Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Heart 뉴하트

Eun Sook told me during one of our long-distance phone calls ="Aini, you MUST watch 뉴하트's very nice..I love 은성!" So, watched I did. And I was HOOKED. On Eun Sung too...ha ha....

My pre-Korean-madness job was as a Medical Social Worker (MSW) in a tertiary hospital in Singapore. Incidentally, I had also worked as an MSW with the Cardiac & Cardiothorasic Surgery department - for about 4 years. So, listening to CABG and AMI etc... sounded so familiar to me. Thank goodness for that, coz this drama has no English Subs yet. Phew.

Ji Sung in his "ajumma" Hairstyle. Just like my Kyung a few years back. My favourite..

But I am not going to talk about warfarin or myocardial infarct. I am here to talk about Dr Lee Eun Sung, played wonderfully by Ji Sung. I am not particular a fan of his, but I was practically blown away by his performance as a poor orphan who wants to be a surgeon, against all odds.

Kim Min Jung on the other hand sort of grew on me. She started off as a cold as a pickled cucumber that's been left too lonf in the fridge, walled herself up so that she won't get hurt. But as she lets Eun Sung into her barricaded heart, she started to warm up. And I kinda like her in the end. Just like when she was in Fashion 70's.

Anyway, <>The Gist:

Simple: Hospital setting, Cardiothorasic Department. Lots of blood, lots of white coats, lots of love in the air.

Aw...what a cute couple...... Aw...what a serious looking prof.

Lee Eun Sung, a happy spirit, not a damper in sight, always has a rainbow above his head, and eyes full of twinkly stars...Hmmmm..... nope.... this kind of guy doesn't exist in real life...I know.

Nam Hye Suk, an uptight, closed, always defensive etc....basically the opposite of Eun Sung lah. They were both accepted as residents with CTS of Kwang Hee University Hospital. And along the way, Hye Suk slowly realised what a wonderful person Eun Sung is.

Some snippets of the other lives in this drama:

Prof Choi, the head of CTS who sacrificed his family life in order to save lives
The team of Medical Officers(MOs) and House Officers (HOs) who have no lives as well.
A team of back-stabbing Professors who decided that making money is more impt than saving lives.

What do I think about this drama as a whole?

Yup that's Lee Ji Hoon as an actor with a heart condition

To be honest, the drama reached it's peak at Episode 15-16, and then, started going downhill in terms of the plot etc. The last few episodes appeared to be a bit of "Let's throw in a pacemaker here, and how about a Tachycardia and while we're at it, a heart transplant won't be too bad, either..."

So, I believe that if we take away Lee Eun Sung's character and his pursuit of melting Hye Suk's heart, New Heart would be like a reality show set in a CTS department and ward.

So, why did Aini stay on and watch this drama beyond Episode 15? Because I want to see how Eun Sung and Hye Suk develop their love. But they sort of stopped developing when they FINALLY 드디오 locked lips. Argh! What took them so long???

And as Luck would have it, I was disappointed with the ending of this drama. There's a feeling of wanting, after I have completed the series. I would encourage you to watch this drama anyway, because it's interesting, and fun (at least thanks to Eun Sung).

I give this drama 3 pop corns.Don't buy the video, just rent it, or watch it online.

Now, here's something nice from the drama. Eun Sung sang this song, originally by Travel Sketch, and then, covered by Sung Si Kyung. It's a beautiful song, and I didn't even know that Ji Sung had such lovely singing song. The song is called 별이 진다네.

Sung Si Kyung's version & Ji Sung's version.Fast forward to 4.00 to watch Eun Sung sing

별이 진다네 - 성시경 (original artiste:여행스케치)
(Remake Album Track 2)

어제는 별이 졌다네
나의 가슴이 무너졌네
별은 그냥 별일뿐이야
모두들 내게 말하지만
오늘도 별이 진다네
아름다운 나의 별 하나
별이 지면 하늘도 슬퍼 이렇게
비만 내리는 거야

나의 가슴속에 젖어오는
그대 그리움만이
이 밤도 저 비 되어
나를 또 울리고
아름다웠던 우리
옛일을 생각해 보면
나의 애타는 사랑
돌아 올것 같은데

나의꿈은 사라져가고
슬픔만이 깊어 가는데
나의 별은 사라지고
어둠만이 짙어 가는데

Saturday, February 16, 2008

King and I 왕과 나

No silly, this is not a remake of Yul Brenner's classic movie. It's a love story. At least that's what I think this drama is about. But I don't care. Because one of the most talented actors in the world is acting in it:

Oh Man Suk or 만짱 as he's called by his fans.

To be honest, I have only watched the first 70 minutes of this drama ie episode 1. But it's loaded with promises of being a great drama. It's basically about Oh Man Suk's character as a eunuch (tsk..tsk...what a waste to castrate such a man.....) and his love for the Emperor's "future" concubine. (Tsk..tsk...what a waste again).

I can't wait to do the review when the drama ends its run in 2 months time. You can catch the drama on Veoh (sans English Subs, though) . All I could afford was 1 episode per day - too heavy for me lah, this drama - because it's in old-style Korean dialogue, and my half-past Korean isn't good enough to understand 100% - but still watch lor....bec of Man Jjang)
Till then, here's the MV from this drama (the MV got ang moh playing violin, one, ha ha):

Sunday, February 10, 2008

순정 만화

My Tutor introduced me to this manhwa so that I could practise my reading as well as get a hang of some of the words used in conversations.

What started as a homework ended up as a sort of obsession.


I LOVE KANGFULL!! He's a genius.

Unfortunately my tutor only has the Part 1. I need to order the Part 2 from Korea.

Yesterday , I found out that it'll be made into a movie starring Yoo Jitae and Lee Yeon Hee , as the Ahjosshi Kim Yeon Woo and Han Soo Yeong. Chae Jung An and Choi Siwon will be the Hak Seng Kang Sook and Nuna Kwon Ha Kyeong.

I thought the casting is perfect. I don't know how it'll turn out, but I am sure with such a wonderful cast, and great story, nothing will go wrong. I hope to be the first non-Korean to review the movie when it screens. But in case you (like me) love Kangful, and wants to know about the manhwa, here's :

The Gist:
30 year old Kim Yeon Woo and 18-year old Han Soo Yeong live in the same apartment. He lives 2 floors up. They met every morning in the elevator. At first Yeon Woo did not create a good impression for himself in front of Soo Yeong. He wears the same old boring brown suit, and the same old blue tie, the same uncombed hairstyle and the silly expression on his face. Soo Yeong , however, appeared cute and pretty to Yeon Woo. They shared nothing in common except their tardiness. And they never talked to each other, until one morning.

Soo Yeong had forgotten to put on her blue school tie during one of her morning rushes. She suddenly approached Yeon Woon in the elevator: "Ajohshi, lend me your tie!!!". And the rest of the manhwa is filled with lots of secret glances, waiting by the elevator, at the bench near their apartment etc..and they fell in love.

One day, Soo Yeong's mother was alerted of a certain ahjosshi who's been seen talking to her daughter. And she went to investigate.........

If you can read in Korean, I would suggest that you get the manhwa. It's interesting and good for reading exercises like I had the chance to 1 month ago. It took me about 5 days to complete the whole manhwa.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Best Romance 최강 로맨스

Um...I am not sure what to say about this movie.

Lee Dong Wook has not been acting much these days, but this movie does not do much to advance his career as a big movie star, at least not in my opinion. His last movie, Arang was kinda good, in a dark sort-of-way. But this movie......ummm......

Hyun Young - I have seen her in several TV programmes, but never in a movie. She reminded me so much of Goldie Hawn, funny and cute, and pretty. But I wish I could see her act in a more serious movie/drama. There were some scenes which required her to shed her cutesy, girly persona, and she was kinda good. But then again, Hyun Young won't be Hyun Young without her shrilly voice and cute mannerism, I suppose. So..

The Gist

Police Detective Kang has a phobia - anything to do with sharp things would make him freeze. This did not go well with his job as a man of the law. He's gotten into lots of hot soup because if his phobia.

Ironically, during a chase with a suspect, he bumped into Reporter Choi, who was eating a stick of odeng. As luck would have it, the stick accidentally found its way into Kang's abdomen, and so begins the love-hate relationship between Choi and Kang (Thus the Title of this movie).

Choi and Kang were reunited again when the former was given the chance to document police work in a documentary. What ensued were your usual hate-hate-turned to Love-hate-love kinda situation during the process.

Maybe.....this movie is kinda funny, kinda wierd, kinda "shrieky"....kinda funny (I said that already). It's slapstick, some parts of it. It's entertaining at some points, but I found my hands doing something other chores while I was watching it.

I give it 1.5 pop corns.

Watch it ONLY if you are a die-hard Lee Dong Wook fan (but then again, you might be disappointed). So, perhaps, you should give it a miss, unless it's showing on a lazy Saturday afternoon on Channel U in the near future.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

My Father 마이 파더

I remember when I was in Seoul for my Summer Korean language programme, there were quite a number of Korean-born fellow students who came to Korea to look for their Korean parents. Some were from as far as Sweden and Norway.
This movie reminded me of these kids, who were (in my opinion) lucky enough to be able to have 2 sets of parents from 2 different cultures. Although I don't know what they have gone through to finally meet their birth parents, I believe that this drama may have depicted some of those journeys to some extent.
Daniel Henney surprised me with his superbly improved acting. In the words of Yoda the Wise :

The movie ended like half an hour ago, and I am still sobbing hard, while I write this review. I hope I could write a review that would do justice to Daniel's acting.
Like I have mentioned in my reviews in Samsoon and Spring Waltz, I am not a Daniel Henny fan. I thought he was lucky to get into the acting scene through his good looks. But I think differently now.
Hey! Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against good looking guys getting a shot at acting. But they gotta be able to act too. And Daniel has proved all his critics wrong. He's good, he's in control, he delivered.

The Gist

James Parker, an adoptee, volunteered to be in the Army, based in Korea to have the chance to track down his biological parents. One thing led to another, and he finally met his birth father - in a death-row prison. What ensued were scenes of getting to know each other etc etc. But one thing that James was not prepared to accept was that his father was INDEED a guilty man.

The rest of the movie? Watch it yourself. I guarantee Daniel will blow your mind with his superb acting.

The whole thing about this movie was great. The acting, the camera, the music, the editing. It managed to capture my attention from the moment Daniel said "You have taken care of me for the past 20 years....".

Daniel and Bates

Before the credit rolled, there was a (I guess) some scenes of the man, whose story this movie was based on. Someone called Eron/Aaron Bates. You can get the interview between Daniel and Bates here.

My favourite part was when he finally accepted that his father was guilty, and he's facing death sentence, and he was so angry that his father had lied to him. Oh! HE's SO Good. !!!

Looking forward to seeing more of Daniel. Not because of his good looks. But because of his wonderful acting.

I give this movie 5 pop corns.

Virgin Snow 첫눈 初雪の恋

Aw...such a lovely movie. Beautiful music, beautiful setting, beautiful story, beautiful Jun Ki.

I have not watched this kind a movie for a long time now. So warm and lovely.

Lee Jun Ki again showed us why he's such a versatile actor. Thanks goodness for those pencil slit eyes, that would be filled with pockets of tears just hanging there, threatening to fall down his peach-smooth cheeks. Aw....

This movie, I think shown in Autumn/Winter 2007 is a collaboration of both Japanese and Korean actors - Lee Jun Ki and Aoi Miyazaki. The movie reminds me of how it was like to be in love for the first time. The waiting by the phone, the slow walk along the road (to nowhere- basically, just walk...그냥), the heartache of love lost, and the joy of love found.

The Gist:

Kim Min followed his father to Kyoto, where father works as a college professor, and also a professional potter. On one of his cycling adventures, exploring Kyoto, he chanced upon a beautiful, quiet, mysterious Japanese Girl, Nanae.

After a short courting episode, Min and Nanae found soul mates in each other. He promised to make a bowl, and she promised to draw on it. Someday. On the 100th day anniversary, Min made a clay figurine gift for her, while she gave a traditional Japanese handicraft thingy, but Min's not allowed to open it until later.

And after that night, she disappeared.

Min returned to Korea, and did not open his gift (which he gave to grandma as a souvenir), and tried to move on with his life without her.

Spoiler Ahead:
2 years later, in Deouksu Palace, they met again, by chance. But Min was still bitter about being left behind without a word 2 years ago. He was curt and bitter. Until grandma told him that he should read what's written inside the gift that Nanae gave him 2 years ago. And the rest of the movie was like watching the last 10 minutes of Sleepless in Seattle (think Deouksugung instead of the Empire State Building). sweet......

Anyway, this is such a lovely movie. Wait. I think I have said that already, right. But , what the heck I'll say it again.

This is such a Lovely movie. It makes me want to be in Seoul or Kyoto next year, and walk hand in hand with my hubby when the first snow falls. (I will keep the kids in the hotel room, while we stroll along Myeongdong in the snow....)

Anyway, I have never watched Aoi Miyazaki's films before. She's so ...... normal looking....that doesn't sound very nice, but I meant it in a good way. She's so unassuming, that her countenance makes one feel at home, relaxed and comfortable. Perhaps that's what's special about her. I will look out for more of her movies in the future.

I give this movie 4 pop corns.
Watch it!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Taiwanese Drama/Movie Review

Disclaimer: Save the rotten tomatoes and eggs, don't throw at me hor. I am new at this Taiwanese drama/movie reviews. Actually, when I was 12 years old, I started watching Liu Wen Zheng's movies, and Chow Yuen Fatt's dramas, and Lin Feng Jiao etc.. Remember "Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre" , "Brothers", "Man in the Net"...Yup..LOOONG time ago. But the drama and movie scenes have somewhat changed these days from what I can see. The girls are cute, the guys are cuter, and the story lines are more "docile". If you have any Taiwanese drama/movie worth watching, please email me. Would love to watch them and give my 10TWD (that's about S$0.40).

My Queen
ToGetHerDevil Beside YouCorner* With Love
Meteor Garden 1&2Smiling Pasta

You're My Destiny

Why Why LoveSecrets

Romantic Princess

Romantic Princess 公主小妹

The funny thing is....I had planned to watch this drama on my own....but in the end, my 13-year old son, and 10-year-old daughter ended up watching the whole drama. They commented every now and then, "Ibu, this drama is better than your Korean dramas". Hmm.......

It's now showing on Channel U, I am not sure which episode, but I guess its popularity amongst non-Chinese viewers is apparent.

My daughter's Malay classmate told her "Eh..that hero Jin is very handsome, hor!" ...Yes, yes....I agree, I said to my daughter. 吴尊 is good looking - and he looks so much like U-know Junho and Wang Lee Hom. Don't you think?

Anyway, must congratulate myself for completing a Taiwanese drama (finally). They're not so bad lah...if you look at the brighter side of life. This particular drama is not jam packed with dramatically controversial issues. It's just a feel-good kinda drama. The only PG part was the kissing scenes (and my kids would use a pillow cushion to cover their eyes ^^).

The Gist

Xiao Mai, a poor but hard working girl found out that she was actually the heir of the richest man in Taiwan (if not Asia). Her bl***y rich grandfather is the moghul of the Huang Fu Dynasty. Having lost Xiao Mai when she was kidnapped when just a baby, and having lost Xiao Mai's parents in an accident some years ago, grandfather took in the Nan Feng brothers and cousins. They are known as the Nan Feng Dukes.

Nan Feng Jin, is the elected successor amongst the Dukes. Handsome, quiet (Taiwanese
Chocolate Brownie...Hmmm....that's new....) and with a heart full of love waiting to burst out in passionate.......oops....hang on.....that's not right.....let's get back to the gist...

But there is a catch here, dear viewers. In order for Xiao Mei to inherit the richness after grandpaa's demise, she needs to marry the successor, Jin. Otherwise, the whole Dynasty will fall into the hands of the Board of Directors. ("Got such thing meh? " I asked)

What ensued are the usual antics by grandpa to get the 2 together. And of course, like its Korean counterpart, there IS an illness in this drama. Anyway......

So, what does Aini think about this drama? Aini thinks it's OK lah. I don't quite like the prolonged suspense of "Will she admit that she loves him?" "When is he EVER going to say I love you too, Xiao Mai"....I was going like "Ah for goodness' sakes, get on with it already!" The acting skills of Wu Zhu and Calvin Chen from the group Fahrenheit 飛輪海 in this drama needs more work, I think, compared to Angela's more relaxed style.

But more importantly, what do Aini's kids have to say about this drama? Aini's son (Who's NEVER watched any drama from start till end), proclaimed "This is the BEST drama I have ever watched!".

But seriously, I think they should sack the music director and editor of this drama. The music's inappropriate for some scenes, poor choice of songs, poor editing. Basically, the music editing sucks.

To summarise, this drama is like watching Goong, Goong S and Hello Miss Mandarin.

I give this drama 2 pop corns

(I am kind. I took into account the entertainment value from my kids' perspective).

Watch in on Channel U. Don't buy the DVD.