Archive for category Movies

Karate Kid 1984 vs. Karate Kid 2010

Posted by Rob on Friday, 26 February, 2010

I have to admit, I don’t typically mind movie remakes. It seems Hollywood has been running out of new ideas lately and every other movie they put out is a straight remake, blatant rip off or otherwise extremely similar story line with minor plot twists and a new title. As long as the new movie does a good job, I’m fine. You don’t have to go see it if you don’t want to.

Special effects are way, way cooler now as well as all of the other technological advances that they didn’t have back then. And it always seems to be a good idea from a studio standpoint to take a classic movie and update the story to present day to hook a new generation into the cult classics.

I thought the latest Friday the 13th remake was pretty good. You have to like that kind of movie genre, and accept the way those story lines go, but I thought they did a good job blending the first couple of Friday the 13th plots, updating the blood and gore to today’s standards, even updating Jason’s motions and mannerisms, all while keeping in tradition with the original classic. Opinions may differ.

Sure, I’m sure you can pick out certain remakes or even sequels that they should have just left alone. Lots of ideas sound good on paper, but just lose it in production.

However, when they first said that they were going to remake The Karate Kid, I was less than thrilled. That movie was one you just don’t mess with.

I was 11 when the first Ralph Macchio/Pat Morita classic came out, and I saw it in the movie theater. Since then, I’m sure I have watched it at least 50 times, more if you include the second and third. In fact, I just watched them all on Comcast On-Demand a few short weeks ago.

For some reason, as I could let all the other movies of my youth get remade, but the thought of The Karate Kid being tarnished and retooled really ticked me off. I don’t care if it is a 26 years old flick. (Funny side note: About a year ago I was watching this movie called Beer League, a comedy about a bar sponsored baseball team… I watched the entire movie, and then when the closing credits played, it said Ralph Macchio was in it. I had to rewind the movie, and I still didn’t recognize the 45 something year old Macchio, heh…)

So yesterday I came across a trailer for the new Jaden Smith/Jackie Chan version. Apparently the first trailer had a bunch of other Karate Kid purists upset, but I caught the version 2 trailer. I was expecting to follow suit, and be disappointed… Boy was I wrong!

First off, I love just about anything Will Smith has ever done, I’m not sure why (I am Legend, a 3 times over remake was one of my favorite Smith flicks). Jaden Smith is an 11-year-old Mini-me to his dad. Talk about having billion dollar shoes to fill, and having no problem doing so. This kid is going to be amazing.

Jackie Chan is another near can-do-no-wrong actor in my book. Sure a couple of his recent movies were kind of lame, but his fight scenes are always great. Again, you have to like that genre and accept the stereotypical roles he is cast into.

I’ve heard the complaints, it should have been called “Kung Fu” Kid, not “Karate” Kid, but you have to accept the fact that the vast majority of people use the term karate and martial arts interchangeably. They simply don’t know, or care what the difference is. They see Steven Segal, Bruce Lee, John Claude Van Damme, Jeff Speakman, Jason Stratham and even Jack Bauer doing “karate moves” on screen and wouldn’t know the difference between an Aikido wrist lock, American Kenpo technique, or a Jeet Kune Do strike…

I think Daniel, I mean Dre moving to China is a cool change. I’ll miss the classic wax on, wax off training, but you can see the replacement in the trailer. I don’t want to ruin too much before you see it, so go watch the trailer.

I think this is one of the better remakes, and this is coming from a once original Karate Kid purist. I’ll have to watch the whole movie to make the actual call, but if the trailer paints a picture of the movie to come, this is going to be really good.

I will be interested to see if this movie prompts the incredible influx of “karate” school enrollment like it did in the late 80s and early 90s. Martial Arts schools of all forms (because non-martial artist don’t know the difference) got huge enrollment numbers, accredited to the popularity of The Karate Kid series. Parents were signing up their kids to all the local Tae Kwon Do and Karate dojos. Of course most of them didn’t stick with it for very long, probably once the novelty wore off.

