My New Interests in Asian Movies and TV Series

I have always loved watching story in the forms of Feature Film or TV Series. Since my humble childhood, I remembered watching Japanese Cartoon, then Chinese Martial Arts series.There were also a point when my aunt and uncle introduced me with Bollywood movies.

As I grew up, I started watching more western (Hollywood and British production) movies and TV Series.

But over the years, my interests has broadened. First was due to the hugely popular Taiwanese TV Series Meteor Garden. At the time, I just came back from England. But, it was so popular that I quickly caught the fever.

Following that, Indonesia was hit by the South Korean Drama (K-Drama) invasion. The most notable among them is Full House. I did not know why I was immune to this drama. I never get to watch it fully.

My first introduction to K-drama happened when I coincidentally switch the channels of my cable TV. I came across a South Korean Drama called The Partner. I did not know who the actors and actress were at the time. But, just as I watched one episode I got hooked and end up watching the entire series!

Still, that was not enough to persuade me to fully embraced the K-drama fever. Partly because I tried hard to resist myself. I know once I watched a single episode I will get hooked and must watch them all at once. Such is the irresistible power that I prefer not to start at all.

I prefer to go back to my old territory of Hollywood movies and TV series. Until about a year a go. During our trip to Singapore, my younger daughter Hita got a fever. So, we ended up just staying in the hotel while Ratih went to Universal studio with her dad. Hita was asleep so I switched on the TV. I came across another K-Drama, Healer. And again, I just cant resist to continue watching. After that, I watched The legend of the Blue Sea, Suspicious Partner, My Love from the Star and Descendant of the Sun.

I often asked  myself:

What is it about this K-Drama that made it so irresistible?

I think one of the main strength of K-Drama is the lightness and bubblegum feeling that the drama created. K-Drama series typically starred by good looking actors and actresses. Most of the time, they have very cute and sweet behavior (I wonder if the South Korean people also behave that way in reality?). The setting can vary from legal, movie industry, restaurant, hotel, architecture, you name it, they have it.

But the main feature is the believable characters. In Telenovela or Indonesian Drama, the characters are mostly portrayed as black and white. The good is very good, the bad is very bad with over the top acting. But in K-Drama, the characters feel like they are actually human being, just like us. The main protagonist can be seen as a little ditzy and dirty (Suspicious Partner) or self-centered (My Love from the stars). It is also often the case when the female protagonists involved in altercation with their competitors.

Then, the creator not just go to great details for the main characters, but also for supporting characters. In most of the drama that I watched, there are always extended characters from father, mother, friends, colleagues. Together, they created a world that we would like to join in.

Finally, the story line. Its not as dramatic as Bollywood movies, or explosive as Hollywood. But, I find that the typical story line is engaging and intriguing but also not too heavy. So, it is enough to get the audience engaged right away till the end. Owh, another thing is, the drama is usually 16 episodes or 20 episodes long. So, it wont dragged on and on (we know some Indonesia series that go on until over 200 episodes!)

Now, the title is Asian Drama and Series. So, its not just about South Korean. Last time after I finished watching one full K-drama, I tried not to watch another. So, I switched the TV on. I found one channel that shows selected movies from across Asia. I came across a Thai movie titled “I Fine…Thank You…Love You”. It was really really funny…and very light. Good if you want to escape for a while. I also watched another Thai movie titled “Single Lady”. Just like the first movie, it is equally funny and easy to follow.

After that, I kept checking at the channel to find if there are more movies that I can watch. I ended up watching two Japanese Teenage Movie called “Wolf Girl and Black Prince” and “One Week Friends”. Both movie’s story line are quite simple. Yet, I quite enjoyed watching them, because the way the characters behave are very Japanese. The emphasis on always tell the truth and be honorable are something that I really admire.

So, I am determined to watch more movies from other countries. That way, I can learn about the country’s culture.

Advertisements

The Most Common Theme of a Romantic Comedy


When Humble Authentic Woman Meet Arrogant Misunderstood Man

Perhaps the source of inspiration is Pride and Prejudice from none other than Jane Austen. In it, the heroine Elizabeth Bennet, is witty and clever lady with a less than advantageous family. She met with Mr. Darcy, who at first appear to be arrogant. The rest of the story involves the two of them understanding each other and eventually fall in love. The hugely successful miniseries is followed up by many Big Screen movies including Pride and Prejudice, Bride and Prejudice and many others.

The most interesting adaptation for me is The Bridget Jones’ Diary. The twist here is that instead of strongwilled, smart and witty Elizabeth Bennet, we have Bridget Jones a 30 something woman who smoke and drink but also bubbly and real. Colin Firth plays Mark Darcy, an upper class barrister who appears as a snob at first encounter. Well we can guess the rest of the story, but the conversations and jokes are quite refreshing.

The same storyline is also shared in Asia. Those of you who followed Asian series will know that Japanese Manga Series titled Boys over flower inspired a hugely popular Taiwan TV series Meteor Garden. Here, the heroine is San Chai, a hard working lower class girl who crossed path with Dao Ming Shi, a spoiled and stubborn wealthy boy. The difference here is the absence of Mr. Wickham. Instead we have Hua Ce Lei, Dao Ming Shi’s friend that intrigued San Chai’s interest at first.

The series are remade as South Korean Mini Series aptly titled as the original series: Boys Before Flower.

Do you know any other movies or series with a similar storyline?

Lets Give Justice League some Justice!

Long before the buzz about Justice League broke, a little me has already loved Superman.

