Tag Archives: sageuk

The Swordsman 검객, trailer, reviews and more


Visuals of a Joseon Idol

I can’t wait to watch this movie! The Swordsman, directed by Choi Jae-hoon (최재훈) and starring Jang Hyuk (장혁), Kim Hyun-soo (김현수), Joe Taslim, Jung Man-sik (정만식) was filmed in 2017 but due to some production/financial complications, it was only released las month in South Korea, in the midst of a pandemic and with relatively little promotion. Still, like a true underdog, the movie managed to take second place among all movies released that week (release date was Sep 23rd) and 1st among domestic releases.

My baby against the world.

With new movies released during Chuseok, The Swordsman went down a few spots but hey, it’s still out there fighting the good fight and it has gotten mostly positive reviews from press and audience. From what I could gather, the general concensus would be 1) Predictable story but moves at a good pace 2) Good acting 3) Amazing action sequences

It has been compared to other action movies like Taken, The Man From Nowhere (also from Opus Pictures), The Professional (aka Leon), etc. The movie has been sold to 55 countries and here is hoping a major streaming service also picks it up soon.

Jang Hyuk, king of sageuk is back!

Here is some more good stuff to get you as excited as I am (but beware of spoilers)

TRAILER:

TRAILER: CHARACTERS

MUST WATCH: Impressive action sequence, all in one take. This is what got me the most excited!

THE MOVIE BEATS REVIEW: A thorough review but practically spoiler free. It focuses on the action sequences

“The right blend of of exciting sword-wielding action, drama, and warrior’s code to satisfy the appetites of more die-hard genre fans“.

Full written version:

https://www.themoviebeat.com/the-swordsman-2020-korean-movie-review/

Hancinema review: A good read, with some analysis of the character’s motivations. It contains spoilers

https://www.hancinema.net/hancinema-s-film-review-the-swordsman-145684.html

Visit the Soompi movie thread for more information:

https://forums.soompi.com/topic/400935-current-movie-2020-the-swordsman-%EA%B2%80%EA%B0%9D-jang-hyuk-joe-taslim-kim-hyun-soo

‘My Country’ Jang Hyuk Interview – Talks about Bangwon’s scar, his hair in new drama and more


Hi, I’m copying this interview translated by Prettysup and posted on the Soompi Jang Hyuk thread. Thank you Prettysup! This way we can always refer to it.

I also added some of my favorite images of beautiful (and terrible but awesome) Bangwon, for us to drool forever! #Bangwitched

As he enters his 23rd year of acting, Jang Hyuk has also shown off the special weight that he carries, capturing the agony of a humane Lee Bang-won in JTBC’s “My Country,” which ended on Sunday.

Jang’s relaxed smile at the interview did not make one feel that he is tired after finishing the work that had been shooting for about eight months. “I can’t cut my hair because it’s going to be used in the next drama,” he said with a big smile.

“I wanted to show you an emotional humane Lee Bang-won, not an ambitious blood lord. In fact, during the ‘Age of innocence’, I was always thinking about playing Lee Bang-won again. In ‘The Age of Innocence’ , Lee Bang-won feels like the background in the first strife of the princes. ‘My Country’ Lee Bang-won is a weighty villain, and he’s at the center of the story, so there’s a little bit of freedom and coolness.”

“My Country” is basically the story of fictional characters Seo Hwi (Yang Se-jong), Nam Seon-ho (Woo Do-hwan), and Han Hee-jae (Kim Seol-hyeon) who help Lee Bang-won revolt in the drama. However, the three-dimensional confrontations between Lee Bang-won (Jang Hyuk), Nam-jeon (Ahn Nae-sang) and Lee Seong-gye (Kim Young-chul) who contributed to the founding of the country showed off their existence as much as traditional historical dramas.

Among the past works dealing with Lee Bang-won, Jang was particularly attracted to ‘The Deep Rooted Tree’ which he also starred in. “I wanted to show everyone the Lee Bang-won who stood against his father. There was a scene in ‘The Deep Rooted Tree’ which Baek Yoon-sik senior told Ido (Song Joong-ki) to live. I was very impressed with that fascinating look.”

Actor Kim Young-chul, who plays Lee Seong-gye, had also portrayed Taejong two times previously through “The Great King Sejong” and “Jang Young-sil.” Kim Young-chul, however, rarely talked about his works because he feared it would have an unnecessary impact on Jang’s performance. On the synergy of their acting, Jang said, “We acted as father and son during ‘Iris 2’, and even if we don’t talk about it, we can immerse ourselves in real-life feelings. You just have to get the emotional intensity that your senior members are driving at and pour it out as it is,” he explained. These are words coming from an actor representing the acting class in the entertainment industry.

“Although it’s a work of fictional characters, stories beyond historical characters may not be convincing. Most people know how the Strife of the Princes went and what roles and actions Jeong Do-jeon, Lee Bang-gan, and Bakpo played. If you go too far-fetched, it’s going to be hard to accept. So instead of creating a new story, I wanted to reinterpret the feelings behind it, while keeping true to historical records. Did Lee Bang-won really think that he was going to be a king? Maybe he didn’t, but he was just swept away by the surging emotions and became the king. We only know the records but we didn’t see it and feel it personally, so I focused on capturing the inner thoughts of Lee Bang-won.”

As a result, “My Country” Lee Bang-won became Jang hyuk’s new life character. Lee Bang-won’s relentless confrontation with his father, Lee Seong-gye, excited viewers. “I’m grateful that you have enjoyed this drama because it’s so emotional,” Jang said with a smile.

Jang Hyuk also talked about being a senior among the cast. He said, “Although there were seniors on the set, but most of the other cast and crew were younger than me. There was only Tae-ryeong (Kim Jae-young), who is three years younger than me at the set and we talked a lot,” he said, confessing to his unexpected loneliness.

He reiterated that he learned a lot from young actors like Woo Do-hwan, Yang Se-jong and Seol Hyun. “One of the most regrettable works of my life is ‘Daemong’. They’re only a year or two older than me when I did ‘Daemong’, but are very well prepared. I was surprised that they can act so well at this age.”

Jang Hyuk’s choice of a master scene in ‘My Country’ is a question-and-answer session with Lee Sung-gye at the end of the drama. Jang recalled, “I fell in love with Kim Young-chul’s feelings. Would I answer as king or as father? The sixth, seventh and eighth are already dead, and the fifth, you will be king. He’s hitting the line. I’ve stopped feeling so much. Do you have any fingers that don’t hurt? It’s because I’m a royal family member. There was no line in the original script that said Lee Bang-won resembles Nam Seon-ho, but I added it on the spot because I felt that he resembled Nam Seon-ho.”

Jang Hyuk’s personal favourite acting scene is when he threw his crown after becoming the king. Unlike Lee Seong-gye or Nam Jeon, the throne was just a mean for Lee Bang-won to create his version of ‘my country’.

“I wanted to depict the feeling of cutting the opponent’s head off and throwing it. It’s my seat, I have went through a long way to reach there, but I don’t know what to do when I get there. I raised my sword not to make the abandoned, but the reality is that I abandoned everyone from Seo Geom (Yoo Oh-sung) to Seo Hwi and Nam Seon-ho. Lee Bang-won is just like the characters at the end of the movie ‘The Graduate’, where they ran away from the wedding, sat on a bus, like two pathetic, helpless, empty people.”

Jang Hyuk also confessed about the scar on Lee Bang-won’s face, which further sharpened his image in the drama. “It was a coincidence, I got hurt while working out. But then I found that it suited my character well. Doesn’t it feel like Lion King’s ‘Scar’?”

The most beloved historical character Jang Hyuk has ever played is Lee Dae-gil of ‘Chuno’. At one time, viewers commented that they see Lee Dae-gil in every character that he played. However, through ‘My Country’, Jang hyuk has completely shed the shadow of Lee Dae-gil, which had been hanging for more than a decade. Jang Hyuk said, “I forgot about Dae-gil a long time ago as I needed to move on to my next projects. It has already been 11 years and I’m grateful that there are so many fans who remembered Dae-gil for such a long time.”

