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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Long Love Letter (2002)


Tagline: Drifting classroom
Country: Japan
Genre: surreal, sci-fi, romance, school
Format: drama, 11 episodes
Cast: Kubozuka Yousuke, Tokiwa Takako, Yamada Takayuki, Yamashita Tomohisa, Suzuki Emi, Karina, Osugi Ren, Misukawa Asami, Tsumabuki Satoshi,
Synopsis: Misaki Yuka and Asami Akio meet by chance at a bookstore. Even though they feel connection between each other, they are unable to meet again. One year later, Yuka is working in her dad's flower shop and Asami as a math teacher in Motokura high school. They meet again when Yuka goes to the school to collect money from a client there - re-encounter does not go as well as they hoped. Yuka receives a call from her former student to meet with her day after that. Next day Yuka goes back to the school (she did not get the money day before) - Asami wishes to clear the misunderstanding between them when suddenly an earthquake occurs. When they open their eyes again, they find that everything but school has turned into sand - or is it the school that has disappeared from its place?
Rating: 4/5
Really highly rated drama! It would have been a total killer if it would not have had one tooo annoying point in it, but more about it later. You can read about the end of the drama from SPOILER-review.
The main main character is more actually Asami, but I know that it does not seem to be so according to the synopsis. Asami is played by Kubozuka Yousuke. He is really amazing actor (well, it is his first drama I have seen) - all emotions are well played. As Asami is one character who goes through all kind of different scenes - he is being jealous, angry, sad, in love etc. Really cute - especially "Let's go on a date under the desert moon" *romance level 100* He tells most of the truths in the drama like "As long as you live, you have hope!". His and Yuka's love story in it is really cute form the start. When in Code blue operation with drill (construction drill) was sick, then prepare yourself to ultimate sickness as they perform an operation with paper knifes and spoons.
It is weird how things start to happen first with Yuka - that's why in the synopsis she is most mentioned. She gives the feminine aura to drama as she really starts to act as a mother by protecting the students. Her background is later explained, but it is difficult to understand her feelings towards Fujisawa, the former student of her.
Takamatsu is the main character among the students. He is really insensitive and stupid when it comes to Kaoru, his girlfriend, but he is only character whose mental growth is clearly shown. As well he is the one who wants to go back to the so-called reality the most as he starts to regret his foolness in the real world. What I did not know was that Yamada Takayuki is the same actor who played in The Seaside Motel as Asakura Yousuke (room 202). AMAZING! Kaoru stays in the real world, that's why they start to think about their relationship more - it is sweet how much Kaoru loves him.
Otomo Tadashi, played by Yamashita Tomohisa, is smart yet lazy best-friend of Takamatsu. He is popular, but does not have a girlfriend and he is regularly (mentally and almost sexually) abused by his teacher Sekiya. Tadashi is a little bit scary character by his talk - he mentions the most about killing and suicides, but at the same time he also talks the most about girls and sex. High point of him is when Takamatsu tells him "Don't jump on her!" when Nishi is unconscious in next bed and he answers "I am not that desperate!".
Others - Sekiya is way tooo crazy - even in the real world she has mental issues, which deepens with shock. Kamo is the genius of the drama - her IQ is 230 and she really finds out everything with out leaving the place (okey, GPS scene is an exceptition), but in the end, she comes to the same result with out leaving school as others are spending outside researching. Nishi is a girl whose leg is injured - she sets many things into motion like some happenings, Tadashi's heart etc, but she is really scary when she is having a revelation - I have never liked it when people start talking nonsense without remembering it later.
(Question!! - Is Ikegaki played by Kanjani8's Murakami Shingo? I have not seen videos of him from that age, but Ikegaki is pretty similar to him - there is no information of Ikegaki's actor on the Internet, so I would be happy if some Kanjani8's fan would tell it to me! ^o^)
Drama contains several messages to people. One, which is most talked about, is "Only this moment matters! Live for the moment" - in drama they start with it, but in the end they find out that other way is possible too, as it is rather difficult thing to do. I think you should live for the moment, but think for the future - another weird thing about me. This drama definitely makes you think about the situation when some people you used to know are not anymore with you. Other thing is that we all must keep the nature - we cannot use all resources and we definitely cannot pollute our nature with all kind of chemicals! It is true that deserts have widen with recent years, so we really must take care of areas close to deserts (It is easy for me to say as I live so far from it)
But now to the reasons why it lost its 5th star. It might be a spoiler, but they show what happens with human - how they evolve into something spiderlike things. When I first saw them I was like "WTGYOZA! YOU JUST RUINED THE DRAMA!" I understand that it had to be more science fiction with it, but it more was similar to "Boogeyman" (2005, USA) when you finally see that Boogeyman is a really failure puppet. I seriously hated those spider-like-humans as much as that lamb meat in my rice. In some way it is just another sci-fi about 21st century, which were so popular before 2000 and some years after it. Also the jump in the last episode is actually impossible - and that scene was anyway bad, because you can see it how they all jump down not forward. I think the last episode is the worst episode of the drama.
You never know what happens next in this drama and that's why some things at first seem impossible - why and what really happened to that school? how can they navigate in desert? How much to the future they went? How much fuel the car has?? At first I thought they have not noticed so-called "mistakes", but actually they will give answers to all those questions above, except that Kamo's laptop must have had a serious killer-battery as she used it all the time without recharging it first...
Finally, the drama is very interesting, because they soon find out that they are not the only ones in that desert and it is cool to see how they try to survive, when one by one people go crazy, die or have a serious mood-changes. Also drama shows different sides of life - romance, friendship, protecting nature, school, different people in extreme situations etc. I recommend it to watch as another drama not as a sci-fi, because if you concentrate too much on the surreal part of it, it gets weird.


