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'Cj7'

A little boy named Dicky (played, oddly enough, by a little girl named Xu Jiao) finds a rubbery green blob left behind by a spaceship and takes it home in this slapsticky (emphasis on sticky) Hong Kong kid flick.

The blob turns into an alien puppy with a giant fuzzy head and enormous eyes, and the kid turns into, well, something of a monster. Initially sympathetic because he's poor and picked on, Dicky starts picking on others once he has the chance. Eventually those others include the creature — he calls it CJ7, because the other kids wouldn't let him play with a robotic toy called CJ1 — and even when he abandons it, mistreats it, and very nearly kills it, it remains loyal and sweet.

Martial-arts filmmaker Stephen Chow (Kung-Fu Hustle) wrote, directs, and plays the dad, and he's better at that last task than at the others. His script is treacly, his direction uneven, and his taste for slapstick will likely strike most viewers over the age of 10 as excessive.

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Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.