Liar Game! Liar Game! Liar Game!! What is your Pleasure?

Liar Game!! What a Mind Trip!! 


I don’t think I’ve watch a series of dramas EVER whereby once I found that there was other seasons, that I watched one episode after another after another after another! What a MIND GAME! I have constantly said it but this is the genre that the Japanese excel in. The Liar Game (ライアーゲーム) is a Japanese manga series originally written and illustrated by Shinobu Kaitani. The manga was first published in 2005 in the Japanese manga magazine Weekly Young Jump. The TV adaptations began airing on April 14, 2007 on Fuji TV. The sequel, Liar Game 2, ran from 2009 to 2010 and was followed by two live action films: Liar Game: The Final Stage in 2010, and Liar Game: Reborn in 2012. Each drama/movie continued the story behind the games. And every game explored and revealed the secrets behind the game and their originators.


Liar Game (2007)

Main Cast
Matsuda Shota as Akiyama Shinichi
Toda Erika as Kanzaki Nao







Plot
Kanzaki Nao (Toda Erica) is an honest college student who receives a hundred million yen one day, along with a card saying she has been chosen to take part in the “Liar Game”. The aim of the game is to trick the other players out of their hundred million dollars. At the end, the winner gets the hundred million and the loser is a hundred million yen in debt. The next day, she receives notification that her opponent is her former teacher, Fujisawa Kazuo (Kitamura Soichiro). She goes to him, seeking help, but ends up getting tricked into handing her money over. Desperate, she approaches the police for help, but they are unable to do anything. However, she is told of a mastermind swindler, Akiyama Shinichi (Matsuda Shota), who is to be released from jail the next day. Desperate, she goes to him for help.

Some of the players from season 1

It all starts with a ticket; an invitation to the games

A suitcase full of yen! 

Players vote to pick the WINNER:

And only one WINNER (or so we think!!)

I watched from episode 1 to 11 in one day! I couldn’t move, I was so riveted to the screen. Every time I think I figured out the game, I’m so far off the mark, it is ridiculous! What a great idea for a manga/drama! I really couldn’t stop watching!


Liar Game Season 2

Main Cast
Matsuda Shota as Akiyama Shinichi
Toda Erika as Kanzaki Nao



Plot
The naive Kanzaki Nao and expert swindler Akiyama Shinichi have not heard anything from the LIAR GAME organization since the end of the previous game, so it seems they may have actually escaped. But Nao suddenly gets another invitation and is once again caught up in the game. This time, she has to team up with Shinichi and one of their previous rivals named Fukunaga, facing off against three more opponents in new games of deception, such as “24 Rensou Russian Roulette” and “17 Poker.” 
 
Whole New Players and Some More Twisted Games

Creepy as HELL M/C!!

The Bait!
Their True Intent!
Some seriously wicked games!!
Deception, my name is Fukunaga (or is it?)
 How can the second season be MORE intense?!!

Day 2 and again I marathon watched season 2! I couldn’t believe that the games could get even more sadistic and of course, the stakes kept getting higher and higher. As you watch, you didn’t know who you could trust. Poor Nao was getting deceived left and right. Again, a great continuation of a great series!

The Dramas Spawned Two Movies, A Special and a Spin-off Drama

(2010 Movie)
(2012 Movie)
Alice in Liar Game Spin-off (2012)
Liar Game Reborn Special – Fukunaga VS Yokoya (2012)
I have not watched all of these yet as I haven’t found a more reliable place to watch. But even though the main cast is not necessarily in all of this, my curiosity is high. With such a great franchise, it’s my hope that they continued the greatness that is Liar Game!


Trailers for Liar Game

Liar Game

Liar Game Reborn

Can be found on Dramacrazy and some can be found on YouTube.


Thanks to All-Happy 2 Month Blogging Anniversary

I want to take the time to thank all of you that make time to visit my blog. I remember awhile back, I kept telling myself how I wish I could do that, write about the dramas that I love! I would never have guessed that I would actually do it. It turned out easier than I thought. What really surprised me is how well it has been received. Sure, it is still in its infancy and I don’t necessarily have a lot of followers but I am always pleasantly surprised when I look at the statistics and see who in the world is actually reading my blogs.
From the US to Canada; from Europe to Russia and lastly from the Asian continents to as far as Australia; THANK YOU ONE AND ALL!!
As promised, you will probably see more discussions on what others are NOT talking about. Just continue to pick and choose the blogs that interest you. As time goes on, I hope to get better and better: from grabbing screenshots to better writing. But without an audience, I am nothing. So again, many thanks to my friends everywhere and keep watching this spot; you never know what I might talk about!!
Currently Watching:
Mandate of Heaven
Shark
Special Affairs Team TEN Season 2
Plan to Watch
Goddess of Fire
The Queen’s Classroom
Last Cinderella

Drama Thoughts: Crazy Love-The first 40 Episodes (We watch so you don’t have to!!)

 Crazy Love- One of the Hardest Drama I’ve EVER Watched in my Drama History (Ep 1-40)

**Contains SPOILERS**

Stars:
Park Sun Young as Yoon Mi So
Go Se Won as Seo Kyung Soo
Heo Tae Hee as Lee Min Jae
Choi Dae Hoon as Baek Jae Hyuk
Kim Yun Joon  as Han Na Young

Mi So

Episodes 1-40 shows you how crazy the households of both our future OTP, Mi So and Kyung Soo as well as introduces us to all of the characters in this drama. This is the first time ever that I’ve felt so sorry for both the male and female lead characters! As you watch these first episodes, you are hoping and praying that they will find happiness in the future.

Hae Ram and Mi So

Mi So loves her daughter, Hae Ram and is an amazing mother and daughter-in-law. The care she takes to maintain her family life despite the daily persecution by her MIL (Mother-in-law) is sad to watch. As I watched these episodes, my feelings have shifted from dismay, anger, sadness and downright disgust at Mi So and her acceptance of the treatment by her husband and especially by her MIL, the worse human being in the drama world.

Go Yoo Jung-Mi So’s MIL

Mi So’s MIL has the distinction of being the worse one I’ve ever seen! I’ve watch A LOT of these type of dramas and Kim Young Ran‘s portrayal of Go Yoo Jung is truly the worse! Her hatred and disrespect for her daughter-in-law as well as her indifference to her grand-daughter are stunning! Her constant yelling, screaming, complaining, more yelling, even louder screaming would drive most sane people INSANE!
Mi So is such a loving and caring doormat. I cannot classify her as anything else. The fact that I have to assume that this is the way a lot of Korean women live their lives in deference to their own happiness is amazing but this is one of the worse you’ll see.  She is constantly tormented by the loan sharks about her idiotic father’s debt. It is utterly amazing to see the loan shark hoodlums, take it to the level of harassing Mi So at her husband’s home. To say that the MIL doesn’t take the abuse to another level would be an UNDERSTATEMENT!

Min Jae-Mi So’s Husband

Min Jae’s existence as Mi So’s husband is…I have no words. From the very beginning, you get the feeling that he just ‘goes along to get along’; meaning, he really makes no efforts (or little) to protect his wife. His constant threats to move out are just that; threats. My opinion on him as a man in these first few episodes is pretty much dismal! By the end of this first 40 episodes, I really want the man to die! And to add insult to injury, the fool is having an extra-marital affair with none other than Na Young whose sole purpose in life is to totally ruin Mi So’s life!

Na Young

Na Young’s character has now put the character of Se Na from Rooftop Prince in the ‘pussycat’ category. Her pure hatred of Mi So is unbelievable and totally unreasonable. Everything is based on the fact that they were at the same orphanage and because of Jae Hyuk switching the records around and Mi So getting adopted instead of Na Young, she unreasonably blames her horrible life on Mi So. Sure, you say to yourself ‘HUH?’ The girls were around 5-6 years old but that shows you how screwed up Na Young is mentally and that becomes apparent in these first few episodes as she goes about destroying Mi So’s life.

Baek Jae Hyuk

Jae Hyuk’s character starts out a total mystery. He works as an enforcer for Kyung Soo’s FIL(Father-in-law) and to classify him as mean and uncaring, initially is about accurate. To watch him abuse Mi So and invade her home to ransack it for a loan payment was shocking!

