Sunday, August 31, 2014

Drama Review - King of Dramas


Dramas are not averse to having self-referential meta material in them. We hear "like in dramas" said by drama characters often and some works might even parody others in direct or indirect ways. Like 2008 series 'On Air', 'The King of Dramas' explores the world of the drama industry. Sadly for the latter, a lot of the issues it criticizes rear their ugly head both within its plot and through the drama itself by the end.

Anthony Kim (Kim Myeong-min) is the go-to producer for a successful drama. The works he handles get top ratings and satisfy all the industry criteria, while leaving little room for fresh concepts. When a production faces a problem, Anthony clashes with Lee Go-eun (Jeong Ryeo-won), an aspiring writer who believes stories are more important than business. After a casualty during filming, Anthony loses his job and fame. When he later opens his own production company and finds himself deep in debt, he and Go-eun reunite and decide to try creating a successful drama. However, their ideals are still on opposing sides.


Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King of Dramas".

Actor Spotlight - Kim Myung Min


Personal taste accounts for a large part of a person's preferences when it comes to art and entertainment. Our positive or negative emotions can make us blind to or more forgiving of flaws or then make us see flaws that are not there. When it comes to actors, everyone has favorites and those favorites are rarely the same. However, there are some performers who are good enough to both have and deserve the acknowledgment, if not admiration, of most viewers who experience their work. Kim Myeong-min seems to belong in that type of performers.

Kim has been in the drama and movie industries since his debut in the 6th SBS actor contest in 1996. While he has credits in works since then, he only landed his first leading role in 2001 movie 'Sorum'. However, his breakthrough came with 2004 series 'Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-shin', which was offered to him just as he was about to give up on his acting efforts. Ever since then, Kim's career has been going nowhere but up, landing him many leading roles in popular dramas and films and making him a powerful presence in both industries.


Full Article: [HanCinema's Actor Spotlight] Kim Myeong-min.

Actor Spotlight - Choi Woo Sik


Dramaland is always looking for stars. Whether new ones it tries to elevate to that status or already existing ones with the power to bring audiences, popularity trumps all when it comes to the Korean drama industry. Choi Woo-sik does not have the qualities the industry likes for its stars, but he has made his career so far by being someone who always manages to entertain, even if his roles are secondary. Often on the geeky or comic relief side, but not limited to it, his characters shape a likable image and capture the attention of those watching.

Choi has not been around the acting scene very long, having made his debut in 2011 drama 'The Duo' as the younger version of the second main character. Since then, he has mostly done cameo and secondary roles in drama and also had a role in 'Secretly and Greatly', making it his only movie role to date. His most notable appearances are in 'The Rooftop Prince' and also OCN series 'Special Affairs Team TEN', which is perhaps the most central role he has had so far aside from 'Drama Festival - Save Wang Jo-hyeon'. If we are to categorize him, Choi is a rookie, but progressing fast.


Full Article: [HanCinema's Actor Spotlight] Choi Woo-sik.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Idol Actors - Park Yoo Chun and Seo In Guk


Park Yoo-chun

Famous idols who go into acting often share a very similar issue. The position of the roles they get is very central compared to what their skills at the time can actually handle. Park Yoo-chun showed promise straight away, by managing to carry the role of a lead in his very first work a lot better than what a lot of idols or other rookies manage.

Park's career in the Korean drama scene started with 'Sungkyunkwan Scandal' in 2010. Since then, he has been having a very steady career in this industry and has also made his entrance into movies with 2014 film 'Sea Fog'. Park's strength in terms of choices comes from the fact that he does not go for romance alone, neither do his efforts only go as far as will be beneficial to his career as a musician.


Full Article: [HanCinema's Idol Actors] Park Yoo-chun and Seo In-guk.

Co-written with Raine of 'Raine's Dichotomy'.

Drama Review - Nine


There are a lot of issues with the Korean drama industry and the fact that new ideas can rarely escape the confines of the drama formula is one of the big ones. Romance is almost inescapable and overly melodramatic tropes and devices turning cliche are another such element. Even good writing cannot always escape those and often does not even try. 'Nine: Time Travelling Nine Times' is a series which had great potential and has many virtues, but it also has a few problems, its biggest issue being that it fails to incorporate a solid romance into its plot and goes cheap with its melodrama.

When Park Seon-woo's (Lee Jin-wook) brother is discovered dead in the Himalayas, an incense stick he was holding is found in his belongings. After Seon-woo discovers he can travel back in time upon burning the stick, he tracks the case containing the rest of them and makes a plan to use this ability in order to prevent a tragedy that ruined his family. With barely any grasp on how the sticks work and no clue about their origins, Seon-woo finds himself meddling with a force he cannot control and which brings about many changes, not all of them for the better.


Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "Nine: Time Travelling Nine Times".

 
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