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25

I have another blog, dramadreamer

Kdrama, Movie

In the Grayscale Movie - Fer's facepalm

Hello everyone,

The struggle of blogging is real. Anyone who reads my articles is probably sick of hearing me complain :p

Anyway, my journey to make this blogging thing work for me continues after two years plus of blogging and coming so close to rage quitting multiple times.

0

Poetry (2010) Korean Movie Review

Kdrama, Korean movie, Movie

Poetry Korean Movie Banner

Title: Poetry
Genre: Drama, Art House
Directed by: Lee Chang Dong

*Please note, this movie is for mature audiences. The subject matter can be disturbing and is not recommended for a young audience. The review however will not go into such details in depth, but may briefly go over some of the topics discussed.

Quick Synopsis

Yang Mija (played by Yoon Jeong Hee) is a woman in her 60’s who is raising her grandson, struggling to get by with only a part-time job as a maid. She joins a poetry class and really wishes to write a poem, but her situation gets more complicated as some details of a girl’s suicide get revealed. Oh… and she finds out she’s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

Not what I expected

Poetry film screencap

Do you ever watch a movie, and to your surprise it’s not at all what you expected? That’s a kind of how I felt when I watched Poetry.

Poetry, as a heads up, was really surprising. It went in places I didn’t expect it to go and often made me feel uneasy. This is part of what makes it so brilliant.

I knew the movie would be profound and introspective, but I wasn’t prepared for it being so raw and frequently uncomfortable. What I loved the most about the movie was our lead actress, Yoon Jeong Hee. Her character was unique, profound, refreshing, realistic and magnetic.

This isn’t a movie to watch because there’s a cool oppa, a hot ahjussi, a lovely agassi or pretty noona.

There’s a very good reason this film won best screenplay at the 2010 Cannes Festival.

I guess I expected a sad drama, but one that was uplifting none the less. This wasn’t what I anticipated, it wasn’t really uplifting or encouraging, but it was exceedingly introspective.

The Frustrations

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There’s so much that is out of our heroine’s control. She’s suffering from Alzheimer’s, and there’s nothing she can do about it. As her memories are fading, she’s having to deal with her troubled, mess of a grandson who shows a lack of respect.

I found the movie quite disturbing and difficult to swallow in many respects. It wasn’t until really thinking about it for quite some time after having watched it that I could begin to really appreciate it. A lot of the made me squirmish hitting areas of my brain with zaps of unease, and I’m usually extremely open to watching some bizarre things.

The movie is slow paced. It’s meant to really have you experience her situations through the way she sees and interprets it.

Bedroom scene? Wait, what?

Poetry film screencap washing

So the irony was, I picked this movie to watch something other than a romance for a change. It’s not a romantic story by any means, but there was some very shocking, and unforeseen, revealing scenes.

The Acting

poetry-1

It’s amazing to me that this was Yoon Jeong Hee’s return to the screen after a 14 year hiatus. Her acting was flawless. It was like she wasn’t acting at all, but just a sweet little old lady that stumbled upon a screen and was living through emotions and searching her soul for poetic justice.

She’s an introvert. Even though she can seem quite outgoing and friendly in many ways, she’s someone who internalizes a lot of her thoughts. That seems to be part of the struggle for her to put her reflection into words in the form of a poem. I can really relate to this. We feel our emotions, but to put everything together the way we want  can be quite a challenge.

I think if you can handle a re-watch of this kind of movie it would be beneficial. I feel like I missed  a lot of nuances and probably misinterpreted some scenes.

It’s not a movie I would openly recommend. I would only recommend it to independent film lovers, who appreciate the message in a movie rather than the entertainment aspect. Also, if you do watch it, be ready to feel very uncomfortable. I came really close to shutting the movie off; not because the movie wasn’t good, but because the director was pushing me to my limit in terms of comfort zone. I have to commend him for that. That doesn’t usually happen to me.

Movie Interpretation

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The way I see this movie is this; Yoon Jeong Hee feels torn and lost. She feels things deeply due to her empathy towards others, and that could be part of the reason that she is drawn to poetry to begin with. She loves her grandson, but every fiber of the body rejects his actions (not him as a person but his actions) and this makes her truly grieve. As she tries to deal with the unfolded events, she tries to really gather in her surroundings. Without even realizing it, she starts experiencing and understanding things through the eyes of the victim. I believe the poem reveals her heart, but at the same time it captures the feelings of the girl who passed away.

There’s no real resolution in this movie. There’s no magic answer of “Oh, well, if you look at life this way instead of that way everything will be better” It’s more that, in her journey of dealing with situations, she managed to capture the emotion of it, and in that there’s some liberation.

Closing Thoughts

Poetry film screencap of leading actress

I would recommend this movie to Art House lovers, and those that like to heavily dissect slow paced, introspective movies. There’s a lot of brilliance in this movie.. but I equate it to a disturbing painting. It will cause you to feel things that perhaps you don’t want to feel; but in that it may open your mind to seeing things from a different perspective.

Quick Rating:

Rating after watching: 3.7/5

kdrama Quick review rating

After further reflection: 4.3/5

kdrama Quick review rating

 

11

Super Quick Movie and Kdrama Reviews

Japanese Movie, Kdrama, Korean movie, Movie

kdramadreamer-quick-movie-reviews

I watch more than I review these days. I must do my blog justice and give you all a peek into my drama mind.

I’m listing all the dramas and movies I’ve watched since January that I haven’t reviewed and will give you a very brief rundown on my thoughts. Perhaps at some point I’ll elaborate more on a few of these dramas. You’ll be able to tell that I’ve gone through a Jang Keun Suk phase. I pretty much watched him in everything I could fined with a couple exceptions.

Without further ado, here’s a quick rundown on what I’ve been watching.

6

A Company Man Quick Review

Korean movie, Movie, So Ji Sub

a-company-man

I watched A Company Man a little while ago and I wasn’t sure what to write about it. What I really like about this movie was the main character himself, Ji Hyung-Do. He’s a brutal killer, who’s good at what he does. Well, that’s an understatement; he’s great at it. It’s his job, and he is a great “worker” so to speak and highly revered.

0

Sophie’s Revenge – Quick Movie Review

Movie, Romance, So Ji Sub

sophies-revenge

Revenge movies can be quite predictable but fun and lighthearted. I was in the mood for something simple and funny, so I thought this might be the right choice.

There were some aspects of this movie that weren’t bad. It wasn’t fantastic, but the love story was cute enough and the interaction Sophie (Zhang Ziyi) had with her ex Jeff (So Ji-Sub).

7

Austenland – A Delightful, Hilarious Submersion into the World of Jane Austen: Movie and Book Review

Movie, Period Movies, Romance

austenland

I’m going to let you all in on a little secret (an embarrassing secret). For the last two weeks I’ve developed a new (teeny-tiny obsession) I will name Austenland. It started with boredom. I wanted to watch a movie. Something, cute, sweet, simple and in which didn’t require to much thinking. Then I stumbled upon Austenland.

It’s adorable, tender and simply put, absolutely ridiculous (insert British accent here). I’m not going to claim that it’s a masterpiece, but rather it fulfilled my desire for a little bit of romance, a splash of over-the-top comedy, some sexy British accents and total submersion into the very prim and proper regency era.

So what’s it about? I’ll start by strictly referring to the movie, and will afterwards mention the book (which I have also read and enjoying immensely).

austenland

Quick Synopsis

Jane (played by Keri Russell) is obsessed with Jane Austen’s novels, or more specifically speaking, she is obsessed with Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. Even more specific than that, the obsession really stems down to Colin Firth’s portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the 1995 Mini Series, Pride and Prejudice. Jane is in her 30’s and is stuck with this fantasy of Mr. Darcy. As a result, she has had many failed relationships and finds herself longing for that perfect, happily-ever-after romance. She decides to spends her life savings on Austenland, a truly Austen Experience where the Regency Era comes to life through costume and the rules of etiquette and society at the time. There is promise of romance, and the whole ordeal ends with a ball. There are, of course, paid actors in the mix that are there to please the guests, and make their fantasies become reality. So off Jane goes to Austenland, but the lines between fiction and reality become very blurred as she tries to sort the two.

So what I loved about the Movie

The Soundtrack

The Soundtrack to this movie is really cute, sweet, and fits perfectly with the film. Some of the moments where the music comes in, really adds to the scene. I liked it so much, I bought the soundtrack (I really am becoming more and more like Jane).

Jane

austenland

Alright, I see quite a bit of myself in Jane. When I like something, I really like it to the point of borderline obsession. I mean, come on, let’s be honest, this blog is littered with obsession, whether it be Korean Drama reviews, actors or movies. If I had the opportunity to experience something like Austenland, I would probably jump at the chance. Perhaps not specifically an Austen Experience, but to cosplay a character I love from something I’ve watched, and live the experience myself, that is very tempting.

The Love Triangle

Austenland

What is a good Rom Com without a love triangle? This one is especially alluring because both men are attractive and charming in their own sort of way. Also, as viewer, I felt the same way Jane did, unable to decipher fiction from reality. This kept me guessing who she would end up with.

Mr. Nobley

austenland

Alright – Breathe. Mr. Nobley (played by JJ Feild) is the equivalent to Mr. Darcy. He has the same temperament and personality traits. But he’s an actor. Where is the line drawn between actor and person? Jane and Nobley have some deliciously tense banter similar to Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. They are constantly challenging each other.

Mixed in with Nobley’s insufferable personally, is a very considerate gentleman with a cute, half-turned sincere smile and eyes intensely always watching Jane. He is mysterious, handsome and yummy, if I dare say.

A few of my favorite moments

Without giving out the movies outcome, I want to highlight a few moments in the movie I thought were really great.

