Freitag, 25. November 2016


리셋 (Reset) is a South Korean drama series that aired 10 episodes on OCN from August 24th to October 26th 2014.

Story: Cha Woo-jin is a prosecutor who lost his first love Seung-hee because she became the victim of a crime. After that he devoted himself to violent crime cases and tends to solve them with the help of a special hypnosis. Being able to get the criminals to tell the full and true story that way his success rate is quite high.
The female high school student Jo Eun-bi becomes involved in one of his cases. She reminds Woo-jin of Seung-hee and he decides to protect her and prove her innocence together with Section Chief Han and Officer Ko.

Cast: Chun Jung-Myung as Cha Woo-jin is a character that is so typical for OCN dramas that I can't do anything but like him a lot. The charismatic strong male lead with good intentions fighting evil while he himself has a dark past he just wants to forget. The acting was really good, he did portray the very rational parts just as good as the parts of the character that were lead by his emotions. Kim So-hyun portrayed both, Jo Eun-bi and Choi Seung-hee, in this drama. As the clear female lead it is somewhat unclear what exactly her relationship is with Cha Woo-jin since they have a good chemistry but a huge age difference that would complicate things and makes me believe that chemistry was intended but not as much as there was.
Park Won-sang as Officer Ko was a good friend to Cha Woo-jin and helped him protecting Eun-bi even when one of his rather illegal secrets was revealed and it almost got him killed. The acting of a character that knew he did wrong but still works for the state and the prosecutors' office impressed me a bit to be honest and he definitely brought the character to life and offered good views to understand him.
Shin Eun-jung as Section Chief Han is a female who doesn't have any children. And the way she starts to interact with Eun-bi after some time makes one feel like they are mother and daughter and in that way they do have a great chemistry in this familiar way. Again as a character with personal issues I think Shin Eun-jung was able to portray her character well.
Song Ha-yoon deserves an honorable mention as Choi Yoon-hee. The younger sister of Seung-hee who fell for Woo-jin and can't let go even though he told her 15 years later that he still couldn't let go of her sister. A tragic and sad story for her but eventually the acting was good, too, so it did not bring anyone down.

Soundtrack: The soundtrack in this one was good but not that outstanding. As usual also there isn't a quite huge OST so that makes things a little more difficult to judge. Anyway, it is not a bad point.

So in total I rated this one as a 9/10. The only things I can criticize are some minor issues for me.
It doesn't really make sense they always go out to investigate alone - which is the reason for most of the dangerous incidents I would say.
The soundtrack was okay but it could've been better. However, it is not really a deal breaker for me.
The last point is the fact that Eun-bi's character changed a little bit too fast in certain aspects. Of course they didn't have much time which is why I'm willing to forgive this but it is something I'm thinking about.
Recommend this to crime and thriller fans who are not too much into ghosts/vampires but can handle people hypnotizing each other.

Freitag, 18. November 2016

Jeon Woo Chi: The Taoist Wizard

전우치 (Jeon Woo Chi) is a South Korean movie directed by Choi Dong-hoon released in 2009.

Story: The movie begins in the Chosun dynasty where a young wizard named Jeon Woo Chi, his friend and helper, three Taoist wizards, a king and evil goblins all are after a prophetic pipe. While trying to get the pipe Jeon Woo Chi becomes framed for a crime he didn't commit and ends up sealed into an ancient scroll.
In 2009 evil goblins start appearing all over Korea again and the retired Taoist wizards are called to help. They release Jeon Woo Chi and his friend and servant from the scroll to help them and save the world. In modern Korea, however, women and sightseeing become far more interesting to Jeon Woo Chi.

Cast: So the main character Jeon Woo Chi was played by Kang Dong-won. I haven't seen him in many works I think but in this one his acting was good - just the character was a little bit ridiculous and weird which is probably not really surprising.
Yoo Hae-jin as Chorangyi, the servant, friend and actual dog of Woo Chi, was hilarious in his own way. The acting was so funny that I really came to like him as a character and the actor itself.
Lim Soo-jung as Seo In-kyung turned out to be one of the less memorable characters. I would love to tell all of you more about the character and the acting but I cannot say much about it. It wasn't bad but not good so more like an average not really outstanding person.
Kim Yun-seok as Hwadam was just the perfect villain to me though. I think I was a little bit scared but it wasn't too bad so I'm still alive.
Other actors in this movie include Baek Yoon-sik, Joo Jin-mo, Kim Sang-ho and Song Young-chang.

After all I can say that a 7.5/10 is not really a bad rating for this movie. Logic aside, it was fun and included impressive martial arts-scenes. On the other hand it really lacked that one thing - logic. Yes, even fantasy usually includes some.
However, for a movie night with about 200 exchange students it is a fun and light watch and nothing too serious.
I recommend it if you're interested in fantasy and martial arts as a short pleasure but nothing more, I don't think it would be more to most people.

Freitag, 11. November 2016

Rough Play

배우는 배우다 (Rough Play; An Actor is an Actor) is a South Korean movie directed by Shin Youn-shick and released in 2013.

Story: Oh Young is a young actor who suddenly becomes very popular but his character changes due to his fame. He starts to work with a group of gangsters and gets involved in scandals which not only almost destroys his career but also could get him killed at some point.

Cast: Oh Young was played by Lee Joon whom I personally consider a good actor nowadays. In this movie his performance within a performance is good, and that deserves some attention in my opinion.
Seo Bum-suk as Kim Jang-ho was the manager who started the spiral in this movie. While I'm not totally sure about his intentions anymore the acting was totally fine.
Seo Young-hee as Oh Yeon-hee was barely memorable in any way to me. Not because her acting was bad but I'm not lying when I say I really don't quite remember her character in this movie which is.. a little bit weird since she was important.
Ma Dong-seok is in one of the character types he can play well in this movie - a gangster boss just somehow seems to fit him well so I remember him a lot better than some other actors.
Other actors in this movie include Kang Shin-hyo, Yang Dong-geun, Oh Gwang-rok and Kim Hyung-jun.
In total I think the cast delivered a performance I would rate as 'okay' - some did better than others, can't deny that, some were hardly memorable and again others just seemed to be there.

In the end this movie left me a little bit wondering about... everything?
What was the purpose of the sexual scenes? Yeah, it showed that Oh Young lost it a little bit after being successful but it wasn't necessary at all I think. I guess they just added that to make fangirls watch it.
The beginning and the end were a little bit chaotic and confusing. I was guessing it might be some infinite loop of events but I don't quite know what to think about it.
What happened to all the other characters in the end? There were so many characters that just disappeared without any explanation at all.
So the story is okay. So is the movie but I definitely had higher expectations so maybe that's why my rating is only a 6/10 and I probably won't watch it again.

Freitag, 4. November 2016

Vampire Detective

I bet some of my regular readers have been waiting for this and totally saw this review coming up this year. While I actually finished this drama back in June or July, I just placed the review in November because I already had too much stuff planned and written before.

뱀파이어 탐정 (Vampire Detective; Vampire Personal Investigator) is a South Korean drama series that consists of 12 episodes that were aired on OCN from March 27th to June 12th every Sunday.

Story: Yoon San has a police/military background but ends up working as a private investigator with Yoon Goo-hyung after some tragic events. One day he gets involved in a case that changes his life completely and gets him turned into a vampire while looking for Han Gyeo-wool's brother. Han Gyeo-wool joins the team to find out what exactly happened to her brother and so they solve different cases. Doctor Hwang and the nurse Se-ra offer the medical support when needed and support them with connections as well, while Detective Park delivers information based on the data the police collected on certain people or incidents before.

Cast: I think a reason why many people ended up watching this drama is or was Lee Joon as Yoon San. His acting was really good in this series and I believe that he is doing way better as an actor than he was back in his idol days. Also his role in a crime series seems to work well with him in general so while I was a little bit skeptical in the beginning I did enjoy his acting in this series.
Yoon Goo-hyung played by Oh Jung-se got me shaking my head from time to time. His methods are not the common ones and he's not the brightest light around but it works somehow - and he cares for San a lot. The acting itself was good enough to get me into the story and to sympathize with him, especially in one of the episodes that shows a deeper side of his character (I think it was episode 6 but I don't remember that clearly). The actor(s) (since there was Oh Hee-joon as the younger Goo-hyung in that one episode) did a good job portraying the character in his different ways and it all fit together somehow.
Lee Se-Young as Han Gyeo-wool was outstanding in my honest opinion. Very smart and a rebel she represented the kind of female characters I really like in dramas and movies. She is willing to fight and her sarcastic nature makes it even better to watch. As for the acting Lee Se-young definitely delivered a great piece of work and made her character become real.
I was a little bit surprised when I saw that Jei (Kim Jin-hee) of FIESTAR is in this drama. She was the exact opposite of Han Gyeo-wool as Se-ra. Quite honestly I would say she played a pretty but dumb nurse that was mainly in this drama for being able to sympathize with others and to appeal to the male audience. As of now I'm still not sure what to think about idols in OCN dramas since I personally love the idols they choose but hate most of the (female) characters those girls play. Her acting wasn't too bad - she portrayed the dumb but pretty female perfectly. Actually so good that I'm seriously hoping she's a lot smarter in real life.
Kim Ki-moo played Doctor Hwang, a character that just seems to be around for some minor stuff in the beginning as well but not only turns out to be a good friend but also gets his time to show the depth of the character and the behind story. I was quite impressed by the acting and the story build around the character so I couldn't help but appreciate the fact he was part of this drama.
An Se-ha really had a minor role in this movie though. Detective Park mainly eats and delivers information which is important but somehow his role lacked something. The acting also brought a comedic aspect to the series which was a great thing to losen up the atmosphere at times.
Since this already got too long I just want to say that Lee Chung-ah was in this drama as Yo-na, a character that still makes me thing about certain issues. Kim Yoon-hye as Jung Yoo-jin did her part but I think she lacked chemistry with San even though there was something supposed to be. And Jo Bok-Rae as Kang Tae-woo managed to become one of the male character I hate the most - out of all dramas I watched.

Soundtrack: I wish I could tell you more about this but everything is explained by: it's OCN. They are so good in supporting a dark atmosphere with music that I usually love each and every soundtrack. As for this one, I didn't listen to the titles specifically but I can tell that it is a good soundtrack as usual.

So how did I rate this? 8/10. Now many people might wonder why after all the positive stuff I said which is totally legit and I will gladly talk about my reasons for not rating it as good as other people would expect.
One part, even though a really weak reason, is the fact that I'm still mad at OCN. If they don't deliver a damn good series instead of finally finishing the other dramas they have with a last season I do think that it is something I do unconsciously.
I do know OCN can do better than they did with this series. After all I had a hard time finishing this not because it was uninteresting. But once I stopped watching it for a few days I had to force myself to continue - and then watched at least two or three episodes in a row. But it still made watching this drama a little bit more difficult than others.
A whole episode consisted pretty much of past events. It was just too much at once. Having parts of this spread throughout the series would've helped a little bit and the viewer would not have seen everything at least two to three times in this series.
The reason for the whole chaos in my opinion also was pretty much a personal thing that makes people do a lot of stupid stuff but come on - they couldn't come up with anything deeper but it can all be brought down to jealousy?
And in the end the chemistry between Yoon San and Jung Yoo-jin was almost non-existent for me - I think there was way better chemistry between San and Gyeo-wool so I don't quite get it..

After all OCN this one isn't bad BUT OCN does have more exciting and better series. This is by far not bad though and definitely worth a watch even though the vampire-part didn't add much to the story in my opinion.