Bloodshot Recap

Jamie

Ray is a total badass with a hot wife. Life is good. (or is it?) When he and his wife are killed by a psycho bad guy (or is he?) Ray is shocked to find himself reanimated with robot blood and no memory. When bits and pieces start coming back, he becomes dead set on payback (or is he?). Can he take down the real bad guy before it’s too late? Find out in… Bloodshot.

How?! If you can’t tell from the short synopsis, this is a film with all sorts of twist-em-ups. We are introduced to Ray as an all around American hero. He is saving hostages one day and then heading to the Amalfi Coast with his perfectly beautiful wife the next. But this is all shattered when a psycho demands information from Ray that he doesn’t have. But just when it looks like Ray and his wife have been killed and the movie is over you are shocked (shocked!) to find out that the previously deceased Ray has been turned into a memoryless super soldier by a company, RST, using nanobots. While he’s still getting used to having all kinds of tiny robots for blood, Ray starts having flashbacks about the man who killed his wife. Enraged, he goes on a mission and uses all of his totally badass superpowers to take out anyone in his way and kill the man. But just when you think the movie is again over you are shocked (shocked!) to find that in fact Ray’s previous life is all a simulation meant to implant his next target into his brain (what a twist!). But things start going awry when on the next mission Ray is knocked out by an EMP and revived by a totally elite hacker who informs him about what is actually going on. Now really enraged (for real this time), Ray leaves and visits his wife who turns out to not be dead… and also turns out to not be his wife at all. Now even more enraged, Ray is confronted by some other RST super soldiers and is subdued. But with the help of his friends (aww) he is able to escape and proceeds to have a big ol’ fight with the super soldiers and this time wins (duh). He then murders the CEO of RST and wins the day. THE END.

Why?! Ray’s motivations are always on the side of good… or at least on the side of good as he perceives it. It’s always for revenge against those he thought killed his wife or against those that have really wronged him. The antagonist’s motivations are, as always, more interesting. Ray is just his super soldier, but he has started using him as a method of taking out his former partners in the company turned rivals. This, of course, turns out poorly because life… finds a way.

Who?! There are a whole bunch of special thanks in the film, but none are particularly interesting. A few are comic book writers who had some influence on the character or story, but not enough to get a full credit and then some people that helped with production in South Africa. Probably the best though is Eric the hacker who is a Planchet in the sense that everyone makes fun of him the whole time. The only issue is that, while talented at what he does, he is one of the enemies and easily bested by a better hacker in the end. The actor who plays him, Siddharth Dhananjay, also seems to be a Youtube rapper.

What?! Some mild product placement with people using Sony phones and tablets left and right. That’s probably what should have alerted Vin Diesel to it all being a simulation. When he looks around and everyone is jamming out on their Sony phones and tablets without an Apple product in sight he should be like “wait a second.” And Eric the hacker is like “sorry, the simulation is sponsored by Sony.”

Where?! Beautiful settings film. We start in “Kenya” and head to “Italy” before landing in the first actual location of Malaysia. We then proceed to have some sweet battles in Hungary and England. While disappointing that the first two locations turn out to be simulations, Malaysia and Hungary are two incredible spots to set this film in. B+.

When?! Sure feels like the near future, but it’s really hard to tell. They don’t give us much considering the entire plot and film takes place in a bit of a crazy super soldier computer simulation bubble where things either feel like the current day or several decades in the future. F until I find out otherwise.

I will say I was pleasantly surprised by this film. I thought from the trailers that this would be dumb garbage. It’s still not smart garbage, but I think it does a number of things a lot better than I expected. Better visuals, particularly some striking use of color that was fun to watch. Better plot, which honestly seemed like it was shaping up to be a true travesty thirty minutes into the film, but used the twist to rescue it a bit. Better set-up for an actual series, although who knows if that will actually happen now. I didn’t really like the end battle and Vinny D had two scenes where he is meant to look sad and it’s… quite something to behold, but overall that still shakes out to be a fairly good BMT film. Should I break it out? Sure. It’s not that bad! Not that bad! Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Much like Vinny D in Bloodshot, BMT Live! cannot be stopped. No, we won’t be heading out to the cinema, we managed to catch one of the qualifying films which has crashed onto streaming platforms early, and we are counting it. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Prior to the film coming out I had an inkling this was going to be another film that got like … 35-50% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m glad I was kind of wrong, it ended up being decidedly slammed by critics … but it still felt like it was going to be disappointingly blah. That it was either going to qualify but not really be that bad (Hunter Killer), or not qualify and then I’d watch it and be like “blah” (xXx 3). So yeah, I was expecting another Hunter Killer basically. What were my expectations? I was just kind of hoping for it to be really really dumb. So dumb that it became funny that Vin Diesel keeps on getting work grumbling his lines in films not called Fast & Furious. That would make me pretty happy to be honest.

The Good – The first half of this film is legit kind of good. It starts off feeling dumb with a bunch of movie cliches, but then they pull out the twist (that is actually so large it ends up just being the conceit of the entire film) and I mostlydug it. It was really effective, and combined with it coming right after by far the best action sequence in the film I had an epiphany: this movie must just completely fall apart in the third act. There was little other explanation in my mind as to why critics would have slammed it, because the first half is good. I also like Lamorne Morris, and him doing what I assume is an intentionally bad British accent (a la Don Cheadle in Ocean’s Eleven) amused me.

The Bad – Ayup, the third act completely fell apart. It was mostly just that they screwed around in London a bit too long making the movie too long, and then they ended with a really bad action sequence at Bloodshot HQ in Malaysia. The actual worst thing in the film is Vin Diesel’s acting, but that is par for the course. He has two modes. Mode Fambly is him grumbling into the camera, and my brain just switches off at this point when Vinny D’s in Fambly Mode. The second is Super Serious Acting Mode, and he just doesn’t have it anymore. I think he once had it, but a combination of doing way too many Fast & Furious films, and him probably just getting lazy with age, means he just don’t got it any more. And when he tries to act it is actually embarrassing. Most of the rest of the film is just forgettable.

The BMT – Initially, I just kind of felt blah about the film. The first half was good-ish, the second half was bad-ish, let’s call the whole thing off. But now after writing everything out and watching Furious 7 for the Schooled section … are we sure Vin Diesel’s good? Strike that, are we sure Vin Diesel isn’t awful? Maybe that’s the legacy of this film, it’ll be the moment where I crossed the Rubicon and started to ironically enjoy Vin Diesel’s acting. That’s a decent legacy if I’m being honest. Did it meet my expectations? It wasn’t dumb enough. The twist in the middle would have had to be dumber. Like … make his wife like Guy Pearce’s wife and make her the big baddie? I’m there for that. But Vin Diesel grumbled at me, so that made me happy.

Roast-radamus – I think there is a small argument that the IT guy (Eric, played by Siddharth Dhananjay) is a Planchet (Who?), mostly serving to be dunked on by Guy Pearce and various other corporate employees. A few funny Product Placement (What?) with American Turkey Bourbon and Ford immediately coming to mind. A couple decent (if brief) Setting as a Character (Where?) with Malaysia serving as the location of Bad Company HQ, Hungary playing a big part in the first assassination, and London obviously. Probably all too small to be a real “character”, but still pretty fun. While there was a twist it wasn’t bad so I’ll leave that there. I think it has a better shot at Good than at the other superlatives, but likely it just won’t get any of those in the end.

StreetCreditReport.com – Very tough obviously to do real street credit reports this early in the year. In reality the cred comes from Vinny D who for whatever reason still headlines a bad action film outside of the F&F Universe every two years or so. I think this also gets a bit of cred by proving that cheesy comic books films are still squarely Marvel’s domain. Valiant can’t just roll in with Bloodshot and expect people to accept the ridiculous nonsense happening on screen immediately. You have to earn that cred. Finally, I mean, how can it avoid getting some bad movie cred for being a bad movie that just got torpedoed by a global pandemic? I’ll remember sheltering in place and watching Bloodshot, that’s for sure.

You Just Got Schooled – It felt like the right time to start catching up on my boy Vinny D’s filmography as I fell a bit behind on the F&F series. While I very much enjoyed Fast 5, I very much did not enjoy Fast & Furious 6. So I went into Furious 7 knowing that I probably was a bit “over” the series as a whole. And not surprisingly … the movie is just not very good. It is too long, everything looks stupid, and the script is an abomination. I know that is what they are going for, but I just don’t really get it, and that’s fine. A few positives. Obviously a good send off for the OG F&F star Walker; it’s got some great vistas, and I love vistas, including a very rare Azerbaijan setting; and the addition of Shaw, who provided an “invincible bad guy” to convincingly go up against The Fambly. Overall, some positives, but again … I don’t get it! C+.

Live Theater Review (Shelter in Place Edition) – I guess I’ll keep this short. I watched on Movies Anywhere in the comfort of my own flat. On the one hand it allowed me to watch in two pieces which is a somewhat unsatisfying experience. That’s on me though, and more about self-discipline (of which I have very little). On the other hand, I didn’t sit miserably in the theater watching a movie I didn’t really want to see. So it was a mixed bag. I guess we’ll see how the Spring session goes. C.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Bloodshot Quiz

Hmmm the last thing I remember I was a soldier in a warzone and I feel like I probably got killed? But now I’m filled with nanobots and I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Bloodshot?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) When Vin Diesel awakens he meets all of his new and improved friends. How many people have augmentations, and what are they?

2) We see Vinny D kill the man who killed his wife … or so we think? What actually is happening with Vinny D?

3) During the final attack outside of London a 1337 h4XX0r takes our boy down with an EMP. Why?

4) What actually happened with Vinny D and his “wife”?

5) In the final scene it is revealed that Vinny D survived and was further augmented by our favorite hacker. What additional augmentation did he receive?

Answers

Bloodshot Preview

Having trailed her through the hallways of the school, Rich looks on curiously as Adrestia attempts to pick the lock to the principal’s office. *Ahem* he coughs and she whirls, locked and loaded and ready for a fight. Seeing who it is, though, she lifts a finger to quiet him and nods towards the now open door. Once inside the office she sticks her hand out, “I guess we can drop the ruse. Det. Adrestia at your service.” Rich is confused. “I’ve been working undercover here for the last year,” she explains, “trying to track down a rogue cop deemed the Four-Finger Fellow cause he always takes the pinkie fingers of his victims as souvenirs.” “Gross,” thinks Rich, but he’s also curious. Could Halloway be this rogue cop? Or maybe Adrestia is lying like a big ol’ liar. Only one way to find out. “Let’s join forces for justice,” he says, mustering all his natural charisma and charm. She hesitates. Rich without Poe is one cop short of an action-packed team. But two heads are better than one and she finally relents, “but only because I’ve yet to figure out where to find the final piece to the puzzle… The Devil’s Key.” Rich gasps. “But that’s only a legend,” he whispers shakily. But Adrestia shakes her head. It’s real. A device capable of revealing all the undercover cops in the world, corrupt or otherwise. “With such power comes great responsibility,” warns Rich, coining a wholly original phrase. But Adrestia insists it’s the only way to find the information she needs. Rich nods, knowing that if it comes to it he’ll have to destroy the key or take down Adrestia trying. Suddenly a red dot sight appears on Rich’s chest and Adrestia’s eyes widen in horror. That’s right! We’re doing it. The shelter in place BMT Live! Given where the film’s reviews landed we were primed and ready to watch Bloodshot in theaters for BMT. But then the virus hit and we sadly thought our chance was gone. Wrong! That’s because they released this mofo streaming. Ready or not, Vinny D, cause here we come. Let’s go!

Bloodshot (2020) – BMeTric: 30.3; Notability: 24 

BloodshotIMDb_BMeT

BloodshotIMDb_RV

(That’s a fun graph. It was only in theaters for about a week. And then in a day or two of online release it managed to double the vote count. I would actually guess that you could estimate the total online gross pretty well by just tracking that graph and doing a little back of the envelope calculation. The Notability is very small, which makes a bit of sense when you look at the budget. Notability probably scales pretty well with budget.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – Vin Diesel fans who can’t wait for the next installment of the “Fast and Furious” macho soap opera series can get their fix at “Bloodshot,” a comic book adaptation that’s as big a stickler about “family” yet far less satisfying than even the worst films of the “Fast” franchise. The family in question here is the wife of Ray Garrison (Diesel), who is put in danger by her spouse’s mercenary soldiering. Now, if you want to walk into director Dave Wilson’s sci-fi actioner as blindly as I did, exit this review now. If you desire a hint of what you’re in for, let me leave you with a few phrases you would have encountered had you stuck around: “Universal Soldier,” “robotic cucarachas,” “needle drop abuse of the Talking Heads” and “blatant rip-off.”

(Oooooooo spoiler alerts in the review. Yes please. I don’t really go for spoiler warnings usually, but you know what? I don’t know anything about this movie so I’m going to give going in blind a shot.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F95Fk255I4M/

(Ah I get it … it actually is a superhero movie. The bad guy looks like a cross between Doc Ock and Vulture from Spiderman basically. So … that’s going to be terrible. I can’t wait.)

Directors – Dave Wilson – (BMT: Bloodshot; Notes: A video game trailer director! That’s amazing. He probably got this film partially based on his Love, Death & Robots (produced by David Fincher) short film.)

Writers – Jeff Wadlow (screenplay by & story by) – (Future BMT: Prey; Fantasy Island; Cry Wolf; True Memoirs of an International Assassin; Kick-Ass 2; BMT: Truth or Dare; Bloodshot; Notes: Nephew of Katie Couric, who interviewed him on Today at one point. Has produced a few television shows such as The Strain.)

Eric Heisserer (screenplay by) – (Known For: Bird Box; Arrival; Lights Out; Final Destination 5; Hours; Future BMT: A Nightmare on Elm Street; Extinction; The Thing; BMT: Bloodshot; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Arrival. Married to Christine Boylan who is herself an accomplished television writer and producer of things like The Punisher.)

Kevin VanHook, Bob Layton, and Don Perlin (comic book) – (BMT: Bloodshot; Notes: Mostly just comic book writers, although VanHook is a prolific visual effects artist on things like The Marine 5!)

