破事兒
Trivial Matters (2007)


Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 06/15/2008
Summary: and pursuits...

a collection of short films, based on stories, by pang ho-cheung...

vis major - a university professor (chan fai hung) and his wife (kristal tin) describe a sexual encounter, to an ex-student (jan lamb), giving very different perspectives...

civism - a guy (edison chen), whilst chatting up a girl (stephanie cheng), gives details of his main civic contribution...

it's a festival today - waking up, after a wet dream, a man (eason chen) recounts the development of his last relationship with a woman (isabel chan), and his method of persuasion...

tak nga - a public information film, detailing the history of how the planet 'tak nga' was named...

ah wai the big head - the story of how kate (stephy tang) and, loner, ah wai (gillian chung) become friends, of sorts, and how kate's advice and friendship effects both of their lives...

recharge - a man (chapman to) goes to visit an escort (zhang zheng)...

junior - a celebrity (peter kam) gets a visit from the new account manager (feng xiaogang) of a company he uses for less than legal activities, who informs him of a new offer and vip status that he qualifies for...

well, i really love the films of pang ho-cheung, so i was quite looking forward to seeing this, despite it's mixed reception. i needn't of worried...

the collection, which is largely based around tales of a sexual nature or situations which seem (or are treated as) trivial, but actually have quite an impact on those involved.

'vis major' is probably the weakest of the collection, but still sets the tone of the film, with a look at how a lack of communication leads a couple to arrive at very different conclusions when they interpret the same event. there's comedic moments, but it watches a little like one of those emails which describe the same event from a male and female perspective...

'civism' is kinda funny, although the fact that we're laughing at what a dick edison chen is may accidental or the greatest piece of casting ever...

'it's a festival today' is one of the two strongest segments: eason chen is great as the satisfaction hungry man, whilst isabel chan (who looks super cute in paul frank pants) is great as his unfortunate girlfriend. the film manages to apply a rather serious tone to an almost silly comic conceit with great effect. made me laugh out loud a couple of times...

'tak nga' is just okay. a bit of filler, which is nicely presented and, really, just acts as a bridge between two of the films longer segments.

'ah wai the big head' is the other film that stands out above the others. it is a fine example of the darker side that is often present in pang ho-cheung's sense of humour. selfishness and irresponsibility come back to haunt stephy tang, whilst inadvertently having the opposite effect on gillian cheung.

'recharge' is another good little role or chapman to, who is also the film's producer and seems to do his best work when under the influence of pang ho-cheung. this segment generates humour from his character's particular approach to life and love.

'junior', which wraps things up, has an amusing premise and, as conroy chan and shauwn yue get stoned, it kinda goes off track and peters out nicely. just like they do...

so, as far as i'm concerned, this is another fine entry into pang ho-cheung's filmography and a successful collection of shorts which do fit together quite nicely. as usual, i look forward to watching his next film when it materialises...

good stuff...


Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 03/25/2008

The star-packed Trivial Matters is a collection of seven very loosely connected short films, which were based on a series of stories writer/director Edmond Pang penned about love and fate in modern Hong Kong.

Some of the shorts work well, such as one that pairs Twins's Gillian Chung opposite Cookies's Stephy Tang as mates in the same school who deal with pregnancy differently. This sequence has a whole lot of real emotion that you might not expect from something starring two bubblegum pop stars, and would actually probably make a fine full-length picture.

On the other hand, we have stuff like the story where Edison Chen tries to impress a lady by telling her he "cleans" up stains in public toilets by urinating on them. Perhaps it's fitting poetic justice that Chen's last Hong Kong film role has him saying the phrase "shit stains" about twenty times.

As a whole, the changes in tone between the stories, as well as a lack of closure to most of them, make Trivial Matters a bit of rough going. There is some good to be found here, but you'll unfortunately have to sit through a good deal of crud to get to it.

Ultimately, Trivial Matters comes off as a nice experiment that still fails to get the desired results. It was good to see a Hong Kong studio willing to put out something other than the usual crime drama or weepy romantic drivel.

But all that is for naught if the viewer doesn't become engaged. Maybe it's because I don't live in Hong Kong, but there was a whole lot presented here that didn't really connect, and as such, I can only offer a mild recommendation for this.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 03/14/2008
Summary: 5/10 - Hit & Miss

Trivial Matters is not a movie, it's an anthology of short films derived from a collection of Pang's short stories. The tone varies wildly, from the raunchy comedy of 'It's a Festival Today' to the rather melancholy 'Recharge' and the absurdity of 'Junior'. There's a lot of pretty frank sex talk in many of the sections, culminating in the fairly explicit 'Recharge'.

The wide variety of tones is the biggest problem with 'Trivial Matters', because it makes the film rather incoherent, and not especially enjoyable to watch in a single sitting - it may be more satisfying to pick a single story to suit one's mood. The second biggest problem is that "Ah Wai the Big Head", by far the longest story (or it seemed like it) is rather boring.

"Hit & Miss" seems like the most appropriate term - worth seeing for the funnier moments, but only at a budget price?

Reviewer Score: 5