Bae Bae and Loser by BIGBANG

BIGBANG is back! Please let us know which song you prefer. I personally (maniac Ride) have a crush on Bae Bae. It has a lot of sexual innuendos, but seriously not enough to be R-rated or whatever. I am not going to list all the innuendos :-P.

The new songs feel so grown and mature.

Quick comment about Loser: So much pain in this song…

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Man on High Heels:

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I must say this was a very interesting movie. It was something that I passed the first time around, but came back due to Cha Seung Won’s acting reputation. The movie juxtaposes two very different topics, homicide crime and transgenderism. Cha Seung Won plays Ji-Wook, a revered homicide detective whose reputation is the “manliest of all men”. The gangster world is completely afraid of him and his fighting prowess. We are treated to multiple excellently choreographed fight scenes where Ji-Wook bests 20+ men with minimal injuries. Fan-service provides us with a beautiful view of his chiseled body with multiple scars from his various fights.

However, slowly we learn that this is just on the surface. Starting from his childhood, he had fallen with his best friend, who happened to be a boy. As much as he loved this other boy, he could not accept himself socially and emotionally. This other boy opened his eyes to love and broadened his view of the world. Their relationship ended tragically as the other boy committed suicide and left behind a sister.

Fast forward to the present, Ji-Wook secretly keeps a watch over the younger sister and protects her. He is reminded much of his childhood friend through her. Everyday he eternally fights with the “woman” inside him, wanting to change his sex, but still afraid to. With guidance under a transgender woman, who shows him the realities of undergoing the surgeries and life afterwards, he is still willing to go through them to reveal his true self. He quits his detective job and resists the gangster world’s bribe for him to join them.

Unfortunately, the gangsters do not give up and kill one of his good cop buddies and kidnaps the sister just as he was about to board the plane for his surgeries. He decides to go back and try to rescue the sister. He fights his way through the millions of minions and manages to best the leader. All is well ends well….except the ending. The ending was kind of disappointing for me, but also makes a little sense I suppose.

Let’s talk about this ending. So after all that angst and internal conflict, you would have expected him to go through the surgeries to reveal his true self in the end right? Maybe that is my idealistic thinking and what I wanted for Ji-Wook for his peace of heart. He had pushed himself so hard to be masculine because he thought it was wrong to feel like a woman. He even was able to walk in public for awhile in the feminine clothes he liked. Was it all for naught? Unfortunately, we do not live in a world where transgenderism is accepted. Remember Leela Alcorn, the transgender girl who was suppressed all her life and now Bruce Jenner who was held prisoner in her own flesh? Although the US is becoming more tolerant in these issues, it is still a slow process of equality. I feel like LGBTQ is even more socially unaccepted in Asia, with an exception in Thailand. Even then, transgenderism is still a taboo issue and not looked well upon in society. Now for Ji-Wook, is it because the movie showed the reality of life for transgender women who often cannot get decent jobs, that he decided not to get the surgeries? At the end, he is still the oppa on the outside to the sister and had even grown a beard. However, we see that dainty pinky raise at the end? I’ll take it as a open ending that he is just not ready yet to be his true self or what do you guys think?

As for Cha Seung Won’s acting, it is impeccable. After watching Best Love with him and Gong Hyo Jin, I had him in my mind as literally the manliest of all men. With his scruffy beard, husky voice, and amazing physique, he was a specimen to behold. I had never imagined him in this unique type of role. He portrayed a feminine side that I thought would be impossible for him. It was portrayed delicately and not in a flamboyant manner, thank god. The scenes where he reminisced to his past and his desperation from his internal conflict were really heartbreaking to watch. And wow, he was really pretty as well!

