IRIS (KBS2, 2009)

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kobe23
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IRIS (KBS2, 2009)

Post by kobe23 » Apr 18th, '08, 14:36

IRIS 아이리스

PRODUCTION: Taewon Entertainment & Kang Je-kyu Film
PD: Kang Je-kyu 강제규 (Taegukgi: The Brotherhood Of War, Shiri), Lee Hyung-min 이형민 (I'm Sorry I Love You, SangDoo, Let's Go To School, Winter Sonata)
SCRIPT: Kang Je-kyu 강제규, Choi Wan-kyu 최완규 (Jumong, All In, Sang Do, Heo Jun)
CAST: Lee Byung-hun 이병헌 (A Bittersweet Life; All In, Beautiful Days), Kim Tae Hee 김태희 (Love Story In Harvard, Nine Tailed Fox, Stairway To Heaven), T.O.P. (I am Sam)
EPISODES: 20
START: 1st half of 2009

Image Image

Korean star Lee Byung-heon is returning to TV screen in a spy thriller titled “Iris.” Lee’s first TV drama in five years since his starring role in “All In,” “Iris” is Korea’s first attempt at a high-tech spy thriller filled with flashy action scenes, cool cutting-edge devices, and scenic overseas locations.

The 20 million-dollar action-packed drama is directed by Kang Je-gyu of “Taegukgi: Brotherhood of War” and Lee Hyung-min of “I’m Sorry, I Love You” and produced jointly by Taewon Entertainment, which had made the global project “Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon.”Filming will begin later this year and take place in Russia, Japan, China and the United States. The twenty-parter “Iris” is scheduled to be aired early next year.

Lee has just wrapped up filming the French-American movie “I Come with the Rain” with Josh Hartnett and is getting ready to shoot “G. I. Joe.” Lee will be playing Korean ninja Storm Shadow in the action flick. The multi-national collaboration co-starring British actress Sienna Miller and American actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt alongside Lee is due for release in August 2009.

-- Credit to soompi

Actress Kim Tae Hee has been cast in the upcoming drama “IRIS” and will be collaborating with Lee Byung Hun. Kim Tae Hee will play as the partner of Lee Byung Hun in this spy action drama. The production company of “IRIS“, Taewon Entertainment, disclosed this information today, 10th of October.

This, if realized, will be Kim Tae Hee return work since her last drama “Love Story in Harvard” back in 2004.

Kim Tae Hee will ditch her past image and play as an agent of a National Intelligence Agency (NSS) with an with a clear and sensitive mind. She will also be thwarting terrorist activities with her colleague Lee Byung Hun in several action scenes.

She also appears to be in a love triangle with Lee Byung Hun and another colleague, Jin Sa Woo, which the cast has not been finalized.

“IRIS” is scheduled for broadcast next summer.

-- Hanfever
Last edited by kobe23 on Oct 10th, '08, 13:05, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by kobe23 » Apr 18th, '08, 14:47

Probably not many Lee Byung Hun fans around here but I'm more excited about this upcoming drama than any other drama in the works. Unless of course, it's Song Hye Kyo's new drama, or maybe.....this IS gonna be SHK's new drama? That would make it an All In reunion :cheers:

It's been 5 years since LBH's last drama All In in which he played my favorite k-drama character of all time - Kim In Ha. SHK hasn't done a drama for 4 years so it's the perfect time for her comeback and showcase her talent as a multi-dimensional actress. Just looking at the budget and people involved is enough to make me feel a bit giddy. This is gonna be the slickest k-drama ever, and it seems, there might even be a compelling storyline underneath all that gloss.

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Post by bshater » Apr 18th, '08, 15:23

kobe23 wrote:Probably not many Lee Byung Hun fans around here but I'm more excited about this upcoming drama than any other drama in the works. Unless of course, it's Song Hye Kyo's new drama, or maybe.....this IS gonna be SHK's new drama? That would make it an All In reunion :cheers:

It's been 5 years since LBH's last drama All In in which he played my favorite k-drama character of all time - Kim In Ha. SHK hasn't done a drama for 4 years so it's the perfect time for her comeback and showcase her talent as a multi-dimensional actress. Just looking at the budget and people involved is enough to make me feel a bit giddy. This is gonna be the slickest k-drama ever, and it seems, there might even be a compelling storyline underneath all that gloss.
im really glad that LBH will return to the small screen after all these years, but im afraid all this hype about this production team is gonna kill it badly, just like it did with Lobbyist. not sure if this is a trend or not, but dramas that get the most publicity tend to fail miserably in scripting, and vice versa. i hope the writer won't get overconfident about the cast and abandon the focus on creating a solid script.

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Post by beertax » Apr 18th, '08, 15:44

I highly doubt SHK will star in a show with LBH. They were a high profile couple during and right after filming All In and broke up shortly thereafter in a highly publicized way.

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Post by lilswtangel » Apr 18th, '08, 16:00

I DON'T BELIEVE IT!!!!!!! OMG!!!

I haven't seen LBH in a drama since "All In" and the ending there already made miss him.

2009? wow....that's like nearly 6 years since "All In"~
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Post by WroW » Apr 18th, '08, 16:01

Well this should be the writers 3. attempt to high budget action. After both Aircity and Lobbyist, which come from the same writer, miserably failed. I hope he gets out a good story this time. Even if not I will still watch it :roll
If LBH wouldn't play in this drama I would really ask myself who would invest 20Million$ in another action drama by this writer.

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Post by kobe23 » Apr 19th, '08, 15:19

Not to mention LBH wouldn't accept the role if he didn't like the script. I mean, the guy is now a Hollywood star, he's not gonna comeback to k-drama for a failure! :P

As for the female lead, I honestly don't think it'll be SHK either; that's just my wishful thinking, but it'll probably be some serious actress who can do action sequences and play the sexy 'femme fatale' role. Over at soompi they are suggesting Kim Hye Soo, which I think would be a pretty good choice.

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Post by WroW » Apr 19th, '08, 15:27

kobe23 wrote:Not to mention LBH wouldn't accept the role if he didn't like the script. I mean, the guy is now a Hollywood star, he's not gonna comeback to k-drama for a failure! :P

As for the female lead, I honestly don't think it'll be SHK either; that's just my wishful thinking, but it'll probably be some serious actress who can do action sequences and play the sexy 'femme fatale' role. Over at soompi they are suggesting Kim Hye Soo, which I think would be a pretty good choice.
There shouldn't be a script right now. Usually the writer and PD only give the basic scenario to the actors but LBH must trust them. Hopfully they find a great actress and please not Choi Ji Woo :roll

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Post by bshater » Apr 19th, '08, 21:29

WroW wrote: There shouldn't be a script right now. Usually the writer and PD only give the basic scenario to the actors but LBH must trust them. Hopfully they find a great actress and please not Choi Ji Woo :roll
hehe, same here. for some reason, i find CJW's presence extremely repulsive. perhaps it was due to the horrible experience with Stairway to Heaven. :whistling:

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Post by kawaiimomo » Apr 19th, '08, 22:11

OMG cang wait!!! but i guess i have to wait a year! :-( o well i love Lee Byun Hun! and i think Son Ye Jin would make a perfect femme fatale and i would love to see her paired with Lee Byun Hun!

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Post by kobe23 » Apr 21st, '08, 15:01

WroW wrote:
kobe23 wrote:Not to mention LBH wouldn't accept the role if he didn't like the script. I mean, the guy is now a Hollywood star, he's not gonna comeback to k-drama for a failure! :P

As for the female lead, I honestly don't think it'll be SHK either; that's just my wishful thinking, but it'll probably be some serious actress who can do action sequences and play the sexy 'femme fatale' role. Over at soompi they are suggesting Kim Hye Soo, which I think would be a pretty good choice.
There shouldn't be a script right now. Usually the writer and PD only give the basic scenario to the actors but LBH must trust them. Hopfully they find a great actress and please not Choi Ji Woo :roll
I thought there would've been a draft at least before the PD and actors sign their life away. So in Korea they just go in blindly without knowing what the heck they're getting themselves into? No wonder so many big stars and PD's are involved in total flops.

If they come out and announce Choi Ji Woo as the female lead - or even a cameo appearance - I would'nt even watch one episode. Heck, I'd probably drop k-dramas altogether and move onto something else :thumbdown:

i think Son Ye Jin would make a perfect femme fatale and i would love to see her paired with Lee Byun Hun!
Apparently Son Yeh Jin tried the femme fatale role and failed miserably in the recent movie Open City. I haven't seen it yet, but according to many reviews, she just doesn't seem to be able to shake off that cutesy image that she's developed over the years. Will watch it soon enough to find out myself how she faired.

My guess is they'll probably cast someone in their 30's since LBH is what...almost 40 now? But yeah, anyone but CJW and at least someone who is somewhat attractive :)

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Post by belleza » Apr 23rd, '08, 10:36

I thought there would've been a draft at least before the PD and actors sign their life away. So in Korea they just go in blindly without knowing what the heck they're getting themselves into? No wonder so many big stars and PD's are involved in total flops.
Often the leads sign onto roles before the basic plot has been outlined, and it's not unusual for them to not know what happens to their character until they're literally given the script one or two days prior to shoot. That's why this move away from a live shoot is a big deal. Writers assemble a storyline not based on market research, and actors can fight for the integrity of their characters.

Also I share WRoW's concerns regarding their prior work Lobbyist and Air City (which isn't that bad, just not commiserate to the cast given to the project.) It's not so much merely about whether this project will be good or not; it's more that in both situations, they mishandled the enormous star power and quality of casting given to them in both circumstances. You sometimes wonder whether you're watching of frustration these actors (Jang Jin Young or Lee Jung Jae) asking themselves "I signed up to say this?!? I'm never doing TV again!!" It's an alienating response (both did not do well) that just pushes away those rare opportunities to watch the A-list on TV. That said, I assume this one will be eventually sold to SBS, and LBH and SBS are like "*THIS*" He's done as much as any actor to carry SBS's blockbuster dramas through well over the last 10 years.

He's an idol to me, but I don't need to see him on TV. I'm just worried the show is going to be really, really bad, and I don't usually say this about potential matchups.
Apparently Son Yeh Jin tried the femme fatale role and failed miserably in the recent movie Open City. I haven't seen it yet, but according to many reviews, she just doesn't seem to be able to shake off that cutesy image that she's developed over the years. Will watch it soon enough to find out myself how she faired.
Non-spoiler thoughts on Open City:
I thought Open City (which did pretty well at the box office) was pretty good -- gritty, rarely dull, and the pickpocket stuff is all very well done. Most of it is intricate and requires colloborations of her whole team; you can follow what they're doing with each knick, purse snatch and hidden corner. The film is very violent though (a lot of knife slashes and an impaling or two, Kobe23 you'd approve! :D ), and there's this one scene with a razor blade that kinda dips into Old Boy territory. One especially nice tough is how though there's kind of an romantic storyline and kind of a storyline regarding an absentee mother, really the story stays attached to its dirty play. Dishonour before death and love, the tone is consistent and keeps the story humming.

Kim Hae Sook (the biological mother in Autumn Tale) steals the show here. When you first see her, hair cropped and arm tattooed, you know Hae Sook is FAR from the mom roles she's played in just about half the K-dramas. Emotionally present but gritty and toward the end, just visceral and a little ugly.

Son Yeh Jin delivers a complete, very thought out performance in Open City. And it's a complete misfire. She takes a risk at portraying the femme fatale/crime boss as a kind of CM queen endorsing tattoos, couture thievery, and knife-in-back deceits. Everything is mannered finely but excessively and on the surface, the way she puffs from her cigs, the contemptuous hahas, the smug satisfaction in her eyes about a good plan, the teething of certain worded sentiments, her catwalk enhanced by blank-me pumps. Her contrived "bad performance" is that only a truly talented actor would do; it takes real creativity to miss the mark like this. It's not all that much like Hye Soo's in Tazza), and it would have been spot-on marvelous in a gangster comedy. Her queen bee shtick -- and as shtick it would be a tough sell here even from a Kim Hye Soo or Uhm Jung Hwa -- is also shared by the majority of baddies here, and so it makes you wonder whether the director intended this camp thuggery.

It's also worth watching if you haven't seen Kim Myung Min yet do "Kim Myung Min." He's the very, very rare Korean screen actor that reveals no tells with his emotions or palpable anticipation with his physicality. His rage feels truly terrifying, and his acting has an awesome immediacy. (Like Kang Ji Hwan, his theatrical background kinda shows itself in the way his voice can explode with barely a wink of the eye, and how shifts in emotions are conveyed first through representative gestures and delivery, rather than through facial expressions. It can be distracting sometimes.) However he is not great here either -- you feel little rapport between him and Son Yeh Jin until late in the movie, and almost none between him and the rest of his cop buddies. It's maybe too much to ask for an open performance, and perhaps he has absolutely no sympathy towards an audience wanting to see more of his character's heart.

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Post by WroW » Apr 23rd, '08, 10:44

kobe23 wrote: I thought there would've been a draft at least before the PD and actors sign their life away. So in Korea they just go in blindly without knowing what the heck they're getting themselves into? No wonder so many big stars and PD's are involved in total flops.
Well I am not sure if there is a script or not but it's fairly normal for "star" writers just to pitch their idea and get the green light before even starting. I don't know how realistic On Air portrays the actual drama making but if you should watch the drama, they also didn't have a script before casting :roll

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Post by kobe23 » Apr 23rd, '08, 15:19

Come to think of it, I guess it's not such a big deal for the actors to sign up without a script since k-dramas have no plot anyway :D

Thanks for your thoughts on Open City, belleza. I'll definitely watch it sometime over the next week since you piqued my interest as u always manage to do :) Good thing you mentioned Uhm Jung Hwa: She would be a great candidate as the 30-something spy/femme fatale/agent. I thoroughly enjoyed her in Princess Aurora and I think she would be perfect alongside LBH. Thoughts?

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Post by belleza » Apr 24th, '08, 09:09

I thoroughly enjoyed her in Princess Aurora and I think she would be perfect alongside LBH. Thoughts?
With most actors, yes she would be perfect for the part. Not a great actress per se (and most definitely not popular over at Popseoul :P ), but she and Kim Hye Soo are absolutely authentic women. 90s K-drama queen Choi Jin Shil would also work. (Actually friend and I were talking about her some weeks ago, when she was like in everything in the 90s. Ahh, 90s K-drama . . . )

But because this is a Lee Byung Hun star vehicle, that would probably be unlikely. He prefers working opposite (much) younger female leads, meaning that it even Choi Ji Woo (even considering her fanbase in Japan) would probably be too old now to play opposite him. Personally, I'd love to see a JSA reunion between him and Lee Young Ae. LBH (as well as LYA) has an intense on set reputation, often fighting directors, off-putting relationships with their co-leads, and vouching for their characters in their work. That speaks to their integrity and care for their craft, and sometimes their retiring relationship with TV work. But I think that also causes problems when LBH is cast against actresses of similar age or stature.

Also, given that the story will be a Pan-Asian romp, Iris by default will be earmarked as Hallyu project and therefore possible lead candidates would be parceled out according to demographics. I was actually visualizing LBH opposite Han Chae Young or Jang Nara. Hmm . . .

If this ends up being "Oppa! Identity"/"Damo Hard", I can think of no better actress than Ha Ji Won. She's approaching the "Korean 30" (aiiich!! is Sex is Zero THAT old already?!?) And she does have that wonderfully Korean niche of "tearjerker queen who kicks ass!!" Iris: a Forsythe-on-crack political thriller about Shanghai contracts, ruble rockets, Korean yakuza triads, and estranged soulmates of an especially tragic childhood will enter a fatal end game of interpol vs. spy. Bullets will rain like tears. Tears will rain like bullets!

Oppa, you're under arrest! Stop Oppa or I'll shoot!! Yippie kai yay I'm already crying . . . :lol

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Post by WroW » Apr 24th, '08, 13:45

I was thinking and also hoping for Ha Ji Won too :roll especially because first they planned to remake shiri into a drama and Ha Ji Won was rumoured to be in it.

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Post by kobe23 » Apr 25th, '08, 16:26

Even though I'm not a fan of Ha Ji Won I think she would fit in nicely, considering she's probably the most versatile Korean actress at the moment. She's done it all before: Horror, Comedy, Romance, Melodrama, Adult, Historical - Now she just needs to do a spy thriller to fill her already very impressive CV. But where on earth would she find the time though? I think she does like 3 movies + 1 drama a year :)
Iris: a Forsythe-on-crack political thriller about Shanghai contracts, ruble rockets, Korean yakuza triads, and estranged soulmates of an especially tragic childhood will enter a fatal end game of interpol vs. spy. Bullets will rain like tears. Tears will rain like bullets!
If Iris is even half as interesting as that, I'd watch it even with Choi Ji Woo as female lead :D

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Post by kobe23 » May 3rd, '08, 16:48

I just watched Open City and I totally agree with your thoughts belleza. I have no idea what all those professional reviewers are on about - The 'cutesy' bits are actually one part of her different personas. Son Yeh Jin's performance was fine, especially considering how different she was in her earlier works (Classic and AMTR) Sure, she's no Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, but her character in this movie isn't a cold blooded, calculated killer either. With that, I would love to see SYJ play alongside LBH in Iris, and I'm sure she would do a great job.

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Post by RJanie » Oct 4th, '08, 16:06

Congrate on your right pick: yes, the man has found his spy lady :w00t:

Check it out!

http://www.soompi.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=212404

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Post by kobe23 » Oct 4th, '08, 17:28

Image

From [Hanfever]:
This time round Son Ye Jin becomes the lover of Lee Byung Hun. It has been finalized that Son Ye Jin will play in the upcoming spy drama “IRIS” that is scheduled to air in the first half of 2009. Son Ye Jin plays as Lee Myung Hee, an agent of NSS, a national intelligence agency.
Allow me to quote Rubie from Soompi:
THE BEST NEWS!!!!
YES YES YESSSSSS!!!! :w00t: :w00t: :w00t:
Finally they get the casting right! Ok, so Song Hye Kyo was my first choice, but considering her history with LBH, it was never gonna happen. After watching Open City I have been yearning for more SYJ in this type of role and I'm so glad they've decided to choose her! Not too sure how T.O.P. fits in here; he seems really out of place in this big budget blockbuster bonanza.

Can't wait!

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Post by tree1234 » Oct 4th, '08, 17:54

waaah! i can't wait for 2009 to start! OMG! :w00t:

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Post by belleza » Oct 4th, '08, 19:16

Lee Byung Hun and Son Yeh Jin? In a big budget remake of Shiri?

Sweet

Mother

(of)

God

(but how the heck can they afford both salaries and have anything left to shoot a show?)
With that, I would love to see SYJ play alongside LBH in Iris, and I'm sure she would do a great job.
Kobe, you're the Yul Brenner of Hallyu. So let it be written, so let it be done! :D

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Post by garnet07 » Oct 4th, '08, 22:00

Haven't seen Lee Byung Hun since Beautiful Days and All In. Cool a new drama in 2009. I like all of these comeback actors/actresses. Can't wait.
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Post by SSpiegel » Oct 4th, '08, 22:53

kobe23 wrote: Not too sure how T.O.P. fits in here; he seems really out of place in this big budget blockbuster bonanza.
I've been thinking about the same thing. Tho I'm a fan (some of you might notice :P ) and absolutely ecstatic to see him anywhere, I'm still a bit worried. He has the badass looks and all, but he was a bit stiff on I am Sam. Maybe he has improved. It wouldn't be so bad if the other actors were newbies too (when everyone's bad, you don't even notice :P), but usually the lack of experience shows when there's just one newbie with big names (which I just assume they are, since they aren't familiar to me).

Still, can't wait! *fangirl mode*

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Post by fizzlex3mh » Oct 5th, '08, 04:23

SON YE JIN! :w00t:

Just finished Alone in Love, and she is officially my favorite. I cannot wait!

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Post by kobe23 » Oct 6th, '08, 14:14

belleza wrote:Lee Byung Hun and Son Yeh Jin? In a big budget remake of Shiri?

(but how the heck can they afford both salaries and have anything left to shoot a show?)
That would be a big concern because I really hope they don't skimp on special effects and well choreographed action sequences just to pay the two leads. I hope the budget holds up because this has the potential to be huge!
Kobe, you're the Yul Brenner of Hallyu. So let it be written, so let it be done! :D
It was actually someone from the first page who suggested SYJ first, but hey, I'll take the credit :)

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Post by kobe23 » Oct 6th, '08, 14:29

SSpiegel wrote:
kobe23 wrote: Not too sure how T.O.P. fits in here; he seems really out of place in this big budget blockbuster bonanza.
I've been thinking about the same thing. Tho I'm a fan (some of you might notice :P ) and absolutely ecstatic to see him anywhere, I'm still a bit worried. He has the badass looks and all, but he was a bit stiff on I am Sam. Maybe he has improved. It wouldn't be so bad if the other actors were newbies too (when everyone's bad, you don't even notice :P), but usually the lack of experience shows when there's just one newbie with big names (which I just assume they are, since they aren't familiar to me).

Still, can't wait! *fangirl mode*
I am sure they will find a 'Moo-Shin' type role for him delivering one liners without expression :P

One thing I've noticed about Korean models/singers-turned-actors is that they tend to improve quite a bit in subsequent works (unless your name is Dennis Oh), so I don't think he will bring embarrassment to this project. I hope not anyway....for the sake of his fans :)

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Post by SSpiegel » Oct 6th, '08, 15:10

Oh, I have my fingers and toes crossed for his success. One weak link in a dramatic action-filled series might turn ugly.

:offtopic: (only a bit, tho) The only reason why I'm so worried is that I've been watching Maou this fall and while it had the potential to be pretty good (whoa, Ohno Satoshi is brilliant in this), it falls flat because of Ikuta Toma. I totally love the guy, and his comical roles are really good, but he can't play a serious role even if his live depended on it. The series comes off as comical, even tho it's supposed to be, what? Suspense?