Actors – Vin Diesel – (Known For: Avengers: Endgame; Guardians of the Galaxy; Avengers: Infinity War; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Saving Private Ryan; Fast & Furious 8; Fast & Furious 7; xXx: Return of Xander Cage; Furious 6; Ralph Breaks the Internet; Fast & Furious 5; Pitch Black; Riddick; Awakenings; xXx; The Iron Giant; Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk; Boiler Room; Find Me Guilty; Future BMT: A Man Apart; Knockaround Guys; The Chronicles of Riddick; BMT: Babylon A.D.; The Pacifier; The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift; The Last Witch Hunter; Bloodshot; Fast & Furious; The Fast and the Furious; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for The Chronicles of Riddick in 2005; Notes: Allegedly Steven Spielberg said that if Diesel didn’t direct another movie it would be “crime against cinema”.)

Eiza González – (Known For: Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw; Alita: Battle Angel; Baby Driver; Paradise Hills; She’s Missing; Future BMT: Jem and the Holograms; Welcome to Marwen; BMT: Bloodshot; Notes: Born in Mexico. Started in the telenovelas Lola: Érase una vez abd Sueña conmigo.)

Sam Heughan – (Known For: The Spy Who Dumped Me; BMT: Bloodshot; Notes: Scottish, he’s one of the stars of the show Outlander.)

Budget/Gross – $45,000,000 / Domestic: $10,021,787 (Worldwide: $28,428,855)

(This is going to look a little odd since it only managed to get out to theaters for a short run. It was probably going to mostly be unsuccessful regardless, but the low budget of $45 million probably means it’ll ultimately be a wash for the most part.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 30% (39/132): Bloodshot gives Vin Diesel a solid opportunity to indulge in old-school action that should satisfy fans, even if the end result is disappointingly mediocre.

(Oooof. As a not-huge fan of Diesel, whose acting often leaves a lot to be desired, that isn’t too promising. Sounds like Vin Diesel: The Movie (again … for like the fifth time). Reviewer Highlight: By the time our man/machine finds himself in the time-honored pickle of dangling by one hand from a ledge 50 stories above the ground, Bloodshot has already given us an action movie hangover. – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – BloodSklog (B+)

bloodshot

(Gotta be honest, despite kinda looking lame I also kinda dig this poster. Nice strong red color, font has a bit of flair with the classic Bloodshot symbol incorporated, and it’s doing its job… of telling you that Vin Diesel is in the film. Patrick’s Shallow Fake: I think this is probably the best one I’ve done yet, and it only took like an hour and a half. I am preeeeeetty impressed with myself.)

Tagline(s) – You Don’t Need a Past to Have a Future (B-)

(This has merits, but it’s a bit too bland and generic. It really could be the tagline for any number of films with heroes with dark pasts… I mean, even something like, say, The Glimmer Man. But it’s still got flow and it’s mildly clever. Just generic.)

Keyword – super strength

Bloodshot_super strength

Top 10: Bloodshot (2020), Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Terminator: Dark Fate (2019), Black Panther (2018), Alita: Battle Angel (2019), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Captain Marvel (2019), Watchmen (2009), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Future BMT: 71.1 The Spirit (2008), 70.5 Zoom (2006), 68.7 Supergirl (1984), 65.0 Max Steel (2016), 61.0 Cursed (2005), 57.9 Supernova (2000), 55.7 An American Werewolf in Paris (1997), 54.8 Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), 51.7 You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008), 51.1 Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2010);

BMT: Bloodshot (2020), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Hellboy (2019), Sucker Punch (2011), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), Batman & Robin (1997), The Predator (2018), Gods of Egypt (2016), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Universal Soldier (1992), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), Hitman: Agent 47 (2015), Soldier (1998), Dracula 2001 (2000), The Legend of Hercules (2014), Alone in the Dark (2005), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)

(Honestly the only one of those I’m looking forward to is Supergirl which is a classic bad movie. That dip in the 2000s is quite interesting. It seems plausibly like an oversight as that was right when things like Spider-man 2 was coming out. Could also just be that some comic book films (like Batman) don’t qualify and the gritty “real” ones became popular for a split second before Marvel broke everything wide open. Both seem realistic.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Vin Diesel is No. 1 billed in Bloodshot and No. 1 billed in Babylon A. D., which also stars Michelle Yeoh (No. 2 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 4 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 15. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Bloodshot is one of the most popular characters in the 80 million comics selling Valiant Universe. Bloodshot has sold over 7 million comics in all languages. Bloodshot #1 was a much anticipated comic that became a best selling issue and has gone on to sell approximately 1 million copies. Bloodshot #1 was awarded “Best Comic” by Diamond Distributors (the American comics industry’s leading distributor) and “Best Innovation” for its chromium cover (the first of its kind). (So its got that comics cred, got it)

First film based on Valiant Comics. (Oh wow, I wouldn’t have guessed that actually, but it makes sense. I would have thoughts there would have been some trash made in the late 2000s)

Just like other films released around the same time as this one, Bloodshot suffered a bad opening weekend at the box office due to the global pandemic, the coronavirus. Though the opening was never projected to be large, it is said it still suffered millions in losses both domestically and especially worldwide. (Oh yeah, I forgot about COVID-19 …)

This is the second comic-book role for Vin Diesel (after playing Groot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), Guy Pearce (after Iron Man Three (2013)), Eiza González (after Alita: Battle Angel (2019)), Sam Heughan (after Lego DC Super-Villains (2018)), and Talulah Riley (after Thor: The Dark World (2013)). (Yeah, turns out a lot of people do comic book movies now)

Vin Diesel and Eliza Gonzalez have both appeared in films from “The Fast and the Furious” franchise. Diesel starred in 8 films and Gonzalez appeared in the 2019 spin-off “Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw”. (Whaaaa that’s pretty funny)

Countdown Recap

Jamie

Quinn is just a nurse looking to do a good job, but when a creepy new app tells her she’s going to die in two days (and she has reasons to believe it just might be true) she has to pull out all the stops to save herself and her sister from it’s technohorror devices. Can she stop this real spooooky app from killing her? Find out in… Countdown.

How?! There a new app out there that’s all the rage with the kiddies. That’s because it tells you when you’re gonna die, and guess what? It’s kinda right. Oh no! So when Quinn hears about this from one of her patients she can’t help but check it out herself and finds to her horror that she only has three days left to live. Double oh no! Realizing that it says she’ll die on a family outing to her mother’s grave she cancels only to have the phone say she broke the user agreement for the app. Soon she’s getting all haunted by demons and her phone is acting all crazy and the doctor at the hospital is sexually harassing her and she blamed herself for her mom’s death and her sister also opens the app and finds out that she’s going to die at the same time as Quinn. Gah! What’s a girl to do in this crazy world? While trying to get a new phone without the app she meets Matt, a cute guy who is in the same predicament. They go on a quest to solve their problem. First stop: a kooky priest who tells them that it’s all a curse that can be broken by causing or preventing someone’s death. Second stop: the phone store guy who totes hacks the app and confirms that it’s indeed a curse. Third stop: her sister’s house so they can form a power trio ready to rock and roll. Unfortunately Matt immediately dies on their first attempt to break the curse. Oooops. Uh, so I guess Quinn better go kill that creepy doctor instead. Vigilante justice! But the demon itself gets in the action and stops them. Only one thing left to do: grab some drugs and overdose, thus distracting the demon and saving your sister. Then smash open that Chekhov’s narcan and be revived to live a long fulfilling life… or will they. Bum bum bum. Big Question: the classic, how long did it take for the demon to code his app? The film actually nicely sidesteps this by totally ignoring it… correct choice.

