phd_travel

IMDb member since December 2009
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    IMDb Member
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Reviews

Sookmyeong
(2008)

How not to make an action movie
Two popular K drama actors cannot save this overcrowded and tiring gangster movie. The fight scenes have too many people in them. Headache inducing. Don't feel for the characters at all. The bond should have been established in the beginning instead of a poignant flash back at the end. The actors act well enough. Song Seung Heon looks sleazy enough with a moustache for the gangster role. Kim Sang Woo of Stairway to Heaven plays the other gangster.

U-neun nam-ja
(2014)

Messy action and unsympathetic characters
Usually there is some sympathy for the characters in these action movies but here don't feel for the assassin or the woman. Kim Min Hee has an irritating expression on her face. The fighting sequences to the end are just too much. The ending is irritating as well. Not as good as Man from Nowhere.

Yeokmo - Banranui Sidae
(2017)

Jung Hae In as you have never seen him before
For those who are used to the sweet smiling Jung Hae In of Something in the Rain and other romantic dramas, this period costume action movie will come as an eye opener. Although he is recognizable it's such a differnet type of role. Made in 2017 this is a one man against the odds type sword fighting action movie. A soldier / prison guard single handedly takes on a rebellion that leads from the prison to the palace. Too many impossible battles take place. Jung is an unlikely choice not being the usual look or type for this kind of movie. But his underdog appearance is part of the charm and uniqueness of the movie. One slim guy can get so many bad guys. The plot isn't too complicated but some scenes don't flow well to another and the viewer can get lost momentarily. It's utlimately not a terribly good movie. Mainly for Jung's fans.

Cha-i-na-ta-un
(2015)

Violent scary and very involving
This well directed thriller gets the viewer involved in the characters. It doesnt matter so much that Kim Go Eun is not expressive. There is a lot of violence. Park Bo Gum provides the brief romantic interest. That is until the violence starts. Maybe too much killing. Must almost everyone die? Still it is quite involving. The ending doesn't make much sense.

Beautiful Days
(2018)

Sad story
Surprisingly involving. Wonder what happens to N Korean defectors who run over to China and S Korea? This is a not so happy story about some defectors. For reasons that will be revealed later. Things start off with a teen going to S Korea to see his mother who is there now. Can't they make phone calls from China to S Korea? He's resentful but things get interesting and quite sad when the back story is revealed from the mother and then the father's point of view.

Jang Dong Yoon is quite a versatile actor. The more distinctive faces like SJK or LMN or PBG would not have been right for a role like this. Lee Na Young looks quite downtrodden. The ending isn't too sad though after all that's happened before. But would have liked a bit more explanation about what happened during those 5 years.

Seoyang-goldong-yanggwajajeom Aentikeu
(2008)

Funny in parts
Funny in parts with a subversive undertone and surprisingly risque gay jokes by Korean comedy standards.

There is a added subplot of a serial killer that ties up. The cakes are pretty.

Chance to see subsequently famous actors Yoo Ah In and Ju Ji Hoon in earlier roles.

Gae-in-eui chwi-hyang
(2010)

One of the better rom com dramas
Lee Min Ho and Son Ye Jin are so good at acting in love that the chemistry is one of the best in all of the rom com K dramas. There is a top 10 kiss scene in episode 10. Son Ye Jin is great at acting goofy in this show. The comedy is quite funny with all the gay jokes and innuendo. But the obstacles dramatic part before the end is slightly draggy but at least there is a nice conclusion.

The soundtrack is nice. Like a Fool is outstanding.

One of the better rom com dramas.

Nobeureshing
(2013)

Painful overacting
This comedy isn't funny and the melodrama feels forced. The overacting is terrible. Don't bother.

Calla
(1999)

Confusing
Time travel movies need to make some sense. This one doesn't. How could he love someone that much given the little contact they had. The twist is the only redeeming factor. Shows it's not worth it to travel in time and get all beat up. Don't bother even for Song Seung Heon fans.

Geurae, Geureongeoya
(2016)

What a gem - many wonderful performances and wise human insights
This is an amazing and moving show about a tight knit family of 3 generations. 54 episodes may seem daunting. But rest assured it is well written and enjoyable throughout. Kim Soo Hyun the writer - not the actor put so many wonderful human insights into this mutli generational drama that many people will recognize some family members among them. Look out for the tactless grand aunt and the abrasive son. There are some stellar performances here. A cheerful Jung Hae In plays one of the grandchildren. There is a similarity with "Something in the Rain" which came 2 years later. Quite an adorable love story. Seo Ji Hye looks more beautiful than in any other show I have seen her in. She plays a widowed grandchild in law of the family. She gives a moving performance. The various plot lines are carefully connected and quite laugh out loud funny at times especially the spoiled grand daughter in law who learns a lot from the family. The serious parts centering around the daughter and her husband are quite dramatic without being melodramatic. The main character is the daughter in law who many drama fans will find familiar. Going through menopause and dealing with her kids problems is quite illuminating. Felt like there were answers to some questions on life are in this show.

Ham-jeong
(2015)

Not convincing
The premise has some potential but it relies on the stupidity of the couple. There is violence and rape. Just can't buy Ma as the bad guy. He is the hero too often. The animals and food are the grossest thing. Far fetched twist. Not good.

Love Under the Olive Tree
(2020)

Dull and familiar
This was an unnecessary movie that just repeats the theme of other Hallmark movies in an uninteresting way. Don't bother. The 2 leads seem ill at ease. Olive oil is not the most interesting subject.

American Woman
(2018)

Unlikable main characters depressing story
Why make beautiful actresses play trash? Not convincing as such trash. She looks middle class. The knocked up thing and the swearing feels contrived. Sienna Miller acts well enough. Her character is so unlikeable as she raises her missing daughter's kid. There is a fairly moving scene when she brings the kid to see his father. Vaguely want to see what happened to her daughter. Also things get better when Aaron Paul enters the scene. But everything that can go wrong goes wrong. Depressing story without much entertainment value. Don't get why it was made.

Psycho Yoga Instructor
(2020)

No thriller at all
The new Lifetime thrillers have been getting less thrilling. Hardly any thing happens. A bit of stalkerish behaviour and then a brief confrontation and it is all over. A sleazy looking yoga teacher gets obsessed with an unhappy woman. Same old. Don't bother.

Minami Shineyo
(2009)

Cute and adorable but very juvenile
This show is ideal for a teenage mentality. A girl loved by all the boys in a boy band. Park Shin Hye is cute and adorable beyond any of her other roles. Jang Guen Suk sulks and scowls too much. Plus there is pig rabbit. The story is funny surprisingly so. The imagined scenes are hilarious. But the drama parts are tiresome especially towards the end. Still it is cute.

Seu-pa-i
(2013)

Funny
The main joke about the spy and his unknowing wife does manage to carry this show through the movie. There is enough fun action in Thailand and Korea to sustain the story. Good action in the restaurant. The casting is good. Sol Kyung-gu acts well as the spy. Daniel Henney does sleazy enough as the villain and Moon So-ri is not annoying as the wife. This could have been painful or unfunny in other hands but here it was enjoyable and feel good.

Joahamyeon Ullineun
(2019)

Felt off due to unconvincing premise
Still don't get the way the app works. After watching the whole series. The angst and behaviour of the characters reminds of a Hollywood teen drama that takes itself too seriously. Netflix might have given this nice production values like sets and cinematography but the story isn't a step forward. Also in one season of 8 episodes there isn't a lot of story. Who cam be bothered to wait months for the next season. Better with the old days where everything was over in one shot of 16 episodes. The cast: Kim So Hyun is more of a secondary lead looks wise than a main romantic lead. Not convincing that so many people loved her so much. Song Kang isn't as hot as the character requires. A tad silly looking. Was rooting more for Jung Ga Ram's character. his hairstyle was bad as a student.

1%ui Eoddungut
(2016)

Enjoyable light hearted series
Enjoyable light hearted and complete rom com series. This show benefits from short episodes usually less than 40 minutes so it doesn't get too draggy like some shows. Ha Seok Jin plays an abrasive heir who has to date a girl that his grand father picked. Unlike other cliched melodramas the grandfather picked her because she is good hearted not because she is rich. The actress Jeon So Min isn't that pretty but she is sweet enough and not annoying. The dialog is quite funny. For a Korean rom com there is quite a lot of kissing. But of course not much more. The OST isn't memorable. Some of the fashion is laughable.

Nuga geunyeo-wa jasseulkka?
(2006)

Crude funny silly
This movie about a hot substitute teacher in a boys school is crude but funny in parts. The cast tries hard given the material. What is surprising here is the innuendo and crudeness usually not found in Korean comedies. Looks like they did a risque American Pie level crude comedy. Probably too incorrect for today.

The Dude in Me
(2019)

Very enjoyable
The understated way the story unfolds and the pacing make this an enjoyable and funny movie. Body switch movies have been done many times but they are often slapstick or painful at times. This manages to avoid that. The touching back story and how both their lives improve is meaningful. Both the actors do a good job when in the other person's body. It's not a laugh a minute but there are quite a few laugh out loud moments and lots of feel good moments exciting fighting and well handled complex relationships between the parties.

Sangeo
(2013)

Best revenge drama out there
There are many revenge K dramas out there. Shark is the best of the ones. The.others like "Innocent Man" run out of steam early on. Green Rose was okay but simple and not that gripping. Shark is exciting from beginning to end and each episode has something to keep you watching. The dialog is quite good too. The series starts off strong with a good young cast. The actress Kyung Soo-jin who plays Son Ye Jin as a teenager looks a lot like SYJ. The best match between the older and younger versions of a character I have ever seen. When he comes back from the dead it's quite interesting as he seems to be a not a loser type hero and quite ahead of the game. Son Ye Jin makes this show watchable with her intelligent convincing performance. Also you can believe that people would love her so much because she is so beautiful. Kim Nam Gil seems a bit inexpressive as the hero. Maybe that was intentional. The story is involving and well crafted. Some moments are frustrating when they don't share information. The great secret of the older generation is quite epic feeling with the link to historical events like the Korean Independence Movement and the Gwangju massacre. Another well flushed out aspect is the role of the patient and trusting husband played well by Ha Seok Jin. One of the few innocent characters in the movie.

The ending is unsatisfying. Funnily didn't feel to bad that he died. Although he deserved some justice he wasn't a likeable character. Was rooting more for her to go back to her husband. Didn't like them not showing whether her husband would accept her back but I guess it's implied.

Worth watching. The 20 episodes just sped by.

Choi-jong-byeong-gi hwal
(2011)

Exciting adventure
Wow this movie is a cut above the other costume adventure Korean movies. There is a good pace and continuous variety of action. From the invasion by the Manchus to the rescue of the girl from the camp to the crossing of the river there is no let up in the excitement. The arrow is made to be as thrilling a weapon as can be here. It has the sniper excitement of Enemy at the Gates and the thrill of the chase of Last of the Mohicans. Unlike some other costume movies it doesn't drag at all. Who knew Park Hae Il could be a good action hero. Liked the other cast like Moon Chae Won in her early role and Kim Mu Yeol as her husband.

A must watch even if you aren't usually into period action.

Gut-ba-i Mi-seu-teo Beul-lak
(2016)

Good cast but ran out of story after about half way through
The cast is appealing but the story isn't enough for 20 episodes. Moon Chae Won is sweet and her face is expressive. Lee Jin Wook looks the part and acts goofy sometimes. Kim Kang Woo is a good villain but the script makes him act the same way over and over again. The initial setup of the story in Thailand is quite exciting at least for the first third of the series. But back in Korea there just isn't enough story. The fight over the company is boring and the back and forth with the villains is just so repetitive. About 10-12 episodes would have been enough. Not worth the effort.

Love in Store
(2020)

Attractive and likeable cast so so story
The two leads Alexandra Breckenridge and Robert Buckley are likeable and attractive. They play colleagues on a TV show. After she is dumped she starts bonding with him. There is some rather boring stuff about hosting a show together. The story isn't interesting.

She deserves more roles on TV.

The Captive Nanny
(2020)

Too absurd
There have been a few of these absurd crazy employer trapping a nanny shows. Also involving a crazy fan of a star. Don't get the motivation for the wacko.

It is not interesting. Don't bother.

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