Jason Connell and Sal Rodriguez break down the classic movie and talk about visiting Okinawa, the end of Cobra Kai, and Peter Cetera's "Glory of Love".
Synopsis: Daniel accompanies his mentor, Mr. Miyagi, to Miyagi's childhood home in Okinawa. Miyagi visits his dying father and confronts his old rival, while Daniel falls in love and inadvertently makes a new rival of his own.
Director: John G. Avildsen
Writer: Robert Mark Kamen
Cinematographer: James Crabe
Cast: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Nobu McCarthy, Tamlyn Tomita, Danny Kamekona, Yuji Okumoto
Composer: Bill Conti
Recorded on 04-11-20
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Jason Connell and Sal Rodriguez break down the classic movie and talk about visiting Okinawa, the end of Cobra Kai, and Peter Cetera's "Glory of Love".
Synopsis: Daniel accompanies his mentor, Mr. Miyagi, to Miyagi's childhood home in Okinawa. Miyagi visits his dying father and confronts his old rival, while Daniel falls in love and inadvertently makes a new rival of his own.
Director: John G. Avildsen
Writer: Robert Mark Kamen
Cinematographer: James Crabe
Cast: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Nobu McCarthy, Tamlyn Tomita, Danny Kamekona, Yuji Okumoto
Composer: Bill Conti
Recorded on 04-11-20
Connect with the show!
Connect with us!
Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/LetsTalkCobraKai)
Let's Talk - Cobra Kai - The Karate Kid Part II (1986)
[00:00:00] JC: Welcome to Just Curious Media. This is Let’s Talk - Cobra Kai. I’m Jason Connell.
[00:00:04] SR: And I’m Sal Rodriguez.
[00:00:06] JC: All right, Sal. Here we are. The Karate Kid part 2, Special Edition.
[00:00:13] SR: I never thought we'd make it this far.
[00:00:16] JC: I know, right?
[00:00:17] SR: I mean, considering what's going on, I mean, we're not even in the same location. This is a first.
[00:00:22] JC: This is a first. This is the first time that you and I have not been side by side at the studio, because we are practicing social distancing and we're trying this virtually and we'll see how it goes.
[00:00:37] SR: Yeah. Now I know why we're so into the 80s, because the 2020s suck.
[00:00:43] JC: Especially March. March had 90 days in it, it felt like. But hey, nothing like Karate Kid to lift your spirits, I should say.
[00:00:53] SR: Yeah. Big time excited to be here. It's been too long. Let's rock and roll.
[00:00:56] JC: All right. What I’ve read, Sal, is that there was debate over to make the sequel about the revenge of Cobra Kai, or Mr. Miyagi's story, and travel back to his home country. Obviously, the latter won out. I think it was a wise decision. We're not rushing back into Cobra Kai territory, although I would have loved that. I think it was a really nice way to take this to the next level and get to know Mr. Miyagi's backstory. I think, you probably agree.
[00:01:29] SR: Yeah. I definitely agree, because I don't think that Kreese, God, love him. God, love him; he's not the primary star. The primary stars are Daniel-san and Mr. Miyagi. I wanted to go along with them a little more, before I go back around to the hijinx of Kreese and Terry Silver, which you see in Karate Kid 3.
[00:01:52] JC: Exactly. Reading more about some of the trivia behind the scenes, things, it looks like they went into production of the sequel 10 days after the release of the original, which is crazy.
[00:02:08] SR: Risky, because the franchise hasn't had time to prove itself. That's definitely a gamble.
[00:02:12] JC: Yeah. I guess, they had early numbers, so they just knew 10 days in that this thing – they had a hit on their hands, but there was something there. Obviously, I don't think the cast was overly expensive. It wasn't like they had all these big names, so they were able to lock everyone up, except for the Cobra Kai students. They didn't have them. They had to bring in some new people. We did lose one character as well, which we'll get into later, but Elisabeth Shue was not part of the sequel, which I know saddens me a great deal.
[00:02:45] SR: Well, that was apparently her choice. Well, her choice, right? Wasn't she going to school to Harvard at the time?
[00:02:51] JC: It was her choice, to a degree. What I had read was that they were going to – they were going to have some scenes with her in the beginning of the film. Then it was just too complicated and she had agreed to this, but it was just something they couldn't get worked out, so they scrapped it. She was going to be a small part and they just weren't able to do that. That said, Sal, Karate Kid was the only appearance, and all of this, in Cobra Kai and all the sequels of the Karate Kid that Elisabeth Shue was in.
[00:03:25] SR: Well, there's speculation about her appearance in Season 3. We'll see. I don't think anybody knows. I know you haven't told me any spoilers regarding Season 3 of Cobra Kai. I haven't heard anything or read anything. Back toward the end of Season 2, or when you and I were recording Season 2 of Let's Talk - Cobra Kai, there was speculation about Elisabeth Shue returning in Season 3 of Cobra Kai, but I have seen no confirmations and no evidence of that being the case.
[00:03:51] JC: Well, and I know nothing either. I was just about to say, it's just about time for her to come back. Albeit Season 3, or another season, or if there's a Karate Kid-Cobra Kai movie reboot, taking where the show has now taken things and coming out and making a feature-length movie. Hey, I don't know, but I am hopeful. I’ll just put it that way.
[00:04:14] SR: Well, if you look at the way this movie starts, which we'll get into in a second. If you look at the way it starts, I would have no care to see Elisabeth Shue's character again. I would have no care to see Ali again, after she dumped our primary main actor. We're going to get into that again. But I would have no care to. It was only because of what has occurred on Cobra Kai Season 2, where I would have any care to see Ali return.
[00:04:39] JC: Yeah. They threw her under the bus, but we'll get into that.
[00:04:42] SR: Can I just mention a couple things here? Just a couple things I think are interesting. Just to bring us up to speed, Noriyuki Pat Morita is 54 at the filming of this movie. Ralph Macchio, 25, at the filming. If you look at Karate Kid 2 on IMDB, there are 80 photographs associated with it. Number 74. Again, you got to go in there. Shows George Bush. That's not George W., the son, but the original –
[00:05:05] JC: The senior.
[00:05:06] SR: Yeah, senior George Bush, Barbara Bush, along with Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio on the set, a presidential visit to the set I did not know about this.
[00:05:15] JC: Wow. That's pretty impressive. I’ve not seen that. I couldn't make it past 40, so you trudged on to 74. That's really cool. I’ll have to look at that photo. Maybe we'll have to post it on our social media.
[00:05:27] SR: Check that out. Also, this movie is set in Okinawa, but it's actually filmed in Oahu, Hawaii.
[00:05:34] JC: That's right. How do you feel about that? Because I know that you have traveled to Okinawa.
[00:05:39] SR: I have traveled to Okinawa. I’ll get into that a little more specifically as we go along. The reason that they chose Hawaii is because A, it's the United States, so it makes things a little bit easier with filming. But B, it has a similar climate. See, what a lot of people don't know when I learned this, believe me, I learned this when I went to Japan. When you go to the mainland of Japan, Tokyo, etc., and then you work your way down to Okinawa, it's different. It's a different feel. It's a different vibe. It's more of a Polynesian feel. It's more of a Hawaii type feel. People are even a little bit darker. It's a different vibe in Okinawa than it is in Japan. I loved it just as much, but definitely more of an island vibe on Okinawa than in mainland Japan.
[00:06:21] JC: Okay. Well, there you have it. Besides Hawaii, the rest of the movie was filmed at the Warner Brothers Burbank Studios lot, if you will, as well.
[00:06:31] SR: That I didn’t know.
[00:06:33] JC: Yeah, it's true. Well, this is according to IMDB. There were even some scenes filmed at Mr. Miyagi's house, over in Canoga Park, which has since unfortunately, as you already know, has been demolished. Sad to say. My opinion, that place should have been a shrine, or a museum for Karate Kid lovers for years to come, but they have recreated it very nicely. It looks like in Georgia, where they shoot Cobra Kai.
[00:07:01] SR: Wait, did they tear that house down before Cobra Kai?
[00:07:05] JC: Oh, yes, yes. It's been demolished for many years.
[00:07:08] SR: Okay. If it has stuck around long enough to at least meet the advent of Cobra Kai, then maybe – Yeah. They may be.
[00:07:18] JC: To stay on point and true to form, I will give the ratings. On IMDB, this movie gets a 6.0. On Rotten Tomatoes, it gets a 42%. Now, just –
[00:07:30] SR: That’s not very high, right?
[00:07:32] JC: Not crazy high, but just to give you some context, this is how the original does on those platforms. The Karate Kid, 7.2 on IMDB and 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. The original is more loved and rightfully so, I think. It's a superior film. If it wasn't for that film, you wouldn't even have this sequel or all the subsequent ones, or even Cobra Kai, the show. It's hard to compare with the original, but this was the second installment and that's what we're focused on.
[00:08:07] SR: Are you saying that you love Karate Kid original motion picture over Karate Kit 2, just because of the heritage now with the original? Or because you actually, independently think it's a better film?
[00:08:21] JC: Oh, it's a much better film. The story is more complete. Listen, we'll get into Karate Kid 2 and we're about to and we already are. Yeah, I have a lot less eye rolls in the Karate Kid. Not to put the sequel down, but at the box office this movie made, at least the US gross, and I don't know when this was cut off, but it made a 115 million dollars. It made more than the original, but that was coming – it only came out what? A couple years after the original. All the hype was still there. It didn't make more because it's a better film. It made more because there was demand and the timing and the industry was very different back then.
[00:09:04] SR: It was in the wake of the original, so the timing was good.
[00:09:07] JC: Yeah. Had they waited a decade, or you know how sometimes sequels take a long time to come out. Yeah, that's a good way of putting it. It was in the wake of, and so I don't attribute that to quality. Anyway, so –
[00:09:20] SR: It sounds like you're bashing the movie before we even started.
[00:09:24] JC: I think quality-wise, yeah. This is absolutely an inferior picture, but it's still a pretty good movie. I think at one point in time, you even said, could this have been a movie, at least the plot, the story, if it wasn't related to the Karate Kid? I thought that was an interesting question.
[00:09:40] SR: Outside of the Karate Kid universe, I believe this movie could stand alone. If you took away their names, just made it a different universe, I think it would have been absolutely just as great.
[00:09:49] JC: Yeah. I agree with you. I think it would have found an audience. It would have done well, because there was a lot of martial arts movies coming out in the 80s and that's an interesting story. Disciple follows, his master back to the homeland and there's a story. Absolutely. It could have. I’m totally for it.
[00:10:06] SR: Again, we're going to get into this as soon as we get into the movie, but he doesn't just follow him. He literally is a very supportive friend at that moment.
[00:10:15] JC: Exactly.
[00:10:16] SR: Yeah. We'll get into that. We'll get into that.
[00:10:18] JC: Who else came back for the sequel? Well, you had Jerry Weintraub, still producing. Probably the person that said, “Hey, let's get into production on the sequel immediately. We got ourselves a winner here.” You had John Appleton, the very talented director who did Karate Kid 1, 2, 3. He also did the original Rocky, which won best picture, and he came back and did Rocky 5. He had Robert Mark Kamen, the writer who created all the characters. He grew up in martial arts. He really doesn't get enough praise, I would say. You had Bill Conti come back as the composer. Of course, you had Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio. They had the core team coming back.
What you see a lot of times in sequels is you're missing some of that. You don't have the same director. You don't have the same star, or whatever. That's what I think helped this movie capture some magic.
[00:11:12] SR: I like when the crew can come back. It's almost like a band. Like hey, let's get the band back together. Then you create a new old sound that the listener is familiar with, or the viewer is familiar with and it's got a real nice flow to it. For the fan, it flows easier than if it's just a whole new group.
[00:11:31] JC: I totally agree. It is like getting the band back together. Here we go. This movie starts with this opening montage. It's a fly-catching scene, a crane technique, the medal of honor, Halloween night, Cobra Kai dojo, all leading up to the All Valley Karate Championship.
[00:11:53] SR: I like that it brings the new viewer up to speed. I like that.
[00:11:57] JC: It is. It's like watching a season finale of a show. Then they give you all what you've taken in the first five seasons. I don't ever remember this in a movie. I watch a lot of movies from the 70s and 80s, but had you seen this done before, this five-minute montage to get things started?
[00:12:19] SR: I didn't realize it at the time, but I don't think I have seen that, where yeah, the sequel does this rehash in the beginning. No, I don't think I’ve seen that in any other sequel. No.
[00:12:28] JC: Especially for a movie, as you said earlier, that was in the wake of the original. I wouldn't say that people were forgetting it. It didn't disappear for a decade.
[00:12:39] SR: Yeah. Not a lot of time had elapsed. You could imagine the people were sitting in the theater, the first five minutes like, “Yeah, we know. We know. Yeah.”
[00:12:47] JC: Yeah, exactly.
[00:12:48] SR: We've been there. We've been there.
[00:12:49] JC: When I saw Godfather 2, I don't remember a quick like, “Well, here's what happened in the first one. Michael became –” It didn't do that. However, as I say this aloud, you know what popped in my mind? I think Rocky 2 starts with the fight sequence from Rocky 1.
[00:13:07] SR: I think that’d be right. Again, there we go. Appleton, yes.
[00:13:10] JC: Well, he didn't direct 2. That was Stallone. But still, we're in Appleton’s – he crafted the first one, the masterpiece. I think those movies did it, but it was all about the fight that ended the movie prior. This gave us a whole montage. Anyway, hey it was cool. It was nice to see. You and I are up on our stuff, because of the Let's Talk - Cobra Kai show, but if you or someone revisiting the Karate Kid 2 on Netflix, or Hulu, or Amazon, some random viewer, the montage will be very nice for them, even today. There it was. As soon as we get caught up in real-time, the first scene that is brand new to the audience is a shower scene, which just cracks me up.
[00:13:56] SR: It's an interesting choice.
[00:13:58] JC: Yeah, because I’ve been in those tournaments. I never showered afterwards. We just went home with our gi and hopefully with some hardware. I like how Mr. Miyagi's in there with Daniel, which is pretty funny.
[00:14:13] SR: Well, wait. To be clear – hang on, hang on. He's not in there. He's waiting outside the showers, while Daniel's taking a shower.
[00:14:20] JC: Well, he's in the locker. He’s in the locker room with his back to the wall of the showers, chatting with Daniel as Daniel is in the shower, with all these other guys. Who are those other guys? Were those other competitors? I guess so. Was it entirely possible that Johnny Lawrence was in that shower, along with Daniel LaRusso?
[00:14:40] JC: Yeah, and Kreese, who also was in a gi. He had to shower.
[00:14:43] SR: Kreese was in the shower with them.
[00:14:47] JC: They probably kept the Cobra Kai off to the side. Although, Johnny had just given Daniel the trophy, so maybe there's less bad blood now. The only thing that could have made this more funny, or strange is if Miyagi was in the stall next to him, and they're soaping up. Nothing below board of course, but they're soaping up and just talking. That would have been like, what? We already jumped the shark and we're one scene in the movie.
We come out of the shower scene. As you and I know, we do not see Ali, or Daniel's mother this entire film. Miyagi immediately gets it out of the way and says, “Ali and mother wait for us at restaurant.” Daniel's like, “Okay. Yeah, sure.” That's it. That's it. Boom. We're not going to see them right then, because they don't go to the restaurant and we never see them. I thought that was funny.
[00:15:37] SR: I completely forgot about that line. Yeah. Daniel is carrying his championship trophy, limping along next to Miyagi, walking out of the auditorium, they stop and chat. Kreese exits the building, starts manhandling people, which I think is hilarious. He starts manhandling people and particularly, actor Eddie Smith, who recites the line, “Hey, man. What you doing to a brother?” Which I love.
[00:16:06] JC: That line really should’ve caught on.
[00:16:08] SR: I love that. That should have been on t-shirts. Kreese walks between Miyagi, Daniel, the tournament announcer played By Bruce Malmuth. Remember that name, Bruce Malmuth. We're going to be revisiting that again.
[00:16:21] JC: Real quick on Bruce, the announcer, I got to call him Tex. I love what he says. He says, “People are going to be talking about that last kick for years to come.”
[00:16:32] SR: Talk about a foreshadow. Yeah.
[00:16:34] JC: He nailed it. Yeah. They're going to build a series around that kick. Amazing.
[00:16:40] SR: He didn't know that he was predicting Cobra Kai. Then he breaks through the announcer and referee Pat E. Johnson, who is also the fight choreographer for the movies. He shoves them aside and now I wonder, at that moment I actually paused and wondered, at that moment when he pushes aside, Bruce and Pat, the announcer and referee, is that when he gets his lifetime ban. Is that the very moment right there, I believe.
[00:17:05] JC: No. I think it happens about two and a half minutes later. We're almost there. We're almost there.
[00:17:13] SR: We'll get to that. Okay, how about at this moment? When Kreese keeps walking on and Daniel says, “Why does he act like that?” Then we hear a voice off-camera says, “That guy just doesn't know what karate is all about.” Was that Johnson, or was that Malmuth? Was that the announcer, or was that the referee? I don't know, because you don't see. I’m curious what. Kreese heads over to the students. Then right at that moment, kids run right up asking Daniel for an autograph. These kids are from Reseda too, so these are local kids. Daniel signs the autographs for them. One kid is backwards to the camera the whole time. I felt bad for them. I would have redirected him if I were Appleton. I would have said, “Let's see a little face there.” Now one thing I want to mention, a little trivia here, it could be suspect. These kids are Garth Johnson and Brett Johnson. Are these sons of Pat E. Johnson? It's the same scene practically.
[00:18:02] JC: Why not?
[00:18:03] SR: I’m wondering if these are relation. Again, remember Bruce Malmuth, so there's a lot of in the family going on here, so I wonder if those were kids of choreographer and referee, Pat E. Johnson.
[00:18:13] JC: Yeah, could be. Good spot there. We'll find out. What this is leading to and we've talked about this on the Karate Kid Special Episode, as well as I’m sure, episodes of Let's Talk - Cobra Kai as we reflect on the show. What is coming was supposed to be the end of the Karate Kid. This scene is where Kreese is having a confrontation with his students, because he's so mad about losing and he basically attacks Johnny. This scene was going to end the movie and Sal, thank goodness, they did not do that. They saved it. They said, “Hey, if we ever do a sequel, we'll start it with this,” as opposed to end of other movie, because the first movie ends so beautifully with the – he gets the trophy and there's the shot of Miyagi, and then we're out. I couldn't imagine having one more beat, it feel like a fourth act or something. Kudos to everybody.
[00:19:14] SR: I like when a movie ends on a happy note. I really do. I like to walk out of a theater a little happier. I don't like walking out of a theater all bummed out, even if the movie was good. Yeah, I like the choice that they made. I like that they didn't end the original movie with Kreese, “You’re nothing. You lost. You're a loser.” I’m so happy that they didn't do that.
[00:19:37] JC: To be clear, they didn't shoot it. They just had written it and practiced, rehearsed it, I should say, but they didn't shoot it. It wasn't that close to happening. Enough about the setup, let's talk about the scene.
[00:19:50] SR: Okay. I got to mention one thing I found so interesting. You and I both enjoy looking at all the actors in a scene, including the extras. One thing, I found it very funny, was Kreese is up against the car with Johnny. There's an extra on the other side of the car, on the driver's side who has his back to the camera the whole time. There's a fight going on behind you and you don't even turn around once?
[00:20:12] JC: That was Dutch.
[00:20:14] SR: No, no. It was on the other side of the car. I think he was wearing a hat.
[00:20:16] JC: Well, there was two guys on the other side of the car and one was the guy from head of the class. He was one of the Cobra Kais. We've talked about this. He was in the original.
[00:20:24] SR: Wait. Dutch?
[00:20:25] JC: No. Dutch is next to him. I went back and as we prepared for this episode, I also was noticing those extras. Having made a movie, a documentary about extras called Strictly Background, I always look at the background players and think, “What's that guy doing?” When I went back and viewed it again, it appeared to be Dutch, because Dutch is in the sequel and that was him.
[00:20:47] SR: Wow. Okay. Why didn't you have them turn around at the ruckus that was taking place? I just found that interesting.
[00:20:53] JC: He was too cool for school. He is Steve McQueen's son. He does his own thing. What's going on in the scene, Sal? As I already said, he comes over and starts to go off on the students, but maybe just talk us through what's exactly happening.
[00:21:08] SR: Kreese berates Johnny for a second-place loss. Calls him a loser. Johnny reacts goes, “No, you're a loser, man.” Kreese grabs the trophy, breaks it, tosses it aside and gets Johnny Lawrence in a choke hold. Other guys come in. He elbows one guy. I don't know which guy was that who got elbowed on the left. Another guy shows up. I forgot which guys they were. Another guy shows up, Kreese was like, “Don't.” I remember that line. “Don't.”
[00:21:34] JC: I think it was Tommy and Bobby. Those guys were close by. Anyway, yeah, it's not looking good.
[00:21:40] SR: Miyagi approaches. “Let him go.” Then Kreese backhands another student. Then this thing I found interesting, because I never really noticed this before. I really listened intently. Kreese says, “Beat it slope, or you’re next.” Now, I never knew about this word ‘slope’, which I said, “What?” Okay, so I looked it up. Slope. A derogatory term, or slur used for the purpose of describing a Vietnamese or Asian person, describing the slope of their eyes.
[00:22:12] JC: Oh, my gosh.
[00:22:12] SR: I never knew it. It’s one of these moments where like, it's one thing to be an asshole, but now you're a racist asshole.
[00:22:20] JC: He's the worst. This leads to a showdown between Kreese and Miyagi. This is one of the knocks I have in this film, although I do like the film. I would have liked to see a really good fight. These are guys are both very skilled, they have different styles. They could tussle for a minute or two, but that's not what happens.
[00:22:46] SR: If you're talking about the fight sequences that we all know and love, this would probably be if you visit all the fight sequences that we all know and love throughout cinematic history, this is probably not one of them. It was disappointing. Kreese did not show any skills. I mean, I could have done as well against Miyagi, as Kreese did.
[00:23:07] JC: For anyone who's unaware of what really goes down, so let's pick it up where we left off. Kreese still has Johnny in a chokehold and Miyagi comes towards him. Then he hits one student, and so Sal, then what happens?
[00:23:21] SR: Miyagi steps in and uses a maneuver to get Kreese to release Johnny. He forces the release of Johnny by Kreese through manipulation, for sure.
[00:23:31] JC: Super upset and full of rage, he already lost in the tournament. He's already mad and throwing all of his students under the bus and here's the protagonist that's caused this, him and Daniel, Mr. Miyagi. He charges him out of age and what happens?
[00:23:52] SR: Well, you see the difference. You talk about the difference in styles, but just in this moment, the difference in emotions. Kreese is full of rage and anger, lost control. Miyagi is so calm, so very calm. Kreese goes in to punch him, Miyagi moves right out of the way, turns around, goes in to punch him, he moves out of the way again effortlessly and thus, Kreese has two bloodied fists from hitting two car windows.
[00:24:21] JC: He’s in shock that he's done it. He looks at his bloody knuckles and he's in shock at what's occurred.
[00:24:27] SR: You would call this one of Kreese’s low-light moments.
[00:24:31] JC: Yeah. Maybe he's got a real problem with blood, because he became a whelp.
[00:24:36] SR: He was in Vietnam, right?
[00:24:38] JC: I know. I know.
[00:24:40] SR: So he says. He says. Okay, so that picture could have been doctored, the one in the dojo of him – I mean, it looked more like a theatrical headshot, but –
[00:24:49] JC: Can you trust anything out of his mouth, knowing what you know now about Kreese? I mean, seriously. Come on.
[00:24:54] SR: You know what? Now that you mention it, it's starting to become clear. It's entirely possible that Kreese was never in the military at all and that picture was fake hanging up in the studio.
[00:25:05] JC: Yeah. I don't believe him, he's done anything, except for he's run Cobra Kai and he's made some real tough bullies. Anyway, so Kreese is distraught. He can't believe his bloody knuckles and this leads to the end of this, if you want to call it a fight sequence. Go ahead. Tell us what happens.
[00:25:26] SR: I know you and I talked about this once before, where you thought maybe Kreese fainted, but it was just I think, an emotional and physical collapse, where he just caves into himself. He just falls into this heap. Before he falls into the heap, Miyagi is about to give him the death blow. You think this is going to be it for Kreese. Kreese is on his knees on the ground, about to be finished by Miyagi. Miyagi has his hand raised in a karate chop position, ready to give the death blow.
[00:25:55] JC: Miyagi's in that pose when he knocked the bottles off of his truck.
[00:25:58] SR: Oh, yes.
[00:25:59] JC: Knocked the caps off. That was one of the only issues I had with the original Karate Kid. I think they were held down to believe that they could have been – he could have knocked the tops off off loose bottles on a truck, farfetched. But he had that same strike, so he was going to do that to really could have killed Kreese if he wanted to.
[00:26:17] SR: He could have. That's why I say, he could have delivered the death blow, but he didn't. Instead of delivering the death blow, or at least a blow to give the final humiliation to Kreese in his moment of existing humiliation, hey, might as well go a step further. Instead, Miyagi comes in close, grabs his nose and goes, “Honk.” I mean, it is humiliating, but it's not beaten to a pulp humiliating.
[00:26:43] JC: That's when he falls into himself, Kreese does.
[00:26:46] SR: That's when he just caves and crumbles into himself and falls into a heap on the ground. Miyagi and Daniel walk away. At this moment is where Daniel says, and I believe this little interaction here, I think sums up, I think the entire movie. I mean, this is the summarization, I feel, is where Daniel says, “You could have killed him, couldn't you?” Miyagi says, “Ai.” “Well, then why didn't you then?” Miyagi says, “Because Daniel-san, for a person with no forgiveness in heart, living even worse punishment than death.” There you go. That leads us to the rest –
[00:27:19] JC: Wow. It’s a subtitle.
[00:27:21] SR: By the way, I always want to mention, the car that they are getting into is the truck, is a 1941 Chevrolet light delivery. Beautiful truck.
[00:27:31] JC: Beautiful truck. That is the end of Cobra Kai, Kreese, Johnny, the whole bunch for this entire film. There's no more mention of them. You don't see them anymore. We don't know what's going on with them. We're off on a different adventure. Now the text comes on screen, ‘six months later’. We come in on Miyagi, who is of all things, trying to catch the fly with a chopstick. This time Sal, unlike the previous film, he does it.
[00:28:09] SR: Yeah. I really liked that he doesn't make a fuss over it. He doesn't pat himself on the back. He's not so excited about doing it. He does it. He gives a little grin and then he moves on.
[00:28:20] JC: Karate Kid folklore, what does that say about someone, when they're able to catch a fly in chopsticks?
[00:28:27] SR: Men who catch fly with chopstick, accomplish anything.
[00:28:31] JC: He's got that going for him.
[00:28:33] SR: Well, that's also a foreshadow then too. Yeah.
[00:28:36] JC: Of course. Daniel’s had that going for him for a while. It's not a beat later that Daniel arrives and this whole film goes on a different course. He shows up, it's post-prom, the car's been crashed. Sal, go ahead and tell us what type of car that is again.
[00:28:58] SR: Daniel arrives in the 1948 Ford Super Deluxe, which again, for the new listener, is the same car used in Grease, that is Greased Lightning.
[00:29:08] JC: It's crashed, which really brings a tear to all of our eyes. He comes in and he's blaming Ali, who wrecked it. I mean, he got the bumper hanging off, the steam coming out of it. He's even going on to say that, Ali’s now falling in love with some football player from UCLA. Miyagi is listening and he goes out there to start to repair the car immediately, because that's what Miyagi does. Then Daniel is just on this rant. He goes on about, “Oh, my mom's taking another job. This time it's in Fresno. We leave tomorrow.” It's just a lot going on. I mean, they came out of 0 to 60 with all this exposition, which is pretty funny, but it does get the moving. I think, I guess, Sal. I guess, that's the point.
[00:29:55] SR: One thing I noticed interesting is when Daniel arrives, there's music playing and then he shuts off the car, the music stops, which lets the viewer know that the music is actually coming from the car and not part of the soundtrack necessarily. That car, 1948 Ford had a stereo in it? Or I wonder if that stereo was added later. I just found that interesting.
[00:30:13] JC: Yeah. I think Miyagi probably dropped that in there for him. He's a kid. He’s a teenager.
[00:30:18] SR: Probably a cassette player, you think?
[00:30:19] JC: Yeah, probably a cassette player. I also liked Daniel's blue tux, which was very reminiscent of Dumb and Dumber, which is pretty funny. Miyagi is just helping out, listening. But he's got one way to help Daniel clear his head. He's got some more work for him to do on the old Miyagi estate. What's he have him do, Sal?
[00:30:43] SR: Well, he takes him out back and he has him start hitting nails. This is one of those moments where I’m thinking, “Okay. How does hitting nails to this attachment to the house, to build a new room, how does this translate to a karate move?” I mean, this is not wax on, wax off, this is not sand the floor, this is not paint up, paint down. How is this going to translate to a karate move? That's what I want to see.
Daniel starts hammering these nails. Finally, gets a little frustrated, says he's all out of focus. Mr. Miyagi shows him a breathing technique to help bring his life and feelings back into focus. Then Daniel goes back to hitting the nails and he starts to get the hang of it, starts to feel pretty good. Then Miyagi walks –
[00:31:29] JC: Oh, go on. I want to interject there, but –
[00:31:32] SR: Okay. Well, it's actually two. It's like du-du, boom. It was actually three hits to get it in. The first two were setup hits, then the third was to get it all the way in.
[00:31:41] JC: Yes. To hit it with one strike. I agree. You go tap, tap, until it holds on its own and then it's to focus and hit it on the head and drive one through. I think it's about focus. I think it's about hitting your spot. It also reminded me of Bruce Lee's one-inch punch. It's a lot of power and you're barely moving. You're moving an inch. With a hammer in your hand, so your hand is a fist, if you will, but that's what it reminded me of.
It was a cool technique. That's as far as we get with it. It's not like, Miyagi sets Daniel up and then disappears for the day and goes fishing. We don't go back and tread on that water, like we did in the original. The next scene, we see Daniel has made a beautiful rosewood metal display for Mr. Miyagi's medal of honor.
[00:32:30] SR: Yeah. He makes a nice gift for him displaying the medal of honor, because Daniel's proud of it for Mr. Miyagi wants him to display it. Mr. Miyagi though, that's not really his style. He says, “Well, why should I show it off? For what?” It doesn't really occur to Mr. Miyagi to show off his medal of honor.
[00:32:48] JC: Which is very Miyagi-esque. He doesn't care about trophies, medals, or even belts, as we recall when Daniel asked him what belt he was in karate. He said – what did he say? JCPenney's?
[00:33:02] SR: Is that what he said? Was that from the first one? I don't remember that.
[00:33:04] JC: Yeah, it's the original. If Miyagi didn't care at all about this medal, in my opinion, it would have been at the goodwill a long time ago. He has some attachment to it, but he doesn't want to be boastful. He didn't care about putting it on the wall, but he's touched. It's a nice thing that Daniel did for him. Miyagi out of nowhere, gets Daniel out of having to move to Fresno.
[00:33:28] SR: Yeah. What we learn is that this attachment to the house, this new room that Daniel was hitting nails into is a new guest room. Miyagi says, it's for a refugee. Daniel says, “A refugee? From where?” Miyagi says, “Fresno,” which I thought was really cute.
[00:33:46] JC: That was a clever way of saying that you can stay here. Now, here comes the mail carrier who doesn't know Miyagi's name after 40 years.
[00:33:56] SR: Well, we don't know how new this guy was, but he says, “Mr. Mayaji?” Then Daniel, I love how Daniel jumps to his defense and corrects him, “It's Miyagi.” The postman, played by Will Hunt, I do think this scene is funny. I wanted to mention that, because –
[00:34:10] JC: Oh, it's great.
[00:34:11] SR: - the postman starts going on about how he goes, “Oh, this is some place you have here. Can I bring my wife by to have a look at it?” I just thought, what was the point of this interaction? I guess it gives time for Miyagi to sign the letter, to start reading the letter as the postman is going on about how nice the place is. The postman says, “Maybe some other time.” Then he walks off. Then Miyagi starts reading the letter, which is a special delivery from Okinawa.
[00:34:34] JC: Right. That's why the postman had to come in the back to find him in the first place, which wouldn't have happened in today's world. They would have left a note saying that you've got to come to the post office to get this special package, or we'll try redelivery. The postman comes back to him sign for it, because it is coming from Okinawa and it was a special delivery. What cracks me up is that the postman is blown away by what he sees back here. Much to my earlier point, this place could be a museum. It's a spectacle, what Miyagi's built.
What I love is nobody responds to the postman. Miyagi's caught up, look at the letter and Daniel – you think, Danny would step up and say much like he did a second ago, but maybe say, “Hey, yeah. No, thanks so much. Another time.” But no one says anything and the postman's on his own to retreat and say, “Yeah. I guess, I’ll see you guys later,” which is pretty funny. The letter, Sal, is informing Mr. Miyagi that his father is sick and he wants to see him, essentially.
[00:35:39] SR: Yeah. Daniel didn't even know that he had a father. We for sure didn't know and definitely, Daniel didn't know. This was all a big shock to both Daniel and the viewer.
