Saturday, October 22, 2005

SHAOLIN SOCCER (2001) - Stephen Chow

Is there such thing as a CGI headache? If so, I think I got one from watching this movie. Or it could have been the red wine. Who knows? But I’m blaming Stephen Chow all the same.

Maybe I’m a little bitter, but I do have a checkered past with this movie. I rented the original Hong Kong DVD version a few years back before it got bought up and “Miramaxed.” After about 30 minutes or so, it KILLED MY DVD PLAYER. Granted, it was a free DVD player that I had won in a context, but the whole affair left me DVD-less for a few months. To make matters worse, the reason I rented the movie in the first place was for a screenwriting gig I was up for which I learned I didn’t get just about the same time I realized my DVD was completely fried. Double whammy.
 
Thus, I had “Shaolin Soccer issues” going in from the start. But was the original version this chock full of CGI? It looks like Miramax got a hold of this movie and went “full George Lucas” on its ass but in a very low-rent kinda way, forcing some sort of bargain-basement special effect into every corner of every shot. From the 30 minutes I remember seeing before my cheap DVD player’s untimely death, I don’t recall it being this “processed.” I could be wrong…
 
Anyway…how was the movie? Ehh, it’s cute…but no Kung Fu Hustle. Stephen Chow is a talented MF-er no doubt with a great, old-timey sense of humor and gift for physical comedy. I could draw the Charlie Chaplin / Buster Keaton comparisons and delineate why I think Kung Fu Hustle is a better movie than Shaolin Soccer (this version at least). But, frankly, Shaolin Soccer has already exhausted too much of my precious mental and material resources for that.

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