Monday, May 31, 2010

Sungkyunkwan’s other student foursome

Now that the main leads have been selected, upcoming campus sageuk drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal is filling in its supporting cast. The four actors above play a group of sunbaes at the school who take an antagonistic role to our main quartet and are (from top left, going clockwise) Jeon Tae-soo, Chae Byung-chan, Kim Dong-yoon, and Kang Sung-pil.

Sungkyunkwan Scandal has already drawn notice for the casting of its main leads — Micky Yoochun, Song Joong-ki, Yoo Ah-in — who play three of the “Joseon F4.” (The fourth member is the role of a girl who dresses as a guy to take her sick brother’s place at school, and had been cast with Jung Da-young before she recently dropped out.)

In the rival foursome, Jeon Tae-soo (whom you may recall is the younger brother to actress Ha Ji-won) plays a “bad guy” role as the leader who is part of Sungkyunkwan’s student council. He was in 2007’s King and I, which makes this his second time in a sageuk. Kang Sung-pil had roles in Legend and Queen Seon-dok and plays Jeon’s right-hand man in a comic role highlighted by his dimwittedness. Chae Byung-chan was apparently in My Fair Lady (I can’t recall him, but he may have been one of the butlers), while new actor Kim Dong-yoon takes on a new character who wasn’t in the original novel.

credit javabeans

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rain receives warrant for army enlistment on 28th September, but enlistment is postponed till next year

Singer actor Rain (27) has received the warrant for army enlistment on 28th September, but due to some legal reasons, it has been postponed till next year.

A JTune Entertainment rep told MyDaily on 28th May, “Rain has received warrant for army enlistment this year on 28th September. But because he is currently taking courses in a DanKook Unversity, due to reasons of his study and schedule, he has applied for the enlistment date to be postponed till next year.”

Rain is currently studying at the mass cultural arts faculty in DanKook Unversity and since he has until 28 years old to enlist for army, he still has about 1 year more before he can do so. Rain’s birthday is on 25th June. And ahead of that, he has applied for postponement and the application has been accepted at the Military Manpower Administration.

Rain is currently promoting the followup hit ‘Hip Song’ off his recent special album. And he is set to appear in upcoming KBS ‘Fugitive’ in September.

credit : sookyeong@ kbites+n as labeled

Chae Rim returns to All About Eve in special appearance

The role that made Chae Rim a star was the 2000 Hallyu hit All About Eve, which is now getting a Chinese remake starring Chuno’s Jang Hyuk, and she’ll have a special appearance in the new drama as well.

The Korean miniseries was a huge hit and paired Chae Rim with Jang Dong-gun, while pitting her against devious rival Kim So-yeon, the latter of whom knocked it out of the park portraying the quintessential backstabbing second lead in the role based on Eve of the original Hollywood film. Jang Hyuk will take the Jang Dong-gun role — a gentle Prince Charming of a PD who was Chae Rim’s boss at the broadcast station where they worked — while the rest of the cast will be played by Chinese actors. Chae Rim’s role has been cast with Zhu Dan; Kim So-yeon’s will be played by Cheryl Yang.

It’s not yet clear what kind of character Chae Rim will play in her cameo (I’ll bet it’s an anchor at the broadcast station, but that’s just a guess). China’s version of All About Eve will air in September.

Meanwhile, Chae Rim just wrapped up her latest drama, the feel-good Oh My Lady with Choi Siwon in which she played an ajumma who works for (and eventually develops a rapport with) a spoiled top star. She has not yet announced a follow-up project.

credit : javebeans

Rain to end special album promotions on 29th, and flying to the States to attend MMA

World star Rain will end his album promotions and will be appearing on the 2010 MTV Movie Awards.

His agency JTune Entertainment told Newsen on 28th May, “Rain will be flying to LA, American coming 3rd June. He will be attending the MTV Movie Awards (MMA) held in Gibson Amphitheatre on th June.”

With that, it is revealed he will be ending his special album promotions with performance of ‘Love Song’ and ‘Hip Song’ on 28th and 29th May on KBS Music Bank and MBC Music Core.

An official from his agency said, “Rain will return to Korea after MMA, and then shortly after he will be flying to Japan to prepare for his Japanese concert.”

Meanwhile, Rain has been nominated for the ‘Best Tough Star’ award on MMA.

credit : sookyeong@kbites+as labeled

KBS’s upcoming Baker King Kim Tak-gu

Yoon Shi-yoon, Eugene, Lee Young-ah

A new Wednesday-Thursday show is gearing up for its premiere, KBS’s Baker King Kim Tak-gu, which will replace Cinderella’s Sister after that show wraps up next week. With its production team, it looks like Baker King will have a much lighter atmosphere and provide a sharp contrast to the moody Cinderella’s Sister, as it brings together director Han Joon-seok (Capital Scandal) and writer Kang Eun-kyung (Oh Pil Seung Bong Soon Young).

The story features characters who aim to become patissiers, and the main cast is led by Yoon Shi-yoon (a breakout star of High Kick Through the Roof), followed by Eugene (Creating Destiny), Lee Young-ah (Iljimae, Golden Bride), and musical actor Joo-won. (And to be honest, based on the character stills released (see below), I could barely recognize the stars — I had to do a double take to confirm that the cast hadn’t in fact been swapped out at the last minute.)

Baker King Kim Tak-gu is a “human drama” (which is a commonly used but weird adoption of English to mean, I can only suppose, that the story is “humanistic”) and features the success story of Kim Tak-gu, played by Yoon Shi-yoon. Tak-gu is a bit old-fashioned and simple, but also a morally upstanding guy. His charm comes in his frank, straightforward demeanor that has a way of connecting with people.

Lee Young-ah plays a character with a keen sense of taste. She and Tak-gu learn all about the art of baking from her grandfather and dream of becoming pastry chefs.

Joo-won plays Tak-gu’s constant rival, a son of a rich businessman and heir to his father’s bakery enterprise. With a difficult personality, he’s not the type to go after something with honest hard work, but he knows ways to get what he wants.

Rounding out the main foursome is Eugene, who is a bright and intelligent university student who’s involved in the student movement. She grew up poor with an alcoholic father and was the first love for both men.

Baker King Kim Tak-gu held its first script reading on May 14 and will premiere on June 9. The drama is slated for 36 episodes. (Wow — it’s been a while since I’ve seen a contemporary drama do that many episodes in a midweek timeslot, particularly a trendy one. Usually the longer modern shows are dailies or weekend shows.)

credit javabeans

Official posters released for Kim Suro

The main posters are out for the drama which premieres this weekend on MBC and tells the story of the founding of the Geumgwan Gaya (or Kaya) state, which lasted from A.D. 43 to 532. Kim Suro was its founder and first ruler, and despite being prophesied about by an oracle, he grows up not knowing of his birth mother (always a birth secret in these epic sageuks!) and therefore endures many trials and tribulations on the way to becoming king. The sageuk world wouldn’t have it any other way.

The poster above features, from left to right, bad guy Yoo Oh-sung (in case the dark glare didn’t tip you off), Ji Sung as King Suro, his mother Bae Jong-ok, and another rival Go Joo-won.

The second poster, below, adds Suro’s first love Kang Byul, his eventual queen Seo Ji-hye, and friend-turned-enemy Lee Pil-mo.

I remember reading a lot of comments that complained that Ji Sung (Swallow the Sun) looked too modern for a sageuk, but I think he’s looking the part nicely. (Although I can’ t help thinking how pretty and feminine he looks in some of the stills below.)

Kim Suro’s first episode airs on Saturday, May 29.

credit : javabeans

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Shin Mina takes the lead role in My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho

Shin Se-kyung is out and Shin Mina is in for the upcoming drama My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho. Phew, this drama has undergone a ridiculous amount of casting speculation, rumors, and changes, hasn’t it? Seriously, I’m almost tired about the news and it has barely even begun. (Shin Se-kyung had been reported with the most finality, but that was preceded by a lot of rumors about Sandara Park and Jeon Ji-hyun as well.)

