Abarenbo Mama

Abarenbo Mama


Disc(s): 4dvd
Also known as: Wild Mom / Avarenbow Mama
Genre: Comedy
Episodes: 10


Synopsis

22-year old Kawano Ayu was brought up way out in the country. She’s a rough-mannered tomboy. When she meets Tetsu, a divorced beautician, the two fall in love and get married. Immediately after their happy new life begins, they are visited by a 5-year old boy, Yuki, who claims to be Tetsu’s son. Ayu reluctantly becomes the boy’s mother, but has no idea how to raise a child. What’s more, at kindergarten, she must confront the elegant mothers of the neighborhood. Ayu’s humorous life as a rookie mother begins

Ueto Aya as Kawano Ayu
Oizumi Yo as Kawano Tetsu
Shibuya Takeru as Kawano Yuki
Tomosaka Rie as Hojo Midoriko
Katase Nana as Hanawa Noriko
Yamaguchi Sayaka as Kominami Yae
Himura Yuki as Kanai Tamao
Nakayama Megumi as Uematsu Rika
Mukai Osamu as Yamaguchi Yohei
Hirooka Yuriko as Kanai Sachiko
Seto Koji as Abe Naoya
Konno Mahiru as Iwasaki Keiko
Azuma Mikihisa as Hojo Hajime
Owada Shinya as Yoshida Goro
Okae Kumiko as Takasawa Rieko
Otoo Takuma as Kominami Manabu

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I Can’t Stop

I Can’t Stop


Disc(s): 3dvd (1-54epsd)
Also known as: I Can’t Stop / No Stopping Now / Can’t Stop Now
Genre: Romance, family
Episodes: 129


Synopsis

Hong Yun Shi was a pure and innocent girl who remained cheerful despite growing up in poverty. Her unfortunate circumstances drives her to marry the rich Byung Joo, but she is soon betrayed by her husband and her mother-in-law. When she discovers that her mother-in-law also had a hand in her mother’s mysterious disappearance, Yun Shi finds herself slowly losing all semblance of her original purehearted self and turning into someone obsessed with revenge. Soo Ri, who loves Yun Shi deeply, is helpless to do anything but watch over her with warmth and love.

Cast:


Kim Kyu Ri as Hong Yun Shi
Lee Ji Hoon as Noh Soo Ri
Won Ki Joon as Lee Byung Joo
Park Ha Sun as Lee Joo Ah
Yoo Gun as Kang In Chan
Lee Bo Hee as Goo Hyo Sun
Jung Ae Ri as Im Bong Ja
Jung Han Yong as Noh Man Jae
Sun Woo Yong Nyeo as Goo Hyo Sook
Choi Duk Moon as Goo Jin Woo
Kim Se Jung as Jang So Yun
Im Chae Won as Kang Mi Ok
Lee Sun Jin as Yoon Jong Hee (Man Jae’s secretary)
Choi Seung Kyung
Kim Joon
Jang Moon Suk
Oh Jung Tae

Down With Love

Down With Love


Disc(s): 4DVD
Also known as: Just Want to Depend on You / Stick with You
Episodes: 25
Genre: Romance, comedy

Cast
Jerry Yan as Xiang Yu Ping
Ella Chen as Yang Guo
Kelly Huang as Yang Duo
Michael Zhang as Qi Ke Zhong
Chen Zi Han as Ding Hui Fan
Ji Xin Ling as Xiang Yu Fei(Yu-ping’s niece)
Xiao Xiao Bin bas Xiang Yu Ting(Yu-ping’s nephew)
Amanda Zhou as Xu Yan Ling
Gu Bao Ming as Yan Bo Tong
Yan Yi En as Liang Zhi Hao
Jeno Liu as Su Fei
Rong Rong
Pang Yong Zhi as the competition host
Renzo Liu as Lawyer
Qian De Men as Rich man
Kuang Ming Jie as Rich man’s wife
Judy Zhou as A De
Qian Shuai Jun as babysitter
Zhang Shan Wei as the gay client
Vicky Chen as Yu Fei and Yu Ting’s mother
Du Shi Mei as Ding’s agent
Ma Guo Bi as kidnapper
Li Jia Wen as kidnapper

Synopsis

Shiang Yu Ping, an expert divorce and inheritance lawyer, is seen by others as cold, selfish, and ruthless. After Yu-ping’s older brother dies in a car accident he has little choice in taking in his brother’s two orphaned children, Fei and Ting. Every nanny he hires to care for them is either scared off by the mischievous children or ends up falling in love with him. Fed up, Yu Ping asks his secretary, Yang Duo, to find a nanny that meets his requirements. Having lost all their wealth when their mother passed away and being abandoned by their father after racking up heavy debts; Yang Duo can not ignore the fact that she needs the money and recommends her younger sister, Yang Guo, for the job; assuring Yu Ping that her tomboyish sister will not fall in love with him by lying that she does not like men at all.

MOVIE TRAILER



Autumn’s Concerto

Autumn’s Concerto


Also known as: Autumn’s Concerto / Next Stop, Happiness
Genre: Romance, melodrama
Episodes: 21


Cast
Ady An as Liang Mu Cheng
Fu Pei Ci as childhood Mu Cheng
Van Ness Wu as Ren Guang Xi
Chris Wu as Hua Tuo Ye
Tiffany Xu as He Yi Qian

Synopsis

Ren Guang Xi, a cocky law student, seems to lead the perfect life. He’s the sole successor to a huge and famous business and a talented ice hockey player. But in reality, his lonely life lacks joy, laughter and motivation. That is until he meets Liang Mu Cheng, the new bento seller at his school canteen. Although orphaned at a young age, Mu Cheng does not let her past affect her and lives life with great passion and determination. A harmless bet brings the two together and Guang Xi slowly changes as Mu Cheng teaches him how to give and love. Tragedy strikes when Guang Xi suddenly has to go through a major brain surgery which causes him to lose his memory. His mother begs Mu Cheng to leave him and the latter has no choice but to do so. Little does she know that she already has Guang Xi’s child.

Six years pass. Mu Cheng lives a quiet life with her young son in the countryside while Guang Xi is now a successful lawyer and is engaged to He Yi Qian, the kind and beautiful doctor who took care of him after his surgery. A strangely familiar piano piece stirs Guang Xi’s heart as he struggles to recall his past romance with Mu Cheng. How will the couple make up for six years of lost time? Happiness, which stop do I alight at?



High Kick Girl!(2009)

High Kick Girl!(2009)


Cast : Rina Takeda, Tatsuya Naka
Genre: Action

Review

Fuyuhiko Nishi’s “High Kick Girl!” is a sometimes interesting throwback to 70’s martial arts films like “Gekitotsu! Satsujin Ken AKA The Street Fighter” and “Onna Hissatsu Ken AKA Sister Streetfighter” but ultimately fails to provide enough thrills or drama to keep viewers entertained. What we are left with is a plot-less and somewhat boring film whose only trump card is watching cute new comer Takeda Rina kick-ass quite impressively.

Takeda Rina is the latest in a wave of cute, martial artists breaking into the movie scene. In the last couple of years we saw the debut of two similarly lithe and deadly cuties in Luxia Jiang (star of “Coweb” and winner of Jackie Chan’s “The Disciple” HK reality show) and Jeeja Yanin (Thai martial arts phenome and star of “Chocolate” and “Raging Phoenix”). Takeda certainly has the skills of an up-and-coming martial arts star being a 1st degree (Ichi Dan) Black Belt in Karate with the Ryukyu/Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate-Do Genshin Kai. With her tall lanky frame and long legs, Takeda’s specialty seems to be high kicks to the heads of opponents, earning her the movie’s title.

Takeda’s impressive high kicks and cute face however can’t save this “one trick pony” of a movie which suffers under the weight of a weak story and some terrible acting.

