Goodbye Mr. Black: Black Swan


Looks like military is the theme for dramas this year. While ratings wise, DotS is slaughtering Goodbye Mr. Black, I enjoy the raw ball of energy the second one possesses. Cha Ji Won is a special forces officer (we love our elite soldiers, don’t we) who is cheerful and doesn’t seem to have a bad bone in his body. He has it all, a rich household, a loving and supportive family, and is a leader among the soldiers. In contrast, his best friend Sun Jae is a bit surlier and less fortunate. Coming from a poor family and basically abandoned by his debt-ridden father, Sun Jae tries his hardest to become the best and hates being looked down upon. He is subsequently almost adopted by Ji Won’s family and so the two grew up together. However, he always feels a sense of inferiority to his friend and even has feelings for his Ji Won’s girlfriend. Unfortunately due to his father’s crime issues, he had to leave his hard-earned position in the special forces and work for Ji Won’s father instead. One day, Ji Won is sent to Thailand for a mission. There he encounters, Kaya, a orphaned Korean girl who makes a living as a con artist/scammer/fruit seller. She is sassy and knowledgable about the streets of Thailand. Although they get into a misunderstanding in the beginning, they resolve it and leave each other with good feelings. Meanwhile, Sun Jae makes an unfortunate decision using company money and loses the trust of Ji Won’s father. He had tried to make a deal with gangsters in Thailand which went sour as a bigger conspiracy was underfoot. Moreover, he becomes involved in the murder of Ji Won’s father (even though he did not pull the trigger himself) for a bid of more power in the company. Sun Jae and the gangster loan shark set up a story that slanders the good name of Sunjin Group and even manage to sabotage Ji Won himself. Ji Won wished to investigate the suspicious death of his father himself, and is set up to be a murderer through media. Thus, he is now pursued by the Thai police and is unable to go back to Korean to clear him and his father’s reputation. He begs Kaya for help to get a fake passport and cross the border, which ultimately did not work out.

This is actually my first drama with Lee Jin Wook, whom I have heard good things about. So far, I enjoy his portrayal of a carefree and warm character who is about to grow out of his naiveté real fast. Good revenge stories always start out with a personality that is turned 180 degrees because of bitter betrayals by close friends/family. I also absolutely adore Moon Chae Won who looks fresh and tomboyish in her short pixie cut. I am looking forward to seeing how she will adapt to Korean culture when she engages in a fake marriage with Jin Wook’s Ji Won. My last drama with Kim Kang Woo was Missing Noir M and I am excited to see him again as he is amazing actor. Although he is playing a baddie in this piece, he has got that tortured role squared away. This will be an exciting ride!

Psychometry: Hands That Save


It’s not often that I am completely satisfied with a Korean movie, but this one hits the mark! With action and a dash of supernatural, Psychometry or Gifted Hands is the perfect flick for me. Yang Choo-Dong is your mediocre detective who doesn’t get much results in the force. However, he has a special affinity for missing children cases due to his past. One day, he by chance meets a graffiti artist who sprays him in the eye to escape. Later on, he finds that the mural that the artist painted depicted a crime scene that was found weeks later. Curious and suspicious how this artist, Kim Jun, would know what the crime scene of the missing girl looked like before police did, he begins searching for the young man. After he finds him, they get off to a rocky start as the detective thinks he is the perpetrator. However, Choo-Dong realizes that Kim Jun can perform pscyhometry which is a supernatural talent where a person can gain memories form touching an inanimate object. For Kim Jun, he can see memories of what happened in the past by using his hands. However, through a freak accident, his mom died after he touched her hand and he never forgave himself for the incident. Furthermore, each “viewing” puts strain on Kim Jun’s body to where he gets nosebleeds and even vomits up blood. However, after reconciling, Choo-Dong gets Kim Jun to help him find another little girl who went missing. Unfortunately, the police didn’t believe in this supernatural power and arrested Kim Jun as the kidnapper and murderer. Choo-Dong of course rescues Kim Jun from this predicament and together they try to find the real suspect.

Not a very complicated plot, but it gets you in the feels for its suspense and bromance feels. Kim Kang-Woo who also played in Missing Noir M, is perfect as the rambunctious detective who has a good heart. Kim Bun plays the broody Kim Jun who isolated himself from society because he thought his hands brought death. However, they develop a brotherly bond together through these investigations. I very much enjoyed these bromance moments and had wished the movie was longer or had a sequel. It would have been fun to see more crimes solved this way!