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[Review] Tiramisu (HK)

Old 07-04-02, 07:28 AM
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[Review] Tiramisu (HK)

Tiramisu

DVD Spec:

Universe Laser
Region 0
Country: Hong Kong
Audio - Cantonese: DD2.0, DD5.1, DTS
Mandarin: DD5.1
Video - Widescreen Letterbox NTSC
Subtitles - English & Chinese
Extras: Making Of, Trailer, Star Files, Alternate Ending... unsubbed.

The Audio is great and the Video is good. It's non-anamorphic and there's a little bit of bleeding colors and a bit of tracers, but overall it's a clean transfer with few blemishes. The subtitles for the movie seemed to be pretty complete and had a decent translation. They were also removable and easy to read. Subtitles for the extras would've been nice, but the extras are plentiful and I consider DTS to be an extra and one that I appreciate.

DVD Score: 8/10

Movie:

Director: Dante Lam

Starring: Nicholas Tse, Eason Chan, Karena Lam, Candy Lo

Tiramisu is a cross between Fly Me To Polaris, Para Para Sakura, and 2002... it's a drama/romance/fantasy. There's no comedy in this like in Para Para, but it does have dancing and a deaf guy. It's about a deaf guy who meets a girl by chance on a subway and there is immediate chemistry between them. The next day he goes to where he saw her the day before to return something she dropped... she never makes it since her thoughts were wandering towards him and she didn't see that bus coming - oops. So she comes back as a ghost needing his help to fullfill a wish which is for her dance troupe to dance in front of a prestigious dance academy. She only has seven days before she has to go to the underworld until she is turned into a new life. In those seven days, their attraction to each other grows stronger and stronger dispite the futility of it.

There are a few fundemental problems such as the deaf guy hearing things (in the story he temporarily regains his hearing, but before this happens he hears what is said rather than reading lips) and the fact that nobody is really all that scared or shocked to be seeing a ghost. It's nitpicky to take issue with most of these things, so just plan to turn your brain off a little at the door. As I've seen in a few HK films, the guy is deaf because of an emotional trauma rather than a physical defect (also related to people not being able to see color - often seen in gambling films and a plot device that's often discarded after awhile into the film)... I don't know how essential it is to make this character deaf, but there you go.

The film is a serious tear-jerker and doesn't offer much in the way of comedy. It doesn't quite hit as hard as Fly Me To Polaris in that respect, but I did tear up a little watching it. My girlfriend even got teary eyed and she doesn't ever cry at movies. If you like touching and emotional movies that make you cry, then give this a shot.

The acting is all pretty good and everyone is well cast. The cinematography and direction is all pretty standard for HK films... this isn't a high-budget movie. Special effects are acceptable, but not dazzling or even up-to-date. This film could've been made 5-10 years ago and it would've looked the same.

My girlfriend liked it more than I did because she likes dance and romance and non-scary ghost stories and fantasies. She was really entertained. I liked it, but not quite as much. I have to give it props for getting to me emotionally though. It's a little sappy in parts and there are a few fundemental problems with the movie here and there... what I'm trying to say is that it's not perfect, but for what it is - it's good. It's something I can recommend, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it a "must have"... then again, it's too good for me to just call it a "rental."

Movie Score: 7.3/10
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Old 07-05-02, 03:42 AM
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Thanks, Trigger! Only skimmed your review, as I don't like knowing too much before seeing anything, but got the general gist of your review. Doesn't really sound like my kind of film, but I love Nicholas Tse! My copy is waiting for me at the post office as we speak.
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Old 07-05-02, 08:42 PM
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Well let me know what you thought after watching it. I didn't really give too much away in my review - most of what I said happens in the first 10 minutes or so and then I just vaguely summarize the rest leaving the ending open. I do this often because I'm like you and I don't like to know what a movie is like before I see it. I like the surprise. People from Hong Kong and Korea like to know everything about the movie before seeing it. My friend in Korea is able to tell me the entire plot to a movie including the big surprise at the end in just a few sentences. It's a skill they have I guess. Anyway - just wanted to let you know for future reference that I do my best to avoid spoiling films for people and if I intend to, I'm very careful to put in spoiler tags.

Only case I can think of where I didn't use spoiler tags when spoiling a film was when I was doing a mini-review for a terrible film and I summed it up and gave away the ending (saying "they all died."), but that was just so he didn't waste his money buying the DVD.
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Old 07-06-02, 04:33 AM
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after having to endure through the super scary The Eye and Inner Senses movies, the wife finally gets a reprieve on these ghost movies! Decent movie, nothing spectacular but definitely watchable.....
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Old 07-06-02, 05:05 AM
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So The Eye is good? Hmm... I'll have to check it out.
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Old 07-06-02, 05:31 AM
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The Eye is the best movie of the year out of HK (if you don't include July Rhapsody)
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Old 07-06-02, 06:56 AM
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Well damn... I know what I'm doing tomorrow. I'll post a review in my review thread part 3.
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Old 07-06-02, 11:51 AM
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well, just like most HK movies, don't read the too-detailed synopsis.
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Old 07-07-02, 12:54 AM
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I made the mistake of reading the back of the Eye, while I was watching the movie this afternoon. DOH!!!
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Old 07-07-02, 10:06 PM
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As a counterpoint, I didn't much care for The Eye. There are a few creepy moments, but the movie falls into the post-Sixth Sense habit of manipulating what the audience sees into something much more horrific than the reality of it. That's a cheat, and it really bothers me when I see a scene in a movie try so hard to scare the audience at the expense of the storyline. In other words, the scenes that are scary in The Eye are scenes which have no *reason* to be frightening. I realize I'm not explaining myself very well, but I guess I relate the experience of viewing The Eye akin to watching tear-jerkers like Steel Magnolias or Pay It Forward (to use some US examples) where the blatant emotion manipulation overshadows any scrap of story or character left in the film.

Also, the crux of the film relies on a truly cliched, hoary convention which was once a staple of 80s B-movies.

However, I will say one thing. The ending is so over-the-top, so unexpected, so...well, non-Hollywood, that it had me grinning ear-to-ear going "No wayyyyyy." And that right there earns a hesitant recomendation from me.

Larry
www.AssortedRamblings.com
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Old 07-07-02, 11:37 PM
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Why is everyone comparing the recent horror movies Sixth Sense??

Sixth Sense was nowhere even scary. It was just a drama, a boring one at that, all just to setup the *ONE* ending twist. Nothing more...

The Eye, and even Inner Senses, was much more involving (interesting, fun, enjoyable, scary) than Sixth Sense could ever hope be.



J.T.
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Old 07-10-02, 11:11 AM
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I watched The Eye last night... I liked it. Thanks for the suggestion. If anyone wants a review from me for The Eye, let me know. Basically, the movie is a 7.5-8/10 . The DVD is great except for the print quality looks like a clean VHS master made into a DVD. It's good enough, but starts to not look as great on a huge TV. Better than a VCD.
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Old 07-10-02, 11:45 AM
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definitely post a review on The Eye.

On my review on the Asian DVD Guide forum, I thought that the picture was outstanding, watching it from a 32-in TV, with really good bitrates. However, you're right, on my 60-in, the picture is not quite as good as some of the other HK movies coming out from last year and this year and you do see a wee bit of graniness and speckles at a few points in the movie. Hues sometimes goes from dark to bright very quickly as well, though that actually unintentionally added to the scariness of the movie. I'm imagining that this has more to do with the lower-budget camera filming done by the Pang Bros. rather than a DVD mastering issue.
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Old 07-11-02, 12:48 AM
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I'll post a review of The Eye in a new thread along with a review of Ichi the Killer after I watch Ichi tonight.
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