Freitag, 24. Februar 2017

Formula 17

十七岁的天空 (Formula 17) is a Taiwanese gay movie directed by Yin-jung Chen and released in 2004 with a screentime of 93 minutes.

Story: Chou Tien Tsai is a country kid who believes in true love. One day he goes to Taipei to meet his internet friend face to face but he eventually ends up in a gay club after his internet friend suggests having sex without love. In that club his friend Yu works as a barkeeper. During the next days Yu and Tien are roommates. In the bar Tien also meets CC, Yu's friend, and a man who is described as a playboy by many, Bai.
After that night in the club Yu tries to help Tien to lose his virginity but all plans fail as eventually Tien keeps running into Bai and falls in love with him even though he knows it might be dangerous for his feelings.

Cast: Tony Yang as Chou Tien Tsai is such a cute character that I really wanted to squeal from time to time. The naive, romantic country person came out well in this role. Duncan Lai as Bai is also an interesting character by the way he tries to avoid love. While it is not bad at first he starts to consult a professional at some point as he doesn't know what is happening to him.
King Chin as Yu is such a hilarious character - I think you should see him in this movie - that I couldn't do anything but laugh about the country bumpkin who turned into a big city bar keeper and party person. He can't keep up with Dada Ji as CC though - like.. CC is the gay person many people actually just imagine as the representative of gay men (which of course he isn't) but together with Jimmy Yang as Alan they are doing a great job at keeping up the comedy because of their characters literally screaming "gay" at the audience.

I honestly admit that I watched this movie for the first time back in 2011 or 2012 back when I was really interested in all that boys love and gay movie-stuff and I had to rewatch this movie to be able to tell you about the story and to properly criticize it.
What I can tell you is that it is an entertaining comedy movie that is almost a little bit like satire - even though I wouldn't view it as criticism - so the acting is a little bit extreme. However, this movie made me laugh much more and it has quite memorable scenes I still remembered even after such a long time. So it does deserve a rating of 8.5/10 solely for those parts.
The love story on the other hand is cute but somehow basic - it is nothing really unique but the package made this movie funny and cute at the same time and I should probably put it on the list of "feel-good"-movies.

Freitag, 17. Februar 2017

Perseverance Goo Hae Ra

To make it short: This entry will be a long rant among the dozens of things I hated about this drama, why the 12 episodes took me two months to finish and how stupid some people make characters while I will probably talk about how much I loved the music and performances for half an hour. Don't mind me, you don't need to read everything if you don't want to.

칠전팔기 구해라 (Perseverance, Goo Hae Ra) is a South Korean drama series that was aired on Mnet from January 9th to March 27th 2015 and consists of 12 episodes.

Story: Goo Hae-ra's father died when she was a child. Since then it was her dream to make her fathers last song known all over the world. As she participates in a casting problems start to arise since something or someone seems to be against her. And to make it all worse her childhood friend Kang Se-chan signs with Emperor Entertainment which disqualifies the team. The only option to save Se-chan from a long-term contract is for his older brother Kang Se-jong to sign with them. As he is considered the traitor, his relationship with Hae-ra suffers heavily. The other team members already consider what to do if they can't fulfill their dream until one day the former idol Tae-poong decides to help them. Except for Se-jong the whole team is united again and starts to work towards their dream - standing on stage and performing together. Se-jong debuted with IMPACT in the meantime but wants to leave Emperor Entertainment to get back - but there are the entertainment's star Scarlet as well as the CEO Hwang Je-gook trying to stop him and destroy the Perseverance team.

Cast: Min Hyo-rin as Goo Hae-ra was just outright horrible in my opinion. Not only because of the character and the way it was written - Hae-ra is the type of female character I hate so much that it would get me to drop a drama solely because of her - but because her acting was just very obviously fake. Since I haven't seen her in any other role I would just love to say that the role definitely didn't suit her at all.

Kwak Si-yang as Kang Se-jong was good in my opinion though. Not really outstanding but the role of an older brother caring for his younger brother and Hae-ra enough to make himself suffer a lot made somehow sense to me. However, his push-and-pull at some point (yes, it was the writing, I know) was also stupid and so annoying that I think it could've been written a lot better.
B1A4's Jung Jin-young as Kang Se-chan as well as Ray in this drama mainly impressed me with his voice and rapping (which isn't really surprising) but his acting was okay for the characters I would say. At times he did seem to overact a bit but it was okay for the comedy parts. In the serious scenes I would love to say that he did have some brotherly chemistry with Kwak Si-yang which I enjoyed watching.

Henry Lau as... well, Henry, was one of the most funny and refreshing characters in this drama. His acting was a little bit childish at times (not often) but I guess that was also because of the writing. Except for overdoing it a bit in the beginning I would say it was good. But I think the chemistry between Henry and Lee Woo-ri played by Yoo Sung-eun was not really the best. I didn't think they fit together even though their story was good. Sung-eun as Woo-ri was a cute girl I learned to like through the drama but her acting could've been a little stronger. However, it is obvious she was in this drama because of her voice and I loved her songs already years ago so be assured - that woman can sing!
And another singer in this drama is Park Kwang-sun of Ulala Session as Jang Goon. I'm not sure how many people remember know Ulala Session and even if they did how many people recognize his voice - because I clearly didn't but it also has been a long time since I listened to this group. Anyway, his acting was also good somehow and there was a twist around his character that kinda surprised me.
Shim Hyung-Tak as Tae-poong was... weird but good? I don't really know how I can explain this, I think his acting was too extreme at times but that is what made Tae-poong interesting so I don't really know how to rate this. Rather an "above average but not perfect" rating.

Other actors in this drama include Seo Min-ji as Scarlet, Park Hee-jin as Heo Myeon-ran (Hae-ra's mother), Jang Young-nam as Kang Soon (Se-jong's and Se-chan's mother), Yoon Da-hoon as Hwang Je-gook and Kim Min-Jae as Sa Ki-joon.

Soundtrack: This is a drama by Mnet. It is literally a music drama. The music and life performances were good! And I'm not joking, it is what kept me watching this drama while I wanted to drop it at least five to six times. If there are any songs I remember as very special I have to name Yoo Sung-eun's "
널 사랑해 (I Love You)" and Min Hyo-rin's and Jin-young's "널 만난 이후 (Oh, My Love)" but literally all the songs and performances are great and I highly recommend watching them on Youtube separately if you want to.

Above I didn't mention many negative things, I know that, because I didn't want to seriously spoiler anyone. But my total rating is a 5.5/10 and I rarely give ratings below 6 or 6.5.

Throughout the whole series what bothered me the most was Goo Hae-ra and don't mind me but she is the reason I will probably never even consider rewatching this. In one episode (yes, this is out of context) she wonders why another person is not answering the phone - after he told her like five minuets ago that his phone battery was empty. You must be kidding me. No one has such a short term memory. And already my short term memory is bad.
This drama includes so many twists (I wouldn't call them plot twists but rather relationship and character twists) that it went up and down faster than any rollercoaster could. It went from good-ok to omg-why-am-I-even-sitting-through-this-bad in five to ten minutes sometimes. It seemed like the writer him- or herself didn't have any idea where this mess was going to end up.
Especially during the last episodes it was really hard for me to keep watching. One of my notes says that I was close to jumping in a circle in episode 9 because they were dragging it so much. I don't exactly remember what made me freak out like that because I took a long break after that to recover and get the energy to force myself back to watching this but it was probably bad.
And there were so many things happening "by chance" in this drama that at some point it got me to roll my eyes.
In the end I would say what saved this series what the fact is that it really involved music as a huge factor and that made it interesting to me but definitely not a series I would recommend anyone to watch - check out the performances on Youtube and please leave it at that for your own sake.

Freitag, 10. Februar 2017


ジウ 警視庁特殊犯捜査係 (jiu: keishichou tokushuhan sousakei; Jiu: Special Investigation Team) is a Japanese drama series that aired from July 29th to September 23rd 2011 on TV Asahi and consists of 9 episodes.

Story: Motoko Izaki and Misaki Kadokura couldn't be anymore different. One is a tough fighter, one of the strongest in her police unit SIT and prefers to take action to protect people. The other is a gentle and calm girl also referred to as "Miss Cannes" and wants to be responsible for negotiations - her job is talking. After an important incident both of them are transferred to different units and work to track down the mastermind behind the plan. All that is known about him in the early stages is the name "Jiu", a good-looking young man with blonde hair usually appearing in white clothes. But is he really behind all those deeds? And why do people follow him if they aren't doing it for money?

Cast: I know what people want to hear but I will just start off with Meisa Kuroki as Motoko Izaki. She is actually a singer if I'm informed correctly but she rocks her role in this drama. As a tough and fit woman Izaki is definitely someone I would look up to. Mikako Tabe as Misaki Kadokura on the other hand is the gentle and kind, naive girl who tries to get along with everyone. I know that this type of character does have a certain difficulty to it so I respect the actress but it is just the type of character that is popular among males for the fact that they are so cute and usually willing to follow.
Yu Shirota as Takashi Amamiya is a character that is just suspicious from the beginning. I don't fully know why but I never trusted his intentions in this drama, just the beginning and the first episode made me doubt everything but he added something to the story that was important. As for the acting, it was very secretive and mysterious and totally worked with the overall atmosphere.
Yukiya Kitamura as Hiroki Azuma did a good job overall trying to protect Kadokura while trying to solve the case of Toshinori and track down Jiu, the mysterious man he sees behind all the happenings. The acting was good but seemed a bit hesitant to me from time to time.
And lastly, yes, I have to mention Kim Myung-soo or L depending on what you want to call him as Jiu. Now first some questioning: Why in the world did they name the drama after a character that rarely appears until episode 7 or 8? And why did they need to use a Korean idol in an all Japanese drama? While I don't really mind it, let me talk about my theory: Attention. They just wanted attention from Korean fans of Infinite by making him the character that also gives the story the title. What they get especially on MDL are bad ratings by disappointed fans and I do believe that many people will just watch his scenes specifically. Anyway, I considered his acting to be good as far as he was shown but then again most of the time I think he had to stand somewhere with no expression on his face.. which can be difficult to but I got a feeling that he's good at standing somewhere with an emotionless face.

Soundtrack: The soundtrack is hardly memorable. The only thing I remember is the ending. Seriously, Lady Gaga? Edge of Glory? Now it is one of the songs I don't hate but I don't get how this is connected to the drama at all. Plus, since it plays while the last minutes of the episode are airing, it was sometimes too loud so it interrupted the dramas flow.

I personally didn't find this drama to be as boring as many other people but then again I didn't have that high expectations. However, sometimes I just wanted to scream because of the side characters. It seemed more like a piece played in theatres. A person finished a sentence, and the next action takes place two or three seconds later - they obviously waited and sometimes too long so it was just obviously faked.
But then again the mystery in the plot and the characters made up for some negative stuff which is the reason for this drama getting a 7/10.
I DON'T recommend to watch this only for L/Myung-soo.

Freitag, 3. Februar 2017

Postman to Heaven

천국의 우편배달부 (Postman to Heaven) is a South Korean movie directed by Lee Hyeong-min and released in 2009 with a running time of 108 minutes. The movie actually was a Japanese-Korean collaboration written by Eriko Kitagawa.

Story: Jae-joon is a mailman delivering letters to heaven which makes him the heaven's postman. One day when emptying the mailbox he meets Ha-na, a woman who keeps on writing to her deceased ex-boyfriend. During the next two weeks they become closer and try to ease the pain of those who are in pain after someone's death - but Jae-joon has a secret that is the reason why they can't be found out.

Cast: Kim Jae-joong as Jae-joon is a really interesting character and actor. It is soon obvious that he has a secret but the acting keeps his character mysterious and somehow interesting. Also the character develops and changes slowly which was portrayed well.
Han Hyo-joo as Ha-na was a little bit too childish as a character sometimes but her turning into a happy and bright person was really good to watch and the light-hearted kind of thing that is popular among audiences in both Japan and Korea. The acting was good but not perfect so her overall performance was a nice thing but still not perfect.
However, they had a good chemistry on-screen which was easy and nice to watch.

The way this story was told somehow fascinates me, the idea of a heaven's postman who helps to ease people's pain is something I would wish for in a real life. The way Jae-joon's personal background was revealed and what or who exactly he is in fact is very interesting. While this movie maybe included not enough action to be one of my overall favorite movies, it is definitely worth watching.
So my personal rating is a 7.5/10.