Stallone Blames Batman!

stallone Stallone Blames Batman!

Sylvester Stallone was interviewed by L.A. Times and asked how the one man army movies from the 80’s fizzled.  His response:

“”It was the first ‘Batman’ movie, the action movies changed radically when it became possible to Velcro your muscles on.  I wish I had thought of Velcro muscles myself… I didn’t have to go to the gym for all those years.”

I’m glad Stallone makes light of the situation and he’s not bitter.  Although Stallone is known for starring in macho movies, he’s actually a talented filmmaker directing most of the Rocky movies (didn’t direct the first or the crap Rocky 5) and writing the screenplay for First Blood and Expendables.  He clearly understands cinema and explained the evolution of action movies:

“It was the beginning of a new era. The visual took over. The special effects became more important than the single person. That was the beginning of the end.”

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I don’t think it was the special effects and visuals that took over in the 90’s.  I think the audience just wanted more “realistic” stories.  Audience were tired with one guy taking out a whole army and wanted more vulnerability to the characters. While Michael Bay’s The Rock story was generic, what set it apart were the two protaganoists: one was a nerd played by Nicolas Cage and one was a kickass but old Sean Connery.  It made you wonder how they would get out of the risky and deadly situations.  While 80’s movies like Commando, you know Arnold was just going to kill everybody and save his daughter by the end of the movie.  There was no question he was going to survive and have a happy ending. 

Over the years, Stallone has created movies that caters to the new generation of audience.  In Rocky Balboa, he made a movie about Rocky’s boxing passion and when to call it quits.  People were laughing when they saw the trailer but when the movie came out, everyone was surprised  how emotional it was. Stallone knew he had to make Rocky vulnerable because of his age and just like the first Rocky, people cheered at the final boxing scene.  It was a box office hit and critical success. 

Stallone followed Rocky Balboa with Rambo and it wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be.  While Stallone tried to flesh out Rambo, it was still the same invincible 80’s character.  The action was over the top, especially in the end.  I wished it was toned down a bit to reflect the transformation of Rambo.

While Stallone is famous for his iconic roles, I think he’s underappreciated as a filmmaker.    

Stallone’s next movie is The Expendables and that comes out August 13, 2010.  We’ll see if the audience is ready to welcome back the action and mayhem of 80’s movies.

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