IATS Film Review 2-Fer: The A-Team & The Karate Kid

Dr. Beardhussein Takes Two Movies & Blogs Them In The Morning

(Spoiler Free, as always)

Check your watches…

“Hollywood done ran out of ideas!

Yep, that’s usually the first battle cry from keyboard critics who probably lost any real joy in movies years ago. You gotta love people like that tho’, whining about acting & plot. Mind you, some people are just far more critical than I am. Heck, I’m the one that wrote 3,000 words on how much I despise the musical stylings of Aubrey Drake Graham, so I’m not immune to it, but here’s the difference:

Movies are escapist fare. You need to be in a certain place to watch them. Music, on the other hand, travels with you. You listen in the car or at the gym. It can turn a bad party good and a good party bad. It can keep you company at work. It can soothe you to sleep. Therefore, we want music that will reflect our mood, to say what we want it to say so we can hear what we want to hear, what we need to hear at a certain time. It can effect our thinking, lifting our spirits when needed, or helping us access certain emotions that–internet thug or otherwise–just plain need to come out sometime.

So yes, I critique the fuck outta music. Movies? Not so much. Matter ‘fact? Let’s go thru some popular movie complaints and make fun of them, shall we?

Popular Movie Complaint #1: “The acting was terrible!”

Ya know, unless it’s beyond BEYOND bad, I never get caught up in “acting.” I never go, “Samuel L. Jackson isn’t making me think that he’s REALLY glad they died and hopes they burn in hell.” I don’t go “Renee Zellweger isn’t making me believe Tom Cruise REALLY had her at hello.” No sir. I talk with enough awkward ass people on the phones at the plantation and in real life to know that there are some verbally spastic people out there that mumble or monotone or mushmouth their way thru the day.

Notable Exceptions: Daniel Radcliffe in the first Harry Potter movie, and Sophia Coppola in The Godfather Part III. I’m sorry, those 2 were maybe the worst I’ve ever seen, and I’m so not a hater like that.

Popular Movie Complaint #2: “The plot was terrible!”

“So, lemme get this straight. Some dude comes from Italy, starts a crime family, and his son takes over, and his other son gets shot, and there’s opera music, and he mumbles, and he dies in a friggin’ tomato garden or some shit? That’s stupid. Where’s the plot?” Yeah, that’s right. I just “Internet Movie That Guy’d” The Godfather. Let’s continue! “Wait, so, there’s a whole Persian army, and 300 dudes from Sparta kill them all? Yeah, that’s realistic.” See what I did there? I just took the piss out of 300. Let’s do one more. “This kid moves to a bad neighborhood, Ice Cube goes to jail, and some dude dies. This movie sucks.” So long, Boyz N Da Hood, you just got “Internet Movie That Guy’d.” Point being? You can do that with EVERY movie with the right amount of boring, boring, boring, cliche’d snarky apathy. I get that some flicks might have a buncha whiz-bang special effects and silly jokes, but you know what? Odds are really good it says that RIGHT ON THE FUCKING BOX. Quit complaining when you knew what you were in for.

Notable Exceptions: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. I haven’t seen a meandering mess of a movie like that in a really long time. I couldn’t deal with the caucasians-as-persian and the ending was confusing as heck. I didn’t understand it one bit.

Popular Movie Complaint #3: “This was the worst movie I’ve ever seen before in my life.”

You are a lying, lying bastard. Last week I had the misfortune of seeing Splice. The movie was so horrible on virtually every level that calling a loud, explosion, awesome-a-thon like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen or a fun but still kinda disappointing film like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull “…the worse movie I’ve ever seen…” is a crime that should be punishable by a slap to the offenders mother or eldest female relative. Splice had stupid characters doing stupid things and amazingly astounding gaps in logic that had took my World Class Suspension of Disbelief and gave it an atomic wedgie. Even then? It wasn’t worse than Planet of the Vampires, a movie so terrible that me and my BFF Joe can’t even heckle it. It wasn’t worse than Epic Movie, that horrible attempt at a “spoof.” Guys, I know hyperbole is the bees knees and nothing is more spiffy or nifty than playing madlibs with your opinions (“This is like got in the with a and then on.”), but do us all a favor and stop it already. We get it. We get it. Everything sucks except for the stuff you like. Duly noted. Now quit trying so hard.

Notable Exceptions: Splice, Planet of the Vampires, Epic Movie, & Disaster Movie,. Um… Yeah. Awful, awful, awful. To the point of wondering if they were angry at the audience and had complete contempt for them.

Popular Movie Complaint #4: “That was SO unrealistic!

Look, if you’re watching a movie, especially an action/adventure/sci-fi/fantasy/silly comedy movie, you’re gonna have to just hush up and go with it. Yes, Jeff Goldblum can hack into an alien spacecraft. Yes, Indiana Jones can survive a nuclear blast in a refrigerator. Yes, Bruce Willis can jump out of an airplane onto a destroyed overpass and be fine. Yes, there are Robot Elder Gods that can resurrect Sam Witwicky. Yes, Ron Burgundy’s dog, Baxter, can speak to bears. Yes. Yes. Yes. Quit whining.

Notable Exceptions: Halloween (the Rob Zombie one). Michael Myers got shot, stabbed, shot, and stabbed like 255 times, but he kept on coming. Why have a reality-based movie and then take everyone right the eff out of it on some “Oh, come on!!” (again, the key is “reality-based”, not action/adventure/sci-fi/fantasy/silly comedy)

Popular Movie Complaint #5: “But Jennifer Aniston is in this!”

Okay, maybe that’s just me.

***

“If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire…”

L-R: Faceman, B.A. Baracus, H.M. Murdoch, Hannibal in "The A-Team"

Here’s what I remember from the television incarnation of The A-Team:

1- Hannibal smoked Cigars.
2- B.A. was tough and spoke in a gruff voice.
3- Murdoch was crazy.
4- Face was suave and smooth.
5- Every episode they’d build something cool.
6- The van.
7- The theme song. Speaking of which… SING IT WITH ME!

BAHM BA-BA BAAHM, BA BAHM BAHHM, BA-DA DA DA DA-TAAAAAA, BAHM BA DA-DA DAAAAAAHHHHHHMMM!

(now don’t you feel better after that?)

Anyway, that’s what I remember. I was happy to hear they were doing a re-make, and the movie looked like a fun flick, something to enjoy whilst being a Yahoo. Then I saw the trailer and heard this line (not a spoiler because it’s in the trailer):

“They’re the very best and they specialize in the ridiculous.”

Now…

When you’ve had the same core group of friends for 12 years and in the past 24 months you’ve had 2 beer pong tournaments, a beer olympics, and something called “The Feast of St. Larry”, you hear a quote like that and you go, “Whoa! That’s us!” So yeah, the fix was in.

I saw the movie Saturday at the gorgeous, amazing, pristine, Regal Deer Park Imax Stadium 16 And “Don’t-Think-I’m-Playing-When-I-Say-I’m-Having-My-Wedding-Rehearsal-Dinner-There” Theater.

The place itself was a friggin’ madhouse because of all the parents taking their kids to see The Karate Kid, but I found my way to the auditorium hassle-free. The previews were okay, nothing I hadn’t seen, but the more I see the trailers for The Other Guys, the more I think that movie is gonna kick ass.

Now, I don’t do spoilers, so I’ll go into a free-form kinda thing about what I liked.

~ The opening sequence was, aside from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and the original Scream, the coolest opening I’ve ever seen in a movie. By the time the opening credits were done I would’ve been satisfied.

~ The introduction to every character was superb. Liam Neeson was awesome, Murdoch was hilariously insane, Bradley Cooper (whom I was on the fence about considering how horribly, horribly overrated I thought The Hangover was) kicked ass as face (and, if I’m being honest, might make me go back to see the aforementioned Hangover just to revel in the Bradley Cooper awesomeness, as he was the only character in Hangover I liked…), and the one we all were worried about, Rampage Jackson as BA Baracus. Rampage did just fine.

~ I was rooting for every character off the bat. It takes you about 15 seconds to get attached to them.

~ The action scenes were top effing notch, with some cool stuff that might be physically impossible, but fuck it, that’s not why I go to the movies, to see some mundane, real-life shit. I’ve got real life to supply my real life.

~ Jessica Biel is hot. Like most hollywood chicks, she’s like 15-20 pounds underweight, but she’s still hot. Mmm.

~ The ending was awesome.

So, overall, I loved the movie. I was smiling the entire time, there were giddy quotables, and I found myself wanting to yell out in exuberant joy for the entire running time. I strongly recommend this. Don’t bother comparing it to the show, as the show itself was cheesy fun, and holding it to any higher of a standard (like what happened with the fan boys and Transformers) is just exposing yourself as a hating douchebag.

***

“Always Strong!”

Mr. Han (L) & Xiao Dre in "The Karate Kid"

It needs to be said: I am a huge, huge fan of The Karate Kid and it’s 2 sequels (and if you ask about the Hilary Swank one, I will find you and I will clothesline you).

I liked the second one, up to and including the Peter Cetera song. I liked the 3rd one, and the ending sequence of which gives me chills. (“Okay lose to opponent. MUST NOT LOSE TO FEAR, DANIEL-SAN!”)

