Friday, April 22, 2005; Page WE37
"The Game of Their Lives" (PG). Interesting, fact-based sports tale, badly flawed by clumsy writing, directing, painfully earnest, even jingoistic tone, about American soccer team (recruited among amateur club players from St. Louis's Italian neighborhood, East Coast and one Haitian immigrant) that went to Brazil in 1950 to compete in the World Cup and, against all odds, beat the top-rated British team; told in flashback by an aging newspaperman (Patrick Stewart; Terry Kinney as his younger self); exciting match against Brits, followed by touching present-day closer with D.C. United team honoring men of the 1950 team. Mild profanity, ethnic slurs; crude languge; harrowing plane trip; cigars, beer.
"Fever Pitch." Amiable, low-key, nicely atmospheric comedy (adapted from Nick Hornby's novel) about a Boston schoolteacher (Jimmy Fallon) and his high-powered executive girlfriend (Drew Barrymore), whose romance goes swimmingly until baseball season, when she sees what insane Boston Red Sox fans he and his buddies become. Occasional crude language, profanity; funny/gross sequence about vomit; much mild sexual innuendo (by today's PG-13 standards); passionate kissing scenes leading up to implied sexual situations, then morning-after cuddling; subplot about possible out-of-wedlock pregnancy; memories of parents' divorce, childhood depression over it.
"Kung Fu Hustle." Asia's action comedy star/director/writer Stephen Chow in wild, witty Kung Fu farce as Sing, a small-time criminal klutz in early 20th century China who tries to join an ultra-violent, ax-wielding gang by passing a killing test; but he's incompetent compared with the aging, comical denizens of a ramshackle apartment building, all of whom are Kung Fu masters ready to take on the Axe Gang; after many failures as a bad guy, Sing becomes a heroic fighter for right. Stylized violence from slapstick to superhuman flying; head-banging mayhem, occasional heads, limbs lopped off; flashback shows Sing beaten, urinated on by bullies as a boy; crude language; sexual innuendo; bare behinds; smoking; drinking. 15 and up.