Thursday, January 24, 2008

John Rambo Vs. The House Between

Just couldn’t resist making mention that tomorrow marks the premiere of the new Rambo movie. To me it’s pretty incredible that Stallone is revisiting this character in the year 2008 (he's looking amazingly fit at 62). Yeah, I know he’s done Rocky over and over, so maybe it’s not so surprising, but this is a little different. Rambo is a character that is steeped in the 80’s (the entire trilogy was completed by the year 1988 after all). Perhaps more than any other action hero of that period, Rambo came to symbolize the Reagan era, and was arguably the most iconic amongst the various competitors (e.g. James Braddock, Paul Kersey, Nico Toscani, John Matrix, Jonathan Cabot, etc.). Even more fascinating was the series’ progression from an intense character study of a disgruntled Vietnam vet (First Blood), to literally becoming a cartoon in the late 80’s. Having lived through the Rambo arc, I have a bit of fondness for the character as it reminds me of a time when movies were sold on action hero characters as icons, something you don’t see so much anymore.

So, I’ve peeked at a few reviews and it looks like Stallone has taken it full circle and made a film that would do First Blood proud. It has a message, and is apparently pretty intense. While Stallone has done a lot of really awful films (e.g. Over the Top, Oscar, Stop or My Mom Will Shoot, etc.), I’m willing to put that aside and approach this one with great enthusiasm. My only disappointment is that the title was changed from John Rambo to just plain Rambo. John Rambo would have provided a nice symmetry with Rocky Balboa. And as Fantasmo All-Star Chris J. and I have joked about, it would have also opened the door to lesser Stallone-character sequels such as Marion Cobretti and Ray Tango. A missed opportunity to be sure.

In other premiere news, don’t forget that tomorrow the first installment of The House Between’s second season hits the Web at www.veoh.com, or you can get it at the home page www.thehousebetween.com. John Muir let me know that it should be up and running by 12:01 a.m. tonight, so if you just can’t wait until morning you may be able to get an early look . . . before you run out to see Rambo of course : )

2 comments:

All Star Craig said...

Have you noticed that First Blood and Rambo:First Blood Part II are still available- and discussed frequently- but Rambo III, you know, the one where he helps the heroic Mujahadeen Afghani freedom fighters isn't really talked about much anymore?

Just pointing that out. Boy, how times change, I guess...

Jim Blanton said...

Yeah, Rambo III is sort of the forgotten installment (and that's all the more interesting given the point you bring up). From what I remember about it, it's not quite on par with the first two, but it wasn't a bad film. I'm going to have to go back and watch it now to see how it plays 20 years later. Interesting how times change indeed . . .