Jumanji: The Next Level

Release date: December 13, 2019

The premise of the movie is that the gang have move on from high school graduation, living and adapting to their college lives. However, they keep in touch with each other, agreeing to meet up for brunch at Nora. But the movie does hint that there may be relationship issues (with the possibility of breakup) between Spencer and Martha, making Spencer seemingly more withdrawn from contact with the gang (even though he is in the chat group with them).

Returning home to his mother’s house, he sees his grandpa Eddie (played by the always wonderful Danny DeVito) staying there due to hip surgery. Feeling depress and insecurity mount as the meeting up is coming up, he went down to his basement to retrieve the Jumanji video game that unbeknown to his friend, he kept.

As the group meet for brunch at Nora, they become worry about Spencer not showing up or hearing back from him therefore decided to go check up on him at his mother’s house. There, they met Spencer’s grandfather and his ex-friend Milo (played by the also wonderful Danny Glover) who came by to try and mend his friendship with Eddie.

The gang soon discover that Spencer has returned to Jumanji and decided to go save him, unknown that this time, Bethany was not able to join, and the game have pull in 2 additional individuals into the game. Grandpa Eddie and Milo, each taking in the avatar of Dr. Smolder Bravestone and Franklin “Mouse” Finbar (Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart), making Fridge take over Bethany’s previous avatar – Professor Sheldon “Shelly” Oberon.

Hilarity and danger ensure as they search for Spencer along with finding additional skills and new characters along the way.

Overall, I enjoy the movie the second time around. Much more so than the first. The gang is back and this time around, like a new next level in Jumanji, the cast and crew bought the next level of fun to it. It was double the action, double the hilarity, and double the fun.

New skills (strength and weaknesses), additional new character. The cast up their game in role playing particularly that of Jack Black, Dwayne Johnson, and Kevin Hart – playing up the roles of Fridge, Grandpa Eddie, and Milos while Karen Gillian still a badass no less.

I highly recommend. A must-see holiday movie guarantee with plenty of laughs around.

Love & Hate – Chapter 1

Ever since I finish reading MXTX – Founder of Diabolism (Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation), I have become a big fan of her. I love her writing and the character she creates.

I was finally able to finish reading Heaven’s Official Blessing (her third novel) and I totally love it. I mean, you have a devoted guy who loved for 800 years. But aside from her main couple, she tends to write side story that truly gut you in the heart. From Yi City arc (in Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation) to the Fate/Revenge arc between the Shi brothers and He Xuan.

The side arc of Heaven’s Official Blessing was tragic, and I couldn’t remember the last time I had cry my heart out reading a novel. I literally was numb for a few days, unable to pick up the next chapter especially when I love the character (and was sort of rooting for them to be a couple too).

And so, to have my wish fulfill, I decided to write a fanfic devoted to them. It’s my first BL fanfic so forgive me if it is rusty or bad. Definitely feel free to comment with tips and pointer.

Loud chattering and laughter echoes outside the shrine as everyone were finally getting their filled on the promise of chicken leg that they did not bother to notice the disappearance of the main host. Feng Xin and Mu Qing continue to bicker with each other to even notice whereas Shi Qing Xuan had notice but did not say anything.

“Old Feng, where are you going?” one of the beggars ask.

Shi Qing Xuan holding his bowl of chicken noodle turn and laughingly said he wanted some alone time to enjoy the bowl and view of the village. He hobbles over to a large tree near the shrine, hiding behind it away from the view of the others. His smile fade as he places the bowl down on the grass, staring at it as he cradles his leg together.

It has been a year and half since, but the nightmare was still fresh in his mind each time he was alone. In the day, he was able to surround himself with people, chattering and laughing to bury his mind away from it but it becomes harder to do so in the silent of the night when he is alone. He had lost a person he thought was his best friend and his only family was taken horribly away from his very eyes. His brother had committed a grave crime. Admittedly at one point upon finding out the truth, he had truly hated his brother for doing what he did but, in the end, he was still his brother and only did what he did because of him.

If anyone were truly to be blame, it would be him. It was all his fault to begin with, that it all happened the way it did. If only he wasn’t born, none of it would happen. If only he never existed.

“Ge” he mumbles under his breath.

Just as the word leaves his mouth, the bowl of chicken noodle on the ground was forcefully knock several feet away, shattering to the ground. The pupil in his eyes shrank, his face blanched for a moment as he looks left and right, afraid to find that cold piercing eyes looking at him like that day. But there was nothing.

Heaving a sigh of relief, he tells himself that it must have been the wind. “Of course, he wouldn’t be here,” he thought. Ever since that day, they have never met again except for the incident at the Royal Capital. Even then, he was under the disguise as Hua Cheng. He didn’t know when or how long he was disguise as Hua Cheng but knew that he must have been there under Hua Cheng’s request. What other reason was there for him to show up at the Royal Capital? His resentment, his hatred ran deep towards Qing Xuan and his brother to the point that he wanted the brother to suffer both in life and death.

But can the same be said for Qing Xuan? Can he resent and hate him the same way after what had happen? Qing Xuan wanted to hate him but the person he hated more than anyone was himself. He was the true murderer to He Xuan, the true murderer to his brother. It all started because of him. If only he never existed.

Shi Qing Xuan sighed and stand up, hobbling back to the shrine when he suddenly paused midway, sensing a presence nearby, eyes’ piercing at him. He turns back at the direction of the tree to see far past it, near the lake a presence of a lady. Blue dress as crystal clear as the blue ocean, skin as white as snow. Her beauty is as striking as Qing Xuan was in his lady form, yet she gives off an eerily smile chilling him to the bone. But in just a blink of an eye, she disappears. Thinking it was his imagination, he turns back and put on a happy face once more as he joins the joyous crowd at the shrine, indulging in the delicious food that they did not need to beg or fight for.

At the Nether Water Manor, He Xuan appear like a wisp of smoke, his face somber with a cold expression that brings shiver of fear to one’s heart. He walks to the alter of his loved one yet his eyes stare coldly like piercing dagger was the head offering in front of them. The head of Shi Wu Du that he had ripped in front of Shi Qing Xuan much to his horror.

Remembering Shi Qing Xuan offering, he clutches his fist angrily. He wasn’t sure if he was angry at Shi Qing Xuan or if he was angry at himself. He had taken his revenge and the Shi brothers are no longer his concern. He had told Shi Qing Xuan that they will never cross path again, but still come and check up on him from time to time.

He had given the brothers two option and since Shi Wu Du had taken the second option, he had kept his promises not to mess with Shi Qing Xuan’s fate. Yet who knew that Shi Qing Xuan would still end up the same way. “Even if he suffers, I will not let you win.” He Xuan thought as he stares at Shi Wu Du, remembering how he tries to take Shi Qing Xuan’s life so that both brothers can die together. “His life belongs to me.”

As night fall, Shi Qing Xuan and the rest of the beggars return to the Royal Capital, taking residence in the deserted temple of the Wind and Water God, stomach full and satisfy. No matter where he goes, he would either return to the temple or find another deserted temple of the Wind and Water God to stay for the night. It was the only place of comfort for him, the only place that he felt near his brother.

Shi Qing Xuan lay on the ground under the deserted statues of his brother and himself, pulling the hays over to keep him warm as the temperature drops at night. Although he is now a mortal, it did not seem like the cold affected him as much as the others even during winter nor was he probe to being sick like them.

Yet tonight, it was exceptionally cold to the point that even Shi Qing Xuan couldn’t bear with it, feeling like he was sleeping in a pile of freezing snow and his body was slowly freezing over. The cold engulfs his mind, making him wonder if he is going to finally see his brother. “Ge…” he mumbles under his breath.

“Lord Wind Master…” the voice whisper in his ear, their cold breath making his hair stand.

Shi Qing Xuan eyes pop wide open but immediately shrink in shock the moment he sees who was calling him. Earlier, he thought it was just his imagination seeing a figure at the lake but now he realizes that it wasn’t it at all. Staring at him is the young lady, blue dress as crystal clear as the blue ocean, skin as white as snow.

“Who…who are you,” he asks, “What do you want with me?”

“Don’t be afraid, my lord. I just need Lord Wind Master to come with me and help me with a favor,” she said, her finger brush slightly on his cheek.

A chill runs up his body the moment she brushes his cheek. He looks around to see the others shivering in their sleep and realize that she is the cause to the cold. She is a demon.

He chuckles hiding his nervousness. “I am no longer a Wind God but just a mere mortal. Powerless. What could I possibly help you with?”

“My lord does not need to worry. I can guarantee that my lord would be able to help me with this favor.”

“And if…if I refuse?”

“Then their death is of my lord’s doing,” she said unsympathetically, making the place feel much colder than it should be. “Or…,” she pauses, an eerily smile creeping up on her face, making him feel chill down to his spine, “Does my lord not wish to get his brother’s head back?”

She lifts her hand up, extending her palm out to him, waiting for his decision. She knew it was a bargain that he would not refuse. Holding his hand, she helps him up and the two disappear into the night.

Learning Through Lies

Sometimes I wish people could be more truthful rather than weave a web of lies to hide it, because the truth will always come out. Feel hurt, betrayed, and foolish to give them the benefit of the doubt to fall into their web of lies. But that’s life. You live and learned. You learned that there are no such things as coincidence in a web of lie. The truth is always there and will expose itself. You learned to be careful of who you can trust, who you can tell your feelings and problem to. You learned that not everyone in your circle, whether big or small is your friend. Some will use you, some will lie to you, and stab you when you’re not looking.

But through it all, like Shannon L. Alder had said:

Forget what hurt you but never forget what it taught you.

You learned that things are meant to be the way they are, for you to learn and grow. You learned how to distinguish the real. To let go of what you don’t need in your life and be grateful for those few you have. You learned to exclude yourself from people’s narrative because life is too short, and you don’t have time to play the bad person in anyone’s web of lies or drama.

So to those that had hurt, betrayed, and lie to me. Thank you for teaching and let me close another life lesson chapter so that I can focus on living and being happy.

Nokdu Episode 5 Recap

The men are given robe to cover themselves as they are escort to the temple by the Muwol Corps ladies. As it turns out, the temple holds the secret meeting for Minister Heo along with a few other ministers. But before they could discuss their meeting, they hear the whistle that Ssook had made earlier when chasing Nok-du. Minister Heo tells the rest of the minister that he will go check on the situation which takes us back to the scene that Ssook is searching room for room.

They all freeze when they hear the loud groan coming from one of the rooms. Nok-du tries his girly voice causing Dong-joo to scoff in disbelief at him so he goes back to his normal guy voice, trying to explain to her. He covers her mouth and whisper into her ear, making her look surprise as Ssook and Co. heads over to their room. Ssook pulls out her dagger and fling the door open to see Dong-joo sitting with Nok-du, his back facing them.

Lady Cheon looks in to see them and question what Dong-joo is doing in the room. Dong-joo say that she was trying to get her hair fix which Nok-du with smear lipstick on, admits and say that Dong-joo was trying to make him pretty (hence the lipstick). Ssook question them about hearing a man’s voice in the room. Nok-du tap Dong-joo’s cut ear, signaling her for help. Dong-joo let out a deep groan which Nok-du tells them he had cut her ear by accident while using the scissor. Nok-du excuses the two of them to go apply ointment on her ear, hiding his face from Minister Heo as he walks out with Dong-joo.

Outside with no one around, Dong-joo grab his collar and drag him away to the side, holding him up to the wall. A flashback shows us what he had whisper to her in the room when he covers her mouth, reminding her that he had once saved her in Hanyang and if he should let Lady Cheon knows what she did.

Back to the present, holding onto his collar, Dong-joo question if he had followed her back from Hanyang which he denies, telling her their path just happen to overlap. He tells her he was just as surprise to see gentleman’s clothes in her room that he had seen before. Dong-joo calls him out for lying when he tells her before he didn’t look through her things. He denies it and said he saw it by accident. She looks as if she’s about to hit him however throw her arm over him (as though they’re buddies) when they notice a few gisaeng heading out of a room.

In the palace, the King ask his guard if he had checked the vicinity around the island which the guard said they did but couldn’t find the whereabout of Yoon-jeo. The guard inform the King of a place inhabit with women only when he notices his younger brother walking by with his dog in his arm along with his mother. There is fear as the Prince’s mother shield him from the King. The King gives an ominously warned to the young Prince about catching a cold, scarring him as his mother hurries him away.    

Minister Heo joins the other minister back at the temple, discussing the King’s fear of the Royal Prince (being overthrown) therefore he has been getting rid of people around the Royal Prince, charging them with treason and any of them could be next. Minister Heo tells them they could not wait any longer and must move forward with their plan.

In their room, Dong-joo points the scissor at Nok-du as she re-affirmed his explanation for being in the village was to meet up with the lady he loves and promise to leave in a few days when his lady love comes. Dong-joo grumbles that she couldn’t believe she wanted to call the vulgar him “Unnie”. Nok-du tells her that she shouldn’t call him vulgar since he did take good care of her, making Dong-joo recalls the time he scratches her back for her. She hits him until he reminds her that she touches him as well, making her remember. He tells her that it just be more uncomfortable if they talk about it so they should just not argue and bear with each other for a few days. He suggests sleeping outside but she grabs the scissor and stop him, telling him that he is not leaving her sight hence Nok-du sleeps in the room while Dong-joo spend the night outside in the hallway, guarding the door so he can’t leave her sight.

Hearing Dong-joo snores, he tries to sneak out of the room only to have her startle him from behind as she presses the scissor in between his legs. She makes snipping movement with the scissor as though she would turn him into a eunuch, scaring him back into the room (LOL). Later he pokes a hold through the door to peek and see if she is asleep only to have Dong-joo poke him in the eye.

She tells him that she is going to be guarding the door all night long only to be fall asleep (HAHA, so much for guarding the door all night long) and find Nok-du missing in the morning. Nok-du visit the temple in the morning, wondering what those people were plotting and why they would harm his family. He muses that the one who gave the order knows while the rest don’t know anything at all, deciding that in order for him to get his answer, he would have to get close to the Muwol Corps women.

Nok-du joins the gossiping gisaeng to get information from them, that Lady Cheon will be passing out sketches of the intruder to them all when Dong-joo finds him, dragging him back with her. She pushes him into the room, yelling at him that she told him not to go anywhere. Nok-du looks surprise at the breakfast tray with the seaweed soup. Dong-joo asks if it is his birthday which he admit that the only thing his father ever told him about himself is his birthday. He asks if she isn’t going to eat her seaweed soup. Dong-joo confess that she dislikes seaweed soup but before Nok-du could reach for her bowl, she grabs it and drink the soup. She tells him that she may dislike it but not enough to let him have it (LOL).

She accuses him of being a pervert for flirting with the gisaeng and if his lady knows about it which he denies that he isn’t. The two bickers about it until a young gisaeng in training comes to get Dong-joo for dance practice. Before going, she trims her hair and when Nok-du offer to help her since he’s good at cutting hair, she turns and give him a death glare (LOL). She makes him go with her to dance practice, set on keeping watch of him.

Nok-du watches and laugh in enjoyment, seeing how uncoordinated Dong-joo compare to the other trainee. (She is seriously really bad, lol). Seeing how bad she is, Lady Cheon calls for a stop as she goes down to teach Dong-joo properly, giving Nok-du a chance to slip away from her sight. He sneaks a peek at the door to see one of the gisaeng hold a sketch of the intruder. Needing to see how to divert the situation, he comes up with an idea.

As Ssook is instructing her ladies on where to patrol, a few widow rushes pass them, gossiping that the intruder is caught. Most of the widows gather artound Nok-du as he shows them the gash on his hand, demanding him to give them a full detail of what happen. Nok-du gives them the detail of the confrontation, explaining during the struggle, he got slash on the hand and the intruder got slash across one of his eyes. Deul-re shows him the sketch of the Nok-du to confirm that is the intruder but he tells them that the robe is a darker indigo, wearing a gat (bamboo hat) and ask for some ink.

Dong-joo looks around after practice, annoyed that he slips away. But she let it slide since she wants to go visit her secret hideout.

Back at the widow’s gathering, Nok-du use the ink to tweek the sketches to show a slash across one of the eyes. Soon-nyeo takes the sketches and tell her other two ladies that they will go to nearby village to search for the intruder. The Muwol ladies intended to go as well however the Virtuous ladies stop them from going, saying it is dangerous. (Lady, I am sure they can handle it way better with their skills. LOL) Soon-nyeo tells Nok-du that he can be a part of their group and they can discuss it when the ladies return.

Nok-du walks with the Muwol ladies as Yeon-hoon question how he could fight against a man. Nok-du tells them that his family are strong people, so he was raised playing with swords instead of needles. He questions where the ladies are heading. Yeon-hoon almost blurt out that they were going to catch the intruder but Ssook interject and tells him that they are going to go get woods. Nok-du offers to help them collect woods since he is good with the axe, forcing the others to change plan.

Nok-du chomps down a tree, impressing the ladies. He tells the ladies that the tree is sturdier over the other side so he will go over there and chomp some. However, it seems that was just a cover for him to eavesdrop on them. Yeon-hoon suggest converting him into their room since they need more people but the other say that being strong won’t work. Ssook tells them to focus on tomorrow’s task.

Nok-du walks away, mumbling to himself as to how he cannot go tomorrow when they’re up to something. He takes a swing of the axe on the tree but with the strength, the back of his jeogori (upper garment of the hanbok) to split, showing his masculine back (oh, I like). He tries to look at the split, spinning only to step on his skirt, causing the skirt to fall, showing his ripped abs. (oh, I like it even more). Panicking, he picks up the skirt to cover his abs and runs off. Ssook tells them that it’s enough woods and she would find Nok-du so they can head back.

Dong-joo leaves her secret cave as Nok-du runs madly trying to hide from his mishap as Ssook calls for him. Dong-joo walks by to see him desperately trying to cover/bury himself with the dead leaves on the ground. (HAHA). Dong-joo accuse him of showing her his pervert self, asking why he took off his clothes. He denies it trying to explain about him cutting woods but stop and ask her to take off her jeogori (her upper garment) for him to borrow causing her to whack him with her fan. He begs her desperately to help him this once. Taking advantage of the situation, Dong-joo makes him called her “Noonim” which he immediately gets on his knees and do so causing Dong-joo to break up laughing at his desperation. (HA, when you’re desperate, you’re desperate and Dong-joo is having so much fun with it).

They suddenly hear Ssook voice calling for Nok-du. She grabs his hand and run off, jumping into the water. They notice they’re still holding hand in the water and let go before re-surfacing as the Mulwol ladies arrives, wondering what they are doing. Dong-joo tells them that she came to practice dancing, but it got hot, so she has Nok-du join her for a bath. The ladies tell them to take their time and enjoy while they head back first.

Dong-joo and Nok-du sit on the rock to dry up (and boy, I like what I am seeing LOL). He offers her his robe to cover him but Dong-joo tell him to cover up instead since she doesn’t want to see him shirtless (girl, you and I need to talk). Nok-du asks if she truly came to practice and tells her that she need plenty of practice causing her to throw her fan at him in annoyance. He wonders if the dance is that hard to do so which Dong-joo argue it is. She challenges him, telling him that if he can do even one move right, then she would be his daughter. He accepts her challenge and does the dance beautifully (And lord, he’s so sexy. Totally squealing with his side glance smirk. PD-nim truly knows what we liked).

She wonders if he had learned the dance somewhere else, but he tells her he learned it from watch them practice today for the first time. He asks if it isn’t like that for everyone (learning it right away) causing her to mumble in annoyance, “I didn’t like him anyway, but now I really don’t like him at all.” Nok-du offers to teach her the dance which makes them consciously aware of each other due to their proximity. Dong-joo slip around but loses her balance, slipping but luckily Nok-du catches her, their eyes lock. (It’s the start of a blossoming love).

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Review

Release date: October 18, 2019

As the saying goes, “better late than never” my friend and I were finally able to see this movie last night.

The movie takes place five years after King Stefan’s death. The three little fairies are rushing to find Aurora who is handling affairs of the Moors. It’s been five years since King Stefan’s death and Aurora reign as Queen of the Moors. While she is handling the Moors affairs, Pinto (the small hedgehog) took her crown to lure her to Prince Philip who proposed to her.

Diaval report to Maleficent of the proposal to which she is against their marriage, not trusting of human like Prince Phillip.

When Prince Phillip tells his parent of his proposal, his parent suggested to host a dinner between both side with his mother Queen Ingrith insisting that Maleficent must attend the dinner. While his father wishes for peace between the two nation, his mother has a hidden intention in having Maleficent join them for dinner. In her hidden hideout, it seems that Queen Ingrith is having her men prepare for war, making irons bullets.

The dinner becomes awkward as Queen Ingrith taunt Maleficent which eventually escalated when King John suddenly falls into a deep slumber. Maleficent is accused of placing a curse on him which she denies and demand Aurora to leave with her. However, Aurora is in disbelief that she didn’t place the curse and refuse to go.

Hurt and angry, Maleficent flies off to leave but during her flight, she gets shot with the iron bullet by the Queen’s servant on the tower causing her to fall into the ocean. But luckily, she is rescue by another winged creature to discovery that they are her kind who has been force into hiding because of humans. She discovers that she is the last of the Dark Fae, descendant of the Phoenix, an ancient and powerful fae. Conall, her rescuer, believes that peace can exist among them and humans however Borra does not believe so, and want to retaliate against the human especially with Maleficent power.

The Queen minion finally developed the red powder that could ended the life of the Moor folks. The Queen plot to get rid of all the Moors folks, inviting them to attend Aurora’s wedding. Aurora eventually discover the truth and tries to stop her as the war between the humans and Moors folks/fairies begin.

All in all, a happy ending and peace was ensured between the fairies and humans. And everyone lives “happily ever after.”

Admittedly, I came into the movie without knowing what to expect but ended up enjoying the movie very much. Queen Ingrith is portray as the antagonist in the movie with the aim to annihilate the fairies of the Moors but truly, it is hard to define if her action were right or wrong given the suffering that she had experience at a young age that shaped her belief. To her, she was doing the greater good for her people, for maintain their survival (from ever having to experience her pain in her own kingdom) as she had seen how negotiation had once failed for her people. Pain and suffering do change a person, for better or worse.

And I like how it is reflected in this movie in how the protagonist and antagonist handle their pain and hurt that shapes their decision and choices.

But more importantly, I love the changes in Disney theme of “true love” because the truest love of all is that of family. Regardless of what conflict there is, at the end of the day, the love is still there which reflects in Aurora and Maleficent, the same can be said for sisters Elsa and Anna of Frozen.

Nokdu Episode 4 Recap

Nok-du bandage Dong-joo burn hand, wondering why the widow was so angry about him being honest with her since the widow claim that she didn’t look like Hwa-soo. Dong-joo question if he had any friends and suggest teaching him flattery to deal with those situations. She demonstrates how he should react to the situation while he feeds her.

Afterward, Dong-joo asks him to help her undress for bed which he tells her not to do at random place, confusing Dong-joo to why it is a random place when it’s their room. Nok-du utterly refused to help her undress. He put down the blanket and toss a pillow at her, throwing back at her what she had originally said to him about how she dislikes demanding people and that people should know how to take care of themselves. Dong-joo snaps that she won’t ask him for help anymore.

Nok-du leaves to bring the dishes out only to return to see Dong-joo standing by the dresser, trying to scratch her back with the edges of the dresser since she couldn’t do so with her hand. Nok-du pulls her down to sit, scratching her back for her. But he eventually stopped when she asks him to scratch lower for her. He takes his bedding and lay down with his back to her, making her wonder why he stopped while he places his hand up to his beating chest.

Dong-joo wakes up from her sleep, having trouble sleeping due to her burned hand to see the burnt part of Nok-du dress as he sleeps on his stomach, remembering that he did get burn as well. She calls Nok-du, trying to wake him up but to no avail. Dong-joo scoot over a bit to lift up the skirt, wanting to the pant down to apply medicine to his burnt butt. But as she reaches for the pant, Nok-du wakes up shocked and pushes her away. She tries to explain to him that she wanted to apply medicine to him, but he yelps at her behavior towards “another woman” causing Dong-joo to scoff at his ridiculousness.

Elsewhere, the King is playing janggi with Minister Heo who asks if he is still having trouble falling asleep at night since the King doesn’t want to return to the palace. The King mention that Yoon-jeo being good at janggi causing Minister Heo to pause. He re-affirmed with Minister Heo that Yoon-jeo was killed by his sword after he had buried the baby. The King dismiss his question as useless, claiming that there is no way it would be a lied or that Minister Heo would fool him on it. (That’s an underlying threat, isn’t it? He is suspicious).

The King decided it is time to rest from the game. The King lies down to rest as Minister Heo slowly moves his hand over above the King as though he wanted to strangle him but instead, pulls up the blanket to cover the King up. As Minister Heo leaves the room, the King open his eyes. (Damn, he was definitely testing Minister Heo and is suspecting him for sure. Some friends’ you guys are. Ya’ll have some serious trust issue here you guys need to work on, lol). The King leaves, telling him guard to search further for Yoon-jeo, believing that the minister that saw Yoon-jeo definitely had not mistaken.

In the morning, Nok-du is practicing his flattery when Deul-ri (the Muwoldan that tries to assassin Nok-du in the beginning) arrives, politely greeting each other before Nok-du leaves. Deul-ri pulls out the drawing of Nok-du, finding him suspicious and decided to follow suit. Sensing her follow, Nok-du tries to walk off quickly but she calls after him, causing him to stop in his track. Just as she approaches, Mr. Admin calls out to Nok-du, having hear about his burn.

Mr. Admin gives him ointment and being aware that Deul-ri is watching, Nok-du grabs Mr. Admin hand to make it look like they’re flirting, thanking him for the ointment. He pulls his hand away the moment Deul-ri leaves. Mr. Admin asks where he is hurt so he can apply the ointment on for him. Nok-du sticks his butt out causing Mr. Admin to say he can’t there. Seeing his nosebleed, Nok-du chastise him for his dirty thought. Nok-du snatch the ointment from him and walk away as Mr. Admin denies it. (Mr. Admin and his hardcore one-side crush on Nok-du is so hilarious)

Nok-du return back to watch Deul-ri enter the storehouse, telling himself that it is better to stay out of her sight, knowing that she is suspicious of him. He watches when he notices Dong-joo carrying a basket of clothes with her burn hand. Dong-joo unwrap her bandage and is about to do the laundry when Nok-du clasp her shoulder, slightly pushing her back from the water. He grabs the clothes and insist on washing it instead so that her wound doesn’t get worse or get an infection. (Aw, he cares!) Dong-joo place a set of cloth under him when he hissed at her to not approach his butt, but she explains that it to help his injured butt from infection as well.

Dong-joo tells him that for being a noblewoman, he’s quite good at laundry. Nok-du refute that he is only helping her this time but Dong-joo rebuke him, telling him that she feels like he’ll continue to help her the next time as well.

Afterward, he applies the ointment Mr. Admin gave him on Dong-joo hand. Dong-joo tells him that it doesn’t feel bad at all, having someone taking care of her since it makes her think of her past. The two discuss about their mom which Nok-du tells her that he is envious that she has many good memories with her mom but Dong-joo refute him, telling him it is painful because of the memories. Dong-joo ask him about his mother which he recalls her being very sick. In her sick state, she had apologized to him for the way they are living. She says that his name is not Hwang-tae ae but Jung… She started wheezing and gasping for air as Nok-du calls out in panic to his brother. His mother suddenly grabs his collar, blaming him for their circumstance, saying if it weren’t because of him, her son and her family would’ve… But before she could say further, his mother pass away. (Hm, interesting. Since she is in and out of subconsciousness, I wonder if she thinks Nok-du was his brother earlier and wanted to tell him his family name. It sounds possible that while they are on the run, they had taken a different family name (of Lee) instead of Jung (their father’s family name?) And it seemed like they’re hinting that Nok-du could possibly be the baby that the King had try to smolder when he was born. But that’s just me guessing).

Dong-joo offers to apply the medicine on his butt causing Nok-du to jump from his spot. Dong-joo grab his skirt and ask him seriously if she can call him “Unni” looking up at him with her pleading eyes, making him enthrall by her. (So totally see him blushing, he’s lovestruck LOL). She asks again if she can, but he mumbles that he isn’t a “Unni” since he technically isn’t a girl. Dong-joo thinks he meant that he might be younger than her. Nok-du recalls her telling him she was older but now that he tells him when was born, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Nok-du picks up his robe and leaves her there. Back in the village and feeling fluster, he questions if she notices him blushing or why she would ask him that question until he sees the women running off here and there, scared. Nok-du follows Bok-nyeo who pulls him into hiding with her. Peeking out, Nok-du sees a woman in red, ringing chimes accompanying by two other women in white with a veil covering their faces. Bok-nyeo informed him that the shaman is here to comfort the dead soul that has passed away wrongfully, and it would be big trouble if he roams around while the shaman is doing her praying.

Nok-du follow the women to the temple and hides when more people head up to the temple, with robes over them. Nok-du notices there are men under the robes and wanted to take a closer look but his foot slip, letting out a sound alerting all the women standing guards up at the temple. They shoot arrows towards his direction but luckily, he dodges them all, undetected. He throws a rock to divert them in the opposite direction however Ssook got a glimpse of his figure running back to the village. She whistle for her assassin while she gives chase back into the village.

At the courtesan house, Dong-joo is cleaning the floor when her friend, Hwa-soo, came over, telling her that her a drunk man spilled alcohol on her. Dong-joo tells her to go clean up while she go to get her another dress.

Nok-du runs hurriedly back into the courtesan house and hides his black cloak under a porch just as Ssook catches up. He runs into a room he assumed is empty only to crash into Dong-joo, causing the two to land on the floor. Lady Cheon tells Ssook to look quietly as to not disturb the guest. Dong-joo question why Nok-du is here which he sees a scissor and suggest fixing her uneven hair for her.

The assassin that Ssook whistle for has surrounded the courtesan house. Minister Heo enters and ask Lady Cheon if that “man” is here which she inform that she believes he is.

Nok-du trims Dong-joo hair however his eyes were looking at the door, resulting in cutting one side of her hair too short. (If the Muwoldan don’t kill him, Dong-joo would sure kill him for cutting her hair like that, lol). Gasping, he tries to trim the other side of her hair to even both sides out making it shorter (LOL) as she tells him to make sure to even it for her. She asks why he is going to such length. He responded that it’s her precious hair which Dong-joo opening her eyes, refuting him since he refuse to let her called him “Unni.”

Looking closely at him, she notice something (the stubbles) on Nok-du’s chin and goes to touch it but Nok-du jerk back, startled and accidentally cut her ear with the sisscor in the process. She tries to grab the mirror to see the cut on her hair which Nok-du snatches quickly for her, telling her she can’t (not wanting her to see her short hair). Dong-joo find him being strange and demand for the mirror which he hides behind his back. The two slap fight each other (LOL) until Dong-joo pushes him, causing him to fall back on the floor. Dong-joo tries to stand up and step on her dress, causing her to fall. The look of horror on Nok-du’s faces say it all as Dong-joo falls, her hand landing directly on Nok-du’s gem. (LOL, the sound affects are funny).

In pain, Nok-du let out a very loud manly groan that is overheard out in the hall by Ssok, Lady Cheon, and Minister Heo. Dong-joo removes her hand and sit ups as Nok-du curl beside her in pain. She looks at her hand, seems to figure it out as Nok-du sits up. She reaches for his chin and is shocked to feel his stubble. She picks the scissor up beside her, pointing it directly at Nok-du. Nok-du tries to fake his girly-ness but Dong-joo doesn’t seemed to be fool, still pointing the scissor at him.

Black and Blue Review

Synopsis (Official website: https://www.blackandblue.movie/synopsis/)

“A rookie cop (Academy Award ® nominee Naomie Harris) who inadvertently captures the murder of a young drug dealer on her body cam. After realizing that the murder was committed by corrupt cops, she teams up with the one person from her community who is willing to help her (Tyrese Gibson) as she tries to escape both the criminals out for revenge and the police who are desperate to destroy the incriminating footage.”

My friend and I was able to see the screening. The movie pits a rookie cop against police corruption, so you get a “Training Day” vibe. However, what the movie stand out in this police corruption movie is the undertone statement that speaks volume to today’s social and racial issue of police abuse towards race, particularly black minority.

The movie starts off with Alicia West (Naomie Harris) jogging in the morning in her hoodie to be stopped by two police officer who without listening, hassle her until they see that she is a rookie officer in her third week in the PD. They claimed, “you know how it is.”

The scene set a powerful statement of the social and racial issues that is face in today society of police profiling, particularly towards a black person. This is further stated as Alicia is doing her street round with her partner. As they are driving through the neighborhood, you see there is an underlying fear, and the tension between the black community towards those in blue (the police), that resonate with our society. That scene alone says so much about the imminent danger one face (particularly with those officers in blue) when you are a person of color. Whether you are out and about, minding your business but because of your skin color, you are target, harassed, and possible in imminent danger of losing your life.

As the movie dives further into the plot of Alicia being on the hunt by corrupted cops after witnessing them murdering a young drug dealer. The movie gives you the suspense and action of seeing who Alicia can trust and who she cannot trust with her secret. It is enough to keep you on the edge of your seat.

But at the core of the movie is the underlying message of social and racial issues represent in our current society between black minority and police officer/police system (hence black and blue).

One statement that Alicia made in the movie truly resonate deeply with me is:

Murder is murder, it don’t matter who you are.

Her statement truly speak volume to the societal issues we have today. Of how much shades there are in murder, the injustice, how corrupted our system are, towards treatment and murder depending on the color of your skin. And such, needs to be change because it should not be about the color of one skin. One should not be more privilege than the other. What gives or allow a person that entitlement above another when more than our skin color, we are all humans.

Overall, I highly recommend watching this movie and talking with your friend about it. There is action, suspense but more important the underlying message that it want to address. Like Naomie Harris character said, there have to be change. Even if you feel you cannot make a deep change to society, watch this movie and talk with your friend about the message it is telling, about these social and racial issues with your friend. Educate yourself and understand their standpoint, the struggle they face because of their skin color, of being a minority. Small changes will eventually amount to big changes.