Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sylvester Stallone = Brilliance. Part I

When you mention the name, Sylvester Stallone, what do you think of? What grabs your attention about him? What movies of his do you think are his most memorable? Well while you think about this, here is everything you will need to know, when it comes to my love for this actor. 

The first film I do remember ever seeing him in was Rocky. It was a film that my family and I watched a lot. And I branched out to a lot of his movies during my childhood, I am pretty sure every time we went to the video store there was at least one Stallone film, that was rented. Obviously growing up with this actor always on my TV screen, I grew extremely aware of his acting abilities and then later his talent with writing. 

I started writing poetry at 13 and that eventually lead me to start writing short stories and scripts at 15, and it was then where I started appreciating a good story and the dialogue between the characters. And if you can tell a good story and convey the heart that you have written on those pages onto the big screen, that is successful in my eyes. And heart, honesty and passion is what you can see in Rocky. There are so many memorable scenes in this film, which are beautifully yet simply shot, and they know how to get into your psyche and heart. People who think I am being cheesy saying this, then you don't understand what heart is in a film, simple as that. Rocky is an underdog who just wants a better life for himself, and just when he gets the opportunity to fight Apollo, he meets the love of his life, and he just doesn't know how to handle it all at once. Because for the first time in his life, everything is working out in his favour. And while all this is working in his favour, the cracks start to show. People have never really supported this man, or had any real faith in him until now. 

What struck me as so amazing in this film is the love between Rocky and Adrian. In my opinion they are the best on screen couple in cinema history. Why? Because while these two may look very different to one another, they just fit. In the film, Rocky states that he doesn't have much of a brain, so he developed his body. And Adrian states how her mother told her she didn't have much of a body so she may as well develop her brain. Just hearing that from both of them, makes it clear, that they need each other. Their love is honest and simple. Adrian wouldn't care if he never fought to begin with, because she has someone who loves her even though everyone may think she is a 'loser'. For accepting a man like Rocky she proves she is far from being a loser. This is how love should be. Unconditional. 

One of my favourite scenes in Rocky is where he and Adrian go to the ice skating rink. Now you may be thinking what an odd scene that shows off Stallone's acting skill. But what is lovely is the simplicity of it and how this all just seems very natural. 

In Rocky we do see Stallone's vulnerable side underneath his tough exterior, so when you watch him in Death Race 2000 it is A LOT different. 

His acting chops didn't really kick in with this film, but having said that it is enjoyable as fuck to see him shooting at a bunch of Frankenstein supporters. His character's name is brilliant in this too...Machine Gun Joe Viterbo. Man if I had a child I would totally call it that. What I love about his performance is just the brutality of it and how it really fits in with the Exploitation vibe, that the film possesses. Now while this isn't Stallone's best performance, it is still fucking enjoyable. His character was so 'cartoonish' and 'shlocky', but it was great seeing him in a role like that. I didn't see Stallone in this film til I was about 14, so it was a total shock for me, but at the same time,  I loved seeing the diversity. I don't want to go into a lot of detail with this film, because I think it's awesome seeing this totally unprepared. When I watched it for the first time, it made me laugh, it fired me up, and it shocked me but in a good way. 

A film I enjoyed a lot, and still do to this day is Victory. My older brother taped this off the TV when we were kids, and boy did that tape get THRASHED. As a kid I was just excited to see Stallone, Caine and Pele in one movie. In my mind I was thinking 'HOLY SHIT WHAT AN ALL STAR CAST'. Even though I still enjoy this film to this day, I still do find it odd that Stallone was in this to begin with. But having said that I do like his role in this as Robert Hatch. The wise cracking goal keeper for the P.O.W camp football team. And yes I am aware I called soccer, football. But I am English, so I will call it whatever I god damn want! Anyways..I liked Stallone in this, because while he is a hard ass, and a joker, you can tell that the character of Robert Hatch, has seen a lot of shit. I also like the dynamic between Stallone and Caine in this. They bounce their conversation and diversity off one another extremely well. The dialogue that was written for the both of them, was cheesy yes, but SUPERBLY in my books that means KICKASS. If you haven't seen this film or have heard bad things about it, just take a chance with this. I am not going to say this is an Oscar contender(although it's a lot better than some of the films that do win the awards these days). But this is a lot of fun, despite the subject matter being quite dark. I think you should just have fun with this. 

FIRST BLOOD...IS JUST FUCKING KICKASS AND BRUTAL AND EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE WATCHED THIS, AND IF YOU HAVEN'T YOU ARE A SQUARE HEADED IGNORAMUS! Sorry a tad bit excited there. But what do I say about a kickass movie like First Blood? This is hands down one of Stallone's best work. Why? Because even though it is violent, it does have a serious undertone. This isn't just some mind numbing action film with a standard boring plot. Seeing John Rambo, a troubled Vietnam War Veteran, is actually quite frightening. Why? The depth. I know I talk a lot about this with Stallone, so get fucking used to it. But he has the depth in his eyes. You could just look in Rambo's eyes for a second and not even begin to understand the horror he has seen and experienced. I would say this film possesses more a thriller vibe, than a typical action film. Obviously the sequels are definitely action and have a less involved plot compared to First Blood. While Rambo would never intentionally hurt anyone for the sake of it, if you fuck with him, well...lets just say he will fucking hunt you down. Here is one of my favourite scenes of First Blood. He is just so deliciously brutal, and these guys got what was coming to them.

You all know I love brutal slayings, and it's even better when its delivered by Stallone. He is just a GRITTY MOTHERFUCKER, and that is why Cobra will always have a soft spot in my heart. Okay the thing I need to address to all of you is this...HOW FUCKING COOL IS HE FOR CUTTING THE PIZZA WITH A PAIR OF SCISSORS...For some strange reason I have never done this...but I will the next time I eat it. I kinda hope my mum doesn't read this now, because she will be pissed off if she sees me cutting up pizza with a pair of scissors. There are so many awesome scenes in this, and while I do love violence, I love Stallones performance as Marion 'Cobra' Cobretti. His performance is damn strong as a 'lone wolf' cop. And you can see he doesn't like to feel vulnerable especially around Ingrid played by Brigitte Nielsen. His body language is exceptionally strong in this, and is conveyed perfectly on the big screen. Not many actors can convey a strong presence, you either have it or you don't. My favourite scene in this whole film is the opening. I do love the ending, but this opening is just sheer kickassery. I just love the way Stallone fucks with this criminal and he does it with such style and ease and it is seriously flawless. 

I do love watching movies which have a supermarket shoot out. It is just so random but it so damn cool. I just find something sleek about this particular scene, either way you gotta admit, it is a killer opening to a film.

Tango and Cash is one of my favourite Stallone movies of all time. Why? Because not only do you have an amazing actor like Stallone, but you have him teamed up with KURT FUCKING RUSSELL...that HAS to count for something right? This film has simple storytelling, it's easy to follow, and it just so damn badass and cool. These guys really worked well together, and I would love to see them in another cop film like this...or I would be happy to see Russell in  The Expendables 3...Stallone is so suave and debonair as Raymond Tango, and while he does get dirty and gritty in this film, it is glossed over with Tango's wit and style. I also find this movie to be a great comedy as well. I think Tango and Cash possesses a great balance of awesome storytelling, great action and perfectly timed and plotted comedy. That in itself is hard to pull off, I mean have you seen some of the movies today which are clearly trying to rip off a film as clever and as charming as Tango and Cash. 

Here are a couple of scenes from Tango and Cash which still stand out as AWESOME!

Sure this scene isn't very long, but it's a perfect example of the charm that it possesses. I always lose it laughing at Tango's wit in this film, because it is always played perfectly and it is incredibly well timed.

This whole scene makes me piss myself laughing. Because while we see Tango speaking so eloquently and soft spoken and really trying to reel the court in with his emotion, we see Cash just not giving a fuck, and saying what is on his mind. And seeing two completely opposite kind of cops handling the same situation, extremely differently, is just funny. 

There are so many Stallone movies, that need praise and recognition, regardless of whether they were blockbuster hits or not. Obviously I cannot write about ALL of them, because I think the readers may kill me because of the amount of fangirling that is going on behind this laptop. But what I can tell you, there will be a part II.

Now while a lot of people may look at most of these films and see trash and garbage I see pure excellence. Everyone should go back to a time where they were all excited to watch a Stallone film. Do not act as if you have never liked any of his films, because I know you have. Whether it was Copland or Stop! Or my mum will shoot, you have all liked him one time or another. 

So get ready...because shit is about to get real. 


  1. Excellent Sly write-up.

    Cobra is one of my favorite movies! Loved that you mentioned cutting the pizza with scissors bit too.

  2. I grew up in Philly & fell in love with the Rocky character. He is the embodiment of hard work & tenacity… the ultimate underdog. However at the heart of it the movie Rocky if really a love story.