On the whole, I'd give CJ7 a 3 out of 5. Not Chow's best work to date, but the movie served good entertainment, and there were few flaws about the plot (for a comedy). Save the re-used jokes and characters, and spare us the references, and I'm sure his next film will be better. And I don't mean the upcoming Dragonball flick. I've got next to zero hopes for that one. :(
It probably didn't help that the movie had a virtually non-existant plot. Too many questions were raised, too many questionable scenes, with no answers. Again, spoilers here so stay away if you still plan to watch the movie. In the movie, Chou was a normal kid who went to Kung Fu school. Bear in mind that it was a school with lots of other students, and he was by no means special. Well, perhaps he was, since he has fantastic shooting abilities and supposedly picked up an ancient skill even capable of time travel. And my point about making the characters look cool in exchange of realism? Chow can single handly take on over 20 knifed henchmen without breaking a sweat. Much too absurd for me, sorry. I'm fine with him knowing qigong, shooting 3 pointers, but beating up all those guys was overboard. At least give him a hard time! The plot had lots of loop holes for me as well, so I'll list out those I remember:
- Young kid learning how to reverse time, and uses it to save a game?
- Mafia and Triad bosses betting over a University basketball game?
- Devil Team with the same haircuts mysteriously disappear in second game?
- 3 uncles and 1 auntie joining the University for game?
- No fouls called by the referees. In Shao Lin soccer, it was stated that the officials were all bribed. This were neither implied nor referenced in the movie, and the "secret weapon", the referee can even turn the game around by goal tending, while everybody is fine with the decision. WTF?
- Moral of the movie: You know Kung Fu, you can do anything. Jump 5 storeys. Defeat 20 knife carrying triad members. Cure fracture arms and legs. Freeze the atmosphere with your inner ki. Use flying needles with lethal accuracy. And of course, time travel.
Luckily, the few saving graces of the movie came from the veteran Hong Kong actors. Eric Tseng was great, and he provided me with the only laugh I got from the entire movie, when he told Chou to go to his father by saying "还不去？钱来了。" I give the movie 0.5 over 5. I did dig the Jay Chou movie song though. 豆腐！功夫!
There are a few upcoming shows which I would like to watch too. First, opening in cinemas on the 21st of February is L: Change the WorLd. It is the third installment in the Death Note movie series, directed by Hideo Nakata. It is based on the manga Death Note by Tsugumi Oba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. The film has been released in Japan on February 9 and in Hong Kong on February 7, 2008. Kenichi Matsuyama will reprise his role as L from the previous Death Note films. The film will center on the final 23 days of L's life after the events of the previous film and how Near meets L and joins the orphanage. Using original material not found in the manga, this movie makes use of the 23 days in which L has left to live, after writing his own name in the Death note in the second movie, to prevent himself from being assasinated by Yagami Light. I know it would be hard to match up to the standards set by the previous 2 movies, but hopefully it will have an interesting plot which set the 2 movies apart from the other manga related movies out there.
From the creators of the Scary Movie, Epic Move, Date Movie series, come another movie called Superhero Movie. As the name suggests, the movie pokes fun at the recent era of Superhero movies, namely the original Spider-Man, where many of the spoofs are taken from. The trailer is out, and linked below for your convenience. Usually I don't watch such nonsensical movies at the theaters, but I might be tempted to watch this and Meet the Spartans, since they reference some really cool scenes from Spider-Man, and also 300 and Transformers for Meet the Spartans. I thought there were too many run-into-pole/wall/tree jokes, and too many fart jokes too, but hopefully the Spider-Man references will be enough to make up for it. Check out the trailer. I loved the part where the main guy break dances on the wall, only to have the cat run up beside him. Brilliant.
Just caught the second episode of Kamen Rider Kiva this week. Still, can't feel much for the series as it's just began. Not really liking the main character too much, but hey I said the same thing for Ryoutaro a year ago, when I made comparisions between Kamen Rider Den-O and Kamen Rider Kabuto. There're a few big questions lingering about the series right now, but the time change sequences in the show were pretty cool. The characters of Kamen Rider Kiva are spread throughout two time periods, each related to one another. There are the actions of Otoya Kurenai and the Fangaire Hunter Yuri Aso in the year 1986 that result in the various Fangaire that persist to the current day, in 2008, with Otoya's son Wataru (as Kamen Rider Kiva) and Yuri's daughter Megumi (also a Fangaire Hunter), dealing with the Fangaire to prevent deaths. It would be interesting to see how the characters relate to each other before and after the 20 year period. The Fangaire (ファンガイア) are stained glass-based vampires who feed off of the Life Energy (ライフエナジー) of humans to survive, with which they can disguise themselves as humans. Because of this, aware humans have formed a group to hunt the Fangaire. The only other person able to destroy a Fangaia is Kamen Rider Kiva. Will be keeping up with the show as it progresses. That's it for this week's entry, largely about my movie rants. Until next time, Ja~