These are the top 100 personal favorite films of mine. As my film collection and vocabulary grows, I'm sure this…
This time he's fighting for his life.
When former Green Beret John Rambo is harassed by local law enforcement and arrested for vagrancy, the Vietnam vet snaps, runs for the hills and rat-a-tat-tats his way into the action-movie hall of fame. Hounded by a relentless sheriff, Rambo employs heavy-handed guerilla tactics to shake the cops off his tail.
If you have any doubt as to whether Sylvester Stallone was the greatest action hero of his time, do yourself a favor and watch the brilliant, underrated, and unexpectedly nuanced First Blood.
I was first introduced to John Rambo when I was nine years old. My dad somehow thought that First Blood was suitable material for his kids, and so we watched, in varying levels of distress, as Rambo fashioned makeshift weapons and methodically eliminated soldier after soldier in increasingly brutal ways. And when we got to the part where he dug a bullet out of his own arm, we were just about ready to puke.
My dad, my little brother, and I have watched First Blood more than thirty…
I kind of thought it would be a mindless action film where Sly goes around killing the bad guys in the jungle with his machine gun and that's about it. Like Predator, I guess, just without the Predator.
I was wrong. It's excellent. I found it very entertaining, and also quite sad. Sure, Rambo is this bad-ass, super elite soldier who can kill a man practically by looking at him with his wonky face, but I never realised there was a subtext quite so deep to it. The way the bent cops are almost enjoying hunting him down and killing him on "his own turf" if you like is obviously a subtle (maybe not so subtle, actually) allusion to how…
Your daily reminder that Stallone movies never used to be cheesy, that 90-minute action movies are the best kind of action movie, that the Pacific Northwest is one of the most cinematic environments, that Jerry Goldsmith could do no wrong, that John Rambo is more-or-less a weaponized Frankenstein's monster created by Trautman, that Brian Dennehy's character has the name Will Teasle, that Stallone's body fat used to be 2.3%, that director Ted Kotcheff also made Weekend at Bernie's. That is all.
Sunday Morning Review.
God didn't make Rambo, I made him!
It's a crisp December night in a mountainous northern American town. You can see your breath in the air and taste the line flavor in the wind. Christmas lights sway from power lines and the soft glow of 80's style diners and shops are splashed across the streets. It's empty. Everyone is indoors.
And then John Rambo comes walking down the middle of the road with an M60.
Much like Die Hard, here is an action series that quickly came off the rails but is blessed with a near flawless first film. Rambo: First Blood was an unorthodox action film for the time because despite being a mentally unstable Vietnam…
Stallone is something else, isn't he? Let's be honest, the guy has a certain charisma, but he really can't act. But still he has given life to two iconic characters that are an unmistakable part of cinema history.
It is too easy to write this film off as a simplistic and ridiculous action film that spawned moronic sequels and launched a host of copycats that muddied the waters of the action genre in the eighties. It may have done all that, but this is also a very, very good film indeed.
This was my first watch as an 'adult' and while I didn't feel the energy I felt when I first saw it…
If you want some friendly advice, get a haircut and take a bath. You wouldn't get hassled so much.
One of the greatest action movies of all time. It's gritty, incredibly dark, has an air of realism and is still a very original film to this day. I say an "air of realism" because even though some things might be unrealistic when you think about them too much, the movie is made in such a way that pretty much anything John Rambo does comes off as totally possible. That's how you make an action movie, you don't just do the impossible and call it a day. You make the impossible seem possible and THEN call it a day.
"let it go...let it go."
Finally, some fucking cinema
For those who thought that wedding scene in The Deer Hunter was too long...
Just as good as the first time seeing it.
For about a half hour this is rather interesting, as the action is given weight by the hints of character development and the forest setting imbues the whole thing with an aura of mystery and density. And asshole cops getting punished is always interesting to see. Even the "hunting" sequence is compelling under this scope, but midway through this enters Michael Bay territory and the episodes of destruction take over for their own sake. If you like that shit, more power to you. Stallone is actually fine here, but Richard Crenna acts funny.
A refreshingly well paced action movie that doesn't get bogged down with an overly complicated plot or lengthy origin story. It jumps right into the excitement giving you just enough character to really care about Rambo and his cause.
The first installment in Stallone's second juggernaut franchise and iconic screen alter-ego is a Vietnam War Allegory given a fascinating spin: Sherriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy, as always, brilliant) gets his taste of that war when he and his team of deputies are besieged by an enemy who uses the terrain and turf to his own lethal advantage.
The twist, being of course, is that the turf is Teasle's own town and the enemy is the drifter from outside, Viet Vet John Rambo, come to see a deceased comrade, only to be run out of town.
He returns, only to be arrested by Teasle, locked up and subjected to enough police brutality to awaken memories of his incarceration in a…
In una società che vuole solo i vincenti, l'identificazione con l'emarginato Rambo è totale. Urlo solitario fermato solo da parole amiche.
- Apocalypse Now
- Enter the Void
- Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop…
- The Great Dictator
- Mr. Woodcock
- Deep Rising
- Bangkok Dangerous
- All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
A list with film titles that could easily have been titles of porn movies.
Got any more?
- To Our Loves
- Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein
- The Abominable Dr. Phibes
- Adam's Rib
Missing films I can't locate on Letterboxd:
Blonde Ambition (1981)
The Devil in Miss Jones (1972)
I Like to Watch…