[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2017.11.03 - 2017.11.05 2017/11/06,
"Ragnarok" still rules despite stiff competition from "The Bros"...
"Thor: Ragnarok" stood its ground against local writer/director Chang You-jeong's new comedy-drama, "The Bros". From 1,047 screens, down from 1,640, the seventeenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe added 833,949 admissions (38.31%), bringing its total tally in Korea to 3.7 million, or $28.8 million. Worldwide, from a production budget of $180 million, "Thor: Ragnarok" (starring a more comedic Chris Hemsworth) has grossed nearly half a billion dollars. Taika Waititi's "Thor" now needs another 256,000 admissions to overtake "The Fortress" (3.8 million) and enter this year's top ten,...More
[USA] "A Taxi Driver" Arrives on Digital November 7 2017/10/27,
South Korea's Foreign Language Oscar® Submission "A richly imagined tribute to a working-class hero". ~ Sheri Linden, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER "… a heartfelt appreciation of ordinary people turned heroes in extraordinary circumstances". ~ Barbara VanDenburgh, ARIZONA REPUBLIC "Song's brilliantly layered performance … is almost certain to garner the actor serious awards attention". ~ James Marsh, SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST,...More
[Guest Film Review] "The King" 2017/08/26,
Korean mainstream cinema has been moving towards Hollywood aesthetics and themes for some time now, and the particular one, which seems to draw much from Scorcese's "Goodfellas" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" is a distinct sample of the tendency. When the result is so entertaining as in this case, though, nothing else matters,...More
Park Shin-hye's office look 2017/07/25, Source, Park Shin-hye was at the VIP Premiere of the movie "The Taxi Driver" on the 25th.
"The Taxi Driver" is the story of a taxi driver who drives a foreign man from Seoul to Gwangju in a limited amount of time for money and gets to witness Gwangju in May of 1980,...More
Join the Celebrity Sports Teams! 2017/03/31, Source,
When you are busy working in the entertainment industry, you must keep yourself healthy! And what better way is there to keep yourself healthy than enjoying a good sports, surrounded by your fellow star buddies?,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The King" 2017/02/11,
So you know that scene where the hero is about to start cleansing the world of evil, then the villain pops up and offers vast power for him to instead assist the forces of evil in ruling the universe? In "The King", that hero is low-born prosecutor Tae-soo (played by Jo In-sung). That villain is high-ranking special prosecutor Kang-sik (played by Jung Woo-sung). The scene happens early on, the twist being that Tae-soo accepts the offer, then proceeds to spend the rest of the movie as a largely passive observer,...More
[HanCinema Awards] Best Couple in a Drama - And the Winner Is... 2016/12/31,
The couples that powered 2016's romantic inertia with their sweet interactions received your votes. It was a fierce competition and now it's time to reveal the winning couple. Thank you so much for helping to make the First Annual HanCinema Awards a success.,...More
[HanCinema Awards] Scene Stealer - And the Winner Is... (and Giveaway!!!!) 2016/12/29,
Occasionally, there is an actor who blows us away with the power and intensity of his or her acting. These talented people are the "Scene Stealers", the people we can't help but watch when they are on screen. You have voted for your favorite and it's time to reveal who you chose! Thank you for joining us and helping to make the First Annual HanCinema Awards a success!,...More
[HanCinema Awards] Best Actor in a Drama - And the Winner Is... 2016/12/27,
Today is the day to reveal two fierce categories. The first of those is "Best Actor in a Drama. Six of the hottest actors on Korean and international television vied for your votes. HanCinema thanks you for your support and for joining for the First Annual HanCinema Awards.,...More
[HanCinema Awards] Best Couple in a Drama - Cast Your Vote! 2016/12/15,
A drama that can make its audience root for a couple, ship the couple, love the couple, cry with the couple, and laugh with the couple is a strong drama indeed. Romance is a huge driving factor in K-drama and it is only right to take a look at the best K-drama couples of 2016. From December 15 to December 22 vote for your favorite drama couple!,...More
[HanCinema Awards] Scene Stealers - Cast Your Vote! 2016/12/12,
In every drama there is that one actor who keeps us riveted whenever they come on screen. That actor is a "scene stealer" and worthy of note. From December 13 to December 20 you can vote for the actor who keeps you coming back for more!,...More
