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Archive for January 27th, 2008

Stallone’s revisited ‘Rambo’ a bloody mess

Stallone’s revisited ‘Rambo’ a bloody mess
Blood-and-guts mercenary film has little more to offer due to bad acting and script
Saturday, Jan 26, 2008 – 12:08 AM
Sylvester Stallone in Rambo.
Sylvester Stallone in Rambo. Photo By: LIONSGATE
RAMBO
Movie review ½
Cast:Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz
At:Carmike, Commonwealth, Crossings, Short Pump, Southpark, Virginia Center, West Tower
FYI:Running time: 1:23. Rated R (enormous amounts of gore)
By DANIEL NEMAN
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER

Unfortunately, Sylvester Stallone has seen “Saving Private Ryan.”

So when people are killed in his new “Rambo,” they are blown apart in D-Dayesque splashes of blood and viscera, mangled limbs flying in all directions and blood dotting the camera lens.

The whole purpose of “Rambo” is to show the killing, which is a good thing because the rest of it is fairly awful. Those who are turned on by such things will find their hearts pumping to scene after scene of swarthy foreigners being killed in a strange land that hasn’t been called Burma in 19 years.

Stallone is back as his iconic character John Rambo, a G.I. Joe doll with superpowers. At 61, Stallone is back in the shape that makes his arms larger than most people’s thighs, a comic-book physique appropriate for a comic-book character.

At the film’s beginning, Rambo has retired to a life of snake-hunting (and apparently weightlifting) in Northern Thailand. A small group of American missionaries ask him to take them to what is no longer called Burma in his boat, but he refuses, perhaps because their acting is so atrocious. But then the woman in the group asks him pretty please and makes a terrible speech about his responsibility to try to change the world, and he relents.

Rambo takes them up the river and, after a pause to kill a few people, drops them off at their destination. But after an extended massacre, the Americans are taken captive by the army that is no longer Burmese. Though everyone else has been killed, the Americans are kept alive presumably so they can later be rescued by Rambo and some mercenaries.

But first, Rambo has to talk himself into it. As he forges a machete — that’s right, he forges a machete — he says to himself, “You know what you are. You know what you’re made of. War is in your blood. When you get down to it, killing’s as easy as breathing.” The speech goes on a lot longer, but you get the gist. Besides, it’s hard to hear it all over the giggles in the audience.

Stallone’s script, alas, is like that the whole time. It’s dumbed down, even for a Rambo film. The bad guys, for instance, are cartoonishly bad, raping women and shooting children at close range and machine-gunning villages and forcing captives to run through minefields while betting on who will make it through alive and then slaughtering the survivors, anyway.

“If you go against me, I will feed you your intestines,” says the baddest of the bad guys. In an apparent oversight, he is not given a handlebar mustache to twist.

Despite everything, Stallone actually handles his jobs as actor and director well. His character is the only one on the screen to have life (with the exception of Matthew Marsden as a mercenary). And as a director, he proves consistently thoughtful and creative.

But the rest of the movie is a mess, from the overbearing music to the banal story to the leaden characters — and at one point, even the color correction is off.

At least the blood and guts look good. The crew making those were the hardest-working guys on the set.

Contact Daniel Neman at (804) 649-6408 or dneman@timesdispatch.com.
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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

January 27, 2008 at 11:43 am

Posted in Varieties in English

Tagged with , ,

World Focus on Burma (27 Jan 08)

