Ping Pong Playa (2008) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Sports
Image Entertainment || PG13 - 96 minutes - $35.98 || February 10, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-02-25


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Jessica Yu
Writer(s): Jimmy Tsai & Jessica Yu (written by)
Cast: Jimmy Tsai, Roger Fan, Shelley Malil, Stephanie Weir, Scott Lowell


Theatrical Release Date: September 5, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 2 Featurettes
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • DTS-HD MA 5.1: English
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

So back in the day and by back in the day I mean a few years ago, I used to play a lot of sports in gym class. No, not really, but I did have the opportunity to play ping pong a few times. Since the class was half boys and half girls, I was always teamed up with a girl who would literally think it was volleyball and wham the ball through a window. That never happened, as I never took gym class, but it sounded cool at the time. Moving on, Ping Pong Playa is a film about ping pong, imagine that.

Christopher ĎC-Dubí Wang (Jimmy Tsai) wants to be a basketball player, but because of his upbringing and because no one really believes he can be, he works at some lame store in the mall. He is practicing basketball with some little kids one day and eventually realizes that heís late for work, which unfortunately leads to his firing. Unfortunately for him, things get worse.

Wang lives at home with his parents, where his father Mr. Wang (Jim Lau) criticizes him and shoots a nerf ball type gun at him in the mornings, and his mother Mrs. Wang (Elizabeth Sung) is a teacher of ping pong at a local school who also doesnít approve of his laziness. The parents want him to go out and get a real job, but he just shrugs it off. His father runs a ping shop that is supported by his brother Michael (Roger Fan) who is a famous ping pong player. The shop gets sponsored because Michael is a prodigy, which is what the family wanted for Christopher but it never materialized. Unfortunately that changes when his mother is involved in an accident and her hands are damaged, which prevents her from teaching her ping pong class at the school. Thereís a hilarious scene involved with his mother and the doctor at the hospital that had me laughing for a good ten minutes, once you see it youíll know. I donít want to spoil it here, but trust me, it sets the tone for the rest of the film.

Christopher is then forced to teach the class, but he manages to screw it up by having the kids gamble on whether he will win or lose. He plays for money against the kids, who are less than ten or eleven years old, which makes the situation that much funnier. In the mean time, he witnesses his brother get into a car accident where he bangs up his arm, which means he canít play in the upcoming tournament. Also suffering is his fatherís business that could lose his sponsorship by other companies since his brother isnít playing in it.

To make matters worse, the girl he has a huge crush on ends up being one of his students big sisters. In another great scene, he asks the kid to put in a good word for him about being his teacher to make himself seem better. If you havenít guessed by now that everything in his life goes wrong, well, it goes wrong yet again. The kid tells his sister about the gambling and Christopher taking his money every day. That pretty much blows all chances he had with the kidís sister, or so you may think. But not to be distracted too much, Christopher regains his knowledge of the sport of ping pong and wants to enter the tournament to prove to his family that he is the prodigy and be successful in life.

This is a hilarious movie, thereís really no denying it. There are so many jokes that hit perfectly, and the entire cast has amazing lines. Thereís also a ton of stereotype jokes (Thereís a great one about Yao Ming) that really connect with audiences, as the cast basically makes fun of themselves throughout the film. I thought this was one of the best movies Iíve seen in a long time, that works not only as a comedy but a sports film as well.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Audio Commentary w/ Director/Co-Writer Jessica Yu and Actor/Co-Writer Jimmy Tsai: A funny commentary that is definitely worth a listen to. Tsai and Yu talk about the film, including the poster, and point out some funny facts about the movie.

Post-Game (9 minutes): A hilarious feature that has the cast joking about, well, about everything. Tsai is hilarious in all of these scenes, and this is one of the best features Iíve ever seen.

Warm-Up Drills (5 minutes): A great feature with Tsai that involves him playing basketball and being interviewed in a farce interview. This is a great feature as well, so be sure to watch it.

Finally, the filmís Theatrical Trailer is presented.

Cast and Crew: A small menu presents five different cast and crew members and gives more information about them. Sadly the text is small and hard to read. ** Blu-Ray Exclusive **



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

I was rather disappointed with the video of this flick in some areas. The colors are great for the most part, and the flesh tones of the cast are fine as well. However, there is a distinct amount of noise and grain that are apparent for most of the movie, which became distracting at some points during the runtime. The noise though only appeared towards the end of the film, while grain was there for a decent portion of it throughout. Itís not a bad transfer, but in my opinion it could have been improved.

The audio side however fares a little better though, as the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track does wonders for the film. Dialogue booms as does the surround for the movie, especially during the scenes where ping pong is played. Surround use is extensive throughout the film, as background noises are rather loud as well. However, sometimes the dialogue levels are faint, which became a problem at some areas when I couldnít hear what the cast was saying. Other than that, it is a great audio track for a sports and dialogue film.



.::OVERALL::.

While normally Iím not a huge fan of sport films, this is one that deserves a purchase right away. Ping Pong Playa is one of the funniest movies about the sport of ping pong as well as fitting in several stereotypes of people in a hilarious way. The extras are decent as is the technical package. Iíve watched this already four times, and it still is just as funny as the first viewing. Thereís no other way to put it, this is one to hit off the table and buy.