I am sorry to announce that I have made a decision to officially close Cypsis' Blog.

All the reviews stay up as they are, but I will not write more reviews. Cypsis' Blog had many ups-and-downs during those 7 years and I have tried to give the best I could, but unfortunately my life has moved on so much that finding time for reviewing has become more and more difficult. Closing the blog is breaking my heart, but I have thought a lot about it and understood that it is for the best. I am very thankful to everybody who have enjoyed reading my reviews.
(PS. I am still continuing to watch Asian dramas and you can always find me on

Thank you for all these 7 years. I hope that those 240 reviews made you happy. I truly had unforgettable time writing them!

Sincerely, Cypsis

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Taiyou no Uta (2006)

Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: life&death, romance
Cast: YUI, Tsukamoto Takashi, Asagi Kuniko, Kishitani Goro, Toyama Airi, Fuse Eri, 
Synopsis: Amane Kaoru is 16 year old girl who lives a different life from others - she sleeps on daytime and wakes up after the sun has gone down just to go out to play her guitar on streets. Actually she suffers from a rare disease called XP (xeroderma pigmentosum), which makes Sun her fatal enemy. At the same time there is a guy named Kouji who lives a care-free life, passing Kaoru's window at every dawn to go to surf. Despite having different lifestyles, the fate brings them together to give them time to change something in them.
Rating: 5/5
Belive me or not, but this movie did not make me cry and in some way it is not bad thing at all.
Kaoru is a really sweet girl who can be straightforward about her feelings, but also decent and hold back. YUI is a perfect choice for this role, because of her beautiful voice and cute appearance. I have always liked YUI's songs and they were enjoyable as a OST, but about acting - like usually singers should sing and actors act. She was not bad or anything, but just amateur. Of course, there were things that were a bit creepy - I mean, stalking a guy with a camera is not a thing that normal girls should do. I was impressed by Kaoru's strength to face her illness - she knew that her illness has no cure, but she decided to live the fullest as long as she can.
Kouji is a "baka"-guy. He is not talented nor smart, but he has a big heart and he does not think weird about people who give a sudden confession attack. I think he was actually flattered and amused by Kaoru's actions. I saw Tsukamoto Takashi in "Hungry" for the first time, but as he was a supporting actor, then he did not receive so much attention from me, but this time I was really looking at him and Gyoza! I need to see him more in dramas/movies (especially, because he has acted a lot).
I also enjoyed watching the parents, because they were the perfect example of how parents try to
make everything to protect their child, while blaming themselves for child's misfortune (I actually do not think that "misfortune is the right word in this context, but I do not find better words) . I do think that Kishitani Goro might have been the best actor in this movie for his role as father, because he was really great.
Now to the reason why it did not make me cry. It was very predictable - I knew everything that was going to happen, so things did not come as a surprise. More than that, the start was really slow. It took too much time showing the surrounding before getting into the real story, which made the story a little bit shallow and short. It is a bittersweet love story, that leaves the taste of sadness into you.

Friday, December 21, 2012

City Hunter (2011)

Country: South-Korea
Format: live-action drama in 20 episodes
Genre: action, romance
Cast: Lee Min Ho, Park Min Young, Lee Joon Hyuk, Kim Sang Joong,Yang Jin Sung,  Lee Kwang Soo, Chun Ho Jin, Choi Jung Woo, Choi Il Hwa, Choi Sang Hoon, Lee Hyo Jung, Kim Sang Ho, Jung Joon, Sung Chang Hoon, Hwang Sung Hee, Goo Ha Ra
Synopsis: In year 1983 21 Korean special agents are killed on a secret mission by their own country. But actually Lee Jin Pyo survives and killing five men assemble, who had promised to protect their solders with their lives, becomes his life-mission. He steals his best friend's 1 month old baby to include him into the bloody circle of revenge.  28 years later Lee Yoon Sung becomes a member of MIT and works in Blue House, searching for the five man assemble and their mistakes. 
Rating: 5/5
That drama made me understand why Lee Min Ho is loved by everybody and that when the original story is non-shoujo manga, then it might turn into really great Korean drama.
Lee Min Ho stars as Lee Yoon Sung - a hottie who has grown up in Triangle (Thailand) and lived in USA for 7 years and has ended up as a clean freak arrogant "flower" boy, which is common in Korean dramas. Gomen, I promised not to talk only about negative things. He acted all his fighting scenes himself (so did Park Min Young). They had a harsh martial arts practices and all fighting scenes were filmed as the last ones in 5 or 6 AM, which made them rather exhausted and sleepy, so that Lee Min Ho actually fell asleep during filming one scene were he was hit on the ground. I have read the first chapter of manga and it is difficult to compare the two characters - some people who have read the whole manga have said that actually Ryo
(his original name in manga) was much funnier and turned into complete fool and pervert around women. Of course Ryo was actually a "sweeper", but to say it easily then he was just a hitman. But back to drama, Lee Min Ho and Park Min Young have a great chemistry in the drama and most of us know they had the chemistry in real life too as it lead to MinXMin couple official relationship for half a year. As I said, I did not like that they had given him the flower boy image, but gyoza how I love the scenes were his roof flies off because of Kim Na Na. Until now, I thought that Lee Min Ho is overrated actor, but I admit that I was wrong.
Park Min Young was great in drama and she did well with her role, but I do not find her character so outstanding. I liked her as long as she was independent woman, but she disappeared from the scene after she constantly kept telling Lee Yoon Sung that her feelings belong to herself and interferes into his business. But it is so cute when she spends more time at his place than at home. Park Min Young also has mentioned that in this drama she had the most difficult and nerve-wreaking moment and it was nothing else than her almost kiss with Lee Min Ho on the sofa. You ask why? Well, I bet her heart was racing like crazy in real life.  
Kim Young Joo aka Prosecutor was played by  Lee Joon Hyuk. He was one character who tended to be a little bit annoying, but he was too great to hate. He is the perfect example of guilt, career and how people understand the most important things in their lives when it is already too late. Also he is rather naive to think that law can punish all people, even though we all know that high officials get away with everything due to bureaucracy and bribery. I think it is not a spoiler if I tell you that he turns out to be "Long Leg Ahjussi/ Daddy Long Leg" and I was so annoyed with that name, especially because they did not tell "WHY???!" From all the possible names that are able to come up with, you must choose so annoying name?
Lee Jin Pyo aka Steve Lee was definitely the scariest character, because I never knew what he would do next. He was the character who would kill everyone on his road, even when that someone turns out to be "his son", who he has raised for so many years. Even though, he was scary and his actions made everything worse, I could not hate him. It is the weirdest thing that "City Hunter" is Korean drama and they have not added 4-5 ANNOYING characters.
From other characters, I want to mention that I do not know if Goo Ha Ra (as a president daughter) was made to dance so horribly in the club or she is dancing so in real life too. It is rather funny, because as a idol she should know how to dance. From male characters.. it was a "Ikemen" paradise XD All male actors were looking rather hot, especially Sung Chang Hoon how played the part of Suk Doo Shik (Cheon Jae Man's best hitman). Most of the time I called him "Damn sexy bastard" and shivered from head to toe. 
Funny thing is that when usually Korean drama needs 6-7 episodes until the real thing starts, then "City Hunter" starts with action since the first episode and it lasts until 13th/14th, then the excitement goes down and it gets rather predictable. Most of watchers have said that the end was a BIG let down.
The end leaves many things open and unexplained. Just to mention that it reminded me "Zorro" because of his mask and how people thought of him as a savor. And of course he was not captured on any CCTV camera not that most of the places have them.. especially places like Blue House and expensive hotels. Drama has a really great OST, especially I liked the Kim Bu Kyung's "Suddenly".
For the last thing I want to say some things. Firstly, people who have actually read the manga or watched the anime, then this drama is not for you - too many changes, especially about the main character. Secondly, if you have read manga, seen anime and watch the drama too, then PLEASE(!!!!) do not insult Lee Min Ho, because he is just an actor, the scriptwriters were the ones who changed Ryo into so called "emo-gay" character (I prefer saying "Flower boy image" to "emo-gay"). I hate when people are insulting actors in things that are not included to their work - Only thing in what you can comment actors is acting! and Lee Min Ho is great actor.
I add a little video about first two episodes, so there is no big spoilers, but just to show the action side of the drama.

