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?
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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]
The 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.
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]
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?
Review continued after the jump.
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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.
I have no idea why I’m posting this. It’s probably because I found it funny for all the wrong reasons. It should also be noted that I’m still extremely sick with the flu… Although, I’m not exactly sure why that should be noted…
Watch the Rambo review from Canadian YouTube user named “sexman”. His profile claims he is 54-years-old and that he makes a living running a video production company named Gang Bang Productions. I’m pretty sue that at least 99% of those claims are unfounded. Watch the video review after the jump.
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Like two puppies in love, Harvey Weinstein and Nikki Finke had their requisite Sunday chat today, with Weinstein declaring that he’s quite pumped up about Rambo‘s combined domestic and international box office potential, while Finke’s sentiments are, adorably, the exact opposite. Serving as executive producer on the fourth Rambo film, which opened in second place this weekend, grossing $18.2 million, Weinstein also said that he’s hungry for a sequel, and this time he wants Rambo to come back to America.
“I like the idea of an older guy kicking ass. Maybe it’s because I’m older, too,” added Weinstein.
Sylvester Stallone has stated many times that, while Rocky Balboa’s days on film are up, he’d love to bring John Rambo back. Recently, we reported that Stallone emphasized adding “another element of the surreal [to a Rambo V] that would actually take the audience into a slightly different genre.”
Weinstein said he expects Rambo to do $50 million domestically, with $100-150 million on top of that internationally, where Stallone is a bigger draw. Both the speculated sci-fi or superhero slant and a return to the states sound like good moves, creative and business-wise, for the franchise and the Rambo character to me. You?
We all know that movie critics and fans of genre fare get along together like a giant serpent and Conan the Barbarian, but the maddening tug-o-war currently raging over Rambo‘s merits is ridiculous. Consider: On IMDB, the Sylvester Stallone sequel has a fantastic user-rating of 8.5/10 based on more than 4,000 votes. This consensus is good enough to put the film at #195 out the top 250 films ever! Lest you think this gap is an anomaly limited to one site, Rotten Tomatoes‘s critic meter has Rambo at just 38%, while the site’s users have it at 72%. On Metacritic, based on 19 reviews from the nation’s critics, it’s currently at 46/100, while around 100 users have it at a fantastic 9.1/10.
My review of the film will be in shortly, but we at /Film are more than curious to know what you thought about Rambo. Did the audiences seem this enthused and satisfied at your screening? Do you think the film’s terrible critical reception was enhanced by its lack of advance press screenings, always attributed by writers as a sign of a failed film or even a professional snub? Are New York-based film critics simply smarter than the rest of the human race? I kid. Are online users simply figuring in the film’s ginormous death inflation when compared to its predecessors? Did any of you dig Rocky Balboa but feel let down by Rambo, or vice versa for the bloodletters?
Can we make any sense of this divide? If you were apart of those who helped the film gross $18 million plus this weekend (rather impressive, I’d say), chime in. Somewhere deep in the jungle, Rambo is watching.
“Add Two and a Half Men to my chart.”
I’m not sure Rambo knows basic math, but from the looks of this spiffy new Rambo Death Chart (!!!) attached below, he’s too busy chain-gunning evildoers and furry critter bystanders, anyhow. Wow. I’m talking “three kills a minute for the entire film” wow. For the sake of spoilers, I won’t strip down like the chemistry teacher in Breaking Bad and roll around popping huge ’80s era squibs like bubble wrap right now, but let’s just say Rambo aka Rambo IV has a good 100 more deaths than former frag-champ Rambo III. And the good guys get their fair share of the blackness as well.
I remember when I first read the plot to Rambo I thought Sly was slyly but worrisomely going straight for the Passion of the Christ crowd. Then again, considering the red flow here, maybe he still is. View the numbers after the jump, and cheers to John Mueller at the L.A. Times for his numerical prowess. January 25th is officially Rambo Day.
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Bad news Rambo fans. Lionsgate has decided not to screen Rambo for press, aside from the few who attended the press junket in Los Angeles earlier this week. And even those journalists were subject to extensive Non Disclosure agreements which won’t allow them to say a word. National press not doing interviews in Hollywoodland won’t screen the film at all (Adam from Hollywood Chicago and two other outlets have also confirmed this). Why would the studio be so afraid of critical response, unless the movie is bad.
In other news, Uwe Boll’s In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale hits theaters today, and also wasn’t screened for press.