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Foreign Drama -Hwarang: The Poet Warrior

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Hwarang: The Poet Warrior

20 Episodes 2016 – 2017

Yes, I know I should start off with the lovely leads but how can I when Choi Min Ho is in this drama?  Well, the answer would be that I can’t.  Did you get a chance to see the shower scenes?  Yes, Min Ho was upfront where he belonged.  Not that I was paying close attention -but how could I miss him when he stands out?

He had many memorable scenes, like teaching Moo Myeong what to do with his sister.  As he talked he did pull ups on the side of the bed.  Then he lead the group in the dance, and won us over in soccer.  Is there anything this boy can’t do?

Still, I felt sorry for him when the queen struck him.  Was he crazy about her because she was the only girl he couldn’t capture the heart of, or was it really love?

I was proud of my boy.

Park Seo Joon (Park Yong Gyu) is perfect in this drama.  He is sweet, protective, and masculine, while maintaining the semblance of a man in love.  Every scene was perfection.  He is the type of actor who can not be seen on the screen often enough for us to get enough of him.  Tall (185 cm), handsome and a good kisser (high requirements in my eyes).

I first saw  him much the same as most of you in Kill Me, Heal Me.  I knew it wouldn’t be the last time I would see this boy.  I’m sure his acting career has sealed its success by now.   He won 4 awards at the MBC Drama Awards for this drama.

Some good news, he’s already served his military time so we don’t have to worry about him leaving the screen soon.

Seo Joon also won us over with his performance in She Was Pretty.  He has another drama coming out this year: Fight For My Way.  This drama began its aired time on May 22nd and is now available on Viki.

Park Hyung Sik is a member of the Kpop Boy Ban ZE:A.  Recently rumors spread this band was disbanding.  However, it was announced to be untrue.  Several of the members are serving their military service and they are merely taking a break to work  on individual projects.

Hyung Sik has maybe the prettiest eyes I’ve ever seen.  I loved his kiss scene with Go Ara.  This was another one of those incidents when I wanted to split the lead girl in half so both the lead males could win her heart.

Go Ara did an excellent job in this drama but I was’t crazy about her -except for the moments she was telling a story.  I can’t say she didn’t win me over, but I wasn’t in love with her.

Seo Yi Ji kills me in everything she does from Moorim School, Another Miss Oh and Hwarang.  However, in this drama she showed a new skill -vicious.  I loved her and hated her at the same time.

Her new drama , Save Me, come out later this year and she co-stars with TaecYeon.

Do Ji Han was great.  One moment he was fighting with Min Ho and you were sure he would collapse the Hwarang program and the next he melted you with his adoration and love for Min Ho’s sister.  So cute.

He has a new drama coming out on May 29th: Lovers In Bloom.  He will have the lead in this drama.  I can’t wait.

A cast of men we would like to see again….

  1. Kim Tae Hyung
  2. Kim Hyun Joon
  3. Jo Joon Woo

We can’t overlook the rest of this cast.

  1. Kim Ji Soo
  2. Song Young Kyu
  3. Sung Dong ll
  4. Choi Won Young
  5. Kim Kwang Kyu
  6. Lee Kwang Soo
  7. Kim Won Hae
  8. Kim Chang Won
  9. Lee Byung Joon
  10. Kim Jong Goo
  Dee
   
Cinematography 9
Script 9
Music 9
Acting 9
Story 9
Total Score 9♥

 

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Foreign Drama – Tunnel

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Tunnel

16 episodes 2017

I love Choi Jin Hyuk (born Kim Tae Ho).  I first saw him in Heirs (Won New Star Award at 2013 SBS Drama Awards), but I remember him most for Emergency Couple.  He’s made so many wonderful dramas: Panda and the Hedgehog; Pride and Prejudice (Which he won Excellent Actor 2014 MBC Drama Awards); Fated to Love You; Grandpas Over Flowers Investigation Team; Gu Family Book; Pasta; It’s Okay, Daddy’s Girl.

I thought it was my first time to watch Yoon Hyun Min -but surprisingly no… He was in episode 4 of Because It’s The First Time with Choi Min Ho and Beautiful Mind.  I can’t say I remember him from either drama.  Yet, I will be watching him for now on.

Another one new to me is also new to the Korean Drama World we love.  Lee Yoo Young has made a handful of movies but Tunnel is her first drama.  She won Best New Actress at the 2015 Blue Dragon Film Awards for a movie called The Treacherous.  She also won Best New Actress for a film called Late Spring, at the 2015 Daejong Film Awards.

With this wonderful cast of well known actors this drama was bound to be a hit.

  1. Jo Hee Bong -29 Movies and 33 Dramas
  2. Kim Byung Chul -Bragging rights to Goblin and Descendants of the Sun
  3. Kim Min Sang -16 Dramas
  4. Cha Hak Yeon -Member of Kpop Band –VIXX
  5. Kang Ki Young – Bragging rights to Oh My Ghost; W; Weightlifting Kim Bok Joo; and Come Back Mister

With so many amazing romantic dramas on currently -this was the drama I was most anxious for the next episodes from week to week.  I would love to see them figure out how to make Jin Hyuk’s character move back and forth between the past and present to fight crime for a long-term drama.  At least, in America I think it this would make a TV show that would run several years -like CSI.  Yes, and then we would have Korean actors lighting up American screens.

  Dee
Cinematography 10
Script 10
Music 8
Acting 10
Story 10
Total Score 9.6♥

 

 

Foreign Drama -Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

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Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

16 episodes 2017

Park Bo Young is adorable!  She stole the show from the first moment she threw a few men around.  Even though I only like men -I was smitten with this girl.  She is fun, innocent, dynamic and exciting to watch on the screen.  Yes, the strength is apparently fake, but she still convinced you with her confident character acting.

I also loved her in Oh My Ghost which she won the 4th APAN Star Awards for Excellent Actress (Mini Series).

I was excited they came out with another drama starring Park Hyung Sik so quickly after Hwarang.  In this drama he gets to be the lead male.  He is super pretty and pops a nice kiss.  I could absolutely do without the gay scenes -but the moments he is male -I find these moments very appealing.

I am currently watching High Society but I haven’t gotten far enough to see if I like it.  He won the 2015 SBS Drama Awards for Excellent Actor (Mini Series) for his role.

I can’t remember him in Heirs, and She Was PrettyHwarang is another post -as this stars my wonderful Choi Min Ho.

How can you not fall in love with Ji Soo every time he pops up before your eyes?  To The Beautiful You, Doctors, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, and especially in Scarlet Ryeo.

Okay, this drama had a full cast of especially talented actors.  Let’s go down the list and see the ones who I loved the most.

  1. Kim Won Hae
  2. Lim Won Hee
  3. Jun Suk Ho
  4. Yoo Jae Myung
  5. Shim Hye Jin
  6. An Woo Yeon
  7. Seol In A
  8. Kim Min Kyo
  9. Yang Yoo Ho
  10. Jang Mi Kwan

Kim Won Hae would win my award for funniest all around character.  I loved both his characters in this drama.

How does a strong girl convince the guy she’s crushed on since childhood that she is meek and dainty?  How does a rugged cop protect a girl who doesn’t need protection?  Then, along comes a guy who protects her without lifting a finger to do so.  This was a fun and entertaining drama.  I couldn’t wait for each weeks episodes.

 

  Dee
Cinematography 8
Script 10
Music 8
Acting 9
Story 10
Total Score 9♥

 

Foreign Drama – A Wonderful Life

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A Wonderful Moment/My Little Hero

135 minutes 2013

I’ve only see Kim Rae Won in this drama and the movie Gangnam Blues and the amazing drama –Doctors.  When I saw this movie pop up on Drama Fever I was unable to resist.  Dancing and singing are the types of movies that move me the most.

Yes -I was moved.  Moved so much that I immediately sat down at my computer in hopes you will run to your favorite Asian App and watch this beautiful piece.

In a country with one of the lowest birth rates in the world (at least this is what I’ve heard) Korean men are marrying outside their country in order to find a wife.  One of the countries they seek a wife is the Philippines.  However, just as we first ridiculed cross marriages in America (back when I was a child), some Koreans are struggling to accept children from these marriages.

Not only does this movie bring light to racism, it also shows how people can overcome greed and selfishness by learning to love another.  Purely.  Simply.  This is true success.

Kim Rae Won was awarded Best Actor (Genre/Fantasy) for his performance in the thrilling drama Doctors (2016).

His latest work is The Prison.  This movie was released March 23, 2017.  It reads excitement.  Although, I am unsure if we will see it in America.

Ji Dae Han holds talent in the grasp of his perfect little hands.  He won Best Actor at the 49th Baeksang Arts Awards in 2013, for this movie.  He is half Korean/half Sri Lankan.  He didn’t turn thirteen until November of the year this movie was released.  I am very surprised that I can’t find out anything further on this child prodigy.

This drama also stars Jo An, Lee Sung Min, Hwang Yong Yeon  (Half Korean/Half Ghanaian)  The movie also touches on a young black boy who wants to play soccer but believes a dark skinned child can’t play soccer in Korea.  A funny concept to me -in America we expect children with dark skin to easily carry the gene for athletic talent.  Like Dae Han, this appears to be Yong Yeon’s only performance.

Then we mustn’t forget the talent of Lee Kwang Soo.  This was a small role for Kwang Soo, but far from his first.  At 193 cm, Kwang Soo has warmed the hearts of his many fans in such thrilling dramas as: City Hunter, Potato Star, It’s Okay, This is Love, Descendants of the Sun, and most recently –Hwarang.  If we can’t see enough of him in dramas -you can always laugh until you fall to the floor watching him in Running Man.

We live to dream, and some dreams become the sole focus of our lives.  Here is a man who gives up his honesty and integrity for recognition and fame.  When a small boy is thrust into his care, and he must turn this child into the Joseon King his hopes are crushed.  How could any man turn a half blood into the king of Korea?

Wait and see how a child fights for his chance and a fraud becomes a musician.

You can also watch this movie on Viki -where it scored a 9.7.

 

  Dee
Cinematography 9
Script 10
Music 9
Acting 10
Story 10
Total Score 9.6♥

 

 

 

 

Foreign Drama -Bounty Hunter

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Bounty Hunters

105 minutes 2016

I found this drama on Drama Fever.  Naturally, that adorably handsome man in the picture is the ever impressing Lee Min Ho.

It was released in China, but is a joint venture between China, Hong Kong and South Korea.  I love seeing countries work together.

Lee Min Ho is a martial arts expert -and this is flaunted throughout the movie.  Min Ho can perform some cool kicks as he shows off one of his many talents.  Maybe it seems to unrealistic that one man can take on twenty -but I like it anyway.

Unfortunately, this movie did not do very well at the box office.  They made 31 million dollars, but the movie cost a whopping 41 million.  That is a huge hit to the pocket book.  I don’t know why Min Ho doesn’t rake his fans into the theatres because he sure does hit the jackpot with his dramas.  City Hunter 9.4; Boys Over Flowers 9.4; The Great Doctor 9.5.  What really surprises me is according to Viki, Heirs only scored a 8.9 and this was my favorite drama with Min Ho.  His most recent drama, The Legend of the Blue Sea was at 9.5.

So, did I enjoy this movie?  Very much.  I like seeing this man in action and he never lets you down.  The problem -his other cast members are just not the same caliber as Min Ho.  This causes some scenes to lose some believability.  In his other movie, released last year (I simply cannot remember the name but it had a date in it) (It was easily forgotten), the script was so poor it killed the movie -and still, I loved Min Ho’s performance.

Tiffany Tang is seeking revenge and utilizing her inheritance to do so.  She has two side kicks, Babe and Swan.  (Let’s just start here -what stupid name for a man).  Swan is a gadget expert and her gadgets are really cool, like lipstick that becomes a bomb.  You wouldn’t want to wear it.

Tiffany is one of the highest paid actresses in China.  She just finished the drama, The Princes Weiyoung with Vanness Wu.  I’m watching this drama, however it hasn’t stolen my heart so it is slow going.  If this is accurate, then it is even more surprising that Min Ho and Tiffany together couldn’t make this movie hit high sales.

Babe is a strong man, butler who is very girly.  He is played by Louis Fan.  He is a marital artist who was in two of the IP Man movies.  In this movie he looks terrible, but when you see what he normally looks like, he’s nice looking.

Swan is played by Karena Ng.  She’s made a handful of movies but the only one I recognize is IP Man 3.

Wallace Chung is Min Ho’s side kick.  I didn’t care for his character and I still have no clue how he escaped all of the men he was up against when Min Ho ran off.  He must have had some talent we weren’t made aware of.  For me, this was an unfinished scene they were hoping we wouldn’t notice.

  Dee
Cinematography 8
Script 8
Music 8
Acting 8
Story 8
Total Score 8

 

 

Foreign Drama -D-Day

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D-Day

20 episodes 2015

I watched this on Netflix but it is available elsewhere also.

