Heroes of the East

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    The Karate Kid (2010)

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    Cash

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    The Karate Kid (2010)

    Post  Cash on Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:17 pm

    I don't know if this even warrants a mention but I'll say it anyways: I'm repulsed by the oversaturation of remakes during the past decade (and counting).

    I sit in the theater and after every other trailer groan internally another remake.

    I was six when "The Karate Kid" landed in theaters and seven when my aunt rented it for me (on something called a Beta Max?). I fell in love immediately. Last summer when a co-worker admitted she'd never seen it -- I hosted a screening. I was pleasantly surprised to find the film still holds up as a young adult drama replete with heart, humor, and philosophy.

    While "The Karate Kid" is hardly a favorite film of mine it is, nonetheless, an '80s classic in so much that it was a part of my childhood and thus on a very long list of films I never wanted to see remade from that period of my life.

    When I heard of an impending remake starring Jayden Smith and Jackie Chan I vowed never to see it. The trailer only re-enforced my prejudice; the lukewarm reviews solidifying that judgment.

    I was overjoyed when I learned the original film's star Ralph Macchio lambasted the news that his claim to fame was being remade and disappointed when he backpedaled shortly before the premiere.

    Then last night the film was available for streaming on Netflix and I thought…what the hell.

    To my utter shock I not only found myself enjoying the Chinese facelift but also recommending it in the last 24 hours. What's the verdict from your bench?
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    dleedlee

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    Re: The Karate Kid (2010)

    Post  dleedlee on Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:20 am

    Glad to hear that you gave it a chance and enjoyed it.
    Oddly, I've never seen either version. But I've read similar comments along the lines of having their childhood memories desecrated by a remake. In fact, remakes are more often than not really re-envisionings, a take off point, if you will, and a reflection of the time it was made in. (Okay, that's a bit obvious, I guess.)

    One memorable review that stuck in my mind was this one.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/25/AR2010062502159_pf.html

    Anyway, a Will Smith-produced sequel from the writers of Kung Fu Panda is said to be in the plans. Very Happy

    Speaking of remakes, I've read mixed-to-tepid reviews of the Korean version of A Better Tomorrow.
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    Cash

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    Re: The Karate Kid (2010)

    Post  Cash on Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:18 pm

    Glad to hear that you gave it a chance and enjoyed it.

    Understand that with a few notable exceptions most remakes I've sat through in the last decade have been painful experiences on some level ("Black Christmas," "Dawn of the Dead," "The Grudge," "Halloween," "The Ladykillers," "Planet of the Apes," "The Ring," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "Thir13en Ghosts," "Walking Tall," "The Wicker Man," "The Wolfman").

    Oddly, I've never seen either version.

    Clearly I liked both but I prefer the original.

    But I've read similar comments along the lines of having their childhood memories desecrated by a remake. In fact, remakes are more often than not really re-envisionings, a take off point, if you will, and a reflection of the time it was made in. (Okay, that's a bit obvious, I guess.)

    Remakes often are completely ignorant of what made the original tick. "Death Race" (2008) is a high octane sci-fi actioner starring Jason Statham. The 1975 original was a dark comedy produced by Roger Corman and starred David Caradine and Sylvester Stallone. The original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974) waged pyschological warfare on its audience by way of tactful innuendo. The 2003 remake made taking a shower afterwards almost obligatory.

    I could go on but I won't. I really hate talking about how awful some of these new millennium upgrades are.

    Anyway, a Will Smith-produced sequel from the writers of Kung Fu Panda is said to be in the plans.


    I'm curious as to what, if any, locale adjustments will be made if the filmmakers plan on following the path of the original series. In "The Karate Kid Part II" (1986) the teenage protagonist tags along with his Japanese mentor to Okinawa. In the 2010 remake of the original the preteen protagonist is transplanted to China. Maybe Smith and Chan will venture to America this time around? But will it be "Rush Hour" all over again?

    Speaking of remakes, I've read mixed-to-tepid reviews of the Korean version of A Better Tomorrow.

    I would have thought South Korea a perfect fit for adapting the original Hong Kong classic but I caught the trailer a couple weeks back and it looked pitiful. I'd almost rather sit through "A Better Tomorrow III" a second time.
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    Teddy Wong

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    Re: The Karate Kid (2010)

    Post  Teddy Wong on Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:40 am

    I sit in the theater and after every other trailer groan internally another remake.

    Speaking of Jackie Chan and remakes. Today I finally saw Frank Capra's "Pocketful of miracles". After seeing Jackie Chan's remake ("Miracles" - not new one, but a remake also), the original Capra's movie looks much poorer and slower. But Jackie Chan's "Miracles" became one of the greatest HK movies of all time. So, remake is not always a bad thing Smile
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    dleedlee

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    Re: The Karate Kid (2010)

    Post  dleedlee on Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:37 am

    Teddy Wong wrote:
    I sit in the theater and after every other trailer groan internally another remake.

    Speaking of Jackie Chan and remakes. Today I finally saw Frank Capra's "Pocketful of miracles". After seeing Jackie Chan's remake ("Miracles" - not new one, but a remake also), the original Capra's movie looks much poorer and slower. But Jackie Chan's "Miracles" became one of the greatest HK movies of all time. So, remake is not always a bad thing Smile

    Well, Frank Capra wasn't exactly at the peak of his career at that point. And movies, in general, were slower then. Very Happy

    At least there's Wu Xia (not a remake but an adaptation of One-Armed Swordsman, unless it is) and Flying Guillotines to look forward to!

    Remakes often are completely ignorant of what made the original tick.

    You mean the ka-ching? Very Happy
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    Cash

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    Re: The Karate Kid (2010)

    Post  Cash on Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:07 pm

    Speaking of Jackie Chan and remakes. Today I finally saw Frank Capra's "Pocketful of miracles". After seeing Jackie Chan's remake ("Miracles" - not new one, but a remake also), the original Capra's movie looks much poorer and slower. But Jackie Chan's "Miracles" became one of the greatest HK movies of all time. So, remake is not always a bad thing

    Remakes are as old as the medium itself and there's been a number of competitive remakes and reimaginings through the ages. My commentary was geared more towards the pan-epidemic of remakes in the new millennium. They've taken over and for every admirable one ("King Kong") there's ten more that were completely unnecessary.

    As an aside: you cite a perfect example of what a strong reimagining looks like in Jackie Chan's "Mr. Canton and Lady Rose." Did you that "Pocketful of Miracles" (1961) itself is a remake of one of Capra's previous films "Lady for a Day" (1933)?

    Well, Frank Capra wasn't exactly at the peak of his career at that point. And movies, in general, were slower then.

    In fact, "Pocketful of Miracles" was Frank Capra's final film. In Jackie Chan's prime everything appeared slower when weighed against one of his productions -- including "Mr. Canton and Lady Rose" -- the slowest of pictures Chan is an accredited director on.

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