Category: ART & LEISURE

Radiant Office, KDrama Review

Radiant Office (Jachebalgwang Opiseu)

“Life is a series of blockings and openings.”
– Eun Ho-won

This drama has been consistently enjoyable.

Radiant Office, KDrama Review

Jachebalgwang Opiseu

I started watching this Korean series after having just seen two dramas: Drinking Solo and Something About 1%.  Both dramas starred Ha Seok-jin.  I enjoyed both dramas tremendously, so I invested more viewing hours on this new one having put my faith to the lead actor, Seok -jin.  Good investment.

Radiant Office shows work culture which is universal around the world. 🙂 🙂 🙂  How the newbies had to kowtow to their seniors.  They had to find their wings and develop thicker skin pronto in order to survive.

Why the drama is called Radiant Office?  I can only hazard a guess.

The interns, as well as the seniors, had to continuously excel in their jobs to secure or keep permanent positions.

Anyway the story is about three interns who started working at Hauline, in its furniture division.  The interns have something in common, they were all treated for attempted suicide in the same hospital at the same time by an emergency doctor, who happens to be a chaebol, being the second son of the owner of Hauline.

At the same night in the hospital, all three individuals heard a rather alarming post-suicide prognosis that one of them has a terminal illness and not much long to live, probably 6 months max.

The three did not wait to find out who was actually had the illness.

That same night, Eun Ho-won, one of the three, played by Go Ah-sung, got a text that she passed the interview and now going to be an intern at Hauline, after rejections totalling to 101 job applications.

The next time the three met again was at Hauline as interns competing for a single permanent position.

Eun Ho-won, has been emboldened by her ‘illness’ that she is more confident and feisty, thinking she had really nothing to lose.

The actors are amazing in portraying their respective roles.

This is a 16-episodes series and would finish next week.  What a shame.  I am going to miss it.

It is a drama-comedy.  Highly recommended.

Man to Man – KDrama Review

Man to Man – KDrama Review

A new Korean drama has just started airing on 21 April 2017, replacing the super cutésie Strong Woman Do Bong Soon.

I have looked forward to the new drama after I saw a trailer starring  Park Hae-Jin, a gorgeous clean cut Korean actor, who I first saw in the drama Cheese in the Trap.  He was so good with his role that I’ve been watching his other dramas.

He is currently starring in Man to Man.  Two episodes of the series has been released.  But I am still not really hooked.  Not because of Park Hae-Jin was lacking!  He is still very good, in fact he is maturing into a very fine actor.

But there is something about the drama that is rather off putting, at the moment.

It is the lead actress, Kim Min-Jung; her character is too full on, that you want to strangle her or even banish her from the show.  It is how they made up poor Kim MIn-Jung.   The actress is pretty but she was made to look very androgynous with her full lips and enormous big eyes highlighted by her severe fringe, she looked like not a cuddly but rather a ferocious bush baby.  She has so many scenes where she is annoyingly stalking either one of the main actors. I just wanted her to go away!

I noticed that the best scenes were the interactions between the two male leads and therefore, the female lead is really redundant.

Anyway the drama series is about a popular action star Yeo Woon-Gwang played by Park Sung-Woong, who was being used by a government agency as a cover for a secret agent Kim Sul-Woo played by Park Hae Jin, for undercover work.

Park Hae Jin, looked so cool in the beginning of the drama, where he was a member of an elite team; as sharp shooter, he saved a little girl from a terrorist but got court marshalled for insubordination.

Just for Park Hae-Jin,  I will persevere to watch a few more episodes before I give a final verdict of continuing to the end or not. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Update:

25 April 2017, I opened Netflix and found Man to Man as being shown but sadly as an instalment just like normal series on telly!

Queen of Mystery – 2017 KDrama Review

Queen of Mystery

Queen of Mystery – 2017 KDrama Review

There seems to be a bit of a lull as far as Korean dramas are concerned.   Of course there are still plenty to watch but nothing really that exciting that you can’t wait for the next instalment of the series to come by.  Some of the dramas are alright but most, you can leave to pile up and wait for the whole drama to conclude and then binge-watch them all in a day (with lots of fast-forwarding) or over a weekend.

There are of course a few that are so watchable that you are left wanting for more.  One of these dramas was the Queen of mystery.

Based on the four episodes shown so far, the story is about a woman,Yoo Seol-Ok (played by Choi Gang-Hee), who is somewhat strangulated by her day to day responsibilities towards her rather onerous husband’s family.  She doesn’t really get much support from her husband either, who is busy being a prosecutor, which is a very hectic and busy job.  Her mother-in-law, though not too nasty so far, is very demanding.  There is also a rather wily sister-in-law.

To get away from the humdrum of her rather slavish life, she would hole herself in a secret room in her best friend’s restaurant.  She made a little office, where she created her own library  of information on murders, mischiefs, misdemeanours and everything else.

With keen, logical and didactic mind, she developed an excellent observational capabilities, so much so that she started going out on her own investigating crimes within her locality.

Her abilities did not go unnoticed; before too long a still rookie lieutenant of the police force started consulting her with minor crimes, which she solved with 100% accuracy.

An experienced but rather maverick police officer, Ha Wan-Seung (played by the gorgeous Kwon Sang-Woo) was transferred to her local police station and did not like her involvement with the police.  He basically told her to go home and look after her house; cook for her husband.  Solving crime is not for bored housewives.

Of course, with all the initiating forces coming together, Ha Wan-Seung started to think that the ajumma (an aged or mature married woman) can be of use in an investigation after a seemingly ordinary burglary turned into a murder as the ajumma rightly predicted.

The chemistry between the leads is good.  You can see them working together and could lead to a possible romance.

Little hints have been given that her husband is known in the police force as being single, he is also working away from home all the time.

I can’t wait to see how this drama develops.  It ticks all the boxes of a good drama, so far.  I do love a bit of action and of course I would never say NO to a bit of romance. either 🙂

Good Friday: Crown of Thorns

Jesus with a crown of thorns, photo by PH Morton

Good Friday: Crown of Thorns

According to Gospels, a woven crown of thorns was forcibly placed on Jesus head prior to his crucifixion.  The crown was a weapon to torture Jesus as well as to mock him.

The above wooden sculpture was a display at the Victoria and Albert museum.  It is carved from oak, made around ca. 1500-1520 by an unknown artist.  This wooden sculpture is big so it is probably a standalone rather than an alter-piece.

Holy Week: Good Friday

Holy Week, photo by PH Morton

Holy Week: Good Friday

God is a pure no-thing

God is a pure no-thing

concealed in now and here:

the less you reach for him,

the more he will appear

~ Angelus Silesius

God is always been with us.  We do not have to look for Him. He is infinity and beyond!

 

The Betrayal of Jesus

The Betrayal of Jesus, by Caravaggio

The Betrayal of Jesus

We saw this painting during a recent sojourn to the National Gallery (London) during a special Caravaggio painting exhibition and influence to other artists.  It is about how he applied light to his work, thereby focusing your eyes to the real subject of his work.  His technique was emulated by other artists after him.

The above painting is about the betrayal of Jesus.  Judas was giving Jesus a kiss, (which has became infamously popular as an idiom, meaning betrayal) to let it be known that the person the authorities/soldiers were after was the one he was kissing.

At the periphery, a man can be seen holding a lamp.  That man is the painter himself, Caravaggio.  Isn’t he clever.  He made it very personal but to the viewers of the painting as well.

We thought, we should highlight this painting being a Maundy Thursday.

A Touch of Ming

Ming Vase

A Touch of Ming

During a recent visit to Victoria and Albert museum, Peter and I were surprised by this rather interactive art appreciation exercise.

Visitors are allowed to touch a huge Ming vase, see above photo.

It said in a note beside it, written in English as well as in Braille, that visitors are allowed to touch it. It was not inside a glass case.

At first Peter and I can’t believe it.  Despite the clear note, we looked around if anyone was looking; we had to make sure that the coast was clear.   We felt that it was rather naughty to touch an antique work of art.  We would have been good candidate for experiment or candid camera, to see our reaction.

The above Ming porcelain vase was an original 1550 antique.

Ming antiques are very much wanted by the rich and famous.  I have often heard that a really rare Ming can set you up for life!

But can you imagine, if we broke the vase, we had to sell up our house to pay for the damage!

I reckon the vase was once broken into several pieces, thus not as valuable or sought after by the moneyed people, ergo hoi polloi are allowed a quick fondle with the Ming!  🙂

 

Ghost in the Shell – Movie Review

Major

Ghost in the Shell – Movie Review

We started the week by going to the movies.  The movie of our choice was Ghost in the Shell starring Scarlet Johannson, a very capable American actress (I still remember her in the Horse Whisperer as a child actress).

The film has a tinge of that excellent iconic film, Blade Runner of the early 80s, starring Harrison Ford and Sean Young as well as that heart-thumping performance of that excellent actor, Rutger Hauer.  It has that apocalyptic feel to it.

The story was based on a Japanese manga, of the same title, thus some unfounded controversies have surfaced.  The selection of Scarlet to play the Major is a typified Hollywood whitewashing in the eyes of a few.  Apparently whitewashing is when a white actor is cast to play a role of ‘historical’ non-white’ which is deemed rather racist.

I can think of a few Oriental actresses that would have made a good Major, Korean Han Ji Won for one.  However the film was made especially for world cinema goers and because it is fast-paced there are so much to see, too much goings on; reading subtitles or listening to heavily accented actors delivering their lines would definitely be a challenge and may detract viewers from fully enjoying the film in a cinema, where there is no access to rewind button. LOL

Asians are perplexed about this issue.  The Japanese audience did not mind, in fact they were expecting an A-list Hollywood star to play the role for worldwide audience.

Being from the Orient myself, I did not have any problems with the casting of Scarlet.  It was me who proposed to Peter to go and see the film as soon as we saw the trailer a few months back. I still remember how good Scarlet was in Lucy.

It is those pc brigade and pressure groups, who are stirring it up, thereby influencing prospective audience and fans into altogether not going to see the film, thereby missing a good movie.

I believe this controversy has affected the movie a lot and thus there were news that the film had flopped in the box office.

This is sad as the film is rather good.  Scarlet did very well playing Major.  And the story is a good hokum to tell. A very plausible scenario that could happen in the future.

Ghost in the shell is about the rise of technology.  So much so that some scientists working for Hanka Robotics, presumably based in Japan, started experimenting on creating human robots as weapons.

There were pockets of activists and bloggers working against the excessive  technology that is being implemented.

The irony was that these activists against technology were carted off to the lab and experimented on one by one until No 99 was the one deemed ‘perfect’.  Number 99 had the brain of the activist Motoko Kusanagi encased in a perfect mechanical body.  Motoko had been completely brain-washed and told that she was Major Mira Killian, working against terrorism.

Motoko or rather Major in her new guise had become a killing machine.

As I said the film is fast-paced and thrilling, worth a watch even for just the sheer ingenuity of the SFX and CGI.

In the end if we allow such pressure and over political correctness to influence movies and entertainment, the movie industry will be run aground.

Let us not be sheep corralled in PC machinations.