Category Archives: my opinion

Review: Aladdin (2019)

Let it be known that I’ve been waiting for this movie even before the first teaser came out (which was in October 2018). I’ve been waiting for a much longer time: since I heard about a live-action remake of Aladdin when I did some research on Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and so on. So yes, I went crazy when the first teaser came out, rewatched the actual trailer about a 100 times (no lie, I’ve watched it ever single day in the last two weeks), and I’ve pretty much sucked in everything there is out there about the movie.

So, yes, guess what, Aladdin (together with The Lion King) is my favorite Disney movie. I’ve watched Aladdin more than any other Disney movie and I know the lyrics by heart (funny enough, I learned the actual lyrics when I was a grown-up and not when I was a child ๐Ÿ˜€ ). Yeah, I bet after reading this, you would’ve never guessed it is my favorite Disney movie, keke.

Well, all that aside – with this you should know, the expectations were big…like reaaaally BIG. This is like a dream coming true and the dream better be darn good! So here it is, my review for Aladdin (2019).

General information

If you don’t know Aladdin (1992), then, well, did you ever have a childhood? No, seriously, Aladdin is a 2019 musical film based on the 1992 Disney movie of the same name. I wasn’t even born then, hm…
The movie tells the story of Aladdin, a thief who lives on the streets of Agrabah. One day he meets the princess of Agrabah, Jasmine, who went into the city in disguise, so she can have a free moment from being stuck in the palace and having to think about her upcoming marriage to some not-yet-determined prince. They have a moment but then Aladdin is taken on a mission by the (evil) vizier, Jafar, and he has to go into a magical cave to find a special oil lamb. After some events happen Aladdin gets stuck and as it turns out the lamp is home to a genie. After freeing the genie from the lamp Aladdin is now its new master and has three wishes to make.

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The story has more than just a few flaws and I think some of its content is not really political correct either anymore. The animation was probably every animators nightmare (Genie’s power and his song sequences, omg). But the movie fits just so well together and totally takes you into Aladdin’s world and forget everything else. And the songs are just amazing. Aladdin is probably one of the more known Disney stories out there and it’s also one that got a second installment that didn’t totally suck. (not gonna talk about the third installment though, oh god, I’m still getting nightmares…that one was so…uuuuh).

Whether you liked it or not, it IS one of the most anticipated live-action remakes after Disney announced they were gonna remake their classics. Especially because it is a lot of fantasy and everyone knew it had to be great. So, now let’s talk about the 2019 version.

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Staying true to the original

The 2019 version of Aladdin, after watching the original version just last week, stays quite true to the original, I’ve to say. Around the end the story adds some actions by the characters and twists some things happening but in general it stays quite true to the original story line and development. If you know some of the plot holes and nonsense happenings in the original though, you also notice that they tried to fill some of them and make it more understandable and less…well, fiction?

There are a lot of new things too though. Of course, they remade some of the old songs and inserted some new songs too but let’s talk about the songs later.

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For one they changed a lot of the humor and jokes in the movie. There is one scene where the whole cinema laughed like crazy and I had serious problems calming down. Watch the movie and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The humor in the 2019 Aladdin is a lot more modern and dynamic than it’s original. Some of the jokes were definitely updated to not get in trouble but most of the humor comes either from totally new scenes, as well as a new spin on original scenes. I think that’s because they did try to add some more comedy and not just present everyone with the totally same story we all know. Also because a lot of fun in the original comes from the Genie’s powers. In the 2019 film, everyone and not just the Genie contributes to the fun.

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Character changes

Also we got a lot of new characters and character development. Remember, the original is an animated children’s movie. Movies like that tend to have like 10 characters at most and not really show anyone else (in Aladdin there are like 3 people, a tiger and a parrot living in the palace…a palace that has only 3 security people…sooo, do I have to continue?). That is something you cannot convert 1-to-1 to a live-action movie, so they had to add more characters and background characters. And they did well. There are some characters just for comic relief but also our main leads and main characters got a lot more background and character traits.

Aladdin is not just a true to heart guy from the streets who may be lying about his identity but still has his heart at the right place. In the 2019 version, you actually get some character where you see he may know his way around the streets but in the palace he gets serious self confidence problems and while he hopes he is worth more than everyone tells him all the time, he doubts himself more than everyone else. Still his heart is at the right place and he does realize when he goes too far. He seems a lot more human and relatable than his animated character, while also having a little bit less heroic and “perfect” traits about him.

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In the original, Jasmine is the beautiful princess that has to marry a prince and feels trapped by the palace. The only time she seems stronger is when she tries to help fight Jafar, as well as fight against having to marry a prince she doesn’t love. In general though she is defined by having to marry and wanting to marry someone she loves instead of just anyone. The 2019 version gives us a new spin on her. Jasmine may still be a princess trapped in the palace who does not know much about the world outside but she still wants the best for her people and wants to rule as sultan one day instead of just marrying and having a prince from somewhere else in the world, rule over her people. She fights for her dream and compared to the original she is also a lot more suspicious over Aladdin’s – or Prince Ali’s – origins.

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The Genie’s story has pretty much stayed the same, as well as Jafar’s. The Genie got some after the main story input and like a “end” story and Jafar got some background story, that was probably also added to give some reason why he acts like he acts and not just take it as a given. Also I really appreciated the fact, the sultan wasn’t just a little guy who likes to play with his little miniature figurines but actually had some backbone.

Compliments for the Cast

Mena Massoud was astounding as Aladdin. I didn’t know him before, even though I actually did watch the show Jack Ryan and so on but I just didn’t really know him. So when it was announced he was gonna play Aladdin I was curious how he would go about it and he did a great job. He portraited Aladdin’s good traits and warm heart but at the same time gave life to Aladdin’s little insecurities about himself. He showed that Aladdin himself didn’t feel great when he had to play someone he wasn’t. It was also endearing how he had this little smile that on one hand could show him enjoying himself, as well as being shy. Also, Massoud did a great job at portraying Aladdin’s awkwardness too. I’m curious what’s gonna come in the future.

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I knew Naomi Scott before her acting as princess Jasmine. Her other roles where really different though. But since I had seen her before I was curious how she would play Jasmine. I was curious but also worried. I wouldn’t have needed to worry, she did a great job. She shows Jasmine’s weak as well as her powerful and empowered side. She was amazingly believable as a princess with a strong will and dream. She showed tears in her eyes while not actually crying and she wasn’t just a princess but a strong woman who could think of her own and be suspicious, angry or just annoyed too. Oh and just as a side not: she was oh-so beautiful. When I watched the movie, my friends and I just gasped at how beautiful she looked. She is definitely the best cast for acting as a Disney princess.

Also Massoud and Scott’s chemistry is really good and I love that Disney made them audition together too and not just accept the cast individually. They are great together and really fit well together as Aladdin and Jasmine.

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Will Smith was criticized a lot for portraying the Genie. A lot of people commented on how he could ever fill the shoes left behind by Robin Williams. Let me just say something here: Robin Williams is absolutely great, he is. I just love him and his movies and I rewatch the regularly BUT I did not watch Aladdin in English originally. So I was never really fixated on the Genie being him. For me it was the animation and the story I loved. So that pressure wasn’t so big. Still, I know Will Smith as a funny, modern guy who was more “cool” than “magical”, so I had my doubts he could fit into the Disney movie in general. But Will Smith surprises. He does great as the Genie. He gives the whole character a new modern and dynamic spin while also staying true to the original. I also loved how he portraited Genie a lot smarter and more serious in specific matters than the role had been before.

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The one thing I have to criticize is Marwan Kenzari as Jafar. Not because he did a bad job or anything, because he did really well, but because he just seemed too nice…His voice had a charm to it, that I did not see as Jafar at all. He seemed a lot less threatening than I would have expected, tbh.

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Listen to the music

Well, Aladdin is one of the Disney movies known for their music. I think there aren’t many Disney movies more known than the music in Aladdin. The Lion King definitely but Aladdin is one of the movies where there is more than one known song out there.

So the pressure for the music is great.

In general the music stayed the same, except for making it a little more “great” and giving it more volume and therefore making it a little less melodic. I do regret that some of it’s greatest melody parts get lost in the full on sound of the songs but the songs still enchant you and I did catch myself trying to sing to it in the cinema. I definitely tapped my foot to it though.

There ARE some new song parts and songs there though. Most prominently “Speechless”. If the movie wasn’t as entertaining as it is and it did not fit as well into the story line as it did, I would have some negative points here though. The song is great, really, but you totally notice it is a new song. The song is so modern, you notice in like the first 10 seconds of it. If you put it before me and I hadn’t seen the movie I would not think it is part of the songs since the others are typical 90s Disney songs, whether they were modernized or not. “Speechless” is a modern song. It is a great and touching song, but it is definitely a new song. Even if you haven’t known the Aladdin songs, you will realize that this is the song that was added for the 2019 version of Aladdin.

As for the animation to the songs – I never expected them to give us so much Genie animation and I loved it. Friend Like Me is even more funky than before, Prince Ali is just as epic and stunning and the A Whole New World sequence may be less funny compared to the original but is still as touching and wonderful. The one that did surprise me for real was Arabian nights – 2 minutes into the movie and it gives you chills when the song chorus comes on.

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Take the little hints

As I said I did watch the original film just a few days earlier to renew my memory and be ready for Aladdin to come out and then on the 24th I watched it in the cinema.
So, if you watch Aladdin (1992) and the 2019 version, you notice some interesting things. Some just warm your heart, some, you notice, fill some really big holes in the story line. Let me just name a few things here.

I absolutely adored that they used the originals font of the main title and the “The End” note. It may have more volume and be a lot more golden but it is the same – or almost the same.

Also we have a lot of things filled in because some things you can get away with in an animated movie but not in a live-action. Most notably the scene where Abu steals the lamp back from Jafar. In the animation he just magically takes it out from his jacket (which is totally not possible since the lamp is pretty much the same size as the monkey in general), in the 2019 version he immediately puts it before Aladdin, after it fell behind a rock. Just as an example.

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Another thing I really laughed about. When the Genie tells Aladdin about how the Genie’s power works and how powerful he actually is. He takes a little paper and there are three people on there. The Genie, the sultan and Aladdin. And they are all in the original animation. I just loved that. Such a little thing but so sweet.

Synchronisation is…well…

Like I mentioned I did not watch the movie in English at first. I watched it in German on Friday and then watched it again in English on Saturday…yes, that’s something I do. Go watch the same movie two days in a row.

But let me just say something about the synchronization here. The English version: The songs were better, a lot better, and I think they stayed quite the same as the original as far as the lyrics go. The German version changed a lot about the lyrics actually and while the comedic scenes became even better since Aladdin seemed even more awkward, the song synchronization was waaaaay off. You could totally notice. I’m not totally unhappy about it since I can watch the movie in English and the comedy totally made up for it but I just think for all those out there who think that their voice synchronization isn’t perfect and the movie seems unnatural, watch it in English.

The bad things

Like with every movie out there I am going to mention the bad things too. If you were a big fan of Iago or Abu, don’t expect much. Abu is still a good friend and sometimes funny but he has a lot less scenes and Iago is pretty much just a parrot who tends to repeat stuff. I know why they cut their scenes but still it hurts just a little.

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Another thing I didn’t like. They used slow-motion and double speed some times. And while the slow motion was no problem at all, I really did not appreciate the double speed in the One Jump Ahead scene. It didn’t belong there at all. It was fine in the ending scene but nope, did not like it in the other scene.

Also talking about the dancing and the final dancing scene. The dancing scene in the middle was fun and really good with a modern twist I admit. The final scene was fun and all but there were some parts they really did not take seriously there. I don’t think that’s really a bad thing though. It is the finale and just like an extra scene so no hurt there.

Overall conclusion

Overall, I ABSOLUTELY recommend the movie. Really. I think Aladdin is one of Disney’s best and most wonderful classics and the movie is a two hour adventure you should see. While some criticized Disney’s decision to let Guy Richie direct the movie I think he stayed true to the 1992 original: It just takes you in and doesn’t let you go until you leave the cinema. You are just gonna forget everything around you. And I think for a movie where you actually know exactly what is gonna happen, that is a big thing to do ^.^

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HIStory3: Trapped – Mid-Season Review

Like I promised here is a mid season review for the ongoing BL series HIStory3: Trapped. I hope you like it and check out the series or continue watching if you are already watching it.

General information

Trapped is a 2019 BL series from Taiwan and is the…wait let me count…sixth installment of the highly popular HIStory franchise. It is also the first installment of the HIStory3 series. It consists of 20 episodes and airs Tuesday and Wednesday. It is currently on episode 11 (aired on the 14th).

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It tells the stories of Meng Shao Fei (played by Jake Hsu), a police officer with a temper, and Tang Yi (played by Chris Wu), a cold gangster boss. For four years Meng Shao Fei has followed Tang Yi around to find out what happened to his senior police officer without getting anything from him and Tang Yi has tolerated the police officer at his side. One day, through an unfortunate incident, they grow closer and start to develop something more than just simple interest in each other’s past…

The expectations

I still remember after the three stories of HIStory got released and they announced HIStory2, people were going crazy and a lot of people (me included) doubted the producers could get us with their sweet and passionate story lines again. Well, HIStory2 broke through all those expectations and definitely proved us all wrong – it was even better than the previous installments. It was just amazing how they could suck you in with just 8 episodes (back then) and make you cheer, groan, cry, laugh, giggle and scream with the couples and their stories. Despite all the doubts they fulfilled all the expectations and made you love the couples.

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Of course, when they announced HIStory3 fans were on cloud 9 again and the expectations became even higher. I mean it’s the HIStory franchise…yeah, so now you know how much pressure lies on Trapped. One question has to be asked: Does it live up to the hype?

Unexpected surprise

I will not straight out answer this question yet. In my opinion an ending can make a series golden or end a show in general, so I won’t answer this question directly before watching all 20 episodes. I will try to answer the question for the first 10 episodes though.

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Trapped had a lot of pressure and in my opinion, after watching half of the series, it comes out on top. Trapped starts of at a point where you don’t know where it will go at all and I read an interesting comment somewhere. The viewer had no idea what the story and atmosphere of the series was gonna be like after watching episode one. And no, that person did not mean it as a compliment. I do though. I remember watching the other installments and there are not many parts where the producers didn’t just throw you into the story and let you figure out everything on your own.
It may not sound like a compliment but it is. Being thrown into the story and not knowing all of the facts while some are just there and you have to deal with them, surprisingly brings a lot of good with it.

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The best advantage? It feels more natural: The story development, the feelings between the leads, the characters, just everything. It’s not just a slow introduction like with other shows but it starts right from episode one. Also, since there are just some parts that are just “there” and you won’t get an explanation or background knowledge to it, there will always be some curiosity about it. We all want what we cannot get, right?

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Another thing I liked with the new story line and characters: I really enjoy story lines where the leads do already know each other and don’t just randomly fall in love with a person they have known for 10 minutes. So bonus points for the show here.

Oh and DO NOT underestimate the show’s humor and touchy scenes. While there has not been many kisses, you feel like you get so much. And the humor is sometimes just a nice underlying humor while in some scenes it’s straight up comedy.

The characters/cast

Big compliments to the actors. They seem so natural and their chemistry is really good. Not just the main leads but also the second leads, Jack (played by Andy Bian) and Zhao Li An (played by Kenny Chen). All of them match so well with each other.
I like that the main leads and the second leads are so different and it’s not the same thing repeated.

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And for everyone who likes it when both of the leads have some…hm…let’s say sass in them: this is definitely it. While in other shows there is a clear top and bottom in the relationship… yes, it is also pretty clear in this one BUT I just love how Tang Yi seems to just give in to Shao Fei. Shao Fei is so different from Tang Yi, he is sometimes impulsive, has quite the temper and is pretty direct about what he thinks and what he does while Tang Yi seems more collected and quiet. And maybe it’s because he is like this that he seems unable to say No to Shao Fei. I just adore it!

It’s not like with other shows where the top lead just adores the passive lead and finds him so cute he cannot say No but it is actually because Shao Fei can be pretty adamant about what he wants.

The difference

I do not want to say too much about the story and the feelings, since there are still 10 more episodes but I will have to mention some things, otherwise it won’t be a review ๐Ÿ˜€

The story line is not totally unusual. There are some stories about a gangster and a not-gangster out there but the way they tell it, it does seem quite unusual. The story is not one of those dark and broody gangster BL films out there but is actually sweet and nice. Don’t imagine rainbows and unicorns just yet though.

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Two things that totally make this show different than their previous installments. First, there is a lot more action (or “action-y”) scenes in it then with the other shows. I know there were some volleyball scenes in Boundary Crossing and an almost car crash in Obsessed, but this one has more fight scenes and a lot more serious action scenes at that. The second difference to the other parts and the one reason why I recommend this to every BL fan: We do not get a lot of BL shows where both leads are adults with a job (or something like that – is gangster boss a job?). No one of the leads is in college, training or at school. Both have an equal standing. Most of the BL shows out there either take place at school, in college, in training or at least started out at those places and therefore still keep some of that school charm with it (best example SOTUS 2).

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Trapped does not carry anything like that with it. Like I said, both have an equal standing and since they both work in a different area of expertise, there is also no senior-junior thing going on. This show is just about two people with their own agenda who get together and slowly fall for each other. I mean a relationship can be totally different if you see the other person as a senior or junior. Trapped offers new dynamics and perspectives and gives the characters a charming grown-up vibe that blows some fresh air into the BL world.

Oh my…the drama is coming…

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Overall

Overall, I think, Trapped is definitely worth a try. I do recommend checking out at least two to three episodes before deciding whether to watch or drop. Not to figure out the story, since, like I mentioned, there are just some things you won’t get with HIStory shows, but more to get a grip on the pace of the show. Just watching episode one I thought it was gonna be slow paced, especially since the show has 20 episodes, but it is actually quite fast-paced. I appreciate it, since it would have ruined the show if it was slower and more drawn out. Like this it is nice and neat even if it does have 20 episodes.

So I definitely recommend the show and depending on the ending in a few weeks I will decide if the producers fulfilled the expectations yet again (oh my god…and there are still some upcoming installments, I’m shaking O.O ) I do wanna say: the outlook is good, so if they continue like this I might have compliments coming in the final review ๐Ÿ˜‰

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So check out the show and tell me what you think about it! I’d love to hear what expectations you have with the show ^.^

My Top 10 K-Pop duos

K-Pop duos are not as uncommon as someone would think though they have been mentioned less and less in the past few years (with a few exceptions). In the following post I’ll talk about the top K-Pop duos who always impress and leave a lasting expression (in my opinion). Sub-units included by the way!

Note: if you have a different opinion leave it in the comments below, I always appreciate new takes on the topic ๐Ÿ™‚ also note I did some research before writing but the topic is not as widely spread as you would think, so it was hard finding more duos and check them out.

Note2: There were originally the Top 20 but it got a little bit confusing with who I liked better so I just decided to go with 10 instead, so maybe I did check out some duos you know, that are not mentioned on this list.ย 

#10 – GD & Taeyang

Yes, there have been big (like really BIG) scandals around Big Bang, but I’m not here to discuss that, so I’m just gonna judge them by the song now. GD & Taeyang have not released a lot of songs, I know, but the song Good Boy is just so addicting and catchy and I still remember when it came out, everyone knew it. And for a sub-unit to get so much recognition is uncommon.

#9 – HiSuhyun

While there was only one song, this song was amazing. Everyone knows that both Lee Hi and Suhyun have amazing and distinctive voices and together they just sound so great. Lee Hi’s soulful and deeper voice and Suhyun’s higher voice, I just love it. Also I adored the music video, it was really cute.

#8 – 15&

One of the best vocal idol duos I guess. Both of the members, Park Jimin and Baek Yerin, have amazing vocals and proved time and time again, that they can sing and enthrall an audience. It’s unfortunate they are not getting as much recognition as they should get but maybe someday in the future they will finally be more known out there.

#7 – Norazo

I discovered this duo of Jo Bin and Lee Hyuk quite some time ago and tbh, they are strange. And not just a little bit, but really strange. Still I love them so much. Especially because they do really funny music videos and performances but all of that with a straight face. That’s what I call professionalism. I do think it’s sad that one of them decided to leave the group but he probably had his reasons. And the new song with the new member Won Heum is like really catchy, so no complaints from me. I appreciate that Jo Bin decided to continue on with the music and Norazo.

#6 – Bolbbalgan4

Okay, let me be honest here. I’m not really a big fan of Bolbbalgan4. I’m not. There music style is not really my taste and I don’t really fancy their songs but even I have to admit, the make good music and people love them a lot. That’s mainly the reason they are on this list and so high up. You just cannot escape BOL4 when talking about duos.

#5 – Davichi

Davichi is probably one of the most known duos in the K-Pop industry. Ballads over ballads over ballads. And all of them are really nice to listen too. What made me love them even more is when I saw a performance of them. They could really sing as well as the recorded song. Which, even I have to admit it, is rare to find these days. There are not many artists out there (worldwide) who sound the same when singing live and when playing a recorded version. So, thanks for the amazing live performance, Davichi!

#4 – Super Junior D&E

There are a few sub-units and units that made it to the top of this list. SuJu D&E is one of them. The duo consists of Donghae and Eunhyuk and is a sub-unit of the K-Pop group Super Junior. They actually had a lot more releases in Japanese than in Korean but I still love them. Their songs are sometimes catchy, sometimes funny, a few times serious and touching but always charismatic. They mix so well and it is just so much fun to watch them together. In general, I’m a Super Junior fan as one of the legends in the K-Pop genre, as well as them being amazing in so many different things. D&E just ask for your attention and they’ll definitely get it.

#3 – TVXQ

Originally TVXQ! was a five member group but after some contract trouble they split and only Changmin and Yunho remained. But still, they make an amazing duo. One thing you can say about every single one of their songs and performances – they make you look and stare. They just capture your eye whatever they do and no matter if there are like 10 background dancers. Yunho and Changmin just match so well with each other and you see them complimenting each other in every way.

#2 – Trouble Maker

Not really a sub-unit, more like a special unit, Trouble Maker. Consisting of Kim Hyuna (of 4minute – disbanded) and Jang Hyunseung (formerly from Beast). When the unit first started, there was sooooo much going on. I think so many people freaked out over them and their song Troublemaker. Also, on stage kissing? Yes, you heard right. First there was a co-ed duo out there, which was pretty rare in 2011 when they debuted, and then the even kissed for a performance. In general both of them knew how to tease the audience and make them swoon. I have to say both of them are awesome performers, so it is really sad that they disbanded when Hyuna left the label.

 

:Honorary mentions:

Sister19 – A group that had like one hit song but that one really hit it big. I mean people still know the song.

JJ Project – Even if the members themselves are a little bit embarrassed every time their JJ Project debut song is mentioned I do still remember how that song is just great for full volume and just rocking it out while jumping and dancing like a crazy person.

 

#1 – Akdong Musician

And here it is, my number one. I know it probably wasn’t that much of a surprise. But let’s be honest, right from the beginning AKMU got everyone excited with their interesting lyrics, composition and voices and signing with YG Entertainment was a great decision for them. They released a lot of different song. They have different sounds but you can still hear it is them, so you can really say they found their own sound. I cannot wait for Lee Chanhyuk to come back from his military service and them to come back from their hiatus.

 

So these were my top 10 K-Pop duos. What are yours?

Ending and Ongoing #randomremarks

Here we are again with my new corner of #randomremarks or an update on BL, K-Pop or whatever is going on right now.

Find the rest of the series here:ย Updates #randomremarks

This time I’ll include a short review of the He’s Coming To Me finale, as well as a short Shazam! review. I know that did not mix well at all but who cares ๐Ÿ˜‰ as for K-Pop…I don’t really have any interesting news there. Not really…there are other BL news though.

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He’s Coming To Me – Finale *spoilers*

So we just got our long expected (it was only 8 episodes but we all felt like we were watching it for so long, admit it) finale of this wonderful series. Did I expect this ending? Not at all. Nope.

I expected it to end badly…like really bad and for me to cry my eyes out. I did cry (a lot) but it was an ending I could rewatch and I won’t scratch this ending from my memory compared to others (yes, I’m talking about stuff like My Bromance The Movie etc.).
It did end really corny and with a lot of questions popping up but on the other end it was like the producers doing just what we wanted them too. They solved the whole mystery surrounding Mes’ death (shock! Did I expect that? I had my suspicions but never though they would go that far o.O ) and gave us a wonderful cry-all-you-want scene. I loved that Than came clean with everyone in the end and told them about Mes, even if he still plays some jokes on them, but still, they are his best friends, and I love how supportive they are. And we got another kiss!

I had my doubts about Singto and Ohm’s chemistry especially because they had to fill some big shoes after SOTUS but they did great. I think that’s partly because there was a total different dynamic between them than between Arthit and Kongpob but also because the actors seem to be pretty comfortable with each other and tbh I enjoyed them together a lot.

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Also compliments to Singto for making me forget that Kongpob had the same face ๐Ÿ˜€ Ohm and Singto both have this energy about them just sucking you into the story and forgetting other stories while watching. Big compliments to all the actors, the writers, the production team and please give us more of them!
And good luck, Khiem, for your new love ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ongoing – check it out

Regarding other news…there aren’t many new things just a few news and me telling you to maybe check out HIStory3: Trap. It has a totally different dynamic than the previous ones, especially because this time they are both grown-ups having a job (or something like a job) and not students or at college. I’m really starting to enjoy it. At first I thought the pace was really slow but it’s actually quite nice paced. I will probably publish a mid-season review too but still. Also, guys, there are three episodes a week, when do we ever get that?

So if they go on like this, it is a worthy installment of theย HIStoryย series, but let’s wait and see ๐Ÿ™‚

Note: I still don’t know whether it is named HIStory3: Trap or HIStory3: Trapped though…in the posters it says Trapped but everyone just calls it Trap?!

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Another HIStory news: We still don’t have fixed release dates but HIStory3: Miracle will probably come around summer or fall and HIStory2: Boundary Crossing 2 is probably going to be released either the end of this year or its looking at a 2020 release. None of this is a sure thing but just the highest probability I guess.

The Best Twins, another currently airing show, is slowly moving forward and while also giving us one joke after another, the romance is moving along real slow, like reeeeeeaaaaal slow. We do kind of get a picture of where it is going though, so at least we have that.

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As for What The Duck 2: Final Call…I’m still watching but I gave up every hope of someone being able to save this show. They made this mess and it seems to be impossible to get out of it. I’ll keep you up to date though, so if something interesting happens, I’ll tell you. Let’s see if they manage to save the show, somehow.

Love Beyond Frontier – don’t we know them?

GMMTV released more trailers for their 2019 line up. One of them (even if not a BL series) is Love Beyond Frontier and tbh it looks amazing. In general it seems to be about four people living under one roof and falling in love with the wrong person. Don’t know whether it will end well, but the trailer looks great, funny and serious at the same time and I cannot wait to see all of the actors again! I even know the actresses!!! Excited. Starts May 12th.ย Here is the trailer, ENG SUBs available

Shazam! – Short and neat

I also recently went to the cinema to watch Shazam! and I did mention before you just need to think of it as a comedy and less as a super hero movie and I still stand by that comment. If you want to compare it to other super hero movies…there is none. This movie is pretty much the funny PG version of Deadpool for DC. And I love it. It is funny and while corny at some points, it has a charm that many other movies don’t have. And also, while Zachary Levi did look strange in this costume (who wouldn’t?) he did great and convinced as the kid in a super hero body. Also compliments to Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer. Both convinced in their roles and definitely gave it their best, I hope I see them in other movies again soon!

And while I do say the film is comedic, it is more serious than I expected it to be in the beginning, so I definitely recommend checking it out ๐Ÿ™‚

Otherwise there are no more news I really want to share…maybe I’ll remember something, then I’ll post it with the next #randomremarks though, so this is it for now ๐Ÿ˜€

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Review: Avengers Endgame (Spoiler free)

So I just watched Avengers: Endgame and like I promised here is my movie review. Since I will make this spoiler free I will only post about my feelings about the movie, the characters, the story line etc. so don’t worry.

SPOILER FREE!!!
It does contain spoilers for Avengers Infinity War though ^.^

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Avengers: Endgame – General information

Avengers: Endgame is the second installment to Avengers: Infinity War, also the fourth Avengers installment and the 22nd movie in the MCU franchise. It was released on April 26th in the US and is already breaking records. Personally I think it was funny how the cast for the movie went on a press tour (as if it actually needed promotion) to promote a movie they actually couldn’t talk about. It was a funny time ๐Ÿ˜€
The movie stars a lot of our favourite Avengers in the main roles while some others -remember the aftermath of Infinity War- are still goners. The movie is about our heroes trying to deal with it while also trying to get everything back together again.

The beginning

The start of the movie is…great. It is the most surprising part of the movie actually. Like the first 20 minutes of the movie? They came really unexpected and it was amazing. I loved how you did not expect what was coming next. You sat in your seat, had waited for a year to see all this happening and this was how it unfolded and it was really interesting. I loved it ๐Ÿ™‚ the unexpected-ness as well as how they filmed it. The camerawork, the colours, the general story telling.

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The unfolding of the story

Soon though the movie starts going somewhere and you start finding out what this movie is going to be about and well…there is this one show I watched some time before and they effed up so badly in a previous season they just could not repair what they did in a clean way. It’s pretty much the same with Avengers. Infinity War left such a big nothing it’s hard to repair, if even possible. Fortunately the MCU is based on comics so everything can be resolved even if it is cheesy or clichรฉe. I’m not going to mention how they actually repaired their own story but they did…kind of. They at least found a way to repair it, whether they were actually able to save the story, I don’t really know, that’s something everyone has to judge for their own.

The movie is not entirely unpredictable. There are a few scenes where you can kind of guess what kind of action is gonna happen at the next moment but you won’t guess the overall story line. Don’t worry, even if you can predict some of it, you will be surprised at how it happens and how they shot it. There is this one scene where the whole cinema kind of screamed in unison and I think I actually heard someone scream “Kick their ass!” It was great to see everyone cheer for our heroes and hope they can save their planet, their people, their world. If you watch the movie you can probably guess what scene it is. The shot was astonishing, exhilarating and just great!

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Marvel also succeeded at something a lot of people doubted. They managed to show everyone. Infinity War and Endgame both had the problem of having a really big cast and a lot of story and places they had to show. And a lot of the story lines happen at the same time. Marvel and the Russo brothers are just a few of the studios/people who actually manage to tell so many story lines in one movie without making it seem over the top and “too much”. No, you definitely walk out of such a movie with the feeling of having watched something.

The cast and acting

Before I talk about the ending (spoiler free) and the bad things about the movie I want to mention the cast. The cast did an amazing job. They really did. My compliments go to Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Karen Gillen and Chris Evans.
Robert Downey Jr. made you understand what his character was doing and feel for him. You understood his motivations, actions and why he was acting the way he did.
Scarlett Johansson showed us sides to her character that seemed to be part of Black Widow since the beginning while at the same time being totally new to us and making us wish we had a whole movie about her.
Chris Evans gets my compliments because while he was always acting as the “perfect” Captain America before, this time he also showed us a side to the character that made him more relatable and well, human, I guess.
We also get a lot of Karen Gillen as Nebula. She did great and while her character didn’t have much to do before, she was an important role in this one. Though I admit, I did not really like her story line in Endgame, although it was good and matched the movie. I enjoyed these four the most since all of it just sucked you in and made you forgot everything around you.

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As for the rest, well, some did good, others did…not so good.
Mark Ruffaloย was kind of…well, okay, I guess? His acting did not really stand out and felt more like a filler, I admit. Though I think that is less of his acting and more due to the story line and script.
Jeremy Renner gave a great performance, although it did suffer from lack of time. You would have felt his character more if there was more time.
Chris Hemsworth acts quite differently this time than before but I think that is mainly because he was so serious in the last movie, they tried to give him a kind of different role this time. He did nicely but his character wasn’t really that interesting this time around.
Paul Rudd had like a mix between Jeremy Renner and Chris Hemsworth going on. His important scenes were too short and the others were comic relief, otherwise the actor did a great job at showing his character adapting to half the world gone.
We also have Brie Larson as Captain Marvel. Just one sentence: You notice that they shot this before Captain Marvel, meaning, you notice her not really knowing how her story is gonna unfold in her Captain Marvel movie. I wish they had shot Captain Marvel before Endgame. Like this though, it didn’t seem sincere.

We also have Rocket, although CGI. He was a nice addition but not really much happening there. I loved his combo with Thor though.
Also Josh Brolin as Thanos. I just found the character annoying at this point so I think I cannot really judge his acting in Endgame.
Last but not least we have Don Cheadle as Rhodey. I don’t have anything bad to say about him. He did a good job.

Those are all the actors I think of as main characters or something like that. Reading through that I realize…the acting wasn’t as good as I thought, although I have to say, I think a lot of the acting succeeded as well as suffered from the script and directing, depending on the character. But, overall the acting was good enough to make you sit there for three hours and not get bored with the characters…although I did kind of just wait for the scenes of the four actors I mentioned at the top of this chapter.

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The ending

Before I start telling you my feelings about the ending (without spoilers) let me tell you a few things. You know the book Itย by Stephen King? It has around 1500 pages, depending on what edition and in what language you’re reading it, and that may seem a lot. It is but at the same time the book is so addicting and the story so intriguing you are stuck with the book if you make it past a 100 pages. You just cannot stop after. This book though has one bad thing about it and I am not talking about how scary it is if you have good imagination. I am talking about the ending. The ending, like the last 100 pages, just suck. Neither does it fit the book, nor does it make sense, nor do they entertain in any way. If I hadn’t read 1400 pages before that I would’ve just thrown the book away and went with the movie (and I hate scary movies).
Do you know the movie Now You See Me? It isn’t anything special until you reach like the last 20 minutes. Those twenty minutes give the movie what made it such a fan favourite. Those twenty minutes made it possible to produce a second installment.
Or do you know the TV show How I Met Your Mother? The ending was so unfit for the show and so unsatisfying, fans asked for a different ending. And the pressure by the fans was so high -no wonder, the ending was terrible- that they did re-shoot the ending.
Or for a more recent example, do you know the recently released movie After Passion? Overall, the movie is just typical teenie/student stuff and not really interesting in any way but the ending. The ending is gold. The way they shot it, the pace, the light. The ending scene itself leaves you sitting there and re-thinking for a moment what you just watched.

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What I want to say? The ending of a movie can make or break a movie. When you walk out of the cinema and you watched a long movie the ending scene is the one stuck in your head. Only slowly are you gonna go through the movie and analyse everything else. You may forget what happened in the beginning since you are filled with excitement at that point and are on the edge of your seat to see what is gonna happen on screen but by the end of a movie you just had a full story unfold and the ending decides what feelings you are gonna have when you walk out of that cinema. Chris Evans said in an interview that the movie is gonna make you feel satisfaction. The movie did deliver satisfaction…until just about 5 to 10 minutes before it ended. Yes you heard right! The Russo brothers, Marvel, the Avengers botched the ending. Like big time.

And before those of you who watched the movie, tell me, I’m only saying that I didn’t like the ending because of what happens – that is actually not what is bad about it. No, the story at the end is kind of fitting for the movie. Did I wish it ended differently? To some parts yes, I wish it did, but it did fit the movie and the franchise. Still, the ending itself was oh-so boring. Seriously. Avengers Endgame let’s you forget that you are stuck in your seat for three hours. You just forget everything around you and then…the ending happens and tbh I should have just left and walked home. If I go and watch an Avengers movie I want to have excitement and feelings until the end but the end just left me…bored. There was no excitement at all. There was this one little moment when you see one of them ask “What happened?” but that takes like a second and then it’s back to boring again. They did try making interesting shots and showing our heroes and make you feel with them but I felt…nothing. No, that’s not true. I did feel something. I felt “oh, so that’s happening. I could see that one from a mile away.” The ending is as predictable, cheesy, corny, slow and unfitting (the way they tell it, not the things happening itself) of a Marvel movie as it gets. And yes, I know cheesy and corny mean pretty much the same thing.

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And now here is the problem: The movie is great, it is amazing, but the ending just sucks. That means you leave the cinema, not excited and happy or even satisfied. No, I just left the movie, thinking “And I just spent 3 hours of my life to get THAT?” and “It’s Marvel and the Russo brothers, for God’s sake, I expected better.”
If someone, anyone, left the cinema like that, it isn’t good. Not at all. It means you messed up big time shooting this movie. You had the viewers cheering, feeling, screaming, laughing and crying with you and then you left them hanging. I’m not criticizing just one thing here, no. The acting, the story, the camera work, the sound, the way everything is placed…the ending in general is crap. And the story is pretty much the last thing in that list. It’s like they just gave up around the end and just said “Let’s get it done and finally go home”. I expected better.

Overall – Conclusion

Let’s not kid ourselves, whatever you are reading here, you are probably gonna go watch the movie anyway. In my opinion the movie is really good and one of the few movies where the story just sucks you in, whether you like it or not. You won’t notice any small flaws there may be in the story or in some of the scenes. That’s how addicting the story of this installment is. The movie is a great movie and a nice break from the real world.
My recommendation? Go watch the movie but maybe don’t expect too much from the ending.
The movie itself is awesome and definitely worth a watch โค The storytelling is great and the images are awesome and exhilarating.

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I liked the ending of Infinity War better…and half the world died in that one…so…think about that, Marvel.