Monday, July 17, 2017

Lion (Movie)

  This was an absolutely amazing and touching film. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who wants to watch something touching and real. This film is based on a true story which makes it more incredible to me. The story starts back in 1986 in India. A five year old boy named Saroo is fairly happy with his life despite the dismal conditions at the time. He is extremely close with his older brother Guddu and often helps in taking care of his younger sister and mother. Guddu and Saroo often go to steal coal from the freight trains to trade for milk and food for the family. One night, Guddu goes off to look for a job and Saroo insists on going along. However, upon reaching the nearby train station, Saroo decides to stay behind and take a nap. Thus, Guddu tells him to stay where he is and that he'll be back for him. When Saroo wakes up, the train station is empty and his brother was still not back. Saroo looks for Guddu and eventually boards a train and falls asleep in one of the compartments. When he wakes up, the train was already heading toward its next destination with no way for Saroo to get off. 
        After a few days, he arrives in Calcutta. Without knowing his surname, his mother's name, or the correct name of the location where his family is located, Saroo is lost. For a while he wanders about not able to communicate with anyone for help because he spoke Hindi and the people in Calcutta spoke Bengali. In the following days, Saroo encounters many different experiences and dangerous situations. Eventually Saroo goes to the police station and after being unable to trace his family, he is put in an orphanage. Saroo eventually is adopted by an Australian couple. The couple treats Saroo extremely well and eventually adopted another child named Mantosh, who struggled to adapt to his new home. 
          Twenty years pass and Saroo is now a young man who is heading to Melbourne to study hotel management. He has forgotten a lot about his past and his culture over the years and is an extremely happy and healthy male. During a meal with some Indian friends, he came across a delicacy called jalebi. This sparked a childhood memory that he shared with his brother and confides to his friends about the story of how he was lost and then adopted. His friends suggest that he use Google Earth to look for his hometown and to find his family again. With that, Saroo dives into searching for his past and disconnects himself from the people around him as he focuses on the past and how much his family must have grieved for him.
        After years of fruitlessly searching for his hometown by following the train tracks, Saroo comes across a familiar rocky landscape where his mother used to work. From there he finds the water tank and the roads from his childhood memory until he found his hometown Ganesh Talai (which Saroo had been pronouncing Ganastalay the entire time). He eventually returns to his hometown and is reunited with his family but learned that Guddu had been killed by a train the same night that Saroo got lost. The film ends in a warm reunion with his family and also segments of the actual people arriving in Ganesh Talai. It was also during that reunion did Saroo learn that he had been mispronouncing his own name growing up and that his name was actually Sheru meaning "Lion."

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Vampire Flower

Episodes: 6
This drama is based on a web novel that closely resembles to the Twilight Saga. This is a story about a vampire romance between the vampire Louis and a girl named Seo Young. With a golden-scented blood, Seo Young is dragged into the vampire world to help Louis look for the long-lost Vampire Flower.

      I did not enjoy this drama that much. Usually for short Korean dramas like this, it is often light-hearted and compact. I never expect much out of it but I do want to look for some light-hearted fun. I came across this drama through a FMV but it failed to meet my expectations. The acting is extremely bad and the chemistry between the actors were also off. I found the plot childish and meaningless. It had great potential to dive into the plot but instead it wasn't the main focal point of the drama and everything was very confusing. It also had an unsatisfying ending and left me with many questions. (Like what was even Reika's goal? And was there no flower or what?) I would not recommend this drama.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

How I Met Your Father (Movie)

        This is a movie about two college lovers who were instantly drawn to each other the first time they met eyes. The two work together very well but like every couple, they face many ups and downs along the way. You can say that their problems are often caused by life in general but the way they dealt with it was often not the best way. Thus, it often led to misunderstandings or long breaks in their relationship. This wasn't a very entertaining movie in my opinion. I found that it dragged and lacked a sensible plot. As a matter of fact, the plot itself is quite bland. The chemistry between the two actors also wasn't quite there for me either as they often seemed awkward around one another. It didn't help that the characters they were playing also sucked at communication.  I personally think that this movie could've been a lot better and more sentimental. Instead, it seemed to miss all those points and focused a lot on the miscommunication between the two characters and how badly they dealt with problems.  

Monday, July 3, 2017

Bride Wars (Movie)

        This is a Chinese movie that is a remake of the movie Bride Wars that starred Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway. I have never watched the original Bride Wars so I can't offer a comparison between this version and the original. Thus, I will only give my review for this movie. This movie is about two best friends who become rivals when they schedule their own weddings at the same place and on the same day due to a mistake by the wedding planner. The two begin to fight to see who would get to marry at this dream location on that day because instead of booking two weddings on that day, the wedding planner had only booked one.
       I felt that this plot was pretty annoying to watch because it was frustrating watching two grown women let something like this get in the way of how they actually feel. I found Ma Li super annoying simply because she is used to getting her way and is used to He Jing giving in to her. I think she was very immature in a lot of the scenes. I did like He Jing more but it does not excuse her immature actions either. The two obviously care about each other but let this wedding war tear them apart. The ending was expected but still cute nonetheless. Not a personal favorite as it was pretty cliche and annoying to me.
       (Nice Huang Xiao Ming cameo in the beginning, by the way, especially since he is Angelababy's husband in real life--the actress who played He Jing)

Twenty (Movie)

I really enjoyed this movie and would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to watch a coming-of-age comedy. This movie is absolutely hilarious and I have heard that most of this movie was improvisation (which is very impressive by the way). The comedy is not only funny but also very relatable for young people who are growing up and turning into adults. This movie follows three friends as they go through challenges growing up and it shows how they all deal with things differently and how their relationships with other people develop as well. I liked how there was so much diversity in the relationships and backgrounds because it allows many young people to relate to this movie while getting a good laugh out of it. This movie definitely shows what it is like to be young and struggling, happy and sad, and so forth. Highly recommend! 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

My Secret Romance

Episodes: 13
     Cha Jin Wook is the heir to a very successful underwear company while Lee Yoo Mi is a nutritionist. The two meet on one fateful day at a Gangwondo resort and have a series of misunderstandings and accidents. The two end up enjoying each other's company and the two have a one night stand together. However, Lee Yoo Mi is terrified of appearing too "easy" especially since she grew up with the trauma of having an erotic actress as her mother. Thus, she disappears in the morning, leaving Jin Wook confused, angry, and embarrassed.
     Fast forward to three years later, the two meet again when Lee Yoo Mi gets hired to become a nutritionist at his company's cafeteria. The two pretend to not recognize each other as Jin Wook tries to make Lee Yoo Mi's life harder by making her his personal nutritionist. However, the feelings they developed and their attraction to each other can't be denied. The two begin to pick up from where they left off.

      This drama was totally cliche. It is the stereotypical Korean drama which is also partly why it feeds into every girl's guilty pleasure. The male lead was extremely attractive. I've only ever seen him act as side characters (as seen on Oh My Venus) so it was refreshing to see him play the lead. Although I feel this his acting could improve, I was very happy watching him as eye-candy. He is extremely attractive and reminds me of a book character from the series A Court of Thorns And Roses (Rhysand). The female lead's acting was not that great, in my opinion. It makes sense considering she is actually an idol pursuing an acting career. I'm sure she can improve with time but I was not impressed by the acting in this drama and at times it was cringe-worthy (especially the hiccuping scenes).
         The OST was very cute. The drama was very simple, cliche, and just a guilty pleasure. It wasn't anything phenomenal but it feeds into my need for the "same old same old." I remember wondering if Jin Wook was the kid's father before watching this drama. However, by the first or second episode, I ruled that out myself because the way Lee Yoo Mi treats the kid is not motherly at all. She acts like a big sister who is annoyed half the time. Thus, I immediately just went along with what they were saying in that he was just her half brother. However, I did want the kid to be from the one night stand simply because it would give Autumn Concerto vibes (which, by the way, is an amazing drama that I highly recommend). But I was glad he wasn't the father because his character was the kind to start to focus on only the kid and not the woman. I wanted it to be like Autumn Concerto where the romance was equally as important as the child. Hence, Jin Wook not being the father made me a bit relieved when I saw that he was neglecting Lee Yoo Mi's feelings just for the child.
        I did enjoy the message at the last episode where the mother tells Yoo Mi that there is nothing wrong with a one night stand. I felt it was a good message to sort of mention how the stigma behind one night stands and hook ups doesn't define a person. Love can occur through any means and nothing is wrong with a one night stand, even if it doesn't work out.

Favorite parts: 
Ep 8: The playful pool scene

Ep 9: Jin Wook trying to be Dad to the kid

Ep 10: When he wouldn't let Yoo Mi go

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Ugly Ducking Series: Down

Episodes: 7 
Maewnam is a girl who is traumatized from showing her face to the world. When she was a young girl, she confessed to a boy she liked and was rejected and called ugly. After that experience, Maewnam avoided mirrors and resorted to putting paper bags or boxes over her head. She refused to go to school and leave the comfort of being hidden behind a box. Three years later, her father decides to push her to have a social life and start to lead a normal life as a teenager. He sends her back to school after three years of homeschooling her. With the help of Minton, a friendly boy who becomes her best friend at school, and Zero, the bad boy of the school, Maewnam faces some of her biggest fears and comes out of her shell as a beautiful swan. Drama ensues as the two boys vie for her and her beauty begins attracting more troubles than just boys.

I found out about this drama through a fan made music video. It looked really cute and lighthearted so I decided to give it a try. This was also an extremely short drama as it is a mini series. However, while it was cute and cliche, I found myself not feeling it for this drama. It got too cheesy or too predictable. It was even annoying at some parts. Especially the scenes where the girl would call out the guy for his violence, when he wasn't even using it for bad things anymore and was even getting injured for not fighting back. It was a cute watch and I did finish it. I thought the main leads were all very good-looking however it was the plot that did not have any substance to it. Also, I found it weird that she didn't know who Minton was till the end of the drama considering she confessed to him as a child. How do you not know your crush's name before you confess to him? That just makes no sense to me. As there isn't much for me to talk about here and I was fairly unimpressed by the plot line, I don't have much to say about this drama.