All of a sudden, whoa…there’s Beastman
Once upon a time, there was a movie that told a story. A story of a rather dumb truck driver and his much more capable friend and their search for love, truth, and not-dying in the underworld of Chinatown. It was beloved by many, but not all. Today, dear friend, you will hear those who love the movie, and those who do not, attempt to tell why they loved, or did not love, this tale as old as…the mid- to late-1980s.
- Jackbox Games
- Dune 1984
- Jordowosky’s Dune
- Toto band
- David Lynch
- Ghostbusters 1984
- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
- Damon Lindelof
- Donald Li
- Randall Park
- Victor Wong
- Chow Yun Fat
- Kim Cattrall
- Samara Weaving
- Dennis Dun
- John Cho
- James Hong
- Lucy Liu
- Kurt Russell
- Dax Shepard
- Community tv series
- Guillermo Del Toro
- Joaquin Phoenix
- Don Cheadle
- Jason Sudeikis
- Joel McHale
- Chris O’Dowd
- Bill Hader
- The Golden Child
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
- Mary Poppins
- Conan The Barbarian
- Ralph Bakshi
- Hercules in New York
- The Last Dragon
- Arnold Schwartzenegger
- Dungeons and Daddies podcast
- John Carpenter
- John Wayne
- Dwayne The Rock Johnson
- Vin Diesel
- Firefly tv show
- Dennis Miller
- Shanghai Nights
- Shanghai Noon
- Owen Wilson
- Jackie Chan
- Chris Tucker
- Scooby Doo
Kyle: re maker’s mark episode 64, big trouble in little China.
Hello again, and welcome back to remaker mark. Here we are in our 64th episode part two, in fact, where we are continuing to discuss big trouble in little China with me as always are my friends.
Andy wicks, Andy, , speaking of a couple of things that were mentioned in the movie, how was that for a segue, uh, magic potion or six demon bag.
Andy: your smoothest segue yet?
Kyle: Thank you.
Andy: Uh, I am well and always magically.
Kyle: Hmm. Nice. You’re such a wizard at heart.
Andy: Thank you. Thank you.
Kyle: Jeremy Nelson, how are you and how about you? Magic potion or six demon bag?
Jer: I am doing lovely. And I always go with the unknown. So six demon bag
Kyle: I like a
Jer: or bag, depending on what part of the country.
Kyle: bigger bag.
Get a big bagels.
Jer: that’s one of the things that my brother-in-law from North Carolina consistently makes fun of my sister and my family for
Jer: six demon bag.
Kyle: That’s really weird. Lee white tiger. How are you tonight? And what about you? Magic potion or 60 men bag?
Lee: I’m great. And a magic potion. Cause I don’t know what the other one is.
Kyle: Um, all the more exciting.
Andy: you don’t necessarily know what the magic potion is.
Lee: Eh, that’s true.
Andy: It’s really just like a suicide at the movie theater. Right. You know, we just a little bit, every, every poppy just chug it. You assume something magical happens.
Kyle: we’re going to do a lightning round after this inspired by that, Andy. So, uh, just get ready
for that. Okay. Uh, mark Joe sting. How are you and magic potion or 60 men back?
Mark: I am. Well, thank you for asking and , I gotta go six demon bay because who doesn’t love surprises. You never know where you’re going to get you reach in, pull one out and see what’s chomping on your hand. They be a hit at parties where you want to murder everyone.
Andy: it’s like if Quentin Tarantino directed.
Kyle: No, thank you. But yes. All of the above. Uh, my name is Kyle will be your host once again, this fine evening. And I, I, yeah, I got to go 60 minute bag. I mean, you gotta figure that at least one of those will be incredibly interesting. You know, it could be world ending. It could be terrible. It could be kind of like cabin in the woods Z, who knows, but, uh, yeah.
You know, from an entertainment perspective, uh, I really think you can’t beat it now. The lightning round inspired by Andy’s question of movie theater, uh, soda adventures. Let’s pretend we are in a movie theater that has one of those make your own Coke dispensers, you know, where you can kind of like, do you know, you can do strawberry Fanta, you can do, you know, or grape Coke, whatever.
Okay. Going quickly down the road. What is your pick when you have infinite selections in the movie theater like that? Andy
Andy: Vanilla strawberry.
Jer: Mellow yellow with grape.
Kyle: Ooh. Nice Lee go.
Lee: , cherry with seven up.
Kyle: Ooh, nice mark. Go.
Mark: Always sickle orange and vanilla Coke.
Jer: Oh, we got a winner.
Kyle: Nice. That’s really good. One. We’ll usually do grape Sprite. That’s usually because we don’t want to get like crazy caffeinated and those things like even the smallest, like 197 ounces there a does. So yeah. Nice. Yeah. I got to go dream sickle,
man. That sounds,
Andy: The small is a Toyota Prius gas tank.
Kyle: That’s funny. They got a good rate on them. Uh, Jared, this was your pick. So you, once again, get to give us a recommendation. What are you recommendation? Meaning
Jer: Yes. Yes. Thank you. Thank you.
my recommendation this week is inspired somewhat by the fact that we are approaching and in the midst of the holiday season and family, at least in my case is spread out in a very large geographic area. So we don’t always get a chance to see each other, every holiday and.
, for Thanksgiving this year, we were supposed to get together, but because of some COVID related unfortunates, uh, we did not, but we did get to spend some time, , enjoying each other’s company with the help of an online, , game playing system called Jackbox games. And
I’d like to recommend Jackbox games for those of you that want to get together, have some fun, have some laughs with each other and play some games.
But, , you aren’t in the same room with each other. They have, , a pretty decent catalog of games. They’re all going to be kind of trivia or. , game centered around some of the classic concepts like Pictionary or Balderdash or trivia games or things like that, punch in your answer, try to fool everybody, that sort of thing.
, they’re they’re great. The graphics are silly. The whole thing is silly and it’s just a reason to hang out in a Skype room with each other and, ,
and yuck it up for a little while. So Jackbox games is the, is the designer, the maker Jackbox games.com and they have, uh, like I said, a pretty robust games catalog for your online gaming, uh, social needs.
Mark: do they facilitate voice chat as
well? Such that, , you would need something like Skype
Jer: am not aware of that. , what we, what we have always done is, , my sister who has the account because she uses it in her classroom quite a bit. So she has a lot more things unlocked. , and so she will share her screen with us and then everybody else just downloads
the Jack or goes onto their phone.
They don’t have to download anything. You go onto the, whatever the URL is on your phone. So you’re playing on your phone and then we’re using the sort of the shared screen for the main game, plus our Skype
Mark: Oh, okay. Okay. Yes, it does.
to answer your question there, isn’t an in game chat system, but there isn’t one needed to play the game, but it’s helpful to have some sort of shared screen of.
Kyle: towards the tail end of when apple was working from home. And we were just like doing anything to get content, to fill days. Uh, we had a couple Jackbox party game, , hours. And that was really, really fun. I enjoyed that. I think if I’m, if my internet history is remembering, correct, uh, for those of you who were internet nerds in the nineties and maybe early two thousands, there was a great game called you don’t know Jack.
And I think this is sort of the evolution of
Jer: I believe it’s sprang from the same company. Yeah.
Kyle: Yeah. Yup. Yup. Makes sense. At least. So, yeah. I always love that game, so it makes it makes good.
Jer: Yup. Yup. So yeah,
if you’re not going to be able to make it home for Christmas or new year’s or whatever, then give that a try.
Kyle: I think it’s pretty good for kids too. Like there’s, you know, I think there’s probably more suggestive ones, but overall I think it’s, you know, friendly for teen gatherings, if you will, or what have you,
Jer: Yeah. I don’t know if there’s a filter or something that you can adjust for that, but I mean, the one we play. Which was kind of the Baldor dashi come up with the, the, the fact and, and if you fool people, you get points. And if you guess the right answer, you get points kind of idea. And some of them were a little weird and not necessarily dirty, but suggestive. Um, so, but I don’t know, there might be a way to kind of turn that off.
Kyle: Cool, good pick. We will link that in the show notes, but, uh, I liked that a lot. Good. All right. So, uh, Jr. Since this was your choice, I am up next. So I get to pick the next movie, which I am very excited about. I didn’t know where the timing of this episode was going to land. I had an idea for this, uh, that I was very excited about, and I really hoped the timing worked and it didn’t quite work as perfectly as I hoped it would.
, but I’m still pretty happy about it. the movie that I am picking to watch next is the 1984 David Lynch film dune. Uh,
Lee: have to
Kyle: to uh, to hold her Huskies, dune the documentary. Uh, what was it? Oh, what’s up doc that we did. So, you know, this was mentioned there, uh, and then recently they had the Denny Villeneuve, , do, and so I’m hoping we can find a way to watch that if we hadn’t.
So we can kind of do a, maybe like a third episode review of it, because it is something else. Uh, if not, no worries, but I thought that would be really fun. So, this movie is a trip. It is a.
Jer: it like nine hours long.
Kyle: no, it’s not too bad. It’s like two 30 or something. It’s not
It does have my, my favorite title card of any movie ever, which is in giant, like almost kind of like kind of beveled Roman font songs by Toto. So, so just to get you excited as if, you know, you didn’t need to be already with David Lynch and everything, but, uh, yeah. Toto does some of the music and it’s, it’s pretty
Lee: by trip, you mean turd? Right?
Kyle: I, you know, we’ll, we’ll get into it. I enjoy this movie probably more than I should.
Lee: a feeling I’m not going to.
Kyle: If you’re able to enjoy it.
That’s my John Madden ism of the day. Maybe a little hairy carry on there. I don’t
know, but, ,
Jer: is this the first movie that we have done on this podcast that actually has already had a remake
Andy: Oh, I can’t. No, I, no, no, no, I don’t think so.
Kyle: I don’t know. That’s a good question. I’ll
have to look
Jer: may? Cause when we did the Ghostbusters episode, the new Ghostbusters hadn’t
Kyle: Dirty rotten scoundrels.
Hadn’t yeah. The, uh, which from a dinger rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway, dirty rotten scoundrels remake didn’t
Uh, yeah, so I’m, I’m super excited. I think it’ll be really fun. Uh, I just love David Lynch. , I love what he brings to cinema. This is not one of his favorite films and I don’t think it is the favorite of many of his fans, but whatever, I’m still down, it’s
Andy: Has it hasn’t he
tried to like actively have his name removed from it.
Kyle: No, not really. He just doesn’t really talk about it. Like it’s not, he, he doesn’t love it, but he’s, he’s not really the kind of like, you know, deny my history kind of guy. He’s too weird for
Lee: I think
Jer: as bad as Damon Lindelof offering his fans to come and punch him or yell at him at cons for PR Promethease.
Kyle: No, I enjoyed that movie. Uh, oh boy. All right. So, , that is my pick. I am excited about that. We will be getting into that very shortly here. Now let us focus our attention again on big trouble. In little China, before we get into our discussion of the film, let’s do a recap of the recasting here for the major characters.
They were kind of all major characters. We had one that was more major than the others, but the first five were majorish characters for the role of Eddie originally played by Donald Lee. We went with Jerry’s choice of Randall park. Yay. Good job. For the role of eggshell originally played by Victor Wong.
We went with Mark’s choice of chow Yun fat,
I just, I can’t wait for the makeup on that alone. Uh, for the role of Gracie law originally played by Kim Cottrell, we went with Lee’s choice of Samarra weaving. I love
Kyle: for the role of weighing G originally played by Dennis Dunn.
We went in with Andy’s choice of John Cho like that. I like
Kyle: for the role of low pan originally played by James Hong. We went with Mark’s inspired choice of Lucy Lu. I think that is so cool. I was so excited for that. And then finally, the, the big one of all of them, Jack Burton originally played by Kurt Russell, uh, in a tiebreaker.
We went in with Andy’s choice of Dax Shepard, which I think is really, really good. I’m really excited for that. I think that’s a great pick. Well done. Uh, Jared, it sounds like you have some social media feedback.
have a little bit, yes. Uh, I knew that my friend group would be
interested in this episode. , I wasn’t. Completely prepared for the backlash of how dare you use and leave Jack Burton alones. But I did get a lot of that. Uh, but after egging some people on, I did get some responses, , and they are thus, uh, Jonathan Lee first re his first response was the cast of community.
And then he said, I’m going to think about this more and give you a real answer tomorrow. And his real answer the next day, , is high concept gritty reboot directed by Guillermo Del Toro with Joaquin Phoenix as Jack
Kyle: Whoa. That’s interesting. That is high concepts. I don’t know if I love it, but I’m
Lee: I prefer the cast of community.
Jer: Uh, then we’ve got Brent, said Don Cheadle. And which is interesting.
I liked Don Cheadle. We don’t talk about
him very much
this podcast. We should, we need to cast him more. Uh, let’s see, there was a, leave it alone, leave it alone. Don’t touch it. It’s perfect. Uh, and tread carefully. And finally, , Heather Wirtz said, and I think that she was just listing off people that would play Jack Burton and not a full cast here, but she said, uh, Jason Sudeikis Joel McHale, Chris O’Dowd or bill Hader.
Kyle: Interesting. A lot of different energies there. I actually really liked bill Hader. I think that’d be pretty
Jer: I like pretty
that full list
and that, that those are all very interesting and yes, very different.
Kyle: I kind of
want to see a British big trouble in little China. That would be, that’d be pretty interesting.
Jer: You can combine it with,
arrested development and have it big trouble in little Britain.
Kyle: Yes. . Nice. Well, thank you to all who provided audience feedback. That’s awesome. So let us now dig into, in part two here, what we liked about the movie, what we didn’t like about the movie, what we would change, uh, some performances, all that kind of fun stuff, where we are starting here is what I think is the overarching thing.
And then we’ll be, which is just kind of the vibe of this movie. It is just so interesting. So unique. We’ve talked about how there’s a lot of things in the melting pot that is this movie. Jerry, do you want to kind of touch on what that felt like?
Jer: Yeah, I man, I could talk about this and have talked about this movie for a very long time. So if I just need to shut up, just tell me to shut up, I guess, but, , yeah, I, I love how this movie feels. It feels like that early eighties, just barely on the rails kind of kind of movie. , you’ve got John Carpenter.
Who’s, who’s putting together that kind of movie pretty consistently at this point. and working in, in these constraints of budget and time and everything else. So he’s throwing out every w every little director, camera trick, and every practical effect he can to, to great success, I think. And it’s, it’s a story that barely makes sense.
And it’s a cast that shouldn’t quite work and it’s all of it just feels like it it’s barely being held together and somehow through magic and, and love it does. And I just, uh, I, I just. There, you don’t see movies like this anymore because studios aren’t gonna green-light this project anymore, unless there’s a, a plus blockbuster hero involved.
And then if it’s, you know, then if they’re involved, they’re going to say, well, I need to be able to do this, this, this, and this. They’re not going to look dopey like Jack Burton does. And so like, all of it just really got pulled together in a way that was so unique to the time and place, but it doesn’t feel like a time and place kind of movie.
It feels, it feels sort of timeless.
Uh, Marco, how about you? You got some, you got some thoughts
Mark: Uh, yeah, I think, uh, I I’d agree that it does have kind of like a timeless feel that the, the modern culture in this movie could be contemporary, modern culture, and it wouldn’t change the story a lot, uh, if at all. and one of the things that interested me was, uh, where this movie. Uh, in the development of, of, uh, genres and film, I meant to do some actual research on this, but did not, but, so I I’d like to see, uh, uh, what you guys think about how wrong I might be, but, uh, uh, it, like, it seems to me like bef, uh, before the mid eighties, there was very little of, fantasy in, in modern culture sort of sort of movies.
And I think there’ve been a lot since then, but, uh, if there is, if there’s anything fantasy before mid eighties, it was probably like high fantasy and just straight up fantasy. But, uh, this is, uh, this is a really good, I don’t know what the word I’m looking for is, but, uh, the juxtaposition of that, sort of ancient lore, magic mysticism in a modern culture at, I think this one does a really well, and I don’t know if there are any other American movies, that’s that try to dabble in, in Asian lore? what do you guys think I like is, is this kind of on the, on the forefront of a wave of, of genre films?
Jer: I think the genre that you were looking for maybe would be called contemporary fantasy. I don’t know, to answer your last point though. Uh, interesting fact about this movie is that it was, uh, in a race to get released with golden child.
the studio was, The studios panicked about getting it out in time, because if they were worried that if it came out after golden child, that would just be, oh, that’s just, just trying to be golden child and it would flop.
And so they, they condensed everything down to make sure that it got released, several months before the golden child. But, but beyond those two, I don’t know that there’s a lot of, uh, of sort of this same kind of movie. I think there are some, and I think that mid eighties tried to dabble in a lot of this sort of scifi slash fantasy, but in a contemporary setting kind of idea, but
But I think you’re right. I think that this was sort of. This was, this was Hollywood trying something new.
Kyle: I think like Disney did fantastical things like, you know, the Chitty, Chitty, bang, bangs, and peach dragon, like they’ve, there’ve been movies that had fantastical elements, but not like fantasy per se. You know what I mean? I think there was some live action animation kind of mixes that were interesting in that way, but, uh, I wouldn’t call them fancy by any means, you know, before the eighties, but yeah.
Jer: Yeah. Things like bed knobs and broomsticks and things like that. There’s magic elements in it.
Kyle: Yep. Mary Poppins
Mark: Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know if anyone’s ever called that a fantasy film, but yeah. Magical for sure.
Kyle: kids. Yes. Magical. Yeah, maybe that’s a good, a good way to put it so magical instead of fantasy.
Jer: And then I think before this, you had things like Conan the barbarian. Um, even Willow came out pretty close to this. So you had sort of like you were saying the sort of high fantasy swords, swords and magic kind
Mark: Yeah. And like the, uh, the Ralph Bakshi Lord of the rings, uh, animated films
were somewhere in a few years before this
Jer: Yeah, they were, they’ve been trying to make that a working genre forever, but this is, this is something outside of that I think.
Kyle: I think there’s one that we’re not remembering here. And I’m a little ashamed of Lee for not remembering this, especially, but I think we’re ignoring Hercules in New York. Uh, I feel like that is a, you know, that is right, right in that the cross hairs of fantasy and, uh, and modern day. So, you know, I don’t know how we did that, but
Jer: Well, and also the last dragon.
Kyle: also the last dragon.
Yes. W what year was the last dragon? I don’t
Kyle: Okay. So real close. Oh, funny. I couldn’t resist. I could barely get that out
Lee: Hercules where
Arnold Schwartzenegger is a completely dubbed throughout the whole movie because nobody could understand what he was saying.
Kyle: Yup. Yup. Good old
Mark: And over dub by a guy from the
Kyle: listen, he se
Mark: I’m hurricane.
Kyle: uh, I. Uh, I really enjoyed kind of talking about the vibe of the movie. I really liked the way that they started it out with the interview with eggshell. Um, I thought that was really cool. Like they did a good job of, of establishing the stakes. They did a good job of, uh, basically establishing characters. Like they already made Jack Burton kind of like a mythic character before you even see him and get a chance to judge him as his, you know, dorky, terribleness, but it was so great and it establishes magic as a reality in this current world.
I just thought that was so cool. It could have been so cheesy. And I think at its heart, it probably was kind of cheesy, but I just loved it so much. I just thought that was such a brilliant way to start the movie. I just adored it.
Jer: If I remember, right. That was an, a late add on that the studio requested because they didn’t, they wanted something or another, but it was another way that John Carpenter really sort of got what he wanted while also giving the studio what they wanted. Like they make, make Jack Burton feel like the hero, make him even more of a mythical presence while in the movie he’s really not at all.
And it just is another, it’s another way that he, he, he subverted that the expectations of everybody and just like pulled the wool over the eyes of the studio.
Mark: I think it might’ve been nice if we came back to the, to the, the detectives. But, um, I mean, I don’t know if the movie really needed that, but, uh, it be kind of nice to button that.
Kyle: Yeah, I think it could have, but I don’t feel like it’s lacking because of it. I think if like, I think it’s a very forgettable opening other than the fact that it’s perfect, I guess, you know what I mean? Like it, it does its job perfectly and then just completely forgets about it, which I think is fine.
I’m not too terribly worried about it, but you know, it could have been an interesting loop back. Maybe they were setting up a SQL. I don’t know. I can’t believe there hasn’t been a SQL to this now that I say that out loud, that’s really.
Mark: I think,
Jer: is a, sorry sorry to jump in again. But, Anthony Burch, who many of you would know as the dungeon master to the podcast, Dungeons and daddies, co-wrote a graphic novel series called old man. That is about, is essentially a SQL to this.
Kyle: That’s cool. I had
Jer: it’s, it’s a hundred percent cool. It’s an awesome, awesome story too.
I’ve paged through it a little bit. I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but it’s, it’s like, it’s, it’s him living in Florida, basically retired and having to quote unquote, come out of retirement to save the
Kyle: That’s so good. Anthony is amazing. He’s so good
at what he
does, man. Incredible. I’ll have to check that out. Let’s link that in the show notes so we can, uh, maybe get a, get a library request for that or something. Uh, mark, you also mentioned something in particular from this movie that had like a huge impact on your, childhood brain.
Mark: Yeah. Good. Um, speaking of awesome and amazing. Uh, can we talk about the three storms and thunder, lightening and rain? uh, the kind of henchmen of low pan. I guess I’d like your opinions on this. Cause uh, I saw this movie as a kid and as a kid, it was probably easier to impress me, but, uh, I think those characters are so awesome.
It’s they, you know, they all have their different super powers and uh, and you know, then they make a great team together. There is so imposing, they, yeah. They walk out into a battlefield and just own it. Fantastic. you know, for, so those of you who didn’t see this until adulthood, how wrong am I?
Jer: I don’t, I don’t think
Kyle: Yeah, I loved them.
Jer: w what I th what I think is so cool is that the first time you see them and they come out in that, in that fight, they don’t really do anything super spectacular besides the one guy writing down on a lightning bolt. But all they do is just sort of stand there and pull out their weird weapons and the way that, you know, that they’re bad-ass is because everyone’s terrified of them from both sides and they don’t even have to do anything.
And then later we get to see them kind of in their full, full powers and stuff. And then it’s like, okay, these are the, these are the main. Bad guy. This is the, these are the mini bosses.
Kyle: Yeah. I could see that being a hundred percent lifted from a Kung Fu movie, you know, like a Japanese Kung Fu movie or whatever. Just set right there and it’s fine. You know what I mean? Like it’s, it just fits perfectly with the vibe of the movie and those characters. So yeah, I could see that being like a glorious rip off, uh, if you will, of other better Kung Fu movies.
Mark: Yeah. Kung-fu is Chinese.
Kyle: Thank you. Sorry. Appreciate it. that’s a nice segue actually into Jr. You mentioned that it’s, uh, it’s kind of nice to not feel bad about liking a movie from the eighties. That’s a refreshing change. Say more than.
Jer: Yeah, we’ve, we’ve done quite a few movies, uh, on this podcast that are seventies, eighties. Uh, centric movies. And oftentimes the conversation topic comes up of either, how women are presented in the movie or how, minorities and, and, uh, other groups are presented in movies. The eighties didn’t do a good job at any of those, for the most part.
I thought that,
uh, upon rewatching, this, I thought that this movie does a reasonably good job at portraying a culture other than Caucasian. and the characters within that in a pretty reasonable and, uh, honoring way I could be wrong. And I would be, I would welcome being told I’m wrong so that I could understand better, but I felt like, that this movie.
The John Carpenter really wanted to focus on the characters that weren’t the white people. And, if, if, uh, Gracie law and Jack Burton were there, they were going to be sort of the dopey sidekicks, and everybody else was going to get the center stage. That’s just kinda how I, how, how, how it appeared to me.
I dunno. What do you guys do? You guys agree? Disagree? I’m perfectly willing to be told that I’m off base.
Mark: I totally agree. I think, um, I think this film has just, is mostly set in that Chinese culture and, and Jack, especially as the fish out of water, Gracie feels a little bit more natural cause she seems to actually know things about that culture, but, uh, uh, yeah, it, it seems really more like observational about.
About little China and the, and the Chinese mysticism, I don’t, I don’t think it’s tries to put anything on, uh, onto it. It just, uh, it tells us what’s there and, uh, yeah, and it doesn’t get judgy or anything.
Jer: Yeah, it wasn’t ever a punchline. Uh, none of the characters were ever really a punchline. Uh, it just, yeah, it felt like it inhabited a world that exists.
Kyle: Yeah, we’re going to get into that in the next part here where we’re discussing, discussing Jack specifically. But I remember in part one, someone mentioned that there are so many opportunities for winks in this movie of like ha self-referential, but it never does that. And I think if they did that with the mystical pieces, it would have felt significantly less authentic, less genuine, and therefore less.
And less interesting. So I’m so glad that they didn’t do that at all. It just was true. Like they, again, that, that starting of the movie, just set it up as though this was the most normal thing in the world that this gentleman is being interviewed, talking about green. Like, what was it, green flames or a green bubble or whatever.
And then, you know, he does lightning bolts between his hands. Like, it just felt like, oh, okay. I guess it’s Thursday, it’s lightening bolt between the hands day. You know? I mean, it’s just, it just felt like that the most normal thing, other than the fact that it was completely extraordinary, which I thought was awesome.
Mark: I’m pretty refreshing.
180 for the
Kyle: Yeah, for sure. So let’s move on to talk about Jack, right? So he’s the, he’s the goofy elephant in the room. Jair, you had a long point on this surprise. Surprise. Uh, why don’t you get us started on the discussion of Jack and what he means to you, what he means to the movie, how you felt it was et cetera, et cetera.
Jer: So one of the reasons why I love this movie, that I didn’t realize watching it as a kid, but looking back on it now, Is actually a reason why I loved it is that Jack is just, uh, he he’s a bad at his job. I mean, well, he’s, he doesn’t, he thinks he’s the hero of this movie.
And in reality, he is not, he thinks that this story is his story and it is not, and there are so many different ways that that could be played in a movie. And I think the way that John Carpenter and, um, um, oh shoot the guy, the Kurt Russell. Oh my gosh. The way that, the way that Kurt Russell played it is so perfect because he’s, you know, he’s bringing in this bizarre John Wayne impression and he’s just super like everything about him as super macho, almost over the top, but not quite.
And it’s all very like. I got things under control. Everybody. Nobody has to panic cause I’m here, but he has no idea what he’s doing.
is shown not just from like the movie showing us. Yeah. That, yeah. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. He doesn’t know that there’s a safety on a gun. He shoots the thing and the stuff falls on his head and he knocks himself unconscious.
Like it shows him failing, but it also, every other scene is him like, Hey, don’t worry. I got it under control. Will somebody please tell me what’s
I don’t know what’s happening. Like he just, he, he, most of
is saying, huh? What? Um, and I just,
I love that.
That hero was so anti anti eighties for action movies.
And even now, like you ha you have movies like the fast and furious franchise and some of these other ones where you hear stories about like the rock or VIN diesel or these guys writing into their contract, that they can’t bleed, or they have to punch the bad guy more times than they get punched or all of this just ridiculous stuff that it’s like, that would never, that, that would ruin this movie.
And, uh, Jack Burton is just such an interesting, dumb, dumb character. And I love him so much because of the performance that, that, uh, Kurt Russell decided to, to do with it. And it’s just, it’s hilarious without being Winky it’s swaggery without being, uh, you know, too over the top. And it’s just, it’s dumb without being sick.
That’s my that’s my 2 cents on Jack Burton.
Kyle: I love the fact that partway through the movie, you know, like eventually he and Gracie, you know, make out because you know, they’re going to, it’s an, it’s an intense time and place and, you know, emotions are running high. And for the, for the rest of the movie, he’s got like lipstick just smeared all over his face, which I think is perfect.
Like he doesn’t know it, the audience knows it and it is made so much better because of that. Like, it’s, it’s, you know, not that not that lipstick is inherently emasculating, but I think it meant to do that in a way that was absolutely spot on. Perfect. You know what I mean? It just drove home, everything that came before it, in terms of him, you know, being kind of bumbling, not really knowing what’s going on, just like, and, and owning every second for that.
I just loved that moment so much. It made me so happy.
Jer: It was very, it’s very
Kyle: Yeah, Yeah. Totally. The. When we were talking about the recasting of it, we talked about, you know, what w w w what exactly is this performance? And I think we essentially landed on the fact that Jack Burton is completely lifting John Wayne, uh, which we have talked about John Wayne movies here.
Uh, you know, he is an iconic character, an iconic actor, you know, I mean, he, he, his masculinity for so many people who grew up watching westerns, uh, I am not that person. And I sort of have as a result of the larger world, around us, quite a averse reaction to masculinity in a lot of ways. So I wanted to hate this character so much just because it was.
Impersonating ripping off lifting whatever, uh, John Wayne, but in spite of all of that, I couldn’t hate the character. You know what I mean? Like it’s, I, it had everything stacked against it in terms of what the character could have been like, like the terrible monologue and the truck that was also awesome.
And just all, you know, just like everything, it should have been awful. And I should’ve hated this character, but I never could. Uh, I put, he’s such a brilliant dumb ass, which I think is the perfect, perfect encapsulation of Jack Burton. He’s a brilliant dumb ass.
Jer: one. I think another thing with the, with the John Wayne is that when, when this script first was getting passed around, and I think even when John Carpenter first got it, this was supposed to take place in the old west,
uh, like the early days of San Francisco and the gold rush in that, that time period.
And so it was essentially a Western and it was apparently awful and on unmakeable, but the, through all of this, you know, script revising processes and things, they got to, to what it is now, but I think. In, oh, in a way they wanted to keep some of that sort of Western vibe kind of similar to how, uh, sort of the show Firefly is a Western in space.
And this is sort of a Western in, in, this, uh, sort of, uh, cosmological standard, you know, uh, uh, mist mysticism sort of way. Uh, cosmological is not the right word if it is even a word.
Um, even to the point that, that Jack Burton, uh, instead of a cowboy hat, he’s always got the trucker hat that he’s kind of, you know, putting on like a cowboy hat.
He walks out at the end of the movie with saddlebags, for some reason that don’t make any sense at all. Um, they tried to make this Western sensibility to it, and I think that’s one of, and the jet, the John Wayne impression just works because of that. And you don’t even realize.
Kyle: We touched on this a little bit in part one, but I, Jerry, if you want to kind of bring home the idea that Jack Burton is a hundred percent supposed to be the hero of this movie in a hundred percent does not end up being so, and, uh, you called it a two-sided coin trick, which I love. So tell us a little bit more.
I think in order to, in order to get this movie made the producer, the director, they had to convince the, they had to convince whoever the studio was. I don’t remember. Um, but they had to convince them that they have a big name and it’s going to be an action movie with an action star. And, but that’s not the movie that that’s not the script that they had.
And that’s not the movie that John Carpenter wanted to make. He wants to make a movie that, that we saw. The Asian culture being at the forefront and this, uh, Asian mysticism and the heroes within all of that. And so he had to sort of create this balancing act of making a movie that could be shown to producers and studios to say, look, isn’t Jack Burton.
Awesome. Doesn’t he kick so much ass and he’s just such a great hero, but then also just undermine him at every possible
moment to continue to shine the light where it was supposed to be shined shown. Uh, and he, he, pulls it off really, really well. And, and unfortunately I think a side effect of that is when this movie came out, nobody liked it.
Um, it didn’t do it. Didn’t do all that well until the, the VHS period of time. And then it was kind of one of those VHS. Darlings that have, has, has risen into kind of cult status since then. But, um, yeah, I, I think that it’s a really interesting unique movie because of, because of that aspect of it.
Kyle: Plus a Mayday that much more interesting character. The, the main. You know, and they kind of, they kind of let the cat out of the bag early on in the movie in terms of who they’re going to visit or who they’re trying to get from the airport. And then it just essentially becomes Wayne cheese movie, which is awesome because he kicks total ass.
Like he’s an interesting character, like he’s developed, you know, it’s, it’s, not,
Jer: He’s an action hero. He’s an
eighties action hero. He, he does martial arts. He, he beats everybody that gets in, you know, that he faces, he fought the, you know, the main storm at the end. Like this is his Mo this is his movie, but nobody realized it. Andy and lead. You guys have anything to say? You’re been, uh, kind of back back staged by my job.
Lee: Uh, I don’t really have anything to add at this point.
Kyle: Turns out
Andy’s Andy’s microphone. Hasn’t been working. Listen to her.
Andy: you guys haven’t heard me.
Mark: I’ve been speaking for 40
Andy: it was gold. I tell you pure gold. Uh, I have chosen to keep my mouth shut, um, because I have mostly disagreed with just about everything you guys have said,
Andy: and I
will have a
Lee: Yeah, this isn’t this wasn’t for me.
Kyle: so bef before we get into other performances, then let’s, let’s touch on that. Andy worked w where’s the source of your.
Andy: It’s not even numbers. It’s just, I didn’t think this movie was that good. I apparently had never seen it in its entirety until now. And I don’t know if this hit me similarly to romancing the stone and in that. I didn’t like that one at all. either. And I think, I don’t know. I mean, I don’t want to, I don’t want to just go off on a Dennis Miller rant here, so suffice it to
Jer: Please do, please do.
okay then, um,
Kyle: Those liberals in the media. I tell you what.
Andy: I thought the, the character of Jack Burton was completely unnecessary. Uh, and I, I actually kind of cringed and despised every time he was on the screen, I didn’t find him endearing. I didn’t find him. I did find him completely bumbling and ineffective. Uh, I agreed with those perspectives, but I just thought he was in the way and confusing.
Uh, I didn’t think that his performance as the, kind of the, I forget your term, Kyle, um, something about something dumb ass, but
brilliant dumb ass.
Andy: the brilliant dumb ass.
I didn’t find it. I just found him as a dumb ass. Um, and, and I don’t know if that’s, uh, Kurt Russell’s fault or John carpenter’s fault or what I like. I just, it felt very wooden and forced, and I didn’t like that.
And yeah, I don’t know. I, I did the special effects to me were super hokey. I thought that when this movie was made at a time, when I thought that the effects could have been better, so it made me wonder, like, was this a super low budget film? And they were trying to do things with, uh, yeah, I just, this movie just really.
Just kinda missed the mark with me. And, uh, there you go.
Lee: I feel like I would have maybe responded to this better if I had seen it as a kid
Andy: Yeah, I agree with that.
Lee: yeah. And it’s, I mean, seeing it as an adult, it just didn’t, um, I just didn’t respond to it, so
Andy: like there’s A lot of movies, similar, similar genre movies from a similar time that were just a lot better.
Jer: A good friend of mine that I thought was going to jump at the chance to talk about this movie. Uh, whose name is Joe said almost verbatim what you said. He’s like, I didn’t care for. And everybody’s like, how could you say that? What are you talking about? And he’s like, I didn’t see it until like five years ago.
I didn’t care for it.
Lee: I feel
Andy: feeling there’s a L there’s a lot of movies like that, that I love because I saw them as kids that I know that, uh, you know, people that see them as adults are like, man,
Lee: I feel like if, if I, if I hadn’t seen, um, the golden child when I was a kid and I saw it now, I don’t think I would like it, but it just so happens that I have a connection to that movie. So, and it’s similar to this one. Yeah.
Mark: so curious about, uh, uh, how much my reaction to, to this movie and the golden child as well. And you are because I saw them when I was young. I had, I’d really love to know what the, uh, what my reaction would be if I was just coming to these fresh and blank. Um, when I, when I know for sure that I’m the kind of person that would appreciate a movie like this,
Andy: And I want to be clear. There are elements of this film that I’ve really, really enjoyed. Um, it was essentially if this movie was strictly about Chinatown and the goings on within it, I probably would’ve liked it more. If any of the white characters were taken out of it, if all of them were taken out of it.
And this, was simply a movie about. The, the criminal and mystical and magical underworld of Chinatown, I probably would have liked it more. Um, to me that just seemed like the, the, the white characters were just kind of super fluid in the way. And I, and I hear what you’re saying here about John Carpenter, kind of pulling this trick to get the movie made.
And that certainly, I don’t know if that, I don’t know the history of that movie, but it makes sense going to given the time that to, to, to showcase this story, he had to kind of whitewash it for lack of a better term. Um, and if that’s true, then, then good on you, John Carpenter for pulling that fast one, because it did give us this movie that obviously a lot of people have enjoyed.
Uh, for me, I just, I wish it would have been different. And maybe in that time, and in that movie in Hollywood of that day, that probably would not have been possible.
Mark: I would like to know if we, if we took Jack out of this film, , uh, where do, where do we think the comedy is going to come from?
Andy: Well personally, I didn’t think he provided any comedy, so I wouldn’t, it would, it wouldn’t be missing for me. Uh, I think it could come from better writing. I think that, uh, you can still have the, uh, buffoonish character. Um, I mean, I think we talked about this before. Think of like a Shanghai nights or Shanghai noon or, um, you know, like, uh, or the, uh, um, rush hour films that you have that kind of buddy comedy with Jackie Chan where you’re Owen Wilson’s or you’re forgetting that other actors name from rush hour. It’s also, thank you, Chris Docker, like. That they’re a little buffoonish in what they do. Um, but they’re definitely there for the comedy And then you let the martial arts stars do the martial arts stuff like that formula worked really, really well. Now, granted, you also had Jackie Chan, but I feel like something similar could be done in this story. But to me, the Jack Burton that we had in the movie to me, it was just kind of, he just kind of had the, the, he was as interesting to me as the potato that Jared was eating when we started this call.
Kyle: I think the comedy would lie. One of my favorite scenes is way in Wang. She is fighting the, is it the storm or is it, I don’t know. The guy that eventually blows up. Is he a storm or is he just a, a goon? He’s a
Mark: He is, he is a storm. He
Kyle: arm. Okay. Got it. Okay. So when he’s fighting thunder and they’re like, the camera is essentially facing straight forward into a room and then weighing chief.
And then the storm flies over and then you just see like a bunch of furniture go flying the other way. Like I think they could have done a lot with that. That scene is just absolutely perfect to me. I laugh my ass off in that
Jer: That that scene is a hundred percent
Mark: Or Scooby
Kyle: Yep. Excuse me too.
Jer: Scooby doo.
Kyle: And then his explosion, the explosion of thunder. Oh my God. So good. Just like smoke coming out of the nose. It was essentially a cartoon. It was a hundred percent of cartoon. Yeah. That’s spot on. So I could see it being more of that more, uh, slapstick, more, uh, you know, Kung Fu at heart, but funny in its execution. So I think we landed on the fact that if you saw it as a kid, you loved it. If you didn’t see it as a kid ups and downs, that’s, that’s fair and it gets better. Uh, I want to take just a couple of minutes to talk through, uh, the special effects on this. Uh, mark, why don’t you talk about the visual effects first?
And then I want to talk about the Kung Fu little bit.
Mark: Yeah. Um, well, I’m, I’m going to land on the opposite side of Andy, where I thought the, the effects in this one were pretty good. I mean, for, uh, for an era of film where there was a bunch of new effects that were still getting the, you know, the wrinkles ironed out. I think, I think this one pulled it off.
Well, uh, I mean, we have, uh, we have the, the good stuff of, of low pan, uh, gliding along the floor and, and deal on that. One’s pretty easy practical effect, but then, you know, he happens to float through walls and stuff and, and sometimes when we, uh, when we get. Affects like that in, in this era of film, you can, you can really tell that the, the quality of one layer of film is not the same as the, as in the other layer of film.
I actually think Ghostbusters suffers from that. Um, and I don’t think this one did, so I was pretty impressed
Jer: Interesting note, the same company did both
Mark: and also Ghostbusters was a year before
or two years before
Jer: And I, I believe that the, whatever, the special effects company that did Ghostbusters was created to make Ghostbusters,
I could be
Kyle: Oh, yeah, no, that’s right. I watched the, um, oh gosh, what’s that series movies that you love? Gosh, what is it on Netflix? I can’t think of the name of it, but yes, that’s exactly right. One of the heads of ILM left and started their own company and basically handled all the effects on it. Yes, that is exactly right.
Jer: Yep. That’s right.
Kyle: Uh, I want to talk a little bit about the Kung Fu uh, it was pretty, it’s pretty awesome. I think the stunt work was pretty great, especially with the storms. I just thought that was great. I mean, whoever they hired to do the choreography and everything was solid, you know, I think there were a couple of moments where, uh, background actors in some of the fights were just sort of like, sort of just slapping each other’s hands a little bit.
But other than that, I thought, uh, all in all, it was really, really good. I, I enjoyed it.
Mark: I’d like to tack on to the, to the fighting aspect of this, uh, with a slightly different point. Um, do we think this movie needs a boss fight? Because I mean, we have the, we have the three storms. There’s a lot of great fighting with them. It’s fantastic. A low pan. Doesn’t do it. Um, it could, this, could this movie benefit if, uh, you know, now that we have the, you know, the technology to do this, if we could make a low pan a more, that I don’t know, imposing and dangerous character.
Andy: I have a suggestion that perhaps perhaps a boss fight would be appropriate, but I would also suggest that they tighten up the, the story in terms of the villains, because like you said, mark, you had low pan who was just kind of creepy and you had the storms, which were con I was confused by the storms at first, because while I liked their straw hats, I thought those were cool. Um, they, they, they made a lot of moves and a lot of like showy stuff, but they didn’t always do a lot. And then they were. Like kidnapping people, I guess. And then there was that weird Chewbacca guy that I don’t understand what, like, or restraint, like, I don’t understand why he was there.
I truly don’t know why he like all of a sudden, whoa, there’s beast, man.
And then, and then there was the weird, the, uh, beholder thing, but all these like things that keep getting added on, and I was, I really was confused about who I needed to be paying attention to and it made, it just made the story. The plot to me was, was, was lost. So that would be one suggestion that I would make would be to tighten that up.
And then perhaps a better boss fight.
Jer: this, this movie really does in a lot of ways, feel like it follows a
video game structure where they’re going down different levels, like literally down this elevator to like the next level down until they get to the, to the, the sort of mini boss fight where they’re fighting the three storms and. W, whether it’s the fault of John carpenter’s attempt to keep Jack Burton from being the heroic hero, or if it was just, if it made more sense in some other narrative way, but the only real boss fight with low pan was when EG Shannon, him played their little video game, um, video game combat, which was interesting and cool, but also took less than a minute.
And then it was over and nothing really happened because of it. Um, and then low pan just left, uh, that was you couldn’t ever beat me. And then he left and, uh, to, to the point, mark that you’re making, I think one of the problems in the original movie with why there wasn’t a boss fight is because in order to make.
James Hong looked seven feet tall. He was on really, really tall lifts and could barely walk. So making him do anything sort of physical combat was pretty much impossible. Um, but that, I think that in a remake that would make a lot more sense to have him do something besides, uh, you know, video game fighting or whatever that was.
Kyle: I think we’re really missing what is actually needed, which is in the fight, the video game fight that you mentioned, we just have to make it so that low pan doesn’t use his pinkies as the source of his power, because really that’s, that’s no good like pink. Everybody knows that pinky is the weakest digit.
Like the fact that he just kind of puts his pinkies together and then it has like a 10 foot wide lightsaber. Like it’s just, it’s not realistic. I’m sorry. It’s just not realistic.
Jer: That’s how I mind I’m going to go play video games is I my pinkies together and move my thumbs.
Kyle: So, oh, Lordy. Ah, so dumb. I love it.
Jer: But James Hong’s the
Kyle: is the
best. Yes. Agreed. Agreed. All right. So let’s wrap it up here with our rating of the film. Again, this is a one to 10 scale one being the worst movie you’ve ever seen. 10 being the best movie you’ve ever seen, uh, and a scale of your choosing. So, uh, Jair, since this is your pick, why don’t you start at.
Jer: So I will admit that this is not a flawless movie and, uh, much of my rating is. Buoyed by, by the nostalgia that goes along with it. Um, so that being said, I still even watching it a couple of weeks ago, uh, to refresh for this, uh, podcast. And I have seen it in my adult life, um, before it wasn’t like, I hadn’t seen it in 20 years, but every time I watch it, I still enjoy it.
So I’m going to give this
one. uh, I’m gonna give this one 8.3 60 min backs.
Jer: That is, that is way too many 60 and bags for any one person to have, but there was a
pretty big group of.
Kyle: I’ll ask. Uh, Lee on to you. What is your rating and scale?
Lee: Um, yeah, well, like I said, this wasn’t really for me. Um, so I’ll give it for green eyes.
Kyle: I like it. Uh, Andy MCU. What about you rating and scale for you?
Andy: Uh, I’m right there with Lee. I’m also going to give this one for beast men.
Kyle: Hmm, nice, Andy. I very much did enjoy your introduction to Gracie law. One because of the old. Uh, mentioned, which just killed me and then you ended it with what was it? Uh, and then she gets grabbed by a beast, man.
Kyle: Boom. Just straight up. I
loved it. So good. Uh, I’ll go next. I’m going to give that. So I, I love this movie.
It is not a good movie. It’s not a great movie. I love this movie. It’s so much fun. I still enjoy it. And yes, there’s absolutely childhood weight on that. Uh, I will give it 7.1 steaming noses cause that the blowing up guy, it’s just my, that was like, the thing that I remembered most from this movie is his like growing and I love that effect.
That effect was top-notch so good. So good. All right, mark. Wrap us up here.
Mark: all right. Um, uh, this movie is totally for me and, uh, and yes, there’s some nostalgia value as well. Although I have come back to it in my adult life and, uh, and you know, it didn’t, didn’t find it as a, as flawed as, as some as other people have. Um, I think it has original characters. I think it has original writing.
Um, and. And it’s, uh, it’s, it’s imperfections. Don’t make it suffer that much, in my opinion. Um, I’m going to give it, 9.7, not beholder. Beholders
Andy: canceling out. Me and Lee,
Kyle: That’s awesome. good. man. This was fun Jer. Good pick. Thank you for making this choice. Uh, I was very happy to revisit it and this was a fun discussion. Nice work.
Jer: Yeah, I I’m surprised by the, the reactions, but I appreciate them. And, uh, this was, this was great. And I’m, I am actually very happy that Andy and Lee felt comfortable, uh, expressing their
Kyle: they’re not wrong.
Andy: that. We’ve done this long
Jer: yeah. They’re they’re, you’re you’re not wrong per se. Um,
Andy: And I’ve and I’ve never actually seen David Lynch’s doing so I’m looking forward to that as
Kyle: Yeah. How many? I think am I the only, no, Jerry you’ve seen.
Jer: have seen, so I was going to bring this up about big trouble note China too, but I think doing totally fits into this category as well. Big trouble in little China,
I saw so much number one because of
that VHS. cash,
that my stepdad gave
us, but also it felt like this was like on that TBS or TNT,
where they’re just showing movies constantly.
And so you’re just watching sort of the TNT, uh, edited version of it and the, uh, the S the steam coming out of the, nose and hit, and Jack Burton, wheeling backwards down the hallway in the wheelchair were sort of the bumpers into and out of the commercials. So I remember seeing those two scenes, a billion times, uh, and dune similarly was also one of those movies that was seem seemingly always on USA or TNT or something.
And so I feel like I’ve seen chunks of it, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it from beginning to.
Kyle: it. Andy, have you seen dune?
Andy: No. I just said
Kyle: Thank you. That’s what I thought. I thank
Andy: for paying attention.
Kyle: What, uh, Lee, have you seen.
Lee: No. And, uh, I’ve, I’ve avoided it on purpose.
Kyle: I’m so excited for this Mart. Mark, have you seen dune?
Mark: I have seen parts of it. And I think it might be a similar situation to Jair where, um, it’s been around and, and I caught it for a little bit, but then maybe I got, I got called upstairs to eat dinner. I don’t know, something like that.
Kyle: Got it. Okay.
Jer: Also, I think there are probably parts of dune that are in my head as parts of doing, but are actually part of the movie ice pirates, which is very, very different.
Jer: And one that I’ve desperately wanted to add to this podcast, but I’m going to hold off on to it for a while now, because I don’t want to subject you guys to that.
Kyle: awesome, man. Well, I’m excited for that. Uh, I can’t wait. Re maker’s. Mark is a proud member of the math is hard network to find out more information about this podcast or any other podcasts on the network. Check us firstname.lastname@example.org. There, you will find show notes with links, to all of the people, movies and links discussed.
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We’re on Facebook at re makers, mark Twitter at re maker’s, mark and Instagram at Rainmaker’s mark podcast. So please join in the discussion there as well. Well, that was really fun. I am a, I’m glad we went on this journey together and I can’t wait for the next journey as well, man. This is a trip, uh, until the next time gentlemen, may the force be with you.
Everyone: And also with you.