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09/15/2005 Archived Entry: "Kung-Fu Hustle and Sin City"

NEVER IN ALL THE WORLD DID I IMAGINE I'd end up watching a movie called Kung Fu Hustle -- let alone enjoying it hugely, vastly, wildly, thrillingly, and hilariously. But I Netflixed it last night, and it wowed me.

One reviewer called it a Chinese Sin City. Dunno about that. Although both blur the line between reality and cartoon, Kung Fu Hustle plays its violence strictly for laughs. On the other hand, Sin City is as dark as it gets and goes beyond disturbing in its celebration of vengeful violence..

But it's true that both Kung Fu Hustle and Sin City tell good-guy/bad-guy/tough-guy stories you've seen before, but tell their stories in ways you've never imagined. Both put high-tech computer FX into service to tell wonderfully human stories.

Kung Fu Hustle and Sin City, which I saw a couple of weeks ago, are a pair of truly awesome action flix. Sin City is also an artistic triumph. Both are -- amazingly enough -- largely one-man productions. Stephen Chow directs, produced, stars in and co-wrote Kung Fu Hustle. Robert Rodriguez didn't star in Sin City but he did all that other stuff and wrote the sound track, besides. Better yet: Both these guys are mere puppies, with years of creative potential ahead of them. Hot damn!

Two great films. And I'm not giving anything away when I say that in both of them the good guys win, and win in style. But Sin City is for a noir mood. If you're looking for fun and laughs along with your adventure, I'd put Kung Fu Hustle right up there with Back to the Future and Raiders of the Lost Ark as a classic and a DVD keeper.

Posted by Claire @ 09:25 AM CST

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