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Monday, April 30, 2012

Whispering Corridors 4: The Voice (2005)


Also known as: Voice Letter
Country: South-Korea
Format: movie
Genre: horror (buuuhuuu- drama!!)
Cast: Kim Ok Bin, Kim Seo Hyung, Cha Ye Ryun, Lee Eun, Kim Sung Tae,
Synopsis: Young-eon,the top singer at an all girls school, is murdered by a music sheet cutting her throat in the opening scene. The following day, it becomes clear that only her bestfriend Sun-Min is able to hear her voice. Sun-min begins speculating that the music teacher must have killed Young-eon. Sun-Min befriends a lonely and strange girl at school named Choh-Ah, who can hear the voices of the dead, and she helps the two solve the incident. Things get complicated when music teacher commits a suicide, day light comes over another, older death and Sun-Min and Choh-Ah understand that Young-Eon's memories are incorrect. 
Rating: 1/5
I do not get how this is even considered to be an horror movie, because the scariest part of it is the written synopsis - it contains no hardcore killing nor psychological terror. I think the thing that makes horror movies scary is when they have a bit realism in them, but The Voice consists of unnatural and illogical scenes.
Young Eon gets a really bad paper cut, but there was too much messing around her death, especially when her body was found - sadly, this kind of death has occured in South-Korea (I think it was in 2010? not 100% sure) when one man in wheelchair ride into elevator, while elevator itself was not there. Really disgusting.. Most of the time Young Eon goes on crying. She had too many conflicts on her own, which made the movie difficult to follow.
Sun Min, so called best friend, is also most of the time crying and I do not understand how she does not remember anything either. I know that Young Eon's memory failed, but many things were about Sun Min too. Beside, they tried to show that they were really great friends for a loooong time and that makes it non-sense to see how few she knew about Young Eon, starting from her personality!
I did not recognize Cha Ye Ryun at first. It is total horror movie cliche that girl with the hairstyle is always different from others and can see/hear supernatural things. She turns into ghost-professional.
Easily said the tempo of the movie was slowwww-sloooooowwww-evenslowwwwweeeeeeer-
slowwwwww-fast-THE END. There were so many unnecessary things put in. There was like two killers and two suiciders, so what the ramen?? I did not like that they had those paralleel stories, because there was too much of everything and nothing special about anything.  It is said to be the best of  "Whispering corridors" series, so I am now sure that I will not even consider watching another. Of course there were many twists that kept on some interest, but something must be wrong when a scardy-cat like me does not hide my face into the blanket.
When usually I have something nice to say about the OST or filming or lights.. then the OST sucked as they used like 3-4 songs for the whole movie, at least they were so similar that it seemed so, and who the hell would install RED lights into girls school?? It looked more like red light street than school. I should also mention that there is lesbian-theme added to the movie, though as everything about this movie - it is not the best.
If a true "Whispering corridors" fan reads it and starts to hate me, then for their pleasure I say that maybe "The voice" contains higher horrorness and needs greater knowledge of horror movies than I have to appreciate it. I know that many reviewers have praised it to heaven, but my 5 member watching group ended up in sleep..


Boku no hatsukoi wo kimi ni sasagu (2010)


Also known as: I give my first love to you
Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: romance, life&death, school
Cast: Inoue Mao, Okada Masaki, Sugimoto Tetta, Moriguchi Yoko, Harada Natsuki, Hosoda Yoshihiko, Nakamura Toru, Kumada Sea, Kobayashi Kaito
Synopsis: Takuma, a boy diagnosed with serious heart disease, and Mayu, the daughter of Takuma's cardiologist, are childhood friends. When they are 8-years old, they over hear that Takuma is not going to live over the age of 20. Takuma and Mayu become each other's first loves, but the clock is ticking and Takuma starts to understand that the best thing for Mayu would be not caring of him..
Rating: 5/5
It is a beautiful love story. I like that it is not a usual love story as the main characters are only 16 - it is more like a puppy love under very difficult circumstances. It is made after same named manga by Aoki Kotomi.
Takuma thinks about Mayu more than about himself. I cannot decide if his break-up plan was right or wrong, but it was well thought through. He had bigger aims and I liked that he did not give up on life, enjoyed each minute til the end. At many times, he is being ordinary teenage guy, who is excited by women's body, but on the other hand he seems much more mature than other guys at school.
His mother is 100% annoying - I know that mother whose child is going to die before herself wants to protect the kid as much as they can, but I hated her actions toward Mayu. I got the feeling that she thought Mayu to be in fault in very Takuma action, which she did not like. And in the end acting as she has always loved Mayu too.
Mayu gets jealous, she might be way too direct, which makes some of her actions very embarrassing for others. At the same time, she is very fragile and cute. She knows what she wants and knows how to get it. She has been michievous since childhood, also very clingy, because she is afraid of losing Takuma. I liked the fact she started to think more about herself too. Cannot leave unsaid the fact that Inoue Mao looks soooooo pretty in this archer clothing and with this mega-anime-hair.
Suzuya Kou is total playboy, school idol and at many times a bastard, but in reality he has some kind of "heart". I understand why everybody loved him. Mayu gets to be his "princess", which makes Kou Takuma's biggest rival. He also brings other great changes into Mayu and Takuma's life.
Teru-chan has the same heart disease as Takuma. She has hard time understanding TakumaXMayu relationship, even though they played together in past, but the same goes for Mayu as she is constantly jealous over Teru. Teru-chan kinda has young girl mind - if guy does not hate you then he must love you. Sorry, but WHERE THE HECK IS LOGIC??!
It is veeeery beautiful love story, which makes you cry your eyes out. In addition, those kiss-scenes are absolute love!



SPOILER review: The real end might be a bit too much / too crazy, but if we think that in reality people get married to dead ones for officially (recently in France and Malaysia or Indonesia), then her situation is not that bad. A little bit weird, but she looks so pretty that I forgive her in this scene. I must say that it is horrible what happens to Kou. I got extreme shock from that! Also, it reminded that I have an donor card, but I have not fulfilled it - I know I could save somebody's life with becoming a donor, but won't it be some kind of bad omen? I should not believe so much superstition...sad thing is that Mayu had two possible boyfriend candidates, but she was left bare handed.

Friday, April 13, 2012

71: Into the fire (2010)


Country: South-Korea
Format: movie
Genre: war, II World War, life&death, real life
Cast: TOP, Kwon Sang Woo, Kim Seung Woo, Cha Seung Won, David McInnis, Park Jin Hee, Kim Sung Ryeong, Tak Teu In, Kim Hye Seung, Moon Jae Won,
Synopsis: Based on true life events during the Korean War in the year of 1950, when 71 young undertrained and undergunned student soldiers fought against North-Korea in Nakdong area. They where able to hold North-Korea troops back for 11 hours (it is less time in the movie) in Pohang-Dong girls middle school. Movie is inspired by one student soldier´s letters. /../ Oh Jung Beom has lived through his first battle, which put him into shock and fright, soon he is named to be the commander of 70 student soldiers, who are left behind by main troops. With out proper experience, training and knowledge they must fight to protect their country.
Rating: 4/5
I hope most of you have learned about Korean War in school, so you know that it was from 25 June 1950 to 27 July 1953 between South-Korea (allies with USA) and communist North-Korea (supported by China and Soviet Union), which had divided during 1945-1949. I must say that if you know the background of the real events, then it is easier to understand.
One of the main characters Oh Jung Beom has lived through his first battle, but due to his shock one solder gets a bullet right in front of his eyes. Later he is made commander of the student solders. What I most like about TOP's acting in it is that you can see how Oh Jung Beom matures - that innocent boy look before war became real soldier during the events. Also, his lack of confidence and leadership changed into respective and wise actions. TOP definitely is not an actor who you could say has emotionless expressions - you can read more from his eyes than from anyone´s else. Just see the fright and shock in his eyes - I think that he totally was worth of those 5 awards he won for his role. In addition, most of the fighting scenes ended with many bruises and cuts for actors, TOP was even rushed to hospital due to an eye injury. Doctor´s said that if the injury would have been just a little bit deeper, he would have lost his eye sight of the left eye. (Thankfully, he wore protective lenses after that and now his eye has fully recovered)  I do not know why, but I truly respect his sensitivity - while "71: Into the fire" movie premier he cried after watching his own movie - soo sweeet =D
Kap Jo is high-school drop out, whose parents were killed by communist, so you can imagine how much hatred there was in him. He is aggressive, loud, pretty thoughtless and outrageous. Even though he and Oh Jung Beom have many disagreements, they give each other the confidence to stand for their country and democracy. His thoughtless actions actually come in handy many times, although he hardly ever listens to the commander's orders.
South-Korean Generel of student soldiers was Captain Daewi/Kang Suk Dae. He thought a lot about student soldiers and try to do his best to keep them safe, but he had no control over the armor division. I think he hoped that leaving student soldiers there, will keep them away from any fire conflicts.
North-Korea General was Pak. He had some kind of heart, because he at least tried to give S-Korea student soldiers opportunity to change sides and stay alive, but mostly he had some mental issues and strong ideological mind.
I was so angry that many took joining troops as a big joke and I felt like they did not think that they might not go home anymore. I liked their strategy in the battle, but they were the minority, although you can see in the end how much two men can kill. I know it has not much to do with the movie, but I was 100% on South-Korea side - my country was occupied by Soviet Union after II World War and I must tell that the communism and Soviet times were horrible. The affects of Soviet actions are still strongly felt even after my country has been independent democratic country for whole my life.
Back to the movie - those fight effects are amazing, like I said before most of it was real. There are some "professionals" like they call themselves who do not like this movie, but most of them do not think that it was true story of real life. I say to them - "Go WATCH your unrealistic fiction-movies!". I definitely enjoyed watching it.


SPOILER Review: I had no idea that Oh Jung Beom was going to die too. I knew that most of them will, but that he too was a total surprise for me. But definitely the saddest scene of the scene is where one brother has to shoot his younger brother to save him from agony.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Surely Someday (2010)



Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: drama, life&death, friendship, yakuza
Cast: Koide Keisuke, Katsuji Ryo, Ayano Gou, Suzuki Ryohei, Muro Tsuyoshi, Konishi Manami, Yokota Eiji, Yoshida Kotaru, Endo Kenichi, small roles: Inoue Mao, Otake Shinobu, Tsumabuki Satoshi, Ueto Aya (cameo), Oguri Shun
Synopsis: Five childhood friends (Takumi, Kyohei, Kazuo, Shuto, Yuki) form a rock band to perform in the upcoming cultural festival. Once the festival is cancelled, they threaten to  blow up the school. Even though the adults agree with their terms, they are unable to stop the homemade bomb. Three years later fate brings them together in order to help Kazuo, who had joined the yakuza, search for the prostitute they used to know and the 300 million yen she stole from him.
Rating: 4/5
It is Oguri Shun´s first directed movie. I had my prejudice because of Oguri Shun, but believe me -
 I think I have never misunderstood someone as much I have him and his talent. This is a different style of movie - I think that it has many great things put together - music, fun and serious underground. Mostly I like it because it is another movie where absolutely everything is related to  each other.
I do not have much to say about each character, so I will mention them later. The movie shows their life 3 years after the bomb incident and also there are scenes from their memories of the school time and from childhood. All they really wanted to do was to perform at cultural festival, well in the childhood Takumi just wanted to meet Misa and know more about her. I know that their way of handling things was wrong, but even more I think that many things just ran together.
The main person who made things to flow, was Takumi - he had a difficult relationship with his father due to ruining his career. Also Takumi was the one who came up with the bomb idea, but of course he did not want anything to do with gun powder in it. Koide Keisuke is amazing in this role. I feel like he gets hotter with years and I love his singing in the movie. Kyohei is the virgin, who makes Yuki put some gunpowder into the bomb - that gives him scruples for the three years as no one has spoken to Yuki since then.  There was only one minus of the story, which was connected to Kyohei´s character. The scene where he was made to "suck it", was filmed in a wrong way and actually Kyohei should have had horrible remorse and feeling of dieing (he a little bit had, but not enough). I have seen one film where the same kind scene is and it is filmed so well that it makes you very sick - besides in that movie the character decides to kill himself and the one who made him do it, because his remorse did not allow to live anymore.
 Like you understood, Yuki was the one who made the bomb - he is the least shown in the movie. Nothing more to say about Kazuo than he did not thought enough and really made excuse out of his sister. Shuto was aiming to become a real musician and all women fell for him by having a eye contact with him for 5 seconds - it happened to me through computer screen too, because Ayano Gou has sooooo beautiful eyes!!! One really important character is Misa who is connected to guys for years. Her story is so sad, because all she wanted was happiness and that someone could love her. Stupid Ijima (crazy yakuza boss) ruined her life.
At some points I was screaming that it cannot just happen so (A bit similar to "Troubleman), it is horrible when someone does not have luck at all and at the same time he is very lucky to survive everything.
The OST of the movie is great and you can see that Oguri Shun had thought through every single thing in it and that made it really good. You can feel that it was not something that was made for fun, but that it was serious work after long time thinking and organizing. I like the fact that the filming and the whole movie was kept in secret until it was finished and ready to show to viewers - that shows that Oguri Shun did not want to fail with it. It was a smart move to take widely-known actors like Inoue Mao, Tsumabuki Satoshi, Otake Shinobu, Ueto Aya into minor roles and even Oguri Shun himself acted for 30 seconds as a policeman.
I recommend to watch this movie when the possibility arises, because it is great.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hanazakari no kimitachi e (2007)


Country: Japan
Format: drama, 12 episodes + SP
Genre: comedy, romance, school
Cast: Horikita Maki, Oguri Shun, Ikuta Toma, Yamamoto Yusuke, Mizobata Junpei, Okada Masaki, Mizushima Hiro, Kiritani Mirei, Kamikawa Takaya, Daito Shunsuke, Sugimoto Tetta, Inagaki Goro, Ishigaki Yuma, Kimura Ryo, Kyo Nobou, Iwasa Mayuku, Kurose Manami, Shirota Yu, Minami, Konno Mahiru,
Synopsis:  Ashiya Mizuki becomes a transfer student to all boys school Osaka High, but the thing is - Mizuki is a girl. In order to get her favorite high-jumper Sano Izumi to jump again, she flies to Japan from California, cuts her hair and says goodbye to being a girl. She is taken into class really easily, but this school is not just about studying - there are competitions about being the best, crazy fangirls, different characters, lunatic photographer and sharp-minded doctor. How long can one girl stay into Ikemen Paradise, when emotions are added into the game?
Rating: 5/5
This is my 100th Asian drama/movie, which I have seen. I know it is not much, but luckily my watching speed is increasing.  "Hana Kimi" is made after same-named manga by Nakajo Hisaya. I hope you understand just how great it is by looking at its cast, many of them are now really well-known. (Example: It was Mizubata Junpei´s second role, Okada Masaki´s third, in addition Oguri Shun, Horikita Maki, Ikuta Toma etc were widely known before) . I do not know why I have not watched it earlier, but it certainly is one of the classic-must-watch-dramas!
The heroine of the story is Mizuki - she is brave and actually thinks much before actions, but she does not think that much of all possible outcomes. She is a bit naive and has a big mouth, when it comes to things she knows nothing about, even though her ideas come in handy anyway. It actually seemed to me that she loved Sano too soon and too much, although she says something else. As much as I was able to read its manga, I understand that in drama she is made even less obsessed with Sano, which is great. Her reason of going there is acceptable and actually right from the bottom of the heart, but I do not think it is something that everyone should think that "OH! Let her stay! she has a big heart and she is not afraid to show it! show it! (Sorry.. I got stuck with LMFAO lyrics). That´s why I liked Doctor´s point "It is interesting to see what is going to happen". I like Maki in this role - the boy-ish girl role suits her as she cannot be said to be the most feminine Japanese actress. I think she must have had much fun while filming it, because you can see that there is going to be much touchy-mushy-and-close-calls.
Sano Izumi is palyed by Oguri Shun - I do not know why I always have a really strict and egoistic prejudice of him (Gomenne, Shun-kun!),  it might be because of "Hana Yori Dango", then again I have not watched it yet. I loved him in this role, well mostly I loved Sano´s character -especially when he showed out his real emotions or was under Nara-pickle-syndrome, other than that he was emotionless bastard loved by everyone, but who did not show his love to others. It feels like the fact of Mizuki being a girl does not as a big surprise for him, but you can see its real conclusion in Special episode. Actually Sano is not reticent as he talks so much about himself to Mizuki, so you get to know his harsh childhood - I think he just did not want to go babbling all over the city of his thoughts and feelings. I really begun to like him.
Nakatsu - well you can guess he was my favourite if you know me. He is now officially goofy-guy-nr2 (Goofy-guys´ list). He is funny, he is loud, he is easy to read, he is full of himself and he is the first one to fall (that would make a great song lyrics..) At first he is againts Mizuki as she puts Nakatsu´s great sport results in danger, but soon they become best buddiezzzz.... well, at least he is friendzoned by Mizuki. Like you might guess - he has no idea of the fact that Mizuki is a girl - so there are lost and lots confused feelings in Nakatsu, which even threaten his orientation. His "Nakatsu super visions" are one of the highlights of the drama and most of the time he ends up having a nosebleed. This role made me go seriously into Ikuta Toma fandom and I want to see his acting more.
By the way, in the 5th episode he is wearing the same green "I have a great personality" T-shirt as Yamashita Tomohisa in "Proposal Daisakusen" 5th episode. This coincidence is cool because Ikuta Toma and Yamashita Tomohisa are great friends since childhood and both dramas aired in 2007.
Nakatsu is roomed with Kayashima - dude, who can see aura and sense the unlivings. His dad is just like he is and no matter what the situation is Kayashima is the first one who is left out from the list. I liked to see Yamamoto Yusuke in this kind of role, because I have not seen him much. NakatsuXKayashima moments  are really great.
