AMC Blog recently posted the Top Ten Reasons We Can’t Get Enough Sylvester Stallone.
10. He Directs Well
Stallone brought a smoothly professional hand to four Rocky movies (including the surprisingly character-driven Rocky Balboa), the last Rambo movie, and The Expendables. And with only two duds (Paradise Alley and Staying Alive) out of eight features, his track record is the envy of most Hollywood directors.
9. He Lets Others Have the Last Laugh
Unlike onetime rival Arnold “Hasta la Vista” Schwarzenegger, Stallone doesn’t have to steal the show. His lets his co-stars have the memorable lines. For example, who can forget Burgess Meredith in Rocky: “You’re gonna eat lightning, and you’re gonna crap thunder”? Or Teasle’s advice to Rambo: “Get a haircut and take a bath. You wouldn’t get hassled so much”?
8. He’s Not Afraid to Take a Punch
True action stars get knocked around a little. But no one would have thought less of 63-year-old Stallone if he’d deferred to a stunt double for The Expendables‘ knock-down, drag-out fight with former wrestler Steve Austin (nearly 20 years his junior). But Stallone didn’t and ended up with a fractured neck. That’s what you call walking the walk.
7. He’s Willing to Look His Age
Stallone doesn’t pretend he’s ageless. In Rocky Balboa and Rambo, his signature characters are old guys — old guys in great shape, granted — but they still have no business getting back into the ring or rescuing missionaries from Burmese warlords. They do it anyway, but Stallone makes sure you know they’re going to ache for a long, long time.
6. He Went From Bad Guy to Good Guy
Before Stallone was a hero, he was a hood. As egotistical auto racer “Machine Gun” Joe Viterbo in Death Race 2000, Stallone tommy-guns spectators who don’t show enough love. In The Lord’s of Flatbush, Sly plays a self-centered gang member who knocks up his girlfriend. Now he tends to be the hero, but back in the day he didn’t.
5. He’s Not Perfect
That’s quite a body — no two ways about it. But Stallone’s asymmetrical face and much-imitated speech impediment make him seem approachable, even vulnerable. That’s part of the reason that seeing Rocky beat the bejesus out of flawless Soviet superman Drago (Dolph Lundgren) in Rocky IV is so satisfying.
4. He Has Depth
Having said he regrets not doing more independent pics, Stallone took time out between Daylight and Driven ($17.5 and $20 million, respectively) to play a fat, lonely hearing-impaired policeman in the low-budget Cop Land. It paid off with the best reviews of his career. Beneath that swagger lies an actor who can hold his own against Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel.
3. He Knows His Limitations
Stallone isn’t a monosyllabic mountain of muscle — he just plays one on the screen. He may like comedies, but after disasters like Oscar, Rhinestone, and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot he opted to face facts and play to his strengths: great abs, buns of steel, and those wounded-puppy eyes that make women melt.
2. He’s a Fighter in Real Life
At 25, Stallone reached the point where most aspiring actors bail: broke with little work to show — a soft-core porn, a couple of exploitation movies, some uncredited bits — and a pregnant wife paying the bills. But he wrote a screenplay that made an old story — hard-luck guy, shy girl longing for love — new again. A year later, Rocky had ten Oscar nominations, and Stallone was a star.
1. He’s Rocky. And Rambo
Two iconic movie characters who can still pack theaters — and Stallone embodies them both.
On November 3, 2011, Crave Online posted their choices for the Top 25 Movie Threequels. Coming in at 23 was Rambo 3 and here’s why…
By the third film in the franchise, John Rambo had gone from a tragic figure – a man so scarred by the Vietnam War that living amongst quote-unquote “peaceful” folks was now an impossibility – to a musclebound all-American hero for the Reagan era. But even so, Rambo III is still a kick-ass action movie. Once again, John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) is called out of retirement, this time to aid Afghan rebels in fighting off Communist invaders from the Soviet Union and save his kidnapped former colonel, Sam Trautman (Richard Crenna) in the bargain. If you can overlook the unfortunate-in-hindsight political subtext, director Peter MacDonald made a killer, over the top action extravaganza, which once owned the Guinness World Record for “Most Violent Movie Ever Made.”
Sylvester Stallone makes his second (and final) appearance on our list with Rocky III, the last good film in the Rocky franchise until Stallone concluded it (we assume) with Rocky Balboa in 2006. The third time out, Rocky Balboa doesn’t start the film as the underdog. In fact, the new champion has gone so soft that he’s easily beaten by young, upstart boxer Clubber Lang, played by 1980s icon Mr. T in his film debut. After the death of his former mentor he’s forced to turn to his old nemesis Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) for guidance, creating an iconic “bromance” for the ages, and culminating once again a grand fight sequence that once again proves Rocky to be the greatest boxer of the age. The Rocky movies started to get a little hokey here, but if Rocky III had been the last film in the series it would have been a fine send-off to a classic franchise.
You can see the list here.
On November 2, 2011, IndieWire posted a nice interview with director, James Mangold, with the focus being working with Sylvester Stallone on Copland. Here are a few tidbits…
- Mangold didn’t want Sly: “I didn’t want him,” Mangold explained. “When he was first brought up to me, I was like, ‘Please God no!’ My whole perception of Sly at that point was, and he’s a friend and he would understand, but it was like he’d made this series of slightly-less than his best tentpole movies that weren’t very taxing for him, and he was just kind of an indestructible force in one picture after another. And I was looking to cast a vulnerable guy who was soft, who can’t quite pull the trigger – and I’m getting Judge Dredd?”
- How Sly won over Mangold: “All I laid out on the table was that I didn’t want to make this movie with him if he was going to take control of it, and I didn’t want to make this movie with him if he was going to change it, and I didn’t want to make this movie with him if he wouldn’t get fat,” Mangold explained. “And Sly in each case was like, look, it’s your movie, it’s your script, so we’ll do exactly what you wrote, and also, I’ll gain weight – I’d love to. And he was an angel about it in a way that a lot of other actors I’d approached before him were not angels about it. They were not happy about playing the unsexy or hesitant hero at the center of the movie, and here was this guy who was really into it. And I decided to take the leap with him, and for many reasons I’m glad I did.”
- Miramax imposed a variety of changes upon the film because of test screening reactions and expectations that its high-profile cast would turn it into a box office champ. Describing how his cut differs, he said, “I think the biggest difference is that there’s a little less effort at the end to try and tie everything into a happy meal. I think there were several codas on the theatrically released version that were made to make audiences feel that their fanny was patted, their hair was combed and they were sent home with a warm and fuzzy feeling about everybody. I definitely never made the movie trying to make the feel-good movie of the year.”
Check out the interview for the full story!
And there’s more at…
ComingSoon scored a first look at the teaser poster for Expendables 2.
Recently, several SZoners met in Philly to celebrate the upcoming 35 anniversary of the release of Rocky. SZoner, SlyStalloneFan has been kind enough to provide photos and commentary.
SlyStalloneFan is back again with an exclusive report on the 35th anniversary of the movie ROCKY.
Just a little over a year ago, I was sitting at my apartment. surrounded by four walls, sitting on my desk with my pen and legal pad and trying to put words on paper. Ever since I heard about Sly writing the script for Rocky, it just motivated me to do the same. So I was sitting at my desk trying to come up with something proactive. Something that will have a true meaning to me.
And I just couldn’t believe that it was almost 35 years since my favorite movie of all time was originally released in theaters. It just felt like Rocky’s birthday. And that truly means something to me and has a very big spot in my heart. Because this is a movie that i have been watching my whole life. So right away, I pictured the Rocky locations in the city of Philadelphia and how great it would be to be there for the 35th anniversary.
I was just hoping that there would be an actual event for this and not just me going there all by my self. And there was my answer. Just a few days after that, I started hearing about a Rocky 35th anniversary event that will take place in Philadelphia. It just absolutely made my day. I don’t know if I can describe the level of excitement that I had. Because I knew that I would be surrounded with other Sylvester Stallone and Rocky fans and more importantly, get to meet other members of the StalloneZone website. So I knew that this will be impossible to miss no matter what. Rocky has been my favorite movie my whole life and Sylvester Stallone has been my favorite actor and my biggest inspiration and so to be part of an event like this is just unbelievable. So as time went by and we got closer and closer to the event, my level of excitement just kept growing bigger and bigger.
I flew from Salt Lake city, UT all the way to Philadelphia. I arrived to Philadelphia about 11:30 at night and headed to the hotel. Next morning, we all met at the hotel lobby, got to know each other and say some “hello how are ya’s” I don’t think I ever talked as much in my life but getting to meet people who share a very big common interest which is Sylvester Stallone, is just truly amazing. I felt that I was meeting my own family and friends that I have known for so long. It just happened very natural. and then will all hopped on the bus and that is when the tour began. We stopped at several Rocky locations and as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, the pictures I will post will speak for themselves.
Above you can see a picture of my self with Mike.
The picture above is where Rocky walks “lil Marie” home and she turns around and says “Screw you creepo”.
This picture is with Angie. She was in Rocky Balboa when Rocky goes to have a drink at the bar and she comes asking him to buy them a round of drinks.
The bar in Rocky 5 where Tommy comes to challenge Rocky for a fight and Rocky says “Hey Tommy what are you doin here you oughtta be out there celebratin right?”
This is an awesome picture taken right in front of the gym with all four of the Rocky look-a-like contestants.
This picture above is with James “Jimmy” Binns. He was the lawyer in Rocky V and also you can see him in the fantastic court room scene in Rocky Balboa where Rocky tries to get his boxing license back.
It really amazes me that 35 years since the original Rocky, and yet you can see that the spirit of Rocky lives on in people’s lives. and for that I just would like to thank every single person who had something to do with this successful event. I would like to thank them for making such event happen and for giving me the opportunity to be part of such an amazing group and to experience the Rocky locations in a totally different way. Thank you all.
Also I would like to thank you Craig Zablo. Seriously man you truly deserve every bit of appreciation there is because if it wasn’t for your wonderful website, I would probably not have known any of the people I met on this event. But being a member of your site and visiting it on a daily basis, allowed me to interact with other members and become friends in real life. So thanks Craig for all the hard work you have been doing and for creating a home on the world wide web for Stallone fans.
Last but not least, and this is going to be hard to find words that can describe my emotions, I would like to thank, my idol Sylvester Stallone. Sly, you have been and will continue to be, a huge part of my life. There is nobody else that can have the same impact that you had on me. And if it wasn’t for your creation of Rocky, this event, would have never happened. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating such character that truly inspires us all and that taught us real life lessons that I will Cherish for the rest of my life.
Thanks to SlyStalloneFan for sharing the photos and the report! – Craig
From the October 28, 2011 issue of Entertainment Weekly. “Rocky” is in excellent company!
Ryan Cody is back with Sly from Lords of Flatbush.
Ryan is running an unbelievable sale where you get a free sketch with every purchase. That’s right. Buy Volume 1 of his sketchbook for five bucks and get a free sketch. Same if you buy Volume 2 or the Icarus Convention Issue.
I jumped on board for a sketchbook [accidentally ordered Volume 1 which I already had] and the Icarus convention issue [the sketch that came with it will be posted in the coming weeks]. Now I’m going back for Volume 2 and another Stallone sketch. Until then check out Ryan’s blog and his DA site.
Thanks to Ryan! – Craig