It's been a rough week for movies, starting with the Academy Awards last Sunday with all the boredom and the sadness. At least my friends were here with wine and that has helped take the edge off since then.
All I've managed to see in the meantime has been kid stuff and much of that accidental: Karate Kid (2010), Karate Kid (1984), The Duchess (2008), and Clambake (1967).
See it before Elvis gets really fat!
Full disclosure on Clambake
: I fell asleep right after Shelley Fabares
lost her bikini top water skiing and awoke when pudgy Elvis (seriously, a ducktail in 1967?) was conducting some fuel experiments in Gary Merrill
's lab. A blond Bill Bixby
was here and there gamely rutting after Shelley, which I gather was a plot point, but really, once you've stumbled upon Gary Merrill's alcoholic ass sporting old man pants in a beach picture the only humane thing to do is switch off the TV and pick up your knitting.
Pull my finger
Which brings me to the Karate Kid
(the real one). I don't remember seeing this movie when it came out, because during the mid-80s I was deeply, ostentatiously attending and wrongly disdaining New German Cinema
and Art Films and would probably not have been caught dead at a flick that starred Arnold from Happy Days
. Plus, eh, kung-fu. So if yesterday was indeed the first time I'd seen it, I wish I had not been such a snob. It's a fine and engaging story and Ralph Macchio was sweet, natural, and interesting to watch. I'm happy to learn that Macchio is a decent guy who didn't mess up his life or anyone else's (I'm talking to you, Scott Baio). Perhaps the reason we haven't seen more of him since My Cousin Vinny is best explained by this Funny or Die piece
, which I can only link to (perhaps they didn't get their own joke?).
Of The Duchess, I have only two things to say: (1) everyone would be much better off reading the book and (2) Keira Knightly needs to eat a sandwich.