I like the underdog story. I like the simple narrative of Good vs Evil. I like the student-teacher relationship. I like the goofiness of certain scenes. I like that I’ve enjoyed all 3 movies even tho’ Bill Simmons took the piss out of them.

I saw this one at Holtsville’s Island 16, and it wasn’t nearly the friggin’ zoo that Regal was the day before. We saw this in the Director’s Hall, which has assigned seating and a cool gimmick where Island 16 folks will take your order and bring your concession snacky snacks right to you, from full on meals to just popcorn and soda (no extra charge for this, which is good considering how ob-friggin’-scene the prices are and how small the portions be at Island).

The theater was filled with family types, little bastard urchin kids and their parents, and normally I hate this, but at the very end of the review I’ll tell you why I didn’t…this time. My company for the film was my father, my BFAM Irv, and my friend Briana. Okay, the setting is setting’d. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.

~ Jaden Smith (Dre) needs is adorable. No homo. No pedo. That being said, he has flashes of Will (either by design or by genetics) in his performance, and he has moments of “okay, that was goofy”, but when he was allowed to take the training wheels off and just go for it, he made me laugh, and during an especially poignant scene with J-Chan, he made me cry.

~ Taraji P. Henson is aces as Dre’s mom, and hot at that. Yes Hetero. Yes Age-Of-Consent.

~ Jackie Chan was… (wait for it) …good. Yep. None of that goofy, smiling China-Man nonsense from the Rush Hour films. He was earnest, sincere, and added some gravitas. I really enjoyed his performance. The aforementioned scene with J-Smith really did have me in tears. (i’ll get to it–again, spoiler-free)

~ The Chinese Billy Zabka was such a mean-spirited dick of a kid that you instantaneously hated him.

~ The Chinese Ali with an “i” was adorable, and as a sucker for love, I really liked seeing her and Dre’s relationship blossom.

~ The Chinese Cobra Kai guys were all good in an ominous way.

(okay, we need to break from the squiggly line bullet points for the go-home sequence)

The movie is long, really long, but it was by design. This movie took the basic story of the original Karate Kid and made it it’s own movie. It wasn’t a quick hit take-off like some feared, and it wasn’t a sugary-sweet little kid movie with scat. humor, prat falls, and clueless adults. This was a drama for the tween set, with humor spread throughout and enough homages to the original film to make the old folks like me happy.

The movie takes it’s time, and the payoff (in the form of the scene that made me cry) is totally, completely worth it. It’s a beautiful moment in the movie, and if you’re invested in the characters even a little bit, you can’t help but be moved by it. From that point on, the training montages pick up and before you know it? BAM! Tournament time.

The fight scenes in the tourney were fucking AWESOME. Yes, little kids shouldn’t be able to do that, but you know what? Fuck it. They did, and it was great. I won’t talk about the tournament any more, but let me say that I enjoyed it, with more tears.

I also recommend this one, but be prepared for a long ride. They don’t take shortcuts in this movie, and for a danged good reason. The ride, kids, is worth it.

And here’s the best part for me:

After the movie, whilst discussing the film with Irving, I saw two little kids in the lobby jumping around and throwing kicks, same way I did with my brother 25 years ago.

THAT is why you do remakes. THAT is why you rehash the good stories. What the Fan Boys, the Critics, and the Internet Movie That Guys forget is that these remakes are only partially for us. They’re mostly for the generation after us, and it’s a generation that–far more than we did–needs heroes, and villains, and good guys, and bad guys.

Yes, sometimes they need hip-hop affectation breakdancing robots.

Yes, sometimes they need silly comic relief characters like Jar Jar Binks.

Yes, sometimes they need a black kid with cornrows in the i-talian Macchio role.

They need them because in a world where everything, even people, has become disposable, you need those Good vs Evil, Never-Give-Up, Right & Wrong fables to anchor our children to something good, something elemental.

THAT is why I go to the movies, because in the movies, the good guys can win, the chubby guys can get the girl, and if you’re really lucky, there will be a lesson that sticks with you for years to come.

***

Call Reynolds, Cuz it’s a Wrap.

Alright kids, that’s it. I hope you enjoyed the post. As always, comments, questions, critiques, and links to pictures of Alexis Bledel can be left below in the Dr. Donda West-Christopher Wallace Memorial Comments Section.

Thanks for tuning in,

–RTH

Advertisements

19 Responses to “IATS Film Review 2-Fer: The A-Team & The Karate Kid”

  1. hl Says:

    dope…Rey, you ever thought about trying to do movie reviews professionally?

    • reythehussein Says:

      Heh, I’m not nearly critical enough for that, but I think there should be a review site for people like me who, you know, still like movies.

  2. MK Says:

    In my head while I read this? “You’re the best…around! Nothingsevergonnakeepyoudown!”

    • reythehussein Says:

      Okay, mild spoiler: They do not play that song in the movie. Gotta admit, I was kinda upset that they didn’t. Luckily, I’m sure someone’s already dubbing that over the tournament scenes via the YouTube.

  3. London Bloke Says:

    The movie takes it’s time, and the payoff (in the form of the scene that made me cry)

    You gotta love people like that tho’, whining about acting & plot. Mind you, some people are just far more critical than I am.

    ^

    SMH

    Good review without spoiling though

    • reythehussein Says:

      Oh please, grown men shed tears. Bah. And the acting and plot stuff is important, obviously, but people discount whether or not the movie was entertaining. To me, being entertained is the whole point, and if I have to shrug off or work overtime to logic out a silly plot point to enjoy a movie, I will. If I have to overlook some cringe-worthy delivery to keep the attachment to the character, I will.

      Anyway, I appreciate you checking the site, capitan.

  4. hl Says:

    Thank Me Later = Transformers

    It all makes sense now…

  5. Mark Twain Fame aka Tank Says:

    I agree with the whinny bitchy im too serious to be entertained and ahve fun type of critical movieness. It gets tiring.

    Like I just recently watch the Gamer movie with Gerard Butler, it wasnt anything incredible or mind blowing but I enjoyed it, decent action, a decent story, the villain was a big asshole that I wanted to strangle with my shoelaces so he was effective and good, and it was wacky zaniness sans Crank 1 & 2 (same directors/writers thats why ha) which I also loved, and many breasts to be seen. All in all it was a good movie. But of course it got panned critically and has been shit on by more notable “respected” movie critics than hairy moles on Roger Ebert’s ass.

    Same will go for From Paris With love when I finally watch it. Travolta looks kick ass in it.

    But I wasn’t totally looking forward to Karate Kid but I will prob catch it on the DVD side when it comes out.

    Now The A-Team looks amazing in terms of over the top crazy action, funny punchlines, Liam Nesson bad ass awesomeness, and Jessica Biel hottness. I shall have to make an attempt to go see in theaters.

    Also Book of Eli is out on DVD today, I must cop from Best Buy. That movie is great for having two of my favorite actors in it together. Denzel and Gary.

    • reythehussein Says:

      1- Yep. Annoys me to know end.

      2- Right, I mean, I want to be entertained. I don’t want to be insulted, but at the same time, I wouldn’t necessarily choose a film or show for entertainment purposes that will lead to a feeling of “I can’t believe someone would think I’d like this…”

      3- Didn’t see it, but looks like fun.

      4- Hmm… You don’t necessarily need to see TKK in the theater, but the communal experience makes it nicer.

      5- You DO have to see The A-Team in the theater. The scope of the insanity is fun. It was great. Don’t screw around tank, I’ll mail you a gift card so you have no excuses to miss that!

      6- I liked Book of Eli a lot.

  6. Mark Twain Fame aka Tank Says:

    for sure I know my bro would be down to see it…he’s a big action movie buff, he’s probably even less critical than you and me…Like Micheal Bay is his favorite director and all his movies are his favs. Bad Boys 1 & esp 2, The Rock, Transformers 1 & 2, he stated “M Bay has to be one of the best directors ever” Now again I’m not as critical as I am with movies than music but I had to step in with a dose or critical reality there ha. We agreed on the best Action & Big Explosion Director ever. LOL. So he would be down to see it. But I’m sure the wifey wouldnt mind seeing it, she’s game for anything.

    and yes Book of Eli was amazing. I need to watch it tonite ha.

    • reythehussein Says:

      Heh.. as MK knows, I’m a big Michael Bay fan. I like his movies. But, um, Best Director Ever? No. Most fun? Definitely.

      LOL… The National Amusements Cinema De Luxe was a huuuuge deal when it opened, but the Regal theater is about 6 years younger, and absolutely gorgeous. You ever venture up north east, and tix’n’snacks are on me.

  7. Mark Twain Fame aka Tank Says:

    and two more things…Regal theaters are pretty bad ass in comfort, space, and keeping things clean and enjoyable.

    and that other theater…damn u New Yorkers….argh! they give you food and serve you!…c’mon! Phooey!…LOL.

  8. Mark Twain Fame aka Tank Says:

    for sure Rey.

    hey u see Dallas Penn’s Drake’s In Store vids…my lawd this generation lost LOL.

  9. Mark Twain Fame aka Tank Says:

    ^^^

    LOL no but it’s hilarious. Dallas shows how ridiculous and rehtard’d some of Drake’s fans are.

  10. Summer Movie Snoozin’, er, Season 2010 Wrap-Up « It ain’t that serious Says:

    […] The Karate Kid. I’ve been over this one already, but let me comment again. I liked this one okay, and seeing as how I was crying during the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: