Tag: 4.5 Reviews

Review: Strong Woman, Do Bong Soon

Posted October 1, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 2 Comments

Strong Woman, Do Bong Soon

Male Lead: Park Hyung Sik
Female Lead: Park Bo Young
Secondary Lead: Ji Soo
Also Starring: Kim Won Hae, Yoo Jae Myung, Jeon Seok Ho,Shim Hye Jin, Im Won Hee, Ahn Woo Yeon
Year Released: 2017
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: B Nice
Who I Watched It For: Park Hyung Sik, Park Bo Young, Ji Soo

Bong-Soon (Park Bo-Young) was born with superhuman like strength. Her strength is hereditary and passed along only to the women in her family. Her dream is to create a video game with herself as the main character. One day, Bong-Soon helps out a bus driver who is being attacked by a thug. Soon, a small mob of thugs attack Bong-Soon, but she is easily able to wipe the floor with them. During this time, Min-Hyuk (Park Hyung-Sik) drives up to the scene of Bong-Soon beating up the group of thugs. Min-Hyuk is the CEO of video gaming company Ainsoft. He has recently received anonymous threats and even followed by an unknown person. Min-Hyuk believes Bong-Soon would make a great bodyguard with her amazing strength. Besides offering Bong-Soon high pay, he even offers her the chance of working in the planning department of his gaming company if she does well.

Meanwhile, crimes against women take place in the neighborhood where Bong-Soon lives. Detective Kook-Doo (Ji Soo) also lives in the same neighborhood. They have been friends since they were kids. Bong-Soon is also madly in love with him, but he has a girlfriend. Kook-Doo tries to solve the case and Bong-Soon and Min-Hyuk are pulled in.

This show was brought to my attention by my k drama bestie, B Nice and it was such a big hit with me that even till this day, and many dramas later, I still find myself watching my favorite scenes from this show over and over again. The triple threat of Park Hyung Sik, Park Bo Young, and Ji Soo was a major score for me. I enjoyed all of their characters and they brought this story to life like nobody else could and I loved the hell out of their work in this one.

So this story follows our main lead, Bong Soon. Bong Soon has grown up in a family where the women have super-human strength and she’s no different. She can pick up a bus full of people, punch through houses, and she benchpress everything. Trying to get a job at a gaming company is out of reach for her but her luck turns around when her strength gets her hired on as the CEO of her dream company’s bodyguard. An Min Hyuk is intrigued by the small little woman that he witnessed kick the shit out of a bunch of bad guys who bullied a bus driver and the kids that he was driving to school. He follows her to the police station where she’s giving her statement to her detective friend. The more that he sees of the woman, the more interested he is in her. He needs a bodyguard and thinks that this woman has just what he’s looking for in a bodyguard. It doesn’t hurt that she’s easy on the eyes, not that it matters anyway. Bong Soon ain’t trying to look his way. He annoys the hell out of her and thinks he’s gay so he’s out of the running for our girl.

Bong Soon has grown up with a huge crush on her childhood friend, Kook Doo but she’s never felt it was the right time for them and it’s thrown in her face when she finds out that Kook Doo’s got a girlfriend. She’s hurt and she’s frustrated but she can’t help who she loves any more than she can help the strength that she has that others don’t. But she has to try to get over him because she’s not a homewrecker so when she gets closer and closer to her annoying boss, she starts to realize that he’s not as bad as she initially thought. He’s actually a really great guy and he’s not gay either, haha.

Seeing both Bong Soon and Min Hyuk grow into their feelings for each other at the same time that they’re fighting bad guys left and right, was a lot of fun. This was a comedy, a romance, and even had some action thrown in and I was here for it all. I am such a huge fan of the three main leads because of their work in this show. I loved the romance in this, I loved the friendship that developed between Min Hyuk and Kook Doo and I really, really loved this scene:

I was a giant ball of emotions when I watched this scene. The way that he kept putting himself out there for her, hoping that she would stop looking at the guy that’s not looking at her and look at him instead. He was so good to her and he loved her so much and gahhhhh, I loved it! They’re one of my favorite couples to date. This show was a damn good show and I just adored it to pieces so I definitely recommend it to everyone.

Listen to the OST

Final Rating

4.5 out of 5

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Review: The Suspect

Posted September 1, 2020 by Rowena in Movies, Reviews | 0 Comments

The Suspect

Male Lead: Gong Yoo
Also Starring: Park Hee Soon, Jo Sung Ha, Yoo Da In, Kim Sung Kyun, Jo Jae Yoon, Park Ji Il, Kim Min Jae
Year Released: 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Action, Suspense, Thriller
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Watched It For: Gong Yoo

Once one of the top special forces agents in North Korea, Ji Dong Chul (Gong Yoo) never thought he’d see the day when he was betrayed and hunted by his own country. But when his government abandoned him in the middle of a mission, that’s exactly what happened. Suddenly forced to run for his life, Dong Chul has no choice but to abandon his position but he refuses to flee without his family. Desperate to find his wife and daughter before it’s too late, Dong Chul tracks them down, only to find they’ve been sold as slaves to China.

Following their trail to its bloody end, Dong Chul soon learns that one of his ex-colleagues is responsible for the death of his wife and daughter. Vowing revenge, Dong Chul defects to South Korea, the pursuit of his family’s killer, his only objective.

Settling into a life of anonymity, Dong Chul spends his days searching for his nemesis while he spends his nights working as the personal chauffeur of a business executive with ties to the North. When the chairman is attacked by an unknown assassin, he passes a pair of particularly special glasses on to Dong Chul, leaving his chauffeur with a mission to recover top-secret materials, with his dying breath. Now framed for murder and hunted once again, Dong Chul must find a way to prove his innocence or die trying.

A non-stop thrill ride, “The Suspect” is a 2013 action thriller film directed by Won Shin Yun.

This was the action thriller that I was hoping The Gangster, The Cop, and The Devil was going to be. I’m not sure if it’s because of my personal bias because the main character in this movie is my #2 boo thang, Gong Yoo, or what but I was heavily invested in this movie from beginning to end.

I won’t get into a rundown of the movie since the summary provided above does the job for me. So Ji Dong Chul is searching for the people that killed his wife and daughter and he’s doing all of that while based in South Korea. He defected from North Korea after he was abandoned by his government while on an active military mission. He lives a solitary life in South Korea, keeping his head down because he’s a wanted man. Not that he cares. All he cares about is avenging his family so when his boss is attacked and he’s given a mission to recover some top secret materials, he’s got no choice but to accept the mission because now he’s running from every damn body and my guy is just trying to stay alive because he’s still got his family to avenge.

This movie was the kind of thriller that had me at the edge of my seat, trying to figure out what Dong Chul was going to do next. The fighting scenes were fantastic and the action was pretty dope too. I really enjoyed the adventure that Gong Yoo took us on during this movie and I’m super glad that I watched it. Gong Yoo is a fantastic actor and he is sooo easy on the eyes that it’s really not hard to watch the stuff that he’s in. Luckily for us, this was a great action story, filled with lots of thrills, some heartwarming moments and a really satisfying ending. So all in all, you can’t go wrong with this movie. The romantic in me wanted Gong Yoo to have a love interest in this movie so while I was watching it, I was trying to pair him up with every damn body but in the end, I was like duh….my guy was hella in love with his wife that he dedicated his life to avenging her…a love interest wouldn’t have made sense for this movie. So yeah, while that was a bummer for my romance-loving heart, I still definitely recommend it.

Final Rating

4.5 out of 5

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Review: Crash Landing on You

Posted July 23, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 0 Comments

Crash Landing on You

Male Lead: Hyun Bin
Female Lead: Son Ye Jin
Secondary Lead: Seo Ji Hye, Jung Kyung Ho
Also Starring: Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Shin Young, Choi Ji Woo, Yang Kyung Won, Yoo Soo Bin, Tang Joon Sang, Kim Yeong Min
Year Released: 2019
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Nobody

Yoon Se-Ri (Son Ye-Jin) is an heiress to a conglomerate in South Korea. One day, while paragliding, an accident caused by strong winds leads Yoon Se-Ri to make an emergency landing in North Korea. There, she meets Ri Jeong-Hyeok (Hyun-Bin), who is a North Korean army officer. He tries to protect her and hide her. Soon, Ri Jeong-Hyeok falls in love with Yoon Se-Ri.

Crash Landing on You is the second Korean drama that I watched during quarantine. I was riding high on my love of all things Itaewon Class that I wanted something else to watch immediately and Chase came again with another clutch recommendation in this one. I started it and though it took me a couple of episodes to get into this show, once I got into it, I was all the way into it. I have to say that though I loved the hell out of the romance between Ri Jung Hyuk and Yoon Se Ri (a super swoony slow-burn romance), it was these guys that totally made me fall head over heels in love with this show. These guys are serious squad goals.

Squad Goals

So this show centers on Yoon Se Ri and the North Korean army guy who risks his life so many times to try to get Se Ri safely back to her home in South Korea. You see, Yoon Se Ri is a South Korean heiress who is also the CEO of her own bestselling beauty products company. She’s got quite the colorful family and when a paragliding accident lands her in North Korea (yeah, she really did leave South Korea on a paraglider and landed all the way in North Korea, haha), she is spotted by Ri Jung Hyuk. Ri is part of the North Korean Army and he is FOINE. Check him out…

So Se Ri and Ri try so many different ways to sneak Se Ri back into South Korea without the North Korean government finding out. It takes them quite a while to finally get it right and throughout it all, they’re growing closer and closer. Not only are the two of them growing closer but Ri engages his friends to help him get Se Ri back home safe and sound and Se Ri gets close to them as well. There are so many different things going on in this show and it took me a while to untangle all of the threads to make sense of everything but things do unravel and they do make sense and I thought the writing was pretty darn great. I laughed a lot, I cried quite a bit and I adored so many of the characters. So many squad goals here from Ri’s boys to Se Ri’s old lady crew in North Korea. They were all super great characters that added life to a pretty colorful story.

I did feel bad for the secondary love story here because damn, they deserved better than they got but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment too much. This is a fabulous show that will stay near and dear to your heart long after you finish it. I highly recommend this one.

Listen to the OST

This OST is bomb as hell. There are so many songs that I adored while watching the show and all these months later, I’m still enjoying this soundtrack. It’s a good one so have yourself a listen.

Final Rating

4.5 out of 5

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Throwback Thursday: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen

Posted June 20, 2019 by Rowena in Books | 2 Comments

Each week, I’ll be writing a review for an oldie but goodie that I’ve read through again to see if these books are holding up for me. I’m a different person than I was when I read these books, older and wiser (at least I hope) so I’m curious to see if books that I used to love can stand the test of time.

Throwback Thursday: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina BowenThe Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years #3
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down
Published by Self-Published, Sarina Bowen on September 29, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 310
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.

Five years ago, Michael Graham betrayed the only person who ever really knew him. Since then, he’s made an art of hiding his sexuality from everyone. Including himself.

So it’s a shock when his past strolls right into the Harkness College locker room, sporting a bag of hockey gear and the same slow smile that had always rendered Graham defenseless. For Graham, there is only one possible reaction: total, debilitating panic. With one loose word, the team’s new left wing could destroy Graham’s life as he knows it.

John Rikker is stuck being the new guy. Again. And it’s worse than usual, because the media has latched onto the story of the only “out” player in Division One hockey. As the satellite trucks line the sidewalk outside the rink, his new teammates are not amused.

And one player in particular looks sick every time he enters the room.

Rikker didn’t exactly expect a warm welcome from Graham. But the guy won’t even meet his eyes. From the looks of it, his former… best friend / boyfriend / whatever isn’t doing so well. He drinks too much and can’t focus during practice.

Either the two loneliest guys on the team will self destruct from all the new pressures in their lives, or they can navigate the pain to find a way back to one another. To say that it won’t be easy is the Understatement of the Year.

Warning: unlike the other books in this series, this heartbreaking love story is about two guys. Contains sexual situations, dance music, snarky t-shirts and a poker-playing grandmother.

As you may recall, I read the entire Ivy Years series when Sarina Bowen put them on Kindle Unlimited and I was shook when I read this book because I didn’t remember much of anything that happened. Reading this book again was like reading it for the first time and I really dug that. This book was also the very first m/m romance that I read and come to think of it, the only m/m romances that I have read were probably written by Sarina Bowen. She writes them well.

John Rikker just transferred to Harkness to play hockey with a new team after a bunch of drama at his old school. Turns out that not a lot of teams want to play with a gay hockey player. When he gets to Harkness, he’s expecting the worse but what he’s not expecting is the blast from the past, Michael Graham. Rikker and Graham were best buddies growing up, until an incident occurs and Rikker is sent to the hospital then moved away to live with his grandmother, out of town. It’s been years and years since they’ve seen each other and by the way that Graham is freaking out, Rikker realizes the boy is still so far deep in the closet that he’s not touching those issues when he’s got so much of his own to contend with.

Michael Graham is shook when he sees Rikker walk in. He hasn’t seen Rikker in years but he looks the same though there’s no way he in any way resembles the boy that Graham knew growing up. How could he when Graham isn’t the same guy himself. Seeing Rikker again brings up everything that happened the last time that he saw him and the guilt that Graham has carried since then has all come flooding back and Graham is drowning. Even after Rikker assures him that he didn’t come to Harkness to destroy Graham’s life, Graham worries. There’s no way that they could keep out of each other’s way since they go to the same school and they play on the same hockey team so of course, they grow closer.

Man did my heart hurt for these two. They both struggle with different things and they’re both linked by so much hate thrown their way and I just don’t understand it. I don’t understand why so many people care if a man loves another man or if a woman loves another woman. I grew up in a religious household but it wouldn’t be very Christlike for me to judge anyone or hate anyone or treat anyone differently just because they’re gay. Love is love and other people’s love ain’t none of my business. I don’t understand how Rikker’s parents could love him any less just because he was gay. That’s not Christlike at all. If anything, I judged the hell out of his parents and anyone else that had issues with Rikker’s sexuality. Grrr.

I really loved seeing Rikker and Graham come together in love. Their road is a long one and an emotional one and I loved how strong both of them were in the end, both separately and together. Sarina Bowen once again knocks this story out of the park and it’s one of those lasting stories that will continue to be good every single time that you read it. I definitely recommend this one.

Final Grade

4.5 out of 5

The Ivy Years Series


four-half-stars

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Review: Dumplin’

Posted December 13, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Dumplin’ (2018)
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Danielle Macdonald, Odeya Rush, Luke Benward
Director: Anne Fletcher
Release Date: 7 December 2018
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Movie Type: Comedy, Drama, Musical

Willowdean (‘Dumplin’), the plus-size teenage daughter of a former beauty queen, signs up for her mom’s Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant as a protest that escalates when other contestants follow her footsteps, revolutionizing the pageant and their small Texas town.

I’ll be honest, I went into this movie a little hesitant because the last big girl movie that I tried watching, the big girl pissed me off. I didn’t want another Sierra Burgess is a Loser so I crossed my fingers and hoped Jennifer Aniston wasn’t going to let me down. I’m super happy to report that this movie, Dumplin’ was exactly what I hoped Sierra was going to be and I adored watching it. I didn’t read the book so I can’t compare them but I really enjoyed the movie. I thought the actors portrayed their characters well, the acting itself was great and the story was solid.

So this movie follows our main character, Willowdean Dickson. Will works at a diner, has the bestest best friend and a mother who is a former beauty queen who is still very active in the beauty pageant world in their small Texas town. She also has a giant crush on her coworker and friend, Bo. Will has a bright personality and her love for all things Dolly Parton was delightful.

The movie revolves around her Aunt dying and Will trying to move on while finding some common ground with her beauty queen mother. They are as different as night and day. Will is bigger than her size 0 mother and not at all into the things that her mother is into so they don’t have a lot in common and that gets in the way of them having a close relationship with each other. Will’s Mom won’t talk about Will’s Aunt Lucy and Will desperately wants to connect with her Mom over their shared love of Lucy but she never gets the chance because her Mom is so unwilling.

Will gets made fun at school because her Mom continues to call her Dumplin’ so when she’s at her lowest, she comes across an unsubmitted beauty pageant application of her Aunt’s and she decides that she’s going to sign up for the beauty pageant herself. She’s going to finish what her Aunt Lucy couldn’t.

Aunt Lucy and Will were close. Aunt Lucy understood Will in a way that Will didn’t think her mother did and Lucy raised Will to be kind and to be happy. She introduced Will to Dolly Parton and introduced Will to Elle. Will and Elle became the best of friends and I really loved the strong friendships we see in this movie. From Will and Elle to Will and her weirdos Millie and Hannah, Will’s friendship game is strong.

I loved seeing Will come into her own. I loved seeing her gain the confidence to be happy with herself and letting others around her be happy with her as well. I adored the tiny romance between her and Bo and though Bo was fantastic and adorable, he wasn’t in the movie long enough to take over my adoration for Peter Kavinsky. The movie was more about Willowdean and the romance was such a small part of that but when she gains the confidence to return Bo’s crush, I cheered because I was super happy for her.

This movie was all that and a bag of chips for me. I adored the girl that played Will, I loved seeing her bond with her Mom and I loved that her Mom wasn’t the villain. I loved that the Mom really did love Will and was so proud of her, but didn’t know how to connect with her. I loved that they got it right in the end and this movie was just the bomb. Lots of fun scenes mixed in with sweet scenes, this movie isn’t to be missed.

Movie Trailer

My Rating

4.5 out of 5

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