Who would have thought that an actor could still be a leading man after making scores of films over a four-decade acting career that began with a soft-core porn film?
I am talking about Sylvester Stallone. Sly debuted on screen in 1970 with The Party at Kitty and Stud’s. The IMDB plot summary says: “Kitty and Stud are lovers. They enjoy a robust sex life, which includes fellatio and light S & M, specifically, Stud belt-whipping Kitty. Three women come over for a party and Stud services them, one after the other.”
Stallone is best known for creating two more franchises that collectively have grossed billions of box office dollars. He made a hero of the underdog with a will to fight against the odds. Rocky and Rambo total 10 films. He has made dozens of others – some memorable, like Lords of Flatbush, Nighthawks, Cliffhanger, Judge Dress, and Cop Land, and others not so special, like Tango & Cash.
He has a cinematic mystique about him that cannot be explained so easily. In fact, he is an enigma. He has made perhaps more bad movies than good ones. He is loved by loyal fans and multiple generations in many nations. He acts, writes, and directs. But he does not seem to get the critical acclaim. He has never won an Oscar for best actor, and is rarely nominated. When you think of great actors he does not come to mind, yet he has such a screen presence about him.
He is an impact actor. The muscles, the voice, those puppy dog eyes, his ability to play the unexpected or unlikely hero, his knack to take a punch and come back to deliver punishment, and his morality-driven characters add up to why I cannot deny my bromance with the Hollywood hunk.
He still makes action films as a senior citizen. He may be aided by HGH and other drugs, surgeries, and makeup, but there is still a raw, unsmoothed but perfectly carved actor’s soul inside his superhero body.
Of the active and still popular -- if not great actors – dating from the 1970s to the present – DeNiro, Pacino, Eastwood, Allen – Stallone doesn’t seem to compare. They are true actors and geniuses. But Stallone, I don’t know how you quantify him, but he has that special quality that is undeniable and irresistible.
We lobe how he gives off a primordial, gut-deep scream as he lashes back at his tormentor. We love that he gets up from devastation and sets things right with a combination of powerful punches. We like his speech impediment and how he snarls words through his teeth and how his upper lip is permanently curled to give an image of rage and contempt. His facial contortions breathe fire and passion. He is moving energy even when he stands still.
He is someone you could root for, but many do so with a sense of guilt or embarrassment. I say you should not be afraid to admit your Stallone lovefest. Suspend your beliefs or sense of reality and just let yourself take in this legend on his terms.
As a final note, I saw his new movie, Bullet to the Head. It is a C+, in part because the dialogue was poor and his co-star lacked acting talent. But still, even when playing a hit man, Stallone finds a way to root for him. He gets you to appreciate his trademark things about all of his movie characters – being a loner, defeating a bigger enemy, and unleashing a contained rage. There is something damaged, yet bold, about him.
Is Stallone a paycheck hack, a steroid-doper, an illiterate who glorifies onscreen violence? Yes, but boy he does what he does better than most and is a unique brand that, like a car wreck, I just cannot take my eyes off.
I love, Mr. Stallone.
SUPER DUD TO STUD
The lights went out early in the third quarter of the Super Bowl. It seemed like they should have stayed off. The game was a clunker. Not even the advertisements, which lacked invention for the most part ( but I loved the car commercial that celebrated farmers, the Doritos goat, and Samsung's LeBron James cameo), could save it. Beyonce's halftime show was excellent, however. Super Bowl 47 was not going down in history as a winner, and in fact, it looked like it would rank in the bottom half historically. The game was a 22-point blowout, being won easily by the underdog Baltimore Ravens. It looked like the game would cap an NFL season of few surprises or drama. But the power came back and it surged through the San Francisco 49ers. They roared back to within two points by mid fourth quarter and looked poise to make one of the biggest sporting comebacks in championship history. All of a sudden the game was looking like one of the all-time classics. CBS must have been ecstatic, seeing a bust turn to gold. As Baltimore extended its now tiny lead to five with 4:18 left in the game, the stage was set for more drama. SF marched down field in just a few minutes, and looked ready to score on a top-notch defense, to take the lead for the first time in the game. But it was not to be. SF failed to score within the 10-yard line on three attempts and the game ended with the Ravens desperately outlasting their competition. What a game!
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2013 ©