badly written.

short takes on my recently discovered films, series and music

The vibe, the smoky vocals, and that sexy, groovy guitar play. There's no reason for this song to no get stuck in my head. In fact, this is now one of my favorites. Listening to this song puts me in a state of high that I've never experienced before. I am so in love with this one. Though, I wish the song was longer. But well, it's already perfect the way it is.

#Music #SongFeature #SongOfTheWeek

Talk about stuck in my head. This song is literally playing in my head even when I'm asleep, especially this live version! I just can't get over that guitar play. Plus the vocals! I know I'm not the only getting that Macy Gray vibes. I swear I'm obsessed. Too bad they only have 1 release so far, though I'm positive they'll release more. But for now, let me just repeat this until I get sick of it.

#Music #MusicFeature #SongOfTheWeek

Poetry (2020)

Poetry, a Korean movie by Lee Chang-dong, is a story of a woman, who one day, decided to go to a poetry class with the hopes of fulfilling her dream of becoming a poet. As the film progress, the audience gets to see how the elderly woman's life changed due to some unexpected turn of events, which will lead to the question of her being able to write a poem or not.

Mija, the main protagonist of the story, is a 60-year old woman who works part-time as a caregiver for a well-off disabled man in order to support her grandson who, I can safely say, is in his rebellious phase. The film started off by introducing her relationship with other characters such as the disabled man, her grandson and the mom of her grandson which is a nice approach because the audience will be able to understand Mija's character right away. And to what I've seen, I can say she is quite a lonely woman who has no one to talk to.

Mija is actually just living a normal life until she learned about her grandson's secret (I won't spoil here) which required her to produce a large amount of money. And to stir up her life more, spoiler alert but not really as there were hints from the first scene already, the director made it sure that she learns about her early stage Alzheimer's in the midst of everything and had no one to talk to about it. Damn it. Although her character does not speak a lot, you can feel how hard she was trying to pull herself together day by day after everything that has happened, which is really heartbreaking to watch. To be honest, I haven't fully recovered from the film and just remembering the movie, especially the end, already makes me feel sad about it.

The pacing of the movie is quite slow but it makes the experience realer. In fact, because of it's slow pacing, the audience will actually be able to immerse themselves fully to the emotions being portrayed in each scene, especially that the film includes beautiful long shots – a real treat to the eyes of the audience – mostly featuring Mija as she slowly piece together her first poem. The film wants you to connect with the protagonist and I believe it worked.

It's a beautifully executed film and I highly recommend this one. Also, don't you want to know whether she was actually able to write a poem or not? Heh.

#Film #FilmFeature #Korean

Colorless (2019)

Sad, tragic, heartbreaking, deep – these are the words I can think of after watching this Japanese film. You might think this is just the typical photographer and model love story who fell in love with each other after working together but as the movie progresses, the film shows its true colors.

This film is about Yuka, an amateur model who has big dreams and an amateur photographer named Koyamada who is yet to discover his personal style. As the two began working with each other, the two started to date and all that stuff but as the film reaches the end of the first part, everything goes dark as you get to know the truth about what has happened so far. Yep, the movie is divided into parts which means a messy timeline but hey, it works. As each secret gets uncovered, watching this film will make you really, really frustrated because you are not just dealing with one point of view but two – Yuka's and Koyamada's. I honestly don't know what to feel when I was watching this. It's like I'm being torn. I think the main feat of this film – why everything works – is how real it is. The events and how the characters are tied with each event will make you think about what possibly happens behind the scenes in this world we live in, which is pretty much heartbreaking. You'll know what I mean when you watch it. Also, the way each scene was shot definitely adds a certain depth to each moment. For a non-creative person, it's definitely an A+!

The truth is, when I finished the film, I honestly wished I didn't get to the end. I mean, it was just so sad and tragic. Until now, it still breaks my heart especially for Yuka. But yeah, that's how life went for them and I have no say in that. Still, it's just so sad!!! And three exclamation point means I'm serious.

Anyway, I didn't get to watch a lot of movies in 2020 but for me, this is one of the best films that got released that year so you definitely have to watch it. It's deep, sad, tragic and heartbreaking. Watch it and you'll know what I mean.

PS. I don't want to spoil so I purposely left out the details about the things that happened in the film. Heh.

PPS. If you're not comfortable with explicit scenes, do take note that this film has that.

#Film #FilmFeature #Japanese

Cheat On Me If You Can (2020)

It’s already been a week since I watched the last episode of Cheat On Me If You Can and if I were to rate it, it’s going to be 4 out 5.

