If anyone out there has been reading my reviews, you’ll have seen a few for some movies that have been remade for the new century. Well, here is yet another one! In this case, however, I feel that the remake is equal or quite possibly better than the original. This past weekend I went to see “The Karate Kid” and left with a smile on my face and my spirits uplifted.
Most people will remember the original movie of the same name starring Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio. Released in 1984, this film was about a teenager who has a very low self esteem and gets bullied at school. He befriends a local handyman that agrees to teach him karate. This is the basic premise of the film and is very much similar to the new movie. The only differences are location (they are now in China instead of the US), the style of fighting (the new film is about Kung Fu and not Karate), and the kid himself (Jaden Smith is a black 11 year old and Ralph Macchio was in his 20s playing a 16 year old).
The new film stars Jaden Smith, Will Smith’s son, as Dre Parker and Jackie Chan is Mr. Han, the maintenance man who goes on to teach him Kung Fu. Dre is brought to China by his mother who has had to move there due to her job. On his first day in the new country, Dre stands up for a girl who is being bullied by three other kids. When he tries to help her, the other kids begin to gang up on him and use martial arts to teach him to keep out of their business. They fight each other again later on and Mr. Han is there to step in and help Dre out. Thus begins their lessons.
The chemistry between Jaden and Jackie is terrific on screen. I could begin to feel the bond being formed between them. The character of Mr. Han really begins to be a father figure to the young Dre whose father is missing from his life. Also, it is revealed that Mr. Han’s family had been killed and he begins to see Dre as a son. Their relationship and time on screen is truly the best part of this film. This is by far the best acting performance I’ve ever seen from Jackie Chan. My only real complaint about this movie in comparison with the original is that in the original film Pat Morita uses many different ordinary tasks to teach Ralph Macchio the principals of Karate. They wax the car, paint the fence, and clean the windows. In the new film, the only thing that they use to teach Kung Fu is taking on and off a jacket. I felt like they could have explored this a little further, but this is only a minor flaw.
If Hollywood insists on remaking movies from the past, I do hope they take a lesson from this film. Sure, the story was basically the same, however they just took the basic premise, modernized it and ultimately made a better movie, at least in my opinion. Now, I do hope they leave well enough alone and let this movie stand alone. There’s really no need to do another one, even though I’ve already heard rumors of a second movie. Go and take the family to see this and prepare to leave with a smile.
One of the few untapped resources that Hollywood has failed to capitalize on is the video game. We’ve seen a few video game movies get released like Super Mario Bros. and the two Tomb Raider films, but not much else. Frankly this surprises me as there are tens of millions of gamers out there and some of the games have great characters and stories. Luckily, Disney wised up and released this past weekend “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” that is based on an extremely popular video game of the same name.
I myself love to play video games, but this one is not one that I’ve had the chance to play. So, went into this film not quite knowing what to expect. What I witnessed was a lot of fun and a film that stayed true to its roots by having most of the action feel like it came straight out of the video game. The title character Prince Dastan, played here exceptionally well by Jake Gyllenhaal, does jumps like you’ve never seen before, can handle a sword with incredible speed, power and finesse, and is faster than your eyes can process. At times I truly felt like I was watching a video game in process and wished at time’s that I was the one controlling the characters.
The story itself is about Prince Dastan, who was born in the slums but was adopted by the king when the king witnessed Dastan perform an act of true kindness in protecting a younger boy. So, Dastan became a prince, along with the king’s two other sons. Their kingdom is provided evidence that the neighboring kingdom has been supplying weapons to their enemies. This leads the princes to take up arms with their army to overthrow this neighboring kingdom. Little did they know at that time that this was all a ruse to begin a war and also to capture a sacred dagger that holds the Sands of Time. With this dagger the user can go back in time a full minute and if they locate the source of the Sand, they can then alter history no matter how far back in time. The king is killed and Dastan is thought to be his killer as he provided the king with the gift that killed him. While escaping being captured, Dastan finds the dagger and vows to find out who really killed the king and clear his name as well as protect the dagger.
There are a few holes in the plot as you watch the film however none of these flaws take away from the enjoyment of watching this rousing adventure. This is a film that I believe the whole family will enjoy. At times it reminded me of the Indiana Jones and Mummy films. The story itself is easy to follow, the action scenes are intense and exciting and the acting it better than most action adventure films. This it the definition of a great summer blockbuster popcorn film! Treat yourself to have some fun!
J. Chandler B+
This video has been circling the web today, originating at Kotaku, and creating quite a stir.
When I heard about this, I assumed it was a fan video and wasn’t all that excited to click on it, but then it kept being discussed with such enthusiasm that I finally said, “Alright, I’ll give it a couple minutes.”
And then I watched the whole thing. What really grabbed me is that this video is extremely well done. You’ll recognize Michael Jai White as Jax and a few other familiar faces and that’s all well and good, but I love the production value. I like how grounded in a sort of SEVEN-ish reality this is.
But check it out:
We always get excited when something new comes out to tease us on upcoming movies. Most especially when The Last Airbender gives us a new look into what’s to come.
Check this out! The new teaser trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly hallows has graced our accessibility. Let us know what you think?
Well, right when you thought Seth McFarlane could push the line to the limit, he FAR surpasses it! OMG, This is the most hysterical Family Guy ever!! I thought to myself self “He’s not going there is he?” and then the worst happened…He went there!