Crowining Mr. Sports Movies

On April 9, 2014, Yahoo! Movies took a look at which actor had played the most sports roles in their piece Crowining Mr. Sports Movies by Brian Enk.

Had they counted each Rocky movie individually (as I think they should have) then Sly would have easily come in first.  At any rate, here’s what the said about him…

—Sylvester Stallone: If we were to tally sports movies as a whole, including sequels, the Italian Stallion would be our champ, with six entries as boxer Rocky Balboa in the “Rocky” movies. Sly’s other sports movie credits include “Death Race 2000” (1975), in which he played deadly cross country racer Machine Gun Joe Viterbo; “Paradise Alley” (1978), in which he played Cosmo Corboni, one of three brothers trying to play the wrestling game in 1940s NYC; “Victory” (1981), in which he played a soccer goalie for the Allied forces as they face off against a German team at a WWII prison camp; “Over the Top” (1986), the greatest arm-wrestling movie ever made; “Driven” (2001), in which he plays former CART champion and car racing mentor Joe Tanto; and “Grudge Match” (2013), in which he plays former boxing champ Henry “Razor” Sharp.

LotofSly: Renny Harlin Autograph!

That’s an ultra-rare promotional post card for “Driven” starring Sly Stallone and directed by Renny Harlin.  If you look closer, you’ll see that it’s autographed and personalized to me from Renny Harlin.  How cool is that? 

My pal, Alex surprised me with a package containing it and several other Stallone-related autographs that I’m going to post on the SZ over the coming weeks.  Alex, as you’ve probably guessed is also known as LotofSly on the SZ message boards where he also serves as one of our moderators.  Alex has met more celebrities than anyone else I know, and he somehow always manages to get photos with them.  That’s in addition to being an all-around nice guy… and as nice as Alex is THAT has to be a full time job!


Burt Reynolds Says Sly May Be Easy

On December 6, 2009, PBPulse.com posted a short interview with Burt Reynolds and he talks a bit about several of the films he’s worked on.  Here’s what he had to say about “Driven”:

Driven: “There was a wonderful scene with Sly (Stallone), where I was telling him how I’d driven fast my whole career, and now I couldn’t get out of this chair. He was off-camera, and I could see he’d started to tear up. And I thought, ‘Either I’m doing something right, or he’s easy.’”

You can read the whole article by clicking here.

A Rocky Road

A Rocky Road
Sylvester Stallone is in training for another comeback
BY MARK CARO for the Chicago Tribune
Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2003

AUSTIN, Texas — Sylvester Stallone is climbing back into the ring, figuratively in “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over” and literally in a sixth “Rocky” movie.

Yes, he has already written “Rocky VI,” which he’s calling “Puncher’s Chance,” the title referring to the idea that once in the ring, any fighter has a chance to land a knockout punch. Stallone — with “Spy Kids 3-D” the only one of his last four movies to actually make it to theaters — is looking for that shot as well.

Rocky made his moment when he’s 29 years old,” a fit-looking Stallone, who turned 57 on July 6, said while in Austin for the “Spy Kids” premiere. “Now time has moved on, but how do you participate when your options are pretty limited? It’s not as though he’s a painter or a world traveler. He is a fixture in the neighborhood. The neighborhood is decaying. Do you decay with it? And when you try to fight back, (you’re told), ‘It’s ludicrous. Come on! Move on! Don’t be so vain.’

“It’s not about vanity,” he continued, his familiar gravelly voice turning soft. “It’s about, ‘I know I don’t feel as though I’ve hit the bottom. I haven’t dredged the bottom of my well yet, I don’t think.’ There’s a point when you sit back on your life, and you’re on your final days going, ‘You know? I did it all.’ And I don’t know if I’ve done it all. The character.”

These last two words were said as a reminder that he was talking about Rocky, not himself.

But he knows he can’t escape the parallels. Like his most famous character, Stallone has gone from top-of-the-world star to afterthought — a $20 million-per-movie action hero whose most recent efforts have bombed (“Get Carter,” “Driven,” the latter of which he wrote) or, worse yet, haven’t even received a U.S. theatrical release (“D-Tox,” also known as “Eye See You,” “Avenging Angelo,” “Shade”).

“Spy Kids 3-D,” which opened Friday, at least will get him in front of large audiences again. He plays the comical villain, the Toymaker, who has designed a video game that ultimately imprisons the minds of its players. The character’s goofiness manifests itself in multiple personalities that argue with one another: a bald, professor type, a blustery European military commander (Stallone refers to him as “Gooselini”) and a stringy-haired hippie. For good measure, Stallone also plays a TV reporter.

Like most of the movie, his scenes were shot in front of green screens so that computerized scenery and special effects could be added later. Aside from a climactic confrontation with Ricardo Montalban, who plays the Spy Kids‘ wheelchair-bound grandpa, Stallone is mostly acting with himself.

How did he feel about acting without other actors? “I’ve been doing that for the last 10 years,” he quipped, laughing.

Stallone‘s sense of humor may not be one of his better-known traits, but it’s the key reason “Spy Kids 3-D” director Robert Rodriguez said he cast him.

Stallone compared working with a green screen to “being held face down in a bowl of guacamole for three weeks” (though his part took just five days to shoot).

“Yeah, it’s strange. It’s like working without a net.”

Yet “Spy Kids 3-D” feels like a safe move compared with what Stallone has planned. First up is a ripped-from-the-headlines crime drama called “Thugz Life” (formerly “Rampart Scandal”) that Stallone has written and is preparing to direct in his first stint behind the camera since 1985’s “Rocky IV.” He’ll also star as real-life Los Angeles police detective Russell Poole, whose career crashed as he tried to get to the bottom of the Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls murders.

Then there’s “Puncher’s Chance,” which continues Stallone‘s exploration of counted-out guys who keep forging ahead.

He admits he goofed in giving Rocky brain damage in “Rocky V,” which ended with Rocky brawling with his ungrateful protege on the street rather than in the ring.

“It was a big mistake on my part because nobody wants to see the dark, depressing underbelly of a character they’ve had joy with,” Stallone said.

So Rocky will return to the ring for movie No. 6.

Craig Zablo

SZ Exclusive: Sly at “Driven” Premiere

Chris Heathcoat is a longtime SYLVESTER STALLONE fan and StalloneZone “regular.” Chris was lucky enough to attend the “Driven” premiere and generous enough to share his pics with us [Chris did the same for the “Get Carter” premiere], and had this to say:

“Craig:

Not requesting that it is a must, but if there is anything printed about my feeling about the clearest shot of SLY, as I look at it in my 22 years of experience with him it is this…

…From Fans to Critics, many people look at this man and think of his movies repeating a few quotes from his characters that fascinate them. I however see a man who kept me away form temporary highs and gave me one thrill film a year from 1979 (Rocky II) to 2001 (Driven) and when I see this picture I see a man who proves dreams do come true. Thank you SYLVESTER STALLONE!”

Christopher E. Heathcoat

And thank you, Chris!
– Craig Zablo