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Click above to purchase "Big Trouble In Little China Special Edition" at amazon.com

 

Big Trouble In Little China
Special Edition

review by Zach B.

 

Rated PG-13

Studio: Fox

Running Time: 99 minutes

Starring Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, Victor Wong

Written by Gary Goldman & David Z. Weinstein
Adaption by W.D. Richter

Directed by John Carpenter

Retail Price: $26.98

Features:
Disc 1 - Audio Commentary with Director John Carpenter and Kurt Russell

Disc 2 - Deleted Scenes, Extended Ending, Featurette, Music Video, Magazine Articles, Richard Edlund Interview, Still Gallery, Production Notes, Cast and Crew Filmographies, Theatrical Trailers, TV Spots

Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English 4.1 Dolby Digital, English DTS 5.1, 2.0 English Dolby Surround, French 2.0 Dolby Surround, English Closed Captions,English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Chapter Search (44 Chapters)

Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) is a truck driver who is out to rescue his best friend's girlfriend in "Big Trouble In Little China", a funny action romp from thriller director John Carpenter. Burton and company have to face Lo Pan, a 2000 year old crazy magician who resides over an army of whacked out demons beneath San Fransisco's Chinatown.

"Big Trouble In Little China" is one of those great guilty pleasures for people, and I happen to be a big fan of the film. Of course it's not going to win any awards and it's not perfect, but it succeeds in what a film should be: fun and entertaining. Like so many other films I like, it's a movie I can just watch and get into instantly no matter when I tune into it.

I heard something along the lines that this was supposed to be "Buckaroo Banzai 2", but the commentary clears up that this was supposed to be a western movie (there are smilarties if you think about it). What I love so much about the movie is how it takes all these supernatural and Chinese mythology and combines them together.

The script is excellent complete with some nice twists and turns that really do entertain you. Characters are well developed and are fun, while this movie packs plenty of great dialogue, action and comedy. I really grew to love this film.

Carpenter delivers another fine directing job. He has some great special effects throughout the film, and makes this movie so fun while giving it a great pace. Carpenter also composes some great music for this film with Alan Howarth. I think this one of his best directing outings as he captures a nice old-time serial feel with a lot of kookiness and craziness.

The acting here is excellent, Kurt Russell is perfect as Jack Burton. Kim Cattrall, Victor Won and a supporting cast do a fantastic job to bring this film to full life. It's really a great cast and I couldn't imagine better actors to fill these roles.

As you can see, despite its silliness, "Big Trouble In Little China" is quite an enjoyable ride. You're not supposed to take a film like this seriously, it's just a great, fun romp that entertains. I could go on and on about the film, and I think I've barely scratched the surface since there's so much to it. Wonderful sets, great costumes and a whole lot more. If you haven't done so already, be sure to check out "Big Trouble In Little China". There's a lot to this movie... and a lot of fun too!

This new special edition of "Big Trouble In Little China" is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. This quite a good transfer considering the film's age of fifteen years. I noticed some edge enhancement, and the first chapter is filled with dirt and a variety of blemishes, but after that, it clears up. Blemishes, scratches and grain barely appear throughout the film after that first chapter. The movie also looks a bit soft, dull and faded at times... but it sort of feels okay as far as the look of the film (though I bet it would have been outstanding with a load of sharpness). Carpenter is a very visual director, and there's some really good shots in the movie that look great on the DVD. Colors are well saturated to represent the film's variety of tones, and there is some very good black level. Something I did have a gripe without that sometimes things look a little "bulgy", but I don't think many will notice that or even care. This is a very good transfer all around, and the best shape I've seen the film in. Much kudos to Fox here!

Things get pretty interesting here, as "Big Trouble In Little China" is presented in some new remixes. An English Dolby Digital 4.1 track is included as well as a DTS English 5.1. They sound virtually identical and both make for an enjoyable listening experience. This movie was not originally created for these formats, so what's done here is very good. This is a fun action comedy filled with great moments that kick in the .1 LFE nicely as well as light up the back speakers. There are some great surrounds throughout the film. Scenes with the rain, gunplay and a whole lot of fighting... not to mention the zaps and other fun action parts that are featured throughout the movie. Yes, this is a strong action movie. It packs plenty of moments for surrounds and gives the speakers a chance to shine. While it may not be up to date when compared to recent action movies, each track will certainly bring the movie to life nicely. English Dolby Surround and French Dolby Surround tracks are included, plus English closed captions and English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Fox has delivered a fantastic two-disc set for "Big Trouble In Little China", and no one is going to be disappointed with these supplements. There's some great stuff on making of the film as well as some cool marketing stuff.

The first disc only has one feature, and it's the cream of the crop as far as I'm concerned. The Audio Commentary with John Carpenter and Kurt Russell is one track you don't want to miss. Once again, the duo team up and you have one of the best commentaries I've heard in a long time... or heard on DVD for that matter (yes, it's that good!). They talk about a lot of things and seem to be good buddies just having a good time reminiscing about the film. They laugh, talk about those who worked on the film, their thoughts, what's happened since, some cool production stories and a whole lot more. You can really hear their joy as they seem to be having a great time watching the film. It's kind of like going through a high school year book after quite a few years. A very nice track indeed.

Onto disc two where everything else is, we find Eight Deleted Scenes in anamorphic widescreen and two channel sound. Most of these are workprints, and there's a little explanation before the scene selection and before the scenes about their cuts which I found to be very nice. There's also an Extended Ending in anamorphic widescreen and a brief explantion before it.

A load of Production Notes are included and right from the 1986 press kit (I found these to be pretty interesting to read despite the fluff factor), plus some nice Cast and Crew Filmographies.

A fun Music Video in full frame is included, plus a Featurette with clips from the film, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Carpenter, Dennis Dun, Russell and others. This seems to be right from the original EPK. It's promotional but I liked it still.

The Magazine Articles section has two indepth articles, each with the complete text and pictures which you can even enlarge for more information. You can read an article from American Cinematographer and an article from Cinefex. If you're interested in the film's unique visual style, these are must reads.

A Richard Edlund Interview is included with a multi-angle features. Angle 1 has the interview with the stills in a window while Angle 2 has the stills filling up the screen. This is a nice, informative interview and in anamorphic widescreen no less, so do check it out.

A cool Still Gallery is included with a lot of nice photos, while the first page of the second disc has two Trailers in English and a Spanish Trailer, as well as six TV Spots, though one is more like a teaser trailer and another is a pay-per-view spot. On another note, the discs feature some cool animated CGI menus that fit well with the film.

Finally, "Big Trouble In Little China" is released on our favorite format and it's quite a great release! With a great transfer and some great sound mixes, not to mention some fantastic extras, if you're a fan pick up "Big Trouble In Little China". If you've never seen... you have to check it out. Quite an enjoyable movie for all.

(4.5/5 - NOT included in final score)

(4/5)

(4/5)

(4/5)

(4/5, NOT an average)

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