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Thread: Little Big Soldier

  1. #1
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    Little Big Soldier

    Another upcoming Jackie Chan flick.

    Jackie Chan set for 'Junior Soldiers'
    Ding Sheng to direct period road movie
    By CLIFFORD COONAN

    BEIJING -- Jackie Chan has started work on his latest film, which has the English working title "Junior Soldiers." Lensing is expected to begin early next year.

    Spox Yuan Nong from the Beijing office of Chan's JCE shingle confirmed the pic would be shot next year but gave no further details.

    Project is essentially a road movie in period costume set during the Qin dynasty, according to reports on the Sina.com website; "Underdog Knight" helmer Ding Sheng will direct.

    Chan will produce, star and write the screenplay, which focuses on three people and a horse.
    Gene Ching
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    So, just to be clear, Jackie Chan is not producing a documentary about child soldiers, right?
    Simon McNeil
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    Be on the lookout for the Black Trillium, a post-apocalyptic wuxia novel released by Brain Lag Publishing available in all major online booksellers now.
    Visit me at Simon McNeil - the Blog for thoughts on books and stuff.

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    Jackie Chan's Junior Soldiers....

    I saw this & thought I'd post it not sure if it's been mentioned already.


    Jackie Chan’s ‘Junior Soldiers’ begins shooting
    By Mark Pollard • February 4, 2009


    Chinese media reports that on February 3rd production began in Yunnan on JUNIOR SOLDIERS, Jackie Chan’s latest movie. It is a project that he has been planning for 20 years.

    JUNIOR SOLDIERS is being described as a period arthouse film that is set in the Qin Dynasty. The plot centers on a journey undertaken by three individuals and a horse.

    Chan, who portrays a military general, reportedly was filming a scene recently where he destroyed an inn sign post while in a drunken stupor. There’s no mention if Chan was channeling his drunken boxing performance in DRUNKEN MASTER 2, his drunken acting performance in NEW POLICE STORY or his impromptu drunken singing performance on stage with Taiwanese singer Jonathan Lee in 2006.

    Chan is next appearing in theaters in director Derek Yee’s crime drama SHINJUKU INCIDENT which opens in Asia in April. Pictures, a trailer and more information is available at the official site.

    Chan has already finished shooting Hollywood comedy THE SPY NEXT DOOR and is next planning to step in to replace the late Pat Morita on producer Will Smith’s remake of THE KARATE KID.
    RAYNYSC

  4. #4
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    its actors, producer and writer Chan have been preparing for 20 years?

    80 billion won = $57,558,150.96 USD
    1 won = 7/100ths of a penny

    02-05-2009 19:36
    Yoo Seung-joon appears in Jackie Chan’s film “Da Being Xiao Jiang.”
    By Lee Hyo-won Staff Reporter

    Yoo Seung-joon, a former K-pop star who became notorious for evading mandatory military service, will make his big screen debut in Jackie Chan's epic action film ``Da Being Xiao Jiang'' (Big Soldier Small General or Junior Soldier), Chan's entertainment company JC Group International said Thursday.

    The 33-year-old was recruited by Chan last year and will play a supporting role opposite the world famous action star and Taiwanese-American actor Lee-hom Wang. Shooting for the Qin Dynasty-era movie begins Tuesday at a fortress in Yunnan, China. Chan will play a common soldier, while Wang and Yoo will play princes of warring states. Yoo's character will be the villain of the story.

    In a telephone interview with Yonhap News, Yoo was quoted as saying, ``I cannot speak in detail about the movie, but I will play the bad guy. Because I play a fighting prince, I have to do action sequences involving horseback riding and swordsmanship.''

    ``Junior Soldier'' is an 80 billion won project that its actors, producer and writer Chan have been preparing for 20 years. The Chinese-language film anticipates worldwide release in the fall. ``I've been working in China for a while, so the Chinese lines won't be too much of a problem'' said Yoo. ``But I'm continuing to practicing lines that are in archaic Chinese.''

    Emerging director Ding Sheng (``The Underdog Knight'') will helm the movie. ``When Jackie Chan was planning the project 20 years ago, he was thinking of playing Lee-hom Wang's part. But because time has passed, he decided to take the role of the common soldier,'' said Yoo. ``My part wasn't very big at first, but the director changed that after meeting me, saying I'm fit for the action sequences.''

    This will be Yoo's first attempt at acting. JC Group Korea said that Chan thought highly of Yoo's well-toned physique and fluency in English, Korean and Chinese, and that he had the potential to become the next Jackie Chan. ``I feel nervous, like a newcomer again,'' said Yoo. ``Starring in a Jackie Chan movie alone is a such a great honor, and playing a sizable role is really exciting.''

    Local criticism still lingers about Yoo's controversial military service evasion and subsequent deportation. ``Of course I am still very cautious about that,'' he said. ``But I want to show that I am trying my best wherever I am, and I hope to inch my way back to stand before those I've disappointed.''
    Gene Ching
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    It's rolling

    That's what I like about Jackie. He's always working.
    Mar 9, 1:44 AM EDT
    Jackie Chan starts shooting historical epic
    By MIN LEE

    HONG KONG (AP) -- Jackie Chan says he has started shooting his new movie in southwestern China - a production Chinese media have described as a historical epic about a friendship between two soldiers.

    The 54-year-old action star said in a blog entry on his Web site Monday that he was filming in the Yuanmou Earth Forest, a Grand Canyon-like tourist attraction in Yunnan province.

    Chan said the film is called "Dabing Xiaojiang" in Chinese, which translates into "Big Soldier, Small General," but did not give further details. An earlier report by Chinese news Web site Sina.com described it as a historical epic about the friendship between two soldiers set in China's ancient Qin dynasty.

    Chan said the movie, directed by Chinese filmmaker Ding Cheng, also stars Chinese-American pop star Leehom Wang and South Korean actor Yoo Seung-jun.

    Solon So, the chief executive of Chan's JC Group, said Chan is funding the production but wouldn't give further details.

    Chan's latest release is the gangster thriller "Shinjuku Incident," which is scheduled to be released in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia on April 2 and in Japan on May 1. He was also recently filming the Hollywood comedy "The Spy Next Door."
    Gene Ching
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    Big Soldier, Junior Soldier, Small General

    As soon as JC settles on a title, I'll change the post heading.

    Jackie Chan Goes Big on 'Soldier
    After keeping a tight lid on the project for months, Jackie Chan has unveiled the details of his $25 million picture "Big Soldier".

    Chan produces, stars and wrote the screenplay, which focuses on three people and a horse.

    Cast includes Chan, singer-turned actor Lee-Hom Wang, previous unknown Lin Peng and South Korea's Yoo Seung-Jun. Ding Sheng is the director.

    "The film is set during the Warring States Period," Chan told a news conference on Tuesday. "It's an action picture with black humor plus a bit of romance."

    "The budget of $25 million is big for the times that we live in, but this is a Jackie Chan film," Yu Dong, prexy of co-investor and distributor PolyBona, told Daily Variety.
    Jackie soldiers on

    Superstar Jackie Chan's next project after the now-in-theatres Shinjuku Incident will be a period epic entitled Big Soldier.

    According to The Press Association, Chan is producing, scripting and starring in the US$25mil film, which the actor described as "an action picture with black humour plus a bit of romance".

    He will play a veteran soldier while Wang Lee Hom appears as a young, raw soldier. It's a story of three people ... and a horse.
    Gene Ching
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    Changing this thread title from Junior Soldiers to Big Soldier Small General

    Go to the site for pics
    Big Soldier Small General Begins Production
    By cfensi

    This is a week late, but I’ve got about half a dozen half-written articles, more I want to write but no time for, and thus nothing actually gets published, because I don’t finish writing one before starting on the next one.

    Jackie Chan showed off his cast for his new movie “Big Soldier Small General” (with a script that he himself penned) at a press conference about a week ago. The movie is set during the Warring States Period and is an action-comedy road movie about an old solider who kidnaps the younger general played by Leehom.

    I mentioned the possibility of this pairing a long, long time ago, when Leehom was simply offered the role, and was worried that I was getting everyone’s hopes up because he hadn’t accepted it yet. But I needn’t have worried, because Wang Leehom is Asian-American and there are few Asian Americans who would turn down the chance to work with Jackie. Besides Wang Leehom however, the cast seems extremely randomly picked…mostly unknowns without much acting experience.

    First there’s Lin Peng, who was at the Beijing Opening Ceremonies as the teacher who lead the students. She apparently caught his eye there with her looks. In my opinion, if he wanted to choose someone in the Olympics for their looks he should have chosen the “conductor” in the Paralympics performance with the little ballet girl Li Yue. She was really mesmerizing and the camera was fixated on her as well.

    Then there’s Yoo Seungjun, a Korean-American, who launched a very sucessful career in Korea as a singer, until he was to be sent into military service, and then he became a US citizen, and was banned by the Korean government from entering South Korea ever again. He then launched a singing career in China, although not as successful as his Korean one. I get when Koreans/Japanese are picked for Chinese films in order to market them towards a greater audience, but if he is banned from even physically entering South Korea, then it doesn’t seem he’ll pull in those foreign viewers. I guess Jackie Chan just really likes him because he’s got a 15-year contract with Jackie’s company.

    And finally, there’s Xu Dongmei, who’ve I’ve mentioned was one of the top sixteen from Jackie’s reality show contest “The Disciple”. Jackie must like her too giving her a role in one of his projects before his top three from that show. She’s also as you may remember, starring in Le Huo Nan Hai as “the girl with the braids” (dubbed this until I know her character’s name in the movie). I think she looks cooler with braids, but she’s very pretty without them too.

    The randomness of the cast worries me a bit. It seems as if besides Leehom, Jackie just took random people from his company and then watched the Olympics for inspiration, and thought, hey, she could work as my lead. Recently, Jackie Chan has been increasingly diving into new projects and forming new ideas, and I’m not sure how many of those ideas are truly well-thought out or just whimsies of his. Jackie, please don’t screw Wang Leehom over like Ang Lee did with Lust, Caution by giving Leehom a crappy meaningless role.

    I also wonder at the casting, because it was originally said there were four main stars, one of which is a horse. Who amongst these people is the horse? Which star is not even getting the role of the horse? (there’s five actors here by my count). Ah…questions to ponder.

    Ding Sheng, of the Underdog Knight, is directing. The Underdog Knight was dark and completely different from a Jackie Chan comedy so it’ll be interesting to see how this movie will turn out. Good luck to Leehom and everyone else in the cast.

    Source (Actually the source for this is not just one, but a bunch of articles I read a week ago, bunch didn’t save and don’t remember. Sorry.)
    Gene Ching
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    I'll change the title of this thread now.

    I remember looking forward to the JC New Year's releases. Nice to have a fresh one.

    * February 22, 2010, 3:12 PM HKT
    Jackie Chan Premieres ‘Little Big Soldier’

    Jackie Chan is off to a lightning-fast start in 2010. With the year not even two months old yet, the kung fu star already has a second movie hitting cinemas: “Little Big Soldier,” his first film for the packed Chinese New Year season in nine years.

    In what in all likelihood is the first Warring States Period comedy-action buddy road movie, Chan plays a soldier who captures a general (Wang Leehom of “Lust Caution”) from a rival state and intends to exchange his prisoner for a peaceful life as a farmer. The two develop a cautious friendship as they battle against common enemies.

    Chan has been heavily promoting the Chinese-language movie — showing up at the premiere in Hong Kong on Friday night just a few days after presenting the movie at the Berlin International Film Festival. For Chan, it’s a fine display of his signature comedic-athletic style after his dramatic turn in last year’s “Shinjuku Incident.”

    The 55-year-old actor had been kicking around the idea of “Little Big Soldier” for 20 years, and his mark on the project is conspicuously apparent: He’s credited with the original story as well as producer, executive producer, action director and, of course, star. His enthusiastic efforts appeared to have paid off: The movie has been getting generally favorable reviews.

    “Little Big Soldier” follows the opening last month of the English-language action comedy “The Spy Next Door” in North America and some markets in Asia. That movie wasn’t as well-received, but fans can look forward to his next film this summer — a remake of the modern-American classic, “The Karate Kid.”

    – Dean Napolitano
    Gene Ching
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  9. #9
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    More innovation from Jackie?

    Asia gets this and Shinjuku Incident. America gets The Spy Next Door.
    Review: 'Little Big Soldier' innovative starring vehicle for Jackie Chan
    By MIN LEE AP Entertainment Writer
    HONG KONG February 26, 2010 (AP)

    We've seen Jackie Chan, the nimble action hero who takes down the bad guys. Enter Jackie Chan, the timid soldier who will do anything to avoid fighting, even using a prop arrow and artificial blood to fake his death during major battles.

    In the veteran action star's new Chinese-language release, "Little Big Soldier," Chan plays a farmer-turned-reluctant soldier in ancient China whose survival strategy is feigning injury.

    After escaping unscathed from another battle through trickery, he stumbles upon his biggest prize — a surviving general from a rival state. The general becomes his hostage — the hope being that turning in the wounded soldier to the king of his state will win him riches and exemption from military duty.

    The treacherous journey back to the farmer's home state, fending off assassins and indigenous bandits, and the comical interplay between Chan's happy-go-lucky farmer and the fearless, snobbish general who looks down on his opportunistic kidnapper drives the 96-minute film.

    At first glance, Chan and co-star, singer Leehom Wang are hopelessly miscast. How can the world's biggest ethnic Chinese star pass for a small-time soldier? And how can a Chinese-American pop sensation raised in Rochester, New York and known for his good looks convincingly play a brash general from ancient China?

    Wang's portrayal is indeed tenuous — he still speaks Chinese with a noticeable American accent. But Chan shines in his offbeat role, bringing a lovable folksiness to his lowly character. He's infectiously carefree and upbeat, putting a positive spin on the most desperate of situations. "Things are going pretty well" is his mantra.

    And the chemistry between Chan and Wang is obvious, their awkward attempts to thwart their attackers reminiscent of Chan's successful comic pairings with Chris Tucker in the "Rush Hour" series and Owen Wilson in "Shanghai Noon" and "Shanghai Knights." The biggest running joke is the farmer's utter lack of kung fu prowess. Chan is shown pointlessly waving his wooden baton when facing down more competent opponents.

    The two leading men are helped by the superb and tightly written script by Chinese director Ding Sheng, who beautifully teases out the personalities and personal histories of the two characters.

    "Little Big Soldier" also reinforces Chan's trend of taking greater creative risks in his Chinese-language work than his Hollywood productions, where he rarely strays from action comedy. It's his second innovative Chinese-language role in a row. In one of his darker roles of late, Chan played an illegal Chinese immigrant who becomes a hit man for the Japanese mafia in his last Chinese film, "Shinjuku Incident." In a departure from his usually wholesome image, Chan is shown committing murder and paying for sex.

    Chan's new movie also shows that it's possible to be creative within the often-soulless genre of the big-budget Chinese epic that has come to dominate the local industry. Superficially, "Little Big Soldier" is another action-packed war movie featuring grand battle scenes set in the vast Chinese outback. Except it's anything but. It's a lovely story of friendship and humanity in the face of endless warfare and destruction.
    Gene Ching
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    You won't see me for a while

    You won't see me for a while? What about Karate Kid?

    Jackie Chan says new war film 20 years in making, credits director for help

    By Min Lee (CP) – Feb 19, 2010

    HONG KONG — Jackie Chan says his new Chinese movie was some 20 years in the making, crediting an unknown director for helping him develop the story of the friendship between a soldier and a general in ancient China.

