Door Lock (Korean Movie 2018)

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Movie Rating: 9/10

A male stalker is on the loose and his victims are women who lives alone.

Door Lock (2018).mp4_000464088Jo Kyung Min is a temporary worker in a bank and she lives by herself in a studio apartment. She’s been a weary tenant who reports to the police repeatedly about weird things happening around her house, as if someone is stalking her. The police were getting tired of her frequent reports until one day, a murder incident happens which they couldn’t ignore. This causes Kyung Min’s life to spiral out of control as she gets herself involved in a cat and mouse chase with an unknown killer. Even with the help of her friend and a dubious detective, she couldn’t escape the fact that she’s the culprits next target.

I wan’t to say more about the story line but it would be a total give away if I do that. That’s why I’m really holding myself back from writing anything that would be spoiler-ish. The thrill of not knowing is what makes this film a good one. Also, this movie is a great way to make single women who lives alone become more paranoid than then ever. Heh.

The reason why I checked out this film aside from the fact that I love Gong Hyo Jin who acted as Jo Kyung Min, was the story line. It’s also a great date movie if I may add, specially stressing on the part when the killer is on the move… I had to clutch on my husband’s hand while all those gory scenes were happening on screen. I’m not much of a Door Lock (2018).mp4_002796084fan of thriller-suspense movies, but this really hooked me up. I’d suggest that viewers should pay attention to details while watching this film because they were given so much thought by the writer. The actors were also great, Hyo Jin nailed her character as a woman who’s paranoia was palpable and yet she’s trying to keep herself together through everything that has been happening. I would also like to give a special mention to two characters in this movie, first would be Oh Hyo Joo which was acted by Kim Ye Won and Detective Lee portrayed by Kim Sung Oh. Hyo Joo is one of Kyung Min’s closest co-worker, I like the fact that this woman is bad ass and has a strong personality. The kind of physical and emotional support that she gives Kyung Min is something that would make any womanDoor Lock (2018).mp4_003689143 feel more confident and strong-willed. This makes her an important character in the story because she’s the one who keeps Kyung Min grounded. Second is Detective Lee, this guy is truthfully annoying… I wish he wasn’t that incompetent but he was, like any other detective in any thriller movie. Anyway, that aside I still like him because he adds flavor to the whole story line. He’s another character that will somehow make a difference in Kyung Min’s life despite the bad encounter both of them had in the beginning.

Music and cinematography is in sync with the whole film and doesn’t feel out of place. The dark and dreary color scheme adds tension to the whole film. Overall this movie is worth watching – it’s also best to include some pop-corn and soda to match the mood!

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Tomorrow I will Date with Yesterday’s You (Japanese Movie 2016)

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Movie Rating: 9/10

Based on the novel by Takafumi Nanatsuki – Boku wa Ashita, Kinou no Kimi to Date Suru (Tomorrow I will Date with Yesterday’s You) was made into a live action film starred by Fukushi Sota and Komatsu Nana. Their roles as Minamiya Takatoshi and Fukuju Emi are characters that would bring forth a love that transcends through time making romance itself not just a simple coincidence but an act of fate that the universe has conspired.

Takatoshi meets Emi in a train for the first time and yet he felt that he had fallen in love at first sight. Plucking the courage to ask her name and confess his feelings, he chased after her on the train platform and talked to her. After that fateful encounter, they began to date and spent their time together happily. One day Takatoshi discovers something about Emi, a secret that she has been keeping all along.

This movie reminds me of 50 first dates and The Tale of Benjamin Button but in a very different and more complicated way. That’s all I could say for a spoiler free introduction. I would write an indebt review about this, but the rest of my thoughts would be under the spoiler tag below.

Tomorrow I Will Date With Yesterday’s You is a compelling and poignant movie to be exact, definitely worth the 1 hour and 50 minutes of screen time. The first few part of the movie seemed very odd at first. Even the first scene would seem peculiar for a simple romantic movie but as I gradually continued to watch, everything started to make sense. The lead female character seemed to be shrouded in mystery while the male lead simply Tomorrow I Will Date With Yesterday’s You (2016).mp4_001018560looks hopelessly in love, but those things did not deter me from watching it because as boring as it may sound as I write about it in summary, the movie is very interesting. The pacing of the love story is a bit fast than the usual Japanese shows, which caught me off guard. I wasn’t really expecting a love confession at the get go, however it was a detrimental element in the whole point of the movie. So even though it seemed fast, there was a drawback… and that’s another part of the film that made it more fascinating.

Tomorrow I Will Date With Yesterday’s You (2016).mp4_001023940The characters portrayal of Fukushi Sota and Komatsu Nana as Minamiya Takatoshi and Fukuju Emi was great. It felt like they were made for the roles, their acting wasn’t over the top and made me feel connected to each person. They had this bittersweet way of acting that made me feel melancholic about their characters and yet the same time happy. I liked how Emi’s personality was bubbly and yet tears off as fast as a raindrop and there’s the seemingly clueless Takatoshi who’s simply too much in love to notice anything else Tomorrow I Will Date With Yesterday’s You (2016).mp4_002124374.pngabout his girlfriend. Aside these main characters, there’s that one special supporting character that’s worth mentioning – Kaminoyama Soichi , he’s one of Takatoshi’s sempai in the university and acts as his best friend and older brother. I liked the fact that he gives Takatoshi great advice in love and life. The guy acting this character, Higashide Masahiro is a veteran actor even though he looks young.

Overall the movie was a great watch. I loved the mystery factor and I did rewatch it immediately again because I wanted to pinpoint the clues that I had missed out during the duration of the film. Music wise it was alright, along with cinematography. Those things aren’t that much important to me though while I was watching because I was too engrossed with the characters that those two aspects of the movie simply made the whole thing better than it already was. It was like reading a book and I there’s great background music while the book had awesome pictures in it to give at least a good visual about what I am reading. I’m recommending this movie for those who are looking for a romantic watch mixed with mystery and pure love.

*MAJOR SPOILERS*

Highlight to see text below.

Now… as I dive into details, I’m guessing that whoever is reading this would have watched the movie. IF NOT – I HIGHLY SUGGEST TO WATCH THE MOVIE FIRST. The point of the movie is the mystery aspect. The film would lose its purpose if the mystery is gone.

So the secret about Emi is that she lives in a different timeline than Takatoshi. It’s like being in a different dimension but once every five years, they are able to meet for 30 days when the moon turns full. Another complicated thing about their meeting is that Takatoshi lives in the future, while Emi lives in the past. Does that even make sense? It will be explained in the movie but I would like to put it here because I still can’t believe that I have been succumbed into watching a romantic movie that was actually mixed with fantasy and sci-fi. And that’s in a very subtle form. Anyway… Emi lives her days with Takatoshi backwards, meaning she forgets the day she spent her days with her boyfriend and she ages younger while Takatoshi lives his days forward, keeping all the memories of them together thus making the title of the movie a very literal and appropriate one. That’s why I compared it to 50 first dates because Emi forgets everything after a day, while in Benjamin Button he ages backwards which is the same as Emi.

It’s a two dimensional thing and having two star crossed lovers makes a bittersweet ending. However, despite that sad note of not being able to be together forever, at least fate gave them a chance to be together as lovers even for a short time. That’s the part that made me love this movie the most because it simply tells people to live at the moment and love while it actually lasts.

 

The Royal Tailor (Korean Movie 2014)

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Movie Rating: 9/10

Dol Seok was a lowborn slave who raised to the ranks of head tailor in the royal palace.

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For 30 years he has worked with his hands until callouses has mangled his fingers, however it was known that he was the best tailor in the entire land. That was until he met Kong Jin, a vulgar man who makes clothes for gisaengs. One of the palace workers named Pan Soo had problems with his uniform and he requested Kong Jin to alter it. At first Kong Jin was hesitant to help him out because he only worked on Gisaeng’s clothing but his creativity and imagination couldn’t help expand his expertise that he was able to alter Pan Soo’s clothing better than what was expected. That’s how word went out about his work that he was recommended to the other palace workers until his name reached the Queen. She wanted to fix the king’s

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garment used for a special occasion and assigned the task to her maids. However, instead of fixing it, the clothing was burned and sought out the help of the head tailor, but he said it was beyond repair. That was how Kong Jin was called into the palace and sees the Queen for the first time that he was mesmerized and promised to repair the King’s garment for her. During this time, Dol Seok and Kong Jin forms an unlikely friendship, one that is mixed with respect and jealousy. As time pass by and Kong Jin’s works becomes more bold and daring, Joseon’s fashion slowly changed as women try to copy the Queen’s fashion trend. All the while rumors circulate in the palace that the Queen and her tailor are having an affair driving the King mad with jealousy, despite his indifference to his wife since the day they were married.

This movie is such a compelling watch even though it’s far from being perfect, I still do not understand why there are a lot of negative reviews about it. I’m not sure if the reviewers even understood the bigger picture of this show. This is the reason why I have put this movie aside for so long that it took me 4 years to check it out. I realized that I’ve read bad reviews about it that it’s a must that I make my own version to make sure people will not miss out on it.

First of all, the actors of this movie are veterans and they were really good. They actually did an awesome portrayal of their roles. I would like to start off with my favorite supporting actor in this film, which was Pan Soo who was acted by Ma Dong Seok.

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Because of him, there were a lot of comic relief despite the seriousness the movie had in store for the viewers. Thanks to him, the first quarter of this movie was a joy to watch. The next ones are Dol Seok and Kong Jin which was acted by Han Seok Kyu and Go Soo, their uncanny friendship which was brought by the love of making clothes was palpable that it was hard to feel bad when things had gone astray for the both of them. I especially liked how their dreams intertwined with each other and yet they both made different

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choices and the path that they took separately lead them to be what they were meant to become. The Queen and King, portrayed by Park Shin Hye and Yoo Yeon Seok suited the role, because the royal clothes certainly looked regal when they wore them. Their characters had their own backstory to tell, since their relationship prior to getting married seemed like a fairytale story but it was simply marred by power struggle and inferiority complex. The Queen and Kong Jin on the other hand, had this peculiar relationship as of a royalty and a subject but then since it was obvious that Kong Jin was smitten by the Queen, there is that very thin line that cannot be crossed between a married woman and a man. I would tell more about my thoughts regarding their

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characters but I will have to put it in a spoiler below, because it would reveal key points and major story plots from the movie. Oh, before I forget – I should mention one antagonist that really caught my attention because I totally wanted to bitch slap her character. Royal Concubine Soo Ui acted by Lee Yoo Bi was the kind of woman I would like to strangle due to her power hungry heart and her viciousness. For a royal concubine as ambitious as hers, I’d definitely want to see her fall from her power.

The cinematography of the movie was beautiful and colorful, though most scenes were

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shot inside the palace, what made it great were the clothes. There were all kinds of clothes ranging from the ones Gisaengs were wearing up to those in the royal court. As for the story line, it didn’t feel draggy or over the top, however some people felt that the film was a bit rushed. In my opinion, the pacing was alright and that everything that has transpired in the movie was as clear as it could be. The only thing I would have changed if it was up to me, was add more on the back story of several characters like the King and Kong Jin. I would have wanted to know them better if not because of the time restriction. It’s not that necessary though, since the story

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is about the current occurrences in the palace, the clothes they are wearing and how it moved and revolutionized fashion during that era. I know that not everyone cares much about their clothing ensemble or any trending fashion but it’s best to appreciate this film through Kong Jin. He’s the kind of person who loved clothes and has the guts to innovate and because of him, a lowly tailor during a time of heirarchy, was able to stir political power for the King and Queen.

Music wise, it felt like I was watching a saguek drama since most of them has a background music that felt like I was listening to Pansori music but other than that, music flow was great that it moved my emotions while I watched the show. I’m highly recommending this to those who like to watch saguek and those who love clothes.

Photos are not mine. Credits to the owner.

*MAJOR SPOILERS*

Highlight to see text below.

Here are my thoughts about the main character’s relationship.

Dol Seok to Kong Jin – I love their relationship despite the self imposed rivalry for Dol Seok’s part. He is filled with awe and respect for Kong Jin’s work and yet he is also afraid and jealous because at the other side of the coin, he can be overthrown from his position, which actually happened because someone better came along. Though it was a bit vague if he remained as a head tailor in the palace, the fact that he was supposed to become a noble man in a couple of months. It was shown in the last scene that he was waiting at his home for the King’s royal decree which looked like it was not going to happen and yet he kept on waiting. It was sad that he did so much for the King but his loyalty was overshadowed by his limited talent and the King’s inferiority complex.

Kong Jin to Dol Seok – All he ever wanted was to make clothes for people, to make them look good and let them feel great about themselves. I love the way he respected Dol Seok because of his roots. Both of them were commoners, but Dol Seok was sought out by the King himself that it elevated his status among other people. However that’s not the main reason why Kong Jin liked him, it was because he knew that Dol Seok loved making clothes and that he had dedicated his whole life to making clothes. He knew that Dol Seok understood how he felt about the garments he made. Despite Kong Jin being eccentric and bold with his creations, he did not allow fear to consume him and so he still liked Dol Seok up to the very end even though he knew that he was about to die because Dol Seok make a copy-cat of his work. That particular scene when they were talking inside the jail was heart wrenching because despite how evil or mean Dol Seok seem to be, at the end when Kong Jin was gone and Dol Seok was burning Kong Jin’s remaining works, he found a nobleman’s garment that Kong Jin promised to make for him when he gets promoted. I think in that scene he realized how important Kong Jin was to him and the loss of a friend finally settled into his heart.

Kong Jin, the Queen and the King – During the early scenes when Kong Jin first met the Queen, it was implied how much he liked her as a woman and therefore she became his muse and inspiration. The proof was also the gold headdress that the Queen gave him as a gift for helping her out along with the message that he should give it to a woman he likes. Near the end of the movie, it was shown that he gave it back to her, implying that she was the one he liked. That’s why he made daring clothes for her not thinking what it would cost him. I like the huge difference between him and the King when it came to their personalities. Though the King loved the Queen, he could not let down his pride and come to her. It took a brilliant tailor to create an extravagant attire, the approval and appreciation of the Ming ambassadors and the failure of the opposing officials to humiliate the King before he went to seek the Queen but in the end it was too late. If my interpretations were right, the Queen did fall in love with Kong Jin because she accepted the hairpin and actually wore it. She also tried to save Kong Jin in her own way even though it was to no avail, at least she tried. She also mourned for his death using the handkerchief he gave her with an embroidery of her mother’s favorite flower.

The ending was beautiful despite the death of Kong Jin, it shows the impact of a man who moved the nation with his ideas and principles despite it being as simple as through clothes.