Han Woo-Sung, who is famous for being the “Nation's Husband” because of how he treats his wife, and then showing a total reversal as the next scenes focused on him going to two different woman's apartment, is how the show wanted to introduce the male lead of this series – a meticulous, two-faced cheating bastard. Then there goes the introduction of the female lead, Kang Yeo-joo, a writer famous for her murder novels, who seems to be a little bit eccentric. However, this is not your typical wife-caught-nations-husband-cheating drama as it involves something bigger than that – an actual murder of a famous actress – one of the woman Woo-Sung was seeing behind his wife's back – who seems to have a connection with the FL, as shown in a flashback, making her one of the suspects behind this murder case. The truth is, watching the whole series is like trying to get out of a maze as the it tends to show the audience different versions of truth depending on whose perspective was being shown. With the number of twists in this show, you'll be quite surprised upon learning how each scene connected with each other. Though, it may feel repetitive sometimes, it still deserves praise as the series still managed to keep its story line in-tact.

What disappointed me was how they approached the ending as it felt a little rushed. Although the series made sure to offer closure to all the twists and turns, to be honest, it didn't feel the closure I believe I deserve as it seemed half-hearted to me. After all that fuss about the “Secret Prayer Room”, the show just barely touched it. Add that annoying build up to the college girl’s character, only to have her forgotten in the end. Maybe if they extended it to 20 episodes, the ending would’ve been better. Who knows. The open ending didn’t really work for me. I think the show wants to stick to its mysterious, intriguing concept until the end that’s why they ended it that way. It’s not that bad but it depends on the situation. There’s just too much going on in the show. I guess they had no choice but to go with an open ending as it is the safest choice especially if they know they failed to tie each knot properly.

I expected to see the FL and the ML get a divorce but it didn't happen so I was quite disappointed about this as well. I mean, the FL deserves at least to get away from that cheater so that seems to be the most plausible route for her. It really shows how the series wanted to keep the mysterious energy flowing until the end. In my opinion, the FL and her assistant were such a great pair and I wouldn’t mind, in fact, wished for it, if they ended up together in the end. But again, it’s an open ending so it’s all up to the viewers’ imaginations to think what actually happens next.

Personally, I enjoyed the series although I believe some parts could've been better but that doesn't make the series less interesting so if you're up for a new kind of mystery, you should definitely include this on your list.

#SeriesFeature #Korean

It's not all the time we get to witness a well-executed crime/law series this is why I was kinda upset at myself for delaying watching this show for a number of times already. If only I knew how good this drama is, I would've prioritize watching this over some cringe-y crime-romance series.

A story of a father who got separated to his by the law due to a crime that he confessed to committing in the past. In the present timeline present, the son, Do-hyun, is now a respectable lawyer who was later on revealed to be investigating the truth behind his father's confession, convinced that the confession was nothing but a lie made to conceal a scandalous truth. It all started when he got involved with the murder suspect Jeong-gu who appeared to be the key to getting a lead. As the show progress, the audience will get to know the truth behind his father's confession and how Do-hyun, Police Officer Chun-Ho who arrested his father, his friend and love interest, maybe?, Yoori, a media personnel and Madame Jin, his office assistant (who will later on be revealed to be an important figure) were all connected with each other.

The cinematography provides a quality-viewing. I especially love the interrogation scenes because of how the camera plays with the ambient light in the prison. The color tones were kind of dull but somehow fits the overall mood of the show so it's not a big deal. The flow of the story is just perfect. Each scene were explored properly down to the smallest detail, leaving no room for questions. But the main feat of the show as to why I highly respect Confession is it's straight-to-the-point execution. No fuzzy-wuzzy involved. As for the timeline of the story, though the show may may throw flashbacks here and there, you will never lose your sense of time as they were used properly. There's also balance between the protagonist and the antagonist, meaning, you won't get frustrated while watching it. The commonly-used pattern – the protagonist losing everything at first then later on, comes back for a revenge – does not apply to this show because technically, the characters already lost everything right from the start so it's a fresh approach on a series under this genre. And if you're wondering about the court scenes, there are court action present but on the important scenarios only. Also, you shouldn't expect it to be very elaborate, as you might end up dissatisfied.

Overall, it's a good watch. If this on your watch-list, there's no reason to hesitate anymore.

#SeriesFeature #Korean

Nobody Knows (2020)

First few seconds in, I'm already hooked. I'm not exaggerating when I say that this is the best mystery-crime drama ever because it is. Everything in this drama is just so in-tact. What I meant by that is, every single thing that has happened revealed itself to be connected with each other. That's pretty cool because it's really hard to find dramas with no extra fluff these days.

It's a whole package – drama, comedy, action – that it makes me believe that it deserves more recognition. Everything is just so on point. The female lead's acting is worth-praising. I love her action scenes but I love it especially when she was acting out her crying scenes. FL doesn't express herself that much through words but through action aka never giving up despite what other people say. I also want to commend the bond between the investigation team because it's just so incredible. If you watch other crime series, most often, their team members are the ones who betray them. Not in this drama. They work as one which gives the audience hope – an important factor to keep them from dropping the series. Without her team, she won't get to the truth. There's also the bond between the children. Despite what happened in the past, they didn't let anyone ruin their relationship. The drama showed the contrast between children and adults by showing how both deal with the people who hurt them through forgiveness and revenge, respectively. The antagonist's acting is on point as well, it even gave me the chills. And of course, the beautiful friendship between the FL and the child protagonist.

The plot is well laid out. Every scene connected to each other as I mentioned above. No fancy plot twists. It remained consistent that's why it's good and not messy. It's pretty easy to determine the murderer as the show dropped hints here and there but it was hard to predict what will happen next so as the show approaches the end, you'll be just as frustrated as the FL. A well-written drama can play the audience's emotions like that.

Pace-wise, some people say this is a draggy one. The way I see it, it might be slow-paced but it works very well because every detail gets explored, leaving no questions left unanswered. For this type of series, closure is really important and the show delivered it very well. In fact, the ending was very satisfying. Everyone got what they deserve. I especially love the scene where the FL was shown wearing all-white. That's just so beautiful I almost teared up.

Over all, it's a 10/10. And I absolutely recommend it!

PS. I kinda ship the FL and the teacher. Lol.

#SeriesFeature #Korean

Memorist (2020)

Of all the Korean dramas that I’ve watched so far, Memorist is the one to sit at the top of my list. With all the twists the show has, Memorist will surely give you a roller coaster hell of a ride.

One factor why I find this drama amazing is that, it wasn’t just all about Dong Baek, the male lead, and his powers as it approached the main story using two different perspective, the other one through Han Sun-Mi, the female lead, and her team. Because of this, you get to see the case in different angles that won't put you at in a certainty as the truth you know right now could actually change in just a blink of an eye. The two characters – Koo Kyung-Tan and Oh Se-Hoon – who were a part of Dong Baek’s squad were also important pieces of the show as they were the ones to add a touch of light in this dark, crime series.

Since the story has a really confusing timeline and a slow pacing of unveiling the truth, which makes the story a little dragging, there will be times that you will have to pause for a while because there’s just too much information at the moment that you don’t know anymore what to do with it, like the feeling of putting back together thousands of pieces of puzzle, and you’re unsure whether this piece goes here or actually there. It's better if you focus very well in every detail or else, you might get lost.

The way this drama leads on its audience and then disappoints right away is one of this show’s feat. The unending twists will literally put you at the edge of your seat as you root for the main characters as they finally get closer to finding out who the main enemy. Unless you’re really thinking outside of the box, you will never be close to pinpointing who the culprit was despite it being really obvious.

I don’t know about others but I like that they did not try to push the romance so openly. In my opinion, there’s just no room for it in this series as it will kill the mood. The way they showed that they care for each other already says a lot that both have become important to each other’s lives.

I recommend this drama, especially for people like me who easily gets bored, for its thought-provoking antics and nerve-wracking scenes balanced with a nice touch of humor.

#SeriesFeature #Korean

I think Suits was the first Korean law drama that I’ve watched and I must say, it was actually a good one, given the few lapses here and there. I like the characters’ relationship in this show. Despite not being in good terms all the time, they still try to treat each other with respect which means less drama – well, except for Mr. Ham but I won’t talk about him. I don’t even want to. The little bursts of humor here and there were also helpful as it helps the audience breathe, given the tight energy the drama gives off. I also like how they squeezed in the main character and his love interest’s love line naturally as it adds a fresh touch, rather than a scripted feel, to their love line.

The main focus of the story, however, is the character development of the main leads – Go Yeon-Woo, the mentee and Choi Kang-Seok, the mentor – and not the actual cases so it’s better to not expect that much of court action if you’ve been a fan of How To Get Away With Murder (my first law series ever) like me since day 1. The problem once you’ve got a taste of How To Get Away With Murder is that every other law drama with the exception for the real good ones of course, becomes a little disappointing. Actual law scenes in Suits were more about talking and intimidation – which kind of didn’t work for me – that it failed to showcase the abilities of the characters as well as made its audience think.

While I find the first episodes thrilling, the later episodes became lenient that it felt like I am just literally waiting for the next scene to occupy the TV screen. The process of finding evidence, which is one of the best way to engage with the audience, weren’t given that much attention and was cut short for some reason which I find a little off-putting given that this is a law drama. Choi Kang-Seok’s monotonous speaking can also be annoying that I was in the verge of dropping this show because I don’t want to hear it anymore but because I am curious what would happen to Yeon-woo, as he was actually just a sham of a lawyer, I tried my best to keep going on.

Despite being characterized as a genius, the show didn’t always give Yeon-Woo the upper hand, letting him face failures here and there which is a nice way to balance everything. With this, he proves to the audience that he is not a plain character whose life is predictable. As for Kang-Seok, I wish they showed more of his character in court rather than just talk about it because to be honest, the show did not convince me that he was deserving of the “ace” title.

The ending is quite satisfying though gives off some season two feels so I am lowkey hoping there will be as there are still so much questions left unanswered. Overall, it’s still a good watch but only if you’re interested enough in what will happen next to Yeon-Woo because as what I’ve said, this law series is more talk than court action.

PS. It is actually a remake of the American series, though I read somewhere that some scenes from the Korean remake weren't in the original version. If you're interested to know what happens next, you might want to watch the American version.

#SeriesFeature #Korean

The truth is, I avoid this genre – romance – as much as I can as I find these dramas cringe-worthy especially when the leads were to act out a romantic scene. I don’t care how much of it I’ve watched already – I’ll drop it once I can’t take it anymore just like what I did with the “Descendants of the Sun” series.

But staying at home for month put me to a new state of boredom that I didn’t even bothered checking which genre this show belongs to – romantic comedy. I had doubts but instead of my usual sour face, I actually found myself enjoying every single scene from this show's two main leads – Do Bong-soon and Ahn Min-Hyuk. With their great display of chemistry, you would even wish at the bottom of your heart for these two actors to actually date in real life.

However, despite finishing this drama, I can’t help but feel dissatisfied with it as there were just a lot of poor writing in the show. Since the story’s main focus aside from building romance between our main leads, which I don’t mind except for one thing (let me talk about it later), is chasing this psycho killer, the need to distract the audience and give them time to catch their breaths was essential, thus, causing the show to add filler scenes. However, I wish they put extra effort in choosing what fillers were to be injected and dropped.

Right from the start, it has been established that this is not pure romance but also half comedy. However, as the show progresses, the humor becomes repetitive and annoying. The comedy is just so forced, no one would even judge you if you skip these filler scenes and just jump straight to the main story. I especially dislike every gangster and fake monk scene in this show. Not to mention, the tasteless gay jokes they tried to pull that made me feel uncomfortable. I know they meant no harm but some scenes we're just way off. Of course, it still depends on the person whether this kind of humor is their cup of tea or not but for me, the writers could’ve chosen a different approach because this just wasn’t it. But of course, since our main character is a strong woman – literally – the action scenes made up for all those annoying fillers.

As I’ve mentioned, I don’t mind if the show focused more on the main story while building up the romance between the two leads but I wish they gave the second male lead the chance with the female lead. With the show’s poor use of In Gook-Doo’s character – our second male lead – the show, instead of creating an actual love triangle, created a big wall between the main couple. It’s like the show had an unspoken rule that no other love line could ever exist. And if there must be another love line, it must be between the two male leads, like what? You'll get it once you watch it. I admit, I totally love the main pairing but I also couldn’t deny that it was unfair for him. Gook-Doo wasn’t given a chance at all because it’s like when it comes to his character, time seems to be running in 2x speed that you can’t help but feel bitter about it.

The psycho killer scenes turn the light mood in 360 degree that sometimes when it goes overly dark, it would feel like you’re watching a different show. But don’t worry too much. For an average person, the scenes were still tolerable enough to continue watching. And if they weren’t anymore, you can just fast forward anytime. Still, I must say I hate every scene with the psycho killer. And if you’re sharp, you would even catch the show’s poor logic saying hi sometimes.

Overall, the show was still a good watch, thanks to the action scenes and the lovely main couple. But put this in your mind that everything in this show can be a little nonsensical so you better prepare yourself for it. Who knows, you might like the show's humor. Personally, I enjoyed this so I'll still give it a thumbs up and would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone.

#SeriesFeature #Korean