    The veteran action star said at his hometown premiere for "Little Big Soldier" on Friday night he first wanted to make an inspirational war film two decades ago, but suffered a bad case of writer's block.

    "I couldn't write a script that would last 1 1/2 hours. I wrote half-an-hour worth of material but couldn't continue, no matter what. So then I made 'Police Story,' 'Project A,"' Chan told reporters, referring to two of his films in the 1980s.

    The project was kept on hold until he met director Ding Sheng several years ago. The little-known Chinese filmmaker has spent the bulk of his career shooting TV commercials before moving to the big screen.

    "He's better educated than I am. He's studied history. He knew how to weave together my story and the characters," Chan said of Ding.

    The result is a 96-minute drama set in ancient China when the country was split into warring states. Chan plays a rank-and-file soldier who captures a wounded general from a rival state, hoping that his feat will win an honourable discharge from his superiors. But the two develop a friendship during their travels as they fend off desperate refugees, a preying bear and an assassination attempt.

    "Little Big Soldier" is Chan's first widely released Chinese-language movie since his 2006 action comedy "Rob-B-Hood." The director of his previous Chinese film, "Shinjuku Incident," decided not to release the movie in China because he was worried its explicit violence would offend censors, but it was released in Hong Kong, a former British colony that enjoys a special political status under Chinese rule. The 2009 release featured Chan is one of his darker roles of late - as an illegal Chinese immigrant who becomes a hit man for the Japanese mafia.

    Chan, also seen in the recently released Hollywood action comedy, "The Spy Next Door," said his next stop is Shanghai, where he will shoot cameo scenes for "Shaolin" - a Chinese production about the famed temple known for its fighting monks. Then he will start working on his 100th movie, "Chinese Zodiac," in a shoot he said is expected to last until the end of 2011.

    "You won't see me for a while," Chan said.

    The 55-year-old actor also gushed about his multitalented co-star, heartthrob Leehom Wang, who plays the general. The successful Chinese-American singer-songwriter is now making headway in his acting career after appearing in Oscar winner Ang Lee's 2007 spy thriller "Lust, Caution."

    "He's so perfect," Chan said. "If I were a woman, I would like him too."
    I remember Rob-B-Hood.
    Gene Ching
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    This thread needs a trailer

    CRI has one. Click video

    Jackie Chan's 'Little Big Soldier'
    2010-01-06 17:32:30 CRIENGLISH.com Web Editor: Xie Tingting

    One is an old soldier who only wants to survive. The other is a young general who is aspiring to conquer. After a bloody battle, the two are the only ones alive. The story of "Little Big Soldier" is mapped out by Jackie Chan who had conceived it for 20 years.

    ---

    One is an old soldier who only wants to survive. The other is a young general who is aspiring to conquer. After a bloody battle, the two are the only ones alive.

    When the soldier finds the injured general, he decides to kidnap him and brings him on a long journey to collect a reward, thinking by doing so he will no longer need to fight a war.

    The general, feeling insulted, attempts suicide but is saved by the soldier every time.

    Somewhere along the way, the soldier and the general find themselves becoming allies in a fight against the real villains.

    The story of "Little Big Soldier" is mapped out by Jackie Chan who had conceived it for 20 years. Chan told Sohu.com in an interview that he has talked about the story with many people. But director Ding Sheng was the only one who has translated the colloquial story into a screenplay.

    Ding Sheng also directs the comedic road film, starring Jackie Chan as the soldier and Lee-Hom Wang as the general.

    Jackie Chan, who supervises the production, says the film is about lives during wartime and is a strong message that peace is priceless.

    "Little Big Soldier"
    Director: Ding Sheng
    Cast: Jackie Chan, Lee-Hom Wang, Yoo Seung-Jun, Lin Peng, Xu Dongmei, Wu Yue
    Genre: Action/Adventure/Comedy
    Release Date (Chinese mainland): February 14, 2010
    Gene Ching
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    Doing well in Singapore

    This article is dated, but oh well. I haven't found a good online box office results source for Asia yet.

    Opening on Sunday?
    Feb 19, 2010
    Jackie Chan rules box office

    DESPITE opening only on Sunday, Jackie Chan's Little Big Soldier was among the top three movies at the local box office over the Chinese New Year long weekend.

    The period drama starring Chan and Wang Lee Hom has made $900,000 as at Tuesday, coming in just behind Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief and Valentine's Day, both of which opened last Thursday.

    20th Century Fox's Percy Jackson came in tops with $1.57 million in receipts. The movie, based on a series of best-selling fantasy novels, tells the story of Percy, the teenage son of mythical sea god Poseidon.

    A 20th Century Fox spokesman says: 'The long holiday weekend provided us with the widest demographic possible for Percy Jackson, which appeals to families, teens and young adults.'

    Valentine's Day, Warner Bros' star-studded romantic comedy, took almost $917,000 to come in second place.

    The movie from the director of Pretty Woman (1990), Garry Marshall, is about the romantic entanglements of a group of people living in Los Angeles. Its stellar cast includes Julia Roberts, Jessica Biel, Patrick Dempsey, Jennifer Garner, Jamie Foxx and Jessica Alba.
    Gene Ching
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    I saw this last night

    I'll post a personal review later on today after I compose my thoughts about it.
    Jackie Chan Scores a Win With 'Little Big Soldier'
    Period film greatly eclipses any of Chan's recent Hollywood efforts
    By Eric Chu | Thursday, March 18, 2010

    As is the custom in Hong Kong, Chinese New Year brings presents, firecrackers, lucky money, and of course, the annual opening of a new Jackie Chan movie. The problem is, over the past few years, Chan has been trying to make films to appeal to both Asian and Western audiences, with little to no success. Laden with crappy CG animation and poor writing, Jackie has been trying to play the Hollywood game without realizing that his appeal is not to be gained by westernizing his films. Even a western attempt at portraying Chinese fables with last year's The Forbidden Kingdom was a catastrophic embarrassment for Asian audiences who were long-tired of western cliches about Chinese culture.

    Then came this year's The Spy Next Door. Completed in 2008 and shelved until 2010, it was yet another dud in a long line of martial arts misfires, and many feared that Jackie's best films were already behind him. The star's box office power has long been dwindling to a fizzle and insiders within the industry began equating any given year's dismal box-office receipts to the release of a Jackie Chan film.

    So, as with many action stars facing the effects of age, he decided to expand his acting repertoire by starring in a non-action movie, and the result was Shinjuku Incident. While it was an admirable effort, audiences just didn't want a serious drama from him and the film failed to jumpstart his career.

    However, with Little Big Soldier we are happy to report that he may have found a film to do just that, or at the very least, earn himself a temporary reprieve.

    Set during China's Era of Warring States (475-221 BC), Chan plays an unnamed Liang soldier who survives a devastating battle between Liang and Wei armies by playing possum. He soon discovers he isn't the only survivor and takes the last remaining Wei captive, a general (singer Wang Leehom), in hopes of being rewarded. The two mismatched characters are, at first, polar opposites, but in time, and after many adventures, come to a mutual understanding and respect for one another.
    Instead of an improvised mash-up, as most of his films are, here we are treated to a more mature piece of filmmaking, worthy of Jackie's name.

    Some may find the initial premise similar to John Boorman's Hell in the Pacific, but that's where the similarities end…and the fun begins. The adventure that follows feels more integral and fully-realized than Chan's previous films and has moments that one can describe as "thoughtful." Instead of an improvised mash-up, as most of his films are, here we are treated to a more mature piece of filmmaking, worthy of Jackie's name. Make no mistake about it, though, this is a Jackie Chan movie, and there are fights, stunts, and general buffoonery as per usual, but they are more intimate than epic, and thankfully, CG-free.

    The film is, however, is not completely without its problems, as some characters are seemingly superfluous to their respective journeys. Still, the leads are reasonably likable and carry the film with enough chemistry and humor to forgive its minor faults (which is more than I can say for Chris Tucker's toxic chemistry with Jackie in Rush Hour!).

    And while not exactly death-defying, the action is still innovative and surprising, and shows that even at 55, the action star still has some steel in his stride and tricks up his sleeve.

    In development hell for 20 years, Little Big Soldier was a pet project of Chan's. He not only stars, but also wrote, co-produced, and action-directed the film. It certainly feels like more thought and care went into the production and the result is a satisfying friendship story of which he can be proud.

    Welcome back, Jackie. We missed you.

    Happy belated Chinese New Year!

    Genre: Action/Adventure
    Starring: Jackie Chan, Lee-Hom Wang, Rongguang Yu, Ken Lo, Sung-jun Yoo
    Director: Sheng Ding
    Screenwriter: Jackie Chan
    Producer: Jackie Chan
    Studio: Bona Entertainment
    Runtime: 1 hr 36 mins
    Rated: N/A
    Synopsis: It was the darkest of times in China, when ruthless warlords waged battles to satiate their endless aggression. Millions of lives perished, and those who survived had only two choices - kill or be killed.
    The battalions of warring states Liang and Wei collided in a bloodbath that lasted from dawn until dusk. Only two men were left standing—a foot soldier from Liang and the rival General from Wei. The Soldier survived because he is an expert in playing dead, with a device strapped on his body which protruded like an arrowhead for added realism. The Soldier captured the wounded General, hoping to use the enemy as his ticket to freedom—by handing the General to the Liang warlord, the Soldier could be honorably discharged and return home to his peaceful life. The young General, though taken captive, was condescending towards the Soldier. The two men were often at loggerheads during the long and winding journey.
    OUR RATING
    * * * * *
    Gene Ching
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  14. #14
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    I loved this film

    I confess. I'm a stalwart Jackie fan. You all know it and it taints my Jackie film reviews. I enjoyed Spy Next Door because I got to share that with my kid . I enjoyed Shinjuku Incident because it was such a departure from the standard JC film). Take this for what you may but I loved Little Big Soldier. It's the best kung fu flick to come out of Asia this year so far.

    LBS is a comedy drama buddy flick and 100% pure Jackie. There's been a wave of medieval Chinese period melodramas like Yen's Empress & Warriors, Woo's Red Cliff and Li's Warlords. Frankly, that genre has been taking itself too seriously and has been getting played out. In fact, LBS is a lot like Warlords in its grim anti-war message. But this is Jackie, the king of comedy kung fu, doing what he does best - making us laugh. LBS is laugh-out-loud funny. One scene in particular was so funny that it totally floored me - I was laughing so hard. Gone are the big stunts (what do you want in his mid 50s?), but Jackie still delivers some tightly choreographed fights. No one choreographs like Jackie. His fights tell a story, not just of fighter against fighter, a story about benches and branches and other inanimate objects that get in the way. Jackie plays an aging scam artist soldier who survives battles by playing dead. He captures a prince and gets caught between the enemy militia and a warring barbarian tribe. Let the hijinks ensue! LBS is shot in spectacular locations around China and really goes for that world of arms and armor, terracotta buildings and dust. It's a fast and funny plot, moving quickly from poignant drama to comic schticks with hairpin turns. It's gets a little melancholy by the end and lacks that big fight finale, but delivers in a somewhat predictable and very satisfactory conclusion. My only disappointment was that Yu Rongguang's role was smaller that I thought it was going to be. I like his work and was hoping for a preview of Karate Kid. From the previews, it looks like Yu will take on the role of Kreese.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #15
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    This is an old review

    I stumbled across it when reading the 14 Blades review on THR. The Jackie vs. Donnie vs. Woo Ping (True Legend) Chinese New Year box office battle is fascinating to me. I heard LBS came in 2nd after Avatar in China.
    Little Big Soldier -- Film Review
    By Maggie Lee, March 02, 2010 11:09 ET
    "Little Big Soldier"
    Bottom Line: Jackie Chan's period action-adventure delivers, but without fireworks.
    Berlin -- "Little Big Soldier," touted as Jackie's Chan's 99th film, is a moderately enjoyable case of Stockholm Syndrome set in 227 B.C., during China's Warring States Period. Chan plays a cowardly foot soldier who winds up befriending the haughty enemy general (Wang Leehom) he kidnaps for a reward. Except for an unanticipated dark ending brandishing an anti-war message, director Ding Sheng does not step out of line from Chan's standard repertoire of family-oriented adventure. The film offers an assortment of well-designed stunts and genuine martial arts without one knock-out set piece.

    Reception at the Berlinale special premiere was warm, and Chan's worldwide fan base should stoke demand from his usual international distribution channels. However, this probably won't be a huge breakthrough for Chan's own boxoffice record.

    Like so many recent Chinese blockbusters, the film's background is the Warring Period, when China is fractured into seven feuding states and commoners are recklessly used as cannon fodder. A soldier from Liang state (Chan) becomes the 1-in-3,000 survivor in a skirmish with enemy state Wei. When he captures a Wei general (Leehom) by fluke, he is determined to take him back to Liang to claim a reward so he could buy a plot of land and return to his agrarian roots. Their journey is strewn with ambushes by sundry groups and persons, whose motivations range from prankish to covetous to seditious.
    More Berlin coverage

    Of these encounters, the one with a seductive songstress (Lin Peng) is the screenplay's biggest missed opportunity. After a titillating early scene in which she ensnares the two leads with dance and wine, she only resurfaces twice briefly, never materializing into a consequential role that could add frisson and ease the monotony of the predominantly male cast.

    Even more random are the intrusions and exits of an ethnic bandit tribe led by a spunky female chieftain, suggesting another promising narrative thread that is dropped before it picks up momentum. Made to grunt in an unintelligible, non-subtitled tongue, it is hard to make sense of their actions and intentions, even if they eventually play a decisive role at the climax. This makes the heroes' pursuit by Wei's prince (Steve Yoo) and his strategist the most clearly-developed strand in the narrative. Even here, the script dithers between demonizing Wen as a callous despot and condoning him for being a malleable spoiled brat.

    Chan gets by on his usual comic charisma, rendering Wang and Yoo wooden by comparison. Efforts to adapt the "odd couple" chemistry of films like "Midnight Run," "48 Hours" and Chan's own "Rush Hour" series to a local, Chinese context falter for lack of culture clash or contemporary repartee. The film's anti-war stance is born out of an idea Chan developed for years. However, the method of contrasting the soldier's dream of farming in peace with the general's ambitions of conquest was already explored with greater depth in He Ping's "Wheat."

    The absence of Chan's inimitable death-defying stunts is compensated by supple physical slapstick, which makes clever use of natural props as simple as twigs, stones and bamboo poles culled from extensive outdoor locations. Some magnificent Chinese landscapes, like lofty crests, an underground limestone cave, a canola flower meadow and the curvaceous Yangtze River are expertly framed. More functional rural locations have a dusty, dingy look.

    Venue: Berlin Film Festival

    Production company: Polybona, Huaxia Film Distribution Co./Jackie & JJ Productions
    Sales: Jackie & JJ Productions
    Cast: Jackie Chan, Wang Leehom, Steve Yoo, Lin Peng
    Director-screenwriter-editor: Ding Sheng
    Producer-executive producer-action director-original story: Jackie Chan
    Co-executive producers: Sun Yuannong, Wu Hongliang, Kay Zhao, Peter Cheung, Li Guiping
    Director of photography: Zhao Xiaoding
    Production designer: Sun Li
    Music: Xiao Ke
    No rating, 95 minute
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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