Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kmovie - Arang (2006)

Synopsis - Arang2006
Photos - Hancinema

Veteran detective So-young (Song Yoon Ah) and her rookie partner Hyun-gi happen onto an incendiary homicide case. While Hyun-gi is goofing up and distracting So-young, So-young (Lee Dong Wook) senses that there is something wrong in the case. They discover that the present case is somehow related to the mysterious death of a girl ten years previously. At this point, So-young becomes plagued with nightmares in which the girl appears. And the serial killings continue.

According to Wikipedia, Arang is a figure in the folklore of the Miryang area of Korea. According to the legend, she was the daughter of a magistrate (busa) of Miryang during the Joseon Dynasty. Her wicked nanny conspired to have the servant Baekga seize her at night and rape her; however, she resisted and Baekga stabbed her to death. Her father, thinking she had eloped with a stranger, resigned his position in shame. Thereafter, whenever a new magistrate was appointed Arang's corpse would appear; soon no-one would take the position. At last a bold man named Yi Sang-sa was appointed to the post, and he promised Arang's ghost that he would avenge her. He had Baekga seized and executed. Thereafter, her spirit ceased to trouble the town. The Aranggak shrine, where Arang's spirit is venerated, still stands in Miryang, on the Yeongnamnu bluff overlooking the Miryang River. Traditionally, rites were held in her honor on the 16th day of the 4th month of the Chinese calendar.

Forget Japanese horror flicks. Watch Korean ones! Much better. Japanese horror flicks became popular when Hollywood starting remaking them - The Ring, Dark Water, One Miss Call, The Grudge, Pulse, etc. Hollywood even remade the popular Thai horror film, Shutter. Although Hollywood hasn't touched Korean horror films yet but remade two popular Korean films My Sassy Girl and Il Mare, I won't be surprise when Hollywood remakes Korean horrors in the future though.

I looove horror/thriller films. Usually I don't get scared easily and always looking forward to seeing more horror films to actually do that, so it's a challenge for me to watch a really good horror film. What makes a good horror film? Good script, sound effects, and editing. Comparing Asian films to American films, Asian films have more of a silent scare versus American films having sound effects. For example, in an Asian film, the girl can look in the mirror and suddenly see a ghost in the mirror. With American films, it will be silent, then all of a sudden you will hear a loud noise to alert you there's something there. Regardless I still love watching horror films - that's why I decided to watch Arang.

Like most horror films, the main character has to investigates why there are such killing. Arang is no different from that. Song Yoon Ah is cute and a pleasure to watch. What makes Arang enjoyable to watch is Lee Dong Wook. I was drooling over him. He's so hot! This was my first dosage of Wookie. Storyline to Arang is not bad. There were moments were you felt like you were watching The Grudge. The conclusion has a big twist which shocked me. Worth a watch for horror fanatics and for eye candy - Lee Dong Wook.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Kmovie - S Diary (2004)

Synopsis - Wikipedia
Photos - Hancinema
S Diary is a 2004 South Korean romantic comedy film about a woman who decides to interrogate her past lovers about why their relationships failed - then hatches a plot to take revenge on them.
On a dreary day Jini (Kim Sun-a) gets laid off by her boyfriend with the final note that he was only interested in making love to her but not in a lasting relationship. This triggers the girl’s curiosity about whether her past three lovers were also only after her favors. As a result Jini checks back on her previous boyfriends including Ku-hyeon (Lee hyun-woo), an advocate of strong religious beliefs, macho college lover Jeong-seok (Kim Su-ro) and inexperienced Yoo-in (Gong Yoo) who makes a living as wandering artist. Will Jini’s emotional journey be rewarded with sincere answers from her old admirers? Find out as S-Diary unveils its top secret material

Because of my hangover of She's On Duty with Kim Sun Ah and Gong Yoo, I had to watch S diary. I'm so glad I did! These two are so hot together! Gong Yoo makes it hard for me to focus on the movie.

What I love about the movie - Kim Sun Ah's different looks in each of her lives with the four guys. I love how her character Jini went from grieving girl who just got her heart broken to I'm getting my revenge on my exes! Why did they break up with me? Gotta love it. Still the sassy and tough girl that I love about Kim Sun Ah's roles in her previous works that I've seen. S Diary shows her curvy figure to the maximum. Even if I saw S Diary before Kim Sam Soon, I will still love her as an actress. She portrays her emotions throughout the movie.

Gong Yoo. I thought he was hot in She's On Duty. Man, was I wrong! He is just too freaking irresitable in S Diary. I wish he had a longer role but man, this dude's gotta be a good lover. He's so sexy with his love scenes with Sun Ah. Showing off his nice abs and kissing skills, you just don't care if he was the "bad" guy. You just want to see more of him. He turns from sweet guy to player.

Lee Hyun Woo. Although my mind was on Gong Yoo, I do have to give Hyun Woo credit for his role as the loverboy turn religious man. His short role was definitely something to remember especially the scene where he confronts Sun Ah about her mischievious acts.

Kim Su Ro. His is probably the most hilarious to watch! The wannabe stud in college who has an obsession of being clean cracked me up. His silliness just made the movie worth it.

Each story was memorable and hilarious but my eyes were glued to Gong Yoo. Sorry! Storyline wise - some critics may say that it's not the best way to find out why you got dump. But….it's okay, it was a good comedy worth watching. Go watch it! I'm determine to watch all of Kim Sun Ah's films.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Kmovie - She's On Duty (2005)

Synopsis - YesAsia

Take Stephen Chow's Fight Back to School, reset it in an all-girl's school in South Korea, and add a plucky female protagonist, and you'll have some idea of what writer/director Park Kwang Choon (Madeleine) has in store for you in his entertaining action comedy, She's On Duty! After bungling an important sting operation involving a Yakuza-run sex slavery ring, Detective Chun Jae In (Kim Seon A, from S Diary and Wet Dreams) must make amends by going deep undercover as a high school student! Her mission is to make friends with Seung Hee (Nam Sang Mi, from (Too Beautiful to Lie), the daughter of Cha Young Jae (Kim Kap Soo), a reformed crook who holds the key to prosecuting a notorious mob boss, but who is impossible to track down. With constant exams, school bullies, and a budding crush on a handsome, but mysterious high schooler (Gong Yoo, from My Tutor Friend), to deal with, can Jae-In find Mr. Cha before the mob does?

After Kim Sun Ah high, I decided to give She's A Duty a watch. Plus I love a girl who kicks ass in movies! Judging from the poster, I was shocked that the girl was Kim Sun Ah. I saw the poster before but it didn't hit me it was Kim Sun Ah. I didn't want to be disappointed in the movie cause I really like Kim Sun Ah and I hated another movie that had a similar theme - Spy Girl. I thought that movie was crappy. Coincidently, Gong Yoo is also in She's On Duty as well as in Spy Girl.

I loooooved this movie! Kim Sun Ah is officially my favorite Korean actress. After My Name is Kim Sam Soon and She's On Duty, I'm more impress with Kim Sun Ah. She has such a nice figure! I never thought she was overweight in My Name is Kim Sam Soon but she's slim in She's On Duty,. Her legs are so slim and looks great - one of the best figures I've seen in the Korean cinema. Her character Jae In has the tough girl image which I love! Similiar to Kim Sam Soon but different. Still the tough girl who don't give a crap but Jae In is more confident and is an undercover cop.

I've seen Gong Yoo before in Spy Girl and even My Tutor Friend (he's the dorky guy who's jealous of Kwon Sang Woo). He didn't impress me and during that time, I haven't seen Coffee Prince yet. It was this movie that made me think Gong Yoo is so hot! Love him in it! Sun Ah and Yoo are so hot together. They sizzle on screen. Yoo looks like he's a good kisser. I officially have a crush on him and am a fangirl.

I didn't realize that Nam Sang Mi was in this movie but she's so cute. She looks different every time I've seen her on screen. From Too Beautiful to Lie to Spy Girl to She's on Duty to Time Between Wolf and Dog, she knows how to pull off each look - little did I know it was her in each film until I did more reach.

She's on Duty is definitely a film I could watch over and over. Kim Sun Ah and Gong Yoo are only in movies and yet, they are so hot together! I can not wait to watch Kim Sun Ah on the big screen again. Gong Yoo, I'm going to miss you!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Kdrama - My Name is Kim Sam Soon/My Lovely Sam Soon (2005)

Synopsis - DramaWiki
Photos - Soompi

Kim Sam Soon (Kim Sun Ah) is a baker who has a talent in making pastries and cakes. On Christmas Eve, she caught her boyfriend, Min Hyun Woo (Lee Hyu Han), cheating on her and breaks up on the same night. On that same night, she accidentally went into the men's restroom and met Hyun Jin Hun (Hyun Bin), a somewhat callous fellow but sometimes considerate guy. By sheer coincidence, Jin Hun needs a baker for his restaurant Bon Appetit and Sam Soon is unemployed. Sam Soon is hired as the restaurant's chief baker and the two fights like cat and dog. Nevertheless, they started to have feeling for each other and Sam Soon agreed to post as Jin Hun's girlfriend so his mother would leave him alone. Things got complicated when Jin Hun's ex-girlfriend Yoo Hee Jin (Jung Ryu Won) came back from the States intending to win him back.

