Reviews written by numinair
GIRLS' GENERATION -LOVE & PEACE- Japan 3rd Tour (DVD+PHOTOBOOK) (First Press Limited Edition)(Japan Version)
GIRLS' GENERATION -LOVE & PEACE- Japan 3rd Tour (DVD+PHOTOBOOK) (First Press Limited Edition)(Japan Version) DVD Region All(1)Our Price: US$69.751 people found this review helpful
February 24, 2015 SNSD Angels from the Rainbow
The SNSD girls are back in town (Tokyo that is) on this their third Japanese tour outing of Love and Peace, and this DVD or Bluray concert set. No bout a doubt it, the concert rocks and the girls are lovely all way through. The set focuses of course more on GG’s Japanese songs with less of their early S Korean hits (no ‘Hoot’ or ‘Oh!’) and of course the more songs to the repertoire there are more choice of tracks that can be fitted into a 2 hour+ set. ‘Gee’ and Genie’ here though. But, yeah, it’s all really good from the explosive ‘Motorcycle’ to the emotional inducing ‘Stay Girls’. Certain song vibes touch the girls emotionally like ‘Stay Girls’ and ‘Time Machine’ (bless), but largely the girls do seem to be enjoying it still. The cosmic spacey introduction (sorta reminds me of Nik Turner’s Space Gypsy album) and brief serialised interpolated movies are interesting. The girls’ combined heist for the Angel love arrow artefact (shoot that pointed arrow, indeed) from an art museum with leather clad ‘thief’ GG girls avoiding red laser beam alarms. With that, along with the third interpolated film vignette, being quite HK Twins slapstick, SNSD seem to being going EEG/Twins Mission here.
This overall concert video recording is colourful to almost high saturation, lots of expected laser light and decent enough close ups of the 9, to keep you immersed and satisfied. SNSD also are greatly charming and confident looking on the night. I surely imagine its nerves to the ready, but GG all do great for an entertaining live pop show. Okay, it’s been a change of sorts, but there is still SNSD at the moment, and I’d say if you get the chance to see GG (or TTS) near your vicinity and you can get there – go for it whatever the number!
I opted for the DVD version as it being the only version available with the photo booklet, but I have now just ordered the Japanese Bluray version, too. This DVD version has an acetate slipcase with card gatefold holder for the disks and a nice slim concert photo booklet. The extra content on the second DVD is a 25 minute GG back stage happenings with brief chat which you could easily watch without subs. This extra trimmings isn’t essential stuff though, just a nice addition. Although you do get snatches of GG’s other nights of the 3rd Japanese concert tour (one night of Seohyun’s birthday). But for an enjoyable show, this is just ace.
For GG and Jessica... keep happy and cosmic (love and peace) :D
Way Back Home (DVD) (Korea Version)1 people found this review helpful
February 23, 2015 The long hauls of injustice
Jung Yeon (Do Yeon Jeon) is a woman who is incarcerated into a Dominica Republic prison in Martinique for being accused of cocaine smuggling at a French airport (after being transferred from a French prison to Martinique). Jung Yeon had no idea that drugs were being smuggled and only believed she was shuttling gems from zone to zone. And the reason Jung Yeon ends up taking the smuggling job is due to her husband Jong Bae (Ko Su) becoming in debt after a loan he’d made with a family friend, that’s fiscal interest had quadrupled. A friend who had also committed suicide. With their little daughter Hye-rin (Ji Woo Kang) to care for and dropped into a large amount of debt, Jong Bae took to the gem scam. But a woman needed for the job - Jung Yeon smuggles the ‘gems’. Wrongly convicted Jung Yeon then spends many months at the Martinique jail, unable to communicate by the language barrier, suffering abuse and finding it an uphill battle with the DR courts and S Korean embassy to get herself a fair trial. Jong Bae suffers equally trying to track down the ‘gem’ smuggler he was betrayed by, with the police, so to get proof that his wife knew nothing of the 'gem' baggage content. All a big quest for truth and justice that proves difficult to obtain.
The major aspect of ‘Way Back Home' isn’t just about Jung Yeon’s misperceived imprisonment which is a nightmare in itself; it’s another reflection of how ‘powers that be’ can turn their eyes away from ‘miniscule’ people of little importance. And where the struggling majority try to keep pace with incessant debts thrown at them for multitudes of reasons – how the whole system thrives on people being payers to someone. Without that no one needs to smuggle anything to pay off mad, bad debts. Do Yeon Jeon certainly puts this tough role across well, and for most it’s a role where Jung Yeon’s energy as almost depleted due to frustration, anxiety and the tough, rough conditions she finds herself in. Cruel the irony of Martinique being the dream holiday place Jung Yeon always wished to visit with Jong Bae that became her place of imprisonment. A very good movie that is controversial, can over point the finger perhaps, but certainly worth the time. Eun-jin Bang brings a focus on where women can be the victims of such scams and horrors, and the social disease of debt city.
A good package of a slip case and an envelope of photo cards included showing stills from the movie. ALL regions DVD edition
Orochi - Blood (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)(2)Our Price: US$10.991 people found this review helpful
February 20, 2015 Orochi - a very mysterious watcher
Orochi Blood is a fantasy drama-horror based on a Japanese comic manga from 1969-1970 and directed by Tsuruta Noroi who also directed J-horror Ring 0. These two movies have a connection in that they have a more theatrical horror style, ‘Orochi Blood’ mainly shot in the house and grounds of a mansion, and with a smidgeon of Hammer horror, a wee bit of period drama and part S Korean ‘A Tale of Two Sisters’. Interestingly the character of Orochi (Mitsuki Tanimura) isn’t exactly the main one, she’s a robed watcher (or maybe a recording angel type) with supernatural powers and the main plot thrust is provided by the characters of two sisters Kazusa (Yoshino Kimura) and Lisa (Noriko Nakagoshi) of the cursed Monzen family. Two actresses that perform excellently well here.
Orochi is fated to observe people for every 100 years and in this movie assigned to watch the Monzen family. Orochi enters the family mansion and wonders at a large portrait of a woman and child above the stairway. In the 1950s the present heir is successful actress Aoi Monzen (also Yosino Kimura) obsessed in re-watching a movie take of herself at the mansion and strict at demanding that her two young daughters Lisa and Kazusa can sing well at a vocal performance. Kazusa though sings out of key and is punished by Aoi for not trying hard enough. Aoi is obsessed that the children be competitive with each other and become famous like herself. But Aoi is a feared by a Monzen family curse, telling Kazusa and Lisa to stay away from the mansion attic. But re-watching the same movie take of herself at her house, Aoi becomes hysterical – she can see the mark on her forehead. Panicking in her room, Aoi is confronted by Orochi, who Aoi believes to be her new ‘maid’ merely taking a ‘spider’ away from her forehead. Such is the illusion power of Orochi. Later the hysterical Aoi becomes drunk and drives her car into a ditch as Orochi attempts to save her from crashing. Orochi then discovers odd scabs on Aoi’s forehead and fingers, a raised scaring that when Orochi touches them, casuse Orochi to bleed. Orochi then falls sleepy moving into woodland concerned that she will sleep too early before her mission is complete. Drawing to a lonely wood, Orochi then falls into a deep hole.
Orochi - Blood (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)(2)Our Price: US$10.991 people found this review helpful
February 20, 2015 A Fame monster’s self obsession (on overdrive)
Years pass on as both Lisa and Kazusa become grown woman at the mansion. Lisa is amazed how the blood of a girl had partly healed the odd scaly scabs on her mother Aoi. Finding an orphaned girl at a strict minstrel’s home, Lisa takes Yoshiko (also Mitsuki Tanimura) to the Monzen home as a maid for her mentally hysterical sister Kazusa. Lisa is actually interested in Yoshiko’s blood, and Lisa remembers as a little girl how she had once seen, with her sister, a mysterious red robed woman at the Monzen mansion – who looked just like Yoshiko. That strange robed woman also had blood that cured. But now Lisa is at odds with her sister Kazusa who always berates her. Kazusa fights, wrestles and beats Lisa for being late, or giving her strange food like a winged bat on a plate. Lisa had been always favoured by her mother Aoi, but Kazusa the rejected failure. Such as when their mother Aoi had beaten Kazusa on the hands with a stick for singing out of tune. But now Kazusa was obsessed with her mother – needing to be like her and watching her old movies in the cinema room. But Lisa knew that one day when Kazusa turned 29 her beauty would be afflicted by the Monzen curse – just like it had her grandmother and her mother Aoi, now shackled in the attic room as a freak of nature.
But somewhere in a black hole Orochi feels the blood of her spirit awaken her in Yoshiko, and needs to return to the Monzen mansion before all madness will break loose.
This is a slightly ‘older’ Japanese movie now (2008) but it’s certainly a very different type of fantasy horror (well drama horror more so) that you’d be used to - and a very good movie too (with obvious hints of vampirism about it). Certainly a strangely odd one, but I guess this all relates to the manga (which I’ve never read). Yoshino Kimura as Aoi/Kazusa acts incredibly well at both parts and I could imagine her doing big theatre works by her good acting. Noriko Nakagoshi also compliments well the madness and strictness as the other sister (and boy is there one mad sister bash, pull and slap scene near the end...and more!). The unusual Orochi (Mitsuki Tanimura reminds me of ex-Kara’s JiYoung a bit) is an elusive symbolic, and her mission never ending. It’s amazing there hasn’t been some Japanese TV series of Orochi’s mystical existence through the centuries, as she lives every 100 years...forever. Worth seeing this most definitely.
It's Time to Love (DVD) (Korea Version)1 people found this review helpful
February 19, 2015 Precious love
On Yoo (Ji Gyu Lim) projects a bright outlook. He’s a singer/guitar player member of a cancer survivor’s band called Pink Boys and volunteers singularly his bright musical talent at a children’s cancer hospital wing. On Yoo had survived leukaemia as a child, and wanted to give these children hope and optimism. He certainly needs a sense of humour as one boy Sarangi (WooJin Lee) likes to play unexpected pranks. Living at home, needing to find a job, On Yoo’s life isn’t easy, his brother unhappy at On Yoo’s volunteer work/music band and not buttoning down enough to get a job. But at the hospital On Yoo is shocked and surprised to see his favourite pop idol YeNa (YiYoung Shim) admitted, once a singer with girl idol group Pink Lady. On Yoo knows lots about Ye Na, administrator to his fan made Pink Lady blog site and even named his band Pink Boys in homage.
Ye Na had tried to commit suicide before leaving Pink Lady due to her mental condition. But now Ye Na’s manager boyfriend had bluntly told her he was getting married, Ye Na falls into server depression – admitted to the hospital. As a teenager Ye Na had deep misgivings and anger with her drunken father’s lack of responsibility and had left him to be in Pink Lady. Her dad later trying to make amends to Ye Na for his past mistakes by working as a taxi driver. But Ye Na found it difficult to forgive her father.
On Yoo is gobsmacked his favourite idol Ye Na is at the hospital he volunteers at. He tells his flower shop friend YongSoo (Bong-gil Yoon) of Ye Na’s admittance. Yong Soo is a big Girls’ Generation fan, especially Yoona, posters of her all around his shop as he dances daily to SNSD songs as he works, but secretly loves Jin-ah (Ye-il Yoo) a doll maker shop owner opposite his own. But On Yoo is determined to help Ye Na with her depression, tentatively entering her hospital room and mentioning the things he knows and loves about her. At first Ye Na is aloof and pained by her manager bf getting married, but soon gets acquainted with On Yoo’s volunteer work for the cancer suffering kids.
This is fine movie from Jin-Min Kim director of ‘Au Revoir UFO, where pained but overcome compassion of the human heart is the most important thing. It’s a mix of melodrama and humour. Other good characters and aspect also grace the story such as SeYoung (SooJeong Eom) and Sarangi. True life cancer survivors also speak about their life ordeals at the closing credits. And another movie with SNSD mentioned.
My Brilliant Life (2014) (DVD) (Korea Version)1 people found this review helpful
February 18, 2015 A very brilliant movie (A)
A mix of humorous melodrama and tearjerker sentiment, ‘My Brilliant Life’ has excellent credits going for it. Seong-mok Jo is excellent as the progeria (age accelerating disease) suffering Ah-ruem; Seong-mok’s incredibly life like aging effects to make him look 80 years old; the emphasis on Ah-ruem’s mature character, him facing a very short life. All this could seem a depressing tale, which in sad sentiment it is at the finish, but illuminating how Ah-ruem endeavours on ‘poetically’ in his mature self (with understandable frustrations) through adversity by his rare rapid aging condition. But sadness is contrasted by the part immature parent characters of Dae-soo (Dong won Kang) and Mi-ra (Hye-kyo Song), who certainly help make this a heart warming movie. Dae-soo and Mi-ra are a couple of endearing plonkers by their past teen exploits, Mi-ra getting pregnant from Dae-soo at 17 and then getting labelled ‘s**t-head princess’ by her disappointed father, bonking Mi-ra over the head with a stick. Dae-soo getting chased by angry locals for putting Mi-ra in the club – that sort of thing. Of course Dae-soo and Mi-ra love each other in only the kooky way they can and their love - it’s all so natural. As, too, like when both had first met. At that time lonely Dae-soo wished the wind goddess would send him a girlfriend as he bathes naked in a woodland water pool – and then out of ‘nowhere’ Mi-ra jumps in the pool to escape a swarm of bees after she had inadvertently blundered into their nest. The winds of fate and ‘coincidence’ had been accomplished!
Mi-ra though had dropped into despair over her unexpected pregnancy and blamed herself for Ah-ruem’s rare condition. If only Mi-ra hadn’t wished the baby to never be born, maybe Ah-ruem wouldn’t have suffered his progeria. Speculation and with the exceedingly mature minded Ah-ruem attending regular hospital visits and taking so much medication for his ever weakening condition, his main objective is writing poetry on his computer. Poetry about the people he loves - his caring doofus parents, his best friend neighbour old Mr Jang (Il-seob Baek), who Ah-ruem laughs and talks ‘old people stuff’ to, to pass the time with and also a girl who contacts Ah-ruem to help keep his spirits up. A girl like Ah-ruem with a sever bone marrow condition. But Ah-ruem is also a celebrity regularly interviewed on a weekly TV show helmed by producer Seung-chan (Joon-seok Heo) to fund money for Ah-ruem’s hospital care.
My Brilliant Life (2014) (DVD) (Korea Version)1 people found this review helpful
February 18, 2015 A very brilliant movie (B)
Ah-ruem feels by the TV show a way he can pay back his parents for their burden of looking after him. But Dae-soo and Mi-ra live in denial that Ah-ruem as only a month to live. But with Ah-ruem's 17th birthday nearing, his parents are determined to make their son’s final day’s happy ones. But Ah-ruem, too, has only compassionate thoughts for his parents in his last poetic words for them.
There’s always something positive being revealed beneath the surface overlay of misunderstood helplessness. Progeria is a rare condition (around 100 or so born with the condition worldwide?) and the life expectancy seems to be around the age of 17. But its interesting how Ah-ruem has an incredible positive mind, and people with progeria can also be likewise. But why do such things happen like this? Although not born with progeria, physicist Stephen Hawking, highly intelligent about the scientific universe, is blighted by a crippling ALS condition? Again having such life restrictions seems not to cripple the mind or intellect as SH is happy to project his fortitude and positive mind and inner brilliance. Are some of us are born ‘ill’ to put pause to others concerning the speed of life? Suffers like these seem to be ‘teachers’ of some sort. But does a new born soul crystallize into a physical form that the body then takes on the soul’s condition - that DNA is then subject to that soul? But why rapid aging or sudden body lock? One day I guess we can find out.
My Brilliant Life works well blending Ah-ruem’s age condition with mirth and optimism through adversity. If needing to get better in life, laughter, light and happiness surely merit. If this movie was one big depressing show of suffering, it can then only project that...suffering. Dae-soo and Mi-ra hold exuberant parental roles of their youth as adults and bring balance to the sad story, but they love their son Ah-ruem dearly. Ah-ruem and Mr Jang’s tete-a-tete are also very humbling, humorous and endearing. And there is also a guest appearance of Girls’ Generation TTS (TaeYeon being one of Ah-ruem’s favourite things). The cinematography of green is also good - trees, water and life. Dong won is also good to see back in movies again. He just doesn’t seem like he’s left.
This DVD edition of the movie is all regions (1- 6) and a movie certainly worth seeing.
Black Butler (2014) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)(2)Our Price: US$10.991 people found this review helpful
February 18, 2015 Beware the Black Butler’s swift butter knife
Sebastian (Hiro Mizushima) is the demon black butler who serves his master Kiyoharu Genpo (Ayami Gouriki), a ‘scion’ of the Genpo toy manufacturing nobility industrialists. Kiyoharu demands Sebastian’s protection to help Kiyoharu vengefully seek out a secret cliché of perpetrators who’d murdered Kiyoharu’s parents Arhito and Erika Genpo (Ken Kaito/Chiaki Horan) in cold blood. To gain Sebastian’s divine assistance Kiyoharu sold her soul to the demon in the bargain of his help and protection, such was Kiyoharu’s anger after watching as a child the murder of both her parents. Sebastian serves his master exquisite cuisine at Kiyoharu’s opulently massive Genpo family manor, but also uses his devilishly extensive worldly knowledge and swift and deadly butter knife fighting skills (he’s adept with a butter knife like no other) to assist Kiyoharu whenever she’s in deep trouble. For instance when Sebastian needs to rescue Kiyoharu from a human sex trafficker gang who have bound and gagged young girls in a warehouse - including Kiyoharu.
Kiyoharu had followed up a lead on a the traffickers due to their snake leader Aoki (Satoshi Hashimoto) having a connection with a spate of mummified body deaths and an envelope that just might contain a photo leading to the elusive murderers of Kiyoharu’s parents. Also due to Aoki’s double snake symbol - a symbol that Kiyoharu saw as child on the killer’s revolver who’d shot Kiyoharu's mother dead. A symbol also force branded on Kiyoharu’s back shoulder. Kiyoharu needs to know what is contained in the snake’s envelope, but caught and gagged Kiyoharu is somewhat compromised. But luckily Sebastian comes to the rescue in a brutal fight (yep, with butter knife) with Aoki and his gang, rescuing his master in ways only a Devilish Butler can.
Back at her manor Kiyoharu’s ‘unfinished business’ lead is widened when the Queen of the West, via her personal secretary, orders immediate detective work from Kiyoharu; the Queen’s watchdog and underground noble agent. The Queen enforces her interests concerning a world embassy dignitary who was found dead in his car. Equivalent to previous high profile deaths the embassy dignitary was turned into a mummified corpse with his life essence removed, and a Baphomet devil card found beside him - so referred as the 8th Devil’s Curse murder. The secretary tells Kiyoharu that the United governments are about to hold a state exorcism in haste to curb the esoteric devil deaths.
Black Butler (2014) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)(2)Our Price: US$10.992 people found this review helpful
February 18, 2015 A dandy black butler in the danger world
Kiyoharu and Sebastian (like a gothic Holmes and Watson) then investigate the 8th Devil curse murder which leads to an elite private underground club where the dead embassy man had attended and also where other world dignitaries meet. In fact Aoki’s mystery envelope showed a photo of Kiyoharu’s aunt Hanae (Yuka) there. But for Kiyoharu and Sebastian to gain access to the private club, Kiyoharu needs a special VIP ‘black invitation’ from her aunt Hanae, who frequents the secret club. Hanae angered also by the murder of Kiyoharu’s parents is curious to what Kiyoharu desires to uncover, so gives Kiyoharu the club invite. Gaining access to the club Kiyoharu observes a decadent drugs/sex party underway with elite dignitaries and VIP guests. But Kiyoharu and Sebastian later discover a conspiracy surrounding a Epsilon Pharmaceutical company which has manufactured a new deadly drug. A rapid aging vapour drug used on the VIP party goers as a deadly experiment, later to be used as a ‘terror’ grip to control the world populace.
Black Butler is based on the popular anime of the same name (but set in 2020 Japan) and inspired from gothic fantasy, English nobles and espionage mixed with secret societies and megalomaniac world dominating conspiracies, championed by an androgynous demon dandy butler named Sebastian to save the day. There’s a lot of back history and variation to BB (and Kiyoharu as alias) where of course the manga/anime comes in. But for a flesh acted anime movie with grandiose aesthetics, frenetic fighting scenes and a slick plot, all this comes across exceedingly well (a Square Enix production after all). Sebastian having that androgynous super model/rock star hair and super fighting skill is cool, but his subtle deadpan humour and deeper truth with Kiyoharu makes for an interesting double act. Kiyoharu for instance named Sebastian after her dog (like Indiana Jones?) – a happy devil not?! An additional super charged character is Lyn/Rin (Mizuki Yamamoto), a ‘clumsy’ Genpo maid who later spreads her deadly feathers. Black Butler can be likened to a gothic James Bond/ sleuth detective type, but with kooky martial arts, posh food demon-servant doing the killings. Megalomaniac world domination is at its forefront, but later revealing that when some aristocratic family members get a bit pissed off, the whole world can end up suffering. Anyway if you like dark fantasy, action movies, Harry Potter and anime you can’t go wrong with this. Excellent in fact.
Mr. & Mrs. Single (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)1 people found this review helpful
February 13, 2015 Fragrance and misundstood love
Happily married to Jenny (Bai Bing) but needing a new job pronto to pay the mortgage Mike Cui (Eason) lands himself a new career as personal CEO assistant at a perfume company. His fierce female boss is Mandy (Rene Liu) who demands personal assistance 24 hours a day and prefers an employee with no marriage ties. Mike is advised of such a prosperous job position by his friend Tony (Halarm Yu) after he leans that Mike as a nose for plant varieties. Tony is the perfume company’s mega mix chemist (a sort of Tom Cruise Cocktail guy but with perfumes) and an adept sniffer and cataloguer of the company’s 200+ perfume varieties he creates. But to land his new job Mike is told by Tony he will have to feign to Mandy that he’s not married, due to Mandy’s 24 hour on demand. This of course brings problems for Jenny who wonders why Mike is late from work a lot, but for Mandy who having personal love woes of own needs a personal assistants’ ear to bend when lonely on Valentine’s Day nights.
Nervous protective Jenny isn’t happy when she learns that Mike is telling the perfume company staff he isn’t married causing obvious suspicions on Jenny’s part, but she soon learns that Mike is telling the truth about having to hold court for Mandy - being such a demanding boss. But things get a little more bothersome for Jenny when Mandy and Mike go on a business trip together and things become a little steamier/emotional than planned on the perfume agenda.
This is another good Chinese romantic movie with an upbeat style and good constant pacing that I found enjoyable throughout. Eason (keep rocking!), Rene and BB are good at these roles and the humour, misunderstandings and awkwardness are pretty well characterised, but close to the mark (the last thing a man wants do is look like a school boy when he starts a new job with plenty of ladies about..ahem). Rene’s tough cookie CEO Mandy although standing no messing (she even high kicks Mike’s name board before choosing him at the interview) has a sensitive inner heart that merely needs sharing with. Although the theme is fragrance (and falling into ‘having a good nose for the job’ jokes) it does work. It has been some time I’ve watched Rene in something too. I did wonder about Mandy’s adrift situation as the only loose end. But MAMS quality is high and I certainly recommend this movie to watch. To be honest it’s been one of a string of DVD movies I have that’s been on the back burner.
Brown Eyed Girls Best - Special Moments (2CD)2 people found this review helpful
February 13, 2015 Love, Love this cool BEG anthology
As compilation and best of albums can be a bit hit or miss, it’s nice when you get a music collection of songs that is well delivered, extensive and informative. BEG’s Special Moments is just that, almost perfect with 30 magic moments from BEG’s back catalogue along with a nice new dance electronic song ‘Hush’. The collection is far reaching including their first two albums and four songs from the ‘My Style’ mini album (almost one of BEG’s best) including You and How Come and even Magic from the Festa on Ice. The CDs are split, as you might expect looking at the track lists, into dance and ballad - the first CD (black) the EDM and upbeat songs and with CD2 (gold) the more ballad types although CD2 is not completely exempt of upbeat numbers. I guess you could have all this BEG stuff already as digital only versions or on previously released BEG album CDs (and I also did hesitate), but this two disk CD collection works nicely from the get go and is also something tangible to appreciate as a package instead of mere digital. ‘Hush’ is just great to kick off this collection with, a song harkening back to the girl’s EDM Sound G album and then just one BEG hit after another follows - Abracadabra, How Come (track 4), Sign, My Style, Candy Man, You, Kill Bill, Sixth Sense etc. Great!
I love this BEG collection and gave the first CD about three listens in one go! That’s what happens when you leave songs alone a bit and then return to a ‘retro’ (in quotes as these BEG songs aren’t that old yet) collection like this. The packaging is good. A simple black mature outer case and two way fold out digi pack type with CDs in plastic holders and attached booklet. The booklet includes the Korean lyrics to all tracks with song titles having below them the original album they came from - plus a little photo icon of the song’s original BEG album cover. Also an array of BEG photos from the girl’s (or I should say now women!) past albums.
This collection is just perfect for a BEG anthology to date (especially if you haven’t got any BEG on disk) and the only real omission is a DVD featuring a selection of these 30 songs as music videos. But even so this is still an excellent collection. Considering the wide collection of BEG songs, you cannot go wrong with this. You could easily gift someone with this compilation.
Hopefully GaIn, Narsha, JeA and Miryo will be back with their next main studio album that Hush will feature on. :D
Play (DVD) (First Press Lmited Edition) (Korea Version)1 people found this review helpful
February 11, 2015 Mates at Play
‘Play’ features the S Korean rock band Mate, here as disenchanted musicians who serendipitously get together to form a pop rock band eventually called..Mate! Keyboard and song writer Joon-il and guitarist and singer Heon-il both share sorrows concerning the girls in their lives having to move abroad to study. For Joon-il his painful separation from his girlfriend Soo-hyeon is so angst it all inspires his own sad passionate song and music lyric. Guitarist and singer Heon-il is dissatisfied by performing as a session musician and thirsts for expressing his own personal music. Heon-il though meets like minded soul mate in art film maker Eun-chae who sets his heart alight but also plans to move to England to study her passion for art movies. Eun-chae had filmed her own art piece featuring her running in slow motion which Heon-il strums a conducive complimenting piece on his guitar. Alone and reflecting about mutual art, they subtly begin to fall in love with each other. Joon-il though discovers Heon-il performing at a cafe bar and liking his mood style gives Heon-il a CD recording of his sad love song. Heon-il is intrigued and empathic by Joon-il’s sorrowful song (due to Eun-chae about to fly away to a far off land) and the musicians get to together. The third of the band members is part time model Hyeon-jae and drummer who coincidently meets the other two musicians in a subway carrying their instruments, and asks them about their music. Soon Hyeon-jae joins the band and the three begin to record a beefy version of Joon-il’s sad love song - which becomes a surprising success with music lovers.
Most characters in ‘Play’ (if not all) are acting as themselves and I’ve just gotta admit I was clueless who these guys Mate were until I watched the movie. It’s certainly a nice movie though (not sure how this story reflects the lad’s real lives, but I hazard a guess it must be close). ‘Play’ is not just of musicians or pop rock but more the frustrations and growing pains of relationship separations. Pop Rulez at the moment but most striving band musicians also wish to express their individuality through musical art, but the modern mores of pop seem to be stuck in painful love song mode. Its okay - but overwhelming. Considering the movie is called ‘Play’ that is the word significant in discovering personal tapestries of sound and ideas. To Play freely and allow untapped wonders to the forefront of collected consciousness.
This DVD edition is all regions.
Rhythm Of The Rain (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version)1 people found this review helpful
February 11, 2015 Rock music, youth love and a bit of The Classic
Allen (Alan Kuo) a singer-guitarist with a rock band becomes smitten with a doll-maker and t-shirt printing employee Yu Jie (Ginnie Han) who actually reminds him of his ex-girlfriend Sharon (Vivian Hsu). Yu Jie though is deaf due to a fatal motor bike accident years before which had took the life of her boyfriend. Allen wants to promote his rock band and requires a band design t-shirt from the small company Yu Jie works. But when Allen learns of Yu Jie’s deafness he’s shocked but wishes to help her which amazes and causes Yu Jie to fall in love with Allen. But then professional model Sharon returns to Allen's rock group as an additional singer - the old romance begins anew and Allen is torn between his smitteness for Yu Jie and love for Sharon. On the side of things is Allen’s friend Yi Le (Su Lung Sik) who has known Yi Jie for some years. Being an artist and photographer Yi Le had took pictures of Yu Jie at a train station (the time of Yu Jie’s fatal bike accident). Due to Yu Jie’s terrible ordeal and the death of her first love, Yi Le secretly began to love Yu Jie in his heart and whenever she is hurt by Allen’s blunt nature, he is there to console her.
‘Rhythm in the Rain’ is a youth movie about frustrations and failings of love with rock music and wisps of Jae-yong Kwak’s movie The Classic (deja vu with that coat over Allen and Yu Jie’s heads in the rain scene and even a mention of Bob Dylan’s Knockin on Heaven’s Door, a covered song incorporated in JYK’s Windstruck...or am I just reading in to this too much?...lol). RITR though can be fragmentary; sometimes quite impactive and emotional, other times diluted with its patchy plot and inconsistent revelations, but overall a decent movie (Viv’s a good reason to see it for one). There’s also a Singapore art and music festival competition where martial art painting, dance and music are combined in a talent competition Allen and his gang get involved in. Funnily enough there could be a spot the rock band competition with this movie to see how many rock bands and artists here. Deep Purple In Rock t-shirt, Pink Floyd The Wall and Animals posters, Jimi Hendrix and Adam Ant portraits, The Smiths and loads more (no Hawkwind Space Ritual though?...lol). Nostalgia...DPIR was the first rock LP I bought with me pocket money when I was at school in 1976. Anyway this DVD version is region 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 with outer slip case and a nice pack of 12 monthly postcards of cast/movie scenes. I’ll give it four!
A Fighter's Confession (CD + DVD)1 people found this review helpful
February 6, 2015 Fighting For - One cool Matrix inspired music vid
I haven’t heard J-Wo’s songs before but his CD/DVD mini album ‘A Fighters Confession’ is one to check out. The main song is ‘Fighting For’ composed by Skot Suyama which also features an 18 minute drama MV version of the song (included on the DVD), a sci-fi futuristic scenario of a man who using music, frees over worked souls from a technocrat machine reality.
The drama MV version shows how the man (Jonathan Wong) identified as number 17112 works soullessly at a projected computer screen station beamed from his provided black spectacles device for a technological ‘drone world’ business corp. If JW fails to work sufficiently or tries to break free, his work contract is terminated. Free expression of music/art are forbidden. Outside his white sterile work pool JW’s only respite from mechanised reality are nightly dreams of a woman (his feminine divided self?) within a beautiful garden or party atmosphere. In the ‘inner’ the woman (Celina Jade) cajoles JW to wake up from his Matrix world and rediscover his true colours – his power to change his reality towards a more freer and beautifully recognised world through art and music. This woman in ‘real life’ is also a drone worker - dressed in a black suit and tie working beside JW. But the woman in JW’s dreams tells him how art and technology were once balanced, a perfect marriage, but technology now over shadowing and entrapping humanities’ true soul. The woman gives JW a violin and a crystal as means to circumvent his imprisonment in the technological computer world by expressing his free emotion through music - his truer inner Free Self – facilitating independence from the controlling machine beast and reawakening all other workers from the technological business machine.
No doubt The Matrix comes to mind here, with Smith type black suits, J-Wo looking a bit Neo, machines and dream reality, amongst some dance type fight scenes (no bullet time though..lol). But ‘Fighting For’ is ironically a gentle upbeat electronic melody about ‘freeing the bound spirit’. The DVD features the ‘Fighting For' drama version + two main FF MVs. Although a 14 track CD it features only several canto songs written by Skot Suyama and Eric Kwok that have additional English and Mandarin versions. Other good noted songs are Double Down and All of You (with English versions) and Run. There’s also a differing English version of Fighting For. Some incidental music bonus tracks, too, relating to the FF drama video. Highly recommend this.
Golden Brother (2014) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)1 people found this review helpful
February 4, 2015 Serious social issues and mirth blended
Central protagonist Ho Ching (Bosco) finds his whole life challenged after he suddenly loses his job and harbours a misperceived attitude towards his girlfriend Elna (Stephy), who he believes is cheating on him with a far richer man. Having a strict ex-policeman father (Kai Chi Liu) and a recently released from prison wayward bother Yong (William Chan), life at the parental home for Ho Ching is fractious and argumentative. But Ho Ching’s inspired conviction is rooted in his father’s words ‘Don’t take what doesn’t belong to you, and do your best with your talent’ but by Ho Ching’s encouraged nature becomes estranged from Yong after doing what was right for Yong and landing his brother in prison. Deemed a parental failure Yong is angry at his dad putting Ho Ching on a pedestal (Yong even absent from a family mantelpiece photo) and miffed especially with Ho Ching. But jobless Ho Ching eventually hits success with an investment currency speculation business which Yong works at. But this new dodgy vocation for Ho Ching would anger his father, especially his dad hating that Yong works at a financial scam factory and run by his ex-colleague who had betrayed and left him permanently injured. But although success alchemizes to avarice Ho Ching keeps dropping himself constantly into tactless and embarrassing accusations with Elna and also a single mother and in debt On Yi (Zhao Rong) who Ho Ching helps due to his new financial clout. Ho Ching also attracted to On Yi who inspires him to reconsider his bull at a gate attitude.
Part of the kith and kin experience is in truly understanding close friends and relatives we think we already know. ‘Golden Brother’ takes a light quirky view of such social confusions, sudden unemployment, health and relationship quarrels, although by no means trivialises these social difficulties. It’s a hotchpotch of a movie though with added titillation care of Rose Chan Ka-wun as a spectacled bombshell type (doing her Cleo Rocos chest and thighs thang on a bewildered Ho Ching) but GB does try to reflect a sort of truth about reality that when unseen situations happen in life, it’s not always clear to see the main reasons. Certainly Ho Ching is left with one big decision to make about how his life could be far more blessed than by mere avarice after he acquaints himself with On Yi. I liked Bosco as Ho Ching. Stephy although with little screen time is always good to see. For seriously based on truth mirth it’s no bad movie this.
Epitone Project - Long Journey1 people found this review helpful
January 30, 2015 Epitone Project are well worth checking out
I’ve recently revisited this album ‘Long Journey’ by Epitone Project which I bought some time back and certainly EP have a nice mixture of musical style that’s both comforting to the heart by sweet upbeat piano melodies and vocal songs, but contrasted nicely with unusual quirky sound effects and a measure of industrial techno drum beats amidst sweetly melancholic tunes. In fact certain songs and instrumentals on ‘Long Journey’ could easily fit into a S Korean romance drama or lounge album - the quick fresh beats. Even some traditional and pleasant K-pop song ballads and duet such as ‘Wake Up’ (track 2), ‘Where is Thee?’ (track 4) and ‘I’m sick of that man’ (track 7).
The composer and musician behind Epitone Project is Se-jung Cha who writes, composes, vocal performs and produces most of the music and sound here. Although having vocal songs ‘Long Journey’ is mostly instrumentals that are variedly sweet, soaring and quietly moodful electronic piano pieces (maybe inspired by Ravel and Debussy) with techno beat backdrops - to chill or get melancholic to. They can also have that K-drama music feel about them. Some emotional piano tracks have heavy synth drum beats and base such as ‘The good moments are always cruel’ (track 3) and Hope Advisors’ (track 8) with beat loops, strings and gentle sweet piano. Certain EP pieces find their way on to S Korean movies OSTs ‘In the sprint time cherry blossoms and you’ (track 5) may be familiar to some. For a highlight of good songs here I liked (track 3, 4 and 5, the techno melody beat of ‘Noise’ (track 6) and ‘It seems you are the dream’ (track 9).
Epitone Project are good and this album doesn't have a bad track on it. There is also enough here for those who love pleasant upbeat melodies contrasted with backdrop undertones of the melancholic and songs that are K-pop ballad format and within an electronic drums and beats backdrop (funnily enough I also have an electronic sequencer-dance album called Ypsilon Project by Odyessy and Remote Spaces). Certainly an album to sit and chill to and calm the soul.
I’ve only presently got this Epitone Project album on CD but certainly one to recommend if you haven't heard EP before. But I’m confident enough to say you wouldn’t go amiss with any EP albums if you like this type of music. For English track translation I used free software tool ImTranslator (which is very good way to translate any language into another...worth trying on your social media).
Futureless Things (DVD) (Korea Version)1 people found this review helpful
January 26, 2015 An unusual sense of mini-mart store manners
‘Futureless Things’ is set 24 hours within a convenience store where young (and understandingly bored) part-time workers (generally filmed beside the checkout desk) encounter a succession of nominally harassing customers, which test the rotating staff’s manners and patience. The movie is made up of thirteen seamless episodes of the social ranging from the hum drum to the bizarre - a staff girl falling in love with her work colleague after she cuts her hair and is kissed by her and then getting miffed by school girls talking spitefully about lesbians; an offensive man harassing one of the store’s female workers about a possible N Korean spy working at their store; an overzealous lottery ticket obsessive; a mystical customer citing Nietzsche and the Oneness of existence; a young trendy woman who likes to cool her hair in the refrigeration drinks section and her unreal cardboard box; an Afghanistan woman affronted by a checkout lad learning English on earphones (can’t blame the Afghanistan lady really as she only wanted to buy something and not get ‘Being a mother in Afghanistan is very dangerous’ from the store lad testing his English; a persistent woman who is shocked that the mini-mart store doesn’t have a wash room. And more madness from the inner.
Certainly a situation comedy of sorts regarding aspects of S Korean society and of the diverse people crossing paths in a work place food store. But this is no ordinary day of (in)convenience or social expression about the work ethic. Well it is, but in a quite ‘Twilight Zone’ manner. Apart from a lad wearing a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt disappearing into an unusual woman’s cardboard box, the ‘enigmatic’ 24 hour store is ‘oddly’ locked – the manager stressed about his lack of profits and temporary staff annoyed why they aren’t paid their wages most of the time. But left brain logic isn’t the way to watch this entirely as every situation happening in the store is multi dimensional (even the store lad’s English lesson tutorial words convey significance), interconnected into one whole. Probably relating to the customer whose every expression is about Oneness (as One expresses in the shop, as the Whole?). But there’s a very serious situation sandwiched into the banal situations of this mini-store daily grind that surly questions the fairness of self employed restrictions (strain chains), youth pressure, harassment, systematic irreverence and working for peanuts. This edition is Region ALL
My Lucky Star (2013) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)1 people found this review helpful
January 23, 2015 Sophie is Forever or Carry on Sophie?
Comic illustrator fantasist and imagination supremo Sophie (Zhang Ziyi) is in a pickle. Her parents in a photo frame nag Sophie to get married to a rich oil tycoon, whilst hard up for cash Sophie only dreams of marrying her imaginative unreal comic art hero. Picking up the annoying photo frame Sophie quickly puts the ‘talking’ picture in her wardrobe to quiet the parental voices in her imaginative head. Otherwise Sophie slaves her days selling air miles for a travel agency with her boss berating her for slacking as she doodles comic caricatures of her dream ‘hero’ and employer (vividly imagining boxing her boss’s ears for satisfaction) and getting herself voted worst employee of the year. But Sophie dreams she will one day meet her suave Mr Right, a super spy with a blue tooth ear piece that she fantasizes about everyday by doodling him in her comic art (in fact Sophie is so accurate with her visionary imaginings, they are exactly akin to the main spy plot). For mental support Sophie meets up regularly with her two friends Lily (Yao Chen) and Lucy (Ruby Lin) and likes to upstage and annoy her arch ‘enemy’ CiCi (Ada Choi) by hiring a crazy loud pink outfit for her gal meet up (although CiCi with boyfriend on tow is oblivious to Sophie’s ‘high decibel’ pink attire). Sophie does this due to CiCi always bragging about her latest boyfriend conquests, which irritates the dainties off Sophie. Especially as the only man in Sophie’s life is her illustrated comic hero super spy.
But after winning a holiday prize draw to Singapore Sophie meets at an airport her imaginary dream spy hero in the flesh. Not locking her baggage properly Sophie’s luggage spills her underwear everywhere, bringing the attention of David Yap (Leehom Wang) and his real blue tooth ear piece to a damsel in distress. David is on a heist to locate a crime boss who as stolen a ‘Lucky Star’ diamond and must strategically nab the diamond back by acting as an arms dealer contact. The diamond is contained in a steel case coveted by every arms dealer in the land; the fortunate diamond having the capacity to be used for a powerful laser weapon. But Sophie using smitten tactics to follow her hero-in-the-flesh David into a rooftop VIP event inadvertently picks up David’s pass words from a contact bar man for David’s heist meeting. Sophie is then escorted to the crime boss and shocked at such a ‘gift’ she retrieves with the diamond - Sophie’s scan lip print the only way now to open the sealed case.
My Lucky Star (2013) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)1 people found this review helpful
January 23, 2015 Is this spy spoof all in Sophie’s head or wot?
Also at the roof top event is arms dealer Mr Gao (Jack Kao) the main contact for the crime boss to retrieve the diamond for his boss Charlize - the Black Widow (Terri Kwan), who will stop at nothing to get her deadly prize. (She means business as she’d already covertly murdered her four husbands). But when Sophie blows her ‘cover’ David comes to the rescue (he has to as Sophie is always cocking things up Johnny English style), with Mr Gao and his henchmen chasing Sophie and David for the diamond, trapping them and retrieving the steel case. Sophie and David escape but Mr Gao and the Black Widow can’t open the diamond case without Sophie’s lips touching the identification scanner to unlock it. Her lips are needed as even a nuclear bomb wouldn’t blow it open. So Mr Gao is given three days by the quite miffed Black Widow to find Sophie and get her lips smacking the case scanner pronto. But Sophie is somewhere with David and his techy side kick Bo (Ryan Zheng) who are challenged to train Sophie on another mission to retrieve the diamond case (again) from the Black Widow. (CiCi becoming the mental catalyst for Sophie to get mad and judo throw her spy dream boat David and later villains over her shoulder.) Falling in love with David, Sophie is determined to be his girl, but learns that David on a past spy mission had secretly fell in love with...the Black Widow Charlize.
With good expectations after watching Zhang Ziyi in ‘Sophie’s Revenge’ I anticipated this Sophie prequel to be similarly interesting. Although not as consistently clever with the comic animations as ‘Sophie’s Revenge’ or having the same panache, this does have enough good main character performance, zest, funnies and some Bond satire to be enjoyed. But ‘My Lucky Star’ falls into humorous cliché zones and regular parody spy spoof stuff, which although can be funny, is nevertheless open to boredom for some. But I admit I enjoyed this movie and really like Zhang Ziyi in her clever and well performed Sophie role – certainly found her own nifty character here. Leehom Wang is alright as the dream hero (no re-entry jokes here though). I hope though this isn’t the last of through the looking glass girl Sophie and that maybe one more movie could be on par with ‘Sophie’s Revenge’ (an actual sequel maybe). For the Bond aspects maybe Sophie is 'showing a bit more cheek than usual' to reflect Blofled's words to Tiffany Case in 'Diamonds are Forever' – especially Sophie’s undercover sexy nurse bit.
Miss Cherry's Love Puzzle (DVD) (Korea Version)2 people found this review helpful
January 22, 2015 Four single women behaving...not to gladly
Four single young women share a home together, but have one thing in common - they’re out of luck in dating boyfriends. House owner Cherry (Hyeon-kyeong Ryoo) had ditched her two timing boyfriend, just at the time her parents phone to say they have won the lottery and whizz off somewhere leaving Cherry alone. To keep her company her three girl friends shack up at her house. Jobless Cherry though prefers to be a loner and housebound type dreaming only of writing a novel. She hates being mithered by her live in friend So-young (Si-eun Ha) to get a boyfriend and a ‘life’. But the only time Cherry leaves the house is to get snacks from a local convenience store, as whenever she gets stressed (normally when others bother her) Cherry needs lots of chocolate, biscuits and sweets. But at the convenience store Cherry meets a young employee Yoo-sin (Il-joo Ji) who takes a shy fancy to her. Cherry also gets another young man asking to date her too. But Cherry just...wants to be alone.
So-young enjoys being care free, but is insistent in getting the other three girls hitched with boyfriends (pestering Cherry the most) - but as love problems of her own when medical doctor Gil-joon (Seung-hyeon Ji) keeps trying to date So-young by visiting the coffee shop she works in. Na-eun (Song-hee Han) works as an art teacher but is asked by one of her English tutors to chaperone a Canadian student around the school she works at - but due to her English tutor being unable to speak English, and too embarrassed to admit it to his colleagues, asks Na-eun discreetly to do the deed. In doing so Na-eun meets Sam (Julian Quintart) from Canada, who she begins to fall in love with. Yoon-jin (Gi-hwa Kang) works at an art gallery, but becomes very unhappy when discovering that a past love she admires is to get married.
‘Miss Cherry’s Love Puzzle’ is a charming chick flick about women in their mid 20s hitting crises time - indecisiveness about stressful futures. The story centres on Cherry (interesting Cherry’s USA t-shirt logo reminded me of the UFO rock group logo - who also recorded a song called Cherry) and her conflicting life for independency from mithering friends and prospective suitors – but still dreams of love. For Cherry its - ‘When are you going grow up and live like everyone else?’ Yada Yada. Unfortunately for Cherry and her chums, relationships aren’t quite what they expect. If you like S Korean indie fem movies, this is a good one.
This DVD edition is 1,2,3,4,5,6 regions.