Dream High (Korean Drama 2011)

Dream High (11)

Drama Rating: 8/10

Go Hye Mi is a talented singer who attends in a prestigious school that focuses in Dream High (18)classical music, however she had to quit her dream because her father could no longer support her high class education. As her life turns upside down, she was forced to enter Kirin Art High School to pay off her father’s debt along with several conditions: she has to convince two other students to attend the same school. One of the student is named Song Sam Dream High (7)Dong, a country bumpkin who knows nothing of the real world but has a gifted voice. The other student is Jin Guk, a problematic child who seeks the acknowledgement of his father, the Mayor of the district. Hye Mi has one female friend, Yoon Baek Hee – she also dreams of being a musical artist but due to her low self esteem and timid personality, she tends to be overshadowed by Hye Mi who is brash and outspoken. They became rivals due to an Dream High (3)audition which caused a rift in their friendship. Along the way, they encounter Kim Pil Sook – a shy girl with a beautiful voice and a big body. She usually tries to blend into the background due to being self conscious of her body weight but Jason, a boy who used to live overseas tends to put her in the limelight.

Amidst the struggle of these students, they all have the same dream and that is to become a successful artist in the entertainment industry.

 

This is a musical drama in which I dared myself to watch to see if I could stomach in a couple of kids singing pop songs and dancing around some stage. To my surprise, it wasn’t the crappy show that I expected. The pilot episode starts off with showing a top artist who is called “K” by the crowd. Of course the face and body is not revealed but a simple detail such as a necklace is the only clue as to who this person could be. Thus, a mystery factor and a guessing game is ensured throughout the drama. I liked this bit, because during the show’s run – that necklace was passed from one person to another. I had my own biases and bets as to who K actually could be and though I ended up being wrong, it was fun until it lasted because not knowing who’s going to end up being the best was part of the thrill in watching the show.

Dream High (10)Some of the acting may have been a bit off with some of the characters which I presume is their first time to be cast in a drama, but still, the overall delivery and concept of Dream High was far from what I anticipated. It was better than what I imagined and was a heartwarming show after all. I grew to love the main characters and their quirks. My most favorite would be Pil Sook who was acted by IU. I can’t believe that her career would skyrocket after this drama because she has become such a big star now that she gets to snag lead roles. I feel like a mom who’s proud of her daughter’s achievements.

The colors and cinematography all throughout was eye catching and the characters were as colorful in their own life story that it brought out the goodness of the series.

I have more thoughts about this drama but it’s not going to be much fun of a watch, if I pinpoint every detail. I am definitely recommending this for those unbiased people who want to check out the pop-culture-industry of Korea. Music wise, it was alright since I’m not much of a K-pop fan BUT I love IU’s rendition of Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles.

 

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.

 

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King 2 Hearts (Korean Drama 2012)

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Drama Rating: 9/10

The story line is about the unification of South and North Korea through an alliance, a marriage from a prestigious family from each country. Kim Hang Ah is the only daughter of the Deputy Minister of the North Korean Ministry of Unification, she is also part of North Korea’s military’s elite force. Despite having a tough exterior due to being a king 2 heartssoldier, she has dreams of finding her feminine side through a better half. When she encounters Lee Jae Ha, the easy go lucky prince of South Korea it seems like she had entered a nightmare. Both were engaged due to political reasons but somehow they find themselves drawn to each other and eventually fall in love. Though both have different outlook and positions in life, when they are cornered by the people around them and they only have each other to rely on, they both become an unstoppable couple.

This series was action packed mixed with romance, drama and politics. It had so many interesting elements which made me wish it could actually happen in real life, but then again, this is drama land and there are so many loopholes which I would rather not have in real life.

So now, let me proceed on dissecting this drama into two parts.

First off the action:

king-gun2I love watching Ha Ji Won kicking ass on screen. Whether it is in a movie or a drama I love seeing her as a strong, independent woman who can make men drop on her their knees with their balls shrinking from their behind. There’s no difference here, as Kim Hang Ah is a general’s daughter – strong willed, stubborn, military trained sniper/assassin and yet still smoking with femininity. She is a woman with a high caliber. Literally and figuratively speaking. Then there’s our male counter part Lee Seung Ki. This guy is awesome on screen. He’s not really good looking but man… he is oozing with charm and sex appeal, I don’t know where he gets it. I loved his character as Lee Jae Ha for several reasons – he is a dork, irresponsible and has an easy go lucky personality – which would make viewers think (what makes that likable?) but then these characteristics makes him normal and realisticTk2H15avi_002795362 in terms of being a rebellious prince – someone who is second in the throne. He had so much issues on hand but it gave his character so much room for improvement. If anyone does end up watching this, they’ll know what I mean. Setting these two main characters aside, I should not forget the supporting actors, the bad guys and the overall theatrics.

20120529_seoulbeats_king2heartsAnother character favorite of mine is Jo Jung Suk as Eun Shi Kyung. He suits the role as a national guard who protects the royalties. He was great in his portrayal and how he stands up to Lee Jae Ha’s being a pain in the ass to everyone. But what I liked most was his chemistry with the princess. The spoiled sister Lee Jae Shin acted by Lee Yoon Ji. She was awesome here, although initially her character is the happy spoiled princess she’s supposed to be, she actually becomes more than that and becomes a vital character in the drama. Finally we have Yoon Je Moon as Kim Bong Goo aka John Mayer. Gaaaad… king09-00026.jpgcan’t they think of a better name than that? Why name a bad guy after a singer? Anyway… aside from the cheesy namesake, his character was crazy as a bastard. He has a deep grudge against the royalties and has planned out everything up to the very last detail. I like the way he has portrayed his sick character, it was so believable and him being an antagonist works like magic.

Now let’s go with the Romance, Drama and Politics:

In every drama there is always the conflict of romance, but in every politics we seldom see romance as a highlight. Here these three elements are mixed together perfectly. Nothing is over shadowed. I wish I could talk more about that without spoiling the drama, but unfortunately it will be a spoiler, so I would rather not dwell in that. Hopefully someone out there would check this drama out to see how all drama elements were blended so well.

This drama is re-watchable since I like ass kicking and bickering from our main characters. The sound track was alright, it did match up with the scenes and was appropriate in every episode but it just did not stick into my head. Over all I highly recommend this drama for those who likes the genre I have mentioned on top.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.

Princess Jellyfish (Japanese Movie 2014)

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Movie Rating: 8/10

Kurashita Tsukimi is a shy woman obsessed with jellyfish but has a talent for makingPrincess-Jellyfish-5-1024x576 things out of cloth. She lives in a dorm house along with other women who have their own quirks. They are somehow separated from society and mostly called an “Otaku” due to their specific hobbies. One day Tsukimi rescues Koibuchi Kuranosuke, a cross dresser whom she has mistaken as a real woman. When she took Kuranosuke to her home, things started to change little by little up until they are about to loose their house due to realtors trying to oust the neighborhood for business purposes. Kuranosuke tries to convince everyone to step up and urged Tsukimi to create something out of her obsession.

Watching this movie was like opening a plastic wrap with a bunch of gummy bears. It was sweet, colorful and full of fun.

657703The movie may seem nonsensical or rather another “Make Over” concept at first, but gradually, the fun starts when the cross dressing male lead Koibuchi Kuranosuke gets more involved with the female lead Kurashita Tsukimi and her housemates. I think that’s where the story line actually picks up. Kuragehime may not have a great romance aspect into it, but it does give hints as to whom the character’s heart actually belongs to. The portrayal of an Otaku in this film is also quite a bit over rated to my taste but then there’s Kuranosuke who by the way is trying to hide the fact that he is a male cross dressing as a female so as not to be hated by Tuskimi’s housemates who thinks he is a girl… so that actually became a redeemer factor for me. The story revolves around this simple story line made complicated by the characters themselves. Though there may be additional conflict inserts along the plot line, it didn’t give much impact to the overall feel of the film.

Acting wise, I really enjoyed the fact that the main lead is comfortable wearing female clothes and actually looks good in it. Compared to other cross dressed actors I’ve seen, Suda Masaki nailed his role, he never once looked like he was a trying-hard-wannabe-cross-dresser. It was fun watching him punch the air in excitement, dress up Mitzuki inPrincess_Jellyfish-008 pretty clothes and walk like a model while speaking in a male voice. The way he acted spelled FUN all over the place. Then there’s our female lead, Mitzuki. Nounen Rena who portrayed this character (with her glasses on) looked so much like Aoi Miyazaki from the Movie – Tada Kimi Wo Aishiteru. Sorry, I had to insert that because I really found the resemblance quite astounding! Aside from that detail, I found myself liking her character. It wasn’t as strong as the male lead, but it was cute enough to compliment Masaki along the way.

Princess-Jellyfish-1-1024x576As for the other supporting actresses, I found each characters lovable: Banba (afro girl), Mayaya (Bangs Girl), Chieko (Doll Girl) and Jiji (Old Man lover girl). The person who caught my attention though was the afro girl. I really find her fetish for trains a bit odd, but her other skills like photography, having a keen eye, attention to details… those things made her really interesting. Oh! Her BIG Afro wig was a big plus too. Aside from these girls, I will have to insert Kuranosuke’s brother – Shu Koibuchi and his ever faithful driver Yoshio Hanamori (played by my favorite Mokomichi Hayami-san!!!). Their tandem in this movie is funny, despite the over-acting in their part, I still find the slapstick comedy funny.

Music wise, I find it endearing and catchy, it also made me check out the band which was SEKAI NO OWARI. Ironically upon listening to their music they have the same feel as the American Band: Owl City, and when I did my research they already had a show together! That piece of information was really awesome. Another trivia about SEKAI NO OWARI, they are also the same band who sang the OST for Attack on Titans (but it’s such a shame the movie wasn’t up to my expectations).

Over all, this will be worth your time if your mood is into a feel-good-funny movie with bits and pieces about Otakus, Gender Bender and Fashion.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.