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Review of South Korean Movies and TV Shows

Train TV Show Review

Train is a very impressive TV show from South Korea about an interdimensional detective trying to solve a 12-year-old murder case.

Storyline

TrainThis is a basic summary of the show:

“Haunted by the thought that his drunkard father killed another man before also dying on the same day and not paying for his crime, Seo Do Won lives his life trying to secretly repay Han Seo Kyung for his father’s sin while hiding the truth. He is now a detective who overworks to escape his guilt, and she is a prosecutor who is still looking for her father’s killer.”

It is so much more than that and I don’t want to give away the plot too much, but there is a mysterious train that travels to an extraordinary place.

Crew

I only recognized one supporting actor in this show, the main actors I hadn’t heard of. They all did an amazing job, most of them played two different characters.  The main actors were:

  • Yoon Shi Yoon (윤시윤) who played the central character Seo Do Won.
  • Kyung Soo Jin (경수진) played Han Seo Kyung.

The actors I had heard of was Kim Dong Young. In Train he played Kim Jin Woo, a detective, but also saw him in Let’s Eat season 3.

Review

The drama was more gritty than many we have seen from South Korea tv. The cinematography was very good too as it had to reflect a darker image. The Train special effects were ok but they probably could have thought that out a bit more. The general storyline was well planned, it was very fast-paced and kept everyone on the edge of the seat. The part of the story where the train took one person to a mysterious place was good but the missing part of the script was what happened to the other passengers. Some parts of the story weren’t well planned where you were kind of left guessing what just happened. Usually, in Korean dramas there is a lot of romance, that wasn’t central to the script in Train.

Could there be a season 2? Probably not, seems the story had more or less been wrapped up but I guess there would be potential for something else. So, I would rate this 4.5/5, the missing point is for the little oddities in the continuity that they could have cleaned up pretty easily.

Trailer

2021-09-21T02:36:09+00:006 December 2020|Review South Korea|

My Paparotti Film Review

My Paparotti is a 2013 South Korean film based on the true story of an Opera singer who was involved in gangs. I’ve been wanting to watch this film for a long time and this past weekend finally found the time to enjoy it.

Storyline

During his youth, Kim Ho-Joong was involved in gangs but thanks to his grandmother, who looked after him, developed a deep interest and talent in Opera music. The film is about his struggle to choose between gang life or receive an education to take him to the heights of fame in the Opera world assisted by his eccentric teacher.

Actors

There were two main actors in the cast who played their roles brilliantly.

  • Lee Je Hoon (이제훈) played Jang Ho. He was born in 1984 and already has an impressive movie career. I hadn’t seen any of his work before but he clearly put a lot of effort into this important role.
  • Han Seok Kyu (한석규) played the teacher Sang Jin, they couldn’t have chosen a better actor for this role who is known to have a very unique style.

Review

As usual, the film had an average rating on Internet Movie Database, however, on Asian sites it was rated much higher. I am in agreement with the Asian sites.

There was a great mix of humour, drama and action that kept me engaged throughout the film. The acting was really good, excellent chemistry between the main cast, they did an excellent job with the roles they had. It was very believable that Lee Je Hoon was singing but obviously wasn’t. It was definetly the actors that made this film so believeable.

I am not sure how close the film was to the true story of Kim Ho-Joong but it did interest me to find out more about the singer, listen to his songs, and wonder what he is working on now. Recent “gossip press” about him was disappointing and diverted my attention away from it, I just want to remember the positives.

Absolutely a 5/5 for the movie, a must watch.

Trailer

The Real Kim Ho-Joong

This is a video of the real Kim Ho-Joong, sharing his talent on stage. There are many videos on YouTube worth discovering and enjoying.

2021-09-21T02:38:27+00:0014 October 2020|Review South Korea|

The Bros Review

The BrosThe Bros is a South Korean film released in 2017 which I wanted to see as it starred Lee Dong Hwi who played Mr Moon from Pegasus Market, which I enjoyed very much.

Storyline

Two brothers, leading their own lives, come back together after they hear the passing of their Father and are determined to find a priceless heirloom. On their way to the Father’s home they have an argument in their car which leads to knocking over a mysterious female named Aurora.

Review

I would say the story is rather “quirky” and the sense of humour seemed a bit odd in places some of which I didn’t understand. There were two major twists in the story which I wasn’t expecting at all and it turned the film into a completely different direction, not just being a comedy but touching the grounds of a fantasy. It wasn’t comedy from start to finish, there were touching scenes at the end.

The acting by all the cast was good, I’m not sure if they were trying their best to save a fairly bad drama or just being professional as they could be. They all did a good job but wasn’t enough to save the script.

I see on other sites it did receive a positive review with a score in the region of 7.1, so not too bad. Not in the top list of Asian movies we have seen.

Where to See It

The movie is on Netflix but we saw it via another Asian online service.

Score Out of 5:

2021-09-21T02:44:46+00:0015 May 2020|Review South Korea|

Pegasus Market Review

Pegasus MarketPegasus Market is a South Korean TV show made by tvN which aired between 20 Sep thru 6 Dec 2019. Excluding the advertising breaks the length of each episode was about 1 hour 5 minutes.

The Story

A shabby supermarket where employees normally go to if they have misbehaved and as seen as their next step to being fired. The manager, Moon Suk Goo, continues to make the store a success but a new Director arrives, demoted from headquarters, intend on destroying it along with the whole corporation.  Luckily, the Director continues to experience failures where each opportunity to destroy the place ends up in being a huge success. To try and make matters worse the Director hires many misfits who turn out to be really appreciative of the job and throw themselves into their career to ensure success for the company.

The Cast

What an amazing cast, I had never heard of these actors before but each of them was so perfect for the role especially the Director and Manager.

Kim Byung Chul played Jung Bok Dong, the Director. He is a character actor with a long successful career and amazingly talented. His character went from serious to hilarious to dancing the next, I can’t imagine anyone else who could handle this role. I must find out what other shows he is in.

Lee Dong Hwi plays Moon Suk Goo, the long-suffering Manager. Also, a very good performance calling for a variety of skills. Towards the second half of the season there is a twist in the story for Mr Moon calling for a very emotional performance and this was one of the most memorable of any South Korean drama’s I have seen.

All the cast were brilliant.

Review

Anything can happen in Pegasus Market, and it did, each episode continued to entertain from start to finish. I was so looking forward to seeing this show and it felt it was made especially for my taste.

It had a good consistent story line throughout the series keeping the viewers hooked on what might happen next. Each character was lovable in the own way, there wasn’t anyone I really disliked, even those playing the evil people. From the drama one minute, to humour the next, and then to a scene where you would need several boxes of tissues to get through it.

I would absolutely recommend this show, it’s in my top South Korean drama’s list along with Rooftop Prince and Circle.

2021-09-21T02:44:29+00:0012 May 2020|Review South Korea|

My Neighbor Charles

My Neighbor CharlesOne of my favourite TV programs from South Korea is “My Neighbor Charles”.

Currently, there is a lot of negativity towards immigrants that I have seen and heard particularly from the United States, this is due to the fear mongering from the current administration there. It is extremely refreshing to have such positive and constructive views of immigrants in this weekly reality TV show.

Every week the program explores the life of immigrants who have moved to South Korea.  A camera crew following the guests round for 2 weeks to learn about their new day-to-day life. They then go into a sit-down studio to discuss their life with four regular hosts.

Most of the guests have really inspiring stories of how successful they have been since landing in South Korea and how they have fit in with society. From the show, locals seem very welcoming to new visitors and keen to learn about new cultures.  The most rewarding part of immigration is that culture arrives in your neighbourhood and can learn many things from the people who have settled there. If only this happened everywhere.

Most of the episodes are placed on YouTube by the broadcaster the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS).

2021-09-21T02:51:40+00:0011 January 2019|Review South Korea|