We set out with a humble goal: to watch and review every Rambo and Rocky movie we could get our hands on — all during the short time the Munger women were absent from the household, and without neglecting our other duties.
Five days, eight movies, sixteen reviews, two lacrosse games, one soccer game, and thousands of calories’ worth of pork, red meat, and egg- based products later, the Stallonefest has been successful, with one notable omission. Rocky Balboa hasn’t yet been released on DVD, and the nearest theater where it was showing was an hour-and-a-half drive away. Rather than mounting an expedition to see it, we decided to wait for its release on pay-per-view, when we’ll add our review to the list.
Here are links to all 16 reviews:
|Rocky II||Rocky II|
|Rocky III||Rocky III|
|Rocky IV||Rocky IV|
|Rocky V||Rocky V|
|First Blood||First Blood|
|Rambo: First Blood, Part II||Rambo: First Blood, Part II|
|Rambo III||Rambo III|
As you can see by reading the reviews, it was a numbing experience, but there were some pleasant surprises. Both Rocky III and Rambo III were surprisingly good. Overall, as you might expect, Jim liked the movies better than me. I gave a total of 19.5 stars, while Jim awarded 32.5 stars. But there was at least one movie — Rocky III — that I preferred compared to Jim.
Bad as some of these movies were to watch, the most difficult aspect of the process for me was writing the reviews themselves. I’ve been trained in English literary studies, and literary scholars are usually reluctant to make value judgments about works. If a critic doesn’t like a work, she generally just doesn’t write about it — if a work is written about, the implication is that it’s worth reading (or watching, as the case may be). I’ve written some negative book reviews, but generally in these cases I can find at least something positive about the work.
In case you don’t want to slog through all 16 reviews, here’s our handy star-rating guide for the eight films:
In the next phase of the process, I’m going to auction the DVDs off on eBay. Perhaps the fact that these are the actual movies reviewed during Stallonefest will add something to their value. (I’ll be happy if we recoup enough of the cost to make this a cheaper way of obtaining the movies then renting or Netflix.)