Friday, November 26, 2010

Press conference for sexy comedy Petty Romance

We’ve been talking about the sex-themed romantic comedy Petty Romance for a while now, albeit mostly about its amusing and snarkworthy promo posters. The movie is finally just about to premiere, and thus its cast gathered on November 25 at Seoul’s Lotte Cinema for its press conference.

The plot: A manhwa-ka (manhwa writer/creator) of adult comics (Lee Seon-kyun) is a talented artist but sucks at story-writing; he’s also extremely meticulous and petty — hence the “petty” of the title. Determined to compete in an international adult-comics competition promising a $10,000 prize, he joins up with a writer who pretends to know a lot about sex and relationships (Choi Kang-hee) but who in actuality doesn’t have much personal experience. Commence adorable hijinks!

(With that premise, how could the product NOT be hilarious and wacky? Just imagine the flirty banter of Pasta, but with racier dialogue and a sassier heroine — no disrespect to Gong Hyo-jin, it’s just that her character was rather meek. Plus! A romantic relationship where sex is both text AND subtext? Rawr.)

The two leads have acted together as a romantic pairing in the past (in 2008′s drama My Sweet Seoul), which Choi explained was one reason she felt comfortable going for the kiss scenes in this drama. She jokingly added that she felt a bit sorry when filming their bed, though, because “Lee Seon-kyun would be undressed and lying down, and I’d be the one making all the moves, so I felt I ought to be embarrassed.” Embarrassed, or living out all our fantasies?

Another thing that made her feel uncomfortable was her character’s penchant for miniskirts. Her energetic personality was such a far cry from Choi’s own calm style that Choi had to put a lot of effort into talking, speaking, and dressing like her.

Lee also has a bit of skin-baring going on in the movie, which he admitted was not without its stresses. He said laughingly, “These days, the standard for male actors’ physiques is so high that it wasn’t easy to go topless.” To slim down for the requisite scene, he went on a diet while shooting the drama, which had its own effects on the filming process: “I think I was extra sensitive while we were filming, so I’m sorry about that. After we shot the bed scene, the set became a happier place.” Hee.

The film also stars Ryu Hyun-kyung (Cyrano Dating Agency, Bang-ja Chronicle) playing Choi’s sexy friend. The movie opens on December 2.

credit : javabeans

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Noh Min-woo rocks out

Rock drama special Boohwal has undergone a name change. It’s now called… wait for it… Rock Rock Rock. (Geddit? Is it…maybe about…ROCK?) The first set of stills released from the set show leading man Noh Min-woo rockin’ out like it’s 1985.

It’s probably more like 1979, but by the high school uniforms, you’d think it was the 50s or something. Those hats always throw me. What I like about the stills though, is that they actually show some acting potential from Noh, who is, let’s face it, mostly known for his very pretty, but expressionless face. I think his two facial expressions in My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho were angsty and constipated. Oh wait. That was the same face.

*Ducks for cover*

But here, he’s showing some intensity, and not of the forced kind, but of the I-will-battle-you-with-my-kickass-guitar-skills kind, which is totally winning me over. I sort of wish it were a musical rather than a music drama, because in the still below, he seriously looks like he’s about to break into a song-and-dance number, like Grease-meets-West Side Story, and it’s awesome. The last still, where he’s totally into it, kind of kills me. It’s so cute.

But the hair? I can’t explain the hair. I mean, what’s with piling it into the middle like a sideways toupee? It makes me want to rip it off his head. If they’re going with the full hair-rock thing, I sincerely cannot wait until we get the stills of Noh Min-woo in long, flowing locks. That? Will be a sight to behold.

Rock Rock Rock is a four-episode drama special, a biopic about the life of Boohwal lead guitarist Kim Tae-won. The stills look like they’re starting early in Kim’s life, which is cool, because he was known as that whiz kid rocker who could play Led Zeppelin’s guitar riffs in middle school. He also wrote his first song at sixteen, the first of about, oh, 47 million or so.

Rock Rock Rock has been pushed back two weeks, and will air December 11 and December 18 on KBS.

credit : girlfriday@DB

Extension plans nixed for Runaway Plan B

KBS’s action-comedy series Runaway Plan B had been flirting with the idea of a four-episode extension, but that idea has been tabled, according to a source with the drama’s production company on November 23.

That source stated, “KBS wanted the extension, but Rain, Lee Na-young and the other cast members have busy schedules, and it was decided that drawing out the story development any further would be pointless.” Writer Chun Sung-il reportedly showed interest in a special feature version, but ultimately the production decided against it.

