The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: Under The Hawthorn Tree [Chinese Movie]

The interesting thing about my adventures in-flight entertainment, is that I never quite know what I’ll stumble onto. Not all of my in-flight picks are good ones, to be sure. But sometimes, I find a gem that I probably would’ve never watched if I hadn’t been a captive audience on a flight.

Today, I randomly decided that I was in the mood for a bit of Chinese nostalgia, and picked Under The Hawthorn Tree without knowing much about it at all. Essentially, all I knew about this movie, was that it was set in the past, that it involved a girl who went to the countryside and fell in love with a boy, and that it was directed by famed director Zhang Yimou.

Little did I know that by movie’s end, I would be willingly serving up my heart on a plate all over again – just mere days after serving it up to Japanese movie “My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday.” 

Well done, In-flight Me. Well done.

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Flash Review: 71: Into the Fire [Movie]

War movies are not my kind of thing, to be honest.

I don’t like war; I don’t like all the killing and dying and violence; I’m not even that interested in politics, if we’re being brutally honest.

Despite all that, though, I have to say that with this movie, I was riveted. And I mean completely and utterly riveted. From beginning to end, I couldn’t tear my eyes away from my screen.

And now that the credits have stopped rolling, I can’t stop thinking about it either.

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Review: Sungkyunkwan Scandal

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Light, frothy, fizzy fun, Sungkyunkwan Scandal is perfect for viewers who are new to sageuk and feel intimidated by period / historical settings. Dressed in Joseon robes but possessing a fresh, modern, rom-com sort of feel, Sungkyunkwan Scandal is easy to love, even for the sageuk noob.

Helped by a breezy, ear-wormy OST and a pretty great cast, SKKS manages to pack a lot of fun – and heart! – into a zippy, peppy package.

Plus, everything – and everyone – is just so darn prettyyy.

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Review: Chuno [Slave Hunter]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Grand. Sweeping. Lush. And jaw-droppingly magnificent.

In every way, from every aspect, Chuno is a literal feast for the senses, and a sumptuous one at that.

From the glorious cinematography, to the pulsing, evocative OST, to the (mostly) well-drawn, (mostly) well-acted characters and their stories, Chuno is a complete experience; one that engulfs you and takes over your very faculties.

Yes, it’s not perfect by any means. But boy, does it have a lot to offer.

Best consumed in large, generous, HD servings. Sink in and let this sexy beast blow you away. I mean the show, of course. Mostly. *cough*

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Review: Life Is Beautiful

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THE SHORT VERDICT:

A lovely family drama that is completely refreshing and that has a wonderful harmonious, comforting tone throughout its 63 episodes.

There is no trace of melodrama in this one. People don’t hate each other; no one is plotting revenge on anyone; there is no web of birth secrets; there is no long-suffering Candy character and no chaebol prince. The beats are relatively small, and yet I never felt like they were insignificant.

As a bonus, this drama is set in gorgeous, glorious Jeju Island.

Criminally underrated, this gem is a completely enjoyable watch from start to finish.

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