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A few days ago when Forest Whitaker was replaced by a rapper, I stopped caring about The Expendables. Even though he’s been papercut twice (or something), 50 Cent is just too much the chump to be cast in this PG-13 movie that’s ostensibly a 24-pack of ’80s, ’90s and ’00s action staples. And however one characterizes co-star Eric Roberts when sober. Sylvester Stallone pays close attention to the Web, so he quickly ditched Fiddy for Terry Crews, a smart decision, though subbing in The Thing’s Keith David or Mike Tyson (The Hangover) would have ignited big geek fireworks.

But still the question remained: where the hell was Kurt Russell, the guy who made Steven Seagal his marquee bitch (Executive Decision) and once referred to Stallone as “Armani with a badge”? Slashfilm previously requested Russell’s participation, and today Stallone called him out on, yep, Stallone Zone

I know that many people on the site have asked for Kurt Russell. I asked for him too.  Actually, I was taken aback when asked to put the request in a letter and send it to his agent.  Subsequently, I was called back by the agent several days later after refusing to send a letter and he said Kurt Russell is not interested in ‘ensemble acting’ at this time.

So, People, I came, I saw, I failed.

Best,
Sly

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LOL: Mexico’s Top Rambo Impersonator

Any would-be Sam Walton knows that Rambo remains America’s chief export. He is the vein-y cornerstone staying strong against today’s crashing waves of economic turmoil and disaster. VICE just released their Mexico Issue and contained therein are countless photos of Mexico City‘s beloved Rambo impersonator, Diego Alione. So successful was this Argentine at posing with babies, women in hot denim (with a leg up) and stunned kids (see the face above) that he made the jump to Universal Studios. Fame! If Stallone ever hangs up the bazooka and the head band, let’s hope that Holly/Bollywood puts up the funds for a Rambo 5 starring Alione. For the sake of our grandchildren’s pain at the pump.

UPDATE: Slashfilm reader, dvq, points out that our grandchildren are already safe from uncertain doom. Grab some chips and salsa and enjoy the Rambo impersonator’s music video/tour of Hollywood.

One more photo after the jump with an evil-looking dog, another hottie, and a close-up of the firearm in all its glory.

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/Filmcast Episode 2 – Rambo

In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave, Devindra, Adam, and Peter, debate the merits of Sex and the City, lament the Universal fire, pore over the Lost finale, and discuss the nihilistic themes of Rambo. Special guest Myles McNutt joins us from Cultural Learnings and Alex Billington joins us from Firstshowing. Have any questions/comments/suggestions? Feel free to e-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com.

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Why not? On May 15th, Sylvester Stallone‘s Rambo will die for the first time on the big screen in 430-plus theaters around the country. Yes, 1982’s First Blood will have a digitally re-mastered one-off showing complete with the alternative ending that, in a parallel dimension, left no sequels…and probably no Slashfilm. I kid. Included in the screening is a special “never before seen” interview with Stallone in which he’ll extend his arms countless times to emphasize the film’s “epic” creation and grin somewhat painfully while reminiscing, I imagine. We’ve pasted all gazillion of the participating theaters after the jump because we like ya. And click here for more info. Oh yeah, and O’Doyle Rambo rules.

Discuss: Going? Bring an air horn. 

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Rambo 5: Bulgaria Serving as America?

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Three days ago we came across a production listing for Rambo 5 on an international film news website. The rumored next installment in Sylvester Stallone‘s second biggest franchise was listed to shoot on one or more new sound stages now being constructed in Bulgaria by a major European production studio. While Sly has played up his nickname on the sequel subject, the rumor was even stranger since January’s Rambo movie seemed to set up a return to America for the character. Bulgaria?! 

Today, Clint at MovieHole reports that a close source tells him that Bulgaria will actually serve as Rambo’s hometown “somewhere in Arizona” in the film. Yeah, I laughed too. Not because I think this is necessarily untrue, but, well Rambo’s gotta eat I guess. Here’s the tipster…

“The street sets of Bulgaria that are getting the makeover, the same ones that were rented out and used in Van Damme’s The Shepherd, will be doubling for Rambo’s hometown, which is supposed to somewhere in Arizona.”

While Stallone filmed a good portion of his last flick in Thailand, that’s where the awesome film was set. Without spoiling anything, the end of Rambo T’d up a pretty epic storyline or two, like “Rambo vs. Terrorists” or better, “Rambo vs. USA…Again,” and then there’s Stallone’s interviews where he says he wants to take the character into a different genre.  This is all speculation, but I guess if Lake Placid 2 passed off Bulgaria for the States, uh, Stallone could do it, too. But what about Vegas, Fort Bragg, LAX, the Hollywood sign, and Rupert Jee’s Hello Deli? Rambo needs to hit the road in a battle wagon and make like Clark Griswold or Henry Rollins.

