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The Karate Kid

November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have figured out a way to be safely socially-distanced, but still have a chance to celebrate a little with family and friends. This year I’m thankful for one of my favorite movies and I want to share it with you.

Way way WAY back, in the Orwellian year of 1984, a small film about a kid doing karate was released into theaters. It is to my ever-loving shame that I cannot remember the first time I saw this movie. That said, I think I’ve watched it 800 million times since then. Let’s just say that it rivals Ghostbusters as one of my most popular go-to movie options. Both are excellent for watching an 801 millionth time on a holiday.

For those of you who were born in a year that does not start with a 1, this movie kicks all kinds of fun things. Daniel LaRusso moves from Newerk, New Jersey across the country with his mom, ending up in Reseda, CA. He doesn’t fit in with all of the beautiful California people, and when he is continually bullied by the local rich kids, Mr. Miyagi agrees to start teaching him karate. Not the “Strike First. Strike Hard. No Mercy, Sir” type of karate taught at the local Cobra Kai dogo. Mr. Miyagi is more about discipline and control.  

After Daniel redeems himself in the local tournament - spoiler alert - we get an excellent sequel to the first blockbuster. The Karate Kid II finds Daniel following Mr. Miyagi to his birthplace of Okinawa, Japan to take care of his ailing father. I think this is actually my favorite Karate Kid film for two reasons: 1) there is a typhoon and you know I’m a sucker for anything weather related and 2) the second film starts where the first one left off and we get to see Sensei Kreese’s response to Johnny’s loss. Honk!

There was a third movie made, as well as two offshoots The Next Karate Kid with Hillary Swank and a reboot of sorts from Will Smith, but none of these are as good as the first two. I could watch those back to back all day (and have...what? Don’t judge). 

I’ve recently pulled my husband into my Karate Kid mania because Netflix just purchased and released Cobra Kai. It’s thirty four years after the kick felt round the world - what are Johnny and Daniel up to? Anyone want to take bets that they’ve become besties? No? No one? Yeah, me neither. We’re mostly through Season One and I have to say these episodes are good. No word on if they will be released to DVD, but don’t worry. I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, you can check out my two favorites and try to watch them as many times as I have. Who needs football on Thanksgiving? I wish you luck. Bonzai!

Happy Sweeping the Leg…

:) Amanda

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Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.

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