The story is lethargic at best and revolves around Takeda’s character Tsuchiya Kei, a skilled albeit brash Karate student who spends her time challenging other Karate school students to test her prowess. She is a student of famed Karate instructor, Matsumoto Yoshiaki (portrayed by real life Japan Karate Association lead instructor and former All Japan Karate champion Taka Tatsuya) who is unimpressed by her abilities and who chides her for exploiting her training.

The rebellious Tsuchiya is soon contacted by a mysterious caller who offers her a chance to use her skills and earn money as a “kowashiya” (“breaker” i.e. enforcer). Intrigued Tsuchiya takes up the caller’s proposal but before she can start, the caller has her take an initiation to test her Karate. Tsuchiya soon finds herself facing off a number of high school punks in an abandoned building including a group of Sukeban with similar Karate skills. Tsuchiya easily bests the bunch and is soon introduced to the caller who turns out to be Ryuzoku (Sudo Masahiro) a former associate of Matsumoto with a grudge. Ryuzoku is part of a larger mob of other Kowashiya led under the sinister Genga (Amano Koji) who all want revenge on Matsumoto for some unrevealed wrong(it is hinted that Matsumoto was once a part of their organization but left).

Tsuchiya learns that this was all part of a trap to find Matsumoto and get revenge on him. Tsuchiya and her classmate are overpowered by Genga and his minions and it is up to Matsumoto to save them but can he fight through waves of Genga’s best fighters in time?

Even though Takeda is supposed to be the heroine of the story, it is surprisingly Taka who dominates much of the last act of the movie and does the lion share of the fighting. The movie seems like one part action film and the other part a Karate instructional video. There are several odd moments when Taka expounds on how to be a virtuous martial artist and use Karate in a responsible way. The films takes a preachy attitude about Karate and patronizes the audience with its message.

While Takeda may be a good martial artist she unfortunately lacks the acting experience to carry a film and while she does an admirable job for a beginner, she is charmless as Tsuchiya and is rather bland as a the Tsuchiya character.

Unlike some of her Japanese predecessors like Oshima Yukari, Nishiwaki Michiko, Morinaga Naomi and recent female action star Mizuno Miki she doesn’t quite have the fighting versatility or ferocity to really make an impact. Takeda may be on par with 70s Toei action icon Shiomi Etsuko in fighting skills but lacks her acting skills and on screen charisma.

Taka is stoic and exudes authority as Matsumoto but is also very boring as the Taka character.

The villains suffer the most from character under-development as they merely act as cannon fodder for Takeda and Taka’s kicks and punches. It is almost like a video game where one waits for the next opponent to get their face bashed in. Neither Ryuzoku and Genga are interesting as villains save for their stereotypical bad-guy appearances and despite being touted as the badass leaders of this criminal organization are dispatched in shockingly anticlimactic fashion. They don’t even put up a decent fight.

Some of the earlier fight scenes are pretty decent and the stunt men and women involved definitely should get some credit for allowing themselves to be on the receiving end of some very painful kicks and hits for the camera. Unfortunately the thrill of the fights is undermined by director Nishi’s insistence on replaying and rewinding every fight scene in nauseating slow motion. The first couple of times may have been novel but when it is done for every single fight scene it becomes just plain irritating. It takes away from the action in very dumb way.

“High Kick Girl” is a disappointing action film made on the cheap and which features martial artists trying to act but whose inexperience shows. “High Kick Girl” had the potential to be a Japanese equivalent to the HK “girls with guns” films but failed to live up to those expectations. Perhaps Takeda’s next film will be a better showcase for her and allow her more opportunity to act. Maybe she can get her fame through Tokusatsu TV (Live Action Science Fiction TV) although I think she deserves better.

Movie Trailer

Descendants of Hong Gil-dong

Descendants of Hong Gil-dong


Release date in South Korea : 2009/11/26
Genre : Action
Duration : 117min
Cast : Lee Beom-soo, Kim Soo-ro, Seong Dong-il, Lee Si-yeong, Park In-hwan, Kim Ja-ok.

Synopsis :

When the sun sets, the Hongs, the perfect model family, busy themselves with the family thieving business. As descendants of Hong Gil-dong, the Joseon Kingdom’s (1392-1910) Robin Hood who stole from the rich to give to the hardworking poor, they scheme to fight against corrupt business mogul (Kim Soo-ro). But the family secret becomes a problem when Hong Mu-hyeok (Lee Beom-soo) plans to marry his girlfriend. Alternative title : “Hong’s Family Business”.

Closer to Heaven / My Love Beside Me

Closer to Heaven / My Love Beside Me


Release date in South Korea : 2009/09/24
Genre : Drama
Duration : 121min
Cast : Ha Ji-won, Kim Myeong-min, Nam Neung-mi, Im Ha-ryong, Choi Jong-ryeol, Sin Sin-ae.

Synopsis :

Ji-soo, a funeral director, happens to oversee the funeral services of Jong-woo’s deceased mother. Being old friends, they are excited by the unexpected reunion, but the reality is more bitter than sweet. Jong-woo is suffering from the incurable Lou Gehrig’s disease, and Ji-soo has been through two painful divorces. Jong-woo lightheartedly asks Ji-soo to just marry him. Ji-soo is surprised by the offer, but it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea to her. She wants to start a new life with the love that is starting to grow inside her, while the fear of losing Jong-woo scares her as well. despite the disapproval of those around her.

Ji-soo still goes through with the marriage to Jong-woo. As Jong-woo’s symptoms beginning to worsen with each passing day, Jong-woo gets easily irritable as he begins to lose control over more and more parts of his body. Even though he hurts Ji-soo’s feelings, all she wants is to stay with him and cure his disease. Formerly known as “My Love Beside Me”.

2nd House

2nd House


Disc(s): 4DVD

2nd House tells a story of a low income, white-collar worker named Koichi, who has a really bad relationship with his wife. Koichi doesn’t have a strong status in the family and so he wanted to find a ‘2nd House’. He then meets up with Aki and they developed a strong love for each other….

It is a comedy love story full of joy and laugther for adults of all ages.

Cast:
Nagano Hiroshi
Isoyama Sayaka
Imamura Keiko
Yamazaki Shigenori
Muro Tsuyoshi
Kobayashi Susumu
Nakayama Megumi
Emoto Junko
Taniguchi Mihiro
Fukami Motoki

One-Pound Gospel

One-Pound Gospel


Disc(s): 4dvd
Also known as: One-Pound Gospel / 1 Pound no Fukuin
Genre: Romance, comedy
Episodes: 9


Synopsis

Hatanaka Kosaku is a talented boxer who turned pro at the age of 19, winning his debut match with a first round KO. He is talented, but he has no guts. His uncontrollable appetite is an even bigger problem. He can’t put himself in the right weight class, he runs out of energy because of hunger, and he gets knocked out while his eyes are set on food at the ringside. However, Kosaku’s life changed when he met Sister Angela, a novice nun in the convent near his boxing gym. She became the source of his power, and Kosaku fights only to win her heart.

Cast:
Kamenashi Kazuya as Hatanaka Kosaku
Kuroki Meisa as Sister Angela
Kobayashi Satomi as Mukoda Seiko
Okada Yoshinori as Ueda
Yamada Ryosuke as Mukoda Katsumi
Minamisawa Nao as Noriko
Takahashi Issei as Ishizaka
Mitsuishi Ken as Mitaka Hideo
Motai Masako as Osamu Incho
Ishiguro Hideo as Horiguchi
Namioka Kazuki as Kojima
Eguchi Noriko as Sister Milee
Nakamura Kaori as Sister Grace
Matsuzaka Sanae

Guest

Tanaka Yoji as Onimaru Kappei (ep1)
Ren Hulk as Oshiro (ep1)
Bengal (ep1)
Asami Reina (ep2)
Fukui Hiroaki (ep2)
Chinen Yuri (ep3)
Nishiyama Sosuke (ep3)
Kikawada Masaya (ep4)
Fuwa Mansaku (ep7)
Kiritani Kenta (ep7-8)
Matsuzawa Ren (ep7-8)
Ishii Momoka as Rikako