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Star Runner
Star Runner
Actors: Vanness Wu, Andy On, Hyun-joo Kim, Roy Chow, You-Nam Wong
Director: Daniel Lee
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2004     1hr 39min

Studio: Tai Seng Entertainment Release Date: 05/25/2004 Run time: 99 minutes


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Movie Details

Actors: Vanness Wu, Andy On, Hyun-joo Kim, Roy Chow, You-Nam Wong
Director: Daniel Lee
Creator: Wai Chiu Chung
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Hong Kong Action, Indie & Art House, Love & Romance
Studio: Tai Seng
Format: DVD - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/25/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 39min
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
Edition: Import
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, Korean
Subtitles: Chinese, English
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Movie Reviews

dominion_ruler | Carolina, USA | 06/22/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Don't get this confused with Bloodsport folks. Instead of being a movie about a martial arts tournament feauturing a love story, this is a love story featuring a martial arts tournament. There is no indication of this from either the cover art of this dvd or the trailer itself. While the tournament is enjoyable and there is decent fight action, the love story is not strong enough to support the rest of the film.

The main charcacter is a yougn man named Bond, a student of both summer classes and martial arts in his community gym. He quickly shows a love interest for his school teacher, who looks young enough to be a student too, who in turn quickly shows an interest towrds him, though a bit weird. Not only is she his teacher, but comes off as someone who doesn'e even act one bit like a teacher, but more like a helpless-innocent schoolgirl. How ironic. The English dubbing only allows the love story to suffer even more, as if the cheesiness and slow-pacing involved weren't bad enough.

If you can wait 50 minutes of the film, the Kumite finally begins. Kumite is actually designated as the English title for this movie. The actual tournament is known as Star Runner. While it is a brutal contest of fighters from around the globe, the bruatilty is far less than the Bloodsport series and the fights themselves are in an actual ring rather than a platform. The flashy lights and screaming audience sets the stage well to get you pumped for the fights, and so does the introduction to all the fighters appearing in the tournament. Most of the fights are short, but there are a few better and longer ones as the tournament progresses. The villainous fighter of the tournament - called Tank - is convincing and does a great job looking and being the bad guy. He's nothing like Chong Li from Bloodsport, but I could like him as easily as Demon and Beast from Bloodsport's 2 & 3.

The final fight scene of the movie is 15 minutes in length. Before you get too excited, I stress the word scene. While Bond and Tank go at it round after round and we get to see obviously the best fight in the movie, there are lots of flashback scenes (cheesy as always) and some extended time in between rounds. I would guess there is still a good 7 minutes of straight solid action though. The ending gets a little unpredictable, for a change, but is questionable. It leaves you with the feeling of "I'm not sure if it feels right".

Ok, so if you are expecting an all-out Kumite, you have to wait for 2/3 of the film to pass. Even then, its far less fighting than the first 3 Bloodsport movies, but I'd say more than #4 (which stank by the way). If you don't mind a huge love story too, then you might enjoy this. Expect much cheesiness and gosh-awful dubbing - the 2 may just ruin the romance, even if it is an unusual one. 4 stars for the fights, 2 for the rest - 3 overall."
How bad movies make money...
Mr. Sparkle Man | 01/12/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I'm sure this movie hasn't broken records for rental profits or DVD sales, but what the releasers of this film have done is totally misrepresent the movie on the cover and the blurb on the back. I'm a sucker for a good martial arts movie, and I take any chance I can get to watch any movie where the cover looks like a scene from Bloodsport or Kickboxer. The case makes this movie look like a hardcore fighting flick, and it's even got a subtitle on the DVD cover: To Die Is An Honor. Not only is there no death in the movie, there's also only about 20 minutes of actual martial arts. The majority of the film is about the teenage protagonist's crush on his teacher, and some cutscenes of how her last relationship went sour paired with a ridiculous soundtrack of annoying lilting guitars and entire songs consisting of syllables instead of words. Case and description on the DVD are totally misleading. I got the first feeling of apprehension when the second preview on the DVD was for Kickboxer...Van Damme's Kickboxer; from like 15 years ago...and that was probably the best martial arts footage on the whole DVD. Whole thing plays out like some conflicted two-headed director from Hong Kong who didn't have the funding for either of the two horrible movies he(it) wanted to make, so he(it) crammed everything into one feature. The whole thing is filmed like some Chinese trust-fund baby trying his damndest to make a kung-fu movie after watching nothing but music videos and yu-gi oh cartoons. Total trash, and avoid anyone who says otherwise like the plague; if they liked this drivel, I can only image what other refuse they'll try to force on you. Everyone involved with this should be hooked up to that chair in A Clockwork Orange and re-educated on filmmaking."
Kumite: Less Martial Arts More Soap Opera
Martin Asiner | Jersey City, NJ | 02/04/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)

"THE KUMITE is very nearly unique is the martial arts genre. It bills itself as a kumite film, sort of like a Jean Claude Van Damme in KICKBOXER. However, from the very first reel to the last, martial arts takes a back seat to some very superficial soap opera melodrama. This is not necessarily a bad thing either; even well-done soaps have their charm. Since this film led the viewer to expect a genuine kumite plot, it takes a while for one even to determine whether one wishes to accept what is mostly the thin tale of a younger high school male student (Bond)carrying on with his twenty something pretty female teacher (Kim). After the first five minutes I decided that I would not be seeing any serious martial arts issues taking the forefront. The incipient love affair between Bond and Kim was the dramatic center of the film. The entire kumite sequences could have been eliminated and the result might have left the director with more time to flesh out the potentially interesting complications of thwarted romance. Yet, since this was billed as a kumite, it would have required more directorial skill than was apparent to meld the divergent plots into a seamless entity. The conflict between the lovers and the kumite was a bad fit, mostly because a kumite requires a menacing villain. Van Damme had his in Tong Po. Bond did not have his in Tank, a fighter who was not much different ethically speaking from Bond. Tank tries mightily to seem menacing, but he is too handsome and at the film's closing too noble to emerge as the Bad Guy. Bond as the film's center did not impress me as being much more than a good looking male model whose modest martial arts skills are only slightly surpassed by his acting ability. Then there is Kim, who spends most of the film trying to decide whether she wants Bond or a previous lover who has emerged from her past to claim her after a lapse of several years. The personal interactions among the lovers, the trainers, and even between Bond and Tank have their moments, but when I saw the fight sequences, they did not show anyone as possessing the needed skills to win a kumite. The ultimate judgment on THE KUMITE is that it suffers from not having a true sense of direction or identity. You may pass on this one."
This movie is terrible!!!
Desmond Ellis | Freeport, NY | 02/03/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I had heard about this movie some time in 2006 and decided to pick it up. When I saw the cover, I said to myself "Oh man this movie is gonna kick some serious a**!" People don't let looks deceive you, this movie not only deserves a big fat "0" but it almost seems as if they made it bad on purpose. I thought I was watching a drama instead of a martial arts movie. No disrespect intended but this movie looks like it was made for women, the way how there is almost little to no Martial Arts being done, to the way that the fighters are basically covered in sweat the first few seconds of the fight made me really think about who the target audience is. Oh and don't get me started on that horrible acting. "BOND, BOND!!!" Lady shut the hell up!! I was actually rooting for the dudes that were going against
him, just too terrible for words. LAST WARNING, DO NOT BUY OR RENT THIS MOVIE. You will be sorry if you do."