My Shy Boss

Co-posted at Still Just Alison

TV drama – 16 episodes

The world’s most introverted over-thinker meets the world’s most outspoken non-thinker – what could go wrong?

Fortunately it gets better than that, because if it was just “Genius introvert falls in love with pushy extrovert”, I don’t think I could have stuck it, Sandeul soundtrack or no. I spent the first couple of episodes wanting to slap the female lead, because the character was so incredibly annoying. Most humans with … (read more)

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You’re All Surrounded

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Co-posted at Still Just Alison

TV drama – 20 episodes

It looked like just another cop drama, but this little gem ticked all the boxes on my Cracking Good Series bingo card.

For starters, the cast: Lee Seung-gi as Kim Ji-yong/Eun Dae-gu, whose mother was murdered in front of his eyes when he was 15, carries his role with a restrained intensity that starts at “To hell with the lot of you” and never flags. He often seems on the … (read more)

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You Are Beautiful

Co-posted at Still Just Alison

TV drama – 16 episodes

Everyone involved in this debacle should cower under the Doona of Shame for all eternity. I’m even embarrassed to say I watched it.

What a complete dogs’ breakfast – the script was woeful, frequently relying on the execrable tactic of character soliloquies to reveal important plot points & describe feelings, saving all that tedious acting nonsense you might see in other K-drama.

Maybe this was because the acting was so … (read more)

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Secret Garden

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Co-posted at Still Just Alison

TV drama – 20 episodes

Japan may have Godzilla, but Korea has an equally fearsome monster. The chaebol mama may not trample buildings, but she has a shriek that can shatter glass, and is equally destructive of anyone who stops her doing whatever she wants.

Anyone who watches this expecting to see another Captain Ri Jeong Hyeok from Crash Landing on You will be sadly disappointed – as this was before Hyun Bin’s military service, … (read more)

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Mirai (2018)

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This movie’s central character is not the title character. It’s a lad aged about four named Kun (Moka Kamishiraishi). While it is his journey and growth in maturity the film chiefly follows, his whole family also has to adapt and change and it’s all thanks to their newest member, baby Mirai.

The features from director Mamoru Hosoda and team have been consistently good and occasionally great, and with Mirai Studio Chizu has created a film both for all ages and … (read more)

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Space Sweepers (2021)

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Space Sweepers is a big budget B movie. A Korean made and led, but globally minded space adventure the likes of which I have not really come across before. Chinese blockbuster The Wandering Earth bears some resemblance in looks, but is very different in feel. Tonally Space Sweepers faintly recalls a variety of animated properties. The crew of the ship Victory work as space janitors, like in Planetes, but it’s a much showier affair that turns tense and meticulous … (read more)

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Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch (2019)

Co-directors Wong Jing and Jason Kwan punched out this thematic, but otherwise unconnected, sequel to their 2017 historical crime drama Chasing the Dragon in two years. It’s not the same breakneck pace of the helter skelter Hong Kong heyday, when Casino Tycoon and its sequel blazed into cinemas in the same year, but for contemporary big budget Chinese blockbusters like this it’s still a quick turnaround.

A couple of clips from Chasing the Dragon, tweaked to look like archival … (read more)

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Golden Job (2018)

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Chin Kar Lok is one of those hard yakka performers the Hong Kong and Chinese film industries have relied on over the years and I have a lot of time for his work. A stunt veteran and background character for much of the 80s and 90s (e.g. Millionaires Express) with an occasional lead role (e.g. The Scorpion King), for the last decade or so he has been more of a character actor (e.g. Cold War). He only … (read more)

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