Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy 2012

I jumped the gun on this for Finland here, yes, but it's already 2012 in Melbourne, Brisbane, Kiritimati (the last one was found by Googling, I admit).

It will soon be 2012 in Japan and Korea too, and since I'm part of the whole Asian fandom craze, I might as well post this now.

So, have a very happy 2012 and let's hope the Mayans got it wrong (like everyone else so far) because it would be a real bitch to miss my birthday on the 22nd of December. One damn day, Mayans. You couldn't add just one damn day...

My New Year's resolution (which I never make because it's not my tradition)? Surviving 2012 as unscathed as possible, with some relief on the financial side of things and hopefully losing a bit of weight. But with 2011 being so bad, I'll settle for surviving unscathed. :P

Come on, 2012! Happy New Year everyone! Let's make the best of it!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Changed the Blog Name - The Origin of Orion

Men in Black Poster

My blog is now called "Orion's Ramblings". Until now, I was using a line from the game "Silent Hill 2". This blog was actually made involuntarily-ish, when I was studying Finnish language. A teacher who was in charge of computer education there wanted to help me with my work practice search and get me connected and networked. He thought a blog was a good start to get active in social media. I wasn't even sure what a blog was, back then, so I just went along. But now, I'm glad I did it.

So, he showed me some basics and I made this blog. I was using it very scarcely and mostly for short news and random things, until I started getting more into it during the last couple of years. So, big thank you to that teacher!

This will mess up my search engine hits, possibly, but it's ok. This is a personal site for my craziness and opinions anyway so while audience is appreciated, I don't need worshipers and huge traffic. Plus, those who like me can find me again. And those who don't.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Spiritual World - Life of Death

The Spiritual World Poster

You may or may not know a Thai movie called "The Spiritual World". If you are a horror movie fan or nerd, you should really watch it. Let me put it this way. I have been watching thrillers and horror since infancy. Asian horror too. What happened when I watched it? Bricks were shat.

I loved the movie and have only watched it once, even if I usually watch the ones I love many times. Detroit Metal city i.e got a good 80 or so times in a few months since I had nothing else nice to watch at the time.

But I could not watch this movie again. I want to, because I didn't pay enough attention to it as a movie, since I was too busy hiding the screen with my hands, but I haven't found the courage yet. The movie does have sudden scary moments, yes. But it also has a wicked atmosphere that keeps you jittery and feeling oppressed throughout. And that is what a lot of horror movies lack. This movie is dark and "ugly". Both thematically and visually. I feel it is very artfully done. I was impressed.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Dark Side of Korean Dramas - Part 2

Dramas With Issues

As I said in my previous article (also found here in my blog), I decided to talk a bit about the various problems and cruelties of being a television actor, idol and celebrity in Korea. They are things that occupy my thoughts quite often, as a fan of Korean entertainment.

I was very glad to see people discussing the issues. The internet can get a bit heavy on the positive things sometimes, as a lot of fans seem to prefer denial and only talking about the good things, as reality can be too much to bare sometimes. But reality is not always bleak and problems have solutions too.

In this second and final part of my thoughts on the issue, I talk about the third big "culprit" of these problems, the audiences, and give a little closure and some ideas on how Korea could go about changing things for its entertainment.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Christmas Presents

Hope you have a lot of nice food, nice company and good presents. I am not one for celebrating the religious side of Christmas and I believe one should appreciate their family and be with them in general, not only remember they exist during holidays, so I don't celebrate the "family joy" part of it either.

Let's face it. It's a time for food and presents! Which I won't be getting much of this year, but that may have something to do with my general crappy state in 2011.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Camellia - Japan DVD Release Date

Camellia Japan Release

I am contemplating something here... Should I give you the info on this release at the risk of you signing off on me due to fainting or talk a bit about the date and other things first? Ok ok. I'm not that mean.

Camellia is coming out late March (if the release date does not change).

Subtitles: Japanese. Audio: Korean.

Before I hyperventilate, I can say I've taken a peek at the Thai version, without sound. The movie does not look as artsy as I thought it would be, but I can't say if it has well-placed things to say or not. I need audio and story for that.

What I can say from the few scenes I checked out (waiting on a proper DVD to watch the whole thing) is that Iron Pussy is a kick ass lady and I just love her.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kang Dong Won - Calendar Photos Part 3

Calendar 31

This is the third out of 5 parts of some nice calendar pictures of Kang Dong Won.

The rest: Part 1, Part 2, Part 4

I am not sure they are from the same calendar, as some do appear to be from another batch. The quality is mostly very nice, but some are a bit smaller than others and of course, you don't need me to tell you where I got them because these girls' love stamps are all over them, often at very annoying places and even many times within a picture.

A lot of the pictures are of the same photoshoot, outfit and setting, but I scrambled them a bit to give you more variety in each batch.

In this batch, the dead-crow hairstyle is back for a brief torture and, in keeping with the bird theme, this left picture down there is another case of an "inspired" stylist making the man look like a co... I mean rooster.

There is also this weird Native American spirit god theme going on with one of these, but he frankly looks like a) he had a fight with his bed cover and now can't get out b) he is using his camping tent the wrong way or c) E.T in the bath towel.

Let's just say that if I suddenly saw that at night, I'd stun it, pepper spray it and beat it to death with my bag. It's not exactly a people-friendly outfit.

Favorites? The black and white one with the turtleneck is nice and I also love those with the heavy eye make-up, but the one with the blue velvet vest is my favorite here. I love the colors, how it's shot and those gorgeous death ray eyes are-a-killin'.

Calendar 32 Calendar 33

Calendar 34 Calendar 35

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Howling - Upcoming Korean Movie

Howling Poster

I heard about this movie a while ago, but there were no news or promotional material about it. Recently, I found some stills on Hancinema and that was it. Until now.

The official Twitter page for it followed me and it features a link on its profile. That's it, ladies and gents. We have an official site and an oh so wonderful teaser. Now, a werewolf movie might not sound like the biggest whoop to some, especially those who have lost all respect for them after Twilight. But do you know who stars in this movie? Song Kang Ho and Lee Na Young. That is right. They're about as A-list and talented as you go, so forget about screaming queens and teens. The big boys (and girls) are on this! Now, I know that a good cast does not necessarily make a good movie, that's a fact, but it helps the faith along when you have two experienced and prestigious people on board.

Following are all the stills that are out, taken from the movie's Naver page, as well as the teaser, which is just as top shelf as you would expect when such big names are on board. You may now howl with raw anticipation and joy.

>> Official Site << (Korean)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Dark Side of Korean Drama - Part 1

Dramas With Issues

Part 2 of this can be found here.

It's no big mystery, by now, that celebrities are having it rough in Korea. Singers and actors alike. These problems are also present in the kpop industry, but others are better equipped to talk about those than I. So I will be focusing on actors for this article, especially those who work in television. A tough place to be, for an artist. I will also talk about these issues in general, as well as in relation to the actors.

The problems with television are indeed many and they all have their reasons, their guilty parties and their own impact on the lives of the people they touch. They also have ways to be dealt with and people who can do that. People with power to effect change and improve both actors' lives and the industry as well. But I will talk a bit about the major problems in this post. The working conditions, the issue of quality, censorship and playing it safe and the spoiled and cruel audience.

This is a big article so I am splitting it in two parts. This week, I will talk about the working conditions and quality, censorship and playing it safe with cliches and plot recycling.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chilling Queen (or Dancing Romance?)

Spellbound 46

Two videos, two movies. We have a full trailer for "Dancing Queen" and a cute NG for "Chilling Romance". Both videos are looking mighty good and Lee Min Ki cracking up is simply adorkable, which makes this even cuter. Here they are, then.

I also have 3 new stills from Chilling Romance. From Naver, of kors.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tumble Dryer! I Mean Tumblr!


Well, as I am planning to even do my thesis in relation to my raging type of fandom, I thought that I might as well get properly networked on all things used by my kind.

I am still not going anywhere near soompi or 4chan though. No no. Too scary. I am not willing to go just that far into dangerous territory for a thesis. Not even for this.

So, I made a tumblr account. It basically functions as what I would have loved Twitter to be. Posting random thoughts, pictures, videos. But Twitter is one fugly mother. All you see is short texts. Good for news and random short ramblings, not good for content. So, I'll be dual-posting between there and tumblr. Will use Twitter mainly for updates to the blog and tumblr for all else. But thankfully, tumblr has a feature to post things on Twitter as well, so I don't need to chose. So, I'll be active in both. Well, "active" by my sloth standards. I am not the post-a-tweet-every-10-seconds type. I have a few blog posts coming up too. My blog is my priority.

The more perceptive of you may have also noticed the links on the top right --->

One closing comment would be that naming my tumblr "Orion's Ramblings" feels very weird. "My Ramblings" makes more sense to me, but this is for others to see so I had to use it as I have it now. But it feels weird to see my own page addressing me in third person, every time I go there to post things. Me and my weird mind...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dancing Queen - Stills and Posters

Dancing Queen Poster1 Dancing Queen Poster 2

I'm not going to lie here. I don't like the posters much. Especially Hwang Jeong Min's. Is he sitting on the building? Jumping on it? Uhm Jung Hwa's poster is a bit better, but still, the style is just not very nice. It's a plight of many a romantic movie in Korea. Crap posters.

I think the "Chilling Romance" ones were the only ones I really like this year. As far as I remember. Let's hope "Dancing Queen" gets better posters soon though.

We also have three stills, two of them depicting both of the characters in "publicity stunt" mode and then one where it looks like the dancing cat (dancing ccaaaaaat ♥) is out of the bag and reporters are swarming to ask the poor, oblivious man what he thinks of his wife's midlife crisis.

I still like what I see, in general.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Camellia - Google Transfail

I think I won the Cup
My current obsession, I think I won the Cup.

I love trying to find information on a movie with Google translate. ♥

I was trying to find new info on Camellia and came across this blog. The awesome translation Google gave me was priceless. I still don't know whether this person liked the movie or not, frankly. Google needs to correct a few things...

Importance of this scene is not the kiss scene between Song Hye Kyo with I think I won the Cup .. but it is not at the scene. The kiss was not won. Ah .. those with a capacity of Emma!

Whatever that means, I still like that “I think I won the Cup” freak. He just has that capacity of Emma that I appreciate!

The laughs I had with the entire text… Just translate it and see.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Korean Movies 2011 - The Reviews (1)

First Batch of 2011

So, a while back I made some Korean Movies 2011 posts, talking about movies being released this year which drew my interest. There are a few more that popped up so I might need to make another post now, but at the same time, I'd like to start some mini-reviews of those I have seen.

For a couple of them, I might even do dedicated bigger reviews, but for now, this is good enough. I will probably do 3 movies each time, to keep things tidier and keep up with the releases, which vary a lot.

So, here is the first batch, featuring "Blind", "Sector 7" and "Head". For plot synopsis and more info, go to these pages before reading my mini-reviews.

Alan Wake: American Nightmare

The new Alan Wake on XBLA has just gotten its first trailer. Or rather, we got it. Tired and fangirling with nerdgasms. Me no maek sense.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Many a Little Romance - Stills and English Trailer

Penny Pinchers 6
Penny Pinchers 7 Penny Pinchers 8

I don't have much to say but "aww" and also, what the hell is that thing she's in? XD

It's a shame the movie didn't go that well, but then again, we all know what part of the reason might be. I bet spiteful netizens stayed away because of "ethics" alone, even if most of them would like to see it. Also, romance in Korean movies goes a bit too much on either the tragic or shallow/light fluff side.

They develop romances into tragedies and sob-a-thons or then don't develop them at all. I feel a middle ground would be lovely there. Sure, a movie isn't as long as a series, but hey, they hardly develop proper romances in series either so they could at least take a swing at it in cinema more often. I will check this movie out anyway.

Stills taken from Naver.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Camellia - Thailand DVD Release Date

Camellia Thai DVD Front Camellia Thai DVD Back
Yes, they actually mixed "Kamome" and "Love For Sale" up...

It was released yesterday. Yes, ladies and probably no gentlemen. The Camellia DVD is out! Which made me almost kyaa when I saw it as I did not expect it for a while.

Right before I realized that the audio for this is Thai. Thai only, if the info is correct. Thailand... Why are you trolling me so? Why do you toy with my fangirl brain?

So, not about to party just yet and if the trailer dubbing was anything to go by, then this must be awful. Maybe we'll have better luck with a Japanese DVD. Of course, if Korea finally woke the hell up and realized it's the only country out of the three not releasing this mainly-Korean project and doing so, we'd all be happier.

Love For Sale From Korea
"From Korea", you say? Why, maybe Korea would want to promote that then.

But here is the link anyway. For all the quite rich and obsessed fans who will buy this anyway, just so they can have every bit of merchandise there is with "oppa's" face and name on it. Fangirls don't mind dubbing anyway. Quality is not their top priority.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Kang Dong Won - Calendar Photos Part 2

Calendar 16

This is the second out of 5 parts of some nice calendar pictures of Kang Dong Won.

The rest: Part 1, Part 3, Part 4

I am not sure they are from the same calendar, as some do appear to be from another batch. The quality is mostly very nice, but some are a bit smaller than others and of course, you don't need me to tell you where I got them because these girls' love stamps are all over them, often at very annoying places and even many times within a picture.

A lot of the pictures are of the same photoshoot, outfit and setting, but I scrambled them a bit to give you more variety in each batch. Some of the ones here are also slightly improved by me (bad scans, issues with the lighting etc).

I can't pick a favorite here, but I can surely pick a least favorite. No 6. What was the hairstylist thinking? He looks either like a jet engine blew his toupée to one side or as if some poor crow died on his head and that's the wing. This style might work with the hat pictures, but it doesn't do much good on its own. The clothes, I like.

Calendar 17 Calendar 18

Calendar 19 Calendar 20

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dancing Queen - Been Waiting a While

Dancing Queen 1

I caught news of the movie quite a while back, when it was first announced. I didn't need to see much besides he names Hwang Jeong Min and Uhm Jeong Hwa to look further and when I read the synopsis to what I assume is going to be a romantic comedy, I was sold. How could I not be?

"Dancing Queen" is basically about a situation where a man is gunning for mayor while his missus decides to cope with her raging mid-life crisis by means of becoming a dancer/singer without telling her politician hubby. Yep, that won't cause a mess.

The first few stills for the movie are out as well as a teaser. It looks good and I'm really looking forward to it. I love both actors and I think it will be refreshing to see them together in a nice light movie. I do hope it highlights some problems of society, like wives having to play the "smile and look perfect" role just so they will elevate their husbands and their status. Or how people are too dependent on what others think and don't sometimes go for what they want out of fear of being judged. Also, how women in their 40s can have major loss of self-respect due to a society that focuses too much on "young and flawless". But I do hope it does not go too melo.

Here are the goodies.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Chilling Romance - Stills and Smiles

What a lovable mischievous leech

That's it. My adorable gland exploded. I really can't say much about these images. They are a few NG shots and they are cute, lovely and brought a smile to my face.

I love to see the sequel of the bromance too. Aww. Aren't they cute? I'm guessing Lee Min Ki's character is in his panicked coward phase of the movie (well, the most panicked, as he seems like a 24/7 wimp) and he's making his friend stick to him and keep him safe from anything not of this plane. Poor hyung.

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