Category: SE ASIAN FILMS

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.

 

 

 

 

Revenge Girl (Japanese Movie) Review & Summary

 

Film

Revenge Girl (Japanese Movie) Review & Summary

Revenge Girl poster

  • Aka: Ribenji Girl
  • Genre:  Romance, Revenge, Comedy
  • Dater Released: 2017
  • Origin: Japan; based on a novel of the same title written by Erika Yoshida & Tomohide Kiyoshi

Cast:

  • Mirei Kiritani as Miki Takahashi
  • Nobuyuki Suzuki as Toshiya Kadowaki
  • Sho Kiyohara as Suga Saito
  • Fumika Baba as Mariko Nakategawa
  • Shinya Owada as Shigeru Saito
  • Aimi Satsukawa as Rinko Momose
  • Aisa Takeuchi as Misaki Houseki
  • Yuki Saito as Nagiko Kisaragi

I would have not been able to watch nor review this film if not for Rjgman56, who translate Japanese dramas and films into English.  Thank you.

This film is a Mirei Kiritani movie.  She is one of my most favourite Japanese actresses.  She always gives her all in her roles.

Anyway this movie is very lightweight but there are some funny and memorable scenes.

The beginning is hilarious if rather truthful if beauty queens would only tell their honest truth before they attempt at world peace.

Mirei plays Miki Takahashi, who is intelligent, talented and very beautiful and she knows it.

She was once again crowned as Miss Campus at the prestigious Tokyo University after third consecutive wins.

During her victory speech, she said that she always know who was going to win because she is beautiful.  She then gave a sagely advice to the newbie contestants.  She told them that perhaps before entering a pageant they should look into the mirror.  Miaou!

With all her bravado, she accidentally fell right into the arm of Suga Saito and it was love at first sight.

A year on, Miki was now working for Bulgari and Saito has started a career in politics.

My Girlfriend is an Agent (South Korean Movie)

Film

My Girlfriend is an Agent (South Korean Movie)

  • Genre: Romance, Action, Comedy, Drama, Thriller, Espionage
  • Date Released: April 2009
  • Origin: South Korea

Cast:

  • Kim Ha-neul as Ahn Soo-jin
  • Kang Ji-hwan as Lee Jae-joon
  • Jang Young-nam as Team Leader Hong
  • Ryu Seung-ryong as Won-seok

 

Synopsis:

Soo Jin and Jae Joon are passionately in love but their line of work keeps getting in the way.

They have absolutely no idea that both of them are secret agents working in different branches of NIS.

It came to the point that Soo Jin’s agency gathered information that Jae Joon was a Russian spy whilst on the other hand Jae Joon’s agency suspect that Soo Jin is working for the Russian.

What they don’t know was that bought their agencies are working on the same mission, to stop the Russian taking possession of a biological warfare of mass destruction from a corrupt South Korea scientist.

But in the meantime, Soo Jin had to find out everything Jae Joon know and vice versa.

This film is full of action and just so slapstick funny in many scenes especially provided by Kang Ji Hwan who plays the bumbling, inexperience Jae Joon against a kicking killing machine Soo Jin.

Love it.

 

Honey (Japanese Movie Review & Summary)

Film

Honey (Japanese Movie Review & Summary)

Honey poster

  • Genre: Romance, Youth, School, Manga, Live-Action
  • Release Date: 2018
  • Origin: Japan; based on a shojo manga by Amu Meguro

Cast:

  • Sho Hirano as Taiga Onise
  • Yuna Taira as Nao Kogure
  • Ryusei Yokohama as Ayumu Misake
  • Kaho Mizutani as Kayo Yashiro
  • Yu Takahashi as Sosuke Kogure

Synopsis:

I have been waiting for this drama or rather movie for a long time, I think, since early this year when I heard what the story would be about.

I thought it was so cute.

It was about a boy who is very misunderstood meets a girl who was so timid, she would say yes when she means no.

Anyway, the first few parts of this film have been subbed in English by rjgman56 (Thank you) and enjoyed watching them.

The film started with Onise engaged in a fight.  A lone wolf or rather fox as he is a redhead against a gang of youths.

He lay down all bruised and battered by the wayside when a school girl dropped a little carton of milk on his unsuspecting hand.

A year later, it was the first day of high school, Nao Kogure was shyly thinking what school be like when she noticed a red-headed boy kicking and fighting with few boys.  The red-head was, of course, Onise who lost his footing and accidentally push Kogure into the ground and fell on top of her.

Poor Kogure was catatonic with shock.

 

Marmalade Boy (Japanese Tv Movie) Review & Summary

Film

Marmalade Boy (Japanese Tv Movie) Review & Summary

Marmalade Boy poster

  • Genre: Romance, School, Family, Relationship
  • Release Date: 2018
  • Origin: Japan and based on a manga, Marmalade Boy, written by Wataru Yoshizumi

Cast:

  • Ryo Yoshizawa as Yuu Matsuura
  • Hinako Sakurai as Miki Koishikawa
  • Miho Nakayama as Chiyako (Yuu’s mother)
  • Rei Dan as Rumi (Miki’s mother)
  • Shosuke Tanihara as Yoji Matsuura
  • Michitaka Tsutsui as Jin Koishikawa

 

Synopsis:

I have to be honest, at first, I had that WTH feeling about this live action manga.

Well, the story is just too near what is not morally right in my opinion. LOL

Anyway, young Miki was surprised by her parents when they announced that they are divorcing, all in a very amicable way, and that directly after the divorce they will remarry and exchange partners with another couple.  Ecckkkk  How wrong is that?!!!

Yep, apparently, Miki’s parents holidayed in Hawaii and before the holiday was over they decided to say goodbye to their relationship.  They met a couple who they deemed to be more suited to them than with each other.

What happened then was that they tried to convince Miki to put up with the new situation.  She then found out that the other couple has a son, who was the same age as her.  He was Yuu, who happens to be intelligent and gorgeous.

Miki complained and told them that she was not happy about the changing partners and all and asked them what would happen to her.

She was quickly assured that nothing really much would change because she will still live with both her father and mother because the new couplings had decided to all live together under one roof.  They will be a family of six.  Ecckkk  A commune!

One thing Miki’s mother warned her about was not to fall in love with Yuu as it would complicate matters!

What do you know?  Mike fell in love with Yuu and it was mutual.  Yuu seduced her with his handsomeness, caring and a stolen kiss a la Sleeping Beauty.  He was the marmalade boy, sweet externally but there is some bitterness in the inside.

They are now living like a loved-up couple but it did not last long as there was a bit of an issue on Yuu’s parentage.

He thought his father was someone else.  He got to the bottom of his suspected father, who denied that he was his dad. What he said though was that Chiyako has a young lover in college.

So he was back at square one, until one day, he was rooting for something in their storeroom when he came across his baby picture album.  Amongst the pages of the album was some photos of his parents when younger along with Miki’s mum and dad.

He added two and two together and came up with Miki’s dad being his real father and that would make Miki his close blood relative.  Yuk!  Ecckkk  Incest.

Yuu was inconsolable but made a decision to get away immediately, away from Miki and away from his family.

He went to Tokyo to pursue architecture.

The few years that passed cannot make Miki forget Yuu so she decided to find him in Tokyo and have some closure.

They had an emotional get-together and Yuu had to confess why he left her and that he loves her still but they can never be together as they are siblings.

Miki begged that they should have that holiday they had planned together before and spend some happy days together and then she will give up on him.

Away they went on their mini holiday, behaving like the lovebirds of a few years back.

When it came to going back to their separate hotel rooms for the night, they were rather reluctant to part but they had to.

However, at the last moment, Miki went to hug Yuu and offer to sleep with him.  Yuu was at the end of his tether but persevered not to go beyond the boundary.  But they just literally slept together in the same bed.

Miki woke up alone in the bed and found Yuu staring blankly by the window.  He then told Miki that he made up his mind.  They had to be together forever, live together.  They might not be able to have children and will be both feeling self-guilt for the rest of their lives but he was willing if she was.

Miki did not think twice, she was all for it.

They raced to their house to confront the parents.  Yuu blamed the parents of how the situation turned out to be.  They had such a dysfunctional home-life situation, where they were not consulted but rather ignored.

Yuu said that he knew Miki was his sister but they will live together as a couple no matter what.

So everyone was confused and the real story about the parents was finally revealed.

Back in their university days, they were all friends and even after graduating.  Chiyako and Jin were a couple and While Rumi was going out with Yoji.

Chiyako was pregnant with Jin’s baby but he was being transferred to London.  Chiyako then was consoled by gentle Yoji.  This created a chasm and misunderstanding in the relationship of the four friends.

Thinking that Yoji had left Rumi for Chiyako and that Chiyako was not interested anymore, Jin persuaded Rumi to go to London with him instead.

Chiyako lost her baby but still Jin married her and a year later, Yuu was born.

In summary, Yuu and Mike were not siblings.  Yey.

So everything is sorted and they are free to love and beget as many children as they want.

The end!

 

 

The Huntresses (South Korean Film Review & Summary)

Film

The Huntresses (South Korean Film Review & Summary)

 

The Huntresses poster

  • Genre: Historical Fiction, Adventure, Martial Arts, Action, Strong Females, Romance
  • Release Date: January 2014
  • Origin: Film, South Korea

Cast:

  • Ha Ji-won as Jin-ok
  • Kang Ye-won as Hong-dan
  • Son Ga-in as Ga-bi
  • Ko Chang-seok as Mu-myeong
  • Joo Sang-wook as Sa-hyeon
  • Song Sae-Byeok as Police Officer Song

 

I highly recommend this film as a lazy weekend treat.

It is enjoyable and fast paced.  There plenty of comic scenes and the girls are beautiful with different personalities, which you can choose your favourite from.  I have to say, I love the character of Ga-bi, she is feisty and does not carry much baggage, so she is just a gorgeous fighting machine.

Jin Ok, Hong Dan and Ga Bi are three beautiful women who all work as bounty hunters for Mu Myeong.

They take on jobs of hunting the most wanted and always get their men. The three women have their individual expertise.

Jin Ok is a sharpshooter and excellent with the yoyo as a weapon.  She is also a bit of an inventor and an engineer.

Hong Dan is a married lady but she is more comfortable throwing shuriken (Chinese stars) than doing household chores, which she leaves to her husband.

Ga-Bi is the youngest of the group.  She is upfront; what you see is what you get.  Her forte is in archery and explosives.

Their biggest mission was to retrieve a stauroscope before it lands into the hand of the Chinese.

While completing the mission, Jin Ok learned that her father was alive and the person, who had supposedly killed him was her childhood love, Sa Hyeon.  Though Sa Hyeon tried to kill/hurt her several times, in the end he saved her life and her father’s but died in doing so.

They did accomplish their mission and the grateful King rewarded them handsomely.

Really good film, never a boring moment.  Though I am not sure how Jin Ok survived after her father was ‘killed’ and her protector, Sa Hyeon, was taken by the evil Kim Ja Hun.

Kids on the Slope (Japanese Movie Review & Summary)

Film

Kids on the Slope (Japanese Movie Review & Summary)

Kids on the slope poster

  • Genre: Music, Friendship, Youth, Family, Romance, Bromance, Live Action
  • Release Date: 2018
  • Origin: Japan, based on Manga, Sakamichi no Apollon

Cast:

  • Yuri Chinen as Kaoru Nishimi
  • Nana Komatsu as Ritsuko Mukae
  • Taishi Nakagawa as Sentaro Kawabuchi
  • Dean Fujioka as Junichi Katsuragi
  • Erina Mano as Yurika Fukahori

 

Synopsis & Review

I just watched this film and found it really interesting with lovely jazz music.  This film is a live-action film of a manga.

The three main actors, Komatsu, Chinen and Nakagawa gave a charismatic performance.

The story is being told by Kaoru Nishimi, who is now a doctor.

It all began in 1966.  He just transferred to a new school.  During the first day, a classmate was tasked to show him around and it was Ritsu.  He found her very pretty the first time he saw her but he started feeling claustrophobic and he needed a breath of fresh air.

He climbed into the rooftop but notice some hindrance to the entrance.  It was the prone body of Sentaro.

Kaoru was entranced at the handsome, rather battered face of Sentaro, a half-caste – half American, half Japanese boy with blond hair and very fair skin.

The first moment they met, they have clicked and became friends.

Sentaro took him to a music store, who Kaoru was excited to know was owned by Ritsu’s father.

The father had told them that they have someone special waiting in the studio below.  Sentaro was really excited as it was Jun, his idol, a student at Tokyo University who is proficient with the trumpet playing jazz music.

Jun on the trumpet and Sentaro playing the drums,  started to have a session.  Kaoru couldn’t help himself and started to play the piano as well.

The music bonded them all together including the sweet Ritsu.

After a church service, the three friends found themselves at the beach, where they saw a girl being harassed by boys.

Sentaro had just to rescue the girl as that is how he was.

When he saw the girl up close, he fell madly in love.  For days he was almost senseless in wonder.

They again met the girl in a club, where Kaoru noticed that she seemed familiar with Jun.

Anyway, Sentaro started being friendly with the girl, which Kaoru observed was making Ritsu rather upset.  She likes Sentaro herself even back from they were children.

One day while they were meeting for another session in the music room, Sentaro brought with him the girl, Yuri, which made everyone uneasy.  Ritsu couldn’t take it and run off, followed closely by Kaoru.

He found her crying.  He kissed her as he just couldn’t help himself.  Ritsu was so surprised she pushed him away and run off.

Poor Kaoru was also being made to feel unwanted at his current lodging with his auntie and family, who tells him to think about what he wants to do in university as they will be paying for his course as well as his lodging in Tokyo and would be a pretty penny.

He was so stressed that he went to Sentaro’s house.  He heard the happy commotion inside the house and a smiling Sentaro answered the door.

Karoru remarked that he envies Sentaro’s life.  He wishes he has somewhere to really belong to as well.

Sentaro took him aside and told him that his life is far from perfect.  He then recounted that he was ‘born’ in the Catholic church or at least his birth mother left him in the church steps when he was a baby.

He was later adopted by a childless couple but before long they had their own children and more or less does not have time for him.

He was also bullied by other children because he was different with his light coloured hair and half American features.  He did not know where he belongs.

Meanwhile Jun was packing his things when Yuri appeared.  She said that she was ready to go anywhere with him.

At that moment, Sentaro was on his way to Jun’s house.  He couldn’t believe it when he found Jun and Yuri all packed and going away together.

He was absolutely gutted.  He took out his frustration by fighting his schoolmates.

Kaoru stopped him.  He was asked by Sentaro if he knew about Jun and Yuri.  Kaoru was forced to admit to it.  Sentaro was now also upset with Kaoru for betraying their friendship.

The friendship was now fragmented.

Kaoru was playing cans in wires telephone with a girl in the neighbourhood.  The girl asked for advice about a boy who was always nasty to her and made her cry.

He said that he also made a girl he loves cry.  And then the voice at the other end was Ritsu.  She said that she was just surprised that is all.  It was her first kiss.  So they made up, friends again.

A singing concert at school mend their three friends fractured friendship.

They decided to take part in a church concert.  Sentaro and Ritsu are both religious and all excited about the event.  They decided to fetch Kaoru in their motorbike.

Ritsu confessed to Sentaro that her heart goes faster when she is with Kaoru… and then their motorbike was crashing into a car.

Ritsu was in a coma and Kaoru found Sentaro battered in a pew inside the church.  Sentaro was asking God why was he born?  Why does he bring misfortune to the people he knew.  He said that he should be taken rather than Ritsu.

Finally Kaoru was able to convince Sentaro to return to the hospital where Ritsu has woken up.  She said that she dreamt that she was with Sentaro who told her to get out of the dark.

When Kaoru went out to get Sentaro, he was no longer there but left his rosary by the door.

10 years later -1976?

Kaoru is a doctor in Tokyo.  One day two familiar faces came to see him.  Jun and a pregnant Yuri.  Yuri showed him a photo of a wedding of a friend.

Kaoru travelled back to the village and found that Ritsu is now a teacher.  He showed her the photo.  Now we see the photo.  Sentaro is now a priest.

Both Kaoru and Ritsu agreed to find Sentaro.

They found him easy enough because he was playing the piano for the children at the church.

He looks happy and at peace.  He asked Kaoru and Ritsu if they were there to get married.

It feels like all the years that had passed had vanished.

They ended up playing the piano and the drum.

It was quite a heartwarming film.  Loved it.

 

 

 

 

Goodnight (Chinese Film Review)

Film

Goodnight (Chinese Film Review)

Goodnight poster

  • Genre:  Hotel Management, Job, Family, Relationship, Romance
  • Release Date: 2016
  • Origin: China

Cast:

Leads

  • Dennis Oh as Nie Xuan
  • Jing Tang as XiaoXiao

Synopsis:

This is a pretty straight-forward film with a very simplistic ending for everyone.

Once upon a time in the life of XiaoXiao, back when she was little, she had a pet cat who was really a genie/fairy.

The cat announced to young XiaoXiao that he was leaving and as a goodbye gift, he would grant a wish she makes.

XiaoXiao easily said that she wanted to have more time and doesn’t want to sleep.  She wants to study and have some play-time afterwards and do other things as well.  For this young girl, there is not much time during the day!

The cat asked her if she wishes it forever.  The girl readily confirmed that it was.

From then own, the girl grew up insomniac, which affected her life, love life and job prospects.  She can’t keep the latter two.

As a result, she concentrated on acquiring more qualifications than what she needed.

She was in between love and work when she finally found the perfect job.  Become a hotel tester/reviewer.

She was very good at the job, she had all the time at night to review hotels.  She became known as Queen Untouchable amongst her peers.

A TASS group of luxury hotels was owned by Nie family, and there was currently a battle of supremacy between brothers to inherit the hotel chain.

The eldest was Nie Xuan, who was cold and exacting; he was made that way by his domineering father,  who sets him tasks, made him follow every rule strictly.

It was a different story for his other son, who was indulged and adored.  The younger son was therefore very affectionate towards his father but totally conniving and spoilt.  He wanted to manage the hotel himself, though he lacks commitment and diligence.

He instigated that a hotel reviewer visits their flagship hotel, which is managed competently by Nie Xuan, who was expecting that FORBES would include them to the list of best luxury hotels in the world.  A bad review would mean disqualification, which the younger brother was hoping and this would make their father hand the position of CEO to him in a plate.

The reviewer was XiaoXiao, who quickly found herself having so much in common with Nie Xuan, for a starter as both insomniacs.  They also both love their jobs and the hotel business.

Hotel Guide from a professional hotel tester:

  • A bellhop should notice a guest arrival within 3 seconds and give a welcoming smile.
  • In the reception area, no matter how busy they are they should give a warm eye contact with new visitors.
  • You should be able to haggle for a discount or some other deals.  (I have never thought of this especially in 5* hotels LOL)
  • Testing the automatic curtain management.
  • The hot water must reach the temperature within 15 seconds.
  • The height of the switches must be 1 metre.
  • Not a single hair must be on the carpet.
  • The security peephole must be 1.2 metres high.
  • The toilet must be 45 cm high
  • In the restaurant, you should be noticed within 3 seconds
  • The final test was how efficient the hotel cleaners.  You can be as messy as you like and expect that everything would be tidied after you.  (I would like to see that)

 

There are also side stories like a pop star/singer-songwriter called Lucas, who was so taciturn as his composing mojo had left him.

There was also a couple who have not had proper relationships for ages.  When the husband tried it with the wife, she laughed at him dismissively.  This made him call a young girlfriend to book herself into the same hotel as well.

When he got to her room, she breaks up with him because she finally realised that he was just too old for her.

The girl then tried to leave the hotel, only to run to her father, who was currently a fugitive from his debtors.

Nie Xuan was a victim of his brother’s sabotage.

Nie Xuan was told that the younger brother is now set to inherit from their father.  Nie Xuan had had enough and quit. XiaoXiao was there and she showed him that there is more to life than working all the time. She encourages him to relax.

Within a couple of days, his father was calling him back to return and will give him another chance.  He did some reorganisation and fired YangYa, his dad’s PA who was helping his younger brother to sabotage his work.

Toward the end of the film, he led XiaoXiao to a beautifully decorated room with guests wishing them a good engagement celebration.

The next day Nie Xuan found the red shoes with the ring he gave to  XiaoXiao in her vacated hotel room.

XiaoXiao then shown doing her job once again in another luxurious hotel somewhere in the world.

When she opened the paper, there was a photo of a pair of red shoes and she gave an enigmatic smile.

The End

 

 

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