East of Eden, episode 6

So, I think I’m just going to comment on this show now, rather than a full summary/recap/review as I don’t have time to bother with that anymore. 

So, comments on this episode, I’ll start with the cast: 

Song Seung Heon as grow up Dong Chul.

  • His english is very good, which I’m happy about. I can’t comment on his chinese or vietnamese, but I’m impressed by Dong Chul’s language knowledge, and his card shuffling abilities also.
  • I really feel that his DC is the grown up version of Kim Bum, particularly when he teared up over that news article. I think the character continuation on this show is great. I was a little worried about Dong Wook, but that scene in the previews with him crying over the phone to DC was so DW.
  • I still miss Kim Bum though, his voice the most actually. I think his screaming voice is better than SH’s, ‘DONG WOOK-AH!’ I love the flashbacks.

 Yun Jung Hoon as grown up Dong Wook

  • There’s something about this guy. I already like him a lot, and I can feel my heart’s allegiance slipping from DC to DW in future eps. 

Jun So Min as grown up Ki Sun

  • This character has pretty much been a non-entity in this show and I’m still unsure of her purpose. I hope she gets one. Jung Ja and the aunt too. 

Lee Mi Sook as Chun Hee

  • I still love her. Her acting has calmed down a lot from her first scenes in episode 1, where I thought she was a little over the top. Every time she dismisses Dong Chul with that hard look on her face, it just breaks my heart (Dong Wook’s also). 

Park Hae Jin as grown up Myung Hun

  • Looks like Myung Hun succumbed to the evil side at least a little (this observation is based on his silk PJs of course).
  • The actor’s cute. He looks younger than DW. He also looks more like DC than DW. I thought that about the younger actors as well.  

Han Ji Hye as grown up Ji Hyun

  • She doesn’t seem to have grown up from her princess stage. I find her a little annoying. I hope it doesn’t last.
  • I like that Ji Hyun still in love with Dong Wook and doesn’t seem the least bit interested in Myung Hun, so hopefully that triangle won’t be based around a fickle female. 

Jo Min Ki as Shin Tae Hwan

  • Twenty-years has done nothing to him. He looks like he hasn’t aged a day.
  • His guy still seems so shifty and weaselly, which I guess is what they’re going for in his character. 

Wang Gun

  • I couldn’t find this guy on the cast list I found, which makes me think he’s not going to last very long.
  • The older Wang Gun looked younger than DC. Actually, is it the same guy? Damn moustache.
  • It’s sad how he holds a grudge against DC. I’m hoping it’s all a set up, but then WG’s highest priority grudge is against President Guk, so why hold onto a friendship you had for a few months ten years ago when revenge is so close. 

Dennis Oh as Mike Packer

  • He reminds me of Jerry O’Connell.
  • While his english was excellent, his acting was not so much, and the girl in that scene with him was awful. Actually that whole scene was cringe worthy–well, until DC saved it.
  • Looks like he’s going to be friends and/or love rivals with DC.
  • A guy named Packer running a casino in Macau. Simply coincidence?  

Lee Yeon Hee as Guk Young Ran (Grace)

  • I completely missed this in the episode, but if her surname is Guk, does that mean she’s related to Casino guy?
  • She’s not much of a character yet, but I see a love triangle in her future. She might be that fickle female though. 

Other comments: 

  • Doesn’t it seem like Dong Chul’s having a far better/easier time than his family? I mean Dong Wook’s breaking his back delivering coal and studying, and DC’s having a grand old time riding bicycles in beautiful Macau.
  • What was with the weird dancing from President Guk?
  • Oh, and turns out Dong Chul did not knock up some Chinese lady. She’s the wife of his good friend. I loved how she made him seaweed soup for his birthday.
  • The grand dame of the loan sharks (who is not a Madam, like I thought from first glance). Is she TH’s actual mother or is that just out of respect. She doesn’t look that old, but all the ages on this show are a little skewed.
  • Who is Jae Woo? And what is his relationship to TH and DC? Also, who was the dude in black watching DC as he read the news article? Was that Jae Woo? Was he the wharf boss?
  • Still no news about Uncle. 

Hopefully, the Lee family is reunited next episode.

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I just watched Revolutionary Road

I am reeling from watching this picture.

This film was so depressing. Wonderfully acted and directed. Great script. Lovely cinematography. And I just need to believe that what happened to April was unintentional.

I am completely thankful that I’m young and my future is full of options. I think if my life were anywhere near the Wheelers…I don’t know, maybe I would be contemplating suicide right now, or maybe it would spur a change in life direction. I wonder if the period setting of the film was to create distance between the subject matter and the audience. It still hits really hard, and I’m not even at that place.

East of Eden, episode 5

It looks like this is the last episode featuring Kim Bum (sad, but suddenly glad that K-dramas love to overuse flashbacks). 

 So, the episode begins with Dong Chul succeeding in his first treasure hunting mission, under the guidance of a man who likes to eat live squid and who I’m just going to call Uncle, as I can’t remember his actual name. Dong Chul then delivers the money he earned to Dong Wook and instructs his younger brother to save their mother, which he does. Yeah! (I like Chun Hee more than Jung Ja). The gang leader, Wang Cho/chu/gun, whatever his name is, bonds with Ki Sun, and with Dong Chul as well, whom is soon calling Wang Gun ‘hyung’.

Anyway, after delivering the money, Wang Gun and Dong Chul are hanging out outside the casino when the casino owner (President Guk) walks out and we learn that Wang Gun hates the guy because he supposedly stole the casino from Wang Gun’s family, or something like that. Soon after Guk walks out, Shin Tae Hwan (I always think Shere Khan whenever I hear the guy’s name) walks out of the casino and we learn that Dong Chul still hates that guy.

Meanwhile, Dok Sa (the gang dude who liked Dong Chul to do things first) and other disposable characters have backstabbed Uncle (literally) and although he only just met the guy, Dong Chul reacts like it were his best friend. Anyway, Dong Chul carries the wounded Uncle on his back and saves his life, thus earning Uncle’s eternal gratitude. Wang Gun, however, didn’t earn Uncle’s eternal gratitude as he was quite fine leaving the guy to die ( I thought some envy and resentment might boil up in Wang Gun turning him against Dong Chul, but nothing ever came of that so it’s ok). 

It was about this time when I was wondering why DC was still wearing his prison clothes. It seems a little conspicuous. Anyway, Uncle works for some union head who …something, yeah, I need to pay more attention to the business manoeuvrings. I think political office was mentioned, so after the time jump, the dude’s probably going to be a minister or mayor or something. Anyway, what I do remember is the guy is obstructing Shin Tae Hwan’s building project, and TH is not happy about it (nor is TH’s dad).

So, anyway, Dong Chul (looking sweet in staff uniform) had to fetch this union guy from the casino after Uncle had been stabbed, and while he was there he seemed very interested in all the goings-on of the casino, ie. the money. So, he later asks for a job at the casino and becomes wait staff ( he wanted to learn cards, but uncle said no). Oh, also, Dok Sa pretended that he had been forced to backstab uncle, so the union guy didn’t send him off to jail with the other traitors. Dok Sa, however, has developed a strong grudge against DC, and takes Tae Hwan’s offered money to do DC in.

Dok Sa hires some guys to kill DC, but they only manage to cut him in the arm, and when DC arrives back to gang headquarters and sees Dok Sa there, he is pissed beyond what we’ve ever seen him. He was quite scary and I thought he might kill Dok Sa, but he only grievous bodily harmed him.

The scene then cuts to some time later, and Dong Chul has gone from James Dean to Fez from That 70s Show. Seriously, he’s stolen Fez’s whole look, and it’s really hard to take DC seriously with that hair (luckily they don’t allow that poncy crap in Macau, so Bummie’s back to being hot, actually he’s far hotter, once he moves there later this episode).

DC goes to visit Dong Wook at his school where the uniforms are scarily militant. Unfortunately, Dok Sa has followed them and witnessed their exchange of brotherly love. So after DC leaves, Dok Sa kidnaps DW and later calls DC telling him to meet him at the wharf or somewhere. DC uses his brain though, and sends Wang Gun and his mates to capture Tae Hwan, so Dok Sa’s blackmail becomes a hostage exchange. Poor Dong Wook looks really beat up–he’s only 10 years old you bastards! Anyway, although I think they look nothing alike, Kim Bum’s performance in this scene, particularly his facial expressions, were highly reminiscent of Song Seung Heon (Older Dong Chul) from Episode 1.

At the end of the exchange, DC sends DW home, but DC stays to get arrested by the police. He is saved, however, by Uncle, who is now on his way to Macau on business for that union guy, and decided to take DC with him, on account of that whole eternal gratitude thing. DC, however, didn’t want to leave Korea until Uncle reminded him that he could better protect his family by staying away for the moment. Uncle also tells DC that he’s going to act as his father since DC doesn’t have one, which is a nice sentiment, but Uncle was really just setting DC up for greater pain later on when Uncle is kidnapped in Macau and DC fails to save him. Also, I love you Kim Bum, but I think I’ve hit wailing overload, because instead of tearing up during your boat cry scene, I laughed.

We don’t find out what happens to Uncle, because the scene then skips ahead to older Dong Chul who seems to have become a wharfie/amateur actor in Macau. It also seems like he’s already helping the conflict span generations as he waves intimately to a pregnant lady.

I’m sad Kim Bum’s gone, but I’m glad the adult storyline has now seemed to have started and I can soon get to know all the real stars of the show. I hope I like them as much as their younger counterparts. Also, I assume that the developments in the Wang Gun character this episode mean that he’s going to turn up in the adult storyline despite seemingly disappearing at the end of the episode, maybe Dok Sa as well. I wonder about the Uncle though.

I can’t wait to see Terminator Salvation

I’ve been waiting for John Connor to meet Kyle Reese since I first saw the original movie. I hope they don’t stuff it up. The small meeting in The Sarah Connor Chronicles was awesome, but tSCC is tantamount to fan fiction really. Also, Anton Yelchin and Christian Bale are dream casting.

The trailers having been playing up the Marcus character though and I’m not sure about the whole sympathetic terminator angle. I prefer my terminators as killing machines, or at least having no cylon/i-robot intelligence thing going on. Still, I hope Sam Worthington’s received warmly. What a crazy ride his life must be lately. It would suck if he were to suddenly fall, particularly before Avatar comes out.

Kim Bum

kim bum 1

Looking suave! (Don't you think he looks a bit like Joseph Gordon-Levitt here?)

I have such a crush on Kim Bum right now. It’s been a while since I’ve had a celebrity crush so severe, I think the last one was Colin Morgan (who’s still so cute, I love that Merlin’s on tv now).

Kim Bum was the first of the F4 I took notice of when I started watching BBF–he’s definitely the cutest. Minho, however, I think is the most handsome (although his curly hair confused me for few eps, then I started finding the perm massively hot). Gu Jun Pyo was the character I fantasised over the most while watching BBF. Then, when the show finished, Woo Bin’s smooth voice and ghetto english was what I missed the most. If the F4 were real, Woo Bin is definitely the guy I’d go for. But now I couldn’t care less about those two, it’s all about Kim Bum.

I think reviewing SoEulmate clips, and seeing how cute he is with Kim So Eun, ignited my interest, but I don’t think this crush will last that much longer. Bum is just too young and pretty to seriously fantasise over. He’s also Korean, and I’m not sure how good his English is, so there’s always translation problems when I imagine us meeting.

East of Eden, episode 4

This show is so dramatic. I think I’m over the crying/wailing, but I’m still really into the story.

 

So, Dong Chul’s stint as a fugitive lasted about a minute before he was caught and thrown in kiddie jail. But, before he was thrown in jail he decided to break his 10 year silence on the fact that he saw Tae hwan conspiring to kill Ki Chul. Because DC could name the guy TH had paid off to set the explosives that caused the ‘accident’ and the tunnel number where he heard them conspiring, TH takes DC’s accusations seriously and decides to kill off DC. Luckily, DC is played by Kim Bum, and the delinquent punks TH hired to take DC out decide that he’s just too pretty to kill for any amount of money, so instead they let him join their gang. Then the gang break out of jail (very easily) and become treasure hunters–seriously.

 

Meanwhile, the Lee family moved somewhere (Seoul?), as their house was burnt down last episode. Ji Hyun was very upset at Dong Wook’s departure, and Myung Hun was very upset that she was upset. He was also upset that his dad’s this evil arsonist/murderer. I’m not sure where this is going, as in whether Myung Hun will remain a good guy and reject his father, or succumb to his father’s evil ways.

 

 Elsewhere, TH’s dad, or dad-in-law, was upset that TH was accused of murder, and…well, I wasn’t really paying attention, but somehow TH is now in construction and something about a casino (which is probably the same casino, Dong Chul went too after he broke out of jail). The casino owner displayed the first of what I heard will be a lot of badly-spoken English. Unlike a lot of others, I’ve always enjoyed when characters have spoken English in Asian dramas. I’m impressed when the English is excellent, which it often is, and when it isn’t, it’s just hilarious, like in this show.

 

So, anyway, Chun Hee, the mum, is dying due to all the beatings she received at TH’s behest. She won’t go to the hospital because she doesn’t want to use the money she’s been saving up, presumably for the kids’ education. Btw, she and the two boys live with Ki Chul’s first love, Jung Ja, and their daughter, Ki Sun. The actress playing Ki Sun is so adorable, it’s so sad and cute the way she cries ‘oppa!’. Anyway, prior to DC’s breakout, the family visits him and it’s so sad. Chun Hee disowns DC because he ruined her plans for him to become a lawyer and serve justice, but DC hugs her tightly and says that he’ll always be her son no matter what she says. DC and DW do that cute ‘I love you’ hand signal again (I love it how they always correct their posture before they start). Anyway, Chun Hee planned to keep her illness secret from Dong Chul, but that’s ruined when she collapses in front of him and Ki Sun divulges the truth.

 

Dong chul then decides to get Chun Hee the money she needs to go the hospital, which is why he breaks out of jail. Previously, he turned down the gang’s offer to break out of jail with them, even when the alternative was death. I love how DC’s statements are so full of conviction ‘I can’t die’, ‘I can’t break out of jail’, ‘I need money’. Kim Bum’s so hot in this show. I wonder how long I’ll remain enamoured of him. It’s not just that he’s got a great smile, I think the kid’s a decent actor as well. I like how different Dong Chul is from Yi Jeong. I liked how the gang leader called DC a ‘country bumpkin’, which is what Yi Jeong called Ga Eul so disdainfully in BBF, and how DC mispronounced the gang leader’s name later on. I love little bits like that.

 

Anyway, Dong Chul’s still the world’s nicest guy and hasn’t even bitch slapped that dude that keeps suggesting DC try out all the dangerous things first. I wonder how long it will take till DC’s moral resolve is seriously questioned. Thus far, the brotherly relationship between DC and DW reminds me of Lincoln and Michael’s relationship from Prison Break, with the older brother sacrificing his future for the younger brother and becoming a hoodlum, while the younger brother becomes a valuable member of society. From the previews, hoodlum will mean card shark, it looks fun.

 

East of Eden, episodes 1-3

I told myself I wouldn’t start another drama, but I did anyway. Reading all those SoEul fics has made me obsessed with Kim Bum, so I chose East of Eden. I heard that he was only in the first few episodes so I thought I could watch those and just stop, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Though I’m enjoying watching Kim Bum, I also want him to hurry and grow up into the hot adult version of his character so the plot can really start moving along.

I had actually wanted to watch EoE prior to Boys Before Flowers, but its extreme length put me off. The synopsis seemed to place the show right in my genre: angsty, family ties, secret relations (one of my favourite tropes), gangsters…anyway, here’s a short recap/review of the first three episodes.

Episode 1 begins in Macao 1980, which made me think that Kim Bum might show up right away, but then the adult version of his character Dong Chul appeared on screen and I realised why this show was going to take 50+ episodes to tell its story. Also, I started to get a strong feeling that I was going to get sucked into this show early, only to get bored halfway through and have to slog through the remaining episodes just to know what happens.

Anyway, in the teaser, adult Lee Dong Chul fails to kill the evil Shin Tae Hwan whom killed his father. From only Ep. 3 hindsight, I can already tell that not killing that guy was a huge mistake; however, I’m not far enough into the show to tell whether Dong Chul’s actions make him a good guy, an idiot or a hypocrite.

The teaser ends with Dong Chul in a spot of trouble. I’m not that worried about his survival, but from Ep. 3 hindsight, I am worried about how long the show’s going to take to affirm that outcome, as after the teaser, the show dissolved into flashback, and has yet to come out of it.

The first two episodes revolved around mining and babies. It was a little confusing as it seemed every woman character in the show was in various stages of pregnancy. Lee Ki Chul, father to an apparently 5 year old Dong Chul, had knocked up both his wife, and his first love/stalker. Evil Shin Tae Hwan had a pregnant wife and mistress. Finally, the station master’s daughter was pregnant with a daughter of unknown fatherhood (I thought initially that maybe Tae Hwan was also this baby’s father, which may take the secretly related theme a little too far, but then again the show did blow a lot of potential twists in the first few episodes, so they may be keeping this one under the belt).

So, Tae hwan’s mistress Nurse Yoo didn’t remain pregnant for long as Tae hwan had her kidnapped, the baby aborted and after the surgery, just for kicks, dumped poor Nurse Yoo by the side of the road in the pouring rain. Well, Nurse Yoo’s delusions about Tae Hwan were swiftly shattered and, as standard in this show, she vows eternal revenge.

So, Nurse Yoo returns to work, which happens to be in the maternity ward of the local hospital where Tae hwan’s wife and Ki Chul’s wife have each just given birth to a son. Her initial revenge scheme is to go after Tae hwan with a scalpel, but after that failed, she decides to strangle his new born son. Fortunately she’s unable to go through with that, so instead she swaps baby Shin and baby Lee.

As far as revenge goes, baby swapping is a weak idea, as the dude still ends up with a son, but then again, Nurse Yoo had just been through a massive trauma, and it was a spur of the moment decision. If she had time to plan out her revenge, I’m sure she would have come up with something better. However, as luck would have it, her baby-swapping turned out to be a master revenge plan because unbeknownst to her, the Lees and Shins were about to engage in a decades long feud.

Ok, I didn’t pay much attention to the mining storyline, but I think the gist of it is that Tae hwan’s in-laws own the mine and TH is keen to show that he’s man enough to be heir, unfortunately, the miners are planning a strike, which would seriously undermine TH’s leadership and profits. So TH plans to stop the strike by arranging a mining accident that kills the union head, Ki Chul, and thus stops the strike. So, Ki Chul is killed. Unfortunately for TH, young Dong Chul overheard his plan to kill his dad and thus TH has now earned DC’s eternal enmity, not to mention Dong Wook’s future eternal enmity (DW being DC’s brother and TH’s biological son, oh, Nurse Yoo, you psychic genius).

So, ten years later and we’re at Episode 3. Fifteen year old Dong Chul is now played by Kim Bum–it’s about time. I was sure Ki Chul wouldn’t survive the first episode, but they dragged it out over two; however, while I was eagerly anticipating Kim Bum, the actor who played his younger version (while I can’t quite believe he was only five year old) gave such a fantastic performance. I was tearing up during the funeral scene where DC was too distraught to speak and could only manage the cute ‘I love you’ hand gesture that he used to do with his dad.

Anyway, Episode 3. The Lees still hate the Shins, and while Tae Hwan is still an arsehole, his son (Myung Hun, I think) has managed to grow up (as much as 10 year olds are grown up) into a lovely and polite young boy. Meanwhile, as we’ll soon see, Dong Wook has grown up to be an arsonist. I was afraid they’d do this. The nature always wins trope is not one of my favourites.

Anyway, the Lees are an angry family. However, I was pleasantly surprised that Mrs Ki Chul’s (Chun Hee? I’ll go with that) revenge plan that she promised Tae hwan was coming, was to raise her sons to become top notch lawyers and get TH the legal way. Unfortunately, this plan is screwed up when Dong Wook sets the Shin’s house on fire and Dong Chul takes the blame and becomes a fugitive.

Also, Ji Hyun (station master’s granddaughter) seems to crush on Dong Wook, which is unfortunate if they do turn out to be related; however, it would work out well for Myung Hun in the long run as he also has a crush on her. However, I reckon Ji Hyun will actually fall for DC, and DW will fall for her, causing brotherly friction which would be amped up by the revelation of DW ‘s (and maybe JH’s) parentage. Or, maybe I’m soapifying this show to much, but the soap elements are what is keeping me watching right now, so I hope there’ll be a major pay off.

So, I think the show would have worked better if the flashbacks had been slowly revealed throughout its run, instead of dumped in one go, but I guess this show is meant to have a saga feel, conflict spanning generations and all, which makes me think DW and MH’s secret parentage is going to be drawn out, which is sad; however, any love stories are going to be consummated fairly quickly so the conflict can really span generations–I can already see poor JH knocked up to MH and being forced to marry him.

Am I not giving this show enough credit?