Tag: Crime

Review: Signal

Posted March 30, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Signal

Starring: Lee Je Hoon, Kim Hye Soo, Jo Jin Woong
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Crime, Drama, Suspense, Time Travel
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Mood Browse

Fifteen years ago, a young girl was kidnapped on the way from school, and Park Hae Yeong, who was an elementary school student at that time, witnessed the crime. A few days later, the girl was found dead, and the police were not able to find the culprit. As time went by, Hae Yeong started distrusting the police.

Fifteen years later, Hae Yeong is now a police officer and criminal profiler. One day, he finds a walkie-talkie that allows him to get in contact with Detective Lee Jae Han who is in the past. Police officers Hae Yeong, Jae Han, and Cha So Hyun then set out on a journey to solve cold cases.
I found this drama while I was browsing through Netflix. I’ve seen the woman actress in this show around so I stopped to check the summary out. I was sold after reading the summary but I didn’t immediately start it. I’m a little annoyed with myself that I waited for a while to get to it but I’m glad that I watched it because from beginning to end, I was invested in all of it.

There were parts that were pretty slow in terms of engaging me (the viewer) but overall, this was a really interesting drama that did a good job of telling Park Hae Yeong’s life story.

Let’s break this show down, shall we?
Main Lead: Park Hae Yeong
Actor: Lee Je Hoon
Social Media: Website | Instagram

Park Hae Yeong is the victim of a wrongful arrest though he wasn’t the actual person that was arrested. His older brother was accused of rape and was let down by the entire local police department because of course, his older brother was innocent but because their family wasn’t as rich as the real culprit, Park Hae Yeong’s older brother paid for a crime that wasn’t his. Park Sun Woo (Hae Yeong’s older brother) was one of the good guys. He was a great older brother to Hae Yeong and he cared about his family, his friends, and his future. He was helping Hae Yeong bring his grades up and in the process of helping a girl study as well.

What happens to Sun Woo makes a huge impression on Hae Yeong and as Hae Yeong pieces his own investigation into his brother’s case when he’s older and a cold case profiler, things really heat up. He discovers a walkie-talkie that communicates with an officer from the past. A detective that could possibly help him find out what really happened to his brother. Maybe if they worked together, they can right some wrongs and get some things right. Hae Yeong’s story is a huge part of the show and I thought Lee Je Hoon’s portrayal of Park Hae Yeong was probably my favorite part of this show. Lee Je Hoon has some serious acting chops and I felt everything he felt throughout this entire show. Hae Yeong’s story is an emotional one and though I didn’t get the ending that I wanted for him, I was still satisfied and would LOVE a second season.

I really enjoyed the character growth from child to man for Park Hae Yeong. He had every reason to turn to gangs and a life of crime with his experience with cops and yet he grew into a man of the law with a clear conscience of what was right and wrong. Did he always get things right? Not at all. But he learned from every experience and used the experiences to be a better person.
Main Lead: Cha Soo Hyun
Actor: Kim Hye Soo

Cha Soo Hyun was the first female police officer in her department and though she seems aloof and completely reserved, she is fair and a good senior to Park Hae Yeong. Professionally, she tried to do what was right even when it was hard. Personally, there were times when I wanted to smack this woman upside her head. Did I understand where she was coming from when she would pop off in the middle of a case because Park Hae Yeong seemed to know an awful lot about the only man she’s ever loved that disappeared years ago? Of course! Did I want her to put her feelings away and get the bad guys before grilling Hae Yeong? YES!

Even with all of that madness, I still really liked her character and I thought Kim Hye Soo really did Cha Soo Hyun’s character justice. She acted her tail off and it’s really hard to do that when you’re playing an aloof and cold character that isn’t really any of that. I liked how smart she was and how loyal she was. She was good at a lot of things and seeing her as both a fresh rookie cop who was unsure of herself, her worth as a police officer, and then a strong and fiercely determined detective was fantastic. She played both parts well and I was rooting for her to find her man throughout the entire show.
Main Lead: Lee Jae Han
Actor: Jo Jin Woong

Holy cow did I like this guy. Lee Jae Han was such a compelling character that fought the good fight even when he had every cause not to believe the weirdo on the other line of the walkie-talkie. Seeing him fight against his very own bosses to bring justice to those wronged by the police force, the exact police force that is supposed to protect the victims made me love him to pieces.

His story was another emotional one because his personal life took a back seat to his professional one and it was hard on everyone around him. From his father to the woman he was starting to like and his friends, he missed out on a lot trying to right the wrongs that just kept right on coming to his front door. I wanted so much to see this guy in the end and we were left with a big ol’ question mark with everything but even without a solid ending with a solid wrap-up of all the things, I still really enjoyed learning about Lee Jae Han. My heart for him when he tried to get to Sun Woo before it was too late, freaking body falling apart but getting to Sun Woo was more important than his stab wound and that was just one of the many reasons that I loved this guy. He didn’t know how to give up and when he didn’t get things right, he was so remorseful that it hurt my heart and made me cheer for him and Hae Yeong even more. Gah, so good.
The Cast
There are a lot of familiar faces that make up the rest of the cast of Signal and I enjoyed seeing them all again. These two guys are probably my favorite familiar faces and the most memorable of the bunch, outside of the villains. I also really liked the guy that played Park Sung Woo. As I said, there are a lot of familiar faces and that’s probably my favorite thing about k-dramas. There are side characters that pop up in every single k-drama and it’s always a treat to see a cast with great chemistry. This wasn’t the kind of show that showcases strong friendships but we got a strong team that really comes together as the show progresses and I was here for Hae Yeong and Soo Hyun’s team.
The Story
So Signal is about a detective from 1989 and a cold case profiler in 2015 working together through a magical walkie-talkie to solve and prevent crimes from happening. Solving them in 2015 helps prevent them in 1989 and through trial and error, Lee Jae Han, the detective from 1989, and Park Hae Yeong, the cold case profiler from 2015 figure out what went wrong and how to fix them in their own times. The concept behind the show is was initially drew me to watching it and I’m glad that I did because the actors really brought this story to life. It totally made sense to me that there was a magical walkie-talkie helping a man from the 80’s help a man from 2015 solve crime and beat the bad guys.

I also thought that the cases that they worked on together were interesting. From the kidnapping case to the rape case, to every other case, each story really stood out and had me thinking about them long after I turned the final episode off. These characters really go through it personally and professionally and they had to overcome so much to get to that end. There were times where I had to walk away from the TV because what was happening was too much for me and my blood pressure but I will say that the villains played their roles really well in this one because I hated their asses so much.

Overall, there were moments when certain characters and cases made my blood boil but I’m glad that I stuck with this show because it was a solid suspense drama and the time through walkie-talkie business was one of the highlights of the show for me. I love the friendship that blossomed between Lee Jae Han and Park Hae Yeong. I thought the way that their friendship grew and grew with each case that they worked on was just so stinkin’ great.
The OST
Final Rating

4 out of 5

2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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

0 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Review: The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil

Posted August 25, 2020 by Rowena in Movies, Reviews | 2 Comments

The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil

Starring: Ma Dong Seok, Kim Moo Yeol, Kim Sung Kyu, Yoo Seung Mok
Year Released: 2019
Genre: Contemporary, Action, Crime Drama
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Watched It For: Ma Dong Seok

After barely surviving a violent attack by an elusive serial killer, crime boss Jang Dong-su (Don Lee) finds himself forming an unlikely partnership with local detective Jung Tae-seok (Kim Moo Yul) to catch the sadistic killer simply known as “K”.
I came across this movie on Viki and was curious about it because of one of the main characters in it. Ma Dong Seok was my favorite character in Train to Busan so when I saw that he was in this one, I thought, “Why not?” and I started watching it immediately.

So this movie is about a gangster who almost died at the hands of a serial killer and the cop that join forces to catch the devil serial killer who is running rampant around the city. I thought that I would enjoy this movie a lot more than I did but for a huge portion of the movie, I was bored. I freaking hated the cop and was okay with the gangster (that’s probably cause I’m biased. I loved the gangster’s acting) and didn’t care one way or the other about the devil. There’s a lot of action going on so that was a plus but again, for most of the movie, I was bored and it was easy for me to dose in and out of the movie so when it finally ended, I was glad. I didn’t hate the movie and there were parts of the movie that were good but not enough of the movie was good enough for me to give this movie a higher grade than a 2.
Final Rating

2 out of 5

2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Review: Wind River

Posted October 11, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Wind River (2017) Starring: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Kelsey Asbille, Julia Jones, Teo Briones Director: Taylor Sheridan Release Date: August 18, 2017 Rating: R Run Time: 1:47 Movie Type: Crime, Drama
A veteran tracker with the Fish and Wildlife Service helps to investigate the murder of a young Native American woman, and uses the case as a means of seeking redemption for an earlier act of irresponsibility which ended in tragedy.
I went and saw this movie on a recommendation from Ames. She’s my go-to girl for book, movie, tv show and planner sticker recommendations. Actually, she’s my go-to girl for everything. She’s like an extension of myself because we love all of the same things and when she said that she highly recommends this movie, I knew I was going to see it. This movie was a crime mystery that had me trying to figure out who was killing these Native American girls because I wasn’t too sure until right before the big reveal. I’m really terrible at trying to guess these things so I wasn’t too surprised that it took me forever to figure everything out but that didn’t stop me from eating everything up in this movie. It’s not an easy movie to watch by any means but oh goodness, it was engrossing. I didn’t know that that we don’t track the deaths of Native American women. WTF is up with that? Anyway, this movie is about Jeremy Renner’s character, his name is Cory Lambert and he’s a tracker with the Fish and Wildlife Service. He’s asked to help track down a murderer who attacked and killed a young Native American woman and because the case hits a little close to his own home, he’s in. The closer he got to getting some answers, the more my heart double-timed in my chest. When everything finally comes to a head, I was glad. I didn’t think my heart could take much more thrilling moments. I was sickened with the bad guys and yet relieved that they were found and justice was served for those poor girls. I cried when we got the full story of what happened and I loved Cory Lambert all the more for that scene of him taking the last bad guy up into the mountains. I really like when the good guys beat the bad guys. The acting was really good, no cheesy dialogue. No WTF scenes that don’t add anything to the story so all in all, this was a great movie that I highly recommend.
Movie Trailer
My Rating
5 out of 5

0 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,