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284 MOVIES (released titles only)

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#50- Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

#100- Black Swan

#200- Mysteries of Lisbon

Last- Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Shaolin Soccer

Shaolin Soccer (2001)
Written by Stephen Chow, Kan-Cheung Tsang
Directed by Stephen Chow
Starring Stephen Chow, Man Tat Ng, Wei Zhao, Yin Tse

down on his luck ex-soccer star finds guy obsessed with kung fu and the shaolin way. they make a soccer team with all kung fu masters.

This was pretty cool.  It wasn't at all what I expected.  I don't know why, but I expected Mr. Chow to be teaching a group of Shaolin monks to play soccer in order to save their monastery or something.  Instead we get a story of multiple redemption / self re-discovery.  Each plot is equally rote, so it doesn't matter that much.

As with any formula application, it's all about the minor variables.  Some of the stuff was too far over the top for me.  The coach of "team evil," for example, was supposed to be joyously transparent but it didn't come off that way for me.  Similarly, Golden Leg was supposed to have had this one moment of weakness but we didn't get very much background as to why he felt the need to do so.  After he's abused by the one guy he spends 20 years being abused.  Why?  Is naivete even an excuse for this?

Good guy or bad guy?
What do you think?

But pantomime like this is definitely one of Chow's things, so I shouldn't let myself become too riled.  And if you take this extreme example out of the picture, you're left with... well, alright. You're left with a whole bunch of sacks who are far to sad to really exist and one man with the drive to make a difference in their lives.  Does he make that difference?  What do you think?

Again, who really cares?  We're watching this movie because it's a Stephen Chow spectacle, and even though the plot here is far more comprehensible than his earlier stuff  it is equally insignificant to the enjoyment of the experience.  The inventiveness of the styles is his strong point and that's where the movie shines.  Each of the brothers of Chow's character has his own kung fu technique; and they all get their due in both fights and games.  By and large the way the characters handle the ball with their kung fu is actually useful to the game and not cheating.

So, when the inevitable happens we don't really feel cheated either.

The Woman
very similar to kung fu hustle in it's style. the story was pretty disney sports movie. the misfits surprise everyone and make a great kick ass team. i laughed a couple times. i fell asleep in the middle for a bit. you know.

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