I read my brother’s comic book about Superman. Then I watched three of the earliest movie starring Christopher Reeve. I know other superheroes from DC such as Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and The Flash…I also know Marvel’s superhero such as Iron Man, Hulk, Spiderman and all. But to me he is THE Ultimate Superhero. He has all the abilities that we can only imagine: strong as steel, can fly, super hearing, laser eyes and all…But, what I loved most is how he as Clark Kent is portrayed as very human, clumsy and shy, particularly around Loise! Another important aspect of Superman’s story is his close relationship to his adoptive parent Jonathan and Martha Kent. So, whenever a new movie about Superman was released, no matter what the critics say, I just have to watched it.

So, imagined my dismay learning that he was dead in Superman vs. Batman :(( Thankfully, words spread about Justice League and the fact that Henry Cavill was involved in it! At that time, I thought he may appeared in flashback or some other form :))

I read all about the troubles prior to the movie’s release. Zack Snyder, the director stepped down, replaced by Joss Whedon who decided to re-shot some of the scenes. Then, Henry Cavill who is cast for another role that require him to grow a mustache, but not allowed to shave it during the re-shot of Justice League, so his face need to be edited with computer technology. Yes, read it all.

Then, early screening review showed a good sign. The trailer blazzing with a song from The Beatles – Come Together. All the superheroes looked grand. But, after the release the critics at Rottentomatoes certifiy the movie as rotten. Did it deter my plan to watch it? NO.

I went to watch it in late November. Yes, it is not a cinematic masterpiece. They must spend some time to introduce The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. So, there are not enough scenes that explore the relationship among the heroes.

But, I thoroughly enjoy it because some of these things.

1. Superman gets to show all his power. *spoiler alert* I really enjoyed the scenes where Superman get to spar with his Justice League team mates. I think it was beautifully done.

I tried hard to notice the CGI-edited moustache in Henry Cavill’s face, but i think I didnt look that bad. If I didnt read it on the news I would not noticed it at all.

2. Wonder Woman is awesome. Beside Superman I agreed with many of the critics that Wonder Woman really is a breath of fresh air in the world of male superheroes. All her fight scenes are really cool and she has a very beautiful accent and piercing look.

3. The Flash reallg is funny. Seeing Ezra Miller, the actor who played the Flash in the pictures, i didnt really get why all the critics have been praising Miller as scene stealers. But after seeing the movie I totally agree. He was really the joker in the gang and gave a much needed lightness compared to the brooding Batman, rocker Aquaman, sad Cyborg and serious Wonder Woman. The post credit scene between The Flash and Superman is worth seeing!

So, all in all, I am entertained. At the end of the days it is all that matter for us movie goers, right?

Will I watch the next Superman outing? For sure 🙂

Set it All Free via Sing

We really love the Movie Sing. The story itself is simple, but since my two girls really love animals they get really excited to see them sing. The plot is so relevant since there are so many so talent competition on TV right now. There are also a lot of lovable characters. Buster the Panda that own a teather, Gunter the over-excited Pig, Rosita the over-worked Mom of 25 piglets (this itself get them giggles), Meena the shy elephant, Ash the punk rocker porcupine, Johnny the Gorrila, Ms. Crawley the devoted chameleon and many more.

For me the most interesting thing is the brilliant song choice! We can immediately recognize “Firework” by Katy Perry…but some of the songs are from a different year and even different era. I learned about Beatles’ Golden Slumber because Nana Noodleman sings it in the opening scene. Then there is Elton John’s I’m still standing, Stevie Wonder’s Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing. Not to mention the songs from the audition. While I wont introduce the entire Crazy Town’s Butterfly to my girls, the movie cut to the perfect part. The fishes singing Beyonce’s Crazy in Love and the Red Panda girls that sing Kira Kira Killer are spot on. I think the writers really did a good job scouring and picking the songs and matching them with the characters of the movie.

The icing on the cake for us is the only original song in the movie. Yup, Set it All Free by Ash. My girls see her as a really cool girl. So, we really love to watch her sing it. After watching the movie we resort to youtube to watch Ash’s part. But, we came across the cover of Set it All Free by Sam Tsui & Madilyn Bailey. While Scarlett Johansson’s vocal is perfect to capture Ash’s strong and feisty character, we really enjoy the softer take of Sam and Madilyn 🙂

 

Terima Kasih Pierre Coffin!

Its school holiday and I must think of many many activities to keep my two angels busy!

Since they watch youtube regularly, I came across the trailers of MINIONS over a month a go. But, I thought that the release date is mid of JULY! So I was really really excited to know that it premier in our nearest theaters today!

IMG-20150617-WA0003

I immediately took them to see it…and we started laughing even when the Universal logo appeared on screen ^^ Unlike Descpicable Me and Despicable Me 2 that did not pay particular attention on individual minions. In Minion, we follow three special minions: Kevin – the aspiring leader of the pack, Stuart – the musician and finally the adorable and sweet BOB.

It is difficult for us to understand exactly what the minions are saying, since they have their own language, but we can guess from their behaviors. Don’t try to over analyze the plots as adults or as movie critics, just roll along and let your self go..then you will totally immerse in the minions antics….there are plenty of it too :))

So, Terima Kasih Pierre Coffin, for inventing and voicing the hundreds minions. My girls love them!

In hibernation

Yesss, this blog is in hibernation. The owner is very much occupied with trying real hard to be an Event Organizer. Please check again after November 30th. Promise.

Oh btw. Just watched Big Hero 6, another Disney movie last week with the girls. Surprisingly good, touching and entertaining at the same time. Love Baymax to the Max, wish we can have one 😉 Really love the soundtrack too.