Saturday, December 29, 2012

Drama Queen's Pick of the Year: 2012 Dramas

1) Rooftop prince

Why I like this drama

I like the concept of the storyline and the main cast. Micky and his three subordinates were so cute in their ancient costumes and their expressions were so funny. Han Ji Min on the other hand is very pretty and her acting is very natural.

Towards the middle episodes the story seems to lose its directions and it starts to become boring. The production team began to realize that they are losing the audiences and started to make the story more interesting. Eventually, their effort caught the attention of the audience towards the end of the episode.

I am satisfied with the ending and it goes to show that the writer indeed planned the ending beforehand, therefore, it does not feel rushed and things were explained better. I like the idea that Micky went back to the ancient time and explained the whole incident rather than letting it hanging without any clue. Overall, I like the main cast and their interaction.

Overall: 7/10

2) The Innocent Guy 

Why I like this drama

This drama sounds so dark and I expected a lot of revenge and plotting against each other. The reason why I watch this drama is because of Song Jong Ki and Lee Kwang Soo. Their onscreen chemistry must be very good since they were close friends in real life. Indeed, this combination were good and it had been long since I saw them together in Running Man. I like actress Moon Chae on and Park Si Yeon acting and their portrayal of the characters.

It is refreshing to see Song Jong Ki turn into a revengeful man as he has never play this type of role. Kang Ma-Ru is a complex character and Song Jong Ki is able to portray the emotions very well. The things which he went through and the sacrifice that he made for the lady that he loved were strongly portrayed by this talented guy.

Kwang Soo is still the silly and hilarious guy that we used to see, but his comedic timing and expressions were excellent. I can’t help but think that he is the Korean ‘Mr Bean’. Moon Chae Won is an amazing actress who has the capability to act naturally in all the drama that she had starred in.

Overall: 9/10

3) To the Beautiful you

Why I like this drama

I watch this drama because I had watched the Japanese and Taiwanese version of Hana Kimi. I wonder how the Korean flares in this drama. As expected, the drama was popular because of the eye candies. Who can resist the charm of Shinee member Min Ho and the cuteness of Lee Hyun Woo? Choi Seol Ri is cute and loveable in this drama too. This is an idol drama and i just want to see their cuteness and their interactions. The final verdict is that their acting is mediocre and the storyline is expected (since there were many versions). I would recommend this drama after a long day at work or in school.

Overall: 7/10 

4) MayQueen

Why I like this drama

The child actors and actresses were amazing. They can really act naturally in front of the camera. It was a drama with lots of twist and turn, some for the better and some for the worse. It was a little draggy towards the middle and bounce back just in time when I was about to give up on the drama. The storyline were good and the ending is sweet. This is a comeback drama for Han Ji Hye and Kim Jae Won. I certainly do not think that they look compatible neither do they have much chemistry. However, their acting is pretty good and I also look forward to see the evil men downfall. I think this is indeed a good drama especially to those who are patient enough to see it through.

Overall: 8/10

5) Arang and the Magistrate

Why I like this drama

This is a romantic drama which touches heart. I like the love shared between Lee Jun Ki and Shin Min Ah. They were such a lovely couple and I was amazed that they really look like ancient people with those costumes. I had always likes the two main leads and there are no doubts about their acting. There were some lighthearted moments and some tear jerking moments. I like the way the writers sum up the drama in a nice manner by explaining the part about the memories. I am not a fan of drama which concludes with a storyline which says we will meet again after life. But surprisingly, I am fine with this ending for this drama. The concept of reborn and fall in love again was used many times in drama but the most important thing is how the drama carry out this aspect and make it beautiful. Worthy to mention, I like the Original Sound Track (OST) of this drama. It really brings out the emotions of every scene.

Overall: 8/10

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wreck it Ralph

Walt Disney Animation Studios and Emmy(R)-winning director Rich Moore (TV's "The Simpsons," "Futurama") take moviegoers on a hilarious, arcade-game-hopping journey in "Wreck-It Ralph." Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly, "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," "Step Brothers") is tired of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer, "30 Rock"), the "good guy" star of their game who always gets to save the day. But after decades doing the same thing andseeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decides he's tired of playing the role of a bad guy. He takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade through every generation of video games to prove he's got what it takes to be a hero. On his quest, he meets the tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch, TV's "Glee") from the first-person action game Hero's Duty. But it's the feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman, "The Sarah Silverman Program") from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, whose world is threatened when Ralph accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens the entire arcade. Will Ralph realize his dream and save the day before it's too late?


Review (*and some spoilers ahead - you have been warned)

Finally a movie in a long while! Managed to catch Wreck it Ralph on Christmas day and I have to say it was an enjoyable movie (if you like animation and a simple sweet storyline). Usually most animated films are catered to children, but Wreck it Ralph is one of those animated movies that manages to make it an enjoyable for both children and adults alike with its solid mix of retro gaming nostalgia (Pacman!), humorous adventure and a heartwarming story that would appeal to gamers and non-gamers.

Knowledge of video games (e.g. Hero’s Duty, Pacman etc…) is not necessary to enjoy this movie, but if you do have (some) knowledge it is more entertaining when it comes to the some subtle (and some not-so-subtle) jokes that go on in the movie.

Wreck it Ralph transports you into the digital world of the video game characters, who are free to travel to other games (just like traveling to a different state or city) when the arcade is closed at night. So when night falls and the arcade closes for the day, the game characters come to life and roam into the other games.

As the title suggests, the movie is about Ralph who has the job of being the ‘bad’ guy in the game “Fix-it Felix”. Despite having a job as a ‘bad’ guy, the movie portrays such characters as good hearted characters who have come to accept their ‘job’ and are proud of being ‘bad’. All except Ralph, who starts to feel a sense of loss and dissatisfaction with the way he is treated in his game – he is feared, rejected and never invited to any of the parties.

Ralph has a good working relationship with Felix, the protagonist of the game, but he starts to feel even more tired of being treated like a villain even after working hours. What sets Ralph (and the movie) off is the 30th anniversary of his game and he is literally ostracized by the whole game when they have a party to celebrate but fail to invite him. Wanting to be accepted, Ralph enters another game in an attempt to win a medal and be appreciated in his own game – all just to prove that ‘bad’ guys can be good too. It is just funny that all the ‘bad’ guys in the movie have a Bad-Anon support group with a slogan that they are happy being ‘bad’.

So in his attempt to win a medal, Ralph ends up in the game "Hero’s Duty" where he sets off a whole chain of events just to get his medal. He gets his medal alright, but in the process of doing so, he accidentally activates a killer bug that becomes whatever it eats and lands up in a kid-friendly car-racing game called "Sugar Rush". Thinking that the bug perished in a lake of liquid candy, Ralph ends up falling victim to the wiles of Vanellope von Schweetz, a 9-year-old racer outcast who is regarded as a glitch in the game. He is forced to help her win an upcoming competition in exchange for his precious medal.

In the process of helping Vanellope, Ralph uncovers a big secret – the King in “Sugar Rush” is actually Turbo, a game character who had gone rouge and became a virus. Being the star of his car-racing fame, Turbo was jealous of a new car-racing game and in his jealous fit ended up ending his and the other game. Everyone thought that Turbo had perished, but he actually escaped into "Sugar Rush", became king (by erasing everyone’s memory and usurping Vanellope’s position) and lived out his racing dream, until Ralph came along. It turns out that Vanellope was the actual sovereign of “Sugar Rush” and the game would be re-set (put back in its rightful place) if she were to pass the finish line.

When Turbo modified the code of the game and erased the memory of the citizens of "Sugar Rush", he made Vanellope’s special skill of teleporting a weakness of being a glitch that would jeopardize the game just so to prevent Vanellope from racing and crossing that finish line.

While Ralph is busy helping Vanellope (which is a very sweet and enduring process), unbeknownst to him the bug that he brought along has already started to multiply rapidly and is a threat to "Sugar Rush". So together with Felix and Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun from “Hero’s Duty”, they try to save “Sugar Rush”. The interaction between Felix and Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun is adorably funny: they provide a humorous glimpse into the evolution of game design (from the pixilated Felix to a high definition Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun and their varied personalities, which deliver an adorable range of conflicts and humorous interactions. These two characters end up getting married to each other at the end of the movie.

Ralph, being the protagonist of the movie, of course saves the day and comes to appreciate his job being the ‘bad’ guy. His working relation with the others in his game also improves and he becomes happier. The rapport between Ralph and Vanellope is simply adorable as the two who were rejected have not only found their rightful place and are happier, but they found a wonderful friend in each other.

Overall, I would recommend this movie to those who just want to have good fun and entertainment. For a Disney movie, it is one of those few movies that actually have a satisfying ending that has just enough closure with the right mix of the happy, the sad and the funny.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

May Queen Episode 11


Butler Park was worried about the truth being revealed; he hurried to the company but it was too late. Hae Joo and Guem Hee walked out of the toilet and were surprised to see Butler Park. After Guem Hee walked away, he spoke to Hae Joo and demanded to know about their conversations. Butler Park gave Hae Joo a tight slap and forbid her from seeing Chang Hee. Hae Joo cheered herself up and continued to work in the Shipping plant.

Butler Park drove Guem Hee to Hae Joo house to look for her mother to verify the truth. At home, In Hwa was annoyed when she found out that her parents had arranged marriage between her and Chang Hee. On the other hand, Kang San met Hae Joo and offered to mentor and work with her. In Hwa was persistent on Kang San and he had no interest in her. She even declared that she followed Kang San to America in front of Hae Joo.

Geum Hee looked for Hae Joo mother and asked about the baby clothes to which Hae Joo mother pretended that she does not know. Despite Guem Hee persistence and cries to know about the truth Hae Joo mother refuse to divulge the truth and chased her away. Butler Park heave a sigh of relieves and brought Guem Hee back.
Il Moon questioned Chang Hee motive for the arrange marriage with his sister and verbally assaulted him. Chang Hee kept his cool and retorted that he should be wary of his actions because of the rumour surrounding him. Before they can continue, Bulter Park drove Guem Hee home and it was obvious that Guem Hee was badly affected by the incident. President Jang search for Hae Joo resume and presented it to Guem Hee and raise up the matter about her blood type. He insisted that Hae Joo is not her baby and instead she should focus on their children. Guem Hee revealed that II Moon had never look upon her as his mother and he knows the truth about his biological mother.

President Jang was unhappy about this matter and reproached II Moon, forcing him to acknowledge Guem Hee as his mother. On the other hand, Bulter Park spoke to Chang Hee and insisted that he break up with Hae Joo. Chang Hee replied that he will use proper ways to defeat President Jang and II Moon. Butler Jang was not convinced and insisted that his son leave Hae Joo but the latter refused.

Hae Joo spoke to her mother on the phone and she asked about Guem Hee. Her mother was quick to denied meeting Guem Hee and changed the topic. Chang Hee looked for Hae Joo and showed concern about that incident. He insisted that they will keep on seeing each other despite his father objection. Hae Joo agreed and proclaimed her love for him. Touched by her action, he hugged Hae Joo tightly.
Hae Joo family moved to Jeong Woo house stay as the tenants. The next day, Hae Joo went to work and Kang San bring her to his house to learn about ship designing. In Hwa learnt about Kang Woo house through his grandfather. Kang San was shocked to see In Hwa at the doorstep and asked Hae Joo not to open the door. In Hwa demanded to know what Hae Joo is doing in Kang San house, she asked to talk to Hae Joo privately. In a bid to assure In Hwa that she did not harbor any thoughts of dating Kang San, she revealed that she has someone she liked.

Butler Park looked through Chang Hee's mobile and was surprised that know that Chang Hee had been keeping contact with Hae Joo using the name of Chief Prosecutor. He reacted in anger when Chang Hee stood steadfast in his love for Hae Joo.

II Moon responded to Guem Hee coldly as she approach him. Guem Hee swallowed her sadness and cried at the cliff. After work, Hae Joo went back home together with Bong Hee and they held a mini party celebrate. Hilariously, they danced and sing to Psy – Gangnam Style. It was late at night, Hae Joo was busy washing the dishes as her mother looked at her and reminisce the past and remembered about the incident regarding Guem Hee. Hae Joo and her mother and daughter hugged together and cried.

Bong Hee stayed at Jeong Woo house after a few drinks and collapsed on his bed. In an attempt to be closer to Jeong Woo, she placed herself beside him. But he kept moving away from her until he was irritated and left the bedroom to her disappointment. Jeong Woo met Hae Joo outside and they talked for a while before Jeong Woo requested that he become her uncle. Hae Joo was surprised but accepted him as her uncle.

Butler Park looked for Hae Joo at Jeong Woo house and begged her to leave Chang Hee for his bright future. Having no choice, she agreed to his request. Kang San met with President Jang to talk about business. He requested Kang San to bend the rules a little for his production line but the latter refused. In the end, he tossed out that he bended the rule when he employed Hae Joo who was eliminated during the interview. Kang San met Hae Joo at the lift lobby and stopped her as she weep. “Hae Joo” a voice was heard and it was Chang Hee. He held on to Hae Joo hand while Kang San stopped him.

Drama Review

I think this drama is draggy in terms of storyline as far as we can see; there is not much progression from the last few episodes. I started to worry about the drama if things does not pick up from where they left - it will become very boring. Especially all the heavy drama about the forbidden love and the secret of Hae Joo parentage keeps going back and forth. The only lighthearted moment is about Bong Hee one-sided love and Kang San funny expressions. Not to forget Hae Joo and Family dance to the Gangnam Style. I am surprised that the Koreans really know how to bank in on their super star. Anyway, not all is lost in term of the storyline as we get to peek about Hae Joo mother guilt towards Hae Joo. I really felt touched by the relationship that they shared. Kim Jae Won played the character of Kang San pretty well and i was impressed with that.

Mnet Music Awards 2012

This year Mnet Music Awards was held in Hong Kong and features the big names in the Kpop Entertainment such as Super Junior and Big Bang. The show started off with a tribute to the late Hong Kong Movie star Leslie Cheung. Song Jong Ki the MC of the event specially sang the Korean version of the movie theme song - A better tomorrow. I wonder why he is even singing the song, not that I dislike him, it is because he is not a singer and he is definitely not train in this area. 

The highlight of the day is Big Bang performance that was mind blowing with their individual style and stage presence. G-Dragon and Top rapping skills is probably the best among the idol group and their dressing style were spectacular. They performed to a remix of G dragon crayon, Monster, Fantastic Baby and Lies. The visual effects and their dance were captivating and i was in awe of their stage performance. Not surprising, they won the best group award and the artist of the year.

Other than Big Bang, the other performance by Ailee, Epik High, American Idol Adam Lambert, Lee Hi, 4 minute Hyuna, Beast, Shinee and KPop Star 4 winner Roy Kim were marvelous. Epik High lead singer dressed up as clown and sings their hit song - Everybody hates me to liven up the atmosphere.

Wang Lee Hom and Nathew gets their share of screams and cheers from the audience too but nothing beats Psy and Super Junior. When they appear on stage, the audience started to dance along the music. International Pop star Psy is the biggest winner of the day.