I like both Cobra and Over the Top. The former reminds me a lot of a Frank Miller comic book due to the gang lead by Brain Thompson. The latter was another in a long line of Rambo inspired plots of breaking the red tape to get the job done of whcih Stallone did so many int he 80s and 90s. On the surface, it seems more like Rocky though. Good combination.
I like F.I.S.T even though his performance as an old man in make up is hilariously bad.
Nighthawks is unfortunately a mess editing wise. (I wish universal would release an unbuttered cut.) Has some dumb moments (like Stallone's shouting at armed criminals in crowded areas) and a great bad acting moment from Stallone with the most deadpan delivery ever when Wolfgar executes a hostage. However, it has great action and a great villain and Deke DeSilva is a clearly a precursor to John Rambo making the film something of a pre-First Blood.
Judge Dredd is a movie I hate and like at the same time. It's cliched and by the numbers, but looks great and has good action. A lot of bad acting but some good stuff too.
Well, I post on IMDb v2, on the So... thread. Have you heard of it?
I recently rewatched all 4 films, for the first time in about 3 years (I wanted to do so some time for the anniversary.) I gotta say, I enjoy the first 3 films the most, for certain. Rambo III, while a bit simple story wise was greatly entertaining. I enjoyed the humor, action, stunts. Rambo IV, while actually very affective in it's brutality, seems unnecessary and just didn't feel like Rambo to me. I have no problem with characters being reinvented, this happened with Rambo a few times, but the 4th one really doesn't feel like Rambo to me even inspite of 20 years later. The violence was over the top and ugly. I know that was the point and I did watch the theatrical only (when NBA finals are over I watch the extended), but all that violence and so little from the character.
The 3rd one really feels like the ending and actually feels like the character of Rambo. I know people complain about the humor, but I think it worked and that is actually how Rambo was in the original novel anyhow. It really did come full circle in the character becoming more like the novel over the coarse of the 3 films no matter what people say about the politics. The 4th one did add some aspects that were absent as far as his struggle with hating himself for being violent but feeling he has no choice, but the theatrical didn't show much, I must have been remembering the extended.
As an aside, I will add that I watched all the deleted footage available for First Blood: the tv stuff from youtube and the scenes and alternate ending from the DVD/Bluray. While cool to watch, the director and Stallone made the right choice in cutting all that stuff. The film is superior and flows better for it. I also watched a making of documentary for Rambo: First Blood Part II which featured some alternate footage and dialog (the Rambo/Murdock confrontation at the end) and again the final film was much superior in both performance and dialog.
How many nicknames has the Rambo character had over the series? Whether it be in the films themselves or just taglines from posters, I'm listing as many as I can think of. Add any I may miss.
The kid (First Blood, novel and film) drifter (First Blood, film) psycho (First Blood, film) solider boy (First Blood, film) boy (as in Trautman's) (First Blood, novel and film) The Raven (First Blood, film) Lone Wolf (Rambo: First Blood Part II, film) Expendable (Rambo: First Blood Part II, film) The Most Dangerous Man in the World (Rambo: First Blood Part II, novelization tagline) Zen Hammer (First Blood II: The Mission, original script) Lost Tourist (Rambo III, film) Boatman (Rambo, film)
Here's a bit of trivia that fascinates me about the First Blood title: the phrase doesn't mean much in non-English speaking countries. Avoiding a confusing title it was called Rambo or Rambo: First Blood in a lot of foreign languages, but it actually had other original titles in many other countries. Here are some I am aware of:
Surrounded (Spain) Programmed to Kill (Brazil) A Hero's Fury (Portugal) (I like this one) Fighter (Finland) Warrior (Sweden) Bloody Escape (Colombia) Rambo: The Devastator (French title for Canada)
The interesting thing is, most of these went the way of Rambo: Surrounded II, for example, but actually kept the subtitle equivalent of First Blood Part III for the 3rd film, unlike the USA. Some of the sequels had subtitles in other countries as well:
Rambo: The Furious Escape (Japan, Rambo II title) Rambo II: The Mission (most common title in foreign markets for the sequel, Germany, Greece and Mexico in particular) Rambo II: The Vendetta (Italy) First Blood II: The Mission (original James Cameron script title) First Blood II: Rambo (Stallone draft title) Rambo III: Vengeance of the Afghan (Japan)
The 4th was titled Rambo IV or John Rambo in most other countries, but also Rambo: To Hell and Back or Back to Hell in others, notable Spanish speaking countries and Czech Rebuplic and Slovakia. Rambo: The Last Battlefield (Japan)
On a somewhat related note, another adaptation was made of First Blood as a one man stage show. On stage he called it Rambo Solo, but the filmed version goes by the title Flooding With Love For the Kid, taken from the final page of the book.
For all those who didn't like the fourth movie, did you see rhe 2010 Extended Cut? If not, I highly recommend giving the movie another shot and seeking out that version. It's not really just an 'extended cut'. It's a whole new edit of the film.