Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Friday, December 21, 2012

What D & I Are Watching These Days

Screen RED

According to their website, Screen RED is an “Asian movie channel proudly brought to you by HBO Asia and Mei Ah. It features movies from China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and beyond.” Sadly, that “beyond” simply means “and a few Thai movies.” I’ve not seen any Filipino, Malaysian, or Singaporean movies.

However, we’re enjoying a lot of Korean and Japanese films. Among our favorites are:

Go! Boys’ School Drama Club - A Japanese comedy set in an all-boys high school. Aoi Nakamura stars as the student who witnesses a performance of “Romeo and Juliet” and joins the drama club in the hopes of wooing the female lead. He’s shocked to find out that Juliet’s played by a guy!

The Lady Shogun And Her Men - Set in 1716 Japan, where a mysterious plague has befallen Japanese men, a samurai enters the elite harem of beautiful men within the Palace. They are there to ensure that when the 7-year old Lady Shogun is of proper age, she will pick one of them to ensure the propagation of her lineage. In a place where no woman except the Lady Shogun herself can enter, handsome and capable men compete fiercely with one another for the attention of the Lady Shogun--and the affections of one another.

Beck - Based on a manga and anime of the same title, it’s a story of a rock and roll band’s rise to fame. Aoi Nakamura plays the drummer; he also has a small role in Lady Shogun, where he plays a man-servant trainee who develops a crush on the lead samurai. Yes, I have a crush on Aoi, hahaha!

School Days With A Pig - An engaging though a bit disturbing Japanese dramedy. It’s based on a true story about an elementary teacher who lets his class raise a piglet in school with the aim of eating it by the end of the school year. As the students get more attached to the pig, the class becomes divided over its eventual fate. Surprisingly moving performances by the kids, and the lead is also very cute.

There are also Korean and Japanese horror movies that we delight in watching. Going beyond movies, we also are fans of two Korean telenovellas:

Reply 1997

(Also known as Answer to 1997 / Answer Me 1997) This Korean drama that airs on  tvN (or Mnet or Channel M) centers on a group of high school friends from Busan. The drama goes back and forth from 2012 where they have a reunion, and 1997 back in their high school days. It shows the extreme fan culture of K-pop while at the same time showing the little relationship dramas between the friends.

D and I are actually hooked because of the male lead Seo In Gook (or Seo In Guk), a singer/actor who’s handsome precisely because of a slight imperfection (he’s somewhat banlag on his left eye), and another male co-star, Hoya, who’s a member of the Korean idol group Infinite. In Reply 1997 their friendship is complicated by the fact that Hoya’s character has a secret crush on Seo In Gook’s character, who in turn thinks that his friend is courting his female crush (played by female lead Jung Eun Ji).

I Love Lee Tae Ri

Another Korean comedy drama that aired (yes, tapos na) on tvN, this stars Super Junior member Kim Ki Bum. It’s about a 14-year old boy who makes a wish and is magically transformed into a 25-year old man. That he’s also a swimmer elevates this Koreanovella into a work of genius. After his transformation (while he was doing the breast-stroke in the pool!), he spends the rest of the series in a tuxedo. Okay, make that a work of semi-genius.

There is also a love story there somewhere involving the female titular character, but yeah well whatever.

1 comment:

Will said...

I love Screen Red. I make it a point to check the schedules once in a while. There's just something about checking out what's on Red and watching a movie you've no idea about, then finding yourself liking it.

I've seen great titles like Robo Rock and Flowers in the Shadow thanks to Red. They're showing Villain right now.