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"The Karate Kid/The Karate Kid 2 Boxed Set" {Blu-ray}-(Wayne)
Wayne Klein
Studio: Sony
Release Date:
Special Features:

Commentary track, documentary, featurettes, trailers


There are some films that stay with you forever kind of like a bad meal even if you don't want them to and there are some that stick in memory around even if they aren't filet mignon simply because you were hungry, they tasted good at the time and, darn it if they don't taste good now. Such is the case with "The Karate Kid" and "The Karate Kid 2" two films that cemented Ralph Macchio as a teen film star with the former receiving an unnecessary remake featuring the marginally talented Jade Smith and the always entertaining Jackie Chan. ***

The big question is why do things films resonante and stay with us? It has far more to do than the craftsmanship that went into it although director John Avildsen's skill behind the camera certainly made them more memorable than they might have otherwise been; it has to do with the charm of a young man (Macchio) finding a place for himself in the world and a mentor who cares about him providing with the tools to become a man. In many respects, "The Karate Kid" is the ultimate "underdog" movie much like "Rocky" was--we care about Daniel the character that Macchio plays because he reminds many of us of the trials, self doubt and tribulations we went through. ***

Yep. Or it could just be the well crafted and directed story presented here as Daniel moves into a new neighborhood, must deal with a local bully after fallling for his girl (Elisabeth Shue). Daniel meets Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) his soon-to-be mentor when Miyagi breaks up a fight. Miyagi may only be the apartment maintenance man but as Daniel soon learns what we do doesn't define who we are. ---

Image & Sound:

This "Kid" lookis surprisingly spry for it's age; both films have nice, rich colors and detail is remarkably good through out the presentation. There appears to be an inherent softness to the image of the first film that doesn't trouble the second and I suspect that has less to do with the authoring and more to do with the condition of the print used. ***

Audio sounds quite nice for both with lossless 5.1 Master Audio sound tracks for both. Dialogue remains crisp and clear and there are plenty of directional effects evident in the mix. ---

Special Features:

For the first film we get an excellent audio commentary track featuring Macchio, Morita, Avildsen and writer Robert Mark Kamen. ***

We also get a PIP pop up trivia track that often includes relevant interviews. ***

"The Way of the Karate Kid" focuses on the production itself and Avildsen's approach to the material. **

"Beyond the Form" focuses on the fight sequences in the film put together by Pat Johnson. ***

"East Meets West" gives film composer Bill Conti ("Rocky") center stage to discuss his scores. ***

"Life of Bonsai" lets a Bonsai expert discuss the tress and their importance in Japanese culture. ***

We also get an HD trailer. ***

The second film doesn't get quite as much attention. We get a pop-up trivia track as an option here but not much else. ***

"The Sequel" a brief (and in SD) featurette on the film doesn't do much justice to the second film giving us only a taste of what went into the production of the sequel. ---

Final Words:

This combo set looks quite nice and has a nice assortment of extras devoted to the first film with less material on the production of the sequel. That's too bad because, while it isn't quite as good a film, it is good enough to deserve a bit more effort in the special features department.


Copyright @ Teakwood Productions 2000
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