First Blood (Ted Kotcheff, 1982)

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First Blood (Ted Kotcheff, 1982)

Post by Admin on Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:28 pm

How is the main character constructed? What filmic tools are used to accentuate and highlight that construction? What are the objectives, desires and challenges s/he faces?

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Re: First Blood (Ted Kotcheff, 1982)

Post by AshleighJackson95 on Wed Oct 14, 2015 4:41 pm

Rambo is a ground breaking character in many ways due to it being one of the first representations of post-traumatic stress disorder put to cinema this is the driving point behind the film as it is referenced several times throughout and the first indications of this are in the police station where Rambo spots bars reminding him of his time as a P.O.W. in the Vietnam war. It is most obvious to us during the final monologue were Rambo cries “I can’t get it out of my head. It’s seven years ago. I see it everyday. Sometimes I wake up and don’t know where I am. I don’t talk to anyone”. This is why he acts as he does throughout the film and therefore set the plot in motion and explains his lack of dialogue earlier on due to this.
 
Another aspect of John Rambo’s character is his patriotism and loyalty to the military shown by his military jacket that he wears prior to getting arrested by the police and his dog tags this costume clearly outwardly reflects his army background. He continues to be loyal to the military throughout the film as at the beginning of the film he searches for his squad mate and becomes sullen after he learns of his death from cancer caused by Agent Orange. During the picture he only really has meaningful dialogue with the Colonel and eventually confides in him his inner feelings of loneliness and trauma making him Rambo’s closest relationship.
 
John Rambo is shown throughout the film to be an expert soldier and survivalist.  He was a Green Beret (the U.S. equivalent to the S.A.S.) making him elite in combat as is shown in the film where he continually manages to outsmart and outgun the entire police force and army. Rambo’s survival skills are continually demonstrated as he stitches his own wounds and hunts with makeshift weaponry.
 
Although the police believe Rambo to be a ruthless killer he actually is very merciful and honourable as he never kills a single person and when an officer dies he surrenders and pleads his innocence. He stealthily takes out the whole police squadron without killing them and tells them to let bygones be bygones in a mercy move to stop blood being spilled.
 
   
John Rambo is a very dark character overall as it reminds people of the effects of war not just on the opposition side but on the effects it can have on your own soldiers and how it can ruin their lives.

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Re: First Blood (Ted Kotcheff, 1982)

Post by vcamp on Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:01 pm

Rambo is one of the first big films that shows the effect the Vietnam War casted onto the soldiers who were involved in the war. The story of John Rambo is told over a day and in that day we learn about him and what he has been through. When we first see John Rambo he is in the clothes he has been discharged in and his war jacket, his outfit is what reflects his background the most. When it comes to communicating, the character holds little or no eye contact when he himself is taking to other character, however throughout the film he has very little dialog. He is clearly a man who has been disconnect to the world around him due to the war.

One of the most important things we learn about Rambo is that he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder cause by war. We know this because we see Rambo suffer from flash backs such as being kept as a prisoner of war and seeing how he received his scars. Little information of Rambo’s past is revealed apart from his past in the war. This could also mean that Rambo is so disconnected from who he was before the war, he only remembers what his war life. Also Rambo’s knowledge of forest survival could reflect his war past training, or that he escaped from his war camp just like he escaped from the police station. It is Rambo’s colonel who says “Rambo was the best” at what he did, this is shown throughout the film as we see him survive and stay on top of the mission he has set himself.


Throughout the film we know little about John Rambo, only his has war history, this we learn from his appearance and information along the way. The characters current state is revealed at the end of the film when he has a breakdown. He talks about how the war has cause him nothing but hurt and pain saying things such as “Who are they to protest me” and “I can’t do it anymore.” The emotion Rambo lets outs reflects all the characteristics he projects throughout his journey. He is a dark character and even his clothes reflect this throughout. We never really find out who he is, only what he has become

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Re: First Blood (Ted Kotcheff, 1982)

Post by DayTripperTommy on Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:17 pm

John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) is the main protagonist in the film series Rambo. While he appears to be a very muscular and tough-looking man, he is more of a broken soul than anything else as he is a former Vietnam veteran who has been affected, like many others, by the war itself. He has hatred for himself and for killing others, but will use his military knowledge to his own advantage if need be.

Everything about his persona is accentuated within the film techniques used. One notable feature of Rambo is that he suffers from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) due to the Vietnam war. This is clearly shown by his graphic flashbacks showing him as a prisoner of war which helps explain his motive in the film and they also explain the multitude of scars on his torso (one scene shows him being slashed across the stomach with a bayonet).

The weapons John Rambo uses are very basic compared to the weaponry a Green Beret would have been equipped with in a war zone. He carries a combat knife and a compound bow but is also seen using an M60 NATO machine gun. These weapons carry connotations of Rambo's skill as both a combat knife and bow would require as much stealth as possible considering the reload time and techniques. A combat knife would be used in CQC (close quarters combat), this shows that Rambo is not afraid to face the enemy in front of him and that he has the confidence to risk his life by using hand-to-hand combat in an area that holds so many hiding places where he could be shot on sight.

Rambo is a very enjoyable character to watch in First Blood as he is everything an action hero should have been back in the 1980s, strong (physically and mentally, although this is questionable considering Rambo's mental state), cunning and conventionally attractive (stubble, muscles, attitude, voice).

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Re: First Blood (Ted Kotcheff, 1982)

Post by Tia Mae on Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:35 pm

It is immediately evident the protagonist, Rambo, in First Blood (Ted Kotcheff, 1982) is portrayed as a ‘lone ranger’ in ways outcast from society. He is first introduced in long shots, walking along deserted roads, alone. The use of fades also emphasises the passing of time, showing the extent of his isolation from society. Throughout the first 31 minutes of the film, Rambo speaks once, and it instantly becomes evident he has a lisp, further isolating him from the rest of society. A downbeat tone is also established during this time, through close ups of Rambo’s facial expressions, which appear forlorn.
It seems Rambo’s main objective is to first find an old find, who during the opening of the film he finds has passed away, so then his objective becomes undermined, even to his own knowledge. Bringing on the challenge of this being unacceptable in the town he is wandering in.


The police proclaim he ‘looks like a wild animal’ emphasised by his rugged appearance, uncommon to find in the traditionalist area, his resistance to the process of being arrested, holding his head down like an animal, which the audience are unaware of the reasons for at this time.



Although his fearful reaction to the shaving knife which brings up flashbacks from times of him being tortured further construct this character and hint to issues caused by these memories, mainly post-traumatic stress disorder. 

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Re: First Blood (Ted Kotcheff, 1982)

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