Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Karate Kid

Ah, the timeless fable of Daniel LaRusso, a young man who leaves his comfortable Newark, New Jersey and comes to the new, strange city of Los Angeles. Once there he must face the challenges it has to offer: aggressive car drivers, different social norms, and of course, battle the most emotionally abused Martial Art students ever. Despite his complaints and fears, Daniel san learns the Tao of bullyfighting from a peaceful Japanese maintenance man, Mr. Miyagi, who, even thirty years later, is a master of one of the more silly forms of Karate committed to film. The two learn from each other and create a special friendship that is filled with emotion and care. The Karate Kid inspired millions of children to study Karate and became a film series, second only to Rocky in its ability to employ sports clich├ęs, montaging, with the talents of Peter Satera. But does the original still wax on, or wax off? Well, the nanobots are here to find out.
  • Open on establishing shots of Newark, New Jersey looking like an absolute shit hole. You’d think Daniel San would be happy to be getting the hell out of there. = -6pts
  • “Tony don’t forget to tell Uncle Louie that I left the red wine and the Parmesan cheese in the refrigerator,” is the most stereotypical Italian American signifying sentence ever spoken without involving mob connections. = +12pts
  • We then embark on the quickest road trip ever. Thirty seconds and boom! We’re in LA. We can’t tell you how many awful road trips we’ve been on that we wish could have been cut down with editing. = (+10 pts; -3pts for bringing up painful repressed memories of trips to Disney Land) net +7pts
  • We see Daniel and his mother enter their new home and Daniel complains about how he wishes he was back home in Newark. Dude, you’re a teenager in LA in the mid 80s at the height of the cocaine era; you should be the most excited kid in the world right now! Like, literally, you should literally be on cocaine right now. = -5pts
  • Daniel expresses his aggression by kicking the gate door of the apartment. What the hell did the door do to you Daniel? = -1pt
  • Daniel meets a new neighbor who starts out being friendly, but turns on the kicking of his ass. = +6pts
  • Daniel’s positive and happy mom is fun to watch. = +7pts
  • Mr. Miyagi, trying to catch a fly with chopsticks, looks like he’s going to stab Daniel with the chopsticks for interrupting him. Don’t fuck with Miyagi. = +20pts
  • Daniel goes to a beach party, has fun playing soccer, and meets his California dream girl, Ali. = +3pts
    • Apparently, in real life, Ralph Macchio and Elisabeth Shue had absolutely no chemistry.  (Bonus +12pts for faking it!)
  • Daniel stays at the beach all day into the night to gets to know Ali, which is too, much for Johnny and his gang of emotionally starved for attention Cobra Kai karate students to handle. = +6pts
  • Johnny wants Ali to play with his balls. = +20pts (Because we have no shame.)
  • Daniel tries to calm Johnny down, but learns quickly that nobody calms Johnny down but Johnny! = -12pts
  • Daniel decides to fight back by running face first at the enemy. = -15pts (For making the nanobots face-palm uncontrollably.)
  • Johnny beats the shit out of Daniel. Without mercy! = +5pts
  • Daniel gets one good punch in, but it does about as much as a fly slapping King Kong. = -6pts
  • Johnny keeps blaming everything on Ali, who only crime as far as we can tell is being able to respond pleasantly to questions and be good at foot play. Johnny, you’re insecurity and hair trigger rage is so adorable! = +4pts
  • Daniel’s new “friends” leave him, because that’s what good friends do after one gets the living man shit kicked out of them. = -8pts
  • Daniel’s mom sees what happened to Daniel and has the only rational reaction in the movie: shock and anger. = +8pts
  • After a shitty first day at his new shitty school filled with shitty students Daniel tries to study karate from books. Mr. Miyagi, apparently just getting Daniel’s "beaten face page", comes in to do some maintenance work and uses his Asianess to gleefully see through Daniel’s lies. Don’t fuck with Miyagi! = +25pts
  • Daniel decides to check out the greatest Karate Dojo ever opened next to a Walgreens. = +10pts
  • All rise for the introduction of the sensei of the Cobra Kais, the most bat-shit insane martial arts teacher of all time, a man who quite literally belongs in a Mortal Kombat game. We give you Martin Kove as John Kreese!! = +20pts
  • “There is no mercy in this dojo!” = +50pts
  • Johnny and his cohorts make Daniel feel welcome by shoving him off his bike down a hill, which is an unknown, but important karate lesson. = +7pts
  • Daniel’s finally lets it all out and has a good cry to his Mom. = +3pts
  • Mr. Miyagi and Daniel cut bonsai trees together. It’s quite touching and sweet, and, unfortunately,gives us nothing to make fun of. = -7pts
  • Miyagi makes Daniel go to the Halloween dance wearing a shower curtain. No doubt so he can freely masturbate in the dark amongst the nubile bodies of American teenagers. Japan is weird. = +2pts (For being a borderline crime, while still managing to respecting everyone’s privacy.)
  • No doubt inspired by perceived autonomy of his costume, Daniel decides to prank Johnny in the bathroom by blasting a hose full of water at him while he harmlessly rolls a joint in a bathroom stall. Welcome to LA! = +12pts
  • The bullies chase Daniel and beat the shit out of him until Miyagi fights them off.… DON’T! FUCK! WITH! MIYAGI! = +20pts (The less said about a tiny Japanese grandfather having to save you from a bunch of kids hopped up on weed, the better.)
  • No Miyagi there is such thing as a bad student. = -4pts
  • Making an Asians are bad at driving joke. = -20pts
  • Miyagi meets Kreese. The ultimate form of purity and goodness meets the ultimate form of douchebaggery. The cosmos shivers. = +15pts
  • “This is a Karate Dojo not a knitting class!” (Unable to accurately convey how many points this is worth. Nanobots laughing too hard.)
  • “You’re a pushy little bastard ain’t ya. But I like that! I like that!” Okay, Kreese, all this time acting overly aggressive with young men in a karate Dojo is not healthy for you. You need to either get a girl friend or confess some things about yourself. = +20pts
  • Daniel never shuts the fuck up. = -13pts
  • Daniel San starts waxing off. = +10pts
  • Miyagi teaching Daniel “karate.” = -12pts
  • Miyagi teaching Daniel how to get a bunch of chores done. = +20pts
  • Daniel being unable to tell the difference. = +10pts
  • Daniel and Ali go on a date…with Daniel’s mom playing chauffeur! And Ali’s Dad secretly hates Italians!! Awkwardness level: Extremely High. = +10pts
  • The date goes fine right up until others find out about the chauffeur situation. Then Daniel acts like a punk… again. = -9pts
  • Daniel continues his training, but shows up Mr. Miyagi by catching the little black piece of lint on a string with chopsticks… We mean the fly… Yeah… Fly. Miyagi rewards him with painting the fence technique. = +6pts
  • Daniel finally learns how to use his hands to block punches. Before he just kept using his face. = +12pts
  • Miyagi performs crane technique, thus offering up to Daniel the most un-Karate-like moves in all of Karate. At this point maybe he just wants Daniel dead. He is old enough to remember Hiroshima... = -4pts
  • Why is everyone in the Karate Kid universe an asshole? Two racist, douchebags are just hanging out on Miyagi’s car and calling him nasty words and drinking beer. But, what have we learned kids? Don’t fuck with Miyagi. = +30pts
  • Daniel tries to go on another date with Ali, but Ali has to go to her parent’s posh dinner party. Johnny is there and tries to pull a move on her, but then kisses her and Daniel sees them. We have to give this movie credit; we thought there was a limit on how many times we can use the word douche. =-9pts
  • Miyagi drunk is not nearly as funny as it should be. = -30pts
  • Seriously this is really sad. What the hell movie! = -6pts
  • Miyagi wakes up with the worst hangover ever and then finally teaches Daniel how to punch. = +2pts
  • Miyagi then gives Daniel a karate uniform...and a freaking car! Mr. Miyagi, can you adopt us? We can clean, paint, and wax off really good we promise! = +25pts
  • Daniel meets Ali at the arcade, and Ali is mad at Daniel. Why is she mad? The whole reason Daniel is getting his ass kicked is because of her! = -25pts
  • They forgive each other. Whatever. = +20pts
  • Tournament is here and Miyagi makes Daniel a black belt, by stealing a black belt for him. = +30pts
  • Daniel gets tormented by one Cobra Kai who we’re pretty sure didn’t have a name. He came up with the ultimately clever name Danielle to make fun of Daniel. That and dead meat. = +14pts
  • Daniel makes it to the semi-finals, but then GASP trickery! The hero is down! What will happen next! How will he be able to clean Myagi’s gutters! = +30pts
  • Miyagi does his hand-rubbing thing on Daniel’s leg. = +23pts (Yeah, that’s exactly how we’d phrase it.)
  • “Put him in a body bag Johnny!” Okay dude, it’s just a karate tournament. It’s not that big a deal. No need to escalate. = +16pts
  • Johnny sweeps the leg leading to this awesome song. = +6pts
  • Here comes the crane kick! = +50pts
  • Crane kick! The most defendable kick in martial arts. = +4pts
  • For more about what happened to Johnny you can find out here. = +12pts
  • And Daniel wins the girl and the bullies leave him alone and he has the respect of everyone until the sequels! All the kids want to learn karate now. = +15pts
Total Score: +419pts
Available on: Netflix, Itunes, DVD, Ralph Macchio's living room 24/7

The Karate Kid is a wonderful movie. It’s silly, but oddly heartfelt and fun. A timeless classic even though the martial arts is ridiculous, and not accurate to real life at all, but who cares when the acting is this fantastic, the writing this strong (about all things not Japanese). It’s hard not to love this story. So, give it a watch and relive the movies of 1984! Quite possibly the best year for movies.

Score Technician: Nick Enquist

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