Seoul Vibe (2022)

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Movie: Seoul Vibe (서울대작전)
Release Date: August 26, 2022
Runtime: 138 min.
Distributor: Netflix
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot:
A group of friends are engaged by a prosecutor to take down a powerful team trying to launder money during the 1988 Olympics.

Main Cast
Yoo Ah In – Park Dong Wook
Go Kyung Pyo – Woo Sam
Lee Kyu Hyung – Bok Nam
Park Ju Hyun – Park Yoon Hee
Ong Seung Woo – Joon Gi
Moon So Ri – Kang In Sook
Kim Sung Kyun – Director Lee
Oh Jung Se – Prosecutor Ahn

Review:
This is a fun, light action comedy flick when you have nothing to do on Friday night. I like the cast, felt like everyone was having a blast shooting though sometimes Yoo Ah In is being so serious with his acting (lighten up!). And whew! I’m glad No one died!

1988 Olympics didn’t really have much to do with the story but I loved how they styled their car ala Olympics style in the end. And the oldish music (I was listening to 80s rap just this morning!)

The Prosecutor Ahn scene was the main thing that struck me most in the movie. And surprise that the lead prosecutor isn’t a baddie (the actor normally plays the bad guy)!

This movie also felt like they tried so hard to make them look cool but the 80s vibe looks forced (did the writer grow up in the 80s or did the writer just googled the 80s?)

This movie is also too long and some parts were boring. It only gets interesting in the last part. The ending was also too unbelievable (are they trying to be F&F or Mission Impossible?)

I was expecting General Baldie to be some famous actor considering how they tried to conceal his face in the first half, so I was very disappointed when I saw who it was.

I don’t think we need a sequel.

Rating: 8/10

Welcome to Wedding Hell (2022)

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Drama: Welcome to Wedding Hell (결혼백서)
Network: KakaoTV, Netflix
Episodes: 12
Release Date: May 23, 2022 —
Runtime: Mon. – Wed. 19:00 (30 minutes)
Country: South Korea

Plot: A couple gets engaged and starts to plan their wedding. Can they pull off their perfect wedding or will they break up before they can get married?

Main Cast
Lee Yeon Hee – Kim Na Eun
Lee Jin Wook – Seo Jun Hyung
Hwang Seung Un – Choi Hui Seon
Kim Ju Yeon – Lee Su Yeon
Song Jin Woo – Jang Min Woo
Kim Mi Kyung – Lee Dal Young
Lim Ha Ryong – Kim Soo Chan
Yun Yoo Sun – Park Mi Sook

Review:
This drama only had 12 30 mins episodes so this was an easy watch despite the stressful and predictable moments. Maybe I can’t relate because I’m not yet married, but while watching the drama, all I can think of is, “Why are they getting married in the first place?” How long have they been together as a couple? They looked so in love and in sync in the first episode, but it seems like they don’t know enough about each other’s personalities and values and they don’t communicate enough. That’s why they started fighting as they are planning the wedding. Jun Hyeong proposed to her, Na Eun accepted, but they have not really thought about actually living together. They were in a bubble of love and dating.

First off, in terms of finance, they are so different when it comes to handling their money. I’m a bit like Na Eun where I invest and save, so I was as stressed as Na Eun to find out that Jun Hyeong spends a lot of money and doesn’t seem to know how to save.

Second, when it comes to arguments, Jun Hyeong tends to run away and just say sorry and hope Na Eun lets it go, while Na Eun is passive aggressive. Not a good sign. When Na Eun forces him to talk to her, Jun Hyeong gets so stressed and doesn’t pick up the phone (duh!! I’ll get angry too!) On the other hand, Na Eun is very stubborn and doesn’t cut Jun Hyeong some slack. They have to learn to choose their battles and compromise.

Third, in dealing with the in-laws, Jun Hyeong is annoying and don’t know how to handle balancing the wife’s needs and the clingy mom’s selfishness. Na Eun meanwhile, keeps saying nice things in front of Jun Hyeong’s mom even though she doesn’t mean it. It causes unnecessary misunderstandings. The drama seems like it’s all about Na Eun, and what she wants because she’s the bride, while Jun Hyeong doesn’t have a spine or is not decisive enough to communicate to both women.

