KDrama Starter Pack: The Flowerboys Starter Pack

 

The only rule for this starter pack is that the dramas on this list  celebrates our one-sided fictional love to kdrama oppas.  Nothing more, nothing less.  *chuckles  My list includes dramas with two lead guys battling for the lead girl’s heart, a drama with two or more handsome guys included in the cast, and a drama with unforgettable flower boy as a main lead.

 

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (2017) – The gamer CEO and police officer who fell in love with a strong woman

Park Hyung Sik as Ahn Min Hyuk and Ji Soo as In Gook Doo

Hwarang (2016-2017) – Silla period’s noble sons who became protector of the Kingdom

Hwarang Boys:  Park Seo Joon as Sun Woo, Park Hyung Sik as Ji Dwi, Choi Min Ho as Soo Ho, Do Ji Han as Ban Ryu, Kim Tae Hyung as Han Sung, Jo Yoon Woo as Kim Yeo Wool

Goblin (2016 – 2017) – Goblin, Grim Reaper and adopted chaebol nephew Bromance

Gong Yoo as Goblin, Lee Dong Wook as Grim Reaper and Yook Sung Jae as Duk Hwa

 

Legend of the Blue Sea (2016 – 2017) – Conman and Hacker Bromance

Lee Min Ho as Heo Joon Jae and Shin Won Ho as Tae Oh

 

Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds (2016) – The Prince, the bodyguard and the frenemy bromance

Park Bo Gum as Crown Prince Lee Young, Jin Young as Kim Yoon Sung and Kwak Dong Yun as Kim Byung Yun

 

Descendants of the Sun (2016) – Alpha Team + adopted newbie soldier bromance

Song Joong Ki as Big Boss, Jin Goo as Wolf, Park Hoon as Snoopy, Choi Woong as Harry Potter, Ahn Bo Yun as Piccolo and Kim Min Suk as Kim Ki Bum

 

W: Two Worlds (2016) – The manhwa character who is sexy in the imaginary realm and steamy in the real world

Lee Jong Suk as Kang Chul

 

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (2016) – The college boyfriend of our dreams

Nam Joo Hyuk as Jung Joon Hyung

 

Moonlovers:  Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016) – The dysfunctional brotherhood of Goryeo princes

 Lee Jun Ki as Wang So, Kang Ha Neul as Wang Wook, Hong Jong Hyung as Wang Yo, Kim San Mu as Wang Mu, Yoon Sun Woo as Wang Won, Byun Baek Hyun as Wang Eun, Nam Joo Hyuk as Wang Wook, and Ji Soo as Wang Jung

Something About 1% (2016) – The temperamental CEO who sure knows how to kiss

Ha Suk Jin as Lee Jae In

Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim (2016) – Doldam Hospital Staff Bromance

Yoo Yun Seok as Kang Dong Joo, Kim Min Jae as Park Eun Tak and Yang Se Jong as Do In Bum

Jealousy Incarnate (2016) – The best friends since birth who fell in love with the same girl bromance

Jo Jung Seok as Lee Hwa Shin and Go Kyung Pyo as Go Jung Won

Cinderella and the Four Knights (2016) – The Kang Cousins Bromance

Jung Il Woo as Kang Ji Woon, Ahn Jae Hyun as Kang Hyun Min and Lee Jung Shin as Kang Seo Woo

Reply 1988 (2015 – 2017) – The Ssangmundong Neighborhood Bromance

Park Bo Gum as Choi Taek, Ryu Jun Yul as Kim Jung Hwan, Go Kyung Pyo as Sun Woo and Lee Dong Hwi as Ryu Dong Ryung

Oh My Venus (2015 – 2016) – Kang Joo Eun’s Weight Management Bromance Team

So Ji Sub as Kim Young Ho, Sung Hoon as Jang Joon Sung and Henry as Kim Ji Woong

Sassy Go Go aka Cheer Up (2015)  – High School Cheerleading Bromance

Lee Won Geun as Kim Yool, Ji Soo as Seo Ha Joon and Cha Ha Kyun as Ha Dong Jae

She Was Pretty (2015) – The reserved Editor and the wacky wayward feature editor/famous novelist bromance

Park Seo Joon as Ji Sung Joon and Choi Si Won as Kim Shin Hyuk

Healer (2014 – 2015) – The Night Courier of our Dreams

Ji Chang Wook as Healer

You Who Came From the Stars (2013 – 2014) – The adorable Alien we all fell in love with

Kim Soo Hyun as Alien/ProfessorDo Min Joon

The Master’s Sun (2016) – The shining love of CEO and protective instinct of a bodyguard to a ghost-seeing woman

So Ji Sub as Joo Joong Won and Seo In Gook as Kang Woo

The Heirs (2013) – The Chaebol Sons Campus Bromance

Lee Min Ho as Kim Tan, Kim Woo Bin as Choi Young Do, Kang Ha Neul as Lee Hyo Shin, Kang Min Hyuk as Yoon Chan Young, Park Hyung Sik as Jo Myung Soo, Choi Jin Hyuk as Kim Won

Flowerboys Next Door – The pretty boys who loved the introverted girl

Yoon Shi Yoon as Enrique Geum, Kim Ji Hoon as Oh Jin Rak, Go Kyung pyo as Yoo Dong Hoon, Mizuta Kouki as Watanabe Ryu

Reply 1994 (2013) – The boarding house bromance

Jung Woo as Kim Jae Joon, Yoo Yoon Suk as Chil Bong, Son Heo Joon as Hae Tae, Bar as Kim Dong Joon, and Kim Sung Kyun as Kim Sung Kyun

Rooftop Prince (2012) – The time-traveling prince and his loyal retainers bromance

Park Yoo Chun as Lee Gak/Yong Tae Young,  Lee Min Ho as Song Man Bo, Choi Woo Shik as Do Chi San, and Jung Suk Won as Woo Yong Sul

Queen In Hyun’s Man (2012) – The Time Traveler Scholar from Joseon era

Ji Hyun Woo as Kim Boong Doo

The Moon that Embraces the Sun (2012) – The Royal Cousins Bromance

Kim Soo Hyun as Lee Hwon and Jung Il Woo as Prince Yang Myung

Bridal Mask/Gaksital (2012) – The heartbreaking and gritty bromance of Gaksital

Joo Won as Lee Kang To and Park Ki Woong as Kimura Shunji

Faith (2012) – The War General Who Loved His Time Transcending Girl

Lee Min Ho as General Choi Young

Reply 1997 (2012) – The quirky and reliable high school bromance

Seo In Guk as Yoon Yoon Je, Hoya as Kang Joon Hee, Eun Ji Won as Do Hak Chan and Lee Shi Eun as Bang Sung Jae

A Gentleman’s Dignity (2012) – The Blow-up F4 Bromance

Jang Dong Gun as Kim Do Jin, Kim Soo Roo as Im Tae San, Kim Min Jong as Choi Yoon and Lee Jong Hyuk as Lee Jung Rok

City Hunter (2011) – The casanova on a mission to avenge his father

Lee Min Ho as Lee Yoon Sung

Flower-boy Ramyun Shop (2011) – The Flower boys who were happy to serve us with a ramyun

Jung Il Woo as Cha Chi Soo, Lee Ki Woo as Choi Kang Hyuk, Park Min Woo as Kim Ba Wool and Jo Yoon Woo as Woo Hyun Woo

Myungwol the Spy (2011) – The charming top actor and North Korean spy bromance

Eric Moon as Kang Woo and Lee Jin Wook as Choi Ryu

The Greatest Love (2011) – The almost perfect battle over the lead girl between a top actor and a traditional doctor

Cha Seung Won as Dokko Jin and Yoon Kye Sang as Yoon Pil Joo

 

Scent of a Woman (2016) The flower boy who stayed with his love in sickness and in health

Lee Dong Wook as Kang Ji Wook

Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010) – The Joseon Scholar Bromance

Park Yoo Chun as Lee Sun Joon, Yoo Ah In as Moon Jae Shin and Song Joong Ki as Goo Yong Ha

Personal Taste (2010) The flowerboy architect with a knee-weakening smile

Lee Min Ho as Jeon Jin Ho

Mischievous Kiss (2010) – The ideal high school crush any girl dreams about

Kim Hyun Joong as Baek Seung Jo

Secret Garden (2010) – The flowerboy CEO who can pull a sparkling jumpsuit like a dapper suit

Hyun Bin as Kim Joo Won

 

Boys Over Flowers (2009) – The rich high school boys’ bromance

Lee Min Ho as Gu Jun Pyo, Kim Hyun Joong as Yoon Ji Ho, Kim Bum as So Yi Jung and Kim Joon as Song Woo Bin


You’re Beautiful (2009) – The flower idol band who loved the same girl

Jang Geun Seuk as Hwang Tae Gyung, Jung Yong Hwa as Kang Shin Woo, Lee Hong Ki as Jeremy

One Mom Three Dads (2008) – The accidental flower – fathers

Jo Hyun Jae as Han Soo Hyun, Jae Hee as Choi Kwang Hee and Shin Sung Rok as Na Hwang Kyung Tae

The First Shop of Coffee Prince (2007) – The beautiful baristas, Coffee prince and his charming cousin

Gong Yoo as Choi Han Kyul, Lee Sun Gyun as Choi Han Sung, Kim Jae Wook as No Sun Ki, Kim Dong Wook as Jin Ha Rim, Lee Eun as Hwang Min Yup

 

Goong (2006) – The Prince Charmings of the Modern Korean Monarchy

Ju Ji Hoon as Crown Prince Lee Shin and Kim Jung Hoon as Prince Lee Yul

 

My Name is Kim Sam Soon (2005) – The dashing chaebol who loves his girl flabs and all

Hyun Bin as Hyun Jin Heon


Love Story in Harvard (2005) – The Aspiring Sweet Lawyers of Harvard 

Kim Rae Won as Kim Hyun Woo and Lee Jung Jin as Jung Min Hong

 

Full House (2005) – The debonairs of Full House

Bi as Lee Young Jae and Kim Sung Soo as Yoo Min Hyuk

 

What Happened in Bali (2005) – The tragic endings of two Romeos

Jo In Sung as Jung Jae Min and So Ji Sub as Kang In Wook

KDrama Bucket Listing: The Best Fan-service Korean Drama Romcoms

This new project of mine is a useful guide since you have decided to join the kdramaaddict community.  Kdramaworld has been running for quite a while so I’ll share you the dramas that you need to complete and you might have missed along the way.

Since we are celebrating the love month, let’s commence this bucket listing activity with trendy romantic comedy dramas.  These stories are typically what initiated your kdrama cravings.

The sighs, the swoons, the squeals, the hot flushes, the involuntary parting of our lips on the kiss scenes, the hot oppas, the we-wish-we-can-be-the-leadgirl-moments… There are a lot of reasons why we love these kind of dramas. Most of the dramas in this list are runaway hits, others have sweet chemistry between the main leads. These are love pills that we can watch over and over again every year, and yet we don’t get tired of it. These are my favorite fan service romcoms, what’s on your list?

 

♥My Name is Kim Sam Soon  (Hyun Bin and Kim Sun Ah)

Sam Soon’s love adventure gave hope to girls with weight insecurities that they can still snatch the man of their dreams as not all men are blinded by pretty faces and hot bodies.  *chuckles

This is where I first met Hyun Bin oppa and I fell in love with his then chubby cheeks. *lol  I was on my early 20’s when this was aired, and I was not hooked at that time.  But when I watched it in my late 20’s, I was able to appreciate it more because the heroine’s sentiments appealed to me probably because I was at the stage of my life when I endured love frustrations and experienced being blissfully in love.

This is my first dose of contract relationship and it endeared me a lot as it left a love lesson that no matter how extremely different a man and a woman is, spending time together and getting to know each other in the process would warrant a leap of romantic emotion that can result to a sweet love declaration.

 

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♥ Full House (Rain and Song Hye Gyo)

The modern Cinderella story of an aspiring scriptwriter and a famous actor who were forced to cohabitate when the former’s friends sold the house she inherited from her father.  We get a contract marriage plot in this love story which pushed the romance between a man and a woman who seemed unlikely to fall in love with each other.

The bickering scenes and the eventual falling in love were the strongest points of Full House.  The feel good premise still make me pick this drama when I don’t have anything on my plate to watch.  

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♥ Princess Hours (Joo Ji Hoon and Yoon Eun Hye)

Any princess story appeals to most girls right away.  With a distant and yet secretly warm prince portrayed nicely by Joo Ji Hoon oppa, I can’t help but love the nines on the clouds of high when I was watching Lee Shin and Chae Kyung’s royal love story.

My pillows suffered a lot from strangulation on the emotional and heart fluttering scenes.  Actually Goong had mostly melodramatic tones, but it was neutralized by the lead girl’s vibrant presence and optimism to survive in the arranged marriage she was forced to take for the sake of her family.

This is one youth drama you should not miss as it is one of the kdrama staple classics.

princess_hours

 

♥ My Girl (Lee Dong Wook and Lee Da Hae)

I know right?  Contracts are often part of kdrama plots.  For “My Girl”, we have a business conglomerate heir hiring a con-woman to pretend as his long-lost cousin to appease his ill grandfather, but ended up trapped in the lie they created when they started falling in love with each other.

The strong second leads supported well the romantic development by playing well the annoying ex-girlfriend and the how-could-you-not-love-him second lead man.

“My Girl” had a consistently addictive run and nicely done closure credit it to the bubbly heroine and her chemistry with the workaholic lead man chaebol.  

I think this is where I first saw that lead-man-following-drunk-lead-girl scene which became a guaranteed cute scene on rom-coms.

mygirl

 

♥ The First Shop of Coffee Prince (Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye)

This cross-dressing heroine and coffee shop owner’s love ride slayed the ratings with the unique premise on how their romance was imagined.  

It was so cute when Gong Yoo’s character disregarded everything and was okay to admit that he could possibly be a homosexual due to his growing feelings on his pretending-to-be-a-man lead girl.

Coffee Prince’s ending was also sweet as it wrap up with how the lead man let go of his girl for the mean time to pursue her own dreams.  This is a must-watch grandpa classic that will not lose its appeal even after a few decades from now.

coffeeprince

 

♥ Boys Over Flowers (Lee Min Ho and Gu Hye Sun)

Almost Paradise… Yay!  This is Lee Min Ho’s breakthrough performance that swept hallyuland like a storm during its run.  Finally adapting the famous Japanese manga, the Korean version gave a pretty depiction of the rich-boy-poor-girl love story by projecting an elaborated presentation of the wealth disparity of the main love couple.  Sprinkling it with the flower boy bromance and their side love stories cemented a victorious run for this youth drama.

“Boys over Flowers” is a great initiating drama to welcome you in kdramaland.  It is feel-good, buoyant and everything sweet perfect on movie marathon sessions and rainy days.

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♥ My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (Shin Min Ah and Lee Seung Gi)

Fusing Korean folklore to a modern lovestory was notched perfectly by chilsung cider addicted Mi Ho and her action star wanna-be lead guy.  When a nine-tailed fox was released from a painting she was imprusoned to, she sealed a deal with a free spirited guy who does not have any dream but to become an action star.

The arresting face and portrayal of Shin Min Ah made Mi Ho one of my all-time favorite kdrama characters.  Hong sisters blended the supernatural and folklore premise in this drama in an innovative approach to complement the modern setting.

This is where I first saw the reversal of roles for the lead couple.  The always curious heroine took charge in taking care of her lead man in the most part of the story.  

The quirky interaction of the lead couple until reaching the eventual love zone was something you would root for while you are watching the narrative.

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♥ You’re Beautiful (Jang Geun Seuk and Park Shin Hye)

When her twin brother met an accident, Go Mi Nyu, a nun-to-be was forced to assume her brother’s identity  (Go Mi Nam) who was posed to join a famous boyband.  Having spent most of her time in the convent Mi Nam worked hard to adapt in a new world of cohabiting with her fellow band members.

There are a lot to love about ANJELL and the main lead couple.  The second lead also made an impressive showing to shake the official love pairing.

“You’re Beautiful” was brimming with witty humor and sweet scenes which propelled its run to a strong fanbase.  I think this is also was the start of me stalking Hong sisters dramas.

yourebeautiful

 

♥ You’ve Fallen For Me (Park SHin Hye and Jung Yong Hwa)

This youth drama set in a Music school was the fulfilment of the second love pairing that we did not get from “You’re Beautiful”.  The refreshing tone and the campus romance drew smiles and sigh in me as Lee Shin suited up to his campus hearthrob role effortlessly and effectively.  

The music, the youthful vibe, the college setting dates endeared this drama to me.  Maybe because it just went free flowing and did not exert effort in placing overly conceived central conflict.  “You’ve Fallen For Me” is light and comforting perfect for your stoic days.

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♥ Discovery of Love (Eric Moon and Jung Yu Mi)

Now this was not as popular as the rest of the dramas in this list, but it belonged to my all-time favorite love dramas because of its superb screenplay and storytelling.

Yeorum is a furniture maker who was caught between her present boyfriend and her first love.  “Discovery of Love” took an ingenious path to uncover the woes and inhibitions of a woman in confronting love confusions that involved weighing down the amount of pain and love you are prepared to invest in a relationship.

You will thank me later after you watch it.

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♥ Another Oh Hae Young (Eric Moon and Seo Hyun Jin)

Yes I think I can declare that I stalk Eric oppa’s dramas as he mostly pick interestingly done projects.

Another Oh Hae Young was the best romance drama for 2016 banking on its realistic approach on the frustrations and bliss of trusting the love willingly given to someone only to be disappointed for not reciprocating it well.

The hot kisses, the brave heroine and the weird journey on how fate intertwined the love couples were some of the things you would love in this drama.

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♥ Legend of the Blue Sea (Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun)

Freshly caught from the kdrama sea, this mermaid-conman romance gave us laugh fits and heart-fluttering moments.  The love-fueled-mind-reading ability of Heo Joon Jae was a favorite twist of mine in this drama.  I got a lot of laugh trips from those scenes.

The writing was almost perfect except from that last episode auto pilot ending.  Nevertheless, “Legend of the Blue Sea” will surely warm your heart with the overflowing love vibes sketched in past and present timelines with reincarnation plot on the side.

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♥ The Greatest Love (Cha Seung Won and Gong Hyo Jin)

When a top actor, Dokko Jin got entangled to a third-rate actress, a hilarious romance ensues as he battled out his emotions only to succumb to it when an equally adorable traditional doctor wields his intention to be with the lead girl.

This is the third Hong sisters entry on my list and the trademark smart humor on the writing was evident.  I loved Cha Seung Won in City Hall and even more in his overconfident character in this story.  Gong Hyo Jin as always brings out any character given to her.  Her submissive and kind attitude neutralized Dokko Jin’s strong persona and forced him to become a better person worthy to accept and give love.

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♥ Rooftop Prince (Park Yoo Chun and Han Ji Min)

Time-traveling and a clueless Joseon prince who was transported to modern times made me a happy camper on its weekly run  because of the Prince and his warriors hilarious adjustments to technology powered way of living.

The romance was an added bonus, but when I look back it is really the cute bromance that sealed this drama in my kdrama memory compartment.

rooftopprince

 

♥ Flowerboy Ramyun Shop (Jung Il Woo and Lee Chung Ah)

Dear drama, you know you got me at Jung Il Woo.  

“Flower boy ramyun shop” checked the romcom essentials of cohabitation, mean love triangle, and rich boy poor girl love line.  The adorable chasing of the lead man to win the heroine’s heart was crazily sweet and in turn secured Jung Il Woo a spot inside my heart.  *chuckles

 

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♥ The Lonely Shining Goblin (Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook and Kim Go Eun 

You have two wonderful love pairings to indulge on and an extra equally sweet bromance for dessert.  What more can you ask for?

Drawn in folklore and chimeric premise, consider Goblin as a karmic prize for kdramaaddicts’ loyal following.  The polished storytelling and amazing cast portrayal nailed a quintessential drama that you can share with your grandchildren in the future.

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♥ Reply 1997 (Seo In Gook and Jung Eun Ji)

I chose the first story from the Reply Franchise as it gave an impressive showing of a first love story as well as friendship turned romance narrative.  Nostalgic in its projection, “Reply 1997” will give anyone a trip back to those wistful memories of their young, unrequited love.

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♥ The Master’s Sun (So Ji Sub and Gong Hyo Jin)

My final Hong sisters drama on the list went to a spooky millieu and was successful in doing so.  A ghost-seeing woman has been burdened by her ability all her life.  When she finally bumped with the person who can shield her from the compelling ghost request she keeps getting with and without her warrant, she stuck by the prickly rich department store owner and soon after developed a relationship with him.

“Master’s Sun” exhibited the usual comedic and romantic writing brilliance of the Hong sisters.  I meant to watch this before because of So Ji Sub oppa and I got more than I asked for.

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♥ Queen In Hyun’s Man (Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo Inna)

Abby’s Man aka Queen In Hyun’s Man stirred an excitement in me due to its avant-garde story of a time traveling Joseon scholar who utilized his talisman powered time-space wrinkling ability to hide in the present time while brewing his next moves on fulfiling his duty to the deposed Joseon Queen. 

An actress helped him to adapt to contemporary living and they eventually fell in love with each other.  “Queen In Hyun’s Man” was hip and fun and affirmed that my decision to eat kdramas for breakfast was valid.  *chuckles  

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♥ Healer (Ji Chang Wook and Park Min Young)

“Healer” put me on my longest kdrama character crush.  It was so severe that I watched all Ji Chang Wook dramas even the ones that were not worth watching.  That’s how much impact the drama gave me.  

The love progression was steady and engaging in this drama and you bet I was in dreamy land after that Healer hideout kissing binge.  “Healer” is the fulfilment of any adult woman’s ideal man.  

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♥ Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk)

Credit the cast for their commitment to this coming of age drama.  It created an international cult following especially on the teens and the early-twenties.  “Weightlifting Fairy” was my first and last kdrama binge for 2016.  I initially had reservations if I will put it on my plate, but one night when I don’t have anything scheduled to watch anymore, I took it and was uncaring if I wake up the entire village with my laughter festival. 

This is the drama I will make my daughter watch when she goes to college so she can have an idea of the perfect college boyfriend.  *wink

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♥ Oh My Venus (So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah)

There were a lot of sighs, swoons, melting moments and heart-stopping arrests when I watched coach-nim and Daegu beauty realized their love potential through a weight loss program.

To reclaim her goddess body, a woman sought the help of a famous weight loss coach to carry on with her project.  He was initially adamant about it, but she trapped him by threatening how she will reveal his identity to the world if he does not agree.  

“Oh My Venus” oozed with sweet, steamy scenes that will tickle your heart and imagination.  If you are on a weightloss program, watch this so coach-nim can inspire you.

 

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♥ Descendants of the Sun (Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Gyo)

Suave and prettily written, Captain Yoo Si Jin won my heart in his cool depiction of a military elite officer who got the girl he dreamt of even when their careers inhibit them to spend quality time with each other.

Thanks to Song-Song couple’s right on the dot chemistry, they were able to pull off a breathtaking lovestory that will be forever loved by many like me.

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♥ Something About 1% 2016 (Ha Suk Jin and Jeon So Min)

Cropping unnecessary scenes and light on its conflict, Something About 1 Percent is the exact description of a fan-service drama.

Jae In and Da Hyun’s love story progressed in an addictive pace through their sweet kisses.  It is a big, pink bubblewrap drama that will comfort you when you want to be alone after a break-up.

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♥ Oh My Ghost (Jo Jung Seok and Park Bo Young)

A virgin ghost hosted on a meek woman’s body to get a formal passport to afterlife.  The ghost helped the timid girl worked on the crush she harbored on the Chef of the restaurant she was working.  Chef-nim mistook the sudden changes in her personality as a psychological disorder and tried to help on but nurtured emotional feelings in the process.

“Oh My Ghost” was a quirky watch that will give you laugh fit and enough knee-weakening scenes to feed your love cravings.

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♥ It’s okay, this is love (Jo In Sung and Gong Hyo Jin)

Kdramaland has displayed refreshing love stories through the years and it keeps getting better.   The love story between a famous writer with some psychological issues and a psychiatrist was a runaway hit for me in 2014.  And not just because of Jo In Sung oppa, but due to the cast that you can’t help but fall in love.

It’s okay, this is love fulfilled the promise of a lingering chronicle of ardent love.  It may not appeal to tweens and young women but I’m sure that women in their 30’s will appreciate it a lot.

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♥ Fated to Love You (Jang Hyuk and Jang Na Ra)

When I look back on this drama, I can’t help but remember Jang Hyuk oppa’s outrageous laugh.  hahaha

“Fated to love you” tells the story of a one night stand that brought together an unlikely to fall in love couple.  Left with no choice they got married, but misunderstandings  and losing their baby separated them unfortunately.  Years after fate brought them together again and they finally get the validation that they have always been meant to be.

This is probably my favorite Jang Na Ra drama because it achieved a balanced story of how relationships have reasons why they are not meant to be at a particular moment.

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♥ A Gentleman’s Dignity (Jang Dong Gun and Kim Ha Neul)

Before the Goblin-GrimReaper Bromance, the brotherhood in this drama was my most favorite.  The snappy storyline and side love stories were some of the reasons why I picked this drama.  This is one of the earlier dramas from Goblin/DOTS writer so you will get an idea on how she has really worked on her skills over the years.

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♥ My Princess (Song Sung Heon and Kim Tae Hee)

The long lost last princess of Korea was found and to prepare her for her royal duties, the grandson of a rich family who nurtured the princess family wealth prepped her up in facing her new responsibilities.  Think Princess Diaries + Pretty Woman.

This is the first bribe I got from both the actors to notice them and they were successful in forming a cheery love story.

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♥ Myungwol the Spy (Eric Moon and Han Ye Seul)

A serving of a North Korean spy who got entangled emotionally with a South Korean top actor needed nothing else to convince me in watching it.

This is one hilarious romcom spectacle you should not miss.

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♥ Personal Taste (Lee Min Ho and Son Ye Jin)

The cute twist of the heroine misconceiving her lead man to be homosexual plus the cohabitation ride that slowly but surely built up the romance, this is the drama that secured Lee Min Ho a slot on my radar as I enjoyed their story immensely.

There are a lot of love and life lessons for women to learn on this drama as Gae In provided her insights on how focusing on personal dreams should come first before frustrations.

A must watch Lee Min Ho drama to add on your plate if you have just recently started liking him.

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♥ Secret Garden (Hyun Bin and Ha Ji Won)

This body-swapping stunt woman and chaebol love story exceeded everyone’s expectations in nailing an experimental supernatural love story.  

I swear that curl up sweet scene still make my heart flutters.  *chuckles  “Secret Garden” showed a reversal of gender roles as we are given a heroine with unfazed attitude who fell in love with a rich man who did everything to make her love him.

Now that I remember the “rain twist”.  There’s something about rain that makes it a staple twist in kdrama stories as projected in Goblin, My GF is a Gumiho and Secret Garden.  Anyway, I loved Hyun Bin here more than his stint in Samsoon probably because I am more inclined to like unusually imagined story premise.

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♥ Sungkyunkwan Scandal (Park Yoo Chun, Park Min Young and Yoo Ah In)

For me “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” is still my best pick for both school and youth drama even when the drama is set in Joseon era.  If you are curious why then take some time off and spend time with these scholar flower boys plus the cross dressing heroine.

If you liked the recent Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds, the missing nudges on that drama were effortlessly notched in Sungkyunkwan Scandal.

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♥ W:  Two Worlds (Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo)

“W” strode a scintillating first half but fell short on the labyrinth and depth of the ambitious plot the writer conceived.  Nonetheless, Kang Chul sweetly haunted my weak heart as he romanced his lady love.

Kang Chul is everyone’s dream guy and more.  If you want to forget a recent relationship set back feel free to enter the worlds of Kang Chul.

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♥ You From Another Star (Jun Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun)

Since my favorite actress headlined this drama, it was already a given that I secured a spot for my busy time to watch it simultaneously as it aired.  In 2015, I let kdramas conclude first before I delve on them.  I had to break it because I trusted the girl who brought me to Hallyuland that she was up for a brilliant project.  She did not prove me wrong and I was on high savoring the beautiful alien and top actress love story that served as a lesson to current kdrama actresses roster to learn how rom-com should be done.  Kim Soo Hyun was a bonus like equivalent to $1 Million dollars.  The impeccable chemistry of the lead couple surged a memorable love story that would appeal to anyone.

“You From Another Star” is still my all time top pick for the Best Romcom Drama ever produced in kdramaland.  

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Hae-soo and Jae-yeol’s crazy world of love

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It might be the most unconventional modern romance drama I have ever seen but it has such a very affecting and unique story given that sickness in k-dramaland usually involves amnesia or anything fatal. Perhaps it comes with me being at my 30’s too that I don’t like being given tailored romantic dramas with the usual illness premise that is sometimes really tiring to watch. Sure I did enjoy “Fated To Love You” because it followed all the bullet points needed for a rom-com drama, but I’ll be placing Hae-soo and Jae-yeol’s love story as my favorites this year tied with the magical chemistry-filled connection of Do Min-joon and Cheon Song-yi in You From Another Star.
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A famed fiction writer Jang Jae-yeol moved to his house he rented out when his crib required renovation. There he met two psychiatrists and a psychiatric patient with Tourette syndrome living in the most entertaining and reckless fashion that totally deviated from his being neat freak living given his obsessive-compulsive disorder. Plot got meatier when the inevitable connection of Jae-yeol to the virgin psychiatrist, Hae-soo, who just recently broken up with her cheating boyfriend grew so strong and mutual to the surprise of both parties with extreme perception differences.

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Just when both of them surrendered to the idea that yes indeed they were in love, Jae-yeol’s childhood trauma matured resulting to “you-and-me-and my-schizophrenic-self” conflict that has made Hae-soo’s mother revolt on their relationship after suffering all her life taking care of her invalid husband. Jae-yeol while struggling to accept his sickness resorted to pushing his heroine away, but ended up realizing that he needed her while trying to reconcile his life.

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The dots connecting the characters in small groups are as functional as when you view the cast as a whole. The friendship circle of the psychiatrists presenting a utopian human interaction that doesn’t follow bias and excess baggages was a delightful package that has driven the deft writing of the storyline. Jae-yeol’s emotionally wounded family was a picture of how even the most dysfunctional family need one another to heal each other’s wound while Hae-soo’s misplaced hatred with her mother’s infidelity that helped sent her to medical school has created a scar inside her which her professional self can’t even cure

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True this might not appeal to hopeless romantics, but I’m sure everyone who has felt that moment when they give everything because of love would surely love this amazing story which I will be happily placing in my all-time favorites.

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“It’s okay that’s love” is just how relationship realities are translated in a cherished, ardent, unadulterated, lingering, failing, and blissful TV drama scenes. The last 4 episodes has had me at my knees clutching my pillow, trying to subdue the emotional outburst from a beautiful and heartfelt thread of painful and fervid love moments that cut deep in my heart and my very own memories of how it felt to love someone deeply without holding back.

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Seamless and unfeigned, it progressed from warm to romantic to sacrificial to against-all-odds and eventually to you-were-meant-for-me. I saw all the faces of love tackled bravely and painfully in this love story.

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Without annoying third parties and excessive misunderstanding scenes, I grew fond of all the characters while enjoying a love narrative which took a different approach to defy rom-com rules by presenting the genuine feel of being with someone… the scare, the heart flutters, the denials and the bliss.

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The fate of a successful romance lies not on how much effort each other has to put on to keep the love going because love is always never enough… it is always the choice to love someone that keeps a relationship endure.

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2013 Pink Lightsaber K-Drama Year-end Ramblings

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While my entire stay in kdramaland for 2013 was not as faithful as I have been for 2012, I enjoyed it just the same, and I even added one drama to my all time personal favorites.
I hope I can find time next year to wrap up all my half-ways and quarterly done series reviews before 2014 first quarter wanes. 

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The deft writing and skillful directing of Nine Time Travels was a runaway hit for me sending me to pulsating “damn-this-drama-is-so-good moments.  There was no wasted episode and the characters and the time-voyaging plot harmoniously achieved an almost perfect production where conflicts and loose ends are tied and untied all throughout the story and then managed to climax in a euphoric scale where I was left marveling and renewing my kdrama addiction contract yet again.

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The ghost-seeing heroine and her adorable shield chaebol heir managed to etch their drama poster to my wall of kdrama favorites.  Joong-won and Tae-yang has had me really enjoyed the feeling of being in love just by watching how their romance blossomed.  True, that there were moments when the plot was trying to catch up with the romance but Master’s Sun notched a fun and yet epic love story of Harry&Sally proportion.  Refreshing and caffeinated, you will find yourself loving the main couple here.

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Reply 1994 worked its way to me and never looked back after once it felt that I’m hooked and addicted.  This drama rounded up the remaining spot of my top 3 dramas this year alongside Nine and Master’s Sun.  There’s just so much warming and reassuring feeling I felt while staying hooked at the cast ensembles and each of their stories.  And while I’m still waiting for Na-jung’s guess my eventual husband contest, I vouched that men and women of my age would really enjoy it as it is a reminder of us 10 years ago.  Sweetly nostalgic, I highly recommend this in your watchlist.

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I also enjoyed the love tearjerkers early this year… I Miss You That Winter The Wind Blows and When A Man Loves had made me forcedfully used up tissue rolls with the amount of weeping I spent stalking them through ups and downs, craziness and annoyance and heart flutters and bliss. 

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I am sorry I didn’t really enjoy I Hear Your Voice and Gu Family book.  The former didn’t hit the yellow chakra in me, the latter being not able to sustain the hype of the promising storyline. Heirs was surely overrated but I loved the two lead boys there, and the pantry kiss though the lead girl acted stoic was one of the best kiss Lee Min Ho has ever given in his career.  Marry Him If You Dare less the wtf ending would have been nice.  I mean I was all waiting for Mirae’s choice, but at the last minute the writer gave me the power to choose for Mirae, what’s that about?

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Joo Won didn’t wait for next year and worked on redeeming the disappointing and madly done Level 7 Civil Servant through his savant Good Doctor character which made me feast on heartwarming feelings and some new found medical knowledge.  I consider this a family drama that your mom would surely love.  Another drama mom would like is School 2013, although centered in the High Schooler’s life, the friendship and simply narrated but neatly acted story was a winning performance.

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Safely finishing their dramas, Cha Tae Hyun oppa lifted Jeon Woo Chi to a decent ending as my crush Yoo Ah In melted me over and over again to his King Sukjong role with the infamous Joseon concubine Jang Ok Jung.  Show me some magic and Tae Hyun oppa’s impeccable comic and winning performance and I’m on the ride babe.  And that swaying from the history book depiction of Jang Ok Jung story admittedly diminished my once felt angst towards Joseon’s femme fatale.  After all I’m a sucker of a two-way romance. 

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Mandate of Heaven following a Joseon fugitive plot who proved his innocence while saving his sick daughter against the court and Royal family conspiracies and the niftily done King of dramas which reminded me painfully of my once dream to become a TV drama writer were bubble wrap dramas which comforted me and made me feel good after watching them.

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Cheongdamdong Alice, Dating Agency: Cyrano, and Monstar gave me the after sweet taste of an afternoon in a park munching ice cream and cotton candy while The Great Seer and Flower-boy next door fairly amused me but certainly will be those forgettable dramas on my list this year.

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Two Weeks and Heartless City were the underrated but rockstars and dark horses in kdramaland for me this year.  The action packed thrilling plot had me most of the time on the edge of my seat anticipating the next badass move and powerplays that will unfold.

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Unfortunately I’m still trying hard to finish War of Flowers, Empire of Gold, Secret Love and Empress Ki so I can’t say much about them yet.  You From Another Star, Pretty Boy, Golden Rainbow, Miss Korea, Prime Minister and I will be on my 2014 list as it crosses over the Horse year.

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True this year was not as fabulous as last year.  It was mostly mediocre and passing dramas but there are a few good finds and 3 stellar dramas for me.  As my love time can only permit me for this quick recap, I am closing this with my pink lightsaber favorites this year.

Nine Times Travel
Master’s Sun
Reply 1994
That Winter The Wind Blows
Heartless City
King of Dramas
Jang Ok Jung
Mandate of Heaven
Two Weeks
Cheongdamdong Alice

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Hello 2014!  I’m looking forward to my kdrama treats from you!  ^_^

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That Winter, The Wind Blew Me Away

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And back from my kdrama hiatus, I finished this stunning, stirring and affectionate “I pretended to be a long lost brother to a blind heiress because I needed money to continue to live only to find myself waking up wanting to protect my fake little sister every single day” in between anti-histamine and sleeping.  Given the drama bucket I’ve piled in the past few years, making me stay sitting on a drama was a feat hard to achieve, and this year, “That Winter, The Wind Blows” was the first one to notch it, and no candy crush nor any other distraction can compete with Jo In Sung oppa for my attention.  *wink

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This is how a melodrama should be done, enough emotional scenes to stimulate the heart and tear ducts, but not bordering to weep fest.  This spectacle was like Innocent Man, but what was half-achieved by the former, was strongly fulfilled by this winter romance show.

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Loving someone when you are literally blind takes faith beyond reasons, and finding a reason to live because you love someone takes bravery beyond faith.  These are the two love lessons I have learned from Oh Soo and Oh Young, and so far this year, they are my favorite love couple.

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A tale of not really brothers and sisters who were entangled by fate, unexpected fondness, blind trust, and true love, this drama blew me away on the early episodes and the intense scenes when the revelations were surging up.  It took me a while to be convinced on how the lead girl’s firm grasp of things disregarded how her hero abnegated his own happiness because he got infected with the love he was feeling for her, but as I realized, I without disability have insecurities and would really feel awful if I will be betrayed, how much more for a blind girl like her.  It always help to step on the character’s shoes to see through their perspective.

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Oh Soo together with his sidekick brother by affinity Jin Sung were famous gamblers in Gangnam, but when he can’t reciprocate the love of his sponsor’s mistress, So-ra, he was framed embezzling Mr. Kim’s money and was imprisoned for a year.

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When he got out of jail, he was forced to pay for the debt he didn’t acquire by Moo-chul who loathed him because he blamed him for the death of the woman they both loved in the past.  Time was ticking and when Oh Soo learned that his dead friend who has the same name as his was a long lost heir to a big conglomerate company, he seized the opportunity and assumed his dead friend’s identity.

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“Operation get some money and pretend I am my dead friend” proceeded and thanks to Oh Soo’s nimble mind, he was able to escape compromising situations requiring memories of his old friend that of course he didn’t have.  For him to settle his business, he has to deal with his supposed heiress-sister Oh Young who became blind after the separation of their parents.  She was taken care of by Secretary Wang, who was also the cause of divorce of her parents.  People around Oh-young are nice to her because of money so she shielded herself with a strong-this- is-what-I-want facade.  Oh Soo slowly broke the fortress her fake little sister put around her, and has made her understand that given her challenge in vision, she has to accept help from other people and be grateful and put confidence on them.

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Soon enough he gained her trust, but the pressure from the gambling world he came from were also building up.  Oh Soo discovered Young’s hiding place where she kept her video diary while she was growing up, and from there, the urge to protect the innocent girl who was putting a brave front all her life grew in his heart and blossomed to pure love.  He also learned how her condition would have been resolved from its early stage if not for the selfish reason of Secretary Wang, who really cared for Young as her own daughter but has made her live a life in prison.

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And then So-ra came back to spoil everything, in her little exposure in the story, she has managed to chafe me to a hilt as her selfishness pointed to Soo and Young’s suffering.  I abhorred her character.  She gave a whole new meaning to obsessive love. 

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So when Oh-young was dubious of her frailty condition, and she was really being pushed to get the surgery by Secretary Wang and Oh-soo, So-ra dropped the truth bomb that he was not her real brother.  At that point of the story, Oh-young was already having a hard time because she has fallen romantically in love with her brother.  So I was thinking that she would initially caved in after feeling she was stabbed in the back, but her blind whims and unreasonable and irreconcilable trust issues let it lingered and made her even more jaded.

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But since unrequited love can cure almost all kind of pain, on Oh-Young’s last attempt to make a fool out of herself, Oh-Soo in his knight-in-shining-armour self managed to rescue her suicide attempt, and I cried when she said… “I was not feeling scared of dying, I was actually waiting for you to come to me”.  When she woke up, they has a very heartfelt talk, and acknowledged that they both needed each other to live happily in their lives.

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The finale episode was a combination of exquisite moments for me as the blind heiress and the conman finally sealed their love with a kiss, but Oh-soo has to deal with his final gambling showdown on the night when his girlfriend would also undergo the surgery.  Soo and Jin-sung were able to slap back Mr. Kim to avenge the unfounded grudge they didn’t deserve, but the vile villain took his last card to threaten Jin-sung.  Jin-sung stabbed his hyung in order for his family to live.

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Since a lie started the web of deceit, the swinging of how to keep it up moved to degrees of annoyance and appreciation to me because I got a heroine who was frail but not gullible at the same time. I have always liked Song Hye Gyo, and this is her “I’m sorry abby for making you watch A Reason to Live peace offering”, I supposed.  When the illness-dying twist emerged in the story, I was shouting, “why is she in the brink of death drama scenario again?”, but I was appeased with her superb portrayal showcasing a vulnerable character who has learned when to turn off her protective bubble to bring the best of her and to reconcile with the idea that bravery can also mean trusting people wholeheartedly without a hint of hesitation.  But, in the finale episodes, I detested her stubborn self, I mean, “hell I know you are blind, but stop being proud! and just live happily ever after with Oh-Soo oppa!”

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I have slight issues with how In Sung oppa exaggerated his acting sometimes, but given his hotness and knee-crumbling appeal, I let it slide and because at the strong scenes he was seamless in nailing it.  He was way beyond Cullen or Grey or the rest of the fictional sexiest man alive list.  He smiled.. he smirked… I fainted.  His every move in the camera was a justification of my korean drama addiction. *hearteyed

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The supporting people helped in maintaining the crisp and throes of the storyline.  Oh-soo’s bromance with Jin-sung was amusing and cute as Hee-sun’s bossy-ing around to the darkside-brothers was a breather on despondent situations where Oh-soo was involved.  There was also that double sided hyung-villain that I despised and then learned to love in the end because he died.  I just can’t comprehend why he can’t move on when he didn’t even have the Oh-soo’s ex-girlfriend’s love in the first place. 

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A lot of misplace love for the supporting villains, something that helped in strengthening the main lead characters and solidifying the conflict, but neglecting the redeeming point or karmic justice that would have been served for them.  I just want that So-ra girl to be crushed by a 10-wheeler truck, the way our local drama payback time always does.  *giggles

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I would be honest that there were dallying episodes after the mid-part of the story and Young’s indecisiveness which you have to tolerate because of her disability was the minus factor in the story.  There were inconsistencies in her character that were just salvaged because she was blind, but since I grew tired empathizing with her, I disliked how she saw through her visual impairment and felt how the people around her move to please her so as to gain favor from her, only to not rely on her instincts when it was needed.  All throughout she was in a battle of who-to-trust-and-not, and had she not submitted to weighing the twinge of trust properly, I would have been disappointed because the building of this drama was impeccable, but the fulfillment should be at least satisfying.

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I almost had an asthma attack in Oh Soo’s breakdown scene and how he was blaming himself on not just playing the con he started instead of making love complicate all things.  It was such a strong memorable moment that sent me to weep island, and will be on top of my favorite scenes this year on kdramaland.

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It was a safe ending.  It was not a happy-yey!-ever-after closure, but at least they were together.  And I’m happy about it. There were hanging questions that were not explained and karmic justice that were not served to some of the characters like Mr. Kim and So-ra, and they only focused on what the ultimate yearning of the love couple was —  for Young-i to see Soo oppa.  So they ended it in her quarter-blindness, it was like… “Okay, blind girl, you can be happy now, but don’t jump!”  Other than this puny finale episode sulking, I really loved this drama because it didn’t give me the satisfaction of getting a fairy-tale ending.  And because at those scenes that really mattered I was able to feel for the characters and the struggle they were hurdling.  It drove to the path of how Oh-soo and Oh-young’s self-contemplation on what they have to offer with each other to be worthy of each other’s love.  Oh-soo who has never saw meaning to his life has found it when he met a woman who was also sharing the same sentiment as his.  Sometimes it’s really the pain that makes the love so worth it, because without it you can never differentiate if you are willing to let go or to love the person.

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“That Winter, The Wind Blows” was a poignant love drama that will make you remember how you were scared to start a love you were unsure of, and how you took the odds to claim it.  This was a cure for people with “trust issues” and its delightful and piercing romance take will definitely appeal to people wanting to love… wanting to be in love and wanting to be loved back.  It was a splendid romantic drama ride for me.  It was not perfect but it was emotionally astonishing.

 

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The Classic MOVIE RECAP (2003)

CAST:  Son Ye-jin, Jo Sung-woo, Jo In-sung

Ji-hye is a typical young woman, blood type O, with a constant habit of *pffft sighing and enjoys Taekwondo.  Her father died when she was young, and her mother didn’t opt to marry again. 

While tidying up the house, she takes a box which is very special to her mother.   There in the box are letters of her mother’s first love.

She is about to read one of the letters when the telephone rings, and when she comes to pick it up, the wind blows the letters out of its confinement. 

The caller is Ji-hye’s friend, Soo-gyung, who is inviting Ji-hye to come with her and Sang-min to visit an Art Museum. 

Soo-gyung likes Sang-min and Ji-hye has been helping her write love e-mail letters for him.  Secretly, Ji-hye also likes Sang-min just like most of the girls in the campus, but she has to give way for her friend.

When she gets back to the room, she sees the room in a mess because of the scattered letters.  She picks up the letters, sits down and turns the pages of a journal.   She sees a picture of a young man, and from that picture we will go to our first time travel.

Tae-soo approaches Oh Joon-ha to request him to write love letters for her fiancée, Sung Joo-hee.  When Tae-soo shows him her picture, Joon-ha is sent back to a beautiful memory he shared with her.

Joon-ha is catching a beetle with his friends, but his attention is caught when he sees a beautiful young lady passing by.  His friends tell him that she is from the city and is a Congressman’s daughter. 

In another moment, and still catching beetles with his friends, (Oh how simple and pretty killing time before, you just have to catch insects *giggles) the young woman approaches Joon-ha to look at the insect and asks him to accompany her to go to the haunted house near the river.  Lovestruck, and even without knowing how to row a boat, Joon-ha obliges to her plan.

Joon-ha and Joo-hee go haunted house hunting the next day, and when they arrive on the place, they scream when they sees an old bum drunk.  

Unfortunately, the rain falls and pushes away their boat so they have no choice but to wait for the rain to abate and settle inside a small resting place.  If eating watermelon is how they did dating before, I would be more than willing to indulge.

They start to head home, and when they pass by a wooden bridge, beautiful fireflies light the place.  He catches one for her, and I’m so envious of that scene, next time I won’t ask for flowers, just lighted flying insect surrounding an old wooden bridge. 

When they are about to depart, she gives him her necklace and when she reunites with her worried family, her grandfather slaps his face.

It is hard for Joon-ha to write letters for Tae-soo because he himself wants to tell a lot of things to her, but he doesn’t have a choice but to help his friend, and in a way continue his secret love for her.

Tae-soo comes rushing one day to find Joon-ha in the library.  He received an invitation to witness Joo-hee’s musical recital.  Joon-ha goes to see her perform and hopes to give her flowers but she was dragged for a lunch with Tae-soo’s family and hers. 

Joo-hee comes back looking for Joon-ha, and after a very short hello, she excuses herself because she can’t stay long.

Back to the present time in the Art Museum, Ji-hye exchanges glances with Sang-min while Soo-gyung annoyingly played sweet with him. 

When Ji-hye tells Soo-gyung that she’s wanting to leave, he tries to convince her otherwise by asking her to spend the dinner with them, but she politely refuse it. 

When she is about to leave, Sang-min calls her again and asks her to pick a gift.  She picks one. leaves, but Soo-gyung follows her to exchange the present she got.

When she gets home, she iss debating whether to open or not the gift, and when she finally open it, she is surprised to see a cute bear key chain and a short love letter. 

Of course the user-friendly Soo-gyung demands to get the love note when she reads it to her ovet the telephone. Ji-hye is sad thinking that Sang-min must have really like Soo-gyung a lot to write something sweet and special like that.

Switching to another flashback, Tae-soo asks Joon-ha to come with him to a Polka class with Joo-hee and her friend Na-hee.  Joo-hee is surprised when Tae-soo introduces Joon-ha as his bestfriend. 

The secret lovers exchange whispers on how coincidence is playing with them as Tae-soo in his playfulness changes the Polka music to Rock and Roll.  Tae-soo walks Joo-hee home, and annoyed with her tongue twister display, Joon-ha leaves Na-hee’s side secretly and rushes to catch up with Joo-hee. 

When Joo-hee is about to ring the door bell, the street light flicks on and off in resemblance of a firefly, and she smiles when she sees him standing beside the street light post.  She embraces him and our I-love-my-bestfriend’s-fiancee-love-tale is established.

Back to the present time, Ji-hye purposely tries to be late on her music class only to find out Soo-gyung patiently waits for her as well to get the love note. 

Ji-hye gets caught in the rain so she shelters herself under a tree.  She sees Sang-min running towards the shed and pretends she doesn’t notice him, but he calls her attention and they are put in an awkward situation.

 

When she tries running away, he asks her where she is heading.  She tells him her destination and he offers to run with her until she gets to the library.  Under that rainy day, with Sang-min’s jacket and a secret love resonating in the air, my second favorite scene happened.

During the morning exercise, Tae-soo tells Joon-ha that Joo-hee is not responding anymore to his letters and it’s making him sad because it’s the first time he has really liked a girl.  He goes to see Joo-hee to confess his feelings for her. 

When Joon-ha and Joo-hee meets up that night, he requests her to reply to Tae-soo’s letter.   It made Joo-hee sad because they are torn in causing pain to someone both dear to them. 

Joo-hee decides on not seeing Joon-ha and Tae-soo anymore because of their complicated situation, but Joon-ha still visits him every night turning the street light on and off. (This is why I’m lucky because my friends don’t have the same preference as mine when choosing a guy.)

Joon-ha visits sick Joo-hee, and he tells her that he wanted to come clean with Tae-soo, but when he tells him about it, he laughs and retorts not to let the necklace Joo-hee gave to him be seen by his father because he gave it to her as a gift. 

During school break they exchange letters, and one of the letters got returned back to Tae-soo’s address.  He is hurt big time by his father because of it.  Joo-hee’s father learns of her secret affair with Joon-ha and her plan to visit her grandfather’s house is cancelled.

When Tae-soo and Joon-ha get back to school, not being able to handle the emotional stress, Tae-soo pretends to be sick during the morning exercises and attempts to commit suicide.  (Before all the other bromance I saw, this has been my first favorite.)

When Joo-hee visits Tae-soo in the hospital, Joon-ha hung the necklace she gave him on the door knob and left.  She tries chasing him but he is nowhere to be found.

Back to the current time, The store owner chats with Ji-hye.  She narrates that she has a special umbrella, and it is special because Sang-min gave it to him. 

She tells Ji-hye that Sang-min left it the other day when the rain was pouring heavily.  Ji-hye realizes that it was the same day when she met him under the tree shed.  It dawns on her that he might have liked her too and ran happily under the rain to see him to confirm her suspicion.

She goes to see Sang-min to confirm if they have mutual feelings, and when she was about to walk away away, he stops her and admits his feelings to her.  He tells her that he likes her all along, and that when he asked her to pick up the present, he was hoping, she’ll get the one with the note.  (which we all know we got when Soo-gyung replaced hers)

During the stage play, Soo-gyung makes a fuss and childishly declares her love for him while they are on stage acting.  When the curtains close,  Sang-min reprimandes her and they end up slapping each other’s face. 

Ji-hye and Sang-min go for a date and she tells him about her parent’s love story.

Tae-soo and Joo-hee meet again during a civil rally they both participated.  When the war breaks in, Joo-hee learns from Tae-soo that Joon-ha will be signing in for the war, she goes to the heroes’ send off, at first he ignores her, but his heart melts and she gives him the necklace again.

But the war blinded Joon-ha, when he realizes that the necklace is lost, he goes back to the war zone and gets into an explosion.  He wasn’t able to return to Joo-hee’s side and later married another woman who patiently took care of him even if he was blind.

Years later, Joon-ha finally meets with Joo-hee.   He tells her that he was married already.  He is pretending all along that he is not blind, but Joo-hee learns what he is trying to hide when he talks about a piano doll which was earlier picked up by a little boy to play with it. 

She asks him how she looks and he replies differently.  He hurriedly makes an excuse to be out of the situation but he falls down on the floor. 

Both of them cries of how their love will be coming to an end.  He tells her he even practiced there in the restaurant last night to calculate his movements but it is still not perfect. He tries returning the necklace, but she puts it back on him and tells him that it will always belong to him.

Tae-soo and Joo-hee got married and had Ji-hye, but Tae-soo died after three years.  In the movie, Ji-hye has been seen doing that *pfffffttttt sigh, which she actually got from Tae-soo. 

After Ji-hye narrated her parents’ love tale, Sang-min cries and takes off the same necklace her mother gave to Joon-ha.  As it turned out, he is Joon-ha’s son and the love that their parents weren’t able to have, will be finally achieved in their time.

Joo-hee and Sang-min passes by the fireflies bridge where their parents love story started.  Sangmin catches a firefly and gives it to Ji-hye.  He kisses her and the love fate denied their parents are given once again for them to continue.  ^_^

“CHANCE is a GIFT for those who TRY”

COMMENT: 

When I first saw this movie, I was deeply moved I named all my pet dog…  Sang-min.  *giggles  Until now, my pet is named Sang-min.  It was a time-transcending love at it’s best.  This made me love Director Kwak Jae-young much more. 

Korean Love Drama List

Might as well blog these K-Dramas who stayed with me when I’m sad, flirty, happy and in love…  Here’s a taste of feel-good Korean Romantic dramas, you might want to watch with your friends, partners,  and soon to be “future” person… ^_^ = my personal favorite

♥ Flower Boy Ramyun Shop (2011) – The light, feel-good and fast-paced vibe sent me wanting for more, and ended up being satisfied as each episode ends.  Without trying that much the characters grew on me and Cha Chi Soo tied with Dokko Jin this year for my favorite male leads.  One of the best for 2011, it swept me off my feet the way Prince Charming could have never done it to me.  Charming and full of romantic bliss plus an adorable Second Lead as an extra perk, you’re a descendant of Lord Voldemort if you fail to appreciate it.

♥ The Princess’ Man (2011)A period drama taking the Romeo and Juliet romance background.  With one of the vilest villain my eyes has set upon on television.  Nonetheless, for a not so sageuk fan like me it stirred emotions and glue-like substance to make me stay in touch with it and finishing it till the end.  Marvelously done music and editing and with richly personified characters, this is a drama worth of a red carpet recognition.  (10/10/10)

♥Scent of a Woman (2011) I won’t forget Yeon-jae and Ji-wook’s love story.  Theirs is full of passion, trust and commitment to love each other whatever the future holds.  To date this is my favorite Korean drama ever and Yeon-jae and Ji-wook’s lovestory will always be special in my heart.  A love tale that has made me cried big time, but still made me feel hopeful after the tears.  Scent of a Woman is so life and love affirming that it affected me in a way that it made me get so serious with making my own bucket list.  If a newbie will ask me what I can recommend for a first time watcher, without hesitation, I will certainly recommend this drama.


♥You’ve Fallen for me aka Heartstrings (2011) I would recommend this to anyone suffering extreme heartache to trigger their ability to love again.  This is refreshingly sweet and the kind of drama you’ll watch and never get tired of it..  Oozing with sweet moments and a lead actor who knew what buttons to tickle and make you filled of heart flutters.  A little lapses and a sort of rushed ending but Lee Shin made up for all those little things it was missing.


♥Myungwol the Spy (2011)The sort-of-chaos that happened during the airing of this drama didn’t stop me from being immersed on the characters and the funny, exciting. full of twist, and undeniably pretty story. I became interested with Eric because of his character here, and when I check on his other dramas, the man sure can act and is really hot. Since rom-com dramas are everywhere in the kimchidrama land, it’s hard to generate a love story of a man and a woman that you haven’t seen, heard or read before, true there may have been love stories about spies, but the crisp and outlandish of Myungwol took me by surprise, and I just love surprises.

♥City Hunter (2011) – I’m very fond of the lead couple after watching them in their respective Kdramas and I’ve loved them even more in this drama.  Very charming display of their characters. A story of revenge and realizing that there’s more to life than revenge.  It’s hard not to fall for this drama because it hit all the elements you can ask for.  Superb directing, scriptwriting and acting.  I could not ask for more.  ^_^

♥Best Love aka The Greatest Love (2011) – I was so in love with this drama when it was airing.  As always Hong sisters got me with their lead couple bickering-turned-to-loving.  It’s full of heart flutters and bliss.  A story of a striving-to-remain-in-the-Korean-showbizness woman and a top-Korean-actor.  It’s one of my favorites for 2011.  It might make you skip work if you watch it during work days so better watch it on a weekend.  It’s also the first time I fell in love to the second male lead almost at the same level as the first male lead.   I don’t know what kind of water Hong sisters drink for them to come up with really good love stories.  Dokko Jin entered my lead man Hall of Fame list and Pil-joo joined Geol-ah to my “really-they-deserved-the-girl” list.  This is something you will dream of when you sleep and a very good reason for you to bargain with time to speed up so that the day of its airing can happen.  Certified on Abby’s must-watch list. Full of ahhs and ohhs, this is one of the best rom-com dramas I’ve watched so far.  Consider you’re forewarned.

♥Baby Faced Beauty (2011) – it’s light, refreshing and full of hope and dreams.  The character development will slowly and surely capture you.  A story of a 34-year old woman who has to set aside her dream of being a designer to take the role of the breadwinner in the family.  She was given an opportunity to have her dream but she has to pretend she’s 9 years younger.  It may be slow moving but you will end up loving the story.

♥49 Days (2011)I found the premise intriguing as it involves fantasy intervention… it slowly picked up in my system but having a soft spot for I’m-here-for-you-all-along-why-can’t-you-notice-me kind of love, it won me over.  Neat and prettily written story with twists and gasps, and will be on my top 3 dramas for 2011.

♥Dream High (2011)Breezy, glee-like-maybe-even-better, and lead actors that will put you most of the time in the land of “i want to be with you”… I say this is a dark horse this year and the musical bearing sets it apart from the rest of the dramas this season.

♥My Princess (2011) – one of my favorite behind-bickering-they-love-each-other couple.  The only Song Seong Heon drama that I like.  Very appealing and enticing.  Kim Tae Hee proved she can do the light and classy… a must watch, eye-candy and worth recommending.  ^_^

♥ Secret Garden (2010) – Hyun Bin + Ha Ji Won = I’m a happy camper?  The drama woke up my inability of falling in love again with a fictional character Kim Joo Won.  Engaging and strong performance by the characters, amusing screenplay and a story that will linger and can work as a coping pill to boredom or heartbreak.  I had high expectations about this team up, and they did not fail me.  Sunny characters, a twist worth of de Maupassant, and an endearing-classic-my-mom-doesn’t-like-you-but-i-love-you love story.  Fresh and scintillating… worthy of being absent for a day… My top pick for 2010. ^_^

♥Queen of Reversals (2010) – Sweet and sent me to self-realizing for a day… Actually this drama got me because of Park Shi Hoo, didn’t read reviews about it which I normally do.  I’m just hopelessly in love with him so I just want to stare at his face even if I will not watch the story itself.  *giggles But I love how this drama turned out to be and there are lot of relationship ideas that were pointed out so prettily.  Hwang Tae Hee will be one of my favorite heroines. 


♥ City Hall (2009)I’ve watched this drama after I came across Dokko Jin, and the politics-based love story blew me away.  The closing scene was shot so perfectly I promised myself I will vow to be a single if I won’t get that kind of romantic scene for a wedding proposal.

♥ You’re Beautiful (2009) – Jang Geun Seok still lingers in my dreams because of this drama. Hong sisters have done a superb job crafting this drama.  One of the few dramas who killed me with so much anticipation. Great chemistry between our favorite K-band characters. After Jang geun Seok swept me off my feet here I hunted all his Korean movies and watched it. Amazingly sweet and with lots of love vibes. Fast paced, beautifully crafted, sweet moments at it’s best. ^_^

♥ My GF is a Gumiho (2010)Being a self-confessed fan of the Hong sisters, I really enjoyed the supernatural-mythical-romantic elements in this drama.  One of the most remembered couple I guess in the Kdramaland. I was already a Sin Min Ah fan even before and her light and natural take on her character made me love her even more.  Beautiful, never a dull moment and will always be on anyone’s top favorites. Incorporating folklore and romance on its best… nicely done, great acting, witty screen play, and definitely on my top 3 K-Drama of 2010. ^_^

♥Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)Bromance incorporating a touch of traditional Korean history and way of living made the series riveting… such charming characters and will leave butterflies in your tummy.   The person you will love after your first love is like Sungkyunkwan for me.  I can’t help but love this drama each episode I was watching.  It was so addictive and full of love, and I was even surprised to have felt that way considering that it was a fusion-sageuk drama.  Having F4 like drama aired in the past few years, I say SKKS in its own right deserved so much applause.  Our F4 scholars made me so in love for a while and even now I still am in love with Geol Ah.  Definitely this has a spot on top Korean dramas on Abby-land.

♥ Personal Preference (2010) – Starred by my favorite actress and another one-sided love of mine, I could not ask for more. *giggles There were lots of bright tones here which I can say compensated to some dry moments and knots that were loosely conspicuous in a kdrama addict’s eye. The doting scenes melted me and made me craved for more so some scenes that are really unnecessary were left forgotten.  Your typical I’m-here-to-protect-you-love-story but with a twist.  ^_^

♥ Prosecutor Princess (2010) – Surprisingly sweet, comforting and a lead actor to drool and you can use as a calming pill.  More than safe storyline and will get you hooked when you least expected it.  Intricately woven narrative with great lines and superbly layered sequence build up plus effectively personified characters made me swoon over this drama. The “confrontation-kiss-scene” brought me to the edge of ever after and had me promised myself I will vow to be a single if it’s not Park Shi Hoo that I’m gonna marry with.. *giggles This is alluring and classic, a great watch and will live up to your expectation.

♥ Mischievous/Playful Kiss (2010) – I’ve seen how Japan and Taiwanese’ did their live adaptation so there’s always the comparison, I still prefer Taiwan’s version though, but this is quirky, lovely and you’ll have so many ways to love it.

♥ Iris (2009) – Since it was big budgeted and composed of top stars in Korea, it should definitely be worth watching… riveting, fast paced and top notch… But I’ve watched lots of spy dramas so it didn’t at all affect me.

♥ Boys Before Flowers (2009) – When it was aired in Korea, it was like the anticipation of Harry Potter book 7 for me, I’m so excited of Wednesdays because I get to watch it. Teen romance bliss at it’s best. ^_^

♥ Beethoven Virus (2009) – Great acting, scriptwriting and directing… It will slowly creep its way to you, and without you realizing it you are deeply immersed in each character’s life.

♥Coffee Prince (2007)Coffee Prince cemented my growing fondness towards Yoon Eun Hye.  *giggles  I liked her in Goong, and I like her even more here.  The music was so refreshing.  How the love grew between the lead characters was simply laid and yet so affecting and definitive.  If you are currently having a bitter heart because of a failed relationship it can surely disarm you and walk you through appreciating love again.  Addictive and will make you believe in love if you are unable to do so… ^_^

♥ Shining Inheritance (2010) –  I rarely watch mellow drama but there was something engaging in this modern-day-Cinderella-meets-spoiled-prince-romantic-interlude.  Seeing Han Hyo Joo in a different light was a surprise because I was not happy when I first saw her in Spring Waltz.  If not for the brilliant portrayal of the villain step mom here and how Eun-sung struggled and defeated the odds, the story will really not go beyond plain to interesting.  It took a while for me to fall in love, but I did eventually. A love story that builds up nicely.

♥ Love story in Harvard – Kim Rae Won is an actor that can easily sink in to any character he takes, and until now he still amuses me how he does that.  He’s so feel good and engaging to look at, and he effectively displayed that in LSIH.  There are a lot of heart-fluttering scenes which KRW nailed superbly.  I’m a sucker for finding-a-lost-love-and-realizing-the-love-is-still-there-drama so regardless of minimal inconsistencies and out of the context scenes, the fluidity and realistic appeal of the romantic elements were enough for me to put this on my favorite list.

♥ Goong (Princess Hours) – Growing love was really sweet in this drama and would make you remember your first love.   Great Music, great lines.  The build up of love is heart felt and lingering.  ^_^

♥ A Love To Kill – Classic directing and editing, decent conflict didn’t make the drama so dragging. Rain at his best.  ^_^

♥ Full House – Light and carefree. Cute couple fights and the famous 3 bear song made me smile a lot while watching it.  The sweet and simple storyline made tit a runaway hit.  ^_^

♥ Autumn Tale –  A very sad moving love story.  If serendipity has a twin evil brother, it was lurking the whole time in the story..  A few sweet moments, and a drama that is anti-ever-after.   The twist and simplicity of the story was very heartwarming. Heart-tugging storyline and will definitely linger in your heart.A lot of people cried over this KDrama. The twist and simplicity of the story was very heartwarming. Heart-tugging storyline and will definitely linger in your heart.

♥ What happened in Bali –  This is my favorite drama ending. There are only a few kdramas with decent endings, and if I’m strange because I love the ending of the ill-fated love triangle that this love interlude presented, I don’t care! *giggles At least they have provided a closure and a very strong closure for that matter.  Realistic and smokin’ hot.   Stirring and stimulating. Not a happily ever after drama, but definitely high grade scriptwriting and directing. Realistic and sensational. ^_^

♥ Love Marriage –   I was kinda hesitant when I first took my DVD copy of this drama to watch.  When I look at the lead couple it felt like they were not in sync physically.  There’s nothing spectacular about the story itself and is very laid back, and that’s maybe the reason why I fell for it.   Snappy scriptwriting, spirited lead actors and adorable love story.

♥ 1% of anything – A lovestory between a sweet middle school teacher and a hot tempered rich man. Fun, refreshing and one of the reason why Kang Dong Won is in my Korean Prince list.  ^_^

♥ Which Star did you come from – Poignant twist in the story can go either way depending on how you would want to take it. Neat storyline, but sometimes slow moving.  Light, eye-pleasing and another Kim Rae Won hit for me.

♥ Delightful Girl Chun Hyang – perky and bubbly… with lots of zest and romance…  Watched it after My Girl, and this sent me stalking Hong sisters from then on.

♥ Hanoi Bride – Lee Dong Wook is my favorite actor that’s why I watched it… quick, typical love story, somewhat great acting….

♥ Hello Miss – slow, sometimes entertaining, the only good thing here is Lee Dae Hee.

♥ La Dolce Vita – mature, splendid and realistic… marvelous acting and storyline…  If you have been induced by light rom-com dramas full of raining rose petals and couple bickering, this will be something new for your taste.

♥ My Lovely Samsoon –  I really think Hyun Bin was given by Heavenly Father to me, and until now I still have that illusion. *giggles He’s that actor whose gaze can make me so mesmerize and drool of what it feels like to be with him, in short I was meant for him, and it’s a one side love. Sam Soon is an addictive drama, subconsciously and in the real world. The writing and the weight of the story was justified by the endearing couple. It something which will nudge you of what you have experienced at some point sometime in your relationship.  Upbeat, mesmerizing, engaging and one of my favorites.  ^_^

♥ Fireworks – dreary storyline elevation… the only good thing to watch is the lead actor… tolerable and forgettable…

♥ Witch Yoo Hee – This was where I first noticed Jae Hee and his smooth smile. I have funny and sweet moments with this drama, but it’s just all that I guess. It was sort of more than an inch safe. Had it add more inflections and deleted unnnecessary scenes it would have been nicer.  Sometimes scattered and sometimes amusing.

♥ Stained Glass – typical, can be stirring at some point… sometimes spiritless… In between mediocre and above expectation I guess… Strikingly cute but not enough to make you remember it.

♥ Last Scandal – nice storyline, superb acting and chemistry between the lead actors, edifying and passionate.

♥ Save the Last Dance For MeA beautiful moving story of finding love and falling in love all over again to the same person.  It is my favorite Eugene drama.  At some point it was slow moving but it essentially helped the narrative of the drama.  This is like a love story taken out of your favorite harlequin novel but with a more pronounced lingering effect.  Deeply moving… fascinating characters… spell binding story…

best korean romantic films

mycollage

Initially this is just a page for Korean romantic films, but I’ve added some films that are not really romantic so that you can check whether to watch it or not.

I have included long recaps and short movie summaries for your reference, you can also see it all in my Korean Movie Recap Page.

I have rated it A(for Amazing), B+(for Breathtaking), B(for Beautiful), C+(for Cliche but Charming), C(for Crazy but Tolerable) D(for Disappointing), F(for Forget it).   I added additional tips for your reference.  My recent entries would be on a yearly basis from now on so the most recent dramas would be on the first entries.

I have included long recaps and short movie summaries for your perusal, you can also see it all in my Korean Movie Recap Page.

 

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 mycollage (4)

♥ My Sassy girl (2001) – If you haven’t watched this love pill, then you haven’t watched a really good rom-com movie.  Needless to say, this is one of my favorite love films.  A perfect date movie. A girl who has some past love issues was saved by a cheerful young man when she almost got caught by a train.  Fate played with them and the boy slowly became fond of her and decided that he would heal whatever that pain she has.  If I can marry someone like Gyeon-woo, I’ll be damn happy.  *wink

MY SASSY GIRL MOVIE RECAP

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy       GRADE:  A

 

♥ Il Mare (2000) – Hollywood made a remake of this movie (The Lake house), but still I prefer how Koreans did it. A man and a woman engaged in a romance as they exchanged love letters and leaving it inside a mail box.  Time element executed perfectly.  Addictive and deeply touching love movie. *wink

IL MARE MOVIE RECAP

GENRE:  Romance, Fantasy     GRADE:  B

♥ Daddy Long Legs (2005) Ha Ji Won played a role of a radio scriptwriter who was always dreaming of meeting the guy who helped her pay her tuition in college.  She accidentally bumped into emails that tells about a girl’s long time admiration over a guy.  She finally had a chance to meet her daddy-long-legs and there she learned that it was his younger brother who asked him to do all the things for her.  She also learned that it was her daddy-long -legs who wrote those emails, however he switched his gender when he was writing the emails. Daddy-long-legs lost all his memories including that of the girl’s because he was dying and he asked his brother to make the girl happy once he lost his memory.  You’ll never get tired of watching it. Amazingly sweet and mesmerizing.

DADDY LONG LEGS MOVIE RECAP

GENRE:  Romance     GRADE:  B

♥ My Little Bride (2004) – An ordinary high school girl who worries about grades and has a crush on her school’s baseball team ace was forced to marry a guy out of her grandfather’s wish. Her being young and the I-am-a-married-high-school-girl made this movie so charming.  Dandy, cheerful, playful, this film will let you remember that feeling you have on the first person you ever had a crush on. *wink

MY LITTLE BRIDE MOVIE RECAP

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  B+

♥ Daisy (2006) – I like how Jun Ji Hyun reinvents herself as an actress, that’s why I love all her films.  Set in Netherlands, Ji Hyun played the role of a street painter that will become the love interest of a secret service agent and a professional hitman.  Thrilling, lingering, and romantic elements were put in splendidly fine. *wink

DAISY MOVIE RECAP

GENRE:  Romance, Espionage, Melodrama     GRADE:  A

♥ Humming (2008) – This is good for those who are in currently a long-running relationship. The lead actor was quite tired of the relationship with her GF.  He was about to leave for Alaska to avoid her, but she met an accident and fell into a coma. He starts remembering the relationship he had with her while nursing her back to health. Will he discover the love he has never realized?  Passionate, a bit tear jerker with a twist that you may or may not like.

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  C+

♥ The Classic (2003) – A perfectly film captured unsurpassed romance.  This film will make you think about flowers, summer walks and pure love.   True to its title, it is an epic love movie that you can tell your grandchildren and be giddyish and at the same time nostalgic about it.

A young woman accidentally bumped on her mother’s love story and she got deeply engaged with it.  The parallelism from the characters of switching timelines was well portrayed and there was just so much love in the air.*wink

THE CLASSIC MOVIE RECAP

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  A

♥ My BF is Type B (2005) – Nice girl meets a temperamental guy. Go figure what it would be like.  Girls always fall for bad guys and it’s always been a mystery why. Lively, witty and mesmerizing… A sweet love that turns sweeter at every scene.  ^_^

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  B

♥ Heartbreak Library (2008) – Not really a romance movie for the lead actors.  It was more of feeling the pain of someone who lost his one great love.  An unconventional love movie that focus on the downside of being in love.  Strikingly fresh and very charming at the same time. ^_^

GENRE:  Melodrama, Romance     GRADE:  B

♥ My Wife Got Married (2008) – Full of mischief and kink, this is one sexy film crazily perceived and executed spontaneously making it gratifying to watch even with the slight carnal insinuations.  Son Ye Jin was a player who hates marriage until she met a guy who showed her that it’s possible to enjoy being committed.  Then she kinda like the idea being married so she asked her husband if she can have a marriage spree.  Her submissive husband agreed and off they engaged to a kind of marriage you won’t think would happen in real life.  Playful and mischievously flirty.

GENRE:  Romance     GRADE:  B+

♥ A Millionaire’s First Love (2006) – Hyun Bin was a millionaire’s heir but in order for him to have his fortune, his dead granny forced him to finish High School in the suburb. There he discovered the past that he erased in his mind, and the truth that money can’t save the life of the girl he loves.  Bewitchingly passionate and might leave some tears in your eyes. 

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  B+

♥ Windstruck (2004) – They said it was a sort of like the prequel to My Sassy Girl, but I say otherwise.  It is a sad film about a woman who was given help to move on by the man she loved even when he is already in the after life.  Kwak Jae Young’s open-ended fantasy element made the movie an inspiring spectacle even with the movie’s grieving premise.   ^_^

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  B+

♥ My Tutor Friend 1 (2003) – A lazy school boy meets the tutor he would never dream to have. The Sweet bickerings and a proof that people can accidentally be in love is what made this sweet flick captivating to watch.

 GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  C+

my_tutor_friend1

♥ My Tutor Friend 2 (2006) – A touching story of two completely different students from two completely different worlds who fell in love with each other.  Donning the original “tutor friend” plot, An exchanged student from Japan went to Seoul and stayed in a guest house where she met her Hangeul Class tutor and eventually fell in love with him.  A lot of jinks and some slapstick comedy from the supporting cast here and there.  Even with the cliches it was still charming.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  B

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♥ 100 Days with Mr. Arrogant (2004) – After dumping her boyfriend just before their 100 day anniversary, Ha Young met a college guy when she accidentally kicked a can that hit him in the face and caused him to scratch his pricey Lexus car. He demanded she paid him $3000 on the spot and wrote up an “Enslavement Agreement” for her in order to pay for the damage to his car.   She got into a nightmarish slave life for 100 days, cleaning his house, running his errands, doing his homework and cleaning his car. Ooops.. I almost told the whole story so I have to halt it… Upbeat, enchanting and one of my favorites.

100 DAYS WITH MR. ARROGANT

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  B+

♥ He was Cool (2004) – A cheerful high school student clumsily left a message on the school website in response to the school bully’s post. She was then stalked by the school bully since then. and while trying to evade him she accidentally kissed him after she jumped in the school’s back wall.  It was a classic are-we-in-love-mutually love game that bounce gorgeously when the couple realized that they were meant to be together.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  B+

♥ Romance of their own/A Wolf’s temptation (2004)–  Two hot guys fought for a sweet naive, girl.  (I swear you would want to trade places with the girl on this movie.)  It’s your proverbial teenage sweet and angsty torn between two lovers romance with a heartbreaking twist that will make  you cry.  The story really took time to explain fully the narrative and even with a trite conflict, it was concluded neatly in the end.  Tender, passionate and love-affirming, that romance movie you need along with a blanket and hot chocolate drink on a cold rainy day. 

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  B+

♥ My Girl and I (2005) – A heartwarming story about true love and happiness.  A guy returned to his hometown after ten years to attend a reunion with his high school friends.  In his return, he also remembered the sad story of his one great first love.  Nostalgic and will crawl in your emotions as it triggers those furtive bittersweet recollections we had with our own failed first love.

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  B

♥ Unstoppable Marriage (2007) – Sweet and easy-going girl who grew up in a normal middle-class household with a strict and traditional father met willful plastic surgeon who was born into a wealthy family, and has the ego to match his income. Their two worlds collided quite literally when they met through a paragliding accident. It’s a classic case of opposites attract as they fight, falter, and fall in love, but their incompatible families are determined to break them apart.  

GENRE:  Romance, Family     GRADE:  C+

♥ Seducing Mr. Perfect (2006) – The lead girl was a believer in true love and has always been very dedicated to her current boyfriend.  However, men always break up with her. Distracted by the latest break-up, she bumped into a car and a man stepped out of it who turned out to be her new boss.  He has very clear ideas about a relationship and love.  He believed that relationship a game of power and she sought advice from him, as she doesn’t want to get dumped again.  But the lessons turned to adorations and they had to survive their preconceived love notions and reluctance.

GENRE:  Romance     GRADE:  C+

♥ Jenny and Juno (2005) – The plot centered on the relationship of a 15-year-old couple, Jenny and Juno who met in school, fell in love and ended up in a teenage pregnancy.  When Jenny discovered that she was pregnant, she and Juno decided against having an abortion, and opted for parenthood instead.  They tried to conceal the pregnancy from their families for as long as possible, but the truth was revealed eventually, and their parents did not approve of it initially.  But their love to the unborn child made them stronger even with the weight of the problem they had to tackle at their very young age.  This is a nice educational film for high school students to remind them of the harsh realities when you got knocked up at a young age.

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  B+

♥ Speedy Scandal (2008) – This upbeat delight is an amazing movie treat for a family or friendly getaway.  As a self-confessed Cha Tae Hyun fan, the signature amusing humor in most of his films kicked wild and sassy all through the ending easing a work week stress if you will watch it. 

Ham Hyun Soo works as a local radio celebrity and is a playboy on the side.  His world was changed upside down when a young girl approached him and claimed to be her long lost daughter along with her son.  An instant-father-and-a-young-grandfather, this family made the movie time so worthwhile as they worked on the new family they were put into while adjusting to the invasion of their personal spaces in the most adorable way.

To protect his public image and maintain his womanizing around, Hyun Soo hid his new family’s identity, but having gotten his stubbornness, her daughter Jae In even joined his radio show for indie singers raking in a great following from the audience.  Eventually the awkwardness subsided, and Hyun Soo realized how his daughter and grandson mattered dearly in his life.

Even when I’m writing these thoughts now, I can’t help but smile remembering the quirky family set up in this flick.  Go grab some popcorn and chips and wallow on the cuteness of this family movie. *wink

GENRE:  Family, Romance     GRADE:  A

♥ She’s On Duty (2005) – Gong Yoo and Kim Sun Ah were secret agents who played High Schoolers for their police. Perky, funny and never a dull moment  with the lead characters.  Although romance was slightly hinted because of the crime catching premise, it was a cheery and balanced flick of action and romance.  ^_^

GENRE:  Romance, Light Espionage     GRADE:  C+

♥ My Girlfriend is An Agent (2007) – Kim Ha Neul always brings something new from her sleeves.  Unaware of their secret agent identities, a couple got entangled to stop an organized crime group in releasing a bio-chemical weapon.  This was the movie where marked Kang Ji Hwan oppa to hang out with me some time.  With trust issues and career responsibilities between them, the couple journeyed to how far can their love sustain their attachment.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy, Light Action     GRADE:  C+

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♥ Someone Special (2004) – A really feel good rom-com perfect for your weekend movie binge. Extraordinarily sweet and appealing.

SOMEONE SPECIAL MOVIE RECAP

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  A

SOMEONE SPECIAL MOVIE RECAP

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♥ Baby and I (2008) – Jang Geun Suk played the role of a young High School student from a well-off family who loves to brawl and a typical mischief maker.  His easy-go-lucky life will stop when he got a surprise basket of a baby with a note suggesting that he’s the father.  From there he started his young father adventure trying to give the best life he can provide for his instant son.

GENRE:  Drama, Light Comedy, Family, Youth     GRADE:  C+

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♥ Doremifasolasido (2008) – An engaging, nostalgic and heart-tugging teen movie about a girl who fell in love with the guy who was initially mean to her. They slowly began to fall in love, but a person from the girl’s past who was also connected to her boyfriend will force them to choose between love and friendship. ^_^

GENRE:  Romance, Friendship, Musical     GRADE:  B

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♥ Antique Bakery (2008) – The lively characters sprawled a stimulating run.  You’ll love how this movie will hook you without you realizing it.  Joo Ji Hoon played the role of a bakery owner who was once abducted when he was a child and was set to capture his abductor through his baking skills. The cheery interaction of the cast and their hot selves cushioned the thrilling conflict in this sweet and suspense flick that is worth missing your weekend sleep binge.

GENRE:   Friendship, Thriller     GRADE:  B

♥ A Moment To Remember (2004) – A couple striving to keep up their relationship against the struggle with the wife’s Alzheimer’s disease.  It is a love story of a devoted husband who stayed with her wife even when she was slowly forgetting that he happened in her life. Poignant, deeply moving, and I cried buckets of tears here.

A MOMENT TO REMEMBER MOVIE RECAP

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  A

♥ The Beast and the Beauty (2005) – Enticing and pleasing, with a lead actor you can’t help but be fond of.  A not so handsome guy created a different look of him to her blind gf, when the girl was able to see again, he struggled to fight for his one true love.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  C+

♥ Babo (2008) – Classic Cha Tae Hyun, he doesn’t fail to amuse me.  Ha Ji Won was at her usual best.  A story of a mentally challenged man whose optimism in life will move you to tears. Full of love and so heartwarming, prepare some tissue if you will embark on it. *wink

GENRE:  Melodrama, Family      GRADE:   B

♥ Almost Love (2006) – A typical love story of two people who overlooked how they felt toward each other because of the fear that it may just complicate their friendship.  The bubbly couple will make you laugh with their constant bickerings.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  C+

♥ Perfect Couple (2007) – I like Lee Dong Wook, that’s why I watched all his projects.  It’s a love story set behind police curtains and an eccentric phobia.  Although messy, the characters were fun so I just convinced myself I have to bear with it.  There were a lot of dragging points so prepare to struggle finishing  the story.

GENRE:  Romance, Light Action     GRADE:   C

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♥ Changing Partners (2007) –  A quadrangle romance of misplaced love.  Sexy and seductive but lacking in substance and story.

GENRE:  Romance (w/ scenes not for minors)  GRADE:  C

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♥ Too Beautiful To Lie (2004) This is one of my Kim Ha Neul’s favorite portrayals.  Here she played the role of a woman with an excellent deceiving ability who was imprisoned but was able to get a parole to attend to her sister’s wedding. 

Cupid played with her heart and she met a country bumpkin with whom she settled to a false relationship arrangement.  Comic cast and fetching love built up, this is one buoyant story to feed your romcom movie night.  ^_^

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy, Family     GRADE:  B


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♥ Marrying a School Girl (2004) – The weird storyline put me on a mind-boggling realization if I enjoyed it or not, but I can remember the story so at least, the movie made an impact.  A sporadic love tale fused with impossible supernatural seasoning premise that didn’t help propel the story at all.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy, Fantasy      GRADE:   D

♥ Ride Away (2008) –  Slow moving in the beginning but I was affected in the end.  A relationship surrounded by dreams, being hopeful, and always not failing to trust in love and how it can lead you to happily live.  

GENRE:  Melodrama, Romance     GRADE:  C

♥ My Mighty Princess (2008) Fun, exciting and entertaining.   A quirky martial-arts-with-supernatural-spike-love-story that will capture you in so many ways.

GENRE:  Fantasy, Light Action, Romance     GRADE:  C+

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♥ The Art of Seduction (2005) – Amusing, playful, and refreshing. A mischievous tale of a womanizer and a seductress who got eventually a dose of their own medicines.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy      GRADE:  C+

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♥ Frozen Flower (2008) – I didn’t know what it was before I watched it I promise, but because I’m midway on the movie when I realized that the explicit scenes were pouring, I just ended up finishing and prayed for my unexpected first dose of erotic period film. Nevertheless, less the sex scenes, if you’ll look at the love story itself, it was realistic and saddening.  The King’s royal guard and lover was forced to sleep with the Queen to bear an heir to the throne and protect the Goryeo empire.  The royal guard’s heart was swayed leading to an illicit consensual affair with the Queen.  This period film is thought-provoking and broke my heart after the agonizing betrayal culmination.

GENRE:  Historical, Romance, R18     GRADE:   B

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♥ Lover’s Concerto (2002) – Stellar acting and beautifully written script.  Tied with friendship, secret adoration and almost love, this is a little charmer that will fill you up with rose petals.  Two sickly bff’s fell in love with the same guy.  This is a touching tale of friendship and finding love and losing it in the end and of a fated love but an unfortunate chance to claim it. *wink

GENRE:  Friendship, Romance     GRADE:  A

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♥ Love so Divine (2004) – This is my favorite Kwon Sang Wo movie.  A seminarian meets a charming girl who will let him choose between God and love.  It’s like the feeling of eating your comfort food after beng stranded in a heavy traffic.  ^_^

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  C+

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♥ Hello Schoolgirl (2008) – Reminiscent of a May-December love affair, this arresting love tale is filled with smiles and heart flutters.  

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  C+

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♥ The Naked Kitchen (2009) – A dangerous love triangle filled with excitement, addictive attachment and stolen bliss.  The Naked Kitchen presents a married woman confronted with staying faithful to her husband or daring to stir up her monotonous life with a dangerous flame.

GENRE:  Romance (w/ light adult scenes)     GRADE:  C+

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♥ 2 Faces of my girlfriend (2007) – Falling in love with a person with an on-off character, this stunningly funny movie was nicely done and will let you throw laugh fits because of the dorky lead man who finally got the chance of his dream girl only to find out that there is another girl inside her.  

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  B

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♥ Love Impossible aka Love of North and South (2003) – A love story blossomed between a North and South Korean… will it work out?  It’s not really a movie that will leave an impression, but it’s not boring either.  Take it because it was one of Jo In Sung oppa’s earliest films but don’t expect a lot.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy, Family     GRADE:  C+

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Romantic Island  (2008) – I watched it because I got curious that it was shot in my country.  But there’s nothing much to watch and you will forget it easily overtime.  

GENRE:  Romance     GRADE:  D

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♥ White Valentine (1999) I almost got engrossed with it, but when it ended I was talking to the dvd player to tell me if it was really the end. I was left there between the limbo, absorbing what happened and convincing myself that if there was any consolation it was a Jun Ji Hyun movie.

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama      GRADE:  D

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♥ Madeleine (2002) – The prudent lets-date storyline between old friends who met again on the age where they are supposed to be dating was  strangely touching as the couple played their characters so well.  Nothing fancy just pure display of how twenties date kind of movie.

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  B

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♥ Spy Girl (2004) – Predictable, light, sometimes amusing, sometimes annoying.  If not for Gong Yoo, I would have not stayed afloat.  A North Korean spy got involved in a romance she can’t afford to have.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy, Light Action     GRADE:  C+

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♥ Doremifasolasido – a nice teen movie. a pure, heart tugging teen romance film.

♥ 200 Pounds Beauty (2006) – Brave, sunny and worth watching with your friends.  A voice talent who has weight problems worked hard to emerge sexy and fit.  She became prettier and avenged her broken heart. This hell-hath-no-fury-when-a-used-to-be-fat-girl-turned-sexy-now chick flick is an ecouraging film for women trying to cope up with their self esteem.  Flashes of romance here and there, the love fulfilment was sweetly achieved even with the intentional revenge. ^_^

GENRE:  Romance     GRADE: B+

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♥Insadong Scandal (2009) – It explored the world of Korean art forgery and treachery.  Strong at parading well portrayed characters as Kim Rae Won was at his usual best.

GENRE:  Drama      GRADE: B

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26 Years Diary (2006) – Sad and moving with ear-pleasing music… Not extravagant but worth your time… This is a true story.  ^_^

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  B

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Virgin Snow (2007)Nice depiction of the feeling of falling in love for the first time.   Great chemistry between the lead couple.  A Korean boy fell for a Japanese girl regardless of their language barrier.  The blossoming love was cut short though because of some misunderstandings.  They met again and proved that when love is true it will find its way no matter what.

GENRE:  Romance     GRADE:  C+

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..ing (2003) –  A young woman secluded herself to her own world because of her frail body and deformed hand, but she met a photographer  who helped her step outside of her protective bubble.  Tear-jerker, but worth your time… simply narratec, but not dragging… ^_^

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  B

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♥ Crazy First Love (2003) Endearing, nostalgic, and a classic I’ll-be-what-you-want-me-to-be-to-prove-how-much-I-love-you love story.  It will remind us of the foolishness we all did when we first fell in love.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  B

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Now and Forever (2006)Trite and at times romantic, sweet but not falling apart.  A rich young man who can easily lure girls with his smooth ways fell in love for the first time with a cheerful but dying woman.  Yes sir, another sad romantic movie.  ^_^

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE: B

 

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Finding Mr. Destiny (2010)Worth your rest day if you are going to watch it.  It gives that first-love-why-can’t-i-forget-you and maybe-it’s-time-to-move-on vibe. “The first love doesn’t necessarily mean the first person.”  ^_^

GENRE:  Romance     GRADE:   C+

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♥ Summer Whispers (2007) – It won’t linger, feel good when you are watching it, but you’ll forget it when you sleep… Your typical love-is-just-beside-you-all-along movie.

GENRE:  Romance     GRADE: C

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♥ The Warrior’s Way (2010)Okay I’m guilty that I watched it because Jang Dong Gun is hot and because the producers were those who produced LOTR, but it didn’t give me the beat nor the depth.  The fight scenes were okay, but at the end of it, I should have picked a different movie to burn my film time.

GENRE:  Action/Samurai     GRADE:  D

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♥ Surprise Party (2002) Funny with a cute twist.  It will take a few minutes to hook you but will catch you surely.  When her father disapproved of her boyfriend who was set to arrive in the country, Mir Yung asked her bestfriend Ha Young to delay her boyfriend’s visit.  Ha Young went to comic spectacles to buy time for her bestfriend, but ended up feeling confused on realizing that she was liking her bestfriend’s boyfriend.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy, Friendship     GRADE:  C+


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♥ Grand Prix (2010) – I watched it because of Kim Tae Hee, but I should have not.  Well it gave me a glimpse of the horse-racing world, but still I didn’t like how they wove the story.  It’s just all over and plain and nothing much to ponder about.

GENRE:  Drama, Sports     GRADE:   F

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♥I’m a Cyborg but that’s okay (2006) How do I put what I felt for this eccentric little munchkin?  Well for a change it’s something new for me to have watched a unique love story of intellectually challenged couple, nonetheless, it crept in my heart slowly and surely.

GENRE:  Romance  GRADE:  B

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♥ S-Diary (2004) I was not familiar with Kim Sun Ah yet when I first watched this movie.  I re-watched it, and I guess at my age right now, I can sort of relate.  Contemplative, sassy and engaging… a charmer that will poke your heart if you are single at this moment and wanting to break free from it.

GENRE:  Romance     GRADE:  C+

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♥ The Recipe (2010)It was a pretty and engaging story telling.  Splendid and impressive shifting of the storyline and I was also intrigued by how that stew tasted after the movie.  

GENRE:  Drama, Romance     GRADE:  B

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♥ Petty Romance (2010) – I like Lee Seon Kyun, but I was really stoic the whole time I was watching this flick.  I just felt that the romantic elements were not properly placed.  There were some playful memories but you see the premise was so catchy, and they failed unfortunately to nail it.  There was just a nudge missing.  It was a nice storyline of a man and a woman who made an agreement to help each other out in competing for an adult manhwa contest.  They didn’t hit it well initially but they got entangled to their mutual growing fondness eventually.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  D

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♥ Love Phobia (2006) – So I finally got the chance to watch this movie without interruptions.  Who wouldn’t fall for this pretty?  I was so fond of the lead couples when they were children and loved them even more when they grew up.  So sweet and worth remembering.  Watched it with my mom, and she loved it.  It’s a  charmingly woven love story, and although it will make you cry in the end, I’m pretty sure it will be one of those love movies you will highly recommend.  *wink

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  B+

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Dasepo Naughty Girls (2006) – I watched it because of Kim Ok Bin. It’s a novelty because it’s the first K-musical movie I saw, I don’t know if there are any other out there produced though.  Fresh, fun and flirty but it did not leave an after-effect to me.

GENRE:  Musical, School, Romance     GRADE:  C

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♥ Love me Not (2006) – Tamper the concept of love for a never-been-into-romance-blind-heiress, and feel the pain even more after doing that.  I like that it presented the dark facet of love for a change because we normally get the ever-after kind.  It depicted misplaced trust and love. 

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  B

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♥ Closer to Heaven (2009) Closer to Heaven was a very painful and yet love-affirming romance between a dying man who wants to live, and a woman who makes a living when a person dies.  Ji-soo was twice divorced because of her job as a she-undertaker, the love that was deprived of her, she fully realized when she met Jong-woo who will eventually die because of Lou Gehrig’s disease. This was a lovestory that will make you realize how blessed you are in a relationship because there are those who really want to love one another all the days of their lives but they have to battle death for it.

A perfectly portrayed and a moving story of understanding the pain that comes when loving someone and loving someone when you are in pain.  With solid acting from Kim Myung Min and Ha Ji Won, this will touch your heart and will make you cry. Quintessential yet saddening, poignant and affecting… ^_^

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama      GRADE:  B

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♥ Maundy Thursday (2006) – A brave and agonizingly sweet love film in a “suppressed setting”.  It is a romance of a convicted murderer with an emotionally disturbed woman at a wrong place and time with the right intentions and love.  How love affirming this can be? ^_^

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  B

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♥ Cyrano Dating Agency (2010) –  I really love the casting for this movie, but this is really mediocre, and heaven knows I tried to connect with it but it really failed to engage me.  The only thing I will remember would be the bubble gum scenes, but as a whole it was not plain but it’s far from amazing.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  C

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The Man From Nowhere “ajussi” (2010) So I finally sat down to Korea’s top grossing film of 2010, and it blew me away.  This was a different kind of love you will see, the kind of love that sprang from almost losing hope that you can find love again.  Won Bin and the girl’s performance will stir up something inside you.  I’m very picky when it comes to action films, and I was proven wrong when I took time to munch this high octane beauty.  Excuse me city hunter, I think I equally like you and ajusshi.  *giggles *wink

GENRE:  Action, Drama     GRADE:  A

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♥ Jeonwoochi (2009)–  Superb visual effects, a nice watch with your little nieces or nephew, action-packed in a Jumper-meets-inception-meets Harry Potter kind of way. Undeniably worth killing your time…

GENRE:  Fantasy, Adventure, Family     GRADE:  B+

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Heaven’s Postman (Postman to Heaven) 2009 A very pretty and serene love story of moving on from the pain of a broken heart.  This was a breather from the recent k-movies I got a copy of and I tried to watch.  It has a very simple storytelling but with completeness that will touch the side of your heart that was once broken, and that was able to bounce again because of not giving up to the idea of finding love.  It’s one of my favorites from the movies of 2009. 

HEAVEN’S POSTMAN MOVIE RECAP

GENRE:  Romance, Fantasy     GRADE:  B+

 

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♥ White Night (2009) – Thrilling and will get you interested and involved at every scene, although I have slight issues with the pacing.  Your multi-tasking skills will come in handy because shifting time elements were happening throughout the story.  You will learn how dark and twisted a person can be all because of an emotional trauma and love. 

Yo-han and Mi-ho/Lee Jia were victims of a dark past.  When Yo-han’s father was murdered, it left them intertwined with police investigations, murders, deceit and a hope of brighter future for them. 

I watched it after watching Criminal Minds so I have to infuse myself with true love vibes after and got my Sungkyunkwan Scandal CD. 

A film realizing how sad you can be by being consumed over a sin you have to do at that right moment but will not justify the evil act you took.  

GENRE:  Drama, Thriller     GRADE:  B

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♥ The Day Before (2009) – I was watching it for 20 minutes and I still didn’t know what was happening… The subtitles aren’t doing any cartwheel act so I was wondering if it will lead me somewhere. There was a glimmer of magic tricks, sex and infidelity… then someone killed someone, someone surrendered, someone got imprisoned, someone got sick, and someone escaped prison.  Go figure!  Then a faint ray of light emerged, and the story suddenly happened, after another 10 minutes it became pitch black.  I have a soft spot for Kim Nam Gil, but the movie was really dull, everywhere and boring.  It has such a feeble storyline and an exhausting acting but still not sufficient enough for you to hate it.

It is a love story between a fugitive and a woman with a haunting past who started having a connection amidst their emotional baggage and damaged existence.

GENRE:  Romance, Drama     GRADE:  F

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♥ Secret Love (2010) – I’m beginning to declare this month as “infidelity month” *giggles as I have been watching a lot of love triangle even square love movies.  After coming out of “The Day Before” I took this movie and I was thinking what I’ve done wrong lately that’s why life is giving me confusing Korean movie pills.

But it was short-lived like 10 minutes to be exact because the story picked up its bearing, and with the hot actor I was left uncomplaining and drooling. 

A woman has to deal with the hardship of taking care of his husband who was in vegetative state.  Her husband’s brother helped her coping up, and eventually they engaged in an affair.  But her husband woke up and the three got entangled to the “who-deserved-to-be-together-game”.

Bold, brave and beautiful.  

GENRE:  Romance (w/ adult scenes)   GRADE:   B

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♥ Maybe aka Rabbit and Lizard (2010) – Slow paced, not so good and you don’t know what’s really going on.  If not for Jang Hyuk I wouldn’t have finished it.  The right intention to capture the watcher was there, but the execution was lost somewhere.  I can’t remember any lingering scene.   The acting was there but the story wasn’t.  Didn’t like it and it’s disappointing.  *pout

A man with a rare heart condition met a woman who was searching for her past and they sort of fall in love. 

GENRE:  Drama      GRADE:  D

 

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April  Snow (2005) – I’ll make this simple but firm… the film was sad, slow-paced and the proverbial melodrama, but it did not make me cry.  The premise of the story should make your mind and heart stir undeniable pain if it happens to you, but I remained poker hearted, and I even watched it in the dead of the night.  It lacked emotion it should have.

A man and a woman met in a hospital and discovered that their spouses were together in a car accident.  They soon learned that their spouses were having an illicit affair but they still decided to take care of them.  They soon got entangled in a relationship while they were nursing the angst and disappointment they felt after realizing their spouses’ betrayals.  It was a relationship that will never work out given the circumstances of what brought them closer together but they gamble on it anyway.

The man’s wife woke up but the woman’s husband died.  In the end the woman, opted to leave and start a new life, as the man ended his marriage and commence a new life too.

The conclusion was not a happy ending, but I like how it ended.  Although their love for each other can suffice for them to choose to be together, if that love was never good enough for them to begin with, settling to keep that love close in their hearts while giving up on it was an act of really knowing how to love.

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  C

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♥ Meet the In-laws aka Clash of the Families (2011) – A usual rom-com but not enough for me to adore it and place it before my hall-of-famers.  I love the dorky male lead, he’s what make the movie cute I think.  Nevertheless, it is sweet, light and at times hilarious.

The main conflict lies from modern-day Romeo&Juliet whose families came from the opposing regions thus their romance will not be permissible.  The man tried to win the girl’s family’s approval more so of her dad who despises anything with Seoul molecular content. They will struggle to fight for their eventual marriage amidst their opposing families.

Worth your afternoon break, but I doubt if it will be listed as one of your favorites.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  B


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♥ Oh My God 2 (2009) – It is your typical rom-com drama with a dying girl conflict. Surprisingly even if there’s nothing spectacular, I found it sweet maybe because the death conflict was revealed at the latter part of the film. 

The conflict was placed safe, but the quirky and defined characters filled up everything that’s missing in the story. I would have wanted a happy ending for them but I took how the movie parted with me.  It gave me a good while it last kind of feel.  I was taken by the guy’s own way of trying to make lady happy, and d taxi convertible scene will be what I will remember most about the movie.
Im Jung-hwan was a taxi company heir whose expertise is to splurge money on branded items.  Her mother tried teaching him a lesson so he ended up driving one if their taxis.  When Eun-ji forced him to take her somewhere, it led to a trip orchestrated by Eun-ji’s liking after he lost her ring he forced to take from her when she cant pay for the taxi fare.

Eun-ji got him doing things he didn’t normally engage with as they slowly connected to each other.  But Eun-ji was dying so she snapped back to reality and accepted that the miracle she’s waiting was not another chance of her living again, but the precious memories with Jung-hwan in her last days.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy, Melodrama     GRADE:  B

 

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♥ You’re My Pet (2011) – This is my opening recap spectaclefor 2012 and it sure pulled out some effort considering I watched, captured screen and do the recap via online streaming.  Full of wacky and endearing moments, I will give up all my wealth if they will auction a pet like that in EBAY.

It’s a sort of a plain love film, you know where the story is heading but it was not complicated that’s why you will stay with it anyway.  It was light, adorable and super-ish.  Jang Geun Seok made my heart turn 360 degrees because of his cuteness and sassyness… Now that I think of, it gives you the my-sassy-girl-ish vibe but the Gyeon-woo counterpart was mischievous and complaining, but not in a bad kind of way.

You want to see your favorite actors not so much acting sometimes and this is what this movie brought I guess.  It was candid and captivating.  Not bad for my opening salvo this year.  ^_^

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:   C+

YOU’RE MY PET MOVIE RECAP

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♥ Shotgun Love (2011) – Mr. Nice Guy, Sang yeol, has been loving pretty woman, So-yeon, from his work place.  They posed as a couple for a Food Advertisement TV program.   So-yeon is in a relationship with the PD of the show, and when he got her pregnant, she refused to give up the child.  They broke up and one night, she asked Sang-yeol to see her.  She left him drunk afterwards, but he caught up on her when he saw her standing sadly in the side walk facing Han river.  The next day he woke up naked in a motel room and thought that something happened between them.

So-yeon’s friend suggested to use Sang-yeol’s impression that they slept together, thus they ended up in an instant marriage of wackiness, lightning chicken, perky homosexuals, malfunctioning toilet and love realizations. 

But the fun was cut off when the vile ex-lover of So-yeon revealed to Sang-yeol the truth about her pregnancy, and realizing he was made a fool he parted ways with So-yeon.

The main lead was such an adorable dork here, he pulled out the character so well, and although nothing much is happening in the story and you know right away where it will be heading, it was still a fun watch and entertaining.  A comic relief considering its befitting plot, nevertheless it was still amusing and entrancing.

GENRE:  Romance, Comedy     GRADE:  C+

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♥ A Season of Good Rain (2009) – Yes of course Jung Woo-sung was the basis why I watched it, and as always he sent me to dreamy land, but my presence of mind snapped me back to reality.  It was a beautiful love story, the solid portrayal was there, but the connection of the lead couple was missing. 

Dong-ha and May met when they were studying abroad, when he was on a business trip in May’s hometown, he met her and reminisced the good old days.  The love they hid and kept for one another was resurrected, but they are both restricted by their personal emotions.

It was not a bad love movie but it was part-boring-quarter-nothing-much-happening-kind-of-film.  The love story happened only in like two or three days but how it slowly moved felt years for me. 

GENRE:  Romance     GRADE:  D

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♥ Sunflower (2006) – I was browsing on my Korean movie DVD’s when I saw this movie, it was Kim Rae Won oppa starring in the role that’s why I got it, but I never had a chance to see it because I thought it was an action film, well sort of..

It was a deeply immersing story of a man struggling to start a new life after being imprisoned for a while.  His love for the family who embraced and accepted him despite of his dark past was overwhelming but the past he is so wanting to depart from kept coming back and no matter how he tried to keep his ground and not go back to his vile ways, he was challenged unfairly by fate.

I cried buckets of tears here and I really liked how the director orchestrated the story from the small sweet details and the heavy scenes.  The cast ensembles deserved applause, I don’t normally go for tear-jerker-slice-of-life but I was so drawn in Tae-sik’s life.

GENRE:  Drama, Light Action     GRADE:  A

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My Scary Girl (2006) Park Yong-woo is a 30-year old man who has yet to experience first love, and when he did the bliss, the kiss, the romance and a secret were all there.

I loved how Choi Kang-hee acted her role in Protect the Boss, but with the two movies of her that I saw, I was not won by her portrayals, but I do like the geeky lead man here, well anyone geek is good for me you see.

The conflict for me was just crazy – your first love is a sweet murderer… I don’t know, have they brought out how their love will be stronger despite their personal indifferences, it would have been different I think. 

So I don’t like this movie, no matter how adorable Yong-woo was.  Miyane.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy    GRADE:  D

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The Wedding Dress a touching movie of love between a mother and the daughter. Well a mother’s love has always been there when the first sign of life happened to us, and sometimes we tend to forget it and get annoyed over things mothers normally do to us because it’s their nature.

This was a deeply moving story and will make you hug your mom after, I did (omma was beside me when I was watching it), I don’t know if you will, I hope you will.

This is quite a weep fest as you can feel the mother-daughter connection of the lead characters.  This is best served if you’ll watch it with your mom.

GENRE:  Melodrama, Family     GRADE:  C+

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Come Rain, Come Shine (2011) – The break up theme, the sad tone and the slow pacing are evident throughout the story.  It is such an emotion driven film that if the actors won’t portray their ends well, you won’t feel it, but they did a great job touching my tear nerves.

When you have to share your last day with someone you used to love, and probably someone you still love, how would you react on it?  How would you throw the memories and accept the fact that the love was not really meant to go on?  These questions sum up what this painfully break up movie was about.

COME RAIN, COME SHINE QUICK RECAP

GENRE:  Romance     GRADE:  B

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♥ Champ (2011) – This is my second horse-racing-themed movie, and I kept my fingers crossed that I will not be disappointed.  It started slowly but it sort of won me over at the end.  I have loved Cha Tae Hyun in all his movies, and this might not have been a very strong performance for him compared to his previous works, but I liked it nonetheless.

A famous horse jockey hit a slump after he met an accident and lost his wife.  He found his way again when he met a sort of hard to rein horse.  Their connection brought him back to the horse racing world and gave another hope in his life, but it was interrupted when he became blind.

There were a few points in the movie that were nailed perfectly.  The water scene when the horse jockey and the horse first created their connection was full of warmth.  The competition scenes were shot splendidly, and the tear-jerker scenes of the daughter deserved a decent applause.

So aside from the heavy and well portrayed scenes, the story itself is a typical human interest movie.  The strength of the movie came from the characters, but nothing spectacular or lingering.  It will touch your heart, make you cry and make you laugh, but you will easily forget it when you watch another movie.  It felt like a sticky sweet kiss from your favorite niece or nephew, but not the kind of kiss where you would want something more.

GENRE:  Family, Sports, Comedy     GRADE:  C+

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Hello Ghost (2010) – Tae Hyun oppa once again showed his exceptional acting ability on this comical-sixth-sense movie.  His shifting from different characters is one of the reasons why he’s one of my favorite actors.  I was close to going to Hogwarts Forbidden Forest to attempt to retrieve the Resurrection Stone for the perky family to live through.   I have to watch Tae-Hyun oppa’s Sad Movie, next week.  He has made me cry twice already this week.

Sang-man has been living all alone, and because he has no reason to live, he has been resorting to suicide, but he was rescued from his attempts.  After another unsuccessful trying, he met new friends, and for the first time in his life, he will not be alone as he meets up new friends imported from after-world.   The quest of fulfilling his dead friends’ bucket wishes will be the only guarantee that they will leave him, so off they set to do those wishes as they teach him how to enjoy and value life.

This is an amazingly done supernatural family movie that you will enjoy watching with your family.  The twist won me over willingly and no questions asked.  It was just the perfect icing on the cake. 

The cast ensembles did their respective job in keeping up with the sunny vibe and upbeat tone throughout the movie.  *wink 

HELLO GHOST MOVIE RECAP

GENRE:  Family, Comedy, Fantasy     GRADE:  A

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♥ MY GF is a Cyborg (2008) –  This is gonna be hard for me because most of Kwak Jae-yong’s movie I really like, but there’s always an exception, not that I didn’t find this flick appealing, but it did not leave a very strong impact on me compared with his previous films.  I’m coming to terms that Director Kwak Jae-yong, either has had his fair share of heartaches or he’s still waiting for his first love to come because his film pattern always involve ever-after future or present time element story insert.  In this film, the time element was presented intricately and will give you a very pretty climax.

A cyborg girl from the future travels to the present time to spend time with Jiro- the man in the future destined to create her.  This is a beautiful story equally enchanting like that of ET and Elliot with literally a twist of time and fate. 

I felt that the lead girl really stood out in the entirety of the movie, the main lead is adorable but our robot princess was fabulous.  It started with the poignant meeting of two people from different time, crawled steadily through the middle of the film and kicked a very nice climax at the end.  I liked that the story focused on how the character’s emotions grow (well technically, that of the girl revealed super late in the future) and how they evolved in the story as the story evolved around them too.  What I found missing is the spike of a typical rom-com movie, that limbo-like feeling of being in between the character’s love while devouring the duration of the movie.  While the characters connected strongly with each other, they weren’t able to touch my romantic nerves, and the last time I checked, I no longer have faulty romantic veins.

This is sweet and satisfying, and although I didn’t like it so very much I still recommend that you watch this movie because in its own right, it’s a real beauty. 

GENRE:  Romance, Fantasy     GRADE:  B

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♥ My Black Mini Dress (2011) – A friendship tale of four ladies and their challenges as they face the real world.  It is a story of the frustrations of not being able to conjure in reality what you have dreamt, and getting by with it with a little help from your friends and yourself.

It made me miss my girlfriends, I sent them “iluvu” messages after watching it.  *wink 

Most girls can relate to the story of these ladies.  I did, maybe because I was also stuck with the job I was not expecting to have, and maybe because when I and my girls grew up, our priorities changed as our problems became harder.  What I got from this movie was a “friendship check”… a reminder to find some time and catch up with them and see how they have been. 

This was a simply laid movie with minimal light tones.  Not all the characters were strongly portrayed though, that’s I guess what I can fail in this movie.  They presented the struggles of each character and had it solved because of their friendship.  Their own personal struggles were not dealt with accordingly.  At some point it’s really plain and dragging but you have to finish it to realize that there’s an after-effect.   

It is not a perfect friendship movie, but it’s laid back and a few perky notes is enough for you to consider hanging out with these women.

GENRE:  Friendship, Drama     GRADE:   C+

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♥ Lost and Found (2008) – If you are looking for an endearing and vibrant rom-com movie night with your boyfriend, this darling will delight you.  It’s ever moving and no dull moment.  From the feisty main female lead, the cholatey sweet lead man and the oozingly hot second male lead, this is a kind of Christmas gift you’d promise you’ll open on Christmas day, but when no one is looking out, you’ll sneak to see what it is.

Ji-ho has liked Min-woo since High School.  As her luck ran out with her current job, she bumped with her crush again when she was hit by his car while chasing the snatcher who took her bag.  She took that chance to pretend that she can’t remember anything to fulfill her 10-year dream of spending time with her crush.

But her neighbor-friend-who-secretly-loves-her, Dong-shik spoiled her staying at Min-woo’s house and brought her home while she still firmly held on her supposed amnesia.

She finally got Min-woo’s attention but Dong-shik was also determined to win the girl he has loved all her life.

This is about realizing the right love for you and chasing the romance no matter how long it will take.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  B+

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Sad Movie (2005) – So finally I was able to watch this star-studded movie.  Due to my attention problems, I like it more if there are fewer characters, but I don’t think it harmed the movie by having a lot of people moving in it.  But the stories of the characters here I believe could have stood alone, if it were made to individual flicks.  I think Hollywood had been doing those 4-in-one-intertwining-life-and-love-movies, and I’m not really a fan.

At any rate, this is a movie full of love, and I’m planning to put up a separation agency too, but I’ll be princess cupid, I’ll handle not just break ups but love second chances too.

Back to the movie… this is about a motherly love and a little boy’s love to his dying mom… a man’s love to a woman but is hindered because he can’t seem to find a stable life… a Snowhite mascot and theme park painter’s extraordinary sweet romance… and a lovestory between a fireman and a woman…

I think they titled it sad movie because of the sad endings, but regardless, you’ll stick to the film’s conclusion.  It’s not that spectacular considering the cast ensemble, but I did like the no complications, flowing narration of the film.  It’s best watched in the afternoon while the wind plays with the foliage behind your windows.  This is saddeningly disarming and calmingly good. 

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  B

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Please Teach Me English (2003) –  When government public officials weren’t able to address a foreigner’s electric bill concern, they decided to spin a bottle to determine who will study English to avoid being tested under the same situation again.  The lucky girl who was picked was Young-ju and from there her goal to learn English language coincided with feeling her first ever love who turned out to be the playboy salesman whose drive to study English came from his dream to meet his sister who was adopted abroad.  The conflict rose when Young-ju felt that her first romance was just one-sided, but then again the player Mun-su realized her worth in the end.

This one is cheerful and dandy and one of those mushy train scene endings which will pull a sweet sigh from you no matter how much you hold it in.  I now officially like Lee Na-Young as most of the movies I’ve watched of her well are prettily done.  She’s like the female version of Cha Tae-hyun oppa for me.

This is your prototype rom-com movie.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy  GRADE:  B

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♥ Sex is Zero (2002) – Delving in the exploits and adventures of college life, this has interesting characters, sporadic acts and memory reminder of the good ole days of adult learning.

This for me is the saddest yet sweetest fall back person love story.  I think cupid’s arrows were really unfair.  It only shoots to people with mutual feelings to each other.  If it has special features of making a one-sided love be two-sided, the world will be a better place.

Hilariously presented the yin and yang of college life… those bad choices, the sticky friendship, the thrilling relationships, the dead ends and the coming out of it.  Eun-hyo (Ha Ji Won) played the character of a college girl who engaged in a relationship with a man not worthy of it, and who was adored by another man she doesn’t love.

I have mixed feelings on this movie, it was fun to watch, even engaging at the time you are watching it, but now when I look back it didn’t form an attachment to me considering it is a Ha Ji Won movie.  It was good while it last, but there was no after taste from it.

GENRE:  Romance, Comedy, School      GRADE:  C+

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♥ My Wife is a Gangster (2001) – In order to please her dying long lost sister, ladyboss gangster Eun-jin embarked in a husband hunting adventure, and settled with a good-hearted man Soo-il who was not aware of her kick-ass identity.

I won’t say I didn’t like the movie, the premise is interesting… a kind-hearted man marrying a strong mafia-ish woman, but it will just give you a satisfactory feel.  The fight scenes were neutral and it fit the presentation of the story, if the action sequences were more than beyond it could have totally wiped out the emotion of the film.

Mediocre, sometimes messy, mischievously enjoyable and with a couple of comic acts that will put a grin in your face.

GENRE:  Comedy, Light Gangster, Romance     GRADE:  C+

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♥ The Client (2011) – A courtroom thriller that probed on a case of a husband allegedly murdering his wife.

The battle of wits and evidences and the suspense filled investigation will inevitably cause you to stick your attention to the end of the movie.   Just when I accepted the closure and bought the defense’ argument, the end revelation put a cunning smile on my face.

Well done, well played and well ended. 

GENRE:  Drama, Thriller, Legal, Crime     GRADE:  B

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♥ The Chaser (2008) – I’ll call it a Criminal Minds episode set in the big screen.  It has successfully laid the requirements for a thrilling serial killer movie.  My only issue though is that I was not left anticipating with the whole psychopath interrogating, tracking and killing.  I felt that the main man tracing the killer’s steps can stand alone, and that the whole police questioning was a useless sequence.  Not that I like it with more bloodbath, but it’s one of those things where you wished the police will only come after the big event.  Nevertheless, I will still recommend for you to watch this movie. 

THE CHASER QUICK SUMMARY

GENRE:  Thriller, Drama     GRADE:  B+

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Fly High (2006) – This is yet another dying girl movie… Yeah, I’m already spoiling it on my first sentence. 

Min-hyuk met his first love in the most awkward place where love can spring – the rest room, and when he confirmed the first surge of romance in his body, he did all he can to win the girl’s heart.  But since the girl is dying she has no choice but not to reciprocate.  She left for further treatment abroad and came back after two years, not successful and just waiting for the expected death. 

Min-hyuk stayed her loving boyfriend until she rested in peace.  He’s so teddy-bear-ish and that man you’d hope to have as your first romance.

I did find the male lead’s performance well and heartfelt but I have some issues with the female lead because there were some emotions that were not displayed at scenes that were most important to be presented.  It’s supposed to be a sad movie, but my heart was not moved, nor did I cry.

A few heart flutters here and there, but if you have watched the classic love films, you will find it mediocre.

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  C+

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♥ Miss Gold digger (2007) –  Min-soo cultivates love.  I remember that All about Anna movie when I saw this perky flick.  She playfully flirted with three men, a smart-potential-prosecutor; a rich-romantic-business man; and a young-talented-rapper.  But her search for the perfect lover gave her a dose of her own medicine and she will realize that love is something you do not plan but you let it happen.

After her brat moment in Myungwol the Spy, I really enjoyed Han Ye-seul’s performance in this love searching/waiting/affirming movie.  Her lead man is already on my stalker list.  He’s not that oozingly hot, but he has this air of being dangerous. 

This is charming, playful and feisty… will give you a Carrie Bradshaw vibe, a bit tamer though… enjoyable and a nice watch with your girlfriends or even your boyfriend. 

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  C+

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♥ The Housemaid (2010) – Dark, twisted romance where character motivations were clearly defined.  A sexy thriller worth your Saturday night.

Eun-yi works as a househelp in a rich household.  Her primary concern is taking care of the daughter of the eccentric couple.  She engaged in an illicit affair with the father of the household, and when she got pregnant, she was forced to give up the baby. 

The chandelier hanging bursting in fire ending scene, and the amazing hot body of Jae-jun oppa made this melo-drama sizzling and strangely likeable regardless of its gloomy tone. 

GENRE:  DRAMA, TRAGEDY     GRADE:  B

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♥Frivolous Wife (2008) – It was like putting Lee-shin inside a snow globe and staring at its serene picture.  It has high and low notes but it’s fun and the baseball hottie from My Little Bride grew up to what I expected him of, a fine handsome man.

Yeon-soo is god’s gift to men, she’s rich, pretty and an only daughter of a land magnate.  When she finally meets her match, she defies her life and moves to live with Jeon-do, a descendant from a traditional family.  She learns to adapt her role as a granddaughter in law the best way she can, and ends up claiming the ever after she so wanted.

I laughed for a minute in the scene when she is already comfortable with the housework and volunteered on cleaning the soy sauce jars, she chants happily and then when she saw the hundreds of jars, my laughter erupts big time.

Considering I don’t know much of the actors, I did enjoy the movie, well I’m partly blaming my recently fondness over sageuk dramas, but it’s really a nice movie to watch.  Simply adorable.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  C+

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♥ The case of Itaewon Homicide (2009) – This suspense picture is mediocre and forgettable.  Jang Geun Seok is hot, therefore I stared at him faithfully even if he played on his dark tone in this movie.  This is just one of those passing films that you will watch if you don’t want to read the book or you want a live adaptation of a web story you read.

A young college student unfortunately was murdered by someone he hasn’t met for the first time.  The prosecutor office embarked on an investigation to prove the suspects guilty, but they have to deal with contradicting testimonies and law technicalities.   In the end though justice was not served rightly.

This movie was based on a true story.  I found the portrayals lacking except for Prosecutor Park.  I was pulling the yarn for the film credits to appear because I don’t like how it was so predictable and plain.

GENRE:  DRAMA, THRILLER       GRADE:  C

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♥ The Good The Bad and the Weird (2008) – A Korean bandit, an assassin and a bounty hunter in Western vibe set in Manchurian backdrop.  This film is cool, amusing and engrossing.  The ass kicking fight scenes, Song Kang Ho’s classic self, Lee Byung Hun’s quick abs showcase and my currently running adoration for Jung Woo Sung are some of the reasons why I enjoyed this beauty, but more than that are the excellent fight visuals, the fluidity of the story and how the main leads live up to their existing hype and bear the best that they can to nail an amazing action picture that even a woman like me enjoyed so much.

GENRE:  Action, Adventure, Comedy     GRADE:  B

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♥ Natalie (2010)– Whoa!  The movie kicks off and it was all steamy sex right there and then.  It was yet another love misplaced story.  I don’t know why we girls have at some point in our life has to fall for the wrong guy, if not entirely wrong, it’s a man who will realize too late our worth.

Either enjoy or don’t mind the sizzling sex scenes and delve to the nature of the story… The eccentric passion of the lead actor, the woman who fell for the wrong man, and the man who loved a girl who can’t love him back.

GENRE:  Romance, R18       GRADE:  C

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♥ Loveholic (2009) – A bored housewife was seduced by her husband’s friend, the husband engaged in an affair with his wife’s friend… what a string connected love quadrangle.  There’s nothing much going except the infidelity.  The excuses they all have for being unfaithful are their own struggles on how they can’t be happy.  It was an incomplete closure and I felt that the cheating motivations were poorly depicted. The love scenes are not that much steamy, oh well maybe because I watched Natalie first.  Watch at your own risk… tutututut…  watch it when you’re about to sleep.

GENRE:  Romance w/ adult content     GRADE:  C

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♥ The Uninvited (2003) – Seeing Jun Ji-hyun in a psychological thriller was something new, and come to think of it she has that distinct crying face.  It was a plainly laid suspense movie.  Actually I didn’t feel any goose bumps at all.  The shamanic abilities, the little ghost girls and the court case presented I felt were not fitting perfectly.  It felt like putting a magnet and placing something metallic around it but no attraction will eventually happen.  It was supposed to scare my thoughts but I’m afraid it did not.

A man was seeing the ghosts of two girls he encountered on a train one night and they always sat on a table bought by his fiancée.  He can’t seem to dismiss them until he met a woman who can also see them.  The woman helped him uncover the previous life he had as he got entangled with the past he tried to forget and the woman’s frailties and secrets.

It was not scintillatingly freaky so it’s a good warm up if you are on a Korean thriller spree.  It was not that bad, it’s just that it was too easy to understand and will not leave you haunted and thinking.

GENRE:  Horror, Drama     GRADE:  C

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Quick (2011) –  I was not expecting much on this movie, hell I didn’t even do a background check which I normally do, but it held me drooling on it the whole time without any rest room break. 

It was a biker movie, and on that note I was really like uttering ancient chants that it won’t bore me.  So when the action-packed motorbike scene begins, the stunts and the speed blew me away.

Gi Su (Lee Min Ki) is a legendary fast biker who works as the errand guy for his friend’s courier service.  In one of his messenger job, he got pop star Ah Rom as his customer and asked him to drive her for their scheduled performance.  Little did they know that someone plot a bomb on Gi Su’s helmet and Ah-rom insisted on wearing the helmet so they got caught up following a bomber-slash-creepy-guy to bring packages meaning to blow up the receivers.  The catch is they can’t part beyond 10 meters or the helmet will explode so they set to follow “big brother’s orders”.

 Here’s a movie you can enjoy with your boyfriend, not so much romance but definitely entrancing and exciting. 

GENRE:  Action, Comedy     GRADE:  B

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Once In A Summer (2006) – It is one of the sweetest “summer love” movie I’ve seen unfortunately though they didn’t get their ever after.  Lee Byung Hun translates to the man you won’t regret committing infidelity if you are currently in a relationship.  He’s just so manly in an I-want-to-throw-myself-in-your-arms-kind-of-way.  Su-Ae has such an expressive eyes and her blithe nature in this love movie complemented the endearing character of Byung-hun oppa.  Lee Byung Hun mostly did action films so it was a breather when he suited up the role for this romcom delight.

A felicity filled tale that will leave you fetching and at the same time agonizing.  It was a sweet melancholic movie of finding love and holding on to it even if it has long been gone.

ONCE IN A SUMMER QUICK MOVIE REVIEW

GENRE:  Romance     GRADE:  B+

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♥ Welcome to Dongmakgol (2005)It definitely live up to my expectations and the critics’ rave.  This is a warm action/war film narrated stunningly through the characters who buoyantly brought life to the simple and yet arresting storyline.  All elements synchronized to create a masterpiece that thrived on human emotions.
In the middle of Korean war, soldiers from North and South ended up in a remote village.  A US navy captain was also stranded there and to retrieve him the US force have planned to release a bomb to Dongmakgol.  In their stay to the village, they develop connection to the people and be friends with one another.
I love how the movie wad richly narrated, and although it has a sad ending, I felt that it didn’t make the movie less appealing.  Full of heart and beautifully done.  The climactic ending was a sight to behold, be sad and be pondered about.

GENRE:  Light Action, Drama, Comedy     GRADE:  B+

Spellbound aka Chilling Romance (2011) – I bet they were just counting on Son Ye Jin and Lee Min Ki’s star power to pull this off.  Nothing much special about it, typical, and the movie just passed by.  I felt that the chemistry was there but the story was not.

Kang Yu-ri has literally an emotional scary baggage.  She sees dead people.  Her sixth sense ability has saddled her to be accustomed in living alone and avoiding human contact.  But things change when a street magician Ma Jo-goo entered her life, and soon enough they both are aware of the budding romance between them, but they have to defy a grumpy ghost who was Yu-ri’s ex bestfriend Joo-hee, but died in an accident they were both together. 

I will say the talents were wasted here, and if not for the screen presence of the lead couple, the viewer won’t stay afloat.  It was like a denouement all the time, the problem was there, but there was no “what now”?

I’m sure you’ll grab another movie after, and when you doze off, there’s no trace in your memory that the movie happened.  It was enchanting when it’s on the light notes, but the conflict and the plot didn’t justify what could have been a something new romance.  Nevertheless, it’s still a must to watch if you’re a fan of both the lead actors, like me.

SPELLBOUND aka Chilling Romance Movie Musings

GENRE:  Romance, Fantasy thriller      GRADE:  C+

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♥ PUNCH (2011) – I am aware that women from poor countries sometimes have no choice but to marry for convenience, and I’m lucky I was able to get another option aside from that.  This movie is invoking, and I appreciate that they did not stoop down to immigrants, but instead emphasized on presenting the viewers what a strong person they are to live in a foreign land to survive.  

To put up the essence of the movie without giving any aspersions is something the filmmaker should be proud of.

The main actors Wan-deuk and Dong-jo set a new kind of bromance, that  bickers amusingly but accidentally brought out the best of one another.

This was a blithe tale of accepting who you are and what extent you can be by embracing the life you did not choose but fought hard to decide the best shot on it.

PUNCH MOVIE RECAP

GENRE:  Drama, Family     GRADE:  B+

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 Harmony (2010) – Not since The Longest Yard did I enjoy a prison-set film.  This movie warmed my heart and made me even prouder being a daughter, a sister and a woman.

Each woman in the story contributed to an emotion fest offering that lingered in my thoughts and erupted tears in my eyes as the film worked on the personal struggles and victories of the characters.  

GENRE:  Melodrama, Family, Friendship     GRADE:  B+

 

 A Reason To Live (2011) – I didn’t like the movie.  I don’t know what part in my sense of feeling it was trying to get through, but I totally just felt nothing while watching it. 
 
I can’t point out its strength nor discuss its weakness.  If you are a Song Hye Gyo fan, you can watch it, and just remind yourself that she gave you full house and worlds within, if not… pick something else.

GENRE:  Drama      GRADE:  F

 Detective K (2011) – Move over Sherlock Holmes… Here comes Detective K. 
 
Set in Joseon era, be amused with the clever detective and his side kick as they unfold the truth behind the King’s enemies.  With impeccable wit and comic timing, this comedy-mystery film will make you feel dandy, lively and entertained.

GENRE:  Action, Adventure     GRADE:  B

♥ Innocent Steps (2005) -This sweet dance movie was an emotion pond. It made me feel warm, giddyish, frustrated, disappointed, annoyed, sad, appeased and then eventually blissful.
 
The fake marriage, dance moves and the simple yet sure love launched a well deserved love sigh from me.
 
P.S  I love the footprints practice dance floor. 

GENRE:  Romance, Dance     GRADE:  C+

  The Relation of Face, Mind and Love (2009) – I was expecting a lot I must admit because it was Kang Ji Hwan oppa and Lee Ji Ah, but then again I have to charge this to experience because the strong beginning wasn’t able to sustain a story worth keeping.

Kang Tae Pung is a famous architect who had a car accident but his car life-saving bag was able to save him causing minor injury that is “temporary visual impairment”.   So he sort of saw ugly things beautiful and beautiful things ugly.   He then met Wang So-jung, a cheerful-not-so-pretty lady but because of his eye problems she appeared to be his long lost dream girl.  So they then engaged to a whirlwind romance and when his vision went back to reality, her fairytale dream also ended. 

There’s not much love spell and I wondered how Ji Hwan oppa and Ji Ah unni must have felt after their finished film.   It was not ugly but it was just free flowing to somewhere you wouldn’t want to follow.  *yawn

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy      GRADE:  D

Villain and Widow (2010) – Kim Hye-su and Han Su-kyung teamed up in this awkward sometimes funny cohabitation of a conman and a widow saddled with money issues.

Kim Hye Su played the role of a widow who rented the second floor of her house to Han Su Kyung to help in their financial problem.  Han Su Kyung meanwhile took advantage of the lease offer to find a famous tea cup of antique importance that is sought after by a chaebol heir who was in the brink of losing his value to his family and the only thing that could salvage him to stay afloat was that china teacup.  So the villain was summoned to retrieve it and thus he embarked on an I-am-a-writer-scheme to try and look for the elusive teacup which the widow’s husband hid in the house. 

A little cute romance here and there and a scattered shower of humor every now and then were some of the reasons why I finished the movie.  To be honest it was not really that much interesting, but the main leads interaction was fun to watch.  It sort of bland most of the time but it has still managed not to go to the brink of boring-ness.  The good times are mainly when the lead couple did their sort of sweet moments and adult bickering.  Well anyway, it was still a comic watch regardless. 

GENRE:  Comedy      GRADE:  C

 Pained (2011) – This is the first time I saw Kwon Sang Woo as an actor, he felt so human to me that I stayed in the duration of the movie.
 
This was told with no frills attached and in its all natural beauty that I found it sad and yet bracing. 

PAINED QUICK MOVIE MUSINGS

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  B

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♥ Sector 7 (2011) – I didn’t see it in 3D but graphics and visual effects wise it felt the same level with Hollywood “beat-the-monster” films.  Hmmmm it was your typical Anaconda vibe flick, the humans thrive on their wit to survive and defeat the monster but they were unsuccessful except Ha Ji Won unni. 

For a thriller I stayed calm and comfy on my bed watching it so it didn’t really boost the fear factor side of me.  I already have foreseen the outcome of the villain so I’ll give this movie an average score for the effects and Ji Won unni’s stunts.  As a rule, thrillers should never be predictable, the viewers should always be on an anticipating ride, and that I didn’t achieve in watching this movie.

GENRE:  Sci-fi, Action     GRADE:  B

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♥ Never Ending Story (2012) – In tradition of the death bound conflict on Korean love stories, this charming movie was able to balance the premise and have it set to both the lead couple’s having after life bargains.
 
Oh Song Kyung worked at a bank and has lived her life planned into the smallest details, but what she did not prepare for was a malady that came instantly in her life.  She met Kang Dong Joo who was her exact opposite.  He lives a spontaneous life and never failing to lose hope that he’ll win the lottery someday. The two met because both of them were diagnosed at the same hospital and soon they embark on a bucket list fulfillment that involves funeral preparations for Song Kyung and lottery station hunts for Dong Joo.

 
What this movie achieved was setting a sad note to a brighter perception. It was a film about death but the lively scenes and characters have pulled a different take on life’s passing. The love couple were adorable and swung an Edward-Bella pull worthy of your smile and sigh.
I love that it was so natural and that they first slept together inside a coffin and never ending to a traditional bed. 

A carefree movie I would definitely recommend.  This was a romance charmer that will raise mirth one moment and then tug your heart at another time.  Watching it made me not expect outcomes or predict what will happen because the conflict surged up when it commenced, but I was left watching them as they have a good time alongside the struggle with their inevitable death.
It was simply done but happily narrated, and that made it hit home in me.
Radiant and resonating, this is a must watch darling.  

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy      GRADE:  A

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♥ Always (2011) – And I finally got the chance to spend an afternoon full of loving vibes.  I received lots of raves about this movie and I must agree to the warm response “Always” has received.  It made me miss the feeling of being in love, and I was left smiling, calmed and inspired as I immersed myself in a love story between two people who found love in their vulnerabilities.

Im Jung Hwa was saddled with temporary blindness after surviving from a car accident that killed her parents.  She works as a customer service representative over the phone and has lived her life in full swing optimism despite of her disability.

Jang Chul-min was a former boxer who after quitting the profession settled to being a merciless bounty hunter, but in one of his bounty mission he found motivation to start his life in good faith again. 

Little by little fondness grew between them, with a life he was never proud of and nothing much to offer, Chul-min mustered whatever he has and took responsibility of a blind woman’s heart.

“Always” broke the romantic dry spell I’ve been having for a while now.  It played with the cutesies, the sweetness, the laidback and the contentment feel of a love movie.

On a distracting note, and I mean it to be really utmost distracting… So Ji Sub in his rough, untidy look was a sight to behold, and the short showcase of his abs was a manna from heaven.

The last movie I liked was Postman to Heaven which was also a movie of Han Hyo Joo.  Playing a sweet, optimist blind Han Hyo-joo connected to her lead man so well that the blue ray screen emanating love swept the romantic side of me.

Seeing the love grew, saddled, steadied, lost and fulfilled was I think the reason why it created huge admiration.  It was an ever after not of a prince and a princess, but by two people whose hearts can love each other with their eyes closed.

GENRE:  Romance     GRADE:  B+

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♥ Penny Pinchers aka Many a Little Romance (2011) – I’m getting interesting love couple combination making my special day today worthy of slumping on my bed and making my heart and eyes happy.

 Hong-sil has an addiction to save money after bankruptcy hit her family causing her mother’s death and her father losing himself to gambling. If I get to adapt her saving strategy, I bet I will get a lot from it. So she lives a lonely life until she meets Ji-woong who struggled in getting himself a regular job. She taught him the trick of her trade and we get kmovieland’s first ever penny pincher couple.

 It was not a movie full of awesome love vibes but I was able to finish it without complaint. I think I liked it because the treatment of how their love was realized was because they trusted each other and they are both willing to sacrifice and appreciate each other’s worth.

You will find that “the boy did the impossible to make the girl happy” will now be always a resident element in a Korean romantic movie.

 A mixture of fun, friendship, forced cohabitation, saving money crash course, some cute no money involved dating ideas and a lead couple that were both fitting in their roles. Penny pincher is a stress reliever after a week’s work.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy      GRADE:  B

 

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♥ The Crucible (2011) – The crucible touched a very delicate issue and I’m thankful that such eye opening film like this was produced.

An art teacher moved to another city to accept a post in a school for special children. What he was not prepared for was the reality that his visually and hearing impaired students who haven’t even had their families to take care of them were violated mercilessly by their own teachers and the headmaster.

 It’s a rage inducing towards the evilness of the world kind of film. But whenever power was wrongfully used, hope and faith will always find its way to protect the weak.

 A moving, inspiring and a reality biting spectacle not worth missing.

GENRE:  Drama     GRADE:  B

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♥ Love Fiction (2011) – A fiction writer fell in love with a bizaare girl and has to flounder with her infamous history with boys, hairy armpit and heedless actions.
While I enjoyed most of it, I felt detached after watching it.  It has an interesting  lead couple who was able to justify the characters and the love conflict they were playing, but it doesn’t have the romantic appeal that will make you think of it when you sleep at night.

Interestingly done but mediocre… Feel good and funny but forgettable.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  C

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♥ Dancing Queen (2012) – I honestly didn’t enjoy watching this dream-finding-dream-realization movie.  When the movie ended, I just sighed and said “okaaayyyy”.  It did well in the box office that’s why I was curious, and then curiousity killed me badly. haha

The lead couple were childhood neighbors and met again in college.  They got married and has been living a simple life but when opportunity to pick up their forgotten dreams opened, they seized it.  But then eventually they both hindered their dream decisions. Uhm Jung-hwa hid her joining a girl group while her husband was campaigning for the city mayor office, and when it was revealed it damaged her husband’s dream.

So the movie wants to impart that not all opportunities knock once, and if they knock again, we have to claim it.  It touched on the giving-up-dreams-because-of-marriage issues which the society normally overlooked especially on the woman’s side. It was inspiring and easily narrated.  For a woman, it pointed on how much you can give to stand beside your man when you have your own dreams he doesn’t realize.

It felt good, it looked nice but I was not drawn by it.

GENRE:  Romance, Dance, Drama     GRADE:  C+

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♥ Introduction to Architecture aka Architecture 101 (2012) – Architecture 101 was another first-love movie… cute, sweet and nostalgic, but it failed to indulge me.

A woman traced her first love to make him fulfill his promise of making her dream house.  They met in college when the woman took an architecture introductory class.  Because they live in the same town, they do activities together relating to their class.  They were both unaware of each other’s love feeling, and they were able to confess their love when it was too late because the lost love cannot salvage the present they have now.


It was another sad first-love film, and I liked seeing the 2012 kdrama actors in a sort of reunion in this production.
The flashbacks kept me afloat as it drove love to melancholy.  So what do you do when you have another chance you have kept for a long while?  That’s the question this movie asked.

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  B

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♥ Wonderful Radio (2012) – Although it’s a nice and refreshing film, I felt that the love was missing.  Well it was not really a romance movie even with the kiss scene at the end, it was character driven and much as I want to relate with her, there were some critical scenes I found lacking.
 
A radio dj hosts a program “Wonderful Radio” which has a segment where civilians can impart their message to someone and sing a song after.  She used to be a member of a famous girl group and is wanting to get back to the music scene.  She clashes with the program director at first but they eventually hit the right note and became closer.
 
The conflict supporting the conflict I didn’t like.  I didn’t like what their problem was at all.  If it was a love movie then they should have sprinkled it with a couple romance, and no, a kiss scene at the end doesn’t qualify for it to be called a romantic movie.  The villains didn’t annoy me and the story was there but the characters were disconnected.  This movie somehow looked like big love drama but in radio world setting.  It was a fair watch but I was not amused by it.

GENRE:  Romance     GRADE:  C

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♥ Sunny (2011) – This is one of the best friendship movies I’ve seen in my life.  It made me dig back memories I’ve shared with my high school girl friends.

A reflective film that will make you stop and think for a while to wonder and reminisce one of the best days of your life.  It made me cry and happy at the same time.

A dedicated mother and wife accidentally bumped with her dying high school friend and from there they relive the old times while looking for the rest of their circle of friendship.  Told in shifting time, the film beautifully captured the depth of friendship built with trust and respect.

This is a movie that will make you love your friends even more.  An appreciative story that tells how a friendship stays regardless of reasons and changes after all those times.

 GENRE:  Drama, Friendship     GRADE:  A

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♥ More Than Blue (2009) – More than blue less the falling in love and dying part made me yearn to have a boy bestfriend. A film so tender and heartfelt, it will give you that sweet regret feeling as you sleep. The dearest melancholic I-secretly-love-my-bestfriend-movie I have ever seen.

K and Cream were both orphans who decided to live together and become besties, but fate will eventually take K because he has leukemia. As he secretly love his bestfriend he wished that someone will take care of her when he’s gone. Unbeknownst to him Cream accidentally learned of his condition and in an effort to make him happy she fulfilled his dream of her getting married.

Kwon Sang Woo has given me two lovely films so far.

What I love about this movie is the transparency of the characters, it’s as if I’m staring at my neighbor’s life because they acted so naturally good and painfully remembering.

The sad ending was really sadder than sadness but how it concluded was clearly satisfying.

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  B+

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♥ Blind (2011)– A fairly done thriller about a woman who became blinded after a car accident. She lost her brother and also failed to go back to the police academy. In an unfortunate twist of event she will be marked by a serial killer and will be able to survive and free herself of the long running guilt she felt after losing her brother in the accident.

Any movie with an adorable dog wins my heart over, and Seul-ki, the guide dog here made me cry.

 It was a suspense filled movie that drew strength from the main character’s vulnerability.

 GENRE:  Drama, Thriller     GRADE:  B

 

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♥ M (2008) – I had a hard time digesting the movie. I can’t sway my grasshopper-ish attention span because the movie was so attention seeking. The crisp and avant-garde cinematography was jaw dropping and I’m all praises to the editing.

 A fiction writer Min-woo flounders with his job and a girl who kept visiting his imagination. It brought him to leave his sanity and caused rift to his real life marriage. In between the reality and his mentally indisposed self, it was revealed that the girl was his first love.

 The story was not in a hurried pace, and yet I really mustered all the focus I can get to be immersed on it. It’s the kind of movie a film professor should have his students watch because of how superb it was done technically complementing an unconventional plot

 It’s a sad first love movie that was presented incorporating subconscious yearnings and realms of the imagination that kept our deepest longings.

 What I loved about it was the conflict done in modern vibe and mind boggling way but never leaving the sweet and painful narrative of losing your first love… thinking you are over the memories… and finding yourself haunted and affected by it because you haven’t truly given up on it.

GENRE:  Psychological Drama     GRADE:  B

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♥ The Restless (2006) – A supernatural fest that reminded me of Sword of Truth and Lord of the Rings. Superior visual effects, rolling action scenes throughout and Joong Woo Sung oppa are the reasons why I liked the movie. There’s not much of a plot really and even gasping, gripping or jaw-dropping moment… They relied on their flamboyant visuals at the very least.

Set in Midheaven, a place where people who died stays to wait for their reincarnation to happen.. a demon slayer who was formerly the chief of an elite ghost slayer was transported to the place.  He chanced upon So Hwa,  a member of the governing circle of the midlands. So Hwa looked exactly Yi Gwak’s lover (Yonhwa) who was burned by the townspeople because of the belief that she has supernatural abilities.

Yi Gwak has to stand in between the woman he loved and lost and his fellow soldiers who all died on earth after pursuing a rebellion. He further learned that their deaths were intentional as they seek to defy the heavens and change the world. So Hwa held a powerful stone that they needed to claim their victory, so Yi Gwak traded his life to protect her and hope that he will meet her again.

If you are up for supernatural adventure then you can try this one, but don’t expect much chimeric after effect when you are done watching.

GENRE:  Fantasy, Adventure, Romance     GRADE:  C+

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♥ Standing Sleeping Tree (2009) – The story of a dying firefighter as he takes on the road about his condition. Being a father, a husband and a friend, the film dealt with the point of view of a person facing death as he settles his affair while feeling the pain of leaving his family and life.

There hasn’t been any manual invented to guide you when you are bound to leave someone and it’s against your will.  That being said this movie evokes that feeling of hopelessness and being being hopeful at the same time.

Although nothing spectacular is in store in this movie, it will not make you hit the stop button. It’s a sad and an easy watch. It’s actually like coming from a book and narrated as it is.  I want to be nice but there’s nothing much going on this movie.

GENRE:  Melodrama      GRADE:  C

 

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♥The Scent (2012) – Following a suspension because of an adultery claim, Detective Kang Sun-woo temporarily ran a secret investigation company that specializes in adultery cases.  One of her clients dragged him to a motel where she claimed to have her husband with another girl, but he woke up and saw his client killed and his supposed husband was also murdered in the adjacent room.  The husband’s mistress was in shock, and because the situation will go bad against him who was at the wrong place and time, he dragged the corpse and buried it.  When he learned that the girl was the real wife of the murdered husband, the detective will investigate a case in which he was unluckily framed up.

It was at first interesting.  Kim So Yeon’s multiple personality went from the vulnerable wife to insufferable tease and nothing-fazes me persona, but there’s not much substance, depth and retribution in her character.  There were some thrilling chases, boggling concepts, but there was no climax.  A little sex scenes here and there, and Kim So yeon’s nude parts will kept hold of a man’s interest.

It was not a real good deal, but it’ still worth watching.  The suspense will suffice for me to give it a mediocre rating. 

GENRE:  Thriller, Mystery w/ adult content     GRADE:  C

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♥ Bunt (2006) – I was beaming and smiling and was so amused while watching this endearing father-and-son movie.  A heartwarming film full of a father’s love to his good-natured but feeble-minded child and a friendship so sweet, it will make you reminisce your childhood memories.

Bunt was certainly a gladdening and encouraging movie experience.  Full of inspiring and beautiful lessons about parenthood, friendship and believing in yourself.   Even the humor was edifying, and you will just find yourself immersed in the story, cheering for Dong-gu… cheering for everything that will make him happy.

GENRE:  Family, Comedy, Drama    GRADE:  A

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BUNT KOREAN MOVIE QUICK MUSINGS

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