True martial arts take a lot of dedication. The generation of instant gratification is not going to stick to a curriculum of hard work and tough skills. And that is both the parents and the kids. Even the McDojos that churn out belts faster than a child’s attention span in hopes of milking as much money out of parents before the child gets bored. Then you have a bunch of McBlack Belts, that aren’t worth a damn in any self-defense situation, and are probably worse off, because they think the 2 years worth of “black belt” skillz they learned are going to help them. Go ahead and throw that Tae Kwon Do head kick on the street and see how fast you end up on your back…

Daniel: Hey, what kind of belt do you have?
Miyagi: Canvas. JC Penney, $3.98. You like?
Daniel: [laughs] No, I meant…
Miyagi: In Okinawa, belt mean no need rope to hold up pants. [laughs; then, seriously]
Miyagi: Daniel-san…
[taps his head]
Miyagi: Karate here.
[taps his heart]
Miyagi: Karate here.
[points to his belt]
Miyagi: Karate never here. Understand?

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

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TASER Device scene in “The Hangover”

Posted by Rob on Sunday, 24 January, 2010

I finally caught the movie “The Hangover” this weekend… I know, I know, it’s been out awhile… I thought it was pretty funny, but the best scene was the TASER clip…

Rob Riggle playing a Las Vegas cop jabs a stun gun into Ed Helm’s neck, then a couple kids from a police station tour get to demonstrate a TASER Device on Bradley Cooper in the crotch and Zach Galifianakis in the face. Ouch!

I was reading somewhere that the director Todd Phillips was considering using real stun guns and TASER Devices during the shoot. That would have made the shoot pretty interesting, but the actors did a pretty good job selling the scene. Without the actual 50,000 volts, of course.

A person hit with a real TASER Device will feel dazed and confused for several minutes. The pulsating electrical current causes an involuntary muscle contractions ant the result is a sense of vertigo. It can momentarily effectively stun or render an actor or attacker unconscious. Yet, the TASER Device‘s low electrical amperage and relatively short duration of its pulsating current, ensures a less-than-lethal charge. Moreover, a TASER Device does not cause permanent damage or any long-term after effects to the victim’s muscles, nerves or other body functions.

It may however leave a lasting psychological impression, one that the zap-ee will not soon forget.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

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Woody Harrelson Mistakes Photographer for Zombie

Posted by Rob on Tuesday, 14 April, 2009


I’ve always liked Woody Harrelson, but I think he has finally lost it.

No doubt you have heard of his latest scuffle with a TMZ photographer at La Guardia Airport in New York last Wednesday evening. If you haven’t, I’m sure YouTube is flooded with the latest video footage.

Apparently the standard paparazzo harassment built up to Woody damaging the guys camera and at least pushed him in the face. Of course the footage doesn’t include the initial confrontation, so It can only be surmised what started the incident.

The first of the two videos show the photographer following Harrelson and his daughter down an escalator and out of the airport terminal, ending with Harrelson apparently reaching out for the lens. It seems Harrelson grabs the camera and the photographer got smacked in the face in the exchange.

The second video begins with the photographer accusing Harrelson of breaking his camera and assaulting him. After Harrelson returns the camera to him, another scuffle appears to ensue.

“Woody, this is assault. Woody, this is assault,” the photographer is heard saying while continuing to pursue the actor. “Woody, chill out. Would you please chill out?”

Of course the photographer continues to follow Harrelson for another several minutes rolling film, as the actor and his daughter try exit to the airport parking lot instead of leaving well enough alone. At one point, Harrelson again turns toward the cameraman.

“I’m being chased by Woody Harrelson while I’m talking to you,” the photographer tells an unidentified person on a cell phone, while he in fact is chasing down Woody… Apparently the photographer is confused.

“He hit me in my face, he broke my friggin’ camera, he broke the camera in pieces,” the photographer continues.

Harrelson, his daughter and a driver get inside an SUV and drive away, ending the encounter.

I’m not going to condone the behavior either way. The paparazzo have long been known to be quite aggressive in their dealings of snapping pictures, filming video, harassing and otherwise bothering famous people. And the celebrity scuffles and retaliations are often well publicized, and usually nicely clipped to include all the footage of the out of control star, and none of the beginning instigation, but that is another story.

But what makes this story interesting in particular is the official statement provided by Woody Harrelson after this one.

“I wrapped a movie called ‘Zombieland,’ in which I was constantly under assault by zombies, then flew to New York, still very much in character,” Harrelson said last Friday in a statement issued by his publicist.

“With my daughter at the airport I was startled by a paparazzo, who I quite understandably mistook for a zombie,” stated Woody Harrelson.

A zombie photographer, Woody?

Really?

According to IMDb, in the movie “Zombieland,” Harrelson plays “the most frightened person on Earth” looking for refuge from zombies. Shouldn’t Woody have been kicking some zombie ass, Natural Born Killer style??

Since it is coming up again, let me refer you back to the Zombie Self-Defense Tips from a few weeks back. Apparently there were not any electronic road sign warnings about Zombies near the La Guardia Parking garage.

“Woody Harrelson has a history of anger management issues with people and we intend to put a stop to this,” says the lawyer of another photographer who filed a lawsuit against Harrelson for an alleged 2006 attack outside a Hollywood nightclub.

I have an idea, let’s put a stop to the paparazzo harassment. Hey Woody, wanna buy a Taser? Still shamelessly looking for that celebrity endorsement…

Be Safe, Be Prepared, Watch out for Zombies.

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Machete Becoming Bay State’s Weapon of Choice?

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 9 April, 2008

The only Friday the 13th on the calendar in 2008 is in June, but already there has been a rash of Jason Voorhees like attacks. And it is only April. So far, this is the reported Machete attacks already occurring this year in the state of Machetusetts, I mean Massachusetts:

Jan. 7: (Roxbury, MA) Two men are arrested after they allegedly chase two people down a street while wielding a machete.

Jan. 18: (Chicopee, MA) A man is struck on his head, face and arm by a machete in the parking lot of Sunco Trading Corp during a robbery.

Feb. 4: (Springfield, MA) A man is slashed in the neck and throat and a woman is hit in the arm and leg with a machete in the parking lot of a Gulf gas station.

March 4: (Lynn, MA) Outside Lynn English High School, a 16-year-old Lynn boy suffers a facial laceration and nearly loses his right thumb from a machete attack.

March 8: (Boston, MA) An East Boston man is found bleeding from both feet from a machete attack in a staircase on Meridian Street.

March 13: (Boston, MA) An East Boston teen, victim of a daytime assault at City Hall Plaza is hacked in the left arm, back and shoulder by a machete.

March 15: (Boston, MA) A Revere man is struck in the mouth and back by a machete in a daytime assault on Dorchester Avenue. A South Boston woman was also hit in the head with the machete as she attempted to intervene.

March 26: (Lynn, MA) A Lynn teen is sliced on his left arm with a machete at a Strawberry Avenue playground while playing soccer with two brothers.

To date, these attacks pale in comparison to the death, destruction and gore of the machete-wielding mass murderer in the movies, but this frequency of machete attacks would even make Jason proud.

The machetes are being described as “inexpensive weapons (that) are too easily obtained”. “It’s obviously a very dangerous implement. It can cause severe damage when wielded against another human being,” says Mass. DA Daniel F. Conley.

For somewhere between $5 and $30 bucks, just about anyone can purchase a machete from online to the local Wal-mart. Typically ranging from 18-24 inches, this steel blade that can “cut, chop, slash, hack, split, scrape, scoop, hammer, crack or smash just about anything you can put in front of it.”

Machete sales are largely unregulated due to the fact it is designed and classified as a basic farming tool, mainly used in third world countries. Just like most of the Asian Martial Arts weapons that were originally peasant farming tools several hundred or thousand years ago, before they became popularized in Karate movies and American dojos.

But don’t worry. Massachusetts law prevents the sale of self defense weapons to all of its law abiding citizens. No tasers, no stun guns and extremely limited pepper spray approval if you jump through enough hoops and red tape!

We do have a few self defense options left for you Massachusetts, New York or other restricted state residents. Our telescopic steel batons are rather nice. Not too bad of an option. I wouldn’t mind having at least a 26″ inch steel baton to combat some psycho with a 18″ blade. Not necessarily ideal, but you have the reach advantage. And you can practice some moves and train yourself pretty good to defend yourself with the
telescopic steel baton. Most likely the machete is just being flailed around by an inexperienced wielder…

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It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to you, but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection could be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your personal well-being?

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Serial Killers, Self Defense and Halloween

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 5 September, 2007

Labor Day is over. Where did this past summer go? Halloween is just around the corner, then Thanksgiving and soon after Christmas. I’m not quite ready for that yet.

But speaking of Halloween, Rob Zombie just released his remake of the 1978 classic horror movie, aptly titled, Halloween.

If you missed the original movie, the basic plot is about the psychotic murderer Michael Myers, institutionalized since childhood for brutally killing his sister when he was six. 15 years later, he escapes and goes off on a mindless rampage through his old Illinois town.

I can only imagine that this 2007 Rob Zombie remake will be brought to the next level and updated to the current horror/slasher movie standards as only Rob Zombie can deliver.

Although all of these psychotic serial killers in the movies become widely sensationalized and larger than life, such as Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger, lets not forget there are real life super villain serial killers.

Some gain fame and notoriety in the media and become household names, such as Charles Manson, Son of Sam and Richard Ramirez. Others go slightly under the media’s widespread and frenzied radar but are non-the-less just as prolific and dangerous.

What all of these serial killers do have in common, real or cinematic, are that serial killers do not stop until they are captured or killed. Unlike other lesser criminals, serial killers are driven to kill, maim and/or torture without and care or concern for their victims.

Of course true serial killers make up a small part of the population, but those that do have the potential to destroy many lives. If you were to ever face a psychopath, it is no longer just about simple self defense, it is kill or be killed.

I have always hated those horror flicks when the murderer gets hit in the head or shot in the arm and falls down. Then their prey turns their back and thinks it is over. They don’t run away, they don’t watch the body, or don’t otherwise ensure the attacker is incapacitated.

If your attacker is using physical force, assume he’s trying to kill you. Assume he is trying abduct you so he can torture and kill you later.

Given the chance, fight back hard and make plenty of noise. If you can’t finish them off, hurt them badly enough that you can get away. Then get away and call for help. Do not stick around. Call for help in a safe place.

Those superhuman, unstoppable killers in the movies are fun to watch, if you like that kind of entertainment. Dealing with one in real life is another story. It doesn’t have to end in a bloodbath or victims strewn all over town. Self defense training and self defense weapons can take away a killer’s advantage and even the playing field, as well as improve your odds of survival.

Heaven forbid, if you ever find yourself in a situation warranting a kill or be killed mindset, make sure you are prepared. Mentally, physically and materially. Learn some basic self-defense moves, learn how to deploy your pepper spray or stun gun. Learn how to get away.

Become a serial killer’s worst nightmare. Someone who is ready and able to fight back and defend your own life or the life of your loved ones.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to you, but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection could be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your personal well-being?

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300 Reasons to Learn to Defend Yourself

Posted by Rob on Monday, 27 August, 2007

If you haven’t seen the movie 300 yet, I would highly recommend grabbing the DVD. It took some heat for it’s lack of historically accurate content, but it was derived from Frank Miller’s graphic novel. A comic book, not your high school history book. So take it for what it was intended for, an entertaining, action packed, epic movie experience.