Regardless of exactly how the title is suppose to be. I absolute loooooove this drama. My ignorance almost made me not watch any dramas. A lot of people were crazy for Autumn in My Heart/Autumn's Tale and Stairway to Heaven. Those dramas are not my type, way to slow and sappy for me. I read all the spoilers. There is no way I would watch a drama! I stereotyped Korean dramas to be all sappy, slow, someone is going to die and/or be sick. In addition, I stereotyped dramas to be like American soap operas. No!! However, I was proven wrong. Finally! It was Kim Sam Soon. My friend told me I would like it and it's a romantic comedy which I enjoy watching. The first episode got me! I just couldn't stop watching. Not only was I hooked. There's hottie Hyun Bin. Yummy!! Sam Soon (Kim Sun Ah) is the kind of girl I want to hang out with. With hottie Hyun Bin, add in Daniel Henney too. Eye candy. For the guys, there is Jung Ryu Won. I watched the whole drama in one night! No sleep at all. I laughed and cried.

What I really like about this drama - Sam Soon. Although I don't think she's overweight at all, I love the fact she's got some meat on her and still able to charm the guy she's in love with. She doesn't have to lose weight, go on a strict diet, or look a certain way for Jin Hun to fall for her. Her sassy attitude is what made me really like her. Ironically I didn't like My Sassy Girl! Perhaps it's the overweight girl with a sensitive side made me fall for Sam Soon. Or the girl in her late 20s need to hurry up and marry a guy soon that made me fall for Sam Soon. Or her being insecure about her name and wanting to change it to a more commond Korean name. Kim Sun Ah, you're officially my favorite Korean actress. I'm not as sassy as Sam Soon but I hate watching movies when the heroine is weak and all she does is cry. Yes, I know Sam Soon had her teary moments but that's common. Even I get teary hiding behind my tough skin too. Like most Asian women, if you're not married by the time you're 21, you're considered "old" and no man would want you. I hate that stereotype!! What if the woman hasn't found her true love yet? Or she wanted to finish her education? Lastly, Sam Soon was considered overweight. Many Americans would say no way, she's not overweight!! That's true but in many Asian community, if you're not a size zero, you're considered fat. The name Sam Soon isn't that bad but since I'm not Korean. I don't know the signifance of it. Why do so many minorities want to change their names in the USA? To make it so others could pronounce it! Sam Soon just wanted to be like the other girls and not get laughed out when someone realizes that's her name. I love it that Sam Soon has all these traits and loveable at the same time!

Hyun Bin is just so irresistible. Of course, Jin Hun was a jerk, but he made it all up. I'm glad Sam Soon was able to beat him down more than one time!! Even though he pretends to be tough guy, he just had a sweet side to him. Not only does it help that he's so good looking, he can see his true self later when he opens his heart out to Sam Soon. We, women, fall for these guys who are opposite of us or least likely who we'll fall for. When he became jealous when Sam Soon was just talking to other guys, I found that so adorable. Although he denied ever liking Sam Soon, he started to develop feelings for her when kept reminding her of their contract. What made me most attractive to him was he was younger than Sam Soon and fell for her! Even though he was confused between his live with Sam Soon and his ex flame Hee Jin, he was still true to Sam Soon and never lied to her about his whereabouts. Hyun Bin, I'm in so in love with you! 

Jung Ryu Won is so cute and adorable. Even though I loved Sam Soon, I felt really bad for Hee Jin. She really deserved Jin Hun just as much as Sam Soon did. However, Sam Soon is more my kind of gal and she was true to herself. To me, Jin Hun had more anger towards Hee Jin than love anymore. He had more love and fun for Sam Soon now. No more living in the past for him. I really liked Jung Ryu Won and want to see more dramas/movies of her. I wished Hee Jin and Henry would fall for each other in the drama. 

Daniel Henney is so freaking good looking! But….I still prefered Hyun Bin. No matter how good looking I find Daniel, I am not impress with his acting. Even though he was a doctor in the drama, I didn't find him convincing as a doctor. He looked more like an intern. His love for Hee Jin was sweet. I really wanted them to fall for each other. Glad she had someone to lean on. On a side note, I think Daniel and Ryu Won look hot together and should date each other in real life.

I can watch this drama over and over. Of course since it's a drama, there are some episodes that dragged a bit but overall, worth it!!