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

Review:
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

Unexpected Business Season 2 (2022)

Profile:
TV Show: Unexpected Business Season 2 (어쩌다 사장 시즌2)
Episodes: 13
Aired: Feb 17, 2022 – May 19, 2022
Aired On: Thursday
Original Network: tvN
Duration: 1 hr. 40 min.

Review:
Yay!! Another great season with old and new guests helping Tae Hyun and Insung manage this huge supermarket. Definitely a big step up from the cute and cozy convenience store from season 1.

They were busier this time so most scenes were them trying to serve the customers, although we still get to meet and hear the stories of the villagers. There were also more part timers per episode so less heart to heart conversations during dinner time.

First 5 episodes were centered on Insung’s friends – Kwangsoo, Woobin and Juhwan.

I’m sad the Hyunhee and Eunhyung only spent half day because they had to cut the day short. They were so funny!!

The next group of part timers were also great – Seunghwan, Kyungho, Hojun, Byungeun and Seolhyun. They elevated the dinner service with their own cooking, which gave Insung free time to chat with the guests. I love how they all came to support Taehyun and Insung.

They saved the best for last as Chairwoman Hyesoo, Gyunghye joined the two, and we even got a surprise visit from Hyojoo!! They were so nice and down to earth. Plus Kyungmin is back for his dinner live show.

Curious that majority of the guests are more from Insung’s friends/cast mates from his recent projects and just a few from Taehyun’s side. I want to see Kim Jong Kook or Jang Hyuk help them!

Wishing for season 3 please!! Maybe try a new business like a coffee shop, food truck or something totally different!!

In case you want to read my review of Season 1: Unexpected Business (2021)

Rating: 9/10

The Great Battle (2018)

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Movie: The Great Battle (안시성)
Release Date: September 19, 2018
Runtime: 135 min.
Distributor: Next Entertainment World
Country: South Korea

Cast
Jo In Sung – Yang Manchu
Nam Joo Hyuk – Samul
Park Sung Woong – Taizhong
Bae Sung Woo – Choo Soo Ji
Um Tae Goo – Paso
Seol Hyun – Bekha
Park Byung Eun – Poong
Oh Dae Hwan – Hwalbo
Jung Eun Chae – Shi Mi
Sung Dong Il – Woo Dae

Review
As the movie name suggests, this 2 hour movie is about the 2 month battle between the 5,000 army of Commander Yang in Ansi vs the 200,000 army of Chinese emperor Taizhong.

Not sure how accurate the war strategy depicted in the movie, but while watching with my friend, we were thinking, if we were Yang, how can we defeat a strong army with few troops and limited resources? The answer is a lot of strategy, courage, and faith. We did think they could have done more to defeat the Chinese army, like using fire and pushing the ladder much earlier but i guess they delayed these for a more epic scenes.

This movie boasts of an ensemble cast so they tried to have some story for each one, like Samul’s trust in Yang, the rivalry between the Hwalbo and Poong, the tragic love story between Paso and Bekha, and love between Woo Dae and his mom. Jumong’s bow added a mythical touch to the story (like King Arthur and his sword or Thor and his hammer).

Rating: 8.5/10

Kingdom: Ashin of the North (2021)

Profile:
Drama Special: Kingdom: Ashin of the North (킹덤: 아신전)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 1
Release Date: July 23, 2021
Country: South Korea

Main Cast:
Jun Ji Hyun / Kim Shi Ah – Ashin
Park Byung Eun – Min Chi Rok

Review:
Perfect prequel/side story that gives a background about Ashin and how the resurrection plant and the zombies started in Joseon.

After watching Kingdom S2, I was hoping that Ashin will be the person who can help Chang and Seobi solve the plague. But turns out it all started with her story. (Dont want to spoil for those who havent watched it yet.)

The special episode took time to build the narrative as the adult Ashin only comes out almost halfway through the story (and the scene was fantastically shot). As always, my Queen Jun Ji Hyun slayed the role. Even when Ashin barely spoke any lines, you can feel the pain and anguish (and lifelessness) in her eyes and her actions.

When the zombie scene starts, I felt both horrified that “omg, that’s where it all started” and triumphant “yes, go Ashin burn those lying scumbags”. Ashin is the definition of “You dont freaking mess with my tribe.” 😡

I was slightly disappointed with Min Chi Rok. He was one of my fave sidekicks of Lee Chang and want him to stay alive. But he was terrible here. I know he did it for the sake of peace but I think Ashin will not let him live once they meet again 😭 my only complaint is Min Chi Rok didnt age in this movie. He looks the same when Ashin grew up.

That final twist at the end was shocking🤯 but it also made my eyebrows raised thinking how Ashin managed to do it alone. 🤔

I’m excited for yet dreading when Chang meets Ashin in Season 3. Chang needs to find a way to sate Ashin’s hunger for vengeance while keeping his people alive. Maybe they can find a compromise, but I think Ashin will die once she gets her revenge (and I want her to have it just dont kill all the other innocent people).

Rating: 9/10