BIG TROUBLE in little china: C/D?

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I watched this a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Re-watched it last night, hoping for b-movie lolz ala Darkman or various similarly campy 88-92 fare, and was surprised to discover that it wasn't "fun" bad like I'd remembered, just bad. The fight scenes were entertaining, but the rest of the movie was absurdly tedious.

I did like that the Big American Star was transformed into the hapless sidekick, but Kim Catrall's character was an obnoxious idiot and there was this sensation throughout the movie that the audience wasn't being let in on significant elements of the plot. Eh.

So is it a camp classic? Am I spoiled by amazingly fun terrible stuff like The Car?

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 07:06 (thirteen years ago) link

Russell is pretty funny is this movie, tho.

Michael Servetus, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 07:14 (thirteen years ago) link

is = in obv.

Michael Servetus, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 07:14 (thirteen years ago) link

what?? this movie rules. total classic.

chaki, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 07:38 (thirteen years ago) link

How can anyone not like this film?

not_goodwin, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 07:44 (thirteen years ago) link

by being Hoos

chaki, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 07:45 (thirteen years ago) link

I guess it helps to be w/an audience that laughs at the jokes. My audience didn't.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 07:59 (thirteen years ago) link

you're nuts. this is one of the best movies of all time. this thread needs to be overrun with great quotes from this great movie.

f. hazel, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 09:44 (thirteen years ago) link

yeah movie basically is the best

thorn, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 10:10 (thirteen years ago) link

never seen it but good title innit.

ken c, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 10:12 (thirteen years ago) link

I love it but don't think it's as great as I used to. I think a lot of that is several years of watching genuine HK gonzo fantasy (ZU WARRIORS to thread.)

Oilyrags, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 13:01 (thirteen years ago) link

this movie was so much better on re-viewing it than i thought it would be! the whole premise that the sidekick is the actual hero is so great and something i probably was completely oblivious to when i saw it as a kid!

s1ocki, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 13:05 (thirteen years ago) link

there was this sensation throughout the movie that the audience wasn't being let in on significant elements of the plot

??

s1ocki, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 13:05 (thirteen years ago) link

also i recommend the commentary.

s1ocki, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 13:06 (thirteen years ago) link

"We may be trapped."

Euler, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 13:18 (thirteen years ago) link

was this Carpenter?

Ste, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 13:37 (thirteen years ago) link

it was

Oilyrags, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 13:45 (thirteen years ago) link

love this flick!

carne asada, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 13:45 (thirteen years ago) link

great film ruined a little by constantly being on Five for about 3 months.

Jarlrmai, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 13:57 (thirteen years ago) link

Seriously, Hoos. You have lost much credit with this iLxor.

this thread needs to be overrun with great quotes from this great movie. Alright...my personal favorite from the movie...

Like I told my last wife, I said, "Honey, I never drive faster than I can see, and besides... it's all in the reflexes."

B.L.A.M., Tuesday, 27 May 2008 14:25 (thirteen years ago) link

dull kidstuff for the Carpenter-deluded

Dr Morbius, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 14:26 (thirteen years ago) link

I remember the trailer for this more than I recall anything else in the actual film.

Ste, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 14:28 (thirteen years ago) link

also i recommend the commentary.

Seconded.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 14:29 (thirteen years ago) link

to the hataz i quote jack burton:

"are you crazy? is that your problem?"

andrew m., Tuesday, 27 May 2008 16:21 (thirteen years ago) link

from the imdb memorable quotes comes this:

Jack Burton: Have you paid your dues Jack? Yessir, the cheque is in the mail.

