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Showing 1-10 of 1,282 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,891 reviews
on February 12, 2015
THE STORY: Jack Burton (Kurt Russell), a swaggering, blowhard John Wayne-wannabe truck driver gets inadvertently involved in a plot of earth-shattering proportions when he accompanies his good friend Wang (Dennis Dun) to the airport to pick up the man's young Chinese fiance. There the two men are shocked to literally see her kidnapped by three gang members right before their startled eyes. Turns out the young bride-to-be (Suzie Pai) has green eyes, which is not only a rare commodity in general but is exactly what evil sorcerer Lo Pan (James Hong) needs to cross over from the spirit realm to become flesh & bone once again - and rule our world! Throw in a nosy reporter (Kim Cattrall), a cantankerous Chinatown tour bus driver/amateur wizard (Victor Wong), a couple dozen fanatic gangland warriors and three elemental gods and, well... you're in for a lot of Big Trouble In Little China!

THOUGHTS: Crazy mish-mash of several genres is all kinds of whacked out fun if you're in a silly frame of mind. Carpenter throws in everything but the kitchen sink and both he and his talented cast play it fast & loose and have a great time. So will you. Visual F/X are snazzy old school opticals (courtesy F/X maestro Richard Edlund), combined with practical make-ups and ultra-energetic stunt work. The result is a truly one-of-a-kind flick that rather defies description. Suffice it to say that it is wildly uneven, over-the-top, hyper-kinetic, senses-staggering and unashamedly silly. But most of all it's just a highly entertaining 100 minute roller coaster ride.

THE BLU-RAY: This hi-def release of BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA arrives in super sweet shape. Picture is in its proper 2.35:1 'scope format and looks extremely clean & sharp. This is a nice improvement over the old DVD. Speaking of which, the excellent audio commentary with director Carpenter & star Russell is ported over from the DVD edition. It's a very entertaining listen. These guys have done several movies together and have a lot of fun reminiscing. Blu-ray includes additional bonus material, including an extended ending, 9 deleted scenes, an interview with visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund and lots more. Well worth the purchase (or upgrade) if you're a fan of Carpenter or this particular film. Climb aboard The Porkchop Express and buckle yourself in for one wild ride! 5 STARS
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on March 31, 2017
This is one of those movies that movie trailers and previews just don't describe well enough.
It's in quite a few movie categories: Action, Fantasy, Horror, Comedy. The director even said
that the studio did not know how to promote the movie. Oh, well. At least now I have had the
ability to upgrade to a Blu-ray version. (Have the DVD version from a few years ago.)

Kurt Russell was perfect for the role he played. Thank you Kurt. The other actors also were
quite well selected. Even the real hero character's actor, Dennis Dun, worked out well. His
character, while appearing to be secondary, is the real hero. Kurt Russell plays the in your
face side kick, (but very entertaining).

Some of the special effects and stunts are dated, (the movie was released in 1986). Never
the less, still reasonable unlike other 1980s movies and T.V. shows. The Blu-ray version's
special features are all standard def, (and some of poor video quality). But that's likely due
to the source video, not the Blu-ray transfer. It's just the best we can get without serious
video processing, (which is not warranted for this movie's special features).

All in all, great entertainment.
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Classic John Carpenter. Kurt Russell in one of my favorite roles of his: Jack Burton. Burton is a truck driver who, while attempting to settle some gambling debts with his buddy Wang in Chinatown, stumbles across a bizarre gang war consisting of being seemingly in possession of magical powers. When Wang's lover arrives off a plane from China, she is kidnapped by the mysterious gang and taken to Lo Pan: a powerful gang lord and sorcerer stuck in a ghost form. Burton, Wang, and their friends embark on a quest to save her and stop Lo Pan and his magical minions. It is a movie that gets ever more bizarre and fantastical as it goes on, but the main element that makes it work is Russell's exasperated Burton. A blue collar guy who is completely out of his water with the mysticism and myths of ancient China come to life, Russell consistently sells the idea of a guy trying to do the right thing but being completely and utterly confused (at best) to terrified (at worst) by all this madness he stumbles into. The creature effects are solid in a campy sort of way; again, this is vintage Carpenter. A cult classic and one that is definitely worth checking out as it is over the top in all the right ways.
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on April 4, 2016
The quintessential B-movie cult classic. I found myself going back to this movie to revisit some of the wonderfully cast characters and classic lines. Kurt Russell does a brilliant job of playing a hapless, but good-hearted, all-american idiot who rises up to the challenges - making some hilarious commentary in the process. He obviously put some thought into the part, basically building a character of the John Wayne prototype, and then completely obliterating it with humor. The Lo Pan character is fantastic -- performed with some kind of brilliantly wierd humor, like a classic villain (maybe chinese opera style?), yet not at all. Everyone just really came together on this movie.
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on July 23, 2013
Just remember what ol' Jerod Lytton says in a review like this...

"Professional" Critics are close minded lemmings that have been looking for depth and understanding of John Carpenters' works since he started making films... and music... and all the other things this visionary inventor of the Carpenterian Experience (that is what I call all of his stuff as a collective, and also what I plan to pitch as a ride in my theme park I am creating for them. Just kidding, it is gonna be my band name.) Anyways, this film is often discarded as "Classic 80's Fare" and looked over as a campy mish mosh of cliché action comedy with little in depth review of the pungent one-liners and fantastic character nuances. Also, this is one of the first movies of the era to break ground on a concept little seen since, that the main character is in fact, NOT the hero of the story. More on that in the Kurt Russell section.

One thing to note that gets little credit in this film is the both the genre and the screenplay. Ok, that's two things, but under one point. It has got to be hard to create a movie that is a compilation of Sci-Fi, Horror, Action, Comedy, Kung Fu, Anime-Style Wire-Fu Fighting scenes, Supernatural Thriller, Magic, Romance, and Fantasy while still fitting in character profiles that stand out to be made or broke by the actors that portray them. Gary Goldman and David Weinstein's script deserves mention on its own merit to hold up to everything going on, while Carpenter takes the actors on a journey, that in my mind, had to nail exactly what they aimed to see on screen in their writing, which is what makes this film work. This film has more one liners in it than Boondock Saints (another personal favorite), and after 25+ years, I am STILL quoting on a regular basis, if you have seen it, bets are you are too. Please check IMDB here [...] for a fine collection of them.

The movie presents itself, from the title (c'mon Big Trouble in Little China?!) to the credits, as a good hearted adventure, that asks you at the door to please understand you are about to enter a John Carpenter movie, please ensure your belongings are secured, and enjoy. The main score that keyboardingly bounces across your earlobes is provided by none other than Carpenter himself and his band. It is not only fitting, but catchy and charismatic to the point where whenever faced with something odd or observe a car wreck in my daily travels, I often find myself singing, "Biiiiiiig Trouble, IN LITTLE CHIIINA!!" (insert shrieky man voice on the end there.) much to the chagrin of my wife.

The sets, wardrobe, and lighting are also top notch. From the "Just dug this out of the laundry" look of Jack, to the ceremonial dresses, ancient Chinese martial arts attire, and 80's grungy street gangs all show the pinnacle of details for their respected space. Locales that involve the fights and magic are always clouded with fog and darkness, which is a tactic broadly used by Carpenter for two reasons. One, he was always used to having little budget. The use of this method is a cheap and effective way to block out anything around the shooting location. Second, it focuses the viewer to what is happening on screen, and not what is going on around it or in the background. This method is fitting for the film, and not overused to be gimmicky, all while making your eyes stick where he wants them.

