Eversky.org A Dose of Asian Pop Culture & Entertainment

6Jan/080

My Tutor Friend 2 (2006)

My Tutor Friend 2

Korean Title: 동갑내기 과외하기 레슨 2 (Gonggabnaegi Gwaoihagileseun 2)
Vietnamese Title: Anh Ban Gia Su
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama, School
Starring: Lee Chung Ah, Park Ki-Woong
Screenwriters: In Eun-Ah, Jo Joong-Hoon
Directors: Kim Ho-Jeong, Ji Gil-Wung
MPAA: PG-13

Synopsis
Junko, a Japanese of Korean ancestry, comes to Korea to find her sweetheart. She finds lodging at a guest house that provides room and board. Unfortunately, the room that she is supposed to stay in belongs to the owner’s son, Jong-Man. On her first night in Seoul, Junko is forced to share the room with Jong-man. Junko wants to find another place, but the owner desires to keep Junko as a guest and offers Junko free Korean lessons from Jong-man. It is going to be some adventure for Junko in Seoul!
Source: Korean Film

Rating: A- (Great)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: "My Tutor Friend 2" follows the success of the previous movie. This sequel has similar concept and charm as the first movie, but features a brand new cast.

It is rare for a sequel movie to be greater than the first, and for me this sequel is just so. The plot in this movie is also better developed than the first and thus has more heart than the first movie. The main cast in this movie is truly wonderful, and sparks fly whenever the two appeared together on screen. As first, I couldn't determine whether I like Park Ki-Woong, but quickly I came to appreciate his fine acting ability and his portrayal as Jong-Man, a guy with tough outward exterior and a soft heart. He carried a lot of weight in this movie, and largely because of him that the movie is so enjoyable. Down to his characteristic facial expressions, he has managed to make his character came off as humorous, lovable, and genuine. Lee Chung Ah also portrayed well as a sassy yet at time clueless female protagonist. Another thing that I love about this movie is that it has a great supporting cast, from Jong-Man's two mischevious best friends down to the adorable exchange student, George. This movie is also better when you watch it a second time because you will also catch some important scenes that you missed the first time you watched it. If only, all movie sequels were like this.

1Jan/070

Il Mare (2000)

Il Mare

Korean Title: 시월애 (Siworae)
Genre: Romance, Melodrama
Starring: Lee Jeong-Jae, Jeon Ji-Hyeon
Screenwriters: Kim Eun-Jeong and Yoeh Ji-Na
Director: Lee Hyun-Seung
MPAA: PG

Synopsis
The title, "Il Mare", means "The Sea" in Italian.
The story begins with Eun-joo moving out of a house by the sea called "Il Mare". As she is leaving, she leaves a Christmas card in the mailbox, asking the next resident to please forward her mail to her. Sung-hyun, an architectural student, receives her card, but is puzzled, since he is the first resident at "Il Mare" and the card is dated 2 years in the future. After a series of back and forth correspondences, Eun-joo and Sung-hyun realize they are living 2 years apart, Eun-joo in the year 2000 and Sung-hyun in the year 1998. After some testing, Eun-joo and Sung-hyun discover that the mailbox at "Il Mare" is enabling their communication and they can pass objects through it.
Source: Wikipedia

Rating: A (Excellent)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: It is one of the few Korean movies that takes my breath away. The storyline is original and magical. This movie takes a minimalist approach that puts more focus on the two main characters and less around the backgrounds and the people in the background. "Il Mare" has a slow pace which for some people will required some time adjusting to. However, as the plot begins to unfold viewers will find themselves holding their breath and eyes glued to the TV screen anticipating what to come while trying to wrap their mind around what they have just seen. If you already watched the American remake version called "The Lake House" then don't pass on the original version, which in my humble opinions is the better version.

1Jan/070

A Moment to Remember (2004)

A Moment to Remember

Korean Title: 내 머리 속의 지우개 (Nae Meorisogui Jiugae)
Vietnamese Title: Khoang Khac De Nho
Genre: Romance, Melodrama
Starring: Son Ye-Jin, Jeong Woo-Seong
Screenwriters: Lee Jae-Han and Kim Yeong-Ha
Director: John H. Lee
MPAA: PG-13

Synopsis
Divided into four segments, A Moment to Remember follows the theme of discovery in a relationship and the burdens of loss caused by Alzheimer's disease.
The first segment of the film, staged in romantic comedy style, introduces the protagonists, a woman named Su Jin and a man named Chul Soo. The movie highlights their accidental meeting in a convenience store and confusion over a can of soda, followed by their subsequent courting despite the social standings that should have kept them apart.
The second segment follows the couple now settling into married life. Su-Jin learns to be a housewife as her husband cares for her. But as the segment progresses, Su-jin begins to display forgetfulness, including an incident in which a fire breaks out because of a forgotten stove. While Chul Soo caught the fire in time, the seriousness of the incident and others draw them to seek medical help.
The third segment involves the revelation of Alzheimer's disease and the couple's consequent response to it. Su Jin is heavily burdened by the knowledge that she will forget her husband and hides it from him at first until he seeks advice from the doctor himself. Despite the disease, they make the commitment to stay together and as the disease progresses, the trials the couple go through increase because of Su Jin's forgetfulness.
The fourth segment reveals Su-jin in the final stages of the disease and the grief Chul Soo experiences because of it. Yet he remains beside her, despite her lost memory, hiding his eyes behind sunglasses when he visits her so she can't see his tears.
Source: Wikipedia

Rating: A- (Great)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: "A Moment to Remember" is a well told melodrama. This movie covers the seriousness of Alzheimer's Disease well, letting people know anyone can have Alzheimer's Disease. Son Ye-Jin and Jeong Woo-Seong gave a fine performance in this movie. The intense and deep love between the two main characters Su-Jin and Chul Soo can be felt by the viewers. This is a bittersweet drama that will have you laugh and cry.

1Jan/070

The Classic (2002)

The Classic

Korean Title: 클래식 (Keulraesik)
Vietnamese Title: Co Dien
Genre: Romance, Melodrama
Starring: Son Ye-Jin, Jo In-Seong, Jo Seung-Woo
Screenwriter: Kwak Jae-Yong
Director: Kwak Jae-Yong
MPAA: PG-13

Synopsis
Ji-hae has lived alone with her mom since her childhood, when her dad unexpectedly passed away. Her mom is now on a trip abroad, and to wile away her solitude she starts cleaning the attic. There Ji-hae finds a secret box, in which her mom kept the memorabilia of her first love story of some decades past.
Source: Cinema Service

Rating: A+ (Masterpiece)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: This is a heartwarming and poignant story about first love. The storyline is unique and heartfelt. Son Ye-Jin is radiant in this movie, playing both the role of the mother and daughter. "The Classic" truely is a classic. If you miss this movie, you're missing out on one of the finest Korean movies out there.

1Jan/070

Daisy (2006)

Daisy

Korean Title: 데이지 (Deiji)
Vietnamese Title: Hoa Cuc Dai
Genre: Romance, Action, Crime, Suspense
Starring: Jeon Ji-Hyeon, Jeong Woo-Seong, Lee Seong-Jae
Screenwriter: Jae-Young Kwak
Director: Wai Keung Lau (Andrew Lau)
MPAA: PG-13

Synopsis
An elite Interpol agent Jeong-woo and a ruthless hitman Park-yi, both stationed in Amsterdam and are in love with the same young woman, Hye-young. Hye-Young is a simple sidewalk artist, with dreams of one day holding a real exhibition in a real gallery. Her pure love will draw these deadly men into a spectacular showdown in the process, revealing Hye-Young's hidden past.
Source: Korean Film Council

Rating: A- (Great)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: Directed by one of Hong Kong most sought after director, Andrew Lau, who most famous works include the Infernal Affairs trilogy. "Daisy" have beautiful cinematography and haunting music that further add to the appeal of this movie. The music in particular is one of the driving forces that lead to the success of this movie. In "silent" scenes it is the music that help sustain the suspense and drama of the movie. The cinematography on the other hand keeps the viewer's eyes fixed on the movie. Every frame is well choreographed and no scene seems wasted. The plot of "Daisy" isn't new or complicated, but because this movie was directed by Andrew Lau everything about the movie seems daring and refreshing. In sum, this is an artful movie that offers another glimpse into three-way love and all the chaos that it can bring.