Step One: Go to www.random.org.
Step Two: Pick a Number.
Step Three: GET WEIRD!
Get ready to kick some grass!
A young Shaolin follower reunites with his discouraged brothers to form a soccer team using their martial art skills to their advantage.
Martial arts in cinema often have this tendency to go way over-the-top in its depiction and it pretty much ruins the whole picture for me, especially if this exaggerated action is present in movies that take their drama seriously.
It is no secret that I prefer films that display martial arts in a highly realistic & grounded fashion. In short, movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon are a big no for me while I'm game for action extravaganzas like The Raid.
Even in comedies, this stylised illustration of martial arts doesn't work all the time since majority of them are busy spoofing kung fu instead of weaving a funny tale around it. And that's exactly what separates Shaolin Soccer from the…
If I had to choose my single favorite region's filmography, I would probably choose Asian cinema. So many Asian films (Chinese in particular) can be so over the top, and truly fun diversions from the normalities of American cinema. No other has proved to be zanier than Stephen Chow, and the two films I've seen from him have both been a joy and so much fun to watch.
Shaolin Soccer combines a genre I typically despise (sports) with a genre I typically love (martial arts) and produces a truly uniquely blended story that's never short of comedy, ridiculously over-the-top moments, and stellar martial arts sequences. I found a few moments of the film to be a bit unbelievable to be…
Feels like there's something missing with the Zhao Wei storyline, an explanation for why Chow is so mean to her. Compare the lovely romance in Kung Fu Hustle or the nuanced rejection of romance in Conquering the Demons. Chow's cruelty toward her comes out of nowhere, and is left unresolved, but for a vague slogan on a billboard.
The film is at its best exploring the underbelly of capitalism, the followers of an ancient tradition pushed outside the margin of society. A century earlier, the itinerant master in Once Upon a Time in China turned to evil as the only viable way to practice his skills, while these guys simply lose their abilities, their faith, under the crushing weight of…
The work of Stephen Chow seems to be both of respect and innovation through comedy. The fact that his films of the past decade introduced Kung Fu as a discipline capable of unrealistic physical and spiritual wonders confirms his vision to be that of comedy rather than spoof, because the essence of martial arts remains there.
Incorporating that to modern settings is an idea beyond ridiculous that few studios with any sanity remnant would accept consciously, including the cheap CGI aspects which suckness is compensated almost completely by the creativity involved in something seemingly superficial, yet actually humble. Still, the film delivers what it originally set out to do, with a no-holds-barred energy and enthusiasm that so many movies are…
Week #25 of The Letterboxd Seasonal Challenge: Chinese Week
I would watch a movie about any activity if said activity had the word "Shaolin" in front of it in the title.
Of all the movies out there about football--yes, football, it should never be called soccer (what does that word even mean anyway?!)--Shaolin Soccer has to be, by far, the strangest. The brainchild of director, writer and principle star Stephen Chow, this Hong Kong piece utilises the comedic style of 'mo lei tau', which essentially translates as 'nonsensical', a translation that frankly makes sense as the humour throughout Chow's film just completely bypassed me and proves how subjective and perhaps at times nation-based comedy itself can be. Stylistically and visually it's rather unique and indeed puts an interesting spin not just on football but also the underdog tale, but Shaolin Soccer is just a little bit too off the wall, zany…
this movie is so ridiculous but i love every single minute of it
Broad comedy that doesn't always work but Stephen Chow is so earnest you can't help but smile. The ending match is the best...
A cinematic masterpiece.
This was as preposterous as it gets, but extremely funny and inventive. Most sports films are a bore because of their predictability, but although the sports result in this movie was predictable, the journey was a hoot.
It has been a very long time since any film has made me laugh out loud as much as this one did. Not only is there the spot-on send up of both sports and martial arts narratives rolled into one absurd hole but there are the relentlessly imaginative effects, the bizarre non-sequiters and best of all the unflinching cruelty dished out to the female lead and her attempt to have a character arc in the middle of all this madness.
Stephen Chow... that is all I need to say. Man this is one heck of a film, wuld reccomend.
My favorite sports movie.
Batshit crazy and so much fun. The third act kinda drags with all the CGI soccer stunts (kids will love it). But the first half of the flick, which focuses on the kooky characterisations, is awesome. Some of the Shaolin monks (Iron Head, Weight Vest, Hooking Leg) are hilarious, but the film in owned by Stephen Chow – not so much his extraordinary physicality, but his utterly endearing charisma and charming character work. What a star.
Step One: Go to www.random.org.
Just a list of Asian films I've seen so far. As complete as I can remember them/have them logged on…