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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Gokusen the movie (2009)



Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: school, youth
Cast: Nakama Yukie, Kamenashi Kazuya, Miura Haruma, Takaki Yuya, Miura Shohei, Ishiguro Hideo, Nakama Junta, Kiriyama Akito, Namase Katsuhisa, Utsui Ken, Kaneko Ken, Anan Kenji, Waki Tomohiro, Koike Teppei, Koide Keisuke, Hayami Mokomichi, Oguri Shun, Narimiya Hiroki, Ichigaki Yuma, Sawamura Ikki, Tamamori Yuta, Kaku Kento, Irie Jingi, Morisaki Win, Ochiai Motoki
Synopsis: Yankumi has a new class, the former 2D, but guys still do not trust her. At the same time Odagiri Ryu become a teacher-in-training under Yankumi in Akadou. The last 3D has graduated some time ago and is finding his place in life and in their workplaces, but suddenly Kazama becomes involved with dangerous underground world, which makes everyone, especially Yankumi, worried.
Rating: 4/5
Read previous seasons reviews here: first, second, third

The movie is the best way to put an end to Gokusen series. It is heartwarming and final. It would be ruined if there would have been any more than it.
For the first time Yankumi has the chance to show that she meant her words when she said that she
will always be the teacher for her students, until now we have only seen her being updated with Kuma's doings. I just thought and understood that from all my teachers only my middle school teacher is updated of everyone's doings, but she was the closest to us too.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Gokusen (2008)


SEASON 3

Country: Japan
Format: 11 episodes + SP
Genre: school, youth
Cast: Nakama Yukie, Miura Haruma, Takaki Yuya, Miura Shohei, Ishiguro Hideo, Nakama Junta, Kiriyama Akito, Namase Katsuhisa, Utsui Ken, Kaneko Ken, Anan Kenji, Uchiyama Shiji, Enami Kyoko, Ryogoku Hiroshi, Waki Tomohiro, Koizumi Kotaru, Hoshino Aki, Hirayama Aya, Azuma Mikihisa, Ishihara Atsumi, Yamada Yu, Wakaba Ryuya, Kujirai Kousuke, Totani Kimito, Nakayama Masei, Hamao Kyosuke, Maeda Goki, Mayama Akihiro, Yazaki Hiroshi, Yuki Jutta, Warabino Tomoya,
Synopsis: Yankumi meets a new school and new students to who she must teach the meaning of friends and high school time.
Rating: 4/5
Read previous seasons here: first, second

I liked the third season more than the second, but less than first.
Yankumi has been teacher for already 7 years now and you can see how the time has changed her and how the age difference has widened with students .When in first season she was acting like a "buddy" with students and in the second she was the most like teacher, then in the last season she made it into "mama" - a great mother lion who protects her children. It is exactly what it seemed to me.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Heirs (2013)


Tagline: The one who is trying to wear the grown must bear it's weight
Country: South-Korea
Format: drama in 20 episodes
Genre: romance, school
Cast: Lee Min Ho, Park Shin Hye, Kim Woo Bin, Kim Ji Won, Kang Min Hyuk, Choi Jin Hyuk, Krystal, Kang Ha Neul, Park Hyung Shik, Jun Soo Jin, Jung Dong Hwan, Kim Sung Ryung, Kim Mi Kyung, Choi Won Young, Park Joon Geum, Yoon Son Ha, Choi Jin Ho, Im Joo Eun, cameos: 2EYES, VIXX, BTOB, Kim Hee Chul, Lee Hyun Jin,
Synopsis:  Jeguk High School is the school for rich&famous. The usual everyday life gets turned upside-down when the former student Kim Tan returns from the States and with him a new girl Eun Sang transfers into school. Eun Sang brings many questions as many popular students seem to know her, including Kim Tan, but yet there is no record of her family business.
Rating: 4/5
The most anticipated Korean drama of year 2013. Of course it had to be due to amazing cast, genre and plot. Either it was worth it or not, I leave it up to you to decide.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Marry him if you dare (2013)


Also known as: Future Choice; Mi Rae's Choice
Country: South-Korea
Format: drama in 16
Genre: romance, time-slip
Cast: Yoon Eun Hye, Lee Dong Gun, Jung Yong Hwa, Han Chae Ah,Choi Myoung Gil, Oh Jung Se, Lee Mi Do, An Se Ha, Ko Du Shin, Kim Ji Ho, Jang Eun Ah,
Synopsis: 32-year old Na Mi Rae pities herself every day as her life consists of singing songs to unknown men because of her work in a call-center and living with her older brother. That is until the day her future self from the year 2038 visits her. Why? To prevent her from marrying Kim Shin, a famous news anchor she is bound to meet. In order to have her happy ending Mi Rae gives her best to fulfill her dream as a broadcast writer and marry the man who won't make her sad.
Rating: 2/5
This was one drama what I definitely wanted to see as soon as possible, because look at the plot and the cast! It looked so great, but sadly I made a total fool out of myself while watching it.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Berlin File (2013)


Country: South-Korea
Format: movie
Genre: action
Cast: Ha Jung Woo, Gianna Jun, Suk Kyu Han, Seung Bum Ryo, Kyoung Young Lee, Do Won Kwak, Moo Sung Choi, Jong Bin Yoon, Seo Hyung Kim, Jeong Nam Bae, Ha Suk Jo, Gye Nam Myoung, Jin Seok Kwak, John Keogh, Numan Avar, Tayfun Bademsoy, Werner Daehn, Pasquale Aleardi, Sinja Deiks,
Synopsis: After an international weapon deal between North-Korea, Middle-East and Russia has gone wrong in Berlin, North-Korean spy Jung Seong Pyo finds out that Myung Soo Dong, soulless killer and son of powerful North-Korean official, is coming to Berlin. At the same time he has been noticed by South-Korean NIS Suk Kyu Han, who has taken it for his duty to catch him, in addition to South-Korea, CIA and Mossad seem to be involved with missions. Jung Seong Pyo finds himself in a position where he is either betrayed by his wife or homeland and no place becomes safe to stay.
Rating: 4/5
It was the last movie I watched on film festival and it did not fail to keep me captivated. (I had a really long day behind me, so I was afraid that I will fall asleep in the cinema).

Friday, November 29, 2013

Au revoir l'été (2013)


Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: slice of life
Cast: Nikaido Fumi, Tsuruta Mayu, Taiga, Furutachi Kanji, Sugino Kiki, Otake Tadashi, Koshino Ena,
Synopsis: Sakuko decides to accompany her aunt Mikie on a summer holidays to go to the seaside town where her other aunt lives. Within one week she meets many different people and comes to understand their problems. Stuck in age where she is no longer a child and not yet an adult, she sees the difficult lives of becoming an adult.
Rating: 3/5
At first I thought of not watching this movie, but because Yanne kept going on about it I bought the tickets, only to find out that she just had the mood at that second. I think I would not have been sad if I had missed it.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Trap Street (2013)



Country: China
Format: movie
Genre: romance, real life
Cast: Yulai Lu, Wenchao He, Yong Hou, Xiaofei Hao, Qun Xiang, Tiejian Liu, Xinghong Li, Tong Liu, Shijie Feng, Jiao Wang, Liao Jin, Si Sun, Guoha Ma, Youliang Li, 
Synopsis: Li Qiuming is a young guy in his twenties who is working at digital mapping company. One day he meets with beautiful Guan Lifen, who he gives a lift. As he is trying to enter the street code to system the street he only gets errors. He does not know that his attempts to get close to Lifen will change his life forever.  
Rating: 3/5
If anyone has ever read Kafka's "The Trial" then you may be sure that this movie has similar elements in it. So you can predict whether you like this movie or not by knowing if you like Kafkaesque style or not. For example I like it, but Yanne hates it and same is with the movie - Yanne was so-so, while I liked it.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pluto (2012)


Country: South-Korea
Format: movie
Genre: school
Cast: Sung Joon, Lee Da Wit (Lee David), Kim Kkobbi, Kim Kwon, Sun Joo Ah, Nam Tae Boo, Ryoo Kyung Soo, Park Tae Sung, Kil Hae Yeon, Oh Jung Woo, Jo Sung Ha,  
Synopsis: During the entrance exam session a young boy Yoo Jin is found dead. Joon gets accused for the murder, but for what reason? One murder leads to an unexpected discovery of the lives of the school elite, school bullying and well kept secrets.
Rating: 4/5
I wanted to see this movie, because the theme reminds me of one my country's movie and school violence is something that is happening everywhere.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Soushite chichi ni naru (2013)


Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: family
Cast: Fukuyama Masaharu, Lily Franky, Maki Yoko, Ono Machiko, Ninomiya Keita, Shogen Hwang, Kunimura Jun, Kiki Kirin, Natsuyagi Isao, Fubuki Jun,
Synopsis: Nonomiya family consists of successful businessman Ryota, sweet and caring housewife Midori and their son Keita. Idyllic life of Ryota is broken with a phone call from the hospital were Keita was born with a message that "their son" was changed after birth and they have been raising someone's else child for 6 years. They meet with Saiki family - father Yudai who is  carefree small electronic shop owner, down-to-earth Yukari, Nonomiya's real son Ryusei and Saiki's two younger children. The families must face the difficult decision whether blood-ties or time spent with child is more important.
Rating: 5/5
This movie has gone through many many film festivals and has won Jury prize on Cannes Film festival. It is talking about really delicate subject and it made me think about many many things.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Miss zombie (2013)


Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: zombie, life and death
Cast: Komatsu Ayaka, Togashi Makoto,  Tezuka Toru, Onishi Riku, Suruga Taro, Serizawa Tateto, Yamauchi Takaya,
Synopsis: Story is set in the future. One day Teramoto family receives delivery of a big cage - containing gun for safety, instruction manual and a female zombie. It is time when zombie-virus has leaked, but every zombie has a level of how much it still is similar to humans. Shara who is made into a servant at the household is a level 1 zombie, meaning that she is close to normal human that she used to be.
Rating: 5/5
Another great movie from SABU. Before the movie started on the festival a man who had selected the movie for this festival said that he thinks of it as SABU's big comeback movie after "failing" with "Kanikosen" - I do not not think it is right, because I think "Troubleman" was really great too, but maybe they did not count it, because it was a drama. In every way, "Miss zombie" takes back SABU's old style - mind**** and no bright-side.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Grandmaster (2013)



Country: China
Format: movie
Genre: true-life, martial arts
Cast: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Zhao Benshan, Elvis Tsui, Song Hye Kyo, Yuen Woo Ping, Zhang Jin, Wang Qingxiang, Xiaozhenyang, Cung Le, Lo Hoi Pang, Bruce Leung,
Synopsis: Movie tells a story of Ip Man's life - a man who was the teacher to many world-famous martial artists including Bruce Lee. The movie starts from 1930s in Fushan and leads to year 1952 in Hong Kong, during what Ip Man had the biggest changes in his life and what lead him into becoming the grandmaster. 
Rating: 5/5
This was the start of the film festival for me. "The Grandmaster" is amazing film by its storyline and graphics. As it is based on true-life events, it is a bit difficult to review it, but the movie is made really interesting by adding fake-documents as retaken photos into it. There are three different length versions of the movie, but I saw the longest 130 minutes, which also was shown in Beijing.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ore Ore (2013)


 Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: surreal, suspense
Cast: Kamenashi Kazuya, Uchida Yuki, Ryo Kaze, Kimura Midoriko, Takahashi Keiko, Fuse Eri, Nakatani Ryu, Kobayashi Kinako, Iwamatsu Ryo, Satsukawa Aimi, Okano Aya, Machida Marie,
Synopsis: Nagano Hitoshi works at electronic store, his life has became very routinized and he feels as if he is fading away from life. One day he steals a cell phone by chance and performs "ore ore sagi" (scamming money out by pretending to be someone else on the phone). He discovers that the pretended person's life is taking over his real identity and suddenly he meets other people who are also him. At first having many different "me's" feels as relaxing company, but soon they understand that there can be only one "me" in this world. 
Rating: 5/5
I wanted to see this movie ever since they started filming it. It was also screened all over the world - in cinemas and festivals in USA, Canada, Argentina, Italy, Russia, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and etc, but you know what? It was not showed in my country nor in the countries next to my country and countries next to countries that are next to my country (If we leave Russia out, because you do not want to know how many things I should have had done if I had tried to go to Russia..). So in the end, all I could do was wait until the DVD comes out and the waiting was worth every second.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Acoustic (2010)


Country: South-Korea
Format: movie
Genre: music, drama
Cast: Shin Se Kyung, Lim Joon Il, Baek Jin Hee, Kang Min Hyuk (CN Blue), Lee Jong Hyun (CN Blue), Im Seul Ong (2AM),  Choi Deok Moon, Kim Jeong Seok,
Synopsis: Music can change lives, whether you sing or hear the one song what makes you feel that the world has born again. The movie will follow 3 different stories about not losing hope in this world. 
Rating: 2/5
The movie follows the usual path of omnibus movies - three different stories which have little to do with each other, if we leave out the posters or small hints in other stories. As you might suggest from the title and synopsis the main point of the movie is music.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Yamada-kun to 7nin no majo (2013)


Country: Japan
Format: drama in 8 episodes
Genre: comedy, romance, school, fantasy
Cast: Yamamoto Yusuke, Nishiuchi Mariya, Triendl Reina, Ide Takuya, Tokuyama Hidenori, Ono Ito, Kobayashi Ryoko, Miyama Karen, Kojima Fujiko, Takigawa Noa, Amiya Shotaro, Nagae Yuki,
Kawamura Yukie
Synopsis: On one ordinary school-day school's folly Yamada and the smartest girl in the school Shiraishi get into accident and fall down the stairs. When Yamada wakes up in school's nurse office he finds himself in Shiraishi's body!? Turns out they are able to swap bodies with a kiss. That leads them to the discovery of the legend of 7 witches. 
Rating: 4/5
It is another drama from 2013 summer that I anticipated to see. Ever since Yoshikawa Miki started writing "Yamada-kun to 7nin no majo" Yanne has been crazy about it (It is her second favourite manga) and has retold all the great things in it. But as I have not read it that much to compare the live-action to the original work I will use Yanne's notes. I bet you all know already that this drama is all about kissing.

Monday, October 14, 2013

My PS Partner (2012)


Also Known As: Whatcha wearin'
Country: South-Korea
Format: movie
Genre: romance, comedy, X
Cast: Ji Sung, Kim A Joong, Shin So Yul, Kang Kyeong Jun, Kim Sung Oh, Jung Soo Young, Moon Ji Yoon, Kim Bo Mi, Kim Bo Yeon, 
Synopsis: Hyun Seung is devastated by news that his ex, with he shared 7 years, has found a new boyfriend only with 2,5 months after breaking up with him. On one night he receives a phone call from unfamiliar number. On the other side of the phone is Yoon Jung, who wanted to call her boyfriend, but makes a mistake with a number, and without knowing their partners they share phone sex. One time mistakes develops into unrealistic friendship, that makes them wonder what they really want from life.
Rating: 4/5
A great movie to watch on Friday night (if possible with a partner), because it sure sets you into the mood. And that's why I watched it on Monday morning in day light to keep away the mood (sometimes single life is stupid). It definitely is not for under 18 year old, because it contains a lot of nudity, unappropriated scenes and vulgar language.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Gokusen (2005)


SEASON 2

Country:
Japan
Format: 10 episodes
Genre: school, youth
Cast: Nakama Yukie, Kamenashi Kazuya, Akanishi Jin, Koike Teppei, Koide Keisuke, Hayami Mokomichi, Namase Katsuhisa, Utsui Ken, Kaneko Ken, Uchiyama Shinji, Anan Kenji, Tanihara Shosuke, Waki Tomohiro, Otoha, Inoue Jun, Azuma Mikihisa, Mizushima Hiro, Kawamura Yosuke, Nakamura Yuichi, Miura Ryosuke
Synopsis: It has been 3 years since Yankumi’s first students graduated and through accident Yankumi becomes a teacher at Kurogin High school. Her new homeroom 3D is again full of delinquents, who face fights, troubles, misunderstanding and possibility of expulsion everyday. With only 3 months left until graduating Yankumi must give her all to guide her students to the right path.  
Rating:
4/5
Read the first season review here!
Like some other viewers I had fears that second season might not be so good or I do not start to like the guys as much as I liked in the first season. Fortunately, just look at the cast, how can I not love them! Now I know that I had no reason to worry, because "Gokusen" stays "Gokusen". 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Summer Nude (2013)


Country: Japan
Format: drama in 11 episodes
Genre: romance, youth
Cast: Yamashita Tomohisa, Karina, Toda Erika, Nagasawa Masami, Katsuji Ryo, Kubota Masataka, Sato Shori, Yamamoto Mizuki, Chiba Yudai, Nakajo Ayami, Hashimoto Nanami, Takahashi Katsunori, Itaya Yuka, Saiki Shigeru, Okamoto Sho (OKAMOTO'S)
Synopsis: It is the start of summer and the manager of well-known Italian restaurant Chiyohara Natsuki is getting married to her long time boyfriend. Mikuriya Asahi is the photographer at the local town and also happens to be a photographer for Natsuki's weddings. Unfortunately, the groom has second thoughts and ditches Natsuki right before registration, which all is gotten on the photos by Asahi. From one event to another, Natsuki soon finds herself working in the same town as a chef at Aoyama cafe and befriends with the locals: outgoing Hanae, who has been in love with Asahi for 10 years; "the leader" Asahi, who sees Hanae as a friend, because he has not been able to overcome his love for his ex-girlfriend who suddenly disappeared 3 years ago; intelligent and silent Hikaru, who hates sea, but is unable to leave; positive mood-maker Takashi, who falls for every beautiful women and more.
Rating: 3/5
When the production of "Summer Nude" was announced, it became my most waited drama of the summer season - Kaneko Shigeki as the scriptwriter, amazing cast, summer and sea, what could have gone wrong? I did have some doubts about the first storyline, but I had a hope that they will be cleared. Unfortunately, in the end I understood that I had my hopes too high.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Gokusen (2003)


SEASON 1
 Country: Japan
Format: 12 episodes + SP
Genre: school, youth
Cast: Nakama Yukie, Matsumoto Jun, Oguri Shun, Narimiya Hiroki, Waki Tomohiro, Ichigaki Yuma, Namase Katsuhisa, Utsui Ken, Kaneko Ken, Uchiyama Shinji, Ito Misaki, Nakasawa Yuko, Sawamura Ikki, Sakata Tadashi, Matsuyama Kenichi, guests: Ichikawa Yui, Wentz Eiji, Tanaka Kei, Hiraoka Yuta
Synopsis: Yankumi`s life long dream has been to become a high-school teacher. After passing her exam she becomes teacher to 3-D class at Shirokin Gakuen high-school. She does not know yet that her class is put together of delinquents and troublemakers, but neither know students that actually she is the grand-daughter of 3rd generation yakuza boss.
Rating: 4/5
At last I decided to watch "Gokusen" also known as one of the most famous school dramas in the history of school dramas and I cannot argue with that. There is something great about it that just hooks you on to the screen.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Adolescence Medley (2013)



Also known as: Puberty Medley
Country: South-Korea
Format: drama in 4 episodes
Genre: school, youth, romance
Cast: Kwak Dong Yun, Lee Se Young, Choi Tae Joon, Park Jung Min, Kwak Jung Wook, Yoon Park, Baek Sung Hyun, Bae Noo Ri, Jung In Ki, Go See Hee, Yoon Joo Sang, Lee Jong Hyun (CN Blue), Lee Sung Yeol (Infinite), Kim Hwan Hee,  
Synopsis: The story starts when Jung Wo Choi gets a mail of notification that his former high school's social-network is going to be closed down and to keep the files they should be saved. As he sees the pictures of school time Jung Wo is reminded of the crazy school time and his first love.  
Rating: 4/5
As I understood some time ago, then there are some short Korean dramas too, but sadly they are not as popular as full-length dramas. That means, it is perfect opportunity to introduce them at least a little bit and here are the reasons why I liked "Adolescence Medley".

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Shi to kanojo to boku (2012)


Country: Japan
Format: Special
Genre: horror, drama
Cast: Mine Azusa, Ichikawa Tomohiro, Sakurai Atsuko, Yamashita Yorie, Hakamada Yoshihiko, Asumi Keitaro, Nakawaki Mikito, Onda Noa, Otsuka Hirota, Sano Keisuke, Tane Rakuko, Toshima Koichi, 
Synopsis: After having a close to death experience Tokino Yukari can see decreased people. Her only friend is Yusaku who can also see the dead ones. Together they help souls to pass on to the other side. When they witness the death of Takeuchi Natsume they do everything to help her, but there is more than one thing that holds Natsume in human world.
Rating: 1/5
At first sight it seemed very interesting, because I find after-life theme really interesting - mostly because I believe in it. It is based on same-named manga by Kawaguchi Madoka. I which I could read it, because mangas are always much better than live-actions (why I do not read then so much??) After watching the 1 hour special, I was disappointed - it was made in year 2012, but as a live-action movie it was bad.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Girl's Life (2009)


Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: gyaru, life
Cast: Sakurai Rina, Kagami Saki, Ishihara Atsumi, Kagoshima Mika, Hosogai Kei, Butcher, Matsuda Keiji, Kimura Keisaku, Kawamoto Junichi, Watanabe Tetsu
Synopsis: Haruka is young women from Kansai region who goes to Tokyo to find luck. She has been dumped by his boyfriend and had a big fight with her family. Bleached haired, flashy looking Haruka finds herself alone with her pet turtle Jimmy in a big unfamiliar city.
Rating: 1/5
As you can see from the DVD cover it is a case of gyaru-movie! That was the only reason I wanted to see it - I adore Gyaru fashion, though I am not follower. Movie shows great Gyaru outfits, hairstyles and make-up, which sadly was the main reason to receive that one star.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Hormones ~ The confused teens~ (2013)


SEASON 1 
Country: Thai
Format: drama, Season 1 in 13 episodes
Genre: youth, school
Cast: Pachara Chirathirat (Peach), Ungsumalynn Sirapatsakmetha (Pattie), Sutatta Uudomsilp (Punpun), Juthawut Pattarakhumphol (March), Sirachuch Shuenthaworn (Micheal), Gun Chunhawat (Gun), Sananthachat Thanapatpisal (Fon), Thanapob Leeratanakojorn (Tor), Supassara Thanachart (Gao)
Synopsis: The new school year starts in Thai and students are back in their grey school rooms. With new start there is also a new beginning for personal problems to come and go. Series focus 9 different students who must fight with their burning hormones.
Rating: 5/5
This is the most scandalous Thai drama in 2013 (and I believe that before 2013 too). I started watching it after I saw the same-named movie by the same director. Of course the fact that Peach is a member of cast and I knew him before gave me the main reason to watch it. I have to thank TH ANGEL for subbing it, because she really was the only one who made it possible to watch the drama online with English subs.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hormones (2008)


Country: Thai
Format: movie
Genre: youth, comedy
Cast: Charlie Tairat, Sirachuch Chienthaworn (Micheal), Ungsumalynn Sirapatsakmetha (Pattie), Focus Jirakul, Ratchu Surajaras, Chutima Teepanat, Thaniya Ummaritchoti, Chantawit Thanasewee, Sora Aoi, Lu Ting Wei, Chaleumpol Tikumpornteerawong
Synopsis: When summer vacation comes and school is out, there is place and time for falling in love. The movie shows four stories about love which is controlled by human hormones. Is friendship strong enough to fight with competition over a girl? Can friends become something more? Is it right to ruin perfect relationship for a silly adventure? What is the true meaning behind fan's love? (Detailed synopsis' in the review)
Rating: 3/5
"Hormones" structure is inspired by the format of "Love Actually" (2003, UK) in which the lives of several people are shown. Movie involves 4 different stories about youth struggling with their love life.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monstar (2013)


Country: South-Korea
Format: drama in 12 episodes
Genre: music, school, romance
Cast: Yong Jun Hyung (BEAST/B2ST), Ha Yeon Soo, Kang Ha Neul, Da Hee (GLAM), Kim Min Young, Park Kyu Sung, Kang Ui Suk, Ahn Nae Sang, Moon Yong Suk, Kim Yoo Hyun, Yoon Jong Hoon, Lee Hee Jin, Kim San Ho, Kim Sun Kyung (guests: Lee Joo Yeon (AFTER SCHOOL), Lee Min Hyuk (BTOB), Im Hyun Shik (BTOB), Lee Chang Sub (BTOB), Yook Sung Jae (BTOB), Natthew, Ivy, Kim Tae Hyun, Jung Joon Woong, Nam Ju Hyun, No Min Woo, Kim Jin Pyo )  
Synopsis: Yoon Seol Chan is Korean idol from band Man in Black. His cynical and hot tempered personality has gotten him too much negative publicity, which makes his agency to send him back to high school to improve his social skills. To the same school arrives Min Se Yi - unusual girl who has lived last 5 years in New Zealand. Through unwanted trouble they end up with 5 classmates in a mess where they must start their own band to save their reputation.
Rating: 5/5
I would have regretted it for a life time if I had declined Dramafever.com offer to join their Monstar dramaclub (Clicking will lead you to our last review, but there are the links for previous reviews!)  which I did with E-kun and Lore. I am thankful to Dramafever, because they gave me the best Korean drama I have seen and I am thankful to E-kun and Lore for doing it with me. Be ready for one of my longest reviews because I have a lot to cover.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ai to Makoto (2012)


Also known as: For love's sake 
Country:
Japan
Format: movie
Genre: musical, comedy, drama
Cast: Tsumabuki Satoshi, Takei Emi, Saito Takumi, Ono Ito, Ando Sakura, Ihara Tsuyoshi, Yo Kumiko, Hitoto Yo, Ichimura Masachika, Maeda Ken, Kato Seichiro, 
Synopsis: Makoto is a high school student who live has been messed up since he was born. He goes to Tokyo to get revenge on the person who ruined his life. He meets with rich family's only daughter Ai, who falls in love with him from the first second she hears his name. Ai is risking everything in order to lead Makoto toward happier and decent life.
Rating: 3/5
I saw it on festival in open air and I bet that might have influenced my opinion on the movie. Having fresh air, many people, big screen and night sky can make movie watching much more funnier and enjoyable.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Noriko goes to Seoul (2011)



Country: Japan/ South-Korea
Format:
movie
Genre
:drama, music
Cast:
Takashima Reiko, Lee Hong Ki, Katsumura Masanobu, Ikura Manami, Kim Ji Young, Han Jung Won, Oh Yong, Im Jong In, MayBee, Kim Sun Hwa,
Synopsis:
Mori Noriko is a Japanese housewife, with workaholic husband and complicated teenage daughter. Noriko is starstruck with Hallyu star Kim Hyun Jae and studies Korean because of him. After finding out that she has lung cancer she makes a decision to go to Korea to take part of music audition in order to proudly stand on the stage in front of world, family and Hyun-chan. On the first day of audition she meets Kim Min Ha, a young Korean man, who is aiming to debut as a singer. They become each other mental support and coaches through music and life.
Rating
: 4/5
It is a must see movie for Lee Hong Ki's admirers and to be honest he was the reason why I wanted to watch it in the first place. As usually I have freaking weird thoughts before watching it and I was kind of sure that there will develop something love-like thing and then it is put on test by their age, nationality and the fact that Noriko is married for 17 years and has a 16 years old daughter. Thank Kimchi that most of my thoughts are not right. I do feel a bit silly at times..

Friday, July 26, 2013

Rurouni Kenshin (2012)



Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: live-action, action
Cast: Sato Takeru, Takei Emi, Aoi Yu, Aoki Munetaka, Eguchi Yosuke, Kikkawa Koji, Kagawa Teruyuki, Sudo Genki, Ayano Go, Tanaka Taketo, Okuda Eiji,  
Synopsis: In 1868, after the end of Bakumatsu war, former assassin Kenshin Himura is a wanderer who carries reverse-bladed sword with him to defend people without killing anyone. He saves Kamiya Kaoru from gangsters who work for opium drug lord Kanryu Takeda. Kaoru asks Kenshin to stay, but Kenshin's past starts to haunt when people are starting to recognize him.
Rating: 5/5
It is one of the best live-actions made and I am not the first nor the only one saying it. I actually have read some comments saying that it is not a great movie, but those comments have come from "Samurai X" (the name under which OVA-s and anime movie aired in North-America) watchers or from people who say "cartoon-version" about anime. I have my own opinion about those people and I hope that they either educate themselves or shut the ramen up. Sadly I have not read the whole manga yet, I have just watched first episode from anime and some chapters of manga, but it is on my definitely-to-do list.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hana Yori Dango

Hana Yori Dango (2005)


Country: Japan
Format: drama season 1, 9 episodes
Genre: romance, comedy, school
Cast: Inoue Mao, Matsumoto Jun, Oguri Jun, Matsuda Shota, Abe Tsuyoshi, Nishihara Aki, Kaga Mariko, Sato Megumi, David Ito, Sada Mayumi, Tomiura Satoshi, Kobayashi Susumu, Ishino Mako, Matsushima Nanako
Synopsis: Makino Tsukushi goes to elite high-school which is ruled by world-famous F4 - Flower 4 -  the richest and most powerful guys in the school - getting a red notice from them means definite leaving from school. As a commoner Makino tries to live her high-school life being unnoticed, but everything changes when she gets on bad terms with F4's leader Domyouji Tsukasa. Makino's first name stands for "though weed" and she proves that she deserves it by declaring war to F4. Oddly enough slowly she is starting to fall for the enemy.
Rating: 4/5
It took me years until I convinced myself to watch it - after all everybody are praising it to heaven and it is one of the must-see classics. Before watching these were my thoughts - "I'm gonna hate Curly, luv Sweety and dunno 'bout others" (Excuse me for slang - these thoughts are already simplified from the actual slang in my head - you do not want to know how my mind works) But lets see how and why my thoughts changed after watching it.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Zenkai Girl (2011)


Country: Japan
Format: drama in 11 episodes
Genre: romance, life
Cast: Aragaki Yui, Nishikido Ryo, Hirayama Hiroyuki, Yakushimaru Hiroko, Rebutsu Misako, Tani Kanon, Takagi Seira, Reina Asami, Takeushi Riki, Kaito Aiko, Suzuki Ryohei, Arakawa Yoshiyoshi, Minagawa Sarutoki, Aoyama Noriko, Sato Jiro,
Synopsis: Ayukawa Wakaba dreams of becoming an international lawyer. After getting into Samezima Sakuragawa law firm she gets her first assignment: babysitting boss's 5-years old daughter Hinata until the real nanny returns. In Hinata's preschool Wakaba meets a group of solo-dads who are the opposite of her ideal man, especially Yamada Shota, ex-chef who gave up his dreams in order to raise his ex-wife's son (from first marriage).
Rating: 4/5
I was surprised by "Zenkai Girl" as it was on my watch-list for 2 years already and my first opinion on it was not the best. After watching it, as you see, it got 4 stars and I admit that there was only a little missing from the last star.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Shin jidan Koshonin ura file (2011)


Country: Japan
Format: tv-movie, related to "Jidan Kosho Jinnai Tamako Ura File" Sp-s
Genre: law, slice of life
Cast: Takahata Atsuko, Kato Shigeaki, Matoba Koji, Kobayashi Chiharu, Yajima Kenichi, Orimoto Junkinchi, Hashizume Ryo, Suzuki Maika, Fujiyoshi Kumiko, Nashimoto Kenjiro, Kanayama Kazuhiko, Ueshima Ryuhei, Kobayashi Nenji, Watabiki Katsuhiko,
Synopsis: Hashima Ippei works at insurance office. He is transferred to an elite department that handles difficult investigations in order to find out if and how much money they must pay out. Though it is said to have been put together of elite workers from other departments, his new colleagues turn out to be more than just unique people.
Rating: 2/5
To start off, just who are insurance people to do the job of detectives or criminologists? If anyone can tell me a good reason I might reconsider the amount of stars, but I guess 2 stars are even more than enough for it. If you are not a fan of any actor/actress who is playing in here, then I think it is pretty much worthless to watch. Sorry if I am being to mean.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Nihonjin no shiranai nihongo (2010)


Country: Japan
Format: drama in 12 episodes
Genre: school, language
Cast: Naka Risa, Ikeda Narushi, Aoki Munetaka, Harada Natsuki, Asaka Mayumi, Blake Crawford, Sethna Cyrus Nozomu, Olga Alex, Sebastiano Serafini, Camilla, ZOE, Zhang Mo, Dasha, Mayor Akintoye,
Synopsis: Kano Haruko used to work as a charismatic shop assistant, but she has a dream of becoming a high school teacher. Her former teacher asks Haruko to stand-in teacher position for 3 months, but for Haruko's surprise this job is not in high school. She becomes teacher at Japanese language school for 9 foreigners, who have rather wild thoughts and dreams. 
Rating: 2/5
I will be honest and say that this drama needs a lot of tolerance (sister gave me word "script-supervisor"). As foreigner perspective it can be reaaaaaaallly annoying and rude as those foreign students are not portrayed as the most intelligent people.I have not read the original manga, so I am not sure whose fault it was - mangaka or scriptwriters?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Love on that day (2012)


