Ping Pong Playa Jessica Yu

Ping Pong Playa Jessica Yu
That's Christopher Wang, as in "Wong." Better yet, call him C-Dub, a badass, streetwise dude of a b-ball player who's actually a middle-class kid living in his parents' comfy house in suburban California. After his big brother (Roger Fan of Better Luck Tomorrow) and mother suffer arm injuries in a car accident, C-Dub steps in to take over the family ping pong school and compete in the all-important championship. But does C-Dub possess the maturity to step into their shoes? Newcomer Jimmy Tsai (who also co-wrote the screenplay with director Jessica Yu) carries this fun comedy as the swaggering C-Dub. He originally played his character in hilarious commercials for the Venom Sportswear Company. Those spots, which pitted Tsai against his tiny young cousin on the basketball court ("say, 'Yao Ming!'") were an unexpected hit on the festival circuit a few years back, largely succeeding on the charm of C-Dub. Ping Pong Playa a showcase for this untamed character who calls everyone, including his long-suffering father, "dog." C-Dub is the black sheep of the family, a fiery young man whose turn coaching little kids at a ping pong school matures him (a little). Though he's fiery and funny, C-Dub takes a long time to evolve in this film, which slows down the overall pacing. Another weakness is that the villains — two faux-Brits who launch a competing "table tennis" school — are stereotypical and one-dimensional. That said, Ping Pong Playa , and delivers, on fun and laughs. It also features a soundtrack that rocks like Yao Ming flying down the court. The DVD adds an energetic commentary by director Yu and Tsai that explains how this indie film was made and the origins of the C-Dub character. Another smart move was to collect the original Venom Sportswear ads. The gag reel is better than most, given the good editing. Ping Pong Playa a winner of a comedy. (Paradox)