My Annoying Brother (2016)

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Hyeong (original title)

Director: Soo-Kyung Kwon
Stars: Kyung-soo Do, Jung-suk Jo, Shin-hye Park

Doo-Sik gets paroled from prison thanks to his younger brother Doo-Young. Doo-Young is a promising judo athlete, who became blind after damaging his optic nerves in an international competition. After 15 years, Doo-Sik suddenly appears in front of Doo-Young and they begin to live together.

★★★☆☆

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo (2016-2017)

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Yeokdoyojeong Gim Bokju (original title)

Director: Oh Hyun-jong
Writer: Yang Hee-seung
Stars: Lee Song-Kyoung, Nam Joo-Hyuk Nam

A coming-of-age story about a group of college athletes who are fighting for their dreams, experiencing and finding love in the process, and growing every step of the way.

★★★✮☆ 

An all feel-good series from the start ’til the end about school, friendships, first loves and heartbreaks, with lots of college kilig scenes in each episode. This will probably take you back to the memories of your high school/college love.

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The story deviated from the usual rich-poor love story, or the story between two popular kids in school, or the one where the one of the protagonists turns beautiful/handsome after being turned down, and so forth. Joon Young and Book Joo’s is a love story which blossomed from friendship. Yung gwapo ang naghahabol dito besh, maiba lang.

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This series also maximized Korea’s beauty in autumn and spring by shooting in scenic places. Even the cafes and restaurants featured in the series are very youthful and hipster.

All the characters are very loveable. There are no villains. Si Joon Young lang ang petty dito, petty ng issues. :p Pero ang gwapo ni oppa!

Sakaling Hindi Makarating (2016)

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Director: Ice Idanan
Writers: Ice Idanan
Stars: Alessandra de Rossi, Teri Malvar, Pepe Herrera, JC Santos

A series of mysterious hand-illustrated postcards take a young woman on a journey throughout the Philippines in search of its anonymous writer.

★★★★☆

I’ve waited so long for this. Finally, I was able to see it tonight. Ang ganda-ganda. From the opening scene ’til the end credits, the film was aesthetically marvelous.

While I was expecting a different plot, I was quite amazed by how the story went. The creators proved that it doesn’t have to be a love story for a film to have a great story.

Sakaling Hindi Makarating is a story of finding someone, but the protagonist ended up finding herself in the process. It doesn’t hurt that she was able to do so by going around the Philippines. Guys, ang ganda ng Pilipinas. I almost forgot how beautiful my country is (because these days, all I do is dream about going abroad). I know the film speaks to many of us who are constantly looking for something–something that seemed to be missing in our life. Kung may eksena kang hanap-hanap ng sarili chuchu, panoorin mo ‘to.

Plus the actors are all de-kalidad.

No Breathing (2013)

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Nobeureshing (original title)

Director: Yong-sun Jo
Writers: Yong-sun Jo, Yeong-ah Yoo
Stars: Jong-Suk Lee, In-guk Seo, Yuri

A gifted swimmer rediscovers his talent by entering a competition against his long-time rival.

★★★☆☆

One of those okay lang movies. Yung papanoorin mo dahil may crush ka sa cast. Obviously, I watched it because of Lee Jong Suk oppa haha.A bit of trivia: they shot several scenes in Davao.

Trivia: they shot several scenes in Davao. Swerte ng mga nakakita sa mga oppa!

I want this rooftop set up for my future house!

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Hot Young Bloods (2014)

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Pikkeulneun Cheongchun (original title)

Director: Yeon-woo Lee
Stars: Soo Jin Jun, Hee-won Kim, Young-kwang Kim, Lee Jong Suk

In a rural town in 1982, a young girl is a feared gang leader of her school, but she secretly has a crush on a playboy. When a transfer student arrives, the playboy falls in love with her and this stirs up chaos at school.

★★★☆☆

I don’t know but these kind of movies really speak to me. Probably because they remind me of my adventures and misadventures when I was younger.

What I like about the film:

Most of the scenes are so raw and honest. They didn’t forget to insert funny quips as well.

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The cinematography is commendable as well. This is the scene where So-hee was walking home alone in the dark countryside road with only the moon lighting her path. Joong-gil offers a bicycle ride but she refuses so what he did was ride forward, and then stops somewhere to light So-hee’s path. It was lovely, and sweet.

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The actors did well. Aside from their A+ acting, they really looked like high schoolers. And of course, Lee Jong Suk always get the pogi roles. Even in a probinsya setting, he is the pogi one.

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W (2016)

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W – du gaeui segye (original title)

Director: Jung Dae-yoon
Writer: Soong Jae-jung
Stars: Lee Jong-suk, Han Hyo-joo

Cardiothoracic surgeon Oh Yeon-joo’s father mysteriously went missing while writing the last chapter of his webtoon “W”. Yeon-joo goes to his office and is shocked to see a scene of the dying Kang Cheol, the main character of W, on her father’s computer. While reading a note left behind by her father, a hand from the monitor pulled her in and she finds herself on the rooftop of a building next to a bleeding man. She manages to save him and realizes that the person she saved was Kang Cheol. Yeon-joo later discovers that she can only leave the webtoon based on Kang Cheol’s change in feelings. When that happens, the words ‘to be continued’ will appear and she will teleport back to the real world.

★★★✮☆

This series is enjoyable on so many levels. The geek and mushy in me loved it. The premise was intriguing enough (though my main reason for seeing it is actually Lee Jong-suk oppa haha). The effects used were fancy. I was watching their BTS and indeed, they invested a lot in the filming. (Dito ko lang na-feel na gusto kong mag-work for prod. Ang gara!)

The story has a right mix of drama, action, fantasy, and romance, which makes every episode interesting. The plot is out of this world, probably out of t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶l̶d̶ two worlds, hehe. There were a lot of funny and cute scenes. Both leads have a great chemistry. This is probably the one that has the most kissing scenes of all the Korean dramas I’ve seen so far. There were 5 or 6 I think. There were a lot of amazing shots/cinematography–those timelapses, the paused space-time, etc. I also loved the scenes in comic/drawing format. It definitely rendered a unique flavor for this series.

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Also, ang gwapo ni Jong suk, at ang pretty ni Hyo joo.

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Also, I love love love So Hee’s style, and Yeon Joo’s as well.

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The Legend of the Blue Sea (2016-2017)

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Pooreun Badaui Junsul (original title)

Directors: Jin Hyuk, Park Seon-Ho
Writer: Park Ji-eun
Stars: Lee Min-ho, Jun Ji-hyun

Love story between a mermaid and a man which starts in the Joseon era where they first met, and continued to the modern time when they were both reincarnated.

★★★☆☆

This is the one that it started it all–my addiction to Korean drama. It was November last year and I was up writing a term paper. It was past midnight and I thought I am gonna have a break by watching this series. I’ve been seeing posts about this on my Facebook so I thought I’d check it out. It stars Lee Min Ho so that’s enough reason for me. I enjoyed the first episode enough to give myself another 1 hour break so I could see the next episode. Then I started talking about it to my friends, and urging them to see it as well. And then fast forward to today, yeah, we are now one of those who’d binge-watch Korean dramas, and learned who’s who among the Hallyu stars.

It was really off to a good start. There were a lot of funny scenes–Jun Ji-hyun really knows comedy. However, it somehow becomes dragging. The plot is more fitting for a shorter running time. They stretched the story too much it became uninteresting. But because I invested a lot of time and emotions, I had to finish it.

Positive: cinematography, excellent acting (Lee Min Ho galing!).

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