Category: Movies

Review: The Witch: Part 1, The Subversion

Posted October 6, 2020 by Rowena in Movies, Reviews | 0 Comments

The Witch: Part 1, The Subversion

Starring: Kim Da Mi, Choi Woo Shik, Go Min Si, Jo Min Soo, Park Hee Soon, Kim Byeong Ok, Choi Jeong Wook, Jung Da Eun, Jeong Ye Jin, Tae Won Kwon,
Year Released: 2018
Genre: Action, Mystery
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Watched It For: Kim Da Mi

When she was young, Ja-yoon escaped from a government facility, but lost all her memory. 10 years later, when she appears on a nationally televised competition to win money for her family, her life is turned upside down by faces from her past.

I watched this movie when I saw that my girl Kim Da Mi from Itaewon Class starred in it. I’m super glad that I did watch this movie because Yi Seo was badass in this. She played this part so well that I was super impressed throughout the entire movie. From beginning to end, she just flat out rocked. When she shows up at that farm, all bloodied and scared til the end, when she’s sitting in that house and with no kind of expression, threatening the girl that steps up to kill her, I was impressed.

So this movie is about a young girl named Ja Yoon who was taken in by an older couple when she shows up on their farm, bloodied and bruised and scared out of her pants. Out of the kindness of their hearts, they take her in and they raise as their own. Ten years later, she in high school, and in order to help her parents with their failing farm, she enters a singing contest that the winner will win 500 million won. Once she starts singing on the show, weird things start happening. Weird things like strange guys showing up on the train and scaring the pants off her friend and asking her the weirdest questions, and a group of people including the guy from the train, showing up in her town and telling her to run home to her parents and making her do just that. Then there were the thug-like men who showed up and tried to take her from the singing competition and when she wakes up in the middle of the night to a house full of people that are trying to harm her family, her internal instincts kick in and she turns into freaking Black Widow on crack…and better.

The movie just kept getting better and better with all of these twists and turns and I thought that Kim Da Mi was the bomb in this. I loved her as Yi Seo in Itaewon Class because I thought that she was a total bad-ass but she’s just as bad-ass in this movie so I really think that she plays these bad-ass characters really well. I’m a great big fan of her so far and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her stuff.

I also liked seeing Choi Woo Shik as the villain in this one. I became a fan of his while watching Parasite and really enjoyed seeing him be a bad guy in this movie. He really played that part well because I wanted to kick his nuts every time that he came onto the screen and that fight scene between him and my girl Da Mi was bloody fantastic. The ending to this movie was pretty abrupt and I’m wondering if there’s more to this story that we have yet to see and I hope that’s the case because I’m interested in seeing that. All in all, this was a pretty fab action movie that I enjoyed a great deal. I recommend it for sure.

Final Rating

4.25 out of 5

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Review: Be with You

Posted September 29, 2020 by Rowena in Movies, Reviews | 2 Comments

Be With You

Male Lead: So Ji Sub
Female Lead: Son Ye Jin
Also Starring: Park Seo Jun, Go Chang Suk, Lee Yoo Jin
Year Released: 2018
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance, Family
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Watched It For: Park Seo Jun

On her deathbed, Soo Ah (Son Ye Jin) makes a promise to her husband, Woo Jin (So Ji Sub), and her son, Ji Ho (Kim Ji Hwan), that she will return to them a year after her passing. Wishing, rather than believing she would keep her word, Woo Jin and Ji Ho say their final farewells. With broken hearts, they do their best to pick up the pieces of their old life and try to move on.

A year later, the unbelievable happens. True to her word, Soo Ah returns home, the problem is, she has no recollection of her past life. With no idea of who she was or what Woo Jin and Ji Ho meant to her, Soo Ah does her best to find a place in their lives once again. Eventually settling into this new life, Soo Ah and her family experience happiness in ways they never dreamed would be possible again. But their happiness is short-lived.

Only able to stay with Woo Jin and Ji Ho for a short while, Soo Ah soon realizes that her time at home is quickly coming to an end. With hearts breaking all over again, Soo Ah must say goodbye to her family, only this time it’s forever.

Adapted from Takuji Ichikawa’s novel of the same name, “Be With You” is a 2018 romantic fantasy drama film directed by Lee Jang Hoon.

I’ve been meaning to check out something with So Ji Sub in it because my friend B Nice is a huge fan of his so when I came across this movie with you guessed it…Park Seo Jun, you know your girl had to watch it. This is another one of those movies where Park Seo Jun is in a very small part of the movie but it was still an enjoyable movie. It was sad and it was hopeful and in the end, it was warmed my heart to see how far both father and son have come.

So this movie is about a young boy and his father who are both grieving over the loss of their mother and wife. The boy, Ji Ho, misses his Mom a great deal but is hopeful that she will keep her deathbed promise to him about returning to him after a year has passed. His father, Woo Jin, doesn’t believe it and though he’s having trouble moving on, he’s doing the best that he can. When the year mark comes up, the unthinkable happens. Soo Ah, the mom, and wife that Ji Ho and Woo Jin have been missing shows up just as she promised, the story really picks up. A huge bulk of the story takes place during the time that Soo Ah returns to her family. She’s only there for a short period of time and part of that time is spent trying to catch up. When Soo Ah returns, she doesn’t remember Woo Jin or Ji Ho or her life with them so she does her best to get to know them again and rebuild what they had before.

This was a very emotional story and I connected with every single family member. They’re all trying their best to keep the memories alive and I really enjoyed seeing them bond as a family while Soo Ah was back. I loved the connection between Soo Ah and Ji Ho. I loved seeing how happy he was for her return, how hard he worked to make her return more comfortable for her, and I really, really loved seeing how happy he was when she showed up for his performance. The same for Woo Jin. I really loved seeing him fall in love with his wife all over again. I loved seeing the two of them get to know each other all over again and seeing their relationship told from his pov since she didn’t remember much of it was just great. There was enough romance in this movie to warm my romance-loving heart.

There was a lot going on in this movie and the emotions, the warmth, it all got to me. I really connected with this story and seeing Woo Jin and Ji Ho being able to move on with a heavy heart but hopeful for the future made me so happy that I watched this movie. It’s another good one and even though we only got to see Park Seo Jun, who played an older Ji Ho, for like five minutes, I was happy to see him when he finally enters the picture. Goodness, that guy is bomb. Anyway, if you’re in the mood to cry and want an enjoyable but emotional movie, this is the one for you. I definitely recommend it.

Final Rating

4 out of 5

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Review: Juror 8

Posted September 22, 2020 by Rowena in Movies, Reviews | 0 Comments

Juror 8

Male Lead: Park Hyung Sik
Also Starring:
Year Released: 2019
Genre: Family, Drama
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Watched It For: Park Hyung Sik

In 2008, South Korea held its first criminal trial by jury. The case presented to the court was supposed to be an easy one, as the defendant himself freely admitted to brutally murdering his mother. However, what was supposed to be a simple, open-and-shut case turns into something more, when one of the jurors, a young entrepreneur named Kwon Nam Woo (Park Hyung Sik), begins to question everything.

Without the unanimous vote of the jury, the judge, Kim Joon Gyum (Moon So Ri), is forced to re-examine the evidence and call for a new debate, to determine whether or not the defendant is guilty or not guilty.

Refusing to bow to the pressure of the majority, Kwon Nam Woo begins a thorough investigation of the case on his own. Sifting through countless investigation records, he repeatedly questions the defendant’s admission of guilt. As his investigation continues, he begins to find the evidence he needs to substantiate his doubt. Slowly joined in his search for the truth by the other jurors, Kwon Nam Woo begins to break through the majority opinion to uncover the truth and set the standard for true justice.

Based on a true story, “Juror 8” is a 2019 film directed by Hong Seung Wan.

This was an interesting movie. It features Park Hyung Sik as a down on his luck young man, trying to get his invention patented and off the ground but is having a bit of trouble with it. When he gets the jury summons, he shows up to do his civic duty and is chosen to be part of the jury on Korea’s first criminal trial by jury.

Again, the summary included above does a great job of explaining what the movie is about. Park Hyun Sik plays Kwon Nam Woo, Juror 8. In what was supposed to be an easy case with the prosecuting side already having a confession from the defendant ends up being more complicated when Juror 8 begins questioning everything. So because there wasn’t a unanimous vote, the judge was forced to re-examine the evidence and re-debate the case. That leads to Juror 8, or as I like to call him, “Fine ass Hyung Sik” to conduct his own investigation of the evidence and the case in general.

Seeing him work through the evidence and try to figure out what really happened, without much experience in doing so was interesting. He really had the guts to question the evidence because it didn’t make sense to him and he wasn’t going to vote to convict someone until he was absolutely sure that he was making the right decision. This movie was based on a true story so I think that made the overall movie that much more interesting to me because it couldn’t have been easy for Juror 8 to go against the grain the way that he did but he did and I really liked his character. The way that he was bullheaded about his vote and the way that the other jurors came around once he started proving his gut instinct right had me cheering for him so loudly by the end of the movie. Park Hyung Sik did this role justice and I completely adored him in this. This was a great movie with heart. I really enjoyed it and have every faith that anyone who reads this blog will enjoy it too. We’re a great bunch with similar tastes so yeah, I definitely recommend this one.

Final Rating

4.25 out of 5

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Review: The Man from Nowhere

Posted September 15, 2020 by Rowena in Movies, Reviews | 2 Comments

The Man from Nowhere

Male Lead: Won Bin
Also Starring: Kim Sae Ron, Kim Hee Won, Kim Tae Hoon
Year Released: 2010
Genre: Action, Crime, Mystery
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Watched It For: Won Bin

A former Army Intelligence spy is forced to give up his quiet existence to save the life of a little girl.

Cha Tae Sik (Won Bin) owns a run-down pawn shop in a sketchy neighborhood. Known as “ajusshi” to everyone in the neighborhood, Tae Sik mostly keeps to himself and only befriends a young girl named So Mi (Kim Sae Ron), who comes to hang out at his shop when her drug-addicted mom, Hyo Jung (Kim Hyo Seo), is entertaining men.

When Hyo Jung steals heroine from a dangerous crime organization, crime lord Oh Myung Gyu (Song Young Chang) sends his subordinates, brothers Man Seok (Kim Hee Won) and Jong Seok (Kim Sung Oh) and their henchman Lum Ramrowa (Thanayong Wongtrakul), after Hyo Jung. When the gangsters come to Tae Sik’s pawn shop looking for Hyo Jong, Jong Seok and his men end up taking Hyo Jung and So Mi captive.

The gangsters soon learn that they messed with the wrong guy, as it turns out that Tae Sik is a former covert operative for the South Korean Army Intelligence. Tae Sik goes after the dangerous gangsters to try to save So Mi’s life, but can he get to her in time?

“The Man From Nowhere” is a 2010 South Korean film written and directed by Lee Jeong Beom. It was the highest-grossing film of 2010.

I came across this movie while browsing the movie selection on Viki. I was in the mood for something with action and something with suspense and thrills and this one fit the bill. This movie is about a man from nowhere who owns a pawn shop and lives a quiet life. He keeps to himself and has exactly one friend. A young girl named So Mi. Even though he’s a solitary man, Cha Tae Sik has become fond of his young friend who has a Mom that doesn’t care enough about her and no friends of her own so when she’s kidnapped because of her mother’s poor choices, Tae Sik’s former army intelligence spy ass wakes the fuck up and goes to save his little friend.

This was another entertaining watch. The thrills, the suspense, and the action are all packed up nicely in this one and I was completely absorbed in the story. The actors did their jobs well and I wasn’t taken out of the action once because someone lacked in any scene. Even the young girl who played So Mi acted her little heart out and I was here for it all. Even though the movie itself is a little on the dark side, So Mi brings a heartwarming character that really shines in this movie. When she was hurt and scared, I felt that but on the flip side, when she was happy and bubbly, I felt that as well.

This was a great introduction to these actors and I’m looking forward to seeing more of both Won Bin and Kim Sae Ron’s work. They were a great pair and I really liked seeing them become friends and seeing them care for the other, even though they were nowhere near the same age. Every time So Mi called Tae Sik “Ajusshi” I smiled because her tone was never the same and yet it was endearing every single time she said it. She knew that she got on his nerves and she knew that she was a little pest but she also knew that he would take care of her when her Mom wouldn’t.

Overall, the movie is a good one and I really think if you’re in the mood for some action, a charming little character then this is the movie to try out. I definitely recommend it.

Final Rating

4.25 out of 5

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The Weekly Recap (153)

Posted September 14, 2020 by Rowena in Books, Features, Movies, TV Shows | 2 Comments

I’ve gone down the rabbit hole that is all things BTS. I’ve got to be the oldest fan that they have (not true, I see old lady BTS Army TikTok) but dude, they’re a lot of fun. I blame Tae-hyung for wrecking my For You Page on TikTok. It’s all things BTS and Korean Dramas. I’m not that mad about it though because I’ve been enjoying watching all of their content. They’re fun to watch perform and now I’m even more annoying to Brenna because I used to just speak Korean phrases to her but now I sing to her in Korean too. LOL. The other day she was on my Etsy ordering some stickers for her hydro and she said that she’d buy me some so I chose my stickers and had to laugh out loud at our Etsy cart.

These are the stickers she got:

And these are the stickers I got:

She just shook her head and was like, “Mom, why are you like this?” Haha.

Now, let’s get into all of the things that I did last week…

What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (153)Shine by Jessica Jung
Published by Simon Pulse on September 29, 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: 2020 Goodreads Challenge, 2020 New to Me Challenge

Crazy Rich Asians meets Gossip Girl by way of Jenny Han in this knock-out debut about a Korean American teen who is thrust into the competitive, technicolor world of K-pop, from Jessica Jung, K-pop legend and former lead singer of one of the most influential K-pop girl groups of all time, Girls Generation.
What would you give for a chance to live your dreams?

For seventeen-year-old Korean American Rachel Kim, the answer is almost everything. Six years ago, she was recruited by DB Entertainment—one of Seoul’s largest K-pop labels, known for churning out some of the world’s most popular stars. The rules are simple: Train 24/7. Be perfect. Don’t date. Easy right?

Not so much. As the dark scandals of an industry bent on controlling and commodifying beautiful girls begin to bubble up, Rachel wonders if she’s strong enough to be a winner, or if she’ll end up crushed… Especially when she begins to develop feelings for K-pop star and DB golden boy Jason Lee. It’s not just that he’s charming, sexy, and ridiculously talented. He’s also the first person who really understands how badly she wants her star to rise.

Get ready as Jessica Jung, K-pop legend and former lead singer of Korea’s most famous girl group, Girls Generation, takes us inside the luxe, hyper-color world of K-pop, where the stakes are high, but for one girl, the cost of success—and love—might be even higher. It’s time for the world to see: this is what it takes to SHINE.

I’m picking this book back up. I started it a couple of months ago but wasn’t in the mood to read so I kept putting it down after every other sentence. I’m hoping that my reading slump is behind me now so that I’ll actually finish this one so umm..wish me luck? 🙂

What I Read

The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie | DNF
Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy #5) by Ilona Andrews | 4.25 out of 5

I tried reading The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie to discuss with my book besties on our zoom call yesterday but I was just not that interested in reading a historical book right now so I quit that book after 6 straight days of only reading a paragraph each time I opened the book. I jumped into Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy #5) by Ilona Andrews instead and yeah, that was just what I needed to keep my reading slump at bay. However, it was the only book that I read last week.

What I’m Currently Watching

Record of Youth
Do You Like Brahms
My Shy Boss

What I Watched

One Spring Night | 3.75 out of 5
Prison Playbook | 4 out of 5
Burn the Stage: The Movie | 4.5 out of 5
BTS: Global Takeover | 4.25 out of 5

Record of Youth | Episodes 1 & 2: This show started off really strong as I’m already obsessed with the two main characters, already shipping them and waiting on pins and needles for today’s episode. I have to wait until my lunch hour to watch it but I’m actually struggling to decide if I should wait until tomorrow to watch both of this week’s episodes together or not. Who am I kidding, I’m not waiting to see Park Bo Gum in a new episode. Haha, silly me.

Do You Like Brahms? | Episodes 1-4: So I discovered BTS last month after realizing that one of the guys in the band was in Hwarang, one of the dramas that I started watching. I like the character enough that I looked him up in BTS and before I knew what was what, he became my bias in the group (with Suga a very close second bias and I don’t care if that breaks the rules, I love them both!) and I have listened and practiced singing all of the BTS songs that I like and there are a lot of songs that I’ve had to practice. Singing in English is easy but singing in Korean? That’s hard as hell but I’m happy to report that I can sing the shit out of my favorite BTS song, Just One Day. LOL. Anyway, all of that to say that I started this show because the main male lead is a friend of V’s from BTS….that’s why I started this show. I gotta support my biases friends and I’m glad that I did because the pacing of this show is a lot slower than Record of Youth but it’s just as good. It’s more focused on the characters and I’m really, really enjoying this one so far. I’m happy that I have a new episode to watch and I’ll watch that today too. Yippy skippy.

Eye Candy Friday

An Min Hyuk
Strong Woman, Do Bong Soon

What I Reviewed

Midnight Runners | 5 out of 5
Romance is a Bonus Book | DNF
Kill Me, Heal Me | DNF
Playful Kiss | DNF
Descendants of the Sun | 3.25 out of 5

What I Posted

The Weekly Recap (152)
Eye Candy Friday: An Min Hyuk

What I Got

Teach Me (There’s Something about Marysville #1) by Olivia Dade
40 Love (There’s Something about Marysville #2) by Olivia Dade
Swettest in the Gale (There’s Something about Marysville #3) by Olivia Dade
Never Have I Ever (Always Satisfied #3) by Lauren Blakely

What I Got for Review

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

What’s On My Radar for This Week

Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao
Encounter
Time to Hunt

What Made Me Laugh

There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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