Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Boku to Star no 99 Nichi: Episodes 1-3 Impressions

I watched this during a lag over the weekend, mainly out of curiosity and partly because there isn't much else I'm interested in starting/continuing right now. Overall, I'm satisfied but not addicted. It's a fun drama for if you have time to kill, but is definitely not very high-quality in either acting or story. Kim Tae-Hee is gorgeous and very winning as Han Yuna, and I suspect most people are watching just for her. As they should, since this is the least she's ever annoyed me in a role (I'm probably in the minority, but personally thought she was irritatingly whiny in My Princess). As Han Yuna though, Kim is effervescent and cheerful without being an excessive crybaby.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In Time with You: Post-Episode 8 Thoughts


Looking on other blogs, it seems ITWY has inspired two very distinct groups of followers - the one that loves You Qing for how realistic she is, and the one that hates her characterization for its selfishness and inconsistency.

I don't lean particularly strongly towards either, as I can recognize and agree with points from both. However, the past two episodes are definitely pushing me towards the "dislike" group. I can understand and respect much of her behavior up through episodes 5-6. She's upright because she has strong views and secret insecurities, she's obnoxious to Maggie because the latter is a whiny, annoying little 5-year-old who's separating her from her best friend, and she takes advantage of Da Ren's patience and kindness because he allows and even passively encourages her to do so.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Material Queen: Almost-Final Review


Good god, will this drama ever end???!!! I started writing this review under the impression that it would end at 20 (which is already stretching it). Only, to find out at the end of last week that nope, there would be a 21. And having just finished 21, guess what? Still no ending!!!! Omg kill this story already. It's drowning way beyond repair and to keep it any longer is pure suffering, both for it and for the poor audience members that feel forced to finish it. 

Honestly, I've never been so pissed off by an extension before. Don't advertise something as 20 episodes, then out of the blue give us a string of unqualified story-draggers (and detractors) to prolong the angst, pain and stupidity. So, so, soooo idiotic, every controversy plays out as if it had been written by a 10-year-old. Everything is predictable, nothing is original, and characters have no inner depth except for a secret mean streak.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cirque du Soleil: Totem show, San Francisco


So this isn't really a movie or drama, but I figured it fell close enough. This past Tuesday I went to see the Cirque du Soleil show in SF, by AT&T park. It was entertaining, and the first ever of their shows for me. I wasn't wowed, but I thought the costumes, music, and acrobatics paired beautifully. While I've seen the Beijing Acrobats do even more amazing stuff, this was designed more as an entertainment show for all ages rather than simply an acrobatics display. They've got clownish acts paired with more dangerous, high level shows. My favorite was a segment involving six girls riding 10-foot-high unicycles tossing and catching bowls with one foot. It was quite thrilling to watch.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In Time with You: Halfway Review


Episode 6 has just aired out of the planned 13, so I feel confident enough to do a midpoint review.

ITWY, which has a Chinese title that translates to "I might not love you," is an introspective look into the lives of two best friends who have just hit their 30s, Chen You Qing (Ariel Lin) and Li Da Ren (Bolin Chen). These are two people who through years of acquaintance and competitive conflict have built up a remarkably close but purely platonic relationship, much to the confusion of those around them. Their journey builds off the question of whether a man and a woman can really be "just friends."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Moneyball


This was one of those movies that I didn't have any interest in initially and had no idea what the story was about, aside from baseball. It exceeded expectations, but only slightly. Probably not something that I'd willingly go into again, and frankly in the muddling middle as far as inspiring sports movies go.


Monday, October 10, 2011

The Princess' Man: Final Half Review


As a warning, this review contains spoilers, so don't read unless you've finished the whole drama.

The second half of TPM definitely built upon the greatness of the first half, with excellent dramatic moments, a multitude of tear-inducing scenes, and continued great performances from the actors. In the end, I was left with sympathy rather than hatred for King Su Yang, our part-villain but part-victim of his own greed, which is fairly surprising and owed largely to the brilliant performance by the actor.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Material Queen: In-Progress Review


Material Queen has aired 14 of its planned 20 episodes so far, and this is probably the show that I've had the most conflicted reaction to. I love the heroine but hate the male lead, the plot is predictable yet oddly addicting, and it makes me so frustrated that I want to keep watching.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Princess' Man: Halfway Review

So far I've seen through episode 12 of The Princess' Man, and Park Shi-hoo has again displayed his magic, making it officially 3 for 3 of his recent dramas that has enthralled me completely.

Truthfully, the story is pretty slow and almost forgettable up until episodes 8-9, when all the stakes are kicked up and the drama delivers on its "tragic lovers" premise. Now I can see why it'd be nearly impossible for our heroine and hero to get together. In fact, I see no way out of this mess for them and am really excited to watch the story continue to unfold despite the tragic foreshadowing.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes


Seriously awesome. I have almost nothing negative to say against it, other than the total bastardization of Tom Felton in this movie. The story covers all the important arcs of set-up, development, and final uprising in perfect length, without any section feeling either too lengthy or too abrupt.