Thursday, October 21, 2010

AV [ Dvd Review ] *** 1/2

The gist of Edmond Pang's AV would be four Hong Kong university students attempting to have sex with a Japanese porn star through the guise of making an actual movie.

But yet ironically AV is about many other things and not so much on the original pitch. In fact there is so little depth on the sexual content that it's understandable why it gotten a IIb rating (Not suitable for Young Persons) instead of a Category 3 rating (Person aged 18 and above only). But the again AV excel in those many things that one could easily forget all about the gimmicky pitch and enjoyed what this AV have to provide.

It all started when one of their friends Lok faked a film production to make out with a girl. He was sacked from his university but that tactic inspired a bunch of friends to push the envelope further. The four of them decided to get funding and hire one of the popular Japanese AV actress  over and have sex with her while pretending to be making a movie. Numerous humorous cock up started to pile up in their way as they chase after the ultimate dream of most men ~ sex with a Japanese porn star!

The most entertaining aspect of AV was ironically not about the sex bits. It was the fooling among friends and the crude sex jokes that they shared or used at each other. It's the weird and funny obstacles that get thrown in their ways and how they overcome it. In the midst of chasing their dream, AV touches on doing something meaningful and audacious in their youth so that there won't be any regrets later on in life.

Then there are the tender moments in AV that makes one wonder if it's possible to fall in love with a porn star actress. It's a interesting take as while most people around the world view the porn career as a demeaning job, a significant  portion of the Japanese population don't see it that way. In fact, it seemed to be gaining popularity with the young female Japanese as some of the Japanese porn star do branch out to mainstream media career.

One of the nice moment here was the allusion on how ultimately porn star are there to sell a fantasy to the end user. It came rather unexpected but sometimes beneath the cutesy lovable facade lies something totally different.

Well that's what you get from a Edmond Pang movie. Interesting novel concepts with boisterous humour and tender moments of love in the most unexpected fashion.

Film: 3 1/2 out of 5 Stars

DVD Extra

When it comes to Edmond Pang movie on a dvd, you will bound to find at least some sort of extra feature in the Dvd. It varies from company that release his movie but you will get at least a commentary and making off segment. It's pretty rare as generally Hong Kong movies don't get so much extra effort put in for their dvds. What make it even better would be that it contain English subtitles for most of the extra segments and that's something that even the English friendly Korean Dvds don't normally do.

Disc 1

Director's statement - The Director's Statement comes in both Mandarin and English text. It covers the genesis for this AV movie and what was the inspiration for his movie. Who would expect that director Chen Kaige would have "something" to do with this movie.

Making of "AV" - Presented as "AV news" that follow Amamiya Manami to Hong Kong for her participation in this movie. It even tried to authenticated this "AV news" with a "Japanese" host speaking in Japanese and was dubbed over by a Cantonese narrator. There are plenty amusing moments in this segment. Specially on how they poke fun at the director for being just a little horny and the rest of the cast complaining about the first guy who got to make out with the female star.

Secret message from Amamiya Manami -

The not so secret video recording contains Amamiya Manami's monologue at the start and end of the movie. She also left two other video message for the director and cast. It's hard to believe someone so Kawaii (cute) and lively was a porn star.

Theatrical trailers and TV spots - One trailer and one tv spot for this movie. The second segment contains certain video scenes that is not in the movie.

Data Bank - Contain information on the Cast and crew profiles (in Mandarin) and the Synopsis (in both Mandarin and English)

Photo gallery - Automated sideshow of the cast during the film shoot. Comes with a soothing soundtrack to reminisce the video from a different angle.

Disc 2

Video commentary by Director and Cast - Why do a commentary when you could do a Video commentary. This video commentary works as the camaraderie between the director and the main cast made it fun to watch their lively bantering about the movie and stuff beyond it.

It turned out that the story of Kar Lok using film making as an excuse to make out with a girl was based upon a true life incident. They even point out that the actual Kar Lok played a part in the movie and his tale is well known in the Hong Kong film industry.

They even touch on censorship rules in Hong Kong and how the tight film schedule for AV made it impossible for Amamiya Manami to bid farewell to the rest of the crew before rushing for her flight back to Japan. There's plenty of interesting film making information and other amusing stuff that happened during the making of this movie. Not to be missed if you enjoyed the movie or if you are a fan of Hong Kong movies.

Deleted scenes - contain 9 mins + of certain additional, alternate and extended scenes that didn't make it to the final cut. The absence of English subtitles in this segment make it impossible to understand certain scenes that's converse in Japanese (unless you understand Japanese). The most amusing bit would be Amamiya Manami consoling the guys for their inability to perform the sex scenes and various snide remarks from the crew.

NG footage - A handful of NG footages that ended with an extra long making out scene with Amamiya Manami.

Beyond the Movie

Now for some updated AV News ... FilmsBlitz style

Amamiya Manami has retired (or Graduated as they like to say in Japan) from the Japanese Adult Video (JAV) industry back in 2008. As far as my research could find out, she was actually a newcomer in the JAV industry (with only 1 or 2 titles under her belt) prior to the making of this AV in 2005. Later on in her career, she signed up with one of the major and popular JAV company, S1 and stayed there till her final video. Some fans expressed joy that she didn't end her career with companies that are much more hardcore and degrading (yes ... even in the porn industry standard, there's a degree of debauchery) as many Japanese porn stars did with their twilight career.

For Folks in Singapore

With the new M18 & NC 16 rating dvds out for rental, you could borrow this Dvd and many other goodies at the library@esplanade.

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