Archive for May, 2010

Announcement- Large Block O’ Reviews

Hey everyone! Just so you know once I get back to my computer on campus I’ll be posting several new reviews. I’ve finally printed off the ones I did on facebook last year, and so I’ll be copying those in. I have some projects and a paper to work on for class, so don’t expect heavy updating until around wednesday-ish, but I’ll try to give you guys at least one review a day.

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꽃보다 남자 ~Boys Over Flowers

This has to be one of my favorite shows. It is quick in the setup and developes almost every character perfectly. The acting is top of the line (it is no wonder Min-Ho Lee, the male lead, won Best New Actor for his role in this!) and the costumes and set make you wonder if they had James Cameron’s budget to film on!  

The story is introduced in part through a news clip at the beginning. We are introduced to Shinwa group, a Korean company which became the major point of the overall economy. The Korean president gave the founder permission to build an elite private school system. The school is for the richest 1% and best looking 1%. Any student who is accepted to Shinwa elementary has a free pass to Shinwa High School and university (normally in Korea you have to apply for High School as well as college). Students who graduate from Shinwa University can have their pick of any job in the country, no matter their grades.  

Jan-Di Geum, the strong female lead of the show

 

So now the main heroine of the story comes in. Jan-Di is the daughter of a family of dry-cleaners. She is delivering a uniform to a Shinwa high school student when the troubles begin. This student (whose name isn’t really important) has offended the “F4” of the school, the richest and best looking four boys. Because of this he is “red carded” which means it is open season for the students to attack him. He is beaten severely and teased, and ends up on the roof of Shinwa high, ready to jump surrounded by a large crowd of students who want to see nothing more. When Jan-Di realizes this kid is the one she has to deliver to she is determined to stop him. She is also offended that people who have it as easy as the Shinwa High students would bully for fun or be anything but happy with their school. The student jumps, and Jan-Di manages to catch him by his shirt, saving his life.  

There is a huge media uproar over this- the “commoner” who saved the rich. A series of protests start against Shinwa, who the disgruntled masses see as elitist. In order to pacify the people, the President of Shinwa accepts Jan-Di to the school as a “Scholarship Student”. Jan-Di refuses to attend, but eventually gives in because she realizes how important this is to her family. At Shinwa Jan-Di sees the F4 for the first time, bullying a girl who tried to give a cake as a gift to the leader (he takes it and shoves it in her face). She imagines standing up to them, and does not, making her feel very cowardly. She goes to swim in the school’s pool, as that is her relaxation technique she uses throughout the show. Another student comes in and befriends her.  

Jun-Pyo, leader of the F4

 

When Jan-Di and her friend are walking around campus eating ice cream, the friend falls and it accidentally ends up of Jun-Pyo’s shoes (leader of the F4 and heir to the Shinwa Group and it’s fortune, the one who shoved the cake at the girl). When Jun-Pyo demands the girl lick his shoe clean, Jan-Di looses it. She yells at him for his cruelty. He tells her to lick his shoe and all debts will be forgiven. So she does the only thing she can do- she shoves her ice cream in his face.  

Jan-Di is understandably red-carded for this by the F4. However, some of the attacks are stopped by Ji-Hoo, a silent member of the F4 whose father, the heir to Shinwa before it went to Jun-Pyo’s family, and mother were killed in a horrible car accident, which he caused when he covered his father’s eyes while driving (he was 4). Ji-Hoo sees her as interesting but noisy,as the spot she chooses to rant when upset is above his secret sleeping alcove. Jun-Pyo steps up the organized trickery in order to get Jan-Di to come to him and beg for mercy.  

Yi-Jung (left) and Won-Bin (right), the funny members of the F4

 

Also watching these events are the Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum type characters of Yi-Jung and Won-Bin, the last two members of F4 who are completely entertained by Jan-Di and Jun-Pyo’s war. Jan-Di refuses to let Jun-Pyo get to her, and he takes his tricks too far. He releases a rumor that she is pregnant with some boy from her old school. This of course ends up in the news papers (minus her name). When Jan-Di learns of this she finally goes to the F4. She yells at Jun-Pyo for starting a rumor like that about a girl who hasn’t even had her first kiss yet. She ends this with a roundhouse kick to his jaw, knocking him down, before she turns and walks out.  

Apparently that kick was a hard one, because suddenly Jun-Pyo decides she must be in love with him, and that he will keep her around for entertainment. This is probably the coolest thing that ever happened to Yi-Jung and Won-Bin, now they have a new toy!  

From here the series takes off. Jan-Di becomes the F4’s mascot, though Jun-Pyo is the only one she outright hates. He finds new inventive ways to spend time with her, like commandeering the school’s Yacht trip which was supposed to spend a month sailing through Europe and bringing it to the Korean fishing village where Jan-Di is working with her best friend Ga-Eul. He also starts assigning Yi-Jung to nab Ga-Eul as well, to make Jan-Di happier when she is taken to a private island for a paradise vacation.  

Ji-Hoo, the only character with not-awesome hair

 

Jan-Di falls in love with Ji-Hoo, the silent member of the F4. He is harboring feelings for a model friend of theirs, the only one he would talk to after his parents died and his grandfather left him. Slowly he starts to forget about the model. Ji-Hoo becomes Jun-Pyo’s rescuer, going to get Jan-Di whenever she is alone, either because of something he did or because of his evil mother (President of Shinwa, who makes it her personal mission to bankrupt Jan-Di’s family when she learns of Jun-Pyo’s feelings for her).  

The story follows Jun-Pyo as he tries to make Jan-Di fall in love with him. He is a spoiled boy, and doesn’t really know how to treat women, so he can be an ass sometimes. Also, between his mother and other jealous girls at Shinwa high there are many misunderstandings, one of which ends in Jan-Di being severely beaten by the school until Jun-Pyo stops them and takes her back to his house to clean up. Jun-Pyo’s method of buying her and her family nice things annoys Jan-Di.  

Jan-Di's best friend Ga-Eul, who aids the F4 in catching Jan-Di for various outings

 

Over the course of the first season Jan-Di falls deeply in love with Jun-Pyo, but Ji-Hoo and her also become very close. When Jun-Pyo’s father suddenly dies and he leaves for Macau to take over Shinwa and finish his father’s business there, Jan-Di waits for him devoutly. Six months pass and he has not returned or called her, so she goes to Macau herself (after saving money for a long time). Jun-Pyo no longer looks at her, and acts like she isn’t there. When the F4 arrive he treats them the same, but they force him to meet with Jan-Di. He tells her she is a stain he wishes to erase, leaving her. This is because his mother has already driven Jan-Di’s family out of Seoul to a small fishing village, and Jan-Di is holding down multiple jobs on top of school. She was also almost killed because of him, so he feels if he stays away from her she will be safe. He returns to Seoul eventually, unable to stay away from Jan-Di. He tries to win her heart again from Ji-Hoo, who has comforted her, but it is complicated when his mother arranges a forced marriage between him and another girl who makes herself Jan-Di’s friend (she’s nice, not mean). Also, Ga-Eul has fallen in love with Yi-Jung, and he is starting to fall for her.  

Bet you think you know how the story ends now, don't you?

 

The story is a love story, pure and simple. It sounds complex, but all of this is hammered out over two seasons, with the death of Jun-Pyo’s father as the divider. There is a reason this is still considered one of Korea’s most popular shows of all time. It is funny and sweet, centered around Jan-Di’s important choice: Ji-Hoo or Jun-Pyo? And the second season holds a secret that changes everything and puts the evil mother of Jun-Pyo in her place.  

I highly recommend this series. I can’t recommend it highly enough in fact. I’ve watched it two full times through! My only complaint is that the character of Won-Bin is really underdeveloped. He is always the grinning friend or the rescuer when Jan-Di is in trouble and Ji-Hoo cannot help. He acts as detective, muscle, and joker, but we don’t really see his personality until the last couple of episodes of the show. The writer develops Ji-Hoo, Jun-Pyo, and Yi-Jung perfectly through their love stories, but Won-Bin seems left out of all the fun. I would have liked to see more of him.  

Acting: 5/5
There is not a moment where this show is rough in the acting department. Every character is perfectly played out and brings from the audience the exact response the scriptwriter must have been going for.  

L-R: Ga-Eul, Yi-Jung, Ji-Hoo, Won-Bin

 

Plot: 5/5
This show has been filmed several times in Asia, and I’ve only seen this one. It is widely accepted as the best over the original Japanese version and Chinese version (called “Hana Yori Dango” and “Meteor Garden” respectively). It is a love story, but several sub-plots and adventures which take up around 3 episodes each keep the story fresh and alive.  

Note on the Title:
The original Japanese title, Hana Yori Dango, is an old expression. It means “Dumplings before Flowers”. In Japan the festival of Hanami (a festival to enjoy the blooming flowers in spring) is marked by various food vendors who set up along parks where people go to look at the new flowers. Some people rush for the food booths, ignoring the flowers around them. The title “Boys Over Flowers” is a mixture of that, in Korean to say “Dumplings over Flowers” wouldn’t have sounded so pretty, so they changed the title slightly. It holds the meaning of not seeing anything past the beauty of the members of the F4. I had to wikipedia that one ^^ It is translated to english as “Boys Over Flowers” or “Boys Before Flowers”, just so you don’t get confused.  

Min-Ho Lee accepting his award for Best New Actor (I think he's cute ^^)

 

This is the show that made the career of Min-Ho Lee (Jun-Pyo). He won Best New Actor for his role, but he was nominated along with other members of the cast. This is also (in my opinion) actor Kim Bum(Yi-Jung)’s best role. The songs are beautiful, the costumes grand, and the sets have to be the coolest things I’ve seen on TV since and before. It has all the power of a full length movie (though it is around twelve times as long). If you haven’t seen this you definately need to! I would also like to point out that since its release in January of 2009 it has remained on the top of the “Most Popular of the Week” list for dramas online.  

Show Link: Boys Over Flowers (English Subtitles)

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Tik Tok- KE$HA

Ah, the epitome of the American Slut MV. As bad as the song is (not quality, as in the content), the MV takes it and makes it worse. It definitely sends the wrong image to kids and teens, and KE$HA looks TERRIBLE in it.

Peek-a-boo from hell

Lyrics: 2/5
I don’t think the lyrics are very imaginative, but they are catchy. The chorus isn’t bad, it’s a bit repetitive, but the verses between promote drinking among other things. I really don’t have anything much to say about it. I think if you kept the chorus and wrote a new song around it you could have a really great song that can be listened to by a wider range.
Don’t stop/ make it pop/ DJ blow my speakers up/ tonight, I’mma fight/ till we see the sunlight/ tic tok/ on the clock/ but the party don’t stop no/ Don’t stop/ make it pop/ DJ blow my speakers up/ tonight, I’mm a fight/ till we see the sunlight/ tic tok/ on the clock/ but the party don’t stop no

Is this supposed to be original? It's way too cliché

Story: 0/5
The MV shows KE$HA waking up in a bathtub of some random suburban family’s house. She gets up, stumbles out of the home, then trades a bike for some kids stereo. There is a HORRENDOUSLY cliché shot of her walking holding the boom box that makes me want to vomit. Next we see her sitting against a wall with the boom box while guys try to attract her. She falls for a creepy guy with a mullet and the rest of the MV are shots of him driving and her falling at him (totally drunk), then a party shot where she gets even more drunk and is throwing herself at him. All the MV does is glorify drinking and being drunk, and it makes KE$HA look like complete trash. I don’t know if she was trying to be cool, but it is a pretty epic fail. She looks like the stereotypical trailer trash girl.

Overall: 2/5
The song is catchy, but with the MV and some of the lyrics it all just amounts to one trashy video. KE$HA has no class in this MV and is relying purely on some kind of weird alcohol-induced sex appeal.

Other Interesting Things:
There are so many old cliché shots in the video it isn’t funny. In fact, I think you could piece together the entire thing from bad 80s MVs. There is no imagination here.

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Welcome!

Thanks for visiting!

Before you browse the page there are a few pointers:

This page was mostly inspired by my Aunt, who suggested I write reviews. I used to write them in notes on Facebook, but I kind of accidentally made this blog (it was a class assignment, I made a new one with my name instead of tweetweetbang) and couldn’t figure out how to delete it, so I thought I’d get back into the spirit of reviewing.

MVs- I’m going through the Music Videos I have on my computer, so the updating is going to be kind of alphabetical for a while. Each Music Video is classified as either “Chinese Language”, “Korean”, or “English”. I like more Korean bands than Chinese and I find English MVs can be horribly dull, so Korean groups will appear most often. After each MV review I include a link to the video, and a second link (if I can find one) to the same video with english subtitles added.

Trivia- A lot of the time in Music Video posts I have a bar at the bottom that says “Other Interesting Things”. When I first hear of a band I look them up on wikipedia. That is where most of my Trivia comes from (and the topic of my first rant). So if any of the explanations sound a little researched, it’s because they were. I really like knowing the story behind a Music Video, any controversy or stories. If I overload you with trivia it is because I find stuff like that fascinating, how people react to celebrities. I’m working on a Rant about that, but it might be too long, the relationship is very strange…

Books- I won’t review a book until after I’ve read it, so Books may be the least updated section (they take longer to read). I can always recommend authors, and sometimes I may do a post just featuring a single author or series of theirs.

Movies- This category should be the second most updated (maybe Rants beats it). I’m a film major, and so movies are important for me to study. I usually rate the acting and directing separately, because that it how I see it most of the time. I’ll also rate any categories where the movie stood out, be it in a good way or bad way.

Television- This will be one of those rarely updated topics, just because I have to watch the show first. For example, I really want to review “Queen Seon Duk”, a Korean drama, but it is a VERY long series and I’m still in the beginning of it, so I have to be patient until I’ve finished the whole thing. If I review the first season of a show, don’t expect a Season 2 review immediately after, it could take some time.

Rants- I have opinions too! The Rant section is actually where you’ll find the most wikipedia-researched topics (For example, Rant #1). The rants follow a theme: when I feel like writing them. If during a review I feel strongly about a point or issue, I’ll put it in the Rant section. And I tend to put lots of pictures, just because I like pictures, don’t you?

Oh- and I’m not the best speller in the world. Sometimes I even make up my own words. DON’T LEAVE COMMENTS CORRECTING MY SPELLING OR GRAMMAR! I don’t want to see it. I spell check my posts before I send them out, but if there is a mistake I miss, I just don’t care.

And finally- please feel free to argue with me. As long as you use COMPLETE SENTENCES I would love to hear what you have to say, but no profanity please! If you don’t have a wordpress blog, you can always just give them your e-mail address and post a comment. Or you can use a fake name and e-mail address and still post a comment (My personal favorite name when it is asked by a site is “Augusta Schlendorf”, because it is silly and funny to say).

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Twilight/New Moon

"If you can live forever, what do you live for?" Worst. Tagline. Ever.

I know there is a huge anti-fan vs fan war going on surrounding this series- so I think instead of doing a “Twilight” and a “New Moon” review, I’ll lump it all in together in here. Since they were a series and the cast didn’t change, I think the quality remains the same.

Let me just state my place before you read on. I am not with the Twilight anti-fans, nor am I with the fans. I’m comfortably standing on the “vs” in that battle. I think the book was a little overwritten, but a good read if you want something simple. I think the movie would have been good if they had a better quality of work from their actors, but I think my issues with the film lie squarely with the director and visual effects supervisor.

That being said- Twilight (meaning the series, not just the first movie) was a disappointment. The acting was severely lacking from the leads, and it isn’t good when the extras do better than everyone else there. I don’t mind the script. I fully understand that it had to be changed to fit into the film, so I’m not going to listen to complaints about how it didn’t match the book. Get over it.

Acting: 2/5
Here is where they get burned: Robert Pattinson is, at best, the quirky friend who comes in and leaves with less than 10 minutes of face time the whole movie. That is where his talent level lies, that is where he should be kept. In Harry Potter he was perfect- he appeared when needed and died without fuss. Twilight was not a good move. Robert Pattinson doesn’t have the ability to make the audience care about his character at all long term, and he can’t give any depth to the performance.

He's trying way too hard, and she's not even on set

Kristen Stewart really disappoints me in the Twilight movies. She was such a great actress, I’ve seen her in movies and I always liked her. She brought depth to the characters and worked hard for them. But in Twilight she has no personality. She is a flat character with no quality and that kind of performance puts her beneath Pattinson on the list of actors. Look, I can imitate her character with text: -_- frighteningly similar, huh?

This deserves it’s own paragraph. Taylor Lautner. I had absolutely NO hope for this kid, coming from such gripping epics as “Shark Boy and Lava Girl”, but he surprised me. Other than the extras he’s the only actor who shows up for filming mentally as well as physically (and kudos to him for the abs!). I don’t like his character, much too whiny and needy, but his acting earns full points in my book. Hopefully he’ll manage to have a career after this series is finally over.

I blame you. Fail.

Directing: 0/5
There is more to directing than point and shoot, right? Wrong, at least if you are Catherine Hardwicke. I really hope the series picks up now that she’s gone. I blame this director for the terrible acting from Stewart. The overall quality of this movie is equal to that of a student production or a cheap indy film. Hardwicke had no imagination and her movie reflects that.

Visual Directing: -5/5
I have to pick on this guy. It was his job to keep something like the meadow scene with the GLITTER from happening. I was totally willing to forgive the crappy acting until that scene. As my friend said: It looked like they painted Pattinson with gay stripper glitter (Not sure how he knows what they would look like…). It was a HORRIBLE shot that killed the movie for me.

So overall I think this movie is never going to break away from being popular with 12-13 year olds. But it seems to have such an annoyingly strong hold over them that I’m sure they’ll get through the last two movies (or three, there is apparently talk of splitting one) without much strain. I just hope this new director keeps a lot of the crap down.

Just look at the bright side: When they remake this movie in 10 years the movie might actually be GOOD (I know, shocking right?).

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Bolt

Such a promising trailer, such a bad movie. “Bolt” proves that Disney really shouldn’t do anything without the consent of Pixar (Though now that the head of Pixar is in control of Disney maybe they’ll fix this little issue). A glorified “Homeward Bound” remake, the only saving point of the movie is the overly enthusiastic Rino the Hamster. But even he can only carry the movie so far. 

Children will love this film, but those of us who have been around for 13+ years know the story backwards, forwards, and upside down: annoying dog runs away, dog learns lesson, dog makes friends, dog goes home, happy-happy joy-joy. It would be a better DVD-release movie than a theatre movie. 

All in all, “Bolt” isn’t something I would recommend paying money to see (unless you have children). It really isn’t worth the money. I recommend waiting until it is on Disney Channel. Or just watch “Homeward Bound”, same story, more entertaining. 

Acting: 2/5
Like I said, Rino the Hamster is the only saving point in this. I think the actress who played the cat did a pretty good job, but her character was just far too underwritten. And don’t get me started on what idiot thought it would be a good move to hire Miley Cyrus. 

"Mommy, is it done yet?", "No Timmy, this is the beginning.", "Aw, damn."

 

Plot: 1/5
They loose major points for lack of originality. Disney seems to be working hard to get back to their roots, and more power to them for that, but they just fell flat on their faces here. 

It isn’t a horrendous movie, it’s just dull and overdone. We’ve all heard this story before, and Bolt brought nothing new to the table.

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Jumper

Gather round little children and I will tell you the tale of~

ok, I’m bored. This movie was HORRIBLE!!!

First I shall state an irrefutable fact: Hayden Christensen CANNOT and NEVER COULD act. Or at least that isn’t what he shows you on the screen. I have enough to say about this to make a Rant on the topic, and I think I will (Check out “Rant #3- Hayden Christensen”).

Jumper is just as bad as everyone said it was, which is why personally I’m glad I didn’t pay for it (Library rental). The storyline is simple and repetitive, with no plot to speak of.

Acting: 0/5
They chose a relatively new and young cast, purely for the looks rather than the talent. Watching a musical put on by 3rd graders isn’t as painful as sitting through this movie (and trust me, I’ve done that recently enough). The high point in the acting is when Kristen Stewart appears on screen, and she just answers a door, nothing else. Whoever played the mother of Christensen’s character sucked to an unusual degree (I don’t even want to look up that casting fact, because it would mean going to the movie’s page). The kid who played the young version of Christensen’s character was pretty good, but that’s where the acting talent stops: Little Christensen and the girl who answered the door.

Plot: -5/5
I would only recommend seeing this movie if you were dying of boredom and wanted some help to the grave. They took half an hour plot and stretched it beyond belief, throwing in some ill-explained characters and throwing crap at the end to make it passable. Here is my recommendation: GIVE UP SOME SPECIAL EFFECTS AND BUY A SCRIPT!!!!

Special Effects: 5/5
If you take the effects and stamp out the rest of that horrible mind-rape of a movie you have to admit they were cool. There is one shot where an entire top half of a building is transported away, and the cut from that was excellent. Now if only they could do something about that cockroach of an actor in the shot…

I’m not even going to bother putting pictures with this, since for the Rant I’ll have to look up pictures of that hack Christensen. Just know that this movie isn’t even to be watched if you want to see how a movie can be as badly reviewed as this. Curiosity is no excuse for subjecting yourself to this horrible movie. Go watch dog poo decompose, it’s probably more interesting (and the poo has to be more talented).

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