My brand new follower (and followed), conan, has suffered the horror of "Temptation of Wolves". It caused her to give up on Kang Dong Won works. But she is willing to try and conquer her aversion. Thankfully, none of his other works are as bad as this one so I hope that she will be pleasantly surprised.
I thought that, since I have watched almost everything he's done, I would make a quick guide for her and anyone who might want to check out his works in the future. Short descriptions of them here, my opinion on them and a couple of pictures. An occasional trailer too, for those that have watchable ones.
I describe things with him as the center. For the movies I really really liked, I make reviews and cover more there. These go by chronological order from old to new.
For more information on them, click on their titles to be taken to their Hancinema pages and use your good and informed friend Google.
This continues in Part 2, for easier viewing.
This post includes the works between 2003 and 2006.
Melodrama. Typical melodrama. Some good acting from certain members of the cast though. I didn't like it, but I liked the acting. Not Kang Dong Won's though. His first work (as far as I can tell). He really doesn't know what to do with himself in this. He is bad. Stiff and all over the place, but he tries, bless him. And fails miserably.
In fact, his work in this can be summed up by the following picture.
I know my acting skills are in here somewhere...
1% of Anything
Rom-com. Kind of boring at times and the music and clothes are SOOOO bad! I wanted to shove a fork in my ears every time the soundtrack started. But it has its cute moments and Byeon Hee Bong is such an adorable gramps here. Good to watch once in a while maybe, but I don't think I will repeat it. I can just repeat Magic and enjoy Kang Dong Won's evil hotness better.
But brace yourselves for the awesome part. He is 22 in this. And he plays a 32 year-old. Seeing him in suits and acting as a CEO was like watching a kid wear his dad's clothes. He even still has zits all over his face here.
Acting-wise, he has cute moments, but again, not very good here. Rom-coms aren't exactly the best genre for showing skills anyway, but he was young and not quite in touch with his talent yet. Romance is a genre he dislikes, so maybe that was stopping him from giving more than that 1%.
He's probably checking to see if he's reached full height yet. It's debatable...
Too Beautiful To Lie
You can see my full review of it here. I love this movie. Love it to bits. It's light, funny, the characters are adorable and it just leaves me with a smile every time I watch it. And I watch it very often. Not so heavy on the romance part and more on the family and comedy, but what a laugh!
Kim Ha Neul is simply wonderful and you just love to see her character torture his. As for Kang Dong Won in this, he overacts and his comedy is weird at times, but that makes the character even more fun. Choi Heechul is slimy, slow, loud and generally pathetic. And boy, does Dong Won accentuate all those. Heechul is quite the source of laughs for me and a dear friend and I think he might become yours too.
So, not his best acting, but it showed, early on, that this man is talented. If you can't do comedy and drama, you're not a full actor. I fully recommend this movie.
You will not comprehend the epicness of this scene until you watch it in context
Temptation of Wolves
Please read this and stay far away from this movie. Or at least watch it for the laughs, after you have seen some other Kang Dong Won works. It's simply vile.
And here's where we first catch a glimpse of the actor he has become today. This is actually one of my favorite performances of his. The series is typical melo where everyone is pathetic and/or bitchy, but compared to other melo I have come across, it actually feels like this one downright admits these people are all pathetic instead of painting them as "kind" or "misunderstood" or "weak".
Kang Dong Won plays a bastard. A gold-digging, morally numb, cruel bastard. And he's HOT and good as one! I hated his character with passion. I kept wishing he'd die horribly by the end and just seeing his face made me want to hurt him. Before each episode was over and I remembered that face belongs to someone I admire and have fangirl craziness for. Then I just wanted to do other types of violent things to him.
This is the last series he has done and the last for good (if nothing changes). He is a method actor who does his best work when he prepares for it, especially for the characters he usually plays, which are by no means normal. Live filming and pressure is just not for him. So, I can imagine it was tough filming this. However, he gave a really good performance in it. I really want to see him play this type of villain again. Not a psycho, as he has done. Just a really mean, power-hungry insensitive prick. He's good at it. Shame he won't be coming back to Dramaland, what with cable tv having more quality works now, but I understand the man.
Whatever you do, do not turn around, woman! He's got the Death Ray Vision on!
This movie... This movie took an innocent (ok, maybe not) woman who was happily enjoying fagirling over a properly nourished hot Korean man and turned her into a skinny-freak-loving idiot. The first Kang Dong Won work I watched.
The review for it can be found here and it describes my feelings. I love this movie. It's sensual, beautiful, the music is out of this world awesome, the setting is great. But it's an artsy movie and it's weird. You will either love it or hate it.
Kang Dong Won rarely speaks in this, but he shows he can handle peculiar characters well. The combined charisma of the actors in this work could give you severe brain hemorrhage if you didn't control your emotions. Also, the man can dance while fighting, with a sword in one hand and the other wrapped around a woman. Nuff said.
Creepy guy in black following you through an alley at night, you take out your knives
Our Happy Time
A suicidal woman and a death row convict? This sounded like a major tear-jerker and I frankly can't handle tragedy well, especially if it's there just to squeeze the viewer dry. But after a few years, I gathered my strength and watched it.
It was a solid movie, mostly character driven and touching issues like poverty, violence, rape and family dynamics. While definitely not for the faint of heart, it was something worth watching.
Kang Dong Won had his ups and downs in his performance here, but his ups were really good and something I had not seen before. I recommend it, for its value as social commentary and performances.
Pictures and videos found through Google Image Search and Hancinema.