Rambo, “Live for nothing. Die for something.”

  Rambo,

“Live for nothing.

Die for something.”

By Michael Winfrey,

Reuters

LONDON(Reuters) – Not satisfied with slugging it out with  Myanmar’s military government on celluloid in his latest “Rambo” film, Sylvester Stallone wants to go there and confront the junta face to face over human rights.

Our Rambo 5 Scoop Confirmed

Stallone, who said he was gearing up to make a fifth and final installment in the blood-and-guts series, told Reuters that media reports of his film becoming a bootleg hit in the country formerly known as Burma, and an inspiration to dissidents, was a pinnacle in his movie career.

“These incredibly brave people have found, kind of a voice, in a very odd way, in American cinema … They’ve actually used some of the film’s quotes as rallying points,” Stallone, 61, said in a telephone interview.

“That, to me, is the one of the proudest moments I’ve ever had in film.”

Residents in Yangon told Reuters this week that police had given strict orders to DVD hawkers to not stock the movie – named simply “Rambo.” Locals said fans had “gone crazy” over lines in the hero’s brusque dialogue such as: “Live for nothing. Die for something.”

In the film, Vietnam War veteran John Rambo – best known for mowing down enemies with an M60 machine gun in the 1980’s – comes out of retirement in Thailand to save a group of Christian missionaries from a sadistic Myanmar army major.

Stallone said that, rather than make a film about Iraq or Darfur, he focused on a lesser-known crisis before Myanmar suddenly grabbed the spotlight in September when the military junta crushed a pro-democracy campaign led by Buddhist monks.

Officials put the death toll from the crackdown at 15, but diplomats and aid groups say it is much higher and some media have reported hundreds – or thousands – were killed.

“People finally got the idea of how brutal these people are,” said Stallone.

INVITE ME, PLEASE

Stallone’s movie specifically focuses on the Karen tribe of eastern Myanmar. UK-based Christian Aid says the Karen and other groups have suffered half a million cases of forced relocation and thousands more have been imprisoned, tortured or killed.

Many ethnic rebel groups have fought Burmese governments for more autonomy since independence from Britain in 1948. Stallone said he was in communication with some, and several former freedom fighters acted in the movie.

And he hopes the film can provoke a confrontation.

“I’m only hoping that the Burmese military, because they take such incredible offence to this, would call it lies and scurrilous propaganda. Why don’t you invite me over?” he said.

“Let me take a tour of your country without someone pointing a gun at my head and we’ll show you where all the bodies are buried… Or let’s go debate in Washington in front of a congressional hearing… But I doubt that’s going to happen.”

“Rambo” opened last month second in north American box office returns to the ancient Greek warrior spoof “Meet the Spartans,” making $18.2 million in its first week.

Stallone said he was happy with what he described as “the bloodiest, R film (for) a generation” and hoped to make another.

“It will depend on the success of this one, but right now I think I’m gearing one up. It will be quite different,” he said.

“We’ll do something a little darker and a little more unexpected.”

Reuters/Nielsen

Myanmar junta takes aim at

latest Rambo movie

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Police in Myanmar have given DVD hawkers strict orders not to stock the new Rambo movie, which features the Vietnam War veteran taking on the former Burma’s ruling military junta, a Yangon resident told Reuters on Friday.

Despite the prohibition, pirated copies of the movie are widely available on the streets of the former capital, where it is fast becoming a talking point among a population eager to shake off 45 years of military rule.

“People are going crazy with the quote ‘Live for nothing, die for something’,” one resident said, referring to the tagline of the fourth Rambo installment, which opened in the United States this week.

Even though it received lukewarm reviews, it is likely to be a sure-fire hit with opponents of the junta, with some even hoping it could spur a change of regime in the impoverished southeast Asian nation.

“This movie could fuel the sentiment of Myanmar people to invite American troops to help save them from the junta,” one Yangon resident told Reuters by e-mail.

In the movie, John Rambo, played by Hollywood superstar Sylvester Stallone, comes out of retirement in Bangkok to save a group of Christian missionaries taken captive by troops in the jungles of eastern Myanmar.

As with previous Rambo films, it is short on plot and long on blood and guts — although viewers appear to think it is all relative.

“Rambo acted very cruelly, but his cruelty is nothing compared to that of the military junta,” a Myanmar student in Thailand, who did not wish to be named, told Reuters.

(Reporting by Bangkok newsroom; Writing by Ed Cropley; Editing by Michael Battye)

 Our Rambo 5 Scoop Confirmed

function ShareIt(event) { if (!event) event = window.event; obj = document.getElementById(‘shareit_popup’); obj.style.left = event.clientX-110+”px”; obj.style.top = event.clientY+”px”; obj.style.display = “”; }

By Josh Tyler: 2008-01-28 13:59:36

Nearly 3 months ago we were the first site to break the story that Stallone and the Weinstein company might already be in the process of cobbling together a fifth Rambo movie. We told you about it right here. Now, after the release of the fourth film our story is being confirmed elsewhere. It’s good to be right… every once in awhile. Hey, we’ll take what we can get.rambo1_.jpg

 The confirmation of our scoop comes from Deadline Hollywood Daily, where Nikki Finke has been on the phone with Harvey Weinstein, who tells her for the next sequel they plan to bring Rambo back to the United States. When asked if Stallone is getting too old for this shit, Harv said “I like the idea of an older guy kicking ass. Maybe it’s because I’m older, too.” Plus all those steroids he’s taking keep Sly pretty young.

He probably also likes the idea of making money. There hasn’t exactly been a lot of it for him since he and his brother ditched their positions at Disney owned Miramax and started The Weinstein Company. Box office success has mostly eluded TWC so far. Rambo’s second place, $18.2 million take this past weekend is one of the best openings for any of their movies, and the Weinsteins expect it to do even better overseas.

RELATED: rambo, sequel, sylvester stallone, harvey weinstein, the weinstein company

Sylvester Stallone Interview, RAMBO
Movie
John Rambo Posted By: Sheila Roberts / Source
Filed Under : action , sequel , interviewrambo2_.jpg

MoviesOnline caught up with Sylvester Stallone at the Los Angeles press day for “Rambo,” which he wrote, directed and stars in based on characters created by David Morrell. Filmed on location in and around Chiang Mai, Thailand, “Rambo” also stars Julie Benz (“Dexter,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Paul Schulze (“The Sopranos”), Matthew Marsden (“Resident Evil: Extinction,” “Black Hawk Down”), Graham McTavish (HBO’s “Rome”), Rey Gallegos (“American Wedding”), Tim Kang (“Third Watch”), Jake LaBotz (“Ghost World”), Maung Maung Khin and Ken Howard.

Twenty years after the last film in the series, John Rambo (Stallone) has retreated to northern Thailand, where he’s running a longboat on the Salween River. On the nearby Thai-Burma (Myanmar) border, the world’s longest-running civil war, the Burmese-Karen conflict, rages into its 60th year. Rambo lives a solitary, simple life in the mountains and jungles fishing and catching poisonous snakes to sell. He has long ago given up fighting, even as medics, mercenaries, rebels and peace workers pass by on their way to the war-torn region. All that changes when a group of human rights missionaries ask Rambo to guide them up the Salween so they can deliver food and medical supplies to the Karen tribe. Weeks after the journey, Rambo learns that the same missionaries are being held captive by the Burmese military, outside diplomatic reach. Accompanied by a group of Church-hired mercenaries, he agrees to go up the river again, feeling a responsibility to rescue the captives despite his reluctance for violence and conflict.rambo3_.jpg

Despite nineteen years having transpired since the last Rambo installment, Stallone and producers Avi Lerner, Kevin King and John Thompson were confident that audiences would still connect with Rambo’s personal fortitude. “Rambo harkens back to that mythic one man who has been chosen to do a job that he really doesn’t want to do, but he’s been born to do it,” Stallone explains. “He imparts a sense of virtue that’s immediate. Bad and evil should be punished and the weak should be protected. It harkens back to the stories we all grew up with, the mythology of good and evil.”

“I thought the Burmese setting would be ideal because it’s a story that’s not just about Rambo. It’s actually happening. It’s true,” continues Stallone. “From the time I heard about it and began researching it, I thought, ‘If I could just combine the two – raising awareness of the Karen-Burmese civil war and giving the audience a good adventure story – that would be perfect.’”

Sly is a fabulous guy and we really appreciated his time. Here’s what he had to tell us about his new film and his upcoming projects:

Q: HOW DO YOU FEEL WHEN YOU HEAR PEOPLE LIKE GEORGE BUSH BEING REFERRED TO AS RAMBO?

STALLONE: I know. Please stop. I know we share a birthday but no… You’re leaving me open. I could just slam that hunk. Let’s see. What rhymes with Rambo? Dumbo? No. We have nothing to do with that, believe me. No.

Q: WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO DO ANOTHER “RAMBO” MOVIE NOW?

STALLONE: You know, careers have peaks and valleys and you harken back to the things that you’re sort of known for. I mean, every actor would like to say that they’re Daniel Day Lewis and that they have this incredible pallet, but quite often you’re known for certain things. I said to myself, ‘Boy, if I could end my career on something, I’d like to finish up the loose ends on Rambo because the last one in Afghanistan didn’t work and the last Rocky didn’t work. So I wanted to focus on these two and as fate would have it the world has gone through a transition in the past twenty years where maybe ten years ago this wouldn’t have even been acceptable, but right now with this inundation of violence, the constant bombardment of it on CNN everyday, I think there’s a kind of frustration building up and it needs a release. So that’s why. It was just time, good timing.

Q: HOW DO YOU FEEL GOING BACK TO THESE CHARACTERS? IS IT DIFFICULT?

STALLONE: I love it. It reminds me of Eugene O’Neill’s father in ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’. He played it for 33 years. I’m like, ‘I get that.’ [Laughs]

Q: IN THE BLACK AND WHITE NIGHTMARE SEQUENCE, YOU USE A CLIP FROM THE UNUSED ENDING OF “FIRST BLOOD” WHERE RAMBO GETS TRAUTMAN TO KILL HIM.

STALLONE: Oh, you caught that.

Q: BY PUTTING THAT IN THERE, ARE YOU TELLING THE AUDIENCE THAT RAMBO DREAMS HE WISHES IT WOULD’VE ENDED THERE AND THAT TRAUTMAN WOULD’VE KILLED HIM?

STALLONE: No, no. We actually tried using that ending. It was at one screening only in Las Vegas and it didn’t go over very well. They had to literally go back and rebuild the entire set. I begged. I said, ‘Don’t do this again.’ Anyway, they did it. But I thought in the dream sequence, and I don’t know if it’s coming across or not, but accept who you are, accept who you are, this is who you are. This is it. Finally Rambo does. I kill for myself. I don’t kill for my country. It’s just like, ‘Stop using this excuse that I’m a hero. I’m not. I’ve just got this penchant for violence inside of me that has to come out.’ While he was in the dream it was like, ‘Put me out of my misery.’ If he could’ve done it all over, he wishes that Trautman did shoot him because he cannot come to terms with the fact that he’s a killer. Flat out.

Q: HOW DO YOU DEFINE THIS CHARACTER?

STALLONE: He goes down to see his father who, by the way, is a full blooded Indian. I decided not to shoot it because I thought it would end up being a double epilogue, but you realize where he came from. He came from a society that was absolutely archaic compared to the modern man. So it’s as though he was going to go back into the world where he existed [in the first place.] It’s a primitive existence, a hard existence. It’s not surrounded by people. It’s surrounded by horses and nature, whatever. That’s where he belongs. When he’s confronted with people and society, the rage and that indignity start to build up. What it is, is that he defends people that can’t defend themselves. It isn’t like he goes out and looks for trouble, but he embraces it. That’s why when the missionaries came up he was so conflicted. ‘You’re not going to change anything, but I’ll take you there.’ It’s like the warrior needs to war.

Q: WAS THAT SHOT DURING THE FINAL CREDIT SEQUENCE THE LAST THING THAT YOU SHOT AND WHAT WERE YOU THINKING WHEN YOU TOOK THAT LONG WALK?

STALLONE: You mean back to the house? Yeah, that was by far the last scene. That was the last shot. I thought that he goes down and looks up the road and his journey was over. In other words it’s like an odyssey, like, for lack of a better term Ulysses who went through all these different trials and tribulations and in the end everybody sort of thinks, ‘Can I ever go back and have one more chance at trying to relive my life even though there’s not much of it left?’ So to me it’s a kind of happy ending. It’s a little smirk.

Q: WERE YOU REFLECTING ON RAMBO’S ENTIRE JOURNEY?

STALLONE: Absolutely. But it was also very tentative for me, like, ‘Do I do this?’ There’s an excitement about going back to see your father, but you also haven’t seen him in 30 years and it’s kind of like what I do every time I go home at night. [Laughs] Am I going to be welcomed or not? No, I’m just kidding.

Q: DO YOU SEE YOURSELF RETURNING TO “RAMBO” AFTER THIS?

STALLONE: No.

Q: THIS IS IT? WOULD YOU EVER CONSIDER DOING ANOTHER ONE?

STALLONE: I have a very, very bizarre idea. It’s probably so absurd, but it’s got to formulate a little bit. If I told you I was going to do one about a sixty one year old boxer, you’d go, ‘Yup!’ But if you find the right formula almost anything is feasible. It’s just coming in there and making the audience go, ‘Okay, that’s possible. That is feasible.’ It’s weird. I mean, Space Cowboys. Hello? But it worked.

Q: WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE LEGACY WILL BE WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE?

STALLONE: The legacy? Who’s legacy? Mine? Oh, God. It’s ying and yang. I think that some of the upcoming actors will look at me as this archaic, kind of like prehistoric creature that belonged to a certain bygone genre that no longer exists because now we’ve become much more scientific, less personal. Most of my peers were very physical. Arnold [Schwarzenegger] and Bruce [Willis] – they were just more hands on. I think that a lot of actors today are hands off and they’re more intellectual. So I think that it’ll be like what it’s like when you go back to the Natural Museum of History and you’re looking at a Pterodactyl.

Q: YOU JUST BROUGHT UP “SPACE COWBOYS,” ARE YOU GUYS PLANNING SOMETHING TOGETHER?

STALLONE: I always talk to Arnold about it. I’m like, ‘When are you going to get over this job? Let’s go back to having some fun!’ Every weekend I ask him.

Q: HOW WOULD YOU SAY YOUR DIRECTING STYLE HAS CHANGED SINCE “STAYING ALIVE”?

In terms of style, the first time I directed a film was Paradise Alley which was very stylized and I didn’t really know what I was doing, but it was kind of more of a flow. I thought that this one would kind of be like the character – jerky, erratic, unsteady, always, always moving. It always blows my mind when you see a jungle film and then you see dolly shots. I go, ‘Wait a second. There’s nothing smooth in the jungle.’ You trip. I mean I can’t walk 5 feet without tripping over a vine so I thought the camera should be that way. Also because of economics we didn’t have time to put the camera on anything that resembled a dolly. But it worked out fine and I enjoyed it. It was quick and running and gunning and just throwing it over there and picking it up. I think with that kind of thing you miss a lot of shots, but you also get a lot of energy. You do.

Q: HOW MANY CAMERAS DID YOU USE?

STALLONE: In the last battle I had 9. Normally it would be 3, but I find that with 3 you start to overlap so 2 would be the best. Three is sort of getting clumsy unless you’re going for inanimate objects with the third camera. Like, ‘Okay, there’s a shoelace and an empty bottle.’ Somehow you work that in which we never did. It’s that kind of thing.

Q: WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO OPEN THE FILM WITH DOCUMENTARY FOOTAGE OF REAL EVENTS IN BURMA?

STALLONE: I was dependent on the audience not knowing anything about Burma even though two months ago we now learned about the genocides of the monks. So I just wanted to bring them up to date and there’s nothing more impressionable than when you actually see real newsreel footage that shows you’re not just doing a film that’s a fantasy. It’s for real. It’s like showing Vietnam and then you actually go into the film. So I thought that it would add a little bit of gravitas to it and just bring you up to speed. It was going to be more elaborate with a voice over, but I thought, ‘Okay, just keep it at that.’ And then the second scene is the race in the rice paddy which is just saturated in color and then bang, we’re into the beginning of the film.

Q: PEOPLE HAVE SAID THAT THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST VIOLENT MOVIES THAT WE’VE SEEN IN A LONG TIME.

STALLONE: Not one of the most. The most. I worked very hard for this. [Laughter] I’m only kidding.

Q: HOW HARD WAS IT TO GET THE MPAA TO GIVE YOU AN ‘R’ RATING ON THIS?

STALLONE: They were conflicted, but you’re dealing with a real subject. As we’re speaking right now, people are dying and being tortured in the most brutal fashion you could ever even imagine and this film will show that. If we’re going to do anything that actually uses this medium [for something] besides entertaining, it is to perhaps save a few lives and bring an awareness to this. Please don’t water it down. Yes. Babies are being decimated. Women are being raped. There’s piracy. All that happens all the time. I say, ‘Just let it flow.’ People can turn away. They have this option, but don’t just cut away from it and go for that PG-13 situation which I had nothing against. I like Bruce’s last PG-13. I thought that it was very, very good, but this is a different kind of movie. This has to walk that thin line. It really does. It was almost an experiment about how far you can push entertainment, but also stay true to the bloodshed that’s going down as we speak. There is no more brutal regime on the planet. This has been going on for 60 years. So that’s what it was.

Q: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT ALL THE CGI THAT YOU PUT ON TO SQUIBS AND BLOOD EFFECTS? IT JUST SEEMS OVERSATURATED.

STALLONE: It is. But again, when you’re hit flat out, and I don’t know if you’ve seen it on YouTube, but the people who have some footage from Iraq – when you’re hit with a fifty caliber, you are literally emulsified. It’s not like a little bullet hole – ‘Ouch, it hurt.’ You’re gone. I wanted to, again, show that when people go to see situations of great violence, it’s horrifying. They’re not slightly wounded and like, ‘Oh, yeah. I have a little designer cut.’ I wanted to show how brutal it is. So the CGI was necessary because we couldn’t even put that much explosive on people.

Q: IS THIS THE FIRST TIME THAT YOU’VE WORKED WITH CGI AS A DIRECTOR AND ACTOR?

STALLONE: To this extent. In ‘Rocky,’ to fill up the top row [of people] in the audience, I had to use some CGI, but yeah, this is the first time. I don’t like it, but jeez, how do you put holes through people? [Laughs] Or separate them in half? [Laughs] They won’t sit still for that.

Q: THE EVISCERATION SCENE WAS GREAT.

STALLONE: The last one? Oh, my God. When I showed that to the producer, he shrieked. This is like an Israeli commando. I said, ‘That’s what it is. This guy deserves it.’ Even though he doesn’t say a word, you understand he is beyond – a pedophile, this, that, horror – I mean just everything. You need, and I really believe this, emotional payback. If you do not give the audience some sort of emotional payback in a film like this, you know what it’ll be? It’ll be considered an artistic triumph and a box office bomb.

Q: DID YOU SHOOT ANYTHING ESPECIALLY FOR THE DVD?

STALLONE: Yeah, we did. We had this fellow there following us the whole time, chasing the snakes and dealing with these cobras. They get loose on the boat and then you’d have fun with them. There’s just odd, odd stuff. We got caught in these monsoons and we had a leading lady trying to pull moss out of her eyes and mouth. So that’s going to be a very interesting DVD because we had someone there probably sixty days which is a lot of footage.

