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…
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.
I'd like to write an unbiased review of this film, without nostalgia clouding my judgement, but I’m not sure if it can be done. I try and escape nostalgia in these instances, but it has a habit of catching up with me.
Once, it caught up with me and threw me in jail. Forcing me to fight my way to freedom.
Another time it cornered me on a cliff edge. Forcing me to make a spectacular leap into a gorge (a leap so spectacular, in fact, that I imagine if it was a scene in a film and a young boy saw it, it would completely blow his mind).
If I had more time, I could also mention the time…
The Terminator, Predator, Die Hard, Beverly Hills Cop—these are recognize as some of the greatest action films of all time and some of the best films of the 1980s (out of all of these four i mentioned, I have only seen Terminator). Then there's the phenomenon known as Sylvester Stallone's Rambo, which has received mixed reaction from the critic world. However, hardcore fans and film buffs generally consider the best of the Rambo movies to be the 90-minute Ted Kotcheff-direction action piece First Blood (based on David Morrell's novel of the same name), a film which received mixed reception in its initial run but whose reputation later improved over time.
So I just finished watching this old antique yesterday, and…
Love this movie.
By far the best in a generally daft series - from a good source novel and a decent piece of social commentary about post-Vietnam America, as well as being a very memorable action film.
One of the all time great thrillers. Stallone proves himself a different kind of hero outside the ring as John Rambo, Vietnam vet perceived as a threat by local law enforcement. What results is a deadly, dangerous cat and mouse game that keeps you at the edge of your seat. The psychological element of individual versus society makes for a gripping opening, accentuated by one of the best vehicle chase scenes since Bullitt. While spawning a series of gung-ho sequels, the original outshines them all, and is an essential 80s action movie.
It's pretty exciting to see an action film where the main character is such a broken-down mess. No one-liners here, just sobbing and confusion. First Blood actually reminded me a bit of some of Werner Herzog's films - especially when the cop leads his men uselessly into the forest, like a modern day Aguirre.
This is a fantastically solid action picture where everyone has extreme, but realistic, motivations and reactions to the events occurring and to each other. At any point it feels like things could turn cartoonish, but First Blood manages to strike a gritty tone and give you enough motivation to hate the abuses of power that are happening, but also feel sympathy for both sides by the end, when everyone involved realizes things have gone way, way too far. Brian Dennehy is terrific as the small-town sheriff who should have left well enough alone and Stallone reminds us that he has always been a great actor, especially in the closing scenes of the movie. Richard Crenna also does solid work as…
One of the most influential film franchises of the Eighties started with this tough, lean action picture far different in tone from its cartoonish sequels. Based by screenwriters Michael Kozoll and William Sackheim (who previously worked together on the staff of the Judd Hirsch cop show DELVECCHIO) on a David Morrell novel, FIRST BLOOD tells an interesting story about John Rambo (Stallone, who considerably rewrote the script), a drifter, Green Beret, and Vietnam vet who just wants to buy breakfast and instead goes on to destroy an entire town.
Passing through Hope County, Washington on foot to visit an old Army buddy, Rambo is hassled and roughed up by Teasle (Dennehy), the local sheriff, and his deputies. Wanting to avoid…
Surprisingly subversive in its morality and unsurprisingly influential in its themes.
Stallone does what he can with a character whose emotional limitations perfectly reflect Stallone's acting limitations- I especially like his indecipherable rambling at the end. I don't whether Stallone meant it to be indecipherable but it works well that way.
Enough of a message to give the film enough weight to engage emotionally, and certainly more than the following installments.
And of course Richard Crenna 'Shatnering' his way through some hilariously cheesy dialogue-
"You don't seem to want to accept the fact that you're dealing with an expert in guerrilla warfare, with a man who's the best! With guns, with knives, with his bare hands! A man who's been…
More than an action movie. It teaches us how to deal with small town cops.
- 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?
- Pulp Fiction
- Natural Born Killers
Other than Pulp Fiction, which is my favorite, these are in random order.