Tag: Suspense

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 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

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

Review: The Girl on the Train

Posted October 11, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 16 Comments

girl-on-the-train-movie Starring: Emily Blunt, Luke Evans, Justin Theroux Director: Peter Berg Release Date: October 7, 2016 Rating: R Run Time: 1:52 Movie Type: Mystery, Thriller
Commuter Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) catches daily glimpses of a seemingly perfect couple, Scott and Megan, from the window of her train. One day, Watson witnesses something shocking unfold in the backyard of the strangers’ home. Rachel tells the authorities what she thinks she saw after learning that Megan is now missing and feared dead. Unable to trust her own memory, the troubled woman begins her own investigation, while police suspect that Rachel may have crossed a dangerous line.
I went and saw this movie over the weekend because even though the book got on my hot damn nerves, I still wanted to see it. I dragged Brenna with me to meet our family friend at the theaters early (for us, anyway) Saturday morning and holy cow, the tickets were so cheap that I may only see movies on Saturday mornings from now on. It cost me $7 as opposed to the freaking $16 I usually pay to see movies in the theater. Yeah, I’m cheap. So this movie follows three women. Drunk ass Rachel, Loves her some sexy times Megan and Unlikable Homewrecker Anna. The story starts off with Rachel. She commutes to work every day on the train and she people watches from the window of her seat. There’s a couple that she watches from the train and she thinks they have the perfect relationship. They’re a gorgeous couple and she can tell from her spot on the train that the man loves the woman very much. She looks forward to seeing them every day from the train and even makes up little stories about their perfect life. Anything to keep her from looking at the house a few doors down that used to be her house. Rachel is a hot mess. She drinks too much. She blackouts a lot and you’d think with as many times as she loses huge chunks of time where she has no idea what she did or how she got home, that her ass would get her life together and stop the drinking but she’s an alcoholic and she just can’t help herself. When she becomes involved in the investigation of a missing woman, the woman that she watches from the train, I almost couldn’t believe it because, damn woman. Seriously, get your life! The second woman is Megan Hipwell, the missing woman. Her story was a lot more complex than the others because her past and her present unraveled throughout the course of the movie. Her seemingly perfect marriage isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be but not for the reasons that you’d think. As we delve into her past and try to figure out her present, we go deep into what made Megan the way that she was. I think aside from Rachel, Megan did the most growing throughout the story. Anna is the woman that broke up Rachel’s marriage. Or well, Rachel’s husband did but she was the other woman. She was sleeping with Rachel’s husband while he was still married to Rachel and she liked it. She liked being the other woman. She loved all of the sneaking around and shadiness of her affair with Tom so it was very hard to like her. So Megan goes missing and the mystery surrounding her disappearance was what the whole movie was about. I thought that for the most part, the movie stayed true to the book. Sure, there are some marked differences (the setting for one) but I don’t think any of that takes away from the story itself. I thought the acting was fantastic and the casting was pretty on point. To be honest, I liked the movie more than I liked the book but I don’t know if it was because I was prepared for the story while watching the movie or what but my friend didn’t like the movie, liked the book better and Brenna really liked the movie. Overall, the movie was good stuff.

My Rating

Good Stuff

16 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,