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Honorable, but mostly for completists 4 Stars

Sony brings all three of The Karate Kid movies starring Ralph Macchio as a boxed set to UHD Blu-ray with The Karate Kid Collection.

The Karate Kid (1984)
Released: 22 Jun 1984
Rated: PG
Runtime: 126 min
Director: John G. Avildsen
Genre: Action, Drama, Family, Sport
Cast: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue, Martin Kove
Writer(s): Robert Mark Kamen
Plot: A martial arts master agrees to teach karate to a bullied teenager.
IMDB rating: 7.2
MetaScore: 60

Disc Information
Studio: Sony
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: Dolby Atmos, English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English 2.0 DTS-HDMA, English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DTS, Other
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Other
Rating: PG
Run Time: The Karate Kid: 2 Hr. 7 Min.; The Karate Kid Part II: 1 Hr. 53. Min.; The Karate Kid Part III: 1 Hr. 52 Min.
Package Includes: UHD, Blu-ray, Digital Copy
Case Type: 2-disc UHD keepcase with slipcover for each film, all housed in a box
Disc Type: UHD
Region: All
Release Date: 12/07/2021
MSRP: $75.99

The Production: 4/5

The Karate Kid: 4.5/5

When his mother Lucille (Randee Heller) is offered a new job in Los Angeles, she and her son Daniel (Ralph Macchio) drive cross country, moving into a rundown apartment building in Reseda. He is greeted on moving day by neighbor Freddy (Israel Juarbe), who invites him to a beach party as a way of saying goodbye to summer just before school starts. At the party, Daniel meets Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue), and the two hit it off until her jealous ex-boyfriend Johnny (William Zabka) crashes the party with his gang on motorcycles, assaulting Daniel. At school, he sees Ali and they continue to hit it off on the soccer field, until Bobby (Ron Thomas), one of Johnny’s gang members, intentionally trips Daniel, and the two have a short scuffle on the field before the coach breaks it up and send Daniel home. The next day, Ali meets up with Daniel in the cafeteria where Daniel buys her lunch. Later that evening, while riding his bike home, Johnny’s gang forces him off the road, tumbling down a hill and damaging the bicycle. The apartment building’s maintenance supervisor, Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), has been watching Daniel and during the night fixes the bicycle. The two strike up a friendship of sorts, with Mr. Miyagi becoming Daniel’s mentor and father figure, agreeing to train him in the art of karate so that Daniel can face Johnny at the karate championship and earn respect and end the bullying.

Watching the original The Karate Kid today, it has become a timeless classic of overcoming bullies using untraditional methods (the only thing really dating the picture is its very 1980s MTV-inspired soundtrack). Pat Morita is the real star here, deservedly receiving a Best Supporting Actor nomination from the Motion Picture Academy. His character brings a lot of warmth and humor to the film, with many of his lines still part of pop culture today, such as “Wax on, wax off.” Macchio and Shue have a noticeable chemistry here, and the script by Robert Mark Kamen (Gladiator, Lethal Weapon 3) doesn’t play up the rich girl poor boy angle too much other than adding another obstacle for Daniel to overcome. Director John G. Avildsen’s (Rocky) keeps the film moving at a nice pace, telling a heartwarming story of a young underdog who overcomes the obstacles in front of him.

The Karate Kid, Part II: 4/5

After a five minute recap of the events from the previous film, Miyagi (Pat Morita) teaches Johnny’s sensei Kreese (Martin Kove) an important lesson on bullying just moments after the karate championship tournament. Six months later, Daniel and Ali have broken up and Miyagi learns that his father has fallen severely ill back home in Japan. The two friends soon find themselves on a plane headed for Okinawa, where Miyagi is not only reunited with his father, but his lost love Yuki (Nobu McCarthy) and his best friend that Yuki was arranged to marry, Sato (Danny Kamekona), who has become a land baron having bought up the small fishing village that Miyagi grew up in and leasing it back to the villagers. Miyagi learns that Yuki never went through with her planned marriage to Sato and begins to rekindle that relationship after his father dies. But Miyagi isn’t the only one who has found love, as Daniel meets Yuki’s young niece, Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita), and they begin to strike up a relationship, only to have one of Sato’s younger associates, Chozen (Yuji Okumoto), who wants Kumiko all to himself.

The Karate Kid, Part II takes the same formula established in the first film, relocates it to rural Japan, and doubles the stakes with conflicts between both Miyagi and Sato as well as Daniel and Kumiko. This is a more beautifully photographed film, the romances of Miyagi & Yuki and Daniel & Kumiko are sweet and touching, and the Japanese culture are what elevate this story to more than just a simple retread of the previous film.

The Karate Kid, Part III: 2.5/5
The third entry in the series, The Karate Kid, Part III is a major disappointment, making the villains cartoonish and the plot unintentionally humorous (Kumiko is written out in two lines of dialogue in much the same way Ali was in the previous entry). Kreese has reached rock bottom, having lost control of his Cobra Kai dojo and penniless. Cobra Kai’s financier and owner of a toxic waste disposal company, Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), sends Kreese to Tahiti while planning their revenge on Daniel and Miyagi by using the upcoming championship tournament, a new challenger Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan) more vicious than Johnny whom Silver trained, and turning Daniel against Miyagi. Silver’s plan is to offer to train Daniel in place of Miyagi, turning Daniel to the dark side (for lack of a better term). Daniel befriends a young girl, Jessica (Robyn Lively), but this time they remain as close friends (producers did this due to the 11-year age difference between the two actors).

Video: 5/5

3D Rating: NA

Per the studio’s press release, all three films feature “new” 4K scans from the original camera negative with both Dolby Vision and HDR10 high dynamic range. The Karate Kid looks to be virtually the same transfer used on the 35th Anniversary UHD release from 2019, but now includes Dolby Vision HDR. Image quality is pretty much the same across all three films (although from a stylistic approach, Karate Kid Part II is the more beautifully photographed of the three thanks to the lush rural Hawaiian landscape (subbing in for Japan), with Part III looking more drab). Film grain is noticeable but organic, never really becoming distracting, although shots involving opticals (such as titles or dissolves) tend to have the appearance of additional grain. Colors are bold and vivid, but never appearing artificially boosted. Contrast is exceptional with deep blacks and shadow details, giving the night time scenes much more depth than the previous Blu-ray releases. Detail is increased rather dramatically (these are true 4K transfers, as the movies were shot and completed on 35mm film).

Audio: 4.5/5

All three films include Dolby Atmos mixes that are improvements over their original theatrical Dolby Stereo and home video 5.1 mixes to varying degrees, with Part II sounding the best by really taking advantage of the additional channels and object-based sound placements. As I noted in my 2019 review of the solo 4K release of The Karate Kid: I went into this mix with rather low expectations – this was a low budget studio production originally mixed for stereo surround playback on optical analog equipment. It may not be demo-worthy, but it sure did surprise me, providing a much wider front soundstage and providing the music with much more immersion. Bass response is much stronger, also, without becoming too boomy. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout. Part II also has a wider soundstage, but really takes advantage of heights by placing discrete atmospheric effects like thunder, wind, and rain above the viewer. Part III sounds like a more typical Dolby Atmos upmix from a stereo source, providing a wider front soundstage and clear dialogue with a stronger surround presence, but generally no noticeable uses of heights.

Special Features: 3.5/5

Sony has packaged The Karate Kid Collection with each film housed in its own 2-disc UHD keepcase with a matte-finish slipcover that fit nicely in a matte-finish outer box with new artwork depicting scenes from all three films.

The Karate Kid (UHD Disc):
This is not the same UHD disc that was included in the 35th Anniversary UHD released in 2019, ditching that cumbersome menu design Sony used for the first few years of the UHD format in favor of their newer and more straightforward menu design (but with a very odd choice of background music). It’s disappointing that Sony couldn’t include the audio commentary track on this newly authored disc (it was missing on the previous release, too), and missing from this release is the Cobra Kai trailer Easter Egg.

Remembering “The Karate Kid” with Ralph Macchio, Billy Zabka & Martin Kove (2160p; 10:22): The Karate Kid himself, Ralph Macchio, Billy Zabka (Johnny), and Martin Kove (Sensei Kreese) each reminisce about the making of this classic film.

**NEW** Deleted Scenes (1080p; 3:14): Four scenes are included – Accidents Happen, Watch Where You Sit, Disqualified, and Fight.

Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 2:18)

The Karate Kid (Blu-ray Disc):

This is the same disc included in the 2010 Blu-ray release.

Blu-Pop: Watch the movie with pop-up trivia, interviews, and more. Requires secondary audio to be turned on in your player’s settings.

Director, Writer, and Cast Commentary: Director John G. Avildsen, writer Robert Mark Kamen, and actors Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita have a lively discussion on the making of the film.

The Way of the Karate Kid, Part 1 (480i; 24:00)

The Way of the Karate Kid, Part 2 (480i; 21:25)

Beyond the Form (480i; 13:03)

East Meets West: A Composer’s Notebook (480i; 8:17)

Life of Bonsai (480i; 10:00)

The Karate Kid, Part II (UHD Disc):

This marks the film’s debut in the format, and Sony has included three all-new special features.

**NEW** Audio Commentary with Ralph Macchio and Tamlyn Tomita: This is a recently recorded commentary track (it often sounds like a Zoom or Skype call), as both actors reflect on their experiences making the sequel, with Tomita gushing over how this was her first big acting role (she has since gone on to appear more recently on Heroes, Glee, The Good Doctor, Star Trek: Picard, and a recurring role on The Karate Kid spinoff series Cobra Kai).

**NEW** Deleted Scene (1080p; 0:34): A fairly nothing scene with Daniel working in the garden with Yuki telling him that Kumiko wants to meet him at the cannery.

**NEW** Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 1:28)

The Karate Kid, Part II (Blu-ray Disc):

This is the same disc included in the 2010 Blu-ray release.

Blu-Pop: Watch the movie with pop-up trivia.

The Sequel (480i; 6:18)

The Karate Kid, Part III (UHD Disc):

Something is better than nothing.

**NEW** Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 1:28)

The Karate Kid, Part III (Blu-ray Disc):

Previously available as part of Sony’s MOD “Choice Collection” on a burned BD-R 25 with no menu, this newly authored pressed BD50 contains a menu, but no extras.

Digital Copy: An insert contains codes to redeem digital copies of all three films in UHD on Movies Anywhere.

Overall: 4/5

The first two Karate Kid movies get some new special features, while all three films get a nice 4K upgrade in this three-film set from Sony.

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Published by

Todd Erwin


View thread (1 reply)

Carlo Medina

Senior HTF Member
Oct 31, 1997
Was gonna pass on this initially since I have the original movie already in 4k and truth be told only am really interested in II. But since the original film got a DV upgrade, I guess I'll spring for it, especially since III will be made "more relevant" due to upcoming season(s) of Cobra Kai.

They got me.