Friday, December 28, 2012

'IRIS' - A Short Review

IRIS Poster


This review contains spoilers.

Iris. The Ancient Greek name for the Underworld, according to the series itself and unless the subbing went terribly wrong. I think this is an appropriate start to describe how I feel about the first season. 'Iris' was a messenger goddess. That is not what the Underworld was called. You know how one can find out? Google. Something which the writers did not even bother with, despite it being the damn name of their series. So, we can imagine just how thorough and professional their work really is. I don't demand they study Ancient Greek history to write one series, but I do demand they read some reliable source, like a book, or at least Google things. It's kind of the minimum amount of fucks you can give about your own work. To Google things up.

So, back to the series 'IRIS' now. I've had issues with it. Mostly around the characters. It felt like the series had mostly two characters. Hyeon Joon and Cheol Yeong. Lee Byung Hun's and Kim Seung Woo's characters. That is it. They are the only ones who had a proper character arc, whose actions and emotions made sense.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sci-fi with an Accent - Weird, They Say

Realism
Hardcore realism!


Yesterday I read some comments which make my movie-fan heart ache. They raise an "issue" which I never thought would really bother people and so badly. I have to write about this here too, because it is exactly this type of brain-dead feedback from modern movie audiences that gets us more works which are made for withered minds.

Let me first give you a little info about the movie in question itself. A trailer for this M. Night Shyamalan film 'After Earth' was released. The story takes place a thousand years from now, when the Earth has become uninhabitable and the human civilization has relocated to another planet. The Smiths' characters crash land on our now changed planet, which has developed flora and fauna hostile for puny humans.

I won't judge a movie I haven't seen yet, but all I can say is that it looks interesting and I hope it's more than fancy CG. This is not my topic here. The trailer in question features a lot of action and CG, a lot of Jaden and a wonderful voice-over by Will Smith. This voice-over brought about the issue I want to talk about. See, in what now appears to have been an earlier version, Will Smith had a unique accent in his lines. The official trailer, with Smith's normal accent, can be seen bellow.




Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Kang Dong Won is Officially Out of the Army



Actually, I don't know if he's officially out, but he's at least physically out, it seems.

There are no pictures of him yet and depending on his weight, I might have to sic my friend Jana (currently studying in Korea) on him to feed him. He better be healthier.

Fussy-wife instincts aside, Kang Dong Won will now be pounced on by many a project request (besides kyaagirl) and one of the works pitched is a sageuk action movie directed by Yoon Jong Bin. Ha Jeong Woo is slated to play the lead in the film, which will be about bandits in the Joseon era. Kang Dong Won has been asked to play the main villain, however, his management has stated this is just one of the projects he is considering. There is no confirmation or denial yet.

My personal thoughts on this? I do like the idea, but his last project before entering the army was 'Haunters', where he also played a villain. For a comeback project, which is quite important considering the eagerness of media and fans to judge celebrities in Korea, I'd prefer something different. I'm not sure why and I do, of course, want it to be epic and let him come back into the business with a bang, but this movie sounds a bit too "safe". Not original enough.

It's true that I've been the one saying "Less genre-jumping, focus on more of each genre now", but he's done sageuk twice already (if 'Jeon Woochi' counts) and he's been the villain in three works (drama 'Magic' and movie 'Voice of a Murderer', in addition to 'Haunters'). Considering he's done very few projects compared to other actors, I'd prefer to see something a bit different, at least for a comeback project.

I trust his choices though, so I guess all I need to do is sit back, relax and wait for his decision. On a fangirl note, I do change my "celebrity crush" very often, so I still don't know if he has gone into my list of "past loves I still adore", but I am still sane enough to at least not stress about my imaginary crushes.

So, glad he's out and "wuv" or no "wuv", I'll be following his career as usual.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Koreans Don't Hate Us Yet - Let's Fix It!



I'm writing this in light of the news about the Korean tourist who was arrested and physically abused by the Greek police recently. In case you haven't gotten wind of it yet, here is some initial information.

On the 24th one of our citizens logged on to a famous internet portal site and posted the outrageous story of his trip to Greece on the 14th, where he suffered a beating delivered by multiple police officers because he, fearing that they might be imposters, had asked to see their identification after they had stopped him to ask about his travel bag. He wrote that he firmly intends to stay in Greece until the officers who attacked him, and their superiors, are punished.

Here is the full article on that. Potential updates to follow at the end of my post.

Now, there are a few things I'd like to comment on here. The first and obvious one is that these cops (or possible members of the 'Golden Dawn' fascist party who work with the cops) are major dicks. I think that's pretty clear. But what most people abroad might not have realized yet, is that part of our police force is acting like a junta in Greece right now. People don't have control. Voting is probably manipulated, if not staged. The police and army can do anything they want and so can our politicians, since no one can stop them. Just like pretty much anywhere in the world, as much as you'd like to deny it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

News and Re-evaluating the Review System

Me
Me, during these last few months. Well, more so than usual.


I've been thinking, the movie rating system I have is crap. Oh, I mean that I am "reassessing the need for a numeric rating system". In plain terms? I hate scores and numbers. It's impossible to rate entertainment, because it's simply very subjective.

While the numbers I give movies here are my own personal rating based on my own likes and dislikes, a number is easy to generalize. So, since I don't want anyone to go all "But you gave this an 8 and it sucked" on me, I am taking down the ratings.

From now on, I'll give an opinion for the movies in their reviews, as I've been doing so far, but without numbers. For those I don't review, check their info, many opinions and decide yourselves.

In other news, I am thinking of redesigning the site sometime soon. You'd think with my mood and much schoolwork to do, I'd try and do less here, but finding my blogging mood again might fix this hellish slump I've fallen into and help with the rest.

Will keep working on those movie lists then. Expect the numbers to be gone soon and new movies I have watched will also be added, as will the rest of the list as well.

Considering my moodswings and coming-and-going motivation and will for anything, take this with a grain of salt, but I do feel like I'm up for some posting again. At least for a while. Let's see how this goes.

Korean Blogathon 2012 - Roundup Post

Yes, I am aware of how terribly late this is, but here it is:

All my posts for the Korean Blogathon 2012.


Post 1

Post 2

Post 3

Post 4

Post 5

Post 6

Monday, October 1, 2012

Another Stressful Winter Ahead

Pretty much me right now
Pretty much my emotional and mental state right now.


Oh hi. You might remember me. I am the owner of this blog. If you've been checking out my Twitter feed or following me there, you might even know I'm not dead yet.

Describing my days and mood over the last few months might push me into a nervous breakdown, so I won't do it. I am half-kidding, of course. As usual. Some minor health problems the treatment of which is taking too long, very bad mood, pressed financial situation and the need to start my thesis without any will or motivation to do so have pretty much left me dead inside at this point.

My new hobby has been finding pretty homes in Finland, through real-estate listings. I chose the ones I like, save their pictures and try to find my happy place by imagining I'll win the lottery and get one. I've played some games, watched some dramas and have not left the house, save for when it was absolutely necessary.

So, you might now be zoning into the fact that I have been too depressed, stressed and generally lifeless to post at my blog. I have things to say. Oooh, plenty. But I'll be making more scarce posts from now on and until I can get my thesis going. I need to prioritize that, of course. So, now all I need is to start that, since I really can barely drag my sorry ass across the house for my basic needs.

But I'll be back, once in a while, to post things. I'll keep updating my movies' list and gather them Blogathon posts. Also do a roundup review of the dramas I watched and posted about a while back. So, be seeing you around.

To the kyaagirls who have cursed me: May your "bias" find a wonderful girlfriend soon and tell you all he hates you for being such clingy bitches. That's the best curse I can give you. So, suffer well. Lotsa hugs. Ori. ♥

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Current Dramas (Spring/Summer 2012) - Opinions

Spring/Summer 2012 Series


I realized I haven't done such a post, as I mostly watch too many dramas to really focus on anything and most are just light entertainment I don't feel writing much about. However, I thought I'd do a little post about what I'm watching now.

I always watch 3-4 episodes before really judging a show, as the first two episodes are often misleading. They are made to draw audiences in and might not necessarily reveal what the series will really be like.

Plot and overall tone start to settle in after the 4th episode, usually, so I can tell by then, if I am going to like something. Of course, I am talking about the usual 16-episode shows, as it might take longer for longer series. However, the 4th episode is a good indication already, of what you will be seeing from then on.

So let's get to it then. At this moment, I am watching 5 series (although I need to catch up with one). God's Quiz Season 3, I Do I Do, Big, Dr.Jin and Bridal Mask.

Might be adding more soon, but I'll make another post for them. I'll also be making small review posts after all of these are done. Lastly, I do have some spoilers here, but they're important in stating my opinion and giving fair warning.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Bunny The Bear - Opinion, Songs and The Idiots

The Bunny The Bear Logo


Before you jump at my pale throat for this, I am not calling them idiots, but certain people online who are a sure way to losing faith in mankind. Thankfully, not everyone is like that, but it's always sad to see.

Let's get to the juicy parts then. Videos at the end.


Who are they and why should I care?

The Bunny The Bear are an experimental/electro/rock band and no, I don't know what all that means. I am not some music connoisseur (fancy word for a know-it-all).

What I do know is that they are making very interesting music and that they are not afraid to play around with it. While not everything they do is a hit, they are at least trying and they are searching for their own sound and voice without being force-fed a ready one. I also know I love some of their songs.

So, if you happen to be like me and get drawn to certain songs regardless of popularity or even genre, you might want to at least check them out.


The Bunny The Bear Band

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dreams, Dreams, Dreams

Dreams

I am pretty sure this is a big blogging no no. Talking about things like your dreams and irrelevant (to others) topics. But this place is called Orion's Ramblings, so fuck the rules. Speaking of such, there is some profanity in this text. Not that that's news with me.

Here it is then; a dream which had me giggling in my pillow when I woke up. One proving I'd make a pretty deranged director too. Although such dreams are common.

Daytime. Me and my mother are visiting the Elisa shop where I got my smartphone. Our purpose? Simple. Pretend we just dropped by to thank for my phone, find the pushy saleswoman and ask her where she takes the aerobics classes she mentioned last time, so that my mother can join to cure her back problems. So we are having coffee and talking. I ask her for the classes and she says she can give me the address. It’s at her house, which is right next to the store. We leave my mother there and head for her house, in what now appears to be a hybrid of my town here and some area back in Greece.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Remember O Goddess - Interview with Kim Jung Tae

Kim Jung Tae


As promised on Friday, here is my interview with "Remember O Goddess" lead, actor Kim Jung Tae. Well ok, I promised it would be during the weekend. I got busy. Sue me (please don't).

Kim Jung Tae should be a familiar face for all of you, as he can be seen in many hit films such as "SIU" or "The Apprehenders" (hard to pick two from that huge list) as well as dramas like "Bad Guy" and "Can't Lose" (among others). Those of you who watch variety shows probably know him well too.

Before this piece, let me remind you of my interview with the lovely lady who made this possible, director Yoon Jung Lee. Part 1 and Part 2.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Remember O Goddess - Interview with Director Yoon Jung Lee: Part 2

Yoon Jung Lee


As promised, although a bit late, here is Part 2 of my interview with Yoon Jung Lee, director of "Remember O Goddess". Part 1 can be found here.

I asked these questions before the Kickstarter campaign was finished, which is why question 4 here is as it is.

Remember, while the Kickstarter campaign is successfully finished, you can still donate to the film through its official website and Chip In! plugin.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Remember O Goddess - Interview with Director Yoon Jung Lee: Part 1



I promised this was coming and here it is. The first part of my interview with ""Remember O Goddess" direct, Yoon Jung Lee. Part 2 can be found here.

Before that, I am glad to announce that their Kickstarter campaign was a smashing success and that they are now in the process of gathering additional funds and moving forward with this project.

You can still donate to the film through the official website and their Chip In! plugin.

Back to the interview now, when I made the questions, I tried to ask things that

a) are not the typical questions interviewers usually ask and
b) are things I want to know and think are interesting to hear about.

This is my personal blog so I did not exactly have a participating audience to satisfy, but I hope my readers like what I asked. I know the answers are certainly great and I personally got what I wanted.

Here, you can now find the interview of lead actor Kim Jung Tae.

After they are both posted, I'm thinking of making a post with my comments and thoughts on the answers. Just to wrap this up nicely.

Here is Part 1 then.

Monday, May 21, 2012

"Dr. Jin" Starts Airing This Saturday - New Teaser

It has more Lee Beom Soo too. In case you didn't keep an eye on my Twitter feed, I am a big fan of his, as of late. I trust his presence means the series will be good.

With this new teaser-video, we get to further establish that Kim Kyung Tak (Kim Jae Joong's character) will not have a happy relationship with Dr. Botox to begin with. I like that and hope to see Kim as the bad guy. It will be challenging for his acting skills, which I hope have continued to improve.

Notice that we have a change in the English title at this point. The series is called "Dr. Jin" quite often lately, as it's the original title in Korean. I do like this change and will apply it. The Japanese works are called "Jin" so it's different enough to show a different work, but also keeps the ever important name without being a huge ass title to type and fit in a tweet. I know Twitter didn't exactly form the name (or maybe it did...), but it works for me.

"Dr. Jin" begins airing this Saturday, 26th of May. It will air on Saturdays and Sundays, which I am guessing means it will be quite a long series. Hopefully, it will be good enough to keep us watching that long.




Sunday, May 13, 2012

"Faith" Vs. "Time Slip Dr. Jin": There's Enough DeLoreans For Everybody!

Faith and Doctor Jin


Can you hear that? Shhh... Be quiet... Can you hear the sound of bullshit going back and forth? Yes, this is what often happens with Korean entertainment. Companies suing each other for "stealing" things that the whole friggin' world has been "stealing" and re-using everywhere around us. Also, companies suing people who dare change who they work with if the shit hits the fan and they no longer want to be slaves.

Korean entertainment is no picnic. I've talked about this before, although I did not focus on one issue only. What happens behind the scenes is probably more vile and dirty and corrupted than we can imagine. But Koreans have this interesting trait about them (Greeks do too). They seem to think they can bullshit their way into and out of everything. Everyone is pretending and silly arguments circulate like the flu.

"Time Slip Dr. Jin" is based on the Japanese manga "Jin" and it is about a modern day doctor who gets catapulted into the past, when medicine and technology were still very young and/or non-existent. "Faith" had the same idea for the main plot.

To make a long story short, "Time Slip Dr. Jin" sued "Faith" for stealing its plot and got sued back, with a company's claim that the writer for "Time Slip Dr. Jin" broke his contract to work with them. Details and who exactly sued whom can be found here. That is not the issue that I'm talking about in this post.

What I want to talk about is the absurdity of this whole fight. A fight which could very well be done to get some attention to both series, by the way, but that's the ultimate conspiracy scenario (although a very common one).


Didn't Do It!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

"Time Slip Dr. Jin" - Official Teaser (Eng Subs)

The first teaser for "Time Slip Dr.Jin" is out, ladies and gentlemen. First impressions? It certainly looks more serious than I expected, which is good. I was afraid they'd go the fangirl rom-com way. This has blood, it has violence, it looks pretty heavy compared to what I expected.

However, I am still worried about the main cast, just a bit. Song Seung Heon, Park Min Young and Kim Jae Joong do have quite the brainless audience members. On the other hand, I see signs of good choices from these people. They do seem to be choosing good works (often), so maybe this is the case here. A series having kyaagirl-magnets does not mean that is all it will have to offer.

Miscellaneous comments here would be:

- The set from "Duelist" seems to be used quite a lot and it's always nice to see it.
- It seems we'll have some pretty scenery to look at.
- Jae Joong is looking good
- Song Seung Heon is still painful to watch, but I'll have to live with it.
- I think I'll like Lee Beom Soo's character, as I usually do.





Update: New teaser. Almost identical to the first, with some very short new footage.




Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Remember O Goddess - Opinion and Crowd Funding



So, since my PC does not behave, I watched the 25 minute short version of "Remember O Goddess" on my mini-laptop.

While I was a bit reserved about what I would think of it (you know I am almost allergic to the word "independent" when it comes to cinema), I was pleasantly surprised. Very much so, in fact.

The short film might be independently produced, but it's not art-house. I mean that it has a plot, characterization, it makes sense and the imagery is by no means vague to anyone with half a brain and human emotions.

I have to say, it was a very good choice to go with an actor as talented as Kim Jung Tae in the lead. The man is very good at conveying emotions with very little. You know, acting is about a lot of things. A lot of them, you can learn. But that something which enables an actor to show what the character feels, simply by the look in their eyes, is rare. That's where talent lies.

I also loved how this was filmed. There were some very interesting shots and ways of showing the scene that were very fresh and worked very well. I think the genre of this is great for experimentation too.

Speaking of genre, I like how this keeps some film noir elements which do really define the genre. A lot of night shots, small spaces, a general closed-quarters feel in most of the scenes. We even had a femme fatale for a bit.

Lastly, I really liked what this short film had to show. As I mention in one interview question I have given miss Yoon Jung Lee, I think this apathy one can receive from people is a very frightening and sad problem of modern societies. While we can't possibly worry about everyone around us and their problems, I find the degree to which we actually turn a blind eye to another's misery disturbing.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Remember O Goddess - Intro and How You Can Help



If my hands, time and sanity can take me as far as I hope, you have a few posts to see about this within the next week.

This is an intro with some screens, links and video. I will soon make a post about my opinions on this so far, another about this work's unique way of production and then an interview post with the director, Yoon Jung Lee who, among other mainstream contribution, worked as a script supervisor for "The Good, The Bad, The Weird".

"Remember O Goddess" is an independent, crowd-funded film noir. It tells the story of a man who has lost his memory and is struggling to regain his past, when he meets someone who he thinks may be his lost love.

It stars Kim Jung Tae (Duelist, SIU, The Apprehenders and a lot more) and Choi Ara, a top model doing her acting debut with this film.

The first 25 minutes of the movie can be seen in its Kickstarer campaign. This means that, if funded, this would be the first globally crowd-sourced Korean independent movie. Ordinary folk like us will be the producers. Which is a big topic of thought and discussion, but I will leave that for a later post.

For now, here is an intro video for the funding, 3 stills and some links.

If you like what you see, FUND THIS MOVIE though Kickstarter! Any contribution counts. You can make a difference and help some talented people give us good entertainment that some mainstream cost-shit-loads-of-money-to-make-and-still-sucks productions don't!

The goal is $30,000. They are currently at $22,653 and we have 10 days to go. It's so close to getting made. If you don't know how pledging works, know that you are not actually giving any money at this point. If the movie reaches its goal and gets made, you will pay your contribution. If the funding does not make its mark, all pledges will be cancelled and so will all the effort that has been put in this from supportive people so far.

One final Kick can help this very promising work get made and make history.

Video about the funding:





Some Stills:





Links:

Official site

Facebook Page

Official Remember_Film Twitter account

Kickstarter Funding Page

Director Yoon Jung Lee's Twitter account



Some Coverage:

Modern Korean Cinema: Wanna Help Make a Korean Film? Here's Your Chance!

Far East Films: Help Fund 'Remember O Goddess'

New Korean Cinema: Help Kickstart funding for ‘Remember O Goddess’

Hangul Celluloid: Interview with Yoon Jung Lee

24-7 Press Release: "Remember O Goddess" to Become First-Ever Globally Crowd-Funded Korean Indie Movie


YAM Magazine: Kickstarting Remember O Goddess: Interview with Yoon Jung Lee

Korean Beacon: Help fund Yoon Jung Lee’s new film, ‘Remember O Goddess’


(more to be added as I find them)

Monday, April 2, 2012

You Didn't Think I'd Stay Away, Did You?



It's been a long few weeks and there's a long few weeks coming, but I hopefully now have a functioning computer back. I will hopefully keep it functioning too...

I currently have 6 courses running, all busy with assignments, but I can also blog again, using my good ol' PC, as it's the only one I can properly do some work on.

In the "coming soon" section we have:

- "History of the Salaryman" review
- "Giant" review
- Korean Blogathon talk and links
- All else that I knew I wanted to talk about but don't remember right now

So, be ready for me. New series out, new things happening and yes, new Diva series.

I did watch some of the first episode before I fell asleep, so I'll be talking about that.

Keep your eyes on my Twitter and the announcement thingy on the right ---> in case my PC dies again. My new graphics card has been a tad unpredictable so far.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Movie Review - Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel Poster


* Title: Hansel and Gretel
* Revised Romanization: Henjelgwa Geuretel
* Hangul: 헨젤과 그레텔
* Director: Lim Pil Seong

* Runtime: 116 min
* Language: Korean
* Country: South Korea
* Leads: Cheon Jeong Myeong, Eun Won Jae, Sim eun Kyeong, Jin Ji Hee


Trailer




I will soon make another post with my opinion on the ending
I don't include this here as it will have spoilers and be sizeable



"Hansel and Gretel" is one of the first Korean movies I watched since I started getting deeply into Korean cinema. To this day, it remains one of the strongest experiences I've had regarding films.

This movie is portrayed and acted out as a horror fantasy film. It does have its scary moments, but it goes beyond that. Some of you, like me, might think you know what kind of movie you'll be seeing. You might make assumptions about it and chances are that some of you will be feeling like idiots by the time this film is over. As I did.

Being audiences which are so used to films and stories where repetition and predictability are a given, films like this remind us how you can do something wonderful and original.

Films like these make Korean cinema brilliant, I feel. I also don't think they would have handled this so well in Hollywood. So, the differences of these two industries show in movies like "Hansel and Gretel".

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Promotional Weaknesses of Korean Movies (Domestic)

Korean Movies Domestic


In the "Abroad" part of this article, I talked a bit about the problems of international promotions by the Korean film industry. From issues of availability, to choice of works for promoting, to the foreign fanbase which can, in some cases, limit what people see in Asian works.

But let's go to promotion within the country now, and talk a bit about the issues that are there. Far more disturbing ones than the international promotion ones, as these influence that as well.

One quite big problem is that, while it's good to promote mainstream films, a lot of ones which would appeal to many are not funded or then not getting a wider release for a long time, while other very bad pieces of cinema do get attention because of a certain commercial reason. I wrote about this recently, in my article about the sci-fi genre in Korea.

Why is it that "You're My Pet" or "Temptation of Wolves" or "Quick" get so much hype and support, while other potentially good ones don't?

"Doomsday Book", which is mentioned in that article, had started filming since 2006. Six years to get such a different and interesting project out, but bad commercial films get all the money and help they need. I am not stating something new here. This is a global issue. Business is placed over quality. But because Korea does have potential and still has the power to not end up like you-know-what, I feel that such worries and complaints should be voiced. Especially by Koreans.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Promotional Weaknesses of Korean Movies (Abroad)

Korean Movies Abroad


No one can deny it, that Korean movies are very well made. They have good budgets that are used well, most of the time. Even with small budgets, Koreans can create very nice things. Because when the money is less, you become more creative.

Korean movies are also well promoted, if they are guaranteed successes. But there are also some issues that should really be handled. Some issues of promotion, from what is chosen to be promoted to how things are promoted, need to be addressed, because they give the wrong kind of image about Korean cinema and sometimes even create completely false expectations for a work.

These issues can be found both on the local promotion and international promotion sides. I will talk a bit about a couple of them that I personally find badly done or even immoral, in some cases. In one particular type of case, in fact.

I will split this in to two articles and start with the international side (although some of the domestic issues affect this too) and less heavy of the offenders in this one. Korean cinema is not as widespread as Hollywood. It doesn't really have a choice, as Hollywood has made it its business to keep competition out of its global dominance.

One problem here is, that a lot of the people who are interested in foreign cinema are also those who reject anything mainstream and Hollywood, but are sometimes a bit too fixated on arthouse. They see Asian cinema as "alternative" and think it's filled with movies that don't give a damn about money and are just interested in deep philosophical and meaningful explorations of the human psyche, or whatever some of them find "art", simply because it's ambiguous or overly self-absorbed.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Movie Review - Jeon Woochi

Jeon Woochi Poster


* Title: Jeon Woochi
* Revised Romanization: Jeon Woo Chi

* Hangul: 전우치

* Director: Choi Dong Hoon

* Runtime: 136 min
* Language: Korean
* Country: South Korea
* Leads: Kang Dong Won, Kim Yoon Seok, Im Soo Jeong

Trailer




This does contain some spoilers about the villain, but you probably know who it is before even getting into the movie. It's revealed very early on too.

You know, there are good action family movies which you don't take too seriously, despite them doing so for themselves. And then there are movies which are just simply not trying to feign any seriousness and downright play on their wackiness. Jeon Woochi is the latter.

This is based on Korean folklore "The Tale of Jeon Woochi", but I am not aware to what degree it drives its inspiration from it.

The movie opens with a little backstory on the villains and supernatural creatures in the story. It talks about the evil creatures of it, as well as certain benign persons who managed to royally mess up and release said evil creatures to the world. The "good guys" in this movie are generally pretty useless in some aspects.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hollywood Invasion - The End of Korean Cinema?

20th Century Raid


We all know by now, that the US policy (the government's, not the innocent citizens') is "Shut them down or use them". I'm sorry. I meant "save them". Shut them down or "save" them. They do it to countries, barging in to "save" them, they do it to businesses.

The latest attempt at "saving" comes in a form very dire for Korean movie fans. Apparently, 20th Century Fox will "directly invest" in the Korean movie industry, making 5 movies and distributing them to the world through its own network. That is, 5 movies for now. If this goes well in monetary terms, you can bet there will be more.

If the slower of you need a translation for that, it means that 20th Century Pimp will be making profit from the film industry and talents of Korea. Profit which will largely go to the US. So, the same model they seem to be using in politics and business in general. Riding on the backs of other people to feed their incompetent selves.

I will use the term "Hollywood" a lot, and I am talking about it as a business and as a whole. The art of it is very different from the business part. It's the business part I name "Hollywood" here.

Now, if one wants to find a Korean equivalent for Hollywood, a lot of us know what it is. Dramas. Especially romantic ones. All that matters is ratings. Quality goes out the window when it messes with that. We get the same plots, same characters, same "safe" cliches that keep certain pockets filled by catering to mindless audiences. The masses.

That is exactly what Hollywood is. It uses the same works, over and over again, doing its best to make more and more, to feed fat greedy hands at the expense of art. So, imagine if Korean movies became like Korean dramas. Have you watched "You're My Pet"? The entire movie had more time invested in showing iPads, designer shoes and dresses than it did on character building and plot.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pages Pages

My Pages


I now have Pages. These are still a work in progress and I can't progress much, given that both proper PCs in the house are half busted, I have 7 courses running and hurt my carpal tunnel again (I swear, fangirls are placing curses on me), but it'll happen.

I'm in a time challenge, keeping an eye on the temperature of my graphics card, so if there are any mistakes in the texts, I apologize and will correct it all soon-ish.

For now, you can look at these. The N-Z part of my list will come a bit later, as I am still working on it. I'll also change the look of the widget there, just because it looks boring and to play around with some css and html I have done before.

Hope you like them. Feedback, questions and criticism are welcome.

Doomsday Book - Official Site and Goodies

Doomsday Book Cast


I'll make this short, as I can't write much (carpal tunnel totaled again), but things have been popping up like mushrooms about this film. Which I am glad to see.

The AsianWiki page for "Doomsday Book" has more goodies now, including a 30s trailer which also features Bae Doo Na. It's good to see she's still in it, because the lack of stills of her, save for the one M-Line Distribution took down, was worrying.

This new teaser can be found at the movie's Naver page as well and I'll post it here as soon as I find a form I can embed.

Here is the official page for it too, which looks very interesting. I wish I could read and understand hangul, because I'd love to read this.

You can also find some new pictures in these pages, but I'm a bit pressed for time and struggling with image hosting services, so I'll cut back on this for now.

I've also updated the release date in my previous post. It's coming out on April 5th.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Internet Vs Society - Blaming the Wrong One Again

Kill it


An article has come out at The Korea Times and also Hancinema, about how certain information that exists online is causing problems for people and their reputation. The article talks mainly about a few celebrities who have had their comments or videos found and criticized by netizens, causing problems for them and their agencies.

It then mentions the "Right-to-be-forgotten Bill", a bill that is apparently being negotiated in Europe, allowing users to demand that social media websites erase their information when they ask and if the sites don't need them for a good reason. The users need to be informed when their data is stored, how and for how long.

Now, while this would sound like a good idea, as companies tend to get a bit too liberal with how they use our data, I feel this is not the solution for privacy here or in Korea and that this bill would have many negative consequences.

The problem is, a lot of criminals can also be tracked by their online data. Not only that, but online data can also be evidence to a crime or an intention. And especially Korean netizens (antis, stalkers) should really be tracked. The information should be kept, but it's who controls it and how that's the problem.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Doomsday Book - English Teaser

For the readers who don't follow me on Twitter. Here is the teaser for "Doomsday Book" made for foreign markets. It's the same thing, but the texts are in English and there are subtitles.

Big thanks to TheMovieBox.Net for it and to Kobiz for retweeting.

I will replace this with a Youtube link as soon as it's out.




Happy Valentine's Day 2012

Kitteh and Doggy


I don't always care for this day. Not because I'm a single bitch. I love people being in love and although I envy them, I'm happy for them.

I know most crazy fangirls and spiteful nerds and such people (the real bitches) won't understand. You want the rest of the world to be as miserable as you.

The reason I dislike this is because it's a day about spending money. Not for all, but for many. I believe that, if you love a person, you don't need a specific day to "prove" it. You shouldn't need one and shouldn't only show it then.

But some people do celebrate this the right way. They do something special and symbolic. They don't try to "prove" their love just because of the day. They simply take a moment to relax from the difficulties of this busy life and appreciate each other. And that type of celebrating is always wonderful.

So, to all truly good people with love in their hearts, be it involved or single, Happy Valentine's Day. Appreciate the people you have and don't despair if you don't have someone. Life changes in the blink of an eye.

In Finland, they call this "Friend's Day" (Ystävänpäivä). So, be it a relative, a friend, a lover or even a pet, give them a nice warm hug.




Korean People Have Sex - The End is Nigh!

Wicked Child
"Were you just sighing while thinking of "the deed", missy!?"


Bitching about sex-related things is as good a post as any, for Valentine's Day.

Me and my fellow "evil westerner" Ethlenn had to troll a post recently. It was on an article about how 1 in 10 teenagers in Korea have had sex... Which, apparently, is a huge shocking number for the country.

Well, maybe it's shocking to the people who had to get their entire town to bless the wedding before it happened, 60 years ago. Maybe it's shocking to shut-in nuns. Maybe they're just pulling people's leg in hopes they actually stop being normal and having sex because they want them deprived, frustrated and overcompensating that with material goods and surgeries.

Who knows...

What was extremely ridiculous and disgusting about that poll, is that according to it, poor people are more promiscuous than children of rich families. Hmmm. So, 1 in 10 have sex in highschool, and not many rich kids say they had done it.

Well, let's see why poor children might be more inclined to be honest about their sexual activities than rich ones. Rich children are treated like superior beings. They have to be perfect, in every way, and that includes controlling these pesky things called feelings and wishes and sexuality, because those get in the way of greatness.

So tell me now. Is it that poor kids are bigger sluts or that the smart and afraid rich kids would not admit it? And since it's 1 out of 10 here, you can be damn sure many more did not admit to having had sex. I hate to break it to you, "lost my virginity, conceived and had my first and last sex in one day" mommies or you fossils who wouldn't know love if it bit you in your decaying privates, but people have sex.

And it may have been so long for you that you've forgotten, but teenagers are the most horny and susceptible to temptation beings on the planet. If you'd like to think they can be "educated" or stopped, you really are a bunch of morons.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Imageshack Policy Change - Just ACTA Naturally

Fuck My Life


Just when I had gotten my writing heat and nice mood back.

Imageshack just changed their policy. I need to make a Premium account or I can only have 500 pictures there. Everything 500+ will be erased by March 1... You know, I don't blame them for doing it, but after the lousy customer service they have, when their blog and support community and e-mail support have been silent and deprived of any company individuals showing signs of life for a whole YEAR, I thought they would make a smooth transition.

Maybe users who already have 500+ pics could keep them and need a Premium account to host any more. They are basically forcing their users to pay up or get their over-500 pics and go. Meaning they have to store them elsewhere and if they use them in blog posts, like I do, go to every older post and change the urls.

That's unacceptable customer blackmail service.

There is one saving grace though. I just sent them an e-mail about how to download all my extra images and they told me they're working on a tool for bulk download. So, at least users who don't plan to make an account will be able to get all their pictures out without doing it one by one. According to the e-mail, and if I did understand correctly, the images will not be deleted before that. So, free users with over 500 pictures will have time to store them in their hard drive.

But I don't have the time, knowledge or energy to host them in my own server or something, neither do I have time to take 300+ pics (I have 900+) and try to put them elsewhere. And where? All sites have restrictions now. So, I'll pay and get a Premium Pro account, hoping that they will be a bit better on the customer service part this time. But hey, they answered my e-mail right away. I didn't get the same courtesy a few weeks, e-mails and forum posts back so I guess they're improving.

The internet is getting messed up, people. ACTA, SOPA and any other CRAPA they create are giving users less and less freedoms and scaring half the businesses into changing their policies or then give some of them (the big ones) the arrogance to abuse their users. I don't know if Imageshack did this in light of ACTA and SOPA, because they go after all these services, but the timing is certainly unnerving.

So, next time you want to say the internet is safe or that some of us are overreacting about these regulations, look around at what's happening online.

Playing with Werdz - Killing Time

I am trying to write an article, but the distractions are many.

So, I just made a gag picture while I'm at it. Got my writing heat back.


Yoo Ah In


Funny enough, this is kind of how it works with celebrities in Asia. One day you're the trend and everyone loves you and then you're forgotten, in favor of the next "flower boy" or plastic-fantastic aegyo-powered bimbo.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Doomsday Book - Where Is Your Sci-Fi, Korea?

Doomsday Book Poster


If you only want info, pictures and a teaser for the movie and don't care for the second part of the title up there, click here.

I actually discovered this movie called "Doomsday Book" by accident, as we all usually discover most of the things we might like or not. I was browsing through the M-Line Distribution website, looking for an update on the release of Camellia and I saw this title. When I clicked on it, I saw the poster and immediately, two thoughts popped into in my head. "I, Robot" and "Documentary".

The first is pretty self-explanatory, if you look at the poster. Upon closer inspection, the design is different in some ways, but that was probably the first thought of anyone who has watched that movie.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Marry Me, Mary (No One Else Will)

Marry Me, Marry 1
"Just smile and pretend this series doesn't suck. Maybe they'll believe us."


It's no secret that I really dislike Jang Keun Suk. I've said it plenty of times. I was originally a die-hard fan, after watching "You're Beautiful" and for a few months. When he slowly started turning into a one-man circus act minus the talented performances, I was one of those who defended him and thought it was a phase. Or maybe that he was trying to get in touch with his bimbo side for a role.

Alas, the bimbo side came and stayed, to this very day. "Marry Me, Mary" was the milestone of that change. Or rather, the final nail to the coffin of any respect or admiration I had left for him.

"Great!", you'll say. "You just don't like the guy, but maybe the series is good!". Well, I hate to disappoint you (no I don't), but nah. Watching this show is like drinking gasoline. It tastes like crap and you get sicker the more you drink. Not that I've ever done that, but the few episodes of this series I watched did make me contemplate both suicide and setting myself on fire, just to have something interesting happen.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Public Vs. Cable TV in Korea - Shameless Demands

KBS and Cable


Some news came out recently, about a fight between cable channel operators and the public TV channels of KBS, MBC, and SBS. The short version is, these channels broadcast their shows through cable channel operators, reaching people nationwide, without the limitations of terrestrial broadcasting.

Up until a point, the cable channels did not pay any money to these 3 stations, to re-broadcast their shows. But it seems the public channels got greedy and demanded they receive a fee for their programs being shown on cable. A fee quite larger than what cable was already willing to pay.

That's a demand the cable operators were refusing, and very rightfully so.

"We held an emergency executive meeting Monday morning and decided to cease airing KBS 2 programs at 3 p.m"., KCTA secretary general Choi Jong-sam said. "Our subscribers will be double-burdened if cable TV operators are forced to pay fees for retransmitting terrestrial programs produced by KBS, which collects 2,500 won ($2.17) in monthly license fees from each household"

See, terrestrial stations make more money when cable airs their shows. And then they demanded even more.

"Before the agreement, broadcasters insisted that cable operators pay 280 won for each subscriber, stressing that cable operators should pay for airing their programs.

But cable stations were only willing to offer 100 won, saying they should be able to transmit terrestrial shows free of charge as the retransmission helps broadcasters reach a broader audience and boosts their advertising revenue."

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kang Dong Won CF Music - French Cafe (Photos)

French Cafe 1


Fangirls do a lot of useless things for their obsessions or for showing off to other fans, but sometimes, they do something useful as well.

The emoticon-happy Naody here has posted a few songs that have been featured in Kang Dong Won's CFs. I have no idea if she found them herself or if others helped, but here are the links. In her post, that is.

I will only post one song here. Partly because it's the only one that really got my attention, partly because I don't want to post too many videos and get angry when they are taken down one by one by companies breathing down Youtube's neck and partly because I love any opportunity to watch and post this specific French Cafe CF. Kang Dong Won is breathtaking here. I don't even drink coffee and I drool when I watch this. Then again, I'm not exactly drooling over the coffee...

Here is the CF and the song. It's by Ruby Rough and it's called "Easier". Lady, it ain't easy to watch this video of his to such a sexy song, I can guarantee it.

For some pictures from this CF, scroll down.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

"Haunters" - Some Things Explained (Spoilers)

Haunters Explanation


There was an article a while back on Korea.net, about the 10th New York Asian Film Festival and its screening of "Haunters". It seems that a lot of people did not "get" some things about the movie, which I find quite strange. I find it strange because most of them were obvious to me and I am not some genius here.

Someone commented "Asian films are provocative and cutting-edge, but not always easy to understand." Well, you'd have trouble watching most of them then, because you would really be in the dark about many things.

So, allow me to shed some light here. Major spoilers for the movie ahead, of course.

Kyu Nam has 3 powers. He could resist Cho In's mind control, he had very quick regenerating ability and he had some sort of contact with the "other side".

His amazing ability to be indestructible can be seen quite early on. He is hit head on by a speeding truck and he recuperates unusually fast. Ali says that even the nurses were talking about it. Throughout the film, you can see hints to that ability. He gets stabbed by scissors and doesn't stop. Then he gets zapped with the stun gun, which knocks you out pretty fast, but he held on for a while before fainting. Having been zapped and stabbed, he gets up and grabs the stretcher with his boss on it in the hospital. And if you haven't understood by then, a train hits him and he bleeds all over, but survives it and wakes up after a short nap, all healed from major internal and external hemorrhage. After some sleep and no medical attention.


Bleeding
"This will take at least 4 hours of sleep to heal, you jerk..."

Use the Tech! - Why Entertainment "Suffers" from Piracy

Madness/Politics


With everything that has been going on surrounding SOPA, PIPA and ACTA, a lot of us are starting to think about the why's and also the solutions. Particularly concerning the movie and television industry. Some of us see solutions to piracy around and we can't help but wonder, why are they not being considered?

