Is direct-to-DVD better than nothing? News about the latest Asian acquisition by The Weinstein Co. -- reliable veteran director Benny Chan's forthcoming cops 'n' criminals action flick Invisible Target -- broke a few days ago. Variety's brief report noted that the Weinsteins picked up rights for North America, Australia and South Africa to the Hong Kong-China film but "has not yet set release plans." That sounds to me like another way of saying, 'We plan to send this directly to the home video market, but we want people right now to think it might get a theatrical release some time in the near future, so they will hold out hope of seeing it in theaters, then slowly lose hope when it doesn't appear and we don't talk about it, and will then be grateful months from now when it's finally available on DVD, because then at least they'll be able to see it in some form.'

Maybe that's just my cynical side thinking out loud. To give them credit, the Weinsteins did release The Protector wide last fall -- trying to build on Magnolia's work in distributing Ong Bak, which also featured action star Tony Jaa -- and perhaps they felt the modest financial returns ($12,044,087, per Box Office Mojo) did not justify their investment, making them gun-shy for the future. From the looks of the smashing trailer, Invisible Target will be packed with flying stunts, explosions and angry young men. Nicholas * Tse, Wu Jing (who really knows his martial arts), Shawn Yue and Jaycee Chan (Jackie's son) star. Invisible Target is coming out soon in Mainland China, Malaysia and Singapore; it opens in Hong Kong this Friday, July 19. As already complained about above, we'll have to wait to see it in North America.

* Corrected. Thanks to commenter xxdeucexx for pointing out my misspelling.--PM