Monday, August 21, 2006

Overlooked Movies: Big Trouble in Little China

I enjoyed working with Mr. Carpenter. He was an easy director to get along with, no difficulties. He's an actor's director. He was right in there getting his point across yet making you feel comfortable, his appreciation of actors, understanding. He doesn't make things difficult for you, he did everything to make things easier. ~Carter Wong on John Carpenter


When trucker Jack Burton agreed to take his friend Wang Chi to pick up his fiancee at the airport, he never expected to get involved in a supernatural battle between good and evil. Wang's fiancee has emerald green eyes, which make her a perfect target for an immortal sorcerer named Lo Pan and his three invincible cronies. Lo Pan must marry a girl with green eyes so he can regain his physical form. Now, Jack must save Wang's fiancee from Lo Pan and his henchmen, and win back his stolen truck. But how can he defeat an enemy who has no body?

Click here to watch the trailer:


Taglines:
Adventure doesn't come any bigger!
Some people pick the darnedest places to start a fight!
Try to find big reason before you visit world of magic...
Jack Burton's in for some serious trouble and you're in for some serious fun.
A Mystical, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Kung Fu, Monster, Ghost Story!

Fun Trivia:
As Lightning (the character, one of the Three Storms) is crushed to death near the end of the film, some of the lightning he emits forms a small Chinese symbol as it disappears (near the top middle of the screen). The symbol translates as "carpenter". This film was directed by John Carpenter.

The ending song is written and sung by The Coupe De Ville. A band formed with: John Carpenter, Nick Castle and Tommy Lee Wallace (second unit director on this picture)

Watch the Video Here:


The Chinese characters in the main title translate to "Evil Spirits Make a Big Scene in Little Spiritual State".The characters on the front of "Egg" Shen's bus say, "Uncle Egg's Tours Guarantee a Good Time".

Although Kurt Russell was John Carpenter's only choice for the lead role the studio suggested Jack Nicholson or Clint Eastwood. Once they proved unavailable, Carpenter was able to cast Russell.

Thunder, is played by the great Carter Wong. He's a household name in Hong Kong, he's a great martial arts star; right up there with Jackie Chan and this was the first time he was ever seen on the American screen. Carter Wong was born in Macao, and when he was ten years old, he was sent away to one of those Shaolin-Kung Fu temples so he could be disciplined in the fighting arts. He studied with the Grand Masters of the Dragon style, the White Brow style, Chow Kaquin, Hung Car Quell, and Choi Lee Foot. At the age of 17 he went to Okinawa to practice under a 10th Red Belt Grand Master, resulting in becoming a Grand Master himself in 4 different martial arts forms; karate, kung fu, tae kwon do, and hapkwido. Not only is he the only master in all four but he's also been the Chief Martial Arts Instructor for the police departments of Hong Kong, Singapore, Macao, and New York City. He even taught kung fu to the New York City cops. He invented and teaches his own style of kung fu, "Patient People Kung Fu,".

Lo Pan is played by James Hong, the veteran Chinese-American character actor. He actually started out as a standup comic back in the '50s. But he was so bad as a comedian, that he had to give that up, he went to U.S.C. He got an engineering degree, but he was bored by that, that's when he started acting and he's been in more than 300 tv-shows and films and commercials.

In World of Warcraft, there is a rare item called a "six-demon bag," whose name and description come from the movie.

Many fans of the video game Mortal Kombat that came of age in the 1980s notice a similarity between "Raiden" and the Storm "Lightning" in the film. Raiden and Shang Tsung were inspired by "Lightning" and "Lo Pan". John Tobias has confirmed this.

The Quotable Jack Burton:
You know what Jack Burton always says... what the hell?

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."

Now I'm not saying that I've been everywhere and I've done everything, but I do know it's a pretty amazing planet we live on, and a man would have to be some kind of FOOL to think we're alone in THIS universe.

Everybody relax, I'm here.

Just remember what ol' Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big old storm right in the eye and says, "Give me your best shot. I can take it."

When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, looks you crooked in the eye and asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Jack?" "Yessir, the check is in the mail."

and one last scene Egg-Shen vs Lopan:

9 comments:

SamuraiFrog said...

My favorite Jack Burton quotes:

"Sit tight, keep the home fires burning, and if we're not back by dawn, call the president."

"We really shook the pillars of heaven, didn't we?"

Chinese have a lot of hells, Jack.

Becca said...

This might be the only movie more quotable than Big Lebowski. I love this movie!

COOP said...

One of my favorites! Kurt Russell with lipstick ameared on his puss always makes me cackle.

My favorite line is when Lo Pan says "Now this is really pissing me off!"

Becca said...

Great line! While working on this post I read that James Hong, who played Lo Pan improvised that line and a few other memeroable ones. He also improvised the pinky wiggle when battling Egg Shen.

Lee said...

My favourite line has got to be - When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, looks you crooked in the eye and asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Jack?" "Yessir, the check is in the mail."

That and Lo Pan's shut up Mr Burton

Becca said...

"Shut up Mr. Burton." Another great improvised James Hong line. God I love this movie.

Anonymous said...

Plissken in '07.

Jason Chalker said...

I'm just now reading this and I had to share a couple of my favorite quotes that weren't mentioned...

LoPan-"You were not put on this Earth to 'Get It' Mr. Burton"

Jack-"Hey Egg, what's in this stuff?"
Egg-"Huuuge buzz!"

Oh, and one the greatest drink toasts ever...

Wang-"Here’s to the Army and Navy and the battles they have won. Here’s to America’s colors, the colors that never run."

Jack-"May the wings of liberty never lose a feather."

Hollyfeld said...

Jack (to Egg): "How'd you get up there?"

Egg: "Wasn't easy!"



Lo Pan:"Who are they? Friends of yours? Now this really pisses me off to no end!"