just procrastinating

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Wax On
Something made me stay up and watch The Karate Kid last night, which is now a 20 year old movie. I didn't see all of it, but I had to watch that one scene where the wax on/wax off work is revealed.

You know the scene: Mr. Miyagi has agreed to train Daniel and has assigned him a bunch of manual labor jobs, waxing some cars, sanding the deck, painting the fence and house. Daniel does his best but becomes increasingly frustated because he wants to learn karate, and it seems that Miyagi just wants some free labor. The tension mounts and Daniel, sore from all of this work, decides that Miyagi is just using him. Daniel whines about a sore shoulder and wants to quit.

Miyagi realizes that it might be time to reveal the reason for all of these manual tasks. So he does a quick magical fix of Daniel's shoulder, and asks him to show him what he has been doing. Daniel sloppily moves his hands and feet in the motions of wax on, and the floor, etc. but Miyagi forces him to tighten them up. Then, out of nowhere, Miyagi starts throwing punches at him, only to have Daniel block all of them by moving in the same wax on/wax off motion. Then they go through each of the motions and Daniel equally moves to block the oncoming punches and kicks. Finally, Miyagi throws a flurry of punches and kicks at Danielson, only to have all of them blocked almost instinctually now by him. Daniel stands wide-eyed in amazement, having realized finally the purpose of these mundane tasks.

I think that scene is pretty cool, especially that last part where Miyagi is yelling "Yiayaee" or something like that. So that scene, and any scene that Elisabeth Shue is in, makes this a classic movie. Kinda cheesey, sure, but in an underdog feel-good kinda way.

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