With a box office of $367M, Hello Mr Billionaire would be the most successful soccer movie yet. If it were really a soccer movie. But regardless, this comedy demonstrates the power of Chinese films in the Chinese market. In 2018, TheNumbers listed it at #27 worldwide, but if listed in the 2019 international BoxOfficeMojo ranking, Hello Mr Billionaire would be #25, right after Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Talk about strange. I found Shui Hu, The Soccer Heroes ( 水浒足球 ), an anime Chinese DVD, in my county library system. The animation is quite crude and similar to Captain Tsubasa, so that I thought this film must be from the early 1980s. Instead, this feature length cartoon from Hong Kong was produced in 2006.
End of Summer immerses you in the WC 1998 memories of Director Quan Zhou. Like the protagonist in his film, he was 11 years old, living in a compound in Shaoxing, when the World Cup was first broadcast live in China. Boys of his generation became fans of football and of players like Del Piero.
Director Lam Tze Chung, who played the fat monk in Shaolin Soccer, has put together an enjoyable family film that explores what happens on the pitch when social media becomes more important than scoring.
Boh Ngau (The Champions) is a hidden gem of a football comedy, combining soccer with the formulaic plot of a Hong Kong kung fu flick. I was shocked to realize it pre-dates Shaolin Soccer by almost 20 years, and yet it has an impressive level of soccer skill without any CGI.
After watching a slew of soccer movies, I reopened my Shaolin Soccer DVD. I liked it 10 years ago, but now I recognize how inventive the movie is. A group of penniless former Shaolin monks rekindle their love of kung fu by applying it to soccer.
Billed as an “erotic comedy”, Sexy Soccer is a Hong Kong soft core pornfilm (original title = Sing gum zhook kao). I was surprised that it was rentable on Netflix, but I guess the erotica is about as revealing as the usual fare on HBO.
Shaolin Family Soccer is a movie whose title tries to ride the coat tails of Steven Chow’s popular Shaolin Soccer.
One of the actors, Wong Yat Fei (aka Yut Fei Wong), is in both movies as a Shaolin monk who can head the ball with such force that he can rip the ball through the goal net, bloody the goalkeeper’s hands, etc. Hence he is named Iron Head in the first movie.
The filmmakers for this movie deceptively use the names of David Beckham and Michael Owen to attract attention. Because When Beckham Met Owen has no story of its own to draw viewers.