So, I never realized I had any OCD tendencies until I reached the Bondo and Sanding phase of creating a Cobra Commander helmet. I had nearly moved on to the painting stage. I was *this* close. That was until I sprayed on a coat of primer and realized that my helmet looked like a hyperactive kindergartener’s paper mache project. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but I still couldn’t let the bumpiness slide. My entire Sunday was spent adding a sixth full coat of Bondo and sanding some sexy curves into the helmet.
And to think I brushed aside warnings that the Bondo/sanding portion was the most difficult part of this process. After the first week in this stage, I could almost hear Terry Silver from Karate Kid III saying, “Now the real pain begins, Danny-boy.”
You know, I spent years proselytizing Karate Kid III’s greatness to a chorus of jeers and snickers. Now, through the jaded eyes of a middle-ager, I guess I can understand why the movie is so reviled.
I count The Karate Kid (1984) as one of my favorite movies of all time and a bona
fide classic piece of American filmmaking. It had everything: fighting, karate,
romance, simple yet effective storyline, laughs, endearing characters, catch phrases,
and a great ending. I have watched it hundreds of times and still make time for
it every couple of months. When Columbia Pictures announced that they were creating
a remake, my first reaction was why bother? The original was movie perfection. My
second reaction was a full-blown midlife crisis. Am I really getting so old that
my favorite childhood movies need to be updated? Then I realized that 1984 was indeed
a long ass time ago, which made it all the worse. Still, I was dismayed by the announcement
and immediately put up my wall of hatred. There was no way in hell I would ever
see this travesty. Damn Columbia Pictures and everyone involved!
Then I saw the kick ass trailer a few months ago before seeing Alice in Wonderland
at the theaters. I was charmed by the new sensei, Mr. Han played by Jackie Chan.
Jaden Smith cracked a few funny lines that made me laugh and showed some great kung
fu technique. Within minutes, my usually impenetrable wall of hatred crumbled to
5—Tamlyn Tomita (Karate Kid II): I was, and still am, an avid Karate
fan. To this day, I sit down and take in a Karate Kid movie every few months. As
a kid, that was more like every few days. To me, these films—especially the first
two—are timeless and never get old. I always had one problem with the first Karate Kid, though. I didn’t get what Daniel saw in “Ali with an i.” Oh sure, Elizabeth
Shue somehow went and became all hot by the mid-90’s (Leaving
Las Vegas and The Saint. Whoa!), but in the 80’s she was not that great. I never understood why Daniel
would go through all the pain and agony that came with dating Ali. But the movie
was awesome and watching Johnny get crane kicked in the face never got old, so I
turned a blind eye to the fact that I never bought into Ali. Karate Kid, up until
the release of Part II in 1986, was all about the fighting for me. How things would
In the mid-80’s, I really into fighting, wrestling, and martial arts—still am. I
took Tae Kwon Do classes because of Karate Kid and The Last Dragon.
My friends and
I re-enacted all the fight scenes from the movies. We played with shurikens and
nunchakus and, by some act of God, never seriously hurt ourselves. The holy grail
of my 3rd and 4th grade existence was a full blown ninja outfit. I begged and pleaded
my case, but my parents knew better than to buy me one. To compensate for our lack
of proper attire, my friends and I used to tie black t-shirts over our faces to
look like ninja masks and go wreak havoc in the neighborhood.