June 23, 2010

Arc kicks, karate chops, and thirty cops

Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith do the bonding and the kung fu fighting this summer in The Karate Kid, from Columbia Pictures.

Last week Dwayne Betts was filling in for my fave author/blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates over at The Atlantic, and shared this poem for Father's Day:

by John Murillo
Los Angeles, California, 1976

For me, the movie starts with a black man
Leaping into an orbit of badges, tiny moons

Catching the sheen of his perfect black afro.
Arc kicks, karate chops, and thirty cops

On their backs. It starts with the swagger,
The cool lean into the leather front seat

Of the black and white he takes off in.
Deep hallelujahs of moviegoers drown

Out the wah wah guitar. Salt & butter
High-fives, Right on, brother! and Daddy

Glowing so bright he can light the screen
All by himself. This is how it goes down.

Friday night and my father drives us
Home from the late show, two heroes

Cadillacking across King Boulevard.
In the cars dark cab, we jab and clutch,

Jim Kelly and Bruce Lee with popcorn
Breath, and almost miss the lights flashing

In the cracked side mirror. I know whats
Under the seat, but when the uniforms

Approach from the rear quarter panel,
When the fat one leans so far into my father's

Window I can smell his long day's work,
When my father this John Henry of a man,

Hides his hammer, doesn't buck, tucks away
His baritone, license and registration shaking as if

Showing a bathroom pass to a grade school
Principal, I learn the difference between cinema

And city, between the moviehouse cheers
Of old men and the silence that gets us home.

Commenter Michael offers a link to the scene.

And the most excellent Nag posts a rather impressive screen test. Yowza. Just... wow.

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