Ping Pong Playa
PG-13| 1 hr. 36 min.
A slacker (Jimmy Tsai) must preserve his family's honor by winning a table tennis tournament.
Director: Jessica Yu
Distributor: IFC Films
Tsai, who co-wrote the script with Yu, pulls out all the stops with his C-dub role, brimming with witty send-ups of Chinese-American cultural values and Asian stereotypes. show more
A mostly amusing, appealing family comedy about going from pretender to contender, in life as well as pingpong. show more
Has a certain silly, kid-friendly charm. show more
This movie was great. If you're Chinese-American, or you can enjoy humor from movies such as superbad, then you will definitely enjoy this movie. I thought it was a great movie and definitely worth the time to watch. I may be slightly biased because I am also Chinese, but this movie was great for me. The acting was not exceptionally great, but it was above average, and the children were great with their roles. I enjoyed the movie and was rarely ever bored. If you're looking for some kicks and fun, I suggest you try this movie out.
Sunday , Sep. 7th, Hermann Luechinger and I -- two senior table tennis players from the Bay Area -- went to see the San Jose debut of a terrific new independent movie, "Ping Pong Playa" -- a movie that doesn't miss an opportunity to trigger a smile -- and a laugh. It stars a young fellow named Jimmy Tsai, who is undoubtedly destined for big things, and is directed by the Academy Award winning director, Jessica Yu.Using the vehicle of table tennis as a centerpiece, the movie hilariously explores the trying problems of one Southern California Chinese-American family trying to cope with a son caught between two cultures -- and somewhat out-of-place in each. In the process, the film weaves in members of other ethnic minorities including Indian-Americans and African-Americans, and comically contrasts some of the problems of dealing with the cultural expectations of one's own group to the problems of dealing with the stereotypes of the dominant culture.After the screening, the star, producer, and director conducted a "Q &A" at the theatre, and we all subsequently repaired to a local Billiards Parlour where two ping pong tables were reserved for the audience to take on Jimmy Tsai, the protagonist in the film.Hermann and I, playing with our classic Hardbat racquets, managed to hold our own against him, and had a lovely time speaking with all the people connected with the film.The film is playing in a few selected US cities (NY, LA, and the BayArea) -- and then only for less than a week. I urge everyone, whileyou still can, to go see this genuinely winning, tellingly-comic andquirky table tennis yarn. The movie is playing now, through Thursdayevening, Sep. 11th, at the following Bay Area theatres: Sony Metreonin SF, Shattuck in Berkeley, Cinema12 in San Jose.I would be remiss if I did not mention that we spotted several realplayers in the film that we, and many other competitive players all know, such as Barney Reed, Biba Golic, Mas Hashimoto, Diego Schaaf and Wei Wang. The last two served as consultants for the filmmakers. But all of these players appeared really very briefly.Go see the film -- if for no other reason than to watch Jimmy Tsai's bravura performance as the fabulous self-created character, "C-Dub". Robert PalgonFremont, CA