Why?! Not to die, duh. As for the bad guy (a literal demon), well it’s also pretty boring in that way. He’s a demon! Really the most interesting question is why it uses an app for its evil scheme. Perhaps it realizes the scary truth: that the demon itself isn’t the most horrifying aspect of life… it’s our addiction to our phones. Yah dig?

Who?! It’s been a while since we had a solid uncredited performance. But Countdown did have one that popped out. That’s because Austin Zajur, who is the wisecracking kid in the opening scene of the film, went uncredited here. None of the other kids did and he probably had the most lines of any of them… so why? Why uncredited? A true curiosity.

What?! There are some mild product placements in here (doordash is one mentioned off hand I think). But everything is harder with a LIVE film. Instead I will reiterate the heavy-handedness of the Chekhov’s Narcan. Whoever decided that they needed to set up the narcan scene by explicitly establishing its use on screen in an earlier scene made a huge mistake. It just made everything that followed that much more obvious and predictable.

Where?! I’m sure this is clear if I could stop the film during the showing and really inspect a few things. But alas, it’s hard to do that LIVE. I’m gonna give this an incomplete. There is a chance that it’s more than obvious when we rewatch the film in prep for Countdown2.0.

When?! This I actually did catch. At the end of the film we see Quinn visiting the grave of her mother. They read a newspaper regarding events surrounding the creepy doctor, so it all points to it being not that long after the end of the film. We see the grave, April 2nd if I’m remembering correctly, and Quinn says “Happy birthday mom.” So I think this takes place in early Spring. But don’t hold me to this, C+.

I generally enjoy horror films. Even the bad ones we watch for BMT. This is definitely not the worst we’ve endured. It’s biggest issue is how predictable it is. We get a random scene in the beginning of the film of Quinn helping revive someone from an overdose using narcan and I’m sitting there being like “why in the hell did the filmmakers think the film needed this sce…ohhhhhhhh.” And so I sat there waiting for her to use narcan in some way to survive. The same goes for the sexual harassment storyline. Even if you don’t watch horror films this all is obvious… it’s more like “screenwriting 101” going on. As they say, if you see narcan in the first act, it better be used in the second act. Chekhov’s narcan. But on the positive side, I felt like they did a good job with the creepiness of the visuals and monster design. It actually looked good, which isn’t always the case, even when the film as a whole isn’t that scary. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! As has become tradition we ventured out into the crisp autumn air to watch a not-scary horror film with a bunch of teenagers. Literally, it is one of the things I look forward to the most each year, which is demented. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – This film looked ultra dumb. An app that kills you? That is like a parody horror film trailer from SNL or something. And when it turned out that for real, it’s an app that kills you? I’m in. I will gladly watch the shitty jump scares (probably) wash over me as they set up their sequel that is never going to be made. Let’s do it. What are my expectations – Absolute best case scenario is The Bye Bye Man where there is some evil thing that looks ridiculous and makes you laugh. Worst case is Flatliners where it is just kind of eerie, shiny, and cynically made. Let’s hope for that best case.

The Good – I actually appreciate the construction of the film more than I would expect. While I disliked the idea of the priest character, I did appreciate that they tried to lampshade it a bit (like … why would almost any priest know anything about demons in reality? They wouldn’t, and they go to quite the length to explain that to the audience). I burst out laughing when they set up Countdown 2.0 at the end, the sheer gall of it made me actually love the idea. Bring it on, I’ll go see the Countdown franchise’s latest garbage horror film every year, why not? As for the one non-ironic thing I liked about it: I liked the creature design in the end. It is hard to create a creature that is scary, unique, and doesn’t look like shit, but they mostly managed to do that which is cool.

The Bad – The entire film is a predictable mess. In order to use the anti-narcotics drugs in the end to save Quinn they felt the need to create a whole scene showing it being used. In order to legitimatize Quinn trying to kill Dr. Rape (not his name, although that would have been appropriate heyyyyooo) they had to explain quite clearly (twice) that the curse is broken if someone dies earlier than expected. Beyond that it also isn’t that scary, although credit where it is due, the opening kill was well done. I also think there were far too few kills in the film. Thinking on it the answer is what? Three? Three actual kills in the film (this doesn’t count the main character watching someone die in a YouTube video). That’s pretty weak.

The BMT – It is an annual tradition, the bad horror film. I would put this above Slender Man (which was boring) and below The Bye Bye Man (which was hilarious). Something like Rings is a decent comp maybe? A film which is obviously not good, but there are kernels of good ideas in it so I’m glad I watched it. Did it meet my expectations? Not entirely, but I did enjoy enough of it, as I said, that I’m not upset I spent the money to see it in theaters. See you next year not-scary-horror-film.

Roast-radamus – Hmmm, I presume the film is set in Los Angeles, but I didn’t actually catch it. I will give a small non-award shoutout to the temporal setting which is fairly unique: it literally gives you a running clock such that you know precisely when every event takes place. Do we give awards for Chekov’s Blank (What?)? I think we do, and Chekov’s Narcan is waaaaaay up there. And I’ll give it a Worst Twist (How?) nod for it just telling you multiple times how the entire movie is going to operate. The actual twist is that she kills herself with a massive dose of morphine (I assume) and then can be brought back to life right after. And it’ll be in the running for the Live! Award as well.

StreetCreditReport.com – It would be tough for it to get on any lists since it just came out, but it did find a place at the bottom of this rundown. Other than that we can only wait. I doubt it’ll get many awards as people will effectively forget about it in a week or so (plus it is a box office success which isn’t very fun to poke fun at in the end). But I would imagine it’ll end up in some top 5 worst horror films of 2019 lists eventually, I bet genre fans hate it.

BMT Live Theater Review – Ah, back to Vue, this time in the very posh Westfield shopping center. They showed this in a very intimate 30-40 person theater on the top floor of the mall, which actually worked very well. I got one of the last tickets for the 5PM showing (phew) and the theater was packed with teenagers looking for thrills. And scream and gasp they did, much to my delight (it was fun hearing people squirm and shriek at times). The highlight of the showing? When the main character very clearly explains “Hey, I’m trying to kill this guy because it’ll break the curse, remember? Remember when the priest character told us that before?” and the entire theater just gasps with a loud “Ohhhhhhhhhh, yeah” … what movie are you watching?! They’ve explained this like four times. It definitely made me wonder a bit about how people actually watch movies, it just seems crazy one could pay so little attention to not get that without it being explained. B+, loved the small theater with the packed audience, but Vue Westfield is also pricey with about 30 minutes of ads before the showing. Hurts the viewing experience IMO.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Countdown Quiz

Well, it is a classic story. I downloaded an app which said I would forget everything about the movie I was watching in three minutes. Obviously, I laughed at it … but now I’m a bit freaked out, I really can’t remember what happened in Countdown! Do you?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Our hero Quinn is a smart lady with a lot to live for and a lot to celebrate. At the beginning of the film the creepy doctor throws her a little party and wants to take her on a completely professional date. What are they celebrating?

2) After the killer app takes control of Quinn’s life she tries to delete it at a phone help desk where she meets Matt, a young man with a haunted past. Who is haunting him and why?

3) How many people die from the killer app during the course of the film?

4) Of the five people whose fates we know about, how were they all supposed to originally die and how did they break Countdown’s user agreement?

5) Why does Quinn and her sister individually blame themselves for their mother’s death?

