CJ7Columbia Pictures (Blu-ray)
When a poor father brings home a mysterious alien "pet" from a local junkyard, he and his son learn a valuable lesson about the true nature of family and the things money can't buy.
Stephen Chow had a real one-two punch with Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle but instead of sticking with the karate comedy he decided to go the ET route with this one. CJ7 is his first crack at family entertainment and largely it succeeds. The problem is, if you’re hoping for more of his old style, this one disappoints a bit. The comedy isn’t quite as fresh and the action has been toned down. The film has some nice moral chops though it is a bit slow developing them. Overall I enjoyed it though it would fall to the bottom of my list of films by Chow.
I also had the import of this movie that I purchased several months ago on Blu-ray. The transfers look largely the same, which is a good thing considering how well Sony did on the encode. This is a great looking disc with plenty of rich detail and contrast. The image has a lot of punch to it and incredible depth and dimension. Colors are strong and lend to the punchy look and black levels and detail are exceptional. Some of the special effects soften things up a bit but it was never distracting. Overall another winner from Sony.
The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack is presented in Mandarin 5.1 just like the previous release I had. The problem is, the film is actually recorded in both Mandarin and Cantonese. So most of the film is synched correctly but the dub is wrong for other sequences which causes some distraction. The off dubbing is pretty bad too. While this does add a bit to the comedy aspect, I don’t know if it was actually intentional. The rest of the mix is good though with nice dynamics and quite a bit of use of the surround soundstage.
Sony has included quite a few extras for this release. For film fans there is a behind the scenes look at the film and some trailers. You’ll also get a feature commentary. The rest of the extras are a bit more interactive and include some funny clips on how to deal with a bully, how to make a lollipop and a game.
Stephen Chow’s latest may be his weakest overall but it is still pretty fun. It is obvious he wanted to make this one as family friendly as possible and overall he succeeded. Sony has done a great job with the presentation and fans of Chow’s films should definitely give this one a look.