What a strange cast! Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom, the sequel to the 2008 DreamWorks animated adventure film, has just added three actors: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michelle Yeoh, and Victor Garber. The idea of Yeoh and Van Damme being in the film is entertaining, but when it will be only as voice actors? Perhaps slightly less so. OK, fine: Van Damme could be hilarious. Read More »
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When it was announced that Sony would be remaking The Karate Kid with Will Smith‘s son Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan as the Mr. Miyagi character, I was livid. Every once in a while on /Film we’ll preclude our headline with “Worst Idea EVER:”, which is kind of a running joke because we run 20-30 of these stories a year. The joke is that Hollywood loves bad ideas. But my mind began to change after I watched the trailers for the new film. Not just change, but totally reverse. It looked like a completely different movie just playing off the basic concepts of the 1980s film. Sure, I wish that they would release the film under the title “The Kung Fu Kid” but I was actually excited to see the film.
And see the film I did. Today at ShoWest I got a chance to see the film a few months early. Was it good? Was it terrible? I’m not quite sure. Even if I was able to write a review (which I’m not, though Sony is allowing reaction blogs) I’m not sure what I would say. If I had seen this movie today without ever having seen the original Karate Kid movie, I probably would have liked it quite a bit. It definitely isn’t a bad movie. But…
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Even with our well documented disdain for the project, we found the teaser trailer for The Karate Kid remake starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan to be surprisingly watchable (but it might have just been the very low expectations we had set). Word leaked in January that the film earned the second highest test screening score in Sony history.
Sony has now released a second movie trailer for the film on Yahoo. I like how they borrowed from the first film, yet play against some of the expectations. I also love the inclusion of Joe “Bean” Esposito’s song “You’re the Best, which of course, was featured prominently in the All-Valley Karate Championships montage in the original 1984 movie. The fighting sequences also look a few levels above that in the original. I’m still not convinced that the film will be great (there is no chance that Chan’s performance will match Pat Morita’s Academy Award-nominated performance from the original film), but I’m a lot more confortable with it than I was originally (Although I still don’t understand why they can’t just call it The Kung Fu Kid).
Watch the trailer after the jump, and please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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Entertainment Weekly is reporting that The Karate Kid remake starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan just held a research screening and earned the second highest test screening score in Sony history, just under 2005’s Hitch, which coincidentally starred Jaden’s father Will Smith. Even with our well documented disdain for the project, we found the teaser trailer to be surprisingly watchable (but it might have just been the very low expectations we had set).
Of course, EW got the information from the studio, who could easily be lying, but for any movie — why lie for this film? The story claims that the positive scores ranked in the 97th percentile. Keep in mind that research screening audiences are recruited to fit a targeted demographic (age, sex, financial, who knows what else) that the studio is aiming for with the release. I’m sure the screening wasn’t filled with hardcore fans of the original Ralph Macchio 1980′s “classic”, and probably skewed much younger.
Consider me shocked that The Karate Kid remake starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan actually looks like it may be a fun film. We’ve covered the film over the past year with increasing trepidation — especially when the studio decided to stick with the Karate Kid title instead of The Kung Fu Kid. But now we have the first trailer for the film, and somehow my first response isn’t to burn it at the stake.
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Update: Sony has sent us three more photos, check after the jump.
People Magazine has the first official photo from the Will Smith-produced remake/re-imagining of The Karate Kid (and yes, we still wish they would revert back to the old Kung Fu Kid title and leave the Karate Kid title out of this). You might remember when we posted a couple set photos and even official teaser art back in September, but this is the first time Sony has released an official photo from the upcoming film. The article doesn’t reveal much: Jaden Smith trained every day for four months with the film’s fight coordinator Master Wu, and they filmed a scene atop the Great Wall of China.
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I’m in the middle of watching Red Cliff and I’m amazed that, for the first time in at least a decade, I’m excited by a John Woo movie. (Import DVDs for the win, and I’ll probably still go see the half-length US edit out of curiosity.) So I’m happy to see that his next Chinese production seems to be going forward. Given that Woo has a habit of developing and announcing films that would never happen, there was good reason to be skeptical that we’d ever see Rain of Swords in a Pugilistic World, which would be an all-out wuxia film with Michelle Yeoh.
But now there’s a sales poster and we have the synopsis as well. After the break, we’ve also got a short teaser for Little Big Soldier, Jackie Chan‘s latest Chinese film. His Chinese stuff hasn’t been great — it’s no match for his classic output — but it’s miles better than the garbage he’s been in stateside for the past many years. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
The saga of the ever-changing Karate Kid remake title continues. You might remember when we posted a couple set photos earlier in the week, we mentioned that the Will Smith-produced remake/re-imagining of The Karate Kid had been officially retitled The Kung-Fu Kid. A /Film commenter named videophonic forwarded us to some official art on Sony’s website which still features the old title. I don’t believe I’ve seen this art anywhere else online, so I thought I’d pass it along.
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