20th Century Girl (2020)

Movie: 20th Century Girl (20세기 소녀)
Release Date: October 21, 2022
Runtime: 119 min.
Distributor: Netflix

Plot: A girl tries to get close to a boy that her best friend likes while the best friend is away, and the girl falls in love with the guy’s best friend.

Main Cast:

Kim Yoo Jung – Na Bora

Byun Woo Seok – Poong Woonho

Park Jung Min – Baek Hyun Jin

Roh Yoon Seo – Kim Yeon Doo

Review: This movie reminds me of classic Korean movies in the early 2000s like Ditto, The Classic, Lover’s Concerto etc about friends, youth, falling in love, and sad endings. I kinda guessed that Bora got mixed up with who Hyunjin was, since she didnt have a picture and it was hard when there were no cellphone cameras back then. Watching the movie I thought Hyunjin dodnt look THAT handsome for Yeondoo to fall in love that quick and turns out I was right!

I love the girls’ friendship, they were willing to sacrifice or let go of love for the other person. My only comment is I wished they showed a little more of what really happened to Woonho, not just one scene with the younger brother. I thought if we were still in the 2000s we will get a full heartbreaking scene where he was supposed to fly to Seoul but had a car accident and they couldn’t meet in the airport or a terminal illness he hid from Bora or any other tragic ending that will make people cry.

Rating: 8.5

May It Please The Court (2022)

Drama: May It Please The Court (변론을 시작하겠습니다)
Network: Disney+
Episodes: 12
Release Date: September 21, 2022
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot: Noh Chakhee is a fantastic lawyer at Jangsan Corp, which is currently managed by Jang Gido. After a scandal, Chakhee was suspended for a year and was assigned to be public defender where she meets Jwa Shibaek. Just then, a series of murders take place and were all similarly connected to Chakhee, Shibaek and Jangsan.

Main Cast:
Jung Ryu Won – Noh Chakhee
Lee Kyu Hyung – Jwa Shibaek
Jung Jin Young – Jang Gido

Wow! Didn’t expect the story would get very dark in the end. I loved that it kept me guessing on who is the villain (there were a lot of them). I also decided on who they were near the end but not the motive!! The twist at the end were shocking, sad, brilliant, tragic.

I loved the pair of Chakhee and Shibaek. Shibaek definitely was able to bring the best of Chakhee. He is obviously a nice guy but his mysterious half smiles was getting annoying. Can we get a season 2 of them but make it a romcom?

Super love Jung Ryu Won, esp that scene when she found out who confessed and who she was defending 😱 And i love the growth of her character. Chakhee has always been nice but was stuck being a lapdog of Jangsan because of their gratitude at raising her when her grandmother died. Even though Chairman doted on her, she was still not considered “family”. When she found out the truth about her family, her illusions were shattered and she felt betrayed and vowed to bring down the family’s honor.

Chisik and Dongpil’s storyline was the perfect revenge. But i’m curious what was so special with the place where Chisik buried Eunsoo?

I also didn’t expect the granny and Shibaek/Mr Toilet’s relationship 😭 and the twist of who Shibaek really was!

Jang Gido was perfectly acted by Jung Jinyoung. I really thought he was a nice guy but like Chakhee, I finally saw through his fake tears and acting and it was disgusting. And the Chairman!! Great job casting the actor playing the chairman! 🤯

I wish there were better uses of Yiyeom, Haran and Chakhee’s dad but overall fantastic drama.

Rating: 9/10

Chronicle of A Blood Merchant (2015)

Movie: Chronicle of a Blood Merchant (허삼관)
Director: Ha Jung-Woo
Release Date: January 15, 2015
Runtime: 124 min.
Genre: Family / Comedy / Drama / Melodrama / Period-1950 / Period-1960
Distributor: Next Entertainment World
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Main Cast:
Ha Jung Woo – Heo Sam Kwan
Ha Ji Won – Heo Okran
Nam Da Reum – Heo Ilrak

I didn’t read the synopsis, I always thought this was a comedy but it was so much more. This was adapted from a Chinese novel by Yuhua and changed to Korean setting. Ha Jung Woo is the director and the star of the movie. It’s about a guy, Sam Kwan, who sold blood to earn money to marry the prettiest girl in town, Okran. 11 years later with 3 kids, there are rumors that the eldest son is not Sam Gwan’s biological son but is from Okran’s ex-boyfriend. The movie shows the love between father and son. Even though they were not blood related, Ilrak basically grew up with the family and have always known Sam Kwan as his dad and vice versa.

The first half was light comedy but in the middle, when Sam Kwan found out Ilrak, who is his favorite child, was not actually his, he stopped showing him fatherly affection. It was heartbreaking to see Ilrak look so confused for suddenly being the favorite eldest son to a shunned illegitimate child, whose fathers (real and step) refuse to acknowledge him.

Four major scenes (and spoilers so dont read if you want to watch) that made me cry were when Sam Kwan told Ilrak to go away and not join the family’s dumpling dinner and Ilrak went to his real father’s house, asking for dumpling but he got rejected. Eventually Sam Kwan couldn’t resist and found Ilrak crying and hiding in the alleys and brought him home. Another was when the real father was dying and Ilrak was being forced to say “Father come back, don’t leave me” as part of a ritual, but then he sees Sam Kwan watching from a window and Ilrak starts begging for Sam Gwan to come back and take him home. Sam Kwan interrupts the ritual and takes Ilrak home. Then Ilrak falls ill with the same illness as his real father, and Sam Kwan almost died going town to town selling blood to earn money for his surgery. They finally meet in Seoul and their reunion was so touching.

I can’t believe Nam Dareum was so young in this drama!! So cute and great acting, from him. He had great chemistry with Ha Jung Woo. And now in 2022, he’s grown up and serving the army.

Rating: 9/10

Assassination (2015)

Movie: Assassination (암살)
Release Date: July 22, 2015
Runtime: 139 min.
Genre: Action / Period-1930 / Best Film-Movie of the Year
Distributor: Showbox
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Main Cast:
Jun Ji Hyun – Ahn Okyun /Mitsuki
Lee Jung Jae – Captain Yeom
Ha Jung Woo – Hawaii Pistol
Cho Jin Woong – Soksapo
Choi Deok Mun – Duksam
Oh Dalsu – Younggam
Lee Kyung Hyung – Kang Inguk
Park Byung Eun – Kawaguchi
Cho Seung Woo – Kim Wonbong

It was Jun Jihyun’s birthday a few days ago so I thought of watching this old movie of hers.

The story is about a secret mission to assassinate 2 important people who favored the Japanese. And several factions try to outmaneuver each other to either prevent or succeed in the mission.

The movie is quite long at more than 2 hours but I wasn’t bored!! The story is a little complicated because there were too many characters so I had to slowly watch to understand what was going on. It had lots of action, and double crossing, and deaths, and even managed to put in a little romance. The meet-cute at Hotel Mirabeau between Okyun and Hawaii Pistol is 😍

The main lead is Jun Jihyun and the men were great support, esp Ha Jung Woo who sometimes stole the scenes. And I finally watched JJ’s famous court scene that is always reenacted in shows.

Rating: 9/10