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4.3 out of 5 stars
Little Big Soldier (Bluray + DVD Combo) [Blu-ray]
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2010
Format: DVD Audio
I caught this film just last night at a local film festival and had to go online to see when the blu-ray would be available. Alas, it isn't available yet, but I will be the first in line to buy it when it is available. This was a fantastic movie overall and, in my opinion, one of Jackie Chan's best. I'd rate this up there with Drunken Master and for a recent Hong Kong film I'd say it was better than Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but not quite as good as Hero. Jackie Chan's physical comedy is perhaps the best in the business and is definitely showcased here, but there are so many more layers to this film. The story line is fantastic and the cinematography is top notch. My two cents is that this is a must-see.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2011
Format: DVD
After watching a portion of an earlier version of this film with NO subtitles and no dubbing, I ordered this new DVD version which DOES have the English dub audio, but will probably listen to the Chinese with the English subtitles, admittedly.

Jackie may be getting older, but shows no slowing down in his directing, acting and comic relief! I highly recommend "Little Big Soldier" to everyone!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2012
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Others will review this deeper so I'll keep mine short. Some people used to nonstop Chan action and comedy throughout and up to the end credits may be a little taken aback by this film (which is why I gave it four instead of five stars) but if you look at the ending bringing a resolution to the early charge of disgrace regarding Chan's character, the ending makes sense. The two leads work fantastic against and with one another. As I am only acquainted with Chan's previous work, I will write this is the best acting I've seen from him. There's none of Crime Story's solemness and none of the (for a better word) mugging of Chan's early comedies (though I also love that Chan as well). Add to that an excellent script, fantastic cinematography and music and this movie is a winner. Comparing this with Chan's last American movie "The Spy Next Door" is like night and day. I wish THIS movie would have gotten a wide theatrical release in the States. It surely deserves it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2012
Format: DVD
Far from playing the clown and other trade mark antic , this Jackie Chan film is acually touching , and ends on a melancholic existentialist human condition sequence not unlike Kurosawa's endings
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2012
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I've seen most of Chan's ouvre and, as I was watching this enjoyable little film, I kept thinking to myself, "Wow, a JC film that feels modern." Of course Chan has other films that "feel modern", like some of his recent American fare, but even those play for wide audiences and are conventional. "Little Big Soldier" feels more like a major Hong Kong release that appeals to regular joes and an artier crowd; think "Hero" or "The House of Flying Daggers" only far less dramatic and with far less fanfare. The story, while fairly conventional, employs some storytelling touches that are more prevalent in modern films (the surprise situations that come about only because the main character is dreaming; the red-herrings that set you up to believe the story is about to go one way or will head one way only to go the other; the seemingly upside-down ending). The shooting locales and the visuals (while rarely expansive) are all stunning and expertly filmed. All of these things elevate "Little Big Soldier" and make it more than it probably ought to be. The movie is about Jackie Chan's seemingly deserting soldier who is not about being a soldier at all but about being a survivor. This is actually quite deceptive because Chan's soldier, while unorthodox, is a man of his army through-and-through but he is imbued with a mind of his own and a trickster spirit. The movie focuses heavily on Chan's character who ends up catching the general from the opposing army and he takes him, despite much trial and tribulation, back to his city. This movie is supposedly set at a time in China's history when there were several ruling (and warring) dynasties. It is about one man's take on life and how he passes this along to another, but both soldiers have some things to learn from each other.

There is a lot to like in the movie. It goes down easy and is non-abrasive. Chan, still capable of putting on some fun action scenes, plays someone closer to his age and who is a bit weary so the action suits his character; he is not the Chan of old who is fighting Benny Urquidez or a slew of diamond-obsessed mobsters and thug-punk street gangs at a breakneck, frenetic pace. Chan also does what he has talked about doing for a long time: he acts. There are a couple of scenes that showcase Chan's acting chops and his character's warm pathos. I think that this is my favorite Chan film of the last 5 years (not counting "The Forbidden Kingdom" but having the dream of Chan and Li together after so many years...that just isn't fair to compare by). Chan fans and non-fans alike can easily enjoy this movie. The younger audience probably will too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
I still remember a time, not long ago, when Jackie Chan was the flavor-of-the-month in Hollywood. He was hot, and it seemed that he was going stay that way for a while. But his popularity, for many reasons, began to decrease in the USA, and his movies did not succeed as before. It doesn't matter, though: Jackie Chan is a marketable star all over the world and he keeps doing quite entertaining films, the majestic and absorbing "Little Big Soldier" being the latest, an effort that should not be missed.

