Kwon Sang-woo in Pattaya, Thailand

Tired: I bet she is after all that prancing around at Pattaya
with Kwon Sang-woo!

The handsome Kwon Sang-woo was seen frolicking at a beach in Pattaya, Thailand with the Korean beauty above.

Rest & relax: The pair gets a tan

Before Oppa’s die-hard fans get their knickers into a twist, let us clarify that the pair were together for a CF shoot for Korean beauty brand The Face Shop, of which the delectable 32-year-old actor is representing.

The Bad Love actor, and his lady friend – actress Lee Bo-young (who is set to appear opposite Hyun Bin in the movie I’m Happy) – donned minimal white casuals for the commercial, which will be airing in Korea in summertime!

She is in a slip of a dress (and gets wet in it), while he fits snugly into his white jeans (and gets wet in it) while showing off his sculpted upper torso. Nice.

However, I must say that Sang-woo Oppa looks a little uncomfortable and stiff in the shots below. I wonder if it’s because he harbours some feelings for Miss Lee and can’t quite commit to the shoot?

Distraction: ‘Err…is that a fly on your forehead?’

Another distraction: ‘Just gimme a sec, I’m
feeling a little constipated.’

Solo: ‘Ahh, I’m now in my element’

Pics credit: Hankooki

Honey Lee kisses Shin Hyun-joon

*SNOGGG*

Miss Korea 2006 Honey Lee (25) snogs Saint Hobbo Oppa Shin Hyun-joon (40) in a music video for the-singer-who-remains-faceless, Zia.

You know how it is with Korean MVs, they are like complete stand alone mini-movies and some, like this one, are made into Parts 1, 2 and 3! Elaborate love stories, special effects, loads of drama – the usual stuff.

Check out more pics below. It could be a whole lot of hot air over nothing, like that lame kiss shared between Sandara Park and T.O.P. (Big Bang) for Gummy’s I’m Sorry MV.

We’ll just have to wait and see with this one.

One more time: ‘Mmm…let’s do another take.’

Peck on the forehead?!: ‘Hey, I didn’t sign
up for this St. Oppa!’

Another one: ‘Sheesh!’

Pics credit:
Hankooki

Dennis Oh (데니스 오)

For K-popped! reader Wawa

Is he another Daniel Henney-type who is using Korea as a launch pad into US showbiz?

Korean-American Dennis Joseph O’Neil or Dennis Oh kick started his career as a model at 16.

The story goes: Dennis was in the basement of his home working out when a plug on a modelling contest was heard over the radio airwaves. The teenager decided to try it out for giggles and that fateful competition marked his path into showbiz.

Dennis travelled to many Asian countries (Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan) during his modelling stint. The art major even changed his major to photography to help him model better. Another reason: he plans to become a professional photographer once he retires from the entertainment industry.

While modelling in South Korea, Dennis was spotted in 2005 by producer Ko Dong-sun, who promptly cast the talent in the MBC drama Sweet Spy.

After that, the model-turned-actor bagged another role in the 2007 SBS drama Yuhee the Witch (hey, that was recently shown on 8TV in Malaysia! Nope, didn’t watch it because the Mandarin dubbing sucks).

At the time of writing this profile, Dennis is said to be working on another MBC drama entitled East of Eden.

Stage name: Dennis Oh
Real name: Dennis Joseph O’Neil
Birthdate: Aug 29, 1981
Height: 188cm
Weight: 83kg
Blood type: A
Family: Korean Mom, American Dad and an older brother

TV dramas:

  • East of Eden (2008)
  • Yuhee the Witch (2007)
  • Sweet Spy (2005)

Source: Wikipedia

Bae Yong-joon sells lunchboxes

Is the Hallyu star cashing in on the food crisis we are currently experiencing?

I’m not so sure about this star, he’s already the top earner in Hallyuwood, he owns his own health food restaurant, but it looks like he’s still trying to make $$$ out of anything.

