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Foreign Film - China - CJ7


Stephen Chow, Xu Jiao
Directed by Stephen Chow
Dubbed English / English subtitles
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2008
88 minutes

CJ7 is a kid's fantasy movie from China. There is no way this DVD will make it as a kid's movie on this continent. Violence towards animals, be they space alien animals, is not something parents here want their kids to see. The reason CJ7 received North American DVD release is because Steven Chow (Shaolin Soccer, Kung Fu Hustle) plays the very poor single father of a young boy, Dicky, who befriends -well, sort of-- a friendly, cuddly alien.

Any parent will object to the scenes where Dicky, the young boy,  hits, tortures, and even stabs CJ7, the cute furry alien, because the furry creature did not live up to his expectations. Others treat the creature just as roughly.

Little in CJ7 will work for a North American audience: the cultural dichotomy is much too great, the acting is below par, and the English voice-over will remind some of that cliché about dubbed Japanese movies.

The story itself makes little sense: Dicky bags the creature, stabs it, tosses it in the garbage and it returns to him with no hard feelings.

Aside from the violence towards animals this kids' DVD has a serious case of culture clash. Parents in this movie have a very different way of raising their kids such as using mild corporal punishment and locking the kid in a closet.

The characters are not even close to being PC such as the very big girl or the school bully who make the school shake when they walk or the teacher who wipes his pen after Dicky touched it. I have no idea what to make of the scene where Dicky and his father make a game of killing the roaches in their shanty town abode.

The CJ7 DVD is quite odd as it is almost two movies in one. There is the dubbed English version where  Dicky says "My dad is an entrepreneur" or "I don't want anything" and the subtitled version where he says "My dad is a coolie" and "I don't want to be a poor person"

CJ7 is a curiosity more than anything else. It is way too creepy for a family DVD movie.

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