"cheque"?!! not how all american hero jack burton would ever spell it! haha

andrew m., Tuesday, 27 May 2008 16:22 (thirteen years ago) link

http://pjw.planetquake.gamespy.com/grafix/getit.jpg

rogermexico., Tuesday, 27 May 2008 16:24 (thirteen years ago) link

this wall hollow? fuckit!

sexyDancer, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 16:24 (thirteen years ago) link

INDEED!

andrew m., Tuesday, 27 May 2008 16:25 (thirteen years ago) link

http://www.lib.clemson.edu/images/copyright/bigC.gif

Roberto Spiralli, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 16:28 (thirteen years ago) link

man carpenter went downhill... but in his prime he was such a great director.

s1ocki, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 16:34 (thirteen years ago) link

this is a guy who's rep outside film nerd circles has probably been really hurt by later work.

s1ocki, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 16:36 (thirteen years ago) link

wait, there's a concept of "rep" beyond nerd circles?

sexyDancer, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 16:36 (thirteen years ago) link

Kim Catrall's character was an obnoxious idiot CRUSADING REPORTER

fixed

rogermexico., Tuesday, 27 May 2008 16:42 (thirteen years ago) link

I saw this a few years ago, and it wasn't quite as good as I remembered it (or wanted it to be) -- some of the actions sequences toward the end really aren't that thrilling -- but it's still a pretty fine piece of trash. Kurt Russell: is he Hollywood's most likable Republican?

Also classic: 80s rock movie themes that involve the title of the film being sung over and over again.

Chuck_Tatum, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 16:43 (thirteen years ago) link

he's a libertarian.

s1ocki, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 16:45 (thirteen years ago) link

he posts on ilx as "dandy don weiner."

s1ocki, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 16:45 (thirteen years ago) link

Also classic: 80s rock movie themes that involve the title of the film being sung over and over again

So many kilos of blow and ferraris were purchased with songs of this very type.

Goddamnit, why wasn't I born a decade earlier?

B.L.A.M., Tuesday, 27 May 2008 16:49 (thirteen years ago) link

I blame the parents

Jarlrmai, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 17:09 (thirteen years ago) link

Kurt Russell: is he Hollywood's most likable Libertarian?

Chuck_Tatum, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 17:09 (thirteen years ago) link

dang, someone already did "you were not put on this world to "get it"!

how about, "what?! what'll come out no more?!"

Ai Lien, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 18:29 (thirteen years ago) link

John Carpenter wrote and performed the theme song!

f. hazel, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 20:01 (thirteen years ago) link

80s rock movie themes that involve the title of the film being sung over and over again.

agreed that theme is a beautiful thing, and knowing that carpenter wrote/song it only makes it better.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 21:12 (thirteen years ago) link

I have also always liked this exchange:

Eddie:Well sure it was a war. And anybody that showed up was gonna join Lem Lee in the Hell of Being Cut to Pieces.
Jack Burton: Hell of being what?
Eddie: Chinese have a lot of Hells.

B.L.A.M., Tuesday, 27 May 2008 21:14 (thirteen years ago) link

Oh, wow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D03E9kUTTtQ&hl=en

Chuck_Tatum, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 21:23 (thirteen years ago) link

two months pass...

The many moods of Jack Burton.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 25 August 2008 14:44 (thirteen years ago) link

Ha!

I have not seen this movie in probably fifteen years!

RabiesAngentleman, Monday, 25 August 2008 14:52 (thirteen years ago) link

I SUGGEST YOU FIX THAT PROBLEM.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 25 August 2008 14:54 (thirteen years ago) link

Oh man!! My roommate used to work at this theater with a DVD projector and we would break in after hours to watch whatever movies we wanted (and DRINK) with the theater all to our selves...ah but no longer. BTILC would be so perfect.

RabiesAngentleman, Monday, 25 August 2008 14:56 (thirteen years ago) link

Though if you ever have the chance, really drunk + empty movie theater + Over The Top is a pretty good time.

RabiesAngentleman, Monday, 25 August 2008 14:57 (thirteen years ago) link

Highly recommended.

Chanting USA is key.

RabiesAngentleman, Monday, 25 August 2008 14:58 (thirteen years ago) link

What the fuck? I watch this film every night. FPd all of you.

what sounds 'cutting cheese' in 2015? (how's life), Tuesday, 2 June 2015 00:08 (six years ago) link

the remake of btilc was p much "the mummy" tbh

thoughts you made second posts about (darraghmac), Tuesday, 2 June 2015 00:13 (six years ago) link

Russell was great at balancing dumb action movie swagger with self-aware dorkiness. I like the Rock as a choice, but it will be a totally different film.

I thought it was really great because it was a post-Ghostbusters/Star Wars take on b-movies, with all the special effects and cool supernatural stuff. It was like a Kung Fu mix of Indiana Jones and Rambo.

©Oz Quiz© (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 2 June 2015 00:15 (six years ago) link

So much of what's lovable about the film is Russell's goofery and John Wayne impression, the way everybody is really emphatically talking past/at each other in this absurd situation, and the generally gleeful ridiculousness of the script, set amidst lots of charming practical effects and sets and stuff. The story is just a dumb setting for that, it's not like it's a classic tale that you can sorta imagine maybe being good brought up to date with a new cast. Or could have sorta imagined, once, but no longer can after the past eons of terrible generic remakes.

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 00:27 (six years ago) link

i enjoy this movie, but i also enjoy gunga din and i that would be a really fucking stupid movie to remake as well

da croupier, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 00:32 (six years ago) link

feel like the original has a "just hangs together, barely" aspect to it that a remake will surely crush

, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 00:33 (six years ago) link

dude is already doing a jack burton imitation in a lot of movies anyway

da croupier, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 00:34 (six years ago) link

also this movie wasn't remotely a hit when it came out - is the rock dying? is this his make-a-wish foundation request?

da croupier, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 00:38 (six years ago) link

you'd think the smarter road if you want to make a nu-carpenter remake with the rock would be snake plissken

da croupier, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 00:42 (six years ago) link

Escape From Witch Mountain

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 00:45 (six years ago) link

haha yeah i did realize after the fact he's already done some VERB FROM A PLACE movies. But still, remaking a cult dystopia hit makes a lot more sense today than remaking a cult camp kung fu flop

da croupier, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 00:50 (six years ago) link

Dr. Casino otm, loveable goofery and gleeful ridiculousness are v apt.

Aimless, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 01:02 (six years ago) link

the key to the movie is that wang rules and if they miscast him/diminish his importance nothing else will matter

mookieproof, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 01:04 (six years ago) link

When is the buckaroo banzai remake happening

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 01:11 (six years ago) link

The thing is, an an Escape to Witch Mountain reboot hardly makes a ton of commercial sense either! Though apparently it did pretty good. Maybe the rock has just committed himself to using his stardom to force forgotten properties of his youth back onto the American public. Buckaroo Banzai not so unlikely really.

The lamest thing about remake-topia is that it never actually enables a proper do-over a movie to bring out its best ideas. Like, I just watched D.A.R.Y.L. recently (dunno why I'm picking that, maybe witch mountain made me think of it), and it's got many charms but many faults, and I just caught myself thinking "why can't the Rock remake D.A.R.Y.L. instead?" which is crazy because obviously it would just be awful and certainly missing everything I found really lovable out it (mainly: gentle early 80s woodsy suburban milieu, kids dressed exactly like me at that age).

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 01:15 (six years ago) link

otm about Wang. Also Egg.

©Oz Quiz© (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 2 June 2015 01:18 (six years ago) link

also lo pan

i dunno, seems kind of like trying to remake rocky horror (which it seems is also happening)

mookieproof, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 01:33 (six years ago) link

maybe they can make it funny and exciting this time

the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 2 June 2015 01:37 (six years ago) link

Dr c, the original escape to witch mountain was a hit with two sequels. Remaking that makes a lot more commercial sense than this.

da croupier, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 02:17 (six years ago) link

Second sequel was direct-to-TV, but yeah, true, hit. But it still has to be one of the more obscure big-studio properties to get a remake in the last decade, right? Up there with Dark Shadows at least - I can't recall one time in my adult life that anybody has ever brought up the original films to me or anything, they had basically zero pop-cultural presence when The Rock's movie was greenlit. Darby O'Gill, your number's gotta come up soon!

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 02:47 (six years ago) link

Excuse me; I am of course thinking of Merlin Jones.

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 02:50 (six years ago) link

Well dark shadows was 100% a makeawish foundation movie the Depp burton brand spent some cred on, but Disney is always looking to revive kiddy properties. Escape from witch totally fit in with their steez.

da croupier, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 03:18 (six years ago) link

Disney also made a witch mountain TV movie in the 90s

da croupier, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 03:19 (six years ago) link

all the more argument for corporate synergy to bend The Rock's revival of Snake Plissken into a Witch Mountain followup, is all I'm saying

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 03:22 (six years ago) link

I hope Carpenter and W.D. Richter get as much money as they can from this and release their own Rifftrax-style alternate commentary track.

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 2 June 2015 05:21 (six years ago) link

the dark shadows thing was kind of out of nowhere. the last time that show had much currency was when, well, it was briefly (unsuccessfully) revived in the post-twin peaks era. i guess they thought "vampires! twilight!" a greenlit it? the tone of the film had basically nothing to do with the old TV show, anyway.

he quipped with heat (amateurist), Tuesday, 2 June 2015 23:11 (six years ago) link

http://www.ew.com/article/2015/06/08/dwayne-johnson-john-carpenter-big-trouble-remake

“I loved reading the reactions from the fans, that they were so polarized – I’m the same way,” the star told EW at Saturday night’s taping of the Spike TV Guys Choice Awards. “My response is: know that I come to the project with nothing but love and respect for the original, which is why we want to bring on John Carpenter.”

...“I loved the original when I was younger and I loved the main character – all the characters,” said Johnson, who will fill the role Kurt Russell played in the earlier film. “It felt like if we surrounded ourselves with the right group of people, the right writers who loved the movie too and wanted to honor it, bring on John Carpenter in some capacity … If we did that, then we have a shot at hopefully making something good.”

“Let’s see what feels good, what we can come up with and then go from there,” Johnson said. “And as we write it, if the whole thing starts to stink up, then we thank everybody for their efforts and accept this just couldn’t make it.”

da croupier, Tuesday, 9 June 2015 00:47 (six years ago) link

points for admitting the possibility of this stinking up

da croupier, Tuesday, 9 June 2015 00:48 (six years ago) link

chris pratt would be a better choice for jack burton

jbn, Tuesday, 9 June 2015 02:03 (six years ago) link

nah too obviously a doofus

resulting post (rogermexico.), Tuesday, 9 June 2015 02:22 (six years ago) link

i mean chris pratt basically ~is~ jack burton

resulting post (rogermexico.), Tuesday, 9 June 2015 02:23 (six years ago) link

Trade paperback of the boom studios comic is coming out today. Has anybody kept up with it? I only read the first issue and wasn't into it at all.

http://www.amazon.com/Big-Trouble-Little-China-Vol/dp/1608867161

how's life, Tuesday, 9 June 2015 08:52 (six years ago) link

three months pass...

I know, there's a problem with your face

deejerk reactions (darraghmac), Monday, 28 September 2015 11:52 (six years ago) link

The thing is to make them drop their guard.
I'll Try
The thing is to look stupid.
He does!

how's life, Monday, 28 September 2015 14:13 (six years ago) link

eight months pass...

Boring

flappy bird, Thursday, 23 June 2016 02:35 (five years ago) link

This perfectly illustrates the problem with overly abbreviated communication. Yes, it may save time and keystrokes to say "Boring", but more accurately, what you meant to say was, "Personally I found this to be boring." This kind of amplification and expansion, while time consuming, also has the effect of removing the idiocy from what you said and replacing it with a measured and true statement of fact.

a little too mature to be cute (Aimless), Thursday, 23 June 2016 02:42 (five years ago) link

oh

flappy bird, Thursday, 23 June 2016 05:38 (five years ago) link

Maybe they found the BIG TROUBLE part to be boring, because yeah, the BIG TROUBLE is maybe a little boring, but the rest of the movie rules.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 23 June 2016 12:14 (five years ago) link

We gotta run
Run into the mystic night
Run until they take us away
Take us away!
Taaaake us awaaaaaay!

forksdippedmayo (how's life), Thursday, 23 June 2016 12:40 (five years ago) link

This perfectly illustrates the problem with overly abbreviated communication. Yes, it may save time and keystrokes to say "Boring", but more accurately, what you meant to say was, "Personally I found this to be boring." This kind of amplification and expansion, while time consuming, also has the effect of removing the idiocy from what you said and replacing it with a measured and true statement of fact.

Yup. Love ILX most when it's a discussion board, not Comic Book Guy terse opinions.

This movie's a regular rewatch for me, and I still laugh/marvel at bits I've seen a dozen times before: Jack shooting the ceiling in the big fight and knocking himself out, lipsticked while facing Lo Pan, Egg at the opening when lightning travels around his hands, etc.

Re: the first comic trade, I liked it a lot, once I got used to the exaggerated art. BTiLC ending with the beast clinging to the truck always bothered me, preferring resolution, so it was nice to have that settled. There are 3-4 later trades listed on Amazon. I'll be buying those eventually.

Thought I found about the Funko Pop BTiLC figures here, but didn't run across a mention, rereading this thread. So FYI. There's a glow-in-the-dark Lo Pan that's not shown on that page, but might still be available elsewhere.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Thursday, 23 June 2016 14:12 (five years ago) link

It played last night at the Senator theater in Baltimore. I didn't find out about it until too late.

forksdippedmayo (how's life), Thursday, 23 June 2016 14:13 (five years ago) link

three years pass...

https://media.giphy.com/media/hUgYyZwFNvr4A/giphy.gif

mookieproof, Friday, 7 February 2020 00:28 (two years ago) link

OTM

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 7 February 2020 00:39 (two years ago) link

I take every evocation as an invitation, and you're welcome

https://youtu.be/D03E9kUTTtQ

Sammo Hazuki's Tago Mago Cantina (Old Lunch), Friday, 7 February 2020 01:11 (two years ago) link

lol i knew exactly what that was gonna be before i clicked the link

Homegrown Georgia speedster Ladd McConkey (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 7 February 2020 08:11 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

Here's some good news: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2022-05-10/james-hong-star-hollywood-walk-of-fame-ceremony

His "Indeed!" is one of my favorite sound bites from this film.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Wednesday, 11 May 2022 12:47 (one week ago) link

So happy to see him recognized. I'll have to check out that Everything Everywhere All at Once movie. I think the last thing I "saw" him in was Kung Fu Panda.

peace, man, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 12:59 (one week ago) link

Love that he has a prominent and very memorable supporting part in a successful, buzzy film at this same moment. Dude is a living legend.

Doctor Casino, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 13:35 (one week ago) link

As soon as I heard his voice at the beginning of Everything Everywhere All at Once I knew it was him... he pops up in so much of the schlock that I enjoy watching. Look at his IMDB credits, dude has been in everything. Most underrated role: the Jeweler in Diablo III (a video game).

Jaime Pressly and America (f. hazel), Wednesday, 11 May 2022 14:59 (one week ago) link

James Hong with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA costars is all I care about today, and always. pic.twitter.com/KFKiSipZdr

— Jon Abrams (@RealJonAbrams) May 12, 2022

mookieproof, Thursday, 12 May 2022 21:57 (one week ago) link


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