Love and Lies (2017) Japanese Movie Review

Film

Love and Lies

Koi To Uso

  • Genre: School, Youth, Relationship, Melodrama, Futuristic
  • Date Released: October 2017
  • Japanese film

Cast:

  • Morikawa Aoi as Nisaka Aoi
  • Kitamura Takumi as Shiba Yuto
  • Sato Kanta as Takachiho Sosuke

Love and Lies (2017) Japanese Movie Review

This film, I thought, is a bit of a propaganda for arranged marriages. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Anyway, in a future Japan, it became a task for the government to match up their citizen.

As soon as a girl or a boy turns 16, they receive notification from the government of their most suitable partner.

Apparently 80 percent of these match-ups work in the long run compared to just half if individual chooses for himself/herself.  Yap, one is allowed to choose one’s partner and turns down the government recommendation.

Anyway Aoi was only days away from her sixteen birthday.  She was giddily awaiting her birthday and partner as her friends have settled relationships already from the government match-up.

Aoi has a childhood friend Yuto, who knows her inside and out.  He knew all her idiosyncrasies, what makes her tick and all that.  He was kind and absolutely devoted to her.

On the night of her turning 16, Yuto asked Aoi is she was sure about having a match up partner.  He then confessed that he likes her and why not settle for him.  At that same time, Sosuke, the partner turned up.  He was the son of a hospital owner.

Sosuke was talk, cool and rather aloof but Aoi was enchanted.  She forgot what Yuto was saying.

Aoi was really into Sosuke for most of the film.

But she later found out that Yuto was very ill.  He was stage 3 brain tumour.  She realised that she actually loved Yuto and run off from her wedding to Sosuke (with his consent).

There she went to the airport and reconciled with Yuto.

They have a good life. Very happy.

Then the credits started to appear.

But if you wait out the credits, there is a bittersweet ending.

Aoi was laying some fresh flowers on the Yuto’s grave.  while she was praying another person appeared and it was Sosuke with a bunch of flowers as well.

They had a stilted mini-conversation and then Aoi said she was going.

As she was walking away, Sosuke shouted if she wanted to go get something to eat.

Ahhh So the government programme works.  Yuto was not paired with Aoi to begin with because he was not healthy.  And Sosuke remained interested with her.

 

 

 

Cheer Dan 2018 (Japanese Drama Review)

Cheer Dan poster

Drama

  • Genre: School, Teens, Dance, Competition, Cheerleading
  • Date Released: July 2018
  • Dorama: 10 Episodes

Cast:

  • Tao Tsuchiya as Fujitani Wakaba
  • Ishii Anna as Kiryu Shiori
  • Sakuma Yui as Sarakuzawa Asako
  • Yamamoto Maika as Shibata Maki
  • Otomo Karen as Enoki Taeko
  • Odagiri Joe as Taro Urushido

 

Cheer Dan 2018 (Japanese Drama Review)

Fujitani Wakaba is in high school.  she has always been fascinating with cheerleading after having grew up seeing the JETS, a Japanese cheerleading team, winning the championship in America.

 

Make a Bow & Kiss (Japanese Film)

Make a Bow and Kiss poster

Film

  • Genre: Romance, Shoujo Manga, Archery, Teen, School
  • Date Released: 2017
  • Japanese

Cast

  • Elaiza Ikeda as An Kishimoto
  • Masaki Nakao as Yota Mikami
  • Takashi Matsuo as Naoyuki Yoshiki
  • Katsuhuri Suzuki as Arashi Kuwabara
  • Takahisa Maeyama as Katsum Iragashi
  • Minori Hagiwara as Riko Ando
  • Kusei Yuki as Shotaro Endo
  • Hidekazu Mashima as Kaname Mikamai

 

Make a Bow & Kiss (Japanese Film)

I would classify this drama as a mature teen drama because of two things.

Firstly because of the nature of the leads’  relationship and secondly, the story itself.

An Kishimoto devoted much of the last six years as a member, and currently being the president, of  the  archery club in her school.  She is a third year high school student.

She felt that she cannot give anymore of herself into archery, thus she decided to give up her presidency and retire completely from the club.

There was a second year student, Mikami, who was an up and coming archer.  Though he does not attend much of the training, he always win the archery gongs during contest.

An Kishimoto decided that Mikami should be the next president and therefore passed the honour to him.

Mikami had other ideas.  Though, he accepted the presidency, he would not accept her total retirement from the club.

He roughly seduced her with kisses.  The innocent An was quickly beguiled into staying.  After she agreed, Mikami behaved as if nothing had happened.

Poor An was captivated even more.

She was so enthralled with him that she became jealous of ever phone calls he received.  She followed him one day in a hospital.  She was so curious to know who he visits and found him with a boy, who was his adopted brother.

Mikami saw her skulking and asked her why she was following him.

She confessed to him that she liked him. Mikami then said that he likes her too and that she will be his girlfriend.

Despite their official relationship, Mikami would blow hot and cold and told her that they should break up.

Mikami has so much issues, including his adopted brother’s terminal illness.  He can’t accept it and feels disappointed and annoyed that his adopted father has now resigned to the fact.

He reconciled with An but he made her promised that she needs to stay by his side not only now, next year but for the rest of her life.

 

 

Chicken Adobo a la London

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I was happy how this recipe turned out. It was really good. Perfect for parties, bring it out in the garden for an additional summer barbecue fare.

Chicken Adobo a la London

Ingredients

2 lbs chicken pieces of thighs and legs
3 pieces dried bay leaves, I used those fresh from my garden
3 tbsp soy sauce
6 tbsp vinegar
3 -6 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 cup water
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp Demerara Sugar
1 tsp whole peppercorn
Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. In a little container,  mix together the soy sauce and garlic.
  2. In a separate large glass container, a lidded Pyrex glass, arrange the chicken pieces and then pour over them the soy sauce mix to marinate for at least three hours or overnight in the fridge.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
  4. Fry the marinated chicken pieces and garlic slivers in the oil.  Cook the  the chicken until golden brown on all sides.  Be careful with the frying as bazookas of hot oil and liquid sometimes will shoot out. 🙂 Ouch
  5. I transferred the cook chicken pieces into a casserole pan and then poured into it the remaining marinade, also adding the cup of water and vinegar. (My mother had told me never to stir the adobo before the vinegary sauce has started to boil. – No idea why!)
  6. Add the bay leaves and whole peppercorn, put the lid on the casserole and simmer for half an hour or until chicken is cooked.
  7. Sprinkle in the sugar.
  8. Check that the sauce is to your liking.  Add more vinegar if not rightly sour, add soy sauce if it is still bland and if preferred season with a dash of salt.
  9. Serve Immediately with freshly boiled rice.

Optional!  To make the Chicken Adobo that little bit more special:

From Step 8, continue cooking a little longer.

  • Minced a couple of garlic cloves
  • Heat a little oil and saute the garlic.
  • Take out the chicken pieces from the casserole, leaving the sauce to simmer until it reduces.
  • Fry the chicken pieces in the garlic until they start to sizzle.
  • Arrange neatly in a serving platter and pour sauce over the pieces.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Meteor Garden 2018 (Chinese Drama) Review

Meteor Garden poster

Drama

  • Genre: ROMANCE, Youth, School
  • Date Released: 9 July 2018
  • CDrama: 48 Episodes
  • Remake of Taiwanese drama (2001) of the same title

Cast: 

  • Shen Yue as Dong Shan cai
  • Dylan Wang as Dao Ming Si
  • Darren Chen as Hua Ze Lei
  • Liang Jing Kang as Feng Mei Zuo
  • Wu Xi Ze as Xi Men Yan
  • Liu Yinhao as Chen Qinghe
  • Dong Xin as Li Zhen

Many are already familiar with this drama as it has been remade by several countries over and over.  It is based on a Japanese manga called Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers)

Meteor Garden 2018 is based on the Taiwanese version of the Hana Yori Dango

It is about a girl, who came from an ordinary family and now enrolled in a posh and prestigious school for the children of the  rich and famous.

The school is ruled by four uber gorgeous boys, known as the F4.  They reign in terror amongst the children of the rich.  Anyone found lacking is given a red card, which means his/her life and happiness within the school are in jeopardy.  The victim would then rather transfer to another school or bear with all the punishments until the F4 get bored and cease the tortures.

Shan Cai is a brave girl who went against the F4.  Despite the red card, she stood her ground and gave Dao Ming Si a good kicking.  Instead of giving her an even harsher time, he fell in love with her. 🙂  She was the first one who ever tried to put up a fight.

Hua Ze Lei actually was helping her in the background and she knew it.  She had a bit of a crush on him.

Thus the drama developed into a love triangle.

I can’t wait for this new Shen Yue drama! Roll on 9 July 2018!

Four episodes are now on show but with no English sub/ huhuhu


Netflix got rights for this drama.  They will start showing them on 13 July!  Yey, can’t wait.

Meteor Garden 2018 (Chinese Drama)

The first six episodes subtitled in English are now available in Netflix.  It is about 24-35 minutes each episode.

This is the second major drama for Shen Yue, who catapulted to stardom playing Shao Xi in A Love So Beautiful, which is also available to watch in Netflix.

I have to be honest, I am still bias towards ALSB.  It is still the sweeter and cuter drama.

Shen Yu’s Shan Cai is really super annoying and excruciatingly embarrassing most of the time, I am yet to warm towards her.

I came to this drama, unsure of Dylan Wang, having seen a behind the scene’s video of him being too boisterous to Shen Yue with her hoodie.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised! Dylan Wang is the best actor of them all.  He was able to project a spectrum of emotion.  He is vulnerable, snarky, immature, kind, jealous and proud.  He is certainly an actor to watch.

As to Shen Yue, I am not sure what happened but she’s only produced half of the charm she had in ALSB.

This version is more true to life.  The F4 are gorgeous, tall, rich young men, who excel in their field.  They are more spoiled rather than out and out evil.  They are more ‘ordinary’ that the other versions. Probably I was spoiled by the Korean and Japanese version.

Episode 1-6

Shan Cai’s mother is a very good cook.  She makes a living from her homecooking and delivery.

Shai Cai wanted to help her mother build her business up.  So she enrolled in the Nutrition Department of the best and most exclusive university in ‘China’ called Ming De University.

There she had a reunion with her former schoolmates.  Chen Qinghe is her childhood best friend. while Li Zhen was a high school acquaintance.  They decided there and then that they will be best friends in college.

During orientation, a famous man called Mr Bobbit came to speak to the students.  Shan Cai and the rest of the attendees were in ecstasy in the presence of this famous American man.

After the talk, just outside the auditorium, still excited with their good fortune of listening to Mr Bobbit, another ecstasy inducing event happened, the F4 came sauntering into the school, much to the delirium of the girls.  In the chaos, Shan Cai’s phone was nudged out of her hand into the ground.  Crawling into the floor in between commotion of legs running towards the F4, Shan Cai tried to reach for her phone.  She was inches away towards it when a green crocodile shoe stepped on it causing it to break.

Shan Cai was so annoyed, she run after the owner of the shoe.  She saw him in a  huddled crowd.  Without much thought she grabbed the man in the middle, which happened to be Mr Bobbit.  She was quickly restrained by the bodyguards.

Shan Cai was persona non grata for assaulting such an important man. She was being gossiped about for her misdemeanour.

To get rid of her stress, she went on top of the building and vent her frustration by shouting her lungs out.  She was told off by a man seating nearby of the racket she was making.  He happened to be one of the F4.  He was Ze Lei.

During many instances, she kept meeting Ze Lei, who was rather kind to her unlike the leader of F4, Daoming Si.

Si seemed to delight in torturing her.  Shan Cai can’t take it anymore so she gave him a flying kick straight on his handsome face.

Si was not annoyed, he actually developed a grain of respect towards her, which quickly developed into tenderness.  So much so that he told her that he wanted her to be his girlfriend.  He listed all the pros of becoming his girlfriend, but Shan Cai was not interested as she was already half in love with the gorgeous and musical Ze Lei, despite him having a girlfriend already.

Yuan Zi, the girlfriend, was very friendly towards Shan Cai.  She includes Shan Cai’s to all her parties.

But hormones has taken over Shan Cai’s brain.  The friendship from the girlfriend was immaterial. Out with sisterhood!!!  Shan Cai was determined to pursue Ze Lei, which was noticed by Si.  This created a gulf between Ze Lei and Si’s friendship.

Si tried many things, which he does not usually do, to entice Shan Cai away from Ze Lei but it is becoming a losing battle.

Ze Lei had  gone to Paris to be with Yuan Zi, who had decided to become a lawyer with a charitable institution, Without Borders.  She also willingly cut herself off from inheriting her family fortune.  Really nice girl, hear that Shan Cai!!!

Shan Cai misses Ze Lei so much that when out clubbing one evening with a secretly vengeful friend, Li Zhen, she became inordinately inebriated.  With drunken hazy sight, she sat down next to a foreigner, who was playing the piano. She was imagining that he was Ze Lei.

She woke up the next morning in a strange bed, with a note from Thomas, the foreigner, saying that he enjoyed himself.

 

 

Namgoong Min South (Korean Actor)

Namgoong Min

Namgoong Min South (Korean Actor)

BioData

  • AKA: Namkoong Min
  • DoB: 12 March 1978 (40)
  • PoB: Seoul, South Korea
  • Height: 1.79 m
  • Education: Chung Ang University (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Civil Status: Single, in a relatiohsip with Jin Ah Reum, a model
  • Career: Director, Actor

Drama & Films

(Seen by GG)

He is a versatile actor.  He is a very chilling baddie and then a really fanciable male lead.

Blackberries in Salt & Vinegar

Blackberries in vinegar, photo by JMorton

I am currently watching the semi-finals between England and Croatia.  England dominated the first half with a 1-nil to England.

As it is half-time, I suddenly craved something sour.  I spied at around lunchtime that the blackberries, growing wildly in our garden are now ripening.

Actually, I picked those which are not fully ripe yet.  They taste better in vinegar and they are crispier and crunchier with that burst of sour taste.

When the blackberries are fully ripe, I will be baking a blackberry and apple crumble.

If you want to try my sour blackberries, then half a cup to half a cup of firm ripening blackberries.  Wash thoroughly and drain.

Add to it a tablespoon of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.  These vinegars have that spicy and wonderful smell about it, really sour.

Then sprinkle a little salt, give it a stir.

Ready to crunch,

Yum

Sadly a young, relatively inexperienced and talented England team lost 2-1 in extra time, but far exceeded expectations with hope for the future. I still enjoyed my snack 🙂

Blackberries in Salt & Vinegar

 

 

Come On England


14 July 2018

England having lost to Croatia had to play with Belgium for the third place.

From start to finish, England just doesn’t have it anymore.

They eventually lost at 2-0.

Not really a good end to what has been an exciting world cup.

Well done Russia!

11 July 2018

Come On England

Today is the semi-final between England and Croatia.

Yeahm, first five minutes and England scored.

Bad lack Kane.  It could have been another goal.

Good save from Pickford.

Oh no Lingard!

Half time.  England dominated the first half.

Oh No Croatia had equalised!

Oh no Croatia is on fire now!

England left concentration!

Substitution:  Rashford replaced Stirling

Extra time!

Woah!  I hope this will not end in that cruel but so exciting penalty shoot-out!

Oh no, is it all over?  Croatia scored!  It is 2-1 to Croatia.

Come on England

Come home England.

It ended in defeat! Saddddd

7 July 2018

England vs Sweden

13 minutes in the game and England has yet to. settle

So many missed chances missed by England over a very scrappy game.

Yeah Maguire scored at 30″.

England 1 – Sweden Nil.

He’s done it again.  Pickford threw the ball too hard.

Stirling missed.  He was stupid, he should have passed the ball.

Half time!

Delle Ali scored!

2-0 to England!

Magnificent saves by Pickford!

Yeah after a 5 minutes added stoppage time, England won.

This talented young team still developing has momentum!


 

3 July 2018

Knock-out games before the Quarter Final

England Vs Colombia

Come on England!!!

Omigod, that was one very fraught game.  England won on penalty shoot-out 4-3.   It was two hours of the most exciting, enjoyable but very tense game. We have an excellent & talented new young goalkeeper in Jordan Pickford, who has been making excellent saves and a crucial penalty save in the shoot out to help England win.

England put a good fight over a dirty game by Columbia, especially during the first half.

There should have been a red card for Columbia and few of them should have been sent out for their dirty tricks, not very sportsmanlike.

Anyway, England played well, most of the time, very calm despite the extreme provocation from the Colombian players as well as the fans, who overnumbered the English fans.  Even the iconic drumbeats of Britannia was easily overwhelmed by Columbia fans vuvusela and their own instruments.

Anyway, well done England!  Good luck for the next game.  Let’s go to the finals.


28 June 2018

Tonight or in an hour’s time, England and Belgium will be playing their final group (G) game.

Who ever wins will be top of their qualifying group.

From all the groups, only 16 teams will battle it out in the knock out games next week. Winners then progress to the quarter finals.

Some are over thinking things tactically & opponent permutations.  If England win the group & their knock out game next week, they could play against current  tournament favourites Brazil in the quarter finals. This could end their run. England have done well with a young talented but largely inexperienced team and squad. New found team spirit is adding to the coming together of a future strong team to challenge the best.

Apparently the current tournament top scorer Harry Kane is not starting but Jamie Vardy will be playing instead.


The Belgium Camp have been upfront and wanted to get  second place in the group by drawing or losing the game. As with England and also if Belgium come second, they will not need to travel from their preferred current Moscow base, have an extra day’s rest and if they win their knock out game, would  get  perceived easier teams i.e. avoiding  Brazil  later in the tournament.

Roberto Martinez  the Belgian manager, rumoured  as saying  “We want to play well but our priority is not to win.” this is being investigated &  if true is unprofessional and divisive.

Come On England

Let’s Play To Win!

Well Belgium won 1-0 in a slow paced game, England despite the team changes, did not appear to step up pace and play with urgency  as they knew they had qualified in second place. England now play Columbia next Tuesday evening. Columbia will prove tough opposition. IF England win, they will face either Sweden or Switzerland in the quarter finals. Both are strong teams but are not at the same level as an on form Brazil.  We shall see.

Manga & Anime

I may not be Japanese but I grew up religiously following manga and anime on tv.

My sister, brothers and I would congregate in front of the television at 6. At every day of the week, there was an animated program about valiant young people on their respective space ship that turned into fighting robots.

We love Mazinger Z, Daimos, Mekanda Robot, Grendizer and Dunguard Ace  But everybody’s favourite was Voltes 5.  I was absolutely fascinated with his chain knuckles..  My sister and I also would follow a more girly animations called, Candy, Candy and Ron Ron, the flower angel.  And we spent a fortune on buying the last Hello Kitty pink plastic treasures!

Anyway, manga and anime are not losing their charm, in fact it is busy conquering the world.

There is a manga and anime for everyone.

There are apparently five basic classifications.

There is the shonen aimed for young boys who are below the age of 15.  Shows like Dragon Ball and Pokemon anime.

Seinen is for older boys of 15-24.  Just like that Scarlett Johansson’s live action version of Ghost in the Shell.

Shoujo (Shojo) are aimed for young and teenage girls.

Josei are for a more mature females.  These mangas are focused on more melodramtic stories.

And finally the Kodomumoke.  These are the manga and anime that busy mums tend to let very young children sit in front of for educational purposes, of course.  🙂 Under this category is something called  yoji for babies

 

 

Bungee Jumping of Their Own (South Korean Film)

Bungee Jumping of their Own poster

Bungee Jumping of Their Own

 

Film

  • Genre: Romance, Drama, Psychological
  • Date Released: 2001
  • South Korean Film

Cast:

  • Lee Byung-hun as Seo In-woo
  • Lee Eun-ju as In Tae-hee
  • Yeo Hyun-soo as Im Hyun-bin
  • Hong Soo-hyun as Yeo Hye-su
  • Lee Beom-soo as Lee Dae-geun

Bungee Jumping of Their Own (South Korean Film)

I first saw this film a couple of years ago and I though Lee Byung Hun was gorgeous and very brave in his choice of films.  They are not run of the mill romance, thriller or anything.

Anyway at first I thought this movie is a sweet romance with a touch of melodrama.

Seo In Woo met Tae-hee during one rainy day, while they were both in college.  Under an umbrella he fell in love with her wholeheartedly.  Well, she was gorgeous.

They had a short courtship because in a matter of two weeks, they were officially going out together.  They couldn’t be happier.

But it did not last as poor Tae-hee suddenly died in an car accident.

Fast-forward 17 years later.

Seo In Woo is now married and has a daughter.  He is also a teacher in a high school.

One of his students was Im Hyun-bin.  For some reason there was a pull of emotion towards the boy that he cannot fathom.   Somehow the boy reminds In Woo of his one great love, Tae Hee.

At first I thought the boy was their child, his child with Tae Hee.  Right timeline of dates.

But as the story progress, the relationship between them grew more than that of a father and son.  It became romantic!   ehhhhhhhhhhhhh   This woman was rather shocked!

Their attraction became rather obvious and they suffered physical bullying from students.  Well, this can only be expected, I supposed as there was (and still is)  a taboo on relationships between teachers and students, the age gap, as well as the homosexuality of the situation.  Remember this film was made in 2001.

Anyway, Hyun-Bin, it turned out is the reincarnation of Tae-hee, so as much as In Woo did not want to fall in love with the boy, it was out of his hand.  He was soulmate with Tae-hee, who is now Hyun-Bin.

Lee Byung Hun was excellent as  Seo In Woo.  He was able to portray the gamut of emotions of trying to block what he was feeling.  His vulnerability was just amazing.

This is a doomed love affair.

The end of the film sees Seo In Woo and Hyun Bin deciding to bungee jump.   Holding hands together and they dived with a subliminal notion to the viewers that this scene was a joint suicide pact.

They were hoping to be reincarnated as In Woo and Tae hee again.

Sad ending but this is a film leaving you to keep thinking about it.

Was Hun Bin really a reincarnation or is In Woo is really a predatory closet homosexual?

 

%d bloggers like this: