Franchises I Am So Thankful Continued On When I Thought They Were Dead

Ever think a franchise, whether from a movie, TV show, book, game…anything… was over and done with, only to surprise you years later with something more? This always fills me with gratitude beyond words, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to see more into the characters or stories that I love. So let’s see some of my favorites!

Star Wars all posters

This is probably the biggest return, as it is going stronger than ever today.

I spent the earliest days of my childhood obsessing over the original Star Wars trilogy. I loved everything about the movies, and the copious amount of toys that came with it. I wanted to own them all. (Consequently, I only had about 10).

I yearned to see what happened before A New Hope, for I desperately wanted to learn about Vader’s fall into darkness, the Clone Wars, and to just see a time where Jedi were plentiful.

First, we got the special editions. I was super-thrilled about that, but it was the same movies, but I figured it was better than nothing.

But then when I heard I was finally going to get my wish, I was beyond ecstatic. Just before my tenth birthday, a movie I literally was waiting my whole life for came out and started a new trilogy delivering the very things I wanted to see.

Fast-forward some 20 years and we are still getting Star Wars material. A plethora of comics, novels, TV shows, movies, both mainline and spin-off, so that now instead of waiting a decade for something new, it’s about a year. Heck we just got The Bad Batch premiere mere days ago!

I will continue to enjoy Star Wars in my adult life, until Disney inevitably runs it into the ground. But as long as Dave Filoni is creating things, I think we are in good hands.

american-reunion-rev

After American Wedding, one of my favorite movie series concluded. But after nine years, we received American Reunion, a continuation of the characters I so love trying to deal with middle-age adulthood. It happens to be my favorite in the series to boot!

There was rumor of a fifth movie years ago, but I think that has been squashed. I’m still holding out hope though!

dragon ball super

Dragon Ball Z was my favorite show as a kid…and pretty much still is. When it concluded, I was a mess. Sure, we had GT come out, but that was hardly anything comparable, and it wasn’t canon, so it just doesn’t really matter.

After about 20 years however, a new movie, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods was released, with the promise that if it did well, a new series would follow in it’s wake. This was some of the most exciting news I’ve ever heard. After one more movie, at long last, Dragon Ball Super began, and we were treated to an amazing series that surpasses even Z in my opinion!

While the show is currently on hiatus, it is confirmed to be coming back eventually. We have since been treated to one more movie, which is probably the best thing in DB history, and continued monthly releases of the manga, which is continuing the storyline!

Of all the items on this list, Dragon Ball Super is the one I am easily the most thankful for. Each month when I read the new manga chapter, I can hardly believe a series I thought dead in my early-teens is going strong in my early thirties!

rambo first blood

Like Star Wars, I spent a lot of my childhood watching the Rambo trilogy.

The trilogy concluded about a year before I was born, so I never thought I’d see a new Rambo movie, despite rumors about it floating around for over a decade. But finally, in 2008, 20 years after the third one, we were treated to Rambo.

I still remember perfectly going to see it opening night to a sold out theater of excited fans, red bands tied around many of their heads. Quotes from the movies were shouted out during the previews, cheers rang out throughout Rambo’s more awesome exploits. All-in-all, it was the best theater experience I had ever been to.

But then, 11 years after that, we got yet another Rambo movie! I was thrilled beyond words yet again. Now one of my favorite movie franchises that I thought was dead before I was even born had given me a movie when I was 18, and 30. I can’t ask for much more than that. Except I’m hoping for a sixth one, despite Stallone being very old at this point.

rocky

Going along with Rambo, a sixth Rocky movie was rumored to be in the works for over 10 years. I also watched this series all the time as a kid. The fifth movie came out in 1990, but in 2006, we finally got that sequel! Better yet, we see the character return in a spin-off movie series, Creed, in 2015, and 2018!

Every time I watch these listed items, I seriously feel so appreciative that they even exist, so far in the future when I thought they were long gone.

I will add more as I think of them.

Is there anything that has made a comeback that you have a hard time believing yet are thrilled about?

Rambo Series Ranked/Rambo: Last Blood Review

I never thought in my life that a new Rambo movie would come out. The third one released about a year before I was born, so for a very long time, I thought that was it. I remember always thinking, ‘I wish they would make five, so that they could be even with the Rocky series.’

In 2008, the impossible happened. A fourth one came out, along with it, the possibility of another sequel, but eventually it tapered off, Stallone basically saying he was too old for a fifth. And then one day, nearly 11 years after the fourth one came out, my brother informed me that he was indeed making the film, and showed me some set photos.

I was floored. It seems in less than a week, I will get my wish at long last. Five movies to match Rocky, even though thankfully that series has increased in number as well. But I am not  going to wait for a sixth one, for that just isn’t ever going to happen. I am satisfied completely with the fifth one. The trailer alone makes me confident this movie is going to be intense and incredible. I just watched it again, and it gave me chills

So to celebrate this monumental occasion, I will be ranking all the movies from my least favorite to my most favorite.

So away we go!!

 

#4 Rambo

rambo

This movie is incredibly moving and emotional, due to the fact that it very accurately portrays war in third world countries and the cruelty of humanity. Each weapons effects on human bodies is realistic and brutal, which really brings into light how horrible war is and why Rambo tries his best to get away from it.

