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xXabsintheXx

독일

xXabsintheXx

독일
Completed
Tunnel 3D
5 people found this review helpful
Aug 25, 2016
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 4.5
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 1.0
The story itself is nothing special. A group of young adults get stuck in an abandoned mine. Something or someone is playing tricks on their minds and suddenly people start dying.

So, while deciding on a horror movie it all depends on what you expect of that one you eventually chose. I knew what I was expecting but I still got disappointed. Why? Because it was like getting a tooth pick after expecting a tree - or at least a wood stick. Means, the purpose was delivered but way too short. The film starts, you get into the mood of being scared and suddenly it's already over. That was how I felt.

I did like the way they pulled off those scary scenes with faces suddenly popping up... or people... or other things... Also, my rating for the music part doesn't mean they had great songs or whatever. It just shows that the background music was creepy and well put at the right (shocking) moments. There were also some really ugly (and I mean pretty scary) scenes that almost made me cover my eyes with my hands (but maybe I got too sensible for that stuff?).

The acting was solid, nothing special but most times convincing.

Ohhhh, but the special effects! Well, CGI really looked like CGI and made the movie look like a mix of animation and real live action. I was very disappointed with that.

So, what can I say... If you're looking for a movie to get your party guests into the mood or just for scary fun watching, you definitely got the right film. But be aware! It's a really short ride...

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Completed
Stranger
8 people found this review helpful
Aug 3, 2017
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 12
Overall 10
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 5.0
“In each of us, two natures are at war – the good and the evil. All our lives the fight goes on between them, and one of them must conquer. But in our own hands lies the power to choose – what we want most to be we are.”
- Robert Louis Stevenson

“You take people, you put them on a journey, you give them peril, you find out who they really are.”
- Joss Whedon

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If I were to describe this drama with one word, it would be:

Misleading - complex - secretive - slowly seething - engraving

Yeah, okay. Those were not only one word but five. But as difficult as it is to categorize each character in this story, it's also impossible to find only one word or one saying that would cover every beautiful aspect about this whole show.

Hwang Shi Mok, a prosecutor who lacks the ability to feel any emotion since a surgery in his childhood, and Han Yeo Jin, a police lieutenant, team up to fight corruption in the prosecutor's office. That pretty much describes it all and the summary above is also very accurate about the key points.

-- Misleading --
I admit that I was a little skeptical and hesitant before I started this drama. Prosecutors and corruption. Not again... But my worries were groundless. Even though this drama is indeed about those things, the whole set-up differs alot from your usual k-drama structure. Sometimes and especially in the beginning you might think that many things are predictable. But you will soon be disabused. You'll learn that every scene, every move and every obvious incident has always two maybe even three faces to them. You can never be sure about what you see right in front of you.

-- Complex --
The characters in this story are as cunning and sly as the story around them. There is not one person you can be certain about and only the finale will reveal everyone's true nature. Only at the far end you'll see the whole picture. So, be aware of the fact that you have to pay a lot of attention.

-- Secretive --
Imagine each one of these people as trees with many branches - long and short ones, thick and thin ones which symbolize their every wish, desire, greed, ambition and so much more. Everyone hides in the shadows. Some of them stand in a light grey, others in far darker places. But it doesn't automatically make them bad people. And I loved that the drama conveyed that as well.

-- Slowly seething --
The story flow might seem a little dragging here and there but you shouldn't forget that this a drama that focuses much on the corruption in the prosecutor's office and never loses its way. It's "slowly seething", as I was describing it in the beginning.

-- Engraving --
The music is subtle and so well set that you are left with deep impressions every time an episode ends - even though the narrative flow might seem slow-paced. And let me tell you that this drama has one of the most captivating final episodes I've seen so far.

-- Forest of Secrets --
Never was drama title more accurate.

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“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Completed
Criminal Minds
5 people found this review helpful
Oct 8, 2017
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 5.5
Story 5.5
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 5.5
Rewatch Value 1.0
Boring, cold, emotionless.

I'm surprised at myself for finishing  this. It's hard to describe what went wrong here. The drama failed in so  many ways. The team never connected on a deeper base, the cases were  interesting in their core but the writing and execution sucked. It was  never able to build enough suspense to make me excited/worried/eager to  watch more.

Don't get me wrong. Some of the individual cases  were pretty gruesome and interesting (and I was shocked how violent they made them look) than what I would expect from a  k-drama. But most times it still left me cold because the writers extended the investigation part way too much while (at the same time) were still not able to explain the profiling part in a comprehensible  and gripping way. It felt like getting food thrown at your face.

The cast 'looked' amazing but their roles were written rather poorly and appeared choppy. If this would have been my first drama with those actors and actresses, I wouldn't be interested in any other drama they starred in. Dialogues  sounded boring, the tone of each voice was always the same monotone  sound which lulled me into sleep. Some of the background music were not  helping either. I missed emotions so much here. And I missed those tiny personal  interactions between the leads. A wink, a look, some short random remarks. I don't know.  They sounded like a bunch of people who  successfully memorized their texts... Which is why I couldn't connect to  any of them. They were so one-dimensional.  I admit that sometimes it  looked like they tried to be more, but... well, it wasn't enough.

They did have some kind of steadiness: Constant  stagnation.

And what ending was that? The finale felt flat. Most times I'm quite satisfied with the main villains in dramas. But this one? Nope. There are actors who are able to pull off EVERY damn role they are given, even the bad ones. And they are able to shine in even those. And then there are actors who only suit certain characters. The actor for the main villain in this show failed to impress me - solely because his acting and his appearance together failed to capture an otherwise intriguing figure.

I'm familiar with the original series this one is based on, but I'm not a regular follower. Though occasionally I watch one or two episodes once in a while. And I have to admit that I'm more satisfied with their cases than I was with this show, even though I'm not deeply connected with the leads in the US version either. The reason why I stick with the show when I stumble upon it while zipping through the channels is because I am glued to one special bond between two of the leads. And because their cases feel more compact which leads to a more intriguing investigation. Well, if I want to, I can go into more detail but I think I made my point clear.

So sad this failed to reach my expectations. I so wish I could say something positive as well, but there's nothing I can think of. Everything that started out good/interesting became rather boring quite quickly because they stretched the developing process too far, didn't show crucial details in the leads' behavior/facial expressions and slow/dull scene editing...

But I did like the ending song!

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Completed
School 2017
5 people found this review helpful
Sep 5, 2017
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 9
Overall 9.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
I never watched the Reply dramas nor did I see the other compilations of this School series (2013, 2015). So, I can't compare them and I don't think it's necessary anyways since all their stories stand on their own. Because I was never interested in school dramas, I didn't want to start this one either. Only the trailer got me curious enough to try it out.

And I'm so glad I started this.

The story itself is nothing special or unique actually. You have your usual tropes, clichés and unbelievable problems, but the writers still managed to pull off a captivating and engaging script that doesn't let go - in addition a cast that did an amazing job with their assigned roles.

Each one of them gets slowly introduced to you, some earlier and others a bit later. I liked the pace they kept with those because it helped building up my sympathy for them and made me care for their backgrounds and problems - why they acted the way they did and whether I could relate to them or not.

I was quite happy to finally see Kim Jung Hyun in a leading role. After his impressive appearances in Jealousy Incarnate and Rebel Who Stole The People, he deserved a good script and the opportunity to shine more. And he did! He was cocky, wicked, short-tempered, smart, childish, funny, charming, lovely. The perfect hard shell with a soft core. He twisted me around his little finger way too fast - not that I mind.

Kim Se Jung. I think I was never more impressed with a young new actress who doesn't have much experience so far as this seems to be her very first decent role after acting school (there's only one guest role listed on her profile and I don't want to count that one in).
She blew me off, if I may say so. She pulled off the role of a feisty, strong-willed young female student who fights for her dreams and friends with such confidence, that you might think she did acting ever since she was born. Believe me, I'm not exaggerating. Kim Se Jung has great potential and I'm sure she will become one of the big ones one day.

Jang Dong Yoon was another new face for me and like the other ones, he convinced me with his acting from beginning to end. I'm already excited to see more of him in the near future. Same praise goes to the rest of the cast as well who harmonized quite well with each other. You start to like some of them more and other less, but that's the plan anyways, right?

Most of the teachers are already experienced Sunbaes, so it's not surprising that I can't point out someone who actually failed at his or her performance. Their characters' bad behavior spiced up the story, of course, although not all of them were bad people. But I'm a little sad that most of them stayed flat with their stereotype impression of your usual villains.

The part that actually made me deduct points in my rating was the final 'battle' and the fact that they sketched ALL the rich people as the power abusing, unreasonable jerks we already know from other dramas. I would have loved to see at least one or two exceptions.

So, overall a highly enjoyable drama that encourages you to root along with the good guys and maledict the bad ones, while a sweet and caring storyline completes this average yet exceptional drama. If you're looking for something lighthearted that manages to raise your blood pressure in a good way nonetheless, this is definitely the right choice.

Oh, and before I forget to mention this:
Skinship looks very natural as well. The leads had chemistry that got even me excited.

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Completed
Chief Kim
5 people found this review helpful
Mar 31, 2017
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
I went into this drama because of Gung Min and didn't know what to expect, but was so glad in the end - and not only because of him. This is a drama that entered my top 5 list without me realizing it. It caught me off guard in a good way. It's actually not so much about the story but the characters. And in a way story and characters are bound to each other like: One half doesn't work without the other. As the story goes on, you will love each and every one of its "puppets". Even the bad guys. You will enjoy watching them grow - for better or worse - and you will anticipate every new encounter. You will find yourself lost if you don't see them at least once a day.

I'm normally not a fan of comedy dramas, but I made an exception for this one since it captured my heart in an instant. The producers were some smart dudes, when I think of how they displayed the comedy parts. Of course there are your obvious jokes, but it still manages to not look too exaggerated. Then there's comedy that is subtle and looks like it doesn't want to be funny, but it is nonetheless. And then there are hilarious incidents within all the seriousness and you can't help but laugh about it, but at the same time you feel something like pride and satisfaction.

Nevertheless, this show is about corruption and it is certainly not only made of happy and/or amusing moments. It also has a knack for creating suspense in its very own way. It's hard to explain but once you watch it, you'll understand.

You don't like business dramas? There's no romance, why start this thing?

Let me tell you some reasons:

- Nam Gung Min
- Lee Jun Ho
- Jeong Hye Seong
- Dong Ha
- Im Hwa Young
- Kim Won Hae
- Jung Moon Sung
- ...
... I could probably list the whole cast but I think you get my intention.
...
- clever, well done comedy
- an unusual bromance you'll adore to the core
- strong female characters
- strong side and guest characters
(- of course also strong male characters - don't let us forget about them either)
- many surprising, unexpected, freaky turn of events
- a business story about corruption that is well executed an told with a good balance between comedy and seriousness
- maybe one or two lessons for life itself

One word to describe this show? Rewarding. In every way possible. A surprise drama and highly recommended.

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Completed
Shark
5 people found this review helpful
Aug 25, 2016
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 10
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.5
I am so overwhelmed by this drama that my review probably won't do justice to this masterpiece. But I'll try anyway because it seems that many people rated this drama only according to its end. Believe me when I say that this is one of those dramas that is completely underrated.

The story is a common plot among all those revenge dramas out there. Han Yi Soo takes on a new identity after his father was murdered. After years he comes back to Korea with a fully prepared plan in his mind. In order to get the one responsible for his past misery he is determined to use that one's granddaughter Jo Hae Woo, his past first love from his teenage days.

What makes this drama so perfect in my eyes is that every detail harmonizes with the other entirely. The story, the twists, the actors, the music, the cinematography.

Although the basic plot is not an unusual one, it still keeps you chained to your seat. The way the scenes are merging and continuing so smoothly makes you more curious with each passing minute.

But the story itself wouldn't work without those remarkable actors who put so much life in their characters. At this point the first ones who are to be mentioned are Yun Joon Suk and Kyung Soo Jin who portrayed the young versions of both leads. Without them it would have only been half a joy watching this drama. Their chemistry was overwhelming and laid a great foundation for their adult co-actors (Kim Nam Gil & Son Ye Jin) who did an equally amazing job in showing that deep special bond their characters shared from the first minute they'd met. All those moments/scenes where they were together was in a striking contrast to the rest of the story and kinda felt like floating in the air. Their encounters always left a deep impression on me.

What strikes me most is Kim Nam Gil. I've never seen anything with him before, therefore I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But after watching this drama I'm completely convinced by his talent. Not many actors are capable of showing sparse facial expressions and still manage to deliver everything the viewer needs to feel the character's pain, suffering, inner turmoil and determination, or whatever he's feeling.

The most beautiful part of Shark (next to those wonderful tragically romantic moments of the leads) is its unique, outstanding OST. All those well placed songs just complemented this already brilliant drama.

Believe me if you've ever contemplated to watch this, don't hesitate any longer. Just start it.
Like I mentioned at the beginning many people were not satisfied or disappointed with the end. In my opinion it was the most fitting finish I've ever seen in a k-drama. If you pay enough attention right from the first moment, you would see it coming. Throughout the whole story are so many small details that point towards it - like a red thread. You'll see that any other ending wouldn't cope with the rest of the story as well as the actual one did. Not at all.

I for one have fallen in love with this gem. I hope you guys will enjoy this ride as well.

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Completed
Missing 9
4 people found this review helpful
Oct 26, 2017
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 3
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 5.0
Imagine going to a restaurant, ordering a sirloin steak which you haven't had in months. Your mouth is running watery while ordering the dish and as soon as you swallow your first bite, you dig into it as if you have starved for months.

