Binging on Stephen Chow movies


Finally a free weekend

I just started my only 2 days off in between rotations feeding an unhealthy movie habit. My latest obsession is anything by Stephen Chow. I was always drawn to dry, simple humor. This makes his early 1990's classics perfect for a weekend of indulgence.

I started with his older stuff and worked my way forward. However, it became obvious how certain themes repeated. I honestly expected such a praised producer and writer to show some more variety but not only are all his movies somehow familiar, they may actually be linked. As in, most of his characters may actually live in the same universe.

A Chinese Odyssey

Chinese Odyssey Names aside, this one had be rolling quit a bit. It came in two parts: Cinderella and Pandora's box. Neither of which made sense. In fact, there were two different love subplots in each. I kind got the feeling that a part 2 wasn't supposed to happen, but got split because part one was too long.

Basically, Cinderella is about the back story of the Monkey king. He picked a quarrel with some Goddess, who probably wanted to kill him, but the Longevity Monk, (said to be able to live forever) vouched for him, sacrificed his life and allowed the monkey king to be born as human instead.

Long story short, the human monkey king has no idea who he is and the whole movie ends up with him discovering his past, making a random witch fall in love with him, and then stumbling on Pandora's box which allows him to time travel. The witch babe kills herself because, why not, and in order to save her, he goes back in time (like 10 times) to prevent her suicide.

This ties into the second movie, where he meets ANOTHER girl who falls in love with him. He saved the first, but then his heart said it loves another (people's hearts can talk for some reason) so the witch babe left. He reincarnates as his true form, the monkey king and is now forced to do without his true love. He returns to the future and finds his human self fighting with his new squeeze. (this movie is confusing, but somewhere along the way, because he was time travelling, his human self and his monkey self got separated and now his human self is carrying on like nothing happened, since he went back to the past and changed the future so nothing bad happened). He sets off to the West instead with 3 other companions.

Basically it was a convenient way to waste the audiences time by having a whole movie shipping the first romance. I do not like people playing with my emotions like that.

HOWEVER, remember the Longevity monk a little while back?
These two movie focused on the monkey king. But in another of his movies, Journey to the West [2013], the monkey king makes a second appearance, but this time as the villain.

Journey tot he West

The main protagonist in this movie is in fact a monk. A demon hunter with no special ability except empathy. Very monk-like if you ask me. He humbles the monkey king in the end, and since his girl died (of course there must be a romantic subplot - eyeroll- ) he sets off to the West with 3 companions....ONE BEING THE NOW TAMED MONKEY KING.

This shit blew my mind. One of the companions was even a pig demon. IN BOTH MOVIES. Holy shit.
I realize that a lot of movie writers hide little Easter eggs in their movies, short films etc. Discovering them are pretty fun but I really hope I don't end up like this guy:

I just finished King of Comedy
It wasn't quite a comedy but it definitely was not boring to watch. There was a scene where he had his woman in his arms, but because he was crying, his nose began to secrete mucus and it hung down, just millimeters from his girl. I bust out laughing. Maybe it was all the sugar I had tonight, but that felt like the most original joke on TV I've seen in a while.

On to the next though. Thank God for people like Stephen Chow.

Stephen Chow