September 2010

September 27, 2010 at 6:51 pm (Movie Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

I finally got to see The Karate Kid remake, which should have actually been called The Kung Fu Kid. It is a relatively faithful remake of the original in the basic plot, except the kids are younger and mother and son move to China instead of California, so the fighting is… Kung Fu and not Karate. Yeah. I didn’t think the plot worked as well with younger kids. Fifteen/sixteen seemed to be the right age for the type of drama surrounding the main character. No slight intended on little Jaden Smith, but twelve just didn’t play as well for me. It did have a couple of good laughs and Jackie Chan saved this movie from being ridiculous. He is charismatic, as always, and even gets the chance to do some dramatic acting on top of the usual comedy.

Rating: I had to see it just to satisfy my curiosity, but I will not be buying this on DVD. I will stick with Ralph Macchio and Noriyuki ‘Pat’ Morita for all of my Karate Kid needs.

The Secret of Kells is an animated story about the Book of Kells, part history and part mythology. The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript containing the four Gospels of the New Testament and a few other texts, created by Celtic monks around 800 AD. It is now housed in the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland and can be viewed by the public for a modest fee (or for free on St. Patrick’s Day, which I got to experience back in 2005). The illuminations are intensely complex and beautiful, containing both Christian iconography, Celtic knotwork and mythological creatures. The combination of those themes, Christianity and Celtic mythology, can also be seen in both the plot and the highly stylized animation of The Secret of Kells. For example, the snowflakes are actually a variety of little Celtic knots falling from the sky, while the main character is a little boy named Brendan who lives in the Abbey of Kells. His uncle is the Abbott and Brendan assists the monks with their duties around the monastery, but he also encounters mythological creatures, friend and foe. The climactic drama revolves around completion of the book and protecting it from the Viking attacks on Celtic settlements, which led to the book traveling from Iona to Kells in the first place. It was an interesting and imaginative story if you are receptive to the content. If the blending of christianity and mythology sounds like something that you would not be okay with, then you should not see this movie.

Rating: I really liked this and am glad I saw it, but will not need to own it on DVD. Well, maybe if I find a used copy on sale… What? I like movies.

Salt was better than I thought it would be. Angelina Jolie gives a solid performance, the story was interesting and it came with some unexpected twists and turns. Good action and suspense. Don’t want to be Spoily McSpoilerton; if you like this kind of movie, go see it!

Rating: I will not need to own this on DVD, but it was a fun theater watch and I would watch it again I come across it on TV.

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2 Comments

  1. Caitlin said,

    I saw Secret of Kells today. The animation/illustration style was awesome. I totally noticed the Celtic knot snowflakes too and I liked the montage of illustrations from the book at the end. Very pretty and quite a unique story for a cartoon. Good stuff.

  2. Michele said,

    Thanks for this review! I was wondering about both the Secret of Kells and SALT, so now I know. And knowing *is* half the battle. 🙂

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