Kadokawa Mystery and Horror Tales, Volume 1-3


VOLUME 1
I liked all of these short stories... but they really didn't seem scary or mysterious. In one word, I'd say they were ironic. Meinichi was the only one that even bordered on "horror", and Desire To Kill was the only one I completely understood. For some reason, I didn't understand the significance of the endings for Meinichi and Cruel Kidnapping. But I'm sure it's something really obvious that I'm just overlooking...

They were all entertaining, and I'll definitely be watching the other volumes next. The directing in Meinichi in particular, was impressive-- I really loved some of the images he captured. My favorite story though, was probably Desire To Kill. But they were all good.


VOLUME 2
Awesome episodes! I liked them all, except perhaps Wooden Clogs. The other two though were excellent--I just loved the twists! Regeneration was cool, especially the ending, and the same goes for Last Days As A Teenager. The stories and the twists were excellent!

Overall, I liked these stories a lot better than the episodes in the 1st volume. I thought they seemed to fit the idea of "mystery" and "horror" a lot better--though I still think the ending for Wooden Clogs was really disappointing, even though I understood it. But still, overall, it's definitely worth a watch. ^_^


VOLUME 3
I liked all three of these stories, though if I had to pick a favorite from this volume it would be World of Infinity. Overall, they were a lot like what I expected: they truly embodied horror and mystery. Ghost House was a little predictable, but I still liked it, surprisingly enough. But it is a pretty standard Ghost Story, so don't expect too much from it. And Whispering Tree had a fantastic story, and although not particularly creepy, it kept me hooked from beginning to end.

I think this is the only volume where I enjoyed each story... in the other two volumes there was always one I just didn't seem to like. I don't know if I'd go so far as to say this was my favorite volume though...


FAVORITE EPISODES
After having watched all three of the volumes, I'd say that all of them were enjoyable--I really can't decide which volume I liked the most, although I did have a hard time choosing which episode I liked best from Volume 2. But here were my favorite episodes, categorized by volume:

Volume 1: Desire to Kill
Volume 2:
Regeneration/Last Day as a Teenager
Volume 3: World of Infinity

All the episodes are short, so I'd say they're definitely worth a watch if you have time to kill, or are just looking for something fun to watch.

My Rating:


Once Upon A Time In High School

Dang. I didn't like this movie as much as I thought I would. My main problem, surpringly enough, was the main character: I never realized it before, but it looks like I prefer strong protagonists, over weak, passive resistent ones. Hyun Soo wasn't exactly weak in all honesty... but for a majority of this film, he was a giant pushover. It made most of the film uncomfortable to watch, and he made me want to bang my head against a wall many times.

I've also discovered that I'm not a huge fan of Han Ga In, the girl that plays Hyun Soo's love interest. I've seen her in Super Rookie, and in a drama I've been help sub, Doctor Kkaeng... something about her just rubs me the wrong way. Of course, the character she played in this movie didn't help her case at all: I couldn't stand the character, and didn't understand what Hyun Soo saw in her! Thankfully Kwon Sang Woo is an amazing actor, and he made watching the movie more than worthwhile. ^_^

As for story and pacing... it was good. I must admit though, that by half-way through the movie I was tired of watching, and just wanted the story to end. It had a very strong beginning, and if the main character had been an easier character for me to root for, I would have enjoyed it a lot more. I think it just overshadowed the rest of the movie, and made it hard for me to enjoy it to its full potential. With every twist, I just wanted to scream, or shake one of the characters. I loved Hamburger though. He was a great, fun character. And the depiction of the school was really brutal. I can't believe how horrible teachers were allowed to treat students back then! I really couldn't blame Hyun Soo for finally snapping. It's just too bad it came so late...

In the beginning, I thought Bruce Lee would have a much bigger impact on Hyun Soo... instead, his influence didn't have any impact until the last 10 minutes of the movie. The main character seemed more moved by music, and 'turning the other cheek', than fighting. And the fight scenes weren't even that great. I've seen some great fight scenes in movies, and these just paled in comparison to all of those. These were more realistic, with lots of flailing, and head butts to stomachs.

Overall, it was a powerful film, though the moral came off a little ambiguous to me. But for some reason, I just couldn't enjoy into this movie the way I wanted to...

My Rating: