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Too Tired to Die
  Year: 1998
Takeshi Kaneshiro
 
  Director: Wonsuk Chin  
  Cast: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Mira Sorvino, Jeffrey Wright, Michael Imperioli, Geno Lechner, Ben Gazzara, Sandra Prosper, David Thornton, Aida Turturro, Kim Hye-Soo, Drena DeNiro  
The Skinny: Well-meaning existentialism permeates this US indie flick starring the charismatic Takeshi Kaneshiro. However, "well-meaning" and "good" are two separate things entirely.
Review
by Kozo:

     This independent film from Korean director Wonsuk Chin makes the PanAsian cut thanks to the appearance of Takeshi Kaneshiro in his first English language flick. Kaneshiro is Kenji, a Japanese slacker in New York City who gets chosen by Death (Mira Sorvino) to die. She warns him that he has only twelve hours in which to live—what he does with it is up to him. So what does he do? He spends his last hours meeting strange characters before being crushed beneath the the hypocrisy, dishonesty and cruelty that permeates our lives. And no, he doesn't cheat Death.
     To those familiar with the existential musings of Wong Kar-Wai, Wonsuk Chin's comedy/drama mines some familiar territory. Kenji is a disaffected urban city dweller whose aimlessness is tested when he's forced to look upon his own death. Such themes are winning in their cloying existentialism, and Takeshi Kaneshiro manages charm and hidden emotion despite his somewhat unsympathetic character. Ultimately, this is a well-meaning film that has genuine sparks, but it suffers due to "film school disease." What that means is a too-quirky script and jarring existentialism which makes the film's quest for thematic depth all too obvious. To Tired to Die feels like a film geek project, and possesses enough showy dialogue, cheesy acting and bad director cameos to annoy even the most Quentin Tarantino-friendly.
     At the very least the concept is sound, and the scenes between Kaneshiro and Mira Sorvino (in a subdued, but effective performance) are quite good. One wishes they could have shared more screen time, but that isn't the case. Without much else to hold the film together, we must be content with the cream-filled pies of meaning which are thrown obnoxiously into our faces. A lot of feelings are elicited, but the effort with which they're conveyed is so obvious that the director might as well have been narrating the film personally. Too Tired to Die's abundance of quirky existentialism can win you over—but what end it accomplishes is anybody's guess. The thoughtful concept can be appreciated; most American films could never come close to giving you this much to chew on. However, despite the generous portions of portentous meaning, there may not be much here to digest. (Kozo 1998)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Panorama Entertainment
Widescreen
International Language Track (English, Japanese, Mandarin, French, Arabic)
English Subtitles
   
   
 
 
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