The Karate Kid
Went and saw the remake of the classic 1984 film. This one stars Will and Jada Pinkett Smith's son, Jaden, as the title character, and the story is set in China. While there are certain things about the original film, and the leads, that I'll always find more endearing, and am not a fan of cinematic remakes, this film added some interesting new twists to the training and the relationships between the principals. Jackie Chan plays the new mentor (an honor that went to Pat Morita in the 1984 original), and the martial arts study is Kung Fu, which is perplexing, since the title of the movie is KARATE kid, but Kung Fu is Jackie's specialty, so it seems the story was geared around his particular talents. We have a zen square-off between a woman and a Cobra, which becomes the mantra of the Kid's mental discipline, and, instead of the classic Mr. Miagi "wax-on, wax-off" training technique, here Jackie employs "take jacket off, put it on, put it on the ground, hang it up" to train his young apprentice's muscles and reflexes. There is also a new heating technique to soothe aching muscles, based on some types of ancient oils and a bunsen burner with a cotton ball. Mr. Miagi's heating technique was simply rubbing his hands together vigorously. And, of course, there is Jaden's black ethnicity to counter Ralph Macchio's Italian Kid. Otherwise, the story is very much the same. We even have similar dialogue ("no mercy"). Wasn't a complete waste of time and money, was enjoyable...just wish they'd revamped the story a bit. Would've rather gone to see Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in Knight and Day, but it had already started...some other time.