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Three... Extremes (2004)

Cast: Bai Ling, Bai Ling, Miriam Yeung, more...
Director: Park Chan-wook, Fruit Chan, Takashi Miike, more...
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Lions Gate
Genre: Foreign, Short Films, Japan, Asian Horror
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
    see additional details...

Three ... Extremes (Disc 1 of 2) (2004)
Three Asian directors, from Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan, join forces to create an omnibus horror film, Three...Extremes. In Fruit Chan's "Dumplings," shot by Christopher Doyle, Mrs. Li (Miriam Yeung), a thirtysomething former actress with a philandering husband (Tony Leung) goes to visit Aunt Mei (Bai Ling), who sells the most expensive dumplings in Hong Kong. Mrs. Li knows about their rejuvenating powers, and she also knows about their unpleasant main ingredient, but after some initial nausea, she digs right in. In Oldboy writer/director Park Chan-wook's "Cut," a successful filmmaker (Lee Byung-hun of Joint Security Area) arrives home to find that a disgruntled extra (Lim Won-hee) has taken over his home, and fastened his pianist wife (Kang Hye-jun of Oldboy) to the grand piano. The madman threatens to cut off the wife's fingers, one by one, unless the director strangles the helpless child he's tied to the couch. Takashi Miike directs the last segment, "Box," about a young author and former circus performer, Kyoko (Kyoko Hasegawa) seemingly haunted by the ghost of her twin sister, who died a mysterious and horrible death while practicing their act. Adding to Kyoko's trauma, her editor (Atsuro Watabe) is a dead ringer for her old stepfather/ringmaster, who may have perished in the same "accident" that took her sister's life. Three...Extremes was shown at Subway Cinema's New York Asian Film Festival in 2005. For the American release of Three... Extremes, the order in which the films are presented was altered from the original "Box," "Dumplings," and "Cut" to "Dumplings," "Cut," and "Box." This film was actually preceded by another omnibus film, Three, that was nevertheless retitled Three... Extremes II for the English-language market and issued after this one. ~ Josh Ralske, All Movie Guide

Three ... Extremes (Disc 2 of 2) (2004)

Three short films from renowned directors Takashi Miike, Park Chan-Wook, and Fruit Chan Goh.

    PLEASE NOTE: Disc 1 contains BOX & CUT & Disc 2 contains DUMPLINGS

GreenCine Member Ratings

Three ... Extremes (Disc 1 of 2) (2004)
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6.67 (85 votes)
Three ... Extremes (Disc 2 of 2) (2004)
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5.94 (17 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

Just to set the record straight by johnnyclock April 4, 2006 - 1:00 PM PDT
4 out of 6 members found this review helpful
I don't know what is on Disc 2; I imagine it is the background stuff to each of the three short tales. But the blurb at the top of this page is incorrect: all three of the short films are on Disc 1.

A-Horror by talltale March 2, 2006 - 4:52 PM PST
4 out of 5 members found this review helpful
THREE... EXTREMES is a trio of Asian "horror," directed by Fruit Chan, Chan-Wook Park and Takashi Miike, two of which are indeed "extreme." If you imagine, as I did, that Miike's segment would one of the two, forget it. His "Box" is lovely (nice to see him working with a big budget for a change) but disappointingly bland and a bit tiresome, even at a short 40 minutes.

Chan, whose work I don't know, offers the edgiest and most cringe-inducing segment ("Dumplings"), featuring a surprising and terrific performance from Bai Ling as an Asian Vera Drake/Sweeney Todd combo ministering unto an aging actress who wants her youth back. This one's creepy, crunchy fun.

But it's Park's amazing "Cut" that takes the prize (and the surprise). Gorgeous and a visual knock-out from first-frame on, of course it's vengeance time again, and it's good to see that this writer/director has nowhere near exhausted the subject. He finds new charm, shock, humor, horror and blood, managing to comment on revenge, moviemaking, directing, parenting and more. Only his final flourish disappoints: Either it's one too many a twist, or perhaps his adorable leading man (Byung-hun Lee from "JSA") just doesn't have the acting chops to carry it off. Whatever: this segment would have been a "ten," save for its final misstep.

extreme events, solid stories by AWalter May 26, 2005 - 8:15 AM PDT
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
This new anthology of short Asian horror films is the sequel to "Three" (2002) and includes: "Box" by Japan's Takashi Miike (AUDITION), "Dumplings" by Hong Kong's Fruit Chan (FINALE IN BLOOD), and "Cut" by South Korea's Chan-wook Park (OLDBOY).

These three films were just what I've been waiting for: stylish Asian horror with tight stories--no plot holes or loose ends in sight (which, fortunately, puts them well above the original "Three" and makes them a real rarity in the new wave of Asian horror). And "extreme" is right: bring a strong stomach and steady nerves to this one. In "Dumplings" we've got a woman dishing out wontons made from suspicious meat, in "Cut" a deranged movie extra elevates sadism to performance art, and in "Box" Takashi Miike presents a visually luscious, lyrical ghost story.

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