Category Archives: Movie Reviews

Your Daily Shot of Soju: Maria is, like, really really hot

“You Daily Shot of Soju” is my daily format for sharing random cultural thoughts, pictures and basically anything I want to in an easy to digest and read format. Expect to be updated Monday-Thursday, and probably once on the weekend.


Maria is the theme song for the Korean comedy “200 Pound Beauty.” In it a woman who is an amazing singer but is left to work the talented half of a Milli-Vanilli arrangement because she is too fat. I believe Aretha Franklin would never have become popular here.

Like most Korean comedies it becomes fairly serious, an the storyline goes pretty much to form. The movie is of note however because of a trend in South Korea towards plastic surgery. I would call it a growing trend, but that would be like saying Michael Jackson might have had some work done. In all fairness, this trend is hardly limited to South Korea and Japan is probably a bigger consumer of the plastics market.

Check the video below.

For a moment, I almost put crappy pop music as number 1:

Based on my observations, the four most important things to Korean culture are (in no particular order):

Beauty, health, education and money.

Sounds familiar.

The facial anatomy of a Korean Beauty:


Yah, she is pretty hot…although, I’ve always been partial to some freckles and a tan

Child Hood Obesity is not a laughing (oinking) matter:

We learned the word pig in my class room one day. Farm animals are fun I thought, third graders would get a kick out of it. Plus we could make animal noises. Those are always fun.

We learned Cow, I made cow noises and the students copied me. We learned horse, and the students copied. We learned cat, we learned dog, we learned chicken and we even learned rooster. Every animal came with a sound that the students were more than ready to copy. Then we came to pig. I made a pig sound, but that was it. No other sounds existed. Instead, there were only a cluster of tiny pointing fingers. A girl, who had grown fast for her age sat in the midst of the fingers, looking around, sheepishly. It was then I noticed…we had forgotten to do the word sheep!

The girl tried to smile. But it was overcome with the students all saying “teacher, she is pig.” It was only after the students let me know that the girl was a pig that the oink sounds began. I looked toward the back of the room, where the student’s home room teacher sat listening to the oinks and laughing to herself.

Actually yes, sometimes it is:


Work it Jr.

My nose is the rudder that guides me through life…to the candy section:

Rachel and I were watching TV the other day. On the screen there was a beautiful young actress who had, what Rachel described as, a “high nose.” A “high nose” is what we foreigners have that separates our eyes from one another and can sometimes give them the description of “sunken.” Asian genetics do not provide them with a “high nose,” but rather a flat space between the eyes that might indent up a little bit. Not everybody has the same feature, but it’s not uncommon. I have stopped being offended when students tell me I have a big nose, they mean this as a compliment. However, they still call me fat, which I just laugh at because I know that I am definitely not fat.

Rachel told me that she could tell the actress had plastic surgery and although it might not be obvious to me it was obvious to normal Korean people. Because her surgery was obvious, she told me, people do not respect her acting and singing as much. Although she was very talented. For a brief moment I pretended to listen, but just enough so I knew when to nod my head. Then Rachel asked me if she would look more beautiful with a high nose.

You know, plastic surgery can make some people truly happy:


If you’ve read this far you might actually care what my opinion is:

I have a rule about dating. One of the few actually. I will never date someone who has had plastic surgery. It’s not that I find anything immoral about it or don’t like people who do it. In fact, who am I to tell you anything? All I can know and control is myself.

It’s more that I usually like to date people who are able to look past their supposed weaknesses and find strength in them. It is our imperfections that make us human. It is our imperfections that make us beautiful.



Filed under Culture, Korean MTV, Movie Reviews, Things to Entertain You, Videos

Your Daily Shot of Soju: How to avoid getting killed by your dead ex-girlfriend with long black hair that covers her face?

“Your Daily Shot of Soju” is my daily format for sharing random cultural thoughts, pictures and basically anything I want to in an easy to digest and read format. Expect to be updated Monday-Thursday, and probably once on the weekend.

Movie Review; Pon (Phone) – 2002:

I suppose that girls are crazy. In fact I don’t suppose it, I know it. However, a little bit of craziness has never bothered me. Crazy people care. Crazy people are interesting. Crazy people have relatively interesting stories. I expect this from crazy people, and in fact I guess I’m a little crazy myself.

What I don’t expect from crazy people, girls particularly, is for them to haunt me in the event that we break up. This is a theme in Asian horror movies. Shutter and the Grudge both explore this crazy ex-girlfriend theme very well. So it was that I watched the Korean scary movie “Phone.”


The movie revolves around a female journalist who is decidedly not that crazy, at least in this movie. She has changed her phone number and is trying to find a new place to live. She does this because she has exposed the shady, childish underbelly of the Korean sex industry and her safety might be at risk, an idea underscored by the mysterious phone calls and snuff film emails she begins to receive. Let me save you some time though, this part of the plot has nothing to do with the actual story. The last time I felt this way about a huge chunk of a movie going absolutely nowhere Al Pacino was watching Apollonia blow up in a car.

Of the “crazy ex-girlfriend coming out of mirrors and having really long black hair that covers your face” genre it definitely isn’t as scary as The Grudge (especially the Japanese version) or Shutter. It’s actually fairly predictable in many (read; most) parts. But I have often wondered, what possesses a girl to go so crazy as to haunt someone she previously loved. This may seem like a fairly ridiculous question, but as someone who tends to enjoy dating girls who have a history of crazed behavior, it hits home to me. Are the guys they haunting amazing in bed? Are they just really funny? Are the girls just incredible losers who can’t find anybody else?

I suppose that if I were to take the “Scream” scary movie rules and apply them to the “crazy ex-girlfriend coming out of mirrors and having really long black hair that covers your face genre,” then the following rules would apply;

1. don’t date girls who are losers.

2. don’t date girls who are your grad students or are still in high school, especially when you are 40 years old and are already married/engaged

3. don’t date girls with really long black hair.

4. don’t (and this one is important) let your friends rape your ex-girlfriend and then take a picture of it with the camera that she bought for you

5. don’t buy a house for your girl on the side…love motels exist for a reason.

6. DON’T promise her ANYTHING…this will come back to you…and will  probably foreshadow your death

7. Don’t be funny. And finally

8. Don’t do anything that will make her happy in bed.

I’ve followed these rules my entire life (except 3 and maybe 1, depending on how I’m feeling) and I have yet to be haunted. Moving on.

So should you watch this movie? I liked it because I like scary movies in general. So if you also like scary movies, there you go…but if you don’t still watch it.

If for none other than this reason. The little girl in this movie is the most chilling thing I have seen in a long time. She carries every single scene she is in, and she’s only 8. This includes the most frightening scene of the movie when she becomes enamored with her porcelain dolls. She’s almost too good. When you watch her in one of her final scenes she, so completely, blows away every thing else the movie has to offer that I felt like giving her a standing ovation…the problem is, when you’re making a scary movie you want the audience to be frightened of the creepy little girl with the grin rather than in awe of her.

If you’ve never seen The Grudge or Shutter, I suggest you watch those. However, if you really want to see a girlfriend who gets a little too clingy too fast, this is the movie for you.

I suppose that the ex-girlfriends in all of these movies were wronged in their own way. But enough that you decide to haunt your offenders for the reminder of their short lives…especially when it’s like 5 years after the fact…this I don’t understand.

Either way, I made Rachel promise not to haunt me if we ever break up. She was non-committal.


Visual Stimulation:

After writing the above I found the scene at the end where the little girl basically tells every other member of the cast “I’m better than you, now get me a cookie.”

Piece of pop culture I’m diggin today:

Lack of facial hair. I’m not saying nobody in Korea has it, I’m just saying there’s not much of it.

Over the break I grew whatever type of beard it is in me to grow. Admittedly this is not much compared to some of my friends. But because there’s so little of it here, today on the first day back of school my kids were freaking out over it.

Better yet, I actually frightened a couple girls. I may never shave.

Piece of pop culture I miss today:

Supermarkets that sell things other than groceries. The light bulb in my bathroom burnt out and now in addition to being extremely cold it’s extremely dark. I can’t take a shower after 6 p.m.

There are supermarkets every 15 steps. I can’t find any place, within walking distance, that sells light bulbs. Maybe I’ll steal one from my school.

Other things in my apartment that are broken:

The key pad to my apartment building. Not the lock to my actual apartment but the one that allows people into the building.

My TV. It keeps jumping and skipping. I have to reset it every ten minutes or so or the screen goes blank and a picture of a well in the middle of an open field appears…really annoying.

My washing machine. If I put more than 3 shirts in it, it gets too heavy with water and tilts. Also I keep finding clumps of long black hair in it.

My mirrors. They keep reflecting these two little oval shaped lights back at me. And sometimes, if the light hits it just right it looks like theres a shadow behind me. This makes it very difficult to shave…if I would ever do it.

More video clips from “Phone.”

This music video shows pretty much every worth while scene in the movie. And more of the little creepy girl. I know, I’ve kind of ruined the movie for you now…if you were actually going to watch it.

Consider this a favor…

Watch Shutter Instead:

Good movie. Scary as hell. You won’t look at pictures or neck cramps the same way again.

And to top it all off the storyline is pretty on-point. I actually understand why this ex-girlfriend is pissed as hell.



Filed under Movie Reviews, Things to Entertain You, Videos