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"This movie has become a cult classic among the young Chinese, especially university students. No wonder--because the dialogue and the content of this movie are really ingeniously done and have a deep cultural meaning for all its comic surface. But unfortunately this movie can be fully appreciated on several conditions: 1, one should have a basic knowledge of the classic Chinese novel The Monkey (or A Journey to the West), on which this film is based, to appreciate the twists and turns in this film version; 2, the English subtitles are not very good as in most HK movies, so if one could read the Chinese subtitles or if one knows Mandarin or Cantonese (in which the movie was originally shot), it would be a great help, and one can enjoy the movie much, much more; 3, one should definitely watch this movie along with Part II, for Part I is in a way a preparation for the wonderful climax at the end of Part II. Well,this may be discouraging to many potential buyers, but I must also add that for anyone who can satisfy the above conditions, this movie (Part I and II) is simply the greatest of all Steven Chow works so far, and one of the best among HK films. Also it's not done in a cheap studio like many other HK movies: there are, for example, some great desert scenes in Part I and II that are both exotic and spellbinding."
Novel Twist to a Classic!
Hong M. Sharon | Singapore, Earth | 01/25/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have seen Chinese Odyssey many times, because it is just so funny! Chinese Odyssey is not really a remake of the Chinese classic, Journey to the West, but it is more of a parody, or a side story based on the Monkey King.
Chinese Odyssey is a period drama set in Ancient China. Here, the Monkey King, Sun Wu Kong (Stephen Chow) is reborn (although he doesn't know this yet because he has yet to find a particular person who can "confirm his identity"), and he's now the leader of a bandit group. Two demons (Spider & "White-Bones" Demon) suddenly appear one day and forcefully "force" the bandits to do their bidding. And from there, the story moves on to include time-travel, romance, friendship and self-discovery.
There are plenty of twists and turns that are really different from the original story, which is good since it doesn't get boring even if you already know the story of the Monkey King. However, a minus is that you'll need to know the story of the Monkey King to be able to appreciate and laugh at some of the jokes aimed at the original story, but if you don't, there are still plenty of comical parts around to keep you laughing. The funny parts may be rather silly at times, but go ahead and laugh at their silliness. Afterall, Stephen Chow is known to be the King of Comedy. :)
At the end of part 1, you'd probably feel like the ending is too abrupt and somewhat of a cliffhanger, but Chinese Odyssey comes in two parts, so you'll need to watch part 2 as well to be able to fully understand the entire movie. If you are into Chinese mythology and culture, give this a try and take the time to enjoy this show! "
Glenn Wang | CA, USA | 06/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""A Chinese Odyssey: Pandora's Box" and "A Chinese Odyssey: Cinderella" is a two-parts series movie. Together, it is my favorite Chinese movie of all time. It's a modern and humorous twist on the famous Chinese story of "The Journey West" (also known as "The Monkey King"). In the first part, the Monkey King has been reincarnated as Joker, the leader of a group of bandits...
However, I'm confused by the picture that's shown on this listing. That picture is for "Chinese Odyssey 2002"--clearly a movie NOT made in 1995, with a completely different cast of actors. It stars Tony Leung (a supporting actor in Jet Li's "Hero") and singer/actress Fay Wong. It's not the same movie as described here.
Edit: Looks like Amazon has removed the picture I was talking about, so I've taken a bit of time to scan and upload the front and back covers of this DVD."
A messy Odyssey
Luke | 01/23/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Chinese Odyssey, Part 1, is a very wacky period adventure...you'll be forgiven if you end up at the end no wiser than the beginning. Stephen Chow is Joker, whom two female demons (one, Jingjing, who is in love with him) is convinced is the reincarnation of Sun Wukong, the Monkey God of Chinese classic Journey to the West. While it must be congratulated for giving the centuries-old classic a novel spin, there's just too much repetition, wackiness and messiness to ensure this a smooth ride; the jokes are mainly slapstick, and could well be removed without hurting the ramshackle plot at all. Best seen as a preparation to the much superior and emotionally satisfying Part 2, Cinderella."
This deserves 5 not 4
Luke | 09/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is so good! Time travel,romance,comedy,wild transformations galore. A wonderful parody/drama of "Journey to the West".. Steven Chow was a perfect choice for the Monkey god/king ...Plus Yammie Nam shines as the Spider Woman. You won't believe what you're seeing the first time you watch it. Both films are great..but the first one deserves 5 stars for getting you in to Part 2 in the first place."