There's been a lot of talk about big budget, hyped-up dramas ending up as a flop (or at least very disappointing). I hope this isn't one of them.

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Post by belleza » Oct 6th, '08, 22:05

but usually the lack of experience shows when there's just one newbie with big names (which I just assume they are, since they aren't familiar to me).
The problem is that Lee Byung Hyun will eat him alive. Alive. He's not just an actor with true A-list movie star charisma (not unusual for other actors to disappear once he comes into a room); he's also notoriously intimidating onset. His preparation can be intense, and he demands the same commitment from other people. Another problem is if they do a triangle between the two men and Song Yeh Jin, it wouldn't wash. Son Yeh Jin is a true movie star with real (IMO still underrated) acting chops, one whom you associate with other popular (and much, much older) male actors. TOP would seem like a boy were SYJ playing a fatale similar to Open City.

I'm not knocking TOP here; but he has his work cut out for him.
That would be a big concern because I really hope they don't skimp on special effects and well choreographed action sequences just to pay the two leads. I hope the budget holds up because this has the potential to be huge!
Yeah, this is roughly the equivalent of that pipe dream rumor about Rain and Jeon Ji Hyun doing a show together. I honestly didn't think a LBH/SYJ casting (wow, I just think I heard Japan squee! :D ) in anything but an expensive movie was realistic anymore. Now, having said that, this is supposed to be a remake of Shiri and we're supposed to have location shoots all over Asia. You could put together such a drama under a mid-level budget, but it would look tacky and cheesy. Their previous project Lobbyist looked cheesy, like American Ninja cheesy. And East of Eden's action sets have been a touch inconsistent, some of it feeling a bit dated too. You want something sleek and gadget man cool. You want something like Time of Dog and Wolf, but if the salaries of the two actors take up like 50-60% of the budget, that will hurt too.
I totally love the guy, and his comical roles are really good, but he can't play a serious role even if his live depended on it. The series comes off as comical, even tho it's supposed to be, what? Suspense?
His performance also looks worse when you compare it with Eom Tae Woong's tortured performance in the original Mawang. I like Ikuma Toma a lot (and IMO he's among the most handsome of JE), but just doesn't have enough proper acting experience to play the role. Ohno is arguably the most serious actor in Arashi (and maybe the most talented between Arashi, SMAP, etc.), having done proper theatre and such. It was never fair.

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Post by SSpiegel » Oct 6th, '08, 23:47

belleza wrote: he's also notoriously intimidating onset. His preparation can be intense, and he demands the same commitment from other people.

Having a true professional on set (with high work ethics, too) might prove helpful to a newbie like TOP. He might be intimidated and fail badly, or they might enhance his performance crucially. For his defense, I've heard he's majoring in film and theater in college. (tho I'm not entirely sure how these young stars really get their education, but anyways... ) But who knows how he'll do before we actually see it with our own eyes.



His performance also looks worse when you compare it with Eom Tae Woong's tortured performance in the original Mawang.


I began to watch the Devil before Maou started airing, but I haven't gotten very far at it. But even in the start the atmosphere is much tighter and the actors performance is on another level (tho I think Ohno Satoshi is a bit better at expressing the complex feelings than Joo Ji Hoon). Still, the Japanese cast is solid enough excluding Ikuta Toma. I can't help but laugh everytime he starts to run, bursting into places and ruining the scene with his overdramatic rants. I'm sure it's not totally his fault, the director did a bit of a lousy job at, well, directing him. But enough of :offtopic:

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Post by belleza » Oct 7th, '08, 02:49

Having a true professional on set (with high work ethics, too) might prove helpful to a newbie like TOP. He might be intimidated and fail badly, or they might enhance his performance crucially. For his defense, I've heard he's majoring in film and theater in college. (tho I'm not entirely sure how these young stars really get their education, but anyways... ) But who knows how he'll do before we actually see it with our own eyes. [
It's not so much a reflection of TOP, as it is that LBH is just a very demanding/difficult worker (also known to fight with directors and have difficult working relationships with his female leads) onset. Lee Young Ae developed a similar reputation for similar reasons. I mean, there are good reasons for this; he's often asked to carry big-budget SBS dramas that may be lacking. There are certain shows where he's simply a force of nature, the vortex from where all the story's emotional gravity eludes.

For me, the #1 problem though is the budget, especially since both actors are probably earning career paychecks for this drama. This is going to be very expensive and logistically challenging.
(tho I think Ohno Satoshi is a bit better at expressing the complex feelings than Joo Ji Hoon)
Honestly, I felt Joo Ji Hoon was miscast for that part. He's not that bad, but I always picture Lee Jung Ki, especially a seething Jung Ki with those blazing eyes, in that role.

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Post by SSpiegel » Oct 7th, '08, 03:12

belleza wrote:
It's not so much a reflection of TOP, as it is that LBH is just a very demanding/difficult worker
Ah, I didn't really think you were criticising him and I wasn't really defending him either, but thanks for clearing that up. Like I've said, I'm not familiar with the leads of this drama (as I'm pretty new to Korean dramas), so everything I've said is just the impression I've gotten.

On a more general note, hearing all this stuff about LBH has made me even more interested in this drama. Too bad it's still a million years away from airing. (weirdly enough, after more than a year of watching Asian drama I seem to get even more passionate about it. ah, I'm expecting so many new dramas I don't have enough fingers to count them)

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Post by belleza » Oct 7th, '08, 03:16

On a more general note, hearing all this stuff about LBH has made me even more interested in this drama. T
LBH is one of my favorite actors. When he plays dramatic, tough guy roles, there's just so, so much gravity there. His rage, his tenderness, his masculinity, etc. If you want to get a taste of LBH, I'd try out All In, his most popular drama. If you don't have time for a full drama, then try out the movie Joint Security Area, made by the same director who did Oldboy.

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Post by kobe23 » Oct 7th, '08, 15:22

Or you could try A Bittersweet Life from the same director as A Tale of Two Sisters...

To be honest I never really thought LBH would ever be back in the small screen considering his status, but that's what I love about Korean dramas. It's great how they can pull in big names and have big budget productions unlike dramas in other countries.

But yeah, my biggest concern is also the budget. I guess as long as there aren't any cringe-worthy scenes I'll be happy.

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Post by belleza » Oct 7th, '08, 23:17

To be honest I never really thought LBH would ever be back in the small screen considering his status,
Definitely felt the same way. He really paid his dues on TV and had become one of the standard SBS leads for their blockbuster dramas. I didn't think he'd want to do that again.

This is really a return to an old relationship. SBS likes to draw movie actors in their big projects; that this is a favorite son like LBH just makes it sweeter.

The cynical part for me says LBH is only doing this because he knows he'll get paid crazy money. He's still popular as ever; his last movie with Song Kang Ho and Jung Woo-Sung (also from the Tale of Two Cities director) is a huge hit. Imagine how much he's going to get paid here. Besides the base salary, he'll earn royalty rights when this gets distributed around Asia. The fact that Iris will pair him with Son Yeh Jin gives this Legend-level visibility in Taiwan and Japan (where Summer Scent is popular and highly regarded.) More money, less problems.

But, I do like that Choi Wan Kyu, who's the usual hired hand to do Action! Macho! Body Count! K-dramas! is going to write the show. For example, he's one of the current writers of the sageuk Kingdom of the Winds. A recent episode involved the bootcamp training of the Black Shadows, which kinda resembles a sageuk version of a Navy Seal/Israeli Special Ops unit. It just screamed -- SCREAMED -- Choi Wan Kyu! :D It looks like this is going to be the first drama since All In, where Choi Wan Kyu will be the principal/main writer too. The most disappointing thing about Lobbyist was how tacky, utterly tacky, the action bits seemed. Like it was a 2007 attempt at Delta Force-era Chuck Norris. An attempt that failed! :(

Gawd how I loved All In. Ain't nothing more romantic that LBH mowing down random white people with a AK-47 . . . just so he can make to the church to marry sweet Song Hye Kyo. What's a groom in love without a little BLOOD?!? :D

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Post by SSpiegel » Oct 10th, '08, 06:27

Found new news:
Kim Tae Hee is Lee Buyng Hun's lover in Iris
It says: "...will have a triangle relationship with Lee Byung Hun and another person who is yet to be picked yet." :blink
So if LBH is the Main Man and KTH is the Main Lady, but there's also a guy who's supposed to be in the love triangle (which is usually the Second Guy), and SYJ is the Second Lady, where's TOP supposed to be in this? I though he would be the SG, but it sounds like the SG is yet to be announced.
Or then this drama just doesn't fit to the usual Kdrama pattern where there's four main characters, two men and two women. :scratch:

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Post by belleza » Oct 10th, '08, 07:48

So if LBH is the Main Man and KTH is the Main Lady, but there's also a guy who's supposed to be in the love triangle (which is usually the Second Guy), and SYJ is the Second Lady, where's TOP supposed to be in this?
Let's just say if this is true, the best special effects we can hope for are shadow puppets and some guy making bazooka sounds with his mouth. And a lot of inappropriate "stare into space for 5 minutes" scenes with Kpop ballads. Because they won't be able to afford anything else if they try to soak up LBH, SYJ, and KTH's asking fees. Yikes.

I just don't buy it. It's unlikely that you'll see either Kim Tae Hee or Son Yeh Jin play 2nd fiddle to the other in a drama, unless it's a sageuk.

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Post by WroW » Oct 10th, '08, 09:45

Now why am I more excited about KTH than SYJ...damn those hormones.
:mrgreen:
Why don't they just cast BYJ and throw out the whole 20Mio Budget :roll

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Post by kobe23 » Oct 10th, '08, 13:27

Image

Actress Kim Tae Hee has been cast in the upcoming drama “IRIS” and will be collaborating with Lee Byung Hun. Kim Tae Hee will play as the partner of Lee Byung Hun in this spy action drama. The production company of “IRIS“, Taewon Entertainment, disclosed this information today, 10th of October.

This, if realized, will be Kim Tae Hee return work since her last drama “Love Story in Harvard” back in 2004.

Kim Tae Hee will ditch her past image and play as an agent of a National Intelligence Agency (NSS) with an with a clear and sensitive mind. She will also be thwarting terrorist activities with her colleague Lee Byung Hun in several action scenes.

She also appears to be in a love triangle with Lee Byung Hun and another colleague, Jin Sa Woo, which the cast has not been finalized.

“IRIS” is scheduled for broadcast next summer.

-- Hanfever

Well well well. What an interesting development. When I first read that Kim Tae Hee was cast in Iris I was like .... euphoric. Imagine both KTH *AND* SYJ in the same drama? Starring alongside LBH? Obviously that's too good to be true and the budget certainly could not support the 3 megastars.

So where does that leave Son Yeh Jin? According to coolsmurf she was left out due to a conflict with her schedule.

This is a double-edged sword for me. It's been five years now since KTH's last drama and needless to say, I am very excited, but at the expense of SYJ? Not happy. KTH's acting is questionable and she might even make TOP look good :P But we have seen her do action before in Nine-Tailed Fox where her acting was tolerable and she was very sexy in those leather outfits. So err..yeah, I guess I'll have to embrace her "comeback" with open arms. Welcome back Kim Tae Hee :D

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Post by WroW » Oct 10th, '08, 13:31

kobe23 wrote:
This is a double-edged sword for me. It's been five years now since KTH's last drama and needless to say, I am very excited, but at the expense of SYJ? Not happy. KTH's acting is questionable and she might even make TOP look good :P But we have seen her do action before in Nine-Tailed Fox where her acting was tolerable and she was very sexy in those leather outfits. So err..yeah, I guess I'll have to embrace her "comeback" with open arms. Welcome back Kim Tae Hee :D
Same for me, I am happy about it but absolutely can't imagine her in that role...but if the drama is as bad as Lobbyist or Aircity than at least we will have a reason to watch :roll

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Post by SSpiegel » Oct 10th, '08, 15:42

I see, so Son Yeh Jin dropped out? That slipped my eyes this morning or coolsmurf updated it later.

It seems the schedule has been pushed back, too, since it was supposed to be aired in the first quarter of 2009 and now it says summer... But it's no wonder if they still have the SG to cast. And maybe there'll be a Second Lady, too. (can't lose the pattern thinking :P)

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Post by belleza » Oct 10th, '08, 16:20

KTH's acting is questionable and she might even make TOP look good
And yet somehow I can visualize her in a love triangle including TOP whereas I couldn't with SYJ.

TOP: "Noona. Your Natural Cerebral Beauty (note: this is her official title in South Korea) and face the size of our new Big Bang CD (note: also true of her) has haunted me since my days in junior high. Your shows even taught me English!"

KTH: "Uhhh English uhhh . . . "

TOP: "Kidding. I hated school. Look at me, I'm pretty!! And brooding in this bandanna!! Forget Uncle Lee Byung Hun; I wanna make it wit you!"

KTH: *flashes her CM Queen smile* *cha ching! cha ching*

See, romantic!! :D

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Post by Kawai princess » Oct 29th, '08, 12:36

I think it would be better if top is included in kim love tranigle yes she is older but who cares to me she doesnt look that old im still shocked that she is 28 years old she looks way younger

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Post by Aiko_ » Jun 5th, '09, 09:29

The trailer is on yt:


I can't wait to see this drama ! TOP looks so hot :D

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Post by majom » Jun 16th, '09, 11:31

Hi all!

Yesterday they filmed Iris in Hungary, Europe.
I made some pics.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

All the pics i made:
http://img14.imageshack.us/gal.php?g=dscn5268p.jpg

Intresting, huh?!
Last edited by majom on Jan 4th, '19, 23:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by SunStar » Jun 28th, '09, 05:20

man... i've been hearing about this drama every where... with a superb cast...i hope the script and storyline lives up to expectations....

well...even if the story isn't good...i'll still watch it for the actors/actresses.... a lot of people i like are in it...
RICH MAN POOR WOMAN...please have a second season for those of us who cannot get enough of Hyuga Toru & Natsui Makoto!!

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wow`

Post by kmixhd » Jul 2nd, '09, 04:58

wow im was like shock by the trailer it gonna be an amazing show.. has any sub group picked it up yet???

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Post by garnet07 » Jul 7th, '09, 08:55

I think WITHS2 proposed to do the subs for it as you can see here >> http://fansub.d-addicts.com/With_S2#POS ... E_PROJECTS
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Post by Sojiro » Jul 7th, '09, 09:48

I stumbled across the trailer some time ago and I'm really anticipating the drama since then. I haven't watched many KDramas so far, but I have high hopes that this drama will be really, really good =]

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Post by Iki_Iki_Banaan » Oct 14th, '09, 20:03

ooh, should be aired today, can't wait for the subs ^o^
Image
Image Tokyo Dogs ❤ IRIS Image

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Post by Neliets » Oct 14th, '09, 20:08

Definately gonna watch this, more b/c there is T.O.P in it ;D

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Post by belleza » Oct 17th, '09, 03:28

Non-spoiler thoughts on First Episode . . .
The first episode was flat out brilliant. Goes beyond anything I've ever seen done in J-drama thrillers and transcends 24-style histrionics into something that resembles the first Bourne Identity. Autumnal, melancholy, claustrophobic, gritty, even poetic.

The budget is obviously there, but the director Kim Kyu Tae is in full command of the filmmaking idioms associated with thrillers. First, I love how he dialed back the music, and instead of manufacturing full-on frenzy, he goes QUIET (like the first Bourne Identity movie.) He turns down the volume in all figurative aspects of the word. Goes intimate, knows how to shoot the chase scenes tight, how much Greengrass-style handicam shaky action to use, and when to use master shots in order to survey territory, rather than merely showing off the money that went into this. This is exactly what I hoped for when Kim Kyu Tae was hired to direct this.

It's not saying much, but I have a feeling that Kim Tae Hee's character Choi Seung Hee may end up one of the best female characters in Choi Wan Kyu's cannon. Here, the KTH casting actually works brilliantly in the first episode, because when the plot twist happens toward the end, you realize all along that you really don't know Seung Hee. Consider that the biggest monster may be Choi Seung Hee, . . .

In terms of story, Iris definitely reflects Choi Wan Kyu's personal tropes. The All In-style opening sequence. The "boys will be boys" emphasis on military comraderie. The macho code. The love of all things geeketry. Yet we also see something new here. Choi Wan Kyu reveals us not a superhero spy -- which we assumed Lee Byung Hun would be -- but a character who may have been forced into something he was never prepared for. A man much frailer, much sadder than what we've seen in Lee Byung Hun's headliner dramas.

The woman that he/they love. Is she worst thing that ever happened to his life? Boom Boom Pow.

Lee Byung Hun is wonderful here. If you haven't watched his comedy work or period stuff like Once in a Summer, then you probably haven't seen his impish, adolescent side. He's one of the few major Korean male leads who can inhabit a role with full-on, soul-stirring gravity of a Choi Min Soo, or be equally convincing as a silly, rather stupid-minded brat. Here, he gets to do both in the first episode.

But, this show is simply loaded with STAR POWER. Jung Joon Hoo doesn't get to eat scenery like Lee Byung Hoon, but his natural, easy charm, ease with comedic ad-lib, and just general flexibility doesn't really feel like a support role. He seems like a true Bro to LBH; the only other time where I felt this kind of bond was during All In, between LBH and Hu Joon Ho. Kim Seung Woo, who hasn't done a lot of action since the thriller Yesterday, is smooth, efficient, and worldly in his role so far. Kim So Yeon plays the female counterspy with the femme efficiency you'd easily expect from Kim So Yeon. These performances feel lived-in. They really seem like the top spies around them.

Which leaves Kim Tae Hee. Her enigmatic Choi Seung Hee is the joker card of the first episode, and therefore she is the most fascinating character. What is she thinking? Why is her agenda? What is behind that beatific face, that smart posturing, that blankness? This character feels like it was WRITTEN FOR HER, that only a Kim Tae Hee could play this, because literally this character seems written with your perception of KTH in mind.

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Post by belleza » Oct 17th, '09, 05:07

Thoughts on Episode 2 . . .
There's elements of 24, Alias, Femme Nikita in Episode 2. And even the same kind of dread that we see in the Dark Night. There's little snark and self-satisfaction during their initation into the NSS. Instead, there's dread.

There's 2 main directors working this project, and sometimes I feel there are definite breaks in style during the episode. Obviously a lot of it involves lighter, funny moments, but that seems consistent with Kim Kyu Tae's work, finding interesting camera angles that suit the situational comedy. Some of the action bits here are a bit more conventional.

Episodes 2 reasserts why LBH earns the big bucks. That was quite possibly the best kissing scene I've ever seen in K-drama. Sensual, soulful, dangerous, emotional, conflicted, pure. The way at one point, it seems Kim Tae Hee's neck falls back, as she seems to surrender into kissing Lee Byung Hun. The way he smirks ruefully after she slaps him, and then kiss her once more forcefully not aggressively. The way she walks out and he puts one arm back to think about what just happened, to think about whether what happened was actually a good thing.

I think they broke some K-drama record in main leads falling in love. But this is where LBH earns the big bucks. The sheer power of that scene enables us to believe that they're "together" by just barely an episode and a half.

Much credit also goes to Choi Wan Kyu. For the first time in years, we have a script from him that doesn't feel merely like a first-draft pastiche of American TV and bad 80s action flicks. The writing is disciplined, adult, very well paced, while retaining the comedic and romantic elements we associate with K-drama.

The romantic aspect in Iris is strong. Kim Kyu Tae also shot World That They Live In, and though the writing is not sharpened for relationship nuances, there's a quiet, warm style that is shared with the drama. I can't hide my enthusiasm for Kim Kyu Tae getting the director's role here. He really understands the different film grammar between genres. For example, he uses a lot of handicam (perhaps too much) for the thriller bits. But during the romantic bits, he locates the characters within the overall frame of the picture, and he knows how to slow it down and quietly let us in on their intimate moment. You guys know what I'm talking about if you've seen World That They Live In. But he also did the same thing for A Love to Kill -- if you recall all the times that Rain and Mina kiss or have that stolent moment, there's a lot of filmmaking technique used to properly capture that intimate moment that you rarely see with other directors working in K-drama.

The romantic triangle is beautifully done here. Part of Iris's natural strength is that because you do have 2 film stars in the male lead role, you can kinda do the buddy bits and the triangle bits in narrative shorthand. They'll take care of the emotional work for you. By the end of episode 2, you have a triangle and you have a couple in love and it feels natural.

The other thing I love about Iris is that, like the first Bourne Identity movie, it's likely that the majority of this drama will take place during the autumn or winter. There's a lot of comedic moments, but it already feels like melancholy and fatalism will eventually take over the show. In effect, these are the last days of light before the clouds gather and sigh the sun away.
Finally, where this show (and Koreans thrillers in general) has advantages over the thriller fare we see in the Americans, is that the lead characters are not really written to be "cool." They're written to be practical, and so we dwelve into the NSS world, we are persistently aware that the business they are in is a nasty one. Not in an ironic way. Not in an political intrigue way. But that people do become monsters in this work.

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Post by morserachel » Oct 20th, '09, 13:39

Love your thoughts on the show. I won't be watching it yet because I don't think I can take the stress of having to wait for the episodes every week. Anyway hope you will post your thoughts as the drama moves along.

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Post by Syphire » Oct 22nd, '09, 18:58

Third episode was kind of slow paced but wonderfull written and well shot.
Seems like in episode 4 we are going back to the present, means after LBH got shot and blown up in the first episode. Definitly going to watch it.

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Post by garnet07 » Oct 22nd, '09, 23:44

Thanks for your thoughts on the drama belleza. I also thought Kim Tae Hee wasn't that bad as some other bloggers said her to be. True, she seemed blank or stiff in character, but I think that's the point the director wanted to take.

