Friday night, Aron, Heather, my wife and I went out for sushi and then caught the 8:15pm showing of Kung Fu Hustle. While the fish was good (although remind me never to order “salmon skin sushi” again), the film was the crowning moment of the night. Critics have already heaped bountiful praise upon this sure-to-be-classic martial-arts-meets-Warner-Brothers set piece and let me assure you, it’s well-deserved.
The plot, such that it is, is a fairly standard one for a kung fu genre piece: gangs run amok, buying off police and terrorizing the people at will. The chief gang (here, the Axe Gang whose trademark gangland slayings take place via the business end of an axe) finally pushes a simple group of people too far and are soundly beaten by kung fu masters hiding in the midst of the people. This starts an ever-escalating battle between ever-more-skillful (and supernaturally gifted) kung fu masters and assassins. You get the idea.
This is where the comparisons to standard kung fu movies end, for writer/director/star Stephen Chow places this age-old story in a world governed by physics that would make Tex Avery and Chuck Jones blush. High speed foot chases are conducted complete with Road Runner-esque blurred legs and plumes of trailing dust, characters fall from great heights and go “Splat!”, only to peel themselves up and limp off largely unharmed and physical beatings are handed out that would put the Three Stooges to shame.
It really must be seen to be believed and understood – I recommend you do so at your earliest convenience. Be aware, though, that it carries a well-deserved ‘R’ rating, so it’s not one to drag the kids to and, while not as bloody as the Hong Kong cut, there is still a good bit of blood and over-the-top violence.
Saturday featured the inaugural use of the Webber for the ’05 grilling season. I absolutely love to grill and will do so with almost no excuse, so I quite enjoyed the chance to fire it up.
We had a good friend and his girlfriend over and enjoyed a meal of grilled potatoes n’ onions, fresh corn on the cob and a London Broil marinated in an Alton Brown-inspired marinade, accompanied by a bottle of Rosemount Shiraz and a bottle of Penfold’s merlot, both of which were excellent, especially for the price.
After dinner, we played an enjoyable game of Scattergories, which is simultaneously entertaining and maddening. A good time was had by all.
Sunday was marked largely by 1) my wife’s incapacitation at the hands of a wicked sinus headache and 2) my solo trip to church. Other than that, I spent most of the day reading the Philly paper (which has inspired me to visit a new purveyor of barbecued goods whose reputation precedes it and to try a very good-sounding brand of bourbon. I shall report on each when time and opportunity allows) and performing various chores around the house.
I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and am told on good authority to do so while I am able, as the forthcoming arrival of our child will make such peaceful activities difficult in the months and years to come. *grin*