walkwithheroes: [Doctor Who] (Rose Tyler: Defender of Earth)
Last weekend I went to my local library and something happened - they had good stuff.

You see, there are quite a few branches of libraries in my city and its surrounding bedroom communities. But, for the longest time the selections sucked. All the books were old and had been peed on or torn or were just gross. All the films were silly and religious and just not for me. However something amazing recently happened: the largest location is being redone and the person who orders films has been replaced with two younger people. Now. . .everything is beautiful.

I got five films that I'd love to discuss.


Possible Spoilers for Asian Films! )



Spoilers for Classic American Films )


I'd really love to get some more older American films from the 30s-60s. I'll have to check and see what else they have for me. Truth be told I've seen a lot over the years, thanks to my grandmother and TCM. But, there is always something new to discover.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Liar's Game] For You)
I just finished skimming episode 31 of Gloria, and I have to say: The Fab Four (JJ, KS, YS, DA) are so smart. At the same time they are breaking my heart. As for Creepy - he has got to go. Like now. Some spoiler-filled thoughts follow the cut:


Everyone knows that if you want the girl,you have to stalk her and ruin her life )
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Actors/Singers] Cuteness of Etude)
Mary Stayed Out All Night is one of those shows where the leads are everything. It feels like a true romantic-comedy in the sense that the plot revolves around the leads; the leads don't revolve around the plot. What I mean is, a lot of the plot is the plot because it helps in bringing out two leads together - and, I'm not saying that's a bad thing.



Mae Ri, Moo Kyul, and Jung In are three people that should and would never meet in the real world, but because this is drama world, they meet. And. It. Is. Wonderful. Moon Geun Young and Jang Geun Suk have this amazing chemistry - it's like watching an adorable couple go on their first dates. Jung In is very cool, and his first interactions with both Mae Ri and Seo Joon are classic K-drama.


With this episode we got the answer to the million dollar question: How can Mae Ri be married to two guys at the same time?


Well. . . )



There you go. The plot is, admittedly, silly. It really doesn't make much sense. But, watching the leads play and work off one another, well, it really makes you forget that the plot is (as of now) rather thin. This is a Korean drama, so you can expect the real plot to kick in around episode four or five.


That said, I really have to admire the way the show allows itself to poke fun as its own genera and silliness. I love love that people keep commenting that Moo Kyul looks like a girl! I loved the way Mae Ri even told him that she finds him pretty, but could never think of him as a man because he's too pretty. I love how smart Mae Ri is - she comes up with the best ideas. I love that she's a drama-watcher and would rather watch a drama than be with a handsome man. I love that Mae Ri is smart and yet totally innocent and adorable. I love that Moo Kyul is so loyal and clearly has some hidden issues that could quickly turn him into a mess. I love that Mae Ri is so unsure of people that she has them sign contracts saying they won't sue her. I love that Moo Kyul always calls her "Marry Christmas" and that Mae Ri often responses with "Happy New Year" - and how confused it makes other people (they already have an in-joke!)



Basically I love this show. It's such a romantic comedy, but that's really okay. It's a nice replacement for Playful Kiss. It really is a fun little drama - I could watch Mae Ri and Moo Kyul hang out all day; they do the most boring and ordinary things, but in such a fun, unusual, and adorkable way. I'm currently watching several angsty or dramatic Korean dramas: Giant and Gloria, so this type of drama is just what I need.



Also - who doesn't love a show where the OTP spends their nights getting drunk, then walking home holding hands and hugging or giving piggyback rides. Cute!
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Kiss Again] Love Across Cultures)
This past week I finally got around to watching the first two episodes of this new Korean drama. I was a bit worried about this one, not because of the horrible ratings, but because the last time Group Eight did a Japanese manga adaption, it was Boys Before Flowers. And, I think we all know what a train wreak that drama became during its second half. Of course, it did have one thing going for it: the director, Hwang In Roe, who directed The Return of Iljimae and Goong. Still, my flist has been buzzing about it, so I gave it a go.


And the verdict. . .it's kind of adorable and awesome. Seriously, this is a very underrated show!



A kiss is forever )
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([EoE] Love Me)
Giant is a sixty episode Korean drama that tells the story of three siblings over a period of forty years. It's described as an "epic", and the description is true to its word. Giant spreads from 1970 to 2010, and has many historical moments that really make you think about the way people lived during this time period. There are huge plot twists and turns, major character development, struggles, and, of course, love.


The thing is, I adore epic dramas like this (Sandglass, East of Eden, Seoul 1945) - I love when there are shows that have lots of characters, struggling and fighting for their dreams. This show has something for everyone, so I was really looking forward to watching it. I started with episode one three weeks ago, and have watched all thirty-six episodes that have been released. My verdict? It's epically awesome!


The story follows the three Lee siblings: Lee Sung Mo (the oldest brother, born in 1953); Lee Kang Mo (the second brother, born 1958); and Lee Mi Joo (the only sister, born sometime between 1962-1964) as they struggle to stay alive (and get revenge) after their father is killed and they are separated for ten years.

Spoiler-filled info about the Lee siblings and all the angst that has happened behind the cut!


He killed our father )


Giant is a well-written, well-acted, and beautifully filmed drama. It truly has something for everyone, and despite being a drama, it has some beautiful humor and heart. The characters are all complex and interesting with many underlying layers. Just when you think you know someone, they change on you. Characters start off likable (or unlikeable) and then change due to tragedy or finding happiness.

Currently, the drama is in 1983 - we've got twenty-seven years left. I'm guessing several time jumps are in store. I'm looking forward to where these characters go and how all their relationships change in the coming episodes.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Hong Gil Dong] Wedding Night)
This is a drama that I've had mixed feelings on for a long while. While I liked the premise: fusion-period drama with a touch of Hana Kimi; plus, the previews made me think of Hong Gili Dong, Hana Kimi, and even a little bit of Goong. Still, I wasn't sure if this drama was for me. I wondered if it would take itself too seriously or it it would focus too much on comedy and forget its historical aspects. The fact that the male lead, Micky Yoo Chun, hadn't really acted before didn't help matters. Despite my nervousness, I watched the first two episodes with English subtitles Friday afternoon.


The first episode was. . .a disappointment. I found myself rather bored throughout the episode, and ended up fast forwarding quite a bit. I had several issues with the episode, and wasn't sure if I should go on with episode two. But, since I already had the episode and subtitles, I decided to keep going. After all, I do try to give a show four to six episodes to impress me. And, I liked the second episode a bit more. It had a bit more comedy and I was really seeing the Hana Kimi-ness of it. I don't love the show, but I'm enjoying it.


some spoiler-filled thoughts )
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Random] Chobits)
I don't talk about it much here, but I'm a big manga reader. I read my first manga in the 10th grade or so. My parents, sisters, and I were at the bookstore and my younger sister found a manga she wanted. My mom agreed to buy the manga and asked me if I wanted a "comic" too. I agreed. Looking through the shelves I spotted volume one of Chobits and thought the cover was pretty. After that, well. . .I was hooked. Over the years I've read several mangas by many authors and I've gone so far as to collect a few series.


I've been following a few series for the last couple of years and now I've found that all but two of my series are ending soon. I'm in a manga mood and I know a few of my f-listers read manga/manhwa regularly, so I thought I'd ask for recs. To make things easy, I'm including a list of mangas I own or read and some brief thoughts on them.


Don't be alarmed but I'm being followed. Act normal. )


I think I ended up giving reviews of the mangas toward the end, so I'm sorry about that.



I was at Borders the other day and knowing that after August I'd only have three or four mangas to read - two of which as slowly being put out for different reasons - I decided to pick up something new. Plus, the Borders I was at has manhwa and I've wanted to try one for a long while. I picked up volumes one and two of The Bride of the Water God, due to the awesome reviews it's gotten. I also picked up volume one of Dengeki Daisy, because. . .well. . .the cover was pretty. (Yes, I am shallow)


I do believe now is a good time to get into a new series or two because all the companies are starting new mangas and manhwas this summer. There are a lot of volume ones on the shelves at the bookstores. My only question is: what should I try?
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([BBF] OT3 - The Only Good Things)
A Good Day For the Wind to Blow is a daily Korean sitcom that airs Monday thru Friday on KBS1. It airs at 20:25 o'clock and is the usual daily sitcom fare - a show about a middle class family and a plucky girl who changes them. Or something. The show is described as a romantic family sitcom and so far it is living up to that.


The thing about daily sitcoms is they last 100+ episodes, with each episodes being between thirty and thirty-five minutes. It's a bit like watching five or six seasons on an American sitcom, only instead of watching over a period of five/six years, you're watching over a period of five or six months.


The basic plot of A Good Day. . . is the story of nineteen year-old Kwon Oh Bok who dreams of become an illustrator. Despite hardships (her mother died when she was young and her father is a bum whose always leaving her in debt)Oh Bok remains very optimistic. One day she meets Jang Dae Han and sparks fly. At first they dislike each other (it is a Korean drama), but they end up working together and slowly a connection and mutual respect grows into something more. Sadly, things aren't that easy for them due to a multitude of reasons.


Dae Han also has two siblings and their complicated love lives and search for what they want to do in life make up the show's side plots.


If you leave your lover for seven years without a word don't be surprised to find them married when you come back )




My feelings on this show are very simple - if you fast forward through the boring parts - it's a rather addictive little show. It's a fun little thing. Actually, it reminds me, at times, of American/British soap operas - lots of sweet moments among twists and turns and weird 'WTF?' type moments and plot turns - and totally addictive.


Still, I'm mostly watching for Oh Bok (Kim So Eun - Boys Before Flowers) and Dae Han (Jin Yi Han - Who Are You?) and their adorableness. It's good because I can watch two-four episodes a week and it only takes me an hour.


At this point I do rec it if you're in the mood for sweetness and a touch of angst. But, after episode 90, we'll see if that rec changes.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([DW] Mister Cool)
I'm watching Doctor Who's fifth series. Or rather catching up on the series. I have to admit that this series has been very uneven in the writing and almost nonexistent in the character development department. The truth is Steven Moffat is a genius at making scary monsters and great/fun episodes - The Doctor Dances, Blink, etc - but he's really lacking in making his characters, well, human. At least for more than an episode.

I think the last episode I spoke about was Flesh and Stone or Vampires in Venice. I will say that I thought Flesh and Stone was really well done and River Song was slightly less annoying than usual. However, the only saving graces of Vampires in Venice were Rory and a few quotable lines from the Doctor.

There have been six episodes since then, and my goodness is this series going fast! Spoiler-filled thoughts ahead. And, yes, I still really dislike River Song and still think Steven Moffat is bad at long character development.


Oh, my boys, my poncho boys )
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Being Human] Happiness Is You)
Ages ago I watched a 'one-off' pilot for a show called Being Human. It was a fairly straight-forward concept - three 20-somethings live together in a house and cope with life. There was, however, a twist - the 20-somethings were a vampire, werewolf, and ghost. The creator of the show, Toby Whithouse, originally envisioned the show being about a sex-addict (the vampire), a man with anger issues (werewolf), and a woman suffering from Agoraphobia (the ghost). He later changed it to include the sci-fi/fantasy/horror elements. Whithouse decided that all the horror stuff - vampires, werewolves, ghost would be used as metaphors for the addicts and issues that people face.

The pilot, which was meant to be a sixty minute one-off, (if it was popular there would be a chance for a pick-up, but it could stand alone) aired in early February of 2008. It became a huge hit with fans and critics alike.


So, BBC 3 picked up for a series of six episodes that aired from January 2009 until March of that same year. (Some changes to the cast were made as the creators decided to 'go less Gothic' with the vampires and some of the actors' options had expired.) The show returned for a second series of eight episodes in January of 2010 and ended in February of 2010. Filming has begun on series three, which should air in January of 2011.


Now, I'd like to give my thoughts on both series. I watched the pilot a week after it aired and watched series one as it aired. But, I didn't watch series two until this past week for various reasons which I'll mention.

I've got this friend. He says the human condition, human nature, being human, is to be cold and alone. Like someone lost in the woods. It's safe to say he's a 'glass-is-half-empty' kind of guy )


Overall I recommended this series to those on my flist. Though, I think I'm a bit late as I believe most on my flist have watched this series. My overall score for both series (and the pilot) is a solid B+.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([LOST] True Love)
Spoiler-filled thoughts on the very last LOST fill this post.


Guys where are we? )
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Quotes] You have no idea)
lom
While it may seem like all I do is watch Asian dramas, that’s not true. I’m also a huge fan of British television, and not just Doctor Who. Way back in 2006, I started watching Life on Mars and fell in love with it. I ate both series up and could not wait for new episodes. I was actually really sad to see it end, and though there is Ashes to Ashes (which I’ve only watched three episodes of) it’s just not the same.


There was something special about the show. I even did fanvids for it and wrote a crossover fic with Sam and River Tam!

To quote one of the producers: ”It’s the thinking man’s Doctor Who.”. Recently, I’ve started a rewatch of the show and actually watched all sixteen episodes in two and a half days. In honor of this, I decided to do a bit of a pimp post for the drama. My hope is that at least one person reads this post (because it will take a lot of work) and that at least one person gives the show a shot after reading this.

Stars: John Simm as Sam Tyler; Philip Glenister as Gene Hunt; Liz White as Annie Cartwright; Dean Andrews (Ray Carling); Marshall Lancaster (Chris Skelton)


My name is Sam Tyler )
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([DW] I am the Bad Wolf)
I caught up with the last two episodes of Doctor Who today. I have to admit to really loving Flesh and Stone, but being slightly underwhelmed by The Vampires of Venice.




I'm not saying that The Vampires of Venice was bad, because it wasn't. In fact, it had some really great one-liners and had some nice insights into the Doctor and his relationships with his Companions. The thing was the episode was, well, boring. Flesh and Stone had a lot going on and was very much an 'edge of your seat' type episode - lots of drama. To go from that much drama to something more low-key was just jarring.


more spoiler-filled thoughts )
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Pride] different names; same thing)
I have a bit of a thing for human dramas, especially those that deal with a family or a tight group of friends. So, while looking for something to watch, I recently came across the 2002 drama Tentai Kansoku (Searchin' for My Polestar ). It honestly sounded like a rip-off of a John Hughes film. But, upon farther reading, I discovered that, in Japan, it is most often compared to the early 1990 dramas about college life – like Ai to iu Nano Moto ni (1992) and Asunaro Hakusho (1993).

The story follows seven twenty-five year olds, who were all college friends. Now, three years out of university, they discover that the world isn’t as perfect as they thought it would be. They are each dealt harsh realities when they realize that a person can’t always hold onto their dreams. Plus, it is really unquie in tme ump – we miss all four years of their clloge life (expect for the first week and the summer trip) and then we time jup three years after graduation. This makes things fascinating in that we viewers have a lot of things to fll in: how did this happen? Why does ths person feel ths way about that event? Et, etc.


Read more... )
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Chinese P.] Dorks)
I've begun watching Project A a drama from 2007, which happens to be based loosely on a 1980s Jackie Chan film. The series stars Dicky Cheung, Patrick Tam, Gillian Chung, and Liu Yuan Yuan. The series takes place in Hong Kong during the early 1900s and follows Dicky Cheung (a marine policeman) and Patrick Tam (a land police officer) as they battle corrupt officers and pirates. All while wooing their respective love interests. Think of it like Men and Legends, only with pirates and more comedy. (and no evil Japanese men with tiny Hitler 'staches)


A summary from YESASIA


Dicky Cheung is Little Trumpet, a marine policeman - though he doesn't know how to swim - in early 20th century Hong Kong. Nobleman's son He (Patrick Tam) returns from England and becomes Little Trumpet's superior. After some hiccups, the two form an alliance fighting against various enemies. Project A also interweaves two romances into the action drama. Little Trumpet encounters a pirate's daughter (Liu Yuanyuan) during an operation, while He falls in love with a nice girl born to a villainous father.



thoughts on characters )
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Film] Golden Sparrow)
I finally finished this wuxia drama last night, and I have to say that I did enjoy it. However, I think it was unbelievably slow at times and there were a lot of storylines that either bored me or that I felt were unneeded. I'm speaking about the overall show here, but I have to say that it seemed (to me) that a lot of things started happening in the final two discs that were a bit, well, not to my liking - Chu Cheng's stuff mostly. Of course, this is just my opinion and I've read plenty of reviews that list this show as a favorite.



In all honestly (and I'm sure many fans of the show will disagree) a lot of my frustration with the story came from the characters themselves. There was a lot of moments were I just wanted to shake or slap a character for being so stupid or cruel.


MAJOR Spoilers for the WHOLE SERIES follow!



best friends talk about their women woes at the river of emo )



Finally, I just want to say that while this series had its issues, overall it was a fun watch. The action scenes were fun, the character moments were often meaningful and memorable, and the overall feel of the show was a good one. I would say that while this isn't a top ten (or even a top twenty) favorite, it is a show that I could see myself revisiting in the future. It's a good 'starter' wuxia, and as I've only seen a few wuxia series, this was one that I enjoyed.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] (Default)
I finished Men and Legends and I have to say it wasn't bad. I think the show had a lot of issues: choppy editing and there were times where the writing was a little 'WTF?' But, I have to say that overall I did enjoy it. I do think some of the acting was a little over done, however the two male leads did do well. 


Read more... )


I watched the third disc of Romance of Red Dust - finally it is picking up! I think I now believe 70% of the OTP's epic love, but there are still moments were I don't believe it. I'm also loving the Princess and I'm truly interested in the stuff going on at Fu Nu's old place (with Liu Yun's character - I fell really badly for her). And, am I alone in wanting Yao Jin and Ping Yang together?
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([TattaKoi] That Look)
I finally sat down and watched the second disc of Romance of Red Dust, which had episodes six thru ten. I know it's still fairly early in the series, yet I cannot help being slightly underwhelmed. The actors are all playing their roles well, the sets are nice enough, and I see a lot of potential in certain things. But, I can't help feel that their is something off. Maybe it's Chu Chen near Mary-Sue-ness? Or the quick pace of some storylines and the slow pace of others?



spoiler filled thoughts )
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Random] New OTP)
I'm continuing on with Men and Legends, and I've finished discs 4, 5, and 6. Just one more to go. While checking to see if disc seven will be sent to me next week (it won't - short wait. But, then over half my list is 'short wait') I read some reviews. Apparently, many found it good but boring,confusing, and draggy at times. I think the main issue is that Men and Legends suffers from what many period and Mainland dramas suffer from - length and bad editing.




Men and Legends was forty episodes when broadcasted on television. On DVD, I believe it's closer to thirty-two, which makes me believe things may have been edited out for the U.S. DVD release. Now, forty episodes is no problem, but if things are edited out or too many storylines are playing at once, things can get a bit confusing and even annoying. Men and Legends is the same as many other period Mainland China dramas - it's like a big Russian novel. There are lots of characters coming in and out, some for a short while and some for longer periods of time. Story lines appear in one episode, disappear for ten, and then are picked up again. Though, this seems odd, the truth is - this is a DVD with episodes that were longer cut down into 45 minutes. So, instead of disappearing for ten episodes, maybe when it aired on television, the storylines only disappeared for three-five episodes.




