Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

Kung Fu Panda 2 is the first feature film by Jennifer Yuh, written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger and starring the voices of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Michelle Yeoh, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Victor Garber, Danny McBride and James Hong. [Here’s my review of the first one.]

Plot:
Po (Jack Black), head of the Furious Five – Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Crane (David Cross) – is pretty content with his life. That is, until the kingdom is threatened by the evil Lord Shen (Gary Oldman) who developed a new weapon that is able to defeat Kung Fu and with which he plans to take over. But a soothsayer (Michelle Yeoh) has predicted his defeat – and his fate and Po’s seem to be more closely tied together than both realise at first.

Kung Fu Panda 2 is a very sweet film and an excellent sequel.The cast is good, the story is nice, but it’s the animation that really stands out: it’s that fantastic.

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The Karate Kid (2010)

The Karate Kid is a remake of the 1984 movie that made a generation (or three) insanely happy for no real reason. It was directed by Harald Zwart and stars Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan, Taraji P. Henson and Wenwen Han.

Plot:
Dre (Jaden Smith) moves with his mother (Taraji P. Henson) from the US to China. He’s unhappy about the move, but sees some light at the end of the tunnel when he meets Meiying (Wenwen Han), a really cute girl. Unfortunately, the boys from the evil Kung Fu club don’t take too well to strangers hitting on Chinese girls and beat Dre up. Repeatedly. That is, until the handyman Mr. Han (Jackie Chan) steps in and takes it upon himself to train Dre in Kung Fu.

The movie is not the catastrophe it set out to be. Since it’s not terribly good, either, that’s probably the highest praise you’re going to get for it. It’s a little too long, it could have done with a little more originality, but in the end? It’s pretty okay.

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Reading Material

Superheroes have flaws. At least some do. See here.

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The History of True Romance (The Tarantino/Scott film, do not expect some nice little story about birds and bees).

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The script of Jumper, re-edited. (“Hayden Christensen finally succeeds in his lifelong goal to pout in every country.”)

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200 three-panel comics by nedroid.

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Not much to read but there’s talks about a Karate Kid remake, directed by Will Smith and starring his son, Jaden Smith, with either Stephen Chow (by the way, new movie coming: CJ7 and in 2010 there will be a second part of Kung Fu Hustle. Yay!) or Jackie Chan as Mr. Miyagi. I don’t know if I should be delighted or terrified.