Sunday, July 27, 2014

Big Trouble in Little China: First impressions

So yesterday I was sick. Not just sick. Sick. That kind of sick where you wonder why you can't remember the drinking because holy smokes did you ever earn a mother of a hangover. I haven't been drinking because I'm not a complete moron, but all yesterday and most of today I've just been a human pile of nope. This is my first movie in just about a week, I think, and I could reeeeeally go for something fun right now. If this is another Big Lebowski, I'm gonna have a very very bad two hours.

Let's try optimism. I'm optimistic about this. Recommendations are generally excellent, after all, and movies are fun. So what do I know about Big Trouble in Little China?

• It takes place in Little China.

• There will be Big Trouble going down.

Seriously is this a famous movie? I don't think I've ever heard anyone reference it. Little China sounds like a restaurant. A movie about big trouble in a restaurant sounds silly. Therefore, applying the math property of I don't even know what, this should be a silly fun movie. I hope. Roomie's got it all set up for me.


Funky synth-style music and a truck.

Hello is Jack Burton in the Pork Chop Express.

Hehehe "your favorite head"

It's a dark and stormy night and this man's a pork chop. I might just be in for a silly movie. :D

This is like Chinese Cape Breton. Rainy and lousy and yet everyone stands around chatting like they're all old friends. Which they might be.

Goddamn sir there's a sex joke to make about a truck that size in an alley that size.

What the hell even is that game?

 These are the two main characters, then? Jack Burton and Hatman?

Wait wait wait is that Snake?

guy's name is Wang. I'm not going to make the joke.

"Racial differences notwithstanding"

That's a terrible bet and one hell of a knife NICE CATCH sir

Hehe these two amuse me

You're a sleaze, Jack. "I've never done that"

She doesn't look Chinese. Just saying

"Yeah. Sure. That's why."

THAT is a love interest. Good looking lady.

Chinese with green eyes is not likely. Just saying

TOLD that you smell

Lords of Death. It's on now

Wang's like "yeah you're getting nowhere now fool" ohhh she's looking for a girl too

AND SO ARE THEY of course they are

What is with the slit classes

YOINK

"Wait I just remembered, I don't speak that language"

DOUBLE YOINK what are they just collecting Chinese girls now

Oh they let that one go they're after Wang's girl

SWEET CAR guys come on don't stand in front of cars it's dumb

SON OF A BITCH MUST PAY. It's on now

HAHAHA YESSSS LOVE IT I'm sold on this "I can't ask you to WHERE IS IT"

Oh so it's China Town. I think there's one in TorontTRUCK

Bus driver is not impressed

that alley, I guess. Man, you got a truck that big, you have to watch what alley you stick it into THERE goes the sex joke

No time for your shit has the goose lady

Oh hey, a parade

What is a fighting tong? Does it beat up salad?

I CAN'T FOLLOW THE NAMES

They're in the middle of a Chinese gang war? Sold

Gonna need a lot more funerals now. And if they turn out like this one... exponential funerals!

Nice knife. What are you planning to do with that when those guys have machineguns?

So who are these guys now A CHINESE STANDOFF

AAAAAAAAAAAARGH is the same in every language, isnt it

oh right in the knee that would suck I WOULD KNOW

Loving the sticks as weapons BOOM wooden board knee kick

ARM ouch

You give him what for, Stache

BOOOOOM. THAT'S GREEN FIRE and that guy just jumped out of an explosion.

That is Awesome Hat Man

That one just fell out of the sk and BAHAHHAAA HIS FACE

OKAY WHAT THE SHIT THAT ONE SLID DOWN ON LIGHTNING AND HE'S THE EMPEROR. it's even in his eyes WELL SHIT I WOULD RUN AWAY IF I WERE ALL OF YOU are they robots they sounded robotic riht there

those are crazy weapons you guys use

I'm with Wang on this one. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT THGIN

and they just ran over a NO THEY DID NOT WHAT THE AND NOW THERE IS LIGHT

this movie just became something I don't even know what what the hell is a Low Pan

annnnd now there's a gang after them which sort of seems trivial when you remember about the ZOMBIE WITH LIGHT IN HIS HEAD and the three wizard things

THE THREE STORMS. Well that's a name to run away from

That's just gross

Nice bathrobe, honey

China is here that's nice what does that have to do EXACTLY thank you Jack

Hahaha "flying around on wires"

WITH LIGHT COMING OUT OF HIS MOUTH

None of this makes any sense and I love that someone's pointing it out

Hello Eddie

"HOW DO YOU THINK I FEEL, I LOST A WHOLE GIRL" a whole girl

Oh hey Gracie wait she's a lawyer named law?

"Chinese ahve a lot of hells" well that's a thing then

What do they mean sell?

It's like leather bucket seats to have green eyes.

He becomes a dream? I'm at once fascinated and so ver concused

HE DOES. LOVE IT :D

Makes a decent awkward john, doens't he

New character! Reporter?

That's one of your best men? The one who describes himself as a pork chop?

Guess I shouldn't date a Chinese girl then OH HELLO THAT WAS A SEX JOKE AS WELL when I'm sick I'm sick if you know what I mean oh I'm a clever fella

um

That is an earthquake

THAT IS A BALL OF GREEN FIRE

That's a kidnapped girl ANNNND FREE SKYLIGHTS FOR EVERYONE Awesome Hat Guys are back

I wouldn't do that if I YES THAT IS WHY

Jeez guy, you have a static problem

Yes do try real hard to explain annnnd David Low Pan. now we're getting somewhere hello MArgo

"You are." Everyone's honest in this YES.

Paused.

"I'm a reasonable guy, but I've just been through some unreasonable things." That seems to sum up this movie so far for me. So this guy is a trucker who visits Chinatown, his friend was importing his bride to America, annnnd then Lords of Death, who are really just the underlings of another gang with red turbans, the enemies of a yellow turban gang, stole the girl to sell her into prostitution. There's a civil rights lawyer and her reporter friend who are investigating all of this. Alright, this seems perfectly normal. Ish.

AND THEN THERE'S A ZOMBIE SPIRIT DREAM LORD WITH LIGHT COMING OUT OF HIS MOUTH and his (?) servants, the Three Storms, who travel around in a green fireball and fly using bolts of lightning. And now THEY have the girl. Why, I don't know. Oh right, and then this crazy guy, who is David Low Pan, is also a secret recluse and crime lord.

My head's spinning here, guys, and that's before the movie. Now we're going like a blender.

At least I'm having fun, though.

Resuming!

YES THE WING KONG EXCHANGE

HHAHA backward insult there Jack "as TWO, I said I'm coming" actually that was a burn on himself, come to think of it

IF WE'RE NOT BACK BY DAWN, CALL THE PRESIDENT well aren't you sure of yourself

Well that was easy. Heck of a Bluff check

Are those Buddha statues?

Yeah I am, it says keep out. :D

Wait that's the bus driver

Man's name is Egg? Okay.

I don't know if this film is stereotyping the Chinese or making fun of stereotypes of the Chinese.

Love a secret door :D

Oh wel this isn't positive

Ahah, Low Pan is CURSED. and immortal apparently

 Sold. Chinese ghost mystic ting.

"Yeah. In deep shit" You said it Wang

YES I THOGHT THAT WAS THE IDEA hehehhehe it hurts to laugh

not much to the music is theHELO CORPSES

HELL OF THE WHAT NOW

oh well fuck

Wait is he just telekinetically punching him? Nope. Ball.

So one's the Lightning Storm, one's the Wind Storm, and the other one's the... what, Green Fire Storm?

YOU ARE NOWHERE. Why are they in wheelchaioh hello

I found another coprse, you guys

YOU ARE NOT BROUGHT TO THIS WORLD TO GET IT! That's a fun way of saying he's got NO TIME FOR YOUR SHIT

Jack, I feel like you're causing problems

They do have way too many crazy hells

So he's got a demon god to appease by sacrificing a green-eyed Chinese girl?

Love the squeaky voice

Okay David Low Pan is hilarious.

DON'T TRUST THE MAN WITH THE BIG SMILE.

No but seriously what kind of villain has surplus wheelchairs lying around

Predictable outcome, really

Which hell is this then, Wang?

I think that's gas that's gas man Big Smile you fart like a Mexican food festival

GO AHEAD, INSULT ME! :D

No horseshit.

