Monday, October 25, 2010

It's All In The Delivery - A Bloody Pen Post

Just recently (like tonight) after watching a remake of an old favorite movie, and then watching the original version again, I saw just how important delivery is in a story. The movie in question... The Karate Kid, but which was better?

The new version is very identical in the set up. A young boy is moved to a new town and immediately finds himself at odds with the popular kid and unable to defend himself well in the many fights he gets into. Both boys are befriended by a maintenance man who knows the martial arts the boy wants to learn.

The teaching methods are different. The ages of the kids are different. The injuries and the pranks and the insecurites of the main boy are the same.

I love both movies, but the new version (though I was skeptical) held way more power for me. It was in part due to the actors I think, but mostly the power was in the delivery of some of the back story.

Jaden Smith's character in the new film portrayed the student in trouble supremely. His expressions from the very beginning, watching him tell his friends goodbye before he moved to another country, his struggles from the moment they arrived... He drew me in instantly and had me feeling for him.

Jackie Chan's character, though his back story was very similar to Mr. Miyagi's story in the original was delivered quite differently. From the beginning, Chan's character was more standoffish than Morita's. He seemed darker. More wounded. Hints were dropped throughout the new story that visually showed his issues, so by the time the revelation scene came, when it was time for us to learn what had happened to him, the moment was considerably more emotional. And the way Jaden Smith's character helped Chan move past his pain was touching and insightful.

Another thing that made the new movie more powerful was how Chan's character admitted what he learned from Smith's. The connection between the characters is shown well in both movies, but for me, the new version held the power of delivery. A power that brought me to tears...something the original has never done.

It's a lesson I will be keeping in mind as I work on my edits and new books.

Have you seen both movies? What did you think? Have you seen other remakes that have been the same way?

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Nikki :)
    I haven't watched the new version, but I know the Brat did and she said it was good. I'll definitely have to add it to my netflix queue if it's as good as you said it is :)
    Usually, when I watch other remakes, while they're good, they don't live up to the original for me.