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 kdrama

Record of Youth (2020)

Profile:
Drama: Record of Youth (청춘기록)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: September 7 – October 27, 2020
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 21:00

Plot
The story of men and women in their late 20s, and their struggle to find a balance between their dreams, relationships, family, friendship and career.

Main Cast
Park Bo Gum – Sa Hye Jun
Park So Dam – An Jeong Ha
Byun Woo Seok – Won Hae Hyo
Kwon Soo Hyun – Kim Jin Woo

Review:
I was really looking forward to this drama because this is Park Bo Gum’s final drama before he heads to the military. The premiere lived up to its expectations and I loved the first couple of episodes. The scenes were riveting and heartbreaking and you really just want Hye Jun to succeed. I really loved Park Bo Gum in this show. Extra special because it is almost like him and not Sa Hye jun reminiscing about his 20s and saying goodbye to all the fans.

The theory is all about money. The emotional stability I inherited from my parents. Honesty and sincerity. It completely overlooks such values as well as my motivation for success, which I cultivated while watching my parents struggle.

From the title and from the narration, I already felt like they were talking about the past and the romance was always about making good memories so I already braced myself that they were going to break up. I also expected the time jump. I honestly think they are better off as friends. There was something off about their relationship. It was too fast and surreal. And i felt that Hye Jun loved Jungha more. But it’s not bad, I think it was a prefect way to sum up their 20s.

Fangiring over you was therapeutic. I believe fans and stars shouldn’t have real-life relationships. On top of that, we forged a new friendship out of all relationships. I will stop fangirling over you! I won’t do it. – An Jeong Ha

Gosh, I just lost a fan when I dont have a lot of being with. – Sa Hye Jun

The romance fell flat in the middle. Most of the time it felt like Jungha was never 100% in the relationship. She distanced herself as soon as Hye Jun became successful. Most of the time i didn’t really get her issue. Actually, her character didnt get a lot of screentime and there wasn’t growth as a person. I know it must be difficult to be the girlfriend of an idol and be subjected to a lot of hate comments, maybe she just wasn’t ready for the relationship like she thought she was. Maybe she needed to be successful and be validated before she can be happy with someone else.

I really loved all the scenes with Hyejun’s family. Esp loved how much Gyeong Jun, Grandpa and Yeong Nam matured by the end of the drama. And how they grew closer as a family. It did took a long time for me to warm up to Hye Jun’s drama. He was just so vicious and typical Asian father. I could understand him though. He just wants his son to succeed and be tough. But it couldn’t hurt if he just showed it a little more without having to hurt Hye Jun repeatedly.

Who will believe in our children if we don’t believe in them? Look outside. There is a long line of people waiting to criticize them. – Hye Jun’s mom

Why is it only a man’s job to provide for his family? Are you saying that you provide for me? I work for a living too. Have you lived your life doing what pleases you? No one can live by only doing what they want. – Hye Jun’s mother

You should be the one encouraging him, not the other way around. – Hye Jun’s grandpa

You as my dad, have never encouraged me once. You’ve never supported the things I do. None of it matters unless the support is visible! – Sa Hye Jun

It was only to guide you down the right path. Am I a joke to you now that you’re a hotshot? – Yeong Nam

I super loved Minjae! I was hoping we see her get more clients after 2 years and be more successful but it seems like she only had Hye Jun as a client. haha. Realistically speaking, i think Minjae will not survive the cutthroat showbiz life. She is too soft and not too competent. I feel like Hye Jun wouldn’t have to endure such rumors and scandals had she been better at her job. But I do note that it’s Hye Jun who is calling all the shots and as the artist, he gets to be the one to tell Minjae what to do.

One of the things I really loved the start were the friendship of the 3 guys. They used to hang out every time near the playground. Felt sad that their scenes together, dwindled in the middle and we barely saw them together. I guess that’s also realistic. There are times we don’t get to speak or hand out with our old buddies like we used to because we become busy with our lives. And with the tension between Hae Hyo and Hye Jun, it was bound to happen. At least in the last two episodes they were back to almost normal and are close again.

Why does everyone compare me with Hye Jun? – Hae Hyo

That’s nothing new. – Jin Woo

Really? But it didn’t bother me back then. Why does it annoy me so much now? – Hae Hyo

Because you were ahead of him then and it’s the other way around now. – Jin Woo

Was he also bothered by how people compared him with me? – Hae Hyo

No, he didn’t have the time because he was busy making ends meet. – Jin Woo

One of the center themes of this drama is the parent-child relationship. I appreciated the ways the drama tried to portray different relationships between parents and children. Hye Jun’s father is the type that doesn’t communicate their emotions well and is tough on the children while the mother is the nice and supportive one, though she is also passive. On the extreme side, Hae Hyo’s mom is the “helicopter” parent while his dad is the largely not very hands on but expects the best. Jeong ha’s dad was the loser who ended up becoming richer while her mom was the clingy and selfish parent. We saw how each parenting style affected the outlook and personalities of their children. In the end, parents just wants the best for their children. I realized it is crucial for parents to understand their children and find that balance where you can support them but also “parent” them. On the other hand, children should learn to appreciate their parents more and not take them for granted. They are older, not necessarily wiser, but they can give good advice based on their experience. It is still up to us to make the final decisions.

I want you to be more aggressive. Maybe it’s because we’re well off. You have no backbone. Doesn’t seeing Hye Jun make you want to work harder? It looks like he’s on the rise. – Hae Hyo’s mother

What about me? Am i going downhill? – Hae Hyo

No, you’re stagnant. Your graph is drawing a straight line. – Hae Hyo’s mom

The show really started strong. I loved everyone and all the possible storylines, but after Hye Jun hit big time, the story slowly went downhill. Just like how Hye Jun’s life became complicated, the writing also got confused. We were seeing less Hae Hyo and more useless scenes with his mom and the slimy agent, long scenes of the mothers trying to one up each other. I ended up fast forwarding some of the scenes because I wasn’t interested in them. The story focused so much on Charlie Jung (poor guy) and the endless scandals that are false. I hated Suman and Taesu, they never paid for their misdeeds and are still working in the industry without being exposed for being terrible people. I guess that’s how scary media can be and how they can ruin a person’s life.

This is my room. I wanted my own room for years, and I finally have it. I needed a room where I can cry alone. Because in this room, I can cry all I want without being interrupted. – Sa Hye Jun

Are you happy right now? You have everything you wanted. – An Jeong Ha

Hae Hyo was supposed to be the second lead but he didn’t really get a lot of story lines other than always having to look broody and sad that his mother was doing everything on the background. i thought it was so naive of him to think that everything was because of his own efforts. I felt like as someone with that kind of advantage, he should have appreciated it more and worked harder to prove that he is more than his money. And i didn’t like how he almost (but thank god he didn’t) tried to steal Jungha away from Hye Jun. I mean for most part of the show, they were trying to hint that he will do it, but then took a 360 and he never confessed and he was really trying to be a friend to Jungha. C’mon i thought it was “bros before hoes” (sorry for the expression). And i wish the show explored and showed more the rivalry between the two guys and not just tell us it is happening.

Took me some time to think of my final rating because I really loved the first few episodes. But after writing down all the likes and dislikes, I think it’s not as good as i thought it was.

Life is like a race. You never know who’s going to win until it’s over. – Hye Jun’s mom

You and I shine in our own way. – Sa Hye Jun

Rating: 7.5/10

Posted in kdrama

KDrama Update

Hi sorry for now updating my blog. I’ve been watching ongoing kdramas so i post my weekly episodic reviews in my IG (@kdramadreaming) instead.

Kdrama i’m currently watching:
1. Record of Youth – loving Park Bogum as Sa Hyejun. I just wish they stop focusing on his family. The scenes are getting repetitive with Hyejun always being scolded by his dad without any development in the story or character. Also it’s weird that Haehyo’s mom gets more screen time than Haehyo. I want to know more about Haehyo, him breaking away from his suffocating mom and making his own mark. I also want more storyline for Jungha. I dont want to see the jealous colleague anymore and want to see her succeed in the salon and in her vlogging.

2. 18 Again- beautiful story about family. There’s equal screen time and development for The 4 main characters, although i love Dae Young the most. Super impressed with Lee Do Hyun -he is an amazing actor!! Having 2 other guys vying for Dajung’s attention is too much though. They should have just focused on one main guy -either Ikjun or Jihoon that will rival Dae Young. And i know in the original 17 Again movie, Deokjin will have a loveline with the pretty principal, but right now their story is too comical so i dont like it yet.

3. Flower of Evil – i was planning to binge watch this in time for the finale last week but i couldnt because i found the episodes to be really gloomy and slow. The story is intriguing but i just cant watch more than one episode a day. I will continue to watch this until the end but will probably take some time for me to finish.

4. Alice – woot! The first few episodes were terrific but then the weird mother-son romantic vibes in the middle, esp in eps 8-9 has me fast forwarding some scenes. Also getting frustrated with how the main lead is too dense to put the clues together. At episode 10, he still doesnt know what’s happening that i just want to help him!! Likewise, professor Taeyi is also too slow when Doyeon already told her she looks like  his mother and she knows there’s time travelling happened. Two reasons why i havemt dropped this is because i still want to know what is really happening and i want to see more of Minhyuk.

5. Lie After Lie – i loved the first episode!! It was hella crazy but the next 7 episodes have significantly mellowed down the level of crazy. Im bot complaining though i wish there were more twists and revelations in every episode. I do like that the drama is taking its time to setup the romance between Jimin and Eunsu and building the relationship between Eunsu and Wooju. I definitely think these 3 need a solid foundation because once Chairman finds out about Wooju i have a feeling all hell will break loose and Eunsu needs a lot of help to protect her family. I’m still not sure how adding the golfer into the story will help Eunsu aside from having a love triangle which isnt necessary.

6. Homemade Love Story – i wasnt able to watch Once Again so i started this instead. So far there’s nothing special about the kdrama, just the usual soap opera plots of birth secrets but i’m staying because i love Jin Ki Joo and i want to see her romance with Woo Jaehee. The side stories of her siblings are so-so, as long as they dont make Hae Deun and Rahoon fall in love with each other then i’m fine with them. I dont like Jaehee’s famil except for Minjae who i want to see more. And i also dont like Seo ah and her mom (who is Bitchaewoon’s real mom) but im willing to see how the story goes and how Chaewoon will succeed over Seo ah. I also dont like the aunt but i love uncle Hwak Se so still waiting and see. This is a 100 episode drama and im only in ep 12 so i know lots more things will happen.

Posted in kdrama

Encounter (2019)

Encounter_(Korean_Drama)-P1

Profile
Drama: Encounter/Boyfriend (남자친구)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: November 28, 2018 – January 24, 2019
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 21:30

Plot
Cha Soo-Hyun is the daughter of a politician aiming for the presidential elections and she had an arranged marriage to a chaebol son who is supporting her father’s campaign. They divorced when her husband had an affair and part of the settlement is the Hotel, which Soo Hyun is now the CEO. When she was on a business trip to Cuba, she meets Kim Jin Hyuk, an average guy from a simple family and is also younger than her. They had an unforgettable encounter when Soo Hyun lost her bag and Jin Hyuk helped her. When Jin Hyuk returned to Korea, he got hired in the hotel that Soo Hyun owns.

Main Cast
Song Hye Kyo – Cha Soo Hyun
Park Bo Gum – Kim Jin Hyuk

Review
Note: I watched this drama during the time that the SongSong couple announced their divorce and various rumors were posted online. So i can easily imagine Song Hye Kyo as the divorce with an unhappy married life. (I still don’t know the real story of their marriage so I dont want to speculate who is at fault).

I loved the overall feel of this drama. It was very calming, the cinematography and the soundtrack were beautiful! I wasn’t bored with the show though it was a bit slow in some episodes. The romance itself was okay, I think the two actors looked so good together, but the age gap is so obvious – SHK looks pretty and young for her age, but putting her beside the youthful PBG made her look as old as her age! (or maybe it was her haircut??) While the obvious age gap made the story more realistic, I also felt like the chemistry wasn’t there. I mean, they were actors portraying two people in love — but i felt that’s what they were – actors acting. I didn’t feel the genuine romantic chemistry between the two leads, instead more of a brother-sister pairing. I would have been satisfied if they didn’t end up as lovers, only best friends.

Casting that aside, the overall story of the characters’ romance still went well with me (like if you follow the story as it is without thinking of the acting). They were of two totally different worlds and probably in real life, they would have broken up within a year (or two). Jin Hyuk here felt too perfect – like the writers had a session and wrote down the most perfect and idealistic boyfriend/partner of all time! Not that i’m complaining, PBG just fit that persona so well, I feel like i was sometimes watching PBG and not Kim Jin Hyuk. On the other hand, I felt so bad for Soo Hyun – her life must be a nightmare, having all those pressures from all sides, and still trying to live her own life. My mom, who also watched the show, also commented, why does Soo Hyun never smile? That’s why I could understand why they were drawn to each other. They met outside of their current lives (in Cuba, as equals) and i think maybe that’s why Jin Hyuk wasn’t that intimidated by her. Maybe had they known each other as boss-employee, Jin Hyuk wouldn’t be as daring as he was. Soo Hyun found someone who was super nice and supported her, and was willing to fight for her.

The ex-husband seems like a nice guy, but he was too little too late. He should have taken care of Soo Hyun and protected her from his evil mom when they were still married. No matter what he does after their divorce no longer matters since Soo Hyun will always remember he never stood up to his mom for her. Likewise, Jin Hyuk was smart but seemed like a carefree guy. I felt like meeting Soo Hyun, who was more mature and experienced, made him grow up and man up. I loved how Soo Hyun starting opening up after she met Jin Hyuk. She is still young and she has the right to be happy. To choose her own life. Who cares if Jin Hyuk is not rich or is young? Soo Hyun doesnt need the power or money since she has already has it. The love that Jin Hyuk is giving her is more than enough – maybe even more expensive than all the wealth that Soo Hyun has. I loved the slow progression of their relationship – seeing all their firsts – the salsa dancing, the camera, the “art museum” under the bridge, their fight, their kiss.

Aside from the two main characters, I also love both of their dads – for being supportive and understanding of Soo Hyun and Jin Hyuk. What i can’t believe in this drama were the 3 mothers! Seriously! The evil mother in law was cray cray. I know she is just protecting her own family and reputation, but why does she have to ruin Soo Hyun? Doesn’t she know the more she ruins her, the more it will damage her family?

And Jin Hyuk’s mother — i know she is only worried for Jin Hyuk but she is supposed to support his son! She knows he has a very well mannered son, i can’t believe she is so selfish. Jin Hyuk’s dad totally deserves to scold her. and the nice Jin Hyuk, heard what his mom did and instead of getting angry at her, he even understood her (seriously he is nice guy!).

But the worse mom of the year has to be Soo Hyun’s mother!!!! She is so angry at both the husband and Soo Hyun for ruining her ambitions to go to the Blue House — ugh, what has she done? She is useless and keeps harping on her family. I’m surprised Soo Hyun’s father didn’t divorce her. And instead of getting what she deserved in the end, I can’t believe she even got a happy ever after! I mean, Soo Hyun was also nice to her and they even made up! I dont even remember if she ever apologized to Soo Hyun.

The only reasonable woman in the show was the tea lady. She was more like a mother to Jin Hyuk than the real mother, seeing that he went to her for advice, and first introduced Soo Hyun to her. She was not judgmental, and listened to both sides.

Regarding, Soo Hyun’s friend/secretary and Jin Hyuk’s moon snails friend, i actually thought at the start that it will be fun for them to be together, but I didn’t like the secretary’s judge-y attitude. I think JinHyuk’s friend deserves someone better than her – someone who will be proud of him – and not always looking embarrassed to be with him.

The girl friend who likes Jin Hyuk was cute, again, too bad, she didn’t act on her feelings earlier on. I was dreading that she might turn mean and bitchy – but of course Jin Hyuk doesn’t have bitchy friends (haha). She is so sweet and I thought she makes a better pair with Jin Hyuk’s cutie brother.

The episode where Soo Hyun broke up with Jin Hyuk had me cry so hard. She wasn’t being noble idiot – it really made sense for them to break up. PBG is a good crier!! I really felt bad for him. I wanted to reach out and hug him and make him stop crying. Then he stopped crying and fought for his girl. Wow. Soo Hyun is one lucky girl. I imagine even after the show has ended, Soo Hyun and Jin Hyuk will still be together, all happy and married and with a little baby!

Posted in fan meeting

A Good Day with Park Bogum in Manila

I admit, i have only ever watched one of his dramas (Love in the Moonlight), which i absolutely adore and keep re-watching, but when I heard that he was coming to Manila, i did not hesitate and bought ticket to his fanmeeting. He is such a sweetie that I wanted to see him in person. And he didn’t disappoint! He was the nice, sincere guy I expected him to be – and he totally blew me away with his personality, energy and singing, dancing, and rapping skills! He’s too young for me to crush on, I feel like he’s more the younger brother i want to have and i will just pinch his adorable cheeks all day.

I admit, i was a bit disappointed with the 1st part of the fanmeeting – the fan interaction was not as many and as funny as So Ji Sub’s fanmeeting, but he totally made up for it with the one hour concert! I can’t believe someone has that much energy and passion to just give his all and even after the concert ended, and i queued for the hitouch session, when i finally got my chance to see him in the flesh, he looked so fresh (like he just didn’t do a 2.5 hour fanmeeting) and he just kept smiling and saying hi to everyone! Just made me all the more impressed with him.

anyways, here are some videos i took of the show with some of my comments.

second set

third set

last set + group picture + fanvideo

encore and goodbye

I also uploaded more videos in youtube channel

I’m currently 3/4ths away from finishing Encounter, will post my review as soon as I can.