Action Movie

Rambo III (1988)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Rambo III (1988)

Director:

Peter MacDonald

Writers:

Sylvester Stallone

Sheldon Lettich

Starring:

Sylvester Stallone

Richard Crenna

Blurb:

Rambo mounts a one-man mission to rescue his friend Colonel Trautman from the clutches of the formidable invading Soviet forces in Afghanistan.

Thoughts:

Technically, Rambo III was playing while I was endlessly scrolling on my phone. I looked up occasionally. I read the Wikipedia entry. That’s about it, though. I vaguely remember Rambo looking world-weary as he killed a lot of Russians and saved a lot of Afghans. There were explosions, probably racism, and according to Wikipedia, we’re still in peak Stallone diva time.

What else can you say? At this point, the series has completely left behind what made the first movie good. I like explosions and action, but I can’t view Rambo as a self-insert, so he does nothing for me. He’s eye-roll-worthy and occasionally sympathetic. I think the behind-the-scenes stuff I’ve read has lowered my opinion of Stallone, so I can’t enjoy them even at the low level I used to.

Oh well. Little Mermaid is next.

Bloodsport (1988)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Bloodsport (1988)

Director:

Newt Arnold

Writers:

Sheldon Lettich

Christopher Crosby

Mel Friedman

Starring:

Jean-Claude Van Damme

Donald Gibb

Leah Aryes

Norman Burton

Forest Whitaker

Blurb:

“Bloodsport” follows Frank Dux, an American martial artist serving in the military, who decides to leave the army to compete in a martial arts tournament in Hong Kong where fights to the death can occur.

Thoughts:

I’ve been stuck on Bloodsport for a while because it’s another one of my husband’s movies, and he can’t watch movies as frequently as I do. He prefers to play video games. Eventually, I got tired of waiting and put it on while he played Monster Hunter on the switch, occasionally looking up. I realize, technically, I could skip these kinds of movies. It’s not mine, after all. It feels like cheating, though. I don’t hate Bloodsport. I don’t feel a need to own it, but I don’t have an issue watching it. So I force myself to all in the name of sticking to my Great Movie Re-Watch plan.

Bloodsport is one of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s first big movies. Despite the lack of plot and inclusion of most action movie cliché’s it was incredibly popular and made a decent amount of money. Enough to spawn a couple of sequels, at least. The fight scenes are fun, but the acting is pretty bad, and the story is often unintentionally hilarious. There is also a cat that meows throughout all of the fight scenes. It’s distracting and annoying.

One of the best things to come out of Bloodsport is a Mentos spoof commercial that I will link to below. It’s another entertainingly bad action movie.

Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Rambo: First Blood Part II

Director:

George P. Cosmatos

Writers:

Sylvester Stallone

James Cameron

Starring:

Sylvester Stallone

Richard Crenna

Charles Napier

Julie Nickson

Blurb:

Rambo returns to the jungles of Vietnam on a mission to infiltrate an enemy base-camp and rescue the American POWs still held captive there.

Thoughts:

Rambo: First Blood Part II nearly killed my momentum in my movie re-watch. I was not in the mood to watch it at all. In the end, I had it playing in the background while I folded laundry and played Candy Crush. It is not as good as the first movie and is the birth of Rambo’s current image. It has a huge body count, tons of explosions, and lots of racism. For one brief moment, it seems to call out the government and its treatment of the entire Vietnam war situation, but it is not nearly as scathing as the first movie.

I own Part II because it came in a box set my partner purchased. I nearly convinced myself to skip over it, but it felt like cheating. I don’t hate the movie. It isn’t so violent that it makes me ill, like a couple of the films my partner owns. It’s just not a movie I need to watch more than once.

After the last movie’s events, Rambo is working on a chain gang when Troutman approaches him about a job in Vietnam. He’s given a choice to go back to Vietnam or stay on the chain gang. He chose Vietnam. He’s completely set up for what happens to him, and you know it’s going to happen because he points it out before he gets in the chopper to leave. They hire freaking Rambo to take pictures proving there are no POWs. It was massive overkill, even if there wasn’t supposed to be anyone.

There’s a woman in this one. Rambo kisses her, and then she dies, spurning him on for vengeance. It’s one of my least favorite tropes in action movies. The character was Vietnamese and was supposed to speak in broken English, but the actress did an awful job of it. She pronounced all of the words correctly and skipped over words to make it sound broken. It didn’t sound like anyone I’ve heard who is speaking their non-native language.

Rambo: First Blood Part II showed the flaw in my system. I’ve had urges to watch movies that I own from later years, but I’ve resisted. Having this one in my queue with no desire to watch it made those urges harder to ignore. I ended up starting a binge-watch of Life in Pieces while I kept putting it off.

Next up is Jumpin Jack Flash.

The Last Dragon (1985)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

The Last Dragon (1985)

Director:

Michael Shultz

Writer:

Louis Venosta

Starring:

Taimak

Vanity

Christopher Murney

Julius Carry

Faith Prince

Mike Starr

Blurb:

In New York City, a young man searches for a Master to obtain the final level of martial arts mastery known as the Glow.

Thoughts:

I remember the first time I watched The Last Dragon. It was a memorable experience because I was at work and someone had put it on, and at one point, we were all singing DeBarge Rhythm of the Night. That moment and this movie are imprinted on my mind because of a spur-of-the-moment group sing-a-long.

Looking past that memory, the film is incredibly entertaining on its own. You have the himbo Bruce Leeroy, Taimak, looking for the next level of martial arts. He’s learned all his master has to offer, but he has yet to attain the Glow. Then there’s Laura Charles, Vanity, the super-popular video DJ attracted to pretty, nice men and doesn’t back down even when her life is on the line. There are TWO crazed villains. One wants fame and glory but can’t get there on his own. Last, but certainly not least, Sho’nuff The Shogun of Harlem makes the freaking movie. His goal is to prove that he’s better than Leeroy so that his power over Harlem is uncontested and unquestioned.

The women in The Last Dragon are a big part of why I love the movie. Laura Charles goes after what she wants and doesn’t compromise her integrity or jeopardize her career. She takes it a bit to the extreme because I’m pretty sure you’re life being threatened is a reasonable point to back down. Meanwhile, you’ve got Angela Viracco, Faith Prince, who loves a man who’s promised her wildest dream. But when he shows his true self, she stands her ground and faces off against him. The strength she displays is inspiring.

If you can’t find enjoyment from The Last Dragon, I don’t know what to say…

Pound of Flesh (2015)

Pound of Flesh

Pound of Flesh (2015)

Director:

Ernie Barbarash

Starring:

Jean-Claude Van Damme

Darren Shahlavi

Charlotte Peters

Plot:

A man’s heroic attempt to help a woman in distress ends up with him waking up the next day without a kidney and plotting his revenge.

Review:

In case you couldn’t tell from the plot synopsis or the pic this movie is not good. The question is, is it so bad that it’s good?

No.

That was easy.

When JCVD is the best actor in your movie, you’re going to have a bad time. There was green screen at really odd moments, awkward shots, and poor plotting. The movie was truly embarrassing to watch and apparently one of the better cheaply made action movies out there.

Even if you like those types of movies I really couldn’t recommend this one. The ending is truly horrible and I ended up fast forwarding through a lot of it. The only reason it’s not getting a one star is because I didn’t absolutely hate it.

1.5/5