Posts Tagged ‘Karate Kid’

Media Update 1/30/20

January 30, 2020

Gemini Man

I was unwary of watching another movie directed by Ang Lee since most of his stuff disinterests me (after Crouching Tiger, Hidden Tiger). The first trailer for this movie made the movie look laughably bad but the second trailer looked a lot better. Will Smith’s career crashed a while back but he was able to pull it back together and his performance has evolved a lot since his early career. (For the record, I love younger Will Smith). This movie is more of an action thriller where a government assassin tries to retire but must face off against a clone of himself instead. Will Smith plays both roles, obviously. Older Smith is his usual charismatic self with a more tired and weathered nature. Younger Smith was a little distracting at first but the effect was actually really well down. Young Smith acts with an emotionless veneer over a raw and angry young energy. I thought the two really played off of each other well. Mary Elizabeth Winstead really stood out as an intelligence officer and a badass in her own right. Benedict Wong plays a loveable goofball. Clive Owen plays the emotionally manipulative villain, a real classic villain. I ended up really liking the movie for the great action and some good dialogue. I recommend it.

Bad Boys for Life

I get a little confused because this is actually Bad Boys III so they missed out on calling the next one Bad Boys 4 Life. (The studio apparently thought this one was going to be the last one). What I have liked about the franchise is obviously the chemistry between Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. A classic odd couple formula, Martin Lawrence’s comic energy mixes well with Will Smith’s too cool for school relaxed personality. The love between the two characters really shows and it just gets better with each movie in the franchise. Paola Núñez stole a lot of scenes as the smart and tough tactical forces leader who convinces the Bad Boys to finally be better. She is backed up by a great crew of characters played by Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, and Vanessa Hudgens (!). As a side note, I hope this opens the door for Hudgens to do some action roles and allows her to show off her talents. The cast is rounded out by the usual cast of character actors who add both comedy and intrigue. I was also interested in this movie because it is the first of the franchise not directed by Michael Bay. I felt like the movie had more steak than sizzle and I hope that the fourth (once again helmed by Bay) settles into this groove with this more ensemble formula. (Similar to the Fast and Furious franchise). I recommend this movie.

The Karate Kid (2010)

From the jump, I felt like this movie lacked a lot of the charm of the original but at least it has a better setup. A young boy must uproot from Detroit and move with his mom to Beijing. New school, new city, new country, new language. On the first day, he runs afoul of a bully who knows kung fu. Oops. Jaden Smith is actually pretty good here, believably playing a very young kid who is in emotional and physical pain. Taraji P. Henson is great as Smith’s mother, a loving figure who just wants to make the best of their new situation. She gets a little too stereotypical sometimes but she is easy to love. Of course, I have always loved Jackie Chan even though he is a little flat and subdued at first in the role of the reluctant mentor. WenWen Han was cute but did not add a lot to the movie as the smart and talented love interest. Zhenwei Wang is a great villain, an imposing twelve-year-old psychopath. It was definitely a movie that took a long time to get into. The characters who we are supposed to back kind of act like assholes for the first act of the movie. Things pick up and Chan’s charisma wins the day, of course. I also have to call out the bullshit use of fire cupping as a healing method in the movie, something widely disproven. I actually do not really recommend this movie. It was kind of too bland, had too much toxic masculinity, and followed the original too much.

Music of the Week:
Megan Thee Stallion – B.I.T.C.H.

DJ Jazzy Jeff – Scars

BROODS – Falling Apart

A. Charles – Woes of an Elderly Millennial

Rise Against – The Violence

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Will Smith”
– I started watching Ducktales Season 2
– I started watching Fate/Zero
– I watched more Brooklyn 99 Season 3
– I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 9
– I watched more VODs of AGDQ 2020
– I watched more She-Ra Season 3
– I watched The Death of Superman
– I watched more Stumptown Season 1
– I watched more Prodigal Son Season 1

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Life is a story. Might as well write it.

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Art, Poetry, Prose, Spirituality & Whimsy

The Bloggess

Like Mother Teresa, only better.

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