Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tartan Video has a label branded "Asian Extreme". Extreme horror, extreme action, extreme passion. Whatever. They release some of the so-called "extreme" asian movies, a term which I wholeheartedly detest. I decided to rent the Benny Chan film Divergence, in hopes that Aaron Kwok, Ekin Chang and Daniel Wu would entertain me for 2 hours. I was wrong. The movie was terrible. It represented everything that is wrong with Hong Kong cinema. Convoluted for the sake of being convoluted, it still somehow managed to be very predictable. And melodramic. Very, very melodramatic. Which is to be expected I guess with pop icons in some of the leading rolls, but really, how much does Ekin Chang have to cry? But what made my viewing experience even more painful was the fact that the subtitles, on a North American DVD, by a supposedly respectable DVD label, were delayed by almost 5 seconds. Granted, I don't think it would have made the film any better, but it certainly made it more frustrating.

Who at Tartan picks what movies they release on their Extreme label? There was nothing extreme about Divergence. Nothing remotely interesting really. Out of all the recent Hong Kong action/thrillers, why choose this one? Something like One Night in Mongkok, also with Daniel Wu, is far more engaging and original. Even the contrived Confessions of Pain was better than Divergence. It was by far one of the worst Hong Kong films I've seen in a while. I'm still not sure about this Benny Chan fella. He's definitely hit and miss.

On a side not, I wasted another 2 hours of my life when I finally watched the pretentious snooze fest Lady in the Water. My god. The self proclaimed master storyteller M. Night Shyamalan has finally gone off the deep end. He treats the audience like morons and then basks in his own glory as the man who will save the world with his obviously important films. He seems to think he is not only the new Hitchcock, but a step above Hitchcock, because his movies will change the world! Or make us slit our wrists.

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