Posted in movies

Seobok (2021)

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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

Sisyphus: The Myth (2021)

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Drama: Sisyphus: The Myth (시지프스)
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: February 17 – April 8, 2021
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 21:00

Plot:
A young female from the future goes back to modern time Seoul to protect a genius engineer from enemies who won’t stop at nothing to get his time travel machine. They work together to try to change the future and to prevent the destruction of Seoul.

Main Cast:
Cho Seung Woo – Han Tae Sul
Park Shin Hye – Gang Seo Hae
Tae In Ho – Eddy Kim
Jung Hye In – Kim Seo Jin
Heo Joon Seok – Han Tae San
Kim Byung Chul – Sigma
Choi Jung Woo – Hwang Hyun Seung
Sung Dong Il – CEO Park
Chae Jong Hyeop – Choi Jae Sun

Review:
I really liked the first half. The premise was so interesting, the visuals were flashy and story was action packed. The middle (around ep 8-10) dragged because the story focused on the budding romance between Taesul and Seohae and it felt like nothing was happening. Then after that, the story stopped making sense. Probably the reason why I didn’t stop halfway through because I love Taesul and Seohae as a pair. I’m not exactly rooting for their romance (Park Shinhye still can’t kiss well on screen) but I loved them together, as friends, as comrades. And Taesul always has great ideas, like he makes the world as his own science experiment! haha. He may not be good at fighting or guns (that’s why I love badass Seohae), but he is so smart and plans ahead. But just like the story lost focus in the latter episodes, I thought Taesul’s actions also started getting conflicted when he fell in love with Seohae. He kept choosing the girl vs the world. Or as my cousin says, he tries choosing both because humans are greedy, but in the end, we know that we can’t have it all.

Another story line that I loved was the relationship between Seohae and her dad, both in the future and current time. As early as episode 1, we see future Seohae and her dad navigating the future bleak Seoul and we only find out the whole story and how it links to when Seohae first arrived in current Seoul in the last 2 episodes. While the parallel story was interesting, i felt that it was revealed too late and it didn’t have as much impact to me. Or maybe because I just want the drama to end and put me out of my misery. *spoiler* Still doesn’t make sense to find out it was Taesul who built their shelter all along. That reveal came out of nowhere and didn’t make sense to me considering the timing of the events.

Okay, Taesan and Taesul’s bromance was sad. Time and time again Taesan protected his brother and Taesul ignored him when he got rich. That part when Taesan gave him the injection so Taesul can go back while he remains stuck in that dreamland made me cry buckets of tears. Made me wonder if Taesul invented the time machine, why didn’t he get on it to save his brother? Is it because he died before he can do it? Oh no, i’m getting confused again!

I also liked Park’s story and the Asia Mart team. At first I thought Park was that annoying character that won’t stop bothering the main leads, but turns out he was one of the most pivotal allies that Taesul can have. We also get a reveal of Park’s story, which is that he was the one sending money to his current wife, which actually made the current Park furious and beat his wife (the irony of it!). What I didn’t understand is in the end, he didn’t have any regrets anymore so he should no longer exist in the future right (and we see him glitching but he never actually disappeared because later on, he was back to his normal self helping Taesul). I didn’t want to overanalyze anymore because the story is already crazy by this time.

Now on to my rants — I have so many questions and not enough answers!! First off, in most kdramas, they at least explain the time travel rules in the first few episodes and slowly reveal the twists. But this drama decided not to explain anything, except for people being able to travel back using the uploader and downloader. I guess the writers assume we understand the rules. My biggest confusion is when did the time loop started and who started it? Is it Sigma? Is he the first one to ever time travel? But how did he know about the time travel from Taesul? And how come he doesn’t remember anything? Is it because his old self died so his memories were gone? And how long has this been going on? I’ve lost count of how many possible Seohae has come and go, as well as the bureau that kept running after them.

Second biggest rant — Sigma as a villain is too lame. I think the actor tried to look as sinister and villan-y as he can, but his reasons are not enough to blow up Korea in that big scale. he just looked like a loser who is complaining of just wanted some love. If we had known that all it takes is for someone to pat him in the back and ask him if he’s alright (like what Seohae’s dad did), then the whole thing wouldn’t have happened in the first place. I thought he was a psycho like when he was a kid, he was angry at his dad beating him so we blew up their house, but seems like he just wanted to be noticed. Similarly, Eddy as the last minute bad guy felt forced, like you think the story is over? Nope, let’s make Eddy the bad guy this time and let Taesul suffer again. I get what they’re saying though. That no mater what happens, there will always be someone who wants Taesul’s time maching. But really? Taesul being a genius and all he can think of is sacrificing himself? That’s like a coward’s way out. His final decision just wasted everyone’s efforts of trying to keep him alive and change the future (and our 16 hours of watching and hoping the ending is fantastic).