[HanCinema Awards] Best Actor in a Drama - Cast Your Vote! 2016/12/11,
This year has been a powerhouse year for good drama and for its leading men. Young actors shot to stardom. Some made comebacks after returning from the military. Others continue on a glorious climb upwards on the Hallyu walk of fame.,...More
Your favorite K-drama stars - Did you know they are best friends IRL? 2016/11/09,
To talk about South Korea's celebrity best friends irl (in real life), we can't forget the famous Song Joong-ki and Lee Kwang-soo duo! Their friendship started as they appeared together in a variety show called Running Man. These same age actors, brand new to the entertainment business, quickly grew very close to each other. Soon, they even acted together in a drama "Nice Guy" as best friends in the show. Since then, their friendship passed the stage of just "best friends", they are more like brothers at this point,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "No Tomorrow" 2016/10/22,
Hye-ri (played by Park Hyo-joo) is an investigative reporter and Seok-hoon (played by Lee Hyun-wook-I) is her cameraman. Together they just sort of wander around the Korean countryside arbitrarily looking for news stories. Circumstantial evidence pointing to a business operation run by slave labor leads Hye-ri and Seok-hoon to a salt farm located on an isolated island, whose mentally infirm residents lead credence to the rumors. From there, it's a matter of collecting evidence and notifying the police. Or is it really that simple?,...More
"tvN Awards" Lee Il-hwa uncrowned 2016/10/10, Source, Lee Il-hwa who played a mother in the "Answer" series, didn't get an award at the "tvN Awards" which was held for the first time in 10 years on the 9th.
tvN celebrated its 10th year anniversary with an award giving ceremony on the 9th. Those who mattered were invited to the event and obviously the "Answer" series casts were the most welcomed,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Lucky Romance" Episode 16 Final 2016/07/14,
Initially the plot for the final episode centers around a scheme to try and get Bonnie and Soo-ho back together. Eventually it turns out that this scheme was a complete waste of time with no payoff as Bonnie and Soo-ho meet in their own special way. The reunion is actually quite sweet and heartfelt. It does a good job integrating all the best parts of "Lucky Romance" to deliver an effective closing message about love. But none of this changes the fact that the entire first half of the episode was a complete waste of time,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Lucky Romance" Episode 15 2016/07/13,
There are two major critical problems in "Lucky Romance". The first is that most of the drama's ideas are undeveloped. The second, more complicated problem is that most of the drama's ideas are really clichéd and bad, so developing them would make "Lucky Romance" worse rather than better. This issue kept coming back to me watching this episode, which is painfully predictable as Soo-ho is hospitalized, while Bonnie gets scared and affects a last minute separation,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Lucky Romance" Episode 14 2016/07/07,
Soo-ho takes his rather alarming reversal of career fortune in casual stride this episode, being fully determined to play the role of cheerful boyfriend through all possible negative circumstance. Ryu Jun-yeol really is quite good in this role. Soo-ho is simultaneously enough of an adult to be the leader of his own company, yet socially immature enough to think tossing everything aside for the sake of love is romantic rather than foolhardy. Soo-ho has always been a real person, rather than the caricature of adult virgins that is more common when they show up on television at all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Lucky Romance" Episode 13 2016/07/06,
For a spell "Lucky Romance" continues to be sickeningly, adorably cute with its main romance. It's hard to hate a drama that's obsessed with its own sheer goofiness- I guess maybe because of the way it works in memory? That's the fun part of being together with a new person, after all. All the minor gestures which keep saying in as explicit possible terms "I like you and wish we could spend more time together". Soo-ho even brings that energy to exposing the not-so-secret relationship everyone has not been able to acknowledge at work,...More
[Photos] Ryu Jun-yeol, a man who stimulates your love cells 2016/07/02, Source, Ryu Jun-yeol adorned the cover page of Singaporean magazine 'U-Weekly'.
In the revealed pictorial, Ryu Jun-yeol looks dandy in a white polo shirt coordinated with a black jacket. The suave look in his eyes looking into the camera lens brings out his soft manly man appeal. In other images, he shows off his pure and innocent appeals with the various playful expressions on his face,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Lucky Romance" Episode 12 2016/06/30,
Bonnie's constant rejection of Soo-ho has gotten to be rather tiring, so it's with relief that I write that this episode they actually finally start dating. Yes that's a bit of a spoiler but I don't care at this point- it's taken so long for "Lucky Romance" to get to any actual fun standard romantic comedy material that see Bonnie and Soo-ho is event worthy of some celebration. If only it could have happened without the using of so much clumsy game company gossip,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Lucky Romance" Episode 11 2016/06/29,
So after that huge climactic kiss last episode Bonnie...is still looking for excuses to avoid the plot. Agh! Already I miss "Oh Hae-Young Again", with its characters always making a mutual effort to keep their romance alive. Bonnie is practically the living personification of all the reasons Soo-ho has to not like dating, because she insists on making everything so hard for reasons she won't explain. Bonnie is long overdue for a discussion with Goo-sin, since the shaman is pretty much the only character who can make Bonnie explain herself,...More
Song Joong-ki in first place for 5 months in a row 2016/06/27, Source,
Song Joog-ki is in the lead for brand reputation for 5 months in a row.
According to brand reputation for advertisement models, Song Joong-ki came in 1st, Park Shin-hye 2nd and Taeyeon 3rd.
The Korean Business and Reputation Research Institute measured consumers' brand participation and communication by analyzing 41,004,104 big data of 20 advertisement models from the 24th of May 2016 to 25th of June 2016,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Lucky Romance" Episode 10 2016/06/23,
One advantage of slow pacing is that when characters finally act dynamically to move the plot forward, it comes off as a genuine surprise. I was about as bewildered as Bonnie when apropos of nothing a love confession pops up, and had as little idea about what the proper response should be. Granted, her weirdly uncommunicative stance immediately afterwards was a little annoying, although Bonnie is so bad about communication in general that this isn't exactly a new character trait,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Lucky Romance" Episode 9 2016/06/22,
Bonnie wears her heart on her sleeve, whereas Soo-ho is frequently cryptic with his feelings. The obvious difference between these two personality types is the main interesting aspect of "Lucky Romance", so I was relieved that this episode finally had these two engage in some extended casual conversations. This being an admittedly relative term. Bonnie getting emotional over her sister is casual for her, even if most people would rather do that in private rather than in front of their boss,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Lucky Romance" Episode 8 2016/06/16,
A rather disproportionate amount of the romance in "Lucky Romance" quite literally seems to consist of Soo-ho talking to himself. Which is funny since Bonnie is the character more easily described as objectively crazy. Bonnie's ecstatic descriptions of her sister's improving condition go a tad too far considering what little actual progress Bo-ra has made. At the same time, no one is much in the mood to argue with her since for now Bonnie's behavior is approximately normal,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Lucky Romance" Episode 7 2016/06/15,
Bonnie continues to sulk about how Soo-ho sabotaged an intimate encounter which at best was going to result in an unauthorized video floating around the Internet and at worst was going to be a gang rape. Bonnie does tend to be frustrating like that- for all her powerful faith in the whims of fortune, Bonnie is rather unappreciative of actual people making a real direct effort to help her and tends to stick to the whole "have sex with a tiger" command very literally,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "One Way Trip" 2016/06/11,
Yong-bi (played by Ji Soo), Sang-woo (played by Suho), Ji-gong (played by Ryu Jun-yeol), and Doo-man (played by Kim Hee-chan-I) are four friends on the cusp of adulthood. After some basic explanation establishing the situation of the four young men in life as well as their basic personalities, they set off on an adventure mostly for the sake of relieving stress. Leaving the confines of high school may be grounds for excitement, yet it is also an exercise in suddenly realizing the world is a dangerous place with tragic long term consequences,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Lucky Romance" Episode 6 2016/06/09,
The major first part of this episode is, as usual, dedicated to Bonnie trying to avoid the plot. I don't mean her literal objective of trying to have sex with a virgin tiger, but rather Bonnie's general unwillingness to engage with Soo-ho. To be fair, Bonnie has been pretty tight-lipped with everyone about her rather puzzling motivation. Luckily for us Soo-ho is able to piece together Bonnie's plans without her knowing, and this really sets the story in motion once he finally meets up with Bonnie and attempts to set her straight,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Lucky Romance" Episode 4 2016/06/02,
Seol-hee (played by Lee Chung-ah) is Geon-wook's manager and Soo-ho's ex...love interest. Yes, normally "girlfriend" is the word that would be used here, and it comes as little surprise that other characters assume that's what's going on when Seol-hee and Soo-ho meet on very stiff, awkward terms. I must admit, Seol-hee's character is a lot more interesting now that we know she had her own subversive motive for temporarily coming back to Korea, and it backfired because now it looks like Geon-wook doesn't want to leave,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Lucky Romance" Episode 3 2016/06/01,
Goo-sin (played by Kim Jong-goo) is the shaman upon whom Bonnie is relying on for superstitious advice, which she really does need. Having spent almost all of her screen time finding increasingly complicated ways to avoid the plot, Bonnie complains to Goo-sin about the impossibility of the tiger hunt. Goo-sin is incredulous that Bonnie still hasn't figured out what to do yet since she runs into Soo-ho like, every other scene, so he ends up giving her another arbitrary instruction that will hopefully point her in the right direction,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Lucky Romance" Episode 2 2016/05/26,
Now that the premise has been firmly established, it's easier to get a grip on Bonnie's character. She's very observant when it comes to spiritual matters- note the pantheon of holy images from radically different faiths. Yet when it comes to anything else in life Bonnie is aggressively unobservant to the point of being totally oblivious. Take pro tennis player Geon-wook (played by Lee Soo-hyuk). Most women would at least be a little curious as to why Lee Soo-hyuk is making faces at them but Bonnie is always in such a hurry to do nothing,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Lucky Romance" Episode 1 2016/05/25,
Bonnie (played by Hwang Jung-eum) tries to survive in a generally brutal world by relying on sheer grit to force people into giving her what she's owed, and begging for work that utilizes her somewhat eclectic skill set. These experiences keep causing Bonnie to run into Soo-ho (played by Ryu Jun-yeol), an obsessively scientific man with his own past traumas. Ironically enough, mechanical processes themselves often fail Soo-ho at the worst possible moments, aggravating his mental issues,...More
[Spoiler] 'Lucky Romance' Ryu Jun-yeol and Hwang Jung-eum bump into each other
The first episode of MBC's new Wednesday & Thursday drama, "Lucky Romance" aired the unpleasant first encounter between the two leads, Je Soo-ho (Ryu Jun-yeol) and Bonnie Sim (Hwang Jung-eum), who bumped into each other in a casino.
Je Soo-ho went to the casino to play some games and Bonnie Sim was working there as a cleaning lady. Bonnie Sim was looking for her previous boss who ran away without paying for her salary, while she was working as a server and a cleaning lady there. She was muttering, "As soon as I get you, I'm ready to get all the money back from you including all the interest and expenses",...More
3 points to watch out for "Lucky Romance" 2016/05/24, Source,
The new MBC drama "Lucky Romance" released three points to watch out for. "Lucky Romance" is proud to say that it sets itself apart from other romantic comedies with a different story, direction and performance by the cast.
The third point to watch out for is Hwang Jung-eum's performance. She takes on the role of Bonnie Sim, a positive and cheerful character who falls for superstition. In the still cut of her, she's looking at the sky with a sad expression on her face,...More
Lee Soo-hyuk to star in "Lucky Romance" 2016/04/05, Source,
Actor Lee Soo-hyuk is starring in the new MBC drama "Lucky Romance" as Choi Gun-wook, a worldwide tennis player and rivals with the main character Je Soo-ho.
Choi Gun-wook went to Canada when he was young and became a rising star in tennis. After he becomes a worldwide star, he returns to Korea in glory and reunites with Sim Bonnie (Hwang Jung-eum), his childhood neighbor and first love. He falls into a three-way romance with Je Soo-ho (Ryu Jun-yeol),...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2016.03.25 ~ 2016.03.27 2016/03/28,
"Batman v Superman" overruns "Zootopia"...
DC's much-anticipated superhero brawl, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice", has made millions over the past few days as filmgoers and comic book fans around the world flocked to their closest theatres to catch these two iconic titans clash. In Korea, the film was released on Thursday and was given an incredible 1,696 screens, from which it attracted 1.1 million admissions to capture 68% of the box office pie. Worldwide, "Batman v Superman" has already grossed over $424 million,...More
[Orion's Drama News] Battle of the OTPs 2016/03/26,
The Monday-Tuesday prime time dramas are approaching and we have casting confirmations, promotional material and more for a lot of works. Busy time for us busy drama fans. I am also happy to introduce some new drama related content I will be handling for the site starting soon. Join me in my ramblings and drop a comment to let me know how your drama week went,...More
'One Way Trip', the most anticipated film chosen by netizens: Suho and Ryu Jun-yeol effect? 2016/03/12, Source,
Movie, 'Glory Day' was chosen as the most anticipated film by netizens. On March 11th, the movie was ranked top on the survey by Max Movie asking about the most anticipated movies in March. Also, tickets for the special screening events 'Glory Attack' scheduled on March 15th and 16th were sold out.
According to 'Glory Day', this movie grabbed the first place with the dominating 60% votes on the survey done by Max Movie since March 10th, asking which movie the voter wants to watch most in the fourth week of March. This result is ahead the Hollywood blockbusters 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' and 'Hail, Caesar!', of which release dates overlap the same period,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 20 Final 2016/01/16,
We find out who Deok-seon's husband is, and you'll probably be surprised at the groom's identity in the grand wedding setpiece. Not that this is all that important. The main thrust of "Answer Me 1988" has always been on the powerful sense of community. This, oddly enough, is the most important part of wedding preparation presented here- the characters have to come to grips with the fact that they're leaving their parents' home, to start out on something new,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 19 2016/01/15,
The wrap-up for "Answer Me 1988" begins, as we close here with a sort of pre-epilogue. Nothing is fully resolved quite yet, and indeed, as the cliffhanger reminds us, most of the adult characters really aren't even aware of what's going on romance-wise. That's because the major setpiece is a love letter to the parents of "Answer Me 1988"- the ones who did their best for their kids, and each other, and who will always have a loving community in thanks for that,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 18 2016/01/09,
It's the little touches that makes all the difference in "Answer Me 1988". Pay close attention to the set design here. It looks like the characters are just hanging around in the same neighborhood and the same houses they were this entire time and yet somehow, everything looks a tad shinier. A tad cooler. Especially the characters themselves. Note how Taek very nearly appears cool and attractive now, even though he mostly acts the same. What's causing these changes? The haircuts? The beer? Or just...the nineties?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 17 2016/01/08,
The theme this episode is on pain, and how we recover from it. On the literal level it's just physical pain. Seong-gyoon is still smarting from his wound, and elsewhere other characters also deal with disabling accidents. But on the more powerful metaphorical level the main topic under discussion is emotional pain, as every potential romantic couple separates save for one. Then, one cute time slip montage later, we've jumped five years ahead to 1994,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 16 2015/12/26,
With this episode "Answer Me 1988" attempts to explain why its story, to the extent this drama has a story at all, moves so slowly and with so little apparent inertia. Somewhat paradoxically, the reason for this is that the characters are mostly doing all right. They're happy. And the surest way to risk destroying happiness is through radical change. Making a love confession requires courage, not because we're scared of rejection, but because we're scared that the possible potential change could be for the worse,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 15 2015/12/25,
Story has never really been a strong point of "Answer Me 1988". There's very little conflict to speak of, and what conflict we do get tends to be solved without much aplomb. Note how Seon-woo's reaction to the big emotional discoveries of the last episode is to...play catch with Taek's dad. Even bearing in mind the rather mild twist that comes out of that exposition, there's not really much more to that scene than what's right there on the surface,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 14 2015/12/19,
One of the nicer parts of "Answer Me 1988" is how incredibly even-handed the drama is with character focus. Part of this is probably just a necessity of production- if Deok-seon was actually the focus the way lead characters normally are I'd expect Hyeri would have collapsed from exhaustion due to overwork by now. Instead, her role here is subdued to a mild act of heroism while focus instead shifts to Jeong-bong and Mi-ok. In case you don't remember who those characters are- Jeong-hwan's older brother and Deok-seon's shorter female friend,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 13 2015/12/18,
Bo-ra helpfully narrates the theme of this episode at the closing. This is fortunate, since until that point I was at a bit of a loss as to what the title card, a linguistic variation on the title of "Superman is Back" variety show, had to do with the episode proper. We don't really get to see that much of men taking care of their families, unless you count Seong-gyoon's misadventures trying to fix household appliances back in the days before it was cheaper to just buy new. Indeed, one memorable sequence involves the entire neighborhood getting riled over a nonexistent crisis,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 12 2015/12/12,
The theme this episode is love- nothing too excessive. As usual "Answer Me 1988" is focused on the subtle nuances of living in a close community, and this manifests best in the exploration of the relationship between So-ra and Seon-woo. It needs to be noted, once again, that this romance has a fairly unusual dynamic because these two literally grew up together. For them, dating isn't really a "get-to-know-you" thing because they already know each other,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 11 2015/12/11,
Ah, Deok-seon. She's such a girl. Her friends too. I don't mean that as an insult- I'm just surprised watching "Answer Me 1988" and realizing how rare it is to see teenage girls on TV act like, well, like dumb teenage girls, in the same way that teenage boys can always be relied on to act like dumb teenage boys. And in the case of Deok-seon, this is exhibited with her puppy-like ability to develop romantic feelings for any boy she thinks will reciprocate them,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 10 2015/12/05,
Similar to last episode, there's not so much plot here, especially in the first portion as "Answer Me 1988" sticks to situation comedy. After strong episodes, or more specifically strong scenes of strong episodes, it's easy to get a little annoyed at low-stakes action like but I just have to remind myself that adolescence is a slow-burn and it's not really reasonable to expect that every big storyline event is going to receive a proper build-up. Getting hit with revelations out of nowhere is a big part of the fun. I certainly wasn't expecting a loveline to form after the appearance of the Bubble Bobble Mafia,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 9 2015/12/04,
The first portion of this episode moves pretty slow. It's just a token variety of the usual simple character jokes and pop culture references that "Answer Me 1988" always uses as a placeholder. There's nothing terribly bad about this. The jokes are cute enough but the material is uninspiring. That much changes after the first commercial break, at which point an unexpected event results in Taek unexpectedly getting to spend quite a bit of time with Deok-seon,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 8 2015/11/28,
The various plotlines in this episode don't really coalesce into a good overall theme. If you want to get really technical there are two story points involving a secret boyfriend and a secret girlfriend. Although neither of these are really especially dynamic plot elements, except to the extent that the question is asked, what kind of boyfriend could Bo-ra have that we've never seen much physical evidence of his existence? The answer to that question being, well, not much of a boyfriend at all really,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 7 2015/11/27,
The main theme of this episode is about how to express love. The first half generally details the worst ways of doing this. We find out, for example, that with more contextual information Seon-woo's attempt at a romantic confession was actually kind of a stupid thing to do. Although really, given that he was acting on advice from Deok-seon what other outcome could we have been expecting? No wonder Bo-ra's face betrayed zero trace of emotion last cliffhanger,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 6 2015/11/21,
Taek (played by Park Bo-geum) is a Go prodigy who has been having a bit of a slump lately. I haven't felt much need to discuss Taek because, well, there's not really much more to say about the character than that. Taek's kind of an idiot outside of the whole Go prodigy thing but his friends and family love him because why wouldn't they? "Answer Me 1988" is dealing with a time period where it wasn't especially important that people fit into neat easily defined categories,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 5 2015/11/20,
Even though the young characters are the main billed actors of "Answer Me 1988", I frequently get the feeling that it's the parents who are the real protagonists of the drama. The conflict of this episode is a case in point- the three main storylines are about the worries mothers have regarding what happens to their children when they're not looking. This being 1988, there are good precedents for that. There weren't any "don't try this at home disclaimers" for silly stunts seen on television. A lack of cell phones made checking up at home difficult. And also there was the whole college student movement getting into fights with the secret police,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 4 2015/11/14,
Deok-seon wants to go to university. Her family is ambivalent about this. Which is weird to see because in the modern day this desire is so utterly banal that it barely even counts as a desire. In South Korea (and the United States too for that matter) everyone is supposed to go to college. It's not a factor that's influenced by such rational circumstances as money, career goals, or scholastic aptitude. As is usually the case with "Answer Me 1988", looking at the situation as presented in this drama mostly just makes me wonder why the world we live in today is the one that comes off weird in comparison,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 3 2015/11/13,
The opening scenes are, rather innocently enough, about how girls like boys, but don't really know anything about them. That's the problem with having a peer group that also consists of teenagers. Everybody is equally clueless, but not everyone knows that they're equally clueless. This also leads to embarassments like Deok-seon's bizarre use of makeup. That's not a process which can or should be hurried. A pity the older So-ra is too busy being aggressive to offer much useful advice to her younger sister,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 2 2015/11/07,
Seong-gyoon (played by Kim Sung-kyun) is kind of the goofy uncle in "Answer Me 1988". Aside from doing a ridiculous dance at regular intervals Seong-gyoon also tries to show off how happening he is with modern technology by buying a camcorder. Ah, nostalgia, how sweet it is to remember that people used to consider having their every waking moment caught on camera to be weird. Seong-gyoon isn't a dork, the man's just so ahead of the curve that everyone has confused him for a dork,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1988" Episode 1 2015/11/06,
The real unspoken hero of the "Answer Me" series has always been whoever is in charge of the background designs. It could not have possibly been easy to pull together that much obscure eighties merchandise. Did the production team actually find this old Hidori stuff lying around somewhere, or did they have to custom order it? Everything looks so new and fresh, which makes sense because in 1988 this pop culture was both hip and relevant. Not so much today,...More
[HanCinema's Busan International Film Festival Movie Review] "Socialphobia" by Hong Seok-jae 2014/10/15,
Ha-yeong (played by Ha Yoon-kyeong) is a young woman who has made a reputation for herself online as a particularly vicious slanderer. Once Ha-yeong finds a target she doesn't like, she's ruthless and relentless about bringing them to justice. Of course, a lot of the time she's just slandering people viciously for no good reason. Consequently, when Ha-yeong finally goes a step too far, a posse forms to storm her house and then, well, then things get messy,...More
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