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Love Sick
46 people found this review helpful
Jan 12, 2015
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 10
***Looong Review - for you who can't stand to read the whole thing - key words; ***

* A very nice and cute adaptation of an extremely popular online novel on the classic theme of teen love and school life, but with a little twist.
* First episode kinda' sucks but bear with it - it gets good.
* Honest and expressive acting by the leads
* Cute score and Music
* I love it.

So, to the longer version;

Let me start by saying that I absolutely adore this series, I love, love, love, love, love it.
Secondly, I am very prone to fangirling and therefore get all crazed up and squealing over most BL.
So I am biased, but I'll try to be as objective as possible.

And the thing is, this is not even BL. This is just about teens.

The plot is the average teen-love-school set thing, nothing original there. High schoolers are in love, fight, break up, get together, are jealous, get drunk - yada yada, you know the deal...
But - there's a twist. The main protagonists are both guys.
Tadaah - the classic BL melodrama is set for action.
But the other twist is, that it isn't. Because this differs from the other stuff.
This is not about being gay, societal issues connected to it, or even catering to fangirls.
(Ok, a little bit, then.)
This is something a little bit different. All of us BL-crazed, know that most stories in the genre are angsty, sad and usually ends tragically - after we've cried our eyes out over the forbidden love.
In Love Sick - it's not angsty, not very sad at all, no forbidden love and the whole athmosphere is a positive and happy one. This isn't a story about two gay guys in love, it's just a story about two teens who fall in love. The gender is not all that important in this case, the air is accepting and happy-go-lucky and it's SO refreshing. I love that the focus is not all that much about the two lovebirds both being guys, but rather that the trouble around them is created from other obstacles, which are universal and not related to gender nor sexuality.

The series is based on a very popular Thai online novel called; Love Sick - The chaotic lives of Blue Shorts Guys (Chunlamoon noom kang keng namgern) and very well adapted from the novel, with the difference that the two protagonists Phun and Noh aren't the only focus in the series - as they are in the novel. In the series, their friends and classmates have gotten their own storylines.
Which, in all honesty, aren't all that interesting IMO, but one or two characters have the presence to make us want to know more about them. But some of the side stories are really boring, actually.
Due to the novel being published first, the series had a huge fanbase already before it started airing and the pressure was huge to make it work.
The first episode - didn't. It's really bad as a whole and some people tell you to skip it entirely. I don't agree since there are some stuff in the end that are relevant and also, it's a good episode to go back and watch later on, when one knows the characters a bit better. But don't give up just because you'll probably find the first episode boring and pretty bad!
It gets better soon, promise.

Most of the actors in the series (if not all?) are total newbies and have never done any acting before.
And that's one thing that really impresses me since I wouldn't have guessed that. The first couple of episodes were a little bit awkward in the acting, probably the actors were getting to know their characters and getting settled in them. The two main characters, Phun and Noh, are a bit clumsy - especially Captain Chonlathorn, who plays Noh, who tends to overact in the first eps. I would imagine that it might be a little bit awkward settling into a fairly physical role with another person of the same sex in front of a camera, especially as Captain, at the making of the series, was only 16 (!!!) years old (soon to be 17 as of right now) and White Boonserm who plays Phun, is only slightly older, being 18.

But the two leads catch up quickly and turn into brightly shining little stars.
It's not that the are making ground breaking, dramatic performances worthy of a ton of awards,
but rather that they are so believable that one is completely convinced of their characters and the relationship between them. Their acting is incredibly honest and natural and their eyes and facial expressions tell whole stories in themselves.
The chemistry between them is absolute awesome and shoots sparks.
Captain is like an Energizer Bunny, all over the place, but in a way that makes one smile and fall completely in love with him. White is more calm and composed but manages to portray Phun excellently. The other actors also do a fairly good job although no as shining.
The characters and their storyline is very faithful to the original story, which is good.
The novel isn't in any way explicit, but the series are even more innocent. A lot is left for the viewer's imagination and to read between the lines.

The score and music is cute and mostly very good IMO. A couple of songs from the soundtrack I like very much, like Captain's (yes, he sings too and rather well, actually) - Khor rong, which I think is great. I also like the title song - Shake.
All the music is light and cute and stay true to the feeling of the series.

For me, the rewatch value is huge - since I've already watched through the whole thing many times...
I'm completely hooked and very engaged in the series. I follow the novel obsessively, eagerly waiting for every chapter to be translated into English by the eminent Kuda Lakorn at , who also translates and subs the fansubs of the series.
Both the novel and the series are... floaty, bubbly, shiny and light. Positive and extremely refreshing and innocent in their storytelling.
I think that most young people who like romantic stories could find the series entertaining, whether they are BL fans or not.
The series is not a masterpiece, but I will gladly rate it as an 8 overall - because I really, really love it and it has so many positive sides to it, even though it's not in any way a heavy weight.
Engaging, endearing and enjoyable are probably the keywords.

Season 2 is scheduled to air the 25;th of april 2015 - I will be benched, waiting for the translation!

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Boku no Ita Jikan
18 people found this review helpful
Dec 20, 2014
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
I don't hand out 10/10 very often. The movie or series I reward with such a high score, has to be a masterpiece in almost every single detail. To this drama I can't give anything but a 10.

The visual work wasn't outstanding in any way. There was no amazing costumes, makeup nor special effects. The musical score was very good, but not fantastic. There is no epic, earth shattering plot.
There was just the story of a guy, of a disease and of life. Just that simple. And just that amazing.

Carried by actors with talent, sincerity and emotional depth. Everyone in the cast made a good job,
even though some of the actors were shining just a little bit more than the others.
Tabe Mikako made a beautiful and tranquil portrait of a strong woman and good performances were given also by Asada Miyoko as her mother and Kazama Shunsuke as the likable Mamoru.
I liked Fukikoshi Mitsuru as the neurologist Dr Tanimoto and found Nomura Shuhei as Takuto's younger brother Rikuto, entertaining and endearing in his role as the socially awkward guy - who very clearly has Aspergers syndrome (even if it's never said outright.)
But the monster performance of tremendous impact was of course by Miura Haruma, who shines brighter than a star in the role as Takuto.
I believe there could not have been any better choice of actor for the role,
Miura nails it completely and absolutely CRUSHES any competition from Eddie Redmayne and "The theory of Everything". Stephen Hawking is an inspirational person and that movie was rather good, but how I wish that this series would be the one praised and well known.
Sorry Stephen and Eddie, but Takuto and Miura Haruma kicks your asses big time regarding inspirational impact and acting. I have always liked Miura but now he leapt right up to the #1 spot in my "Best asian actors" list.

As for the emotional impact of the drama - wow.
I have personal experience of the disease. My father died of ALS some years back, only 58 years old, about 2,5 years after diagnosis (rather fast) and 3,5 years after onset of symtoms. I worked as caretaker for him and am very familiar with everything related to the disease, it's progress and the care given to the patient. And I am very impressed by how meticulously every little detail was worked out and how Miura acted his role physically - it was very realistic.
And the agony, the emotions... I was completely blown away. I believed his acting every single minute of the series, I never once thought of him as an actor, but only as Takuto. I still can't shake off the belief that Takuto very much exists, that's how good Miura was.

It's sad, very sad. And painful. And agonizing. It WILL make you cry. A lot. And I mean A LOT.
But it's also beautiful, humorous, heartwarming, insightful, thought provoking and inspiring.
But more than anything else - it's hopeful.
I honestly feel that this story changed my life in a way. It made me think. A lot.
About who I am, what I am, why I am like I am, how I want to be, what I wish for. What my goal is.
Like Takuto, I will try to find my goals.

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Yes or No
20 people found this review helpful
Jan 3, 2015
Completed 1
Overall 5.5
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 5.5
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 3.0
Hmm. I don't really know what I think about this one.
The Movie critic in me says "It really wasn't very good."
The BL fangirl (by association, I also react similarly to Girl x Girl) in me says "Yay."
The defender of LGBT rights in me, says "It's important."
So which is it? Maybe all above.

The storyline is thin - pretty nonexistent - and the movie flows on a casual feeling, completely character driven. Just that the characters are equally thin and don't push the story forward at all...
They're both cute and endearing, but have no depth, no defining qualities, nothing much.
Pie is stuck up, childish and homophobic. Kim is dorky, meek and a pushover. That's about it.
When they get friendlier with eachother and lose those initial traits, you're left with... kind of nothing.
It feels like the movie is made for the sake of making a movie about two girls that fall in love.
Which, from cinematic POV, is pretty lame. But seen to the message, it IS important.
Even though the topic of social stigma is approached in a very naïve and simplistic way, it's still an issue which needs to be adressed and get attention. Very few stories are told about girls who love girls.
So, in that way, it is an important movie. I think it's able to reach a younger audience very well.

The cast and their actin,g was really bleak. No one shone, although Sucharat Manaying as Pie, made the best performance. Her acting was okay. Tina Jittaleela was totally forgettable and made no impression whatsoever.

It's a sweet little story but it's really grossly overrated - 8,1 is far too high a rating.
I gave it 5,5 - i.e. a little bit better than average.
Nothing memorable, but is well worth seeing once. I won't watch it again though.

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City of Life and Death
4 people found this review helpful
Jan 12, 2015
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Seldom have I been so completely punched down by a movie, and so utterly engrossed.
Everything about this one just sucks you in, and shakes you up entirely.

The black and white execution can, I guess, be a bit different, for watchers not used to old black and white movies, and definitely pretty unusual nowadays. But as I see it, this is one of the most important features of the movie, giving a raw, documentary, and very authentic feel to it. A very smart move by the director, giving the impression that what you are watching, is a piece of naked, at-the-scene history.
Still, the visual of the movie never loses it's insanely beautiful and powerful cinematography, with every frame In-Your-Face, smashing you like a fist of master photo.
The form of this epic piece of film history, is the mellow and minimalistic storytelling of old, classic war drama - composed and restrained, yet the more strong in it's impact.

The actor portraits are strong, convincing and complex, and lets you feel and wonder, rather than just being fed, evolving and revealing more and more as the story unravels.
Especially Nakaizumi Hideo makes an amazing job in his rendition of Kadokawa, and makes me believe, and feel, him.

The score and sound are also powerful, and adds to the air created, and a couple of scenes are epic, unforgettable, in their perfect harmony of visual, score and emotional strength (the scene with the climb to the top to oversee the field of corpses, and the scene with the ritualistic dance). Scenes that makes one shiver to the core - pure cinematic ecstasy.

The story is simple, yet so dense of emotion and complexity, in it's slow pacing leading to a inevitable climax. Never pointing fingers, never glorifying, never picking sides. Just showing the horror of war, naked and raw, never glutting in blood, misery and atrocity, nonetheless giving a deep impact on the Viewer.

This movie is NOT overrated by the people calling it a genuine masterpiece, because it IS.
A powerful, haunting picture of a horrific piece of history, with believable portrayals of HUMANS rather than sides. Humans affected by, and changed by, war. Beautifully told in it's awfulness.

In a word; fantastic.

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Make Me Shudder 3
4 people found this review helpful
Nov 2, 2015
Completed 0
Overall 3.0
Story 2.0
Acting/Cast 3.0
Music 3.0
Rewatch Value 2.0
Let me start by saying that I love these guys. I really do.
They're noisy, brawny, oh-no-they-didn't B-class teen actors that get by on their looks and/or comedic outrageousness, but still, I can't help but surrender to their moronic charms...

But not even the very soft spot I have for this bunch of loveable idiots, could save this painful mess...
Not that the prequels deserve any awards for best movies - but they were kind of funny every now and then and made them watchable.
This one... well... let's just say that half of the movie is spent running hence and forth in the dark, sceaming and yelling. (Though, James Vejvongsa has the most epic girly shriek ever... one of the few amusing things about this flick...)
The other movies in the series, of course, also contain a huge part of screaming and running - but this got really ridiculous. You were wondering when there would actually be some kind of plot or acting - not just yelling at the top of their lungs until they ran out of breath. (Fortunately, after about 1/3 of the movie, they at least did something WHILE screaming.)
Unfortunately - that just didn't improve the overall experience very much.

The story is virtually nonexistent - in contrary to the earlier movies. Their plots were almost as thin as water, but at least there was a beginning, a middle, an end and a specific task/ordeal to go through and solve. In this one, there just isn't. I have no idea why the scriptwriters couldn't come up with ANYTHING.
I gladly volunteer to scribble something up if they're gonna make a 4th one... (which the ending clearly hints.)
It's a shame that they didn't give the guys something to work with, since they have the knack for comedic slapstick humour and could've made this a more amusing watch.

Another thing about the story that I disliked, was the uncomfortable Tsunami-setting.
I just don't think enough time has passed since the Boxing Day disaster of 2004, for a horror comedy movie to be made about the particular scenario. (Nor the 2011 Japanese tragedy.)
The attempt of redeeming it and trying to turn it into a sad thing instead, just didn't smooth it out enough for me. I think that relatives and friends of victims from 2004, should stay away from this one because they might find the use of the dead very offensive.
It was quite distasteful in my opinion. I felt bothered by it and it affected the movie negatively.
To wrap it up - there was SOME kind of story so bottom score isn't applicable - and I didn't hate it enough to consider it utter trash, so my verdict is 2. A disaster, but not of mega quake magnitude.

SFX suck, makeup sucks, directing sucks, script sucks.

For the acting - well, I think most of us can agree on the fact that these aren't guys that will be nominated for any Best Actor awards... (But who knows, there might be some gems among them, that just hasn't had the opportunity to try out any serious roles. That would be interesting to find out.)
But they ARE gifted with comedic talent and expressivity, as well as shamelessness and guts.
Not to mention a LOT of charisma and awesome chemistry in their co acting.
With a bit more time, more experience and better directing, many of them might just develop into high quality comedy stars. They work hard and try their best with what they have to work with.
So my low rating for the acting isn't all about their qualities but has a lot to do with the crappy script and directing. The production wasted their potential.

A little plus though, is that many of them are quite pleasant for the eye... ;) Nick Kunatip is quite the eye candy and probably will turn out totally lethal in a couple of years... (Shit, I'm far too old for him, but still, he gives me a nosebleed...)

Another little plus in the movies, for me, as an incurable BL-fangirl, is the wink to the BL fandom.
It's satirical and obviously makes fun of the huge boy x boy fandom in Asia, but it's not done in a mocking way, which I really appreciate. The bromance relationship between Brian and Net is quite funny and in this movie they really went all out with different constellations of (ridiculous) mouth to mouth methods... lol...
Satire on cultural phenomena is always fun and I love it.

Music and score...? Huh? Was there any...? I hardly thought about it. That about says it all.
There had to be - so I can't rate it 1 and it can't have been appalling since I didn't react, so I can't rate it 1 for that either, so I'll settle for 3.

As for rewatch value... although it's a crappy movie, there is a possibility that I might watch it again some time if I have nothing better to do (but there usually are tons of more high quality stuff to devour) but in that case, it'll be solely enduring it, for my favourite goon squad.

If you want something even remotely good - don't watch.
If you want something really funny - don't watch.
If you, like me, love these idiots and can take 95 minutes of junk cinema just to savour the few quality moments of Nick, James and their sidekicks - go for it.

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5 Lessons in Happiness: Little Man
6 people found this review helpful
Feb 27, 2020
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 10
Making a good short movie is tricky. Making a great short movie is very tricky. This team succeeded.

I was curious about this series of shorts since already the interesting themes had caught my interest--not to mention the very cool concept of the audience getting to vote for their preferred happy ending, which then will be included in a feature film version.

I wasn't disappointed. More like; laughing my ass off already during the first scene.

Because this IS funny. The theme itself is already hilarious--but that doesn't mean that it's not a very real issue for someone who has deeply rooted insecurities and complexes. This movie very skillfully balances the line and no matter how much it jokes about it--it never makes light of how seriously this problem affects our MCs life. It's drama comedy--but none more than the other.

A thing I found interesting and liberating, was how adamantly the MC made it clear that his stance regarding positions will not change just because of his (according to others) physical inadequacy for topping. Putting himself in a Catch 22, but with valid and sound reason. No matter how severely his... shortage... impairs his possibilities for relationships, he still won't compromise with himself to the extent of doing things that feel wrong for him. That's a very good message.
I also liked the comments from his BFF who apparently is TOO WELL endowed in the lower department--it points out that problems can be found anywhere, depending on how you look at things.

The production is very good--everything from smart and concise writing and editing, to the corny music that fits the theme and artistic style to a T. The acting, is great, natural and convincing and the entertainment value is huge. It's just really, really complete for such a short piece and I know for sure that I'll watch all the films in the series--and likely I will do so quite a few times.

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