Jack's almost like Wang's sidekick in this, isn't he? He knows nothing, he's the dumb muscle, he says silly thingsWELL THAT WAS ONE VERY GOOD MOVE

Oh hey Eddie

What's happening

HAHAHHAHA OH CRAP and of course there's a pit

Uncle Chew an Egg is what I just heard

Sorry Big Smile, nobody there

WELL THIS IS SUPER CREEPY annnd there's the light and now he's Original Flavor Low Pan again

and goes through walls. Love the Passwall room to a levitating girl. Why not. Don't you look young and totally creepy

Seriously what is with the huge pinky fingernails

Wang you're a badass and I love it

TOTALLY WAS :D He was a shooting-people virgin

You're telling me, Margo.All has become very strange indeed

Guess you have them a bit too much trouble, Gracie

AHAHA THAT'S EDDIE

Well how about that, she's better than you are

seriously what's the the kung fu lady army? Guess Wang would hit a girl...

That's a lot of girls. What's up with that

 Big Smile is becoming Big Frown in a hurry

EVERYBODY GET IN THE POOL. LAND JAWS IS COMING

Oh sure now she HELLO.

So now what happens is a tentacle beast drags one under the water, then the walls close in and try to smash them

This could go wrong in a hurry wait no he's right

NOPE HAHAHAHAHHAA "we MAY be trapped" so matter of fact

HELL YES GO WANG

If you see the Buddha, smash the Buddha

HAHAHA better luck next time Jack. Hurts to laugh

Just occurred to me that I'm spending like half this movie cheering on a Wang

EYES IN THE STATUR

WHRTHRHTFUCK WAS THAT

HOLY SHIT WE MADE IT except we totally failed and lost another girlfirWEHWHTHAT FACE IS NOT EVEN I AM NOT ON BOARD WITH THAT THING

Oh hey Big Smile. Wind Storm. How's it going.

Low Pan is riiiiiiight about there.

  So these are the yellow turbans Hey man who is this guy THAT is a nice gun

HAHA I forgot about his truck

Yes, you pray your cards right, Gracie. Seriously everyone else speaks excellent English, why is Big Smile a stereotype

HOLY BALLS Low Pan is actually really creepy when he moves around

AGAIN WITH THE LIGHT WHAT IS THE LIGHT okay so I really don't understand the light

Hehehe I love the banter

IT GOES DOWN! Where is the universe? I love that answer and will use it on people now

DUNGEON TIME :D

The first one was adungeon too, really OH WELL NOW BIG SMILE IS DANCING WITHOUT HIS SHIRT

Noooo idea what was up with the dancing

Black blood of the earth. There's an eerie name for a thing.

back to this. Noooo idea. Annnnd Wind Storm is doing it now and they're holding his swords? BY THE BLADES because that's not a terrible idea

Elevator going up! This is all just very mildly insane. Whatever you say, Low Pan BIGAMY. BIGAMY IS THE ORDER OF THE DAY. Awesome?

WNODTHEFUCK NOPE YOU WILL INDEED COME OUT NO MORE

I'm with you Jack what the fuck will come out no more?

Meow Yin is taking this all rather wel, eh?

I HAVE A CAPE. NOTICE MEEEEEEEEEE

annnnd he just turned their green eyes white. Isn't that sort of counterproductive to the whole

Cushion of fish. and rats ick

"Ready?" :D he's so HAPPY about hte bad news

Egg has a squint that makes him look crazy THE ULTIMATE EVIL SPIRIT I'm on board with this.

A dream that can kill a dream. I like the cut of his job

Crazy helmets on those guys wait were those not helmets

"What do we do, drink it? Good, thouhgt so" WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU DO WITH TI

This is a weird crowd for a wedding just sayinOH HELLO SIX ARMS NEON LIGHT THING

BEHOLDER

No more beholder. No but seeriously that was a beholder straight up

that beholder just ate its own eyNOPE NOTHTAT THING AGAIN
h
FUCK IT chop hehehehehe


Egg, you make a crazy bartender

"GIVES BUZZ!!!"

HAHA the sarcasm is out what is a six demon bag

Kind of feels silly to be toasting America while imbibing crazy Chinese spirit potion before descending to face a ghost mystic bigamist

So they're drunk annnnd emerging from the Buddha's belly.

What's holy about it? Is the six-armed thingy the Ultimate Evil Spirit THE NEEDLE OF LOVE

NOPE. HE SAID NEEDLE OF LOVE

Beholder-stabbing. Simple if you WHAP annnnnd Jack just took himself out cold like an idiot

Gracie and Egg are being badasses! :D

Wang just ran around an archway and BOOM stab master

WOULD YOU STOP STICKING THAT THING IN PEOPLE

Whhooooooo swords!!!!!

They keep doing this one finger thing

No thanks see you later Big Smile

Man you laugh like a girl Low Pan DEMON COMING

So Wang's having a crazy sky battle, Low Pan's being a vampired, Jack's under a demon, this is all insane

HAHA WITH THE EYEBROWS you're a boss Wang

PINK VS GREEN oh cool there are warrior shapes in he's playing it like a video game

Wonder about these two and their history METAL FAN GO FUCK YOURSELF

Oh hey Big Smile

Seriously Egg is the boss he's got magic grenades and a magic bazooks FOLLOW THEM

Well Captain Taser just made that unlikely BOOM THROWING THE SWORD how very Ladyhawke of you

NOT THAT THING AGAIN

He was totally just staring at her cleavage HE CAN SEE THINGS NO ONE ELSE CAN SEE

AHAHHAA THE MAKEUP ON HIS FACE

Never noticed before that Low Pan is HUGE

Who? hehehe and WANG IS HERE

Annnnd fail. Try something else

It is a good jnife, isn't it

BOOOOOOHOOHOOOOM MOTHER FUCKER YES AND THE BUDDHA DOMINOES RING THE BELL ON THIS FIGHT

oh right he did have crazy reflexes

Look Big Smile, you need some anger management. Dont stop during a fight to just smash shit for fun

Big Smile is all the way Big Frown now

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH HIS HEAD

HE'S BLOWING UP WHWHAHPHFFHAHAHHAHAHAHAA OH SHIT HE JUST EXPLODED hard enough to bring down the ceiling

oh well fuck. Captain Taser is here and CANNOT AIM

Seriously man learn to aim

HAHAHAHA THAT'S NOT EVEN AN ANSWER "how'd you get up there? wasn't easy"

Oh not him again

BUDDHAED. 3/3 storms just got a sunny day to the face

HIS TRUCK! :D

Weird to have the mundane guards after them now

"Oh course I do but it's right here"

What happened to all the other guys?

Well they all look happy. There's Margo and Eddie and come on Egg, don't run off.

FIND A TITLE. That's a new euphemism

That is a good good good good looking lady. Look at that hair.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO? DO YOU NOT HAVE EYES? A GAY MAN WOULD DO IT AS A COURTESY

Shook the pillars of heaven. Love it. THE ONE FINGER THING! :D

This guy, this guy is no Snake.

And we're back in the Pork Chop Express on ANOTHER dark and stormy night. Who is he talking to, anyway? Hehe Pillars of heaven again OH NOT THAT FUCKING THING

Alright well that was a lot of fun after I wrapped my head around it all. Crazy fun action movie with a lot of humor to it. All that leaping about in the air! I feel a bit better, too. Could be the movie, could just be recovering naturally... we'll give this one to the movie. I liked it :D

21 comments:

  1. Great review :)

    You hit pretty solidly on one of the big structural jokes about the film. There's an old trope of the "ethnic minority sidekick" in film. Jack is very much in the minority in this movie, isn't he? Once you pick out that he's in the sidekick role, a lot of the other structure makes for even bigger jokes at the expense of the trope.

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  2. You are correct - Jack is totally the ethnic sidekick in this movie. And now that you've seen it... ok, a couple years back there was a Gangnam Style song that was very popular for like a day and a half. It sounds like this -
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0

    This is relevant to you because shortly thereafter, some geniuses did a parody which you are now prepared to enjoy. Behold David Lo Pan Style - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xiAbDkXDgg

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha that is gold. The original always annoyed me but I enjoy some of the parodies - and theres a great mashup with Drowning Pool, Let the Gangnam hit the Floor.

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    2. They have nice batman 3/Iron man 3 songs too

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  3. I just watched it right now 'cuz I'd never seen it and I didn't want to read this synopsis and get it all spoiled. I was worried, especially given when it was made, that I was going to see one of the original "Mighty Whitey" stories where the white dude shows up and is better at Kung Fu/spirit-stuff/being Chinese/whatever than the "exotic culture." But instead I got a guy who accidentally knocks himself out with falling masonry.

    The fact that Wang and Eddie just happen to have serious martial arts chops, by the way, because they're Chinese, I guess?, isn't even close to the weirdest thing in this movie. And realizing that Wang is the hero, not Jack, makes the whole movie make more sense.

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  4. "Lo Pan", "Miao Yin"

    This movie is so much fun. I'm glad you picked up on the idea that Jack thinks he's the great white action hero, but he's actually Wang's comic relief sidekick.

    Not only is Jack played by the same guy as Snake, this movie was directed (and scored) by the same guy, John Carpenter. He's also quite good at horror, but I expect you won't be finding that out for yourself. He's a gamer, from what I understand, hence the beholder.

    One of the neat things about this movie is that almost everyone playing a Chinese character, with the exception of a few extras, is themselves ethnically Chinese. Hollywood often casts Asian characters across lines of specific nationality, which some consider to be offensive, so this movie gets extra points for avoiding that.

    The Three Storms are never named on screen, but they're Thunder (the one that blows himself up), Lightning (guess), and Rain (the other one).

    Fun fact, this movie was originally written as a western with Jack being a cowboy drifter rather than a trucker. There's also a little of the His Girl Friday-esque rapidfire banter, especially in the interactions between Jack and Gracie.

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  5. Given that you enjoyed this, I highly, HIGHLY recommend "Escape from LA". It's much funnier than "Escape From New York" and has one of the best and most epic endings of any book/film. Same director (John Carpenter) for all three of these films. "Escape from LA" is seriously one of my favorite films. It works both as a satire of apocalyptic/action films and as the thing itself. If you're looking for a fun and thought-provoking film, I think you'd enjoy it. I've watched thousands of films in my life, and I've probably seen "Escape from LA" more times than anything else, aside from "They Live".

    And yeah, you have to see "They Live" as well. :D

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    1. I second "They Live". It has the single best fight scene in any movie ever.

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  6. This review is everything I wanted it to be. Thumbs up. :)

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  7. I know there's a huge, huge long list that's been recommended, but I see that a glaring oversight has been made and I'm not sure how.

    If you find yourself in need of another rollicking, crazy, epically fun movie, I (along with many others, I see) strongly recommend THE FIFTH ELEMENT. Seriously, how is that not on these lists?

    cheers, and feel better soon!

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  8. I've just discovered your blog today and it's great. Loving your reactions to the things I grew up with. I was so sad about your terrible experience with Alien, but it also makes me love that film even more. I saw it when I knew too much about it and while I loved it, it couldn't horrify me like it did you, so I'm a bit jealous.

    Also sad about Ladyhawke, which is a film I still love - the music doesn't even bother me!

    Really looking forward to seeing you get into some of the other things on your list, and I like that you're enjoying Tolkien so far.

    I was also wondering how your gut has been affected by all the opioids. I was on codeine for a week or so due to shingles and my insides turned to concrete. I gather that since you're living it up on pizza that you're pretty much unaffected or have means of dealing with it.

    Thanks for writing the blog!

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  9. "Big Smile", or the Storm of Thunder, isn't really being played as ethnically stereotypical. He's a legitimate martial arts master from China, and it's quite likely that he didn't speak English and learned his lines phonetically.

    If you have this on DVD it is well worth watching again with the director's commentary. It's not super informative, but it is extremely entertaining. Like going to a party where John Carpenter and Kurt Russell sit and just talk for 90 minutes. While watching fighting tongs have a Chinese standoff.

    My favorite quote in this movie:

    Gracie - "I'd go, but..."
    Jack - "I know. There's a problem with your face."

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  10. BTILC is a good introduction to Hong Kong martial arts movies-- it's got all the standard features, with the addition of a wide-eyed gringo who has to have everything explained. Consider moving from here to the wild world of Chinese wire-fu and fantasy films.

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  11. What I find weird is that there's no comment from Noise on the little prologue at the beginning. Did Roomie set him up to skip it?

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  12. as mentioned, one of the Lords of Death was played the same guy who was Genghis khan in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

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  13. "AAAAAAAAAAAARGH is the same in every language, isnt it?" Needs to be on a tee shirt.

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  14. Looking at your new list for the week, I have no idea why someone would suggest Romancing the Stone. Throw that right out the window and fill your face with The Goonies. Also, which version of Batman?

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    Replies
    1. Agreed about Goonies.

      Tim Burton Batman, 1989, if the discussion at RPGnet was any indication.

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    2. That is the answer I wanted to hear.

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  15. Oh man, definitely with the Fifth Element! That movie has action, humor and everything you could hope for! And very little that would possibly squick you out.

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  16. Something occurred to me that you probably didn't realize. You've mentioned that you've seen Seinfeld.

    Well, you've seen Lo Pan in another context. He's played by James Hong, who also played the Maitre D' in the Chinese Restaurant episode.

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