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  • Last Online: Dec 23, 2018
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Italy
  • Total Edits: 0
  • Birthday: November 20
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  • Join Date: April 8, 2011

amrita828

Italy

amrita828

Italy
Completed
Personal Taste
14 people found this review helpful
Apr 24, 2011
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
I watched this drama almost one year ago now and there\''s still a question lingering in my mind: what is it about?
Does it tell the story of a girl who needs to come out of her hidden sense of guilt and find the lost relation to her father? Or is it about this same girl seeking revenge against a cheating boyfriend?
Perhaps it tells the adventures of a young man who pretends he\''s gay, as the title seems to suggest. Or, again, it\''s the story of a house and how it influences the lives of those living in it.

In short: I could compare this drama to a pot-pourri. You know, those pretty little boxes or vases filled with all sorts of dry flowers, herbs and spices. You open it thinking it will smell of frangipani and your nostrils are assailed by a nondescript cocktail of perfumes, from cinnamon to roses.

The acting is not bad, although I maintain that Lee Min Ho is too preoccupied with his good looks to be a truly believable actor. I\''m ready to face the consequences of my statement.
And, to be honest till the end, I was slightly distracted throughout the whole show by the length - or lack thereof - of his trousers.

Overall, it starts in the best of ways, with elements of comedy and all the premises for a very sweet, passionate love story. It loses direction somewhere by the middle, and it doesn\''t find it back.

Disappointing.

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Completed
Ashita No Joe
12 people found this review helpful
Jun 5, 2013
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 4.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
On a super crazy Yamapi nostalgia which propelled me to re-watch almost all he's been acting in, I have finally come around to watch this movie. I was hesitant because, honestly, among all the combat sports, boxing is definitely not my favourite.

Being the movie adaptation of a legendary manga, the plot of this live action would need a 1 page discussion at least. But here's the rub! The movie does absolutely no justice to the cultural reality it was born in. Tomorrow's Joe is originally a story of social redemption that features a very self destructive antihero; it's not your average story of poor guy becomes rich and popular thanks to his fists and strength of will. It is, or I'd better say it SHOULD BE, the mirror of a period, a true social condemnation embodied by a derelict guy who can express himself only on the ring. This is where the film fails big time. The character of Joe is so scantily written one needs to be a seer to understand his motives – unless you've read all 20 volumes of the manga, in which case you'll probably be disappointed anyway by its brevity.
The direction seems to have been so preoccupied with the tiniest visual detail that it completely forgot to tell a story. The same applies to all the characters, whose arc is touched so superficially I had to appeal to my imagination to fill all the glaring voids.

Not to mention the boxing aspect itself. While the actors have done an amazing job at preparing for a difficult athletic task, the combats themselves are visually beautiful but tremendously repetitive. Since so much time is dedicated to the fight, I was hoping for more moves and tricks that never came. Once again, in their anxiety to be loyal to the manga they concentrated on the outer picture, instead of creating a movie which could stand on its own feet, for viewers who weren't yet born in the 60ies or have never heard of Yabuki Joe.

So why am I giving this film such a high overall rate?
Let's say this is my way to pay homage to the cast, mostly Tomohisa and Yusuke Iseya, and the director of photography. As you may have inferred from the premise of this review, I do not belong to the group of those who think Yamapi's just another pretty idol who can't act. On the contrary, I maintain he has what in theatre jargon is called the "physique du role", regardless of the part he plays. He does not express much with his face, he actually uses his whole body to enter the character. From Akira who flaps his arms like a weird butterfly to the über cool flying doctor, from the basketball court to the boxing ring he's always extremely believable. I could mention more roles, but it won't be necessary, I stand my ground: here, he IS Joe. If he had been given the chance, he would have created an unforgettable character.
Iseya did an amazing job too, despite the sad lack of depth the character he portrays is condemned to by the terrible script.

