Wednesday, February 19, 2014

BTOB Beep Beep MV Review


How's the song? 

Even though it's not totally my style, I really like the old school hip hop/R&B sound that BTOB often goes with. This song has also helped me to decide that Eunkwang is my favorite vocal member of the group. I don't know what it is about his voice, but I love it, I could listen to him forever. Also, Peniel got lines! And not just a random English rap (I do love the backpack/shoulder strap rap though) or backing vocals, he got to sing a part of the song! Granted, it wasn't a long part, but baby steps. 

Staying on the topic of fabulous vocals, I love listening to BTOB sing because they all sing so well. I also like they they will often just bust out into random acapella numbers and it is like the angels have descended and are singing to you. 

Something that I think was done well in this song were the distribution of parts. Minhyuk and Ilhoon did both have longer rap sequences, but they didn't dominate the video. They had their moment and then didn't really show up again. I did notice that Hyunsik didn't get as many parts as usual in this video. Sungjae sang quite a bit though. His falsetto was pretty great at the bridge too, as was Changsub's at the end. Angels. Can you hear them?

How's the video? 

BTOB looked like they were having so much fun filming this video. From what I have seen of BTOB in their various shows, they are a fun and crazy group and I am glad that that could be incorporated into their video.

Something that I noticed as I was taking screen shots is a weird moment at the beginning of the bridge. BTOB are all gentlemaned out and looking very serious and mature, except for one person. Can you spot him?

Peniel has either put a kick me sign on Eunkwang's back when Eunkwang was in piano mode or he has just understood the punchline to a joke that someone told him a few days ago. I'm sure that we have all had one of those moments.

Other parts in the video that I really liked were:

The Grease Lightening set 

This face that Changsub made, and really anything that happened when he and Peniel were in this car. Question, why is this car the only lefty the other two are "normal" cars?

Sungjae's I'm-going-to-run-you-over face

What is even happening in this shot? 

I don't have a picture for this last one but everything that happens at the 3:18-3:22 mark. It looks like Sungjae is doing the "30 Sexy" dance, then Peniel is off dancing in his own little world, and then Sungjae gets a hold on the camera and channels GD a la "Crayon". 

The end of the video reminds me a lot of the end of Block B's "Very Good" when they are all off doing their own thing and there just happens to be a camera capturing it all. This video does have more structure than "Very Good", but only by a little.

How's the styling? 

There is a particular styling that has a special place in the hearts of the F4Plus1, especially Murphy's. It started in SHINee's video "Sherlock" when Key was rocking some shorts over leggings. She also has a great love for Key which helps. 

She even wore this type of look one day and made a point to mention to us that she was dressed in the Key "Sherlock"  fashion. Why is this relevant? Because of Sungjae.

He is taking it to another level by wearing those plaid shorts over what looks like the dress pants from the piano scene. Other members who were also rocking this look were Ilhoon, Minhyuk, Changsub, and Hyunsik. So, basically almost everyone.

Is the dance super amazing?

Since there hasn't been a live performance of "Beep Beep" yet, I don't know what the whole dance looks like, but what I do see, I like it. I also kind of hope that they drive those cars during a performance but that seems like something that would happen more at a concert than on a music show. 

The main move of the dance was the drive and beep movement. Very appropriate.

It's a fun movement and it is easily copied which will be a good thing for the fans that like to dance along to the music. 

Which member owned it?  

This video was a lot more even camera wise, especially after "Thriller" which was definitely Ilhoon's video. Since I didn't feel like anyone particularly domionated the video here is a picture of Changsub, since he's my favorite. 

Not going to lie, this picture actually freaks me out a little, but it is very much a Changsub face, so I just went with it. 

Does the English make your ears bleed?  

I always have high hopes for BOTB's English, mostly because Peniel is from Chicago and that would be embarrassing if they were sputtering nonsense, particularly him. 

There is one line that is a littel weird though at the the beginning when Ilhoon does his normally introductory piece and he says "B to B in the place to be", which now that I type it out sounds a little better than it did a moment ago, but I still find it a little weird.

~ Alora

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Kim Jae Wook is Written out of Inspiring Generation

 Last week I wrote a post about how much I am loving Inspiring Generation. It is well written, the cinematography is excellent, the music is wonderful, and the cast is made up of some amazing actors. Yes, there are a lot of superlatives in that sentence, but I don't care, it's a good story. But now, I am not so sure how I feel about things. It's amazing what can happen in a week isn't it?

I'm going to be honest, I am not watching this show for Kim Hyung Joong, but he is what got me interested in the drama along with the fact that the story sounded really interesting. What sealed the deal for me was the fact that Kim Jae Wook and Song Jae Rim were going to be in it, which bring us to the problem at hand.

