 stars to it.. but when I had re-watched it.. I took one star down, but about it later.
The lighter side at first. There are many many funny scenes and happenings. Mostly the parts where Baek Seung Jo makes something unpredictable. His character makes a change and in the end he is much more appealing than before. He is actually the reason why everything goes as it goes, he like totally kept Oh Ha Ni on hook. But also Bong Joon Gu makes a big change in it and in the end was one of my favorite characters. At first he seems crazy and immature, but later he really grows up. Maybe it is Lee Tae Sung's magic that he made Bong Joon Gu that appealing.  Baek Seung Jo's little brother gives plus points too. That arrogant mini-version of Baek Seung Jo says many cute things.
People, who have watched all other versions of it (Taiwanese drama "It started with a kiss", Japanese drama, manga and anime "Itzura na Kiss") say that Korean version has the most beautiful actors with the most stylish clothes and that Oh Ha Ni is made much appealing to people than in Taiwanese version or even in manga. Originally she was more clumsier and more in love with Baek Seung Jo, which makes her look even more sillier. So if you are interested in any of those, Korean version seems to be right (But I cannot say it for 100% , because I have seen only Korean version... and right now I do not have plans to watch other versions in near future) There really are many times when Oh Ha Ni can stand up for herself. 
One of the high-lights of the drama are kiss-scenes. Some watchers counted that there are more than 13 kiss-scenes. Also this is one of the reasons why they decided to make Youtube specials. Those 7 short episodes aired only on Youtube, but I cannot really say that they showed more inappropriate stuff than on TV, but maybe Koreans have different veiws of it than I do. 
One intresting fact. The actress who plays the part of Yoo He Ra, is actually an amatour boxer. I think she has not get any hits in the face, because she looks really beautiful (but she is soo skinny).
Now to the bad side of the drama. Oh Ha Ni's character, her behavior might seem a little bit cute, but after watching it for 16 episodes and 7 youtube specials, it gets really annoying, because there is no change in her. There are some scenes where you get the feeling that she might have grown up, but then the next scene proves that you were wrong. But I must say that it is incredible how it is even possible that there is a person who actually cannot do anything right?! Only when she puts all her efforts into it and even then she must have some luck. Also, You cannot really see much Baek Seung Jo's emotions in his face. Many viewers have reproach Kim Hyun Joong's bad acting skills as the real Baek Seung Jo in manga actually showed it out. So if you want to see a little bit more of his feelings, you should read "Baek Seung Jo's diary", which aired at the same time as drama.
The most annoying character of all was Baek Seung Jo's mother. If she had not putted her nose into their business, then I am pretty sure that they would have worked everything out themselves. She was always so fast-forward and did not think about other opportunities. Most annoying was when she declared everything to everyone! It is not others business. I certainly would hate if someone, especially my mother would tell about my private life to the whole world. Baek Seung Jo was a grown up man, why they did not let him to make his own choices?
The last bad part is.... the bears O.o They drove me crazy (Not that I would have been normal before). At  first they were cute... for 1-3 episodes, but then it got annoying and finally seeing them gave me nightmares!! O.o I do not want to see any dressed up bears ever again! (but despite it, I still love my teddy-bears ^^ they are much cuter than those in drama, especially because I do not dress up them... I am afraid that now you night have a pretty weird idea of me O.q But I say I am abnormal and I think that it is incurable ^^)
I think that those bad sides explain why I took one star down, but even though it looks like it has more bad sides, it is actually pretty sweet story of unexpected love. There are scenes to look out to and it shows that wonders can happen to anyone ^^



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

You're Beautiful (2009)


Country: South-Korea
Genre: music, romance, youth
Format
: drama 16 episodes
Cast: Jang Geun Suk, Park Shin Hye, Jung Yong Hwa, Lee Hong Ki, UEE, Kim Sung Ryung, Bae Geu Rin, Kim In Kwon, Jang Won Young,
Synopsis:
Go Mi Nyu and his twinbrother Go Mi Nam had grown up in orphanage and Go Mi Nyu has decided to become a nun, while Go Mi Nam wanted to make a career in singing. Years later after departure, Go Mi Nam has selected to be a fourth member of most famous Korean band A.N.JELL. But Go Mi Nam had to leave to States to repair botched eye job and his manager contacts with Go Mi Nyu for help. He wants Go Mi Nyu to pretend that she is her brother. In order to help her brother and to find their mother, Go Mi Nyu agrees, unfortunately it all happens to be much harder that she thought as the A.N.JELL consists of 3 hot guys and lies are easy to find out.
Rating
: 5/5
Like most of the Korean dramas (at least in all the dramas I have seen) at first it is not so great.. for some first episodes, but after the feelings start to develop it gets ULTIMATE GREAT. It definitely has so many annoying characters like  the photographer, Mo Hwa Ra, Yoo He Yi and Go Mi Nam's aunt... but please bare with them, because I think the drama is worth that pain.
The main actors made a reaaaaaaaaaaaaallly great job. I actually felt like the characters are real person and the are not the same as the actors. I liked that all the characters were so different.  Most of the points will get Jang Geun Suk and Park Shin Hye for actaully showing out the right feelings. Oke, the scriptwriter earns those points too for putting those kind of scenes into the script. You can see it pretty well how they start to have feelings for each other and it is not like a love at first sight thing, because you can see their hesitations and how they try to figure out what is going on.
It is pretty amazing how big change Hwang Tae Kyung (Jang Geun Suk) character went trough. He was able to over come his annoying diva behavior and ended up to be such cute loveable guy. I liked that he actually still showed his authoritative attitude to get what he wanted while not showing his true reasons. Also it feels like Go Mi Nyu (Park Shin Hye)  finally grows up. At first she is really annoying with her naive, clueless being, but in the end she looks and acts like a grown up woman, who knows what she is doing. But it is still surprising how she can be SO clueless! She did not get the point of some things even when it was clearly told out! It gets a big mess of feelings.
My all time favourite character was Jeremy. He was soo funny and positive. I think that he was the least idol-like from the A.N.JELL. But in the end, he suits to be a freind more than a lover.  Also Shin Woo was more like a brother.
There is a big mystery around Mo Hwa Ra for most of the episodes, but I must say that she still is a crazy b****. Sorry for that kind of saying, but I really did not like her. She was the reason why Tae Kyung became an annoying diva. I hate her... -.-
I liked that the scriptwriter had done a great recoonaissance with the drama. Mostly about the fans. For example, the fan-fictions. If there is somebody who does not know, than actually many fans really write fan-fics like that in the drama. Beside that, I liked the thing president told to Tae Kyung "Fans will say they loves you, but in the end they will marry to someone else. That's how much there is fans love".
Aah, talking about fans, I loved the Fan club manager, because she was a true fan. She said that they have to protect their idols personal life (even though they must know about it xD), but it does not matter what the situation is, they must support their idols and wish the best (Yes, even while crying they support them). That's why I do not understand when fans start to hate their idol's lover or want them to break up. BE NORMAL! Even an idol is a human and they deserve to have the right to like who-ever they want!
But the total hero of the drama was Big-rabbit. It is the cutest stuffed animal I have ever seen!
I am going to make a review of Japanese version of it ("Ikemen desu ne") too after it has aired and I have seen it. I have heard that it is actually even better than Korean original, but we´ll see. ( Maybe what works for "Ikemen desu ne" (10-11 episodes, 45 minutes each) is that it is shorter than "You're Beautiful" (16 episodes, 1 hour each), so all happens much faster and there is less drawling).
It is at the moment my favorite Korean drama, so recomment it to everyone.


SPOILER review: (I am afraid that it will be the longest spoiler review ever -.-)
Many of you migth like the most Kang Shin Woo, because of his gentelman acting and being all cute and warm, so you might think that he is much better choice than anyone else, but the reason why Go Mi Nyu did not like him in that way was because he did not speak about his feelings at the right time. I am pretty sure that if he would have said it at the begging, then Go Mi Nyu would have stayed close to him, but she thought that only Tae Kyung knows, which lead her back to him.
Despite the fact that Tae Kyung and Shin Woo liked Go Mi Nyu the most, I felt that Jeremy's story was the saddest, because he fell in love with Go Mi Nyu while he thought she was Go Mi Nam, a guy. That made everything harder for Jeremy, because he did not understand why? because as long as he knew, he liked women.. Also, Jeremy was the only one who did not know truth for a long time and even after that he had no clue about others feelings, which finally made it all even bigger shock. I might be wrong, but I think that when Jeremy confessed his love to Go Mi Nyu, it was the only time when I cried, because the scene when Jeremy finally steps out of the bus and smiles again, is soooooooo damn painful.
 I loved that in the end, when they were in Japan, then Go Mi Nyu decided not to go back and left Tae Kyung. It ignored the clice rules and gave plus points to Go Mi Nyu. Also in the really really end, when being back together with everyone, she decided to go to Africa for a while, because it was like a little goal to her. It showed the most that she finally was independent and grown up.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Memoirs of a teenage amnesiac (2009)



Also known as: Dareka ga watashi ni kisu wo shita
Country: USA - Japan collab.
Genre: friendship, youth, romance
Format: movie
Cast: Horikita Maki, Tegoshi Yuya, Matsuyama Ken'ichi, Anton Yelchin, Emma Roberts, Kylee, Kiritani Mirei
Synopsis: Naomi is a high school student who loses 4 years of her memory after falling down the stairs. She faces the situation where she has 3 possible boyfriend candidates, as well she must find out who she really is and what she wants from life.
Rating: 4/5
Outstanding cast - I think they have made a really great choice with them. Actually I did not knew that Emma Roberts will take part of it until I saw her in it (I am a little bit of  a fan of her ^^). Speaking of cast, I enjoyed most Tegoshi Yuya as he really suited to be Hasegawa Mirai, even though he is nothing like Hasegawa in real life. Character was well played and he was my favorite character of all. I actually did not know anything about Anton Yelchin and even now I have not seen any of his other films, but he acted pretty well. Despite of that all you might remember of him was that his character wanted mostly one thing from girls. I do not know what to say about Matsuyama Ken'ichi, because I think most of you will agree to me, when I say that he is just so amazing actor. He played his character well, but I liked his character the least. It seemed like all scenes where he was, went on so slowly. If I would have been Naomi, then I would have run from him. I saw it coming, that he was not mentally alright from the start. Horikita Maki is one of my favorite actresses (I just understood that I say it about many actresses). Her English is so cute!!! ^^
Half of the text is in English and half in Japanese, which is understandable as they attend Tokyo American School. Whole movie has American touch in it, because the director of it is Hollywood director Hans Canosa and it is based on a novel by Gabrielle Zevin. Horikita Maki and Tegoshi Yuya look kind a similar actually in it xD but I think that is because of the similar hair style. Their friendship was actually amazing.
It has great dialogues and they have used the scenes well. All movie mostly revolves around Naomi's relationships with others.  I think the cast gives the most stars to it. 


SPOILER: In some way I understand why Naomi did not tell the truth after remembering everything. She had the ability to live her life different from before, but at the same time she did not think that she might hurt others with it , especially Hasegawa Mirai, but I loved that in the end they got together YAAY.

Under the hawthorn tree (2010)


Country: China
Genre: romance, history, life
Format: movie
Cast: Dongyu Zhou, Shawn Do, Meijuan Xi, Xuejian Li, Taisheng Chen, Rina Sa
Synopsis: During the China's Cultural Revolution in a small Chinese city there is a high school student Jing who is aiming to become a teacher. Her family is really poor and father is a politic-prisoner, so she must watch her every step. She is send to a countryside with her school and they are shown a hawthorn tree, which is called The Tree of Heroes. Jing meets there a young geology student Sun, who was from a rich family as his father held a high position in the military, but his mother had made a suicide after she had been branded as "rigthist". Jing and Sun are not allowed to be together as long as Jing has probation.
Rating: 4/5
I saw the movie at film festival (That's the reason why I was gone for some while. It was outdoor festival, so the screen was put up in the center of the city and there where thousands of seats under the starry sky). Even though it had rained all day long and it was pretty cold outside, I felt warm while watching it. Really heartwarming movie.  It is actually based on true life.
This is the latest work of Zhang Yimou - he is like the most known director from China. I have seen the "House of flying daggers" too, but I think I should do a rewatch to review it.
I like that the movie shows different sides of love, but the main characters share a pure love. There are no unduly emotions. You might think that they have a big age difference as Dongyu Zhou looks really young, but actually Jing is in a final years of high school during the start of the movie and Sun is actually a university student (or something like that), so the most they might have about 3-6 year difference, I think. I liked Sun character, he was so caring and understanding and really loved her. You cannot find a man like him so easily. He helped so much Jing and also let her to feel a little bit more relaxed, because she was under a biiig pressure most of the time. You might think that Jing is naive and childish at some points, especially in the relationship, but you must remember, that at that time no-one really talked about sex loudly, so it is understandable that she did not knew anything, but I think that it made the movie even cuter.  Furthermore, I think I should mention that it was THE FIRST movie for both of the actors, Dongyu Zhou and Shawn Do.
In addition, you can learn some things about China's Cultural Revolution. I have never understood it before why communism and Nazism made just a big impact on those people, that made them really believe in it. But you can really see it, that actually even if you did not believed in it, it was best to look like you believe in it. It was the same with Lenin, who was shown as a children best friend in school books in my country at that time, and it is like that in the movie with Mao. I actually do not want to talk about politics and specially about communism as my country suffered under it for a long time. But I think that the movie shows actually both sides of the communism.
At first it might be weird to see the explanation lines between the scenes, but these make the movie more one of a kind than weird.

SPOILER: I cried like a baby in the end. It was so sad. Especially when Jing called "I am Jing! I am Jing! You told me that if you will hear my name, you will come back to me! I am Jing!" and the Sun lines  "I was not able to wait until your probation ends; I was not able to wait until you will get 25; but I waited for you for my life time." I also asked my mother if a person who suffers from leukemia goes all blue like in the movie and it is actually true. and If you want to know why Sun was not treated, then at that time they were not able to treat leukemia in China province hospital. So in the end all story is really true based and believable. 
In addition, it was even more sadder that the village was left under the Three Gorges dam,  but it is true that there were so many villages and magical scenery.
 

Monday, August 8, 2011

I hate love stories (2010)


Country: India
Genre: romance, comedy
Format: movie
Cast: Imran Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Sameer Dattani, Samir Soni, Bruna Addulah, Ketaki Dave, Anju Mahendra, Aamir Ali Malik,
Synopsis: Simran loves love stories. Her life is perfect as she is engaged to his Mr. Right Raji. At the same time there is Jay - he hates love stories, but he works as an assistant of the love movie genius Veer. Simran gets hired by Veer to be an art director of the new movie. Jay and Simran must work together despite the totally different views of life. They soon find that the first impression of each other had turned out to be wrong and they find each other to actually be pretty amazing. 
Rating: 3/5
This was my first hindi movie, which I have seen. At the start it was hard to get used to English-Hindi mix, but it was new thing to try ^^  Original title is "I hate luv storys", but I hope you forgive me that I correct the mistake and wrote title as "I hate love stories"...
It is totally cliched movie, but it works. You will know almost everything before watching it, but believe me - it is actually damn romantic and cute movie. It also has many song parts in it - you might find music videos from online too, if you do not want whole movie, you can make a preview from music videos. Movie includes many Bollywoodish things, it still is a Hindi movie.
Total high points are dialogues. They are so funny and there are many great sayings. Sadly I have written down only one of them. "Girls are like buses. One goes away, another one comes. But only one bus takes you home".
But to the story lines now. Jay really was just a friend. He did not see Simran as a woman, but at the same time I believe that all woman would have fallen for him, when he acted so kindly with Simran. All those gifts and out goings, where so cute. I understand why Simran misunderstood him. At the same time I liked that Jay actually changed. He changed from jerk to cool, money-making nice guy.
Simran was eem... really really big romantic. I liked that movie shows clearly how the feelings develop. It is not some kind of love at the first sight. They get to know each other at first. And I must say that Sonam Kapoor is sooo beautiful (I actually started to like Hindi actors/actresses since I saw "Aladdin"  - even though it is animated... Yeah, my friend just reminded me that Aladdin was Arabian ... my bad)  Simran had always that romantic wind in her hair XD At some points it was so ridiculous.
As for Raji.. I hoped that he would cheat on Simran, but actually it turned out to be more appealing ^^
Some parts of the movie are actually filmed in New Zealand, so there are many beautiful scenery's.

SPOILER review: I liked that Simran told no to Jay when he confessed to her later, it made things more interesting. Also I liked that Raji did not know anything about Simran. XD Those white flowers and red color were so sad...
The end when Jay was going on a plane and then all the stuff start to happen was so cute. Maybe there are signs of fate.

Ghost Friends (2009)


Country: Japan
Genre: life&death, friendship, romance, surreal
Format: drama 10 episodes
Cast: Fukuda Saki, Nishijima Takahiro, Okada Yoshinori, Iriyama Noriko, Misaki Ayame, Ai, Kawakubo Takuji, Shibuya Asuka, Irie Jingi, Katase Nana, Tomochika, Moto Fuyuki, Wanibuchi Haruko
Synopsis: Kamiya Asuka is in her final year of high school. She and her two friends, Miku and Yui, are into the art and have an idea of going to art university together, but on one day, while coming back from fieldtrip, they get into a traffic accident where Miku and Yui die. Soon after the accident Asuka develops an abbility to see ghosts, who have unfinished business in human world. While helping ghosts she falls in love with Kaito, who tries to catch his dead girlfriend Misora.
Rating: 4/5
If you start to watch it, you must accept that those ghost are pretty surreal, but other story lines are very sweet.I actually wanted to see it while it was still airing, but I watched it much later.
Almost every episode has its own story and characters who need Asuka's help, but also every episode includes Misora story-line. I actually find it pretty amazing that those people believe Asuka, when she talks about ghosts.
I understood Misora's reasons and it is really sad, because she had so many regrets  in her former life and was not able to live her life as she wanted. I totally agree that Kaito used to be a bastard - leaving Misora waiting and all. I liked the fact that Kaito fell for Asuka too, because they where so cute together (If anyone starts to think about their age difference, then it should be about 6 years I guess).
As it includes ghosts, then there are many sad things too. I cried when they showed the accident, I think that thanks to seeing ghosts, it was easier to Asuka, but because of that, it was more sadder when Miku and Yui had to leave.
Really great theme song too!! "Aitai" by Yuzu.
This drama also made me realize one big fact about art universities. In 5th episode there was an art teacher story and he told that mostly students do not get into there with the first tryout O.o And it is very true.. I failed on my first try too, but I won't lose faith to get in next time. So no matter how many times you fail, if you truly love something you will make it true someday.



SPOILER review: The end was soooo sad, unfair and tore one point down, when Kaito left with Misora. Did he really liked Asuka or was she just a companion until he will get Misora back?? It really felt like he actually did not have much feelings for Asuka. That was even sadder that Asuka lost the power to see ghosts. It reminded me "Peter Pan", when Wendy had grown up and did not see Peter anymore even though he visited her. Same was for Asuka and Kaito.  Kaito went to visit her exhibition, but she had no powers to see him. This totally drama where you start to wish that Kaito would stay in with Asuka and become a human again. I still wish for it. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sunao ni Narenakute (2010)


Country: Japan
Genre: life, romance, friendship, LGBT
Format: drama 11 episodes
Cast: Ueno Juri, Eita, Hero Jae Joong, Tamayama Tetsuji, Seki Megumi, Kinami Haruka, Fubuki Jun, Igawa Haruka, Nakamura Youichi, Watanabe Eri, Kikkawa Koji, (minor role: Katsumura Masanobu)
Synopsis: Nakajima/Nakaji is a photographer, but gets job only from bravura magazines. Mizuno/Haru is a provisional high school teacher, but dreams to be a full time teacher. Nishimura/Peach is Mizuno's best friend, but she is always in boyfriend troubles, beside this time she found out that she is pregnant. Ishihara/Linda works for highly rated magazine, but is sexually harassed by chief editor. Park/Doctor works as salesman of medical equipments and does not have any friends since moving to Japan. They start being Twitter friends and one day they decide to meet as real people. New friendship of youth, love, pain and grief begins.
Rating: 4/5
This is THE BEST Kitagawa Eriko's works. At first main storyline goes really slowly, but (I think it was since 4th episode) then all kind of things start to happen really fast. Also what is Kitagawa Eriko's like, is that Haru character is a little bit cry-baby and undeceiving, but compared to Kitagawa's  other works, it is the strongest lead female, but I think that is just thanks to Ueno Juri.
It might seem like a love story at the first place, but I saw more friendship and life's obstacles in it. It really shows the everyday struggles and things in life, which we might not even notice.
Really great work has done with other characters too - they are so different and it is hard to find favourite one. I liked that Doctor used those Korean sayings and his kind personality was cool, he was understanding and caring. Hero Jae Joong acted really well. (In one episode Doctor is totally drunk and that I ended up seeing a dream about him while sleeping.. it was more than weird). Peach first seemed like she has some mental problems, but after a while she was just really cute.
At the first place  I found weird that Ishihara's twitter name was Linda as it is a woman's name, then I thought that he has just some problems with sex, but in a weird way I did not see it coming that he was gay (I understood it when he hugged Nakaji's jacket). Tamayama Tetsuji hit the favorite actor button. Just amazing how well he played the gay part - all those looks and hand movements actually showed everything. Amazing!! I really think that his personal story was the hardest and saddest of all.
This time the catch phrase was "Sore wa Ikenai!"- definitely a catchy thing.
Story itself is veeery unpredictable. Most of the thoughts I had in the begging turned to another in the end. I was not able to predict the next episode even after watching the "next episode preview". Like you get from the start then somebody is hurt by love veeeeery much. I had 4-5 different characters in thought who might be it. It is exciting.
GREAT SOUNDTRACKS - main song is "Great DJ" performed by The Ting Tings. Super great song.

SPOILER review. And then the bad side of the drama.. It was hard to understand since when Haru started to like Doctor and that made me hesitate about Haru's decision, but  that was the only bad thing I can remember. There was a high possibility for a cliche point, but IT WAS AMAZING and did not obey to cliche, so thanks to that it really got plus points. Actually there was almost no cliche's (I might lie to you xD). Also in some way it was funny that when Linda died, then only the male characters cried. There was one side story of Nakaji dad and Haru's mom too, but it was not much important.

Hokaben (2008)


Country: Japan
Genre: law
Format: drama 10 episodes
Cast: Ueto Aya, Ryo, Kitamura Kazuki, Kato Shigeaki, Osugi Ren, Toda Nahu, Sasai Eisuke, Nakayama Megumi, Kato Kazuko, (Quests: Katsumura Masanobu, Katase Nana, Sato Tomohito, Yamazaki Hajime)
Synopsis: Domoto Akari is a fresh lawyer just graduated from university. She starts working at a famous big law firm mZa in pro bono section - the section, which deals with social service obligations. Domoto Akari has a naive thinking that she can help the weak ones and make world a better place, but the reality is something else.
Rating: STARLESS
After watching this I seriously consider giving "Sugar and Spice" at least one star because "Hokaben" showed me what STARLESS drama really means.
It had nothing!! They had a fabulous cast, but the drama was just soo horrible and boring! The script seemed like unfinished. It had a proper start, but then there was no development in main story, did  not have an end (It was totally predictable end to finish this drama -.-). Also it did not had side story lines. It seemed like they wanted to make DomotoXKatase love line. Thanks to Kato Shigeaki's amazing acting, it was totally see-able that Katase had feelings for Domoto, but Domoto was just eeeemm plain dumb. Compared to Domoto, Katase was like a grown up and knew what it means to be a lawyer and it was so sad in the end that this liking went to unliking ("From crush to crash" like my sister said). They wanted to make SugisakiXKuramoto love line, but it sucked, because they did not show that really much. They also did not explained the situation between Sugisaki and Kudo. I thought that may be they were ex-lovers or something happened with work or something, but they gave me nothing!
But the worst thing in "Hokaben" was the main character Domoto Akari. She was always whining and complaining, she was totally unprofessional in her work, she was tactless and loud. She disobeyed the confidentiality between the client and lawyer. She said she wanted to save the weak ones, but she managed to ruin over 20 people lives in one episode (The episode of bullying). They wanted to give a big impact to her words, but actually they did mean anything, mostly she said two-way stuff, which was total crap. How was it possible for her to graduate????!!! I felt like she only dreamed in university, but did not study the law perfectly, because she was just so naive and did not know the basic laws! -.-  In addition, they all said that Domoto reminds them Sugisaki - I thought "WHAAAAT???! They are totally opposite!!!" Sugisaki was a real lawyer until the accident and after that he just stopped working properly.  I would never want to have a lawyer like Domoto, because all her appearance told me how unprofessional she was. She did not even knew what is the case when she went to interview!! A social worker or a detective work would have suited to her much more than a lawyer's. She like always forgot what her job is about.
I liked that Ryo played a total bitch, it was funny xD But  I really watched only for Kato Shigeaki (Now he seriously must love me, because those were 10 most horrible hours of my life. I hope I made up that "Gekidan Engimono - Ie ga tooi" picture),  but he only got mostly up to 2 minutes of screen time in every episode and he did not get much lines. My favorite scene was when Katase and Domoto were in a bar, but that was the only high point in this drama.
This is the drama where I really want to say "I do not recommend it to you", but in the end it is your decision. I managed to live those 10 hours, but it was real torture. I have heard of many people who have dropped this after first or second episode (It was a great decision as the first one was most promising episode).