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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - August, 2010

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"Big Trouble in Little China" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movie-august-2010-big-trouble-little-china

Synopsis

Kurt Russell stars as Jack Burton, a tough-talking, wisecracking truck driver whose dull life on the road takes a sudden supernatural detour when his best friend's girl is kidnapped. Speeding to the rescue, Jack finds himself deep beneath San Francisco's Chinatown, in a murky, creature-filled world ruled by Lo Pan, a 2000-year-old magician who mercilessly presides over an empire of spirits. Dodging demons and facing baffling terrors, Jack battles his way through Lo Pan's dark domain in a full-throttle, action packed ride to rescue the girl. Co-starring Kim Cattrall (well before Sex and the City), this effects-filled sci-fi adventure speeds to an incredible, twist-taking finish. As Jack Burton would say, "It's all in the reflexes!"

Specifications

  • 20th Century Fox
  • 1986, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 39 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec:  MPEG 4
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Cantonese, etc.
  • Starring:  Kurt Russell, Kim Catrell, Dennis Dun, James Hong, Victor Wong
  • Directed by John Carpenter
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

Russell is comical as a drawling, John Wayne wanna-be hero who steps into the middle of a supernatural warzone in the middle of Chinatown. While kung fu warriors and otherworldly spirits battle over the fate of two women (Kim Cattrall and Suzee Pai), Russell's swaggering fool manages to knock himself out or totally underestimate the forces he's up against. The whole thing is campy, but it's supposed to be campy and Russell's straight performance brings an ironic edge. As Burton says, "I was born ready." And ready he is, as the action is pretty non-stop from the "get go" and this blu-ray release pumps up the entertainment factor with great sound and picture that easily surpasses the DVD version. Add in some nifty "spook effects" and the fact that Carpenter also wrote the music, and you have a recipe for fun and adventure.

Technical

Picture quality is generally very good with rich details, colors and contrasts. Dark shadows show no crushing and the fine film grain is the only thing that shows this movies age...that and the "funky synth" music track that screams 80's!. If you already own the DVD version, this is a worthy step up in picture and sound quality. Surrounds are used generously, as is the bass for the sub. Flesh tones are very natural and colors are well saturated. Picture is generally very sharp and clean with very few specks or blemishes.

Extras

Audio commentary,deleted scenes, alternate ending, trailers, isolated score track and a HD still gallery.