- Note: Blu-ray discs are in a high definition format and need to be played on a Blu-ray player.
Shaolin Soccer [Blu-ray]
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Fusing ancient martial arts with hard-hitting physical comedy and the high-flying energy of competitive sports, 'Shaolin Soccer' is written by, directed by and stars Stephen Chow. Dedicated Shaolin practitioner Sing (Stephen Chow) is determined to re-unite his brothers to apply the ancient art of Shaolin to a modern sport. With the help of ex-football champion, Fang, the group of unlikely footballers are whipped into shape and train hard to earn a place in the National Football Tournament. The brothers battle their way through the rounds with unusual moves such as 'Iron Head' and 'Hooking Foot', getting closer and closer to the ultimate challenge of the National final. It is her that they will face Team Evil - the most ruthless team ever assembled.
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The first half is funny, witty, ground breaking stuff - a Kung Fu film that you laugh with and not at. I was amazed at the sharpness of the occasionally surreal comedy and of the fast paced and clever script, that surprised and amazed in equal measure.
However, the scene where our hero chats up the female lead is the 'Jump the Shark' moment, where the film turns from ground breaking to cliched and predictable. All the special effects in the world can't make the final match work, and the whole enemy-team-on-drugs ploy doesn't explain why they are so much better than the Shaolin monks.
Anyways, the film is definitely worth watching as all new experiences are to be cherished and honoured. Just beware that, like Girl Next Door, it is possible for a film to lose it's rhythm half way and seem cut-and shut...
P.S. On an unrelated sidenote, Star Wars VI: Return Of The Jedi fans among you may be interested to know that the ideas of the Jedi & 'The Force' were partly derived from the Shaolin Monks of China...
I confirm that Bluray does show two different versions, American version (87mins) and Hong Kong version (112mins). Hong Kong version is much better.
Can be viewed in both cantonese and english but the english version misses out a few scenes.
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