peteg's blog

Big Trouble in Little China

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There's a John Carpenter revival at Palace Cinemas sometime soon that prompted me to take a look at this comedically silly TV staple. Dennis Dun as Wang Chi has to shoulder the bulk of the straight man work; in contrast Kurt Russell mostly lets his muscles, mullet and one liners do his job. Essentially kung fu exploitation is alloyed with some bullshit Chinese black magic supernaturalistic mythos — come on guys, why 2000 years? why San Francisco? — to yield a situation that only a ghost man/foreign devil can resolve. Kim Cattrall blows hot and cold, gets a bit breathy, just as the script demands; Suzee Pai is far more passive. It's a bit fun.

Walter Goodman. Roger Ebert.


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A Spike Lee joint, on David S's recommendation, over a couple of nights. Easy to summarise: a minstrel show for the new millennium seems like a good idea to some TV people, and stuff happens; the plot is mostly scaffolding. Not so easy to assess. Some of it is genuinely funny — the fake ads for instance, and some of the skits — while other bits hammer points already made. Shot on digital video for the most part. I was bemused.

Stephen Holding.