Answers

Rambo: Last Blood Recap

Jamie

Rambo is back, Jack! And boy is he old. When the girl he has helped raise decides to try to find her father in Mexico and is kidnapped by a gang, he is ready to spring back into action to save her. Can he save the girl and kill all the bad guys before it’s too late? Find out in… Rambo: Last Blood.

How?! Rambo has spent the last decade living it up on his horse farm in Arizona. He loves the quiet life of training horses, helping raise the daughter of the woman who helps him with his housekeeping, and building intricate tunnels under the ground (naturally). When the girl says she wants to go to Mexico to find her father Rambo is like “no…” but obviously she is going to go. When she gets down there a former friend of hers sells her to a gang running a prostition ring. Realizing what’s happened Rambo heads down Mexico way in order to bust some skulls. He tracks her from place to place punching people and snapping their bones, only to get nearly killed when the gang confronts him about why he’s skulking about. After a long recovery with the help of an investigative reporter, he convinces her to get him the necessary information to get find her. Busting in, he’s able to recover the girl, but she dies from her injuries on the way back to Arizona. Devastated Rambo totally pimps up his tunnels into a death trap and heads back to Mexico. There he kills one of the leaders of the gang and goads the rest to follow him back to their death. They oblige. Lots of explosions, bows and arrows, and punching and shooting later and they are all dead and Rambo is alive. THE END. Big Question: The big elephant in the room… is this film racist? The obvious answer is yes (just like Death Wish is racist)… but also somehow less racist than I thought it would be considering the hullabaloo.

Why?! I really could have just written one of these for the entire series. Rambo wants to save (some POWs/Trautman/some missionaries/the girl he considers his daughter) and will stop at nothing to rescue them/win. And as is the case with all of the films (particularly the last couple) the bad guys are cartoonishly evil and do some truly terrible shit because they are evil.

Who?! I’m struggling a little for this category so I’ll just wax poetic about Rambo. Really the most important thing to wonder is what would happen if Rambo had to rescue his daughter-figure from the clutches of Jason. Would he die. Jason is a supernatural monster powered by lightning. And Rambo has some sweet muscles but no paranormal powers himself. My conclusion though is that Rambo survives. Jason always does get put back into hibernation at the end of the film. Why not by Rambo?

What?! It really took me out of the film to watch Rambo with his dying breath reach for a final sip of Bulleit Bourbon and washes it down with a refreshing Coca-Cola. But seriously Rambo really abandoned the product places following the 80s. Also can’t expect there to really be props for sale yet but there is already two replica knives from the film for sale… seems impossible.

Where?! Nice split setting between Arizona and Mexico. Good example of both and pretty equally represented. I guess if I had to give it to one of the spots as the primary setting I would go with Mexico as Rambo films are really defined by the setting in which Rambo kicks ass and takes names. Given the plot it does seem necessary. A.

When?! As has become tradition the temporal setting is really just “present day.” However, in this case we do get a little more specificity as the beginning of the film revolves around Rambo’s daughter-figure heading off to college in the near future. So likely we are thinking August 2019. Better than the others. C.

Well it’s better than the fourth film. I thought this one started out pretty good. A little strange that all of a sudden Rambo was super talkative and said more than six words. Seemed a little out of character, but I guess fatherhood will do that to you. The latter half was still not really for me, but again somehow more palatable than the fourth. I think they stumbled in killing Rambo’s daughter-figure and probably should have just followed through on the obvious ending of Rambo killing the gang, but also getting mortally wounded in the process. That actually would have been kinda great and honestly do they really think they’re going to maybe make another one? Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Phew, we finally did it. We prepped our mind to go and watch a real (and hopefully the last) Rambo film in theaters. Our minds promptly shut down and now I only know Rambo. My mind has been consumed by Rambo. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – The rumors surrounding this film were that it was aggressively racist. I think the original story was described as Rambo as border control or something … or like he takes on an entire cartel himself. It changed since then, so I don’t think it is actually racist, but it isn’t great when you go into a film literally only knowing that about it. What are my expectations? Alright, let’s aim low. I will be pleased if this is better than the fourth one which I hated. If we can get there, I’ll be really really pleased with how my theater experience went.

The Good – Immediately pleasantly surprised to see what Stallone chose to do with Rambo. The softening warrior who finds new meaning in life via a surrogate daughter is precisely the kind of ending I would hope for Rambo. Additionally, while the film didn’t really feel like a Rambo film at any particular time, I thought the story actually made a pretty good movie for the first 30 minutes or so. And gosh darn it, I can’t help it: I like Stallone. I find his level of charisma the thing that is mostly lacking in the current crop of over-muscled action stars. No wonder we keep on making action blockbusters with old people from the 80s.

The Bad – The Home Alone ending is, somehow, the worst part of the entire movie. It looked like they had to recut the film and just set something up that was both familiar and able to be shot in 30 different segments by a B-crew over a two week span. I also really didn’t like that they killed off the daughter-figure. I think the choice to have her go through the hardship she faced is perhaps understandable (contrasting with something like Taken), but to kill her manages to undo everything I thought they did well with Old Rambo in the beginning of the film. Him killing off the cartel and dying to save this young woman who gave him a reason to live in his old age would have been a perfect send off for Rambo’s character. Through all his killing, facing off against evil because of the country / morals he believed in, and he ends up dying for someone he believes in? That’s beautiful. And they threw it away.

The BMT – Meh. I think I would rather just give the first as the best film, the second as the best action film, the third as the best ridiculous action film, and the fourth as the worst film. I don’t really feel the need to ever watch this again. But if you’ve watched the first four, the fifth one I guess completes the set. A better send off than the fourth at least. Did it meet my expectations? Resoundingly. Honestly I thought the first half was a pretty good film. Wasn’t really a Rambo film, but still, a pleasantly interesting story. Which is a lot better than the hot garbage that is Rambo (2008) from start to finish.

Roast-radamus – Hmmm, I think again the combination of Arizona and Mexico gives a pretty compelling Setting as a Character (Where?) for this film as well. They really really know settings. After that it’ll just end up competing in the Live category which it will definitely lose. There are definitely going to be worse 2019 films I think.

StreetCreditReport.com – This is where this gets a bit difficult since it just came out. I think Stallone will gather a Razzie nod for his performance, the Razzies are getting a little weird with the voting and I don’t think they’ll be able to avoid the allure of awarding Stallone again. Otherwise I doubt it’ll get much play on any of the big lists / awards. It has a built in audience and I think people actually do consider these things “good for what they are”.

BMT Live Theater Experience – I once again ventured off to Cineworld. This time I made sure that I was getting the 2D showing specifically, to avoid another Hellboy situation where I’m getting like … blood sprayed in my face during the 4DX showing or something. I actually can barely remember anything about the showing besides that the guy next to me walked about half way through. I thought he was just going to the bathroom but … nope, he never came back. Very pleasant experience, a rarity for Cineworld, but I was impressed with what happens when you don’t go at like 11PM on a Thursday … turns out it isn’t super gross and weird when other people are there. Go figure.

Cheerios, and back to you Jamie!

Rambo (2008) Recap

Jamie

Rambo is back, Jack! Living contently in Thailand wrangling snakes, Rambo is convinced to bring some missionaries into war-torn Myanmar. When they are captured he goes in with mercenaries to get them back, no matter the cost. Can he get them back and take down the bad guy before it’s too late? Find out in… Rambo.

How?! Rambo is still living his life in Thailand catching snakes for a living (obviously). When some missionaries come looking to hire him to bring them over the border to war-torn Myanmar he’s like “… … … no” but the female missionary, Sarah, sees good in Rambo and convinces him to help them. So he’s like “… … … yes.” On the way in, they get attacked by pirates and the missionaries are shocked by Rambo’s ruthlessness in dispatching them. He drops them off only to find out a short time later that they were all kidnapped by a monstrous military group. Joining up with some mercenaries being sent in for a rescue, he immediately sets about killing members of the military group who are torturing hostages. This is much to the surprise of the mercenaries who didn’t expect to have the boatman turn out to be a killing machine. Using Rambo’s skillz they are able to infiltrate the camp and retake the prisoners, but Rambo has to stay behind to personally save Sarah. Coming up behind he does all kinds of classic Rambo traps and comes in just at the right moment to mow down THE ENTIRE ARMY with a big  ol’ gun. People literally explode with bullets. At the end, Sarah looks around to find Rambo and his sweet bod, but he’s already gone, ready to find out whether he can restart his life in Arizona. THE END. Big Question: Do you think Rambo kills people any other times in his life but they just don’t make a movie about it? Seems like every ten years he kills like 400 people and then takes a break.

Why?! Again, ain’t no motivation for Rambo other than rescuing some innocents. Really I think that answers the above question… like how often does he have to rescue an innocent from the clutches of a bad guy. Pretty rare. I personally have never had to. So if he’s hanging around the market and a dude steals a lady’s purse he ain’t batting an eye. That lady is safely out of the clutches of a bad guy, and that purse ain’t an innocent. Open and shut case.

Who?! One of the mercenaries is shown singing a couple different blues songs and I was like “oh, he’s pretty good and the songs are pretty good.” Little did I know he was actual blues singer-turned-actor Jake La Botz. We’ll see him again in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter… probably in an El Presidente cycle or something. 

What?! It’s almost like these films get smaller and smaller. So while earlier films had a number of things for the different sections, the later films became more and more about Sly himself and almost nothing else. However, I can always ask the question whether I would be fortunate to have a full Rambo costume available to buy online. My God. Only 3000 pounds. A steal!

Where?! Once again split between Thailand and the main setting. In this case war-torn Myanmar. Unlike the second and third films, I don’t think the context makes this entirely indispensable. So B+ this time.

When?! I can only assume this continues to trend of taking place when the film was made. In this case seems to be mostly 2007 in Myanmar during or following the Saffron Revolution (given the news footage shown at the beginning of the film). D+

Oh boy… I hated this film. It is gross and looks bad and I didn’t like it. For BMT I don’t really allow for the argument that a film was perhaps “not made for me.” All bad films were made for us. Even kids’ films and rom coms. They are all part of one big BMT universe. Not this. I’m not sure who this was made for but I’m sure they had a great time watching this trash. Maybe Sly just made it for himself. This is the one he wrote and directed so… I guess this is his gross terrible vision. I did not enjoy it. 2 ½ stars.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! My mind is slowly melting as I watch what seems like an unending series of Rambo films. This is probably the worst one … you know the one that seems like it was only made to show Rambo chop people in half with a giant gun. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I knew this one wasn’t going to be very nice for me. This is basically the flyer Stallone put out to prove that films like this (and The Expendables series, and other very military / gun focused films) could make a decent return at the box office. But guess what? I’ve said it a number of times, these films aren’t for me. They make me feel gross. I don’t like them. But I have to watch it, so watch it I will. What are my expectations? That I’ll feel profoundly sad after watching this film. If I don’t, that’ll be a win for me.

The Good – Hmmmmm. I truly believe this is what Stallone envisioned action films would become since the 80s. I think he kind of saw that as technology advances and the money flowed in that people would basically want to see giants guns, and muscles, and America. But as he was slowly getting a grip on the entire means of production in the 80s his career faltered and he kind of became a parody of himself. He made a small comeback with Cop Land, and that gave Old Stallone just enough juice to start pushing for The Expendables specifically. I truly believe this film was a means to an end. He got to give his character the ending he thought he deserved (he’s on record saying this one is his favorite), and he, I think, parlayed its modest success into The Expendables which became the giant high octane action film he had envisioned (just … 20 years later). I don’t find any of this good, but a lot of people do including Stallone, so I thought it deserved detailing out my little theory … but no, I find nothing in this film redeeming in the least.

The Bad – I find this movie gross. From the way they formulate the sub-human villains so that you cheer on Stallone as he mercilessly mows them down with a giant gun. Much like Death Wish or The Expendables series, it feels like it fetishizes guns and murder and dressed it up with villains which dare you to sympathize their gross deaths. Stallone, for all of his bluster in old interviews about trying to write apolitically, makes overtly political statements with each and every one of these movies. These movies aren’t for me. This is the worst of the bunch, with little redeeming qualities. The end.

The BMT – Yeah, as much as any of the films like this are. I don’t like them, I get why other people like them. They are like Madea films. I will likely come and say the same thing about every Madea film I watch: I didn’t really find this funny, but I get why some people do. I don’t get why people like Rambo IV, I think it is a total bastardization of the character and what it stands for. But I get why people like movies like this. Did it meet my expectations? Nope, I felt gross at the end. All I wanted was to not feel gross.

Roast-radamus – Again, kind of an amazing setting film for Setting as a Character (Where?) because I down Burma is going to get much play in bad movies in general.I don’t think there is much else to consider for this one as there was no obvious product placement. I think this has a real good chance for Bad though in the end because I can’t think of a film I’ve liked watching less.

StreetCreditReport.com – I find it rather impressive. I looked at maybe 20 lists since, apparently, 2008 was the heydey of the online worst-of list for film. And literally none of them contained Rambo. One had it as an honorable mention, but that was it. I would definitely give this one the worst Rambo award if it was up to me. I think that it might be up to Sylvester Stallone though, so I might be out of luck at getting that officially recognized.

You Just Got Schooled – As I said in the other recaps I’ve been Rambo all day every day and nothing but Rambo, so there was little to learn. I will say that throughout the years there have been porn parodies of the various Rambo films. This one having one though? Thats something else. It’s called Rambone XXX: A DreamZone Parody and I will never watch it. And, again, I said I would do it: Jamie’s podcast Mac East 2nd Floor Studios Presents Submersion did an episode on the animated Rambo series Rambo: The Force of Freedom (Episode 79). And naturally I’m the super secret guest star. We get to learn all about who are the best co-host combinations in Submersion history. The competition heats up!

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Rambo III Recap

Jamie

Rambo is back, Jack! And this time Rambo needs to save a prisoner from an Afghan fort, but not just any prisoner… Trautman! Oh no! Can he enter the war zone, befriend the rebels, ride some horses, free the prisoners, and take down the bad guy before it’s too late? Find out in… Rambo III.

