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Musings from the Edge of Forever

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with RONIN ON EMPTY.

Archive for the ‘Wong Jing’ Category

Chow Down with 1990s Era Stephen Chow

Hail the Judge

Just the other day, it occurred to me that 1990s era Stephen Chow films are a lot like eating at McDonald’s. To those of you out there who despise Ray Kroc’s ubiquitous fast food franchise, my comparison may sound like I’m criticizing the most prolific period of the famous comedian’s acting career. But I’m not. This may come as a shock to my more health-conscious, organic-only, vegetarian-meet-vegan friends, but I actually like eating at McDonald’s…on occasion. Yeah, it ain’t  fine dining, and it’s certainly not good for you, but if prepared right, it sure can be really, really comforting.

Now, if you’re someone who frequents this eating establishment, then you’re aware that 99% of the time you know exactly what to expect from your order — whatever the quality, there will be no real surprises. In the hands of a particularly efficient and conscientious staff, your food will taste fantastic, complete with crisp, perfectly salted fries and an extraordinarily refreshing ice cold Coca Cola to wash ‘em down with. In the hands of a lazy, incompetent group of workers, however, you’re likely to be stuck with soggy, bland fries and some seriously watered down soft drinks. The meal is the same, but the taste can differ, depending on who’s preparing the food.

I think the same can be said of Stephen Chow’s prolific film output during the 1990s. You’ll get exactly what you’re looking for in most of his films from that era, but — depending on the filmmakers involved — the final product will vary in quality. His movies may not always be high art and some may indeed be the cinematic equivalent to “empty calories,” but when all is said and done, I think Chow’s comedy stylings amount to nothing less than comfort food for the soul.

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Who You Callin’ Easy?

Boys Are Easy

Yep, that’s Maggie Cheung in Boys are Easy.

By all rights, this 1993 Wong Jing-directed farce should not be as funny as it is, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t entertained all the way through. A lot of the film’s charm is a direct result of the game performances given its all-star cast. Consider the big names involved: Brigitte Lin Ching-Hsia, Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk, Chingmy Yau Suk-Ching, Tony Leung Ka-Fei, Jacky Cheung Hok-Yau, and the man himself, Ekin Cheng! The plot — or what passes for one — is all over the place, but what do you expect in a Wong Jing film?

Eager to get all of his daughters married off, Ching Sing (Richard Ng) hatches a daring plot with his son, Ching Siu-Pei (Jimmy Lin) to achieve this incredibly old-fashioned goal: he fakes a cancer diagnosis, telling them he only has a month to live. And so, due to Ching’s manipulations, the three girls do their best to pretend they have boyfriends to placate their “dying” father.

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