SPOILER-review: As I said, last 6-7 episodes were not that great. I know if it is interesting or not by the way I act - when I am starting to make ironic and sarcastic comments about drama and almost fall asleep, then it is not so exciting anymore. But it still made me cry when Prosecutor was killed. I knew he was going to die, but damn I got so angry when he really died and to tell you the truth, then I got even more angry when Lee Yoon Sung did not die in the end. Do you really think he was able to live a happy life knowing that Prosecutor and Lee Jil Pyo had died because of him, I am not telling you that he killed them, but he was a bit guilty of those deaths. I do not think that he had a happy life after that. Beside, he got gunshot near to heart.. and he was able to survive it like nothing was wrong? I am just saying my opinion that I would have liked it much more when in the end he would have died - but it is Korean drama so of course they cannot kill the main character. But all that dieing leads to another question - what did people think of the idea that "City Hunter" was killed? Yeah, you might tell things like officials said that he was trying to kill the president, but until the end City Hunter had citizens favour. Many watchers have wanted a "more romantic" end, like with a kiss scene or how Yoon Sung finally gives the ring to Na Na, but as I am really unromantic for most of the time, then I would have wanted him dead and if they had gone with the kiss-scene then I would have asked to shoot ME dead...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dragon Zakura (2005)

Format: drama in 11 episodes
Genre: school, youth
Cast: Abe Hiroshi, Yamashita Tomohisa, Nagasawa Masami, Teppei Koike, Aragaki Yui, Saeko, Nakao Akiyoshi, Hasegawa Kyoko, Yasawa Shin, David Ito, Hori Akari,
Synopsis: Ryuuzan high school is Tokyo's lowest rated school with average score 36. Sakuragi Kenji, a former race-gang member, is a poor lawyer who’s put in charge of Ryuuzan high school bankruptcy, but then he decides to save the school. He creates special advanced class for students to get them into Tokyo University.
Rating: 5/5

Sakuragi Kenji does not seem to be much, but he is so damn smart! At first I thought that he might have some kind of teacher degree too XD I would have wanted them to give the reasons why and 
how he came up with all those plans and ideas and a little bit more about his background, but I guess I must read the manga :/ I wish someone had made this kind of program for me too so that I could have had better results, but then again.. I did not need great results to get into university. Abe Hiroshi's acting was rather good. As Sakuragi did not show out any emotions and he always had on the same serious face, then I say that Abe Hiroshi acted this part really well, but the fact that he won the best actor's award for this, then he was brilliant. I wish to see his acting more and I really like that he kinda looks like half-Japanese (need to do background check on him XD) 
Ino-sensei only understands everything literary and gets caught up by sentence “for my precious students”. Even though she is rather naive, she is the only teacher who tries to think at least a bit about students. There is something cute about her, but I cannot believe how she hardly understands anything. Believe me or not, but this drama gave me the feeling that I would like to study high school subjects like maths, physics and chemistry again.. I so hope that I do not have any maths exercise near me, because I might start to solve them. Then again seeing them taking the exams reminded me the stress of them and I praise the sweet Gyoza for the fact that I do not have to take them again. Beside I put the “need of learning” into Russian as it is the only subject that needs more memorizing.. I hope I was able to memorize at least something.. ahhh.. now I think I should concentrate on learning it more..
Yuusuke was bought into the “Todai plan”. Yes – “BOUGHT” not “brought” (as for “buy-bought-bought” and not “bring-brought-brought”). He has a huge pride that does not let him accept help from others even in critical situations, that’s why he is pushed into corner to surrender. Young Yamashita Tomohisa is young. I love his hairstyle in it – bad boy with a nice smile (Actually remembered some song lyrics...). I do not know if Yamashita Tomohisa actually played the trumpet himself, because I have not heard of him playing it later.
Naomi is Yuusuke’s childhood friend, who has feelings for him. Yuusuke calls her “Nao-Boo” for unexplained reasons, so I hope that they have explained the “boo” part in manga. I like seeing 

Nagasawa Masami in good girl role that is left at background, because compared to Aragaki Yui in it, she looks way too average. She is the one who goes to special class, because she has realistic views about how her life would be after graduating Ryuuzan and that view is something that she does not want to accept. Sakuragi’s sentence “Your life will take 180 degrees turn” makes her understand that actually there is nothing wrong with trying. I think that she is the one who has the most obstacles on her way.  About Masami’s acting.. well, it is the same even now, which is sad, because I think that every actress/actor should improve with time. I give you a hint and tell you that Naomi and Yuusuke will share some cute “friendship” moments which might struck into your hearts. I almost start to hope that someone has made a fan-vid about them, but as most of the fan-videos have been torn down from Youtube, then I find it difficult to believe.. 
Aragaki Yui plays the bad girl. She looks so damn beautiful this way and I think that she suits more into this role than into “good girl” roles. At least here she is interesting and not plain. 
She is Yuusuke’s girlfriend, but their relationship seems to be more like only the title, because they do not show out that they actually are in relationship, especially Yuusuke who rather talks to Nao-Boo about important things in his life than with his actual girlfriend. She enters into special class because of Yuusuke, so until the end even Sakuragi does not understand her motives. As I told you around the corner, she is not 100% explained and that’s why Aragaki does not get as much screen time to criticize her acting, but it was more interesting than her other usual student-dramas.
Hideki, played by Koike Teppei – the funny cute dude. I adore how he gets really familiar with everybody and adds “-chan”  after their names, but I find it difficult to say anything more about him. 
I do not consider Koike Teppei as a great actor and Hideki was not so remarkable either. For me he was just a character who made the drama a bit cuter. Maki-chan is soooooo cute :D She wants to enter Todai because she thought that it is easier way to become an idol. Her friend recently became a talent (idol) and most of the time is annoying her with messages from other countries. She gave me again the “gyaru-mode”.. thank you, gyoza, that I do not have enough cute gyaru-stuff.. (ahh, doushite??! I want to be a cute girl too for a moment! Well.. must accept the fact that I am pretty and not cute :/ *egocentric-mode*) She suited together with Hideki, who was shown on the screen as much as she - aka mostly left out.
Ichiro is the character I feel most sorry for. As he has a twin brother in Shuumenkan, he is totally left beside by his family and to think that his younger twin brother almost hates him.. I do not know. I hate Jirou so much for what he does to Ichiro, even though Ichiro has sacrificed most of his life so that Jirou would succeed. As a twin, I find Jirou’s actions unacceptable. Most of the time, I wanted to kill Jirou, because even though Ichiro looked like real baka, Ichiro was so cute and sincere.  
Beside Jirou there are many annoying characters in this drama, like other teachers and parents. I think that because of people like them the education system and children studying results are bad. I remember from my school time that there were teachers who made their lessons more interesting and students had better results in them, than in lessons that were only taught by textbooks word by word. And as it is said in drama, teachers must have passion for their subject.  There is a lot to study from this drama, starting from great studying-strategies and hints on exams.  But I admit, that I do not agree to 24/7 studying and you might call me naive like Ino-sensei was, but you must enjoy your youth too, then again in Japanese society these exams and school system are very different from the ones in my country.
SPOILER-review:  I saw it coming that all of them won’t get in and that Yuusuke will decide not to go to Todai. For me it was sad to see them not getting into uni, because I know damn well how it feels when you do not see your number/name on the list. At moments like this, it is important not to give up, that’s why I liked the ending. But one thing made me think *ero-mode in brain*, if Ichiro got into Todai.. did Maki slept with him as Ichiro was also part of the “sleeping-agreement” or was the agreement valid only when Maki would have gotten into Todai too? It is just something that made me think :P  

Friday, November 30, 2012

Bokura ga ita (2012)

