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November 20, 2015

All best actor nominees a 'no show' at Daejong awards

SEOUL, Nov. 20 (Yonhap) -- All best actor nominees for South Korea's oldest film awardshow this year will not be attending the event on Friday, as the institution remains mired in controversy.

This year's best actor nominees for the Daejong Film Awards are Hwang Jung-min of "Ode to My Father," Son Hyun-joo of "Chronicles of Evil," Yoo Ah-in of "The Throne," and Ha Jung-woo of "Assassination," all of whom will be absent, the organizers said.

The five best actress nominees -- Kim Yun-jin of "Ode to My Father," Jun Ji-hyun of "Assassination," Kim Hye-soo of "Coin Locker Girl," Uhm Jung-hwa of "Wonderful Nightmare," and Han Hyo-joo of "Beauty Inside" -- will also miss the event.

The same goes for Kim Soo-hyun and Gong Hyo-jin who have been chosen as best actor and actress by an online vote.

Most cited scheduling conflicts and overseas business trips as the reason, but the Daejong Film Awards has recently suffered a blow to its image as the most prestigious movie honors in South Korea.

Last month, the awards committee announced it would rescind the honors if the winners were absent at the ceremony, causing backlash from the acting community.

The paid nature of the online voting system also raised concerns that the committee was exploiting movie fans for profit.

The logistics side of the organization proved problematic after the committee flip-flopped on its decision to create a new awards category. It also listed the profile of another actress as that of a best new actress nominee.

But organizers remained firm in their policy and vowed to go ahead with the ceremony.

"The Daejong Film Awards is an honor given out by our citizens," Cho Geun-woo, the awards' business manager, said. "I think the nominees who decided not to come have the wrong attitude."

   The 52nd Daejong Film Awards will be broadcast live on KBS 2TV from 7:20 p.m.

sojungpark@yna.co.kr

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November 25, 2015

Who will smile at Blue Dragon Awards?

The 36th Blue Dragon Film Awards, one of the major film award ceremonies in South Korea, will see 2015’s hit films contend for the top prizes on Thursday. 

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Song Kang-ho, Yoo Ah-in, Jung Jae-young, Lee Jung-jae and Hwang Jung-min (OSEN)

Other annual awards include May’s Paeksang Arts Awards and November’s Korean Association of Film Critics Awards and Daejong Awards.

For the upcoming event, films “Ode to My Father,” “The Classified File,” “Assassination,” “Veteran” and “The Throne” were nominated for the Best Film Award.

“Assassination,” directed by Choi Dong-hoon and Caper Films production, drew attention this time as it boasts the highest number of cross-field nominations ? best film, director, main actor, main actress, supporting actor, filming, technique, script and more ? which came to a total of 12 nominees across 11 categories. 

“Veteran” was listed in 10 categories, “The Throne” in nine and “Ode to My Father” in eight.

The directors of the films -- Choi Dong-hoon of “Assassination,” Ryu Seung-wan of “Veteran,” Gwak Gyung-taek of “The Classified File,” Lee Joon-ik of “The Throne” and Yoon Je-kyoon of “Ode to My Father”-- will vie for the Best Director award. 

Both Best Film and Best Director awards from the 52nd Daejong Awards on Sunday had gone to “Ode to My Father,” while “The Throne” took the Best Film title and Ryu Seung-wan of “Veteran” the Best Director honor at the 35th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards last week. 

The industry is keenly watching whether “Assassination” will be able to match its rivals at the Blue Dragon Awards. 

In the best actor category, Song Kang-ho and Yoo Ah-in, who were father and son in “The Throne,” will contend for the trophy. Lee Jung-jae from “Assassination” and Jung Jae-young of “Right now, Wrong then” and Hwang Jung-min of “Veteran” are also nominees for the prize. 

Hwang had won the equivalent award at the Daejong Awards, Jung at KAFCA and Lee at the Buil Film Awards held Oct. 2. 

In the best actress category, Kim Hye-soo of “Coin Locker Girl,” Lee Jung-hyun of “Alice in Earnestland,” Jun Do-yeon of “The Shameless,” Jun Ji-hyun of “Assassination” and Han Hyo-joo of “Beauty Inside” were nominated. 

Jun won the honor at Daejong, Kim at KAFCA and Jun at the Buil Awards. 

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Kim Hye-soo, Lee Jung-hyun, Jun Ji-hyun, Jun Do-yeon and Han Hyo-joo (OSEN)

In the supporting actor category, Bae Sung-woo from “Office,” Yoo Hae-jin from “Veteran,” Jo Jin-woong from “Assassination,” Oh Dal-su from “Ode to My Father” and Lee Kyung-young from “Minority Opinion” were nominated. 

Oh won at the Daejong Awards and Lee in the Buil Awards. The two costarred in “Assassination.” 

In the supporting actress category, Moon Jung-hee of “Cart,” Jun Hye-jin of “The Throne,” Ra Mi-ran of “Ode to My Father,” Jang Young-nam of “The Classified File” and Jin Kyung of “Veteran” were nominated. 

Moon holds the trophy from the Buil Awards.

Lastly in the newcomer actor category, Park Seo-joon from “The Chronicle of Evil,” Lee Min-ho from “Gangnam Blues,” Kang Ha-neul from “Twenty,” Byun Yo-han from “Social Phobia” and Choi Woo-shik from “Set Me Free” were nominated.

The according prizes had gone to Lee Min-ho at Daejong Awards, Choi Woo-shik at KAFCA and Byun Yo-han at Buil Awards. 

For the newcomer actress category, Gwon So-hyun of “Madonna,” Lee Yoo-young of “Late Spring,” Park So-dam of “The Silenced,” Seolhyun of “Gangnam Blues” and Lee Yu-bi of “Twenty” were nominated. 

Gwon won the award at KAFCA, while Lee of “Late Spring” won at both the Buil and Daejong awards. However, for the Blue Dragon Awards, Lee was nominated for her other work, “The Treacherous.”

Winners will be announced for 18 categories. The decision will be based on the combined data from surveys carried out among film industry experts on movies released between Nov. 1, 2014, and Oct. 8, 2015. An online public poll will also be taken into consideration. 

The trophy-holders will be crowned on Thursday at the 36th Blue Dragon Film Awards to be held at Seoul’s Kyung Hee University. 

By Lim Jeong-yeo (kaylalim@heraldcorp.com)

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November 27, 2015

Stars Come Together for Annual Blue Dragon Awards

Source: The Chosun Ilbo

Top actors and actresses gathered for this year's Blue Dragon Awards on Thursday, after shunning the Daejong Film Awards, one of the most prestigious film awards, last week in a suspiciously coordinated boycott to protest organizers' poor management and lack of transparency.

The brightest stars were Yoo Ah-in and Lee Jung-hyun, who took the best actor and actress awards for their roles in "The Throne" and "Alice in Earnestland."

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"I think I'm ill-suited for this kind of stage... I still can't believe this [award] is mine," Yoo said in his acceptance speech. 

"I believe I'm here today thanks to all the love and support from the audience," said Lee, who eventually got through an emotional speech after bursting into tears behind the podium.

"I never thought I stood a chance because it was such a small-scale indie film and the other nominees are such great actresses. It's been almost 20 years since I was first recognized as an actress with 'A Petal' in 1996, and won the best new actress award," she said. 

The indie film "Alice in Earnestland" -- which tells with the story of a poor woman who lives a life devoid of hope as she struggles to keep up payments to the hospital that cares for her husband, who is in a vegetative state -- drew about 43,000 moviegoers.

"The Assassination," which depicts Korean independence fighters' struggle against Japanese colonial rule in the 1930s, won the best film award.

Oh Dal-su (for "Ode to My Father") and Jun Hye-jin (for "The Throne") won the best supporting actor and actress awards.

So far this year, three Korean films have drawn over 10 million viewers -- "Ode to My Father" (14.26 million), "Veteran" (13.41 million) and "The Assassination" (12.7 million). 

Domestic films attracted 98.52 million viewers as of Wednesday this year, and are on course to surpass the 100 million mark for a fourth consecutive year.

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November 27, 2015

Kim Hye-soo, ‘All Hail the Queen!’

Source: BNTNews

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[by Hwang Ji Eun, translated by Yoonjung Yi] On November 26, ‘The 36th Blue Dragon Film Awards’ was held at Kyung Hee University Hall of Peace in Seoul.

‘The Blue Dragon Film Awards’, after being first held in 1963, contributed to the development of Korea’s film industry and established itself as the most trusted awards to filmmakers and movie fans in Korea. 

Meanwhile, ‘The Blue Dragon Film Awards’ gather Netizen’s votes and movie critiques’ opinions and select nominees and movie candidates. Then, the judge committee members, carefully selected by execution committee, revise the finalists for ‘The Blue Dragon Film Awards’. (photo by bntnews DB)

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November 29, 2015

45-Year-Old Actress Kim Hye Soo Surprises Netizens With Her Unbelievable Figure

Source: Soompi by kiddy_days

45-Year-Old Actress Kim Hye Soo Surprises Netizens With Her Unbelievable Figure
Actress Kim Hye Soo is heating up the Internet after an unedited photo of her at a hair studio surfaced.

On November 27, two photos began to circulate online with captions and titles identifying the pictures as those of Kim Hye Soo just before the Blue Dragon Film Awards.

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Kim Hye Soo is wearing a tight black T-shirt and black jeans. She is also wearing a belt around her waist. While her outfit is not fancy, it certainly shows off her amazing figure, especially for being 45 years old.

Netizens marveled at her figure, saying, “Her upper body is voluminous and her legs are skinny.”

Source (1)

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December 17, 2015

What Movie Ticket Sales Say About Tastes Across the Country

Source: The Chosun Ilbo

Seoul citizens made up 24 percent of cinemagoers in the country this year. Films which see a flood of advance ticket sales tend to have a high percentage of audiences from Seoul, mainly due to a more established culture of booking tickets. 

Films with a high percentage of audiences from the provinces tended to stay at the top of the box office for longer.

Stars who sell in Seoul tend to get their film to the top of box office in the first week of its release, while actors who tend to be popular in the provinces get films to enjoy extended popularity.

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Analysis by the Korean Film Council of actors who have at least two successful films that attracted at least 5 million viewers in the past five years shows that Ha Jung-woo, Song Kang-ho, Kim Hye-soo, Han Hyo-joo, and Lee Jung-jae are popular in Seoul.

The figure was calculated by comparing the number of cinemagoers by region.

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In the provinces, films starring Son Ye-jin, Sol Kyung-gu, Kim Soo-hyun, Ryu Seung-ryong, and Son Hyun-joo performed strongly. 

It is notable that actors in their 20s such as Yu A-in, Kim Soo-hyun, and Shim Eun-kyung tend to be popular in the province

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Top 10 Korean Films of 2015

By Pierce Conran MKC (Modern Korean Cinema)

10. Steel Flower

9. Coin Locker Girl

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Another gangster film, but refreshingly led by a pair of strong actresses, Coin Locker Girl was an impressive debut from Han Jun-hee. Full of subtle but effective tricks that lift its admittedly simple narrative, the surprise Cannes invitee turned out to be one of the year’s best commercial films. But make no mistake about it, the film works because of its leads, particularly the transformed Kim Hye-su as a grizzled criminal Queenpin.

8. Gangnam Blues

7. The Exclusive: Beat the Devil's Tattoo

6. Inside Men

5. Reach for the SKY

4. Alone

3. Madonna

2. Veteran 

1. Right Now, Wrong Then

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December 25, 2015

Top 10 Korean films of 2015

By Jason Bechervaise The Korea Times

At the box office, despite a slow start, Korean films continued to perform well in 2015. Admissions for local films surpassed 100 million for the fourth consecutive year with the local market share for the year expected to be at approximately 50 percent or perhaps a little higher. 

