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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Watching First Blood

The first time I watched First Blood I was blown away. I thought it was the greatest action movie ever, and Stallone I looked up to, right up there with Jesus, or close. I was pretty young during this time, you see.  You remember the scene where Rambo stitched up his own wound? It was the coolest, most kickass scene I ever saw in a movie.
And of course: "Don't push it or I'll give you a war you won't believe. Let it go." I was mightily impressed by Rambo’s quiet menace.
In short, I immensely enjoyed the movie. 

 For several weeks after I saw the movie I even tried to talk like him. Talking in incomplete sentences, mumbling the words, and the look. You know, the way Rambo stares at people—respectful-like, but you know he could take the heads of those people and use them to wipe the floor.
I tried practicing that look, but I ended up looking like a kid who badly needs a pair of glasses. The movie’s theme song—It’s A Long Road, by Dan Hill— I tried singing it around the house, to impress my cousins. I don’t think anybody noticed, though.
Then I saw First Blood on cable recently. I was excited at first; I remembered how the movie almost made me carry a “Rambo” knife to school. I was surprised, though; the movie was not as good as I remembered it. I find the story hackneyed, and Stallone’s acting—well, I must admit, it was restrained, and not as corny as his acting in subsequent Rambo sequels. (Rambo sequels! Ugh.) Anyway, I guess I still like the movie, but it was nowhere near as genius as I thought it was.  Watching the movie again, after all these years, was a huge letdown.

The movie that was seen by the pimply, skinny, awkward, dorky, younger me was not as earth-shaking as the movie that was seen by the fat, grumpy, geeky, older me.
I guess things are not as great as we remember them to be.  
There is a philosophical explanation in there somewhere, but I’ll let it pass.

I read this quote on HumanityCritic’s blog:
A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.  –Muhammad Ali
I am nowhere near fifty, and I was nowhere near twenty when I first saw First Blood, but this quote got me thinking.  I tried to remember all the things that I thought were great during my youth, and I thought of my infatuation with the original Rambo movie.
Time does change one's perspective.
There’s a lesson in there somewhere, I guess.

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