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June 14, 2004

More Gaps

Here's another instance of my idealizing things I like and not empathizing with Kelly enough. Recall that I tried to get her interested in the Marx Brothers, as I really enjoyed their movies. But watching them with her, I realized that a lot of what made them special was fairly fast-paced and complicated wordplay, made worse by the fact that a lot of it was way out-of-date. Kelly had no cultural experience to understand what made it funny, and quickly became bored.

This time, I noticed that she really enjoyed the Jackie Chan Adventures cartoon series, and told her about some of Jackie's Hong Kong movies. I told her I'd look out for one that she might enjoy and record it for her. So when AMC showed Rumble in the Bronx, I thought that would be a good choice. It's pretty corny, as the bad guys are ridiculous, almost clown-like images of a biker gang. Additionally, it was retargeted for America with a full redub in English, and Jackie Chan did his own voice.

We watched for around fifteen minutes, and Kelly asked when Jade would show up. She's a character in the cartoon. I explained that this was a different story. I got my first inklings that things were going astray after the second fight. To me, the stunts and acrobatics are primary, but the fights are not like in the cartoons. Even though Rumble is cartoony, there's special effects blood, and the actors, though poor, can get across the pain of being hit more effectively.

The nail in the coffin, so to speak, is that in the cartoon, no one ever gets killed. Something undignified may happen to them, but they only ever go to jail. Most of the bad guys are back for more in the next episode. In Rumble, though they don't actually show the death, one gang of bad guys kills another bad guy. Kelly was just shocked at that and drew the line. I apologized for not anticipating her sensitivity, and watched the remainder on my own.

We recovered some of that last night, when she came downstairs as I was watching the last few minutes. It was the outtakes, where Jackie shows all the stunts that he does and doesn't quite get right on the first try. Kelly enjoyed watching him 'water-skiing' with his sock feet, and falling into the water again and again.

Dunno what I'll scar her over next, but you can be sure I'll keep making this mistake.

Posted by dpwakefield at June 14, 2004 08:57 PM