Country: China, Thai
Format: movie
Genre: romance, youth
Cast: Mario Maurer, Philip Lau, Ye Qing, Kan Qingzi, Gong Hanlin, Jin Zhu
Synopsis: In a small harbor city is a inn called "Heart time inn" where lovers can write love letters to each other and bail them out when they return to the inn years later. A young handsome boxer Martin  from Thailand checks in one day. He starts to get along with Xiao Ya, owners niece, and her friends. The past and present make hearts beat faster in "Heart time inn".
Rating: 2/5
This is Mario Maurer's Chinese debut movie and as you might guess he was the reason why I wanted to see it - Mario Maurer + love story =high expectations due to "First Love", but it seems that nothing can give me the same feeling. "Love on that day" is full of cliche, predictable and just another youngsters' love story.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Eternal First Love (2010)


Also known as: Koi suru naporitan
Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: romance, life&death, drama
Cast: Aibu Saki, Maki Daisuke, Tsukamoto Takashi, Ichikawa Tomohiro, Ichikawa Kamejiro, Tsubasa Makoto, Kitaoji Kinya,  
Synopsis: Takeshi is an Italian chef who has been best friends with Ruri since elementary school. Despite the fact that they have feelings for each other, they have never crossed the friendship line. On Ruri's engagement night she calls Takeshi to ask for his final thoughts, but Takeshi hears the message too late. He runs to Ruri just to find out that Ruri has accept the proposal. At the same moment a fateful accident happens which takes away Takeshi's life, but fate gives him another chance giving Takeshi's soul his killer Makihara Yuki's body. 
Rating: 3/5
Well, I watched it being influenced by my twin-sister. She madly wanted to see it, but in the end the movie turned out be something she was not expecting. As she said: "Come on! Tsukamoto Takashi and Aibu Saki playing best friends in love - you have to see that!".

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ouran High School Host Club

Ouran High School Host Club (2011)



Counrty: Japan
Format: drama in 11 episodes
Genre: comedy, school, romance
Cast: Yamamoto Yusuke, Kawauchi Haruna, Daito Shunsuke, Chiba Yudai, Nakamura Masaya, Takagi Shinpei, Takagi Manpei, Ryusei Ryo,
Synopsis: Ouran High School is private school for sons and daughters of wealthy and prestigious families. But Fujioka Haruhi is not like others - she is from commoner family who entered the school with scholarship. One day when she is trying to find a quiet place to learn she stumbles on Ouran High School Host Club. Due to several misunderstandings and shock she accidentally breaks a vase worth 8 million yen. Even though Haruhi is a girl, she looks really boyish and is made to become a member of host club to repay her debt.
Rating: 5/5
I was stunned by the fact how similar the live-action was to anime. They had done some changes in details, left out some side-characters and put one or two anime episodes together, but the similarity stayed amazing. Since the cast was first introduced, I never had any doubts in them. I do not know why, but I believed that they will be able to do it well.
Kawaguchi Haruna played the part of Haruhi. I have seen her before in "Yankee-kun to Megane-chan" live-action, so I knew that one way or another she will pull it off, but I was amazed how well she did it. I was a bit concerned about her appearance as she had to be cute girl Haruhi, 1st day catastrophe and ikemen host. I have heard some people say "Why she did not cut her hair? Why is she wearing a wig? etc". ONE DOES NOT SIMPLY MAKE GIRL CUT HER HAIR WHEN SHE DOES NOT WANT IT! Even if she is an actress, because maybe she had some other contracts that did not allow to cut her hair, like other movie, endorsement, modelling what ever, there are so many reasons to give what we might not know. I think that if the job can be done with wig too, then why not? Sure, it does look fake, but at least it is done. I was not bothered by it, because as well we could be angry at actors make-up.
I think the most difficult part to act was Tamaki, because he is kinda baka delusional narcissistic character, but I just say WOW to Yamamoto Yusuke. I feel that he made a great job showing out what kind of character Tamaki is. I literally had a dream about him last night, so that in the morning Tamaki's remarks and "Haruhiiii~!" were echoing in my head. Even though, Yamamoto Yusuke does not have that one ikemen-factor as some say, I find him extremely handsome and when he was making some Tamaki's flirting action into camera.. well, I was close to heart failure. I am happy that he got the part, because he does not have many lead-roles or super funny characters.
 I was most amazed by Kyouya's character. He was acted by Daito Shunsuke, even though he has
been some side-characters in dramas I have seen before, it is the first time I am able to actually look at him. In anime and manga, Kyouya was not my favorite character, but I fell for him in drama. Daito Shunsuke plays him so well and he looks extremely hot in every outfit. He basically became my number one in drama, which made me sad that his background story was least mentioned. I also find it unexpected that they added Kyouya's feelings to Haruhi for one episode, because from anime it looked like he had the least interest in Haruhi, but throwing this line in just for one episode seemed a bit weird.
One of the most-known fictional twins are of course Hikaru and Kaoru. I felt pity for them, because I can understand them as I have a twin too, whose appearance is rather similar to mine. Nothing is more disrespectful and hurtful than saying "It does not matter which one is which" to twins, because as it is shown in drama too - twins might look similar and might have similar interests, but they are still two different person. Hikaru and Kaoru both are really devilish and most of the time they have really evil thoughts, but Kaoru is a bit more tolerant. Hikaru tends to over-react or think a bit more about himself and Kaoru than about other people. Takagi twins were amazing in their roles and as much as I have seen/heard they have become many viewers favorites.
The last pair to talk about are Honey-senpai and Mori-senpai. Chiba Yudai plays the part of Honey-senpai. As in anime and manga Honey-senpai is shorter than Haruhi, then it was really difficult for
Chiba Yudai, because he is taller than Kawaguchi Haruna. To make him look a shorter he and Haruhi are rarely beside each other and they used a child-actor to make Honey-senpai able to jump on someone, especially on Haruhi. I do find Chiba Yudai as cute as Honey-senpai from anime/manga and the moment when they show "black Honey" was too much for me to handle. That scene showed perfectly that Chiba Yudai is able to act different roles too - "OHSHC" was pretty much his debut. Mori-senpai is acted by Nakamura Masaya. He was just as Mori-senpai is - quiet, quiet and quiet.
Some say that live-action was a bit too much, over-exaggerated, or some characters are too annoying, but for me "Ouran High School Host Club" is it all - it can be viewed as a parody of otaku-culture and I love parodies. Yeah, for anime-fans anime-characters are cuter to watch, but please understand that there are so many things that you can draw but you cannot make it in real life! That's why I was so happy how they had added anime-characteristics into it. Slap stick comedy or not it was funny for me. I have read how some people hate actor-choices and etc, but you do not have to like everything, as long as there is one person that really likes the outcome then I believe that it is well done. Compared to some other live-action, then I say that it is amazing and at least you cannot get a cancer from it.

