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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

trailer break: ‘CJ7’

Take a break from work: watch a movie trailer…

(Click here to see the Quicktime trailer.)
It’s one of those boy-and-his-alien movies, Asian style. Cute. CJ7 is like E.T. meets Stitch, and the Three Stooges are looking after him, except all three of them are embodied in Stephen Chow. (The little boy is darn adorable and funny, too.) And if the new DVD trailer is an accurate representation of the home version of the movie, then it has been dubbed into English, so everyone can discover just how weirdly goofy this is.

CJ7 arrives on DVD tomorrow.



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  • S

    I love Stephen Chow movies, but what’s up with the awful dub?

  • Danielle

    I read that the little boy in this movie is played by a little girl.

  • MaryAnn

    What? Really? I’d like to see a link backing that up.

  • Head to CJ7’s Trivia section on IMDb.com, or Ms Xu Jiao’s bio on Wikipedia.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0940709/trivia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xu_Jiao

  • MaryAnn

    Well, that’s just weird. There’s no reason the character couldn’t have been a girl — why bother with the sex change?

  • MaSch

    ou clearly know the answer to your last question:

    “Come on, now. Everyone knows nobody cares about what little girls do! Of course they had to change the character to a boy, a person of the only gender really worth telling stories about.”

  • amanohyo

    In traditional asian cultures, young boys are the goal and pride of every family, to be spoiled and coddled and bragged about and held up for all the world to see. Young girls are comparatively less important and more easily taken for granted, ignored and overlooked (unless there’s something about them to criticize) until they reach the age of sexual objectification.

    Most people know about this bias, but it’s hard to understand how pervasive it is unless you have lived through it or have close regular contact with the sons and daughters in several asian families (of course, as with any generalization, there are exceptions).

    So anyway… I’m guessing that this was a marketing decision that will be disguised as an artistic one (She did the best at the audition, but we didn’t want to rewrite the script! The story just made more sense with a boy… etc.). It’s certainly bad in Hollywood too, but aside from Studio Ghibli, the gender inequity situation is even more extreme in mainstream asian cinema. It’s so ingrained that the idea of changing the gender of the child in the script might not have even crossed anyone’s mind.

  • MaryAnn

    Young girls are comparatively less important and more easily taken for granted, ignored and overlooked (unless there’s something about them to criticize) until they reach the age of sexual objectification.

    But that actually would work *perfectly* for the story as it’s told! The little boy *is* overlooked and ignored! But perhaps the Chinese would not see that as poignant if it were a little girl being ignored… since that’s just the way things are supposed to be.

  • amanohyo

    Exactly, the response if it was a girl would be… “Why is this movie making such a big deal out of nothing?” That means there actually is an artistic justification for keeping the character male. My bad. Just looking for an excuse to denounce sexism I guess.

  • amanohyo

    On second thought, there’s a fine line between marketing and artistic vision here. The makers know that the movie will be more emotionally gripping if it takes advantage of known sexist attitudes in the target audience, which will result in more tickets sold. Is that really an artistic decision? Probably a false dichotomy.

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