Escape from Mogadishu (2021)

Movie: Escape from Mogadishu (모가디슈)
Release Date: July 28, 2021
Runtime: 121 min.
Distributor: Lotte Cultureworks

Main Cast:
Kim Yun Seok – Han Shin Sung
Jo In Sung – Kang Dae Jin
Heo Jun Ho – Rim Yong Soo
Koo Gyo Hwan – Tae Joon Ki
Jeong Man Sik – Gong Soo Cheol
Kim So Jin – Kim Myung Hee
Kim Jae Hwa – Jo Soo Jin
Park Kyung Hye – Park Ji Eun

Review:
This movie is based on a true story when South and North Korea were fighting about UN membership. War broke out in Somalia and the two had to set aside their differences to escape from the war zone.

Loved the very slick Hollywood feel of this movie. The final car chase scene was nailbiting, even though I knew they were going to make it, I was sweating bullets watching the cars try to get past the Somalian police and rebels to get to the embassy.

What I felt this movie lacked was a resolution. For someone who didnt know the history, I wanted to know what happened after. Did SK get their UN membership or not? I think they forgot the plot in the end.

Rating: 8.5/10

It’s Beautiful Now Eps 1-10

Here I go again, starting another KBS weekend drama! After the messy and makjang Young Lady and Gentleman, It’s Beautiful Now is quite tame in terms of story and plotlines. Three scheming seniors trying to get their three handsome, sexy eligible bachelor sons to get married by offering an apartment to the first one who does so is interesting on paper, and more fun to watch.

We have oldest son Yoon Jae and his budding romance with his noona, Haejun, who is also his younger brother’s boss. I personally look forward to their interactions the most. Haejun is hilarious, although, sometimes cringey, and Yoon Jae may look dense and cold, but is quite quite hot and sexy once he tries to be.

Middle brother Hyunjae is a divorce lawyer and meets his future girlfriend Mirae when she asks his help to have her marriage annulled. Hyunjae has been burned by love before and is not interested in dating, while Mirae is sunshine that makes Hyunjae smile. Will she be able to melt his cold heart?

Youngest son Soojae has failed his civil service exam so many times and feels inferior to his two successful brothers. He strikes a deal with his part timer friend Yuna to pretend to be his girlfriend so that he gets the apartment and he pays her $100,000. Yuna agrees but their pretend feelings are starting to become too real.

There are other storylines in this drama but I don’t really like them so sometimes I fast forward the scenes.
– the adoption story of the dad and the grandpa – dad is such a crybaby!
– the lost daughter of the grandpa (who is prolly Mirae’s mother) – potentially the makjang part of this drama
– Mirae’s parents’ and her mom’s arguments with the mother in law, and her own mother
– the yoga seniors story – why do I have a feeling that Mirae’s grandma may end up with Hyunjae’s grandpa!!! I don’t like grandpa’s sister – she is too annoying
– the family’s cousin’s family – the nurse/wife and the 3 kids and the cousin’s mooching mom
– Yuna’s work and her boss is Mirae’s brother – sometimes Soojae is too smug, I wish Yuna ends up with Jungho instead

Pachinko (2022)

Profile:
Drama: Pachinko (파친코)
Network: Apple TV+
Episodes: 8
Release Date: March 25 – April 29, 2022
Runtime: Friday

Plot: A sweeping saga of Kim Sunja’s family — from when she was young, while also showing Kim Sunja as grandmother, and her grandson Solomon’s professional journey.

Main Cast
Youn Yuh Jung / Kim Minha – Kim Sunja
Jin Ha – Baek Solomon
Lee Min Ho – Koh Hansu
Soji Arai – Baek Mozasu
Noh Sang Hyun – Baek Isak
Jung Eun Chae – Choi Kyung Hee
Han Joon Woo – Baek Yoseob

Review:
I didn’t read the book yet, but I loved the story of Sunja’s family, from the time she was born and how she got married, had family, and struggled for a better life. At first I didn’t understand why guys were falling all over Sunja but watch the drama and you’ll find out why (and the actress is amazing). I think Sunja made the right choice of choosing Isak (he seemed like a great guy) instead of Hansu. But if Sunja lived in the present time, she probably would have chosen Hansu.

Surprisingly I find Koh Hansu interesting (not just because he is played by LMH) but because adding one episode about his life (which is not in the book) gave some perspective of who he is now. But yes, Lee Minho is so distractingly handsome and dashing in his white suits (and looks so out of place in 1920s-1930s Korea/Japan era).

I honestly prefer watching young Sunja’s journey and not really the present timeline. Mostly because I’m don’t like Solomon. I can’t imagine strong and loyal Sunja having a grandson like Solomon!!! Surprised to see him act like this considering his family’s experience. But I think that’s the point of the story and he will learn and mature because of this and appreciate his family by the end of the story.

I don’t like Hana so not sure why we had to see one episode about her.

I wanna know more about what happened to Noa and how Mozasu grows up to be who he is, and Kyunghee. I think I will read the book now coz I cant wait for 4 more seasons how the story ends.

I hope Apple will be able to film all 4 seasons!

Rating: 8.5/10

The Sound of Magic (2022)

Profile:
Drama: The Sound of Magic (안나라수마나라)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 6
Release Date: May 6, 2022

Plot: Ahyi is struggling with her life, trying to take care of herself and her younger sister while her father is hiding from his creditors. One day, she meets a mysterious magician and her whole life starts to change.

Main Cast:
Ji Chang Wook – Ri Eul
Choi Sung Eun – Yoon Ahyi
Hwang In Yeop – Na Il Deung

Review:
Do you believe in magic? Annara Sumanara

The first 3 episodes were strange yet fascinating. Ahyi’s life was depressing to watch then they’ll start bursting into a song and I feel like I’m in a Disney movie with the fireworks and flying horses.

I probably wouldn’t have watched this if not for Ji Chang Wook. He was so mysterious, sometimes scary but often times like a child. I don’t know if he was trying to be Willy Wonka or PT Barnum in the Greatest Showman movie.

I loved Sung Eun, sometimes I feel romantic vibe between them especially when they’re singing a duet but then I remember Ahyi is in high school and Rieul is 30yo and that just sounds creepy. I guess they found a connection because they’re both outcasts and trying to get out of their situation but can’t.

I loved all the musical performances but sadly the songs were not memorable enough to give me LSS.

The second half was way better, when the childlike fantasy plot became serious murder storyline. I loved the last episode, I even teared up hearing Rieul’s past and when he gave Ahyi his hat. That final stage scene.. wow.. Is it really magic?

“You should do the things you want just as much as the things you don’t want to do.”

– Rieul to Ahyi

“I didn’t know before that flowers don’t bloom on smooth asphalt but on bumpy dirt.”

– Il Deung

I think the real magic is Rieul being able to comfort and guide Ahyi and Ildeung to be better people.

Six episodes felt just about right for this drama. However it felt like it was trying to be too much at the same time. Musical. Fantasy. Sexual assault. Murder. Daddy issues. The first half was for kids, the second half was for adults.

Rating: 8/10