Today is Friday, August 29, 2014

At the Movies with Doc - "The Karate Kid"

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After being mildly disappointed last weekend with "The A-Team," I decided to give the underdog movie that toppled "The A-Team" at the box office last weekend a look. "The Karate Kid" is the re-make of the very popular original that first hit the big screen all the way back in 1984 (WOW! Has it REALLY been 26 years since the original came out?!) It seems like it was just a few years ago that I was watching Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita playing the role of student (Daniel Larusso) and teacher (Mr. Miyagi). And Ken Beck would be quick to point out that Pat Morita's other famous (and early) role was as diner owner and cook Arnold on the wildly popular television series "Happy Days." In this modern remake of the original, Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan have assumed the roles of student and teacher. And each gives a fantastic performance in their respective roles. Jaden Smith, son of one of Hollywood's top actors Will Smith, obviously has taken after dad. He has an incredible screen presence already at age 11. It was Jaden who at age 7 played the role of the son of his real-life dad Will in the critically acclaimed true story "The Pursuit of Happyness." I think we will see MUCH more of Jaden in the years to come. Jackie Chan, who has made Kung-Fu movies an art form (and he ALWAYS does his own fighting and stunts). He has reportedly broken nearly every bone in his body at one time or another, many times finishing a movie WITH the broken bones! He does not have to do very much fighting this time however, as he is a Kung Fu Master who Jaden looks to for help against a much bigger boy who is already trained in Kung-Fu. And similar to the original, Jaden seeks his revenge and respect in a big Kung-Fu tournament. And just like Mr. Miyagi from the original, the Master has some strange methods in his teaching. Who can forget the "wax on, wax off" from the original? Much of the movie was filmed in China and there were some beautiful mountain scenes as well as shots of the Great Wall of China. This is a very good movie that I think the whole family would enjoy. The main characters do a very good job and the fighting looks very real. I will say that I also went ahead and caught this week's number one movie at the box office. I feel like it would be difficult to write a review of an animated movie without giving away too much of its plot, but my son Lofton and I thoroughly enjoyed "Toy Story 3." If you have not seen these two movies, you need to gather up the family and head to the Roxy later this week or this weekend and try to catch them both!  Doc's advice for this film:   3 Eyeballs
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