Q: WHAT WAS THE TOUGHEST PART OF THIS WHOLE ENDEAVOR?

STALLONE: The toughest part, I think for sure the night rescue because we had 28 days of nights. It’s 2 hours to get there and because of the rain it was driving up a lot of the snakes and the centipedes which you just have no idea. It looks like a hotdog with legs and it is brutal. So we had a real problem with that.

Q: I READ THAT YOU HAD A SNAKE ON YOUR LEG.

STALLONE: Yeah. Snake on the leg. That was me. We couldn’t afford CGI snakes and so the best thing we could do was go, ‘Oh, there’s a King Cobra. Great. Thanks.’ For real. And then we’d use scotch tape to try and keep him there, but I didn’t realize that they go like this. [Shows how a snake slithers] They’re not like alligators where you can hold them. Oh my God. So we have a lot of that on the DVD. It’ll be fun.

Q: WHAT’S BEEN THE MOST REWARDING PART OF THE FILM FOR YOU?

STALLONE: Oh, God. It had to be that last battle scene because Rambo doesn’t actually engage physically. He’s up there and the fact that worked was rewarding. Also, casting Julie Benz was to me very important. That was a hard part to cast, real hard, because most women don’t want to do it.

Q: DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO NEXT?

STALLONE: There are three possibilities. Death Wish. With the Writers Guild Strike, I don’t know. It may be The Mechanic.

 

Q: I HEARD you might be doing a project tentatively called “Notorious.”

STALLONE: Notorious? No. Sounds sexy. I wouldn’t mind. [Laughs] There’s one called Lion’s Game and there’s two novels. Lion’s Game is a Nelson DeMille book. That’s in the works but I’m dying to do some good old horror.

Q: So there’s no idea floating around for a movie with you, Bruce and Arnold?

STALLONE: [Laughs] I think Bruce is a possibility.

“Rambo” opens in theaters on January 25th.

 

Related Movie News

New Rambo Movie Renamed

Stallone Working on Rambo 5

Rambo 4 Shooting in September

John Rambo Nemesis Cast

Rambo 4 Gets a Budget!

Sylvester Stallone talks Rambo and Rock…

Stallone Says No More Rambo

Rambo IV : In the Serpants Eye

John Rambo First Photos

 

The Lady of Burma

Tornatore to Make English-Speaking Debut with The Lady, about Burma’s Nobel Peace Winner January 15, 2008–Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore plans to make his first English-language movie about the Burmese democracy peronality and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.Tornatore will develop the script for “The Lady” with Japanese producer Naofumi Okamoto for a production to begin later this year. Okamoto is producing the project alongside Avi Arad and Steven Paul and Benedict Carver of L.A.—based Crystal Sky Pictures.Okamoto is one of few foreigners to have met with Suu Kyi since her arrest 17 years ago by Burma’s military junta. After securing her permission to develop a movie based on her life, he asked Tornatore to direct because of the latter’s affinity for female characters.Suu Kyi is the leader of the pro-democracy movement in Burma and an advocate of nonviolent resistance. The daughter of the general who negotiated Burmese independence from Britain after WWII, she was educated at Oxford University and married an English scholar before returning to her homeland in 1988. Her party won elections in 1990, but she was prevented from taking power by the country’s ruling junta.

She has spent much of the past 17 years under house arrest and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1991. When her husband was diagnosed with cancer in 1997, the Burmese government denied him entry visa to visit his wife. Suu Kyi was told she could leave to see him, but only on condition that she never return. She chose to stay in Burma and never saw her husband again before his death in 1999. She remains separated from her two sons, who live in England.

For Arad, best known for movies based on Marvel Comics superheroes such as Spider-Man and X-Men, the project is a departure, though he plans “The Lady” to be a movie with broadest audience appeal.

“The Lady” will span the time from Suu Kyi’s return to Burma in 1988, when she was 43, to the present day. The movie will be in English, the language in which Suu Kyi was educated and which she speaks at home. No cast is yet attached.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: