The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Air City / 에어 시티 (Ae-eo Si-ti)






This was the last drama that AZN featured before it went off the air for good back in April, and I'm just now getting around to blogging about it. NOT to say it wasn't a good drama, because it was! What I found most interesting though, was that they could come up with a credible and GOOD show that centered around the lives of airport security workers. =)

The only complaint I had was with the love triangle thing. Our cutie-pie, Lee Jin-wook had a real love going, while our Mr. Lee Jung-jae merely strung the chick along as he pined away for a lost love. In the end, no one won, (as per usual with a majority of the Korean dramas I've watched) when Jin-wook SHOULD HAVE gotten the girl!!! Bugs the crAp outta me.



Lee Min-wook


Lee Jung-jae did not impress me at first, because I had a bigger crush on Lee Jin-wook! As the show progressed however, I began to see what Jung-jae had to offer, and I liked it.


Lee Jung-jae


The pretty woman as both men's love interest, Choi Ji-woo (Han Do Kyung) was actually quite credible as a woman that two or more men might want to fight over (which for me is rare in Korean dramas).



To me, the funniest parts were always whenever my favorite (one of them anyway) actor appeared on screen, and that would be Mr. Kwon Hae Hyo. He's so cool. Since My Lovely Samsoon, I've always enjoyed watching anything that he appears in, and part of his charm stems from his innate ability to make his characters so believable!. I know I could hang with a guy like Mr. Kwon and not feel intimidated by his greatness or awe-struck by his appearance.

I laughed when Lee Jung-jae passed out from exhaustion while trying to fight. THAT was funny. And though it wasn't funny, I really enjoyed the part about the painted falcon on the runway. That was awesome, but far from realistic, what with the darkness & wind as factors in their efforts to shoo away the pesky birds.

Over here, we use hunting dogs.

Now, I can't recall when THIS guy appeared, but my oh MY is he a hot one!!!!



This is Marco ladies & gentlemen ...



Funny, considering I watch these dramas for the sole purpose of being SENSUALLY entertained, you'd think I'd remember something THIS incredible, huh?


DAAAAAMN he's fine!!!


I hope he makes more dramas, and that he scores better roles. My guess is, he was one of the fake construction workers at the loading dock, trying to steal the mint. He wasn't the directors son, was he? I don't think so. I DON'T KNOW! I'm just stunned that he was in the drama, and I never noticed him! How could you MISS something that ... WOW?!!

Anyway, Air City was good, but I doubt I'd watch it again ... wait a sec! I guess I will need to give it a second go, and see if I can't find Mr. Hot-Ass MARCO somewhere in the show! o.0


he's so cute


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Korean Actor LEE EON dead at age 27




LEE EON (Park Sang-min) 1981 - 2008


27-year-old Korean actor, Lee Eon died in a motorcycle accident on his way home from a wrap-up party that celebrated his upcoming KBS drama, "Choi Kang Chil-woo" ("Mighty Chil-woo").



Reports say the accident occurred around 2 a.m., and that his bike hit a guard-rail on an incline. It is also stated that he died on impact, but that he was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead at around dawn on Thursday morning.

EON will probably always be remembered most for his lovable role as a muscular dork in the wildly popular MBC drama, Coffee Prince.




This was the first and only drama that I ever saw EON in, but he has acted in others, including: Who Are You - Drama (Drama - 2008) - 누구세요?, When Spring Comes - Drama (Drama - 2007) - 꽃피는 봄이 오면, and Like A Virgin (2006) - 천하장사 마돈나.

When I saw him in Coffee Prince, I was taken aback by his innate charm. His eyes and stature were impressive, and whenever I see beauty, I go online to search for and download the images of any & all gorgeous men. EON was gorgeous, and it's too bad that something this awful had to happen.



EON was a beautiful, young man with great promise, and it's always sad when something as unexpected as this occurs. Fellow actor and close friend, Gong Yoo is probably not the only person to grieve so expressly over the loss of a comrade, but as expected, it's the living that must learn how to cope with loss.



God willing, he is in a better place now, and his legacy is immortalized on disc, which is a good thing.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Spring Bear's Love



봄날의 곰을 좋아하세요? / Do you like Spring Bear ?

This was cute.

I requested this on Mysoju, but I doubt that's why they finally uploaded the movie.

I want to see everything that KIM NAM JIN ever starred in!



I think this was, like his first or second movie ~ and he was awesome as ever, too. He played an adorable role as a dimwit in love with his high school crush. She (Bae Doona as Hyun-chae) never looked at him the same way.

Her father (Kwang-rok Oh) was HOT! Anyway, he begs her to check out a book at the library for him. He's in love with a deaf/mute, but someone else is also in love with her. Hyun-chae finds a love-note written inside the book, and the movie takes us on a journey of self-discovery & silliness.

I especially liked the vignettes of her daydreams.

The movie was short, sweet, and to the point, but it was nothing like what I expected it would be.

Kim Nam Jin is so cool. And gorgeous! And sexy. And adorable ...


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Playboy Cops / Fa Fa Ying King




花花型警

This seemed as if it would be a silly movie (based on the title alone), until I saw that Jingle Ma was the director, and then I knew that it would be better than expected.

After watching Playboy Cops (Fa Fa Ying King in Cantonese), I was very grossed out, but thoroughly pleased with the film. It started out at one end of the spectrum, became utterly intense in the middle, and then it ended at the other end: as gruesome and sad as Ma would no doubt have it end.

What I'll never understand about these types of movies though, (action/suspense) is how they let you know the 'whodunit' part practically five minutes into the film! Maybe Ma thought that by showing the Yacht scene, that it would perhaps throw most of us off, but I wasn't having it. I think maybe that his direction is so, well advised, and that his style is so pristine, that the element of surprise no longer works for a man of his genius.

Knowing who did it so early in the film did NOTHING to lessen my interest in Playboy Cops, though! Shawn Yue as Michael Mak Ho Man, Linda Chung as the love interest, Lisa, and Chen Kun as Lincoln Lam made an awesome duo. Linda Chung, however, did not seem like the type of woman that not one, but TWO billionaire players would fight over (sorry!)

I first saw Chen Kun in Balzac & the Little, Chinese Seamstress. That was a terrific movie, and he played a terrific role. Shawn Yue is cool, and throughout this film, I kept thinking that he looks an awful lot like Edison Chen.



































If I ever find the time (and the inclination) I might, just do a cover story on Asian Actor look-alikes.

Anyway, these two made an awesome pair, and they worked well together imho!



Chen Kun (l) Shawn Yue (r)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Seducing Mr. Perfect / Mr. Ro-bin Ggo-si-gi



Mr. 로빈 꼬시기

Well, there were several reasons why I decided to watch this flick, and one being that I was curious as to whether or not our dashing Mr. Henney's acting had improved.

Um ... I don't know about the rest of the female population, but for me, I think I'd rather just see him in magazine spreads from now on.

It's painfully embarrassing to watch such a gorgeous creature like him make such an absolute FOOL of himself, and on such a wide screen, too! How can he be so good on camera, and absolutely credible in commercials, but stink so, SO bad on film???

It's my broad speculation that since he IS such an immensely beautiful guy, that Korea refuses to give up on him. I certainly can't blame them if this is true, either! Who wouldn't want to see something this amazing on television or at the theatre?



Maybe it's just as hard for the guy to master the art of acting as it seems to be for him to learn his mother's native tongue? Who knows. Has anyone dared to ask him yet? Does he know that he's not good, because I'd hate to be the one to break such bad news to someone so handsome.

He He He

As regards Mr. Perfect, it was a great story-line, but ... WTF? That was IT? The fastest film on record, I think. She bumps him while applying lipstick at a traffic light, he threatens to sue her, and she pretends not to understand English. Turns out he's her new boss, and a cold-hearted womanizer to boot. She's the exact opposite, and her current boyfriend dumps her because she's such a push-over. Mr. Perfect trains her in the subtle but cruel art of seduction, and she ends up winning the game. THE END!

Actually, for me, it was the last, five minutes of this film that I enjoyed the most. But, I still don't get it! Did the studio run out of tape or something? It just ENDED, and I had to look at my watch to try and figure out just, how long was this film anyway? Ten minutes? A half-hour? What? Zip, zip, zip, and it's over. Did they even kiss? I can't recall because I spent the entire 45 minutes (I think) in anticipation of things to come, and then it was over, and I think maybe I could have fallen asleep or something, because ... it ENDED, and I had no idea why.

Dear Korean Movie Studio Executives: I know your cash cow is being threatened with foreclosure due to lack of audience participation, and that you're terrified of losing the good thing that you had at the turn of the century. If you'd like to get back that captive audience and continue to make money, why not think about the people that you pander to, (or is it vice versa?)? That was EIGHT years ago, and people change with the times, in case you didn't know. Your audience is growing older, so wouldn't it make sense to MATURE your dramas as well? What worked so well back then may not be the golden ticket item in 2009. A gorgeous face, awesome hair, and a hunk-a-licious bod will remain prerequisite until Kingdom come, but the situations that you place these incredible creatures in has GOT to change! Older, wiser, and more sophisticated characters may help you to win back a loyal but aging fan-base, so THINK ABOUT IT before you decide to call it a day, huh?


Daniel Henney

Thursday, August 07, 2008

발리에서 생긴 일 / What Happened in Bali




Bal-li-e-seo Saeng-kin il


Throughout these 20 episodes, I kept asking myself, "What DID happen in Bali?"

I am guessing now that the title has everything to do with the last, two minutes of this drama.

What a dark, miserable show this was! Maybe now that I've seen the whole thing, the seductive sneer that the leading lady, Lee Soo-jung gave to So Ji Sup's character, Kang In-wook at the very start of the show was not a figment of my imagination!

A brief synopsis of the drama that I watched on Mysoju said that it's supposed to depict the 'real' topic of social distinction and money-grubbing mentality in today's Korean society. What it did for me was make me want less and less to visit that part of the world.

Personally, I'd love to have all the money in the world, go wherever I want to go, and buy whatever the hell I feel like buying. It wouldn't be so bad to have a hot, rich guy after my ass, either! Two would be pushing it, and that's what this drama did as far as I'm concerned.

Interesting too, was the unmitigated gall of Park Ye Jin's character, Choi Young-joo. Honestly, some of the things that she said throughout this drama had me shaking my head in utter confusion. Perhaps it's a rich way of thinking, but to treat anyone like an object, and then make outrageous demands like, "...we can be lovers after I'm married," and, "I'm only doing this for the money," and, "...what's love got to do with it?" are absolutely groundless. I know that she ended up noting that she behaved quite like the "trash" that she felt ruined her life, but still ... her character was the least believable of them all.

I hope this is one writer's convoluted impression of the "written in stone" caste system in Korea and not, actual fact. Kang In-wook actually made reference to it in the drama, but what he said was incorrect ~ unless the translator screwed it up (as usual). Until the middle ages, Korea had no caste? I beg to differ, and not just in Korea, but all over the world, since time began, there have been the haves and the have-nots. The haves have always looked down upon, spat upon, and treated the have-nots as inferior nothings, to be treated like dirt or "trash". So, I guess I'm supposed to believe that the work-a-day Korean wants the prestige by having a diploma framed and hung on their wall, for the whole world to see and be impressed by. Whatever.

Ironically, a majority of the Koreans that I've met online claim to be Catholic. If this is true, then I am anxious to visit a Korean Cathedral when and if I ever get to that side of the world. I'm curious to know what the priest's say during their sermons, because being the richest, most powerful person alive is NOT a Catholic doctrine, trust me. For a country that hates Japan (and vice versa) they certainly seem to want to keep up with their enemy in this regard, which again does NOT make sense to an outsider looking in.

NOTHING about Bali made sense to me!

It's drama; I know. It's not supposed to make sense, it's not supposed to make you think, or even to reflect for that matter. It's mindless, paperback novel kitsch meant to take the middle-age housewife away from the everyday and transform her into a world of make-believe. I know this, and yet I can't help but to question just about every aspect of the writer's reasoning. Perhaps that's because I'm a writer too.

So for the nonsense ... I'm sorry, but what woman in her right MIND would choose ANY man over SO-Fine Ji-sup???? I know, I know ... the $$$ was supposed to make all the difference in the world.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

Excuse me, but at 25 the ONLY thing on a woman's mind is making babies. If you're born rich, I guess you want to marry rich, but even then, I'm sure the gal hopes for some strapping, six-footer with a dashing smile and bedroom eyes to sweep her off her feet in the boardroom, yes? If the construction guy that moved in after Ji-sup's character moved out, if he had $$$, would our ambivalent Ms. Lee have wrapped her legs around HIS groin??? I think not.

Shin Yi's Park Mi-hee was the ONLY believable character in the entire show. She was cute, funny, and had a normal sense of values. And, what has being an orphan got to do with being useless or poor? Your parents die, so ... you are expected to crawl inside their graves with them, is that it? Again, I'm shaking my head in utter bewilderment here.

Ok, it starred SO Ji-sup, and that's really all that I cared about. From the moment that he arrived on-screen, my heart raced and I felt all warm inside. He's a stone FOX, and I'm madly in lust with him. I want to see him naked, and thank you, THANK YOU for letting him disrobe a few times during the long, drawn-out drama.

I'm trying to recall a time when I ever saw him smile in anything that he's acted in. I know he can, and when he does, it probably lights up the room! But, he's always playing a down-trodden, life-beaten reject that ends up taking a major beating for no, realistic reason other than he's poor. He drives me wild, and in those clothes that he wore, I went nuts just looking at him. Which, again, makes me wonder how they cast actors for roles in these dramas.

I can't think of a woman alive that could remain unaffected the moment that a guy like him looks at you with them EYES of his!? That's when the knees go weak, the heart starts to pound, and your face heats up with blush. Not EVERY guy is capable of having that affect on women, so what were we supposed to believe about Ms. Lee falling in love with the useless, pathetic waste of life that capped her sorry ass in the end? She's lying in bed, next to a NAKED SO JI-SUP, and she's thinking about HIM instead??? YAH! Totally credible.

Speaking of HIM ... Jo In-sung is very tall! Ok in the looks department, and a very, good actor! I had no idea how he really felt about Ms. Lee until he cried. And then he cried some more, and then he cried some more! Yes, he was obsessed with the poor girl, but for a reason that STILL escapes me! He said that she was honest and had no pride, which was only half-true. Ms. Lee was the most DIShonest of them all, in my opinion. Ji-sup's character was entirely honest, even when he intended to screw the company out of all that money. I rooted for him the entire time because I knew exactly what he was up to the minute that he moved in next door to the girls.

He He He.

I couldn't figure out, though, how he felt about Ms. Rich-Bitch until more than half-way through the show. And I couldn't figure out why either man fell for our Ms. Lee, either.

As gorgeous as Ji-sup is, and they made sure to express that fact NUMEROUS times during this drama, what the hell did he need with EITHER woman? He could have pulled off the playboy stint MUCH more credibly than our so-called hero, Jo In Sung as Jung Jae-min. Wait a minute. Perhaps even THAT is reserved strictly for the ultra-rich in Korea, is that it? Regular guys can't be playa's unless they 'gangsta'?

Sigh

Every time I watch one of these things, I swear that I'll never watch another ... but then I do. It's the guy's fault, not mine! They make me love them, and they make me want to see them again and again and again, too. I know that's why these things took off the way that they did. I'm not alone in my way of thinking OR feeling about the sexilicious pulchritude running around in that country! I'm trying to think of my own childhood, and if there were EVER as many gorgeous, sex-appealing men alive at one time to drive such a mass of women crazy? I didn't watch television in my youth, so i wouldn't know. I didn't even want to go to the movies back then, and I had no idea about Asian films until after college. It's a strange and wonderful phenomenon that will come to pass, I'm sure. When that day comes, I hope that I'm too old to care anymore. For now, I continue to fan my blushing face and dream about all of the glorious, manly magnificence that is Asian cinema!



Monday, August 04, 2008

DEAR CANADA

I just returned from a WELCOME trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto.

The title of this blog will take you to my PICASA album of the trip.

As soon as we left the apartment, a storm rolled in, and we had to wait at the Marathon station near the I-69 entrance until it passed.

A definite sign of things to come.

I don't know why, but Canada is so, much more beautiful than Michigan or other parts of the USA that I've visited. Perhaps its the sense of OTHER COUNTRY that makes it seem better to me, or maybe it's because they do things differently over there that has me so intrigued.

The air seems cleaner, the roads are better, and there are no billboards along their highways. What seemed even more incredible to me is that everyone drives a CAR as opposed to pick-up trucks, SUV's, and mini-vans.

HURRAY FOR CANADA!

Their native populations are not hidden on reservations, but I think as a general rule, Natives tend to hide anyway. The diversity in Canada is the same throughout that country as it is in the major cities in the United States. They tend to be kind to tourists, too.

Now, for the down side to visiting a foreign country, and even one as close as Canada.

WHY THE HELL CAN'T I GO SWIMMING IN LAKE ONTARIO??? It's the only great lake that I have yet to dip my toes into, and even when we found places on the maps that said PUBLIC BEACH ... there was no way to get to the water! Private subdivisions occupied a majority of the waterway, which made it impossible to get close enough even for pictures.

There were two public beaches in Toronto, but I think that the rest of the world decided to go there the day that we arrived in the city. It was a major let-down for me, and I still hold out hope of being PERMITTED the opportunity to swim in Lake Ontario before I die.

You guys are a bunch of RIP-OFF artists!! Do you think that because we are from the USA and don't use the metric system, that we can't figure out the difference between currency rates??? How can the menu posted on the outside of your restaurant say $6.95 for Fried Rice, $8.95 for Fried Pork Dumplings, and $1.99 for Spring Rolls, and the bill comes to $22.00???

And you, Mr. CD/DVD/VCD Man! The neon-pink sign read $4.00 CD, and there was no indication of the price of the posters, but I handed you $20 Canadian for 1 CD and a poster, and you hand me back $10? SIX frickin' bucks for a poster? I don't think so, and yes, I saw the look on your face when you handed me my change. You were just WAITING for me to say something, weren't you?

GAS was $1.24 a litre, which is approximately $5 US. The man at the ESSO insisted that Canadian gas takes you farther, though. Hmm. Is this a scientific fact, or a boastful hint of Canadian pride? Gas is gas is gas, and if you're farming it in Alberta, why the HELL is it that, damn expensive? You're not even in the frickin' war!!!!

In the USA, there is a difference between a HOTEL and a MOTEL, but apparently that isn't the case in Canada. We didn't want to spend our money on a two-bed room for sleeping purposes only, so we checked in at what would be termed a TRUCKER/HOOKER dive to an American, hoping to save some $$$.

HA!!!!

We could have booked a room at the MARRIOTT in downtown Niagara Falls for what we paid at the Q-Way MOTEL in St. Catharine's. Give me a frickin' BREAK, you rip-off losers you! How dare you attempt to charge ANYONE the exorbitant fee of $119 Canadian for that piece of sh*t hole in the wall???? SHAME on you, and thanks, too for telling us that the PUBLIC BEACH is "...right down the road! Bars everywhere down there!" You were right about the bars, sir ... but, I asked about a public BEACH, and guess what? THERE WERE NONE!!!!

$12 for a pack of cigarettes.

YES, it was a nice trip, and YES I had a good time. I don't think that anyone likes being taken advantage of, though, do you?

LESSONS LEARNED

Spur-of-the-moment trips have always turned out to be the best times for me. Having enough $$$ to properly ENJOY the trip takes precedent, though.

I'm still not convinced that booking a room online AHEAD OF TIME is better than pulling up to a seedy motel at 10:30pm to sleep. When we arrived in Niagara Falls, we saw two places that advertised rooms for as little as $39 CAD. Of course, this was AFTER we booked in St. Catharine's. Online, I could not find anything under $100CAD, which was why I thought that we should take our chances of finding a place at the last second. We should have kept driving, but I figured Niagara Falls would not be the place to find a bargain-basement price on a hotel/motel.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!

Now that I've been there, and know what to expect, I think that my next trip will be much, more rewarding. CASH ONLY, and exact change to be more precise. No one can rip you off if you do the math before you hand over your hard-earned $$ to a stranger hell-bent on taking advantage of your residency.

I think that there was a festival of some sort taking place in Toronto when we were there, or else it's ALWAYS that hectic on the weekends? Too many cars, too many people, and too much going on all at once to really appreciate anything about that visit.

BUY A MAP AND READ IT!!!!

I relied on one of them brochure's from a truck-stop to get us through Toronto, and by the time that we purchased a TORONTO map, it was too late to doing anything other than make our way out of the city in one piece. We became hopelessly lost THREE TIMES, and once while on foot! So much for taking pride in direction skills, because they failed me miserably in Toronto. Everything started to look the same to us in Chinatown, including the names of the streets.

It was a fun and memorable trip, and I hope to go again some day.
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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Ice Girl / 그녀가 돌아왔다



It's late, but I just finished watching ICE GIRL, and I better blog now, or I might forget what to say.

I chose this drama on Mysoju because it starred KIM NAM JIN, one of my favorite Korean actors. I made it as far as episode seven when I couldn't take it anymore, and I quit the show.

I've figured out by now that the producers must think that unless something tragic happens, no one will be interested. The love story at the beginning was adorable, but it pissed me off that she had to have a rare heart defect and would die. SIGH! An abused concept that actually causes the REVERSE affect on someone like me. I lose interest in stories with this common denominator, and I'm sure I'm not alone, too.

The reason that I stopped watching after episode six completed was because I couldn't TAKE it anymore! What did the beautiful, young orphan Jung Ha-Rok DO to deserve the heart wrenching treatment that he endured all that time? He was very cute, by the way.




Park JinWoo


When I saw the pathetic waste that he became 25 years later, I felt like I might die. My sense of righteousness screamed inside my head, a squelched sob ached inside my throat, and my eyes grew sore from the unshed tears that blurred my vision. What did Jung Ha-Rok DO to have to be forced to live that sort of unjustifiable existence?

Maybe it's because of my own, pitiful existence that I hate so much to see anyone else have to go through the daily BS that I live with that has me rail against such an injustice, I don't know. It's bad enough that there are no answers, or even cures for my own meaningless life, so why should I be forced to have to watch it unfold on anyone else? I couldn't take it anymore, so I stopped watching ICE GIRL. But, after more than a month, I decided to give it another chance. When I quit watching, it was because I couldn't figure out a single way that Jung Ha-Rok would EVER find the happiness that he sought with Kim So-ryung. And then, as it began to turn around for him, it kind a made me feel creepy inside. He needed to let go of his past and start to live for himself, so it was NOT going to help him to get together with the new So-ryung.

This was the first drama that I ever watched where I did not want to see my hero, Ajushi KIM get the girl. In fact, I almost resented the fact that he played a part in his own father's heartache. OH!!! And when they started that bullsh*t about older men and younger women, I wanted to scream. Creepy or gross is 65 & 20, yes? Age is a number, the heart is an organ, and COMPATIBILITY has everything to do with happiness in love. People who think this way must ALSO agree that race, religion, and social status are determining factors in love as well.

SHAME on narrow-minded, prejudiced people like that!

ICE GIRL was not the worst drama that I ever saw, but it was not something that I would ever watch again. I don't even know that I'd recommend it to friends. It was the worst drama that I ever saw Ajushi KIM in, that's for sure! I've been crunching the numbers for awhile too, and it still makes no sense to me how a twenty-four year old can be a Doctor. Isn't it EIGHT years of med school, and THEN you become an intern, or are things different in Korea? Maybe my Ajushi was a genius or something, who knows.

Genius or not, bad drama or not ... he'll always be a Korean drama draw for me.


Kim Nam Jin

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