Thursday, 16 July 2009

We've moved!

For the past two months, our blog has been inaccessible from where we are based. (in fact, all google.blogspot)

We've tried to manage (by all possible means) for as long as we can, but it has become increasingly impossible.

So we've moved, but we're still unpacking (so to speak.)

Please visit us at our new site:

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

A happy ending for "Sunshine"?

I recently saw a Korean movie "My wife got married" which somehow suggests a scenerio for a happy ending in Jo Hyun-Jae's "Sunshine".

The movie title is a paradox in itself. "My wife" is the woman a man is married to. How can his wife "get married"? Well, she does (in the movie.) Son Ye-Jin plays an attractive young woman In-Ah, perfectly normal on the outside, but harbouring abnormal desires in her heart. She is a free spirit and a great football (soccer) fan, and she evaluates her relationships with men in football terms.

The very average-looking actor Kim Joo-Hyuk who plays her boyfriend Deok-Hoon looks familiar, but I'm not able to place him until halfway through the movie. Kim Joo-Hyuk is the lead actor in "Lovers in Prague". Having been spoilt by our Mr. Jo, I find actors with small eyes unappealing. But what I find it hard to stomach is this man (and a policeman at that) crying like a baby to his lover (whom he thinks he is about to lose): "I can't live without you!" (more than once!) Come on, men don't cry. (unless you can cry as beautifully as Andrea.)

To go back to "My wife got maried", the Son Ye-Jin character In-Ah is not ready to settle down, but she agrees to marry Kim after he agrees not to interfere with her "night" life. (She goes out "drinking" every night, sometimes not returning home till the wee hours.) And then her work takes her somewhere else, so that she can only return home on weekends. You can guess what happens next, right? She meets somebody else? Right! She wants a divorce? Wrong! She wants to marry this other man WITHOUT divorcing her husband. She wants to be married to TWO men! She says in some African tribes women have multiple mates. Her husband says in anguish (and I pity Kim here, but not in "Lovers in Prague"): "Why do you have to tell me? Why don't you just have an affair behind my back?" Her answer: "I don't want to lie to you."

She does marry the other man who is played by Joo Sang-Wook (the 5th man, the rich guy, in "3 Dads/1 Mom".) And then she has a baby girl -- who's the father? Echoes of "3 Dads/1 Mom". And the baby has a first birthday party (actually two birthday parties, with each Dad and family) -- nowhere near as moving as that of Ha Seon in "3 Dads/1 Mom". There's a big row, and mother and daughter disappear (again echoes of "3 Dads/1 Mom".) The ending is a fantasy reunion of all four of them -- mother, daughter, and the two fathers -- caught up in football mania in Spain (watching Real Madrid, I think.)

This reminds me of the ending of "Sunshine" -- Yeon Woo, Eun Sup, Min Ho, and Yeon Woo's younger sister frolicking on the beach -- one big happy family. If it works for "My wife got married", why not for "Sunshine"? Threesome seems to be the latest craze in Korean movies. The female protagonist in "The Naked Kitchen" also wants BOTH her husband and her lover. (Please see our 6/19/09 post "Random Thoughts".)

The ending of "Sunshine" casts a shadow over a drama that is otherwise light and airy. Yeon Woo cannot marry Eun Sup because his father kills her father (even though it transpires he's not the real murderer.) She cannot reject Min Ho because she does not want to hurt him. Notice love doesn't enter the equation: she loves Eun Sup but not Min Ho (not the way a woman loves a man anyway.) So "Sunshine" has an open ending -- the drama deliberately avoids solving this problem of the eternal triangle. I have one solution, though: let Eun Sup pair up with Yeon Woo's kid sister who has said when she grows up, she'll marry him. She knows a good man when she sees one. She's quite precocious; she'll be a grown woman in no time.

Korean TV dramas are usually very conservative and demure where relationships between the sexes are concerned. But Korean movies can be pretty avant-garde in both theme (as in these two movies mentioned here) and execution -- there are quite a few steamy sex scenes in "My wife got married."
Son Ye-Jin won several awards for her performance in this movie:
2009 45th Baeksang Arts Awards: Best Leading Actress
2008 29th Blue Dragon Film Awards:
1. Best Leading Actress
2. Most Popular Actress
3. Best On-screen Couple (with Kim Joo-Hyuk)

Her 2003 movie "The Classic" is one of my favourite Korean movies. She is the actress that I would like to star in JHJ's comeback drama in late 2010 (after his discharge from the army.) Even though she is also in "Great Ambition" (Dae Mang), I don't remember JHJ and her in any scene together. I think they will make a great couple and generate good chemistry.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

No news is good news?

There has been a dearth of Jo Hyun-Jae news lately (not that he has ever been much in the news.)

There are rumours that he may be out on leave in July -- this is from a message left on CAFEKorea by a fellow soldier. We are a little skeptical because with the current critical situation in the Korean Peninsula, it is more than likely that the South Korean military will be on high alert. If North Korea fires a few more short-range missiles, we bet all leaves will be cancelled. Of course we wish JHJ will get some time off and maybe even leave his fans a message.

There is another message on the JHJ Official Fan Club website left by a Korean staff member that mentions the Korean drama "After family glory" that is currently winning the ratings war. He/she speculates that if JHJ has time, he could very well be watching this too, like everyone else. And then inexplicably "After family glory" has become JHJ's favourite, according to a popular Chinese JHJ website. This is the kind of "news" we are entertaining ourselves with.

The facts are -- JHJ is in the army. As a general rule, soldiers don't make news -- unless something bad happens (God forbid!) So we'll just quietly, patiently wait out these last 11+ months of JHJ's military service.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Where is JHJ?

Wanna play hide-and-seek with Jo Hyun-Jae?

Can you find JHJ in this sketch of a fairground? This is created by EVERKorea in 2007 and there are 4 JHJ in the midst of this merry crowd.

Can you find him and identify which drama/occasion it is?

A small prize awaits the winner (the first to correctly identify ALL 4.)

Have fun!

(Source: Credit: johyunjaeChina. Thanks!)

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Now you see us; now you don't

We are having technical problems.

There may only be sporadic posts until we have sorted things out.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Cards for JHJ (3)

Maybe there's nothing very special about this card that we sent Jo Hyun-Jae a few days ago. It's just that I have a thing about ladybirds -- I just love them! The rounded red shell, the black dots, and the fact that they can actually fly! (Do you know that?) They are just too cute!

And when Jo Hyun-Jae was injured at the end of June, we sent him a "Get Well" card with a single flower that reads:

Healing thoughts are with you,
Caring wishes are near you,
Know that you are loved.

Monday, 6 July 2009

JHJ changed my life

This is Laura's story.

JHJ changed my life? It sounds incredible to me for I am a person reluctant to change. I've been living in the same city since I was born. I worked for the same company since graduation from university. I married the first man I fell in love with. I don't make a change deliberately, I think. I accept opportunities of change. Thank God, so far everything has been going well for me. As they say, I'm lucky enough to live a contented life.

Then, how can someone I've never met face to face change my life? Did I change at all since I ran into this guy called Jo Hyun Jae on the screen?

It was absolutely by accident that I turned on the TV and tuned to the channel on whcih "Only You" was broadcasting. I seldom watch television. On that night, however, after putting my daughter to bed, I decided to turn on the TV for some news or movies. I didn't expect to watch a Korean drama at all. Till today, I am still puzzled what made me watch on. The only "rational" explanation I can come up with is "yuanfen" (fate or destiny.) It's my belief that some people are destined to meet while others are not. If it had not been for "yuanfen", what made me find him on TV?

Without question, "Only You" is a pleasant drama to watch. JHJ did very well playing a rich heir, arrogant in appearance but sincere at heart. Since then, I felt I was driven by something (curiosity?) to watch JHJ's dramas one after another. The more I watched, the deeper I sank into his world. I found myself surfing the internet for information on JHJ. I started to pay much attention to tensions in the Korean Peninsula because JHJ is in the army. I found myself writing to a stranger sharing my feelings, which I would have never tried if it hadn't been for JHJ. I also found myself registered at a fans' BBS. And unexpectedly, I learned many useful computer skills. For example, I was taught how to cut and splice photos on the computer to make fabulous photo exhibition. I used the technique to reorganize my family photos. My family all marveled at my works. Besides, I even started to learn Korean!

Nothing big here, I know. But I did change, didn't I? The change is by no means radical. It's subtle and in the mind. I'm more open and more tolerant. Now, I'm willing to exchange views with people with whom I share the same interests but have never met in person. It is not as awkward as I thought. I also start to re-consider my attitude toward my shy and quiet boy. Seeing JHJ's growing up, I realized that shyness may not be bad at all. I used to think that shyness will hinder my son's communication with people. However, I notice that JHJ's shyness actually reflects that he thinks more than others do, and his brevity of speech is because he always tries hard to be most sincere and accurate. Shy as he is, he can still be charming and successful. I'm more confident about my positive attitude toward this world too. Looking at JHJ's sparkling eyes and brilliant smile, I made up my mind that I'll try my best to find the beauty of this world, to make life more colorful, and to make people around me feel happier. I believe I can, as JHJ fulfilled his dreams with his firm will.

To me, JHJ cannot be a "real" person. I can't see him in person. I can't talk to him face to face. I can't touch him. What does he mean to me then? An idol? Or a good example? Neither, I think. I would rather regard him as an angel who is sent to me to light up my life (as someone said so before on this blog.)

I've said I accept opportunities of change. This time JHJ brings me the opportunity and I'll take it. Thank you, Jo Hyun Jae!