Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week:

Sly Stallone Directed Films, Ranked

Jake Dee at ScreenRant looked at the IMDb to come up with Every Movie Sylvester Stallone Has Directed, Ranked.  I decided to compare the IMDb rankings with my own.  After the chart are my thoughts…

Jake Dee (ScreenRant)

Zablo

1. Rocky II

1. Rocky Balboa

2. Rocky Balboa

2. Rocky III

3. Rambo

3. Rambo

4. Rocky IV

4. Paradise Alley

5. Rocky III

5. The Expendables

6. The Expendables

6. Rocky II

7. Paradise Alley

7. Rocky IV

8. Staying Alive

8. Staying Alive

Dee and I agreed on two rankings: #3 – Rambo and #8 – Staying Alive.

I placed Rocky Balboa in the #1 spot for a few reasons. Sly did a wonderful job of capturing the feel of the first movie, but making sure that it also captured how things had changed with the passing of time. I also have a special place for Rocky Balboa because it was such a longshot to be made and it gave the series a wonderful bookend closing.

Rocky III made the #2 spot because Sly was able to take the classic Rocky format (from 1 and 2) and modernize it. It was a dangerous move (Rocky loses, Mickey dies, new music, fast pace, add pro-wrestling) but it worked.

Rambo is #3. Sly placed Rambo with a team and made the battle scenes more graphic. Many thought an older Rambo wouldn’t work, but Sly showed that it would not only work but be one of the best films in the Rambo series.

Paradise Alley comes in at #4. Paradise Alley doesn’t get enough love. Sly’s directorial debut and he chooses a period piece that walks the fine line between drama and comedy. I’m a huge Paradise Alley fan.

#5 is The Expendables. Don’t call it a comeback. What a cool idea. Sly brings together fan favorite action stars and he makes it work not only for this film, but also a new movie series.

Rocky 2 is #6. Sly taking over the directing chores from the man who won the Oscar for directing Rocky. It was a big step, but Sly didn’t falter. Rocky II is a worthy follow-up.

Rocky IV comes in at #7. I like the idea for Rocky IV but it falters just a bit with the Miami Vice quick-cut editing to music. I have grown to enjoy Rocky IV more over time and especially with the way it sets up Creed.

The final spot goes to Stayin’ Alive. I enjoyed this film, but one of Sly’s movies has to come in at #8. Taking on this movie was a huge challenge and props to Sly for stepping up.

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week:

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week:

Steve Cascella’s Collection and Rocky Balboa Collectors Group!

Steve Cascella is a huge Rocky fan and a long-time SZoner.  Steve also runs a very cool Facebook group called Rocky Balboa Collectors!  In the group Stallone fans share photos of their Rocky collectables.  It’s fun to see the different items and displays.  The photos in this post come from Steve’s collection.

It’s cool to see the custom cut frames as well as the autographed Rocky boxing trunks on display.

The autographed Rocky poster would be a welcome addition to any collection.  I’m also a big fan of the Rocky statues!

There are some rare items in these photos — check out the Rocky pinball machine and the Mighty Mick’s poster!

Having multiple copies and different editions make Steve’s collection complete.

Action figures, replica costumes, collector cards and glasses!

Thanks to Steve for sharing photos from his excellent collection.  Also be sure to check out Rocky Balboa Collectors! – Craig

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week:

LeRoy Neiman’s Rarely Seen “Rocky” Movie Art!

Mike Kunda is a super Rocky fan, the #1 Rocky impersonator in the world and the owner of the Yo Philly! Rocky Film Tour.  Recently Mike posted several seldom seen LeRoy Neiman sketches from behind the scenes filming of Rocky movies.  They were too good not to share.

LeRoy Neiman is considered the most famous sports artist in the world.  His painting of Rocky used in Rocky III is without a doubt his most famous Rocky art, but it isn’t the only Rocky art Neiman created.  In addition, to finished paintings, Neiman created preliminary sketches like the ones above of Drago slugging Rocky and Rocky in a defensive stance.

I love this sketch that Neiman labeled, Face Hit Two, Rocky II, c. 1980.  It was created using felt pen, acrylic, ink and pencil.

Neiman titled this Round XV, Rocky IV created in Vancouver, BC. May 1, 1985.

As you can see above, even the movie call sheet was material for a quick sketch of Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed!

LeRoy Neiman was always a dashing figure (and seldom seen without a cigar).  Here he is seen creating more prelim sketches for Rocky IV art.

The photo above was turned into a Neiman Rocky IV painting that is rarely seen!

I love the amount of details that appear in this loose LeRoy Neiman prelim that he labeled: Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV, May 1, 1985.  felt, pen and acrylic on paper. 20 1/4 x 26 in.  51.4 x 66 cm.

Above is a Neiman sketch he titled, Sly, Rocky II, March 13, 1990.

Thanks again to Mike Kunda for sharing these finds. If you’d like to see more of LeRoy Neiman’s amazing artwork, please check out his official site.

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week:

Ranking & Thoughts on All 8 “Rocky” Movies!

Evan Saathoff at /Film ranked all of the Rocky/Creed movies in his post Butkus to Punchy: Ranking All 8 ‘Rocky’ Movies from Worst to Best.  Here is a comparison of his order with my rankings and thoughts about each.

Saathoff

Zablo

8. Rocky IV: “…is silly fun, a skeleton of a film held together through a series of montages. Candy is cool, but you shouldn’t make a meal of it.”

8. Rocky V: I totally agree that binging Rocky back to the street level was a good idea.  Fans hated Rocky has to lose everything to get him there, so it was a tough needle to thread.  I also think that Sly’s Rocky mannerisms go to over the top in spots. 

7. Rocky V: “…Bringing Rocky back to the street level is a good decision, though much of the film feels like a superfluous dry run for both Rocky Balboa and Creed (if you love those films, Rocky V is kind of a necessary beast).”

7. Rocky IV:  is very much a product of the 80s with the music and montages.  I’ve grown to appreciate Rocky IV even more because it sets up the return of Drago in Creed II and we get to see the results of Rocky’s win in IV from Drago’s perspective. 

6. Creed II:  …the film runs through a mild remake of Rocky II and leads to a good training montage.”

6. Rocky II Rocky II is a worthy follow-up to Rocky.  Sly in the director’s chair!

5. Rocky II: “…Rocky II is special for other reasons. It’s the last bit of “human” Rocky Balboa we’ll see for a while. 

5. Creed IISome fans were upset that an altercation between Rocky and Drago that was filmed didn’t make the final cut of the movie.  I may be in the minority, but I don’t think the scene was needed.

4. Rocky III: “…He’s transformed from a street-level thug to full-on Stallone megastardom. He’s still Rocky, but you have to use your imagination.
That would be fatal if not for Mr. T’s incredible Clubber Lang, the most underrated character in the series.”

4. Creed:  Saathoff’s summary of Creed is perfectly stated.  I couldn’t agree more.

3. Rocky Balboa: “…In 2006, the idea of making an old man Rocky movie was a joke. Yet here comes Stallone, visibly aged and hurting from a long string of flops, delivering the second best film to wear the Rocky title.”

3. Rocky Balboa  Never under-estimate or doubt Sly Sallone.  Despite all odds, Sly brought back Rocky and showed that there was more to his story!

2. Creed: “…the greatest thing happened: a creative handoff to a young and hungry talent capable of seeing the character through new eyes. Ryan Coogler managed the impossible with 2015’s Creed, which simultaneously started a new franchise while offering a deeply respectful seventh entry to Stallone’s. Creed is very much a sequel to Rocky Balboa and yet yields Balboa to a main character who seems his opposite: cocky, smart and brash.”

2. Rocky III   Rocky is transformed from a street-level, journeyman fighter into a world champion celebrity and I loved it!

1. Rocky: “…No number of decades or sequels can dull the feeling of triumph Rocky delivers in its final moments. It’s one of those rare films that make you cry because you’re happy rather than upset.

1. Rocky  I’m simply going to go with Saathoff’s quote:  “No number of decades or sequels can dull the feeling of triumph Rocky delivers.”

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week:

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