Ouran High School Host Club ~The movie~ (2012)


Country: Japan
Format: Movie
Genre: comedy, school, romance
Cast: Yamamoto Yusuke, Kawaguchi Haruna, Daito Shunsuke, Chiba Yudai, Nakamura Masaya, Takagi Shinpei, Takagi Manpei, Ryusei Ryo, Mariko Shinoda, Nickhun, Ishikawa Tomohiro,
Synopsis: The adventures of Ouran High School Host Club continue as they have their annual Ouran High School battle between clubs. The situation gets more difficult when there comes a new transfer student Michelle, who takes a great interest in Tamaki.
Rating: 5/5
I watched it at cinema! My country had one anime festival and they showed 2 movies too, but I was unable to watch the other movie.
I was a bit disappointed in the movie, because it was divided into two themes - Michelle's and her brother's relationship and second part was others. I hoped to see more of host club doings, especially TamakixHaruhi things, because in movie Tamaki questions why he has such an urge to kiss Haruhi even though she is his "daughter". Oh, Tamaki and his family ranks. Also under "other things" they will continue to discuss Hikaru's feelings.I have not finished reading manga yet, but as I have heard then Michelle's character and storyline are totally new. Manga contains so many different stories, that's why I do not understand why they had to add new things. Michelle is rather similar to Eclair Tonnerre character in anime/manga. Michelle is played by Shinoda Mariko. An AKB member who actually can act. I really want to see her in "Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta". She has that image that she can act great as portraying bitches, even though I believe that she will be great in cute-girl roles too.
"Ouran High School Host Club Movie" was a Japanese movie-business debut for Nickhun from Korean band 2PM. He plays the part of Lawrence, Michelle's big brother. At first I thought that his English was over-dubbed, but after getting to know Nickhun's past, then "WOWW" I would listen to his English everyday, but only after he has put more emotions into his acting.
Weird English lines and Mariko's accent made movie look a bit ridiculous as Michelle and Lawrence had grown up with English, but Michelle was more fluent in Japanese. Their whole story was a bit out of movie and made it too melodramatic. Other than that it is still full of Ouran wackiness and is super funny. It has been a while since I have heard the whole cinema laughing out loud because of the movie (mostly people just sit and watch without making much noise). I would have wanted to see even more, because it looked just like another episode, which is a bit longer than others.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Kare wa imouto no koibito (2011)


Country: Japan
Format: originally a keitai-drama, later made into a movie
Genre: romance, comedy
Cast: Ishihara Satomi, Hiraoka Yuta, Michishige Sayumi,
Synopsis: Miyuki is 24-year-old woman, who works at flower-shop and has never had a relationship. All due to her little devilish sister Haruka, who takes everything from her starting from clothes to stealing all Miyuki's crushes' hearts. When Miyuki runs into her first love Ito Ryosuke, events take a weird turn and he ends up living with the two sisters.
Rating: 4/5
It is really sweet and cute rom-com and you cannot believe how much I laughed while watching it.
Ishihara Satomi as Miyuki looks so adorable. Miyuki is rather shy, quiet and very rational, she gets so easily embarrassed and acts simply awkward. Sometimes her actions looked really foolish, but then again it was understandable for a woman who has never been in a relationship and has had only few chances of talking to men she likes. She never expresses her real feelings and rather looses the thing she likes to her sister than fights for it. It is all because her sister Haruka has always gotten what she likes and when even parents tell Miyuki to give up on things because she is older, then what do you expect? 
For a shy girl it is unthinkable to say it out loud that she likes somebody - even I once lost a guy to my friend years-years ago, because I did not have the guts to admit to her that I do have feelings for him. Even though.. she asked if I like him after she had asked him already out... But this is what happens to shy girls who do not express their feelings properly - THEY LOSE THE GUY! and because Ito-kun is too important to Miyuki, she finally decides to fight back. There is so much comedy about how Miyuki tries to give her best and win his heart. I do hope that no girl ever buys this much flirt- and love-books or tries to use ALL instructions, because that is way too weird and obvious. Another funny things come from Ishihara Satomi's priceless face expressions, Miyuki's wild illusions and her colleague's smart-talk - I must say that even I learned some new things and understood others from him.
Haruka is totally opposite of Miyuki. She is spoiled, used to get what she wants, she has a courage like a mountain, but she does not care about other people's feelings at all. Michishige Sayumi was
really cool in this role and fans say that it was perfect role for her narcissistic personality. I watched some of her TV-appearances and she really thinks too much of herself and her cutesy. I think a woman is never cute or beautiful when she says that all other women in the room are less cute than her. There is no way you can ever feel sorry for Haruka. She might be the first bad-character in dramas/movies, who does not make you pity her.
She is like 100% of evil and devil. I have seen other dramas with "sister being a devil" or "2 sisters=1 man" ("Seigi no Mikata", "Hanawake no yon shimai", "The Marriage Plot"), but she is the meaniest sister of them all! I even heard that from some Michishige fans! Sadly she has not have many roles, but this role showed that she might have really good skills. I would say that Haruka actually would be the worst girlfriend, because of her lack of sympathy toward others, her jealousy and over acting. Most of the time she was really childish and again I end up with question "Do Japanese guys really like that high-pitch voice and fake attitude?" (woah. this review is making me want to talk too much about myself for comparison, but I'll hold myself back..)
Ito Ryosuke is played by Hiraoka Yuta. I have always liked his acting and even this time he did not fail to fill my expectations. Only negative thing is that in script they have left out the things that show Ryosuke's feelings toward girls. You can see the small regret when things come to ex-girlfriend, but to Miyuki and Haruka, sometimes it seemed that he has friendzoned them and next moment there comes this really sweet full of emotions look at Miyuki. Ahh made my heart beat :D Especially I liked him in Miyuki's illusions, because I doubt that I have seen him acting the madlypassionateinloveIjustwantyourightnow-guy. Ryosuke is sweet, cares of everyone, has a high value in fairness and truth. He kind of a changes the lives of both girls.
There are some cool characters more like Miyuki's gay-colleague and Haruka's ex-boyfriend. As I told, there are some new things you can learn from it, but please remember that the most effective way to make someone fall for you is to be yourself. 


SPOILER-review: In the end, when they were holding their cactus, it looked like their were holding and watching their baby. It was really funny and cute, but weird at the same time. I would have wanted to see more "what happened next", but it was all due to my curiosity. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hansel & Gretel (2007)


Country: South-Korea
Format:
movie
Genre: mystery, drama, horror
Cast: Chun Jung Myung, Eun Won Jae, Shim Eun Kyung, Jin Ji Hee, Park Hee Soon, Kim Kyeong Ik, Jang Jeong Nam, Koh Joon Hee,  Lydia Park,
Synopsis: Eun Soo makes a car accident while arguing with his pregnant girlfriend over the phone on the way to see his sick mother. He gets lost in the woods until he is found by a young girl who brings him to her family home in the deep forest. There is plenty of food, warm fireplace and 3 children are just adorable, but something seems to be off - the phone-line is down for days, mother and father from the family suddenly disappear and no matter which way Eun Soo walks, he always gets back to the "House of Happy children".
Rating: 2/5
This movie has a lot of different emotions - there are moments of comedy, depression, horror and compassion. I really liked it most of the time but the end got too lingering and depressive that it made stars fall as if there were a meteor shower.
All three child actors shined in their roles. They all were much better than the grown-up actors. Their emotions and expressions were all in right moment and it was pleasant to watch and of course at the times really spooky to watch. Eun Won Jae acts the part of Man Bok - the family's son, who seems to be the evilest of them all, because he can do almost everything with his mind. The fact that he has really short-temper makes him even scarier. At the same time, Shim Eun Kyung plays the older daughter, whose power I did not understand or did not notice much.
Young Hee is the calmest, may be due to the fact that she is said to have really weak health. I did not understand much, but it also seemed that she thought the most about other possibilities, because she plays a really important role through out the movie. The last child Jeong Sun is played by Jin Ji Hee. She is the usual cute kid with spooky hairstyle. I started to wonder how such cute and young actress was allowed to play in this movie. I literally freaked out when she was destroying another toy rabbit! Jeong Sun has the power of giving life to lifeless things like dolls (she is the one who makes your toys move around at nights)
The"so-called" main character Eun Soo has not turned out as great as they wanted, because moslty he is more like a side-character, but only with the fact that his story is retold in the movie. Chun Jung Myung's acting is another thing that tears his character down - he has through out the movie the same face expression, so you really do not get what he thinks, because there is so much happening all the time, but at the same time it feels like nothing changes.
I admit that I covered my eyes more than once because actually I  am a really big scaredy-cat when it comes to horror movies. Bu fortunately and unfortunately it is not as dreadful as I thought and hoped it will be. Like most of the horror movies connected to children has "Hansel and Gretel" a sad, pitiful and unfair background why children are making this crazy nightmare. This time it is about child abuse and raping - subject that no one likes or wants to see. (Seriously, how can this kind of people even exist? that is just way too sick!) which leads us to the annoying end too, but read about it from Spoiler review.
I really liked that they made mind and willpower into the strongest thing, because I believe too that human is possible for making everything if they just have the strong belief in it really happening. For a while, I even thought that maybe, just maybe, everything is only in someone's mind and nothing really happens, but then it got too complicated again..
Even though it was not the scariest or unpleasant movie, I will never recommend this movie to people under 13 - I think I have a life-time trauma of toy bunnies. Like with all "horror-movies" - some love it, some don't - I find it rather.. surreal and usual.
btw. There are more known fairytales made into horror movies in South-Korea.  

SPOILER review: Just a bit before the end.. there is sooooooooo long scene about one thing - dialogue between the kids and Eun Soo. He says that he must leave because he is waited and the children must move on with their lives and the children just repeat "We are not bad children. we are good children. Please, do not leave us. Stay with us! etc" and that goes on and on and on for several minutes. I do not know if they tried to fill the screen time with it but it was rather boring an depressive for the whole watching crew we had in the room. They could have made it normal and short and it would not have lost 1-2 stars. You may say I am too harsh, but it mattered to me.

Punch (2011)


Country: South-Korea
Format: movie
Genre: youth, drama
Cast: Yoo Ah Ni, Kim Yoon Seuk, Jasmine B. Lee, Park Su Young, Ahn Gil kang, Kim Sang Ho, Park Hyo Joo, Kang Byul, Kim Young Jae, Sudip Banerjee,
Synopsis: Growing up story about Do Wan Deuk who is a sophomore in high school but does not have any thoughts on future. His father is former cabaret performer with a hunchback, he does not know a thing about his mother and is only good at fighting. His views start to change when his hated and annoying home-room teacher (and almost a neighbor) Dong Jo tells him that his mom is much closer to him than he thinks and actually wants to see him. 
Rating: 2/5
This is really everyday-ish movie.. well, as everyday life as it can be, but it still is just a little slice of Do Won Deuk's life. I hope you get the point. It is based on same-named novel ("Wandeuk") by Kim Ryeo-Ryeon, but with some changes as adding Ho Jung (Dong Jo's love interest) to the movie and changing Wan Deuk's mother from Vietnamese to Filipina.
The most important part of the movie is the relationship between Wan Deuk and his teacher Dong Jo.
Like usually, teacher is trying to reach out and help his lonely student, which is something we can see in many Korean and Japanese dramas/movies. At first, Wan Deuk almost hates Dong Jo, because he is everywhere and is always putting his nose into Wan Deuk's business, but slowly the boy starts to see his teacher in another way - like when seeing Dong Jo's late-night spying on one woman; getting to know Dong Jo's relationship with immigrants and foreign labor or just realizing how Dong Jo is trying to protect him. By the end, they are almost as good friends. Of course, their dialogues are really funny and full of sarcasm, which makes the movie funny too.
I liked the movie mostly because of Wan Deuk's growing recognition of his mother. It almost made me cry, because even though she was the woman who left years ago, she was still his mother. Wan Deuk said that he had not thought about his mother at all, but I am sure that if he had, then he had hoped that she is doing fine: "why to leave them behind and still live bad life?" this thought was in another drama, but I cannot remember in which. That's why it broke my heart when Wan Deuk saw his mom's situation and her old worn-out shoes.
Other great thing about the movie is that it shows "the other side" of South-Korea - students thinking
of dropping out as I bet we all know the thing about South-Korea and finals, disabled people, the poor class, foreign labor and intercultural marriage. I think that these things give the quality to the movie and make it different from others, which also can be the reason behind enormous ticket sale to this movie in 2011, winning many awards and screenings on international film festivals around the world. We see much more "the life of rich and beautiful" or "the middle class", so it is a nice change, but as some viewers have said - some scenes look just too artificial. In addition, I think that these are things that many countries face and that way there is a moment of realisation.
Of course there is added some love-lines, which give the movie the cute touch. Hong Jo's character
was added just because director Lee Han thought that "love" is the best way how to make viewers more empathize with Dong Jo's character, because it is like finding a love after years of single and lonely life. On the other hand, Wan Deuk's and Yoon Ha's love-line shows the young sweet love, which is a part of growing up - but I really liked how they brought in the differences between girls and boys.
I am not going to talk more about characters, even though each character is really interesting and original. As I mentioned at the start, it is all about one stage of human life and you can see it in each character's story. The reason why I did not put higher rating was because there actually were not many changes in the movie's pace or unexpected twists. It just started and went with one flow giving everything I thought I will get from it and nothing more. At least, it is not depressive and does not make you angry at society.