[00:35:48] JC: Yeah, exactly. That sets things in motion. This next thing cracks me up, because I was watching going, “Wow. Is that how it was in the 80s?” Miyagi goes to get a passport. He's flying the very next day to fly international to go back to Okinawa. He's in line with Daniel and he's getting a passport. I guess, Sal, you could do that on very, very short notice back then.
[00:36:17] SR: Well, let me tell you this, just as a point of reference and this is absolutely true. There was at one point, I think I was a teenager where I had to get an ID for some reason. I think I wanted to start working, so I needed an ID and I didn't have one. There was some issue with my birth certificate. My mother did not have my birth certificate for some reason. My mother then took my baptism certificate. I mean, how official is a church baptism certificate? My mother took my church's baptism certificate and got me a state ID from that. That was the 80s, my friend.
[00:36:49] JC: Okay. All right. I think I flew with a blockbuster card once. That's how lax it was. Now, I’m just kidding. Here we are, this interesting scene with Miyagi and Daniel having a chat about – we're learning not just about his father, but about his lost love and his friend, that they were on the outs and how Miyagi has left and never gone back. All this while, they're in this line to get a passport. Daniel is not – it's funny, because he's not next to him. He's behind him as if he's in line himself.
[00:37:28] SR: Yeah. I thought that was a funny positioning of why they chose that. If you say to your friend, “Hey, go with me to the DMV or whatever,” they're going to stand next to you in line. Or maybe even sitting off on a bench. They're not going to be behind you. I did think that was a funny positioning. Yeah, Daniel is behind Miyagi in this passport office, so obviously a state office or a federal office, but this is the moment where we learn all about what went on, or what went down in Okinawa, why and how Miyagi wound up in Reseda.
[00:38:03] JC: Well, first to your point about DMV and a friend going with you, that's a good friend, who's going to go to the DMV with you. There's that. Secondly, I guess when I thought about this scene more, they just wanted to get us out of the house, because Miyagi could have read that letter and cut to suitcase and he's packing. I guess, they wanted to take us away for a minute and give some exposition, rather than just cutting right to that, because that was the only purpose. We don't need to know that he doesn't have a passport, but they wanted to show him and Daniel doing something on point.
[00:38:40] SR: I think it was an opportunity for Miyagi to explain the history of Okinawa, his personal history and what went down. I think it was –
[00:38:49] JC: That could have been done anywhere. He could have done that at the breakfast table.
[00:38:52] SR: He could have done it as soon as he got the letter.
[00:38:54] JC: Yeah. I think they just wanted to get us out of there. Maybe him getting the passports, saying that, “I’ve never gone back and I’ve got to get a passport, because when I left, that was it.” Anyway, not a bad scene. It was just –
[00:39:07] SR: Wait. Hang on. Hang on. I just realized something. I just said, he went from Okinawa to Reseda. We do know that he spent time in the military, so there was a whole group of years between when he left Okinawa to when Daniel met him. There was a whole bunch of years. I wonder what happened in those years.
[00:39:24] JC: Well, he was married and they were going to have a child. There's a whole storyline, which we never get to know beyond the first film, shedding just a little bit of light on it. The Miyagi lost years. We’ll never see –
[00:39:38] SR: The lost years are like his late 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s. Those are the Miyagi lost years.
[00:39:45] JC: Yeah. Maybe in Cobra Kai, Daniel will stumble on some old book, some old photo album and we'll be able to piece some more things together, hidden in a wall somewhere when they're at the Miyagi's house. Who knows? I’d sure like to see a little bit of more of Miyagi's story play out, much like they did in Cobra Kai last season, showing Miyagi do the initial build out on his place. That was a really great scene.
[00:40:14] SR: Yes. After they leave the passport office and Daniel learned some of the stories about what happened in Okinawa, next scene Daniel looks at old pictures of Yukie. Yukie is Miyagi's old girlfriend. Sato is his old best friend who was engaged to be married to Yukie. Miyagi tells Daniel the whole entire story about why he left Okinawa. That is the crucial element, because unfortunately, Miyagi throughout the movie doesn't live that down and has to revisit his old best friend, who is turned into his nemesis. Sato.
[00:40:49] JC: He seems to have a lot of sad feelings over what happened with Yukie, which is interesting. It's almost representing his first lost love, or maybe the one that got away. He had been married and he had a child on the way. For some reason, this movie really harkens on this relationship with Yukie and Miyagi's has a lot of regret. He carries a lot of regret around.
[00:41:18] SR: Do you think there's also this one moment, because in this one beat when Miyagi is looking at a photograph and Daniel is peeking in and looking at Miyagi, look at this photograph. Then he lets his arm hang down and then he puts his head down, like almost dread. He's almost dreading going back to have to confront his past.
[00:41:40] JC: Oh, totally. He's moved on. This is a new life. He's lived here longer than he lived in Okinawa. This is his life. Now I like this shot, we see this cab roll into frame and it says ‘Valley Cab Company’. I love that.
[00:41:58] SR: Oh, yeah. Just like the All Valley Tournament.
[00:42:01] JC: Exactly. This franchise loves the Valley. Now Daniel is supposed to see Miyagi off and he's not there. Miyagi is forced to leave in the cab and thinks, “Well, okay. Daniel's not here. Let's go.” This leads to another scene that cannot happen in today's culture, but Sal, what happens?
[00:42:27] SR: Well, when you talk about the airports, you have to – when I talk about the airports, I talk about pre-9/11 and post-9/11. Pre-9/11 airports – you know what? I used to like to travel. I used to enjoy it. After 9/11, no. Miyagi is literally boarding the plane. He's talking to the stewardess. He's literally getting on the plane at this moment. Daniel runs up right up to Miyagi and the stewardess.
[00:42:55] JC: Yeah, not the gate. He's literally at the plane.
[00:42:58] SR: He’s at the plane door.
[00:42:59] JC: Right at the door of the plane. Yeah.
[00:43:01] SR: Yeah, he's at the plane door –
[00:43:02] JC: With his ticket, which means they don't check you in right before you go down the long runway. You just go to the plane and say, “Here's my ticket.”
[00:43:11] SR: When you and I have discussed this before, the fact that where to get his passport? Did he have a passport? Did he get a passport the day he was – the day before with Miyagi at the passport place? Did he sneakily get a passport, so Mr. Miyagi wouldn't know? When did he get a passport?
[00:43:26] JC: Is that why he was behind Miyagi? Then when after Miyagi got his, he's like, “I’ll meet you outside in just a second.” Yeah, that suspect.
[00:43:35] SR: Daniel convinces Miyagi to let him go to Okinawa with him.
[00:43:39] JC: Yeah, exactly. He bought a ticket, several hundred dollars, he got a passport, but Miyagi still could have said, “No. Thanks, but no thanks.” He has to talk him into it and he lets him go.
[00:43:51] SR: That moment when Daniel says thank you to Miyagi for letting him go. “Thank you for letting me go.” Then Miyagi says, “No Daniel-san. Thank you.” At that moment is where the tables get turned and the student is there to support the teacher.
[00:44:09] JC: This is true. This is true. Now it's a buddy flick. Next, we're on the airplane and I know it's a long flight. Well, you know firsthand, but what I thought about immediately, Sal, was the fact that the entertainment on an international flight was a good book.
[00:44:28] SR: Yeah. There was no movies. There was no movie, either in the seat in front of you, or on a laptop. That's it. You had a book, or you slept, or you chatted. That was it.
[00:44:38] JC: Oh, no. They would show a movie, though. They did show one movie and they just told you it was going to be and then everyone could look ahead. They did do that.
[00:44:45] SR: Oh, they would have the one big screen up ahead.
[00:44:48] Yeah. They'd say, “The screening will be The Black Stallion.” I just saw that. Yeah, Yeah, that's it. You’re stuck with it.
[00:44:56] SR: The screening is whatever we are going to play and you're going to watch it.
[00:45:00] JC: I don't even know at one point in time, they probably didn't have individual headsets at one point in time. It would probably just turn it up loud. If you don't want to see it, sorry. I’m sure that happened at one point in time.
[00:45:14] SR: “Eh? What did you say? Eh?”
[00:45:16] JC: “He says he loves her, but he doesn't want to leave her.” All right. Now Miyagi then shares that his father also trained Sato. Sal, what else did we learn about where this conflict was going, had Miyagi stayed in Okinawa? What would have happened?
[00:45:37] SR: Well, okay. Daniel is still probably reeling off his victory of the All Valley Under 18 Tournament. What Miyagi let him know is that, “No, you don't understand. He wants to fight me to the death. There's not going to be a referee or judges. He wants to fight me and the winner is the one who's still living.” That's what he says in so many words. That's when we learn that this is not just a fight to tap out. This is not a tap out fight. This is a fight to the death.
[00:46:08] JC: No. Sal, have you ever been in a fight to the death?
[00:46:13] SR: I’ve been in a fight where I thought I might die, but no. I have not been in a fight to the death.
[00:46:18] JC: Me neither. Thank goodness. All right, so as soon as we get off the plane, not a beat later, I love how we see the branding. It's plain as day. There's this huge sign for Sato. This is before we even see Sato in person. It says, “Learn karate at Okinawa's biggest dojo with master Sato. 40 years official instructor of the US military. Proven in combat.” Sal, Sato is a big deal.
[00:46:52] SR: Well, he's not only a big deal in karate, because if you look at the entirety of this view, so you see the Sato karate poster, but surrounding the Sato karate poster are these other smaller ads. On the left, Sato Bank and Sato Realty. On the upper right, Sato Escort Service. This guy has his rods in a lot of fires.
[00:47:17] JC: He sure does. He stayed there and he became very successful. It all started from learning from Mr. Miyagi's father, who's also Mr. Miyagi, actually. That leads the question, what is Mr. Miyagi's name?
[00:47:34] SR: Wait, wait. How many movies – Wait, hang on. We have seen 20 episodes of Cobra Kai. We have seen what? Five Karate Kids’ movies. You got the Karate Kid 1, 2, 3, and then you got the other sequels, we still don't know what Mr. Miyagi's first name is.
[00:47:49] JC: No. How do we refer to his father?
[00:47:51] SR: You know what?
[00:47:53] JC: Mr. Miyagi Senior? Mr. Miyagi Junior?
[00:47:56] SR: In the credits of the movie of this here movie, in the credits, Miyagi's father. That's what he's known as.
[00:48:02] JC: Okay. They both learned how to fight from Miyagi's father. They were probably equal, I’m assuming. Miyagi is very skilled and we'll get into Sato's disposition later. He's a bigger man and the way he talks. He stayed and became very successful, obviously. Just see this one poster, or see this one kiosk and you have an idea.
They walk out, going to hail a cab, but there's this character there. His name is Chozen, which is a pretty funny name. Chozen is there to pick them up from the airport. Sal, I immediately do not trust this guy. There's just something about him. Maybe it's that super heavy handshake, plus this fly collar and gold chains. I don't know. I don't trust him. Much like I felt about Kreese all along, although Kreese, I’m intrigued by, because he's charismatic. This guy, I don't like him, I don't trust him at all. How did you feel?
[00:49:07] SR: Well, I think that it's normal to have a mistrust of people with an open polyester shirt with chains. It's just a normal instinct to not trust this person.
[00:49:15] JC: Thank you.
[00:49:16] SR: Chozen is played by actor Yuji Okumoto. His two sidekicks, Joey Miyashima is Toshio and Mark Hayashi as Taro. Taro, we don't see at first. We see Chozen and Toshio. They greet Miyagi and Daniel at the airport, picking them up in a 1958 Cadillac Fleetwood. Beautiful car.
[00:49:38] JC: Very beautiful car, actually.
[00:49:39] SR: Yeah. That moment where he gives him the extra firm handshake, and then he does this little thing, which I do know I used to watch in karate movies from the 60s and 70s, he does this little extra tag at the end of his statements, if you listen to his words. He does it at least three, four times in the movie and he does it here for the first time, is where he says, “I hope your stay here is a pleasant one, eh?” He does a little, “Eh?” He does that at the end. I love that, because that's such karate – in the old days, kung fu villains do that little, “Eh?” Eh? Oh, you think you're going to be big in this town, eh?”
He gives that extra firm handshake. For sure at that moment, any guy, maybe some women too, but any guy who's ever shaken another man's hand, you know these guys that do this death grip handshake. That's exactly what he does. It's a show of dominance and Daniel sees that, but he and Miyagi get into this 1958 Cadillac Fleetwood.
[00:50:34] JC: Good point. Well said. I would say, the only positive that I can think about that is going on with the current state of affairs in our country, in our world, is the fact that a heavy handshake is probably a thing of the past, because a handshake in general –
[00:50:51] SR: Imagine how many germs.
[00:50:54] JC: Yeah, exactly. A handshake in general is probably an assault. It's probably no longer acceptable. A heavy one at that, you're not going to see those for years to come.
[00:51:07] SR: Well, you know what? I think we will live to see the day where someone will say, “Officer, arrest that man. They shook my hand.”
[00:51:14] JC: They attempted to shake my hand. That's attempted murder. Don't trust him. At this point in time, Mr. Miyagi thinks that, “Hey. They know I’m coming in town. They sent someone to pick me up. That's great.” Right away, post-handshake, because Miyagi did not see this take place. Right away, Mr. Miyagi notices they're going the wrong direction, away from the village. Where does Chozen drive them to?
[00:51:45] SR: Well, I have to mention the music. Chozen puts on some music to attempt to like, “Hey, you're old. You like this music.” That music that he put on in the car, that Chozen put on was called Fascination Waltz. If you look at trivia, is the same song that was playing at the country club party in the first Karate Kid movie.
[00:52:08] JC: Oh, I love that song. Yeah.
[00:52:08] SR: When they're at that country club, that song is playing. Yeah, Miyagi though realizes – Yes.
[00:52:14] JC: I recognized that. I didn't recognize it to be that, but I knew it was that time and era, and I always liked that. I think even Caddyshack had a scene, where they had a very similar song, if not the same song. But good spot, nice job.
[00:52:26] SR: Miyagi though, realizes yes, like you said, he realizes something's amiss. He says, “Village, south. Why we go north now?” Now, I got to be clear here, okay. I’m being absolutely truthful here. I figured this out myself and then I validated it later online. They landed in Naha. They were at Naha Airport. He says, “Village south. Why we go north now?” They are supposed to go north, because Kadena, where we're going to visit Kadena Air Base, we're going to meet in a moment, is north of Naha and Tomi Village is in Kadena, which is north of Naha. They got the geography screwed up here. I have to fault the production on this, but he should have said, “Village north, why do we go south now?” That's what Miyagi should have said to be geographically correct.
[00:53:13] JC: Either way, they weren't taking them into the village. They were taking them to some hangar, so they could meet Sato. Now we get to confront Sato, who despite all of the riches and all of his prestige and power, he still has this vendetta against Miyagi, as if it was yesterday.
[00:53:38] SR: Sato, played by actor Danny Kamekona, I like the first thing that he says to Miyagi. His first words, he hasn't seen his old friend in 45 years, the first thing he says, “So coward. You return.” I love that.
[00:53:53] JC: That's it. It's on. Just like that.
[00:53:55] SR: That's the first thing.
[00:53:57] JC: In the background, I could see another huge building and it had Sato's name on that. We get it. He owns this town. They have an exchange and we know that the stakes are still very high. Miyagi is not just going to pop in and see his father and then get out of town. He's going to have to deal with Sato.
[00:54:15] SR: Well Sato, I believe says, if I’m not mistaken in the actual quote, “You see father, then you see me.”
[00:54:23] JC: That's it. Well, they don't even get a ride. They're just left to – they're left there in the hangar and they've got to – later. Yeah, they've got to get a cab and now they're at the village. This village they get to is now a US military base.
[00:54:39] SR: Yeah. They arrive in a taxi. The cabbie seems lost. He doesn't know Tomi Village. They arrive upon this – they're doing construction, there's military guys. They're asking where's Tomi Village. Now I don't know why the cab, he doesn't know where Tomi Village is as a cab driver. They greet a soldier. The soldier says, “This is Kadena Air Base.” In other words, Tomi Village used to be here, but now it's Kadena Air Base.”
[00:55:01] JC: Now we know what happened to the village. They find the right place, things have changed. I mean, hey, Miyagi's been gone 40 years. Things change. The first person we meet is Kumiko, who's played by Tamlyn Tomita, her first movie, but she has gone on to have an incredible career. I mean, countless shows and movies, but it all started here.
[00:55:28] SR: She’s 20.
[00:55:30] JC: Where was she from, Sal?
[00:55:31] SR: Well, originally from Okinawa. Born in Okinawa. 20-years-old at the time of this movie. Absolutely beautiful. I mean, I’m a little tongue-tied talking about her. I just think she's so beautiful and does a fantastic job and –
[00:55:42] JC: She’s great.
[00:55:43] SR: - this is indeed her debut role. We learn that Kumiko is Yukie's niece. Now Yukie, the former love of Mr. Miyagi.
[00:55:53] JC: Right. Now we meet Yukie. It's a beautiful scene. You have her and Miyagi seeing each other for the first time in 40 years. We also learned that Yukie not only did not marry Sato, but she was never married. It's a sad thing to hear that someone didn't get married, because who knows why? She never got that opportunity. Miyagi probably only makes him feel worse, Sal.
I mean, if he'd come back and Yukie had a family, he could feel happy for her. Now he's probably even super hard on himself for leaving. It's just really emotional. That's the emotional cord of this entire film is their relationship and Miyagi's regret and the regret that he didn't get to spend the last 40 years with his father. That's what got me. That's what made this movie compelling. That's why I like that this was such a departure from the first film. We weren't just prepping for All Valley 2. Although, that would have been really cool. I love that this has this storyline in it. It's more of an adult storyline.
[00:57:05] SR: Even though the original movie has the love line with Daniel and Ali, I do think amid the romantic backdrop of Okinawa, we see the reinvigoration of Yukie and Mr. Miyagi there over the body of his ill father. They are having their reconnection. Now by the way, I just want to give a couple of cool trivia here. Miyagi's dad played by actor Charlie Tanimoto, actually died only two years after the filming of this. Nobu McCarthy who plays Yukie, I think has an interesting story. Born in Canada, raised in Japan, lived in the US, then died in Brazil in 2002 at age 67, and was also once Miss Tokyo. I think had a very storied and interesting life.
[00:57:54] JC: Wow. Yeah, she's very attractive and really great in this role. Next, we see Miyagi and he's training in the dojo. He shares the family history with Daniel, as well as the secret to Miyagi family karate.
[00:58:11] SR: Yeah. This is where we first learn about the den-den daiko hand drum. Now I do want to say as a point of reference and I’m pretty certain it's not spoken at all in this movie, is the phrase Miyagi-Do. Now Miyagi-Do, we know about from Cobra Kai, Miyagi-Do karate. But there is no reference to Miyagi-Do. Throughout this movie, it's merely called Miyagi family karate.
[00:58:34] JC: I think Daniel coined that phrase out of respect.
[00:58:37] SR: Okay. That was not original. He coined it later with Cobra Kai.
[00:58:40] JC: Yeah. There's another quick scene here, which we've talked about on Cobra Kai, because they have a flashback to this very scene, but while we're here in the midst of this movie where it came from, we have to talk about it, because I always loved it. This leads to Miyagi showing Daniel the rules. Sal, please tell us what rule 1 and rule 2 are.
[00:59:04] SR: There they are in the Miyagi family dojo. Up on the walls in these scrolls, vertical scrolls, I believe Japanese writing is done up and down also, like Chinese writing. Rule number 1, karate for defense only. Then they go back, rule number 2, first learn rule number 1. There we go. That is the overall theme of Miyagi karate, or Miyagi-Do later. Karate for defense only.
[00:59:33] JC: That's very true. Miyagi takes a defense approach with Kreese, even with the Cobra Kais when he had to save Daniel and they all had the wonderful skeleton outfits on. Sure, he uses offense, but it’s defense first and then offense to put down the attack. It's a wonderful tribute to that style. I love that that rule number 2 is just that. It's so perfect.
[01:00:01] SR: Later on, and I say later on, we're going to visit this again. Miyagi's dad taught Sato. Theoretically, Sato and Miyagi would be at the same level. Sato teaches Chozen, Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel-san, so theoretically, Chozen and Daniel-san both have the same skill set, or near same and know the same secrets, going back to the den-den daiko hand drum. Later on, I’m going to think, why doesn't Chozen know about den-den daiko?
[01:00:36] JC: Now we explore the village. Sal, everyone seems to recognize Miyagi and it's been so long.
[01:00:44] SR: Well, I think that we have to assume his father is a renowned martial arts teacher. It seems like people are happy to see Miyagi. I don't think people are – I mean, except for Sato, obviously. I think he's seen as just a old hometown boy come back to visit.
Miyagi and Daniel are walking along and Miyagi is teaching more about the village history to Daniel. We look over, we see Ichiro playing music for the kids in front of the Shinto shrine. Miyagi keeps telling more about the village history to Daniel. Kumiko teaches the Obon dance to little kids. Now Obon, which will be quite relevant as we progress in this movie, Obon is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one's ancestors, but that gives a little bit of history on the dance and the festival, which we will be seeing shortly.
[01:01:38] JC: Okay. Yeah, the dance is really beautiful and Kumiko's really good at it. She's good with the kids. It's a nice sequence. Now, Sato arrives along with Chozen who's got a different shirt, but yet, same flag collar and gold chains. Sato's upset and he wants to fight right then and there, until Yukie steps in. Sal, what do you think would have happened had she not stepped in?
[01:02:05] SR: Okay. This is where Sato says, “You give me no choice.” He takes off his jacket and he starts to get into position, ready to strike Miyagi. Well, I don't think Miyagi would have been there. I think in an actual fight, and I say this is a fight fan. I say this as somebody who's been watching martial arts his whole life, mixed martial arts since ’93, I think that Miyagi would be too fast for Sato. Now you don't want to get hit by a guy like Sato. You do not want him to connect with you, but I think that you can elude him and that Miyagi is fast enough to get out of the way of Sato's punches. In an actual fight between Miyagi and Sato, I think that if Miyagi just stayed out of Sato's way, he could possibly wear down Sato, tire out Sato and then finally defeat him in the end.
[01:02:48] JC: Okay. I like it. Yeah, it'd probably be a great fight, but it's not going to happen right here. When Yukie breaks it up, she also summons them to go see Mr. Miyagi's father, who is on his last breath, if you will. Sato and Miyagi go to see his father and they hold hands out of tradition, I guess, although there's this beneath the surface. They're about to kill each other literally. They have to put it aside and mourn together. It's a classic movie. Death, as we see the last moment of his life.
Sal, I just wish that we had gotten to know him a little bit better. I know that we showed up and he's already on his deathbed and there's that, but it would have been nice to see some flashbacks to a little bit younger Miyagi, who could have played himself, just looking a little bit younger, take some of the gray out, and even maybe a young Sato. I think that this movie could have used just a little bit of that. I don't know what your thoughts are. I didn't feel enough for Miyagi's father, because I just didn't know him, but I felt for Miyagi, Mr. Miyagi that is.
[01:04:02] SR: I think that the movie at this point, is letting us know that the father is an ancillary character to propel the plot and not as important. At that moment though, on his deathbed, if you recall the father, Miyagi's father, grabs Sato's hand, grabs Miyagi's hand and puts their hands together. He tries to make peace with the two of them. Miyagi is okay with it. Sato is the one who pulls away. The father wanted to give peace between his son and his number one student, other than his son. Unfortunately, Sato was not having it. Miyagi was okay with it.
Yeah, he just plops definitely a cinematic death, where he just goes – it's almost like saying his last words. Those were his last words. His last words were, “I want peace with you two.” Those were his last words.
[01:04:49] JC: Wouldn't it be nice to see some flashback, or something, or even photos? Just give me a little bit more. I was yearning for that.
[01:04:58] SR: After this movie and after Cobra Kai, I am looking forward to the entire universe opening up, not only for the future, but in the past. I want to see little Miyagi. I want to see little Sato. I want to see them as kids. They obviously grew up together. They spent their whole entire life together, up until Miyagi was 18 and headed out due to disgracing Sato's honor. Otherwise, yes. I would love to explore their past, and I think that leaves it open to a whole another franchise to come along and explore Miyagi's childhood in Okinawa.
[01:05:35] JC: Yes. Then Sato says, “You have three days to mourn. Then fight.” If I’m Mr. Miyagi, hey guess what? I’m out in two days. We can just avoid this whole thing. I got two days to mourn. I’ll hang out with Yukie, show Daniel around and I’m out of here. Things are in motion. We're going to be able to spend three days mourning and tying up some loose ends and rekindling some things. There's at least pause now, which we didn't have before because Sato was ready to go to blows just a few minutes ago. I love when everyone mourning, lit the candles on the little – what would you say that is, Sal? Little rafts for these candles?
[01:06:23] SR: Well, by appearance, for any of you familiar with the southwestern custom of luminarias, where they – a paper bag with a candle inside. This is very similar, just a different decor and obviously, they float. It's like them putting these colorful black luminarias with a candle inside on the water, almost sending off your loved ones. In this scene, they're all gathered about and they're all putting these luminaria type little rafts on the water to signify the departure of the loved one, in this case, Miyagi's father.
[01:06:57] JC: It's very touching and it's such a great visual. It's at night. You have Bill Conti's score swelling. It was really a beautiful moment, and just a nice closure to his passing.
[01:07:10] SR: Also at that very moment, if you noticed, Sato is right there next to him. Yeah, there is a pause. There's a pause here. I’m almost reminded of they say, we're taught that during the civil war, the north and south would take a break for Christmas.
[01:07:26] JC: Yeah, I love that.
[01:07:26] SR: I like that. It's like, let's take a break here. I really like that a lot. Here there's an actual break. He does give him three days, I don't think is very long, but he does give him some time to mourn and there is a momentary peace here.
[01:07:40] JC: This leads to perhaps, I would say for me anyway, the most emotional scene in the entire franchise. It's when Daniel shares about losing his father. To your earlier point, here's the disciple leading the teacher. He's sharing about losing his father and you can see the pain in Miyagi's eyes. In fact, Miyagi doesn't say anything for this entire sequence. It's the first time that he's vulnerable and human and we've never seen him like this before. While this scene is going on from an acting standpoint, just the scenery, it's such a beautiful shot of them sitting next to each other and Daniel puts his arm around him as the sun rays come through the clouds above and there's a bonsai just in front of them. It's such a magnificent moment, Sal. It makes me tear up every time I see it.
[01:08:41] SR: It really is. It's beautiful in every way. It's beautiful for the characters and for fans of the Karate Kid universe, but also from a naturistic perspective. I have been to Japan and those sunsets are beautiful. They have some beautiful sunsets there. Yeah, this was a fantastic scene in every way. If you noticed on the right-hand side of the screen, there's a little bonsai there as well. Just that two-shot from the back with the clouds and the ocean. Yeah, Daniel with his arm around Mr. Miyagi, powerful scene, fantastically acted scene. Definitely, definitely beautiful.
[01:09:13] JC: Miyagi is not even really crying, or bawling, but there's just tears in his eyes. I mean, that's incredible moment for him as an actor. All of our collective hearts break to see Miyagi, who is this rock. Like you said earlier, we've all wanted a Miyagi in our life. To see him in pain, it's too much for us to bear. It's just too much. We've never seen it before.
[01:09:38] SR: This is also another example of how Daniel steps up to the plate. Every time Daniel has to do something, whether it be fight someone, or comfort someone, I mean, you know what? The more I am involved in the Karate Kid universe, the more I actually fall in love with Daniel's character. I really do. I think that he's way more multi-faceted than he would appear at first, especially based on the first movie.
He comes around, he's like a belligerent teenager, he's annoyed with his mother in the very beginning of the movie, but you see his evolution and you see how he changes and grows. I’m very proud of Ralph Macchio as an actor. I’m very proud of Daniel as a character.
[01:10:20] JC: Yeah. I think that gets lost a lot as well, is that Ralph Macchio is an incredible actor. For some reason, that just gets overlooked sometimes, I think. He doesn't get the credit he’s due, because it's so convincing of a role. Daniel LaRusso, that people just take it for granted. He's incredible. He really is. Even on Cobra Kai, you just see it, like this guy's got range and he can turn on a dime and be this guy and be charming. He's really something. There's a reason why these movies work so well. There's a reason why 35 years later, there's a TV show that's wonderful and it's based on these characters, because they not only had the story right and they got the right director and they got the right producer, but they got some incredible talent in Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio.
Here we are. We leave this great scene. Now we're back to training. We see Miyagi and Daniel and Daniel, I believe, is improving. I think he's a better fighter now than he was at All Valley. He's learning more. Sal, I love this flying cable technique. Please describe this for our listeners.
[01:11:41] SR: Well, Miyagi wants to continue the training. This scene opens up with them doing some martial arts training. Then he takes him down to this cannery, which was a part of his childhood, that was owned by Sato's father. Sato's father gave Miyagi his first job at this cannery. While Miyagi worked at this cannery, he would use this – I mean, geez. I’m not a fisherman. It's this swinging hook. It's a double-sided hook. It's about as big as an axe, it's pretty large. It swings and you have to get out of its way, or it literally impales you. He uses this as a training device. He demonstrates. Daniel wants to do it. Daniel wants to say, “I want to try it.”
At first, Miyagi is reluctant, because this is a deadly training exercise, literally. Then Miyagi says, “Okay, fine.” He attaches a block of wood. Now when he's attaching this block of wood, I’m thinking to myself, okay, maybe he's not going to die, but he still can be seriously injured when a block of wood is flying at your face.
[01:12:45] JC: The impact of this is still going to be strong. Yes.
[01:12:48] SR: Daniel convinces Miyagi. Miyagi says fine, let’s the swinging rope go with the log on the end. Daniel jumps out of the way. He doesn't know how to properly get out of the way, so he jumps out of the way, falls into the water right next to this rope swinging thingy at the camera.
[01:13:05] JC: It hits really hard and he would have been hit hard. I thought it was cork, but whatever. It's coming down really hot. True to Daniel's form, he sometimes attempts things that he's not prepared to do. There's a second one of these hooks up there. This one, since Miyagi is coming down the ladder, there's not a cork on the end. This is literally a hook. Daniel gets back up out of the water and he pulls this lever. The next one comes down, full-speed, unprotected. There's a huge hook. He could very easily get impaled, get killed. What happens this time?
[01:13:47] SR: Well, this is the initiation of the drum technique. This is where we start to see the drum technique employed, as brought to us originally by the den-den daiko and we will see later as well, not to spoil. Now Daniel employs the drum technique, which involves a twist, getting out of the way, and this hook goes so close, actually cuts part of his shirt. That's how close this hook was. That's how sheer that space was between him and that hook. He barely moves out of the way, employing the drum technique.
[01:14:20] JC: Then the hook goes into this wood and just sticks with his piece of the shirt with it. He's like, “Oh, that was close.” What I liked about that moment is that he is fearless, Sal. He is a fast learner. Now he doesn't have it down yet, but I know from martial arts too and all sports that I’ve played, it's about repetitions. That's how I am. It's like, do it a thousand times and master it. Daniel's one of these guys, at least in these movies that he picks things up very quickly.
[01:14:54] SR: The word ‘prodigy’ is not used not much in our culture, let alone with these movies, or Cobra Kai. I think you could probably say at this point that Daniel would be considered a prodigy.
[01:15:04] JC: Yeah. Well, he has to. Because if he was on a normal trajectory to become a black belt, or be doing these things, these movies, they would never pan out. He has to be that character that can go from 0 to 60 very quickly. Not that he's at Miyagi's class, but that he is ahead of others, if you will. The next scene we have is Daniel is now going to expose Chozen in this interesting sequence, if you want to elaborate a little bit.
[01:15:42] SR: Daniel meets for the first time officially, Ichiro. Now Ichiro was the old friend of Miyagi’s who was playing that instrument there at the Shinto temple for the kids. Ichiro drops a whole cart load of carrots right before Daniel. Daniel helps him with the carrots. They then go take the wheelbarrow of carrots over to the scales and weights that are set up by Chozen and his thugs.
Now if you see a guy like Chozen operating a scale, you pretty much can guess there's something crooked going on here. That's what we find, because as they approach the scales, there's a movement, somebody bumps into the scales, these weights fall down and we learn and realize that these weights are little false weights. Therefore, the scales are not true and are not properly calibrated, and Chozen and his buddies – maybe Sato is behind this. I mean, we don't know if Sato is behind this exactly, but we see Chozen and his buddies are ripping off these villagers of their vegetables.
[01:16:43] JC: Chozen knows it's Daniel that's done this and he's pissed, but he has all of these villagers coming after him. Chalk that one up to Daniel. He won that battle.
[01:16:53] SR: Chozen gets mobbed by the villagers. The villagers start attacking Chozen. “Hey, you're cheating us.” It's a good moment to see Chozen get mobbed by these villagers. I wish we could have seen him get attacked and beaten up, but unfortunately, we don't.
[01:17:05] JC: Right. Now we see Miyagi and he confesses that he should have taken Yukie with him to America. Now Sal, that's just really sad. Now to have that regret really reminds me of the Clint Eastwood-Meryl Streep film, Bridges of Madison County. To know that they turned their back on what could have been. That's very sad.
[01:17:29] SR: Yeah, the what could have been, or the one that got away stories, very sad. Yeah, definitely.
[01:17:36] JC: Now Kumiko is teaching Daniel the dance. Again, Sal, he's a quick learner. He's picking this thing up right away.
[01:17:48] SR: He is. What I like about Daniel, especially in this moment we see it, at first he doesn't want to. He doesn't want to do this dance out here on the road. Yet, he does it. He does it anyway, even though he's very reluctant. I like that. You don't have to want to do something, yet you do it. I respect that. He starts getting his dance lesson from Kumiko. She shows him what's called the Bon dance, which again, we're going to be visiting later.
Then at that moment, it seems like every time Daniel and Kumiko are starting to get closer, starting to get more intimate, something happens. Again, we see now, yeah, Chozen and his thugs arriving. Chozen takes the den-den daiko from Daniel, shoves Kumiko, kicks Daniel. Then as they're walking away, Kumiko throws a tomato at Chozen, hits him in the back of his polyester shirt.
[01:18:42] JC: Right. This really reminds me of the beach scene from the original Karate Kid. Here comes this bully and Daniel's bested yet again. This is also another eye-roll for me on this film. As much as I like it and has a lot of strengths, it's got some weaknesses. Just it's Chozen yet again. He's always there. He's got nothing else to do, but try to rip off villagers and hang out with these bullies and pester Daniel. I think he even threatens to kill him in this scene.
[01:19:19] SR: Oh, yeah. He says, “If you disrespect my honor again, I will kill you.” Yeah. Daniel isn't even doing anything.
[01:19:26] JC: No. Nothing.
[01:19:27] SR: Yet, this guy, his honor is all bent out of shape because of Daniel. You know what? Is it possible and maybe do we learn in this scene that it's possible that Chozen has had a thing for Kumiko? Because remember when he throws the shirt back, he's like, “You know you like it.” He says something like that, some smart ass, “You know you like my shirt.” Maybe he's known Kumiko, maybe he's had a crush on her, she's never felt the same way. Maybe there's a little something there. Remember, there's a history there in Okinawa before Daniel got there.
[01:19:56] JC: Yeah. I don't know. History repeats itself. This is a very Miyagi, Sato, Yukie storyline for sure. They walk away and stumble on to yet, another beautiful scene. I noticed that most these beautiful, touching scenes are with the adults in this movie. I think that's maybe was lost on me when I saw the movie for the first time. As an adult, I’m more moved by it. Yeah, we see Miyagi and Yukie having a tea ceremony. Sal, why don’t you explain that for us?
[01:20:33] SR: Well, to the casual observer like myself, or in this case, Daniel, you look on, you see two people in Japan drinking tea together. You don't really know what's going on. Daniel asked Kumiko, what's going on? That's when Kumiko lets Daniel know, they are falling in love again. We learned that this is a ceremony, that is an expression of love, either reacquainted love, or new love.
[01:20:56] JC: Yeah. That's pretty heavy though. They are falling in love again. Wow. That's big time.
[01:21:01] SR: I like this. I like it. I like ceremonies. That was one of the reasons why I used to like go to church, not necessarily that I went for all the rules and so forth, but I like ceremony. That's why when you–
[01:21:11] JC: Me too.
[01:21:12] SR: Yeah, when you look at the tea ceremony later on, I like how every movement is intentional, ceremonial, is deliberate. I like that stuff. I’ve always enjoyed watching ceremonies occur.
[01:21:24] JC: You probably like structure as well.
[01:21:25] SR: Yeah, I do. Maybe that's part of it.
[01:21:28] JC: I’m really drawn to martial arts, because a lot of it has to do with the ceremonies, or the structure, or the way things are done. Then there's achievements and you get to the next belt. I’m really drawn to it. Now I’ve never had a tea ceremony, which I think is really cool, but I too share the fondness for ceremonies. I think that's why I’ve been so captured by martial arts.
Okay. Now Daniel and Kumiko are going exploring. While they do so, we hear the infamous Peter Cetera track, Glory of Love.
[01:22:06] SR: Yeah. I think it's a interesting moment, because the music starts to play as they start to go observe King Shahashi's Castle Ruins. I like the words who just – I don't know if this just happened, or if Peter Cetera wrote it this way, the lyrics, just like a knight in shining armor from a long time ago, just in time, I’m going to save the day, take you to my castle far away, as they're at the castle. Did that happen accidentally, or was that on purpose?
[01:22:35] JC: Why don't you give us a little rendition of the chorus from the song? It's a great track.
[01:22:40] SR: Just like a knight in shining armor from a long time ago. Just in time, I’m going to save the day, take you to my castle far away. All right, there we go.
[01:22:51] JC: Great song. Yeah, I’m not sure to answer your question if it was written for the scene. Is this song not written for the soundtrack?
[01:23:01] SR: This song was originally scheduled for Rocky IV was it? It was one of the Rockies that they had hoped this song was going to go to.
[01:23:08] JC: Oh, that's right. That’s right.
[01:23:10] SR: Yeah, but instead, it was replaced by another song and they decided to use this song for the Karate Kid 2.
[01:23:15] JC: Bill Conti was supposed to be the composer for Rocky IV, because he had done Rocky I, II, III thus far and chose to do Karate Kid part 2, but along with Appleton, they both came back and worked on Rocky V.
[01:23:31] SR: Yeah. What happened was Glory of Love was supposed to be in Rocky, but was instead, Hearts On Fire was chosen over Glory of Love for the Rocky films. Then the Glory of Love came into the Karate Kid 2.
[01:23:43] JC: Now we're in the city and both Daniel and Kumiko are looking at TVs in the window of a store. She shares her dream of being a dancer. Then out of nowhere, actor B. D. Wong appears. Well, I’ve always loved B. D. Wong from many movies and TV shows, including Jurassic Park and the Jurassic Worlds, and he invites him to a dance. She's dreaming of being a dancer and now she can go to this dance and show off some moves.
[01:24:16] SR: He's credited, I think, as flyer kid.
[01:24:19] JC: Yeah, flyer kid.
[01:24:20] SR: Yeah. He's credited as Bradd Wong with two D's. Bradd Wong. Then he became B. D. Wong. I’m curious how Bradd Wong became B. D. Wong. Yeah, so Bradd Wong who we've seen in all these crime shows, here he is as a kid passing out flyers for a dance on the street.
[01:24:35] JC: He just looks so great in this scene. Like so out of place. Here's this kid, he looks like he's right out of Hollywood, like extras casting and giving them a flyer. “Sure, bring your friend.” He's super excited upbeat. Next, we see Sato's dojo. It's right across the way and Daniel has to get a closer look, of course. As he peeks through the window, very reminiscent of Daniel walking up and looking through the window at Cobra Kai. He's Chozen is head of the class, much like Johnny Lawrence, and he takes on four attackers, and of course, best them all.
[01:25:15] SR: Yeah. He has two guys. One guy grabs his right arm, one guy grabs his left arm, so you got two guys holding you, and then you got two guys attacking you. Yeah, Chozen beats up four guys in his class. He essentially beats up four of his students, is what he does.
[01:25:28] JC: Right. They train hard. Very Cobra Kai style here at Sato's dojo. They see that and then Daniel wants to keep moving. They stumble into, I guess it's a bar. I mean, I don't know people are getting drunk in there, but it's like a bar. Kumiko is resistant. She doesn't want to go in there, because she says, bad people, bad things happen in there. Daniel is stubborn as we know he is and he takes them in. We can see that GI's are all over the place. One in particular is attempting to strike through sheets of ice. Tell us who this particular GI is, Sal.
[01:26:11] SR: This guy is credited as being GI number one. His name is Clarence Gilliard, Jr.
[01:26:17] JC: Well, Clarence was in Die Hard and Top Gun. He went on to be in some other big movies. I recognized him right away, but he fails in his attempt to hit through these sheets of ice. For those who haven't seen this film, or it's been a long time, there's these sheets of ice. I don't know, are they about an inch thick? I’m just be guessing.
[01:26:41] SR: I’d probably say about 18 inches tall each one. Yeah, I would probably say about an inch thick, I would say.
[01:26:46] JC: They have them slotted, so with gaps in between. You've got to hit it, Sal, I guess with a side motion, like a ridge hand, because maybe – can you describe this to the listener at all?
[01:26:59] SR: You would be slicing at a horizontal chest level, because these things are in front of you. I think what you should hope to do is that you hit the first one, if you're going to break that first one, that first one breaks the second one, that second one breaks the third one, etc., etc. You really got to make sure that you can crack that first one, hit it hard enough, so that it then subsequently breaks the rest of them. Yeah, it's right in front of you, six slots, six pieces of ice, vertical, and then you got to slice through them horizontally and with a karate chop. Possible. I mean, I don't think I could do it.
[01:27:31] JC: I don't think GI number one had six sheets of ice. I think he only had three or four.
[01:27:37] SR: Yeah. His form was something to be desired. I mean, again, I’ve watched enough fights to say, he had no prep, he had no poise, he had no skill. He may be able to fight in a bar room fight, but when it came to using proper technique to slice these things, it left a lot to be desired.
[01:27:51] JC: Right. GI number one, he fails and he overhears Daniel saying why he failed. Of course, he says, “Hey, if you can do better, do it. Go for it.” Daniel has already figured it out, again back to my point, that he might be some prodigy, or at least a fast learner. I’ll give him that. He's challenged. What happens now?
[01:28:15] SR: Well, he's challenged, but he's not going for it. He doesn't want to do it. He may think he knows how to do it, but here he is in a foreign country, what? This is only what? Eight months later after the All Valley. He may not even be 18 yet. We don't know when his birthday is. Here he is, a very young man, or older teenager, here on this island being challenged by these American GIs to do something ridiculous.
Yeah, he may have had his opinions on how it should be done that he shared that with Kumiko on how he should use the hips and all that, but he doesn't want to do it. He's like, “I’m out of here.” He wants to get out of there and who arrives? Who arrives, of course?
[01:28:53] JC: Chozen, of course. He doesn't just arrive, Sal. He's fully dressed in street clothes. It wasn't two minutes earlier that he was taking on four attackers at Sato's dojo and he was in his full gi. Now are we led to believe that he changed and looks like he showered. He did all of that and got over here in 2 minutes and happen to know that something's going on and Daniel is here? Another eye-roll from me. These are starting to mount. These are starting to mount.
[01:29:30] SR: I think it's entirely possible that there was more time elapsed between them seeing Chozen in the dojo and then this ice breaking happened. There was more time that elapsed there, which I don't think the movie properly displayed. I think they should have maybe added another scene, or we should have seen the clock or something. Because if you remember as the scene progresses, who else arrives? Everyone arrives.
[01:29:53] JC: We’ll get to that. I know. I still feel even if that's the case, even if you're right, I wish we had established it. I wish we had cut to Miyagi and Yukie and then cut back. I wish we had cut to someone running to Chozen in the locker room and saying, “Blah, blah, blah. Daniel's over there doing this.” I just wish there would have – because these are the moments that I just can't stand when things just don't make sense. Now maybe there was a scene cut. Could have happened.
[01:30:25] SR: Toshi sees them. As soon as Kumiko and Daniel walk into the bar, Toshio, remember one of the thugs sees them and yeah, he runs out and he goes to get Chozen. I can only imagine that it's entirely possible that if there wasn't a lot of time elapsed, then Chozen wears his clothes under his gi.
[01:30:43] JC: Or just comes in on his gi. I’m cool with that.
[01:30:48] SR: Maybe Chozen even thinks that that would be disrespectful to the gi, maybe.
[01:30:52] JC: We didn't do it earlier in this film either, so maybe there's something to be said for that.
[01:30:56] SR: Yeah. I mean, you're not supposed to walk around in your gi, are you?
[01:30:59] JC: No. You don't see people walking around with their gi. But if he had to go over there so quickly, that would make more sense. Anyway, but literally not 10 seconds later, Mr. Miyagi and Yukie are now here. Give it a beat, Sal. Out of nowhere, here’s Sato. I have no idea how on earth everybody knew something was brewing and Daniel had got himself in yet another pickle.
[01:31:32] SR: Yeah. It's such an interesting convergence that there's the village over there, here they are in the city and yet, everybody shows up. Everybody shows up.
[01:31:39] JC: How small is the city? There's Sato’s dojo, there's some TVs for sale at the store and then there's the place where the GIs hang out. That's it. It's all that's there. If you're not at one, you're at one of the others. Anyway, so now the bet is on. It's $600 to hit through six sheets of ice. Sa, I believe six is the max that this can hold. Am I mistaken?
[01:32:03] SR: Yeah. It looked pretty full. Yeah. I think that this only holds up to six. Then these guys were trying to do three and now here's Daniel trying to do six.
[01:32:12] JC: Now Mr. Miyagi gives some classic Miyagi advice. What does he say, Sal?
[01:32:19] SR: He tells Daniel to focus. Daniel says, “And what are you going to do?” Pray.”
[01:32:25] JC: Thus, begins the breathing technique from the beginning of the film.
[01:32:31] SR: This is where you see that everything that Daniel learns from Miyagi ends up being a fight technique, or that he can employ it in his fight techniques.
[01:32:43] JC: Sato oversees the breathing technique and recognizes it, because Miyagi is doing it and Daniel's alongside, so he's getting him in the right state of mind. This leads to Daniel, who's never done this before, by the way. It's not like he got one shot at these. No. He got in the right state of mind and he hit it clean and broke the first one, like you said, and succeeds. What happens after that?
[01:33:12] SR: Daniel is successful at giving a karate chop to these slats of ice. Everybody's excited. They won the bet. They walk over to Sato who's sitting there, I think in a state of shock. Chozen doesn't want to give him the money. Sato makes Chozen give them the money. They walk out and leaving behind Chozen, very pissed off about losing so much money and Sato there in a state of shock, sitting there at the bar.
[01:33:38] JC: Exactly. They walk out and Miyagi gives Daniel half the money and says, “This is for college,” because he spent around $300 on the plane ticket and they're going to go off for some Chinese food. Yet again, Chozen loses that battle, but yet, we're still in the mourning period, so Sato is standing down at this point in time. Now we're at the dojo and Miyagi plays a prank on Daniel. Fake hits him and they're growing and calls it what, Sal?
[01:34:12] SR: Primary target.
[01:34:14] JC: Primary target. He got a real kick out of this moment, which I thought was hilarious. Although, this is some foreshadowing, so remember that.
[01:34:23] SR: Remember that. Every time Miyagi teaches you something, you're going to have to use it later.
[01:34:29] JC: Every time. Every time. Then Kumiko brings Daniel some dance clothes, which is amazing that she has a presence of mind to either make, or find, or has access to dance clothes. Sal, have you ever worn dance clothes like this? Do you have any dance clothes?
[01:34:51] SR: Well, no. Because I don't think at this moment in time, we know that this is going to be 1950s dance. When flyer boy, Bradd Wong brought the flyer to Kumiko and Daniel, he just said, “Come to the dance tonight.” She made him special 1950s apparel for tonight's dance. No. No, no. I’ve never had any – nobody make me clothes and I never had any special clothes to wear to the dance. No.
[01:35:15] JC: The next thing we hear, of course, is Chozen calling for Mr. Miyagi and then he and his thug friends destroy one of the gardens.
[01:35:28] SR: Well, because he says, my uncle told me to come pick you up. Your three days of mourning are over. Then of course, Miyagi says, “I’m not going to go fight your uncle.” Then that's when Chozen goes, “Okay, fine.” Then they start to destroy the garden. That's Chozen and Toshio and anyway, the third guy.
[01:35:46] JC: Yeah, thug number three.
[01:35:47] SR: Thug number three.
[01:35:49] JC: Miyagi does decide to go visit Sato at his beautiful home and garden. Sato is wearing a gi with a red belt, which gave me pause for a moment, Sal. Because in my martial arts, in hapkido, where I train at American Hapkido Karate, the belts go as such; white, orange, yellow, green, blue, brown, red, black. Then there’s second degree black, third degree black and up from there. My master for instance, is an eighth-degree black belt.
To see Sato, who we know to be renowned and a master in his own right, I didn't understand why he was a red belt. I went online. I researched it. Here's what I found out. A red belt is one of several colored belts used in some martial arts to either denote rank, or differentiate opponents in a competition. In some schools, especially those with lineage related to judo, a red belt signifies 9th or 10th degree dan rank, the highest rank attainable. Sato must fall under that, because he's obviously reached the pinnacle, I would say.
[01:37:12] SR: Well, I was so wrapped up in him hitting an inanimate piece of wood, that I actually didn't notice his belt. Now I know you might have noticed his belt, because you recently obtained a higher belt in hapkido. Is that true?
[01:37:24] JC: I did. Thank you.
