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Stephen Chow, Kung Fu Hustle

In America, Stephen Chow is just getting discovered, but in Asia he's bigger than Brad Pitt or Russell Crowe. Kung Fu Hustle is dazzling mix of comedy, martial arts derring-do and propulsive storytelling. The film is already a smash hit in Asian countries where Chinese is not even spoken (Korea, Japan). Kung Fu Hustle is both a send-up of the genre and a touch of the real thing.

Chow, 41, grew up in 1970s Hong Kong, a fan of Bruce Lee, old kung fu movies and martial arts. Kung Fu Hustle - which follows by several years his previous hit Shaolin Soccer - is Chow's salute to the legendary Lee. Charm and comedy aren't often associated with incredible martial arts action, but Kung Fu Hustle is so funny and sweet as it barrels along, it seems to be in a category all its own.


Beyond the Subtitles


Film critic and The Boston Herald entertainment writer Stephen Schaefer hosts candid conversations with actors, filmmakers, producers and movie people near and far.