Eversky.org A Dose of Asian Pop Culture & Entertainment

15Jan/080

Jenny, Juno (2005)

Jenny, Juno

A.K.A.: Jeni Juno
Korean Title: 제니, 주노
Vietnamese Title: An Com Truoc Keng
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama
Starring: Park Min-Ji, Kim Hye-Sung
Screenwriter: Kim Ho-Joon
Director: Kim Ho-Joon
MPAA: PG

Synopsis
The plot centers around the relationship of a 15-year-old couple, Jenny (Park Min-ji) and Juno (Kim Hye-sung), who meet in school. When Jenny discovers that she is pregnant, she and Juno decide against having an abortion, opting for parenthood instead. They try to conceal the pregnancy from their families for as long as possible, but the truth is revealed eventually, and their parents do not approve.
Source: Wikipedia

Rating: B (Wonderful)
Rewatch Factor: High
Comment: Some people have commented on the similarities between this movie and the new American movie "Juno", and I certainly can understand why because throughout watching "Juno" I can't help but thought of this movie, "Jenny, Juno". However, I will refrain on commenting about the similarities between two movies and will only focus on this movie.
Prior to watching "Jenny, Juno", I have heard some criticis raised concerns about this movie portraying teen pregnancy in a sugary sweet light and not very realistic. Those are very valid concerns, and I do not disagree with them. However, I believe because this movie is sweet and does not neccessarily reflects the reality of teen pregnancy which make it so unique and entertaining to watch. I am not sure about other people, but for me I really have seen enough films about the depressing reality of teen pregnancy that it does not excite me to see another one. This movie is unlike many others movies that I have seen about teen pregnancy, in that, I still felt good after I am done watching the movie. Park Min-Ji and Kim Hye-Sung is absolutely adorable playing as the two innocent teens who have to learn to face the consequences (that they are not ready to face) for the decision they made one faithful day. This movie has a nice underlining message about taking responsibility--when it comes to accepting responsibility, anyone can do it. Overall, if you are willing to suspend reality for about 1 hour and 40-something minutes then you will certainly enjoy this movie.

8Jan/080

The Eye 10 (2005)

The Eye 10

A.K.A.: The Eye Infinity
Chinese Title: Gin Gwai 10
Vietnamese Title: Con Mat Am Duong 10
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Starring: Bo-lin Chen, Yu Gu, Bongkoj Khongmalai, Isabella Leong, Ray MacDonald, Kate Yeung
Screenwriters: The Pang Brothers
Directors: The Pang Brothers
MPAA: PG-13

Synopsis
Though the numeral given in the title is 10, this is not an indicator of chronology. The third in a series by the Pang Brothers, film takes place after the events of The Eye and The Eye 2, though probably not much further in time. It chronicles the tale of five teenagers who read from a book titled The Ten Encounters, which details 10 different methods for seeing the dead. Hence, the 10 in the title.
Source: Wikipedia

Rating: D- (Very Bad)
Scare Factor: 1 (Hardly Scary)
Rewatch Factor: Very Low
Comment: A visitor have once asked me through e-mail regarding why is it that most of the movie and drama reviews I wrote received good ratings--does it mean that I like most things I seen? Not true, I actually don't like a lot of movies and dramas, but I just don't write reviews about them because I lacked the motivation and interest to even mention them.

However, I have a lot of motivation to write review for this film. Not because it is good, but on the contrary because it is so bad. I started to watch this movie because I like the horror genre and I am also familiar with the Pang Brothers' previous works. Unfortunately, this movie is so far from my expectation that it didn't even registered in my prepare-for-the-worst radar--I simply didn't expect the film to be this bad. So in case this review turns into a rant, I just want to summarize a few things that make this movie unbearable to watch for me. First, it is not even remotely scary--all it did was put me to sleep (literally). Second, the film tried too hard to be hip and different by combining horror with comedy. Needless to say, it failed miserably. While it is not scary, I will admit that it is funny, in a lame joke sense. Starting from the first 15 minutes of the movie and onward, I was expecting for the Pang Brothers to jump out, pull an "Ashton Kutcher" and say "You've Been Punked!"

Another thing that was unbearable for me was the music, music suppose to enhance the mood of the viewers and not destroyed them. Unfortunately, some of the music selection was wrongly selected and wrongly placed in this film causing major distraction and annoyance for me. Finally, what killed this movie for me was the plot (or lacked thereof) and ultimately the bad actings. I don't expect any award-winning acting to occur in a horror/comedy film, but it at least has to be somewhat decent. However, the actors and actresses in this film can't even delivered an ounce of horror or humor--the whole time I was watching the movie I was waiting for all of the characters to die so that I don't have to watch them act.

I don't know what the Pang Brothers drank/smoke while they wrote and directed this movie, but I'm pretty sure it is something questionable. In short, if you don't want to kill your brain cells or yourself for that matter then don't bother watching this movie. However, if you have already seen this movie, and like me have a hard time accepting or admitting that you actually watched this movie then feel free to contact me as to how you can join the group "The Eye 10 Anonymous".

24Jun/070

The Myth (2005)

The Myth

Chinese Title: 神话 (Shenhua)
Genre: Drama, Period, Romance
Starring: Jackie Chan, Kim Hee Sun, Tony Leung
Screenwriter: Stanley Tong
Director: Stanley Tong
MPAA: R

Synopsis: Jack (Jackie Chan) often dreams that he is an ancient Qin dynasty General rescuing a princess from danger. At first, he thought that these were simply dreams from his imagination. However, on his expedition to India with his best friend Tony in order to find rare materials for research, he encountered a painting of the princess in his dream inside a tomb. He ultimately realizes that his dream may be real after all, and that his dreams might be fragments of his past life, and begins to find the answer behind those recurring dreams.
Source: Eversky.org

Rating: A (Excellent)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: The Myth is one of those rare epic films that ties past to present together so nicely. Throughout the film, the transition between present and past are done nicely. At first, the viewer may be taken aback at these sudden transitions, but the viewer will be able to follow through the movie with ease. The idea behind the movie is original in the sense that plays on real history and weaves a story from there. The fighting scenes were especially choreographed well, and that is one of the highlights of the movie. Viewers will find themselves appreciating the bit of romance portrayed in the movie, one that can never come to fruition however. The ending in the movie may seem like it's lacking since the beginning and the middle were so great, but if a person thinks about, the ending was suitable and reasonable for such a movie. There were also minor details in the movie that a person should be aware of because they simply add more to beauty of the movie and its epic storyline. I personally feel that this is an excellent movie with a suitable ending. My only warning for people who plans to watch this movie, is that the ending might not be what they expect it to be.

8Mar/070

Rampo Noir (2005)

Rampo Noir

Japanese Title: 乱歩地獄 (Ranpo Jigoku)
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Surreal
Starring: Asano Tadanobu, Narimiya Hiroki, Matsuda Ryuhei
Screenwriters: Akio Satsukawa (story "Kagami jigoku"), Atsushi Kaneko (story "Mushi"), Shiro Yumeno (story "Imomushi"), Suguru Takeuchi (story "Kasei no unga")
Directors: Akio Jissoji (story "Kagami jigoku"), Atsushi Kaneko (story "Mushi"), Hisayasu Sato (story "Imomushi"), Suguru Takeuchi (story "Kasei no unga")
MPAA: NC-17

Synopsis
Rampo Noir is a movie anthology comprising of four stories by Hirai Tarou--better known under the pen name Edogawa Ranpo. The first story "Mars' Canal" follows a naked man (Asano Tadanobu) standing at the edge of a swamp in a depressing landscape. He sees a reflection of a figure in the lake, reminding him of his lover, and he reminisce his last encounter with her. The second story "Mirror Hell" follows a detective trying to uncover a case where women end up dead, their face melted and skull burnt. The women all have a connection with Toru (Narimiya Hiroki) who has an obsession with making the ultimate mirror--a project that threatens to drive him insane. The third story "Catepillar" follows a veteran who returned from war a hero, but he has lost all of his limbs and the ability to speak or hear. His wife dutifully cares for him but is growning bored of the task, and begins to torture her husband. Artist Hirai Taro (Matsuda Ryuhei) spies on the couple. At the same time, Detective Akechi (Asano Tadanobu) receives a message from The Man with 20 Faces which links to the couple. The last story "Crawling Bugs" follows the pretty actress who meets with her lover every night at the usual place. Her driver, Masaki Aizo (Asano Tadanobu), has an obsession with her. It all becomes too much for him to watch her from afar and he begins to plot a plan to make her his forever.
Source: Eversky.org

Rating: A+ (Masterpiece)
Rewatch Factor: High
Comment: This is one of the best and beautiful Japanese horror film ever. Unlike other horror movies with usually involves a psycho serial killer, this movie focuses on something more horrifying: human nature. The stories all have some similaries to the writings of Edgar Allen Poe, which are gruesome, terrifying, and surprising. Each story in this anthology has one thing in common: they focus on the depths of the human mind, its limits, and its insanity. The violence in this movie isn't physical, but the presentation of some of the scenes is just horrifying and hard to digest. Although a viewer doesn't technically see in the movie, but the movie causes the viewer to imagine it and the human imagination is a powerful thing. Also, this movie does have sex in it but it's not the romantic sex a person would see in love movies. The sex is rather...mature and definitely NOT for people under 18. This movie is just excellent with the great storyline and interesting (and I do mean interesting!) characters. Each story wraps in a jaw-dropping ending, which leaves the viewer daze for a good 5 minutes. Overall, Rampo Noir is one of the movies everybody need to watch more than once. There really isn't any other movie like Rampo Noir. It deserves its own category.

23Dec/061

The King and the Clown (2005)

The King and the Clown

A.K.A.: The King's Man
Korean Title: 왕의 남자 (Wang-ui Namja)
Vietnamese Titles: Tro Dua Tri Quoc, Nha Vua Va Ten He
Genre: Drama, Period, Homosexual, Comedy
Starring: Gam Woo Seong, Lee Jun Ki, Jeong Jin Young, Kang Seong Yeon
Screenwriters: Choi Seok-Hwan and Kim Tae-Wung
Director: Lee Jun-Ik
MPAA: PG-13

Synopsis
The movie sets place in the 16th century during the Joseon Dynasty. Jang-Saeng (Gam Woo Seong) and Gong-Gil (Lee Jun Ki) are street entertainers/clowns/minstrels who are part of a travelling troupe. Gong-Gil, despite being a man, has a feminine look and is often forced to service the town officials who are interested in his looks. Jang-Saeng, tired of seeing his friend being abused, fights back and together they escape to Seoul.

However, upon arriving in Seoul, the two friends are disappointed to discover that the previous King has drove out almost all street entertainers deeming them as beggars, and so the hopes of achieving success in their profession seemed slim. When they met three other street entertains, Jang-Saeng plots a plan to mock the King (Jeong Jin Young) and his Royal Consort, Nok-Su (Kang Seong Yeon). As a result, they are arrested and accused of treason and setenced to be flogged. Jang-Saeng strikes a deal with Cheo-Seon, the King's minister, to let them perform in front of the King to prove their innocence. If the King laughs, they are innocent. If he doesn't, their heads will roll.
Source: iHeartJunKi.com

Rating: A+ (Masterpiece)
Rewatch Factor: High
Comment: Before I begin, I just have to say that I absolutely love this movie. It remains to this day, my number one favorite movie of all time. The acting, setting, plot, characters, and everything is simply superb. It's hard to believe that any movie could be perfect but I would say that this movie takes the cake. The setting and the costumes are so beautiful to look at and it just gives the movie that extra flair. However, what really brings this movie to stardom is most definitely the acting. If it wasn't for the amazing acting done by the actors and actresses, this movie would be one corner short of a full square. Lee Jun Ki really wows me with his acting as Gong-Gil, the effeminate clown who just has to be manipulated by everyone because of his looks. Gam Woo Seong, as Jang-Saeng, just impresses me with his acting as the fearless clown as well as him walking the tightrope! Jeong Jin Yeong sure convinces me with his portrayal of the evil yet child-like King. And Kang Seong Yeon does a great job as Nok Su, a Royal courtesan who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

I must say, that I watched this movie twelve times and every single time, it always excites me. It's definitely a movie that I will never get tired of. What I also love about this movie are the subtle clues and connotations hidden in the movie. It requires people to actually rewatch the movie again if they wish to understand it more. After watching it twelve times, you can bet that I understand this movie for what it's worth and I love it even more. The homosexuality is rather subtle in this movie, and if people aren't watching close enough, they might don't even suspect that it's there, other than what the King feels for Gong-Gil obviously. I greatly recommend this movie for anybody who love watching Korean movies or who haven't watched Korean movies before. This movie is one of the Korean movie industry's finest.