Someone posted an article at an online community I am an active member of and it is what inspired me to write this long post. Here is the link.

The Tech Industry Has Already Given Hollywood The Answer To Piracy; If Only It Would Listen

Indeed, there are ways for this technology to turn things into a win-win situation, for the majority of parties involved, but instead of it being utilized, they are trying to take it down.

Call me a dreamer, say I haven't thought this through, tell me it's "not that simple" or that it's wrong. I will state my opinion here, mention what I consider a possible and ideal solution and tell you why I think it's not being considered by these industries.

Someone on that forum I mentioned talked about streaming services. Such services already exist, true, and for some people, they work well. But not for all. We all know of places like Netflix and Drama Fever. They offer video-on-demand streaming services for viewers who pay a little something for a subscription. One major minus these have, is that they are for specific and only a few areas. But even if they were made available for all, there are still issues here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Padam Padam - Tongyeong on Daum Street View

City Photo from The Chosunilbo


If you are watching "Padam Padam: The Sound of His and Her Heartbeats" you might have also been impressed and dazzled by the beautiful filming locations. Among other things, since this show is generally wonderful.

Well, as stated in the series, the town is called Tongyeong and it's at the very edge of South Korea, down South. It's a lovely location as it combines both higher ground and sea, it's small enough for comfort, but seems to be buzzing with life too.

By using Daum Maps (read: Google Maps for South Korea), you can even find the house of character Jung Ji Na from the series. I have made a small visual tutorial on how to do that. In my post "Street View for South Korea", you will find a link to Daum Maps, as well as a picture tutorial on how to navigate it, as it is in hangul. It's really easy though. Same principles as Google Earth. All it takes is a few minutes of vigorous clicking, dragging and the occasional swearing when you end up some place random because you clicked the wrong thing.

So, here is a picture on how to find the town and the house, as well as a few links on the lovely Tongyeong, including its home page (in English).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Asian Entertainment Fans - Dark Days Ahead

CRAP!


There are many things I want to say about this recent shove they are giving the world, attempting to plunge it into darkness. I could go on and on about SOPA and ACTA. I could go on and on about the hypocrites and royal pricks who should burn in hell for wanting to turn us all into lesser people they can rule more easily over. If they don't mind letting people in poor countries suffer and die slowly, just because they won't let go of some of their money, they will have no problem taking our internet away.

But talking about these things we all know and feel is not necessary. As for information, I don't think I need to give much. Chances are, if you are an Asian entertainment fan, that you know what is going on already. It's a sad sad thing.

Fileserve has now joined the sites which are no longer filesharing ones.

This is a dire matter for fans. Asian entertainment is not force-fed to us like Hollywood is. We don't get Asian movies and series in video renting stores, we can't watch them in cinemas. The only way we can know if we like something enough to buy it, the only way by which we can watch it and find out if it's worth our money (as we CAN do with Hollywood productions) is by downloading it first.

Pretty soon, we won't have that luxury anymore and will therefore not be able to take the risk and go shopping blind. We will no longer be able to keep our contact with Asian entertainment, or any other kind of entertainment which isn't Hollywood. A bunch of rich pigs will control what people see and when.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Them Awesome Surveys

You Shall Not End
"I said you're not ending and that's final, World..."


Anyone who is very much into Korean entertainment, or any kind of mass drawing one, knows what I'm talking about. But let's explain this to others a bit.

See, when a person hears of a survey, they usually imagine rankings. People vote on something which will help others see what is best or maybe what is worst. Or maybe ask for a political opinion, as surveys are usually associated with research on an important subject.

But there are also the show business polls and surveys. Now, those usually have less dire matters to vote on, such as a celebrity affair, about their acting skills, maybe a ranking of the movies they've done and some are often made on gossip. But they are things that are happening or that need answering, since people would want to know.

And then there's surveys in Korea. I swear, the people that make them must be getting some type of grant from the government for them and just do them for "spending money". Polls in Korea basically ask the most irrational and useless questions, in order to give us an insight into the brains of masses. Hoo boy. Maybe those exist in Hollywood as well, but I thankfully managed to avoid the gossip side of things there.

Here are some examples (click them, they're links) and mind you, these aren't among the craziest I've seen. I just searched two sites for these, just to give you an idea.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Greece and Korea - "Kaimos" and "Han"

Friendship Pins


We have a saying in Greece. "Είδε ο γύφτος τη γενιά του και αναγάλλιασε η καρδιά του/Eide o gyftos ti genia tou kai anagalliase i kardia tou". It translates as "The gypsy saw his kind and his heart rejoiced". It means that we met or saw someone whom we hit it off with, who understands us or is like us and we love that. I could say it if I bumped into a relative or friend outside or mostly when I meet someone I have nice conversations with. Someone who "gets" me. My kind of person.

I have been talking about this issue for a while now, in different places, be it comments or posts. So I decided to make a piece on it a while back and then I postponed it a bit. But an article that came out today reminded me that I was supposed to have gotten this done already, on account of me wanting to do it. I'm weird, I know.

As I've mentioned a lot in the past, Korea feels like Asia's Greece, sometimes. I am not talking about history or politics. I am not educated on those issues and others could talk about them better than me. I am also not talking about our geography or love for food, as a nice post on this issue from the Korea blog mentioned. The one which reminded me that I need to do this piece. So, thanks to Angeliki for that.

I am talking about certain elements of living and culture, behaviors, habits, things that somehow feel so very familiar, things that I don't see in other cultures, past the ones I already know are like my own and also know the reasons behind our similarities. They are things that give me a feeling of watching something from my own country, unlike anything has ever done before.

 
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