(aka "Shaolin Soccer" or "Siu lam juk kau" )

 

directed by Stephen Chow
Hong Kong 2001

Made just in time to celebrate the World Cup in Soccer, taking place in Japan and Korea in 2002, Stephen Chow combined shaolin kung-fu with the art of kicking a ball. The result has to date no equal.

Twenty years ago Fung was the star of the nation, a living legend with the nickname Golden Legs, because he never failed a kick. But Hung, jealous, cursed him and thus made Golden Leg fail a penalty kick. As a result, the crowd went wild and broke Golden Legs knees.

As we begin, Fung is the humble servant of Hung, who stuck around, because Hung, who now manages the most successful team in the nation, Team Evil, promised him a trainer position. But as he gives Fung the brush off, Fung quits.

Fung then meets Sing, a self-announced master of kung-fu, but ignores him. That is, until he discovers his powers and love for soccer. Fung then talks Sing into combining soccer with kung-fu, and in turns, Sing persuades his brothers to form a soccer team. After much practice and many matches, the finally enter the national cup and eventually Team Evil in the finals.

Chow is considered as the founder of the Hong Kong comedy genre “mo lei tau”, which translated means “nonsense”, and his style is silly and hilarious plots full of slapstick. But what Chow appears really to love is to make fun of other genres. In “Fist of Fury 91”, he makes a spoof on Bruce Lee’s “Fist of Fury”, in “From Beijing with Love” he spoofs James Bond, and here he takes a serious look at the competitive world of soccer.

What drives “Shaolin Soccer” is the insane humour of Chow combined with the most insane use of kung-fu ever, aided by CGI. Not only does the players defy gravity, but can kick the ball at supersonic speed. It is unlike any other film ever made, more outrageous than any other film ever made and one of the greatest Hong Kong comedies ever. A must see.

 

Henrik Sylow

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 12, 2001

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Spectrum (Ultimate Edition) - Region 3 - NTSC vs. Optimum Asia - Region 2 - PAL vs. Universal Laser (DTS Version) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow and to Chris Gould for all the Screen Caps!

(Spectrum (Ultimate Edition) - Region 3 - NTSC LEFT vs. Optimum Asia - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Universal Laser (DTS Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

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Distribution

Spectrum

Region 3 - NTSC

Optimum Asia

Region 2 - PAL

Universal Laser
Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:41:56 1:45:12 (4% PAL speedup) 1:50:00
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.20 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.0 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.25 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate :

Spectrum

Bitrate:

 

Optimum Asia

 

Bitrate:

 

Universal Laser (DTS Version)

 

Audio Cantonese Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1, Cantonese DTS 5.1, Mandarin Dolby Digital 5.1 2.0 Dolby Digital Cantonese, 5.1 Dolby Digital Cantonese

2.0 Dolby Digital Cantonese, 5.1 Dolby Digital Cantonese, DTS Cantonese

Subtitles English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Korean, None English, None Traditional CH, Simplified CH, English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Spectrum

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Three versions of the film
• Making Film
• NG Film
• Music Video
• Special Effects
• Photo Gallery
• Highlight
• Trailers
• Booklet

DVD Release Date: January 18, 2005
Slim Amaray Case

Chapters 26

Release Information:
Studio: Optimum Asia

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Two versions of the film:
• Extended 112 minute version*
• US 85 minute version (English dub)*
• ...
• Making of (20:36)
• Special Effects (7:48)
• Outtakes (2:41)
• Shaolin Soccer - The Moves
• * Both versions has Miramax logo at its beginning.

DVD Release Date: March 14, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Laser

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Two versions of the film:
• Extended 112 minute version
• Theatrical 102 minute version
• ...
• Making of (20:32)
• Special Effects (7:46)
• Outtakes (2:45)
• Photo Gallery
• Talent Files
 

DVD Release Date: September 14, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 52

 

 

 

 

Comments ADDITION (April 2005) - Spectrum (Ultimate Edition) - Region 3- NTSC - All information - running time, bitrate, chapters etc. - and screen captures taken from the theatrical version. The theatrical version is framed at approximately 1.78:1, while the longer director's cut and shorter international versions are framed at approximately 1.85:1. The Optimum is still the sharpest, but the Spectrum has some good extras.

*****

Versions
The Optimum versions come from Miramax and are the extended version and the aprx 27-minute cut US version (1:25:36 / 4.34 Mbit/s).

The MiramAXED version is reduced from the extended version by removing often important plot details and conversations, especially, if they slow down the pace. For instance, the entire dressing room sequence in the beginning is cut, the film begins with the penalty kick. Thus we never learn the history behind the tattoo on Iron Leg's stomach. A horrible demonstration of lack of respect.

The Universal Laser has the theatrical cut (aprx 1:42:57) and extended cut. I couldn't measure the exact running time of the extended, but it appears to have 7 to 8 minutes additional material. Thus the running time is an estimate.

The extended version is only available via "extra footage" where a little yellow soccer player then will appears in the upper right corner and a logo in the lower left.

Image
There are a curious difference between the two sources.

In image #1, the R3 image has 50px is cropped top (11%) but 20px more image bottom (4.5%). Apart from this, the general difference appears to be that the R2 image is cropped 5px top/bottom (difference between 1.78:1 and 1.85:1) and has 7px left/right more image.

In terms of colour, the R2 image, which has Miramax as source, appears to have lowered the level of blue. For instance in image #5, the R3 bluish effect appears greenish on the R2 image. The R3 has a higher level of contrast than the R2, and perhaps because of this causes yellow and red to bleed slightly.

The extended scenes in the R3 version are in 1.85:1 and has lesser sharpness, grain and colour than the theatrical version.

Surprinsingly both editions show little compression artefacts, almost none. While the R3 is rather grainy compared to the R2, its overall pretty impressive looking.

Sound
The R3 comes with three tracks, all three extremely dynamic. In terms of 5.1 Dolby Digital vs. DTS, the DTS is aprx +3DB lounder and has better seperation.

The R2 comes lacks the DTS track, but is, as the R3, a kick ass track. Soccer never sounded better.

Where the MiramAXED version comes with 2.0 Dolby Digital English dubbed track. It is simply horrible, as the English dubbers attempt to sound "chinese", by for instance lisping.

Subtitles
The subtitles, and dub, differ largely. The R3 subtitles are very word to word translations, the R2 a more fluid translation, while the dub is very liberal. From what I understand, the R2 are different from the R1, as R1 used dubtitles, while Optimum made their own. Below I've added two translation exampels for comparison:

US Dub:
1) We don't have much time and you guys have alot to learn, like everything. So listen up and remember you need to works as a team.

2) Excuse me. I'm a mechanic. Thats how I make my living. I always keep this close, you know.

R2:
1) I'll use the shortest period of time to train you to be professionels. You have to be serious and you have to work as a team.

2) Don't worry. Im a car mechanic. The spanner is my work tool. Does that makes sense?

R3:
1) I'll use the shortest period of time to train all you guys to be the professionel soccer players. You should be serious and mutually support eachother.

2) Calm down. Im a car repairer. This crescent wrench is used to hold for screwing. Does that make sense?

Extras
Extras are exactly the same, even running time. There is a decent making of featurette with interviews, a demonstration of how they did the SPFX and a selection of bloopers.

Where the R3 has about 40 pics in a gallery and talent files, the R2 has a Shaolin soccer moves guide.

* The bitrate of the R3 was not readable, so I made an estimate based on readout.

 - Henrik Sylow

 

 



DVD Menus
(
Spectrum (Ultimate Edition) - Region 3 - NTSC LEFT vs. Optimum Asia - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Universal Laser (DTS Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Spectrum (Ultimate Edition) - Region 3 - NTSC TOP vs. Optimum Asia - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Universal Laser (DTS Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)
subtitle sample (English only)
captures resized to 800px from 1016px PAL / 960px NTSC

 

 


(Spectrum (Ultimate Edition) - Region 3 - NTSC TOP vs. Optimum Asia - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Universal Laser (DTS Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Spectrum (Ultimate Edition) - Region 3 - NTSC TOP vs. Optimum Asia - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Universal Laser (DTS Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Spectrum (Ultimate Edition) - Region 3 - NTSC TOP vs. Optimum Asia - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Universal Laser (DTS Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Spectrum (Ultimate Edition) - Region 3 - NTSC TOP vs. Optimum Asia - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Universal Laser (DTS Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Spectrum (Ultimate Edition) - Region 3 - NTSC TOP vs. Optimum Asia - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Universal Laser (DTS Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Spectrum (Ultimate Edition) - Region 3 - NTSC TOP vs. Optimum Asia - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Universal Laser (DTS Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Optimum

Sound:

Spectrum (due to DTS)

Extras: Spectrum
Menu: Spectrum

 

DVD Box Covers

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

Distribution

Spectrum

Region 3 - NTSC

Optimum Asia

Region 2 - PAL

Universal Laser
Region 0 - NTSC




 

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