I’m VERY relieved at the decision, because I am not hankering for a story that is speeding to its climax to all of a sudden slow down while it searches for more story. Plus, I’ve been really liking where Runaway is going now that Rain and Lee Na-young have gotten on the same page and are making progress in their investigation — but groaned at the idea of their increasing sexual attraction being dragged out just when it’s getting fun.

Part of the reason KBS pushed for the extension despite Runaway’s middling ratings is because the drama set to follow, President, would be going up against SBS’s similarly-themed Daemul. Two presidents, played by two drama heavyweights? (That would be Go Hyun-jung and Choi Su-jong.) One timeslot? Yeah, you can see why KBS would have preferred to avoid that conflict.

But no, they’ll overlap for a couple weeks after Runaway ends as originally planned on December 2 with Episode 20, which means President premieres on December 8.

credit : javabeans

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Runaway: On the run for four more episodes?

Looks like Runaway: Plan B is gearing up for a possible extension, upping the episode count from 20, to 24. It’s somewhat surprising that KBS wants to extend, given that the ratings aren’t exactly where they’d like, for such a star-studded cast and big-budget production.

But the middling ratings (hovering around 12.2% this week, TNS) aren’t the only factor in greenlighting the extension. For one, the drama has a loyal and vocal fanbase (Rain fans are no joke) and it’s being praised for the overall story and look, described as “fresh.” I don’t think that the look is all that new, but I do enjoy the tone of it, now that we’re actually in the thick of Ji-woo’s emotional journey. (Whereas the first few episodes just focused on the slick, thereby losing a good chunk of the audience, methinks.)

Another factor in pushing for the extension is KBS’ next drama on the Wednesday-Thursday slate: Choi Su-jong‘s President, which they understandably don’t want to premiere against Daemul‘s strong first-place showing, with such a similar premise to boot. It seems smart to extend Runaway through to the end of Daemul‘s run, giving President a chance to scoop up Daemul‘s audience.

Storywise, I don’t mind the extension because Runaway is finally getting good. It was mildly amusing before, but now that Ji-woo and Jin-yi are working together, the chemistry and goofy antics are adorable (see below). It’s become less run-run-run, and more character-centric, so I’m much more invested in the main storyline, and each episode’s table-turning twist.

The production crew and cast are in talks to weigh the decision, and Runaway Episode 17 airs Wednesday, November 24.

credit : girlfriday@DB

Yoo Ah-in models for HAZZYS

I suppose I should TRY to find something useful to say here, even though it is a Yoo Ah-in picture post, which means much squealing in glee is sure to ensue. (Not that I blame ya.)

The first four photos come from the newest spread for clothing brand HAZZYS, in which everyone’s favorite Crazy Horse dons winter fashions. The casualwear look is described as “cute” and “dandy guy” in style, which is about as far as you could get from his star-making turn as the gruff, passionate Jae-shin of Sungkyunkwan Scandal.

But first: A moment of silence to mourn the loss of his hair! It wasn’t perhaps the most elegant Mane of Glory ever, but he rocked it. Sure, he’s just as adorable with the short locks, but if ever a boy could rock the hair… (For more of where that came from, refer to these handy recaps.)

Meanwhile, the last image posted below comes from his recent Thailand trip, where he shot a spread for December’s issue of Esquire magazine. Yoo is reportedly in the hunt for his next project. May it come quickly.

credit : javabeans

Noh Min Woo taken to the emergency room

On November 15th, actor Noh Min Woo was taken to the emergency room after an accident that occurred on the set of his latest drama.

While he was filming an action scene for KBS2’s Drama Special ‘Rock Rock Rock,’ a broken fragment of wood hit Noh Min Woo around his eyes. He was immediately taken to the hospital and was treated for his injury. Although the production crew suggested that he take a break, Noh Min Woo insisted that they continue filming.

A representative stated, “Unlike his previous roles as a soft guy, his character in ‘Rock Rock Rock’ is powerful and manly. For that reason, Noh Min Woo has shown a strong attachment to his drama.

‘Rock Rock Rock’ is a 4-part drama about the life of Boohwal’s guitarist Kim Tae Won. Former TRAX member Noh Min Woo has taken on the role of Kim Tae Won. This drama is scheduled to air on November 27th.

credit : chloejn@allkpop+as labeled

Lee Seung Gi to hold ‘2010 Lee Seung Gi Hope Concert’

Lee Seung Gi, who has mostly been active in the acting and variety show fields for the majority of 2010, will finally be standing on stage to meet his fans as a singer.

Lee Seung Gi will be opening his ‘2010 Lee Seung Gi Hope Concert’ on November 21st in Seoul; this marks his first independent concert after a year of absence from the music industry.

The singer already has 4 full albums under his name, along with numerous singles, album remakes, and drama OST tracks, so there will be plenty of songs to choose from.

It was reported that Lee Seung Gi will perform a variety of genres for the concert, and is currently preparing special stages for the event. He will be delivering ballad tracks with a string orchestra and brass bands, and have a joint performance with ‘rock legends’, Resurrection.

He’ll even be performing an OST track from his drama ‘My Girlfriend is a Nine-tailed Fox’ alongside fellow cast members Shin Min Ah, Park Soo Jin and Noh Min Woo. To top it all off, he’ll also be singing the trot songs ‘Sister‘ and ‘Love Twist‘.

Many fans are also highly anticipating Lee Seung Gi’s attempt at dancing – which he claims is his ‘weakest’ field.

credit : vitalwarning@allkpop+as labeled

Midas casts Jang Hyuk as its leading man

First there were rumors of heading fantasy-comedy Secret Garden, then action-drama Poseidon; now Jang Hyuk (Chuno) has reportedly chosen SBS drama Midas as his next project. The show just this week announced its leading lady in Lee Min-jung (Cyrano Dating Agency).

Midas is set in the business world — dealing with the stock exchange, mergers and acquisitions, chaebols — and will be written by high-profile writer-producer Choi Wan-kyu of high-stakes gambling drama All In and mega-popular historical drama Jumong. Lee Min-jung’s character graduates from nursing school and begins working at a large general hospital. Not too much has been revealed about her character (or how she fits in with the rest of the characters) but apparently she’ll be shedding her cute, bubbly image. (Aw.)

In addition, Kim Hee-ae has also signed on, marking her return to television after four years away. Her last drama role came in the extremely popular My Man’s Woman (which was written by famed scriptwriter Kim Soo-hyun of this year’s Life Is Beautiful). She’ll play a character with particularly keen business acumen, who happens to be romantically partnered with a chaebol. Sure, why not? Apparently Dramaland Korea is just flooded with chaebols at every turn.

As for Jang Hyuk: No details yet on his part, but if his character ends up being some kind of M&A shark, I can see him rocking it. At this point it’d be most surprising to see him cast as a nice guy, rather than a scoundrel. But that’s okay; it’s how we like him best, right?

Midas will follow Athena: Goddess of War, which will be premiering in December, which puts its own premiere in late winter or early spring.

Lee Min-jung

Kim Hee-ae

credit : javabeans

G-Dragon reveals MV and two CFs for Gmarket

Big Bang’s leader G-Dragon was recently recruited by the online shopping mall and auction site, Gmarket, to endorse their company.

The previews are finally over, and now fans can kick back and enjoy the music video and two commercials featuring the popular idol.

We’ve also included the making-of clip, so be sure to check it all out below!

credit : cm@allkpop+as labeled

<Music Video>


<Making-Of Clip>

Kang Ji-hwan is Lee Jun-ki’s replacement in Faith

Finally, upcoming drama Faith has a leading man to fill in the spot vacated by its previous lead star Lee Jun-ki, who had to drop the drama when army service came calling. And now, with the casting of Kang Ji-hwan (Coffee House), things just got a lot more interesting!

I’m currently making a sound right now that can only be heard by dogs and small animals, such is my surprise and excitement. I am aware that there is only one news outlet reporting this news at the moment, though Star News is usually fairly accurate and is describing the casting as a done deal.

Furthermore, according to the report, Kang isn’t exactly a new addition, and he shot the drama’s trailer video on Jeju Island in early October along with the rest of the cast. In addition to Kim Hee-sun, that includes veteran Choi Min-soo (Road No. 1), Kim Seung-soo (I Am Legend’s resident bastard ex-husband), and Philip Lee (Story of a Man, who will actually be seen first in the upcoming Secret Garden). One reason given for not announcing this casting to the public earlier is because the Entertainment Management Association is requesting that Kang not be cast. (Kang’s still in an ongoing legal fight with his former and current management companies regarding contract disputes.)

Faith gained a lot of buzz early on with the casting of Lee Jun-ki and ’90s drama queen Kim Hee-sun, the latter of whom hasn’t acted much in recent years after marrying and becoming a mother. By the time Faith makes it on the air, she will have been off television screens for five years.

Furthermore, the project is an interesting mix of genres, and has been described as fusion historical project, to be filmed in 3-D with an enormous budget of 3 billion won (approx $2.5 million USD). Dealing with the topic of Oriental medicine, it is set in the Goryeo era and is being planned for 16 episodes. (It does not yet have a home with a particular broadcast station.)

Faith will be directed by a man familiar with epic fusion sageuks and huge production budgets, Kim Jong-hak of Yonsama’s 2007 drama Legend (Taewangsashingi). In fact, a number of the supporting cast are also from Legend, such as Philip Lee and Choi Min-soo. (Choi was also in PD Kim’s classic ’90s drama Sandglass.)

Though not my usual cup of tea, I’m intrigued by the premise of the drama — and, as you know, I’m a huge fan of Kang Ji-hwan, who is no stranger to the fusion sageuk himself; it was 2008′s comic sageuk Hong Gil Dong that really made him a household name. We’ll see what this drama brings when 2011 rolls around…

Kim Hee-sun

Philip Lee

credit : javabeans

Yoo Ah In visits Thailand for a photoshoot

Photos of actor Yoo Ah In in Thailand have been making their rounds on an online community site, which claims that actor was there for a photoshoot.

In one of the photos, Yoo Ah In donned a traditional Thai headpiece while showcasing an adorable expression; the other photo was taken secretly, with the actor casually sitting on a sofa.

Netizens commented, “He looks like a main character from a comic,” “He has a lot of charms” and “I’m looking forward to his photoshoot.

Yoo Ah In is known for his great acting in KBS2’s ‘Sungkyunkwan Scandal‘, which ended last week.

credit : maestro J@ allkpop+as labeled

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Song Joong Ki wants to “love like crazy” for his next drama

On November 6th, KBS 2TV ‘Entertainment Relay’ stopped by the final broadcast of ‘Sungkyunkwan Scandal’ and met with actor Song Joong Ki, who expressed his thoughts on the drama finally coming to a close.

The actor revealed, “To be honest I feel much more light-hearted, because I’ve been so tired lately.. But I’m sad all the same.”

When the reporter asked about his thoughts on not having a love story for his character, Song Joong Ki expressed, “I’m relieved that I wasn’t part of a love line, but in my next production, I want to love like crazy.”

To conclude, Song Joong Ki cheekily whipped out his infamous words, “Cause I’m Goo Yong Ha”, and voiced out his attachment to the drama. “Even I’m disappointed, so I think the viewers would be disappointed too.”

credit: vitalwarning@allkpop_as labeled

Noh Min-woo to star in rock drama Boohwal

Gumiho hunter fans of the world, your prayers have been answered. Noh Min-woo (My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho, Pasta) will be starring in upcoming rock drama Boohwal. It’s a four-episode KBS Drama Special, based on the true story of Kim Tae-won, lead guitarist and songwriter of rock band Boohwal. (The name Boohwal [부활] means rebirth or reincarnation.)

You’ll probably recognize Kim Tae-won by face (pictured below), if not by legendary rock status. Boohwal has over twenty years of history as one of the most commercially successful and insanely popular rock bands to come out of Korea (where you may have noticed that a great majority of commercial success is dominated by pop.) They were most popular in the late 80s/early 90s when their vocalist was Lee Seung-chul, but Kim Tae-won is the face, the songwriter, and revered lead guitarist of the band.

The four-episode drama special will chronicle Kim Tae-won’s turbulent life as the leader of Boohwal, and tell his personal story. I’m actually dying to watch this, because Kim Tae-won has that awesome guitar-legend mystique about him, that always makes me curious about what kind of life he lives.

Musician-turned-actor Noh Min-woo was the drummer for rock band TRAX, and it seems fitting that one rocker should play another. Although I’m pretty sure Kim Tae-won never looked like Noh Min-woo, even on his best days. The drama special also stars rising actress Hong Ah-reum (Dream) as his love interest.

Boohwal premieres November 27 on KBS.

credit : girlfriday@DB

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Song Joong Ki and Kim Byul for Fujifilm INSTAX

Actor Song Joong Ki and actress Kim Byul have teamed up to model for Fujifilm’s polaroid camera, “INSTAX”.

Captioned “The only story of ours in this world”, the CF for the product casted the pair as love interests who document their romantic story with snapshots from the Fujifilm camera.

The CF started airing on the 1st and is already gaining many compliments from the actors’ fans.

Fans commented, “Kim Byul is so pretty, that’s all I can say,” “Handsome man and beautiful girl meet,” “This reminds me of my first love,” and “If my model was Kim Byul, I would take many more pictures to take them home.”

The company’s marketing rep said, “Kim Byul’s cute and lovely image will target our consumers who are in their 20’s. The two will model the item well.”