January 28, 2008


Rambo vs. the Roller Girls

What happens when you go to see the new Rambo movie followed by watching the Charlotte Roller Girls duke it out on the track against the Columbia Quad-squad in the same day?? You have the most Manly day ever! Thats what my day was like yesterday; it was pretty Sweet!

Even though its been twenty years since the last Rambo film, this Rambo (IMDb) (trailer on apple) somehow kicks more a$$ than ever before. Staring (of course!) and directed by John Rambo himself (Stallone) (and co-written as well); its a 90-minute perfectly executed punch to your face. When Rambo is not disemboweling bad-guys with his hand-forged huge combat knife, or using a mounted machine gun to rip apart entire platoons of bad-guys, he's well ... minding his boat, or wrangling snakes, because what else is there for Rambo to do? If you go to see this film, you'll get just exactly what you should have expected to pay for: A film not encumbered by any sense of a complicated plot, with no reason for the enemy soldiers to behave the way they do. It's as simple as you could expect. And very shortly into the film you're immersed into the fray -- It gets bloody and stays bloody to the violent conclusion. When Rambo grabs the leader of the missionary group by the neck (who has cast a cold shoulder to Rambo presumably out of fear or resentment of Rambo's rugged exterior) to get his point across, its almost like he's grabbing a caricature of politically correct modern cinema by the neck and saying: Leave me (and my old-school action film style) alone. And he's right: Rambo is simple, and its fine that way. Its a short, to the point, excellent homage to the classic action films of the 70s/80s.

A word of caution: This is by far the most violent of the series, with more blood in this film than in all previous First Bloods combined. Human-beings are more like balloons filled with blood, splattering in all directions on screen. If thats not enough, theres other forms of cruelty and savage violence and rape aplenty in Rambo; so it might not be the best rite-of-passage to take your twelve-year old son (or daughter) to; although I saw lots of dads with their kids (mostly sons) going to see this R-rated film. My guess is that on the way home many of these father/son pairs had conversations about what not to tell their mothers about when they got home.

So, after that brutality on screen, I went to see Roller Derby girls battling each other at the Charlotte Roller Girls' first home game. If you think you might enjoy seeing ladies racing on roller skates wearing retro style clothes while duking it out and competing according to a point-system that is nearly impossible to make sense of, then you'll probably really enjoy going to a Roller-Derby event. This was the Charlotte Roller Girls first home game, and even though they lost, it was a pretty close game, and they played really well; at least it seemed so, I really couldn't make any sense of how points were awarded. But that didn't matter so much as just cheering when ever someone caused the other team to tumble or if they passed the other team to become the "lead jammer". The only negative aspect to the whole thing was the terrible Elvis impersonator between periods in the game. But there was a certain special magic to the whole spectacle. I was pretty impressed by the skater “Rosey Cheeks” as although she was smaller than the other girls and took some pretty hard falls she kept jumping right back into the action. “Ducky Long Stockings” was also pretty good. It was really impressive and odd in a strangely appealing way.

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