There are also lots of unnecessary or wasted characters like Jaesun — instead of just being the guy that keeps sticking to Seohae’s side like an unwanted admirer, I was hoping he has more purpose to the story, but he seems to just be there when Seohae needs to be rescued. And also that guy that keeps chasing after Seohae — i have zero interest in this story because his anger at Seohae is so unwarranted. I thought that part where Seohae told him off that he is angry at himself and it’s the guilt that is eating him up inside will make him stop and be Seohae’s ally. But it seems like nothing happened and he just kept pursuing Seohae even in the end.

Watch at your own risk!

Rating: 7/10

Posted in kdrama

L.U.C.A. The Beginning (2021)

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Drama: L.U.C.A.: The Beginning (루카: 더 비기닝)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 12
Release Date: February 1 – March 9, 2021
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 21:00

Plot:
A cross breed human/monster trying to find his way in the world.

Main Cast
Kim Rae Won – Zi-O
Lee Dahee – Ha Neul Ae Gu Reum
Kim Sung Oh – Yi Son
Jin Kyung – Hwang Jung Ah
Ahn Nae Sang – Ryu Jeung Kwon
Kim Sang Ho – Choi Jin Hwan

Review:

These people are crazy.

Said the bad detective. Best way to sum up this drama.

Interesting premise and first few episodes. Not sure when the story started to get messy. I think ep 7-8. To some it maybe the best part of the story (and where it should have ended). To me it was the worst part of the story and shouldn’t have happened.

I liked badass Gureum at the start. But I didn’t like her in the middle. It was really all her fault. She knew Zi0 was dangerous yet she was stupid enough to fall in love and get pregnant. Her actions are also erratic and reckless.

Do you know what the last element is that makes a human a human being? LOVE.

What use is it if you love someone but you can’t protect them? The entire world shuns us and judges us. Is that love?

This is what happens when you get married and have a child without proper preparation and conversation between the couple. Clash of parenting skills and values.

I was disappointed in Zi0. He was the male lead and yet it felt like he was the real villain after everything else that happened. I really wanted him to find his happiness. But he became the monster that people expected him to be.

Do you think you’re some kind of king now that you’ve seen people kneel before you? I’m the one who put you in that position!

Cult leader/mom and Zi0 fighting for power

The conversations and debates about cults, governments, cloning, human vs monster, etc were interesting but were not executed well enough for viewers to feel inspired. Most of the time the characters’ actions and subsequent decisions contradicted themselves that’s why I was mostly confused what this drama really wanted to tell us.

Those crazy believers are the foundation of this place. The fact that they kneeled before you means that you’re now the King of this church.”

Am I supposed to be happy that I’m a cult leader now?

episode 11 i think. Crazy scientist talking to Zi0

How many are you planning to create?

Around 10,000. Do you know the smallest country in the world is the Vatican City? 1 pope and 10,000 people.

I actually like the crazy scientist’s vision!

Skip ep 9-10 or fast forward them (like i did). Everyone’s actions and decisions has stopped making sense by this time. They just kept running after Zi0 and Gureum. And semi-good people kept dying, the bad ones kept surviving. It was exhausting. I particularly hate that guy that kept running after Zi0 (and won’t freaking die!!). When Zi0 asked, “What do you want?” He said:

I don’t know. If you do this job for a long time, you just do it without knowing why.”

episode 12, Guy with a bad hand tells Zi0


WTF!! Exactly why half of the time I was so confused and I didn’t care if he dies. Or even when Yoona wanted his freedom and she got killed by Zi0. I felt zero ounce of pity for Yoona or this guy. Coz he was so wrong yet acted like he was right to kill Zi0.

From the very start I thought the best possible ending was to kill off Zi0 and put everything back in its place. But the ending actually made sense for a scifi drama. Scary if it happens in real life though. and haha, after the cult church, deputy kim, detective, etc fighting over Zi0, the crazy scientist won because not only did he get Zi0 on his side, even the government and his research finally paid off! Just like what Deputy Kim told the scientist, “You have ambition, but you don’t have greed.” That’s probably why he survived and thrives.

Actually have nothing else good to say about this drama. Felt like i have been watching this for far too long even though it was only for 12 episodes and i fast forwarded a lot of the scenes.

Too bad. Coz I was really excited when this drama first came out!

Rating: 6/10

Posted in kdrama

My Holo Love (2020)

My_Holo_Love-P1
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Drama: My Holo Love (나 홀로 그대)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 12
Release Date: February 7, 2020
Plot:
So Yeon is a woman who has problems recognizing faces, thus is lonely and keeps distance from others. By chance, she finds the unique HoloGlass and meets Holo. Holo’s owner, Ko Nando tries to retrieve Holo but ends up letting So Yeon become a beta tester and moves in next door. Soon, So Yeon is torn between Holo and Nando. Can you really love an AI or is it better to love a human?
Main Cast:
Yoon Hyun Min – Holo / Ko Nando
Go Sung Hee – So Yeon
Choi Yeo Jin – Ko Yoo Jin
Chansung – Chan Sung
Review:
The whole premise reminded me of I’m not a Robot where there’s a love triangle between 2 humans and AI. of course we all know how it will all end up because it’s really not possible and realistic for a human to choose AI over a fellow human, but it’s the journey of how they get there is what interests me. I loved the first couple of episodes of My Holo Love, it was both exciting and at the same time emtional to see Nando, So Yeon and Holo interacting. But the middle part of the drama got too boring and dragging that i was almost itching to fast forward the episodes to the end. I really wanted to see how the story ends and I read various reviews that the ending was worth it. And I’m glad I stuck to this drama becausee indeed, the last 2-3 episodes saved this drama from being bad.

I think the best character is Holo. he was so much fun to be with and sweet and smart. There was a time i thought, you know what, I wish I had my own Holo. He was a little creepy though because he is everywhere, sometimes even when So Yeon hasn’t worn her glasses. and he also gets terrifying when he unleashes is power. Something i learned from the show was being surprised that AI can learn how to feel, and care like a human. It’s a sad and scary thing because lonely people like So Yeon may really start depending on AI instead of humans for affection and you realize how much power machines can be, especially when it is used in the wrong way. I didn’t expect the ending, but it made sense that he has to “die”.

I also liked Nando, he may look and seem cold and distant, but he is really a sweetheart, and i think that is why Holo is like that. He projected his true nature through Holo. So in a way, So Yeon may have fallen in love with Holo, but it is somehow falling in love with Nando too, although not directly. I think my only complain about Nando is that he got the noble idiocy thing in the middle part of the show, which was annoying. I just wanted him to get the girl.

I have mixed feelings for So Yeon. I liked her at the start but then as she starting relying on Holo and crying when he was gone, I felt that she was either pathetic or sad. Does she she have no friends and no life that she clings on to AI and even fall in love with him? What is wrong with her? But then looking back, she had a tragic past and traumatic event that kept her from opening up to others and being herself. Then I started understanding her actions and feelings. I’m happy that she got over her trauma. I think the lesson learned here is that nothing beats human companionship. We really need to open our hearts and we will see how wonderful life can be to have great support from friends and family.

The childhood friends trope was something I thought was overdone, but this plot actually tied up/connected the 2 leads with one another and added a mystery/twist to the show. I think this is the one that stood out and saved the ending.

I have seen Chansung in 3 dramas and he always plays this lazy or arrogant guy but ends up being nice. I think it’s his face. his face looks like someone who can be a jerk. I knew from the start that he is going to be bad but i also can’t help but feel bad for him. he is scared of his grandpa and is forced to do things he doesn’t want to. Speaking of the grandpa, this is one person i felt was badly written. he is too evil and we dont even know his motivation other than wanting power (and why?). His actions like murder just didn’t make sense. While i cheered that Chansung finally got the balls to fight back and break grandpa’s formidable cane (i was itching to grab his cane and break it too), the whole scene was laughable because all it took was breaking his cane before he was defeated.

Of course, the ending was beautiful, with everyone having their happy ever after. I think overall, this was a quick and light show to watch at 12 episodes.

Rating: 7/10

Posted in kdrama

I’m Not a Robot (2018)

 

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Drama: I’m Not a Robot (로봇이 아니야)
Network: MBC
Episodes: 32
Release Date: December 6, 2017 – January 25, 2018
Runtime: Wednesdays & Thursdays 22:00 (35 minutes each / 2 episodes per day)

Plot
A girl (Ji-a) pretends to be a robot (Aji-3) as a favor to her ex-boyfriend scientist (Baek Gyun) who is trying to get a rich guy Min Kyu to invest in his AI. The guy happens to have a rare allergy with human contact due to his tragic past and has no friends. Through his daily interactions with Aji-3, he is cured of his allergy and falls in love. But what happens when he finds out that Aji-3 is really Ji-a? Will he forgive her?

Cast
Yoo Seung Ho – Kim Min Kyu
Chae Soo Bin – Cho Ji-a / Aji-3
Uhm Ki Joon – Hong Baek Gyun
Park Se Wan – Pi
Song Jae Ryong – Hoktal
Kim Min Kyu – Ssanip
Kang Ki Young – Hwang Yoocheol
Hwang Seung Un – Ye Ri-el

Review
What a wonderful and heartwarming drama! I can’t believe I almost didn’t watch this one, just because i didn’t like Yoo Seung Ho. I never watched his dramas but i look at him and feel that his dramas are boring. lol. I’m regretting it now. He is a fantastic actor!

Favorite character / favorite couple – Min Kyu and Ji-a. I like them when they are together more than their individual characters. They are just so perfect and so in-sync with each other’s thoughts and feelings. and i love that Ji-a met someone who can totally understand and appreciate her quirky inventions and Min kyu found someone who he can trust and let his guard down.

Favorite scene – those 2 heartbreaking scenes where Minkyu was ranting to Jia and she just took all the hurt and pain and cried. I was crying for both of them coz you can really feel how much hurt they caused and how much they still love each other despite everything that has happened. Likewise, the next episode where they went to that mountain to catch the comet. another amazing scene that had me crying buckets of tears.

Favorite bromance /team – The whole Santa Maria squad. Well, Baek gyun is a bit frustrating at time because he seems so insensitive but i love that he cares for Min Kyu like a brother. Pi was always this grumpy girl but i love that she is so smart and so caring of Baek gyun. Ssanip and Hoktal were too funny. I love Ssanip’s random english lines, it just made him funnier. the unexpected romance between Hoktal and Seonhye was too cute.

I didn’t exactly like Jin Bae – he was so mean to Ji-a and he just looks too bland as Minkyu’s right hand man. I’m not even sure what he did that’s so amazing that Min Kyu had to beg for him to stay and he even got a huge promotion. But at least we get to finally see him acknowledge her sister’s talents at the end.

My favorite cute daughter is back! the kid actress is just so cute in every scene /drama she’s in. the two guys in black coats were such a pain all throughout the show, i can’t believe they were actually useful in the end.

I didn’t really like the whole KM financial story – i hated the two fathers, i think the worse one is Ri-el’s father who i thought was nice but was actually the traitor – at least Yoocheol’s father had the guts to fight Minkyu to his face and not be sneaky. I am so glad that the second generation (Min Kyu, Yoo cheol and Ri-el) are way better than their parents and I am so sure that together they will take KM Financial even higher. I am so used to seeing Kang Ki-young as the goofy and funny sidekick so seeing him here wearing a pained expression almost every scene was a bit odd for me. I like him more as the funny best friend, but he wasn’t bad here – he redeemed himself at the end.

The most worthless character is the doctor!! seriously, after 15 years he wasn’t able to cure Min kyu – he knows it’s partly psychological yet he did not ask Min kyu to see a psychiatrist. and the treatments and advice were so wrong! Dont tell Minkyu or he’ll die.. go on lying to him. Omg. Minkyu should sue him for being so useless.

Underrated character – the groundskeeper – Butler Sung. he stood as the somewhat father figure to Minkyu and did not leave him.

Seonhye – she’s a kickass best friend to Ji-a and love her style and her advices.

finally Ji-a / Aji-3 what can i say? Chae Soo bin did a great job portraying the 2 characters. She looks so cute as a robot and so pretty as Ji-a. I think Ji-a has been misunderstood because of her inventions and for not having a real job, but not everyone has to have a career. Tehre are some people who are just better as entrepreneurs or as artists and I commend them for their effort and hard work. the heart ball seemed too odd for an invention (like if i saw it in Kickstarter would i have bought it?) and yet it totally made sense when she explained it. and i super loved how they used that in conveying how much Minkyu missed Jia and it became their signal. and that umbrella — where can i buy that?? it was just too ingenious!

Add the amazing soundtrack – this was a winning drama for me.

Note: last night i even dreamed about being a robot too! hahaha! that’s how much it impacted me!