As for photography, it's absolutely stunning. Colours, angles, close-up shots and flashbacks are spot on. It does have a flaw, though, directly related to the abovementioned necessity to stay visually true to the manga: at times it looks as though the story took place in the 20ies, when in fact it's the 60ies and 70ies, as proved by the fact that people watch television, among other things.
The music falls into the same trap, but I'm willing to forgive this detail, since it's very beautiful and suits the atmosphere perfectly.

I may rewatch this movie in the future, just for the visual. I'm not sure I'm willing to recommend it, unless you're familiar with the characters and don't care for the plot.
Let's say that this movie has done nothing to ignite my interest for the sport, but it has confirmed my undying love for Yamashita Tomohisa – as if that ever needed validation.

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Completed
That Winter, The Wind Blows
19 people found this review helpful
Apr 18, 2013
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 3.0
It's been such a long time since I last watched a drama or wrote a review, I'll be either shot on the spot or given merciful hugs - you know, the return of the lost lamb and all that.
I hope for the last, but given what it’s to come, I can’t be too optimistic. This show has one quality in my book: it prompted me to finally watch an Asian drama to completion, after months of going over all my repertoire of already known by heart dramas. And what better way to come out of a slump, than jump happily into Melo at its highest... or lowest?

Relax, I'm not going to bore you with long explanations as to why I find this drama ranges from interesting to mediocre - suffice to say that it has all your average paraphernalia attached to a melodrama: cancer, stabbing, abandoned children, scheming side characters, the mob, the corporation with its shareholders and a complete absence of logic.
This said, if one enters Meloland with a clear head, one is also prepared for all the above and more.

However, I'd lie if I said I enjoyed the descending curve of both plot and acting, which started well and ended horrible. Beautiful Song Hye Kyo suffered a pitiful case of DAS (Degenerative Act Stiffening), to the point in the end I couldn't help but wonder if there was a real person under that perfect skin of hers. Her behavior was at times so random I had to check whether I was watching the same drama or had been catapulted into another while I blinked.
Jo In Sung is like a shot of hormones through the veins, hence making every other consideration a little hard, at least until my female mind has fully cleared from the fantasy of his km long legs and other amenities. But while I think he’s great in portraying his desperation, I do believe there was just a tad too much desperation as a whole. Why not simply make him play poker, fight and interact with yummy Kim Bum? The ending of the drama would have made just as little sense anyway.
Therefore, the acting as a whole was good, at times incredibly intense, but at others over the top or repetitive. Not the best I’ve ever seen. And as superficial as the issue may be, I found the kisses, all of them, highly disappointing, almost a relapse into K-drama wall-kisses after a series of dramas that made us all hope for a change.

I loved the piano pieces, not so the songs.

On the positive side, there’s a plot that keeps you curious as to what will happen, a wonderful cinematography – I do believe this feature should be given a mark of its own, That Winter would get a full 10 – a pair of lovely side characters, well portrayed by Kim Bum and Jung Eun Ji, and Moo Cheol, one of the most complex and appealing villain I remember . It’s definitely worth a try, granted you like makjang and don’t really care for plausibility in a work of fiction.

Oh, and please someone give me the name of Oh Soo’s coats’ designer, because they are all absolutely gorgeous and I want them (yes, before you ask, I know the coats will not come with Jo In Sung inside them…)

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Completed
Full House
33 people found this review helpful
Apr 13, 2011
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 4.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 5.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 3.0
Oh, the Boredom!



This was a very popular drama at the time of its airing. The cast is top-notch, the plot has all the premises for a funny, romantic and passionate love story.

Unfortunately though, the viewer is forced to an extremely long wait for something that never happens, or happens on a very low scale in the last 5 minutes of the show.



The rest of it is a sequel of silly quarrels, food preparing and cleaning. I'd say the cleaning is the main character of the show, to the point you start looking around your house thinking that dusting once a week cannot possibly be enough. Yes, because these two, in turn, dust the huge house once a day, and the director saw it fit to show it to the viewer every single time, just in case one might forget how it is done.



The chemistry between the 2 leads is there, and it's powerful. Ironically though, this alchemy becomes the biggest flaw of the show, because it's like a big amount of electricity never conveyed into anything. One waits... and waits... and waits.



Since watching Full House I'm invariably sceptical about any drama portraying two lovers forced in the confines of a house.

Yawn.

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Dropped 16/16
My Princess
20 people found this review helpful
Apr 12, 2011
16 of 16 episodes seen
Dropped 0
Overall 4.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 5.0
Music 2.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
I can be as passionate in love with a drama as I am in hate with another.

My Princess falls in the second category.

It has all the premises for a light romantic, easy and funny watch but it fulfills none to the fullest.



The plot is a silly one, but I can forgive it since it never advertised as anything else than the usual "normal" girl becoming royal overnight and facing the changes.

When a plot has nothing big to offer, I expect at least great acting and, most of all, something original or beautiful in terms of direction/screenplay/music/visuals.

The direction of this drama is, at best, average, at worst atrocious.

The acting is nothing great either. The female lead does her best, but the rest of the cast is better displayed in a wax museum.



The music is the biggest put off. It does nothing to enhance the feelings portayed; on the contrary, it kills them. It seems like whoever had to chose the soundtrack did a hasty job, putting this or that song at random on random scenes.



Although I usually force myself to watch a drama to the end, I dropped this one, since I found that fast-forwarding 80% of an episode is a waste of time and finger-mobility.

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Completed
Pasta
11 people found this review helpful
Nov 1, 2011
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
This review may contain spoilers
Pasta would be an overall delightful watch if it weren't for a couple of absolutely annoying, infuriating traits.

I think it's necessary for me to premise that I have first hand experience of how a high level restaurant/kitchen works. This is why I was attracted to it in the first place.

For the most part, what happens in the kitchen of this drama is exactly the same you will find in Michelin-stars kitchen all over the world: the strict hierarchy, the arguments between kitchen chef and restaurant direction, the treatment of women (things are rapidly changing, but high level cuisine has been for a long time a male domain, where women were treated almost like slaves). Even details in this drama are absolutely realistic, from the utensils they use to the allocation of each cooking-partie.
I had a great time watching the whole kimchi debacle, as I know for a fact that this is exactly the kind of problem a chef in such a kitchen would face.

BUT. Like Beca, the female lead annoyed me. Royally. Not so much because she would say Yes Chef every second word - that's actually quite accurate - but because she was ambitious but never showed any sign of having learnt anything. If you want to succeed in the gourmet world and you have the chance to work with a great chef you don't discuss his menu decisions: you learn! She is at the same time too humble and too conceited. She bows her head when she should show pride (grrrrrrr) and fights against the chef when HE is right (double grrrrrrr)!
And please don't get me started on the way she eats spaghetti. I'm Italian and, believe me, I cringed, to say the least. She would grab a handful of oily spaghetti and thrust them in her mouth with her hands, chewing them as if it were pigswill. In front of other people. I was disgusted. I respect different customs from mine, but you don't work in a 3-star (or even a 1 star) Italian restaurant without knowing how to eat spaghetti, for Pete's sake!

Lee Sun Gyun on the other hand is amazing. He is an arrogant jerk, but he is absolutely believable. I would never fall for such a man, but nothing he does or say comes out as unrealistic. Let me be just a little spoilerish here and say that his declaration is a great one! I finished the drama because of him and the rest of the hilarious, spot-on kitchen staff.

I can't remember the music, I'm afraid. Hence the 7.

I'm not sure I'll rewatch this drama. I laughed a lot, it entertained me a lot, but there are parts I'd need to skip entirely if I wanted to go through a second watch.

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Completed
Rich Man, Poor Woman
28 people found this review helpful
Oct 2, 2012
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
It's clear I'm treading on dangerous ground here, with a review which won't be generally agreed upon. Not that it has to be, but the fact that so many among the people I value the opinion of, found this drama very good, makes me ponder over my taste and choices. I've read and re-read every review, I've thought the whole drama over and I have tried to find it charming but I failed.
No matter how hard I tried, I didn't like it and I don't know why it encountered such a success.

I have problems with the plot, the characters and the ultimate meaning of this drama.

I found the plot highly un-original. Change a couple of names and the setting, and you're left with a déjà-vu: arrogant successful man is changed by simple, goodhearted woman, there's a second female who enters the picture, the hero's got some unresolved issues with his personal life, a lot of running around the city - for lack of any transport, I suppose - and there's the ever-present shilly-shally which goes on till the very end (accompanied by my yawning).

Fine, a plot doesn't need to be original to be well told. More often than not, the lack of suspense is successfully replaced by a strong characterization. And here comes the true sore spot for me: the characters.

Toru Hyuga is quite the obnoxious "genius", a pity he doesn't compensate his bad temper with any particularly charming trait. He changes, inasmuch as he becomes a little humbler towards the end, but I fail to be attracted to him even by a little.

Which makes it even harder for me to empathize with Makoto, who seems to be bewitched by his creativity and his success-driven nature more than anything related to him as a man. The result, in my eyes, is a badly matched couple of disagreeable people with no love chemistry at all.
What bugged me the most is the way Makoto's character is depicted. By what absurd criteria can a young woman who is good at her studies, has a formidable memory, can compile the income tax return of a little business in one night be called "stupid"? Yes, she isn't a computer genius, so what? Are our IQ defined by how good we are at computer programming? Instead of creating a character who could truly complement Toru's glaring shortcomings with her own talent, they gave us a woman who either laughs hysterically when embarrassed and blurts out the first thing that comes to her mind, or apologizes for... being stupid, of all things! As for character development: none whatsoever.

Asahina? One episode he's black, the next he's blue. Disquieting.
The only consistent, pleasing character is Yoko, but we all know from minute one what her role in this story will be.

On the good side of the charts are acting and music. They all acted their part very well and did their best with what they were given. I'm also ready to grant the drama a couple of intense, heartfelt moments, which manage to raise the overall score by a little.

Needless to say, I'm not going to re-watch this. I'm sure there's more to say about it, but I'm honestly tired of thinking this thing over when in fact I should simply borrow a good MDL friend's definition, call this drama "harmless" and forget about it.

°°°°
Edit: someone rightly pointed out my wrong use of the word shizoid. I apologize and edited to correct the mistake. :)

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Completed
My Girlfriend is a Gumiho
39 people found this review helpful
May 28, 2012
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 4.0
Story 4.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
I will get so much hatred for what follows, I'll better go on a vacation for a while.

The premise: I dropped this drama 5 times before finally completing it. The reason why I picked it up again is the most shallow and childish you can think of: the crush on an actor. It embarrasses me no end, but what can I do?
I am the cause of my own suffering.
The reason why I didn't drop it a sixth time as every cell in my body screamed I should, is that when I reached episode 11 I was so bored and annoyed by this drama, the desire to write a review became stronger than the torture itself.
Also, I have let some time pass after the watch before I started writing, because I wanted to use my brain and not my stomach (or heart, in this case it's the same thing).

Let's go in order.
The Plot. There is a fantastic word in French to describe such a plot: a bric-a-brac. It is a fairy tale, which is fine, it's full of elements of fantasy, which is fine, but instead of following a cohesive narrative as required by any story, fantastic or real, it keeps on throwing in new explanations and solutions until nothing makes sense anymore, not even in a fantasy world. We have a Gumiho and suddenly we find out she was made out of the ashes/fire of a Goblin. A GOBLIN? You mean legendary little monsters with either green or red skin, pointed ears and tons of malice? That's not how the half ghost remembers her. Wait, this Goblin turned Gumiho turned half human also gave half of her "ki" (another element popped out of the blue on episode... 13 I think) to a human who gave up half of his life but also has half a ki and drank twice the bead and died and came back to life and then the eclipse...
Ok, I stop here before I turn as crazy as the plot. This story is utterly ridiculous, even when, I repeat, I let time pass and somehow digested it all.
Did I mention the cheese, the sugary dialogues, the repetition of lines, flashbacks, situations? Better not.

The characters.
Oh please kill me.
If you think Gumiho is a fox, you're mistaken: she's a dog. She goes from talking about cow meat every MINUTE of every single episode to the middle, to taking about her Dae Woong every minute of every episode till the end. She depends so much on him that even when the stakes get higher and she decides for a sacrifice in the name of love, it's not suspenseful anymore. It's irritating, predictable and humiliating. As a woman, I find her character insulting. Like a dog, she stays glued to him with a persistence and complete lack of reasoning which is the exact opposite of romantic.
She threatens to disappear at least 4 times, and every time she changes idea and we are back to square one.
Dae Woong has at least a little character development, but stays a bi-dimentional person anyway. His losing his parents when he was a kid is mentioned and never elaborated: why mentioning it, then? The zoo trauma is treated in such a superficial way it's ridiculous.
And the fact that he loves a woman who has the brain of a 4 year old child and the attitude of a loyal dog doesn't play much in his favour.
The "half ghost" Dong Joo passes his time watching an hourglass with one eye and his magic knife with another, repeating to himself the same sentences over and over and playing in his mind the same memory at least 12 times. I still have to understand whether his contribution to the plot is to be there and show his sexy emo haircut or add to the comedic.
The others aren't even worth mentioning: the usual, trite, spiteful, envious girl, the always oblivious friends, the silly grandfather, a farting aunt and the bad double of Chow Yun Fat. Oh yes, the dog (the real one) is wonderful.

The acting of the main leads is decent. The others are, once again, not worth mentioning.

The music is repetitive. Very much so. There is one nice song, but by the end I couldn't hear it anymore, so many times it was played.

I know this sounds harsh and I know I won't be received with sympathy. But given the number of good reviews this thing got, I don't feel like I'm doing any harm to it by stating my honest opinion.
If you want an overdose of cheese, watch this.

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Completed
Falling for Innocence
10 people found this review helpful
May 25, 2015
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 4
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
It so happens that I have found myself discussing this drama a lot more than much more serious, thought-provoking and cleverer shows I've watched lately. Falling for Innocence is, after all, a romantic comedy, with neither the pretense, nor the substance of anything more. It is cute, romantic, funny and even goofy. Certainly not groundbreaking. So, the reason for my need to talk about it is easily explained in three words: Jung Kyung Ho.

His character here is so endearing, this drama could have just as well been entitled "Falling for Min Ho" and it would have mirrored my sentiments exactly – though I realize the pun with Sung Jung meaning Innocence would have gone lost. The way Min Ho's character is written is clever enough, but it's the actor's rendition that makes him so darn adorable. I can easily picture a director instruct his actors to show surprise, anger, sadness, joy, but in the end it is always the actors who decide how to bring these emotions to life. Min Ho's reactions are almost never what one would expect, his movements and even the intonation of the voice took me by surprise more than once, never failing to express what it was meant to, though.
What I personally found irresistible, is the way he would think things over, make his own personal connections and deductions and blurt out the conclusion with the utmost candor, leaving the poor people around him totally confused. Not to mention his appearance, a mixture between a kid with temper tantrums and a pale man who's either just got out of bed or is in dire need to go back to it. Not exactly the general idea of a romantic hero, on paper. And yet, he's the kind of man I would fall in love with in real life… wait, I atone: he's the kind of man I HAVE fallen in love with in real life and even married (minus the heart condition, the whole revenge/business stuff and the Korean language. Details). So you may now understand and perhaps forgive my passionate bias.

Since this is a drama review and not Jung Kyung Ho's – wait, did I tell you I love this actor? – I suppose I should address the rest of the cast too. Kim So Yeon is a talented actress I've known and liked before. Her role here is very well acted, very believable; possibly, a little too… by the book. It's as though in an attempt at staying as true as possible to her character, she forgot to be that character. Sung Jung is lovable, loyal and intelligent and if only this script had given her the opportunity to be a little more lively, we could have enjoyed a sizzling love story, instead of a very cute one. But I suppose that was the original intent, so I won't complain.

If chemistry has to be, then I thought there was quite a lot between Jung Kyung Ho and his nemesis Yoon Hyun Min. Since these two have worked together before as best friends in Cruel City, it was great fun to see them stand one opposite the other as enemies. Their steady, verbal arm wrestling made up for some of my favourite scenes. The character of Lee Jun Hee is like a dog in the manger, who doesn't eat vegetables, but doesn't want anyone else to eat it either. While I hated him for his actions, his motivations made him into a pathetic man. To quote Min Ho's words: "You do not live to be able to gain something..., you live to take things from other people. Is there any happiness in this?". Really, how measly is that?

The most touching moments in the drama are those involving fathers, Ma Tae Seok in primis, and the funniest the ones with Detective Ok Hyun and Secretary Woo Shik, aka Wendy and Tinkerbell. What an improbable, hilarious pairing!

The music is like the rest of the drama: very cute. Not something which would stand alone, but rightly chosen for the feel of the drama.

All in all, I laughed a lot, I fell in love with the male lead, I was highly entertained, grew very fond of all the characters, was sad to say goodbye to them and had a lot to talk about for the reasons mentioned above. I don't ask a rom-com for anything more.
Recommended to everyone, I'm definitely going to watch it again in the future.

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Completed
The Man From Nowhere
10 people found this review helpful
Apr 17, 2011
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
Two reviews, two comparisons.

The movie made me think of Luc Besson's "Leon", one of my favourite films ever. The feel is the same, and so is the awkward yet deeply touching relationship between Tae-shik and So-mee.



Won Bin's performance is superb, his misery and loneliness enphasized by the constant darkness of the setting and the few sharp lines he is asked to deliver. But just as brilliant is the kid's acting and that of the two schizoid criminals with their dark humour, one lamenting the blood on his Dolce & Gabbana's shirt, the other toying with eyeballs.



Stay away from it if you are easily disturbed by blood. This movie is violent and pretty graphic, and the ethic underneath the blood shoking and insufferable. The Korean police are doing what they always are in Korean films: nothing. Except being activated to a frenzy by the only hero of the story.

At times, one wishes one could enter the screen ad shake some sense into the police force. I can only hope this is a dramatic device, more than a window on reality.



The action scenes are brilliantly enacted, with enough close cut shots to make them believable and felt.

Overall a superb movie, not to be watched while eating, though.

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Completed
Lavender
7 people found this review helpful
Jun 12, 2011
Completed 0
Overall 5.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 3.0
This movie is so silly, it's hilarious.

I stumbled upon it a couple of years ago, following the footsteps of Takeshi Kaneshiro. And like any great actor, he has chosen some third-rate roles before turning into the acclaimed star he is now - and rightfully so.



The beginning of the movie is promising, the fallen angel a common enough trait but well done and the interaction with the female lead pretty original. But the more the story unfolds - or perhaps I'd better say that it folds up - the more I found myself either laughing or raising my eybrows in puzzlement. I thought I would understand its meaning or purpose once watched to the end, but 2 years have passed and I'm still waiting.



The acting is average but the chemistry between the leads is good, so that if one is just looking for a cute love story and a decent kiss, this film might be appealing. But do not expect meaningful dialogues, some lesson to be learnt or a beautifully portrayed story because this film has nothing of the sort to offer.

It offers great views of Takeshi Kaneshiro's charms though, which in itself could be the one and only reason to watch this: sit, prepare pop-corn and drool. Period.



I can't remember the music for the life of me.



I don't think I'll re-watch this movie any time soon.

