Freitag, 27. Januar 2017

Flower Grandpa Investigation Unit

꽃할배 수사대 (Flower Grandpa Investigation Unit) is a South Korean drama series that aired on tvN from May 9th to July 25th 2014 every Friday and consists of 12 episodes.

Story: Three detectives in their late 20's transform to 70 year old men overnight after getting in contact with a weird liquid. Only the fourth member of the team, Park Jung-woo, doesn't transform into an old man for an unknown reason. While trying to get back their youth and finding an option to become their original age again, the Grandpa unit together with Park Jung-woo and Jung Eun-ji solve crime cases with Lee Joon-hyuk's intellect, Jeon Kang-seok's strength and Han Won-bin's charm.

Cast: For obvious reasons - there are so many people in the cast that it is really difficult to name and rate all of them separately.
Lee Joon-hyuk was portrayed by Lee Soon-jae and Choi Jin-hyuk in the different ages. Personally I think they did show a difference in portraying the character. While Choi Jin-hyuk made Joon-hyuk seem more cold than Lee Soon-jae, they both made him a little bit sarcastic and therefore someone others would hate but I used to like especially for this. The difference in their portrayal doesn't really bother me much since it is something also about the actors and what the audience wants to connect with them.
Byun Hee-bong and Park Min-woo both acted as Kang Won-bin who made this drama hilarious in his own way. Being a flower boy in his first age Park Min-woo portrays the shallow and popular guy very well as a little arrogant and obsessed with his own looks and skin care. Byun Hee-bong did well showing the personal crisis he experienced when Won-bin noticed he got old - wrinkly skin and not the usually perfect hair style was a horrible thing for him. Both actors did well while showing the arrogant and shallow aspects - as well as Won-bin being after pretty much every beautiful female.
In the role of Jeon Kang-seok Jang Kwang and Park Doo-sik both did well. As the character is strong but not really bright he had his own moments to shine and make the audience laugh. The most interesting thing about him was the fact that the character loved A Pink which led to a really cute behavior and a lot of aegyo the actors showed.
Kim Hee-chul of Super Junior is in this drama as Park Jung-woo and I personally think his acting was really good in the emotional parts. He did a very good job in this series and I think I would watch other comedy dramas with him, too.
Lee Cho-hee as Jung Eun-ji was really good, too. Her love for food and her ability to tell smells apart easily seems just a little weird and not really useful for a crime part at first even though it is entertaining but she turns out to be very helpful. As for the acting it was very solid, it somehow worked together even though I wasn't blown away by her acting.
Kim Eung-soo as the leader of the investigation unit Kim Young-chul was very interesting in his grumpy acting while also at some point caring for team members and their safety. The acting was really nice to watch.
And I need to mention Lee Ki-woo as Park Tae-min. I can't help it but I think after The Virus I developed a small weakness for Lee Ki-woo as the intelligent but slightly... crazy doctor or scientist. I think he is doing well in those rather serious roles and I was so happy when I saw him in this drama that I was almost jumping up and down because I got so excited.
Other actors in this drama series include Park Eun-ji as Han Yoo-ra, Kim Byung-se as Choi Jae-wook and Park Hyo-joo as Jun Hae-jin.

Soundtrack: I personally did like the instrumentals in the drama but not so much the songs by K-Pop/K-Indie artists Ladies' Code, Rumble Fish and Sun Woo. It is not a big minus though since I loved the rest of the music.

In total this drama got a 8/10 rating from me. It is a good crime and comedy mix that offers plot twists and a good cast. BUT what leads to this not being perfect is about some aspects that made it too ridiculous to be taken seriously even in a minor way. Sometimes the outcome was obvious while they were still investigating which is a spoiler within itself. Those are some things that did bother me but in the end this drama was still a good, funny and somehow light watch but had his serious moments.
Recommended to fans of comedy and crime in one!

Freitag, 20. Januar 2017

Little Black Dress

마이 블랙 미니드레스 (My Black Mini Dress; Little Black Dress) is a South Korean Movie that was directed by Heo In-moo and released in 2011. It has a running time of 107 minutes.

Story: The movie deals with the friendship, hopes, wishes and failures of four 24 year-olds who just graduated from university.

Yoo-min still doesn't know what she wants to do but ends up working as a supporting writer. Going to the interview in a sports suit because she was told to her new boss sends her off to buy clothes with the credit card given to her and she ends up buying a black mini dress at a luxury department store and accepts the job. However, her job mainly consists of organizing papers or taking care of the main writer's twin sons. She runs into Young-mi one day, a girl she knew from highschool, who also works as a supporting writer.
Hye-ji is a party girl and busy enjoying life to its fullest. One day she is scouted by a talent agency because the manager saw her dancing in a club. Shooting to stardom quickly she experiences her friends' jealousy as well as the problems of sudding stardom.
Soo-jin tried to become an actress but failed and is most jealous of Hye-ji. After failing in many auditions she faked her degree and started to work as a tutor.
Min-hee has rich parents who are going to get divorced. In order to avoid the drama she wants to study abroad but her language skills are not good enough so she wants to get Hye-ji to attend an academy with her.

Cast: Yoon Eun-hye portrays the kinda clueless character of Yoo-min good but it wasn't really an outstanding performance. In certain parts her acting seems a little bit bland.
Park Han-byul as Hye-ji did a good job portraying her character and the problems of the sudden rise to fame as well as the regular fights with Soo-jin. An actress playing in actress - it sounds a bit ironic but the role was played fairly well.

Cha Ye-ryun was best in her role as the jealous and unsuccessful tutor who just wants to become an actress instead of teaching. As mentioned just above the fights with Soo-jin are portrayed well.
Yoo In-na as Min-hee is of course incredibly beautiful but just seems to be the typical, dumb kid born to rich parents. I won't say the acting was bland but it was just ridiculous and unrealistic.

My rating for this movie is a 3.5/10 and it is not only a little bit disappointing.
While it does remind me of Sex and the City in certain ways it is just a pointless movie - what are they trying to say with this? In the very first place, why are the girls still friends? If they are jealous of each other and don't get along what is the reason? Is there a special bond? Why did they even bring in a male character? This movie was somehow funny just because it did not make sense and didn't really have a point or a plot at all.


Freitag, 13. Januar 2017

The Technicians

기술자들 (The Technicians; also known as The Con Artists) is a South Korean movie directed by Kim Hong-sun that was released in 2014 with a running time of 116 minutes.

Story: Lee Ji-hyeok is a safe cracker and counterfeiter - one of the best in his field - and works with Koo-in who introduces him to Park Jong-bae, an elite hacker. Together, the three plan to steal diamonds worth 500.000$. After that Chairman Cho of Chinatown wants them to work with him to steal 150 billion won. But Ji-hyeok and his comrades make their own plans instead which gets them into some trouble..

Cast: Kim Woo-bin as Lee Ji-hyeok was really good in this movie. He played the smart and cocky character so well that I can hardly imagine someone else in this role.
Lee Hyun-woo as Jong-bae was really good, too. He looks so innocent so it was pretty much against the typical cliché but he did well and the role of the youngest of the team who always gets accused of being a traitor somehow worked well for him.
Ko Chang-seok as Koo-in was somehow the naive part of this trio even though he is the oldest and has the most contacts in his field. The acting was really good, especially when getting mad at Ji-hyeok at one point.
Jo Yoon-hee as Oh Eun-ha is the typical helpless female character we all should remember from K-Dramaland I think. There is nothing special and I think her performance was okay but definitely not the strongest.
And I can't leave out Kim Young-chul as Chairman Cho. I recently feel I stumble upon his name way too often and in this movie I think it is one of my favorite roles. He's definitely a good villain and a good actor in my opinion.

8.5/10 was my decision for rating this movie. It is good, definitely on the better side of the scale but some parts of the plot were too obvious - which isn't bad because it is still very strong and has his strong parts. Especially the acting and the characters but also some unique twists make this movie good. Highly recommended!

Freitag, 6. Januar 2017


사이코메트리 (Psychometry; also known as The Gifted Hands) is a South Korean movie with a runtime of 108 minutes that was directed by Kwon Ho-young and released in 2013.

Story: Yang Chun-dong is a rather unsuccessful detective. One day he takes on the case of a missing child but is unable to find her for one month. He is the only one willing to work on it so there is no special task force but alone he is unable to find the girl alive. 30 days later she is found dead at a playground not far from her home. Trying to find the murder Chun-dong remembers an encounter with a young man in an alley. The graffiti painting the men created looks exactly like the playground which of course leads to the man, Kim Jun, as a murder suspect. But since he was suspended, Yang Chun-dong investigates only with the help of Yang Soo. Soon the two know that Kim Jun has a secret but only his highschool classmate Kim Seul-gi can give Chun-dong a hint on what is going on with Jun.

"Psychometry, also known as token-object reading, or psychoscopy, is a form of extrasensory perception characterized by the claimed ability to make relevant associations from an object of unknown history by making physical contact with that object."

When another girl, Yoon Da-hee, disappears, Yang Chun-dong decides to use Jun to find the little girl before she dies.

Cast: So at the very first we have Kim Kang-woo as Yang Chun-dong. I admire this actor in crime series since Missing Noir M and this role is totally different but very well played. The struggle with the past and the determination to find Da-hee while also protecting Jun are portrayed in a way it kept me hoping for the best.
Kim Jun was played by Kim Bum and he is literally my favorite actor since I started watching K-Dramas. So of course I had to watch this movie and he didn't disappoint me at all. His acting involving the psychometry power was a little bit as if he was obsessed - but I have no other idea on how else it could be portrayed so he honestly got even more respect from me now.
Lee Joon-hyuk played Yang Soo and while he personally isn't a very likeable character I think the acting was good, too. It is just that Yang Soo wants money and is responsible for a bad situation Chun-dong is in so that is how Yang Soo gets dragged into this case.
Kim Seul-gi isn't a major character in this series - but I recognized Esom right away and in her very short scenes she also did a solid job but of course as a side character she is not really important and only appears in a few scenes.
And little Da-hee was played by Kim Yoo-bin. She is so cute I was really praying for her safety until the end. It is hard for me to rate her acting but it seemed like children would really behave that way so it was good, too.

This movie. I just hated it on many levels during the last minutes because it was so exciting. I don't quite know why but it has potential to be one of my favorite movies. The supernatural effect, the suspense, the bromance (no, it is not even close to gay and doesn't disturb the movie), the mystery and the thrill - it was a great movie and deserves its rating with 9/10 quite well. I love it and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested either in supernatural or crime or.. both?

Sonntag, 1. Januar 2017

And so a new year has begun...

YES, I'm aware I'm a little bit late but I hope all of you spent a beautiful Christmas festival with your beloved ones. And I also hope everyone arrived in the year 2017 without having too much of a hangover.
This entry is just one I wanted to write to let you know what I'm up to and how I'm planning to continue my blog in the future. Also during 2016 you probably noticed that especially during the end there was a clear shift in favor of Korean movies and dramas which is just the majority of what I watch.
I still intend to write about Japanese, Taiwanese and Chinese dramas and movies when I watch some. But the point is that I moved to Seoul for one year as an exchange student back in February 2016. Therefore I do understand Korean better than Japanese or any language I never even started to learn. And as most of you might be able to think about - I don't write an entry every week. I plan my entries and have them posted every Friday but back in February already I had entries planned until somewhere in August since I knew I probably wouldn't have much time to watch K-drama. And dramas and movies where part of my preparation helping me to improve my listening comprehension as well as learning some terms - things that you just pick up over time.
I can't tell for how long I have entries planned now, maybe until March or April, maybe longer, it depends on how much I can watch and write about until I go back to my home country that doesn't feel like home even a bit now in February. After going back I will most likely start to watch more dramas again when I'm bored but I hope you will forgive me if for a certain amount of time I can't update regularly anymore.
My next semester starts in April 2017, and it is my last semester of my major course. I think I will at least need one more semester for my minor but I hope I can get two out of this, it all depends on my courses, but it most likely will leave me some time even though I have to get a job besides so I can go back to Korea as soon as I can.

Enough of this talk already, I hope I didn't forget anything. I wish all of you a Happy New Year 2017 and may it be better than 2016 - for me 2016 will be difficult to beat but I will give it my all to rock the year 2017 as well.