In My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho, Shin Mina plays a gumiho who has been asleep for the past 500 years, who is released when a seal is broken, and a romance ensues with a human played by Lee Seung-ki. The drama may have some competition with Gumiho’s Revenge, which is another gumiho-centered show starring Han Eun-jung that is planning for a broadcast later this summer. However, as the always-hilarious Hong sisters writing pair are behind this drama, I’d expect this one to deliver lots more wacky hijinks (and pop-culture parodies and catchphrases, to boot).

This is Shin Mina’s first drama in three years, since 2007’s thriller series Devil with Uhm Tae-woong and Joo Ji-hoon. Prior to that, she starred with Rain in A Love To Kill in 2005.

credit :javabeans

Drama series The Musical casts its leads

Gu Hye-sun, Daniel Choi, Ok Joo-hyun, Park Kyung-lim

The lineup is firming up for the upcoming drama series The Musical, with two members of its main cast confirmed and two others having made verbal agreements. The first two are Gu Hye-sun (Boys Before Flowers) and Daniel Choi (High Kick Through the Roof), while the latter two are musical actress Ok Joo-hyun and MC Park Kyung-lim.

This comes after Gu and Choi attended a musical together in April, which drew some notice and turns out to have been one of Ok’s performances in the musical Monte Cristo. The Musical has only been vaguely described as a “musical drama” that tells the story of the dreams and loves of musical actors.

A source explained that in addition to these name stars, the drama will feature talented new faces. The lead actors will attend an overnight MT (membership training) and workshop on May 27-28, which will be a bonding activity as well as a chance for them to discuss the finer points of the plot and characters.

This seems like a decent lineup, given the musical talents of those involved (I’m not sure of Daniel Choi, but I’m assuming he’s got a musical side). As you probably know, Gu Hye-sun intended to debut as a singer and has put out an album of new age music that she composed. Furthermore, her directorial effort Magic, which releases next month, is set in a school school for the arts with students who study music. After gaining her start as a pop singer of girl group Fin.K.L. in the ’90s, Ok Joo-hyun has successfully reinvented herself as a musical actress. If her casting is finalized, this would be her drama debut, though she has already accrued some stage experience in productions of Chicago, Cats and Monte Cristo. Park Kyung-lim had a successful run starring in a musical production of Hairspray last year.

Although The Musical doesn’t yet have a broadcast station or an airdate, it is looking to premiere in the latter half of the year on KBS. However, I’m greatly curious to see how this fares with another musical-themed drama, What’s Up, also in the works. What’s Up also has yet to find a broadcaster but comes with a lot of buzz for its star writer (Song Ji-nah) and cast of rising stars (Im Joo-hwan, Daesung, Im Joo-eun).

credit : javabeans

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ahead of comeback, SS501 releases teaser video to ‘Love Ya’

Ahead of their comeback with new album, SS501 releases the teaser video to their new song ‘Love Ya’.

The teaser video was released through, Melon, Dosirak, GomTV etc at 5pm on 24th May. Meanwhile, the group’s upcoming album ‘Destination’ will feature famous producer Steven Lee.

The album is set to be release end-May, and the group will have their comeback stage on 4th June on KBS Music Bank and 5th June on MBC Music Core.

credit : sookyeong@kbites+as labeled

Super Junior ‘Victory Korea’ MV released!

The full MV to Super Junior’s world cup song ‘Victory Korea’ has been revealed on 24th May!

Having heard the song and seen the MV, love it or not?

credit : sookyeong@kbites+as labeled

Kim Ji-suk heads off for military service

As announced last month, Kim Ji-suk began his life in the army with his May 24 enlistment, just four days after wrapping up his last project, drama series Personal Taste.

He was sent off by members of the press and a small crowd of fans. Asked whether he plans to apply for the entertainers’ unit following basic training, he answered that he’s not thinking of it at this time. For now, he will train for five weeks and then serve 22 months in active duty. His discharge is planned for March 7, 2012.

I hadn’t really cared much for Kim Ji-suk until this year, when he took on roles in Chuno and then Personal Taste, the latter of which really endeared me to him. It’s too bad that most actors end up leaving just as they’re hitting their peak, but the sooner they go, the sooner they’re back, right?

The day before, Kim Ji-suk uploaded the photos below onto his mini-homepage, showing his newly shorn hair. (Personally, I think he wears it quite well, which isn’t always the case for actors. He actually reminds me of Jo Hyun-jae in these pictures.)

credit : javabeans

Heechul was in depression after Hankyung left Super Junior

In 2008, Super Junior has achieved an unprecedented hit with ‘Sorry Sorry” They became the record king and also swept various awards including Golden Disk Awards, becoming dignified overseas including Taiwan and Hong Kong. However, the good comes with the bad. After moments of happiness and glory pass, bad news came. Member Hankyung requested the dissolution of his contract against SM Entertainment

The wound that Kim Heechul has received was especially big. He lived in the same dorm as Hankyung and had a special relationship with him. Their special relationship can be observed with his cyworld minihompy containing full of pictures that they took together. He said, “I was in a big chaos. It was difficult for me to laugh on TV and dance on stage.”

Afterwards, he did not go on any of the stage including year end award shows. For 3 months, he lived in seclusion, locking his door. His only friends were two cats. Kim Heechul revealed, “I had some lingering emotions. Since I did not meet any people, depression got worse. I had lived with Hankyung, drinked together and was really close. It was mentally difficult.”

During his difficult time, the person who supported him was oddly Eunhyuk who he did not think was close with. There was a distance between them as Heechul who liked entertainment and Eunhyuk who’s a devout Christian were complete opposite of each other. However, Heechul came to himself when Eunhyuk said, “hyung’s not good at singing or dancing, but we can’t survive without you hyung.”

Leeteuk and Shindong also told him encouraging words and Donghae came to his house and made dinner for him. He thought, “I’ve been too attached to one friend when there are many friends who are trying to go the same direction, .”

He emptied his mind. His mind became comfortable after thinking, “when we and Hankyung do well we can meet each other.” Heechul was able to talk about difficult problems on variety shows.

“Because he’s a friend, I despise him, feel sorry, upset. Even though I have many mixed emotions, I’ve become better now.” Kim Heechul said, “I told Hankyung to come over when he gets married.”

Actually, other members were shocked when Hankyung left. It was because the members did not even know about the problem. Leeteuk knew about Hankyung leaving after reading an article. Even though, they were shocked, on the other hand, they felt sorry.

Leeteuk said, “because we were always together, I think we forgot that he was a foreigner. We should have talked a lot but because we were busy we didn’t get to communicate often. It must have been difficult for him to have made that decision. I feel sorry.”

However, after the rain, the ground gets harder. After experiencing various incidents, actually the members became more close. We were able to feel the members’ preciousness. Kim Heechul said, “what I learned after experiencing this is that we have to treat each other well when they are with us. We were able to feel the members’ preciousness.”

Leeteuk also said, “I think we are working harder to fill the empty spaces of other members. There’s always a place for them. They just have to come back. We are going to work harder so that when they feel that they want to come back, they would be able to come back without any burden.”

credit : sookyeong@kbites +as labeled

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Kim Ji Suk to enlist in the army

Actor Kim Ji Suk achieved much success in the past couple of years with Take Off, Slave Hunters and Personal Taste, and is now recognized as an excellent actor who can cover roles that are comical to damn-right serious. However, at the height of his popularity, he has decided that it is his time to fulfill his miltary duties.

He posted an official statement on the website of Personal Taste, stating,

“There are only 2 episodes left till the drama ends and all the staff are struggling at the moment. We are like zombies, filming for hours, but it is surprising how laughter and happiness is always present.

At the moment, I’ve been hating on my self and there are many times when I think my acting would not be good enough. However, the role I was given was something new and very fun. It was hilarious to see comments made by netizens, many stating for me to stop bothering the main character of the drama and let him be.

This drama will be my final project until my military service is finished. For now, I am not an actor, but more of a proud citizen. I will come back being stronger and healthier and I am also hoping that your love for me will not change a bit.”

Another talented actor has now left to fulfill his duties as a faithful citizen. We hope that he returns safely!

Kim Ji Suk will get his 5-week training starting on May 24th.

credit : kimchisteve@allkpop+as labeled

MBC’s upcoming Wed-Thurs special dramas

Ha Hee-ra, Song Joong-ki

MBC’s latest Wednesday-Thursday drama series, Personal Taste, ended its run this week, but there are a few weeks until the next miniseries starts up its run (that would be the war epic Road No. 1). In the intervening weeks, MBC will be airing two short special dramas: First is the May-December romance 나는 별일 없이 산다, which translates to “Living Without Incident” or “There Isn’t Much To My Life”; then comes Song Joong-ki’s marathon-themed Running Shirt.

The first drama (which I’ll call “Living Without Incident,” for lack of a better translation) will be four episodes long and stars Ha Hee-ra (of Catch a Kangnam Mother and wife to sageuk king Choi Su-jong) and Shin Sung-il (Typhoon), portraying a love story of two people with a thirty-year age gap. (His character is 72, she’s 43.)

As a retired civil servant, he’s a man who believes youth is about attitude and mindset, but is ready to accept death like a friend, whenever it should arrive. One day, love finds him in the form of Ha Hee-ra, a woman who has been divorced twice and works in a sushi restaurant. It’s true that she first approaches because of money, but she falls in love for real. However, his son — an unemployed gambler — is insistent that she’s a gold-digger, played by Kim In-kwon (You’re Beautiful).

Also featuring Ahn Sun-young (What’s Up Fox, Who Are You), this project has been in the works for the past two years and is written by Lee Jung-ran, who doesn’t have previous writing credits, and directed by Im Hwa-min of the 2005 drama Sea of Sister. Filming began on March 24 and the first of four episodes airs on May 26.

Afterward, MBC will air another four-episode series, Running Shirt, which I mentioned previously. It is set and filmed in Gyeongju, a city located in the southeast near the coast, and is famous for its cherry blossoms; the drama also promotes tourism of the city as a cultural and historical site.

In it, Song Joong-ki plays the cheerful Dae-gu, who was born in the year of the ‘88 Seoul Olympics and had given up athletics because of a painful accident. However, he develops a love of running and starts to participate in marathons. The drama is touted as a “heartwarming story of marathons, family love, and competition.” This is his second time playing an athlete, as he’d played a short-track speed skater in Triple (and had been a national speed skater in his teens).

Running Shirt is produced by Yoon Jae-moon (Return of Iljimae), directed by Lee Dong-yoon (Hero), and written by Go Jung-won (no credits available). Also starring are musical actor Joo-won, Baek Jin-hee (Loving You a Thousand Times), and Kim Mi-kyung (Birth of the Rich, Hero).

Running Shirt will be followed by Road No. 1.

From the set of “Running Shirt”

credit : javabeans

[Fancam] GDragon’s guest performance on Flo Rida’s concert in Korea

For those who missed a little YG family in action since no YG artiste was able to make it for Dream Concert on 22nd May, Big Bang GDragon did a guest appearance for singer Flo Rida’s first ever concert in Seoul YeonSae University Hall on the day itself.

Go under the cut for fancama of their joint performance of ‘Heartbreaker’ – the song was said to have plagiarised Flo Rida’s ‘Right Round’ when GDragon released it as the title song to his first solo album ‘Heartbreaker’ last August.

credit : sookyeong@kbites+as labeled

Prosecutor Princess’s finale event with Park Shi-hoo

Prosecutor Princess (as well as Personal Taste) ended its run and, as previously announced, Park Shi-hoo watched the finale episode with fans in a screening-cum-fanmeeting that night.

Park came to the theater after filming the last episode late into the afternoon on Thursday (eek! talk about pushing the live-shoot), and had gone through the past three days shooting through the nights. Park said, “It seems like we just started filming the other day, when it was snowing, but it’s already over. I was wishing that we would get an extension of about two episodes, so it’s too bad [that it didn't].”

Park gave fans a few souvenirs of the project, including sunglasses that his character In-woo had worn, a hat, and a script. About 250 fans from Park’s fan club were at the event, approximately 50 of whom were Japanese fans. Next on Park’s schedule: a five-city fanmeeting tour in Japan.

Taking over Prosecutor Princess’s timeslot next week is the Kim Nam-gil drama Bad Guy.

credit : javabenas