RAMBO: The original one-man army!
Zagnorch | Terra, Sol System | 11/17/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If there's an action movie series that's a big ol' honkin' slice of Americana, the RAMBO saga is it! This is where the unstoppable-one-man-army action flick trend got its start! Sly finally finds another role to fall back on besides Rocky, and he even gets the opportunity to co-write the scripts to all three movies! 'First Blood' features some of the greatest moments of action-movie overacting ever caught on celluloid! The tense verbal spars between Col. Trautman (Richard Crenna) and Sheriff Teasle (Brian Dennehy) regarding their efforts to capture Rambo are just plain dripping with hammy machismo! And Sly displays his acting range as Rambo reveals his softer side to the Colonel... it's so touching! It *sniff* gets me *sob* right here, y'know? 'First Blood' novelist David Morrell's commentary track features plenty of anecdotes regarding the production of the flick, and the notion of the RAMBO saga as a modern myth, a distinction that the STAR WARS trilogy's been credited with as well. But his main focus is on the differences between his novel and the movie, and other changes that were made. Probably the most notable change was making our lovable one-man army a more sympathetic character! Now on to 'First Blood Part II', featuring Johnny's return to Vietnam to pick up a few American POWs. This time he's been double-crossed, and he's going up against hundreds of Charlies and several Soviet troops flying a super-sized winged doom-chopper and his only weaponry is a big military knife and bow with explosive-tipped arrows. Needless to say, those Charlies & Soviets don't stand a chance! With the help of legendary writer/director James Cameron, Sly manages to script one of The Gipper's all-time top movie faves! Director George Cosmatos' commentary track is full of his memories of the making of part II, with quite a few anecdotes & behind-the-scenes comments. He really goes into detail for the first half of the movie, then kind of trails off and adds only a few things here & there in the second half. Finally, there's 'Rambo III'. If you thought our hero's previous hell-raisings were ridiculously implausible, you ain't seen nothin' yet! Speaking of raising hell, this particular outing reflected a happier era when we were helping Afghanistan fight a war, instead of fighting against them. It's amazing the difference several years makes, ain't it? Anyway, Johnny's out to rescue his mentor Col. Trautman from a Soviet stronghold in Afghanistan. With the aid of a few of the natives, Rambo manages to rescue the Colonel & pretty much take out the entire Soviet occupation force single-handedly. The climactic tank-versus-Doom-Chopper game of chicken is easily one of action cinema's most unbelievable scenes. It's a moment that's so incredibly over-the-top, I'm pretty sure it's the main reason there's never been any subsequent RAMBO flicks. I mean, how do you top the hero surviving a head-on tank/chopper collision? Yeah, see what I mean? Director Peter MacDonald's commentary track, much like Cosmatos' in II, features plenty of behind-the-scenes anecdotes and great & not-so-great memories. He also kinda trails off in the second half, with only the occasional thought here & there. The RAMBO Trilogy discs include your basic special features: aside from the aforementioned commentary tracks, there's also theatrical trailers, text about each movie's respective cast & crew, & production notes. Oh yeah, let's not forget way superior picture quality & sound compared to its VHS predecessors, and the widecreen presentation! 'First Blood Part II' features a documentary that basically compares the trilogy's similarities to the basic aspects of ancient mythology, which Morrell also touches on in the 'First Blood' secondary track. Definitely a must-see for the Joseph Campbell aficionado! The only extras I didn't much care for were the featurettes for 'First Blood' and 'Rambo III', which were basically glorified trailers. Other than that, this set's good to go! 'Late"
sunray225 | 02/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"what can you say about rambo, hes just the greatest, all the films are the very best,
i miss him,
i did hear that sly is about to make a new rambo??."