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.
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….
Origin: Japan; based on a novel of the same title written by Erika Yoshida & Tomohide Kiyoshi
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.
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.
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.
Genre: Hotel Management, Job, Family, Relationship, Romance
Release Date: 2016
Dennis Oh as Nie Xuan
Jing Tang as XiaoXiao
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.