Confession/Siren

Caught two movies this week.

This sounds wrong.
Engrish aside, this has the bonus of double entendre!

Confession of Pain was a well orchestrated love drama, murder mystery, bordering-on-artsy, not-your-typical-cop movie that I still found wanting. I don’t know why everyone and their mother’s dog wants to compare this to Infernal Affairs — oh wait, I do. The two guys who worked on IA did this movie. Even so, it’s pretty dumb to assume so, given the brevity of CoP.

So it isn’t your typical cop movie. What action? There’s a chase, some minor obligatory fun in the form of a single raid at the opening scene. A few flashbacks in which some people get killed. It’s pretty disappointing if you’re looking for a mindless action flick in which Tony Leung and Takeshi Kaneshiro are the side ornaments, though. Even worse if you thought this was something like Infernal Affairs. And like apples and oranges, I guess it’s nowhere near in terms of comparison.

I’ll try to keep this as spoiler-free as possible: Hei (Tony) and Bong (Takeshi) are cops. Hei’s life seems to be as good as it gets; he’s about to get married, his career’s on the way up. Bong, after the first few minutes of the movie, goes into a downward spiral; his girlfriend commits suicide, he quits the police force, becomes a private investigator, and takes to drink. In that order. This would’ve fallen into New Police Story territory aka Jackie Chan becomes an emo alcoholic cop and cries a lot if not for how things were handled by the directors. Eventually Bong gets called to investigate a closed case with mysterious circumstances surrounding it, and everything falls into place bit by bit.

Love the suit.
Far better in 2046 and Hero

Whoever thought of marketing CoP to come off as a thriller was dead wrong. To be honest, this movie had more in common with the international films (whatever that means) screened at Mid-Valley than your average, mainstream one. No car chase scenes, no tense gun face-offs, no excessive violence. Just a lot of story, character development and other stuff we’ve been conditioned to think as less essential. Only one thing gets blown up, but even that’s actually relevant to the story.

The acting was bad. Think it’s a first for me to not be affected by men crying on-screen. Heck, even Leonardo DiCaprio going all red-eyed after being given the bad cop treatment in The Departed had more going for it than the entirety of this movie. You know how when your leg goes to sleep and sensation slowly but surely returns before the pins and needles come in? It felt like that — any impact that I might have felt all seemed far off, like the problem lied my not being able to sympathize with the characters on screen, not because they failed as actors.

While Tony scraped through by the skin of his teeth, Takeshi alternated between looking tired and pretty.

Like Orlando Bloom, but with worse acting.
In this scene he looks tired of being pretty

The other movie I caught was Forbidden Siren, on behalf of The Star for R.AGE.

Based off the Forbidden Siren 2 PS2 game, which is of the horror-survival variety, Forbidden Siren follows the groan-worthy, clichéd horror route we’ve all come to know and loathe. Wide-eyed pretty damsel in distress? Check. Mysterious isolated island? Check. Strange island inhabitants? Check. Vulnerable younger sibling? Check. Strange and disappearing token side character? Check. Monsters as frightening as drying paint? I won’t go into details, but… you get the idea.

RED TINT OF DOOM did nothing to help
And now for a movie poster more frightening than the movie itself

The main character, Yui Ichikawa, probably did a lot better in her Ju-On and Ju-On 2 roles. Then again, the movies were rather frightening. You get the constant impression, given how Japanese movies usually have high production values, that the director wanted to buck the trend and make something crappy on purpose.

Oh, and I feel compelled to say something about the ending, which was along the lines of what my English teacher told me never, never ever to write for an essay. If you get what I mean, yes, it was that lame. I kid you not. The unresolved issues and plot holes bugged me like the mosquitoes that buzz around your bed at night, trying to get into your ears. Worst usage of suspension of disbelief ever.

The kid never speaks a word during the whole movie because he doesn't need to.
“Sis, we finished Hide and Seek an hour ago… can you let go of me now? Sis?”

Needless to say, this is as un-horror as it gets. It doesn’t even hold a candle to One Missed Call, the last horror movie I saw. Something of a joke compared to Ju-On, Ring, and the like. There was a trailer I saw of this local production in Cantonese, something about an unwitting lady who uses (haunted?) sperm from a donor. Cue spooky child muttering to herself in the dark, a lot of jump-at-you-from-the-closet surprises, and creepy music. Think I might catch that next week.

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2 Comments on “Confession/Siren”

  1. tankiasu Says:

    Hi there. Nice movie reviews. Definitely won’t be watching the Forbidden Siren after reading your review. Anyway, you used to attend Jalan Imbi Chapel?

  2. Owen Says:

    Hey. Thanks… and no, I don’t. It’s the Google effect. Think I mentioned “Jalan Imbi Chapel” in one of my posts some time ago, and what Google does when you do a search is look for sites with that phrase; since it isn’t very common, I just happened to be on the search results. That’s all.

    My immediate neighbours attend JIC though.


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