Original v Remake – The Karate Kid (2010)

This is the follow up entry to the Now and Then Blogathon from Thoughts All Sorts.

 

Director: Harald Zwart

Writer: Christopher Murphey (Screenplay) Robert Mark Kamen (Story)

Starring: Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan, Taraji P Henson, Wenwen Han, Rongguang Yu

 

Plot: Work causes a single mother to move to China with her young son; in his new home, the boy embraces kung fu, taught to him by a master.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Stand Alone Movie

 

Story: The Karate Kid starts as Dre (Smith) and his mother Sherry (Henson) move from Detroit to Beijing, China. While this is a bigger move that the original we follow the same idea, Dre meets a girl Meiying (Han) and grabs the attention of the local bullies led by Cheng (Wang).

When the bully looks like Dre will find himself in trouble he can’t get out of, the handyman Mr Han (Chan) comes to his aid. Mr Han sees the Master training the bullies and gets Dre entered into a tournament leading to him to teach him kung fu before the tournament, this gives Dre the level of discipline he would need in life.

 

Thoughts on The Karate Kid

 

Characters – Dre is our teenager that goes from Detroit to China, he faces a language barrier, needing to make new friends and worst of all bullies. When he gets the chance to learn kung fu, he gains the discipline needed to be w worthy fighter. Mr Han is the handyman that becomes the teacher for Dre, he keeps to himself for the most part but when he sees Dre in looks to pass on his training. Sherry is the over protective mother that moves her son to China. In this film the love interest and bully do seem to have small parts to the bigger picture though.

PerformanceJaden Smith does lack the charisma which we had in the first film to carry the leading role. Jackie Chan is fine in his role working as the mentor but doesn’t bring anything new to the role. Taraji P Henson does a solid job as the mother role.

StoryThe story is boy moves to new town or in this case country where he must learn a new culture as well as discipline when it comes to defending himself, we have the same training idea leading to the same tournament. The differences come from the idea that Sherry moves for a promotion, the love interest does feel awkward as they seem too young and we have kung fu over karate. This doesn’t have the same magical feeling the original film had but could be enjoyed if you haven’t seen the original.

Action/Family/SportThe action does feel weaker than the original, it is a tame couple of chases and then the tournament. I feel it would be hard to get the family to enjoy this because of the running time of nearly 2 and half hours.

SettingsThis is the biggest plus for the film, the setting of China makes the move impossible for Dre to go back on, he must learn the new culture and it does get to look at moments of the spiritual side of the kung fu.

Scene of the Movie – What happened to Mr Han’s family.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This is a subtitles moan or a lack there of for moments when the kids are arguing.

Final ThoughtsThis is a remake we didn’t need, it does lose what made the original magical but as a standalone film it can be watched for what it is meant to be.

 

Overall: Remake waste, solo film enjoyment.

Rating

 

 

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Original V Remake – The Karate Kid (1984)

This is also an entry into the Then and Now Blogathon, with the Then appearing on Realweemidget site

 

Director: John G Avildsen

Writer: Robert Mark Kamen (Screenplay)

Starring: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue, martin Kove, Randee Heller, William Zabka

 

Plot: A martial arts master agrees to teach karate to a bullied teenager.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic

 

Story: Karate Kid starts as Daniel (Macchio) moves from New Jersey to California with his mother, he needs to make new friends and it isn’t long before he meets a girl Ali (Shue) from his new school but also grabs the attention of the local bullies and their leader Johnny (Zabka) who knows karate.

When the handy man Mr Miyagi (Morita) of the building sees Daniel’s struggle he comes to his aid showing that he is a martial arts master and agrees to train him ready to face Johnny and the bullies in a karate tournament. Daniel goes through an unusual training routine to prepare him for the fight.

 

Thoughts on Karate Kid

 

Characters – Daniel moves to a new town where knows nobody, he finds himself targeted by the local bullies but with the help of Miyagi he learns karate to get one over the main bully. Miyagi is the karate master that works as a building handyman to cover his personal pain, he does see bright things in Daniel and agrees to train him with unusual methods. Ali is the girl that Daniel falls for at school, she is the ex of the bully, she likes Daniel even though he is from the wrong side of town. Johnny is our bully, he doesn’t like that Daniel will stand up to him and uses his advance karate to point him in his place.

PerformanceRalph Macchio gave us a performance here that made people want to be in a karate movie, he sums up the lost teenage perfectly. Pat Morita is fantastic in his role as the mentor which often gets emulated but never duplicated. Elisabeth Shue is good as the love interest and William Zabka is good as thee bully.

StoryThe story shows how an ill-disciplined student can be turned into a calm fighter ready to defend himself against anyone who challenges him. This shows us that anyone can blossom into something great given the right guidance and self-belief in their own abilities, making it a bench mark for anyone that has been questioning their own skills.

Action/Family/SportThe action plays to a typical 80s musical background being high school level chases and fights. The family side shows us just what you need to be doing within a family when it comes to guiding children. The sport is karate in competition.

SettingsThe settings show us the places 80s high school student would hang out and the trouble they can find themselves in.

Scene of the Movie – Training.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I would say the film is slightly too long for the same point message.

Tagline – He taught him the secret to Karate lies in the mind and heart. Not in the hands.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the classic films of all cinema, it is a film that shows character needed to defeat in the right manner.

 

Overall: One of the best sports films of all time.

Rating

 

 

Ballerina I’m Not (2017)

Director: Francesca Zappitelli

Writer: Francesca Zappitelli (Screenplay)

 

Plot: An underground, underdog story of the prolific journey that women take to follow their dreams and find their way in a male dominated fight industry.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 18 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Insightful Documentary on Tough Industry

 

Story: Ballerina I’m Not starts as Francesca tells the story of what gave her motivation to dream of becoming a wrestler, being able to follow in the footsteps of the legends of the likes of The Fabulous Moolah, we the struggles at home she faced and the training to undertook to start in the industry.

We see the different styles of wrestling that Francesca learns through the years, we also see the professional friends and enemies, the hardships and sacrifices she has made along the way for her dream.

 

Thoughts on Ballerina I’m Not

 

Documentary/SportsWomen’s wrestling is one of the hottest discussions in the biggest industry in wrestling today, the WWE. It has been years of the women trying to prove themselves as athletes over just eye candy and now they are finally getting taken seriously. With this documentary we get to learn about the women who have not made it to the big leagues and must try to make a name for themselves in the independent industry where the other competitors will do anything to get to the top. This is fresh to see because we seen clips of the men who have gone all over the world and found it easier to gain respect but seeing the women side of things we get to see how much tougher it is for them.


Scene of the Movie –
Proving herself fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There isn’t enough wrestling clips to show the full timeline of the career.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that shows how difficult the wrestling industry is for women, we she how they don’t always get treated equally even with the women getting taken a lot more seriously at the top of the industry. If you have ever wondered how difficult the independent wrestling scene is, you will learn a lot, you will also learn how the athletes will continue to learn their trade through the years.

 

Overall: Documentary fans and wrestling fans should be watching this one.

Rating

 

 

The Fan (1996)

Director: Tony Scott

Writer: Phoef Sutton (Screenplay) Peter Abrahams (Book)

Starring: Robert De Niro, Wesley Snipes, Ellen Barkin, John Leguizamo, Benicio Del Toro, Patti D’Arbanville

 

Plot: An all star baseball player becomes the unhealthy focus of a down on his luck salesman.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Thriller

 

Story: The Fan starts as baseball MVP Bobby Rayburn (Snipes) joins to San Francisco Giants on a lucrative contract to be the highest paid player in the league. We also meet diehard baseball fan Gil Renard (De Niro) who is over the moon with the latest signing believing his team could go all the way this year but is on his last legs in his job as a salesman.

When Gil’s life starts crashing around him, he loses his job, gets a restraining order from his kid and even his beloved team isn’t performing he starts to reach into dark places. On the field, Bobby isn’t reaching to levels of expectation with Primo (Del Toro) outshining him in the games, with this we see how both men are not having the best time in their lives.

When Gil becomes obsessed with trying to help Bobby find his form, things take a dark turn with potentially deadly consequences.

 

Thoughts on The Fan

 

Characters/PerformanceGil is a true extreme diehard sports fan, he makes sport, in this case baseball the most important part of his life. He has been struggling with his job and family life which has pushed him over the edge. Bobby is the typical arrogant overpaid sports star who believes he can walk into any team and become the star attraction, when things don’t go his way, he struggles with the fan backlash when he hits a slump.

Performance wise, Robert De Niro is fantastic in this role with the final third of the film showing all of his skills on the psychotic levels. Wesley Snipes also brings the cocky sports persona from White Men Can’t Jump to the next level with his performance. The rest of the cast are all great, with always reliable performances from John Leguizamo and Benicio Del Toro.

StoryWe all know how certain fans can go to the extremes when it comes to supporting their team, we all know how the star player can sometimes find themselves getting the fans turn on them. So what happens when a fan goes too far, what happens when a star breaks his slump for his own change rather than because of the fan? Well this shows us just what could happen and in a very stylish way.

Action/SportsThe action is mostly based on the suspense of the film with the sports drama side coming from how the extreme fans can act.

SettingsSan Francisco is the most part for the setting which shows us how difficult it could be to get by, the difference between sports players and fans as well as the amount of people an average person could blend into.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most interesting twists on sports drama, seeing the extremes we could see a fan go to for a player and a team. This does start slightly slow but I do feel that helps build the characters for the final third of the film.

 

Overall: Great sports drama that has the intensity needed for the story.

Rating

 

 

White Men Can’t Jump (1992)

whiteDirector: Ron Shelton

Writer: Ron Shelton (Screenplay)

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Rosie Perez, Tyra Ferrell, Cylk Cozart, Kadeem Hardison

 

Plot: Black and white basketball hustlers join forces to double their chances.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Sports Drama Comedy

 

Story: White Men Can’t Jump starts when we see Billy Hoyle (Harrelson) arriving at Venice Beach a notorious black man basketball court where Sidney Deane (Snipes) is a known hustler on the court. Billy looking completely out of place gets one over Sidney as was a former college player who needs to make a fast buck for himself and his girlfriend Gloria (Perez).

Sidney sees the skills Billy has and talks him into working as a partnership using Billy’s skills and Sidney’s connections to make the money fast. The two have their differences along the way but must put everything between in the background to win the new tournament that will help the both with their financial issues.

 

Thoughts on White Men Can’t Jump

 

Characters/PerformanceSidney is the streetwise hustler that has the gift of the talking his way out of any situation. Sidney can go on the court but he is also a very good businessman trying to support his family. Billy is terrible with money but a great basketball player, he is hustling to clear a debt to supporting his girlfriend who is also a firecracker who dream of being on jeopardy.

Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson are fantastic as the unlikely couple of hustlers showing they have chemistry to pull off every scene they are in. Rosie Perez brings the fire needed for her role as she helps Woody look all the more innocent in the role.stars

StoryThe story is easy to follow and shows how two men from difference backgrounds can work together to aim for the same thing once they put their difference behind them. We get to see the strong sides to both men as well as their weakness which is important for us to see as everything unfolds. I think this is an important story for people who need to learn to work as a team both on the court and off.

Comedy/SportsWe do get laughs coming through this film which is all good to enjoy, we also get to see the streets style of basketball where not everything is as planned to be as clean as professional basketball.

SettingsNearly the whole film is set in LA where we do spend a lot of time on the wrong sides of the tracks for Billy but this shows how honest these men can be on the court.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is a good time film that is well worth a watch by all the fans of the actors, the sport and comedy dramas.

 

Overall: A film that can be enjoyed by all that see it.

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