The visual effects were by Moving Picture Company, Method Studios, Mr. X, Weta Digital, Brainstorm Digital, and Capital T, and supervised by Allen Maris, Christopher Downs, Guillaume Rocheron, Ryan Tudhope, Aidan Fraser, Olaf Wendt, Anders Langlands, Eran Dinur, Jamie Hallett, and Territory Studio. Max Richter composed the film's score, with Lorne Balfe later writing additional music. James Gray consulted with experimental film scholars Gregory Zinman and Leo Goldsmith for inspiration on the visuals.
Darren Mooney of The Escapist wrote, "Rambo has adopted the methodology of the Viet Cong by building elaborate tunnels under his family farm." Zak Wojnar of Screen Rant stated that "Rambo's tunnels are much larger and more sanitary than those of Củ Chi, but the imagery is comparable", adding that they are "where he holds his demons, where he channels his negative energy, and where he keeps his past close, but contained." As for the final act of the film, Wojnar stated that "his 'PTSD Tunnels' play a key role in his revenge", writing: "Using the same guerilla tactics that were likely used on him and his friends fifty years ago, Rambo emerges from his tunnels like a Vietnamese fighter popping out of a spider hole, shoots several targets, and then disappears underground before they even know what hit them."More Info
In February 2020, Phoenix starred in Guardians of Life, the first of twelve short films by the environmental organization Mobilize Earth that highlight the most pressing issues facing humanity and the natural world. Funds raised by the project will go to Amazon Watch and Extinction Rebellion. During his 2020 Oscar acceptance speech, he passionately promoted societal equality and animal rights, ending with a tribute to his brother, River Phoenix. This speech garnered acclaim and a backlash from the dairy industry.More Info
Phoenix starred in four movies released in 2018: In the first, Phoenix portrayed Jesus in Mary Magdalene, written by Helen Edmundson and directed by Garth Davis, opposite Rooney Mara. It was released in the United Kingdom on March 16, 2018 to mixed reviews. The film's original distributor has been the cause of the film's delayed U.S. release. Later, Phoenix starred as Joe, a former FBI agent and Gulf War veteran suffering from PTSD, in the Amazon Studios thriller You Were Never Really Here (2017), written and directed by Lynne Ramsay. The film premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, where it received wide critical acclaim, and won Phoenix the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor. The film began its US release on April 6, 2018. Many critics agreed the performance is one of Phoenix' best to date, with Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times describing it as "the most rivetingly contained" work of his career. In his third feature of the year, Phoenix portrayed quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan in his second feature with director Gus Van Sant, the biopic Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot. The film was released on July 13, 2018 and Phoenix's lead performance received critical acclaim. His last film role of 2018 was as Charlie Sisters in Jacques Audiard's English-language debut, an adaptation of Patrick deWitt's historical novel, The Sisters Brothers. The film was released on September 21, 2018. This same year, he also collaborated with Rooney Mara, Sia, Sadie Sink and Kat von D to narrate Chris Delforce's animal rights documentary Dominion. For his contribution to the documentary, he was granted the 2018 Award of Excellence for Narration by Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards.More Info
On January 26, 2006, while driving down a winding canyon road in Hollywood, Phoenix veered off the road and flipped his car. The crash was reportedly caused by brake failure. Shaken and confused, he heard someone tapping on his window and telling him to "just relax". Unable to see the man, Phoenix replied, "I'm fine. I am relaxed." The man replied, "No, you're not." The man then stopped Phoenix from lighting a cigarette while gasoline was leaking into the car cabin. Phoenix realized that the man was German filmmaker Werner Herzog. While Herzog helped Phoenix out of the wreckage by breaking the back window of the car, bystanders called an ambulance. Phoenix approached Herzog to express his gratitude, but Herzog downplayed his actions and returned to his home nearby.More Info
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