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Completed
Akai Ito
9 people found this review helpful
Jun 10, 2012
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
It took me a long time to put my feelings for this drama into words. From the very beginning, there was something which attracted me and yet I felt something else was missing.
It's not the acting, which is very good, the cinematography, played on pastel colours and some truly beautiful scenery, nor is it the music, which is very fitting and has a nice soothing quality to it.

I believe the weak point of this drama to be the story itself, the expectations created by the premises and never truly attended. Perhaps I should precise that I am not a fan of the idea of destiny, not in general and definitely not when applied to love. It seems to me, the idea of destiny is too easy an explanation for something very complex. Why do we make certain decisions? Why do we love someone and not someone else? Are we able to face the consequences of our choices? It's way too easy and slightly coward to answer: it's destiny, a higher power decided for me and I'm the impotent victim of a bigger plan.
However, I'm not immune to the fascination of "magic", so I can comprehend - if not approve of - the romantic charm the very old idea of fate holds.
Therefore, I would have accepted a plot entirely built upon the original concept of the red thread bonding two people. But this drama throws in so many elements, in the end it can't be even called a story about destiny, or love. Love is there, but in all its possible forms: friendship, motherly love, filial love, obsession, mistaken love, unrequited one, love for life... you name the rest, it's there anyway.
The Akai Ito legend is also mentioned, but there is no true parallel in the plot, and this red thread ends up being the bond connecting an innumerable number of people.
Furthermore, each and every character in this drama makes more or less pondered choiches and lives with the consequences of them, hence completely defeating the object of a destined love.

I recognize the merit of the writer to portray difficult issues and courageously fit them into the lives of a group of adolescents, but some of them are treated with too light a touch, as if an abusing young man could be convinced of his wrongdoings by a short speech... I wish it were so simple.

This said, I liked the final episode: it brings closure to every character in a way I wasn't expecting given the overall feeling. The friendship theme is strong and I truly liked it: I think the drama would have gained if it had been presented from the very beginning as a story of a few friends and their tribulations.

I don't think I'll re-watch this any time soon. But these young actors did a very good job, so I believe the highest mark for this show goes to them.

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Completed
Prison Playbook
5 people found this review helpful
Apr 14, 2018
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers
Great reviews for this rare gem have already been written, but even without having anything new or original to add, I feel the uncontrollable need to come here and share the joy with whomever wants to read.

This drama is brilliant. It's profoundly human, histerically funny, heartwarming, emotional, at times highly gratifying and - given the premises - surprisingly uplifting. Who would have thought I'd enter prison with gloomy anxiety and come out of it with a huge grin of satisfaction, almost wishing they would prolong my sentence and let me stay a little longer behind bars?
The strengh of the script is the wonderful ensamble of characters. They literally invade the viewer's life with their diverse personalities, background stories and antics. I laughed, despaired, feared, anxiously waited with them and never felt bored, even when the events taking place are paramount only for the characters and not for the script itself. It happens when the world of a drama or movie is so well outlined you forget it's fictional.

Fenomenal acting by everyone bar none. Alas, I can't fill up the page with ravings about each one of them: it would take too long, I'd end up being spoilerish somewhere and I'd bore those who haven't watched the drama yet to death. Suffice to say all the actors had the time and the means to shine, both individually as well as a group, proof of their talent but also of an awesome director's work.

Perfect score for the music too. This ost does not exist only to soundtrack the scenes, it also exists in the world of the characters, it's listened to by them, even sung by them, so that we have the weirdest blend of classical music, rap, old korean folk, opera and everything in between. There isn't the usual love ballad played at every turn, until it becomes haunting in a bad way. This soundtrack adds to the story, instead of simply working as a background to the written events. Genius.

Prison Playbook was warmly recommended to me. I'm deeply grateful to all my friends here who encouraged me to watch it and I hope this short review may have the same effect on others. Perhaps some of you are hesitating because of the setting: indeed, there's no glamour here, no super trendy clothes to show off with, no highly dramatic love story, and the goodlooking actors aren't here to simply beautify the set. This drama goes deeper than that, it will make you laugh a lot and it will make you cry, but rest assured you won't regret a single tear.
My only warning: the first episode. Now that I have completed the drama, I could rewatch it with a new perspective. The first time around however, that long pilot felt kind of hard to get through. Hang in there, please. It's worth the patience!

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Completed
Say Yes Enterprise
5 people found this review helpful
Apr 17, 2011
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
This is not a very popular drama, nor is it well known. I think its having 40 episodes can be a little "scary" at first, the viewer may be led to think it's dragging.

Which is not, thanks to its atypical structure, devided into 7 different stories.

The advantage is, one can skip the story or stories one finds less appealing or interesting and jump to the next without having lost much in terms of development. Even a long break between them is possible, which I personally found refreshing.



I found them all enjoyable, each with a completely different flavour and connected only by the common thread of the Say Yes Enterprise, a pretty improbable cupid agency. The acting is not stellar, but it's solid and realistic and the music varied and very appropriate.



All in all, an enjoyable drama.

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Completed
Itazura na Kiss - Love in Tokyo
19 people found this review helpful
Aug 1, 2013
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 4.0
Story 1.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
The important premise: I approached this drama well knowing the plot. I have watched the Korean version of this story and found it unbearably stupid. Therefore, I can only blame myself for treading on such a ground. Actually, I dropped the drama by episode 6, but then decided to pick it up again, since so many well trusted friends enjoyed it a lot.
I wanted to know why.

So please forgive me if I truly didn't get why.
Why is this drama so popular?
Why so many people find the misadventures of a brainless girl and her just as stupid entourage romantic?

I could even accept this thing as a purely over the top comedic soap, but the pretense of romance fills every fiber of my being with indignation.

Once again, I apologize a hundred times to the lovers of this super popular story if I offend them, but, really, how can a person sink so low in the name of love? A love with no dignity, no reasoning, no scope outside itself is not worth of this name: it's just a shallow obsession.

Kotoko looks and acts like a ditz from the fifties. She has no ambitions whatsoever, no self-esteem, no curiosity of the world outside the Irie's house. She's cheerful and when challenged she can actually learn, so why don't emphasize these traits, let her grow stronger, and make use of what she's been compelled to learn? No, what really pisses me off is that she makes one step forward and then retreats behind the start line. We come to the end of this story, and all she dreams about is EXACTLY the same thing she dreamt about on episode 1: marry Naoki. And what's even worse, she proclaims her undying love 1 trillion times, but her love as well as her life is ruled by an incredibly narrow tunnel vision. She never takes Naoki's feelings into consideration: I love him, when will he love me back?

I had hoped for this new version to give us a different heroine. They could have deviated from the original manga all they wanted; even Shakespeare has been revisited, for Pete's sake! In the beginning I had some hopes, she seemed a little more combative than her previous versions, but soon the fighting spirit turned into stalker spirit and her cuteness into overdone pantomime. Not to mention the whole set of medieval clichés with arranged marriages, meddling parents, cooking girls in aprons, walking 2 metres behind the guy, marrying at 19. Is this truly romantic? Do any of you really dream of this kind of "love", of completely cancel yourself for someone else?

I can understand Naoki's allure. His character is cold and distant, but he's honest. If I had been pestered by such a persistent admirer myself, I think I'd have resorted to murder, so I applaud his Patience of Job. And while it's not my task to decide why so many love this drama, I can venture the guess that many female viewers have a crush on him. The actor pulls off this role very well, and - allow me - holds up the whole drama. His character's the only one with a true arc: he moves forward, grows up, learns, changes. Which is ironic to say the least, since he's the genius of the day.

I know I'm not going to convince anyone not to watch this drama. I didn't write anything new, really, and as I premised, I was aware of the type of drama I was going to watch, so shame on me for hoping. But since I watched Playful Kiss and remained silent on the wreck it was, I had to get this one out of my chest.

I can only hope most viewers won't take this girl as anything even remotely resembling a role model, or I'll lose all my faith in the evolution of the species.

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