Tag Archives: reviews

Film Review: “Forgotten” Starring Kang Ha Neul (Vlog!)

Forgotten, the feature film starring Kang Ha Neul, is now on Netflix.

My review. As a vlog! A new thing I’m doing.


WTF That Scarlet Heart Finale?! [Spoilers]

The hell just happened…?

It’s like the writer of Scarlet Heart:Ryeo figured, “hey, it’s the finale, we’re done here, let’s just kill off the heroine and stuff.” Ay caramba, what a frickin’ mess.screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-9-30-05-pm

After all the exiles, marriages, coups, and lovechildren, where does that leave us, exactly?

Hae Soo (IU) doesn’t end up with King So (Lee Joon Gi), nor does she end up with Prince Wook (Kang Ha Neul).screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-9-29-41-pm

I repeat: our heroine ends up with neither leading man.

In a nutshell, this is what happened in the finale: King So still kinda douchey, Hae Soo was all, “I’m done. I’m done with you, with this relationship, the palace. I’m out.” And some more characters die.screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-9-21-54-pm

After all those princely suitors, though, Hae Soo does end up with one handsome prince, which brings us to:

18 Things That All Happened In The Scarlet Heart: Ryeo Finale: Highlights + Grievances

1. Hae Soo Marries Prince Jungscreen-shot-2016-11-03-at-8-18-19-pm

No wedding, as it was forbidden by the king, but not a bad place to be.  The two live on their own. Prince Jung (Ji Soo) says he’s fine with “just being friends” though we all know he’s completely in love with Hae Soo.

(Sidenote: Yay Ji Soo! One of your characters finally lands the girl! Kiss the #foreveralone roles goodbye!)

2. We Find Out Hae Soo Is Pregnantscreen-shot-2016-11-03-at-8-20-36-pm

That was quite the reveal, nonchalantly thrown in. It was delivered like, “Hey, I’ll have the number 3, with cheese, a Coke, and a side of Hae Soo Is Pregnant.”

3. Hae Soo Kept The Poemsscreen-shot-2016-11-03-at-8-22-51-pm

Only to show that Hae Soo still held a soft spot for Prince Wook – not quite a torch, though. Love notes still hit you in the heart, eh?

4. Hae Soo Is Not In Great Healthscreen-shot-2016-11-03-at-8-23-56-pm

We found this out with allusions in previous episodes.

5. King So Stalks Hae Soo and Prince Wooklee joon gi

He gets jealous sends a spy out to report back to him on Hae Soo and Prince Jung. And then spies on them himself. Like a stalker.

6. Sidenote: Prince Jung As A Father Is Too Preciousscreen-shot-2016-11-03-at-6-05-53-pm

Ji Soo – I mean Prince Jung as a father is too freaking adorable. Can you handle it?

7. Hae Soo Still Loves King Sostill-tho

Really? He’s the man you ask for when you’re on your deathbed? Not the one sitting at your loyal bedside, Prince Jung, your husband?

8. Prince Jung Is The Best Husband Everji soo prince jung ep20

He gets Hae Soo best wet nurse around. He brings in performers and peony flowers. And he’s totally in love and loves her, though we knew this all along.

9. Hae Soo Has The Baby…And Diesscreen-shot-2016-11-03-at-6-01-37-pm

If you’re sickly in a sageuk, your character is probably going to get killed off. Convenient writing tool – a little too convenient.

10. That Other Evil Prince Never Got Hisscreen-shot-2016-11-03-at-6-03-39-pm

After leading Chae Ryung on, using her to spy on Hae Soo, and getting her killed, assisting in killing the Crown Prince, and joining Prince Yo’s bloody coup, Prince Won (Yoon Sun Woo) continued kickin’ it around the palace. This is kdramaland, damn it! He should’ve gotten what was coming to him.

11. Princess Yeon Hwa…Is Still Princess Yeon Hwascreen-shot-2016-11-03-at-6-04-02-pm

Princess Yeon Hwa (Kang Han Na) became queen, sure. She had the king’s kid, sure. She totally followed in Queen Yoo’s footsteps, and now her power trip is still in heavy rotation, now set upon her son so that he will grow up and become king.

12. Queen Hwangbo’s A Broken Recordkang ha neul queen hwangbo

And so is Queen Hwangbo (Jung Kyung Soon): she sets her focus on making Prince Wook’s son king. Ah, old habits.

13. Prince Wook Named His Daughter Woo Hee aka Bok Soonscreen-shot-2016-11-03-at-6-06-32-pm

Sidenote: Did Prince Wook ever marry anyone else and have another kid?

14. At Least Prince Baek And Woo Hee Got It Onscreen-shot-2016-11-03-at-6-06-50-pm

These shows are so G sometimes; I accept this scene as at least one legit allusion to a night of passion.

15. Even Ji Mong Is Outcheakim sung kyun ji mong ep20

“See ya, suckaaaas!”

16. It was all a fucking dream?!dream-ep20

We find out that Hae Soo nearly drowned and then was in a coma for a year, cut to modern day.

17. Prince Wook Dies (WTF?!)prince wook kang ha neul

Sidenote: tough break for his character – everyone else remains handsome, while Wook ages from illness.

18. And That Last Line: screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-8-43-01-pm

“I Will Find You…My Soo.”

Yeah…I’m good, actually..

et ceteraji soo IU

Prince Jung: “In your next life, you’ll remember me, right?”
Hae Soo: “I’m going to forget you. I’m going to forget everything. All of you.”

The show really took a contrived way of throwing everything in, especially the last two episodes.

The way they just killed off Hae Soo, her pregnancy out-of-freaking-nowhere, killing off Wook. And then the whole “it was all a dream” felt like such a cop-out – we knew it was possible, since that was the premise of the first episode, but man. I thought you were better than that, Show. At least frame it better than that. Way better.screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-6-09-41-pm

Maybe because it was based on a webtoon? I haven’t seen it, but I’m sure they’ve taken some liberties. Something happened about halfway through the season.  I knew something was funny since Episode 8, though. I had a feeling.

What happened to Prince Wook making some moves for Hae Soo, and the throne? There was no big romantic gesture or sweeping political advance from him in the last 4-5 episodes that we were all waiting for. Wook was the one who knew how to recognize allies and the more delicate nature of political strategy. It really was a huge disappointment to see that characterization never materialize when there was so much that could have enriched the story of the many power players involved.screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-9-13-05-pm

For all of his character development, we never saw Prince Wook actually fight for Hae Soo even after he promised he would get her back. Prince Wook never came close; he didn’t even try. Heck, he was barely in the drama at all these last few rounds.screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-12-11-26-am

I really wish the show’s creative team gave Prince Wook more of a story arc during the second half of the drama; it was like they didn’t know what else to do with him after Princess Yeon Hwa became queen, and were too busy making King So out to be a selfish monarch to focus on anything else.screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-10-41-27-pm

And Hae Soo. Hae Soo, Hae Soo, Hae Soo. When it was time for our heroine to step up in those last 5 episodes or so, she never did.

Overall, though, the show had a lot of great moments and storylines, mixed in with comedy and epic drama, romance and friendship. Beautiful production design, and it really distinguished a large ensemble of characters very well. I mean, I watched the entire drama, beginning to end; which is rare for me, and probably you.screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-9-23-48-pm

But sometimes endings are the worst.

This Week’s Pick: Uncontrollably Fond, Episode 1 [Review]

It’s Kim Woo Bin’s return to kdrama, what ELSE did you think I’d be reviewing this week?

[Warning: This post contains spoilers.]

Uncontrollably Fond (함부로 애틋하게) premiered on Wednesday with an anticipated cast of familiar faces: Kim Woo Bin (Twenty), Bae Suzy (Gu Family Book), Jin Kyung (Oh My Venus, Perfect Proposal), Choi Moo Sung (Reply 1988), Im Joo Hwan (Oh My Ghostess), Yoo Oh Seong (Friend 2, Spy). In particular, it’s the first time we’ve seen Kim Woo Bin on the small screen since that horrible train wreck which will not be named. (Plus, KWB and Yoo Oh Seong are teaming up again since co-starring in Friend 2).

The first episode introduces our leads Shin Joon Young (Kim Woo Bin) and No Eul (Suzy) in their elements and ties their storylines back to each other, as expected.

Overall, I have to say that there is nothing very unique in the premiere ep. I left it feeling underwhelmed.

Screen shot 2016-07-06 at 10.12.45 PM

Shin Joon Young is just another PYT actor who lives in a big ass nice house, with some nice ass cars, and lives a typical celebrity lifestyle. Then comes the death sentence: he has a terminal illness (yet looks completely healthy). Fortunately, that Kim Woo Bin breathes life into the character, though, otherwise this would be one tired-like-a-single-mother cliche of a role.

No Eul is a producer who specializes in documentary exposes, but is more known for taking bribes from corporate criminals to pay off her loan sharks. She’s the type to get fired a lot. I recognize that at least her characterization has a bit of a twist.

I’ll just cap off with a few highlights, but we’ve barely gotten our feet wet with the story development here.

What I Hated

kim woo bin

Shin Joon Young, his patience evaporated: “No Eul, do you not know me?!”suzy bae kdrama

No Eul: “I know. You son of a bitch.”

I hated, I mean hated Suzy’s delivery of that last line. Why? Because it’s such a fucking beautifully written line. Probably the best line in the entire episode, simple, telling, brief. It’s a great scene, too, and lusciously cinematic. Aghhhhhh Suzy why?? She comes off so one-note that my heart pains for the writer.

What I Loved:Screen shot 2016-07-07 at 11.18.35 PM

The Cute, Fluffy Dog,

Screen shot 2016-07-06 at 11.33.16 PM

Screen shot 2016-07-06 at 11.33.20 PM

The Cinematography,
(plus, that show-within-a-show opener was a vivid orchestration reminiscent of KWB in his Friend 2 fight scenes)

kim woo bin uncontrollably fond

And Discovering What Kim Woo Bin Looks Like Incognito.

Will have to stay tuned in to see what’s what.

choi moo sungScreen shot 2016-07-07 at 11.20.51 PM

kim woo bin washing dog uncontrollably fond

jin kyung uncontrollably fond


Screen shot 2016-07-06 at 10.12.05 PM

Screen shot 2016-07-06 at 10.19.18 PM

Screen shot 2016-07-06 at 11.25.51 PM

Uncontrollably Fond. KBS. Wed-Thurs.
Writer: Lee Kyung Hee (Wonderful Days, The Innocent Man)
Director: Park Hyun Suk (Spy, The Princess’ Man)

Cast: Kim Woo Bin, Suzy Bae, Choi Moo Sung, Jin Kyung, Im Joo Hwan, Yoo Oh Seong.