Thursday, August 30, 2007

3 Extremes (2004, Various)

"An Asian cross-cultural trilogy of horror films from accomplished indie directors."

I honestly don't know how to rate or critique an anthology film. Do I rate it as a whole or by segments? I guess I will just do both

First by segments:

Dumplings (Fruit Chan) - This is easily the best of the 3 short films that make up this film. This opening segment deals with a woman who makes dumplings that are able to somehow give beauty and youth to whoever eats them, but what exactly is in the dumplings? The pace is never slow, the style is always colorful while never being distracting, and the horror that it presents is so wrong and creepy that it is sure to stay with you for a long time. The film is worth renting just for this one alone. A

(Chan-wook Park) - I will admit that this is the short film that inspired me to seek this film out. I am a huge fan of Chan-wook Park and I was really anticipating to see what he would be able to do with a short film dealing with horror. I expected the film to have tons of style and a great little storyline to it. I was only right about the first part, sadly. Somewhere in this 40 minute film about an extra holding his director hostage things just get really messy and ends in such an abrupt way that you are never really shocked,scared, or really even amused. The style though is incredible, but even as great as it is, it can not save the film. B

Box (Takashi Miike) - I would be lying if I were to say that I understood this one fully. I don't even know if I even understood half of it really, but isn't that the point with Miike? Well, for me it has been the point that I have seen in the works that I have seen from him so far. Once again Miike delivers a creepy, shocking, surrealistic film that really , once again, challenges its viewers to draw up their own conclusions. As much as I admired this ambitious short film, as I have admired the other films of Miike I have seen, I once again did not find myself enjoying it or even being entertained by it, just like how I have found myself with the other films of Miike. Still though, its an odd little film that some people will love while others will just feel cold and distant from it. B-

Now the film as a whole:

3 Extremes is an interesting approach to a horror anthology film. Its refreshing to see what each director thought to be the definition of "horror" and how each chose to present and execute their idea. However, it just all doesn't match up quite well. I think the main problem being Dumplings being presented as the first film of the 3. It really sets the bar up high and none of the other two even come close to touching it.

It's an interesting watch, but it's just an uneven one, despite how interesting each director can be.

- B


llnk adv said...

If you loved the Dumplings segment, you should also check out the extended 91 min. version.

Ramses said...

I wanted to watch it badly but I had to return the dvd since it was already due. I plan on renting it sometime in the future and seeing the full cut.

What did you think of the 3 films?

llnk adv said...

Dumplings is probably my personal favourite of the three, but I found Box to have the better atmosphere and better put together. I didn't mind Cut, as it had a good ending.

The whole movie succeeds as an experimental piece, if you see it that way.