Showing posts with label rants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rants. Show all posts

Monday, January 12, 2015

DramaQueen pick: My favorite Taiwanese Idol drama

Title: The prince who turns into a frog

Year of broadcast: 2005

Starring: Ming Dao and Joe Chen

Summary: Shan Jun Hao (Ming Dao) is a spoilt, ruthless and cold-hearted heir to a large hotel chain. Ye Tian Yu (Joe Chen) dreams of marrying into a rich family. She is somewhat a schemer and a "gold digger". A car incident cause Shan Jun Hao to lost his memories. He became a totally different person after that incident. Tian Yu family took him in for their own benefits. They gave him another name called Dang Ou. He is loving and kindhearted. This period of time, love blossom between the two of them. What will happen if Shan Jun Hao suddenly regain his memories?

What I like: Ming Dao! He has a princely charisma and the way he carries himself is so sophisticated. I like the black tuxedo that he wears and the manly look when he put on his watch. Ming Dao is so convincing as the handsome Prince, that you can never fault him at all. No matter how he flips from nasty to nice and vice versus, he can easily fit into either role. He is pretty good in playing both Dang Ou and Shan Jun Hao. 

Joe Chen acting is pretty good too. She protrays her character very well. Her comedic timing with Ming Dao is so good. Their chemistry is evident throughout the drama. It became so natural that this couple is compatible with each other. Love is in the air, despite their denial. 

Dislike: The pace within the drama itself is sometimes too slow. One moment is serious, the next moment is comedic. I also dislike some characters in the drama such as the irritating Tian Yu stepmother. Other "irrelevant" characters and unnecessary situations makes the drama draggy at times. The supporting casts Sam Wang and Joyce Chao were moderately good in their roles but it just seems not enough to get me engaged in their acting. 

Title: MVP Valentine

Year of broadcast: 2002

Starring: Jonnie Yen, Angela Chang, Tony Sun

Summary: Duan Cheng Feng (Jonnie Yen) accidentally hits and paralyze Angel. Although he wins the MVP player at the basket ball match, he felt guilty for this. Therefore, he felt that it was his responsibility to take care of Angel. Xiao Xi (Angela Chang) who is Duan Cheng Feng loving girlfriend, was heartbroken because of this matter.

What I like: Angela Chang doe-eyed innocence and the theme songs. To be honest, none of the cast members are really strong performers in this drama. The only person that caught my eyes is Angela Chang. This story is a remake of the Japanese popular manga Slam Dunk! While I like the manga, the storyline can be too exergerated for my likings. 

Dislike: Everybody trying too hard to act cool. With their short height such as Tony Sun, how can they act as basketball players? I suppose everyone except professional player Jonnie Yen are just a piece of joke. 

Title: Magicians of Love

Year of Broadcast: 2006

Starring: Ming Dao, Joanne Zeng, Sam Wang

Summary: Three top hairstylists in town, Artz (Ming Dao), Riche (Sam Wang) and Fernando (Jacky Wu) opens the Neo-image hair salon just opposite the traditional barber's shop run by Xiao bei (Joanne Zeng) and her father. 

What I like: Ming Dao again! Yes, he is the only magic in this otherwise boring series. These were the prime years of Taiwanese idol drama. The early 20s were fascinated by the charm of these lead actors. Indeed, after the prime years everything flops, before the Korean wave begins. 

Dislike: I don't have anything that I particularly dislike. If I really have to point out anything,  it will be the impracticality of the drama. That itself does not really bothers me since taiwanese drama were somewhat the same. Anyway, the story is simple and the limelight were as usual on 183 club, Ming Dao and Joanne Teng. That is all. 

Title: Meteor Garden

Year of broadcast: 2001

Starring: Barbie Hsu, Jerry Yen, Vic Zhou

Summary: The story centers around a poor teenage girl named Shan Chai (Baribe Hsu), who at the insistence of her parents goes to a university for rich people. The university is dominated by Dao Ming Si (Jerry Yen), Hua Ze Lei (Vic Zhuo), Mei Zhou (Vanness Wu) and Xi Men (Ken Chu). They are the rich, handsome and arrogant students collectively known as "F4" in short for Flower four.

What I like: Of course F4! Actually, I am not amazed by their good looks, since to be honest there are better looking guys elsewhere that we have seen. Rather it is the charisma and the wow effect behind these flower boys. Frankly speaking, the only person that stole the show is Barbie Hsu who protrays her role convincingly well. The rest of the cast were just "meh". 

Dislike: F4 are the "Prince crown" that they wear on their heads. Actually, they are just a fantasy to many girls. When you wake up from this dream, there goes the bubble "pop"! 

Title: Devil beside you

Year of broadcast: 2005

Starring: Mike He, Rainie Yang

Summary: The story begins with Qi Yue (Rainie Yang) confessing her liking to basketball team captain Yuan Yi (Kingone Wang). Being a careless person that she is, she has made her confession to the wrong person, who happens to be the school's devil Ah Mon. What complicated the love triangle further is when Qi Yue mother marrying Ah Mon dad. Therefore, Ah Mon and Qi Yue will be step brother and sister. What are the lovebirds going to do? 

What I like: The chemistry between handsome Mike He and cutie pie Rainnie Yang. They are so comfortable with each other that I really thought that they were a perfect onscreen couple. They are nicely casted in their respective role.

Dislike: What's up with the silly storyline? Is that a somewhat copycat version of Korea drama? Have to stop this "incest relationship" because of their parents? Well done scriptwriter.. Is there better ideas? 

Title: Corner with love 

Year of broadcast: 2007

Starring: Show Luo and Barbie Hsu

Summary: Xin Lei (Barbie Hsu) is a pretty and intelligent girl, who has never known a day of hardship. On the other hand, Qin Lang (Show Luo) is a penniless guy who has the aspiration to become an artist. The rich and pampered lady and the hardworking poor man met each other at the corner of the road, and begin a beautiful romantic story. 

What I like: The down-to-earth personality of Qin Lang. The bickering between Barbie Hsu and Show Luo were interesting and funny. There were some heartwarming moments that Qin Lang had done a lot without the knowledge of Xin Lei. He is actually a really sweet and nice guy and Show Luo nailed it for me. 

Dislike: It is another fairytale story about rich and poor. Either side of the main characters must be very rich or very poor! Since we can predict the outcome of the story, the process before they achieve happiness are the important component to draw in the audiences. I think both Show and Barbie were consistent in their acting, therefore that became the only reason that keep my interest for the drama strong.  

Title: It Started with a kiss

Year of Broadcast: 2005

Starring: Joe Cheng and Ariel Lin

Summary: A adaptation of Japanese Manga Itazura Na Kiss. The original live version was shown in 1996. Yuan Xiang Qing (Ariel Lin) is a intellectually challenged girl, naive but optimistic high school girl. Ever since she met Jiang Zhi Shu (Joe Cheng) at the freshman orientation, she's been in love with the genius with an IQ of 200.

What I like: I have always been a fan of Itazura Na Kiss since the 1996 version. Both Joe Cheng and Ariel Lin were good in protraying their characters. This is the only drama that kept me engaged and rooted for their love since the beginning of the story.

Dislike: I can't help but compare with the first japanese live version of Itazura Na kiss starring Takashi Kashiwabara. It is not easy to compete with my first love afterall. However, if I were to comment on this drama itself, i would say that this version is a more complete version that is more in-dept with the story development. 

Title: They Kiss again

Year of broadcast: 2007

Starring: Joe Cheng and Ariel Lin

Summary: It was a sequel to It started with a kiss. The story follows the odd couple life after the comedic wedding. Both of them became doctor and nurse respectively.

What I like: Finally we can continue to watch the live version of Itazura Na Kiss sequel after their wedding. That was a great difference between the original Japanese drama Itazura Na Kiss and the Taiwanese version. While the first version did not explain about many things, the Taiwanese did a lot better with the storyline and really satisfied the Itazura Na Kiss fans. 

Dislike: Ariel Lin stop whining!!! Yuan Xiang Qing is too silly for me to really appreciate her. At least Sato Aiko protray Kotoko as a brave girl that dares to challenge Naoki. Both are equally silly but Sato Aiko provide a little more edge to her character for me to appreaciate. Despite that, Ariel is overall still pretty good in her protrayal of Yuan Xiang Qing (Kotoko).

Title: Fated To love you

Year of broadcast: 2008

Starring: Joe Chen, Ethan Ruan

Summary: Chen Xin Yi is an unfashionable office lady, who has the desire to tie down her boyfriend. She plans and pays for a romantic love cruise,  hoping to lose her virginity and thus keep her boyfriend. On the same cruise is Ji Cun Xi (Ethan Ruan), who is the sole heir to a soap and cleaning product company. The both of them accidentally spend a night together, only to find out the next day. 

What I like: The storyline that strengthens towards the middle and the end of the drama. There were many comedic and heartbreaking moments that engaged me till the end of the series. I like the growth of the two main characters as they experience life, which in turn transformed them into a better person respectively. You know that the drama has succeed when the audience can relate and sympathize with each character. Therefore, making it a must watch Taiwanese Idol drama for the fans. 

Dislike: The naivety of Chen Xin Yi when she was clearly being taken advantage of by practically everyone. Thankfully, she grows up and learn to stand up for herself. I am frustrated that she has been allowing people to step all over her. 

Title: Endless Love

Year of broadcast: 2010

Starring: Wilber Pan, Sandrine Pinna

Summary: Liang Jing Hao (Wilber Pan) and Song Rui En (Sandrine Pinna) falls in love despite social difference. However, their happy union was shattered when he discover that her philanthropic father was the driver who killed his mother in a hit and run years ago and the cause of his father's suicide on their wedding day. The devastated Jing Hao chose to disappear rather than exposing the crimes that her father had committed. Years later, Jing Hao resurfaced. What will happen to the couple? 

What I like: The lovey dovey couple -Liang Jing Hao and Song Rui En. Initially, I do not like Song Rui En because she appears to be arrogant. However, she begins to reveal her cute personality shortly after. I watched this drama mainly because of Wilber Pan. I thought that Sandrine Pinna is a newcomer and her expressions were weird initially, but she seems more comfortable with the camera after a while. Despite that raw element, she did pretty well as a newcomer in Taiwanese idol drama.

Dislike: The non existent punishment for Song Wan Ji (Rui En father). He committed a hit and run crime!! Lin Yo Wei convincing protrayal of a irritating doctor named Li Min Suo. There were still some flaws in this drama, such as the unaccounted "evidence" for the hit and run incident. How did Song Wan Ji know that Liang Jing Hao was aware that he was the culprit behind the hit and run incident? 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Architecture 101 (건축학개론)

Architecture 101  (건축학개론)

Architecture 101 (건축학개론) is a 2012 South Korean romance film written and directed by Lee Yong-joo. It tells of how two students who meet in an introductory architecture class sort of fall in love and how the reunion turns out 15 years later when the girls finds the guy (who is by now an architect) to get him to build her dream home.

Plot Synopsis (taken from Wikipedia)
Seoul, the present day. Out of the blue, architect Lee Seung-min (Uhm Tae-woong) is approached by Yang Seo-yeon (Han Ga-in), whom he knew at college some 17 years ago, to design a new house for her on the site of her 30-year-old family home on Jeju island. Seung-min reluctantly agrees but can't come up with a design that pleases her. In the end, they decide to renovate and expand the existing house, and he and Seo-yeon spend a considerable amount of time together down in Jeju, to the growing annoyance of his fiancée Eun-chae (Go Joon-hee), with whom he is soon to be married and move to the US. As Seo-yeon cares for her dying father (Lee Seung-ho) and Seung-min learns more about what became of Seo-yeon in the intervening years, he recalls their initial meeting at college in the early 1990s.

Seung-min and Seo-yeon (Lee Je-hoon and Suzy) had lived in the same neighborhood (Jeongneung-dong, Seoul) and attended the same architecture class. He remembers her liking rich student Jae-wook (Yoo Yeon-seok), his inability to declare his attraction to her, and the times being coached by his best friend, Nab-ddeuk (Jo Jung-suk) in how to get girls. Hoping to confess his feelings to her at the perfect timing, Seung-min asks Seo-yeon to meet him at the abandoned house they frequent, on the first day that it snows that coming winter. But one night he catches Jae-wook and a drunk Seo-yeon entering her house together. Fearing the worst, he ends his friendship with Seo-yeon due to his pain of believing she had chosen Jae-wook. The first day of snow arrives, and Seo-yeon is left waiting in the abandoned house alone. Heartbroken, she leaves behind her portable CD player with a CD of her favorite artist.

Seo-yeon in the present day receives that very same CD player and CD from Seung-min, meaning that he actually went to the house later and remembered their promise. But despite the bitter-sweetness of their first love, in the end, Seung-min still chooses his fiancee Eun-chae and flies with her to America, while Seo-yeon sits in the house he built for her, listening to the CD.


The movie gave off the nostalgic feeling, especially when it came to the flashbacks (no handphones, bulky computers and everything analog!) of both Lee Seung-min and Yang Seo-yeon when they were younger. There were heartwarming sweet moments when the both of them interacted and got close to each other, as well as funny moment when the naïve Seung-min (guy) thinks the world of Seo-yeon (girl) and stresses on how to confess to her. Seo-yeon, on the other hand, starts off with a crush on Seung-min’s classmate (and the reason for her being in the architecture class) and ends up having feelings that were never realized for Seung-min.

It’s a first love not meant to be and honestly speaking the ending was disappointing. The situation resulted because both parties were timid and made their own assumptions, leading to lingering regrets. When the two meet at the start of the movie, and as the movie progressed it was evident that they were clearly starting to get closer again (with flashbacks of their past being shown). What could have been a sweet romance ended up being a little pathetic (in my opinion): it was suspended between a crush and first love. It could have been a memorable first love, but due to the guy’s naivety, timidity and low self-esteem he never got round to confessing to the girl. He simply ignored her and brushed her off, which of course left her confused and hurt, especially when she was just about opening up to him.

Due to a misunderstanding that was not resolved, it drove two people apart with lingering regrets. They say youth is foolish, but this is ridiculous. He should have just told her and gotten rejected (since he was expecting that outcome but he never did anything), and/or the girl should have just asked/confessed. Either way one of them should have done something to end it on a known note. It doesn’t have to be on a good note, but as long as they understood why. If the guy went back to the house when it first snowed and saw the CD player and CD left for him, he should have done something about it than. Instead he chooses to return it to her years later when they meet again to ‘conclude’ their romance (What romance? What first love?).

Alternatively, if they were ‘broken up’ even before they even started, they should have just moved on with their lives. The girl shouldn’t have gone to find the guy with hopes that they would get together. The guy on the other hand seemed to have moved on pretty well, getting a girlfriend and even in the process of getting married. While it may seem admirable that he chose his fiancée, it doesn’t look like they have any chemistry. For the most part, it seemed like he was just going along with the flow and everything was initiated by the fiancée: from the wedding to the move to America, even getting her parents to sponsor their new home. There were moments of frailty when the guy shows his (overly?) concern for the girl, that even the fiancée become insecure. If a person has decided and there is no turning back, in real life certain boundaries have to be drawn.

While sweet and fuzzy at some points and funny at others, with an ending that seems concluded by both parties (but who knows? With affairs, reminiscences, and whatnots anything is possible really), it still seems unfinished. Even with melodramas and what not, there was no bittersweet feelings for this movie. It was sweet and bitter, but nothing conclusive and a little too ambiguous for my liking.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Miracle in Cell No. 7 (7번방의 선물)

Some time back I had the opportunity to watch Miracle in Cell No. 7 (thanks to Hangeul Korean Language School's movie night - they should have more of such nights!). There were even Korean snacks! More about that soon!

So if you are interested in learning Korean or just want to join such a movie night, do check out Hangeul Korean Language School's website and/or like their Facebook Page for the latest promotions and updates!

Anyways if you haven't heard about this heart-warming movie, here are the movie details from Wikipedia:

What it is about:

Miracle in Cell No. 7 (Hangul: 7번방의 선물; a.k.a "A Gift from Room 7") is a 2013 South Korean film starring Ryu Seung-ryong and Park Shin-hye. The film is a heartwarming comedy and family melodrama about a mentally challenged man wrongfully imprisoned for murder who builds friendships with the hardened criminals in his cell, and they help him see his daughter again by breaking her in.

The film's early working title was December 23 (Hangul: 12월 23일).


Lee Yong-gu is a mentally challenged man with the intelligence of a 6-year-old, which is actually the age of his own daughter Ye-sung who is much smarter than her peers. The two of them lead a happy life while Yong-gu makes a living by working as a parking attendant at a local supermarket. But one day, when the police commissioner's young daughter dies in a strange accident, Yong-gu is the one who happens to find her. He is falsely accused and sentenced to death for abduction, sexual assault, and murder of a minor. 

Ye-sung is sent to a childcare institution and Yong-gu gets imprisoned and assigned to Cell No. 7, the harshest cell in a maximum security prison. At first, the other inmates in the cell keep their guard against Yong-gu, then realize that there's something not quite right with him. Not understanding his own dire situation, Yong-gu only worries about his daughter. 

One day, he saves his fellow cellmate, an influential figure in the prison, from an attack by his rival. In return for saving his life, Yong-gu is granted a wish: to see his daughter Ye-sung again. The inmates put their heads together to carry out a daring operation and miraculously succeed in sneaking Ye-sung into Cell No. 7 during a religious event. 

While the father and daughter rejoice, the others realize it was relatively easy getting her in, but impossible getting her out. After a while, Ye-sung is detected and sent back, but during the time the inmates as well as the prison guards come to realize that Yong-gu was falsely charged. And they all put their heads together to prepare him for his final trial.

Thoughts (and yes some spoilers... so be forewarned) 

Reading the synopsis I thought that movie would be a lighthearted comedy, but I was so wrong. It was an emotional movie that evoked all of the emotions (be prepared to have a tissue box on hand!):
  • Heartwarming moments at the sweet father-daughter interactions and how they support each other

  • Sadness as Yong-guand his daughter, Ye-sung, lose each other (when he gets wrongfully arrested) and their attempt at trying to find the other even when they had no way

  • Happiness as Yong-gu and and Ye-sung find each other finally midpoint in the movie

  • Laughter at Yong-gu's innocence and the funny mess that his cellmates get into just to help him once they get to know him with Ye-sung in the mix

  • Frustration at the injustice done to Yong-gu just because he happened to be at the wrong place and at the wrong, and taken advantage of because of his lack of intellect. Mostly because of a vengeful police commissioner who just wanted a scapegoat for his young daughter's accidental death. Even when faced with the truth (and evidence) the police commissioner threatened Yong-gu with Ye-sung's life and just wanted to see someone pay for his daughter's death. He was bent on taking a life just because.

  • Sadness when Ye-sung and Yong-gu's cellmates (and new allies along the way) realize that there is no way they can save him and they try to make lasting memories before his day

  • Hope when Yong-gu's cellmates tried to save him and let him escape with Ye-Sung

  • Disappointment when that plan was halted by a piece of rope

  • Grief when Ye-sung and Yong-gu's cellmates (and new allies along the way) see his passing

  • Closure (in a way but not fully) when Ye-sung gets adopted by the prison warden and becomes a lawyer to turn over her father's verdict; it was a success - Yong-gu was vindicated of his guilt and declared innocent (but he is dead so I guess it is more meaningful for the living). Although Ye-sung had her closure, I think there should have been more done: those involved in fabricating the evidence and framed poor Yong-gu (especially that police commissioner) should have also been charged. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

MBC Korean Music Wave Singapore… The Wave that got Wiped Out by a Fish too Fat

Artists at the press conference for the MBC Korean Music Wave in Singapore concert. (Photo: MBC Korean Music Wave in Singapore)

It was touted to be the biggest K-pop concert (ever?) in Singapore, with boasted acts such as a line-up of 13 Korean music acts, including Shinee, 2PM, 2AM, FT Island, Teen Top, Kara and 4Minute; even Girls' Generation's TaeTiSeo were said to be the colorful emcees for the supposedly three hour concert. Announcements were made, promotions on the way and tickets were sold (and at a hefty price of up to S$688!). 
*This post is basically a rant. So for those of you who don't want to read about the grouses and the drama, you can skip this.* Although I did not buy the tickets (given the ridiculous pricing and too unique a venue), I did happen to win a pair of tickets to this concert (which are now deemed useless; DramaQueen was devastated) and was looking forward to it. So pardon me while I gripe about the poor ethics, lack of social responsibility, management and organization skills of a fish gone bad. I may not have spent any money on it, but the whole fiasco is one that still leaves a bad after-taste. 
Before the concert even started, there were some tell-tale signs, but enthusiastic concert goers were oblivious of the drama that would soon ensue. The Singaporean promoter/organizer of the concert, FatFish Entertainment, actually asked for ‘donations’ from fans for the idols food and transport, fan-projects as they are called. After the criticism, FatFish went into damage control and apologized, even to the extent of cancelling these “projects” which were already half way through with some fans having invested quite a bit of effort and money. From FatFish’s statement (taken from ST):
“We have noted there are recent online news articles that criticized fans-support projects with regards to the StarHub Presents MBC Korean Music Wave in Singapore 2013.

This is entirely our fault and responsibility. We apologize to the fans that it was our earlier request to get donation of food and transport subsidy from fans. The request was inappropriate. It was never our intention to burden the fans with cost. We are sorry for the confusion that causes the fans to think negatively about our intention.”

See all those bold and underlined words? Fan projects are just what they are, fan projects - projects initiated and sustained by the fans. It should never be at the bequest of the promoter or organizer to blatantly request for such things (especially when the ticket pricing is exorbitant). The fact that FatFish chose to use the word subsidy together with donation should have indicated an issue with the company’s finances. Such fan projects should be used to enhance the concert not subsidize for it (for the fish). It was poorly handed and abruptly cancelled (I am sure there could have been alternatives around this valid “criticism”). And before anyone realized it, 10 days before the slated concert, it was officially canceled by FatFish “due to unforeseen circumstances, including contractual difficulties with our co-producer, MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation)”.

Within matter of days, FatFish soon became a flat fish as it winds up and closes business in a ‘bid’ to liquidate to refund those who purchased the tickets. What is even more upsetting would be those fans who had booked plane and hotel just to attend the concert. Even if they manage to get back their refund (which is highly unlikely that everyone would get refunded in time and appropriately, but who knows I could be wrong bleh), their intangible loss of time of money on getting here (and the disappointment) is impossible to refund. 
It is evident through this fiasco that FatFish Entertainment, being a relatively young company toook a bite more than they could handle (or did they?), and it seems that they are not the only ones to have bad PR at managing fan expectations and being successful at the same time. They are just the latest one to close down (but who knows if they will just open another company under another name and commit the same ‘mistake’ again?)... 
Business these days is all about statistics and figures, and we seem to have lost the 'heart' along the way as well. When something does happen, the easiest way seems to be to back out and save your own skin (as much as possible), leaving those that ‘believed’ in you stranded (in a way).. Concerts (regardless of genre) can be canceled (last minute), disputes can arise, fans can be disappointment and money can be absconded with (or not) – this is the volatile ’greedy’ world in which we live in today. Whether or not it is “packaged” and presented in an acceptable ‘convincing’ way (with believable 'sincerity') is a whole different ball game.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Cold Eyes Singapore Movie Gala Premiere and Red Carpet

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Cold Eyes Movie Gala Premeire and Red Carpet

This summer the movie Cold Eyes is one of the hottest movie in Korea, topping the domestic box office charts in its first week of release on 3 July 2013 and earning more than US$36 million. In conjunction with the Singapore promotional tour, an exclusive preview screening was held for the fans at Marina Bay Sands MasterCard Theatres with a red carpet event to boot too!

Cold Eyes Movie Gala Premeire and Red Carpet

Thanks to DramaQueen who had invited me, I had to opportunity to not only have a look (at me first red carpet event!) but also watch the movie before it hits the theatres in Singapore on 5 September 2013.

It was an eventful evening as we made our way to the Marina Bay Sands MasterCard Theatres to collect the tickets before heading over to have a peek at the red carpet event. The crowd for the red carpet was growing as the minutes ticked by. By the time it was time for the Korean casts' arrival, "orderly" fan chaos ensued. Earlier in the day there were promotional rounds and interviews, where... Read more>>

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

One of a Kind: G-Dragon in Singapore (Final Night)

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G-Dragon One of a Kind Tour Singapore
If you didn’t know (or read), I was actually having buyer's regret about the cost of the tickets. Due to peer pressure persuasion, I actually bought the (most expensive) tickets for the concert. Not knowing what to expect and wanting to get my money’s worth, I arrived at the Singapore Indoor Stadium armed with only my iPhone (so sorry for the poor quality photos and videos, Jong has very clear and nice photos so don't forget to check out her blog!) with some form of anticipation. It did help that a few of my Korean language classmates (some of whom are BIG fans and went for both nights) were there.

G-Dragon One of a Kind Tour Singapore

As expected, there were a lot of people but the crowd control was nicely done – fast and efficient. For example, our tickets were at the north entrance, but the as there was a crowd forming and I just so happened to be at the East gate where there were lesser people, the nice security guard actually advised/encourage those were to be at the North gate that they could enter via the East gate instead. Getting into the stadium was also a breeze as the security check was swift and smooth – enter, open bag, look into back (and if there’s nothing like DSLRs), into the stadium you go. Security and ushers were cordial and professional too, much better than the ones at the Kim Jong Kook Fanmeeting and on par to the ones at the MBLAQ concert in Taipei.

The concert started pretty much on time and it begun with a bang (literally), popping out from a white glittering, (much) cool looking Batmobile-esque vehicle and starting off the concert with... Read more>>

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Me Excites: Monsters University

Mike and Sulley are back! This time you’ll meet even more friends of all shapes, colours and sizes from the monster world as we go back in time to their college days. In fact, we go back all the way to where it all began. If you ever wondered how Mike and Sulley first met, don’t miss Disney•Pixar’s "MONSTERS UNIVERSITY"!

Way way way before there was Monsters Inc., or rather before Mike and Sulley were the successful scarers that they were, they started out at university. Now I have to say that I was enthralled with Monsters Inc. when it debuted – the revolving ‘magical’ doors that led to any bedroom in the world, the interestingly familiar yet odd world of the monsters that mirrors ours, and how normal the monsters really are (in a sense) with scaring children for their screams as fuel and a day job. Not to mention, the various blobs and colors of monsters, those with fur, multiple appendages and/or eyes created an interesting world of monsters that were easy on the eyes (somehow). All of which made for good think-free fun time, great for little ones, but even better for those ‘little’ at heart. :p

So it comes as no surprise that I was simply ecstatic when I saw the trailer for Monsters University, a prequel (of sorts) to Monsters Inc. where Mike and Sulley were not the successful ‘top’ scarers that they were, but two young monsters on different paths who happened to collide into each other and embark on their journey together.

This movie is set 10 years before Monsters Inc. so it is a great place to delve into the fun imaginary monster world and discover more about their education system: from the diversity of university life to the quirky names of their academic programs (e.g. elite scare program, now imagine if we really had a course like that in the real world hehe) and myriad of sports, clubs and societies (which should be rather similar but yet strange to us).

Of course, that is not the say forgetting about the leads of this movie. Mike has lifelong dreams of being a great scarer, but his big ambitions are thwarted during his first semester when he encounters Sulley (who’s the equivalent of a jock – all brawn but hardly any brains) who thinks he’s all that.

Hopeful and enthusiastic Mike collides into...
a Sulley who thinks he's all that

Their encounter soon brings out their inner competitive sprit, which soon gets out of control as they try to outdo each other and eventually gets them kicked out of the University’s elite scare program.

and so the "bonding" begins

However, it is because of this incident (and many others) that brought these two monsters together to become the great friends and ‘monstatic’ scarers they are in Monsters Inc.! Naturally, I am curious to find out how their friendship blossomed, despite their different personalities and perspective on life. Don’t you?

Do you have the talent to scare? Well, actually if you want to win exclusive movie premiums and in-season passes to Monsters University , take the Monsters Aptitude Test [M.A.T] now to see if you're qualified! Wait are you waiting for?!

Catch Pixar’s MONSTERS UNIVERSITY in Singapore cinemas this 20 June 2013! For more updates, like the Official Walt Disney Studios Singapore Facebook Page, follow @disneystudiosSG and subscribe to the Official Disney Studios Singapore YouTube Channel!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

G-Dragon Concert (Priority) Tickets - Why So Complicated?

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There has never been a habit to actually buy concert tickets, especially if they are the most expensive ones. However, the power of peer pressure can be very “persuading” especially if there is more than one person trying to “convince” you. So yes, I have been very effectively persuaded to go for a GD concert, other than the MBLAQ concert in Taipei. Well, actually DramaQueen’s friend convinced her to get the most expensive tickets (because she’s a fan) and in turn she me (kinda). If the concert ticket was complimentary, I would just probably rave (?) about the concert and experience. But since I have to pay for this one I just have to rant about the whole process, well the booking and paying part that is, but mostly just this thing called "priority" sales. So pardon this (mostly) ranting post.

Yes, you live only once so trying out new things are fine (concerts included). But why do I have to purchase 2 days worth of tickets just so to qualify for the early "priority" sales (which would most probably have people snapping up the good seats whether or not they need them, and increasing the probability that it will go on to the black market)? Sales will definitely increase and monies safely in the bank, but... Read more>>

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Oz The Great and Powerful (Movie) Review

Oz The Great and Powerful Movie Synopsis

Being something of a sequel to The Wizard of Oz, the premise of the movie was in sepia toned with the introduction of the main male protagonist, Oz, whose full name is very long but is simply Oscar something. Oz is a struggling magician tying to make his mark in a travelling circus, always dreaming to have that big break which always seems to be eluding him. His character is nothing much to speak of, he is a basically a selfish and self-centered con-man swindling people of their money and an incurable playboy (which get pretty irritating) who cheats women and comes across almost close to a sleazeball.

Simply put, there is no redeeming points to his character. Even if you scratch past the surface to find out that he has become the way he has because he does want to end up like his father being a nobody: his pursuit of something greater combined with his low self-esteem and doubt causes him to avoid any possibility of relationships, be it friendship or romance. Personally, I do not like his character, he may be good in nature and his fear causes him to become selfish and self-centered, but that is not an excuse. He chose the way he wanted to handle situations so he has to live with them.

And it is how Oz ends up in the land of OZ, as he is escaping from the very strong and angry man in the circus intent of ripping him to pieces for wooing his girl. So Oz ends up in a hot air balloon, gets sucked into a typhoon and transported into the magical world of OZ where he meets Theodora, a naïve witch who has always been yearning for love. Theodora acts as Oz’s guide into the world of OZ and leads him to the emerald city where her sister is awaiting.

Not aware that her sister is the wicked witch, Theodora tells Oz that the land of OZ is in peril and needs a savior (which would be him) to save them from the wicked witch who killed her father, the king. She truly believes that Oz is the one who can save them from the wicked witch, but she is unaware that her sister is the wicked witch. 
Theodora's wicked sister. I guess the point black nails were a dead giveaway....

Due to Oz’s con-man ways, he wins over her heart unaware of the consequences he set himself up for. He charms her with his old ‘cheesy’ trick of using a music box, and dances with her, even kissing her. Being naïve and not used to the attention that Oz showers her with, Theodora truly believes that he loves her and that she will be his queen, ruling together with Oz over the land.

Theodora is a pitiful character and I wish there was more back-story about her character. She seems to be the sort of character that is yearning for love, yet unable to receive any due to the perception of the people around her that she is wicked. She seems to be quite powerful and has to keep her emotions in check: when she was angry fireballs formed from her hands and had a very destructive power, and when she was sad her tears literally were like acid and burned her face. Her views are very simplistic and she believes whatever people (especially her sister and Oz) tell her. If she had the proper guidance, perhaps she could have been spared having been turned into a wicked witch by her evil sister, which caused her to not only turn wicked but very ugly as well. But by the time her sister had successfully tricked her it was too late. How could she turn back when her hurt was already turned wicked? With no more “goodness” or emotions left whatsoever, she became an accessory to her sister’s plan and ended up being the wicked witch who was melted by Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. 
Theodora went from this....
to this.....

Glinda, the good witch, who was framed as being the wicked one, is not my favorite character either. She is boring. Although she is the character who would represent the theme of faith and hope throughout the movie, she was bland despite having a sense of humor. She did tell Oz that though she know that he is nothing more than a con-man, she is all that she has to work with and she tries to get him interested and helping them with their cause to defeat the wicked witch. Why do I say she is boring? Well, Glinda’s cheery disposition and sense of humor is all good, but it would have been nice if her character was sassy because being “nice” only is just so one dimensional and boring (almost like being a damsel in distress). Even in the fight between her and the wicked witch, she was so “weak” looking and demure. Well, she did win in the end, but it wasn’t really that satisfying a fight to watch. All she (could) conjure up was fog (or was it mist) and bubbles.

The characters that stood out and made adorable moments would be China girl (a porcelain little girl whose town was destroyed by the wicked witch’s flying baboons and is the sole survivor) and Oz’s flying monkey assistant Finley.


So the story goes, Oz finds himself in the land of OZ and he is enticed with the promise of kingship and gold if he would kill the “wicked witch”, Glinda who turns out to be the good one. Naïve Theodora gets conned by Oz and gets her heart broken which results in her turning wicked and an accessory to her wicked witch sister’s plans. Along the way to kill Glinda, Oz meets China girl and she tags along with him and Finley on their quest, which soon takes a turn when they realize the truth of who is the actually wicked witch. Oz realizes that he has bitten off more than he can chew and wants out, but his heart (of compassion somewhere in there) causes him to help Glinda and her cause. He decides to make the most spectacular show of his life and manages to scare away Theodora and Glinda defeats Theodora’s sister. Both wicked witches are chased away from the emerald city and peace is restored with Oz becoming the legend and “phantom” in The Wizard of the Oz.

The effects were good and the colors of the movie were vibrant, very suitable for children. It was not scary at all and some parts were a little boring (for me). But overall it was somewhat enjoyable, it would have been better if more character growth was shown and the motivations of the wicked sisters were explored (was it jealously towards Glinda or some event that triggered the wickedness or was it nurtured, what were the three witches relationship?).

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It could have been so much better

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This was the seating arrangement that was planned by Mode Entertainment initially. However, we are not seated in this arrangement on that day. No balloting on that day and nobody give us proper instructions about this arrangement.

The worse thing is that I actually found the photograph on Mode Entertainment Facebook which is a major shock to us. If Mode Entertainment intends to publish the photo on the website, why do they need to get our email address in the first place? I am upset that they did not inform us when will we get the photo and what if people did not check the website, are they going to just destroy the photos after some time? We provide free publicity for them is already good for their portfolio. As a form of respect, they should at least inform us through email or a message about the upload of photographs.

They can’t simply apologize and pretend that they missed out two groups. It was irresponsible on their part and I felt that the money paid was not worth it due to the bad service and arrangement. We did pay $68 for the photograph session and the fact that they only gave us one photograph despite taking two or three photographs was questionable. I am grateful that Mode Entertainment brings in Jong Kook, but I felt cheated and they should have provided a hard copy and a soft copy of the photographs since we paid for it. These should be part of the service which in a way will help to promote the company in a more positive manner.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Oz The Great and Powerful

Movie Synopsis

Disney’s fantastical adventure Oz The Great and Powerful directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved wizard character. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot - fame and fortune are his for the taking- is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity - -and even a bit of wizardr - Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful wizard but into a better man as well. Oz The Great and Powerful is produced by Joe Roth, with a screenplay by Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire (credit not final). Grant Curtis, Palak Patel, Philip Steuer and Josh Donen are serving as executive producers. Oz The Great and Powerful opens in Singapore theaters on March 7, 2013.


The Wizard of Oz was an enjoyable fantasy of a 12 year old getting transported into another universe where magic exists along with the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Lion and witches. I remember the dramatic (well, I was young) ending of the Green Witch (she was scary) when she melted. It was a story I can remember to this day, so imagine my surprise and delight when I found out that Disney is releasing Oz The Great and Powerful!

What makes it all exciting is the chance to know more about the character of the wizard, who was exposed to be a regular guy rather than a real wizard. In the “The Wizard of Oz”, the focus was more on Dorothy and her interaction in the alternate universe she found herself in. The conflict of the witches and the wizard were already well into its advanced stages (no real back-story of what really happened, it was more of a he-said-she-said situation that needed to be resolved since that universe was almost on the brink of destruction).

Oz The Great and Powerful goes back to before Dorothy’s arrival and shows some insight on the budding problems that led up to the conflict in The Wizard of Oz. It is amusing to see how the character of the wizard of Oz starts off as a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics and big dreams, to someone better. As I only watched The Wizard of Oz, the only impression I had of the wizard was that he was someone who was not that outstanding. So it would be interesting to find out more about this character and how the conflict came to be.

And after seeing the official trailer, the excitement is getting to me to want to watch this movie! Since the producer of this movie is also the same one who produced Alice in Wonderland, I am not only excited to catch this movie but also expect beautifully shot scenes and great graphics, along with a wonderful and interesting storyline (more back-story about the wizard)! Are you excited about this movie as I am? ^^

Catch Disney’s OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL in Singapore cinemas this 7 March 2013, like the Official Walt Disney Studios Singapore Facebook Page, follow @disneystudiosSG and subscribe to the Official Disney Studios Singapore YouTube Channel!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

DramaQueen's Pick: K. Will - The Third Mini Album

K.Will (Kim Hyung-Soo) is a south korean singer, songwriter, dancer, vocal coach, composer and actor. He debuted his first album - Left heart in 2007, followed by Love 119 in 2008. K. Will is one of the few singers in Korean who is able to sing R&B in such a charming manner.

Please don't

This talented singer demonstrated great groove and singing ability in this song. Glad to see him on comeback stage, his live performance is so good. This song is doing well on the music chart and i am glad that he chooses this song as the title track. His nice vocal blends in with the song perfectly. 

I need you

A nice song which is highly recommended, especially to couples who are in love. K. Will sang with passion and conviction that brightens up the relationship. K. Will has the ability to attract his audience through his voice which is amazing.

You are love

This is the OST for Arang and the Magistrate sang by K. Will. This is a beautiful song sang by K.Will which touches the hearts of many. 

You are so beautiful

K. Will can sing R&B blues so well, i am blown off by this song although it is not the main track of this album. K. Will has a beautiful voice certainly, without any doubts. 

My heart is beating

This is a popular song from K.Will previous album starring I.U and Lee Joon from MBLAQ.  This MTV is very interesting and cute, so i thought of sharing this video. I.U is sweet and innocent in this video, while Lee Joon is comedic and cute.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

DramaQueen's Pick: Kim Jong Kook 7th album - Journey Home

Album Review
Kim Jong Kook has released his 7th full length album on 1 November after a long hiatus. This is a highly anticipated album as it mark his comeback after three years. Muscleman is looking good and i am sure he is well prepared to conquer the music chart again.  I am pleasantly surprised that Kim Jong Kook manage to maintain his singing ability after all these years. In addition, he added more dept and sensibility to his vocal. 
In a recent interview with the media, he revealed that he had been keeping all the good songs during his long break from the music industry. Despite his suceess in the variety program such as Running Man, Kim Jong Kook did not give up on music. In order to ensure a good quality to his album, he put on the hat of a producer and a lyricist to some of his songs. This album showcase a variety of music genre, such as hip hop, rap, electro dance, reggae and ballads.

Men are all like that

This is the main track feautring his good friend Song Joong Ki who was a former Running Man member. Kim Jong Kook sings about how affectionate feelings end up fading and finally dying after a break up.  Check out the heart wrenching music video with Song Joong Ki. I like the way the MTV was filmed, it was artistic and at the same time able to connect with the audience. With the eye candy Song Joong Ki starring in this music video is a big bonus. This MTV also reminded me of his latest drama - Nice guy.

Words i want to say to you

I especially like this track number because it features the Running Man members Haha and Gary. I always thought that it will be good if they collaborate on a song since they were in the Music industry. I like it that his dongseungs were so supportive of their hyung. This song showcase their different style - reggae, soft rap and pop, all in one track! It is amazing and their voices blends in with each other. I can't help but to move and sway with the music.

Men also feel sad

This track features Mighty Mouth and i have always like their rapping and hip hop style. I think it is a great idea to collaborate with them again. Initially, i expected this song to be a soft ballad when i saw the teaser a few days before the release of this single, but i was wrong. Not that i dislike this arrangement through, instead i like the way Kim Jong Kook handle this song. It is an upbeat song which involve a lot of rhyme sense and skills in adjusting the voice and tempo.

Thinking of you

This is Kim Jong Kook unique style of ballad, as usual his signature soothing voice was fully demostrated in this song. It is a good idea not to use high pitch too often as it does get over the top at times. He is smart to tone down on his high pitch and sing this song with sensibility. When i listen to this song, i was reminded of  why i like this 'one man' at the first place. His voice is sincere and it touches my heart.

Thousand footprints

This is a light hearted song which is catchy and easy on the ears. I cannot imagine a tough and strong guy like him can sing like an angel. His voice is sweet and beautiful just like this song. I feel like walking in a garden with wind blowing in my face while listening to this song. 'Sarranghae' i love this song very much.


This track is a great collaboration with Turbo member Mikey. I missed the Turbo days when Kim Jong Kook was an active dancer in the 90's.  Nowadays, he does not dance and i wish he could do some cool dance steps for his songs. To all the young people who were not familar with the Turbo days, this is a great song feauturing Mikey as the rapper. Kim Jong Kook sang a few lines with a mixture of English and Korean as this is the trend nowadays. His English is good but i was a little taken aback with the special effect at the beginning. Subsequently, i enjoyed the song pretty much after listening to it a few times.

The story that is not the end

This is a sad ballad that is sang with much emotion and sadness. A unqiue style which Kim Jong Kook carries in all his ballads. Kim Jong Kook protrays a sensitve new age guy type of image which melted the hearts of the 'ahjumas' and the more mature ladies. Daebak.

Was so pretty

This is the sweet and gentle kookie voice that we are familar with. Kookie returns to the root of album making, that is to ensure a good quality to all his songs. This is something different from all the manufactured albums by the idols in this generation. Indeed, a little old school but it is definately sang with passion.

You should be happy

This song reminded me of his famous hit song - letter. I remembered watching the MTV and was totally blown off by this singer. This is kookie usual style of ballads except that it is more polished than before and i think experience speaks volume.


A nice song that started out slow and gradually increase its tempo and rhythm. Kim Jong Kook stick to his style of music and does it well. Overall, a great effort by spartakook for taking his music seriously. Bravo!