The film is very ambitious, with an impressive production design. It is a period piece set when China was divided into several states fighting with each other, some looking for an eventual unification. It was at one of these battles between two different states, that we meet the soldier (Jackie Chan), the sole Liang survivor between hundreds that fought a battle between the Wei and the Liang. He is not alone: among the Wei, he finds out that The General (Leehom Wang) is still alive, although badly wounded. The Soldier "captures" the General, and takes care of him, eventually curing him. He is planning to take his prisoner to the Liang State as some sort of valuable trophy of war. However, the soldier is not the only one that values the General. They are followed by a little, strong group led by Prince Wen (Steve Yoo). In addition, on the way to Liang, the soldier and the general will face and fight with bandits and others, including a treacherous, beautiful woman.

"Little Big Soldier" is about an important period in Chinese history, when brothers were fighting brothers, apparently for the same reason. Jackie Chan plays a serious role, but being, well, the funny and acrobatic Jackie Chan that we know. He plays a simple and honorable peasant that had to go to war. He adds some hilarious moments to the movie, and some quite dramatic, too. Probably because of his age, Chan doesn't include too many martial arts scenes, and the fighting is mostly done with weapons. The cinematography is also quite grandiose. The ending will take you by surprise, and I may add that it probable changes the tone of the film. This is one special movie. The Blu-ray + DVD edition includes a making-of documentary, music video, and more. (China/Hong Kong, 2010, color, 92 mins plus additional materials). Exclusively reviewed on August 29, 2011 by Eric Gonzalez. Well Go USA Entertainment
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 19, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This movie is set during a barbaric period in Chinese history where warlords waged war and millions lost their lives. During one of these bloodbaths the soldiers of Liang & Wei fought a pitched battle from sunrise to sunset. In the aftermath only two survived, an older war-weary soldier from the province of Liang and a younger zealous General from Wei. Capturing the General the soldier now hopes he now has the key to his honorable discharge, and return home.

The "journey" that ensues is laced with wonderful humor, stirring emotions, and thrillingly choreographed action. Personally, the behavior, reactions & decisions of that tired soldier affected me the most and I am reminded of this whenever I hear the soulful theme song "You Cai Hua" (Canola Flower) sung by Jackie Chan himself. If you are curious as to what he is saying;

A big road passes through my house
My family lives under the Liang Mountain
Under the mountain, the soil is rich on five acres of land
What should I grow on five acres of land?

Who will remember my appearance?
Who will remember the wounds I have suffered?
Who desire is this? Whose battlefield is this?
That has made us turn our backs on what is good?

When can I return to my homeland?
When can I look at her red makeup?
Even if I used a sword to blind me....
It would not blind me from my homesickness

A big river passes through my house
I have a wife, a son, and my house is big
The chickens are fat, goose are fat, cows and goats are strong
Plant beans, plant paddies, canola flowers

Who will remember my appearance?
Who will remember the wounds I have suffered?
Who desire is this? Whose battlefield is this?
That has made us turn our backs on what is good?

A big road passes through my house
My family lives under the Liang Mountain
Under the mountain, the soil is rich on five acres of land
Five acre farmland of canola flowers
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Despite its outbursts of humor, there's a sort of melancholy, elegiac feel to LITTLE BIG SOLDIER. Viewing this period film, you can't help but be struck with how Jackie Chan is now opting to sit out the more arduous action stunts. Not even Jackie can beat down Father Time who, I'm assuming, can easily divert whatever everyday household utensil Jackie cleverly applies against him. But our man is aging gracefully, so give him that.

LITTLE BIG SOLDIER ("Da bing xiao jiang") has long been a labor of love for Jackie. It's been in the works for so long now, that when it was first proposed, Jackie had intended to play the much younger role of Leehom Wang's warlord. Instead, today, he plays the reluctant old soldier. The movie is set during China's Warring States Period, before the Qin Dynasty united the country. From this chaotic era seven feuding states eventually rose to prominence. In 227BC our story begins, in the aftermath of the horrific battle at Phoenix Hill between the armies of the Wei and the Liang.

There are only two survivors, a timid footsoldier from Liang (Jackie) and the Wei's fierce young general (Leehom Wang). The footsoldier, the heavy years pressed on him, has survived by playing dead (dude has a collapsible arrow on his chest). He sees an opportunity to seize the wounded general captive, hoping for a fat reward and safe passage home to Liang. LITTLE BIG SOLDIER, more a buddy film than a wuxia epic, chronicles the pair's bicker-colored journey. Inevitably, the soldier and the general learn, to their dismay, that they would have to cooperate with each other to surmount the obstacles they encounter. And close behind, the Wei's crown prince is in hot pursuit, intending to slay his own general for some mysterious purpose.

After decades of killing himself for his audience, Jackie Chan deserves some slack. Now in his mid-fifties Jackie Chan eschews his patented death-defying stunts in favor of character acting and slapstick comedy, except that his slapstick does still feature the occasional remarkable bit of acrobatics (that creative sequence with the rock-throwing, for example). Jackie and Leehom Wang make a fun odd couple. Jackie's ebbulience and natural screen presence keep the whole enterprise afloat, and his pragmatic coward is inherently appealing and, to me, very reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton (except, y'know, more talky). The plot does tend to ramble, and just when you think this is a straight-up chase comedy, the story throws in a swerve at the end. Except that I'm not sure the movie's earned the emotional reaction it's seeking in its closing moments. LITTLE BIG SOLDIER is an amiable film showcasing a fine acting performance from Jackie Chan, but the story lacks weight. The film also loses traction by featuring characters that only provided jarring moments and made me scratch my head in bafflement: those weird bandits and that cryptic songstress, what the hell was up with them? I'm trying hard to be objective, to not compare this one with past Jackie Chan classics. So let me say this, with an eye towards its genre contemporaries, LITTLE BIG SOLDIER is not as good DETECTIVE DEE but is better than Vicki Zhao's MULAN. 3.5 out of 5 stars for this one. It's worth a peek.

As ever in a Jackie Chan flick, stick around for the outtakes during the closing credits. The DVD's bonus stuf: the Making Of featurette, with English sub-titles (00:14:04 minutes long); Jackie Chan Music Video (theme song to LITTLE BIG SOLDIER, with English sub-titles); and trailers for LITTLE BIG SOLDIER.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
This is a great Jackie Chan movie. It isn't all Kung Fu fighting, but instead lots of acting and a good plot. Jackie Chan really looks like he is having a good time making the movie, lots of comedy mixed in. Perhaps my favorite part is Jackie Chan's singing in the movie--I didn't know he could sing, but he does really well. The Blu-Ray version (and maybe the DVD, didn't check) has him making a music video for the movie, singing the main song in the movie, and he is spectacular. It is in the bonus material, and highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2013
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I highly recommend this movie.....good story, good points to ponder, and yet a funny movie. The sub-titles... who cares, they are not a problem in this movie .... the visuals communicate as much or more as the words do. This has to be one of Jackie Chan's best movies I've ever seen.

I highly recommend seeing this movie.

I have handed it to some people and told them they needed to watch it. They look at it, and say ... " I don't think this is my type of movie at all " .... and I've convinced them to watch 10 minutes and turn it off if they don't like it. Everyone has ended up watching it all the way thru and telling me how great a movie it was, and they had to buy a DVD of it as well. Typically, they are sharing "scenes" that they enjoyed the most, and laughing at some of them.
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