RULER: MASTER OF THE MASK

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In the 1700's, Crown Prince Lee Sun (Yoo Seung-Ho) fights against Pyunsoo group. Pyunsoo is an organization that has accumulated power and wealth through privatizing water all over Joseon. Crown Prince Lee Sun becomes a hope for the people who suffer. Ga-Eun is the woman Crown Prince Lee Sun loves and she helps grow as a ruler.

Master of the Mask is like a roller coaster ride, the story takes you up to intensity, then drag you down with regret and suddenly knocks you off to happiness.  To sum things up, the plot is not perfect at all, it has a high and low point. The cinematography is superb for the historical setting and because it's an all-star cast, this show was favored and impossible not to watch.

The finale was tied up neatly and will give you an approving look while witnessing our main lead achieved his dreams and hopes.  Just bear some loopholes for certain episodes, but in the end, you would never regret of watching it.

Verdict: 8/10

 

 

EMPRESS KI (Kdrama-2013)

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Empress Ki tells the story of Ki Sung Nyang (Ha Ji Won) who rises from nothing to marry Emperor Ta Hwan (Ji Chang Wook) and become Empress of the Yuan Empire.  She also gets involved in a love triangle with the Emperor and King Wang Yu of Goryeo (Joo Jin Mo).

Finally, I was able to say goodbye to this drama. I was struggling to finish the 51 episodes, because of my schedules, so for me, this is quite a victory.  Empress Ki is just like the other sageuk or historical drama, the imperfections were evident, however, you will love them, hate them, cry for them, they will use your emotions to storm away from the reality and you just have to swim against the tide because it engulfs you totally.

Empress Ki will bring you to Joseon period where power was a survival, loyalty was indispensable, revenge resonates hope and love became a sacrifice. Different characters go through many struggles, a bulk of villainous charm driven into more occurrence of intensity. It was very well structured.

The visuals are no joke in this drama. A wide parade array of colors and styles in their costumes will fill your eyes. The plot was epic, one of a kind. It was beautifully filmed with gorgeous cinematography.

I recommend you to watch this drama and don’t be scared off by the long episodes, you will enjoy the bits of it.

Verdict: 10/10

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The Admiral: Roaring Currents

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12 Battleships against a fleet of 330. One man against all odds. Sounds too good to be true, right? But yes, this movie depicts from one of the greatest naval battles in Korea history which they stand last against the Japanese navy during the Imjin war in the Joseon Dynasty.

The Admiral Yi Sun-sin was a Korean naval commander who was well-respected for his exemplary conduct on and off the battlefield. He’s one of few Admirals in world history who remained undefeated.  In this movie, you will see how he implored some actual strategy to win and how he takes the lead in difficult moments.

I know I was a little bit late to watch this movie, but I’m glad I was able to.  This film is perfection for human perseverance and bravery.  They have an excellent cast, astounding production, and a good tribute to the valiant Koreans.

Verdict: 10/10

 

HWARANG: The Poet Warrior Youth

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Drama series depicts the story of Hwarang (literally “Flowering Knights”) – an elite group of male youth in during the Kingdom of Silla.

What I like about this show is the beautiful faces of our flower boy warriors, certainly, it helps the show to look striking. However, good looks are not enough to make a drama good and convincing.

The plot would be much better if they were able to progress the story and not just partially divulged, then leaped to another situation and no follow up to what has been untold. I was expecting more fights, blood, and craziness, but never had the taste.  It wasn’t right for a historical drama to miss something like that.

Another weak point of the show is the romance sucked. Literally, I have never cared about it because there’s no element of chemistry thumping around for the leads. Bromance was quite fun, but the character development between the two was so slow.

Surprisingly, the finale wrapped up according to my expectations. Well, I never had high hopes, but they ended it on a high note. Though it wasn’t the best of the best, but it has its moments too,  enough to watch for a little entertainment.

Verdict: 7/10

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Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (Finale 2016)

Scarlet Heart: Goryeo is a remake of the popular Chinese drama Scarlet Heart (Bu Bu Jin Xin) and tells the story of a modern day woman (IU) who travels back in time to the Goryeo era and gets romantically involved with several princes.

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(from left to right) Ji Soo as Wang Jung (14th Prince) Byun Baek Hyun as Wang Hyun (10th Prince) Hong Jong Hyun as Wang Yo (3rd Prince) Lee Joon Ki as Wang So (4th Prince) IU as Hae Soo (from modern era) Kang Ha Neul as Wang Wook (8th Prince) Nam Joo Hyuk as Wang Yoo (13th Prince) Yoon Sun Woo as Wang Won (9th Prince)

I think most of the viewers shared the same agony after seeing the finale of this drama; it was sad and depressing. As much as I love time travel drama, I am expecting less chance for a happy ending; Someone must leave to the future and somebody has to stay.

I don’t get it why some viewers doesn’t like this drama. For me, it was one of the best. It’s tragic, dark, conflicted and yet compelling. The script was well defined, the cinematography was amazingly impeccable, which builds the calmness and stripping feeling of love between the protagonist. The soundtracks were captivating, inviting you to cry with them, sword fighting was stunning and the acting was unfailing, especially Lee Joon-Kis’s (Wang So / King Gwangjong) performance, it was beyond excellent.

Scarlet left me with a scarred heart when Hae Soo went back to the future without closure and never had a proper goodbye from Wang So.  She has just gone unsettled with scattered emotions left for everyone. So what are we  expecting from her in the future? An anguish of lost and remorse of leaving someone behind. And it still aches, though Wang So made a promise to find her even they don’t share the same world.

However, there are plot holes leaving until the very end, but I really don’t mind.  Even they were saying that Chinese version is better, the hell I care.  I simply enjoyed the ride; the happy moments, the hateful scenes, betrayal, greed, the unrequited love, friendship, sacrifices, family, the fallen of the Princes, the love story of each and the sadness.  Everything was packed into beautiful historical drama I would never trade of.

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“He who wears the crown must bear its weight”

Verdict: 9/10

Splash Splash Love (2015)

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Splash Splash Love – a fascinating Time-Travel Drama where the protagonist is mysteriously appeared in the Joseon Era, but only on rainy days.  This drama is different than the usual since it has only two episodes special, but of course it has all the elements you needed; a story packed with humor, romance, discovery, slight angst and family relationship.

The plot splash greatly like a documented timeline, it was well written, organized and dynamic. The characters portrayed by Yoon Doo Joon and Kim Seul Gi was well executed from simple, effortless, sparkly performances to captivating chemistry that is definitely fun to watch.

What I like about this drama is the major issue and focus of self-discovery. Jang Dan-Bi (Kim Seul-Gi) is an ordinary student from modern era suffering from stress and lack of self-esteem, while Lee Do (Yoon Doo-Joon) is a persistent King of Joseon, eager to learn and who convinced that math and science are the keys to develop his kingdom.

The adventure of Jang Dan-Bi comforted her to become useful and loved by King Lee, after all he who has learned to sacrifice his love by letting her back to the future.

Get ready to on-board with this drama, it will make you laugh and cry.

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I always find time travel drama as the best one though it will give you heartaches and loads of pain, but for this one, I don’t mind at all.

Verdict: 10/10

THE NIGHT WATCHMEN

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“During the Joseon dynasty, Lee Rin, a prince who lives a lonely life outside the palace since childhood, even though he is born in the direct line of descent. Lee Rin has wealth and good looks but lives as a rebel to overcome internal struggles. Due to the fact that he can see ghosts, Lee Rin hides his secret and pain from childhood with a smiling face and playful behavior. After meeting Do Ha, Lee Rin joins the team of night watchman and becomes a true prince after seeing the lives of the citizens as he helps get rid of the ghosts. The night watchman is crime prevention squad that used to patrol the streets from 9 to 5 at night to catch ghosts.”

Since I enjoyed historical and fantasy genre, I thought this drama suit my taste. When it has ended, I concluded that Nightwatchman’s Journal is not a masterpiece nor is it trash. I was just expecting more of it but it didn’t reach beyond my hope. There were some scenes averred to be repetitive, unessential and just plain simple; good versus evil.

This drama received a decent quantity of publicity before it started airing and based on some reviews and comments, they were disappointed. I don’t feel sorry finishing to the end; it’s just that something is missing. In fairness, there are some episodes I truly enjoyed and the rest? well, judge for yourself.

I rate this 8/10

Gu Family Book (2013)

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Gu Family Book.  A historical drama about a half man-half monster who is searching for a centuries-old book that according to gumiho legend, contains the secret to becoming human.

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Thumbs up!

I love this drama. I love the two actors. I recommend you to watch this one.

Verdict: 10/10

The Moon That Embraces the Sun (2012)

A BEAUTIFUL LOVE STORY.  That’s all I can say.

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The story line was hard to resist.  My heart cried and fluttered at the same time, there are lots of scenes to keep you from getting bored.  The acting was incredible for the entire cast. My attention was fully captured and my emotions were not detached.

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Verdict: 10/10