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Jeaniessi

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49 Days
106 people found this review helpful
May 23, 2011
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
I had a lot of fun watching this "highly entertaining, very different from the norm" drama. It has a very real human story within a fantastical framework. It was entertaining and thought provoking throughout its run.

The actors had great chemistry, the music was very fitting and the cinematography was wonderful. It is not your typical love story. It is not a rom-com. It isn't really comparable to other dramas that have recently aired. The writer and director of this drama stand out in a spectacular way.

For the writer's part: So Hyun Kyung told a very good story with twists and turns and a movable plot that kept you watching. Just when you think the story is moving in one direction it does a little flip and takes you on another, unexpected path. The themes of 49 Days are love, forgiveness, family, death and learning to truly live. It is a beautiful story.

For the director's part: He kept the plot moving and stayed true to the writer's vision. The camera work was very well done and I love when the lighting and the shots are part of the action and mean everything to how the story is told.

There are plenty of light moments but this show was never meant to be a comedy. I have seen comparisons to other more comedic shows and I feel that is doing this show an injustice. It's been a long time since I've watched a drama where the plot was so evenly paced and well planned out. Even though that plan may have taken me in places I didn't expect and were not the norm for a Kdrama.

It is easy to stick with this show and sometimes you will be on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen to the characters you have grown to love. (Han Kang! I adore you) I was satisfied with the ending. I was impressed and pleased with the story I was told. I recommend 49 Days highly.

If you haven't seen it, try not to read the spoilers!

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Can You Hear My Heart
78 people found this review helpful
Sep 16, 2011
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
'Can You Hear My Heart' has a lot of the same drama tropes that most, 30 + episode melodramas have: Revenge plot, evil parents, childhood trauma, childhood love. It had some of the same archetypes: The evil antagonist, the chaebol hero, the innocent, unassuming heroine. It could have been a standard melodrama lost in a sea of other melodramas. But it is not. I loved every one of the 30 episodes of Can You Hear My Heart. Two things that made me fall in love and stay there for this drama:

1) The Characters and primarily their core relationships made this story extraordinary. Cha Dong Ju and Bong Woo Ri and their love story; once it began there was no wavering. It was a solid loving relationship that had the perfect mix of sweetnes, spark and friendship. Bong Woo Ri and her father and grandmother; when you watch, you will realize why this family is so special. Cha Dong Ju and Bong Ma Ru; their brotherhood, their bromance and the way they loved and looked out for each other. There were countless ways in which these core relationships and the love that sustained them, helped them overcome the trials they went through. Now that this show is over I feel like the message at the core of this drama is sometimes, in spite of blood ties or the lack of, your family is made up of the people you choose and those who have chosen you. It is sacrifice, loyalty and never giving up on or hoping for, the person you love with all your heart.

2) The writing was very solid. It felt like there was a real story line trajectory rather than on the fly, off the cuff script writing that sometimes takes place to appease the masses/ratings. I got the feeling this story was planned from the start and stayed on course. There were beautiful words brought to life on screen by the actors. My above raving about the characters and friendships wouldn't exist without this writer's insight and story telling ability. The themes of family, loyalty and love rose above the necessary story/drama propulsion of revenge, hate and hardships.

There were other things to love as well. The cinematography was great. It was a pretty sweeping story as 30 episode dramas tend to be, so the sweeping views and pretty color palette fit the story and scope.

I loved the way they handled Cha Dong Ju's deafness. He was such a strong character all throughout the story. He had moments of fear and uncertainty but mostly he was brave and wonderful. The "writing" always treated the physically or mentally challenged characters with dignity...even if some of the characters within the story didn't always do the same. Does that make sense?

It is a testament to good story telling the 30 episodes went by pretty quick. The angst wasn't so constant and prolonged that you felt wrung dry emotionally. Lots of light moments in between! There was never I time I felt I wanted to drop this show or give up. Actually, I'm kind of sad it is over. It is a wonderful Drama! Give it a try if you are hesitating.

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Penny Pinchers
32 people found this review helpful
Feb 21, 2012
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
Penny Pinching Romance isn't a perfect movie but it was a very enjoyable one. The synopsis here really doesn't tell you much or very clearly. Hong Sil is a woman whose past clearly navigates her present life. Unlike the synopsis suggests, she doesn't have any goal in life other than to collect money. She is calculated and methodical in collecting it and frugal in the extreme once procured. What she intends to do with it once she has it, even she doesn't know. Enter Ji Woong (Song Joong Ki) in whom Hong Sil sees purely an opportunity to make money faster. Of course, when you hook yourself up with a bit a scoundrel things don't always go according to plan.

