August 9, 2013
Filmwhys Podcast: Big Trouble in Little China/Kick-Ass
All film lovers have blind spots that never seem to find their way onto the screen. They keep moving them down their Netflix queues every time they near the top. I’ve knocked out a lot since I started the blog, but there’s an endless supply remaining out there. More “must-see” movies keep arriving every year. How can we keep up? This quest is at the heart of the Filmwhys podcast, where host Bubbawheat tackles a new landmark film each time. His site Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights focuses on super hero movies, so his guests take a shot at a new pick from that genre. It’s a great concept, particularly since he has missed some big-time selections. Prime examples from his first 10 episodes include Jaws, Rocky, and 12 Angry Men. I joined him this week to cover John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China. This wonderful 1986 film has its share of fans but deserves even more attention.
Carpenter finds the right tone for this combination of genres that never takes itself too seriously. A main reason for the success is Kurt Russell, who keeps Jack Burton likable despite his cluelessness. He talks like John Wayne yet bumbles his way through every situation. His buddy Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) constantly saves the day while Burton comes out unscathed. They inadvertently embark on a quest to save the girls from the evil David Lo Pan (James Hong) and his minions. Kim Cattrall and Victor Wong come along for the ride, and it’s lots of fun. I had a great time introducing Bubba to this very entertaining cult film.
Our second film was Kick-Ass, a subversive take on the genre that generated plenty of controversy. I wasn’t offended and had fun with it. Chloe Grace Moretz and Nicolas Cage steal the show as Hit Girl and Big Daddy. They find the right tone for the tricky, ultraviolent material. It’s a mixed bag overall, and the high school romance for the title character (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) isn’t so thrilling. Director and Co-writer Matthew Vaughn takes clever jabs at super-hero movies, though it shifts into more standard action fare by the final act. I’m glad to finally check out this movie that’s a favorite of many film lovers. I can understand their excitement and am curious to check out the sequel, which arrives later this month.
You can check out this episode of the Filmwhys podcast through this link. I had a lot of fun talking about both movies and participating in this cool show. The other episodes have intelligent guests, and the conversations are definitely worth hearing. Closing blind spots is one of my favorite pastimes as a movie fan. Even when the choice isn’t thrilling, it gives perspective on new movies and expands our knowledge. That’s rarely a bad thing.