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God of Cookery
Selected on: November 4, 2003

God of Cookery (1996), Stephen Chow's rambunctious remix of the culinary and martial arts, is one of the most favorably reviewed titles we've got here at GreenCine. Read 'em all, and you'll notice one word pop up over and again: "Hilarious." Those unfamiliar with Chow's whacked out sense of comic timing, though, should know that the thrill of this ride lies in part in the rapid and startling shifts in tone and pace. Expect the unexpected, and it's a gas.

Cookery caps a series of Chow parodies that began with his first starring role in All for the Winner (1990), which poked fun at the Chow Yun Fat vehicle God of Gamblers so successfully that Chow took over the lead in the sequel. Bruce Lee, whom Chow adored as a boy, took a few well-meaning punches in Fist of Fury 1991 and Legend of the Dragon (1991); James Bond would follow in From Beijing With Love (1994). In between, the whole Hong Kong epic tradition became the brunt of Chow's humor in Royal Tramp (1991) and Royal Tramp 2 (1992).

But Cookery is widely regarded as the pinnacle of what you might call Chow's first big wave. Chow and the press had a subsequent falling out, however, and his career quieted down for a time... Until his triumphant return in 2001 with the Hong Kong box office record-buster and award-winner, Shaolin Soccer. Stateside distribution of this smash hit had been the cause of considerable controversy (see our "Eclection Selection"), but, as with Cookery and most of his work, it's definitely worth catching any way you can.

By the way. Why not liven up Thanksgiving dinner this year with a nice plate of explosive pissing beef balls? -- David Hudson

See more Eclection selections...

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