Squid Game (2021)

Profile
Drama: Squid Game (오징어 게임)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 9
Release Date: September 17, 2021
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot
Players compete in dangerous children games for a chance to win billions of money.

Main Cast
Lee Jung Jae – Sung Gihun
Park Hae Soo – Cho Sangwoo
Jung Ho Yeon – Kang Saebyuk
Wi Ha Joon – Hwang Junho
Heo Sung Tae – Jang Deok Soo
Oh Young Soo – Oh Il Nam
Kim Joo Ryung – Han Min Nyeo
Tripati Anupam – Ali
Lee Byung Hun – Host

Review
Much have been said about this drama so I’m not going to dissect and analyze the drama in detail. I loved the six games and how each game levelled up the intensity and danger. I had no clue what the story was all about since I was able to avoid spoilers when this first came out. So when the first game started, the red light green light and shots were fired, I was as shocked as the contestants!! I think this was the perfect game to start it all. I felt as tense as everyone and was praying that they all get to the finish line safely! I honestly probably would have died in the first game! 😅

The second game, honeycomb was a little boring. I remember shouting at my TV, just lick the honeycomb so it will melt! I was so surprised when Gihun did exactly that!! By then I knew I couldn’t trust Sangwoo! He didn’t even bother to tell his neighbor/friend or help him even when he knew what the game was! A lot of people hated the thug but I actually liked him haha! (or maybe because I’ve watched Heo Sung Tae in variety shows and I know he is the exact opposite of his villain characters).

The third game, tug of war, was probably my favorite. It reminded me of when we used to play this game in high school! and the minute I saw they will be playing the game at such high place, really just amped the brutality of the drama.

Fourth game the marbles, had me crying. They’ve somehow built a bond the past few days. and knowing one of them had to die so the other can live was a tough pill to swallow. Sangwoo totally betrayed Ali (though I think Ali was too naive), even Gihun ending up betraying the old man to live. Saebyuk only came out alive because the other girl sacrificed herself. I was so stressed every single game, but knowing that the main leads won’t die until the very end made me a little less stressed.

And that’s the downside of this drama. I thought that the main lead mostly passed the levels because of luck or through someone else. Green light, Ali held him up. Honeycomb he barely made it. Tug of War, they were saved by the old man and Sangwoo. Marbles, he didn’t know it back then but the old man saved him. Glass bridge, yup, Sangwoo again. I honestly thought Sangwoo if we were to judge the perfomance of each other, Sangwoo deserved the money. He was strategic but he’s not the lead so in the end he lost against the “morally nice” guy.

Also Saebyuk, the actress became instantly famous for this role and I’m scratching my head why. Her character didn’t do anything memorable either. She barely spoke a word, had the same look on her face the entire time. Like Gihun, she also was lucky the whole time and made it to the last game because of Gihun and Sangwoo. But I’m not hating on the actress, it’s the character I’m wondering why is popular.

I wasn’t sure what was the message the writer wants to tell us. At one point I thought the lesson of the show was to learn to share and not be too greedy. Or find a way to work together and get out alive not kill each other and they will all get the money. But I was wrong both times since I realized there could only be one winner.

I was so disappointed at Gihun! After all the blood sweat and tears, Gihun sat on the money for a year and didn’t use them because he felt guilty and morally wrong to spend the money that killed lots of people! Hello!! He should have kept his promise to the people who had to die for him to live. At least pay off Sangwoo’s debts, give money to the mother, and get Saebyeok’s brother out of the orphanage. Live a better life. Go see his daughter and be a good father. Use the money for a good cause. Create a foundation that will help people like him so they won’t be desperate enough to join this dangerous game.

Another disappointment was the reveal of the main guy. I was already suspicious of him since there was a scene where the VIPs arrived and the host said the owner can’t join because he is busy and even though we only see the owner’s back, you can definitely see the white hair peeking from his mask. But his final conversation with Gihun in the abandoned tower was weird. His explanation didn’t make sense. Why go through all of that and kill hundreds of people every time just for the fun of it? So that he can feel something? BS.

Other things that were not explained and maybe a prequel like what they did with Kingdom Ashin of the North would be good. Like how did Inho become the host? And I didn’t realize that Inho was older than Junho. All throughout the drama, I was wondering who the host was. I thought the english was so familiar but I couldn’t remember the actor. So when I saw it was Lee Byung Hun, it was a facepalm moment to me!! Speaking of Junho, I thought he was there to save the day, like he will collaborate with Gihun and crack the case. Turns out, he had a separate story that didn’t feel connected with the rest. How was he able to go around the house without getting caught and without eating, showering, pooping, peeing and survive? And the whole organ transplant thing was another plot that wasn’t explored. And the VIPS were cringy and horrendous.

Overall, this was fantastic drama except for the final episode.

Rating: 8/10

The Terror, Live (2013)

Profile:
Movie: The Terror Live (더 테러 라이브)
World Premiere: July 26, 2013 (PiFan)
Release Date: August 1, 2013
Runtime: 97 min.
Genre: Suspense-Thriller / Media
Distributor: Lotte Entertainment
Country: South Korea

Cast:
Ha Jung Woo – Yoon Yonghwa
Lee Kyung Young – Cha Dae Eun
Jeon Hye Jin – Park Jung Min
Kim So Jin – Lee Ji Soo

Review:
A gripping thriller from start to finish!! I was so tense, i didnt know how this would end. 🥺

A guy called up Yoon Yeonghwa’s radio program threatening to bomb the Mapo Bridge and he did! Instead of reporting to police, Yeonghwa instead tried to talk to the caller for an exclusive coverage. Will they be able to find the caller before he kills more people?

The whole movie takes place in Yeonghwa’s radio show. Ha Jung Woo is always amazing 🥰

Of course there are a lot of unbelievable events like how the terrorist was able to plant so many bombs everywhere, and even the twist of who it was, was.. not so surprising, but more on disbelief on my side. There also wasnt enough background about the terrorist to feel sympathy for him or understand how he planned everything. The voice was so familiar that i was surprised when the real culprit was shown. Turns out #KimDaeMyung was the voice actor!!

It also makes you think if you were Yeonghwa, what would you have done? How can you resolve the terror while minimizing the damage? I still think the terrorist was wrong but i can understand why he did it. And the last thing that Yoon Yeong Hwa did 🤯

Rating: 9/10

The Call (2020)

Movie: The Call (콜)
Release Date: November 27, 2020
Runtime: 114 min.
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Distributor: Next Entertainment World
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Main Cast:
Park Shin Hye – Kim So Yeon
Jun Jong Seo – Oh Young Suk
Kim Sung Ryung – So yeon’s mom
Park Ho San – So Yeon’s dad
Lee El – Young suk’s mom

Review:
Scary!! The movie is about a girl who is able to communicate to a girl who used to live in the same house using an old wireless phone. Just when she thought she saved her from being killed by her stepmom, turns out she unleashed a monster.

I was loving the movie until that gas explosion scene and the story went downhill very very fast.

I’d blame this with the main protagonist who I thought was dumb. Everything that happened to her happened because she made too many stupid decisions.

And the while parallel universe logic was too simple and unbelievable. Everything changes in the future but its only physical. She never gets the memories from the past and that knowledge to help her win against the girl.

And that final twist at the end was too much. I almost didn’t see it because I thought the movie was over and wasn’t paying attention. I’d say they should have scrapped it.

Rating: 7.5/10


Kingdom (2019)

Kingdom_(Korean_Drama)-TP.jpg

Profile
Drama: Kingdom (킹덤)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 6
Release Date: January 25, 2019
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot – While strange rumors about their ill king grip a kingdom, the crown prince becomes their only hope against a mysterious plague overtaking the land.

Cast
Ju Ji Hoon – Lee Chang
Bae Doo Na – Seobi
Ryu Seung Ryong – Cho Hak Joo
Kim Hye Jun – Queen
Kim Sang Ho – Moo Young
Kim Sung Kyu – Young Shin
Heo Jun Ho – An Hyeon

Review
Whoa! Didn’t expect this show to be as intense and riveting! My family and i started watching episode 1 around 7.30pm and finished the entire season around 12mn! I felt like this was a combination of World War Z, Walking Dead, Train to Busan and even Titanic (lol!).

Favorite character – Lee Chang. If he survives or finds a cure for the zombies, he will make a great King. each episode we see him growing up, becoming more mature, learning to sympathize with common people and becoming a good strategist.

Favorite Villain – i think i will go with the Queen. *spoilers ahead* That she can pretend and lie to her father just means she is also desperate for power and her own life. First time to see this actress. She looks so cute and young but she did a great job as the Queen.

Favorite sidekick – Moo Young. Please don’t die. Lee Chang needs you. *spoilers ahead* What if his son becomes the king?!? That damn scheming queen!

Best actor/actresses – All the extras playing the zombies!! Wahh! that back breaking moves and extra cardio from all the running they’ve been doing must be so exhausting.

Funniest scene – in the prison where a guy was locked in a wooden board with another guy who became a zombie. Poor guy couldn’t even sleep trying to protect himself from his “neighbor”.

I need season two. NOW.