Mr. Nobley comes to Jane’s rescue in the rain

austenland

Okay, I think this might seriously be my favorite moment in the entire movie. She’s stranded in the rain, and here he comes like a Knight in Shining Armor. He rips apart her dress so she can properly ride the horse, scoots her forward and off they go. The whole scene is very scrumptious. The end of the scene is pretty hilarious as she walks away with her britches exposed.

austenland

Jane and Martin and their daytime date

austenland

Martin (played by Brett McKenzie) makes Jane feel normal in this fabricated Jane Austen world. They spend the day together, laughing, enjoying each other’s company and kissing. He may not be Mr. Darcy, but he feels real. He’s also funny and charming in a rugged way with a very sexy accent.

austenlandaustenland

Jane Decides to step up her game and seize her own destiny

austenland

So Jane sort of got gypped with the whole vacation. She finds out she bought the cheapest package and is treated like lower class. She decides to take control of the situation and not let this keep her down or stop her chances of finding love.

austenlandaustenlandaustenland

Mr. Nobley and Jane in the garden

austenland

Jane and Nobley have a little chat about what is enjoyable in Austenland. Nr. Nobley grabs Jane’s sketch book and finds out that most of her drawings are of him and his stern face. They have very awkward conversation where Nobley pries a little bit into Jane’s possible feelings.

austenland

Final thoughts on the movie

I really like it but it does have some flaws and a few awkward delivery of lines. But, it was really funny and heartwarming. A feel-good, light and fluffy romance.

Movie Review Rating 4/5 (maybe 3/5 for the skeptical)

Now, onto the Book Austenland by Shannon Hale

austenland book

I do recommend this book. I purchased this book after having first watched the movie. It’s a short and easy read. Some of the best lines from the book were kept in the movie version. There were a couple of great scenes, however, that didn’t make the final cut of the movie. The characters are pretty much the same with one main difference with Mr. Nobley, but it doesn’t in any way change his personality or the way he is portrayed. In the book, Jane seems to be more embarrassed of her obsession. She really doesn’t want to admit it, or for anyone to know about it. It seems to be a big shame she is carrying. The book is well written, difficult to put down, and easy to put yourself in the heroine shoes.

Book Review 4/5

4

Peking Restaurant (1999) Movie Review

Korean movie, Movie

peking-restaurant5

I decided to watch the 1999 movie, The Great Chef (Peking Restaurant).

This movie is about a restaurant that is shut down and a young man who has it re-opened to restore it to it’s former glory with it’s legendary Jajang noodles.

What I liked about this movie

peking-restaurant

The Actor, Shin Goo

It has the Grandpa in it from the Kdrama Thank You. I love this actor. He plays the owner. His passion for his jajang is really heart warming. His acting skills are very strong as they were in Thank You, but I don’t want to elaborate too much because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who chooses to watch this movie.

peking-restaurant2

The Yummy looking Chinese Food

Mmmmmm Chinese food. I love chinese food, and food in general. I liked watching them cook in this movie. It was cool to see how they made they made the Jajang (spicy sauce), because  I really had no idea.

peking-restaurant4

My Criticisms

I found it a little boring to be honest. I don’t really know why. Maybe because there wasn’t any deep character development. The story was pretty basic. Although, it really wasn’t a bad movie, but not overly exciting either. The best part for me was watching the actor master the dishes and work hard to make the restaurant succesful.

peking-restaurant3

I thought a love story might develop, but nothing ended up happening. I think if they would have pursued that more, that maybe it would have made the movie a little better.

My Rating: 2.5/5

 

25

Watching Innocent Thing (Thorn) with no subtitles – Korean Movie “Pre” Review

Jang Hyuk, Korean movie, Movie, Romance

thorn innocent thing

As some of you may already know, the movie Innocent Thing (also known as Thorn) became available for purchase as of April 30th, 2014. It is not yet available with English subtitles, and may take some time before it is. Me, in my impatience, was plagued by curiosity and sat through the entire movie with no subtitles. No, I cannot understand or speak Korean. I’m getting better, but I won’t claim that me knowing the odd word hear and there means I understand everything. I did however begin my journey in honestly learning to speak Korean and have started seriously following audio lessons. Because I couldn’t understand everything that was said, I cannot with a clear conscience write a full review here now. I do feel I understood the story however, despite the fact and therefore I want to give you a bit of a “pre” review teaser to perk your interest and perhaps get you to give this scrumptious, but somewhat flawed (but not fataly) movie a try.

Thorn12

I must warn you though, this movie has some very explicit sexual scenes and other disturbing scenes. It’s rated R for a reason. Anything that occurred in the movie, stayed true to the story and the characters, but I will not pretend that it will appeal to everyone’s tastes.

Thorn5

People that will enjoy this movie the most in my opinion are

  • Jang Hyuk fans
  • People that love the obscure and twisted
  • Those that don’t mind feeling uncomfortable
  • Viewers that can handle very intimate/provocative scenes
  • Movie watchers that like to dissect/rip apart movies to find meaning but can find the good in imperfection as well as the bad

Now, for some teaser screen caps

Thorn8Thorn9thorn innocent thing kissthorn innocent thing kissThorn4Thorn11Thorn10Thorn6Thorn7

My Pre-subtitle critical rating: 3/5 

My Fangirl Bias rating: 4.8/5

My Jang Hyuk as Joon-Ki rating: 5/5

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