October 08, 2014

Podcast Episode 33: Crouching Shatner, Hidden Netflix And A Requiem For RAMBO III


History is not always kind to movies.  Particularly in the case of franchises, if a movie delivers a dramatic departure from the audience's expectations then the audience can turn on a film that's actually pretty good in its own right, thus souring the film for future generations based on reputation alone.  I now believe Rambo III to be just such a movie.  I also believe that anyone who tells you that Rambo II is the best of the franchise is functionally braindead.

The third entry in the Rambo series is far better than I remember it being, utilizing a clever role reversal by essentially having Stallone's musclebound super-soldier team up with the Soviet Union's version of the Viet Cong in Afghanistan while also delivering some of the best action in the franchise to date.  I suspect that the long sections where Stallone halts the story to educate Americans as to the plight of the noble Afghan freedom fighters turned off audiences who just wanted to see Rambo stab the shit out of some Russians, but viewed through the lens of 2014 the film serves as a stark reminder that once upon a time our government considered the mujahideen to be heroes as opposed to terrorists.

Also, at one point Stallone sets his own spleen on fire.

Episode 33 of the podcast has some Rambo III talk at the end, but is mostly devoted to a discussion of whether or not William Shatner should return to the role of James T. Kirk in the next Star Trek film and the future of that franchise in general.  Bart and I also chat at length about Netflix's upcoming sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and how the theatrical landscape continues to shift as theater owners refuse to screen the film in IMAX theaters.  Taken alongside the announcement that Netflix has signed Adam Sandler to a four picture deal, it's hard not wonder how the one-time DVD rental service will continue to impact both the development and distribution process going forward.  This episode marks a bit of a shift in the podcast's overall structure, focusing more on what's happening in Hollywood this week than just about the particular movie we screened.  I'm hoping to continue down that same path going forward.


Next Week: Our Rambo Rewatch comes to a bloody, bloody end with Rambo.