Hello, Movie Buffs! My name is Lucy and I am a HUGE movie buff with 700+ movies, so I decided to write a blog. Ask Lucy: Movies is a blog review dedicated to movies both new and old. Here I review movies as unbiased and spoiler free as possible, as well as rate the film on whether its worth buying or not.
It’s been 11 years since we last saw Vietnam War veteran John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) return to his family ranch in Bowie, Arizona after turning a brutal Burmese regime into tomato paste. He still struggles with the violence of his past and tries to find peace as he tends to his horses and adoptive family, which includes the ranch caretaker Maria (Adriana Barraza) and her granddaughter Gabrielle (Yvette Monreal). Now a teenager and heading off to college soon, Gabrielle naively ventures into Mexico to find the birth father that abandoned her when she was a little girl. However, she gets kidnapped by the Martinez cartel, led by brothers Hugo (Sergio Peris-Mencheta) and Victor (Oscar Jaenada), and it is up to Rambo to go on a bloody and personal quest to rescue his niece and get revenge.
Directed by Adrian Grunberg (Get the Gringo), and written by Sylvester Stallone (Creed II), Matthew Cirulnick (Absentia), and Dan Gordon (Let There Be Light), Rambo: Last Blood (2019) is the last installment of the Rambo series and it is almost like a love letter to the fans; it’s an epilogue to an incredible story. This time Rambo is not the hero or an ordinary guy living a sheltered life but rather he is the victim of his own nightmares and suppressed. The only thing that has kept him going, kept the monsters at bay, is his adoptive family, specifically his niece who is the daughter he never had and his only chance to teach moral values and life lessons to. So when her life is in danger we get to see him unleash hell on those who hurt the ones he loves.
The action sequences are very well choreographed and the final battle will make anyone cringe at how much more brutal Rambo has gotten. There is chopping, stabbing, shooting, explosions, immolating, and dismemberment, all of which come together to create a violent and brutal final act that is one of the best in the series. And considering that it is the final installment, this is an achievement - especially since most final installments tend to be lackluster and below expectations.
The cast performances are great. As always Sylvester Stallone does a fantastic job as Rambo but this time he does an even better job because now he has to portray an aged Rambo who seems to be on the cusp of finding peace only to have that peace disrupted by an untimely incident. As one of the only actors to maintain 2 film franchise - Rocky and Rambo - it’s no wonder why he is so talented. The villains played by Sergio Peris-Mencheta (Life Itself) and Oscar Jaenada (The Shallows, Chaos Walking) do an incredible job in being the film’s antagonist. They really know how to take two easily two-dimensional roles and turn them into convincing bad guys that play as much a part in carrying the story as Rambo does. Adriana Barraza (Babel, Cake) and Yvette Monreal (Stargirl) are minor characters with limited screen time but when they are on screen they manage to leave a lasting emotional impression.
Overall, Rambo: Last Blood (2019) is the final installment in the franchise and it is an action-packed and violent epilogue that brings the franchise to a somewhat complete end. This is due to the story lacking a happy ending but when you think about it, none of the other Rambo’s managed to achieve that either. The cast performances were solid throughout, especially the villains who helped add to the story’s arc. All in all, if you are a fan of the series or perhaps have only ever seen the first film, then I highly recommend that you check out this film. Not only does this film exceeded my expectations but it is also my favorite in the series.
Final Vote --- 9 of 10 stars
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Thirty years ago, NASA hero Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones) led a deep space voyage in search of life outside our solar system but after reaching Neptune the ship and its crew were never heard from again. Now with the help of his old friend Colonel Pruitt (Donald Sutherland), his son Roy (Brad Pitt) - a fearless astronaut - must embark on a daring mission to uncover the truth behind his father’s disappearance and the mysterious power surge that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and force him to confront his innermost fears.
It’s 1927 and excitement runs high at Downton Abbey when the Crawley family learns that King George V (Simon Jones) and Queen Mary (Geraldine James) will be spending a night at Downton Abbey, while on their tour of the country. But trouble soon arises throughout the house. Downstairs Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan), Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol), and the rest of the servants learn that the king and queen travel with their own entourage of chefs and attendants, who seek to dis-include the house staff from helping thus setting the stage for schemes and shenanigans. While upstairs both the Crawley and the Royal family are dealing with their own varying degrees of circumstances and their decisions will affect everyone upstairs and downstairs. The story continues in this beloved tale filled with scandal, romance, and intrigue that will leave the future of Downton hanging in the balance.
Vietnam veteran John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) has survived a number of harrowing ordeals in his lifetime and has since abandoned his life as a lethal soldier to live a simple and secluded existence in Thailand. There he spends his days catching snakes for local entertainers and chauffeuring people in his old boat. One day Christian missionaries Michael Burnett (Paul Schulze), Sarah Miller (JulieBenz), and their comrades offer to rent Rambo’s boat to travel into Burma, which has been a war zone for the last 50 years and the Karen people have been brutally oppressed and tortured by the Burmese military. Rambo agrees to their request and drops them off near a Karen village but two weeks later he gets an urgent call for help: the village has been raided and missionaries have not returned. Although he is reluctant to embrace violence again, Rambo sets out on a mission to rescue the captives from the sadistic Major Pa Tee Tint (Maung Maung Khin) and his Burmese army it what may be one of his deadliest mission yet.
Col. Trautman (Richard Crenna) travels to Thailand, hoping to convince veteran John Rambo (SylvesterStallone) to accompany him on a mission to help the Mujahideen rebels who are fighting a Soviet invasion in Afghanistan. But when a now Buddhist Rambo refuses, Trautman decides to do the mission alone. However, things quickly go belly up, resulting in Trautman being captured and tortured by the ruthless Russian Colonel Zaysen (Marc de Jonge). Hearing the news, Rambo allies himself with the Mujahideen and launches a rescue mission to rescue Trautman from Zaysen and possibly even put a stop to the invading Soviet forces in Afghanistan.
It’s been 3 years since the events of the first film and John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) has been removed from prison by his former superior, Colonel Samuel Troutman (Richard Crenna), for a top-secret mission in Vietnam. The mission is to bring back POW's being held by sadistic Vietnamese Captain Vinh (William Grant) and his Russian comrade, Lieutenant Colonel Padovsky (Steven Berkoff). But when Rambo is only given menial tasks, he teams up Vietnamese freedom fighter Co Bao (Julia Nickson) and embarks on a rescue mission to save the POWs and uncover corrupt officials from within.
Based on the 1972 novel by David Morell, John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone), a former Green Beret and Medal of Honor recipient, is plagued by the after-effects of the Vietnam war and lives the remainder of his life as a drifter. While on his way to get some food, Rambo is arrested by Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy), a small-town sheriff who is used to getting things his way. Once incarcerated, Rambo soon finds himself reliving the awful memories he experienced as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Soon Rambo escapes and an intense manhunt turns into a highly publicized one-man-war against the police and the national guard, and all of this is for a man who only wanted something to eat.
Directed by Ted Kotcheff (Weekend at Bernie’s) and written by Michael Kozoll (Hill Street Blues), William Sackheim (The Competition), and Sylvester Stallone (Rambo Last Blood, Creed 1 & 2), First Blood (1982) is an intense and entertaining film that transcends the action genre and has stood the test of time. Before Rambo, James Bond, with his smooth and debonair attitude, was pretty much your ideal star in an action film. But Rambo is realistic; he bleeds, he cries, he gets angry. Basically, he wears his emotions on his sleeve and that’s what makes him so relatable. The story also tries to say something profound about his physical predicament and mental state. Rambo may be Vietnam vet but he is very reluctant to kill anyone unless he absolutely has to. This, of course, is a far cry from the homicidal maniac - who is seemingly responsible for more deaths than both World Wars combined - he later becomes. In fact, Rambo actually starts off as a fairly nice chap that we can sympathize with but it is only when he is unnecessarily and roughly treated by the small-town sheriff and his crew that we see another side to him come out. But as I mentioned earlier, Rambo doesn’t like to kill unless he has no other choice, so don’t expect there to be lots of gore and senseless killing. Instead, Rambo relies more on guile and cunning than brawn and an M-16 to get him out of tricky situations. At the same time, don’t expect this to be a boring film because it is far from it. There is a keen awareness of pace and it is never certain if Rambo will survive or even what the final outcome will look like. This is an action film that relies more on suspense than gore, and that is what makes this film so great.
The cast performances are memorable. Along with ArnoldSchwarzenegger,Sylvester Stallone (Rambo: Last Blood) was hugely popular in the ‘80s and here he gives one of his most iconic performances ever. As Rambo, Stallone communicates the rage, depression, frustration and the psychological wounds of a soldier who fought for his country, only to be later be hassled by it upon his return. However, this would not be possible if it were not for Brian Dennehy (The Blacklist) being incredibly efficient as the menacing, bigoted, and territorial Sheriff Teasle, who has it out for Rambo from the start. Dennehy has not missed a beat in his entire career and as always he puts everything into each performance. His lackies played by Bill Mckinney (The Outlaw Josey Wales), Jack Starrett (Blazing Saddles), David Caruso (CSI: Miami) all perform well and help add to Dennehy’s character arc. Richard Crenna (Rambo 2 & 3) as Rambo’s former colonel, Colonel Trautman, is incredible and plays off of Dennehy’s character quite well.
Overall, First Blood (2019) is a must-see iconic film that stands the test of time. The story is action-packed but not unnecessarily gory. Rather, it is dramatic and awakening in its reminder to never disrespect the men and women who fight for our freedom. The cast performances are solid and play off each other quite well. I highly recommend that you check out this film even if you don’t have plans to see that latest installment, Rambo: Last Blood. Decide for yourself if this film lives up to the hype or if it fails to meet expectations.
Final Vote --- 7.7 of 10 stars
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Jackson Maine (BradleyCooper) is a famous country music singer privately battling alcohol and drug addiction. He is on the verge of giving up when one night at a drag bar he meets Ally (LadyGaga) a struggling artist who has almost given up her dream of becoming a singer until Jackson coaxes her into the spotlight. From there, the pair go on tours, perform together, and even fall in love. But as Ally’s career begins to take off, the personal side of their relationship begins to break down as Jackson’s ongoing battle with addictions sets him on a downward spiral toward self-destruction. Can these two overcome their demons? Or are they too damaged to be fixed?
Directed by Bradley Cooper (Bernstein) and co-written alongside Eric Roth (The Postman, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Will Fetters (The Lucky One, The Best of Me), A Star is Born (2018) is Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut and Lady Gaga’s (American Horror Story) first leading role. It is a romantic drama that delivers solid performances from Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga (American Horror Story), delivers incredibly powerful songs, and utilizes sharp direction from Cooper. In order to achieve these results and surpass audiences’ expectations, Cooper and his team not only had to stay close to the ideas of the original 1937 film featuring Janet Gaynor (7th Heaven) and Fredric March (The Best Years of Our Lives) but they also had to have reason to retell the story a third time. The story is heartbreaking, heartfelt drama that is surprisingly deeper than I expected. The story has been modernized and features plenty of life lessons about love, fame, and the dangerous nature of addictions, as a result, the audience goes on a journey that keeps them entrapped from beginning to end.
The cast performances were solid. Bradley Cooper not only gives his best performance but also one of his most powerful performance to date. He makes you feel and sympathize with what his character is going through. Lady Gaga has always been known for being a versatile artist and her passion for acting. Now I have never been a fan of her work but her performance is absolutely breathtaking and her involvement with the soundtrack has already made history as a chart-topping bestseller. The chemistry between Cooper and Gaga is strong and you can feel their connection from their first scene together. They are accompanied by an incredible group of supporting characters, especially from Sam Elliot, who surprised me in his role as Bobby, and Andrew Dice Clay, who was funny and fitting Ally’s dad Lorenzo.
Overall, A Star is Born(2018) is a heartbreakingly heartfelt and romantic drama that is even better than its three predecessors. This is Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, his direction is sharp and far exceeds my expectations. Cooper and Lady Gaga give their best performances and their chemistry is strong from beginning to end. All in all, while I was a bit hesitant at first, after watching this film I can now see what makes it so great. I highly recommend that you check it out If you have not already.
Final Vote --- 7 of 10 stars
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