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Welcome, everyone.  Make yourselves comfortable and have an ice-cold glass of lemonade.

This week we will be venturing into the summer week of remakes.  Two new releases, both of which are fresh looks at old stories.  And, while many changes have been made to both, they look like interesting additions to the summer movie season. 

So, come with me and take a peek at the reinterpretations of small and big screen that Hollywood is serving up this week…

“The Karate Kid”

Trailer

Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Dre Parker could’ve been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother’s latest career move has landed him in China. Dre immediately falls for his classmate Mei Ying — and the feeling is mutual — but cultural differences make such a friendship impossible. Even worse, Dre’s feelings make an enemy of the class bully, and kung fu prodigy, Cheng. With no friends in a strange land, Dre has nowhere to turn but maintenance man Mr. Han, who is secretly a master of kung fu. As Han teaches Dre that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm, Dre realizes that facing down the bullies will be the fight of his life.

MovieDruid’s Comments: The Original “Karate Kid” is one of the pivotal films of the ’80’s.  Any kid who grew up in that decade remembers watching Ralph Macchio’s Daniel take that crane kick position and defeat the Cobra Kai after being instructed by Pat Morita’s Mr. Miyagi.  This one appears to depart from the details of the original, but does seem to keep the spirit intact.  The real question mark here is can Jackie Chan (“Rush Hour” & “Shanghai Noon”) and Jaden Smith (“The Pursuit of Happyness” & “The Day the Earth Stood Still”) demonstrate the same level of on-screen chemistry that helped make the Macchio/Morita films so good.  My mind revolted against this one at first, and I still don’t think that this is a film that needs to be remade.  But, the early looks are promising so I’ll grudgingly give it a reserved endorsement.

“The A-Team” – MovieDruid Pick of the Week

Trailer

Synopsis: “The A-Team” follows the daring exploits of a colorful team of former Special Forces soldiers who were set up for a crime they did not commit. Going “rogue,” they utilize their unique talents to try and clear their names and find the true culprit.

MovieDruid’s Comments: “The A-Team” is another iconic image from the ’80’s.  (Which makes me think, is this some kind of National ’80’s Week or something?)  I remember watching the show as a kid and loving every minute of it.  And here we finally, after decades, are getting a big screen adaptation.  The casting is interesting with Liam Neeson (“Batman Begins” & “Taken”) as Hannibal, Bradley Cooper (“The Hangover” & “Wedding Crashers”) as Face, Sharlto Copley (“District 9”) as Murdock, and UFC Fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson as B.A.  It is definitely an interesting mix of talent and experience.  The good news is they understand they can never top the originals and have reportedly made the characters their own, making for better and more comfortable performances.  Of course, having a director like John Singleton (“Higher Learning” & “Four Brothers”) certainly doesn’t hurt.

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