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Rambo

Rambo IV or John Rambo is the fourth or last installment of the Rambo series. 236 people die, in case you were wondering. Slyvester Stallone is a bad ass. Very few people star in 2 successful movie franchises, but Stallone does it, and he makes Rambo and Rocky legit characters, people that you don’t want to fuck with.

The plot is generic. You’ve seen it a thousand times before. Rambo is some schmuck hired to take people into forbidden water. He is reluctant at first, but he gives in and leads a gang or recruits into no-man’s-land. Rambo acts like he is a decent person, but as soon as the action kicks in Rambo starts mowing people in half and doesn’t let up.

People die in this movie. A lot. Rambo uses crazy weapons and tactics and finds exciting new ways to mutilate and massacre the enemy. There is no recovering from that. Sly Stallone was on a shit ton of steroids and you can tell that steroids are good for you.

It might not be a good movie, but this is an awesome blockbuster. Not only is the action top notch, but the protagonist doesn’t give a shit. If you want to hurt John Rambo, you need to find John Rambo. Easier said than done. This guy is a ninja and can pop up anywhere.

It’s kind of funny that Sylvester Stallone can be M.I.A. for so long, and then he decides to resurrect his career with his biggest hits. He brought back Rocky Balboa, and named the sixth and latest movie Rocky Balboa. Woah, what a stretch. He brought back the John Rambo character as well, and the latest movie is called Rambo. What a stretch. Sly Stallone is a genius apparently. I don’t know anyone who paid cash money to see Sly Stallone on the big screen. but some people did. Good for them.

The plot is almost nonexistent. This movie exists so that you see people get mowed in half. Not white people. Little Asian people get mowed down like it is going out of style. It’s a tough time to be proud of the human race.

Rambo is a fun movie. It’s a waste of time to think differently. Just accept the fact that violence is entertaining and save us some time. Sly Stallone does a great job bring an irrelevant character back to the big screen. Too bad no one cares about Rambo anymore. His time has passed.

Rambo shoots people. He kills people. He tries to be a decent human being, but he doesn’t know how. He is a soldier. He fights and he fights with honor. He doesn’t always come through all the time, but he has no fear. Rambo wins in the end. You knew that he would. It’s Hollywood.

Critically Rated at 12/17

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Rocky

Rocky is Sylvester Stallone’s best movie. It’s a requirement for a boy to watch this in order to become a man. It is a cinematic bar mitzvah. If you’ve never seen this flick, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that you don’t have TBS, TNT or basic cable.  I’m pretty sure there’s a cable network that shows the Rocky saga nonstop.

Rocky is the story of a boxing underdog. Rocky is just an average boxer. He’s not a has-been, he’s a never-was (and yes, I did steal that from the Mighty Ducks). He gets a shot to take on the reigning champ, and his only goal is to go the distance with him. He doesn’t want to win, he just wants to put up a fight. He doesn’t win in the end, one of only a handful of movies where the good guy loses in the end. A League of Their Own and Friday Night Lights also come to mind. It is more realistic to have a team lose rather than win everything. Most sports competitions only have one winner, and so statistically there are a lot more losers.

Rocky was made on a shoestring budget. The plot parallels Sylvester Stallone’s real life. It is a very personal project, and it shows. It’s a great “You-Can-Do-It-If-You-Put-Your-Mind-To-It” story. Sly wrote it as a vehicle for himself, and eventually got his way. With a budget of less than a million dollars, the film went on to gross over $225 million, earned ten Oscar nominations, and spawned five sequels. Not too shabby for a script written in three and a half days.

Rocky made a star out of Stallone, but it also had a great supporting cast. Talia Shire plays Adrian, the shy love interest that blossoms into a beautiful woman. Burt Young plays Paulie, Adrian’s brother and Rocky’s best friend. Rocky represents hope and Paulie represents reality. Burgess Meredith plays Mickey, the disgruntled trainer who thinks Rocky wasted his talent, but who is still willing to help get him into shape. Carl Weathers plays Apollo Creed, the cocky reigning heavyweight who challenges an unknown Rocky to a title fight. It’s very difficult to play an antagonist with out making them a villain, so props to Weathers for playing the character the right way.

The soundtrack is amazing. It elevates the whole movie. Gonna Fly Now is the best workout song of all time. There was pioneering use of the steadicam. The training montage, fight sequences, and Rocky running up the stairs are all iconic moments that are elevated because of the filming technique. The fight choreography seems slightly dated now, but at the time it was the closest to an actual fight than anything previously seen on screen.

This is one of the best sports films of all time. It was the start of a sometimes great, occasionally mediocre film franchise. There are plenty of real life parallels that make the movie even more relatable and enjoyable. Sylvester Stallone’s best movie, and any actor should be proud to have a film of this caliber on their resume.

Critically Rated at 16/17

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