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Review: Homerun (Singapore, 2003)

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Review: Homerun (Singapore, 2003)

Old 03-17-04, 10:12 PM
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Review: Homerun (Singapore, 2003)

Ok, since I like JTKV's reviews so much, I'll go with his format.

Homerun (Singapore, 2003)
Directed by Jack Neo
Starring: Shawn Lee, Megan Zheng, Huang Wen Yong, Xiang Yun
Production: Raintree Pictures, Presto Films

Synopsis: In 1965, pre-independence Singapore, a poor boy and his sister deal with a number of various problems arising from losing one pair of shoes and having to share another pair. Will they ever be able to wear new shoes?

Thoughts: I've read reviews of this movie and how it's a really unsubtle dig at Malaysia/Singapore relations historically. Although I've studied Singaporean politics, I can't say that I really know too much about the historical relationship between the two (aside from the more recent(?) disputes over water supply, etc.). That said, due to being somewhat more removed from the topic at hand, I enjoyed the movie a whole lot, and I would say that digs seemed considerably more subtle than "I Not Stupid" which I also enjoyed.

Before I go any further I should note that this film is also adapted from the award-winning Iranian film "Children of Heaven". After seeing this, I'll have to check that one out as well.

Essentially, the boy Ah Kun takes his sisters' shoes to be repaired but loses them in the process. He figures out a way to share his shoes with his sister since she goes to school in the morning and he goes in the afternoon (reminds me of Indonesia), but from the start there are problems and things fall apart (literally) very soon. At the same time there's a competitive rivalry with boys from another school in the village that starts on the soccer field and continues through the movie.

In retrospect, you start seeing some of the first "political" elements pretty early on in the form of a intra-village rivalry between groups of kids (mainly over soccer and homework), however it's not until later that I started making the connection (colors play a part as in "I Not Stupid"), and I definitely don't think I would have made the connection if I hadn't already read reviews elsewhere extolling the connection. As a non-Singaporean, I'd say it's far less obvious than "I Not Stupid" and just as enjoyable.

Being another Jack Neo film, you'll see a LOT of folks from his previous movies -- including all the boys from "I Not Stupid" and a number of the adults. I didn't recognize the little girl who plays Seow Fang from anywhere else, but I swear she is the cutest kid since Shirley Temple -- there's no comparison. Hope to see her again.

Like "I Not Stupid" this movie is very nostalgic for me. I remember going to a local school in Indonesia as a small kid, singing the national anthem (I also sang "Negara Ku" when I went to boarding school in Pahang, Malaysia), doing exercises outside, using those old exercise books - graph paper -- and everything. The "kampung" was very familiar as well and could have been anywhere in SE Asia (even today and not just 1965 Singapore).

This flick was mostly in Mandarin with some English here and there -- no real Singlish like the movies with more recent settings. The English subtitles are really good though.

DVD Info:
Publisher: VideoVan Entertainment
Letterbox Version (the back of the case also mentions 4:3 but I'm not sure why)
PAL
Region 3 (but actually Region free)
Runtime: 110 Minutes
Audio: Mandarin (with some small parts in English) -- Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: Optional English, Mandarin

Extras:
"The Making of 'Home Run' "
Music Trailers

Presentation:
Good clean picture, nice sound quality. Great subtitles with very few typos. Not like I'm working with reference grade equipment ;p

Rating:
Movie: 4/5 (Highly recommended comedy)
DVD: 4/5 (decent extras for a Singaporean flick, good sound quality)


Tuan Jim

btw -- still looking for information on where to import Singaporean DVDs (since I picked mine up in the airport) -- ie. I Not Stupid SE, etc.
Old 03-18-04, 02:50 AM
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Try here
Old 03-18-04, 07:57 AM
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Originally posted by Bill Geiger
Try here
thanks.
Old 03-19-04, 01:12 AM
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here at www.dvdasian.com.

http://www.dvdasian.com/cgi-bin/dvdasian/16869.html

http://www.dvdasian.com/cgi-bin/dvdasian/14304.html
Old 03-23-04, 09:09 PM
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Thanks for the review.. I know it was good, but not sure what the storyline was.

I have to get this DVD too.... I'm just waiting for a release by Hong Kong, in hopes of a better edition than the letterbox SG version.

I got dinged twice already; bought "I Not Stupid" from SG, and the HK version came out, then bought "Liang PoPo" on VCD, and the HK DVD came out.... so I'll hold off for a little longer...



J.T.
Old 04-04-04, 10:22 PM
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Hong Kong's Panorama has just released this movie.
Their DVD is letterboxed and runs 108mins, so 2 mins seems to be cut. And it does not list any extras included....


Tuan Tim,
Can I get hold of you via personal email?
Please email me at: j t k [email protected]<remove.me>yahoo.com


J.T.

Last edited by jtkv; 04-04-04 at 10:25 PM.
Old 01-06-05, 09:09 PM
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Man, I'm late replying to this. I was at boot camp at the time of the last post...then I didn't get around to checking this thread until tonight. Sorry.

Any questions? Personally I sold my HK "I Not Stupid" in hopes of eventually picking up the Singaporean SE. At the moment "Home Run" and "One Leg Kicking" are my only other Singaporean movies on DVD.

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