Kung Fu Hustle
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Set amid the chaos of pre-revolutionary China, small time thief, Sing, aspires to be one of the sophisticated and ruthless Axe Gang whose underworld activities overshadow the city. Stumbling across a crowded apartment complex, aptly known as Pig Sty Alley, Sing attempts to extort money from one of the ordinary locals, but the neighbors are not what they appear.
Sing's comical attempts at intimidation inadvertently attract the Axe Gang into the fray, setting off a chain of events that brings the two disparate worlds face to face.
As the inhabitants of the Pig Sty fight for their lives, the ensuing clash of kung fu titans unearths some legendary martial arts masters. Sing, despite his futile attempts, lacks the soul of a killer and must face his own mortality in order to discover the true nature of a kung fu master.
Hilarious, exciting and entertaining! --Risingsunproductions.net
Clever high paced action. --Fightingspirit.com
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Top customer reviews
Really...LOL. It just pays homage to the feeling of wanting them to be a SUPERHERO. These incredible fight scenes. Bad guys, Good Guys. Is that guy supposed to be a bad guy?
We all wish something would change our lives and turn us into superheroes. We all love the wacky flying and moves and hidden weapons of Kung Fu movie genres. This is so amusing. Watch it and see.
No, no one has actual movies like Bruce Lee, Jet Li, or even Jackie Chan. They do have old masters though...guys who in their day could do the same moves those first 3 i named could. These guys are just lesser known.
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The New "AXE KICKING EDITION" soon to be released by Sony is actually the REGION-3 Hong Kong release which I have. (I am certain)The Hong Kong release is still the one to go for if you have a multi-region dvd player. Since I almost know for certain that only fans of the film will be interested in this new edition, I will skip the plot summary. ( for those of you who haven't seen it, you may look up my review under the original U.S. DVD.)
I will go straight to the differences between the previous dvd release and this new "Axe-kicking edition"(original Hong Kong release):
Mild spoilers ahead---
Scene 1; The landlady throws her husband out of a window and drops a flower pot that ended up on the back of his head. The original cut showed a small pool of blood coming from his face, but the U.S. version digitally omitted it. The blood now appears as part of the film.
Scene 2; Sing heckles/insults the residents of Pig Sty Alley and gets hit in the tummy by a woman. The original cut showed Sing spitting up blood which landed on the woman's face, but the earlier U.S. version digitally removed the blood (though some still appeared around Sing's mouth). The blood now appears in this release.
Scene 3; This may be more offensive to others; it takes place on the eve of the big attack on Pig Sty Alley. The Hong Kong cut showed a man taking a d--p onto a piece of paper as the camera panned by, but the American version digitally removed the offensive feces. Now the paper is no longer blank. "Mr. Poo" makes an appearance!
Scene 4; Sing confronts "The Beast" in the casino, he gets hit hard on the chest twice. After the 2nd hit, blood sprays on The Beast's face and Sing is shown reeling backwards from the force of the punch with blood spurting from his mouth. The U.S. version PREVIOUSLY removed both of these sequential shots.
Scene 5; Also in the casino, Sing's head is hit on his face, hammered into the ground by The Beast. After the first hit, The Beast's bloody fist is shown emerging from the floor in slow motion...but the U.S. version removed this shot entirely.
Now for the DVD Picture and Sound quality--
2.35 Anamorphic Widescreen. The Picture is extremely sharp with solid Black levels. Colors are natural and enhancements are not noticeable. CGI effects suffer a bit of softness. But the transfer is clean and nice. It is the Hong Kong transfer from what I can tell.
Sound is in 5.1 Dolby/2.0 surround in English, French & Cantonese. I am a bit disappointed why Sony still didn't include the Cantonese 5.1 DTS track as in the original Hong Kong release. Why?!
EXTRAS: Stephen Chow interview--Bloopers/outtakes--Featurettes: w/ Yuen Woo-Ping, Oliver Wong(Production designer), Shirley Wong(Costumes)
Storyboard comparison--trailers--audio commentary
CLOSING: Kung Fu Hustle is one of the more entertaining (if not the most fun in 2004) imports. It mixes pop culture blends, over-the-top comedy, hard-hitting action while maintaining a profound respect for the spirit of Kung Fu. This new region 1 release is a bit confusing, while it contains the original cut of the film, it misses the original special features and the powerful DTS Cantonese Language track. I wouldn't advise a "double dip" for fans who own the first REGION 1 dvd, but for fans who doesn't own the movie, pick this new version up. However, the lack of DTS sound is a huge minus for this version. I STILL prefer the ORIGINAL Hong Kong region-3 release!
A great reminder of good moral values for humanity to follow.
We find out that he tried to be a hero and wanted to be one as a child, spent his life savings on an ancient manual and attempted to defend a girl against bullies. He was beaten down and humiliated, everything he knew crushed, and then was show kindness by the person he was trying to protect, making him weaker than she was, in his mind. Rejecting his nature, he became what he previously hated, what he previously wanted to destroy.
The main focus of the story is him, but also the town-village and how they all relate to the axe gang. The plot of this follows typical martial arts plots, paying favors to the martial arts cinema heroes of older martial arts films and the escalating and stylish battles there-in. All the fighting is beautiful and while it tends to be referenced to other works, it still completely owns them and makes them their own.
It is in the final fight of the village and the axe gang that we see just who the protagonist truly is. It is in that powerful moment that this movie is something more than generic, something better than traditional, and something closer to magical. The way he changes, his final acts in that scenes, and the conclusion of the girl he tried to save so long ago and the fate he reject so long ago, end up in a cathartic moment rarely rivaled in any other cinema, let alone kung-fu movies.