Category: Movies

Review: Juror 8

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

Juror 8

Male Lead: Park Hyung Sik
Also Starring: Moon So ri, Lee Kyu Hyung, Cho Soo Hyang, Yoon Kyung Ho, Han Chul Jo, Shim Dal Gi, Kim sun young, Soo Jang Baek, seo Hyeon Woo, Kim Mi Kyung
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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Review: Midnight Runners

Posted September 8, 2020 by Rowena in Movies, Reviews | 0 Comments

Midnight Runners

Male Lead: Park Seo Jun, Kang Ha Neul
Also Starring: Sung Dong Il, Park Ha Sun, Go Joon, Lee Ho Jung
Year Released: 2017
Genre: Comedy, Action, Crime, Mystery
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki

Students at the Korean National Police University, Ki Joon (Park Seo Joon) and Kee Yeol (Kang Ha Neul) have a long way to go before they become official officers of the law but that doesn’t stop them from dreaming. One their way back from a club one night, they happen to witness a kidnapping and immediately jump into action, alerting the local officers of what just happened. However, swamped with other cases, the local police station has no time to take on the case. Knowing the critical hours are quickly dwindling, Ki Joon and Kee Yeol jump into action.

Tracking down the kidnappers, the pair of cadets find that the kidnappers are part of a gang running an egg harvesting ring. With dozens of girls locked up for harvesting, Ki Joon and Kee Yeol break into the gang’s hideout, determined to rescue the girls. However, the thugs prove too much for the amateur cops. Beaten down and locked up themselves, the pair are embarrassed by their own inadequacies.

After finding a way to escape, the two harden their resolve, knowing they may be those girls’ only chance of rescue. Despite being advised to let the professionals handle the case, Ki Joon and Ki Yeol continue with their investigation, determined to find the criminals and bring them to justice. Can a pair of police academy cadets really take down one of the country’s most sinister crime organizations?

An action-packed romp with lots of laughs, “Midnight Runners” is a 2017 action comedy film directed by Jason Kim.
This freaking movie had me laughing so much. It’s part of Park Seo Jun’s movie list so I knew that I was going to watch it and I knew that I was going to like it because hello, I’m biased to anything Park Seo Jun but I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. I laughed so much and so loud throughout this entire movie that I thought I was going to wake up the neighbors. Park Seo Jun and Kang Ha Neul were an absolutely delightful pair. I thought they played really well off of each other and the chemistry between the two of them is unmistakable. They made this movie-watching experience a wild and crazy ride and I enjoyed every single minute.

What made this movie completely watchable is that though this movie is a comedy, there’s a surprisingly darker themed story going on throughout that captivated me from the jump. So this movie follows two young men, Park Ki Joon and Kang Hee Yeol, who joined the Korean National Police University to study to become cops. They meet pretty early on and aren’t real big fans of the other but after Ki Joon helps Hee Yeol to safety after a jogging injury, Hee Yeol promises Ki Joon the best pork belly and perfectly marbleized steak that he’ll ever eat and Ki Joon happily carries Hee Yeol to safety with a smile on his face. And just like that, they’re best friends.


On their first night off, the boys head to the club and while they get ready, they freaking used Febreze for their cologne, hahaha. So they head to the club to pick up some girls and I’m really surprised that they didn’t get any. Both Park Seo Jun and Kang Ha Neul are good looking guys and yet they struck out at every turn in the club. So after the night is done, they’re making their way back to school when they see a girl that is their type and stare at her, hoping she’ll turn around and notice them because then it would be a sign from God but instead of turning around, the boys witness her being abducted and they give chase.

They’re pretty young and still hopeful of their future as cops so when they lose the van that took the girl in pink, they run to the nearest police station for help. Only there’s not much the cops can do because they don’t have a name for the girl and the girl hasn’t been reported as missing. Not wanting to give up, the boys decide that they’re going to find the girl on their own. They can’t wait for the cops because it’s the critical hour and they have to work fast if they have any chance of finding the girl and saving her. Hee Yeol is the brains of this operation and Ki Joon is the brawn. Together they make the funniest and the most endearing crime-fighting duo. Over the course of their investigation, they uncover a human trafficking ring and know that they’re in way over their heads and need help but at every turn, they are rejected but they’re determined to find the girls and help free them so they get to work.

And by get to work, I mean…


Haha, my guys were fantastic in this movie. Both Park Seo Jun and Kang Ha Neul really shined in this movie. The humor, the action, the heartwarming ending all made for a wonderfully entertaining and charming watch. The eye candy is through the roof as well so ladies and interested gents would definitely be happy with that. 🙂 This was a flat out great movie and I highly recommend it.
Final Rating

5 out of 5

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The Weekly Recap (152)

Posted September 7, 2020 by Rowena in Books, Features, Movies, TV Shows | 4 Comments


Utah is here in California and the house is noisy again. It’s been really quiet with everyone out of the house but Bren’s back from Colorado and the kids were home for the long weekend and are getting ready to head back to Utah but it’s been nice seeing everyone again. RJ and Kaleo came to town with the Utah crew (they’re from Colorado) and it was super funny to catch up with RJ. He is so full of life and so happy, you can’t help but be happy right along with him. I was able to get some reading done, along with some dramas and movies watched so I have stuff to report.

Let’s get into all of the things that I did last week…shall we?
What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (152)The Perfect Rake
by Anne Gracie
Series: The Merridew Sisters #1
Published by Penguin, Berkley on July 5, 2005
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View:Third Person
Pages: 361
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges:2020 Goodreads Challenge

She ran from a brute...

Fleeing violent tyranny, Prudence Merridew escapes with her beautiful younger sisters to London. One of them must marry—and fast. To act as her sisters' chaperone, Prudence invents a secret engagement to a reclusive duke...But when the duke arrives unexpectedly in London, she needs his help to avert disaster.

...into the arms of a rake

Aristocratic Gideon, handsome, rakish and with a strong frivolous streak, casually hijacks Prudence's game, awarding himself a stolen kiss or three along the way. Used to managing sisters and elderly men, Prudence is completely out of her depth with a charming, devious and utterly irresistible rake. And her plot goes terribly—if deliciously—awry...

In preparation for another friend’s zoom call this coming weekend, I need to get this book read. I started it yesterday and I haven’t gotten very far into it but I’ve heard really good things about it so I’m going to power through.
What I Read


Iron and Magic (The Iron Covenant #1) by Ilona Andrews | 4 out of 5
Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) by Ilona Andrews | 4.5 out of 5

I’m finally reading again and that makes me happy. I finished two books and I caught up on the serial that Ilona Andrews is writing on their blog. The Aurelia Ryder story, which I think is going to be Blood Heir that will release in January. DEERRRREEEEKKKKKK!!! That’s all I’m going to say about that one. Well, that, and I LOVE IT!
What I’m Currently Watching

Prison Playbook

Starring: Park Hae Soo, Jung Kyung Ho, Lee Kyu Hyung, Ktystal Jung, Jung Hae In, Kim Kyung Nam
Year Released: 2017
Genres: Drama

With only days before his major league baseball debut, pitcher Kim Je-hyeok unexpectedly lands himself behind bars. He must learn to navigate his new world with its own rules if he wants to survive.

I’ve been very curious about this show ever since I found out that my boy Jung Hae In is in it. I love that guy so when I found out about this one, I looked it up and it sounds like a good one so I started it. So far, so good. I’m enjoying what I’m watching so far and I’m hopeful that it’ll keep my interest throughout the rest of the episodes as well. Fingers crossed, anyway.
What I Watched


Train | 4.25 out of 5
One Spring Night | 3.5 out of 5
Mulan | 4 out of 5
The Table | 2 out of 5
Eye Candy Friday


Noh Ji Wook
Suspicious Partner
What I Reviewed


The Suspect (2013) | 4.5 out of 5
She Was Pretty (2015) | 4.25 out of 5
What I Posted
The Weekly Recap (151)
The Monthly Recap: August 2020
Eye Candy Friday: Noh Ji Wook
What I Got


Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy #5) by Ilona Andrews
Yours to Keep (Man of the Year #2) by Lauren Layne
What’s On My Radar for Next Week


Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy #5) by Ilona Andrews
Forgotten
My Shy Boss
What Made Me Laugh

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

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