Sly makes two appearances (well sort of) in the November issue of Movieline. He first appears in the picture to the left (reprinted much larger) with Jen at the Battlefield Earth premiere.

Sly also shows up in the 96th spot on the HOLLYWOOD 100 MOST LIST (as the “most egriegiously overpaid”).

Things could be worse since he was not considered:

* Most Likely to Scare a Psychiatrist (Angelina Jolie)

* Most Consistent Sellout (Robert DeNiro)

* Most Permanently in Midlife Crisis (Billy Bob Thornton)

* Most In Need of a Hit (Kevin Costner)

* Most… well, you get the idea!


-Craig Zablo (October 22, 2000)

The “Rocky” Connection to “Girlfight”

“Girlfight” is the story of an inner-city high school student, Dianna Guzman, who repeatedly gets into fights because of uncontrolled anger. She finds redemption when she finds a release for that anger in the boxing ring! “Girlfight” was written & directed by KARYN KUSAMA.  It stars MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ and SANTIAGO DOUGLAS“Girlfight” has been winning rave reviews from the public and critics around the country as well. It also won the grand jury prize and best-director awards at the Sundance Film Festival.

What’s the STALLONE connection, you ask? Of course many critics are comparing it to “Rocky” because of the plot — underdog rising above expectations while at the same time finding love. But there’s more… Diana‘s boyfriend’s name is Adrian [and we all know that’s Rocky‘s girl’s name…]! There’s even a rap song on the soundtrack that mentions Rocky Balboa!

– Craig Zablo [October 22, 2000]

Sly in Entertainment Weekly’s Power Issue

Entertainment Weekly‘s October 27, 2000, issue is their annual POWER ISSUE. Here’s what they had to say about Sly:

* SYLVESTER STALLONE – His last $100 million hit was 1985’s Rocky IV, and the $7 million opening for 
Get Carter shows just how far the mighty have fallen. It’s been a rocky road for the 54-year-old’s future flick about an alcoholic FBI agent, now titled Eye See You, which has been on and off Universal’s release wagon for a year. The next best hope is Renny Harlin’s race-car pic, Driven.

You all pretty much know how I feel about the results for “Get Carter” and the negative effect the marketing strategy had. Consider this, in the same issue of EW“Pay It Forward” gets 1 1/2 pages and a “D” rating from the reviewer, “Bedazzled” gets 1/3 of a page and a “C-” and “The Yards” 1/2 page and a “C” rating. Each of these reviews also contained a picture from the movie reviewed.

The week that “Get Carter” premiered NO review or picture was offered because the marketing wizards decided to NOT offer “GC” for advance reviews! When the magazine finally was able to review “GC” it earned a “C” rating (higher than two of the three movies reviewed above and equal to the third!). But by this point the damage had been done.

– Craig Zablo (October 22, 2000)

Sly Feature Spread in Arena Magazine

I received an e-mail from Derryk Malins from the UK who is a huge fan of Sylvester Stallone.

Derryk writes to say that Sly is featured in the November issue of the magazine ARENA.

Sly is the subject of a 12 page interview and there are lots of pictures as well!

Thanks to Derryk for sending us the info and the scan of the cover!

– Craig Zablo (October 22, 2000)

Sly in US Weekly

SLY make two appearances in the October 30, 2000, issue of US WeeklySarah Saffian has an article titled “Stars Crack Down on Their Own Kids’ Viewing.” The piece looks at how stars deal with violence in movies their children watch. SLY is also quoted in the article.

SLY also appears in the LOOSE TALK section. The art above by Bill Nelson appears along with the quote below:

“You have this preconceived notion of him as a big, tough guy, but he speaks four languages and he likes to watercolor.”

– Rachel Leigh Cook, on her Get Carter co-star Sylvester Stallone

– Craig Zablo [October 22, 2000]

“Get Carter” – US Weekly Review

US Weekly’s review of “Get Carter” appears in their Oct. 23, 2000 issue.  “Get Carter” received a rating of 2 1/2 stars (out of four possible) with the reviewer saying that:

“…Get Carter isn’t really half bad…”

“…(Get) Carter is fairly atmospheric and introspective…”

“… director Stephen Kay’s artsy touches provide a strong sense of place…”

The reviewer further compliments the “subtlety and poignancy of the scenes between Carter (STALLONE) and his niece (RACHEL LEIGH COOK)…”

“… this is one STALLONE movie that’s interesting because of, and not despite, its star.”

Let’s now remember that “Get Carter” wasn’t given to critics for pre-release review with the implication being that pre-release reviews would only hurt “Get Carter” at the box office. Had the US Weekly review run the opening week, potential “GC” audience members would have read that “GC”:

  • received an overall 2 1/2 stars rating which is ABOVE AVERAGE
  • that it was praised for being introspective and poignant
  • that the director had been singled out for praise
  • that STALLONE and RACHEL LEIGH COOK were singled out for praise
  • that STALLONE was given special praise indicating that his performance really helped to carry the movie.

Don’t you think that these two factors would have been enough to convince more fans to give it a try?

I do.

Also consider that since “Get Carter” opened last week not as much space was given to the review this week. It received about 1/3 or 1/4 of a page with a small picture. “Dr. T and the Women,” which opened this week received the same 2 1/2 star review BUT got a FULL page (including a 1/2 page picture).
Same rating but which movie will benefit most?

BTW – There’s a small picture of SLY as Rocky which also appears in the issue in a section called “Heavy Hitters” which features 8 pictures of actors/actresses who’ve played boxers in movies.

  • Craig Zablo (October 14, 2000)

“GET CARTER” – The Truth Hurts: A Good Movie Gets Overlooked by Craig Zablo

 “Get Carter” is one of my all-time favorite Sylvester Stallone movies. Based on the 1971 cult crime classic which starred Michael Caine (who returns in the re-make), “Get Carter” marked Sly’s first theatrical release in three years. Stallone and Caine were joined by an extremely talented cast and crew. All the pieces were in place for critical and box-office success.

“Get Carter” was released on October 6, 2000 without the benefit of advance reviews. In its opening weekend “Get Carter” came in third place at the box-office, earning $6.6 million dollars. It’s my belief that despite the poor showing at the box-office, “Get Carter” is still one of Sly’s best films.

Before I look at why I liked “Get Carter” so much, I think that it’s important to say, that although I’m one of Sly’s biggest fans, I don’t heap praise on all of his films simply because he is in them. Granted, my overall evaluation of the film is effected if Sly is in it, but that doesn’t mean that I would recommend all of his films to everyone or that I call each new Stallone release his best work ever. With that said, let’s take a look at “Get Carter.” (Please be aware, if you haven’t seen the movie, you may want to wait before reading on, as there are SPOILERS!)

As I mentioned earlier, “Get Carter” is based on the 1971 British crime cult classic “Get Carter” (which in turn was based on the novel, Jack’s Return Home by Ted Lewis). In the original, Jack Carter (played by Michael Caine) was a London gangster who returned home for his brother’s funeral only to learn that his brother had been murdered. Carter then proceeds to beat and kill his way through his brother’s associates in a quest to find his brother’s killer. The movie ends when Carter himself is murdered. Although considered a cult classic, even supporters of the film admit that Carter is pretty much a one dimensional character.

“Get Carter” (2000): The Crew and Cast

David McKenna (best known for his screenplay for the gritty “American History X”) wrote the screenplay for the new “Get Carter.” McKenna has made changes not only to relocate Carter from London to Las Vegas and update the film to represent the world of today, but to also make Jack Carter a more realistic individual. McKenna’s writing gives you the feeling that all of the characters are real… that they had a life before the events in the movie and that life will go on (for the ones who live) after the end-credits roll.

Director Stephen Kay (“The Last Time I Committed Suicide”) recognized and accepted the challenge of updating a classic. Sly, who had campaigned from the start to get Kay on board, felt that Kay had the ability to make the characters come alive… “to really get three-dimensional.” This is exactly one of Kay’s strengths; for in the film there are certain scenes where he takes you into the thought process of a character and creates a visualization to not only what the character is thinking but to what he is feeling as well.

Before we discuss the actors and explore several key sequences in the movie, there are three other members of the crew that I feel deserve special mention. Mauro Fiore served as cinematographer of the film and worked closely with Kay to create a beautifully photographed movie. Originally there was a discussion of whether to shoot “Get Carter” in a black and white film noir style. Instead Fiore used a special bleach by-pass process in the development of the negative that gives the movie a very dark, mysterious feel while still taking advantage of the ability to use colors. I feel that we will be seeing a lot more from Fiore in the future. The use of music throughout the film really adds to the movie’s overall effectiveness. Tyler Bates is the man in charge of the music (which was based on the soundtrack from the original release by Roy Budd). Special mention should also be given to Roy Budd’s theme of “Get Carter” – it alone is worth the cost of the soundtrack!

Now let’s take a look at the cast:

SYLVESTER STALLONE stars as Jack Carter. Sly is perfect for the role. Jack Carter works as an enforcer for a Vegas mobster. Carter’s choices have led him down a dark path to a solitary life. Carter is a legitimate hard case. When he goes to work he puts on the tough-guy persona (“My name is Jack Carter… and you don’t want to know me.”) but beneath that persona lies a man who has come to realize that he could have had another life… Sly turns in one of his top three performances of all-time.

MIRANDA RICHARSON is Gloria Carter, Jack’s dead brother’s wife. Richardson has appeared in “The Crying Game,” Sleepy Hollow,” “The Apostle,” “Empire of the Sun” as well as other movies. She creates a character in mourning for her husband, who feels her daughter is slipping away… and who has little patience when Jack shows up wanting to right a perceived wrong.

RACHEL LEIGH COOK is Doreen Carter. RLK is an up-and-coming young star with screen credits that include “She’s All That,” “Texas Rangers” and is currently filming a starring role in “Josie and the Pussycats.” In “Get Carter” she plays Sly’s niece, a young teenager dealing with the possible murder of her father and a secret that has traumatized her.

MICKEY ROURKE is Cyrus Paice. Rourke turns in one of his best performances ever and that is saying a lot considering he has appeared in “Body Heat,” “Diner,” “9 ½ Weeks, ” “Barfly” and many other films. Cyrus Paice is a low-life thug who has made his living with little regard to what he had to do to make the cash. He considers himself a businessman, a ladies man, and a tough guy.

MICAHEL CAINE is Cliff Brumby. Having Caine in the film is a beautiful stroke considering he starred as Jack Carter in the original. Caine (who won an Academy Award this year for “The Cider House Rules”) has appeared in more than 80 roles including “Alfie,” Educating Rita,” “Hannah and Her Sisters” and “Jack the Ripper.”

ALAN CUMMING is Jeremy Kinnear. Cumming is a well-rounded actor who has appeared on stage (where is has won several awards including a Tony), television, and in movies. His movie credits include “GoldenEye,” “Eyes Wide Shut” and others. Cumming is a scene-stealer… his acting is that good. He plays Jeremy Kinnear as a spoiled, rich computer nerd who finds himself over his head when a get rich quick scheme results in the death of Jack Carter’s brother.

RHONDA MITRA is Geraldine. Mitra is a relative newcomer (having appeared in “Hollow Man”) but she does an excellent job as the strung-out beauty who may or may not have the clue to Richie’s murder.

GRETCHEN MOL is Audrey. Mol has appeared in “Donnie Brasco,” “The Thirteenth Floor,” “Rounders,” “The Last Time that I Committed Suicide” and other films. Mol has a small but important role as Jack’s boss’ girlfriend (who has been carrying on an affair with Jack on the side).

JOHN C. MCGINLEY is Connie. McGinley has appeared in a bunch of movies always adding something to the roles that he’s given. His credits include “Platoon,” “The Rock,” “Se7en,” “On Any Sunday” and others. McGinley plays Jack Carter’s partner in Vegas who not only sells him out but takes on the assignment to kill him.

The Movie

“Get Carter” begins with an exciting opening sequence that introduces us to Jack Carter and quickly sets the tone for the movie. Carter is shown chasing a guy down a Vegas street. Our first glimpses of Carter are appropriately from behind – he’s not a guy that we’d want to meet head on! The guy running is obviously scared but Carter is relaxed when he catches him. Carter is in his role of Vegas enforcer now and uses his line, “My name is Jack Carter and you don’t want to know me.”

The scene cuts to a darkened room. Jack and the guy he was chasing are joined by Jack’s partner. Jack is working over the deadbeat while Con says that he doesn’t understand why Jack is leaving town to go to his brother’s funeral. This whole scene brings us up to speed without dragging on or being obvious exposition. Jack’s brother has been killed, Jack hasn’t been around his brother’s family in years, Jack’s boss doesn’t want him to go but Jack is going anyway. We also see Stallone repeatedly hitting a guy seated in a chair who isn’t fighting back. Many stars would have shied away from being portrayed in this light. Sly goes with what is right for the character. (I know this bothered some viewers who didn’t want to see Sly as a “bad” guy. As for me, it was right part of the ride.)

We then get a scene of Jack and Connie walking. Connie is telling him that the boss doesn’t want him to leave town and he shouldn’t go. Jack says that he’s going and will be gone for a few days. Con asks what time Jack’s flight is leaving. Jack says he’s taking the train and Connie follows with a great throwaway line, asking him if he’s taking guns, knives, or a bazooka with him. This is a great example of the screenwriter adding texture to the film without spelling everything out. From this exchange we know that Jack is riding the train for a reason (on airlines they check your luggage) and that he’s taking weapons – he’s going back for more than just a funeral.

The credits then roll while the great title track plays. We see Carter board and ride the train. Throughout the trip he sits alone. He eats alone. He is a solitary man. Obviously he has a lot on his mind… one gets the feeling that in addition to his brother’s death, perhaps his own life as well. We see shots of Jack driving and then climbing steps to his hotel room. As the music ends we see Jack lying on his hotel bed in a darkened room, deep in thought.

The next scene begins at his brother’s funeral. It is raining. A wonderfully moody song plays on the soundtrack. Jack true to his nature stands alone… apart from the rest of those attending the funeral. Gloria sees Jack and walks over. She asks him what he is doing there. He says that he has come to pay his respects. Gloria tells Jack that he should have paid them while Richie was alive. Jack asks about Doreen. Gloria answers and walks away. Jack walks over nearer to those attending.

The service ends and people begin walking away. Jack lingers by the casket. Jack approaches Doreen who right away tells him that she doesn’t want his sympathy – that he is nothing more than a “picture on a piano.” Jack tries to talk to her but she walks away. He then approaches Eddie and begins to ask him questions about Richie’s death. He gets no real information. Jack then approaches an attractive woman (Geraldine) getting ready to leave and asks her questions about Richie. She tells Jack that she doesn’t know him well enough to give out personal information and leaves Jack standing in the rain.

The scene switches to Richie’s house. Friends have come by to give their condolences. We see people talking but hear Jack asking more questions about Richie’s death. Gloria comes over and tells Jack to stop. Doreen who had been sitting on the piano seat (and guess whose picture is on the piano) and listening to Jack’s questions gets up and leaves the room. (She is obviously upset at her mother for stopping Jack’s questions, but again, this is the beauty of the subtlety of McKenna’s screenplay in that we’re never beaten over the head with it).

Doreen goes out on the porch and lights up a cigarette. Jack comes out and sits down on the step next to her and lights up a cigarette as well. He begins to talk to her and she begins to open up slightly. From the dialogue we know that she has a vague understanding of Jack’s line of work when she asks him, “Are you going to beat me up?” as she smokes her cigarette. Before she leaves she tells Jack that her dad would never have been drinking and driving. Jack now feels that his suspicions are correct and the hunt for his brother’s killer begins.

Rather than give a breakdown of every scene that follows I will instead mention scenes that I thought worked exceptionally well (again, beware because there will be SPOILERS):

Jack begins the process of finding his brother’s killer by going to the club that he managed and talking to the owner, Cliff Brumby. We find out that Richie was well-liked and a good employee but Brumby believes it was simply a drunken driving accident. Brumby starts to get an attitude at being questioned by Carter who uses the classic line, “You’re a big man, but you’re out of shape and I do this everyday.” Carter learns that Richie was seeing a woman on the side (Geraldine) and gets a security tape of the bar taken the night Richie died.

Jack has a classic confrontation with Cyrus Paice. Paice and Carter obviously have had dealings with each other in the past and there is no love between them. It becomes clear as they verbally spar that it will turn to a physical confrontation if either of them pushes the other just the slightest bit too far. The dialogue that McKenna gives Paice (“Sorry to hear about your brother. My deepest condolences and all that ****) and the manner in which Rourke plays him make for a character that you love to hate. (Jack has another scene later in the movie where he confronts Paice again, before their final showdown, and this time it escalates even more. It is another classic scene where Mickey Rourke shines as Paice.)

While Carter is talking to Paice, he spots Geraldine and you can tell from her facial expressions that she knows something. Jack wants to leave through the back so that he can follow Paice and Geraldine. Jack begins to walk through the kitchen. A guy calls out to Jack saying that he can’t go through there. Jack keeps walking. The guy again calls for him to stop. Jack stops and slowly turns. You can see him going into his tough guy mode – “Is this where I’m supposed to be scared?” Jack asks. The guy says, “Are you Jack Carter?” “Yeah. And you don’t want to know me.” The guy takes a swing at Carter who beats him down quickly and badly.

Jack follows Paice and Geraldine to an exclusive country club. I love the fact that in order to get in Jack doesn’t sneak past the attendant or beat him up… he simply says that he is “with Mr. Franklin” and holds out a hundred dollar bill. The attendant hesitates then takes the money and allows Jack to pass.

Jack sees Paice talking to Jeremy Kinnear. Pace is obviously upset. He says something and leaves. Jack approaches Pace and his group as they play a hole. Jack intimidates them and in particular Kinnear. One of the group goes for security (I love the fact that none of them attempted to even remotely confront Carter). Jack tells Kinnear that it is in his best interest to drive him (in the golf cart) to his car. Cumming is excellent in getting across the fact that Kinnear is scared but even more scared not to follow Jack’s instructions. As they drive Jack questions Kinnear and learns a bit more. Another thing that I liked about this series of scenes is that Carter didn’t stay at the hole. He knew that security was being summoned so he took Kinnear and questioned him on the way to his car. By the time security arrived he would be long gone. (Jack has another classic scene with Kinnear at his office complex. Kinnear has a huge muscular bodyguard there for protection when he meets with Carter. Kinnear obviously likes the bodyguard for more than his work ethic. Carter says, “Cute guy.” Kinnear looks happy, and responds, “ya think?” “No.” Carter deadpans.)

Carter has a scene with Gloria where they are walking and talking. From their dialogue we get a hint that they may have been a couple long ago. We learn that Jack left the city and hadn’t been around in five years. She tells Jack that it’s too late to be Richie’s brother, he can’t be her man or Doreen’s dad. Jack says, maybe there is no place for me as they walk off together.

Jack and Doreen have a scene in a diner. She starts to light a smoke and Jack tells her that he has quit smoking and indicates that he’d like her to put her’s out. She asks him when he quit (after all he’d been smoking on the steps with her earlier in the day) and he places his cigarettes on the counter and says “now.” I thought that this was an effective way of showing Jack trying to relate to her and not alienate her and yet do the responsible thing. The scene fades to black to show the passage of time (this happens a couple of times). As they are talking Jack lines up the salt and pepper and puts the lid on the ketchup bottle. Doreen moves the containers around, shakes out some salt on the counter and takes the lid off the ketchup. She looks at Jack and says, “Drives ya crazy, doesn’t it.” Jack simply lines up the salt and pepper, wipes away the spilled salt, and as he puts the lid back on the ketchup says, “It’s having an impact, yes.” (This provides a nice insight into Jack’s personality.) It’s obvious that Jack and Doreen are really starting to relate to each other. Sbe askes him what he does for a living, if he’s ever shot anybody, if he’s ever been in prison. Some of the questions he answers, some he doesn’t but Jack never lies to her. (One of the things that I speculate on is the fact that Jack doesn’t answer when asked if he’s been to prison. My theory is that he has {check out his tats} and that could be why he lost contact with his bother’s family – he was too ashamed to tell them.)

Later when Jack is back at his hotel room he calls Audrey and tells her that he wants her to leave Vegas and go with him for a fresh start somewhere else. She says that she can’t. This is a great scene in that Sly displays a range of emotion throughout the call and when he hangs up you can see his hurt and anger. Sly conveys this without words or overacting (things being thrown or broken).

Jack has a couple of scenes talking on the cell phone to Con back in Vegas who informs him that their boss is getting mad at Jack being gone. We also learn that Con has told the boss that Jack is having an affair with his woman!

The boss calls Jack on the cell phone and has Audrey on an extension. (This is one of my favorite scenes in the entire movie.) The boss tells Jack that he has learned that Jack has been having an affair with Audrey. Audrey denies it. The boss asks Jack. Jack ignores the boss and tells Audrey that she needs to leave the boss and Vegas. The boss begins to make threats that he is going to kill Jack and he feels like killing Audrey. Jack asks Audrey what she wants to do. He tells her that she doesn’t have to worry about the boss that he won’t touch her. The boss makes more threats against both of them and Jack says, “I swear to Christ if you touch her I’ll come back to Vegas and bury you alive.” He then again asks Audrey, “what do you want to do?” She doesn’t answer. He asks again and you can see by his face, Jack knows that she’s not going to leave. At that point the boss continues his threats calling him “loverboy.” Jack hangs up and you can tell he is hurt.

From viewing the survellience tape Jack learns that the key to Richie’s death is a computer disk. He returns to Richie’s house and begins a search. He ultimately finds the disk and discovers what led to his brother’s death. The disk contains porn that is being uploaded to the web – the audience sees bits and pieces but from Stallone’s reactions we can tell that some pretty nasty stuff is going on… then we see that one of the girl’s on the disk is Doreen. She has been drugged and is being raped on screen. Sly’s eyes show us the devastation that he feels. Kay begins to speed up the camera, drop frames, use multiple images, and other tricks to make the audience feel a bit disoriented. We are feeling a bit off-kilter much the way Jack Carter is feeling.

Jack returns to the hotel and enters an elevator with a middle-aged lady. It’s obvious that Jack is still reeling from his discovery. Right as the elevator doors are about to close, Con and another thug enter the elevator. Con tells Jack that the boss knows about Jack and Audrey and that they are there to “bring him back.” Con pulls open his shirt to reveal a gun. Suddenly Con whips out the gun and fires point blank into Jack. We then see everything as it was before the shooting. The two thugs on one side of the elevator, the lady in the middle and Jack on the other side.

Stephen Kay has already made us feel some of the disorientation that Jack felt when he found the disk. Now he takes us into Jack’s thought process. Jack is in the elevator with two thugs who are there to hurt him, maybe even kill them. He knows that Con is carrying a gun. He has thought it through and knows if he does nothing then Con will shoot him dead. Suddenly Jack grabs the other guy and finds Con holding the gun to his head. Con has the upper hand and will kill him.

That won’t work either. The elevator stops and the lady exits. Immediately Jack hits Con and grabs his hand which is now holding the gun. The other thug hits Jack across the face as Jack smashes a fist into the guys throat. The guy goes down hard. Jack and Con are fighting for control of the gun in con’s hand. Jack bites Con who drops the gun. Jack beats him down to the floor and continues to stomp him until the elevator stops. The elevator doors open and Jack reaches down, picks up the gun and exits. The two thugs are left lying on the floor unconscious.

Jack and Doreen have a scene on the roof. She has gone out to smoke a cigarette. He tells her that he is leaving town. She asks about the bruise on his face. He says that he fell down. He tells her that she is a special girl. That you can’t change the past but you don’t have to live there. On the surface it would appear as if he is speaking about her dad’s death but as he continues to speak, she knows that he knows. She tells him about what he saw on the video. Eddie was paying attention to her and seemed nice. He invited her to a party and gave her champagne. She could hardly move after drinking it and remembers wanting to go home and saying, “No! No!” She begins to cry, saying it is her fault. Jack has been listening to this and tells her it isn’t her fault. (This scene could be the strongest pure acting in the movie. Both Stallone and Cook are at the top of their game here. Sly’s reactions to Doreen’s description of what happened indicate how deeply he was into the role.)

Jack shows up at Eddie’s apartment. Jack puts on leather gloves as he walks up the stairs to Eddie’s door. Kay again uses camera techniques to give us a reminder of Jack’s mental state at this point. He learns that from Eddie that the recording was made for Cyrus’ porn website. Eddie has been backing away from Jack and now is backed against the wall on his balcony. Jack asks what Doreen did to him to make him hurt her like that; she will have to live with it for the rest of her life. Jack says that it is his fault because if he had been around it never would have happened. Eddie says, “You not going to kill me are you?” Jack replies, “You killed yourself.” The next scene shows Jack walking out of the Eddie’s apartment building. A car alarm is going off in the background. Jack throws his gloves in a trash can and as he walks across the street, we see Eddie lying on top of a car obviously dead.

Jack goes to the party a Kinnear’s mansion. Kinnear’s bodyguard is at the gate but Jack takes him out with one punch. He goes into the party and confronts Paice. Paice knows that Jack won’t shoot him and goads him into a fight. The fight is brutal and Paice wins! As he stands over a bloodied Jack, he says, “Your brother put up more of a fight than that.” Carter gets up and tracks Paice to the dance floor. He sees Paice dancing and having a great time as if nothing had happened. Carter goes over and the fight continues. Carter gets the upper hand and beats Paice relentlessly. His hands and covered in blood as he pulls out his gun and puts it up to Paice’s face… Paice’s eyes are lifeless as the screen goes black.

Jack takes Kinnear out into the woods. Kinnear’s hands are tied as Jack pushes him deeper into the woods. Jack pulls out his gun and tells Kinnear to turn around and get on his knees. Kinnear is crying for his life, saying that he didn’t kill Jack’s brother and he didn’t want to be a part of it. Jack points the gun down and fires point blank until the gun is empty. From another angle we see that Jack shot over Kinnear’s head. He leans down and tells Kinnear, “I’m going to do something for you that no-one ever did for me. I’m going to give you a second chance. Please, don’t make me come back.” This is another excellent scene and Cumming really makes you believe he is begging for his life.

Jack is heading to his car in the parking garage. As he gets close he sees someone is leaning in the car. Jack calls out to the person who stands up. It is Bumby. Bumby shows Jack that he has the disk. He tells Jack that he had sent people to get it but they couldn’t find it. He knew he had to get it because if it fell into the hands of the police it would be trouble. He knew if he gave Jack a lead he would follow it and hopefully find the disk. (Which ties in beautifully with the first scene that Caine appears in. As Jack enters Bumby’s office we hear Bumby on the phone asking if they’d found “it” and saying “someone died the other night because of it.” Another example of the screenplay being layered.) Bumby begins to walk away quickly. Jack calls out to him. Bumby says, “I’m not going to turn around.” Jack says, “Suit yourself.” He then pulls out a gun and kills Bumby.

The final scene shows Doreen at her father’s grave. She is dressed slightly differently in brighter colors but nothing glaring… yet it’s enough to show that she’s experienced a change. Jack comes walking up – he no longer has the goatee and is wearing a shirt without a jacket or tie. He too has undergone a change. Doreen tells Jack that she and her mother are going to be all right. He says that he knows that. They hug. He says that he has to leave now. It’s obvious that Uncle Jack will be in touch with Doreen and her mother. Jack walks back to the car and takes out a map. It appears that Vegas is circled. Kay gives us some of the skipped frames that indicate Jack’s going into that frame of mind which means trouble and the end credits and music kick in.

What Worked

The Actors: For those of you that have seen the movie (and if you haven’t, why did you read this far?), you can tell that I enjoyed almost every scene in the movie. I felt that there wasn’t a single bad performance in the movie and many of them were absolutely excellent. Stallone, Rourke, Cook and Cumming were at the top of their craft in “Get Carter.”

The Direction: Stephen Kay had a vision for his film. He had a daunting task before him… to recreate a cult classic and make it work with modern day audiences. He could have gone the safe route and avoided some of his camera tricks but he chose to explore Jack’s psyche and for me it worked.

The Screenplay: David McKenna’s script served as the foundation for the film. While it is true that he based it on the earlier screenplay – he did what all good screenwriters hope to do… improve on what is there!

Cinematography: Maura Fiore filmed scenes that were beautiful. His lighting and use of color added another element to make the city and surroundings almost like an additional character.

The Music: From the opening title them, and then right into the funeral sequence it was obvious that the music in “Get Carter” was on track. Even some of the reviewers who had problems with the movie still liked the music!

What Didn’t

The Car Chases: There are two car chases in the movie. I believe that Stephen Kay was trying to get across the speed at which the chases occur and while parts of the chases worked, I feel that overall they weren’t as effective as they could have been. Most people that I spoke with and in the reviews that I’ve read felt that at times it was difficult to tell the cars apart or what was really happening.

The Scene in the Kitchen: This scene occurs when Jack is going out the back in order to follow Paice and Geraldine. Jack is confronted by a man who tells him that he can’t cut through and Jack ends up beating him up when the man swings on him. This scene reminded me of the bus scene in “The Specialist” which was inserted after principal filming had completed to add another action beat. The scene does work but just seems almost like an addition.

The Marketing: This is the area that I think really hurt “Get Carter.”
There are several areas where I think the ball was dropped:

1. The Poster – When the poster was first released I thought that it was an advance poster to let people know that “Get Carter” was coming. It’s not uncommon for studios to release a “coming soon” type poster and then to follow-up with the release poster. When it became clear that this was the poster I began to wonder. It is an attention grabber, for sure, but what does it really tell you about the movie? Stallone is back and he has a gun. Who are the costars? What is the film about? What does “The Truth Hurts” tagline mean? From a quick look at the poster who knew? No one.

2. Promotional Appearances – Usually when a studio is pushing a film, the stars will be booked to appear on the various talk shows the week prior to opening. Sly was appearing on Letterman, Leno and other shows weeks before the premiere of “Get Carter!” Why so early? Where were the other cast members?

3. Opening the movie with no advance screenings for critics – This really hurt. Many people depend on advance reviews to know what movies have opened. Even if a movie gets a bad review, people will still know that the movie is out. Some reviewers are going to knock the movie but some WILL enjoy it. It is a trade-off. If there is NO advance screenings then the ONLY thing that the reviewer can write is that the movie was NOT made available for critics – and what conclusion does that leave the moviegoer with? That the studio doesn’t have faith in the movie.

And I really believe that is what happened with “Get Carter.” The studio didn’t have faith in the film and wouldn’t risk the extra dollars to promote it. What makes this doubly sad is that although no critic has proclaimed “Get Carter” to be a classic, it has been getting some above average reviews in national magazines with special mention being given to STALLONE, KAY, COOK, ROURKE, and CUMMING!

The End Result

The end result is that “Get Carter” didn’t get the push it deserved. There is a chance that word of mouth will build and “Get Carter” will make a decent showing at the box office in the US. I am confident that it will do well overseas. In less than a year it will be available for fans on DVD and VHS. I truly believe that it will gain in popularity as more people discover it. As for me, it’s already one of my all-time favorite Stallone movies!
Craig Zablo (October 14, 2000)


Entertainment Weekly’s review of “Get Carter” appears in their Oct. 20, 2000 issue.

“Get Carter” received a rating of “C” with the reviewer saying that “the only fun is in watching STALLONE square off against ALAN CUMMING, as a crybaby zillionaire, and MICKEY ROURKE…

“Let’s consider this for a minute now… “Get Carter” wasn’t given to critics for pre-release reviews… the implication being that they would only hurt “GC” at the box office. Had the review in EW run the opening week, potential “GC” audience members would have read that “GC” received an overall “C” rating and that STALLONE, ROURKE, and CUMMING all received special positive mention for their scenes together… don’t you think that these two factors would have been enough to convince more fans to give it a try?  I do.

BTW – The Entertainment Weekly Top 20 Movie Chart listed “GC” in third place for it’s opening weekend (behind “Meet the Parents” and “Remember the Titans”) with a $6.6 million opening.

– Craig Zablo (October 14, 2000)

StalloneZone Wallpaper!

Hennie Blaauw is a a 2D/3D animator and a competitive bodybuilder, and unlike most bodybuilders, his inspiration has always been SLY, and NOT Arnold!
Click on the image above to get to the full-size wallpaper!
Thanks for sharing your talents once again, Hennie!
– Craig Zablo (October 14, 2000)