Three...Extremes 2 Reviews
Three...Extremes has become a horror classic, showcasing three directors-Takashi Miike, Fruit Chan, and Chan-wook Park-who turned in A-level work. Now here's the interesting bit: Three...Extremes is actually the sequel, Saam Gaang yi, released in 2004. This movie, Saam Gaang, is the original. The directors here haven't gained nearly as much traction in the west, and the stories to be found here aren't as... punchy, for lack of a better term. The stories collected here are slower, more cerebral; I'd almost characterize these as supernatural dramas rather than horror pieces (the supernatural drama seems to be something unique to southeast Asian filmmaking, and those I've seen have been bang-up jobs I recommend to everyone and their mothers every chance I get-which reminds me, this is another great chance to plug The Uninvited!). In other words, probably not as good a fit for the Western market. The movies' respective IMDB ratings would seem to bear this out (as I write this, Saam Gaang yi has a 7.0, Saam Gaang a 6.2). But personally, well, I like this one just the slightest bit better than its sequel.
Jee-woon Kim (I Saw the Devil) leads off with "Memories", the story of a woman (The Red Shoes' Hye-su Kim) with amnesia whose only connection to what she assumes is her life is a scrap of paper with a phone number on it...but no one ever answers. I'm not a big fan of Kim's earlier stuff-I'm the only Asian horror fan I know who's never been sold on A Tale of Two Sisters, which I found dull and predictable-and this, the weakest of the three segments, is no different. Second comes "The Wheel", from Jan Dara director Nonzee Nimibutr, a guy who's never made a horror picture in his life. (Remember, "supernatural drama".) It's a slow, satisfying meditation on reincarnation, possession, and murderous puppets. You can never really go wrong with murderous puppets. I will note for the record that I seem to be alone in my regard for this segment; every other review I've read has dismissed it out of hand, so YMMV.
And then... the brakes come off, and Peter Ho-sun Chan (Dragon) hits us with "Coming Home", the runaway favorite. Wai (Infernal Affairs' Eric Tsang) and his son move into a new apartment. When his son wanders off in search of what may or may not be a ghostly playmate, Wai goes looking for him and ends up a prisoner in the home of Yu (Fallen Angels' Leon Lai, who won a Golden Horse, Taiwan's version of an Oscar, for his performance here), a practitioner of herbal medicine who believes his deceased wife, Hai'er (Memoirs of a Geisha's Eugenia Yuan), can be resurrected with just the right formula. The verbal sparring between Wai and Yu, interestingly, put me in mind more than once of the interplay between Byung-hyun Lee and Won-hie Lim in "Cut", the story Chan-wook Park directed for Saam Gaang yi.
I'm taking a slightly different route to get to the same conclusion as most reviewers: inconsistent, but worth watching anyway. There's a lot to like about this, and if you're unfamiliar with some of the directors involved, hopefully this will give you the impetus to go seek out more of their stuff. Worth your time. *** 1/2
Ok 3 extremes 2. why did I go after you? I hunted down the dvd for like ever only to find a decent film. I pick it up because 1 of the three movies is directed by the man who did I saw The devil.
I am instantly in the wrong I bought a movie for only thinking of one third of the film. Let me come out and say he part was pretty good. Having a pretty good mystery had me guessing until the end I figured it out about 5 mins before the grand reveal. I know I am slow.... The movie was heavily influenced by Requiem for a Dream. The close to face shot that are done unmistakable similar to the film above. Is that bad? No it is ok with me all it comes down to is if it is done properly and it is. sooooo yea the first one is about where I wanted. Not the best thing you will see by him but still satisfies me.
Now it is time for trouble (make that double.....yea I went there!) the second movie. This is a complete what the hell. The movie is completely laughable and can't be taken seriously.... As I read the comments from the latest reviews for the movie and one reviewer hit it the bull's eye. Talking about the foolishness of the second the review is correct this is so bad. It is the only reason why I am dropping it down to a 70. I mean it has the semi creepy idea of dulls and ect and then ruins it with cheesy effects and some unprofessional acting from all. Just is difficult to sit through man did I say I watch what I wanted to already soo why don't I turn it off.... Well I paid for it so why why not finish it. And I am happy I decided to.
Now I do not want to just stick on the second one as much. The third is hard to describe so I will do it the easiest way I can think of through I childhood memory. As you can read in my bio I am from Boston and with that info once a year during July I would go down to Cape Cod for a week with my family and the was so kool for me as a kid I was with my other family and lucky for me they were about my age and my best friend was there my cousin Kelly and we would always every since we were like 5 we would walk down the street from the cottages we would rent, to Don's One Stop (I wonder if that place is still in business) and the store had this special deal it was called the mystery bag (spooky I know). For 50 cents you pick up this strange paper bag (like the school lunch bags) and it would be filled with candy (like OMG!). For the two of us this was a big flipping deal. Our parents would give us one dollar to split between the two of us and as you know who ever is older gets to carrier the money ( she was like 20 days older not fair :( sooo yea ) When you picked out these bags you could see there a small slit of it and could see one piece of candy. So naturally you would go after what you liked. Thank God we did not share the same favorite candy. Do not hold be to it but I think she like sweetish fish and I liked heresy chocolate bars ( today it is Yonk mints love that stuff it is soooo good if you freeze them). Where I am getting at with is well when we would pick up a bag of candy we would head home and once we were back in to the cottage ( I first wrote college lol like we were 22 and still doing this but I think don's is out of business and the price would of went up since then..... soooo yea out of a job does not help) it was time to start the feast of ripping this poor brown bag to shreds and looking what kind of candy had appeared from the remains of these poor bags. Either way we were happy and because we got the candy we wanted and then their was additional prizes like other candy we could not see. Oh course this brought upon a bartering of candy soooooo yea fun......
That is what I am poorly trying to say I bought this movie and only was expecting to be happy with one film. I was happy with the first but I did not expect there to be another winner amongst the group and there was the third movie. This was my personal favorite even though I do not want to admit it because it was not director I was after. but it was great the idea must of been hard to sell to the producer but I am guessing them must be happy it came out very well and the ending is what makes it. The rest is merely creepy. The movie is bittersweet to say the least but end really depressingly with ..... I would not spoil it give me some credit. This was the most creepy of the three and it really gave me goosebumps made my hair stand up on my arms. I was so interested with the story of it I could not wait for it to unfold.
Final Verdict: a 70% out of 100% this is the highest possible I can give it due to the middle man. I mean I would want to have given this like a 90 but it is 3 extremes not 2 extremes. That was 1/3 of the movie.... so there is really not wiggle room.