  1. Rights Group Accuses Myanmar of Holding More Dissidents
    New York Times, United States –
    Mr. Gambari has visited twice and was promised a third visit soon, as part of what Myanmar, which was formerly known as Burma, said was a policy of …
  2. Arroyo rallies Asean leaders: Let’s free Suu Kyi now
    Inquirer.net, Philippines –
    She warned that the Philippine Senate would not ratify the Asean Charter unless the legislators saw “real political reform” take place in Burma (Myanmar). …
  3. E-mail from Burma
    Gather.com, MA –
    Myanmar is changing fast. I am staying downtown and everywhere I see young people wearing jeans – both men and women. There also seems to be a significant …
  4. Art Museum Scandal Grows: Tax Fraud, Artifact Looting Alleged
    Hollywood Today Newsmagazine, CA –
    … regarding looted and smuggled art, allegedly taken from Thailand, China, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma) and Native American digs within the United States. …
  5. ‘Rambo’ review: There will be blood
    Portsmouth Herald News, NH –
    … Stallone said he and his “Rambo” crew witnessed the human toll of unspeakable atrocities while filming along the Myanmar (Burma) border. …
  6. Film Friday: ‘Rambo’, ‘Untraceable’
    The Gate, Canada –

    As far as the story goes, we catch up with John Rambo on the Thai-Myanmar border as a group of human rights activists ask for Rambo’s help in getting down …


  7. Ottawa Citizen


    E Canada Now

    Sylvester Stallone Endorses McCain. Coolest Endorsement Yet?
    FOXNews – Jan 24, 2008
    by Serafin Gomez From Fox and Friends Executive Producer, David Brown: ”John McCain was on Fox and Friends this morning – we had an interview which will air Friday with Sylvester Stallone – Stallone endorsed McCain during the taped interview – on Fox …
    Yo, McCain: Hoping Stallone Can Help Say ‘We Did It’ Washington Post
    McCain says he can win over conservatives, has Rocky’s support USA Today
    TheCelebrityCafe.com – Buffalo News – Philadelphia Inquirer – New Zealand Herald
    Movie review: Rambo
    Pegasus News, TX –
    On the nearby Thai-Burma (Myanmar) border, the world’s longest-running civil war, the Burmese-Karen conflict, rages into its 60th year. …
    Movie Review: Rambo Entertainment Weekly
    Review: Rambo returns for new rumble in the jungle Colorado Springs Gazette
    MOVIE PREVIEW online print edition Arizona Republic
    Canada.com – Kansas City Star   (all 137 news articles )

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

January 27, 2008 at 11:39 am

Arroyo rallies Asean leaders: Let’s free Suu Kyi now

Arroyo rallies Asean leaders: Let’s free Suu Kyi now

By TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:35:00 01/27/2008

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND — President Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday urged the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to make a difference in the region by working to bring about the release of the jailed Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

“We must work together to make the tough choices to make Asean real and Aung San Suu Kyi free,” the President said in a strongly worded message she delivered at the Asean session of the World Economic Forum here.

The President said the regional grouping would attain a “level of democratization” on the issue of human rights “if we are to work collaboratively for the common good.”

“We must see political reform. We must see Aung San Suu Kyi released and now,” she told Asean leaders and dignitaries during the high-level session called “The Emerging Asian Community: Role of Asean.”

She warned that the Philippine Senate would not ratify the Asean Charter unless the legislators saw “real political reform” take place in Burma (Myanmar).

The charter, signed during the November 2007 Asean Leaders’ Summit in Singapore, seeks to create a human rights body in the region.

Policy of noninterference
Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, however, stressed that the 10-member Asean must always abide by its policy of “noninterference.”

“It’s important to respect the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of member countries. [That’s why there’s] a problem on how to deal with the Myanmar issue,” he said.

Also present at the session were Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Asean Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan, officials from other Asean member-countries, and Stephen Green, chair of HSBC Holdings.

Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace laureate, has been held under house arrest by Burma’s ruling military junta since 2003.

Same, strong message
The junta, which took power in 1988, called elections in 1990, but refused to recognize the results when Suu Kyi’s party won a resounding victory.

President Arroyo delivered the same message when she addressed the Gender Parity Group minutes later.

“What should we do? We stand up and call for Aung San Suu Kyi’s freedom,” she said.

Ms Arroyo has consistently advocated that Asean take a more active role in introducing reforms in Burma. At the 13th Asean summit last November, she called on her fellow Asian leaders to work for the release of Suu Kyi.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20080127-115038/Arroyo-rallies-Asean-leaders-Lets-free-Suu-Kyi-now

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

January 27, 2008 at 3:42 am