K-Movies

Blood Rain

Bloodrain

Pretty good!

I originally added this movie to my queue because it starred Cha Seung Won; and since he’s one of my favorite actors, it was definitely a ‘must see.’ A few of the other notable names and faces in this movie (at least for me~ 😉 ) are Ji Sung, Park Yong Woo, and Cheon Ho Jin. With this movie, you are immediately pulled into the life and community of an island in the 1800’s, and it doesn’t take long to see how deceit and politics play a major role in the everyday life of these people…oh, and let’s not forget about superstition.

Movie synopsis:

In 1808, special investigator Wong Gyu is sent to an isolated and largely autonomous island, away from the Korean mainland, to solve a case of arson, but soon finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation. As he strives to find the killer, and the lies and secrets grow as fast as the body count, he begins to understand the complexity of life in this small community. And it’s not just the death toll that’s causing the residents to worry, but the sadistic, methodical way in which the victims are killed. Wong’s dogged investigation leads him to suspect that the murders are related to mysterious events that took place seven years earlier, in which the former owner of a paper mill was executed for Catholicism. The townspeople believe an evil spirit is responsible for their troubles, but as a rational man, Wong Gyu has no time for such superstitions. Soon, however, he is forced to re-evaluate his views as the string of gruesome murders continues unchecked, despite his best efforts, and he begins to understand why he was sent to investigate these crimes.

What I enjoyed about this movie was that it was a constant mystery. Once you thought you had something figured out, it turned out to be something completely different! I’m usually pretty good at putting pieces together, but I was stumped throughout. Is dark magic present? Is it a sign of revenge? Human or ghost? Hrmm…who  knows! The best way to find out is to watch. I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed. BUT — I will say that there is violence, and a few of the scenes (although CGI) are bloody; just a heads up for the squimish! 😉

I give this movie a 3.5/5

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K-Movies

Attack the Gas Station! 2

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Highly Entertaining!

If you are in the mood for mindless fun, this is definitely the movie for you! The cast is full of familiar faces, and outrageous fun. This is the 2nd (and final) installment of the series, but if you haven’t seen the first, I think you’ll be okay since this one is a story all its own.

Movie synopsis:

It’s been 10 years since Mr. Park’s gas station was attacked by motorcycle gangs. To get his revenge, Park hires a quartet of dodgy boys: A lethal puncher, a  footballer with a killer high kick, a potbellied wrestler, and a video game addict who mastered the art of bluffing. But these employees turn out to be more dangerous when they demand their overdue salaries.

Final thoughts…

Fun, fun, fun. Seriously! I laughed. A lot. Some of the things that happen in the movie are so ludicrous, it makes it even more funny and entertaining! Free gas, anyone?! 😉

I give this movie a 3.5/5

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K-Movies

Fortune Salon

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Lighthearted and funny…

Do you ever have one those days where you browse the library, of whatever streaming movie site you subscribe to, just to see what they have available? I came across this movie on one of my random browsing ‘adventures.’ ^^

Movie synopsis:

Tae Rang is a gifted clairvoyant who runs a posh fortune telling salon in Cheongdam, Seoul, where she helps guide her elite clients on the matters of life and love. However, fate has it that Tae Rang’s personal life is always cursed. All the men that she has shown any interest in have been harmed in one way or another. As a child, Tae Rang’s mother, also a clairvoyant, told Tae Rang that she is destined to meet a man whom was born on May 16, 1978 at 11 pm before she turns 28.

One day, Seung Won, a former horse jockey now a maintenance worker for horses, spots a 10,000 Won bill on the street and attempts to pick it up. This is when he is hit by a car driven by Tae Rang…

I wasn’t sure how I would like this movie, but I was pleasantly surprised. (Not to mention Im Chang Jung is in it!) It has plenty of comedy to keep you entertained, but the story also takes you on a journey of the main character’s self-discovery, how they deal with disappointment, and ultimately how they come to terms with what’s “meant to be.” Does it have a happy ending? Hrmmm….guess you’ll have to watch it to find out! 😉

I give this movie a 3.5/5

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K-Dramas

IRIS

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Fantastic drama!

So, I actually watched the series backwards. What I mean is, I watched IRIS 2 before IRIS. Although they are connected, they both have such a strong story, they can stand on their own quite well; however, if you are considering adding IRIS and IRIS 2 to your watch list, I do highly recommend watching them in order, but ONLY because there are a couple of key characters that appear in both.

Drama synopsis (**SPOILERS**):

Two elite National Security System (NSS) agents, Hyeon Jun and Sa Woo, who were sworn blood brothers, both fall for fellow agent Seung Hee. Sa Woo attempts to suppress his feelings for Seung Hee and wishes the couple the best.

Hyeon Jun is then sent off on a solo mission to Hungary. In Hungary, Hyeon Jun accomplishes his mission and while in escape mode becomes wounded. Shortly later, Hyeon Jun finds out that he was betrayed by fellow agent Sa Woo. Seung Hee attempts to help Hyeon Jun escape, but a car explosion separates the two and both are misled to believe that the other person are dead. Hyeon Jun is then saved by an unknown voice and learns of the secret society “IRIS”.

One year later, Hyeon Jun returns to Korea to seek revenge. During this time, the two Korea’s are set to reunify, while the group “IRIS” are intent on stopping the reunification.

Riveting story. This spy drama is full of action that will not disappoint. I cannot stress enough how much I love the way the story was written. K-Cinema, to me, is in a class all its own. You will laugh, but there are also plenty emotional moments throughout the series. Female or male, I don’t care…prepare to (at least) get misty-eyed!

 

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K-Dramas

Boys Over Flowers

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The drama that lit the fuse for major “second-lead syndrome.”

If you are a newcomer to K-Dramas, first off, WELCOME~! Secondly, I would definitely put this at the top of the list as a MUST SEE. Since my initial introduction to K-Pop and K-Dramas happened on my own, I didn’t have anyone to make suggestions of who to listen to or what to watch. I sort of stumbled into things as they came along, and fed my curiosity based on what I found.

(This is another example of a drama that I only watched because it was about to expire. It’s sad, I know, but sometimes one really doesn’t know what they have in their queue until it’s ALMOST too late! ) ^^

Now that I have a few friends that have similar K-interests, I’ve learned that Boys Over Flowers is a drama that should be shared with K-Drama newbies! Depending on your “likes,” I definitely agree. 😉

Drama synopsis:

Set at a famous high school for the super-wealthy, this is a puppy love story centered on a poor girl and the F4 gang of rich kids headed by the rough and fearless Jun Pyo Goo.

Geum Jan Di is a girl from a poor family but has an unrivaled sense of optimism and drive and is by chance admitted to a prestigious private high school.

There she meets the infamous group of four astonishingly good looking and rich boys who are known as F4. The group’s leader is Goo Jun Pyo, is a spoiled heir to world-leading conglomerate Shinhwa. He is joined by mysterious and breathlessly handsome Yun Ji Hoo, So Lee Jeong, and Song Woo Bin. Their love story moves from Seoul to New Caledonia to Macau.

Okay, so if you can get past the fact that it seems like a show for high-schoolers, you’ll be okay. I promise. Here are a few things “I” feel you should know going into the drama:

  1. There are 25 episodes. ‘Most’ dramas tend to stick between 16 or 20 episodes, but this one has 25, and each one is worth every single second of your time.
  2. If you’ve never had a drama marathon, you will now! (I think I watched at least 3-4 episodes a day…and the last day, I watched 6!)
  3. If you don’t know what “second-lead syndrome” is, you will. Trust me.
  4. You will fall in love.
  5. You will fall in hate.
  6. You will laugh.
  7. You will cry.
  8. You will need Kleenex, and a lot of it.
  9. If you are female, you will google the names of these handsome guys. (If you’re a noona, like myself, you can rest easy knowing that “F4” are all in their mid-late 20’s now…you’re welcome 😉 )
  10. You will find yourself thinking about the drama, even after it has ended. (If you’re interested in finding more dramas with any one of these actors, I can help!)

Here are a few facts that may or may not make a couple of these guys even MORE appealing to you:

Lee Min Ho can sing:

So can Kim Hyun Joong (He’s the leader of SS501 as well as a solo artist):

…and just because I’m biased, here’s KHJ’s newest track:

Final thoughts…

I really liked this drama. It was full of love, romance, humor, drama, and even suspense. Each character experienced growth (or some other form of transformation) throughout the series, which made the story all the more compelling. It will take you on a ride, especially with your emotions, but it’s well worth it! I definitely wish I had watched Boys Over Flowers sooner, but now that I finally have, I totally understand what the hype was all about! Now it’s my turn to share it with fellow K-drama fans~!

If you have questions, or just want to chat about this series (or any series!), please feel free to leave a comment, or email me at fromjenm2u@gmail.com.

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K-Pop MV's

Eyes, Nose, Lips – Cover Video – AKMU

MV (Music Video) post #2

I decided to post this cover MV because I was blown away by AKMU’s performance. If you don’t know who AKMU (Akdong Musician) is, they are a brother-sister duo whom officially debuted in April 2014. They were also the winners of the 2nd season of K-Pop Star.

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AKMU has had great success with their first album entitled “Play,” which has had over 3 million online downloads since its release.  They are also the first from YG Entertainment to release a cover song for YG’s newest project called Cover Project by YG Family.

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Check out the original song by Taeyang from Big Bang – Released on June 2, 2014

So, what do you think? There is a definite difference between the two, but did you like one more than the other? Let me know in the comments!

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K-Dramas

IRIS 2

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Words cannot describe how awesome this drama was/is~!

Revisiting the past…

IRIS 2 was the first Korean drama I ever watched. If you read my post about B2st’s newest MV “Good Luck,” you’ll learn that they were my first K-Pop love. (Of course, I just told you, so…) ^^ Here’s a little background about how I was, inadvertantly, yanked into the world of K-Cinema.

Me being a “gung-ho,” “all-or-nothing” kind of girl, I learned a lot about the Idol group B2st shortly after discovering them. It wasn’t long before I knew their names, their heights, etc. I found out that Doojoon (or Dujun, whichever you prefer) was going to be joining the cast of IRIS 2. I was so excited, I called my cable company and immediately added the Korean channel to our list of services (like I said “all-or-nothing” kind of girl, lol).

I was immediately drawn in, and waiting for each new episode (even though they aired twice a week) was excruciating! I got through the entire series, and couldn’t believe how AMAZING it was! I will tell you though, I went through an entire box of Kleenex…no joke!

Drama synopsis (***SPOILER ALERT***~ If you have NOT seen the original IRIS, or you do NOT want to know key details about IRIS 2 before watching it, please scroll past the synopsis for my finals thoughts):

Set 3 years after the death of NIS (National Intelligence Service) agent Kim Hyeon Jun by terrorist group IRIS. At a warehouse that sells arms illegally, NSS (National Security Service) team leader Joon Han sees Detective Yoo Gun and asks him to work with him as an NSS agent.

Later, Yoo Gun is now a team leader for the NSS TF-A team. Soo Yeon, who has loved Yoo Gun since they were young, begins to work as an NSS agent as well. Choi Min is newly appointed as the NSS deputy director. Her only purpose is take down IRIS.

NSS ex-director Baek San has been incarcerated at the NSS prison, located on a remote island. A helicopter requests to land on the island and identifies themselves as NSS agents. After landing, they suddenly open fire on NSS agents. They are actually IRIS members. They are led by Ray and takes Baek San out of prison. But when the helicopter leaves the island, Baek San jumps out of the helicopter and into the ocean.

Yoo Gun, Soo Yeon and Hyun Woo arrive on the island. Soo Yeon is caught by Baek San, who points a gun at her. Yoo Gun tries to mediate with Baek San, but Hyun Woo fires from long range towards Baek San. Soo Yeon is shot and taken to the hospital.

Baek San is moved to a NSS secret house. There, Baek San is interrogated by Yoo Gun. He wants to know why he turned himself in and why IRIS tried to take him, but Baek San stays silent. Baek San only asks for 3 newspapers to read daily. The NSS team tries to find any secret code hidden within the newspapers, but find nothing.

At this time, IRIS members approach the NSS secret house. A gun fight erupts between IRIS and NSS agents. Yoo Gun takes Baek San out of the secret house and runs to a car with Baek San. IRIS chases after the car with Baek San. Yoo Gun is able to get to a military base and they are temporarily safe from IRIS. Yoo Gun and NSS deputy director Choi begin to suspect that there’s an IRIS mole within the NSS ranks.

Baek San finally reveals to the NSS agents that IRIS may launch an attack in Hungary, where high level meetings between North and South Korea are about to take place. He’s unsure if IRIS is targeting North or South Korea.

Meanwhile, Soo Yeon is now recovered. Even though Yoo Gun opposes, Soo Yeon goes to Hungary with the NSS team. Meanwhile, Yeon Hwa from IRIS arrives in Hungary and plots out their scheme. There’s also Joong Won, who escaped from North Korea, and appears in Hungary by Yeon Hwa’s request.

Final thoughts…

Korean “Drama” (K-Drama, for short) is a term that is loosely used to describe Korean TV that is not reality, variety, or documentary based. However, this particular K-Drama is what I would consider a true drama. It is very deep. The writers of this series were able to humanize even the most heinous of characters. The talent (writers/producers and actors) is beyond anything I have seen. Truly. Iris and Iris 2 tell a story of love, passion, deceit, truth, and deliverance. They are both very serious dramas with mild dashes of humor, but if you are looking for a drama to reel you in, and keep you wanting more, you will not be disappointed. This 2-part series goes down in my book as the best of the best. Definitely a MUST-SEE.

P.S. The cast is HUGE, so I’m only tagging a handful. If you are interested about all of the characters, please feel free to Google “IRIS 2” for a complete list~!

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