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Foreign Drama -Bounty Hunter

Bounty Hunters (film) poster.jpeg

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

 

 

 

Foreign Drama -Love & Life & Lie

Love & Life & Lie

Love & Life & Lie

41 episodes 2017

This is only on Viki, that I’ve found.  This is a story about two babies who were accidently switched at birth.  One is poor and the other is spoiled and cruel.  She will do anything to have the man she wants.  An who she wants is Li Yao Nan, played by Chen Xiao began his acting career in 1997.  He is a Chinese actor who has performed in many films, including Detective DeeLegend of Lu Zhen was his first leading role and earned a 9.3 rating on Viki.

Zhou Dongyu portrays a character who loves everyone but she can be fierce in protecting herself and her mother.  This temperament lands her in all kinds of trouble with the Ji family.  Even though Dong Yu has had many roles in her short career, this is the only film available on Viki.

Ye Julia can convince us her character must be truly the most spoiled self absorbed child a family could ever raise.  She will stop at nothing, and even make plans with a horrible man to hurt others, in order to win.  The only films I recognize that she has previously acted in are Scarlet Heart and Scarlet Heart 2.  Scarlet Heart is available on Drama Fever and was made in China, 2011.

Merat or Mi Re.  His character feels cheated by his older brother who is his father’s only legitimate child. He wants what his brother has, and will have.  All that is Yao Nan’s he will destroy, or own.  Violence, trickery and manipulation are his means to win.  But can he?

This drama really had me hooked until about episode 31.  It received a 8.7 rating on Viki but even the translations dwindled away after this episode.  By the last few only 33% translation was the norm.  This was disappointing because many things happened that I would have loved to read what they said.

I skipped much from episode 31 on.  Why? I really wanted Zhu Zhen’s brother (I don’t know who he is) to be a good man.  When I discovered he was faking his cancer to get Xin Tong to stay by his side -it was too much!  It was the final deceit I could not handle.  I have never liked the deceitful nature of these dramas but I can handle a few.  Many times in these shows that last over 23 episodes, they get to the point of ridiculous.

That being said, the love between your leading characters is adorable.  The scene where Xin Tong learns of his love is pathetic to the point you have to smile, and watching them cry over one another feels real.  This makes for a great drama -if we could leave out the useless crap.  Did nearly everyone in this drama have to be such a horrible person?  Was the only good people Xin Tong, Yao Nan, Zhi Zhen’s dad and the female cousin?

Xin Tong’s mom is mean to her. Zhi Zhen is horrible to everyone. Ouyang is vicious and cruel. Zhi Zhens mom, played by Liu Xue Hua, is rude with a superiority complex.  The list goes on.  If they would have left out several episodes and kept up with the translations I would have scored this drama higher, as much of it I loved.

  Dee
Cinematography 9
Script 8
Music 6
Acting 8
Story 7
Total Score 7.6

 

 

 

 

Foreign Drama -Memories of the Sword

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Memories of the Sword

121 Minutes 2015

I found this movie on Netflix and recognized Kim Go Eun, from The Goblin (a 2016-17 Korean Drama).  Since she has made more movies than dramas I thought I’d check it out.

Right from the beginning I was drawn in as Go Eun’s character stares up at a mega sunflower.  Yu wonder what she’s doing when in an instant she jumps over the flower.  If that didn’t draw my attention enough she leaps through the field into town a faces a great warrior in the arena.  Didn’t hurt matters that Lee Joon Ho is a handsome young man.

Joon Ho began his acting career in 2013, but he didn’t really begin to see his career blossom until 2015.  In 2016, he was in Memory and my beloved drama –Uncontrollably Fond.  Now, this year, he has another leading character in the drama Chief Kim, alongside Namgung Min. He is also a member of the boy band 2PM.

Lee Byung Hyun play a man who will betray or even kill those he loves the most to have all that he desires.  He convinces himself to never allow emotion to break the wall of victory -thus losing his best friend, and the woman he loves.

Jeon Do Yeon carefully crafts her blind character to move easily among the world through sound.  She is a skilled swordsman and marital arts.  When her friends die she caries their daughter away, intent on saving her life and teaching the girl to seek revenge.  When Seol Hee is old enough she is told their are two she must kill – Yeo Baek who becomes Deok Ki (who seeks to rule the kingdom) and herself.

Lacking the skills to kill the great swordsman, Doek Ki, Seol Hee nearly dies.  Joon Ho’s character saves her, going against his master.

The old man of great wisdom and power, played by Lee Kyoung Young, brings her back from the brink of death and teaches her how to feel the memories of the sword that was once carried by her father.

In the end, you learn of the twist in each of these lives.  It teaches us life can only be ugly when we turn our backs on people and cherish power and gold. It also teaches that when death is near it is love that will allow us to die in peace.  Dying with love is beautiful over living with lust.  Great ending!

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

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign Drama -The Legend of the Deep Blue Sea

The Legend of the Blue Sea-p1.jpg

The Legend of the Deep Blue Sea

20 episodes 2016-2017

This much anticipated drama hit the screens with many fans glued to their computer, TV or Ipad each week.  Fans of Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun (Gianna) couldn’t wait for these two together, and now sadly, it has ended.  How did it go by so quickly?

Did any of you know that Ji Hyun had a son this last February?  I sure would not have thought so because she is always perfectly thin, beautiful and so tall.  This made her perfect to stand next to the over six foot Min Ho.

It is fascinating that this drama is only Ji Hyun’s fourth drama.  Yes, I said it right.  She has made 12 movies, but only four dramas.  What an impact she gave us alongside Kim Soo Hyun in My Love From the Stars, and now this.  She won three awards for her performance with Soo Hyun:

  1. Best Couple Award
  2. Best Actor or Actress selected by director
  3. Grand Prize

She also won two awards for this drama:

  1. Best Couple Award
  2. Ten Star Award

She also has three more awards on top of these for other films.

I can’t express how much I love this actress.  The very fact that I am mentioning her over Min Ho is proof enough.  Even though I’ve mentioned her first -my heart will always be first with the incredible Lee Min Ho.

Min Ho has won 18 Awards, with three of them for this drama.  It is too many to list, so check out Asian Wiki.

Lee Min Ho has been a favorite of mine since Heirs.  I know, he made several great dramas before this one, but I had to fall in love with him before I wanted to entrench myself with his past dramas.  Yes, I’d already watched portions of Boys Over Flowers, and Faith.  I didn’t watch much of Boys Over Flowers -maybe two episodes.  Why?  I hated Min Ho as this character.  It was too much.  I never got that it would turn into such a beautiful story.  Once I fell in love with Min Ho I went back and it continues to be a fav.

On the other hand, I loved Faith -but still skipped episodes because it just wasn’t my kind of drama.  I probably skipped some great love scenes but I was still knew to Kdramas and just didn’t understand what I was missing.  I should go back and re-watch.

The only film Min Ho’s done (that I’ve watched) that I didn’t care for was Gangnam Blues.  He was awesome but the movie was horrible.  If you’re looking for more Min Ho, check out these dramas:

  1. Heirs
  2. Boys Over Flowers
  3. Faith
  4. City Hunter
  5. Personal Taste
  6. I Am Sam

Now, what did I think of the Deep Blue Sea?  It was beautiful.  These two together were magically childish, endearing, sweet, gentle, and perfect.  I did not see the magic that happened between her and Soo Hyun, but the simplistic love they had for one another was still there.  It wasn’t heated -but it was perfect.

That being said, I missed the heat that both these actors are known for.  You can’t get any hotter then screen moments between Min Ho and Park Shin Hye or the power and connection she had with Soo Hyun.  But, you can have a beautiful love story unfold like the blooming of the tulip.  That is what they gave us.

It was different but just as perfect.  Ji Hyun always delivers her audience a woman.  Not your everyday run of the mill woman, but one that has maintained her innocence while dripping with feminism.

Min Ho is pure sex appeal while showing us his many different sides in this drama.  It was the first time I got to laugh at his childish behavior, watch him smile over being in love and still be magnetic.

Lee Hee Joon’s character surprised me a couple of times.  I don’t usually get surprised by scenes -but he did.  I never saw either one of them coming he was so convincing.

Shin Won Ho was so cute throughout the drama.  I really wish we could have seen the scene where his girlfriend proposes to him.  That would have been adorable.  Those eyes of his shocked by her words and actions -I didn’t want to miss that.

Won Ho is a member of the boy band Cross Gene.  If you are interested in their music check out their 2016 album Game.

  1. Hey You, Noonah
  2. My Face
  3. Kki
  4. I’ll Be Fine
  5. Mr. Secret

Sung Dong Il is a magnificent character actor.  He really gets into his roles.  You may remember him from:

  1. My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox
  2. Color of Woman
  3. Reply 1997
  4. Iris 2
  5. Reply 1994
  6. That’s Okay, This is Love
  7. Reply 1988
  8. Moonlovers: Scarlet Heart Ryo
  9. K2
  10. Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth

If you look close 3 of these are from 2016-2017.  He also made a movie in 2016, Proof of Innocence and he has four movies slated for the 2017 season:

  1. Young Cop
  2. Real
  3. RV: Resurrected Victims
  4. Because I Love You

He may not be a lead actor but he makes a mighty punch at stealing the lead.  That must be why he is in such high demand.

Lee Ji Hoon seems so sweet at the beginning of this drama as the older step-brother to Min Ho.  You might remember him from School: 2013; Blood; Six Flying Dragons; Mirror of the Witch and Gogh the Starry Night.  He just began his career in 2012, making this his 8th drama.  He also has two movies, one of them is Proof of Innocence with Dong Il.

Moon So Ri is perfectly vicious in this drama.  She doesn’t have many dramas under her name but a long list of movies.

Shin Rin Ah was adorable.  She has already performed in 9 dramas and 3 movies while only being 7 years old.  You may remember her in My Love Eun Dong; Mrs. Cop; or Endless Love.

Don’t forget the great music for this drama.

  1. Love StoryLyn
  2. A World That Is YouYoonmirae (not out yet)
  3. Shy BoyHa Hyun Woo
  4. Somewhere SomedaySung Si Kyung
  5. Wind FlowerLee Sun Hee
  6. FoolKen
  7. Why Would I Do Like This Coffee Boy
  8. Day by DayPark Yoon Ha (not out yet)
  9. Love RoadMin Chae (not out yet)
  10. Hidden StorySecond Moon feat. Han Ah Reum
  11. My NameSecond Moon feat. Han Ah Reum
  12. As This TimeSecond Moon
  13. The Way To Looking For YouSecond Moon feat. Han Ah Reum

The most perfect moment throughout this drama was the scene you see a picture of above.  Not the first time he reached out his hand, but at the end.  I got chills.

 

  Dee
Cinematography 10
Script 9
Music 9
Acting 10
Story 9
Total Score 9.4♥