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

 

 

Advertisements

Hidden Figures (2016)

hiddneDirector: Theodore Melfi

Writer: Allison Schroeder, Theofore Melfi (Screenplay) Margot Lee Shetterly (Book)

Starring: Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali

 

Plot: Based on a true story. A team of African-American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Important and Enjoyable Drama

 

Story: Hidden Figures starts as we meet our three African-American women working for Nasa Katherine G Johnson (Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Monae), the three still must deal with racial hate but have learnt to overcome the hate. With Al Harrison (Costner) having to lead the team with engineer Paul Strafford (Parsons) to get the first American into space.

Katherine being a mathematical genius gets the chance to work under Al Harrison in a room full of higher class white people who all look down on her except Al, while Mary is being pushed by a Jewish Polish immigrant Karl Zielinski (Krupa) to try out for the engineering opportunity who knows how to overcome what can look impossible. Dorothy is just trying to help motivate and get the supervisor role looking after the rest of the African American women working in Nasa known as ‘computers’. We get to see how these three women overcome the discrimination going through America to play key parts in America’s finest achievements.

 

Thoughts on Hidden Figures

 

StoryWe all know the space race story but not many of us know the story behind the incredible achievement. This story shows the hard work and the discrimination these three women had to overcome to make one of America’s great achievements happen. This type of story annoys me because I can’t believe how naïve people were when it came to treating people differently because of their race or religion has held back humans from so many crowning achievements it could have accomplished. Seeing how everything unfold is charming as it is serious subject matter because you want to support these ladies on their own ability to overcome the racial divides that were still going through America.

Characters/PerformancesThe characters are mostly based on real people with Katherine, Mary and Dorothy all show how ground breaking these women were for both race and women everywhere. Al Harrison shows us a man who knew of the racial divide but chose to ignore it while we have Paul Stafford being the stumbling block between the two as he doesn’t accept the inclusion of an African American woman in his field. When you look at the performances Henson, Spencer and Monae are all brilliant all giving performances that show all the skills these actresses have. Costner and Parsons are also great in the supporting roles with everyone else making this feel like the true story with none of the overacting.

SettingsThe settings are all perfectly recreated for the time 1961 America including the old-fashioned computer usage, cars and use of the segregation between the races. We feel like we are fully in the time of the events in this story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a must watch for all as we learn about the ground-breaking people in history that are often over looked.

 

Overall: Watch and learn just how important these women were to history.

Ratingcard

 

 

No Good Deed (2014)

logoDirector: Sam Miller

Writer: Aimee Lagos (Screenplay)

Starring: Idris Elba, Taraji P Henson, Leslie Bibb, Kate del Castillo, Henry Simmons, Mirage Moonschein, Kenny Alfonso

Plot: An unstable escaped convict terrorizes a woman who is alone with her two children.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: The Good, The Bad and The Deadly

Story: No Good Deed starts by introducing Colin Evans (Elba) a convicted criminal who is thought to have killed five women but with no proof he ends up only getting a manslaughter charge due to a bar fight that went wrong. Colin is up for parole after serving only half his sentence. With parole being denied Colin takes things into his own hands as he escapes his prison transport.

We move to meet our having troubles family with mother Terry (Henson) husband Jeffrey (Simmons) and young children with Jeffrey going away for the weekend and a storm approaching. Colin visits his ex-girlfriend Alexis (Castillo) to show how dangerous he really is by killing her. When Colin is involved in an accident he ends up on the doorstep of Terry where she plays good Samaritan only we all know what Colin is capable off.

No Good Deed brings us the traditional don’t let the stranger in film, we get one psychotic character meeting a good natured character and the suspense to see how she will survive because let’s face it they ain’t going to be killing her. I will say the final twist is good but otherwise it is all very similar to what we have seen before. I also think the character decisions all come off very weak because nothing makes sense.

Actor Review

Idris Elba: Colin is the convicted killer but only on manslaughter charges, he is suspected of killing at least five other women but nothing can be proven. When he escapes he goes on another killing spree where he ends up going against Terry. Idris gives us a great psycho character that works for the story showing us how far he has come since Obsessed.colin

Taraji P Henson: Terry is the stay at home mum after giving up her lawyer job who is spending her weekend alone with her children, her weekend gets interrupted by Colin looking for help but she will now have to fight for not only her own life but her children’s lives. Taraji does give a good performance and I can’t fault her. The character though is meant to be a lawyer but doesn’t follow criminal cases on the news especially if Colin is such a notorious criminal come on.terry

Leslie Bibb: Meg is a friend of Terry’s who is trying to help her unwind by having a ladies night. She asks the wrong question when she meets Colin. Leslie does a basic supporting character performance that really doesn’t do too much to the story other than push Colin too far.

Kate del Castillo: Alexis is the ex-girlfriend of Colin’s who has moved on but we get introduced to her to show how deadly Colin really is. Kate does a basic job and is only in the film to make us fear Colin more.

Support Cast: No Good Deed has a supporting cast that includes the children one being a baby of Terry’s her husband and mostly police that are disposable.

Director Review: Sam MillerSam doesn’t give us enough when it comes to the fully idea in the story that has plenty of moments that make you think, really did that happen?

Crime: No Good Deed brings us into a crime story following a criminal on the run who can snap and kill with a click of a fingers.

Thriller: No Good Deed tries to keep us guessing from start to finish and builds the tension between Terry and Colin which works nicely.

Settings: No Good Deed puts the action in an isolated house during a storm adds to the tension being built throughout.
Special Effects: No Good Deed doesn’t really need many special effects.

Suggestion: No Good Deed is one to try but it isn’t the most original with the the story. (Try It)

Best Part: Elba shines in the role.

Worst Part: The character Terry (not performance)

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $52.5 Million

Budget: $13.2 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

Tagline: First he gets into your house. Then he gets into your head.

Overall: Basic thriller that brings us nothing new

Ratingcard

The Good Doctor (2011)

logoDirector: Lance Daly

Writer: John Enbom (Screenplay)

Starring: Orlando Bloom, Riley Keough, Taraji P. Henson, Rob Morrow, Michael Pena, Troy Garity, Molly Price, Wade Williams

 

Story: Doctor Martin Blake (Bloom) is in his first year of residency for a life dream he has worked so hard for. Martin starts feeling under respect by his fellow Doctors, with his head Doctor Waylans (Morrow) questioning his motives for this profession, Nurse Theresa (Henson) questioning his hand writing and failing to follow his instructions.

All this changes when 18 year old patient Diane Nixon (Keough) comes into the hospital he gets some much need self-esteem boost. After Diane starts to get better, Martin scared of losing her in his life starts playing around with her medication keeping her sick. How much damage can this move do to Martin’s career?

 

Verdict: Haunting portray of how a Doctor can manipulate a patient for their own gain.

Story: The story is very powerful, showing how far one Doctor will go and how much he will play with a young girl’s life for a twisted fantasy. It also shows how working on a case that keeps everyone guessing can bring a unit of Doctors closer. It also shows the consequences one man’s actions can have one everyone involved. (9/10)

Actor Review: Orlando Bloom – His character is genuine on the outside but on the inside he creates a chilling relationship with his patient boarding obsession. Orlando makes one of his best performances of his career to date, being involved in every scene he has to be able to carry a film and he proves he really can do it here. Star Performance Award, Favourite Character Award (10/10)

bloom

Actor Review: Riley Keough – Playing a young patient that takes a shine of sorts to her Doctor but we never know is it admiration or an over ruling attraction. Doesn’t have much to work with, spending most of the film in a hospital bed. (8/10)

riley

Actor Review: Taraji P Henson – Starts of being hostile towards Martin but once sees him in brighter light learns to respect him. Good supporting role has to play a more mediocre character to not stand out showing how real hospitals would be working. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: Rob Morrow – Good leader for Martin shows how not to just judge a decision before growing to respect Martin and even stand up for him. Another good supporting performance, showing how real hospitals would be working. (9/10)

Actor Review: Michael Pena – His character provides most of the comic relief early on before turning into a much dark role. He pushes Martin into wondering how his almost slacking technique got him a position as an orderly. Pena is good in the role showing a range of laid back slacker before calmly turning into dark black mailer. (9/10)

pena

Director Review: Lance Daly – Creates a haunting atmosphere through the film. (9/10)

Thriller: Good thriller that builds slowly but to a level that creates enough tension throughout. (9/10)

Music/Sound: Simple taps of keys create haunting surrounding sound before dead silence in the background of each scene through the whole film. (10/10)

Settings: Set in the hospital best place for a Doctor really, the hospital created comes off as a real hospital unlike most hospital based films. The setting adds a lot to the story created. (9/10)

Suggestion: If you have patience this is a really good film it does take some time getting going but once it starts it is good. Don’t expect too much action as the story is very character development based. If you want something that will really test morals this is for you (Give It A Go)

 

Best Part: Bloom’s performance is brilliant.

Worst Part: Sudden ending.

Overall: Haunting look at the medical profession

Rating 84%