The Next Karate Kid (1994) (NTSC)
Trailer-The Karate Kid, The Karate Kid II, Godzilla 2000
Trailer-Roughnecks: Starship Trooper Chronicles-Pluto Campaign
|Year Of Production||1994|
|Running Time||107:17 (Case: 104)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,3,4||Directed By||Christopher Cain|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Arsenio 'Sonny' Trinidad
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The Next Karate Kid is no doubt the last. The very cute Hilary Swank steps in as Miyagi's latest student in this one last trip to the well.
As Ralph Macchio was 33 when this film was made, Daniel-San seems to have been given the boot. Or perhaps he was not interested in flogging a dead horse. Anyway, in Karate Kid 4, sorry, in the Next Karate Kid Julie Pierce (Hilary Swank) is orphaned by the sudden death of her parents. Filled with rage, Julie lives very unhappily with her caring, but struggling, grandmother.
However, the grandmother also happens to be a friend of a certain wise Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita).
To give the Grandmother a break, the calming Miyagi offers to look after Julie, and train her in Karate. Miyagi thinks this will teach her some self discipline, and help channel her anger and energy into something positive.
Julie, meanwhile, is having trouble at school. Not only is she failing badly, but she's also being pursued by the school's bossy, and muscular, evil hall monitors. This band of neo-fascists violently enforce the school rules, ranging from truancy to littering. They are led by the deranged and ludicrous Col. Dugan (perennial bad guy Michael Ironside).
However, all is not bad, as Julie falls in love with ex-cadre member Eric (Chris Conrad), a decent and beefy bloke, who works as a security guard when not at school. Julie is also secretly (and unbelievably) nursing a hawk back to health on a school building roof.
Speaking of things "unbelievable", there is also a bizarre sub-plot involving Miyagi's mates - a group of blindfolded, Zen-bowling, Buddhist monks. What the???
The film's script and direction are both pretty lame. Indeed, it's hard to believe that the two leads are actually decent actors. After all, Swank would soon be holding her Best Actress Oscar, and Morita was nominated for one for the first Karate Kid. Meanwhile, here, speaking his fortune cookie lines, Morita comes across as a caricature of Yoda, and Swank seems to have just two gears - angry and angrier.
Overall, the NTSC transfer appears dated, but is reasonable.
The widescreen transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced.
The source print has a few problems, and the image is often grainy, such as at 16:18. The sharpness is reasonable enough, but the shadow detail suffers in the darker scenes, such as the school at night at 38:12.
As with many NTSC transfers of films, the colour can appear oversaturated - the reds a little too red, and the faces a little too orange.
There are no problems with MPEG artefacts, but there are some film-to-video artefacts, such as the slight aliasing at times, for example the stripes on the side of the police car at 8:13. It is minor, and hardly noticeable.
More of an issue is that many film artefacts appear throughout, and some are large and distracting.
English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, and Thai subtitles are present, and the English subtitles are accurate.
This is a single-sided, single-layered disc.
There are four audio options to choose from: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).
The dialogue quality and audio sync are fine on the default English audio track.
The musical score is credited to Al Jacobs and Dolores O'Riordan, with some re-use of Bill Conti's superior work. It's not that memorable, but gets the job done.
The English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) audio is surround encoded. There is some subtle surround presence and activity on occasion, for example the ambience at the bowling alley at 85:58. Obviously, there is no LFE track, and my subwoofer slept throughout.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are a few extras.
Static and silent.
This text about Swank and Morita only covers up to 2001.
Three simple games.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This disc is Region coded for R1, 3, and 4, so ours is identical to the R1, including the NTSC transfer.
One trip to the well too many.
The video quality is limited, but watchable.
The audio quality is also limited, and front-heavy.
The extras are slim.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||Grundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-545|
|Speakers||Sony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer|