Tag Archives: Hyun Bin

That Man in Cheongdam Dong Manhwa Bang…

6 months.

Yes, it has occurred to me that I’ve been living with a bunch of crazies and loons for 6 months.  I laughed with them, at them. I teared, cried and streamed a few rivers. I swooned, squealed, squeed, I even had pervy thoughts (oh such a shameless me XD). These were people whom I thought would only exist in dramas, on TV (initially), but turned out to be mirrors and alter personalities of myself and so many of us out there. These were people who did crazy stupid things but still managed to reach out to me, with their actions, thoughts, gestures that came genuinely from the deepest of their hearts. These people were like family, friends, lovers, confidants over the course of my living and experience with them. These people, they are us, in so many different ways.

I didn’t think the number 170 would come so damn soon. When I started, I didn’t think I could take it on, it’s my longest drama ever, even if you combine 2 eps into 1 (which would make it a 85 ep drama). I didn’t think I would be able to endure. But now, I’m starting to feel a lump of sadness and dread mounting, building within me.  I’m starting to imagine days without the craziness and madness of these characters and people.  I know life goes on, but can I?

Continue reading That Man in Cheongdam Dong Manhwa Bang…

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Short take on Late Autumn (2010/2011)

Saw Late Autumn at last, after 2 years of waiting. I still remember quite vividly, the hype and buzz that it’d garnered just before it took to filming, into it, and then before it was released and screened in the US (I think, just not my country). People mounted expectations on the star-hyped film. Hyun Bin and Tang Wei, you had the best crop (considerably IMO) from both Korea and China. An intriguing story about love and connection between 2 drastically different individuals. And a well known director Kim Tae Yong to helm the production. It was quite easy to hope and expect for something stellar. Everyone was waiting to be blown away.

I’m not sure whether it did tho, because I came in relatively late into the game. The film was released like 1-2 years ago if I’m not wrong, and I was only able to find a proper DL link just a month ago. What I knew from before – Tang Wei had won numerous awards and accolades for her performance as Anna, yes even in Korea (that must mean something I thought). And Hyun Bin played a charming gigolo that’s it.

Continue reading Short take on Late Autumn (2010/2011)

The craze of Secret Garden’s “That Man”

Nope, I’m not gonna write anything about Secret Garden. Hyun Bin. Or the awesome Ha Ji Won. The drama is a big hit enough. And I’m sure the love for it is unending will never cease anytime soon.

I happened to come across this news about Xiah Junsu (JYJ) doing a cover of That Man and curious me decided to listen to his take on this already so amazing song done by Baek Ji Young and Hyun Bin. That led me to several covers done by other celebrities and I thought I’d post some of them here for ya guys to listen. I didn’t fancy Secret Garden, nor did  I buy the craze about it and all. Will probably never understand . But I really loved the songs in the OST, in particular That Man, which moved and shattered my heart to pieces.

Be the judge!

Ha Ji Won transforms into Korean Angelina Jolie?

Yup, that’s very Angelina Jolie right?

But heck, I  don’t care about the copying stuff…I’m just glad that Ha Ji Won is back to drama for good. And in a KICK-ASS fashion!

SBS has just released new stills of Ha Ji Won’s character in Secret Garden, an upcoming drama helmed under the winning writer-PD combo, Kim Eun Seok and Shin Woo Chul who’d recently just brought to us the very popular City Hall starring Kim Sun Ah and Cha Seung Won.  And look at her, she’s totally bringing that whole dun-mess-with-me-I-dun-give-a-damn-bout-you thing in stride eh?

The drama is supposedly about a queer relationship between a stunt-woman (Ha Ji Won) and a typical rich chaebol/boss of a company (Hyun Bin).  Which may I explain, involves the trascending between fantasy and reality and switching of bodies between the 2 people!! o_0 What the heck is that?  Sounds odd right?

I’m not entirely sure that they’d stick to that premise… or if they do, I doubt viewers would be able to buy into those bizarre elements? Modern dramas rarely venture into that region, well, save for ancient dramas (whereby flying, superstition..etc) are exceptions. But again, it’s Kim Eun Seok and Shin Woo Chul we’re talking about…  With them on-board,  we’re assured to have a good feast of heartfelt and witty lines. Let’s hope they’re able to make this whole fantasy thing believable…

Ha Ji Won’s probably one of the main reasons apart from the writer-PD combo why I’m gonna check this drama out. I prayed hard that she would take up this drama when rumors  floated around that she was considering the script a while ago..(but again back then, it was because Jang Hyuk was slated to play the lead and I wanted so much for them to work together T___T).  She’s one of very few actresses out there capable of pulling off action, romance and comedy and not just that, but always with style and charisma. And no doubt, she’s gonna do it again here. Expect her to kick all our asses and yet at the same time, make us fall hard for her. She’s just that kind of actress.

And as for the main guy Hyun Bin. I have no single  doubt he’s gonna pull this role off, and with ease.  He’s done it before in My Name is Kim Sam Soon, and he’s had a tougher and more complex role in Friend, Our Legend that this one just seems like ABC in comparison. Though I confess I would have loved it more if Jang Hyuk was on board, can’t cry over spilled milk forever right? Hyun Bin’s been picking pretty solid projects ever since MNIKSS, and I believe this would be no exception if he does it right (which I believe he will).

What’s left for us to ponder – how will the Hyun Bin-Ha Ji Won tandem fare?

They look good together for sure.

Friend, Our Legend

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A beautiful picture that is, right?

“Friendship” painted via the smiles on their faces.

The question is:  “Will it last?”

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Thanx to Mister X’s review in Soompi, I discovered yet another criminally underrated gem-like drama of year 2009.  A dark and sad drama about the friendship of 4 guys, transcending from their childhood  and adolescent years up until adulthood. A drama which I thought deserved a lil bit more attention than all those cheesy slap-stickish teeny bopper stuff out there.

Why do good dramas always get trampled in the ratings/attention battle (eg. Tamra, The Island) and the crappy ones get all the divine attention (eg. MFL “ooppss…sorry”)? I have no idea. But that feeling resonated with me the most when I watched Friend, Our Legend.

I love dark dramas and dark characters. Dramas which boast of characters with flaws and imperfection. Dramas which tell stories of emotionally deranged or socially inept characters  And dramas which actually explore the depth of human weaknesses. Friend, Our Legend is something  or sort of like it.

The drama starts off in quite a depressing mode, totally incoherent or incompatible with the title of the drama. It starts off with the breakdown and gradual dissolution of the friendship which the drama purports to explore on. A sad and glum prologue to what’s gonna happen in the future episodes. We all say that friends are forever, but in reality, it may not be the case.

I have only seen 6 episodes out of 20 episodes.  And I once wondered in amazement about how a movie  spanning only up to 2 hours something (Movie: Friend) could be prolonged up till 20 episodes. After all, if you want to talk about friendship, wouldn’t 1 or 2 episodes do? I was proven wrong, after having seen the 6 episodes – which elaborated in detail, on how the 4 friends came together, on how they forged their friendship, on how they encountered trials and tribulations in life and yet still supported each other from tip to toe… and most importantly, on how and what they had to sacrifice just to keep their friendship alight.

Now this sounds really cliche right? A friend giving up a girl or something for the other best friend, but the other girl likes him instead… blah blah blah.  In essence I think the drama IS about that one girl whom the friends have a crush on. Pathetic huh? But at least the drama places a lot of emphasis on the individual development of the characters all across the board and does not just shine the light on Hyun Bin, who happens to be the main lead of the drama.  Of course we know he and the girl loves each other… but hey what’s new? Everyone has their share of screen time to shine, and everyone has a story.

I can’t really give a thorough judgment or opinion on the storyline itself as I’m barely half-way thru the drama. But I can definitely say for sure that I’m liking it a lot right now. There are some awkward joints in between (especially with the transitions from glum to comedy as such) but I’m not so bothered by it. What I can say is that the story itself is intriguing, and tho illustrated in shades of grey most of the time, it engages and connects from the beginning till the very end. I think this caused a lot of viewers to veer away from the drama, not giving it a second chance. BUT I’d say it’s sad case for those who turned away, cos they’re so missing out on treasure.

The thing that makes Friend, Our Legend so intriguing for me – is none other than the direction and visuals incorporated in certain scenes of the drama. I mentioned earlier about the grey-ish colored mode that turned away some viewers…but that’s exactly what I like about it.  It’s not just some romantic comedy or cheesy teenage flick, whereby vibrant colors would actually help set the mood. Friend, Our Legend is darker and more complex than that. It’s dark and glum because it’s about a friendship long forged but later turned sour.  It’s grey all thru out because there is no definite point of right and wrong encompassing the actions of the characters.   In short, the drama’s not all colorful because each character, each story – is complex is its own way.

Not only does the Director Kwak Kyung Taek zoom in on details of the characters, no matter how insignificant or menial they are, he also uses a lot of slow-motion sequences (and appropriate music) to highlight the mood of the drama – at the same time showing to us how every single take matters. How every single drop of rain, every single glance, every single word bring about meaning to certain scenes, or even, the whole picture. That’s what’s so good about this drama.

hbds

Acting wise, the 4 guys are great. Not perfect, but convincing enough for me to feel for each of them. All of them, Dong Soo, Jun Seok, Sang Taek and Jung Ho are all characters with obvious flaws, painted with some negativity and imperfection amidst their decent looks.  The good thing about having characters marred with flaws is that there is more space for imagination, more  leeways for us to understand them.  We can relate to the characters more, and we’re able to feel for them easily.  We don’t blame them or criticise them to the core because we know how bad it feels to be judged by the world when they really cannot choose who they are or where they come from. We know for characters like them, nothing comes easy.  And we know they’re just human – just like everybody else.

All 4 actors, Kim Min Joon, Hyun Bin, Seo Do Young, Lee Shi Un play out their characters wonderfully. Again to reiterate, not perfect thru out, but with so much heart and passion. Not stellar, but endearing in their own ways. A standout from the rest, I must say, is Hyun Bin. I’m not a great fan of his, and I used to wonder why people love him so much (cos IMO he’s just a good actor, that’s all). But here, he gives his best acting performance to-date. An acting performance so raw and gripping, so intense and emotionally rivetting – that all my past judgments of his acting skills completely went out of the window. An acting performance which I would say is near to that of So Ji Sub’s awesome take of Cha Moo Hyun in MISA/I’m Sorry I Love You.  And I love SJS and MISA to death (it’s NO. 1 in my Fav K-drama list), imagine that.

The sad thing about this drama is that it didn’t receive the attention and appraisal it deserved. I read that the ratings were really poor when it had its run in Korea a few months ago, and MBC did even consider cutting off episodes to minimize all the losses and such.  But I guess it’s either Korean viewers are oblivious to good quality dramas, or that this drama just reminded them of the dark period they had to endure in Korea back then and they just couldn’t bring themselves to go thru the same process again.

Too bad.

But for those who love dark dramas, and Hyun Bin, don’t miss this one out!

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Before I leave, a short clip/MV of the drama – theme song by Tae Yang featuring TOP of Big Bang.

credits:BIN0925BIN