Sunday, February 28, 2016

Movie Review Alice: Boy from Wonderland


Hye-Joong (Jung Sung-Min) has suffered from severe nightmares and lost her memory before four years old. The nightmares actually happens in reality and finally endanger her life. Unable to cope with the nightmares anymore, she heeds the advice of a shaman and goes back to the villa where her family stayed 24 years ago. The villa is now known as "Wonderland." There, she meets a mysterious enchanting man Hwan (Hong Jong Hyun), a beautiful woman Soo-Ryun (Jang Yeon-Joo) and a white rabbit. During the next 15 days, Hye-Joong has to find what she lost. If she succeeds her nightmares will stop, otherwise everybody will die. 


The story begins with Hye-Joong having nightmares which seem to threaten her life. Her mother is worried about her daughter but does not know how to help her. Desperate for help, she engaged the help of a spiritual medium. 

Recently, Hye-Joong suffers greatly from the Nightmare every night and there were signs of self destruction. Her mother sought help from the medium who advises her to solve the problem as soon as possible, or else Hye-Joong will meet death in time to come. The medium advice Hye-Joong to go to a place to solve the mystery behind her nightmares and resolve her problem.

Hye-Joong browse through the internet and saw a place where she intend to stay for a while. On the way to the house - Alice in the wonderland, she meets a young man. 

This handsome and charming young man is Hwan. He lead Hye-Joong to his house and there is another occupant, a young woman name Soo-Ryun awaits them at the house. Soo-Ryun look at Hye-joong with suspicious eyes. It is as though Hye-Joong and Hwan know each other long ago, as Hwan plays a guitar and sings a song to her. Soon, he falls asleep, while Hye-Joong look over at him. 

On the other hand, the medium is trying to find out what is the reason behind the nightmare. In order to resolve the problem, she needs to dig out the past with Hye-Joong mother. Meanwhile, Hye-joong is settling down in the house and she received a call from her mother who is worried about her safety. Knowing that her mother is worried about her well beings, Hye-Joong reassures her mother that she is fine and that she is determined to stay here. 

Soo-Ryun seem to have a special relationship with Hwan. She talks to Hwan secretly and takes care of him very well. The next day, Hye-Joong discovered a few scratches marks on the wall and wonder what it means as it seems familiar to her. 

Hwan sleeps beside Hye-Joong on the bed and look after her. However, he seems to be hiding something from Hye-Joong and protecting her at the same time. Hwan is tending the wound at his heart area as he showers in the bathroom. What are the secrets hidden in this house and these suspicious looks between the occupants?

Hwan becomes closer to Hye-joong and holds her fingers while he falls asleep. Hye-Joong begins to have some connections to the past as she recalls bits and pierces. Everything seems so confusing and only Hwan seem to be the only one that Hye-Joong can trust.   

Hye-Joong shares about her problems with Hwan who look over her with concern. He listens to her trying to fix the puzzles in her life. He advice her not to probe into the past anymore. 

They are talking about the rabbit, suddenly Hwan feels dizzy and uncomfortable. A mysterious woman carrying a cat can be seen from far away looking at them. Soo-Ryun immediately run to Hwan and help him back to the house.

While Hye-Joong mother and the medium is trying their best to dig the past and resolve the problem, Hye-Joong encounter another danger. Hwan rescue Hye-Joong and Soo-Ryun look at him in a painful manner. What is the secret between them?

Hwan rescue Hye-Joong from danger again when she walks into the room. Despite his injuries, he manage to move his fingers to close the door. It is very clear that Soo-Ryun intend to kill Hye-Joong. It is obvious that the three of them knew each other. However, Hye-Joong has lost part of her memories. Let the mysteries unfold!

A woman give Hye-Joong a protection sachet and ask her to keep it with her and it will help her to escape danger . Hye-Joong continue to stay in the house to investigate. She is attracted to a room and intend to open the door. While she place her hand on the door knot, Hwan pull her away and covers her mouth.

Hye-Joon suspects that Hwan knows what is happening in this house, he even knows when to protects her from danger. She demands to know what is happening but Hwan did not give her a direct answer. He said that he will continue to watch over her and Hye-Joong is upset that everyone is hiding some secret from her.

Hye-Joong knows that the only person she can trust and rely on Hwan. She stay close to him. Hwan look at her lovingly and reassure that everything will be fine. On the other hand, Soo-Ryun places a hand on Hwan heart and look at him sadly.

The spiritual medium seems to know something and uses her power to protect Hye-Joong. Every now and then, Hye-Joong life is threaten and she does not know anything at all. She continue to investigate, hoping to end her nightmares. 

Hwan and Hye-Joong relationship continue to progress as they spend more time with each other. Soo-Ryun look at Hwan with sadden eyes. We can pretty much guess that they share a special relationship. What exactly is their relationship? At this point, we can conclude that Hwan is a ghost and the three of them share a destiny. Something must have happened in this house and she is here to end everything. 

It is very clear that Hwan and Hye-Joon have fallen in love with each other. However, Hye-Joon is trying to avoid him. Hwan look at Hye-Joon longingly as she runs away from him. 

The woman leads Hye-Joong to the wilderness and point at the ground. Hye-Joon recalls that incident in the past when she was a little kid. She kneel over the ground and cry aloud. Hwan hug her from behind as the blood flows down his hand. The ground is where Hwan was buried when he was a baby. 

Hwan carries Hye-Joon into the room and lay next to her on the bed. Soo-Ryun look at Hwan helplessly as though she has many things to say. She simply cannot do anything to harm Hye-Joon while Hwan is around. 

The next day, Hwan open the wardrobe and inside are all white shirts? Yes, he changes into a white shirt again and the pair of socks were worn in a weird and funny way. 

Hwan continue to stay around Hye-Joon to protect her but his heart is bleeding! On the other hand, the medium and the mother go to a house and ask for a bundle from the family. What is that?

Soo-Ryun hand a cup of water to Hwan and talk to him tenderly, asking him why he chose to protect that person. What did Hye-Joong did to them that cause Soo-Ryun to harm her? It has to do with the little girl that holds a knife. Did she kill Hwan and the woman? what is their purpose? 

Hwan plead with Soo-Ryun not to harm Hye-Joong. However, the woman refuse to let it go after what she had done to them, she wants revenge. Hye-Joong looks at them and cried. The medium throw the bundle into the fire and hopes that everything will be resolve soon.

Hwan heart is bleeding, just like a knife stabbed into his heart. Why did this incident happen? How did Hwan and Hye-Joong know each other? Hwan has a soft spot for her and love her. 

Next, we have the two confess their feelings for each other and kisses on the lips and forehead. They are going to spend a romantic night with each other.

They kisses each other tenderly and hug lovingly. Okay, i get it! They are supposed to be in love with each other but when did it start to accelerate their puppy love into passionate love?

Hwan is hurting physically but he is still determined to stay by Hye-Joon side to protect her. That shower scene is to show Hong Jong Hyun buffed body and it does look good onscreen. 

Next, we jump to the scene whereby Hye-Joon suddenly recalls everything. When she was a young girl, she stayed in this house with her father. 

Hye-Joon play with a knife at the kitchen used the knife on a baby. She scratched his face which caused a scar. After that, she stabbed the baby with the knife, causing a bloody scene. This baby is Hwan. That explains why his face and heart bleeds. 

Soo-Ryun is the servant who had an affair with Hye-Joon father. His wife knows about the affair and confronted her husband. Soo-Ryun play with Hye-Joon and takes care of her,  while Hye-Joon mother is still sitting on the wheelchair.

Having lost her child and practically everything, Soo-Ryun hang herself on the tree in despair. Hye-Joon mother discover the baby photograph and recalls the incident in the past. 

Now that Hye-Joon knows everything, Soo-Ryun is here to kill her to take revenge for her son. Hwan appears in front of her and tell her that he does not blame her. 

Hwan mother insist on taking revenge for his son to end his suffering. She pick up the knife and walk closer to Hye-Joon. 

The sachet drop out and Hye-Joon life is in danger again. Hwan uses his entire strength to stop her mother from causing any hurt to Hye-Joon. Soo-Ryun cries and hug Hwan in her arms.

Hwan plead with his mother not to hold grudges and to let it go. He ask her mother to bring him away and she covers Hwan with a green cloth. He look at Hye-Joon lovingly as he go away with his mother. Hye-Joon escape death and is tossed back to life.

Hye-Joon look at the baby photograph and the rabbit, as  Hwan left with his mother. Tears rolled down her eyes. Did everything ends here? Will they meet again? 

One day, Hwan arrives in the campus while playing guitar and sing. The audiences crowd over and surround him. Hye-Joon sees the rabbit in the cage and a baby photo falls on the floor. What is happening? Are they going to be together? Probably yes...


Alice in the wonderland tries every genes from horror to romance and mysteries. However, the movie fails to achieve any of the above in the end. It is neither scary nor romantic enough to be categorize in any of these genes. The story line makes no sense that the baby is actually Hwan and he has a relationship with Hye-Joon. It is kind of gross, to love the girl that stab you at the heart. The fact that he dies as a baby is tragic enough, after that he is in love with the girl? What is the logic? Does it mean that he love the girl as a baby? I don't get the last scene where Hye-Joong, her father and baby Hwan is in the pram. What does it symbolize? They are lovers? or siblings? what is the writer trying to convey? I am kind of confuse along the way.

Hong Jong Hong is a eye candy and i totally love him as a model, but he lacks acting skills. Most of the time, his expression looks plain or robotic. There is really nothing much to comment on his acting since he portrays the same boring expressions every time. I find it hard to believe that Hwan and Hye-Joon love each other so much. All the while, they look like having crush on each other but not to the extend of passionate love. It is not convincing enough to say that they do love each other deeply. Jung Sung-Min is a good actress but she is only moderately good in this movie. Anyway, both of them may lack some chemistry as a couple, but they looking compatible in appearance wise. 

Despite some flaws, i do enjoy the movie as it keep its suspense till the end when everything was revealed. Although some of the parts lack logic and common sense, i like the way the movie is executed out. The truth was revealed a little at a time and we finally realize what is going on and the pace is just nice for us to follow the story. I would recommend this Korean movie to movie goers who enjoys watching good looking actor in the movie. Do not expect too much from a simple story, but the drama is enough to get you entertained. In addition, the camera captured the dreamy scenes very well. our flower boy Hong Jong Hyun look so dashing in the movie.

Saturday, February 27, 2016


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Jeff Chang is a famous singer who shot to fame in the early nineties. Dubbed as the prince of ballads, fans remembered his crystal clear high pitched voice. There are people around me who is puzzled why I like a "feminine" man. In my own perspective, he is a gentleman and the ideal type for me when I was really young. I remembered him as a handsome and charming man who is able to sing love songs so well. Recently, through the popular reality show - I am a Singer season four, i happened to watch Jeff Chang performance on television. This brought me back to the time when i was still studying in school and fangirling over Jeff Chang. He had successfully created a princely image and girls were fascinated with the mystery and beauty of love through his ballads. 

I came across this show Hidden Singers Chinese version. Jeff Chang was invited to this program and I was thrilled to see Jeff Chang recollection of his classic ballads over the years. Now it's time to reminisce the ballads that touched my heart many years ago.

I admire Jeff Chang courage to step into this program, he must be confident of his own voice to be recognise by the audiences. In fact, he seem to be venue relax as usual. 

The first song is fire (过火), I love this song so much.  Unfortunately, a "die hard fans" among the special guests invited to the show had mistaken Jeff Chang voice with the other Singers. However, I can immediately recognize Jeff Chang voice the moment he sings. 

The fan love story was pretty touching. It was said that the couple managed to reconcile because of Jeff Chang song Faith and they are getting married soon. Although he was voted as the least song alike voice to Jeff Chang and was eliminated first, he is fortunate to meet Jeff Chang life in person. 

The segment with the female celebrities fighting over Jeff Chang is kind of irritating as they tend to be too noisy fighting for attentions. That is not interesting at all and Jeff Chang look do embarrassed by these ladies. On the other hand, the story told by the fans is much more touching. Especially the fan that brought Jeff Chang albums all these years. Even though he was eliminated, it was all worth it to meet Jeff Chang face to face just as what he said. 

In round 2, Jeff Chang sang his famous hit song - I can't resist you (难以抗拒你容颜). It was interesting to see the audiences reactions and their confusion whenever the singers sang onstage. The male guests such as Mickey Huang was entertaining. It seems like he is co hosting this program with the host onstage, which was funny. 

The second round features another classic song from Jeff Chang - Love tide (爱如潮水). Like the previous round, I can recognise Jeff Chang distinctive voice easily when it was his turn to sing. 

The inmitate Singers came out one at a time to sing. They even prepared a song for Jeff Chang as a present. Each of them shared their story about Jeff Chang which is truly touching. Jeff Chang make a cute expression when the guest said that Jeff Chang is mischievous and unpredictable. 

Round 4 featured a later hits - Love is only a word (爱就一个字). I really have a headache guessing Jeff Chang in this round among all these similar voices. In my opinion, the other singers have a bit of resemblance to a younger Jeff Chang. However, Jeff Chang has a special way of pronouncing his words in the songs. That is probably what sets him apart from the rest of the singers. Jeff Chang is indeed the prince of ballads. 

Monday, February 08, 2016


I have been watching I am a Singer since it was first shown on television. Every season, the program will feature different artists from Asia. Not surprising, I am anticipating this season too. Unlike many singing competition among newbies, this program gathered professional singers that we are pretty familar with all these years. In season four, we have 8 competitors to compete for the King/Queen of songs title. I am particularly interested in this season lineup. Although, there were some buzz beforehand about the lack of "big name" singer, I am still interested to watch this season because of one person - Jeff Chang.

1) 90's Queen of pop - Coco Lee

Coco has been maintaining her tone shape all these years. Her vocal range and singing style reminds me of the 90's. Despite that, i am still anticipating her performance in the later episodes. I hope to see a versatile Coco Lee. I think her best performance so far is Price Tag.

2) Canto Pop King - Hacken Lee

Just like Leo Ku in Season 3, Hacken Lee was invited to host the show. He is humorous and charming like Leo Ku despite his lack of fluency in mandarin. In my opinion, Hacken is the best when he sing Cantonese ballads. 

3) Taiwanese singing sensation - LaLa Hsu

LaLa Hsu is a talented singer-songwriter. In my opinion, she is always choosing songs that is on the safe side rather than being adventurous. I hope to see a different side of LaLa that makes me go "wow" other than her impressive vocal. I think she is a good singer that can hold her own ground despite the intense pressure. 

4) Korean uprising star - Hwang Chi-Yeol

He is a uprising star in Korea and his style resembles the other veteran singer The One. As usual, he is able to sing very well especially in Korean. However, one thing is different and that is his idol good look and humorous personality. He is jokingly paired up as a golden couple with the very shy LaLa Hsu.

5) Veteran singer - Zhao Chuan 

He is a good singer and his skills is still at top level when he join this competition. Zhao Chuan has his own distinct style whenever he sings. 
6) New Age - Haya Band

Their music is special but it may not meet the taste of the mass audiences. I think their early elimination is expected.  

7) One hit Wonder - Guan Zhe

Honestly, I know nothing about him except that he debuted after a singing competition and his hit song - The night thinking of you. It is expected that the media doubt his capabilities when he joined the conpetition. 

8) King of Rock - Shin

I like Shin since he was the vocalist in his band. In my opinion, his voice is powerful and strong. Perhaps due to his distinctive style, it may be difficult for him to progress in this competition because everything gets old for the audiences after some time. 

Replacement participant: Prince of Ballad - Jeff Chang 

I am his fan for many years and he proved to be one singer that we can anticipate in this season. I was touched when he first step on the stage, even when he fall sick he still tried his best to perform. His voice is a little affected by his sickness but he still pulled it through. A big round of applause to this professional singer! He definitely deserve it.  There is a high possibility that in this season, the winner may not be China singer again.

Season 1-3 highlights

Season 1 have many outstanding Singers such as Terry Lin and Chiyi Chin. Unfortunately, the latter suddenly withdrew from the competition and we are left with Terry Lin,Paul Wong, Julia Peng and Aska Yang against the other China Singers. Terry Lin is a perfectionist and he proved that onstage. 

I like both vocal powerhouse Shila and Gem in Season 2. They were so impressive that I became interested to watch their performance which is definitely worth the hype. 

Although China powerhouse Han Hong won the competition in Season 3, I still prefer my bias A-Lin. This is all about personal taste. A-lin is always good in ballads but had chosen a wrong song for the final. Anyway, I like Hsiao Huang-Chi, Anson Hu and Jane Zhang too.