The Divine Fury (Korean Movie 2019)

The-Divine-Fury_Official-Stills-17.jpg

Movie Rating: 9/10

The movie starts off with a young boy named Yong Hoo who lived happily with his father who was a policeman. One day an incident happened to his father during his patrol which sent him in the hospital in a critical condition. During that time, Yong Hoo prayed sincerely in church so that his father may live. There was a priest who joined him in prayer and told him that God listens to everyone, however his father eventually passed away and Yong Hoo resented God ever since.

Divine Fury

Twenty years later, Yong Hoo grew up to be an Mixed Martial Arts professional fighter who has never lost a match. He also goes crazy inside (and outside) the ring whenever he sees the sign of a cross and his situation becomes worse when his right hand starts bleeding in the middle of the night accompanied with nightmares which were actually demons who were trying to inhabit his body. He went from one doctor to another to help him out but to no avail. As a final resort he visited a shaman who pointed out that there’s a priest near his place and that person could help him out. When he meets the priest who was called Father Ahn, he was doing an exorcism and was about to get killed by a demon possessed man who was strangling him in the ground. Yong Hoo got involved in the middle of it by fighting the demon without knowing what he was getting himself into.

This movie was pretty much entertaining despite the fact that it was a horror themed show and for a person like me who’s a wuss when it comes to scary stuff, I was able to tolerate it because of the story line. I like how all kinds of elements (as expected from Korean entertainment) were incorporated in the movie – from dramatic moments of heart wrenching scenes between the love of a father and son, up to the creepy demonic interactions of the main leads along with their epic fight scenes. Every time Father Ahn still_set_2_26937starts his ritual, I can’t help but cringe at the thought that he’s going to get hurt again because the demons are quite brutal. He’s always left with scars and bruises whenever the purification was done and to think that he’s too old to get battered around literally by the devil. The exorcism part were both scary and action packed that it left me a bit breathless because I sort of unintentionally stop breathing whenever the demon possessed person ends up clutching someone’s throat. It’s also the first time that I’ve seen exorcism that is mixed with fight scenes in a horror movie which actually made me feel a bit better watching through it. The scary part was quite downgraded because of the combat between human and demon.

Another thing that made this movie interesting were the tidbits of background story and history of both the main characters, specifically Yong Hoo and Father Ahn but at the same time it was also the reason I only gave this movie a 9/10 rating. It wasn’t clear if the characters realized who each other were or the writers and producers just wanted to let the audience have a common sense that it was already implied that the two were connected in the past at some point. Anyway, setting that little rant aside, I love the characters and the actors who portrayed them. Interestingly, the actor who portrayed NP_20190814_YFMOVIE14YTO5_5044875Father Ahn was named Ahn Sung Ki. I’m not sure if the writer already had him in mind when he wrote the script and penned his actual name in or it was all pure coincidence. The guy is actually a veteran actor and he nailed the character through and through. I couldn’t imagine any other actor to do justice to the role. Then there’s Yong Hoo who’s acted by Park Seo Joon. Well honestly, one of the reasons I checked this film out was because of him. Yeah, yeah, yeah… it’s not much of a reason to check out a film but still, it’s PSJ! There’s nothing much I can do about it since I’m pretty fond of the guy. At first though I was hesitant to watch it since I have mentioned earlier I’m not a fan of horror themes plus the fact that I thought PSJ’s character was a priest. I know my reasoning was so shallow, but that alone was a turn off for me to check the movie out but then I watched the trailer and I changed my mind. It really didn’t matter if PSJ was an MMA fighter or a priest because the overall story of the movie was great. Cinematography and CGI was pretty much realistic that watching it made the 2 hours and 9 minutes of my time all worth it.

Lastly, what really made this a good watch for me were the dialogues. There were a lot of quotable quotes in it. This may seem a bit of a spoiler but I think it’s still worth mentioning. In the movie, Yong Hoo kept reminding father Ahn that he doesn’t believe in God, when in fact father Ahn thinks otherwise because he knows that Yong Hoo hates God so much. He said that Yong Hoo can’t hate something that he doesn’t believe in, and that’s the kind of faith Yong Hoo has and that’s what father Ahn needed to keep the exorcism going. It was one of those moments which overcomes the scary part of the movie and makes it more sentimental. Over all this movie was a good watch and I definitely would recommend it to those who loves horror and action.

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.

Ouroboros (Japanese Drama 2015)

poster.jpg

Drama Rating: 9/10

Ryuzaki Ikuo and Danno Tatsuya are orphans who grew up in an orphanage called Mahoroba no Ie. When they were elementary school students, an orphanage staff, who took care of them like an older sister, was killed by someone before their very eyes. The two of them gave statements to the police, but their words were squashed by a police official with a gold watch and the case was also covered up for some reason. 15 years later, Ikuo has become a detective. Skilled at catching whiff of cases, he has the highest rate of arrests in his police precinct. On the other hand, Tatsuya has risen to the top of the underworld as a leading member of an organised crime group. A police and a gangster with only each other to trust. The objectives of these two people, who should never have any association, are to locate the gold watch man within the police, find out the truth and expose the darkness of this all powerful organization.

Based on the manga series “Ouroboros” by Kanzaki Yuuya.

Excerpted from: My Dramalist

Ouroboros may sound like a simple story about 2 boys who met in the orphanage and set Ouroboros - 02.mp4_002343641off to get revenge when their foster mother was killed right in front of them, however don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the summary because there’s more that this drama could offer. It has a dark humor hovering around the dialogues, violence, secrets within a secret and the never ending conspiracies from one another. It’s a twisty piece of work that would keep you on your toes, even though at times it is easy to guess who the culprit is, it still does not deter the mysterious death of some characters due to an underlying circumstances in every episode.

I knew what I was getting myself into when I started this drama and yet I still watched it until the very end. Though there were a lot of things in this series which I didn’t like, there were MORE things which I found likable that it made up for the lack luster of what I was expecting. Another thing about the story line is the ending, it was great that the writers were not afraid to go into that kind of direction for the final episode. It made me smile and cry at the same time.

The bonus point for me in this drama is the fact that Ikuta Toma and Oguri Shun are my Japanese Actor biases. Then add up Ueno Juri into the tandem, that makes it a perfect cast for me. They are a bunch of veterans and I felt the vibe of the whole drama along with the cast’s chemistry. It was really something that these actors can pull off. One minute they are being all funny, then the next they’re mad and then all of the sudden they’re crying. It’s like watching a whirl wind of emotions set to trap me in all those feels.

There were times though when they are set up in a ridiculous situation and have to give an over the top acting style (which is sometimes annoying) but they eventually redeem themselves with the dialogues and the funny inserts. But mostly, this drama is full of seriousness and has a heavy feel. It shows that every action has consequences andOuroboros - 01.mp4_000002002 choices made whether it’s right or wrong has its own ramifications. In the end Karma wins everything. I love how they explained what Ouroborus meant, it is actually an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. The name originates from within Greek language; (oura) meaning “tail” and (boros) meaning “eating”, thus “he who eats the tail” (excerpted from Crystalinks), in the drama they explained that it also meant life and death, the cycle of humans who lived then died and lived again.

Music wise, this OST really caught my attention. Hearing the sound track felt really familiar, it was as if I heard them before on several dramas. When I researched, Arashi’s name came out. That’ when I realized the music score felt like listening to Maou’s OST which was also sang by Arashi. It was a really good music score which was attractive enough to fit the drama’s tone.

Another thing that made this enjoyable was the political battles inside the police government and each department. It’s fun seeing who’s side would win and who along the way would be affected. Usually though due to these political strife the innocent becomes not so innocent due to grudges held. I want to say more but I’m holding myself off since I don’t want to give spoiler alerts to anyone.

Last note: this drama has a minimal or almost nonexistent romance along the story line so I would suggest for people to check out this drama if they are in the mood for the things I have mentioned above except for the romance part.

Some of the photos are not mine. Credits to the owner.

Iris (Korean Drama 2009)

iris

Drama Rating: 7/10

Kim Hyun Joon and Jin Sa Woo are close friends who are both best in their military skills, they are then recruited into the NSS (National Security System) a top secret organization comprised of elite agents which does covert missions for the Koreaniris2-00111 government. During their time in NSS, both men falls in love with the beautiful and yet feisty profiler agent named Choi Seung Hee, however she only reciprocated Hyun Joon’s affection which pushed Sa Woo on the sidelines. When Hyun Joon was assigned on a mission to Hungary, he became severely wounded but was able to escape. Upon his return, he learned that he was set up and was betrayed by his friend Hyun Joon. He was then taken into custody as a criminal and is due for interrogation and jail time. Seung Hee tried to help him escape but one thing led to iris20-00023another and both were torn apart by a bombing incident which led Seung Hee to believe that Hyun Joon died. On the other hand, Hyun Joon was saved by complete strangers who introduced themselves to be a part of another secret organization named IRIS. Hyun Joon fled to another country under a different identity, when he came back to Korea he was set out for revenge against the people who wanted him dead in the guise of  aiding the people who wants to stop the reunification of South and North Korea.

Basically Iris is like a taste of ALIAS, the American series which starred Jennifer Garner, the difference is that this drama is in male form with a downer story line and bitter ending. I’ll start off with what I loved about this drama and that will be Lee Byung Hun and 582391624_origKim Tae-hee. They made this series worth watching because of their sizzling hot chemistry, kick ass action scenes and those witty dialogues which made this drama a household name. As for the supporting cast, I have fallen in love with the antagonist! Why is T.O.P. one heck of a slick villain?!? This was the first drama which I’ve seen him in and he was awesome in it. He can hold a gun to my head and I probably wouldn’t care just like the lady he’s together with during his undercover mission.

Then there’s the back drop setting in which they actually went to different countries to shoot realistic and proper locations which was a huge plus point for the series. What really made it a recommendable drama was the action scenes. As I have mentioned earlier it was like ALIAS,  it was kick ass and butt full of action. The fight scenes were eye popping that it was hard for me to think that it wasn’t a movie but instead a drama. They outdid themselves in the choreography with the fight sequence, battle gear and stunts. That’s why I am recommending it whole heartedly, plus not to forget the judo moves and gun shots. There were also a lot of run-for-your-life-while-bleeding-on-the-left-side-of-your-gut-crazed-looks while guns are aimed dead-on skulls. Even dying with blood stricken tears streaming down the face looked darn good and didn’t seem upsetting to watch.

As for the story line, it did start off great along with heavy action scenes but it just lost me along episode 5 up until it was about to end. It got all messy for the wrong reasons and the twists weren’t enough to put fire on my ass and say, “Gaaaaad… that was awesome”. The romance wasn’t enough to salvage that even though they had a really good concept for the romantic part in the whole series. So I’m leaving the story line behind with all my rants at the backroom because other factors made the drama a good one for its genre. Pushing all negative factors about the plot, I simply don’t care anymore as long as I get one full hour of action.

 

Photos are not mine. Credits to the owner.