The James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films – Door 20

James Proclaims (6)

Image result for rambo first blood

We’re finally into the twenties of December and Christmas is starting to feel very imminent indeed.

Today is the last day I’ll do any work for the remainder of 2017.

To be honest, I deserve a rest. It’s been a tough few months all told.

Maybe I’ll treat myself to a mini-break.

I’ve heard good things about this place called Hope. Apparently it’s dubbed as ‘The Gateway to Holidayland’ which sounds like just the ticket. It’s just a quiet little town, some might say it’s boring but that’s way the locals like it.

Although the locals aren’t so keen on vagrants, even if those vagrants are decorated war heroes.

At least, that’s certainly the experience that poor John Rambo had, back in 1982. It’s all documented in the movie First Blood, the cinematic debut of Sylvester Stallone’s ‘other’ iconic role. First Blood is easily the best of the Rambo films.

That is partly because the others are all quite bad (although generally bad in an ‘I still quite like them’ kind of way).

But First Blood really is pretty good. It’s not just a mindless action film with lots of death and destruction. In fact, unless I’m very much mistaken, only one character actually dies, and that death is fairly important in the progression of the plot.

FIrst Blood deals with prejudice, trauma, loss, identity and bullying and, to some extent, could be regarded as a thought-provoking and challenging movie

But, although it isn’t just a mindless action film, it absolutely can be enjoyed as a mindless action film.

Mindless action is, ultimately, where the movie excels. Much of the story is preposterous, but Stallone convinces as a haunted and broken man who doesn’t want to hurt people, but is really good at hurting people who repeatedly insist on trying to shoot him.

First Blood is definitely worth a watch, even if you choose to ignore the subsequent Rambo movies.

Score For Christmasishness


This is another one where the Christmasishness could pass you by if you weren’t paying attention. It doesn’t really feel like it’s a Christmas movie, but there’s no denying that there are Christmas decorations in the background of most of the indoor scenes.

They add very little to the viewing experience and it might as well not be Christmas as far as the narrative is concerned.

But it is nice to catch sight of a Christmas tree every now and then.


  4 comments for “The James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films – Door 20

  1. December 20, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Stallone, for me, really proved his acting smarts in this movie during the final monologue scene with Colonel Trautman when he crys on screen.

    I remember taking some flak from my leftie University mates back in the day for identifying myself as a fan of this movie (from memory they were trotting out the old objection that a film like this only glorifies war) but I think your summary of the core themes of the movie – particuarly the bullying (in a spelt-out piece of in-your-face symbolism Brian Dennehy’s mean sheriff character is named ”Will Teasle”) was very on the money.

    I rate FIRST BLOOD alongside PLATOON and APOCALPSE NOW (neither of which I recall contained any Christmas references) as one of the very best movies dealing with the Vietnam War.

    Liked by 2 people

    • December 20, 2017 at 10:05 pm

      Yeah I think this and the first Rocky film prove what a talented actor Stallone actually is. Some (a lot) of his other work probably just proves how much he likes to be paid. Which I don’t blame him for, but a few more ‘First Bloods’ and a few less ‘Rocky Vs’ would’ve been nice over the years…

      Liked by 1 person

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