March 9th ~ Movie Monday

Our final assignation with Rambo was Phil’s Thursday night movie. Rambo Last Blood (2019). I must admit to doing a bit of research prior to seeing it ready for the blog post and reading the critics reviews wasn’t holding out much hope for it, but I actually really enjoyed this one. The plot is in 2 sections, the first is akin to the Liam Neeson movie Taken, and the 2nd more like Home Alone. Now I know that doesn’t sound good, but it had enough Rambo in it to make it original. No spoilers here, as it’s a newish movie not everyone will have seen.

As always there is a fair amount tons of carnage and the plot is not complex, but I felt Stallone was more acty in this one, he’s older of course, and talked more than grunted. This movie didn’t really hit it off with the critics, mostly complaining about the carnage and simple plot. Vince Mancini of Uproxx said, “It’s so genuinely horrific I’m convinced there are real-life cartel videos celebrating the torture of rivals that are less gory”, but recommended the film as a must-see. I quite liked this one- “If you’re not the kind of person who wants to weep with joy at the sight of Rambo tooling up, firing a bow, or rigging booby traps, then the film really isn’t for you, but if you’re after a solid display of carnage from a character you love, then there’s plenty on offer.” by Duncan Bowles of Den of Geek. And that, my friends, is spot on.

Because the movie is set in Mexico and involves bad Mexican men a few critics decided it wasn’t good in this day and age to stereotype the Mexicans.  “In 2019’s hypersensitive cultural environment, the depiction of murderous Mexican crime bosses and their cowering sex slaves encountering a literal white saviour doesn’t go down so easy.” Eric Kohn – Indiewire.

I’d like to point out here that according to Reuters and other news outlets “Murders in Mexico jumped in the first half of the year (2019) to the highest on record, according to official data, underscoring the vast challenges President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador faces in reducing violence in the cartel-ravaged country.” Perhaps he should hire Stallone. 🙂

I turned to Netflix for my Saturday night movie, and found The Laundromat (2019) directed by Stephen Soderbergh and starring Meryl Streep, Antonio Banderas and Gary Oldman. There are cameo roles for Sharon Stone, David Schwimmer, Robert Patrick and a few others along the way. The plot is based on the Panama Papers (11.5 million leaked documents that detail financial and attorney–client information for more than 214,488 offshore entities). The documents, some dating back to the 1970s, were created by, and taken from, Panamanian law firm and corporate provider Mossack Fonseca. A whistle blower known only as John Doe released the details of accounts held by rich people in off shore shell companies, and while the shell companies are not illegal, some people had used them for illegal purposes such as tax evasion, fraud, and even international sanctions.

The movie plot shows how all this came about, using three people’s stories to illustrate how they got screwed over by Mossack & Fonseca. Oldman and Banderas play Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca, and they narrate the movie all the way through.

I hadn’t seen many Soderbergh films, other than Oceans 11 & 12, and Erin Brockovich, but he has a unique style. There was a lot of jumping about, and a couple of bits we had to rewind as we couldn’t fathom the relevance of what we were seeing, but on the whole the movie was well acted, entertaining and quite an eye opener. There’s a kind of twist at the end, umm, not so much a twist as an unexpected reveal, but no spoilers here.

Mixed reviews from the critics: on Rotten Tomatoes “The Laundromat misuses its incredible cast by taking a disappointingly blunt and unfocused approach to dramatizing the real-life events that inspired it.”

I didn’t know that much about it so perhaps the blunt approach stood me in good stead.

It’s worth watching if you have Netflix, and don’t know much about this sort of stuff, but although it’s classed as a political comedy, I think it’s mainly depressing to learn just how perfidious these people are.

It made me laugh when I read that Mossack and Fonseca tried to sue Netflix and have the movie stopped, it made Netflix and the judge laugh too 🙂

16 Comments

  1. I feel that all of the newer Rambo movies have to be taken with a grain of salt… Carnage for the sake of carnage. You know I would have no problem with that! 😜 The last one was like that, as well so people should know, at this point, what they’re getting into!
    I’m beginning to fear movies with a big pack of big names in them! I’ve never heard of “The Laundromat”, but I know that if I saw it on Netflix I would probably run screaming. So many actors I love in one place seems to, recently, mean some sort of thrown together disaster. And, I’m not a fan of all these flashy flashy back and forth stuff in movies, either (which is funny… Because Tarantino is one of my favourite directors… But, he does it WELL! Or, maybe I’m just getting old and don’t have as much of an attention span). 👵

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree re Rambo, unless you live under a rock y’all know what to expect. This one was my favourite of all that I’ve seen since the first, which is still the best IMHO. The Laundromat isn’t as bad as all that, and I could listen to Banderas all day so-o-o sexyspeak!

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  2. Loving this new series Fraggly
    I haven’t seen this Rambo but I have seen I think most of the others. I like me a bit of action so I will watch it at some point. your eloquent review has muchly helped!
    I wanted to watch that Laundromat…and now I shall. anything people want removed from the public eye has to be worth watching!

    Also I’ll be working my way backwards and reading more of these!
    💋

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A friend once described himself as “a closet Rambo fan.” I’m not, in a closet or out. As far as “The Laundromat” I think it has potential, but in today’s political climate, I would find it depressing. On the other hand, I have been enjoying the newest episodes of “Better Call Saul.”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We can relate to it. We have been to Albuquerque at least once. Fring is so evil! Saul is such a dweeby schemer. Kim has ice water in her veins with an evil twist. But out of all of them, I love Mike!

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    1. I don’t think I’ll mind never seeing Rambo again, but they weren’t all bad, the first one especially, although there were lots of explosions, it was also one of the first movies to deal with Vietnam Vets poor treatment and PTSD, and that did come across well. The Laundromat worth seeing for the ‘blunt’ explanation of the Panama Papers, and giving that a human face.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. There are nice places in Mexico, at least my friends there invite me to know and for what I saw are spectacular and tranquil. But there are zones in the North where violence exists and is quite extreme, I have a friend that came from there to Lima city, and although Lima is quite violent is not as much as her city was (there were even shootings in the street at her door :S) I have not seen that movie of Rambo but if something I know is that I am seeing a movie, not a documental xP The case of Panama I have read in news, usually I think it would make a boring movie but Netflix gets to make these movies quite entertaining.

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