Reviews

Bride of the Water God

This drama centers around Habaek (Nam Joo Hyuk), a water God who was born to become the King of the Realm of Gods. In order to assume his throne, he must retrieve the God Stones from the guardians in the human realm. Upon arriving in the human realm, Habaek loses the coordinates of the location of the guardian deities and he mysteriously loses his power as well. In order to survive the human realm, he must now rely to the descendant of the family who promised to serve the gods- Yoon So Ah (Shin Se Kyung).

Review

Bride of the Water God is a drama that I really waited for. Loving Nam Joo Hyuk in his previous roles in Weightlifting Fairy and Scarlet Heart Ryeo, I was waiting for his next project. The premise of the drama also caught my interest since I really tend to love fantasy dramas.

At the beginning, the drama heavily reminded of another TVN fantasy drama- Goblin. However, unlike Goblin, Bride of the Water God failed to connect with me. It was very hard for me to relate with Yoon So Ah and Habaek.  There were a few episodes, though, that I liked this drama. On Episodes 5-8, the plot thickens and the characters are evolving. You’re getting to know more of them and mysteries arise. I saw that this drama has a lot of potential, however, the drama failed to reach it.

Maybe I failed to connect with the drama because of the acting. Nam Joo Hyuk and Shin Se Kyung looked unnatural for me. Their acting looked distant and stiff. For me, they weren’t able to convince the viewers that they are their characters especially in the heavy scenes.

Another problem of the drama, for me,  is that answers to mysteries are not really that interesting. Insignificant names kept popping up. Some people are important for revelations but the show failed to give any hints at all. Still, the plot twist at the end is great though. It sort of redeemed the drama for me. The drama had a beautiful ending.

The drama had a lot of cute scenes too. Nam Joo Hyuk still got the charms. I think more playful roles suit him than a serious deity. I also loved the character Shin Hu Ye. The complexity of his character is one of the highlights of this drama. I also really liked the other supporting characters Moo Ra and Bi Ryeom. I was looking forward to their romantic story than Habaek and Yoon So Ah.

Overall, this drama wasn’t as great as I expected it to be. There was some nice parts but there are also lots of boring parts.

Advertisements

Netflix Originals Review: Marvel’s The Defenders

I am one of those people who were very excited when the Defenders Trailer came out.  I really enjoyed Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. I was quite disappointed with Iron Fist though so I’m not really fond of Danny Rand. However, the possibility of seeing these four together brought out a different kind of excitement in me. I haven’t felt this way since the Avengers assembled.

I was really thrilled with the first half of the show. Every encounter is exciting and every fight is just awesome. I also liked the encounters between the defenders especially Jessica making fun of the Daredevil suit. I really loved Elektra in this show too. I was always looking forward for her every move. I know there’s more to her than what it’s shown and I got what I expected from her in the end.

However, the second half sort of disappointed me. Their encounters seemed redundant and the characters became predictable. Also, the merging of the four shows meant that other characters from the show were left in the background. The remarkable characters like Karen, Trish and Malcolm were really underutilized. I can’t blame the show though, with its eight episodes, not much can happen.

Overall, the show was thrilling. I guess I would have loved the show if I don’t love each character. I really think that the Defenders had more potential but it was not able to achieve it.

Korean Drama Review: Coffee Prince

Coffee Prince is about Go Eun Chan(Yoon Eun-Hye) who has to pretend that she’s a boy in order to get a job and Choi Han Kyul (Gong Yoo), her boss who starts to fall for her even when he thinks she’s a boy.

Even if it’s already been ten years after this drama aired, Coffee Prince is still one of the most highly recommended Korean drama which made me very intrigued about this drama. I also remember all the hype this drama received when it first aired a long time ago. With all the love this drama received, I had very high expectations about this drama.

First, I would like to talk about things I liked about this drama. I’ve always liked light-hearted romantic comedy korean dramas. They are very enjoyable to watch and easy on the heart. You’ll find yourself smiling with the characters. I really liked the friendly banters here, it’s quite realistic.

