Yesterday was a special day for this blog because… (*drum roll*) the number of total hits crossed 500,000. That’s half a million!
To commemorate this milestone, Thundie’s Prattle is giving away two English-subtitled DVD sets of Story of a Man. This drama was many people’s choice for Best Drama of 2009 and I’m not surprised, having recently watched nine episodes (out of twenty) and finding myself thoroughly gripped by the writing and acting. Although the premise of the story is revenge against a psychopathic antagonist (played brilliantly by Kim Kang-woo), the drama is imbued with a familial tenderness that I find touching and affecting. A man (Park Yong-ha in his last drama before his untimely passing this year) vows to avenge the death of his brother (Ahn Nae-sang) but must descend, figuratively, into the pits of hell before he is able to map out a foolproof revenge plan. His opponent, meanwhile, is fighting his own inner demons, even as he presents a seemingly impenetrable and invincible front to the world. Caught between them is a woman (Park Shi-yeon) who loves both men.
Are you piqued? Would you like to win one of the two sets? Here’s how.
Let’s start this review off with a bold proclamation. After watching the first 24 episodes, I am unequivocally in love with Giant. With that said, I shall attempt to justify my sentiment with a semblance of reason and logic (but if you look at that kiss above, I think it says enough by itself).
Do you subscribe to the belief that “you never forget your first love”? It’s a lovely sentiment, but in reality not always true. We forget stuff all the time, including poignant memories such as a first love. [Like, I recently forgot I was married with kids, and attempted to buy a ticket to Japan to stalk a certain shiny, crooked toothy-grinned, newly muscular, spacey fluff-ball, only to regain my sanity memory, right before I clicked the Buy button. Disaster and marriage counseling averted].
Memory loss nothwithstanding, do you still remember the first time you de-lurked? In whatever context, whichever forum, you typed the first tentative comments about a drama that moved you. Armed with that little ounce of courage in announcing your presence in the drama-verse, I applaud you. This review has been inspired by the devotees of dramas world-wide.
When you really love something, you pour your heart and soul into it. And it shows. I want to share with you such a drama. From the first frame to the last lingering shot, every detail is exquisite, every emotion is genuine. While not the best drama I have ever watched, I absolutely, unequivocally, love it. [I once wrote that I loved a drama so much I wanted to marry it and have its babies. I probably have a tendency to be effusive, and I don’t want to become the koala who cried wolf (every drama is the “Best Drama EVAR!!!”). I promise to fight my natural inclination to pile on the accolades, and try to be objective here].
Here’s the deal (a.k.a. synopsis in a nutshell): A group of gangsters run to a secluded mountain monastery to hide from a rival gang. Their appearance is met with much resentment from the resident group of monks, and tempers fray even more when the raucous thugs insist on staying at the monastery for at least a week.
Just from that early premise, I could guess how the plot would unfold in Hi, Dharma! (2001). Monks and thugs would hate each other for most of the movie, monks would come to the aid of the thugs later (or vice versa), and both sides would learn to appreciate each other in the end. Pretty predictable? Yes. Boring? Not at all.
I popped this 2004 movie into the DVD player without knowing what I was watching. When a friend sent it to me, I looked all over the cover for the title, but there was nothing in English that I could read. Two male faces I didn’t recognize peered at me from the front, and on the back cover were five wild-looking women with pitch forks. It wasn’t till eight minutes into the movie that I learned its title.
Mapado means Mapa Island. The story is pretty simple. Boss Shin is a guy who owns a small factory which makes stuffed toys. For months he has been playing Toto or Lotto (a kind of lottery) and he always buys the same five numbers but without any luck.