When tackling this viewing experience, please make note of the small things, as I feel they are what really makes this film stand out. It shows the love everyone had when making this come to life, and really makes you notice what a movie looks like when it is not a money grabbing and unoriginal "blockbuster" that fills talent with CGI and asks you just look at the pretty lights. Some examples I enjoy are: Jack Burtons truck is called the Pork Chop Express, complete with hilarious Pig logo. Lo Pan and Egg Shen's battle, please notice the "thumb wiggles", Wang's "eyebrows" while fighting, Kurt Russell's attire when infiltrating the Exchange building is that of his little known gem called Used Cars, When Jack pulls his knife out in the truck (like it's going to help), the 6-Demon bag, the rotary phone they carry into the exchange, the cardboard cut outs of Jack and Wang that stand in for them when the Lords of Death are about to run them down in the parking garage, the Needle of Love, Jack shooting his hands out to slow himself down while zooming backwards in the wheelchair. The little actions and quirks the people put into the roles, environments, and situations are something that is sorely needed in many of todays films.

Kurt Russell nails his performance as everyday hero-in-his-own-mind, living in the moment (and seat of his pants), swaggered, big haired, ego rich, guy you want to have a drink with but not stay too long, Jack Burton. In this role as the protagonist of the story, is by far not the hero. While if you listened to Jack Burton tell it, he would have done this all one handed, on a beer buzz, went home with twins, and a million bucks cash. Anything Jack does, he seems to somehow bumble. He mostly hinders his friend in his pursuit to recover his fiancée, and more or less wanders through the entire adventure not understanding what is going on, just rolling with it, and hoping along the way to do nothing but get his truck back and help his buddy. He is so out of his scope of reality with the Chinese Black Magic, mysticism, and hardly "Burger and Fries" situation, he is clearly baffled to the point that you can tell he just decides to take it all on a whim and deal with whatever happens on a case to case basis. He applies "Jack Logic" to every obstacle, rarely checking for danger or consequence, and just swings for the bleachers. Overall, he succeeds strictly on the capabilities and understanding of his friend Wang (Dennis Dunn), the actual Hero of our tale.

Dennis Dunn was and still is a rather Hollywood Unknown. In his role as Wang, he offers a quirky but level headed hero that steers the adventure, and Jack, to his ultimate goal of getting his Green-Eyed Girl of his dreams back from the clutches of the evil Lo Pan. He is ready for action when needed, purposeful in his goal, and helps translate to Jack what is happening, pretty much babystepping him through Chinese history and culture, while jump kicking bad guys in the face. The dynamic and good natured screen presence he has reminded me a lot of an Asian Michael J. Fox. He is loveable and trusting, and you root for him throughout the tale to save them all, and pick Jack up off the floor on the way by.

Supporting roles are also cast perfectly, from the wise old sorcerer/bus driver Egg Shen, the Evil basket case on wheels Lo Pan, to Gracie Law even with the problems with her face. Kim, Victor, and James all deliver performances that bring it into a group/team movie, with each providing enough to the roles to make them indispensable to the tale. They become reasons for action, love interests, and solid foundations for the main characters to be held up on.

The plot is a fitting scenario for the goal of the film. It neither amazes or surprises, and overall kind of flat out tells you, "we are going here, and yeah you are going to see this." It takes you on a videogamesque (yeah made that up) stage system where when one thing is done, it adds a new stage with more danger, higher odds, and a bigger boss, leading to a crescendo epic battle of all parties involved hammering it out while the protagonists tackle the Final Boss.

All in all, this is a great, well written, brilliantly performed movie, that stands as a pinnacle of 80's era cliché and a fantastic entry into the master works of John Carpenter. So remember, the next time" some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he 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." Now if you do not have a copy of this film in the mail to you now, may you visit the Hell of the Horny Dragon.

Boring Technical Data First for those that don't want to scroll all the way down the products page. (I know I hate scrolling too.)

Starring: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, James Hong, Dennis Dunn, Victor Wong
Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled,Widescreen
Language: English (Stereo), French (Mono), Spanish (Mono)
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Korean, Thai
Dubbed: French, Spanish
Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: August 4, 2009
Run Time: 100 minutes (Or 1HR and 40MINS for those that hate Math. I feel you.)

Blu Ray Bonuses

Commentary by Director John Carpenter and Actor Kurt Russell
9 Deleted Scenes
Extended Ending
Vintage Featurette
Music Video
Richard Edlund interview
Trailer A & B
6 TV Spots
Behind the Scenes Gallery
BD +
BD Live Ready Bootstrap
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on January 13, 2016
I write this review as a unabashed John Carpenter fan. And as a fan, this is one of the films that made me a fan in the first place. It just does so much right, while still having that particular charm that his films, good or bad, always have.

This is a cheeseball action film first and foremost. Starring Carpenter film veteran Kurt Russell, as a smart mouthed truck driver who gets himself into something far beyond his comprehension.

Front to back, this movie is a lot of fun. It doesn't take itself too seriously, which is the point, but it never gets too goofy. It's still fairly grounded with its characters.

The special effects run the gamut of good and bad. The anamatronics and puppetry work is excellent, as per usual. Some of the digital effects are not so great. But it still works with the film, and it does have it's own cheesy charm to it.

One thing I really liked about the film is just how quickly things ramped up from the very beginning. At first it starts out as a simple kidnapping, and it goes completely off the rails fast. It's still an easy enough story to follow, but it gets real crazy fast, what with all of the sudden supernatural content that gets introduced all at once, and without a hint of irony in it.

From the acting to the music and dialogue, this is a very well executed film. John Carpenter's films rarely disappoint on those fronts, even with his less than stellar works. Even if the movie as a whole doesn't grab you, it's still an entertaining watch.

Overall, I absolutely recommend this one. I've avoided going into any real detail about the film, because it deserves to be seen, and to see everything just unfold, unfettered by spoilers. If you are even slightly curious, check this one out as soon as you can.
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on December 8, 2016
One of the all time greatest movies, hands down the best movie from the 80's. This John Carpenter movie has it all, action, horror, martial arts, romance, and drama. This movie didn't get its due when it came out in the 80's. I love this movie and can watch it over and over. Kurt Russell is great in this movie as well as the rest of the cast. Martial Art film Legend Carter Wong plays Thunder one of the Three Storms. It is great to see him in cool role. If you want a great time then pop this in the Blu-ray player grab a soda and bowl of popcorn. Then you are on your way for one hell of a ride.
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on July 8, 2014
This movie still makes me happy all these years later. I love the campiness of it, the performance from Kurt Russell is classic and oh so quotable. If you like the Golden Child, Sword and the Sorcerer, Princess Bride and movies that came from the 80's that were unabashedly campy you will love this one.
Though I do give the movie a 5 star from mostly nostalgia and my complete inability to be objective about things from my youth that make me happy to do have to mention that if you like watching the commentary on a movie you love, you are unlikely to like this one. I really didn't like it, they talked about more of what was going on with them at the time of the recording and not what was going on in the scene.
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on May 26, 2017
It's cheesy, it's campy, it's action packed with martial arts, monsters, magic, catch phrases and Chinese mysticism, with a little bit of romance thrown in, taking place in 1980's San Francisco. This is one of my ALL-TIME favorite movies, and I love that it's available in Blu-Ray to enjoy. I have seen it hundreds of times and love it more every time I watch it. Just remember what ole Jack Burton says.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon August 18, 2015

This is one of those all time classics. It's so out of this world crazy that you can't help but love it. It's funny, it's a good adventure, and it's Kurt Russell in his 1980's glory!

The print looks fantastic in HD via Amazon Prime Instant Video. I haven't sat down and watched this in over a decade so I don't think I've ever seen it in HD before. It's like a whole new movie! The special effects aren't crisp by modern standards, but they add something great to the film that you don't get with hyper realistic special effects.

Now I'm hearing that Hollywood wants to remake Big Trouble In Little China. 1 star to that lame idea. You can't remake a classic. It never works. Besides, where are they going to find another Chinese girl with green eyes?
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