Thursday, May 29, 2008

Good Movie?

Unbelievable What a Review Can Do

After reading Gabriel Powers review of the critical failure Rambo, I actually want to see this movie despite knowing it's a piece of shit. Powers says:

Rambo is effectively an independent film, and the closest we've gotten to a real deal '70s exploitation in a long time. The classic grindhouse has found its way into the modern public's pop knowledge and lexicon in the last ten years, but most of the new films derived from the original films are homage rather then genuine. Films like Kill Bill, Grindhouse, The Devil's Rejects, and Haute Tension are call backs and send-ups, which quote and respect the grindhouse, but are so distinct in their homage and subversion that they don't generate the same effect. The 'torture porn' subgenre, specifically the Saw films ( Hostel, is too steeped in homage), kind of cover things for horror, but action films have sort of defaulted into a mess of CG spectacle (a different kind of exploitation film), and have generally lacked that punch drunk grit since the end of the 1980s.
Stallone isn't subtle about anything this time around. There's no room for gray shades in this film, there's simply no time for them. The whole thing is streamlined to the point of sprinting (the entire film, minus credits, is about an hour twenty), and the dialogue is the first thing to go. In the grindhouse tradition we're told as much as we can be through simple and relatively wordless scenes that speak their volumes as plainly as possible. Sometimes Stallone oversteps his glorious simplicity by not knowing when enough is enough, especially when jack hammering the point on his villains. We get that these guys are bad from the first scene, and we're clear on their intentions from their second scene, adding a short sequence that makes the lead baddie's sexual tastes clear (little boys) is unnecessary, and ends up straining the suspension of disbelief because of its cartoony nature.

A grindhouse film of this year? Maybe Rambo isn't so bad after all. I'll probably grab this when the DVD drops to a low and acceptable price, flip it on and know what I've come to see.


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