There are three dorm leaders. Dorm 2 is lead bu Nanba Manami - guy from who girls get pregnant just by looking at him. Girls, watch out! It might happen through computer screen too. He is a women´s man, that´s why he is referred as Nanpa (Flirt) at many times, but he has big heart for his guys, who are like a family to him. That´s why he always stands up for them and never lets them down.
Drom 1 is full of brainless martial art guys. Tennoji is their leader - he actually looks hotter when he is wearing his school uniform, his most famous word is "Baby~!!!". Other dorm member always try to eliminate him when there is a possibility, but mostly they fail. Last dorm is about acting and music and that kind of stuff. Leader Oscar/ Masao has repeated school for many years. He has unique ideas, but he is just plain stupid. Every once in a while he gets possessed by some spirit and becomes even weirder. Also, be prepared for some cross-dressing and horrible singing. Dorm 3 faithfully follows him and I feel like that there is no thinking in their heads.
I think I should mention more about dorm 2 members, who are shown more. Sekime is slow to understand things and he is always losing, that is why he is called failure. He is naive, but very friendly - he is the first one to become friends with Mizuki.  Nakao is in love with Nanba from the bottom of his heart - but he always gets rejected, although they are still great friends. Nakao thinks to be the cutest, which is the reason of not liking Mizuki as he thinks that Mizuki might be cuter than he. 
Doctor Umeda - my second favorite character from the drama. He has a big trauma since the university time, which made him watch men, but he is not harassing anyone of the students, but I cannot say the same about Mizuki´s annoying brother and new psyhopatic teacher (Inagaki Goro), who I mentally killed already. But doctor is frequently abused by school´s photographer Hara Akiha, who caused the trauma in past. 
Kagurazaka is Sano´s greatest rival, played by Shirota Yuu. Again firstly annoying bastard, but you will have great laugh with him too. Even though I know Shirota Yuu for a long time already, it was the first time to see his acting - well, makes me want to see more.
In Special episode is Julia, who is Mizuki´s friend from USA - she puts her nose into other´s business and is too much with her words - it is weird when everyone thinks that their way is the best for someone, even when they do not know the real situation. AHH! I almost forgot one very important character!!!
Yuujiro - Dorm 2 dog, who is like a dorm member and I am not surprised if he would receive a graduation diploma at graduation too. The school director is a bit off - she is very elegant and always wants to see her students "bloom in full colors", no matter what it is her word is the law for boys, even when they find it silly. She does not see boys much as she is on trips all the time, so the most communication is between her deputy manager, who never remembers the thing he has to say, and boys. Hibari and Hibari Four are the protectors of Osaka High guys and Hibari is endlessly and hopelessly in love with Sano, but Sano is hardly aware of her. Hibari four is pretty unique and funny and they make many things to happen.

It is very funny when all dorm members have different opinions about things and even if it seemed to be secret talk between two person, they start to come out from all kind of different places and each option is more irrelevant to the question and absurd than the one before it. They do all kind of funny things together and their stupidity is endless.
I will end my review with one great saying from the drama: "If you give up on things you love the most, you will lose yourself. Someone who can lie to oneself is lonely and sad" - that´s why keep watching great dramas and movies and be happy, but remeber that "Hard work will be rewarded" - so do not lose your eyesight or your real life because of your great addiction.
It is perfect drama if you want to train your stomach muscles with laugh, well it is perfect drama for everything! May be only minus is that they try to put too many important points of the manga into too few screen time - this is live action needs more episodes to show "Hana Kimi" manga´s real awesomeness. Definitely one of my favorites, soooo WATCH IT! ^-^



SPOILER REVIEW - I actually even did not want Nakatsu and Mizuki together. When so many are saying that they should have been the pair, then actually I think that Mizuki suited more with Sano, because they had more similar personalities than Nakatsu with her. But it still broke my heart to see him suffer from unrequited love. 
I was a disappointed in the end of the Special, because her speech sucked like I do not know what. It ruined the drama a little bit... but I will forgive it, because all those maleXmale kisses are real deal.