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Save the Last Dance for Me
29 people found this review helpful
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Jan 22, 2012
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 3.0
Let me start off by prefacing that I never write reviews but I noticed that no one has reviewed this drama & felt I had to rectify that glaring omission.

I stumbled across this drama never thinking I would really like it that much I had read the synopsis in MDL & was intrigued, anyway I was hooked from the first episode (which is rare). The main actors played their roles really read more well sweet without being saccharine.

What I liked best about it was the story yes its a a makjang & if you don't like that then steer clear, I personally love makjangs :D

The story had twists & turns & always kept you glued to your seat breathless with anticipation as to what would happen next. I found myself shouting at the screen at the near misses/missed opportunities for the protagonists & I am sure you will as well.

The whole look of the drama looks a little dated (fashion wise) as it is from 2004 but that didn't really phase me.

I have given a low score to the music simply because it wasn't particularly memorable to me.

Also a low re-watch score as I rarely re-watch dramas as I have too many to watch on my Plan To Watch List.

If you like dramatic, fast-paced storylines with lots of cliff hangers & good acting then this is the drama for you.
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Maids
14 people found this review helpful
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Mar 30, 2015
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 5.0
I have just finished this drama and am writing this review basking in the afterglow of a really good drama.

I liked the story it was compelling and well thought out. The dialogues particularly resonated with me. I really admired the direction and cinematography too, as it took risks at times and was little unusual for a sageuk.

It was interesting to see the story from the servants perspective, all too often read more in sageuks the servants are just minor background characters and here we see their daily struggles, desires and hopes.

The acting of the whole cast was brilliant. The only exception being Oh Ji Ho who was quite wooden and emotionless throughout, (I have seen him in other dramas and he is similar) although it suited his character somewhat in this drama so I am willing to overlook it on this occasion.

Special mention to Jung Yoo Mi who was outstanding she played the character of In Yub perfectly. She goes from being a rich, privileged young woman who has a dramatic fall from grace and becomes a servant when her father is accused of treason. She managed to imbue warmth into her character so that even when she was rich and conceited you still felt affection for her, It felt like she wasn't evil or malicious but rather ignorant and oblivious to the plight of others around her. She really comes into her own when she falls on hard times and her struggle and endurance is admirable.

This was my first time seeing Kim Dong Wook act in a drama. He played Eun Ki and I am very impressed with him. His character probably went through the most upheaval next to In Yub and his nuanced performance stole the show. Part of that was the writing, he was given some wonderful poignant lines but of course a lot hinges on the delivery, in which he excelled!

There aren't any songs in this drama which is unusual for a sageuk as they tend to have ballads but the music that is used throughout is beautiful and fits very well.

Overall if you like sageuks this is one of the best that I have seen. I cannot say anymore without spoiling :)
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May Queen
21 people found this review helpful
See all 7 user reviews
Dec 24, 2012
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 5.0
  • Rewatch Value 4.0
May Queen is a full on melodrama (makjang) if you do not enjoy this genre then stop reading now hahaha.

The first 8 episodes with the young/teen cast were sensational. All the young actors were excellent in portraying their characters. Kim Yoo Jung is cemented forever as the finest young Korean actress, in my book, with her touching and brave performance as the young Hae Joo/Yoo Jin. The story is set around read more the shipping industry, with revenge, love triangle & birth secrets galore. After episode 8 the story leaps forward 15 years later & at that point the story continues until the end of the drama.

Most of the actors in the adult cast do a very good job. Lee Deok Hwa as the pantomime villain “thug with a rug” as I dubbed him. Kim Gyu Chul as the weak, slimey butler forever in Jang Do Hyuns power. I hated them both, which was the point.

I loved Hae Joo’s adopted dad, he was wonderful and the love they shared was so moving to see. At first I didn’t think I would like the character of Hae Joo’s adopted mom but the journey she took was lovely to see. Lee Bong Hee and the Chun family ensemble provided some truly hilarious moments and much needed comic relief with all the drama going on. The Prosecutor was an admirable character, someone striving to right wrongs to the best of his ability throughout.

Chang Hee (young) I loved but I was not so enamoured with the adult version, he seemed to be weak and ineffectual even as a successful adult. I don’t blame the actor, more the writers for his lack of character development. Kang San on the other hand was played beautifully by Kim Jae Won as the happy go lucky guy hiding all his pain behind a façade of a clown.

The biggest weak link for me was adult Hae Joo (admittedly I have not seen this actress in anything else so cannot write her off completely) but in this drama she evoked no emotions from me whatsoever (except annoyance). The young Hae Joo was so excellent and the adult Hae Joo failed to live up to that promise quite spectacularly. Another weak link was Hae Joo's biological mother she just seemed to be a useless, weak woman who collapsed to the floor at any given opportunity, she did redeem herself slightly in later episodes, but her whole relationship with Do Hyun was a mystery to me.

I tend not to re-watch so that mark is always low for me.

The music/score was good, The main theme song I didn't like too much and started getting on my nerves in the end.

If you like melodramas this is well worth a watch the story moves at a fairly brisk pace (although it could have done without the extension).
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Unemployed Romance
32 people found this review helpful
See all 8 user reviews
Dec 8, 2013
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 6.0
  • Rewatch Value 3.0
This is a romcom from a slightly different angle. The story is told in flashback & from each of the main leads own perspectives. I found this approach refreshing and felt that the story was told in such a way as to maintain the narrative flow and does not confuse the viewer.

Its only 10 episodes of about 50 minutes each - it is concise although I did find the last episode read more a little rushed and would have preferred more time spent on the resolution of the story.

The side characters were engaging and hilarious. My personal favourite was Seung Hee's inept boss. There are also a few funny cameos along the way. The acting by the main characters was good and believable.

This drama's depiction of a relationship seemed REAL and not like the stylised, overly romantic, fantasy type romances usually depicted in Kdramas. It shows the characters from the very first meeting to gradually forming a relationship over a period of several years with all the accompanying ups and downs of life, I really liked this aspect.


The music - I remember a couple of pleasant tracks but nothing particularly striking.

My rewatch score is always low as I never re-watch dramas.

I enjoyed it overall and wish more people would discover this little gem.
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Cheap Love
12 people found this review helpful
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Apr 3, 2015
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 5.0
  • Rewatch Value 4.0
Cheap Love is a story about two people from very different walks of life meeting each other and falling in love.

Junichi is to all intents and purposes a loser and lowlife. He is a nightclub scout which means he talks girls and women he meets on the street into working for the nightclub and/or adult video industry. Nanami on the other hand is a straight laced music teacher at a girls read more school. She leads a very staid and mundane life. She is looking for excitement and something different. She has a chance meeting with Junichi which then leads her to have a conflict with the decisions she has made in her life.

Around the same time her father arranges a marriage meeting for her with a colleague from his office. This man is really keen on getting married to her and so she sees a normal ordinary life stretching out and on the other hand a life of danger and unpredictability with Junichi. The story then follows her inner struggle in doing what her parents and society expect her to do and what she really wants.

Junichi for all his street smart conman ways is quite naive and vulnerable. People use him and take advantage of him. He assumes responsibility for his friend who looks up to him as a role model. It is apparent from the odd comment that Junichi would have liked to better himself but unfortunately society has labelled him as a lowlife loser and he has found it difficult to break free from the only life he knows.

The acting by Sorimachi Takashi, who incidentally I had never seen before, was excellent. He played the character with a lot of swagger and cocky confidence which is masking an inner hurt and vulnerability. Nanami is played by Tsuruta Mayu and she played her role well too.

Do not be put off by the fact that this is an old drama 1999. It does not feel as dated as more recent K dramas I have seen. The story is very good and the romance between the main couple is compelling.

The music - we have some classical pieces as obviously she is a piano teacher. And also some nice instrumentals. The main theme song is a song by Shania Twain which sort of fits the mood of the drama I suppose although it's a genre of music which doesn't really appeal to me.

All in all I would highly recommend this drama...... that is if you can find it!
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The Way Home
18 people found this review helpful
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Mar 16, 2012
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
This is a story about a a single working mother who takes her young son to live with his grandmother out in the sticks, so that she can continue to work in the city. What follows is the culture clash for this spoilt little city kid having to adjust to rural life.

What makes it special is the grandmother who is mute I understand that this woman was not an actress & read more was chosen specifically to play this role. All I can say is she did an amazing job.

The bulk of the film is set in the rural community showing the ups and downs between the Grandmother & Grandson, slowly he comes to realise how much she cares for him & he also starts to care for her. Its a slow paced, gentle and poignant film that will leave you with a lump in your throat. I really enjoyed it & recommend it to everyone.
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Breathless
13 people found this review helpful
See all 5 user reviews
Apr 17, 2013
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 5.0
WARNING: this film is for adults it has a lot of swearing & violence.

OK now to the film itself it came on TV & I decided to record & watch later. I don't think I would have have heard of this movie on MDL etc. & got round to watching it thanks to FilmFour.

The story is about Sang Hoon, a debt collector & thug. On the face of it he read more is a vicious low life & a thoroughly unlikeable character....that is, until we get to know his back story and see glimpses of his vulnerability behind the tough guy façade. He meets a schoolgirl by a chance violent encounter and they form an unlikely friendship. She too is living a wretched and solitary existence and these two kindred spirits find solace with each other.

This film is an unrelenting, brutal and visceral tour de force. I would not recommend it to the faint hearted. The main actor, Yang Ik June, was simply outstanding in his role. I had seen him in a supporting role in Innocent Man, but in this he was so impressive, no hammy over acting like a lesser actor might have done. He played the role with a calm desperation, its like he became Sang Hoon.

There is very little music/OST in this film and I think that just adds to the gritty realism of this film.

My re-watch score is (as always) low this is not a reflection of the film but the fact that I rarely ever re-watch.
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The Wedding Scheme
15 people found this review helpful
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Jul 1, 2012
  • Overall 7.0
  • Story 6.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 3.0
For some reason I was expecting this to be a Korean Pride & Prejudice, it wasn't. What could have been a very good drama ended up being less than what it ought to have been. The main culprit being the storyline (being somewhat mediocre) and to make matters worse it then failed to develop.

Although at the beginning I found the lead girls acting and mannerisms annoying to the extreme, she started read more calming down about half way through the drama.

The mother is the character that ended up annoying me the most, Her behaviour and actions were inexplicable. She wasn’t evil or good just strange & indifferent. She changed her views without any epiphanys or learning new facts. The premise of the drama was that the mother wanted to get her 4 single daughters married off. She does absolutely nothing to bring this about & when two of her daughters find prospective bridegrooms she objects to them both. She should have been a character that is sympathetic but I am afraid I just found her odd.

I would have liked more of the story to focus on all the sisters romances rather than focusing on non-existent family feuds & a birth secret storyline which goes absolutely nowhere.

The shining beacon in this drama is Lee Kyu Han, his acting both the excellent comedic turn and dramatic was a joy to watch. He is the reason I kept watching and I would urge anyone to give this drama a go if just for him.
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Pride
11 people found this review helpful
See all 26 user reviews
May 16, 2012
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 3.0
Let me start by saying I am not a fan of Jdramas ordinarily but this is one Jdrama that really hooked me in.

I loved the story and the acting, especially Kimura Takuya as Satonaka Halu, he displayed humour, strength of character & vulnerability so well. The mix of sport & drama & romance was perfectly balanced. I loved the characterisations & the camaraderie between the ice hockey players.

I am not read more a fan of Queen but that song Born to Love You is stuck in my head for several days after I finished this drama lol.

My re-watch score is always low as I never re-watch dramas as a rule.
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Loveholic
7 people found this review helpful
See all 4 user reviews
Dec 7, 2012
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 5.0
STORY & ACTING: I came across this drama by chance I was drawn to the cover picture and the synopsis. Initially I was a bit off put by the lead actress as I had only seen her in a film before (Poongsan Dog) and had disliked her character in that. So I was fully prepared to loathe her again & drop the drama after a couple of episodes. I must say I read more was pleasantly surprised, admittedly she was quite a bit younger when this drama was filmed, however she played her role of an innocent optimistic teacher quite well. I do agree with the other reviewer & felt that she was quite stilted when it came to the emotional scenes, she lacked conviction. She did not emote well & I did not believe that she was genuinely in love with anyone. The male lead I had never heard of before, considering he was an idol & didn’t have much acting experience he did a wonderful job.

The story itself is angsty and a little too drawn out. The initial meeting when Kang Wook is a student meets and falls in love with his new teacher Joo Wol all that happens within the first four episodes I wish they had spent longer on developing this part of the story. Then the tragic event happens and Kang Wook ends up in prison, by ep 6 he is out and the story resumes from where they all are in their lives at that point, 5 years later.

Lee sun Gyun played his role as Prosecutor & second male lead well. I didn’t like the characters of Kang Woo’s two classmates who are obsessively in love with people who don’t return their feelings a familiar theme in Kdramas.

MUSIC: I loved the theme song it fit perfectly with the mood of this drama. There is a sad ballad played in the later episodes which I also liked. There is also a lullaby which Kang Wook sings in a an angry heart rending way when he is in prison (its in episode 5) I found this scene so moving and poignant.

Overall I think this is an underrated drama and I would recommend it to fans of angst-ridden, romantic melodramas. But it is drawn out & felt like there wasn’t “enough meat on the bones.” It could have been so much better if they had more story/dialogue to pad out the 16 episodes or alternatively if it had fewer episodes. Its still well worth a watch though.

A couple of my favourite moments were right at the end of the last episode they show their very first meeting captured in the photograph, linking back to the early episodes of the drama, so sweet. I also loved the way the episodes ended with the red string showing how their fates are intertwined.
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The Berlin File
10 people found this review helpful
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Aug 4, 2013
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 4.0
Wow just wow...I just saw this film and felt compelled to write a review.

The other review on here already gives you a detailed synopsis of the story etc. so I will not tread over old ground. In a nutshell its a Korean espionage thriller with plenty of action and drama.

The action scenes are some of the best I have seen & I have seen a lot of action films. The read more acting by the lead guy is understated and very real. Admittedly some of the non-Korean "actors" are not so proficient but I will glance over it on this occasion.

The whole film is shot & edited very well, the pacing of the story is excellent. I watched the whole film with baited breath. A real roller-coaster of a ride which will give you adrenalin highs and leave you emotionally drained by the end.

It reminded me a lot of The Bourne Identity and if you liked that I am certain you will like this too.

My re-watch score is low only because I tend not to re-watch films/dramas as a rule.
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Hearty Paws
8 people found this review helpful
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Oct 15, 2012
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 5.0
This film is sweet, sad, poignant & emotionally draining.

The three main players are Chan, his litle sister Soi & their dog Hearty. All three are absolutely fantastic in each of their roles. The bond between the three of them is shown so well in the first half of this film.
I don't want to spoil you but something really unexpected happens which is totally heartbreaking, I don't think I have recovered read more yet from THAT event. What follows is both tragic and uplifting.

I think if you aren't moved to tears by this film or at least get a lump in your throat then you must be dead inside like Chandler Bing hahaha
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Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
6 people found this review helpful
See all 60 user reviews
8 days ago
  • Overall 5.0
  • Story 3.0
  • Acting/Cast 6.0
  • Music 3.0
  • Rewatch Value 1.0
This drama was a total chore to finish. There are several flaws, main one being the writing. The different aspects of the story/plot do not mesh well at all too many different genres are thrown into the mix (thriller/detective/gangsters/comedy/romance/drama).

The thriller aspect with kidnapper storyline just becomes tiresome halfway through, with the usual moronic police investigation/constant mistakes in capturing the uninspired villain.

I found the comedy scenes totally unfunny and embarrassing.

The read more romance was ruined for me by the coy and overly cutesy acting by Park Bo Young. I am not a fan of ayego.

My biggest problem with this drama was the main female lead Do Bong Soon. I disliked her thoroughly and cannot understand how others found her likable and described her as an admirable strong woman. For me she is nothing but a two-faced, passive aggressive bully. She casually assaults people and then acts all sweet and innocent as if butter wouldn't melt. I found her hypocrisy a total turn off. She is smug and rude to her superiors at work. She bullied and assaulted people everywhere she went, if it had been a man doing these things everyone would have been up in arms . By the end of the drama I started to dislike the actress as well - as it is her portrayal not just the writing that i found so unpleasant.

Other things I did not like:-
- the contrived love triangle which went nowhere and made me question why it was introduced it in the first place.
- the way DBS mother treated her husband was totally unacceptable. If I were him I would have divorced that useless harridan in an instant.
- the main male lead's besotted act went rapidly from cute to cringe.
- the cliched depiction of the gay character.

All in all an utter disappointment I had looked forward to this drama as the 3 main leads were all on my like list but after this debacle I will have to rethink my stance.
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Live in Style
7 people found this review helpful
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Nov 7, 2013
  • Overall 7.0
  • Story 7.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 5.0
  • Rewatch Value 1.0
Live in Style is pretty much a generic 50+ episode Korean family drama.

It focuses on 4 siblings raised by their mother and focuses on all their stories and relationships with others. At times it is funny, sad, heart-warming and frustrating in equal measures.

I enjoyed the romance and relationship stories of all of the siblings to varying degrees. I disliked both of the mothers depicted in this drama. One was a read more selfish attention seeking manipulative shrew and the other a self-sacrificing martyr. Both got on my nerves and I had the least sympathy for the mothers even though one of them was playing a “sympathetic “role I didn't really care about her by the end of the drama.

The best character for me was Na No Ra at the beginning of the drama I loathed her & by the end she was my favourite. Her character development was wonderful to watch.

I have seen better family dramas than Live In Style (Smile You/Ojakgyo Brothers/My Daughter Seoyoung) saying that this is still well worth a watch. The characters and the story were engaging enough to hold my attention.

I tend not to re-watch dramas so that mark is always low for me.

The music/score wasn't really memorable.
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Reply 1997
16 people found this review helpful
See all 97 user reviews
Sep 21, 2012
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
I pretty much agree with a couple of reviews I have just read and when that happens I don't bother writing a review of my own. However, I liked this drama so much I had to add my voice to it.

This drama is about friendship, family and love. Its funny, poignant and simply beautiful. I liked all the different types of relationships that were depicted not just the usual boy meets read more girl scenario but also brotherly love, good friends, husbands and wives and family ties.

The writing was excellent I cannot praise the writers enough the way they kept the viewer guessing until the last episode without making it contrived or cliché. It was a joy & frustration to watch. The actors did a brilliant job too, my particular favourites being Yoon Jae and Joon Hee.

This isn't an overly dramatic makjang or a slapstick romantic comedy, its a wonderful realistic portrayal of ordinary people and the ups and downs in their lives over a period of 16 years, told in a refreshing, funny and heartfelt way. I LOVED IT!!!!!
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