I actually quite enjoyed watching mini-dramas despite the product placement overload. I love the simplicity of it and I just like that we get to see a story that gets straight to the point. This mini-drama centres around the a famous songwriter who experiences love at first sight (LINE) moments before popular a girl who causes his heart to flutter is due to head back to China. Popular instant messaging app LINE plays an integral part to their romance as the mini-drama is co-produced by LINE Naver and HB entertainment. The one thing that I have learnt with watching mini-dramas is to take everything lightly and that’s what I did here.
HB entertainment was the group behind the hit drama You From Another Star (AKA My Love from the Star OR You Who Came from the Stars) and you can definitely feel YFAS vibes here. Song Yi’s manager and stylist are here this time working for Lee Min Ho‘s character. Although the mini-drama doesn’t say so specifically but I’d like to think that they carried on my YFAS which is why I am using their names from YFAS here. Read more
It is me or that the themes of each of these eps quite mismatched? Well, it’s certainly not constant that’s for sure. Last week’s ep was metropolis in Singapore while this ep is happiness in Korea. The happiness came in the end with some pain in between. Last week’s ep could be described as metropolis but I think that it would suit better if these two eps have a swap in theme. It’s something minor but I had to point it out!
Now, getting onto the ep itself, this was another satisfying story but it just felt like it was nearly there but not there. Teasers and trailers can be so misleading at times. I thought the Singapore ep wasn’t going to be as good as I anticipated but it was actually much better while it was vice versa for this story. I enjoyed it but it was came about as a story without much context rather than one that had a force driving for the feelings that came about. These recent two stories just felt like love was thrown in their for no apparent reason because that was literally what happen. It just suddenly just came rushing in at the end but it wasn’t something unexpected. I just wished that there were more obvious hints prior to it so that it would feel more realistic.
This ep overcame the communication barriers with a plausible explanation and I liked that this explanation came about because I need that information in front of me in order for me to actually accept it as it is. King (Yeon Jung Hoon) understands Cantonese but cannot speaking while Linda (Linda Chung) understands Korean but does not speak it and hires King to teach her how to speak Korean. I liked that we got to hear some English from both actors as well as them throwing in phrases from each other’s native language. That was actually quite cute. Read more
The ep was actually much better than what the trailer showed. The trailer was distraught, disjointed and misleading something that this ep was not. This was a story that I really enjoyed. It threw in humorous and filled with delight, something that really helped to gel this story together. While the “love” wasn’t pronounced here until near the end, that was okay for me. In fact, I actually preferred it it if this story was told without the love aspect. It was long enough for that love develop. It would have worked better should it had been introduced earlier in the story but it occurred way too late for any significant love to show. I felt where it was leading to but it didn’t have the development for it to grow. It was slight a problem with the writing but that aside this was a really good, light-hearted story.
Charmaine Sheh and Kenneth Ma had really good chemistry with each other and this was something that really helped the story to pop. It gave the story life and colour. This was actually their first time working together and they delivered, not that I had any doubts about it. They definitely rendered the story into something much more meaningful than what it looks on paper. I am open to seeing more of their collaborations in the future. It was fun to see both Charamine and Kenneth play some light-hearted characters. Kenneth was such a cutie here! He always plays his characters really well and it was no exception here. (: Read more
Dubbing is not involved here, something which I am very happy about. The leads speak their native language with subs to lead us through the dialogue. Obviously this would not be the way couples communicate in RL but I’m just going to overlook that because it is better than having the voices dubbed. It was a bonus hearing some Cantonese dialogue from the two guys even if it was two words utterances. I would have preferred it if Kate Tsui delivered her lines in Mandarin rather than in Cantonese but this is a Hong Kong production so it has to fit the HK audience.
For a short movie, this did quite a good job in telling a succinct and compelling story. It doesn’t have anything near the force of a drama or a theatre movie but that was a given since it was filmed quite quickly and the story did not have much to work with. I actually liked that it was a tight story as it gave our leads something that does not require them to really have that time to develop their feelings. Despite that, I found that the leads had some reasonably solid chemistry. I like what they were able to give in such limited time. I wouldn’t say that they were anywhere near complementing each other but they worked well together to deliver wonderful and compelling scenes. They were each able to allow their acting capabilities to shine through despite their communication barriers and that is something I really appreciate. Well, to say a communication barrier is quite an exaggeration but nonetheless, there is some communication barriers since the two guys don’t speak Cantonese while Kate had to speak her part in Cantonese.
This was a nice love story that supported the sorrow theme and held onto a swift development. It was sorrow that not all the leads got a happy ending but it delivered one that was satisfactory to my tastes. At least in hindsight, they will each be able to live a happy life. Moving on is the best medicine to finding happiness. Read more
Aaron Yan is taking a turn from his usual roles since he wrapped up his popular drama, Just You with Puff Guo last year. Aaron has always played those cool, tough-exterior-but-weak-interior, rich guys but this time he takes a shot at comedy – something quite different from his usual works – starring alongside Hong Kong actor and comedian Wong Cho Lam as well as Japanese actress and comedian Naomi Watanabe. He even sports blond hair which I have to say suits him really well! It really works with his complexion and enhances his beautiful features. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of this hair colour on him in the future. Aaron plays a guy who enters a fake marriage with Naomi’s character so that she will be able to retain her rights to her restaurant while Wong Cho Lam plays match-maker to this couple. I have to admit that Aaron is the draw here and I look forward to how he tackles a comedy role. However, this trailer isn’t all that enticing. I like what I see but it doesn’t have that draw. I hope that the ep proves me wrong but in the worst case scenario, there’s going to be Aaron gracing my screen. (: I also love that they are embracing the traditional Japanese culture which adds to the authenticity of featuring Japan. Read more
This is setting out to be the best story of the four. The trailer was especially beautiful in capturing not only the scenery of South Korea, but also the mood of the whole situation. And it did so perfectly. I loved this trailer the most because it was not misleading in any way and managed to Linda Chung and Yeon Jung Hoon‘s characters with a bridging essence. Linda once again placed out a terrific performance as a needy, lonesome girl while YJH was great acting as the person who supports Linda (funny, Linda’s character is also called Linda) and helping her to pick herself up. They were great playing their individual characters but the chemistry wasn’t as strong as what the other couples from the first two eps have. Hopefully this trailer is misleading on this part! It was quite amusing to see Linda and YJH speak each other’s language. I hope we get to hear more of that when the ep airs.
Linda also sings the theme song for this ep of A Time of Love. The song is called Piano Cries but I’m not sure how this fits into the happiness theme that this ep is supposed to carry. A piano crying does not speak happiness. I am hoping that these tears will lead to a happy ending for the couple because it would be very unfortunate if this ep which is based on happiness does not have any happiness to it. Read more
I apologise for bombarding you guys with heaps of A Time of Love updates since yesterday but it was only recently that news started to drop about this micro-movie and since I am interested in it, I had to share these news with you guys. This micro-movie is something that I am excited about but I’m not overly excited about it. I am just excited enough about it to load my blog up with news from ATOL. LOL. But in all honestly, this micro-movie catches me fancy. I am a sucker for romance sort of things and added on to this is some international cast and a short and sweet storyline so there is nothing that I don’t look forward to in this.
And it looks good! Yum, there’s going to be something interesting to see. This first ep is straddling on your seriously overused storyline but I am up for these clichés! This first story is about Shan/Kelly (Kate Tsui) who loses her memory after going through a car accident. She ends up falling for her saviour, Shing/John (Chris Wang) but as they count down to their marriage, her ex-boyfriend, Lei Zi Ho (James Wen) makes an unexpected appearance causing conflicting feelings in Shan’s heart. It’s a question of who will win her heart and why they will win it. It’s going to be an exciting one to watch since James and Chris also played love rivals in their last collaboration, The Fierce Wife (AKA The Shrewd Wife). Chris won the girl last time around so will it be James’ luck this time? Read more
On the 22nd of January 2014, the leads from the four stories of the micro-movie/mini-film A Time of Love gathered in Hong Kong for the premiere party. Chris Wang wasn’t present, presumably because he is busy filming for his current Taiwan daily Love Family which he stars opposite Serena Fang. Could this mean that Kate Tsui will have a happy ending with James Wen? Also absent was Aaron Yan and Naomi Watanabe who are probably at Japan filming their story arc which is the last one to start shooting and also the last one to air. Read more
I really enjoy it when actors hailing from different countries come together. I just really like seeing the interaction and chemistry between people who speaks different languages. Ultimately, language is one of the strongest pulling factor in bring chemistry from co-stars so I love it when this force isn’t there. TVB has come out with a new micro-movie/mini-film to coincidence with the upcoming Valentine’s Day. TVB’s Valentine production last year, Season of Love, was based around seasons while this year’s A Time of Love is going to be based around different moods and different locations around Asia. Actors hail from Hong Kong (yes, I am completely aware that HK is not a country), Taiwan, Japan and Korea while filming locations include hometown Hong Kong, sister Taiwan, cousins Singapore and Malaysia as well as friends Japan and Korea. TVB is using this as an opportunity to promote its top fandans with Kate Tsui, Charmaine Sheh and Linda Chung leading three of the four stories. Kate will have shared scenes with Taiwan’s Chris Wang and James Wen. Charmaine will be partnered up with homie Kenneth Ma while other fandan Linda with be the only cast speaking Cantonese in her segment with Yeon Jung Hoon. Rounding the Hong Kong team will be Wong Cho Lam who will be playing cupid in bringing Aaron Yan and Naomi Watanabe together. It was recently revealed that Aaron’s co-star in last year’s hit rom-com Just You and Dream Girls youngest member Puff Guo will be starring in We Got Married Global Edition 2 with Super Junior member Heechul who caused netizens to go crazy in telling Puff not to forget about her hubby Aaron while no one seems to be caring that Aaron is also moving on. Heh.
Other than having a screentime on Hong Kong’s TVB channel and international channel TVBI, ATOL will also be aired on Korea’s KBS, Taiwan’s TVBS, Maylasia’s Astro, Singapore’s Starhub, China’s TVBC (which is a sister channel to Hong Kong’s TVB) and most likely Japan’s TBS. The first ep is set to air this Sunday with the other eps airing on consecutive Sundays. Read more