Sunday, May 25, 2014
Actors exist in all types of form and relation to their art. There are stars who do not necessarily possess skills and/or talent, there are those who go for more arthouse projects, those who put more effort into their acting, those who go for promoting their persona and more. Jeong Ryeo-won's career is all about growth.
Having gone from a singer in the now disbanded group 'Chakra' to a full time actress, which she has been for the last 12 years, Jeong has been through the process a lot of idols-to-actors do. Some actors show potential and achieve great performances from their debut. Some need to develop the skills to match their talent in time. Jeong seems to belong more in the latter category.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Actor Spotlight] Jeong Ryeo-won.
Korean cinema and Korean drama are worlds apart in many ways. From the type of stories told and characters shown to style of acting and how actors and actresses are valued in them. Some actors remain in movies and others have an impressive career in dramas. A lot of them, however, try to balance between the two worlds. Cheon Ho-jin is one such actor who has also done it successfully.
With Raine presenting his career in the drama side of the industry in another piece, this one is a small presentation of the actor as he is seen in Korean cinema, the industry he has been present in for more than three decades.
One thing that is immediately evident is that both in movies and dramas, Cheon goes for variety in genres and types of characters. From romantic comedy, like 'Finding Mr. Destiny' to horror movies like "The Guard Post" and even a musical film with 'The Ghost Theater', musicals being a genre truly rare in Korean movies.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Actor Spotlight] Cheon Ho-jin Movies.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
After an initial couple of stills only one of which was officially released, we got nothing on 'The Divine Move' [신의 한수] (previously 'God's One Move' or 'God's Trick') for months. Thankfully, Showbox has now obliged, having gone into a promotional spree for its upcoming movies. So we get a lot of stills, a poster and a trailer. Because we deserve to be spoiled for our patience.
'The Divine Move' is about a baduk player who is framed for the murder of his own brother and thrown in jail. When he comes out, he picks his allies and sets out to get his revenge on the person who committed the murder and ruined his life.
Our resident wronged guy is played by Jung Woo Sung and his nemesis by personal darling Lee Beom Soo. Another personal darling featured here is Lee Si Yeong, who was last described as someone on the villain's side, although I smell betrayal and it smells interesting. Given the previous collaboration between Lee Beom Soo and Lee Si Yeong in 2009 film 'Descendants of Hong Gil Dong', its genre and the relationship dynamics there, this will be a very different setting I am really looking forward to. Add to that Ahn Sung Ki, Kim In Kwon, Ahn Kil Kang and Choi Jin Hyuk and oh boy, is that a cool cast.
The movie is directed by Jo Beom Goo ('Three Fellas', 'The Bad Utterances', 'Quick') and there is no information on the writer, at least where I have looked. Having been quite disappointed by all of Jo's movies so far, I cannot say he is my favorite creator. I sincerely hope 'The Divine Move' will not be like his past works, but if it is, give me toplessness and plenty of Si Yeong (without toplessness, although I know some would appreciate that). A viewer has to adjust their expectations, after all. I expect very little, so I will be grateful if this is decent.
So here are some goodies for you. The movie premieres in July 2014.
1 tea cup milk
1 tea cup vegetable oil (canola, sunflower, any mild tasting kind)
2 eggs slightly beaten
2 big zucchini (if a smaller variety, 3-4, it's not important)
250 grams of feta cheese in chunks or cubes (big enough to not melt)
A little mint (not peppermint, drop it!) or basil or dill, whichever you like best
Salt and pepper
Cake flour. Depending on country, the amount varies. In Greece, we use 500 grams. In Finland, flours are firmer, so 350 or so will do. 500 will turn it into a zucchini and feta rock. What you want is not runny, not dough. You can try 400 to be on the safe side and adjust next time.
Grate the zucchini. Not too finely, so that they don't just turn into mush and melt in the oven. Put a bit of salt in there. Like a tea spoon. Stir it around so it will cover all. Put it in the fridge for an hour, take it out and squeeeeeeze all the water out. Since you have this and feta, don't put too much salt in the rest of the mixture.
Still with me? Now comes the tricky part.
Take a bowl, throw it all in, mix it well, pour it in a slightly oiled oven dish (a 40x26 cm one), bake at 180°C for 45 minutes. We place it slightly lower than the middle of the oven. Where you usually place cakes and such. We also use the oven setting that lets the heat come from both above and below. If you have that. I'm not an oven expert.
Take it out, cut it, eat it, be eternally grateful to me. It's also awesome cold.
I guess this is easy enough to experiment with. You can try using carrot or put potato in or other things. Play around, find your own. But this version is the basic one and only one we've tried ourselves.
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Drama seasons love their themes. We recently went through a suspense and thriller phase, with 'Three Days', 'God's Gift - 14 Days' and the still running 'Gabdong - Memories of Murder'. This time, growth stories and flawed leads seems to be in. 'A New Leaf', 'Triangle - Drama' and 'You're Surrounded' do not have much in common, but extremely flawed main characters and the concept of betterment are present in all three.
While originally presented as a purer comedy, 'You're Surrounded' brought in the melodramatic element in the very first episode, making it clear what we have here is a mixed genre. We have a revenge story, comedy and crime, but all of those seem to be built around the same core. That of a growth story.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama First Look] "You're Surrounded".
Melodrama is not very complicated a genre. Most of the time, series in it do not deviate from the tropes that govern it. Within those cookie-cutter presentations, some manage to do well, making up for that lack of originality, and some fail. 'Triangle - Drama' is so far interesting in the sense that it is presented with a rare duality. While it sticks to melodramatic tropes and presentation, it also avoids them in many ways.
Firstly, the problems. And there are a few. Perhaps the biggest issue of 'Triangle - Drama' at the moment is that it lacks punch. Both emotional and in terms of its writing. With a main plot barely hinted after 4 episodes and most of the emotional connection attempted through very cliché means, there is very little to be immediately excited about as an average viewer. No matter what the approach, it is necessary that every work answers one important question early on. "Why should I care?". At the moment, the drama's answer is "We are getting there".
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Triangle - Drama".
Sunday, May 11, 2014
With so many suspense series out lately, 'Three Days' going for a more action-based approach was a risk. Drama audiences like certain, very specific things. Mainly heavy melodrama, makjang and romance. Even dramas which start off without relying heavily on those are often manipulated into featuring them, since ratings are the law in Dramaland. And this is where 'Three Days' makes a rare and great decision.
The series starts with a very simple premise, which is its title. We get to see the events that unfold during three non-consecutive days, as we go from an attempt against the President's life to a national crisis. Han Tae-kyeong (Micky Yoochun) is an agent for the Blue House's secret service and he is the character viewers follow as he is the go-to man in solving said crisis. The man he is trying to protect, President Lee Dong-hwi (Son Hyeon-joo) is a man haunted by his past and whose actions will determine the country's future.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "Three Days".
The name Kim Myeong-min is usually one of those that need no introductions. While his presence does not guarantee a work's quality, he is usually the saving grace that elevates everything else, especially when given a good script. The fact that a talented cast led by him could not help much with the rocky and often tedious start of 'A New Leaf' is definitely something to worry about.
The series begins with the premise of taming a beast, in a sense. Kim Seok-joo (Kim Myeong-min) is a cold-blooded lawyer for a top law firm. He defends the guilty and does so very professionally, without displaying any guilt or moral dilemma over those choices. Lee Ji-yoon (Park Min-yeong), an intern with a more innocent and caring approach enters the company and their values clash. When Seok-joo loses his memory following an accident, he is placed under Ji-yoon's care by his boss, Cha Yeong-woo (Kim Sang-joong) and slowly faced with the man he used to be.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama First Look] "A New Leaf".
Sunday, May 4, 2014
In a season filled with all manner of angst and pain, the few upbeat shows that are out offer a much needed freedom of choice. Here to claim its place in the unconventional crowd this spring is SBS' 'You're Surrounded', which is shaping up to be quite the fun cop comedy.
'You're Surrounded' follows a group of rookie young cop misfits struggling in a job they have little motivation for and giving the people who are placed in charge of them a headache in the process.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Preview] "You're Surrounded".
It is three men against a "Big Man" for the Monday and Tuesday 21:55 slot this spring, as 'Triangle - Drama' is bringing its share of male angst, separation and quite possibly revenge to the table. Facing some tough competition, even more so with 'Doctor Stranger' starting at the same time, and being the follow-up to this past half year's top drama ("Empress Qi"), the series has a lot to prove.
After being orphaned and separated for 20 years, three brothers are brought back together and find themselves with conflicting interests. Jang Dong-soo (Lee Beom-soo) grows up to be a detective suffering from an anger disorder, Jang Dong-cheol (Kim Jae-joong), who is now called Heo Yeong-dal, is a low level gangster and Jang Dong-joon (Si Wan), now Yoon Yang-ha, is adopted into a rich family.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Triangle - Drama".
Being in keeping with both the male angst and suspense thriller theme of this drama spring, 'Gabdong - Memories of Murder' is now leaving the introduction phase. Here to bring a more twisted and character-driven look into the genre, 'Gabdong - Memories of Murder' so far manages to be very different in its approach to storytelling and how it handles its plot and characters. But while this approach is still working like a charm, it is more riddled with traps than a more traditional one, so it remains to be seen whether or not it works all the way through.
Right from the start, what makes the series very different to regular dramas is how character-based it is. There is a plot and it is important, so is the mystery of who Gap Dong is, but the characters and how they operate within that plot have the front seat. Dramas usually feature stock characters who simply exist to forward the events, but have little to no divergence from the drama norm. However, the characters of 'Gabdong - Memories of Murder' are not only very flawed, but also carry individual mental and emotional problems and baggage which become the focus of the writing, giving them good potential for development. This keeps things interesting, because the viewer never knows how they will face situations and finding out just what kind of people they are and seeing their characters fleshed out is the biggest appeal the series has to offer so far.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Gabdong - Memories of Murder".