Bokura ga ita ~zenpen~ 
Country: Japan
Format: Movie 
Genre: romace, youth
Cast: Ikuta Toma, Yoshitaka Yuriko, Takaoka Sousuke, Motokariya Yuika, Komatsu Ayaka, Asou Yumi, Sudo Risa, Emoto Tsuku, Imura Kumi, Yamashita Yorie, Nomaguchi Toru, 
Synopsis: Motoharu Yano is the most popular boy in high school, with 2/3 of girls falling in love with him, so it is only natural that Takahashi Nanami finds herself in a place were she is starting to develope feelings for him, despite that she also finds Yano annoying and laid back person. Yano seems to be a very optimistic and cheerful guy, but Nanami is able to see the sadness in his eyes. The sadness which was caused by his girlfriend's sudden death in a car accident.
Rating: 5/5
I have seen the anime. I have the manga too, but I have not brought myself to actually read it. It is reaaallly great live-action - no big changes from original script, no important left-outs or character changes, etc. I bet I do not spoil things for you if I say that the first movie ends in the same spot as anime.
This is the first time I saw Yoshitaka Yuriko and she is so cute, a bit reminds me of Ueno Yuri. She is exactly how I think Nanami would look like (and how she is described) - childlike, sweet, honest and mentally strong. Even though few reviews ago I said that I hated that weird voice that Japanese girls tend to do, then this time it was sooo cute, but maybe it was because Nanami has that kind of voice in anime too. It just really suits her personality. I like that she is not some crybaby or crazily in love, but she actually has her hesitations but at the same time she is able to think about herself and how much weight she is able to carry on her own.
Now it's Yano's time. I think that they have made really great choices with actors, because there is no other actor who would suit into Yano's role better than Ikuta Toma. He is sooo great in this movie. Okey, he is great actor in every movie. In manga, Nanami said that whenever Yano looked at her and smiled, then her heart stopped/beat faster and she forgave everything to him. When Ikuta Toma looked right into camera, then the same happened to me.
At first Yano was lying to others and to himself about his real feelings, but I find that thanks to Nanami he began to forget all the bad (but then had to come someone who reminded him all the **** that happened) I can totally understand Yano's feelings and actions, but you can really see how much he falls for Nanami in the end. To come to think of it.. I might be really similar to Nanami - not able to hate someone or be resentful.
Takeuchi.. I actually hoped that someone more ikemen will act his part, but Takaoka Sousuke was
 okey too. Despite that I still find that Takaoka Sousuke was the weakest in the cast, because his lines  seemed to be more like just studied by heart. I did not feel like he WAS Takeuchi, like with others, but he really just played his part. Takeuchi's character was without any changes as were other characters too. But there was one thing I did not understand about him - he was so certain that he can make Nanami happy, but how can you make someone happy for a lifetime, when she does not even love you? I could never be truly happy with someone for the rest of my life, when I actually do not love him - and I do not believe that stuff that maybe I will grow to love him.
And the last characters who I should mention in this part of review are the Yamamoto sisters. Nana was not shown as annoying as she was in manga - in manga and anime she was total crybaby and childish and she never seemed to think of anything seriously. That was why her character was so pitiful. Even though she was older than all the other characters in movie, she was like a small child, who would cry if you take her candy away. Woah, that reminds me my ex-dorm neighbor  who cried and screamed "He does not love meeee~!" x5 in the middle of the night... She was a person who did not stand by herself.
At the same time, Yuri was much more annoying. I think that she had serious mental problems, because she was so certain of some things which actually were only in her head. And she was really good at manipulating with other people, especially Yano, due to the past. I feel like she was one reason why Yano's life was so messed up.
I remember one thing that was different from manga/anime, Yano and Nanami broke up only one time, not again and again.
If you watch the first part, then actually you can even watch it as one movie, no need to watch the other part if you do not want. But then the movie would have really sad end..
Well.. now to the other part of the movie :) 

Bokura ga ita ~kohen~
Country: Japan
Format: Movie 
Genre: romace, youth
Cast: Ikuta Toma, Yoshitaka Yuriko, Takaoka Sousuke, Motokariya Yuika, Higa Manami, Komatsu Ayaka, Asou Yumi, Sudo Risa, Emoto Tsuku, Imura Kumi, Yamashita Yorie, Nomaguchi Toru, 
Synopsis: 6 years have passed since Yano moved to Tokyo. Even though they tried to make the long-distance relationship work, but as time passed Yano contacted her less and less, until there was no contact between them. Six years later Nanami is searching for job in Tokyo with Takeuchi supporting her. But some things are meant to be while others are not, so with life's unpredictable roads they meet again.
Rating: 5/5
As I said, the second part starts 6 years later. Nanami has fulfilled her promise and lived a happy and hard-working life to finally go to Tokyo, even though she knows nothing about Yano.
So since one moment the movie shows how Yano's life went after he moved to Tokyo - it is almost like a storytelling by Akiko and Takeuchi to Nanami. As Sengenji Akiko is the only new character, then more about her. She was Yano's classmate in Tokyo and actually she fell in love with him, but as she saw how much he was in love with Nanami, then she was okey with being his best friend (which she became too).  She was mental backup for Yano and she helped him a lot. Of course she knew almost nothing about Yamamoto sisters and all the other **** happening.
Now this part might contain spoilers.. To start with, Yano's life became total hell. His mother was so
 crazy and ruining his life. I have seen only the anime before, so I did not know the things that happened in this part. Yano's mother should have been put to a mental hospital, but she was dying anyway. And of course when Yano's life was messed up enough, then Yamamoto had to stalk him out and pressure him -.- I understand why Yano acted as he did later, I bet every person would have behaved the same way.
But I did like one thing that Takeuchi said to him in the end, which I think made him really think everything through. It was that "why can't you see that actually Nanami is drowning too?". Nanami was so strong and showed her bright side always, but she knew that she was unable to love anyone else no matter how much time passed or what would have happened, Yano would still be the only one she would be looking for in the masses, even when she knew that the chances are almost down to zero.
I really liked both movies and it was a great way to spend time while riding a bus from one city to another. Ride was 2,5 hours long and one movie is 2 hours, so I was able to watch one on the way there and other on the way back. Anyway.. Definitely watch it, because in last 3 months it has been the most romantic movie I have seen. :D

Deranged (2012)

Also known as: Yeongasi
Country: South-Korea
Format: movie
Genre: thriller, horror
Cast: Kim Myung Min, Mun Jung Hee, Kim Dong Wan, Lee Honey (Lee Ha Nui), Eom Ji Seong, Yeom Hyum Seo, 
Synopsis:  Jae Hyuk was once a professor in biochemistry, but due to wrong investment he has lost his reputation and money. His younger brother Jae Pil, who advised him to enter into stock market, is working as a detective in order to pay the money back to his brother. One day a dead body is found in river and by the next day the Han river is covered with weird looking bodies. As investigation is on, they discover that these deaths are cause by mutant parasitic horsehair worm/ yeongasi, who controls its victims brain to make it eat for days, then drink only water until the victim drowns himself/herself into water.
Rating: 3/5
Rather unique way to use people's fright - in 2009 there was a documentary about hairworm shown in Korea, which led to all kind of thoughts about what happens if human get infected? For your information, this kind of parasite does exist, but it is only on insects. And this is the background information why director Park Jung Woo started to search more about it and did a movie like this. The biggest emphasis is put on making things realistic and I admit that it seems realistic.
Main character Jae Hyuk, played by Kim Myung Min, is disappointed in life and because of that he is mad at everybody. He was the perfect example of when things do not go well, then they won't turn out well even if you have tried for already 5th time! One of my friends actually commented after the whole room had been silent for too long that he did not understand if the whole point of this was to be as depressing as it can, because it was reeeeeaaaalllly depressing. I more think that the scriptwriter and director of the movie were not able to choose out the one way how Jae Hyuk could get the medicine for his family, so they decided to put all options into the movie. What a great idea, if only it would not be so hopeless. Of course, that was able to make me cry for a moment, because you can actually feel the love between the family members. What if such a disaster would happen to your family? would you not give your best even if you can hardly recognize your family?
Kim Dong Wan played the part of Jae Pil, brother who is working at detective company, man who is almost hated by everyone, but in the end does everything for his brother. I actually liked his character the most, because he cared about other people and he was rather good detective. I felt like he was the only one who brought in at least a bit of sun into the movie. Even though I am familiar with Korean bands and music, I did not recognize that he is a member of Shinwa.
I was a bit fascinated by Lee Honey - if you do not know, then she was Miss Korea 2006, the 3rd runner-up to Miss Universe 2007, but it was not her first time acting. Her role as Yun-Joo is so annoying that it is brilliant. Every scientific movie needs one character who is the "Mother of morality" - and that's exactly who Yun-Joo is. Even when the time is running up, she is trying to hold back the crew just because "we do not know what consequences might come with medicine which has not been tried out yet. I was like "SERIOUSLY?! There are two options at the moment - you try to save them and see the outcome or you just let them die anyway." Of course her actions turned out great, but she was still annoying.
Compared to the actual story, it is much interesting to read about the making of the movie. For the dead bodies they actually used specially made dummies, who need rescuing from the water after some minutes, because the dummies started to drown, but after rescuing them, they froze within 5 minutes, because the movie was filmed in winter and early spring.
One last thing - I would not call this movie so much of a "HORROR", because for me horror movies are connected to supernatural-ghost-psychokillers, but "Deranged" is a story of human actions, which can happen in real life. You may say that it is total utopia, but just search how many things have become real which were "utopia" 50-100 years ago. Well, I hope you will watch the movie yourself and give me your opinions on it!

Haunters (2010)

also known as: Psychic
Counrty: South-Korea
Format: movie
Genre: surreal, action, absurd
Cast: Gang Dong Won, Ko Soo, Enes Kaya, Abu Dodd, Jung Eun Chae, Byun Hee Bong, Yang Kyung Mo,
Synopsis: Kyu Nam starts working at small pawn shop after being hit with a truck on his birthday and loosing his job at junk ward. One day the dreamlike work at pawn shop ends, when one man walks into the shop - everyone seems to be frozen and do not seem him. Cho In grew up with a brutal childhood with abusive father and unstable mother, whose problems where caused by Cho In's supernatural ability to control all the people who are in sight of his view. But at the moment in pawn shop he understands that Kyu Nam is not a normal person either as Kyu Nam does not surrender under his control. A war where only one of them can live starts between two supernatural men.
Rating: 3/5
A Superhero movie from Korea - rather unexpected. While I watched it, I really did not get it whether it was supposed to be an action movie or a comedy. There are scenes that are dead serious, but next ones are absurdly funny. The superhero parts make it similar to M. Night Shyamalan's film "Unbreakable" (2000), which is the reason why many times these two are compared. (I have not see "Unbreakable", so no further comparing by me)
Firstly, Koo Soo plays the part of Kyu Nam - ordinary man who suddenly has superpowers. The movie does not explain where he is from or how did he get those neither if he has had those powers since birth. But the thing you understand, is that he cannot die! No matter how serious the damage is, he is able to come out of it, which for me made it veeery absurd. I know I am not the person, who likes those unrealistic superheros. Kyu Nam takes it as his responsibility to kill Cho In, who is "harmful" to the human race. But Koo Soo acting is great and I know that he has many fans, who watched it especially because of him.
Playing Cho In was Gang Dong Won's last role before enrolling into the army (now he is back and ready to get into entertainment business again).  Even though Cho In was villain, who caused innocent people's deaths, I found him pitiful, because he was not the usual bad guy. He did not want to rule the world or get extremely rich - he just wanted to live, which was difficult in this society considering his power, because it took time to finally have a control over it. Same as Kyu Nam, we do not get to know where he got his powers from, so the best thing is to think that they were just born with those. At first I did not understand why he searched Kyu Nam after meeting him for the first time. If he really wanted to live, then he must have gone far far away, but I think that he searched for Kyu Nam because of curiosity and to test his limits. Those two characters are built on character differences - they are each other opposites in every way.
The star characters of the movie are Ali and Boba - one from Turkey and other from Ghana. It is great to see actors from other races too, because you do not see them much in Asian movies. These two made me feel like I am watching some funny epic comedy or even parody of the thriller-action supermovie.. I meant superhero movie. Well, they light up the serious and depressive atmosphere. If we would cut all their parts and edit movie into two parts, then we will get exactly two movies - parody and serious thing. Must mention that Enes Kaya and Abu Dodd have very good Korean, but there is almost no information about them. (I do know that Abu Dodd also acted in a movie called "Pacemaker" in 2011) 
The camerawork is great, actors and script are good, but the movie itself does not have any development inside it. It is all just about Kyu Nam and Cho In fight. I know that many watchers have liked it, critics have enjoyed it, I am "so-so" without any real emotions about it. If you watch it, then watch, if not, then don't. But I recommend it to watch it with a lot of food and great company to enjoy it. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ningen Shikkaku (2010)

Also known as: The Fallen Angel
Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: drama
Cast: Ikuta Toma, Iseya Yusuke, Ishihara Satomi, Koike Eiko, Sakai Maki, Terajima Shinobu, Muroi Shigeru, Ishibashi Renji, Morita Go, Ookusu Michiyo, Mita Yoshiko, 
Synopsis: Since early childhood Oba Yozo feels like he does not belong to this world, that his birth was a mistake. Until high school he tries to get away with smiling and making himself look dumb, but then he is seen through by his classmate. He enters art school, but after meeting Horiki, his life is interrupted by the circle of alcohol, women and poorness. Trapped in his thoughts, it is difficult to find any way out. 

Rating: 3/5
It is bearable to watch when you are drinking, even though one message that the movie tells you is that alcohol will ruin your life. And definitely do not drink alcohol when you are underage! But the movie goes much faster with it XD It is really slow and does not cover the real story behind the book. 

I really loved the book and I feel sad that they did not do the movie as well as there was the possibility. Most of all, you must have read the original story to understand even the most simple things in the movie, otherwise you must have wide imagination to think why one or other thing happened and the movie leaves a big space for your own imagination. 
Most difficult is to understand Yozo’s character. I know Toma is a great actor and he acted really well this time too, but the problem lies on script-writers field. In book they had Yozo’s thoughts all explained which made his actions more reasonable, but in the movie, they tried to get away with long “beautyshots” (as I call them) and “getting the atmosphere  to say everything else”. It does not explain a single fact to a watcher who does not know anything about the book. You must understand that Yozo was like an agonized genius. 
He had so much potential to become someone great, but he did not find his place in the world. Beside, he was really impressionable person and on certain point Hiroki was able to see him through and change Yozo's life into a total mess, while Yozo thinks of Hiroki as one person who understands him. I just came back from philosophy class, so I could make a really deep analyze on Yozo's character and his problems, but I bet you actually do not want to hear it.. Anyway, I feel that they did not show Yozo's mental state and reasons enough. 
It might be a small spoiler, but for example the reason why he decided to leave Yoshiko, the only woman who was able to change him, behind? It was not the reason, that he was unable to forgive her, but that he was unable to forgive himself. He as a man and an husband should have protected her or at least made some action after it, but he had decided to ignore it and it was something he was unable to forgive himself. I might add that Yozo basically saw all the negative things in this society and he was unable to find his way. He wanted to become artist, he wanted to become rich, but he needed education, which needed money etc. I hope all my readers know about how was the global situation in 1930-1950s. More than that, "Ningen Shikkaku" and especially Yozo's character are very autobiographical. "Ningen shikkaku" was one of the last novels Dazai Osamu wrote and there are so many parallels between Dazai Osamu's and Yozo's life, as suicide attempts etc.    
Hiroki was two-faced man, who loved to take advantage of others. He is one character who I hated in book and also in the movie. I feel that he was one big reason for Yozo's declension and the worst part 
is that he actually knew how one or other thing will affect Yozo. And if you want his motive in doing these things, then it is simple - he understood what kind of person Yozo is, he disliked him with a small interest, because he also knew that Yozo might become someone extraordinary and then there is always the way how to prevent that, which was exactly the thing Hiroki wanted to do. He only cared about himself and maybe a little of his mom too, but everything other was just unimportant to him.
I do not say much about the women, because I think that they really  did not tell anything important about them in the movie, but actually in book each of them has their own story, they own reasons, why Yozo is enchanted by them.
The movie is nothing compared to the book, but if you want to enjoy Ikuta Toma in a very serious and psychological movie, then watch it. I say, I managed to watch it with getting drunk (and believe me, it actually had no influence on my thoughts about the movie).  If you want to see it for the story, then forget it! Dazai Osamu's "Ningen Shikkaku" is one of the most famous literature masterpiece from war-time Japan and I think that no-one is able to make it into a movie without loosing its magic.