Why, hello there. This week looks really good on you. Have you been working out?
This week, there’s no news but the old news: that is,
the old duke is banished by his younger brother the new duke; and three or four loving lords have put themselves into voluntary exile with him The Karate Kid and the A-Team. It’s 1984 all over again! Or rather, the Karate Kid remake starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith, and the A-Team adaptation starring Liam Neeson, “Rampage” Jackson, Bradley Cooper and Sharlto Copley.
With these new releases, what better time to revisit some classic Overthinking It material? None. There is no better time.
First off, let’s turn the pages back to December 2008 and Karate Kid Week:
- Stokes compared Karate Kid to Never Back Down, an MMA pic that you would have forgotten if I hadn’t just mentioned it;
- Belinkie makes a case to disqualify Daniel Larusso. Every video embedded in that article has been taken down, sadly, but the kick in question should be embedded IN YOUR MIND.
- Wrather had a brief but savage argument for why moving the film from the San Fernando Valley to China makes the Karate Kid remake a travesty.
- Fenzel makes the case for reclaiming Mr. Miyagi from the ghetto of ethnic stereotypes.
- And then Lee insists that no, Mr. Miyagi is still pretty offensive.
Second, let’s reflect on how a man called “Rampage” can fill the shoes of a man called “T” by revisiting the Mr. T Party.
- There was Fenzel’s original invocation to join the Mr. T Party.
- And there was Lee’s histori-cultural analysis of the origins of the phrase ‘I Pity The Fool’.
Should Daniel-san train from a crazy old black man who speaks jibber-jabber? Will Jaden Smith learn the secrets of
karate kung fu from Sharlto Copley? Or is there something we missed? Sound off in the comments, for this is your … open thread.
Upon reading the Karate Kid stuff, most of the ‘is it racist?’ argument hinged on the ‘dead interned wife’ subplot.
Something that changes that a lot is that apparently Pat Morita wrote that suplot into the script on set. The original script apparently just called for Daniel to come home to find a drunk Miyagi acting crazy. Morita insisted that that was crazy and disrespectful to the character and to asians, and insisted on putting together some sort of motivation for Miyagi’s behavior.
Take that as you will, but it adjusts my opinion of the movie down and my opinion of Pat Morita up.
Just listened to interview with Sharlto Copley. When he was 10, he had an A-Team gang at school. So much awesome.
This weekend we will also enjoy the finale of the third season of Breaking Bad, a television show so good that it is ruining me for almost all other television shows (and novels, for that matter). I must urge all OTI readers to log onto Netflix and add seasons 1 and 2 to their queues immediately. This has been an important message from the Mlawski Television Watching Initiative.
I think I’ve pontificated enough about _The Karate Kid_ “remake.”
Mr. T. said he was disappointed in the A-Team movie because it has more sex and violence than the original show. Apparently, the original was supposed to be good family fun. I can see that, and if the movie really isn’t family friendly, I’m kind of bummed.
What about that _Mortal Kombat: Rebirth_ “trailer” thing, though?
I developed reservations after acquiring some extra information, but on first glance, I’d say it looks rather awesome.
_Twilight_ dominated the MTV movie awards again, with Les Grossman (Tom Cruise’s character from _Tropic Thunder_) “producing” them. Then some time in the middle of the week, the announcement that there is going to be a Grossman film was made. I can’t really think of a way they’d make a movie with him as the main character, unless he was more like a central one and the story is through someone else’s eyes (like Caesar in the play with his name- not really the star, but it all kind of revolves around him). He was funny, but I don’t think an entire movie would really work, since part of what made him so funny was how gimmicky and brief his moments on the screen were. (That, and the meta-knowledge about how crazy the actor playing him is…)
And, in sports news, it comes down to that ancient and epic rivalry of the Lakers v. the Celtics. As of right now, it’s 2-2. Dun dun DUUUUN. Game 5 is on Sunday. I’m rooting for the Celtics, if only because I’d want anybody *but* the Lakers to win because they have a rapist on their squad. Which is why I’ll forever more root against the Steelers, since they, too, are keeping a rapist on their roster. And poo on the D.A.- lack of evidence, even though the girl gave video testimony describing how she was telling him no, get off, I don’t want this? At least Kobe went to trial.
But this makes me happy again:
@Mlawski: I just finished S1 of Breaking Bad last night. Starting S2 this weekend.
I’m just joining in on the Breaking Bad love. I don’t normally watch dramatic television, I only made it through five episodes of Mad Men before tiring of it, but Breaking Bad is absolutely tremendous.
I’m waiting for the eventual “Charles in Charge” movie to kill off this recent wave of Eighties nostalgia. I grew up in the Eighties, and yes, our television shows were awesomer than what’s on now. But please stop making movies about it, Hollywood. Adapt a Faulkner novel or something, just stop raping my childhood!
Why am I commenting on a 2-year-old Karate Kid article when the World Cup is on? That’s not rhetorical, I’m really asking, anyway…
I just read the Disqualify Daniel LaRusso article, and I’d have to disagree and say that Daniel wouldn’t be dq’ed, he’d be lauded for his control.
Belinkie cites the USANKF rules in his article. Well, I actually did compete in USANKF tournaments through high school, from the local level like Daniel to the international level. Even then (late 90’s), headshots were allowed so long as they showed control (at least at the black belt level, which is what Daniel fights in–talk about throwing him to the wolves, yeesh). Kicks to the head were allowed, and were awarded full points, vs a half for a punch, but they actually HAD to connect.
In fact, that was the greatest display of technique, to kick somebody’s face without hurting him–it showed tremendous control and sportsmanship, et cetera. I remember the light smacking sound of a foot on somebody’s cheek being a huge insult, I guess kids these days would say it was like “getting owned.”
So if you take the “PERSH” sound effect away from Danny’s kick, really all he did was land a jumping front kick to the face without hurting the guy (no blood even). I saw jumping spinning kicks slap dudes’ jaws at the international level much harder, and they were awarded points. Local tourneys are usually stricter because the fighters are less experienced, but still.
Anyway. I think I’m going to catch the second half and then go to the theater to watch Jaden Smith stomp on my childhood.