Saturday, August 12, 2017

Weekly Round Up: The Bride of the Water God

Quick recap: Ha Baek has the stones to become the King of the Gods, but he’s having second thoughts because of So Ah. Mura tells So Ah why her family had become servants to the Gods and how this connects to Ha Baek. So Ah begins to tell Ha Baek to go back to where he belongs and he does. Meanwhile, Mura tells Hu Ye to marry So Ah and the break ties with the Gods. Hu Ye becomes So Ah’s knight in armor, but it’s too later because Ha Baek has come back.

Why does it feel like when I talk about this drama I feel like nothing significant every happens? I know things happen but it just doesn’t feel like anything was important to more the plot or characters to matter. The writing seems to be all over the place, but I do believe there is some good stuff from the drama. I just wished the good was more than the bad.

Ha Baek’s curse is important to his character and why he keeps himself detached from love. I felt it a disservice to his character to wait at the last minute to show us his tragic past.  Of course, knowing Ha Baek’s curse also allows us insight on how the servants of the Gods was created too. Again, these should have been included near the beginning of the drama not towards the end. It just feels out of place these plot points.       

I like the OTP, but I just don't feel the emotions I'm suppose too. I knew they like each other, but I could go either way. It wouldn't be the end of the world if they didn't get to together. It's a shame because I don't dishate them, but I also just aren't feeling the feelings for an OTP either.   

I’ll be honest the most interesting character of the whole drama is Hu Ye. He’s more complicated since he’s a demigod. He’s not a god but he not human. I’ve got a case of SLS with him because I want him to find someone to love him. He seems to want to know what it feels like to be wanted but also loved. He’s considered a monster among the Gods and the Humans will too. Lim Ju Hwan is knocking it out of the park. I can’t wait for him to take on a bigger role as the male lead. 

Once Upon a Time Movie Review/ 三生三世十里桃花

Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms is my 2017s can't let it go. I’ve read the book, watched the drama, and finally seen the movie. There was something about the story that was able to hit all my needs. I cried, I laughed, and I was angry. There have been some great dramas this year, but Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms has destroyed me for all the other dramas.
My local theatre was lucky enough to get Once Upon a Time. I’ve been excited for weeks knowing I was going to get to see this on the big screen. I had worried my expectation would ruin my movie experience, but I don’t think it did in the end.
The movie is 1 hour and 48 minutes which had to condense a lot of the characters and plot points of the original. The movie is set up much like the book with a few minor details changed. The book is all told from Bai Qian/Su Su’s point of view and the movie for the most part follows her. There are a few scenes where the audience is giving glimpses into the villains or Ye Hua’s conflicted emotions, but in the end, we the viewer are learning about the mystery past of Su Su through Bai Qian.

I don’t think the movie did a bad job adapting the main source material. There were a lot of adapting choices to make on how to compress the original story down. I can understand people feeling rushed by the story as we the viewer are moved to scene to scene. It can be a bit jarring and at times scenes can feel hurried to get to the next plot point. I did enjoy being able to learn about Bai Qian’s past as Su Su through the other characters. I can see Ye Hua’s love for Su Su when he’s accounting his first meeting and their marriage together. You can also see Su Jin’s hate and her manipulation when explaining Su Su’s life in the palace and her death.

The film has only 7 main characters compared to the original story - Bai Qian, Ye Hua, Zhe Yan, Su Jin, A Li, Xuan Nu, and Qing Cang. The film did keep Si Yin and Mo Yuan’s background story with a minor change. It appears that Ye Hua and Mo Yuan aren’t twins, but the same person. I could nitpick this minor detail, but if I did it would make me hate the ending more. I’m a bit annoyed by the choice, but it’s not the worst adapting choice the movie could have made.

Su Jin in the film version is the main villain and will do anything to claim Ye Hua for herself. She’s a monster who works with Xuan Nu to kidnap A Li and Mo Yuan. She’s not just a lady who plays palace politics, but is willing to kill Bai Qian knowing she is royalty and the ramifications of her actions could mean for her in doing so.  Heck, she’s the one who opened the bell and release Qing Cang to bring about destruction to the Heavens. A Li never liked Su Jin and to allow her to hug him was ridiculous. It was by far the weakest plot point in the movie.

Ye Hua is much like his book counterpart and it’s hard to read his emotion or motivations. He’s playful, but also fierce towards Bai Qian. He is conflicted about Bai Qian learning her past as Su Su, but he does the right thing by giving her memories back. Once the truth of Su Su’s past comes out, it takes Nai Nai to explain to Bai Qian the sacrifice and protection Ye Hua made on her behalf. It’s a quick hail mary but it does work.

Bai Qian is a frustrating character in all versions. She may be 140,000 years of age, but there’s a childlike quality in her and the film gets that. Yet, she’s able to take care of herself in any battle. I like the scene when Su Jin’s spirit animal tries to push Bai Qian off the platform and she just dodges it. It’s a nice moment to show Su Jin, she’s a powerful immortal who won’t be beaten by cheap tricks. I was irritated with Bai Qian being stuck in the pity party stage of grief for most of the remainder of the movie. A bad adapting choice on the movie’s part by not having Bai Qian get her revenge on Su Jin by taking her eyes back. It’s my favorite part of the book to see Bai Qian just be pissed at the world for her love calamity always ending in tragedy.

Unlike the book and the drama, I wasn’t given the heighten emotions. The punishment scene for Su Su’s eye always makes me cry, but the movie failed to give me the tear jerking emotions. I blame the director on the scene not living up to the original source material. Point goes to the drama for executing the scene just right.  

Point goes to the film for seeing Bai Qian and Ye Hua bonding/fighting together. I’m actually a fan of this change from the original source material. I like that Ye Hua isn’t facing this battle alone, but with the love of his life. He’s willing to lose his life and possible Bai Qian by gaining the plant. Bai Qian choses Ye Hua over her Teacher coming back in the end is a powerful moment. It’s a big change from the original material, but I find it plays well for moving these lovers togethers.

The look of the movie is very fantasy like and very pretty. Clearly this isn’t out world but the world of immortals and gods. The CGI was appealing and well done. The 3D was actually nicely done too and I’m one who hates 3D. The costumes were either hits or misses in my book. The Heavenly Palace look was silly and at times bizarre. As for the soundtrack, here’s my money so give it to me now. The main theme song is beautiful but the score I would love to listen to it.

My evaluation of Once Upon a Time: It was Good.

The book, the drama, and the movie all did things better than the other, but they all got the point of the story about love. It’s a sad story of love and sacrifices. My friend tagged along with me to my second viewing and was impressed with the film. As someone who didn’t know anything about the plot, I was surprised by their reaction and review of the movie. Books are hard to adapt to begin with as there isn’t restrictions on what you can and cannot do. But if you want a deeper look at the story, stick to the drama. If you want to see a fantasy world that gets to the heart of the story, the film is for you. In the end, I have many different ways to relieve this story.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Weekly Round Up: The Eternal Love

I enjoy the simpleness of the drama. This is not a drama you need to think about it too hard for sure. However, we are getting to end of the road for out leads. Xiao Tan is willing to die for Lian Cheng to live past 25. Grandma Dowager Queen is totally on board to kill Xiao Tan. The Crown Prince has been over taken by the villains and brain washed.

The good guys win, but at the cost of Tan Er and the Crown Prince dying. Peace has been brought back to the country. I'm a little hurt the next two years is fast forward and Xiao Tan's pregnancy is a small issue. It also makes me sadden that these two can't be parents because of Xiao Tan's powers. I get the drama isn't going to be deep nor is it a long drama, but darn I was hoping for some cute family time too. You know it the calm before the storm before it destroys all the happiness away.

There's still the big showdown with the big evil and we still need to figure out what the bed, the flute, and the orb all means.


Weekly Round Up - Three Meals a Day & Hyori's Bed & Breakfast

The reality shows of this week.

Three Meals a Day: 

I love the new season of Three Meals a Day and of course I'm always hungry watching it. It's great seeing the group together again and I'm looking forward to Seo Jin's grumpiness. He definitely doesn't disappoints. The Ranch life theme is something these guys can do well and the reunion between Seo Jin and Jackson was a great surprise. NaPD setting the scene up was the best. Saying Seo Jin had a romance together. HAHA!!!

Of course, it does turn out they have a guest, Han Ji Min. She who worked with Seo Jin on Yi San and Eric on two different dramas. Can she just be on the show as a regular? She's a delight. Ji Min is able to keep things lively with the boys but is also able to go toe to toe with Seo Jin's grouchiness. She got him to cook for her on the first day. I do love the chemistry she has evening if right now there is a bit of awkwardness with Yoon Kyun Sang. These two will have some bonding moments with the cats and goats.

I'm sadden to learn Ji Min is only going with the group for a few days as they are routing the guest in and out. Hey NaPD, next season have Ji Min as a regular to spice up the series. I can't wait for the next episode.

Hyori's Bed and Breakfast: 

It's a sad episode this week as the siblings are going home. The photo album they created during their trip for Hyori and her husband was just too sweet. I would love to be able to download the song they created. It really is the theme of the show. The energy and happiness of these three siblings will be missed. This episode is just a sad one as the Explorers were also leaving after their long stay of adventures. The F4 boys and the Seoul sisters were also gearing up to leave too.

Lots of goodbyes were said this week, but I also enjoy getting to know Hyori and IU as more than just stars. Our jobs maybe different but evening Hyori stresses out over her job. The feeling of being overwhelmed by coming back to the entertainment industry can't be easy with all the pressures of making a good album and presenting a good image. Getting to know IU as not a singer or actress, but as a person. It's refreshing to see another side of her and I'm glad her schedule was free enough for her to become an employee of Hyori's.

Hyori has this bright and big personality. She should never worry about not being loved by her fans or people. It's hard to not love her when she's adorable just by being herself. This program just reaffirms this. I will say I've been listening to both Hyori and IU's albums as of lately no-stop. I may not like "Black" as a whole album as I loved her last album "MONOCHROME", but it doesn't mean I'm going to stop being a fan of hers. As I mention before, I would love to be able to chat and eat with Sang Soon, Hyori, and IU. The closet I'll be getting to that would be watching this program, but that's okay.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Dramafever DC: Strongest Deliveryman

Strongest Deliveryman just started this past Friday and I'm lucky to get to share my thoughts on this week's episode with June, Logan (My Chingus in Dramaland) and  the delightful DeShonda.

The drama has a pretty solid start. The drama has done a good job of setting up the issues of all our characters in just two hours. The leads are pretty awesome right off the bat, but the second leads got some work to do. The character's backstories are told pretty fast, but we have an idea of what our characters are wanting in life. However, the delivery service is pretty cutthroat business. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

tvN's Criminal Minds - First Thoughts

Joseph Conrad said, “The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary.  Men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.” 

This was a quote Gideon in the original Criminal Minds series quoted and pretty much is good way to describe what to expect from this drama. A group of profilers will be profiling unsub (Unknown Subject) to solve or in some cases save their victims. 

tvN’s Criminal Minds is an adaptation of the US version. If you’re a fan of the original series you can see a lot of similarities between the two from characters and plot. Unlike the American version, the Korean has decided to add more background character stories and tension between characters right off the bat. There’s an underlying story we haven’t gotten to which is more of a dramaland thing than a crime procedural drama.