As it turns out, Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton made a dud of a movie called Rhinestone together back in 1984. And it is glorious. Read the rest of this entry
First, there was Rocky, a classic film, a character study of the most likable character possibly ever. Then, there was the sequel, Rocky II, and we dove further down the rabbit hole and got an extra montage. I imagine that Rocky III was supposed to be the final installment, and I think you could argue cases for this being the best and the worst Rocky movie up to this point. Let’s dig in! Read the rest of this entry
We saw the third (and final?) film in the franchise you didn’t ask for (or didn’t know you wanted, depending on your point of view) in The Expendables 3 this weekend and I must say that, for what it’s worth, this is the best film yet in the franchise. Read the rest of this entry
I haven’t watched Rocky from start to finish in… I dunno, at least 10, maybe 15 years. Still, it’s on TV all the time, so I catch bits and pieces every once and while. For me, Rocky Balboa is the quintessential Sylvester Stallone character (sorry, John Rambo and… guy from The Expendables whose name no one knows) – it’s also the best underdog story to ever to grace celluloid. (Sorry, Underdog.) Read the rest of this entry
OO – you know what I haven’t seen in a while? First Blood. It’s the first and the best (by far) in the Rambo series and features what is probably Sylvester Stallone’s best moment on screen. Read the rest of this entry
Escape Plan is exactly what it promises: Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger breaking out of prison. It’s at 49% on Rotten Tomatoes, which means about half the critics gave it a negative review while the other segment of critics were more positive on the film. I fall into the latter half, but that doesn’t mean I think Escape Plan is a masterpiece. If you like your action movies to have an 80s vibe to them, I think you’ll find this flick acceptable, but it’s not without problems. Here are 6 points on why Escape Plan is what it is, for better or worse. Read the rest of this entry
Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables series has brought together some of the biggest action stars of the last several decades together into one movie, and this third time out is no exception. Bruce Willis has been replaced by Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes is now on board and so is… Kelsey Grammar? That’s right, action movie legend and Cheers regular Kelsey Grammar is in The Expendables 3… and for some reason, these five actors didn’t make the cut. Here are five guys we would have liked to see in The Expendables 3. Read the rest of this entry
When I heard that a new Judge Dredd movie was coming out, I thought, “Hm – this is actually a good idea. The 1995 Judge Dredd movie starring Sylvester Stallone, Diane Lane(?) and Rob fucking Schneider was God awful (just imagine Stallone yelling, “I am the law!” Got it? Yeah. It was that bad.), so this seemed like a great candidate for a reboot… as opposed to Sacred Cows like Red Dawn and the first Nightmare on Elm Street. Still, given recent reboots, I didn’t have high hopes, but Dredd 3D more than met my low expectations – I liked it.
The Expendables 2 is exactly what it looks like: action shlock. Fortunately, everyone involved with the film was well aware of this, so it’s a fun watch. Read the rest of this entry
Death Race 2000 (1975) stars David Carradine, Sylvester Stallone, women who occasionally do not have their tops on and other actors nobody cares about. The movie revolves around an oppressive United States government in a dystopian future where the most popular form of entertainment is the annual Transcontinental Road Race, a crazy drive from New York to New Los Angeles where the contestants must not only finish first but also score points by running people over along the way. Besides the race, there’s a subplot (which collides nicely with the primary plot toward the end of the film) involving a rebel group that wants to over through the crazy government and move back to democracy and obviously, the best way to accomplish this is by disrupting the race… I don’t want to give it all away, but that’s the jist. Oh, just one more thing – everything that’s wrong with the country and anything that goes wrong with the race has been and will continue to be blamed on the French. Because… fuck the French, I guess. Read the rest of this entry
I don’t think it’s fair to say I had a bit of Sylvester Stallone Madness going a few weeks back, but seeing two of his movies within days of each other last September must be an indication of something… Sly-itis, something like that. It took me a long while to get to this one, but I saw Rocky Balboa in the theater, so after that, I was a bit gun shy… ugh, that’s a terrible pun. But if you sit through all of Rambo, or John Rambo, or whatever the hell they’ve decided to call it, you might feel like you’ve come down with something.
We find Rambo living in Thailand and selling snakes he captures in the jungle as well as acting as a ferrymen who rents out his own boat. He reluctantly agrees to bring a group of missionaries and doctors into Burma via aforementioned river boat, and they don’t need a ride back for some stupid reason – so after dropping them off, Rambo heads home. The missionaries’ never return and their pastor shows up and asks Rambo to bring a team of mercenaries to the spot on the riverbank where he left the missionaries. The mercenaries don’t agree to let Rambo accompany them, preferring that he stays with the boat, but given that the movie is called Rambo, he follows them anyway and saves their entire crew from a squad of Burmese army. Rambo half convinces, half threatens (“Live for something or die for nothing; your call!”) the mercenaries to come with him to the Burmese army camp where the missionaries are being held prisoner. They break them out, of course, but the Burmese army figure it out quickly and come after them. Why, I have no idea… of what value are the prisoners to them? Ransom? I have no idea. Rambo and Sarah are separated from the group, who eventually get captured, missionaries and mercenaries alike, and are about to be executed (the army chased the missionaries and mercenaries so when they caught them, they could execute them… doesn’t seem like it was worth the effort, and why did the capture the missionaries in the first place instead of just killing them on the spot?) until Rambo takes control of a jeep-mounted .50-caliber machine gun and open fires on the Burmese army, which literally shreds them to pieces. The Karen rebels show up and aid Rambo, the mercenaries and the missionaries, and then Rambo disembowels the bad guy in charge. The movie pretty much ends after that, with Rambo back home in the US, presumably going to see his father.
Rambo is a decent little movie, but it lacks drama. You never get a sense of… well, anything. Here are a few things I wish the movie would have conveyed:
- Is Rambo happy or not with his life at present?
- …a way to distinguish any of the missionaries from each other
- …a way to distinguish any of the mercenaries from each other
- …a way to distinguish any of the bad guys from each other
At no point do you ever worry about anything bad happening to Rambo. The missionaries get captured right away, but I don’t care about them because I don’t know them and the same goes for the mercenaries. It’d be great if something ever happened that the audience should care about – but it doesn’t. Despite it’s gore (and there is a fair amount of violent gore), the movie is boring, yet unoffensive. Rambo is watchable, but it won’t leave you craving another sequel.
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Unless you’re a die-hard action movie fan, or rather, a die-hard action movie starring Sylvester Stallone fan, you should probably skip Rambo.