[01:37:26] SR: Go ahead and give us a humble brag. You went up –
[01:37:28] JC: No, no, no, no.
[01:37:30] SR: What belt were you and where are you at now?
[01:37:33] SR: I would tell you and the reason I’m excited by this is because as you know, when I got involved with Cobra Kai and wanted to do this podcast, it tapped into what was missing, something that was missing in my life, and that was martial arts. I got back into it and found a new dojo and started this journey again, to pick up where I left off and go much further, I hope. I was a white belt in the beginning. I tested and became an orange belt several months ago. I recently tested again and I’m now a yellow belt. I’ve gone white, orange, yellow.
[01:38:10] SR: Is there a red belt in your future, or does it only get up to the ninth degree black belts?
[01:38:15] JC: Oh, no. I mentioned the red. Yeah, red is right before black belt.
[01:38:19] SR: Oh, okay. You will hit red, but not that ultimate red that Sato wears.
[01:38:23] JC: No. Once you hit the red, it's right before the black, and then it's black from then on out.
[01:38:29] SR: Okay. I never knew about the red belt before tonight. I never knew about it. By the way, congratulations on your recent belt of yellow belt. I look forward to seeing your –
[01:38:37] JC: Thank you.
[01:38:38] SR: - continued advancement. Okay, so Sato is hitting this wood. Miyagi approaches him, tries to reason with him. He asks about the wood. He asked, is this the wood that we found that one time? Then Sato answers, “Same. What do you want?” Miyagi wants to reason with him. Sato is not having it. Walks away. I forgot what happens when he walks away here, but Sato is not going for the reasoning of Miyagi. Then he walks away and then Miyagi is left standing there caressing the wood, I think going back in time, probably thinking of the lighter days, the fonder days of when they were kids and when they found this piece of wood. Yeah, the scene ends with Miyagi just there along with the piece of wood.
[01:39:21] JC: Sal, Sato had Chozen go and get Miyagi to bring him to him to fight to the death. Miyagi chose to show up on his own. There he is. He is on Sato's property. How come he did not fight him to the death right here and now?
[01:39:45] SR: I think Sato must have realized that he came for other purposes and didn't come to fight. He has the sixth sense, when someone is threatening toward you, or when someone is fearful of you and Miyagi is not like that in this moment. I think that it was just his fighter sense, his martial arts sixth sense, which led him to realize that Miyagi is not there to fight. Yeah, you're right. I hadn't thought about that. That was right on the coattails of Chozen being sent over to go get Miyagi. Now yeah, a beat or two later, Miyagi shows up. Yeah, that should have been Sato's cue, but yet it wasn't. That's correct.
[01:40:19] JC: Maybe Sato dislikes a crowd, or he's got to be in the fighting mood. He was ready that one day and then Miyagi's father passed. He just wasn't feeling it and maybe he took his frustrations out on that moment on that wood, which he probably thought was Miyagi. Maybe he was not as angry after working out some of that tension.
Yeah, it just seems like they're meandering around. There's always a reason why they're not going to blows. That theme continues in this whole movie. Yet, maybe another eye roll for me. That's just how it goes. He leaves, you're right. Sato walks away. Miyagi's left. Now Daniel and Kumiko are at the dance. As we've already talked about, it is a glorified sock hop, something right out of the 50s.
[01:41:11] SR: Yeah. They're at the dance and this is where we get into some more cool trivia. I would call it a triple whammy with happy days. The television show, Happy Days. Because not only is the song Rock Around the Clock that was playing at this dance that Daniel and Kumiko are at, Rock Around the Clock was the theme song for the television show, Happy Days. Now Noriyuki Pat Morita who plays Mr. Miyagi had a role as Arnold. He was on 26 episodes from 1975 to 1983 and here's the third whammy for Happy Days in the last tie-in, Nobu McCarthy who plays Yukie played Momo, Arnold's fiancé. Remember, that's the role that Pat Morita played, on Happy Days in 1976. That's a triple Happy Days tie-in.
[01:42:00] JC: Wait, Yukie played his fiancé?
[01:42:03] SR: Yukie played Momo on an episode of Happy Days. Momo was Arnold’s fiancé on an episode of Happy Days in 1976. That's right.
[01:42:13] JC: That's awesome. I did not know that. That's really cool.
[01:42:16] SR: I find it all. I bring that information to you.
[01:42:18] JC: Thank you, sir. Back to the dance. It's funny how Daniel was very reluctant to dance earlier with Kumiko. Then picked it up, this traditional dance and enjoyed it and had some fun with it. I had no idea, Sal, that Daniel could do this 50s dance. He was out there strutting his stuff and apparently, he learned all this from his mother, which is hilarious.
[01:42:46] SR: He did a really great job at this sock hop. I got to tell you, as soon as he walks into the dance, I start having PTSD going back to the Halloween dance that was only nine months earlier.
[01:42:57] JC: Right. Good point.
[01:42:59] SR: I cannot relax in this scene yet.
[01:43:02] JC: Anytime in this entire film, we're having a good moment, it is quickly followed up by an appearance from Chozen. True to form, chosen and his thug friends arrive at the dance.
[01:43:18] SR: Yeah. Chozen is the ultimate cock-blocker in human form.
[01:43:23] JC: He absolutely is. What happens next, Sal?
[01:43:28] SR: Daniel gets roughed up. Chozen takes Daniel's money, which Chozen believes is his money just from losing the bet. He steals the money, returns the wallet, dropping it on the ground. While Daniel is kneeled down, grabbing his own wallet, that's where he remembers primary target. At this moment, one of the thugs has Kumiko in a rear, what we called a rear choke. While Daniel's down there, remembers primary target and punches Chozen right in the family jewels.
[01:43:59] JC: Yes, the family jewels. Yeah, I think Kumiko's in a Johnny Lawrence hold, of which Kreese had him in earlier in the film, if I’m not mistaken.
[01:44:10] SR: Yeah. It would almost be a rear naked choke. I don't know if rear naked choke has to do with the leg wrap around too. I think if you just get somebody with a neck choke from the back, I think it's called a rear naked choke.
[01:44:20] JC: Yet another sequence that never gets too out of hand. Although, Daniel did take a hit, but he gave a hit back and they escape, and he got his money back. Later that night, Sato and Chozen and pals, they arrive at the village and they're summoning Mr. Miyagi, who's not there, by the way. He's not there at this point in time.
[01:44:44] SR: Yeah. Daniel's settling in for the night. He's ready to hit the hay, and then that's when you hear, “Miyagi! Miyagi! Come out. Miyagi! We fight now.”
[01:44:55] JC: Because Sato needs to fight at midnight. He can't fight –
[01:44:59] SR: Such an odd time to fight someone.
[01:45:02] JC: Yeah. He leaves, but then Chozen and thugs begin to destroy the dojo and bonsais, while holding Daniel.
[01:45:13] SR: Well to jump ahead, if I may.
[01:45:15] JC: Yeah, please.
[01:45:16] SR: This is why it was so painful in Cobra Kai, so painful for Daniel to see the destruction of the Miyagi-Do dojo, because he was having flashbacks to the Miyagi family dojo being destroyed in Okinawa. Yeah, now I get it. Now I get it.
[01:45:35] JC: Or the dojo being destroyed in Karate Kid 3, but we'll save that one for another podcast.
[01:45:40] SR: Oh, my God. Okay, so karate dojo is getting destroyed. Is now embedded in Daniel's psyche. I can only imagine he has PTSD. I know I do. Just seeing rule number 1 and rule number 2 being speared by Chozen as he laughs. You know these guys, these villains in these movies, it's one thing to do evil, it's one thing to laugh as you do evil and that's what Chozen does. He's there laughing and smiling, having a great time being destructive, because Sato told him, leave them a message. That's what they're doing. They're leaving a message.
[01:46:14] JC: Exactly. Luckily, Mr. Miyagi arrives. Sal, this is a pretty good fight sequence.
[01:46:23] SR: It is. Well, Miyagi arrives. Says, “Enough.” There's some wonderful music perfectly in sync with that. Taro and Toshio are dispatched by Miyagi pretty quickly. Chozen is also subdued, but is spared by Miyagi. Of course, Chozen calls it, “Act of coward,” to be spared by Miyagi. Also, apparently, there was one moment. I read some more trivia, that that moment when Chozen does hit Miyagi on the back with that spear is the only time in Karate Kid folklore when Miyagi is struck was right there with that stick by Chozen.
[01:46:59] JC: That's interesting. Also during this whole sequence, Daniel is not able to help. He's being held off. Then he never really gets involved. Miyagi best all three of them. It's a really neat setting though, because it's in the garden and they're using a walkway and then there's this one staff that has a spear on the end of it. I didn't notice any stunt doubles, Sal. It really looked like it was Mr. Miyagi doing his own stunts.
[01:47:25] SR: Yeah. I was pretty impressed. I would imagine by this time, our actors have had plenty of time to train. I would say overall, I was pretty impressed by Noriyuki Pat. I always want to say Noriyuki. That's what he's officially born is Noriyuki. Then he still uses it later on up until his death. Noriyuki Pat Morita had plenty of time to train for this and I was pretty impressed by some of his kicks, some of his swift backhands. Yeah, this is a very interesting setting. Daniel couldn't do much. He was subdued, but all the rest of these guys got taken out by Miyagi.
One thing I found pretty interesting is that at the end of the fight, Daniel and Miyagi retreat inside, back into Miyagi's home, Chozen kicks over a statue. Really, the guys are still out there and you just walked back in, was that the end of it? I mean, these guys are just going to go home now? I mean, I just didn't really see that that would be the end of it, if these guys are still right outside your home, which doesn't seem to have real high security. Miyagi says to Daniel that they're going to go home tomorrow. At this point in time, we're assuming, you know what? This is the end of it. They're finally going to go home and be out of this mess.
[01:48:30] JC: Exactly. Then Miyagi talks with Yukie and it's another touching scene, because she asked him to take her with him.
[01:48:39] SR: Yeah. Miyagi asked, “What can I do to ease your pain?” Yukie answers, “Take me with you.” I mean, ho. If this woman doesn't love Miyagi, I don't know what love is. I mean, look how long she's held on to this. Yeah, Daniel's packing his suitcase, looks outside, sees Kumiko standing lonesome on the pier. She's doing a ceremony. He heads out, that's when he hears Miyagi and Yukie saying their goodbyes. Yukie’s crying. Daniel approaches Kumiko on the pier, she's doing an old fishing custom, pouring rice into the water for a quick return, because that's what Daniel asks and goes, “Oh, are you doing that for a big catch?” She goes, “No, for a quick return.”
We know that at that moment that she's doing a special ceremony for a quick return of Daniel and possibly, Miyagi. They have a wonderful moment. They talk about America. She asked about America. He tells her about America. He professes his love for her. This is where we officially see Daniel professing his love for Kumiko in this scene. Then just as they're about to kiss –
[01:49:42] JC: Oh, hang on. Before that, I think this would have been a good time to play Peter Cetera song one more time.
[01:49:48] SR: Like a knight in shining armor and a long time ago. Yeah, you're right.
[01:49:54] JC: He's also trying to recruit her to live in the US, to come over. She's taking this in. There's no dance studios there. Sounds like an interesting idea. But as you were getting ready to say, and yes, true to form, it's not Chozen this time, but it is Sato.
[01:50:14] SR: Yeah. Big ruckus behind them, construction equipment coming through behind them in the village. They get up, leap up from the pier where they're having this romantic moment and then head back to see what's going on. They see this bulldozer running through a garden, as all these villagers are standing there in horror. Miyagi approaches Sato, because Sato is standing there, “What are you doing?” Sato says, “He sold all the land.” I don't know if he said he sold the land, or he's going to sell the land.
[01:50:39] JC: Basically, he owns the land, so he can do whatever he wants, and he's going to destroy the village.
[01:50:44] SR: Yeah. Well, he threatens to destroy the village if Miyagi will not fight him. Finally, Miyagi feeling forced and pressured, agrees to fight Sato on one condition, that the title to the land passed to the village forever. Sato reluctantly agrees, but warns that if Miyagi doesn't fight, the village will be completely destroyed, everything will be gone, their homes, their church, everything gone. Miyagi knows that he has no choice. He has to stand and fight.
[01:51:18] JC: Yeah, Sato is really an angry person. What's interesting is this whole thing stems from Yukie not following through to marry Sato, because her and Miyagi had feelings. Miyagi flees. Sal, correct me if I’m wrong here. With Miyagi out of the picture, Sato had 40 years to woo Yukie, or any other woman, because he doesn't seem to be with anybody and he has failed. Maybe a lot of this hatred is inward. Sato is carrying around a ton of baggage and taking it all out on Mr. Miyagi.
[01:52:04] SR: Well, Sato has no game, apparently.
[01:52:07] JC: No game.
[01:52:09] SR: Because okay, so at one point in time, he was promised to marry Yukie. She was promised to marry him. Once Miyagi was out of the picture, then yeah, Sato could have made his move. If not immediately, at least within a couple years, been able to finally marry Yukie. But no, he didn't. Maybe he was just too focused on building his business empire and romance was not a part of it. That's what obviously happened.
[01:52:32] JC: This hatred burns, like it just happened recently. It's amazing that someone is this upset. Now listen, I’m not that familiar with the Japanese culture and maybe this is his pride was forever scorned. Was Sato and Yukie an arranged marriage? Is that what I’m led to believe?
[01:52:52] SR: It was an arranged marriage, because if you remember, Mr. Miyagi told Daniel that Sato's family was the richest in the village, Yukie’s family poorest in village, so it made sense. Yeah, they were an arranged marriage. If you remember also, when Daniel and Kumiko sat down at the sock hop, he asked if she was arranged to be married to anyone. Remember, she asked – I thought that was cute. She asked him, “Are you arranged to be married to anybody?” That's when he says, “No. I’m a free agent.”
Yeah, this is ancient history. This is a whole other topic, but the concept of dating as we Americans know as dating is new in human history. Nobody dated. Nobody dated a 1,000 years ago. They were set up by families a 1,000 years ago, or you didn't get together with anybody. This whole thing is dating is new. You were definitely set up by families back in the old days. This is as far back then as 45 years in Okinawa.
[01:53:46] JC: That would lead me to ask this. Miyagi leaves, didn't work out with Yukie, maybe she sought her true feelings and no longer wanted to be part of this arranged marriage. With this incredibly powerful, influential and rich family of Sato’s, how does someone not arrange another marriage for him?
[01:54:09] SR: Yeah. Why would Sato's family arrange a marriage with Yukie's poor family? What would they have to gain from that? Yeah, if you dig into it, it probably doesn't make as much sense as it should, because I believe in the old days of arranged marriages, a rich family would try to arrange a marriage with another rich family, not a poor family. Yeah, in that respect, it doesn't make sense. The arrangement makes sense, but as far as the families, doesn't really make sense.
I’m thinking then that if Sato coming from a rich family, was going to be arranged with Yukie coming from a poor family, he really loved Yukie. That's why this anger burned for 45 years. I think that he should have let that anger – he should have used that anger to win over Yukie, instead of being pissed off hitting a piece of wood and thinking of Miyagi for 45 years.
[01:55:00] JC: Yeah. It might have made more sense in the storyline, had Sato and Yukie married. They wed, let's just say, but it was never – they never had the sparks, because I’m sure a lot of arranged marriages just hit a certain threshold and they don't, because they weren't built on a mutual attraction, admiration. Maybe some of them turn into that, but others probably didn't. They didn't hit those high notes.
Let's just say that they were married and Miyagi came into town due to his father's health, and Sato saw that they had something he didn't have. That would almost make more sense to me why Sato has this anger in him and jealousy. That would then paint Miyagi in a different light. I think that it's more innocent to have Yukie be this single person. Trust me, I’ve had time to think about it. I’ve watched this film twice recently preparing for this episode. Another plot point I have a little bit of issue with and is why I look at this movie is the best of the sequels, but it just falls short on many occasions, in my opinion.
[01:56:09] SR: Yeah. No, I agree. I agree. I think that that would have made sense. The problem is though, you then wouldn't have been able to have these tender moments between Miyagi and Yukie if she was married to Sato. I don't think so.
[01:56:23] JC: Miyagi would look like a bad guy. He would look like a home wrecker. I totally get it. You can't have that.
[01:56:29] SR: He would have been a twice home wrecker then, if that's the case. Remember, Miyagi left Okinawa in shame, he broke tradition, he broke culture, he embarrassed everyone. Miyagi left Okinawa on bad terms. I think that if he were to then go back and then get involved in a marriage that was current with Sato and Yukie, yeah, that wouldn't have been looked good on Miyagi. No.
[01:56:52] JC: Anyway, just riffing there, but things I’ve thought about and things I have issues with. Now we cut to Mr. Miyagi and he's giving Daniel his last will and testament. He's getting his affairs in order, so to speak, Sal. What does he give Daniel in his will?
[01:57:10] SR: He gives Daniel the house in Canoga Park and the truck, the 1941 light duty Chevrolet. Of course, Daniel's like, “I don't want the house and the truck. I want you. Let's just get out of here.” Daniel's trying to convince him, “Let's just hop on a plane and get the hell out of here.” Forget about it. Forget about this honor garbage. But Miyagi says, “It is impossible.” But Miyagi says, “No matter what happens, the village is safe forever.” At this moment in time, Miyagi’s stuck. If he leaves, the village gets destroyed. If he stays and fight, he may die. He is screwed either way.
Sometimes in life, I talk about this with friends all the time. Sometimes in life, you have two bad choices and you got to choose between two bad choices. Hell, you can say a lot of our elections are this way. You got to choose between two bad choices. No matter what, they're both bad choices, but at least he knows the village is safe no matter what he does.
[01:58:04] JC: Well, and a guy like Mr. Miyagi and maybe the Japanese culture as a whole, to die of honor is not a bad way to go out. He knows winning or losing saves the village. He's at peace with that, I would say. That's why he stepped up to fight him finally to end this, only to save the village forever no matter what happens. That's big of him, but there's no way Miyagi is going to back out now, is what I’m trying to say.
[01:58:33] SR: No, no.
[01:58:33] JC: He may have bailed earlier if there's no reason to fight, but now there's a reason to fight. My last point on the will, my question to you is what about all the other classic cars? I mean, not the one that Daniel owns, but there's three others. Is that part of the will?
[01:58:49] SR: Yeah. They left that out in this movie. I think that they appear again in Karate Kid 3. Yeah, the cars are not there in Karate Kid 2. I think we only have to assume. Now obviously, to the newcomer, they would not know about these other cars, but for those of you familiar with the franchise and longtime fans, you know there was a collection of cars in the first movie. Where is that collection of cars in the second movie? Yeah, Daniel should be getting all those cars too, unless of course for all we know, Mr. Miyagi left those cars to the Peterson on Wilshire.
[01:59:18] JC: Maybe he left them to the Peterson automobile museum, which by the way, is an incredible place and should be visited by all. Maybe he willed them to someone else. Someone else from the Seven Seas, or someone else in Miyagi's life, of which you perhaps who we've never met. We'll never know.
[01:59:37] SR: Yeah. I mean, why should Daniel get everything? Surely there are some people, some nice people. Hell, maybe the mailman gets the car. There are some nice people in Miyagi's world who maybe deserve something, so that Daniel doesn't necessarily need to get everything. Hell, a house and a car is plenty. Two cars actually, right? He would get the truck and the car that he's already been given. Miyagi will at that point given him two cars and a house, I think he's good. Anything else can go to any other beloved ones.
[02:00:03] JC: Agreed. Now we see Daniel walking around the village and he sees Sato praying. Sal, he looks quite scary and focused in the scene.
[02:00:15] SR: Well, I did like this scene that we get to see another side of Sato, but I wasn't certain what was actually taking place. Was he just going about his normal daily ritual, or was he literally preparing mentally for the upcoming fight? Is that what you saw him doing?
[02:00:30] JC: That's what I thought. You get your game face on. He's getting into it.
[02:00:35] SR: Okay. This is at the Shinto temple, where Ichiro was playing the instrument for all the kids. This is a center point of t he village, which becomes even more important soon. Yeah, that's where Daniel sees Sato, there in the Shinto temple, which I was, by the way, very surprised to see. I was very surprised to see him in there. Yeah, he's in there then getting his gears ready, revving up for his fight. Yeah, at this point, it makes it even scarier than at that point.
[02:01:03] JC: Yeah. I know from playing sports for my entire life, well, I don't usually fight to the death in anything, but I do know what it's like to get focused. You lock in and you visualize. I’m sure this guy's doing that. You almost play out whatever battle you're going to participate in. You try to play it out mentally before you actually physically do it. I find it incredibly valuable and I’m sure, someone of Sato's skill level and his experience in the martial arts, it's just going to get him locked and loaded. Yeah. I mean, honestly, I know that we both predict Miyagi could win.
I would still have my doubts, because someone as skilled as Sato is not someone you want to go up against in a fight to the death. In a match with points and okay, sure. But these are high stakes. That was one cool thing the movie had going forward I think, was the high stakes. It created some anxiety in me. We're all worried for Mr. Miyagi and Sato looks unbeatable, in many senses.
Now Daniel walks away from Sato and he stumbles into his very own tea ceremony with Kumiko. Sal, this is such a great scene. It was just really touching, like so many others in this film.
[02:02:28] SR: One of the things I really like about this movie is the romance factor, which I think is greater than the first one with Daniel and Ali.
[02:02:35] JC: Oh, yeah.
[02:02:35] SR: There's such a romantic air about this film, both with Miyagi and Yukie, but now with Daniel and Kumiko. I think that this scene here in the cannery with the Japanese tea ceremony rivals the clay sculpting scene in Ghost, as far as cinematic romantic moments that just make you nearly cry. There's Kumiko inside with the tea ceremony all set up, Daniel enters, kneels at the table. He tries to crack a joke, “Is this seat taken?” Kumiko is disappointed at the attempt. I don't know. Is she disappointed that the joke was so bad, or that he cracked a joke in general, but she looks very disappointed at his attempt at a joke. Daniel apologizes. The tea ceremony continues.
Now, here's one thing I definitely learned when I visited Japan. This is why I love Japan so much. One of the reasons is because everything has a purpose and a point and everything is specific and deliberate. It has a meaning. There's no haphazardness there going on. Each movement in this tea ceremony by Kumiko is specific and deliberate. Daniel drinks the tea prepared by Kumiko. She removes the stick that holds up her hair. They both lean in. Oh, I’m loving this scene so much. They both lean in and then again, not Chozen this time. Candle blows out, boom. Storm. They both got to rush out of there. It's almost a cock-block, but instead of Chozen, this time it's a storm right as they're having their first real romantic kiss coming out of a fantastically beautiful scene.
[02:04:10] JC: It was a beautiful scene, as we've both attested to. This movie, and you spoke to it so I have to chime in, it did get the romance right. Really adult themes. It really did. That's where the movie succeeds, as well as the high stakes. In this movie, wow, Miyagi can be hurt emotionally and he could die. That's where this movie succeeds and all the wonderful romance and falling in love and courtship, if you will, which the first movie had, it just was different. It was new kid, rich girl, are they going to work? Is it going to mix? It worked for what it needed to be, but that's where this movie succeeds.
If it had gotten some of the other things right, are smoothed out some of the things and maybe there's just scenes that were omitted, so to me it feels they're bigger gaps, in my opinion it could be even higher rated. This is one of those great scenes. I think it's a bit of an homage to 16 Candles when Jake Ryan kisses Samantha over the birthday cake and the candles at the very end of the movie. I’m thinking of that moment. Then you're right. Not one second in, maybe two seconds, and then here comes the storm. The storm is like, it's not even sprinkling. It's already on a full-blown storm. Ridiculous. Hide the kids. Take cover. We've got a monsoon, or a hurricane on our hands.
[02:05:47] SR: Well, Fumiko and Daniel run out of the cannery, run toward the village. Yeah, it's almost like they were not in the loop, because by the time they run back to the village and that little girl is up on the bell tower ringing the warning bell, everyone else is already piling into the shelter, bringing luggage, bringing some prized possessions. How come Daniel and Fumiko were out of the loop this whole time, but they obviously were. They arrived late in the game. The bell is going off, the storm's coming, people are running into the shelter. We see Miyagi and Yukie running into the shelter. That little girl's up there on the post ringing the warning bell.
Daniel and Kumiko run into Miyagi and Yukie. They all go into the shelter. They look outside, see a woman carrying a baby. Now that kid, look at the scene again, that kid is fantastic, because they really seem to be doing all these special effects, as far as the practical effects with the wind and the rain, but they look outside, see this woman carrying the baby, they go back out to help. As they do, they see the Shinto temple crumble. Remember, that's where we saw Sato, so for all we know, Sato is under the rubble of that Shinto church or temple rather.
[02:06:57] JC: Exactly. Now Sato is stuck. When we say storm's coming, is it a hurricane, or a monsoon? Or whatever it is, it's high wind and rain and destructive.
[02:07:10] SR: Hurricane or monsoon. Yeah.
[02:07:11] JC: Yeah, one of the two. Growing up in Oklahoma, we dealt with tornadoes. I dealt with one in in particular that was quite scary. I mean, it killed neighbors. It hit our property. We were very lucky to live and that's a story for another day, but it's quite a tale. It was an F5 on our property. It was terrifying. It came out of nowhere. It just wasn't there and then bam, it was destructive, little tornadoes are coming off the big tornado. I understand how something can just happen.
[02:07:48] SR: Wait, wait. How much time are you talking here? How much warning do you get?
[02:07:51] JC: Man, that thing was honest, maybe 20 seconds, 30 seconds. Yeah, the night it happened; it was eerie. It's a certain time of year where the warmer weather and the cool weather mix. It's always in April and May and the skies just looked really creepy that night. Maybe our warning was something feels off. Our neighbor had horses and they were acting funny about something. They get a real sense of weather. That was on us very quickly and thank God, it just didn't hit us head on, it probably would have killed us. I could see how something happened so fast, not ever being in a hurricane, or a monsoon, but it's very destructive as you can see. You bring high winds into play. It just takes things down.
[02:08:39] SR: I mean, what do I know? I grew up in Los Angeles. I know nothing about any of these things, but did you have a basement that you go into or something?
[02:08:45] JC: No, at this point in time. We did have basements when I was in Tulsa, but we had left Tulsa for about six years and moved to outside of the city, more into the country and had 10 acres and my parents built a house. We had left the bigger city, bigger city relatively speaking, but there are no basements in this house that we built. Only one of our neighbors had a storm cellar. No, we did not. We took refuge in the bathroom, a centralized room in our house and just covered up and literally prayed. It lasted about a minute and a half.
After we made it and other people did as well, everyone got storm cellars. For any time it sprinkled after that, my sister and I took refuge in the storm cellar. Meanwhile, we never had another tornado incident, but it just takes one to forever scar you for years to come. I totally get it. I totally get that bam, it's on them. But this is a different type of storm. I mean, a tornado is one thing. It can plop down and it moves in such an unpredictable path. It just jumps up. It skips the house. It goes five over.
This is a monsoon. I’m assuming these are super heavy winds and it's powerful enough to knock over buildings and really flatten a village. I mean, tornadoes flatten cities. Anyway, so Sato is underneath the rubble. Sal, what happens? Because as strong and as tough as he is, he cannot get out on his own.
[02:10:22] SR: Daniel and Miyagi rush toward the temple as Chozen is headed the opposite way. I think Miyagi says, “Where is your uncle?” He says his uncle is dead, so we're going. Oh, my gosh. Sato is dead. Daniel and Miyagi look toward the temple, they see Sato. All of a sudden, this gust of wind comes and releases some debris, they see Sato and they rush over there. Sato is on his back under a beam of wood. I love this moment, because Sato is laying there under this beam of wood and he says, “Miyagi, now you come to fight? Coward.” He thinks Miyagi is coming to kick his ass. Instead, Miyagi is coming to rescue him along with Daniel. Miyagi breaks the beam that's laying over Sato's chest. He frees him with a karate chop.
[02:11:07] JC: Like the wood that Sato was hitting at his house.
[02:11:10] SR: Yeah. Very similar and reminiscent of that wood for sure. They all three run back to the shelter. Daniel looks back, sees the girl stuck up in the bell tower and he orders them back as he heads over to help. Miyagi and Sato go into the shelter, they see Chozen. Chozen says, “Uncle, I thought you were dead.” Sato orders Chozen to go outside and help Daniel save the girl. Chozen says, he cannot, and he heads deeper into the shelter. We know that's a crucial moment there between Sato and Chozen.
[02:11:42] JC: Absolutely. Just to speak on the scene, because we haven't really talked about it from a filmmaking standpoint, but this is a really great scene. I mean, it's terrifying, there's pieces moving, it's high winds. I mean, this is the most elaborate sequence in any of the Karate Kid movies.
[02:12:02] SR: Well, you talk about the stakes. I actually hadn't thought about that. Yeah, you raise the stakes. This is definitely life or death, which the original movie did not really visit. This is life or death scenario happening right here.
[02:12:15] JC: This is a great action sequence. You have debris blowing and you can see Sato. It was not an easy thing to shoot, so I give them credit. I’d love to see some behind the scenes footage of just the making of this sequence, because it was really impressive to me.
[02:12:33] SR: Assuming it was all done with practical effects, you had the wind machines, did they actually film it at night? Maybe they filmed that inside of a studio. I mean, who knows? Maybe it wasn't all exteriors. I would be interested to see how they did that. I have not heard of any behind the scenes of Karate Kid 2, let alone that particular scene. Yeah, I think that would be interesting to see how that was actually done and see the big fans working and see the rainmakers working. That would be interesting.
[02:12:57] JC: I’ll have to get us the Karate Kid 2 DVD, like I got us the original film on DVD, which had all these cool special features. There still is a place for DVDs in this world, because you get content that is not online, like special features. Maybe it's on YouTube sometimes, but then the quality is suspect. We'll have to look into that.
[02:13:20] SR: I realized that a few years ago when I was streaming content from YouTube, rather from Netflix, and I was saying, “Wait a second. This movie doesn't have the behind the scenes like the DVD has. You're missing so much content if we're only doing streaming.” Streaming exclusively. We're missing all kinds of cool content, director’s commentary, special features. I definitely do appreciate DVDs for that.
[02:13:43] JC: You make a good point, because the commentaries on films are forgotten about, much like the special features. In particular, the commentaries. I wish that some service, like Audible, or even Netflix had that as an option. You want to do the commentary, just click here. It would cost hardly anything, very small amount of bandwidth. I don't even have to see the movie. I just want to listen to the audio. That is a good point. That's why DVDs will still have a place and Blu Rays for years to come, until you can stream everything.
Anyway, so you're right. Chozen has shown his true colors. He's a bully when he's got his crew, but when asked to put his own life on the line, he cowers away and hides in shame. Daniel is left on his own and gets the girl, comes down. She's too big for him to carry her, so Sato who had just been saved by Daniel and Mr. Miyagi comes out of the shelter and carries the girl, gives Daniel a look or a smile and they both struggle back in and take shelter.
[02:14:56] SR: Well, Sato availed himself to go out there, because at first, Miyagi was going to go out there. But then, remember Sato says, “Miyagi, let me go.” He offered himself to go. He went out there to help complete the task. Remember that maneuver with the belt? Daniel's up there on the bell tower with this little girl, there's some sparks coming off the wire that's hitting the bell, and then he took off his belt and hit the wire to get the wire down. He totally saved this little girl's life. She would have been electrocuted.
[02:15:27] JC: Then it was great to see Sato, who he wasn't injured. He was just stuck, so he still had the strength and the wherewithal to come out and help carry the little girl and help Daniel in. That was a nice moment. Meanwhile, Chozen is stewing. But you know now, things are different. It feels triumphant, if you will. I no longer felt there was going to be a fight to the death. Sure enough, the next day which is a beautiful, clear day, sunny. Sato shows up and what happens, Sal?
[02:16:05] SR: Sato arrives in the Cadillac and he's in these work clothes. We've only seen him in these expensive suits. He comes in these work clothes, like he's working with Fema. He goes, “I come help rebuild.” He gives, here's the deed to the village. He gives the deed to the village to Miyagi and he says to Miyagi, “Forgive me. I beg you.” He really humbles himself before Miyagi, because the night before was a real turning point, a huge turning point for everybody and the characters and the village itself. Miyagi pats him on the shoulder. “There's nothing to forgive.”
Daniel asks Sato if they can have the Bon dance, or the Obon dance at the castle. Sato agrees. Not only does the deed get given back to the people of the village, but they get to have their celebration and the Bon dance at the castle, where it belongs, where it should be.
[02:16:56] JC: I totally agree. It does belong there. It's wonderful to see Sato come to his senses and just for the first time, be more like a human being, in touch with his feelings and his friendship. My only complaint would be that it just happened so fast. It was 180, but I know it was a big traumatic thing the night before. I’m just shocked that he couldn't see the kindness and goodness in Miyagi to come around sooner. Hey, nonetheless, he's here. It's wonderful to see. All is well in the village.
[02:17:33] SR: Hang on though, because you bring up a very good point. I personally don't necessarily believe people can do these 180-degree turns, let alone overnight. But I bring up from a cinephile perspective, I bring up a Christmas carol, one of my favorite Christmas tales. Ebenezer Scrooge did a 180 in one night. It was one night that he does a 180. If Ebenezer Scrooge can do a 180 –
[02:17:57] JC: But he had three acts.
[02:17:59] SR: Okay. He was given truth serum. He was given a kick in the in the rear and that's what Sato had. Sato saw, he saw the truth behind Chozen. He saw the truth behind Miyagi and Daniel. He was able to see the truth. He had a lesson and he was able to do a 180-degree turn in one night. Now does that happen in real life? I don't know. Does it happen in movies? Obviously, it does.
[02:18:22] JC: Yeah. Well, he was just so angry. Had he not been over the – We never even saw another side to Sato. It's not like it started at one and it grew to this 10. No, he was always like ready to kill. Then it's a total change.
I think some of that, it was just a little bit – he didn't even feel like a real person. All of a sudden, here he is, he's a human being and he's got emotion and he cares about his city. I dismissed him as this thug.
[02:18:54] SR: It's one of those things where a popular cinema device is to allow the audience to sympathize with the villain. That's a popular, I think, thing device happening. Back in the 80s, I don't think we sympathize with the villains yet. That didn't come about until later. The villains are one-dimensional, until they're either killed, or have their change of heart as Ebenezer Scrooge, or Sato.
I think that these characters were unfortunately a little bit ahead of their time, but we didn't really get to see – well, Ebenezer Scrooge, we did get to see some of his youth. Yeah, but you know what? Now that you mentioned it, so we could have seen another side of Sato, so that his turn becomes a little more believable.
[02:19:35] JC: Flashbacks could have helped, because anything to show me that he was a good person, rather than just hearing about how they trained together and they were friends. I needed to see it. I was thinking about what movie have I seen that happen in? Interesting enough, is the Rocky franchise. Apollo Creed started as the villain. Through the movies, he became friends with Rocky. He trained him in Rocky III. He eventually dies, spoiler alert. He dies in Rocky IV. That was an interesting way to take the villain and bring him in as one of the heroes. That was an interesting thing.
This is just done at a breakneck speed with Sato. Something's just missing. If it's timing, if it's some scenes that were cut for whatever reason. Maybe they never shot them. Maybe the script is more flushed out and hey, we can't do that. We've got these special effects in this movie. We've got a lot going on. We'll have to focus on these things. I think there's this – is something a little false here and there in this movie. That's all.
I’m happy to see him at this point. Yeah, it's awesome that him and Miyagi can shake hands again and the village is saved. Yeah, of course. It's wonderful. All that to say, it leads up to the village is going to have their huge celebration and it looks fantastic, Sal. It's well-orchestrated, it's super colorful with these costumes and music and dancing. Of course, you have Kumiko there and she takes center stage. What does she do?
[02:21:24] SR: She's getting ready to do a solo fan dance. She's a little nervous. Daniel gives her encouragement. By the way, Daniel's in a sweet, a sweet red robe. Where did this come from? We've never seen this before. This is not a part of the Miyagi family tradition, is this sweet red robe that any self-respecting pimp would wear. Who's the playboy guy?
[02:21:48] JC: Hugh Hefner.
[02:21:49] SR: Yeah. This is Hugh Hefner style robe. Where did this come from?
[02:21:53] JC: Awesome. Did Kumiko also make this? Because she's amazing.
[02:21:56] SR: That would have been funny if she made the 50s dance clothes and this robe by hand.
[02:22:02] JC: Yeah. It's pretty cool. I’d like to have one. Maybe there's a figure that you can get with Daniel wearing this.
[02:22:09] SR: You know what? That would be an interesting thing, because the toy makers have explored the Karate Kid universe, namely the original movie Karate Kid. They have not really explored Karate Kid 2. Yeah, if they made a Daniel LaRusso action figure with this red robe, I am buying it.
[02:22:25] JC: I’d also like to get Daniel in the blue tux with the car all dinnered up.
[02:22:31] SR: What if a Daniel LaRusso blue tux action figure actually came with the 1948 Super Deluxe? That would be totally cool.
[02:22:39] JC: That would be awesome. With a break off bumper, just to – That'd be great. Kumiko's preparing for – This is the big number. Everything's leading to this moment in the film. Everyone's watching her, all eyes on her. What happens, Sal?
[02:22:59] SR: Well, there she is. Kumiko looking fantastic and beautiful, beginning her solo dance. Starts the dance. Opens up a fan as is the tradition. Very soon, we see Chozen sliding in behind Kumiko on an overhead wire, sliding in on this thing.
[02:23:18] JC: Like ziplining in.
[02:23:19] SR: Yes, exactly, exactly. He puts a butterfly knife and it's definitely a butterfly knife, because I used to have one myself, puts a butterfly knife to Kumiko's neck, threatening her life. He challenges Daniel. Miyagi tells Daniel, “It's not a tournament. It's for real.” He's letting him know. There's no points here. There's no referee here. Daniel walks over, Chozen says, “No bridge.” Daniel kicks away the bamboo bridge. Chozen throws away the knife and throws away Kumiko. Now it's Daniel and Chozen facing off.
[02:23:49] JC: Kumiko was doing her dance on the stage, but there's this huge moat around it, if you will. It's a big drop off and there's a little bitty bridge. Everyone's sitting in auditorium type seating, but natural, like stone or whatever this cave is made of, and watching her. When he comes ziplining in, Daniel came over the bridge. He makes him throw the bridge, so now it's just the three of them really in here and no one can save them. I mean, no one can make the jump. There's probably another bridge somewhere, but they're all just watching and banking on Daniel, which it does make me think that they did all just assume Daniel could fight him and Kumiko’s life's at danger. I’m surprised that someone else didn't have a backup plan.
[02:24:39] SR: I know that when Kumiko was just laying there after having been hit by Chozen, she was laying there for a while. I really wanted somebody in the crowd to say, “Hey, hey, hey. Let us grab her. Let us take her, and then you guys go about your fight.” Because she was laying there for a while. Hell, she could have been dead for all they know.
[02:24:58] JC: Does no one have blow-darts or something that could reach Chozen? Everyone's just sitting there like, okay. Let's go Daniel. I mean, theoretically, Daniel could die and Kumiko could die.
[02:25:11] SR: Yeah. I mean, or start throwing stuff.
[02:25:15] JC: Or staffs, or someone's got a bow and arrow. It's like, no one went into a backup mode. I mean, maybe there was. Maybe there was some sniper at the top and Miyagi would just nod him, or Sato. I mean, Sato works for the military.
[02:25:31] SR: Did Sato have only those three thugs? When they're gone, he has no replacements? Because if he did have some backup thugs, then he could have sicked them on Chozen. What the hell happened with that? He only had his three guys and that was it.
[02:25:44] JC: I mean, he's trained US military for 40 years. He's got enough GIs on his payroll, but it caught him by surprise. They were at a celebration. Anyway, that's just me being nitpicky, but I just think the stakes are high.
[02:25:59] SR: No. He did warn him. He said, “Chozen, don't do this.” Then Miyagi said, “Don't dishonor your uncle here.” I’m trying to do my Japanese accents, by the way.
[02:26:11] JC: Oh, it's good. It's good. Yeah. The fight is on. This isn't All Valley. Chozen does the unthinkable, Sal. He does the unthinkable and he counters the crane technique, the infamous crane kick, of which Miyagi said what, Sal?
[02:26:31] SR: If done correct, no can defense.
[02:26:34] JC: But yet, Chozen did. Maybe it wasn't as good a form, but nonetheless, there it was. He defended it. How did he defend it, Sal? Do you remember?
[02:26:46] SR: Okay. This is gets into what I mentioned earlier. You look at the lineage. You had Mr. Miyagi's dad teaching his son, Mr. Miyagi and Sato. Then the lineage goes down Miyagi's side to Daniel, and it goes down Sato side to Chozen. Theoretically, Chozen should know all the moves Daniel knows, right? It should stand to reason based on the lineage of the master-disciple.
[02:27:12] JC: I would assume when Mr. Miyagi fled, that Miyagi's father was no longer Sato's active teacher, sensei, master. That just be my assumption, that a father wouldn't continue to train someone after all of that bad blood had spilt. I would then assume Sato probably sought out another master, or sensei, or developed his own style based on everything he'd already known. Maybe new techniques happened, kind of the Kreese way took place. That's just my assumption.
[02:27:46] SR: The reason why I would disagree with that is because Sato was there at Mr. Miyagi's dad's death bed. Then he was there in the village. I think that Sato has been a part of Mr. Miyagi's dad's life all these years, in one way or another, maintaining some closeness with him.
[02:28:05] JC: I don't think he turned his back on him. I just think they maybe stopped training together. Not out of hatred, but almost out of respect. Maybe Miyagi's father is like, “I’m no longer doing that anymore.” I could see that. Sato was like, “Great. I understand. I’ll go over here now. I’ll fight these tournaments, or I’ll start my own dojo.” He must have immediately got into it, and he's working with GIs on his own and you know how you learn everything you can from your parents and then you go on and become your own person. I could see how Sato did that.
[02:28:40] SR: In other words, you don't think that chosen should know the moves of Daniel LaRusso, just because you go to their upline lineage, find the same teacher?
[02:28:50] JC: Well, I think they would know a lot of the similar things, because they have the core of training initially. I think at some point, it could just change. Yes, I think Daniel is a lot less skilled, let's be honest. He's not even been in class about what? One year with Mr. Miyagi. How many months is it? Six months beginning of this movie and what was it like? Three before that. He's not even been training martial arts for a year. He's far less experienced than someone like Chozen.
I always was saying, Sato probably then started to bring in different aspects, more aggressive training. He was training with all these military people. That's all I was saying. It was probably more robust. I think Daniel and Chozen probably do know a few things the same and Chozen's obviously seen the crane kick and someone who's a little bit slower and probably not good at disguising it, or I don't know. He just seen it a lot, which Miyagi's lying about there's no defense for whatever. If you always seen it like I said in earlier podcasts, you don't have to go into it. You could just wait it out. Anyway, it was interesting to see that that's Daniel's go-to and Chozen had no problem with it at all.
[02:30:09] SR: No. No, no, no.
[02:30:11] JC: Daniel is definitely a better fighter now, but he's never faced someone this skilled. I do think he's hanging in there. He's definitely getting some shots here and there, but he's being outmatched and it's not looking good, Sal.
[02:30:27] SR: Well, one thing I realized and I didn't realize this until the last time I watched the movie, Daniel's wearing jeans. How difficult do you think it would be to get some major kicks in wearing jeans, versus your opponent who may be wearing something that allows you a little more mobility?
[02:30:47] JC: Oh, you make a good point. Maybe it was the jeans. It was the denim that slowed the crane kick down, just enough for Chozen to get a hold of it. Yeah, not my preferred choice. I’ve never gone to class and tried to do all of our kicks with jeans on. I much prefer a gi that is looser. Yeah, not ideal for Daniel. Didn't help him. Even beside that, I mean, this is a fight to the death and he just doesn't have as much to draw on as Chozen, but things begin to change, as the essence of Miyagi karate begins to unfold. What starts to happen?
[02:31:31] SR: All of a sudden, and I say all of a sudden, because I don't think anybody was expecting this, Miyagi starts on the den-den daiko hand drum, then everyone starts on their own. You have a whole arena in this castle ruins, a whole arena of people doing their twisting den-den daiko drum. Daniel then whips into the drum technique as taught by Miyagi karate. It's an interesting sequence in the way that it's filmed, because you don't normally see fight sequences filmed this close up. You see about a quarter shot of Daniel from the waist up and then you see over the shoulder of Chozen, and then you see Daniel initiating the drum technique, which is the side to side torque, side to side, side to side, and you see him besting Chozen using the den-den daiko drum technique. This goes back to what I said before, why doesn't Chozen know this also? Somewhere along Sato’s teaching, lost the origins of Miyagi karate, which is the drum technique.
[02:32:36] JC: Yeah. He probably omitted that, or who knows? Or maybe he caught him by surprise. Now Daniel does a series of hits and it is a super tight camera. It looks like to me that his hands are – he has them clasped together and he's doing a double-handed hit, but it's so tight you just can't tell. Whatever it is, he does a series of hits to the right, hits with the left, hits with the right, hits with the left, and Chozen is reeling and just succumbs to it, which leads us to this big finale.
[02:33:13] SR: He delivers the drum technique. He conceivably has won the battle. He goes over to Chozen, grabs him by the hair by the back of the head and he says, “Live or die, man.” I think he says, “Man,” right? “Live or die, man.”
[02:33:28] JC: I think he does.
[02:33:29] SR: Yeah. Chozen says, “Die.” Then Daniel says, “Wrong,” and gives him a honk on his nose, just like Miyagi did to Kreese outside of the All Valley Tournament.
[02:33:43] JC: Oh, my gosh. Another honk.
[02:33:46] SR: Wait, you don't like the honk, do you?
[02:33:48] JC: I didn't mind this one as much as the first one, but it's fitting, it bookends the movie, the two big intense scenes. I mean, I guess that well, that first fight sequence was supposed to be more intense with Kreese and Miyagi, but it wasn't. No, I didn't mind this one as much, because obviously, Daniel's not going to kill chosen. He'd already won and Chozen's life is well, he's going to live without honor. Hey, Daniel's won. Karate Kid 1, Karate Kid 2, he's the winner. Just like the first film, Daniel gets the girl.
[02:34:22] SR: Yeah. Two films in a row, Daniel gets the victory and gets the girl.
[02:34:28] JC: Just like the first film, the ending is quite similar, isn't it?
[02:34:33] SR: We have Miyagi looking on at his student’s victory and smiling and that's the end.
[02:34:40] JC: The only difference is in the original, it was a still shot, and then we're on Miyagi. This one, it's live action. That's the only difference, but I loved it. I did. It's a great send-off. That's it. Karate Kid Part 2.
[02:35:01] SR: I loved it. I really did.
[02:35:02] JC: It's a really good film. I enjoy it. I think it is so much stronger than the other two Karate Kids that have Mr. Miyagi in them. Yeah, like I said, a lot of adult story lines, incredible scenes with the romance, high stakes. It's a really good film. Yes, it could have been even stronger, but it holds up and it's nice to go back. I mean, we've lost Pat Morita many years ago and his legacy and Mr. Miyagi's legacy lives on in this movie. I mean, had this not been part of the Karate Kid franchise, it would be very sad. There's a lot that comes from this movie.
[02:35:46] SR: I would definitely say, Miyagi lives on. He lives on in all of the sequels and he lives on in Cobra Kai. Miyagi will always live. That's why I really foresee sometime in the future, we see a world, a Karate Kid universe that goes backward and we begin to see Miyagi as a child and of course, you will probably see Sato as a child. You get to see his father, maybe get to see Miyagi's mother. I think that there is a wonderful opportunity here, considering what has occurred recently with Cobra Kai. A wonderful opportunity to revisit the Karate Kid universe way back when.
[02:36:22] JC: Yeah, I totally agree. Pat Morita’s gone, but yeah, Miyagi's character will live forever. They've already had that one scene in Cobra Kai, which leads me to believe, maybe it's them and maybe it's someone else. He's just such a great character that you could do more with him. You could recast it and you could do Miyagi, the early years. He is endless to do things with. I like that idea for sure. At some point in time, we might have to watch this Karate Kid cartoon to see what they did. It’s the one thing I’m unfamiliar with.
[02:36:54] SR: No, I haven't seen that either.
[02:36:57] JC: Yeah. I mean, what we do know about the third movie is that unfortunately, Yukie and Kumiko are not in it.
[02:37:07] SR: Spoiler.
[02:37:08] JC: I know. Well, you've had enough time. The audience has had enough time to see Karate Kid 3. I think there's an expiration on spoilers.
[02:37:17] SR: Is that like – like, “Hey, man. I want to see Gone with the Wind, but I don't want any spoilers before I see it.”
[02:37:21] JC: Yeah. I don't need spoilers. Yeah, that's unfortunate. I would love to have seen Yukie and Miyagi come back to the US.
[02:37:32] SR: Well, because Karate Kid three opens with them coming back from Okinawa at the airport, right?
[02:37:37] JC: Empty-handed. Absolutely.
[02:37:39] SR: Why aren't their ladies with them?
[02:37:41] JC: Yeah. Well, we will answer these questions and explore many more things on the Karate Kid Part 3 special episode.
[02:37:50] SR: Miyagi!
[02:37:51] JC: I don't think Sato is in it. Thank you so much for listening and we greatly appreciate it if you could subscribe, rate and review us wherever you get your podcast.
[02:38:02] SR: You can also follow us on social media at Let's Talk - Cobra Kai. Please message us if you have any comments, or questions.
[02:38:10] JC: If you'd like to become a Patreon supporter of the show, just search for Let's Talk - Cobra Kai. If you're curious about our other shows, please visit justcuriousmedia.com. Thanks so much.
[02:38:23] SR: No mercy.