Saturday, December 27, 2008

Indian cinema versus Korean cinema - taken from my Indian cinema blog

Indian cinema versus Korean cinema - taken from my Indian cinema blog
Just for fun
As I was writing my my review for Legend of the Evil Lake in my Korean cinema blog, I starting comparing films between Bollywood and Korean. Okay, so how did that start? Well, I was amazed at Legend of the Evil Lake when watching it. I have been watching Korean movies/dramas that were in the genres of romantic comedy and horror. So I ended up comparing Bollywood films and Korean movies.

Since more and more people keep mentioning how much they love Jab We Met, then they should give Korean movies a try. As I mentioned in my Jab We Met review, in Korean cinema, there is usually a sassy, spontaneous, chatty girl with a quiet guy. Hey, if you even like the Tollywood/Telugu movie Bommarillu, it definitely has a Korean feel to the film too! Now not every storyline is like that in Korean cinema. There will be films with the damsel in distress. Definitely. In addition, a lot of Korean movies focus on the couple's journey together. Rarely will a parent's influence help change their minds of who they should be with.

At first I thought about mixing my Indian cinema blog and Korean cinema blog but decided not to. So I separated them. I wish my Korean cinema blog would be more detailed like my Indian cinema blog though. It's just that I do watch a lot of Korean cinema on-line. Unlike with Indian cinema.

I've been asked before to list some Korean films for others to watch. I've listed some for Nida but I'm going to add more here. I hope to review all the ones I listed soon but so far, I have most of them.....

My Sassy Girl
Hey, if Hollywood and Bollywood (as Ugly Aur Pagli) remakes it, why not? Watch the original please! For those who didn't know, it's about a guy meeting a girl unexpectly. Even though the girl slaps him, bosses him around, he is attracted to her. He learns about why she is living her life in sorrow.

My Tutor Friend
First Korean movie that made me fall in love with the cinema. Romantic comedy about a hot, macho guy who should've graduated high school a long time ago. His parents get him a tutor who he doesn't find attractive, but starts to fall for her.

Too Beautiful To Lie
Hilarious movie about an ex-convict girl who got released on parole to attend her sister's wedding. She ends up meeting a guy on a train. He wants to propose to his girlfriend. However, the ring he plans to give his girlfriend ends up with the ex-convict. She tries to return the ring but gets mistaken for the guy's fiance. The second half of this movie reminded me a bit of
Jab We Met because of the family mistakens the two as a couple.

S Diary
When Bachna Hai Haseeno came out, I thought it would take parts of S Diary. BHH was about Raj's (Ranbir) journey back to his exes. Plus it was about three girls. Well, in S Diary, it's similar. The girl wonders about her past three boyfriends. It was three different stages in her life. She goes back and revisit each one trying to understand why she got dumped. This movie is more about revenge - she wants to get even with how they treated her.

My Little Bride
A cute romantic comedy about a high school girl who has to marry an older guy who she grew up with. She has a double life since none of her high school friends know she is married. Not even her high school boyfriend.

100 Days with Mr Arrogant
Funny movie about a girl who feels down after being dumped by her boyfriend. She accidently kicks a can and hit this rich guy's car. He bosses her around and tries to get her to pay for the damages. Since she doesn't have money, he says that she has to be his slave for 100 days. But later she learns that the damage that she cause was not worth it because it only cost $10!! She sets to get revenge on him.

My Boyfriend is Type B
Girl's boyfriend blood type is Type B. Not very good. People with Type B blood is the worse for a girl to find in a soul mate. Type B guys are arrogant, hard-head, and a jerk. Why did she choose such a guy?

Not a movie, it's a drama. Dramas run usually 16 episodes. It's not a soap opera where it goes on and on. But I'm going to mention these two....

Coffee Prince
The main heroine is a tom boy. Everyone mistakens her for a boy. Since she is poor, she lies that she is a boy to keep a job that the owner only wants to hire men called Coffee Prince. The owner is the hero. He doesn't understand why but he is developing feelings for a guy?

My Name is Kim Sam Soon
Kim Sam Soon is an unusual name for a Korean girl. Sam Soon hates her name. On top of that, she's overweight for Korean girls. No wonder why she's in her late 20s and single! She's a great chef and ends up working for a top-notch restaurant. The owner is the hero. He pays Sam Soon to be his girlfriend since there is no way in hell he will ever fall for her. His mom is constantly on his back about having a girlfriend.

Oh right, I was comparing Korean and Bollywood cinema. I also mentioned on the Legend of the Evil Lake review about the guys in Indian cinema noticing the girls after the girls have undergone a makeover.

In Korean cinema, the girls don't have to make a dramatic transformation for the guys to like them. The guys will like the girl no matter how she looks. They like the girls for their personality. Not in Bollywood films, girls gotta change their looks for the guys to notice them - ahem Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Ishq Visqk, Main Hoon Naa, etc.

How I came across this is I was talking about in the Legend of the Evil Lake review about how all the Korean movies I've seen, everyone has dressed in modern clothing. Legend of the Evil Lake is the only movie that I've seen Korean traditional outfits.

Here are just some stills from Korean cinema about the girl not having to change their looks and the guys liking them.

In My Name is Kim Sam Soon , the girl is overweight by Korean standards but the guy likes her regardless.
In Coffee Prince , the girl is tomboyish but the guy falls for her anyways.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Girl crush - Lee Hyori

Love her or hate her. Gotta admit, she's hot! I love her music although some people say she can't sing. She's entertaining!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My latest crush - Taeyyang!!!

So freaking hot!! I got into him because of Teddy since he's in the video but then listened to the rest of the album. I am officially in love with Taeyyang.

He defines sexy and hot to me. My son teased me and told me I like Tae's since my other fave singer is Taebin. Where are you Taebin? I miss you. Still eagerly waiting for your second album


Look at me

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cmovie - Seoul Raiders (2005)

Synopsis - lovefilm

Photos - dragonsdenuk

Seoul Raiders is the sequel to director Jingle Ma's hugely successful blockbuster Tokyo Raiders. Tony Leung reprises his role as Japanese special agent Lam, this time on an intricate search for a pair of "Avenger" plates used for the making of counterfeit U.S. currency. During the hunt, he comes across foxy lady JJ (Shu Qi), and US Embassy staff member Owen (Richie Ren), who manages to con the plates out of Lam and flee to Korea. Lam and JJ immediately follow Owen to Korea, only to be confronted by the legendary kingpin known as Polar Bear, the head of the largest counterfeit organization in Asia...

I saw the prequel Toyko Raiders a year ago and found it entertaining. Plus having one of the sexiest Asian actress, Shu Qi, to star in the sequel is a plus! Instead of Japan being the destination, this time it's Korea! Yah!

Movie started off very well with lots of chasing and fighting, then all of a sudden - the story got dull.

Movie started to turn a bit too glamorous and focused on the hot assistant girls. Instead of them showing more of their martial arts skill, they were just being there to look good.

Although I just complained about them, I do like the fact that these girls can still look hot and be tough.

Glad Shu Qi got to kick some a$$ and look good. I love her flexible moves. She's one of my fave actresses in the Hong Kong industry.

Plus there were quite a bit of comedic moments, which was good but then I got bored easily.

Overall a disappointment, but if you're a Tony Leung or Shu Qi fan, it may be worth it. Just for them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kmovie - Too Beautiful to Lie (2004)

Synopsis - YesAsia
Photos - Google

Too beautiful to Lie is a textbook example of manufactured romantic comedy. Kim is Joo Young-joo, a sickeningly lovable ex-con who accidentally comes into possession of a family heirloom engagement ring soon after her parole. She lifted it from the actual thief, but was unable to return it to rightful owner Choi Hee-Chul (Kang Dong-won). She instead journeys to his rural hometown and tries to return it to his family, but thanks to a variety of misunderstandings, miscommunications, and general silliness, his family comes to believe that she's his family comes to believe that she's his fiancee. Even worse, the story becomes that he knocked her up, and wants her to have an abortion. When Hee-Chul arrives with his real girlfriend following shortly thereafter, sparks of epic proportions are guaranteed to fly.

Too Beautiful to Lie is one of all-time-favorite Korean movies! I enjoyed the comedic confusion scenes. Hee Chul's family is so much fun!

When I first saw this movie, I wasn't convince Kim Ha Neul to play a convict. She looks so innocent! She got me though. Loved every moment with her! She is very natural with comedy, just like her role in My Tutor Friend.

Kang Don Won had the bowl haircut but is so natural at acting. His goofiness and getting into trouble with his family is hilarious.

If you haven't seen this yet, go watch Too Beautiful to Lie now!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tmovie - Tiger Blade (2005)

Synopsis - MovieExclusive
Photos - CoffeeCoffeeAndMoreCoffee

When a highly volatile case confronts the police, a young maverick cop with mystical powers is put on the case. YOSTHANA teams up with the seductive DUANGDAO, and together they must hunt down and capture the brutal and deadly 'FIVE BULLETS BANDIT'. The gang is led by the fearsome, MAHESAK, who like Yosthana is skilled in the art of sorcery and magic. Mahesak can only be defeated with The Tiger Blade, a magical and ancient sword, replete with the powers of nature, and the forces of good. Yosthana must find the Tiger Blade, and bring Mahesak to justice, before the bandits bring total chaos to the city. The stage is set for a gruesome battle between the two nemesis, but only one can survive.

After seeing trailers and reading about the synopsis, I decided to try to watch Tiger Blade. The beginning of the movie started off well with lots of non-stop action and old-school fight moves, which I love! I miss the Shaw Brother-fighting style. The movie fell completely through the middle part. There were too many subplots, and the movie just became too confusing and dull. Without the fight scenes, I would have turned the movie off instantly.

Or it could be I expected a better movie. It's just that watching the beginning; I expected the movie to turn out better than it was suppose to be. Having a female badass kick fight was awesome. I love to see that, rather than have the heroes take up most of the credit. Plus the leading hero was "easy on the eyes" as well!

I'm not very familiar with Thai stars. Therefore, I had to look them up. The leading man, Atsadawut Luengsuntorn is definitely good-looking, and I enjoyed looking at him. Having martial arts skills, or very good choreography, helped me watch the movie at ease.

The female leading lady, Phimonrat Phisarayabud, had the diva-effect that I enjoyed.

Maybe with not too many loop-holes from the movie, I could've enjoyed it more. Or I should have had less expectations. Since the movie title definitely had to do with "some blade," you knew it revolve around a powerful sword. Sword in the Stone, anyone??

Friday, November 7, 2008

Kmovie - Seven Days (2007)

Synopsis -
Photos -

Ji-yeon is a successful lawyer and single mother to a seven-year-old girl. On her daughter’s field day, Ji-yeon competes with other parents in a running race and almost comes in the first place. However, nowhere could she find the girl who’s been watching and rooting for her mother to win. Later that day, Ji-yeon’s receives a phone call from an anonymous man, who tells her he has her daughter in custody and proposes a deal. To see her daughter alive, Ji-yeon needs to prove a convicted murderer not guilty on his second trial, only within a week. Ji-yeon tries to convince herself the murderer should be innocent, but the encounter with the victim’s mother makes her understand what drove crime-to-crime.

One of my buddies sent me this movie. Thanks so much! It's actually thanks to her that I've been interested in Korean cinema. If she wants me to point her out, I'll do it next time. :)

Before watching the movie, I went with no expectations. I do love me some thriller/suspense movies. Another plus is Yujun Kim. I adore her from the American-hit TV show, Lost.

I loved being at the edge of my seat each time. That's what makes a good thriller to me. The conclusion was a bit confusing. I had to re-think of it. After much consideration, I finally came to my own conclusion. Why did the kidnapper go through all that to achieve the goals?

Despite that slight flaw, overall, I really enjoyed it. I have been on hiatus on many Korean films. I am not usually kept up-t0-date with the cinema like I am with Indian cinema.

It's rumored that this movie is in the remake-pending list for Hollywood. Read here. I wonder who would play Kim's role? Or let her play it? Why not? The lady can act and is awesome. And she speaks very good English!!

I really like her and would like to see her suceed in Hollywood.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tmovie - Shutter (2004)

Synopsis - IMDB
Photos - surfing the net for pics

In Bangkok, after celebrating a drinking party with his closest friends, the photographer Tun (Ananda Everingham) and his girlfriend Jane (Natthaweeranuch Thongmee) have a car accident on the road, with Jane hitting a girl. Tun does not allow her to help the girl and they ran away leaving the girl lying on the road. When Tun reveals his latest pictures, he finds some mysterious shadows, while the couple is systematically haunted by the ghost of the girl. Tun investigates and finds that the victim was his former shy and weird girlfriend Natre (Achita Sikamana), who studied with him in the college. Later Jane discloses deep and hidden secrets about the relationship of Natre, Tun and his friends.

When I first heard about this movie, I had to watch it. So many Hmong people were telling me how freaking this movie was. Many has said it is the scariest movie ever. Therefore, I finally saw it.

My thoughts - it is indeed haunting. While watching the film, I didn't see anything too spooky. It's those type of films that you will be freaked out later just thinking about the movie. On top of that, I didn't grow up hearing ghost stories from my parents like a lot of my Hmong friends and relatives have. No wonder I wasn't as freaked out about the movie as them! When they finally explained to me some of the significant meaning behind some of them, I can see why now.

This movie must have made a huge impact since Hollywood remade the film under the same title. My only problem (although I haven't seen the Hollywood version) is a lot of critics have written Shutter as a Japanese film where the Hollywood film has taken inspiration from. Plus the film is set in Japan. Okay, one more problem - why does the ex have to be a scary, psychotic ASIAN girl? I'm sure a white American chick could've done that too. We've seen that in American Hollywood films.

As I always say, watch the original first!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

TWdrama - Mars (2004)

Synopsis - Wikipedia
Photos - surfing the net for pics

The series started with Ling (零 Líng) (Vic Zhou) asking Qiluo (綺羅 / 绮罗 Qǐluó) (Barbie Hsu) for directions to a hospital rehab center. Reluctant to make any sort of communication, Qiluo drew a map to the location on the back of one of her sketches. After discovering the drawing which happened to be about a mother and child Ling was immediately drawn to it which led to his curiosity for Qiluo. The more Qiluo tried to brush him off the more he became curious about her until his fellow classmates begin to take notice. Ling learns from his best friend Daye (達也 / 达也 Dáyě) (who went to same high school) that Qiluo's personality suddenly changed from high school years with a distaste for men. He also learns that Daye has a crush on her since high school. When Ling saved Qiluo from being sexually harassed by their English teacher, she started to open up to him. In exchange for the final painting of Mother and Child, Ling promised to protect her from now on. Ling's special attention towards Qiluo stirred up jealousy on some of his ex-girlfriends which led to harsh bullying of Qiluo by those girls. One of them being Qing Mei.

Mars is actually the first ever Asian drama of any kind that I've ever watched. A few of my Hmong friends have tried to get me to watch Korean dramas but I simply refused to because I hated sappy, love stories. One of my friends guranteed me that I will fall in love with Mars. She was right! I absolutely love this drama! I loved it so much that I even read the Japanese manga version. The TWdrama stayed 95% faithful to the original version.
Having said that, I mainly enjoyed the drama due to its lack of a romantic, sappy love story. No love story. There were a lot of darkness in the drama which glued me to my seat. I had to find out what happenes next! So many secrets -- along with some old memories being erased. I just loved it!

Vic Zhou was definitely pleasing to the eyes. I'm not a big fan of guys with long hair but Vic rocked it! He's actually the only few Asian guys who looks hot with the long hair.
I prefer guys with short hair. Therefore, of course, I found him better looking with short hair. Let me just take a moment right now to breathe.

There, I'm done. So hot.

Barbie Hsu looked so innocent and boring, to me.
However, when looking her up - this babe is so gorgeous!

I'm glad Vic and Barbie are a couple in real life cause they look so adorable together! Update news - they just broke up: January 2008. :(
Sorry for the misspelled use of their names. Romanizing it can be spelled in so many ways! I have this problem with the Hmong language as well!
Please, please give this TWdrama a watch! Highly recommended! If you don't, at least read the manga. Or just watch it for Vic's hotness. Honestly, this movie actually made me appreciate Nascar drivers.