Discuss: If Rambo 5 is set in the USA, where should the character kill people?  

Rambo 5 to Film in Bulgaria?

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John Rambo, stayin’ alive? Today on Screen Daily it was reported that Rambo 5 is scheduled to film in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia. Nu Boyana Studios, a substantive production house for Southeastern Europe, is building 10 new sound stages in the area, and apparently the next installment in the Sylvester Stallone war-vet franchise is booked first in line.

Since the January release of the fourth Rambo, the best hardcore action film in a while (10/10), Stallone has waffled considerably on whether a Rambo 5 will happen. He’s hinted that he hopes to take the character into a “slightly different genre,” leaving many fans to speculate sci-fi or a more comic bookish approach, only to deaden those rumors. Recently he’s reverted back to the “new genre” line, amidst yet more rumors of making Cliffhanger 2: The Dam. Exhausted yet?

Harvey Weinstein was quick to announce his hunger for a follow-up to Rambo, but if the sequel will indeed film in Bulgaria, that would go against his and fans’ desire to see Rambo return to America. I’d rather see a 5 than Sly’s planned Death Wish remake or, especially, Cliffhanger 2, and I think the sentiment will catch on more once the flick hits DVD. More on this if/when it develops.

Discuss: What is the best action film you’ve seen recently that wasn’t a Western or a video game/comic book/fantasy adaptation?

via MovieHole

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Eric Bana says his villainy role as Nero in J.J. Abrams‘s Star Trek is nothing more than a “cameo.” News to me. You? Here’s another quote from the Aussie actor about his role: “It’s just a great character, it’s J.J. Abrams. It’s a really well-written script, great part. Couldn’t say no. I don’t actually look at the size of parts ever.” [The Herald Sun]

In what marks our second weird-beard item of the day (my quota is filled, yipps!), /Film staple Sam Rockwell is growing out his face’s wilderness for a role in which he’ll play…[water bubbles]…a man who is stranded on the moon for three years. Wow, I’ve had people do the start-stop-start-stop to me in the parking lot of a Sonic Burger, but leaving a guy shoe-gazing for a thousand nights on the giant, white rock? Bust. The indie film is entitled Moon (obviously), and will be directed by Duncan Jones, aka Zowie Bowie, spawn of hollow-cheeked rocka David Bowie. I can fight off images of the moon from “Tonight, Tonight” but imagining the couch sesh and brain cloud that procreated this idea makes me want Pringles. [MTV]

Perma-glowing actress Kate Hudson (Fool’s Gold) will star as painter Margaret Keane [click name for art works] in the film Big Eyes for first time directing duo Larry Karaszweski and Scott Alexander. A big-eyed Oscar bid for Hudson, the biopic focuses on Keane’s significant popularity as an artist in the ’50s and ’60s, even while her works were quizzically produced under her husband’s name. After a messy divorce, the couple ended up in federal court, where she painted before a judge and won the case. After the court battle, she moved to Hawaii, became quite religious and her work experienced an eerily happy mood swing. Girls Girls Girls. [Variety]

wolf-boy2.jpgThe Weinstein Co. has acquired movie rights to the intriguing novel Wolf Boy written by Evan Kuhlman and published in 2006 by Crown. When a boy’s older brother, Francis Wolf, is killed in a car accident, he creates comic-style stories illustrated by his eccentric girlfriend entitled The Adventures of Wolf Boy, about a superhero who himself battles the grief of a dead, un-tased bro as well as spectacular villains while attempting to save the world. The film will mix live action and animation, and the book is being adapted by Chris Parker (Mulan II). No director is attached at this time. Sounds kind of Juno-y to me, if the opening credits attacked Diablo Cody’s retro-toy potty mouth and Michael Cera died like Mac Culkin in My Girl. [Variety]

The Web’s Sly Stallone aficionado, AB King, says that MGM has hip-ish actors like Ryan Gosling, Cillian Murphy, Ben Foster and not-so-hip Elijah Wood pegged for one young sidekick role in Stallone’s Charles Bronson remake The Mechanic. The Rambo auteur recently signed a two-pic deal at Nu Image/Millennium Films to direct and star in two action films, so The Mechanic is probably one of them, and after he recently ruled out Rambo V, might the other by Death Wish? Stallone is back in a major way, it’s insane.

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But wait! Like a coin-op catfight between Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell…Rambo V might still have a shot! It seems Stallone is giving mixed signals from across the bar to his second most famous character. Kissy Kissy. Most recently, he said a third sequel will “depend on the success of this one, but right now I think I’m gearing one up. It will be quite different.” What!?! That would totally negate the response he gave here saying no more Rambo flicks ever, not even in…space. And yet at this rather recent link, he combines this “yes, no” weirdness, and I’d say it’s the best response to where Rambo V stands. When asked if he’ll return for another Rambo sequel he says straight-up, “No.” But when asked if he’d consider another Rambo sequel (what balls this interviewer has, eh?), Stallone says…

“I have a very, very bizarre idea. It’s probably so absurd, but it’s got to formulate a little bit. If I told you I was going to do one about a sixty one year old boxer, you’d go, ‘Yup!’ But if you find the right formula almost anything is feasible. It’s just coming in there and making the audience go, ‘Okay, that’s possible. That is feasible.’ It’s weird. I mean, Space Cowboys. Hello? But it worked.”

Hello? Did Stallone really just friggin’ imply that Rambo is going to space? I mean, there are lots of movies with old dudes kicking younger dudes’ asses. Why name drop Space Cowboys? Lastly, the creator of the Rambo character, David Morrell, has commented at length on his liking the new film, and it’s worth a read. (Oh yeah, and I gave it a 10/10.) [Dark Horizons]

Hunter Stephenson’s Movie Review: RAMBO

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The following review contains very minor spoilers and was written with consideration for those who have not seen it.

I’m disappointed with how Rambo seems to be doing this weekend at the domestic box office, and I am disappointed that I haven’t reviewed the film until now. That said, at least I am reviewing it, as many of the boisterous voices that could have made Sylvester Stallone‘s film an event film with online reviews have not done. There are those action fans, general moviegoers and fanboys who are on the fence about this movie; and for many the tide has already gone out for the film; they’ll get to it on DVD. “Who cares?”

I think this hesitation amongst movie reviewers and movie goers says something about how we deal with age in this country; it signifies that even when an actor goes over and beyond what is expected of him after he’s lived through and outlasted so many copycats, decades of Hollywood, and charlatans to the action throne, the respect is not there like it should be. Is Rambo cool or not cool in the internet culture? Am I too young or too old to see it? I’ve got a college education now, does that matter? What will my buddies straight out of Caddyshack II think if I like it?

America, please.

Review continued after the jump.

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Sylvester Stallone Says No More Rambo Films

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Say what?! Days after producer Harvey Weinstein started revving the hype machine for another Rambo sequel, director-star Sylvester Stallone is quoted as saying he’s forever done with the character. The following quote is attributed to Stallone by the Guardian UK newspaper, apparently while the actor was at a press conference…

“This is the last Rambo just as Rocky Balboa is the last Rocky,” Stallone told reporters. “I can’t go any further. It was a miracle that it even got done.”

This statement would seem to play against what Stallone has said previously while promoting his latest flick, which opened to $18 million plus last weekend. Most notably, in one of his Q&As with AICN [link is not retrievable on the site], Stallone gave the following response to a fan’s inquiry about a fifth Rambo film…

I truly can’t tell you yet because I think it would be bad luck, but I think a challenge would be to take the character which has been perceived mostly in a realistic vein and add another element of the surreal that would actually take the audience into a slightly different genre. It’s not like I’m going to turn it into a full on Broadway musical starring the Muppets, but it is ambitious.”

In a later AICN Q&A, Stallone was asked about his future involvement with action films post-new-Rambo

“I love action films. I think they’re highly underrated and it’s unfortunate that the amount of effort and craftsmanship that goes into creating modern day mythology is considered light weight fare. It’s not. It’s a thousand times more difficult to do a profound action film than a dramatic film, but I know the consensus of so called dramatic purists would disagree. So to answer you question I would consider it a privilege to do more films in this genre.”

There are other links online with pro-Rambo V quotes from Stallone, and he’s contrasted the character’s longevity with Rocky’s and the parting shot that was Rocky Balboa a bit. CinemaBlend even reported on negotiations for a fifth film as far back as October. Did something happen in the last few days or weeks to change Stallone’s mind, might he be changing his press quips to stabilize Rambo’s box office and its global standing as the last in the franchise? Or is he really done and moving on to remakes of The Mechanic and Death Wish, and his pet-project Poe? One thing is for sure, the jungles in Rambo and the Thailand scenery are beyond impressive, more so than in the great Rescue Dawn, and I can’t imagine the amount of labor involved for Stallone as both the lead actor and the director. Seriously. This is a fun action movie that beat its expectations to a pulp. The guy’s in his early 60s, and it all seemed effortless.

The film’s funny and very memorable ending can be interpreted as a final note or a set-up for another film. Hopefully, I get around to posting a review, but I’ll go ahead and endorse this is as the best Rambo film since First Blood. The movie snowballs in terms of craziness, and by the time it ends, you’re positive the Death Chart was off by, like, 300-400 kills. Check this film out, whether it’s the last or not.