Her character is hard to read and the end of ep1 (only episode I watched so far) surprised me. Like WTH was she thinking?!! It was all set up from the beginning. Surely, this drama has already gotten my interest. Much different when I watched Swallow of the Sun, because I just didn't feel moved by the characters from the start of that drama. Continued watching it till ep7-8 but the lack of addictive storyline made me drop it. Hopefully, IRIS doesn't become dull and keeps up its unpredictable and shocking storyline ... especially for someone who has watched too many Korean cliches.
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Post by belleza » Oct 24th, '09, 09:41

Thoughts on Episode 3

So far, Iris had been lucky in juxtaposing the spy thriller bits with the romantic/rom-com elements. However, in episode 3, it stops the show. At the end of the day, Iris works only if the viewer is invested in the missions, the conspiracies, the murky, gritty sadness of this life. From that must come the romance.

The kissing scene in Episode 2 worked because we were just exposed to a scene where Choi Sung Hee presided over the torture of Hyun Joon and Sa Woo. We realize that she was instrumental to their inclusion in the NSS. These elements inform the argument they have and their kissing scene. And it's an important contrast with the violence and confusion that began with the episode.

However, here, the first half of the show is basically Their Vacation Trip interleaved with TOP on his killing spree. It's off putting, because Their Vacation has little to do with the mayhem spliced in it. Their scenes feel inappropriate. Maybe if they fit this in later in the episode or in another episode, after we've fully integrated TOP's formal introduction or the ongoing interest of the President in the NK's nuclear program or -- most importantly -- we review the revelation that Hyun Joon has amnesia.

FWIW, I think handling a full romantic plot is inherently difficult with spy thriller. I thought Rondo made a huge mistake trying to put in an old fashioned romance within an Infernal Affairs-style framework. Even in Time of Dog and Wolf, the romance only reinforced my annoyance at Nam Sang Mi's character, since she became the proverbial damsel in distress. And I imagine Iris will eventually take that route, but hopefully not too soon.

I've been happy with Iris because the show established Choi Sung Hee as an alpha female character. She is not only their boss, but she is also chilly to the emotional and ethical ramifications of their work. That is, she seems unmoved by the fact that NSS could very well be as bad as the bad guys. Moreover, she drinks more than they do (there's a undercurrent of alcoholism here BTW -- she's a legitimate hard drinker here and she seems to use it instead of reacting emotionally) She plays the negotiator here. She runs a lot of the missions.

Aside from that, the thriller part of Episode 3 was a smashing success. Yes, there's too much panning. And I thought the music was too pervasive. But TOP's entrance was easily as brutal as you seen on an episode of 24. The way everything was shot tight and with a cold efficiency recalled the last two James Bond films. In fact, this is even more violent than Choi Wan Kyu's the Lobbyist. There's blood sprayed in various places, and the violence are choreographed with an emphasis on cracked necks, bullets to the forehead, etc. No fooling -- this would get a MA in the States.

The Vacation scenes -- taken in isolation of the episode's framing story -- was really well done. Again, this is the director of World That They Live In, and like that show, he uses longer takes to allow actors to interact within the frame of a scene. They are allowed to pause, then respond. And we are allowed to observe them as a couple without so much manipulation or excessive use of music. While it's true that there's a lot of standard "Lovers in Japan" stuff here, the show does a really good job depicting them as adults. He is a goofball (BTW, it should be noted that we haven't seen Hyun Joon as a true assassin.) She is, again, a hard drinker, a neat freak, a lot less sentimental or emotional. . There's a really nice scene where she is expecting a gift from him in the restaurant. When the outcome isn't what she expected, she pouts and snaps at him. He tries to make up and he succeeds. The whole sequence makes us believe in them as a real, normal couple, because the director allows us to simply watch them, and allows the actors to react according to their own rhythms.

One of my favorite scenes is when Sa Woo reacts to the two getting together, Hyun Joon talking about getting married and Seung Hee half agreeing on it. The director does a lot of closeups of Sa Woo's reactions, and you can easily see both his hurt and his regard for his friends. There's no music or Sa Woo dialogue to lead us to feel sorry for him. We just do, because Jung Joon Ho beautifully acts that part.

I really enjoyed the church scene. First off, we can see that Choi Sung Hee is a true hard ass when she's talking to the scientist. Manipulating, using guilt, etc. Whatever to get him to come over to their side. Second, the conversation between the scientist and Hyun Joon foreshadows what is about to come for HJ. Remember, up to this point, he's still a n00b in the NSS. He hasn't recovered his memory and realized that NSS has been involved with him before. He doesn't know how bad people get at NSS. He hasn't even been warned about how he could become a monster. He walked into a situation without realizing the consequences.

The nuclear weapon plot is intriguing, since it cals into question what agenda the President himself has. Much like an episode of 24, we start to see a layer cake of interests, agendas, and so on. Hopefully Episode 3 was just a functional bump and then they can fully commit to Boom Boom Pow fun with Episode 4.

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Post by ooijanice » Oct 24th, '09, 12:29

Wow...belleza.. reading your insight of Iris makes me enjoy the drama even more. I did not realize the minor aspects of the film making can actually highten our perception of the whole scene. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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Post by aimlesswanderer » Oct 25th, '09, 00:52

The first ep was interesting. There was shooting for the guys, and topless guys for the girls. I just hope there are topless/scantily clad women later on (only for balance of course). Or, failing that, at least big explosions and gunfights.

The pacing seemed to be good, and the plot looks like it won't be linear, thankfully. The budget looks like it was well used, let's hope that it continues right to the end. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

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belleza
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Post by belleza » Oct 27th, '09, 04:58

Quick thoughts on Episode 4 . . .
I flat out loved Episode 4. The problem with most American spy shows is that they often don’t spend enough time going through the preparation, execution, and then failure of the mission. The 2nd half of Episode 4 played a little bit like Michael Mann, in that there’s a lot of mundane procedural stuff. Even if it’s not really that realistic, it establishes place, mood and texture within the narrative of a mission.

Above all, it makes you more aware how LBH’s character is set up to fail. There’s no real good reason why he had to go lone wolf here. There’s no true exit strategy. There’s no real plan. For all those things — and because we already know the outcome — the viewer becomes anxious over the agenda of the vice director. The Choi Seung Hee character is important here, because she — who is in charge of direction missions — immediately picks up that this is no way to execute a mission.

I don’t really see this as Western vs. Eastern, per se. Korean cinema, in general, really sticks out to me compared to Chinese or Japanese cinema, because a lot of the visual idioms and pacing (such as the behind-the-person camera shot) are reminiscent of 70s American cinema (which is great.) The first 2 episodes of Kim Kyu Tae’s drama “Love to Kill” play a little bit like a David Fincher. It’s not surprising.

I don't really buy into IRIS is a rehash of 24 and Alias. The Bourne movies sure . . . but then again, Doug Liman's Bourne Identity was very, very different from Paul Greengrass's Bourne movies. (Greengrass was the dude who made the psuedo-docudrama shaky cam idiom popular in action scenes. If you've seen his docudramas Bloody Sunday or United 93, nobody is better at simulating chaos.) One reason why I like IRIS is that elements of it recalls what Doug Liman was doing with Bourne Identity, which was to place the standard spy thriller in autumn/winter and make everything wet. That changes how you watch the spy thriller, because it introduces strong tones of dread, melancholy, loneliness, and so on. Iris's Hungary scenes had a bit of that.

If anything, Iris is more like how action movies were done before CGI. The director does a good job laying the terrain of the mission before the execution of it. Because you see LBH methodically going through the scouting, planning, as well as the weapon's preparation, he doesn't seem like a "superspy." Rather, he seems like a well-trained Special Forces soldier, which is what he is. But that also makes what's missing -- his team -- so conspicious. You think to yourself "why the hell is he going out this alone?!?" And of course, it's because he IS supposed to fail. You only get that if the director emphasizes a procedural element in the story. Moreover, when LBH's character is escaping, there isn't a lot of gun pyrotechnics or Chuck Norris-style fighting. He's simply trying to run away -- but he's also in a ridiculous amount of pain and he can't think straight. As he's walking away, you notice he's going pale and his decision making is slowing down. It's all simply done, but the director does a good job establishing that LBH's character is in big, big trouble, and the story matter of factly presents this. In that sense, this part of the story is less like a typical spy thriller and more like something that you'd see in a Western. The gunman is shot; he's bleeding to death; he's in a strange place.

I think the story still needs to work on balancing its action bits and its lovey-dovey bits. It’s conventional, but necessarily so. (Can’t realistically do a story like Story of a Man or Mawang, even though it would have made a more original story.) The spy bits needs to set up the romance, not the way around.

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SSpiegel
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Post by SSpiegel » Oct 27th, '09, 13:41

Well, I was definitely hyped up about this show (the year of waiting went by surprisingly quickly). When I finally got to watch the first episode yesterday, I wasn't exactly disappointed, but I wasn't totally satisfied either.
LBH was excellent, so were the other actors/actresses. It looked good, too, the big budget shows. But the pacing was off. It started off in a bang and suddenly the tight atmosphere just died. The music didn't fit most of the scenes. LBH is great in less serious roles, too, so I really liked the back story of his bromance in the special forces training thing (whatever it was). But the explosive and dramatic start and well, pretty much rest of the episode didn't fit together at all! I'm not sure if it was the abrupt change from one to another, but it felt like thay had taken two parts in different genres and just glued them one after the other. I'm not really good at explaining what I mean, my English fails me! It just didn't flow well.

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Post by 1shinigami0 » Nov 5th, '09, 10:57

Episode 7 looked intense. I'm going nuts trying to guess the story without the subs.

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SSpiegel
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Post by SSpiegel » Nov 5th, '09, 15:05

Episode 3 (and I'm definitely with Belleza here):
I haven't been totally satisfied with Iris from the start and episode 3 just took my disappointment to new hights. Half of the episode was like a romance montage, it actually made me cringe. It just didn't fit in, at all! I know some Korean dramas start off slowly, but Iris better pick up soon with the agent stuff or I'll be tuning off.
On a more positive note, TOP was surprisingly good. The scene at the airport was actually haunting, especially with his blurry figure closing in through the car's side mirror. His character has made me laugh, though, he's way too flashy for an assassin and he's too bad for the (still very) light atmosphere. But maybe he'll fit in better when the action picks up.
I've been putting off watching episode 4 for a while now, but I'm tackling it tonight. Hopefully it's good!

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Episode 6 - What happened????

Post by mowgwie » Nov 9th, '09, 10:25

All of a sudden the last scene of ep 6 takes a huge leap - how did thinhs end up this way? It feels like they left a whole scene or two out and just jumped the storyline! :scratch:

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Manatsu
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Re: Episode 6 - What happened????

Post by Manatsu » Nov 11th, '09, 17:56

mowgwie wrote:All of a sudden the last scene of ep 6 takes a huge leap - how did thinhs end up this way? It feels like they left a whole scene or two out and just jumped the storyline! :scratch:
The scene you are talking about will be explained/shown in Episode 7. In case you didn't know, it's a ploy to get at people with little patience and at people who hate cliffhangers or any sorts of confusions. That makes people tune in next week again to find out the truth and if they do that, the ratings will stay constant and probably even rise which seems to be the case with IRIS.


aimlesswanderer
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Post by aimlesswanderer » Nov 13th, '09, 06:43

So far (ep 6) it is very good.
I'm not surprised that the vice director turned out to be dodgy, he seems to be running an organisation that pretty much does what it (or he or his conspirators) likes, and ignores or even opposes what the government wants. The new President should have definitely put a few of his own people in the NSS to keep an eye on things. Otherwise he has no idea what they are actually doing, and when things are like that it is often a recipe for disaster - rogue agency hello! Trusting the vice director, especially such a long serving one, is problematic.

But why the hell did Kim Sun Hwa go to South Korea? To kill the dodgy NSS Vice Director? She didn't exactly do a good job, though I suppose (that the plot required that) someone had to tell Seung Hee that Hyun Joon was alive. It's looking like the rest of the series will be mostly about unravelling the NSS and the conspiracy that killed Hyun Joon's parents (IRIS?).

uberathlete
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Post by uberathlete » Nov 14th, '09, 01:32

lolz. Iris trying hard to have that Bourne Identity vibe. First thing they have to do is to stop with all the shaky camera work. Bourne Identity did that but it's not dizzying as in Iris. Goodness gracious. Music ripoff too lolz.

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krayfi
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Post by krayfi » Nov 14th, '09, 09:26

Lol... I think the storyline is quite intriguing but I have to agree with the shaky cam comment. I almost got a headache watching 9 and 10. :lol

Ayulyn
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Post by Ayulyn » Nov 19th, '09, 20:40

Can anyone here recommend a good place to WATCH this series online streaming? Like Mysoju.com. I'm really interested in seeing it because my friend mentioned it being really popular in Korea.

Syphire
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Post by Syphire » Nov 21st, '09, 19:31

Preview for episode 10 looks awesome and episode 9 was well paced.
I found it a little bit strange that the guy found the cross but not the girl. I mean they had to have searched the place for evidence or fingerprints.
Next episode should be awesome because they are planning to infiltrate NSS ;)
@ Ay
Just use the google search engine. I always find streaming sites this way.

epixeltwin
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Post by epixeltwin » Nov 27th, '09, 07:08

I think the premise is exciting, but as SSpiegel said, it seems to me the 1st episode's pacing didn't fit too well. The assassination part, and the bros-in-the-army flashback setting thing seemed great to me, but as soon as both guys get taken away, it's a major WTF? Where did that come out of...it just doesn't seem well polished

also, something that's always a turnoff for me...When Movie/TV directors have bad medical couselors.

He gets injected twice with a barbiturate and then he's all stressed out and shaking, his muscles are super tense and his heart rate is like 230 bpm... barbiturates are CNS depressants you could use to knock a friggin horse out, he'd be totally stoned if he was injected with that twice. They're muscle relaxants, also it doesn't make your breathing harder, it just depresses your respiratory stimulation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_thiopental
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNS_depressant

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hoochkkk
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Post by hoochkkk » Dec 18th, '09, 20:49

Highly recommended for those who want to watch it... Don't hesitate.

By any chance, does anyone know how to get the background main music for this series. I have down loaded a bunch of songs but the main music theme is missing.

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OpTicaL
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Post by OpTicaL » Dec 21st, '09, 04:27

I just found it funny how NSS used Logitech gaming keyboards and mice.
"The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people."

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OpTicaL
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IRIS ep20 discussion *SPOILERS!!!*

Post by OpTicaL » Dec 21st, '09, 04:32

EPISODE 20 DISCUSSION SPOILER!
Why did they have to kill Lee Byung-hun at the end? Was it necessary or was it trying to add additional emotion effect?
"The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people."

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