SPOILERreview: The end is a little bit difficult to understand, but from my point of view this is how it was: they actually stayed into that desert, but they were able to recover nature, so that grass started to grow again (but it is weird that there was no possibility for other animals to come out, which means that they all became total vegetarians and the children of those 21 people will be kindred in future)   About those letters and "the past" clip which was shown - it was third parallel- the past, which would have been if some things would have not happened as they did. It is rather complicated, but just think that we never know what is real in this world and what is not - maybe every time you have to make a decision, the world actually divides itself between your decision and the parallel-what-might-have-happened. Easily said, it is another level of philosophy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Friendship (2008)


Country: Thai
Genre: romance, human, friends
Format: movie
Cast: Mario Maurer, Apinya Sakuljaroensuk, Jetrin Wattanasin, Chalermpon Thikumporn Teerawong, Kanawat Chantaralawan,
Synopsis: Singha receives a call from a high school friend who is organizing a high school reunion for their class. This makes Singha reminisce of his first and only love Mituna, whom he met during his last year of high school.
Rating: 3/5
Really beautiful story of two people, who just do not find their place and time. It kind of a shows high school life and how people say/do unwanted things. It shows their school time in 1980-s and their grown-up life nowadays.
I can tell more about Singha, because the whole movie is from his point of view, because it is all his memories. Singha and his friends are such jerks - Singha is like the gang's "pretty-hot-guy" who gets girls. Like it is said in the movie "Girl-picking maniacs". They are not so-called "bad-boys" in heart, but they just have big egos. They smoke weed, drink alcohol, watch porn, do nasty things, because they are teenage boys, who want to try these things (part of growing up?? I say that you may do everything, but stay away from weed and other narcotics). I certainly think that bordell is not a place to lose one's virginity, but having way-too-much "red light streets" is sadly normal in Thai. I liked that Singha and Lam chose male-bonding instead of prostitutes. It was like "Real men do not need prostitutes" (It is true too). But about Singha more - he discovers that being a jerk will not work out with Mituna and he must become the "good understandable and caring aka his true-self" to make her notice him.
After that he is like most incredible guy ever! Where are all the guys like him??! He fells in love with Mituna soon and he is like a lost puppy - sooo cute!! Mario Maurer is born to do this kind of love-movies, great acting in every situation, beside it was only his second role! Grown-up Singha is amazing too - he is a TV producer and he draws well. Jetrin Wattanasin looks hot =P
Mituna stays a little bit mysterious person - she does not speak much, which is actually understandable if you know the reason, but they leave Mituna in the "stranger" role - it makes you feel like, she was new kid in the school and even though they all became friends, in the end others still did not know much about her. The joke about their names was that Mituna means "June" and Singha is "Autumn", on the first day of school teacher jokes that "they are only missing July" and Singha shouts that "No! July is /Mituna's/ June's and Autumn's /Singha's/ child!" - just a little word-play. From the other characters I liked Lam - even though he had the most connections with underground things.
A minus of the movie is that it has too many pointless scenes, that make no sense in it and with some characters it is impossible to grow from this to that - for example Jazz charcater will never ever look like that when she grows up - from tall, some meat on bones and feminine face you cannot have short woman with a bit macho face.. 
At one moment I thought that I had made a mistake with the movie as it was more like horror-movie XD Nice thing to see after watching real horror-movies XD
Movie has beautiful story of ever-lasting love. It is sad, but it shows the real life - everything might happen in reality too. It was sad enough to cry, but for a long time I did not cry while watching drama, but my friend, who usually doesn't, cried like a baby beside me. Guess it depends on your own character.

SPOILER-review:  In reality they just missed each other on that day with about 15-30 minutes. For those who did not understand the situation then Kong and his friends went after Mituna and raped her. Because they were usual prostitute users, Mituna got AIDS and died because of it. So sad when you now remember that Singha was just 15 to 30 minutes late...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Cat (2011)


Also known as: The Cat: Two eyes that can see  death
Country: South-Korea
Genre: horror, (human??)
Format: movie
Cast: Park Min Young, Kim Dong Wook, Kim Ye Ron, Sin Da Eun,
Synopsis: So Yeong suffers from claustrophobia (the fear of being in closed areas like elevator, subway, small rooms) due to childhood trauma. She works as a groomer in a pet shop. One day a cat named Bidanyi (=Silky) comes into the store. The next day Silky's owner is found dead at the elevator. So Yeong, by request from her best friend's ex-boyfriend, now a local police officer Joon Suk, she takes Silky home with her. After that So Yeong starts to see a mysterious little girl with a bob-cut. Shorlty later her best friend Boo Hee, who recently adopted a cat, dies in a closet. Fearing for her own life, So Yeong with the accompany of Yoon Soo starts to investigate the mysterious case. Yet the more they try the less they come to know.
Rating: 4/5
That was like a horror movie =D It startes just like some comedy romance and then gets scary O.o
So Yeong's situation is horrible as most of the time she does not see the difference between the reality and illusion made by the illness. Also she loves the guy who is her friend's ex, even though she liked him first. Park Min Young has definitely proved how great actress she is. She does not have many dramas that I would like to see (I certainly want to see "City Hunter"), but I think that she is actress who can act in all kind of dramas and is very appealing to viewers. So Yeong had a difficult childhood and like you see in the movie - her dad has some problems.
Joon Suk was a bit naive as he joined in forces, because Bo Hee wanted it. But otherwise, Joon Suk is very caring and does not think bad of So Yeong after she tells him the possible ways. Bo Hee was bitchy and many times she did not seem to be a great friend.
My favourite character (except cats) was the little girl Hee Jin. Isn't she pretty? Really beautiful eyes. (For your knowing - I am totally serious  right now). I tried to figure out her reason and how she died for long time, but in the end it was toooo horrible way. You can figure it out some time before it comes out, but not from the half of the story. I will write about her in spoiler-review too. She harmed only those people who tortured cats, so she is not all that bad.
I think all that dressing-up and fur coloring is something that should not be done to an animal - dressing up only when it is a dog or a cat who does not have fur on its own. Bidanyi was like an vampire cat xD so cute. I am totally a cat-person and I like cats even more now XD  In titles, they have written that no cats was injured during the filming - let's believe them and those who don't - watch the movie and see how they throw stuffed toys around. 
There are not so many horrifying-sick scenes, but it is up-to horror-scale. Many watchers have considered it "one of the best Korean horror movies ever", but at the same time horror-lovers say "have seen that in that movie and that movie and in that movie too - kind of a dull and boring story". Decide yourself - I at least enjoyed it. If you want to know the reason why I watched horror movies, then it was because Friday the 13th was xD




SPOILER-review: Well, the end was total tearjerker. It was too sad to know that it all was stupid adults fault, who insisted to destroy those cats and block all entrances of the boiler room. Hee Jin just wanted to save some of the cats. Like I understand then she hit her head so that she was paralyzed actually - that is why she was not able to move anymore. The scene, which shows all this, is so sad if you replace yourself with her.

Uzumaki (2001)



Also known as: Spiral, Vortex, Out of this world
Country: Japan
Genre: horror, psycho,
Format: movie
Cast: Hatsune Eriko, Fan Fhi, Saeki Hinako, Shin Eun Kyung, Takahashi Keiko, Osugi Ren, Abe Sadao,
Synopsis: Kirie lives in a small town and is a normal high school student. One day she sees her best friend's (almost boyfriend) dad filming snail, she thinks that he did not notice her and does not think about it anymore. Later Shuichi tells her that his father has lately started to act weirder and weirder just like he would have been summoned by the vortex. His dad ends his life with suicide and one by one people in town get obsessed with spirals - some of them turn into snails, some's hair become Medusa-like and many many die... 
Rating: STARLESS
It is the most horrible horror-movie ever - it is not horrifying at all. Easily said, it sucks in every way. To me, most of the people in this movie seemed crazy lunatics already before they where obsessed by the vortex. Most of the movie was just disturbing and sick, but definitely not scary-
As they do not explain any character nor their actions, I really cannot analyse them. Kirie seemed just weird, naive girl, who did not have any sensible thinking. Shuichi was veeery weird and I was 100% sure that he was the one who messed up this town, but I had to disappoint. I really liked Sekino, because she at least had a reason in her actions and I am a big fan of her Medusa-hair, but that was it. The only normal character in it was the detective, who was rather smart, but sadly you do not get to know what he discovered. Weird thing is that he smoked a cigarette, which he did not light - does anyone smoke like that?? or maybe they did not have fake-smokes, which are now mainly used in film industry now and the actor refused to smoke real cigarette and ruin his health for a movie role like this.
The reason why it mostly is not scary, is that it is too unrealistic! The most horrifying scene for me was the pommel horse, that is a gymnastic apparatus - widely used in school PE classes - at least in East-Europe, Russia and Asia. For me it is a nightmare, because I have baaaaad memories with it. For my friend, most horrifying was Japanese giant centipede, because she does not adore crawling bugs. If you expect anything more scary than this, then you are going to be very-very disappointed,
Only great thing about the movie was that it had a great ending theme =P But it is understandable, because it is Do As Infinty's song "Raven". Watch their music video and you see most of the scenes of the movie, so just watch this instead of the movie, because most of the time I just yawned. With this movie, I certainly do not recommend it to anyone! True horror-friends will hate it and I am not sure if wanting-to-see-some-fail-"horror movie"-to-laugh will help you.
Movie is made after Junji Ito same named manga, but they (FORTUNATELY) have different endings as the manga was on-going while the movie was filmed.
OH MY GYOZA!!! There is a vortex in my juice-glass! On my book tooo!! My friend's fingertips!!!!(I have weird fingertips, there are no spirals in my fingerprints) I AM GOING TO BE OBSESSED BY THE VORTEX!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.... -.- yeah, it just sucks. If it were to be able to give any other rating, it would be -10, like the degree outside -.-

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Runway Beat (2011)


Country: Japan
Genre: fashion, friendship, school
Format: movie
Cast: Seto Koji, Sakuraba Nanami, Kiritani Mirei, Tanaka Kei, IMALU, Michiko Kichise, Murakami Rikako, Tanabe Seiji, Kaji Masaki, Mizuno Erina 
Synopsis: While visiting her mother at hospital Mei meets a boy named Mizorogi Biito aka Beat who also has just transferred to her class and whom she quickly befriends with. Their class decides to throw a fashion show for the school's annual festival as they have in their class top model Miki and Beat, who has sewing and fashion in his blood. With big goals before their eyes they soon learn the truth about love, making dreams come true and grown-up's dirty games.
Rating: 3/5
Nowadays youngster's movie - many have compared it too American "Glee" series (even the director), but I did not see the similarity between them. May be it was that the whole class bonded and decided to make things as they want. Or may be I have not watched enough "Glee" - stopped watching it after they all started to date each other and tv-channel changed the airing time..
Seto Koji, cute as pie, plays the cool, unique guy, who has fashion design in his blood =D His grandfather taught him to sew with machine before he was going to school and his dad is a famous designer. At first he does not want to become designer as he tells that "people are more important than clothes". Beside the fact that his designs are incredible, he has amazing personality of being out-going, friendly and knowing what others want. I do not know why he likes skirts so much - it is a bit toooo much men wearing skirts, but may be they want to start a new trend (except for Johnnys - they have worn skirts on concerts since they started) He really loved stars too.
I liked his designs for girls more and I seriously want to have these dresses into my closet! (but I even do not know the real-life designer of those). Easily said, he and his dad are not on the best relationship - Beat blames him in insensitivity, because he was not there when Beat's mom passed away - and dad does not appreciate his skills. I must say that I did not recognise Tanabe Seji - his hair looks awful! Beat wore many times awesome T-shirt - it had on catch-words "Dependence, Faith, Worship, Determination, Resistance, Hope, Nature, Wanderlust, Humility, Visibility, Organisation, Light" - these are words that I think should be in everyones lives.
Mei is the narrator of the story, which tries to say "People, who believe, can change!". Mei falls in love with Beat from the first sight, but she is soooo friendzoned form the same moment. At least, she is the person who spends the most time with Beat in order to make the fashion show work. She is not so out-going and is a little bit indecisive. I loved a sentence "Rather than denying your feelings, I suggest a good cry" - this is something I am not able to do - I cannot cry when I get hurt in love - otherwise you know me - crying in every drama.  Sakuraba Nanami seems to be a great actress, so I put some hope in seeing her more in the future, since she is so young.
Kirira is the girl in hospital. I hope it is not a spoiler to say that she has leukemia. She is the closest friend of Beat - they have been friends from kindergarden. I do not know if they actually met there or not, but the point is that from that kind of time. I hoped more from her story, but they only concentrated on Beat, fashion show and Mei. I really did not understand if he loved her or not, so it was a negative thing, but I would like to think he did not do it out of pity.
Wanda is played by Tanaka Kei. He actually was my favourite character, but that for personal interest as he is interested in architecture and so am I. His changing was very impressive and he turned into amazing ikemen. It is totally wrong that people say "Looks do not matter, what is important is who you are inside!" - looks is a way to reflect your personality and if you are happy with how you look, you are happier and more self-confident! Like you can see from Wanda's change - every person can be the most handsome in the world!
Kiritani Mirei - name which I tried to recall all movie long - was Miki - famous model in the class. At many times she was a bitch, but she had a great heart. Like in all youth-movies - her mom was her manager who did not care much about her opinion.
It is amazing that almost everyone in this class can sew! Even some girls in my class cannot sew! and I think it is one of the basic things for a woman to know how to do. Sorry if I insult someone - I know that not everyone has the ability to sew and it is okey not to sew, but for both women and men it is one useful ability.
Before watching it I had hard time with movie's name - even though I knew it was "Runway Beat" and I know clearly the difference between "runway" and "runaway", I tended to write the last one -.- Isn't it easier to pronounce "runaway" than "runway"? Well, they make fun of it in the movie too. 
As I said before, there is not much plot and no clear main idea - it is just a good movie to pass time.




Grapevine / Budo no Ki (2003)

Country: Japan
Genre: Family, drama, human
Format: movie
Cast: Matsushita Yuki, Nakamura Toru, Yamashita Tomohisa, Suenaga Haruka, Nakajo Yui, Tsushida Saaya, Shofukutei Tsurubei
Synopsis: Katagiri Naoki and Kyoko are happily married when they find out that they cannot have children of them own. They decide to go with the adoption, but end up being foster parents: they will take care of children who have their own parents yet due to circumstances are unable to live as a whole family. Most of the time children have difficult childhood traumas that follow them throughout their lives. Kyoko and Naoki do everything they can to give lots of love to their foster children and prove that people do not have to be related by blood to be one united loving family.
Rating: 5/5
One of the most heartwarming movies I have recently seen.
Kyoko and Naoki are amazing people and I am happy that there are this kind of people in real life too as the movie is based on a book which is based on true life. For you to know, then actually adopting is not a usual thing in Japan nor being the foster-parents. In Western-world it is more common and I remember a period in my life when my parents wanted to become foster-parents too, but unfortunately/fortunately there where no children "available" during that time. I guess for them 5 children did not seem enough, but now my parents have grown a bit too old for it and wait for grandchildren.
I think that with Yosuke, Kyoko had the hardest time, but with Sachi had Naoki. Of course Yosuke went a little bit more into their hearts, because he was "their" first child and really problematic, but I do not think they loved Sachi less. Like I said Yosuke had many troubles - his real-mother gave him away when he was 2 and he has having a hard time with trusting and accepting people. Even though his real-mother wanted him to have better life and better possibilities in life, it is too difficult for a child to understand why his mommy "does not want him". You might even say that he has no luck in his life, except finding the best foster parents. Even thought Kyoko and Naoki love him, they must do a hard decision and give Yosuke back. I totally disapproved this move, but at the same time just by watching the movie, you cannot understand how tough that situation really was. But Yosuke still loves and treasures them and so do they. Many scenes are just for watch-long-scenes-of-Yamashita-Tomohisa-being-beautiful.
I loved that Yosuke and Sachi were like real siblings. They had a really close relationship. The movie shows Yosuke as 4, 7 and 17 years old and Sachi according to her age on these years. Sachi was 4 when she was taken in, her mother had died and his father was not able to cope with toddler alone, beside mostly he was drunk and burned Sachi's hands with cigarettes. She was basically taken by Kyoko and Naoki, because Yosuke said "Mom, Dad! I want to have a little sister!". Even when Sachi was 14, she sometimes had a nervous break-down of the childhood trauma. It took time for her to trust Naoki as father. I think she felt a little bit left-out because of Yosuke, but she still loved her family.
Prepare for major crying! I started to cry from the start when these sentences became on the screen :
"All children have the right to feel loved. All children have the right to be happy. No adult has the right to take away the light of hope from children eyes." Just to think how many children actually have unfit life-qualities all over the world. I think that the worst thing is that it is not just the third-world countries, but also in the most advanced countries. We cannot choose our parents and that's why parents acts will stay on children shoulders too and all these things make a big impact in future. Our society is making criminals out of children who have had no choices in their life. I do believe that there are some children who are so-said "born evil", but I think at least 97% of the children's future, mindset and views of life are affected by their upbringing and environment.


SPOILER: highlight for reading. Yes, Yosuke dies. It is the saddest moment in the movie, but after that you can really understand their relationships. *going to cry again*

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ikemen desu ne! (2011)


Country: Japan
Genre: romance, music, comedy
Format: drama 11 episodes
Cast: Tamamori Yuta, Fujigawa Taisuke, Yaotome Hikaru, Takimoto Miori, Kojima Haruna, Katase Nana, Yanagisawa Shingo, Tanoshingo, Manda Hisako, Rokkaku Seiji, Yamazaki Shigenori, Aoi, Takahashi Maiko, Azumi Moeri, (cameos - Koda Kumi, Jang Geun Suk, Katori Shingo, Kitayama Hiromitsu etc)
Synopsis: (Japanese version of "You're beautiful") Miko and Mio grow up in an orphanage. Years later, Miko is a soon-to-become nun and Mio is going to be a member of famous band A.N.JELL. A day before Miko is leaving to Rome, Mio's manager Mabushi finds her and requests her to play Mio for 3 months in order to fulfil Mio's dream. Mio himself got into "drunken case" and had to leave to States to recover from broken nose. Miko pretends to be Mio to find their mother, but things are much more difficult than she imagined - she must live together with 3 hot band members - strict Ren, helpful Shu and friendly Yuki, but every ones situation thickens with feelings growing and lies fade in.
Rating: 5/5
At first I was afraid that they try to copy too much or make it worse - well, I do not have many high expectations from remakes, but THIS DRAMA IS AMAZING! Like it is normal to Japanese, they are much more honest with what they are saying - many times you must think hard to understand what Koreans are trying to say, but in Japanese version they said everything out! It looks like Japanese took almost all the great scenes and put them together, they actually put  totally new things in it too, but it makes it even better and is understandable.
Miko/Mio is not helpless like Go Mi Nam was in Korean version and that gives plus points, because I do not like when girls cannot do anything right. Takimoto Miori did a great job, but she was a little bit too feminine - her b**bs were actually too visible, her voice was a little bit too high, but her acting was brilliant! I liked her singing more than Park Shin Hye's, but then again - Takimoto used to be a singer. I LOVED that they had given a deeper meaning to all these stars and Mio-Miko relationship seemed to be closer too.  I really hope she will have many-many dramas in future too. Like I said, Japanese made people better - same thing is with Aunt, who ends up to have rather close relationship with Miko. She still is a little bit about the money, but she would not sell her niece for money!
Ren is bitchier version of Tae Kyung as even in the first episode he has some bad things to say to Shu and Yuki. That I did not like, because in Korean version Tae Kyung was not bitch with the members. Tamamori acting was rather good, but at some scenes he tends to copy Jang Geun Suk too much. And it was a fail that he did not copy Jang Geun Suk's kissing, because these kiss-scenes "aint gonna go to kiss-list". yeah, simply said, the kiss-scenes were very weak. It seemed to me that they had put a bigger pressure on others feelings, so MikoxRen story got a bit weaker. I did not see the same "love" between them, what I saw in Korean version. You can understand that they did like each other and stuff, but it was not like they needed each other so much. It was a let down, but it won't take down the stars.
I really liked Tamamori's voice while "Miss you", because in all other song I had the comparison with Jang Geun Suk's voice, but you know - that guy has pretty low and powerful voice.(Funny similarity. Ren and Nana pairing is a famous pairing from manga/anime "NANA")
Other thing is that I would have liked it more if Ren's mom was younger. Sorry, but Manda Hisako is too old for that part and believe me! there are younger actresses who would have made Mizusawa Reiko role classy.
Shu was my favourite character this time. I am afraid that it is because Fujigawa Taisuke acted as him, but I admit it that Fujigawa's acting was second best to Takimoto's or may be they are even.. Anyway Shu was made much more appealing than Hyung was in Korean. Hyung was a little bit depressing, but Shu was funny too. He definitely was the smartest of them and that's why I felt sorry for him. We all know the story that he does not get the girl, but I seriously hoped that he would and I am pretty sure that in 8th episode Miko would have gone with Shu if Ren would not have showed up). It is so sad that he was familyzoned. Most of the time I wanted to go into the drama and hug him to make him happy.
Yuki was still funny and his imaginations were making me laugh so much that I couldn't breath anymore. Yuki's hard time with his feelings is seen very clearly from the start and actually he is just dumb that he does not understand from the start that Mio is actually Miko. I like that they brought "I must be true to my feelings" REALLY in. And one scene will definitely be in "best-almost-kiss-scenes" - if I ever do it. In Korean version it seemed that they left Jeremy out of many things, especially in the end, but in "Ikemen desu ne" he gets to be part of everything. At first I did not have much faith in Yaotome Hikaru, I do not know why. May be because I have seen videos of him, where he was like 11-12 years old? But he surprised me with excellent acting.
Nana.. Naaaaanaaaa... hehe I have nothing to say about her. Nana's character was annoying like all the time, but more I was annoyed by Kojima Haruna. After "You're beautiful" almost everybody (excpet fans) were talking how UUE should stop acting or go learn some acting skills. But I think we all can forgive her, because it was her first roleactually second, but first time she was a cameo, so that cannot be taken seriously, but for Kojima Haruna it was 12th drama! I would like to hear an explanation to her acting. I did not get the Nana-attitude from her acting at all, so if you ask me about Nana-character 3 months later, then believe me - I have forgotten her existence.
Toru at the same time was veeeeeery fave for me. Toru is Nana-s assistant, but if you know who is Tanoshingo then you know that most of the time you will love him! My little sister told that he is rather cute guy too, when Tanoshingo was on screen, but then I had to make her sad by saying that he is someone who likes guys.. He makes Yuki's story even funnier.
The president of the company is not so stupid as in Korean version. Many sides of him are imitated from Johnny Kitagawa - the founder and the president of Johnny&;Associates (Johnny's Entertainment). It is because all - Tamamori, Fujigawa and Yaotome are Johnny's. One of the most remarkable things is "You-tachi!" or "YOU!" This is a common way how Kitagawa-sama calls others and almost every Johnny tries to imitate it. Well, the drama president is at many times scary, but he cares and supports A.N.JELL very much. I like that he gets to know the truth in the end too and it makes new consequences too.  
It is amazing that they brought in camoes. As you can read from the cast then Koda Kumi, Katori Shingo, Jang Geun Suk and Kitayama Hiromitsu actually play themselves and for me it was total surprise! I only knew that Jang Geun Suk makes an appearance as it was big in news when it came out, but for others I was like "ARE YOU SERIOUS? YAY!!". For fun thing, actually Kitayama is in the last episode and nameless! But he has an important role too. Jang Geun Suk's role is the most important from all those 4 and he is like a clairvoyant! It is a scene which was not in the original, but believe me - this scene is priceless! I already was hoping that he says "Dude! I played the same role!" My little sister did not understand how is it possible for him to play in "Ikemen desu ne" too, because there cannot be two Rens/Tae Kyungs in one episode... yeah, little children's amazing mind.
In first episode you can see A.N.JELL plane - I am pretty sure the actually stole Arashi's plane and re-painted it - just joking! In reality, I wanted to make small notes - they have very lovely house and I fell in love with Ren's car, which in one episode seemed to change color - from red to orange - wonder, if someone throw the paint solvent on it. I did not like the girls outfits and clothes, they were nothing special nor cute as it was in Korean and there were disturbingly too much remembering-scenes.But Japanese version is definitely more funnier. I had to make a pause between episodes, because my room went too hot and there was no air to breath anymore (and my room is 24 square meters). Japanese version answered all the questions like what the aunt thought when ShuxMiko article came out and what did Ren's mom etc.
Japanese made the story easier to understand and did not change the main story at all. Well done!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

You're my Pet (2011)


Country: South-Korea
Genre: romance, comedy
Format: movie
Cast: Jang Geun Suk, Kim Ha Neul, Ryu Tae Joon, Jung Yoo Mi, Choi Jong Hoon, Kang Hae In,
Synopsis: (Korean version of "Kimi wa Petto" with major changes)  Eun Yi is an editor for fashion magazine, but she fails in all kind of human relationships. One day she goes home and finds a total stranger in her bathroom - In Ho, former ballet dancer who now wants to become a choreograph. The thing was that Eun Yi's younger brother decided to earn a little bit money from letting In Ho stay at his sister's place. Eun Yi tries to get him out of the house with contract that for staying he must become her pet Momo - but for her surprise In Ho is willing to do everything for a warm place and food.
Rating: 4/5
Watch it as a totally another movie! I will compare it to the original, but as a different movie it blew the top off! If it would have been a totally different movie, it would have gotten 5 stars. Watch out to get real subs!! at first I saw it with wrong subs and did not understand a thing - for hint there are good subs on YouTube...
Ji Eun Yi is not emotionless, she is just independent, formal and workaholic. To compare it with Sumire, Eun Yi is more "normal" as she does not think of him as that much of a dog, but at the same time it is one of the most important point in their story. I like that they made her eat ice-cream a lot, in place of smoking, because ice-cream rocks =P I did not like the fact that she had 3 best friends, even though I have noticed that most of the lead females have 2-3 best friends in Korean dramas/movies. Sharing the secret with too many people is inconvenient. Kim Ha Neul is a beautiful actress, but I did not like her in one scene - in front of the theatre she looked too fake.
Korean Momo is one pervet-minded  guy.. To tell you the truth, then actually Ji Eun Su (Eun Ji's brother, who took In Ho to her place) was not a friend of In Ho - he was just In Ho friend's co-worker. He takes such an advantage on her, that sometimes it seems like he is the master and Eun Yi is the pet. Jang Geun Suk has showed how great dancer he is in all kind of styles - techtonik, shuffling etc.and he took special dance lessons just for that role!
The dance part was great in the movie, but I was hoping for some real ballet or contemporary like in the original, yet these would be hard to put into the musical. He himself said that if it would not have been him acting the part of Momo, then there would have been no way to make the movie. A little bit egoistic, but I can agree with him. I cannot recall any Korean actor, who would not look too manly or too girly and would look as hot as fire with long hair.
Of course Jang Geun Suk's puppy eyes come in handy too. But he should not be so full of himself too - firstly, he should change his "horny-flirting-face-with-slitted-eyes" it is not that hot - I like more the face of "you-do-not-know-what-naughty-plan-I-have-face" (Have no idea if you understand it). My sister told that actually she was impressed by Jang Geun Suk as he is most known for his one-side-characters (Mu Gyul "Marry me, Mary ", Tae Kyung "You're beautiful " - you can pull parallels), but here he kind of made an over-acting cuteness with "Whang!". Even that cute little girl knew who is hot!
Cha Wo Sung is still an bastard, but this time a hot bastard - there is just few minutes of pure eye-joy from him. Actually he is an even bigger bastard here. Lee Young Min is not so annoying, but it is all because there is not so much screen time for her. Other characters were mostly left out - that's why I was very disappointed when they brought those Eun Yi friends in. Why to triple-cate (No idea how to say duplicate for three person) if it were okey with one.
Extra points for style - they looked so great and  I so want to steal Eun Yi heels. The shootings were amazing and I actually liked it very much. I enjoyed those small visions and animations. This kind
of version of the story is definitely more normal  and understandable than Japanese original. It is like more realistic situation. I liked the fact that they stuck with one lie, but the way they get busted is sooooooooo harsh! For a spoiler I say that it has the most beautiful almost-kiss-scene ever! (in need of doing an "almost-kiss-list"),  but well.. there is some great real kiss-scenes too and people that have seen Jang Geun Suk's acting know that it won't be some lame fish-kiss.
Not sure if everything, but at least some of the filming was made in Japan.One more thing - it has amazing OST - they took total advantage of Jang Geun Suk's voice.
(Btw. That movie poster looks just like some X-rated movie, not that I have seen one. Actually the reason I chose it was that hopefully it is an eye-catcher xD)




Kimi wa Petto (2003)


Country: Japan
Genre: romance, comedy
Format: drama 10 episodes
Cast: Matsumoto Jun, Koyuki, Tanabe Seichi, Suzuki Sarina, Sakai Wakana, Eita, Ishihara Satomi, Mitsushi Ken, Magii, Satou Ryuta, 
Synopsis: Iwaya Sumire is successful in almost everything - she is beautiful, high income, she is Tokyo University graduate, but men tend to see her as too perfect, cool and emotionless, which make them feel inferior. Most of the time she goes home alone and depressed. One night she finds a young man in a box in front of her apartment. He reminds her dog Momo she used to have when she was a child, so she makes an agreement with him - He may stay with her in that apartment if he becomes her pet Momo.
Rating: 5/5
Best way to start new year is with great funny must-see drama. It is made after same-named manga.
Iwaya Sumire really has no emotions in her face and I have always thought what kind of normal woman would take a totally stranger who is beaten up to her apartment?? Even if it is Matsumoto Jun, it is most unreasonable thing to do, especially by highly educated woman. Most of the time she is called "Elite" and it gets on the nerves so much, because it is the only thing others tell her - I would not have that much nerves to put up with it. But no matter what others say, Sumire has a really low self-esteem. Whenever she is with Hasumi, she is nervous and shy. I understand that she wants to be perfect for him, but doesn't being in love mean being able to show your real self to the one you love?

Maybe it is just my way of thinking that people must love others like they really are and no-one should change herself/himself for being the "perfect" one. Like Sumire said it is soo tiring to be on dates and stuff with him.. maybe she is actually in love it the memory of old Hasumi - it has happened to me too. A great part of Sumire is her relationship with Momo. I soooooo adored when they had their "pet-owner time". I do not understand how she was able to loosen up with him, but I think that she really saw her old dog in him, except that new one spoke human language. But for a woman, who has not cried for 15 years, she sure cries a lot. I loved that she established the rules from the start.
Cute-cute-cute-hot Momo *dreaming* was using everyone! Matsumoto Jun made an incredible work as Momo, but he still must impress me in "Hanayori dango" because I am not a big fan of his looks there. I loved Momo's attitude - he was rude, selfish, had too physically familiar acting and had zero dignity or pride. Matsumoto Jun (I so want to write Matsujun all the time) astonished me with his dancing skills - I do not know if he did all the ballet jumps himself, but I know that being a Johnny helped him a lot in this drama, but I still do not fancy contemporary dance. As most of you know then Momo's real name was Goda Takeshi and he was 20 years old.. well in reality Matsumoto Jun was 20 too during the time of filming it. So a great respect to him for making that kind of drama while being so young.
Every time I saw the hug-scenes I got cuteness overload! I would totally like to have a pet like him.. but I am afraid that I would be the one who wants to ruin the rules at first.Why I liked him even more, is that he decided to walk his own road, not what his parents wanted. I hate when parents want their children to make parents dreams come true - my friend had to go to piano lessons for 7 years, because her mother insisted her to learn it - now she has not touched the piano for a year, because she feels disguised by it. Just because parents have lost the opportunity, does not mean the children must do it then! Beside, how is it possible to lose an opportunity - as long as you live or have not had an extreme accident everything is possible! got off the topic again... Matsumoto Jun is one hell of a great kisser...
Hasumi.. he is not that hot and he definitely wants too much too soon. I did not like the fact that he actually should have made himself clear with Fukushima, but he always left her hanging, but at the same time, it was the reasonable for the end, but as a "wanted to be engaged with another women", his acts were wrong. My sister was right about him - she told from the start that he seems too fake. He was the only character who actually got on my nerves.
Fukushima had just an annoying voice - I do not know if Asian men really find it cute, but I find it only very fake, childish and annoying. But Sakai Wakana was cute in it, but I enjoyed her more in "Waraeru koi wa shitakunai". Maybe I just do not like women like Fukushima was.
Before watching it, I had no idea that Eita acts in it too! I still like his ears and he looks sooo young, sadly he does not have dance scenes, even though he plays a dancer role. Rumi was just a bitch who could not move on. I hate when girls "jokingly" break up with guy and wait for him to love them even more. It is sooo wrong and sick! I liked that she was able to grow up a little bit in the end.  Haha.. Shizumu - Takeshi's mom servant... I soo thought he was gay!! until I found out that he was in love with Takeshi's mom.. but Shizumu and Sumire's landlord were soooo weird together. They were similar and weird..  A big role in the drama has Yuri  - Sumire's only friend. She was the only one Sumire ever trusted. I liked that she was very loyal, but at the same time she was able to tell the truth right at Sumire's face.
But the real pearl in this drama was the cute-cafe-girl. She just kind of made all the drama more reasonable and she really was the smartest of all of the characters. I liked that even though she did not have much screen-time, she was very understandable character. I love when it happens in dramas that some very minor character is over others. Beside, the doctor always told a smart talk which always made sense - I would like to have psychologist like he.. - what?? why should I have a psychologist anyway???
This drama explains much about owner-pet relationship and how important pets are - mostly dogs, but some things about cats too. well.. I am more of a cat person, because my parents dogs drive me insane. It is definitely funny and lovable drama to watch. They do not have much style in it, because it is rather an old drama, but try to cope with it. Btw. It was so interesting that it took me only two days to finish it - I would have watched it all in a row too, but I am too afraid of finishing like one Taiwanese woman, who almost lost her eyesight because of watching too much dramas.
Amazing kiss-scenes, cute moments and interesting views on relationship. This drama is absolute classic and needs to be seen by everyone.