When asked whether he would consider doing the TJ project as a gift for fans, Jang appeared embarrassed and said after coughing, “We have to take a look at the times when the TJ project took place. Back then, the music video was done to promote the movie ‘Volcano High’. I was not good at singing, hence I practiced rapping as it was similar to saying my lines.” he explained.

“I like listening to music very much. I always practice acting while listening to music. I’m very happy if I managed to find a song that fits the mood just like OST. But I don’t have the knowledge to work on music.”

“I’ve been asked several times to appear in ‘Sugar Man’ as a rapper TJ. But that’s not a joke, you have to decorate the stage. I’m sure not many people have seen TJ in person, and I think most of them know it through friends or the Internet. I don’t think it’s going to be easy to star in ‘Sugar Man’.”

Jang Hyuk’s new Sageuk: “My Country” (나의 나라)


My_Country-p01

It’s been a long while since we’ve posted, and since Jang Hyuk’s starred in a drama! We’ve all missed him, and hopefully he’d gotten a well-deserved break after starring back-to-back in “Money Flower,” “Wok of Love,” and “Bad Papa.” Not to mention cameos here and there and a role in the Crime film, “Ordinary Person.”

JH-My-Country

Jang Hyuk gives off Lee Daegil “Chuno” vibes here. Fans are thrilled he grew out his hair.

Jang Hyuk again takes on the mighty role of Joseon’s third King, Lee (Yi) Bang Won (The future King Taejong). He played the King in the 2015 film, “Empire of Lust.”

Jang Hyuk’s not the lead in “My Country” (JTBC Network) (To many fans’ disappointment) but he is listed as a Main role. Since it’s a multi-episode drama, it’ll be exciting to watch how he develops King Taejong’s personality with the distinct nuances he always brings to his performances.

Whatever happens, King Taejong’s presence will be influential to the story.

The drama’s main plot revolves around young best friends in a tumultuous time period – the fall of the Goryeo era into the early years of the long-standing Joseon era.

Seo Hwi (Yang Se-Jong) is a righteous warrior, the son of a powerful commander who goes through grievous trials. Nam Sun-Ho (Woo Do-Hwan) is an intelligent young man born from the lower class. His dream of joining the military is crushed when his father gets embroiled in corruption and his poor background becomes an obstacle. The best friends have misunderstandings and develop clashing opinions, leading them to become enemies.

This wouldn’t be a proper Kdrama without a love-triangle or a romantic entanglement. Enter the beautiful Seol Hyun (Han Hee-Jae). She’s described as a skilled martial artist and resourceful, intelligent woman ahead of her time who possibly holds classified information.

Screen Shot 2019-09-12 at 7.54.40 PM

Lee Bang Won was crowned King in Joseon’s 8th year. The political upheavals that got him to the throne could put the ex-best friends at greater odds while fighting for freedom and country.

These are just speculations, we’ll all have to watch and learn together!

“My Country” began filming back in March, 2019. Pre-produced dramas are on the rise. This system allows for better and compelling stories and acting, as the writers, cast, and crew don’t fall prey to the whims of Producers and fickle audiences necessitating last-minute plot changes. Just from the trailers, we can expect high production values and beautiful cinematography.

Having the talented Jang Hyuk in a major role will surely elevate what promises to be an exciting historical drama of friendships, enmity, love, and war as Korea pushes through the birth pangs of a new, astounding era in their legendary history.

“My Country” (나의 나라) premieres Friday, October 4th, 2019.

***Note to Fans – “My Country” is a Netflix Exclusive that will launch globally on that date.  They are the only streaming site with Korean Language content to air it. For those of us without Netflix, hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to watch it elsewhere.

Enjoy the Official Trailers:

Gaekju – 7 minute trailer explained – sort of 


IMG_5091

Gaekju is coming guyssssss! It starts on September 23rd at 10pm in Korea. It’ll also be available with english subs through KBS World (starting on September 30th) and on Viki.

My enthusiasm level for this drama has increased with each trailer. The 7 minute trailer sent it through the roof! I hope it has the same effect on you my friends!

We already saw the good quality of filming and acting in previous trailers but we didn’t know much about the story itself. The 7 minute trailer reveals some of the background of our characters, especially the conflict that triggers the personal struggle of Bongsam (Jang Hyuk) and Gil So Gae (Yu Oh Seong) and the nature of their relationship. A lot of pain and guilt in these men past! Gaekju will show us how both of them deal with it.

Below is how Gumi summarized the trailer for me. WARNING! She did fill in the blanks so the actual story might turn out slightly different. The trailer, after all, only showed isolated scenes with revealing facts and Gumi sort of connected dots.

Chun (Bongsam’s father) and Gil (So Gae’s father) worked together. They were friends and colleagues. At some point Gil needs money, desperately so he gets involved in opium trade.

Chun Bongsam’s father, as leader of Chun’s gaekju, had to punish Gil and according to the law, an opium trader should be sentenced to death. Chun gives poison to Gil. Gil drinks it and dies. His son Gil So Gae screams and cries “No, please don’t drink it father!” Gil’s father dies leaving these as his last words “You should become rich, you should become the leader of all those merchants”

12050_7322_324

Gil So Gae is now traumatized and he hates Chun Bongsam’s father. So Gae seems to become involved with opium as well. Now someone had to be responsible for that opium and Chun says he will take the blame so he is executed. This way Gil So Gae caused Bongsam’s father death as well 😦 Oh the pain already!

The now enemies, share a past where they were raised almost as a family.Chun and Gil were friends so their kids were like cousins and there was  even a promise that Bongsam’s sister would marry Gil So Gae. This should make for some amazing inner conflicts and angsty bromantic frenemy situation between Chun Bongsam and Gil So Gae. Can’t wait!

12036854_726674624126955_4077255430735378960_n 12039442_726674837460267_2704749198597708703_n 1442734323-45

We all know how serious and hard working Jang Hyuk is, so its no surprise that he is once again giving his all to this project. But the spirit that can be perceived from interviews and the press conference is that every single person involved in this production is extremely passionate about it! The PD is a serious, earnest man who was responsible for very successful sageuk, such as the series Wang Gun. To create the background of Bongsam in this series (something that had not been dealt with in the novel), he actually consulted the writer of the original novel and asked him what he thought his past would’ve been like.  Now that’s what I call dedication! Given the love, effort and talent that is surrounding this drama I really wish it much success, and not only because my favorite actor is in it. GAEKJU FIGHTING! 

1442734340-38 1442734351-28 1442734363-76 1442734375-43

Shine or Go Crazy – New stills, BTS and interview


New stills of Wang So cred. Jang Hyuk DC Gallery/MBC.

It seems our Goryeo prince will endure some harsh times, cause we often see stills of him dressed more as a common citizen than as a prince. I suppose it comes with the territory when you are a “cursed prince fated to bring blood to your country” awww. He looks gorgeous as a commoner, however (in fact, it is my favorite look so far)

Also, from what we can see in this video, the drama will definitely be infused with some comical action sequences, as it was mentioned before 🙂 but then again so was Chuno and TWDR.

Video from MBC/Thanks to Zoi

IMG_2779

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/bc7/51249070/files/2014/12/img_2781.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/bc7/51249070/files/2014/12/img_2782.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/bc7/51249070/files/2014/12/img_2780.jpg

On the other hand, Honey Lee looks absolutely stunning as the princess who will eventually marry Wang So. She is definitely rocking the sageuk garments. I’m fangirling a little here! but I do have a weakness for Goryeo/Silla or whatever it is royal wardrobe. It’s the colors! the pretty colors!

IMG_2788

IMG_2787

IMG_2786

IMG_2785

 

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/bc7/51249070/files/2014/12/img_2789.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/bc7/51249070/files/2014/12/img_2802.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/bc7/51249070/files/2014/12/img_2804.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/bc7/51249070/files/2014/12/img_2803.jpg