Younger Baek and Eun Sun (Mi So)

But little does Jae Hyuk knows that Mi So is none other than Eun Sun, the little girl he cared for at the beginning from the orphanage. the girl he cared for so much that he switched records and helped her to get adopted. 

Poor, poor Baek, the realization really hurts!

Surprisingly, by episode 40, you have gone from hating his character to literally feeling sorry for him as he comes to realize Mi So’s real identity.

Oh Hae Ryung

Car Tantrum?

This is probably the most scariest woman in the drama world! Hae Ryung has been responsible for the dismissal of her husband from the prosecutor’s office, a countless number of women quitting because of her abuse and rabid jealousy. There just is not enough adjectives/synonyms for the word, “scary” to describe this woman.

Office Tantrum?

Bedroom Tantrum? (I could do this all day!)

The abuse she subjects to Kyung Soo is legendary!! I don’t know if she is manic, psychotic, crazy or just plain off her meds!! Her attempts to get pregnant worry me to no end. If there is a poster child for why people shouldn’t have children, this woman would be their number one model.

Kyung Soo

Last but not least is doormat number two, Kyung Soo. Why do I call him a doormat? It is bad enough he puts up with the abuse and disrespect from his father-in-law; however, the abuse he endures from his wife is amazing and most of the time, unnecessary. From the beginning, you cannot understand why this obviously handsome and smart man stays with this woman; I still don’t understand.

Mi So and Kyung Soo

It takes 40 episodes for him to finally say enough is enough. His obvious feelings for Mi So become apparent almost immediately but at least we get a declaration of love (sort of) within the first 40 episodes as well as soul-stirring kiss between the two. If there are two people that deserve to be together, it’s him and Mi So.

Now Here is Where the Story Gets Rough
 These are definitely spoilers to the story-line so far. As I’ve stated, I have seen a lot of these super-melos as I like to call them before but never have I seen subject matter like this. Here are some examples:

1. Adultery of the worse kind. A husband knowingly and willfully having an affair with a subordinate at work and then continuing said relationship even after his wife finds out.
2. A Mother-in-law who initially encourages said adulterous relationship to the point of making plans with the woman to replace the wife; all with the wife standing there.
3. MIL abuse on STEROIDS! The constant screaming of this actress is unheard of. I’m amazed she still has a voice after 40 episodes.
4. One of the most disgusting kidnapping (and possibly murder) ever to be seen! No, I refuse to say what, just in case you are watching.
5. A father who you have no sympathy for his current situation. Mi So’s father is the picture of a loser you would see in the dictionary; totally useless man.
6. A man and woman, you so desparately what to see have happiness together but with only 40 episodes gone so far, you know you have a long way to go.
7. A character whose revenge you want to see to be death at the end. Na Young deserves to die; it’s as simple as that.
8. A woman who GPSs her husband’s phone and car because she has to know where he is at all times. If that doesn’t work, just follow him!

Thanks to Jules, we now have a source for reading a recap of Crazy Love (Asian Addicts Anonymous).  It is so rare to find someone that actually does a drama this long but so far the recaps are great and represent an outlet for myself and others who are currently watching this drama to vent.

This drama is such an emotional one, I only watch it every 2 weeks. I don’t think my emotions can take more than that. Overall, I don’t have a complaint about the acting but with most dramas of 100+ episodes, as usual, they tend to drag when you don’t want them to. But as a glutton for punishment, I have no intentions of stopping!! Stay tuned for the next 40 episodes! And just enjoy the tweets as me and console each other as we watch.
 
 

The F4 We All Forget-Kim Jun Returns

Kim Jun from “Boys Over Flowers” to complete NS on the 28th

Actor Kim Jun, from the drama “Boys over Flowers” is done with National Service on June 28th. His new agency claims, “We made a deal based on faith and he is a part of Chang Company the moment he is done with the military”. Kim Jun debuted as an actor in the 2009 KBS 2TV drama “Boys over Flowers” starring Lee Min-ho and Koo Hye-seon. He was then also seen in drama “Detectives in Trouble“(Crime Squad) with Song Il Gook and Lee Jong Hyuk in early 2011.

Kim Jun joined the service in 2011 and served in the Seoul Police Department promotional team with Kim Dong-wook for two years. His agency claims, “Not only is he manly and exotic looking, he has an attractive voice and has lots of potential as an actor”.”He’s been getting various calls from domestic and foreign productions so he should be out in public very soon”.

Source: enews24.interest.me and Hancinema

 Yes, Kim Jun was the only F4 who’s career never really took over. It could be because his role was the most minor of the four but it was still a surprise when you compare it to the other actors from BOF in Korea as well as the actors from the Taiwanese and Japanese versions of the same drama. I saw Crime Squad and he was actually pretty good. He was also in I Can’t Stop with Lee Ji Hoon and a Japanese FujiTv production called Kimi no Kioku wo Boku ni Kudasai with Kim Jae Wook. I’m on the hunt for both of these, so far, no luck.

Ahn Yong Joon joins Lee Joon Ki in the August drama, Two Weeks

Latest Addition to the Cast of Two Weeks-Ahn Yoon Joon

Ahn Yoon Joon

It is reported that Ahn Yong Joon will be joining the cast of the new MBC drama “Two Weeks“. Ahn Yong Joon’s entertainment agency, has stated that the final decision has been made.

Two Weeks,” a drama about a man accused of murder who also has a daughter suffering from leukemia who he becomes aware of her existence recently. Lee’s character is struggling to save his daughter. The story is the work of Green Works ‘Brilliant Legacy’, ‘Prosecutor Princess’, ‘My daughter is Seo’ and will be directed by the Son Hyeong Seok is anticipated.

Ahn Yong Joon  is best known for his roles in Monster  as Jang Pan Soo, God’s Quiz 1and 2 as the sadistic serial killer, Ha Joon and in Jumong as Jumong’s son, Yuri (which is where I first saw him and loved him!!). He has also starred in the drama, ‘Jeon WooChi‘, and ‘Comrade‘.
 
The highly anticipated ‘Two Weeks‘ (by me and any fan of Lee Jun Ki) will follow ‘The Queen’s Classroom‘ and is expected to be broadcast in August. 

This is great news!! Because anyone that has seen him in Jumong and especially in the God’s Quiz dramas, know how talented this young (okay, believe it or not, he is 25!!) man is!! Cannot wait!!

June 2013 Edition: Future Movie Releases I’d Like to See

The Flu




Stars:
Jang Hyuk as Kang Ji-goo
Soo-Ae as Kim In-hae
Park Min-A as Kim Mir
Yoo Hae-Jin as Bae Kyeong-eop
Ma Dong-Suk as Jeon Gook-hwan
Kim Ki-hyeon as Chong-moo

Release date in South Korea :Aug 2013
Plot
Infected through the respiratory system, there is a new kind of disease that kills in 36 hours once infected. The people of the city struggle to survive.
More information to come!

Video Teaser
Pictures from Film:

Film Source: Hancinema
Azooma
Video Teaser

Stars:
Jang Young-nam as She
Ma Dong Suk as Detective Ma
Hwang Tae-gwang as Man
Bae Seong-woo as Husband
Lee Jae-hee as Yeon-joo

Release date in S. Korea: April 2013
Running Time: 74 min
Plot
A former dental technician, currently working as an insurance saleswoman, Yoon young nam manages to live with her 10-year-old daughter. One day, she finds out that her missing daughter has been raped on her way home from school. She reports to the police only to be disappointed by the inabilities and intrusiveness of the police. After going through consecutive failures of seizing the rapist mostly due to the indifferent and passive attitudes of the police, she changes her mind to chase after the rapist for herself with all kinds of measures that she can take.

Pictures from Film:

Secretly and Greatly

Stars:
Kim Soo-Hyun as Won Ryoo-hwan
Park Ki-Woong as Ri Hae-rang
Lee Hyun-Woo as Ri Hae-jin
Release date in S. Korea: June 2013
Running Time: 124 min
Plot
As a North Korean sleeper cell agent, Ryu-han infiltrates the South and assumes the role of a village idiot in a rural town. He observes the townsfolk and waits patiently for his mission. One day, after 2 years of playing the role of the village idiot, fellow elite spies Hae-rang, posed as a rock star and Hae-jin, posed as an ordinary student, are dispatched to the same town as Ryu-han. He helps the other two spies settle in and teach them how to adjust in the South. There is a sudden drastic political power shift in the North and all three spies receive an urgent mission: commit suicide.
Pictures from Film:


 

American Remake of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance?

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance Remake will be Produced by Lorenzo Di Bonaventura

A remake of director Park Chan Wook’s 2005 thriller Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is scheduled to begin production with Silver Reel, part of Lotus Entertainment, with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura’s of Di Bonaventura Pictures, and CJ Entertainment.


In 2010, Warner Bros. acquired the rights to the screenplay to be rewritten for American audience by Brian Tucker (Broken City). The writer is still on board the project, but it is not known if Warner Bros. is still involved or not.

The original Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance followed a deaf-mute who gets robbed when trying to come up with money for his sister’s operation. The American version revolves around two grief-stricken men, both of whom have suffered recent losses in their life and are hell-bent on getting revenge. No production schedule was given.
 

A total surprise to me is that Oldboy, another movie in Park Chan-Wook’s Vengeance Trilogy, has been remade by none other than director Spike Lee (A Spike Lee Joint!!). This version will star Josh Brolin, Samuel L. Jackson, Elizabeth Olsen, and Sharlto Copley and will be hitting theaters, October 11th.

Not to disparage US television but again, I’m always leery of remakes; sometimes they are good, but that is generally when you have never seen the original; however, Spike Lee’s OldBoy, I might make an exception. How about you?

Source: Deadline

 

Drama Marathon Weekend with Rondo (2006)

Rondo (2006)

Stars:
Choi Ji Woo as Choi Yoon A (Yuna)
Takenouchi Yutaka as Nishijima Shou/Kanayama Takumi
Lee Jung Hyun as Choi Yoon Hee
Sato Ryuta as Hide
Shin Hyun Joon as Kim Young Jae
Hasizume Isao as Song Gyu Hwan
Ichikawa Yui as Kazama Kotomi
Hayami Mokomichi as Kazama Ryuogo
Naoki Sugiura as Kazama Ryuichiro

Synopsis

A Japanese/Korean collaboration combining stars from both countries for this big-budget drama. Nishijima Shou  (Yutaka Takenouchi) is a Japanese detective whose father was murdered in Korea when he was still a boy. In hopes of discovering the truth behind his father’s death, Shou works undercover in a mafia organization.  Choi Yuna (Choi Ji-Woo) is a South Korean woman who goes to Japan in search of her father, who left her when she was young, and ends up opening a Korean restaurant in Japan. They cross paths at a bar at night … She opens a Korean restaurant with her younger sister, but soon faces the mercy of fate. The couple meets in a corner of Tokyo and fall in love. But what waits ahead of them… A “rondo” of fate, love, and history is about to begin. source: MyDramalist

My Take
Okay, let me preface my review with the fact that you must be a lover of the crime/suspense/action genre. If you are not, this is not the drama for you.

 

Shou/Takumi

Yuna

Acting: What can I say, I was pleasantly surprised by all. I’ve seen them all in different works but in this collaboration between Japan and Korea; they reined supreme. Takenouchi Yutaka as Shou/Takumi was phenomenal. As the gangster Shou, he played the role really well. I loved that! And boy is he a sexy man! Choi Ji Woo as Yuna was a treat! Except for movies, I’d never completed one of her dramas but as Yuna (the ever changing Yuna), she was on point. 

Hide

 I would be remiss in leaving out Sato Ryuta as Hide. Afro-ed down and funny as hell!! I thought I liked him in Detarame Hero (my guilty pleasure drama), now I have to go watch him in others!

Action: Okay, this is a dark. dark drama. You are talking about gangsters, crooked cops; no drama of this ilk would be complete without some serious action! No, no club and knives but serious gun action so the squeamish, beware.

Filming: A Lot of the shots are dark and I guess the director was trying to project darkness because of the subject matter.

Romance: It was nicely done and I must say, very believable. You will definitely feel and experience as these two, Shou and Yuna fall for each other. The chemistry between Yutaka and Ji Won, off the charts! It was also nice to see that they expressed that affection too with hugs, kisses, etc.

Twists: Talk about a roller coaster ride!! There are so many twists and turns in this drama, I guarantee, your head will spin like you are possessed. HAH! I’m kidding but you will be shocked, dismayed and pleasantly amazed at the number of twists in this story; well done

Music: There really wasn’t a lot of variations to the music; however, what was featured was very nice. I loved the songs that were featured and there were times that the instrumental music reminded me of one of my favorite movies called Ghost Dog; same beat. You’ll be bopping your head from time to time listening to it. But this song by Ayaka, very nice melody and played throughout the drama.
Overall, the writer definitely closed this drama with a bang and I was very, very happy. But as usual with JDramas, you must watch until the very end. I’m always sad when I do not understand why a drama has a certain title. Now I know what Rondo means.


You can watch on DailyMotion or Gooddrama!!

Post Note: Hayami Mokomichi, I did not know you before but you are now on my radar. What a handsome devil, don’t you think so?

Hayami Mokomichi

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Calling all Drama Watchers

Dramas I’m Looking Forward to Watching but Cannot Find!!

Okay my fellow drama watchers! Since I began watching dramas and chatting with others on twitter and Facebook, I could always depend on you to find movies, dramas, whatever for me. So, on bended knees, I need your help!! Here are three dramas that I am desperately looking for with English subs. I’ve looked at all of the sites I know and so far I’ve not found one. So with your vast sources and experience, help a drama sister find these dramas!!
Thorn Flower
Stars:
Jang Shin Young as Se Mi
Seo Do Young as Nam Joon

120 episodes – Mon~Thu
 Native title: 가시꽃 
Also Known as: Spine Flower ; Thorny Flower; Spineflower  source: MyDramalist

Plot
A drama about an innocent female going through unfortunate events and becoming a femme fatale, taking revenge on huge companies and powerful people.  

If you know me, you know I absolutely love these super-melos as I call them. Shin Young, I remember her from I am Legend, one of my favorite and first dramas. I was really excited to see her in a leading role. Do Young has the distinction of being in the only drama Spring Waltz of the Seasons series that I really liked. I WANT, I WANT, I WANT TO WATCH THIS!!!

Ugly Alert/Bravo My Life

Stars:
Choi Yoon Young as Gong Jin Joo
Im Joo Hwan as Gong Joon Soo
Shin So Yool as Shin Joo Yeong
Kang So Ra as Na Do Hee
Choi Tae Joon as Gong Hyeon Seok

120 episodes – Mon~Fri
Formerly known as “Bravo My Life” (브라보 마이라이프, beu-ra-bo ma-i-la-i-peu) and “My Ugly Brother” (못난이 울오빠, mot-nan-i ul-oppa)  source: Hancinema

Plot
A drama that shows the meaning of family and how everyone within that frame understand and heal each other although sometimes they can be jealous and ignore each other. 

This is Joo Hwan’s return since military service! Why isn’t anyone carrying this? I was hoping Viki would pick it up but that doesn’t seen likely. I have not found it on Dramacrazy and if you know me, I hate that site with all of those pop-ups but like Mandate of Heaven, I’m willing to make another exception. So where can I find this?!!

Sweet Springs

 Stars:
Yu Geon as Ha Jae Seong
Park Se Young as Choi Se Yeong

120 episodes – Mon~Fri
Native title: 지성이면 감천 
Also Known as: Jiseongimyeon Gamcheon ; Sincerity Is The Way Of Heaven ; Sincerity Moves Heaven. source: MyDramalist

Plot
A drama about the lead adopted character going through confusion between his real family and adopted family but then finds his true identity by making his own family.  

I know, what is it with me and these daily dramas?!! I don’t know. I have found a genre that I really, really like. I’ve yet to be totally unsatisfied with these family dramas. And add Yu Geon (who I liked in the drama Fight and a few movies) and Se Yeong (who we all adored in Faith); this makes for a great combination. 

So, c’mon fellow drama watchers, if you have seen any of these dramas subbed, help a drama sister out!! 

Ugly Alert:http://itvmovie.eu/movie/detail/5521/Ugly-Alert–.html 

UPDATE:
Found that DarkSmurfSubs now offers online watching! I found Ugly Alert (30 ep subbed) and Thorn Flower (29 ep being subbed and synced).  This made me happy! Alas, still no Sweet Spring!!