Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Chow’

Best of the Decade, No. 95: Shaolin Soccer

January 8, 2010

Gagman and opportunist, multi-hyphenate Stephen Chow timed his football comedy to coincide with the arrival of the World Cup in Japan. Tapping into the global power of the sport, he also made the first successful HK crossover hit which actually had more comedy than martial arts in it. The original pre-Weinstein cut of Shaolin Soccer is happily scatological and senseless in its story of a drunken master (Chow) who learns that sport is the best way to spread his kung fu gospel. There are some poetic moments as well, such as adorable Vicki Zhao, who makes steamed buns using her own martial arts skills. Chow and Zhao assemble a team of misfits who, in the best Major League tradition, suit up for a final match that will avenge the honor of slighted soccer star. The China Super Cup final plays out like a Fox Sports interstitial on Barry Bonds’s medicine cabinet. The film established Chow not only as a superior clown but one who knew how to use his camera. And beneath the laughs is a serious point: while martial arts may be the glory of Chinese’s aesthetics, the world demands that its fundamentals be applied to more modern pursuits.
See also: Kung Fu Hustle (2004)


Michel Gondry Blows His Own Hornet

April 14, 2009

the-green-hornetMichel Gondry tells MTV his plans for The Green Hornet. It’s gonna star the new slimline Seth Rogen as Britt Reid and god of comedy Stephen Chow as Kato. Gondry makes it sounds like The Spirit without all the coherent parts.

“I changed the speed of the camera at different spots in the image at different times. So it seems like [Green Hornet and Kato] are in the same world but at different times, and then they’re back together. [… The camera] speeds up and slows down but [at] different times for different characters’ images. So one will go fast and the other will go slow — and then they’ll meet. It’s [as if] they’re in different dimensions, but when they touch each other, they come into the same dimension.”

Clear as boue! Not exactly a quote that screams “pull,” but what are you gonna do? Gondry adds that the villain’s distinguishing feature is “a gun with two cannons” and that the TV Hornet, Van Williams, will make an appearance. He’ll be happy for the work–according to IMDB, it’s the first time Williams has appeared onscreen since 1993’s Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.