Kung Fu Hustle (Gong Fu) (2004)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-TV Special
Interviews-Cast-Ric Meyers Interview With Stephen Chow
Trailer-Layer Cake, Hitch, D.E.B.S.
|Year Of Production||2004|
|Running Time||95:22 (Case: 99)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (65:02)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||Stephen Chow|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Zhi Hua Dong
Kwok Kuen Chan
Chi Chung Lam
Kai Man Tin
Kang Xi Jia
Hak On Fung
Sheng Yi Huang
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Polish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Cantonese Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Kung Fu Hustle explodes on to home cinema screens as a colourful and thoroughly enjoyable collage of styles. If you haven't already seen it, imagine if Jackie Chan and Buster Keaton were to star in a slapstick, Hong Kong Chop Suey parody written by Quentin Tarantino, and directed by Chuck Jones.
Written by Stephen Chow, Tsang Kan Cheong, Lola Huo, and Chan Man Keung, the story of Kung Fu Hustle is largely set in a remote and decrepit apartment complex called Pig Sty Alley. One day, a small-time hustler and loser, Sing (Stephen Chow) and his simple sidekick (Lam Tze Chung), show up and try to shakedown the locals for money, by claiming to be members of the infamous and feared Axe Gang.
Sing's plan doesn't go so well, as the locals aren't scared or fooled that easily. And then (oh dear) the real Axe Gang turn up. The black suit-wearing Axe Gang have all the swagger and arrogance of gangsters from 1920s Chicago . . . and all the top-hat wearing style. Weilding axes and bad attitudes, the Axe Gang set about terrorising Pig Sty Alley.
However, the gang find that there are a few surprises in store for them . . .
Of course the waifer thin plot is just a vehicle for Chow to stage increasingly elaborate and fun martial arts fight scenes. Soon bodies and weapons are flying all over the filthy courtyard and through the surrounding decrepit buildings. However, the movie's not all kung fu. There is also some drama, a touch of romance, and a great deal of humour throughout. Indeed, I had some great laughs during this film, as there are many genuinely hilarious moments.
While Chow might lack the charisma of Jackie Chan, he does more than enough with his role. As the director, however, Chow is inspired, following up his success with Shaolin Soccer with an even better film. Kung Fu Hustle is a fun and very enjoyable ride.
The transfer is excellent, and is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, 16x9 enhanced.
The sharpness is very good, as seen in the detailed Chinese characters at 6:47. The black levels and shadow details are also very good.
Colour is used throughout in the story telling, and this film features bold hues. The colour palette is perfectly saturated, and the skin tones are accurate.
This is a pristine print, and a well authored DVD. There are no problems with MPEG, Film-To-Video, or Film artefacts.
English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Danish, Greek, Hindi, Finnish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Serbian, Slovenian, Swedish, Turkish, English for the Hearing Impaired, and English Audio Commentary subtitles are present, and the English subtitles appear to be accurate, but differ from the English dubbed version.
This is a dual layer disc, with the layer change badly placed at 65:02 in the middle of a very tense scene.
There are a few audio options on the DVD, including: Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), Polish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), and Cantonese Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).
The dialogue quality is good on the Cantonese track, but obviously the audio sync suffers very badly on the English audio track.
The musical score is credited to Stephen Chow, Raymond Wong, and Hang Yi and it features a blend of traditional music, with some western influences.
The surround presence and activity is very impressive. The surround sound mix is quite aggressive, and the rear speakers are used effectively during all of the fight and action scenes. However, the rears are also used effectively for ambience, such as the music in the dance hall at 58:38.
The subwoofer is also utilised very effectively throughout, for example the lion roar at 47:20, or the beast's steps at 65:37.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are a few genuine and interesting extras.
Animated with audio.
Commentary by director/writer/star Stephen Chow and actors Chi Chung Lam, Kwok Kuen Chan, and Kai Man Tin. It is presented in Dolby Digital Stereo Surround Encoded, and is recorded in Cantonese with English subtitles. The commentary is fun and conversational, but at times due to the subtitles, it becomes confusing as to who is speaking.
Presented in an aspect ration of 1.33:1, this television special is presented in Cantonese with English subtitles. It features interviews with cast and crew, and some behind the scenes footage.
Kung fu movie enthusiast Ric Meyers interview Stephen Chow in English. We hear about Chow's background and how he progressed from the host of a kid's television show to becoming a martial arts film star.
There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Kung Fu Hustle was released on DVD in Region 1.
The Region 4 DVD misses out on:
The Region 1 DVD misses out on:
If our version is uncut, then it is the clear winner (still waiting on confirmation). Otherwise it's even.
Kung Fu Hustle manages to be a wonderful kung fu parody while also being a fantastic and fun kung fu movie.
The video quality is excellent.
The audio quality is also excellent.
The extras are interesting and genuine.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||Grundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-545|
|Speakers||Sony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer|