Category: SE ASIAN FILMS

No Mercy (2019 South Korean Movie)

South Korean Film

No Mercy (2019 South Korean Movie)

No Mercy film poster

  • Genre: Revenge, Mature, Violence, Strong Female, School Bullying, Action
  • Date Released: 1 January 2019
  • Origin: South Korea

Cast

  • Lee Si-Young as Park In-Ae
  • Park Se-Wan as Park Eun Hye
  • Lee Joon-Hyuk as Han Jung Woo
  • Choi Jin-Ho as Park Young Choon
  • Lee Hyeong Cheol as Ha Sang Man
  • Kim Won Hae as CEO Jung

 

This film was released in the cinema just over a month ago and I have to say it is a very watchable movie.  A rollercoaster of action and violence.

I have to commend the lead girl, Lee Si Young for the action scenes.  Apparently, she did all the stunts herself, no CGI.  Lee Si Young was an amateur boxer in real life and used to receive awards for her prowess.  It is rather empowering for women especially that Lee Si Young looks so delicate and dainty.

Anyway, the story started with Park In Ae coming out of jail after incarceration of one and a half year for being violent beyond her duty as a professional bodyguard.

She got home to a welcoming sister, Eun Hye, who is a bit simple.  Her sister begged that she does not go to school anymore but In Ae insisted that she must for her own good.

When she woke up in the morning, her sister has gone to school and left her a beautiful wrap-around red dress with matching shoes with killer heels.  The sister said that she had saved all her allowance to buy her sister presents.  In Ae was very touched.

What she does not know was that her sister is a victim of school bullying. Three girls in her class dragged her out after school and took her to a karaoke bar.

They then meet up with boys, who used Eun Hye as a bait to rob perverted men.  They would allow Eun Hye to enter a hotel room with the sexual predator and then instructed Eun Hye to go to the bathroom and text them the room number and they will come to rescue her.

The boss then beat up their victim and robbed of money.  They did this several times more until their last victim was more violent.  He was Ha Sang Man, who left his number saying that they can get the girl back once they paid the ransom.

Now the unstoppable action begins.

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Ex (Taiwanese Movie)

Taiwanese Film

Dear Ex (Taiwanese Movie)

Dear Ex poster

  • Genre: Family, Romance, Drama, Comedy
  • Date Released: 2018
  • Netflix

Cast:

  • Roy Chiu as Ah Jie
  • Hsieh Ying-hsuan as Liu San Lian

Roy Chiu is a very charismatic actor, I first saw him in Easy Fortune Happy Life as the second lead male.  The lead was Lan Blue, a very good actor as well but somehow, you remember Roy Chiu in the drama.

Anyway, Roy Chiu is not only charismatic in dramas and films but his leading ladies have found him rather appealing as well.

Unfortunately, Roy allegedly knew this too much and had treated some of his girlfriends, who are big stars in their own rights, rather appallingly that fans and viewers have gone off him.

He had a sabbatical for a year or two, traveling across Europe, I thought.

Anyway, this comeback film is a really good one, though different from his earlier dramas.  HIs charisma is still there, if you have forgotten it, you would certainly recall it in this movie.

The drama is about a woman who was put out to realise that her dead ex-husband had left his insurance money to his live-in boyfriend.

That is right!

Her husband just out of the blue told her that he was leaving her for someone else.  She did everything she could to let him stay including seducing him but he just told her that he was leaving her for another man.  He was really gay.

Her husband was a professor in music and IT and often helps out in a play production, where he met a much younger guy, Ah JIe

They were really into each other but one day, the professor said that he was breaking up with Ah Jie as he had met a woman and he wanted a real family and a real wife.

After a few years, the professor had a son with Sun Lian.  Despite his young family, he cannot get over Jie, who had turned rather delinquent as he had lost his anchor with the professor.

The professor was so moved, he told his wife that he was leaving, she can have their house, his savings, his parents house and everything that he’s got.

He then went to live with Jie.  The reason he actually left his young family is that he found out that he had liver cancer.  And he wanted to spend the rest of his remaining time with Jie.

Jie looked after him so well.  They were living in a dingy apartment and yet they were happy to be together.

The professor was getting worst.  He has a liver transplant but after a few days, he started vomiting blood and then collapsed.

Jie called Sun Lian to visit her ex for the last time.

Sun Lian’s son is now a teenager and had a mind of his own.  He feels that his mother is only interested in money as she was obsessing about the insurance money that his father left to his male lover.

Everyday, she moans about his dead father and his perverted relationship with a man., until he cannot take it anymore.

He left and went to Jie’s apartment and squatted there.

Sun Lian came to get her son but he won’t go home.

Jie started to have a little truce with Jie for the sake of her son, who had become rather attached to Jie.

To come to terms with all their dramas both mother and son ended up seeking therapy.

But it took seeing Jie all battered and broken to realise that he was not a perverted evil.  He actually loved the professor with all his heart and he had a heart of gold.

In the end Sun Lian allowed Jie to keep the money after finding out that he had the broken bones because of the loan sharks who wanted their money back.  The money was borrowed by Jie to pay for the liver transplant of the professor.

It was a really good film.  It has a heart.  And there is something real about the performance of the leads.

Over Drive (Japanese Movie Review & Summary)

Film

Over Drive (Japanese Movie Review & Summary)

Over Drive poster

  • Genre: Sport, Rally, Sibling Rivalry, Drama
  • Date Release: July 2018
  • Origin: Japan

Cast:

Review & Summary

The plot of the drama is really nothing new and yet there is still a heart to the whole movie.  It is also help by several kawaii boys.

There is only a very small percentage of romance,  I would say about 1 percent. 🙂

The story begins with a young lady working as a sports agent who was handling a golfer, Ishihiro but was suddenly transferred to handle the bad boy of rally sport.

He was the temperamental (but so gorgeous and sexy, there are plenty of shots of him shirtless, lol) Naozumi.  He drives for Spico, where the chief mechanic is his own brother Atsuhiro.

Naozumi and Atsuhiro could not be more different.

Naozumi is very hard-headed who would pick up a fight in a heartbeat.

Atsuhira, on the other hand, is very calm, very polite and rather thoughtful.

The brothers used to be so close when they were children but when hormones kicked in and Hina happened, they became distant.

Hina was the girl both boys fancied in their youth.   Hina became Naozumi’s girlfriend but eventually dumped him as she was really more attracted to the quiet Atsuhina.   Hina went to Boston to study and to forget Atshina.

On Christmas Eve 2010, she was shot dead near the train station in Boston.

During Christmas, the following day, he received a Christmas card from the dead girl and the card was all about Atsuhiro.  He was so bitter that he did not even mention him except that he should be the best in the world.

Since then,  he had been driving like a mad man to get the record and fulfill her wish.

He was neck and neck with Shincai.  At some point, Shincai was leading which only drove Naozumi crazy.

During the fifth round to determine the final winner, Naozumi met an accident leading him, his co-driver and car to plunge into the lake.

By all reasons, they should withdraw or retire from the contest but Atsuhiro realised that winning the rally and progressing to World Rally Championship is everything to his brother.

So out of the impossible, they fish out the car from the lake and overhauled it and installed another propulsion engine, which is really still a work in progress,  invented by Atsuhiro.

They work overtime and overnight until it was finished.  But the drama does not stop as after all the works that went with it, the car refuses to start.

Atsuhiro contemplated his engineering hand and push the start button once again and it worked like a dream.

Because of the accident, Naozumi has five minutes penalty.

By this time the brothers have made up.  As he was about to start the engine, Atsuhiro advised Naozumi to go full throttle.

And he did and won.

A little bit of spark happened when Hirako shook hands with Naozumi.

Then the epilogue shots Naozumi was at the World Rally Championship and doing very well.

It was a really enjoyable film and rather exciting to watch the rally.  You wanted Naozumi and his team to win the rally.

 

Brother’s Friend (Japanese Movie Review & Summary)

Manga

Brother’s Friend (Japanese Movie Review & Summary)

Brothers Freind poster

  • Genre: Romance, Comedy, Youth, School
  • Date Released: 2018
  • Origin: Japan, Based on a Manga

Cast: 

  • Matsukaze Risaki sd Nanase Mai
  • Yokohama Ryusei as Nishino Souta
  • Furukawa Tsuyoshi as Nanase Yukihiro
  • Ono Karin as Nishino Aki
  • Matsuoka Koudai as Kaga Itsuki

This live-action manga is being subbed by Rjgman56.

The drama started ever so kawaii.

Mai is a high-school student, just like her brother Yukihiro, who on a rainy day brought home a friend from school.

Mei is very domesticated.  She does the laundry, does the cooking and other housework.  Her brother hollered for her to bring in a towel as he got drenched from the rain.

Mei was enchanted when she saw who was with her brother.  It was the cutest boy ever.  It seemed the boy was equally enchanted with her because Souta had to break their staring contest to get their attention.

Mei then heard the guy, Souta, tells her brother, “your sister is cute.”

Mei had the coolest brother, he did not mind that a boy is after his sister.  In fact he encourage the boy to pursue his sister even when Souta said that he believed that Mei has already got a boyfriend.

Yukihiro was very dismissive.  He asked Souta why that should stop him liking Mei.

With this advice, Souta confessed to Mei when they next saw each other.  Souta said that he knows that Mei has already got a boyfriend but then again ‘nothing ventured nothing gained.”

This confession paid out because Mei said that she hasn’t got a boyfriend and that she likes hm too.

Awww

Unfortunately, these two are both naive in love.

Despite confessing to each other, Souta never thought that they are actually dating.

By the way, the conversation between her brother and Souta can always be heard by Mei in her room.  Apparently, the partition wall between bedrooms is so thin.

So Mei was rather confused because she assumed that they are already dating!

TBC

 

 

 

Rampant (South Korean Film)

Film

Rampant (South Korean Film)

Rampant, promotional poster

  • Genre: Historical super fiction :), Martial Arts, Zombie Movie, Royalty, Supernatural, Fantasy, Action
  • Release Date: 2018
  • Origin: South Korean

 

Cast:

  • Hyun Bin as Lee Chung
  • Lee Dong Gun as Kim Ja-Joon
  • Lee Sun Bin as Deok Hee
  • Seo Ji-Hye as Concubine Jo
  • Kim Eui Sung as King Lee Jo
  • Jeong Man -Sik as Hak Soo
  • Jo Woo-Jin as Park Eul Ryeong
  • Jo Dal Hwan as Monk Dae Gil

Quick Precis:

Second son return to his kingdom to save it from ruins and zombie attack.

 

I really enjoyed this film, lots of action and the lead, Hyun Bin, is just gorgeous and Lee Dong Gun is charismatic.

This is a zombie movie but without the thrill and excitement of Gong Yoo’s Train To Busan.  Perhaps it has something to do with it being a costume drama and therefore it is less familiar to oneself and therefore the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness is less relevant.

Anyway, the story goes that Lee Chung is the second son of a king of the Joseon Empire who was bestowed to the Qing Empire as a political hostage for the sake of peace and diplomacy between nations.

But after hearing that his older brother, the crown prince had committed suicide it was about time to come home after 10 years of womanizing and self-indulgence.

He and his able man-servant, Hak Soo, were surprised when they came into a village, which was totally empty of people and animals.

They quickly wised up when they encounter a ferocious zombie.  They were rescued by some villagers who just suddenly appeared on rooftops.

They were taken to their hideout, where they found many people,  some are wounded.

Anyway, Lee Chung was told that the zombies usually hide in the forest or houses when it was daylight and they come out en-masse as soon as it got dark.

Each day they are multiplying in numbers.

The backstory was that a few days ago, a German ship, selling guns and ammunition docked nearby.

The person, the Crown Prince sent to negotiate with the German saw more than he meant to see.  There was another German sailor who was tethered in iron handcuffs who was behaving abnormally.  The Korean got too close and got bitten.  Before long the soldier had turned and bitten his way into the village.

The news of zombies finally reached the King, but it was too late as one of his concubine got it and bit him.

Lee Chung was very reluctant to be the king, but then again, there was a willing minister who all along wanted to topple the monarchy so that he could start his own.

He was having a secret meeting with the other ministers of his plans when they noticed that he was bitten by a zombie.

Despite knowing that it was really all over for him, he did not give up without a fight.  He killed all the ministers and then cut off his bitten hand.

He became so strong as a half zombie.

He had a prolonged fight with Lee Chung, who was trying to blow up the palace where he attracted the attention of the zombies.

He did manage to do it in the end and at last as in most movies, the cavalry arrives just after the nick of time.

He will be king.

 

 

 

 

Big Brother (Chinese Movie) Review & Summary

Film

Big Brother (Chinese Movie) Review & Summary

Big Brother poster

  • Genre: School, Action, Teacher, Delinquent Students
  • Date Released: 2018
  • Origin: China

Cast:

  • Donnie Yen
  • Joe Chen
  • Gordon Lau Chiu-Kin (wanted to be a singer)
  • Gladys Li (Tomboy who wanted to be an engineer and design cars)
  • Jack Lok Ming-Kit (wanted to be a teacher)
  • Chris Tong Kwan-Yiu (wanted to be in IT)
  • Bruce Tong Kwan-Chi (wanted to be in Business Management)

I have to admit that I watched this film solely for the reason of being Joe Chen was in it.  I am a massive Joe Chen fan.

I thought there will be a lovely romance in this film between Joe Chen’s character and Donnie Yen’s.

Actually, Joe Chen’s role was so tiny but she made it memorable.  Her clumsiness gave the film a few laughs.

Nevertheless, despite the small role from Joe Chen, I thoroughly enjoyed this film.

Mind you, it is not the best of films, but Donnie Yen was so charismatic, you just have to watch him.  Also, I found that this film has a heart, it has that feel good factor.

His fighting scenes were spectacular, you unconsciously clench your fists and mentally join in the fight, it was that good.

Anyway the story is about Henry Chen Xia (Donnie Yen) who used to be a delinquent student at Tak Chi Secondary School.

He caused untold damage, including ending a school mate’s career as a pianist.

Despite his bad attitude, the then school principal did not give up on him but encouraged him to do better in America when his aunt and her American husband took him to the USA.

There he joined the US Navy/army and did so well but he came to realise the impunity of war.  He left the army rather disillusioned and went around the world to find himself and his mojo!

He was in correspondence with his old school principal who raised the idea of him becoming a teacher at his old school.

Tak Chi Secondary School is under threat of being closed down because of the dwindling numbers of enrolees perhaps due to the delinquency problems.

There he was assigned to be the homeroom & General Knowledge teacher of the most tearaway teenagers of F 6E.

On his first day, he was ignored by his class who were cooking ramen in the classroom, one is smoking, some are sleeping, chatting and the rest were on their mobile phones.

But he was prepared.  He turned on the fire sprinkler to soak everyone up and get their attention.

He then realised that there were five in his class who are regular troublemakers.

He studied their profiles and found solutions to make each one more attentive with their studies.

One is a half-caste black boy, who suffers from discrimination but wanted to be a singer but lacks confidence.  Henry helped him find the strength to perform in public.

One is a girl, who grew into a tomboy because she was starved of parental love. His father ignored her as soon as her baby brother was born.  Her father told her that she should forget studying and arranged for her to get herself married.

Henry arranged for the father and daughter to have a race.  When the father thought that his daughter was hurt in an accident, he was wailing in regret and they bonded.

There were twin boys, whose father was alcoholic and rather abusive.  So Henry made them have a sit-down and talk among themselves.  The father was actually feeling isolated from them because they have stopped talking.

And the fifth boy lives with his grandmother.  He works part-time in a restaurant and the local hoodlum got him to do the dirty for him.  The hoodlum owns a kickboxing ring where fighters from all over the world come and outdo one another.  The hoodlum threatened and tasked the boy to drug the drink of one of the main foreign fighters.  He got caught and beaten then locked in a locker.

Henry was there to save the day beating up everyone.  Exciting fight scenes.

The ruckus was reported in the news and Henry was much lauded.  Not only his own students admired him but the whole school including the teachers, whom Joe Chen is one was proud of him.

The gangster/hoodlum struck again on the very day of the final exam.  He locked up the students preventing them from attending their test.

Fortunately, Henry turned up and had another thrilling fight scenes. 🙂 It turned out the hoodlum boss was the boy (pianist), whose hand he damaged a long time ago.

Henry told him that he had always felt guilty about him and he was going to sought him out and apologised.  It was a nice moment especially when the hood intoned that he had always like to play the piano.

Then another school year starts and Tak Chi school is allowed to continue to provide education as more students wanted to attend the school.

Henry greets his new inattentive students with a good soaking from the fire sprinkle….