But when the Wang family livelihood is threatened by a rival ping pong player's attempts to lure the kids away, C-dub begins to take things more seriously. Ever race has stereotypes for each other and it's good to sometimes laugh at them instead of being offended. Diminutive Felix is actually the only F-bomb in the movie. This movie reminded me of Napoleon Dynamite. Clean-cut, respectably attired, a successful doctor and eligible bachelor, Michael also routinely wins the annual local ping pong championship. But his family is definitely all about ping pong; his brother Michael Roger Fan is the reigning champ, his father was a champ, and his mother runs the family business, a ping pong school. Independent Film Festival of Boston organizers said this was probably the most family-friendly selection in their six-year history, and they're right.
A good subwoofer is not essential, but it will add immensely to one's experience of the film. C-dub lives at home, works a dead-end job, and squirms in the shadow of his older brother, Michael, a doctor and ping pong champion. I wouldn't say this movie is for families, just because of how one of the kids acts. Now it has, and I wouldn't mind a sequel. If C-Dub is the n'er-do-well of the Wang family and be careful how you pronounce the name, or he'll correct you , then his older brother Michael Roger Wan is the favorite son and star.
Hey, they may even get interested in ping pong. Ping Pong Playa is a light hearted comedy about an aspiring young basketball player that has to play ping pong in order to help save the family business. The cinematographer for Ping Pong Playa was Frank DeMarco, a staple of independent cinema whose credits include Margin Call, Rabbit Hole and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. When his ping pong champion brother gets hurt, it's up to C-dub to pick up the paddle and save the family business. As in The Karate Kid, the tournament serves as a rite of passage into manhood, where C-Dub confronts and surmounts the fear of failure that has been holding him back all his life.
Colors tend toward the bright and saturated, which is perhaps an expression of how C-Dub sees the world or would like to. While there aren't many opportunities for the display of true black, the amount of detail indicates that black levels have been properly set. Jennifer, it turns out, is smart enough to see him coming before he even rounds the corner. The racial slurs in this movie just add to the stupidity of it. With contemporary film stocks and a skilled cameraman, 16mm photography can yield a detailed and colorful image, which is what we have here.
There's the opportunity -- even at a kid's level -- but nearly everything has an aw-shucks, smiley sheen to it. The two collaborators have obviously retained their enthusiasm for the project, which was Yu's first non-documentary feature and Tsai's first major stint as an actor. He was a production accountant for Cherry Sky, and he'd made the Venom ads solely as a means to publicize the company. The result of this group collaboration was released to theaters independently, which means it didn't receive wide distribution, but the Blu-ray from Image Entertainment provides as good an experience as any theater. C-Dub hates the idea, but it begins to appeal to him when he realizes that his pupils are kids, thereby giving him the same ability to show off that he enjoys on the basketball court, not to mention an opportunity to hustle both the kids and their friends at ping pong. The rest of her team plays at a similarly skillful level, buoyed by a gleeful score featuring nonstop hip-hop beats. It was Joan Huang of Cherry Sky Films, the production company for In the Realms of the Unreal, who suggested ping pong as a unifying element, because so many households have a table, even if it isn't often used.
C-Dub's world is visible in all its messy glory, even in darker scenes check out the detail in his disaster of a room, when Mr. For more about Ping Pong Playa and the Ping Pong Playa Blu-ray release, see published by Michael Reuben on May 31, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3. Ping Pong Playa was released on Blu-ray February 10, 2009. Worse, these two Anglos with fraudulent British accents announce their plan to set up a rival ping pong school and poach Mrs. Just in case anyone is tempted to take this too seriously, Tsai and Yu have named the tournament after a rooster—the Golden Cock—and they make sure the name is featured prominently.
Wang Jim Lau insists that the younger son take over his mother's class and, if necessary, assume his brother's place in the competition. With his older brother still recuperating, C-Dub takes his place in the annual tournament and begins intensive training under his father's tutelage. Yu and Tsai co-wrote the script, utilizing every cliche of the immigrant assimilation genre they could fit in and poking fun at stereotypes on all sides, but Tsai had to be persuaded to play the lead. Yu, however, saw a natural-born actor. He also imagines himself enjoying the perks of stardom, giving interviews and holding forth in the fulsomely expressive lingo of an urban street punk. Wang goes to wake him up , and the scenes in large groups like the class, the tournament and a bowling alley reveal individual faces and features even in long shots. When Michael and his mother are both injured in a freak traffic accident one for which C-Dub bears some measure of blame , Mr.
But when he's facing off against a devious rival player in the ping pong tournament of the year, will C-dub be up to the challenge? Everything about Ping Pong Playa feels affectionate and authentic, but I suspect the filmmakers would be the first ones to laugh at anyone who takes the film too seriously. Was this part of the plan all along, or did Yu and producers realize they had a kids movie on their hands after the fact? It was pretty funny even though the main character is a complete tool. His brother a physician, of course is a table tennis master, winning tournaments and bringing popularity to him mom's ping pong class and dad's sporting goods store. Still, as the Chinese-American hero's father insists, the Chinese invented the game. With a family-run store devoted to all things ping pong, the Wangs' entire world revolves around the sport.
He smacks streetwise constantly, plays schoolyard basketball with little kids, and mocks everything from his brother's accomplishments to Chinese traditions. When his mother and brother get in an accident, C-Dub is forced to help teach the classes, much to his chagrin and a substantial delay in his basketball career. Director Jessica Yu, who'd achieved critical success with the documentary In the Realms of the Unreal 2004 , wanted to make a light comedy, and she was intrigued by the character of a trash-talking athlete that co-producer Jimmy Tsai created for a series of mock web ads touting Venom Sportswear, his own fledgling line. . With the training by his father and the support of his friends including a posse of young pupils, Chris strives to prove to those who put trust in him that he is capable of making serious effort while following through a commitment. Childish and juvenile as this movie may be, the younger generation finds that kind of thing hilarious me included.
Yu, an athlete herself -- a U. With some surprising help from an unusual group of kids, anything could happen! The underscoring was provided by Jeff Beal, whose diverse credits include Ugly Betty and Monk, both of which seem perfectly apropos. Outperformed by his older brother, Michael, who is considered by their parents as more mature and responsible and have brought pride to the family by winning regional ping pong tournaments, Chris seems to lack motivation and a realistic vision for his career, indulging in defeating young kids in and playing. Some of the material ended up in the film in a different form. After his mother and Michael are injured in a minor , Chris comes to learn about taking responsibility by taking over his mother's ping pong class and representing his family in the forthcoming ping pong tournament. But Yu and Tsai have no intentions of digging beneath the surface of identity issues and family obligation. Also, one of the kids, Felix Andrew Vo , has a gorgeous older sister, Jennifer Smith Cho , on whom C-Dub has had his eye for some time.