I didn’t realize just how tall Kim Young Kwang is until I watched this drama.  It must be because the other actors are all short.  Scenes where Young Kwang lies his arm next to his intern sidekick, played by Jung So Min, he looks like a giant.  Then he is 187 cm in height, tall even for an American male.

I first saw Young Kwang in Love Rain.  This drama remains one of my favorites.  He has also been in Pinocchio, Can We Get Married and more recently starring in Man Living In My House.  In 2016, he made the movie

Jung So Min was the adorable girl with horrible grades in Mischievous Kiss alongside Kim Hyun Joong.  I’ll not easily forget the scene during their honeymoon and Seung Jo finally gets the courage to make love to his wife.  She remembers she hasn’t put on the wedding gown she brought with her.  When she tries to get up, Seung Jo says, “I can’t wait any longer.”  Simple, silly words to choose but they hit that perfect spot inside me that still gives me chills.

In 2017, she will have roles in My Father is Strange, and Sound of Your Heart.  Sound of your heart deals with Cartoonist and stars Lee Kwang Soo from Running Man.  My Father is strange is when a pop star moves in with a typical family.

Hae Soek Jin just wrapped up the series Something About 1% and will star in Self Radiation Office, in March.

Lee Kyoung Young portrays the Director of Mirae Hospital. A character you love hating.  He directed and was the screenwriter for The Beauty in Dream (2002) and The Gate of Destiny (1996).  He has 13 dramas under his belt but the impressive numbers come from his movies, 77 in all.

Kim Sang Ho first stood out to me in City Hunter but you can also enjoy him in Prosecutor Princess, Doctor Stranger and currently in Missing Nine.  Or, in any one of 36 movies you can access.

Lee Sung Yoel is one of the lead singers for Infinite.  I liked him better in this drama then in High School Love On! but I especially love him singing and dancing.  Infinite is one of my favorite Kpop bands.

Song Ji Ho just began his drama career in 2015, with this role.  A hero always brings tears to our eyes, but hope to our fears.

Other performers who made this drama special are:

  1. Ko Kyu Pil
  2. Kim Jae Hwa
  3. Yoon Joo Hee
  4. Kim Hye Eun
  5. Cha In Pyo

I love a good disaster film.  I was surprised to find this disaster in a drama.  I wondered how they could drag it out for 20 episodes and still keep it interesting.  They managed to accomplish a successful drama with stars.

This drama doesn’t just pull us through the hardships of saving lives and surviving during a disaster but it takes you into the hearts of those who find love even when it is unexpected.  Through in a greedy, vengeful, jealous hospital director and you have trauma happening around every corner.

I wouldn’t say this will remain one of my favorite dramas but it will leave satisfying memories that will last each time I revisit them.

  Dee
Cinematography 9
Script 9
Music 7
Acting 8
Story 9
Total Score 8.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign Drama -Five Minutes to Tomorrow

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Five Minutes To Tomorrow or Mayonaka no Gofun Mae

126 minutes 2014

I have only found this movie on YouTube.  Haruma Miura will always be a top actor in my eyes, as he brings to us a fever.  Fever that builds emotion and charges our natural fears and/or compassion.  Subjects and ideas others wouldn’t want to touch, do to the complexity of the situation and difficult portrayal, he will bring to life -such as this movie.

Still, a moment with him acting before my eyes brings a smile to my lips.  Sappy, huh?  Yep, I do feel sappy about this man.

Here we have identical twins who switch places in life until they lose their individuality.  Two men believe they are in love one girl, only to discover they unsure who is lying beside them.

When one dies, who are we left with?  Did one kill the other out of jealousy or greed?  Or, did this accident leave the remaining twin with both identities -unable to distinguish which sister to be?

This was not my type of movie so I struggled watching it.  It was incredibly well done but the content was disturbing.  Still, Haruma pulls you in as he struggles to hold onto the woman he loves, inside his lonely and boring life, and fearful of the woman that stands in front of him.

Liu Shishi portrays the twins and Chang Hasiao Chuan is the other man.  Since I am still unfamiliar with Japanese films it is difficult to provide an overview of these actors.

The movie is not only dark in nature but dark in film, another aspect I didn’t care for.  I didn’t have to like this movie to see the complexity in the acting and filming.  Maybe it is due to the latter that the scenes were so dark, but probably it was to sink into our own dark thoughts.

  Dee
Cinematography 7
Script 10
Music 6
Acting 10
Story 8
Total Score 8.2