Tag Archives: karate-kid

Karate Kid

We went to see Karate Kid on Monday night.

It was better than the original in every way imaginable. It was way more believable. Jaden Smith is a better actor than everyone in the original put together, and was absolutely believable. And Jackie Chan was not only Jackie Chan, with all the humor and brilliant martial arts that implies, but he was also a completely convincing sad, lonely old man.

We laughed. We cried. We cheered. We gasped. We cowered. It was pretty much brilliant in every way.

And the change of setting made the premise all that much better. In the original, a New Jersey kid is displaced to California, which, while disrupting, isn’t exactly the end of the world. This was the end of the world. An african-american kid from Detroit is suddenly in Beijing, and so completely out of his element that everything, even turning on the hot water, is an insurmountable hurdle. Most of us can relate to this displacement at some level – if not to that extreme – and we felt each moment with him.

Now, if you’ve seen the preview, you’ve seen most of the best *action* moments, and if you’ve seen the original there will be no plot surprises. But you should go see this, and you should take your kids. It’s the best movie I’ve seen in a very long time, and was even worth the exorbitant bill at the Movie Tavern.

Did I mention that Jaden Smith is an amazing actor? This kid has a brilliant career ahead of him. Let’s hope he doesn’t go the way of so many other spoiled child stars.

War Games

I just read GeekDad’s review of the new Karate Kid. We’re looking forward to seeing it, and in preparation, we FORCED the kids to see the original, which they declared to be a waste of their precious time. The Gril, in particular, claimed that she just couldn’t relate to a movie that was set *SO LONG AGO*.


Speaking of not being able to relate, last night we watched War Games on NetFlix. Everything about it is outdated, from the technology, to the political situation, to the lack of security at NORAD, where folks can crash a Jeep through the front gate, run into the facility, and not be immediately either shot or thrown into custody, and then permitted to take the reins of a major international crisis. Nice.

I remember seeing this movie in the theater when it came out and being absolutely horrified by the language. I believe I was 12 at the time, and I believe it was the first or second movie that I had seen in a theater in the USA. I went with my parents. I can just imagine, in retrospect, how they must have wanted to crawl out of their skin as I was exposed to foul language that I had probably never heard before outside of whispered giggled conversations in the dorm room late at night.

The notion that a teenager could simply dial a phone number and enter a single-word password, and get into NORAD is … well, actually pretty plausible. Except now it’s even easier, since you don’t need a modem, and you don’t need to spend all day test-dialing numbers. It’s really a marvel that nothing of this scale has happened in real life. That we know of.

What I like about War Games, the second time around, is how the hacker aspects of it are presented realistically, and the tools of the trade aren’t over-geekified, but just presented as they actually were at the time.

Um. No. I never broke into any computers. At least, not that I’m willing to tell you about. Except that one in Australia. Once.