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Member's Reviews

The Karate Kid (2010), a review by Jon


The Karate Kid (2010)
4 out of 5




You can’t judge a film by its title. And you mustn’t in the case of The Karate Kid, should you become confused and cynical! After all, it’s set in China and features Jackie Chan, so Karate is never even mentioned. It’s just a slightly offensive marketing ploy to live off the back of the 1984 hit, which makes you question the motives of making it at all and dismiss it out of hand. They really should have proudly named it “The King-Fu Kid”, because despite being a near step-for-step remake, it’s actually very good and deserves a chance to stand on its own.

It’s a story about Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) who moves with his mother (Taraji P. Henson) from Detroit to Bejing. Struggling to fit in, he tries and fails to stand up to a crowd of bullies led by Zhenwei Wang. He becomes afraid of even going to school until meeting Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), the quiet maintenance man who knows Kung-Fu and who reluctantly agrees to teach Dre. A local, ruthless Kung-Fu teacher has agreed his students will leave Dre alone, so long as he fights in an upcoming tournament.

Jaden Smith does really well in the title role and has clearly put a lot of work in that demands respect. As well as the physical aspects, he also has his father Will’s cheeky humour and timing. Importantly, all the young characters act very well with the adults. Often this kind of film underwrites the grown-ups and the relationship between Dre and Mr. Han especially is very real.

As Mr. Han, Jackie Chan is just magic in what might be his best English speaking role. Through no fault of his own, he doesn’t have Pat Morita’s natural unassuming calm (well, he is Jackie Chan!) that made Mr. Miyagi so iconic, but he is just as poignant and brings a beautifully judged humour to the character. The moment he rescues Dre by disabling six bullies without throwing a punch is wonderful. It’s brilliantly choreographed; thrilling and very funny in that Chaplin-esque way Chan is so good at. From that point on, he keeps the film alive and proves why he’s one of the biggest movie stars around. As with the 1984 film, the last half is predictable, but that’s the curse of sports based tournament movies and you’ll nevertheless be on the edge of your seat!

The film doesn’t flow as nicely as the first version, and that could be an effect of over-familiarity, but this version does lack some potential by using a much younger cast, despite their considerable ability. While Zhenwei Wang brings a convincingly vicious ferocity to the role of the main bully, Wen Wen Han as Mei Ying (the girl Dre has a crush on) is awkward and the story loses momentum in those sequences. They are just too young to convince for a romantic angle. The original plot worked as a coming of age story that teenagers could identify with, so the test will be if the young audience take to Jaden as their Karate Kid as much as my generation took to Ralph Macchio.

So you might be cynical about why it was made and how it was marketed, but give it a chance, because it’s honest and likeable. The Karate Kid has had a very good reception in the States and has confused people by beating The A-Team, but it’s easy to see why. This is a children’s film that respects its audience, including the adults, and outside of Pixar animation, that is rare and very reassuring.

The Karate Kid is a great family film, with a solid message and deserves to become as loved and as inspirational as its reassuringly cheesy predecessor. If only it hadn’t have been let down by the silly title.

(From The Karate Kid (2010) on June 27th, 2010)

Member's Reviews

Bandidas, a review by KinkyCyborg


Bandidas



Title:Bandidas
Year: 2006
Director: Joachim Roenning, Espen Sandberg
Rating: PG-13
Length: 92 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1, Pan & Scan 1.33:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: English, Spanish

Stars:Plot:Extras:
Scene Access
Audio Commentary
Feature Trailers
Featurettes
Closed Captioned

My Thoughts:

Two Mexican girls, one a spoiled rich girl, the other a tom boy farm girl, decide to rob banks to avenge the violence against their fathers and the plundering of their peoples lands by the money men.

This storyline has been done to death but this time with some interesting twists, them being the female heroines and their nationality, Mexican rather than American. Made for an relatively entertaining western comedy.

For the most part I much prefer Salma Hayek over Penelope Cruz, both as an actress and as a looker but in this movie I preferred Cruz over Hayek in both regards. Cruz was super sexy and had a much more interesting and engaging character. These BFFs always wanted to do a movie together and while it's no High Noon I enjoyed it.

Steve Zahn provides the comic relief as a nerdy crime investigator and Dwight Yoakam, who never gets as much credit as he should for his acting, plays the nefarious front man for the greedy banks.

This movie will appeal to fans of westerns, comedies & gorgeous women.  ;)

KC

Rating:

(From KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2011 on May 2nd, 2011)

Member's TV Reviews

Tom's TV Pilots marathon, a review by Tom


     Polizeiinspektion 1: Staffel 1 (1977/Germany)
IMDb | Wikipedia

Koch Media (Germany)
Length:321 min.
Video:Full Frame 1.33:1
Audio:German: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles:


Plot:
Polizeiinspektion 1
1.01 Und keine Kopeke weniger
Writer: Herbert Rosendorfer (Screenwriter)
Director: Wolfgang Becker
Cast

(From Tom's TV Pilots marathon on June 24th, 2012)