‘Don’t like my lunchbox set Liz?
Well, eat me.’

Japan‘s largest convenience store 7-Eleven will be selling special lunchbox sets of Korean food produced by Bae Yong-joon. The lunchboxes will be on the store shelves for three days from June 13 to 15.

Called the Gosire Bento, orders for the lunchbox sets will be taken from today (May 12) to June 8. Each bento set costs a whopping 2500 yen (25,000 won or RM76.58)! What an expensive lunch.

The sets include 16 different dishes from the Goguryeo dynasty, such as bulgogi and ssam-bab. Whatever.

Just give me a fistful of rice and a couple of side dishes and I’m set. No one owns a money tree in their backyard, you know. Paying so much for food is like eating gold. The targeted suckers group for the set lunch are middle-aged female Yonsama (Japanese ajumma) fans. No surprise there.

Would you buy a RM76.58 bento set that has been mass-produced at a food factory with a sticker of Bae Yong-joon slapped onto the label so they could hike up the price?

Source & Pic credit: KBS Global

Sri Hartamas in the afternoon

This is Sri Hartamas

Last Saturday, i spent a hot afternoon walking around in Koreatown #2 here in Kuala Lumpur. I call it Koreantown #2 because Sri Hartamas is a residential suburban neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur where you can find a large number of Korean restaurants and marts. It is also a well known place where the young, hip urban upper middle class meet especially at nights as there is a good number of swanky restaurants, pubs and mamak stalls.

Sri Hartamas prides itself for having lots of greenery


The first shop i saw after parking my car was
BBQ chicken. Is this a Korean franchise?


This place is great for an outing with your girlfriends as you may stop by for afternoon tea at the cafes and indulge in a bit of shopping at the quaint boutiques located here. There are more than several within walking distance to keep you occupied for the afternoon.

DRESSBAR sounds inviting and i popped into
the boutique on the 2nd floor.
They sell branded dresses
at knock down prices.

You and your friends can do you hair ala Korean style too. Spotted You Jung hair salon. Check out the pics of Hallyu stars stuck to the glass windows.


My main purpose for visiting Sri Hartamas was to buy some dried brown seaweed. I found it at Lotte Mart. I also discovered that they have a DVD rental thing going on behind the mini-mart. I was so excited to see Korean movie titles (and maybe dramas) for rent! But alas, my excitement was short-lived as the friendly Korean girls i met told me that there are no English subtitles. Sad.

Lotte Mart, Sri Hartamas
Korean mini market stocked with Korean food stuff

After purchasing seaweed, i ventured to the other side of Sri Hartamas looking for Full House boutique. I’ve wanted to visit this store ever since i’ve seen it while driving pass the Sprint Expressway. It is clearly visible and i wondered if the owner of the store is Korean and fancies the Full House drama. Does the boutique carry clothes worn by Song Hye Kyo during her Full House days? Hmmm…i simply must visit!

Cute shophouse!


On the way there, i passed a lego-like colourful building which houses Han Sang Korean restaurant. It looks very inviting and cute from the outside. The open-aired second floor veranda looks inviting too. Like i said, Full House Collection was way over the other side of Sri Hartamas, same row as the mega gym, True Fitness. I had to walk though some quiet alleys and wished that Liz was with me. But alas she decided to stay home and here i was alone.

Scary alley – i sure wouldn’t want to walk pass this place at night…


Finally…Full House Boutique


What did i find out? Full House boutique is NOT NAMED AFTER the Korean drama series after all. The store does sell some Korean accessories, but the clothes are not from Korea nor is the owner a Korean. He’s a Malaysian Chinese and designs the clothes that hang on the racks of the shop. After chatting with the owner and trying on a couple of dresses – most do not fit me that well, i decided to leave. But before heading for the door, i stopped by the shoes section where i saw a pair of black platform wedges that i liked. The friendly lady serving me said “These just arrived yesterday”.


Here are my purchases…

Dried seaweed – miyeok (RM4.90)

Black platform wedges from Full House boutique (RM59)

Mother (2007)

Korean title: 어머니는 죽지 않는다 (Eo-meo-ni-neun Jook-ji Anh-neun-da)
Directed & Written by: Ha Myeong-joong

What’s popping:

A heart tugging movie about a mother’s love and sacrifice for her children, especially her youngest son. It makes the perfect review today – Mother’s Day! :-) I quite enjoyed it even when there are moments that are a little dragged out.

At the beginning of the flick we see a Grandpa (played by the director/screenwriter himself Ha Myeong-joong) breaking into a demolition zone where his childhood home is about to be torn down due to modernisation. He seems a little disoriented…senile, perhaps.

While running through the streets of his old neighbourhood, Grandpa reminisces about his childhood and the times he spent with his beloved Mother. (The flick flips through the chapters in Grandpa’s life as a young boy, a teen and a young man; finally catching up with the present).

He recalls the time Dad passed away and how Mother (Han Hye-sook) worked so hard to raise his elder brother, sister and himself. Being a late child (his siblings are much older than him and his classmates think his Mother is his Grandmother!), the young boy is the apple of his Mother’s eye.

Secrets: ‘Ma, I like this girl at school….’

The pair has an extremely close bond – they share sleeping quarters (even well into adulthood) and play around like nobody’s business. Like that time when the son Choi Ho discovers Mom’s attempts to learn English, but still writes the words in Hangeul.

Mom’s ‘I Love You’ is spelled 알라뷰 (Al-la-byu). To which Choi Ho laughs his head off while Mom tries to hide her notebook from him.

Gradually, the flick shifts to the Mother’s story. She sees her young son grow up to become a young man. She gets a little jealous when he falls in love for the first time and forgets about her a little. Yet when he gets his heart broken, Mother is there – like a strong pillar – for him.

Companionship: Mother and Choi Ho spend some time together.
She sews while he writes.

But the inevitable happens. Mother’s children leave her one by one and she experiences the empty nest syndrome. She doesn’t adjust to it well and her children – including her precious Choi Ho – seem to have forgotten all about her. Her letters sent to Choi Ho are returned unopened. Ouch.

Mother gradually wastes away, with heartbreaking consequences.

Thumbs up: Mom’s the best

The flick causes us to realise how important it is to stay connected with Mom. Are we that busy in life that we can’t even make a simple phone call back to Mother? In this day and age of supercommunication, that’s just unfathomable…but it still happens.

I hope this Mother’s Day, you’ll take some time out to appreciate Mom because no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, I’m pretty sure Mommy is always ready with an “알라뷰” :-).

The plot:

A senile old man escapes from the retirement home. He takes a walk down memory lane and relives the moments he had with Mother.

At your service, Ma’am: A young Choi Ho gives Mom a
free massage

A touching and rather pleasant flick which reminds one to appreciate and love that awesome woman in our life.

Happy Mother’s Day, Ma. 알라뷰!!!

To all Mothers reading this (I don’t know if we have readers who are mothers), you R-O-C-K! God bless :-).

Watch it:

Rooster got the DVD for us from Beijing. This time the English subtitles are prefect. 아싸!

Pics credit: HanCinema

Purchase:
Mother (DVD) (Korea Version)
Mother OST

Will.i.am in Seoul says piracy is good

Will.i.am advocates piracy and wonders why Korean pop sensation Rain is not big in, say…Brazil?

Rain is huge now, but it (K-pop) should be bigger everywhere else but Asia. Why can’t Rain be big in Brazil?”, the Black Eyed Peas rapper and producer questioned during his talk at the Seoul Digital Forum 2008.

Will.i.am: ‘Piracy is a bad word. I see it as a way to promote music.’

The Jamaican-American musician also gave the thumbs up for the unauthorised distribution of songs on the Internet saying, “Piracy is a bad word. I see it as a way to promote music. Piracy could be a good thing and it is a good thing. The only problem is there’s no money in that.”

“Music isn’t in the CD anymore. It should make people look at the world better. Now, the power is in the people’s hands,” he said during his 40-minute speech entitled Entertainment: At the Forefront of Imagination.

The musician also talked about how powerful one’s imagination is as it gave him hope while he was growing up in the LA ghetto. Will.i.am said: “I dreamed about show business, the music industry, and the dream has become a reality.”

He added: “Music is the only thing that means the same thing everywhere. Music is powerful.”

Source: The Korea Herald
Pic credit: Newsen

Good bye Bi-Kyo, hello Hye-Bin!?

Fan Art by SilverWing

The news that Song Hye Kyo (27) and Hyun Bin (26) will play leads in an up and coming KBS drama has caused much excitement in the K-entertainment world. As soon as this news surfaced, not one, but THREE popular K-Ent blogs wrote entries on this at the same time! Now that’s important news for you.

Will the popular-even-before-the-drama-is-aired pair be a hit? Fans of both these attractive stars are thrilled to no end at the mention of this “union”. Will this be good-bye Bi-Kyo (referring to the Rain – Song Hye Kyo pair in Full House) and hello Hye-Bin? I bet there will be a huge fan following crashing in soon. The fan art and excitement have already started!

Expectations are high and both Hyun Bin and Hye Kyo who are CF king and queen in their own right, need a hit. A big one. Riding on the wave of their previous hits can only last for so long.

Glory days: Song Hye Kyo in her Full House role,
Hyun Bin in his My Lovely Samsoon days


Song Hye Kyo has been riding on her KBS drama Full House (2004) popularity for way too long now. Her movie ventures – My Girl and I (2005) and Hwangini (2007) were forgettable. They did not leave a good lasting impression at all.

Hyun Bin on the other hand, is most remembered for his role in MBC’s My Lovely Samsoon back in 2005. It is still one of my favourite dramas to date. Hyun Bin was at the height of his career during his Samshik days. He then followed with the movie A Millionaire’s First Love (2006) and the very draggy and * yawns * boring drama Snow Queen. None which gained him as much popularity as the hot tempered but yummilicious restaurant owner in MLSS. He needs another one of those roles…soon.

Song Hye Kyo and Hyun Bin will pair up in the new Korean drama called “The World That They Live In“. The drama depicts the lives and stories of those involved in a drama production — behind the scenes. Now, doesn’t that sound awfully familiar? If it does, it is probably due to the fact that one of SBS most popular drama at the moment (On Air) found much success on this very same premise. If something is working so well, why not copy it? It was reported that Song Hye Kyo and Hyun Bin both play producers. The drama starts airing in November 2008.

Hmm…will it be Hye-Bin or Hyun-Song or Bin-Kyo? Ah…whatever! ;-)

Are you looking forward to the union? Okay, okay, it’s not like they are getting married or anything, but i bet many fans out there wished they were. ;-)

Read updates here:


Kim Sun-ah and Girl Scouts are prepared

Be Prepared: Girl Scouts cast from left to right Lee Kyeong-sil,
Kim Sun-ah and Ko Joon-hee

The Girl Scouts stars were out and about yesterday plugging their flick.

My Lovely Sam-soon star Kim Sun-ah, along with her fellow Girl Scouts buddies Lee Gyeong-sil and Ko Joon-hee appeared to the masses in their cute and different scout uniforms.

Leader: ‘Don’t I look super cute in this?’

In the film, Kim Sun-ah plays the leader of the team who is hunting down the person who swindled them.

The movie, which started lensing back in November 2007, will only be released on June 5 in Korea. I guess the ladies are staying true to the Scout motto because it’s never too early to Be Prepared.

Activities: The girls react to the question: Who wants a
camping trip in the woods this semester?

Achievements: ‘Yes, 언니 go ahead and show them the badge you
received for fantastic needlework’

Sexy scout: ‘I think my skirt is too short’

Source & Pics credit: MyDaily

Hwangjiny (2007)

Korean title: 황진이 (Hwangjini)
Directed by: Jang Yoon-hyeon

What’s popping:

Hwangjiny is one difficult movie to watch because it leaves the viewer wondering what on earth is going on.

It’s not convoluted, but it does get absurd. Also, there’s no solid storyline or “train of thought” as the story unfolds. What were screenwriters Kim Eun-jeong and Kim Hyeon-jeong thinking when they wrote the screenplay?

First of all, the romance, which is central to the plot, lacks oomph. The chemistry between the legendary courtesan Hwangjiny (portrayed by the beautiful Song Hye-kyo) and the dashing rouge hero Nomi (Yoo Ji-tae) is non-existent. Sure they make a gorgeous onscreen couple, but their romance remains unconvincing.

Hwangjiny and Nomi are childhood friends. She is the daughter of a rich and powerful man while Nomi was a servant boy. He fled from the household after an incident and the story picks up after he returns many years later.

But soon, a dark secret about Hwangjiny’s past is revealed and she is forced to relinquish her position in the family to become a gisaeng.

Tortured: Nomi (Yoo Ji-tae) is upset because he turned
his woman Hwangjiny (Song Hye-kyo) into a prosti gisaeng

Horror of horrors, Nomi confesses that he is the man who divulged her secret because he wants her for himself. Since he is still a servant, which makes her still out of his reach, he thought he could make her his by hurling dirt on her good reputation.

However, he feels too much guilt after the nefarious deed is done so decides to leave Hwangjiny (even after she begs him to stay and take her as his lover!) to live a life as a tortured, nomadic scoundrel.

What the fish is going on?! You got the chick, dude! You destroyed her life. She has no one except you and you b100dy leave her? Sick man.

And so the movie continues with their separate existence. Hwangjiny rises to become the most wanted gisaeng in the region. She’s smart and apparently very skillful in the art of seduction. However, we only get to see a display of her skill once, when she takes on an uppity scholar and eventually shames him in the presence of his friends.

Scholar: Hwanjiny (Song) ran out of paper but discovered an
ingenious way to write her thoughts down

The virginal and angelic Song Hye-kyo is in the lead, so don’t expect Untold Scandal-like steamy scenes. The seduction and love scenes here are PG-rated or for the Malaysian audience, U-rated.

Meanwhile, Nomi rises to become a notorious robber – the most wanted man in the region. When the star-crossed lovers cross paths again, Hwangjiny devises a plan to prevent Nomi from being arrested and executed.

Scoundrel: Nomi is a 나쁜 남자

It may sound simple and straightforward here, but try watching the flick. At times, you can’t quite make heads or tails of the situation.

Poor Song Hye-kyo, I think she tried her best – looking gorgeous and all – but her character, along with Nomi, just didn’t click with the audience.

As a viewer, I didn’t feel a connection to Hwangjiny at all, thus could not sympathise with her. As for Nomi, I guess you know how I feel about him already.

Two beautiful yet underdeveloped characters are like pretty book covers without substance. Nice to look at, but a waste of time and/or money.

The plot:

Supposedly a take on the life and love of famous 16th century gisaeng Hwangjiny, who is noted for her exceptional beauty, charming quick-wit and extraordinary intellect.

Built-in umbrella & netting: The clever Hwanjiny devises a way to
keep pesky insects at bay

Hwangjiny The Movie attempts (but miserably fails) to shed light on the legendary courtesan.

Watch it:

Orchid bought the DVD.

Fellow Malaysians, beware of the copies distributed by a certain All Zone Entertainments. The English subtitles don’t make sense at all, so you’ll have to switch to the Bahasa Malaysia subtitles.

Other language subs are Chinese and Korean. Don’t know whether they work as well as the BM one because I can’t read Chinese.

Pics credit: HanCinema

Other Hwangjiny-related entries:
Hwangjini on the catwalk

Like the review? Check out K-popped!‘s other reviews here.