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Big Trouble In Little China
Topic Started: Jan 25 2018, 09:38 AM (163 Views)
AndyFish
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BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986) John Carpenter

This movie has long existed on the peripheral for me-- I'd heard of it but somehow had never seen it. On a very rare trip to the Mart of Wal I stumbled upon a copy for $3.84-- so I grabbed it. As is tradition, Mrs Fish and I shop our own paths and then meet up-- I showed her the DVD and she said excitedly "Let's watch it tonight!"

Fast forward a bit and I don't know how I didn't know this but the credits come on and it says JOHN CARPENTER'S Big Trouble in Little China.

We both look at each other and groan. Carpenter is a garbage director. Yes he made THE THING but I don't think he really did because it's like the kid in History class who turns in a brilliant thesis after everything else he's done all year is complete illiterate tripe-- he obviously got help.

Carpenter's HALLOWEEN and THE FOG are so so movies, but more for the atmosphere. As bad a director as he is, he's a worse composer and somehow no one has had the heart to tell him this.

The movie starts with Kurt Russell as a truck driver making a delivery in Chinatown and almost right away things get crazy-- and in a good way. Eight minutes in and I declare this the best Carpenter film of all time (Not counting THE THING).

It peters a little bit when they're all sitting around talking and truthfully his dialogue is so bad I actually dozed off for about three minutes which heightened the film for me.

Essentially Russell has to help his chinese buddy find his green eyed chinese girlfriend who has been kidnapped by an evil Wizard who has been cursed to "live" without a body unless he marry a green eyed girl. There are all sorts of bizarre martial arts battles, sorcery and action as Russell and his pal make their way to the lair of the evil one (played by the guy who ran the Chinese Restaurant in Seinfeld "Five, maybe ten minutes"). Along the way Kim Cattrall is also captured because she has green eyes too and Russell, his Chinese buddy and the old asian guy from that terrible Carpenter film with Donald Pleasance as a priest who lives in an old church with a demon in the basement have to stop the ceremony and save the girls.

It wasn't the worst 99 minutes I've ever spent watching a movie and I would argue it's still better than sitting through something like DUNKIRK but I can't for the life of me understand how Carpenter kept getting money to make movies.
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The Batman
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I love THE THING, one of my favourite films and an excellent adaptation of the source novel, not the 50s film that many seem to think it originated from.

Having said that, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA is terrible, one of Carpenter's worst films, IMHO.


Always be yourself! Unless you can be Batman...then always be Batman!
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Laughing Gravy
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Never saw it, and have never figured out why, if the Carpenter version isn't a remake, he calls it The Thing.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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AndyFish
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How extensive is your knowledge of Carpenter films Bats? Cause while it was bad-- I thought it was a good few heads above most of his other stuff.
Doing some research, he did indeed have a LOT of help with THE THING.
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The Batman
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I have seen all his directorial efforts, save DARK STAR. For me, THE THING is a classic, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and HALLOWEEN are solid, and the rest are mediocre to unwatchable.

Always be yourself! Unless you can be Batman...then always be Batman!
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Sgt Saturn
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Jan 25 2018, 06:44 PM
Never saw it, and have never figured out why, if the Carpenter version isn't a remake, he calls it The Thing.
'Cause it was easier to sell "We are going to remake this old 1950s sci-fi/horror film" than "We are going to make a movie based on an old 1940s stf pulp novel." And The Thing is a zingier title than Who Goes There?

And the 1950s film was The Thing from Another World while to two subsequent ones are just The Thing.
Edited by Sgt Saturn, Jan 29 2018, 12:53 PM.
The Ol' Sarge
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