DVD Kung Fu Hustle [DVD] [Canadian] (DVD 6251647),
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Kung Fu Hustle [DVD] [Canadian]
Region 1 USA/CA (
Stephen Chow's follow-up to SHAOLIN SOCCER ups the over-the-top action quotient by about three zillion percent. The story is set in 1930s Hong Kong, with Chow as a shaggy-haired, would-be bad guy named Sing, who gets caught up in the middle of a war between the top-hat-wearing Axe gang and the hard scrabble inhabitants of Pig Sty Alley. Chow--who wrote, produced, and directed--doesn't step in as the star here for quite a while, letting the comic duties fly in a myriad of directions: a landlady in curlers (Yuen Qiu) has a yell that can flatten buildings; people get kicked across courtyards and through walls; musician assassins whip ghost sabers from lyre strings, and a mental patient in pink flip-flops named "the Beast" (Leung Siu Lung) catches bullets in his fingers. Buoyed by SOCCER's box office success, HUSTLE uses bigger production values and a dizzying amount of CGI-enhanced martial arts (imagine Bruce Lee vs. Bugs Bunny in THE MATRIX). It's full of references to other films and filmmakers, revering spaghetti westerns and '70s Shaw brothers movies a la Tarantino's KILL BILL (fight choreographer Yuen Wo Ping worked on both films). It also pays sly homage to the works of Wong Kar Wai, D.W. Griffith, Sam Raimi, Jean-Luc Godard, Stanley Kubrick, and Akira Kurosawa. Raymond Wong's inspired score matches each cinematic reference with the appropriate cue as the camera circles and swoops around the sprawling sets. This is a real treat, more than a great action film or comedy, it's a great film period, and one that set box office records in the East.
Stephen Chow, Stephen Chiao, Qiu Yuen, Wah Yuen
"HUSTLE's approach to a simple good-vs.-evil plot is eccentrically exuberant."
"That one can indeed call KUNG FU HUSTLE delightful reflects its wonderfully compelling, high wire sense of dreamy knockabout..."
Sight and Sound
"[N]o one's ever captured the escapist thrill of a four-coloured splash panel as well as Chow does here."
"[Chow is] a one-man comedy parade....[He] turns his characters into live-action cartoons and then, miraculously, makes it all ring true."
"[I]n terms of physical timing, comic ideas and snap-crackle-pop filmmaking it buries any 10 other American comedies you can think of."
Movieline's Hollywood Life
Ranked #14 in Uncut's Best Films Of 2005 -- "[A] blast of exuberant, over-the-top cinematic madness....Ridiculously entertaining."
"[An] insanely entertaining smash-fantasy burlesque....You don't just watch it, you ride with it, laughing all the way."
"For all its extreme cartoonish violence, KUNG FU HUSTLE is a surprisingly sweet and charming movie."
Los Angeles Times
"The showstopping fight sequences are choreographed by the legendary Yuen Wo Ping and given an extra jolt of nutty inventiveness by some cheerfully crude digital effects."
New York Times
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