Writer/Director Stephen Chow stars as Iron, a poor but loving
father who works such long hours that he barely has any time
to spend with his young son. Unable to afford the latest toy
his boy desperately wants, Iron instead brings home a mysterious
pet he finds at a local junkyard. When the cuddly creature
turns out to be a fun-loving extraterrestrial able to perform
miraculous deeds, both father and son are about to learn some
important lessons that change their lives in this delightful
science-fiction fantasy for the whole family.
your hopes high on "CJ7" and you might walk away
feeling sore from the expectations. Coming from the man who
sealed the brand of ‘mo-lei-tau’ aka nonsensical
humor in the nineties and whom in recent years brought the
house down with "Shaolin Soccer" and "Kungfu
Hustle", it’s understandable you expect something
more than just a simple tale of a father and his son.
Chow plays Ti, a hard labourer who slogged at construction
sites to provide the best for his only son, Dicky. Although
that means the twosome can only afford having a few veg and
rotten apple as dessert, Ti wants Dicky to achieve far better
than him in life which explains the fact that why Dicky is
sent to a luxurious school in the opening scene. At night,
Ti has to plow the junkyard for useful items which he can
recycle for Dicky’s usage until he incidentally picked
up an extra-terrestrial nicknamed CJ7.
fairly easy to see which segment of the audience Chow is targeting
for "CJ7". Majority of the sequences focused mainly
on the antics of Dicky and his new high-tech pet, CJ7. Those
scenes served mainly to entertain the younger crowd with some
jibes at Chow’s previous two works. Written by Chow,
Vincent Kok (who directed a fair share of comedies) and a
team of other four writers, there are still scenes which dragged
on and on and unfortunately suffered from a case of “Where’s
the punchline?”. A good example is the confrontational
scene between Ti and his superior played by Lam Chi Chung.
on the other hand is brought to live by HK effect house, Menford
Electronics and goes to prove that given a bigger budget and
longer time allowance, the visual effects can be much superior
than Menford’s usual outputs. Newcomer Xu Jiao who did
a male impersonation as Dicky is very much the highlight of
the movie. She’s a natural, gifted actress who doesn’t
need much convincing as the role of a poor deprived young
to Chow, his favourite movie when he was a child was Steven
Spielberg’s "ET". You can see he’s paying
sort of a tribute to the Spielberg’s classic here and
a significant part of his real-life childhood is inscribed
here as well. Similar trait includes the roaches hammering
game which Chow admitted it was something he does with his
friends after dinner when he was growing up.
lacking the usual wit and Chow’s brand of dry humor,
I was greatly moved by two particular scenes towards the closing
chapter of the movie. I shall not spoil it here but it goes
to prove that Stephen Chow has grown far further than the
crazy, wild personality he inhibits on the screen for the
pass decade. Do give Chow a chance with his first attempt
at something closer to his heart.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
Earlier in the year, we reviewed the single
disc version of CJ7 DVD and if you have not make your
purchase, here comes the 2-Disc Deluxe version for your consideration.
One contains the full-length movie and also the boisterous
Cast and Crew commentary track. Director/Actor
Stephen Chow and his merry cast/crew are definitely at ease
here talking about the enjoyment and shares nuggets of behind-the-scenes
information in Cantonese. Unfortunately, for those who do
not understand Cantonese, there are no English subs available
unless you count Korean or Bahasa as your second language.
Two starts with the CJ7: Mission Control
game. Your mission is to assist CJ whose powers are
fading to ride the Shenzhou 7, China’s next space flight
home. Something to amuse the kid in you.
Story of CJ7 which last about 13 minutes has Stephen
Chow and fellow story-writer Vincent Kok talking about how
the idea and design of CJ7 came about. It’s quite heart-warming
to learn that the funnyman’s intention was simply to
make a children movie. The U.S. has Mickey Mouse and ET and
the Chinese, CJ7.
TV Special revolves more on the special effects and
also cast/crew interviews in this 22 minutes segment. VFX
Supervisor Eddy Wong takes audience behind-the-scenes of creating
CJ7 and how child actress Xu Jiao mingles with the CJ7
of a scene is a short 6 minutes feature about how
Xu Jiao interacts and acts with the guidance of the VFX team
during one of the movie’s heavy FX shots.
to bully a bully is a tongue-in-cheek feature which
teaches you on some tips & tricks on how to debullying
to make a lollipop as the title implies shows you
how the crew makes a prop lollipop on set.
you wish to know more about other onscreen supporting characters
such as Johnny the little boastful kiddo and the bully, check
out CJ7 Profiles for their characteristics,
likes and dislikes.
including Hancock, Vantage Point, 21, Made of Honor, You Don’t
Mess with the Zohan and a Blu-ray promo reel rounds up this
2-Disc Deluxe edition.
Code 3 DVD comes equipped with the original Cantonese soundtrack
and the dubbed mandarin track that was heard in the theatrical
release. Dialogue is of utmost clarity though the surround
is pretty inactive most of the time. The visual quality is
excellent and I have no qualms about it.
DVD RATING :
aren’t missing much if you already got the prior single
disc unless you are such a perfectionist that you must own
two different versions. The materials presented are pretty
slim still. This edition on the other hand does come with
a nice plastic cover with CJ7 plastered on it of course. I
recommend those who have yet got the single disc edition to
get this 2-Disc Deluxe edition instead.
by Linus Tee