Then when you're halfway finished with it, the waiter suddenly takes your meal away and puts the most common dessert in front of you. You know it, you've eaten it so many times and you like it because it's delicious but you just don't want to eat something sweet now. You want your spicy, juicy steak back. But that won't happen. And that leaves two options: Swallow the pill or cancel the rest of your meal. If you do decide to continue eating, be aware that at the very end you might bite on a forgotten nail or something. It sounds disgusting, I know. But don't say I didn't warn you.

One of the worst things that can happen to a drama is mixing up genres the wrong way. You always have one main genre and only glimpses of other ones. It's important to stay true to your roots and never let any side genre take over. Because if that happens, it will ruin the mood like nothing else, especially if they allow the most common plot holes to occur along the way. The story becomes sloppy and all over the place and you just feel like being on a very bad trip. One part of you feels angry and frustrated, the other one feels pity for the impressive first half of the drama that got you so damn invested in the story.

I know that I sound very negative right now and many might wonder why I still gave such a (relatively) high rating considering everything that went wrong. Well, as I said before, those first 9 episodes were almost brilliant. And I would recommend them without a second thought. After that it feels like a sharp clean cut and everyone has to decide for themselves if they are willing to watch the messed up rest. I finished this drama because I was curious about that ending everyone was complaining about. Well... it was indeed something I would have never imagined. It's not explosively unexpected, it's more like the tip of the iceberg after a chaotic and way too long aftermath.

I gave this drama a 7 because there were many things I really, really liked. First of all of course those first 9 episodes that take you on a thrilling journey full of surprises and "what the hell"-moments.

Then those 9 survivors. Believe me when I say that the actors were doing a great job with their characters, most of all Jung Kyung Ho who I avoided for a long time. I didn't even like his role in this at first. He was pissing me off and I never expected to grow fond of him. But I did. He became my most favorite character, along with Baek Jin Hee's role. Those two had amazing chemistry till the very end, and regarding every relationship I've seen in dramas until now, they have become one of my dearest. I loved how they became fond of each other, how they supported each other. I loved their warmth as well as their teasing, and I loved how they encouraged and gained strength through each other. But most of all I loved how Seo Joon Oh (Jung Kyung Ho) became a better person through Ra Bong Hee (Baek Jin Hee).

The music is playing an important role in this drama as well because it literally takes you away. It sets the right mood when the show drifts to the island and focuses on every single person, their endurance, their personal development and different realizations while facing extreme hardships. After listening to it again, it reminds me of Hayao Miyazaki's movies. There is something dreamy about it within the instrumental pieces.

Sometimes their time on the island didn't seem to take itself serious and the group looked like they were on a picnic trip or something. But those scenes never lasted too long, the anxiousness remained and unfolded in no time afterwards again.

After those incredible 9 episodes you get thrown into your typical k-drama world filled with clichés and plot holes and an unexpected overwhelming comedy that makes the drama look like it doesn't take itself serious any more. While confronted with corruption from all sides (one of my most hated tropes in dramas), they behave like they got all the time in the world, calmly chit-chatting at home and meeting up in public as if there's no danger closing in at all - but the villains don't seem as clever either. Not to mention the ridiculous ending that will only hit you during the last five minutes.

Don't get me wrong, I loved most of the subtle comedy parts as well, if I look at them individually. But in combination with the first half of Missing  9, it felt off and ruined the initial expectations I (and probably many others) had. The mix between mystery and later corruption/comedy didn't go well in my eyes.

A few things that remained the same (thank god) were Joon Oh's and Bong Hee's special relationship, me growing fonder of them every time they appeared on screen and those genuine talks between two characters, filled with meaningful closeness and honesty. Contrary to everything that went wrong and could have made me drop the drama, those few consistent things were strong enough to keep me at bay and complete the drama. I've seen way worse than this. What makes this drama such a disappointment is the brusque change in the script that started off great in the beginning and remains brilliant in its core.

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Completed
D-Day
4 people found this review helpful
Feb 15, 2016
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 3.0
Despite all the other good reviews, imo the drama was not perfect. Therefore my rating is only 8. But that's still good, so no need to worry.

The only reason why I started D-Day was because I heard that amazing song on youtube, Jung Dong Ha - That Day. I was sooo moved by it that I just had to watch the drama behind it.

Ok, where to start... the good things? Doesn't really matter, right?

What I was most impressed by from the very start, was Kim Young Kwang. I only saw him in Pinocchio and Yong-Pal before and he didn't stand out that much. But here, woah... His acting was so strong that I almost fell for him. Seriously. (I don't like curls either, but it made him very handsome, too.) Many other actors/actresses did also a good job, although not all of them. And I don't like Ha Suk Jin. He just opens his eyes so strangely wide when something schocks him, that I couldn't take him seriously.

Lee Kyeong Yeong's character on the other hand... Well, I hated that guy the most. Seriously, never hated a person in a drama like I did here. And still, in the end I liked him the most, because his 'departure' and change was the best of them all. He didn't fold completely. He may have understood his wrongdoings, but he still maintained his personality and conviction what made him look even more human. In most dramas, the bad guys changing at the end seem like they changed their souls or something. But not in this one and I was very pleased with that.

Another good point of this drama were the surguries. There were alot of them and thank God most of them didn't have a dramatic showdown, though many of them were quite dangerous and tight in success.

What else... the scenery or better said the special effects. It was a drama but that didn't stop the producers from doing a great job on those. You can see that they put alot of effort into the realistic view of the distaster and that was just candy for my eyes.

What I also liked was that there were not only black (bad) and white (good) people. There were many grey persons, too, like someone who is trying to help, but in order to do that he has to make some difficult decisions, even if it means to become the black sheep among them.

Also, not all of those who did bad things were punished. That makes it even more realistic.

Another plus? I just like the main pairing! They were great together and really cute. I wish there would have been some more 'cuddle/hugging' scenes or something. My romantic heart wasn't well served!

I guess, now we have to go the things that made me rate this drama an 8.
First of all, I know that a situation like this, a distaster is not only ruled by heroes but also by individual fates and people who start acting only intuitively which implies the ever first rule: Self-preservation/survival.

But nevertheless, many wrong behaviours just seemed too excessive. And with every new episode I was getting more and more annoyed by the director's attitude which didn't even budge an inch. At least once I wanted to see his pride as a doctor.

Well, that's it. No matter what and despite this one point of criticism, I still enjoyed D-Day (I had to cry alot, too.). Only my rewatch value is a bit low. Don't take it the wrong way, I just don't think I will rewatch it. Listening to the song mentioned above is quite enough for me.

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Completed
What's Wrong With Secretary Kim
3 people found this review helpful
Jul 29, 2018
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
This feels like your typical shojo manga story with typical features in the storytelling, BUT still enjoyable nonetheless.

It sounds cliché but when I worked at a restaurant I met so many bosses who had married their secretaries that it felt actually quite strange. But it's a matter of fact and the funniest things happen in real life, right? So, it was even more enjoyable to watch. Also, it's been a while since I last watched a pure romance drama, so it was even more relaxing to marathon this one.

Park Min Young's and Park Seo Joon's scenes were well balanced and had really good dynamics. There was perfect timing in their facial expressions and small gestures/reactions were well tuned. It's hard to describe, but I hope you'll know what I'm talking about when you watch it yourselves.

What I especially liked in the beginning was that perfect teamwork between the both of them. It showed so well, how important it is to have a competent, supportive co-worker next to you when it comes to managing such scales. It's a bit sad that they showed less of that team-play as the drama went on. What I also liked was the transition from the newbie to that perfect secretary.

PSJ's acting performance was satisfying, as expected. The narcissistic treats of his character were well shown, even though they surfaced less often in the later episodes, which is a bit sad, imo.

I'm not a fan of kitsch, so... let's just say that the drama could have done perfectly fine without it. I don't even know how SK came up with this kind of image of a relationship in the first place, when they started to produce rom-coms in the past.

I adored all the side-characters. Lee Young Joon's parents were great. Hilariously great. Also, Kim Mi So's sisters (fresh faces who make me want to see them more often in dramas) and of course her dad, lol. And in that sense the surprise cameo. Won't say more though!

Special shout-out to the child actors. So, so cute but also so impressively well done when you think about those scenes they had to play.

And then there's Kang Ki Young. You can't help but enjoy all his roles. He has this comedic talent to make a scene look serious, yet funny without overdoing it.

Overall a well done rom-com with a few points of criticism. The acting is really good, the office life relatively close to reality (sometimes). Only the last few episodes became a bit dragging about two issues and some things were just "too much". It doesn't diminish the overall enjoyment, and with the adding of someone's hidden past you even get some suspense on the side-lines. Enjoyment level alone: 8.5.

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Completed
Witch's Court
3 people found this review helpful
Nov 29, 2017
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
This was such a hard decision to rate. And to be honest, just some seconds ago I gave this drama an 8 because of all the things I liked and loved about it. But to be fair there were also many things that didn't add up.

The start was strong and promising, the writing kinda daring considering the content of these prosecuted cases. The outcome was not always clear and you had your unexpected moments, even though some possible conclusions might have become more visible along the way and allowed the viewer to guess just right.

I loved the first half alot. And I mean ALOT.

Most of all because I had so much fun watching the female lead Ma Yi Deum. Her character is one of the best written and most authentic ones in dramaland. Believe me when I say that I was almost scared how much I recognized myself in her. Even though we didn't experience the same things, there were still so many situations when I just had to nod and agree in awe - because she always reacted and acted the same way I would have done in those moments. Scary indeed, right?

But at the same time I was fascinated with her and I was happy that the writers were brave enough to write such a grey zone leading role. She's not been categorized like that because she did some seriously bad things but more because she did and does some minor but still morally debatable things. If you look into the mirror and ask yourself whether you ever did something that was selfish, calculated and manipulating, even though it's not even worth mentioning (because deep down you actually don't want to admit it), then say hello to your sister: Ma Yi Deum. A tough girl who has decided to face the world with spite and sarcasm. Never letting herself be taken down by any obstacle she comes across. Even though she seems like she's hiding her feelings, she doesn't get depressed whenever she accidentally gives her emotions full scope, but instead covers up her slip of feelings in grand style. So yeah, I love her. From head to toe, from character to convenient (and occasionally striking) styling to ambiguous first impression.

The rest of the cast did well, too, even though non of them could compare to Jung Ryeo Won (Ma Yi Deum) who out-shined them all. And even though I want to mention Yoon Hyun Min because I like, love and fancy over him all the way, I just can't. I loved him in the first half but his character lost stage presence during the rest of the story (although some lovely glimpses still shined through sometimes and especially at the end~)

The same applies for the plot. I was hooked by the cases, they were shocking and the way the drama delivered them made me curious enough to binge watch the first six/seven episodes. But as the story went further, the cases lost substance, became repetitive and sadly let inconsistencies sneak in. The pace dropped down from 100 to 50 and it never picked up again. Even the finale felt kinda flat and unimpressive.

I feel truly sorry for the drama because it started off so damn well, and I wish the writers would have been able to keep that intimate but threatening atmosphere that caught me in the beginning. So much potential and so many missed possibilities.

But I did like the OST from beginning to end! It has something unique and memorable.

P.S: Would I recommend it? Yes. Depending on the mood and the tolerance of predicable and repetitive content. And for the eye candy and averagely good acting (including one shining star).




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Completed
Operation Chromite
3 people found this review helpful
Jul 13, 2017
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
I went into this movie with not too high expectations because even though it was such a big project, Korean dramas taught me to still be careful with what I wish for. Well, I can't say that this movie was in any way a letdown. It was definitely not.

I'm always up for a good movie that is based on historical facts. Operation Chromite is not only based on true events but dedicated to the families and descendants of those heroes who are portrayed here. I am not a historian, so I can't assess to its historical closeness. But I do want to believe that the producers were very accurate with the details. And honestly, I don't think there could have gone much wrong either.

The story takes up pace very fast, you don't get bored over long conversations. Instead you have to concentrate alot because scenes change very fast. You blink once and half of the movie has already passed. You blink twice and the movie is already over. Every now and then it has some nice, calm and either heartwarming or heartbreaking moments as well, which is an important asset to make this movie work out the way it wants to be and to deliver the right feels.

Because this film's strength is not the action - although there's alot of that - but the people and their desperate fight for their country. Their determination and desire were infectious and moved me every single time, even though those moments were rare. The cast was delivering such a good job. There are so many really good actors and actresses in this movie that of course not everyone could get a main role. But that doesn't mean that their performances were less important than others. Even though their screentime was limited, they got the best out of themselves and brought forth some nice, raw emotions.

Despite its brutal reality, cinematography was at its best. Beautiful shots and colors that supported the storytelling and its emotions in a caring way. I'm also sounding a note of caution here for all those who are sensible to gore. Although the film is keeping it at a short leash, there are still some scenes that might upset one or two stomachs.

One thing I was bothered by (next to some other things) was first of all Liam Neeson. I know that he's a really good actor and I don't blame him here. But his scenes always seemed kinda choppy and cut off. There was no smoothness in his dialogues either. Only in close-ups his acting could truly shine which made me appreciate his appearances a little more.

Another thing that irritated me was the background score. I'm a sucker for good background music and Operation Chromite does have a great score actually. But it was so badly placed and overused in Liam Neeson's scenes that it almost lost all its impact and disrupted the in other places always well balanced story-flow. All the scenes with the Korean soldiers for example were stunningly coordinated and fluent which makes it such a shame that it didn't work out with his parts.

Overall still a nice and lasting watch that I would definitely recommend.

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Completed
The Guardians
4 people found this review helpful
Jul 12, 2017
32 of 32 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 7.5
I think the overall theme for this drama is "What are you willing to do to get justice? What lines will you cross to get your revenge? How far are you letting your grief drive you?"

And in that way the drama tells a phenomenal story. Although I wasn't hooked by its first episodes right away, I grew to love it to bits even though the basic summary doesn't differ much from other revenge dramas.

What makes this so special are its characters and the construction of their stories - and the bond between them. Like the plot is built up in layers, so are its partakers. Every detail is played out so well that you're stunned when you reminisce about it. It makes you excited to watch each twist unfold, to guess and to see whether your predictions come true or not. And it never lets you rest. Each turn of events is shocking, moves you to tears or riles up your emotions to an unknown degree.

What I loved so much in the acting of the characters were those subtle, tiny expressions, almost too small to notice but you DO notice them. There is no one who is truly good or bad. Everyone has their flaws and inner fights and struggles, and sometimes the selfish desire wins over. It shows how good this drama is, that it makes you focus automatically, so you won't miss anything. One big strength of this drama is that it makes you try to imagine to be in their shoes. You might think that you will never extort to their lengths and methods but deep down you have to admit that you can't be hundred percent clear about that either. Human instincts are one big mystery and only if you face such situations yourself, you'll learn some new truths about yourself.

Thinking of the cast makes me seriously happy because everyone, and I mean everyone, did such a good job with each and every role they were given. It made you enjoy all their interactions, either good or bad. A big shout-out at the young teenage actors, too, because they were utterly amazing! Also one of the best villains I've seen in a drama. I always prefer the calm, smart ones over the impulsive stereotypes they use so often. And Lookout has one intriguing badass whose gaze gives you the chills because he's just so incalculable. He's like fog where you can't see far enough.

Though all of them were amazing, the one who gets the biggest bouquet of flowers is Kim Young Kwang. He is simply surpassing every role he's done so far. His character was so well written and his performance was mind-blowing. And I'm not even exaggerating. He played Jang Do Han with such perfection and perception that I can't wait to see more of his acting in future roles with likewise impressive characters. I don't even want to talk about this too much, just watch it yourself and let yourself be mesmerized.

Also, Lee Shi Young. I was five minutes into the drama, and she already knocked me off my socks. She's such a badass female lead who makes you root for her almost all the way through. She is strong and no matter what happens stays to her beliefs. And although it might become a lonely fight, she never willingly depends on others but takes matters in her own hand.

I did have some issues with the last episodes which is why I can't give this drama a full 10. But I was still very satisfied with its wrap up, and to know that it's over now, makes me shed a tear or two.

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The Age of Shadows
4 people found this review helpful
Feb 11, 2017
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
Have you ever watched Gaksital (Bridal Mask)?
Then you'll probably get a good idea about the time this movie is playing in. A Korean citizen (or Joseon person as it was called back then) who joined the Japanese forces and became a high-ranking police officer. And a group of Joseon citizen who secretly fight for their country's independence.

What I noticed about those kind of Korean movies is that they take their time to tell their story. It is very slow paced as the first half of the film is being used to set every detail in its proper place and to build the overall construction. So, don't let yourself be fooled by this phony silence that only tries to hide the inevitable threats that lie in the shadows. They will explode once in a while and keep you excited.

Although I could sympathize with people who get bored because of its long and calm progress... If you allow yourself to dive into this foggy story you will be rewarded at the end. You won't see it coming until it's already happening. Then you just sit there, watch blankly and feel that undeniable pressure in your chest.

As the movie shines with many ~high-ranking actors, there's only one that truly outclasses everyone else here. And that's Song Kang Ho. I already watched some of his other movies but never was I captivated by him the way I was here, with this performance. I didn't notice it immediately. But suddenly one scene, one moment, one gesture. And he killed it. And me. He caught me off guard and brought me to tears.

Sadly, I can't say the same for Gong Yoo. He was good, no doubt. And he also had moments where his character shined but his overall personality stayed too shallow. Even Lee Byung Hun's short appearance had more impact on me.

If there's one other thing I would complain about, then it would be that I missed some more light on the actual situation of the Joseon people during that time.

Altogether:
Recommended for those who have patience and don't mind slowly enveloping stories. People, who are interested in this period of time. And for people who don't mind a little blood. There's no exaggerating amount of it but some scenes make me advise you to not eat while watching if you're sensible to those things.

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Mad Dog
3 people found this review helpful
Dec 1, 2017
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
I was curious about the drama right from the beginning. And when it started, I found myself slowly enjoying this more than I thought.

If there's one word that describes this drama the best, it would be "family", closely followed by "bromance". Right from the beginning but even clearer the more you trail the story.

I always prefer those shows that don't seem like something special and later on start to emerge from their cocoon. Even tough I wouldn't say that Mad Dog is a stroke of genius regarding the plot, I'd still claim that the writers were genius enough to make a common plot with clichés into an enjoyable evening pastime.

The summary doesn't reveal much of the actual story and some of you might be slightly disturbed by the starting event later on because of its obviousness to a certain real-time happening some years ago - I certainly was because the drama did link with my country. And I didn't really know how to feel about it. I still don't know how to feel about it after watching the drama and the way it dealt with that issue. But I can say for sure that they handled it the Korean drama way which actually soothed my uneasiness a little, even though it was such a trope.

If I discard that one point, everything else looks like the usual crime drama - and then again it's not really an only crime show. There is more to its charm, more humor, more romance, more shrewdness than necessary. Maybe even a little too much cleverness. It's your common plot of push and pull between the good and the bad. Nothing you haven't seen before already.

But still.
What makes this drama so much fun are the actors and their characters. Conspicuous individuals who look unique (even though they are not). More closely viewed they are actually very predictable and stereotype. But I didn't really pay attention to that because I enjoyed them so much. What's so special about those guys are their team dynamics. I don't even know how to describe it best. They had great chemistry from start to end, and yes, sometimes their actions seemed a little overboard. I still couldn't care less.

If I had to tell who my favorite was out of them all, I'd say Jo Jae Yun. Seriously, that guy is a genius. He can pull so many different characters, making them his own, give them his unique touch, and bait his audience. And I'm so glad that he got the opportunity to show some rarer sides of his skills in this drama. Not always only the joking guy, but also someone who gets really serious about things and people. I want to see him in a romance drama - a serious one, not a comedy.

Of course I liked the other ones as well. Woo Do Wan is definitely next in line (not only because of his sweet attempts at talking German~).  I haven't seen anything with him yet, but I'll definitely catch up on that gap. He delivered his role with impressive finesse.

Yoo Ji Tae... The only other drama I watched him in was Healer, and even though I'm not the right one to judge him yet, I think I can still say that I got what I expected of him. As one of the (younger) veterans he knows how to capture the viewers with confidence.

Same applies for the rest of the cast - though I must also say that you either love or hate certain kinds of people. I for myself was entertained quite well by the bad guys as well. It even turned out that the one I disliked the most in the beginning, became my favorite in the end. Hell yeah, he was an annoying guy and that never changed. But he also knew how to counter-attack when it was needed. There was a nice dissonance within that group of evil guys and I found it enjoyable how they always tried to turn on each other.

If I had to name a disappointment, it would be Hong Soo Hyun. I don't know why but her character stayed the same throughout the whole show. Very bland and unmoving. Always the same expression, always the same repetitive acting.

I think what surprised me the most was the romance that suddenly bloomed out of nowhere. Okay, not totally out of the blue. It appeared in small steps early on but never seemed real, so I certainly didn't expect it to become more serious. Maybe I'm the only dumb one on this though, I don't know. Even though I did notice it, I thought the writers were only teasing me. Thank god they didn't... I really liked the development in the end. It fitted the moments, was never too prominent and took its sweet time.

I know this show has some faults and clichés and whatnot. But sometimes you just need something flawed that makes you fall in love with it to remember that there's no such thing as perfect on this earth.

Definitely recommended~

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Confession of Murder
3 people found this review helpful
Aug 10, 2016
Completed 2
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
It's been awhile since I watched this movie but since it's one of my favorites I wanted to review it.

Park Shi Ho is one of my favorite actors, so watching this movie was a must. And although I didn't really know what I was getting myself into back then, in the end I was convinced to the the fullest. Story, actors and cinematography. I wasn't worried about Park Shi Ho. He's a great actor. But all the other cast members also did an awesome job. They went very well together. And that was one of the most important parts in this movie because at the end it drops a midsize bombshell, putting everything in a new light. There was not one moment where I suspected such an ending. I knew something wasn't right but my suspicions didn't even get close to that solving. The movie definitely surprises with some nice ideas.

Cinematography and scene editing: Thumbs up! No rushing, no stalling.

There's nothing to criticize on my part. The overall package is self-consistent. Lots of action and many thrilling moments, surprising turns and even some humorous parts that doesn't seem out of place. Stunt choreography was brilliant and never looked posed.

I for myself was wholeheartedly satisfied with this one.

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