Posted in movies

Seobok (2021)

Profile
Movie: Seobok (서복)
Release Date: April 15, 2021
Runtime: 114 min.
Genre: Drama / Category:Sci-Fi filmsSci-Fi
Distributor: CJ Entertainment
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Main Cast:
Gong Yoo – Min Ki Hun
Park Bo Gum – Seobok
Jo Woo Jin – Ahn Ik Hyun
Park Byung Eun – Shin Hak Sun
Jang Young Nam – Lim Se Eun

Review:
For all the hype that this movie got leading to its release, I was disappointed that this movie did not live up to the hype. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not terrible, but it could have been more, esp with Gong Yoo and Park Bo Gum as the leads — they did deliver stellar acting, but not enough to ignore for the lackluster writing.

See my instagram post below for my main thoughts on this movie:

Rating: 7.5/10

Posted in movies

Pandora (2016)

Profile:
Movie: Pandora (판도라)
Release Date: December 7, 2016
Runtime: 136 min.
Distributor: Next Entertainment World
Country: South Korea

Plot:
A nuclear power plant is on a verge of a meltdown after an earthquake shook the small town.

Main Cast
Kim Nam Gil – Jae Hyeok
Kim Joo Hyun – Yeon Joo
Jung Jin Young – Pyung Sub
Kim Dae Myung – Kil Sub
Kim Myung Min – SK President

Review:
I loved Kim Nam Gil as the reluctant hero. His character always wanted to work somewhere else to make more money, he hates the town and yet at the last minute he was the one who saved the town. His monologue at the last part made me ugly cry 😭😭.I also loved the other nuclear plant workers, firemen etc who were willing to risk their lives to save their families.

The movie focused on the slow build up of the nuclear meltdown, so it was so tenseful, because i don’t know if it will explode any minute. It also showed the slow response of the government in these types of situations. I think on one hand, the government tried their best to respond, given the urgency, but it’s also difficult to immediately point fingers at the government. They’re in Seoul, the disaster happened so far away. You can’t expect them to have all the answers. If only they can just magically teleport to the town and teleport everyone away from it, but it’s impossible. So I would understand why at times like these, the local government and the townspeople are expected to be responsible to handle this situation. it’s probably also a very good lesson not to build nuclear power plant near a town, and have a solid emergency response plan that everyone knows about.

Rating: 8.5/10

Posted in movies

Samjin Company English Class (2020)

Profile:
Movie: Samjin Company English Class (삼진그룹 영어토익반)
Release Date: October 21, 2020
Runtime: 110 min.
Country: South Korea

Plot:
The ladies working in Samjin Company are good at their jobs and are taking English classes together to get promoted in the company. One day, during a routine site check, Ja Young discovers something about the company and she and her friends uses their brains and connections to uncover the truth, despite the opposition.

Main Cast:
E Som – Jung Yoona
Ko Asung – Lee Ja Young
Park Hyesu – Sim Boram

Review:
Korean movies always look deceiving. One look at the poster I thought this was a funny movie about women trying to learn English in the 90s but it’s so much more than that.

They all work in a company where women are mostly doing menial jobs for the male employees like secretary, office manager. One day on a routine check, Dorothy discovers toxic wastewater being dumped in the rivers and causing an entire village to get sick. This would remind you a little bit of Julia Roberts’ Erin Brockavitch movie but not so serious.

The story shows a lot of women power and friendship. The ladies English class work together to uncover the truth despite the odds. I also love some of the men trying to support the ladies in their goal. This must have been hard during this period when women were facing a lot of discrimination at the office.

The movie is set in the 90s so i loved the fashion, the hair, the music and these kept the show from being boring. The ending of who the bad guy is predictable but this was still a fun movie.

Rating: 8.5/10

Posted in movies

The Yin Yang Master (2021)

Profile:
Movie: The Yin Yang Master
Release Date: Feb 12, 2021
Duration: 1 hr. 53 min.
Country: China

Plot:
Boya encounters some thieves stealing the tribute to the king, and he ends up in the mystical world / home of Qing Ming, together with Shen Le, who is also looking for Qing Ming. They end up becoming ‘familiars’ to Qing Ming, who is half-human, half-demon. One of Qing Ming’s familiar unknowingly stole something that can unleash the demon and threaten the country. Can Qing Ming clear his name and defeat the demon, or will his demon self take over?

Main Cast
Aloys Chen – Qing Ming
Zhou Xun – Bai Ni
Shaw Qu – Boya
Shen Yue – Shen Le
William Chan – Ci Mu
Cici Wang – Snow Queen

Review:
Visually pleasing and colorful. Really feels like a fantasy movie with the animals although the ferrets remind me of Rocket (raccoon) in Guardians of the Galaxy.

There wasn’t much story, just more of an internal struggle of Qingming between good or evil but I liked the sad ending. Like the other version, the villain was predictable, but the giant creepy hand looked funny as opposed to scary and reminded me of Thing in Addams Family. The red hair and his posing also looked unnatural and not really menacing. I also wasn’t sold with the romance (?) friendship (?) whatever it is between Qing Ming and Bai Ni.

The supporting characters felt more like fillers and were just there because they need Qingming to have some allies. Their stories didn’t have much depth. Boya was way younger than what I was expecting, and didn’t have much bromance with Qingming. Instead he matched more with Shen Le, who was a supporting character. She was cute but wasn’t interesting enough. The red evil was so cute though and the fight scene was between him and Boya was fun!

Overall, this movie felt like a mishmash of different films. It could have been better if the movie was shorter and had more interesting characters that we want to root for, but overall it was enjoyable.

Rating: 8/10

Posted in movies

The Yin Yang Master: Dream of Eternity (2020)

Profile:
Movie: The Yin Yang Master: Dream of Eternity (晴雅集)
Release Date: Dec 25, 2020
Duration: 2 hr. 12 min.
Country: China

Plot:
Based on the novel Onmyoji, yin yang masters gather together to prevent a demonic serpent from escaping the royal court and taking over the country.

Main Cast:
Mark Chao – Qing Ming
Deng Lun – Boya
Ava Wang – Princess Zhang Ping
Wang Duo – He Shou Ye / Zhong Xing
Jessie Li – Long Ye

Review:
I watched both versions and I like this one better. Maybe because I watched this first or maybe because i like the emotional story more than the other one.

The visuals were amazing. Too amazing sometimes that it looks too unreal, then I realize I’m watching a fantasy movie so I should expect a lot of CGI.

I liked the friendship between Qingming and Boya. They started antagonistic with each other (well, more on Boya as the angry kid and Qingming as the cool one). I feel like Boya learned to mature because of Qing Ming while Qing Ming found a friend.

The mystery of the villain was predictable and even though I hated the Princess and Shouyue, i still cried for their sad fate. A little too long for the in the second half but it gave some emotional depth to the story. I loved the giant serpent and the fight scene between it and Qing Ming /Boya. It was huge, I didn’t know how Qing Ming can take down the serpent!

What I didn’t understand is the presence of the hair demon. She killed the old master and tried to kill Long Ye, for what? It later turns out she was against the Empress (so why was she helping her?) Or was it because the hair demon was under the control of Shouye so she is forced to kill? Whatever, but it was creepy.

Rating: 8.5/10