The Next Karate Kid (1994) (NTSC)

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Released 4-Jul-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Filmographies-Cast
Trailer-The Karate Kid, The Karate Kid II, Godzilla 2000
Trailer-Roughnecks: Starship Trooper Chronicles-Pluto Campaign
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1994
Running Time 107:17 (Case: 104)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,3,4 Directed By Christopher Cain

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Pat Morita
Hilary Swank
Michael Ironside
Constance Towers
Chris Conrad
Arsenio 'Sonny' Trinidad
Michael Cavalieri
Walton Goggins
Jim Ishida
Rodney Kageyama
Seth Sakai
Eugene Boles
Keena Keel
Case ?
RPI $14.95 Music Bill Conti
Al Jacobs
Dolores O'Riordan

Video (NTSC) Audio
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
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    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.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    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.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    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.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are a few extras.


    Static and silent.


    This text about Swank and Morita only covers up to 2001.

Theatrical Trailers


    Three simple games.

R4 vs R1

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.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Monday, August 15, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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