Big Trouble in Little China
|Big Trouble in Little China|
|Fail:Big trouble in little china.jpg
|Penerbit||Larry J. Franco|
W. D. Richter
David Z. Weinstein
Edward A. Warschilka
|Pengedar||20th Century Fox|
|Mula ditayang||Julai 2, 1986|
|Tempoh ditayang||99 minit|
|Rujukan All Movie Guide|
Big Trouble in Little China (juga digelar Big Trouble in Little China John Carpenter) ialah sebuah filem komedi/aksi Amerika 1986 yang diarah oleh John Carpenter. Ia dibintangi oleh Kurt Russell sebagai pemandu gerabak Jack Burton, yang membantu kawannya Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) untuk menyelamatkan teman wanita Wang (Suzee Pai) dari para penjenayah di Pekan China San Francisco. Mereka memasuki dunia misteri di bawah Pekan China, di mana mereka menghadapi seorang bomoh silam bernama Lo Pan (James Hong).
Walaupun filem ini asalnya dibayangkan sebagai sebuah set Western pada 1880-an, pengarang skrin W. D. Richter telah diupah untuk mengarang semula skrip secara menyeluruh dan memodenkan semua perkara. Studio menggunakan Carpenter untuk mengarah filem dan mencepatkan pengeluaran Big Trouble in Little China supaya ia dapat dibebaskan sebelum filem bertema mirip Eddie Murphy, The Golden Child, yang dijadualkan dikeluarkan pada masa yang sama. Projek ini menemukan keinginan lama Carpenter untuk membuat sebuah filem seni mempertahan diri. Filem ini bagaimanapun merupakan kegagalan komersil, mendapat $11.1 juta di Amerika Utara dan jauh di bawah belanjanya yang dianggar $25 juta. Ia menerima ulasan kritikal yang bercampuran yang meninggalkan Carpenter kecewa dengan Hollywood dan mempengaruhi keputusannya untuk pulang ke pembuatan filem bebas. Akan tetapi filem ini sejak itu telah menjadi sebuah filem kultus sebahagian besarnya kerana kejayaannya pada video rumah.
When truck driver Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) and his friend Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) go to the airport to meet friends arriving on a flight from China, bandits from Chinatown kidnap Wang's green-eyed Chinese girlfriend (Suzee Pai). To rescue her, Burton and Wang go into the mysterious underworld beneath Chinatown, where they face a number of dangerous challenges and battle kung-fu masters and a 2,000-year-old man – an ancient sorcerer named Lo Pan (James Hong). Centuries ago, Lo Pan was put under a curse, and the only way that he can break it and become human again is to marry a woman with green eyes and then sacrifice her. Lo Pan is served by a ruthless street gang, the "Wing Kong", and by the "Three Storms" – three mystical henchmen named Thunder, Lightning and Rain. Jack and Wang are aided in their quest by lawyer Gracie Law (Kim Cattrall), a tour bus-driving sorcerer named Egg Shen (Victor Wong), Wang's friend Eddie Lee (Donald Li), and a helpful street gang, the Chang Sing.
- Kurt Russell as Jack Burton
- Kim Cattrall as Gracie Law
- Dennis Dun as Wang Chi
- James Hong as David Lo Pan
- Victor Wong as Egg Shen
- Al Leong as Wing Kong Hatchet Man
- Kate Burton as Margo
- Donald Li as Eddie Lee
- Carter Wong as Thunder
- Peter Kwong as Rain
- James Pax as Lightning
- Suzee Pai as Miao Yin
- Chao Li Chi as Uncle Chu
The first version of the screenplay was written by first-time screenwriters Gary Goldman and David Weinstein. Goldman had been inspired by a new wave of martial arts films that had "all sorts of weird actions and special effects, shot against this background of Oriental mysticism and modern sensibilities". They had written a Western originally set in the 1880s with Jack Burton as a cowboy who rides into town. Goldman and Weinstein envisioned combining Chinese fantasy elements with the western. They submitted the script to producers Paul Monash and Keith Barish during the summer of 1982. Monash bought their script and had them do at least one rewrite but still did not like the results. He remembers, “The problems came largely from the fact it was set in turn-of-the-century San Francisco, which affected everything – style, dialogue, action”. Goldman rejected a request by 20th Century Fox for a re-write that asked for major alterations. He was angered when the studio wanted to update it to a contemporary setting. The studio then removed the writers from the project. However, they still wanted credit for their contributions.
The studio brought in screenwriter W. D. Richter, a veteran script doctor (and director of cult film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai) to extensively rewrite the script, as he felt that the Wild West and fantasy elements didn’t work together. The screenwriter modernized everything. Almost everything in the original script was discarded except for Lo Pan’s story. Richter realized that “what it needed wasn’t a rewrite but a complete overhaul. It was a dreadful screenplay. This happens often when scripts are bought and there’s no intention that the original writers will stay on”. Richter used Rosemary's Baby as his template, presenting “the foreground story in a familiar context – rather than San Francisco at the turn-of-the-century, which distances the audience immediately – and just have one simple remove, the world underground, you have a much better chance of making direct contact with the audience”. He wrote his own draft in 10 weeks. Goldman contacted Richter and suggested that he should not work on the project. Richter told him, "I'm sorry the studio doesn't want to go forward with you guys, but my turning it down is not going to get you the job. They'll just hire someone else".
Fox wanted to deny Goldman and Weinstein writing credit and eliminated their names from press releases. They wanted only Richter to have credit. In March 1986, the Writers Guild of America, west determined that Richter would not receive credit for his work on the script and it would go instead to Goldman and Weinstein. Director John Carpenter was disappointed that Richter did not get a proper screenwriting credit on the movie because of a ruling by the Writers Guild of America that gave it to Goldman and Weinstein based on the WGA screenwriting credit system which protects original writers. Carpenter made his own additions to Richter’s rewrites which included strengthening the Gracie Law role and linking her to Chinatown, removing a few action sequences due to budgetary restrictions and eliminating material deemed offensive to Chinese Americans. The characters in the film reminded Carpenter “of the characters in Bringing Up Baby or His Girl Friday. These are very 1930s, Howard Hawks people”. The rapid-fire delivery of dialogue, especially between Jack Burton and Gracie Law, is an example of what the director is referring to.
Barish and Monash first offered the project to Carpenter in July 1985. He had read the Goldman/Weinstein script and deemed it “outrageously unreadable though it had many interesting elements”. To compete with rival production The Golden Child’s casting of box office draw Eddie Murphy, Carpenter wanted a big star of his own and both Clint Eastwood and Jack Nicholson were considered but were busy. The studio wanted to cast Kurt Russell because they felt that he was an up-and-coming star. Initially, Russell was not interested in the screenplay and the character of Jack Burton because he felt that there were “a number of different ways to approach Jack, but I didn’t know if there was a way that would be interesting enough for this movie”. After talking to Carpenter and reading the script a couple more times, he gained insight into the character and liked the notion of playing “a hero who has so many faults. Jack is and isn’t the hero. He falls on his ass as much as he comes through. This guy is a real blowhard. He’s a lot of hot air, very self-assured, a screw-up”. Furthermore, the actor felt that "at heart he thinks he's Indiana Jones but the circumstances are always too much for him". Russell felt that the film would be a hard one to market. "This is a difficult picture to sell because it's hard to explain. It's a mixture of the real history of Chinatown in San Francisco blended with Chinese legend and lore. It's bizarre stuff. There are only a handful of non-Asian actors in the cast".
John Carpenter had seen Dennis Dun in Year of the Dragon and liked his work in that film. He met the actor twice before casting him in the role of Wang Chi only a few days before principal photography. The martial arts sequences were not hard for Dun who had “dabbled” in training as a kid and done Chinese opera as an adult. He was drawn to the portrayal of Asian characters in the movie as he said, “I’m seeing Chinese actors getting to do stuff that American movies usually don’t let them do. I’ve never seen this type of role for an Asian in an American film”.
The studio pressured Carpenter to cast a rock star in the role of Gracie Law, Jack Burton's love interest and constant source of aggravation. For Carpenter there was no question, he wanted Kim Cattrall. The studio was not keen on the idea because at the time Cattrall was primarily known for raunchy comedies like Porky's and Police Academy. She was drawn to the movie because of the way her character was portrayed. “I’m not screaming for help the whole time. I think the humor comes out of the situations and my relationship with Jack Burton. I’m the brains and he’s the brawn”.
Kurt Russell lifted weights and began running two months before production began in order to get ready for the physical demands of principal photography. In addition, Carpenter and his cast and crew did a week's rehearsals that mainly involved choreographing the martial arts scenes. 20th Century Fox was afraid that the production would create major overruns and hired Carpenter to direct because he could work fast. He was given only 10 weeks of pre-production.
Problems began to arise when Carpenter learned that the next Eddie Murphy vehicle, The Golden Child, featured a similar theme and was going to be released around the same time as Big Trouble in Little China. (As it happened, Carpenter was asked by Paramount Pictures to direct The Golden Child). He remarked in an interview, “How many adventure pictures dealing with Chinese mysticism have been released by the major studios in the past 20 years? For two of them to come along at the exact same time is more than mere coincidence”. To beat the rival production at being released in theaters, Big Trouble went into production in October 1985 so that it could open in July 1986, five months before The Golden Child’s Christmas release.
Production designer John Lloyd designed the elaborate underground sets and re-created Chinatown with three-story buildings, roads, streetlights, sewers and so on. This was necessary for the staging of complicated special effects and kung fu fight sequences that would have been very hard to do on location. This forced the filmmaker to shoot the film in 15 weeks with a $25 million budget. For the film’s many fight scenes Carpenter worked with martial arts choreographer James Lew, who literally planned out every move in advance. Says Carpenter, "I used every cheap gag – trampolines, wires, reverse movements and upside down sets. It was much like photographing a dance”. According to Carpenter, the studio "didn't get it" [his film] and made him write something that would explain the character of Jack Burton. Carpenter came up with the prologue scene between Egg Shen and the lawyer.
Carpenter was not entirely satisfied with Boss Films, the company in charge of the film's visual effects. According to the director, they took on more projects than they could handle and some effects for the film had to be cut down. Richard Edlund, head of Boss Films, said that there were no difficulties with the company's workload and that Big Trouble was probably its favorite film at the time, with the exception of Ghostbusters. The effects budget for the film was just under $2 million, which Edlund said was barely adequate. One of the more difficult effects was the floating eyeball, a spy for Lo-Pan. It was powered by several puppeteers and dozens of cables to control its facial expressions. It was shot with a special matting system especially designed for it.
With the soundtrack, Carpenter wanted to avoid the usual clichés as he found that “other scores for American movies about Chinese characters are basically rinky tink, chop suey music. I didn’t want that for Big Trouble”. Carpenter instead opted for his trademark synthesizer score mixed with rock ‘n’ roll music.
Rujukan kepada mistisisme Cina[sunting]
Some of the Chinese mythology in the film is based on actual history. Lo Pan is a famous legend in Chinese history. He was a "shadow emperor" appointed by the First Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Lo Pan was put on the throne as an impersonator because the Emperor was afraid of being assassinated. However, Lo Pan tried to take over and was cursed by the Emperor to exist without flesh for 2,000 years until he could marry a girl with green eyes. Egg Shen defines "difficulty at the beginning" which is a hexagram from the Book of Changes or I Ching. Lo Pan is the name of the compass used for geomancy or feng shui. It literally means everything bowl – the device that reveals the secrets of the universe. There are also several allusions – and even earthly representations – of several elements from Diyu, the Chinese depiction of Hell.[perlu rujukan]
In an article on The Huffington Post, David Sirota analyzed the movie in terms of the United States' role in the world. He argues that the film casts Jack Burton as the United States while Lo Pan and his gang are "the Rest of the World, and more specifically, the Non-Aligned Countries, otherwise known as the Axis of Evil". Sirota suggests that "the tongue-in-cheek flavor of the film suggests Carpenter is using the Burton character to deliberately ridicule American hubris (and let's not forget the very end of the movie just before the credits roll: the crazy-eyed demon about to get his final revenge on Burton could be the world taking revenge on that hubris)", and that the film was "a prescient warning - one that's more relevant today than when it first came out. China and India are both on the ascent economically and militarily, and the global power game has gone stateless and transnational".
Opening in 1,053 theaters on July 4, 1986, Big Trouble in Little China grossed $2.7 million in its opening weekend and went on to gross $11.1 million in North America, well below its estimated budget of $25 million.
The film received critically mixed reviews when it was first released but has since enjoyed a reappraisal. It currently has an 83 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Ron Base, in his review for the Toronto Star, praised Russell's performance. "He does a great John Wayne imitation. But he's not just mimicking these heroes, he is using them to give his own character a broad, satiric edge". Walter Goodman in the New York Times wrote, "In kidding the flavorsome proceedings even as he gets the juice out of them, the director, John Carpenter, is conspicuously with it". Harlan Ellison praised the film, writing that it had "some of the funniest lines spoken by any actor this year to produce a cheerfully blathering live-action cartoon that will give you release from the real pressures of your basically dreary lives". In his review for Time, Richard Corliss wrote, "Little China offers dollops of entertainment, but it is so stocked with canny references to other pictures that it suggests a master's thesis that moves".
However, in his review for the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert wrote, "special effects don't mean much unless we care about the characters who are surrounded by them, and in this movie the characters often seem to exist only to fill up the foregrounds", and felt that it was "straight out of the era of Charlie Chan and Fu Manchu, with no apologies and all of the usual stereotypes". Paul Attanasio, in the Washington Post, criticized the screenwriters for being "much better at introducing a character than they are at developing one". David Ansen wrote, in his review for Newsweek, "though it is action packed, spectacularly edited and often quite funny, one can't help feeling that Carpenter is squeezing the last drops out of a fatigued genre". In his review for The Times, David Robinson felt that Carpenter was, "overwhelmed by his own special effects, without a strong enough script to guide him".