Speaking of in-laws, Jun Hyeong’s mom is stressful. I don’t know if she is mean or pretending to be nice or is actually nice. She is petty, sending the gift with the price tag, insisting that she go with Na Eun to shop and choosing things she likes and not considering Na Eun’s feelings. Just like what Na Eun’s mom told Jun Hyeong’s mom — she knows how it is between the wife and the mother in law, why is she making it difficult for Na Eun? it seems like she is jealous of Na Eun and not ready to let go of her son.

I honestly don’t know if in real life, the couple can survive past the first year of marriage. I feel like they’re probably fighting right now. The wife is always right, the husband will keep saying yes or I’m sorry to stop her nagging. I just hope their love for each other is enough, and that they will be more honest with each other and talk through their issues.

Lee Yeonhee is so pretty and I like her character’s friendship with her 2 besties. However, Jinwook always looks unkempt and scruffy while his best friend is funny and nice.

I like secondary couple, they were both funny and in some way, perfect for each other. I just wished that they also gave the single friend a partner (and not just the cameo actor) in the end.

Rating: 7.5/10

Extraordinary Attorney Woo (2022)

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Drama: Extraordinary Attorney Woo (이상한 변호사 우영우)
Network: Netflix, ENA
Episodes: 16
Release Date: June 29 – August 18, 2022
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 21:00

Plot:
This drama tells the story of Woo Young Woo, who has autistic spectrum disaster, and how she navigates her way in her work and personal relationships.

Main Cast
Park Eun Bin – Woo Young Woo
Kang Tae Oh – Lee Jun Ho
Kang Ki Young – Jung Myeong Suk
Jin Kyung – Tae Sumi
Joo Hyun Young – Dong Geurami
Ha Yoon Kyung – Choi Suyeon
Joo Jong Hyuk – Kwon Minwoo
Jeon Bae Soo – Woo Gwang Ho
Baek Ji Won – Han Seon Young

Review:
Woo to the Young to the Woo! Park Eun Bin made WYW so cute and charming while being fierce at work. No wonder she has a lot of support from loyal friends and her dad. And she even managed to get the most popular guy in the office to fall in love with her. But of course, this is KDrama. In real life, sad to say, she probably wouldn’t be treated so nicely by her colleagues. Still the way they depicted WYW made me think how I should also treat people with disabilities and to show more consideration and support for them moving forward. I’m also curious to find out if there really is a genius autistic like WYW?

It’s a role reversal where the male lead is the candy girl, meant to be the support for the female lead and he doesn’t need to do much but to look pretty and support WYW. I hope they also give Junho a meatier storyline in S2. Like handling his own case at work, and exploring more stories of his relationships with his family, friends, and other colleagues that is solely about him and not relating to WYW. I want to know more about him and what makes him tick and thrive.

Another character I love is Ms. Spring Sunshine Suyeon. She is always nice to WYW and defends her when Minwoo and other people are mocking her, or putting her down. And even though she sometimes gets overshadowed by WYW, she doesn’t mind and instead even helps and supports her. In S2, I hope she is also able to show her legal brilliance and win cases too. And I’m curious to know more about her relationship with her father. Her only fault is liking Minwoo, which I really don’t understand.

Kang Ki Young has always played the funny sidekick or bestfriend/neighbor. His role as Jung Myeongsuk is slightly different because he is serious here, although once in a while his comedic skills still show. Myeongsuk is one of the nicest and most supportive bosses in Kdrama Land. At first I thought he would be the one that would hinder WYW to succeed, instead he is one of WYW’s mentors, to the point where WYW even visited him on the day of his surgery hoping he won’t die, and visiting him during his recovery. Was surprised at his illness, but it’s a big wake up call for him to live a better life (and to the viewers who have a similar lifestyle as him!). I hope he gets better and be happier (with his ex-wife) in S2!

I also like Dong Geurami and Hairy guy. Not sure how they are able to keep their restaurant afloat with zero customers (maybe Hairy guy is really rich?). And WYW’s dad sacrificed a lot for his daughter. A tiny part of me wishes he gets back with WYW’s mom but I think they despise each other so much it won’t happen (plus Sumi is still married and no way will she get into a scandal or relationship that will potential ruin her ambitions).

Speaking of Tae Sumi, Jin Kyung the actress has been playing villain characters in the past few years. I loved her when she played the nice characters and she’s scary when she plays the villain. Here, she plays a complex character of being a villain to WYW’s family because she abandoned them for her ambitions, yet I feel that she is also a good person. She is a respected attorney and boss in her company, and she seems like a good mom. I hope in S2, we get to know her and her son more and we get more interactions with WYW. It’s not too late to form a mother-daughter-sibling relationship. I think WYW can be a strength to Tae Sumi’s ambitions and she can also be a good influence to the younger brother.

My friend said she thought the format of the show was boring and repetitive but since this is a legal drama so I already expected episodic cases every week and not the slice of life kind of storyline.

The last episode was a little underwhelming maybe because we all know there’s going to be season 2. Season 1 didn’t go out with a bang, but it opened up so many possibilities and more stories to explore in the next season. I want to know why WYW’s boss seems to hold a grudge against Tae Sumi while she seems oblivious to her dislike. Will the boss turn out to be the villain and Sumi the good one? I also want to see the nice pro bono lawyer in season 2. I almost thought WYW will resign and work for her by end of season but I think WYW has a lot more to learn in Hanbada before she can leave and open her own practice.

The only downside to his drama is Minwoo (the character, not the actor). He was so awful to WYW throughout most of the show but suddenly the writer made him nice in the end, and justifying his behavior because he is poor and needs to take care of his family. Everyone knows he wrote against WYW in the bulletin board, but no one knows he tried to make WYW quit or that he also sabotaged one of the cases. He got off without getting any “punishment” for his bad deeds and even became part of the good team. And I don’t understand why 2 girls are fighting over him – are the girls too shallow? Geurami only likes him for his looks, while Suyeon started liking him just because he was nice to her in Jeju. She just shook off all the hateful things he did to WYW? If Minwoo is going to continue being part of the good team in S2, I don’t mind, it’s just that his character development was so rushed and he never apologized to WYW. They can introduce a new villain attorney that will keep WYW in her toes.

Rating: 8.5/10 (9 minus 0.5 for Minwoo)

Money Heist Korea Part 1 (2022)

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Drama: Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area (종이의 집: 공동경제구역)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 6
Release Date: June 24, 2022
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot: A professer recruits unsavory men and women to take over Mint, which holds the North and South Korean money. The team tries to outwit the N and S police before they get caught!

Main Cast
Yoo Ji Tae – Professor
Kim Yun Jin – Sun Woo Jin
Park Hae Soo – Berlin
Jun Jeong So – Tokyo
Lee Won Jong – Moscow
Kim Ji Hoon – Denver
Jang Yoon Ju – Nairobi
Lee Hyun Woo – Rio
Kim Ji Hoon – Helsinki
Lee Kyu Ho – Oslo
Park Myung Hoon – Jo Young Min
Lee Joo Bin – Yun Misun
Kim Sung Oh – Cha Moo Kyuk

Review:
I didn’t watch the original so I won’t be comparing the Korean version against it.

The production is very high class like most Netflix productions, the tension is high, and the main cast were the ‘bad guys’ in this drama, yet I wanted them to get out alive and spend their money.

I like how they are able to outsmart the cops each time, although they are ‘cheating’. I like how the professor thinks of their plans and how he always finds the right solution to their problems. In the short background, the professor was even approached to be part of the Nokor Sokor team before. So what happened since then? Does he have a grudge and is getting his revenge? Or is this part of a bigger plan with the potential presidential candidate to win the elections?

I like Berlin, although he is slightly unhinged. Tokyo seems to be one of the main characters, but she is so-so to me. I find Rio so immature and Denver is dumb. I also like Moscow but his character is the type that gets killed in the middle. I wish Nairobi is more charismatic. It’s just too bad that no one stands out to me. Maybe because we don’t see a lot of their background history to actually care for them.

I love Misun, she is so pretty, I don’t understand why she would like Yeong Min the d-bag, he is not enough handsome and he’s crazy. Will Misun join the team eventually?

I feel bad for Woojin, being played by the Professor. She seems so good at her job, but she wont be able to win if the Professor knows all their plans. What happens when she finds out the truth?

Hope they release part 2 soon!

Hope they release part 2 soon!

Rating: 8/10