I told you I am pacing up with my Chinese drama watch! And surprisingly I am in luck because my second watch for this year was very different than my first drama. Candle in the Tomb is (kinda sorta) a Chinese version of Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider. But I love it more because it feels rather refreshing (for me at least since I haven’t seen similar genres in years) and I love anything that has an archaeological aspect with a little bit of fantasy. Even my son was glued to this show!
Many say that Candle in the Tomb is a web drama but for me, it feels very regular. The production of this drama is extremely good. My husband reminded me that this drama was produced by the same production as Snails. Well, it is a winner for me. The show is heavily CGI’d, though. I saw some flaws; not sure if you will notice it. But it didn’t bother me one bit. Because I was too engrossed with the story which, I just found out recently, that it was adopted from a novel with the same title. Would I want to read it? I don’t think so. I am not very imaginative when comes to fantasy drama. I am sure the director did a fantastic job in transferring the writer’s creative idea to live. Seriously, some scenes were spooky and it really made me scared! I once switched my watch out of fear of getting a nightmare. Yeah, it was that scary!
Candle in the Tomb told a story of two good friends, Hu Ba Yi and Wang Kai Xuan aka fatty. Both Fatty and Ba Yi have known each other since their comrade time. Ba Yi inherited his feng shui skills from his ancestors. His family has been using feng shui to locate ancient tombs. Fatty always tagging along with Ba Yi on treasure hunts. It makes perfect sense! They then teamed up with an archaeological team in pursuit of searching the ghost cave. Fatty took advantage of it hoping to score gold. The archaeological team wanted to find the queen’s tomb (which I can’t remember her name). But as they went on their adventure, Ba Yi felt it is their destiny to go along the path. For every puzzle they face, it somehow ties to their adventure.
The show feels like a journey. I enjoyed the ups and down of each character. I rated 8/10 in MDL for two reasons: the pacing of the show in the beginning of the series and Joe Chen. The first few episodes were draggy and boring. It is typically designed to introduce the characters but I think they could have made it more exciting and humorous. I am glad that it got better from episode 3 onwards. Another thing I dislike is Joe Chen’s character. She was introduced to us in episode 6 but she was passive for the first 1.5 episodes. I know she was merely absorbing and listening but it could have been done better. Furthermore, Joe seemed bored. Her one-dimensional face bothered me a bit.
Despite all that, I still recommend you to watch Candle in the Tomb. Well, it may remind you of The Lost Tomb, but I heard this show is way better! Now you may encounter some ridiculous things from this show. Let’s pick one. They are on this rough mission in a rough terrain desert but Joe Chen’s character Shirley appeared clean and well-rounded fabulous throughout the show! She finally got dirt all over her face towards the end of the series. You know it is bullsh*t to be so tidy and clean after two days out in a dusty desert. Yeap, that’s my beef. Other than that, this 21 episode drama is fun, entertaining and exciting. The ending was on an open side because the producer wants us to know that a prequel is coming up next. I can’t wait!
I traveled through time zones (from Washington DC, USA, to Colombo, Sri Lanka) and saw three movies that took place in three different times as well. Time is an essence in these movies. Here are my quick opinions on them!
Recommended by kfangurl (click here for her review), this is a Taiwanese movie that was aired last year. I was so looking forward to it but never had the opportunity to watch it. Finally, the moment has arrived and I’m glad I waited. Our Times is so precious! What a memorable movie! It was set in the 80s. Watching it is like you’re reminiscing your 80s life even though I was only a child back then. What I love this movie was the stunning performance by the lead. The music was awesomesauce! This movie is a story of Truly aka Lin Zhen Xin and her life told in under 2 hours and 14 minutes long. Her life was changed after she received a chain letter! You just have to watch it now! *laughs* Wait, did I mention I saw the movie three times? Yeap, the quality of this movie speaks volume! It was THAT fabulous!
Nobunaga Concerto: The Movie
Yeap, the movie! I loved Nobunaga Concerto, the drama so much! The movie? This is another movie I saw three times! Excellent movie to be honest. The story continues from where the drama left off. We again follow the life of Saburo transported through times and met his doppelganger Lord Nobunaga. Saburo stepped in for Lord Nobunaga place and ruled with compassion. The real Lord Nobunaga who is now known as Lord Oda eventually got jealous and he was then driven by Tahara’s vengeance to put Saburo on the chopping block or sacrifice his life. This movie is a must watch! It is quite funny and entertaining! The background music was so awesome. Once again, Shun Oguri shines! He’s truly a star!
Mood of the Day
This movie reminds me of One Fine Day! It all happens on the day they met. The universe was telling them that they are meant for each other. But surely, she is attached and in on the cross line between moving forward with her fiance or take a leap of faith. And Soo Jung answer was ahead of her. She met handsome Jae Hyun on the train and her life was immediately stirred by him. He is such a flirty man from the start. She didn’t know how to react. But by the end of the day, she was convinced that there was something more with Jae Hyun than she was bargaining for. Compares to the first two movies I saw, Mood of the Day is quite refreshing since it took place in today’s world. I like it but not enough to watch it again. Bel fell asleep watching it! Eeeep!
I told myself that I will watch more Japanese dramas this year. Heh, I’m branching a little more from my list. This is another Chinese drama added to my watch list. I don’t even know why am I watching it. Peer pressure mostly. The reason why I hesitant to watch due to dubbing. Why? Most Chinese dramas require dubbing because the northern Chinese have deeper and harder to understand pronounciation whereas the southern are easier to pick up and understand. The main actress is from Taiwan and she, too, have her own accent. And even that, you noticed that they have Chinese subs as well… That is because sometimes it doesn’t get dub quick enough so they roll out the drama with Chinese subs. I am not a diva but I prefer to be without dubbing but I get it, even some Chinese can’t understand the other party. I grew up with the language so I’m biased. This is why it takes me a long time to watch this drama… I just can’t stand how it sound *cries*.
But these weren’t the only things I’m picking on! I feel that Cruel Romance is overrated. It’s a so-so drama in my humble opinion but still very interesting to watch. I love the story line and the actions but I can’t help but rolling my eyes on the romance. So much cheesy and gooey that I just can’t….! And the drama is too damn draggy for my taste. I feel bad that I put this drama on hold for the longest time and finally, I feel that it’s time to drop it. No offense to all Cruel Romance lovers… I can’t see eye to eye with this show. I’m so done. To the drop list it goes… Zhaijian, Cruel Romance!