I’m also quite impressed with how Yoon Eun-Hye pulled off playing this tomboy-ish character. Like her character in Goong which is one of my favorite korean dramas, Go Eun-Chan’s character is that of a very cheerful young woman who lights up the room and the lives of people around her. Her character here is very family-oriented as well. Yoon Eun-Hye was adorable but for me, it’s Gong Yoo’s acting that stands out. I can’t describe it either but his acting has a way of moving me. I forget that he’s just acting and I just seen Han Kyul in the screen. For me, he’s one of the best actors out there.

The best part of this drama for me is Lee Sun-Gyun’s Choi Han Seong and Chae Jung-Ahn’s Han Yoo Joo. Even when the characters of Han Kyul and Eun Chan are interesting, it’s Han Seong and Yoo Joo’s relationship I looked forward too. They had a mature relationship with real problems that I rarely see in korean dramas that I’m always looking forward to their every scene. I really rooted for a happy ending for them, even more than the main leads.

Even when I enjoyed the drama and kind of liked it, I’m probably one of the very few people who didn’t love it. I wasn’t able to see the magic that keeps other people hooked in this drama. It took me a long time to actually finish watching because I wasn’t interested in what happens next. I always put off watching the next episode because I don’t really want to start. I guess it has something to do with the pace. This drama is very slow-paced that it was boring for me. I also felt like the supporting characters (the coffee princes) had so much potential that are wasted. I liked them from the start and I really think that these characters could have been utilized more. I also think that the ending was too underwhelming.

Overall, this drama is not one of those that gives me an “I don’t want this drama to end” feeling. I was actually glad that I finally finished it. There were parts that are very lovable but I didn’t see the charm everybody sees. Maybe one day, I’ll try to rewatch and maybe I’ll love it then.

Thoughts on The Bride of the Water God (Episodes 5-8)

I recently shared my thoughts on the first four episodes on The Bride of the Water God here.  I shared my thoughts on how the drama failed to really engage my interest in the first four episodes. Nonetheless, I believed that the drama has potential and it was too early to judge the drama based on the first four episodes so I continued watching the drama.

I am glad that I continued watching the drama because things started to get interesting from Episode 5. The plot thickens and the drama gets exciting. So far, I love how the story is going. I’m starting to think that the plot is really well-planned. I like how the plot progresses.

I also like how the characters are evolving. I loved it when there’s more to the character than our first impressions. I was quite annoyed with Yoon So Ah in the first few episodes but when her past was shown, I can’t help but sympathize with her. We also get to see a more carefree side to her which makes me think there’s really more to this character. The character of Habaek has developed as well though there’s still consistency. Even when Habaek starts caring for So Ah, he’s still the right amount of mysterious and aloof. The other deities, Bi Ryeom and Moo Ra are different from my first impressions of them. Bi Ryeom and Moo Ra are more interesting than I initially thought. I like how the events twisted like this. We get to know more about these deities which is one of the exciting things about this drama.

I also love how the relationship between the two leads are evolving. I love how their relationship has no instant love involved, they are slowly getting to know and liking each other. They are starting to care for each other which I really liked.

They were also able to introduce mysteries in these episodes. This is the reason why I love fantasy dramas. I love mysteries and I often love how they unfold. Starting from Episode 5, there are answers but there’s also a new mystery.

Unlike other fantasy dramas like Goblin and Legend of the Blue Sea, this drama does not have much romantic comedy feel to it. I feel like even with cute moments, the love story will be more on the melodrama type.

After watching Episode 8, I think this drama is worth checking out. The strength of this drama will be in its mysteries and plot and I really hope that it won’t disappoint.

 

 

 

 

Korean Drama Review: Descendants of the Sun

Descendants of the Sun tells the love story of Captain Yoo Shi Jin, a soldier, and Kang Mo Yeon, a doctor.

Descendants of the Sun was a huge success. When it aired last 2016, everyone I know was talking about it. During it’s airing, it seemed like it was the only thing people were talking about. To be honest, I only decided to watch it more than a year after it has aired. I like to watch famous dramas when it’s popularity has cooled down. Furthermore, with Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo’s engagement announcement, I couldn’t contain my curiosity any longer.

I have to admit that Descendants of the Sun is not as great as I thought it would but I really loved Descendants of the Sun nonetheless. The plot was indeed interesting. Can a soldier and a doctor make it work? I think the plot revolves around this question, at least in the perspective of Doctor Kang Mo Yeon. Throughout the drama, she was very hesitant on dating a soldier because it would really be difficult to be with a man who can one day not come back from work. It’s really interesting but I don’t believe this drama is successful because of it’s plot. I think the strength of this drama is its unpredictability. That time when Yoo Shi Jin told Kang Mo Yeon to save the patient and pulls out his gun. What a shock! Totally didn’t expect that. And when he asked about what he should with the kiss, should he apologize or should he confess? Who would expect that? Swoon-worthy! That is why I think the shock factor is the best quality of this drama. The shock factor kept the viewers interested and hooked them.

The best decision the people behind this drama made is casting Song Joong Ki as Yoo Shi Jin. The charm of this man is undeniable. This drama has lots of moments when delivery is the key just like that “should I apologize or confess” line. These kinds of lines heavily relies on the skill and charm of the actor. Song Joong Ki is very successful in giving us the feels.

Overall, the drama is far from perfect but still, you can’t help but love it!

Korean Drama Review: Two Worlds

Two Worlds is about Oh Yeon Joo, a cardiothoracic surgeon, and Kang Chul who is a main character of a popular webtoon. The conflict starts when Oh Yeon Joo gets dragged into the world of the webtoon and becomes an important character in the webtoon.

With its unique concept, I found this drama very refreshing. The concept of a world apart from where we live in caught my interest from the very start. This drama hooked me from the very beginning. This drama is fast-paced and a lot of things are happening in an episode. The episodes are full of action and thrill that you’ll always ask “What will happen next?”. Not one episode was boring and I was always eager to start another episode. Apart from the thrill, this drama will also make you laugh and make your heart flutter. There are lots of cute scenes and with Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo as the leads, the cute scenes are even more adorable. There are also lots of scenes where you’re just going to cry. Oh Yeon Joo and Kang Chul went through a lot they’re like starcrossed lovers. With every obstacle they face, you’ll wonder how they are going to get through it. You will also constantly wonder how this drama would end. Can two people from two different worlds actually end up happy together?

Now, let’s talk about the leads – Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo. These two are perfect for their roles. Lee Jong Suk’s looks and expressions gave me a vibe that he might be from a webtoon. There’s a mystery and charm to him that seems like a magnet for my affections. Han Hyo Joo, for me, is also commendable. Oh Yeon Joo cried a lot in this drama. With Han Hyo Joo’s acting, I couldn’t help but cry with her. These two are good individually but together, they’re awesome. There’s a strong connection and chemistry between them that every scene felt natural. They really look adorable together, I was rooting for them to be together since the very beginning. I’ve watched behind the scenes as well and the two leads seem to be getting along very well.

Overall, I really liked this drama. Every minute spent watching this is worth it. It was a roller coaster of emotion and I really loved the ride. I highly recommend this to everyone!

Korean Drama Review: Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

The drama starts when a woman, Go Ha-Jin played by IU, from the 21st century was transported back  in time during the reign of King Taejo, the first king of Goryeo. She awakes in the body of Lady Hae Soo, a noblewoman living in that time.  Realizing that there is no way to get back in her own time, Hae Soo tries to adjust to living in Goryeo not knowing that she and her knowledge of the future will play a big part in history.

I found this korean drama in a list of korean dramas with the saddest endings. To be honest, I was very hesitant to watch this korean drama, sad endings aren’t really my thing. In addition to that, this drama had low ratings since it’s in the same timeslot as Love in the Moonlight. Nonetheless, I decided to try this korean drama. After watching this drama, I am both thankful and regretful of that decision.

Why am I thankful I watched this drama?

This drama is one of the best korean drama I have ever seen. I don’t think I felt this much emotion in a korean drama before. From the first episode until the last, I was in a rollercoaster of emotions. I was laughing for some time then I will cry a few minutes after. I have not seen a korean drama with so much substance as Scarlet Heart. You’ll just find yourself deeply immersed in the scene because everything is just so good. You’re going to laugh with them, cry with them and love with them. Every episode will really get you hooked. I had to take a break in the last few episodes though. Things got really heavy near the end that I had to watch cute and fun stuff to buffer my emotions. That’s how intense and great this drama is.

Another reason I love this drama is because of the characters. The drama explored every character deeply. As the drama progressed, you will realize that there is more to the character that meets the eye. There’s more than one side of them and the drama showed it to us in such a great way.  The male lead of the drama, 4th prince Wang So played by Lee Joon-Gi, was not the typical righteous hero. He had commendable heroic moments like how he defended the Crown Prince but he is also capable of doing dreadful things. Because he is imperfect, I think he’s a perfect character. The female lead is far from perfect either. Hae Soo actually made a lot of bad decisions until the very end. It doesn’t stop there. I think all characters here are great. I felt like there were more than just characters. Because the drama shows more than one side of them, you can connect to them well and have understanding of the character. I understood even the reasons behind the villain’s action. The well-written characters are then strengthened by the actors playing them. The acting here is commendable especially Lee Joon-Gi. Every emotions is evident in his face that you can’t help but be immersed in the drama even more than you already was.

Why am I regretful?

You must be wondering… If I love the drama so much, why did I say that I am also regretful of watching it? Just because of the ending. The blogger who said this is one of the saddest endings is not lying.Don’t get me wrong, I really think that the ending is beautiful. Still, the ending left me shocked and heartbroken. I feel like Wang So and Hae Soo’s story shouldn’t end like that. I desperately want a Season 2 even if it’s highly unlikely.

Overall…

Overall, I think this drama is close to perfection. I don’t think I will forget this any time soon. I think it will always be one of my favorites.

Thoughts on Bride of the Water God (Episodes 1-4)

Bride of the Water God is one of the most highly-anticipated drama this 2017 especially by the fans of the original manwha of the same name. Even if I have not read the manwha, I am still one of those who were really excited about the drama. I have read the premise of the drama and I got excited. I waited for this and hoped for another good fantasy drama.

This drama is about Habaek who is destined to be the king of the realm of the Gods. In order to assume his throne, he must go to the human realm, find the God Stones and retrieve it from its guardians. The conflict arises when upon arriving in the human realm, Habaek has lost the coordinates of the god stones and also lost his divine powers. He must now find and rely on the descendant of the family who promised to serve the gods, Yoon So Ah. Yoon So Ah is a psychiatrist who initially thinks that Habaek is not a real god but is just delusional. The first four episode is all about Habaek and his ‘assistant’ Nam Soo Ri trying to survive in the human realm.

With four episodes so far, the drama didn’t get me hooked. I was only amazed in the first few scenes where Habaek played by Nam Joo Hyuk is still in the realm of the Gods. Nam Joo Hyuk’s look as a God and the setting itself was very visually appealing. However, there were only very few scenes and the setting shifted to the human world right away.

The drama heavily reminded me of Goblin and Rooftop Prince- two dramas that left a mark on my heart. Goblin is about an immortal goblin who is searching for his fated bride to finally find peace and Rooftop Prince is about a prince transported from the Joseon era to the modern world. I guess this is why I cannot connect to this drama. It’s like they did not offer something new like we’ve seen everything before. Of course, I know that it is very hard nowadays to have something completely original. However, some dramas have something different about it that sets it apart from the rest such as the adorable bromance between the Goblin and the Grim Reaper in Goblin.

Also, some dramas are really loved for their main characters. I don’t know why but I can’t seem to connect with any of the characters in this show. I fell in love Nam Joo Hyuk right away in Weightlifting Fairy. I’m also starting to get annoyed with Yoon So Ah but I guess it’s a bit early to judge the character. So far, I only like Nam Soo Ri. His humor and loyalty to Habaek is adorable.

Regardless, I am giving this drama a chance. It’s actually too early to judge this drama. It’s only been four episodes and there’s twelve more to go, still plently of chance for this drama to redeem itself. It’s not the first time I didn’t like a drama at the start. Some dramas get better the more you watch. I still think that this drama has great potential.

For a lover of fantasy romance like me, I think this drama is still worth  a try.

See my thoughts on Episodes 5-8 here.

TV Series Review: 3%

I’ve always seen 3% in Netflix but I’ve only decided to try it recently and it’s probably one of the best decision I’ve ever made.

3% is a Brazilian dystopian thriller set in a future where people are divided into the poverty-stricken Inland and the abundant Offshore. Twenty-year olds from the Inland have a once-in-their-life chance to go and live in the Offshore through the Process. The Process is a series of tests the applicants have to go through to prove their worth and determine if they deserve to live in the Offshore. Only 3% of the applicants pass the Process and succeed in going to the Offshore.

I started watching due to curiosity and I continued watching for the story. Each episode is full of excitement and thrill. Also, you will really wonder and think what the goal of each test really is and what the applicants will do in each test.

Along the way, there are twists like the characters are really not what you thought they are. There is a background of one character per episode so you’ll see their life from the Inland. This show proves that first impressions may be wrong. It’s one of the reasons I like 3%. The characters have so much depth. This show really invested in their characters and story.

And of course, a dystopian story is only as good as the society it focuses on. In 3%, we only get to see the Inland. We get to understand why the applicants strive so hard to pass the process. However, we only know what the applicants know about the Offshore which is close to nothing.  This adds mystery to the show. You keep on watching to know more about this promised land.

For lovers of dystopian worlds, I highly recommend to binge-watch this show next.

Trailer:

Movie Review: Okja

To be honest, at first I thought that this movie would have a typical storyline where the main character gets separated from his/her best friend. This happens in the movie, however, this movie is so much more than that. Okja is a masterpiece.

The movie starts with Lucy Mirando, the new CEO of Mirando corporation, telling the people about a new breed of pigs that are naturally bred. 26 piglets were then sent to different farmers around the world. There’s more though. It’s a competition, the best super pig will be awarded in New York 10 years into the future. Fast forward 10 years after, one of the piglets- Okja- is now huge super pig. We see the close bond between Okja and the girl who raised her, Mija. From all the scenes, it is obvious that they are best friends. However, Mija’s time with Okja is up. Okja is chosen as the best super pig, the winner of the competition, and will now be taken to New York. Of course, Mija will not let this happen. She follows Okja to Seoul and plans to take her back to the mountain. However, taking back Okja from a big company isn’t easy. Good for her, Animal Liberation Front helps her rescue Okja. Unfortunately, the ALF’s mission isn’t as straightforward as that. The ALF needed more from Okja to finally expose the animal abuse happening behind the environment-friendly mask of Lucy Mirando. The ALF’s mission is to install a hidden camera on Okja and send her back to Mirando Corporation.

First of all, this movie, unlike my first impression, is NOT a family movie. I don’t think kids can appreciate the message of this movie, furthermore, I don’t think that kids are ready for the truth and reality this movie aims to tell us. This movie is for those who wants to think and feel.

I believe that these movies are trying to deliver us these messages:

  1. It is shown here how easily we consumers can be lied to. We find out in this movie that Lucy Mirando was lying all along- the super pigs are not naturally bred but are synthesized in the lab. It is shown here that promotions can sound convincing and that these promotions can manipulate us into believing something else.
  2. It is also shown to us the reality behind food production.  Here, we see the reality we all wishes to ignore. It showed us what we do not want to see. Because maybe, if we don’t see it, we can imagine that they don’t happen. But they do. I have to admit that the scenes in the slaughterhouse is very hard to watch. It is very hard to accept that for us to have meat, the animals have to go through that. I really teared up on the last few minutes of the film.

Because of these messages, even when they’re hard to accept and uncomfortable to watch, I loved this movie. I admired this movie’s courage. It is, however, unclear to me what the film’s take on genetically modified organisms. Okja is a GMO and Lucy Mirando lies to the world to keep this truth a secret. She also says something like it’s not her fault the consumers are afraid of GMOs. I guess we can see here the good and the bad about GMO. GMOs, on the right hands, have great potential.

On a lighter note, I really loved that Steven Yeun and Devon Bostick are here. Steven’s character as Glenn in The Walking Dead and Devon’s character as Jasper in The 100 are very complex characters. Their characters here are complex as well and they portrayed them well. That’s another strength this movie has- the complexity of the characters including the villains. I mean, Lucy Mirando, is not evil. She has good intentions for the world but not so good means of achieving it. The characters in this movie has depth, they are coming from something.

Overall, I really liked this movie and highly recommend it to adults. I really hope that this movie can be as meaningful to you as it is for me.

Trailer: