Series

Reply 1988 (2015-2016)

Eungdapara 1988

Director: Shin Won-ho
Writer: Lee Woo-jung
Stars: Lee Hye-ri, Park Bo-gum, Go Kyung-pyo, Ryu Jun-yeol, Lee Dong-hwi

Set in the year 1988, the drama revolves around five friends and their families living in the same neighborhood of Ssangmun-dong, Dobong District, Northern Seoul.

★★★✮☆

I started watching this earlier this year, but ended up stopping after 1 and a half episode because the truth is it bored me. I wanted to see it because the descriptions of the drama I read from the internet piqued my interest. It says there the drama shows the beginning of K-pop, thus I was sold. I was also curious why it gained a high rating during its airing, and I got that answer from the first episode alone. The drama probably brought a great deal of nostalgia among its viewers for its pop culture and its juxtaposition on real events. I swear I have learned so much about Korean culture and their ways after seeing this, much more than the over 10 romantic comedies I’ve seen in the past months.

Centralling on five friends living in the same neighborhood and growing knowing everything about each other, it will probably take you back to your own childhood as well, and the struggles of going to school, and growing up altogether.

Great plot, well-curated characters, superb acting, just the right mixture of drama and comedy, and a lot of life lessons.

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Films

Glory Day (2016)

Director: Choi Jeong-Yeol
Writer: Choi Jeong-Yeol
stars: Ji Soo, Suho, Ryoo Joon-Yeol, Kim Hee-Chan

Yong-Bi, Sang-Woo, Ji-Gong, and Doo-Man are four 20-year-old friends. They take a trip to Pohang for one night and 2 days for Sang-Woo who is about to enlist in the military. At night, they drink on the beach and watch the night view of the sea. At that time, the friends see a woman being beaten by a man. They run to save her.

★★★☆☆

Good plot, although a little bit predictable, and good acting as well.

Films

Like for Likes (2016)

Original title: Joa-haejo

Director: Park Hyun-jin
Writer: Park Hyun-jin, Yoo Young-a
Stars: Lee Mi-yeon, Choi Ji-woo, Kim Joo-hyeok, Yoo Ah-in, Kang Ha-neul, Esom

A notoriously shrewish TV drama writer and a Korean wave star who fight like cats and dogs every time they meet; a spinster flight attendant landlady and a nosy chef tenant who build a sense of camaraderie; a genius relationship-virgin composer who harbors a secret admiration for a scatterbrained producer. As they cash-land into each others’ lives, will there be love?

★★✮☆☆

This movie tackles different issues ordinary people face in their daily lives, but because they live in a fictional movie setting, in the end everything falls into place and all characters get their happy ending.

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Films

Cyrano Agency (2010)

Si-ra-no; Yeon-ae-jo-jak-do (original title)

Director: Kim Hyun-seok
Stars: Eom Tae Woong, Park Shin Hye, Choi Daniel, Park Chul Min

The successful Cyrano Agency, composed of theater actors and staff, helps people to find a love life by staging ideal romantic set-ups, until they are hired to help Sang-yong.

★★★☆☆   Enjoyable

It was my first time hearing about this plot, yet I find it really creative. This Korean take on this 1800s play is cute.

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Series

Strong Woman Do Bong-soon (2017)

Him-ssen Yeo-ja Do Bong-soon (original title)

Do Bong-soon is a woman born with superhuman strength that comes from the long line of women possessing it. When Ahn Min Hyuk, the CEO of a gaming company, witnesses her strength, he hires her as his personal bodyguard.

★★★☆☆   Enjoyable

A series which is more of a comedy than romance. There are lots of funny scenes til the end.

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Films

Unforgettable (2016)

Soonjung (original title)/Pure Love (literal title)

Director: Lee Eun-Hee
Writer: Han Chang-Hoon, Lee Eun-Hee
Stars: Kyung-soo Do, Kim So-Hyun

On a live music radio show, a letter arrives from the 23 years in the past. Through the letter, the first love and friendships of five friends are revealed.

★★★✮☆   Super Good

Masakit sa puso. Sobra. I was an emotional wreck after watching this film. I cried so hard I couldn’t fathom why. I’ve seen much sadder movies, but this one just hit something. Maybe because I was able to somehow relate to the story and the characters, and what they have to go through. The plot and the characters are well-woven, it is so good.

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Films

Penny Pinchers (2011)

Ti-kkeul-mo-a ro-maen-seu (original title)

Director & Writer: Kim Jung Hwan
Stars: Han Ye-seul Han, Song Joong-ki Song

Ji-woong is a loser who can’t find a job so he lies to his mom for money, but his mom abruptly cuts him off one day, and he becomes homeless. But that same day, salvation arrives in the form of Hong-sil who’s extremely stingy. Her hobby is visiting the bank to make savings deposits, and her specialty is selling empty glass bottles and old newspapers for cash. One day, her savings plans are brought to a screeching halt when she learns she needs a separate bank account under someone else’s name to reach her goal of 20 million dollars. That’s when Ji-woong comes into the picture.

★★★✮☆

This is a gem. I immensely enjoyed this movie because of the fact that I can relate to what the characters are going through. The female lead plays a character closest to my own situation.

And Joong-ki is extra-adorable here.

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