I think I need to adjust my Top 10

Someone is going to get bumped. I’m not sure who it will be, but Park Seo-joon is taking his spot. There is just something so manly and pure (yet inspiring somewhat impure thoughts) about him.

I just indulged myself in a little daytime movie going to see him with some other guy* (yeah, I think there was another guy) in the buddy junior cops in training movie Midnight Runners.

It’s all Park Seo-joon-swoon time for me – though the movie was very entertaining.

Oh yeah, that other guy* was Kang Ha-neul, who I know has many fans, but you know where my eyes were any time he was onscreen. And I’m not the least bit apologetic. 😉

#kang-ha-neul, #midnight-runners, #park-seo-joon

Battleship Island – Impressions

Last night I went to the local premiere (and for free!) of the movie Battleship Island. I went in knowing the story, having skimmed a review or two, and with moderate hopes for it (because sometimes reviewers don’t see things the way I do). Without giving anything away, I will say that the reviewers pretty much have it right.


I wanted to like it, really I did. What’s not to like with a cast made up of So Jisub, Song Joong-ki, Hwang Jung-min? They all end up on Hashima Island, where the “evil Japanese” have conscripted them to work as forced laborers in harrowing conditions, mining coal to fuel (haha) the desperate war effort at the end of WWII.

Here’s a short snippet from the LA Times review:

It’s 1945 and the end of the war is in sight, though that’s scant consolation for the prisoners, a handful of whom are individuated here via broad brushstrokes and shrewd movie-star casting. The dreamy-eyed So Ji-sub plays Choi Chil-sung, a once-suave Seoul gangster who tries to fight his way into a position of power, while Lee Jung-hyun is the beautiful, much-abused Mal-nyeon, a character whose main purpose is to gloss over the uniquely horrific plight of Korean “comfort women.” Elsewhere on the island, Park Mu-young (Song Joong-ki) is a U.S.-trained spy sent to Hashima Island to smuggle out the respected Korean resistance leader Yoon Hak-chul (Lee Kyoung-young).

My biggest issues with the movie are these: this kind of movie is formulaic (and jingoistic) so when you are introduced to characters you can sit there and point them out, one-by-one, “dead, survivor, dead, dead…” (by the end of the movie), but an even bigger issue I had was that there was just about zero time for real character development – it was all painted in broad brush strokes – more caricatures than characters. And you could say that the biggest crime of all is that most of the time the handsome face of So Jisub (and he’s very handsome here) is either grimy with coal dust or grimy and bloody from fighting.

I wouldn’t say that it’s a waste of time, but it’s not exactly an uplifting or fun outing. If you’re into WWII movies or the Korean/Japanese conflicts, this will be your cup of tea; if you want to enjoy So Jisub and Song Joong-ki being heroic, you might be left wanting more.

#battleship-island, #hwang-jung-min, #movie, #so-jisub, #song-joong-ki

Saw My Annoying Brother a couple of days ago

And of course Jo Jung-Suk never disappoints – he does an awesome job. His character is a real jerk at the beginning of the movie but that didn’t fool me one bit – there was no doubt that circumstances would lead to change. He had a really lovely rapport with his “younger brother” and it screams through the screen that they felt very comfortable with each other.

#d-o, #jo-jung-suk, #ko-doo-young, #my-annoying-brother

Takuya? That you?

As seen on Twitter: Takashi Miike’s “Blade of the Immortal” will be presented Out Of Competition at the 70th Cannes Film Festival, at 22:30 on May 18th.

Expectation of hot Takuya:




Who <em>is</em> that guy?!

I’ve always thought that Takuya doesn’t always look as attractive in regular photos as he does on film, but this is ridiculously unflattering.


Finally! Now we know…

When Yolette and I were in Shanghai, one of the places we visited was the Shanghai Film Park. We had lots of fun wandering around, checking out the sets and trying to figure out what was in production that day. I took a shot of the notice board hoping that someone could later tell me what they were.

30733844641_bc0da0ceb4_o.jpgWell, yesterday I learned about one of them. Number 2 on the list is a war epic “The Founding of an Army” starring Wallace Huo, amongst others (like Joe Cheng!)

IMG_0839.PNGSadly we saw no leads that day, but the sets were there! Here are some photos from that day: https://www.flickr.com/gp/petirrojo/57cW09 and the trailer.

#joe-cheng, #the-founding-of-an-army, #wallace-huo

Japanese animation film Your Name – see it!

One of the benefits of my current period of unemployment is that I’ve got free time to take in a movie whenever I want and there have been some good options lately. One of the best has been the Japanese animation film Your Name.

I’d seen a lot of buzz about this movie as it was released in Japan because of its incredible artwork and use of realistic and real locations as the settings for the action, and it lives up to the hype. Fans of the movie have taken to going to the various locations and taking photos of themselves in the settings, “walking in the steps of the lead characters.” I felt transported back to Tokyo and some of the Japanese countryside as I watched it, and the story was an added bonus.

I saw the English dubbed showing (even though I prefer undoubted and subtitled) and felt that it didn’t interfere at all with the enjoyment. It’s been showing for this week at AMC Theaters (select locations) and I don’t know how much longer it will run, but if you have a chance, you should definitely go see it!

Here’s the official description of the movie:

From director Makoto Shinkai, the innovative mind behind Voices of a Distant Star and 5 Centimeters Per Second, comes a beautiful masterpiece about time, the thread of fate, and the hearts of two young souls.

The day the stars fell, two lives changed forever. High schoolers Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers living separate lives. But one night, they suddenly switch places. Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body, and he in hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly, and the two must adjust their lives around each other. Yet, somehow, it works. They build a connection and communicate by leaving notes, messages, and more importantly, an imprint.

When a dazzling comet lights up the night’s sky, something shifts, and they seek each other out wanting something more—a chance to finally meet. But try as they might, something more daunting than distance prevents them. Is the string of fate between Mitsuha and Taki strong enough to bring them together, or will forces outside their control leave them forever separated?

#animation, #your-name

Wang Kai’s movie opening


Those of us in the US and Canada have a chance to see it starting tomorrow (3/31) but I’m not sure when it opens in Hong Kong. Theater information at China Lion’s site here.

It’s by a well-known mystery writer Keigo Higashino – and it’s been adapted before in Japan and Korea (I’ve seen neither but I’ll add the trailers after the jump for a little visual comparison). I’ve read other works of the author’s and they’re generally twisty and a little dark, so I’m interested. If you are too, don’t hesitate because it will probably only have a 1 week run.

BTW, you might recognize his male costar as the creepy bad guy from Love Me If You Dare.

Continue reading

#devotion-of-suspect-x, #wang-kai

Ariel Lin’s new movie – My Egg Boy

There is a group in the Chicago area that has organized screenings of Asian movies and this is their latest. I’ll update this post after I see the movie on Wednesday!

#ariel-lin, #my-egg-boy, #rhydian-vaughn

A Beautiful life – Chinese style

I came across this movie a couple of days ago and I really enjoyed it. Made in 2011 it stars Liu Ye as our hero and I was instantly taken with him and the way he played his character. His “heroic” qualities shone from the first moment..and by that I don’t necessarily mean that he fought off attackers to save the girl either..no..what made him a hero was those qualities within (course a handsome face didn’t hurt either..lol..)..I loved his patience..his loyalty..his unending support..his non-judgemental attitude..his love for his autistic little brother. In fact he was sooo good I felt like shaking him at times…I so didn’t want anyone to take advantage of his goodness..including our needy heroine. It’s the kind of movie that has it all..love..hope..pain..loneliness..friendship and just simple humanity. Now I have to check out his other works..of course!!