How?! Rambo is living it up in the citttaaaayyyy. And by city I mean with some monks in Thailand. Approached to help Trautman to help support those fighting against the Soviets in Afghanistan he’s like, “fuck no.” This is a good idea because Trautman is immediately captured and tortured. That’s when Rambo ties on his bandana, greases up those abs, and heads to Afghanistan to free his friend. Getting across the Pakistan border he meets up with the Muhajideen, who are hesitant to help this stranger. But when they are attacked by the Soviets the survivors are willing to go along. On their first attempt Rambo isn’t able to get Trautman and he and his allies barely escape with their lives. Sending them away to go in solo he’s able to get Trautman and a bunch of other prisoners and fly a helicopter out of the Soviet base. They are shot down, but Rambo and Trautman basically toy with their prey and shoot and punch people all day until they got a free path to Pakistan… psych! There’s literally the entire Soviet army there to kill them. So they die… double psych! A big ol’ Muhajideen army comes and helps Rambo totally own the Soviets. America! On top again! Ha! Stupid Soviets, getting embroiled in a war in Afghanistan. America learned from Vietnam and wouldn’t have made that mistake again… anyway, Rambo them walks off into the sunset to live peacefully forever more (spoiler: he does not). THE END. Big Question: Has this film aged the worst of any film ever? I mean, Rambo literally says that the US wouldn’t possibly be dumb enough to get into another Vietnam like Afghanistan… come on!

Why?! I do like the Rambo films because the motivations are clear and noble… besides the excessive amount of murder he doles out. In the first he’s just trying to be treated like a human being, the second he’s rescuing POWs, and here he’s trying to save his friend from a war zone. Nothing more.  

Who?! All the Rambo films have such small and diverse casts that it’s actually hard to get something for this section. Not like an aspiring musician-turned-actor is gonna get his shot in a Rambo film… kind of a one man show. I was interested to see that Randy Raney was in this film. Interested because he was only in one other film ever: playing the big baddie opposite Sly in the classic Over the Top. Best two-film filmography I’ve ever seen.

What?! Coca-Cola is all over a lot of Sly’s films in the 80s. I liked how it was used in the second film. Here it’s just seen in several spots in Thailand and not commented on. I did want to highlight this film as a Secret Sport Film Alert. We see the Afghanistan sport of Buzkashi played vigorously by Rambo. I believe this is likely the only BMT film to feature the sport.

Where?! We again split out time. This time between the starting setting of Thailand and the major setting of Afghanistan. Once again because of context there really isn’t anywhere else that this could be set… they had to really get across that the Russian conflict in Afghanistan was their Vietnam and the United States was just too smart to fall into a conflict like that again… … … … … yup.

When?! Obviously takes place when the Soviet Union was fighting in Afghanistan, which lines up with the trend that the films take place when the film is being made. Nothing more specific can be found I don’t think… the war lasted ten years. D.

Wow, almost the inverse of the second film. I thought this film was actually kinda beautifully made. Looked amazing. But almost everything else about it was not good. In particular the ending which has Rambo running around some caves killing people before fighting an entire Soviet army all while spouting super poorly aged propaganda. Still fun, but bad.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We are still in the process of making the horrible mistake of watching four Rambo films in a week. Luckily two of them are bonkers 80s films. This is the second one of those. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – After watching the third film I kind of expected something much much worse. These days, online, the third Rambo has a bad rep. The second is widely loved, the fourth has a specific niche fanbase, but the third is accepted as the worst of the franchise. So I was holding out hope this would be the not-gross bad one of the bunch. What were my expectations? I was basically hoping for the parody version of Rambo from UFH starring Weird Al Yankovich. If not that I would accept something, again, over the top jingoistic nonsense, with giant explosions I suppose.

The Good – The first roughly two-thirds of this film is pretty good. Solid vistas, and a storyline which makes you care about Rambo’s goal beyond that it’s good for America. A really good set piece in the Afghan base. And a really good enemy in the Russia commander who feels trapped in a backwater war that is preventing him from attaining the Russian glory he deserves. Just … shut it off right when they escape the base.

The Bad – The last third of this film is everything wrong with Rambo films. Remember how Rambo used a bow an arrow with explosive tips? Those are back, you liked that right? We have a tank hitting a low-flying helicopter and exploding it, that sounds cool right? Rambo explodes someone while hanging them in a cave … that doesn’t sound gross right? You see … I hate all of that. All of the stuff that they seem like they needed to fit into the last half hour is the worst parts of Rambo, and they go all in. That is why, I think, people don’t have fond memories of this film. The ending of the film is just so silly and awful you can’t really even remember that the first hour of the film is pretty good. The level of propaganda is extreme in this one as well. At one point a character literally says “the Afghan people have never been conquered. We already had our Vietnam, this is yours” to the Russian commander. Yikes, that didn’t age very well.

The BMT – I think this is a decent example of how to make a bad third entry in an action franchise. The trilogy has quite the arc: a serious action/drama in the first, a full-throated action film in the second, and basically a parody of itself in the third. But … then again, I kind of like the third one still? It is still a pretty great action film for the first hour of the film. It just sinks under the idea / expectations of Rambo in the end. Did it meet my expectations? I think of the four films I watched this got the closest. It is hilarious how it basically spells out the catastrophe in Afghanistan for the US that would come 15 years later. And yet it is also a pretty amusing action film. That’s just about what I was hoping for.

Roast-radamus – Definitely a very strong contender for Setting as a Character (Where?) for being set in Afghanistan, which must be a rather rare setting for a bad film. There was a brief shot of a Coca-Cola truck in Thailand in the beginning, but I don’t think that’ll be enough to bet a product placement nod. And the closest it’ll get it a BMT nod I guess, as this is the only truly silly-bad film of the bunch.

StreetCreditReport.com – Once again we are too far back to really get any lists besides the yearly Siskel & Ebert show (it wasn’t on that). I will say as far as contemporary fans are concerned, I think Rambo III is the one they’d put as the worst Rambo film made. So that is something. Which made it particularly nice that it managed to sneak in and qualify right at the last second this year.

You Just Got Schooled – I didn’t have time to watch anything else but the canonical Rambo. I will point out that the beginning of Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls is effectively a combination of Cliffhanger (him losing the raccoon), and Rambo III (him retiring to the monastery at the top of a large staircase). That same scene is spoofed in MacGruber. The early Rambo was ripe for spoofing. And I said I would do it: Jamie’s podcast Mac East 2nd Floor Studios Presents Submersion did an episode on the animated Rambo series Rambo: The Force of Freedom (Episode 79). And the episode features me as well. I rank the top ten Ruby-Spears animated series that have a submarine episode available online … yes, there are ten of them.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Rambo: First Blood Part II Recap

Jamie

Rambo is back, Jack! And he’s ready to get out of jail and rescue some POWs like the goddamn hero that he is. But when he’s abandoned behind enemy lines he starts to suspect that there’s something fishy going on with the top military brass. Can he rescue the prisoners and stop the evvvviiiilll general before it’s too late? Find out in… Rambo: First Blood Part II.