This movie has a nice solid plot and story trajectory all the way through. It's real charm for me lay in all the atypical things about it. It is not standard rom/com fare. There is a serious and slightly gray quality to it that I actually found refreshing. This gray cast was in the set direction and writing but it was more to shape their circumstances. Let me assure you this is not a darkly written movie in a dramatic or depressing sense.

There were lots of moments I laughed out loud. Especially at some of the antics of Ji Woong. The scenes between Hong Sil and Ji Woong aren't overly cutesy but they are interesting and they make a great team as, unbeknownst to both of them, their feelings start to grow. Both actors sold their characters for me. Their chemistry together was good. The payoff at the end for both characters was worth 2 hours of my time.

Song Joong Ki is a 'characters' actor. Even if he has the looks to play a leading man, I hope he chooses wisely in the future because he's better playing a part with quirks and charisma. He has excellent comedic timing and a face made for acting through expression.

Han Ye Seul sells serious characters to me more than comedy so this part was perfect for her. I felt her emotion and I connected with the reasons why she was cut off emotionally and relied so completely on monetary security rather than the human kind.

I liked this movie. I would re-watch it again and I recommend watching if you are hesitating.

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A Moment to Remember
46 people found this review helpful
Jul 2, 2011
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0
Be forewarned that I've just now dried my tears. Crap... This love story got me right where I live. Watching Su Jin and Cheol Su meet and fall in love is magical. She barrels right past his tough exterior and pieces his broken heart back together. She so steadfast in her love for him that he has no choice but to fall under her spell and fall in love right back.

This movie is so well done; well written, acted and directed. It's the full package. It's even shot beautifully. The cinematography and framing is lovely. If you watch movies for the technical aspects of a film this one will satisfy.

This is the story of a deep love and how you deal with the loss of that connection through a wasting disease. How you find hope within that love when the disease slowly and painfully takes away it's memory. Both Son Ye Jin and Jung Woo Sung blew me away with their acting.

I make no apologies for my mushy hearted review of and adoration for this film. Even though the circumstances are tragic and the actors make the tragedy very palpable, there is also a lot of happiness, the sweetness of young love and the bliss it can bring. The ending is bittersweet and carries a soft sort of hope. I'm torn about the re watch value. I know I'll watch it again someday because it's just that good.

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Protect the Boss
69 people found this review helpful
Oct 4, 2011
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
Well, I have to say that I give Protect the Boss a solid 9. I wanted to give it a 10 because the acting was wonderful and for about 85% of the time, I enjoyed this drama very much. Sad to say, as usual, the extension killed the momentum and slowed things down during the last third of the drama's run.

I find more fault with the whole "Drama Producing Machine" rather than with the writers, actors or director. I think if this show would have been able to stay on course and end at 16 episodes it would have been beyond great. The extra filler did it no favors. Having said all that...

This drama had such a different and fresh feel to it! Yes, it was quirky and had clichés but there was also a charming departure in the way they used those clichés. It seemed the familiar drama tropes were thrown in for fun here and there but not used as a fall back due to lack of writing skills. The relationships were written differently. All across the board; whether it be the family dynamics [which was particularly refreshing and endearing], how the love square was treated throughout and of course the main couple's budding love. There were a lot of genuinely funny moments. And again, the romance was portrayed slightly off from the normal..."Couple meets, don't like each other, they fight, there is sexual tension, love, trouble, noble idiocy, true love!" trajectory that most dramas follow.

A standout part of the plot for me: The friendship of the three women. I am speaking of how this drama decided to take a different tact with the female second lead, Na Yoon. They curled her into the already established friendship of the Myung Ran and Eun Seol and made her a part of them. And oddly, comically and rightly..she fit! It was charming. Rather than turn her into a clingy, clueless one dimensional bitch, they gave her character development. She had her own endearing quirks and she ended up being one of my favorites to watch. Show, I heart you for her! Thank you.

Don't let those few slower episodes in the latter half turn you off. This Drama has a lot of wonderful moments, great plot, story momentum, refreshing writing and acting to recommend it. Funny, Quirky, Sweet! Check it out!

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Fermentation Family
43 people found this review helpful
Feb 26, 2012
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This drama really should be called by it's alternate name: Kimchi Family. The word 'fermentation' doesn't quite encompass what this story is truly about.

Kimchi Family is a real family drama with an extremely well written mystery and lovely little romance wrapped up inside. Every episode highlights a recipe for a type of Kimchi or on some occasions, a traditional Korean dish. Every type of kimchi and how it is prepared is mixed with a lesson about family, forgiveness, friendship, love, trust and on and on. The writing and acting are extremely well done. The way the plot advances and moves toward its conclusion is not rushed and no story line is left hanging. The pacing is perfect. This is a rare thing, even for the best Kdrama.

The thing that struck me about this drama is it's mix of corny and wise, silly and serious, tender and real. The well played out mysteries are what ended up surprising me. There were actually two! Ki Ho Tae and his search for his roots and another, slightly darker mystery that I won't spoil here. The great thing about how they were written is the subtlety and rationale of the characters. Each actors' dialog and reactions weren't over melodramatic and maudlin and yet still emotional and moving. I was excited to see how they would be solved.

I also loved how every episode was all about food, it's preparation, it's healing qualities for body and soul and it's ability to bring family together; both blood family and the family you choose with your heart.

Song Il Gook and Park Jin Hee were great. Their romance was sweet and their chemistry was lovely. Every actor did a great job. I have not one complaint.

The cinematography and lighting, the set designs were all so well done. I'm almost sad it's over now because I'm going to miss Earth and Man Restaurant.

The music was great! There is one song in particular that I absolutely loved. I don't know the name but it was a mix of traditional Korean, modern pop and rap! It was so catchy that I was actually bummed when an episode passed and it wasn't played.

I gave the re-watch value a 10 because even though I might not watch this again, it certainly is as far from a 1 (pathetic) as you could get.

I recommend this highly for anyone who is looking for an original (yes, original!) story and one that is maturely written and very well told.

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9 End 2 Outs
28 people found this review helpful
May 7, 2011
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 10
The reason I am giving this a 10 even though my other scores are a little lower might not make sense but I can not help it. In a sea of dramas with a certain premise we have all come to expect, this one is different.

It is about two people who have been friends all their lives. They turn to each other for comfort, for friendship and fun. They have seen each other at their best and worst. They yell, they fight, they comfort and criticize. They are REAL with each other. And slowly they begin to realize that this is not just a friendship. And once they realize that...What do they do with that knowledge? Go for it? Risk their friendship? Admit how they feel to the other person and most importantly, to themselves?

There is no grouchy, in denial chaebol hero. There is no plucky misunderstood girl who is downtrodden but so cheerful in the midst of her unfortunate circumstances. There is no backstabbing b*tch or scheming inlaws. They are just two people slowly but surely waking up and realizing that just maybe, the person they truly are meant to be with might have been there under foot all their lives. The writers make it so fun for the audience to watch it happening. The actors have great chemistry!

Give it a try. The music is a bit lacking. (I have a tendancy to be hard on music scores in my reviews. After the excellent OST of Coffee Prince and Soulmate I tend to be picky!) But I adore this drama...ADORE IT. Warm and sweet and surprisingly passionate. When you watch and realize it is not as quiet as you thought it is such a treat.

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Queen of Reversals
27 people found this review helpful
Jan 8, 2012
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
I began watching this drama for two reasons; I read on a blog that this was actually written quite well and I had just watched Prosecutor Princess and wanted to see more of Park Shi Hoo. At the time it was the first drama I attempted with episodes over 16 to 24. I wasn't disappointed in the least!

Queen of Reversals is one of the best melodramas I've watched. It tells the mature story of a marriage between two people who are struggling to make it work or having to decide to let go. The cast of actors all do a wonderful job. Kim Nam Joo and Park Shi Hoo are stand outs. Kim Nam Joo is wonderful as Hwang Tae Hee. The evolution of her character is a lot fun to watch. Park Shi Hoo is such a scene stealer. He has a great quality and screen presence.

The supporting cast was also well chosen. This was a melodrama but I loved that there were no birth secrets, no one had a deadly disease, no one loved someone they thought might be their sister. It was actually a pretty nice and refreshing change to watch something more real. The plot unfolded very nicely for 31 episodes and there were some real surprises along the way. This also has the funniest bromance between Goo Yong Shik and his secretary...Hilarious.

I ended up loving this show and giving it a 9. A few months later I stand by that rating. If you are looking for a great story about a woman really finding her strength you'll love Queen of Reversals.

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Pride
52 people found this review helpful
Jan 6, 2012
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Pride is yet another Jdorama that really scores! (pun intended, Sorry!) As I was going through the different rating points I tried to be more critical; does every point really deserve a 10? And I had to say yes for every one.

Like Rita, I found this drama lovely to watch and well worth my time every single episode. Unlike Rita I am actually a fan of Hockey. I grew up in a Hockey family. My father coached and my brothers both played hockey and in turn now coach their sons. Never once did I feel the action on the ice was fake or poorly executed. The team spirit and pride of the players was also something the writer and actors captured quite nicely.

The story and plot played out in time with the 11 episodes and I never felt bored or as if the plot was dragging. The writer really captured the feeling of the players, their motivations, dreams and fears. I have to wonder if he/she was either a player or came from a hockey family. If not...I'd be surprised.

Kimura Takuya and Takeuchi Yoko had amazing chemistry together and more importantly, with the rest of the cast. Kimura Takuya as Haru was particularly good. He was so natural as Haru...so confident in his role that I might have trouble seeing him as anyone else. The love story between Haru and Aki is wonderful! They were what most people aspire to in a love match; comfortable with each other with a friendship that comes easy and a necessary undercurrent of passion. Lovely!!

The soundtrack is by Queen. One of my favorite bands when I was a kid. The tried and true anthem We Are The Champions was only one obvious fit for a sports driven drama. A lot of their other songs "I Was Born To Love You" spoke perfectly to, not only Haru's love for the game of Hockey but also his love for Aki.

My re-watch value is a 10 because I would enthusiastically watch this drama again. It is fun and such an easy, entertaining story. 11 episodes long and does not drag. If you don't like watching sports dramas I promise you this one is a perfect blend of the right elements. This is about the characters and the love story set within the world of Hockey.

I recommend this drama very highly. So much fun to watch!

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Dal Ja's Spring
39 people found this review helpful
Apr 7, 2011
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
This is another drama that I'm very biased about. The acting, writing and chemistry of the two leads just makes this. If you haven't checked this out, find it on the web and watch it! It's a sweet story but powerful too. Romantic, comedic and fun. Chae Rim is wonderful and so is Lee Min Ki. The themes of finding love, keeping your career and finding power in yourself. This show was never boring for me. I recommend it.
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Lust, Caution
25 people found this review helpful
Jul 4, 2011
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
The synopsis posted doesn't really describe this film well. It is a story of a rebel underground in Japan occupied China in the 40's. A woman in the underground is sent to spy on and seduce a man for information regarding the Japanese. She is deep undercover, literally and figuratively and after a while, the lines of her job and her emotions become blurred.

This film has a very 40's film noir feelng and it's nicely shot. The costumes and set design are pretty to look at as well. The story interested me because living in America, you don't often get a good history of World War II seen from other points of view during that time. There was a lot going on in the world at that time; in China, Spain and Russia not just the major players like England, France, Germany, Japan and so on.

The sex scenes are intense but they lent themselves to the relationship of the two involved. Through their passionate affair you watch the spy and the target fall victim to what happens when you become physically intimate with someone. Feelings inevitably get involved. There were some scenes frought with tension as you watch the woman get in over her head in the name of her cause.

I'm giving this a 10 for great acting, directing and script. This is a very well done film. There is a reason why it was nominatd for so many awards including Best Foreign Film by The Golden Globes and BAFTA.

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Rough Cut
24 people found this review helpful
Jun 7, 2011
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
Punch! This movie is like a punch. Weird description, I know.

There were a lot of clever, artsy, indy details built into this movie that I got a real kick out of:

1) They played up the fact that this is a movie with a movie in a very obvious and clever way.

2) So Ji Sub's name is Kang Pae (gangster) and Kang Ji Hwan's name is Su Ta (star).

3) The scripts for the "movie" in the shooting scenes were the actual script for the movie.

4) And the ending...

I loved the intensity of both Ji Sub and Ji Hwan, their acting and characters. I loved that Ji Sub always wore black and Ji Hwan wore white. I loved the spoiled angry child in Su Ta and the way he got in over his head so deeply. Kang Ji Hwan always impresses me..Always.

I loved So Ji Sub's anger...his pure rage. His character's desperation and desperate grab for something more in his life, something he wanted, to make a change. The frustration of his inability to understand what to do with it once he'd grabbed on. And how his past, his personality and his lot in life were like a greased palm that made it impossible for him to keep hold. And then the terrible acceptance...He doesn't have to say much. That is the beauty of his acting. (sorry fangirl)

Watch it for the punch...beginning, middle and end.

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Petty Romance
44 people found this review helpful
Jul 9, 2011
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This movie is so fun! Another thing that solidifies my love for Lee Sun Gyun. It is about an adult comic book artist looking for a writer. He needs to win a contest for the prize money. When they meet their relationship is antagonistic at best. But those sparks turn into something more.

As typical as this set up may sound, it's so well done and enjoyable to watch it doesn't matter. I've actually never seen a movie premise like this. Well that's not true. A few years back there was an American movie about a ghost writer helping an author to pen a book but it was done poorly and there is no comparison.

Remember that they are writing an adult comic. There are a lot of sexual references but it's done very tongue in cheek as the female writer is faking 99% of her sexual experience. Most of the graphic sexual images are in fact, in graphic (comic book) form.

Watching Jung Bae get wise to her act...I loved it! Dae Rim is such a character and Jung Bae finds her tough to take at first. But when he begins to draw...it's her face that appears on paper. As the two leads gravitate toward each other and their feelings grow...it's so cute!

Lee Sun Gyun and Choi Gang Hee make a great pair. Able to be comedic and have you believe when they are sincere.
I recommend this movie highly.

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Nobuta Wo Produce
44 people found this review helpful
Jan 12, 2012
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
What a sweet drama! While the premise of Nobuta wo Produce is not original, it is freshly told and I enjoyed every episode.

What I really found endearing is the frankness of the lead male Shuji and his inner monologue/narration. I like that he was outwardly popular but inwardly unsure, bored, scared and lonely. The theme of this show is a simple one. Finding true friendship...whether you are a popular kid, a quirky loner or a withdrawn, scared and painfully shy newcomer.

Each episode is written to show the development of this core friendship. As the synopsis and title reveal, these three come together to 'produce' Nobuta and make her popular but...wow is that so not what really matters here. I loved the way the story unfolded in such an original manner compared to the way a westernized show would have handled this. Lovely.

The acting is great. Not perfect but very good. My favorite was Yamashita Tomohisa who played Akira. He was so quirky, clumsy and strange but what a loyal and steadfast friend. Yamapi was great. There are a lot of wonderful characters to be found within the setting of their school; teachers and students alike. I enjoyed Shuji's family. They were a hoot! Nobuta was like a flower opening up to the sun when Shuji and Akira found her. I loved the development of her strength and their loyalty to her. Wonderful!

At 10 episodes, this series was a fast and entertaining watch. No story line or plot point dragged on too long or bogged down the pace. The music was fine..not memorable but not bad either. But this drama isn't really about a standout soundtrack so I did not find it distracting or lacking in any way. I gave the re-watch value an 8 because while I might not watch it again this was a very entertaining drama and others might really enjoy watching more than once.

I recommend this drama highly. It's quick, it's sweet, it's touching and fun. Give it try if you are hesitating.

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Always
52 people found this review helpful
Feb 4, 2012
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
Finally! I watched Only You with high expectations and mostly...I wasn't disappointed.

The acting and chemistry between So Ji Sub and Han Hye Joo are what make this movie great. It's no secret I am a huge fan of So Ji Sub and I am very glad to see him do such a great job as Cheol Min ~ a man with a violent past who is struggling to rise above, better himself and repent the mistakes of his past. But I couldn't give this movie a higher score than 8.

Only You actually has a really great story set up: The rough, bad boy boxer unexpectedly meets a spunky, upbeat, innocent and mostly blind girl and they fall madly in love. Angst ensues when he tries to raise the money for an operation for her sight. I was thrilled watching the development of their romance. The way this movie played out would have gotten a higher score from me if they wouldn't have added the recycled element of connecting fates. The totally over used plot device of fate tying two lovers together is what drops the overall score for me. Time and again I see this scenario used in Korean movies and dramas and it gets old.

But the scenes between the lovers are filled with sweetness, sizzling chemistry, humor and heart. So Ji Sub is an extremely emotive actor who portrays every emotion in his eyes, expression and body language. He's just plain good. Call me a fan girl if you will but the man is talented. Han Hye Joo is also a favorite. I really liked her in Postman to Heaven and even more in Only You. She's one to watch for I think. I'd really like to see her in a drama again.

All the technical elements are there. Gritty, harsh lighting and gloomy settings and set design are used for his world and warmer light and more lovely settings are used for her world. When they are together everything is brighter. A nice touch by the cinematographer.

The music was very nice. Memorable in the opening sequence, in the love theme and the closing credits. I gave it a 9.

The re-watch value I give a 7 because in my case, the strength of my liking for the lead actor will have me watching this again. Others may feel differently.

Only you is a typical love story: touching, filled with angst but also includes a lot of light moments as well. I recommend it highly for all of us romantics out there.

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