On his 18th birthday, Goku (Justin Chatwin) is given a sacred dragonball by his grandfather. Told that with the other orbs in the set, a single perfect wish will be granted, a tragedy sends our hero out to find Master Roshi (Chow Yun-Fat), an old family friend who is the key to unlocking the object's secrets. Along the way, Goku picks up Bulma Briefs (Emmy Rossum), who agrees to help him. With Roshi and desert bandit Yamcha (Joon Park) in tow, he prepares to take on alien invader Piccolo (James Marsters), who along with his assistant Mai (Eriko Tamura) is bent on summoning the dragon Shen Long and ruling the Earth. As the impending solar eclipse signals the moment of reckoning, our group must train to overcome centuries of evil and transform into the ultimate fighting force in the universe.
Continue reading: Dragonball Evolution Review
For these reasons and a few more, CJ7, Chow's excursion into child-friendly filmmaking, comes off as beleaguered, if not irrefutably adorable. Ti (Chow) works as a construction worker in Hong Kong and spends his nights rooting around in garbage piles for things he can fix for his son Dicky (played by actress Xu Jiao). It's under one particular heap of broken televisions and discarded clothing that Ti finds a UFO that quickly zooms away after expelling a little green ball with a small circle on the top.
Continue reading: Cj7 Review
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.
Continue reading: Shaolin Soccer Review
Kung Fu Hustle (written by Chow, Tsang Kan Cheong, Xin Huo, and Chan Man Keung) follows despondent wannabe gangsters Sing (Chow) and Brother Sum (Kwok Kuen Chan) - two inept bunglers with dreams of criminal fame and fortune - as their attempts to impress the Axe Gang bring chaos to the working-class town of Pig Sty. There, a screaming landlady (Qiu Yuen) and her licentious husband (Wah Yuen) maintain order and obedience with an iron fist. However, after the arrival of the Axe Gang - a group of suit-wearing toughs whose leader (Hsiao Liang) likes to orchestrate choreographed line dances after killing his adversaries - the town's landlords, as well as three seemingly ordinary men, reveal themselves to be superpowered kung fu masters. What ensues is inventive, frenzied combat of the fantastical variety, highlighted by a Wachowski-esque battle involving innumerable (and identical looking) Axe Gang members swarming Pig Sty's enclosed courtyard for a chance to vanquish the unretired martial arts heroes. Throughout such visually hectic set pieces, Chow's direction proves a model of efficiency, presenting every special effects-enhanced roundhouse kick, aerial jump and flaming fireball with a lucidity that allows for spatial coherence. Assured and exhilarating, the filmmaker's dynamic staging and blocking allows him to stretch the boundaries of his confiding frame, culminating in a high-flying, earth-shattering climax that virtually leaps off the screen.
Continue reading: Kung Fu Hustle Review
"Kung-fu soccer! Pow!"
If that one over-enthusiastic, plot-summarizing line of dialogue (delivered with all the air-punching, jumbo gusto that Hong Kong B-movies are known for) doesn't make you smile at its jolly absurdity, then stop reading now -- "Shaolin Soccer" isn't the movie for you.
Still smiling? Then you probably already know everything you need know about this tongue-all-the-way-through-its-cheek comedy import in which a martial-arts-trained underdog leads a team of misfits into a soccer tournament where they use CGI-souped-up ancient fighting techniques to overpower a corporate squad of scowling steroid supermen in an extreme-soccer showdown.
Continue reading: Shaolin Soccer Review
Stephen Chow, as a director anyways, has a pension for genre-jumping though his cinema is...
Fans of Hong Kong films are no strangers to the wily talents of writer, actor,...
Stephen Chow's Shaolin Soccer was a unique genre potpourri in which sports films, The Matrix,...