Dog Day Afternoon…and Stephen Chow’s CJ7

Today is the Birthday of All Dogs, according to the Chinese calendar, and we must be kind to dogs. So here is a picture of our dog, Chichi. Yes she is named after THAT Chichi from Dragonball Z. Give ’em the googoo eyes, Chichi.

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Obviously today’s movie suggestion must have a cute animal in it, and I’m sorry, Chichi, but the cutest critter in cinema is CJ7, Stephen Chow‘s much better looking answer to ET. CJ7 is the adorable little alien that Hong Kong labourer Ti brings back from the tip to comfort his son Dickie. These two are the poorest of the poor, but this struggling single father works himself to the bone to keep the boy in a good school. The magical little being from outer space really should be the answer to all their troubles, but his magic is of another kind.

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“I’m gonna be rich!”

This the most feel good movie ever made. Ti and his son have nothing in material terms, but what they do have is beyond price, and CJ7 makes the ultimate sacrifice to make sure they keep it. The emotions it wrenches from the viewer range from sheer hilarity to complete sobbing collapse – but that’s Stephen Chow for you, the most gifted actor/director in the world.

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I make absolutely no bones about it, I regard this man as the finest film maker alive, a worthy successor to Charlie Chaplin, who can blend pathos with slapstick with romance with sheer exuberant love of life. He cast a girl, Jiao Xu, as his son, and the two work perfectly together. Some scenes are harrowing, as Ti struggles to raise his son, acting harshly at times, out of fear that the boy will end up like him, but there is never any doubt that he loves him and will do anything for him.

Steam some dumplings or pork buns (or both!), curl up and watch the most heart warming movie you will ever see.

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