Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
The Karate Kid (1984)
Certainly one of the top movies of the '80s, if not all-time.
"The Karate Kid" is the tale of Daniel Laruso (Ralph Macchio), a young man who, on the heels of his mother's finding a new job, is uprooted from Newark, New Jersey, to the sunny shores of California. Daniel's mother has visions of a new start, a new life with the sky as the limit. Daniel, however, quickly finds that, for him, the West Coast holds nothing but hard times.
With the comforts of his rough, middle-class neighborhood thousands of miles away, Daniel tries to make friends and blend with the well-to-do, upper-class kids in his new home. At first, Daniel seems to do alright but, before long, he crosses paths with Johnny (William Zabka), the tough, rich leader of a group of karate students who attends Daniel's new school. To make matters worse, Johnny is the ex-boyfriend of Ali (Elisabeth Shue), a girl Daniel is pursuing.
Enter Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita), an aging handy-man who works at Daniel's apartment building. Struggling for friends and failing to fit in, Daniel finds support in Miyagi. After enduring several beatings at the hands of Johnny and his gang, Daniel comes to learn that Miyagi, in fact, knows karate. Following a vain attempt to speak with Johnny's karate teacher (Martin Kove) about being left alone, Daniel is suddenly entered into the All-Valley Karate Tournament, where he will attempt to win the respect that Johnny and his gang have taken.
As he trains for the karate tournament with Miyagi, Daniel learns invaluable lessons about life and love. And brought to the foreground of this karate story is Daniel's pursuit of Ali, who truly is the single person who gave the new kid a chance.
On many levels, "The Karate Kid" is an uplifting movie. It illustrates how a lonely, out-of-place kid triumphs against the odds, and the movie doesn't need computer-animation or special effects to get its story across. But, for me and anyone who loves '80s movies, the "The Karate Kid" has to be appreciated for its nostalgia trip back to "better times." For that reason alone, this movie is a classic.
I've enjoyed few movies, if any, more than "The Karate Kid." I highly recommend this flick to anyone who loves a touching, uplifting story, or to anyone who simply can't get out of the '80s!!!
No one gets away clean....
In Pulp Fiction-like fashion, Traffic interlocks three different tales that focus upon the ever-increasing problem with the war on drugs. The three stories are vastly different and, at the beginning of the film, there seems to be little connection among them. However, Traffic weaves the stories into one dramatic tale that, by the end, depicts the realism underlying the drug trade from several viewpoints.
In the first story, a Mexican policeman (Benicio Del Toro) finds himself in a web of corruption as he tries to rid Tiajuana of a controlling drug cartel. In the second, the President's newly appointed "drug czar" (Michael Douglas) battles cartels on the United States' front while he simultaneously copes with his own daughter's addiction. And in the third, two DEA agents (Don Cheadle and Luis Guzman) in San Diego try to take down a wealthy smuggler, whose wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is suddenly forced to learn the truth behind her husband's financial success. The tales are interrelated because they share a common, central theme--the drug trade.
Steven Soderbergh, whose efforts earned him Best Director honors at the 2001 Academy Awards, blends the stories with distinct coloring styles. The first tale is saturated in brown, effectively capturing the feel of Mexico while maintaining its cruel realism. The second tale is distinctively washed in blue, seemingly hiding the hard reality of addiction. The third is filmed without a coloring effect, as it reveals the difficult truth to blind eyes.
Soderbergh unites the stories in a style not too unlike that of Quentin Tarentino in Pulp Fiction. Soderbergh focuses on each story separately, but he ultimately ties them together by the end. Unlike Pulp Fiction, though, Traffic proceeds sequentially, whereas Tarentino's film jumped forward and back at the drop of a hat.
Aside from Soderbergh's creative style, the story and acting is superb. Benicio Del Toro's portrayal of the Mexican policeman won him the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and it was well-deserved. Michael Douglas gives another great performance as the President's "drug czar," coping with the effect of drugs in both his professional and personal life. Catherine Zeta-Jones is convincing as a wealthy smuggler's wife who is sadly innocent and naive one moment, terribly ruthless and power-hungry the next. Don Cheadle's performance as a DEA agent was, generally, overlooked when the film was released. But, he was excellent.
Traffic is certainly a film that was worth its praise. With a stellar cast, a well-written script, and a creative director, it was hard to imagine this film could go wrong. It didn't.