While I find the movie to be utterly fantastic, it also has a bit of disappointing parts in it. I wasn’t thrilled that Rambo wasn’t doing pretty much everything on his own, despite the fact that I really like all the mercenaries he works with.

I also don’t like that there isn’t any cool stealth kill parts like they have in the first three. That is definitely missed.

The final thing that bugs me is that during the finale scene, Rambo just sits behind a machine gun mounted on a truck the whole time, which is cool, because he shreds up all kinds of stuff, but it is also boring in a way.

 

#3 Rambo III

rambo 3

This movie is a masterpiece. It’s got intense action throughout most of the movie, and even has Colonel Trautman doing a bit of fighting, which is something many people have wanted to see I’m sure. While Rambo does receive a bit of help in this one, it really just focuses on him, and actually the help hinders him at times.

Rambo faces his most vicious and largest enemies yet, fearlessly taking on an entire army that culminates into the best finale in the series. He drives a tank into a helicopter for God’s sake. This move is the epitome of 80’s action.

#2 Rambo: First Blood Part II

Rambo-First-Blood-Part-II-Soundtrack-2CD

If the third one is a masterpiece, this  is just a little bit more so. The action, the hate, the betrayal, the message… Everything about it is amazing. And when Rambo starts to fall for someone, she dies immediately, as if the movie is punishing itself for daring to be anything other than awesome. The “Murdock, I’m coming to get you,” scene is one of the most badass scenes in history.

#1 First Blood

rambo first blood

This one is just slightly more of a masterpiece than 2 & 3. The whole calm, sad Rambo being pushed to take on a whole town theme is amazing. How he takes down every cop in the woods, incredible. Showing off his survival skills in said woods and in the mine is fun to watch.

I really like that a lot of the movie is just music and not a whole lot of talking goes on. Trautman’s ridiculous warnings to Teasle really hype up Rambo’s deadly skills. Just every second of this film is either tense, action packed, or awesome in some shape or form.

 

As a whole, this series is one of the best out there, despite it’s ridiculously inconsistent titling. I could watch these every day, they simply blow me away like all the stuff Rambo blows up in his life. I am completely confident that the fifth will be able to stand among these four incredible films. I already like it better than the fourth one just from watching the trailers!

Last Blood Review

The movie is pretty darn incredible. I’m just going to go right out and say it. It shows Rambo in a new light, a brighter one, if you will. One where he is actually content with life, which is something we have never seen before. And then by the end of the movie, we have never seen him so angry. For now, he’s not fighting in someone else’s war. This time, it’s just personal…and it’s awesome.

The first 2/3 of the movie is more like a super violent Taken, and then the last third is just everything you love about Rambo to the extreme. The ending is mind blowing. If you like hardcore action, then this will float your boat, I’m sure. If you are someone who doesn’t like unnecessary violence, well then don’t watch this.

The music is great as well. They take all the themes from the other movies and adjust them to the mood of the scenes going on, so that it actually reminded me a lot of the Rocky series, and actually succeeds in enhancing the emotions being felt or the themes being represented in each scene.

Interestingly enough, being as Rambo is a quiet, hardly talking maniac of death and destruction, this is probably one of Stallone’s best performances. The emotion he gives off, the hate, the rage, the hurt…all excellent. You can practically see an aura of rage floating around him like he is a Super Saiyan by the end. Again, this really enhances the viewing.

Some parts of it are a little slow, but that’s because they are plot building, and I was itching to see Rambo go nuts. And he does. Believe me. It’s worth the wait.

They never describe how Rambo is actually related to the girl who refers to him as “Uncle John,” nor how she is related to the other woman who lives with them. This isn’t really a big deal, but the viewer is pretty much left to assume a whole lot about them, but overall, it’s not really important. The movie makes this clear. All you need to know is the young girl, Gabriella, is like a daughter to Rambo. And this Gabriella has the most beautiful, big brown eyes that kind of make your heart melt. This is fortunate, because she does a lot of crying, and those eyes just make it so much sadder, on top of her being adorable and crying is something you never want to see her do.

As for ranking this…I don’t know…I really don’t. It’s definitely better than 4, but I can’t really say where it falls among the first 3. Sometimes it’s my favorite, sometimes I like it less than 3 or equally as 3. I would just consider it a masterpiece like the first 3.

Watching this made me realize how different all 5 films are. Each brings your attention to a different real world problem, and never really holds your hand doing it. They never hold back from the violence that exists in this world, showing you the cruelty of humanity, something Rambo tries to separate from himself and protect others from. This is a constant theme in the entire series, Last Blood being no exception. And with the advancements in technology, the fourth and fifth film are especially effective in showing how destructive people and weapons can be.

So what I have learned is that the Rambo series doesn’t need to be ranked. They are all so entertaining, educate you in a brutal way, and have an interesting, tortured soul he turns into a volcano of fury and then murders everyone in his way as the lead role. And a credit to this film, there is a slight 80’s action movie feel to this film at times, which is a nice throw back to Rambo’s roots.

Bottom line, if you love Rambo, you are going to love this. If you like action movies, you will like this. If you are expecting a movie with a deep twisting plot, involved, fleshed out characters, and a deep sense of meaning that will leave you feeling like a better person…then you clearly have never seen a Rambo movie before. These films have always been about awareness of global issues and intense action entertainment. And this one delivers on that.

 

P.S.

It’s better the second viewing.