Freitag, 27. November 2015

One Sunny Day

좋은 날 (One Sunny Day, literally: A Good Day) is a Korean mini drama series broadcasted through the Line TV App aimed at a Thai audience from December 19th to December 30th 2014. It consists of 10 episodes with a duration between 10 and 14 minutes.

Story: The story evolves about Kim Ji-ho who travelled to Jeju Island because of finding a location for a festival his company is organizing. He meets a woman who's name is kept secret until the end of the drama. While spending their time on Jeju together, they fall in love with each other. Meeting again in Seoul, things become a little more complicated.

Cast: We have So Ji-sub in this drama as the male lead character Kim Ji-ho. I openly admit that I'm more into his badass roles but then again he's doing an awesome job in this cute mini series. The female lead role is played by Kim Ji-won whom I didn't quite like when I first saw her in a drama and you can hate me for this but I really liked her in this series, she just fits the cute girl somehow. What really confused me was the existing chemistry between the two leads though they have an age gap of 15 years. Now I'm not a person to really care about age that much but I think it's still surprising.
Other actors in this drama include Im Joo-eun as Kim Ji-ho's ex-girlfriend, Lee Jong-hyuk as Young-ho and Lee Jong-hyun of CNBLUE as.. well, the couple guy. We never get to know his name.

Soundtrack: There's basically one song by GgotJam Project called "Everyday" on the OST and it perfectly works with the cute love story and the beautiful scenery. Don't believe me? I admit that it's not one of the most memorable tracks. It definitely isn't. But it's a nice indie-folk-ballad song one might love listening to in spring.

So after all, my rating turns out to be a 8.5/10 because it is cute, has a beautiful scenery, is light-hearted without too many annoying misunderstandings - but it's simply too short for character development. It's basically the length of a movie. But then again, regarding the fact Line TV aired it and it's an app, it's not really surprising. A must-watch for fans of So Ji-sub and Kim Ji-won. If you're here for other actors, it's not really what you're looking for since the others rarely have any screentime.

Freitag, 20. November 2015

Chilsu and Mansu

칠수와 만수 (Chil-su and Man-su) is a Korean movie released in 1988 that is remembered to be a step towards freedom of the Korean film industry.

Just giving you a side note.. I didn't plan to watch this movie. Like not at all. But we've watched it in our Korean culture class so I thought writing a review wasn't that bad.

Story: Chil-su falls in love with Jin-a what makes him very excited about all the changes he's experiencing, inside and outside, after the democratization in Korea and finding out about those feelings. But things are not what they seem to be, there are many lies between the characters. They're also broke all the time, especially Chil-su and Man-su, while on the other hand many people experience the benefits of the economical and political changes.
While both characters experience difficulties due to their family and the circumstances they're in, they end up frustrated. As a result, they climb up to their just-completed billboard and vent their frustration at the "rich bastards" in downtown Seoul.

Cast: Park Jung-hun as Chil-su, Ahn Sung-ki as Man-su and Bae Jong-ok as Jin-a. Now I wish I could tell you a lot about their acting but I can't. I've watched this movie like last week and still can't remember.

As a rating in total I'd give a 6.5/10. The scenes I remember were alright. Some were funny, others dramatic. Thing is that I tend to end up bored by old movies most of the time. Especially when those are about social changes I've never experienced.
But then again I admit that I was sometimes online with my phone and sometimes just half asleep (the second wasn't the movies fault, at least not 100%. I think more like 50%, mixed up with me being tired as hell).
A recommendation? No. Only if you're interested in Korean cinema and the history of Korean movies. Though the movie wasn't a huge hit and still isn't one of the best movies at all, I honestly think that it shows signs of a huge social change if you know Korea's history and pay attention to what is said, there are loads of hints given.

Freitag, 13. November 2015

Wonderful Days

참 좋은 시절 (Wonderful Days) is a South Korean drama series that was aired from February 22nd to August 10th 2014 on KBS2 and consists of 50 episodes.

Story: Kang Dong-seok comes back to Gyeongju after studying and working in Seoul for 15 years. Back in his hometown, he finds himself confronted with issues of a messed up family with his siblings, their children, their relationships - and his own past with his ex-girlfriend Cha Hae-won and her family.

Cast: Even if I wanted to - I just cannot list all the actors that took part in this series, even listing the family around Kang Dong-seok alone would be too much since I have a limited number of tags and don't want to write 20 pages only about the family.
There are good actors in this series though sometimes the emotions weren't perfectly shown but still good.
At first we have Lee Seo-jin as Kang Dong-seok who's in the center of this whole mess. A prosecutor as cold as the Syberian winter. If I remember right. Kim Hee-sun appears as Cha Hae-won whom I clearly preferred in the beginning but then again it might be just me having a thing for strong women.
The reason why I even stumbled upon this series is definitely Ok Taec-yeon as Kang Dong-hui, and I honestly consider him not bad at acting. Like not bad at all though people are always criticizing idols.. I'm looking forward to see more series with him though (and still have at least one on my list).
Lee Elijah appears as Kim Ma-ri in this drama, and while one might think that her character isn't important at all.. One shouldn't underestimate her.
Once again I've been watching a drama with Ryu Seung-soo (accidentally), this time as Kang Dong-tak, Dong-seok's older brother. I start to really enjoy his acting though his characters always seem to be the less serious characters that make you laugh though their actually in a sad situation. Jin Kyung joins him as Kang Hae-ju, Hae-won's older sister, in this drama. While their relationship is completely weird in the beginning, it gets better and better.
The last actors I need to mention are Kim Sang-ho as Kang Ssang-shik, Park Bo-gum as young Kang Dong-seok and Choi Woong as Dr. Min Woo-jin. Now why did I have to add this mix of actors? Mainly because I know that I did watch/will watch another drama with them in the cast, or because it's pretty much likely I would watch a drama for their acting only, and that's perfectly fine!

Soundtrack: The soundtrack has cute instrumentals but rarely anything memorable. Even now, 10 minutes after finishing the last episode, I just can't remember anything about the soundtrack either. And I've been watching the whole drama in two weeks! But let's say there wasn't anything too bad either, otherwise I'd definitely remember the bad parts.

I gave this drama a 6.5/10 and this is of course only my opinion! While to me, the most interesting part of the story is over around Ep. 25, they introduced a 'father' I came to dislike for various personal reasons - let's just say he really pissed me off because he reminds me so much of someone I know - and I did skip a lot. The story is slow and focussed on the character development but sometimes, just sometimes, a rather fast-paced story would've made sense.  And while I did like the character development in the beginning, the harder it was in the end to watch one episode dealing with family issues after another.
And 50 episodes definitely aren't a quota the story can keep up unless you're really into family stuff and slow character development. I have seen worse dramas though and expected worse just because of the number of episodes.
Rewatch value.. no, 50 episodes is too much, but I'll definitely rewatch some scenes. That's enough.

Freitag, 6. November 2015

25 Favorite K-Drama OST Songs

Now as a huge fan of music, especially Korean music, it actually has an influence on me liking or disliking certain parts of a drama. The music, especially the songs sung by other artists than the actors themselves can be either annoying or pretty awesome, they can destroy the feeling of a certain part - or they can actually make you feel what's going on better.
Those songs I'll share by now aren't directly related to the way they were used in dramas - at least not all of them since I didn't watch all of their dramas yet - but they still make up a list of my favorite Korean drama OST songs.

25. Mamamoo - Love Lane
I did watch Marriage, not Dating before and I came to enjoy this drama itself a lot, partly because of this song that has a somewhat cute and bubbly feeling to it. Now after some time I found myself humming the melody, especially on sunny days in spring which actually shows how good I found this song.

24. Roy Kim - Pinocchio (피노키오)
This song is included in the OST of the drama of the same name, Pinocchio, staring Park Shin-hye and Lee Jong-suk. Now I admit on planning to watch this drama solely because it is well-known and - well, Lee Jong-suk. As someone who's not a huge fan of Park Shin-hye I'm still not too sure whether I should watch this or not. Anyways, this song just hit me harder than I expected it. I really like Roy Kim's albums and this song reaches my heart. I just had to include it in my top 25.

23. Dear Cloud - Liar
As someone who's pretty much into Korean rock and indie music I definitely can't leave out this song. It's included in the OST of the Korean version of Liar Game, a drama I really would love to watch and probably will (maybe before this post is even published). I just happen to like it a lot though it isn't one of the most atmospheric songs I have ever heard.

22. 김준수/ 시아준수/ Kim Junsu/ Xiah - 사랑합니다 (I Love You)
I'm truly sorry for the long title but Junsu is known under many names. And there is one rule: There cannot be enough ballads on his albums. That voice just gives me goosebumps. Reasons why I happen to listen to this song. But then again I prefer listening to this during winter or fall since I prefer more powerful songs during the summer season.

21. Melody Day - Listen to my Heart
This song is included on the Tomorrow's Cantabile OST, a drama I really want to watch as well but usually lack time. Melody Day is a group consisting of really talented vocalists just like Spica and Mamamoo but they mainly perform OST songs and I bet many of you heard of them before. This song managed to make its way into this list because of the beautiful instrumental, the nice voices and the cheerful arrangement - it's not a typical OST ballad but doesn't seem to ruin any kind of atmosphere either (though I admit that I still need to figure out whether it works with the drama or not).

20. Ailee/ 에일리 - 하루하루 (Day by Day)
Now talking about why this song that was included on the Triangle OST appears in this list isn't that complicated. Personally I think that Ailee is by far one of the best female vocalists in the K-Pop industry. As someone who's trying not to get involved with the K-Pop fandom too much anymore I forgot about many artists but Ailee is memorable just for her voice.
To me this song has something like a lighter feeling than most ballads though I'm pretty sure the lyrics are actually rather sad (depending on what you consider as sad). I just happened to like this song more than her earlier OST songs and had to include it on here.

19. Kim Bo Kyung / 김보경 - 가슴을 쳐봐도 (Heart Hit)
Kim Bo Kyung is one of the singers I consider as incredibly overlooked. I admit that back in 2013 this was the first song I've heard by her as it was included on the Two Weeks OST and I found the sorrowful vocals incredibly beautiful and actually fitting the whole drama.

18. JACE - Goodbye
Another song that basically belongs to a drama I haven't watched yet. In this case, the song belongs to the drama 'Spy' that appears on my (pretty long) plan-to-watch list as well. Jace captured my attention right after their debut though not many people noticed them. Their style somehow reminds me of F.T Island and their rock ballads, and Goodbye is no exception but basically my favorite song by Jace so far.

17.배치기 / BaeChiGi - 신기루 (feat. 김보경) (Mirage (feat. Kim Bo Kyung)
Another song that features Kim Bo Kyung on this list! Now I do like BaeChiGi's songs in general, especially when they feature female vocalists. This song is in fact no exception and it was something like Love at first Listen. I just fell for the whistling as well as the guitar sound in the beginning though I didn't even watch Three Days as of now. This song is one of the songs that definitely would make me watch a drama!

16. 하현우/ Ha Hyun Woo (Guckkasten) - I Can't Stop Loving You
Let me explain in a few words why I actually listened to this song that's included on the OST of the drama Blood: Ha Hyun Woo is the vocalist of the Korean indie band Guckkasten. Now I'm definitely not their biggest fan, that's what I openly admit, though Guckkasten are a band I'd love to see live next year. However, I still didn't imagine this song to be this beautiful. I admit that I didn't expect Ha Hyun Woo to sing a song like this one day but I'm glad he did and I'm even more glad that I gave it a shot and listened to it!
Now as many of you might have never heard of him and therefore didn't listen to the song (probably) until now, I'd recommend giving it a shot. I'm still surprised because this is so beautiful.

