Really looking forward to picking this up. A great 80's-style action vehicle that works. I feel that most critics missed the point of this film; it's a good old-fashioned shoot 'em up that requires no further analysis.
Nice to see Lionsgate at the forefront of profile 1.1 and 2.0 compliant software too.
Um, I'd argue you're the one that missed the point; no film that "required no further analysis" would open with several minutes of actual footage of the atrocities being committed in Burma. Glad we both agree that the movie is awesome, though, but yeah, there's some food for thought amongst the ass-kickin' in this one...
Man, this movie could have been really good. I liked the storyline a lot. The action was real good. The creative choices that Stallone chose for the camera work melded perfectly with the setting and story. But my god, why all the crazy gore? When I watch a horror movie, I expect blood and guts and "over the topness". But I didn't understand why every time a shot was fired, somebodies head had to be detached from their shoulders. What could have been really good was just mediocre for me because of this. I would have liked to see more of the First Blood style instead of what we got in the sequels.
There were .50 caliber weapons being used, which we've seen take people's heads off in films like Saving Private Ryan. Even the sniper guy was using a .50 caliber sniper rifle. So it wasn't over the top in terms of what would happen with that kind of firepower. You could argue that it was over the top for Stallone to select those kinds of weapons to be used by the characters; that complaint is a little different in my mind though.
Cameron... Yeah, but c'mon...every limb had to be torn off like that? Either a head was exploding, a body was cut in half at the torso, or a total disintegration took place for every bullet that was fired. I just thought it was excessive and took away from the overall good feeling I had about the story that was unfolding.
You weren't supposed to feel good about this movie. The whole point of this movie was to draw some attention to the problems in Burma and Stallone used realistic violence to show you how terrible things are there.
I think that's a slight exaageration but I understand your point. I agree that this was a very different Rambo film than one's before it, certainly in terms of gore but also how it treated the underlying cause. In Rambo 2 and 3 the issues felt much more like excuses for a movie. In this film there was a more obvious agenda to show the brutality of the situation as well as the brutality of modern weapons. A teacher of mine, who used to be a paramedic, claimed he once showed rubberneckers the body under the sheet to teach them a lesson about reality. I kind of feel Stallone was doing that with this film.
You misunderstood my statement. I wasn't saying the Burma situation made me feel good. I was talking about the movie in itself - I thought it was a compelling story. I guess my choice of words was wrong. But I would hardly call it "realistic violence".
Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration but my point is the level of violence in First Blood was what I was looking for and hoping for here. It was graphic without really being graphic if that makes sense. Times were a little different 25 years ago I suppose.
Gary, I've not seen this yet but the only thing I'd not like about this release or any release is because of the following two words.
I mean what the hell is the point of this?! Oh, I plan on renting the film through Netflix. Carry on. And Gary, your reviews are great. More because you know what film is actually supposed to look like and such. Great to have you here!
I rented and watched this last night and enjoyed it much more than I ever expected. I freely admit that "First Blood" is an excellent film but I hated the sequels with a passion so I went into this one with very low expectations. In my opinion it's very much a combination of the two styles with a gravitas like in the first movie helping to offset the cartoonish violence reminiscent of the sequels. It's still insane but the violence is so visceral that you would have to be one heck of a stone-hearted person to whoop and holler your way non-stop throughout the movie.
I found that the supporting cast -- which seems to have been drawn almost exclusively from TV regulars -- displayed, intentionally or not, the cluelessness that one would expect to find amongst such a group of self-righteous do-gooders. I guess Stallone is smart enough not to surround himself with good actors and it actually works in the context of this film.
All in all it was much better than expected and I'll be looking to buy it when the price comes down a bit.
I had a college friend who went to Thailand on a summer mission, where she met a Karen man who was an activist-missionary making regular journeys back to his village for medical aid, Christian teaching, etc. She even had plans to marry him and was going to be doing that work with him. It was through her that I first learned about the Karen oppression, so it's been interesting to see it get the attention it deserves "only" 15 years later. Though my friend didn't wind up marrying that man, I couldn't help placing her in the situation depicted in the film, so watching it had kind of a personal edge to it.
I thought the depiction of the missionaries was simplistic, but it was really the leader of the group who was the main offender there.