Review: Highway Star [2007]

Highway StarKorean Title: Bok-myeon Dal-ho
Directed by: Kim Hyun-soo & Kim Sang-chan
Screenplay by: Kim Sang-chan, Seon Seung-yeon, Yoon Soon-yong
Running Time : 114 minutes
Release date in South Korea : 2007/02/14

Cast:
Cha Tae Hyun as Bong Dal-ho/Bong Feel
Lee So-Yeon as Cha Seo-Yeon
Im Chae-moo as Mr. Jang

Summary:

Dal-ho’s only dream is to become a famous rock singer. To make a living in a small town, his rock band was forced to play enka (country music) in clubs instead of rock’n roll. One day, opportunity knocks and he gets a chance to make a debut album. It is only after he signs the contract that he realizes he has to sing enka, not rock music. On his first stage debut, Dal-ho hides his face behind a mask out of shame. However, his voice rocks the nation and people’s curiosity doubles at the popularity of the new star.

I Say…
Dear Cha Tae Hyun is back to where he’s good at: comedy. Highway Star didn’t fail to make me laugh from the beginning to the end. He was the perfect person for the role.

Highway Star is one of the simplest forms of Korean comedy, with very little love story. It focused on the changing points of view of a person who sings a genre he dislikes and begins to understand its true meaning. He called himself a rocker, and yet he got the big break from Trot that he despises.

Simply put, in the movie, Bong Dal-ho, along with his audience, will learn that it’s hard to do things you don’t like… but it only feels that way because we can’t get the feel of what it’s like.

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Review: My Girl & I [2005]

photo11502Korean Title: Pa-rang-joo-eui-boo
Directed by: Jeong Yoon-soo (정윤수)
Running Time: 95 mins.
Release date in South Korea : 2005/12/23

Cast:
Cha Tae Hyun as Su Ho
Song Hye Kyo as Su Eun

Plot: (yesasia.com)
Bright and beautiful high school student Su Eun (Son Hye Kyo) saves fellow student Su Ho (Cha Tae Hyun) from drowning in the ocean. Su Ho does not know who saved him until Su Eun confides in him that it was her, because she has a crush on the boy. After she lost her pager during her rescue attempt, Su Ho buys a new one for her so that they can communicate with each other in secret, afraid that Su Eun’s protective parents will discover their relationship. But just as love begins to blossom for the two youngsters, tragedy strikes in the cruelest of ways.

I Say…

To be honest, it’s quite disappointing. I’ve waited so long to see this movie, and I expected highly of My Girl and I, since it made way for Cha Tae Hyun & Song Hye Gyo to work together. These two are my favorite Korean actors! It was a dream to see them do a movie together! But I felt really disappointed. I don’t know… I just think that the movie lacks substance. It’s the same movie that will make you really hurt in the end, where someone dies and they don’t end up together. Of course, as expected of Hye Gyo-shi, she looked good on tv crying, so she would also look good in a movie crying. But I just thought that the given role wasn’t really unique, and it was depressing for Hye Gyo’s first movie. She could’ve chosen a project more challenging than her character on this one. This movie seemed to have combined a number of scenes from her previous TV series like Endless Love and Full House. There were bike scenes…. scenes taken on a boat and by the sea. They may all be coincidence since this is a remake of a Japanese movie (Crying Out Of Love From The Center of the Universe), but still, it is reminiscent. I have watched all Cha Tae Hyun movies and still I’m not yet used to seeing him do drama. But this is not as bad as Lover’s Concerto yet.

Not because I’m disappointed doesn’t mean I hate the movie big time. It is worth watching, if you wouldn’t consider the memories of Hye Gyo-shi’s smash hit drams. There’s a good thing I’ve noticed in this movie. They were given equal priorities, and their respective roles complement the other. Since koreans are not really fond of happy endings, tearjerkers are to be expected. There were also lots of beautiful shots from the movie. For me, this is not highly recommended but its worth the watch for all those who like Song Hye Gyo & Cha Tae Hyun.

Review: Sad Movie (2005)

 

Sad Movie (2005)

Alternate Title/s: Sae-du moo-bi

Directed by: Kwon Jong-gwan

Screenplay by: Hwang Seong-go, Kwon Jong-gwan

Running Time: 108 mins

Release Date: 2005/10/20

Cast:  Jung Woo-sung, Yeom Jung-A, Cha Tae-hyun, Im Su Jung, Yeo Jin-gu, Shin Min-A, Son Tae Young, Lee Ki-woo

This movie is a story of odd couples, whose lives are intertwined and complement one another as the movie progresses.

Pair # 1: Mother & Son
She is the typical career woman, with a grade school son who behaves like an attention-seeking one. After she gets hospitalized, her son found the opportunity to actually feel loved & noticed by her. Thus, the conflict begins: she has Cancer, and probably wouldn’t live long enough to cherish her son even more.

Pair # 2: Model Firefighter & Sign Language Anchorwoman
He’s a model firefighter, who fell in love with the sister of a girl he rescued from a fire mission. They seem to have some sort of a communication problem, when all they need to do is say it with their voices. But before she could even hear it, he failed to nail the lines the way he’s supposed to say them.

Pair # 3: Wandering Painter & Deaf Snow White Mascot
The Snow White mascot was the one rescued by the firefighter, who eventually dated her sister. She somewhat stalks the cute wandering painter wearing her Snow White mascot. The wandering painter soon developed curiosity over the person underneath the mascot costume always trailing him. But the face he imagined and the voice he wanted to hear appeared to be below his expectations.

Pair # 4: Jobless lover-boy & his idealistic apple of the eye
He was working as a human sandbag when she broke up with him. She wanted a secure future and is tired of waiting for his opportunity to come. To stay with her, he need to break others up. But his ‘Separation Agency’ comes to an end, when he was hired to break up his own love he tries so hard to keep.

I Say:

Collectively, the movie stood for its title, because you wouldn’t be provided with a light-hearted ending, nor an open one. It has quite a different format in terms of ending, as compared with other Korean Melodramas. They were able to put in four different lives in a single, one hour and forty-four minute movie. I noticed that the scenes shift a bit too quickly from one’s life to another. Even though there’s quite a relevance of doing so, it was only used to show how their daily lives were intertwined.
There were a lot of tearjerkers in the film, and to name a few, there was, when Cha Tae-hyun extended his service to the mother and son team,defying the nature of his agency. For me, most of the touching scenes happened between the mother and son as they struggle to keep each other even if death is trying to break them apart.

Sad Movie is nice to watch when you’re with your family, I think most especially with your Mom. This will teach us how awfully sad it is to not say the words we want to say to people whom we love so much, when your courage to tell them came too late.