MOVIE CLUB: Hot Young Bloods Review
Salutations to one and all. Welcome to the Hot Young Bloods Movie Club!!! It’s been a TGIF here at DramaFever with another fantastic movie this past Friday. Come on everyone, grab your bats, put on your gloves, and montage yourself to "Eye of the Tiger" as you join DD, Sage, and myself as we discuss and become nostalgic over this coming of age romcom film.
Sage: So, what did you ladies think of the movie?
Drama Debussie: I adore this movie! I was so excited when I knew DramaFever would be featuring it. It’s hilarious and even manages to pull on your heartstrings. What more could we ask for?
Sage: I am not going to lie, I thought it was going to be different based on the description, but I still loved the movie. It was way better than I expected. It was hilarious, and emotional at the same time—not like in a laughing through my tears sort of way, but rather a laugh-and-then-cry-and-then-laugh-again sort of way. One question (or rather two): I know this movie was based in the 80s but when exactly? Are their flashback supposed to be based in the 70s?
Tiara: Sage, its suppose to be 1982 which in any decade, it takes awhile for the last decade fashion to go away. The early 90s look like the 80s fashion. I have the pictures to prove it and I cringe when someone tries to bring out those pictures. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this movie since seeing the trailer last year. I was pretty excited to see it on the list of Dramafever’s movies. With that being said, the first part of the movie had some great humor, but it was a tad confusing and slow. The second half of the movie, for me, really pulled on my emotional strings. I had more fun towards the end than the beginning.
Drama Debussie: That makes sense. I have to say that I loved that it had humor in the beginning, emotion in the middle and then ended with humor. Usually it’s humor in the first half and soul-crushing, heartbreaking, ice cream eating sadness in the ending half. There was a nice balance that kept us entertained.
Tiara: The bawdy jokes were what kept me entertain for the first part and the ending left me with deep feelings. I didn’t hate it, but some of the relationships were a bit confusing. Which is probably why I wasn’t a fan of the first half. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like scenes, it’s just the story wasn’t explaining much to hook me in emotionally at the beginning. Luckily, the film was able to keep me to bring the emotions before I’d checked out.
Sage: Whenever I see that a drama is a romcom, i’m just like, get ready to cry because, usually it’s only funny and romantic in the beginning and then it gets sad and slightly rushed toward the end. But, like DD said, it was nicely balanced with a sprinkle of humour throughout the entire thing. The vegetable in the pants thing was priceless because of everybody’s reaction-- I enjoyed their ballsy humour (get it?) throughout the movie. Though, at first, I must admit, I was a bit annoyed with Lee Jong Suk’s character, Joong Gil.
Drama Debussie: Ugh, I’m so glad you brought that up! I’m thoroughly convinced that if they didn’t have Lee Jong Suk playing Joong Gil I would’ve hated him with the passion of a thousand suns. It’s not enough that he jumped from girl to girl with his goosebump inducing flirtations, but he did everything to avoid Young Sook simply because of what he THOUGHT happened between his father and her mother. Granted, he had no reason to know the truth and we make poor (and hurtful decisions) when we’re young. Nevertheless, the more we learned about him, the more we could see why he was always looking for comfort in all the wrong places.
Tiara: Oh Joong Gil’s Casanova. I actually like his conceited, self-center womanizer. I still don’t understand why he makes the choice to be a shirt chaser when he hated his dad portraying himself as one. Despite his ladies-man attitude, his character had some depth I wasn’t expecting. I really enjoyed watching Joong Gil’s journey of discovery. Also, seeing Lee Jong Suk as a wimpy coward was a bit odd, but I liked seeing another side to his acting chops than the norm.
Sage: I think his friends were a nice balance. Though they played into his antics, it made it less of a chore to watch when you saw how goofy they looked. Ji Kook-- I mean, Hwang Kyu, was hilarious and when they were fighting the punching bag after Gwang Sik beat Joong Gil up, I bursted out laughing. When he was poking at it and scraping it, I was obvious he was all bark and no bite. But, it did seem as though they just loved making Joong Gil bleed. It seemed as though he was getting beat up every other scene. But I guess that's the price of being such a Don Juan.
Drama Debussie: The supporting cast as a whole was fantastic, even with their affinity for beating up Joong Gil. Painful to watch, but even I had to admit he deserved it sometimes.
Tiara: ha-ha!! Sage, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one calling Hwang Kyu, Ji Kook. Speaking of the punching bag scene, I loved how they drew a picture on the bag of Gwang Sik. That got a hearty laugh out of me. The whole scene reminded me of a scene in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I have to give it to the supporting cast too for being pretty awesome. They weren’t there as background characters, but had real roles to play in the story. It felt like they it wasn’t a movie, but it could really be a school without all the violence.