Kim Jae Wook isn't going to be in the show anymore! What the heck? I was so excited for him to be in a drama where he actually gets to freaking speak and maybe get a girl and now he's gone. Gone. Forever. And without a legitimate explanation. He didn't even get a good ending! I didn't know that he was written out until I read this article! What kind of writing team says an actor is going to be gone two episodes after his last episode?! *flips table*

The reason that he is being written out awkwardly - that is the only way I can see that happening - is because one of the four writers is leaving and being replaced by someone who apparently doesn't like Kim Jae Wook's character. It's not like his character had any back story or a clear objective, other than to win Ok Ryeon over (which I was totally rooting for) but for second male leads, do they always need to be these amazing characters? I was actually enjoying the simplicity of his character because there are so many other crazy things happening in this drama. 

So, once again, I am denied the wonderfulness that is Kim Jae Wook. If something happens to Song Jae Rim now, I might do something that I will regret. Do you hear me new writer? Don't screw up this drama! I like it!

~ Alora

Friday, February 14, 2014

My K-pop Biases

Is it bad that I think that Valentines Day is a load of crap? Maybe I'm just jaded because I have never had anyone that I wanted to spend Valentines Day with, but I just generally think it is annoying. It's just another reason to spend unnecessary amounts of money on someone that you should be showing your love to all the time.

On that happy note, let's talk about my biases in K-pop groups! I like quite a few groups, but that doesn't mean that there is someone in that group that I like more than anyone else. For the people that I picked here, they are the ones that I can say without any doubt in my mind that they are my favorite person in their respective groups.

Heechul of Super Junior 

If you didn't see this coming, then there might be something wrong with you. Heechul is my ultimate male bias and he always will be. He's just so 4D and he's also very honest and that is something that is lacking in the entertainment industry. He can also keep a secret too because I'm pretty sure he has the dirt on every single famous person in Korea. With great power comes great responsibility?

Jaehyo of Block B

Oh, Jaehyo, so much ego, so little time, and so little respect given to you by your members. Maybe that is why I like him so much. He takes a lot of crap, but he can also give it back and a lot of the time he just seems to laugh it off.

I actually don't have a lot to say about Jaehyo, I just like him and that's the way it is.

Second place: PO and Taeil, they're a package deal, okay?

CNU of B1A4

CNU is another person that I don't have a specific reason for liking, I just like him. He sings, he raps, he writes music, he has magical hair, what's not to like? I also feel that he is the member that is the most done of all the members. All groups seem to have that one member who is laid back and just watches the insanity going on around him, and that member more often than not is CNU.

Second place: Baro

 Changsub of BTOB 

I started to get into BTOB after their song "Thriller". I wanted to know more about them and I found that they had done Diary which is a fantastic show and I wish that it was still happening. As I watched all the BTOB variety I could find I slowing began to fall for Changsub's quirkiness. He has a different look about him too with his perpetual I-just-woke-up face.

One of my favorite things about him is that he is very layered. You watch him on camera and he is such a weirdo, but then he sings and you just want to wrap yourself in his voice, but he also skateboards and plays the drums and has two tattoos.Who are you really, Changsub?

Second place: Peneil, PenJae is real.

Leo of VIXX

I think that anyone who says that they don't like Leo is a liar. Yes, he's quiet and he kind of puts off an I'm-going-to-kill-you vibe, but watching VIXX TV, and Diary you find........well......I guess he is kind of like that. Not all the time though!

Since he is always so quiet, it's a lovely treat when he does something unexpected like dancing, laughing (even though he always hides), or actually saying more than one word. 

Second place: Hongbin, that kid is so awkward, I love it. 

Himchan of BAP 

As I was creating this post I realized that I often fall for the most embarrassing member of the group. Maybe it's because they are funny and they stand out for that reason, but I often experience second hand embarrassment from those that I like.

Take Himchan for example, he can be the most self centered little turd and then he goes and says "What is hurricane in English?", "the loof is on fire",declares his love for "cheeju burgers", and is constantly talking about how good looking he is. He is one of those people that should never be allowed to open his mouth, but at the same time, we're glad that he does.

Side note, there needs to be a BAP sub-rock-unit that features Bang Yong Guk and Himchan. That has the possibility of being the most amazing thing ever.  

Tao of EXO 

I have come to find that sometimes when picking a bias, one day you just know. It was never a conscious decision, you just know one day and it felt right so you went with it. This is how I came to like Tao and sometimes I wonder about that decision.   

I have been watching EXO's reality show Showtime and more often than not, I am sometimes embarrassed to say that Tao is my favorite. When he isn't talking he looks really cool, but then he opens his mouth and it is all over. He's also really needy, but for some reason, I love it.  

Second place: Xuimin

V of BTS

So it wasn't until after I fell in love with this kid's strangeness that I found out he's totally jail bate. I probably should have knows though, I mean look at that face. At least I didn't decide I liked Jung Gook, that boy is practically still covered in amniotic fluids. Babies, all of them.

On BTS's Youtube channel thy post funny videos of the boys and if you haven't watched them you should because they will make your day better. Something that I have noticed about V is that in the videos, he is about 50% crazy and 50% judging his members. There doesn't seem to be any in between and I love it.

Second place: J-hope, he's V's partner in silliness.

So there is my list of my favorites. I guess since I don't have a real valentine I'll just pretend that they are my valentines. No, that's weird, I'll just go eat a cookie and call it good. Sounds like a plan.

~ Alora

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Golden Rainbow Half Way Mark Drama Review

This past weekend, Golden Rainbow aired episodes 28 and 29 and it has been that many episodes of awesome thus far. This is my first tackling of a weekend drama and I think that I picked a pretty good one. I can thank the lure of Jung Il Woo for that one. 

How can you say no to that face? Oh, that's right, you can't.

The story begins with the discovery that Steve Lee from City Hunter isn't actually dead. He faked his death and found his doppelganger, killed him, and took over his life. Unfortunately, he couldn't leave his days of baby snatching and butt kicking behind and it landed him in jail. 

After his release, he felt bad for his wrong doings and adopted children like they were going out of style and ended with the high number of seven. The cutest orphan being Young Won. Look at those dimples!

The young actors were around for the first 16 or so episodes before they "grew up" and were replaced by the older actors.

All those kids grew up well too. Especially Man Won. And yes, there are only four orphans here. What happened to the other three? I don't want to talk about it okay!

Along with getting older, we get more heartbreak but also more sweet moments which are dispersed very well throughout the show. There are also moments that you would like nothing more than to punch various characters in the throat. Seriously, there are some terrible people in this drama.

Let's not talk about that though because they suck and I try not to think about them. Instead let's talk about the cavity inducing sweetness that is the main couple.

I think that they are my new favorite main couple. The feed off each other really well and you can see that they genuinely like each other. It is also fun to watch Jung Il Woo's character mess with UEE's. He is much more forward to her shyness. He's kind of like a less douchey Cha Chi Soo.  

Then there is the second OTP which I am shipping like mad. If you don't, I'm sorry to tell you, but you are wrong. Man Won's other ship is so far under the sea it makes the Titanic look like it's still a serviceable vessel. Was that weird? Maybe.

There has been a lot of intrigue and changing loyalties in this drama so you are always questioning who is going to get stabbed in the back next. Most of the time it seems to be the "good" people, of course, but the truth is starting to come out and I am excited to see some people get knocked to the ground and maybe delivered a couple swift kicks as well.

Here's to the last 25 episodes!

~ Alora

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Movie Review - "Miss Granny" Learns About Love and the Value of Family

Something really cool happened about a week ago! I got to write a movie review for the Korean pop culture website Soompi! This is the part of the post where you get to ooo and ahh. Go ahead, I'll give you a minute.

How this came about is at KCON last August, Becca, Autumn, and I went to the blogging/vlogging/social media panel. After the panel Autumn went up and spoke to the representative from Soompi and gave her one of the cards that she made for us.

Fast forward a few months and they sent us - or me rather since I have been abandoned - to let us know that they looked at the blog and we were not forgotten. A few more months later I was asked to review the movie Miss Granny that was going to be shown in some US theaters.

And there you have it, the story of how I am now slightly cooler than I was a week ago. So here's the review!

As people age, they tend to look back on their younger years with more fondness, thinking about what might have been and showing pride at what they have been able to accomplish. Getting older also brings the fear that as we age, we become a burden to those around us. This is exactly what 74 year old Oh Mal Soon (Na Moon Hee) worries about in the movie “Miss Granny.

When her daughter-in-law Ae Ja becomes sick, the family decides to send Mal Soon to a nursing home so Ae Ja can recover without the stress she feels from her mother-in-law. Feeling dejected, Mal Soon stumbles upon the Forever Young Portrait Studio. Little does she realize, when she exits the studio she really has become younger, by about 50 years!

After her panic attack has subsided – and really, can anyone blame her? – she does what any self respecting woman would do, go on a shopping spree! With her new young body, she can’t go around with ahjumma hair and ill-fitting clothes; it’s makeover time! She also changes her name to Oh Doo Ri (Shim Eun Kyung), after Audrey Hepburn.

Even though Mal Soon may have the body of a 20 year old, she still acts like a 74 year old, calling grown men “lad”, patting people on the bum, and telling a woman on the subway that her baby has diarrhea because she has watery breast milk. I’m sure you can imagine how well that went over. She also spends time at the café that she used to work at, which causes some confusion as to why there is a young woman in a café for seniors.

While there, Doo Ri gets onstage and begins to sing. As she is singing, she is noticed by a music station producer named Han Seung Woo (Lee Jin Wook) who falls in love with both her voice and her odd charm. She also manages to catch the attention of her grandson Ji Ha (B1A4‘s Jinyoung). Awkward. 

For all the BANA’s out there, this is Jinyoung’s acting debut and while he didn’t knock my socks off, it was certainly better than his confusing display of emotions in the “Baby I’m Sorry” music video. I was also a little (a lot) put off by the heavy metal hair and makeup he was rocking at the beginning of the movie. He is far too pretty to be pretending he is a member of KISS.

After hearing Doo Ri sing, Ji Ha asks her to be the new vocalist in his band and Seung Woo makes it his mission to find the mysterious girl that sang so well in the café. He finally finds her again on the subway as she speaks very loudly about the different kinds of breast milk and its effects on baby’s poo.

When they get off the train, instead of going up and talking to her like a normal person, he stalks her as she walks home. All is going well until she disappears after turning a corner. He didn’t actually lose her though, she was fully aware that she was being followed.

So, being a strong independent woman, she threatened him with the most dangerous thing that she was carrying: a fish.

As the story progresses Doo Ri’s secret is discovered by her neighbor, and the man who loves her, Mr. Park (Park In Hwan). They also are able to find a way that might reverse what has happened to her, but when Mr. Park asks if she wants to return back, she doesn’t have an answer. She must decide between the new life she is creating and the people that she loves as Doo Ri or her old life and family as Mal Soon.

While I wasn’t terribly surprised with anything that happened in the story and the ending had a few holes, it was really enjoyable. It was fun to watch an old woman get a second chance at youth and learn that family is the most important thing that we have.

~ Alora 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

BAP 1004(Angel) MV Review

 How's the song? 

Something that I like about BAP is that every time they they come out with a new song it has a new sound, but it is still very much BAP. This is probably because Bang Yong Guk writes or contributes to most of their songs which gives it that cohesiveness.

Weirdly enough, the beginning of the song where Bang Yong Guk is running through the elephant graveyard reminded me of the beginning of a HIM song. That is totally where is stops though since BAP and HIM are on completely different sides of the musical spectrum.

Something that I wish would happen more often in BAP songs is Himchan singing. I think that his voice is lovely and I want to hear it more. Sure it isn't kill-me-now-with-your-beauty like Daehyun's voice, but I like the huskiness of it. More of that please.

Speaking of singing, was Leader Bang singing in this? I love it when the rappers get to sing in groups. It's like a special treat when they sing because it almost never happens but I have come to find that almost all rappers in K-pop groups can also sing. They have a different sound than the main vocals and it adds something special to the songs to hear their raw voices rather than the "perfect" voices of those that usually sing. Not that those voices aren't wonderful though.

 Edit: False. That was not Leader Bang, that was Himchan. It sounds awesome either way.

How's the video?

This video was rather symbolic and I am always down for some symbolism.

In the video there are the members of BAP and a girl, or the "angel". She seems to be watching Daehyun as he walks through a house. The house is also conveniently placed on the magical table of product placement. 

Daehyun walks through the house and sees an old movie projector and the scene then cuts to a time presumably before Daehyun got to the house and Himchan is there.

As Daehyun continues to explore the things in the house he finds a mirror (Youngjae), a camera (Jongup, but why?), and a carousel (Zelo).

The three boys try to find their angel, but she is always out of reach or her back is turned to them. This also gives us one of the coolest shots of the video.

Daehyun continues to explore the house and finds the Cathedral that Bang Yong Guk digs up in the elephant graveyard. I guess this is an allusion to the angel theme of the song.

It's at this point where everyone starts loosing their crap and begin destroying the objects that are denying them access to their angel. For Himchan, unfortunately, that object seems to be himself.

After watching the video I want to know what Daehyun's role was in all of this. He is finding all the objects that represent the different members of BAP but he is not a part of that. It's more like he is waiting for something since he has that hour glass.

Then there is Bang Yong Guk who is in a different state that Zelo, Youngjae, and Jongup, and Himchan is totally in a world of his own. Is it significant that he is in the house? And how does Daehyun get there after? Did he defeat his demons in the end? Was that girl really an angel or was she darker than that? I don't remember a video making me ask this many questions since VIXX's "Hyde".

How's the styling?

The winner for best outfit of the video definitely goes to Youngjae.

The purple shirt and skinny tie with that fantastic coat is a triple threat. Pile that on top of the fact that he's singing in his Justin Timberlake room and generally looking like a boss is just extra.

Something that I'm not so sure about is Bang Yong Guk's hair.

I'm not really digging the bowl look. I also realize that I might have made some sort of strange pun there since he is digging a hole through most of the video. I also don't really like that it is in his eyes. It's not a horrible style, but it's not his best either.

Was the dance super amazing? 

I mentioned this in BAP's video "Hurricane", but can we please take another moment to stare in awe at Jongup and Zelo? Those boys can DANCE. People who can dance are amazing to me because I can learn a basic choreography, but to just go bust a move? No, that's never going to happen.  

The other intense dancing moment happens at about the 2:45 mark. It totally caught me by surprise too and I may or may not have started laughing when it happened. It was just so sudden. There I was floating on the beautiful sound of Daehyun's voice and then, suddenly, Jongup.

Which member owned it? 

Well, I love me some Himchan and he was the main character of the video, so he was definitely the one that I was paying the most attention to. 

He's also adorable. Look at that face.

Did the English make you ears bleed?  

I always look forward to Bang Yong Guk's English because it is kind of hit and miss. Even when he does get his English correct, his words are always a little slurred but it works for some reason. It's probably because his voice is amazing.

For example: in this video he starts by saying "I neeju". Of course he is saying "I need you" but in my head I was thinking "I kneed you" like kneeing someone in the face or something. This is what my mind does. I make no apologies.

~ Alora

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Are you Watchinng "Inspiring Generation"?

Because if you aren't, you totally should because it's awesome. Why is it so awesome you ask? Well, I would be more than happy to tell you.

The cinematography is freaking gorgeous 

There are more ships in this harbor than any harbor should rightfully have. We'll just have to see who sails and who sinks.  

Jung Tae and Ok Ryeon                 Soo Ok and Ok Ryeon

 Gaya and Shinichi                                 Aoki and Gaya

Jung Tae and Il Hwa                           Jung Tae and Gaya

These are all the main pairings and as you can see, Gaya is a hot commodity. Gaya and Ok Ryeon are literally the only important females in the story so I guess when you only have two options, the suitors pile up. 

Right now I am rooting for the Soo Ok and Ok Ryeon pairing because I am kind of in love with Kim Jae Wook and I don't think that Jung Tae really likes Ok Ryeon. It feels like it's a sense of duty type of deal. For Gaya, I'm stuck between Shinichi and Aoki. Is it wrong that I don't ship the main paring? Will that change in the future? Who knows. 

If it doesn't though, Jung Tae and Il Hwa can just continue to try to kill each other, or rather Il Hwa can keep knocking Jung Tae on his butt. 

Along with there being an insane amount of ships, there is also an abundance of gorgeous and talented men. Seriously, why are there so many male characters in this drama, it's hard to keep track sometimes.

 Kim Jae Wook                                 Song Jae Rim 

   Jo Dong Hyeok                                Kim Hyung Joon

When I heard that Kim Hyung Joong was going to be in a new drama I was interested in watching it; not because I was in love with him or anything, but because he hasn't done anything since Playful Kiss and I didn't really enjoy that drama. Then when I found out that Kim Jae Wook and Song Jae Rim were going to be in it too, that definitely sealed the deal. Give me more of them please.

The OST is beautiful

Um, how do you put a picture up for this? The music really is wonderful in this drama. It adds to the feel of the scene rather than take away from it. There is also a nice mix of traditional sounds and modern sounds that correlate well to the scenes they are accompanying. 

The acting and the story line are also quite wonderful

I have been rather stressed out on multiple occasions while watching this drama and that is a good thing. Even though we know our main character can't die, I have been scared and on the edge of my seat quite often for their lives even though there would be no drama if they died now.

The story, thus far, hasn't been romantically driven either which is a nice change. I guess it's a little hard for a story to be romantically driven when the main girl would like to painfully murder the main guy's family in front of him.

Overall, if this drama continues to be this good, it will probably be one of my favorite dramas of the year. We're only on episode six, so there is definitely time for the writers to panic and ruin everything (because that does happen), but let's all pray that it doesn't.

~ Alora