Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Karate Kid I II |
Actors: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita
Director: John G. Avildsen
The Karate Kid John G. Avildsen not only directed Rocky, he tried remaking it over the years in a dozen different ways. One of them was this popular 1984 drama about a new kid (Ralph Macchio) in town targeted by karate-wie... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
Classic 80's films now on Blu
Francisco Pizarro | Puerto Rico | 07/12/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Few films defined the 80's more than The Karate Kid. Like Star Wars before it, and very few after it, the film transcended beyond a mere teen flick and became part of popular culture. The crane, "wax on, wax off", and the seemingly millions of blue and white bandanas that appeared overnight simply became part of our lives. While the second film never captured the charm of the original, it was (as intended) wildly successful and gave us a more in-depth look at the character that lifted the first film to classic status: Mr. Myagi.
Like all the classic "sports" films out there. The Karate Kid is not about Karate. There is an underdog story at its core(something the director John G.Avildsen knows a thing or two about, having directed the original Rocky). The film works because the hero, Daniel is not the "wimp" we are so used to seeing in these films that suddenly become supermen. He is kind of cocky and has an attitude. His reaction to the new world he encounters in California gets him branded as a troublemaker. In fact, the transformation he endures at the hands of his friend and teacher Mr. Myagi is not about becoming a martial arts phenom but rather about maturing as a human being and dealing with his problems.
And speaking of his teacher, Noriyuki "Pat" Morita simply hijacks this film and refused to give it back. Morita did not earn an Oscar nomination for this role as some sort of token. Mr. Myagi is one of the most complete, flesh and blood characters in the history of cinema. With absolutely no offense to Ralph Macchio, who plays Daniel as if The Karate Kid was his own life story, Morita is the heart and soul of this film. Every scene he is in is memorable. From Daniel's first encounter with the weird handyman trying to catch flies with chopsticks, to the now iconic image of the Myagi smiling at his student with obvious pride at the end of the film. (An image they tried to recreate in the later films with diminishing effect) How big was Morita's role in the film. Take this into account: For the next film (Part II) the writers decided to focus on him instead of Daniel. In the sequel we travel to his home in Okinawa and Daniel's story revolves around Myagi's story arc.
And now these two films arrive on Blu, ready to be enjoyed by a new generation and bring warm, fuzzy memories to the previous one (myself included) Despite some flaws, these films deliver in HD.
The main problem with these HD transfers is consistency. There are moments in the film where the picture quality is downright glorious. Then there are others were I was screaming for the VHS version(almost!). What happened? It could be number of factors but it comes down to this: The scenes filmed at night look awful while the daytime scenes shine. The beach scene where Daniel sees Myagi doing the crane for the first time for example looks pristine and full of color and detail. The scene where Daniel shares an intimate moment with a drunk Myagi has so much grain it looks dirty. I'm for grain by the way, so long as it was the director's intent (Saving Private Ryan comes to mind) but here it's just noise. My main issue with this night/day thing is that most of the film's classic scenes take place at night or in the dark. The scene were Myagi taches Daniel how to trim a bonzai. The one were Myagi saves him from 5 Cobra Kai nearly killing him, the emotional center of the film where Daniel gets fed up with Myagi's "training" and nearly quits, the infamous kiss at Golf n, Stuff... All take place at night. All have picture quality issues. All this makes me think they simply couldv'e done better on this release but then I see the day scenes and think:they really did their job here. Scenes like the one on the lake where Myagi throws Daniel off the boat is a perfect example. It looks awsome. So does the one where Myagi teaches Daniel to punch among others. Looking at the film as a whole it may be a case of them not being able to fix it. At least, I hope that's it cause I would hate to double dip on another "improved" edition of the films.
However, in the end I must stress (as I often do in these reviews) that these flaws beccome evident when you are watching the film looking for them(to prepare for this review for example). The fact is these two films have never looked better. In fact, having seen these films at theaters in the 80's I can safely say they look better than they did back then. You will enjoy them all over again and will enjoy showing them to your kids. I highly recommend this one.
The special features are awsome in that the first film has an amazing retrospecctive documentary on the making of the film that is worth the pricce alone. Great interviews with the director and main cast members."