Movies 


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I started watching another Korean drama series the other day. It’s called Gu Family Book (구가의 서). The reason I checked it out is because Suzy (Miss A, Dream High) plays one of the main parts, which the teaser suggests is a pretty bad-ass martial artist. The main character is played by Lee Seung-ki (The King 2 Hearts), but I haven’t gotten that far yet.

Gu Family Book is a period/fantasy drama. I generally have a hard time taking these seriously, since … Continue reading

 
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Yesterday I was kind of in a funk and did nothing but watch TV series and movies all day. The last film I saw was A Werewolf Boy (늑대소년) starring Park Bo-young (Scandal Makers) and Song Joong-ki. I didn’t have any big expectations and only picked it since I like Park Bo-young, but it was surprisingly good.

The movie takes place in the 60’s and is about a family (a mother and her two daughters) that moves to the countryside because the eldest daughter (Sun-i, played by Bo-young) has problems with her lungs. At their new house they come across an orphan boy who can’t speak and behaves like a wild animal. They decide to let the boy stay with them for a while until they hear back from social services about finding a home for him. Sun-i gets tired of the boy’s wild behaviour and starts to train him according to a book on training dogs.

… Continue reading

 
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Tonight I went to the Korean embassy here in Sweden for a movie night. We saw War of the Arrows, which is about the Manchu invasion in Korea and a skilled archer who is caught in the middle of it all when his village is attacked and his sister (along with the other surviving villagers) taken by the invaders.

It was decent. Not all that much happening actually apart from the violence, fleeing and chasing. Kind of like a period action movie.

It was fun watching it at the embassy though. A friend of mine told me about the event and I got an invitation. The embassy is located in a nice neighbourhood with nice houses — all embassies I think. The Korean embassy is the one with KIAs with diplomatic plates in front of it :) . It looks nothing like the US embassy further down the road, that looks like a prison with a huge barbed wire fence around it.

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We got wine or soda and popcorn for the movie. On the way out I picked up a brochure about the Korean wave. There were many different brochures about K-drama and other things, but I picked this one. It’s actually more like a book at 100 pages. It’s about how Korean pop culture has spread via K-Pop, K-dramas, movies, etc. It has a section about SMTown in Paris :) . It even has quotes from Swedish fans (I had to think if it could have been me, but I don’t think so). It’s very concise and well written and it has a lot of pictures. Even if you just skim through it, you get a good idea about the Korean wave, why people generally like K-dramas, and so on. I think I might bring it to the office and put it in the break room. It’ll give my co-workers a better idea what K-Pop is compared to that program on Swedish TV (Kobra), which I think gave the wrong idea to people who have never heard about K-Pop before.

On my way home the train stopped in the wrong town. Luckily it was the town where my sister lives and she could give me a ride home.

This weekend I’m picking up my Korean studies again. I’ve been rehearsing some of the stuff I learned the last time around during my lunch breaks this week (we’ll be using the same book). I seem to remember most of it and I noticed that I can read hangeul way faster now. There is some vocabulary that I haven’t really used that I need to remind myself of again. It’ll be fun.

 
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So I saw the final Twilight film today (my not-so-secret shame). I liked it. It has a more positive feeling than I expected. There are many parts that are different from the book. Mostly to condense the story and not overly explain things that don’t really need explaining. I’m not sure how easy it is to follow if you haven’t read the book though. I liked Bella’s run in the woods in the beginning of the film, where you get a sense of her heightened senses. There were a few kind of lame scenes, but those are lame in the book too, so there wasn’t much they could do about it.

Part 2 was better than part 1 in my opinion. But that’s how the book was as well. The first half of the book was very awkward. I actually went to see part 1 with a buddy of mine. He’s pretty open minded, but after the movie he was like “ooookaaay….. er… so… ehm.. what did you think?”. … Continue reading

 

Miss A have just returned with a new album called Independent Women Part III. I haven’t listened to the whole album yet, but I definitely will. I just listened to the song I Don’t Need a Man (남자 없이 잘 살아) and… it’s awesome!

At the beginning of the music video you don’t know quite what to expect. Then the cool choreography starts and the song just flows from there on. I had no expectations for this comeback, but this is great. It has the characteristic Miss A flavour, but is still a new sound for them.

youtube

Miss A ~ I Don't Need a Man

Miss A ~ I Don’t Need a Man

31MB 3:50 H.264/AVC 480×272 PSP Ready

(download | thm | preview)

Credit: source vid. cozy@jpopsuki

I was a bit surprised when Jia started rapping all of a sudden. “Isn’t that Min’s job?”. Then Min chimes in :) .

This video also has the most subtle JYP intro I’ve seen so far :) .

My favourite member is Suzy What?♩. The bright red lipstick kind of clashes with the outfit in the dancing scenes (grasping for something to complain about to reduce fanboy level), but other than that she absolutely glows in this video (imho) 진짜♫. Red shirt *silent man-squeel* (love that smile) 정말♬

… Continue reading

 
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Last week I watched the Studio Ghibli anime Ocean Waves (海がきこえる/I can hear the sea). It’s about a college student named Taku, who is thinking back to his senior year in high school years and a girl called Rikako. She’s a new girl who moved to Taku’s town from Tokyo. She’s smart and attractive, but is a bit of an outcast among the students. Except for Taku’s friend Yutaka, who has a crush on Rikako. Triangle drama, commence! The story is told through a series of flashbacks, where Taku remembers the impression Rikako made in their encounters.

This is a TV movie and you can tell that the budget must have been smaller than Ghibli movies that have been shown in cinemas. The animation … Continue reading

 
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This is one of the movies I picked up in Korea. I didn’t know anything about it other than recognizing Kim Rae-won from other movies. The synopsis was in Korean, so I went solely by the cover. I got the feeling that it was going to be a romantic but somewhat sad movie.

The story is about Min-a, a school girl who lives with her mother. Min-a is very ill, but her mother wants to let her live the remainder of her life happily outside of the hospital. Kim Rae-won plays Young-jae, a young photographer who … Continue reading

 
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The other day I watched the movie Blind, starring Kim Ha-neul. It’s about a former police academy cadet, Soo-ah, who has lost her eyesight in an accident. One day she crosses paths with a serial killer. It all starts with a hit and run, that Soo-ah witnesses (she’s riding in the car at the time, but gets out before the driver leaves with the victim in the trunk). The police officer in charge is told to close the investigation since the only witness is blind, but Soo-ah insists that he questions her as he would any other witness. He is impressed with the level of detail in Soo-ah’s description and starts looking for the perpetrator. Meanwhile, his colleagues are busy dealing with a series of missing person cases.

The movie is pretty decent. There are some scenes showing what she “sees” based on the sounds she hears, and so on, that are pretty neat but short, so you’re not fully immersed.

 
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I watched the Studio Ghibli anime Porco Rosso the other day. It’s one of those movies that I bought ages ago, but never got around to watching. Until now. I was looking for an “easy watching” movie where I didn’t have to invest much. It fit that bill well. It’s a very laid back movie.

The story takes place at the Adriatic Sea in the late 1920’s. It is about a former air force pilot, who has turned into a pig for some reason and now makes a living as a bounty hunter, chasing air pirates. His plane is damaged during a dog fight and he goes to Italy to have it repaired at his old friend’s shop. There he meets the friend’s granddaughter Fio, who is put in charge of making the repairs/improvements.

I liked Porco Rosso. It had some nice moments, but some things weren’t explained or resolved. The ending is one of those where you get a summary of what happened to everyone after the last scene, which was a bit “blah”. Enjoyable none the less.

 
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Last night I finally watched Hana no Ato (After the Flowers). It’s a Japanese period film starring Keiko Kitagawa. It’s based on a short story by Shuhei Fujisawa, whose work was the basis for similar movies such as Twilight Samurai.

I was planning on getting it on DVD as soon as a version with English subtitles was released, but it never came out, so after waiting for over a year and a half I got a fan-subbed version.

Keiko plays Ito, who is the daughter of a clan official. Without any sons, he has trained Ito in swordsmanship. One day Ito meets a lower ranking samurai, Magoshiro, who asks for a sparring match. During the match they make a connection. However, Ito’s future husband has already been decided and she tries to quench her feelings.

This might sound like a very romantic story, but it’s not typically romantic as much as a story of respect and quiet admiration. I don’t want to spoil the story more than that.

… Continue reading

 

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