After the commercial and critical failure of the film, Carpenter became very disillusioned with Hollywood and became an independent filmmaker. He said in an interview, “The experience [of Big Trouble] was the reason I stopped making movies for the Hollywood studios. I won’t work for them again. I think Big Trouble is a wonderful film, and I’m very proud of it. But the reception it received, and the reasons for that reception, were too much for me to deal with. I’m too old for that sort of bullshit”. Since its initial release it has developed a cult following and is now well received by critics. Empire magazine voted Big Trouble in Little China the 430th greatest film in their "500 Greatest Movies of All Time" list.
Big Trouble in Little China was released on a two-disc special edition DVD set on 22 Mei 2001. Entertainment Weekly gave the DVD a "B+" rating and wrote, "The highlight of this two disc set – which also features deleted scenes, an extended ending, trailers, and a 1986 featurette – is the pitch perfect Russell and Carpenter commentary, which delves into Fox's marketing mishaps, Chinese history, and how Russell's son did in his hockey game". In his review for the Onion A.V. Club, Noel Murray wrote, "If nothing else, this is a DVD designed for Big Trouble cultists; it's packed with articles from Cinefex and American Cinematographer that only a genre geek would appreciate".
A Blu-ray Disc edition of the film was released on 4 Ogos 2009. It contains the same film and features as the DVD.
- Teitelbaum, Sheldon. "Big Trouble in Little China", Cinefantastique, July 1986, pp. 4-5.
- Goldberg, Lee. "W.D. Richter Writes Again", Starlog, June 1986.
- Teitelbaum July 1986, p. 5.
- Teitelbaum July 1986, p. 4.
- Goldberg, Lee. "Big Trouble in Little China", Starlog, May 1986.
- Teitelbaum July 1986, p. 58.
- Swires, Steve. "John Carpenter: Kung Fu, Hollywood Style", Starlog, August 1986.
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- Dickholtz, Daniel. "Dennis Dun, Kung Fu Hero", Starlog, September 1986.
- Steranko, Jim. "The Trouble with Kurt", Prevue, August 1986, pp. 73.
- Nichols, Peter M. "Big Trouble: Big Comeback", New York Times, 25 Mei 2001. Dicapai pada 2008-12-02.
- "INTERVIEW: MORIARTY and JOHN CARPENTER Get Into Some BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA!!", Ain't It Cool News, 23 April 2001. Dicapai pada 2008-12-02.
- Sirota, David. "Big Trouble in Little America", The Huffington Post, 30 November 2008. Dicapai pada 2008-12-02.
- "Big Trouble in Little China", Box Office Mojo. Dicapai pada 2007-07-12.
- Base, Ron. "Muscle-Laden Hero Kurt Russell Delivers Big Action and Little Trouble", Toronto Star, July 1, 1986.
- Goodman, Walter. "Big Trouble, Wild Stunts", New York Times, July 2, 1986. Dicapai pada 2008-12-02.
- Ellison, Harlan. "Harlan Ellison's Watching", Underwood-Miller, 1989.
- Corliss, Richard. "Everything New Is Old Again", Time, July 14, 1986. Dicapai pada 2008-08-20.
- Ebert, Roger. "Big Trouble in Little China", Chicago Sun-Times, July 2, 1986. Dicapai pada 2008-01-18.
- Attanasio, Paul. "Choppy Little China", Washington Post, July 2, 1986.
- Ansen, David. "Wild and Crazy in Chinatown", Newsweek, July 14, 1986.
- Robinson, David. "More agonies of the awkward age", The Times, November 14, 1986.
- Swires, Steve. "John Carpenter’s Terror Tales from Tinseltown", Starlog, February 1987.
- Swires, Steve. "John Carpenter’s Guerrilla Guide to Hollywood Survival", Starlog, December 1987.
- "500 Greatest Movies of All Time", Empire. Dicapai pada 2008-09-29.
- "Big Trouble in Little China". World of Spectrum. http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseekid.cgi?id=0000519. Capaian 2009-04-29.
- Bernardin, Marc. "Big Trouble in Little China", Entertainment Weekly, 22 Mei 2001. Dicapai pada 2008-12-02.
- Murray, Noel. "Big Trouble in Little China DVD", Onion A.V. Club, 19 April 2002. Dicapai pada 2008-12-02.
- Big Trouble in Little China di Pangkalan Data Filem Internet
- Big Trouble in Little China di Allmovie
- Big Trouble in Little China di Rotten Tomatoes
- Big Trouble in Little China di Box Office Mojo
- Big Trouble in Little China at John Carpenter's official website
- The Wing Kong Exchange discussion of film influence.
- Erasing Clouds retrospective article