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A movie directed by Sylvester Stallone

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Was expecting funny and I was given philosophy

  • Apr 23, 2008
I must admit, that as of recent I have enjoyed current mainstream movies regardless if they are released to the theater or directly to video so I can abase them. In other words, I truly find pleasure in ripping movies apart. It has been my perception, my perception, that about 70% of movies made in the past 5 to 6 years are horrid.

One might ask why I feel this way, well it is rather simple. Most movies are a plug in for a new phone, car or maybe to promote a soundtrack. These movies also rely more on special effects and visual stimulation, where acting, directing and story take the backseat. Therefore, movies (for the most part) in modern times are nothing more than a 90 to 100 minute commercial.

Then of course there are the movies that are so over the top they are just down right silly. This is the perception I had when I saw the trailer for "Rambo" (it was titled "John Rambo" when I first viewed it on the internet). I thought, "What the hell is Stallone thinking"? I didn't see the most recent "Rocky", but I heard it wasn't any good. I didn't really care too much about the quality of a new "Rocky" movie, but I felt like there was nothing else to do and all doors were closed when "Rocky 5" was made. Why was Stallone going back to Rocky? Was there a point to it? Now he is going to make another Rambo movie, why? Both these characters whose names start with "R" make a return after not being seen for almost 20 years?

I digress to the trailer for Rambo I saw on the internet. I was laughing so hard I couldn't take it. The way this movie was presented was comical. I had said to my brother and some friends, "I can't wait to see this movie, I need a good laugh". Then the day came, it was a work night (the same as a school night, but you go to work early the next day instead of school) and I went to a 9:40pm showing with my brother and two of our friends. I was so pumped and all four of us were ready to laugh very hard. As a side note, this is the first time I had been in a movie theater to watch a new release in a very long time.

We watched and we absorbed this movie and when the end credits rolled and the lights came back on in the theater we were speechless. I thought this was the first wonderful and moving film I had seen in a long time. (So did everyone else in my view party.) I couldn't believe it. I have seen all the other Rambo films and yes they were entertaining, but I wouldn't say they were deep or compelling pieces of cinema. This new Rambo movie had something to say.

It followed a different format, it seemed more dramatic and the violence (there was plenty of it) was brutal and candid. When I say candid, I mean that many of things that happened in this movie, happens in the real world.

The plot of this film is rather simple, Rambo now lives in Southeastern Asia near Burma and some American humanitarians need a guide and ride by boat to provide health care, food and education to the poor people in the area. They find John Rambo and after some persuasions from a female team member (Julie Benz) Rambo signs on.

Consequently, there is a large militant and fundamental group that has nothing better to do than torture and massacre the less fortunate people in their country. It doesn't take a wizard to figure out what happens next, Rambo, guns, violence, death, and blah, blah, blah. However, the violence doesn't seem to be moot or without justification if that makes sense. The best comparison I can make is to "Saving Private Ryan", the violence in that film was graphic and at times over the top, but made a point to portray the reality that was World War 2. "Rambo" has the exact type of feel to it with respect to violence being graphic, over the top and making a point. Mind you I am not saying that "Rambo is a better film or as good as "Saving Private Ryan", but it was used more as a frame of reference. Oddly enough, "Saving Private Ryan" came out in 1998 and "Rambo" came out ten years later (2008), perhaps in 2018 there will be another violent film with a message.

Stallone did a good job too in this film he gave a rather minimal performance, not much dialogue but did display a level of dichotomy towards his emotions to events in the plot. I felt the story was also simplistic, but it worked, the movie didn't need a multi-leveled storyline. I also felt the direction of the film was very good too; by the way Sly wrote and directed this movie.

"Rambo" was a motion picture that stirred myriad thoughts in my head when it was over. It made me think how revolting and disgusting it is that there are still countries in the world that can't get health care or are being "controlled" and/or restricted to certain living conditions by a dictatorship or totalitarian government that results to violence or casualties of human lives. It also made me think how insane it is that U.S. presidential candidates are able to raise thousands, if not millions, of dollars for their campaigns, but when they get into office, it then becomes difficult to "raise" money for the things they promised before they were the incumbent. Then I thought about how everyone wants to go "green" and save the environment, yet it costs more money and there is less tax breaks to "go green". Not to mention Earth Day is only one day a year, rather than year long recognition. What about relying on fossil fuel when there are other forms of fuel for our cars/machines? Or that many people are more up to date with Reality Television than what is going on in the world.

In conclusion, I am not sure this was Sylvester Stallone's intention to stir the pot of modern social sciences or in my case promote schizophrenia when making this movie. However, I felt this film didn't pull any punches and says a lot about the world we live in, on many levels. I recommend this film to anyone who wants an eye opening experience. This is a lot coming from a person who thought this movie was going to be the number one unintentional comedy of 2008 and now believes it was one of the best movies made in a very long time.

Sly, I commend you.

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review by . June 29, 2009
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The missionaries brought bibles and medicine, Rambo brought bullets.
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review by . May 28, 2009
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2008 really did open with a bang & Rambo had no great competition at the local box office. Cloverfield?? Please, you've got to be kidding. I would take Rambo any given day of the week rather than torture myself again with Cloverfield. Thanks again sly for saving the day!       The latest installment in the Rambo series doesn't bare the number 4 but is certainly a welcomed return of our favorite hero. John has long since sworn off fighting again but now captures …
review by . December 21, 2009
What started out as the revival of a moneymaking franchise turns into one of the most relevant movies of the last few years. Sylvester Stallone's return as John Rambo is not only a good movie but a movie that has become a rallying cry to a group of actually fighting tyrany.    We find our hero settled in Thailand, working with and catching snakes. He is approached by a group from a church wanting to bring in a group of doctors into Burma. Rambo declines warning them of the danger …
review by . October 24, 2009
John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) is living in peaceful seclusion in Thailand.  The ghosts from his past still haunt him but he's dealing with it as best as he can. One day a group of christian missionaries come by his village and ask him if he would be able to guide them into Burma.  Rambo refuse and tries to dissuade the group until Sarah (Julie Benz), a female missionary convinces him be their guide.  Weeks later, the missionaries are kidnapped and a team of mercenaries are hired …
review by . July 03, 2009
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After following the situation in Burma for years, it sure was nice to see somebody take on the Burmese army! Unlike the past movies, this one isn't exactly Rambo versus a huge army - he has help from some mercenaries. Still, they manage to do a good deal of damage. If only they could do that in real life. This is really the only movie since Beyond Rangoon that features Burma, so it's a must-see for anyone interested in the country.    This is definitely the best Rambo film since …
review by . April 17, 2009
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Many years ago, a then famous novelist named John Hersey wrote an anti-war novel about WWII pilot Buzz Marrow. Marrow loved war and didn't want see his war end. It was because of people like Marrow, the war lovers, that wars existed maintained Hersey.     Well, some people are born to be soldiers and we Americans are much better off for the Pattons, Washingtons, Grants and many others whose names are not famous, but who believed enough in the nation to put their lives at risk.   & …
review by . September 25, 2008
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Pros: A LOT of action!     Cons: Takes itself too seriously.     The Bottom Line: How do you like the new leaner format I'm working on so far?     Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the only Rambo movie ever made that has ever officially been called just "Rambo." The plot of Rambo would seem very simple from the outside: It is about a washed-up former movie star making an effort to reconnect with his audience. Okay, bad joke there, but I …
review by . May 31, 2008
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Resurrecting `Rambo' doesn't offer much sentimentality. Unlike `Rocky Balboa' where we get lingering memories of previous fame and Adrienne's haunting presence, Sylvester Stallone brings back John Rambo after a twenty-year hiatus with nothing more than harrowing flashbacks from his Vietnam experiences. These brief, yet skillful scenes are taken from past movies, cleverly revealing his inner turmoil, flashing before our eyes. This time they don't fool around. Clocking in at 1:23, this installment …
review by . May 21, 2008
Sly might be old but the man still got it. A lot people has seen Rocky Balboa and loved the movie, but wait until Stallone gathers all of his strength and places all of his energy into making John Rambo, the fourth Rambo film of the saga. It's definitely not an upgrade from any previous Rambo installment; it's just the next one. The dialog is very 'Stallone-esque' (lots of cheesy tag lines that sometimes hit and sometimes miss) but tolerable if you keep your expectations realistic being that it's …
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It is rather brisk in this field. The leaves are descending like a tapestry of aloof dreams. The wind entices these leaves into a plume of whimsical billowing ontological paradox. Then I recall that I … more
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If you've been wondering what ever happened to ex–Green Beret superwarrior John Rambo since he singlehandedly shot up a Pacific Northwest town (First Blood, 1982), returned to the jungles of 'Nam to free U.S. POWs held long after war's end (Rambo: First Blood Part II, 1985), and interrupted the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan long enough to blow lots of stuff up and rescue his old commandant from the Reds (Rambo III, 1988), thenRambo(2008) is for you. Without so much as aIVto dilute the brand name,Rambo--which is what most of us called the second, most iconic film in the series--may aspire to open a new era for a pop legend. But it's a thoroughly mechanical attempt to reanimate a franchise that, absent the anger, frustration, and self-loathing of the post-Vietnam years, has no meaning or purpose. For some time now Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) has been putt-putting along the Thai-Burmese border in a longboat, catching exotic snakes to sell. As for the 60-year civil war in Burma between the brutal government and the Karen independence movement, he ignores it. Enter a party of American missionaries whose dewy blond spokeswoman (Dexter's Julie Benz) asks Rambo to haul them upriver so that they can bring medical aid to the insurgents. After the requisite number of monosyllabic refusals, he does. Soon afterward the do-gooders are in a world of hurt, and he's summoned to lead a squad of mercenaries on a rescue mission.

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