How?! Rambo is crushing rocks in a prison camp and Gen. Trautman knows that that’s a crying shame. Those glistening muscles should be crushing bad guys in the name of America. So he makes a deal, Rambo helps them find out if there are any remaining POWs in Vietnam and he gets a full pardon. Sounds good to Rambo, except when he gets to Thailand he’s getting a bad feeling about the gman in charge, Murdock. Almost from the jump things go awry when he loses his equipment while parachuting behind enemy lines. But this is Rambo and his muscles and big ol’ brain keep him moving to his target. Meeting up with his contact, Co (a beautiful woman no less) he is taken up river and almost immediately is like “Woah, there are totally POWs here.” He won’t stand for it and rescues one of them as proof for the government. But when he gets to the pickup location Murdock is like “shit, we didn’t even want to find the POWs” and leaves Rambo to be taken prisoner by the Vietnamese and Soviets. Trautman is furious and Rambo is definitely going to get tortured to death… psych! He’s Rambo! And with the help of Co he totally blows up everything and everyone and rescues the POWs. They get in a helicopter and blow up a bunch of other stuff before heading back to the US camp in Thailand where he convinces Murdock to save the POWs. Rambo then goes off into Thailand to live his days in peace… or does he? (bum bum bum). THE END. Big Question: Has Rambo had sex? We basically see him in jail or running around Vietnam up to the point of his one and only kiss with Co. From that moment he spends his life mourning the loss of her and living his life like a monk… so… I think the answer might be no. Rambo has never had sex despite what his rocking bod might suggest.

Why?! You get the sense that Rambo is totally disillusioned and really only takes the job because it’s his only way out of jail. But once he realizes that there really are some POWs to rescue he’s all in on winning. The general really just wants to be able to go back to the government and say that they don’t need to do anything more in Vietnam, but when he realizes that Rambo is the best ever and won’t let him do that he tries to sabotage him… to no avail… because it’s Rambo and he’s done gonna root out that corruption.

Who?! Wow, this is the second film in a short while (along with Black Dog) that had a major onset accident. While Black Dog got away with only some serious injuries, in this case Cliff Wenger Jr. was killed in an onsite explosion during filming in Mexico. The film ended up being dedicated to him. It’s always so sad to hear about these things.

What?! It is fun when product placement actually plays a role in the film. Here the bad guy general is always sapping on a delicious Coca-Cola. Why? Because he’s supposed to represent the misguided, consumerism-driven America that has forgotten what winning is all about. Does Rambo want a Coke? No thanks, bro. Winning is all the refreshment he needs.

Where?! I’m not sure where Rambo is in jail at the beginning of the film. Maybe Washington where his original crime was committed. But the rest of the film is split between Thailand and Vietnam. I think this is an A. Can’t be set anywhere else given the context.

When?! Uh… after the Vietnam War, duh. But really I didn’t get much beyond that. Looking at the timeline of all the films I do believe they take place in the years that they are released. Like the first film is seven years after Rambo is discharged, which makes sense with the end of the war in 1975 (film released in 1982) and this takes place three years later (1985). But that’s all I got. D.

The first time I watched this, I did not like it at all. My mistake? Watching it right after watching the first one, which is so far a superior film that it kinda spoiled the fun. This time I still thought the beginning was trash and the directing wasn’t very good, but the latter half of the film is actually a great action film. It even holds up by today’s standards in that it’s just Rambo running around the jungle setting traps and owning the bad guy. Lots of fun.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We made a horrible mistake and had to watch four Rambo films in a week. Luckily two of them are bonkers 80s films. This is one of those. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I really really liked First Blood. I think it is a really interesting and smart action film. It handles an idea of a Vietnam veteran getting triggered and during a PTSD flashback he is basically assaulted by a police force, and this idea is very cool … they then obviously threw that in a bin and made it all about how Rambo just love America so much it makes him … a maniac? It seems that way. I was excited to be proven wrong. What were my expectations? For this to be an amazing bad movie I needed the most American Rambo ever. I need him to look me in the face and tell me explicitly: if you hate Rambo, you hate America, period. That’s what I need.

The Good – The middle bit of this film is an incredible action film. Rambo sneaking through the jungle, saving some POWs, flying a helicopter and blowing things up … it’s basically what you think of when you think Rambo. Right up until the end I liked Rambo as a character, it is a very interesting look at Vietnam vets / PTSD when linked with the first film. Stallone gets sillier as the movie goes on, but he’s solid in the first half of the film. Basically, the film is an amazing action film … right up until the ending. I will also say, despite being a cartoon character, the bad guy is pretty amusing in all of his PB&J eating and Coke slurping glory, a transparent caricature.

The Bad – The ending. Stallone claims that he got annoyed with James Cameron (who co-wrote the film) because Cameron was making the script too political. He went on to say that his script wasn’t political, all of Rambo’s dialogue was actual things Vietnam vets said … that doesn’t make it non-political!! The entire film is basically “Why doesn’t America love his war machine killer? Look at all of the amazing murder he has done and can do for America! All he wants is for America to love him as much as he loves America!” It is pretty gross. Now, I will gladly ignore this in the future when watching the film, but it is the one big knock against it in my opinion. It makes it tough to show to, say, a teenager without prefacing it with “by the way, Rambo simplifies a bunch of issues in favor of pretty explicit propaganda … but just ignore that, the action is fun”.

The BMT – I think this is too good of an action film to be a bad movie. Maybe 80% of this film is a really great action film. The other 20% of the film is the ending where Stallone kicks in the door of the mustache-twirlingly evil military bureaucrat and declared that all he wants in the world is for America to love him as much as he loves America … and that is gross. Did it meet my expectations? Nope. Which might seem weird considering I just said Rambo has a giant crazy AMERICA speech at the end, but it was too little too late. This is just a half-decent weirdly patriotic (jingoistic really) action film from the 80s. No more, no less. It just isn’t bad enough.

Roast-radamus – I guess Setting as a Character (Where?) is in play, but it is a bit unclear where they are once they fly out of Thailand (I would guess Vietnam makes the most sense). I think of all of the classic Coke product placements, this is one of the best Product Placement (What?) I’ve seen, since it informed the patriotic facade the evil military bureaucrat was wearing during the film. The twist in the film is actually good, so nothing there. But I would say this is plausible for a shout out at Good because this is a pretty good 80s action film.

StreetCreditReport.com – Not surprisingly this film isn’t on any lists. And not surprisingly I can’t really say this should be on any bad movie lists, since I thought it was a genuinely good film. The credit from this film just comes from the later Rambo films. Specifically it comes from the fact that Rambo (2008) was a complete catastrophe. Sometimes some BMT films are just BMT films because they are homework for other BMT films. Get it?

You Just Got Schooled – This will be quick … you see I watched four films this week and there is no way I could actually inform myself about anything outside of Rambo films. But shout out to UHF starring Weird Al Yankovich which includes a number of Rambo parodies. The main one involves him saving the POW Michael Richards, complete with exploding arrowheads. It is great. And I might as well pop this in all of the recaps: Jamie’s podcast Mac East 2nd Floor Studios Presents Submersion did an episode on the animated Rambo series Rambo: The Force of Freedom (Episode 79). And the episode features me as well. We talk about muscles, patriotism, and America.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Rambo: Last Blood Quiz

I’ve been watching Rambo films non-stop for a week now, I’ve lived, built a family, and died happily surrounded by that family as an old man while watching these films … and much like Rambo himself, it feels like I’ve sustained thousands of concussions and can’t remember a thing about Rambo: Last Blood … can you?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) What does Rambo do for a living in his new quiet life in Arizona?

2) What is Rambo’s relationship with the young lady that is kidnapped in Mexico?

3) Why does this young woman want to go to Mexico? And how does she end up being kidnapped by a Mexican prostitution ring?

4) What happens to the young lady in the end?

5) How does Rambo kill the two brothers who run the prostitution ring in the end?

Answers