The editing is an issue as well, because scenes do tend to jump from one play to the next. I'm with one set of characters and suddenly I'm with another. Whoever directed Men and Legends seemed to be a big fan of the fade-cut - you know, where two scenes sort of fade into each other. He/She was a BIG fan. I stick by my 'Things have to have been cut out when it was released on DVD'/'They must have thought each episode would be 70-80 minutes when aired/released on DVD' theory. Because seriously, some of these cuts and edits make me beyond confused. And, I'm the person that watches things so carefully I figure everything out five minutes into a mystery movie/drama.




Don't get me wrong - I'm enjoying the drama and all the twists and turns it has to offer. This is a drama about people who could have lived during the early-mid 1900s in China. They have the Japanese and looming World Wars to deal with, as well as the fact that martial arts are becoming a thing of the past in many ways. It's amazing and sometimes heartbreaking to see the main characters make decisions to safe themselves fully knowing that they are turning their backs on their ideals in order to stay alive/reach their dream.



heavily spoilery thoughts on some character development and storylines )
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Dollhouse] All deserve to be free)
From May 8th to May 10th, I watched all 12 episodes of the FOX show Dollhouse. Mostly because so many people on my f-list wanted it and mostly because I heard Alan Tudyk was guest staring in episodes eleven and twelve; I’ve been an Alan Tudyk fan since 2001/2002, so I had to watch. Now, I did watch the pilot, because I’ve enjoyed some of Joss Whedon’s other work (Firefly, Serenity, the first five and a half (or so) seasons of Buffy, the first two seasons of Angel), but – I turned it off about twenty minutes in.




Going into the episodes, I knew very little. I knew Eliza Dushku (Echo) was the star and a producer. I knew what I had seen was not the original pilot (is it ever with FOX?) and I knew that it was about these “Actives/Dolls” remembering themselves. Basically, I knew the plot and a few complaints that fans had with the show (slow pacing, weird slave/rape vibe in episodes, to name a few.)





Well, after watching the episodes, more or less back to back, I can safely saw the show has promise and it has a lot of issues that need to be worked out. For one thing: the first five episodes lacked focus. For another the Echo character is just a bit . . . well, focused on quite a bit. There are times when she’s Mary-Sue- ish and all her imprints seem to be the same – I blame writing and Dushku not being a strong enough actress at this point in her career. Also, Ballard’s increasingly creepy obsession with saving Caroline is . . . well, creepy. Very very creepy.





I’m actually less creeped out by John Conner having a thing for his Terminator protector, Cameron. I was less creped out when Jun Matsumoto and Nana Eikura were twins who made out. There’s just something freaky about a grown man being obsessed with a woman he’s never met and then wanting to ‘save’ her, while (maybe?) knowing that when she has no ‘imprint’, she’s basically, you know, a two year old.





But, I digress. I watched the episodes and have some thoughts. There were, as I said, some good and some bad points. And no, I don't think everyone will agree with me. But, I do hope we can all be adult about this.




Did I fall asleep? )





With all of that said, I do think Dollhouse had/has potential. The show needs a lot of tweaking. A lot of tweaking. Plots need to be more even – this is mean to be ‘ensemble’ than ‘The Echo and Ballard Show’. Characters need to be reworked a bit. And the writing needs to be tighter – because some episodes had scenes that worked beautifully and other scenes that were just a mess.


I’ve read that FOX will only renew Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles or Dollhouse. Because God knows you can’t have more than one futuristic sci-fi show. And honestly, while I enjoyed both (more or less on the Dollhouse front) and while I agree that both need some work (TSCC less so, as they’ve had more episodes to work it out – they’re building a new mythology people. They go slow because of that. Dollhouse went slow to show Dolls having dates with people who are, like, two seconds from being perverts.) I would, personally, pick TSCC at this point. Besides, its overall ratings were (apparently) more solid. To be fair, I may do this with TSCC. Because, at the end of the day - I still cannot figure out if I like the show or just the actors/some of the characters. But, I know I adored everything a bout TSCC.

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walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] (Default)
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