The basic synopsis revolves around the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae. Leonidas, the King of Sparta leads a small, but highly skilled army of men defending Greece against the massive invasion force of Persia, led by King Xerxes.

I could go on and on about the stunning camera work, intense action and more about how good the movie was, but I really wanted to comment on some of the earlier scenes before the great battle.

The one in particular was about a young Spartan boy. In the movie it might have mattered who it was, but for this example it doesn’t. This boy, at a very early age was brought into a courtyard by his father and trained to be a Spartan warrior.

At first glance, training was rather harsh and brutal for such a young boy, barely able to hold a sword. But if you think about it, the father was taking great effort in training and preparing that child for the way of life in those times. The Warriors lived and died by the skill of their combat prowess.

An extreme example from another day, another age… but the underlying theme remains the same. Be prepared for the dangers of your day and age. Sure, we aren’t gladiator warriors fighting dire wolves in the forests or subject to the dangers of fierce armies on the fields of battle 2500 years ago in Greece.

What about life 250 years ago in America? Do you think every male didn’t own a gun and know how to defend his home from Indians, wild animals or the other dangers of that day and age? At what point did we stop defending ourselves and start relying on others? When did we start to just accept crime and let it happen without resistance?

Superman, Batman, Spider-man, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle or other famous comic book heroes are NOT patrolling the cities stopping criminals, murderers and rapists from committing crimes just in the nick of time. The police can not be everywhere You need to be able to defend yourself.

If your father did not teach you how to defend yourself with a sword, gun or your bare hands, it is still not too late. You can’t place the full blame on others, we are all responsible to take care of our own deficiencies. We need to
stop making excuses, and start taking action.

Do you own a stun gun or pepper spray and know how to use it? Do you know simple but effective self defense techniques to save yourself or a loved one from an attacker?

Do you or a loved one really need to be personally put into a dangerous situation and injured, beaten, robbed, raped, etc. to make you realize the importance of being able to defend yourself?

Stop waiting, stop making excuses, stop procrastinating on learning how to use your self defence products and take action now. Hopefully it is not too late. Hopefully you are wasting your time and never have to worry about this. The
odds may be in your favor, but if you are that lucky you should be playing the lottery.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to you, but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection could be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your personal well-being?

Popularity: 4% [?]

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Harry Potter Mania?

Posted by Rob on Sunday, 22 July, 2007

Did you get your copy of Harry Potter Book 7 yet?
Personally, I could wait for the movie to come out, but my
wife and daughter had to have the book ASAP. It was made
available Friday at Midnight, or first thing in the morning
Saturday, depending on how hard core you were and what store
you wanted to wait in line several hours prior to opening.
5 AM to stand in line 3 hours? No Thanks.

When did we get our copy? About 3 PM, Saturday afternoon. No
lines, no waiting, off the huge 3/4 full pallet at the front
of Walmart. I didn’t have to dress up in robes or camp out
in the dark, but hey, if that is what you like to do… The
only problem I had was I had to buy a $20 hardcover, instead
of a $7 softcover which I guess won’t be out for awhile. I
was reminded by my wife that if it was something “I”
wanted, I wouldn’t have cared about the extra $13…
Touché, and off to the cash register we went.

Apparently there were others that did not fair as well as I
did. Many stores were faced with mad rushes as soon as the
doors opened, which caused more that a few upset and
agitated customers to push and scuffle. Then there was the
fight that broke out at the store in Malaysia that decided
to give out free copies to the first 13 customers in line.
Poor customer 14, you almost made it cleanly, but if you can
beat up the kid in front of you then you are all set? Give
me a break.

Pakistani police had to defuse two car bombs outside a
shopping mall, canceling the book launch’s festivities
there. Talk about blowing the issue out of proportion.

Just goes to show, even the most well intentioned gathering
of people can take a turn for the worse at any time.
Doesn’t always take pepper spray or a stun gun, but
typically a good dose of common sense and awareness of your
surroundings go a long way.

And if you are prepared and packing some self defense tools,
you will always have them ready if necessary.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to
you, but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection
could be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth
Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your
personal well-being?

Yours in safety,

Rob Cook

Popularity: 3% [?]

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Make Your NEXT ATM Transaction Safer

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 2 May, 2007

I haven’t had a chance to see it yet, but the recent movie trailer I have seen a few times on TV looks pretty good. Also being a fan of Nicolas Cage and Jessica Biel, I can’t wait to see it. The movie NEXT is about a guy Cris Johnson (Nicolas Cage) who is a Las Vegas magician. He has an unique ability that he see up to two minutes into his future. As a twist to the plot, there is of course an abnormality to his superpower. He can also see more than two minutes ahead into the life of Liz (Jessica Biel), a woman whom he has never met.

As the story goes, Cris is on a journey to find Liz, hoping to figure out why he is having visions of her future. At some point, FBI agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore) finds out about Cris’ powers and tries to tracks him down. A terrorist in the Los Angeles area is about to detonate a bomb and the FBI believes Cris can stop this from occurring.

How helpful would it be to be able to see a couple minutes into the future? Can you imagine walking down the street with a two minute warning of any danger lurking ahead? It must be nice to be Cris Johnson or one of those 900 number psychic fortune tellers that can see the future. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us without psychic abilities must fend for ourselves.

Unless you are performing some heavy duty banking, most people can wrap up an ATM transaction in about two minutes. Besides the transaction fees accrued if you are not using your bank’s ATM machine, most ATM transactions commence without problems or concerns. However, you sure always be aware of what is going on around you. Unless you are Cris Johnson, you truly never know what is about to happen.

When using the ATM, it is best to lock your car, but make sure you keep your keys handy so you can enter your car quickly after completing your transaction. Always be alert for anything suspicious in the vicinity, especially two or more people in a nearby vehicle, particularly if no one else is at the ATM. Also be weary of anyone who just appears to be hanging around the area. If you believe anything is wrong, leave the area immediately and use another ATM. ATMs are more prevalent than Dunkin Donuts, there are always several option within a very short distance.

When waiting in line, wait well behind the person using the ATM ahead of you. When you are using the ATM, if someone is closer than you would like, politely ask him or her to step back a few steps. If they do not, it may be best to cancel your transaction and leave. Wait in your locked vehicle until that person leaves or better yet, just go to another ATM.

Prior to approaching the ATM, be prepared. Have everything ready before you get there. Have your card ready, know your code, and fill out your deposit envelope. While performing the transaction, stand directly in front of the ATM to block the view of others. You do NOT want others to see your code or how much money you withdraw.

Many ATM robberies occur between midnight and 6 a.m. If you must use an ATM after dark, try not to go alone if possible. If that is not possible, make sure you have some form of self defense product at the ready and know how to use it. Just in case.

Wildfire Pepper Spray | Stun Master Stun Guns | Personal Alarms

At a drive-up ATM, keep all your doors locked and all windows closed, except the one you are using. Only roll it down as far as necessary, and pull up as close to the machine as possible without sacrificing your paint job or side mirror. Keep you car running, and keep your eyes on what is going on around you. Watch the front, sides, and rear of your car. If anyone approaches your vehicle on foot, cancel the transaction immediately and leave.

When your transaction is completed, immediately put ATM card, receipt, and money into your pocket and leave. You can count your money from the safety of your locked car. If you are leaving the ATM and you feel someone is following you, walk or drive into the closest open business and call the police. Report any ATM crimes to the police and the financial institution that issued your card as soon as possible.

Most of the time, movies seem to end with a happy ending. The guy gets the girl. The world doesn’t blow up. Make sure your ATM visits do not take a turn for the worst. You do not want your NEXT experience to end up “Bad Guys gets your money.” Have a plan and a good self defense arsenal.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to you, but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection could be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your personal well-being?

Stay safe and be prepared!

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