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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Karate Kid 3
Karate Kid 3
Columbia/Tri-Star
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted July 16, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

Part of the problem with Hollywood is that it occasionally doesn't have a "know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em" mentality. The first "Karate Kid" movie went on to be a rousing success at the box office, as did the second one when the filmmakers continued the story. But, did audiences want to see yet another sequel (and a fourth?). If they filmmakers couldn't come up with a new idea in where the series should head (and they obviously couldn't), the series should not have extended as long as it did.

After the second picture had Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) travelling to Japan, they return here to find that their old nemesis from the first picture, Kreese (Martin L. Kove) is out for revenge again, bringing in an old army buddy named Terry to finance a tournament against a violent opponent (Sean Kanan). Daniel even briefly rebells and accepts Terry as his coach, showing that he's really learned nothing after all these years. There's not even much interest in a love interest, as Daniel doesn't have much to do with a potter who works across the street (Robyn Lively).

Morita is still the best thing about the series, quietly going about his business while the other actors (especially Macchio, who has never been a good actor in the first place) overact to various degrees. At 111 minutes, this third edition feels pointless and slow, with a handful of rather ludicrous plot twists. The filmmakers should have accepted their success with the first two films and folded their cards instead of going onwards.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Karate Kid 3" presents both a new 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and a full_frame version. The new anamorphic widescreen edition suprisingly doesn't quite provide the kind of quality that the edition of the second film does. The slightly dark looking presentation presents decent sharpness and detail, but scenes can either look slightly soft or murky at times.

Where the second picture occasionally seemed lightly grainy, the grain is more apparent this time around, and appears more consistently throughout the movie. Pixelation and edge enhancement aren't noticed, but there are print flaws throughout the movie - nothing major, but small speckles and marks are visible fairly often. Colors appeared natural, but unexceptional throughout the movie, never looking particularly bright and occasionally appearing very slightly smeared.

SOUND: "Karate Kid 3" is presented with a rather lackluster Dolby 2.0 soundtrack. There's hardly any activity throughout the movie, not much in the way of ambient sounds or detail and even Bill Conti's score doesn't get much presence this time around.

MENUS:: Menus are basic and non-animated with film-themed images.

EXTRAS:: Filmographies and trailers for "Karate Kid", "Karate Kid 2", "Godzilla 2000", "Beverly Hills Ninja", "Roughnecks".

Final Thoughts: The third sequel is really the least successful of the series, both artistically and commercially. Tristar presents the film with decent audio/video quality and nothing much in the way of features.

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