Sunday, March 2, 2008

Balls of Fury

Balls of Fury. Ping pong? Not only am I a fan, I'm also a player. Christopher Walken? I got a fevah, and the only prescription is more Walken!! When this first came out, I really wanted to see it. But it didn't seem like a movie you had to see in theaters, nor one that would be ruined by waiting. A lot of people seem to have wanted to see it, but few actually did. Which is a shame. Hopefully Netflix will get some good play out of this gem.

The movie opens with a young ping pong prodigy, the hope of the US in the 1988 Beijing Olympics. The opening was actually a bit like I imagine my chess movie(forthcoming) will start. We have show off skills, and the humor feels a bit familiar, but I couldn't remember from where.

As the movie progresses, I realize the movie is made by the folks who made The State, Reno 911, Wet Hot American Summer, etc. Robert Ben Garant directs, and he really shines. There were laughs throughout, for me, Mugs, even her friend. While the movie had its share of just silly, the humor was off-beat, unpredictable and refreshing.

The lead was Dan Fogler, who I think is famous for improv acting troops. His performance left us asking why he isn't in more movies. Our German antagonist is played terrifically by Thomas Lennon. I've been a big fan of the lovely Maggie Q for a long time, and she does well in the female lead. We have a quick cameo by the always funny Patton Oswalt. Then we have Christopher Walken. I think I'd watch him in a Russian infomercial for diapers. He's captivating, terrific.

The ping pong action itself isn't as good as in, say, Ping Pong(which I highly recommend) but it was well done. Mugs and I both really really liked it, I am most likely going to buy it when I get a chance.

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