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Hana yori dango (2005)
Be true to yourself!
"Hana Yori Dango" (Boys Over Flowers) is quite intriguing - written and illustrated by Kamio Yoko, it started out as a manga and was made into an anime, and later brought to life as the Taiwanese live-action drama "Meteor Garden". With all its incarnations, surely there must be something about its story that strikes a chord in people's hearts.
And yes, there is. In Fall 2005, Japanese TV network TBS released its own live-action "Hana Yori Dango" series starring Inoue Mao (Kids War 3) as the strong-willed Makino Tsukushi and Matsumoto Jun (of pop group ARASHI) as the hot-tempered Domyouji Tsukasa (here, Matsumoto is a revelation as he renders a heartbreaking Domyouji). Joining the well-appointed cast is Oguri Shun (Gokusen, Great Teacher Onizuka) who takes on the role of the calm and collected Hanazawa Rui.
Makino is a student at Eitoku, an exclusive school for Tokyo's rich kids. She seems to be getting by until she gets involved with the notorious F4 (Flower 4), a group of four of the richest boys on campus, and whose members include the very irritable Domyouji and the soft-spoken Hanazawa. Challenges face Makino as she gets entangled in the world of F4, and subsequently, the affection of Domyouji and Hanazawa who are the best of friends yet are complete opposites of each other.
"Hana Yori Dango" is an excellently produced show with topnotch production design. Viewers will be transported into a world of magnificent imagery - with mansions, flashy cars and the latest fashions that spice up the screen. The characters are adequately developed and the situations that unfold will keep you at the edge of your seat. But what makes this series even more appealing is its unique combination of humor and drama that just never runs out of steam. Packed into nine satisfying episodes, "Hana Yori Dango" will give you the ride of your life. Expect emotions to run high. It will make you laugh and cry. It will make you cheer. It will capture your heart.
Coyote Ugly (2000)
A piece of Bruckheimer crap
I have been compelled to comment on this movie because it managed to waste 101 minutes of my precious time. "Coyote Ugly" is much too lengthy to discuss such a basic premise: girl moves to big city to fulfill her dreams and encounters interesting experiences along the way. Mediocre, teenybop and emotionless performance by lead Piper Perabo, who happens to be in almost every scene. Plus a dumbed-down script that will make you scratch your head and go "Whaaa?" while you feel that you're being dragged on by a hole-filled story.
I haven't been to Coyote Ugly, so I couldn't say if the movie is a close depiction of what really goes on in a Coyote Ugly bar. In any case, if you like to see women gyrating on bar ledges and people being doused with ice cubes, then this movie is for you. If not, don't punish yourself by watching this crap bar movie.
The only good thing about "Coyote Ugly" is Kevin O'Donnell (Adam Garcia)'s bar dance.