Search Results for: neck

How the Rocky Philosophy is Keeping Paul Wintner Positive With a Brain Tumor

If you’re a Stallone fan and the name Paul Wintner sounds familiar, it should.  Paul is a long-time SZoner, a die-hard Sylvester Stallone fan and the CEO of Wintner Artists.  Paul’s Stallone Movie Prop Collection is second to none and he’s shared new additions to his collection on the StalloneZone many times.

It was almost a year ago that I posted How Rocky Props Saved Paul Wintner’s Business.  Paul, after nearly losing his business, rebuilt Winter Artist Management and had one of his best years ever.  Cue the Rocky music and run the end credits, right?


“Life is not about how hard you hit.  It is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” – Rocky Balboa

Recently Paul was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  My conversations with him since learning of this have been nothing but uplifting.  Paul truly believes that this is just another punch he has to take and he’s going to continue to move forward.  Paul agreed to a short interview to update the many Stallone friends he’s made over the years.

Paul with his mom and wife Shira on the first day at Cedars for radiation.

Paul, how did you find out about the brain tumor?  What did the doctor say?

I woke up one morning and noticed my right shoulder had atrophied and my speech was slurred.  I immediately went for an MRI which said I had nothing wrong.  It made no sense to me because my orthopedic doctor said that my tongue had atrophied as well.  An emergency MRI with contrast was ordered for that night and it showed a tumor at the base of my skull sitting on many nerves. Two doctors at UCLA wanted to operate, two doctors at Cedars Medical Center in L.A. wanted to radiate it.  We decided to get Dr. Keith Black’s (one of the best neurosurgeons) opinion.  He said that there were too many risks trying to remove the tumor and he suggested we should radiate it. Radiation will not shrink or cure it,but can stop it from growing. I could live with that. I’ll need speech and swallow therapy since one of my vocal cords has also atrophied.

How did your family react? 

My God, without my wife I’d be lost.  She has kept a thick folder on all the notes and appointments. My mom calls three times a day as do my sisters and brother. My brother-in-law helped research for me as well.  I didn’t think I could be any closer with my family but I was wrong. They’re my everything. My kids are nervous, but they understand it and know I’ll be ok.

Paul at the gym with the owner's dog -- what better way to sooth himself?

What has been the response from the talent at Wintner Artists?

Ah, you mean my other family?  They tell me to relax, but I’m a workaholic.  Perhaps another thing Sly and I have in common?  I work from hospitals, in route to doctor appointments and in waiting rooms. I can’t stop doing what I love and the feeling of booking jobs and letting your artists know that we landed this movie or this promo tv spot is just the best feeling.  Plus it keeps my mind off other things.  I love sending gifts to clients and getting a very happy person on the phone thanking me. I couldn’t ask for better support from Ashton Smith, who recently posted on his Facebook to pray for me, or Matthew Rhode, Jamie Anderson and Rick Robles checking in with me not about work but if I need anything.   I’m lucky to rep these guys and they are more than clients.  They’re truly like family.

Paul wears his "Eye of the Tiger" t-shirt to radiation

How are you battling the tumor?

Well, I’m doing six days of thirty-minute radiation sessions. I’m still working out, eating healthy and staying positive. Nothing else I can do.  I really think that all the positive energy from friends, family and even the posts on Facebook from people I’ve never met helps.  Never underestimate the power of positivity!  I’m a fighter. (Remind you of anyone else? 😊) If I have a problem, I fight it and that’s what I’m doing.

Paul has worked out every day since he started radiation!

You’ve always worked out and hit the weights.  Have you had to alter your workouts?  What about your diet?

I have meals delivered now that are super healthy.  Yuck!  I’ve cut out sugar and carbs and drink lots of vegetable juice, eat lots of berries and upped my protein intake. No chocolate, that’s been the hardest part. LOL. For snacks I eat a banana with coconut oil or apples with some honey whatever I can think of that’s kind of healthy.

Paul wears one of Sly's Expendables necklaces for inspiration!

As for working out, because of my shoulder, I’m doing lighter weight but more reps. Whatever I can do to get the blood flowing to the muscles.  I’m trying lots of new things as well — more cardio —  I think it’s giving me a better look.  I’m seeing more vascularity and less bulk which is perfectly fine. Many have said not to do weights but i can’t give them up.   I need my weights. I love the feeling of them and the rush when you do any movement with them.

Last year your business was in danger of going under.  How has this year been?

The business has really grown. Matthew Rhode continues to land great campaigns. He just did Creed II, Green Book, Quincy for Netflix, Crazy Rich Asians, Black Panther and Infinity War Home Entertainment.  Matthew has had a remarkable 2018 considering that he is still a very fresh voice that nobody knows.

Ashton Smith, my number one guy, is still one of the busiest voices in the business. He is on a Private War, Wreck It Ralph 2, The Possession of Hannah Grace, Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse, Bad Times at the El Royale, Night School and Bird Box for Netflix to name a few.

Jamie Anderson landed, I think, 16 films this year. His voice can be heard on Mary Poppins Returns for Disney, Can You Forgive Me, Miss Bala, and Goosebumps 2Christopher Robin was a fun campaign for us.  I really liked that movie.

Rick Robles  just aired on White Boy Rick and Searching. The Clio Awards are coming up.  The Clios are like the Oscars for movie trailers.  A lot of films nominated were voiced by my guys.   I’m pretty happy about that (and more importantly so are they)!

Just some of the Rocky movie props in Paul's office!

When you last faced adversity, being surrounded by your Stallone / Rocky props provided inspiration.  Do you still feel that?

The Rocky series is like my synagogue or church. It’s very spiritual to me.  I have worn a Rocky t-shirt to every treatment of mine, and I go to bed watching clips from the Rocky films. Creed 2 couldn’t have better timing! I love all the inspirational tv spots airing now!

Every time I’ve talked to you and in all of your posts you are so positive.  How do you keep yourself in this frame of mind?

I’m surrounded by a supportive family and friends.  I spoke about them earlier and they are my everything, but to be totally honest, and it may sound corny, revisiting the Rocky films helps me keep my spirits up, but don’t get me wrong there are times I feel scared and sad, but then I hear Mickey’s voice saying, “Get up, you son of b — because Mickey loves ya!”

Do you have any new additions to your Stallone movie prop collection that you’d like to share with SZoners?

I’m always looking for new Stallone props.  Here are a few…

Rocky's weightlifting belt from Rocky Balboa!
Rocky's motorcycle helmet that he throws at his statue in Rocky III!
Paul's tombstone, the vodka Rocky places there plus Rocky's chair and newspaper!
Rambo's headband from Rambo, First Blood: Part II.
Paul with fellow Stallone Prop collector Randy Rousseau & Randy's Dad

You’ve always had a lot in common with Rocky.  Trouble in school at an early age, people around you who didn’t think you’d make it and so on.  Isn’t is hitting way too close to home that in Creed Rocky fought cancer and now you’re fighting a tumor?

The similarities are almost eerie to me.  I’m fighting the most important fight of my life.  I want to be healthy and see my kids grow – be at all their events.  So if I break (like Rocky said in Creed), I’m going to fix it.  An interesting side effect is that my right side tongue being atrophed has caused my speech to sound very different.  My mom said the other day when I was complaining, she said, “It’s okay, you sound more like your hero now.”  

Paul, as you know, I and all StalloneZoners are sending you positive vibes, prayers and good wishes.  Any thing you’d like to add before we close out?

First I want to encourage everyone to get a full body CT scan and MRI. I didn’t know I had a tumor until symptoms come up and once they do it’s usually a much harder road. My tumor was with me over 10 years before it hit my nerves which caused me to finally notice I had it.  And always remember no matter what life throws at you, you are a lot stronger than you think, braver and loved a hell of a lot more  than you probably think, so keep punching and move forward.

I had this made for my buddy's gym.  It's a philosophy I believe in.

Z-View: “Homefront”

The Pitch: “Hey, Sly has a great action screenplay that he was gonna use for Rambo available.  It’s based on a book by Chuck Hogan.  Sly says Jason Statham is up for the lead.”

“Let’s do it!”


The Tagline:  “How far would you go to protect your home?”

The Overview:  Jason Statham plays Phil Broker, a retired under-cover DEA agent who moved to rural Louisiana to raise his 9 year old daughter after the death of his wife.  When his daughter bloodies the nose of a class bully (who happens the be the child of the local meth dealer) things quickly escalate and Statham’s past as a DEA agent becomes known. Soon an outlaw motorcycle gang and local thugs are both looking for revenge.

*** Beware – minor spoilers can be found below ***

The Good:

  • The cast.  Kate Bosworth kills in her role as, Cassie Bodine Klum, a redneck, methhead who is used to getting her way thanks to her brother being the local “Walter White.”  James Franco as “Gator” Bodine is surprisingly effective in a role that wouldn’t at first seem to fit him.  Winona Ryder, Clancy Brown and Chuck Zito all make welcome appearances.  Jason Statham is of course Jason Statham (that’s good).
  • Broker does his best to avoid trouble, but there is a line he won’t cross and God help you if you cross it!
  • The fight scenes and the fact that they avoided Statham giving “wise-cracks.”
  • Broker mistakenly thinks that Jimmy Klum is behind the threats to him.


The Bad:

  • What happens when you don’t let Broker finish filling his tank.
  • When you are a friend of Broker’s and go to pick up his horses.
  • If you’re the class bully and you decide to pick on Broker’s daughter.
  • Being married to Cassie Bodine Klum.


The Ugly:

  • One of Gator Bodine’s thugs ankles after Broker has had enough.
  • When you raise your gun towards dozens of cops who are armed, hyped up and have warned you to drop it.
  • That Homefront is doing better at the box office.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Six Things You Didn’t Know About Sylvester Stallone

On November 1, 2012, AMC posted Six Things You Didn’t Know About Sylvester Stallone.  My guess is that you did. – Craig

1. He’s in the Boxing Hall of Fame
In 2011, the man who created Rocky Balboa joined Mike Tyson as an inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The honor raised the ire of some boxing enthusiasts who complained that Stallone — who’s only taken punches onscreen — doesn’t belong among a hall of real prizefighters but Sly KO-ed those haters with his ingratiating speech on induction day.

2. Stallone Actually Feels the Pain
While filming Rocky IV, Stallone asked Dolph Lundgren to punch him as hard as he could and ended up in intensive care. Years later in a fight scene with Steve Austin for The Expendables, Stallone ended up with a broken neck (repaired with a metal plate!). In short, his signature grimaces are sometimes very real.

3. He Was Dubbed “the Next Brando”
Following the success of Rocky, Roger Ebert said Sly was primed to become “the next Marlon Brando.” Not a surprising declaration at the time, considering Balboa’s similarities to Brando’s tender-tough guy in On the Waterfront and a gut-wrenching cry of “Adrian!” that would make Stanley Kowlaski proud.

4. He a Fine Artist
Can you picture Cobra (another tough guy character played by Stallone) standing at a canvas with palette and brush in hand? Maybe you should because abstract oil painting is one of Stallone’s hobbies. Still skeptical? His work fetches Rocky-like prices with two pieces alone netting $90k.

5. He’s Launching a Clothing Line 
Actor, writer, director, painter, and now… fashionista. After experiencing a “huge weight change” between Rambo 2 and Rambo 3, Sly discovered a new-found passion for making custom clothing. He’s now turning that interest into a label targeted at men ages 25-40. The name of the line? Sly Inc, of course!

6. He Loves Edgar Allen Poe 
Many fans know that Stallone’s self-professed hero is Leonardo da Vinci (as evidenced in his homage to his idol with the Expendables 2 poster). But fewer may know that he’s also “obsessed with Edgar Allen Poe.” In fact, he’s been developing a biopic of the writer for the last ten years.  His reverence obviously outweighs his ego: “Of course, I’m not playing Poe,” Stallone says, ‘Yo, Poe!’ It won’t work.”

Top 10 Reasons We Can’t Get Enough Sly Stallone

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.

6 Stallone Movies Crack Top 100

On October 13, 2010, Matt King, a senior analyst at posted his choices for the 100 Greatest Sports Movies of All Time.  Not surprisingly, Sly had six movies that made the grade.  Here are Matt King’s choices and commentary.

#79   Over the Top

You can thank Sly Stallone for knowing why you turn your hat around when you arm wrestle somebody. That’s valuable information there.

Seriously, though—it’s a movie about arm wrestling. How awesome is that? It’s Stallone right around the time he discovered steroids, facing off against some guy with more neck rolls than a pug. As a man, you just have to love this. It’s man law.

#62 Victory

What’s this? It’s a sports movie and we’re playing the Germans during WWII? Yes, please.

You could make a water polo movie where a team faces off against the Germans during WWII and I would be all in. It’s too easy. The villain is built in. You don’t need to build them up or give them any depth. It’s cool. We hate them. Let’s move along.

I also have a soft spot for sports movies ending a ridiculous note. Sly Stallone catching a penalty kick pretty much fits that bill.

#46 Rocky IV

It’s hard to rank the Rocky movies. Usually when a sports movie comes out with a sequel, it sucks. But Rocky managed to make not one, but three sequels that are extremely watchable.

Somebody has to bring up the rear and, while I do have a special place in my heart for Ivan Drago and Rocky IV, it can’t compete with the others.

It does however give us some amazing lines (I must break you) and a training montage that set the gold standard for cheesy goodness. I’ll always be thankful to Rocky and the fourth installment for singlehandedly winning the Cold War.

#32 Rocky II [and if you take a look at their original post, notice where they got the Rocky II photo]

At the end of Rocky, Apollo tells him that there won’t be a rematch and Rocky says that he doesn’t want one.

Good ending, but that’s hard for us sports fans to accept. We need some kind of resolution.

It’s the same reason most Americans hate soccer for three out of every four years: we hate ties.

Thankfully, Rocky II gave us that rematch and managed to do so without seeming like a horrible cash grab and was a really solid movie.

#24 Rocky III

Rocky III is probably the most entertaining Rocky movie. It’s got over-the-top characters like Hulk Hogan and Clubber Lang, Mickey dying, and a great final fight.

Mr. T really did kick ass as Clubber. With the first two Rockys, you always liked Apollo at least a little bit. He was mouthy, but it came with charm. Clubber Lang was just big, scary, and mean.

#6 Rocky [and don’t ask me why the photo for Rocky is from Rocky Balboa]

The ultimate underdog story.

The first Rocky was the ultimate everyman. He’s just an unassuming, humble guy from Philly who ends up getting a shot at the champ through a series of events and making the most of it.

Eventually, Rocky turns into this super fighter in later movies, but in this one he’s just your average guy with a bigger than average heart. Nothing special.

Stallone will never be considered a great actor, but he’s terrific in the movie. He nails the “aw shucks” attitude.

And who could forget Mickey. That gruff voiced little troll is one of my favorite sports movie characters of all time.


I was happy to see that Over the Top easily made the top 100.  I was surprised that Rocky Balboa didn’t appear on the list.  What’s up with that?  It should have been right there along side Rocky.

If you’d like to see Matt King’s entire list of 100 Greatest Sports Movies of All Time, you know what to do.

Expendables: Barney Ross Collectible

SZoner, Lefebvre wrote in with news that HotToys is creating a Barney Ross Expendables collectible figure.

From the HotToys website:

Barney Ross 12 inch figure Hot Toys Sylvester Stallone

Movie Masterpiece Series~

Hot Toys is proud to present the 1/6th scale Barney Ross Collectible
Figure from The Expendables movie. The movie-accurate Barney Ross
collectible is specially crafted based on the image of Sylvester
Stallone in the movie, highlighting the newly sculpted head, body
tattoo, two styles of costume, detailed accessories and weapons.

The 1/6th scale Barney Ross Collectible Figure specially features:

– Authentic and detailed fully realized likeness of Sylvester Stallone
as Barney Ross in the movie The Expendables
– Approximately 30 cm tall
– Muscular body with over 30 points of articulations
– Highly detailed hair sculpture and moustache
– Movie-accurate facial expressions with detailed wrinkles and skin
– Body tattoos with animal patterns on chest and arms, “Expendable”
logo on back
– Seven (7) pieces of palms including:
– One (1) pair of gloved palms for shooting with gun
– One (1) gloved right palm for holding gun
– One (1) pair of gloved fists
– One (1) right palm for holding gun
– One (1) right fist
– Each piece of head sculpt is specially hand-painted

– One (1) beret
– One (1) pair of black colored boots
– Two (2) styles of outfits include:
– Style 1:
– One (1) round-neck black-color T-shirt
– One (1) tactical vest
– One (1) pair of black military trousers
– One (1) leather-like black belt
– Style 2:
– One (1) V-neck green-color T-shirt
– One (1) pair of blue jeans
– One (1) leather-like brown belt

– Two (2) pistols with pouches
– One (1) revolver with pouch
– One (1) assault rifle
– Two (2) packs of magazines with pouches

– One (1) watch
– One (1) pair of sunglasses
– One (1) pair of goggles
– Two (2) necklaces including one (1) with cross, one (1) with
military plate and danger-shaped accessory as pendants
– Figure stand with Barney Ross nameplate and the movie log

Check out more photos here.  Thanks to Lefebvre for the link! – Craig

Sly & Arnold Make Contact

The photo above of Sly and Arnold Schwarzenegger is just one of a few posted on July 6, 2010 at Contact Music in a piece called: “Sylvester Stallone – Gory Scene Cut From The Expendables”.   The article goes on to say that a scene showing a man being stabbed in the neck was cut from the version that will show in the UK but will remain in the version shown in the United States.  The US version has been given an “R” rating.

To read the full piece, simply click here.

“The Expendables” Was a Tough Shoot

On March 5, 2010, posted a piece titled, “Sylvester Stallone Feels the Strain.” Sly is quoted about how rough The Expendables shoot was…

“I’ve never been so happy to wrap a film in my life,” he told Empire magazine. “I swear, if you took all the Rambos together, it wouldn’t equal four weeks of that shoot. It was unbelievable. Everything was difficult.

“I’ve just had my throat operated on. I had to have my neck fused. There are three screws in my spinal cord – I had to have a cadaver bone put in my neck! I had my leg operated on too. I had my whole calf pulled up. That was brutal. That hurt. And I need both rotator cuffs done in three weeks. It’s a b***h.”

The article also runs one of the x-ray photos that Sly sent to the StalloneZoneTo check out the full article, simply click here.

Sly’s X-Ray Post

I knew that when Sly sent us his x-rays in to silence the doubters, that the post would get a lot of attention.  Here are a few places it was picked up: