Something In The Rain

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Co-posted at Still Just Alison

TV drama – 16 episodes

This is the hair shirt and barbed wire pants of K-drama – if you can get through all 16 episodes, you’re a better person than me.

The first kazoo in the dramatic symphony comes early on, when our heroine, after being cruelly dumped by her boyfriend, says plaintively “Am I so unattractive?” I’m sorry sister, but no amount of baggy clothing can convince us that you don’t have men lined … (read more)

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Itaewon Class

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Co-posted at Still Just Alison

TV Series – 16 episodes

I really didn’t want to love this so much. I didn’t even want to watch it. Let me explain…

It started with a song. I’d never liked Park Seo-jun, but a friend recommended the series, so I finally watched the ad. And man, that song is powerful – in about 30 seconds it had me half-convinced I wanted to start a bar and take over the world.

So I started … (read more)

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Love In The Moonlight

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Co-posted at Still Just Alison

TV series, 18 episodes

A historical entry in the “I fell in love with my eunuch” category, lifted above the ordinary by the quality of the whole cast. Kim Yoo-Jeong plays Hong Ra-on (or Hong Sam-nom, as a male), the young woman who ends up working in the palace as a eunuch (long story), while Park Bo-gum plays crown prince Lee Yeong, heir to the Joseon throne, who becomes intrigued with Hong Sam-nom while still … (read more)

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Chasing the Dragon (2017)

To begin, an admission. I have not seen many Wong Jing films. Not even some of his biggest hits, such as God of Gamblers. Some of his work has flickered across my retinas, but given the fellow’s torrential output over the decades I may as well have folded before even picking up the cards. I know him more by reputation; a film-maker chasing the broadest and basest of cinematic trends. Jackie Chan’s classics are hardly high-brow, but City Hunter(read more)

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Pandora (2016)

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Co-posted at Still Just Alison

Prepare to be gruelled. This film will take every tender feeling you possess and run them through the mincer, then stomp on the bits.

The hero of the story is Jae Hyeok, brought to life by the incredibly talented Kim Nam Gil. This is not the sex-incarnate Kim Nam Gil of Bad Guy, or the lovable doofus turned responsible doctor of Live Up To Your Name, or the arse-kicking priest of Fiery Priest. No, this … (read more)

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Monk Comes Down the Mountain (2015)

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Want to see a movie where a bunch of stuff happens? You’ve come to the right place.

I really don’t know what to make of this one. I entertained a fancy of simply posting a series of screenshots to convey how discombobulating a viewing experience this film provides, but I’m going to try and describe it as best I can in words as well.

Imagine a meandering and often lovely-to-look-at indie film, with a main narrative thread broken up by … (read more)

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Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (2018)

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The Ip Man film scene has become a crowded sub-genre over the last decade and a bit. Although the four numbered titles directed by Wilson Yip and starring Donnie Yen are the most well-known, there are also the alternate takes on the historical figure in Ip Man: The Legend is Born, Ip Man: Kung Fu Master and Ip Man: The Final Fight plus Wong Kar Wai’s spin on the legend in The Grandmaster. There’s also a 2013 TV … (read more)

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Maria (2019)

The vengeful female assassin is a recognisable character. Perhaps because they’re not as common, or because it plays against the idea of the fairer sex, Lady Snowblood and her ilk (such as The Villainess) stand out more than their male counterparts. Maria sticks its own knife in the lady killer body of work and while the title character herself does the job with competence, the film around her does not reach the same standard.

On a macro level Maria(read more)

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