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  • Last Online: 2 days ago
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: 미국
  • Birthday: August 26
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  • Join Date: March 14, 2014

imfaerae

미국

imfaerae

미국
The Suspect
8 people found this review helpful
Dec 19, 2014
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
This movie was action packed from start to finish, exactly how this kind of film should be. I don't think Hollywood productions have anything on this movie. It reminded me of The Bourne Supremacy with Matt Damon and The Fugitive with Harrison Ford. I wonder if Gong Yoo tapped into Matt Damon or if Park Hee Soon has watched Tommy Lee Jones. Their roles were similar to the lead characters in those 2 films.

The close up and fast moving camera shots were like the Jason Bourne series of films. Though here, I felt it was used more discriminately. I remember getting a bit of a headache after watching the US movies but had no problem watching this film. The fight scenes, as well as the foot and car chase sequences were amazing. I liked how the background music didn’t play during some of the fight scenes. I’m not sure why I noticed that but I did. Just hearing the sound effects of hard hits, breaking wood and screeching metal had more impact.

This movie was full of suspense and intrigue. It took a while to figure out who all the players were and who belonged with what organization but that was part of the fascination of the film. Defectors, government agents from various organizations and independent media personalities made for a complex and intricate story. It was a fun ride trying to tie all the characters together and understand their motivations. A piece of the puzzle would slide into place and another question created itself. The twists and turns this movie delivered were fantastic.

The extra layer of several characters being defectors brought an additional political aspect to the movie. When I think of defectors I think of Russia, not North Korea (though that has changed since I've started watching so many Kdramas). Seeing some of the issues defectors must face in South Korea was interesting.

This movie had some snappy dialogue. While the action scenes were the highlight of the movie (thank you Gong Yoo!), I especially appreciated the interactions involving the spy chaser, Se Hoon (Hee Soon). He was an intelligent guy and a bit of a smart ass. I got a kick out of his no nonsense, not going to take any crap attitude. His banter with his associate was funny.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes fast paced, intelligent action films. This one had thrilling action and a good story to back it up. I was glued to the screen the whole time and loved the suspense.

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Miss Granny
8 people found this review helpful
Dec 19, 2014
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
I thought the movie was going to be more of a romantic comedy but the romance elements felt like an afterthought. If you are looking for a true romantic movie, this isn’t it. This is a dramatic comedy with heartwarming and sincere moments. Miss Granny shines more as a film about family relationships. For me, the film also poses an interesting question. Would you make the same choices in life if you could do it all over again? It’s a premise I’ve seen before but it was still entertaining.

Korean family dynamics are different than in America. Filial duty is ingrained in Korean culture and Miss Granny touches on the subject from various sides. I enjoyed how the movie explored the various relationships of the grandmother and her relationships with her son, daughter-in-law and grandson.

Na Moon Hee’s depiction of the feisty grandma who would do anything for her family was endearing. We should all have grandmothers like her. She was devoted to her family but it was her sass that stood out. Nothing is more entertaining than an elderly person who says and does whatever they want. I liked how the story showed the older generation. They’re not just a grandparent, a mother or a father but people that have lives and interests of their own. I think younger generations sometimes forget that. The teasing banter she had with her close friend Mr. Park was some of the funnier dialogue in the movie.

The best comedic aspects of this film came from watching Oh Mal Soon’s younger self, Oh Doo Ri talk and act like an elderly person though she’s only 20. Things an older person would say or do come off as pure comedy when a younger person does them. Shim Eun Kyung did a good job portraying a young woman with a full-fledged attitude of an old lady. Watching her gait was amusing and I especially enjoyed her character’s unsophisticated country way of speaking. I’m always uncertain if subtitles convey different aspects of Korean speech correctly but I believe I got the general idea of her dialect. The reactions she gets from her eccentric responses in various situations were funny.

Toward the end of the film it gets more serious and I was fine with that. Overall, it was a movie about how a person reacts to life and the decisions we make. I was thoroughly entertained by Oh Mal Soon’s journey and her realizations about her path in life.

On a side note, there’s a great cameo in this movie. Any true Kdrama fan will recognize who I’m talking about. I found that particular scene hysterical. Well played Miss Granny, well played!

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A Hard Day
7 people found this review helpful
Jan 28, 2015
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
This movie made me anxious, the whole thing, all the way through. A Hard Day, what an understatement. The main guy Go Geon Soo must have really ticked someone off in a previous life. I wasn’t five minutes in and I was shaking my head wondering how the hell he was going to get out of such a mess. The suspense in this film was off the charts. Most of the time I couldn’t tell what was going to happen next or how it was going to resolve itself. Why don't you give me a heart attack?

I have to say I wasn’t impressed with the lead character. Played by Lee Sun Kyun, he’s an arrogant dirty cop who thinks he’s above everyone just because he’s a detective. He ends up doing things in desperation that a decent person wouldn’t even think of. Though it was interesting to see some of the ceremonial rites of Korean funerals, I found the funeral sequence especially appalling. Then the whole scenario changes as the story develops. I realized there could be someone worse as his nightmare escalates in an instant.

The additional bump in Go Geon Soo’s life happens to be some mysterious crazy person. Go becomes involved in something bigger than anything he’s ever had to deal with and it’s an eye opener for him. It was a turning point for me because it shifted my focus and changed what I thought about the main character. There’s nothing like a psycho to change your perspective of things. Yeah, I felt bad for the poor loser. Eventually.

The crazy psycho man is played by Cho Jin Woong. On the surface, he’s a calm and reasonable looking guy. He could be a sweet and caring neighbor for all anyone knows. However, underneath there’s this layer of a lunatic just bidding his time. As I watched his scenes I just waited for his switch to flip. I thought Cho did a great job of showing the multi-faceted personality as Detective Go’s adversary.

What I liked most about this film was the constant change of events. Just when you think Detective Go can relax a little, the poor guy gets thrown another problem. If what happened to him didn’t kill him I thought the constant state of panic would have.

This was a great suspense movie. There’s a lot of testosterone flying around. When the movie really intensifies it’s essentially two guys sparring and trying to outmaneuver each other. Who’s smarter? Who’s the step ahead? And for me it was who’s going to end the damn suspense!? The movie did a good job of navigating the story as it became more and more complicated. I was impressed with how each predicament played out. Despite his stress, Detective Go could be pretty clever.

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Love's Relativity
5 people found this review helpful
Jun 16, 2016
Overall 5.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
The 1st half was overly dramatic and the 2nd half was a snooze fest. Park Hae-jin's character Li Ang and his love interest Li Ren were supposed to be the main pair but they threw in 3 other couples that had the same amount if not more time given to them, especially Li Ren's cousin, Tian Na. Towards the middle it seemed SHE was the lead.

When time was actually given to the OTP, it fell flat. I did not feel their chemistry at all. It was odd, they had scenes that should have been romantic and sweet but it felt like they were just checking off a to do list. Definitely not building a close and connected relationship with each other. Such a disappointment.

If a viewer is into crazy and sometimes nonsensical kinds of relationship shenanigans they may like it. Lots of breakups, lots of ex's, meddling elders and a bunch of grown ups who don't know what they want. Personalities seemed to change on a whim. Several scenarios happen over and over. What was the worst for me was I didn't particularly LIKE most of the characters. Even the ones that weren't bad weren't that exciting either.

***Possibly Spoiler-ish***
One love story fights against age and social status differences and has a jealous ex-girlfriend which was as cliché as possible. The jealous ex-girlfriend is especially grating. There is also an extra-martial affair relationship, a crazy psycho girl in love with a creepy magician and one other relationship that was actually normal but just seemed to be there to fill up screen time. One character that I did warm up to was Li Ren's cousin, Tian Na. In the beginning I couldn't stand her but by the end she won me over with her exuberant and quirky personality.

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Helpless
4 people found this review helpful
Jun 29, 2015
Overall 7.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
The mystery in this film is done well. The story unfolds at a good pace as the detective gets involved and pieces of the puzzle fall into place. The point of view switches between three main characters and is told in real time as well as in flashback scenes. I sometimes wondered what was real and what wasn’t. The uncertainty of what was actually true grabbed my attention and was best part of the movie.

Though the movie focuses on the mystery, I was left wondering about the character development. In several scenes Lee Sun-Kyun’s character shows his frustration but the impact of these scenes felt flat for me. Their relationship as a couple is seen in a few quick scenes and so little is shown of his fiancé in the beginning it was difficult for me to connect emotionally with her disappearance. While I was curious as to why she disappeared, I didn’t feel the angst of it.

The driving force of the movie is the history and motivation of Kim Min-hee’s character. Her portrayal of the fiancé was excellent. Kim Min-hee plays her in such an emotional and multi-layered way I would have liked to have seen more. In particular, there was one flashback scene of Min-hee’s I found riveting. Instead of intense scenes like this, additional time is given to the detective work. The film is based on the Japanese crime novel, All She was Worth by Miyuki Miyabe and as an adaptation of a crime novel this makes sense. While interesting, I would have preferred to watch more than the brief and scattered scenes involving Kim Min-hee and definitely more scenes with her and Lee Sun-Kyun.

Nevertheless, what I believed to be lack of character development may have been artistic license to intensify the mystery. Though you see the fiancé, it is just enough that she becomes an enigmatic figure. Whether this is intentional or the acting abilities of Kim Min-hee were squandered is debatable.

Either way, Helpless is an intricately told mystery with a good mixture of psychological thriller and suspense. It’s a good watch and kept me guessing about the mysterious fiancé and how the story would play out.

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The Divine Move
4 people found this review helpful
Jan 13, 2015
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
This revenge movie set in a baduk gambling world was exciting. I liked that even though it was an action movie with hand to hand fighting it was also about contests on a game board between smart and cunning people. The opening scene with Jung Woo Sung definitely grabbed my attention.

The action scenes in this movie had plenty of bone crushing, face pummeling and bloody stabbing of fighters. The characters were brutal at times. It was evident why Lee Beom Soo, as the underground gambler, had the nickname of Killer. He was merciless as the bad guy. All of the characters had nicknames very telling of their role or position. I thought the names were a bit obvious and wondered if it was a joke of the writer but at the same time it was entertaining. I especially liked Tricks, one of the players that Tae Seok recruits in his quest for vengeance. He was a somewhat comedic and light hearted relief to the graphic fight scenes and the more serious baduk game playing.

I am not familiar with the game of baduk so this backdrop of the movie was interesting. I imagine it is like chess. It seemed to involve extreme strategy. I would think a professional player must be able to foresee an unfathomable amount of scenarios of stone placement to excel at the game. I wonder if some of the scenes in the movie would have been more suspenseful if I could understand what was happening on the game board. I felt I got the general idea by watching the faces and actions of the players but I think I was a step behind someone who actually knows how the game is played. It was fascinating to see how intelligent a person must be to play this game. I thought the movie portrayed the sense of that very well.

The thing I enjoyed the most about this movie was the journey of Tae Seok while taking his revenge. His gathering of players to go against the gambling establishment reminded me of the Ocean’s Eleven movies. (Not that their motivation was the same but the gathering of various talents to beat an opponent was the same.) The build up of his plans and getting them in motion was in itself a big game. Tae Seok’s calm and focused demeanor as he goes about his retribution was a good watch. I thought the movie was clever and the exacting of his vengeance was fitting.

If I had an issue with the film it would be that the characters and some of their relationships could have been explored more in-depth. There isn’t much background or development to several characters or the relationships they have to one another. I had to fill in the blanks and infer several things while watching. I would have liked a clearer explanation to several points in the story.

The movie played at a quick pace and there was never a moment I felt it drag. I was actually surprised when the ending came. I really enjoyed this film, it could have been longer and it would have been fine with me.

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No Tears for the Dead
2 people found this review helpful
Apr 1, 2015
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
This film sporadically flips back and forth between glimpses of the lead character's pitiful childhood and the happier memories of the mother with her daughter. The contrast is heartbreaking.

Unfortunately, the film spent too much time focusing on the back story of these emotionally torn characters instead of hard core action. The hit man, Gon and the mother, Mo-Gyeong are in their own private anguish yet entwined because he decides to protect her. Defending her from his boss is when the action in the movie amps up. It just takes awhile to get there.

The depressed finality in Gon makes him more brutal. The fight sequences were graphic and the pools of blood extreme. Jang Dong-gun did a good job with Gon’s merciless demeanor while fighting. His resolve made him an invincible opponent. The director highlights this once when they cut away from an impending fight only to show the aftermath of his skills. I was impressed by the assumption that the result of the fight had a foregone conclusion.

There was a big array of gangsters in this film. I didn't particularly like the swearing tantrums of one of the bad guys because it seemed overly dramatic and silly. The menacing nature of another underling was better suited to the general tone of the gangsters. My favorite baddie was Choaz, an ex-associate of Gun's. They had the more entertaining interactions in the movie. It was a relationship I would have liked to have seen more of.

It was interesting to see the dialogue switch between Korean, English and some casual Spanish. However, the characters overall conversations were lacking. This film focused more on telling the story through facial expressions and actions than by using words. I couldn't help but think the director was trying to make it like his other film, The Man from Nowhere. It didn't play as well though.

There were some fast paced action scenes when they did play out. There was an impressive shootout scene, a slice and dice knife fight and a great cat and mouse sequence that reminded me of the Hollywood Die Hard films. Above all else, I would watch this movie for Jang Dong-gun’s action scenes. They were pretty amazing.

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All About My Wife
2 people found this review helpful
Mar 4, 2015
Overall 7.0
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
I was looking forward to watching this movie. I had heard it was one of the bigger hits in Korea so I had high expectations. In the end, it was a silly little look at marriage and the various stages of relationships.

The film relies a great deal on gimmicky and a slightly crude type of humor instead of what I considered funny and clever dialogue between the characters. There were several amusing moments between Jung In and Doo Hyun that were easy to relate to. These scenes, though a bit over the top, were also realistic and I understood some of the difficulties they were facing. I felt for Jung In as a frustrated housewife and for Doo Hyun as a disappointed husband.

The story is predictable. There are quirky scenes and entertaining antics but one the biggest details I noticed was the growth of Jung In as an independent woman. The other characters seemed to revolve around her and served more as a backdrop to her story than having their own identities. The out of touch and obviously clueless husband Doo Hyun had his own journey and realizations but it didn't grab me as much as Jung In's.

I found part of the movie very telling of cultural perceptions of a woman’s role in society. Whether women are housewives, mothers or work outside the home is often strongly judged by other people. Opinionated and straightforward women can come across as threatening to those around them. Jung In is one of these women. While this plot was used for some laughs, it also felt too serious and out of place in what I thought was supposed to be a wacky comedy.

It was interesting to watch Ryu Seung Ryong as Sung Ki, the Casanova. On one hand, he was portrayed as a depressed and tortured soul but on the other hand he seemed overly cartoonish and ridiculous. It was difficult to take anything his character did seriously, even when I think I was supposed to. Ryu Seung Ryong did have a deadpan look I found humorous. One of his funnier moments was after a scene that mimicked a famous sequence from one of Patrick Swayze's most beloved films here in America. I enjoyed seeing that particular Hollywood reference.

Even though this was supposed to be a comedy, the comedic scenes felt disjointed and did not flow well. I felt as if I wasn't getting all the play on words or meanings intended. This may have been due to translation or maybe I just have an off sense of humor and couldn't relate. The bottom line, not all jokes are universally funny. I found the beginning amusing, the middle a bit jumbled and the end a little somber and slow. Overall, whether it was funny or not, I enjoyed watching two people revisit their relationship and what made them fall in love in the first place.

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