The Pirates (2014)

Movie: The Pirates (해적: 바다로 간 산적)
Release Date: August 6, 2014
Runtime: 130 min.
Distributor: Lotte Entertainment
Country: South Korea

Set during the time when Korea is being founded as a country, this movie is an epic swashbuckling adventure of pirates and bandits trying to retrieve the Royal Seal from a giant whale.

Main Cast:
Kim Nam Gil – Jang Sa Jung
Son Ye Jin – Yeo Wol
Yu Hae Jin – Chul Bong
Lee Kyoung Young – So Ma
Kim Tae Woo – Mo Hong Gab

Never thought to see a pirates movie from Korea and it somehow worked. I think it took a lot of inspiration from Pirates of the Caribbean but still distinctively Korean. However, with the ridiculous premise of the royal seal getting swallowed by a whale, I was expecting more comedy action than serious action. With Kim Nam Gil, Yu Hae Jin, Kim Won Hae in the cast, they could have used their comedic skills to put some fun in this drama. Like Robin Williams’ Hook.

Nevertheless, I still enjoyed this immensely, even with the silly plot. I have watched more Son Ye Jin dramas and movies where she is crying or getting romantic so it’s a nice change for me to see her to action (I know she can do action, just haven’t watched them). This movie is made up of a stellar cast, I didn’t name them all in the main cast section, just the main leads and the baddies.

The movie is quite long, the first part gave a background to set the expectations and motives of the story, the second part is how the two separate lives of Sa Jung and Yeo Wol get entangled together, and the third act is where everyone comes together to have an epic battle on the high seas. There was also a mini romance between Sa Jung and Yeo Wol which was inserted in and which I loved.

Overall, fun adventure movie good for a rainy Friday night!

Rating: 8/10

Crash Landing on You (2020)


Drama: Crash Landing on You (사랑의 불시착)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: December 14, 2019 – February 16, 2020
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 21:00
Heiress Yoon Seri has a paragliding accident that took her to North Korea. She meets Captain Ri Jeong Hyuk, a North Korean soldier who tries to hide her and help her go back to South Korea.
Main Cast:
Hyun Bin – Ri Jeong Hyuk
Son Ye Jin – Yoon Seri
Seo Ji Hye – Seo Dan
Kim Jung Hyun – Gu Seung Jun
This is currently the talk of the town! Even non-kdrama fans are watching CLOY and are falling in love with Hyun Bin! I think this is one of the best dramas that has come out in recent years. I read somewhere that the writer took 12 years to write this, maybe that’s why the story was so developed and perfect.
Top things I loved about CLOY:
1. Captain Ri and Yoon Seri. Hyun Bin and Son Yejin. Their chemistry was crackling on screen from the very first time Seri descended from the tree and landed in Captain Ri’s arms. Whew! The romance was so beautiful and solid. It was really destiny that they meet each other again after all those years. And I would love to believe that they lived happily ever after, even if it’s just 2 weeks every year.
2. Captain Ri’s team of 5. Every kdrama fangirl knows so well how Ju Meok feels because we have all felt that way every single time. Pyo Chisu may look like a downer but he is loyal and sweet. I loved his dog-cat bickering with Seri. Maknae was the cutest, even if he is young, he was very brave. The scene where he beat Captain Ri in an online guy was funny. The handsome silent soldier who looks like a mini Kim Soo Hyun was Captain Ri’s trusted guy and helped Seri during the first few times. I can understand why all the big companies tried to “scout” him when he came to Seoul. and Manbok. He may have done wrong with Jeong Hyuk’s older brother but he has totally redeemed himself this time. His wiretapping skills were so useful and I love the last scene where he because a sound editor for movies. He finally looked peaceful and happy. I loved all the scenes where they hilariously navigated Seoul, and scenes with Seri, whether they are having fun or they were saying their goodbyes, and those scenes with Captain Ri. They were loyal and brave and never left Captain Ri all alone. What true friendship and family is like.
3. Seo Dan and Gu Seung Jun. I honestly didn’t care much for their story. I thought they were just filling in the gaps until Seri and Captain Ri gets together. But somewhere along the way I started rooting for them too. An unlikely couple that didn’t make sense but their impact in each other’s lives will be forever ingrained in their hearts. I felt bad that Seung Jun had to *spoiler* die, but I thought it was the best way to end his story. That somehow he became useful, that someone loved him and wanted him. I loved the ramen scene and the proposal scene. I cried when the orphans starting singing the sad song, and I cried with Dan when Seung Jun passed away. Seo Dan seemed to cold and unfeeling and b*tchy but as she thawed and open her heart, I realized she was just waiting for someone to love her. I applaud her decision to stay single. With his fiancé cheating on her and another guy dying on her, it was time for her to live her life in her own terms. She was hot and beautiful and smart. I am sure there will be another guy who will rock her world in the future.
4. Special shoutout the parents of Seri, Jeong Hyuk and Seo Dan. I loved Captain Ri’s father. He may look serious and doesn’t say much but he loves Captain Ri and was there when he needed. That’s why he is the military general. EVen when he hasn’t talked to his son, he knows how to come up with smart strategies and was brutal to the other director when needed. Seo Dan’s mom I thought was an airhead, but she turned out to be super sweet. When helped Dan get the marriage going on with Captain Ri, but she saw Dan was hurting, she cried with her, and comforted her. When she heard about Alberto, she also encouraged her. and when Dan decided to stay single, she didn’t force her or pressure her to get a man.
5. The whole on North Korea life – not sure how much is real and how much is fiction, so I wouldn’t say much but I loved the ahjummas in the village. I’m sure everyone was as curious as I was to find out how Seri goes back to SK, how the boys will go to NK, and how they will go back. The stories were as realistic as it could be given the hypothetical scenario and I was satisfied with how everyone’s stories ended. Even the evil Cho Cheol Gang and the mean brother and sis in law got their dues!
6. The OST album is so so so good! I especially love Crush’s “Let Us Go”.

This drama is one for the books. A few years later, this will be one of those “iconic” KDramas that everyone knows and has watched.
Rating: 9/10