15. J-Min - 일어나 (Stand Up)
I bet most of you either watched this drama or listened to the OST of To The Beautiful You just because it was a kinda popular in 2012 because of many SM Entertainment artists. J-Min is under SM Entertainment as well as far as I know but one of the far less popular artists who was active in Japan for quite some time. I just found this song pretty awesome and I still find it kind of interesting just by the way it's combining rock and K-Pop up to some point.

14. 나도균 / Na Do Kyun - 그대니까요 (It's You)
Talking about Na Do Kyun, some of you might know him as a member of idol group History. That's how I found out about him and also how I found the male version of this song performed for Love Rain OST! Though it is a simple ballad song the beautiful melody captured my attention and his powerful voice didn't let me go, especially that note at the end of the song got me.

13. 정기고/ JungGiGo - 아까워 (feat. 민우 of 보이프렌드) (Too Good (feat. Minwoo of Boyfriend)
This song belongs to High School: Love On, a drama that seems to be made for a teenage audience. That doesn't mean that it's bad but I didn't watch the drama yet and don't know if the story might be too typical for a K-Drama. Anyways, I like Boyfriend and I'm a fan of JungGiGo so no one should be surprised this song appears on here.

12. 예성/ Yesung - 먹지 (Gray Paper)
Now this song appearing on here actually is a huge surprise to those who know how much I actually dislike SM Entertainment and how I actually don't care about their artists at all. But then again, it's Yesung! He's the king of OST's, I basically fell hard for his voice and this song is no joke, I kept playing it on repeat for hours just because I liked it so much. I still do though I prefer listening to it during the cold season.
To be honest this song was also one of the things that made a melodrama watchable to me. That Winter, The Wind Blows definitely isn't one of the strongest dramas ever just judging by the story but this song makes some scenes 10 times better.

11. M to M - 안녕 정말 안녕 (Goodbye Really Goodbye)
This song in fact is a diamond I found while watching Lie to Me, a drama I didn't really like but I'm glad this song appeared in it. It's such a beautiful song that actually made me feel something. Compared to the whole series this song kept me going, I've been hoping to hear it more often.


10. MC Sniper - Danger (feat. 리누 (Lee Nu) & 김서현 (Kim Seohyun))
Another song I got to know because of the drama, in this case Vampire Prosecutor 2, a series I just came to like for it's incredibly dark atmosphere and the awesome action scenes as you can read in the review. I happened to love the combination of rap and the (for rap songs) not so typical music combined with the powerful action scenes, and even without the drama this song is quite addicting and you find your self singing along - at least I did.


09. 정준영/ Jung Joon Young - 같은 자리 (Same Place)
Another song on this list that probably wouldn't have been as good as it is if it was sung by someone else. Jung Joon Young is an awesome singer with this awesome rockish feel right when he starts singing. I've been listening to his two solo mini albums for a long time and still love the rock ballads - songs he could sing anytime and I'd still love them.
This song from the OST of Modern Farmer is definitely no exception though I honestly think the fact that Jung Joon Young sang it makes me love it even more than the song itself performed by another singer would be able to.

08. 악동뮤지션/ Akdong Musician - I Love You
This song is the ultimate cute song for those of you who are in love! While I do enjoy listening to it in spring a lot more than during the cold season, the song, included on the OST of All About My Romance, is cute enough to make me smile anytime. And I can definitely tell you that this is 99% about the song since I am not a huge fan of Akdong Musician but still fell for this song and the lovey-dovey feelings it's giving me.


07. NOXX - All For One (feat. 딘딘)
I honestly don't expect anyone to know about NOXX. I mean, they're a rock band. They're not an idol band. And as far as I know they've only released two digital singles so far, as well as this song for the Three Musketeers OST. Without watching the drama I basically listened to this because of the awesome rock band I enjoy listening to, and this song is definitely worth listening so check it out if you haven't done that already!


06. 트리탑스/ Tritops - 내가 미쳤지 (I was Crazy)
Tritops are another band I don't expect you to know. They're a ballad group that debuted quite some time ago but they're not that active. But those voices actually can melt your heart. This song recorded for the Golden Cross OST is one of my favorite songs by this group so it's not surprising I had to include it in here. I highly recommend everyone checking out Tritops' songs and covers on Youtube, maybe starting off with this track is a good idea though.


