My Apologies Ralph Macchio
In episode 15, Kevin from the Backroom Podcast and I spoke about the remake of the Karate Kid starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. We spoke about our love for the original movies (the ones that starred Ralph Macchio at least) and then joked a little bit about Ralph Macchio not doing much lately beyond Artie Lange’s Beer League.
Now, I’m not willing to sign off on Beer League as a good film, but I watched about 45 minutes of it and it isn’t as bad as I expected. It is fairly clichéd and predictable, but it is mildly enjoyable. It definitely reminded me of a cheap knock off of the Bad News Bears.
Regardless, I was surprised to see Ralph Macchio looked and acted a lot like I had remembered him. He was definitely closer to the My Cousin Vinny version then the Karate Kid one, but that isn’t a bad thing since he was good in that movie. He has aged much better than the photos I’ve seen made him look. Given my misconception about him, I had to re-evaluate the way I look at his career. Now, I’m not a Hollywood insider or anything, but I think Ralph Macchio is a greatly under appreciated actor. He hasn’t set the world on fire in anything, but he has been a solid performer and he has been in several successful films. My assumption is that his role in the Karate Kid and now his age have pigeonholed him into a limited variety of roles.
So I say to all the filmmakers out there that are currently looking for actors – give Ralph a chance. Perhaps now is the time for a Ralph Macchio renaissance. I think if the right director used him in an unconventional role it could change everyone’s perspective. It worked with John Travolta when Taratino used him in Pulp Fiction. Anything is possible. If Brett Michaels is still popular anyone can be.
In a side note, it was nice to see Cara Buono in Beer League also. She is one of my favorite actresses, despite her acting mostly in side roles and in small films. She was good in Noah Baumbach’s Kicking and Screaming. It is a great film, and if you liked Clerks, you will like it. She was a lead in Two Ninas along with Ron Livingston. It was an offbeat little comedy but it was very enjoyable. And most importantly she was excellent on Third Watch, which is my favorite show – I like it even more then Airwolf.