Hot Young Bloods / Blood Boiling Youth

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Surprisingly cute! So far, there has not been a Lee Jong Suk performance that has disappointed me yet! With Hot Young Bloods, the story admittedly starts off slow with a few laughs mixed in and then sends in the punches. While I had expected a slapstick sort of comedy, the movie was more like a growing pains type. Lee Jong Suk plays Joon-gil, a flirty playboy who chases all the girls and mostly gets them. He has a ritual of stealing the girls heart, treating her to some black bean noodles, and then taking her back to his place. However, there is one girl that he never touches, Young-sook (Park Bo Young), a female gang leader who can pretty much beat up his booty. Joon-gil loves acting the cool guy, but is a great big coward who shudders at the thought of mixing with Young-sook and her ally Gwang-sik, played by Kim Young Kwan (Pinocchio bros). Gwang-sik harbors a crush on Young-sook who has a unrequited crush on Joon-gil….who has a crush on the new transfer student So Hee. Young-sook tries her best to get Joon-gil’s attention and love, but it’s a bust. Gwang-sik of course takes every opportunity to beat up and one up Joon-gil. Meanwhile, Joon-gil is not having much luck with So Hee, who seems the nice and charming type, but is actually gangster-ish herself. In order for Gwang-sik to not touch Joon-gil, Young-sook sacrifices herself to be beaten by her ex-minions, re-establishing the pecking order. So Hee is also attacked by Gwang-sik and Joon-gil gets severely beat up trying to defend her. We also learn that Joon-gil’s playboy style is just a act from previous family wounds. His mother had left when he was young and he had blamed that on his father’s frequent absences. However, he finds out that it was because his mother cheated, but the father couldn’t forget the wife still even this many years in the future. His world is turned upside down. On the train ride to school, he discovers what is truly important to him and goes berserk when he finds out that Young-sook sacrificed so much for him. He attacks Gwang-sik and does his best actually landing lots of punches on the gangster leader. However, the culmination of the fight is when Joon-gil pulls Gwang-sik off the train and into the river. After resurfacing and stealing back the shoes that Young-sook had bought for him (but Gwang-sik had stole), he goes to Young-sook’s house, but she has already left for Seoul. She had decided to forget their past and try to find her future as she had dropped out of school. Joon-gil is devastated that he missed her, but her note encouraged him to continue his studies since he is actually smart. He takes this time to grow and self-improve. Of course, we have a lovely happy ending…which I won’t disclose too much of!

While it did start off a bit slow and with less humor than I expected, Lee Jong Suk provided a satisfactory performance. He has that natural and easy going charm that makes him very comfortable and pleasant to watch. However, he will surprise you with the depth of his acting that will literally pull at your heartstrings. He is that type of actor that does not hold back during angsty scenes and still brings me to tears with his acting of pain and despair. As for Park Bo Young, she is really adorable to watch and reminds me of her Wolf Boy days. She has great chemistry with Lee Jong Suk, and with other male actors as well. She, too, has a more natural way of acting that does not seem fake or stupid. As for our ex-broship of Kim Young Kwan, he has certainly improved a lot since the first drama I’ve watched him in, White Christmas (seems he likes the Woo Bin, Jong Suk, Young Kwan trio here). His acting is very earnest and he displays emotions very well. While the accents and fashion did get some used too, it was quite an enjoyable watch!

For the Emperor

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For the Mob Boss is what the title should actually be called. If you remember Lee Min Ki in Shut Up Flower Boy Band, where he tragically only appeared for two episodes, this is what might have become of him if he hadn’t had grown up with such a good group of bros. This movie is about Lee Hwan, who was a prominent baseball player, but was kicked out of the league after being in a game-fixing scandal. While trying to survive, he gets recruited by Emperor Capital. EC is a huge loaning company aka loan sharks aka mobsters. Lee Hwan adapts really fast to this new life and makes a name for himself after fearlessly taking down rougher and meaner enemies. Sang-ha, the ruthless mobster leader takes Lee Hwan under his wing and grooms him to rise quickly through the ranks. Between the two, they rule much of Busan through killing and controlling all the finances. Lee Hwan also tries his hand at dating a bar owner that he had his eye fixed on, but it was only sex for her. While it seemed the ties were getting tighter between Lee Hwan and Sangha, Lee Hwan is manipulated into betraying Sangha and landing him in jail. He also gets the CEO above Sangha as well in jal, becoming CEO himself. However, the ex-CEO has more power and influence to which he ordered a hit on Lee Hwan. Sangha, who was released from jail, rushes to help Lee Hwan who is overwhelmed with knife-wielding gangsters. They fight through the pack together, but suffer grievous wounds. Eventually, they were able to hop onto a yacht, and died peacefully at sea. Brotherhood in arms.

Violence. Sex. Money. That’s it, that is the whole movie. Not really much of a plot other than a skeleton to string the story together somewhat. While the fight scenes were nicely choreographed, and Lee Min Ki looks pretty damn good while fighting, it’s your run of the mill bro-fight movie. With graphic sex. What PD’s can’t show in a drama, it shows excessively in a movie. The whole experience is mehh for lack of a better word. If you are looking for a mindless fight movie with a spot of revenge and some brotherhood to pass the time, this is for you. This is not for me.

EXO Next Door – JUDGING MYSELF

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I did it. I thought I wasn’t going to fall in that deep deep hole, but I did. I am JUDGING MYSELF so hard right now that I can’t even. I am watching an SM produced webdrama, much like Twenty (which featured B2st/BEAST). It’s EXO.

Just kidding, it’s an EXO Fanfic come to life, really though…

Exo? EXO?! The fangirl in me is wishing I was Moon Ga Young. Actually every fangirl in the world is probably wishing this. With only 15min per episode, I get to dose myself with an adorable Moon Ga Young who dramatically blushes at the sight of a boy. Of course, the main course is our EXO boys who are literally the “boys next door”. Mistaking them to be serial killers in the dark, Ga Young’s first instinct to run away while screaming her head off. Second reaction is to spray a whole mouthful of water in Chanyeol’s face after she chokes on rice cakes that she was suppose to deliver to them. Since the house was Chanyeol’s grandpa’s and Chanyeol wants to find what he had “lost” years before at the house, you can be sure there is going to be some ROMANCE IN THE AIR.

I would recap this….but it would have too many screencaps, you know why.

Meanwhile D.O, the closet shipper likes teasing Ga Young with possible sehun x baekhyun fanfics come to life. What kind of drugs are SM on and can I have some?

-phoenix…moving next door right now….

A Final Word on Cruel Romance / 锦绣缘·华丽冒险

I know this is hardly fair, but I can’t help comparing this drama to Lady and Liar due to the fact that they came out in the same time frame and that they are about almost the same things!! While the beginning and end pretty much align with L&L, this drama did have it’s shining moments.

Plot: Again, we have a super powerful Er Yei aka Zhou Zhen aka Triad Leader Supreme who controls all the economy in Shanghai. In the beginning, he hates getting entangled with women, finding them bothersome. Through some coincidences, he meets Jin Xiu, who is on the lookout for the evil people who killed her entire household. In Shanghai, she manages to meet her long-lost sister who absolutely hates her guts due to the fact that her dad pushed her and her mom into the streets. She indebted herself to the Japanese to make a living for herself and is now engaged to the most rich gentleman in Shanghai, Xiang. Through the beginning of the drama we have Jin Xiu struggling to stake a claim in Shanghai while her sister tries her best to kick her out. We also have Er Yei falling for Jin Xiu slowly and being very possessive of her. Meanwhile, Xiang’s little brother, YingDong, also tries to make a pass at her for a while in order to forget his past love with Jin Xiu’s sister, Min Ju. Add in a Japanese overlord, whose past lover looked like Jin Xiu, and now is dead-set on obtaining Jin Xiu in replacement of his Yangzhi, we have ourselves a right mess. The first half of the drama focused heavily on all of these people’s relationships with each other, a push and pull. Then our climax moment is when Jin Xiu falls fully in love with Er Yei and gets pregnant with his child. However, she is tricked by the Japanese overlord over who killed her family, and ends up losing the baby and separating from Er Yei for 2 years. The second half of the drama turns distinctly into a fight against the Japanese invasion in China. Jin Xiu, Ying Dong, and Er Yei have joined the Patriotic Rebel group that fights against Japan. In the end, some good people die, but of course not our important ones. By the way, the same set of side bros (smart bro and fighter bro) have issues and our fighter bro dies bravely for the cause. We are given hope against the Japanese invasion and a happy reunion between Jin Xiu and Er Yei. VERY RUSHED ENDING! I’m not sure what happened when they cut out the last 8 episodes, but it ended too fast, with too much unexplained and threads untied.

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The Technicians / The Con Artists

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I’ve always loved a good heist movie…plus Kim Woo Bin as a con drew me in. However, I wasn’t very impressed with the movie at all. Did I set my expectations too high? The bar just wasn’t reached and I was left feeling mehh about the whole affair. The movie is about Ji Hyeok, a thief, who has a special talent of breaking into all kinds of safes. He and Goo-in, an engineer buddy make a life out of conning other people into buying their fake products and stealing the real deal. They also recruit hacker Jong-bae who may or may not have a history of betraying his colleagues. These three decide to perform a diamond heist, but hit up the wrong jewelry store. The executed their plan perfectly, but the diamonds they stole were from Chairman So, a gangster-like boss. However, the Chairman wants them to perform a bigger heist of stealing 150 million from Korean Customs. In order to this, they must break through several layers of security while not even having the guarantee of safety after they perform the job. Luckily, genius Ji Hyeok has already thought ahead multiple steps to plan out a con to con the original con….while also getting the girl. What you think are betrayals are just twists of plot, so don’t be fooled (but don’t worry, it’s predictable).

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