Drama Debussie: It certainly brought on an overwhelming amount of nostalgia. Can’t say it mirrors my high school experience, but it did bring on memories of being that young and figuring who you are through the choices we make. Or the choices people make for us on our behalf.
Sage: One of my favorite couples was the bromance between Joong Gil’s dad and his friend. They played off each other very well, which added to the humor. Though, sometimes I was a little confused as to why he was there.
As for So Hee, she got on my nerves like no other. She was such a fake, it was nauseating. At first I admired her for not immediately falling for Joong Gil’s charm, like with the bicycle scene, but then when she realized that Young Sook liked Joong Gil, she became treacherous. With her taking her into the bathroom and then trying to beat her up and then Joong Gil coming to her rescue, I was about ready to scream. I find it a little unbelievable that he couldn’t see past her pigtails and attitude and see that she was a bit of a wannabe.
Tiara: So Hee was by far my least favorite character. I agree, I liked her at first for not accepting Joong Gil, but her two face fakery kind of annoyed me. What was the point of punking everyone into thinking she is a delicate flower when she’s really a gangster. It isn’t like she is trying to overthrow Young Sook for her throne. But I don’t buy her gangster persona. Where was the tough as nails So Hee from the bathroom when Gwang Sik and his boys came for a talk with her? I’m not sure if she ever really did come to like Joong Gil.
Drama Debussie: I’m glad we’re all on the same page with So Hee. Although she served a great purpose in reminding us how blind we can be to our crush’s imperfections. That sweeping scene where she was painting on the beach and it’s ultimately revealed that she has the skills of a 3-year-old was classic. A great parody of pretty much every pretty girl in every drama and one of the many clues that she was up to no good. I believe that she did grow to like him toward the end, but it was too late. Thank the movie gods for that! Joong Gil had already moved on to the awesome that was Young Sook.
Sage: The painting scene was hilarious! I was like, “What is she doing?” and when I saw I was like, “Are you kidding me?” And with them acting like she can sing afterwards, I kind of felt like everybody was a little full of it at that point.
Tiara: I got a girl crush on Young Sook. Who knew this tiny spitfire could pack a punch or kick? She is a well rounded character of toughness mixed with vulnerability. It isn’t clear what her relationship is with Joong Gil at first, but it is clear she truly cares for him. I wished the film had shown us their childhood past a bit early to understand their connection. I love how she is the one who points out to Joong Gil how smart he is and how he should study more. She may have been at a low point in her life, but her first thoughts were to support and cheer him on. I mean this girl really loves him if she allows to get beaten up for Joong Gil’s safety. All I have to say, where the heck are the parents and police to allow these kids to beat up on each other?
Sage: I loved Young Sook’s character. I also loved the reason why she left for Seoul in the first place. The letter she left Joong Gil was absolutely brilliant and I agreed with her 1000%. Thank the drama gods, Joong Gil didn’t go meet So Hee, but I am still very impressed with the way he turned her down. It wasn’t mean or even rude, it was basically telling her that he was done without actually telling her that he was done. You go, Glenn Coco.
Now, I am going to take a moment here to remind everybody that Joong Gil fell out of a moving train into a lake and was still able to get up afterwards. WHOA.
Drama Debusse: Oh, you’re just going to pull us out of our suspension of disbelief like that, Sage?
Sage: Of course. That’s what I am here for.
Tiara: He must have Wolverine’s healing powers to survive the fall.
Drama Debussie: You are sick. You’re also right. While we’re at it, let’s point out that he was also able to save Gwang Sik (I love Kim Young Kwang) and find the compass that Young Sook threw into the river earlier on. Yeah, that’s... realistic. Nevertheless, it was great when he was able to present it to her in the end. Remember, that was the start of her love for him. It was also a weapon, but we won’t talk about that.
Sage: While I admire his tenacity (and boy does he have a lot of it, because technically he should have internal bleeding) that was a lot to not want to sit down and take a breather afterwards. Also, nobody looked for him afterwards. And him taking the shoes off of Gwang Sik was priceless. Anybody else notice that in order to fall with Gwang Sik, he held onto his collar bones?! OH MY GA! The pain!
Tiara: Am I getting too far ahead to talk about the ending scene?
Drama Debussie: We can talk about it ,but I feel we should warn those who haven’t watched just yet. So, to those who have not seen Hot Young Bloods yet, 1) why not? and 2) SPOILER ALERT!
Tiara: Bwahaha!!!! They totally parody an Officer and a Gentleman. Oh, and the song choice, Starship “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, brilliant. So much, I kept listening to the song nonstop for hours. Now I want to watch Mannequin. I so love that song.
Sage: I kind of wanted to hear Eye of the Tiger. I am really surprised they didn’t use it, what with this movie being based in the 80s.
Tiara: The song used at the end of the An Officer and a Gentleman was “Up Where We Belong” by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. I like the song, but I still think the film choice the right song for this scene. As for "Eye of the Tiger", it's a great 80s song, but it’s Rocky’s montage song. When I hear that song, I just think of pumping iron and Sylvester Stallone.
Sage: It would’ve been cool in the boxing scene.
Tiara: Ha-ha!!! That would’ve totally worked.
Drama Debussie: All I know is that I would’ve sung along no matter what they chose. Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now is the perfect sing-a-long, and it doesn’t make me all emotional the way Up Where We Belong does. Great song, but all the feels it induces! At least they didn’t use I’ve had the Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing. That would have been the end of me.
Tiara: Oh, now I just feel nostalgic to watch a bunch of 80s films. Thanks you two.
Sage: What, you don’t love that song, DD? Tiara, I’m thinking Weird Science, the Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Girls Just Wanna have Fun… the list can go on.
Drama Debussie: I love it too much. So much that it’s hard for me not to try to find a stranger to hold me up in the air and call me Baby when I hear the first few notes. Romantic but very dangerous.
Tiara: Sage, do not give me ideas. I have dramas to watch. I have no time going down memory lane of the 80s. DD, I always wanted to be Baby too. Speaking of the 80s, anyone wants to bring back roller rinks? I miss roller skating.
Sage: There should be a roller rink on every corner of every town. That, I believe wholeheartedly. On a movie note, I loved the ending. Very sweet and K-drama-esque. I like that Joong Gil didn’t immediately go and look for Young Sook, but rather finished up school at the top of his class and became an Animal Scientist. A very odd choice but endearing nonetheless. Who knew he loved animals that much? I didn’t.
Drama Debussie: Yeah, I don’t remember hearing or seeing him express his love for animals. Maybe they cut that part out. Oh well. As long as he chose something, right?
Tiara: I’m not sure if Young Sook would’ve taken him if he didn’t finish school. She had always known how good and smart he was in school. It may have been a cliche HEA ending, but I actually believed this could happen to these characters. Both Joong Gil and Young Sook had too much inner turmoil and needed to go on a journey of growth and discovery before they could come together as a couple. Now if only I could find my own gentleman to come to my work and sweep me off my feet. *Waiting for Gentleman*
Sage: *EXTRA SPOILER ALERT* Them getting married and having a baby was a nice little adding, like a cherry on top. Oh, and then the girl who ran like nobody’s business because she had a crush on her cousin! She was hilarious. I liked that they ended it with her saying that she was a “Hot Young Blood.”
Tiara: That wedding picture is pretty priceless. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the cheesiness of the picture. It gave a nice sense of closure for these two characters. I liked the ending with the runner. She kind of always popped up in some interesting scenes.
Sage: They looked so flat in that picture, though. There was barely any emotion. They were just like -_- (<== that’s my “flat” face).
Drama Debussie: It would have been nice to actually see them in their married life, but the (flat) picture was a great indication of where they ended up.
Sage: I agree.
Tiara: Me too.
Drama Debussie: I guess all in all Hot Young Bloods was worth the watch. It gave us a little of everything and I like that. Is it one of my favorite movies ever? Not really, but it did entertain me immensely. It also made me want to keep the nostalgia going with another nostalgic movie fave of mine, Sunny. But that’s another story for another day.
Sage: I would totally suggest this to a friend. I might even watch it again if I have nothing else better to do. I liked it. In my opinion, it was a very good and entertaining Saturday night movie.
Tiara: Hot Young Bloods is sweet and fun with some dirty humor thrown in. I laughed, cried, and had a blast despite the slow beginning. It's a bit campy with a HEA, but it’s well worth your time. Enjoy the 80s tribute in-between the story. Before starting this film remember to grab your popcorn and drinks or you just might have to make do without.
What did you guys think of Hot Young Bloods? Was there a scene or a character we forgot to mention? What's your rating for this film? Hit the comment section below and tell us!
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Drama Debussie: @dramabussie / Temptation Drama Club / Joseon Gunman Drama Club / The Master’s Sun Drama Club / Shark Drama Club / Iron Man Drama Club with fellow Dramafever drama clubber Zombie Mamma and join me in December for The Two Faces of My Girlfriend