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3 Extremes (2-Disc Special Edition) [Import]

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bai Ling, Byung-hun Lee, Kyoko Hasegawa, Pauline Lau, Tony Ka Fai Leung
  • Directors: Chan-wook Park, Fruit Chan, Takashi Miike
  • Writers: Chan-wook Park, Bobby White, Bun Saikou, Haruko Fukushima, Pik Wah Lee
  • Format: Special Edition, Subtitled, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Japanese, Korean
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • Release Date: Feb. 28 2006
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000CRR3ME
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Product Description


The idea of unleashing three of Asia's wildest directors in the same omnibus film is a terrific one, and putting the likes of Miike Takashi and Park Chan-wook to work in the Twilight Zone-style mini-feature is mouth-watering for fans. (Just look at what happened when Miike made an installment of Showtime's Masters of Horror series--it was deemed too crazy for broadcast.) Alas, the results are a letdown. First up, "Dumplings," is from Hong Kong's Fruit Chan, and it's the most cogent (and ickiest) of the bunch. Bai Ling plays a specialist in preparing dumplings that promise to restore youth and health for her customers; the weird part is she also runs a particular clinic on her premises. Ugh. The Korean offering from Park Chan-wook is "Cut," a warp on filmmaking about a self-centered director who gets trapped at his home (or is it the set of his new movie?) by a deranged former extra. The sadistic machinations here make Hannibal Lecter look reasonable, and the segment gets points for weirdness, but Park's take on revenge fantasies is much more exciting in Oldboy and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. Miike represents Japan with "Box," which really is in the spirit of an old Outer Limits episode, complete with a "gotcha" ending that doesn't seem worth the trouble. Sure, twins are always a good topic for horror, but this segment is a long way to travel for not much. All three segments look good--there's little hint of the grindhouse cheapie here--but overall it's a disappointment. --Robert Horton

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I actually sat down to watch this DVD without knowing that it was a trilogy of horror tales, so it was a bit of a surprise to see the credits for the first segment start rolling and to have watched the climax of that first story without knowing it was the conclusion. But the description of the movie that came with the disc only talked about the first story and helped perpetuate my error. In point of fact, "Three Extremes" ("Saam gaang yi") is a trilogy of horror stories from three Asian directors from three different countries. This might not be everybody's cup of tea, especially when it comes to their taste in horror, but this certainly is an improvement over most of the horror anthologies we had to endure during the 1960s and 1970s. What you need to know is that it going beyond what we have seen in the past, some viewers will find this film goes too far.

The short that will push limits and buttons alike is the first one, "Dumplings," directed by Hong Kong's Fruit Chan. It takes a familiar theme in horror shows, the desire of a woman to maintain her looks and youth. Ching (Miriam Yeung Chin Wah) was a television star and while we would think she is still attractive, she is no longer working and has no doubt it is because she is losing her looks. So she seeks out Mei (Ling Bai) who makes dumplings in her crowded apartment and who maintains they are the secret to her own youthful appearance, because she claims to be a whole lot older. So Ching tries the dumplings, and, damn is they do not appear to be working. That means more dumplings, but the process is too slow for Ching and she is willing to try something more drastic, so Mei says she will see what she can do.
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It consists of three stories each by independent directors from China, Korea, and Japan. The first one (called "Dumplings") is simply disgusting, but what makes it impressionable is that its storyline goes through different levels that one gets the impression that the disgusting part of the film is nothing more than an accessory, a method that puts you in the right frame of mind and creates the kind of tension that makes you think. I was hanging on to the arm of my couch for the duration of this segment.

Also, "Dumplings" has a full-length version as part of this 2-DVD set - very worth watching.

The second segment (called "Cut") is simply brilliant and with a lot of symbolism. I would consider this more of a disturbing art film rather than a horror film Yes, there is dancing too (and well done). It explores Evil, and the way it portrays how we are held by a kind of "rubber band" that stretches and prevents us from going too far is simply brilliant.

The last segment (called "Box") deals with guilt. It is one of those films where you cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy. Which is the dream and which is the real world? I love films like that! The revelation at the end is disturbingly powerful.

If one is a film buff or has any sense of artistry in them, I would highly recommend this film. For those used to "Hollywood" you might find a hard time. It does require you to think and, in my case, for days. Regardless, I will say that once you see it, you will never forget it.
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A nice collection of short stories on a DVD, plus a DVD containing one of these stories, uncut.

The movies are quite unsettling at times, and the uncut version of Dumplings is one of the most original/creepy pieces of horrific cinema I've seen in the last ten years. The actors seem very much seasoned, most of the writing is competent, the dialog has a few great twists and the respective directors do a great job with each movie. The overall result lasts about 40-50 minutes each and even though most of the movies were cut down to this length for US release, the remaining bits are scary, creepy, intelligent and mature.

If you're a fan of japanese horror movies, or horror, this collection is worth your consideration.
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