Typically, it's the latter six months, especially in the months of July and August when the local industry gets into full swing. This year was no exception as seen with "Assassination" (12.7 million admissions) and "Veteran" (13.4 million). Since then, local films have remained popular at the box office. November, a traditionally quiet month saw two further unexpected hits: "The Priests" and "Inside Men." 

Critically, established filmmakers have made their mark such as Ryoo Seung-wan ("Veteran") and Hong Sang-soo ("Right Now, Wrong Then"), but there's only one debut filmmaker in my top ten below reflecting a weak year for new filmmakers. 

All the films below were released in Korean cinemas this year.

1. Veteran 

Korean films can often be dark, gritty and violent. "Veteran" is all of these, yet it's richly entertaining through Ryoo Seung-wan's witty screenplay, making it one of the most enjoyable viewing experiences of the year. Superbly acted by the electric Hwang Jung-min and Yoo Ah-in, Ryoo does what he does best and delivers an action-packed film that also tackles the issues of justice, corruption, and the chaebol (conglomerates) as it follows a detective who pursues a young and obnoxious heir of a powerful conglomerate.

2. Right Now, Wrong Then 

Renowned auteur Hong Sang-soo can divide opinion but his latest film "Right Now, Wrong Then" has deservedly received wide critical acclaim as illustrated by the Golden Leopard the film won at the 68th Locarno Film Festival together with Best Actor for Jung Jae-young. Again playing with narrative structure and repetition, Hong devises an enchanting story about an encounter between a director and a painter but tells it twice with slight variations. Quintessentially Hong, but it's also the sterling leading performances by Jung and Kim Min-hee that resonate.

3. Madonna

It's perhaps too punishing for some viewers but Shin Su-won's ("Pluto") third feature is a layered and absorbing drama about some of the difficulties a woman marginalized by society faces. Dealing with prostitution and misogyny, Shin's approach is courageous and thought- provoking. Kwon So-hyun in her first role in a film delivers a captivating performance as Madonna -- a young woman who is abused by the men around her. 

4. Factory Complex 
One of the most exciting areas of Korean film over the past two years is in the realm of documentaries. Premiering in Busan in 2014, "Factory Complex" directed by Im Heung-soon went on to screen at festivals around the world and was awarded the Silver Lion at the 56th Venice Biennale in May. Im's superb sophomore feature intelligently deconstructs the so-called "Miracle on the Han River" as it unveils the plight of female workers past and present through interviews, stills and other footage. 

5. A Midsummer's Fantasia 
Reminiscent of Richard Linklater's "Before Sunrise," Jang Kun-jae's "A Midsummer's Fantasia" might be a little protracted for some, but the realist aesthetic and enigmatic documentary-like structure captures something rather alluring and profound. Split into two parts, the first half is shot in black and white and follows a Korean director scouting for locations in a Japanese rural town. Inspired by a story told in the first part, the second half is captured in color and is about a romance between a Korean woman and a local man.

6. Alive
Actor and director Park Jung-bum utilizes his talents behind and in front of the camera to deliver a second compelling feature about those struggling to survive in a society riddled with inequality. Akin to "The Journals of Musan" Park plays a character trying to maintain a source of income with little in the way of support to help him. Set in Gangwon Province and beautifully shot, Park's film is not a rant; instead it's a carefully and smartly constructed feature that rightly sheds light on injustices in today's society.

7. Revivre 
Sometimes dubbed as the father of Korean cinema, Im Kwon-taek has now made a whopping 102 features spanning more than 50 years. While in recent years, his films haven't connected with audiences in the same way his more renowned pieces of work have, "Revivre" marks a return to form for Im. Produced by Myung films ("JSA"), his latest, starring Ahn Sung-ki in his best role since "Unbowed" deals with the subject of grief through his captivating narrative structure.

8. Inside Men 

Both graphic and grim in its depiction of corruption as it follows the relationships between a journalist, congressman, political henchman and a prosecutor, Woo Min-ho's "Inside Men" has been a surprise hit accumulating over 6.5 million admissions. Its success is largely down to strong word-of-mouth. Expertly executed and riveting from start to finish. Lee Byung-hun and Cho Seung-woo also give scintillating performances. 

9. Gangnam Blues 
Yoo Ha's noir action film starring Lee Min-ho and Kim Rae-won provides a fascinating glimpse into how the district of Gangnam was drawn up amidst rampant corruption in the real estate market in the 1970s. Visually, it's arguably the film of the year. The cinematography, lighting and choreography are outstanding. It does, however overstretch itself and so demands more than one viewing, especially for those unfamiliar with the backdrop.

10. Coin Locker Girl

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Directed by Han Jun-hee (feature debut), the film stars Kim Hye-soo in one of the strongest performances by an actress this year. Set in Incheon's Chinatown, a girl who is abandoned in a coin locker is sold to a boss of an organ trafficking ring. What elevates the film is Han's well-crafted execution and use of mise-en-scène that was likely a factor in securing an invitation to the Cannes film Festival in May. 

Jason Bechervaise is a film columnist for The Korea Times. He can be reached at jase@koreanfilm.org.uk.

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December 27, 2015

Kim Hye-soo to appear in tvN new drama

Source: The Korea Times

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Actress Kim Hye-soo, left, waves to photographers and fans at the 36th Blue Dragon Awards ceremony held in November 2015. / Korea Times file

Actress Kim Hye-soo, 45, is filming episodes for her first cable channel drama titled "Signal."

The drama, which will start airing on Jan. 22, signal's Kim's return to the small screen for the first times in three years since her last appearance in "Queen of the Workplace" on KBS.

Kim had been more active on the big screen in such films as "The Thieves" (2012) and "The Coin Locker Girl" (2015).

The upcoming drama is garnering attention because it replaces the time slot _ Friday and Saturday 8: 30 p.m. now occupied by the highly popular "Reply 1988."

The anticipation is that Kim's appearance, along with fellow actors Lee Je-hoon and Jo Jin-woong, will continue tvN's success in that time slot.

Kim reportedly will receive 50 million won ($42,716) per episode. She plays a 15-year veteran cop, Cha Soo-hyun.

janee@ktimes.com

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January 14, 2016

Stars of new cable drama "Signal"

Stars of new cable drama

Lead actors of a new drama on cable channel tvN pose for photos at a promotional press event in Seoul on Jan. 14, 2016. To air from Jan. 22, the drama features detectives who start solving cold cases through messages coming from the past on their walkie-talkies. From left -- Cho Jin-woong, Kim Hye-soo and Lee Je-hoon. (Yonhap) (END)

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January 14, 2016

New tvN thriller to pick up where 'Reply 1988' left off

By Park Sojung

SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) -- With only two episodes left in tvN's "Reply 1988" series, all eyes are on the program that will take over the cable network's Friday and Saturday night time slots after the popular soap opera concludes this weekend.

"Signal" is of an entirely different genre than the episodic, family drama of "Reply 1988." In the upcoming crime thriller, two detectives at present and another from the past communicate via walkie-talkie to solve cold cases.

"Reply 1988," which captivated South Koreans of all ages and generated millions of dollars in profit, would no doubt be a hard act to follow, but "Signal" producer Kim Won-seok says he's not too worried.

Producer Kim Won-seok responds to questions at a press conference discussing his upcoming tvN soap opera "Signal" in Seoul on Jan. 14, 2016. (Yonhap)

Producer Kim Won-seok responds to questions at a press conference discussing his upcoming tvN soap opera "Signal" in Seoul on Jan. 14, 2016. (Yonhap)

"Worrying doesn't help anyway, I think," Kim told reporters at a press conference in Seoul. Kim directed "Misaeng," tvN's office drama sensation from 2014. "I worked really hard on 'Misaeng,' but I never thought many people would like it. It's the same with 'Signal.' I don't mind if the show doesn't match 'Misaeng''s success as long as I'm not embarrassed by it."

Despite their obvious differences, "Signal" and its predecessor "Reply 1988" have a lot in common, Kim said.

"Those who loved watching 'Reply 1988' value family and yearn for the more humanistic past. Our show won't be too alien to them," he said. "Even though 'Signal' has a different approach, it drives home the same message as that of 'Reply 1988.'"

"Signal" stars actor Lee Je-hoon from the 2012 romance movie "Architecture 101," veteran actress Kim Hye-soo and actor Cho Jin-woong from the 2012 crime movie "Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time." Cho plays the role of a deceased detective who communicates with his former colleagues Park Hae-young (Lee) and Cha Soo-hyeon (Kim) through a radio transceiver.

The pilot episode airs on Jan. 22.

The main cast of tvN's upcoming drama "Signal." From left, actor Cho Jin-woong, actress Kim Hye-soo and actor Lee Je-hoon. (Yonhap)

The main cast of tvN's upcoming drama "Signal." From left, actor Cho Jin-woong, actress Kim Hye-soo and actor Lee Je-hoon. (Yonhap)

sojungpark@yna.co.kr

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January 14, 2016

[In-depth] "Signal" Kim Hye Soo's class

Source: OSEN via Hancinema.net

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Actress Kim Hye-soo is coming back with the drama "Signal". At an event introducing the drama, Kim Hye-soo who is on her 30th year of acting, showed her class that left a deep impression on the viewers.

Kim Hye-soo is starring in the tvN drama "Signal" with Lee Je-hoon and Jo Jin-woong.

Detectives from the present encounter a signal from detectives of the past and reinvestigate unsolved cases once again in "Signal" which is written by Kim Eun-hee-I and directed by Kim Won-seok.

Kim Hye-soo takes on the role of Cha Soo-hyeon, a 15 year veteran detective. Lee Je-hoon is a profiler named Park Hae-yeong on the unsolved cases team and Jo Jin-woong is detective Lee Jae-han from the year 1989. Cha Soo-hyeon exists in the past and current world and according to the actress, she's a justifiable detective who physically fights crime and is in love with Lee Jae-han.

At first she didn't know it was a drama. She thought it was a movie but later realized that it was a drama. Apparently it was fun speaking to Jo Jin-woong and Lee Je-hoon on the radio.

There's a line spoken by Kim Hye-soo in the drama; "20 years is a big change" and that got her thinking, "I couldn't find a reason not to be in this drama" she says. "Je-hoon prepares a lot for his role and Jin-woong does a lot of action. I am a detective here so I knew there would be action but not this intense. I got hurt a lot".

Those who were watching Kim Hye-soo on V App said she spoke well and complimented her. However, Kim Hye-soo herself was too busy complimenting Jo Jin-woong and Lee Je-hoon. She said Jo Jin-woong was Lee Jae-han himself and Lee Je-hoon was so modest. "I didn't know he was this attractive looking and he has a good voice".

She laughed like a little girl and said it was fun. She also seemed girlish and said things like, "I am so afraid of those things" during the interview.

She was asked if she was angry sometimes and she answered, "I don't get angry. I can't forgive crime against children though. I think our country is too lenient with these crimes. That makes me angry".

Kim Hye-soo was asked to mention a highlight of the movie and she said, "In the beginning of the drama, the intensity is great. The scene where we radio each other was really fun. In the middle of the drama, you'll be able to listen to each character's story and how they are involved with one another. I chose the drama because it was fun in the beginning but as I get to the middle I can't even remember what the beginning was about".

Kim Hye-soo has always been a strong characters in any drama or movie and she said, "This drama will be deliver a strong message and it won't waste your time".

"Signal" will be broadcast on the 22nd at 8:30PM.

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January 15, 2016

[StarN Focus] Kim Hye Soo @ press conference for her new drama, 'Signal'

Source: STARN News

[StarN Focus] Kim Hye Soo @ press conference for her new drama, 'Signal'

On January 14th, press conference for channel tvN's new TV series, 'Signal,' was held at Times Square Mall in Yeoungdeungpo, Seoul.

Actress Kim Hye Soo attended the conference in black and white outfits, mesmerizing people with her beautiful look.

As she was asked who she would like to talk to if she could have a conversation with someone from 20 years ago, and she replied, "This is a very private wish, but I want to talk to the man who I was in love with back then. I just want to hear his voice once again."

Meanwhile, 'Signal' is going to premiere on January 22nd.

[StarN Focus] Kim Hye Soo @ press conference for her new drama, 'Signal'

[StarN Focus] Kim Hye Soo @ press conference for her new drama, 'Signal'

[StarN Focus] Kim Hye Soo @ press conference for her new drama, 'Signal'

/Reporting by Lee Jun-Hyeun en@starnnews.com

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January 16, 2016

[HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Signal"

Source: Hancinema.net

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Regular viewers of tvN may have noticed that the station likes to keep its usual actors and creators close. Here to take this one step further is "Signal", the approach of which brings back memories of the station's "Gabdong - The Serial Killer". The drama will be the second tvN show based on the Hwaseong serial murders, but unlike its predecessor it comes with a supernatural twist.

Premise

Detectives from the current timeline are able to communicate with one from the 80s through a set of walkie-talkies. Together they try to solve a case in the present and change the events of the past.

The Worrying

Screen 2

TvN Treatment

TvN is a very popular cable channel which has worked hard to get to this point. At the same time, their content is mainly within the romance genre and the pressure of success has had its influence in how they handle their shows. The quality of their stories has not been consistent for some time and fanservice is plentiful. Their last crime show, "Hidden Identity" was a case of style over substance. The channel will therefore have to place story and quality first in order for "Signal" to work.

Hwaseong Killings

"Memories of Murder" is a very successful and critically acclaimed film. When "Gabdong - The Serial Killer" came out, it was a fresh approach to the true story both are based on and one drama audiences had not experienced. "Signal" and its time bending approach are new, but attaching it to already well explored source material is worrisome. This is hopefully a mere case of inspiration turned into an advertising tool, rather than lack of an original story to tell.

The Reassuring

PD and Writer Duo

As much as tvN has had its ups and downs in content quality, its PD and writer are both more than capable of handling the series. Kim Won-seok is an integral part of the success of "Incomplete Life" and one who will no doubt have enough creative freedom to do his work well. Writer Kim Eun-hee-I might have been a co-writer in "Sign", which is a well known example of failure due to hectic filming conditions, but she is good with the genre and her last show, "Three Days" was solid.

Strong Cast

Relying on star power alone is definitely wise to avoid as an mindset, but having capable and experienced actors can help any story a lot. With Lee Je-hoon, Kim Hye-soo and Jo Jin-woong leading, "Signal" has a very powerful cast of main characters. This is also an encouraging indicator for the station's intentions. Picking a type of show and cast which do not revolve around youth, looks and popularity could show they are reaching for quality content, rather than people pleasing.

Final Thoughts

"Signal" is looking great so far. The promotional material pile on the mystery and nostalgia, the cast is looking great and the creators can be trusted with their material. The series has a good chance at being a very good one, but only if low ratings and jittery hands do not meddle. If the names involved are any indication, there is at least faith in this project so far.

"Signal" begins its run on January 22nd and will air every Friday and Saturday at 8:30pm, on tvN.

Still 2

Character Poster 2

Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

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January 18, 2016

Child actors who became 'irreplaceable'

Source: The Korea Times

Spoiler

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Leonardo DiCaprio in a scene from "Revenant" (top) and "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" (1993)

Hollywood western thriller movie "Revenant" grabbed No.1 spot in box office last weekend and embossed its lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who won the Best Performance in Drama category in the 73rd Golden Globe Awards, with impressive performance.

A media report suggested Monday that his charisma as an actor has been chiseled since his early career as a teenage actor, debuting with sci-fi horror movie "Critters 3" (1991) at age of 17. The American star, now 41, was praised for his supporting role in drama movie "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" (1993) where he portrayed a kid with developmental disability.

In Korea, several actors and actresses who are now boasting irreplaceable presence in motion pictures and TV have also been active in the field of acting since they were a teenager or a pre-teen.

Spoiler

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Yoo Ah-in in a scene from "Boys of Tomorrow" (2006)

Actor Yoo Ah-in, who spent the hottest year of his career in 2015 starring in movies "Veteran," "The Throne" and SBS TV drama "Six Flying Dragons," began his acting career at the same age DiCaprio debuted, starring in TV teen drama "Rounding" (2003-2005) on KBS. His movie debut was "Boys of Tomorrow" (2006).

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Yoo Seung-ho in a scene from "The Way Home" (2002)

Actor Yoo Seung-ho, the male lead character of SBS TV drama "Remember," started his acting career at age of seven in MBC TV drama "Daddy Fish" (2000). He became popular with his movie debut "The Way Home" (2002). He attracted wide media coverage when he returned from serving 21 month-long mandatory military service in 2014.

 

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Go Ah-sung in a scene from "The Host" (2006)

Actress Go Ah-sung, the winner of various awards with her roles in movies -- "The Host" (2006) and "Snowpiercer" (2013) -- and TV dramas, started her acting at age of 10 in stage musical "Peter Pan" (2002). She portrayed a rookie office lady in crime thriller "Office" (2015), and her latest movie "A Melody to Remember" is opening in theaters next week.

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Kim Hye-soo in a scene from "Tazza: The High Rollers" (2006)

Veteran actress Kim Hye-soo, who has been domineering in Korean cinema and often been symbolized as a femme fatale based on her roles in movies, debuted in 1986 at age of 16 in movie "Ggambo." Since the movie, she often played roles that are older than her actual age. She comes back to the small screen with "Signal" on tvN, where she portrays a detective. 

aoshima11@ktimes.com

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January 20, 2016

Kim Hye Soo Returns to Small Screen with Detective Series

Source: The Chosun Ilbo

Kim Hye-soo

Actress Kim Hye-soo is returning to TV screens with a crime series that is set to start airing on cable channel tvN this week. 

It has been about three years since she appeared in the drama "Queen of the Office" on KBS, which drew high viewer ratings with its sympathetic portrayal of the lives of salaried workers.

"I didn't plan to do a TV project, but I read what I thought was a film script, and said to myself: 'I have to do this,'" she said at a press event for the series "Signal" in Seoul last week. 

Kim plays a veteran detective in the new series. 

"I was frightened just reading the script. It was tightly plotted and quite impressive," she said.

"I was also drawn in by the tales of detectives trying to close unsolved crime cases," she added. 

"I have done my best to prepare for the series. I think that's all that matters. If the results are good, that would be even better," she said. 

"Signal" is a time slip series revolving around two detectives, one in the present and the other from the 1980s. Communicating across time, they team up to investigate long-unsolved crimes. 

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January 24, 2016

'Signal' lures record TV audience

Source: The Korea Times

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"Signal" / Screen captures from tvN

New cable program "Signal" has posted a record audience after only two episodes.

The Friday/Saturday drama, which airs on tvN, registered a national rating average of 6.3 percent on Friday and 7.3 percent for the second episode on Saturday, according to Nielsen Korea and reports.

The drama is about detectives working on "cold" cases.

Veteran actress Kim Hye-soo, who has been dominating Korean cinema and often plays a femme fatale, is Cha Soo-hyun, a charismatic, experienced detective. The drama is Kim's long-awaited return to the small screen. Her last TV drama role was in "Queen of the Office" in 2013.

ejb@ktimes.com

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