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Completed
Bokura no Ai no Kanade
7 people found this review helpful
by Zabini
Dec 30, 2019
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 7.0
For some time I've been putting off watching this due to the low rating that oftentimes indicates dreadful things happening in BL movies. Now I finally gave it a try and I am glad I did!
It is a rather sweet and dreamy love story between two male students of music. There is Debussy and a lot of sweet scenes in which the music and the acting are quite enough to create an amazing atmosphere.
The main flaw of this movie (and the reason I did not rate it higher) is hard to explain without spoilers. One boy does something for the one he loves and the movie kind of rushes over it without really dealing with it. For me that was one of the main story impacts and while they take their time showing the development of romance in the beginning and middle parts (which I enjoyed very much), it seems as if they ran out of time to tie everything neatly together to make it great. That is such a pity! I do feel as if I've been thrown out of the movie theatre half an hour too early.

Even that is so, I will still watch this again sometime, it is all in all a sweet story with beautiful music.

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Completed
The Perfect Man's Man
4 people found this review helpful
by Zabini
Dec 1, 2019
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 6.5
Cute short movie about two schoolboys who are both unsure about the feelings the other might or might not have. I wouldn't call it fluffy, but it s a nice story to watch. Some plot elements could have been explained a bit more, the significance of the notebook for instance escapes me, maybe because I'm not very good in reading hangeul...

The actors seem a bit inexperienced, but are doing well to create atmosphere even at the times when no words are exchanged.
The music was a pleasant surprise as well, it does complement the story.

All in all, I might watch it again some time...

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Completed
Kare ga Boku ni Koishita Wake
5 people found this review helpful
by Zabini
Dec 11, 2020
4 of 4 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.0

Cute but superficial

Well, it's a somewhat cute show, but it lacks depth to be memorable and endearing.

Throughout, I felt that this could have been better with more episodes and more time. Pretty much everything is rushed, much is just left to the viewers imagination to fill the gaps. There are so many beginnings of side plots or aspects that would have complimented the main plot that are just left hanging in the air, mentioned once and brushed over. Why is Hikawa popular as a teacher? It does not seem likely from the few scenes we see. How can he not react at all to being kissed without permission? What is that family story and what relevance does it have? What about the relationship of the mother? Who is that blondish student and why does his opinion matter? How can everyone be supportive, shouldnt there be some opposition? Who ist hat assistant of the dad? ... I ended up with more questions than I care for in a series. It's as if we see a compilation of a much more elaborate show.

Personally, I do not care for that comic style with strange comic-sounds and very unnatural scenes and over the top gestures. Acting was so-so, nothing special, not the worst I've seen.

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Completed
Jugglers
3 people found this review helpful
by Zabini
Nov 4, 2019
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 6.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
All in all this drama was okay to watch, but it is nothing to remember.
The general plot is nothing new, but if you enjoy that kind of drama, there is nothing wrong with it. Hard-working girl meets unaproachable male boss, discovers his hidden soft side/ past heartaches and falls in love.

The thing that vexes me most however, is the storyline that was all over the place. The writing was done very haphazardly and lacks effort. It opened up several interesting side plots and aspects which were never really dealt with or completed. They painstakingly introduce the main leads phobia and troubling past, but for what? What happens to Wang Jung Ae? What about her husband and her relationship to her boss? Similarly, what exactly is the relationship between Bo Na and her boss (the end confuses me there) and what's her future like? I feel I've ended up with more questions than answers.
Some of the personalities were quite flat and did not improve over time. This was particularly so with the female lead and the antagonistic boss. Bo Na does have a story, but nothing really comes of it. The same is true for the main lead which is unfortunate.
It can be painful to watch women in Asian Drama in general, and this drama has more of it than most. Bosses are male, dominant and and protect weak (even though professional) female assistants who spend their time cooking, being told about appropriate shoeware/makeup and babysit the department. But you know what you're in for, so that comes with the territory... At least it has a divorced male lead and (single) mothers.

The acting was okay but sometimes a bit over the top. I particularly did not like the female lead who alternates between efficient office professional and a somewhat demented teenager who acts all cutsy. I wonder what part of her personality Nam Chi Won fell in love with, the cutsy girly dimwit doesn't appear to be his taste at all. Maybe that is why I didnt feel a real connection between the main couple, it lacks chemistry and sparks.
I loved Hwang Bo Yool who really transforms over time which is portrait very well through Lee Won Keuns acting. The relationship between him and his assistant outshines the main couple.

Some things lightened the mood and made me complete the drama after all: Choi Daniel acted well enough and his scenes were worth watching. Some scenes were sweet, some ideas fun to watch (cactus, manga quotes, boss/tenant relationship,...)

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Completed
Hannari Girori no Yoriko-san
2 people found this review helpful
by Zabini
Nov 14, 2019
4 of 4 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 7.0
A young journalist is transfered to Kyoto and tries to make sense of his new living environment, the different mentality of the people and their customs. He meets a somewhat strange girl, that helps him to learn to like the city. I guess it is even more entertaining for those who have been to Kyoto, as it shows many of the iconic places and tells some of their history and the stories attached to them.

The story evolves in calm way just flowing through the streets. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes more pensive, I like the colours and this undramatic way of storytelling. The acting is all right as is the music.

I propably won't watch it again, but I'm glad I did once.

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Completed
Akko's Secret
2 people found this review helpful
by Zabini
Nov 11, 2019
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
The plot is not exactly new: Girl gets magical object and makes herself older to enjoy the adult world. It is nicely done as it is set into a business surrounding with all its pitfalls and challenges. I bet it is even more hillarious if I could understand the Japanese language and the degree of rudeness this girl inadvertently spills out, but I think one does get the main points.
The story is pretty straight forward, there are no real surprises and it is more like a fairytale for teenagers than a captivating movie plot.There are some strange and a bit implausible story twists (and we are talking magic-mirror movie here), but well, strange things happen in fairytales. It's more Coming of age than romance even though there is a Prince Charming.
The acting was a bit over the top at times for my taste, but still okay.
I didnt really pay attention to the music which means it was neither awesome nor dreadful.

All in all it was an okay movie but I will not watch it a second time.

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Completed
Capture Lover
1 people found this review helpful
by Zabini
Mar 27, 2021
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 4.0
Music 5.5
Rewatch Value 2.0
This review may contain spoilers

Cute yet predictable story, low quality production

You know when you read the reviews and really get curious if it is really that bad? Well, as I started with very low expectations, I was pleasantly surprised.

Yes, the quality of the drama is very low indeed. Even a school project wouldn't get away with some of the more obvious flaws. Of course, it is low budget, you can't expect stellar acting performance or elaborate sets. But a lot of the issues have more to do with sloppy filming/ production and complete disinterest in detail or set atmosphere than with lack of money.
Watch the red pillow for example, that moves in each scene, that should have been blatantly obvious to everyone. Sometimes cutting is at fault and actions, that should be in process (e.g. walking) start like someone said "Go". The Set appears as if some (female) crew member volunteered her apartment, and no one bothered to redecorate. Nothing against pink in the room of a guy who lives with his mother, but still, would the character as it is introduced really feel at home in that atmosphere? I would have imagined something much clearer in design, less frilly pink. And really, did no one speak English to translate what is written on the bedsheet? It says something like "Mrs. always right"! Could have been funny if it were a present of Ying Jiaming, but just like that? Naaahhh... There are more sloppy things like that throughout the drama (which does make it funny in a way).

The story is nothing special, but I've seen worse. Predictable and not original, but well, doesn't have to be. There are gaping plot holes as if things that were supposed to be in the drama were cut. I don't understand how the motivated Ying Jiaming from the first episodes transforms into that boring guy without any spirit later on. And why on earth would the heir of the company president end up in a coworker’s apartment if he is injured? A cheap hotel room would have made a more convincing set than that. Some of the dialogues are cringy indeed and I can't picture the characters as introduced saying something like that.

Still, all in all, it is a cute little drama that doesn't take much time to watch. I won't watch it again, but there are more dreadful ones out there.

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Completed
Biscuit Teacher and Star Candy
1 people found this review helpful
by Zabini
Nov 26, 2019
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 4.5
The general storyline seems straight forward at first: a student falls in love with his teacher (who has been in love with her teacher for years). But it really is not a story about forbitten romance, but turns out to be the typical love triangle you've seen a hundred times. Most of the angst-moments within the story do not center around the fact, that a young student falls in love with an older teacher, but how he is interested in another man's woman. In my eyes, the female lead acts atrociously towards a student in her care without much thought for propriety, safety or basic curtesy. She entirely ignores his feelings and acts however she feels like, as if she was the student. Otherwise questionable behavior is to be expected within that kind of setup, but there should be some reflection on the right and wrong, maybe hesitation on her part, something like this to add depth to the story. I feel throughout the drama, that she just doesn't take him seriously which is an insult to his earnesty.

It doesn't help, that the second male lead is as interesting as a glass of water. Throughout the whole drama I kept wondering why on earth a vivacious young woman would cling to that weak, silent and indecisive kind of man, who does little for her and seems constantly on the verge of abandoning her. Maybe some more background story would have helped with some more key moments as to why this teacher came to be so important to her, I think what is shown does not justify her devotion. If he would have been charismatic in some way, speaking up for what he thinks is right, something to give this character some kind of profile, maybe one could relate. Puppy love is all well and may lead her to return to him, but at some earlier point she must notice, particularly as she is astutely aware of her pupils emotional situations, that he can't be what she took him for. The same is true vice versa: as he already had a girlfriend, why did he fall for a student? It lacks explication. Plus, as the situation between the relationships of all three are quite similar, there should be some reflection on it. How dare the second male lead reprimand Tae In for his love, if he himself benefits from just the same thing? The drama shows little of this conflict.
The last few episodes got better, if the whole drama would have been more like that, it would have been nice. In the middle part, the story drags quite a bit.

Then there are some scenes that I personally find disturbing and off-putting. A father who hits his son and gets him hospitalized should be convicted for domestic abuse in my opinion. A teacher who tells that beaten and bleeding student of hers, that well, he just shouldn't have provoked his father, should be sacked on the spot for negligence. Punishment of a student leading to bleeding wounds is also wrong on so many levels, how am I supposed to sympathize with such a person?

The acting was outstanding between the two leads, Gong Yoo in particular made the whole drama worthwhile (and I am not a particular fan of his). I would have liked a more 'professional' atmosphere between the couple in the beginning that changes slowly, but that's storyline. The second male lead had nothing much to recommend him. Acting and storyline both didn’t do anything for this character, even though it got better in the very end. The other characters were all right.

All in all, I thought of dropping the drama midway but I'm glad that I watched it to the end, as the last three episodes kind of make up for the drag. I won't watch it again though. There are much better stories between a teacher and his/her student...

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Completed
Chief of Thieves: Chu Liu Xiang
0 people found this review helpful
by Zabini
Aug 19, 2023
Completed 0
Overall 5.5
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 2.0

Superficial entertainment at most

I liked the poster as it suggested fantasy and maybe interesting relations between the ML and the different women, so I watched it on a whim. Well, I was disappointed somewhat, because the poster as well as the title are rather misleading.

It is too short to introduce fleshed out characters, the ML and the female antagonist are probably the best among them as they have a relatable backstory. The rest does not have much explanation as to who they are and what made them that way. There is scarcly any development either (just weired fluctuations)
The FL was pretty annoying in my opinion. There is no consistancy in her behaviour, she seemingly randomly does stuff without much justification or explanation why she suddenly acts that way. Constant fundamental changes in character that need a lot of goodwill and thinking off-screen to sort-of explain. I don't like having to fit together the story myself all the time. She is also always in need of being rescued, whatever she does on her own, usually doesnt end too well. The other females would have been so much more interesting, but we learn only little about them. In the end, they are just mainstory supporting steppingstones.
Some scenes are riddiculous, like the dress up as males.
World building is sloppy and does nothing to establish some framework. Everything seems random.
There are massive plotholes and whole storyarches missing that would offer some connections between different ideas. The fun of the first scene ends there and is not picked up. It could have just been deleted and no one would know. I really don't think the title fits the story, it is really not about the Chief of Thieves at all.

Acting was okay but nothing stellar. As I have watched much worse recently, I might be biased. Costumes and Set are well made and fit the story, that's a strong point of the movie. The martial art scenes are okay with quite some CGI that is so-so. Music was okay but not memorable.

All in all I feel the movie stays superficial in all aspects: romance, inititial storyline, character development, world building,...

I will not watch the movie again.

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Completed
Lavender
0 people found this review helpful
by Zabini
Nov 7, 2019
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 6.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 3.0
All in all not a bad movie.
It is in some part more an artsy movie with brilliantly done colour schemes and atmosphere. Some scenes were too artsy for my taste and distracted from the story. However, these beautiful to watch setups made up for the somewhat lacking storyline and gaping plot holes. I really liked the music that enhanced the atmosphere.
The storyline is all over the place and at several points you have no idea why the characters ended up at a certain place or in a certein situation. Maybe the script was shortened, but it is kind of annoying not to know how a situation came about. Some scenes are really cute and are worth watching (e.g. the swing).
The acting was mediocre in my opinion, not bad, but sometimes a bit flat. Of course, the script did not help. The characters - even though their stories are interesting to start with - lack depth and inner conflict, changes come to suddenly you have to little contemplation and development.

Personally, I do not like that kind of ending, but it is not dreadful.
I am okay with watching the movie once, but I won't watch it again.

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