05. 김윤아/ Kim Yoon Ah (Jaurim) - 자각몽 (feat. 올티) (Lucid Dream (feat. OLLTII)
I feel like there have been quite a lot of rather unknown artists included on here.. and this woman is not an exception. Kim Yoon Ah, the vocalist of Jaurim, performed an awesome song with rapper OLLTII for the Missing Noir M OST. While it's kind of rare for OCN series to even have an OST consisting of two songs, this is the only song that appears in this brilliant series and I've been listening to it quite often because I actually really like the combination of Kim Yoon Ah's unique vocals (her voice has a different sound to it) and OLTTII's rap. Also, the way this song supports the atmosphere of the drama definitely makes it one of my favorite OST songs not only in 2015 but forever.

04. 성준/ Sung Joon - Wake Up
Going back to the more popular artists now I've included a song performed by actor Sung Joon. While I do respect the tall handsome guy as an actor the first drama I've seen him in was actually Shut Up: Flower Boy Band which I didn't only love for the cast and the music itself but also the fact that it's about a rock band! While I was surprised how nice Sung Joon's voice actually was I couldn't help but make this song one of my favorites as well.

03. B2ST/ BEAST - Black Paradise
As some of you might know, IRIS 2 is still included on the list of my favorite dramas though it's slowly losing it's position because of too many awesome OCN series. To be honest I don't understand why so many people seem to hate this series - I can only guess that this second season isn't for the romance lovers but for those who enjoy action. Anyways, this song performed by B2ST still gives me goosebumps. While I do listen to B2ST and actually enjoy a lot of their other songs as well, Black Paradise happens to be the most played track by B2ST on my playlist. How that works.. I can't tell you. I love the music and the beat, Yoseob's angelic voice and Junhyung's rap as well as the atmosphere they deliver with this song. I never get sick of listening to it.


02. 김범/ Kim Bum - 지금 만나러 갑니다 (I'm Going to Meet You Now)
Before explaining anything else: I wasn't too sure whether this song actually qualifies to be on this list or not. Because it's included on the F4 Special Edition and not the regular edition of the OST for Boys Over Flowers. I decided to put it on here though because the F4 Special Edition in fact belongs to the OST as well.
When I've been listening to this song as well as Kim Bum's voice for the first time I fell head over heels. I love the rather weak but fitting vocals, and I love how this song made me want to cry just because I find it to be incredibly beautiful. That's why it was my #1 for about two years. I've been playing this song roughly 1500 times in total, maybe even close to 2000 nowadays. Just to give you a hint how much I love it.


And now, ladies and gentlemen - the No.1!

01. Nell - Run
If you've been reading this entry carefully enough you might have noticed that I love rock and indie artists. I just do, there's nothing to be done about it and I actually don't even want to change it. Now I openly admit that when I've been watching Two Weeks I didn't listen to Nell regularly. Neither did I really care, I just happened to like the song. However, around January 2015 I figured out that this song is pretty much the most awesome and beautiful thing ever and I seriously can't get over the fact that I needed to start listening to Nell again after two years to realize how great they are - and how awesome this song is! 
Whenever I listen to it I have a movie playing in my head. It's hard to put it into words but it's about action, it's about danger and in fact people who are trying to survive not only for themselves but for the sake of living not only for oneself but for the people around you who need you as well. Definitely one of my most played songs since January, and I'll probably never stop listening to this again.


To all of you who managed to get here - thanks for reading this whole entry!
I know that many people won't agree with my choices, and that's perfectly fine since this ranking is based solely on my opinion but I would be glad if you would at least check out some songs you've never heard about. That's the reason why I actually decided to post this~

Also, I'm curious what your choices might be so leave me comments or feel free to discuss with me on Twitter (@gerreaflower) or on MyDramaList as I really would like to get to know about others choices, especially the songs by not-so-popular artists.