Fans of Hong Kong films are no strangers to the wily talents of writer, actor, and director Stephen Chow. His zany comic and martial arts talents on-screen are matched only by his imaginative storylines and off-the-wall sense of comedy in his writing.

But to most American moviegoers, Shaolin Soccer will be their first glimpse at the clever Mr. Chow's work; and it's been a long time coming. While Shaolin Soccer was released in Asia in 2001 and has gone on to become one of the continent's biggest blockbusters, Miramax has been fumbling with the American release for nearly two years now. At first, the plan was to cut the well-tuned kung fu spoof down a half hour, dub it over with English actors, and re-edit it so it could earn a kid-friendlier PG rating. Thankfully, the Miramax folks have come to their senses, even if it took this long to do it.

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