Welcome to Rockyland

On December 29, 2010, IFC News posted Matt Singer’s article, “Welcome to Rockyland: Sylvester Stallone’s Viagra Cinema.” In the piece Singer explores Sly’s resurgence to the top at an age when “action stars” have long since retired.  Here are some excerpts:

  • On July 6, 2011 Sylvester Stallone will turn 65 years old. At an age when most Americans are considering their Social Security benefits, Stallone’s career is the healthiest it’s been in decades.
  • His latest film, “The Expendables,” was the first he’s headlined to gross over $100 million in the U.S. since “Rocky IV” back in 1985. Ten years ago, Stallone’s career was dead and he was a joke. Now he’s the world’s leading manufacturer of viagra cinema, movies designed to showcase the aging male frame as it performs unnatural but remarkable physical feats.
  • What Stallone’s done is basically without precedent. All of his former rivals for action film supremacy have faded away or moved on; all of his predecessors turned to moodier and more reflective work by the time they were his age.

  • …the world of Stallone’s viagra cinema: a place of physical and moral decay, the Philadelphia of “Rocky Balboa,” the Burma of “Rambo,” or the corrupt fictional island of Vilena in “The Expendables.” The heroes Stallone plays in these films refuse to concede to the decay around them or bend to the physical limitations of their age. The world may decay; Sylvester Stallone does not.
  • Given Stallone’s age, and the fact that he surrounded himself in “The Expendables” with fresh action stars like Statham and Terry Crews, it seemed reasonable to assume that he was making the film as a symbolic passing of the torch; that it would be about what it’s like to realize you’re not faster than light anymore. Nope. Ross is correct about his skills… “The Expendables” isn’t about making way for a new generation. It’s about putting that new generation in their place and showing them how it’s done. Casting Stallone’s old contemporaries like Dolph Lundgren and Mickey Rourke was good for some chuckles; it was also good for showing how good Stallone looks in comparison to them.
  • In “Rocky V,” when Rocky was forced into retirement (a first time), his constant refrain was “I didn’t hear no bell!” signifying that his life is not over and that he continues to endure. Twenty years later, Stallone is still fighting, still refusing to hear the bell. The longer he refuses, the deeper he gets into Rockyland, the more strangely compelling his viagra cinema gets.

Singer has written an excellent piece and I highly recommend it to all SZoners. – Craig

Sly & Dolph Receive Awards

From Yahoo News!

Actors Sylvester Stallone (L) and Dolph Lundgren receive an award from the Guinness Book of World Records for creating the most successful sports franchise in film history with their movie “Rocky” during a news conference for the upcoming Lionsgate motion picture “The Expendables” at Comic Con in San Diego, California July 22, 2010.

REUTERS/Mike Blake

Rocky Balboa IS the American Spirit

In honor of Independence Day, Cinema Blend posted their choices for the Ten Movie Heroes Who Make Us Proud to be Americans.  Making the list were:

  • Scarlett (Gone with the Wind) O’Hara
  • President James (Air Force One) Marshall
  • Captain John H. (Saving Private Ryan) Miller
  • John (Die Hard series) McClane
  • Atticus (To Kill a Mockingbird) Finch
  • Jason (The Bourne trilogy) Bourne
  • Will (High Noon) Kane
  • Sarah (Terminator series) Connor
  • Bryan (Taken) Mills
  • Rocky (Rocky series) Balboa

Here’s some of what they had to say about Rocky…

Everyone loves an underdog, and that’s the reason why Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa is such a great character

Balboa is a hero because of the inspiration he provides,

Rocky Balboa IS the American spirit.

Click here to read the full piece.

“Rocky” Rated Top Film Franchise

On June 22, 2010, We Are Movie Geeks.com posted their selections for the Top Ten Film FranchisesBack to the Future; Planet of the Apes; Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter; Rocky; Alien(s); Lord of the Rings; James Bond; The Godfather and Star Wars all made the list. Here’s some of what they had to say about the Rocky series:

…you cannot dismiss the genius of the character of Rocky Balboa.

Rocky was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay that Stallone wrote, and won 3, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Rocky stole the heart of America and reminded us why we should always root for the underdog.

You can read the entire post by clicking here.

The “Rocky” Series Most Inspiring!

On May 2, 2010, PasteMagazine.com posted their list of the Five Inspiring Movie Montages.  Of course the Rocky series had to be represented… and what better way than to include ALL of the Rocky movies.  Here’s what they had to say:

5. All the Rocky movies
Each Rocky movie could honestly have occupied a slot on this list—if you’re watching one, you’re eventually going to see Sylvester Stallone pulling a cart through the snow, or doing one-armed pullups on a Philly playground, or doing wind sprints down a beach with Carl Weathers. Eye of the tiger, baby.

To see the full list as well as the montages for the movies, click here.

“Rocky” The Undisputed Collection

The HDRoom.com has announced that on November 3rd, a seven disc collection of all of the “Rocky” movies will be released on Blu-ray.  Amazon.com has the collection listed at 30% off for pre-orders.  Hopefully this will be the definitve collection that all fans have requested.  As more information on the extras becomes available, we’ll post the information.

Why “Rocky Balboa” Works

On June 27, 2009, Christopher Crespo at the Orlando Movie Examiner posted an article titled “Why Rocky Balboa Works Where the Other Rocky Sequels Failed”.  Crespo actually has some good things to say about “Rocky II” and “Rocky III” but focuses his attention on how “Rocky Balboa” (like the original “Rocky”) mirrors what was happening in Sly’s life and “Stallone (didn’t) pretend things (were) different from what they (were).” You can read the full piece by clicking here.