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September 4, 2008 | Michael Ordona, Special to The Times
"THERE was this Reebok campaign -- not that I don't have love for Reebok -- but they got their hands on this home video of this little 4-year-old kid who made 20 shots in a row" on an 8-foot-high basketball hoop, says fast-talking Jimmy Tsai. "And, apparently, he got an endorsement deal out of it. I said, 'You're kidding. I could take this kid!' " he says laughing, all 6 feet, 1 inch of him bent over a table at the ArcLight theater in Sherman Oaks. Tsai is the star, co-writer, co-producer, assistant production accountant and occasional janitor of "Ping Pong Playa," a new indie comedy about a hip-hop-obsessed hoopster wannabe with some growing up to do who finds his way as a table tennis terror.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 11, 2008 | Patrick Kevin Day
The makers of "Ping Pong Playa," the comedy about a wannabe basketball star turned pingpong champion, hoped to have star Jimmy Tsai whipped into tournament-level pingpong-playing shape for filming -- even though Tsai had only two months to prepare. But he could not have found better teachers than Diego Schaff and his wife, Olympic and Hall of Fame pingpong player Wei Wang, who own two table tennis clubs in Los Angeles. So, did they whip Tsai into top shape? Not quite, but Schaff could also improve the actor's game as visual effects supervisor.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 11, 2008 | Patrick Kevin Day
The makers of "Ping Pong Playa," the comedy about a wannabe basketball star turned pingpong champion, hoped to have star Jimmy Tsai whipped into tournament-level pingpong-playing shape for filming -- even though Tsai had only two months to prepare. But he could not have found better teachers than Diego Schaff and his wife, Olympic and Hall of Fame pingpong player Wei Wang, who own two table tennis clubs in Los Angeles. So, did they whip Tsai into top shape? Not quite, but Schaff could also improve the actor's game as visual effects supervisor.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 4, 2008 | Michael Ordona, Special to The Times
"THERE was this Reebok campaign -- not that I don't have love for Reebok -- but they got their hands on this home video of this little 4-year-old kid who made 20 shots in a row" on an 8-foot-high basketball hoop, says fast-talking Jimmy Tsai. "And, apparently, he got an endorsement deal out of it. I said, 'You're kidding. I could take this kid!' " he says laughing, all 6 feet, 1 inch of him bent over a table at the ArcLight theater in Sherman Oaks. Tsai is the star, co-writer, co-producer, assistant production accountant and occasional janitor of "Ping Pong Playa," a new indie comedy about a hip-hop-obsessed hoopster wannabe with some growing up to do who finds his way as a table tennis terror.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 5, 2008 | Kevin Thomas, Sheri Linden, Robert Abele
At once poignant and ruefully amusing, director Azazel Jacobs' third feature, "Momma's Man," finds Mikey (Matt Boren) visiting his parents (Flo and Ken Jacobs) while on a business trip to New York City, only to discover that he can't leave. It's a key strength of this subtle, beguiling film that Mikey hasn't been living a seemingly dysfunctional life in California, where he has a lovely wife (Dana Varon) and a baby daughter, a pleasant apartment and a decent job. The film is a comment on the stresses of fast-changing modern life, with its sense of loss and dislocation that make the security of Mikey's parents' bohemian artists' loft, his beautiful, nurturing mother's tender attentions and his childhood mementos so irresistible a security blanket for Mikey; he keeps postponing his return to California and soon discovers that he can't even step outside his parents' apartment.
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