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Buy CJ7 now! No waiting, no hassle, and maybe no movie.

Everybody loves CJ7. That is, except the people who didn’t like it. There are actually quite a few, judging from the film’s lukewarm-to-positive response both locally and on the web. Personally speaking, the movie isn’t great nor is it terrible; its worst offense is that it’s simply a bit of a let down, especially considering that it’s Stephen Chow’s first movie in 3 years and that he really isn’t in it very much.

Not sure why he should care though. The movie is making bank. And man, that CJ7 is one cute critter.

One is cuddly, but the other is mega-rich.
“I love you, my little cash cow.”

However, they could make about 40 extra bucks if they could stop something like this:

No overhead costs!
Two McDonald’s coupons can get you a copy of CJ7

What’s in this blurry photo that I took with my mobile phone? Why, it’s none other than a shoe box where you can deposit 20 Hong Kong dollars voluntarily. Afterwards you can take one of the paper-sleeved VCD copies of CJ7 the nice people who set up the box have left next to the shoe box. Whether or not it actually contains a copy of CJ7 is a good question. It could be just a trailer, or maybe a blank CD. Worst case scenario: it’s a copy of Wonder Women.

By the way, nobody is manning this little kiosk because, well, this is illegal. I suppose there might be somebody watching the stand from afar, but nobody came out of the shadows to kneecap me when I took this photo. So maybe nobody was nearby. Anyway, I hear they’re all in Canada looking for this guy:

 A class act
No caption required

HK Customs, if you’re reading this: run now to the Kwai Hing MTR Station in the New Territories. You’ll be able to sieze about ten bootleg copies of CJ7, not to mention the 40 illegally-earned HK dollars that are sitting in the shoe box. I wish you all the luck in the world. Frankly, all bootlegged VCDs or DVDs should end up like this:

The fate of all VCDs
The deserved fate of all illegal media

Sadly, the above disc is genuine. It’s been stuffed in the dirt to ward off birds at a local community garden. One would think that using tinfoil or some other form of shiny, bird-repelling trash would work just as well, but nope, they’re using Hong Kong movies to keep birds from eating their flowers. 

At least the movie they’ve tossed is Rules of the Game, a nineties triad movie that would never qualify for a classic genre retrospective. It could be worse. They could be misusing a good movie like, say, Benny Chan’s excellent nineties actioner Big Bullet.

Oh, sorry, they’re using that too:

Poor Big Bullet
This VCD is a metaphor for Jordan Chan’s career

What does all this show us? Probably what most of us already know: that people in Hong Kong don’t really value entertainment, much less the media its encoded onto. An old VCD is worth more as a makeshift scarecrow than it is as a form of entertainment. Sadly, the same garden also contained some discarded DVDs, including a little movie called The Fellowship of the Ring, so this poor respect for the creative work of others applies to movies from pretty much anywhere. It’s just disposable junk to a lot of people in Hong Kong, and is not worth more than 2 hours of braindead time. Apparently, over 10,000 wasted man-hours devoted to media hype and celebrity scandal are far more valuable and necessary.

Man, I’m depressed. Not even Louis Koo hawking watches can make me feel better.

Kozo meets Louis Koo
“My steely gaze instructs you to buy my watch.”

6 Responses to “Buy CJ7 now! No waiting, no hassle, and maybe no movie.”

  1. glenn Says:

    There is just too much product out there legally already.

    Even in America, you can buy most new releases at cheap prices at Wal-Mart or Target OR just wait a few months until they are under $10 used at Blockbuster.

    And who really wants to own Nic Cage’s Next or Delta Farce for even $5 from Blockbuster?

    90% of the stuff is crap so I can’t say I’m too surprised at seeing DVDs and VCDs being used that way.

    I am surprised that Hong Kong residents are not running out and buying Johnnie To DVDs to watch and keep.

    Given how good The Mad Detective was, I think the guy deserves even more praise than he’s getting already.

  2. Jason Says:

    I just have to say “Damn you Kozo!” because it makes me angry that you don’t blog every day. Please keep it up, you make Mountain Dew shoot out of my nose (or was that just the steely gaze of Louis Koo?).

  3. V Says:

    Never knew that DVDs could be used as bird repellents. The only discs I ever threw away were the free AOL CDs that used to come in the mail every other day a few years ago.

    Kozo, you make a fine Tony Leung-esque sad face in that picture!

  4. fcb Says:

    Totally agree with glenn. Just saw Mad Detective and was completely blown away by To’s & Wai’s experimental approach to the crime genre.

    When the DVD was delivered to me by a visiting HK friend, it felt like receiving the good ol’ christmas present… the anticipation itself was such a joy!

    Kozo, you speak my mind with the comments you made on the taste of some (most) of our fellow HK citizens. Some really need to stop sticking their nose in other’s business…

  5. MW Says:

    Kozo’s steely gaze makes me want to buy more DVDs.

    But I think we have to understand HK aren’t into arts/cultural things like Westerns are. Plus HK people don’t have tons of space for a home theatre and DVD collection, and now there are tons of legal and illegal ways to see movies for cheaper than buying and maybe/maybe not liking the movie.

  6. Canton Kid Says:

    If the HK people do not value art/culture it is not really their fault. The society as a whole (from government sponsorship to education) does not value those elements, so why, in turn, should they?

    This is ironic because local officials like to put up the facade that Hong Kong is an artistic hub (i.e. Thus the ongoing controversies of the West Kowloon Cultural District).

    To understand the fallout of all this on the local film industry, one need look no further than this years Chinese New Year film entries. Gone are the annual collaborations of stars who come out at the end of a film to wish the audience a Happy Chinese New Year. Something which I always looked forward to.

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