Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Hot on Home Video: 'American Fiction,' 'The Karate Kid'


Best adapted screenplay Oscar winner Cord Jefferson, who also directs the best picture-nominated film, bursts onto the scene with a biting satire of the media landscape. Jeffrey Wright stars as Monk, a struggling novelist who leans into cultural stereotypes to create a mockery of them in the form of a controversial novel that begins to take on a life of its own and disrupt his career. Funny and poignant, the film was one of the best of 2023. The stellar cast of Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander and Leslie Uggams elevates Jefferson's writing and directing to sublime levels.


The seminal 1984 underdog tale, which has gained new life with the success of the "Cobra Kai" franchise, stands as one of the iconic films of its time. "Rocky" director John G. Avildsen executes his storytelling talents to their finest degree, pairing Ralph Macchio with Pat Morita in a tale of an uprooted, bullied teen who learns the way of the open fist in order to find purpose and fulfillment. Elisabeth Shue and William Zabka round out the underrated cast.

The 4K restoration is loaded with extras, including feature film commentary by the creators of "Cobra Kai" and 30 minutes of previously unreleased deleted scenes.

Studios provided screeners for review.

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