Films

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013)

Kaguyahime no monogatari (original title)

Based on The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter

Director: Isao Takahata

Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her – but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.

★★★✮☆

Magical plot told in great visuals.

Series

Oh My Ghost (2015)

Director: Yoo Je-won
Writer: Yang Hee-seung, Yang Seo-yoon
Stars: Park Bo-young, Jo Jung-suk, Lim Ju-hwan, Kim Seul-gie

Na Bong-Sun works as an assistant chef. Because of her timid personality and low self-esteem, she doesn’t have any friends. Since she was a child, she has been able to ghosts because of her shaman grandmother. One day, she becomes possessed by seductress ghost Shin Soon-Ae.

Kang Sun-Woo is a star chef. Na Bong-Sun has a secret crush on him. He is good looking and confident as a chef. Even though he is popular with women, he has yet to get over his ex-girlfriend. He begins to notice Na Bong-Sun after her sudden change.

 

Oh My Ghost is more of a drama than comedy. However, I had fun watching it because of the cooking. I’ve always wanted to learn how to cook good so watching features about food is always a go for me. Aside from that, I enjoyed watching this one because it renders a “realistic” feel. Yeah, it’s a fantasy, but how the characters were portrayed and how the scenes (the employees go drinking every night after work, they constantly badmouth their boss but they don’t leave work, etc). Somehow, I was able to relate to them.

There are also a lot of funny quips.

 

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Series

W (2016)

w-two-worlds

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.

w

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

w-kang-chul

w-yeon-joo

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

so-hee

so-hee-yeon-joo

 

yeon-joo

Series

The Legend of the Blue Sea (2016-2017)

legend-of-the-blue-sea

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!).

lee-min-ho-alcohol

Series

My Love from the Star (2013-2014)

my-love-from-the-star

Byeoreseo on Geudae (original title), You Who Came from the Stars

Stars: Ji-hyun Jun, Soo-hyun Kim, Hae-Jin Park
Do Min-Joon, an alien that came to our planet 400 years ago, will be able to return to his planet in 3 months, but when he meets famous actress Chun Song-Yi, all the centuries he spent distancing himself from humans come to an end.

★★★✮☆

Thanks to Legend of the Blue Sea, my interest for Korean dramas had been re-ignited. Because of Jun Ji-hyun’s character in the said series, I was compelled to see her other series which had also been very popular few years ago. Good thing I did because My Love from the Star is just soooo good.

I know I am very late for the party. They already showed a Tagalized version (dubbed in Filipino) of this in the Philippines, and I caught snippets of it shared on Facebook. However, that time, I just find the plot mundane–an alien falling in love with an actress? No, thanks. But now I get it. This series is a mix of cute, crazy and sad. The scenes and dialogues are well-thought off and very witty. They’re probably funnier if I understand Korean language. The acting is also superb. It was like the main characters were born to play their roles. It was my first time watching most of the actors, but they are really good in this series. This show is a also feast for the eyes in terms of fashion. I loved the plot, and fell in love with the characters. Koreans make really good rom-coms.

my-love-from-the-star-ep11

Films

Your Name (2016)

kimi-no-na-wa

Kimi no na wa. (original title)

Director: Makoto Shinkai
Stars: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryô Narita

Two high school kids who’ve never met – city boy Taki and country girl Mitsuha – are united through their dreams.

★★★★☆

One of the best films I’ve seen this year. I’ve seen similar films, but there’s just something enchanting about this one that sets it apart from the others. It probably speaks to me more being someone who regards dreams as really magical. I love it so much as a matter of fact I am watching it again. (Not to mention right now the OST is on loop on spotify.)